Reviews

Reviews of the EP, ‘Day Became You’

“There are many exponents of the catchy hook, some good, some outstanding … one of the latter is Ian Roland who, together with Simon Yapp and Nigel Stonier, has quietly got on with delivering his distinctive brand of softly engaging Americana-tinged English folk. The latest offering, albeit incredibly brief, is the EP ‘Day Became You’… and if you haven’t come across Roland and Yapp before then take time to absorb the highly infectious music. Hear once and this will remain fixed in your head for days.

“Released January 2017, ‘Day Became You’ opens with the captivating drive of ‘Day Became You’, which grabs your attention in the first few seconds and holds on throughout, the following track ‘Shooting Star’ slows things down with its softly-delivered vocals and gentle reflections on love, before ‘Gravity Inside’ punches back again with perfectly placed, ripping fiddle breaks … potent lyrics, engaging vocals, memorable melody and more hooks than a long line fishing vessel … ‘Day Became You’ does what all good EPs should do, leaves you wanting more, a lot more.” Tim Carroll, FolkWords Reviews (15th February 2017)

“Ranging from the reflective and infectious title track Day Became You, through the delightfully melodious love song Shooting Star that follows and into the bouncy foot-stomper that is Gravity Inside, Ian Roland & Simon Yapp have given us a multi-faceted Americana gem…” Mike Lindley, Ralph’s Life Indie Music Blog (23rd February 2017)

Day Became You: “A genuine foot stomper and an anthem for those in need of a lift. And this is certainly full of vim and the joy of life with a singer that you can picture throwing smiles as he issues those hopeful words. The music swoops and soars in tandem. A fillip.” mp3hugger

Gravity Inside: “Catch your partner by the hand kind of winsome joy. Yep, this is so fluid, traditional, Cajun influenced, happy music that should be doing a storm around the campsites in the world this summer. Jaunty to the end it is a family favourite in waiting.” mp3hugger

Reviews of the album, ‘Suitcase – a live collection’

“Ian Roland and Simon Yapp’s ‘Suitcase – a live collection’ is a sublimely crafted album packed with soaring, folk delights. Featuring radiant versions of select songs from Roland’s ‘Helicopter EP’, Roland and Yapp have a winning record to show for their first collaborative effort.” Britt @EclecticPop, EclecticPop.com (21st August 2016)

“When one soloist teams up musically with another it often creates much more than the sum of each partner. Newish duo Brighton-based singer-writer Ian Roland and fiddler Simon Yapp have lately been live-testing their double-act and the ‘Suitcase’ CD showcases seven of Ian’s songs. Yes, further proof – if you really need it – that two’s more fun than one.” Colin MacDonald, Folkal Point, www.folkalpoint.scot (8th August 2016) Blues and Roots Radio (Canada) Scotland: Two Lochs Radio, An Reidio, Revival FM, Dunoon Community Radio and HBS Glasgow and Paisley.

“Americana tinged with overtones of English folk…The eponymous ‘Suitcase’ encapsulates [Ian Roland’s & Simon Yapp’s] sound and ‘Wishing Well’ reinforces just how listenable this pairing are. The songs are quietly addictive with small, delicately placed hooks, the longer you listen the more you want to hear, and there’s little doubt that once heard, you could listen to Roland and Yapp for some considerable time. ‘Put That Light On’ and ‘Songbirds’ simply reinforce the impression, as you’re drawn further into this album, by the time ‘Hate’ comes along (slightly strange title for such a lovely tune) you’re a convert. This is a pairing you should listen to.” Charlie Elland, FolkWords (26 July, 2016)

“Take some catchy tunes and meaningful lyrics add that special LIVE feel and you have this new album by Ian and Simon, a must have for all fans of the singer/ songwriter, truly Acoustic.” Brian Player, Acoustic Cafe Radio (21 July 2016)

“A great collection of songs full of heart” Baylen Leonard, Amazing Radio – The Front Porch (20 July 2016)

“Excellent CD” Doug Welch, Kent Folk, BBC Radio Kent (17 July 2016)

Reviews of the album, ‘How That Dust Jumps’

Eclectic Pop’s Best of 2015 Music: From the Pop Waves to Indie Raves
Best Americana Offering: “Outside”, Ian Roland
A folksy treasure, “Outside” tells of a conversation between father and son. The first verse coming from the son’s perspective as he asks to venture outside of his childhood instilled walls. The second verse contains the father’s response; replete with metaphorically reasoned concerns and counsel. Lyrically rhymed to perfection and with a storytelling flourish that speaks with allegorical grandeur, “Outside” is a musical think piece of nuanced proportions. Eclectic Pop (17 Feb 2016)

