So much happening in York right now that it’s hard to keep up.
Here are five of the best things to land on our desk in the last week or so.
1. Charlie Tophill: Cheap Wine
Recorded at Crooked Room Studios, Strensall, Charlie joins with Bradley Blackwell (bass, guitar), and Isaac McInnis (drums, percussion) for a beautiful, wistful clear-voiced outing that this listener found reminiscent in tone of Hem and kd lang, but with a distinctive, refreshing straight-talking lyrics.
Sample: “You’ve got cheap wine in a plastic cup, £4.49 but you won’t touch that stuff. And did you mean it when you said we had to lose?”
2. Wonk Rock Bingo
Top marks to Dave Greenbrown and friends behind Young Thugs, producers of South Bank Suicide Club’s first album, Bingo Hall Of The Dead.
The first single from the album is Liquify My Prey.
Dave is the scary-voiced one, while Bonnie Milnes (The Lungs) sweetens it up with a trancey vocal, aided and abetted by Bull’s Dan Lucas.
The entire album is hashtagged as wonk rock, a catch-all genre which covers weird, mad, satirical, and experimental, and allows Dave a lot of free rein with some deceptively catchy tunes buried in among the 13 tracks.
If you’ve ever had the exhilarating pleasure of catching Dave in his persona of Washing Machine Repairman, you’ll know a little of what to expect.
3. BFL’s beautiful new album
The latest from one of York’s finest exports Ben Francis Leftwich was released on August 19.
The album After The Rain ended a five-year wait since Ben’s 2011 Last Smoke Before The Snowstorm debut catapulted him on to the national scene and saw him touring the world to great acclaim.
Those five years have seen Ben grow and mature as an artist, but that development came at a heavy cost, in the wake of the death of his much-loved father.
Ben admitted to his fans on Facebook: “I was broken for a while… Putting what I wanted to say into songs has helped carry me back into the world again.”
It’s hard to express in print just how heart-breakingly tender are the songs on this great album – available to stream, download or buy on CD and vinyl here.
The haunting Tilikum, for example, was written opposite his father’s old house, and the video shot in Dartmoor National Park.
September sees Ben embarking on a mammoth tour of the UK – the nearest gig to York is Leeds Stylus on September 28 – before going to Europe in October, then on to North America and Canada in November and December.
4. Lucky us
Right at the forefront of the city’s vibrant indie-punk scene, …And The Hangnails stormed it at the recent Fully York Festival.
So, to celebrate that, and for no other reason than the fact that more people need to hear …And The Hangnails, here’s their compelling track Everybody’s Luck.
5. Timeless Luke
Huge pleasure the other weekend to catch York’s prolific Luke Saxton playing a short but sweet set at The Crescent. It was as a curtain-raiser for a rare screening of the excellent film, The Ambiguity of David Thomas Broughton, the Otley folk singer who is redefining experimental folk, and whose work will be appreciated by fans of left-field geniuses such as Daniel Johnson, Mark Wynn or David Byrne.
Luke Saxton’s songwriting is timeless, and belies his youth; he is knowingly influenced by Harry Nilsson, Brian Wilson and Paul McCartney. Older listeners will hear shades of Tim Hardin, Leo Kottke, Tim Buckley and Jim Croce too, though Luke admits he’s none too familiar with their work.
You can judge for yourselves. Luke’s album, A Day In The Life Of Mr Saxton, can be listened to below.
Get in touch
If you’re a band or artist and would like a the wider audience of YorkMix to share your work, email David Nicholson and we’ll share a link to your tracks and video.
Send contact details, links and biographical details / band descriptions and a good recent picture too, if you have one.
Remember, we are a very small (but perfectly formed) team, and might not get posts up immediately, but we will do all we possibly can.