#FeelGoodFriday: Marianas Trench – ‘Rhythm Of Your Heart’


   

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Marianas Trench (Brighton show review here) are a pop rock band from Canada, who formed in 2001 and is fronted by the multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, Josh Ramsay.

To date, the band have released four full-length albums and in 2017, the band released this incredibly catchy, pop-infused, synth-driven anthem, ‘Rhythm Of Your Heart’. No details of a new album have been mentioned as yet, but with a strong single like this, surely one must be in the pipeline?!

The video (below) is pretty funky with all its neon-ness too.

What are your thoughts of this funky pop rock band’s latest single? Have you got a #FeelGoodFriday 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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‘Rhythm Of Your Heart’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/rhythm-of-your-heart/1318994448?i=1318994466


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#MellowMonday: Petit Biscuit – ‘Sunset Lover’


   

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Petit Biscuit (less frequently known by his real name of Mehdi Benjelloun) is a French DJ and music producer, born November 10th 1999.

His song, ‘Sunset Lover’, was released in 2015 onto the music platform Soundcloud, when he was at the young age of 15. The song has been stripped back in terms of style compared to the mainstream electronica music which you frequently hear in the charts. What we are left with, is a melody that includes a simplistic yet heavily relaxing guitar line, single short notes, a basic kick drum, occasional clapping and strange yet intriguing vocals, which could be seen to mimic an infant sounding out words for the first time.

The song has now reached over 180 million streams on Soundcloud and Spotify combined, as well as it reaching No. 13 on the Hot/Dance/Electronic song chart. It can be found on his newest album titled Presence, which was released last year (2017).

“Sunset Lover is more about the chorus and verse, even if there aren’t lyrics”Petit Biscuit

I personally find that the creative rhythm, melodic presence and unique style of this song is calming, relaxing and thought provoking. I frequently listen to Petit’s music while studying or occasionally when trying to sleep in the evenings after a particularly stressful day.

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‘Sunset Lover’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/sunset-lover/1288742033?i=1288743028


#Playlist: Save A Life – How Music Helped Save Me…


   

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The idea for this post came about whilst I was contemplating creating the annual Christmas playlist I’ve done since I started Muzik Speaks back in 2015, but I quickly realised that I was purely doing it because of the time of year and with the thoughts that as a music blog, I should probably pump out something Christmassy.

Inside though, I’m just not feeling like celebrating Christmas this year and truth be told, I’ve been through a very dark patch for a few months now.

I began this blog as a lover of music (ever since I can remember) but also with the old saying in mind that “music speaks louder than words” and I truly believe that in many ways, it does…hence the blog name!

However, since September this year, I was propelled into an incredibly difficult place and since then my head has gone through a very dark, deeply depressive and isolated state and it’s only now, that I’m starting to see some distant, very small rays of light at the end of the long, outstretched tunnel ahead, but with those rays, they have brought just a scrap of positivity into my life.

During the period I mentioned, one of the first things to take a hit was my passion for music – something which has always been an obsession of mine, and looking back, that was a key indicator that I was suffering from depression, although I couldn’t recognise it at the time. I’ll be honest and say that at my lowest point, for a couple of weeks or so, I contemplated suicide almost every day, for what I was being put through and how I was being treated and self-harm was something that alleviated just a tiny bit of the desire/waves of compulsion I felt, to end my life. I wish I hadn’t I let myself get to that stage now, and would never advocate someone do that, but I share this as a plea for people to seek support from whoever and wherever they can, to help give them some much needed strength during their darkest times.

As cliché as it sounds, the song ‘1-800-273-8255’ by Logic featuring Alessia Cara and Khalid came into my life by happy accident and instantly made an impact on me – it truly kept me going for a couple of weeks straight.

And then slowly but surely over the last few weeks, my passion for music has been really reignited – by mainly angry/empowering rock songs at first; Thirty Seconds To Mars‘This Is War’ was on repeat for a few days and then more recently, Linkin Park‘s ‘Faint’. The tone to those two songs really helped me to channel the anger I was feeling about the place I was in and charged me up with a little renewed strength.

