Westbound Train has been skanking around the Boston scene since the new millennium got under way, and Transitions is the group's third album and their debut for the Hellcat label. Like Bim Skala Bim, the godfather of the Beantown ska scene, the septet's trad sound is fired by emotive, soulful vocals. And although they're not quite as polished as Bim yet, this Westbound Train is still bound for the big time.
Big Big Train have announced details on their new album. Titled Grimspound, their 10th record will arrive on April 28 and follows hot on the heels of 2016’s Folklore. It’ll feature eight tracks, with vocalist David Longdon saying Big Big Train have progressed the band’s sound on the album. He says: “Grimspound has followed on very swiftly from Folklore. We found ourselves with a wealth of new material and, with writing input from Danny, Rachel and Rikard, we have been able to move the band’s sound forward while building on all we have learnt over the last few years.
The sophomore effort from Georgia-raised, Britain-based vocalist Kristina Train, 2012's Dark Black is a brooding, atmospheric collection of slow-burn pop songs that put her burnished, sultry croon at the fore. Picking up where 2009's Spilt Milk left off, Dark Black finds Train once again working with British singer/songwriter Ed Harcourt, as well as songwriter/producer Martin Craft. Together, they've come up with an album that builds upon Train's twangy Southern roots layered with a baroque, cinematic aesthetic. Train's vocals are often drenched in an echo-chamber sound, often backed with boomy, resonant percussion, languid piano parts, eerie orchestral sections, shimmering baritone guitar lines, and even some light electronic flourishes. In that sense, the album brings to mind the work of such similarly minded contemporaries as singer/guitarist Richard Hawley and neo-soft rock singer Rumer as much as it does the classic soul-inflected '60s sound of Dusty Springfield.
A tuba playing jazz musician might have the right to describe his sound as unique – after all, tuba soloists in jazz are as rare as hen’s teeth. But when we describe Norwegian tuba player and composer Daniel Herskedal as unique, we’re not referring to his choice of horn. In the last few years this young musician has proved he has the facility, vision and musicianship to push the boundaries of his instrument, technically and sonically, further than anyone has done so. The result , as demonstrated by his new album ‘Slow Eastbound Train’, is a spellbind- ing and mesmerising sound worthy of a vast international audience.