Azu Yeché is a rising talent with an incredible voice. What is also great about him is how much melody he puts in his songs as well. They remind you of summer, and have an easy going nature that a lot of people can relate to. He releases his brand new song ‘Lost’ on Friday 8th July, and it is another beautiful effort.
The track starts off with a chilled out drumbeat and them morphs into a relaxing summery banger. The piano and trumpet are beautiful because they bring a calm feeling to the listener. Listening to the song makes you think of the beach and putting your troubles behind you.
When Yeche sings: “I don’t wanna be lost”, it shows that there is anxiety that a lot of people face. This is very understandable because when you’ve been locked away for so long, the idea of facing a large group of people can be overwhelming in itself. So this lyric is very relevant in more ways than one. The songwriting is top notch and is an example of what Azu Yeché can achieve in the future.
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.
Middlemist Red are inspired by psych-rock and synth wave. Their new album, ‘The Other Side of Nowhere’ is inspired by the Wild West and has a soundtrack to match. It brings in Hungarian Folk sounds and tribal elements, which work very well to create a massive sound. The album was written during the pandemic and then recorded into Ableton.
It is clear to me that a lot of thought has gone into the album. ‘Grip of the Sun’ has an addictive guitar riff which takes the listener on a journey as they’re riding through the sun. ‘Don’t Let the Sunlight Catch You Cryin’ reminds me of Arcade Fire because the guitars create a beautiful wall of sound. ‘Blue Moon’ is the best song on the album because the passionate vocals and guitars in the background make the listener feel alive. I love the guitar solo because it adds character and energy.
‘Get Back’ is another very good song, with a psychedelic guitar solo working very nicely with the distorted bass. This works very well because it shows that even in dark times, the protagonist can still move forward. It sums up the positive vibes on this album.
I like this record because it reminds me of a film score. It makes the listener feel solidarity and resilience, ready to tackle any situation.
I’ve been a fan of Josie Proto since I heard ‘Pub Songs Vol:1’ earlier this year. I think she is very good at creating upbeat music that will make you dance. Her songs can brighten anyone’s day, while her lyrics are relatable to a lot of people.
However in comparison “champagne fizzles” is stripped back. I love how folky the chords are because they match the introspective lyrics. The song could be about how Proto longs to see someone who is close to her, but it could also apply to anyone in lockdown. It’s a very relatable song which shows off her talent and versatility.
You know when you’re up late at night in deep contemplation? As much as sleep is important, there’s something about staying up and collecting your jumbled thoughts on paper. Or even just being in your own space.
3am by Ed Staal is the perfect soundtrack for this. It talks about drinking in a bar till 3am, allowing the protagonists thoughts to take hold. The song is backed with hazy synths and beautiful guitars to put you in a dream like state.
I love diversity in band members. because it shows off a wide range of influences. This is true for All Runs Red. The collective have members from Belgium, Italy, and they keep the continental vibe flowing by getting a lead singer from a different country.
On their new single “what good will it do” they brought in Mike Murphy from New Zealand. His vocals channel Nothing But Thieves and this works very well alongside the uplifting post hardcore guitars. It’s a song that has longevity. It’s a very catchy bit of songwriting that will bring them an even bigger fan base.
The album is Claudia’s love letter to her teenage self.
I really like the mix of styles on this EP. Ball’s vocals on ‘Hush’ are very strong and powerful. They work very well with the pop-rock guitars. It’s a song about having the confidence to be free and ‘live your life in solitude.’ It makes the listener feel uplifted and shows that if you focus on yourself, good things will happen.
“Fix you” is beautiful. It’s about trying to save a lost love. I think the violin adds to the song because it helps bring out the emotional impact. As well as this, the vocal melody is top notch.
I also really like the last song, “Broken Heart.’ the acoustic guitar eases you in then once the drums kick in, it becomes abthemic and uplifting. It shows off her versatility very nicely, rounding off a wonderful EP.
Nervous Twitch made an impression on me when they opened Indietracks 2016. Their sound is a cocktail of Bis and riot grrrl, is captivating. It left They’re back with a brand new song called ‘Keeping Faith in Something.’ The song is the band’s first new music since signing with Reckless Yes.
I love how they’ve turned up the fuzz on ‘Keeping Faith in Something.’ Driving the track forward is an addictive synth melody. It keeps the listener hooked because they don’t know what will come next.
I think that everything about this song is catchy with plenty of attitude. I can’t wait to hear what Nervous Twitch have up their sleeve next.
Inego are an up and coming band from Manchester. Their sound is described as “retro yet modern”, with influences ranging from New Order and James to Fleetwood Mac. Their debut album ‘Departures’ came out this week on their own Fight the Power Records label.
On ‘Departures’ Inego have a strong ear for a melody. ‘Realise It’s You’ is full of funk and the clean production is very satisfying to listen to because it makes the listener feel happy. ‘We’re Coming Up’ is a huge disco banger. The upbeat guitars combine well with the horns because it creates a fast flowing melody that makes me want to dance.
I think the horns add something to Inego’s sound. They work on their faster songs and also on ‘Beyond Starlight.’. There is a break in the middle where the bass tone is similar to post punk, while the dance and dub influences from the horns combine gloriously to create a sound I haven’t heard before. I didn’t think all those sounds could work well together, but they do.
I really like ‘Somewhere in the Stars.’ It is reminiscent of Oasis’ tender moments, taking a positive outlook on life. The vocals are strong and take the listener on a journey where they can float in space.
‘Departures’ is a very optimistic album that will make you feel better in these tough and challenging times. It takes influence from the classic Manchester bands, while also adding Inego’s unique sound. It shows that they are ones to look out for in the future.
It’s been a while since I’ve heard an album that’s stacked in heaviness. It has to be an album I’ve enjoyed listening to, such as ‘Inhumane’ by Bearers, or the last Gideon record. But We Move As One, the second album from Ironed Out is absolutely disgusting. From the moment the vocals come in, you’re in for a treat.
I have noticed that a lot of bands are tapping into their angrier side, like Bring Me the Horizon and Don Broco. Their latest songs have been heavier than we’ve seen them in a while. But Ironed Out is straight out hardcore, with a load of snarling riffs that say “fuck you.”
It opens with the grimey riff of ‘Pavement Strong.’ The rapping fits perfectly with the angry guitars, while the drumming is tight and focused. The lyrics are very territorial because they represent London, while the breakdown at the end is filthier than a slug sandwich.
‘Crazy Old World’ offers something different, with clean vocals in the chorus. They help to keep the record sounding fresh while the lyrics are about pushing through in the madness of life: “Time and time again, trying to make ourselves heard / standing around in this crazy old world.” I wish gigs were a thing, because the nasty breakdown at half speed at the end of the song would have me spinkicking and stagediving all over the place. There’s also a funky bassline in the middle. This shows their influences are varied, which is really awesome.
I’ve been listening to a lot of UK rap and grime lately, and I love it for its passion and honesty. Ironed Out combine rap and hardcore perfectly on We Move As One. I like how this album is filled with chunky riffs and there’s no letting up at all. I think the production is better in comparison to their first album, Us and Them because it’s polished, unleashing the power of their songs.
I think if you’re into The Ghost Inside, Hacktivist, or Madball you’ll love We Move As One.