Chewing Gum

This is a follow up from a review that I posted back in October of 2020. I had been listening to Promise and the Monster and I was loving every moment. Then I put the album on the shelf until just this past week. Promise and the Monster’s EP was officially released and I have been listening to it over and over again. This is good music my friends.

Having established herself as one of Sweden’s most esoteric and mesmerizing songwriters, with
critical acclaim from Uncut, Mojo, Clash and Pitchfork, Promise and the Monster has set
forth on a new path with her upcoming EP Chewing Gum out on 30th April 2021 on her new
home label Icons Creating Evil Art.


Promise and the Monster is the brainchild of Stockholm-based Billie Lindhal. Now joined by Love
Martinsen, who Billie calls “the invisible other half”, Promise and the Monster is undergoing an
electronic tilt. Inspired by the discord between urban and rural, Billie balances organic
instrumentation with ethereal soundscapes — a heavenly synergy that is more prevalent than ever on Chewing Gum.
Chewing Gum follows leading singles ‘Beating Heart’ and ‘Closed My Eyes’, continuing her penchant for finding the romantic within the dark. Whilst demonstrating a shift towards electronic

instrumentation, Billie’s roots as a classical musician shine through, with cinematic string sections
adjoined with shimmering synths lifting each track into a warm, fairy-tale haze. “Chewing Gum is a
collection of songs that are dreamy, dark and romantic and spins little stories from hell” she says.
Traversing the ambiguous, Chewing Gum creates allure in the unsaid and leaves space for
interpretation. Inspiration doesn’t run short in the world that Billie Lindhal has crafted with her
music, touching on unrequited love, sisterhood and the many reasons someone might close their
eyes. She says, “I wrote ‘Closed My Eyes’ surprisingly quickly after thinking about the ambiguity in
that image, closing one’s eyes for various reasons. It was good fuel. The women in this song are out roaming in the streets.”
However, her musings also extend past the human psyche. Third track, ‘One Summer’ took shape
after watching Swedish 1950s drama, Sawdust And Tinsel, a tale of a travelling circus, she says, “We watched a movie called Sawdust and Tinsel to get the right feeling while recording this one. It is about a tired circus company dragging their circus wagons around in a dusty old landscape.”
The six-track EP features four unheard songs from Promise And The Monster: ‘Diamonds On
Concrete’, ‘Vykort Från Förr’, ‘One Summer’ and title-track ‘Chewing Gum’. Each track serves as a
platform for the hypnotic power of Billie’s haunting vocal.


Chewing Gum comes out on 30 th April 2021 via Icons Creating Evil Art.

D I S C O V E R
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/7M9SZIojabB1ukKSYEz2TM
Facebook: www.facebook.com/promiseandthemonster
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/promiseandthemonster

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

Pentral – What Lies Ahead of Us

Brazilian progressive rock / metal trio Pentral present their debut long-player ‘What Lies Ahead of Us’on the trail of high-energy singles ‘Aiming For The Sun’‘All My Wounds’ and ‘Silent Trees’– the sonic launching pad into the sonic expansive of a concept album reflecting on today’s society, presenting the saga of a lowly couple fighting for their lives and sanity.

This long-player tells of the tragic reality of many Amazon dwellers, whose habitat, lifestyle and livelihood are brutally taken from them, not to mention the destruction of the forest itself. Through their videos and lyrics, Pentral tells the story about the destruction and pilfering of the Amazon’s natural habitat. The video for singles ‘Silent Trees’ (part 2) and ‘Aiming For The Sun’ (part 2) were filmed in their native Amazon – as chapters in a dedicated saga that will unfold, track by track. Directed by Roger Elarrat and produced by Luana Klautau, this also involves Lucas Escócio as director of photography and editor Roger Elarrat, this video features actors Anne Costa, Guto Galvão, Eduarda Cursino, Boris Knez and Aldo Lima.

Hailing from Belém in northern Brazil, Pentral is made up of Victor Lima (vocals, guitars, songwriter, lyrics), Vagner Lima (drummer) and Joe Ferri (bass guitar). Their unique take on alternative rock can be described as progressive, heavy, groovy and melodic, while the band also deliver a strong political message about what is going on in Brazil and all over the world.
Pentral stands for ‘spirit’ in Latin, indicative of the message this band is trying to inspire via their sound – the need to transcend this material world through the power of music, without losing connection with reality and human frailties.

