This is a short playlist of some music that I feel speak to the day and age that we find ourselves in.
No thanks, I’ll have a coffee, please.
No, no, no. Lemonade is a song that you should give a listen.
It’s a bit cloudy actually, and I prefer staying in hotels.
No, no, no. Sonny Winnebago is the stage name of Welsh-Australian pop troubadour Harvey Jones.
Harvey Jones, remember that name because I think you will hear more from him.
I wish it were summer so we could drink Lemonade.
It is summer in Australia, and good music sounds good anywhere, anytime.
Where can I listen to this bloke’s tunes then?
You can listen to it on SoundCloud, here:
On Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/album/0uEmdkMwhbmqSsUFoulGIT
And you can discover more about Sonny Winnebago here:
and here: https://twitter.com/sonnywinnebago
Harvey tells us: “Everyone’s got good memories of picking up a recorder or triangle in school, so we used lots of instruments. Davey brought along some shakers; there’s also a ukulele, woodblock, kazoos & a kalimba. My school instrument was the flute, so we put that in too.”
“I was walking to my job as a barista one sunny day in North London and saw some little go-getters selling Lemonade outside their house. I thought that was really cool and reminded me of when I used to make Lemonade from a lemon tree we had in the back garden. Anyway, I had a charity shop acoustic that I kept upstairs at work & I wrote the song on my break that day. Some songs take weeks, months and even years to write, but Lemonade only took a few hours. I think that’s how you know it’s a good tune – just totally uninhibited, like the song was already in me somewhere, or in the air that day! In terms of its lyrics and meaning, there’s not really much to analyze, haha. There’s a nice Gremlins reference in the first verse which makes me happy. In terms of production, with the help of wonderful producer Charlie Francis, and awesome session musicians Davey Newington (Boy Azooga) and Matt Evans (KEYS), we achieved this cool ‘classroom’ sound. Everyone’s got good memories of picking up a recorder or triangle in school, so we put in loads of fun instruments. Davey brought along some shakers, so we used all of them. There’s also a ukulele, woodblock, kazoos & a kalimba that Charlie keeps on his desk for good measure! My school instrument was the flute, so we put that in too! If you listen closely, you can even hear a kitchen sink. Enjoy!
Lemonade is available to stream now, with Phwoar & Peace.
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This is a great sone with a great video to round it out. I present for your viewing pleasure: Crawford Mack and his new single/video, Firing Squad.
Following on from the release of his gracious love ballad ‘Depends on Where You Stand’, we see a change in the singer, as he swaps orchestral melodies for downtempo acoustic stings in his second offering ‘Firing Squad’. Building a sharp momentum using melodious gentle guitar riffs and a rhythmic drumbeat, ‘Firing Squad’ explores the power of a guilt-ridden conscience that one might feel due to their own behaviour; specifically targeting the action of mistreating others.
Accompanied by a short film conceptualised by the songwriter, the new music video directed by Liam Hendrix Heath, borrows heavily from space oddity era Bowie and Stanley Kubrick; following an astronaut’s journey through suburbia and his past in a jarring, mirroring the claustrophobia and hidden menace of the track.
The lyrics draw on the use of power to oppress the powerless and were inspired by a reference in a William Mcllvanney book to the blindfold used in firing squads being to spare the shooters seeing the condemned eyes. The teacher in the film embodying a particular personal memory for Crawford.
Discussing the new music video, Crawford tells us: “I didn’t want to go for something obvious with a literal ‘Firing Squad’ and soldiers because I think I’ve seen plenty of that in music videos before. Liam and I spent a long time over lockdown talking through what the song was about for me, until one day out of the blue, he came up with the idea of the astronaut walking past tableaus that are flashbacks of his life. The idea grew from there until we started to create our antagonist teacher character for the final face-off.”
Swedish synth act Kite are releasing new track Bowie ‘95. It’s an ode to being lost, and the existential dread that comes from having to engage with the ‘real world’. Made up of singer Nicklas Stenemo and keyboard player Christian Berg, the band tell us “The lyrics addresses both the feeling of guilt of not being more part of making the real world much better, but also the acceptance that music and escapism have an important role to play in people’s lives.”
Like recent single ‘Teenage Bliss’ the new song has been produced together with Blanck Mass (Benjamin John Power). The pair tell us that “When we started Kite the band F*** .Buttons were a big source of inspiration to us. Since then we have been following Benjamin John Powers brilliant music as Blanck Mass. We are now extremely excited to announce that we are working on the production of two new Kite tracks with him.”
The band have brought their projection filled, brain melting visual live show to audiences in Scandinavia, Germany, the US, Canada and China. It sometimes even includes cats shooting laser beams out of their eyes, and when their performing their sold our show’s at Stockholm’s Royal Opera House – a 16-piece orchestra.
