We’ve been trying to come up with an appropriate beverage to accompany an evening listening to Nej!Las (her name is a semi-reversal of her given name of Jen Sal), an American techno artist creating complex sonic vistas with magical machines. It’s hypnotic, slightly sinister and utterly overwhelming stuff and requires multiple listens to really get to grips with it…in a good way, it’s music that just keeps on giving. We recommend your Washout listening sessions to be accompanied by an appropriate brew which not only inspires but also numbs and and causes mild delirium. Please enjoy your tot of everclear responsibly – the music is chilling enough without setting yourself on fire.
It’s at times like these you realise how forgiving you’ve been of singles which have come through for review. Why did I find it acceptable that a 6 minute track which had no discernible melody, rhythm, focus or point of interest was worthy of a carefully thought out appraisal? Albino have nailed exactly what a single should be: their new track ‘Belinda’ is catchy, fresh, yet at the same time redolent of some classic bands you’d forgotten you were madly in love with; but at the same time leaving you clawing at your ears that it only lasts for 2 and a bit minutes.
There’s the well told story from Paul McCartney about the creation of ‘Yesterday’ wherby having written down the song, he convinced himself for the following month that all he had in fact done was to plagiarise an already existing wunder-hit. I almost have the same feeling here: ‘Belinda’ sounds naggingly familiar, yet having listened to it a few more times, I’m confident it is a completely original modern classic.
Yes, there are obvious reference points- the kaleidoscopically drooling organ sound is immediately all things The Doors/The Animals/Brian Auger; the structure is the gutter-garage-blues of The Beasts of Bourbon and early Nick Cave. Although Albino are London based, more specifically, London pub-based, their beer mat agenda is being fully understood by both band and audience alike. This as much tomorrow’s sound as yesterday’s – the hangover comes for free.
Considering the band’s claim that they more or less run on whiskey, it’s got to be a fine single malt. Or simply anything alcoholic…
‘Shredded Jeans’ is one of the latest singles from Belgian singer-songwriter Mark L. Oakes’ new album, Call Me The Moon. The record is a must listen for lovers of folk and americana who enjoy that classic throwback sound.
This isn’t to say that Oakes’ music is dated by any means; he has adopted an older sound akin to the likes of Neil Young and Van Morrison, but adapted and fine-tuned it through quality production to create a more modern version of music from this genre.
Mark states Neil Young as one of his main influences and the pair actually share a very similar vocal tone that’s both warm and emotive. As well as Young, Oakes looks up to the likes of Tucker Zimmerman, Ryan Adams and Tom Petty for musical inspiration.
‘Shredded Jeans’ is a beautifully piano-led track that builds from gentle chords and humming-organs to a chorus that really gives you goosebumps, in the best way possible – it must be the powerful combination of Mark’s voice and the screaming harmonica.
Mark himself has labelled Call Me The Moon the ideal soundtrack for a ‘karmic road trip’ and listening to the music immediately explains why. There is a very cinematic quality to his sound that would be easy to pair up with the visuals of a classic road trip film. The emotion is so strong, particularly in tracks like ‘Shredded Jeans’ and ‘Aloof Again’, that Mark’s music might just make you smile, or even cry.
The album was recorded at Mark’s home studio in the Ardennes with the help of cellist, Ben Trigg, and was mastered by Grammy award winner, Gavin Lurssen. Mark is a keen traveller, often voyaging between Europe and the US with a number of musical projects, but he believes that Call Me The Moon is a ‘silver thread out of the vague existential maze’.
The relaxing and easy-listening vibes at play within Mark’s music call for a quality single-malt with which you can begin to contemplate the ‘vague existential maze’ that is life.
Find out more on Mark L Oakes here:
Alonestar is the musical moniker by which artist and producer, Jethro Sheeran, otherwise goes, and before you ask, yes, he is related to Ed – they’re cousins. However, this should by no means diminish Jethro’s work just because his cousin is a world-wide superstar.
In fact, upon listening to Jethro’s music, it is easy to see how Ed has been influenced by his rap style. Nonetheless, Alonestar has returned with his latest single ‘Lovelorn’, which also features the talented vocals of singer, Rosie Ribbons.
