Alternative, News, rock

Steady Rollin Rock The Boat With Their New Animated Music Video For ‘Must I Die Alone’

Emerging from a year filled with restrictions with plans for a new LP is an admirable trait for any artist. Steady Rollin, comprising of Benjamin Andrade on drums and backing vocals, Gerardo Pardo on bass and Fernando Poma on guitar and lead vocals, are no exception. After the success of 2017 album Love & Loss alongside a string of well received singles, the rock trio have released ‘Must I Die Alone’ as a teaser to their upcoming LP ‘Stories’, along with a beautifully animated music video created by Markantony. 

Presenting the imagery for ‘Must I Die Alone’ in a visual format is incredibly fitting to encapsulate the intensity of Poma’s lyricism. In movie-like fashion, animator Markantony emphasises the dramatic storyline of a sailor battling stormy seas, periodically flashing back to the loved one left behind throughout all the chaos. In an effort to prevent spoilers, I’ll leave you to watch the video and experience the story for yourselves.

The video, paired with a track full of guitar solos fit for any stadium gig, driving bass and a piercing vocal performance, makes for an unmistakably Steady Rollin experience. The upcoming LP holds incredible promise to make 2021 an enormous year for the band.

‘Must I Die Alone’ is out now, you can find the video through the link below.

Music Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YBrqrpumPw

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/steadyrollinband/

Instagram: @steadyrollinband

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Steadyrollin_

Website: www.steadyrollinband.com

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/2f7imcAJGFFABC2Y7dHtK2?si=dL9VtraOSjeC79kIMtOnkg


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The Important Message Behind Nickita’s Powerful New Single ‘Breathe Again’

Hemel Hampstead based, Nickita’s emotionally charged Mother’s Day single ‘Breathe Again’ is an anthem of support vocalising the importance of informing and educating women about their choices around childbirth. All proceeds from the track are going directly to the organisation, When Push Comes to Shove, founded by Nickita in an effort to spread awareness of the choices available to people to make informed decisions about the birth of their child.

Along with inspirational lyrics and powerful instrumentation, Nickita delivers a track that breathes empowerment through a strong vocal performance. Needless to say that with Nickita’s own experiences with childbirth, the track owns its message through sheer emotion and sheds light on society that leaves issues of even this magnitude overshadowed. ‘Breathe Again’ is a track that carries a message of overwhelming importance, a flagship for a fundraising campaign that aims to highlight the urgency of informing women of their rights in pre-birth.

The new single is accompanied by a heart-warming yet thought provoking music video, shot in black and white with a compilation of beautiful family videos, messages of support and a distinct unity. It’s a must-watch, you’ll thank me later.

Breathe Again’ is not only an incredible performance but an important message. You can donate to the fundraiser in the link below.

When Push Comes to Shove: https://www.whenpushcomestoshove.co.uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wpctsfilm/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/when.pushcomestoshove/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WhenShove

Website: http://nickitamusic.com/

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/nickitamusic

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKD1Mj5u96A_x2QiwLuZ2PQ


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Rael Jones pays homage to his mother in new album ‘Mother Echo’

In one of the most heartfelt albums you’ll ever listen to, artist Rael Jones uses the death of his mother to produce some truly wonderful tracks.

The album, ‘Mother Echo’, consists of ten tracks for piano and string quartet. Each song explores the basics of these instruments and uses them as the vehicle for his personal journey. Speaking about the new album, Rael said:

“This is a deeply personal album for me. I’m attempting to translate emotions and life events into musical structures. My mum was in a car crash when I was six. She spent a lot of time after that in bed with whiplash and presumably depression. I was terrified she wouldn’t be there anymore. For instance, she asked me, ‘would you rather have a mummy in bed like this or not have a mummy at all?

The artwork is based on a recurrent nightmare I had around this time – I’m alone in my house being dragged inexplicably towards a strange figure – death in human form.

…It touches my shoulder, our feet lift off the ground, and we fly through the lounge, past my gathered relatives and out of the bay window….at which point I wake up. The cover shows what lies past that window. It’s not so scary after all.

The tracks on the album point towards poignant moments in his journey with his mum through these moving experiences, for example:

“We scattered my mother’s ashes in the river at a place called ‘The Valley of Desolation’ (track 9). We placed old passports in her coffin to assist her on her metaphysical journey, as she would have it (track 10). And so on and so on.”

