Two recent album releases I have been associated with are grounded in the same aims and objectives in that they are both concerned with music that would be perfect for films.
Boz Hayward is a Manchester based musician who, with his unique bozchestra, creates stunning cinematic music and, as a singer-songwriter, catchy, quirky, acoustic pop. In a new partnership with German Shepherd Records the label will promote Boz’s work and he will release the music himself.
The latest collection of bozchestra music was released on September 9th and is entitled ‘Films in Music’. The album is a collection of soundtracks to films which exist only in the imagination of the listener, a set of stand-alone pieces. In other words, listeners are invited to make up their own imagined films or dreamscapes to the music. The collection facilitates this by delivering a selection of atmospheric, cinematic, instrumental pieces replete with ideas and emotions. There’s a brooding intensity to a lot of the music. It evokes images of a post-war Berlin or Vienna with Harry Lime skulking in some back alleyway, or a spaghetti western with grizzled protagonists in a stand-off outside a cantina, but there’s also a pastoral feel to some of the tracks producing a gentler more introspective atmosphere. Reflecting a gentle Tex-Mex vibe, coupled with 70s spy dramas, and tasteful melodies, Hayward combines instruments in unique and pleasurable ways to deliver perfect vignettes. Bill Frisell, Ennio Morricone, John Barry and Anton Karas are all called to mind but Boz also adds a subtle flavour of Manc post-punk melancholia to the mix. There’s the occasional sonic surprise which keeps the music interesting and vital. This is quality music which is varied and bears repeated listening.
Scottish duo, Stereopod are a musical collaboration born out of a shared love of guitars and synths who blend elements of electronica, rock, metal and film soundtracks to create evocative soundscapes that take you on a journey, often to seldom travelled parts, sometimes returning, sometimes not..
The guys have been friends since school, and have collaborated informally on a number of occasions over the years but Stereopod is the first of these collaborations to be released into the wild. The band’s music distributed to date has been very well received and they hope that the album release via German Shepherd continues to impress to the same degree. Currently a predominately studio based project, Stereopod are hoping to pull together a workable live rig which will allow them to bring an exciting audio ( and visual?) experience to audiences in the future.
Stereopod are open to and encourage collaboration, and would be keen to work with video artists and filmmakers in particular. Access the album here.
50% of the proceeds from the sale of this album will go towards supporting the Mary’s Meals charity
Both albums demonstrate that it still possible to create evocative instrumental music of a high quality.