#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


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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;“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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#MuzikSpeaks: An Interview with John Gibbons


   

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Fresh off his set at Ireland’s Electric Picnic festival, I had the opportunity to chat to producer and DJ, John Gibbons, about the success of his recent single, ‘P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)’ and what he’s got in store for us in the coming months. We also had the chance to talk about who he’d really like to work with and what other passions he has, outside of music. It’s all here…


Hey John, how’s it going?
Really good thanks. Have just finished my set at Electric Picnic festival in Ireland, which is always a major highlight on the summer circuit so I’m in buoyant form and ready for the winter club season!

So you released ‘PYT’ back in April and the reception seems to have been incredible, how exciting has that been for you?
Very exciting indeed! The reaction to ‘PYT’ has been phenomenal all over the world and it’s immensely gratifying to receive constant feedback from so many people who feel it has done justice to the memory of Michael Jackson – something I was very conscious of whilst producing the track. I can’t wait for the next single now!

What future plans have you got? Any new singles or an album in the pipeline?
The most immediate plan is the release of the follow-up single to ‘PYT’. It’s an original track rather than a cover this time and will be out in the next couple of months so I’m looking forward to stepping things up another gear – it’s a banger! An album will follow at some point but for now the priority is the next couple of singles. I’ve a number of interesting remixes coming out soon too so keep an ear out for those.

Where do you take inspirations from when creating your music?
From all over. I listen to all styles of music and have done from a very young age so I like to draw inspiration from that diverse musical background. I also like to put a little of myself into each track so the direction of much of my music is also influenced by what’s going on in my life at any given time and sometimes past experiences also. Overall though, I want to make people feel good about themselves and transport them to a place where they can leave the world behind for just a few minutes while listening – expression is important but sharing the experience is even more important in my opinion.

If you could do a collaboration with anyone, who would it be and why?
The Weeknd
. I’m a big fan of him and vocally I think he’s so perfectly suited to what I do that he’d be foolish not to collab with me – our track would undoubtedly be the biggest moment in both of our shows – hit me up Abel!

What music have you been listening to most recently?
In terms of dance music I’ve been listening to and playing out a lot of the new wave of latin-influenced house that’s been shutting down shows all over this summer – hit up my radio show every week to hear loads! Otherwise I’ve been listening to loads of Huntar, a UK artist who I’m a huge fan of and is gonna be massive, also Irish band, Walking On Cars, lots of UK grime and I’m also really enjoying Australian artist, Wish I Was, at the moment too.

If you had to cover/remix a recent chart song, which song would it be and why?
I think ‘Glorious’ by Macklemore. The energy in that track is tailor-made for a big piano-house pop cover and his vocal would slot in deliciously. I can picture the live show together too – a high-octane match made in dancefloor heaven!

Do you have any other passions outside of music?
My big passion is tennis. Whilst I don’t play anything like as often as I used to in the past (which was all day every day as I grew up!), I’m still a huge fan of the sport and in particular Roger Federer – the guy is an inspiration on so many levels. I also love languages and am generally in the middle of learning a new one. At the moment it’s Polish!

What really grinds your gears?
The fact that most people in Western society spend too much time time looking outwards rather than inwards and down when we should be looking up. I feel the world would be a much better place if narcissism and vicariousness were replaced by quiet introspection and positive action.

What’s the best film you’ve seen lately?
The Truman Show. I know it’s not a recent movie but I watched it just yesterday. It’s my favourite movie of all time, closely followed by They Live. Two movies with mind-blowing messages for those with eyes to see…

If, in say 20 years time, a film was made about your life, who would you want to play you?
Leonardo di Caprio – sure we already look practically identical!

If you could be any chocolate bar, which one would you be?
A Star Bar. That’s the direction I’m always reaching and where I’d be most at home!

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Read between the lines…


John Gibbons‘ releases are all available:


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#ThrowbackThursday: Michael Jackson – ‘Blood On The Dancefloor’


   

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‘Blood On The Dancefloor’ is quite an underrated track from the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson. The song was released as the first single from the remix album, Blood On The Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix.

