Track Review: Formby- The Sea of Tranquility

TRACK REVIEW:

 

 

 

Formby

 

The Sea of Tranquility

 

9.4/10.0

 The Sea of Tranquility is available via:

https://soundcloud.com/formbyofficial/the-sea-of-tranquility

The album, Black Hole King is available at:

https://itunes.apple.com/album/black-hole-king/id580325127

Black Hole King, Formby

TRACK LISTING:

Reign- 9.6/10.0

Black Hole King- 9.7

Ghost Shadow- 9.5

Tides of War- 9.5

Some Velvet Skies- 9.4

The Sea of Tranquility- 9.4

Goblins- 9.7

Abdication- 9.6

STANDOUT TRACK: Black Hole King

RELEASED: Nov 20, 2012

℗ 2013 Formby

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These Berkshire boys have been busy making plans for their second album. Formby‘s debut L.P. (Black Hole King) contains a mesmerizing blend of Prog majesty and swaggering Rock; delicate and beautiful soundscapes- as well as bucketloads of anthemics. In an album of lunar proportions, The Sea of Tranquility provides an ocean of tantalising reflection.

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RECENTLY, I have been surveying a lot of acts…

whom offer up something melodic and soft; romantic as well as hypnotic- their music is definitely the sort you look for when in need of relaxation and seduction. The arrival of Formby has meant I can investigate something more hard-pressing and heavier: sounds that definitely compel you to get up and move your body- that said, The Sea of Tranquility is one of their most tender and melodious offerings. If the name is not familiar to you, here is what you need to know (with regards to Formby):

Formby are a 4-piece Alternative Rock band from Reading, Berkshire. Intelligent sassy U.K. Prog. They have taken the Prog Rock rule book and ripped it up. For fans of Pink Floyd/Faith No More/System of A Down/Porcupine Tree. Formby have been playing for the last year and a half together, in which time they have started building a fan base over the south of England. Since the release of our debut album “Black Hole King”, Formby have been receiving great feed back from our live shows as well as radio stations and magazine reviews. Now they are currently writing and performing the new material from the new album which is due to be released and recorded later this year.

Danny Sorrell– Vocals, Guitars, Synths and Programming

Leland Freeman– Guitars

JFK– Drums

Josh Harding– Bass

In spite of the fact that Black Hole King is a two-year-old, there are plans afoot for new releases: a fresh album is on the horizon and the boys are preparing a return to the studio- and the initial buzz and speculation suggests we could witness something even more arresting and compelling than Black Hole King. A lot of fervent, original and daring music is coming from London and its surrounding counties- it seems that a resurgence of sorts is occurring. In the past, I have postulated that the likes of Yorkshire and Scotland are providing the hungriest and most ambitious act (whereas London and the south seem to be lacking)- yet it seems that a new wave of young artists is coming through. Formby have been gathering a lot of heady praise and fond affection from a lot of reviewers and fans. Latching onto their pure rush of electrifying song: mouths have been salivating and digesting all the quartet have to offer- it seems that the band are primed for a long-term career. Having toured around Reading and Berkshire over the last few weeks, the group are being exposed to new avenues and fans- Formby are gaining confidence from the warm reception they have received. I am not sure what form the upcoming album will take: it is likely to be infused with the same sort of authority, rush and mesmeric cuts that are synonymous with Black Hole King. It is an album that deserves a wider audience and a lot more investigation- for that reason, I sat down to investigate The Sea of Tranquility.

Formby themselves claim to be influenced by the likes of Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, Muse, Opeth, Porcupine Tree, Smashing Pumpkins and Queens of the Stone Age- it is a pretty good starting point. As well as ignoring (and subsequently tearing up) the Prog rulebook, the group do things their own way- and have their own unique sound. If you are a fan of any of the aforementioned groups, you should check out Formby. There is the hard Desert Rock crawl of Q.O.T.S.A.; the eccentricity and huge proportions of Muse; the rampant thrash of Black Sabbath- as well as touches of early career Pink Floyd. The music they present is instilled with heart and guts; blood and barbwire- as well as plenty of soul and passion. Hardly surprising, then, that the guys are getting exposure and patronage- in a world where band music can come across as predictable and muted, the quartet dare to be bold. I have reviewed acts such as Los & The Deadlines (whom have a similar set of influences and distinct sound): but it would be great to hear more of it- music that sprinkles elements of past masters, yet is very much a modern-day and idiosyncratic monster.

The band show how deftly they can mix paradoxical sounds alongside one another: here is an example of the ‘softer’ end of their spectrum. The introduction is built around growing and romantic guitars: acoustic solidity mixes with vibrating and echoed electric guitar- the kind of intro. you might expect to see on The Bends. Formby demonstrate their keen attention to detail and consideration; lines and guitar offerings are intelligent and atmospheric: the pace and sound mutates and develops gradually building up a mesmerizing sense of occasion and anticipation- ensuring that the listener is on the edge of their seat. The vocal from Sorrell is evocative and calmed; his voice impassioned yet restrained- it is an impressive and effective performance. Whereas other tracks on Black Hole King provide breathlessness and a heady rush: The Sea of Tranquility is appropriately cosmic and twilight. Sorrell speaks of “waiting in shadows” and “feelings don’t compare“; introverted investigation and moonlight metaphors blend, to give the impression of a young man in need of answers and direction. The strained and aching vocal at times put me in mind of a young Thom Yorke (I hope that is a fair comparison): there is that same quasi-operatic power in the lungs: that pleasing and stunning tenor (with hints of falsetto)- adding weight and emotion to the song. The most atmospheric and stunning aspect of The Sea of Tranquility is the composition itself. Covering so much ground, the sonics mutate and evolve: there is a sense of itinerary and time shift. Haunting and yearning strings play alongside pugnacious, stirring and stoic percussion- the energy and mobility is scintillating. One of the most pleasing moments occurs at the 2:37 marker (after the chorus has been completed; it reminds me of (Nice Dream) by Radiohead): a subtle but powerful shift occurs that takes you by surprise- one where underpinned strings ascend to rule; a percussive crackle kicks the dust away and you cannot help but be impressed. Before long we are in Dark Side of the Moon territory: a spoken word sample arrives, giving the song some Pink Floyd embers- as well as providing a nice contrast to the central vocal. With a final bow from the chorus, the track reaches its finale: emotions have poured out and a great deal of burden has been exorcised. Before I highlight all the positive aspects of The Sea of Tranquility, one or two minor negatives come to mind: concerning intelligibility and clarity. At times it is hard to understand some of the lyrics; whether because of the production or weight of the composition, Sorrell’s words can be hard to decipher and understand- some of the voice gets buried down in the mix. It is not a major gripe, but some of the lyrics and words get missed or misconstrued- making it a little difficult to put all the jigsaw pieces together. That said, it is the most slight of criticisms: every other emotion that comes from me is possessed of positivity and fond tribute- so I shall begin. The band performance is tight and intuitive; no loose edges or rough surfaces can be heard- you can tell that there is an innate sense of affection and understanding between the members. The vocal from Sorrell (in spite of my moan) is emphatic and filled with nuance. I have hinted at early-career Thom Yorke: smatterings of Matt Bellamy and Bono come through, but I found Sorrell’s voice to be more unique- there is no infantile whine or needless over-emoting. When assessing any song, the vocal is at the forefront: as such it needs to impress and convince- which it does with ease. The composition itself is perhaps the star of the show; each band member adds something unique and distinct- making the song rich and filled with emotion. The guitars are contrilled and measured, yet add so much colour and life to the track: parables and codas shift from snaking sensuality to cosmic exploration. The percussion keeps everything in check and focused: shifting from powerful to gentle, it is stirring and eye-cvatching throughoput. The bass work is solid and urgent throughout: impressively subtle at times and potent the next. The Sea of Tranquility is a song you will listen to again and again: the melody and composition require repeated investigations, and you will find yourself addicted to certain moments and movements- such is the gravity of the song itself. Whilst not the most urgent and direct moments on Black Hole King, it is one of the most detailed and fully rounded numbers: a gem from the band that is hard to forget- and highlights their talents to the full.

