#FreakyFriday: YONAKA – ‘F.W.T.B. (F**king With The Boss)’


   

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YONAKA are an edgy, in-your-face, Brighton-based band that have just released the follow-up to their October 2017 EP, Heavy. Their new single, ‘F.W.T.B.’ is a monstrous track that is all about self-empowerment!

Front-woman and lead singer, Theresa Jarvis, has stated that, “The song is a big “f**k you” to anyone who tries to get in your way and tell you no. It’s about taking back the power, standing up for yourself and being heard.” 

It is a track that reigns very true for me personally and it’s great to hear a song that is about standing up for what you believe in. It’s also the perfect track for our first #FreakyFriday post – something a bit different to our usual #FeelGoodFriday posts.

Not only have the band been gathering a lot of support and notoriety with the press, but they are scheduled for a string of European festival dates this summer with a big headline date at the Electric Ballroom, London on 11th October 2018 too! (Tickets available here).

No music video is available yet, but if one emerges, we’ll be sure to keep you updated.

FESTIVAL DATES

19th May – Gold Sounds Festival, Leeds
26th May – Neighbourhood Festival, Manchester
31st May – Primavera Sound, Spain
17th June – Meltdown Festival, London
22nd June – Southside Festival, Germany
23rd June – Hurricane Festival, Germany
5th July – Opener Festival, Poland
7th July – Roskilde Festival, Denmark
12th July – Musilac Festival, France
14th July – Bilbao BBK Live, Spain
19th July – Electric Castle Festival, Romania
22nd July – Paleo Festival, Switzerland
28th July – Kendal Calling, Kendal
3rd August – Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival, Inverness
4th August – Leefest presents Neverworld, Royal Tunbridge Wells
16th August – Pukklepop, Belgium
17th August – Lowlands Festival, Holland
18th August – Frequency Festival, Austria

What are your thoughts of this punk-fuelled, stick-it-to-the-man band? Got a #FreakyFriday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘F.W.T.B.’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/f-w-t-b-single/1380193167


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#MellowMonday: Mullally – ‘Sweet Coffee’ featuring Bassette


   

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21-year-old soul singer, Mullally, has just unleashed his new single ‘Sweet Coffee’ on the world, featuring London artist Bassette and damn it’s good!

The smooth, soulful vibes are the perfect way to wake up to a week ahead – it truly is like the audible interpretation of your first cup of coffee in the morning. Somehow the pair have created the perfect blend of contemporary R&B/Pop inspirations with the powerful vocals and soft melodies of old-school jazz and soul; it’s truly euphoric.

Having already supported the likes of Anne-Marie, Jess Glynne, RAYE and Clean Bandit, played festivals including Glastonbury, Lovebox and Reading/Leeds and winning Best Solo Male at the Unsigned Music Awards, there’s no doubt that this guy is going to become a big name over the coming months.

No music video has emerged online yet but as soon as one does, we will keep you posted.

What are your thoughts of this soulful singer and songwriter? Do you love this song as much as us? Have you got your own #MellowMonday track to share with us? Please leave your thoughts or own song suggestions in a comment or tell us about it via our social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Sweet Coffee’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/sweet-coffee-feat-bassette-single/1364508986


#Review: Hayley Kiyoko – Expectations


   

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Muzik Speaks Loves Atlantic Records - SmallerHayley Kiyoko is best known for being an American singer-songwriter, actress and dancer. Since starting out as an actress, at a young age, Kiyoko has built up quite a name for herself, both as an all-round entertainer and as an LGBTQ+ activist. Now, with a string of successful EPs and singles under her belt, 2018 sees the release of her long-awaited debut album, Expectations. Here’s what we think…

Hayley Kiyoko - Expectations

This is an album that finds credible, deep songwriting merging with contemporary pop, addressing a range of mature issues, head on. It’s an album packed full of heavy bass lines, quirky synth sounds, upbeat dance rhythms and all-out catchy pop melodies.

The funky Charlie Puth-esque bass opening of first single, ‘Feelings’ sees Kiyoko give a vulnerable account about how intensely she falls for someone. It’s catchy but understated pop.

Then you’ve got ‘What I Need’ featuring Kehlani, which has R&B flavours mixed with current tropical house vibes and it’s all about being there for someone who’s uncertain about making a commitment.

