#MellowMonday: Scott Quinn – ‘Run’


   

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Scott Quinn is a Yorkshire-born, soul-synth multi-instrumentalist, whose latest track is captivatingly beautiful with its shimmering synths and passionate vocals.

‘Run’ oozes heartache and despair, tackling the emotionally-driven subject of trying to help and support someone who’s not in the right place to be helped but is already on the path of self-destruction, leaving a trail of demolition in their wake.

Quinn has spent time in the studio, working with the likes of JONES & SG Lewis and has recently toured Europe with Aquilo. All this comes ahead his first, big, headline show at the Camden Assembly on June 20th (tickets available here).

No music video has been released as yet, but as always, we’ll keep you updated if/when one emerges.

What are your thoughts of this intriguing 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
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‘Run’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/run-single/1364500851


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#Two4Tunesday: Ariana Grande – ‘No Tears Left To Cry’ & Emma Blackery – ‘Dirt’


   

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Ariana Grande – ‘No Tears Left To Cry’

Ariana Grande is back with the first single to be taken from her upcoming fourth album, ‘No Tears Left to Cry’. Written by Grande herself, alongside Savan Kotecha and its producers Max Martin and Ilya, it is a rather different pop track to her normal style.

Don’t be mistaken, it’s still dance-pop at the core with a powerful vocal chorus, but it’s got some quite 90s pop and R&B influences to it and it’s certainly not an instant and obvious standout hit; this track is much more of a grower.

The video features Grande performing amongst a lot of disorientated scenery (which corresponds with the upside-down text of the single cover and leaks of Grande in a corresponding sweatshirt). It’s an interesting concept for the video, which was directed by Dave Meyers.


‘No Tears Left To Cry’ is on iTunes for downloading now! – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/no-tears-left-to-cry/1374085537?i=1374087460



Emma Blackery – ‘Dirt’

Emma Blackery is a singer-songwriter, YouTuber and author from Basildon in Essex, UK. To date she has 1.5 million subscribers on YouTube, with 148 million views and in 2016, she supported Busted on their Pigs Can Fly Tour.

Now, in 2018, Emma Blackery is releasing her new single, ‘Dirt’. With a decidedly electro-pop foundation, this track is topped off with Blackery’s rather British-sounding voice (which is quite refreshing!) and some explicit vocals; making it edgier than your normal dance-pop songs.

The video is a bit of fun with it’s quirky dances and neon pink and blue colours throughout; it’s not breaking any boundaries but it’s light-hearted and funky.

This is a great track by a great up-and-coming artist on the pop scene!


‘Dirt’ can also be downloaded from iTunes now! – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/dirt-single/1353482430


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#FeelGoodFriday: Shawn Mendes – ‘In My Blood’ & ‘Lost In Japan’


   

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March 2018 saw the return of Shawn Mendes, who brought us not just one, but two brand new singles, both of which vary greatly in style but have equally brilliant Feel-Good Friday vibes. We just couldn’t decide which one to share, so figured, why not share both?!

‘In My Blood’ is a (pop)-rock ballad that transcends from a soft, despairing beginning into a thunderous, passionate anthem by the very first chorus and continues to soar from there. This track shows off just how incredible Mendes’ vocals are with their raspy tones that show just how intensely meaningful this song is.

Meanwhile, ‘Lost In Japan’ is a melting pot of contemporary funk with R&B and pop flavours too; it’s very reminiscent of something by Justin Timberlake. This track is also passionate but in a very different way; lyrically the song expresses how Mendes would happily travel the globe just to be close to his lover, all of which sits atop a heavy bassline and groovy guitar rhythms.

Sadly, no music videos have been released as yet, but as soon as they do, we’ll be sure to keep you updated.

