Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Kowalskiy Singles Club #17

This... this will be the final post on Kowalskiy... until I return from my holiday in a fortnight's time.  I'll be jetting off to exotic foreign lands with my beloved.  Before that though, I've spared a thought for all those singletons out there, unlucky in love, who don't know where their next burst of aural pleasure is coming from.  It could be right here folks!  So, I've assembled more singles for you to check out.  Just read what they have to say, and if they tickle your fancy, click on the artwork and let the good times roll.  Right, no more cliche's or bad puns for at least a fortnight...

The New Fabian Society - Streets Are Riots
Streets Are Riots by The New Fabian Society
"Miserable nihilist seeks the companionship of another lonely soul looking to take part in some licentious and riotous activities. Must be obsessive to the point of self harm. Must be under 9 stone. Must be Asian. An enthusiasm for bass desirable but not essential. Cunts need not apply." - Nick Fabian (The New Fabian Society)
I thought we'd start off with this one from ol' romantics The New Fabian Society who are quite specific about what they're looking for.  If you fit the bill, or even if you don't - so long as you don't mind a bit of reciprocated love - then click the cover art!  This track features on their brilliant second EP Exhibition Of Hate.

Middleton Hall - The First Bus Out Of Town
First Bus Out Of Town by Middleton Hall
"Band, male, WLTM broadminded individual(s) for discreet fun. Age/looks/sexual proclivities not important. We'll tickle your eardrums and flick our musical tongues into ALL your most sensitive areas! FSH GCH BYOB. Pulse required." - Doug Shanley (Middleton Hall)
Everyone likes their sensitive areas tickled!   This is the lovely, debut single from Dunfermline's Middleton Hall.  It's a great summery track.  Kinda reminds me of The Radio Dept. at points which is always good in my book.  It'll be a FREE download as of the 27th of August.   

We Are The Physics - Applied Robotics
Applied Robotics by We Are The Physics
"Four twitching paranoid shells require technologically advanced human for long-winded discussions on posthumanism while eating crisps. GSOH not important, but programmable personality desired. Must be self aware." - We Are The Physics
This is the second appearance in a row for We Are The Physics who are following up Goran Ivanisevic with this fast-paced, mind-numbingly-great single taken from their upcoming second album.  Anyone remember what we did for music when this bunch were away recording?! 

The Deadline Shakes - Sweeten The Deal
Sweeten The Deal by The Deadline Shakes
"Four hungry young men WLTM Alfred Pennyworth type to make sandwiches and that. Preferred areas of expertise include dividing twenty eight pounds by four and shilling the rubes. Must be polite in moments of sonic and other durchfallen." - The Deadline Shakes
This one is a breath of fresh, bango-filled, air.  It's out on the 5th of November to download via Flowers In The Dustbin but you can have a wee listen by clicking the artwork. Just imagine The Spinto Band... with a banjo, and from Glasgow and you're pretty much there!  Oh and that would be seven pounds guys... if you're ever needing someone to take care of the books! 

Scott Thomson - Without Warning
Without Warning by Scott Thomson
"If you want to roll with me, know this, it's a high stakes game and aces are wild, but no, I mean no hitting faces, or so help me I'll haunt you with 6 year old songs..." - Scott Thomson
Six years old, but still sounding delightfully new!  This is a FREE track, plucked from the pre- New Town Triptych hard drive of their singer Scott Thomson.   Begs two questions - why has it taken so long to give this wee slice of brilliance an airing... and what else do you have on that hard drive Mr. Thomson?! 

Miniature Dinosaurs - Lemonade
Lemonade by Miniature Dinosaurs
"Bubbly personality seeking that special someone to clear away my clouds and put some fizz into my heart. Life has felt still for too long, as I canned up my emotions. Desiring someone sweet to spend my summer with. But once you're done with me, please don't leave me feeling empty and crushed." - Alban Dickson (Miniature Dinosaurs)
Milk, milk, lemonade, round the back... Miniature Dinosaurs are back, with another pun-laden singles ad from Alban!  This is the first release since signing to Integrity Records.  As always, it's a cracking track, with a great video to boot, which sheds some light on lemonade selling through the years... and wallpaper trends! 