For this 10-track LP, the trio worked with legendary producer Tim Palmer (David Bowie’s Tin Machine, The Mission, HIM, U2, Robert Plant, Tears For Fears, Ozzy Osbourne, Goo Goo Dolls, Pearl Jam). Produced jointly by Pentral and Tim Palmer produced this album, with Sergio Fouad and Cesar Bottinha co-producing. Palmer also mixed the LP, which was mastered by Justin Shturtz (HIM, The Psychedelic Furs, Nancy Wilson, Slipnot, Tin Machine).

Deeply influenced by their Amazon roots, Pentral’s music is influenced by many global influences while also striving to honor Brazil’s groove and unique harmonies, progressive rock, metal music, atmosphere and melody. This debut album sums up years of experimentation and the search for human awareness of the environment, peace and equality.

“The album ‘What Lies Ahead of Us’ is like a “declaration” and it was conceived way before COVID-19 came out…But it kind of fits the current reality we´re going through. This pandemic is the outcome of the unfriendly way we’ve been treating our environment and ourselves as well, and it served to expose our insensitivity, our lack of empathy,”says Pentral frontman Victor Lima.

“It’s a story about a man and a woman who lives in the woods. The forest is invaded by a group of mercenaries (pretty common in Brazil) in order to burn the woods down and make money with that, the man is killed, the woman manages to survive and she is pregnant, then she gives birth to a girl, and They try to survive in the city, experiencing racism, violence, hunger, selfishness, indifference. The only thing they have – they love each other.  So, the elements of the story – environment being destroyed, people suffering discrimination by the color of their skin, by the place where they came from, being selfish and violent for the sake of their own interests and prejudices, politics and religion abuse and extremism and the only way I believe things could be solved – the power of love. The album is like a journey of the three characters (a woman, a man, and their kid) passing through all the issues I’m talking about in the lyrics for these ten songs.”

As of May 7, the ‘What Lies Ahead of Us’ album is available everywhere digitally, including Apple Musicand Spotify. It can be ordered via https://pentral.lnk.to/WhatLiesAheadOfUs or via Amazon.

CREDITS
All songs written by Victor Lima
Produced by Pentral and Tim Palmer
Co-produced and engineered by Sergio Fouad and Cesar Botinha
Justin Shturtz – mastering
Tim Palmer – mixing, additional guitars, percussion and keyboards
Victor Lima – vocals and guitars
Vagner Lima – drums
Joe Ferri – bass guitar
Cover artwork by Heidi Teillefer

Keep up with Pentral
Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Spotify | Apple Music Press contact

Keep up with Tim Palmer
Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Wikipedia | Press contact

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Promo image

Ender Bender

Promo cover artEnder Bender
Have A Good Time 
(self-released) 
12 May 2021
Electro-indiepop artist Ender Bender breaks free from lockdown on “Have a Good Time’ single

FOR FANS OF: Gunship, The Midnight, Twin Shadow, The Weeknd, LeBrock, Mitch Murder, Ace Marino
FCC clean
Studio photos by Roberta Ovatta. Other photos by Gabriel Parra

FOR SHARING
‘Have a Good Time’ https://soundcloud.com/iamenderbender/have-a-good-time/s-4KKRsj1Cb1r
‘EQ’ EP (2020) https://enderbender.bandcamp.com/album/eq-ep
Honey Lavender Girl https://youtu.be/ixkxGd3oVho
Star Killer https://youtu.be/TZw3Uap1nJI

Charlie, Charlie

Charlie Nieland rolled out a new LP, Divisions.

As well as a new video to accompany a track off that album, The Land of Accidents, directed by NYC-based multi-faceted artist Hypnodoll.

Do I like this album?

Charlie, Charlie!!

Vis-a-vis yes, yes!!

Is it available on Apple Music?

Charlie, Charlie

https://music.apple.com/us/album/the-land-of-accidents-single/1552866398

What about Spotify?

Charlie, Charlie

https://open.spotify.com/album/4fFYtbeKovv5lvseKETU5v

Can I listen to the album on Bandcamp?