Black Hole King’s title track is abound with chugging riffs, rifled percussives- and a powerful and impressive vocal performance. With a potent quiet-loud dynamic and epic swathes of strings, it is a song that you will struggle to forget in a hurry. Tides of War is a sub-two minute gem of contemplative beauty and purity: an instrumental that mixes Pink Floyd proportions with The Cinematic Orchestra-style transcendence and aching beauty. Goblins is a kick-ass slice of Absolution-era Muse, mixed with System of a Down-esque grit and punch. Some Velvet Skies is a made-for-the-mosh-pits headbanger: a swaggering goliath that mandates you to turn up the volume- and surrender yourself to the music. Having spoken with JFK (the band’s drummer), I know that Formby are heading back into the studio soon- new material will be released later this year. Since the release of their debut L.P.: the four-piece have been busy touring and promoting their music; picking up fresh inspirations and stories- raring to parlay them into cracking new numbers. I am still seeing reviewers and publications feature Black Hole King– it is an album that you will not get tired of, and find new surprises each time you investigate it. The Sea of Tranquility is a perfect starting place (if you are thinking of investigating Formby): I would advise you check the album out in full, and replay the tracks- there is something in there for everyone. It has been great looking at gentler and more introverted music (as-of-late), but my thoughts and attentions invariably turn towards bigger and brasher sounds- like a musical dowsing rod. The home counties are producing some wonderfully diverse and intent acts; from Electro Pop anthems through to Led Zeppelin-esque epics- a great deal of bold and eye-watering music is coming through. It will be interesting to see what 2014 has to offer (with regards to home counties musicians): but one thing is for sure- Formby will laying down plans for a big future. Their debut album marked them out as one of the most instantaneous and striking acts around: so their sophomore offering is sure to tip then over the edge- and see them rise to the ascendency of national radio mainstays. This young quartet is still learning and experimenting; pushing themselves as an act and seeing what they can come up with- they are getting stronger, more optimistic and focused with each passing month. For those of you that have grown tired of generic Indie Rock misfires; the dragging and ponderous musings that leave you cold- steer your ears towards Formby. The rest of this year will see touring, songwriting- and the conception and completion of their new album. I have been informed that the material (that will feature on the album) will be their strongest year. The Sea of Tranquility is an insatiable and glistening slab of Prog brilliance; so if their best days are still to come…

THAT will be a very exciting proposition indeed.

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Follow Formby:

 

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/formbyofficial

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/formbyofficial

SoundCloud:

https://soundcloud.com/formbyofficial

YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/user/FormbyOfficial

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Formby’s videos and music can be viewed at:

https://www.youtube.com/user/FormbyOfficial/videos

 ____________________________________________________________________________________

Tour dates available via:

https://www.facebook.com/formbyofficial/events

 

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Track Review: Mapstone- Go Solo

TRACK REVIEW:

 

 

 

Mapstone

 

Go Solo

 

9.7/10.0

 

Go Solo is available via:

https://soundcloud.com/map-stone/go-solo-demo-1

RELEASED: 31st March 2014.

PRODUCED AND MIXED BY: Chris Cookson

© & ℗ 2014 Mapstone

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Having recently been featured on BBC Radio Shropshire, it seems that Go Solo is impressing itself on a lot of minds (with a patented blend of homely electronics and efficacious vocals). Mapstone may be fresh out of the box, yet purvey music that does what good music should: comfort the soul; warm the heart; compel the mind- and remain long in your thoughts.

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IT is not often that I get to witness a brand-new act making their very first steps.

A lot of times, a featured act or artist will already have a fair few songs online- or else have established themselves to a certain extent. Many new musicians are fearful that unless they have a wide-ranging campaign and portfolio available, critical and music-loving ears will look elsewhere. It is understandable that there would be reticence and anxiety (in this respect); but being someone very much in the fledgling era of my own music career, I am always looking out for acts fresh from the womb- those putting their first moves onto tape. It is great to have selection of fully fledged and well-rounded tracks, but when you come across songs that are in the ‘demo’ stage; it allows you to envisage where the song may go; what touches and additions will be made- and what the final version will sound like. It takes a lot of confidence, bravery and openness for an act to put these kind of tracks out in the ether. When looking at Mapstone, I have cause to believe that we will be hearing a lot more from them over the next few years. Chris Cookson is the sole voice and author behind the act; a pioneer whom mixes and produces the tracks (as well contributes all the various elements). Cookson’s act is an Alt-Pop outfit based out of the Welsh Hills.  Mixing large vocal harmonies with electronic beats, they provide a terrific blend of etherealness and power; a striking blend of power and composure- something you can not say about many acts. Having reviewed Second Hand Poet (Surrey-based artist Jamie Tipson), I was taken aback by the intimacy and warmth of his sound. Recording tracks out of his bedroom, he is one of a small number of acts taking D.I.Y. music to new places; negating the lure of the shiny studio- and letting the listener into their own four walls. A lot of music comes across as sterile, impersonal and overproduced, so it is always great to come across sounds that touch you with their genuineness. That is not to say that homemade and D.I.Y. music is not impressive- far from it. You do not need huge guitars and layers of noise to encapsulate the listener; if you have a solid and original projection to begin with, then you will be sure to win many hearts- as Mapstone surely will.

Being a fresh conception, it is hard to compare the outfit to any new act- or any existing artist. If you appreciate the importance of warmth and closeness, then you should definitely investigate this act. For those that like their music tender, earnest and honest, then you cannot go far wrong. As well as displaying a lot of soul and softness, you cannot ignore the vibrancy and urgency of the sounds provided. If you are more familiar with Indie Rock or Dance say, then I would advise you investigate Mapstone; as not only does the music provide ample excitement and passion- but I am sure that future singles and releases will see Cookson expanding and broadening his palette.

mapstone-green

The fledgling moments of Go Solo are composed of crackling and triablistic electronic percussive beats; sparring with hand-clap interjections, it is a dream-like and evocative musical Morse Code- a vibrant and atmospheric opening gambit. The teasing and bubbling sounds put me in mind of Present Tense-era Wild Beasts, as well as latter-day Radiohead- there is a pleasing mix of austere (but exciting) percussion and sighing electronic haze. When Cookson comes to the mic., his voice is soft but imploring; painting romance-filled words, he is in a daze (“Tonight we lie alone“). Being the arbiter of the song (and the sole voice), Cookson puts his emotions and thoughts on the line; with no input or disturbance from anyone else, the lyrics come across as deeply personal and relevant- yet those which can be interpreted by anyone. When singing “The sun is crying out”, the vocals layer and augment; you feel your hairs virtually stand on end- and become encompassed in the delirious weightlessness of the moment. As much as I have mentioned other acts (as comparisons), what comes through is a strong personality with a crystalline and dedicated vision. Embers of Electronic acts come through, but I am hard-pressed to compare Mapstone with any other artist- making the song feel organic, singular and stronger. Visions percolate and entwine in my brain; you can almost picture Cookson singing by a fireside- lost in his own thoughts and awash with fond remembrance. Any angers or stresses you have are dissipated by the sweet-scented melody.  I transported myself to an open space; a deserted beach bathed in shy moonlight- romanticism and seductiveness pour through. When Cookson sings the line “I don’t know if you care“, the final word is held; stretched and then modulated- a sighing and beautiful falsetto sends the word into the heavens. There are whispers of In Rainbows-King of Limbs Radiohead that work away in the background (songs such as Bloom, All You Need and Lotus Flower came to mind); the soulful (and almost gospel-like) vocal layers could well be chanted and evoked by festival-goers before too long- I can see throngs of mud-covered music-goers singing along to the track at Glastonbury in years to come. Towards the song’s mid-point, there is a cinematic interval- a chance for the listener to relax and absorb what has come before. Spectral and orbital vocals link hands with fire-crackling percussive annotations; with evocative charm, the composition gets inside your head and soothes the mind- and causes you to elicit a relieved sigh. When Cookson comes back into the fold, his words are considerably deployed: “Surrender/To the madness/I can see it/There in your eyes.” Whether referring to his girlfriend (or something fictionalised and detached), I am not sure, but you can hear the conviction and passion come through- leading me to declare that the song’s themes have their roots in personal romance. Just as you are picturing scenes of the song’s heroine; imagining what form of waltz and seduction is afoot, the infectious and choral coda is back (“I don’t know if you care“). Gorgeously delicate electronic notes are sprinkled into the track; not only offering multifarious sunlight- but adding weight and mesmeric quality into the mix. The final seconds consist of gradual decomposition; notes and vocal lines are eliminated as the song gracefully comes to land- all that remains (by the end) is that touching electronic arpeggio. Going Solo is a track that puts you in a better frame on mind; whether caught in the rain or basking in the sun, it makes you relax and reflect- and fall in love with what is on offer. The song has a mix of gallantry and postulancy; a cocktail of romantic desire and infantine abandon- you cannot but help but smile throughout. The production values are assured and professional; I did not have to strain to hear what was being sung- something that bugs me when I review quite a few other acts. Being a fan of acts like The National, Dry the River and Ray LaMontagne (without hyperbole), I can compare some of Mapstone’s qualities with these giants. Mixing U.S. flavours and home-grown inspiration, Go Solo could seamlessly blend into albums such as High Violet, Shallow Bed or Gossip in the Grain– Cookson’s voice conjugates Berninger-esque chocolate-toned reflection and Peter Liddle-style haunting falsetto. It would be transgressive to compare the song with anything out there (and would do a disservice to Cookson), but such is the quality and sense of beauty that one cannot help but to do so. Few artists and acts launch authoritative gems from the very off- so if Cookson keeps this pace and quality up, it makes for an incredibly exciting future E.P./album.

