Blues, News, Singer-Songwriter

The John O’Brien Experience takes the UK by storm with a 6-stop live tour announcement

Having performed shows across the world, I am so excited to bring my live show, The John O’Brien Experience, to the UK this July. The UK has such a rich musical history that has thoroughly influenced my work and I cannot wait to come over and share in that with you all” – John O’Brien

A critically acclaimed American blues singer-songwriter with seven albums under his name and over 600,000 streams from his latest singles, John O’Brien (Who has also been regularly billed as The John O’Brien Experience) is kicking off a six city UK tour in July, bringing his unforgettable live shows across the pond this summer.

Characterized by his theatrical yet eclectic style, The John O’Brien Experience live show rides a tasteful wave through the seas of dance-hall ballads to hard rock and acoustic ballads. The live show’s line-up will see John O’Brien take to the stage among a very gifted roster of UK-based musicians that complete his talented backing band, in front of a back drop of breath-taking visual effects. The new tour will follow in the foot steps of his rave reviews from critics which truly make the excitement for the John O’Brien Experience palpable, and John O’Brien has played numerous other prestigious venues across the globe that have seen him travel across the US, Madrid, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Sydney & The Caribbean over the years.

Crowds should gather at John O’Brien’s latest stops when he tours in July because, instead of just going through the motions following a four-decades plus career, he has continually remained highly active as a recording artist and he has garnered even more praise for his recent releases. His latest album – 2019’s ‘The Love You Need’ – has been streamed by his fans over 2 million times across Spotify, Soundcloud, YouTube and more. A follow up EP – 2020’s ‘That Girl Is Trouble’ amassed four hit singles that have been streamed over half a million times alone. Additionally, a new single – ‘The Spider’s Love Web’ – has continued the trend in recent weeks, having achieved over 71,000 Spotify streams in the last couple of weeks. The well-adorned contemporary blues and dance-rock guitarist will deservedly continue to advance his storied profile in the near-future.

Gaining huge popularity for his timely hits infused with the spirits of Classic Rock’s finest, you will be kicking yourself if you miss out on The John O’Brien Experience, a once-in-a-lifetime journey in music.

Tour Schedule (July 2022)

19th – Old Fire Station, Bournemouth

21st – The Bullingdon, Oxford

23rd – The Leeds Warehouse, Leeds

26th – Hare & Hounds, Birmingham

28th – SUB89, Reading

31st – Camden Assembly, London

Words by Jacob Braybrooke

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classical, Track reviews

NF Showcases: ARIA – ‘The Next Life’

A new double single release, including the A-side ‘The Next Life’ and the B-side ‘The Lady In White’ as us old folk used to call them back in the day, has marked the grand return of the critically acclaimed Italian composer and producer Aria (Whose real name is Mariano Schiavolini) as the former member of Italian Prog-Rock band Celeste and Flight Of The Eagle multi-media project founder aims to prove that he’s still got it in celebration of Earth Day on April 22nd. However, with a legacy spanning collaborations with acts like Kit Woolven (David Bowie, Thin Lizzy) and Daniel Boone (Kraftwerk, The Who), his reputation as the creator of the leading Italian rock record label Dischi Noi, his staple performances at the Sanremo Music Festival and his concert production on Rock At Midnight for Italia 1 TV, outlasting the decades – Can Aria still deliver the goods?

‘The Next Life’ aims to break up the traditional album format and takes a similar approach to the more expanded multimedia universe style of recent releases like Royksopp’s ‘Profound Mysteries’ LP in how it blends visual and audio elements together to create a more fully formed creative project. Bringing light to the awful conditions that animals are subject to, lead single ‘The Next Life’ uses dynamic, socially charged hip-hop stylings with huge cross-over potential to build a narrative about the animals – and their habitats – who are on the verge of extinction. This also reflects Aria’s work as an avid environmentalist and advocate for various animal associations like the Animals Asia Foundation. Aria is very committed to ending bear breeding on bile farms and improving the huge environments that surrounds wildlife in Asia. He meets these needs with ‘The Next Life’ – a record that enlists the help of the upcoming Houston-based rapper R. Reed on vocals and Los Angeles-based author B. Warner, who wrote the lyrics. This allows Aria to explore his passions clearly.

Starting off with a soulful piano riff, ‘The Next Life’ stands out for its swooping chorus, fairly upbeat tone and honest lyricism about wishing better fortunes for the animals that we neglect as industrial practices take a hold over endangered species. While kept at a mid-tempo pace, there is enough of a pop element for the track to catch on with mainstream radio stations because it feels uncomplicated and accessible, as it reveals its biggest strength in communicating the message to the widest crowd of listeners possible. An emotionally charged hip-hop delivery in the verses brings the tracks socio-environmental themes about how we exploit wildlife as humans, and how we take natural resources and animal-based products for granted, and how we can inspire change by taking action on these situations by putting the animals before ourselves. The tone clashes at times a little, as the hip-hop verses can feel a little too harsh for the more downtempo stylings of the classical piano arrangements, and its fair to critique the track in how it can trip itself up just a little in terms of consistency and tone. However, there’s enough emotional qualities to pull it through and each of the components are quite well-crafted, giving the song a comforting feel.

Having orchestrated media projects across Los Angeles, Prague and Johannesburg, Aria provides us with a comforting reminder of his contemporary classical music talents and his humanitarian aid work outside of music with ‘The Next Life’, which has the potential to connect easily with casual audiences due to its creative expression regarding Earth Day and its demands of calling an audience to take action. It works best when Aria is operating more within his comfort zone, but it smoothly wears its true humanitarian heart on its sleeve.

