iSing Magazine takes a look at new music from Blair Dunlop, Mariska Martina and Filo Vals.
Folk music runs in Blair Dunlop’s blood; his father is a founder of Fairport Convention and his mother a respected vocalist. Dunlop dabbled in acting in his early years (he appeared in Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, how cool is that?) but ultimately chose to tell his own stories through music. His fourth album Notes From An Island explores the parallels between personal solitude and national isolationism. The album is the result of collaborations with Ed Harcourt (Mercury Award Nominee 2001), Dave Burn (ahab), Gita Langley (Dirty Pretty Strings, Lock) and Brooke Sharkey.
Something Blue is the new EP from London-based Dutch singer-songwriter Mariska Martina, who trained as a cellist in Utrecht before moving to London in 2015 and switching to jazz. With her quintet of Yaron Stavi (double bass), Richard Castle (guitar/sax), Joshua Davies (drums) and Liam Burton (piano), Martina has gigged at some of the city’s top venues including Ronnie Scott’s and Jazz After Dark. She describes the songs on her new jazzy-pop EP as “seductive and tantalising ear-worms”. It was recorded at Perry Vale Studios and produced by renowned UK songwriter and guitarist Roddy Matthews.
Italian Filo Vals was a student at Exeter University when he penned Mr World, an upbeat little number that went viral and caught the ears of advertising execs in his homeland, who used it in a major television campaign. On the back of this exposure, Vals gigged extensively in the UK and Italy. He’s now back with a second single Just Guessin’. It’s another feel-good tune although this time there’s a hint of melancholy too. Vals says: “The song is about wanting to know more about someone and at the same time the fears of opening yourself too much to that same someone.”