Behind the new Swiss folk-pop act Highland Sanctuary is the young, extremely talented musician, singer/songwriter and music producer Simeon. The artist from Berne grew up in a family of musicians. As a child he attended piano and percussion lessons and at high school he also had guitar lessons and acquired music theoretical knowledge. Afterwards, he deepened his knowledge and skills at the University of Music. As versatile as his father, who is a professional musician, Simeon taught himself other instruments such as electric bass, contrabass, banjo, alto saxophone, trumpet and tin-whistle.
It doesn’t really sound like it, but Highland Sanctuary is a one-man band. Simeon plays all the instruments himself, sings and has written all the songs himself. But not enough, he produced all songs in his own recording studio Famous Sound Productions.This concept is also consistently applied live: Highland Sanctuary presents a crazy one-man-show! As the term “Highland” indicates, instruments from Irish folk music are mainly used. Influenced by The Passenger and Mumford and Sons, Highland Sanctuary creates an unmistakable sound that is guaranteed to sweep people away on the radio, in pubs and at festivals. Highland Sanctuary – one of the most promising new acts in 2019!
‘Hay-on-Wye’ – Matthew Frederick
Matthew Frederick fuses an early love of classic singer-songwriters with more recent influences to create a distinctive and timeless blend of pop, indie-folk and blues, with a touch of Cymrucana and contemporary classical thrown in for good measure.
With headline shows in the UK, US and Europe under his belt, as well as fronting BBC Introducing favourites Climbing Trees, the Rhondda Valley musician has released four albums, two EPs and eleven singles to date since his 2011 debut Venus & Mars.
Alongside numerous festival (Green Man, The Hay Festival) television (BBC, S4C) and radio (BBC Radio 1, 6 Music) appearances, Matthew has also recorded at London’s iconic Maida Vale Studios, performed with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and was shortlisted for the Welsh Music Prize following the release of the Trees’ most recent album, the much-anticipated and critically-acclaimed Borders.
Matthew followed summer single Tell Me, playlisted across a number of stations and labelled his ‘most upbeat miserable song yet’, with latest offering Hay-on-Wye in Autumn 2019 ahead of his forthcoming debut solo studio album Fragments, set for an early 2020 release via Staylittle Music.
‘Hollywood’ – Matias Malagardis
Madrid-born Matias Malagardis is a 19-year old singer songwriter, who walks in the footsteps of Ben Howard, Jack Johnson and Novo Amor, with his mellow, melodic, acoustic-pop songs. In love with the surf culture, his music is highly influenced by the feelings and peace the sea transmits. His songs are calming and emotive, compelling you to sit down and listen: “Why don’t you leave, the city where you’ve died, come find me at the line, where the two blues meet” – Matias Malagardis.
‘Now We’re Here’ – Austel
Austel creates dark, brooding electro-pop music led by a distinctive, ethereal vocal. Weaving together haunting soundscapes, intimate songwriting and moody visuals, Austel’s work holds up a mirror to modern life – reflecting both pain and hope.
A prolific songwriter, singer and multi-instrumentalist, Austel is emotive and perceptive; unafraid to delve into personal experience to seek a connection with her audience.
Having performed with Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, supported Fleet Foxes with Lyla Foy, and toured the UK with Munro Fox and Stella Martyr, Austel released her debut EP Unfold in 2018 – receiving critical acclaim from the likes of BBC 6 Music, BBC Introducing and The Line of Best Fit.
Austel fuses classical training with contemplative songwriting and innovative electronica – enriched by collaborations with producer, bandmate and music technologist Adam Stark (MI.MU Gloves).
Wait there’s more
‘Trying My Best’ – Anson Seabra
‘This Time Next Year’ – Umbrella Saints
‘Nobody’ – Laura White
‘Endless Cycle’ – Zine Yaala
‘Two Chord Song’ – Luna Keller
‘Let Go’ – Beth De Bacci
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