Jorja Smith – Lost & Found (Review)

The 21-year-old from Walsall is on her way to a global status. Having already collaborated with artists such as Drake, Stormzy and Kendrick Lamar, her debut album contains her best work yet in my eyes and showcases her originality. Released back in June of this year and lasting only 45 minutes, this R&B album is filled with all the great aspects you’d want in one. The album took 2 years to record with Jorja co-writing most of the songs with other artists. She’s only 21 and is completely extraordinary, and I’m sure she’ll be like a fine red wine, which gets even better with age.

“Lost & Found” is the song that made me fall in love with Jorja’s music. The production on the track begins with a wave of clarity, before we hear “yeah like that, sounds cool” from Jorja. With her common accent, it makes the song more real. Angelic vocals suits the atmosphere, grooving into an effective beat cementing that this album has successfully landed. A subtle key change takes us into the actual song making the introduction that extra special. Jorja wrote this when she was only 15. She wrote it as she felt a bit lost when she went to London for the first few times, but she found herself while she was there and adapted to her surroundings. Hearing the maturity of her voice blending in with the soulful, chilled vibes of the song puts the cherry on top of a beautifully, crafted track.

Introducing the next song, we hear humming, which we don’t really think much of it. It wasn’t until I did a bit of research on “Teenage Fantasy” and found out that the recording of the so-called humming was actually recorded by Jorja while she was babysitting at 16. Finding out this fact makes the song a whole lot clearer to the so-what nature of some teenagers and it definitely brings back some nostalgic memories from my teen days. The first two lines of the song deals with the story of “you weren’t the person I thought you were,” we all know someone in our lives who turned out to be the complete opposite of what we thought. Teenage Fantasy hits the nail on the head completely. When we’re young, we want to be in love and feel that we’d only be happy if we were in a relationship. I can say this, as I did the exact thing. As time passes by, you realise that you have to love and accept yourself before you can love someone else and the way that Jorja portrays this message is mesmerizing.

Confronting and having the courage to say goodbye to someone takes some guts, especially when they meant/mean a lot to you. The story of “Where Did I Go?” explains exactly that. The production on this track is slightly more upbeat from the percussion being so prominent, and it makes sense as this track was produced by Sam Wills whereas the first two tracks were done by Charlie Perry. As much as this is a good track, I feel the melody is a bit predictable and not as thought out as the first two tracks. The subjects behind the song is effective though.

“February 3rd” is a lot more mellow than any track so far, making it a whole new direction for the album. “There’s a life outside I didn’t know” means that Jorja is now at an age where she is seeing things differently, and a lot more real. When we’re young, we hardly have any fears and see things in a completely different light, and it’s when we get older that we realise that we were in this little safe haven through our younger years. After the first lyric, the song changes into another relationship scenario. This travel showcases that Jorja feels that the guy is playing games and isn’t taking the relationship seriously. After all, a relationship is for both sides, not one-sided at all.

Finally, Jorja has left the boy in “On Your Own” who’s been giving her grief and he’s on HIS own now. Jorja has essences in her voice that sound like Sia, especially when she sings “on your own tonight.” I find Jorja as a lazy, slurry singer in this track, which is a complete positive. It gives her voice that attitude the song needs. The song doesn’t really award her range as such, it shows off her tone and control though. While she gets quite personal in this, the smooth beats make the song dynamically work. I would like this song to build a bit further though, it feels like it’s craving a stronger arrangement.

Well, you guessed it, “The One” is another song about a boy. As much as the songs are really great, they’re getting a bit repetitive with the subjects. The song deals with Jorja looking back on her past relationships that have failed and how she hopes she doesn’t become dependant on a person again. I do really like however that Jorja features “Choosers, Takers and Begging Heartbreakers” in the lyrics. Choosers are people who simply choose to love without a thought. Takers are people who know exactly what they want, but don’t feel the need to show it back. Begging Heartbreakers are people who simply beg to have someone in their life, just to throw it back in their faces and hurt them.

