Having already accrued 4 albums to his name, Adam Lanceley is not one to slack when it comes to writing music. It seems that the London based singer-songwriter is simply a machine, churning out track after track. But Adam's new EP 'Back To The Sunshine' displays a musician who has come a long way since his beginnings in the industry and now he is donating all proceeds of the record to charity.
When Adam was young, he was involved in a horrific car accident that left him fighting for his life. He sustained severe head injuries and his family were informed that he would probably not walk or talk again. In lieu of this, Adam has shown the utmost determination in recovering, proving those doctors wrong, and now he even runs 10k races and marathons for charity.
Consequently, Adam decided to donate all net proceeds from 'Back To The Sunshine' to the Brain and Spine Foundation, a charity he was worked with in the past and one that means a lot to him.
When writing his music, Adam is influenced by a mix of factors: everything from topical and relevant events to personal experiences from the present day, as well as his younger years. For example, destinations such as Yorkshire and Devon, amongst other places, have provided Adam with fountains of ideas that he has turned into intriguing and meaningful lyrics, attributing ordinary places with mystical grandeur and reflecting fond memories from his childhood.
The talent show platform has been a mainstay in the reality TV sector for a long time now and it seems to have been dominated by the same few shows like The X-Factor, The Voice, and Britain's Got Talent - two of those shows being spearheaded by the formidable music industry shark, Simon Cowell.
But now there is a new fish in the pond called Salute and its rivaling the big guns by providing an alternative platform for unsigned artists to showcase their music.
Salute is all about grass roots music; giving talented UK musicians a fair opportunity to show what they've got. Shows like the X-Factor have often been criticised for always focusing on the monetary side of the music industry, but this is exactly what Salute aims to combat.
Initially, Salute 'Music Makers' will upload their music via an app (avoiding the cringey audition phases) whereupon a listening phase will occur. Tracks will be vetted by industry curators and professionals such as Feargal Sharkey, former Undertone front-man who is heading the face of the project. Applicants will be narrowed down to a top 100, and eventually a final 6 will be decided by public vote.
It is these final 6 contestants who will feature on the live shows, exhibiting original and themed music each week. No longer will there simply be artists performing 'karaoke' of classic musicians- everything will be fresh and new, empowering the talented song-writers and musicians of our country, not just those who are good at singing and can be molded into the perfect pop-stars.
Salute have also teamed up with Unilad to form a fusion of social media, digital and TV to power the competition online. As well as this, Jamal Edwards MBE has also got on board with Salute and will be talking at their launch event at London venue, Omeara on 22nd March 2017.
Whilst some of the other talent shows can boast top prizes for their winners, such as record deals or opportunities to perform on special occasions at prestigious events, Salute beats them all, offering a £50,000 prize to the overall winner of the competition, that they can use to boost their music career.
Applications for Salute will open April 3rd for all contestants, whilst the listening phase will begin mid-May and finish in July. It will then be the time for the public vote, with the live shows beginning in September and the winner being announced in October.
So you thought classical music was a thing of the past? Where older men with wigs compose epic pieces with tons of straight-jacket musicians helping them out in the performance- how wrong you were!
Trying to reinvent the sound of classical music for modern audiences is the talented young Maltese composer, Edward Abela. His brand of soft piano-led compositions are nothing like what you would expect from 'classical' music, employing imaginative soundscapes and effects to ameliorate and drag the genre into something wholly more appealing and fresh.
With his new EP entitled 'Echoes', Abela has built upon his work from his previous album 'Chronicles', giving us much of the same style that he has built a name for himself with. Fans will be pleased to hear that he has not strayed too far from his signature style, yet he has developed his ability to create images through his music and this is key for Edward who always aims to tell a story through his work.
'Stella Maris' is an intriguing piece with an innate curiosity and child-like nature that you can instantly imagine as part of a film score. There is no doubt that Edward's experience as a composer for Warner/Chappell has helped him pioneer this filmic style, but equally, he can be placed up there with the best, including his influences Ludovico Einaudi and Nils Frahm.
