28 April 2010

Acoustic Guitars and Bedrooms - Ivan Moult & David Newington

I quite like the thought of musicians recording in their bedrooms. I like the thought of Mums interrupting recordings with a cup of tea. I like the thought of neighbours getting annoyed by/enjoying the songs through the paper thin walls. I even like the thought of the toilet flush going in the background. It somehow makes the music seem more real when you know the people making it are sat on their bed with their laptop besides them, rather than in studios being looped, paused, corrected, auto-tuned etc in a studio. And it almost makes good songs that come out of this process that little bit more impressive. Imagine what they could do given all the fancy equipment.

I recently came across two musicians that do as described (although I can't comment as to whether their Mums' are kind enough to make them imprompteu cups of tea) through two BBC Radio presenters; Adam Walton and Bethan Elfyn. Adam played David Newington on his show a few weeks back and Bethan Elfyn wrote a blog post about Ivan's growing popularity around Cardiff's open mic shows. And although both do use acoustic guitars and both do make (at least some) of their stuff in their bedrooms, they both display a lot of talent and a real knack for song-writing in the limited number of songs that are available from them so far.

We'll start with Ivan. As I mentioned, I got the tip about Ivan from a Bethan Elfyn blog (which was originally sent to me by Taz, my SU newspaper editor - cheers!), and, as part of my search of UWIC bands, gave his stuff a good listen, and met up with him for an interview (the results of which can be found here). His songs have a really dreamy element to them, and his slightly husky-yet-soothing vocals suit the sound well. His music is very honest (apparently he nearly had some confrontation regarding a song he had written about someone in particular), and it reminds me slightly of Johnny Flynn, only less heavy (if you can possibly call Johnny Flynn "heavy"). It's difficult to pigeon-hole, but Ivan's music can certainly be called folk in one way or another. If you want to know more about Ivan, and you live in the Cardiff area then you are in luck. Ivan gigs tonnes around Cardiff and it'd be hard to miss him. Head to his MySpace to listen to his recently completed debut EP and to find out more about him for yourself. Ivan is also part of Cardiff indie pop group The School (who recently released their debut album), for those interested in checking them out, also.

David Newington's music I heard, on the other hand, without any research needed; on Adam Walton's show a few weeks back. I really enjoyed what I heard, but I also felt motivated to add him to MySpace following Adam Walton's challenge involving just that (David has a sligtly odd and difficult-ish to find URL). I'm glad I did bother to find it though - I was really impressed by the other tracks up on there. "Another Summer Song" has a really nice, lazy feel to it, and, although it isn't necessariyl that folk-y, you can imagine yourself chewing some straw/tobacco whilst walking through corn fields listening to it. The guitar plods along pleasantly with Newington's ever-so-slightly distorted vocals. Speaking of which, David's vocals, especially on "To The River", remind me a lot of Graham Coxon (think more his newer folk album than older punk-y stuff). And "Midnight Shop" opens to a menacing acoustic guitar line which reminds me a little of The Moldy Peaches and features a whistling line I like to join along with. I'm hoping to hear more of David in the next few months, I think he has the potential to have a strong future ahead of him. For more info, head to David's MySpace, and have a listen to and download some of his tracks below (with permission) for free. Find Ivan's stuff below also.

David Newington - Another Summer Song

David Newington - Midnight Shop

David Newington - To The River

Ivan Moult - Fetch Me A Bucket

Ivan Moult - Fix Me

Ivan Moult - I Might Get Cold

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