Other great tracks include; the whispery and subtle ‘Sleepover’ which has a barely noticeable but very beautiful, underlying guitar melody; ‘Curious’ which is undoubtedly the most catchy and most pop track on the record (and my personal favourite) that is about questioning the seriousness of a girl’s relationship and ‘He’ll Never Love You (HNLY)’ with its great guitar lines and reggae feel.

This is a modern pop record that has been crafted well and sees Kiyoko shed her Disney days and address mature issues close to her heart.

There are also similarities with other artists; ‘Under The Blue/Take Me In’ is like a more mainstream pop version of a Lana Del Rey track but a more credible version of Taylor Swift, ‘Mercy/Gatekeeper’ starts out with echoing and rather trippy, distorted vocals but during the second half, becomes quite random and a little Beyoncé-esque and ‘Palm Dreams’ is very beachy pop, a bit like something by Geowulf.

There’s no doubt that there are strong themes throughout the album; relationships (particularly with girls questioning their sexuality) and inner conflicts Kiyoko herself has faced. The level of sass on the album demonstrates her self-confidence, though at times, the reoccurring topic of girls questioning their sexuality or lusting after other girls, without being able to commit, can become repetitive. However, that’s not to say she isn’t doing something great for the genre and her attempts to normalise lesbian relationships within pop music are fantastic; it just seems to be a very strong theme to the album.

The album starts off very strong and maintains its strength for the majority, but the last couple of tracks do feel a little flat. Overall though, this is a modern pop record that has been crafted well and sees Kiyoko shed her Disney days and address mature issues, close to her heart. It also has a certain excitement to it that could be the start of something big for her! I’m sure this will be a huge success and will take her career to new heights.

Rating


‘Expectations’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/expectations/1332078481


Expectations on Spotify

Curious (Official Video)

Feelings (Official Video)

Sleepover (Official Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of this band’s Fiction Act EP? Are you as much of a fan as us? What would you rate it? Please leave your thoughts in a comment below or via our social media.


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

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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#EventSpeaks: Rae Morris @ Concorde 2, Brighton – 25/03/18


   

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On Sunday 25th March 2017, Rae Morris arrived in Brighton to play a show at Concorde 2, in support of her latest album, Someone Out There (review here). Her performance was superb, her vocals flawless and she was supported by PAULi and Saskia Maxwell.


Saskia Maxwell

The haunting songstress, Saskia Maxwell produced a solid set of interesting songs, merging folk and country sounds with her almost Celtic vocals, making for a truly interesting blend of music. She also performed superb and very intricate guitar work, added to some Newton Faulkner-esque beating of the guitar, to create her rhythms. Considering she was performing alone, with just a guitar and her voice (and a stomp box for her last song), she managed to create a really full sound.


PAULi

Next to take to the stage was PAULi; every so often you witness a performance by an artist or band and get the feeling that you just witnessed the start of something very special and unique and PAULi‘s performance was most certainly one of those times. When his first song began, uncertainty and almost amusement crept through the audience with a real sense of, “What the hell is this we’re listening to?!” but very quickly that moment passed and a huge amount of excitement flooded through the audience. What’s more, as his performance went on, he had the crowd right in the palm of his hand.

His sound is incredibly chaotic (almost off-beat and deliberately off-key in places) as he mixes together vibes from London’s urban music scene, with the funk and soul of Prince, but somehow it all works.

Highlight: ‘WAITING (Getting On This Train)’ was a massive song that just filled the room with a wave of excitement and an energy that I’ve not felt in a while. Also, PAULi‘s dancing and crowd interaction was sublime.


Rae Morris

One thing’s for certain, Rae Morris knows how to put on a show! With highs and lows in all the right places and a sound that hits you with full force, I would defy you not to come out having danced to your heart’s content or at the very least singing one of her catchy melodies, all the way home!

From the start of almost understated ‘Push Me To My Limit’ to the danceable ‘Do It’ and ‘Atletico (The Only One)’ this was a show that had something to offer everyone. The audience was truly filled with people of all ages, showing just how diverse her audience is; this must be due to the quirky, credible nature of the pop music she creates and whose appeal spans several generations.

