Owen Williams new single ‘The Man Who Ate a Hurricane’ – worth digesting.

Owen Williams‘ latest single first came onto our radar when he played a delightful acoustic version of this track live on Broom Cupboard Sessions. Owen joins a heady mix of Southend troubadours that are fully embracing this town’s love for all things folk.OwenWilliams1We’re pleased this is finally getting the full release that it deserves. ‘The Man Who Ate a Hurricane‘ is a bluesy gospel track, with the fantastic analogy of a man who’s consumed rage the size of a hurricane, spreading the destruction wherever he goes. Owen‘s voice is warm and reassuring; it feels like he’s been singing to us for 40 years. His charisma really shines through over the effective simple structure of this song.

The Southend folk scene is an absolute joy at the moment, with Owen Williams a very welcome addition to this ever growing movement. This single is a delight.

Not sure I’d eat a hurricane though. I’m more of a Twister man myself.”

Mikey Glenister

Beach For Tiger – Leading the Psychedelic Pop Renaissance

By Mikey Glenister

So psychedelia is a thing again.
For years, it was seen as an ideology that died in the early 70s. Often created as a result of the artists’ own hallucinogenic experiences, this aural representation was sometimes an attempt to recreate their visual kaleidoscopic trips. Listening to the classic psychedelic bands with a great set of headphones can send you to a truly weird altered state.

Bands like Tame Impala, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Temples have made this genre relevant and closer to the mainstream once again, so it was surely an inevitability that a Southend band would suddenly arrive to surf this psychedelic wave. That band is Beach For Tiger, and golly, look at the tricks they are pulling off.

Their latest effort ‘Black Buddha’ is rich with layers of dreamy synths and vocal harmonies, held together by a restrained disco groove. It’s slick production (recorded at The Broom Cupboard, fast becoming the home of astonishing homegrown talent) really captures their dynamism. This is polished and dripping in personality. The summer vibes flow through this track, which are incredibly welcome during these cold winter months. The extended outro is brimming with succulent chord progressions that fill your body with warmth.

The lyric “Buddha is black and babe it gets me going” repeats reassuringly through the choruses, it’s almost hypnotic.
This track certainly gets us going. We await their next move with baited breath.

Lydia Kitto – Astonishing Southend Soul, Set to Soar in 2017

-By Mikey Glenister

It’s been a while since there’s been a talent quite like Lydia Kitto. In fact, I’m struggling to think of any solo artist from Southend who has presented this much potential for global domination at such an early stage in their career.

‘Ride’ demonstrates her craft perfectly. The subtle house track sits under Lydia’s voice as it takes off, which demands your attention.

2016 was the year that Kitto started to really turn heads. She had one of the stand out performances at Village Green 2016, and her debut single ‘Run To You‘ has received over 100,000 streams on Spotify. And it’s easy to understand why.
Her style and swagger makes her completely unique. Every melody oozes personality, which sets her leaps and bounds above the rest.

She’s one of the most versatile performers in Southend, storming local open mic nights. She’s incredibly comfortable behind her keyboard, armed with a guitar, or with a full band behind her (her go-to players are members of Beach For Tiger, another Southend band that deserves your attention).

The Amy Winehouse comparisons are inevitable, but as you can see from one of The Broom Cupboard Sessions she featured in, tackling a big Amy track like ‘Stronger Than Me’ is a breeze. She completely owns it.

She closed 2016 with an incredible performance at The Jazz Cafe, which only validated her claim to become a true breakout star in 2017.
BBC Essex Introducing have endorsed her as one of their Essex Sound of 2017 artists. It’s not hard to see why. This year, we’ve got our eyes on Lydia Kitto, and can’t wait to see what she does next.