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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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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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Review: Wishes // RHODES

Archive, News, Pop

October 2, 2015

In 2013, things started happening to Baldock in Hertfordshire’s RHODES. His debut EP Raise Your Love was released on Hometown Records, (BBC Radio One’s Phil Taggart) and his songs began gaining radio play. In particular with ‘Your Soul’. A few EPs later and some time off, Wishes, the debut album arrived on September 18. It has been produced by long-time collaborator James Kenosha, which was a wise decision.

A new artist tumbles around the first few years with ideas and proposals, trying and fixating in on what their sound should be, coinciding with how their musical voice should be displayed. Choosing to stick with James Kenosha on his debut album meant the silver lining stayed intact from EP to LP.

The album opens up with ‘intro’, and spoiler alert, that track’s title is the only thing that irks me. Intros are simply peculiar to me. It asks the question “I don’t wanna fade away / Am I gonna make you happy?” Now, whether that’s a doubt towards something personal, or uncertainty towards the music industry and dealing with pleasing his audience, I cannot say, but we will leave it at that for now.

The universe of RHODES is filled with grand gestures, cathedral sounds, and I am tempted to mention Florence + The Machine in this context. While she has a completely different lyrical universe with vast metaphors and an almost fairytale way of conveying her songs, RHODES is a classic singer-songwriter when it comes to words.

A handful of songs are from previous released EPs, worth mentioning is ‘Your Soul’ that started it all. As is ‘Raise Your Love’ that takes the award for best song on the album. It’s lyrically the strongest, and melodically a perfect match between radio friendliness and how it is artistically voiced. With precision, he sings “It’s always on my mind now / the world I adore / caught up in a lie now / it feels like a war.” New mixes and productions of the older songs suit them very well. He avoided what many fails at when putting old songs onto something new and something tells me that was not accidental, because if Wishes is anything it is wholesome and nurtured into a complete and full album.

The title track ‘Wishes’ concludes the album with the lyrics “Wishes like a cold wind on my face / wishes I could warm a frozen lake / oh wishing / wishing you were here.” And now there is a possibly that ‘Intro’ was a doubt towards something personal. Because I do not think he has to worry about how he is being perceived. He definitely did not disappoint on his debut. RHODES has got the voice and the artistry, and there is no doubt he will gain lots of new fans from this.

Article by Flipse Flebo.

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Hunter Hayes releases ’21’ Music Video

Country, Singer/Songwriter, Videos

June 30, 2015

’21’ was released as a single in May this year and has already reached close to 9 million hits on Spotify.

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 10.51.58 PMThe video, which was published a few days ago, features Hunter rocking out on his guitar as well as dancers moving to his beat. Instead of showing their faces we only see their figures dancing, but one could easily tell they are having fun whether they are dancing on their own or with someone else. “Remember what it’s like to just dance all night / We’ll dance all night ” .


The song is one of Hunter’s latest singles, alongside ‘Where is all Begins feat.Lady Antebellum‘ which was released earlier this month, and ‘Young and In Love‘ which was released recently.

’21’ is definitely one of the few songs that I would have on repeat for hours.

’21’ is also available on iTunes. Check out the video here!

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Our Exclusive Interview with Raphael Luther

Editors Choice, Emerging Artists, Folk, Singer/Songwriter

June 25, 2015

Music Dash ExclusiveRecently, I had the chance to interview Singer-Songwriter Raphael Luther about his EP ‘Us and Them‘. It consists of four songs including the track ‘Us and Them‘ which is accompanied by a beautiful music video – available on Youtube.

Check out the interview below!

What or who was your main inspiration to create this EP?

When you spend somoHoVykxUe time in a big city like London, especially as a young artist, you don’t have other choices than doing something to occupy your mind as the dynamism and energy of the city doesn’t really give you any break. Some people find busy jobs, some simply watch TV, for me the only way I found to occupy myself with satisfaction is by playing the guitar and writing tunes. There’s something very rewarding in the creative process that nothing else can give you: a true sense of achievement and “letting things out”. What inspired me for this EP was the process of discovering myself as a young adult and the battles that it takes (past, love, life) and some other things that came to me while I was trying to figure it all out (spirituality, traveling, letting things go). Also, the english weather did influence the mood of this EP.

What is your favorite song off this EP?

I think “Us and Them” is the most unusual and orignial song of this EP and that’s probably why it’s my favorite. The track “Your turn” is also very special one for me, co-written with a very special person. Actually it’s hard to tell between the two.

