#Review: Bars and Melody – Carpe Diem – EP

facebook_logos_PNG19751.png    ios_homescreen_icon.png   app-icon2.png


Bars & Melody (check out our 2017 interview with the guys, here) first rose to fame as contestants on Britain’s Got Talent in 2014. The pair were automatically sent into the semi-finals of the competition, when Simon Cowell pressed the “golden buzzer” after watching their performance of ‘Hopeful’ (later released as their debut single). The duo ultimately finished in third place in the series but since then have gone on to build a very loyal following and built up a big name for themselves, returning to feature in 2019’s, Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions. To date, they have released 3 albums and a couple of EPs but now 2021 sees the pair take on a new sound with the release of Carpe Diem. Here’s what we have to say about it…

Bars and Melody - Carpe Diem

What is immediately clear from the opening bars of ‘Santorini’ is that this is a new Bars & Melody. The pair have taken on a surprising new sound and one that’s clearly been itching to surface for some time.

Their 2020 album, Sadboi, was a mixture of pop hits and the start of experimenting with a new sound but ultimately was a successful crowd-pleaser in preparation for Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions.

Since then though, the pair have taken the opportunity to go out as independent artists and create something new and altogether more mature in sound, in the form of new EP, Carpe Diem.

This is a mini-album that emanates a new-found confidence.

Throughout the EP, the auto-tune has been applied heavily and the bass and beats are booming, creating a more mumble-rap and at times, even trap-sounding beat – it’s their most credible and urban sound to date. It’s something new and exciting from the pair and undoubtedly shows the type of music they’ve been dying to make for some time, after now not being held back by major labels.

This is a mini-album that emanates a new-found confidence and sees the pair using explicit and at times, even risqué lyrics. It’s a clear departure from their former, squeaky-clean image and sees the pair rapping and singing about more adult concepts.

‘Santorini’ is a sure-fire hit for fans and the pair indicate it being one of their favourites on the EP too, despite it’s risqué lyrics. Meanwhile, ‘Little Missy’ showcases Leondre Devries’ rapping skills and Charlie Lenehan’s lyricism at their best. ‘Own Ways’ is another banger and a great way to end the EP with its thumping bass and its catchy hook.

Some of the lyrics could be thought of as being a little vacuous in places, like ‘No Type’s, “You a perfect 10, yeah” and that of the ‘Russian Model’ chorus but somehow the credibility of the beats and the fact it fits with the genre itself make up for it.

Whatever you think, Devries and Lenehan have demonstrated a new-found maturity and set of writing and rapping skills across the EP, showing that they are diverse and have the longevity to adapt and make something new of themselves. It would just be nice to hear Lenehan with a little less autotune on though as his voice is great without it!

Whilst it’s still somewhat of a shock to hear them now, this is the new-and-improved Bars & Melody and one that leaves me excited for their next full-length album! Let’s hope they don’t keep us waiting too long and continue to grow and develop in sound as they themselves continue to grow up and mature.

Rating
4


‘Carpe Diem – EP’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/carpe-diem-ep/1545462855


Carpe Diem – EP on Spotify

Santorini x Little Missy (Official Music Video)

Own Ways (Official Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of the duo’s latest EP? Are you as much of a fan as us? What would you rate it out of 5? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or via our social media.


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

Muzik Speaks Album Reviews


Matt – Muzik Speaks
www.facebook.com/muzikspeaks
www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks

#ThrowbackThursday: Jessie J – ‘Price Tag’ featuring B.o.B

facebook_logos_PNG19751.png    ios_homescreen_icon.png   app-icon2.png


Jessie J is British-born singer-songwriter who has seen a whole string of successes but this particular song saw her score her first UK Number 1.

‘Price Tag’ features American rapper B.o.B and was released on 25th January 2011, landing at the Number 1 spot, the following week. It was the second single to be taken from Jessie’s debut studio album, Who You Are.

The song features a funky guitar loop like that of a reggae track, with a vintage backing beat, all topped off with a sing-along chorus and powerful vocals from Jessie herself.

The music video for the track is pretty cool too, seeing Jessie J performing in front of a large money tree, an oversized teddy bear and even dressed as both a ballerina in a large jewellery box and a marionette on strings. It’s well worth a watch if you haven’t already seen it…and if you have, why not watch it again and reminisce.

What are your thoughts of this decade-old hit? Do you have a #ThrowbackThursday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
www.facebook.com/muzikspeaks
www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks


‘Price Tag’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/price-tag-feat-b-o-b/1445851157?i=1445851166


#TunefulTuesday: Troye Sivan & Kacey Musgraves – ‘Easy’ featuring Mark Ronson

facebook_logos_PNG19751.png    ios_homescreen_icon.png   app-icon2.png


Troye Sivan is a South African-born, Australian singer-songwriter, actor and YouTuber with a series of singles, albums, EPs, movies and vlogs under his belt.

