here come the girls

The Europe Press Is In...

Had a great time with Lenny Kravitz and Billy Idol in Europe. Thank you to all the new fans and friends we made along the way for their support.

Here are some of our favorite quotes from across the pond. Here Come The Girls is out now on iTunes and Amazon.

“Their jangly, strident riffs and chord progressions are cleverly echoed by their melodies and hooks…” - Classic Rock Magazine

“Plundering rock’s past with a glee not seen since Lenny Kravitz hung up his feather boa, their pitch-perfect nods to Badfinger (When I’m With You”, Jimi Hendrix (Steady) and Big Star (Crimson Revival) come with a timeless quality.” - Q

“Addictive slab of retro rock.” - Uncut

If You Buy One Album Out This Week, Make It…

The London Souls - Here Come The Girls

As we’ve said previously, some great rock albums excel within established boundaries. The London Souls (not actually from London) happened to pick particularly good boundaries. Here Come The Girls is their second album, and it’s an absolute delight – effortlessly capturing the Beatles-y spirit of Abbey Road (where it was recorded), rather than crowbarring retro qualities in. For the last few years The London Souls have, for the most part, been a secret confined to the New York live scene. But no more.

As sunny British picnic plans are sporadically ballsed up by rain, Here Come The Girls is one pocket of summer you can count on. Classic Rock writer Hugh Fielder called it “a timeless pleasure” in his review. It’s not a replica of the past, but it stirs in aspects of that era to endearing yet ‘new’ effect. Like a tasting menu of highlights from the 60s/early 70s – from jagged blues rock to soul and breezy, sun-kissed pop – filled out with fuzzy NYC personality. 

That title, Here Come The Girls, could indicate some ‘come-hither-laydees’ cockiness. It doesn’t, however, opting instead for a more general sense of summer lovin’ – and the associated medley of energy, hope, angst and bliss (especially twinkly-eyed in opener When I’m With You). There are girls here, though: one girl, Isabel, is immortalised in a heart-wrenching acoustic gem (so beautifully 60s-folky you’ll feel incense and cheesecloth grow from within), while Valerie merits upbeat yet pensive, Rolling Stones-tinged treatment. 

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Here Come The Girls is OUT NOW!
iTunes | Amazon

The London Souls On World Cafe

The London Souls' members aren't from London; instead, they form a drum-and-guitar duo based in Brooklyn, where they carve their music out of the best of '60s psychedelic rock and soul.

Tash Neal (guitar) and Chris St. Hilaire (drums) have extraordinary communication live. On record, their music sounds like an undiscovered gem of British psychedelic rock or a lost Cream song.

The London Souls formed in 2008 and released a debut album in 2012. The band's new album, Here Come The Girls, was finished a while ago, but before it could be released Neal was in a hit-and-run accident from which he's only now fully recovering. In this session, hear The London Souls perform live on stage at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia.

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The London Souls rise again to present Here Come the Girls

Tash Neal had his priorities straight. First thing he did when he awoke after brain surgery was reach for a guitar.

"I wanted to make sure I could play," says the London Souls guitarist as the band travels from Charlotte to Atlanta for their next show. "I didn't play a lot but I played D, A, and G chords, and it felt right, and I thought, 'Good.'"

Neal and drummer Chris St. Hilaire had just finished recording their second album of chunky hard rock and soul when Neal nearly became a fatality. Two years ago in May, he was waylaid by a hit-and-run driver while seated in a cab in New York's Greenwich Village.

Neal was in intensive care and required emergency brain surgery. For a while during his recovery he had to wear a helmet because they'd removed part of his skull. Neal was told it might be a year before he could walk again, let alone play music, but that only drove him to dedicate his all to rehab.

"I was really frustrated that I couldn't play. I was very frustrated so a lot of my energy was focused on being able to do that," he says. "It's difficult, but as long as you have something to look forward to, to work towards, that helps."

Five months later — after having a metal plate put in his head during a second surgery — Neal was playing again. By the beginning of last year, London Souls were out on the road touring. Indeed, Neal's already hailing cabs again.

"I actually went right back afterwards," he chuckles when the subject's broached. "Some people said, 'Oh you must be scared about that,' but no. I don't know why, but I wasn't. I just thought, 'Fuck it."'

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London Souls put out new CD... 3 years after recording it

New York City duo the London Souls finished its sophomore album in 2012, but then the album sat on the shelf for three years – for a pretty serious reason.

“A couple of months after we recorded it, I got into a bad car wreck and things were really uncertain,” says guitarist/vocalist Tash Neal, who was the victim of a hit-and-run.

So it’s some small miracle that last week, “Here Come the Girls” was finally released. On Friday, the London Souls (Neal and drummer/vocalist Chris St. Hilaire) play Visulite Theatre.

To say Neal had a lot to overcome to put the album out is an understatement.

After the accident, doctors performed emergency brain surgery and Neal was placed in a medically induced coma. “The diagnosis was six months to a year and then maybe I’d walk and talk again,” he says.