Meanwhile, the lead track 'Echoes' is an interweaving masterpiece of complex instrumentation that displays Edward's true compositional abilities. Whilst other sounds and effects are introduced, providing originality, the piano is always at the heart of Abela's work, creating beautiful, yet often simple melodies that transport listeners away in just a few notes.
There is an ambience and atmosphere to Abela's work which is rare to find and the cinematic nature of his music would be equally at home providing a soundtrack to sit back and relax to as much as it would be on screen.
Overall, 'Echoes' picks up where Edward left off with his last album, but this trademark style is quickly becoming synonymous with the composer and his undeniable talents. Well worth a listen if you're ready for some deep thinking!
M3staken (M3)identifies himself as primarily a hip-hop artist, but it can certainly be said that he is like no other hip-hop artist you have heard before.
The young, yet talented producer and musician has grown up in South Carolina, developing a unique style of music that pushes boundaries as much as it pleases it the critical listener's ear.
His new soundtrack album 'Apex' is somewhat of an experimental, concept piece that builds and develops M3staken's hip-hop roots with genre-defying hints of both electronic and classical music. Of course, these aren't style you would normally blend together, or even associate for that matter, but M3's willingness to see what happens when you do is both commendable and impressive. It's not often you come across a young artist who is quite as ambitious with their musical experiments as M3staken.
'In Space' exhibits jarring hip-hop beats with a discerning drone and the first example of his piano skills on the album thrown in. It's a dark instrumental piece, but one that is thought provoking and image conjuring too. 'Apex' is by no means a traditional soundtrack album, but somehow you feel like there would definitely be a place for it in the film market.
'YaphetKotto' displays more of M3's dissonant and fractured style but it is not just noise; there is structure in the unstructure of it all, only proving M3's talents that clearly belie his years.
Moving in a lightly different direction, 'Milo' provides us with a much more melodically pleasing tune, layered on top of complex beats and subtle bass. It often be easy to turn everything up when composing music, but M3 is subtle and considered in his production, bringing us a sound like no other.
Overall, if you're looking for something a little different, something a little left field, but you're still a hip-hop lover at heart- give M3staken's Apex a try. It will certainly take you to new ground and expand your musical horizons.
In the run up to to releasing his debut solo album, Welsh singer-songwriter James Kennedy has dropped his emotional new video for the single 'Unconditional'.
Kennedy was formerly part of the hardcore rock group Kyshera, but non-stop touring led to him suffering from bouts of depression, forcing him to take a break from music.
However, incidentally it was whilst James was gathering his thoughts that he found the inspiration to get back to songwriting and pen his new album, 'Home'. The process became a form of therapy for Kennedy and it was within just a few months that he had written, recorded and mastered the album.
The record takes a distinct diversion from James' roots in hardcore rock, moving away from the aggression of the genre towards a a softer form of rock, with more pop-hooks. As a result, Kennedy's quality as a musician is demonstrated through his versatility in style and he has looked to himself and his deeper feelings to inspire much of the material on 'Home'.
The new video for 'Unconditional' is a real tearjerker, showing the love between human beings, whether that be between man and woman, mother and son, or even human and dog.
If you want to get to know James a little better then why not watch his 'twinterview' where he answers questions posed to him by his twitter followers:
Having released his americana-folk album, 'Call Me The Moon' recently, Belgian singer-songwriter Mark L. Oakes has been busy making the video for his single, 'Shredded Jeans' which you can see here:
With simple, no-frills black and white visuals accompanying the beautifully crafted track, Mark succeeds in drawing the emotion out through the picturesque landscapes seen in the video.
Not only this, but since Mark has labelled the album as perfect for a 'karmic road trip', the video seems only fitting to feature Mark wandering, in search of something, unknown, in the wilderness.
Bringing back a seemingly forgotten style of easy-listening, folk music, Mark's style is one for the nostalgic listeners, reliving the days of Neil Young and James Taylor. Despite this, Mark is also influenced by more contemporary musicians such as Tom Petty and Ryan Adams.
