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1248

Siboney + Andy // Secret

Breaking, Emerging Artists, Ones to Watch, Pop

December 1, 2016

After years of toil in the studio and on the live circuit, Australian-born London locals Siboney & Andy have finally released their debut EP. ‘Secret’ is the perfect bite-sized introduction to this duo who have earned their stripes as veterans of the live scene and are now aiming to truly make their mark as recording artists. Both handle song-writing duties while Siboney takes the lead on vocals and Andy helms the production and instrumentals; an approach that works well.

Each song brings an entirely new flavour to the equation, creating within the space of only 4 tracks a surprisingly compatible blend of genres. The underlying (or perhaps overlying) theme is well-crafted, good-for-your-ears pop music. But it’s a pop comprised of everything from indie, electronica and at times even a touch of folk, just for good measure.

Standout track ‘See Me Through The Night’ is a great example of their ability to come together to write a genuinely beautiful song. It serves as a great opener and really gives Siboney the opportunity to show her chops as a singer.

Their first single ‘Secret’ sees them sharing vocal duties, using the opportunity to delve into deeper, more emotive territory. As they both sing of betrayal and a forbidden love, piercing guitars both acoustic and electric give it a distinct edge. It stands in stark opposition to the following track ‘Mexico’ which immediately switches mood and brings the fun. Built around a breezy instrumental, this track was made for carefree days of sunshine and road trips.

Their first recorded outing as a duo brings a lot to the table, but it’s the marriage of their crisp, unfaltering production and Siboney’s standout vocal performances that really make this an essential release and a stellar debut effort. Watch this space!

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1117

M.I.A shares ‘Freedun’ collab with Zayn Malik ahead of album release

News, Pop, R&B/Hip-Hop, Singer/Songwriter

September 3, 2016

Hip Hop artist M.I.A has shared a new track ahead of her album launch, expected out on 9th September.

The song called ‘Freedun’ features former One Direction singer-songwriter Zayn Malik, who since leaving the band has forged his own career with the release of his debut album on 25th March 2016, one year to the day after he left One Direction.

His new style of adult themed alt-r&b with a twist of pop aligns well with M.I.A’s, despite her saying in an interview with Annie Mac that working together took them both a little out of their comfort zones.

“It sort of takes me out my comfort zone but kind of takes him out of his a little bit as well. It just worked out.”M.I.A, Interview with Annie Mac, BBC Radio 1

‘AIM’ will be M.I.A’s fifth studio album to date, ‘Freedun’ becoming the third taster of what’s to come on the record after previous releases ‘Bird Song’, produced by the artists previous partner Diplo, and ‘Go Off’, a collaboration between Skrillex and DJ Blaqstarr.

Listen to Freedun:

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1104

Black Eyed Peas reunite to spread important message about gun violence [video]

Breaking, Dance/Electronic, Editors Choice, Pop

September 1, 2016

American music legends the Black Eyed Peas have reunited to spread an important message about gun violence during the US Presidential Election. After five years apart the band have come back together to release a rendition of their song ‘Where Is The Love?’.

Originally released in 2003 for their third album Elephunk, Where Is The Love? was written by Will.i.am, Justin Timberlake, Taboo, apl.de.ap, Printz Board, Michael Fratantuno and George Pajon, Jr. The track topped the charts in both Australia and the UK.

A statement from a spokesperson for the band said that #WHERESTHELOVE “calls for calm, asking citizens of the world to stop the hate and violence that has resulted in many lives lost.” Proceeds from the song will go to Will.i.am’s own foundation i.am.angel – funding educational programs and college scholarships.

The remake features new names including Justin Timerblake (who sang and wrote on the original but wasn’t credited), Mary J. Blige, Tori Kelly, Usher and others. Find it exclusively on Apple Music, [here]

Black Eyed Peas.

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821

Kaiser Chiefs announce UK Tour

Breaking, Editors Choice, News, Pop, Rock

August 26, 2016

Last week the Kaiser Chiefs announced that they will be going on a UK headline tour next year – following the news of their latest album ‘Stay Together’, due out on October 7th 2016. This album succeeds ‘Education, Education, Education and War’ released in 2014. It will be the 7th record in total since the band formed in 2003.

