NaveBlues: Bringing Blues Back

NaveBlues, Norwegian singer has debuted his new album, ‘NaveBlues’.

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‘Ghost Collector’ his new video, features him playing the harmonica, conjuring up sounds that will cause your spine to twist and your brain to pop!

Nave wants to bring back the Blues into this generation.

If you’re feeling blue, why not listen watch his new video:

Make sure you check out Naves social media:

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/4PjTCsYQH7Nu1dsSczZ5HK

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6KVhYc1E4ccnMPtpvzpCQw

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/naveblues

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

Website: http://thenaveblues.com/

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Childish Gambino – Awaken, My Love! : Vinyl Boxset Review. Is it worth it?

After 6 months, £70 and a whole lot of patience, Gambino’s latest project, Awaken, My Love! has finally arrived on gorgeous double heavy weight vinyl, complete with a VR headset, full colour booklet and download code. So, was it all worth it?

Words: Darius Azadeh

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Childish Gambino fan or not, there’s something for everyone in this latest album from multi-talented man-of-the-moment Donald Glover. Ditching the rap and hip-hop previously explored over the course of his previous albums, Glover returned under the same moniker in late 2016 with a new album so far off the beaten track of his career that it just went further to prove that the man can literally do anything. While not perfect, Awaken, My Love! demonstrated not only his extensive musical knowledge, but also prowess. It was a smooth, silky powerful funk/soul record that excelled past it’s peers with sheer inventiveness and influential adaptation that made a vinyl release seem inevitable, especially with it’s 70’s soul music vibe. So, when it was revealed that it would only be released as a limited edition, £70 boxset, which (expectedly) included two 180gram heavyweight records and (unexpectedly) included a Virtual Reality headset, anticipation and confusion grew and grew.

To think that his previous album, Because The Internet, came complete with a 72 page script, this level of ambition and exclusivity should really come as no surprise. And it’s very welcome. What other artist comes to mind when thinking of album releases that come packed with this sort of thing? Not many. As rumours of a shipping date and VR content poured through over the course of the next few months proceeding the pre-order of the record, excitement was reaching fever pitch. After a number of push-backs, a final release date was secured in April, and the end of the painfully confusing long wait was in sight.

Eventually, mid-June comes around. It is now just over 6 months since the initial pre-order of the record, and it’s finally awaiting collection at the post office. Once it’s home and unwrapped, a quick moment needs to be taken to simply appreciate that it’s physically here. After enough courage is mustered to open it, things are looking very promising. The full colour record sleeves present what are assumed to be unused album artwork, which are beautifully photographed images of various models in headdresses, similar to the stunning final album artwork. Next is the booklet, which is more of the same, yet more familial this time, with the headdress and model from the front cover in different poses. Though not sounding like much, it is actually rather beautiful, and thankfully as big as the records them selves, and not shrunk down to a flimsy booklet half the size. Finally, we get to the base of the box, which houses the VR headset. While lavishly decorated in what seem to be the tribal paint patterns akin to Gambino’s style during his live ‘Pharos’ performances. While looking great, however, it is still simply a piece of cardboard.

First off, the records play beautifully. The sound quality is really top notch, playing the record’s smoothest and grooviest tunes with a lovely, warm, subtle grain, perfect for this album’s sound. You can really feel the weight of the wax during slower grooves such as Redbone, adding to the timelessness and authenticity of the album. And if that wasn’t enough, a surprise bonus track, a live performance of the instrumental track The Night Me and Your Mama Met, is included right at the end. The VR headset, however, is a slightly different story.

Before use, the free ‘Pharos’ smartphone app is required to be downloaded, and then it’s off to the races. After slotting your phone into the opening, the content kicks off with a visceral 360 degree live performance of the album’s opening track, Me and Your Mama, from Gambino’s ‘Pharos’ showcase last year. While terrifically exciting, and offering a new dimension to the recorded track, the low frame rate and video quality does dampen the show. After awhile, the VR element slowly evolves into a gimmick that wears off.

