INsiders Guide: THE HOWL & THE HUM, Gilmore Trail, Satsang, SaintAhmad, CODA FACTO, Catbells….

As reassuring as a “Thumbs Up” from an old friend, THE HOWL & THE HUM return this Autumn with a quietly resplendent new single. 

LISTEN HERE

Sounding like “High And Dry” if it were written by Jeff Buckley, this one-off track from York’s finest alternative-folk proposition has an aching, melancholy tenderness that will make your hairs stand on end.
A song about toxic masculinity and tokenistic gestures, “Thumbs Up” is a cathartic confessional from an artist in search of deeper connections in the wake of personal tragedy. Written as singer Sam Griffiths tried to find silver linings in the darkest of days, he reflects: 

“”Thumbs Up” is the confession that us men don’t know how to talk to other men about important sh*t. This song was written in the silence after suicides of friends, during depressive episodes, and over non-existent conversations about how we communicate our feelings: our highs, our lows, our loves and losses. It also references 80s movie icons Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger, a brief admittance of vulnerability in the face of what we call masculinity.”

With pared-back arrangements that let the song’s lyrics take centre-stage, every word lands from Griffith’s haunting falsetto like a sucker-punch to the soul. Building to an atmospheric conclusion, its ethereal keyboards and backing vocals are laid down by Griffiths, whilst The Howl & The Hum mainstay Conor Hirons plays its reverb-glistening guitars.

Out now, “Thumbs Up” was produced and mixed by Jolyon Thomas (Slaves, Kendrick Lamar) at Mash, before mastering by Kevin Tuffy at Alchemy. 

The single is the first original music to emerge from The Howl & The Hum since the release of their acclaimed debut album “Human Contact” (released via AWAL in 2020). Marrying uniquely affecting lyrics to expansive musical backdrops, the band earned praise from the likes of DIY, The Line of Best Fit, Clash, Wonderland, Music Week and more. Also winning-over champions at radio including Huw Stephens, Annie Mac, Tom Robinson and John Kennedy; the band have accumulated north of 10 million streams on Spotify and counting. 

Appearing at The Great Escape and SXSW, as well as selling-out The Scala in London and the hallowed York Minster in their hometown, the band have earned a reputation for being an essential live act.

Preparing to take the songs of their debut on the road for what will be their first UK tour since its release, The Howl & The Hum are now sizing up a significant run throughout the Autumn.

Rolling back into earshot with a mesmeric new offering – GILMORE TRAIL – present: “Ruins”. WATCH THE VIDEO HERE

The Sheffield band’s first original music in over six years, the track arrives as the lead single of their upcoming new album: ‘Impermanence’ – due for release on 22 January 2022.
 
From the electrostatic charge of its atmospheric beginnings to the thunderous maelstrom that erupts at its climax, “Ruins” is a twisting 8-minute odyssey of knife-edge tension and cinematic execution.
 
Strictly instrumental in composition, as is in the band’s nature, the song was one of the first to be recorded as Gilmore Trail began writing what would become their new album. As the band explain:
“The opening sections of ‘Ruins’ were written during a time in which we were reduced to a three-piece band. The name of the song and the temperament of the music (particularly the free-falling nature of the song’s ending) reflects the mindset of the band at the time as we searched for a replacement drummer. Thankfully, we found Bob Brown, who brought a fresh new dynamic in both musical background and personality.”
 
Having amicably parted-ways with drummer Sam Ainger right at the beginning of the recording process, the appointment of his replacement Bob Brown would also set the trajectory and tone for their new album. 
 
‘Impermanence’ is the long-awaited follow up to 2015’s ‘The Floating World’ and it will be released via the Gilmore Trail’s own Chasmata Records imprint on 21st January 2022. Arriving 10 years into their career, the album will also complete a trilogy of full-length studio releases from the band. 
 
A record ultimately about change, transition and uncertainty,  the seven tracks of ‘Impermanence’ each respond to these core underlying themes, with its instrumental songs inspired by legacy, family, history, philosophy and the natural world. 
 
Sailing with the winds of change, ‘Impermanence’ is also the Trail’s first record to feature an array of official guest appearances. Sally Blyth (a sound practitioner in Sheffield), provides hypnotic singing bowls signatures on the 10-minute epic “Distant Reflection”; whereas Martin Archer (the owner of Discus Music), gifts the breathtaking “Echoes of Solitude” with haunting saxophone undulations. 
 
With all music written and performed by Gilmore Trail, the album was recorded by Danny Mills at Chasmata Studios (Sheffield) in 2019. Mixed by Mills with Joe Richards, it was given its final mastering by Lawrence Mackrory at Obey Mastering (Sweden) the following year. Joe Richards provided initial field recordings of the tracks “Echoes of Solitude” and “Nocturne”.

