#EventSpeaks: LAUREL @ The Hope & Ruin, Brighton – 01/10/18


   

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On Monday 1st October 2018, LAUREL came to Brighton in support of her debut album, Dogviolet (check out our review here). Since her last, solo performance in Brighton, the songwriter returned with a full band to delight her audience with offerings from her recent record. She was supported by Another Sky and her guitarist, Polly Money.


Polly Money

It always amazes me how someone with just an electric guitar and their voice can produce such a big sound but Polly Money certainly achieved this with her performance. Just funky guitar riffs and her sugary-sweet vocal (somewhat similar to that of Leah McFall or NAO), wowed the audience. A very humble performance with some lovely melodies.

Polly Money Instagram


Another Sky

This band truly blew me away (and I believe the rest of the audience too!) – they have an incredibly full-on sound with excellent use of backing tracks as well as their live instruments. Each song of theirs was pretty unique – for example, the opening to their set was ambient and airy whilst their next song brought about a huge wave of excitement due to its intensity and just how tight their performance was. The vocalist’s voice is incredibly diverse, whilst mainly quite low-pitched, is capable of a wide range. The guitarist had some funky little moves too. Another Sky are definitely going to be a band to watch out for, and certainly recommend catching them live!

Highlight: The biggest highlight, was this one note the vocalist did, towards the end of one of their songs; it was so loud, high-pitched and perfect that it was all-consuming. It sent shivers down my back.


LAUREL

Having seen LAUREL play a solo set at The Green Door Store (review here) back in 2016, it was amazing to watch her performing with a full band. Although it was a relatively short set, it was amazing to see her playing songs from Dogviolet, with a full sound.

Some of the best songs were: ‘All Star’ for its wonderful guitar riff; ‘Lovesick’, which is just a catchy track to get the audience going, ‘Sun King’ which was beautifully intimate – just LAUREL with an acoustic guitar and ‘Life Worth Living’ – it’s just a downright tune!

Of course I won’t be the first person to say it, but there are great similarities between LAUREL and Lana Del Rey, however there is something much more vulnerable about LAUREL and it feels like she has more integrity about her.

It was also interesting to find out that she has recently released a book called, The Mutterings of a Laurel, which is a journal she kept during the writing and recording of Dogviolet – definitely worth checking out.

Having seen LAUREL perform twice now, I can assure you that she puts on a show you don’t want to miss. You really need to catch her now before she’s selling out bigger shows, especially since she just filmed her appearance for Later… with Jools Holland the morning of the Brighton show…sounds like the start of something big for this little star.

Highlights:

  • LAUREL is a very humble artist with an endearing awkwardness about her audience interaction, you can’t help but love.
  • The hilarious names she has for her guitars, which her manager proudly embarrassed her by announcing. It’s not my place to share them, but go see her live and you might find them out! 😂
  • Her ability to perform songs with such passion that you are drawn in by her every word – she’s a real star.

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Setlist

All Star
Lovesick
Hold Tight
Sun King (Solo Acoustic)
Same Mistakes
South Coast
Adored
Blue Blood
Life Worth Living*

This song can be viewed in the YouTube video, below.


Finally, I want to say a big thanks to Chris (LAUREL’s manager) and Henry (in LAUREL’s PR team) for enabling this review to happen. A big thanks also to Polly Money, Another Sky and LAUREL herself, for putting on such an incredible, intimate show.


Enjoyed this? Check out some of our other live reviews here:

Muzik Speaks Live Reviews


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#FeelGoodFriday: SafetySuit – ‘Perfect Color’


   

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Although they released their third, self-titled album last year (2016), SafetySuit are already back with a cracking new track, ‘Perfect Color’.

I have a lot of love for this band and this latest track is so uplifting and positive that it was just perfect for sharing on #FeelGoodFriday.

It’s a song that singer, Doug Brown, sings, “To the misfits and the freaks, to the outcasts and the geeks, to the weird kids that don’t care.” It is without a doubt, not just a fan anthem but a song that cries out to just about anyone, to belt at the top of their lungs. It’s an anthem that just about anyone can accept into their hearts as “their” song. The echoey, euphoric guitar riffs make for the perfect ascension to the already all-consuming chorus.

As for the lyrics – they’re a stroke of genius – the use of colours to tell the message is beautifully crafted. I can be certain that I will be singing this in my car, windows down, volume up!

No music video’s been released but the lyric video is pretty stunning – check it out below!

What are your thoughts of the band’s latest single? Are you a fan of this uplifting track? Got a #FeelGoodFriday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via our socials.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Perfect Color’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/perfect-color-single/id1231624768


#FeelGoodFriday: DNCE – ‘Kissing Strangers’ featuring Nicki Minaj


   

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This is the first new music from DNCE since their debut album in 2016 and it features guest vocals from serial collaborator, Nicki Minaj.

