Album Review: Empathy Test “Monsters”

Having already heard Empathy Test’s new single ‘Monsters’ we were very intrigued to give their new album of the same name a listen this week ahead of its release on 22nd May. 

The 10 track album is full of variety from the chilled out rhythm of ‘Making Words’ to the more up-beat ‘Holy Rivers’ this is definitely an album to include in your lockdown playlists. 

Not only this, the true to life lyrics resonate very deeply with us in today’s COVID-19 society. ‘Incubation Song’’s talk of containment and imprisonment isn’t too far from how we feel during lockdown and ‘Fear of Disappearing’ speaks of the loneliness of this world dominated by social media, which has perhaps never been so true as it has now. In fact, the whole album includes superb song-writing by the whole band who all contribute to the lyrics of their songs. 

With this album, Empathy Test look to cement themselves as one of the most inventive, emotionally affecting and addictive musical experiences around and we believe that this album goes a long way to making this a reality. 

Although we can’t share the album with you yet (sorry!), you can give the single ‘Monsters’ a listen here – https://soundcloud.com/empathytest/monsters-radio-edit/s-AEnqYzWm4Ye

And to keep up to date with Issac, Adam, Christine and Oliver, follow them on social below.. 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/empathytest

Twitter: www.twitter.com/empathytest

Instagram: www.instagram.com/empathytest

Website: www.empathytest.com     

Spotify: bit.ly/MPTHYTST

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/empathytestmusic

JJ Draper’s new single addresses London’s worrying gang violence scene

Following the success of his previous EP, JJ Draper has taken inspiration from real life events for his newest EP, ‘The Theft & The Flight’. 

On one single in particular, JJ describes his inspirations, “returning home in March last year to a police cordon around the car park of my flat, I turned on the news to discover that a young man had been brutally murdered on my doorstep. Not having a real insight into the growing culture of gang violence in London, I wrote ‘…if you’re awake in the night’ to chronicle the surreal experience of those who come inadvertently into contact with a troubling world they don’t understand. 

I wanted all my new music to be honest and grounded, both lyrically and in the way it was recorded. I spent months experimenting at Natural Habitat Studios working with many great musicians to make something I hope feels homespun, authentic and vivid.” 

JJ’s music has already received high praise from the likes of BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens and The Line of Best Fit but this interest in honestly reflecting his perspective in any scenario, and talk of surreal experiences or confused detachment with the same gravity as moments of sober reality will surely score him top points among the music and songwriting critics. 

Listen to ‘Zero-Sum’, one of the tracks on the upcoming EP, here

With four new tracks set to appear on the EP which is due to be released on 3rd July we can’t wait to be taken on a musical journey of pure raw emotion by JJ. 

‘The Theft and The Flight’ EP

TRACK LIST:  

That’s What I Call Progress!

…if you’re awake in the night

Timshel

The Theft and the Flight

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

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

Website: https://www.jjdraper.com/

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/7ee7dtYPnmTZDPdqgeBbhC

The Hills Are Alive with the Sound of Yajna

Hailing from the small village of Vittangi in the northernmost part of Sweden, is Yajna. A singer, sportsperson, and businesswoman, who has tried her hand at many careers, but always gone back to her ultimate passion – music.

Having grown up surrounded by music, her mother being a composer and organist in the local church, Yajna starting writing songs of her own from a young age, as well as becoming a star soloist for the local choir. However, in her teenage years, her talents saw her embark on a snowboarding career, going as far as to start her own company INACTION.

But in 2018, Yajna finally decided to follow her heart, to become a music artist. Her debut single, Natten Lång, was a storm of success across Swedish radio, but London was the place she found her true sound. It was there she recorded her recent trilogy, The Rising Phoenix, an epic and dreamy mix of soul and RnB.

The trilogy features singles ‘You Are Beatiful‘, ‘Femenomenal‘, and title-track ‘The Rising Phoenix‘. The songs take you on a journey through Yajna‘s life, from the ashes of her lowest moments, to her emergence from the fire. Ultimately, wishing to spread a message of hope, love and power.