This particular version of the song, ‘Easy’, is a remix of his original track, and was released in December 2020. It features vocals from American singer-songwriter, Kacey Musgraves and production from British musician and producer Mark Ronson. In fact, Musgraves actually co-wrote and performed a new verse specially for the song, whilst Ronson added a really cool disco-pop vibe to the track.

The song is catchy as hell and the perfect song for Tuneful Tuesday, as I’ve had it on repeat for days!

The music video for the track is pretty awesome too – featuring both Sivan and Musgraves as two people on the run, driving vintage cars, dyeing their hair and perfoming in a motel room as well as going to over-the-top drag shows and dancing the night away. It’s a must-watch!

What are your thoughts of this pop banger? Do you have a #TunefulTuesday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
www.facebook.com/muzikspeaks
www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks


‘Easy’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/easy-feat-mark-ronson-single/1543288293


#MellowMonday: Greyson Chance – ‘Holy Feeling’

facebook_logos_PNG19751.png    ios_homescreen_icon.png   app-icon2.png


Greyson Chance is back with a brand new single, ‘Holy Feeling’.

The singer-songwriter first rose to fame when a video of his performance of Lady Gaga‘s ‘Paparazzi’, at a grade school music festival, went viral on YouTube, gaining him over 68 million views.

Now, with a couple of albums under his belt and a whole string of singles, the artist returns with his mellow yet stunningly powerful offering, in the form of ‘Holy Feeling’.

The song has a certain quality of George Ezra about it during the first verse, when Chance’s gravelly vocal kicks in. However, by the chorus, we are treated to an uplifting and strong voice that is begging to be sung along to with full force.

It has an emotive and optimistic vibe to the song that has me reaching to repeat it, time and again.

The video for the song is pretty simplistic yet stylisticly cool too. It was shot on 16mm film and features people displaying a love and passion for each of their specific creative crafts – from a ballerina and a carpenter to a photographer and a tattoo artist – none of whom are actors. Interestingly, it was shot in the same location as that of his single, ‘shut up’. Check it out below.

What are your thoughts of this singer-songwriter’s latest single? Do you have a #MellowMonday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
www.facebook.com/muzikspeaks
www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks


‘Holy Feeling’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/holy-feeling-single/1545586122


#FeelGoodFriday: Fickle Friends – ‘IRL’

facebook_logos_PNG19751.png    ios_homescreen_icon.png   app-icon2.png


Fickle Friends are an indie pop band from Brighton, UK, who formed in 2013. To date, the band have released a string of singles, EPs, their debut album, You Are Someone Else, and now 2021 sees the release of their latest EP, Weird Years (Season 1).

‘IRL’ is one of the songs taken from their latest EP and sees the band return to the sound of their debut album with their brand of catchy indie pop. From shimmering synths and funk-driven bass to the rhythmic guitars and catchy, powerful vocals, this is the perfect Feel-Good Friday track to end the week.

As the vocals aptly state, the track looks at the theme of speaking to someone in real life rather than through electronic communication, as is so often the way these days. Lyrically, it’s a really cleverly written song and manages to remain upbeat and fun throughout.

The music video is really cool too, with its clever cuts between shots and the use of flashing images in the latter half – well worth a watch (below)!

What are your thoughts of this indie-pop band? Do you like their new vibe? Do you have a #FeelGoodFriday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
www.facebook.com/muzikspeaks
www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks


‘IRL’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/irl/1525921011?i=1525921019


#TunefulTuesday: Pale Waves – ‘Easy’

facebook_logos_PNG19751.png    ios_homescreen_icon.png   app-icon2.png


Pale Waves are an English, indie rock/pop band from Manchester, who formed in 2014. To date, the quartet have released an EP and their debut album, My Mind Makes Noises (through Dirty Hit) and are currently gearing up to release their sophomore album, Who Am I?

‘Easy’ is a melodic, dream pop anthem taken from their upcoming second album, and is a track that is just crying out to be sung along to.

It’s actually got a certain, 2002 Avril Lavigne feel to it, somewhere along the lines of Complicated‘Anything But Ordinary’ and ‘Things I’ll Never Say’ but with a more modern twist to it.

The music video is pretty cool too with its juxtaposed imagery, seeing the band rocking goth-like appearances, whilst performing amongst twinkling lights – it’s beautifully shot and makes for a really interesting watch. Check it out below.

If this song and the others they have released so far from their second record are anything to go by, then it promises to be a very exciting release!

