Born in Kent, 18-year-old Jack Rose, known as JCK, is one of the hottest up and coming talents in the pop world.
After hitting No. 6 in the Official commercial pop chart with his previous track ‘Better on My Own’, he’s coming back with another banger, ‘Rockstar‘.
Having toured with the likes of Beverley Knight and Tinchy Stryder, it’s clear that there is some real talent in this artist.
He’s played in excess of 250 live shows and amassed a fan following of over 200,000! If music wasn’t enough fame for JCK, he is also the presenter of Amazon TV show ‘Ghost Hunting with Jack Rose’. I think you can probably guess what that one’s about…
I could sit here all day and list his accolades, but that won’t help you understand what his music is all about, so let’s get on with the review.
When someone says the term, modern pop, this is exactly what you’d think of. The calm beat with the occasional heavy base note to give it some energy.
The lyrics and JCK‘s flow work really well with the beat, making the two feel like one piece rather than two separate components.
He’s produced a catchy chorus, drawing you in, making sure you’re paying attention to what the young star has to say.
I have to say, the quality of the finished product is great; you can really sense the time and effort that he and others have put into the track.
The EP ‘Rockstar’ also features mixes of Jack‘s original from famous producers like Charlie Hedges and Eddie Craig.
The simplified beat allows the producers to really make their own version, but ensures that his lyrics remain the star of the show. Not far off genius that idea, has to be said.
For those of you wanting to listen to what exactly it is I’m going on about, you’ll only have to wait until February 19th for the release of ‘Rockstar’.
Although I may not be old enough to remember the 70’s, I certainly know what they sounded like.
Synths ruled the airwaves and artists like Depeche Mode, Kraftwerk and Brian Eno ruled the charts; ‘Space Art and Angels’ takes us back in time to this very situation.
Wavewulf (Nicholas Long) produced his latest synth extravaganza from his home studio. Here, he used his treasure trove of synths to create a truly otherworldly experience for us to listen to.
‘Space Art and Angels’ is a journey through space, the cosmos and other universes, exploring humanity and the soul in the process. On the first side, my favourite track has to be ‘Reflections and Refractions’; hitting you with a strong synth sound from the off, it’s unmistakably in the style of Wavewulf. The main beat kicks off this track and stays in the spotlight as other sounds and noises come and go. By keeping this consistent beat, the artist creates a strong base, allowing him ample freedom to really experiment with the rest of the track. However, the addition of a drum beat at points helps to give it a modern twist, stopping it from being stuck in the 70’s sound that has been and gone.
On the second side, ‘Planetarium’ was my track of choice. Compared to others, this had a more high-octane feel to it, with a punchier beat. The switch between a high and low pitch at the start got you in the mood for this one. Altering the pitch like this created a different vibe in the track, giving it more energy.
While paying homage to the 70’s synth vibe, the introduction of lyrics sees a very soft voice play over the harsh tones of ‘Planetarium’ to keep that modern twist in place. By doing this, he breaks away from the sounds that were synonymous with the original synth era.
With the EP already out, you can head straight over and give it a listen by following the SoundCloud link below
UK-based hip-hop artist and label CEO, Saint (Matthew Dernham) has brought something new to the world of rap. His new EP, ‘Lucid’ showcases what he is dubbing “Revolutionary Rhythm“, while Saint is hoping to bring about change to the world’s issues by inspiring audiences through his songs.
The artist has already received a number of plaudits, having also featured on BBC Introducing. He’s hoping his new EP, released on his own label MusicalKillah Records, can catapult him further into the eyes and ears of the nation.
The opener, ‘Adrenaline’ fills you with, well, adrenaline. The heavy hitting beat greets you like a smack in the face from an ex or the right hook of Anthony Joshua (not sure which ones worse to be honest).
The beat itself is cleverly constructed. Matthew, and producer PsyRO, have created a brilliant blend of hip-hop and electro music, appealing to a number of audiences.
Interestingly, Saint does well to enunciate every one of his lyrics, allowing us to appreciate his creativity a lot more. For me, this is the most important factor to making a rap song audible. The chorus just tops this track off though. The flow of his lyrics and the beat to back it up comes together amazingly.
Next up is one of the lead songs, ‘Changes’. Again, he produces some brilliant ability and speed of rapping on this, whilst importantly maintaining his enunciation. However, this track is very heavy on the studio beats and sounds. While I appreciate you need these in the genre I wonder whether less is more on this one.