The Maginot Band - Slow Down Sundial
Slow Down Sundial by The Maginot Band
"Band with well laid plans seek a bold personality to provide reassurance and deflect aggressors. Currently strong in many facets, but easy to get around if approached in the right way. Fortification may be needed to remedy past weaknesses. Not afraid to spend large amounts of cash on questionable plans. Enjoys country holidays in the east of France. Likes the cinema but dislikes war films." - The Maginot Band
Another cracking newbie this one taken from The Maginot Band's debut Peace And Quiet EP which is out in September.   It's a FREE download so get yourselves over to their SoundCloud and feast your... ears!  Just click the artwork.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Panda Crowds Writes

Hey, Patrick (a.k.a. Wiredrawn) here. Kowalskiy has tasked me with keeping you people entertained while he's away on his holidays.


Here's six of my favourite tracks from SoundCloud - they're not all recent, mind. Or Scottish..........

I love love love this track. It sounds a bit like Feeder if they hadn't disappeared up there own arses a decade ago and had instead decided to form a 'Husker Du in the style of Foo Fighters' tribute act. Pet Ghosts aren't Scottish. They're English, which is kind of on the same island as Scotland.

I loves me some North Atlantic Oscillation. Their Drummer is proper brilliant. And they're Scottish!

Owen will probably hate me for saying this, but Anywhere But Here is probably the best summer-y acoustic pop song I've ever heard. Owen was in the band that was Won Mississippi before it was Won Mississippi and has got loads of great music on SoundCloud. You should go listen to it.  He's also originally from Berwick-Upon Tweed, which is as close to being Scottish as you can get without actually being Scottish (cue angry backlash).

I'm a sucker for bit of a chip tune hybrid and this one is a catchy little bugger.

I'd kill for Matthew Connor's voice. He could sing the phone book to me and i'd be happy.  This is off of his forthcoming album and perfectly showcases Matthew's talents both as an amazing songwriter and hardcore crooner (Is Croon-Core a genre? IT IS NOW!).  Matthew isn't Scottish either. He's American. Being American, there's small chance his great grandparents were Scottish. I'll ask him.

Another Berwick (Almost Scottish!) flavoured one - Old Bones take their cues from Bronto Skylift et al. but they really set themselves apart by writing brilliant QOTSA-ish rawk songs like this one and by being a bit tasty live.
   Deluca by Old Bones

Hope these wee crackers keep you entertained til the big man returns. If you enjoyed these tracks then come share the love at www.soundcloud.com/wiredrawn.


Thursday, 16 August 2012

Kowalskiy's Free Monthly 5-track Scottish EP #26

So, I hope you all enjoyed the special 8-track EP put together by the folks over at Armellodie last month.  You were well-and-truly spoilt!  This month, we're back to the usual five tracks, from five of my favourite up-and-coming bands in the country.  We have three brand, spanking, new tracks for you, one of them from a band who technically only came into existence this week!  There's a brilliant live number and it's all topped off with a great, early electronic track from one of Scottish music's 'men of the moment'.  Not too shabby I think you'll agree!  Here's who they all are, and what they each had to say about their little beauty...   

1.  Slow Building Seas - We're Alright (I couldn't love this track any more than I do!  This is said new band.  You may already Jamie and Dod from their SoundCloud demos under the alias Descant Hawk.)