What are your thoughts of this band’s latest single? Do you have a #TunefulTuesday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
www.facebook.com/muzikspeaks
www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks


‘Easy’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/easy/1534665229?i=1534665668


#FeelGoodFriday: Rina Sawayama – ‘LUCID’

facebook_logos_PNG19751.png    ios_homescreen_icon.png   app-icon2.png


Rina Sawayama is a Japanese-British singer-songwriter and model based in London who released her first EP in 2017. After signing to Dirty Hit, she released her debut studio album, Sawayama, in 2020.

Produced by hitmaker, BloodPop, ‘LUCID’ is a synthpop anthem that just begs to be danced to and sees Sawayama take on a different, more commercial sound to the rest of her debut album.

The song is fairly mainstream with its dance-pop beat and is certain to propel her more into the limelight as a pop songstress. Comparisons have been made to the likes of Lady Gaga and her 2020 album, Chromatica (which was also produced by BloodPop).

The music video is fun too, featuring Sawayama performing in an other-worldly environment alongside a reflection of herself, with a short behind-the-scenes look at the end of it.

What are your thoughts of this singer-songwriter? Got a #FeelGoodFriday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
www.facebook.com/muzikspeaks
www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks


‘LUCID’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/lucid/1540687113?i=1540687503


#ThrowbackThursday: Avril Lavigne – ‘What The Hell’

facebook_logos_PNG19751.png    ios_homescreen_icon.png   app-icon2.png


Avril Lavigne is a Canadian singer-songwriter most notable for her pop punk style and hits such as Complicated, Sk8r Boiand Girlfriend.

In January 2011 (already a decade ago!), Lavigne released her massive single, ‘What The Hell’. The single received critical acclaim with people comparing it to her monster hit, ‘Girlfriend’ for it’s pop punk catchiness.

The song features an iconic organ sound to start with before breaking out into chugging bass guitars and eventually a kick of distorted guitars and the singer’s trademark high-pitched, catchy vocals.

The song actually only ever reached Number 16 in the UK Charts but still received good rotation on radio and music channels alike.

The music video sees Lavigne in bed with her love interest before locking him in a closet and going out, stealing and destroying a taxi, playing basketball with some other men, all the while evading her love interest, who is chasing after her. Eventually she ends up performing at a venue and the video ends up with the couple back in bed. It’s a fun, quirky, typically Avril Lavigne video that’s well worth a watch (although the video is not great quality for some reason).

What are your thoughts of this track, 10 years on? Do you have a #ThrowbackThursday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
www.facebook.com/muzikspeaks
www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks


‘What The Hell’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/what-the-hell/532457427?i=532458095


#WildCardWednesday: Julie Bergan – ‘Kiss Somebody’ (with Seeb)

facebook_logos_PNG19751.png    ios_homescreen_icon.png   app-icon2.png


Julie Bergan rose to recognition by releasing a series of covers on YouTube, at the age of 16, eventually signing a deal with Warner Music Norway in 2013.

This particular song (‘Kiss Somebody’) was actually released a year ago, in January 2020 and saw Bergan team up with Norwegian production duo, Seeb.

The song itself uses vocal distortions to make part of the backing beat (with the lyrics, “Make out with her, Make out with him”) alongside other traditional EDM-style components. It’s a banging anthem that begs to be danced to.

The video is fun too and features various couples kissing (including a gay couple), interspersed with shots of Bergan performing with a group of back-up dancers as well as by herself.

This synthpop meets EDM banger is the perfect track for #WildCardWednesday, as Bergan has yet to break into the UK market but I’m sure it won’t be long before she becomes more of a household name over here, if this track is anything to go by.

What are your thoughts of this synthpop banger? Do you have a #WildCardWednesday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
www.facebook.com/muzikspeaks
www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks


‘Kiss Somebody’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/kiss-somebody/1542355342?i=1542355349


#TunefulTuesday: Justin Bieber – ‘Anyone’

facebook_logos_PNG19751.png    ios_homescreen_icon.png   app-icon2.png


Justin Bieber is a Canadian pop powerhouse, notable for songs such as What Do You Mean?Sorry and Where Are Ü Now.

‘Anyone’ marks the first new song since the release of his 2020 album, Changes and sees the singer take on a new, optimistic sound somewhere between 1980s and 1990s pop.

When talking about the song, Bieber said: “‘Anyone’ is such a special, hopeful, anthemic song. It sets the tone for a brighter new year full of hope and possibility.” It couldn’t have come at a better time with its release on January 1st 2021, setting the tone for a new year and new hope.

So far, the song has reached Number 4 in the UK Singles Chart.

In the music video, Bieber portrays a 1940s boxer whose love for his partner inspires him to train, fight, and eventually overcome a potential knock-out on his journey to becoming a champion boxer. He even covered up all his tattoos for the shoot. It’s well worth a watch.

What are your thoughts of this massive tune? Do you have a #TunefulTuesday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
www.facebook.com/muzikspeaks
www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks


‘Anyone’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/anyone/1544839500?i=1544839502