The pair wrote the track together with their past experiences and relationships in mind which provided fuel for the context of this addictive track. Combating themes of unrequited love and heartbreak, Jethro explains that ‘Lovelorn’ “is the strongest and most powerful song I have written & produced to date, it reflects my new sound and style. It’s something fresh and different to anything else out there at the moment. I dug deep to exercise the darkness in this track, and fell into the depths of my soul when coming up with the concept.”
A powerful and resonant beat underpins the whole track, adding a sense of seriousness that’s comparable to some of Eminem’s best work. Alonestar’s lyrics are fast, clever and witty, exuding attitude and emotion from every word. With his signature rap style, Jethro paves the way for the super-catchy and emotive chorus sung through the crystal clear vocals of Ribbons. There is a strong contrast between the two in terms of how they sing, but this only adds to the quality production of the track, exemplifying Jethro’s own talents.
‘Lovelorn’ was produced by Sheeran himself with the help of Massive Attack’s guitarist, Angelo Bruschini, and drummer Damon Reece.
You can imagine this one being played in the club so why not accompany it with a vodka and coke, or lemonade- your call!
Check out more on Alonestar here:
‘Devil Ina Blue Dress’ is the latest single from London based Afro-rap artist, Dexter Sampson, otherwise known as Dex Man. The infectious new track also features the talents of J Wanza.
Dex Man could be described as a genre-hopper, navigating his way through various styles including pop, hip hop, reggaeton, drill, house and RnB, showcasing his versatility and passion across all kinds of music.
In ‘Devil Ina Blue Dress’, Dex Man employs a strong, almost steel drum-esque beat that underlies the whole track, constantly keeping the groove going. J Wanza’s intro rap makes way for a powerful drop into Dex man’s well-crafted and witty lyricism.
It’s the kind of track that would suit the club perfectly and it would undoubtedly get people up on the dance floor as a result of its catchy hooks and innately head-nodding nature.
As part of the Leftwing Movement, a democratic music group with a focus on people and motivational lyricism, creating lyrics with meaning behind them is something of paramount importance to Dex Man and this is evident within a number of his tracks such as ‘Lean On Me’, ‘Never See Us Gunnin’ and of course, ‘Devil Ina Blue Dress’.
‘Devil Ina Blue Dress’ has received an unbelievable response after being featured on Link Up TV and Hackney’s Finest where the video received over 40,000 views in under a week.
Whilst we have already mentioned Dex Man’s exploration of genres, he has taken influence from some of the urban scene heavyweights including Dr. Dre, Meek Mill, Skepta and Drake. If Dex Man can continue to produce tracks like ‘Devil Ina Blue Dress’, there’s no reason why he can’t be up there with the best in the coming future. Watch this space!
The hip-hop vibes at play in Dex Man’s ‘Devil Ina Blue Dress’ call for a high-class vodka, perhaps Ciroc or Grey Goose!
Find out more on Dex Man and his music here:
Jvgg Spvrrow is a unique hip-hop artist with a wide range of influences hailing from the Caribbean island of St. Martin- hence his motto: ‘SM on Da Map’, meaning ‘St Martin To The World’.
Coming from an island like this, Jvgg has worked his way up from the streets to the studio, finding a place for his music within a genre that is difficult to gain traction in.
With a hugely distinctive pirate based style, Jvgg has created a persona for his act that differentiates him within the world of hip hop music. He has been inspired by Hip Hop artists such as Young Thug, Gucci Mane, Asap Rocky and french hip hop artists like Booba, Joey Starr and Dancehall artists like Bounty Killer, Movado and Vybz Kartel.
‘Pirate’ is Jvgg Spvrrow’s latest single, with a beat-strong hip-hop vibe that would not be out of place in the club. Clearly, Jvgg Spvrrow is ready to take St Martin to the world through the medium of his one-of-a-kind brand of music.
With such a gangsta-esque track on our hands here and Jvgg’s Caribbean heritage, a bottle of spiced rum would complement ‘Pirate’ perfectly. If not, shots.
Check out more on Jvgg Spvrrow here:
‘We All Love Burt Bacharach’ is the definitive tribute to the world renowned and widely loved, Burt Bacharach. The album features 13 of Burt’s best known hits, reworked into a range of jazz influenced renditions and instrumentals.
