Cat Stevens

Quick Picks #1 Whispering Knights, Three at Home, and Ampersand

Whispering Knights: “Night Grows

There’s a lot to love about “Night Grows” by Whispering Knights and I’m fascinated by the band who has put a lot of creativity and energy into the video for the song.  I had to dig for information about this duo from Warwickshire, England and apparently that’s the way that they have scripted their debut to the world.  Olly Vert and Joshua Vizor have been working on their music in their home studio since 2014. They have only played one live gig thus far but the good news is that they are starting to play more gigs and the entire album, Alight for Midnight, is nearly ready for audio consumption. Whispering Knights was named after a set of sacred stones erected around 3,800 BC. The aura of the band is as mysterious as the stone circle.  “Night Grows” recalls early David Bowie and some vaguely Beatles-ish riffs but also seizes upon an even more contemporary sound reminiscent of Americana artist, Josh Ritter. I can’t wait to hear more from Whispering Knights. Roll away the stones and let the world in on anything and everything about this music!

Watch the video for “Night Grows” here.

Three at Home: “Magnificat”

This song by the Boston duo, Three at Home, took me by surprise. It’s not often that you hear such a up-close-and-personal song questioning the tenets of religion, especially a woman’s role within the Catholic Church. Mary Casiello and Dann Russo bring a profound urgency in both the words and music of this song. The origin of the word “Magnificat” derives from the Gospel of Luke and relates the occasion of Mary meeting her cousin, Elizabeth, who is pregnant with St. John the Baptist. Elizabeth lauds Mary for her deep faith and May responds with a canticle that professes her great love of God. With all that being said, the song “Magnificat” asks penetrating questions to the Blessed Virgin from a modern woman’s perspective. Mary Casiello’s vocals are powerful and brave as she tries to understand the Mary behind the veil, so to speak. The public perception of Mary doesn’t exactly highlight her doubts or fears as much as her piety. This song was written during the height of the #metoo movement and becomes even more meaningful as women’s rights continue to be in jeopardy.

Listen to “Magnificat” here.

Ampersand: “Call Me”

Hailing from North London, Ampersand is a baroque pop five-piece group that recently caught my attention. The single “Call Me” reminds me of a cross between early Cat Stevens and an Irish singer-songwriter, Fion Regan, who I discovered in 2006 when he released his debut album, The End of History.  The song has a breezy flair – simply asking a friend or lover to return a phone call to chat about the unfolding of the day.  In these days of instant communication, this is a nice reminder that sometimes it’s deliciously pleasant to receive a message with a familiar voice rather than squeezing in a hurried phone when talking about the day isn’t quite what you had time to do at that particular moment. Lead singer and songwriter, Mark Young, says the song is about our underlying desire for connection. Tom Campbell on bass and backing vocals produced the song and the rest of the band – Georgina Melling on violin, piano/synth and backing vocals, Thom Stone on guitar, synth, and backing vocals and Adam Williams on drums and backing vocals, all contributed some tasty pop licks to make this a memorable song for the Summer of 2022.

Listen to “Call Me here.

Note: Everything Sundry accepts recommendations for review but does not guarantee that all picks will be chosen.