I know Mapstone’s inventor has big plans for the future, and wants to remain as busy as he can. As the lead singer of Halflight, he showed himself to be one of the most impassioned and determined creative voices on the circuit. Mapstone is a project and act in the newborn stage, yet it is clear that we will be hearing more very soon. As well as Go Solo, Shelter is also available- and is another memorable and solid track. Although the twin tracks are in the ‘demo’ stage, they point at a promising future. The production is impressive and clear, and the songs’ elements are mixed beautifully- everything is projected with clarity, decipherability and evocative atmosphere. Shelter is a warm and snug Indie-Pop number; while not instilled with the same production values and clarity as Go Solo, it still resonates hard- and hits the mark emphatically. Cookson turns provider and safe haven here; imploring his subject (with him) to stand their ground- it is a track imbued with redemptiveness, motivation and strength-against-the-current mantra. Burbling and dancing percussion beats marry alongside Cookson’s focused and emotive voice- the track’s nuances and strengths reveal themselves fully over repeated listens. Recently, Go Solo was featured on BBC Radio Shropshire– the first airplay for Mapstone. I know how much it meant to Cookson, and I am sure that BBC Radio One (and Absolute) will be spinning the likes of Go Solo and Shelter before too long. Go Solo (as well as Shelter) share common D.N.A., and hint at a clear sense of identity- an original and potent sound. Acts such as Wild Beasts, London Grammar and James Blake have demonstrated what can be achieved when you mingle stunning and evocative vocals, with direct and heartfelt electronic compositions. It is highly probable that Mapstone will be making big waves in time, as the act has struck on a rich vein of style and substance- a perfect genetic mix that resonates long in the mind. If they do make it big (which is a distinct future possibility) it will not be due to kismet or luck- it will highly deserved. I know these are the early days, but it seems that the move from London has done Cookson a lot of good- the tranquillity and serenity the Welsh Hills provide has provoked a lot of creativity and direction. I am not sure what comes next: a few more singles; an E.P.; tour dates possibly- but it will be exciting to see what is on the horizon. I for one, would love to see Mapstone perform (perhaps in some charming and familial coffee shop or bar).  I shall not get ahead of myself, instead allow for some final reflection and modesty. Music is a hard and capricious business to crack, and relies as much on fortitude and talent as it does popularity. In spite of a modest online following (and the odd smattering of reviews), Mapstone will see follower numbers rise- as fresh eyes train themselves in their direction. In a turbulent political week, which has seen the venomous cockroaches of society rise to governmental prominence (voted for by the lowest of the low); music provides some loyal and indiscriminating stability; a tender touch to comfort the soul. When it comes to soothing and comforting (with plenty of force)…

FEW acts do it better.

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Follow Mapstone:

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/mapstoneband

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/Map_Stone

SoundCloud:

https://soundcloud.com/map-stone/

 

Interview: Elena Ramona

INTERVIEW:

Elena Ramoma

 

Word by Sam Liddicott

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After a busy and productive year (which saw the release of her debut E.P., Hold On), Elena Ramona reveals her current plans; what influences her songwriting process, and how she writes “lyrics and music that my listeners will connect to on a personal level.”

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THE next few months will be a very busy one for the Surrey-based artist.

When Hold On was released back in February, it was met with huge respect and acclaim. The sounds, urgency and talent displayed throughout the E.P. showcased a young artist with a lot to say. Tracks such as Addiction particularly stood out, and its messages certainly hit a chord. Confident songwriting, simple and effective lyrics mixed with layered and nuanced compositions- all backed by Elena Ramona’s striking voice. Able to go from sexy to revenge-filled; soft to impassioned; yearning to introverted, it is a facet that made the E.P. so impressive and confident. Since then, a string of gigs have been performed (within Surrey and London), and there are some impressive and important dates on the horizon.

The likes of Best of British and Eagle Radio have featured the music of Elena Ramona; her debut single Rise is still garnering a huge amount of attention and feedback, and it seems that ears and eyes are turning their attentions to this future star. The rest of 2014 will see plans and ambitions come to the fore, and it will be interesting to see what comes next (and where the Hold On heroine is headed). Having interviewed Elena Ramona last November, I was keen to see how life had changed; what plans there were for the rest of 2014- and how the reaction to Hold On has affected her.

You have been performing gigs around Surrey and London. How have you found the experience, and do you think it has given you more confidence as a live performer?

It’s been great fun. Being on stage singing my own material so far has been an amazing experience.  My audience has responded well and I have found connecting with them comes naturally.

How did you react to the massive positive attention Hold On received?

I was very touched. I was not expecting everyone to react in such a positive way to a debut E.P. It has given me the confidence to carry on making music the way I do.

In your opinion, what are your main themes and elements that inspire your songwriting?

This may vary depending on what mood I am in and what I want to say. I write lyrics and music that my listeners will connect to on a personal level.

Hold On looked at a variety of subjects- from family and friends through to love and holding on (obviously)- how has your songwriting style changed since then? What sort of themes and subjects might we expect to see in the future?

I don’t believe my songwriting style will change drastically, as the way I write has had positive feedback; however, my second single and second E.P. will have more edge, vocally and musically.

There are a lot of challenges that face artists in the modern climate. What are the biggest challenges you have faced?

The biggest challenge I have faced so far is getting exposure for my music. I am currently working hard to promote Hold On and Rise through magazines, blogs and radio.

Can you provide any advice to any new songwriters coming through at the moment?

Write songs that you believe in and not what you believe people will want to hear. Enjoy it as there is nothing more beautiful than telling the world how you feel through music. There are many genres, and it is sometimes hard to find one that suits you best- so experiment, write different styles and slowly one will just fit. Finally, concentrate on pleasing the people who support you (and not the people who don’t).

Finally, what are your plans and ambitions for the rest of this year/next year?

I am currently working on the release of my second single, Lying Blue Eyes- which will also have a music video. I am very excited to release this track, as it has taken a long time to get it all together. I have begun to write for my second E.P. We are aiming to release fresh new songs this winter. Having had so much fun gigging locally, I have applied to perform at various festivals next summer, such as Boomtown, Glasto (Glastonbury) and Pride– look out for me on the acoustic stage.