Words by Jacob Braybrooke

Header Image courtesy of ARIA’s Facebook page

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Alternative, Track reviews

NF Showcases: John O’Brien – ‘The Spider’s Love Web’

Set to provide some memorable first-rate entertainment nights with a small UK tour beginning in July 2022, John O’Brien is up to his critically acclaimed old tricks again with the release of ‘The Spider’s Love Web’, a new single that has already surpassed over 71,000 streams on Spotify. It adds to his already impressive tally, as he has gained over 2.5 million Spotify streams and 500k views on YouTube.

Also known as J.O.B.E. – John O’Brien has been enthusiastically recording music and playing to crowds for over four decades, having released seven albums and counting. He has performed across the US, Madrid, Amsterdam, Sydney, Tokyo and The Carribean – with plenty of airplay support on SiriusXM. Back for more with his current performing act (J.O.B.E. – The John O’Brien Experience), he has been working hard in the studio for an original new album that is due to be released next month. A track that follows the story of a guy falling in love with a girl at a hot and steamy dance club who weaves her “Spider’s Web” around him by the time that the morning comes, ‘The Spider’s Love Web’ is a seductive new taster for the LP.

Serving as a follow-up to both his 2019 album, ‘The Love You Need’ (which has received positive reviews from dozens of professional music critics) and his 2020 EP, ‘That Girl Is Trouble’ (which has garnered over 500,000 digital streams on Spotify alone), ‘The Spider’s Love Web’ follows John O’Brien’s traditional production methods. He fields a tasteful and strong act that encompasses a few different genres – from the twangy country sensibilities of the non-electronic instrumentation to the raspy maturity of his vocals that evoke a blues feel – which is performed in a theatrical format, aided by his talented backing band which includes a roster of UK-based musicians, along with active visual effects for his live performances.

Following the narrative of a man who searches for love in a night club, which seems rather dodgy by the sounds of things conveyed by his lyrics, and ultimately finds it for a brief moment before the would-be love interest shows a biting set of fangs before abandoning and mocking him when she leaves the dance club, ‘The Spider’s Love Web’ offers a very sensual take on casual love in a public setting. The main bulk of the track plays off O’Brien’s mature pop delivery – that would appeal to fans of La Roux, James Righton or Roisin Murphy in how grown-up that it feels compared to the pop records that dominate the mainstream radio charts – with some 80’s-leaning guitar riffs that balance a set of melancholy and wit found within his voice.

A seductive bass groove drives the smoky backing vocal and sultry acoustic guitar melodies forwards, while the chirping keyboard riffs keep the uptempo skew of the instrumentation going. The tone of O’Brien’s voice points to a darker tone where his wishes of finding a partner are not fulfilled, and even mocked, that prevent the character from truly achieving what he wants. While never overtly explicit of a sexual nature, the vocals feel alluring and suggestive, and the tension is payed off nicely by a more anthemic and crowd-pleasing guitar solo that leads to the story’s natural conclusion, where the story is ultimately left open for interpretation.

While it feels like it is pitched to a rather niche demographic in terms of not conforming to the pleasures of more simplistic pop tracks in the modern charts, the dance club theme is begging for remixes. Overall, it feels like a very welcome return for O’Brien, who gives the story plenty of space to develop more depth and creates something that feels as though it rewards repeated listening for you.

Words by Jacob Braybrooke

Tour Schedule for July 2022

19th – Old Fire Station, Bournemouth

21st – The Bullingdon, Oxford

23rd – The Leeds Warehouse, Leeds

26th – Hare & Hounds, Birmingham

28th – SUB89, Reading

31st – Camden Assembly, London

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Indie Rock, Track reviews

NF Showcases: Tony Goff & The Broken Colours – ‘Mirrors’

Purpose-built for pre-existing fans of The Kooks or The Fratellis, Tony Goff and The Broken Colours are a Buckinghamshire-based Indie Rock band who have returned with their positive new single ‘Mirrors’. The track takes the reflective namesake to new heights by displaying their anthemic tendencies and their pristine songwriting to drive home aims of spreading a sense of self-appreciation, unity and healing that is communicated directly as a straightforward statement of intent that comes through in full force.

A sandwich seller by day and a rock star in the making at night, Tony Goff’s true passion lies with music and he wrote his band’s latest track as a reminder to not only himself, but to others who listen to take a deep breath and remember who you are, something that the cover art work also represents. Created by Thomas Paley, it conjures imagery of isolation and serves as an essence of reflection. Goff’s band also has an impressive array of live shows coming up, while their past merits include performances alongside Indie Rock veterans like The Ordinary Boys and The Blockheads. There are also a number of slots at music festivals like The Great Escape, Camden Rocks and PENN Festival to their name too, which has helped the band to garner acclaim immensely since first arriving on their scene.

According to Tony Goff, the meaning behind ‘Mirrors’ circulates from the moments during the Covid-19 pandemic where – just like each and every one of us – reflection reared its head into the life of Goff. While appreciating the person that he has become today, the track follows the loose theme of Goff reminiscing over things that he may have handled better while contemplation was a common thing to be on people’s minds. Specifically, ‘Mirrors’ references the preparation to love again and what it means to open up in favour of allowing other people to enter our lives again. An upcoming album is also under development, which promises to evolve on Goff’s ideas on ‘Mirrors’ by emphasizing how we have one life to live and we all strive to achieve fulfillment by approaching our lives with positivity.