Along with his mother as inspiration, the album has Rael‘s wife, Sara Wolstenholme, on first violin. The record is drenched with emotion and tells an incredibly personal story. One track, ‘Know to Know No More’, is a great example of the plethora of emotion Rael has invested in his work. It begins with very soft, soothing tones. With a steady start, the music makes the listener incredibly calm, ultimately keeping you focused on his music.

Soon, the string quartet is introduced, providing another layer to this instrumental. As the two play off one another, we’re presented with some much darker and deeper notes. In turn, this purports a much more negative side to Rael‘s journey and emotions. Later, the violin begins to take centre stage, breaking away from the piano accompaniment. In my view, this signifies he (the piano) and his mother (the string quartet) slipping away from each other.

Picture: Rael and his wife Sara (2nd and 3rd left)

As the violins leave the piano behind, it paints a beautiful but depressing image of his mother in her latter stages of life. In a change of tempo, the track picks up pace with some more vigorous notes being played by all those involved. This signifies his desire to get his mother back. His realisation that he hasn’t got long left with the woman who brought him into the world. It’s as though Rael is rushing to see her for the last time before she leaves him. Finally, the track comes to a diminuendo at the very end. With this technique, you feel he as though his mother has finally passed on. As well, you feel his hope of keeping her alive dissipate into a non-existence.

As you can see, this album is far from a feel-good one. However, what it may lack in positivity, it makes up for in incredible talent and emotional investment. Another standout track is ‘Passports for a Metaphysical Journey’. With a solemn start, it exudes a heartfelt, but negatively-charged track from the off.

Again the use of strings and piano paint the picture of two characters (Rael and his mum) batting off one another throughout the album. In this particular track, he frequently uses higher notes, suggesting the happier times he and his mum had perhaps? This was to be short-lived though, as the deep, dark notes begin to take precedence once more. Techniques such as this suggest to us that these happier memories were often few and far between and rarely lasted long periods of time. The symphony of noise is elegantly put together in the latter stages of the track. It shows the artists talent to appreciate what sounds work in unison, but also how he can best represent his emotions without lyrics.

Suddenly, the volume drops and we’re left with a very faint sound of the instruments playing out. As the track ebbs away, we get a sense that everything is ending. Sure enough, the instrumental ends in pure silence, signifying the news Rael hoped he’d never have to hear, his mother is gone.

If you wish to listen to more of the artist, follow the Spotify link below

Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/raeljonesmusic
Twitter: https://twitter.com/raeljones
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/raeljones/?hl=en
Website: https://www.raeljones.com/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCz3drKySyDWm4SKcuHjE7MQ

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News, Pop, Track reviews

New song ‘Undefeated’ by SHK packs a punch, paying tribute to retired UFC fighter

Now, when someone asks you about artist’s musical inspirations, you might say their first love or a family member, but maybe not mixed-martial artist Khabib Nurmagomedov.

However, this time round, that is exactly the case. Pakistan-born, singer-songwriter Shahzad Khan has produced an ode to one of his heroes, the recently-retired Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Unusual admittedly, but hey, you can’t say it isn’t unique! Shahzad wanted to use Khabib’s discipline and success as a symbol for his message. The idea behind the song is to inspire anyone, no matter their background, to reach for their dreams.

No matter how impossible it may seem, like the UFC legend, we must remain undefeated as we strive to achieve our goals. Shahzad said he has ‘been really inspired by his hard-work, skills, integrity, discipline and unconquerable spirit.

‘I think he is a great role-model for any professional, especially for Muslim’.

The song itself has a unique vibe it has to be said. It begins with an interesting pop vibe, accompanied by a melodic rock guitar sound.

As Shahzad begins to sing, it reminds me of a Pet Shop Boys-esque style. the autotuned voice, imposed with a synth sound creates a flashback to the 70’s duo.

However, not to remain in anyone’s shadow, Shahzad quickly steps up the beat as we enter the chorus. Out of nowhere, this new found pace and energy transforms the song, stopping it from becoming a stagnant tune.

The beat lends itself to a dance anthem, something you could really groove to, if you’d had a few. It’s a real pop sound and not dissimilar from a 90’s club vibe.

In a truly unique fashion, the song cuts out halfway through. While some may think this signals the end of the song, you’d be wrong (I’m a rhyming genius).

A few seconds later, the song kicks back into action with that familiar chorus. For me, it signified the idea that Shahzad has a real passion for what he is saying, not just ending the song at a lowly one minute 50 seconds.

