#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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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Review: Leah McFall – INK (Mini Album)


   

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Leah McFall first came to the public attention as a runner-up on the second series of The Voice UK, back in 2013. Since then, she’s been busy crafting her sound and has finally released her first mini album, INK, which she will be touring throughout the UK, this month.

Leah McFall - INK

The title track, Ink’, is also the opening track of the mini album; it’s a subtle, laid-back song with haunting melodies and incredibly well-placed backing vocals that add a interesting depth to it. The song (and several others on the record) has strong resemblances with NAO.

‘Happy Human’ is an uplifting, full-on track with a positive message. ‘Bottle It’ stands out for it’s edgy sound – similar to the current tropical house trend but with her own, unique interpretation. ‘Colours At A Funeral’ is a raw, emotional song that has a deep soulfulness to it and is followed by another stand-out song, ‘Language’; the latter is a great song, probably the most poppy song (and my personal favourite) on the record. It’s a quite a blend of late 80s and 90s pop sounds and has that feel-good factor about it.

The closing track is Leah‘s first, independently released single, ‘Wolf Den’, which boasts an upbeat, quirky sound and really showcases just what she can do with her voice; whistle notes and all. It’s the perfect end to the whole mini album.

The production throughout, is what I’d describe as subtle yet intricate – it doesn’t scream out pop and it can’t easily be pigeon-holed, but that’s what makes it such a fantastic release. It’s very dreamy with seemingly simplistic production (although that’s most definitely not the case); it’s been impeccably well produced and each song makes an impact in a different way. Leah‘s powerful vocals and delicate ad libs have been layered beautifully and weave stunningly around the instrumentation, creating euphoric highs and emotionally-driven lows throughout the entirety of the record. It is an honest offering and almost exposes a vulnerability about the singer. This is undoubtably something fans will appreciate; an insight into her world.

In summary, this mini album has a lot to offer and is a very strong independent release that’s currently charting highly on the UK iTunes charts. Although she may not have won The Voice UK, her talent definitely outshines any other contestant to have graced the show previously or since. This release is a symbol of what fan power, self-belief and determination can achieve and her every success is deserved! Let’s hope a full-length album follows, and soon!

Rating
5


‘INK’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/ink-ep/id1206458926


INK on Spotify

INK on YouTube

Wolf Den (Official Video)

Bottle It (Official Video)

Happy Human (Official Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review of Leah McFall’s release! What do you think of the mini album? 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:

Muzik Speaks Album Reviews


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#MellowMonday: James Gillespie – ‘What You Do’


   

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Having recently stormed its way onto Spotify’s United Kingdom Viral 50 chart, James Gillespie is making big waves in the industry.

His debut single, ‘What You Do’, is a beautiful blend of acoustic, rock and pop – the vocals are haunting with their intense echoes, elating the track to a euphoric high which then comes crashing into a grungy burst of heavier sounds and back again. It’s a truly remarkable track that captivated me instantly; it’s got me intrigued for his future releases as he’s clearly one to watch!

No official music video has been released yet but I look forward to seeing something in the future!

What are your thoughts of this up-and-coming singer/songwriter? Have you got anything similar for us, for #MellowMonday? Please share your thoughts in a comment or chat to us via our social media accounts.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘What You Do’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/what-you-do-single/id1199428685


#WildCardWednesday: Matt Woods – ‘Nothing Less’


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Matt Woods is an up-and-coming UK-based artist who blends his soulful vocals with synths to create an electronic R&B vibe.

“This is probably both the saddest and most upbeat song I have put out so far,” declares Woods, continuing, “I love the idea of people getting some joy out of what is really a heart breaking sentiment.”

And somehow this song does just that, manages to be uplifting, yet sultry, all at the same time. His falsetto vocals sit atop an almost euphoric, yet simple soundscape. It manages to stray enough away from the current tropical house trend so as not to follow it, but not so far away that it’s still edgy, current pop music.

No official video has been released yet, but as always, we’ll keep you updated on this.

