#Review: Against The Current – Past Lives ūüĎĀ


   

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Against The Current are¬†an American¬†pop rock¬†band from¬†New York, who formed in 2011. The band is made up of Chrissy Costanza (lead vocals), Dan Gow (guitars)¬†and Will Ferri (drums). The band are notable for regularly posting covers on YouTube as well as delighting fans with original tracks too. In 2016, after signing to¬†Fueled By Ramen, the band released their debut album, In Our Bones. Now, 2018 sees the band releasing their second full-length record,¬†Past Lives. Here’s what we have to say about it…

Against The Current - Past Lives.jpg

This stunningly diverse and charming record opens with the almost haunting ‘Strangers Again’, dealing with getting over a relationship and cutting ties. The guitar line is dreamy and the vocal breakdown towards the end is a rather quiet and personal moment that really draws you in. It’s a brilliant way to open a record; it doesn’t go in all guns blazing but instead captivates the audience with its beautiful soundscapes.

Next is probably the best track on record, ‘The Fuss’. With Daft Punk-esque, 80s synths, funky guitar rhythms and one hell of a catchy chorus, this is a track you will just want to play really loud and dance like mad to!

Other significant songs include: ‘I Like The Way’ – a track all about new love that almost reaches EDM territory with its strong piano line. It’s something you might expect from the likes of Sigala‘s¬†Easy Love or¬†Sweet Lovin’; ‘Voices’ is a slightly more grungy offering about being self-conflicted and trying to ignore the internal voices (which is reflected perfectly with whispering backing vocals) – it’s very¬†Paramore¬†meets¬†Fickle Friends,¬†whilst¬†‘Scream’ is a rather floaty and dreamy song – for some reason it evokes images of the perfect all-American family from the 1960s (no idea why!) It’s an uplifting yet subtle track; I keep finding myself going back for more.

‘Personal’ has a Taylor Swift-like quality to it and the production is incredible – the vocal harmonies sit beneath the rest of the production in the chorus, but it’s truly enchanting.¬†‘P.A.T.T.’ (short for Pretty All The Time)¬†is an out and out female empowerment anthem – it’s fast-paced, punchy and relatively simplistic but the message is fun and powerful about girls feeling like they should be allowed to be themselves without having to look “pretty all the time”…calling all, “Girls!”

It’s an impeccably well-crafted record which has very successfully merged the boundaries between dance, pop and rock music, with a sprinkling of 80s vibes on top.

Lastly,¬†‘Friendly Reminder’ is another notable song, it’s certainly an album track rather than a potential single but the use of a phaser effect on the vocals and an epic clap-along chorus towards the end make it really stand out…again, there’s a big 80s vibe to it.

What Against The Current manage to do so well throughout, is take you on a journey with them; when they’re soaring high, you’ll feel all the sparks of excitement with them brought about with big synth sounds, intense beats and tons of reverb but equally when melancholy reigns, you’ll feel their heartache too.

Whilst I could say something about every track on the record, I won’t – you just need to experience it for yourself.¬†I really can’t recommend this highly enough…the only reason it didn’t get a 5 is because there are one or two less stand-out, album-fillers but even those are pretty damn good. It is very much an album which marks a band that have found their feet; they’ve created something wonderfully catchy yet utterly credible with sincere lyricism, interesting melodies and top-notch production.

It’s an impeccably well-crafted record which has very successfully merged the boundaries between dance, pop and rock music, with a sprinkling of 80s vibes on top; it’s difficult to pigeonhole this band…in a good way! It’s a truly exciting time for the band; this will certainly make waves in the genre and undoubtedly pave an exciting path for their future!

Rating
4-5


‘Past Lives’¬†is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/past-lives/1425108766


Past Lives on Spotify

Almost Forgot (Official Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of this band’s sophomore release, Past Lives? Are you as much of a fan as us? What would you rate it out of 5? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or via our social media.


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

Muzik Speaks Album Reviews


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Two4Tunesday: A R I Z O N A – ‘Freaking Out’ & Andreas Wijk – ‘MADONNA’


   

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A R I Z O N A – ‘Freaking Out’

I love this band so much and they just seem to go from strength to strength with their infectious brand of epic, house-inspired pop music.

