Pools “You & Us”

Pools are a collaboration between the Swedish duo Fredrik Forell and Arvid Hällagård, and they have pooled their talents as the musical collaboration of “Pool”. Together they have made their debut album, ‘You & Us’, which is set to be released on 14th May 2021 via Something Beautiful.

Arvid handles the lead vocals with a voice that sent chills up and down my spine. His vocal style has an almost haunted quality which serves him well on tracks such as the opener “Grave”. About the album’s title track, Arvid says, “These are some thoughts about how she and I felt during the relationship, how you have to handle yourself, and at the same time an ‘Us’. Mostly it’s about how hard a relationship can be, having a first kid. You expect it to be in a certain way, and the disappointment when those expectations turn out to be unreal.”

Fredrik Forell mixes in music that verges on Americana folk but opens up new sounds that left me wondering “what the hell was that”?!

I love it! If iTunes had grooves, I would have worn out this album by now. The lyrics and music combine to create a portrait of pain. “You and Us” walks us through the journey of love, love lost, love that never was and love that needs room to grow.

A killer track on “You and Us” that caught my ear was “By The Old Moon”. It was an instant earworm for me. Take what sounds like a banjo and then add some sound samples, mix them all with the remorseful lyrics, and you get a song that keeps me hitting the repeat button. 

I could go on and on waxing poetically about the songs, the music and the sheer brilliance of this album, but I will let “You & Us” speak for itself. Check out the singles “By the Old Noon”, “Looking For Trouble”, and “Walk” speak for themselves on your music platform of choice; I used Apple Music. And then tune in for the album to drop on 14th May via Something Beautiful recordings.

Brilliant, absolutely brilliant.

D I S C O V E R

https://www.facebook.com/poolstheband

https://www.instagram.com/poolstheband/

https://open.spotify.com/artist/4bcbIKU2rCjMoNim9Icn6t

For press enquiries, contact james@mysticsons.com or dan@mysticsons.com

Dead Can Dance

Dead Can Dance members Lisa Gerrard and Jules Maxwell have teamed up under a new guise with James Chapman (MAPS) to create a studio album, titled ‘Burn’. The record began its journey more than seven years ago, when Lisa met Irish theatre composer Jules Maxwell before working together for the first time. ‘Burn’ is set for release on 7th May 2021 via Atlantic Curve. 

Speaking about the origins of the album, Lisa Gerrard explains, “It is with great pleasure that I share this collaboration with Jules Maxwell. Jules and I began our creative journey with Dead Can Dance. We realised that we could connect through improvisation and that musical exploration continues to evolve with this present work.”

Although this record is a new release, its beginnings go all the way back to 2012 during that year’s Dead Can Dance world tour. Originally brought in as a live keyboard player, Jules Maxwell helped create a new song with Lisa Gerrard called ‘Rising Of The Moon’, which was performed as the final encore of each show. By the time the tour finished in Chile in 2013, a strong affinity had begun to develop between the two of them and further opportunities to collaborate with each other resulted over subsequent years. 

In 2015, when Maxwell was asked to submit songs for the Bulgarian choir The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices (Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares), he approached Gerrard to co-write material and travelled to Australia to work with her in her home studio. The pair came away with four new songs for that release, as well as the building blocks for this new venture together.

Jules describes the introduction to James Chapman.

“About a year later, over dinner in Sofia after a concert by the Bulgarian women, my publisher suggested to me that I work with James Chapman on completing the BURN songs. James had established a sound with his band MAPS, which also had big horizons at its core, and it seemed like an intriguing proposition to me.”

With Chapman joining the duo as producer, ideas began to be generated freely and over time a distinct sound for their work began to emerge. Their focus was to create a sound that was both euphoric and compelling, more inventive than what they had worked on separately in the past. From gentle beginnings, each track builds and intensifies, creating a hypnotic experience to listen to from start to finish.

With Lisa remaining in Australia, Jules adding his keys and percussion from France, and James bringing new light to the sound from England, the three were literally worlds apart, but those worlds fused in the music.

Recently, Jules Maxwell also released his debut solo album ‘Songs From The Cultural Backwater’, Lisa Gerrard received a Grammy nomination and returned to Dead Can Dance to release the group’s critically praised ninth studio full-length ‘Dionysus’, and James Chapman released MAPS 4th full-length album ‘Colours. Reflect. Time. Loss’.

Stylistically, the new album ‘Burn’ is a diverse mix of electronica, alternative, cinematic soundscape and world music with hints of early Vangelis. Accumulatively, this is a stunning departure for all three of them. 