Charlie, Charlie

https://charlienieland.bandcamp.com/album/divisions

Can you tell me more about Charlie Nieland?

Charlie, Charlie

Charlie Nieland’s musical backstory is extensive, having written and produced material with such notable artists as Debbie Harry, Rufus Wainwright, Dead Leaf Echo, Blondie and Scissor Sisters. He scored the feature film ‘The Safety of Objects’ (starring Glenn Close), the pilot episode of ‘The L Word’ on Showtime and the VH-1documentary’ NY77: The Coolest Year in Hell’. Charlie was awarded a Gold record (UK) for his production work on Blondie’s ‘Greatest Hits Sight & Sound’ and achieved a Top 10 Billboard Dance Chart Position with Debbie Harry’s single ‘Two Times Blue’, which he co-wrote and produced.

Nieland also played power dream pop with the band Her Vanished Grace for over 20 years before establishing himself as a solo artist with a mix of nuanced songwriting and sonic exploration. He is currently half of the literature-inspired songwriting and performing duo Lusterlit with Susan Hwang.

Wow, Charlie has been a busy man, hasn’t he?

I’ll give a Charlie, Charlie to that.

Can Charlie tell us more about this album?

Charlie, Charlie, yes, yes he can.

“As the pandemic took hold, so did my plan to produce ‘Divisions’, and I began a listening expedition through my inspirations, from The Beatles to Yes, Cocteau Twins to Interpol, Peter Gabriel to Blur, U2 and The Flaming Lips. I wanted these tracks to be mini-epics, where you hear something new every time you listen. I started recording in my apartment this summer and reached out to drummer Brian Geltner and cellist Patricia Santos, who recorded their parts at home and shared them with me,” explains Charlie Nieland.

“As restrictions lifted, I started a marathon tracking process at my studio that included violinist Heather Cole, both Susan Hwang from my band Lusterlit and Billy Loose from Her Vanished Grace on drums and Susan on backup vocals. I called into service all my instruments, from lap steel to 6 and 12 string electric and acoustic guitars; fretless, fretted, and eight-string basses; analog synths, virtual mellotrons, TR-808s and more. This whirlwind journey is heard here in the obsessive and passionate, surreal and visceral, dream-like progressive rock and the dream pop of Divisions”.

Thanks that tells me a lot about both Charlie Nieland and his album Divisions. But did you like it?

Charlie, Charlie.

I most certainly did like it.

Is this album excellent to listen to while puttering about the house or working on a project?

It most certainly is. I listened to it repeatedly while writing this project.

How about whilst working on a hobby? Building diorama’s for example?

Divisions is perfect for that. The dream-pop floats out and envelopes the listener while doing almost any activity. I maybe wouldn’t recommend it for some tasks such as flying aeroplanes or driving a race car. However, for everyday activities, I can’t recommend this album enough.

Where can I find more information?

Keep up with Charlie Nieland

Website | Facebook | Bandcamp | Instagram | Twitter | Soundcloud | YouTube | Spotify | Apple Music | Press contact

Bandcamp https://charlienieland.bandcamp.com/album/divisions

‘The Land of Accidents’ https://youtu.be/Ydo_QHH5GSU

Spotify https://open.spotify.com/album/4fFYtbeKovv5lvseKETU5v

Apple Music https://music.apple.com/us/album/the-land-of-accidents-single/1552866398

‘Tightrope’ https://youtu.be/jRx4Zf2M3UA

‘Divisions’ single https://youtu.be/5ppmzFqLyJM

‘Another Night on Earth’ https://youtu.be/tV97FMQFtE0

‘Pawns’ https://youtu.be/28zWyWOgB9s

Shameless Promotion PR at contact@shamelesspromotionpr.com  

Lisa Gerrard and Jules Maxwell Deshta (Forever)

Lisa Gerrard and Jules Maxwell, best known for their work as part of the legendary band Dead Can Dance, present ‘Deshta (Forever)’, the second single from their forthcoming studio album ‘Burn’. The accompanying video is directed by cinematographer Michal Sosna.
Produced by James Chapman (MAPS), the long-play will be released on May 7 via Atlantic Curve, a London-based label that is part of the Schubert Music Europe.

