Posts tagged Music
Review: "Wildfire" EP by Hawthorn Avenue

Hawthorn Avenue's debut EP' Wildfire', is an impressive first-offering from the South Wales duo. Produced to perfection, the duo have a fully orchestrated quartet of finely-crafted Country/Pop numbers.

Before we get in to it, you know you're off to a good start when a release opens with a Hammond.

I loves me a Hammond.

'Raised Me Better' kicks off the EP. A stately and expansive composition with understated harmonies throughout that give the track a delightful spaciousness. The significant production does nothing to diminish the touching quality to the intimate, personal lyrics and allows for them to sit neatly on top of the mix with oodles of clarity.

Moving on to 'Fade Away', the EP's dynamic drops down further into decidedly Fleetwood Mac meets Civil Wars-esque territory. The unison vocals throughout blossoming beautifully into perfectly orchestrated harmonies that are arranged to great effect throughout the track to lend weight to certain refrains. Spacious and scrumptious, I particularly enjoyed the subtle, uncomplicated acoustic guitar solo. I'm not a 'solo' kind of guy, but the call-and-response of the acoustic and bright, slightly Tremolo'ed electric is a gorgeous addition to the composition.  

'The Water's Edge', continues to bring down the dynamic. A low-key, sweetly arranged ballad with a nicely chosen analogy running throughout that wouldn't look amiss in a James Taylor/Carol King collaboration.

We've reviewed the title track previously, which is honestly a perfect closer for the EP, and on this return listen - and I'm quite possibly I'm into triple figures now... - it proves no exception. It's a confident number, surprisingly nuanced, and those glistening, driven guitar melodies throughout provide a cutting edge to the track that serves to neatly and memorably bring the EP to a close.


Check out Hawthorn Avenue’s debut EP ‘Wildfire’ on Spotify and iTunes now.

by Joe Bayliss

Gig of the Week: I See Rivers & Eädyth (POSTPONED!!)


As soon as we hear a rescheduled date we’ll let you know!

What a weekend we’ve just had. For those unaware, Simon & Joe (Swansea Music Hub) organised the second instalment of the Swansea Fringe Festival last weekend & we’re only just about recovering. But we cannot think of any better way of capping off a week of reflection, relaxation & recovery than by seeing two of Wales’ most exciting artists as part of Libraries Week.

In the somewhat unconventional setting of the South Wales Miners Library, Horizons & Y Selar present I See Rivers & Eädyth for what will be a magical afternoon of live music. Best of all it’s FREE!

I See Rivers are Lill, Eline & Gøril - three girls originally hailing from the Northern, Southern and Western parts of Norway. Now based in Tenby, I See Rivers’ music is beautiful. Dubbed ‘Float Folk’ their memorable melodies and untraditional vocal harmonies their soundscape can be associated with artists such as Fleet Foxes, Sufjan Stevens and Feist. 

Joining them is one of South Wales’ most exciting young musicians: Eädyth. With a stunning sound evoking influences from electronic music, RnB and soul.

Libraries Week (8-13 October) is the annual showcase of all the creative, innovative and diverse activities that libraries have to offer and this year, with a focus on wellbeing, they will showcase how they bring communities together, combat loneliness, provide a space for reading and creativity and support people with their mental health.

Don’t sleep on this one. It’ll be one to remember. Grab your free tickets from eventbrite now.

Gig of the Week: The Balkaneers at The Last Resort
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Dancing Compulsory 

Ooooh you're in for a treat this week Swansea. On the event page, The Last Resort have summed up this event so perfectly: "Gower gang describing themselves as Balkan, Gypsy, Klezmer and Celtic musical madness. The Balkaneers play a lively mix from around the world – adding a hint of dub, a pinch of funk, and a dash of ska. Dancing compulsory."

It will be impossible to be there and not dance. We had the pleasure of The Balkaneers playing at our Folk at the Fringe evening on the closing night of the Swansea Fringe Festival at The Last Resort last September, and anyone there will agree it was an unforgettable evening. These guys are so much fun and so good live. Don't miss this one!!! 

Entry £4.00 | Free before 8:30

Independent Venue Week 2018: Discover the next Ed Sheeran

This week is Independent Venue Week. Independent Venue Week is a seven day celebration that salutes and recognises the importance of small music venues across the UK. This goes from the people that own them, the people that work in them and the people that get the bands and audiences in week after week.

There was some incredibly exciting news this week for Swansea – it was announced that as part of BBC Music’s Biggest Weekend, Radio One will be hosting two days of live music in Swansea’s Singleton Park bringing two absolute giants of pop music with them in the form of Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift.


This is absolutely incredible for our city and for musician’s in the city.

Whilst this announcement may seen far away from the fact that this week is independent venue week it’s actually very poignant and links very closely.

Take Ed Sheeran.

I remember seeing videos of Ed Sheeran in my first year of university playing his tune “You Need Me Man I Don’t Need You” and hearing about his shows in small venues in London thinking, wow this guy is pretty cool. I never expected him to become this worldwide powerhouse that he is now.

My point is, all these huge artists that are now making a name for themselves worldwide had to start somewhere. I’m sure Ed would agree that those early live shows in small venues were crucial to his career as a musician.

**31.01.18 - Update ** After posting this blog Sin City got in touch to let us know that my point actually comes a lot close to home than I first thought! In May of 2011, Ed actually played Sin City, in their top room to just 250 people! Amazing! Here's a video of him playing You Don't Need Me from that very gig!

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In Swansea we’ve seen lots of independent venues come and go over the last few years, but we’ve also seem the emergence of some new venues too. Top venues to check out for gigs include Sin City, Creature Sound, Mozarts, The Garage, Cinema & Co, The Hyst and 8Bit to name a few.

If, like me, you’re planning on celebrating independent venue week by heading out to some live shows in Swansea you’ve got the select following happening:

Wednesday: Billy Lockett & Holy Home Video in Sin City. (£6.00)

Friday: The Swansea Musician’s Forum (hosted by the Swansea Music Hub) with live music from Bandicoot, Craze The Jack, The Riff, Picsel, Emily Merry & King Goon. (Free Entry)

Saturday: Piranha Punk Rock presents Sigiria, The Groundnuts & Independents and Iron Gosling in The Garage. (£6.00)

Sunday: Swn Presents Spring King, Fizzy Blood and Bandicoot in Sin City. (£10.00)

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If you’re living in Swansea we’ve also created an artist directory, so if you see a local band’s gig advertised you can look here and check out the bands prior to see if it’s something you may like.

So get out this week. See a gig. And then next week, see another one. And so on…

You never know. You may discover the next Ed Sheeran, the next Arctic Monkeys, or the next Radiohead and be able to say “I saw them in a really small venue in Swansea before they got so big!”. Without your support we may lose these potentially great artists. 

Written by Simon Parton