But Neal shocked his doctors when he awoke talking, and he eventually checked himself out of the hospital against their advice.

In the aftermath of the accident, he’d almost forgotten about the London Souls’ album. Hearing it for the first time was like a revelation.

“That was more vindication,” he says. “I thought, ‘That’s us?’ It was amazing. It was a pride thing and it connected me again. I even remembered (lyrics).”

And once Neal was able to pick up a guitar again, he began to feel more like himself.

“I saw that guitar and it connected me to a deeper part of myself that an accident can’t take away,” he says.

The versatile “Here Come the Girls” – which hops from Cream-y blues riffs and Lenny Kravitz-style funk to harmony-driven Beatles-schooled pop and psychedelic folk with a thread of ’60s and ’70s nostalgia throughout – has received a warm reception.

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The London Souls: Rock-and-Roll Survivors

If you peruse the influences that most bands playing “rock” music cite these days, then you’ll find one or all of the following: Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Cream, Jimi Hendrix. There is no criteria for putting those names on a Facebook profile, and most of the time those nods don’t accurately reflect a group’s true nature. But for Brooklyn-bred duo The London Souls, those artists are embedded deep within their DNA. In fact, guitarist Tash Neal and drummer Chris St. Hilaire had studied those classic-rock architects long before they founded their band.

“I moved to the city when I was a senior in high school,” explains St. Hilaire, who now shares a sibling-like bond with his London Souls co-founder. “Tash was one of the first musicians I met. We were with a small number of kids that were actually jamming and making music. We started jamming together in these little rehearsal rooms where they had beer machines.”

“I forgot about that,” Neal chimes in with a laugh.

Through the informal rehearsals, the duo realized that they had a unique connection. “There weren’t a lot of kids our age who were musicians that took it quite as seriously. We connected to music, spiritually,” Neal says. “We just vibed toward the same stuff and enjoyed each other’s playing.”

The London Souls oscillated between a trio and a quartet in their formative years, before ultimately settling on a largely twopronged attack. The band began touring around the many nooks and crannies of New York City, taking every gig they could. “We played college parties, birthday parties,” Neal says. “We started playing clubs in New York before we were 21.”

While honing their live craft, it became apparent that it was time to officially put something down in the studio. “We recorded as a four-piece, but it was never released,” St. Hilaire says.

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New York rockers the London Souls have been sitting on their sophomore record, Here Come the Girls, since early 2013. Not because the duo were fidgety or stuck in the studio wasting away energy (à la another Chinese Democracy) — rather, the band's singer/guitarist, Tash Neal, had to heal and recuperate after surviving a nasty hit-and-run car accident on Broadway in Manhattan back in 2012.

Calling in while backstage at the appropriately located Roundhouse (the classic London venue that was formerly a railway depot), Neal recounts those first moments after he awoke from a coma in the hospital following the accident and saw his nylon-stringed guitar sitting in the corner.

"I sort of motioned for it," he recalls. "It was kind of instinctual and gave me really good comfort at that moment. I only played two or three chords, but it felt right and I kind of knew I was going to be all right. It happened to be in the room, and I was like, 'I know that thing.' I didn't know much at the time, but I knew that thing."

Fully recovered and eager to share, London Souls return to their city the night of the record's release for a headlined show at the Bowery Ballroom on April 7.

"A lot can happen in two to three years, and we're so proud of the record and happy to set it off that way," says Neal. "It's kind of perfect and I personally feel very fortunate."

Here Come the Girls is a callback to early rock 'n' roll records where several styles are flexed and explored. Album opener "When I'm With You" is a Sixties rock/pop anthem that could rival anything found in the Hollies' catalog, while "Crimson Revival" recalls cool Seventies FM radio gold in the vein of power-pop kings Big Star. And no rock record is complete without a Zeppelin III–esque acoustic beauty, as heard in "Isabel."

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Album Review: The London Souls, ‘Here Come the Girls’ Read More: The London Souls, 'Here Come the Girls' - Album Review

New York City-based rockers the London Souls have just released their second album — and it’s a winner.

Here Come the Girls is stocked from top to bottom with soulful, melodic, funky and dirty rock and roll … you know, the good stuff!

So who are the London Souls? Glad you asked. They are singer/guitarist Tash Neal, drummer Chris St. Hilaire and bassist Stu Mahan. They released their (now out-of-print) debut in 2011 and have kept a relatively low profile since then, due in no small part to a serious hit and run accident suffered by Neal.

The London Souls’ sound mixes up traditional influences of hard driving rock, soul and pop. Instead of being a mere retread of tried and true angles, though, Here Come the Girls sounds surprisingly fresh thanks to the stripped down production that lives and breathes throughout the record.

For every Zeppelin-inspired guitar riff, there’s a nod to the Beatles‘ melodic sense, and for every soul-drenched groove, there’s a Byrds-ian harmony that creeps in. In some ways, what they are pulling together here is not miles apart from what Lenny Kravitz was doing some 20-plus years ago. They take their visions of the past and replant them in a current environment, though the songs never sound forced or overtly “retro.”

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