Moody, melancholiness are highlighted through “Wandering Romance” which suits the subject of an unstable relationship. It feels like the big ballad on the album, but at the same time, it still makes you want to dance. Usually the audience just want to watch and listen to ballad’s, but you can tell this song will also be a hit for our inner dancers at Jorja’s live shows. Saying that, I feel this may be the weakest track on the album purely because it doesn’t personally take me anywhere. I don’t feel anything emotional with it. Plus the constant background voice that sings “bruh” is quite annoying.

Arguably Jorja’s biggest track to date, as in popularity, “Blue Lights” has a big arrangement and warm production. The song questions why people should feel guilty about something if they haven’t actually done anything wrong. “Don’t you run when you hear the sirens coming, when you hear the sirens coming” is a fitting lean towards Dizzee Rascals “Sirens” and later in the song, it actually features a sample of the song. The song has a big message with people quoting that it was written for her friend who had a knife in their bag. We don’t know exactly what the song was written about and that makes it a whole lot more interesting. It gels the facts together that it can be about anything you want it o be, making it a lot more personal. Blue lights could link towards police cares as well. The song isn’t innocent, it’s in your face, dark and serious. The song was released two years prior to the album, so no wonder it’s so big.

“Lifeboats (Freestyle) was written with Tom Misch (which you can instantly recognise by the jazz-like chords.) The track explains how people drown in their own thoughts and difficulties in life. Whereas Lifeboats are the imagery to how we escape, but if we put that into our life’s perspective, what is a lifeboat a metaphor towards? Our close ones? Music? Who knows, we never really find out, leaving it unfinished and allowing us as the audience to get more personal to reflect the song in our own lives. The song is also linked to Kanye West’s track “All Falls Down” which channels the same context as Jorja’s… we now know where this song was inspired from. It also links to the title track Lost & Found with the first lyric being “Why do we all fall down?” I love the charisma of Jorja’s common Walsall accent in this track. It makes it more human and intimate. 

The next track is an acoustic, sad song. Jorja sings to someone who she’s lost that she’s in pain and simply misses them. “Goodbyes” are one of the hardest things any human being has to do. The song is emotional and makes me think of the people I’ve lost in my life and really does hit close to home. There’s a lot of R&B singers who have tried writing songs in this similar structure which musically works, but their versions haven’t been as emotional as this. In Jorja’s case, she didn’t actually lose anyone, but her friend did. She wrote the song in her shoes and really emphasises the way her friend felt. Sometimes we never get chance to say goodbye to someone and show them in their last moments how much they meant to us, that’s why you should always show someone you love, that you love them. I’m getting all cheesy now, but there’s no other way to say it really. 

“Tomorrow” is like a sequel to Goodbyes. Wishing that all things will make sense tomorrow is like pushing your dilemmas to the next day because you don’t want to sort them out there and then. A lot of the tracks on the album are either mid-beat or downbeat, this song is slow and doesn’t really escalate in any way. Vocally, Jorja’s voice is heavenly and you can hear her imperfections which makes it a whole lot more honest, but as a whole arrangement, it doesn’t really work for me. Same goes for the last song on the album “Don’t Watch Me Cry.” It’s still keeping that mellow momentum going strong. The song features emotions that are heard while being left in a relationship. Jorja strives her emotion of past relationships and her love life throughout the whole of her album, but she doesn’t dwell on it say as much as, lets say, Adele does. Adele makes her songs sad to pursue her emotion that little bit more across. Whereas with Jorja she makes it more aware that it’s ok to be upset when broken-hearted and that everything will be alright in the end. 

Concluding the album, it’s strong and really proves that love is such an important emotion.