A record that finds a band uncompromisingly true to their natural identity, yet embracing change for all the goodness it can bring, ‘Impermanence’ is the sound of Gilmore Trail in evolution and taking flight. Lead single: “Ruins” is out now.

This Thursday, Montana-based singer-songwriter Satsang will kick off the All. Right. Now. 2021 Fall Tour with special guest Tim Snider and Wolfgang Timber. The 23-date tour takes Satsang lead singer and songwriter Drew McManus across the the United States in support of All. Right Now., the new album available now on SideOneDummy Records.To celebrate the start of the tour, Satsang will share two acoustic versions of songs from All. Right. Now. including the title track and “This Place” featuring Trevor Hall this Friday on DSPs.Halfway through the tour, Satsang will head to warmer weather for the Soulshine At Sea concert cruise with Michael Franti & Spearhead. The Norwegian Gem will set sail from Miami to Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas for 4 days of music alongside artists including Fitz And The TantrumsAllen Stone, and Niko Moon.

Satsang will end the year with a 3-date Texas tour visiting Dallas, Houston, and Austin in December.

OCT 14 St. Paul, MN @ Turf ClubOCT 15 Kansas City, MO @ Knuckleheads SaloonOCT 16 Iowa City, IA @ Wildwood SaloonOCT 17 Indianapolis, IN @ Hi-FiOCT 20 Asheville, NC @ Asheville Music HallOCT 21 Nashville, TN @ The BasementOCT 22 Columbus, OH @ Rumba Cafe (SOLD OUT)OCT 23 Chicago, IL @ Martyrs’OCT 24 Kalamazoo, MI @ Bell’s Eccentric CafeOCT 27 St. Louis, MO @ Old Rock HouseOCT 28 Des Moines, IA @ Wooly’sOCT 29 Omaha, NE @ Reverb LoungeOCT 30 Boulder, CO @ Fox TheatreOCT 31 Salt Lake City, UT @ SoundwellNOV 11 Tempe, AZ @ Marquee TheatreNOV 12 San Diego, CA @ Sodar Bar (SOLD OUT)NOV 13 Los Angeles, CA @ Moroccan LoungeNOV 14 San Luis Obispo, CA @ The RockNOV 17 Felton, CA @ Felton Music HallNOV 18 Berkeley, CA @ CornerstoneNOV 19 Arcata, CA @ Arcata Theatre LoungeNOV 20 Portland, OR @ Star TheaterNOV 21 Seattle, WA @ Nectar LoungeDEC 16 Dallas, TX @ Club DadaDEC 17 Houston, TX @ White Oak Music HallDEC 18 Austin, TX @ Antone’s

SaintAhmad is a Brooklyn-based rapper, singer, dancer, and songwriter who creates soulful, innovative R&B songs mixed with throwback hip-hop aesthetics. Being somewhat of a hopeless romantic, his music has undertone themes of love and sex, where he explores the fantasies that ruminate in his head.

 A natural at singing, rapping, and crafting hooks, SaintAhmad is a versatile artist who can do it all. He radiates natural charisma and infectious energy, busting out dance moves and flashing a big smile while commanding the spotlight. Born in Tashikawahi-shi, Tokyo, Japan, Ahmad first discovered his love for singing and performing while at church and holds a BFA in Dance from Florida State University. As an out-and-proud gay man, his music reflects the confidence and empowerment that comes from being his true and authentic self. SaintAhmad’s debut single “It’s Just Me” is a svelte-smooth record that leaves the listener hanging on every word and note. “I really wanted to highlight myself with this record, feel good being myself, and just enjoy life. It’s a feel-good record that is about young love, being free, and enjoying your time together with that person. This record is meant to show the confidence in myself to ‘Just Be Me’ and nothing else.” The track drips with swagger, funk-fueled R&B soundscapes, and earnest lyricism. Acclaimed jazz/funk artist Aidan Paul adds his touch on this undeniably catchy and vivacious record. Ahmad’s powerful, soulful vocals stand out in the mix, providing movement and rhythmic flow that play off the old school inspired hip-hop beat. His youthful exuberance draws the listener into his world, and this, combined with the versatile, innovative production makes you feel like not only are you going on a journey, but it’s a trip worth taking.His second single “Clouds” is a vibey, feel-good song that explores SaintAhmad’s feelings as he lets go of the pressures from the pandemic and the concept of his sexuality as it relates to smoking weed. I wrote this record via zoom during the pandemic. I was quarantining down in Miami and honestly smoking a lot of weed to cope with the realities of graduating college during the pandemic. When I’m in Miami I always feel so sexy, there’s something about the sun, the air and the vibe. I’m always in a speedo and just feeling the best about myself and my body.

