Crystal Casey ft. Reflected Illusions – ‘Circling the Sun’ 

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The brilliant brand new single ‘Circling the Sun’ is the latest collaboration between producer Reflected Illusions and Crystal Casey. The song is a deep and thought provoking look at time, the earth and our place in the universe.

‘Circling the Sun’ opens with a gentle fade which sets the scene of the ambient and chilled magic which is to come. Next, we hear gorgeous synths which are encased in reverb and delay to help create a wonderful atmospheric audio landscape. Then, we are introduced to Crystal Casey’s stirring vocals. A relaxing hum can be heard first which is followed by thought provoking lyrics. The lyrics work well with the instrumentation, together they set the scene magically.

Crystal Caseys’s charming and characterful voice is a shining star in the piece. Her tone and vocal delivery have been executed to perfection. Her voice has elements which reminds us of Sade mixed with Sarah McLachlan but do not be mistaken, she has a sound which is unmistakably all of her own.

The instrumentation is a masterclass on how to build layers, create textures and always remain interesting. The initial drumbeat and through the verses is syncopated and laid back. The short snare and high hats have been mixed and blended well into the production. The synths create a sound of the solar system. We are not quite sure how they have cleverly managed to achieve this! When listening to ‘Circling the Sun’ the percussion makes you feel as though you are floating, gracefully and peacefully to a magical happening. Blissful.

The vocals and the instrumentation work in perfect harmony with each other throughout, assisting each other when needed and shining on their own when their time comes. They never intrude upon one another but always compliment each other well.  

The powerful ‘Tic Toc’ sound at the end is open to interpretation. For us, we felt as though it was a message counting down to the end of the world. Time is running out as the planet is being destroyed and the sound acts as a call to action. A really powerful message and one which needs to be heard.

It is obvious to say that a collaboration between such talented beings as Crystal Casey and Reflected Illusions is going to be something incredibly special. We just hope there will be such a union again in the future. Having just been released on 16th September 2018, this single is destined for big things. Check out this mesmerising release today!

Reviewed by FVReviews September 2018

https://crystalcasey.bandcamp.com/track/circling-the-sun

The Interplanetary Acoustic Team – ‘11 11 (Me, Smiling)’ 

The Interplanetary Acoustic Team - Cover‘11 11 (Me, Smiling)’ is the new release from The Interplanetary Acoustic Team. Released on the record label Moonlake Records, this interesting and innovative album is a true wonder to hear. On their website, The Interplanetary Acoustic Team describe ’11 11 (Me, Smiling)’ as: “Ilyse Kusnetz leads us on a lyric meditation that spans the universe, encompassing everything from the Big Bang to the creation of life as we know it to cybernetics to the uploading of human consciousness for a journey into the unknown.” This is an accurate description of what is to be heard but no amount of words could do it justice!

The album opens with the track, ’11 11’. We first hear record player crackles which have a beat cleverly embedded in them. We hear funky electric guitar bends, synths and the aforementioned crackles coming and going. The bass is full of character and is the unexpected star of the track. It takes the lead towards the end and carries the song through. We adored the horns on ’11 11’, they rise and chirp along, stereo in each ear giving luscious harmonies to feed the soul. 

The musicianship is to an incredibly high standard on every single track. The parts have been cleverly arranged to take the lead or to and sit back and be an accompaniment when needed. The instruments weave in-between each other seamlessly. Blissful.  

Spoken word is a theme which comes and goes throughout ‘11 11 (Me, Smiling)’. Cleverly, the chosen snippets take centre stage over the musical accompaniment with hard hitting, impactful statements. There is talk of  “Co-evolution’ between humans and computer, ‘Cyborgs’ and ‘The Stars’. These are important, futuristic and thought provoking subjects which need to be talked about. Partly in fantasy, there is a deep message running through all of the tracks and the conversation has been introduced beautifully here. 