Interestingly, Jackson and Teddy Riley actually created the track in time for the 1991 release of the album, Dangerous, however, it did not appear on the record. Instead, it was altered slightly before it found commercial release, in 1997. The track plays with a selection of genres including funk and new jack swing.

Needless to say, the track rocketed to Number 1 in the UK charts and the music video premiered on Top Of The Pops. It revolved around the main character of the track, Susie (played by Sybil Azur), seducing Jackson with a dance, before pulling a switchblade on him.

What are your thoughts on this underrated MJ track? Got your own #ThrowbackThursday 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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‘Blood On The Dancefloor’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/blood-on-the-dance-floor/id193015198?i=193015409


#SummerSongs 2017 – The Playlist


   

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It’s the 1st August and summer is in full swing! As such, I thought it was time to present you with our next playlist – #SummerSongs 2017 (following on from #SummerSongs 2015)!

This 30-track playlist has been lovingly crafted with over 100 minutes of summery songs, both new and old, that I really love and put me in a great mood and I hope it’ll do the same for you too 🙂

If you already own the songs and want the custom artwork, please feel free to copy/download the artwork below:

Summer Songs 2017

#SummerSongs 2017 – The Playlist

This mammoth, tune-filled playlist includes the following summer anthems:

  1. Ed Sheeran – Castle On The Hill (Throttle Remix)
  2. OneRepublic – Rich Love featuring Seeb
  3. A R I Z O N A – Feed The Beast
  4. Jonas Blue – Mama featuring William Singe
  5. NEIKED – Call Me featuring MIMI
  6. Sigala – Came Here For Love featuring Ella Eyre
  7. Phats & Small – Turn Around
  8. Nevada – The Mack featuring Mark Morrison Fetty Wap
  9. Rita Ora – Your Song
  10. Anton Powers – Baby featuring Pixie Lott
  11. John Gibbons – P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)
  12. Zedd – Stay featuring Alessia Cara
  13. Will Joseph Cook – Plastic
  14. Miley Cyrus – Malibu
  15. Luis Fonsi – Despacito featuring Daddy YankeeJustin Bieber
  16. Calvin Harris – Feels featuring Pharrell WilliamsBig SeanKaty Perry
  17. Katy Perry – Bon Appétit featuring Migos
  18. Ke$ha – Learn To Let Go
  19. Disciples – On My Mind
  20. J Hus – Did You See
  21. Bruno Mars – That’s What I Like
  22. Shawn Mendes – There’s Nothing Holding Me Back
  23. The All-American Rejects – Sweat
  24. Club Drive – International
  25. Busted – One Of A Kind
  26. The Maine – Bitch Better Have My Money
  27. Life Of Dillon – Rocks
  28. Paramore – Forgiveness
  29. Sheppard – Geronimo
  30. Coldplay – A Head Full Of Dreams

I’ve gathered only the best songs which I hope will be the soundtrack to your summer – I want this summer to be one you’ll remember…for the best reasons! Check out the playlist on Spotify.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#MuzikSpeaks: An Interview with Club Drive


   

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Having recently been impressed by Club Drive when I saw them support Marianas Trench on their UK tour, I had to chat to Aaron and find out a little more about him and the band. Here’s what he had to say…


So you released ‘Voyager’ back in May and the reception seems to have been amazing, how exciting has that been for you?
It’s been overwhelming to be honest. When we write and record new songs, the focus is very much on getting them to a place that we’re really happy with. We never really get time to think about the end goal, so when we get news that the song has been picked up by Radio 1 or people are hearing it in their local shops/restaurants it always catches us by surprise. It’s been an amazing year so far and we’re really grateful for everyone’s support.

What future plans have you got? Any new singles or an album in the pipeline?
Absolutely, all the above. Brand new single ‘International’ is on the way very soon complete with our favourite music video we’ve done to date. Then we’ll be hitting the studio during festival season to start work on our debut album.

