The art of sound

Stephen Fretwell

Here at Each Note Secure we love to give stuff away. The Stephen Fretwell camp is offering up a nice little prize pack which you, the lovely reader are eligible to win. Here are the details.

First of all, a little about Stephen.

Though he's only 23, singer/songwriter Stephen Fretwell writes songs with an acidic world-weariness that should make him seem older, but somehow these songs are fresh enough to retain a youthful spark that puts many older artists to shame. Fretwell has released his first album, 'Magpie,' recorded in Abbey Road Studios in London during what Fretwell describes as the one of the most amazing times in his life. Rather than being overawed by the studio's illustrious history, Stephen seems to have been spurred to create his finest work yet.

There are flavors of Dylan, The Beatles, Cohen, even jazz and swing in Stephen's songs, but a melodic sensibility that seems to come from somewhere supernatural and the total individuality of his voice make Stephen's work transcend his influences and stand apart. All his hard work is now paying off, as 'Magpie' has received both critical and commercial acclaim from top-tier publications like Q Magazine and NME. Fans of artists like James Blunt or Damien Rice-or music in general- should definitely check out the new album by this soulful, talented young man from Manchester.

Dirty on Purpose

Had a great time at the WOXY studios yesterday. Mike, Barb and the Shiv were great hosts, and I hope to stop back in every now and then. Ive listened to 97x for years and finally getting into the studio and seeing the operation was actually a huge thrill for me. The Lounge Acts for the day were also the acts I took in last night at the Southgate House in Newport, but Ill post about the whole dealio right here.

Dirty on Purpose is certainly making a strong buzz these days in the indie world and deservedly so. The Brooklyn based four piece was not lacking in the humor department as they basically made everything the Shiv was saying in the interview into a different joke. The bands new album, Hallelujah Sirens is a nice piece of work and having heard some of the tunes live was the icing on the cake. Not to mention the timely and well delivered cover of Real Life's "Send me an Angel". Yes, its that Send me an angel.

Next up about an hour later Say Hi To Your Mom strolled in. I was admittedly less familiar with these guys but got a quick lesson that they had once been the solo project of leadman Eric Elbogen. Now they are a robust three piece act which takes Eric and his previously home only recordings and fills in all the extra space. The upcoming album, dropping next week, titled "Impeccable blahs" was the focus of the interview. Its quite entertaining, Ill let you listen.

Say Hi To Your Mom - Live on WOXY

I was only a bit late to the evening gig at the Southgate House. I think it actually started on time, which is one of the rarest thing you will experience if you are a concert goer. Dirty on Purpose played the first set and continued their expertise from earlier in the day. They played the same tunes and a couple others I had not heard in addition. Im convinced now though that after hearing the totally instrumental song, "Monument", that it is the best live song from these guys. A pure face melter. They also did the "Send me an angel" cover again, nice touch.

Say Hi jumped up next and played a really entertaining set as well, I really wish I was more familiar with these guys because there were a couple really great songs that I only recognized from their set at WOXY earlier in the day that I really liked. So, bought the CD, a full report will follow. The DOP guys stood right in front of the stage and cheered on their friends in Say Hi througout their set, throwing in some good natured heckling as well.

In summary it was nice to have a day almost totally dedicated to live music from two up and coming bands that I think will be around for quite awhile. If you still havent checked these guys out, click on the WOXY Lounge Acts and have a good listen.

I'll add the Southgate Pics a bit later..