The track just builds and builds perfectly – I can see people dancing like mad in a stadium.

The song was released as part of a double A-side single, COLD NIGHTS // SUMMER DAYS. It’s been a couple of years since the band’s debut album but hopefully this signals an upcoming, second album.

This song is also featured on my ‘Save A Life’ playlist. In the few days since it’s release, I’ve had it on repeat and it’s really helped me let loose.


‘Freaking Out’¬†is¬†on¬†iTunes for downloading now! –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/freaking-out/1406503425?i=1406503440



Andreas Wijk – ‘MADONNA’

Known on YouTube for doing some covers and notable for being a fashion model, this appears to be one of the first couple of original singles from Andreas Wijk.

The single’s cover caught my eye first with the artist recreating some classic Madonna album covers, but when I checked out the track, was instantly gripped.

The singer’s falsetto vocals stand out stunningly over the fairly relaxed beat but the chorus is damn catchy and even got some sexy vibes going on.

No music video exists yet but we’ll keep you updated when one emerges.


‘MADONNA’¬†can also be downloaded from iTunes now! –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/madonna/1400557925?i=1400558686


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Two4Tunesday: Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey – ‘The Middle’ & Lil Dicky – ‘Freaky Friday’ featuring Chris Brown


   

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Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey – ‘The Middle’

Zedd‘s latest track,¬†‘The Middle’ features the American electronic music duo,¬†Grey (aka brothers Kyle Trewarth and Michael Trewartha) and vocals by American country singer,¬†Maren Morris.

This track may well have come out at the start of 2018 but 10 weeks later, it’s still at Number 10 in the UK charts, following the success of 2017’s¬†Stay with Alessia Cara, however this track performed even better than that.

It’s a fun, uplifting track which has a very similar feel to ‘Stay’ with it’s combination of raw, powerful and digitised/vocoder vocals, atop a blend of 90s pop sensibilities and modern EDM vibes, making for a very distinctive sound.

The video is great fun too, with it’s stunning set and extravagant use of visual lighting. All-round this is just a fantastic piece of modern pop that will undoubtedly get stuck in everyone’s head; a true favourite of mine right now!


‘The Middle’¬†is¬†on¬†iTunes for downloading now! –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/the-middle/1336771022?i=1336771388



Lil Dicky – ‘Freaky Friday’ featuring Chris Brown

The second track this week is¬†Lil Dicky‘s Number 1, smash hit,¬†‘Freaky Friday’, featuring guest vocals from¬†Chris Brown.

The track itself is a combination of  hip hop, pop and comedy (think similar to The Lonely Island), centring on the film(s) of the same name and continually references Chris Brown himself, throughout.

Whilst this track is intentionally comedic and works hilariously with its accompanying music video, there’s no doubt about it that this is one heck of a catchy tune too; it’s easy to see how it’s managed to top the UK Charts!

The music video itself parodies the 2003 film¬†Freaky Friday (starring Jamie Lee Curtis¬†and¬†Lindsay Lohan)¬†and features cameos from¬†Jimmy Tatro,¬†Ed Sheeran,¬†DJ Khaled¬†and¬†Kendall Jenner. It’s a must-watch video but also, I defy anyone not to end up singing along to this earworm of a track!


‘Freaky Friday’¬†can also be downloaded from iTunes now! –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/freaky-friday-feat-chris-brown/1351005381?i=1351005400


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#WildCardWednesday: PAULi – ‘WAITING (Getting On This Train)’


   

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Having seen¬†PAULi support¬†Rae Morris at Concorde 2 recently (review here)…I have been utterly obsessed! This is an artist who delivers a live performance which is both exciting and captivating; he has crafted something truly unique!

‘WAITING (Getting On This Train)’¬†is an intense blend of London’s urban music scene, with chaotic dance elements and a certain quality to his voice that is somewhat reminiscent of something¬†Prince would have done, in his more recent years.

PAULi¬†is an artist that has worked hard to produce a complete package; artistic music videos, quirky single/album artwork and a unique genre-blending sound. Unfortunately, no music video exists for this track but if you ever get the chance to see him live, there’s something in the energy of this song that is just astounding!