The pair combine an adventurous nature with pop sensibilities, throbbing beats and an early nineties aesthetic. Their lean approach to songwriting – a methodology of ‘cut the fat’ results in tight, focussed songs that never outstay their welcome.
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Review by Norman Weatherly https://weatheredmusic.ca/
Back on July 7th, I did a review of Ben Hobbs single, Own Arms, which was in almost constant rotation on my iTunes account. Today I did a proper listen to Ben’s upcoming EP, dropping on July 31st, and I have no problem giving this a 4-star review, that’s four out of four by the way.
In the EP, Better Weather, I hear a bit of Bowie and his Diamond Dogs through to Heroes era. I also feel a bit of an R&B vibe going on in Better Weather. This EP is not mired in the past though. It has a 2020 vibe to it that is very contemporary and very listenable. Better Weather pays homage to the music of the past, but Ben Hobbs is very much connected to the present and is looking forward to better days with his new music on Better Weather.
The title song, Better Weather, gives me hope, hope for better weather in a literal and a figurative sense, our summer where I live has been very wet with minimal warm, cloudless days. The music and lyrics of Better Weather warmed my soul via my ears, thank you, Ben.
Ben tells us that the EP is about “insecurities, life challenges, everything. My girlfriend, the inspiration for ‘How We Care’, the journey we’ve been on together, and how we’ve helped each other. In contrast, ‘Loaded Gun’ is based the idea of leaving your world behind for a new one, partly inspired by what was is happening in UK politics; feeling like we are being lied to by our government.
A vast pool of inspiration that brings us Better Weather by Ben Hobbs. Do your summer a favour and listen to Better Weather. The Better Weather EP will be available to stream from July 31st, 2020.
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What we have on the imaginary turntable today is modern pop music at its finest. Explore is a five-song EP by up and coming Swedish artist Discrete, with help from Charla K, on the opening track, Feed Me With Love. A catchy little dance tune with retro synth sensibilities.
At the number two spot is the churning of Typo which spotlights Tudor and Victoria Voss who engage each other in a verbal sparring match with some more smart dance-friendly pop music.
Number three is a Stupid Thing. For real, it is a Stupid Thing, that is the name of the track, Stupid Thing. It features Neville, and together they explore the never-ending topic of love and dating. Discrete tells us that she sent a demo to Neville and her producer and what had once been an instrumental track flowered with lyrics and stunning vocal. Discrete was excited because this was different from anything she had done previously, we are glad for that because this Stupid Thing is irresistible.
Second, to last on the EP is a radio-friendly little number called Better Days. This collaboration with her longtime friend Chris Collins is a catchy synth-pop tune. Taking a different angle to the never-ending love story this is about long-distance love and the challenges that come with that.
The closing track Runaway sees Discrete collaborate with well-respected Swedish songwriter Alex Shield, who is launching his projects under the name of KELLYKKE. Combining crisp beats and breezy synths that flow graciously together; Discrete and KELLYKKE explore urges for self-discovery and new beginnings.
Talking to us about the collaboration, Discrete tells us: “KELLYKKE and I met for the first time last summer, and we’ve been working on a lot of songs together since. He came up with an idea for a song using a guitar and his vocals, and before we knew it, Run Away was born. We ended up experimenting until we finally found a middle ground that fitted both of our sounds. I feel humbled that he wanted to release his first single as KELLYKKE with me.”
So there we have it folks, five catchy modern pop, radio-friendly, little summer dance beauties. Summer will be different this year with social distancing but if you find yourself alone on a desert island Discrete has cooked up a nifty EP for you to pass the time until the rescue arrives. Have fun, listen to more music and stay safe.
Review by Norman @ WeatheredMusic.ca
Carl Louis closed out 2019 with the most excellent album “Silent Soldier”. As of this writing, we are about halfway through 2020, and Carl is bestowing a single on us, “Portal To Happiness”. The first song to be released off of his forthcoming EP, which is to be released later this year.
Carl had this to say about the new single:
“Portal to Happiness» is about being in the moment. Going to that place inside you where time doesn’t exist. For me, that place is both happy and sad at the same time. That intense feeling is «Portal to Happiness».”
I love some of the imagery on this song, topnotch writing in my humble opinion. Take, for example:
”No sleep in the light
Damn, the sun in July.”
Earlier today, I was basking on my deck in the evening sun, where I live we get about 18 hours of daylight, so if you have trouble sleeping with the light on this might not be the best place to live. I, on the other hand, like the sun in July, bring it on. But, ye, I can relate to what he is saying.
That is just one example, listen to this song and then join the queue to buy to the album when it comes out. I’ll be in that line someplace.
Also available on Soundcloud & Twitter
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Tony Njoku, the British-Nigerian multi-instrumentalist and producer, has released the EP Justine that includes his hit single of the same name as well three other critically acclaimed tracks. An already well established London-based, producer, singer and popular auteur Tony Njoku has released this EP hot on the heels of late-2019’s ‘Your Psyhe’s Rainbow Panorama’.