Elena’s debut E.P., Hold On can be purchased at https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/hold-on-single/id814494744


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Follow Elena Ramona:

 Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Elena-Ramona/323928237668916

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/elenaramona90

YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/user/TheStathaki1

SoundCloud:

https://soundcloud.com/elenaramona90

ReverbNation:

http://www.reverbnation.com/elenaramona90

 

 

 

 

Track Review: Ivy & Gold- Not Had Enough

TRACK REVIEW:

 

 

 

Ivy & Gold

 

Not Had Enough

 

9.7/10.0

Not Had Enough is available via:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vO0IdVg8MOM

The E.P., Eye of the Storm, is available through:

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/eye-of-the-storm-ep/id857797802

RELEASED: 28 April 2014

℗ 2014 84 World Limited

 

TRACK LIST:

Eye of the Storm9.7

Lions9.6

Love Is a Sacrifice- 9.6

Not Had Enough- 9.7

Standout Track: Not Had Enough

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The eye-catching duo fuse bygone English and U.S. sounds with cutting edge and modern wonder. In a music scene where you either get beauty and soul, or passion and mystery- Ivy & Gold provide both, with noble aplomb. These distinct London-based seraphs are sure to be huge future festival leaders.

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IT is quite a rarity to come across a duo whom provide…

such a weight of emotion, beauty and gravity- without resorting to a hailstorm of guitar and percussion. In the U.K., there are quite a few duos; yet a great deal of them offer Grunge/Indie/Blues Rock sounds- few mix Pop and Electro together with 1970s Rock and Blues. Ivy & Gold subsume various influences and styles into their palette; mix it together with a stunning and vibrant original identity- the results have been stunning audiences, critics and reviewers. I shall investigate the duo more; but first, a little biography:

Jamie Davies – Producer/Keys
Rachel Wilkinson – Vocals

Ivy & Gold are an electro / pop duo from Broxbourne, Herts, consisting of Rachel Wilkinson and Jamie Davies. Bonding over a shared love of Mike Snow, Fleetwood Mac and Ellie Goulding, the band set out on a journey to write their own hit songs. Their debut release came in the form of ‘Awake’ a 4 track digital EP, released in early 2013. Having played various support shows around the capital, the band headed back in the studio ready to unleash their next batch of songs. These new tracks will be launched over the course of the year, as a series of digital EP’s, in conjunction with their boutique store and limited edition merchandise range.”

Those with keen ears and (musical) may recognise the band moniker- it is the title of a Bombay Bicycle Club track (from their album, Flaws). It is a wonderful song title, and an even more perfect name for a duo- it sums up their luster, talent and qualities. In addition to being fans of the Crouch End Indie Rock quartet, the duo have a fond appreciation of the past. Tori Amos, Fleetwood Mac, Jeff Buckley and Incubus are amongst their lists of idols- as well as current-day idols such as Laurel (a musician I recently surveyed), London Grammar and Ellie Goulding. The back story of Ivy & Gold implores you to smile and sigh. There was no surruptitiousness or Hollywood luck; just two like-minded souls bonding over a shared love of some wonderful musicians. There are so few modern acts influenced by the likes of Fleetwood Mac and Tori Amos, so our well-educated two-piece come as a huge surprise- and they manage to incorporate elements of the aforementioned into their melting pot. Rachel Wilkinson must rank amongst the most beautiful and stunning women in the world, and in terms of voices, hers has few equals- possessed of a divine strength, power and tenderness. Jamie Davies is an assured and bold producer; one whom is no maverick, but is capable of adding ambition and wonderful atmosphere to the duo’s music. You can hear the close friendship and understanding between Wilkinson and Davies. It is clear that they are consumed by music and all it offers; concerned with little else, this impassioned and fevered adoration blends magnanimously into their striking templates.

If you are a fan of current-day queens such as Florence Welch, Adele, Hannah Reid and Ellie Goulding, then Wilkinson’s voice and projection will please the heart and mind. There are embers of each in her tones, yet it would be incongruous and remiss of me to lazily compare her with others. If you look for conviction and raw etherealeness; potent and spellbinding allure and beauty, then Wilkinson’s voice will compel you. The stunning production quality and mesmeric compositions separate Ivy & Gold aside from their peers- yet this is not to say that they alienate themselves from those whom prefer classic and vintage sounds. There is as much history and retrospection as there is urgency and modernity; tablueaxs depict wounded hearts and disenchanted souls; whirlpools of dislocation and hope intersect, and the London-housed pair possess an impressive range of artillery in their armoury. Essentially, if you are seeking music that overwhelms and entrances, then seek out the gilded twosome.

Before I review the featured track, I will get one thing out-of-the-way: the issue of London Grammar. In spite of the duo being fans of Hannah Reid, Dot Major and Dan Rothman, too many reviewers have too directly compared the acts. It is true that both are fronted by staggeringly divine women; boasting immense vocals and detailed compositions- that is where the comparisons end. Ivy & Gold are no bandwagon jumpers; no tribute act or second-rate equivalent- they acknowledge shades of the Nottingham act, yet employ it as a point d’appui. Not Had Enough beckons us in with delicate and soothing notes; a subtle interplay of electronics and piano give way to our heroine. A fire is burning her down; the voice has duskiness and coffee tones; weighed down by the circumstances of life, Wilkinson in a reflective state of mind. Perhaps recounting the cessation of a relationship, a message is directed (to her former suitor): “Gone/You left me like a ghost.” In the early stages there is a ready-for-the-clubs feel; a driving force that possesses a toe-tapping and metronome beat. With an authoritative composition (that put me in mind of Mezzanine-era Massive Attack and Little Earthquakes Tori Amos), you cannot help but to be sucked into the song. Our heroine prophesies that “We fall and fall again“; drowning in confusion and lost desire, her voice is powerfully direct- but instilled with heartache. The percussive and electronic components are kept restrained but persistent; never encroaching on the vocals, a huge subconscious weight is added into the mix- one that not only augments and supports the central voice, but adds a modicum of fear, tension and tear drops. Backed by Davies’s compelling mandate, Wilkinson beautifully twists her voice; letting it rise and present a paucity of smile; before dipping into the soul- and letting a sensitive and impassioned side come through. Natural forces, dark scenes and harsh weather are all employed to give definition to our heroine’s anxieties.  When she sings “There’s no escape to bring me round“, you not only sense the conviction and meaning in the words, but picture her vividly- enveloped in a harsh wind, her mind is turning and the whites of her eyes clearly come into focus. Although the subject of solitude and dissipated love have been surveyed multitudinously, Ivy & Gold bring something new to the party; a sense of optimism amongst the shadows. The chorus- as well as being one of the most infectious you will hear all year- possesses an upbeat and fist-pumping sense of rebirth; Wilkinson’s voice swings and rallies- she is a woman who has not yet been defeated. That said, it seems that this ‘pattern’ of events is a compunctive malaise (“I’m addicted/Locked in on my own“); as the song reaches its half-way mark, Wilkinson’s voice hits it emotional peak- the full extent of pain and reality come through. One cannot help but to be impressed, not only by the range and snake-like shift in the vocals, but the power that comes through- our heroine can go from a high-pitched belt to softer whisper in a matter of nanoseconds. Whomever has caused our lead so much regret and sadness, has not defeated her (it seems that “it carries on“). As the track comes to its conclusion, key phrases (the chorus in particular) are re-introduced, and an emotional firestorm of percussion, electronics and keys is whipped up. When reflecting on the track, a number of aspects strike your mind. Wilkinson has some tints of modern-day golden voices such as Hannah Reid and Florence Welch, yet I feel that something distinctly fresh and improved is offered; Wilkinson’s voice is a lot more addictive, nuanced and rich than these dual idols.  Instilled with hints of past mistresses (Tori Amos and Bjork), the abiding impression is of a majestic sound that is all her own- and shall be inspiring a lot of up-and-coming singers as well. Davies’s production is perfectly balanced and impressive; he allows the voice to shine with crisp clarity, yet does not negate the importance of the composition. Each segment and thread is beautifully presented and represented, and the song- as a result- is packed full of movement, emotion and layers. Not Had Enough is a song dedicated to (but not exclusively reserved for) those whom feel as Wilkinson does and have had similar experiences. It is a cut that will draw in hungry club-going feet; score beach sunsets and seduce car stereos- as you roll down a sun-kissed road. With its mix of emphatic and introvertedness; honest and bracing diligence- few will resist its allures. A fitting and hugely memorable coda, it is deeply impressive how confident and authoritative Ivy & Gold sound so early on- and it will fascinating to see how they evolve and grow.