Having been released on 30th January, ‘Lucid’ is available for you to listen to right now! Follow the SoundCloud link and get listening.
Surrey based rapper Leoscappin is set to release his new EP ‘Alienated’ which looks to help those who have been ostracised or felt disaffected.
Having grown up in Sao Paolo, with Japanese heritage, it’s clear to see he has a number of influences in his life. However, being settled in England and taking inspiration from the American Hip Hop scene, we can see why his tracks are so unique.
Speaking about his musical decisions, Leoscappin says:
‘I try to make all my songs have a different feeling and vibe. Some will make you think about your life, others are just for parties and some are just me trying to tell a story. I usually have an idea as soon as I listen to the beat and will follow through with that for the whole song, meaning if I don’t vibe with the beat in the first few seconds I’ll just move on.’
‘Lost You’ is a really cool single that shows the talent he possesses. With a modern rap cum hip hop vibe, it speaks volumes about the artist’s versatility.
Straight away, you can sense and feel the brilliant marriage between the song’s flow, lyrics and beat. It’s truly impressive for the budding rapper to be able to create such a complete track.
His rapping is also of a high quality. For me, the worst thing about this genre is mumble rap. Why “sing” if you’re not going to make the words audible?
Leoscappin dodges this bullet and enunciates his lyrics clearly, allowing you to understand his message as well as feel part of the song.
The ad libs work brilliantly alongside the general lyrics to add an extra layer to the tune. The use of stereo with these is a stroke of genius as well; the music enters through both ears, making you feel completely encompassed in the song, meaning you can really take heed of it.
There is clearly much more to come from this young, talented artist. For now, you’re going to have to wait however. ‘Alienated’ is set for release on February 5th this year. I cannot wait to see what else he has in store for us!
Check out his Spotify now to get a feel for Leoscappin‘s style
I’m going to start this one by saying how amazing this song is. It takes a lot for me to get on board with a tune, but this, in my opinion, is a genuine music masterclass.
Put in a more eloquent way by jazz journalist Debbie Bourke: ‘Beyond the theatrics of make-up that’s just a little extra; peacock-feather ‘n’ tie dye shirts and a rainbow emitting disco ball lies a voice with the call of the sirens and a hot handle on the blues’.
The Fabulous Red Diesel are a unique collective to say the least. From the out-there trumpeter to the classic use of double bass, this ensemble has got the lot.
Their talent has not gone unnoticed either, with The Fabulous Red Diesel previously supporting the likes of ‘Hallelujah’ legend himself, Jeff Buckley.
Their new track ‘Butterfly Mind’ is something to behold. The vivid range of various instruments is tied together succinctly with the voice of lead singer Ms Kitty (Kat Lee-Ryan).
In her own words, the track is ‘about the way my brain works and the way music flits from one person to another, changing their perception (hopefully for the better) by tiny inspirational touches...
‘…and then it’s also a love song – I am married to the drummer and I’m saying no matter how many twists and turns and expansions my mind has, I am always grounded in him – you know I’ve got a butterfly mind but I settle on you’.
Now you’re up to date with the background of the song, let’s get into the serious stuff, the review.
Putting their stamp on the track from the start, the band open up with a gorgeous soul-jazz combo, perfectly offset by the heavy bass. After settling in to the track, we’re given another level with the introduction of the keyboard.
From the off, the timing and intelligence to marry up the instruments proves just how much talent these guys have got in their locker. Needless to say, they prove this throughout the whole of ‘Butterfly Mind’.
The relaxing notes and beat really help to mellow you out as the audience, heightening your senses as to what the band have created.
If that wasn’t enough, lead singer Kat introduces another level into this labor of love with her vocals. Using simple, effective lyrics, it means you don’t have to think too hard about what’s being said, you can just listen and appreciate.
Echoing the vocal talents of Stevie Nicks, Kat grabs ‘Butterfly Mind’ by the balls claiming control. However, she finds success in areas where other singers have struggled, by not overpowering the other components. She allows the music to express itself and have its own spotlight as the song progresses.
Don’t get me wrong, this band isn’t your run of the mill four piece. Equipped with tuba, flute and trumpet, they’re certainly something different, but if that’s what we’re calling them I’ll take all the different I can get.
