#Review: Isaac Gracie – Isaac Gracie (Self-Titled)


   

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Isaac Gracie is an incredibly talented singer-songwriter, hailing from London. From humble beginnings, his 2016 demo, ‘Last Words’ caused a big stir online, leading to the head of Universal Music flying over from LA just to see him perform, resulting in his signing to Virgin EMI. Now, in 2018, the songsmith is releasing his debut, self-titled album. Here’s what we have to say about it…

Isaac Gracie.jpg

Every so often an album comes along that is both exciting, inspirational and sonically diverse; groundbreaking even…this is definitely one of those albums! (The last album I felt like this about was Will Joseph Cook‘s Sweet Dreamer.)

Whilst growing up, Gracie’s father left the family home and since signing to Virgin EMI, his longterm relationship sadly ended, but out of the ashes of these life-influencing events came some fantastic songwriting material, resulting in this incredibly powerful debut. As such, throughout the album, there are strong themes of abandonment, guilt and heartbreak; this honest approach and willing exposure of his emotional vulnerabilities is nothing new to songwriting but the way it marries up with the instrumentation is simply marvellous.

Opening track, Terrified’ (think Elbow meets Harry Styles‘Two Ghosts’) chronicles Gracie’s own fears and insecurities surrounding the hype about him, singing, “I’m terrified that maybe, I wasn’t cut out for this.” He really needn’t worry though; he certainly is cut out for this!

‘Last Words’ is a huge track for him; it’s the song that kick-started the buzz about him and whilst it’s very different from the demo, he admitted that he spent quite some time playing around with different versions before settling on the one that’s now on the record. He’s managed to strike a great balance between the original demo, maintaining some of it’s raw essence but also brought more depth to it with the addition of strings. Imagine a track by The Beatles that’s been countryfied and you get this!

The brilliant blend of highs and lows, and fusion of indie, rock, country and latin flavours has genuinely created one of the most genre-bending albums heard in a long time!

‘The Death Of You & I’ is a personal favourite – it’s got an almost latin beat behind it before it unleashes a hidden ferocity. The calm verses that erupt into the heavy, chaotic choruses make this an intense and fun song which you can’t help but want to thrash around to, wildly. There’s even an almost salsa-esque breakdown before the final chorus, making this one of the most intriguing songs I’ve heard in years.

Other stand-out tracks include; ‘Running On Empty’, which is relatively mainstream and quite indie (like something you might expect to hear from The Killers or Maccabees), ‘Telescope’ with its beautiful overlapping vocals at the end, ‘That Was Then’, which has stunning, dynamic vocals, ranging from deep to falsetto, topped off with a powerful and melodic chorus and ‘When You Go’, which is a track you would expect to hear from the likes of The Barr Brothers or Vance Joy and be accompanied by a music video shot with an old, handheld, film-reel camera; it’s strongly folk flavoured.

Gracie has been quoted as saying that he set out to create the best record of all time and whilst there are bound to be people who have differing opinions, he certainly has created a masterpiece! The brilliant blend of highs and lows, and fusion of indie, rock, country and latin flavours has genuinely created one of the most genre-bending albums heard in a long time…yet somehow it still works as a comprehensive body of work that is uniquely identifiable as him. This is an album I am certain will make a big impact this year and will definitely carve out an exciting future for his music career. Utter brilliance!

Rating
4-5


‘Isaac Gracie’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/isaac-gracie/1345686455


Isaac Gracie on Spotify

Terrified (Official Video)

Silhouettes Of You (Official Video)

Last Words (Official Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of Isaac Gracie’s self-titled debut album? Are you as much of a huge fan as us? What would you rate it? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or chat to us about it via our socials.


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

Muzik Speaks Album Reviews


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#Review: Vance Joy – Nation Of Two


   

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Muzik Speaks Loves Atlantic Records - SmallerVance Joy is an Australian, folk singer-songwriter who, having released his debut solo album, Dream Your Life Away, back in 2014, is now back with his sophomore offering, Nation Of Two; a powerful tale of a couple’s love.

Vance Joy - Nation Of Two.jpg

Vance Joy has crafted his own unique brand of folk-pop, using instruments such as the ukulele and banjo to make his style stand out and Nation Of Two continues with this tradition; this time telling a story throughout the 13-track collection.

Vance himself explains that “Nation of Two describes a perfectly self-contained couple; their world beginning and ending at the bed they share, the car they ride in, or any other place where they’re together… the idea that their love for each other gives them their bearings; a point of reference that makes sense of life.” (Reference)

The album, as a collection, tells the tale of two lovers across a beautiful array of styles.