“Deshta recalls a dream of eternity, spinning fearlessly into the perpetual Light,” says Lisa Gerrard.

Jules Maxwell adds: “Deshta has a dark brooding quality. James Chapman’s production has helped draw out a raw earthiness to the piece and Michal Sosna’s accompanying video is brilliantly disquieting and human at the same time.”

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. Things really took root when Gerrard and Maxwell began writing songs for their earlier collaboration ‘The Mystery Of The Bulgarian Voices (Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares)’. They were later introduced to Chapman and asked him to produce this album, which represents a stunning departure for all three of them.

With Chapman joining the duo as producer, ideas generated freely and over time, a distinct sound for their work began to emerge. Their focus was to create something 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 this music.

“With ‘Deshta (Forever) the aim was to create a huge, expansive and spacious sound. It is a dark, uplifting and mysterious journey. The call and response sections in the vocals are especially haunting. It is a very immersive track, and it was a joy to work on,” says James Chapman.

Sosna’s video is among seven specially commissioned films to accompany the release of the album. The first of these, created by Polish director Jacob Chelkowski’s video for the title track ‘Noyalain (Burn)’, proves more than a little provocative in these days of Covid, as it portrays the simple, traumatic act of touching.

In early March, Jules Maxwell also released his sophomore solo album ‘Nocturnes’ – the debut release for the newly-formed Archangelo Recordings. This beautifully melancholic collection of instrumental pieces was written and recorded over the past four years, much of it in collaboration with the acclaimed UK-based Vincent Dance Theatre.

‘Deshta (Forever)’ and ‘Noyalain (Burn)’ are both available digitally across online platforms, including Apple Music and Spotify. The full ‘Burn’ album, set for release on May 7, can be pre-ordered on vinyl, CD and digitally at https://orcd.co/lisajulesburn

Keep up with Lisa Gerrard
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Spotify | Apple Music | Press contact

Keep up with Jules Maxwell
Website | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Spotify | Apple Music | Press contact

Keep up with Atlantic Curve
Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

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Song of Co-Aklan

It would be absurd of me to try and describe Song of Co-Aklan, the just-released album by Cathal Coughlan. But I will let a bit of my sanity slip further away from me and put some words together that will hopefully elucidate the hoi-polloi and entertain those who read it through.

Falling Out North Street, the second from the last song on the album, is an excellent place to start. This standout song comes with the bonus of a short film directed by acclaimed Yorkshire-based musician and artist Marry Waterson. In the absence of live events due to the pandemic, short films and music videos have taken on a new life of their own. They don’t stream on MTV like the music videos of 1981. In 2021 we have fantastic short films such as  Falling Out North Street and slick music videos, many of them streaming on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLeGoL-w7F8

Falling Out North Street in the words of Cathal Coughlan. “The song tries to describe the absurdity of trying to keep hold of sanity, dignity or confidence in the face of the remorseless advance of time. From the start of the song, a circular pattern from the bass guitar and a plucked cello advances implacably, as the vocal and some transient instrumental elements try to pick a way through the debris of lives and communities. A broad chorus breaks the deadlock every so often, where exhortations are attempted by a wall of voices. Eventually, the singer has to suggest that he and the person he’s addressing might have been better off and happier all along had they been pavement purveyors of shouted gibberish and box-room detritus. And so the song ends,” says Cathal Coughlan.

Listening to this album, Song of Co-Aklan, was a challenge for me. On the first go-round, the music struck me first. Cathal Coughlan has surrounded himself with talent, and they are a cracker band. On the second spin around the album, I listened to the vocals. I have no idea what Cathal Coughlan is trying to say through many of the songs, but he is a fine storyteller in the tradition of Leonard Cohen or towards the lyrics of Frank Zappa.

For example, in the opening track, Song of Co-Aklan, we have this bit, ‘Raise your hands if you don’t know what this means.’ I have my hands up. I don’t know what this means. Several names dropped, such as Bob Nairac, but I have my hands up. I do not know what his character brings to the song as a whole.

My Child Is Alive is a good bit of writing. Here is a sample;

‘He never knew the mother, they just fell together once

Did what he could to dodge her until after nine full months

The baby didn’t make it, quite a scandal in the town 

Daddy joined the civil clergy, gained salvation profound

Now the police for the cover they need

make his lovers believe my child’s alive!’