However once I’d started to get over the anger, I began to truly take time to reflect where I was at with my mental state and objectively begin to deal with my dark thoughts and the things that were eating me up inside. It was at that point that a whole host of songs began to play their part in reshaping me and helping me to truly confront with what I was going through.

That is why I decided to create a playlist that is very personal to me and filled it with the songs that had a hand in keeping me alive, helped me to regain a fraction of my normal self and begin to deal with things, each in their own unique way.

Save A Life - Colour

I guess in some way, I’m hoping that this playlist will reach even just one person who is going through a similar rough patch and that it helps them to fight back against their depression and regain their confidence and love of life, or that someone who has already come out the other side can relate to this and appreciate the songs for their unique qualities, thought-provoking lyrics and/or empowering styles.

I should add that I have been very lucky to have my partner, family, some good friends and even my dog (not that she’ll ever know it) to support me through this bleak time and they too have played a vital role in helping me get through this.

Additionally, I sought some counselling – at first it was over the phone but I quickly found that I was craving some human interaction and so went to meet a counsellor and that too has been invaluable to helping me, so I recognise that whilst it’s not entirely the music that has helped me, it was during the times, when I was alone, that this music kept me company, provided me with time to think and played a vital role in aiding me to recover some of my former mental well-being.

I just think that at this time of year, people can feel so alone and having been through what I have, I understand that not everything is joyous for everyone at Christmas time and so I am hoping this playlist will provide something different for people who are feeling down, depressed or suicidal and that it might provide some sort of pick-me-up that you might need or that my story or the music strike a chord with someone and give them something to stop and think about.

My message to anyone who is struggling is just know that things can get better if you hang in there. Believe in yourself and most importantly, take each day as it comes. Fill your time with things you enjoy doing, however small or simple – embrace them. Talk to whoever you feel comfortable talking to, whether it be friends, family or someone anonymous via a helpline – don’t bottle things up. Find joy in music you love, films you enjoy or any other things you like to do and try to take your mind off what you’re worrying about and try to envisage what a happier future would look like.

Finally, I really would like to take the time to ask you to donate to a good cause – if you are going through something similar to me, you have already been through it and managed to come out the other side or even just that you have enjoyed this playlist or felt something for my story, then please visit our JustGiving page www.justgiving.com/muzik-speaks or www.papyrus-uk.org/donate (please quote Muzik Speaks somewhere in your donation) and make a donation – £5 is enough to pay for one phone call, text or e-mail with a young person – you truly can help ‘Save a Life’.

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If you have a story you are willing to share or you want to discuss anything in this post, then please leave a comment; I would just ask that you remain sensitive with what you write on this post please. I also urge you that if you yourself are feeling suicidal or you are concerned about someone, to please call PAPYRUS on 0800 068 4141, text 07786 209697 or e-mail pat@papyrus-uk.org – whilst I am always happy to talk, I’m not a trained professional but people at PAPYRUS are, and will do their best to help.


#MuzikSpeaks: An Interview with Charly & Faust


   

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Charly&Faust are a band who mix psychedelia with blues to create a very unique sound. We had the chance to chat to them and find out a bit more about what inspires them, how they go about writing and recording their music and what they get up to before a show. It’s all here…


Hey, how’s it going?
Faust: Good thanks for spending some time with Charly&Faust.
Charly: Hello! It is going pretty well. Thanks to take the time to interview us.

What future plans have you got? Any new singles or an album in the pipeline?
Faust: We just released our EP ‘Wild World’ on all the music platforms. We are also about to record a new song that we are very excited about! We are lucky to work with two incredible people: Peace S. Nistades for the artistic production and Gerhard Westphalen for the mixes and masters.
Charly: We have a music video out called ‘No Rush’ which got nominated in a lot of festivals now. We are really proud and really lucky we were able to work with talented people (Mariano Schoedorff Ares as director, Zoé Pelloux as Producer and Ines Coca as Cinematographer).

Where do you take inspirations from when making your music?
Charly: Someone told me few years ago, “You can’t create music and Art in general if you stay in a recording studio and don’t live!”. It is exactly that. You need to live and get hurt to have things to say. I also discovered a new way to get inspired, which is making researches about events and topics I want to talk about. I am currently using this method for my solo EP and it is really fascinating where you can go by just reading other people.
Faust: Life is pretty much what inspires me, my experiences, my demons, my fears, my happiness…There are no rules really of where I take inspirations.