The passion behind her performance shows just how much effort goes in to planning it; some of her more subtle dance moves sync up perfectly with her backing singer, whilst her more elaborate ballet-like, interpretive dances are perfectly calculated and flow effortlessly.

She also manages to play piano whilst delivering her flawlessly powerful vocals and at one point even gives a hand on the synths, all the while, demonstrating just how talented she is.

Some of her most standout performances were ‘Wait For The Rain’ due to the storm sounds and lightning effects, immersing the audience and the story behind ‘Dancing With Character’, accompanied by her ballet-like moves was enough to bring a tear to the eye.

I can’t recommend seeing Rae Morris highly enough – her energy and passion for the music she creates is infectious and whether you’re already a fan or not, you’ll certainly come away wanting more.

Highlights:

  • Rae‘s cute speaking voice with its almost whispery quality is adorable…and the complete opposite to her powerful singing!
  • The dance moves she busts out are incredible; everything from reggae skanking to ballet – a real treat to behold!
  • The backing vocalist’s voice (and twerking!) was sensational and the instrumentation created by the drummer and synth player were brilliant throughout. The duet she did with her drummer was great too!
  • I liked the part of the show where 2 or 3 of the songs all flowed into one another – great transitioning!
  • The genuine appreciation for her fans’ support was beautiful; she is certainly very modest.
  • The fact she made time to meet her fans to chat after the show and sign merchandise, was a really lovely touch.

📷All of the photos of PAULi and Rae Morris are credited to Damon Peirce  📸
Why not go and give him a follow on Instagram and Twitter.


 Setlist

Push Me To My Limit
Reborn
Morne Fortuné
Physical Form
Do It
Cold
Wait For The Rain*
Love Again
Dancing With Character
Dip My Toe
Under The Shadows
Rose Garden
Atletico (The Only One)*

Encore
Lower The Tone
Don’t Go (Short Version)
Someone Out There

These songs can be viewed in the YouTube playlist, below.


Finally, I want to say a MASSIVE thanks to Harriet for sorting out this review and to Rae MorrisPAULi and Saskia Maxwell for all putting on incredible performances and taking the time to chat after the show – it was a fantastic evening!

PAULi & Matt Wright


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

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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Review: Dashboard Confessional – Crooked Shadows


   

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Dashboard Confessional are an American rock band from Boca Raton, Florida, led by frontman, singer and principle songwriter, Chris Carrabba. Since their debut album release, back in 2000, the band have gained a massive, loyal following and are now releasing their seventh album, Crooked Shadows. Here’s what we have to say about it…

Dashboard Confessional -Crooked Shadows.jpg

It’s been eight years since the band’s last album but Chris Carrabba and the rest of Dashboard Confessional are back with a new studio album, however this one has just 9 tracks, making it more of a mini album. Also, traditionally known to be a fairly emo band, this album sees them venturing into slightly newer territories.

It all kicks off with ‘We Fight’, which is an all-out, scream-it-at-the-top-of-your-lungs anthem for anyone and everyone that’s got something to fight for…or against, whilst ‘Heartbeat Here’ is a mellower, acoustic, crowd pleaser that is just begging for an audience to chant along with it. ‘Catch You’ and ‘About Us’ have some simply stunning yet powerful vocal harmonies, epic choruses and great, subtle use of synths. Then there’s ‘Belong’ (a collaboration with Cash Cash) – this is the most unique track on the album, and sees the band take on a much more modern sound (almost venturing into Maroon 5 territory). On first listen, I actually felt like it was almost confusing the direction of the album a bit, but it’s actually become one of my favourite tracks on the record…plus it provides a welcome change in vibe at the midway point. However, I’m certain that this track will be divisive amongst fans and that many will not like tropical-house feel or over-produced nature.

Crooked Shadows is very much an album that has something for everyone – it demonstrates that they aren’t afraid to update their sound with the times.

There are also couple of slower, more emo-style, heartstring-pullers, ‘Open My Eyes’ and the almost ‘Time Of My Life’-esque (Green Day), ‘Just What To Say’ (featuring Chrissy Costanza) that expose Carrabba’s raw emotion and vulnerable lyric-writing abilities. Whilst the title track, ‘Crooked Shadows’ and ‘Be Alright’ are big, rock-out songs.