The subsequent videos to accompany the rest of the tracks get even more confusing. As well the as live performance audio, the accompanying videos feature lavishly decorated alien landscapes, with purple hills and wild green creatures. Oh, and of course a Star Wars-esque holographic projection of Glover himself performing amidst the extraterrestrial environment. It’s at this point in the experience when one will likely step back and say, “Okay… what?”. It can only be assumed that this is Gambino’s idea of what should be envisioned when listening to the tracks. While an interesting and innovative thought, it doesn’t, and can’t, hit the mark, as this is too subjective. As well as the underwhelming video quality, this most ambitious element of the release, while thankfully ambitious, isn’t something that warrants much repeat usage.

So, overall, is it worth it? Hell yes. It’s a beautifully designed boxset, with embossed features, brilliant artwork and records of absolutely top sound quality. Worth the money and wait? Well, if the VR feature is indeed what jacked up the price tag, then no. It was probably the most anticipated element of the release during the 6 month wait, and for it to be revealed as a cardboard gimmick is rather disappointing. Nevertheless, the level of ambition that sparked it’s inclusion in the set is a very welcome breath of fresh air to the industry, and hopefully an inspiration to artists everywhere. At the end of the day, it could’ve been an overpriced, flimsy single record release with nothing else to it, but it wasn’t. It was, yet again, proof that Glover really is one of the most forward thinking artists working today. It’s undeniable that whatever he does next, in whatever field, is sure to be unlike anything else.

 

The Numbers:

Record – 10/10

Booklet – 8/10

VR – 5/10

 

Check out the VR video for Me And Your Mama here –

Suit of Lights’ the genre defying band

Having dedicated his life to music since an early age, Joe Darone, pursued a career as a drummer and then in 2003 he decided to focus on songwriting allowing for Suit of Lights to be born.

“Even the greatest musical elitists will find something to love on this album”- RAG Magazine

Pushing the boundaries of modern music, “Break Open the Head” has the energy of punk, the immediacy of pop, the innovation of progressive rock and the timeless beauty of “serious” composers. This makes the band, and their music, distinct and innovative whilst cutting edge and acknowledging of songwriting tradition. Ultimately the band is fearless when it comes to creating music.

 

Links:

http://www.suitoflights.com

 

https://vimeo.com/166666227

https://soundcloud.com/visiting-hours

https://www.facebook.com/suitoflights1

https://twitter.com/JoeDarone1

Impressive electronic rework of Adam & the Ants’ Kings of the Wild Frontier by Johnny Normal (featuring Marco Pirroni)

Electronic musician Johnny Normal delivers this shiny synth-driven rework of Adam & the Ants’ 1980 classic album Kings of the Wild Frontier.

Reaching number 1 in the UK album chart and spawning three hit singles ‘Kings of the Wild Frontier’, ‘Dog Eat Dog’ and ‘Antmusic’, the original Kings of the Wild Frontier has left its legacy on the world.

Johnny Normal’s download only rework celebrates 36 years since the original release, and sees the talented producer recording his own unique versions of all of the songs. The album features double Ivor-Novello Award-Winning Ants songwriter and guitarist Marco Pirroni.

Listen to the KOTWF promo video here:  https://youtu.be/_GYlhLfnxNw

Listen to the Johnny Normal KOTWF brief audio taster promo here:

https://soundcloud.com/abnormal-productions

The album project was initially the idea of Adam Ant himself, who liked the style of Johnny’s music.

As Johnny explains: ‘My version of KOTWF is not meant as a copycat album as we could never improve on such a classic, rather an Ant fan’s homage to the fabulously exciting original record by Adam, Marco and co which had such an impact on my life and the lives of millions of the MTV generation.