I will continue listening and unravelling this album bit by bit. I am sure it will grow into something even more beautiful with time and effort. In the meantime, I would encourage you, the reader, to check out the links below. This album can be listened to in many ways and means. Happy listening and play safe.

The ‘Song of Co-Aklan’ LP is  now available across online platforms, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as well as physically. It can be ordered at https://ffm.to/songofcoaklanalbum.

Falling Out North Street’ https://youtu.be/JLeGoL-w7F8
‘The Knockout Artist’ https://youtu.be/lPr9f0l96pA
‘Song Of Co-Aklan’ https://youtu.be/e6YL06Za4rc
‘Owl In The Parlour’ https://youtu.be/7KKri0pTmkI
Cathal introduces his album https://youtu.be/f3MsD3NR-6M Bandcamp https://cathalc.bandcamp.com
Spotify https://spoti.fi/3fcB7iY
Digital Order https://orcd.co/songofcoaklan
CD / Vinyl order (USA/Canada) https://ffm.to/soca_us
CD / Vinyl order (UK/Ireland) https://ffm.to/songofcoaklanalbum

Shameless Promotion PR at contact@shamelesspromotionpr.com

‘My Heartbeat Keeps Me Awake’ by The Casual Sexists

On March 7 of 2021, I did a favourable review of the song ‘My Heartbeat Keeps Me Awake’ by The Casual Sexists.  I commented that I was hooked by the lyrics:

“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’.

Fast forward to Thursday, April 29, 2021, and I am listening to the debut album from The Casual SexistsYour Prescription Is Ready.  If you thought ‘My Heartbeat Keeps Me Awake’ was good, get ready to have your mind blown. Londoner Ed Zed and New Yorker Varrick have crafted a worldwide favourite with their new full-length album.

Your Prescription Is Ready keeps me awake, never mind the heartbeats that do the same. As an aging rock and roller, Your Prescription Is Ready struck a chord with me. I hear ‘Your Prescription Is Ready, from the pharmacist far more times than I did when I was a young whippersnapper. However, when it comes to the album, Your Prescription Is Ready, I haven’t reached the point of hearing it far more times than I can deal with. I need to start counting how many times I listen to an album before I post it. For this timeless piece of music, I will take a shot at it being around 20 listens.

I say timeless because I can hear influences, zephyr-like at times but none the less significant enough to trigger my reminiscence bump. The one that immediately jumped out at me was The B-52’s, a band that played some very sophisticated music and had fun doing it. Other tips of the hat go to Gary Numan and The Friends of Mr Cairo by Jon and Vangelis.

Enough of the flashback’s, The Casual Sexists have crafted an excellent bit of music. It that will undoubtedly generate new reminiscence bumps for those who take the time to put this album on at the roller rink and seer it into fresh brain matter. Seriously, you don’t have to be at a roller rink to enjoy this album. You can listen on the commute through your earbuds. You can listen at home dancing while you do cleaning, it makes the dreary fun. You can listen anywhere it strikes your fancy, the joy of living in the digital age. It doesn’t matter where you listen; just listen. The Casual SexistsYour Prescription Is Ready is an excellent bit of music and deserves repeated hits of the repeat button. The album will follow dancehall the singles ‘My Heartbeat Keeps Me Awake’, ‘Fresh Legs’ and The Casual Sexists glitch-pop rendition of ‘Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’’.

Your Prescription Is Ready will be out on May 7 2021, via It’s Hurting My

Feelings. I would be amiss to not mention the album artwork. I love it.

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

Distant Voices/Long Road To Home

The album cover shown above is from the recording Long Road To Home by Distant Voices. The reason that I am cutting and pasting, instead of gushing superlatives over this magnificent recording. It is the fact that Valdis Stekelis, the creator of this record, can add background and filler that I could not do.

Begin the paste.

