Emma Salisbury


Joely June – Time and Space

Joely June’s ‘Time and Space’ is an incredibly written and produced song with an airy atmosphere, detailing an imbalanced relationship – no matter what one partner tries the effort continues to go unmatched.

The singer-songwriter needs no more than a few words to capture this feeling in the chorus – ‘if you want the world, I’d give you all o’ it, still wouldn’t be enough space for you’.

The well-balanced formation of each instrument is accompanied by light vocals that work effortlessly in illustrating someone that has finally started to grow tired of their relationship.

This single is the first release by the artist since the 2021 EP Belonging, and the rebranding and development of Joely June and her band could not be clearer with this folk-indie pop bop. The quality of this song places a firm marker on the artist’s new era and will surely help to create a renewed buzz.

Alex Luke – It’s Real

‘We’ve gotta go to work’ Alex Luke sings in the chorus of this soulful ballad where authentic feelings for someone are met with funky guitar tones. The young singer, rapper and producer from Manchester certainly goes to work in this recently released single.

Speaking on the track, Alex said that he ‘wanted to pair this funk driven groove with hip-hop influences’ which is evident in the use of electronic samples at certain breakdowns. The introduction of the brass also helps to bring the romantic essence of the song to life merging soul, R&B and funk influences.

Lyrical variation in the final chorus before the outro may have helped to bring a twist to the story. Nevertheless, perhaps the consistency is there for a reason to emphasise the heartfelt nature of the ‘real’ feelings.

Alex Luke’s ability to take ingredients from different genres to define his own direction of song writing is clearly taking shape. ‘It’s Real’ is part of his upcoming debut EP ‘Star Projector’, released on November 17th.

The Banquets – Not Me

With a blend of country, indie and rock, this four-piece band from Leeds deliver a gritty and powerful single. The song is written from the perspective of Linda Shelby (from the TV series Peaky Blinders) who searches for the strength to set herself free from the chaos and crime of her husband Arthur Shelby.

‘Not Me’ evokes the struggle of Linda Shelby and her situation well. In typical Peaky Blinders fashion, you can envision the character marching on for her freedom with the slow but assured rhythm of the song.

Lead singer Gem Russell-Hills was evidently astute in her assessment of Linda Shelby’s path throughout the show too. Whilst the song has a resolute feeling, sorrowful undertones in the delivery of the vocals depict the character’s increasing agitation and detachment from her faith.

This new track forms a part of the band’s busy schedule in 2023 with the release of a new single every six weeks. The band will be finishing with a four-city tour of Whitby, York, Leeds, and Doncaster to promote their EP release in November.

Michael Vickers – What The Hell Am I Doing Here?

Michael Vickers’ song writing has earned him valuable exposure across BBC Introducing and BBC Radio 6 Music, as well as a performance at Glastonbury. The Leicester singer-songwriter’s latest acoustic indie single, ‘What The Hell Am I Doing Here?’, adds another elaborate tale to his setlist.

The song covers an honest experience of being surrounded by vain people – ‘it’s always been the same, just hungry for the fame’. The song couldn’t have arrived at a more relevant time as many in the industry believe that fame can precede talent due to the digital capabilities of the twentieth-first century.

Vickers stays true to the singer-songwriter roots and does not try to over-produce this track in any way, but it should be said that this works to the advantage of the song. The simplicity makes for an easy-going listen that anyone can relate to.

The solo artist builds a picture of those who ‘slip away’, producing a single full of humour and a yearning for a different reality all at the same time.

Emma Salisbury – Shorty A Star

Although Emma Salisbury’s latest single is a short song it’s quick to the point, and it’s refreshing to hear an artist address the toxic side of the music industry environment.

‘Turn your back on me like kids in a playground’. The soulful R&B singer dives straight in, delivering smooth vocals that outline those that are condescending in the industry due to their success.

However, what sounds like a story of hurt has a sudden change of tone with a beat switch in the outro. Salisbury ends on ‘see you around, you won’t forget my sound’, encapsulating a will to prove those who once betted against her wrong.

The experience of the Sydney Conservatorium graduate certainly shows in this track. After founding her own record label this year – Salisbury Records – an EP of lengthier songs may provide the next step to showcase a full range of the singer’s talents.