Singing Soldiers: Fighting the Effects and Stigma of Mental Illness

The Singing Soldiers defy expectation at every juncture – their musical skill is undeniable, their spine-chilling harmonies and contemporary, outlaw country style as well as their infectious personalities are undeniable but are at odds with the trauma they have lived through and continue to battle against. Both Graham Trude and Chris Earl have been directly affected by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a condition which impacts immeasurably on not only the sufferer but the family and friends around them. Determined to quash the stigma and misconceptions of the condition and to give hope and inspirations to others around the world, Frontline Soldiers is a single which will resonate with people from all backgrounds – touching, moving, profound yet uplifting, it’s a song which begs to be heard.

This is not a charity single made up of assembled supporters, nor a twee cover version by overly auto-tuned amateurs. This is the real deal, two music professionals and members of the Canadian armed forces who have joined together to put across a message of hope to those affected by PTSD – a number which according to The National Center for Biotechnology Information, exceeds 354 million people world-wide. Graham Trude is an Afghanistan Veteran and First Responder diagnosed with complex PTSD from his experiences and Chris Earl is a current serving military member who has family members struggling with PTSD. Chris and Graham are both signed Nashville Recording Artists and professional musicians who found each other and dedicated themselves to healing trauma through music therapy.

Already selling out large venues in their home country, The Singing Soldiers deliver an experience that can only be born out of experience. It is an evening of laughing and crying and relatable REAL-LIFE material that help our listeners know we truly understand. 

WOUNDED WARRIORS CANADA

“We are extremely proud to join forces with the Singing Soldiers. Chris and Graham are true ambassadors for the cause we serve and we thank them for their willingness to pay it forward to help us help our ill and injured Veterans, First Responders and their families.” – Scott Maxwell, Executive Director, Wounded Warriors Canada 

Secret songwriter steps into the spotlight

For many years, Nick Battle has been working behind-the-scenes within the music industry. His songwriting ability has gained him over 30 gold and platinum discs, and though he is far from a household name, his songs and collaborators most certainly are. Working with the likes of Sir Cliff Richard, Michael Ball and Gary Barlow (as well as kick-starting The Spice Girls), he boasts an impressive list of contacts. But that’s not enough for Nick.

Now is his time to take the glory, rather than giving his tracks away – he kept this collection for himself. ‘Love is a Long Road’ looks back on Battle’s life and the lessons he’s learned along the way. Inspired by the singers and songwriters who have influenced him most, this album continues from where 2016 album ‘Big Heart’ left off.

This new album is a chance for people to hear Battle’s music as it was meant to be heard, no artist interpretations, tweaks or re-writes, but the writers pure vision and authentic sound.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/nick.battle.7161

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NickBattle14

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

Website: www.starstreetmusic.com

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/nickbattleofficial

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0c1nEm82KWIkvMpUYPVx2G

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0TUnetFN3M

Rocketsmith roll out feelgood-rock forged in friendship

When you consider that Rocketsmith’s roots trace back to the rural town of Pickering – which, per head, probably has one of the most vibrant music scenes in the UK – the formation of a band of this ilk makes perfect sense. In a place where there’s little else to do other than go to the pub, play music and be in bands (in this case, all three!), they embody the very nature of reet-good rock’n’roll. A fact that is reflected in the title of the EP ‘Balancing Act‘, which nods to balancing their hectic work lives with their desire to perform.

Collectively they are consummate performers both live and in the studio but strip away the rock’n’roll and you’ll find that Andy is an egg farmer, Hank is a painter and decorator, Anth is a tiler and Matt is an electrical engineer. Between them, they’ve played in countless bands over the years, but have always known of their desire to step out of the shadows with their own original material. A family friendly bunch, led with the track ‘Give Love‘, which stands as a resounding proclamation of all people really need to give to one another – Be it a smile, a laugh, a hug or any simple gesture that can change someone’s life for the better.

Andy has commented how, on a personal level, Rocketsmith helped him through a trough of depression and elevated his sense of self-worth and confidence. In the true essence of what forming a band is all about, that love for meeting new people and that feeling of winning over a crowd are in equal parts overwhelming.

The EP ‘Balancing Act‘ (Out Now) was written over the autumn of 2018 and early 2019, incorporating two previously recorded tracks ‘Hope in the Beat‘ and Give Love backing up Jenny, Chasing Ghosts, Beautiful Soul and Real Life – six songs that the band feel are the strongest material they’ve recorded to date.

