Track Review: Nielsen Reaveley – Milk Train

unnamedNielsen Reaveley is a singer songwriter born in Brighton and living in London. This Pop up and comer has already played stages such as Latitude Festival and Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club and recieved airplay from BBC Radio 6.

His latest release “Milk Train” graced our airwaves on 14th June and since then I have been infatuated with this soon to be anthem. The main vocal is subtle yet passionate and is set on telling the story of the song, a story that many people of the younger generations will be able to relate to:  “a certain type of night out – the kind that, inevitably, ends on the 4am train home as a hangover begins to kick in.”

This latest work was in collaboration with award-nominated producer Matthew Parisi, who was songwriter Mike Stock’s principle sound engineer for over four years. Parisi has previously worked with artists such as Chris Martin and Kylie Minogue. Parisi discovered Nielsen through one of his videos on Youtube and the magic happened from there.

I can predict that this track will be the perfect start to anybodys night out or party for years to come, I’m certainly going to add it to my party playlist and already find myself listening to it over and over again. I’d like to round this off by saying how refreshing it is to hear great songwriting still coming to the forefront of todays music industry.

You can stream “Milk Train” HERE

Track Review: Dream On My Baby – Dom Louis

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Dom Louis is a singer-songwriter based in Toronto, Canada. Having recently signed to Cartoon Records in London, he has released his debut single titled “Dream On My Baby.”

I am absolultely in love with this track, I can tell just from that one released that Dom has a really interetsing story to tell and a bright future ahead of him in this industry. He is like a new wave in the country-folk genre, mashing together the sounds of his influences whilst keeping the essence of what he is about as a songwriter and musician.

I honestly don’t think I have gushed about a track this much since I discovered Maggie Rogers three years ago and she went on to sign to a major label and shoot to the top of the music industry – I really hope the same happens to Dom!

“Dream On My Baby” tells brings so many images into my brain, I can imagine going on a summer roadtrip having this play out through the speakers, taking a long journey to happiness and peace. Dom’s voice coupled with the serenic sounds of acoustic guitar and violins brings me complete sollitude and I can imagine  it will do the same to the people that hear it.

Dom Louis may not be a wordwide sensation yet, but I can put money on the fact that he will be. Hopefully I’ll get to meet this fututre chart topper and see him live someday, I’ll definitely be looking out for more of his music.

Links to Dom:

E.P Review: Drakmah – Storyteller

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Drakmah are an Indie Alternative Electronic band, formed in 2016 in Naples, by Stefano “Learning Panda” Mattozzi (keyboard/lead vocals), David Rapicano (guitars/keyboards/backing vocals), Mario Manzoni (drums) and Gianmarco Angelone (bass). The band is now, partly, based in London.
Their debut single “Storyteller” was released in May 2017 so I’m a bit late to the Drakmah party but I figured I’d check them out either way and I was immediately drawn in by their whacky electronic, keys driven sound.
9.jpgLike a lot of unsigned bands I get asked to review on the site, these guys seem determined to stand out from the crowd. The vocals aren’t completely perfect and it did throw me off a little because it didn’t match the almost perfect instrumental production but it’s clear that Drakmah are wanting success and willing to work hard for it in the long term.
The second track “Ithaca” is filled with this infectious guitar riff that sits perfectly within the vocals smothered in reverb and various samples embedded in the track. Overall, the Napels natives seem to have created a unique world for the listener of their music, whilst at the same time keeping their work “normal” enough to be enjoyed by the average Joe.
Although this EP sounds slightly less polished than I was expecting, it’s clear that Drakmah are aiming for greatness within their music and I think if they work hard enough, they’ll get it.
“Storyteller” is definitely on my playlist, who else?
You can listen to “Storyteller” here: https://drakmah.hearnow.com

Album Review: Maggie Rogers – Heard It In A Past Life

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The album artwork for “Heard It In A Past Life”

Maggie Rogers came to fame after gaining the chance to have her  track “Alaska”  critiqued by Pharell Williams. He was so impressed he got emotional and declared “I don’t think there’s anything I can say about that to make it better.”

The video of their masterclass went viral and Maggie became  an accidental star, through the ranks of the industry and eventually getting signed by Capitol Records. Since her life changed forever, she has released her debut album titled “Heard It In The Past Life.”

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Maggie with “Happy” singer Pharrell Williams

 

The first thing I noticed about the album is that it is incredibly production heavy, although this wasn’t a surprise to me as this follows the trend of her previous releases. The opening track “Give A Little” sets the tone of the entire album with a really catchy chorus, great vocal production and solid instrumentation.

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Rogers at Capitol Records 75th Anniversary

Having not listened to Maggie for a while before this album, it took me a second to get used to her sound but I immediately fell in love with her music all over again. She is so unique and she’s never been scared to push the boundaries of the norm and express her creativity as she sees fit.

“Heard It In A Past Life” is the perfect blend of “over-produced” Pop and honest, emotive and grab-you-by-the-balls songwriting. Rogers has got a 50/50 balance of the innocence of your typical young, uncorrupted artist and the business sense of an industry yes girl, everything a label could ask for.

This album was long awaited and I was thinking that Maggie been one of the unfortunate cases that fell through the corporate cracks, how wrong I was! She has timed  this release just right, hopefully the first of many!

The debut release of student turned viral sensation screams one thing to me “I’m Maggie Rogers and I’m coming for stardom with everything I’ve got!” She doesn’t have to brag about how amazing she is, her music and work ethic speak for themselves.