Lisa Gerrard and Jules Maxwell’s new album ‘Burn’ will be available as of 7th May 2021 via Atlantic Curve.

D I S C O V E R

https://www.facebook.com/LisaGerrardOfficial

https://twitter.com/Lisa_Gerrard

http://www.lisagerrard.com/

https://www.facebook.com/JulesMaxwellOfficial/

http://julesmaxwell.com/

Press enquiries please contact james@mysticsons.com

Street Haunting by Slow Down Molasses

If I have a new review or two, it must be Friday, the day that new music drops regularly. So much music and so little time, a delightful conundrum.

First up is Slow Down Molasses, from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Only a six-hour drive away from me, in Canada, that makes them practically next-door neighbours.

The press handout for Slow Down Molasses called them post-punk, which nailed it as far as genre names go. They have an exciting blend of grinding crunching guitar soundbites that jump out of intelligent lyrics and pleasant layered synth, driving bass and perfect percussion.

I would drive the six hours to hear them play live. However, in the Covid-19 times that we find ourselves in, I will content myself with listening to them over and over on Apple Music. The single “Street Haunting” was released today, April 9th, via Divine Schism.

You can go deeper with Slow Down Molasses here: https://open.spotify.com/artist/5T7p8EBAj3s9i5dxZ00S7v

and here,

https://www.instagram.com/slowdownmolasses/?hl=en

and here,

https://twitter.com/slowdownmolasse?lang=en

and here,

https://www.facebook.com/slowdownmolasses/

For all press enquiries, please contact james@mysticsons.com

The Best Paintroller Hands Down

Paintroller doesn’t show up as a song title very often; https://genius.com/ only had three songs with paintroller in the title. There will be four as of Friday, April 9, 2021, the music group Hands Down, fronted by Filip Sjögren, will be dropping their new single with the title “Paintroller” on that day.

Sjögren took 2020 off from his vocation as a sound technician and producer to focus on creating music with his band Hands Down, a good call considering how that year unfolded.

The song “Paintroller” builds on the firm foundation of their first single “, Too Late”. “Paintroller” opens with Deep raucous percussive hits that segue into smooth as silk keys and synths, which lead us to the lyrical content. Filip Sjögren tells us, “The song about being coloured by everyone else”, says Sjögren, “and having your own ideas crushed by outside forces. Not feeling very welcome to the party, both in terms of music and society, feeling peer pressure. That’s what inspired the song. I had the whole song done at one point, and then I scrapped the vocal and wrote and recorded a whole new melody and vocal. That demo was called ‘paintroller’, and so that inspired me to write the new lyrics. I have no idea why that demo was called paintroller. But it is a very visual word”.

There are jazz elements woven into the fabric of the song and strings that would not be out of place in a movie soundtrack. “Paintroller” certainly showcases Filip Sjögren’s familiarity with music construction and how to bring all the diverse parts together to create a beautiful song. Well done, Mr Sjögren, well done.

‘Paintroller’ will be available to stream from April 9 via Hands Down’s label Youth Recordings. While you wait for that, you can check this out:

https://www.instagram.com/___handsdown/ 

https://www.facebook.com/handsdownswe 

For press enquiries please contact jack@mysticsons.com

Mimi Bay

I “Have No Doubt” that you need to “keep it”. The ‘it’ that you need to keep is your attention; keep it glued to Mimi Bay’s music.

Her new single “keep it” dropped on March 26th; hey, that’s today on my watch.

Keep your ears glued to her music.

1https://song.space/2emckg/song/1650726

Keep your eyes glued to her video.

2https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuplHj8lTVQ

That’s it. That’s my review. Keep listening to Mimi Bay and have no doubt; she is a voice to be reckoned with.

3https://www.instagram.com/hiimmimib/

4https://open.spotify.com/artist/7BhFHZkSEe09pVDQZC6kVf?si=3vfBGe0VSEmTIifMe-IDQQ  

5https://soundcloud.com/bbabym

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRtHvUqrz5qdA-a8K9QkmJA

6https://twitter.com/hiimmimib

For Press enquiries please contact jack@mysticsons.com

Piqued Jacks

I was becoming more and more piqued (feel irritated or resentful) as I listened to this album repeatedly, searching for something, anything (an excellent album by Todd Rundgren) that would move what I heard into words.

What I kept hearing was flashbacks to other bands and other eras, and that is not a bad thing. As I listened to Piqued Jacks new album, Synchronizer (not to be confused with the Central Scrutinizer by Frank Zappa), I kept trying to put my finger on what I was hearing.