Crooked Shadows is very much an album that has something for everyone and whilst it’s probably never going to quite live up to the fans’ love of A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar, it really is a fantastic new release and a great comeback record. It demonstrates that they aren’t afraid to update their sound with the times. I thoroughly enjoyed it; it’s just a shame that there aren’t more tracks.

Rating


‘Crooked Shadows’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/crooked-shadows/1334380586


Crooked Shadows on Spotify

We Fight (Official Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of Dashboard Confessional’s seventh studio album? Do you agree with our rating? What would you rate it? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or share your feelings about it with us on our socials.


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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Review: Rae Morris – Someone Out There


   

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Muzik Speaks Loves Atlantic Records - SmallerRae Morris is an English singer and songwriter, hailing from Blackpool, Lancashire. With an album already under her belt, she’s back with her second full-length offering, Someone Out There, released through Atlantic Records.

Rae Morris - Someone Out There

The album opens with the simplistic yet melodic, ‘Push Me To My Limit’, which feels almost like the starting narration of a musical or a soundtrack, leading up to something epic.

There isn’t a completely running theme throughout the album but each track has a way of telling it’s own little story. Some of the most stand-out tracks on the record include; ‘Atletico (The Only One)’ for its unusual and bold use of choppy vocal hooks and melodies – it’s a really stunning song, ‘Do It’ has a very atmospheric, electro-indie vibe that’s truly catchy, ‘Wait For The Rain’ has a beautiful vocal melody that I love more and more each time I hear it – it also builds up a quite dirty beat to become this massive banger and ‘Dip My Toe’ which is one of the most pop tracks on the album but it has a certain Grimes quality to it. You can’t help but love the vocal hook in the chorus and sing along to it.

It’s not a generic pop record by any means and that’s something to admire – her bravery and conviction to shape her own sound and stand out from the crowd is truly refreshing.

Throughout the album, there are strong similarities with Björk(on the track ‘Rose Garden’), Imogen Heap (on ‘Lower The Tone’) and (on ‘Reborn’) – there’s a ton of quirkiness in Rae’s vocals (she’s certainly not afraid to utilise her voice in weird and wonderful ways!) and a real boldness in the instrumentation, provided by collaborator Fryars – the clever use of subtle sounds that somehow stand out, make a real impression. There is plenty of space for the vocals to shine through in the production and vice versa.

One thing is for certain; whilst this is a major label pop artist’s release, it has a uniqueness about it and there’s a real essence that she was given license to create something that suited her style and make the record she wanted to make. It’s not a generic pop record by any means and that’s something to admire – it’d be so easy for her to pump out something to fit the mould of current trends but her bravery and conviction to shape her own sound and stand out from the crowd is truly refreshing. This is a pretty awesome album, that with each listen I’ve become more and more fond of – I think it has a lot to offer and it certainly shows that Rae Morris knows exactly the sort of artist she wants to be.

Rating


‘Someone Out There’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/someone-out-there/1299762265


Someone Out There on Spotify

Reborn (Official Video)

Do It (Official Video)

Atletico (The Only One) (Official Video)


We hope you enjoyed our review of Rae’s second studio album. What do you have to say about it? Would you rate it the same as us? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or share your feelings with us via our socials.


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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#WildCardWednesday: YONAKA – ‘Bubblegum’


   

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YONAKA are a fantastic Brighton-based band who consist of Theresa Jarvis (Vocals), George Edwards (Guitar), Alex Crosby (Bass/Keys) and Robert Mason (Drums). The band refer to themselves as ‘Dark Alt Pop with heavy riffs’ and I couldn’t agree more; their latest track, ‘Bubblegum’ fuses electro-pop vibes with grungy guitars and it’s all topped off with Theresa‘s vocals (which I find have similarities to Charli XCX).

The video has just been released and it really depicts just what YONAKA are all about – it’s visually intriguing and oddly artistic; what more can you expect from a Brighton-grown band eh?!

You must check out this wonderful song and accompanying video – it’s well worth it!

What are your thoughts of this up-and-coming band? Have you got a #WildCardWednesday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or chat to us about it via social media, using the #WildCardWednesday hashtag.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Bubblegum’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/bubblegum/1289319076?i=1289319088