Favourite Tracks: Lost & Found, Teenage Fantasy, Where Did I Go? February 3rd, On Your Own, Blue Lights, Lifeboats (Freestyle), Goodbyes

Score: 8/10

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Our Girl – Stranger Today (Review)

 

I’ve been waiting for Brighton based Our Girl’s debut album ever since I first heard of them back in November when I saw them support Marika Hackman. They blew me away from the first song they played. For a trio, they have such a big sound and Stranger Today just confirms that. I find it really interesting that this album features 6 out of 11 tracks that have been previously released, but hearing them in a new light, a fresh lick of paint and different type of production is extraordinary. With the album only been released 4 days ago, it’s already in the charts and giving the band the exposure that they truly deserve.

Filled with fuzz and adrenaline, “Our Girl” was the first song that lead vocalist and guitarist, Soph Nathan wrote. The band call this their theme tune because, well, they’re named after it, duh. The song is everything you want to hear for the first song of an album to be. It’s glued with happiness and a big sound that just keeps on travelling with every listen.  It’s one of those song that you notice something different about it every time you listen to it. With Bill Ryder Jones (The Coral) production and lead guitar on this song, it gives the song nostalgia feels to easier, happier times.

“Being Around” is a song that Our Girl fan’s know already as it was released on their first EP, and the production of this version compared to the other is considerably better. Comparing the both versions, the first version was far more noisier and not as clear as the album version, which you can hear all of the instruments in their own limelight. It draws subtle influences from The Breeders and Warpaint, but still owning their sound.

Bass and drums driven, “In My Head” tells the story of how we all wish sometimes that people could understand us more and how it would be easier if they took a trip in our own heads. Rhythmically, this song just automatically makes you shake your hips and want to dance. With a catchy chorus and contagious harmonies, In My Head is a stand out track on the album. To make it even more of a clever song, it speeds up making it sound experimental and a huge song to listen to live. Just imagine the mosh pit at the end of this track live…

“I Really Like It” is about Soph’s girlfriend while they made the “friends to more than friends” move. The emotion of this song makes it a crowd pleaser because even though some people don’t like to admit it, love is amazing and overwhelming and when you’re in it, it really is the best thing in the world. This is probably the most pop orientated song on the album as the structure is fairly simple and easy to listen too. Just over half way, the song takes a turn to an instrumental break with a memorable guitar fuzz trip taking us back into a type of pre chorus before reaching the final chorus.

A new song for Our Girl listeners is “Josephine” and it’s instantly a new favourite of mine. Beginning with bass and an amazing guitar strain that sends shivers down your spine, you know this song is going to be special. Musically, it’s what we’ve been waiting for, a 90’s grunge Sonic Youth drowsiness. The layering of guitar noises over rhythmical, wonderful guitar chords adds this draining feeling to the song that’s just so deep and meaningful to listen too. The song is about making up in a relationship and getting back together. It’s hard and a punch in the heart when a relationship ends but there’s something that sticks out to me that makes me think that they WILL get back together. When Soph sings “and I’m loving you, always” she ends always in a major key which is a sign that things could look up and be hopeful, whereas the music still feels like you want to bury yourself in a hole over heartbreak. Just over halfway, we’re took into the beyond of what feels like a never-ending battle of trying to feel better. With the guitar sounding in pain when it exclaims with the guitar effects, this song is creepy in the most magical way possible.

“Two Life” is another previous Our Girl song that we’re familiar with. Our Girl are probably most memorable for their great, guitar melodies and Two Life demonstrates this. Every song so far has built to this big, explosive part and has not let us down. The instrumental part of Two Life is in your face and there’s no ignoring it. It’s everything you want for a wild, alternative rock band. Soph said in a previous interview with Clash Magazine, that Bill created the weird, guitar parts by rubbing a screwdriver over the guitar, while it was drowned in fuzz and distortion. Genius. This track just shows that the band bounce off each other and influenced by one another to create this exciting sound for us. The aggression and walls of sound are just complete fire.

