by Neil March (Edition 22, 16th March 2019)

Welcome to Edition 22 of Trust The Doc. Please visit and ‘like’ the Trust The Doc Facebook page - - and if you don’t already do so, follow both @Hornetmuziq & @DemeraraRecords on Twitter. I will of course follow you back. Let’s communicate folks and be part of a dialogue about new music. :)

✦ VANISHING POINT: Celebrate talented young women in new music

✦ ANNA THORVALDSDOTTIR: An exciting new force in Nordic Art Music

✦ SIGRUN: Experimental Icelandic artist using unique soundscapes

✦ MARY LATTIMORE: Harpist in collaboration with Mac McCaughan

✦ MOTORPSYCHO: Norwegian trio 30 years and still making cool albums

✦ TIME GROVE: Unclassified sounds from unusually configured ensemble

✦ SHEILA MAURICE-GREY: Crossover sounds from London musician

✦ O YAMA O: Japanese experimental music in the English Capital

✦ MICACHU: Genre-busting composer developing her impressive style

✦ BLACK MIRROR: The soulful sultry sounds of a Spanish island

✦ FOUNDLINGS/SISTER JOHN/CLOTH: My review of LNFG’s London triumph

✦ CLOTH/EXILE FM: Cloth in new feature on Monday Night Ride Out

✦ D’STIL: Souful Urban Pop vibes from young exciting UK artist

✦ MANN ELFER: Hip Hop & associated sounds from talented Londoner

✦ LEEVEYE: Another top tune from South East London artist & producer

✦ RETRO KID: British Electronic Urban Producer holed up in Denmark

✦ CHEERBLEEDERZ: Female Indie Rock trio bring big choons & big noise

✦ FILM JACKET 35: Classic Indie & Alt Pop music from the Greek Capital

✦ ELECTRIC SHORES: Energetic perky Alternative Rock from the Emerald Isle

✦ MAN EAT GRASS: Rock and Roll in the modern age from unique band

✦ PIP HALL: As she flies out to perform at SXSW a new single arrives

✦ PIXI INK: Electronic Soundscapes & enigmatic vocals from Londoner

✦ ROOKERY: The unique Avant Pop & Experimental outfit’s star keeps rising


Let’s kick off with a shameless plug! My new book The Independent Music Sector (2019) is published and available as a paperback, a Kindle download and as a PDF. You can buy any of them via

The book takes readers through an easy-to-read guide about how all the key elements of the independent music scene work - releasing & distributing music, publishing, royalties, chart registration, management, agents, live music, streaming & playlists, contracts, social media & social media ads, membership bodies, selling merchandise at live events, tips for entrepreneurs, the Independent Music Conversation and more. £10 for the paperback, £8.98 for the Kindle, £8.50 for the PDF. It’s up on and but easiest to use the above link to find all three versions in one place.

The page also recommends a fantastic book called Work Hard Playlist Hard by the amazing Mike Warner, an American streaming and playlist expert and one of the most influential playlisters on all the big platforms. You can download Mike’s book which sets the whole gambit of using streaming and playlists out in nice simple language for $9.99 (currently about £7.50) from


The next Vanishing Point @ The Ivy House should be a stormer. We are celebrating talented emerging female artists with the amazing Luvia ( who, in addition to topping the final Fresh Faves of 2018 on Fresh On The Net, has been confirmed for Live in Leeds and Liverpool Sound City. Supporting will be a recent TTD favourite Yvonne Hercules ( who I compared to a young Joan Armatrading with elements of Tracey Chapman, India Arie and others. And our own Environmental Sound Foundation ( fronted by the irrepressible Dilara.

We are only charging £4 for advance tickets or £5 on the door (if it doesn’t sell out) so come along and bring your friends to The Ivy House, 40 Stuart Road, Nunhead, London SE15 3BE. To get tickets visit


Anna Thorvaldsdottir ( is an Icelandic composer who was interviewed and featured on Stuart Maconie’s Freak Zone (BBC 6 Music) earlier in March. Her music is sparse, experimental and dark though in a modal sense. She is fascinated by the textural potential of the sounds within the orchestra and of other voices and instruments. Her music evolves slowly from a combination of open harmonics, modal passages and ambient sounds.