The Rising Phoenix trilogy is out now:

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/yajnamusic  

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

Website: www.yajnamusic.com

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/yajnamusic  

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/6vRcQwJni6XQcoQFeYlPu6?si=i95YLbUeTv6Lv44IFMu7YA  

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDjn4ac4V9o4OMNv9kXfPVA?view_as=subscriber  

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

Alex Scheuerer’s ‘Between Heaven and Earth’ Embraces the Harmony of Roots and Potential

At a time when ‘the jazz mentality’ is permeating through to the mainstream, Swiss musician Alex Scheuerer is primed to release one of the most impressive jazz albums of the year. The ‘Between Heaven and Earth‘ album was recorded in 2 days in London’s Eastcote Studios. During these sessions, it was of the highest importance for Alex that his musicians recorded simultaneously in order to capture the singularity of the instant. In doing so, it was ensured that the rawest and most unique moments of the recording process were immortalised henceforth.

With jazz, formulaically, it’s a genre that’s full of surprises and moments of magic. In removing the temptation of any kind of production trickery, this ensured that the best and worst eventualities were encouraged as part of the process. As Alex himself describes: Between Heaven and Earth expresses a will to reach perfection while being unable to do so. An ever perfectible journey through necessary deceptions and successes.” Moreover, rehearsal for each track was completed an hour before recording the whole album, and recording was remarkably achieved in no more than 3 takes. 

While having being based in London for nearly a decade, the Swiss national has long since been an accomplished session musician across Europe, Morroco and Dubai. On this occasion, Alex was responsible for writing the whole arrangement and leading proceedings in the process. The album contains cover versions of both ‘Diamonds‘ by Rihanna, as well as Edith Piaf’sLa Vie en Rose‘. The former features the voice of Najwa, who notably reached the semi-finals of The Voice in France, reaching the semi finals of the competition.

The inspiration for the title holds it’s own intrigue. Mount Lebanon, home to his maternal roots, is a place that Alex Scheuerer has described as being a place which is close to his heart, and expresses a similar kind of duality that was aforementioned to be an integral ideal behind the production process. Continuing, “A beautiful country torn apart by his history. It is the soul and inspiration breathing through the notes, and the sound which I hope will make you travel and draw colours in your own mind.” Having gone back there and seeing the ruins of where his mother used to live echoed an honest interpretation of somewhere so beautiful it could be considered heaven, but won’t be due to it’s native tensions and, as such, represents the good and bad in all of us.

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/AlexScheu/videos/      

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ScheuererAlex

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

Website: https://www.alex-scheuerer.co.uk

 

As the World Returns to Work, D-Saro Contemplates the Great ‘Conundrum’

When riding a carriage of the City line towards the daily grind, you’d be forgiven for making alluring assumptions of a better life elsewhere. The story behind ‘Conundrum‘ – the latest release from London urban artist D-Saro, would resonate with most who would consider themselves in amongst the continual plight of honest working people who are looking saturate their personal wealth to the point where they will finally be able to break free of what they might perceive as the great urban dungeon.

This track is about real people, going about their real life with as yet unfulfilled aspirations, with the track holding true to life as a perfect example of D-Saro’s motto of: ‘true stories, deep lyrics, real life, no gimmicks’. The links hold a kind of aspirational symmetry with a longing for fast cars, mirrored through his own current professional being that of a Jaguar salesman. From an early involvement in pirate radio, D-Saro had gone under a different artist name with urban music collective Roll Deep, including Wiley and J2K, as well as supporting The Game and Flo Rida. He had initially been noted for his hands on approach in terms of pushing CD sales by hand on Oxford Street, which fortuitously brought about a chance encounter that led him to being picked up by label 70’s Entertainment, with whom they released track ‘Old Skool‘.