One of the first single Our Girl released 3 years ago is a lovely song called “Level.”  Honestly, it has come such a long way since then. Soph’s breath like vocals are sensitive and addicted to listen to as they just draw you in. Level is about an important relationship of Soph’s collapsing. She wrote a lot of songs on this album about that experience. She lived opposite a park called the Level, hence the title of the track. It’s a very natural song that seems to be a huge hit for Our Girl. Level was the track that drew me into Our Girl’s music when I saw them back in November. The off putting-ness of the guitar chords in the verses leave you tense and nervous, but the chorus reassures you and makes you believe things will get better. The guitar bends and tones remind me of the same tone that James Wilsey used on the hit Chris Isaak track “Wicked Game.” Important song for the album as it features the title “I told a stranger today…”

“Sub Rosa” is still and calm. It aches in exhaustion and depression. As much as a sad song is dark, gloomy and some people don’t like to hear them, it’s what the album needed. Most of the tracks are upbeat and filled with loud, beast like guitar riffs, so hearing Sub Rosa calms us and let’s you take a deep breath for maybe more aggression is to come. The natural reverb on the drums adds this really mysterious atmosphere to the track. Sub Rosa means something that’s done in secret, meaning that the song is a lot darker than we though. Perhaps its leaning towards a relationship that’s on the edge of breaking up and one of them is hiding something dark.

Next is a grunge ballad about wanting a bit more time. Sunday’s are known for most people to be a day of rest and sometimes a bit depressing, which mirrors perfectly in “I Wish it Was Sunday.” Let’s be honest, the cheeky little guitar riff in this just makes it a whole other level. It’s like Jack White just randomly showed up at the studio that Our Girl were recording at and grabbed a guitar. Musically, the song has a Garbage type of melancholy arrangement but has the excitement of shoegaze legends My Bloody Valentine brought with Only Shallow. We really hear Soph get aggressive with her vocals in this song exclaiming “my heart.” The ending was definitely needed. Everything cuts out and 3 vocals interrupt with one of the hook lines “stained with sleep, I couldn’t feel my feet, the light was perfect.”

Jazz inspired chords fill this lonely song with panic before reassurance cools down the “Heat.” A shadow of reverb hits you hard with the simplicity of the song, but shows how complex it is with the difficult guitar riff taking us into a big space of what feels like a confused brain, before bringing us back into the safe haven of the second verse. The guitar work is very Jeff Buckley inspired, whereas the vocals are completely just Soph at possibly, one of her best vocals takes on the album. Heat is a perfect conclusion to panic. Anxious people get flustered and hot when they’re alarmed.

The last track on the album is filled with layers of wonderful things. It’s like they made “Boring” like a cake and just put all the best ingredients into it, including; clever guitar melodies, soft harmonies, loose bass lines, hard drums and they’ve mixed it all with their shoegaze-fuzz. As it hits 3:36, the song goes into an almost 3 minutes of what feels like an impromptu jam session, in a weird african rhythm, that’s only contagious to dance too. The song builds to this huge ending. A big ball of noise is made that’s filled with passion, before coming to a close of a truly, fantastic debut album from Our Girl.

Favourite Tracks: Our Girl, Being Around, In My Head, Josephine, Two Life, Level, I Wish It Was Sunday, Heat, Boring

Score: 9/10

 

Rob Challis – 3AM Tears (Single Review)

With inspirations taken from Ella Henderson, Adele and Sam Smith, Rob Challis has been causing quite a stir with his honest music. Having supported artists such as Quill & Bev Bevan, and playing numerous festivals, Rob’s journey so far has constantly progressed and he’s still just at the beginning. His latest single; “3am Tears” was released over a month ago and the reception it’s had is fantastic, as it should. 