I feel like I know Maggie personally after watching her shoot to the top and I couldn’t be prouder of who she is and the work she is putting out.

If you want something fresh but comfortable, go and listen to “Heard It In A Past Life.”

 

Track Review: 100 – Past Kings

Loyal readers of this site will recognise the name Past Kings, they have been featured on this blog twice. They went quiet for  a short while and I was beginning to get concerned that they’d decided to call it a day.

Thankfully, I was wrong. The boys were just working in silence, writing new music and getting gigs booked. The mention of new music leads me nicely into talking about their upcoming release “100”.

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The cover art to “100”

Recorded at SS2 Recording in Southend, this is the most professional and thought out release I’ve heard from the boys. The opening guitar lick is instantly filled with emotion and draws you in, leaving you wondering what sort of journey will take you on. The vocal performance from frontman Sam Charles is the strongest I’ve heard from him, he doesn’t do too much but he also isn’t timid either. He peaks in all the right places.

100 takes you on a 100 Mile Per Hour ride, showcasing everything the boys can do with even a solo from guitarist Jack Smith making an unexpected yet welcome appearance to close out the track, it could’ve been higher in the mix though! Come on Jack, you’re 6 foot 4, don’t be shy.

Although I have complimented this tune to no end, I have to confess that when I first recieved the track for review, I wasn’t expecting much. Past Kings have always been somehwat of a dark horse to me, they conduct themselves in a way that doesn’t scream talent or confidence when their on stage. However, audience members end up recieving a very pleasent shock to the system with tracks spanning across various tempos and styles and all of them having well crafted lyrics to compliment the tight instrumental backing.

The indie Essex lads have a few gigs coming up, including a performance at The O2 Academy Islington on 2nd March. ticket information for those interested can be found HERE. 

To round off my thoughts on the re-emergance of Past Kings I’ll say this; Don’t ever judge a book by it’s cover, these boys work hard behind the scenes andby the looks of things , its paying off.

100 will be released on all major music platforms on Friday 22nd Febuary, go get it!

 

Track Review: Between My Teeth – Orla Gartland

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The cover for Between My Teeth

I have spoken about this young and exciting singer-songwriter from Dublin in previous posts on the blog. I raved about her, and to my excitement she recently released a new song named “Between My Teeth.”

Between My Teeth is a song about a topic I’m sure we can all relate to, in Orla’s own words “it’s a song about trying to save someone; balancing the urge to help with the urge to run.” I don’t know about everyone else but I felt that!

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Orla Gartland

 

Along with a relatable song topic, Orla has once again crafted some clever and catchy lyrics to compliment a stripped back yet full sounding instrumental arrangement, this seems to be a bit of a Gartland trademark. When friends ask me to describe the song (I talk about it a lot) I say it is Poppy but unique. In fact, that is exactly how I would describe Orla’s entire sound.

You can tell how meticulous she has been when working on the song’s arrangement and production, but you can also hear the chaotic process that every songwriter goes through, its as if I can hear all the rough takes, all the screwed up bits of paper (or deleted phone notes) and I really appreciate how its all come together to create one of the most unique sounds of 2018.

I really hope that Orla starts to get airplay on mainstream radio soon, I honestly think that this crazy, soulful musician from Dublin is the burst of hope that the music scene has been waiting for.

Check out “Between My Teeth” Here:

Follow Orla on Social Media:

https://www.orlagartland.com/

https://www.facebook.com/orlagartland/

Live Review: Past Kings @ The Edge, Basildon

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Past Kings @ Canvey FC. Pictured left to right: Jack Smith (Guitar), Sam Charles (Vocals), Matt Cruise (Guitar) and James Holland (Drums)

Past Kings are a 4 piece indie pop band from Essex made up of Sam Charles, Jack Smith, Matt Cruise and James Holland. All four of these lads are great musicians and song-writers in their own right, some may be more experienced on the live band circuit than others but that does not stop them making a huge impact on the Essex music scene with their infectious lyrics and laid back stage manner.

I’ll admit this review is very late as they performed at The Edge back in June, sorry boys! This was the second time that I had seen them live and I was thoroughly impressed with their stagecraft despite it being early days for the lads.

 

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Past Kings playing a live acoustic session @ Phoenix Fm

One of the things I admired about these guys from day one is the fact that all of the songs in their set bar one or two are original writings, they haven’t done the typical “new band” thing by starting their time on the circuit by playing covers and then progressing to original music, this takes real guts in my opinion because of course, music is a subjective thing and to be brave enough to share your creations with an audience from the word go, definitely shows me that these guys are serious about this whole music thing and definitely want to achieve success.

The best part of all of their performances for me, is the way they plan their sets. I always feel like I’m taken on a journey throughout with songs of varying tempo, style and lyrical meaning. The songs are also quite catchy, my favorite one is definitely “Night Time”, an indie pop ballad with the perfect blend of drums vocals and guitar.

Past Kings live shows are also quite interesting based on the fact that they don’t have a live bassist, instead, they choose to use an electronic bass sound generated by an SPDX drum pad. I’ll come clean right now and say that to start with, I was rather skeptical of this idea and even thought of the band to be a bit lazy because they didn’t have a “full line up”. Of course, I was instantly proven wrong and now see this as a potential unique selling point for the band.

Overall, these guys are great. They’ve got the right attitude, the talent and great songs to top it off, although they are a little green, I predict great things for Past Kings!

Check out their song “Night Time” HERE!

Past Kings on social media:

Facebook

Instagram