Tickets are already on general sale for all 8 venues, commencing at Llandudno, Venue Cymru Arena on Wednesday 22nd February 2017, and ending in their hometown of Leeds at the First Direct Arena on Saturday 4th March.

Kaiser Chiefs Tour

Tickets:

TicketMaster: po.st/KCTKTM 

GigsandTours: po.st/KCGNT 

AmazonTicketsUK: po.st/KCAMZT 

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954

Album review: Max Jury // debut album

Archive, News, Pop, Rock

June 4, 2016

I’m not even going to try to deny my love for Max Jury’s debut album. When you review, you sometimes just have to give in and just admit you blatantly love something “just because.” And while I’m aware that answer wouldn’t get you far in school, music simply makes us feel stuff, right?

So what’s the deal with this boy from Des Moines, Iowa? So many questions answered with even more questions. Because that’s what’s happening. As you dig into this debut album in the pocket of Max’s corner of the universe, it’s like when you were a kid and your dad built you pillow fort. That excitement when you first drew the blankets to the side and your imagination took you wherever you wanted to go.

‘Numb’ starts of the album, a slow smooth tune, eloquently showing off the vocal chords of this guy. There is a sweetness and lightness to his voice, something a little undefinable but inviting. It seems effortless with the choir on ‘Princess’ and the faster paced ‘Beg & Run’ where Jury sings “Say that you’re alone but you know better / don’t know where you’re going even though you have time / It’s not romantic to take this for granted” (the guitar riff has been stuck in my head for a good two days now.)

Songwriting-wise we’re going to have to touch the subject of the likes of Elton John and Gram Parsons. Drop this kid into the mix and perhaps a new generation will take notice to the art of songwriting before a riff or a beat. “Everybody’s always saying to look over your shoulder / the grass is always greener and I should do what I’m told” he sings on ‘Love That Grows Old’ which is the epitome of that those classics mentioned above. And with that voice, it would seem the soulful Americana was destined for him.

Max Jury fills a space that we didn’t even know was missing from the music scene. Besides the obvious phenomenal songwriting and melody, the final product; what he has put together as a whole — music, feel, atmosphere, authenticity, songwriting and so forth, that’s so rare to hear on a debut album.

You feel like you’re in good hands throughout the extent of the eleven songs. He raises a curiosity. Like peeking into someone’s diary where some of the letters and names have been crossed out. So you listen to the song again, because human nature tells us to continue looking for answers. So many questions answered with even more questions. The fine line of delivering to satisfy and connect with the listener while engaging and still leaving them with questions and want for more. He knows how to walk it.

Article by Flipse Flebo

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1155

Soren Bryce

Archive, Emerging Artists, News, Pop

April 17, 2016

Singer-songwriter Soren Bryce went to LA when she was 16, later she raised over $10,000 on PledgeMusic and recorded her debut EP produced by David Kahne (Lana Del Rey, Ingrid Michaelson) which was released last year. The woman is 19, and just reading her short biography leaves you a little breathless.

Soren has a luxurious and rich sound, but that doesn’t negate the haunting authenticity. Build around simple chords, and a vocal that is hard to ignore, you’re invited into the mind of a young woman. It would be a shame to compare her because she has, after all, an already determined sound at such a young age, but if you’re into anything remotely related to Marina and the Diamonds, her self-titled EP is worth a listen.

“I walk the line / between the fight / between the innocent and the riots” she sings on the stunning ‘Sirens’. The production is wisely simple, there’s nothing to prevent you from paying attention to the lyrics and vocals which more often than not happens for up-and-coming artists.

Genre-wise she’s a getting around. Surprisingly, this is only what makes her EP stand stronger. Again, the simple production becomes the red thread throughout an adventurous extended play, where the artist is allowed to try new things without falling under the classically “confused sound universe” category.

‘Stick it’ is just as different as the rest, but I can’t help but have a flashback to early Imogen Heap days, and no bad words about that fantastic lady, (and this might be a bold statement) but Soren’s got a production behind her that carries the skewed universe and quirks far better.

Bryce is hard to put a label on, and I think ultimately if she carries on the way she has begun, she will be carving a brand new category or two for herself.

