Tag Archives: Jack Robert Hardman

Jack Robert Hardman – “Nuclear Family” (video)

5 Feb

Jack Robert Hardman - Nuclear Family

It is our understanding that in normal circumstances, ideas for videos come after the director has heard the song and crafted visuals to complement the sounds and/or lyrics. Mind you, we’re not sure how normal our ’H’ artist, Jack Robert Hardman, actually is, and his latest video gives rise to the theory that he was designed differently.

Recently he has been collaborating with animator-director Hamish Steele. They first worked together on the still extremely charming and lovely ”Living In A Watering Can” and have now come together to work on Jack’s recent free download, “Nuclear Family”. At least, they would have if they had gone about things the normal way. Instead they came together to work on Hamish’s animation that Jack then wrote a song around.

The video features a representation of a very famous dysfunctional family and the more realistic ramifications of the patriarch’s behaviour. Watching this, suddenly the downtrodden feel to the song, the feeling of resignation, acceptance, love and regret, all makes perfect sense. In actuality, set alongside the video that inspired it, “Nuclear Family” feels a lot bleaker and a lot less hopeful than it did before; it does remain an exquisite piece of songwriting mind you.

You can download ”Nuclear Family” for free from Jack’s soundcloud. It also features on Jack Robert Hardman’s ‘The Great Unknown’ EP, which is out now and available here.



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Jack Robert Hardman – “Nuclear Family” (free download)

8 Jan

Jack Robert Hardman - Nuclear Family

It’s been a little while since we last heard from our ’H’ artist, Jack Robert Hardman, though he did have a busy and productive 2014. He released a very good EP (which made it into our Albums & EPs of the year, played some shows for and had great support from BBC Introducing and Tom Robinson included “I Don’t Need An Answer” on his best of 2014 6Music show, amongst other successes. With all that behind him he has decided to kick off what promises to be an even busier and more successful 2015 with a belated Christmas gift to us all, a free download of “Nuclear Family”

As is often the way with Jack, the vocals are soft, melodious and emotive, the arrangement elegant and clever and the lyrics intelligent and witty. There is downtrodden feel to it, which we’re sure many people can empathise with in this first week back at work, a feeling of resignation, acceptance but also genuine warmth and love. It is, as we’d expect from a songwriter as talented as Jack, lovely.

You can download ”Nuclear Family” for free from the player below. It also features on Jack Robert Hardman’s ‘The Great Unknown’ EP, which is out now and available here.


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Jack Robert Hardman – “Loose Connection” (video)

25 Mar

Jack Robert Hardman - The Great Unknown

The year of returns continues apace as 2014 welcomes our ’H’ artist, Jack Robert Hardman to the game. Since his gorgeous eponymous debut album (which was one of our albums of the year in 2012) we’ve heard very little from Jack, with only the charming ”Living In A Watering Can” video on offer as new material. Not that he hasn’t been busy of course and today he has revealed the first track from his forthcoming The Great Unknown EP, “Loose Connection”.

The time away has obviously been good for Jack as, whilst his signature velveteen smooth vocals are as cool and genteel as ever, the arrangement is richer and more mature than when last we heard him. Never afraid to add depth to the layers of sound in his music, in “Loose Connection” Jack has crafted something quite magnificent with warm, nostalgic textures woven into one another as the song grows and develops, building in a very Elbow-anthem type way.

Like a pied piper, his voice collects sounds as it passes through the streets of Ascot, gathering rhythm, melody and harmony as it goes. ”Are you receiving this message?” he calls out on a cold, misty morning and it’s not long before he is answered. Drums scatter across cobbles as guitars race from alleyways and passages to follow in step. Cymbals crash, keys glide and together this consortia of individually small aural partners come together to build a grand and wonderful whole, Jack’s vocal leading from the front.

Like many returning bands and artists already this year, Jack Robert Hardman has used the time away to build on his undeniable promise and come back sounding even better than before.

”Loose Connection” features on Jack Robert Hardman’s ‘The Great Unknown’ EP, which is due for release on 19 May. The EP can be pre-ordered here and you will receive an instant download of “Loose Connection”.



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2014 Preview – Listen Out For – The Full List, and a little extra…

7 Dec

2014 Previews The Full List

So, after a week and a half and 15 individual posts, our countdown of artists we think you should Listen Out For in 2014 is complete. Before we crack on (next week) with our end of year lists, for those amongst you who are lazy/busy/just like things all in one place (delete as applicable), we have collated the full selection of artists below with a handy soundcloud playlist of all 15 for your enjoyment. Should you wish to read more about each, just click on their name to see the full article.

