Archive for the ‘Acoustic/Folk EP Track Review’ Category


The Mannie Roobs – Ivory Fields EP Review

By Matt ‘Sharky’ Finn

The Mannie Roobs – Ivory Fields (track from EP)

The Mannie Roobs are folk song writing duo Robyn Kinnersley and Annie Mackinnon. They have recorded their first EP entitled ‘Ivory Fields’, which they wrote, mixed, mastered and produced entirely themselves, recording their material using a make shift studio in their bedroom and uploading tracks. Inspired by the likes of Angus and Julia Stone, Bon Iver, Damien Rice and Daughter their tracks have a maturity, which surpasses their ages. Their youth and innocence, their quirky and ethereal sounds made this EP a pleasure to listen to, again and again!

Track By Track:

Broken Balloon

Beautiful guitar skills, layered in such a way to create many textures. The use of a solid rhythmic base, with a use of subtle lead guitar underneath, the lead vocals build a harmonious melody over the top of the entire track. Just when you think that no more layers could be added, a vocal harmony kicks in over the top. A complex track that is filled with swells and calm moments, which add to the overall feel of the track.

Crayola thief

Beautifully picked opening to the track, with a single lead vocal over the top. The chorus builds into a strummed rhythmic guitar, with an interesting rhythmic solo as a break. A quirky and interesting track with much to offer.


Well played picked opening to this track. Another single lead vocal. Use of an effected electric guitar, adds an almost ethereal value to the track. As the track builds to its conclusion, the use of layering adds to this quality drawing the listener into the track more.


The use of both a strummed and picked opening separates this track from the previous two. The addition of a harmony during the chorus, with a lead solo on a guitar with a small amount of distortion throughout, makes for a more complex track, with a rockier feel than previous tracks, while maintaining the unique nature of their overall sound.

Ivory Fields

The EP’s title track, opens again with picking and strumming guitars, and the use of a single female vocal, but does not fail to surprise upon reaching the chorus. The use of the harmony is brought back, however the addition of a beat, brings a new quality to the track, something which makes the track appear more polished and possibly more accessible.

Patchwork Me

A use of piano as an opener to this track pricked my ears up on first listen, and once the vocals and guitar came in I was hooked. A strong track from beginning to end, relying on the good mix of the piano hooks and vocal melody, allowing the guitar to provide soft accompaniment to the track, very much in keeping with the quirky and ethereal quality I believe the band were going for.

Tickled Blue

The final track was filled with the same qualities as other tracks on the EP, opening with a mixture of picked and strummed guitar, and the use of a lead vocal, building as a vocal harmony is added later into the track, as well as a guitar lead part. Another pleasant track, which was fast paced and well constructed, with greatuse of the many tools in these girls arsenal.

Matt ‘Sharky’ Finn

Acoustic Reviewer on behalf of GIGgle Pics

Find The Mannie Roobs on Facebook 

Buy their EP on bandcamp





Sirens and Shelter – The Deep End – Track Review

There is a beautiful balance demonstrated by Sirens and Shelter’s, “The Deep End” , between acoustic, melodic ringing high chords with contrasting pop-rock, yet sincere vocals. Touching on a multitude of genres with hints of intricate folky ambience and a pop vocal line and lyrics, the song is stripped back and creates an upbeat honest sound reminiscent of City and Colour. The drums are bright, bouncy and leave room for the cheerful guitar to shine through, especially in the lead up to the chorus where the guitar could have been plucked from a sunny 60s track. With an increasingly growing heavy beat towards the end of the song, there is suddenly a moment of peace, the vocals are prominent, with minimal chords. This leads on back to the chorus, maintaining the gleaming enthusiasm maintained that is apparent throughout the track.  The song has been skilfully woven together, maintaining the listeners’ interest throughout, and providing the urge to listen to more Sirens and Shelter.

Annie Mackinnon

Rock/Indie/Acoustic Reviewer on behalf of GIGgle Pics

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Engineer Records

flyer front promo

The Lightwings – Revolutions – Track Review 

Reminiscent of 90s Britpop, and melodies from bands such as The Beatles, The Lightwings create a colourful, upbeat track “Revolutions” in their own “beatpop” style. Driven by a buzzing guitar riff and exuberant drum beats, the track doesn’t mess around and jumps straight into vocals almost immediately. Ringing guitar chords weaving through vocal harmonies and the addictive and catchy chorus, followed by an irresistible classic solo. Stripping the track down to vocals and drums building up back to liveliness keeps the track awake and moving, and by the end of the track you find yourself knowing the chorus well enough to sing along. These Britpop revivalists definitely offer an easy listening, uplifting catchy track; “Revolutions” is a track to check out!