Her work Equilibria has all these qualities in spades and is punctuated by eerie piano figures that are semi-atonal and scalic. Stuart Maconie believes she is one of the most exciting new forces in Nordic Contemporary Art music and I have to concur on the evidence so far presented. She is a composer whose work I intend to take the time to explore in greater depth.

Another exciting Icelandic composer-artist is Sigrún ( The singer and multi-instrumentalist has toured as a trombonist and singer with Bjork and Florence & The Machine. Her own music is more experimental and intuitive, utilising specific sounds and beats upon which she builds melodies. Hringsja is characterised by multi-tracked voices singing swooping glissandi in clusters of tones. The sound is sparse and atmospheric in a consciously cold (climatically, not in the sense of lacking emotional impact) way. The best thing to do is check it out!

A week later there was more Freak Zone magic with two more acts demanding my attention. The first is the extraordinarily talented Harpist Mary Lattimore ( When I say harpist, her music is not like any conventional harp music you will hear. Whether it’s the open harmonic language and patient build-up of the intriguingly titled Mary, you were wrong from December 2018 or the ambient Jónsi Healing Fields remix of It feels like floating with its dreamy evocative textures, she is always looking to innovate without being overly indulgent so that the result is both interesting and highly listenable and engaging. The latter track eventually introduces haunting voice too and is a really stunning piece of work.

Stuart chose her duet with fellow American musician and label boss Mac McCaughan ( on Three (or III as it is billed on the actual album as opposed to the Freak Zone web page), part of the New Rain Duets release on McCaughan’s Three Lobed Recordings pressed on vinyl but also downloadable from It blends a floating ambience with some spine-tingling upper register harp figures and gorgeous arpeggios while electronic sound plays a significant part too. The Bandcamp blurb mentions psychedelic influences. I would proffer that there are Eastern music elements too and a meditative feel. It certainly evokes strong images of sandy wind-drifts and large open plains. Music to soothe the soul and excite the imagination.

Norwegian trio Motorpsycho ( have a new drummer but the two mainstays have been making albums for an astonishing thirty years. Despite this their sound is as fresh and explorative as ever. Stuart chose to play a new track called Lux Aeterna. Now us classical types will know that is a title frequently used by composers of various kinds. It usually refers to Roman Catholic Communion although it has been used in some accordingly unlikely contexts such as the Ligeti Choral Work which appears in the Space Odyssey soundtrack.

Motorpsycho’s version, a ten and a half minute masterpiece of musical invention, is a slighly melancholic slice of Prog-influenced songwriting with shades of Caravan and King Crimson about it although aided by modern production and some subtle ambience. The changes in mood are Beatles-esque. The busy playing is underpinned by explosive drumming, some truly sumptious chord changes and harmonies plus a relatively kitchen sink arrangement. The mid-section is pure prog with jazz and modal elements - frantic, rhythmically complex; amply demonstrating the band’s musicianship. All bodes well for their current line-up and their new album The Crucible (presumably not a musical homage to Sheffield’s home of the World Snooker Championship!!) on the progressive Norwegian label Rune Grammafon .


Time Grove ( is a group of musicians led by Nishai Hershkovits which features an unusual combination of timbres (reeds, brass, drums, guitar etc.). The music has elements of Minimalism in the repetition of patterns that gradually evolve. But it also has jazz and contemporary classical influences helped by some accomplished playing. They have recently released the appropriately titled album More than one thing which offers a beautifully crafted set of pieces. More jazz than classical in the main, it probably fits what Elizabeth Alker calls Unclassified music. Good though and that’s the main thing!