It would not be hyperbolic to suggest that Ivy & Gold have a rich future ahead of them. They are a rare and sought-after commodity; a fact that is already being recognised throughout London- and the entire U.K. before too long. Having surveyed (their debut E.P.) Awake, it seems that the duo become more confident and galvanised with each ensuing release. It is judicious to assess Wilkinson and Davies on their own merits, rather than lump them with another act (Not Had Enough shows how intentful and determined the duo are). With heady emotion, encapsulating beauty and sexiness; as well as multi-coloured and evocative sonics throughout, it is testament to two humans intent on remaining in the public consciousness for many a-year to come. Eye of the Storm builds upon this, and displays an abundance of wealth- that which can be appreciated by everyone. The title track and Love Is a Sacrifice have introverted and reflective cores; bolstered, augmented and inflamed by Wilkinson’s enticing vocals- as well as Davies’s musical and production brilliance. New material and movements are imminent, and it is clear that Ivy & Gold are busy creative minds; inspired by positive feedback and a shared musical tastes, it seems they will be huge names to watch. They are tantalising audiences across the capital, but should brace themselves: the entire nation will want to see them in the flesh. It may still be early days for them; many pens mention London Grammar too frequently, yet I am convinced of one thing…

THIS essential duo are going to surpass the Nottinghamshire trio, very soon indeed.

____________________________________________________________________________________

Follow Ivy & Gold:

 

Official:

http://www.ivyandgoldofficial.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/IvyandGoldBand

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/Ivy_and_Gold

YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/user/IvyandGoldMusic

SoundCloud:

https://soundcloud.com/ivyandgold

ReverbNation:

http://www.reverbnation.com/IvyandGold

Last F.M.:

http://www.last.fm/music/Ivy+&+Gold

Songkick:

http://www.songkick.com/artists/7540434-ivy-and-gold

iTunes:

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/artist/ivy-gold/id635827342

Tumblr:

http://ivyandgoldmusic.tumblr.com/

____________________________________________________________________________________

Tour dates available at:

https://www.facebook.com/IvyandGoldBand/events

 ____________________________________________________________________________________

Previous videos can be viewed at:

http://www.ivyandgoldofficial.com/#!gallery/c24vq

 

____________________________________________________________________________________

Ivy & Gold merchandise available at:

http://shop.ivyandgoldofficial.com/

 Ivy and Gold - Love is a Sacrifice - Set of 4 Canvasses

Track Review: Fernando Perdomo- California Moon

 

TRACK REVIEW:

 

 

 

Fernando Perdomo 

  

California Moon

 

9.6/10.0

 

California Moon is available via:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzMKZCHpFh8

The album, Warm, is available through:

http://fernandoperdomo.bandcamp.com/album/warm

RELEASED: May 01, 2014 ℗ 2014 Fernando Perdomo

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: U.S.

Warm cover art

Produced by Fernando Perdomo
“We Fight” Produced by Fernando Perdomo and Victoria Kashtan
“On Sunday Morning Produced by Fernando Perdomo and Per Sundlin
Mixed and Mastered by Zach Ziskin
Engineered by Fernando Perdomo, Per Sundlin, David Alon Gielan, and Greg Byers
Recorded at Reseda Ranch Studios, Melody Maker Productions,
and Tambourine Studios
All Instruments and Vocals by Fernando Perdomo
All Cello’s by Greg Byers
Drums on “Home” and “This Too Shall Pass” – Eddie Zyne
Bass on “Home” and “This Too Shall Pass” – Vincent Cuevas
Flute on “This Too Shall Pass” – Cynthia Kivlan
Viola on “Home” – Dave Torre
Piano on “Home” by Max Farber
Vocals on “We Fight” and “Girl With a Record Collection” – Alih Jey
Vocals on “Home” and “On Sunday Morning” – Durga McBroom Hudson
Vocals on “On Sunday Morning” – Michelle Vidal
All Songs written by Fernando Perdomo (BMI) except
“Girl With A Record Collection” written by Fernando Perdomo and Derek Cintron
Cover Lighting effect by Jessica Hundley Photo by Laurel Stearns

TRACK LIST:

Photographers in Love9.6

Warm9.5

Home Is Wherever You Are- 9.5

Girl With A Record Collection- 9.6

19709.5

We Fight (Because We’re In Love)- 9.5

California Moon- 9.6

This Too Shall Pass9.5

Angel Lust- 9.4

Find A Lover- 9.5

On Sunday Morning- 9.5

Standout Track: California Moon

__________________________________________________________________

Fernando Perdomo relocated to L.A. from Miami; bringing along a chest of stories, covetous yearning, flashbacks, love stories and emotions- Warm is a cornucopia of wealth from a tender and zealous heart. With the album picking up an impassioned momentum, I investigate its most striking and touching track.

_____________________________________________________________________

MY thoughts, once more, turn towards American shores…

Fernando Perdomo is creating quite a buzz around California (as well as the U.S.). Having been a musician and performer for many years now, it is unsurprising that his L.P. (Warm) is receiving such high praise and attention. It is not just filled with authority and fascinating soundscapes, but ties together various sonic threads. Differing moods, subjects and towns are crossed off across the album’s itinerary- it is a stunning and multifarious achievement. If you are unfamiliar with Perdomo, let me shed some light:

Fernando Jose Perdomo (born August 17, 1980) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, multi-instrumentalist, record producer . Originally from Miami Beach, Florida . He has toured, performed and recorded with various artists in many different genre’s. He is the co-producer of “The Soul Of All Natural Things”, the new album from the legendary Linda Perhacs. In 2010 Fernando Perdomo and his band Dreaming in Stereo were signed to a management deal with Bill Aocoin, under his company Aucoin Globe Entertainment. However, Aucoin became ill and died due to surgical complications from prostate cancer. Aucoin has also been credited with discovering, developing and managing the legendary rock band Kissand Billy Idol. Dreaming in Stereo 2 followed in 2010 to glowing reviews. The band showcased at SXSW 2010 and also backed up the legendary Andy Pratt. In 2012 Perdomo released his debut Solo EP, “Home is Wherever You Are” produced by Grammy nominated producer, Chris Rodriguez. Perdomo moved to Los Angeles in 2012 and opened “Reseda Ranch Studios” in Reseda. His first project is co producing (with Chris Price) the long-awaited second album by Linda Perhacs. He is also currently producing The Defiant, Jim CamachoLittle Dove, Robert Avellanet, Rooney Anne James, Graham Marshall, Trudy Miquelerena, Apryl Electra, Rebecca Schwab, Nicole Marcus, Melissa Thatcher, Andy Pratt, Melissa Thatcher and Records and Tapes. In 2013, Perdomo formed Records and Tapes with Jennifer Jo Oberle. The band has released 2 singles and a music video. His new single, “Photographers in Love” came out on 11/08/13.”

In addition to recording, Perdomo runs Reseda Ranch Studios in Los Angeles, and is amongst the busiest, most talented and ambitious musicians around. His mature, assured and tantalising musicianship and songwriting will reap rewards- and ensure that these sensibilities bring in a varied and impassioned fan base.