With ‘Conundrum‘ being his third release under the name D-Saro, following on from his salvation themed ‘Save Me‘ and the touching, celebrity backed charity single ‘Fight Like Micky‘ – written for a local youngster struggling with a rare form of leukaemia, this track has a lighter feel than his previous releases with an upbeat afro-beat sound. It’s almost a miracle that these tracks were ever able to see the light of day, given the remarkable circumstances that D-Saro was declared deceased for a short period due to complications relating to a rare heart disease that he suffered with. After surviving this, he and a friend decided to set up the record label 4Front Records and make music truer to his own design, having grown tired with the politics and red tape that are endemic to the urban music scene.

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/2KRZqtEYPXWMB0quG77mqs?si=-TS0pBskTPaiMuiUuukpmA

Facebook: http://facebook.com/officialdsaro

Twitter: http://twitter.com/officialdsaro

Instagram: http://instagram.com/officialdsaro

Website: http://www.4frontrecords.co.uk

 

Homage To Fallen Heroes – SAZ EP ‘Dread Full’ An Ethereal Blend of Indie Infused Hip-Hop

Following on from a double-header of features on Grime Daily, the duo comprising of Zane Morris and Kelvin Bueno have been branded as ‘One to Watch‘ by Red Bull Music London. Ahead of the full length album release of ‘22 Reasons to Stay‘, SAZ’s forthcoming EP entitled ‘Dread Full‘ is painted as an homage to fallen inspirations of theirs – from Chester Bennington to Mac Miller, celebrating their influence by fusing their sounds in unique ways.

SAZ have become embraced as pioneers in their own right – a constantly evolving project which embraces a soft and seductive blend of indie and acoustic, bound together with elements of hip-hop. A sumptuous blend of sentimental songwriting overlaid with an eclectic mix of ethereal instruments and folk-inspired guitar riffs that detail an ambience which is synonymous with London’s underground music scene that, in turn, detail images of vibrant landscapes and sultry road trips.

Historically since 2012, when Zane first started to release under SAZ, he has sought out artists and other creative types to collaborate with to create music and artwork in order to churn out new releases on a weekly basis – and this was sustained over a two year period. With a sound that may arguably span a variety of genres, all of their tracks have been produced by the two of them which has allowed for a consistency across the creative process.  They play live as a 5-piece band, but are also acclaimed for their acoustic sets which utilise live production through the use of loop pedals.

 

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/1miLoQHAfdKHOppL0wvqCv 

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1FBJY4FflECuepycTCPubA

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/deathbyleisure

Instagram: http://instagram.com/saztheband

Website: http://saztheagency.com 

 

Super Talented Teen Shane Thomas Due to Release New Single Mrs Matisse 10th December

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Formerly dubbed ‘Britain’s Mozart’, Shane Thomas is quite possibly the most talented teenager across the British music industry.
New single, ‘Mrs Matisee’ is to be released 10th December, prior to the release of his debut album, ‘From Me To You’, due for release soon after.
‘Mrs Matisee’ showcases Shane’s incredible talent and beautifully demonstrates the amazing capabilities of this young composer. The tack in undeniably stunning and transpires audiences into the fascinating world of Shane Thomas.
Shane was inspired to write the track earlier this year when he saw a painting by Henri Matisse. He was so taken with the beauty of the painting that he decided to compose a piece of music about it. Shortly after writing the track Shane discovered that Debussy had been inspired by the very same painting and produced a well known piece of music called, Arabesque.
Shane began playing the piano at the tender age of seven and has since taken on the challenge of mastering the art of the cello and percussion.  Shane dreams up all of his music. He has never sat at a piano to compose anything. He does it all in his head, then later sits to play the piece. He can immediately play any melody or song he hears.
Aged ten, Shane was the youngest person in history to be signed to a music publisher, E.M.I. music.
Catch Shane in action here: http://4wallsmusic.co.uk/video/volcanic/
Peter Andre, Jamie Cullum, Bradley Walsh and Jason Mansford are all fans of the child star.
Some of Shane’s highlights to date include; appearing on, Odd one In (as Britain’s Mozart), The One Show, London Tonight and at The Young composers award in 2011. Shane has performed at Castle Howard to over 10,000 people as well as to the Duchess of Kent, at the Royal Academy of Music. Both the Daily Mail and Sunday Express Magazine have run full page articles on Shane and his unique talent.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ShaneThomasPiano?ref=hl
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ShaneTOfficial
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0FRq0ksbKNByrN0cgK1UAg
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/shanethomasmusic

