Track Review: 2 Shots, No Chaser // Youthstar and Miscellaneous

Youthstar and Miscellaneous (who is from Chill Bump) have released a brand new song, ‘2 Shots, No Chaser.’ The song comes from a joint album and it’s very colourful. It gives off a party vibe with its electronic fused production.

The production is full of wobbly dubstep synths and hard-hitting drums. It reminds me of the weekend and nights out. While the instrumentation screams partying, the lyrics are much more grounded: “I will never put my feet down.” This shows that there is a lot of respect for the daily grind because there is a lot of humility in the lyrics. Listening to this song will help people stay grounded, while at the same time get them dancing. It’s very uplifting and will boost your spirits.

Words by Ermis Madikopoulos

Track Review: Somebody // Azu Yeché

I was very impressed when I heard Azu Yeché’s song ‘Black Market’ back in 2019. It was rousing and uplifting with bits that were reminiscent of Michael Kiwanuka. He is back with a new song, ‘Somebody.’

A soulful groove dominates the song. It consists of a summery acoustic guitar which will lighten your mood. Yeché’s buttery vocals are very smooth,  but they also show off the vulnerable lyrics very nicely. The song is about how someone falls in love with the idea of who you are, therefore it is easy to create a persona to please the person.  It exposes these emotions in a relatable and irresistible way. The chorus of: “So you’re falling, so you’re falling for somebody” embodies these feelings into a catchy pop song that tugs at your heartstrings.

Words by Ermis Madikopoulos

Track Review: A Woman’s Heart // Freya Alley

Freya Alley is back with her new song, ‘A Woman’s Heart.’ It is about not letting the past control you and finding a light in the darkness. 

A calm ambience dominates the song. You can hear the honesty and vulnerability as Freya’s voice glides through your ears.  When she sings: “Honestly, can’t you see I love you now”, she could be talking about her feelings as she opens her heart and mind.

I think this song is great because it shows how important it is to share our feelings and emotions. That is a unique selling point that people can relate to.

Words by Ermis Madikopoulos    

Album Review: Hyperactive // One Morning Left

One Morning Left are a Finnish electronicore band who take inspiration from video game music and 80s hard rock. The band have won many fans and admirers because they’ve played shows with bands like Protest the Hero and We Butter the Bread With Butter. They are back with their fourth album, Hyperactive which is a amalgamation of genres.

When you first listen to the album it is a bit cheesy. The influences are all here: power metal, video game music. It’s ramped up to the ma and can seem jarring. However, give it time and you can appreciate how fun it is. Opener ‘Ruby Dragon’ has a catchy chorus which reminds me of Blind Guardian. The way they mi the breakdowns into this song is something I admire because it could bring them mass appeal.

My favourite song is ‘Sinners and Winners’ because it reminds me of an anime opening. The 80s- inspired guitar solo along with the lyrics about partying and “drinking your sorrows away” are very positive and tie in with a feeling of freedom. I really like ‘Ruthless Resistance’ too because it’s very melodic. The colourful synths will brighten up your day while Mika Lahti shows off his powerful vocal range.

Hyperactive is a very good album because it’s a ray of positivity that we all need in these difficult times. It’s great because it will bring people together. You’ll love this album if you’re a fan of Eskimo Callboy or Asking Alexandria.

Track Review: U Can’t Hide // RUMBLE

Production collective RUMBLE are back with a brand new tune. The song is called ‘U Can’t Hide’ and it is one of the sounds of summer 2021. It features Blackout Ja who is a prominent figure of the dancehall scene.

‘U Can Hide’  is full of energy with some slick production. It essentially asksyou to jump around and dance, which I think is brilliant because this year, we need some uplifting positive energy. It is a colourful song with an electric atmosphere, which helps improve the listeners experience.

I cannot wait to see what RUMBLE do in the future because this track has massive vibes that will improve your mood straightaway.

Words by Ermis Madikopoulos

Track Review: Money // Breeze Redwine

Norfolk country-pop singer songwriter Breeze Redwine is back with her brand new single ‘Money.’ She draws influences from Miley Cyrus and Shawn Mendes’ uplifting songs, and brings in her own atmospheric soundscapes. This works extremely well with her fearless persona.

