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.
LearningToDive (Bravo Bonez) is the producer, vocalist and composer of the upcoming synth-pop, new wave album ‘Norwegian Pop’.
He uses the new album as a vehicle to explore a number of personal, political and societal ideas (heavy topics to say the least).
Having flitted between his birthplace of the UK and New Zealand, Coronavirus saw Bravo firmly stationed in New Zealand.
He used this time to work on ‘Norwegian Pop’, taking influence from artists like Roxy Music, Echo and the Bunnymen, Radiohead and The Psychedelic Furs.
With all these influences, it’s clear to see why this album is so diverse and rich with different features and compositions.
‘I Stand On An Ice Floe’ kicks off the album with its gloriously deep and impactful beat.
It draws you in, really making you feel like a part of the song, rather than just a simple listener.
As it progresses, Bonez introduces a drum beat to ease you into the track whilst also injecting some drama to this delightful opener.
The track sticks to this calming and soulful vibe the whole way through with its relaxing tempo. In all honesty, the song has an almost orchestral impression to it, used by a lot of new wave artists that inspired him.
‘Falling Leaves’ is another standout track for me. This subscribes more to the Synth influence than anything else.
With a far more upbeat and rhythmic energy compared to the opening track, it works perfectly to demonstrate Bonez‘s diversity.
Coupled with his vocals, it transports me to a Pet Shop Boys concert, echoing their style and calming vocals.
If I had any criticism to make of this album, it would be the length of the songs. Although the tracks themselves are outstanding, the length of them requires more diversity. Still, that’s clutching at straws.
If you fancy giving LearningToDive a listen then you’ll only have to wait until April 2nd for the full album release, or March 19th for the teaser that is ‘Promenade’.
In the meantime check out his previous work on Spotify below
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’.
From writing songs at the age of 15 to now, it’s clear to see J Carlyle‘s put a lot of effort into his passion.
Alongside the amount of time he’s invested into his career, the accolades he has achieved in the process help to cement him as a true up-and-coming artist.
In 2020, he released his debut EP ‘Calculating The Ifs‘, as well as his hit single ‘Forever Girl’. J Carlyle has been lucky enough to collaborate with platinum-selling producer Mantra, whose client list includes superstar names like Future and Rhianna.
With so much raw talent and a great producer to boot, it’s clear that we’re going to be treated to some amazing music from this guy in the coming months and years.
J is also a hero outside the music world though. When he’s not creating, he’s working in hospitals, dealing with mental health issues. Having experienced poor mental health himself, he’s hoping to use his music to provide an escape for those who are struggling.
‘I consider myself an advocate for Mental Health because it’s a topic which is extremely close to me. Over the last 10 years I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum from working in one of the largest mental health institutions in East Midlands, looking after people from all walks of life whose mental health has deemed them a risk to society or/and their own well-being. I myself have suffered with mental health issues also. This journey prompted me to work with Channel 4 and local councils to create a music programme for the youth’.
‘Intruder Alert’ looks at the aspects of mental health present in social media, in a very unique way.
Immediately, you can sense the modern vibe hat J is trying to put across. The studio effects and Dancehall sounds really hammer home the modernity of this single.
Rising from the background, we are quickly greeted by the soft, calming voice of J. His vocals come through in almost a Reggae style, intertwined with the occasional R&B feel.
The track itself contains a very simple yet effective beat. Matched with the intelligent lyrics, it means the talent he possesses as a lyricist shines through perfectly. This allows us to appreciate the effort and skill the artist has put into this particular track, without it being drowned out by a cacophony of studio sound inserts.
Towards the end of the track, the police sirens we heard at the start begin to return. This is a brilliant touch from artist and producer, signalling a full-circle finish for the track, tying it off neatly and succinctly.
You won’t have to wait for this one either. J Carlyle‘s single ‘Intruder Alert’ is out now so get listening below!
After making a name for herself in the fashion and textiles industry, Jade Moss is now looking to take the music world by storm. With her debut single ‘Hey Babe’, she talks about love in a very flippant way in the modern era, taking us on a tale of how new lovers should be careful how they treat her.
Having up-sticked from Yorkshire at the young age of 18, Jade found herself in England’s beating capital, London. Here, she garnered a huge success in her creative designs and contemporary retro looks that she’s now transitioned into her music.
With a very clear message, Jade tells us ‘the music that I write is about my experiences with love, joy, strength and the importance of self-worth’.
The single itself begins with an electro-dance beat conjuring up scenes of 90’s raves and the odd 80’s disco. However, not satisfied with being rooted in one place, her vocals quickly transport us to a different era altogether.