To hear ‘Butterfly Mind’follow the Spotify link below and listen to their new EP ‘The Queensbury House Sessions’
Having reviewed one of Jon Scott‘s tracks already, I knew I was in for a treat when this email dropped into my inbox.
Chronicling the extraordinary world we live in, ‘Freedom-A New Jerusalem’ looks to try and unite a divided world in the face of prejudice and social injustice.
Following the shockwaves that were sent around the world after the shooting of George Floyd in America, EP’s like this become even more important.
Jon explained ‘the inherent prophecy of the “wall theme” [Donald Trump’s desire to build a wall between America and Mexico] then manifested itself in the on-street killing of George Floyd.
Then amazingly, we saw the outpouring of humanity, love and oneness in the BLM demonstrations all over the world. For me, this is a vision of “a new Jerusalem”, a place where all God’s children can stand together as one humanity.’
Now, for what you’ve all come to find out, is this EP actually any good?
Well, listening to ‘Freedom’ again reminded me of just how brilliant this artist is. With an up-tempo, afrobeat vibe, it’s a winner for me from the start. Immediately, we get the sense that this is a truly unique artist. The best likeness I can give is a jovial MIchael Kiwanuka, you’ll understand when you listen to the track, I promise.
With its catchy chorus, you’re drawn in to the song, making you listen to the meaning behind the lyrics rather than just enjoying the cacophony of noise. Having said that, the skill in combining the speech elements with the instruments and lyrics is truly incredible. There are so many layers to this track that aptly fit together.
This track is incredibly well-produced and certainly sets the bar very high for the tracks to come. Next up is ‘A Beautiful Country’, a song that is worlds away from the previous tune.
This time, we’re greeted by a disco vibe. Now, I have to admit, the sudden change of genre did give me whiplash, but I love how versatile the artist is. Even though it is far different from ‘Freedom’, it’s a very impressive track yet again.
It strikes me with a feel of the 1970’s New Romantics, a disco style ABC if you will. This may sound like a throwaway comment, but it’s something he does well. Scott also has a resounding ability to take an old genre or style and modernise it to suit any beat he transposes it to. Alongside his musical talent, we see him showcase his amazing vocal range with some much higher pitch singing being adopted here.
All in all, ‘A Beautiful Country’ is a feel-good tune which explores emotion as well as different music styles. Throughout, you get the sense that he really means every word, he’s not just saying it for the sake of a track.
The third tack on the EP, ‘Water is Wet’, takes us on yet another tour of a genre. This time, Jon treats us to his ability to sing above areggae beat. Again, he expresses his ability to modernise and older style of music. Here, he takes on the form of a modern Bob Marley.
A clever technique used in this track is the simple lyrics. By keeping the content basic, the artist allows the music to breath and really come into its own. After the last two tracks, this an awesome change of pace. You enjoy the music here, rather than listening to a message. With this, the artist reminds us that this is an EP after all, not just a platform for political views.
The final track in this brilliant EP is ‘Suzy Walker’. For me, this was the most modern of the four tracks and is the stand-out from the record. By using old genres as well as new, Jon Scott spreads the message that the prejudice he speaks of is not concentrated in one era, but spans across many.
This is a great end to a great EP. While it may be simple in places, it makes you move and smile, which should be the absolute foundation to any good collection of music.
Another accolade for the artist is that this is the only time I’ve added an artists full EP to my personal playlist, well done Mr. Scott!
To enjoy it for yourself, listen to the EP using the Spotify link below
Plàsi is releasing a new EP next week and we are so there for it!
When speaking about the new EP, Plàsi said: “The story is coherent, I’m playing with different types of musical moods, because the EP is basically about me finding my way back to where I belong. During many years, I actually went away from music and tried to distance myself from it. It’s easy to put yourself in different boxes: lawyer, doctor, economist, and so on. Music was always my passion. As I grew up however, different options were presented, so I took time off from it. The EP recalls when I was young and time didn’t matter. I eventually realized music was exactly what I should be doing, and I shouldn’t be afraid to let that passion back into my life.”
Plàsi’s music has gathered over 40 million streams since his debut in 2016 and has been critically acclaimed in international media. He has supported the likes of Henry Jamison, José González and Hollow Coveson on the road, in addition to his first European headline tour and performances at festivals such as Iceland Airwaves and Eurosonic.
