#Review: ROAM – Great Heights & Nosedives


   

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ROAM are a British pop punk band from Eastbourne, consisting of members Alex Costello (vocals), Alex Adam (lead guitar and backing vocals), Matt Roskilly (bass), Sam Veness (rhythm guitar) and Miles Gill (drums). The band formed in 2012 and since then have performed on the Warped Tour ’16, signed to Hopeless Records and have now just released their second album, Great Heights & Nosedives.

ROAM - Great Heights & Nosedives Cover2.png

The band’s new record opens with the hard-hitting track, ‘Alive’, and doesn’t really let up from its high-energy, bounce-inducing pop punk for the majority of the album. It is undoubtedly a good effort from the band and a strong follow-up to 2016’s debut, Backbone, however it’s not really taking any great strides to revolutionise the already saturated world of pop punk.

Sadly, ‘Curtain Call’ feels a little like it’s trying too hard to be profound but slightly missing the mark, whilst ‘Home’ is quite a letdown – it really doesn’t finish the album in as strong a way as it started, with just a quick fade out at the end, making it feel like the band weren’t sure quite how to finish the track – I really expected some long and explosive grande finale.

This is an album which is undoubtedly going to sit well within a hardcore, pop punk lover’s collection.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some really great moments on the album too, such as the banger that is ‘Alive’, thundering guitars and mosh-inducing rhythm of ‘Left For Dead’, the grungy, fast-paced ‘Open Water and the varying tempos of the somewhat funky, ‘The Rich Life Of A Poor Man’, which overall, make it quite a thrilling record, however I still feel like it’s nothing that hasn’t been done before. I find myself reminiscing some of the earlier days of New Found GloryAll Time Low and We The Kings and at points even Four Year Strong.

The album was produced by Kyle Black (who’s worked with the likes of State Champs, New Found Glory and Comeback Kid) in Los Angeles, California. This explains the authentic American sound to the record and might account for Alex Costello‘s pseudo-American accent throughout. Whilst this is synonymous with the genre, it’d be nice to hear an English-sounding pop punk band, just for a change.

This is an album which is undoubtedly going to sit well within a hardcore, pop punk lover’s collection…and it should; it’s a decent record. I just think that in order to really stand out from the masses of similar bands and achieve longevity in their career, they’re going to have to really push the boundaries of the genre on their next album; consider the likes of ParamoreFall Out BoyGood Charlotte and All Time Low.

Rating
3


‘Great Heights & Nosedives’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/great-heights-nosedives/id1270970229


Great Heights & Nosedives on Spotify

Alive (Official Video)

Playing Fiction (Official Video)


We really hope you’ve enjoyed our latest album review! What are your thoughts on ROAM’s Great Heights & Nosedives? What would you rate it? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or chat to us via our social media.


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#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’ 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 Kyan Palmer

I recently had the chance to chat with up-and-coming singer songwriter Kyan Palmer (sometimes stylised as KYAN) about his recent hit song, ‘Burn Mona Lisa’ and his upcoming plans for a new single and music video. It’s all here…


   

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Hey Kyan, how’s it going?
You know, I just got back to New York. I’ve been in LA for a little bit and then I was in Arizona for a second (‘coz that’s where I’m from) just stopping there for my Mum’s birthday. You know, caught some sort of, I can’t tell if it’s like allergies or if I’m actually sick right now. But now I’m here back in lovely New York; it’s pouring rain, thunder and like 35 degrees. I love it! How are you doing?

Yeah, I’m really good thanks. So you recently dropped your latest single, Burn Mona Lisa and the reception’s been incredible, how exciting for you!
Yeah! It is!

What’s the message behind the song and where did you take your inspiration from?
This was like the first song I ever wrote, I actually wrote it a while ago and I was struggling because I was trying to figure out how to write, what I wanted to do and whatever. I would kind of try to contrive these stories and it just wasn’t working. But one day I wasn’t trying to write, like I was just sitting in my room, it was like a dorm room in college, and I just started writing about what I felt and where I was at, at that point in time was kind of this perfect thing that everybody thought I should do or everyone thought I wanted but that’s not what I wanted at all. That’s kind of how the concept of this perfect image of the Mona Lisa and something that transcends time kind of erupted and evolved. That’s how I roped in that metaphor with where I was at, at that point.