“Warm and Tender Folk Music To Make Your Heart Sing. As regular readers will be aware I’m not normally a lover of British Folk Music; so approached this album from Ian Roland; with caution.
The rolling guitar that opens first song Outside, piqued my interest and when Ian’s soft voice made its entrance, I was quickly at ease.
A similar finger-picking style encompasses the rather beautiful Say Your Name; and it was on hearing this song for the third or fourth time that made the exclamation mark appear in my head. Although sounding nothing him like them; Ian Roland sits comfortably in that Ralph McTell/Cat Stevens mould from the early 1970’s.
There’s even a slight Folk-Rock feel to the snappy and toe-tapping Passing Through and Together; but it’s the reflective love songs Heal My Heart and Push The Doors that I will return to in years to come.
If there’s any justice, the title track How The Dust Jumps should receive radio plays across the UK; and not just in Roland’s local area. As Folk songs go the jaunty beat, hummable melody and fascinating lyrics deserve a much wider audience.
This album is as far away from finger-in the ear Folk n shanty’s as you can imagine; bordering on easy-listening but with added vim and vigour. If I hear many more Folk albums like this; I could become a convert to the cause.” Rocking Magpie (13 Jan 2016)

“All in all this album is excellent. It manages to retain it’s own personality whilst dabbling in different genres…” Jack Lyons, Americana UK (28 July, 2015)

“Released in April 2015, ‘How That Dust Jumps’ features eight original songs, superbly written and co-produced by Roland himself, spanning the worlds of folk, country, pop and beautifully reminiscent of seventies folk rock.
“Lyrically, the opening track ‘Heal My Heart’ sets the tone for the rest of the album, Roland sings of his own experiences and reactions to them, making for an accessible collection of songs that will speak volumes to anyone who has loved and lost. ‘Can we make it real by thinking so? Can we make it real by not letting go?’ thoughts that inevitably flit through each of our minds throughout our lives. These words set against a melody tinged with sadness, creates a very moving piece of work. The title track follows suit with strong hooks but instead describes a definite message of hope, conveyed through quirky, matter of fact lyrics that feel very familiar on a first listen, undoubtedly a great choice for the title track.
“In particular, The songs ‘Hope’ and ‘Outside’ have a way of transporting the listener to a different time gone by through the use of Roland’s signature 12-string, a fiddle (Simon Yapp) understated drums (Lee Bridges) keeping the groove ticking over nicely, pushing each song on with gentle ease.
“Roland’s second release closes with the upbeat ‘Together’, a welcome tempo and mood change that cleverly rounds the album up on a skiffle based high, with a particularly catchy hook that will linger with you for hours. Seek out this Brighton based singer-songwriter for lyrics you can easily identify with, and songs that define the word earworm.” R. Scutt, FATEA (31 May, 2015)

“How That Dust Jumps is a memorable title for a memorable album. Full of catchy and superbly produced songs it captures the imagination and commands listener attention. Positive listener feedback was instant when I played the title track for the first time with several requests for links to Ian’s web site. Strongly recommended.” Brian Player, Acoustic Cafe Radio (May 2015)

“The first impression is pastoral acoustic songs, filled with catchy hooks. There’s a tiny touch of retro-acoustic, perhaps folk from another time. A mix of gentle rocky folk, softly edged with Americana but essentially British…Ian Roland’s album ‘How That Dust Jumps’ is one that you should hear because it’s well worth your time…The opener ‘Outside’ has an evocative melody and absorbing lyric, much as I despised comparisons between artist or songs, ‘Father and Son’ kept jumping into my head. That’s no criticism or any suggestion of plagiarism, rather it’s a compliment on the directness and highly infectious nature of the song. And that’s an observation that’s stands true for many of Roland’s songs – memorable lyrics wrapped around striking tunes. The title track, ‘How That Dust Jumps’ follows suit, before ‘Say Your Name’ – slower, more reflective yet equally catchy, ‘Push The Doors’ with its haunting lyric, and the blues influenced ‘Hope’ wrap you in their embrace.” Charlie Elland, FolkWords (09 May, 2015)

“a diverse album..cracking songs, entertaining and varied…packed with memorable tunes, upbeat, positive lyrics and fab playing…” Phil Widdows, FolkCast (May, 2015)

