#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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#ThrowbackThursday: Lenny Kravitz – ‘Fly Away’


   

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Lenny Kravitz is well-known for his retro vibes and fusion of various genres, from rock to reggae, folk to funk and soul to psychedelic.

Back in 1998, Kravitz released ‘Fly Away’, one of his most successful singles to date, reaching Number 1 in the UK Charts.

The song was in fact the fourth single to be taken from his fifth album, 5, and due to the huge success of it, not only boosted sales of the album but also earned him a Grammy Award in 1999 for Best Male Rock Performance.

The track is incredibly catchy with its funk bass line and gritty vocals – it’s no wonder it rocketed to the top of the charts.

The music video was directed by Paul Hunter (Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and more) and features Kravitz and his band performing in a club, surrounded by a crowd, dancing and getting frisky. It’s a very iconic video for the artist and shows a real passion in his performance…something he definitely pours into his live shows!

What are your thoughts of this wonderfully unique artist? Did you love this track first time around? Do you still love it now? What’s your favourite Lenny Kravitz track? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Fly Away’¬†can be downloaded off¬†iTunes now –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/fly-away/723338099?i=723338326


#FeelGoodFriday: Shawn Mendes – ‘In My Blood’ & ‘Lost In Japan’


   

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March 2018 saw the return of¬†Shawn Mendes, who brought us not just one, but two brand new singles, both of which vary greatly in style but have equally brilliant Feel-Good Friday vibes. We just couldn’t decide which one to share, so figured, why not share both?!

‘In My Blood’¬†is a (pop)-rock ballad that transcends from a soft, despairing beginning into a thunderous, passionate anthem by the very first chorus and continues to soar from there. This track shows off just how incredible Mendes’ vocals are with their raspy tones that show just how intensely meaningful this song is.

Meanwhile,¬†‘Lost In Japan’ is a melting pot of contemporary funk with R&B and pop flavours too; it’s very reminiscent of something by¬†Justin Timberlake. This track is also passionate but in a very different way; lyrically the song expresses how Mendes would happily travel the globe just to be close to his lover, all of which sits atop a heavy bassline and groovy guitar rhythms.

Sadly, no music videos have been released as yet, but as soon as they do, we’ll be sure to keep you updated.

What are your thoughts of Shawn Mendes’ two new singles? Are you as much of a fan as us? Have you got a #FeelGoodFriday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via our social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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Shawn Mendes – ‘In My Blood’


‘In My Blood’¬†can be downloaded off¬†iTunes now –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/in-my-blood-single/1359906692



Shawn Mendes – ‘Lost In Japan’


‘Lost In Japan’¬†can be downloaded off¬†iTunes now –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/lost-in-japan-single/1360548138


#WildCardWednesday: Naives – ‘Crystal Clear’


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Naives¬†are an¬†exotic-sounding pop group who blend massive¬†tropical beats with huge synth sounds, topped off with funky bass and dynamic vocals, all of which is showcased perfectly in their latest single, ‚ÄėCrystal Clear‚Äô.

The song is an uplifting electro-pop affair with some very intricate production; the tempo gives the appearance of change throughout the song as it weaves amongst some really funk-filled grooves; it’s a very powerful track which has lead to airplay on BBC London and can be heard in high street stores such as¬†H&M and¬†Topman.

The vibrant single is accompanied by an equally flamboyant video, laden with visuals of exploding volcanoes and vast mountains among psychedelic textures that help to convey similar themes to the sound of the song. Watch the music video below.

What are your thoughts of this track? Have you heard anything else by Naives? Make sure you check out their self-titled album (due out 27th January 2017). Leave your thoughts or own #WildCardWednesday song choice in a comment below or via our social media using the hashtag.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Crystal Clear’¬†can be downloaded off¬†iTunes now –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/crystal-clear/id1181006985?i=1181007191


#FeelGoodFriday: Daniel Powter – ‘Delicious’


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Check out our interview with Daniel Powter!

Daniel Powter is finally back with new music! He’s literally just released his first new single in four¬†years, today, in the form of the rather funky pop tune,¬†‘Delicious’.

The song sees Powter using his fantastic, trademark vocal style but with a rather more synth-driven sound behind it and we couldn’t be more excited to have him back. It looks as if this could be signs of a new album from the unique and catchy singer/songwriter.

No official music video has been released yet, but we’ll definitely keep you updated on this!

What are your thoughts of Daniel Powter’s newest release? Are you as excited as we are about the thought of a new album from him? Please share your thoughts or own suggestions for a #FeelGoodFriday track in a comment below.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Delicious’¬†can be downloaded off¬†iTunes now –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/delicious-single/id1187916657


#FeelGoodFriday: Cerrone – ‘Move Me’ featuring Brendan Reilly


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Cerrone is a french disco drummer, composer and record producer; he is considered to be one of the most influential disco producers of the 70s and 80s, within Europe.

His music has been sampled by many artists, including Modjo, Bob Sinclar, The Beastie Boys,¬†Run‚ÄďD.M.C.¬†and he has worked with singers such as¬†Nile Rodgers,¬†Jocelyn Brown and¬†La Toya Jackson.

This year, 2016,¬†Cerrone¬†has released a new studio album, in the form of¬†Red Lips, which features a lot of talent, including¬†Aloe Blacc,¬†Yasmin and¬†Kiesza. One track from the album is¬†‘Move Me’¬†featuring¬†Brendan Reilly. The song is brimming with funky, old-school disco vibes, yet somehow has pushed through a current edge to it!

I am a huge fan of this song and defy anyone not to love the #FeelGoodFriday feel to it; what do you think? Check out the video below…

Please let us know your thoughts on this track or tell us what #FeelGoodFriday song you’d choose, either in a comment below or via our social media accounts.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Move Me’¬†can be downloaded off¬†iTunes now –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/move-me-feat.-brendan-reilly/id1150002388?i=1150002468


#MellowMonday: Kiah Victoria – ‘I Ain’t Goin Nowhere’


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Kiah Victoria¬†is a new discovery for me! She is an incredibly talented and soulful singer who isn’t afraid to put some electro on it!

Her blend of electro-soul is refreshing, and it’s clear that some of her influences include¬†Amy Winehouse and¬†Etta James but that she is making her sound current.

‘I Ain’t Goin Nowhere’ is the singer’s most recent release and it’s truly captivating – I strongly recommend you check this song out, as well as some of her others.

No official video has been released and I can’t find a good quality version on YouTube, but make sure you check it out on Spotify, below ūüôā

What do you think of this up-and-coming songstress? Is she making your #MellowMonday marvellous? Have you got a similar song to share with us? Please leave your song choice in a comment below or hit us up via our social media accounts.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘I Ain’t Goin Nowhere’¬†can be downloaded off¬†iTunes now –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/i-aint-goin-nowhere-single/id1131281430