Time for another installment of Fresh New Tracks, and once again, I’m featuring three wonderful new releases by artists who couldn’t be more different from each other. They are, in alphabetical order, British singer-songwriter Frank Joshua, British singer-songwriter Ryan Redwood, and Philadelphia-based power pop act Scoopski.
FRANK JOSHUA – “Bluebell Wood”
Frank Joshua is a rather enigmatic but astonishingly-talented singer-songwriter and producer based in London. I recently learned about him from a marvelous WordPress blog I follow called Less Than 1,000 Followers that’s featured him numerous times, and it was love at first listen. Mr. Joshua has one of the most enthralling singing voices I’ve heard in a long while, and I was blown away the moment I began listening to his music. As napsebasty, the blogger who reviewed Frank’s stunning latest album Talk of Things so beautifully put it, “Frank Joshua’s poetic and far-reaching songs nestle deep in the visceral side of life, describing states of mind that can’t always be pinpointed or explained.” Wanting his music to speak for itself, he never shares any photos or details of himself, and in fact, his Twitter name is “Frank Joshua // No Face Just Music”. Despite his wish to remain somewhat anonymous, it hasn’t kept him from engaging with his fans and showing genuine appreciation toward them. Case in point, after I merely commented on Twitter and Facebook posts about loving his music, he immediately thanked and followed me on both sites.
Frank has released an impressive amount of music in only two years, including two albums and numerous singles. His latest is “Bluebell Wood“, a song so enchanting that I had to feature it on my own blog. The song has a beautiful piano-driven melody, overlain with dreamy synths and an exotic vibe that feels Latin at times, then Middle Eastern later on. Frank’s silky vocals are warm and comforting in the vein of crooners like Michael Bublé or Michael Feinstein, only better. The lyrics, written by Simon Pitheakley, seem to speak of a new couple tentatively exploring their budding romantic relationship, careful to not dive in too quickly, nor do or say anything hurtful toward one another.
The whimsical video, directed and filmed in grayscale by Diego Monfredini and inspired by the 1930s animations of Wladyslaw Starewicz, shows a young girl who appears to be sick in bed, with her mother sitting nearby, keeping a watchful eye. When the mother dozes off, the girl’s toys come to life, embarking on a myriad of adventures, while an innocent ballerina becomes temporarily entrapped in a spider’s web before freeing herself. Once the mother wakes up, all appears to be well, with her daughter happily sitting up and cradling one of her dolls.
Connect with Frank: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Find his music on Spotify / Apple Music / Soundcloud / YouTube
RYAN REDWOOD – “Once Again”
Ryan Redwood is a charming, hard-working and affable young singer-songwriter based in Lowestoft, England. I’ve been following him since early 2018, when he was lead vocalist for alternative indie rock band The Only Route, and reviewed several of their singles. After the band called it quits at the end of 2019, Ryan soldiered on as a solo artist, writing and recording songs influenced by some of his favorite acts like Oasis, The Charlatans, Catfish and The Bottlemen and Blossoms. He released his first single “Perhaps” in December 2020, and since then has released several more singles. Last September, I reviewed his previous single “All Said and Done”, and now Ryan is back with a fine new single “Once Again“.
The song is a buoyant rocker, highlighted by Ryan’s energetic jangly guitars and snappy drumbeats. I like how the melody and tempo transition in the final minute of the song to a slow, driving cadence with aggressive guitar notes. And I’ve always liked his smooth but earnest vocal style, and how his strong accent shines through. The lyrics are directed to a former romantic partner, thanking them for supporting and loving you when you needed it most, and now that the relationship has ended, that there are no hard feelings over whatever shit may have transpired between the two of you in the past. Ryan told me the line “Fall back when you need a friend” is an assurance to a former lover that you’ll still be there for them should they need it one day. It’s another great single from Ryan, and I’ll surely continue to follow along on his musical journey.
Connect with Ryan: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Find his music on Spotify / Apple Music / YouTube
SCOOPSKI – “Double”
Scoopski is a hilarious and wildly-creative power pop act from Philadelphia comprised of Scoopski, who sings, writes songs, plays guitar and bass, and produces, and Mrs. Scoopski, who also sings and writes songs, as well as plays piano and synths. As for their music style and sound, since I couldn’t describe it better myself, I’ll just quote from their bio: “Their songs range from lighthearted and even silly, to serious, emotional and heartfelt, all with the common theme of strong hooks and love of melody.” Listening to several of their songs, their sound to my ears is a delightful mashup of The Barenaked Ladies, Weezer and Blink-182. Some have zany titles and subjects, like “Dad Bod”, “Elon, Send Me to Mars”, “Pineapple of My Eye” and “Emergency Joyride”. Over the past three years, the prolific couple have released an impressive amount of music, including three 12-track albums – Bad Things Happen in Philadelphia, Things Are Fine and See You Soon – plus two EPs and several singles.
Their latest offering is “Double“, a song directed toward a hypocritical person you thought you knew well, with an exasperating set of rules for others that they refuse to follow themselves. Scoopski beautifully articulate these sentiments in straightforward, highly-relatable lyrics “Tell me again, what were the rules? They seem a little different for you. Am I seeing double? Or just double standards? Is the message getting through? I’m singing these words loud and true. When you’re hearing double, you won’t have an answer.” The delightful song features a bouncy, foot-stomping tempo overlain with terrific strummed guitar notes, lively piano keys, and exuberant percussion. I really like Mr. and Mrs. Scoopski’s endearing vocals and harmonies, which keep the song from becoming too overly serious. The clever, entertaining video they made for the song stars Scoopski DJ Juan Hedley, and follows a mask-collecting adventure game. Great stuff!
Connect with Scoopski: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Find their music on Spotify / Apple Music / Bandcamp / Soundcloud