Annie Mackinnnon

Rock/Indie/Acoustic Reviewer on behalf of GIGgle Pics

Find band on Facebook
Official Website
Buy their debut Album 

Beatnik Geek Records on Facebook 




Ross and the Wrongens – That Magic Feeling – Track Review 

Breezy 60s-esque guitars , serenading sha-la-la-la-oooh harmonies, accompanying sincere and optimistic lyrics : “come on come on life is for living, you give you give that magic feeling” create a bright and bouncy song comparable to the Beach Boys, The Beatles and The Kink’s “Sunny Afternoon”. Delicately woven in guitar riffs depict a scene of bright nostalgic carefree spirit, as does the instrumentation which is laid back, sparing the overproduction of most contemporary music. “That Magic Feeling” is no doubt a feel-good song that will transport you back to times past.

Annie Mackinnon

Rock/Indie/Acoustic Reviewer on behalf of GIGgle Pics

Find band on Facebook 

mountains - keston cobblers' club

Keston Cobblers’ Club – Pett Level

So, how can I sum up Keston Cobblers’ Club’s ‘ track ‘Pett Level’? Well the band describes themselves as ‘Tuba-oom-pah folk pop’, and this actually seems to sum up the song ‘Pett Level’ pretty well. I think, stylistically, it feels a little like The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain’s tour bus crashed straight into Oktoberfest and the resulting fire storm fused the Orchestra with a conglomeration of regional Bavarian folk bands.

‘Pett Level’ is one of those songs that make’s writing music sound so easy. It’s a song which on a first listen may start out with a feel of simplicity. You may be forgiven for disregarding it as one dimensional, and all in all a little lifeless. But you would be mistaken. As the song progresses there’s a multitude of different sounds and layers to listen for, the song feels intricate and unpredictable which gives it a sound that oozes character. This means it never gets boring, and it’s hard not to leave it on repeat to pick up on layers you may have missed before. Despite this, it never feels cluttered or muddled. In-fact the song retains a feel of simplicity that keeps it fun and enticing.  Couple this imaginative originality, and well written instrumentalism with the catchy, easy and all round beautiful vocal performance and you certainly have a reason to keep listening.

Production on the track is also well done; it fits the music well by focusing on definition and clarity over punch. The track sounds organic and ‘live’ without losing its polish. Some people might find it difficult to pick out certain instruments; it’s conceivable that it might be heard as cluttered with multiple sounds ending up at about the same level in the same frequency range. But for me, the song would lose its organic feel if it were too ‘produced’.

So what have we learnt today? That if you want pounding rhythms, massive drops and killer solo’s you have obviously horribly lost your way, but then, what did you expect from a Tuba-oom-pah folk pop band? Idiot. However, if you want a band that does the unthinkable and makes folk interesting again, then you’re in the right place. Keston Cobblers’ Club deliver innovative, catchy, fun folk music that’s caked in raw talent. ‘Pett Level’ drags you into its own little world where unicorns exist and Freddo bars still only cost 10p. In their world everything is right, and I will certainly be buying an album.

Alex Alpen Temple

Metal/Rock/Folk/Reggae/Jazz and Blues Reviewer on behalf of GIGgle Pics

Find them on Facebook
Official Website – Where you can buy the One, For Words album!
Beatnik Geek Records on Facebook 

Keston Cobblers’ Club perform Pett Level at Maida Vale – BBC Introducting




CoCo and the Butterfields – Warriors (pre-release) Single Review + Review of two tracks from EP Fip Fok

Coco and the Butterfields are a big name in the Canterbury music scene, being frequent local buskers and giggers, their latest single “Warriors” is due to be released this May alongside their big Marlowe Theatre gig.

“Warriors” is rife with energy; the band form an army of voices and melodies that weave together to create a vibrant, lively, stomping song that you can’t help but dance along to.  The track begins with a chanting a cappella myriad of vocals, breaking down into a folky mix of the violin and banjo backed by beat boxing. The transitions between moments of full energy and breathing instrumental lines is what makes the track so beautiful, and overall just a jolly and merry song.

Track from EP Fip Fok – Walls

Coco and the Butterfields contribute a unique blend of genres and personalities which produce “Fip-Fok”, a fusion of hip-hop and folk, their self-created genre, and name of their EP which was released in September. “Walls” carries the same stamping energy as the new single “Warriors”, allowing all the voices and instruments in the band a chance to be heard. The song is upbeat catchy and loving, with its chorus lyrics “I’ll only stop loving you when I’m dead”.  Then there is the down tempo, soulful “Fly” with gentle finger picking, a prominent beat boxing beat in the background, backing Dulcima’s powerful vocals. The track’s tempo builds towards the end with the building intensity of the vocals, as the song lifts to lyrics “maybe I’ll fly”.

Track from EP Fip Fok – Fly

 Coco and The Butterfields are definitely an exciting band to watch out for, with a promising unique sound. Their new single “Warriors” is out on the 5th of May. 

Annie Mackinnnon

Acoustic/Indie/Rock Reviewer on behalf of GIGgle Pics

Find on Facebook
Official website – their EP can be purchased here!