The song has sun-kissed guitar riffs and bass licks throughout; it’s a summery track oozing with gang vocals and beautiful harmonies. The lyrics are saucy and the artwork is 60s in style; reinforcing that it’s a track all about free love. Surely this is the signs of a new album on the horizon?!

No official video has been released yet but undoubtedly one will emerge soon and I’m sure it’ll be fun-filled if the band’s previous releases are anything to go by.

*UPDATE* The official video has now been released and it’s just as tongue-in-cheek, fun-filled and raunchy as I expected. I’m pleased to see Nicki Minaj featured in the video too – not just stylised in the background, like sometimes happens to featured artists and rappers.

What are your thoughts of the band’s new direction? Got any #FeelGoodFriday tunes for us to check out? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or hit us up via our social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Kissing Strangers’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/kissing-strangers-feat-nicki-minaj-single/id1223544918


#MellowMonday: MAX – ‘Lights Down Low’ featuring gnash


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If you haven’t already heard of him, MAX (Max Schneider) is a singer, songwriter, actor, dancer and model from New York, who has been in a variety of Disney and Nickelodeon shows.

One of his latest singles, ‘Lights Down Low’, is a great love song that is a blend of pop, R&B and acoustic songs and features guest vocals from gnash.

A great song for #MellowMonday to kick off the week!

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Lights Down Low’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/lights-down-low-feat.-gnash/id1164236809?i=1164236889


#Two4Tunesday: ZAYN & Taylor Swift – ‘I Don’t Wanna Live Forever’ & Jonas Blue – ‘By Your Side’ featuring RAYE


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ZAYN & Taylor Swift – ‘I Don’t Wanna Live Forever’

ZAYN has teamed up with pop sensation Taylor Swift for the first track to be released from the Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack, ‘I Don’t Wanna Live Forever’.

The song is pop through and through, with some beautiful falsetto vocals from both singers. There’s little more than to say; great track from two fantastic vocalists.

No video has arisen yet but we’ll keep you posted on this!


‘I Don’t Wanna Live Forever’ is on iTunes for downloading now! – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/i-dont-wanna-live-forever/id1184762720



Jonas Blue – ‘By Your Side’ featuring RAYE

Jonas Blue enjoyed massive success with his previous singles, ‘Fast Car’ and ‘Perfect Strangers’ and he’s returned with a monster of a track, ‘By Your Side’ featuring vocals from RAYE.

This track has a massive tropical house sound to it and it’s been picking up excellent radio airplay too.

Check out the music video below too!


‘By Your Side’ can also be downloaded from iTunes now! – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/by-your-side-feat.-raye/id1165158049?i=1165158056


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#WildCardWednesday: Kehlani – ‘CRZY’


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Kehlani is an American singer-songwriter who’s sound sits somewhere between R&B, Hip Hop and Neo-Soul but still has a catchy pop edge to it.

She initially found fame as a member of the teen pop group, Poplyfe, which was a finalist on America’s Got Talent.

This song is the first single to be taken from her upcoming debut album, SweetSexySavage and was produced by female R&B/Pop duo Novawav.

The message behind the song is clear and the team wanted to “create an unapologetic statement embracing the challenges and double standards that come with being a woman.” The video for the track is amazing too – check it out below!

This song has definitely made me take note of her and I’m thoroughly excited for her debut album, but what are your thoughts? Have you got another favourite song of hers? Please leave your thoughts of own, similar #WildCardWednesday tracks in a comment below or chat to us via our social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘CRZY’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/crzy-single/id1132824486


#Two4Tunesday: Louis Tomlinson – ‘Just Hold On’ featuring Steve Aoki & M.O – ‘Not In Love’ featuring Kent Jones


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Louis Tomlinson – ‘Just Hold On’ featuring Steve Aoki

Since breaking away from One Direction for a while, Louis Tomlinson has just released his first solo track, ‘Just Hold On’ featuring massive house producer Steve Aoki.

The track was first performed live at this year’s X Factor final, just days after his mum passed away and what an emotional performance it was! It saw Louis really take flight as a solo performer with a hugely successful reception from fans. It’s a really fantastic song – check it out!

No official video has emerged yet, but I’m sure something will; we’ll keep you posted.


‘Just Hold On’ is on iTunes for downloading now! – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/just-hold-on/id1183932067?i=1183932438



M.O – ‘Not In Love’ featuring Kent Jones

After the hugely successful Who Do You Think OfM.O are back with a new song, ‘Not In Love’ featuring Kent Jones.

The song sees the trio continue in a similar vein of R&B/Pop – the song is very current but somehow remains unique. It’s got some serious reggae vibes to it, topped off with Kent Jones‘ rap verse. Turn this one up!

Again, there’s no official video yet, but when something emerges, we’ll let you know,


‘Not In Love’ can also be downloaded from iTunes now! – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/not-in-love-feat.-kent-jones/id1180246615?i=1180246677


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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