Staking its claim to joy and happiness with perky percussion and uncomplicated lyrics, ‘Mirrors’ feels like an embodiment of classic Indie Pop and 60’s Jangle-Pop, as cheerful acoustic guitar melodies and laid-back textures gives the band their distinctively indie and slightly nostalgic Pop aesthetic, which does not stand out a massive amount from some of their contemporaries – like The Magic Gang or Yumi Zouma – but the notes are delivered with a sincerity and a straightforward spirit. The radio-friendly guitar hooks may sound reminiscent of Train or The Fray, with a 00’s soft pop aesthetic that is delivered by the compact drums, the melodic guitar hooks and the light skew towards Country and Blues music influences throughout the optimistic verses and the highly symbolic chorus that is ripe for reflection. Highly reflective is the main aim of the game, with vocals that plead for urgency and call to actions despite the basic structure.

While enthusiastic fans of complex Art-Pop looking for subtle influences of Experimental Rock and Prog-Jazz to create a hugely groundbreaking new genre admittedly may not find that much to reinvent the wheel with on ‘Mirrors’, the beauty is in the simplicity for the target audience of the positive-minded musician Tony Goff, who enlists the help of a talented backing band to expand upon the personal themes that he explores in the cheerful new track. It would never sound out of place if churned out during the daytime on a casual radio station like BBC Radio 2 who are designed to appeal to a mass audience. The devotion to his growth and development comes through in Goff’s craft and with a bundle of heartfelt UK live shows and summer festival appearances, as well as a range of new recorded material, being in the pipeline for their future, it seems clear that Tony Goff & The Broken Colours are gearing up for a whirlwind phase that is certain to accelerate their momentum levels.

Words by Jacob Braybrooke

Praise For Tony Goff & The Broken Colours

“So difficult to resist” – Unxigned.com

“A vibrant mix of styles to craft their own unique and invigoratingly uplifting sound” – LIVE LITTLE LOUDER

Live Show/Set Dates

2nd April – HMV, instore show High Wycombe 1pm

15th April – Hertfordshire, Biggleswade, The White Swan

17th April – Stanford le Hope – 80 Days Restaurant

6th May – The Couch – Headline Show – Bracknell

18th June – Swanmore Fest

13th July – Underbelly Hoxton, London

10th Sep – Trinity Bar, London

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News, Singer-Songwriter

Adam Lanceley lives up to the sweetness of his soul on his eminently listenable new album ‘Sweeter Than Honey’

“Sweeter Than Honey marks the end of a long time spent struggling and soul searching. With it, it feels like I’ve found an answer” – Adam Lanceley

London-based singer-songwriter Adam Lanceley is a fascinating figure with a spellbinding story to tell in his genre-fluid assortment of modern Pop, Classic Rock, Blues and Ballad elements that carry his inspiring tale. He will be releasing his eleventh studio album – ‘Sweeter Than Honey’ – On May 11th. This is a fresh, feel-good record that promises to be as optimistic as the title sounds while the project also marks a strong evolution in the style of the global artist.

Delving into a sensitive subject, Adam Lanceley’s troubles with physical and mental health unfortunately began at an early age when a fatal accident caused the dreams of his athletic ventures to transform into a nightmare, and he was essentially left at death’s door, at one point. Being the resilient human being that Adam Lanceley has earned the reputation of championing, he refused to let the physical ramifications get the better out of him and he has beaten the insurmountable odds to not only survive – but to complete marathons and climb mountains. His love for music provided the way out of the ongoing mental health troubles that he was working through and he has become an excellent role model for fans of all ages, who could feel empowered when they hear his voice.

The healing power of his music and his personality can be heard on ‘I’m So Glad’ – the soon-to-be released lead single from the upcoming album release. The lush track is a perfect showcase for the emotional qualities of Adam’s voice, which is a slower piece that reflects on his life so far. This is bolstered by a huge, tender Piano and Guitar arrangement that neatly ties a single together that feels reminiscent of The Beach Boys. It makes great use of Adam’s raw vocals while creating a note of peace that encourages you to find a note of hope and peace in any weight which you are carrying in life.

Adam Lanceley’s star continues to rise in the industry due to his experience and his unique perspective on life, and ‘Sweeter Than Honey’ follows in the same success of his previous ten albums. He has appeared on Sky News and he has racked up over 32K views on Global Talent World, and his music continues to resonate with the keen ears of listeners globally since his music has received airplay across radio stations in the UK, the USA, China, New Zealand, Australia and Canada. He has also received plenty of kind words from blogs and publications for his single ‘Summer Of Love’ – which Know Me Better Music has called “the perfect track for the current time” and Playlist Heaven respects Adam Lanceley’s songwriting for “[having] an incredibly powerful and important message behind it“, in their reviews for the single, which continue to spread the love.

An artist that you absolutely need to check out due to their creativity and inspiration, Adam Lanceley is an emotive songwriter who has dedicated the new album, in his typically compassionate character, to the same person as his previous two full-length long-players. With that sense of heart and comfort, despite a difficult background, at the core of the release – ‘Sweeter Than Honey’ is the perfect album for anyone who is seeking new hope and inspiration in a challenging or transitional time in their life, as well as anybody who simply needs a pick-me-up. Built upon a life full of rich experiences that are very personal and intimate, it entirely encapsulates the motivational triumphs of Adam Lanceley, providing a snapshot into the life of the creative steering the ship. That story is one that we could all benefit from embracing, and you can do so when ‘Sweeter Than Honey’ arrives on the shelves of your local record shop in May.

