New Artist: Nathaniel Rateliff

From somewhere amidst the chubby cheeks and impressive moustache comes Nathaniel Rateliff’s voice, unique in its ability to both soothe and arrest the listener. His endearing demeanour coupled with an original brand of Americana-Folk makes Mr. Rateliff instantly likeable. Since his album In Memory Of Loss came out last year, he’s been gradually acquiring a committed following, including self-proclaimed drinking partner Marcus Mumford and Led Zeppelin legend Robert Plant. Shroud and You Should’ve Seen The Other Guy are brilliantly crafted songs and deserve greater recognition. The latter in particular, an ode to his grandfather, showcases Rateliff’s vocal range and heartfelt lyrics. The Denver songsmith is a breath of fresh air in a folk scene which can often be criticised for taking itself a bit too seriously.

New Artist: Grey Reverend

Fans of The Cinematic Orchestra will be familiar with singer-songwriter Grey Reverend, who remixed the band’s To Build A Home in 2007 and has supported them live numerous times. For everyone else… Grey Reverend is made up of the modest voice and guitar-playing of L.D. Brown, but represents a much bigger talent. He was discovered by The Cinematic Orchestra front man Jason Swinscoe at the coffee shop run by Brown’s sister. He has since joined Swinscoe’s Motion Audio label and this month released his first single, One By One, under their banner. Similar to Fink and Jose Gonzalez, this is stripped down acoustic singer-songwriting at its finest and Motion Audio have latched onto a talent. We look forward to hearing more in his upcoming album Of The Days, released in July.

Live Review: Monument Valley & Daughter @ Old St Pancras Church, London

Part-founded by Ben Lovett of Mumford & Sons, it’s no surprise that Communionare gaining quite a reputation for unearthing excellent folk and soul artists. Stamp The Wax has already featured Communion’s Michael Kiwanuka and Matt Corby, but two more are also deserving of our praise. In tune with the family feel of their label, Communion put on monthly music nights in unique venues around London. Given the success of the evening and the quality of music, it was therefore surprising to learn this was independently organised. Communion or no Communion, Monument Valley and Daughter are certainly worth taking note about.