"Hello! We are Jamie and Roddy and we are Slow Building Seas. Having learned to pluck our guitars by listening to Kris Drever, we started off as a traditional folk outfit. We've evolved a little now though and we eh... aren't. This was recorded on a USB mic, in a flat in Glasgow and pulled together between there and Stornoway so please excuse the rough edges (if you listen carefully you can hear a plane go by and some arse with one of those cars that is supposed to compensate for being poorly endowed but ironically may as well be fitted with some sort of "hung like a stoat" klaxon, which is nice.) Hope you enjoy!" - Jamie Orr & Roddy Mac (Slow Building Seas)

2.  Shooting Stansfield - Greater Or Lesser (A welcome return for Shooting Stansfield.  On this sort of form, Admiral Fallow better sit up and take note!)

"Greater or Lesser was recorded earlier this year at The Cottage Studio in Argyle. Yet again our time in Argyle became an exercise in music as an endurance sport. Day turned into night, night turned into day and fragmented melodies became our shiny new EP. Our new tunes regularly feature in our live set and can next be heard @ The Wee Red on Saturday the 25th of August where we're playing with our chums The Stormy Seas. More can be found at: www.shootingstansfield.wordpress.com" - Stephen Whipp (Shooting Stansfield) 

3.  The Sunset Clause - Will You Be My Audience? (Live version) (Taken from their performance at Stereo earlier this year which you can download over here.)

"The track's a new one from us, and it's a little different from the the stuff we usually do. Hope everyone likes it! Our live EP was recorded at Stereo in Glasgow and is available for free on our bandcamp along with the studio versions of a couple of our other songs!  Thanks for listening!" - David Robb (The Sunset Clause)

4.  Run/Lucky/Free - North (A brand, spanking new track from the lovely Run/Lucky/Free recorded earlier this year.  Enjoy!)

"The song is one of a few songs that we recorded earlier on in the year. We are currently writing more songs and working on getting some funding with the intention of recording and releasing an album. We have an acoustic gig coming up later on in the month. The gig is on Friday 24th August at Sneaky Petes, Edinburgh supporting Rod Jones." - Daniel Crichton (Run/Lucky/Free)

5.  Esperi - A Map Of The Sky? (An early electronic recording from Mr. Marr.  Proving that it is possible to enjoy an astronomy documentary!)

"It's an older track I made with audio clips recorded from a astronomy documentary. I used to watch a lot of national geographic programmes and record sound I liked from them :-)" - Chris James Marr a.k.a. Esperi

Cheers to all of the above for contributing this month.  I hope you enjoy it!  All you have to do to get your free copy is to click on the artwork above, or here.  Whatever floats your boat.  While you're there, there's another 25 for you to have a listen to and download.

I've already got one or two tracks sorted for September's EP, but I'll be hounding bands over the next week or two before I jet off on my holiday.  There'll still be a mad rush at the end though.  There always is!  If you fancy contributing a track to one of these EPs, send me a wee email (kowalskiy2@gmail.com) and I'll see what we can do!  

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Battle Of The Bands: Round 4

So my one point lead in the greatest Scottish music battle of all time... Battle Of The Bands, was short lived.  A fortnight ago, Neil from Scottish Fiction, with a little help from Randolph's Leap, trounced Team Kowalskiy.  Credit to Stonehaven's Dolfinz though, they fought my corner well.  In case you missed it, here's a recap of that fateful bout!  So, going into Round 4, the scores are level once again.  Prepare for some swift vengeance Mr. Fiction...

For said vengeance, I sent out a call to arms to my physicist brethren and it was answered by fellow Glaswegians We Are The Physics.  They bring with them a wealth of experience which belies their age, and a cult following off the back of their 2008 debut ...Are OK At Music.  I'm quietly confident that these will see Team Kowalskiy regain the lead in the series.  On the opposing corner, Neil has recruited Paisley singer-songwriter Michael Cassidy.

