Just in case you were wondering how much influence I have here at Fresh, the answer is not much.
Here’s a perfect example, last week I gave my boss an unsolicited “wish list” for our Fresh concerts this year. He told me to “go away” because the artists on my list are mostly ones that haven’t been huge here in the U.S. yet. He’s looking for artists that have big hits. I’m more interested in discovering new talent that aren’t big… yet. He can book the huge acts and I’ll suggest the support. It’s selfish really, I want to see these artists live and the best way to do it is to bring them here for a show.
Luckily I don’t give up that easy so I’ll keep bugging my boss but in the meantime, let me introduce you to some new artists that were on my wish list that I think are making great music.
He’s a British singer/songwriter but if you’re thinking you’re going to hear sweet, sensitive, quiet, acoustic stuff, think again. He’s got more of a bluesy, gritty, rock sound. I do fall hard and fast for artists with a bit of an edge and a deep, raspy tone in their voice.
You may remember his song “Hands” made an appearance on my Lust OTL. Barns had been doing the struggling artist thing for a while after getting burned by the music industry a few times. He then got one of his biggest breaks when Bradley Cooper used his song “Fire” in his movie Burnt.
You can listen to “Fire,” “Hands,” and his other great songs on his new EP, The Dull Drums.
I have to give credit to an incredible photographer that I follow on Twitter for this introduction. His name is Christian Tierney and I followed him after watching videos he’s done with James Bay and Gavin James. He seems to know talent when he hears it and mentioned Dermot so I checked him out. It was love at first listen.
I was struck by the mood of his music. There’s a darkness to it and yet it’s hopeful. He has a voice that cuts right through you with raw honesty and desperation. I was moved before I even paid attention to what he was singing which is extremely rare for me. Once I finally listened to the lyrics his music it had even more of an impact.
Kennedy is a rare and unique artist with a sound all his own. He just released his EP, Doves & Ravens. Check it out above!
Ed Sheeran chose Ryan to open for him on tour after seeing him perform in London. Ed then posted this video which was all I needed to see.
If this doesn’t make you swoon and instantly want to listen to the rest of his music then we have nothing else to discuss here. I immediately got lost in YouTube videos of him performing his songs and covers.
He not only has a beautiful voice but he sings everything with such passion and emotion. I get a Van Morrison, Jackson Browne vibe from his music. He’s one of those artists that I prefer stripped down with just a guitar or piano. I feel like his voice and lyrics pack a more powerful punch that way. The Ed Sheeran fans seem to like him too. Hopefully this will be the start of more people hearing his music and getting to know his name. Check out his new EP out, A Winter’s Coat.
I don’t want to leave you hanging so here’s the full video of that beautiful performance. Watch above!
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—Xtine Richie/Fresh 102.7