*EXCLUSIVE* #Review: Chicane – The Place You Can’t Remember, The Place You Can’t Forget ūüí≠


   

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Chicane (aka Nick Bracegirdle) is a British musician, composer, songwriter and producer who has had a string of hits that have been massive on the Ibiza club scene, including ‘Saltwater’ (featuring vocals by M√°ire Brennan from Clannad), ‘Offshore’, ‘Don’t Give Up’ (featuring Bryan Adams) and ‘Stoned In Love’ (with vocals by the legendary Tom Jones). Now, 2018 sees the release of his seventh album, The Place You Can’t Remember, The Place You Can’t Forget (released through Modena Records and Armada Music); here’s what we think about it…

Chicane - The Place You Can't Remember, The Place You Can't Forget.jpg

I would go so far as to say that this might be one of Chicane‘s best albums to date; it’s diverse, eclectic and contemporary whilst not compromising on his instantly recognisable sound and style.

The album opens with the stunningly atmospheric ‘Running To The Sea’ which reverberates right through the chest, due to low rumbles and bass notes but meanwhile uses harmonic guitars, making it sound equally euphoric; it’s like the dawn of a beautiful day, but in this instance, the day is the album!

From there, 2017 single, ‘Gorecki’ (featuring vocals by Hannah Robinson), makes an album appearance; very much a classic Chicane track – mesmerising, hypnotic synth plucks, dream-like pads, echoing vocals and deeply rooted in the house genre.

Also, Tracey Ackerman makes a much anticipated return collaboration on single, ‘Serendipity’; a calm and ambient track.

Some of the other, most notable tracks, include: the instant, turn-it-up anthem, ‘A Love That’s Hard To Find’; definitely a song that provides room to breathe throughout but also includes some Daft Punk-esque vocals (from Paul Aiden) on top of a summery, deep house beat; ‘Rainbow’ keeps you in suspense all the way through with its calming vocals (provided by Tyler Lyle) and synths that teeter around the edge of something big, probably making it one of the most ambient songs on the album and two Rosalee O’Connell-sung tracks; ‘Nirvana’ – an EDM meets house affair that has some wonderful, broken falsetto vocals, with a touch of something old-school (like ATB‘s ‘9 PM (Till I Come)’ or York‘s ‘On The Beach’) and ‘I Came Here For You’ which serves up an exotic combination of cascading synths, heavy drums, rhythmic bass and dreamy vocals that sit in the centre of the mix, almost surrounded by the instrumentation.

Somehow this feels very different to some of his previous releases; it is uplifting, fresh, reinvigorating and really pushes the boundaries of what he can produce.

To be perfectly honest though, it’s incredibly hard to find something not to love about every track on the album; ‘Chord – Less Yacht’ slowly builds from a muffled, static-like intro to an angelic-sounding, deep house anthem with shimmering synths and thumping beats, ‘Judder’ sounds like the theme to an 80s fighting game (think Street Fighter) but with dramatic changes in tempo and barely audible vocal notes coursing through it, ‘Ten Deep’ sounds like the film score to a modern sci-fi movie, due to its soaring synths and bold brass sounds and ‘Fear I Must First Let You Go’ (featuring vocals by Chris James) is a positive take on looking to the future – a therapeutic song that has an almost sermon-like quality to it.

Without a doubt, The Place You Can’t Remember, The Place You Can’t Forget is still an ambient, atmospheric and deep house-filled album that is instantly recognisable as Chicane, but somehow it feels very different to some of his previous releases; it is uplifting, fresh, reinvigorating and really pushes the boundaries of what he can produce.

Lastly, I would like to make a special thanks to Nick and his manager Louis, for allowing us to be the first and only people to have had access to the full album prior to its release. It truly has been a privilege.

Rating


‘The Place You Can’t Remember, The Place You Can’t Forget’¬†is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/the-place-you-cant-remember-the-place-you-cant-forget/1377444000


‘The Place You Can’t Remember, The Place You Can’t Forget’ on Spotify

Serendipity (Official Video)

A Love That’s Hard To Find (Official Audio)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of this incredible musician and producer’s latest album? Do you love it as much as us? What would you rate it? Please leave your thoughts in a comment below or share your views about it via our social media.


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#Two4Tunesday: James Arthur – ‘You Deserve Better’ & MNEK – ‘Colour’ featuring Hailee Steinfeld


   

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James Arthur – ‘You Deserve Better’

James Arthur has just returned with not one, but two, new songs in the form of a double A-side single, You Deserve Better/At My Weakest.