3am Tears deals with the struggle of a failed relationship. Heartbreak is felt throughout the song and heartstrings are seriously pulled to create sympathy for Rob. The one word that I can describe this song has to be REAL. We all go through it in someway, and heartbreak is not pretty. Pulling yourself together and reassuring yourself is the only way you can get through it, and in Rob’s case, he wrote a song to deal with it. It just so happens that the song is beautiful. The simplicity of the rhythm and melody is captivating and really draws you in. As Rob’s pleads his way through the song while playing piano and singing, the other instruments really brings the song a fresh light. In the darkest of times, we always find the light, it may sound cheesy but it’s true and for Rob, his light is his music. The song is loose and the bareness of it really draws attention to the band. The moodiness of the song is oozing emotions everywhere, in the lyrics, guitars, drums, piano, literally everything. Knowing Rob personally, I have to say that he seriously lives for this stuff and there’s nothing else on this planet that makes him happier than writing songs. His honesty and belief in things will enchant you along his journey. Keep your eye on Rob as he will be releasing his debut EP very soon. In the meantime, go listen to his previous single Enjoy Your Joywhich is about a traumatic experience Rob personally went through.

With the clock ticking so fast before we know it, we’ve been listening to this song on repeat until 3am… 

Score: 4/5

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Quill – Grey Goose Call (EP Review)

Quill are not only known for their unique musical style… they create a musical journey through the ages with their live set up. After listening to Grey Goose Call, it’s now a fact that they create the same energetic live essence throughout the studio recording. They sit comfortably within the celtic folk/rock genre and it’s safe to say, the latest line up have brought a fresh new sound to their music. With Grey Goose Call written by the band themselves, the 4 songs take us into a dark, but warming entrance to what feels like a new beginning.

The title track of the EP begins with a gentle goose calling, before strong harmonies that really remind of Fleetwood Mac’s tone’s enter. The band have adapted to their influences through time, but made sure their sound becomes so fresh to listen to. For a 6:12 minutes long song, it captivates you all the way through. As the song dynamically builds, the sound becomes quite diverse and intricate. The bass comfortably sits in the mix, but you can constantly hear the pulse repeating. I must say, the production is really intense and in your face with elements of Fairport Convention shining through. Having string instruments gives the song a complete different style. I personally feel if the strings weren’t in this track, it would sound more like a pop orientated track. Joy’s emotional vocals tell the story of simply hearing the “Grey Goose Call.” Maybe the goose is a symbolic structure of something? It could be a metaphor for a cry for help. In my opinion, the percussion and drums replicates the simplicity of the song, but by making it sound complex. The rhythm makes it sound kind of African and upbeat. This is a very strong song to set the bar quite high for what sounds like a warming welcome to the sound of Quill. The song ends just as it begins, indicating that yes, this is end, but it’s certainly not over yet.

“Elephant in the Room” begins with footsteps creeping up into a simple 4/4 beat. The guitars sound heavily influenced by old progressive rock tones, similar to bands like Genesis. Quill take a simple blues sounding song and subtle add tasty melodic guitar lines over the top, making it an extremely versatile song. The chorus is moody and has the ability to haunt anyone with the harmonies generating new, elegant parts throughout. An elephant in the room is a metaphor for an obvious problem in a room basically, and I really like how Quill can take a personal matter but make the problem not known. It leaves the audience asking “what is the actual problem?” Questioning an audience is a good thing in my opinion, because they are wanting to know more about your music, indicating them to keep on listening. I love how this song isn’t rushed and is played to indicate an emotion of love. When the instruments are all cut out to just the drums, it makes me feel that anything could happen next. The drums completely stop to just Joy singing “elephant in the room” which end with a subtle breath like sigh making the audience realise that after all this time, the actual problem and the elephant in the room, was simply the singer.