That’s really cool! So, is there an album or EP in the works? 
There sure is! I’m kind of trying to decide exactly what route I’m going to go because part of me is like I should drop an another single, then an EP and then an album down the line. That’s probably what I’ll do, even though that’s more of a traditional model but there are enough songs that I have cut right now, for an album, which is good.

I guess it just depends if you feel it’s right for you and you feel it’s right at that time, I guess.
Yeah, exactly. And the thing about an album, which is different from singles, is that I want the album to be a body of work and to tell the whole story so a lot of songs that may be like good singles wouldn’t necessarily be on that album. So I’m just like sorting through that and getting that done.

So we can’t really get any dates of when to expect anything?
I mean I wish you could tell me the date (laughs).

Are you going to be doing any music videos for any of your releases?
Yeah, so there will be a lyric video that’s going to come out for ‘Burn Mona Lisa’ shortly, that’s in the process of getting approved. Then after that, I’ll see if I want to make an actual music video. I’m going to wait; I mean I had to make one in the past and it did not work well. So right now I’m just going to focus on the lyric video because it’s not going to be your traditional lyric video, it’s more of like a concept video so it could suffice as a video per say. I’m kind of just taking it step by step. For the next single there definitely will be both lyric and a video which I will be shooting shortly.

Brilliant! Can you give us a single title or not yet?
That’s another good question. Some titles that could be the single title. I’m kind of bouncing around between a few. Every day I wake up and I’m like, “OK, let’s go with this one.” “No, maybe I should do this one.” “Maybe I should do this one.” I mean obviously I have to get it done before I shoot the video. So, I have a couple ideas and basically I’ve narrowed it between 3 songs.

If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?
Ooh, good question. I’d say Kehlani; she’s awesome. I’d like to do 50 Cent. Maybe even Rihanna; yeah, that’d be cool. I guess those are more like pop urban. There’s the whole DJ thing; there’s a lot of DJs. I like Flume a lot – I would do a track with Flume. I’m all over the place.

What really grinds your gears?
I think music-wise, going to a writing session or a recording session, and somebody is going to sit there and just not get anything done. They’ll be like, “Mmm, I don’t know if that is the direction we wanna go.” I’m type of writer that I’m like, “We’re writing our thoughts and feelings and what we’re doing.” It doesn’t have to be this whole grand process. Yes, there’s music structure and whatever but I was like let’s write our story and then we can go back and edit it into the place that we want. But there’s some people that I’ve been in the room with that’ll take literally 6 days to craft a sentence. There are big pop writers that have like 3 sessions a day; it’s just abnormal to think that you have longer than that.

Is there anything other than music you’re really passionate about?
Other than family, I used to play golf back in the day; my little secret that’s not a secret. I was pretty good at that but I haven’t done it in a minute though. I mean mostly, music just consumes all of my time and passion and energy. I really don’t have time for anything else lately….I like dogs! They’re cool!

What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you?
One time (I mean this is like years ago, but it’s a good one), I was in fourth grade and I was at a golf tournament actually. I remember I was like, “I’m gonna go to the bathroom,” and I found the secret one like in the back of the building, that nobody knew about and I got locked in there. This is like pre-cell phone and all that stuff, so I was sitting there, trapped in the bathroom for 2 and a half hours and a whole search party went out. I remember my Mum was crying, searching for me, my hands were bleeding from trying to break out. There was a good amount of attention I got for that! (Laughs) And I was scared of bathrooms for about 2 years after that!

