All Pressure/No Pleasure

I felt like I was under pressure to do a review of this song because I prefer doing album reviews, and I wasn’t sure I liked this song. Multiple listens later I have developed an appreciation for the music of Hayes & Y in their newest single “All Pressure/No Pleasure” and now it is all pleasure and no pressure to write a glowing review, I really like them now.

They come at you with a tight disco sound upgraded to the current trends in music with shimmering synths and just the right amount of bass. The bass part is important to me because I have noticed a tendency towards new music being bass-heavy and I am glad that Hayes & Y have steered clear of that obstacle.

They have a crafted a timely song that addresses the topic of being under pressure to conform to society’s expectations and finding no pleasure in following that standard. Discussing the inspiration behind their new number, frontman Blagoslav says: “I feel that’s something that has been troubling people for a long time. Conformity comes easy for some people, but others really struggle with it and find it hard to find their place in a society, where it is paramount.”

Who are Hayes & Y? I asked myself that question, and these are my best answers. The drummer is Dennis, and he is from Finland. The guitarist is from the Bulgarian cult band “Ostava”, and his name is Georgi Georgiev. There are two people named Rado and Ivo involved in the band somehow, but I don’t know their roles.

All of this matters little because what they do is the crucial part. They are Hayes & Y, and they make good music. The video is also a low budget gem, kudos to the team that made this, it is brilliant.

With three EP’s under their belt, this four-piece band have already put together and impressive CV. In 2017, they’re single ‘Always So Simple, Always So Cold’ landed the 13th spot on Spotify’s Top 50 UK Viral Chart and received support from the likes of BBC Introducing in Manchester. Last year, they released two tracks’ Safeplace’ and ‘Disaster’, both featured on Spotify’s Fresh Finds playlist.

Hayes & Y are no strangers to the live circuit either, having secured a slot at Bulgarian festival Spirit of Burgas, where they supported Kasabian. With their UK audience growing, the band have also performed in some of Britain’s best-loved venues, including London’s Dublin Castle and Manchester’s Night & Day Café. 

‘All Pressure/No Pleasure’ will be available to stream from 17th June 2020. If you are looking for some new music to get you up and moving today, look no further, listen to Hayes & Y, you will not be disappointed.


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Rocking to the 9’s

Oliver Marson is dropping a new video, ‘To The Nine’ s’, following on the heels of his previous singles’ Cocaine Romance’ and ‘Time for Love’.

With his unique musical styling of sound and sights, Oliver has created a video that channels the flashback machine to honour his musical inspirations, Bryan Ferry, David Bowie and Serge Gainsbourg. The music itself takes us back to the tunes of his hero’s and the video continues that theme.

With extravagant costumes and featuring himself in various characters, Oliver has crafted video that that looks behind for inspiration and forward with current musical tastes that features retro sounds that evoke modern music.

Oliver tells us:

The new video is “inspired by meme culture, the kind of aesthetic pop stars like Miss World and Charli XCX have perfected. I am dressed as all sorts of characters (a cardinal, in drag, as a french legionnaire) against a green screen in keeping with the song subject of being ‘dressed to the nines. It’s all improvised, as we wanted to make something quite lo-fi and spontaneous”.

The new track explores the argument used by misogynists and their belief that women who have been assaulted are to blame because of their choice of clothing.  “I wanted to write from the perspective of a bitter misogynist and ‘To the Nines’ is an exposition of toxic male thinking. ‘To the Nines’ being an old English expression, which means ‘to dress flamboyantly or buoyantly”.

‘The nature of the recording was very spontaneous; I came into a studio with just a couple of chords and a vague idea of what I wanted the song to be. In the end, it was very natural, and the song seemed to flow from one idea to another, which culminated in quite a flamboyant sound, mirroring the song’s title. The way I see it, what better way is there to tackle this subject than a bit of flamboyance.”

This video is far more than a vehicle to present Oliver’s music. It explores a problematic and often jarring reality and brings it to us a teaching tool. I enjoyed this video, and I suggest it as a great track to dance along with. Enjoy your summer and live safely.

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I ‘don’t know (what to do)’

Coverart copy (1)

Mia Berg has graced my listening with a song about being vulnerable and not having the slightest idea about how to move forward. However she does not allow that emotion dull her need to express herself and she deftly weaves that story with music that supports the story without weighing it down.

Mia’s lyrics touch on more than one life moment.

I don’t know what to do after school.

I don’t know what to do when I retire.

I don’t know what to do on my day off

I don’t know what to do after a complicated relationship ended.

I don’t know what to do about a lot of things in life, and this song captures that particular moment and gives it a voice.