Perdomo’s wide range of sounds and styles means that his music does not subjugate and discriminate. If you are a fan of ’60s and ’70s classic U.S. Folk acts then you will find much to appreciate. Similarly, there are Beatle-esque touches (within the L.P.) that will please aficionados of classic British 1960s music. Openness and honest mingle with introspection and personal tragedy; swelling and touching made-for-movies scenery rubs shoulders with sun-drenched multifairiousness and light. Kaleidoscopic and dream-like visions run rampant, and each track is gorgeously crafted and considered. Not confined to a season or narrow sense of occasion, the songs can be appreciated in any weather, and at any time. Nothing is transient or sluggish; songs make their impressions known and linger long in the mind. If you appreciate music which offers its heart on its sleeve; that which implores you to look within yourself; to be uplifted and invigorated- then Fernando Perdomo fits the bill exquisitely.

The opening notes of California Moon tenderly set the scene. Twisting and springing guitar notes evoke a myriad of scenes. Instantly, your mind is transported to some post-dusk Los Angeles highway; nothing but contemplation and open road lays ahead. Undertones of (Bryter Layter-era) Nick Drake and Ray LaMontagne come through, yet it is a sonic sojourner that soon gives way to our frontman’s entrance. Talking of “dancing in the dark“, Perdomo’s voice has a husky and calming air; earnestly speaking to his sweetheart, he implores her to join him- to go dancing under the heady glow of the moonlight. It is hard not to be put in mind of the Folk legends of the ’60s and ’70s- there is that same sense of authority and quality that comes through. The guitar is subtle but evocative; saying so much with few notes, Perdomo deftly puts the listener in his thought. It is nigh-on impossible not to imagine and speculate as to what the song’s author sees- the sights, smells and sensations are all there. The chorus marries Drake-esque vocal touches with an impassioned and direct coda: “California moon/Shining on you“. Whereas a lot of contemporaries infuse some negativity and cynicism into their love songs, here the mood is ripe, receptive and honest- Perdomo and his love are entwined in the night’s air, nary a trouble to be found. By the time the chorus is repeated and weaved, it solidly sticks in your head; its infectious and simple charm is hard to ignore. The melody and vocal projection put me somewhat in mind of Prefab Sprout (particularly their albums Crimson/Red and Let’s Change the World with Music); you can hear that same charm and urbane reflection within. Similarly, one could imagine Paul McCartney penning a similar track in 1967/8- if you listen to The Beatles, you could envisage California Moon slotting right in the mix. Comparisons aside, Perdomo has a real flair for song craft; able to mix contemporary Folk and troubadour sensitivity with latter-day Pop glory. By the final third, guitar notes mutate and evolve; from acoustic arpeggio flow through to electric wail, the atmosphere is kept alive, vibrant and filled with life. As the closing stage arrive, our frontman once more expounds the wonders of the night and ensures that the insatiable and indelible melody remains in your thoughts (for a long, long time). California Moon is a track that wins you over with its simple beauty and conviction, providing a much-needed breath of fresh air- away from the negativity and bait-and-switch that a lot of modern-day music promotes.

Warm is a natural evolution from previous works such as Dreams and Home Is Wherever You Are; one where Perdomo steps from the solo spotlight and collaborates with Linda Perhacs. Where past discs contained all the typical confident, flair, range and emotion (one would expect from Perdomo), Warm builds upon this and updates the listener on recent events. The songs seem more effortless and natural; there is a sense of passion and increased confidence throughout, and Perdomo has produced his most assured and fascinating set of songs to date. Photographers In Love looks at different photographic preferences and styles; beautifully employing them as metaphors for love (and contrasts and differences in relationships); presenting a sunny take on a unique love. Girl With A Record Collection is a paen to alphabetized vinyl, and a girl that blows the author away (“Without saying a word“). This Too Shall Pass employs Grieg-esque spring-time woodwind amidst a song that looks at life; all the woes and hardships that are faced daily- offering redemption and hope that things will turn out right. Warm is a perfect starting point for new listeners, and will appeal as much to lovers of modern-day cinematic Folk/Indie as it will to those accustomed to 1960s Pop. Being one of the most respected and hard-working musicians in the U.S., Perdomo’s future is assured and safe. His latest L.P. will bring in many new fans from all around (including many in the U.K.) and reinforce his status as one of music’s biggest hopes. Having produced for the likes of Little Doves, Perdomo has his finger firmly on the pulse of modern music- an intuition and talent that comes through in his own music. I am sure that future projects and collaborations are already taking effect (or at least percolating in the back of Perdomo’s mind), so it will be fascinating to see what comes next. If you are looking for something new; music that can put you in a better mood, but also compel you to dig deep within yourself and reflect…

THEN your search should start (and end) here.

Warm cover art

____________________________________________________________________________________

Follow Fernando Perdomo:

Official:

http://fernandoperdomo.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/fernandoperdomo?fref=ts

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/fperdomo

YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbvhsBwZEyQ75FYd4vBYC2w

SoundCloud:

https://soundcloud.com/fernandoperdomomusic

Bandcamp:

http://fernandoperdomo.bandcamp.com/

ReverbNation:

http://www.reverbnation.com/fernandoperdomomusic

Last F.M.:

http://www.last.fm/music/Fernando+Perdomo

Songkick:

http://www.songkick.com/artists/3659076-fernando-perdomo

Websta:

http://web.stagram.com/n/fperdomo/

iTunes:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/fernando-perdomo/id6540435

____________________________________________________________________________________

Tour dates available at:

http://fernandoperdomo.com/shows

____________________________________________________________________________________

Fernando Perdomo’s previous videos can be viewed at:

http://fernandoperdomo.com/videos

____________________________________________________________________________________

Fernando Perdomo merchandise available at:

http://fernandoperdomo.com/store

 

 

E.P. Review: Boom Tales- Chapter 1- The Day’s Jewels

E.P. REVIEW:

 

 

 

Boom Tales

Chapter 1- The Day’s Jewels

 

9.6/10.0

Chapter 1- The Day’s Jewels.

PRODUCED AND MIXED BY: Bradley Kohn at Home Farm Studios

CO-PRODUCED BY: Ashley Radford and Andy Mangnall

MASTERED BY: Howie Weinberg

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: U.K.

TRACK LIST:

Illuminate– Ft. Eloise Lovell Anderson- 9.7

As Eagles9.5

Captain Slow- Ft. Eloise Lovell Anderson- 9.5

Storm She Came- Ft. Eloise Lovell Anderson- 9.7

Beyond– Ft. Eloise Lovell Anderson- 9.6

Standout Track: Illuminate

The E.P. is launched on May 27th:

Cecil’s

8 Holyrood Street

SE1 2EL

London

United Kingdom

The E.P. is available to purchase on May 27th via:

http://www.boomtales.org

__________________________________________________________________

The London-based band have a panache for Boho fashion and eye-catching flair. Their songs mix peaceful calm with uplifting implore. In an era where guitar-heavy insipidness politize strongly- vote for something that offers that extra something.