What music have you been listening to most recently?
I have this playlist on Spotify, it’s called ‘Night Drives’, so that’s like all my influences of the current day. I love Mansionz right now (which is Blackbear and Mike Posner) but my favourite song off that album is ‘Wicked’ – it’s just so good! There’s like an EDM artist, well she’s more of a vocalist that does EDM tracks, her name’s ALMA; her track ‘Chasing Highs’ is super good! I love The 1975‘Somebody Else (Alt Edit)’ that’s my favourite. There’s like a baby artist named Griffin Oskar. Super, super talented – he’s got a song called ‘Hostage’, also really good. Oh I love Khalid – have you heard of him?

Yeah, ‘American Teen’ isn’t it?
Yeah, that album is just crazy good. Super good!

Awesome! If you had to cover a recent chart song, what would it be and why?
Oh good question! If I could sing the chorus to ‘It Ain’t Me‘ by Kygo and Selena Gomez, I’d do that, but I can’t do that ‘ba ba ba’ – that part. I like ‘Passionfruit’ (Drake), September Song (JP Cooper), Cold (Maroon 5). Even what I was saying earlier, like Khalid‘Location is another good song. Any of those.

What’s the best film you’ve seen lately?
The best film I’ve seen lately. OK, not gonna lie, it’s between two. One is this movie called ‘The Girl on the Train’, I really liked that. I don’t know why I liked it, but I did. And then the other one is Moana (laughs).

Oh yeah! That’s a good film!
I don’t what, I just liked it.

Why not ‘Beauty and the Beast’?
Oh I didn’t see that one yet.

What! Oh my gosh, it’s epic!
I heard it’s really good. I gotta watch it.

If a film was made about your life, who would you want to play you?
Oh, well I guess hopefully that’d be in like 20 years, so they’re probably a baby now but probably you know, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West‘s baby. Saint? Is that his name? Saint West. What a famous person to play me!

Well send off your letter now – ‘I’ve got a job for you in 20 years’ (Laughter) If you could be any biscuit or chocolate bar, which one would you be and why?
Hmm OK. I’d probably be a dark mint chocolate (or biscuit) because it’s got that refreshing kind of feel to it; it’s a little different to your standard; it’s dark so it’s gonna be an acquired taste and then mint’s in there. Then it’s 50/50 of whether or not the aftertaste is good (laughter).

That’s good; I like that! So, last question – what’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
He doesn’t even remember this but it was by Daniel Glass who is the head of Glassnote Records. He told me (and this is kind of why I ended up in New York, and started thinking about stuff) that ‘if you want it, you have to be in the room where it happens.’ That was his quote and I was like, ‘I don’t know what the hell that means’. I kind of like went with it. I kind of learned that if you want to be, whatever you want to be, (like for me it’s obviously an artist) and there’s other people that have billions of passions. There’s a difference between saying, ‘I want it,’ and you can go do it at your house or putting yourself in the environment that, that’s all you’re surrounded by because you’re going to be at an advantage that way and learn ten times more. So that is the reason I ended up moving to New York and doing the whole thing and really diving in, was I wanted to be in the room where it happens. It made a lot of difference for me.

That’s a good quote! Well thank you very much for taking the time to chat.
I appreciate it.


Kyan Palmer‘s releases are all available:


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#Review: MUNA – About U

‘About U’ is MUNA’s must-have debut album – a thoroughly powerful and stunning release!


   

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In case you didn’t already know, MUNA are an American band consisting of Katie Gavin, Josette Maskin and Naomi McPherson, who have been hard at work, crafting their own unique sound and brand of “dark pop”; this is their debut album, About U.

muna-about-u

About U is an incredible debut album; it’s production is slick and the lyrics are playfully honest. The band have ensured to steer clear of gender pronouns to ensure their songs are able to resonate with a person of any gender or sexuality, yet they still cover a wide variety of topics; relationships, heartbreak, regret, freedom and individuality. Yes, it’s an album predominantly about the ups and downs of love, but MUNA have definitely taken a refreshing stance on it.

What I love about this album is how the style of it flows superbly yet each song has its subtle gems in the production, that make each and every one of them stand out.