“Taken from Ian’s new album of the same name, ‘How That Dust Jumps’ is a two and a half minute delight…vocally reminiscent of the talented late writers Elliot Smith and Matthew Jay, with an added spice of Irish folk added to the mix via a playful accompanying fiddle. The track skips along at a merry speed, conjuring images of summer evenings ahead” Overhead Wires Music (May, 2015)

“Gorgeous album…” Rick Bolland, Roots & Fusion, Stockport’s Pure 107.8fm & Blues & Roots Radio…

Reviews of the ‘Helicopter’ EP

“The EP Helicopter is a fine collection of original songs”  Doug Welch, Kent Folk, BBC Radio Kent (Nov 03, 2014)

“Belying its monosyllabic and forthright title, Ian Roland’s “Hate” is an uplifting, melodic and incredibly catchy track with some beautiful sunshine harmonies. On the basis of this song, if
there was a Laurel Canyon in Brighton, Ian Roland would be living there.” Graham Lovatt The Eclectic Eel Radio Show (Sept 29, 2014)

“Ian’s Helicopter is creating quite a buzz…
Ian Roland is a contemporary songwriter from Brighton who has developed a nice, easy feel to his music. His use of 12-string guitar and mandolin helps to a multi-layered depth to underpin his approachable Americana style; and the whole blend makes his EP Helicopter a delight to listen to.” Armandaleg Music (Sept 20, 2014)

” Ian is a singer/songwriter from the UK who is writing some superb contemporary folk songs. His Debut EP ‘Helicopter’ is a gem of a release, I found myself singing along to songs I had only heard for the first time, that’s a talent for songwriting right there ! I happen to love storytelling and Ian gets me there too with his unique folk storytelling in song. A great release and look forward to more great things ahead ”
Stevie Connor – Blues and Roots Radio / Celtic Music Radio / WeeDan Music (July 28, 2014)

“A pastoral feeling disc this despite the opening track being called ‘Hate’ which is actually full of gorgeous harmonies and an ear worm of a chorus….a delightful gem to be sought out and listened to.”
Keith Hargreaves, Americana UK (Apr 05, 2014)

“Helicopter EP from Ian Roland – … an absorbing, warm and gentle acoustic sound… a strong lyrical base delivered by engaging vocals, arrayed over songs with a convincing sense of storytelling…where has this talent been hiding?”
Tim Carroll, FolkWords (Apr 20, 2014)

“…[The] Helicopter EP has become a firm favourite. The gentle acoustic sounds, rich warm harmonies and folk storytelling have stood up to repeat listens and we look forward to hearing more in the future.” JCVerrall, SomeOfItIsTrue (Apr 06, 2014)

“Ian is a singer/songwriter from Brighton who has a talent for writing contemporary folk songs that cast your mind back to the musical stylings of an early James Taylor or Gordon Lightfoot…This [The Helicopter EP] collection of songs is a must have for any serious folk lovers CD collection.”
Mike Lindley, Ralph’s Life (Apr 02, 2014)

“Decades after Brighton spawned the much-acclaimed Allan Taylor, another troubadour of potentially-similar calibre has emerged from the Sussex seaside town. The singular lyrical and musical talents of Ian Roland are well-served by his Helicopter EP debut whose six original songs repay careful listening’.” Colin MacDonald, Folkal Point www.celticmusicradio.net (May 24, 2014)

“The ‘Helicopter’ EP is a strong and punchy release…full of catchy, beautifully constructed songs.” Kaye Sarah Inglis, Brighton Unsigned Magazine (Apr 02, 2014)

“Radio 2 should resonate freely with his marvy tunes….catchy as Hell and full of warmth and vim. Vocally quite Cat Stevens via CSN …no doubting the immense talent here.”
Bugbear – the lair of the bear (Mar 26, 2014)

“Ian Roland’s songs have a way of sneaking into your head and heart after just one listen. I find myself singing them long after hearing them. His songwriting somehow has the magical ability to transport me back to the front porch of my youth. They manage to sound both modern and like something from times gone by. Excellent.”
Baylen Leonard, Amazing Radio – The Front Porch (Jan 28, 2014)

“Ian Roland is a gifted songwriter and performer with an individual and refreshingly different approach to his art, producing songs that really are well worth getting to know.”
Phil Widdows, FolkCast (Jan 26, 2014)

“Brighton based singer/songwriter and ace guitarist, Ian Roland brings his distinctive and uplifting songs to the airwaves in Brighton on this live session.”
Donald Shier, Radio Reverb, Brighton (Oct 19, 2013)


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Ian Roland. Photo by Josh Paine-Lewis, May 2016.