Before we do battle, let's have a quick recap of the rules but you can read them in full over here.  This round, it's me to choose the three attributes we'll be musically jousting with.  For each of the three, the person with the highest value gets one point, with both of us getting a half-point in the event of a draw.  Losers get what losers deserve... f**k all!  As I said before, I'll be relying on my foursome's experience and following, so I've chosen Years Since Formation and Twitter Follow Ratio.  The last attribute will be a first outing in the series for Band Name Scrabble Score.   Unless they're up against Joe Lean And The Jing Jang Jong, it's in the bag!  As always, all stats below were correct at the time of battle.  So, without much further ado, ding ding, Round 4...

And the result of Round 4...  is an emphatic victory for... Team Kowalskiy!.  My fellow physicists (this may not be factually accurate) haven't let me down.  Their cult following and many years in the music-making business, along with that extra 'H' made all the difference.  Sterling effort from Neil and Mr. Cassidy, but they couldn't stop me taking a one point lead in the series.  With the next round four weeks ago (I'm taking a well earned holiday!), Scottish Fiction have got plenty of time to plan their revenge.  I've got an ace up my sleeve though...

But as always, it's not about me, and it's not about Neil.  It's about our two musical pugilists.  We'll start off with today's victors, We Are The Physics.  They've already released one of the best songs this year (back during Wimbledon now I come to think about it) in Goran Ivanisevic.  One of the best videos too!  You can buy that over here.  But that track's in danger of being topped by their latest offering, Applied Robotics which hit the shelves yesterday.  Their new album is shaping up to be something special.  All this, and they're pretty nifty at Scottish music Top Trumps too...

As for Michael Cassidy, well, the eagle-eyed amongst us will have noticed that this is the first time he's graced these pages.  It won't be the last either.  His eponymous EP, released last year is great!  You can stream is below and buy it over here.  It's 14 minutes which goes to prove I should pay closer attention to fellow bloggers more often...

So that's that. Round 5 will be on the 11th of September. I'm off to bask in my one point lead in the series for a bit, then get back to preparing for next month's bout. Neil's sure to bring his A-game!

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Coastal Skid Spy Wok v20.0

Howdy folks!  Enjoy this, because it'll be my last notcast for a month or so.  I'll try and get someone special to put together a guest one next weekend, but after that, I'll be off on holiday.  So there'll be even less replies to emails... none in fact!   And the same goes for my twitter procrastinating... you'll just have to go elsewhere for that for a while!

So first up this week won't come as a surprise given I've already been quite vocal on twitter and Facebook about it.  We first heard from Niall Morris a.k.a. CUR$ES almost exactly a year ago.  Recently he's been giving away the odd track or two on SoundCloud, all great.  This one though is outstanding!

As the link above says, the dwnld link is in the description.  This has been a great week for releases thanks in no small part to Forres' finest, Be Like Pablo, who released their debut album... for FREE!  The New Adventures will appeal to fans of American indie bands like Oh No! Oh My! and The Little Ones, and to those of us who long for a return of the days when Weezer were good.  You can get the album by signing up over here.  In terms of the tracks on there, this is my favourite.  A sweeter set of boy/girl vocals you'll be hard pushed to find.

I did say it was a good week for releases... well, I include in that the news I've been waiting for for aaaaagggeeeesss... the debut album from the one, the only, Cancel The Astronauts.   It's called Animal Love Match.  It's out on the 17th of September.  It's got chickens on the front cover, and it is clucking brilliant!  It'll be reviewed, yes you heard me correctly, reviewed in due course.  You can pre-order it over here and get your hands on a free download of Making Dynamite.  You can stream the whole album here, but below there's a stream of one of the many, many standouts, Intervention.

I'm straying south of the border a bit now to bring you this beauty from Newcastle's Tessera Skies.  I'll admit to knowing absolutely nothing about them.  But when the musical genius that is Ajimal favourites something, it's always worth checking out. 

I think we'll just be having the five tracks this week.  Five's a good number.  Speaking of 'five', the latest in a certain series of free five track Scottish EPs will be out on Thursday... just saying!  Besides, it's bloody warm and the longer I sit here, the wetter the backs of my knees are getting.  Not good!  So we shall end this week's notcast with this, the debut single from Dunfermline's Middleton Hall.  It's FREE to download, and I think you'll agree it's rather lovely! 