Words by Jacob Braybrooke

Header Image courtesy of Psychreg.org

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Hip Hop

Noble1BOF – ‘Benefits Of Freedom’

These bars are my life, you know? It’s my story, and yes, sometimes there’s swagger and sometimes it’s cold. I hate driving past these corners, every day, where one of the man ‘dem got shot. I’ve got close friends doing life sentences, fifteen years of my life has been spent inside a prison, most of that in a cell. These tracks are literally my life story” – Noble 1 BOF explaining his creative process on ‘Benefits Of Freedom’

Prodigious rapper Noble 1 BOF is telling his real life story on ‘Benefits Of Freedom’ – his upcoming mixtape that releases on April 22nd through Red Tangent Records. Noble has been making a splash with his grime-adjacent Hip-Hop that enthusiastically infuses elements of Drill, Contemporary R&B and Industrial Hip-Hop into his sound, and his new project will find Brixton soundwaves crashing on to the shores of old-school influences with a distinctly British Grime delivery, but his hard bars are met with drop-dead gorgeous backdrops and eclectic feature credits from other artists set to be appearing on the record to bring his energetic vision to life.

Noble has idolized rap superstars like Drake and Giggs, and he cites his first listening experience to Style P’s album ‘A Gangsta & A Gentlemen’ as his anchor for learning to shape and form a music track for the first time. He has ultimately found the inspiration to turn his life around after a rough start using the medium of music and his passions for records such as this. A stint as a member of The Irene Taylor Trust has also given him the chance to write and perform music during his time in prison, and he later became an ambassador for the organisation to motivate any other struggling creatives to do the same, working with young people at risk of offending to prevent them from following in his own dark footsteps.

In a very remarkable turn of events, Noble has become a key artist for Red Tangent Records – a label funded by The National Lottery Community Fund as a Lived Experience label and it is all run by team of ex-prisoners, for ex-prisoners. They give ex-prisoners a crucial opportunity to reform their lives and offer a way out of the typical, yet dangerous, cycle of offending again. A unique position presents itself for Noble, an ex-prisoner artist on an ex-prisoner label owned by ex-prisoner management. This is ripe for expression.

Theatrical String samples get the anthemic tune off to a heated start as the DIY production chops come in and the rapper looks inwards, lyrically, to the tune of heavily processed vocals and warped Bass that really sells his feelings of disorientation and how we can move past our past to create a more hopeful future. A strong verse from Carla, the featured artist, raises the tempo to make for an easily accessible listen.

Finally hitting his stride as an artist who is confronting the demons of the past and transitioning into the new person that he is becoming, Noble 1 BOF is just getting his promising music and writing career off to a hot start as he gears up to headline his own event at Brixton Jamm on the 29th of June. He is primed and ready to go, bringing those Brixton soundwaves to an eager new audience.

Words By Jacob Braybrooke

Praise For Noble1BOF

Straight away I got caught up in the wicked beats. Loving the vocals by Carla, all around an absolutely fricking banger of a track. Please get me a radio edit asap! Again this track has its own blend of vibes, almost rave-like hip hop vibes that gets ya head nodding” – Miranda Rae (a former BBC Radio presenter for Ujima Radio) in her review of Noble – ‘No Games’ (feat. Carla M.)

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Alternative, electric, electronic, Track reviews

Wavewulf mixes Synths with the sea on raging new single ‘Luft’ from new album ‘The North And The Sea’

The album was inspired by a recent trip to Iceland. At a time when I was feeling claustrophobic and disconnected, I found a sense of freedom in the power of the sea. Being alone, being together, being connected, being disconnected.” – Nicholas Long (Wavewulf)

Electricity and water are typically not the most logical combination on the surface – in the same way that Ham and Mustard or Paper and Pencil may be vitally co-dependent on each other to meet their needs – but Wavewulf, the solo music project of New York-based Prog Synth artist Nicholas Long, is willing to give this formula a try.

Long has spent ten years attempting to hone his craft and dedicate his skills to building a legacy as an experimental electronic artist with classic 90’s IDM influences like Aphex Twin and Autechre, as well as a knack to explore Avant-Garde influences like Kraftwerk and 80’s horror soundtrack synth-master John Carpenter, among other influences. He began his career by playing in local bands in Arkansas, before earning global radio airplay and critical acclaim for 2021’s ‘Space Art and Angels‘ – his previous album. He also owns a personal collection of Korg and Moog synthesizers, as well as analogue treasures that he claims would make Daft Punk blush. He gives these stories an oceanic outlook on his refreshing new album ‘The North And The Sea‘ – which he finally released last Friday.

At 15 tracks long, the detailed album project takes its inspiration from the energy of Scandinavian and Arctic ocean landscapes, blending themes of nature and earth with intricate keys and danceable electronic compositions featuring contributions from drum wizard Christopher John Donato and silky vocals from Nala Spark, who both appear on ‘Luft’, the lead single, to enrich the process. ‘Luft’ is a slightly dark disco-house record that evokes the retro-futurist stance of artists like Hard Feelings and Royksopp, while setting up the stage for the immersive Synth-laden sound of the album, which Long says is defined by freedom and dichotomies.

A brooding and chilling opening lyric sequence from Spark sets the tone, as very ominous feedback sounds and ethereal Synth work gradually brightens up to the tune of a more sentimental dance record, as a crescendo of buzzing Synths and commanding Drum melodies build to something that echoes the likes of Post-Disco and Avant-Pop to create something that is more catchy and accessible to a wider audience when the chorus finally kicks in and pays off the tension that was established in the opening. ‘Luft’ certainly makes for an interesting listen in the way that it combines the free-form, more improvisational qualities of electronic music production with the abstract characteristics of the ocean, to reflect both components.

This dance-driven concoction of Dark Ambient, Post-Disco and Avant-Pop is sure to grab the attention of hardened fans of each genre. The album itself promises to cultivate a deep personal experience for these listeners, who are just itching to hear the next great album to deliver on it’s bold creativity and must-listen quality.

