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Pop v Country…

I’m never sure whether pop is more and more recognising what Country has to offer or whether what we consider Country is moving deeper into the mainstream – but one way or another there’s a lot of Americana influences touching a lot of Norfolk acts today! Recent releases from Jake Morrell, The Vagaband, The Revelation Brothers all seem to have embraced and interpreted a Country feel.

The Vagaband have just released their new album Something Wicked This Way Comes (great title!) which is definitely worth seeking out. This is an act that seems destined to go much further. A 9-piece act on stage, they play an amazing live set and always manage to get their audience dancing from their energetic sound. Recognition seems to be coming their way too, for no sooner was the album out than they got a live set on Radio 2 with Gaby Roslin and another track has been lifted by BBC 4 to help promote Pam Ayres poetry!

On another tack Spoken Word is beginning to break through to Introducing as well. For many years we have supported the talents of Luke Peter Foster and this year we have had two new acts sending us material. Billy Pilgrim and the Heartsease Kid have a stated mission to make poetry popular. They use words backed by electro music to make really interesting and thoughtful pieces. They have taken it further, though, by recruiting poets from all over the UK and recording them for an album called Words With Friends. They plan a tour with the troupe later in the summer and are now actively looking for more poets for a follow up album.

The Addiction have a new release called Performance. Their 10 tracks hang somewhere between songs and Spoken Word. Listened to in one go it’s a real journey from psychedelia to prog rock to haunting melodies, always overlaid with words/ lyrics (you decide) that have a story to tell. It’s their first release and suggests there will be a lot more to come from them.

Whilst I’m in recommending mode, there are a few other acts where things are beginning to happen.

Soham De has been making music for Introducing ever since his mid-teens. Along the way he’s supported the likes of Gabrielle Aplin and after a break to write new material has come back with a strong first showing with a new single and video called Brave.

If you enjoy your electro then Norfolk legend Nathan Fake has a new EP out called Sunder. Nathan performs all over Europe and this release was recorded live over just two days. Broads also have a new album out – it’s a great listen but what makes it even more worthy of a mention is the stunning video that animator Tara Jane Peak has made for the single Climbs.