The album starts out very strong with stand-out songs, including leading single, ‘Lay It On Me’ (with it’s funky brass sections), plus ‘We’re Going Home’ and the fun-filled, ‘Saturday Sun’. Other great songs include the punchy, almost alt-rock-like ‘One Of These Days’ and the beautiful banjo ballad, Where We Start’. The album, as a collection, tells the tale of two lovers across a beautiful array of styles, however a couple of the tracks, I felt, could easily be skipped, but as a whole body, it is great.

This is definitely going to sit well with fans of Mumford & SonsRay LaMontagne, Seth Lakeman and possibly even Ed Sheeran – it’s folky, pop-tinted and got a real honest feel to it. It’s well produced but not over-produced and stands out as a quality, folk-pop album.

The first half of the album is strong and I certainly think this album will bring new success to Vance Joy, but the second half is lacking in a couple of places. This is however, as a whole, a wonderful way to tell the story of a couple’s love and life together and is well worth a listen.

Rating
3.5


‘Nation Of Two’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/nation-of-two/1325861276


Nation Of Two on Spotify

We’re Going Home (Official Video)

Lay It On Me (Official Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our latest review of Vance Joy’s second album, but what are your thoughts? Are you a huge fan or do you think it will go straight in to the bargain bin? What would you rate it? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or share your feelings with us, via our social media accounts.


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

Muzik Speaks Album Reviews


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#MellowMonday: Mumford & Sons – ‘Timshel’


   

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I love Mumford & Sons; their folky sound is so unique and refreshing in today’s saturated pop market.

That said, I also felt that I had to feature this stunning track today in honour of Marcus Mumford‘s incredible performance of it, to open last night’s One Love Manchester benefit concert, in aid of the horrendous attack in Manchester.

Although you probably saw his solo performance last night, I found this remarkable live performance with the full band, in a Melbourne side alley – it captures their harmonies to perfection.

What are your thoughts of this beautifully melodic track? Did this strike a chord with you at last night’s ‘One Love Manchester’ concert? Got a #MellowMonday 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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‘Timshel’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/timshel/id405482774?i=405482788


#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


#FeelGoodFriday: Life Of Dillon – ‘Sex For Breakfast’


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As a huge fan of Life Of Dillon, we’re incredibly excited to see that they have released a brand new single today, ‘Sex For Breakfast’. What’s more; it’s perfect for #FeelGoodFriday!

The song is catchy, current and filled with all the ingredients of a mega pop song – high-pitched vocals, big choruses, superb harmonies, sex and oodles of fun.

The video is edgy and a long way from their previous release, Overload, but it’s a good progression! The drug imagery could be considered somewhat controversial, however it adds to the intrigue of the video.

What are your thoughts of Life Of Dillon’s latest release? Are you excited for an album? What would you choose for #FeelGoodFriday? Leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment below or chat to use via our social media.

Also, check out our interview with the band – here.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Sex For Breakfast’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/sex-for-breakfast-single/id1193357484


#MuzikSpeaks: An Interview with Tom Ryder


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Singer/songwriter, Tom Ryder, has most recently released his EP, Strings Attached which has been gathering a lot of interest, even from the likes of Chris Evans and Rod Stewart!

During our interview, Tom explained that he is focusing on releasing singles and EPs, rather than an album right now. He told us about the music he’s been listening to most recently and some of his upcoming plans.

As with most of our interviews, we played a game of ‘Would You Rather…?’, though I didn’t push him too far with this…he’s just too nice for that awful game!

I hope you enjoy this interview and please go ahead and show your support by sharing the link on your social media accounts!

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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Tom Ryder‘s releases are all available to purchase on iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/artist/tom-ryder/id597804676


Enjoyed this? Watch our other interviews with:

Joe Ragosta from Patent Pending

Ali Tabatabaee from Zebrahead

Frankmusik

Lucy Spraggan

David Ford

Chris Bourne

Race The Horizon

Life Of Dillon

Platnum

Skip from Almost July


#MellowMonday: Benjamin Francis Leftwich – ‘Summer’


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Benjamin Francis Leftwich is an English singer-songwriter from York. He released his debut album in 2011 but he’s now preparing to release the foll0w-up, on 19th August, called After The Rain.

His clear, folk influences and similarities to Damien Rice and José González make it the perfect song for #MellowMonday. ‘Summer’ is a fantastic song – the almost whispered vocals sit beautifully amongst the high-pitched and dancing guitar melodies. It’s evocative of a warm summer evening in a vast field in the English countryside.

What do you think of this track? Have you heard it before? Got anything similar for us to hear? Please leave your song recommendations in a comment below or tell us via Twitter and Facebook!

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Summer’ is taken from the forthcoming album, After The Rain, and can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/summer/id1081985568?i=1081985774