Songs to Move the Soul

Endorsed by the likes of FRANK TURNER and featured on BBC Radio 1 and 2, Stoke-on-Trent’s finest singer/songwriter JOHN DHALI returns with an ecstatic second EP

After a solo acoustic debut in the Northwest that saw the 23-year-old receive national airplay and play alongside Frank Turner, Lucy Spraggan and Scott Matthews, John Dhali now steps forward with a new sound. Brought to life by an eclectic five-piece including keys and trumpet, the ‘Perfect Heart EP’ (out 27 July) has all the trappings of a classic soul record, with a modern injection of indie rock.

Aside from soaring, Buckley-esque vocals and songs that make you want to dance around your bedroom, perhaps the biggest attraction among Dhali’s steadily growing fan base are his often profound, life-affirming lyrics. There is a thread of genuine wisdom and love that runs through John’s evolving musical style – a positive message that is self-admittedly the driving force behind his song writing. This intention is made obvious in the ‘PERFECT HEART’ music video, a celebration of the real, everyday people of Manchester.

The live show is rich in musicality. Dynamically the band can shift from a whisper to a triumphant wall of sound within a single song. Somehow a balance is struck between solid, hook-filled structures and moments of classy improv more commonly ascribed to the jazz scene. The band boasts three students of Manchester’s Royal Northern College of Music, Yamaha-endorsed bassist Liv Thompson and keys player Ollie Walton, who just finished a European tour with New Order.

The overwhelming live appeal, though, is Dhali’s utterly uplifting presence. His ability to fill a room with positive energy is a well-known fact among his loyal local following. “His songs are Prayers, Mantras, lessons to be learnt. I watch with immovable awe…” (Leah Hamer, REBEL magazine).

Having already done a mini solo tour of Australia earlier this year and played a number of headline UK shows, including Manchester’s renowned Night & Day Café, John & the band are set to embark on their first full UK tour in September (Details to be announced soon across social media).

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