Brighton based band Warsaw Radio are bringing a whole new level of songwriting to the game with their new single, 'After Eve'.
Formed in 2013, Warsaw radio create a beautifully crafted blend of rock-pop, with orchestral tinges and a folk infused edge. It's a potent combination that makes for some great listening.
'After Eve', which has an intriguing name as it is, focuses on the imaginative idea of what would have happened if Adam and Eve had been separated after their banishing from the Garden of Eden. Sung from the perspective of Adam, listeners are transported into a whole other realm through front-man Brian McNamara's inventive approach to songwriting. Ask yourself, how often do hear a song that takes on a completely different perspective other than the singer? Whilst someone who doesn't know the subtext of 'After Eve' might simply think it relates to a personal experience of a member of the band, it can often be a mistake to associate poetic voice with author. This is where Warsaw Radio differentiate themselves from similar music on the market.
McNamara's rich and warm vocals open the track alongside a subtle string section whose chord progression gradually builds in both texture and grandeur as the song continues. Suddenly Brian's voice raises up a notch as the bass drum kicks in, eventually making way for the violin led hook. As the song builds towards its crescendo, there's a sense of severity and seriousness over the situation being addressed in the song and this creates strong imagery from the music.
A fantastic instrumental break provides contrast to the rest of the song, but also allows it to build up once again, in order to drop back into the chorus. Not only is there a deep meaning and story behind 'After Eve', but the consideration of structure and composition is second to none. There are pop hooks in there making for a catchy listen, yet the orchestral sound championed by the band places them in their own whole category- it's hard to pin down, and this is a good thing.
If like me, you were drawn to the band's name, you'll be surprised to hear how it came about. McNamara was reading about the siege of Warsaw in 1939 during WW2 and how the orchestra of the Warsaw Radio continued to play and air their music throughout the chaos. Eventually, their protest was brought to an end when an artillery shell destroyed the transmission mast, but Brian was so inspired by the story, he named his band after them.
He said: "The story really inspired me. Working as an original artist in what can be a tough industry can be hard and having an inspiration like these guys in 1939 helps to keep you going”.
Overall, 'After Eve' is a break-out stamp on the music industry from a band who have found a truly unique sound. With an original sound and inspirational songwriting that is second to none, Warsaw Radio are one you should definitely keep an eye on.
You might not have heard of Jodie H. Dunn yet, but she is certainly making her mark on the music industry with her outstanding vocal capabilities and affinity for songwriting.
The young singer-songwriter has always been fascinated with music, singing in the garden and the playground as a child, even pretending that her neighbours were her audience. Since then, Jodie has eagerly developed her talents, teaching herself a little piano in order to help her songwriting process.
Her latest single, 'I Belong In Hell' is a dark, brooding ballad powered by Jodie's distinctive vocals and a subtle, yet potent piano hook. As Jodie grew older and suffered with bullying at school, penning songs became a sort of diary for her and 'I Belong In Hell' touches on the idea of someone controlling when you are feeling really low.
The haunting little piano hook opens the track with Jodie's vocals gently soaring above, all before the pounding drum beat enters, adding substance and texture. Subtlety is the name of the game in 'I Belong in Hell' and this is partly down to the skills of producer Andy Whitmore of Greystoke studios. For example, the bass line sits quietly in the background but provides a depth of sound that only goes to reinforce the seriousness of Jodie's lyrics.
Speaking of which, it takes an experienced songwriter to come up with such profound and meaningful lyrics, yet Jodie is only just starting out in the professional music world. As a result, you know that she is going places with her music. Although the bullying that Jodie experienced was deeply upsetting, even forcing her to move schools during her GCSE exams, it is these experiences that have provided her with the powerful material to write songs like 'I Belong In Hell'.
Preferring to write emotive ballad style songs, Jodie can be compared to artists as big as Adele and Sam Smith, but she is inspired by a wide range of music, but most notably by American singer-songwriter, Jhene Aiko. Speaking of Adele who sang the bond theme for 'Skyfall', Jodie's 'I Belong In Hell' is exactly the kind of track you can imagine working well with the opening of a bond film too, with its stunning vocals and the powerful drop during the chorus.