The project sees Johnny teaming up with close friend and guitarist Psycho Pete and backing vocalist/bass player Izzie voodoo.  Whilst on tour supporting Adam Ant, Johnny and Psycho played several of their own electronic interpretations of Ants songs, performing to crowds of up to 3000 people. The performances were well-received by audience members, cementing the idea for the duo to create their own electronic cover album.

In 2014, the project came to a frightening halt when Johnny Normal was hospitalised in three intensive-care units with a succession of life-threatening illnesses. His life support was turned off twice and he was expected not to survive. Beating the odds, he pulled through, his family requesting that the unfinished album be played whilst he was in his coma, spurring him on to fight death. ‘I have no doubt this provided me with a subconscious link to the outside world and aided my recovery,’ Johnny has stated.

Appealing to both Adam and the Ants fans and electronic music lovers, it’s a record that all kinds of music enthusiasts can get into.

There will be an ‘album listening party event’ in London on Friday 17th June, tickets and info from www.johnnynormal.net

 

The album will be released Friday 17th June 2016

 

Links:

http://www.johnnynormal.net/

https://www.facebook.com/johnnynormalmusic

https://twitter.com/jnormaltwit

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/kings-wild-frontier-feat./id1104973611?ls=1

 

 

Johnny Normal and Marco Pirroni are also available for interviews, for more information contact publicity3@quitegreat.co.uk or call 01223 844 440

 

Brand New Music Brand New Band: Playing Mars – ‘Burning Desire’

The enigmatic duo made up of Jeff Shapiro and Angelique Lihou, aka ‘Playing Mars’ are hitting the high notes with new track ‘Burning Desire’.

The newly formed two-piece are set to release the stunningly eerie brand new track ‘Burning Desire’.

The London-based twosome pride themselves on capturing stimulation from vibes caught out of spontaneity. ‘Burning Desire’ is the product of a jamming session on Angelique’s birthday at 4am in Clapton. Upon investment of their creative expertise, the track oozes drama with a conspiratorial feel, with Jeff’s hypnotic bass line and Angelique’s hauntingly melodious vocals.

‘Burning Desire’, showcases the pair’s musical talents and is an artistic demonstration of their unique creative chemistry. The pair are open to and influenced by every day moments that otherwise pass us by; making their music a captivating expression of what we all often think and feel. The pair are very much genuine music makers, taking inspiration from their surroundings, they even used the sound of Angelique’s spike scraping the floor in ‘Burning Desire’.

Playing Mars are not only a passionate musical duo, they are keen to experiment and express their joint creative talents through art, having worked closely with artists and film makers, Omri Taub, Joanna Imrie and Olga Gomez, to mention just a few. Films and short documentaries will feature on their website to give listeners a unique insight into their lives and personalities, “It’s all about life, politics, music, religion, love, lust and passion and everything that we breathe and live” says Angelique.

Listen to:

‘Burning Desire (Matt Schwarz Mix)’ here: https://soundcloud.com/playing-mars/playing-mars-burning-desire-ms-mix

‘Burning Desire (Dan Goodie Mix)’ here: https://soundcloud.com/playing-mars/playing-mars-burning-desire-dg-mix

The quirky sounds of the duo show some resemblance to that of Goldfrapp, Sigor Ros, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Velvet Underground and Pink Floyd. The song has been remixed by Dan Goodie and Matt Schwarz, offering an energetic new take on the track.

http://www.playingmars.com/

https://twitter.com/PlayingMars

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Playing-Mars/428027367362998?fref=ts

https://soundcloud.com/playing-mars

 

“Broken Wings”, the new track by singer-songwriter Roberta Howett

Attachment-1Born in Dublin but now playing her trade in London, Roberta Howett is a double whammy of talent and beauty which comes along very rarely indeed. A finalist on X-Factor in 2004, she has worked since on developing a successful career as a musician and songwriter, and is now ready for a solo release.