In Mia’s own words she tells us, “The song is really just about being vulnerable, and about letting go and the fear of someone leading you on or letting you down if you decide to let them in.”.

Without a lot of flash, but with a lot of integrity, Mia has crafted a soundscape that captures the feeling of not knowing what to do. 

A feeling of anxiety, helplessness and confusion winds it way through the music that supports the song without getting in the way of the words. 

Intentionally or not, Mia has voiced what many of us may be feeling through the Covid-19 experience.

While It’s not easy to admit that we have no idea what to do, Mia has brought that courage to the forefront and given voice to what many have felt but did’t know how to say.

This single is from the EP coming out later in the year through Tik Records.

Discover Mia Berg





Apple Music:



don’t know (what to do: written by Mia Berg Rønning

Producer: Henrik Lillehaug

Label: Tik Records

Coverart/photo: Guro Sommer


label/promo Norway:

promo UK:


02.20.20 copy

Ollie is a tortured soul. Ollie was involved in more than one accident in his life but it is a car accident that he attributes much of his current state of mind and creative force to. However, there is enough lyrical evidence to leave me thinking there was a relationship wreck that also left him in emotional pain equal to, if not greater, than the scars, both physical and emotional, caused by the car accident. Ollie is also dropping a new album on April 17th via BMG Records.

This album, “maybe this was supposed to happen”, takes us on a journey through pain, despair, depression and ultimately to happier days. Here is a breakdown of a few of the tracks as experienced through my ears.

Track one tells us through dispatch voices that there was a car accident and it opens the album with dark and brooding tones.

In track two Ollie tells us that “life can hurt, life is pain, then get on your feet again”, which has some optimism amidst the pain and then he makes a confession to us, “I’m so afraid of going through change, does anybody feel the same?” It takes courage to admit our fears to others and to then reach out and ask if anyone else feels the same way that we do.

Track three sinks down the self-loathing well with Ollie confessing that “nothing’s ever good enough” and then he strikes upon some lyrics that speak to the world that we find ourselves in during the Covid-19 pandemic, “What’s another day I spend inside, Like everything I do is a waste of time.” Another day spent inside could easily be relevant to the millions of us experiencing lockdown in our homes, not just a day but rather weeks that could stretch to months and that could lead to the lyrics referring to another day spent inside our heads which can be equally scary.

I like this quote that I learned from addiction counselling: “your mind is like an unsafe neighbourhood; don’t go there alone.”― Augusten Burroughs

Ollie continues with the self-loathing, the feeling that he can’t do anything good enough and the feeling that everything he does is a waste of time.

Track five really hits home for me, I get the feeling that Ollie is talking about someone close who is experiencing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, check out these lyrics and see what you think.

“When you no longer speak or know who I am

Tell you I love you when I know you can’t

Push off emotions, I’ll be strong for you

The way that you were growing up in my youth

Give back the time you gave up for me

Tell you the memories I’ll forever keep

Till one day I lay in this bed that you sleep

Pray my future children do the same for me”

Wow, just reading that line again as I pasted it in almost caused me to choke up. I have two mothers that are both going through the ravages of ageing, one of them no longer speaks or even acknowledges that I am talking to her, even when I tell her that I love her. Unfortunately, we can’t even visit them during this pandemic so staying strong means Facetime and preserving the memories until we pass them to the next generation.

More lyrics about self-isolation: “Sit alone in my room just barely getting along”

“I spend all of my time inside just playing beats at my desk

Hate saying these next words but I’ve been feeling depressed”

Lyrical evidence that I think points to a love that caused pain but is very real and Ollie embraces both the pain and the love.

“Cause real love never dies, it don’t mean we never fight, it

takes pain and sacrifice, no real love never dies”

Ollie, and vicariously me the listener, close out the album on optimistic terms. True love never dies and there will be happy days when the sun shines through our window, and during Covid-19 days that is about as close as we get to fresh air.

“Happy days, happy days, sun shining through my window, I can’t change, what I cant

change, I’ve been learning how to let go,”

God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change,

the courage to change the things we can,

and the wisdom to know the difference.

Ollie is a troubled soul, as we all are, but I am glad he is embracing that pain and moving forward and looking towards happy days.

Wait a minute! I almost forgot to mention the music while I was focused on the lyrics. The music is hip/hop/r&b/pop/country, the latter of which Ollie attributes his small-town upbringing. Check it out and decide what sounds you hear within Ollie’s unique pallet of soundscapes.

Stay safe and enjoy the music, happy days my friends.

Maybe This Was Supposed To Happen Album Cover copy (1)

Release Date: 17th April 2020 via BMG Records