AND, as if that wasn’t enough, we even have a little bonus below the playlist of the acts who almost made the 15 but who we felt were too good to leave off entirely. Some honourable mentions if you will.

#15 – Mega Emotion

”Full of big brash sounds, riffage and booming beats it also features soothing vocals and retro-sensibilities. It’s raw and powerful but calm and quiet too, like a circus muscle man cuddling a poodle or something.”

#14 – Mononoke

”What we do know is that she is blessed with quite a voice and, judging by her debut track “Alice”, song writing talent. With her tragically beautiful lament to a little girl trapped in a grown up world, a life of lost love, apathy and melancholy, she has set the bar very high.”

#13 – Port Isla

“As well as being super talented, they are the kind of lovely people that you just want to do well. They make such enthusiastic and warm music that you can’t help but like them.”

#12 – NONONO

”“Pumpin Blood” is the track that has broken out everywhere, with its ‘gets under your skin’ whistle. You may not know it, but you would probably recognise it. Big and brash, vibrant and frenetic, it’s the seven dwarves whistling while they work having dropped some acid and taken speed.”

#11 – Fractures

”…the gorgeous dreamy electro sounds of “Twisted”, complete with soft, soulful falsetto vocals that would stop a rhino’s heart, and the evocative crescendos of atmospheric folksiness on “Embers” were soon joined by the fabulous “Cadence” and “Tizer”.”

#10 – Embers

”They played two sets at The Great Escape, one in a grand high-ceilinged venue that allowed their music to spread and soar, the other in the cramped space of the Mesmerist pub where their sound exploded out at the audience, pummelling them with intensity and energy as veins bulged and sinews strained. It was one of the most intense, in your face performances we saw all year and we loved it.”

#9 –

”She is an artist that creates genuine excitement and a buzz of anticipation whenever she is about to perform. She even had the audacity to upstage the headlining AlunaGeorge on her recent UK tour and won many more fans in so doing.”

#8 – Pale

”It’s synth pop but ice cold, too cold even for Van Damme as it slides along stealthily like a glacier, taking you in its cool hand off to a world of desolate beauty. A world where the stark surroundings, the bleakness and desolation carry a majestic splendour, it’s not a world of disrepair but one that has been lovingly tended and cultured.”

#7 – Pawws

”Our love for the music of Pawws was immediate and full on, an infatuation. Her music is instantly accessible and enjoyable with influences from the likes of Robyn, Annie and Madonna and vocals that are beautifully sweet and heartfelt. She can do big vibrant rainbows of sound, all danceable and bright and she can do genteel and calm as well.”

#6 – Gems

”The vocals are sweet and breathless, a whispered caress on a smooth gossamer breeze of synths and electronic beats. Weightless and elegant, like moments of purity handed down from above, unsullied and unspoiled for us to enjoy and bathe in their beauty.”

#5 – Iyes

”They make pop music, but it’s not homogenised pre-packaged pop, it’s edgy and different but with enough accessibility to transcend the blogosphere and break the mainstream consciousness. Like Chvrches but without as many 80’s reference points and fewer lasers.”

#4 – Lyla Foy

”The songs are reflective and the arrangements offer an intimacy to the listener, a closeness brought from the instrumentation, the emotion and purity of the music and lyrics. It’s delicate, like the frayed edges of a heart whose thread could be pulled at any moment, and it’s utterly gorgeous.”

#3 – Avec Sans

”What they do so well, and what we absolutely adore, is make fantastically upbeat and danceable tunes. Electro sparkles and beats flash and pulse like a grand firework display against a night sky of synths and melody. Choruses are made to be sung along to while your feet tap and shuffle, heads nod, arms twist and bodies convulse in rhythmical movement; sprung into life by the infectious and compelling sounds.”

#2 – Empress Of

”Her music is addictive and tingle making, high art meets pop accessibility in the most gorgeous manner. Seductive tones, swirling melodies that draw you in and buffet you gently along as the beats take synths by the hand and swoon and sway along like cavorting partners, clinging to each other in the low light of a slow dance.”