Her superb vocal and songwriting style have been compared to the likes of Sarah Bareilles and Christina Perri, and the lush layering of vocals on her tracks are influenced by artists such as Enya. However, as you’ll hear on the single below, the sparse piano arrangement and incredible vocal are what helps her stand on her own.

The heartfelt lyrics come from a personal bugbear of Roberta, railing against those who judge people choosing to be single over entering relationships for the sake of it. You can hear it here:

https://soundcloud.com/roberta-howett/broken-wings/s-ksFwR

Although Roberta Howett has not often stepped out on her own as solo artist, she is certainly not new to the music industry.  As part of her band Fanfair, she supported The Wanted on a sold-out arena tour of the UK and Ireland.  Her previous solo single ‘Beautiful Lies’, independently released in Ireland, saw her work with none other than Jake Gosling, and she has played Glastonbury with Sharon Corr and Oxegen Festival with Irish artist Bressie.  You may have also caught a glimpse of her on your TV screens as the house band lead singer on Tonight with Craig Doyle – a Saturday night TV show which aired in Ireland, drawing huge audiences.

All of this experience is proof (if any were needed) that Roberta Howett is a force to be reckoned with, and has the potential to be one of 2015’s top new artists – watch this space.

Links:

http://www.robertahowett.com/

https://soundcloud.com/roberta-howett

https://www.facebook.com/roberta.howett

https://twitter.com/robertahowett

Ben Williams asks ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ with new album

A Manchester based singer-songwriter who moulds the classic songwriting sound of Paul Simon with the laid back nature of Jack Johnson, Ben Williams is a difficult artist to pigeonhole and is all the better for it. His new self-produced album, ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’, has been seven years in the making, as Williams – earning a living as an in-demand session guitarist – wrote his own songs in the spare time he had between playing and recording with other artists.

With a clear passion for music, he wrote around 60 songs over this period, of which the best 11 have been chosen to make up his debut album. Self-produced and featuring a selection of the finest musicians in Manchester, Williams has delivered a genuine gem of a debut. Often quirky, sometimes funny, and occasionally more reflective, the songs demonstrate a fantastic range of approaches and ideas.

Title track ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ was described by radio presenter Liam Bradford (BBC Radio Manchester) as his “favourite song of the year so far”, and it’s not hard to see why:

Having started as a busker, Ben Williams’ rise to prominence in the music industry has been truly impressive. As a session guitarist he has supported a who’s who of British talent, including  Mick Hucknall, Lisa Stansfield, Will Young, Status Quo, Nile Rodgers and Chic, The Straits, M-People, Tim Minchin, Pink Martini.  Meanwhile, playing his own material he has shared a stage with Baskery, Kristyna Myles Jon Kenzie.

Grammy award winning producer Ken Nelson (Coldplay, Paulo Nutini), who knows a great musician when he sees one,  describes him as “an excellent guitarist and great to have around on a recording session”, while drummer and producer Steve White (Paul Weller, Style Council, Oasis) called him “great guitarist and top musician”. These are professionals who gained a position in the industry by being able to identify talent, and they see it in Ben Williams.

Having had a taste of success playing with other artists at South By South West festival in Texas as well as festivals in Italy, tours of France, and UK gigs at the Liverpool Echo arena, Indigo2 and Bridgewater Hall, Ben Williams is hungry to take his very own bit of the cherry.

And finally, if you were in any doubt as to how passionate Williams is about his songwriting, he also runs his own blog about songwriting –  http://www.songwriterstalkaboutsongwriting.com/. Having interviewed people like Dan Wilson (co-writer of Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’), Ron Sexsmith, Chris Difford, Frank Turner and more, this is one songwriter who is keen to keep honing and learning his craft.

In the meantime, the new album drops on April 13th and is as impressive a debut as you’ll hear this year.

Links:

http://www.benpwilliams.com/

https://soundcloud.com/benpwilliams

https://twitter.com/benpwilliams

https://www.facebook.com/BenPWilliamsGuitar

https://www.youtube.com/user/sharpeleventwelve