Words by Jacob Braybrooke

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classical, Singer-Songwriter, Soul, Track reviews

Michael Tinholme, Mike Garson; Band Of Legends channel their inner ‘Imagine’ for International Women’s Month classical Jazz anthem ‘Lullaby For Our Daughters’

Some songs can have the power to not only capture the mood of our time, but help to define it, while others can crystallize what is most important to us. The versatile Idaho-based contemporary classical Jazz singer-songwriter Michael Tinholme hopes to add his latest’ band of legends collective single ‘Lullaby For Our Daughters’ to the list of tracks that may well be added to the list of great songs for peace and tranquility. Written in the style of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ and pitched in the same lane as The Beatles’ ‘Revolution’ in terms of style and sound, ‘Lullaby For Our Daughters’ is the musician’s celebratory anthem for International Women’s Month.

A crossover ballad that strives to replicate the peace of John Lennon’s world peace anthems like ‘ Give Peace A Chance’ with old-school production and a subtle modern twist, Tinholme’s piece features an all-star cast of creatives including the iconic producer Mike Garson (Known as David Bowie’s pianist) and the US Jazz singer/arranger Nnenna Freelon, along with conductor Steve Rawlins & Dennis Moody, ‘Lullaby For Our Daughters’ has been released by Blue Planet Records as a simplistic, yet timeless, reminder of hope that fits the re-surging warmth of the sun recently.

Speaking about the track, Tinholme comments, “When singing ‘Lullaby For Our Daughters’ over two years ago now, I imagined a first-time father or parent walking the room, and singing their daughter off to sleep, and how his, and our hopes and dreams and worries for that child, our children, all children, gives all of our lives greater meaning and purpose for a better future. I congratulate Mike Garson and Nnenna Freelon for giving the world a beautiful song which is also a wonderful prayer for a more hopeful and peaceful tomorrow“, in a press statement.

Moving at a slow and gradually building pace that introduces layers of nice, floating Piano chords and a wistful bass guitar solo into the ever-evolving instrumentation of ‘Lullaby For Our Daughters’, Tinholme and the all-star band add sentimentality and warmth to an organically tranquil sequence of acoustic guitar riffs and affectionate Piano chords that makes the ballad feel rather old-school, but not terribly old-fashioned as to suggest that it feels outdated or tacky. Instead, we get an unhurried and restrained classical-style Jazz piece that feels timeless and true to its greatest influences.

The lyrics deal with empathy, sympathy, farewell, night time and childhood as key themes, while the vocals have a dream-like and soothing feel, which is mainly being executed by Tinholme’s smoky and mature vocal delivery. He gives the more slow-paced melodies a slight uplift, while also sticking squarely into the airy and radiant tone of the instrumentals that surround him. As always, he contributes a late-night Americana aesthetic into the track, where you can imagine it being performed in a Las Vegas nightclub filled with romance and ambitions. The progression never evolves into something that feels very dramatic or harsh, but the pace builds in calming ways that delicately complement the light-hearted elegance.

In the fullness of time, Tinholme and his ‘band of legends’ are making sure their laid-back grooves and their retro classical Jazz production retains the anthemic feel of similarly slow but poignant pieces like John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ and The Beatles ‘Revolution’ that have influenced it. So old-school that it feels refreshing, ‘Lullaby For Our Daughters’ is faint enough to make you fall asleep if you have troubles at bed time, but it has enough poignancy to have an effect beyond the ‘background listening’ category as a whole. Pleasant to listen to, but worthy of more praise, you get the sense that all of the bases have been covered for the goals that ‘Lullaby For Our Daughters’ strives to achieve in creating peace for these times.

Words by Jacob Braybrooke

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Indie Rock, Singer-Songwriter

JD Days presents the perfect indie rock anthem for today and tomorrow with new single ‘Say Yes To Love’

A fresh set of faces to the urban scene of London’s live indie rock circuit led by the vintage-leaning rock singer-songwriter JD McPherson on guitar and vocals, JD Days have promised to bridge the void between power pop and progressive rock with ‘Say Yes To Love’, a new heartfelt rock anthem which they have conceived as a more modern spin on the Live Aid rock ballad of the 80’s. ‘Say Yes To Love’ is sure to infuse the human heart and sultry soul with a resounding spiritual sense of unified love and transparency for all.

JD Days seems proud to return to touring after the Covid-19 pandemic has prevented many artists from being able to put on live performances across the country since 2020, and a new album – ‘Originals’ – is also expected to be released at an unconfirmed time in the year. ‘Say Yes To Love’ is the fitting follow-up to 2020’s festive cheer-leading anthem ‘Evergreeen’. With the new piece, JD Days aims to replicate the success of his holiday banger, which has garnered over a staggering 123,000 streams on Spotify. The track was a beacon of light for the people who spend Christmas as a darker period of their lives, and ‘Say Yes To Love’ proves – yet again – that the band have an undeniable knack for writing songs that really release at the right time.

‘Say Yes To Love’ was influenced by all-time greats like Elton John and George Harrison of The Beatles fame, and the track boasts a stunning range of warm vocals including hopeful lyrics like: “We breathe the same air, we feel the same sun, We all make choices and sometimes we get them wrong, you won’t solve nothing with the barrel of a gun“, that hits hard given the recent events in the news of conflict and seeking peace. Other lyrics, such as, “Choose love not war, love is the only thing we’ve got and love is worth fighting for“, really hammer the point home.

Aside from the songwriting, ‘Say Yes To Love’ complements its themes very suitably with an eclectic range of pop-grunge and rock opera influences. It opens with a soulful string section and a minimalist piano bed which bursts into a vibrant splashing of youthfully playful keyboard riffs and stadium-sized lead guitar hooks that set the scene for JD’s timely vocals.

