Formed originally as a duo, London, England’s Honey Ryder released their debut album, Rising Up in 2009. A rock record with folk influences, Rising Up received widespread critical acclaim and led to the band supporting Will Young on a 19-date theatre tour and Michael Bolton in UK arenas. Produced by Golddust (Natasha Bedingfield) the 10-track album included the singles “Numb,” “Fly Away” and “Choices.” Rising Up spawned two Top 40 UK singles and saw the band flown to Austin, Texas for a performance at SXSW and the south of France for an industry showcase at Midem. Now as a trio comprised of Lindsay O’Mahony on lead vocals, Matthew Bishop on guitar and Jason Huxley on guitar, Honey Ryder sent their demo of “You Can’t Say That” to Paul Worley, the man who signed and produced The Dixie Chicks and Lady Antebellum. That led to the band flying to Nashville, writing for Lady Antebellum and teaming up with the who’s who of Nashville writers. Among Honey Ryder’s collaborators were Tom Douglas (Lady Antebellum, Tim McGraw, Martina McBride), Blair Daly (Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban, Faith Hill) and Rivers Rutherford, who has written U.S. No. 1’s for Dolly Parton, Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw. The finished product is the album, Marley’s Chains. A pop record with its feet in folk and country that sounds both classic and contemporary and fits to the current trend for a return to real music.
STREAM: “You Can’t Say That”
London’s Strangers are fronted by lead singer David Maddox-Jones, joined with producer Glen Nicholls (The Prodigy, Snow Patrol, Depeche Mode, Future Funk Squad), drummer Ralfe Hacking and Piers Sherwood-Roberts on synths, who create a dark style of pop music. They’ve toured with Niki & The Dove, released three EPs, received radio support from BBC Radio 1, XFM and the globally syndicated import show “Passport Approved,” all within the last year. The next step for the band is releasing their EP, Safe/Pain, on August 31st. The lead single off the EP, also titled, “Safe/Pain,” has been described as a contemporary 80s synth pop sound. Speaking of 80s, there have been rumors that Strangers also have a remake of the worldwide smash “Shout” by Tears For Fears on the upcoming EP. What has been confirmed is that “Safe/Pain” also has official remixes by Youan, Black Light Odyssey and Rednek.
Versives is Alan Matthews and Kevin J. Power, a two-piece electronic pop outfit from Cork, Ireland that have drawn musical comparisons to New Order and the Pet Shop Boys. After carefully crafting their sound over a series of EPs with producer Ciarán O’ Shea (ex-Cyclefly), Versives’ first single “Kicking Up a Brand New Storm” was picked up by BBC Radio in the UK and led to a deal with Leeds-based independent label TAKEA!MF!RE, who are digitally releasing the band’s music in Britain. In Ireland, Versives were featured on TV3’s The Apprentice (“Backstage Pass” Best Unsigned Bands Compilation CD) and have appeared on the playlists of RTE 2FM, Today FM, Phantom FM in addition to stations in Cork (96FM, Red FM), Limerick (Live 95), Waterford (WLR, Beat FM) and Galway, featured on as well as touring nationwide with an intense, sharp live show. Their latest single, “Two Enemies,” takes the big beats down a notch or two from their first single, with a fragile, Mark Linkous-style vocal easing the electronics along before gently peaking with some sumptuous keys.
STREAM: “Two Enemies”