However, another school of thought may suggest that this is a symbol for Khabib himself. Never stopping, always fighting, always winning.

Picture: shkpuk (Facebook)

Overall, it’s a really unique track with a clear and positive meaning. With Khabib now retired, it’s things like this that will cement his legacy in the years to come.

If you want to check out ‘Undefeated’, then follow the link below.

https://www.youtube.com/user/TheShahzikhan/videos

Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shkpkuk/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/shkpkuk

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News, Uncategorized

Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus features on McFly’s new single ‘Growing Up’

NME reports:

The track is set for the band’s upcoming album ‘Young Dumb Thrills’

McFly have shared a brand new song featuring Blink-182‘s Mark Hoppus – listen to ‘Growing Up’ below.

The track will feature on the band’s upcoming comeback album ‘Young Dumb Thrills’, which is set to arrive on November 13.

The joyous new track follows McFly’s recent comeback, with the band signing their first record deal in a decade back in July.

The band previously formed a supergroup with Busted called McBusted. Listen to new song ‘Growing Up’ below.

Back in May, Mark Hoppus revealed that he has been recording new Blink-182 material during lockdown. “Upcoming recording is happening as we speak. It was new Blink, not Simple Creatures or anything else,” he said on a livestream.

A long-awaited EP from the band is also in the works, which Hoppus said last year would feature Lil Uzi Vert and Pharrell Williams, and said he hoped would be released “by the end of summer”.

Simple Creatures, the band Hoppus shares with All Time Low vocalist Alex Gaskarth, are also working on new music in quarantine. Speaking to NME earlier this summer, Gaskarth said that the pair “won’t be [recording] in person but we’re sending ideas back and forth and we’re always talking about what the next steps are for Simple Creatures. It’s in the works.”

New Blink-182 music would follow the band’s 2019 album ‘Nine’. In a four-star review of the album, NME said there was “no room for nostalgia with Blink 2.0,” adding: “There may be no joke songs this time around, but the grinning, reckless abandon of ‘Generational Divide’ is sure to put a smile on the face of the most cynical of fans. “‘Nine’ sees Blink back at their very best.

Last month, the band shared a new song called ‘Quarantine’.

As reported in NME.

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Kiwi Rock God, Merv Pinny, grants fans wishes with newest video release – Little Demons

The former dairy farmer turned rock sensation, Merv Pinny, hasn’t let his near-death experiences get in the way of his musical journey, including the video release for his latest track, Little Demons.

It hasn’t all been plain sailing for Merv, surviving being run over by a truck and a motorcycle accident that resulted in a broken back, clearly, nothing can stop the Kiwi rock artist from fulfilling his fans wishes. Originally starting out as the second part of Merv’s track, Twisted Minds, his fans insisted that Little Demons got its own release after becoming a hit on Spotify. And he didn’t disappoint. The exhilarating new video for Little Demons is sure to leave fans thankful for a musical treat this summer!

Watch the new music video for Little Demons here:

Here’s Merv explaining the process of creating such a rock classic:

“I was experimenting with different sounds and ways I wanted to make my guitar sound. I wanted my guitar to sound like a machine gun and bullets, so I used a pen, jamming it under the strings. Then I used a hunting knife to drag up the string to create a feeling of tension in the atmosphere”

Merv Pinny

Making a full recovery after cheating death, Merv now boasts millions of views of his tracks and videos. This is thanks to his viral hit ‘OB Can You Hear the Children Cry‘, a rallying cry for children in crisis around the world, as well as the recent radio hit ‘I’, which captures the delight of finally being able to reconnect with loved ones after lockdown.

Personifying the phrase ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ we can’t wait for his fans’ response to this empowering single and video, and what lies around the corner for the unstoppable rock star.

Find and follow Merv Pinny on social media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kiwihardrockers/

Website: https://www.mervpinny.com

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/merv-pinny/i-1

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0GSBdrcsO3PQySxsImXOrx?si=MhVpVNMiRjeDTJ5VpnBfbA

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHEc9MRItFcEkrDZsf1LCmg

Written by: Kate Parry

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News

The 1975, Yungblud and many more UK artists unite to fight racism and intolerance

NME reports:

The 1975YungbludLittle Mix, and Jessie Ware are just a few of the key players from the UK music scene who have come together to co-sign an urgent call to speak out against racism and intolerance.