Distant Voices is the solo project of Valdis Stekelis, who wrote and began writing these tracks in 2019, finally finishing a year later due to the delayed realities of the UK lockdown. The band name itself was chosen during that period to reflect these unusual times, where live music (as we have previously experienced it) is a scarce occurrence and where we consume music with a less personal connection to the people making it. ‘Stranger Among Friends’ is one of nine tracks released on Distant Voices’ debut album ‘Long Road To Home’, all inspired by Stekelis’ travels in the pre-Covid era. Earlier, he previewed the high-velocity rock n’ roll lead single ‘Lights of The City’ with an accompanying video by Alit Gonzalez. “Stranger Among Friends emerged from the feeling of being homesick and just general events that happened while I was visiting Berlin. Certain themes crop up throughout the album, like meeting people for a while and then saying goodbye and never seeing them again. Brexit was on my mind when I took this trip. I went to see the European Parliament and the UN in Geneva for this reason,” says Valdis Stekelis. “At the end of the trip, I had a strong sense that this travel would not happen again in the way it did due to the point I was at in life, but I did not realise that everything would be restricted in the way we are now with Covid (and) lockdowns. I am very pleased retrospectively that I chose to do it when I did, and it seems more significant than before to me in light of where we are now”. The ‘Long Road To Home’ LP was recorded at EAS Studios near London in collaboration with producer-engineer Ed Sokolowski, known for his work on albums by Melanie C, Fleur East, Hugel, David Archuleta and Lukas Rieger. Sokolowki mixed and mastered this album, as well as co-producing it with Stekelis. Joe Montague also contributes drums on multiple tracks.

“This is the first body of work completed under the Distant Voices name, which I am very keen for people to hear and hope that they will enjoy it. The album was inspired by events that happened during my journey around Europe in 2019, and, in fact, they appear chronologically in the tracklisting,” says Valdis Stekelis. “There is a range of different feeling tracks on the album – from lively to melancholy and also psychedelic. They are tied together – both in terms of the subject matter and also due to the underlying elements of a retro feel with electronic flavour. It was a lot of fun to make and is truly inspired by events that really affected me at the time”.

See, I told you so. Valdis Stekelis did such an excellent job of summing the recording up that there is little that I could add. I will, however, attempt to add something. I feel an affinity for this recording from the first guitar strums at the lead-in at track one side one, Lights Of The City. The jangling guitar lulled me in, and then Distant Voices kicked the volume up a notch and started the rock and roll show. The music sounds familiar and fresh at the same time. It’s like buying a new cardigan. I know what a cardigan is, how it feels, how it fits, but the new one is different, and I like it. The Long Road To Home is something like that. Familiar and fresh and I like it.

I appreciate the inclusion of the travelogue itinerary for my next European vacation. Each track has a story to tell, and each track retains its own musical DNA, unique but a part of the whole.

ALBUM TRACKLISTING 01. Lights Of The City 02. Stranger Among Friends 03. Walk Along The Cobblestones 04. I Need A Friend 05. Nothing Really Happened In Vienna 06. Halfway To Rome 07. View From Lake Geneva 08. Last Night In Amsterdam 09. I’m Coming Home Keep up with Distant Voices 

‘Stranger Among Friends’ https://youtu.be/EI4Ds7EG4QI

Bandcamp https://distantvoices1.bandcamp.com/album/long-road-to-home

‘Lights of The City’ single https://youtu.be/iocT4eqi90U

Spotify https://open.spotify.com/album/2NHL30cx1DRGEGJ71PyKKs

Apple Music https://music.apple.com/us/album/lights-of-the-city-single/1552049295

Soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/distantvoicesuk/lights-of-the-city

If you have any questions, contact Shauna from Shameless Promotion PR at contact@shamelesspromotionpr.com

Babel

Have you ever listened to an album, and it sinks its hooks in? You can’t stop listening to that album. I have slabs of vinyl that I am sure I have ground the grooves a few millimetres deeper. Dark Side of the Moon is an example of that.

In iTunes, I have albums that I put on repeat and, over time, accumulate an insane amount of listens to that one piece of music. Giles Corey’s self-titled album is an example of that in my recent playlists.

I do a few music reviews, and some of the bands are amazing. I put them on repeat because I like them and not just because I want to write a gushing review. Recently I was offered the opportunity to listen to a new EP called Honeyspell. It is from the Finnish duo Mikko Pykäri and Karin Mäkiranta, who goes by the moniker Babel.