The subtly comes through this song with Joy’s vocals sounding exceptionally emotional. Having someone’s affection is the most warming feeling in the world and I really like how Quill have managed to replicate this feeling through “Skin on Skin.” This song is moody in the essence that it really grips you to hold onto every part of the song. All of the members of Quill have had a memorable history in music and I really like how they bring all their stories into one, creating a really big influence to their fans. This song would really be a lovely wedding dance for a couple, as the comfort of the song is so calming. There’s genuinely no negativity shining in this song, making it really a big moment on the EP. Dynamically, the song doesn’t build as much as the others on the EP, but it works so well to keep such a calming momentum.

The last track on the EP is a fist pump for wanting love. The whole EP is situated round love and the different aspects that you want. We have Skin on Skin which is the comfort of affection, whereas the vibe I’m getting from “Little Affection” is needing to be loved. It’s the longest track on the EP and it constantly builds with influences of world music being mirrored constantly. The rhythm of the song just makes you tap your feet and really dive into the music. “I forgotten what it felt like to fall in love” takes us into a new element of the song; really needing this love otherwise things could fall apart. I personally feel that the singer is needing this love to carry on, it’s her well-being and soul on the line, if she doesn’t get this love, something bad could happen. It makes me think; what is she actually in love with? could it be being in love with the meaning of love? a friend? a piece of music? It could be anything, which makes me like this a whole lot more. The sense of not knowing what the topic is throughout the EP makes me drawn to Quill’s music more. We never really know what the actual concept Joy is singing about which is great, we’re just left with the topic of love. This track is one that the whole band wrote together which strangely enough, makes the song so much bigger than the others on the track. It’s definitely the stand out, rock ballad of the EP. It’s proggy in the aspect that the concept is here, there and everywhere.

As a whole, the EP is truly wonderful. I’m lucky enough to be supporting Quill on the 8th June at the Artrix Theatre in Bromsgrove.

The musicians on the album consist of Joy Strachan-Brain on vocals, Kate McWilliam on violin and backing vocals, Abby Brant on keyboards and backing vocals, Tony Kelsey on guitars and backing vocals, Matt Worley on bass and backing vocals, Andy Edwards on the drums and the ELO legend, Bev Bevan on percussion… we now realise the secret behind Quill’s full sound, the extremely talented musicians behind the songs. 

Favourite Tracks: Elephant in the Room, Skin on Skin, Little Affection
Score: 7.5/10

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TAMSYN – Dirt (Single Review)

Being featured on BBC Introducing is always a great step into the music industry, and the boys of TAMSYN have done just that. The indie rock band from Manchester have been on the circuit for over 2 years now and have already released a debut EP plus a couple of single. Their new track “Dirt” is being released on May 7th onto iTunes and Spotify, plus it will have it’s own music video too. The track is being released as a single to begin hype for their second EP “If I Didn’t Love Trouble Then I Wouldn’t Love You” due for release later this year.

The song deals with living with mistakes of the past. The opening lyric “if you keep digging up the past, it’s going to bury you” is really an eye opener that will make you stop in your tracks and question your own past. It’s completely true, if you keep digging up the past, it will eventually bury you and you’ll be back to how you were before. Every situation is different though and sometimes bringing up the past can be a good thing, it all depends on the situation. The main vocal line of Dirt is constantly catching your attention, and after hearing it for the first time, it’s now stuck in my head. Having a memorable part to any song is always a clever idea to capture the audience.

The most prominent part has to be the chorus lyric; Roses grown from dirt” and what a deep lyric that is. It’s a metaphor that’s simply put as, everyone has imperfections (being the dirt) but even your negatives can turn into positives, being the roses in this case. It could also be linked in with mental health, the dirt meaning anxiety or depression for example, and even though its such a dark thing to go through, it can make you stronger in the long run which links back to the beautiful essence of roses.

The instrumentation of the song is fairly simple, especially the drums and bass, but it really captures the elements of the indie-pop track. I really like how the vocals aren’t as powerful until near the ending and it really brings the dynamics of the song to the peak moment. The tone of the guitars is raw and vintage sounding, making it sound like a 1970’s tone but on a modern-day track. This is the first song that I heard in TAMSYN’s discography, and I’m liking their charisma, tone’s and vibes. All in all, great track.