SaintAhmad’s upcoming track “Slow” is provocative and empowering, dripping with sultriness, style, and rich, hypnotic dancer soundscapes.  SaintAhmad confides, “With every record that I work on I want to touch on the fact that I am multifaceted and capable of so much. I currently work as a go-go dancer at Q-Club in Hell’s Kitchen New York and It’s my dream job. Every night I’m there I get to feel sexy, make money and entertain the crowd. I really wanted to express that on this record and even create a strip club in the video, which was filmed in the living room of my apartment. ‘Slow’ is a stripper anthem that you hear at the club around 2 am when you’re lit and feeling yourself. You get to shake ya ass and even make some cash!”SaintAhmad’s musical influences include Tyler the Creator and Frank Ocean, and he has genre fluidity that definitely puts him in the same lineage as these experimental thinkers.

CODA FACTO are a rock band from Hamilton, Canada founded by Alexander DeRoo and Jonathan Harley. CODA FACTO fuse melodic Brit-Rock and Americana with modern vocals and lyrical stories.

Alex and Jon began gigging in 2010 after meeting as classmates at Hamilton’s McMaster University. In 2016, they formed the band ALEXR with Adam Rogerson (guitar), Mark Korczynski (bass) and Luke Ormond (drums).

They caught the attention of Glen Marshall and the late Bob Lanois at The Mule Spinner, a local venue in The Cotton Factory creative hub. The band would often rehearse, perform and record early tracks there gaining seasoned insights from both producers.

In 2018, the band was joined by Kaitie Allinger (vocals) and renamed STRATHCONA after the city’s west downtown neighbourhood. The band performed regularly at local music venues; including The Casbah, the former This Ain’t Hollywood, and The Mule Spinner. They recorded “Rock ‘N’ Roll Sounds” and “Hidden Treasure” with the artful guidance of producer Carl Jennings of Westmoreland Recording Studio.

Early 2019 saw the group disband as several members chose to pursue other interests. Alex and Jon continued arranging and recording with Jennings for a debut EP as the band, CODA FACTO.

Dreamy melancholic shoegaze meets alt-pop singer/songwriter Catbells engages her listeners with soft hypnotic vocals, lush soundscapes, and moody melodies that capture her deep, heartfelt emotions in the most intimate of ways. Gifted with a voice like an angel, Catbells gently immerses her listeners into a world of sweet nostalgia and velvety sentiments.

The singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist was introduced to the piano at age five, and by the 7th grade she was playing the guitar and writing songs about her middle school heartbreaks. After performing in several bands throughout her early music career, Catbells recently decided to focus on her own solo project.Catbells is a somewhat enigmatic, shy wallflower type, with her name itself being an alter-ego. Named after the popular hiking spot recited in the famous children’s book The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle by Beatrix Potter, Catbells’ cinematic music is influenced by the vast natural wild. Raised in New England, Catbells often revisits the times of her childhood in her music, where she reflects on fond memories of the seasons changing, swimming in the eastern lakes, canoeing down the river, and working on the family farm.Her deeply personal and introspective single “Fade – Rainy Day Demo” is an intimate and open-hearted reflection of lost love. “The song really wrote itself and the music needed to match the feeling of how the words felt. There are few people who are lucky enough to escape the feeling of a completely broken heart, and feeling like the person you loved so much just moved on like it was nothing, leaving you left there with a hole where your heart once was” confides Catbells. This emotionally raw and poignant narrative and accompanying music video features innovative illustrations of a sad cat saying farewell in a starry evening background.  While on the single “Wilderness” Catbells’ soft-powered honeyed vocals float above stripped down melodies and dreamy lush acoustic soundscapes. The track was mixed by acclaimed producer Ali Chant (Aldous Harding, Perfume Genius, Soccer Mommy).

Catbells’ single “It’s Not Hard” explores deep-seated emotions and feelings of escapism in one’s life. Catbells confides, ” It’s a song about that feeling of wanting to run away from all your problems and to be totally free from the past. Not looking back and not feeling the regret of the past. But ultimately it’s about also realizing it’s not possible to really run away…when doing what you want to do is quite hard or even impossible, but feeling like you want to do it is not hard at all.”

Her upcoming release “Same As You” is a sweeping dream pop single about longing for a lost love. Featuring lush arrangements, warm and penetrating layered vocals, “Same As You” is a raw heart wrenching yet cathartic acceptance of past memories.With influences ranging from 60’s folk like Nico and Donovan to 90’s shoegaze artists including Mazzy Star, Catbells has combined the best of these genres into a potent fusion of lofi “sad girl” indie rock beloved by many. 

neillfrazer@hotmail.com

Written By: Neill Frazer

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