#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.


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

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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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#FeelGoodFriday: Gorillaz – ‘DARE’


   

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Gorillaz are an English-formed band, created by Damon Albarn (from Blur) and artist Jamie Hewlett, who created the characters of the virtual band. The band consists of four animated and heavily characterised members; 2-D (lead vocals and keyboard), Murdoc (bass guitar), Noodle (guitar,keyboard) and Russel (drums and percussion.)

Gorillaz.jpg

These characters are entirely fictional and relate to the members of the band in no way; they are unique and alive in their own fictional universe.

In their time, the band have released five studio albums, one remix album, three compilation albums and 16 singles.

‘Dare’ is from the album Demon Days, which was released back in 2005. The song is predominantly sung by the character of Noodle, with vocals provided by the singer Rosie Wilson and backing vocals from both Damon Albarn and Shaun Ryder. From the electronic synths and sounds to the distinguishable drum beats, this song will make you want to get up and dance… but maybe not as vivaciously as Noodle in the music video!

Screen Shot 2018-01-14 at 19.27.12
Source:https://www.allmusic.com

The music video for this song features an appearance by Shaun Ryder from the bands Happy Mondays and Black Grape; he takes up the role of the giant disembodied head, who Noodle is keeping alive by the use of various machinery. Noodle largely takes the spotlight in this video, by dancing around and singing to the camera. However, the other characters can be seen appearing in short cameos, such as 2-D listening to what is happening by pressing his ear to the floor. The music video also nods towards classic horror movies which can be seen at the start of the video, where a “reject false icons” statue can be spotted depicting Pazuzu, the figurine from The Exorcist. Crows can also be seen flying around the area which is a tribute to The Birds by Alfred Hitchcock. There are many other cameos dotted about…see if you can work out more!

Do you remember loving this song back in 2005? Are you still a fan today? Have you got your own #FeelGoodFriday song to share with us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Frankie – Muzik Speaks
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‘DARE’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/dare/850571319?i=850571388


#EventSpeaks: Will Joseph Cook @ The Haunt, Brighton – 17/10/17


   

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On Tuesday 17th October 2017, Will Joseph Cook, came to Brighton to perform a set in support of his debut album, Sweet Dreamer, as well as play a couple of new songs from his upcoming EP. He was supported by Indigo Husk at the popular Brighton venue, The Haunt.


Indigo Husk

The band took to the stage with their grungy, give-a-damn appearance and although the crowd seemed a bit reticent to begin with, after a couple of songs, they had been worked up a treat, with the band’s funky brand of grunge-pop. The lead singer’s occasional ‘whoops’ and sarcastic quips were amusing, whilst the drummer was possibly one of the most engaging band members I’ve ever seen – he was witty, enthusiastic, provided great backing vocals and oozed personality through his crowd interaction. Sadly the same can’t quite be said for the bassist, who barely cracked a smile throughout and the concentration on Flynn’s face looked almost uncomfortable for him, at times. That’s not to say it was a bad performance or that they’re not a good band; it makes them who they are and they were certainly fun to watch.

Highlight:

The drummer – he was captivating and I particularly enjoyed the moments he stood up whilst drumming, taking every opportunity to interact with the audience.


Will Joseph Cook

Will Joseph Cook is a fantastic performer and his unique blend of indie vibes, electronic synths and pop hooks make for one heck of a funky, dance-infused performance.

The moment he appeared on stage, the audience burst into rapturous applause – one thing’s for sure, Will Joseph Cook has worked incredibly hard to build up a dedicated and loyal following, evidenced by the fact that the show had sold out.

His vocals were on point and his working of the stage was controlled and at times even mesmerising. I like that he is able to switch between playing the guitar and singing (which can be quite static) on some songs, whilst on others, he ditches the guitar and works the crowd – it’s great to see this diversity in his performance.

The songs he played sounded just as good as his recordings and at times, Will and the band added a nice leading intro into a song, adding something unique that you could only see and hear if you watch him live.

Not only has Will Joseph Cook produced an incredibly strong debut album (Sweet Dreamer) but his performances are remarkably captivating too. He is definitely worth watching live – make sure you catch his show next time he’s near you.

Highlights:

  • Usually I like it when there’s a lot of between-song banter from the band or artist, but Will kept this to a minimum, playing song after song, keeping the audience dancing and singing along.
  • Getting to hear a couple of his new tracks, live, was great!
  • His performances of ‘Plastic’‘Girls Like Me’ and new song, ‘If You Want To Make Money’, all really stood out to me.
  • Will and the band’s abilities to make the live renditions sound just as good as the recordings.

