#Review: Now, Now – Saved


   

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Now, Now are an American indie duo originally from Blaine, Minnesota (USA), now based in Minneapolis. The band now consists of founding members, KC Dalager (vocals/guitar/keyboard) and Brad Hale (drums/backing vocals) after a recent departure from their line-up. To date, they have had two, somewhat heavier albums and this, Saved, will be their third, full-length release. Here’s what we have to say about it…

Now, Now - Saved.jpg

It’s been a decade since their more thrashy, emo-esque debut album, Cars, was released (back when they were called Now, Now Every Children) but since then, Now, Now have clearly been working hard on mastering the art of slick production.

This is an album that successfully merges emotive, thought-provoking lyricism based upon relatable topics, with warm, summery production; it’s credible songwriting with certain mainstream, pop sensibilities.

Saved is a stunning record. It has everything from catchy choruses and atmospheric synths to chugging guitars and heavy beats.

It kicks off with the acoustic-led, summer tune ‘SGL’ (short for Shot-Gun Lover) which would be the perfect road trip track, through the open roads of America. From there, you’ve got the captivating ‘MJ’, which makes reference to Michael Jackson‘s ‘Billie Jean’ topped off with a galloping beat (somewhat similar to MJ‘s ‘A Place With No Name’ from 2014’s Xscape)

Another significant track is ‘Window’, with its shimmering synths and manipulated vocals, that continually ascend. It’s a song about desperation for someone;“Every night I’m at your window, Wonder when you’re gonna let me in.”A truly atmospheric track.

Just listening to this album, puts you in an instantly good mood due to its stunning production and uplifting vibes.

‘Powder’ is a massive tune and a superbly powerful and passionate close to the album; it has a catchy, fun start with delicate guitars and subtle synths but as it goes on, descends into a very interesting and heavy breakdown with gritty synths.

There are certainly a lot of resemblances that can be made across the album too: ‘Can’t Help Myself’ has whispery vocals, somewhat similar to Geowulf; ‘Knowme’ is a house-like track with calm, electronica vibes, with elements of Chicane to it; ‘Set It Free’ makes cheeky reference to “wandering hands” and has a certain something about it that reminds me of a cross between The Cardigans and Sixpence None The Richer; ‘Drive’ has a beachy, Lana Del Rey vibe and ‘Holy Water’ is a song which I find merges MUNA with early Dido (with the use of industrial-like sounds) – it’s beautiful and euphoric. That’s in no way saying that they are copying other artists but perhaps making a nod to them; if anything it just goes to show what an eclectic record they have managed to create, with a little something for everyone.

As far as albums go, this is diverse and interesting with a real excitement about it. Just listening to it, puts you in an instantly good mood due to its stunning production and uplifting vibes. They have managed to craft a sound that is somewhere between airy beach-pop and grungy rock, evoking nostalgia and varying emotions throughout. This is fantastic record that is sure to be the soundtrack to many people’s summers this year.

Rating


‘Saved’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/saved/1365088448


Saved on Spotify

AZ (Official Video)

SGL (Official Video)

Yours (Official Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review; what do you make of this band’s latest album, Saved? Are you as much of a fan as us? What would you rate it? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or via our social media.


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#Review: Fickle Friends – You Are Someone Else


   

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Fickle Friends are a Brighton-based, indie-pop band who have gone from strength to strength, since their humble beginnings. Now signed to Polydor, they are releasing their long awaited, debut album, You Are Someone Else. Here’s what we have to say about it…

Fickle Friends - You Are Someone Else.jpg

It’s been a long time coming, but Fickle Friends have finally released their eagerly anticipated, debut album and it certainly doesn’t disappoint! This is an album packed to bursting point with catchy choruses, groovy guitar licks and salacious synth sounds.

The record opens with the darkly addictive and super chant-able, Wake Me Up’ and manages to maintain momentum throughout, whether it be the huge pop anthems like ‘Glue’ (a personal favourite!) and ‘Swim’ or the more placid, mellow offerings such as ‘In My Head. This is an incredibly diverse album that has a little something for everyone, yet still manages to come together as a superb collection of hard work, perfectly crafted and super skilled songwriting. It is also nice to see that the band haven’t followed the current trend of putting out a standard 10-track album, with a special deluxe edition, but instead have just the one version with a very decent, 16 tracks.