‘Say Yes To Love’ is the kind of anthem that represents a rare dance where moving lyrics and instrumentation that feels reflective of today’s times just poetically glide together in unison. The lyrics are some of the most crucial that you may hear today, but hope and not fear shine through as the core value. It has pertinence and relevance in the modern world, but a track like this could be the deciding factor in pulling together as a society, as we strive to give peace a chance. It’s left up to you to decide…

Words by Jacob Braybrooke

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Alternative, Dance, Pop, Soul

Porij – ‘Figure Skating’

If you’re a fan of eclectic Art-Rock and Psychedelic Pop groups like Alt-J, Django Django, Vanishing Twin or Everything Everything – the Manchester-based Alternative Pop trio of Porij are a refreshing new band who you are going to absolutely love!

Formed in Manchester by Eggy (Vocals/Keyboard), Tommy (Guitar/Vocals), Jammo (Bass/Percussion) and Tom (Drums/Vocals) while studying and staying together in the halls of residence at The Royal Northern College Of Music – Porij have enjoyed daytime playlist airplay from BBC Radio 6 Music, and their other claim to fame is that Disclosure loved their cover of ‘White Noise’. Porij have also covered The Prodigy – and support has come pouring in from sources as varied as NME, The Guardian, DIYMag and ITV Granada. Their name – which is pronounced as ‘Porridge’ – was also seemingly picked at random as an inside joke between the 4-piece band, a sentiment that feels as close but genre-fluid as their explorations of Jungle, Liquid Drum ‘N’ Bass, House, Garage, New Wave and Lo-Fi Rock that you can preview when you hear their music.

A favourite of the One Track At A Time blog and The Subculture Sessions podcast, Porij have released critically acclaimed singles like ‘Nobody Scared’ and ‘Can’t Stop’ as well as two EP’s – 2020’s ‘Breakfast’ and 2021’s ‘Baby Face’. They will be taking these diverse sounds on the road with many solo shows throughout the year. They will also be supporting Lynks – who appears in the music video for the new single ‘Figure Skating’ – as well as Obongjayar and Metronomy later this year. If you are a festival enthusiast, you can also see them at Green Man Festival, Dot To Dot Festival, Brighton’s The Great Escape Festival and more throughout the year – and so it’s shaping up to be another crowded year for Porij – a quartet whose music feels as exciting as it does intriguing.

The Winter Olympics in Beijing may be over, but Porij have still put the discipline of ‘Figure Skating’ to good use with a refreshing new single that is currently doing the rounds across numerous radio playlists and indie music publication features. They explore intimacy and immovability of a person’s distinct character through ‘Figure Skating’ as a purveyor, explaining that it is “about intimacy and sensuality in moments that aren’t overtly sexual. It’s appreciating romance in the day to day, not the big drama’s or passions but the kind of stuff that’s put in a montage in a film. It’s an insight into a secure relationship and explores the moments that are beautifully average, but somehow turn out to be the best bits“, in their collective press statement.

Opening with a whimsical sequence of Horn-like Synths that marries Eggy’s low-lit croon with a more dance-oriented bassline through euphorically high tempo percussion, ‘Figure Skating’ has the drive and determination of a futuristic dance track while keeping things grounded with intimate vocals and soft Synths that feel detailed and decorative among the quickly building soundscape. Lyrics like “Inverse/Focus, I’ll hold you down just you and me” and “Drifting past subconscious feel/Phaser building from within” have a slightly witty delivery to their vocals, while complementing the mood of the tranquility of two partners building chemistry and trust through the rather dangerous practice of figure skating. It’s another gorgeously produced – yet never overtly too produced – single that reminds us how Porij are getting even better, and they were fairly good to begin with.

With Porij set to take to the stages of numerous atmospheric summer music festivals throughout the year as they continue to release stunning new tracks roughly every few months, it’s becoming clearer and clearer that they are taking to the rink with an unimitable presence and a fluidity that is difficult to pin down despite genre boundaries. Come along for the ride – or skate.

Words By Jacob Braybrooke

Header Image retrieved via Gigantic.com

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Alternative, Indie Rock, Singer-Songwriter

NF Showcases: Jordana Nye finally goes from bedroom dreamer to studio sensation

A young Bedroom Pop singer-songwriter whose music encompasses a wide brevity of Post-Grunge, Pop Punk, Alternative Folk and more – Jordana Nye self-produced her debut album ‘Classical Notions Of Self-Happiness’ in 2020 entirely from her bedroom, and she’s set to take her musicianship to the next level when her debut studio recording – ‘Face The Wall’ – hits shelves on May 20th courtesy of Grand Jury Music.

Still at only 21 years of age, Jordana’s star has been rising in the industry as she continues to garner acclaim from publications like NME and Pitchfork, YouTube channels like Anthony Fantano’s The Needle Drop, radio presenters like Lauren Laverne and blogs like One Track At A Time. She has also collaborated with Magdalena Bay, Ryan Woods and TV Girl, and she will be supporting Wallows on tour in May, as well as headlining her own handful of solo dates across the US in April.

With influences ranging from the harsh indie rock of The Strokes and Death Cab For Cutie, to the eclectic and radio-friendly Brit-Pop of Coldplay, to the soulful sounds of Still Woozy and Grizzly Bear – Jordana has been seriously standing out for her gently philosophical songwriting and her subtle, but sardonic, sense of humor on tracks like ‘I Guess This Is Life’ and ‘Reason’ taken from two EP’s that she released in 2020 that were essentially compiled into one neat album release, ‘Something To Say To You’, in December of that year.

However, her greatest influence arguably comes from her upbringing that she spent in church. Her father was the organist at her local church, and it was there that she developed her interests and passions to be a songwriter professionally. At that point, she learned how to play the Violin at a young age, before moving on to the guitar. She still carries her independent ethos of the time in her current work, since she has played every instrument on her upcoming new album herself, which has been co-produced by Cameron Hale.