Score: 3/5

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Hush Mozey – Tales of Bigotry (EP Review)

Being their debut release, “Tales of Bigotry” is a strong EP for Hush Mozey and they definitely should be ready for their future, because through my eyes, it seems pretty bright. Their music delivers influences from punk, grunge, ska and “drowsy rock and roll.” The Bristol based band have grown a following and have even took to the stage at Y-Not Fest and Truck Fest. Their latest release, which dropped on the 24th March, has been a success so far and I hope the band all the best of luck with whats to come too.

The EP’s kicked off with the gloomy, treble, dark bass line in “Moroccan Treasure” with bright, delicate guitar parts too. The guitars are somewhat powerful, not dynamically, but more emotionally than anything else. A tremolo effect on the guitar (more obvious towards the end of the song) adds company to the bizarre song. The song is about living a life of luxury with the person you admire/love. I could be wrong, but that’s what the song feels like to me. It’s sleazy, heavily blues influenced but quirky and fun.

“A Place For Them” was released as a single before the EP was released and they released a music video for it too (link below.) The song itself is witty, indie and reminds me a bit of The Coral. This song would fit perfectly in a musical about clowns or something like that. I feel it would fit really well in that dark scenery. Just over half way, the song goes into a sort of “ska section” with off beat guitar parts, giving the song a completely different feel and influence, until it goes back to the witty indie sound again. All I can think of with the meaning of this is “A Place for Them” could be where all the unusual people go to, to feel at home.

The vocals are quite lazy and careless, but it makes the song have its own chill, unique feel in “Burlesque.” It’s a real indie song with some hipster lyrics like “still sat here by my window, strike a Picasso pose, cigarette smoke.” Burlesque is really a soft song about being in love and showing affection. A melodic and chromatic guitar riff ends the song really nicely making the song dynamically end. As a whole, it sounds jazz influenced, but without the fancy chords. Hush Mozey really make their own sound with this track.

“Listen Learn” is an intimate song about love and affection again. It features a treble based bass part which is a similar bass tone to all the other tracks so far but with this song in particular sounding more distorted. Vocally, this is definitely the catchiest track so far with the lyric “none of this is new” being a main hook line. The guitar tones are really interesting and reminds me a bit of the “90’s Britpop sound.” Strong song with lovely backing vocals too.

The next track is the most political song on the record and proves a point that they’re anti conservative. Joe (frontman of Hush Mozey) talks about the people he cares about who have no money in “Paper People” whereas the “Tory Bastards” have all the money and are still not happy. I’m not very political and don’t really like showing my views publicly, but I definitely do understand that one of the best ways to show your views is through writing a song so fair play to the main lyricist of the band for writing a politically point. The song is heavily humour based as well with a main lyric “Hugo Boss was a nazi” leaving me with a bit of a smile and chuckle. The song is punk, maybe not Sex Pistols punk, but more Blink 182, and it even has hints of the Libertines. With the song being 2:07, it definitely feels like there should have been more.

Another rebellious attitude is shown in “Hideout” where Joe shares a wacky idea of shaving his head and wearing a dress, to prove a point and frighten the fainthearted? I think so. I really like the structure and instrumentation with the song, with the verses being really stripped back with a lo-fi guitar part accompanied by a subtle programmed drum beat. The pre choruses really do give the song a dynamic build into the choruses. Dynamically, the choruses are the peak of the song which is always what’s expected. Half way through, the song goes bare but only includes the bass laying down a quick riff with a few angelic vocals over the top of it. The ending of the song is really captivating and you can tell they’ve found their light as “they’ve found the hideout.”