It did not sink its hooks into me. I did, however, put it on repeat. I desperately wanted to understand this music. I still don’t. I want to write a gushing review, but I am unable to do that.

I am sure others would wax poetically about this EP, and I want to, but alas, I can not do that. I hear a wash of synths that overpower the mix, and I can’t hear the vocals enough. I am not particularly fond of how Karin Mäkiranta’s vocals were processed. I am sure she has a lovely voice, but it does not come across that way in my ears. Others have described her vocals as ethereal, and I can understand why they would say that, but they still don’t put a spell on me.

The synth processing would work well as some ambient soundtrack, but I found it overpowering the mix. The percussion moves along right smartly; no complaint there. I can hear guitar playing occasionally, and I would have liked more of it not washed over by the mix. I can pick out bass lines every so often. I can’t tell if it’s a bass guitar or synthesized, but I found it lost in the mix once again.

In summary, I think Babel can make some good music. They are on SoundCloud, Spotify and iTunes, so they must be doing something right. However, it is not sweet music to my ears.
I want to end this on a positive note. I liked the cover art, and I think Mikko Pykäri and Karin Mäkiranta are talented musicians who will only get better moving forward. I look forward to their first full-length album, Yoga Horror, which comes out in 2022.

https://soundcloud.com/pmerecords/sets/babel-honeyspell/s-IOE7iB2kCO3

https://soundcloud.com/pmerecords/sets/babel-honeyspell/s-IOE7iB2kCO3

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When I Fall From The Sky

It seems like forever since I fell in love with the song “In A Million Years” by the band Misty Coast, the dream-pop child of Linn Frøkedal and Richard Myklebust, known from the Norwegian noise rock act The Megaphonic Thrift. It was, in fact, September of 2020, not forever but a few moments ago. My closing comment about that song was, “I give it five stars, this is a lovely little song, and I hope I get to hear it in a full-length album soon. I don’t want to wait a million years.” It turns out that I didn’t have to wait a million years, only six months, give or take a million minutes.


So, fast forward to today, and I get to listen through the entire album, “When I Fall From The Sky”. The song “In A Million Years” has not lost its lustre and fits very comfortably amid all the other magical music moments on this album.


The opening track, Switch Off, was picked as the opener based on the guitar hooks and the opening vocal line. Switch Off is a psychedelic throwback with nods to the Beatles circa Sgt. Peppers. Misty Coast also drew psychedelic inspiration from the band Quilt. Stereolab gets a nod for influencing the title, are they switched on or off? Now I have to listen to Sgt. Pepper, Quilt and Stereolab to properly research this blog, such is the nature of the sacrifice that I make for music.

Next up in the queue is a catchy little pop song that the producer of this fine album, Emil Nikolaisen, calls “the Cardigans song.” Queue up the Cardigans now; thanks a lot Misty Coast for expanding my listening coastline.

And this brings us to a reprise of the song, In A Million Years, which was my initial introduction to Misty Coast. This track still shine from a million light years away in the six months since I first listened to it.

We then roll through a Ghost Town, experience Jet Lag, and a trip down memory lane in the song ’92, with guest vocalist Hilma Nikolaisen. She is the sister of the album producer Emil Nikolaisen, and she also plays the bass for Serena-Maneesh, a Norwegian alternative rock band from Oslo. Misty Coast tells us that the lyrics for ’92 make jokes about indie heads stuck in the ’90s, with their flannel shirts and bitter for not dying at 27 like all their music heroes.

We then swallow a musical gem called “Sugar Pill” that builds from a minimalist start to a mind-blowing psychedelic mishmash of guitars and synthesizers. I love it!

The next song is fun. The title is “Fun”. The arrangement is delightful; producer Emil Nikolaisen turned the song into a fun bit of psychedelic imagery that revolves around the theme of social anxiety. I never thought social anxiety was fun, but you will get the drift if you listen to the song lyrics.


And then the album, When I Fall From The Sky, closes with the songs “Do You Still Remember Me?” and the title track. Yes, I still remember Misty Coast, and I encourage you, the reader, to give this album a listen. Available where fine music is presented with a thank you to the label Fysisk Format and our friends at Mystic Sons.