_____________________________________________________________________

THE thing that entered my mind (first) when investigating Boom Tales…

is how striking the group are. In terms of looks and projection, you would imagine the quartet would spend their time surfing on a Californian beach or seducing women in the 19th century. The chiselled and dashing four-piece not only have a striking outer layer, but stun with their musical output. When assessing which genre(s) Boom Tales’ music falls into; it cross-pollinates Boho Rock and modern-day Indie with ’60s and ’70s U.S. influences. Our ambitious band consist:

Ashley – Vocals/Guitar/Percussion
Rollo – Guitar
Tom Fromant – Bass
Lulla Hartmann– Drums

Ashley Radford and Rollo Bergerac, both hailing from the isle of Jersey, met age sixteen in the ruckus of a rock festival. A ritual soon formed of long jamming sessions looking out from the rugged coastlines after a day spent in the sea. Years later guitarist Rollo wrote from the wild shores of New Zealand’s South Island. Traveling alone, sleeping in his car, following the waves, he had the vision of the two friends creating music together again. Singer Ashley’s memories of sailing to France with his father “watching the sails for boom tales” founded the name. The band’s first EP ‘Chapter I- The Day’s Jewels’ was recorded ‘unplugged’ and reflects their raw, travel enthused roots. The record features vocals from actress and musician Eloise Lovell Anderson, who stars in the music video for the first single ‘Illuminate’. The band’s soundscape has developed with their live shows, encompassing influences from Pearl Jam and Jimi Hendrix to Ben Harper and Bon Iver. Lulla Hartmann and Tom Fromant play drums and bass, whilst Rollo favours electric guitar experimentation over the acoustic approach of the EP. Teamed with tribal percussion and shamanic infused lyrics from Ashley, Boom Tales are pioneering their own unique Boho Rock sound. ‘Chapter 1- The Day’s Jewels’ is set for release 27th May, with a launch party at Cecil’s, London Bridge.”

At the moment there are quite a few hungry and vibrant bands making their names around London, yet this quartet separate themselves apart and offer something new. In a sea of indeterminate and variable quality and interest, Boom Tales strike the eye, ear and heart. With contributions and additions from Eloise Lovell Anderson’s raw and sensual voice, you are treated to a heady and captivating act. Anderson contributes a huge amount, and it is hard to ignore her beautiful and stirring tones.

If you are a fan of thoughtful and deep music, then you will love these guys. Their sounds offer up Americana and U.S. Country tones; there are huge and emotive vocals that put me in mind of classic-era Pearl Jam and Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Similarly, Reef and Soundgarden (oddly) come through strongly. Softer and more introverted moments blend Acoustic Folk with Reggae tinges, so if you are a fan of any of the aforementioned (and predisposed to embrace this type of music), then Boom Tales will resonate hard and prick your interest. The psychotropic, hypnotic and alluring blend of music they offer has a contemporary and urgent rush to it, but also displays vintage colours and elements. For those whom prefer their music passionate, emotive and deeply compelling, then you will definitely find much to recommend throughout Chapter 1- The Day’s Jewels.

Delicate percussion and river flow acoustic strings beckon in Illuminate. Your mind is instantly transported to a countryside paradise or sunset majesty; with hints of King of Convenience and Bon Iver trickling through. Speaking of the Medicine Man and the chance to “initiate a change“, Radford’s voice is soothing but implorative. You get the sense that a festival such as Burning Man is being surveyed; faces painted in blood and mud mingle; the sunlight illuminates the throng. As the song progresses, scenes of nightshade and belladona come to the fore; our frontman presents a repeated coda: “I walk and forgot it.” With Anderson’s gorgeous and evocative vocals adding tender colours into the mix, the song soothes and anoints; its breezy and catchy charm seduces you- and you elicit a giant smile. With stadium-sized vocals (with Metal and Grunge potential), Radford’s anthemic power blends instinctively with Anderson’s exquisite tones. With two powerful, distinct and potent voices wrapped around Illuminate‘s words, it is a song that gets inside your head and emphatically begins the E.P. Another delicate and Folk-tinged intro. allows As Eagles to soar early on. A dreamy, woozy and scene-setting sonic snatch kicks the song into top gear; Radford’s voice is urgent but restrained (in the early phase) as he weaves and tumbles his words (“Constellations correlate/To your bones/were never separate“). The track’s nature-filled travelogue provides majestic soar, open skies, and mystic promises. Our frontman (and his subject) are in a place where “we don’t need to try“- his voice yearns and resonates with passion. With some suggestions of Ben Harper and Counting Crows, we complete a memorable 1-2. Your mind is transported to a scenic clifftop as the sapling moments of Captain Slow arrive. Springing and romanticized guitars transport you somewhere scenic and safe. Whether employing metaphors for love and romance or literally presenting ocean and island scenes; vivid images enter your mind. When Anderson’s crystalline and elliptical voice parabonds with Radford’s (on the line “How well do you know this place?”) the most stirring moment of the E.P. is provided. Our front-man swims the sea; diving and plundering he comes “aboard with the day’s jewels.” At times Radford is the pastor; delivering the sermon to his congregation- Anderson’s wordless and swooping vocals add an additional layer of etherealness. I caught faint hints of Steely Dan in the vocal and music (Kings and Deacons Blues especially), and was left impressed by the group’s momentum, mobility and range. Storm She Came is the penultimate track, and boasts Bluegrass and Country flavour; twanging and rubbery guitar notes inject intrigue and Southern States candour into the opening salvo. “Looking out from a tree house“, Radford looks out on life. With some familiarly pleasing accompanying vocals by Anderson, shamanic and tribal beats mix with embers of love and passion; leading to not only the most urgent and atmospheric composition (so far), but one of the most instant choruses. Kudos must be paid to the percussion, which manages to whip up a wealth of force and meaning without any histrionics. Strings are beautifully electrifying and hypnotizing as our frontman loses his senses in the storm (that his heroine has created)- you cannot help but be impressed by the conviction of the vocal, vivacity of the lyrics; as well as the tight and compelling band performance. Completing the E.P. is Beyond. With ghostly and choral vocals joining with straining strings, Radford and Anderson duet once more (elongating the song’s title with spectral haunt). The duo let their seductive and gospel vocalisations weave around words such as “We keep spirits high.” Our frontman lead the heroine (Anderson) to the garden, but, as it is revealed: “you had to leave alone“. Moonlit mountains, clearings and spirits are once more invoked and deployed- Boom Tales keep nature and scenic tableaux at the forefront once more. As the fire turns to ember, our enduring twosome keep emotion and fascination high. With gorgeous and inflamed vocals (making lines such as “You’re the reason we know” so memorable), the E.P. reaches its end.

Chapter 1- The Day’s Jewels was recorded unplugged and live. The pure and unfettered sound makes each track lodge into your brain, and make you feel as though you are listening to a mini concert. You can tell that experiences at sea and abroad (Bergerac wrote around New Zealand’s South Island; Radford sailed around France with his father) played a huge part in the formative stages of their careers. Each track takes you to a new landscape; wild and evocative scenes are presented, and the listener is treated to a voyage of (self) discovery; the gorgeous and mesmeric tracks seep into your veins. The E.P. is one to listen to when you want to get away; take all the woe and misery from your mind; be uplifted and compelled by music. The melodies and compositions are beautifully constructed and filled with nuance; the lyrics are intelligent, poetic and imbued with repeatability (sic.). Being an embryonic and (practically) new-born act, their discography is gleaming and brand-new- so it is hard to draw comparisons with any previous output. Chapter 1- The Day’s Jewels is an accomplished, treasure-filled and stunning quintet of tracks that will see fans and venues flock towards Boom Tales- keen to take them in and hear them play. The boys are brilliant throughout, yet Radford stands out as a most compelling singer; one whose voice seems capable of being able to do anything- it will be interesting to see how it develops and impresses in future releases. Anderson contributes stunning and tender vocals, which add weight and beauty to the tracks she performs on. Her voice goes from a wordless coo, all the way to bellowing and operatic (the latter is particularly true in the case of Beyond, where she displays hints of Hannah Reid). The boys are handsome and athletic; Anderson is stunningly beautiful, yet the music, vocals and words offered up are filled with nuance, emotion, energy and lustre. I predict that Boom Tales will be conquering large swathes of the U.K (once the E.P. is fully digested) and I would not be surprised to see future profitability mutate into international acclaim. Their sound is transferable and universal, and can (and will) be appreciated by hugely varied crowds. Being ‘…Volume 1‘, it will be fascinating to hear what future E.P.s/albums will resemble- will there be electric guitars and orchestration? Perhaps Hendix-esque swathes (amidst songs of modern-life heartache)? Maybe not; but the near-future is sure to be tantalising and filled with fresh promise. Boom Tales are a stunning act that are highly likely to supersede borderline-anonymity- and find themselves clasped to critical bosoms before too long. What I do know is…

WE will be hearing a lot more from this group in years to come.