The last track on the EP is the longest song off it too. Instrumentally, “One More Night” is jazz influenced with hints of the dark elements of Portishead. The vocalist of the band seems to have a voice very similar to Brian Molko (Placebo) which is unusual, but he really does bring his own uniqueness to the music. Three quarters through the track, we’re created with a soft blues guitar type solo which features a subtle delay to give the song even more of a heavenly jazz feel.

Hush Mozey are quirky and really make all their influences shine through their music. I’m looking forward to all of their other releases to come in the future. Plus I must say, the artwork for Tales of Bigotry is stunning and so unique.

Favourite Tracks: A Place For Them, Listen Learn, Hideout, One More Night
Score: 7/10

https://www.hushmozey.com/
https://www.facebook.com/hushmozey/

Million Empire – Visceral (EP Review)

Million Empire have been on the circuit for about 10 years now and the band have really gotten their names across around the West Midlands music scene. With their new EP “Visceral” due for release on 30th March, Visceral is their 3rd EP to date. With influences heavily from the 90’s alternative rock scene, you can hear the likes of Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam in their music with flavourings of their own unique ability. I’m really looking forward to sitting down and listening to their new release.

Not in my Nature” is straight to the point with the vocals starting straight away with a rebellious attitude. Not in my Nature deals with identity and sticking to rules to keep yourself “you”. Going out of your comfort zone and nature can make someone go off the rails and turn into something that they’re not. The vocals sound quite similar to Josh Franceschi out of You Me at Six and has that twang, but the song itself is heavy and progressed to become a grunge based track that rebels against the system. The bass plays a melodic riff half way through which gives the song a whole new style before it starts to build back into a powerful part where the chorus is played in a half time speed. Dynamically, the song builds and keeps you caught throughout.

Starting with very faint drums, “Fear of Thirteen” makes you unsure of what’s to come. It kind of fools you in the way to think “oh this song is quiet, let’s turn the volume up” and before we know it, a powerful foot stomping riff comes into the mix. Musically, the song sounds heavily influenced by early Soundgarden on their Badmotorfinger album. The song is fast and sometimes a bit too much going on. “I hit you once, you hit me twice, but we never took the time to see who’s right” is a lyric that can be really quite dark, maybe this is about a relationship between two people; lovers or friends, who constantly fight and never actually sit down to talk about issuing their problems. I could be completely wrong, but that’s the vibe that I’m getting from this track. Triskaidekaphobia is a fear of being afraid of the number 13 which a lot pf people do have, so perhaps that’s what the song is technically about. It’s scary and constantly a punch to the stomach in the dark moments.

“Head vs Heart vs Brick Wall” is constantly pumped with energy. You can definitely hear At the Drive in as an influence for the boys of Million Empire in this track. As a singer myself, I always try to listen out for catchy little hook lines that other singers sing and the catchiest part of this track has got to be the lyric “I haven’t felt my heart beat” which features in the chorus. As a song, it’s dynamically always in your face, which can be a bit too much, but it does work well.

Clever guitar parts come through the track and as a whole, the levels at the beginning of “Cancer in the Rut” are all over the place (in a good way) which is really different to their other tracks so far as they’ve been constantly loud. With this being the longest track on the EP, it’s definitely the most clever out of the 5, with the dynamic shifts. I must say though, I would love to know what the singer is really singing about as the lyrics seems to be addressing a subject but not really identifying what’s exactly on their mind. I can really relate to an artist when they get personal with their words.

Please” is the ballad of the entire EP and it’s also a lovely close to it. The guitar is featured with a lovely tremolo effect that gives the song such a bold edge to it. Over half way through the song, it does pick up and start to get heavier, but before we know it, the momentum has gone and we’re back to the quiet, eerie beginning of pleading for forgiveness.

Real clever EP by the boys of Million Empire, they’ve definitely gained a fan from me!

Favourite Tracks: Not in my Nature, Fear of Thirteen, Please
Score: 6.5/10

http://millionempire.wixsite.com/millionempire/music

https://www.facebook.com/millionempire/