Up The Hill [Self-Released]
One of the most enjoyable things in terms of music writing is having new music sitting in one's postbox on a regular basis - the usual mailouts sent by professional promo agencies and labels as well as the occasional surprise that's coming in directly from an independent artist, mostly an album uncommented, probably self-released and without any further information given. Well, not only it's nice to be found and appreciated by artists as valuable source within the vast blogosphere but it's also the discovery process of tracking down a possible origin of the incoming music submission as well as the possibility to explore new musical spheres that might lie beyond one's own personal selective perception. With this album entitled "Up The Hill" by an artist sporting the same name who might be better known to his parents under the name of Henrik Pettersson as Soundcloud finally revealed we can only presume the country of origin although the artists real name points towards Scandinavia but for sure we're able to say that we're taken to new territories here. Little do we know about what's going on in the terms of partly Blues-oriented Pop / Rock music these days or what's been happening in that style in the past so it's not that easy to review an album in this field, although the longing and despair felt especially in the opener "Nature"'s vocal efforts defo brings the more experimental Wave / PostPunk approach of the Nuneaton-based 80s outfit Eyeless In Gaza to mind whilst other songs trigger scrappy memories of Chris Rea on the radio in the early 90s and somewhat before that - so more naturally we're going for the Eyeless In Gaza vibe here. Productionwise - and due to the fact that this album is self-released anyway - the overall recording and mixdown seems to be on a proper home studio level and is way beyond demo-only qualities although a professional finish wouldn't hurt for sure - this goes for songwriting as well as a proper single or a stick-in-your-head hookline is missing here. This said, Up The Hill's self-titled album might more appeal to other fellow musicians than to a wider audience but still seems to be an interesting one to check out if your musical taste embraces classic Pop / Rock / Soft Rock and you're looking for things more leftfield than the genres usual suspects.