“Hot Music Live Presents” Volume Two Review

Almost a year after the release of Volume One, Coventry & Warwickshire local live music magazine Hot Music Live have put together a collection of tracks celebrating the talent in the area.

On 23rd November last year they put out the 21-track showcase on BandCamp and it really does show the promise from local musicians with a wide range of music genres from people at different stages in their musical careers.

There is so much to talk about here and if I am honest the best thing to do is to simply listen to the collection (I will link it at the end of the post) but this post will give you a quick(-ish) run down of this interesting mix tunes.

Opening the collection is debut single “Sunny lady” by Stratford-Upon-Avon band Evergreen. The track is a beautiful piece of blues-y rock with a slight hint of folk and got me on board from the off. Pulling you in with a cool bass lick, the track has a feel good vibe carried by the harmonising vocals and upbeat drums. Continuing the upbeat beginning is “Can You Feel The Love” by Coventry rockers Autopilot. Capturing you with the lyrical hook but keeping you fuelled with the riffs it is a great tune by the band.

Warwick six-piece Rosetta Fire claim track three with their latest release “Shakedown”. The single draws upon numerous genres making it an eclectic mix of rock, pop with a dash of folk and jazz. Followed by more poppy quartet Speak, Brother with “Even Though We Are Strangers”. A catchy tune littered with a regular synth pattern and drum beat – the Rugby band gives me Mumford and Sons vibes. Singer-songwriter Jake Rizzo brings the tempo down with his emotional single, “Try”.

A glorious voice guides you into track six – it is Ellie Gowers with her indie-folk single “Against The Tide”. How anyone can listen to this single without being completely, and utterly, engrossed is beyond me. It holds onto you with both hands and honestly, nothing I could say would give it justice. My favourite song in the collection as of far.

Ellie Gowers

Singer-songwriter Joe Dolman from Leamington Spa is on top right now, having played major UK festivals and selling out his last UK tour. I understand why. His voice is incredible and the brilliant live version of “Align” which makes this collection knocks it out of the park. You listen and wish that you were there in person. Next up, is The Silver Wye‘s “Just My Luck”. The project of Coventry singer-songwriter Wes Finch it is a good track with the lyrics being its biggest pull – until the howling guitar solo kicks in. That is enough to get you gripped.

The gentle guitar guides you into the next track, “For the Souls Of My Brothers” by Stylusboy. This beautiful indie-folk track written and performed by Coventry musician Steve Jones is featured on his latest album, “Routes”. The lyrics have a real emotional feel to them.

Continuing the folk theme is singer-songwriter Atonia Kirby with track “Labour of Love”. The song which showcases her guitar skills and songwriting capabilities is a key feature on her 2016 EP “The View From Here”. Marking the half-way point of the collection is the beautiful tones from Naomi Beth with “Run”.

Picking things up a little with a more upbeat track “Jukebox Time Machine” is the brilliant Ace Ambrose from Kenilworth. Difficult to categorise, I would say the young singer fuses pop and rock to create her own sound which works so well. The track is featured on her debut EP “The Life and Death of Lady Fame”. Eighteen-year-old Hannah Woof then brings an original sounding pop tune with “Sweet Talk” which is her latest single.

Coventry band Shanghai Hostage intrigue me with their rock and ska influences creating music – which as it says on the tin – makes you want to dance. “Nomad” is immediately likeable and makes me want to check out the band live. “Put Your Trust In Luck” is the next track to treat your ears by another Coventry outfit, King of the Alps. The indie track is a soft tune with delicate acoustic guitar and a steady beat – the vocals gentle. From one indie-pop band to another, Leamington Spa band Man Made Moon bring “Not So Haunted”.

Shanghai Hostage

In the need for some more purer rock vibes for the collection three brilliant tracks cures that hunger. Coventry band The Caprines bring a foot tapping indie banger in the form of “Need A Friend”, a tune made for live performances. Then Kenilworth alt-rock band Free Galaxy bring us “Leave Me” a track which I am all too familiar with and reviewed previously here. “The Pleasure of Being the Cause” by Stop Motion Picture is a grungy indie-rock track which I can imagine creating a lot of noise in a small music venue.

But Is It Jazz? have the second to last slot on the collection and the answer to the question is, yes, it is jazz. “When I See You Smile” has a classic jazz drum groove and blues-y keys transporting you to a happier place guided by the stunning vocals – and then the cool sax kicks in and wow. A brilliant song which knocks it out of the park.

Closing the collection, perhaps rather unusually considering what we’ve heard throughout, is a piano piece. “Land of the Long White Cloud” is a wonderful song by musician Sophie Hadlum and it is a brilliant way to end the collection. Perhaps, it accentuates what I think Hot Music Live is trying to showcase.

Sophie Hadlum

Not only is this collection full of talented artists around Warwickshire and the West Midlands but it displays so many different genres and styles so when I say that there is something for everyone in this collection I mean it.

I have discovered artists listening to the collection that perhaps I would never have ever leant my time to before. My personal favourites, that I hadn’t heard before, are Ellie Gowers’ “Against The Tide”, Hannah Woof‘s “Sweet Talk” and Shanghai Hostage‘s “Nomad”.

This eighty-three minute long collection put together by the guys at Hot Music Live really does make good listening. Check it out here.

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