Hyson Green have just released their much anticipated debut album. Aptly titled ‘Lost in the World’, the 10 track project really does pull you from the lockdown blues into a carefully crafted world of horns and harmonies.
‘Lost in the World’ is best described as the music we know and love, but rarely hear on radio anymore. Hyson Green have produced a perfect collection of contemporary sounds shaped on experience and the love of good music, bringing us those nostalgic vibes we’ve been longing for.
The project combines the musicianship of two brothers David and Roy Osbourne, and was devised across both sides of the pond from Nottingham and London all the way to Los Angeles. ‘Lost in the World’s’ first track ‘Clear Blue Sky’ is the perfect song to listen to on this sunny Friday afternoon.
Following the unveiling of her debut single ‘Coke & Mentos’ last month, Sydney singer-songwriter Tia Beale has just released her latest single ‘Do It Over’. It speaks lyrically of the devastating loss of a close friend of Tia’s to suicide. The haunting vocals throughout the track truly captivate the listener and transport them to the memories that TIA reflects on.
The sophisticated 20-year-old hails from Sydney’s Northern Beaches and studied at Sydney’s Australian Institute of Music (AIM), initially harbouring dreams of becoming an actor. Watch her unparalleled performance in the stunning video for ‘Do It Over’:
Like most of her music, ‘Do It Over’ is recorded in collaboration with music industry veteran Steve Clisby, who has played alongside everyone from Jimi Hendrix to Kool & The Gang and Chaka Khan. This soulful track definitely marks TIA as one to watch in 2020.
“The record is killing, such great musicianship!”– Nile Rodgers
“Acoustic Maestro…thrilling acoustic work. The Italian ace deploys his immense technique to serve the song, not the reverse” – Pete Prown, Vintage Guitar Magazine
Alberto Lombardi’s latest single ‘Start Again’ is an intense single with lyrics pulled from some of the most beautiful lines of the Italian poet Dante’s Inferno. Dante imagines that Ulysses sails to unknown shores with his men, instead of going back to Itaca, leading them beyond the pillars of Hercules where the world was believed to end. His speech to persuade them to endure the challenge is a literary milestone and shines a light on the human soul’s infinite capabilities.
“Ma per seguir virtute e canoscenza” [“we were born to pursue virtue and knowledge”]
‘Start Again’ is a rich, epic ballad with revelatory guitar work and powerful lyrics about a fresh start after overcoming challenges, reflecting some of the most beautiful lines in literary history. Coupled with a superb video, it shimmers with the timeless sound of bands like The Eagles and a Sting-like vocal, whilst feeling completely contemporary.
Alberto Lombardi has already built a huge fan base with his expressive guitar playing and rich songwriting, including celebrities like Chic’s Nile Rodgers and legendary engineer Bob Clearmountain (Bruce Springsteen; David Bowie; Rolling Stones).
‘Start Again’ is taken from the forthcoming album, Home, which is currently available to support via crowdfunding here: http://sostieni.link/23630
“Breathe Again is an honest, deeply human, yet energising release, likely to make waves throughout 2019…the song makes for a bold and beautiful introduction to an artist with a clear love for and dedication to her craft” Stereo Stickman
In 2019, Italian star Vina Rose released an unforgettable ‘pop banger’. Her single ‘Breathe Again’ received critical acclaim, demonstrating a vocal prowess that’s sure to brighten up the UK pop scene. The artist has recently made the move to London to build her career, leaving her fame in Italy behind.
Now Vina Rose is set to wow new audiences with her fresh EP Crossroads. It’s a musical project that really allows her talents to show. From the anthemic ‘Heart of Gold‘ to the dark and brooding dance-inflected title track, which sees her reflecting on the momentous decision she made to relocate at the height of her career, it’s clear this artist is one to watch.
Vina Rose has performed alongside the likes of Italian superstars Andrea Bocelli, Zucchero, Alexia and Giorgia, both across numerous festivals and on television. Similarly, Vina has appeared on TV shows around the world: on the BBC (acting in the production Victoria and Albert -The Royal Wedding) and ITV as well as hugely popular worldwide hits such as Dancing with the Stars and MTV Unplugged.
Elvic Congolo is known for making ‘Congo-Funk’ but his upcoming single ‘Our Story’ is a more heartfelt tale of how love can fall apart.
Elvic himself explains “Our Story”: When I hear “Our story”, I picture a beautiful relationship between two people. Their relationship was fantastic, they were in paradise. Unfortunately, their love couldn’t conquer the obstacles coming their way and it did not last”.