I searched through my musical brain’s dusty neurons, and I touched on an oldy goldy from the past, Trooper. The opening track from Synchronizer is Golden Mine, and it opens with a great guitar riff that reminded me of Trooper. As the album spooled out, I heard elements of more modern bands such as Ferraro.

Having said all that, I do not want to leave the impression that Piqued Jacks have plagiarized anyone else’s music. I do not think that. What I do believe is this, I believe the Piqued Jacks probably listen to a variety of music, and from that listening that have gathered bits and pieces together and created a fine album of their own that sounds like Piqued Jacks.

“Synchronizer” is the third LP by Italy’s Piqued Jacks; recorded at both Esagono Studio in

Rubiera (RE), Italy and in England, alongside three of Britain’s top producers: Julian Emery

(Nothing But Thieves), Brett Shaw (Florence + The Machine) and Dan Weller (Enter Shikari). 

Synchronizer is the first LP for Piqued Jacks under the INRI label. It should be the first one in your playlist this weekend.

Piqued JacksFire Brigade

https://soundcloud.com/piquedjacks-music/fire-brigade?in=piquedjacks/sets/fire-brigade

https://open.spotify.com/track/03gsJ4HfbTkNNQArj67Avc?si=2xZaegQNQbi7TexAOh6sJQ

Also available on iTunes for your listening pleasure.

Another Day In Paradise

I want to introduce you to a piece of paradise via a record album.

The album I am referring to is “Another Day In Paradise” by Vita Bergen. Led by multi-instrumentalist William Hellström, and a supporting cast of Tuva Lodmark, Gustaf Gunér, Patrik Wennberg and Josefin Eklund.

The album opens with the single “Can’t Hold It Much Longer”, a strong opener with vocals that punch through the synth-pop melody. Then Vita Bergen shift gears into second the second song “La Lumiere”. Google translate told me that the title is “The Light”, but that is all I know other than the fact that it sounds like a lovely song.

A shift in gears back to first with the power-pop song in “Hold On Kid”, I would love to see them perform this song live; it is a mover and shaker, and would make a great closer.

The fourth take is “All Is Gold”, a smooth ballad with Tuva Lodmark taking over on vocals. A short vein of gold, but golden just the same.

Vita Bergen shift gears again, and we move to a powerhouse called “Over Now”. This song is a catchy toe-tapping nodding head song. It will make a great earworm.

Tuva takes on the vocals again on track 6, “Falcons”. Her staccato delivery meshes perfectly with the reckless guitar and on again off again synths.

“Lines” is the first of two instrumentals on this album, and it shines and pulls the listener into its orbit, great stuff.

“Marion”, “Bedroom”, and “Slowdown” lead us to the closer and the second instrumental on the album, the title track, “Another Day In Paradise”.

Let me be clear about this, any day you can listen to music that is this good is indeed another day in paradise. Vita Bergan, lead by William Hellström, have moved us into another realm, a bit closer to paradise with the LP “Another Day In Paradise” via Woah Dad Records.

Can’t Hold It Much Longer (Single)

https://soundcloud.com/vita-bergen/cant-hold-it-much-longer

Another Day in Paradise LP

https://soundcloud.com/vita-bergen/sets/contact-album-3

www.facebook.com/vitabergen

www.instagram.com/vitabergen000

https://twitter.com/vitabergenmusic

For all press enquires, please contact dan@mysticsons.com

The Casual Sexists

The Casual Sexists are willing constituents of the emerging wave of satirical, frenetic Avant-pop. Embarking on what they call their magnum opus, the Brooklyn-based dyad have disclosed the coming of their debut album; Your Prescription Is Ready. The first single lifted from the record is ‘My Heartbeat Keeps Me Awake’, which came out 5th March 2021 via the indie label It’s Hurting My Feelings. Their debut album, ‘Your Prescription Is Ready,’ will be out on 7th May 2021.

The Casual Sexists, that’s a great band name. Right? Just that name compels me to listen to them to find out what is behind the moniker. I found catchy synthpop that is reminiscent of Gary Numan on his album In Cars or Martha and the Muffins on Metro Music. Smart lyrics and a beat that compels me to tap my foot or bob my head, a good recipe for a best selling album. The Casual Sexists are on the right track.

I was hooked by the lyrics that The Casual Sexists throw out:

“My heartbeat keeps me awake 

Repeating information that I already know.”

Putting our brains on an endless loop as we fight to get some sleep. Yeah, I’ve been there and done that—more than once.

“I dance, although I feel like I could die.”