The final song, ‘’Goodbye Earth Goodbye Solar System’ refers to the Big Bang. A faint riffs comes in and out, the distorted tuning in the background and sounds imploding in on themselves all add the feeling of the end of the world as we know it. It is an epic 11 minutes in length, there are again carefully chosen spoken word parts and well played instrumentation. The acoustic guitars, female vocals and electric guitar riffs make the track shine and there is an influence of Pink Floyd to be heard.

One thing is for sure, any amount of description does not do this album justice! It must be heard to be believed, so check out this record today!

Reviewed by FVReviews September 2018

https://www.interplanetaryacousticteam.com/

https://www.instagram.com/interplanetary_acoustic_team/

Chad Rico – ‘Myth’ 

the mythChad Rico is releasing the exciting new EP ‘Myth’ in late 2018. The 7 track EP is a lyrically eclectic look in Rico’s life and experiences. Hip Hop in style, the strong emphasis on the rapping vocals really make ‘Myth’ stand out as a must hear EP this year.

The first track ‘Jet’ sets the tone and feel of the music which is to come. With a strong emphasis on synths, ‘Jet’ is an innovative look at rap and hip hop for 2018. Percussion is a strong feature, the use of claps, snare and kick drum all work in harmony with each other, acting as the heartbeat of the song. The bass is slick, giving a smooth finish and carries the instrumentation through.

‘Night in Barcelona’ is a classic tune and a strong contender for our favourite on the EP. Rico speaks of a timeline of events on a night in Barcelona in such detail that the listener can see each happening. Referencing Diddy, ‘Night in Barcelona’ would be a song Diddy would be proud to have written. We love the sound of the snare on the recording, it is toppy sounding which cuts about the other instruments wonderfully. 

‘Big Numbers’ fades in to fruition, it has a slow rolling tempo that creates a warming groove. There is a contrast in rapping style when another rapper appears and the two voices bounce off of each other. There are again, poetically stunning lyrics on the song such as, ‘How you stay hot when the streets so cold’ creating a sense of melancholy and hard hitting realism in the piece.

‘New Level’ opens with the atmosphere of a cowboy film in the wild west. A flamenco style guitar and familiar claps all add to the charm of the tune. The delay on the vocals pick out certain words giving them weight for the listener to pay attention to.

‘Options’ and ‘Click Click’ have claps and spoken word embedded within them. The panning of instrumentation evens out the sound and provides centre points to the song. ‘Workin’ has an atmospheric beginning, swiftly followed by a piano ladened with reverb. It has more of a trap feel to it and instrumentation building layers upon layers of audio pleasure to digest. The punchy kick and stoic synths all add to the songs charm.

Chad Rico is an extremely exciting talent. His style of rap is a welcomed departure from the standard artist. We can not wait to hear what comes next from this truly exhilarating artist.

Reviewed by FVReviews September 2018

www.Chadrico.com 

Instagram @internationchadrico 

Gary Douglas Band – ‘Deep in the Water’ 

smgupkNASet to be released on 21st October 2018, “Deep in the Water” is the brilliant new release by the Gary Douglas Band. Comprised of Gary Douglas (Guitar/Lead Vocals), Jeremy Goldsmith (Electric Guitar), Nicolas Biello (Reeds and Keys), Dan Asher (Bass), Tom Curiano (Drums), Sebastien Ammann (Keys) and Jessica Antonette (Backing Vocals) the Gary Douglas Band are a bunch of extremely talented and well versed musicians. There is no doubt that ‘Deep in the Water’ is an album performed by musicians who are all at the top of their game.

The Americana album opens with the track, ‘River Road’. It is a fun, upbeat song which has a country flair to it. The bass and drums drive the song along with well comprised hopeful lyrics and an uptempo feel. We really enjoyed the song, ‘Million Miles Away’, it has an attractive opening with a solo guitar and piano introduction. This is followed by alluring lyrics which have been phrased and performed wonderfully. ‘Wild Child’ is a song set to a 12 bar blues, with an harmonious harmonica and fitting piano. in truth, the entire album is filled with poetical words which have been well thought out and expressed beautifully.