Thursday, 9 August 2012

K&A with Esperi

"Is that Ryan Reynolds down there?!"
There's a saying that perfectly sums up why I started this blog all those years ago... "those who can't do, write".  And truth be told, I don't even write that good!  Better than I play the guitar mind you.  So I'm always a wee bit in awe of those who can do both, and more besides, especially when it's one of the country's finest solo artists... someone like Chris James Marr, the man behind Esperi.

I've not featured Chris half as much as I should have, given the quality of everything he's released, from his double A-side brought out by Olive Grove Records a while back, to his two recent releases, his Melancholics Anonymous EP and the brilliant debut album In A Moment, Emotion, Sentiment.

Here's what Chris had to say about them when I put a few questions his way.

Kowalskiy: Who is Esperi?
Chris: Esperi is generally just me but I've always liked the idea of having a band name and collaborating with other people, so that's the reason I play under an alternative name, and I like to sometimes play full band shows when I can, or bring along a string section etc.

Kowalskiy: You've just released an album (In a Moment, Emotion, Sentiment) and an EP (the brilliantly-named Melancholics Anonymous) in quick succession. What can you tell us about them?
Chris: 'In a moment emotion sentiment' was a studio project I started with my good friend Robin Sutherland which features some guests and the Melancholics Anonymous EP was something I made at home alongside it, 'In a moment... features the main music from my current live shows and I have the Korda String Quartet and other string players and Jon from Vasquez playing some drums, Kev from Laeto/Fat Goth playing some bass, Ged from Deacon Blue playing some double bass, whereas the EP I played everything and recorded it all at my home set up and I'm pretty happy with the sound, it's not too lo-fi [hehe].

Kowalskiy: The one common link between them is the gorgeous Homer. What inspired you to write a song about the great man himself?
Chris: Haha well Homer is what we nicknamed my Dad, it's just kind of a wee joke we have but this song is for him :-)
Kowalskiy:  So what does your dad make of being immortalised in a song as beautiful as Homer?
Chris:  My dad's pretty chuffed.  He likes it.  He has the album in his car [hehe].

Kowalskiy: Homer aside, who/what/where/when are your main inspirations and influences on your music?
Chris: That's a lot to fit in but the people around me and the artists I like, my life and experiences, home and now.

Kowalskiy: Another one now, inspired by one of your EP tracks, Come Dine With Me... who'd be your three ideal dinner guests?
Chris: Yeah 'come dine with me', I'd like to have David Attenborough, Robert Silverberg and maybe Brian Eno, some good chat there.

Kowalskiy: ...and on that 'ideal' theme, what would be your ideal gig?
Chris: Haha these ideal questions are tough cos you wanna get it right, but OK my favourite music just now is Sufjan Stevens, Bon Iver, Joanna Newsom, Mice Parade, Jonsi/Sigur Ros and Owen so if I could get them all on the same bill and play as well I'd be happy for that in any venue :-)

Kowalskiy: Are there plans afoot to tour the releases? Bearing in mind how late I am getting these questions over, I may have missed the boat already...
Chris: Yeah I've got a bunch of shows booked round the UK so just constant touring really as much as I can. I love playing live.

Kowalskiy: What can we expect from Esperi in the future?
Chris: Well I'm hopefully going to start recording some new stuff soon, not sure what to expect myself yet I'd quite like to experiment with the new songs I have and just see, maybe multiple versions and collaborations too and I've always got live shows I don't really take a break from that :-) Thanks Kowalskiy, all the best!

You are very welcome!  So that's that then.  Melancholics Anonymous and In A Moment, Emotion, Sentiment are both out now, so head over here.  And, as Chris said above, he's "always got live shows".  If you're in the area, here's where you can find him.