How would you describe this EP?

This EP is completely homemade (recorded in two different bedrooms across London). So it didn’t have any professional producers involved. I’d say it’s an exploration of what I’m capable to create as I’m still crafting my sound. Concerning the production, I wanted to try something half electronic / half organic mainly because my influences are from both areas (John Mayer, James Blake, Ben Howard). Electronic mainly through the drum beats and organic with the sweetness and folkiness of the acoustic guitar. I’d describe it as a crossover between Atmospheric / Folk and electronic music.

Are there certain moments where you get really inspired to write songs?

Inspiration and creativity are such weird and unpredictable things. I think it’s a matter of being 100% connected to what you feel at the moment. Then, at some point, you’ll feel when the cup is full with an urgent need to pour things out on a piece of paper. At least that’s how it works for me. As I said before it’s totally unpredictable. And that’s what excites me about creativity, there are no boring routines.

Do you play any other instruments besides the guitar?

I actually learned how to play the piano before the guitar when I was very young, around 8. I still write and perform with a keyboard sometimes. Both instruments complement each other so well. I play a little bit of bass and drums as well, when I’m bored.

What other instruments would you like to play?

I’d love to be able to play the citar. It’s an instrument that always fascinated me but I never understood how it worked. It’s completely different from all other music tool I tried.

I understand that you are doing small gigs now. Would you rather play in small venues or larger venues? Why?

I play small venues because I don’t have any other options at the moment. Without management it’s hard to knock the door of bigger places because they wouldn’t take you seriously. That’s the reason why I’m seeking management at the moment and then hopefully I’ll have the opportunity to play bigger gigs in the future. This is one of my dream actually.

What is your favorite song11119524_510422285771489_993387991658010771_o to perform live?

I love performing “Us and Them” because it instantly places the room in a weird mood and it feels like the crowd doesn’t really understand this music but still feel it…  I love this kind of situtations! I always want to surprise the listener live, no matter what.

 Are there any new music or upcoming shows that your listeners can expect?

We just filmed two live videos with a full band in the studio. This should be released in July 2015 on Youtube. I’m planning to record a new EP for 2016 but I want to work with a producer this time. So if there’s any talented producer reading this interview, please do get in touch! Concerning the shows, I play at the Bedroom bar on the 7th July, the Lucky Pig on the 14th July and the awesome Finsbury on the 20th July opening for my good friend U.R.I. All the gigs are taking place in London.

What’s next for you? Where do you see yourself in the years to come?

I want to travel and play my music as much as I can. I know it sounds cliché but after spending four years in the madness that is London, it feels like I need to open my perspectives and get some new inspirations from other places because, at the moment, I’m running out of ideas. I’m actually planning to go to South Africa in 2016 to travel and tour the country for about three months with just a guitar and a van. Concerning the professional career, I hope to collaborate with as much musicians as I can because music is all about sharing experiences and knowledge with each other in order to grow a little bit more everyday as an artist and a person. Hopefully falling in love too.

Article by Cristal Faith Lim

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Single Review: Frank Turner // The Next Storm

Archive, Editors Choice, Rock, Singer/Songwriter

June 20, 2015

Frank Turner is an enigma. Despite having produced five stellar studio albums, countless singles and performing at the 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony, has fanbase remains smaller than it perhaps should be. His supporters, however, are some of the most dedicated in music, and so it comes at no suprise that they were overjoyed on Monday when the singer-songwriter announced not only the release date of his sixth studio album, but a list of UK and U.S. tour dates and – alongside all that – gave them The Next Storm, the first single from ‘Positive Songs for Negative People’.

Accompanied by a music video that features the 33-year-old both fighting (and beating) mixed martial artist and wrestler CM Punk in the ring, ‘The Next Storm’ is – in typical Frank style – an anthem. It’s the hard times, the good times and everything in between. At its heart, its a song about picking yourself up, dusting yourself off and getting on with your life in the best way you can. With many an excellent guitar riff, drum beat and piano melody – performed by Frank himself and, of course, his band The Sleeping Souls – a heavy but foot-tappingly upbeat instrumental is perfectly accented by Frank’s signature vocals belting “I don’t want spend the whole of my life inside / I wanna step out, and face the sunshine”. It certainly has it’s sadnesses, but, mostly, The Next Storm makes you want to dance, sing and do exactly as Frank tells you to – do your best, and be happy.

Article by Amie Bailey

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