Summer sounds are all around us and we’re joining in with five artists that we especially love. Kris James, Jonny Ong and Charity Stow are all new to us but President Street and Sharon Lazibyrd are old friends of Angry Baby – all five have new sounds out and each bring a taste of summer, making you want to drive along the coastline with the roof down and the wind in your hair. Then again, maybe that’s just me.
Kris James started out singing John Lennon and Frank Sinatra songs in karaoke bars back in his hometown of Liverpool, graduating to singing with a band, before striking out as a solo artist. His first single, ‘Eyes Open’, was a top 30 hit and he hasn’t looked back since. ‘Naive‘ is the new single, released in June and co-written with Stewart Boyle in Liverpool, and the lyrics tell of removing yourself from a toxic situation and looking back in order to move on.
Guess I was naive / Didn’t spot the trouble / Now, hey, I’m fine on my own
Kris says “This is a song for all the survivors out there who end up having the last laugh, it’s a song about overcoming adversity!”
‘Naive’ is a terribly catchy song that you’ll be singing with a minute of hearing it and it fits beautifully with a summer vibe.
Jonny Ong is a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Singapore, who was inspired by a busker in Amsterdam to pick up the Handpan. Prior to this, Jonny’s musical journey began at the age of 10 where he sang covers of Frank Sinatra for family birthdays. It was only during his high school years when Jonny first discovered the joy of The Beatles and decided to learn guitar.
‘Fools’ is a slow, heavy outpouring of emotion, a feat of producing and arranging, but at its core, it’s a song about lost love. Classy, classic and laidback, the emotional hit comes in the chorus of
Living in fantasy/Hiding our misery like fools
The track melds together jazz, folk and rock, joining them all together to create a little patch of musical joy
Charity Stow is an up and coming singer based in Nottingham who gives us Stowaway, a collection of two cover singles, John Lennon’s ‘Crippled Inside‘ and ‘Walkin’ After Midnight‘ from Patsy Cline. Charity’s rich, velvety voice finds the soul and honky tonk roots of both songs and the result is a twangy, country delight.
Born from Pete Moses’ discovery of his passion for music production, in partnership with vocalist Ruby, President Street is the creative collective who refuse to be constrained to one genre. ‘Something to Believe‘ is a song that fits snugly into the summer pop sound and delights with the clear, floaty vocals over a fabulous melody and beat. The track tells the inspirational tale of overcoming adversity and pain, and looking towards a future where you can rely unwaveringly on yourself. The song is a journey of discovery towards self-knowledge, clearing away the dark clouds around you and breaking past patterns to step into your strongest self. Originally inspired by an abusive relationship, ‘Something to Believe’ is nevertheless full of relatable themes about having belief and faith in your own voice and truth.
It’s a song that is right for our times and is all about staying strong and true to yourself and to remind us that hope still exists, yes even in this world, even today.
In a similar vein, Sharon Lazibyrd has a new song available on SoundCloud now and is a beautiful acoustic folk track, featuring Sharon’s distinctive vocals and her violin, recorded in her kitchen. I’m hoping she records and releases it!
Jonny Ong’s ‘Fools’ was released on 22 May on Sound Portal Studios. Get your copy here.
Charity Stow’s ‘Stowaway’ is available here.
President Street’s ‘Something to Believe’ was released on 22 June on One Generation, Get your copy here.