We adored the song, ‘Devil in her Soul’ it is a departure from the style we have previously heard on the album. Certain elements of the song reminds us of ‘Nick Cave’ which is always a good thing. From the drum pattern, to the luscious hammond organ, to the double tracked vocals in different octaves, this song is a masterclass in song composition. The stirring reverb on the guitar is striking and is immediately ear catching from the get-go.

Another of our favourite tracks is the final song, ‘Say What You Want’. The tune is extremely moving, it has a vulnerability to it and the delicate instrumentation echos this. For the first time we hear the vocals open the song, swiftly followed by the synths and guitar. Another highlight is the 2 slide guitars which are playing different melodies at the same time, panned to different sides of the production. This is extremely clever writing and has been executed well. The poetic nature of the lyrics shine again in this song, “I’m gonna rise up from loves ashes”, creates superb imagery for the listener. It is truly, a beautiful ending to a wonderful album.

So put the 21st October in your diaries and check out ‘Deep in the Water’ ASAP!

Reviewed by FVReviews September 2018

Website – http://www.garydouglasband.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/garydouglasband/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/GaryDouglasBand

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/thegarydouglasband/

Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/artist/542ouc88YyLnEQN15mG9Db

Destiny 333 – ‘Wake Up’

destiny333QWe are so excited to have been able to review the superb song ‘Wake Up’ the new single from the divinely talented Destiny 333. It is a truly beautiful track, that will stay with you long after the music has finished. 

‘Wake Up’ begins with a solo piano which has vinyl crackles to accompany it. From the get-go, the atmospheric scene has been set with this subtle touch. The track feels warm with a melancholy feel to it. Destiny 333’s performance reminds us of Eminem’s ‘Stan’, the verses are all spoken word/rap and the choruses are sung. The verses feel almost spiritual as though the truth is being spoken to you by a friend giving their advice. The cadences are elegant, they flow and float the song along on a blissful audio sea.

There is an array of instrumentation to be heard in the background of ‘Wake Up’. Bass, drums, pianos, and strings all create a unique backdrop for the vocals to shine. There is a syncopated kick drum on the second verse which adds colour to the piece and all of the instruments fit perfectly into the mix with enough room to hear them individually as well as a collective.

Destiny 333’s vocals feel like a motivational speech as the song progresses. She speaks sense and offer her guidance and support to the listener. With the melancholic feel to the track from the minor chords on the chorus and the sadness in the strings, Destiny 333’s lyrics are juxtaposed to this and offer hope. 

An unexpected twist comes when the word ‘legacy’ is used. All instrumentation stops and then we hear lots of delay on the word ‘legacy’ which suspends the song in mid-air until the track cuts back in. This is a stunning touch and is followed by a chorus and a fade out at the end. The message and delivery of the lyrics are the shining star of the piece and this is  all credit to the talent that Destiny 333 has. We can not wait to hear more from this intoxicating talent. 

Reviewed by FVReviews September 2018

https://open.spotify.com/album/50HEgf2fMgUUaoHl29XuDi

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/wake-up-single/1409495971?uo=4&app=itunes&at=1001lry3&ct=twitter

https://www.deezer.com/album/67857202

https://open.spotify.com/album/50HEgf2fMgUUaoHl29XuDi

https://us.napster.com/artist/destiny-333/album/wake-up-single

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FJL7LJX/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_iycuBbX0TA7HR

Montauk – ‘Montauk’

Montauk – ‘Montauk’

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We have been privileged to hear and review the spell-binding, self-titled brand new album from Montauk. ‘Montauk’ is due for release on 23rd November 2018. The album is based on the characters and events from the movie “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and crosses many genres as a piece of pure audio joy from beginning to end.

‘Montauk’ opens with the track, ‘Doom Dust’. It is a truly upbeat opening song which sets the tone beautifully. Positive in nature and chordal structure, the tune is catchy and will have you singing along all day. There are enchanting guitars galore to be heard building layers upon layers of texture and colour. The palm muted guitars set a solid foundation for other instruments to grow from and both the male and female vocals are magnificent.