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1910

Album review: Matt Corby // Telluric

Archive, Editors Choice, News, Pop

March 25, 2016

After a couple of years of silence, the Aussie returns with his long-awaited debut album Telluric. And it was a wait worthwhile. Many were hoping that the five EPs he has under his belt, could predict any sort of direction he would take on his debut LP, but if you were hoping for something similar, you’re definitely going to be disappointed.

The meaning of the word Telluric is “an electric current which moves underground or through the sea”. The tempo and feel of the album circles and twirls steadily away, making restrained stops for you to catch your breath before continuing onwards. Current or no current, Matt’s is steering his debut ship in the direction he wants to discover.

“Stood in the corner when we would fight / to act upon a line and hang my shit up out to dry.” He smoothly sings on the soothing and indulgent opening track ‘Belly Side Up’. The slow pace of the record starts here and it doesn’t change much throughout the album.  (I refrain from using the word current again but it’s so cunning and cleverly used by Matt himself.)

There are continuing moments of what appears as ambivalent, but what seem to come effortlessly to Matt might be actually meticulously thought out. We just don’t know, and that’s what makes it exciting. For Mac DeMarco fans and in particular listeners of Salad Days, Telluric would be something to dig into.

Paces are kept at a low and mellow speed, from the choirs and clapping on the simplistic ‘Monday’ to the wholesome psychedelic jazz atmosphere on ‘Sooth Lady Wine’. There is a diary-like form to the songs, representing chapters or emotional difficulties you come across in life. The most lifted and upbeat song of the bunch, is the soulful ‘Why Dream’ where Matt discloses “Just to be like you, but you talk too much to listen / and I want you more, and we are meant to be broken / and I forgive warmly, when you’ve got a change of heart.”

Matt Corby’s voice is something you cannot avoid addressing. From his long-forgotten Australia Idol moments, this man has grown vocally as well as in years. The control he possesses, the way a word can bear one meaning in a song and change in the next is outstanding. He’s far from face amongst the crowd when you hear his voice.

The end of Telluric is where we find the hypnotic ‘Empire Attractions’. He asks, “Something’s got to shape us / Boredom’s going to shape us / something’s got to shake us out of this and save us /how can they save you if they can’t help themselves?” Matt’s got vision and we need not worry about where his vision lies in terms of his music. It’s like he has taken the book of soul music, dusted it off, and left his own notes in the margin.

Article by Flipse Flebo

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1047

Album review: AURORA // All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend

Archive, News, Pop, Singer/Songwriter

March 17, 2016

Aurora Aksnes explains her album in one sentence, “My album, it’s mainly about how bad experiences can be good memories.” And despite the dark pop delving into the melancholic spectra of songwriting, there is still a feeling of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, in the debut album of the 19-year-old Norwegian.

It starts off with the tranquil first single of the album, ‘Runaway’ where she sings “And I was running far away / would I run off the world someday? / Nobody knows.” But it steps up the strength in ‘Conqueror’ with big drums and an even bigger lyrical surroundings. And you would be deaf not to notice a pinch of Florence + The Machine reminiscing in between the beats.

AURORA plays around with the elements of the earth and the corresponding elements of light – or the lack thereof. In particular, with the song ‘Running With The Wolves’ she dances gracefully on the right side of the lines. It never engages too much with the heavy melancholy that can drain the life of a song, it keeps a subtle grip on lightness and anticipation which gently knocks on the door for the duration of the album.

‘Through The Eyes Of A Child’ shows a very honest young woman, but with great perception of the world around her, and inside of her. “World is covered by our trails / scars we cover up with paint / watch them preach in sour lies / I would rather see this world through the eyes of a child.” If this were the 90s, AURORA would be the kind of artist you would pull out the booklet of the CD for, and read every lyric on the album. There’s substance to her, and the term an old soul trapped in a young body seem very fitting.

She manages to bring the listener aboard her ship, and it’s a boat you don’t want to get off of. We get to see the world through a pair of spectacles, a reality painted with the words of a fairytale; anecdotes that tell the unsweetened and sometimes unkind truths while remaining hopeful. On both ‘Murder Song 5, 4, 3, 2, 1” and ‘Warrior’ there’s a sincereness in which Aurora spills her realities. She has been playing the piano since childhood, and it shows, because it is by far the piano-driven songs that are her forte.

She might be singing she’s running away, but AURORA is running towards something quite special with her debut album. If this is what she delivers at just 19, even our universe will not limit her.

(Social Media photography by Nicecleanwhite)

Article by Flipse Flebo

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1830

Ones To Watch: Get to Know BANNERS

Archive, Editors Choice, Emerging Artists, Ones to Watch, Pop, Singer/Songwriter, Videos

March 16, 2016

Mike Nelson, better known to the masses as BANNERS, is a singer-songwriter with a unique sound who is making his mark in the world of indie music. MusicDash caught up with BANNERS as he finished off his first Canadian tour to chat about music and his time in Canada.

MusicDash: What did it feel like when you got signed to Island Records?

BANNERS: It’s an absolute on and a privilege to be signed to Island. It’s funny with major labels. I think in signing to a record label you are always aware of it’s legacy, of the amazing artists and music that are or have been involved with that label. It becomes your responsibility to extend that legacy and that is what I try to always keep in mind.
I think there’s a generally perceived wisdom that the record industry is run by suits and businessmen who are interested exclusively in making money, and the greatest pleasure for me was discovering that that is simply not true, that, actually, these labels are full of people that are intensely passionate about music, and about creating it. It’s been amazing to be so supported and Im working hard to repay that faith.

MusicDash: What made you decide to contact Sephen Kozmeniuk to work on your sound?

BANNERS: Like so much in music, like in life, an opportunity arrises and you have to grasp that opportunity and see where it goes. I was in Canada to do some songwriting with a couple of writers and he was interested in meeting up. I liked him so we tried a couple of sessions and it went from there. There was the opportunity to work with a few other producers but I realised pretty quickly that he was my guy! We have so many similar musical influences and we both want to make music that means something to people!

MusicDash: What have been some of your favourite memories from your time living in Toronto? (It’s pretty far from Liverpool to say the least!)

BANNERS: I really like Toronto. I’ve met so many great people there. My band are all from Toronto too. Truthfully though my life in Toronto has revolved around music so it’s just a pleasure to be in a place where I can just immerse myself into that creative headspace. St Lawrence Market is amazing too.

MusicDash: What has been your favourite show from the Canadian tour?

BANNERS: It’d be unfair to pick one! They’ve all had their moments. Playing these songs live is such a new thing for me that every live experience, good or bad, is important because it gives you the opportunity to learn from your mistakes and figure out how to make the next show better.

MusicDash: “Shine a Light” has really taken the world by storm. Why do you think people like the song so much? How does it feel to have people respond to your sound?

BANNERS: I’ve always believed that if you want a song to mean something to people you have to make sure it means something to you first. And Shine a light means a lot to me, so maybe that’s what helps it resonate. It’s hard to say why people like it, but after spending so much time writing and recording it its amazing to hear that people do like it. That’s one of the pleasures of playing live really. Having the opportunity to meet people and let them tell you their experiences with the songs you’ve created. After the gig last night a guy told me it was the first song he sent to his new girlfriend on a mixtape so it means a lot to him. It’s things like that that make it worthwhile.

MusicDash: What was the recording and songwriting process like for your EP?

BANNERS: The stressful part is writing really, it’s ultimately very rewarding but there are certainly days where you worry you’re never going to be able to write ever again. In terms of the EP i already had “Ghosts” written from a long time ago, but all the other songs Stephen and I, along with a guy called Todd Clark, devoted a chunk of time to writing and the EP is the result. Once the songs were written we built the tracks up into a demo form so we could sit with them for a while. It’s important to give yourself time away from a song because it can be hard to analyze it properly otherwise. And then once we were happy with them we built the tracks up with session musicians.

MusicDash: As you’ve spent so much time in Canada this year, are you exited to step up to play large festival crowds like at WayHome and Osheaga?

BANNERS: I can’t wait. Both festivals sound brilliant and the line-ups are amazing. I love LCD Soundsystem, the Killers, Arcade Fire and Radiohead so I think it’s gonna be a pretty fun summer!

MusicDash: How did it feel to perform on Jimmy Kimmel?

BANNERS: It was great, obviously. Again, it was an absolute honour to be asked to play and from that point on I was just determined to give a good performance. Which is easy because they’re all so professional there that they give you the tools to do as well as you possibly can. I had great faith in myself and my band to do a good job so we all really enjoyed it!

MusicDash: Who are some of your favourite up and coming artists right now?

BANNERS: There’s a few bands back in Liverpool that I really love. Married to the Sea, Silent Sleep and a really cool band called Ex Easter Island head. I’m really proud of my home town and the music that comes out of there and I can’t wait to play there in may.

MusicDash: You recorded the song “Half Light” for the TV show The Royals. What made you decide to do that?

BANNERS: Well, The Royals had been really kind to me, they’d played two of my songs, “Start a Riot” and “Firefly”, on there already and needed some music for their end of season episode. They had a demo that Dan from Bastille has made and asked me to record. Which I was really happy to do because I think it’s a great song!

 

MusicDash: What are some fun facts about yourself? 

BANNERS: When I’m not thinking about music I’m thinking about football, and specifically Liverpool Football Club. I was home for christmas when they played my song over the tannoy in the stadium which was probably my musical high point so far! I can’t imagine what would have to happen to top it!

MusicDash: What is your favourite part about performing?

BANNERS: Like I say these songs mean a lot to me, so to get to play them to people is just brilliant. The guys in my band are brilliant and are my best mates so to get to do that with your best friends is an indescribable feeling. As shine a light has been on the radio a lot seeing people sing it back to me is so much fun!

MusicDash: As you’re heading out on your first American tour at the end of the month, what can your fans expect from those shows?

BANNERS: Well I’ll be in America with all that American food so they can probably expect a slightly larger version of me as the tour goes on. But really they can expect an English boy with songs that mean loads to him playing with people that mean loads to him desperately trying to be anywhere near as cool as Jeff Buckley. The other bands I’m playing with “The Moth and the Flame” and “Pop Etc” are great so everyone should check them out!

Follow along with BANNERS at listentobanners.com!

His self-titled EP is available to download now.

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976

A band you need to know about: Lukas Graham

Archive, News, Pop, Singer/Songwriter

March 3, 2016

”It was a big, big world but we thought we were bigger” Lukas Graham sings on the hit single ’7 years’ which climbed lists across Europe and landed him a number one spot on the UK chart. But he also reached the top somewhere further away imaginable, Australia. The last time Denmark made a mark down under was with Aqua’s ‘Barbie Girl’ and we have fortunately come a long way since. The Ghetto pop of Lukas Graham is on a roll.

The four piece band joins a dozen of Danish artists like Oh land, MØ and Alex Vargas, making waves and getting noticed by the world outside of Scandinavia. Like with everything else, nothing comes without hard work and effort. But for the Danes, taking a step away from the terminology of ‘Jantelov’ (‘Law of Jante’) which put into few words mean, you’re not to think you are anything special. It has been a social norm imprinted in the society of Scandinavia for generations, and in some ways work as an opposite to the American Dream; wanting to achieve something and speaking up about it is frowned upon. Having people liking your product despite going against the grain of a society is an accomplishment in itself.

In the song ‘Happy Home’ Lukas sings, “Mama called about the paper turns out they wrote about me / now my broken heart’s the only thing that’s broke about me / so many people should have seen what we got going on / I only wanna put my heart and life in songs.” The guy is a solid storyteller, spilling the beans as if in a conversation with his audience, and it’s what sets him apart.

There’s a hazardous honesty to it, and that can lead to two outcomes: A sense of too much cliché which ultimately makes you careless to the message, or, here’s a kid saying exactly what’s on his mind, with no pompousness to it, and it draws people in. I think they are heading towards latter. Media has been having a hard time finding a sound or band and compare them to, which perhaps is the greatest applause you can give them.

Before the break into the outlandish charts, the soulful pop band released their debut album in 2012, and with tireless touring later, so many record labels were out to get their hands on them, they could cherry-pick their own record deal. They ended up signing with American Warner Bros Records at the end of 2013. In between there was the heavy tour across Europe, and selling out stadium gigs in heir home country alone is a bit unheard of. The quartet is steadily climbing charts around the world, and with the new album released on March 25, it is followed up by a tour across the US.

A few years back the discussions were whether or not Lukas Graham would translate to a broader audience. Now the talk is all about how many countries he can beat Rihanna, Justin Bieber and Adele in like he did in Australia and the UK.

 

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