‘You Deserve Better’ is an acoustic-driven track at the start but then goes on to see the introduction of funky bass guitars, pounding drums and rhythmic claps. The almost understated repetition of the track’s title in the pre-chorus is catchy and seems to take a hold on the listener, before James Arthur bursts into his full, powerful vocals in the chorus. It’s a brilliantly written track!

Does this signify the coming of a third album for the artist?!

No official video has been released as yet, but the paper-themed lyric video (below) should keep you going for now.


‘You Deserve Better’¬†is¬†on¬†iTunes for downloading now! –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/you-deserve-better-at-my-weakest-single/1389804905



MNEK – ‘Colour’ featuring Hailee Steinfeld

To much delight from fans, MNEK recently announced that his debut album is finished and in the process of being mixed.

Earlier this year, he released the tantalising ‘Tongue’ and now he’s back with ‘Colour’ (presumably the second single from the upcoming album), which is a collaboration with singer and actress, Hailee Steinfeld.

The track comes just in time for Pride season and with the mention of rainbows ūüĆą and MNEK himself being gay, we’re sure this is going to receive a lot of spins around the world, this summer.

The track is tropical house-flavoured with and almost reggae beat to it. The playful, loved-up lyrics are fun and catchy and the way the pair bounce off each other and harmonise is just perfect!

Again, no music video has been released for this track yet but the wonderfully colourful lyric video (below) should hopefully brighten up your day.


‘Colour’¬†can also be downloaded from iTunes now! –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/colour-feat-hailee-steinfeld/1386508884?i=1386509174


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#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;‚ÄúEvery night I‚Äôm at your window, Wonder when you‚Äôre gonna let me in.‚ÄĚA 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: George FitzGerald – All That Must Be


   

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George FitzGerald is an English, electronic musician who previously worked for London label, Black Market Records, but after relocating to Berlin in 2010, began recording and releasing his own music. 2015 saw the release of his debut album, Fading Love, and now in 2018, he’s releasing his second record, All That Must Be. Here’s what we have to say about it…

George FitzGerald - All That Must Be.jpg

The album opens to the sounds of the hustle and bustle outside FitzGerald’s London studio, nicely setting the theme for the rest of the record, which very much echos the thrum of urban life.

In amongst the production, vocals are present, however, save for the tracks with guest vocalists, Lil Silva and Tracey Thorn (Everything But The Girl), they are barely recognisable, through much distortion and production wizardry. This is executed perfectly though, as they blend so well with the instrumentation, that it actually takes a few listens to properly realise they are in fact vocals.

George further explains, “In many of the songs the vocals are disembodied and processed to the point you can‚Äôt make out what they‚Äôre saying. I wanted that to mirror the uncanniness you feel when a massive event happens in your life. Everything looks and sounds the same but it‚Äôs somehow different. Your surroundings are less intelligible.” This is very much reflected in the album’s lead single ‘Burns’, which was also played regularly on Radio 1.

This album is a complete body of artistic work that has a unique story-like quality to it.

All That Must Be is very much an album of music that brilliantly depicts urban life. It is almost a soundtrack to the commotion of a city and represents the rhythm and heartbeat that so many cities often seem to have.

On first listen it’s easy to feel like all the tracks on the album are quite similar and that it stays the same from start to finish. However, it’s only when you listen again that you can truly appreciate just what a remarkable piece George FitzGerald has created, with subtle, intricate variations and changes in atmosphere. This is a complete body of artistic work that has a unique story-like quality to it. It might not be to everyone’s taste but it is astounding how an almost entirely instrumental album, can so clearly illustrate a picture in the mind and audibly represent so many moods. It’s both hypnotic and melancholic in places and there is a real sense of motion about it; it certainly doesn’t stand still.

Some of the most stand-out tracks are ‘Frieda’ for its meditative quality, ‘Burns’, for simply being the monster track that it is and ‘Roll Back’ and ‘Half-Light (Night Version)’ for their collaborations with Lil Silva and Tracey Thorn, respectively.

This is a record that could easily be experienced and enjoyed on a long drive at night, with the warm summer air breezing through the open windows or as something to ultimately sit back, relax and chill out to.