What’s your usual process for writing/recording?
Charly: In Charly&Faust, Faust is the one coming to us with lyrics and then we are working all together on the structure and the melodies. For the recording part, we are usually starting with the rhythmic section (Coralie Hervé on Drums and Eric Reymind on Bass), then we are recording my rhythm guitar, Jefferson Fichou does the lead guitar and finally Nathan Lorber comes in for the keys. After all that we are focusing on the lead vocals with Faust, which can take some time because we are always trying to improve our harmonies and melodies. After all that recording part, we are producing the songs by adding several other instruments with Peace S. Nistades.
Faust: I like to be by myself usually when I’m writing a song, in a quiet space. I need to be in my own bubble. When the lyrics are ready, I work on the melody with Charly. This part is so important in our band. We need to be just the both of us first to really be able to present a piece that Coralie, Eric, Jeff and Nathan can work on. Because of all that preparation and work, the song pretty much ready before we get to the recording session. 

If you could do a collaboration with anyone, who would it be and why?
Faust: I’d love to do a collaboration with Lana del Rey! I love her style and she inspires me lot as well
Charly: Tracy Chapman, P!nk, Tegan & Sara

What music have you been listening to most recently?
Faust: For the last few days, I have been listening to James Brown.
Charly: We just lost a wonderful French artist called Johnny Hallyday. I am rediscovering his music now. He was an extraordinary singer and an amazing showman.

If you had to cover a recent chart song, which song would it be and why?
Charly: ‘Dommage’ from Big Flo & Oli, or ‘What About Us’ from P!nk.
Faust: I don’t know if ‘Stay’ by Rihanna is recent enough but that would be a good one for a cover. I just love the vibes and the melody of that song, I can already see how to make this one with Charly&Faust’s style.

What makes a great show for you?
Faust: Connection with the band members and the audience.
Charly: A stage, an audience, and a lot of alcohol and cigarets *laughs*.

Do you have any pre-show or post-show rituals?
Charly: Having a drink with the band, jamming with them, and Faust doing our tribal make ups. You are going to be able to discover all that in our Vlog #2 on our YouTube channel!
Faust: I like jamming before a show and doing some warm up voice exercises. 

Has anything scary ever happened to you on tour?
Faust: Not really because I haven’t done a tour with Charly&Faust yet, but maybe soon!!
Charly: Couple of stuff happened when I was touring for other artists, but not with Charly&Faust yet. My biggest fear would be to loose my guitar during the trip! It would be a real nightmare! 

Do you have any other passions outside of music?
Charly: Food, gardening, my pets! I know I am already a grandma!
Faust: I love dancing, this is the best way to actually express yourself universally. You don’t need words! But I love writing songs though *laughs*. 

What really grinds your gears?
Faust: Violence towards animals.
Charly: Tags! Who needs to be tagged by someone else to find who they really are? 

What’s the best film you’ve seen lately?
Faust: Logan Lucky by Steven Soderbergh.
Charly: The Broken Circle Breakdown by Felix Van Groeningen. 

If, in say 20 years time, a film was made about your life, who would you want to play you?
Charly: Myself! I think nobody else would be interested in the role *laughs*. My life is boring and I am working hard to keep it this way!
Faust: Alicia Vikander.

If you could be any chocolate bar, which one would you be?
Faust: Dark chocolate almond.
Charly: A chocolate bar from Switzerland because they make the best quality chocolate. And I’m half Swiss.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Charly: Do what you want to do and if someone is judging you they can go fuck themselves!
Faust: Never have any regrets!


Charly & Faust‘s releases are all available:


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#Review: Story Of The Year – Wolves

 


 

   

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Story Of The Year first captivated my attention with their debut album, Page Avenue, back in 2003. Since then the band have had a string of albums, been involved in a whole host of side-projects, taken a hiatus, reformed and run a successful PledgeMusic campaign, which all lead to this, their sixth studio album, Wolves.