Young South London jazz and contemporary music artist Sheila Maurice-Grey ( has been on my radar for a while now. The Trinity Laban graduate and improvising trumpeter-composer has been blazing a trail on the Jazz and related scenes but is yet to have a great deal of repertoire available to download. She doesn’t even appear to have a website or Soundcloud page as things stand. But her talent both as a dynamic player and a musician with the desire to cross into other genres makes her someone worth watching as 2019 unfolds.

Her contribution to the track Afrowalk by Mei is an example of her crossing into [sophisticated] urban pop territory. Live track Colonial Mentality by Kokoroko begins as an ambient instrumental before bass and then drums take it in a dub-influenced direction. The band is a combination of accomplished players of which Sheila Maurice-Grey is one and her improvised playing, duelling with the sax, is impressive. The Darkies offers another combination of top-notch musicians, kicking off some gorgeous solo Double Bass before picking up a quick tempo, added to by drums and lovely (slightly Eastern sounding) modal harmonies played by the horns as part of a spine-tingling theme all played in rich harmonic vein. On this track SMG gets to stretch out as a soloist accompanied by a trippy, slightly proggy and fluid Jazz backdrop. Her tone is spot on and her playing is expressive and not over-indulgent. In fact not over-egging the pudding seems to be a feature of her style.

I hope 2019 will see Sheila Maurice-Grey taking centre stage a bit more and getting some music released in her own (solo artist) name. She is one exciting talent.


As regular Trust The Doc readers will know, I am an avid listener to BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction. Not least it is the programme, more so than any other, that helped t launch my career as a composer in 2014 and it is the programme primarily responsible for putting me on the BBC Introducing stage at Latitude 2017. Not that this is why I listen. I was a fan long before either of those things happened.

But I have been fortunate to get to know some of the show’s presenters as friends and one of those, the amazing Nick Luscombe, took his turn as presenter in mid-March. It just so happened that we had been exchanging emails about another topic earlier in the day and he had told me he was about to spend four weeks in Japan, foraging for interesting new music and interviewing artists and labels.

Nick’s interest in and specialism in Japanese Electronic and Contemporary Art music is long-established (as is his love of Estonian music) but it is great to see that he still has the commitment and enthusiasm to spend that kind of time out there keeping up to speed with the music scene at a time when it is full of interesting artists.

Among the artists featured this month on the show were a Japanese concept  O Yama O (, formed by artist and composer Rie Nakajima alongside Keiko Yamamoto, the co-founder of London’s top experimental music venue, Cafe OTO. The sounds here are ambient, electronic and ‘found’ and the results are deliciously leftfield such as Oni and Leave the fur behind while others are short and atmospheric. Banana with its percussive sounds, wobbly strings and walking motion, is a particular favourite. All these tracks are on the album simply entitled O Yama O which was released in October.

Also featured was the London-based genre-defying and busting composer Mica Levi (aka Micachu) ( Check out the joyous sound of her track Interlude where bold piano chords play off against excitable synthesizer. She is a serious talent who I think we will all be hearing a great deal more about in the near future.

I should add the caveat that neither of these artists belong under the heading of World Music but my reference to Nick’s travels ended up placing them there! So tenuous link of the month for sure! Next edition I will find some more international flavours to get stuck into.


TTD favourites, the wonderful Tenerife-based Folk-Pop duo Black Mirror ( kindly sent me a package containing their two newest CD albums No Colours For Concern and el sol de los muertos. I have reviewed some of these tracks previously including the opener of No Colours for Concern, the beautiful Worms in which Ines’s haunting vocals play against Arsenio’s reverberant, expertly played guitars and soft strings. Half the Life on which Arsenio joins in the vocal duties, is like a modern take on Simon & Garfunkel. The album is full of lovingy crafted Folk-influenced songs infused with the warmth and calmness of their island environment, Ines’s voice floating atop Arsenio’s lovely finger-picking guitar, soft baritone voice and sweet chords, their harmonies and use of keyboard elements adding a further dimension. Put this together with their songwriting skills and it is hardly surprising that the album is compelling listening that leaves the listener feeling chilled and satisfied.