The moment you first hear ‘Money’ its sass immediately grabs you. The vocals are full of sass and attitude. The production is very crisp because it brings out the vocals very nicely. They’re raw with bags of soul. Unapologetically honest. This song will soundtrack your summer and surely lead Breeze Redwine on to bigger things.

Words by Ermis Madikopoulos

Educ’aid Africa organises live stream concerts to open their first music school

Educ’aid Africa is a community interest company that aims to develop music education and support schools in need in Benin. The charity was started by Isa Bell, a social entrepreneur and singer songwriter who wants to give every child in Benin access to musical education. She started the initiative before the pandemic, organising concerts consisting of artists performing. The concerts helped raise money to fund a new school canteen in a primary school in need.

During the pandemic, musicians were hit the hardest. Gigs and venues were closed, and many bands turned to live streaming. Educ’aid Africa are launching a series of live streaming shows and events to open the first music school in Benin.

One of their upcoming events is on Saturday 17th April featuring singer Mary Cross.  From smooth Jazz to Classic Soul & RNB her voice takes you on a journey. She will be performing with her band in support.

Music is not part of the education system in Benin like in most African countries so only a very small percentage of the children population can afford to go to the few private music schools the country has to offer. Educ’aid Africa believes that music education is a powerful tool for attaining children’s full intellectual, social and creative potential and is on their mission to offer this opportunity to Beninese youth.

For more information, visit this link:

https://www.aid-africa.org/

Check out all their upcoming events @EducaidAfrica

https://www.linkedin.com/company/educaidafrica

https://www.facebook.com/EducAidAfrica

https://www.instagram.com/educaidafrica/

To reserve your place for Mary Cross live stream, follow this link. This is a free event, donations are welcome.

https://www.creativexchange.io/live-stream/singing-for-educaid-africa-mary-cross164

To make a donation:

https://www.aid-africa.org/donate

Paypal.me/EducaidAfrica

Track Review: The State We’re In// Saturn Saturn Saturn

Saturn Saturn Saturn (the stage name of Liverpool singer-songwriter Ben Capper) will release a brand new song, ‘The State We’re In’, next month. Capper was previously in the psychedelic band The Mighty Saguaro, who were very popular with Steve Lamacq. He worked with former bandmate Craig Williams for the first time since The Mighty Saguaro broke up in 2004. Capper’s influences include Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, and Fugazi. So it will be interesting to see how these translate on this record.

‘The State We’re In’ is awesome because it oozes confidence. The gritty swagger of Capper’s vocals drives it forward because it adds plenty of character.  Williams’ lead guitar brings a 60s influence which bolsters the impact. The glorious guitar solo is reminiscent of Oasis and Shed Seven which is great because you feel cheerful when you listen to it. When you add these together you get a song that improves your mood, allowing you to power your way through the day.

Liverpool has been the heartbeat of music for decades. Saturn Saturn Saturn is another emerging talent who is set for a bright future.

‘The State We’re In’ is out on April 2nd.

Words by Ermis Madikopoulos

Track Review: Stain // CELAVI

Welsh post hardcore has experienced a surge in popularity thanks to bands like Dream State. Another band who has recently emerged is CELAVI, who released their song ‘Stain’ last year. They’re unsigned, but they have huge potential because ‘Stain’ is an industrial metal banger.

‘Stain’ is really awesome because the whispered vocals give it a sinister effect. They don’t need to be pushed up into the mix because it adds to the songs’ murky atmosphere.

The guitars and synths drive the song forward. The synths are similar to trance music, which is great because it shows the band’s diversity nicely. I like how beefy the guitars are because they show plenty of aggression. This is best demonstrated in the violent breakdown.

I like ‘Stain’ because it has a big riff and a moody atmosphere. I think the mix of styles here are great, and if you are into Dream State or industrial metal, then you will love CELAVI.

Words by Ermis Madikopoulos

Track Review: I Am // Marlounsly

Marlounsly is a singer-songwriter who has amassed millions of views and streams. She has garnered plenty of attention from outlets including MTV and Flaunt Magazine.

Her brand new song ‘I Am’ is an R n’ B banger that will make you feel good about yourself. The production is upbeat and colourful. The smooth piano and rumbling bass makes you think of summer, which is really awesome because it brings out a confident attitude.

I love the playful vocals because they’re full of life and colour. They work well with the affirmative lyrics, demonstrating a feel-good song that will make your day better.

Words by Ermis Madikopoulos