#1 – Sivu

”He is a beguiling artist, telling tales born in the shadows of anguish, or inspired by theology in a rousing and heartswelling manner. Acoustic sounds marble with electronic embellishments, strings ebb and flow with the tide and all the while, introspections and observations pour out like nectar for our soul. It is entirely possible, ironically, to lose yourself in his lightly rasping voice and warm melodies. Even when singing “Coldhands” is like a walk across a warm yellow corn field on a calm day, fingers running over the tops of the long stems as they are rustled by a gentle breeze.”


Honourable Mentions…

Curxes

Curxes

If you’re wondering what that massive kaboom sound was just then, it was your senses under attack and your brain screaming out for more. Portsmouth/Brighton pair Curxes make blitz-pop and there’s no escape from its aural magnificence and energy. Last year they were one of the most blogged about artists in the UK (despite having no PR or representation) and while 2013 has been comparatively quiet, the new songs they played for us at Norwich Sound and Vision in October are sounding amazing and could take them to a whole new level in 2014.


Strangers

Strangers London Lights

We’ve been championing the case for this London trio for some time now and with their debut EP on the way, and a follow up scheduled for the new year it could well be that the breakthrough they’ve threatened for so long could be about to happen. Their dark hued electro pop is common cold level catchy but immensely enjoyable and danceable. And while you can get your groove on whilst sneezing your face inside out, we wouldn’t recommend it. Get down to some Strangers instead, it’s much more fun.


Jack Robert Hardman

jack_robert_hardman

Our main man Jack. As our ‘H’ artist we have been following the fortunes of Mr Hardman for a while now and we feel that bigger and better things are just around the corner. His debut album made our end of year list in 2012 and while this year has been more about remixing and a charming little video (below), 2014 should be all about JRH. There’s a new EP on the way, with guest vocalists and artists a-go-go and judging by the unfinished demos we heard a couple of months back, it’s going to be a beauty.


Abi Wade

Abi Wade

One woman, one cello, two foot pedals and an array of sound, melody, rhythms and innovation. Yes, she is a pair of cymbals between her knees away from full-on-market-square-one-man-band-status, but while that shark remains unjumped she is an incredible live performer and musician. She’s got the songs to back it up as well, beautiful and soothing but also full of drama and emotion when they need to be. She’s been writing recently so hopefully that means an album could be on the way in 2014.


Leon Else

Leon Else

Be it fantastical and mystical or very much down to earth and even carnal, Leon Else can and will deliver a tune and half with the deep but light rumbling vocal at its heart. He sees the world slightly differently from most of us but that just makes his music all the more interesting and captivating. With radio play from the likes of Radio 1 and Amazing Radio already under his belt, 2014 could well see his proclamation that the future is


Laura Welsh

Laura Welsh

Laura’s sophisticated, R&B infused pop has passed through our inbox on the odd occasion over the last few months and while we always very much enjoyed it, other commitments meant we never quite got round to writing about it (despite intending to). On seeing her supporting London Grammar recently, we were instantly filled with regret that said posts never made it out of our heads and onto the page. She was fantastic. Big danceable sounds were offset with a deceptively big and powerful vocal and softer, gentler moments were treated with care and affection. 2014 should be a big one for Laura and we won’t be making the mistake of not writing about her again, trust us.


Listen: Strangers (Feat. Lou Bird) – “Divine”

1 Dec

Strangers Divine

All good things, as they say, must come to an end and so it is with the series of free downloads that Strangers have offered on the first of each of the last five months. Now, on the first of month six they offer the final freebie, “Divine”.

Featuring the additional vocal talents of Lou Bird, “Divine” could well be the best of the lot. It starts gently with atmospheric, harmonic vocals before it crackles and pops with electro fizzes and beats. It’s an aerial acrobat of a track, looping, diving and spinning against a glittered backdrop of synths and drums. It dares to pause momentarily and hang on by a single word as breath is caught, then swinging up to grab the trapeze hook of the song with both hands, swinging through the air under its own energy before back-flipping to a stop, hand raised aloft in triumph.

It is the last of freebies but that doesn’t mean the guys are taking a breather, far from it. On 10 December they will release the Close EP which collates all six free downloads as well as some exclusive remixes and alternate versions. Remixes such as the gorgeously soothing version of “Something New” that our own ‘H’ artist Jack Robert Hardman has put together, which brings the previously hidden backing vocal from Crystal Fighters’ Ellie Fletcher to the fore (you can hear that below as well, think of it as a little bonus from us). Then, in the New Year sometime there will be a brand new EP of brand new songs as well. No rest for the wicked and Strangers are most certainly ‘wicked’.

“Divine” is available as a free download from strangersmusic.co.uk



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