Read more: How to support Black Lives Matter and anti-racist organisations if you can’t protest

A letter, supported by artists, managers, producers and UK record labels such as Universal Music, Warner Music and Sony Music, was released last night (August 1) along with a call-to-action hashtag, #NoSilenceInMusic.

Other artists who have co-signed the letter include: Lily AllenNile RodgersSports TeamMabelElla EyreTwo Door Cinema ClubJames ArthurClean BanditNAOMNEKGoldieYears & YearsJess GlynneNaughty BoyRita OraTom MischCirca Waves, and DJ Yoda.

You can read it in full below:

“We, representatives from the music industry, write to demonstrate and express our determination, that love, unity and friendship, not division and hatred, must and will always be our common cause.

“In recent months through a series of events and incidents, the anti-black racists and antisemites, plus those who advocate islamophobia, xenophobia, homophobia and transphobia, have repeatedly demonstrated that they clearly want us all to fail. Whether it be systemic racism and racial inequality highlighted by continued police brutality in America or anti-Jewish racism promulgated through online attacks, the result is the same: suspicion, hatred and division. We are at our worst when we attack one another.

“Minorities from all backgrounds and faiths have struggled and suffered. From slavery to the Holocaust we have painful collective memories. All forms of racism have the same roots – ignorance, lack of education and scapegoating. We, the British music industry are proudly uniting to amplify our voices, to take responsibility, to speak out and stand together in solidarity. Silence is not an option.

“There is a global love for music, irrespective of race, religion, sexuality and gender. Music brings joy and hope and connects us all. Through music, education and empathy we can find unity. We stand together, to educate and wipe out racism now and for our future generations.”

You can see a full list of people who co-signed the letter here.

As reported in NME.

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Government unveils five-stage plan to see live performances return to UK

NME Reports:

The government has unveiled a five-stage “road-map” plan to help the arts sector rebuild following the coronavirus pandemic.

Billed as a “phased return” to business, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said he wanted to “raise the curtain on live performances” as soon as possible.

During stage one of the plan, rehearsal and training for performances would be allowed to begin again with social distancing guidelines in place. No audiences would be allowed at this stage.

By stage two, performances could take place for broadcast and recording with social distancing guidelines in place; no audiences would be allowed at this point. A spokesperson for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport told the BBC that the first two stages of the plan could start immediately.

By stage three, performances outdoors would be allowed to take place with socially-distant audiences present. Alongside this, “pilots” for indoor performances with a more limited audience number would also take place.

Stage four would see performances resuming both indoors and outdoors but with limited, socially distanced audiences. By stage five, performances would continue but with fuller audiences. The government has not yet given a time frame of when it expects stages 3, 4 and 5 to begin.

As reported in NME.

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UNIVERSAL’S TUNECORE RIVAL SPINNUP LAUNCHES IN JAPAN

Music Business Worldwide Reports:

Universal Music Group-owned DIY digital distribution service Spinnup has launched in Japan.

The newly launched, localized Japanese language service promises to help provide local independent artists the opportunity to release their music around the world and be heard by local Universal Music A&Rs at the same time.

For a limited time, all artists in Japan creating a new account can release either one single, mini-album or album for free via Spinnup, using the free code SPINNUPJP.

Through Spinnup, artists can distribute their music to platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, as well as local Japanese platforms including LINE and AWA.

Spinnup also showcases new talent in front of UMG’s A&Rs.

Having already signed more than 80 artists across Europe and the US to frontline UMG labels, Spinnup now has dedicated staff in Tokyo to support, discover and sign the best new talent in Japan.

Spinnup recently launched Creators United, which combines all-new content skewed to artists in lockdown, a Spinnup Community Facebook Group, and a series of livestream programs.

Ichiro Tamaki, Corporate Executive, Universal Music Japan said: “Distributing music has never been easier than today, but the challenge of building a professional career is no different for new artists.

“Spinnup not only enables local independent artists to release their music to fans around the world, but it also enables our A&R to discover new talent.

“We’re very excited to be able to find and support new Japanese talent through Spinnup and to invigorate the independent music scene here.”

Nina Usher, GM, Spinnup, added: “As a global service, Spinnup places the utmost importance on being able to reach independent artists all over the world and help them get heard.

“We are so excited to launch a fully localised service in Japan, complete with new DSPs and powered by the team at Universal Music Japan.

“We can’t wait to tap into the community of independent artists here and to discover the best new talent.”

As reported in Music Business Worldwide.