See Rocketsmith Live

July 13th – Rocking All Over the Wold, Easingwold

August 18th – Rocketsmith live at Tribfest! Tribfest, Driffield

September 13th – Apollo Bar, Scarborough

September 15th – The Little Angel, Whitby

September 22nd – Sun Inn Beer Festival, Pickering

November 23rd – The Little Angel, Whitby

December 7th – The Lettered Board, Pickering

December 20th – Market Hall, Scarborough

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Rocketsmithuk1

Website: https://www.reverbnation.com/rocketsmith

Family values light up songwriter’s path to stardom

After being wrongfully expelled from Bolton School until the age of 16, it was at Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School in Blackburn where songwriter Joel Rothwell nurtured his ability and pursued his dream of a career in music. Following on from the acclaimed released of single ‘Just Don’t Know‘, it’s apparent that the stars have never seemed too far out of reach, and with roots forged very close to home. A childhood spent with his eldest sister Rebecca imitating their musical heroes has led to formulating a creative partnership which has seen them writing together for a number of years.

With a stylishly crafted formula of honest story-telling accompanying his guitar-driven electro-pop sound, the first of 4 inspired songs recorded with Brighton producer Toby Scott –Just Don’t Know’ tells the story of a chance encounter, forbidden attraction and the inherent dilemma faced from within.

It was recording and preparing to release his debut album under the Steelworks Studio label, under the support of songwriter and producer Eliot Kennedy (famed for working with the likes of the Spice Girls, Bryan Adams, Lulu and Take That), that led to Joel taking part in his biggest gig to date. The Vulcan Experience aircraft hanger at Robin Hood airport in Doncaster was host to a sell-out charity event that raised over £65,000 for Help for Heroes, in which he shared the stage in following none other than Gary Barlow.

Joel is now based at a studio in the vibrant Spinningfields area of Manchester, while also having spent time writing and recording at Tileyard Music in London alongside chart musicians such as Sigala, Mark Ronson and Ella Eyre. Through a blend of passion, talent and determination, Joel firmly believes he has what it takes to stand out in such a competitive industry and match the ambition of his dreams.

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

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/joelrothwell

Website: http://joelrothwell.com

Horizonz show ‘Blind passion’ to prove original music isn’t a ‘dying breed’?

“There are hundreds of Indie bands with trendy sounds, but we do good old fashioned music with a modern twist”

Devon-based Horizonz have often found themselves turned down for gigs, purely due to their devotion to original music – which they’re frequently told is a ‘dying breed’. While being 4 guys who all hold down full-time jobs alongside their joint passion for making music, these are very much local lads looking to make music larger than their surroundings.

All their music has been recorded in a local studio, engineered by Andrew Doc Collins, who they regard as something of a genius in piecing together the elements of their alt-country inspired soft rock. Their latest single ‘Better Days’ released 5th July, discusses a common theme of a relationship which is on the verge of collapse due to unhappiness, and even possible violence, while also clutching at straws that things will work themselves out in the end. As the chorus line goes: “I need to see if there’s still part of you, that’s sorry for all the things that you said..”

While not previously discussed in the media, but wowing their audiences nonetheless, their distinguished keyboard player is not only self-taught, but also completely blind! So easy is this to forget that the band themselves often have to remind themselves to guide him off-stage at the end of gigs!

“We often forget Jason is blind and walk off all the time and then have to return to get him because we forgot he couldn’t see. Jason’s personality is brilliant, his sense of humour relating to the condition is outstanding.”

After noticing a decline in ‘traditional’ or ‘dad-rock’, Horizonz are looking to spark a resurgence of focus on guitar-based music with a strong emphasis on vocal melodies. They have proven to be staunch in their commitment to revitalising the magic in live performance, honing their formula of big choruses, tight harmonies and energy levels to leave audiences hypnotised.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/horizonzband

Twitter: www.twitter.com/horizonzband

Instagram: www.instagram.com/horizonz_band

Website: www.horizonzband.com

Film Noir inspiration gives rise to ‘dark dance’ project

It’s been almost a decade since Izabella Clare and Rob Varley of ‘dark dance’ duo Mai Eve walked out on their last band. Disillusioned and fed up of compromising on the music, image, direction and commitment of other members, this paved the way for a new project producing an unholy crossover of EDM and rock.

