English singer/songwriter Gabrielle Aplin was raised in the small village of Sutton Benger, Wiltshire, where she learned to play guitar at the age of 11, before also taking up the piano.
Her musical development was documented on her YouTube channel, which includes a collection of diverse cover versions of artists such as Bon Iver, Bob Dylan and Katy Perry.
Her digital videos amassed a huge following and she soon began to write her own original material. This led to her first self-released EPs, Acoustic EP (2010), Never Fade (2011) and Home (2012).
Following more internet exposure and a headline tour, Aplin signed to Parlophone and began working on material for her debut full-length. During this period her popular cover version of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s The Power of Love made it to number one in the U.K. charts. In 2013 Aplin released her debut full-length album, English Rain.
Light Up The Dark is taken from the forthcoming same-titled album.
Gabrielle Aplin @ Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
Twin Oaks started as an American dream pop and folk duo consisting of multi-instrumentalist Aaron Christopher and singer-songwriter Lauren Brown.
The pair first began their collaborative efforts in 2009 with a few long-time high school friends before disbanding a year later, leaving all members in pursuit of their own creative efforts. Aaron began writing a batch of songs before starting up Twin Oaks with Lauren two years later.
With influences ranging from Mazzy Star to Nick Drake to Fiona Apple, Twin Oaks constructs its sound composed mostly of quiet guitars, minimalistic keys, and patterns that are derived from modern folk and dream pop sounds. The duo have expanded their sound through collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Louis Bernal and drummer Rhyan Riesgo.
Ghosts is the first taste for the forthcoming full-length debut White Noise to be released later this year.
Twin Oaks @ Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram
Of Italian and English extraction, former poet-turned-acoustic singer/songwriter Jack Savoretti was given a guitar and encouraged to write music by his mother, a model who had hung out with Jimi Hendrix and The Rolling Stones back in the ’60s.
His first single, Without, was released in late 2006 and attracted the attention of Corinne Bailey Rae, who asked Savoretti to join her on her European tour that year. First full-length offering, Between the Minds, was released in 2007.
Despite his second album, 2009’s Harder than Easy, being recorded with a stellar lineup including members of Tom Waits‘ band and Counting Crows, it was not promoted the way he would have liked. He parted ways with his label and management and almost quit the music business altogether before being bitten by the songwriting bug once again and going on to write a third album.
The result, 2012’s Before the Storm, produced by Swedish hit factory The Suppliers and recorded in just four days, received a generally positive critical response and reinvigorated Savoretti’s career.
Home is taken from his fourth album Written in Scars.
Jack Savoretti @ Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud
Best known as founding members of the spirited and unpredictable rock trio The Slip, brothers Andrew and Brad Barr had spent most of the 90s criss-crossing North America.
In the spring of 2004, the band was playing a small club in Montreal, QC when a fire broke out in the venue. They grabbed a few guitars/drums and rushed out onto the rainy street with the rest of the concert goers. As the club’s mezzanine was swallowed by flames, Andrew offered his coat to one of the waitresses from the bar. One year later, Brad and Andrew Barr were living in Montreal. That waitress is now one of their managers.
In his first apartment in the new city, Brad shared an adjoining wall with Sarah Page, a classically trained harpist from Montreal, whose melodies would seep through the cracks of the wall and into the music Brad was writing. From this nebulous relationship, a friendship developed and the brothers, with Sarah, began recording and performing around Montreal. Soon, their friend and multi-instrumentalist Andres Vial was brought in to lend his wide array of expertise to the outfit. They called themselves The Barr Brothers.
Love Ain’t Enough is taken from the album Sleeping Operator.
The Barr Brothers @ Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
Villagers are an Irish band composed of Conor O’Brien, Tommy McLaughlin, James Byrne, Danny Snow and Cormac Curran.
The band, a solo vehicle for O’Brien (The Immediate), specializes in atmospheric, indie folk/chamber pop that balances the youthful exuberance of contemporaries Jens Lekman, Eugene McGuinness and Johnny Flynn with the classic rock and pop of artists like Paul Simon and Robert Wyatt.
The Soul Serene is taken from the forthcoming album Darling Arithmetic, out on April 13.
Villagers @ Facebook, Twitter, Myspace