Review: London-based eight piece band, Caroline, have been gradually garnering a reputation for quietly confident, and deceptively commanding work since then. Now having racked up plenty of hours on stage, on the road and in the studio, the trio are ready to deliver their highly-anticipated debut single, and it hasn't disappointed anybody in this office. 'Dark Blue' is certainly one for the more patient out there. Taking almost two-and-a-half minutes to introduce its gliding, woozy harmony before any lyrics are heard, it's a masterclass in gradual build and switching up the intensity of instrumental arrangements. Folky, meditative fare, it nods to the jazzier end of bands like His Name Is Alive. Flip the script to find 'BRJ', which explores the hypnotic potential of simple refrains, taking listeners close to experimental drone work, here with live strings and bass doing the lulling.
Review: Blue-eyed soul singer Mickey Carroll made his name in the late 1970s, offering up a handful of singles and a couple of rock-solid albums. His musical journey began much earlier though, as "I've Got Plenty Of Nothing" proves. It was recorded in 1969 but never officially released, presumably because Carroll couldn't find a label to put it out on. This then is the track's first release. It's well worth picking up, not least because it fixes his country-tinged, crooner style vocals to a stomping, Northern Soul style backing track with added big band horns. Flipside "Think Love" swings more than it stomps, with an arrangement and vocal delivery that reminded us a little of Terry Callier's "Ordinary Joe".
Review: Here comes the first single from the upcoming Chico Mann album "Double Life". The acclaimed producer and guitarist is back with his first work since 2013, and is in fine fettle. Once again finding new ways to collide hard rock and West African funk, first up is 'Come Inside', which has been a firm favourite in his live shows and is a collaboration with bassist JP Maramba that's full of fierce energy. Reeves it and you'll get a psyched out cover of Fela Kuti's 'Sorrow Tears & Blood' with a hooky groovy and powerful underlying message.