January 2nd, 2021
I thought about fobbing you off with a cheap n’ nasty message. Something like, “Happy New Year, wasn’t 2020 shit, here’s to a better 2021!” Alas, dear reader, I am not so cold of heart 😉 Instead, here comes my second instalment of “Seasonal Spotlight”. This is where, once each quarter, I call attention to an up-and-coming acoustic artist you may not have heard of, but who definitely deserves your attention.
This month I treat you to a musician by the name of…Mustang 😉
☘️ ☘️ ☘️
Mustang, also known on social media as Must Be Mustang (I like it), is one Bradley Osborne. Like me he’s a native of Kent, and though still in his 30s he’s a music industry veteran, having toured extensively through Europe and beyond with the band WinterKids, who back in the day supported big names such as Amy Winehouse and The Wombats. These days, while he’s not busy reading my music novel (hehe—he did actually buy and review a copy, which was very kind), Brad’s busy compiling an impressive collection of solo originals and covers on YouTube. While the covers will give you an idea of what he’s capable of (Ed Sheeran, anyone?), it’s Brad’s original songs that have made me sit up and listen.
A warm country song
My favourite number so far is “Will You Be There“. This was the first Mustang track I heard, and it’s a perfect fingerpicked tune that blooms into a warm, country-style song. “Come and listen to this,” was what I said to my wife when I first heard it. The lyrics about “wheels touching down” give the nod to the Mustang sobriquet, and the rolling electric guitar licks in the interlude are effortless in their summery feel. All in all, a great song that can challenge any good country tune. Seriously, if Roger from Outlander were to time-travel forward to 2020, he could still win Brianna right over with this song. Tip, Roger: try having sex with her before you ask to marry her, ya silly wee boy 😉
The glow of a starlit sky
Another hot tip is “Neon Song“, which is the first addition to Mustang’s Spotify platform. A handful of notes into the smooth intro and the two words that came to mind were, “Owl City”. All right, perhaps I’ve listened to “Fireflies” one too many times. But if Adam Young proved what one kid can do with a laptop and a bunch of instruments, this song is a reminder. While “Will You Be There” evokes a warm summer’s evening, “Neon Song” belongs firmly under the glow of a starlit sky. The acoustic guitar is actually absent here, but the electric does return mid-way through with a jazzy solo. Meanwhile, smooth backing vocals circle us back to the same warmth that “Be There” treated us to.
What now then?
So I’ve waxed lyrical (no pun intended) above, now my advice is this: there’s no substitute for listening yourself. So head over to Mustang’s Soundcloud, put on your best headphones, and turn it up. If you like what you hear, the best way to support the artist is to jump on his official website.
Finally, I hope you had a Happy New Year, and let’s welcome in a—HOPEFULLY!—much better 2021 for everybody.
Take care and stay safe