SOTY - Wolves.jpg

The album opens with the title track, ‘Wolves’, which sounds like some sort of background, cinematic sound effects from a horror film, before leading into the intense, fast-paced, gang-vocal-packed song, ‘How Can We Go On’, which perfectly represents the band’s roots in alternative/hard rock. From there, the album weaves its way brilliantly throughout a whole range of powerful, thrashing, metal-like songs and emotionally-driven, rock ballads that you just can’t help but want to belt out loud.

One thing’s for certain; the band have truly poured out their honest feelings and inner-most emotions into every track on this record. It’s also the band’s first album to be recorded in pieces, across several, separate locations, meaning they could really afford to take their time to focus and perfect the sound they wanted to achieve. The album title, Wolves, was chosen to embody the concept of life circling you and closing in on you, just like a pack of wolves.

Some of my favourite and most stand-out tracks on the album have to be, ‘Bang Bang’ (dubbed “a fast-paced, electro-infused rager complete with a catchy chorus” by AltPress), ‘Youth’ (which is a short guitar track that feels anthemic beyond words), ‘I Swear, I’m Okay’ (a synth-driven ballad-esque belter), ‘Can Anybody Hear Me’ (probably one of the catchiest tracks on the record and a real sing-along tune) and ‘Like Ghosts’ (which is just epic and in places the use of synths remind me a little of the Stranger Things theme – this song was born to be in a movie).

Undoubtedly, the quartet have demonstrated how committed they are to making what could well be the best album since their debut.

The record was produced by Aaron Sprinkle (Anberlin, New Found Glory, Acceptance) and mixed by none other than Tom Lord-Alge and J Hall – which probably explains why it sounds particularly epic! It soars to incredible heights and tantalises the melancholic heart-strings in all the right places.

Undoubtedly, the quartet have demonstrated how committed they are to making what could well be the best album since their debut. It’s an inspired body of work that shows off a real depth to their songwriting and evolution in their style. They have managed to record a soundscape of vulnerability, fear and anxiety and present it in a really exhilarating and cohesive body of music. This is certainly an album not to be missed.

Rating
4


‘Wolves’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/wolves/1300989796


Wolves on Spotify

‘Bang Bang’ (Official Video)

‘I Swear, I’m Okay’ (Official Audio)


We hope you’ve enjoyed this review of Story Of The Year’s latest album! What are your thoughts about it? What would you rate it? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or chat to us about it via our social media.


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#EventSpeaks: Tom Walker @ Green Door Store, Brighton – 28/11/17


   

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Fresh after being added to the Longlist of BBC Music’s Sound of 2018, Tom Walker came to Brighton on the penultimate date of his UK tour. He was supported by up-and-comers, Tors, at The Green Door Store, on Tuesday 28th November 2017 and it was not a night to be missed!


Tors

This band were incredibly exciting – a trio of brothers, born in Brighton and living between London and Devon, they had a very polished sound!

The vocal harmonies the brothers used were remarkably tight and it’s clear that they have worked hard to Perfect this.

The songs themselves were well written and their on-stage presence and chemistry was excellent (I guess being brothers helps). The best way to describe their sound is ‘warm’ – it gives you a great feeling just to hear their beautiful melodies and intricate instrumentation. Definitely check out their music online and catch them live if you get the chance.

Highlight: It was amazing just how full the trio’s sound was, using just 3 guitars, sample pads and a few live drums – I particularly enjoyed the combination of sample pads and live drums.


Tom Walker

It is without a doubt that Tom Walker has already built himself up a very loyal following, which was evidenced by the fact that the show was a sell-out and virtually everyone in the place was singing along to every word.

I have to admit that I myself didn’t know too many of his songs prior to going and those that I did know, were along the more mellow lines but I was (pleasantly) surprised to find that his set was packed with quite a few intense, rock-fuelled tunes and some rather insane guitar solos too! The audience were revelling in his heavier songs, skanking out like crazy, whilst his mellower efforts provided an opportunity for the crowd to flex their vocal muscles.

One thing is for certain; this event was definitely something special – it truly felt like we were witnessing the beginning of this guy becoming a big household name and I have to agree with the BBC; I predict big things for him in 2018 – I can’t wait to see what next year holds for this talented artist!