There are strong resemblances with the likes of The 1975 (on ‘Say No More’ and ‘Bite’), MUNA (on ‘Hard To Be Myself’ and ‘In My Head’), Shura (as with ‘Hello Hello’) and Rae Morris (on ‘Swim’) and it would certainly fit well with fans of theirs, but could equally find a place in any trendy, pop or indie-lover’s music collection too!

This is an album packed to bursting point with catchy choruses, groovy guitar licks and salacious synth sounds.

One thing is for certain, the band have managed to produce a fantastic sound that is both contemporary, modern pop yet strongly 80s tinted at the same time; something which is even reflected in their music video imagery and album artwork.

Although the sound throughout is fun and uplifting, that is contrary to the deeply personal lyricism, which finds singer, Natti Shiner, touching upon topics like self-doubt and anxiety, as can be heard on ‘Hard To Be Myself’ or rocky relationships, like that of ‘Wake Me Up’.

Other songs to take note of include the beautifully soothing ‘Paris’, the incredibly pop-tastic, ‘Bite’, the incredibly funky ‘Lovesick’ and the mammoth banger that is ‘Glue’. However, ‘Rotation’ is the only track I find to be somewhat disappointing; it’s quite repetitive and stands out from the rest of the album (and not in a particularly good way). That’s not to say it’s bad, it’s just not particularly memorable and doesn’t seem to fit nicely amongst the rest of the, otherwise perfect, album.

Fickle Friends have undoubtedly created one heck of a masterpiece; this is not simply shallow, meaningless, throw-away chart hits but rather, relatable pop music with a purpose. The band have made good-quality and fun songs with real depth and meaning, that is definitely going to get stuck in your head. This is sure to be just the beginning for the band. I’m certain this will pave the way for a long and successful career; one which I can’t wait to witness as they continue to grow.

Rating
4.5


‘You Are Someone Else’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/you-are-someone-else/1312920152


You Are Someone Else on Spotify

Hard To Be Myself (Official Video)

Glue (Official Video)

Brooklyn (Official Video)

Swim (Official Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review of Brighton-based, Fickle Friends’ debut album, You Are Someone Else! What do you think of it? Are you as much of a fan as us? What would you rate it? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or chat to us about it via our social media.


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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Review: Editors – Violence


   

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Editors are an English rock band from Birmingham who have enjoyed many career successes, including two platinum studio albums (out of five, to date), a Mercury Prize nomination and two albums entering the charts at Number 1. Now, in 2018, the band are releasing their sixth studio album, Violence. Here’s what we think of it…

Editors - Violence.jpg

Let’s just start by saying that this album is a far cry from their post-punkesque, 2005 debut, The Back Room, yet somehow they’re still recognisable…but then maybe that’s the beauty of this band; they’re always growing and always changing, but manage to still be the same, iconic band.

The lead single, ‘Magazine’ is a bold, electro-rock song that is like something you might expect from Depeche Mode, whilst ‘Hallelujah (So Low)’ is acoustic and melodic in places, yet very heavy and industrial-sounding in others; it’s like the lovechild of Coldplay and Nine Inch Nails – not two bands you’d ever expect to be put together, but oddly…it works! Whilst the album has moments of purposeful, off-key darkness, there is just as much positivity and lightheartedness. ‘Darkness At The Door’ is probably the most out-and-out electro-indie/pop song on the album, whilst ‘Cold’ is a stadium-filling, lighter-waving ballad.

This feels like something very different, very new and very exciting for the band.

In other places, this album has similarities with Take That (‘Nothingness’) and even a melody from Chicane‘s ‘Come Back’ struck me in the title track, ‘Violence’. That’s not to say the band are copying from others; they’ve actually just produced an incredibly diverse and eclectic album, that truly has a bit of something for everyone. It has been largely supported by a guy called Blanck Mass (aka Benjamin John Power), who is known for making heavy electronic music and produced by a man named Leo Matthew Abrahams, who has worked with the likes of Imogen Heap, Brian Eno and Florence And The Machine. That’s perhaps why this album has so much distinctiveness to it.

Having worked closely with the two, singer, Tom Smith, said, “When it’s electronic, it’s very electronic. But then when it’s guitar-y, it’s very band driven. I think we’ve managed to find the balance of those two things better than we have done before.” He goes on to say, “I think there’s a balance here between melody and brutality that I don’t think we’ve managed to get before,” and that’s very true; this feels like something very different, very new and very exciting for the band.