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Hundreds of grassroots music venues back call for £50 million cash injection from government

Complete Music Update Reports:

Hundreds of independent venue businesses from across the UK have signed an open letter to the government backing the Music Venue Trust’s call for a £50 million cash injection to be made into their sector, arguing that such support is now urgently required to ensure the country’s network of grassroots venues can survive the next three months.

The Music Venue Trust proposed the £50 million in sector-specific government support last week, stating that the ongoing COVID-19 shutdown – and continued uncertainty as to when music venues will be able to re-open – meant that hundreds of venues are now facing permanent closure. And while industry-led fundraising activity that has generated over £2 million to date has bought those venues a little time, more significant financial support is now required.

The new open letter to ministers signed by 560 venues says that the grassroots venue network is the “fundamental foundation” of the UK’s “world-beating £5.2 billion per year music industry”, supporting each new generation of music-makers by providing “training, rehearsal spaces, recording opportunities and career development”.

Without this network of venues, “there would be no Beatles, no Stones, no Led Zeppelin, no Duran Duran, no Sade, no Oasis, no Skunk Anansie, no Adele, no Ed Sheeran, no Dua Lipa”.

“We do not just support the next generation of world-beating artists”, the letter goes on. “Grassroots music venues are where people come together, where they celebrate, where they socialise. Thousands of cultural professionals get their first taste of working in the creative industries in our venues, including many of those who go on to work in areas other than music. Grassroots music venues sit at the very heart of our creative nation”.

The letter then notes the ongoing challenges faced by venues as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. While high street retail is returning to normal in the UK and an announcement is expected later today on whether social distancing rules will be sufficiently relaxed to allow pubs and restaurants to re-open next month, there remains uncertainty about when live music will return.

The letter says: “Public health advice is clear. Singing is a high-risk activity. Dancing is a high-risk activity. Standing close to other people is a high-risk activity. Being in a confined space for a long period is a high-risk activity. These are the four pillars of the live music experience we offer in our venues. Coming together with friends and communities to dance and sing with your favourite artists in any of the 800 grassroots music venues across the UK is the very core and purpose of why we exist”.

Given the ongoing challenges, the venues say that the MVT’s proposals – which include a VAT holiday for the wider live sector as well as the £50 million fund for grassroots venues – are the only way to ensure that they can survive the next three months. That will buy the extra time now required to help the venues work with government and public health officials in bringing live music back in a safe and commercially viable way.

“These measures are simple, quick, effective and would prevent the closure of hundreds of grassroots music venues”, the letter concludes. “They are the right thing to do. We are a dynamic, innovative, and inventive sector. We do not need permanent government intervention to exist. We are not asking to become a permanently subsidised drain on the public purse. We do not need the government to step in and tell us how to run our venues. We need government to take two simple steps and leave us to work out how to do the rest. We need you to do the right thing”.

Elsewhere, Nile Rodgers, Brian Eno, Neil Tennant and the bosses of music companies like Domino Recordings, Ninja Tune and the Hipgnosis Songs Fund have backed a separate open letter calling on government to ensure that any programmes that seek to help the cultural industries weather the COVID-19 storm are environmentally sustainable.

This letter has been organised by Julie’s Bicycle, the charity that encourages the cultural sector to lead on climate change and sustainability issues.

It states: “Thousands of artists and organisations from across the creative spectrum have been championing climate action for many years … having already shown our commitment to environmental action we want the cultural recovery to be a fair, just and green recovery”.

Although the UK government is yet to provide sector-specific financial support to the creative and cultural industries which have been majorly impacted by the COVID-19 shutdown, it has formed a “cultural renewal taskforce”.

That committee is advising government on the specific needs of the various creative industries as they continue to navigate the COVID-19 crisis, including the music industry, even though there is no representation from the music community on the government’s team of advisors. That taskforce reports into culture minister Oliver Dowden.

Addressing Dowden, the Julie’s Bicycle letter says: “We urge government to commit to a rapid, just and green cultural recovery combining targeted public investment, clear policy signals, and implementation of Climate Change Act obligations extended to the cultural renewal strategy. We urge that action to protect nature and biodiversity is given the attention it so urgently deserves”.

It remains to be seen how the government responds to both letters. Will ministers employ pretty much the same strategy that has been used throughout the COVID-19 pandemic whenever the creative industries have raised their concerns? That being: “we want to support you in every way possible that we can other than by actually supporting you”. We’ll see.

As reported Complete Music Updated.

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