The Small Change Diaries, based in Leeds, are an alternative acoustic ensemble, whose music is a fusion of acoustic, folk, blues, and gospel-style arrangements – accompanied by politically challenging lyrics.
Their EP, ‘Protest Songs’, is the follow up to 2015’s debut album, ‘Adam Blames Eve’. The four songs, starting with ‘Not One Of Us’, are upbeat and cheery sounding on the surface – but the light heartedness – which comes about because of the prominent use of ukuleles – covers up for the deep, sometimes dark lyrics.
‘Big Tony’, song two, is the perfect example of this. It’s sung in a bluesy, even swing style, but the lyrics tell the tale of a gangster, the “Big Tony” of the song, who commits a variety of crimes, bringing with him a feeling of fear and despair when he comes into town, “with all his crew”.
The Small Change Diaries comprise Jessica Bowie, Nick Cody, Adrian Knowles, and Richard Ferdinando. Their album, ‘Adam Blames Eve’, had selected tracks featured on BBC Introducing. The band draws their inspiration from current events, with the belief that more needs to be said about what really matters. ‘Commons Sense’ on the surface seems to a simple folk song – but when were folk songs ever simple – it’s a song about government, and with the beautiful vocals of Jessica Bowie, asks if the representatives of the people actually do that. It’s striking and disturbing and moving, a protest song reminiscent of those of Buffy Sainte-Marie, Joan Baez, or Joni Mitchell.
Lisa Hafey (Essentially Pop)
Alternative acoustic ensemble ‘The Small Change Diaries’ has released their brand new EP ‘Protest Songs’. The EP boasts politically challenging lyrics fleshed out by a fusion of acoustic, folk, blues and gospel style arrangements.
Their new EP ‘Protest Songs’ is their first release since their 2015 debut album ‘Adam Blames Eve’ which had selected tracks featured by BBC Introducing and received positive feedback. The Leeds-based ensemble (comprised of Jessica Bowie, Nick Cody, Adrian Knowles and Richard Ferdinando) drew inspiration for their lyrics from current world affairs in the belief that there needs to be more discussion about what really matters. They note that the real magic happens when they get inside the studio and start collaborating with each other.
‘Protest Songs’ is a lead up to the release of a second album from the quartet set to be released next year and the ensemble have a line up of live gigs planned for the summer. More information about the group can be found on their Facebook page.