Straddling neo-soul and crippling quarter-life crisis trip-hop, he says, “This is a song about my dedication to self-examination and self-discovery. Unearthing some of my laws and inner turmoil (lack of courage, low self-esteem, etc.), and discovering what gets me going despite that turmoil. It’s an ode to beauty, to finding your ‘why’. I suppose you could call this a love song directed at the self. A ‘self-love song’.” “There’s also a strong statement being made on aesthetics and meditation (or maybe escapism). I’d say that for me, the core value of the piece comes from when I get lost in the aesthetic qualities in its content. From the pacing to the colours, the shapes, the textures and of course the sounds. It’s like making a statement on not focusing on statements, or meanings or messages. Just focus on beauty, focus on the glory and healing powers of abstractions.”
“This is a track about trusting your instincts. Having faith in yourself, and about
taking action on that self belief. To me it’s an uplifting song. Overcoming
adversity and all that wonderful motivational stuff. It’s important to share that
sort of energy, we all want to be inspired.”
I would add to focus on the ever-shifting sounds and pacing that take the listener on a ride through the world of Tony’s insecurities and his feelings of low self-worth. This EP is not an always easy listen due to the dark shadings of the lyrics, but the music tends to pull those lyrics up, and Tony has written, created and produced a beautiful little four-song EP to usher in summer. Enjoy and stay safe.
L I S T E N
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I have to admit that before I read the bio or listened to the music I had already for an expectation based on nothing but the band’s name, ‘Hey Elbow’. I quite imagined another “Macarena” dance craze sweeping the globe, which would be a sweet deal for the Hey Elbow, getting that kind of exposure. I suppose it could still happen; however, after listening to the song a couple of times, I don’t think it is quite as catchy as Macarena and not a dynamic in the dance part. You can decide for yourself, start the song playing, and dance along to it. How is the Hey Elbow dance done?
– Hands-on each shoulder, lift the elbow towards the sky and yell: HEY ELBOW!!
I like the music of ‘Nurture/Aptitude‘, Hey Elbows latest offering, which is a single off their forthcoming album, “WE THREE’, arriving on the 18th September via Adrian Recordings. Nurture/Aptitude’ will be available everywhere from Wednesday 17th June 2020 via Adrian Recordings. I don’t know how many times I have listened to Nurture/Aptitude, but I have not once got up from my chair put my hands on my shoulders and lifted them while shouting ‘Hey Elbow’. Perhaps we are getting in early on the dance craze of the summer of 2020, the Hey Elbow dance party.
Nurture/Aptitude opens with an interesting sound bite. I’ll let the band explain it. Speaking about the new release, the group said,“‘ Nurture/Aptitude’ is a somewhat catchy track coming from us. The song is based on a loop that we recorded by mistake in the rehearsal place. It was a vocal harmony that by accident was cut to a super short segment at the same time as a coffee cup crashed into a microphone. We can’t really remember, but the loop disappeared, and we panicked. A few months later in the studio, the loop suddenly appeared, and we could include it on the recording. It is a pop tune but needed a frame. We did a longer intro and an ambient outro. So it became a Hey Elbow song. For the impatient listener, we also did a convenient but lazy edit.”
So there you have it folks, a catchy pop tune that has potential for the band to use in live venues with the Hey Elbow movements. That would be a sure-fire way to get played over and over; at every wedding, grad party and bbq. I wish you all the best. In the meantime, I am practice in front of a mirror while playing Nurture/Aptitude over and over, and I am sure glad that it is a song that I like so I quite enjoy listening to it over and over.
D I S C O V E R:
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Some music jumps out and grabs me without so much as a proper introduction. Hello, get Miss Manners on this case. No, cancel that call, get Discogs instead because I want to add this recording to my catalogue. iTunes? Got it! Soundcloud? Got it already! YouTube? Yup! I’ve listened to them all and want to hear it again.
The music that I am talking about is “How Do You Want Me?” by Tanzos. Mik Tanzos is the creative force behind the band that he shares a name with. Breaking into the international stage after exploding out of his home in Austria, Tanzos delivers an indie/rock/grunge/alternative hit with the release of his single.
“How Do You Want Me?” opens with a full-on assault of distorted guitars and pounding drums followed soon by emotionally charged and emotive singing. Discussing the inspiration behind “How Do You Want Me?” Tanzos explains to us: “This song tries to capture an ongoing inner dialogue, which might be different for every person, but in its core; it is quite similar. Whole industries are built upon this simple question and the urge to please someone.”
How do I want you? On any platform as long as it’s ‘How Do You Want Me?’
‘How Do You Want Me?’ is available to stream on all popular platforms.
D I S C O V E R