This is an incredibly strong album from a well-established band. For so many others, it’s easy to slip under the radar by your sixth album but that won’t be a worry for Editors with this release. Whilst the band have not had a Number 1 album since their third record, In This Light and on This Evening, they’ve managed to create something special with Violence. In fact it would be very surprising if this doesn’t reach enter the charts inside the Top 3, if not Number 1.

Rating
4.5


‘Violence’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/violence/1328602125


Violence on Spotify

Magazine (Official Video)

Hallelujah (So Low) [Official Video]


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review of Editors’ sixth album, Violence! What do you think of it? Are you as much of a fan as us? What would you rate it? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or chat to us about it 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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#WildCardWednesday: North Downs – ‘Plastic Clouds’


   

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North Downs are a band that were born in a run down barn in the wintery English countryside. They are the lovechild of a Delta-Blues man and a London raver who have worked hard to marry the sounds of the organic and the synthetic. Their sound truly is genre-bending, fixating you on the journey their songs take you on.

‘Plastic Clouds’ has a certain sense of urgency and freshness to it that reflects their writing and recording process; the band gave themselves only one day to write, produce and mix it, meaning that clarity and swift decision-making was required and that’s evident in their debut single. It’s powerful, it’s fresh and it’s all-consuming. An all-round fantastic song and I can’t wait to hear more from them!

What are your thoughts of this up-and-coming band? Have you heard of them before? Got anything similar for us to hear? Please leave your thoughts or own #WildCardWednesday track in a comment or chat to us about it via our social media and please share this post.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Plastic Clouds’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/plastic-clouds-single/id1206939781


#FeelGoodFriday: The Naked And Famous – ‘Last Forever’


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The moment I heard this song, I just knew it was perfect for #FeelGoodFriday; it’s got all-consuming, energetic vibes running through its very core!

Every aspect of the song is perfect; the light, echoing synths, traditional dance beats and soft vocals in the calm verses build into an almighty, hard-hitting, epic chorus that just begs to be pumped at full volume. I can’t get enough of this song; it’s electronic indie at its very best!

No official video has been released as of yet, but the lyric video is featured below, which usually means a music video is due to be made; we’ll keep you posted!

What are your thoughts of this New Zealand band’s sound? Have you got another song of theirs to recommend us for #FeelGoodFriday? Please share your thoughts or own song suggestions in a comment below or via our social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Last Forever’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/last-forever/id1136207223?i=1136207776


#WildCardWednesday: Thomston – ‘Rocketfuel’


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Why not check out and follow our #WildCardWednesday Spotify playlist, filled with the latest and best independent music, oddities and album-tracks – https://open.spotify.com/user/muzik5peaks/playlist/2dGkpKHuw6Dm88eBFyUpcY


I admit that I’ve only just found out about New Zealand-based singer Thomston, but I’m already hooked!

He’s not hit mainstream here in the UK yet, but I’m sure it won’t be long! One of his most recent singles, taken from his debut full-length album Topograph, is ‘Rocketfuel’.

The song is a culmination of the best bits of electronica, pop and indie, in equal measure. His voice is powerful, the instrumentation is strong and the production is epic. This track is a powerhouse of passion and shows off an impressive songwriting ability. I’m excited to hear the rest of his album!

No official video has emerged yet, but we’ll keep you updated on this, as and when one arrives.

What are your thoughts of Thomston? Reckon he’ll become a household name here soon? Please share your thoughts or own #WildCardWednesday song choices in a comment below or via our social media accounts, with our handle and the hash tag.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Rocketfuel’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/rocketfuel/id1152296658?i=1152297125


#WildCardWednesday: Kate Nash – ‘Good Summer’


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Having taken some time out of the limelight to work on writing songs for others (such as Rita Ora‘s ‘Poison’), Kate Nash is back with some new material!

Since her debut in 2007, the songstress has experimented with her sound from the more indie side of pop to the more punky, edgy sounds of the genre. However this song is much more straight-up pop, with its use of subtle synths and beautiful melodies.

It’s definitely captured our attention and I can’t wait to hear her future releases! I gather she is set to release music more frequently throughout the coming year…will this be a string of singles or a lead-up to a new full-length album? I guess only time will tell, but whatever it turns out to be, we’re excited for her return!

Are you a Kate Nash fan? Do you like this new sound? Have you got a favourite song of hers? Please leave your thoughts or own choice for #WildCardWednesday in a comment below or tell us via social media, using the hash tag and our twitter handle.

We’re half way through the week! Huzzah!

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Good Summer’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/good-summer/id1139097124?i=1139097148