On the newer el sol de los muertos the atmosphere is similarly chilled but it has interesting elements drawn from prog and even cinematic pop. The production is absolutely top-notch and the playing and harmonies are arguably their most inventive yet. Make no mistake. This is music of the highest quality and it doesn’t do it justice to simply brand it as Folk. Black Mirror, as well as being lovely people who are selflessly supportive of their fellow artists, are a truly fantastic duo. It’s time they had a bit more support from the kinds of media who could help launch them on the international stage.


I have been privileged to be invited to some fantastic live shows recently. One of these was the first London showcase by the exceptional crowdfunded not-for-profit record label Last Night From Glasgow. The gig was an album launch for young Brighton via London-based Alt Rock & Indie quartet Foundlings ( performing on a bill with Glaswegian label mates Sister John ( and Cloth ( You can read my full review of this gig on Fresh on the Net -

I should add that the wonderful Ming & Jon on the Monday Night Ride Out which goes out on their fantastic and unique radio station Exile FM ( which broadcasts to the world from their base in Melton Mowbray have introduced a new Vanishing Point feature on their show. Having exhausted all 19 tracks [over 19 weeks of shows] on our Demerara Records compilation album Vanishing Point (Vol. 1) ( which is named after our monthly live event at the Ivy House in South East London, they have replaced it with one where I now pick the closing track on their two-hour show each week. They then read out my reasons for my choice and play the track.

So since I was still very much reeling from having been blown away by their live performance 9 days earlier and having watched the video of them performing live in the Scottish BBC Introducing Studios, I simply had to choose Cloth ( with their beautiful, ethereal masterpiece Old Bear. I urge you to view the video using the link I have just provided which will also enable you to see and hear the equally stunning Demo Love (and other cool bands like Skjør who I have earmarked for a future edition of TTD). Cloth really are truly extraordinary and this footage really gives you a sense of how their guitar interplay between twins Paul and Rachael, their use of harmonics and unusual tunings, Rachael’s otherworldly voice and Clare’s distinct, inventive drumming all combine to make them a fantastic unit in which all three bring so much to the party.

Urban Flavas

D’Stil ( is an interesting young artist. Essentially operating at the poppier end of the R’n’B spectrum but leaning into Hip Hop such as on the collaboration with Asim C RetLitCig. It was the perky slightly Reggae-ish By Your Side that grabbed my attention though when it landed in the FOTN in-box. I am pleased to say that enough of my fellow FOTN moderators agreed that it was a stand-out track and it duly made the Listening Post although it missed out on the Fresh Faves in what was a tough week for a newcomer to break through. Great start though.

The buoyant and again subtly Reggae-tinged urban pop of What I did for love is another top choon, D’Stil’s soulful voice and harmonies accompanied by a cool guitar part and jingly keyboard notes. This music is eminently radio-friendly and would sound great over the big speakers in a club. D’Stil is a young talent we need to keep a watch on as his music continues to develop.

A consistently impressive artist is London writer, producer and performer Mann Elfer ( His track Like The Way which features Eve Antoi hit the FOTN in-box in early March and my ears pricked up at this cool combination of tough Hip Hop beatz and rapping with soulful vocals and sophisticated jazz-tinged chords. The lyrics are characteristically thoughtful too.

Also new on his Soundcloud page is the track Dream It which kicks off with a crazy mix of crystally electric piano chords before the rap kicks in. The same keyboard figure continues behind a crisp Hip Hop beat. Hold Back has a Latin undercurrent, almost but not quite Salsa but with rapping in triplets. The Spanish Language singing that appears midway through adds to that Latin vibe. On Young he teams up with Sami-Mae on a funkier tune though another with a Latin edge. Plenty to get your teeth into then. 2019 should be an interesting year for Mann Elfer.