The song is a strong but gentle reminder that we often find happiness by remembering what we have in common with other people, not what divides us.
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.
In a way completely befitting the world’s most enduring game of heroes and villains, Chilean singer Juga has combined the worlds of chess, cinema and music by releasing two music videos to accompany her tracks ‘Oh Capablanca‘ and ‘Isolated Pawn‘. As the World Chess Championships took place in the heart of London towards the end of last year, Juga made her name as an artist who has been actively pioneering links between the world of art and chess – combining her life as a recording artist with her role as a celebrated ambassador of the game, utilising themes of intrigue, drama and psychology all at the fore.
Juga’s first release could well be considered to be the greatest Bond theme to never feature in a film, as it combines lush orchestration and Spaghetti Western guitar with her spine-chillingly yearning vocals. ‘Oh Capablanca‘ refers to the Cuban chess champion from the 1920’s Jose Raul Capablanca, who is often referred to as the greatest player of all-time.
“The real inspiration was the irony of living a fantasy completely different from what was really happening on the board before my eyes”
The lyrics were inspired by a real-life experience of her participation in a tournament in Rome – describing an emotional voyage through a twisted chess game with her opponent, in which she suffered from over optimism. The track in essence reflects the psychology of what goes on inside a chess players mind after losing a game from a winning position.
‘Isolated Pawn‘ offers a different tale in which Juga recounts, in first person, the human emotions of the humble piece as it’s caught alone and undefended in the middle of the chessboard. The track opens with the lowest self-perception possible – of how the labels put on you by the other pieces (representing society) determine that you are weak, that you can be blocked, attacked, and then captured. However, it then demonstrates that if your hopes are high enough, you can empower yourself to break through and become the most powerful piece – the Queen, as the pawn reaches the enemy’s side of the board.
“The golden scar across the isolated pawn’s head represents how special and strong your wounds can make you. In Japan, there is a traditional art of repairing broken pottery called ‘Kintsugi’, where the piece’s ‘scars’ are filled with gold – honouring the story of the object instead of throwing it away”
These stories depict the triumph of spirit over matter, which is something that often happens in chess. For Juga, this is what makes chess poetic and beautiful, in continuous contrast with it’s scientific and logical side.
Having been mastered by Grammy-nominated Emily Lazar (Foo Fighters/ Sia) in her New York Studios, ‘Holding On, Letting Go‘ is set to be the first of a triad of records from singer-songwriter Elyssa Vulpes. From her native Italy, Elyssa is now based in Edinburgh after a twelve year spell in New Zealand, having soaked up the cultural elements of all these disparate places. Utilising the Celtic folk traditions of Ireland and Scotland, as well as the celebrated Italian singer-songwriters of the 1970’s, ‘Holding On, Letting Go‘ is set to be the most sombre in tone of the trilogy, but is a meditative as it is motivational.
Elyssa has stated her mission in her music echoes that of her profession – to help people. As a hypnotherapist, her daily routine centres around looking to empower, to inspire and to give hope. If she can illuminate a path to connect with a community of like-minded people then through this they can be encouraged to find their own way. This advice has also been reflected inwardly, having cured her own anxieties through a combination of hypnotherapy as well as writing and performing music.
“I believe that without meaning, there is no art… I believe the true aim of art is being fulfilled at the soul level [and] I will be successful when my effort to reach out and build a bridge between me and others is achieved.”
Elyssa attributes the inherent soulfulness of her work to what she calls ‘Scorpion Energy’ -the essence of which is all about transformation – ‘Death and rebirth. Transforming darkness into light’. Through the shedding of metaphoric skins is said to then allow you to confront whatever is bringing you discomfort and hence overcome your fear of pain and accept your own truths without becoming a victim to circumstance.
“From the perspective of eternity, no choice is a bad choice – It leads to the same end: the evolution of consciousness.”
How this resonates through her music is a concept that has begun on this album, with this and the accompanying two records reflecting on the past decade of her life. Lyrically, there are recurring themes of life’s sufferings, but also that of hope and transformation – which is perfectly encapsulated in the albums closer and lead track ‘Front Line‘: a defiant track resonating the themes of overcoming pain and turning it into something positive. Over the course of it’s 15 tracks, the album takes you on a journey of discovery as well as showcasing a variety of musical hues – from the sweet melodies of ‘Summer Romance‘, to the rocked up ‘Do You Wanna Play‘ to the positively punky ‘Grow Up‘.