Upcoming Gigs:
Aug 11th - Henry's Cellar Bar, Edinburgh
Aug 23rd - Nice 'N' Sleazy, Glasgow
Aug 24th - Cellar 35, Aberdeen
Oct 9th - Bar Bloc, Glasgow
Oct 11th - Tunnels, Aberdeen

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Coastal Skid Spy Wok v19.0

Time for another trawl through the recent goings-ons in the wonderful musical world of SoundCloud, which this weekend is brought to you by the letters F and S, and by the number 10.  So, first up, seeing as last week we heard from one half of Bottle Of Evil, the bottle half, it's only fair we hear from the evil side of the duo.  Here's Evil Hand with the "first track finished for the next as yet untitled album due September(ish)".  It's called Ten Years.  Can't wait for the album!

Be sure to check out some of Derek's fine back catalogue over here!  Saint Max is up next.  I've made no secret of my love for his recent EP Saint Max And The Fanatics (get it here).  He's without doubt one of the shining lights of new Scottish music in 2012.  Well, before he sheds his '...and the Fanatics' skin, he'll be playing a free gig in Bar Bloc on the 11th August.  All the details are here.   And here's a brand new track from the man himself. 

Let's just get all the esses over and done with shall we?! A wee while back, SOS (the artists formerly known as Strawberry Ocean Sea) released Carry On Suzie.  Well now there's a brand new video to go with it.  You know me... I'm not one for videos, but you can watch it over here.  This is more my thing...

Which leaves us with the three F's.  The first of which is a newbie around these parts... Forest Fires from Edinburgh.  They've just released Avalanche for FREE on SoundCloud.  It's a belter... as are their other tracks from their Recovery release.  So get downloading!

Two more to go now, and it's another first-timer on Kowalskiy.  Friends In America have long been championed by The Pop Cop, so, spurred on by their great 'Tesco interview', I finally got around to having a proper listen.  Just... wow!

Last up. the third single in as many months from one of my favourite new bands, Father Sculptor, has just surfaced.   Aristide follows on nicely from Rhein and Frances.  In fact, they just get better and better.  They're all available on their Bandcamp.  So, here it is.  Hope you enjoy it.  I'm off to watch Andy now...

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

K&A with Amy Duncan

It's been well over a month since my last interview... remember the days when there used to be two a week!?  So what better way to kick off August than by hearing from an ol' Kowalskiy favourite... the lovely Amy Duncan.  I first featured her back in November of 2010 when I finally managed to get around to giving her Potential-Space album the praise it quite rightly deserved.  Key words at the time being "angelic", "achingly-beautiful" and "dreamy electronica".   Since then, Amy's been busy recording her new album Cycles Of Life, part-funded by Creative Scotland, which is due out later in the year... exactly when, pretty much depends on you!

Like a growing number of artists, Amy's signed up to PledgeMusic to raise some funds ahead of it's release.  You can pledge towards the project by buying a whole host of goodies, from a copy of her CD, to a double bass lesson or even some exclusive art by Amy herself.  So, without much further ado, it's time we heard a bit more about it from this multi-talented lady...

Kowalskiy:  Who is Amy Duncan?
Amy:  A human being, compelled to expressing the ups and downs of life through words and music.

Kowalskiy:  For those out there not familiar with your good self, how would you describe your music?
Amy:  There is definitely a folk element but not in the traditional sense. The new album is mainly acoustic sounding, with string arrangements, creative drums, double bass and atmospheric electric guitar.  If I were to compare my music to another artist I would say there are similarities to early Sinead O'Connor as there is a simplicity yet deep emotional feeling to her earlier music which I think has had some influence on me.

Kowalskiy:  For your new album Cycles Of Life, like a growing number of artists, you've opted to sign up to PledgeMusic.  What made you go down that route?
Amy:  I initially wanted to find a way of raising the money to have the CD designed and pressed without going into debt, but the experience has become much more than that. It feels extremely supportive and encouraging when people pledge, and exciting too that it is helping new people find my music. As a solo artist you spend a lot of time on your own, and it feels good to be connecting directly with people who want to buy the music.