Rating
4


‘All That Must Be’¬†is out now¬†and can be downloaded from iTunes –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/all-that-must-be/1322664114


All That Must Be on Spotify

Roll Back featuring Lil Silva (Official Video)

Burns (Official Audio)

George FitzGerald Tour Dates

All tickets are on general sale now, via www.george-fitzgerald.com.

19 March – Munich, DE – Ampere
20 March – Berlin, DE – Schwuz
21 March – Cologne, DE – Yuca
22 March – Paris, FR – Nouveau Casino
23 March – Brussels, BE – AB Club
24 March – Utrecht, NL – Catch Festival
26 March – Brighton, GB – The Haunt
27 March – London, GB – Islington Assembly Hall
28 March – Glasgow, GB – The Art School
29 March – Manchester, GB – Gorilla
09 May – San Francisco, US – The Independent
10 May – Echo Park, US – The Echo
12 May – Salt Lake City, US – Kilby Court Gallery
13 May – Denver, US – Larimer Lounge
15 May – Chicago, US – Subterranean
16 May – Toronto, CA – Drake Hotel
17 May – Montreal, CA – Bar le Ritz PDB
18 May – Boston, US – Great Scott
19 May РNew York, US РRough Trade


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review of George FitzGerald’s second album,¬†All That Must Be! What do you think of it and what would you rate it? Please let us know your thoughts in a comment or share your feelings 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: Maroon 5 – ‘What Lovers Do’ featuring SZA


   

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Maroon 5 are gearing up to release their sixth album in November this year (2017) and with a series of new singles since their fifth album, V, this is the latest to be released from their upcoming LP.

‘What Lovers Do’¬†features American singer¬†SZA¬†in addition to¬†Adam Levine‘s trademark falsetto vocals, tied together with house-style synths and upbeat drums and handclaps. It’s got a great summery vibe to it and it comes right at the end of the season to give us one more mood boost before autumn sets in.

The singles the band have been releasing have had a real R&B tint to them and it sure excites me for their upcoming album.

*UPDATE* The music video has emerged online and as I suspected, it’s epic! Great visuals and superb use of CGI effects throughout, albeit in quite a cheesy way, but it’s certainly humorous and fun.

What are your thoughts on the band’s latest summery jam? Have you got a #FeelGoodFriday track you’d like to suggest to us? Please leave your thoughts or song recommendations in a comment or hit us up via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘What Lovers Do’¬†can be downloaded off¬†iTunes now –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/what-lovers-do-feat-sza-single/id1274373328


#WildCardWednesday: Ben Phipps – ‘Mrs Mr’ featuring Lizzy Land


   

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Ben Phipps is a twenty-six year old music producer hailing from Gothenburg, Sweden with a unique style of production that draws influence from both deep house and mainstream pop music.

His latest single, ‘Mrs Mr’, is a¬†collaboration with LA-based singer/songwriter Lizzy Land, whose¬†soaring vocals work effortlessly in line with Ben Phipps‚Äô tempting melodies and layered electronic arrangements.

No music video has been released yet but there is something in the pipeline – in place of a traditional music video, Ben Phipps aspired to produce and direct a live-action lyric film taking place in his home, and across New York City. The piece was filmed by local filmmaker, Christian Lucas, and will be released September 4.

This is definitely an artist who knows what he wants and how to achieve it – he is one to watch out for!

What are your thoughts of this producer’s house track? Have you got your own #WildCardWednesday 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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‘Mrs Mr’¬†can be downloaded off¬†iTunes now –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/mrs-mr-feat-lizzy-land-single/id1263893256


#MuzikSpeaks: An Interview with Pogo (Nick Bertke)


   

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Having recently released his latest album Weightless back in December 2016 and a brand new¬†tune, ‘Boy & Bear’,¬†I had the privilege of talking to the fantastically talented, Nick Bertke (aka¬†Pogo).

During our interview, Nick chatted about what it’s been like to work with Disney, what he’s got in store for releasing music this year, where he takes inspirations from and who he’d like to play him in a biographic film. It‚Äôs all¬†in the interview video below!

I want to say a massive thanks to Nick himself for taking the time to make this interview happen! Such a genuine, lovely guy ūüėÄ

I really hope you enjoy watching this interview! Please show your support for the band by sharing the link to this post on all of your social media accounts!



Pogo‘s releases are all¬†available:


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Muzik Speaks Inteview Title - Pogo.jpgMuzik Speaks Inteview Title - Pogo.jpg