It features all the fan-favourites (So SpecialLoudspeaker(an unapologetic anthem for being your imperfect self – a real highlight of the album) and Winterbreak) as well as their newest single ‘Crying On The Bathroom Floor’, which is packed with melodrama. Then there’s the huge, hit single, I Know A Place which is pure pop perfection – it’s catchy as hell and the lyrics provide unity; it’s an anthem for the LGBTQ community and has provided a beacon of hope for those who’ve suffered horrendous attacks in recent times.

The band’s sound is stunningly well-crafted; from the huge, euphoric synths and drum pads to the subtle, endearing guitar licks, Katie Gavin‘s vocals weave beautifully across the tracks. At times she has a vocal style similar to that of Katy Perry and the use of vocoders is subtle yet haunting – very reminiscent of Imogen Heap.

Some of the stand-out tracks (besides the singles) include ‘Around U’ (an anthem of detachment; freedom from a former lover), ‘After’ (an exploration of the feelings you get from the morning after the night before) and ‘Promise’ (an admission of lies that have been told, after it’s too late). ‘End Of Desire’ and ‘Everything’ are fantastic songs too.

All-in-all, this album is the perfect debut and thoroughly deserving of the rating I’ve given it. There isn’t much I can fault with it. It almost allows you to forgive yourself for past mistakes you made and empowers you to take control of your life by embracing the highs and lows of love and relationships. A thoroughly powerful and stunning release. I honestly reached the end of the record and wished that they could release another album of new music next week!

Rating
5.jpg


‘About U’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/about-u/id1171832662


About U on Spotify

‘I Know A Place’ (Official Video)

‘Loudspeaker’ (Official Video)


I hope you enjoyed ‘About U’ as much as I did! What are your thoughts? What would you rate it? Please leave a comment below or let us know 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: Orson – ‘No Tomorrow’


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Orson were a Brit-award wining band from Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.

The band formed in 2000 and split in 2007, but it wasn’t until 2006 that the band really gained their first success, with their debut single, ‘No Tomorrow’.

This song ended up reaching Number 1 in the UK charts and went on to become the UK’s 12th best-selling single of 2006! Although many people think of the band as one-hit-wonders, they did in fact have 2 albums!

The song is a Power Pop/Indie Rock belter that just screams to be chanted at the top of your lungs, so go on, rock out your #ThrowbackThursday like it’s 2006 again!

What did you think of Orson? Do you still love this song? Please share your #ThrowbackThursday song choice with us in a comment below or via our social media accounts.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘No Tomorrow’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/no-tomorrow/id154229489?i=154229538


#MuzikSpeaks: An Interview with Race The Horizon (previously The Mend)

A Skype interview with Race The Horizon (previously The Mend), while they’re out in the USA!


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It was only just over a week ago that I got the opportunity to interview Joe Ragosta from Patent Pending and now we’re back; this time for another interview with Race The Horizon (previously known as The Mend – notable for their time on Britain’s Got Talent)

The group have recently changed their name, recorded a cover of Justin Timberlake’s ‘Cry Me A River’ and now they’re in America hoping to meet some producers and maybe even look at signing some contracts.

The boys are enthusiastic about their upcoming adventures but were sceptical of playing ‘Would You Rather…?’ – and they should’ve been!

I hope you enjoy this interview and please go ahead and share the link on your social media accounts! 

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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Enjoyed this? Watch our other interviews with:

Joe Ragosta from Patent Pending

Ali Tabatabaee from Zebrahead

Frankmusik

Life Of Dillon

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#MellowMonday: Vindata – ‘All I Really Need’ featuring Kenzie May

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Vindata are a Los Angeles-based duo consisting of Branden and Jared. They have a history of interest in Hip-Hop and R&B but are experimenting with House and Electronica.

The duo collaborated with singer Kenzie May to create this melodic masterpiece, ‘All I Really Need’. The song’s intriguing elements, such as bird noises and wide feel make it a remarkable piece of music.

This song is well worth a listen and the colourful video with scenery visible through the silhouettes makes for a captivating video too!

What do you think of this song? Have you got any similar tracks to share with us? Please comment below.

Matt – Muzik Speaks