Leeveye ( is another TTD favourite who has kicked off 2019 with a top new tune entitled World which almost made it through to the Fresh on the Net Listening Post. Put it this way it missed out by the narrowest margin it is possible to miss out by. Shame because, as two of us moderators alluded to in our comments at the Listening Post (the other being TTD friend and artist extraordinaire Kerry JK) it was a belter of a track.

High register vocals deliver a stonking melody over a cool funky Electronic Dance beat and bass. Sweet keyboard chords and a superb mix of timbres and textures abound. I look forward to more hot new material from the South East Londoner soon. Track record to date suggests I won’t have to wait long.

It isn’t every day that I include a Denmark-based artist in the Urban Flavas section but that is the case this issue with British artist Retro Kid ( whose mix of electronic urban pop and Hip Hop came to my attention via the excellent Roots (Part I), a thoughtful piece that celebrates friendship while also taking a subtle swipe at Brexit. It is a really engaging track that sucks you in and keeps you hooked.

Easy is urban-leaning electronic pop that shows he can sing too and it has a decent melody. Glitter & Gum is lighter and mixes a Ska rhythm synth with contemporary electronic pop vibes. It features an artist called Leo and is billed as the RT Mix. The whole song takes place in upper register and there are some nice interjections from soulfulf female voices and a speeding up of the synth figure into something funkier and vageuly Stevie-ish. So all interesting stuff and reason enough to check him out.

Alternative Rock & Indie

I have commented in previous editions that I look forward to a time when there is nothing unusual about coming across another exciting all-female band. But we are not there yet so it was an unexpected bonus when the superbly named Cheerbleederz ( landed in the Fresh on the Net in-box with the bundle of energy and melodic flair that is Cabin Fever. The lyrics, which are about the age-old topic of teen-style crush, are refreshingy unpretentious and between them they make a good driving tuneful noise for three people.

This led me to check out the other tracks on their Faceplant EP, released a few months ago, and discover the janglier pop of Thinking of you followed by more of their driving energetic but very tuneful (and harmonic) Alt Rock sound on Don’t hesitate which, like Cabin Fever, has the potential to be a strong radio track, at least for BBC 6 Music and similar. Staying up late completes the EP with an engaging guitar riff, a bassline that moves beautifully between root and inversion notes and a really satisfying drum track. This is topped by more strong melodies and harmony. Their voices are strong and expressive and they gel really well. Final verdict: Cheerbleederz are a band I want to see live and get to know more about.

It isn’t every day that I receive a new track from a Greek Indie band but Film Jacket 35 ( are just that and their jangly Alt Pop track Something you should do flew out of the speakers, reminding me of a cross between the enegetic pop jangle and major seven guitar chords of bands like Close Lobsters and The Bluetones and the melancholic Alt Pop of the Boo Radleys.

The Zombie EP shows several sides of Film Jacket 35’s character and underlines an obvious love for the entire canon of Post-Punk and more recent developments in Alternative Rock and Indie. Choruses are catchy but not corny. The bass and drums are busy and the guitar shapes their harmonic language. Vocals are strong and supported by great BVs. They sound at times like they could very easily come from Liverpool but they are from Athens. And they are a band to watch in 2019.

Electric Shore ( deservedly made the Fresh Faves in early March with a stonking slice of melodic Alt Rock entitled Darkness Of You. Reviewing it for Fresh on the Net, Tom Robinson said ‘... I’m willing to bet this song carries the same punch, power and brooding atmophere performed live in a room as it does coming out of your speakers at home. The fact that this is only their second release to date bodes well for the year ahead’. And I certainly agree.

Electric Shore are three young guys from County Meath in the Republic of Ireland and seem to be part of a proud lineage of Irish bands stretching back to early U2 who mix driving bass and drums with guitar that uses harmonically agreeable riffs and melodic jangle to great effect topped by strong vocals.

Someone New occupies similar territory. The vocals in the chorus are gritty, offset by appealingly sustained ah’s in the backing vocals. Too Different is slower and involves some really inventive interplay between the three instruments. It is recorded live at the Soundhouse but the quality is excellent. All in all a band worth checking out and a hot tip for 2019.