The music lifts my spirits when my brain wants to curl up in a corner and make the world go away. The music compelled me to get up and dance, and those moments, those three-minute songs, keep me going. They give me life instead of dying. And “I dance although I feel like I could die.”

I call the lyrics on “My Heartbeat Keeps Me Awake” anthems to the aging. Aging is a constant reality from the moment we are born till the day we die. It is happening to every one of us, every minute. And The Casual Sexists have fun with it.

I give them a hearty thumbs up for the single “‘My Heartbeat Keeps Me Awake’.

www.thecasualsexists.com

https://www.instagram.com/thecasualsexists/

https://twitter.com/casualsexists

https://www.facebook.com/TheCasualSexists

For all press enquiries please contact megan@mysticsons.com

Lee O’Brien, This Is Me

This is me, is the title of the new single from Lee O’Brien, from his forthcoming album. It will now be an agonizing wait until I get the vinyl of this album because if this single indicates its power, it will probably knock my socks off.


Catchy music, intelligent and insightful lyrics delivered in a clear and firm vocal style. This release has it all.
Lee O’Brien lists The Beatles and Pink Floyd as his influences, and he can’t go wrong there. They are consistently on my turntable as well.
He proudly proclaims that he plays Pop/Rock, which sounds about right after giving him a good listen. It sure ain’t jazz! He also says that he plays music in flavours similar to John Lennon, Oasis and Beatles. Those are good flavours, that make tasteful and tasty music.
Inspiration? Lee tells us it was “following your dreams. Whatever that dream may be, for me, it was being able to write an album good enough for release, which I believe we have achieved.”
Yes, Lee O’Brien, you have achieved that and more. Many albums get released, but precious few cause me to keep hitting the replay button. This bit of music does that. I keep listening, again and again. Lee O’Brien, your album is not only good enough for release; it is good enough to top the charts. Keep on dreaming, and I will keep on listening.

https://www.facebook.com/Lee-OBrien-Music-102357521744478

https://www.twitter.com/leeobrienmusic

https://www.instagram.com/leeobrienmusic/

info@leeobrienmusic.co.uk

In Waves

I am not often left speechless, especially when it comes to me having an opinion about a piece of music. But it has happened, just now. Well, it has been two days of putting the music on endless repeat till my brain cells formed around every nuance, every shimmer and every guitar note.

I am referring to the EP ‘In Waves’ by Franz Kirmann & Roberto Grosso on the label ‘Days Of Being Wild’. The EP doesn’t arrive till April 9 of this year, but the single ‘Saudade” came out on February 12, and I can’t get enough of it.

Franz Kirmann is a seasoned musician and producer with an impressive resume. A rich and diverse background has seen him produce numerous compositions for a variety of high-profile projects, including the score for the BBC/AMC series McMafia and BBC4 Storyville documentary Locked In. Franz Kirmann has been releasing music since 2006, both as a solo artist and with composer/multi-instrumentalist Tom Hodge with their electronic/post-classical crossover project Piano Interrupted. Between 2012 and 2016, Franz released three solo albums and three Piano Interrupted albums (primarily on German label Denovali) and touring around Europe. In 2009, he founded the electronic music label Days Of Being Wild. French producer Franz Kirmann has now teamed up with Italian artist Roberto Grosso to deliver their new single ‘Saudade’, lifted from their forthcoming collaborative EP ‘In Waves’ through Kirmann’s Days Of Being Wild imprint.


The music they have created is the perfect chill recipe. I have put this on repeat and indulged in surfing the internet, working on my hobby of building dioramas and even reading a book. The music ebbs and flows, and there are moments when I have to hit pause on whatever I am doing and focus on the music. Back it up and play that section again. Good, now hit play and repeat. And my day passes with ‘In Waves” moving in and out, around and about. It has been a good listen. Indulge yourself and give this ‘Saudade’ a spin, put April 9 in your calendar and listen to the whole EP ‘In Waves’. You’ll see what I mean once you get their groove going in your headspace.

Franz Kirmann

https://www.facebook.com/FranzKirmann

https://twitter.com/franzkirmann?lang=en

https://www.instagram.com/franzkirmann/

https://soundcloud.com/franzkirmann

https://open.spotify.com/artist/5ZPoz4WrKX7jKlbTp4S9Qe

Roberto Grosso

https://www.robertogrosso.com

https://www.facebook.com/robertogrossoartist/

https://www.instagram.com/roberto_grosso_art/

For Press enquiries please contact jack@mysticsons.com

Reviewed by Norman @ WeatheredMusic.ca