We adored the track, ‘Hanging Baskets’ which opens with two acoustic guitars playing separate pieces. They dance around each other, always complimenting one another and never clashing. The harmonies add another luscious layer and the driving kick drum further elevates the song.

‘Heart Attack’ has a gorgeous groove throughout. It is a change in genre to what we have previously heard but is still undoubtedly Montauk. There are sublime 7th chords and mouthwateringly brilliant shredding guitar riffs in a welcome abundance.

We also loved ‘Eternal Sunshine’, the opening organ has a Tori Amos feel to it and the song itself reminds us of Michael Jackson’s ‘Earth Song’. ‘I Won’t Wake Up With You’, seamlessly shifts genre again to a disco feel. The bass guitar is excellently performed and the double claps in the percussion section reminded us of Wham! Brilliantly nostalgic yet still innovative enough to be brought into 2018 by Montauk.

The vocals really do shine throughout ‘Montauk’. The lead singer Drew Richardson has a tone and delivery in his vocal performance which can not be taught. His natural gifts and talents shine through. ‘Fall in Love’ sees a divine breathy vocal performance. The addition of the female vocals (provided by the talented Rebecca Chambers), enhance the songs further.

We must mention the production on the album too. The mix, production, and mastering have all been executed to an extremely high standard. Each instrument has its own space in the mix to shine on its own but also, to enhance the overall sound. The drums especially sound punchy, bringing the sound to life. Blissful.

An album as good as this one really is a masterclass in songwriting and musicianship. Each element has been carefully crafted to fit perfectly into the puzzle. If you do one thing this November, make sure you check out this classic album!

Reviewed by FVReviews September 2018 Reviewed by FVReviews September 2018

http://www.takemetomontauk.com

https://www.facebook.com/montaukalbum

 

I, Useless – ‘Twister’ 

coverI, Useless – ‘Twister’ 

I, Useless is releasing its truly brilliant début, ‘Twister’ on the 28th September 2018. Released on the record label Atypeek Music, ‘Twister’ is a well-composed collection of songs to soothe, emote, and be digested by the soul.

The French-based multi-instrumentalist and composer I, Useless has produced a superb piece of work with something for everyone. The first track ‘Twister’ features a piano with vocals heavily laden with effects. There are luscious strings to be heard along with horns and percussion on the chorus. The feel is soft, gentle, and melancholic.

It is so difficult to pick our favourite track but if we have to it would be ‘Reverse’. It has wonderful guitars with the bass and drums driving the song along. The cadences on the bridge really give the track its feel and are so catchy it’ll have you singing along all day.

We also adored, ‘Out of This’ it has a radio effect on the opening, with poetic lyrics throughout. The snare drums give a feeling of marching and urgency and there is an instrumentation break for the synths to shine before the track kicks back in.

‘Hikers’ is a revelation where we hear an acoustic picked guitar. Up until this point, the album has been comprised of a lot of synths. The fresh sound of the acoustic guitar offers a new dimension and adds further depth to the album as a whole. The double-tracked vocals add weight and the strings compliment and never intrude. There is a cello solo to be heard with is just magical.

The closing track, ‘Im Yours’, is a chance for the vocals to shine. Throughout, the vocals are smooth, breathy, and strong. They are powerful without being obtrusive or controlling. We can hear simple piano riffs which culminate in a sudden unexpected ending. This leaves the listener wanting more and we can not wait to hear what comes next from this exciting artist.

‘Twister’ has the impressive ability for all the tracks to be potentially released as singles. None are longer than 3:31 in length and all shine in their own ways. I, Useless is a phenomenally talented artist who is only at the beginning of his musical journey.

Overall, this is an exciting release from an exceptional artist. Check out I, Useless today -you will not be disappointed.

Reviewed by FVReviews September 2018

Official website: https://www.iuseless.fr

Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/IUseless

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/I_Useless_/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/iuseless

Twitter: https://twitter.com/iwasuseless