Despite being born in Manchester, the musical inspiration of indie folk artist Joshua Howlett is very much grounded in his Swiss base in Montreaux, where he now resides. A soulful, young and ambitions performer, he is an artist that is striving to evolve and develop without taking himself too seriously and, as such, has looked to his surroundings – the exquisite nature and historical cities of Switzerland as his creative muse in order to produce his ‘Autumnal‘ EP. With a sound likened to the likes of Ben Howard and Angus and Julia Stone, this is a record that evokes the calm atmosphere of beautiful scenery.
The EP has been noted to draw further inspiration by feelings of nostalgia about leaving the UK, which nicely introduces themes associated with autumn. In an interesting synergy between the atmospheric surroundings of the Swiss mountains, the songs all give off the feeling of autumnal reflection, evoking feelings such as change, anxiety, nostalgia and deeper states of consciousness. It’s an emotional collection of feelings – a meta-cognitive explanation of his physical and mental state at the time of composing.
As mentioned, the true reflective aspect is reflected from his surroundings with him taking heavy inspiration from nature – trees, forests, mountains, and ironically water. He has often written about water and the sea, metaphorically or otherwise, despite the fact he hates swimming and going in it. However, the poetic tranquillity of the element certainly serves its own purpose here.
Having being raised between British and Swiss culture, he has ended up being somewhere between the two. After learning guitar at an early age, he slowly began to develop his own unique style and identity that has been shaped and refined throughout his young career. From writing songs in his bedroom, with no particular intentions, this process reached its natural catalyst in 2017 when Joshua became friends with a producer from Big Fam Records at sound engineering college. Merely a day after deciding to record a song together for fun, they then decided to partner up and record music professionally.
Joshua has been noted to be somewhat shy in character away from music, but everything changes when on stage. His on-stage persona is a mixture of a soulful musician and a stand up comedian – often engaging with the crowd before introducing a song. Indicative of this characteristic, his stages have not always been traditional in their truest sense, as his live performances have taken him from a snowy chalet up a mountain to a show window in a subway station.
His debut EP, recorded with experienced live musicians who have thoroughly immersed themselves in the concept, has been spearheaded by the release of the single ‘Dover‘.
Taking precedent from the likes of Big Mama Thornton and Sister Rosetta Tharpe before her, Rasha Jay is an artist who’s not afraid to stride beyond convention and make music that’s true to herself. This is music that harks back to a previous time where blues and rock bounced in tandem, and women wailed with no apology. Her raw soul vocals and songwriting ability combined with blues based alt-rock – as seen in her forthcoming EP ‘High Dive‘, she has managed to take rock back its roots while also managing to keep her sound simultaneously fresh and urgent.
Thinking figuratively about how a person protects themselves from love, the underlying themes emanating through lead track ‘Red Coat‘ have been meticulously crafted to bring out elements that show just how dark, murky and conflicted love can be. Speaking about the record as a whole, she explains: “The EP ‘High Dive’, is a continuation of that exploration, the tangled mess of relating to each other, if and when to dive in, jump out, and the audience that’s always waiting to see what happens.”
Rasha’s mantra stems from one of looking to encourage all artists who are unsure of their own writing ability, or those who are lacking the confidence to write anything at all. From her own heart comes a raw, thunderous love for performing. To her, singing is like another language where you use the same words differently – it’s like learning to speak all over again, and once learnt there’s no turning back.
In order to typify the feeling Rasha is endeavouring to portray, everything is enveloped in a raw state. Her voice, the music – all the elements are kept as simple as possible with the sole aim of getting the message across. Furthering this, Rasha offers some insight on her lyrics: “I am in love with words, how they sound, nerdy things like syllable counts, inflection and assonance. But that adoration comes through in my songs, I hope.”
Away from the limelight, Rasha Jay has also been an active member of her community – volunteering for various non-profit organisations as either a mentor or helping homeless young adults. Her passion for words also extends to reading. Coupled with her love for using her voice, she’s also spent time reading to children at story time and in various other settings and has also notably stepped neatly into a voice-over role having narrated Talk Show Wendy Williams‘ audiobook ‘Hold me in Contempt‘, back in 2014.
Rasha Jay typifies a very niche selective of African-American alt-rock artists. She has not gone on record to say that she is looking to break down walls or to change anyone’s perceptions of the genre, this is merely the style that feels most appropriate and true to herself, and from that foundation she will endeavour to sing her heart out.