____________________________________________________________________________________

Follow Boom Tales:

Official:

http://www.boomtales.org/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/BoomTales

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/BoomTales

YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCx_VYloNk22wzPowS-S5Xgg

SoundCloud:

https://soundcloud.com/boomtales

Songkick:

http://www.songkick.com/artists/6880199

ReverbNation:

http://www.reverbnation.com/boomtales

Instagram:

http://instagram.com/boomtales#

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Tour dates available at:

https://www.facebook.com/BoomTales/events

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Boom Tales’ previous music and videos can be viewed at:

https://www.facebook.com/BoomTales/app_182222305144028

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Track Review: Quinn Archer (Ft. Marcus Foster)- Rest of My Days

TRACK REVIEW:

 

 

 

Quinn Archer (Ft. Marcus Foster)  

Rest of My Days

 

9.7/10.0

Rest of My Days is available via

https://soundcloud.com/quinn-archer/rest-of-my-days-quinn-archer

RELEASE DATE: 10 MARCH, 2014

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: U.S.A.

2014 WPIL

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L.A.-based star Quinn Archer has a seductive and potent voice that can melt the steeliest of hearts. Having struggled in the quagmire of the U.S. music scene, it seems that the future will be a lot less oppressive. The young artist should prepare for a prosperous and busy future.

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I have been meaning to review this artist for a hell of a long time now.

At the moment, Quinn Archer is working out of L.A., enlivening and seducing U.S. audiences with her incredible voice and stirring music. Many Brits who travel to the U.S. (and find it hard-going) find themselves repatriating, and returning to the U.K. Archer is going to be a future name to watch, and sets herself aside from her contemporaries. As well as her stunning looks and incredible voice, Archer has a genuine passion for music; she has a fond appreciation for her fans, and is always touched when positive feedback and praise are provided. Before I go into more detail, here is a bit more about her:

British born singer-songwriter Quinn Archer’s music is a remarkable blend of gothic soul, a startling combination with a voice of an old-school diva and the temperament of a well-brought up angel. After spending her teenage years at a catholic boarding school in Surrey, Quinn escaped to the bright lights of Los Angeles. While there she played the circuit with her hard rock band Stereofiend, sang back up for Shooter Jennings’ band Stargunn and did solo projects with Ricky Philips (The Baby’s, Bad English) and Gavin Mackillop (Sugar Cult, The Rembrandts, Goo Goo Dolls). Most recently, Quinn has been playing with her band Juliet’s Royal Blood, before deciding to focus on her solo career once the band disbanded. Quinn’s tumultuous experiences while touring and playing the Los Angeles circuit come through in her music, expressing feelings of suffering and resolution all at the same time.

It is difficult to compare Quinn Archer to anyone else, too directly. Her powerful and emotive vocals incorporate an element of Adele. There is that same raw power and sense of passion in her tone; when the voice is more romantic and imploring, it has elements of Christina Aguilera and (one of the U.K.’s newcomers) Alison Levi. In all honesty, Archer comes across as a unique and original talent. If you are a fan of Adele and Aguilera then you will not be disappointed, but her music appeals to those whom adore a strong and compelling voice: one that is filled with conviction, urgency, beauty and seduction.

Rest of My Days - Quinn Archer ft Marcus Foster

Rest of My Days is a slight departure from Archer’s previous works. Dark Places have a weighed and empty heart; the track looks at a former love who has broken Archer’s heart; she confesses she is done wasting tears (on him), and the song looks at a break-up that has left its scars. Walk Through The Fire investigates love and trial-and-error; going through the bad times and making mistakes, in order to get things right. Thematically, Rest of My Days is more redemptive; its heart is more romantic and touching- yet a lot of common voice remains. Impassioned vocals, touching lyrics and a tender composition can be heard (as you’d expect), and Archer keeps all of her hallmarks and singular voice in tact. The song is a natural progression and a creative step forward; imbued with a sense of optimism, it could well point to what future songs will sound like.

Touching and moonlit piano touches begin Rest of My Days. Instantly, anxieties and stresses are calmed, as the soothing notes seep into your senses. When Archer approaches the mic. her voice is beautifully still and evocative. Speaking to her sweetheart, she knows that he’ll come “through the dust and smoke“; Archer’s heart is firmly on her sleeve and you can sense an emptiness and longing; a pining for her love as it were. When Foster come into the mix, you cannot help but ignore the instant impact. His voice has undertones of Aaron Neville, but is a darker and richer instrument; a perfect counterpoint to Archer’s sweetness and delicacy, Foster’s silky and husky tones are compelling and beautiful. When the duo’s voices are entwined, the biggest emotional hit is elicited; the song’s aching and heartfelt words come starkly to life. When the two sing “I still find it hard to believe/that I’m never gonna break your heart“, you can hear that sense of loss and strain; the sense of heartbreak is evident. The song acts almost like a call across the oceans; you imagine Archer being in a lonely cafe in L.A.; Archer being in London or further afield- singing and calling to one another across the land. Throughout the early stages, the vocals are left to speak the loudest. Piano elements and intonations are kept sparse and unobtrusive; there is no needless noise or force, meaning that the whispered notes blend seamlessly into the mix- and augment the lyrics wonderfully. Our duo confesses that to be without one another forever would be too much to take; if life meant being without one another, then sorrow and loneliness would overcome them (“I could never make it through“). It is hard to thing or any modern-day duets that have such a force and beauty. A few recent attempts (by mainstream) acts have trodden the same themes and lines, yet none (for my money) have done so as effectively and stirringly. Archer and Foster’s voice seem ready-made for one another, and it sounds like they have been singing with one another for years- that sense of intuition and naturalness come through in every note. The composition reminds me slightly of To Build a Home (The Cinematic Orchestra ft. Patrick Watson). There, subtle but yearning strings mingled with open-hearted piano to give the track an immense beauty, stillness and tenderness. As the closing notes are proffered, you wonder whether the duo ever made it to one another, or are whether their hearts are destined to remain disconnected and longing. Rest of My Days is a song to reflect to; when the light is fading and you are taking stock of your life, it is a track that helps the decision-making process. Similarly, anyone involved in a difficult relationship can find solace and meaning here; as can anyone who pines and longs for someone they cannot have.

In spite of suffering the jet lag of the touring circuit and struggling a little in L.A., Quinn Archer should hold firm, and be very proud. The handful of songs under her belt suggest a talent that has a long-term future. Archer’s emotive and striking voice is very much her own; it is hard to compare it with too many other acts of the moment. Her songs cover a wide range, and Rest of My Days is a track that gets inside of your heart, and strikes a chord. Tenderness, romantic implore and emphatic emotion come to the fore throughout, and Archer and Foster blend wonderfully. I feel that Quinn Archer will be making E.P.s and albums for years to come, and will be getting the recognition she deserves. With a starling beauty and an incredible songwriting talent, it will not be long until many more faces and names are familiar with her music. It is clear that Archer loves what she does and is determined to make it big in years to come. Music is a notoriously tough and crowded sector, yet she sets herself apart from her peers with her unique voice and down-to-earth approach. When she finally does make it big in the U.S. I just hope that she allows herself a chance to relax…

AS well as come home and see us here in the U.K.

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Follow Quinn Archer:

Official:

http://quinn-archer.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/QuinnArcherMusic

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/Quinn_Archer

YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/user/QuinnArcherMusic/feed

SoundCloud:

https://soundcloud.com/quinn-archer

Last F.M.:

http://www.last.fm/music/Quinn+Archer

Google+:

https://plus.google.com/100002515165955233869/posts

Instagram:

http://instagram.com/quinnarch#

iTunes:

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/artist/quinn-archer/id778724979

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Tour dates available at:

http://quinn-archer.com/?page_id=95

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 Quinn Archer’s previous videos can be viewed at:

http://quinn-archer.com/?page_id=15