Originally raised in the bustling streets of New York before settling into the small town of Wichita, Kansas and later spending some time being based in Los Angeles, Jordana has gone from recording short voice memos on her iPod Touch and GarageBand to finding liberty and inspiration from collaborating with producers like MELVV and forming relationships with musicians like TV Girl through social media. She says, of the album, “The album title has a few meanings to me. Mostly, it’s about not giving up. The wall can be anything in your way. The album is sort-of a reminder to myself that I have to face those things, and I can’t take the easy route and turn around“, in her press release.

‘Face The Wall’ will address a wide range of themes and concerns that she has experienced in her life, including, but not limited to – veganism, break-up’s, faith, religion, depression and mid-pandemic isolation. The lead single, ‘Catch My Drift’, arrives to the internet with a playful video that will remind you of how Aphex Twin used to super-impose his face onto spooky children in his iconic video for ‘Come To Daddy’ in the late-90’s. Once again showing her sense of wit and her candid outlook on sharing the truth of her feelings in her music, ‘Catch My Drift’ is a fun throwback to the days of the late-00’s where Pop-Punk reigned supreme with snide dismissals of ex-lovers being delivered by the likes of Avril Lavigne and Paramore’s Hayley Williams.

She says, of the single, “This song is about going back and forth with your feelings for someone when they make you question whether they are even reciprocated”, concluding, “The song is about realizing you shouldn’t be emotionally dependent on anybody, and that it’s just a waste of energy“, on her Bandcamp page.

Blending rhythmic Punk-laden guitars with a Pop punch and some fast-paced, frantic instrumentation – ‘Catch My Drift’ is the perfect introduction to Jordana’s work for any newcomers due to its accessibility. If somebody with a higher profile name, like Taylor Swift or Olivia Rodrigo, were to just simply release the same single tomorrow, it would be played all over the world’s radio stations. It’s clear that she’s not holding her breath for any wish fulfillment when she declares that “It’s no mistake to be alone” and “Do you catch my drift?/Are you picking up, what I’m putting down” in the exuberant verses and the catchy chorus, yet she chronicles the dissolve of the relationship with some 80’s riffs comparable to The Cure and some Dream-Pop influences that could take you directly back to the ‘Warped’ tour of 2006. It is a fantastic track that shows Jordana’s personality, strength and vulnerability with a clear purpose and outcome, while having the appeal and accessibility to appeal to a wide range of young audiences.

Overall, Jordana is a real talent who is an absolute joy to listen to whenever she puts any new music out. Her hooks are irresistible, but she is also quite intimate and she really allows her personality to shine through her music, which is often well-produced yet never over-produced, and so I can’t wait to find out what she has “thrown at the wall” and what sticks when her next album comes out in May – if you catch my drift.

Words by Jacob Braybrooke

Connect With Jordana

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News, Reggae, Ska, Dub

News Frequencies: The Dualers take no pit stops on their ‘Road To Wembley’ tour

Known for their 2004 single ‘Kiss On The Lips’ that reached the top 30 of the UK Singles Chart on quality alone, with little promotion within the industry, The Dualers are now an iconic part of the Reggae, Ska and Dub scene in the UK, as they have even supported Madness at their large outdoor concerts and played headline gigs at prestigious venues like Indigo O2, Fairfield Hills, Croydon and the Churchill Theatre, Bromley during their lifetime.

A new tour has been announced by The Dualers, who have been captivating their fans for the past fifteen years with feel-good and energetic music, and they have called it their national “Road To Wembley” tour, as they get ready to take their compelling live stage productions to the most iconic venue of the UK – Wembley Arena – in May!

Throughout the past few decades, the success story for The Dualers has kept continuing by having their single ‘Truly Madly Deeply’ being used in movies like ‘Fools Gold’ and the BBC blockbuster TV series ‘Death In Paradise’, along with strong airplay for their single ‘Only When You’re Around’ from BBC Radio 2. Most recently, their latest album – 2019’s ‘Palm Trees & 80 Degrees’ – has cemented The Dualers’ legacy as one of Britain’s biggest Reggae & Ska music acts by storming into the mainstream by reaching the #11 spot on the UK Album Charts. It also reached #2 on the Independent chart and #1 in the Reggae chart, showing how their following has continued to treasure them throughout the ages.

The two brothers of Si Cranstoun and Tyber Cranstoun have always been at the heart of the Jamaican Rhythm and Blues band called The Dualers, who formed what has blossomed into a drawing and expansive nine-piece band. While one top 40 single in the UK Singles Charts is an admirable feat, The Dualers have also had a string of them including ‘Don’t Go’, and these vast list of accomplishments make more sense when you remember how their father is the man who literally brought Ska to the UK!

These days, Tyber carries on the torch of the band during what is clearly shaping up to be another jam-packed year of many for The Dualers. With the 25-date ‘Road To Wembley’ tour about to kick into full swing, and the release of their highly-anticipated new album ‘Voices From The Sun’, there has never been a better time to introduce yourself to The Dualers, or be an existing fan of their work.