Situated in a contemporary jazz, swing style, Jade‘s lyrics are refreshing to hear in this modern era of mumble rap and repetitive pop songs. Her impressively strong voice is wonderful to listen to. The effortlessness in which she sings shows listeners that she’s more than your average vocalist.
The inspirations from her heroes like Etta James, Grace Jones and Lauren Hill are clear throughout. Although, I’d say there’s a touch of Lady Gaga in her vocals and a unique sense of theatrics midway through.
You can tell she oozes confidence in the quality of this song. She takes centre stage and doesn’t give it up for anyone or anything. While the music is crucial, Jade is clearly the star here.
Give ‘Hey Babe’ a listen now by going over to Jade Moss’ Spotify below!
Cementing himself into the UK electro-pop, Leif Coffield is turning heads with his stunning new single ‘Say My Name’.
The track follows a heavy storyline, touching on being suppressed in relationships, with a yearning to break free and rediscover yourself. Deep stuff ay?
The artist is making sure he doesn’t fall into the category of everyone else in the modern music scene by making each track as unique as he can:
“I try in each of my songs for them to have one unique element, or one distinguishing factor that sounds out of the ordinary and that separates it from the norm. I take a lot of inspiration from artists that endeavour to break the mould and refrain from operating within the confines of the mainstream; artists like Flume, FINNEAS, Kanye West, Bon Iver, who push the boundaries of the creative process.“
The track itself takes on the aforementioned dark tone. The heavy drum beat accompanying is enough to tell you this isn’t going to be ray of sunshine.
All the way through, Leif is constantly developing the track, adding layers and stripping it back. It’s clear to see from this alone that he’s more than just your average young artist.
The lyrics are incredibly thought-provoking, hammering home the meaning of the single. To add to the darkness, the drawl in which he sings makes you feel the emotions he’s expressing, a really nice touch.
However, the chorus picks up the mood a little by adding more gusto to proceedings. His soft voice offsets the dark beat we’ve become so familiar with, again, showing us his ability to create more than just a one-layered pop track.
By constantly changing how he presents his message, we get a real sense of his originality and individual style, making me even more excited to see what else he’s got up his sleeve.
I can’t lie, ‘Say My Name’ is incredibly morose, but the song itself is a huge success. The beat and Leif‘s voice work excellently together, making it a joy to listen to.
‘Say My Name’ is out now so go give it a listen on Spotify to appreciate for yourself how good this track is.
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
Even with a 45 year hiatus, Raw Soul Express have still got it. Their new single, ‘Fate of the World’ combines the modern traits of the music industry and resurrects the old school sounds that they’re known for.
Their previous track, ‘The Way We Live’, was a hit in 1976. However, nearly 50 years on, their new track has much deeper insights.
Asking the biggest questions, the band touches on Black Lives Matter, Coronavirus, Global warming and the economy.
In vocalist and keys player Chris Perkins’ words: ‘if you are conscience about your surroundings, mentally, socially and economically with a deep concern for humanity and God and love for your fellow man and the environment, then Fate of the World addresses these issues in our society.It’s powerful, raw and its current. Unfortunately, it’s in real time.’
Now in their second half century, the band have got some incredible accolades. Individually, they’ve worked with the likes of KC & The Sunshine Band, Lenny Kravitz, BB King, James brown as well as Kool and the Gang!
However, it wasn’t all plain sailing for all members of Raw Soul Express, as bassist Albie Manno explains:
‘In 1971 I answered an ad on a bulletin board in a music store for bass player wanted. I sat in one evening and jammed with the band.About three months later at 3 a.m, there was a knock at my door. Three band members woke me and asked if I wanted to be in the band. “You have to decide now” they said. “We have a gig at Bethune-Cookman all black college.” The bass player they had left them in a spot, so half-asleep I said yes.I believe I was the only hippie there that night. After doing the gig and losing about 20 lbs from pure fear and nerves not knowing what the hell I was doing, they decided to keep me and 50 years later here I am!’
The track itself is an awesome piece of work. It really hammers home the modern soul vibe the band were looking for. The deep tones of Rick Washington‘s vocals beautifully bounce off the equally deep tones from the other band members. The music and vocals sound like they were made for each other, working in tandem without fault for the whole song.
Speaking of lyrics and instruments, the track has an incredibly natural feel to it. Thanks to the lack of studio input, you get to hear and feel what these guys are really about. As you’ve probably worked out by now, that’s a massive tick in my book.
However, the stars of the show have got to be the bass and drums by Tommy Johnson and Harold Seay respectively. The drums help to modernise the track, injecting a bit of energy to really get it kick started from beginning to end.
Johnson holds a brilliant bass line throughout, really giving me the itch to get up and dance to this one. Whilst every single member makes this track as amazing as it is, these two deserve a special mention.
Just to make things even better, ‘Fate of the World’ is out now so give it a listen 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