“We like to think our uniqueness comes from combining rock structures with club beats with a throwback to 80s synth sounds. Our primary goal is simply to entertain.”

Taken from the forthcoming ‘Silverscreen’ EP, debut release ‘When You Scream‘ is Mai Eve’s first attempt to cross over into dance and was produced with the club scene in mind. With a beat that’s generally uplifting, the subject matter is much darker, discussing themes of abusive relationships from a woman’s perspective.

We take a lot of inspiration from the black and white films of the 40’s and 50’s… We hope that when you listen to our music you visualise a scene and feel the emotions”

With Izabella having spent a number of years in recovery from illness this, however, did afford Rob time to discover his love for EDM and a passion for production. Together, they bring their extensive experience in heavy melodic rock and align it with a love for sequencers and analogue keys to produce tracks that curl themselves around your consciousness with or without invitation.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MaiEve.EDM

Website: www.maieve.com

Unlikely union sparks 90’s trip-hop revival from ARLS

Energizing something of a revival in 90’s trip-hop blended with 80’s synth atmospherics is ARLS – New Zealand-based duo Bravo Bonez and Alba Rose. Enlisting legendary producer Greg Haver (Manic Street Preachers; Super Furry Animals; The Chills) to produce a debut single which looks already to be figuring amongst the years best new tracks. The bizarre collaboration between university student Alba and perpetual planet-traveller Bravo, found the pair hit it off musically following a ‘coffee date’ pushed for by their respective mums, from which they stayed in touch and arrived where they are now.

Front and centre of ARLS is Alba Rose, a vocalist whose gift for melody and imbuing a track with emotion belies the fact that she is still studying at university. Bravo Bonez travels the Earth constantly and is the enigma of the band. As composer and arranger, he hides a wealth of music experience behind his shades, bringing the darker elements of the 90’s trip-hop scene along with the ethereal splendour of Cocteau Twins at their peak. The perhaps unlikely union is entirely in keeping with the bizarre genesis of debut single: LUCKY. A throwaway hummed vocal sent as a voice memo by Alba to Bravo became an earworm neither of them could shake.

Aligning themselves with a mysterious atmospheric essence, akin to that of Massive Attack, LUCKY’s lyrics are grounded in reality and tell of wrenching yourself from an unfulfilling relationship, reminding yourself you’re strong enough to emerge from the pain whilst delivering a sideswipe at the person they’re leaving, that they were lucky to have what they’ve lost.

Throughout the track, there is a sense that vocals are announced with a degree of pain, a lack of belief in her words, but also a belief that it’s not worth continuing this dead end if the result is that of it ultimately draining her.

LUCKY is due for release 1st August this year

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/arlsmusic-455110685055868/

Instagram: @arlsmusic

Website: http://arlsmusic.com/

Cruel intentions brought to life in Transylvanian rock opera

On 22nd October this year, Troxy Theatre in London will host a special ‘one night only’ performance of Romanian playwright Tibor Molnar’s rock opera Cruel. In the tale of an almost impossible love affair between a married man and a libertine girl dying of cancer, the audience will explore the emotional universe of four characters in a journey through their thoughts, doubts and temptations, with an acute focus on their psyche and inner turmoil.

Tickets are available here: https://dice.fm/event/6evab-cruel-the-rock-opera-22nd-oct-troxy-london-tickets

Musically staged combining a church organ with a full rock band, a string quartet and four of Transylvania’s top rock vocalists, Tibor Molnar’s original script will be brought to life through the vision of artistic director Cezar Ghioca – the only Romanian theatre director specialising in musicals having studied in the United States while also holding a Ph.D in theatre from the Bucharest National University of Theatre Arts and Film. Ahead of the performance, he has already laid out some of his overall guidelines for how the performance will be orchestrated.

Drawing on influences ranging from Schubert to death-metal, the performance is largely staged as a rock concert – visible scaffolding, lights, smoke and projections, but, as a play, less importance is given to the narrative plot with a larger focus on the overall explorative process of the themes being portrayed. In utilising a small cast of characters, this affords the Mise-en-scène greater potential for exploring their emotional universe. The staging will employ similar-bodied dancers to project the alter-egos of the characters through their choreography, further emphasised utilising video-wall projections as either a subjective mirror, to convey personal memories or simply to heighten the illusion of a ‘dream space’.

Aural and visual factors will have equal and fluid importance. At any time – the band, the projections, the singers or the dancers can take precedent in what will be constructed as a surreal narrative. Theoretically, this is envisioned to harmoniously bring about a variety to the performance and flesh out the same organically created world.

