Monday, April 8, 2019

The Artisans - The Artisans

Bands need names -- we all understand that.  The choices may be random, reference a place or person, silly, rude, or a compromise (the Close Lobsters is a case in point).  But however derived, rarely is a name so fitting, indeed so well-earned, as it is for Northeast England's champions of jubilant guitar pop: The Artisans.  Hailing from Newcastle and Teeside, the foursome creates impossibly uplifting music with memorable melodies, jangling guitars, sturdy rhythms and plenty of trumpets for accent.  The arrangements are full and detailed, but never fussy, and the vocals are delivered in warm, sincere tones by frontman (and cheese maker - yes, really) Kevin McGrother.  There is a good bit of C86 in this band's DNA, but this isn't imitating anyone.  And with their vision and talent, that is just fine.  Mark it down, this is one of the top guitar pop albums of the year.

The Artisans are Kevin (vocals/guitar), Nick (lead guitar), Mark (drums), and Karen (bass).  The album is self-released today in digital and (limited) CD formats -- see the Bandcamp link below or your preferred digital retailer.

Bandcamp for album

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