 📷 All of the fantastic photos in this post are credited to Elliot McRae. 📷
Go on and give him a follow – @EMcraePhoto


 Setlist

Biggest Fan
Alive
Sweet Dreamer
Treat Me Like A Lover*
Plastic*
Habit
Take Me Dancing
If You Want To Make Money*
Fish*
Daisy Chains
Beach

Encore
Message
Girls Like Me*

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


Finally, I want to say a MASSIVE thanks to Isobel Williams from Whiteboard PR for setting up this review and to Will Joseph Cook and Indigo Husk for putting on a great evening.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#EventSpeaks: Careless Sons @ The Prince Albert, Brighton – 08/04/16


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In support of their new EP, Heartbreak MajorCareless Sons came to Brighton to play a show at The Prince Albert in Brighton, with support from Hickory Signals and The Wondersmiths.


Hickory Signals

Hickory Signals are a Brighton-based duo consisting of Laura Ward and Adam Ronchetti. The pair are an incredibly talented, multi-instrumentalist folk act. The singer, Laura has a very powerful voice which she uses to belt out some incredibly hard-hitting notes. She also played the flute and used a little box which emulates the sounds of the Indian sitar (I think!). Meanwhile, Adam sat on top of a cajon, tapped a tambourine with his foot and played the guitar, all at the same time. Some of their songs consisted of poetry which they had put to music, old Irish folk songs and original tracks. They were a marvel to behold and I thoroughly enjoyed it – they’re not my usual cup of tea, but they certainly won me over!

Highlights: The way some of their songs start off low-key and calm and ramp up to an energetic, entrancing crescendo. I personally liked their original track, ‘Take The Window’ best!


The Wondersmiths

Next up were The Wondersmiths; I’ll be honest, I started off definitely not a fan – there was an air of arrogance about this band’s frontman which made me feel slightly scathing towards them, however as the set went on, I actually found it rather endearing and was most definitely entertained by them! Apparently one of their songs was recently featured on This Morning too.

Chris Horncastle (the lead singer) was actually quite comedic and certainly put a lot of energy into the performance, at times jumping into the crowd to get them singing along. The bassist was in fact a stand-in (due to their bassist having an injury) and for only 2 weeks practise in the band, you wouldn’t have known at all! Some of the harmonies provided by the guitarist and keys players were phenomenal too!

I have to say, this band have something unique going on and if you’re into electro-indie music, they’re definitely the band for you.

Highlights: The energy this band put into their performance is commendable and their harmonies were tight! I liked the fact that they got the audience involved too.


Careless Sons

Careless Sons were the headline act and were playing in support of their upcoming EP release, Heartbreak Major. I have only recently discovered the band, after they gave us a follow on Twitter and subsequently managed to get myself invited to their Brighton show.

I was rather impressed by them as they have really honed their skills pretty perfectly – their sound is incredibly tight and they play their instruments with precision timing. They have all the makings of a very successful act!

The harmonies offered by the band were great and it was refreshing to see that while there is clearly a lead singer, the guitarist and bassist took their turn at lead vocals on some songs too. There are some great songs which have been written by the band and it is clear that they must’ve spent quite a long time crafting their sound. While it might not be everyone’s cuppa tea, their abilities and dedication to their art should be admired and if you’re an indie-rock lover, then these guys will definitely be up your alley!

There were a range of dedicated fans and newcomers to the band at the show and it appeared to be enjoyed by all. The guys were all very friendly and made sure to stick around both before and after the show to chat to people. What a great bunch of guys putting on a great evening!

Highlights:

  • High energy in some of their songs.
  • Sharing of lead vocals across several members of the band.
  • The perfect timing with which the members play their instruments.
  • Great vocal harmonies.
  • Clear conviction about what they play.

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All of the great photos in this post are credited to Elliot McRae.
Go and give him a follow – @EMcraePhoto


 Setlist

Don’t Make Me Do This Again*
Up To My Eyes
GBH
Rosary*
Couldawoulda
That Was Love
It Was Only A Matter Of Time
Bring Out Your Dead
Heartbreak Major
Wasted Avenue
Betty
Carbon Dating*
The Bitter End

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


Thanks so much to Careless Sons for putting myself and Elliot on the guest list, so we could come and do this review and take snaps! Keep up the great work guys!

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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