Man Eat Grass ( consistently deliver driving contemporary Rock and Roll music with a hint of Psychobilly that has shades of The Cramps and [the best moments from] The Stray Cats. Waiting for that moment fits that broad description with the Rockabilly guitar twang, big drum sound and dark sneering vocals. The production is appropriately loud and punchy.

I lost ma way is slower and the guitar riff is punkier but the format is based on 12-bar and the trademark deep voiced snarl is fully evident. There’s a deliciously dirty bass sound too. Man Eat Grass are determinedly ploughing their Post-Psychobilly, Post-Rock and Roll/Alt Rock path and there is no-one out there right now who does it as well as they do.


I reviewed a live performance by Preston’s teenage protigé Pip Hall ( last summer and now she is back with a new single to coincide with a prestigious performance at SXSW in Texas. So Easy has a nice chugging boyancy to the verse. Then comes a killer chorus that is the most Country-influenced track I have heard of hers, aided and abetted by a lead guitarist who she is playing live with whose style is ideal for the track. The harmonies are truly gorgeous and the track finds Pip in realy fine voice. It’s exciting to observe a young singer-songwriter maturing and growing in confidence as an artist the way Pip is. With the wonderful Kelly Munro and his End of the Trail Creative managing and mentoring her, she is in good hands. They sky’s the limit if she carries on improving at such a pace.

Also, like Leeveye’s aforementioned track, this missed out on the Listening Post by an almost unfeasibly narrow margin. I had really hoped it would be given the chance of the public vote. But hey, her career is moving in the right direction and these are exciting times for Pip.

Electronic Pop

Pixi Ink ( is singer-producer and writer Carla Jane Duffy, a London-based artist whose music mixes a certain (dark) pop sensibility with a penchant for eerie and enigmatic electronically induced soundscapes such as on the excellent Sunrise and the slow-burning Evergreen.

She also seems to be knocking out a good volume of new tracks (i.e. five in one day earlier in March) including the sparser but jaunty Tragic Tale and the more ambient Paper Dreams with its echoing sounds and electric piano chords. Carla Jane’s voice is soft and dreamy at times, upfront and visceral at others. She knows how to make good use of the different timbres and nuances and the keyboard arrangements are haunting and evocative. All very impressive stuff and I am now wondering if I can get her on at one of our Vanishing Point events in South East London later in 2019.

Avant Pop

Rookery ( have been enjoying a lot of attention from Fresh on the Net lately which has been heartening to observe. Not just because I released their haunting Experimental Alternative Music & Spoken Word track The Projectionist on Demerara Records’ compilation album Vanishing Point (Vol. 1) late last year and then watched them play a superb live set for Vanishing Point at the Ivy House in December. But also because a band that is so inventive and individual deserves support and it is great to see my fellow moderators voting for them.

Partly due to the fluid nature of the band’s instrumental line-up (in which vocalist/player of unsual objects George E Harris and his partner Alison O’Melia on Clarinet, Keyboards & Accordion are the constants), most recent recordings have been live including two tracks recorded at the December Vanishing Point gig both of which made the Listening Post - Shipping Clerk and Vs in the Window. Their combination of unusual sounds, repeated musical figures, improvisation and George’s semi-deadpan delivery brings to mind The Fall jamming with Battles and Brian Eno. In truth though, it is hard to nail down direct comparisons because their sound is so unique and stands apart from other bands and scenes.

Rookery have a live date coming up (on a bill that also includes another Vanishing Point/Trust The Doc favourite Jon Samsworth and cult band Haystack Monolith) on 23rd March at Antenna Studios in Crystal Palace in South East London. Check out this link for details.


Well that’s Edition 22 concluded. Do come along if you can to our Vanishing Point ( gig on 4th April and see some seriously talented female artists in action. And don’t forget, if you haven’t already done so, to visit and ‘like’ the still fairly new Trust The Doc Facebook page - Till the next edition, thanks for reading. Neil  xxxx