This is most definitely an artist to watch out for; I’m predicting big things for him!

What are your thoughts of this incredibly unique artist? Have you got a #WildCardWednesday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or hit us up via our socials.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘WAITING (Getting On This Train)’¬†can be downloaded off¬†iTunes now –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/waiting-getting-on-this-train/1180156800?i=1180157170


#WildCardWednesday: Ben Phipps – ‘Mrs Mr’ featuring Lizzy Land


   

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Ben Phipps is a twenty-six year old music producer hailing from Gothenburg, Sweden with a unique style of production that draws influence from both deep house and mainstream pop music.

His latest single, ‘Mrs Mr’, is a¬†collaboration with LA-based singer/songwriter Lizzy Land, whose¬†soaring vocals work effortlessly in line with Ben Phipps‚Äô tempting melodies and layered electronic arrangements.

No music video has been released yet but there is something in the pipeline – in place of a traditional music video, Ben Phipps aspired to produce and direct a live-action lyric film taking place in his home, and across New York City. The piece was filmed by local filmmaker, Christian Lucas, and will be released September 4.

This is definitely an artist who knows what he wants and how to achieve it – he is one to watch out for!

What are your thoughts of this producer’s house track? Have you got your own #WildCardWednesday 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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‘Mrs Mr’¬†can be downloaded off¬†iTunes now –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/mrs-mr-feat-lizzy-land-single/id1263893256


#Two4Tunesday: Justin Bieber – ‘Friends’ (with BloodPop¬ģ) & Rod Stewart & DNCE – ‘Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?’


   

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Justin Bieber – ‘Friends’ (with BloodPop¬ģ)

Justin Bieber¬†is back with his first new music since his 2015 album,¬†Purpose, and his new single,¬†‘Friends’,¬†(with¬†BloodPop¬ģ) is one heck of a banger!

The track is everything you want from a summery, club banger and it is unashamedly so. The EDM-inspired tune has rocketed straight to Number 2 in the UK charts – just where it deserves to be!

No official music video has been released yet, but the rather cool lyric video can be seen below.


‘Friends’¬†is¬†on¬†iTunes for downloading now! –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/friends/id1271990063?i=1271990076



Rod Stewart & DNCE – ‘Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?’

Rod Stewart has re-recorded his 1978 hit,¬†‘Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?’ with Joe Jonas– fronted band,¬†DNCE and it’s thrown it straight into the 21st Century, whilst still maintaining its funky feel.

It’s not changed too dramatically, which will keep Rod Stewart‘s fans happy and the addition of DNCE is sure to bring the track to a new audience – a great new rendition and a track I’m loving right now.

No official music video has been released as yet, but you can see the funky lyric video and live performance at 2017’s VMAs, below.


‘Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?’¬†can also be downloaded from iTunes now! –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/da-ya-think-im-sexy-feat-dnce-single/id1273235980


‘Da Ya Think I’m Sexy’ Live at 2017 VMAs

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#WildCardWednesday: Cazzette – ‘Handful Of Gold’ featuring JONES


   

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Swedish electronic music duo,¬†Cazzette, have recently released¬†an exciting new track¬†that is catching a lot of people’s attention, particularly from the dance music community.

‚ÄėHandful Of Gold‚Äô features¬†London-born vocalist,¬†JONES,¬†who released her debut album last year. The track features a rather light beat, enhanced with dreamy guitars before dropping into a rather intense, horn-sounding slam. The whole track is topped off stunningly, by¬†JONES‘¬†soaring vocals. It’s a song I can picture massive crowds dancing to at big dance festivals this summer.

The track¬†will also be featured on Cazzette‚Äôs upcoming¬†EP,¬†‚ÄėTime‚Äô, which is scheduled to be released on June 23rd 2017. No official video has been released but for now, we have another video featuring the track, below.

What are your thoughts of this club-like banger? Got a #WildCardWednesday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or your own song suggestions in a comment or hit us up via our social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Handful Of Gold’¬†can be downloaded off¬†iTunes now –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/handful-of-gold-feat-jones/id1223012347?i=1223012349