Overall, 'I Belong In Hell' is a track worthy of the biggest names in pop music yet is has surprisingly been written by a young (but highly talented) songwriter from Swindon. Watch this space and Jodie H. Dunn may well be the next big thing - or maybe just wait for the next bond film!
You can watch Jodie talking about how she writes her songs here:
With the sort of experience that Matt Boroff has in his hands, you might feel like you should have heard of him, especially since he has shared stages with giants of rock, Queens of the Stone Age, Calexico and even Nirvana!
The Nirvana gig was back in the day when Matt was playing with his high school band, but since then he has performed under a number of guises, forming Matt Boroff and the Mirrors, with whom he enjoyed success, and now he has embarked on a solo project with his new album 'Grand Delusion'.
'What A Shame' is the first single from the new record and it displays Boroff's alt-rock sound at its most powerful, driven by walls of distortion and Matt's deadly baritone.
Boroff shows his vocal range too, opening the song softly before unleashing the animal inside him during the chorus as he screams the song's title. A noodling, western style guitar breaks up waves of distortion, providing a considered and unusual contrast that works surprisingly well.
Having dropped big names already in this review, I won't do it any more, but clever listeners will recognise similarities between QOTSA, Nirvana and Matt. There's a distinct early 90s sound, taking on the heavy elements of grunge, but there's glimpses of gentleness too, particularly through the lyricism. For example, 'Your air-conditioned wax museum is melting in a heat wave' conjures a graphic, quite horrifying image (especially if you've seen House of Wax), but these cryptic lyrics are not just for show, there is meaning behind them.
The album as a whole addresses complex themes such as greed, nationalism and war mongering, so one can admire the way that Matt discusses these in such a profound manner. His lyrics invite debate and provoke thought, rather than just being forgotten in the background.
If the video for 'What A Shame' is anything to go by, Matt is quite the performer, too. He oozes charisma, handling his guitar as if he were taming a wild stallion and this confidence is mirrored through his confident songwriting and lyrics.
Overall, 'What A Shame' resurrects sounds from a by-gone era, adapting the style to fit modern concerns and contemporary issues. Consequently, Boroff's style isn't just alt-rock for the sake of nostalgia, he is pioneering a progressive sound that fuses the true heart of rock music with clever lyricism, making for a potent and unmissable combination, worthy of any rock fan's ears.
Tsunami Section is the musical vehicle of Anna Chiara and Felicia Singson, who create an old-skool, retro disco style of pop that takes you back to the good ol' days.
This certainly isn't to say that their music is dated by any means, the duo take influence from an era of pop music that thrived on catchy hooks and danceable beats and these are exactly the things Tsunami Section employ in their contemporary-disco style.
'Keep My Spinning Wheel' is he kind of track that will get stuck in your head because of the superbly-crafted pop chorus but it also has a deeper meaning. The track focuses on the idea of karma and whilst it is often discussed in negative terms, Tsunami Section look to the bright side of it, pushing forward the idea that no matter what live throws at you, there will always be another chance.
Clearly, the girls of Tsunami Section, along with writer, Oliver Fell-Holden, know what makes a good pop track and they've tapped into the formula by using the song title 'Keep My Spinning Wheel' as the infectious hook that underpins the track. The classic use of instrumentation is subtly altered through the use of a brass section that adds another level to the song. From this, you can tell that Tsunami Section aren't trying to do anything 'out there' with their music, but this is possibly the best thing about them; they aim to make great pop music that gets people up and dancing and this is certainly the case with 'Keep My Spinning Wheel.'
Listen to 'Keep My Spinning Wheel' here:
The duo are no stranger to live performance either, having taken their music to over 100 venues across India, in places such as Delhi, Mizoram and Gurgaon.
As well as album, single and gig reviews we now have sections devoted to looking at the latest tech including mobile phones, audio and TV for the home and even cars. In short anything you can listen to music on or in. Or just stuff our crack team of writers things is interesting.
Please feel free to send us any comments or your own reviews and recommendations.