EP Review: Away From The City – Melanie Crew & Ross Palmer

MELANIE CREW and ROSS PALMER have been performing together for several years but EP, ‘Away from the City’ is their first release as a duo. The EP features six songs, three by each writer, and was produced at their home in south London, including two songs that were written and recorded during lockdown (‘Nobody’s Watching’ and A ‘Different Place’).

Melanie leads the way on the EP with the purest of vocals, later supported by a male light baritone performance in guitar-led piece, ‘Seven Mountains’, setting the intimate theme of the collection. BBC Essex/Kent-backed artist went on to add a real mystical glow to spellbinding ‘Holborn Hill’ and ‘A different Place’, which boasts warm glow of country/indie folk.

Also beginning with a stripped-back performance with guitar-led, ‘Restless Heart’, Ross then takes the EP on a slight soulful route, giving the acoustic theme a full-body sound in ‘Nobody’s Watching’, where his soothing vocals eases into the arrangements, that somehow has a revival, Dr. Hook twang. Ross – also a BBC Essex and BBC Kent-approved artist – concludes the set with ‘Darkest England’ which carries on that full-bodied sound to the almost stripped performance, which allows his rich storytelling to take centre stage.

Even if you’re not the greatest fan of the folkore, singer/songwriter approach, you will find the ‘Away from the City’ appeasing as the moment you hit play the set, there’s a comforting warmth that immediately releases any weighty troubles away. Hear for yourself; have a listen below…

Must Listen: Holborn Hill, Nobody’s Watching, Darkest England

Song of the Day: Best Kind Of Light – Jess Knights

JESS KINGHTS‘ co-written ballad, ‘Best Kind of Light’, reflects on a graceful end to a relationship.

“It’s a choice to move on from any relationship with grace and integrity,” Knights says. “‘Best Kind of Light’ traces a reflection on what was with a recognition of what is, and a choice to remember the good and hopefully learn from the not-so-good.”

Fusing together Jess’ influences of blues, roots and revivalist soul, ‘Best Kind of Light’ – the title track of her latest album –  presents Knights’ luminous voice in its rawest form.

Absolutely stunning…Have a listen below…

EP Review: Time I Got Goin’ – House Above The Sun

Five-piece act, HOUSE ABOVE THE SUN‘s latest EP, ‘Time I Got Goin,’ carries on their neat theme of upbeat, feather light indie folk/rock/Americana from their 2017 EP, ‘Five Hours North’ (featured through intro single ‘Trains’ and ‘Time I Got Goin) but with a hint of bluesy country soul.

‘Small Town’ and ‘Footsteps’ are probably the best pieces that showcase their new-found sound, where an indie rock/folk combo serves as the perfect backdrop for the twang of that county soul.

In addition to their take on alternative folk/rock music, a retro/grunge-esque fusion presents itself through ‘The Bitter Life of Little Tony Starfish’ which gives the production a hazy and slight sparky feel.

It’s a real delight to see these South Londoners back on track with a range of genres – that I never expected – to their already established sound.

Check out ‘Time I Got Goin’ below…

Must Listens: Trains, Footsteps

Interview With: Rebekah Hawker

NEW LEASE MUSIC has caught up with REBEKAH HAWKER, whose single ‘Kempenfelt Bay’ was named Song of the Month by the blog back in August.

Stick around to find out what’s she has been up since the release of the single (taken from her EP, ‘Careful Women’) plus her general views of the music industry of today.


NLM: Hey, thank you for taking part in an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC.

So what have you been up to in the music circuit?

RH: I feel so honoured you would ask me, it means a lot to be able to share with you so thank you! I’ve mostly been focused lately on touring, specifically in Ontario to support the release of my EP ‘Careful Women’. I have some songwriter showcases coming up in November and more shows planned for the new year as well. I’m excited to showcase these songs in front of people who might connect with them.

NLM: Back in August, you released your single, ‘Kempenfelt Bay’. What was the public reception of the single so far?

RH: So far listeners have been so generous and kind with their responses to ‘Kempenfelt Bay’. I feel really grateful to those who have reached out to me to share how the song has impacted them. So many people I know have moved away from their hometowns and share the same nostalgic feeling I’ve written about in the song.

NLM: What’s your inspiration behind the single?

RH: I wrote Kempenfelt Bay when I moved away from home for the first time and was renting a single room in a boarding house in downtown Toronto. It was the most isolated and lonely I had ever felt up to that point in my life. I was terrified at the overwhelming weight of the future, and having to move forward into it. All I could do in that moment was look back and remember my home, and an old relationship that made me feel so comfortable and safe, it had me longing for home.

NLM: You also released your four-track EP, ‘Careful Woman’, back in August. What’s your proudest single on the project and why?

RH: What a tough question! That’s the musical equivalent of asking a mother to choose her favourite child. It’s really hard to choose one, although I will say ‘Round of Fools’ will always hold a special place in my heart because it was the first single I released from the EP. I felt a lot of pressure riding on that first song and its reception. I was really joyed to learn after its release how much it was resonating with people , it carried itself so much further than I could’ve anticipated.

NLM: So how would you describe your sound to potential fans?

RH: I would say it’s this country folk hybrid that focuses on storytelling, both through the lyrics and the melodies I write. There are also some traditional, more vintage country sounds woven in.

NLM: If you had to collaborate with ONE mainstream artist, who would it be?

RH: Maybe this is super expected but it would be so fun to collaborate with Kacey Musgraves. She’s an incredible writer, so honest and such a powerhouse. I feel like I could write the most badass songs with her.

NLM: If you had three wishes to change the music industry today, what would they be?

RH: 1. I think I’d try to make mentorship more accessible to artists (especially female) of varying success levels. To create a community where we can share more freely across levels and can better instil knowledge of both the business and creative side of music for artists in the beginning stages of learning and playing.
2. I would take over the country radio stations and change the old model of the boys club, more women on the country charts!!
3. I would change the vibe of ‘there can only be one’ that plagues so many artists. That mentality, especially for women (even more so for women of colour) who see there are only so many females allowed in that space is so damaging and leads to this insane competition that pits women against each other in a very unhealthy way. Collaboration and community always wins.

NLM: So what are your plans for this year?

I’ll be continuing my touring, hoping to make some new friends across the way and collect some new experiences. I’m applying to some festivals domestically (in Canada) so hopefully most of next summer I’ll be on the road. I also have a few music videos planned in the next couple months so that is something to be looking forward to…

NLM: How can potential fans make contact with you?

RH: You can find me most active on instagram and facebook! @rebekahhawker as well as through my website http://www.rebekahhawker.com. I’m very friendly so they can reach me on those platforms and I’d love to chat with them 🙂

NLM: Finally, if music didn’t exist, what profession would you do?

RH: I’ve always been so interested in the minds of those people around me, how they work and how I can understand them more clearly and understand how to navigate those relationships effectively and positively. I totally would have worked in the psychology world, as a therapist but probably also as a researcher of a sort. Being a couples therapist as well could be so interesting!

Rebekah Hawker Shares Emotive Track ‘Kempenfelt Bay’, Taken From Her Brand New EP

REBEKAH HAWKER‘s brand new single,’Kempenfelt Bay’, displays the Canadian singer/songwriter’s ability to immediately command an audience’s undivided attention without any gimmicks – but with straight up, powerfully emotive folkore storytelling against an intimate acoustic setting.

‘Kempenfelt Bay’ is taken from Rebekah’s new EP entitled ‘Careful Woman’ – check out the four-track set sometime via SoundCloud, Spotify and Apple Music…but for now, listen to the stunning piece below…