Bristol Folk band ‘Apple of My Eye’ are set to sail folk scene with new album ‘Seven Tides’

 
 
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‘Apple Of My Eye’ are one of the most exciting acts around at the moment and they have just  announced the release of new album ‘Seven Tides’, due out 1st December.
The London lads are originally from the historic maritime city of Bristol and their songs draw inspiration from both cities and from the sea, a theme that runs throughout their second album. Their engaging storytelling style and four part harmonies explore tales of love, loss, adventure and ruin.
You may spotted the guys at a festival this summer as they played the, Tall Ships Festival Greenwich, Secret Garden Party, Wilderness and headlining Exile festival in Sheffield.
The band describe their music as “brand new old songs” and collectively generate all their own material drawing on personal experiences and carefully arranging the music on the guitar, bouzouki, violin, double bass, mandolin and harmonica.
Catch the guys live in action here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsyM68eQux4
The bands musical talent is most certainly something to boast about, check their credentials…
Kit Massey (Violin) and Phil Cornwell (Bass) are both full time professional musicians. Cornwell is the musical director of West End musical “The Scotsboro Boys’’ and Massey  was formally a violinist with the Santiago Philamonia in Chile and has worked as a session musician with artists such as Emile Sande, Dizzie Rascal, Muse and Jamie Cullum. Arran Glass (Vocals and Guitar) and Alex Scott (Mandolin) are both professional Actor-Musicians and Puppeteers who perform and compose the music for a variety of theatre and television. Chris (Bouzouki), Dan (Harmonica) and Ellie Rusbridge (Vocals) are all siblings and come from a rich folk music heritage as their parents met in a folk club and still perform in their own folk band Thornbridge.
Links:
www.applesinlondon.com
https://www.facebook.com/applesinlondon
https://twitter.com/applesinlondon
https://soundcloud.com/apple-of-my-eye

Adam Protz Releases Intangible EP – ‘Movements’

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Hailing from St Albans after a period of studying in Sheffield, Adam Protz has had several years to perfect his craft of composing. Using delicate piano melodies and intricate instrumentals, Adam Protz has created his beautiful EP ‘Movements’, consisting of four alluring and exquisite tracks. In the past, Adam has written music for films, animated shorts, a dance show, an educational DVD and even a brewery documentary!
Watch his latest video for ‘Movements’ here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vS41YT2sxZ8
Protz has been writing music since the tender age of fifteen and began his journey into music writing heavy rock songs with soft orchestral bridge sections as a contrast, this developed into a desire to write for Hollywood movies. However, after listening to minimalistic meditative piano music, written by the likes of Ludovico Einaudi, Adam soon discovered that he was much more suited to creating emotive music in which he could incorporate his own personality and spirituality.
The lack of lyrics in the music leaves it up to the listener to interpret the piece as they wish. It provokes an emotional reaction and is also incredibly relaxing. The ‘Movements’ EP is proof that lyrics aren’t a necessity to provoke powerful sentimental thoughts
Protz aims to inspire relaxation and offers the perfect setting for escaping to through his music. A firm believer that the world is over-obsessed with Smart-phones and social networks, Protz encourages listeners, from all walks of life, to return to the roots and escape with him into his musical world of beautiful, elegant minimalism.
‘Movements’ is due for release on the 30th November.
Keep up with Protz here:
http://www.adamprotz.com/
www.youtube.com/adamprotzmusic
www.facebook.com/adamprotzmusic
www.soundcloud.com/adam-protz
Twitter – @AdmProtz