In the midst of a brief break from tour, he retreated to the Julian Alps in Slovenia with bandmates and producers Linus and Hannes Hasselberg. Holing up in a remote mountainside cottage, they spent four full days recording what would become Where I Belong. In between, they hiked through the woods, enjoyed hidden lakes, and inhaled the fresh air. “I wanted this to be part of an experience for everyone involved,” he states. “We took the songs to a place where we all felt very close to earth and to nature. That part of the story is very important to me. It’s hard to reproduce the same feeling in a studio on a normal day. We were in a country my producers had never been to. There was a unique feeling of being in the middle of the mountains that I hadn’t experienced in many other places. We felt a little bit like kids, because we were in a place we wouldn’t normally be, and everything was exciting around the process.
Threaded together by intimately organic soundscapes and entrancing vocal transmissions, he wholeheartedly embraced his purpose on the 2020 EP, ‘Where I Belong’.
‘Where I Belong’ will be released May 29th on Nettwerk!
Ok we don’t want to get you too excited but we may have found the newest artist to chill out to Bon Iver style..
JJ Draper’s newest EP, ‘The Theft & The Flight’, which is set to be released on 3rd July, has all the tenderness and artistry of Sufjan Stevens, Nick Mulvey and Bon Iverwhile also capturing its own voice and tone. Acoustic guitar-led with soft falsetto vocals, incorporating subtle, dappled sampling, electronics and piano, the new work is an exploration of JJ’s rich and intense, emotional soundscapes.
Juxtaposing gentle music with the unflinching chronicling of real-life events, JJ’s approach to songwriting has already seen him gain high praise from the likes of The Line Of Best Fit, Riot Mag and DIY for his previous EP ‘Silhouettes’. Interested in honestly reflecting his perspective in any scenario, he talks of surreal experiences or confused detachment with the same gravity as moments of sober reality.
Drawing inspiration from great songwriters and innovators such as Big Thief, Radiohead and Wilco (as well as both Bon Iver and Sufjan Stevenspreviously mentioned), JJ’s ambitious new work is soon to be released with arrangements already made to be performed in front of audiences in a powerful and compelling live show. Expect moments of vulnerability punctuated with defiance and raw emotion as JJ weaves songs of real beauty and influences collide. Searingly honest lyrics hit home with JJ’s voice ably switching between registers, rinsing every drop of emotion from the material.
Whilst we wait for the latest songs to listen to on repeat in the sun this summer, give JJ a follow on social below and get to know his music from his previous EP on spotify.
Italy’s finest, Vina Rose, is bringing a fresh new sound to the UK pop scene along with a new EP titled Crossroads. She’s just moved to London to build on her career and she’s ready to take the music scene by storm.
The aptly-titled, Crossroads, looks to build on the critical acclaim of her 2019 single, ‘Breathe Again‘, and sees her vocal prowess given tracks that really allow her to shine.
Vina’s tracks alternate between elegant ballads to EDM pop to soul and rock, incorporating subtleties in each to bring her own unique sound. The track Crossroads reflects on this seismic change in her life which has seen her leave behind a successful career in Italian media to perfect her craft in London.
Yorkshire ensemble Rocketsmith faced the terrential showers at Vdub festival this weekend as other stalls packed up, unable to see through the showers and Rocketsmith’s ability to win over the most soaked of crowds is perfect tribute to how this feel-good northern band operates!
Having just released their EP ‘Balancing Act’, the four Yorkshiremen are living true to the EP’s title. An egg farmer, a painter and decorator, a tiler and an electrical engineer, Rocketsmith are beating the ‘balancing act’ by nailing their two lives as performers and humble Yorkshire workmen. An EP with all the fundamentals of a feel-good morning soundtrack to make you get up and go, ‘Balancing Act’ hosts lead tracks such as ‘Give Love’ and ‘Real Life’, whose combination of rock riffs and pop incentives are enough to make even those caught in any downpour smile.
Hatched in Pickering, just on the edge of the wilds of the North Yorkshire Moors, with the exception of renegade Matt, originally from Sheffield and now settled in Scarborough. Like every musician worth their salt, they’ve all played in various bands over the years but always with the view that being a covers band was not for them. Forged together by a desire to write and perform their own material, the band’s number one aim has always been “to entertain people”.
This year Rocketsmith are celebrating their tenth anniversary as a band and as Hank and his magic beard (which he was proud to declare existed way before they became trendy!) and say that they look to give escapism from a world stuffed with TV talent shows, social media warriors and woe.