What are your thoughts of Matt Woods? Will you be checking out more from him? Please let us know your thoughts or tell us your own #WildCardWednesday track in a comment below or via our social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Nothing Less’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/nothing-less/id1161718543?i=1161718708


#MellowMonday: Said The Sky – ‘Nostalgia’ featuring Missio


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Said The Sky is the moniker of Colorado-born instrumentalist and producer, Trevor Christensen.

The ethos of this guy is to create euphoric sounds with captivating bass lines and ascending melodies which lift you.

This current release, ‘Nostalgia’ features the sultry vocals of Missio and is undoubtedly, a well-written electronica track with its calming synths and soft guitar sounds (similar to the sound of David Guetta’s ‘Titanium‘). You should definitely check out this track!

A ‘Said The Sky Remix’ of Owl City’s Fireflies is due to be posted online, on 01/12/15, so keep your ears peeled…it’s set to be good!

What do you think? Have your say in a comment below or via your social medias, using the hashtag #MellowMonday

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Nostalgia’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/nostalgia-feat.-missio-single/id1047611653


#WildCardWednesday: Angels & Airwaves – ‘Into The Night’ & ‘…Of Nightmares’ Review


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Angels & Airwaves are undoubtedly my all-time favourite band and Tom DeLonge is an inspiration to me! The band has taken on many forms over the past (nearly) decade but each incarnation has been brilliant and all part of the bigger picture.

Tom DeLonge has clear visions for his art and that makes him admirable – his idea for the whole Poet Anderson universe has been brewing for several years and its all coming to fruition in many interesting ways.

First came the animated short film, ‘Poet Anderson: The Dream Walker’ with its accompanying album, ‘The Dream Walker’ there was also a trilogy of prequel comics, leading to the events which take place in the short film, but more recently, comes the first in a planned trilogy of novels, ‘Poet Anderson…Of Nightmares’ with its accompanying EP of the same name.

The EP contains 4 brand new Angels & Airwaves tracks, including ‘Into The Night’, which is a classically epic tune; big chorus, euphoric instrumentation and Tom’s instantly recognisable vocals, which is our #WildCardWednesday track this week.

The novel is amazing too – co-written by Tom himself and New York Times Bestseller, Suzanne Young, it is a young adult novelisation of the Poet Anderson universe and it is sensational. I may well be biased due to my love of AVA, but it is a very captivating story. The events take us through Jonas/Poet Anderson’s life; the death of his parents and loss of his brother to the dream world, through to his learning of the ins and outs of the dream world itself. Along the way he meets Dream Walkers and is tempted by the villain, REM. The book is actually remarkable as it allows you to gain a much better insight into Poet’s universe and when you re-watch the animated short, it feels like you have much more of an idea about what’s going on. It allows you to connect much more intimately with the characters and it has unquestionably left me with a desire for the next two novels to be made…soon please! 😉

It would appear that the next step for Tom DeLonge and the Poet Anderson universe, is for a longer animated film to be made and even a feature-length live-action film. Needless to say, I am very excited about these things to come and just hope that Angels & Airwaves will continue for many years to come – I’ll be with them all the way.

*Ponders to self ~ Hmm…now I just need to find a way to get involved with these projects somehow!*

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Into The Night’ is available for download from iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/into-the-night/id1030931428?i=1030931970

‘Poet Anderson…Of Nightmares’ (the novel) can be downloaded from:


#MellowMonday: Chicane – ‘Ibiza Strings’


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I have been a huge admirer of Chicane for some time now! He first caught my attention with ‘Saltwater’ back in 1999 and I’ve been a fan ever since.

Earlier this year, Nick Bracegirdle (aka Chicane) released his 6th album , ‘The Sum Of Its Parts’, however he has since released another single, separate from the album, called ‘Ibiza Strings & Bleeps’, consisting of two tracks, ‘Ibiza Strings’ and ‘Ibiza Bleeps’.

I have chosen ‘Ibiza Strings’ as the #MellowMonday track this week, due to its beautiful electronica instrumentals; it’s purely and euphorically stunning!

What do you think of this song? Is it Mellow enough for your Monday? Please share your #MellowMonday choice for the week, in a comment below.

Matt – Muzik Speaks


You can download ‘Ibiza Strings’ from iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/ibiza-strings/id1037985499?i=1037985606