How was your UK tour with Marianas Trench?
It was amazing to be honest, the guys and their team are incredible at what they do and seeing a band who are so enormous the world over, coming to the UK to play (by their usual standards) tiny venues, was really something! We got to see a lot more of the country than we usually do and the fans in each city were so welcoming of us as a support band. We really hope to see everyone again later this year!

Where do you take inspirations from when writing your music?
All sorts really. Artists and songs that we love from all decades, personal experiences that we’ve been or are going through and a lot of the time, without sounding preachy, events that are going on around us on a bigger scale usually help shape what we’re feeling at the time.

If you could do a collaboration with anyone, who would it be and why?
Great question! I guess it depends on if we’re talking dead or alive so let’s go with…..

  • DeadMichael Jackson, obviously the biggest music icon of our lifetime and arguably ever.. But I actually think his vocal on our tracks would work so well!(saying that his vocal on any track sounds amazing)
  • Alive – is a harder one, we would love to collaborate with a female vocalist such as Katy Perry, Dua Lipa, Anne Marie, etc. but also we’d be really keen to hear the outcome of working with the likes of Sigma, Sigala, Mura Masa or The Chainsmokers, etc.

What music have you been listening to most recently?
Loads – we actually now have a “Club Drive Weekly” playlist on Spotify where each week we’ll share a list of new artists and songs that we’re really into, so recently it’s been the likes of Lower Than Atlantis, Eliza & The Bear, Don Broco, Clean Cut Kid, Dua Lipa & loads more!

If you had to cover a recent chart song, which song would it be and why?
Another tough one as there’s been a lot of bangers lately. I’m actually a sucker for the new Jonas Blue record ‘Mama’ – absolute tune & would love to see what we’d come up with giving that a go.

If someone famous was to cover one of your songs, who would you want it to be and which song?
Again, really tough question. Something like a John Mayer cover of ‘International’ would be really interesting OR maybe a Little Mix cover of ‘Spare Time’ just to hear something completely different.

Do you have any other passions outside of music?
Yeah, to be honest, we’re all really driven people and it’s probably what’s kept us together in harder times.. But I think any one of us would love to set up a business if the opportunity was there. We love sport, theatre, art, travelling and obviously food 😝 but Music is still very much top priority for us!

What really grinds your gears?
People with no manners, whether it’s a thank you for holding a door, an excuse me to get out the way or a thanks for letting someone go when driving. People with no manners REALLY wind us up! 

What’s the best film you’ve seen lately?
That’s a tough one, neither of them are particularly new but watched them both recently… War Dogs & Let’s Be Cops👌🏼

If, in say 20 years time, a film was made about your life, who would you want to play you?
I guess in 20 years time there’ll be an abundance of new, far more attractive, actors to chose from but based on who’s in the game today. I’d say the following:

  • Aaron – Robert Downey Jr (the guy can siiiiiing!)
  • Steve – Ryan Gosling (fun fact he’s an insane bass player)
  • Tommy – Jared Leto
  • Christian – Will Ferrell (cos you couldn’t not have Will Ferrel in your movie.. And he’s also an amazing drummer!)

If you could be any chocolate bar, which one would you be?
I’d probably go with Double Decker, there’s a harder side a softer side but ultimately what you see is what you get.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
ABC
Assume Nothing
Believe No-one
Check Everything


Club Drive‘s releases are all available:


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#MellowMonday: Joel Adams – ‘Please Don’t Go’


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Joel Adams is an Australian singer-songwriter who I just so happened to discover on Spotify! He actually performed a cover of Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney‘s ‘The Girl Is Mine’ on X Factor Australia under the name Joel Goncalves.

Since appearing on the show, the singer has released his debut single, ‘Please Don’t Go’, which recently charted in the Canadian Hot 100!

I really like this song as it has something soulful about it and considering he’s only 19 years old, the guys got talent! The video for this song is pretty cool too – I like the effects used – it’s mesmerising!

Have you heard of Joel Adams before? Do you like this song? What would your #MellowMonday choice be? Please share this on your social media and leave us your song choice for the day too!

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Please Don’t Go’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/please-dont-go-single/id1050676167