Highlights:

  • The perfection of the set was immense – it was incredible to see how just three people could create such a full and all-encompassing sound.
  • ‘Angels’ was something really special – I reckon this could be a massive, hit single for him – you need to see this live! You could tell that this song gives Tom a buzz too as he was grinning from ear to ear after performing it.
  • Tom got the crowd to shout back, “Fuck it,” during his performance of ‘Rapture’ and the sheer intensity of the crowd’s enjoyment at doing this was a marvel to behold.
  • Whilst the stage at Green Door Store is relatively small, Tom and his band sure made the best of it and I loved the use of his lighting tubes to bring a bit of diversity to the visuals.
  • The bassist’s facial expressions were hysterical – I couldn’t tell whether he’d smelt something unpleasant but was sadistically enjoying it, or he was just lost in the moment, but it sure had some of the crowd amused. Jokes aside, a great musician!
  • The amalgamation of backing tracks and sample pads as well as the live instruments was sensational – kudos to the drummer for his use of the sample pads and blending it with the drums.
  • Straight after the show, Tom took the time to chat to his fans and take photos with them outside the venue – he seemed like a really genuine guy, who was grateful for everyone’s support. It was out here that I heard him mention his debut album would be quite a bit heavier than some of the previous songs he’s released – this was reflected in his live set but I left the show with a real excitement to hear it!

Tom Walker & Matt Wright.JPG


 Setlist

Sun Goes Down
Fly Away
Just You & I
Blessings
Angels
Karma
Play Dead
Heartland
Rapture
Leave A Light On

Encore
Me, Myself & I


Finally, I want to say a massive thanks to Jake Tasker for helping to make this review happen and to Tom Walker himself for the incredible show he put on; it was truly amazing!

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Review: Maroon 5 – ‘Red Pill Blues’


   

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Maroon 5 are one of the biggest bands on the planet and in my eyes they just go from strength to strength. Each album manages to change just enough to move with the current trends in music yet somehow they still manage to maintain their unique identify. This album is a far cry from their debut, Songs About Jane, but it’s still somehow classic Maroon 5.

Red Pill Blues (Deluxe)

The tone for Red Pill Blues is set by the opening track, ‘Best 4 U’, which has a very 80s feel to it with it’s synths and spacey atmosphere, yet somehow it’s still very current.

There’s no mistaking it, this album is less in-your-face about it’s pop nature than some of their previous releases but it’s an incredibly well-crafted record. It is filled with sensual tracks like ‘Lips On You’ (which for some reason really evokes vibes of Phil Collins for me), ‘Wait’, which has a sublime groove to it, married with Adam’s sensational falsetto vocals that just ascend with perfection and then there’s the 11-minute epic track, ‘Closure’, which sees the band break into an extended jam, to close the album. The rather understated, ‘Who I Am’ (featuring LunchMoney Lewis) has a somewhat similar feel to some of the tracks on the band’s debut album while ‘Girls Like You’ is a very catchy song with it’s gang vocals and intense use of acoustic guitar strumming. That’s without even mentioning the massive single, ‘What Lovers Do’, which is just epic!

Not like anything you’ve heard from them before – it’s a sensational, modern-pop record!

Then there’s the deluxe version of the album which contains bonus tracks such as singles ‘Don’t Wanna Know’ and ‘Cold‘ as well as the unreleased tracks ‘Denim Jacket’‘Visions’ and ‘Plastic Rose’ – if you’re a hardcore fan of the band, then you’re definitely going to want this version! ‘Denim Jacket’ has a gospel feel to it, ‘Visions’ is very reggae in its groove, whilst ‘Plastic Rose’ is very current with a deep house tone to it.

It has a very modern pop record and whilst on some tracks you forget they’re actually a full band, others make up for it with their funky bass sounds, soulful guitar licks or acoustic guitar rhythms. The use of different producers hasn’t detracted from it being an eclectic yet comprehensive record.

I would say that this album has a rather mellow and modest feel to it throughout but it’s still a sensational, modern-pop record! You should most definitely check it out – it’s not like anything you’ve heard from them before.

Rating
4


‘Red Pill Blues’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/red-pill-blues-deluxe/id1292455301


Red Pill Blues on Spotify

 ‘What Lovers Do’ featuring SZA (Official Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review of Maroon 5’s latest album! What are your thoughts of this latest release? Are you as much of a fan as us? What would you rate it? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or talk to us about it 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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