Hello and welcome to the second in a series of blogs aimed at getting to know some of the bands in your local music scene and listening to their new releases.
In this blog we speak to ‘Antonia Redding’ whose website describes her as:
“a singer/songwriter and percussion player, with a unique and authentic voice. Her songs are drawn from a rich and deep experience of life, and although simple and accessible deal with complex human themes. Her music is globally influenced, and pulses to the deep African rhythms of her roots.”
I was keen to find out a bit more about Antonia so I asked her a few music and not so music related questions
Describe your music in 3 words?
Real, unique, uplifting
Favourite local band?
Favourite local venue?
Analogue or digital?
Your take on the live music scene in this country?
Cameron or Corbyn?
Your 3 biggest influences and why?
Paul Simon – saw his Graceland tour and live in Central Park the way he worked with and supported amazing South African talent to a great result. Johnny Clegg – love African beats and how he went against Apartheid to work with great African musicians Pink Floyd for challenging perspective
Sell your music to us?
Songs that transport you somewhere you didn’t know existed
Then went on the album ‘I Find Myself Here’
The first track ‘Thundering Peace’ sets the tone for the rest of the album. Great musicianship, lovely ethereal vocals and that African theme running throughout. It starts with some really nice Knopfloresque guitar and then we hear Antonia’s voice for the first time. Some may disagree but on first hearing I immediately thought of Beth Gibbons solo work, there’s something about Antonia’s voice that take me back to when I heard ‘Mysteries’ for the first time. This track has a nice vibe, some really nice Africanesque backing vocals and very much sets the scene for the following 11 tracks.
‘Angels On The radio’ has some really excellent musicianship throughout, Antonia has clearly made some connections in the right places. I love the percussion on this track
And then we move on to ‘Hold On Release’. This track wouldn’t feel out-of-place on The Lion King soundtrack. Theres a real African vibe to it, that Knopfleresque guitar is back!
‘Fighting Fear’ to me sounds more contemporary with a nice live feel to it. Personally I find the glockenspiel on this track a bit distracting but that’s a taste thing more than anything
We move on to the soothing ‘Backdrop’ “sometimes I see a world that doesn’t care”. The lyrics throughout this album are profound and well constructed particularly so on this track. Theres some more of those really nicely blended backing vocals to really set the mood
‘Hearts and Stars’ has a really clever structure and arrangement to it. Theres a lot going on instrument wise but they all have their own space so it works. Theres a really nice bass line to this one as there is to most of the tracks, definitely drive the songs along. If there was a ‘Gracelands’ track on the album this would be the one
We move on to ‘Toorelyay’ which is more of a story. Theres a really nice effect on the vocal and some really nice backing vocals, it’s simply a really nice story set to some awesome musicianship
‘The Words We Choose’ is the standout track for me. Its driven by a synthetic drum rhythm that just works really well. It’s fairly sparse with some great use of synths and percussion and really well produced
If there was a fun track on the album ‘Only Name’ would be the one. Theres some duelling guitar and keys and even a bit of a rap?! which kind of works in an odd way!
‘No Beginning, No End’ is more of a folk track with some really nice simple lyrics. It’s a love song about finding that special person “Finally my love has no beginning and no end”
As the album comes to a close the penultimate track ‘Alone To Reunite’ begins to wind things down. It’s a piano based track wich really pushes Antonia’s vocal, she pulls it off though in her own unique style
Just when we thought it was winding down the last track ‘I Find Myself Here’ ramps it all back up again finishing as the album starts with a nice guitar riff expertly played. Everything is thrown in, the African percussion, finely blended backing vocals, lovely bass line and more guitar. It brings the album nicely together and ends it on an upbeat goodbye
Antonia and her band have written and performed a really nicely crafted and put together album. The production is really great and you can tell the musicians involved are all at the top of their game. It’s a difficult genre to make sound authentic but they’ve managed to do just that. Antonia’s distinctive vocal rounds off a very polished body of work
See if you agree, check out the album ‘I Find Myself Here’ following the link below
Thanks to Antonia for sending me the album for review, I hope you have found this blog review enjoyable? Please feel free to leave comments below, it would be great to give Antonia & myself some feedback?
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