Kowalskiy:  So what goodies are on there for folk to pledge towards?
Amy:  When I was setting up the project I felt a bit daunted by what to offer as exclusives. I had a look around my flat and suddenly had the idea that I could put my artwork on there. Two of my paintings have been pledged on but there are 2 large paintings left, and 2 smaller collages left too. Pledgers have access to the album download before the official release, signed CDs, handwritten lyrics and music manuscript, the opportunity to be included in the thank you credits of the CD sleeve plus other things! Anyone who pledges will receive updates throughout the project, with free downloads of unreleased tracks, and previews of songs from the album.

Kowalskiy:  Back to the new album. How does it compare to your previous releases?
Amy:  I think this release sounds much more accomplished. My previous releases were all self produced at home, and I think I reached the limit of what my basic knowledge of production would allow.  Creative Scotland funding allowed me to work with the producer Calum Malcolm which has brought the sound quality and creativity to a place I could never have reached on my own. The process of working with Calum has been a great experience, and a real boost in confidence to have been supported by such an experienced producer. The opportunity to have real strings (players from McFall's chamber), drums by Liam Bradley who's credits include Van Morrison, and harp by Fiona Rutherford has taken my music up to a new level which is a bit of a dream come true! I don't feel held back in promoting it because I know its a really strong record worthy of recognition.

Kowalskiy:  Once you reach your target (or before), are there plans afoot to tour the album?
Amy:  I would like to tour the album at some point next year, but I thought it might be a wise move to try and gain more recognition first, so I'm planning some showcase dates, beginning with the album launch at The Voodoo Rooms on November 1st. I want to make this a big event with a full band. My friend and artist Carol Le Lievre is going to create some artwork inspired by the title 'Cycles of Life' to be projected during the performance. I'm working with Little City Pictures on a music video for one of the singles from the album which will also be shown on the night.

Kowalskiy:  What would be a) a typical Amy Duncan gig and b) your ideal gig?
Amy:  A typical Amy Duncan gig would be me singing and playing guitar and Fiona Rutherford on harp. It was amazing to find Fiona as she adds so much to the music, and its not often you find someone that you gel so well with musically. I love playing intimate gigs like this, and would like to travel further afield to other cities throughout the world and play in lovely venues. In some ways my typical gig is my ideal one too, especially when the audience is so quiet and there is space to be more expressive with dynamics. But I would also love to be able to play with strings, drums and to have a double bass player on stage. I play the double bass parts on the album, and its always a source of frustration that I can't play the double bass for my live set!

Kowalskiy:  Back to the Pledge concept... this is as deep and philosophical as my questions get... in the current economic climate, do you see this increasingly becoming the norm for some of the more established artists looking to release new albums?
Amy:  I do think that more artists will turn to crowd funding as its a good way of expressing that you really value your music and the people who buy it. I wonder if platforms like Pledge may also help with the problem of illegal downloads - if fans can engage with their favourite band or artist and be part of the whole process they might find it a more rewarding and preferable experience.

Kowalskiy:  If you were to pledge for any piece of musical memorabilia, what would it be?
Amy:  The double bass in the Kate Bush - Babooshka video!

Kowalskiy:  My topical-tentative-link one to finish off. Bradley Wiggins' sideburns. Your thoughts?
Amy:  Nice and fluffy :)

I'd go for '90s Madchester personally... though surprisingly aerodynamic! 

Be sure to head on over to Amy's PledgeMusic project page where you can have a listen to Navigating From The Heart, one of the gorgeous tracks from the album, and watch her pledge video too.  Last I checked, she was just over a third of the way towards her target.  So, if you're interested in helping her get closer, get pledging!  There'll be a fair few exclusive previews and other pledge-only incentives to keep you going until your copy of Cycles Of Life finds it's way to you.