The album has been conceived and produced by Giampaolo Pasquile and Michele Garruti for PLAY (Milan) and Oracle Records ltd (London). The producers took inspiration from the likes of Chet Baker, Michael Bublé and Norah Jones to create the smooth jazz sound, but with strong elements of pop, funk and folk. Despite jazz being the easiest umbrella term to describe the album, hints of other styles and genres have been cleverly inserted, reinventing the works of the great songwriter and thus looking at them from a new angle.
It would only be fitting to have some of the world’s best musicians replicate the music of such an iconic singer and the producers made sure this was the case. The collection features the supreme piano talents of Massimo Colombo, as well as Peter Erskine (ex drummer of Weather Report), one of the most appreciated double bass players in the world, Darek ‘Oles’ Oleszkiewicz, Bob Mintzer (member of Yellowjackets), Michael Stever and Kathleen Grace, a refined folksinger from the West Coast.
Such well-crafted, smooth jazz sounds require a tipple that’s equally classy so I would suggest a fine glass of red or perhaps a sophisticated gin and tonic.
Clem Darling is the man behind the music of Tuffet Bunnies and he creates folk-infused love songs for his girlfriend Scarlett, hence his four track EP, ‘Love Songs For Scarlett’.
The singer-songwriter describes the four songs as sounding like “they’ve been written by a bunch of gypsies that popped out of the back of a caravan” which is intriguing to say the least! Each song on the EP is centered around the feeling of being in love which is reflected through Darling’s honest lyricism and unique songwriting.
Having been compared to the likes of Paul Simon, Beck and Adam Green, Clem has steered away from his roots in garage-rock bands to take the path as a folk musician. Before his musical diversion, Darling had performed with acts such as Jucifier, Two Cow Garage and Carson McHone.
Darling’s relaxed folky vibe calls for something to sit back with and enjoy the music, perhaps a good whiskey on the rocks.
Check out more on Tuffet Bunnies here:
Long-time singer-songwriter, Lenny Bunn, has released his own cover of the classic rock’n’roll track ‘Blueberry Hill’ and it’s certainly up there with Fats Domino and Elvis Presley renditions.
Lenny decided to record his own version of the well-known song as a dedication to his late, adopted father whose favourite song was ‘Blueberry Hill’.
There have been many covers of the song over the years since its inception in the 40s, in various different styles too, but Lenny has gone for a smooth jazz feel with his version.
Accompanying the release of the song is a live performance video of Lenny and his band members, but with one intriguing twist: each member of the band is recording their section of the song from the comfort of their own home and different studios via an internet call.
The song also features the talents of Third World Reggae Band pianist, Ibo, and the beautiful vocals of Melissa James.
As far as Lenny is concerned, the outcome of his tribute to his Dad is ‘more beautiful than ever imagined’.
The laid-back, breezy nature of ‘Blueberry Hill’ requires something relaxing, perhaps a classy single-malt or even a sloe gin and tonic.
Revolutionising variety shows, the fantastic Forbidden Nights team are taking things to a whole new dimension, especially after announcing their new 90 day UK tour in 2017!
Not intrigued? Well imagine Cirque Du Soleil and Magic Mike, the Hollywood Blockbuster combined… Also if you’re a fan of Channing Tatum as well then you’ll definitely love the show as every member gives him a run for his money! Since its launch the concept of the show has far exceeded expectations more than tenfold.
Forbidden Nights are quite literally ON FIRE with their new concept. They have totally proved themselves as shocking and innovative on Britain’s Got Talent 2015 which has proudly reached a title as the 11th most viewed audition in BGT history and climbing.
The video has over 47 million hits on YouTube and the brand now has 80,000 followers on Facebook with the 2016 UK tour only half way through.
For this tasty treat I have to recommend you enjoy this steamy hot show with a couple of sambuca shots to get the party started!
2016 UK TOUR DATES:
Portsmouth, Hants – The Kings Theatre – Wednesday 5th October
Plymouth, Devon – Plymouth Pavillions – Friday 2nd December
Derry Londonderry – Millennium Theatre – Thursday 3rd November
Coleraine Londonderry – University of Ulster – Friday 4th November
St Helens, Merseyside – Theatre Royal – Friday 7th October
Hastings, East Sussex – White Rock Theatre – Friday 14th October
Eastbourne, East Sussex – The Royal Hippodrome Theatre – Friday 9th September
Swindon, Wilts – Wyvern Theatre – Thursday 15th September
All tour days are linked below: