‘Heartbreak Diaries’ – Ohxzy, Jack Gutteridge 

Attachment_1538923145‘Heartbreak Diaries’ is the new EP release from the phenomenally talented Ohxzy and Jack Gutteridge. The 6 track EP is a moving, dark and emotional glimpse into one person’s heartbreak diary. It is relatable and honest throughout and would appeal to many different ages and genders.

The EP opens with the track ‘Heartbreak Interlude’ which is used to set the scene beautifully as to what is to come. We hear a superbly well-played acoustic guitar, snare drum, then the vocals. Next, the gorgeous backing vocals kick in and elevate the sound. The song ends with a solo vocal which is haunting and atmospheric.

‘Skipping Pages’ features similar instrumentation with the vocals shining at the heart of the piece. The performance and delivery of the vocals are spellbinding. They sing from the heart, the rap is eloquent and there are wonderful cadences to be heard throughout. They speak of tough subjects such as depression and death but they do it in such a way where the listener can relate and doesn’t feel so alone.

‘Am I Alive’ again features a beautifully played acoustic guitar. It talks about anxiety over a thick bass kick, claps, and interweaving instrumentation. The kick gets faster at one point echoing a heartbeat until everything cuts away and it is just the delicious vocals left to digest at the end. Blissful.

‘Voices’ features an electric guitar with a jangling sound and is a different avenue for the listener to go down. We loved ‘WhothefukisDaniel’, it is possibly our favourite track on the EP. It feels beautifully aggressive, emotional and raw. There are gorgeous strings to be heard which are present throughout. They harmonise with each other and have been divinely composed to shine on their own as well as an accompaniment to the luscious vocals.

The final track ‘Allstar’ features an appearance from the artist Jude Ellen. Her vocals work well with the male vocals and compliment each other throughout. They sing in unison together in different octaves and create new textures. They have been mixed beautifully to opposite sides of the mix giving them space to shine alone as well as with one another. There is a trapp syncopated beat behind the vocals, electric guitars and the entire track works together seamlessly.

This is music that speaks to you. If you are in a dark place it makes you feel less alone. If you have previously been in a dark place, it is a reminder of that time with the benefit of knowing there is always a way out the other side again. We strongly advise you check out this magnificent EP today.

instagram: @ohxzy

snapchat: lil.wezza

A&L – ‘We Are Love’

We_are_love.jpgA&L have released their superb new single ‘We Are Love’. The band was founded by Anthony Casuccio and Lana Marie, two seasoned music professionals. They are joined by Rich Smith and Matt Sunick to complete the formidable lineup. This latest release is the 8th single to be released by the band and is a showcase of their undeniable talent.

The song opens with a solo acoustic guitar which is soon accompanied by a gorgeous string arrangement and piano riff. Next, we hear the delicious vocals kick in. Lana Marie’s voice is rich, deep and nourishing. It is most definitely a shining star in the piece! The vocals reference ‘John Lennon’ at one point and we can feel a Beatles influence during the song.  Blissful.

We adored the bridge, it is catchy in nature and will have you humming along all day. The chorus has brilliant double-tracked vocals and is where we hear the bass and drums enter. The middle 8 has wonderful chord changes from minor to major which are unexpected but add texture and further depth to the piece. Next, we hear an impressive guitar solo. It is melodic but has a different melody to what we have heard from the vocals previously. It is stunning and draws the listeners ear to it instantaneously.

We must mention the divine video which accompanies the piece. It has footage of the band playing live, with scenes of riots, love, war and many other juxtaposed scenes in between. The message of peace shines throughout and it is a must watch video, one not to be missed!

The musicianship on ‘We Are Love’ is excellent and to a very high standard. The bass and drums lay at the heartbeat of the track, they are tight and in sync with each other throughout. You can hear the band feeding off of one another and the unity within their playing. The song has been well constructed and it takes the listener on ups and downs throughout the piece with one message at the heart of it; love.

In a world in which we live today, we are in need of some love. This song has it in abundance! So whatever you do today, make sure you check out ‘We Are Love’, you won’t regret it.

Reviewed by FVReviews October 2018

https://youtu.be/8IsjaChgsjw

http://www.artistecard.com/AandLmusic 

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Anna Lee & the Authority – ‘The Waves’

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‘The Waves’ is the latest powerful release from Anna Lee & the Authority. The song is a description of watching someone die and the aftermath of losing them. As dark as this sounds, Anna Lee & the Authority skilfully manage to empower the situation.

‘The Waves’ begins with a sound from nature – a storm. The wind and rain can be heard as two electric guitars are heard. This use of nature sets the scene brilliantly for the subject matter to be discussed during the song. The guitars are surrounded by luscious reverb and have been panned to separate sides of the audio spectrum. They are playing two separate parts but they continuously work in harmony together, never clashing and always complimenting each other. Next, we hear the sultry and commanding vocals from Anna Lee.

Anna Lee’s voice on this track is controlled and breathy and is a masterclass in performance. with such a dark subject matter it would be easy to be swept along in a depression of loss but Anna Lee’s voice does not let this happen. Oozing with command and empowerment throughout, the listener is guided through the dark and taken to another place. Lyrics such as, ‘Death came and showed us the way’ takes away the fear and puts some hope back into the darkness. It is an extremely well-composed song, hard-hitting and complex.

There is further instrumentation as the track progresses. More guitars are added, this time in the sound of acoustics. They again have completely separate parts but all work together in harmony. At one point we counted at least 4 guitars playing at the same time, due to the excellent composition, they build layers of audio bliss and never impose on one another. They have been mixed so well that they each fit beautifully into their own space in the production. We also hear a kick drum which feels like the heartbeat of the song. Later there is a snare too, again with lots of wonderful reverb used perfectly to enhance the sound.

Near the end, the instrumentation pulls away and we get to hear a chorus which is sung acapella by Anna Lee. This really is time for the vocals to shine on their own. When the instrumentation kicks back in the song builds to its climax. At the very end, ’The Waves’ finishes with feedback, a great ending to a brilliant song.

With a single as strong as this one, we can not wait to hear what will come next from these exciting artists!

Reviewed by FVReviews September 2018

https://www.instagram.com/annaleeandtheauthority/

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 

‘one small stEP’ –  Major Moment 

biplcbenjjoebmhaBased in Boston, Major Moment are a four piece Rock Band who’ll release their cleverly named EP, ‘one small stEP’ on 7th September 2018. We have been lucking enough to hear it before its release and we can tell you, you are in for a treat!

‘one small stEP’ opens with atmospheric crackles, familiar but discombobulated synths and warming but faint strings. It is an intro with a purpose: to set the scene for what is to come. The intro beautifully runs into the first track, ‘Before It’s Too Late’. This is where the full magic of Major Moment begins to happen. The Rock genre is palpable from the very beginning. There are bright, punchy drums, guitars laden with delicious delay and rising character building synths. Lyrically this track is relatable with ones which have stayed with us for the day. Lyrics like, “We die before we are born” is poetry which we found brilliantly thought provoking.  There is a minor key feel on the bridge and and the key changes on the chorus. The big guitar solo in the final third is hard hitting and what every music lover is waiting to hear. It demonstrates skill and talent which is evident in abundance throughout this EP. 

Each track runs into the next one which makes it feel cohesive and coherent as a piece. ‘Mistakes’ has a snappy production which sounds roomy. This is no mean feat with the amount of work and instrumentation going on. Nothing sounds squashed or muffled, there is always enough space for each instrument to shine. ‘What it’s Like’ has building, anticipating guitars enhanced by theme riffs which familiarly reoccur. ‘How Would You Know’ is a more laid back and relaxed offering. Lyrically, it is a song asking for help, relatable as we all need that sometimes.

The final track ‘Release’ is an extremely well constructed song and it takes the listener on a journey. A gentle piano opening is followed by rattling, loose high hats which we have not heard before and also, the track flows melodically. Towards the end the piano chords become dissonant and unsettling. The EP ends on a forbidding note, it is very different to what we have previously heard which is a nice juxtaposition and leaves you wondering, what will their next release sound like?

‘one small stEP’ gives the listener a full taste of what Major Moment are about. True musicians who love what they do. It takes you on a journey of heartfelt lyrics, musical masterpieces and glorious guitar solos. Make sure you put 7th September in your diaries, this EP is not to be missed!

Reviewed by FVReviews August 2018

https://www.majormomentband.com/

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https://majormoment.bandcamp.com/releases

‘The Pilgrim’ – Luke Spehar 

ijpoccmhnakfhikj_phixrLuke Spehar is a Minnesota born musician. His latest release ‘The Pilgrim’ is an elegant and thoughtful collection of songs about love, life at home and his journey touring. His Folk/Americana style of music is a refreshing new look at these pre-existing and much loved genres.

‘The Pilgrim’ opens with the superb track ‘The Farmer’, documenting the story of a working farmer. The story unravels well showcasing Spehar’s exceptional composition abilities. This is followed by, ‘America and Me’ which is an extremely special song. It opens with the sparsely heard spoons being played followed by Spehars’ travis picking on an acoustic guitar. This style can be heard throughout the song which exhibits how special his guitar playing truly is. It is fast, accurate and foot tapping. ’America and Me’ is catchy in nature and when the banjo enters the song is lifted to a new dimension. Melodically, the song flows freely while allowing the organic nature of the other instruments to be absorbed by the listener. 

There is also gorgeous guitar picking to be heard on, ‘Love Songs and Lullabies’. On this track there is also the alluring addition of an accordion. ‘Time with you’ feels honest and heartfelt. Spehar’s talent feels immeasurable and shines bright on this piece of work. We also adored the title track, ‘The Pilgrim’. It has an accapella opening followed by Spehar’s signature finger picking making it unmistakably him. 

The production on the record is of an extremely high standard. As they should be, the main stars are the vocals and acoustic guitar. Both of which are at the forefront of the mix so the listener can hear and feel the thoughtful and well composed lyrics. Spehar’s guitar is rich and full of bass with the mid and higher tones still shining through. His style of guitar playing reminds us of Bert Jansch and Roy Harper but he puts his own unique reflection into it. Spehar’s voice is substantial and appealing with intoxicating qualities. He is able to draw the listener in and speak directly to them. 

There is sparse backing instrumentation throughout the album. There are accompanying strings, brass, bass, percussion and even (the previously mentioned) spoons to be heard. However, these instruments are very much in the background weaving their way in and out when necessary, always enhancing and never intruding. 

There is also a brilliant and insightful documentary which accompanies ‘The Pilgrim’ this can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cqZ5IYzbOo&feature=youtu.be

It really gives you an intimate look into Spehar’s thought processes, background to the album and his life as a special added bonus.

Luke Spehar really is a special artist to discover, so if you do just one thing today make sure you check out this brilliant artist.

Reviewed by FVReviews August 2018

WWW.LUKESPEHAR.COM

https://www.facebook.com/lukespeharmusic

https://twitter.com/LukeSpehar

‘Instincts’ – Josh Christina 

mdbbpmcajpieflgj‘Instincts’ is the latest release from the Baltimore based artist, Josh Christina. Christina’s unique Rockabilly sound is evident throughout this brilliant recording with blues additions and catchy melodies. His sound is truly mesmerising. The piano and vocal are the backbone to all of the songs with a hammond organ, guitars, bass and drums playing in the supporting cast. ’Instincts’ offers hard hitting, dance provoking, soulful music throughout and is a thoroughly enjoyable listen. 

‘Instincts’ begins with the track ‘Friend Zone’. The song opens with a beautifully played piano with a strong sense of the Rockabilly genre which flavours the record throughout. The piano offers boogie woogie elements which would be perfectly suited for Jools Holland’s Hootenanny in December. There is a  strong, inviting country element continuously driving in the background. 

The stand out tracks are hard to pick because the record is so strong as a whole. If we were forced to choose they would be, ‘Counting Sheep’ for it’s honest lyrics, ‘Blasted in the Basement’ for its driving pace and the ‘The Good Book’ which showcases Christina’s piano playing ability. All of these tracks offer different tempos, flavours and colours which are integral to make ‘Instincts’ stand out from the crowd in a busy market. 

Our all time favourite track on this album is, ‘Letters’. It is simply stunning. It’s the 3rd track  in the running order and it is completely different to what we have heard on the first two songs. It beings with a dissonant piano which then begins to flow and gives the feeling it could be a classic standard with its gentle barrage of 7th chords and melodic vocal accompaniment. There is a gorgeous, smooth and inviting guitar solo too. It has a Billy Joel feel about it and if it came onto our radio we would turn up the volume every time. 

We absolutely adored Christina’s vocal performance on this album. His deep, soulful and intoxicating voice is simply sublime. He delivers all of the songs with passion and the maturity of his song writing will appeal to many different people. 

Coming from a musical background, with a drummer father, singer mother and a grandmother who was a big band singer in the ’40’s and ’50’s, Christina’s musical heritage can be heard and felt touching the soul frequently on this album. These founding influences are used to drawn upon his pure natural talent and aptitude.

Christina also has an impressive back catalogue and we are so thrilled to have been introduced to his work. We can not wait to hear what comes next!

 

Reviewed by FVReviews August 2018

http://www.joshchristinamusic.com/

https://twitter.com/JoshChristina57

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