The show promises a high degree of originality. With little to no experience or tradition in musical theatre coming from Romania, and therefore this, in turn, extends itself to the highly ambitious nature of the project. Cruel is set to be a stage experience that no-one will forget.

Created by Tibor Molnar

Directed by Cezar Ghioca

Soloists:

Raluca Stoica – soprano

Andy Ghost – baritone

Alexandru Arnautu – tenor

Sara Hajdu – alto

Chordis string quartet

Lehel Lorinczi – organist

Indian industrial rockers Nivid deliver energetic vision of dystopia

Sometimes, it’s circumstances completely beyond our control can affect the way we approach songwriting. Although Aditya Virmani (the creative force behind Indian Industrial rock band Nivid) has rarely lacked for creative vision or direction, it was a sudden circumstance that forcibly dictated a choice that would shape his musical output forever.

Prior to Nivid, Virmani had been playing with Pinnochio’s Moment of Clarity – a progressive rock band from Mumbai. The group eventually ran it’s course as they decided to go their separate ways before he then enrolled in Vancouver Film School to study Sound Design. Naturally, being based in Canada, the majority of people there spoke English and Virmani found himself more and more attracted to the prospect of writing music in his native Hindi tongue. Upon his return to Gurgaon, Virmani founded a boutique new media audio design studio – Barren Sound, where he would often work late into the evening working on his passion for writing music in Hindi. As things progressed, however, he then suffered a tragic bike accident. Breaking his collarbone, his injuries severely limited his abilities in playing the guitar for a time. Determined in his attitude, Virmani learnt to adapt his craft and he began to favour synthesisers and computer technology, writing 2 EPs and take huge strides towards the sound he is becoming well known for.

For his current project Nivid, Virmani is considered as the creative force in an evolving concept where he is the only constant member. Acting as singer, producer and multi-instrumentalist, Nivid are fluid in their adaptability when playing live in shows which are highly regarded as a sight to behold. With a sound that taken influence and inspiration from Nine Inch Nails, the stage is well set for an atmosphere that is heavily enhanced with dynamic light shows and thematic visual elements.

Lyrically, Virmani writes about a character who is clearly an aggressor in the beginning but, while riding the tide of nationalism, he comes to the realisation that his extreme behaviour that is causing polarisation in society – in turn causing his belief system to crumble. Through this kind of narrative, he is able to portray a variety of ‘voices’ in this society – the voice of the aggressor, the voice of the repressed, the voice of the enlightened etc… The release of Nivid’s ‘The World Around Me (Infinite Support)‘ speaks of a musical embodiment of anger felt by those who are bearing the brunt of this turmoil.

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

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/nividofficial

Website: http://www.nivid.bandcamp.com

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn9-Ibdng1NpBuyE2FAYCjg

 

 

70’s Music Royalty Crack Of Dawn Bring The Love Of Funk To A New Generation

Outselling the funk reign of Earth, Wind and Fire in their home country of Canada, 70’s band Crack Of Dawn are a funk force to be reckoned with. Having released ‘Spotlight’ in 2017, an album recorded over several years that encapsulates all the smooth RnB and silky soul that the band are known best for, the band have unveiled masterful new mix of their album track ‘Ol’ Skool’. 

A pioneering history that isn’t known by all, after being discovered by Otis Redding’s producer in the 70’s, the Canadian collective were the first black band to be signed by a major label (CBS) and were predicted big things by the likes of Billboard and more.

To accuse Crack of Dawn of being a collective of experienced musicians would be putting it lightly. With members such as guitarist and producer Carl Harvey who has been the lead-guitarist with Toots & the Maytals sharing in their Grammy win in 2004, Rupert Harvey founder of Canada’s most successful reggae band Messenjah and bassist Charles Sinclair who has played with Al Green, Crack of Dawn have no shortage of experience with music royalty.

Returning to already established fans from their 70’s reign, Crack Of Dawn have also opened a gateway for following of a new generation to discover the euphoric bliss that funk undeniably brings.

Follow Crack Of Dawn: 

Soundcloud: – https://soundcloud.com/crack-of-dawn/master-cod-ol-skool-radio-mix-main

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUvW-wsl_GBGFwq9pvymCMw

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/crackofdawnofficial/?hl=en

Website: https://crackofdawnband.com/