#Review: State Champs – Living Proof ūüźĮ


   

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State Champs are a pop punk powerhouse, who formed in Albany, New York, back in 2010. To date, the band have released two albums, which had great receptions, making them a staple name in the pop punk world. Now they are releasing their third full-length record, Living Proof, which is set to see the band soar to new heights!

State Champs - Living Proof.jpg

Kicked into top gear immediately, with opening track, ‘Criminal’, this epic, in-your-face thrash anthem is a high-octane way to open a record…and you’d expect nothing less from State Champs.

From there the album continues to build, from the drum-heavy and powerful ‘Frozen’ to second single, ‘Crystal Ball’, which has the perfect build-up from a calm, heartfelt introduction through to a passionate, powerful chorus. The vocals are particularly incredible on this track with a half-time section towards the end.

It’s impossible to listen to this record without craving to see them live.

Then there’s the sure-fire, off-beat crowd-pleaser and lead single, ‘Dead And Gone’, about a troubled relationship and ‘Our Time To Go’; an archetypal pop punk power ballad which tugs at the heart strings and encourages taking the positive with the negative.

Other notable tracks include, the passive aggressive, ‘Safe Haven’ which contains a brilliant musical breakdown after the chorus and a moment of solace in the middle 8 section; ‘Something About You’ is a fun, uplifting track with some superb vocal steps and is reminiscent of something by Marianas Trench whilst ‘Mine Is Gold’ has an All Time Low-vibe. It then all goes out with a bang in ‘Sidelines’; a beautifully chaotic track which breaks, in part, to a lighters-up moment of calm before descending into a final bout of pure carnage that brings the album to an epic finish.

The production on the album is top-notch too! Some stunning little effects and subtle fills make this a diverse and powerful listen!

It’s impossible to listen to this record without craving to see them live. You get every sense that a performance by this band will leave you sweaty and exhausted but greatly fulfilled. All credit to the guys for taking their time to release a new record; it’s an excellent album that will undoubtedly take pride of place in every pop punk fan’s music collection.

Rating
4-5


‘Living Proof’¬†is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/living-proof/1370452923


Living Proof on Spotify

Dead And Gone (Official Music Video)

Secrets (Official Music Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of this band’s Fiction Act EP? Are you as much of a fan as us? What would you rate it? Please leave your thoughts in a comment below or via our social media.


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#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:


Enjoyed this? Check out some of our other interviews here:

Muzik Speaks Interviews


#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


Muzik Speaks: An Interview with Joe Ragosta from Patent Pending @ The Haunt, Brighton – 04/04/16

Here’s the incredible, live interview Matt did with Joe Ragosta from Patent Pending at The Haunt in Brighton on 4th April 2016.


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Here is the live interview I did with Joe Ragosta from Patent Pending, backstage at The Haunt in Brighton, before their show.

As with our previous interview, Joe was hilarious and such a genuine person! Unfortunately towards the end of the interview, the support band (Boy Jumps Ship) began to play and so it becomes harder to hear – if you turn the volume down (and maybe wear headphones too) you can actually make it out a bit more clearly.

Most of these questions were submit by Patent Pending fans (aka Second Family), which means this truly is one for the fans!

Finally, I want to say a MASSIVE thanks to Joe and the rest of the band again for their time and dedication to work with us – I couldn’t be more grateful and appreciative!

Check out our review of the show, complete with videos!

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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Patent Pending‘s releases are all¬†available:


Enjoyed this? Check out our other interviews with:

Joe Ragosta from Patent Pending
Ali Tabatabaee from Zebrahead
Lucy Spraggan
Frankmusik
Race The Horizon
Life Of Dillon
Platnum
David Ford

#FeelGoodFriday: Carly Rae Jepsen – ‘Run Away With Me’


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‘Run Away With Me’ is one of the latest offerings from¬†Carly Rae Jepsen. I also think having released this song and ‘I Really Like You’, she has well and truly established herself as not just “the Call Me Maybe singer.”

I particularly fell in love with this song due to its use of the saxophone in quite a haunting way, with this distorted effect on it.

I think the beat of the song is so intensely uplifting it just makes me feel quite euphoric – there really is no other way to describe it, than “feel-good”. It’s synthpop at its utter best.

The music video is cool too – it features Jepsen doing various fun things in London, Dublin, Paris, Tokyo, New York and Toronto.

What do you think of Carly’s latest release? Have you got a #FeelGoodFriday song to share with us? Please share on your social medias.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Run Away With Me’¬†can be downloaded off¬†iTunes now –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/run-away-with-me/id1008785595?i=1008785600


#FeelGoodFriday: St Lucia – ‘Elevate’

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St Lucia (aka Jean-Philip Grobler) is a South-African-born musician based in Brooklyn, New York. The musician takes influences from Michael Jackson, Phil Collins, Sting and more.

This song,¬†‘Elevate’ was released in 2013 and the video is brilliant – Grobler and his band were evicted from their rehearsal space and decided to host one final party on the rooftop and filmed it as the video for their single release.

Whilst Grobler is a solo musician, he uses a live band for performances and has supported the likes of Two Door Cinema Club and remixed tracks for Passion Pit, Foster The People and Charli XCX.

Sadly, St Lucia have not officially released the single or album in the UK and therefore it can’t be downloaded from iTunes or listened to on Spotify, but it is definitely worth checking out!

Is this song giving you that Friday feeling? Have you heard of St Lucia before? What do you think of this track? Please share this link amongst your social medias.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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