The dates on the ‘Road To Wembley Tour’ are as follows

Friday 25th February – Wolverhampton – KK’s Steel Mill (SOLD OUT)
Saturday 26th February – Lincoln – Engine Shed
Friday 11th March – Belfast – Limelight
Saturday 12th March – Dublin – Academy
Friday 25th March – Edinburgh – Stramash (SOLD OUT)
Saturday 26th March – Glasgow – o2 Academy

Saturday 2nd April – Manchester – o2 Apollo Saturday 23rd April – Cardiff – Motorpoint Arena

Saturday 14th May – London – Wembley Arena

Praise For The Dualers’ Live Shows

“Once you start dancing to The Dualers, it’s impossible to stop” – The Sun

“If only all bands were like The Dualers, the world would be a better place” – Mark Lamarr

Words by Jacob Braybrooke

Connect with the band below:

Website

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Alternative, Blues, Folk, Indie Rock, Singer-Songwriter

Alan Dweck re-energises a modern standout with his faithful yet bold remaster of ‘Melting Icicles’ for 2022

“I wrote this song just after arriving in Singapore, probably one of the fastest songs I have ever written. Surrounded on all sides by a new and different culture, I felt a long way from home and somehow the idea, words, chords and structure just fell out. It was all I could do to get it all down on paper” – Alan Dweck

Bringing the best of 60’s folk and 70’s prog rock into the 21st century, Alan Dweck has breathed new life into his beloved modern classic track ‘Melting Icicles’ from his 2019 album ‘Entangled Moments’ that combines a diverse host of influences that span genres like soul, classical, world music, funk, jazz and blues. He has fully remixed, re-imagined and remastered the track, which follows the success of Dweck’s remaster of ‘Before’ from the same album that has amassed over 142,000 streams so far and gained praise from critics and fans alike. Like ‘Before’ – his new take on ‘Melting Icicles’ has been accompanied by a gorgeously rendered animated music video.

Alan Dweck aims for the aforementioned music video to embody his own principles in art – substance over ego. Dweck, himself, has no interest in fame or celebrity attention and focuses on his creative output solely instead by matching a series of abstract animations that ebb and flow to the swelling crescendo of the attached single as the strokes of a paintbrush just simply progress the dynamic crystal colour palette. The result is a vibrant, yet grounded, marriage of audio and video that is only concerned with the crafting of the promising and inviting mood to match the refreshing single.

As for the single of ‘Melting Icicles’ itself, the recent rework opts for a very stripped back method of production to allow the intimate lyricism to shine through and it feels simple by design. The fluttering piano chords, the thin synth textures, the prominent guitar solo and the radiant whistling makes the piece feel more calming than haunting, with a rich emotional delivery of the vocals and sentimental strings providing the icing on the cake for the cinematic style punctuated by the technically proficient guitar work.

Describing his own tune as “a tribute to some of the great blues and soul songs in the past” in a press release, Alan Dweck invites you to a well-travelled life that gets conveyed and broken down for introspection by the artist by unearthing deep personal reflection with poignant lyrics which poetically dance across an introspective set of instrumentation. On ‘Melting Icicles’, Dweck frames the piece in such a way that allows you to form your own associations and remind yourself of your own memories to the tune of the work. The same, yet individual, result for every pair of ears.

Words by Jacob Braybrooke

Connect With Alan Dweck

Visit The Website: https://alandweckmusic.com/

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Features, News

News Frequencies: Stem & Glory explore how a Vegan Valentine’s season can help to save your romance… and the planet!

Romance is something that binds us all together. We’re all searching for love in some form during our lives – and the Cambridge-based restaurant of Stem & Glory – in fitting with the theme of Valentine’s Day – are putting that mission to the test during February and beyond as they question whether the secret to the best Valentine’s Day could lie in one of society’s fastest-growing lifestyle changes – Veganism!

Their list of fruit and vegetables has been researched in the heritage of romance and their traditional aphrodisiacs are said to be immense.

From beetroot to artichokes – and avocado to chili peppers – their combination of vitamins can make a great difference to not only how we feel, but also the effect that our habits and choices are making to our environment everyday. Compared to your average plant-based meal, a standard single steak meal can contain up to 50 times the C02 emissions.

You can visit the website to order meals, book a table and more here: https://www.stemandglory.uk/cambridge

Beyond the scientific benefits of cutting red meat from your dinner table, a plant-based meal can also be full of symbolism that has come to define the Valentine’s Day season. Dating back to many ancient cultures, lovers would exchange fruit as a means of romance. Some even say that strawberries, a British summer staple, stem from Greek goddess Aphrodite’s heart-shaped tears in their shape, a big statement considering that she was the symbol of beauty. It is clear why fruit and vegetables have become the lovers’ fruit – all without a single animal product necessary.

With a reported 40% increase in Vegans across the UK during 2021 (Courtesy of Finder.com), it is clear that eco-conscious living is being loved all around our planet. Why not head to Stem & Glory to spread the love to our eco-systems for your Valentine’s Day?

These ingredients are on the high side of nutritionally effective in romance and sex drive“, as so says Louise Palmer-Masterton (The founder of Stem & Glory, SME Cambridge Businesswoman Of The Year and Food & Drinks Heroes’ finalist). Meanwhile, “These fruits contain nutrition that develops effectively in humans to quickly give them blush, sex drive, calmness and power all at the same time“, is a strong follow-up statement with vital input from Head Of Food Development, Ed Al Subaei

Stem & Glory invites listeners to try a new approach – this Valentine’s Day – to this most romantically influenced of seasons and holidays. After all, with numerous studies showing that a meat-free adjustment to your diet, or an entirely Vegan lifestyle, sees people appear more attractive and improving body aroma and post-date performance (as per the New Zealand Centre for Human-Animal Studies), why not try cutting out the animal products while you fully indulge in the most romantic time of the calendar? Love is all around us, after all.

Steam & Glory are open from 11:30am on Mondays to Fridays and from 9am on weekends. They have indoor seating as well as an outdoors area, and they can be found at 50-60 Station Road, Cambridge, CB1 2JH.

Words by Jacob Braybrooke

Connect With Stem & Glory, Restaurant, Cambridge

Visit The Website:

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