What are your thoughts of Shawn Mendes’ two new singles? Are you as much of a fan as us? Have you got a #FeelGoodFriday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via our social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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Shawn Mendes – ‘In My Blood’


‘In My Blood’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/in-my-blood-single/1359906692



Shawn Mendes – ‘Lost In Japan’


‘Lost In Japan’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/lost-in-japan-single/1360548138


#WildCardWednesday: Ben Howard – ‘A Boat To An Island On The Wall’


   

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After 3 years away, Ben Howard is back with  his brand new single, ‘A Boat To An Island On The Wall’, the first song to be taken from his upcoming, third studio album Noonday Dream.

Having scored a Number 1 with his previous record, I Forget Where We Were, back in October 2014, Ben has clearly spent time crafting a song that is diverse from start to finish; it is a 7-minute epic that ascends from an eerie and unassuming start into a somewhat hauntingly grungy climax.

This song will surely affirm Ben Howard as one of the UK’s most unique and gifted artists and undoubtedly create excitement around his upcoming record release on 1st June 2018, on Island Records.

No music video has been released as yet, but we’ll keep you updated if one emerges online.

What are your thoughts of this diverse singer-songwriter? Do you have a #WildCardWednesday track to share with us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or chat to us about it via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘A Boat To An Island On The Wall’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/a-boat-to-an-island-on-the-wall/1364401352?i=1364401811


#Review: Hayley Kiyoko – Expectations


   

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Muzik Speaks Loves Atlantic Records - SmallerHayley Kiyoko is best known for being an American singer-songwriter, actress and dancer. Since starting out as an actress, at a young age, Kiyoko has built up quite a name for herself, both as an all-round entertainer and as an LGBTQ+ activist. Now, with a string of successful EPs and singles under her belt, 2018 sees the release of her long-awaited debut album, Expectations. Here’s what we think…

Hayley Kiyoko - Expectations

This is an album that finds credible, deep songwriting merging with contemporary pop, addressing a range of mature issues, head on. It’s an album packed full of heavy bass lines, quirky synth sounds, upbeat dance rhythms and all-out catchy pop melodies.

The funky Charlie Puth-esque bass opening of first single, ‘Feelings’ sees Kiyoko give a vulnerable account about how intensely she falls for someone. It’s catchy but understated pop.

Then you’ve got ‘What I Need’ featuring Kehlani, which has R&B flavours mixed with current tropical house vibes and it’s all about being there for someone who’s uncertain about making a commitment.

Other great tracks include; the whispery and subtle ‘Sleepover’ which has a barely noticeable but very beautiful, underlying guitar melody; ‘Curious’ which is undoubtedly the most catchy and most pop track on the record (and my personal favourite) that is about questioning the seriousness of a girl’s relationship and ‘He’ll Never Love You (HNLY)’ with its great guitar lines and reggae feel.

This is a modern pop record that has been crafted well and sees Kiyoko shed her Disney days and address mature issues close to her heart.

There are also similarities with other artists; ‘Under The Blue/Take Me In’ is like a more mainstream pop version of a Lana Del Rey track but a more credible version of Taylor Swift, ‘Mercy/Gatekeeper’ starts out with echoing and rather trippy, distorted vocals but during the second half, becomes quite random and a little Beyoncé-esque and ‘Palm Dreams’ is very beachy pop, a bit like something by Geowulf.

There’s no doubt that there are strong themes throughout the album; relationships (particularly with girls questioning their sexuality) and inner conflicts Kiyoko herself has faced. The level of sass on the album demonstrates her self-confidence, though at times, the reoccurring topic of girls questioning their sexuality or lusting after other girls, without being able to commit, can become repetitive. However, that’s not to say she isn’t doing something great for the genre and her attempts to normalise lesbian relationships within pop music are fantastic; it just seems to be a very strong theme to the album.

The album starts off very strong and maintains its strength for the majority, but the last couple of tracks do feel a little flat. Overall though, this is a modern pop record that has been crafted well and sees Kiyoko shed her Disney days and address mature issues, close to her heart. It also has a certain excitement to it that could be the start of something big for her! I’m sure this will be a huge success and will take her career to new heights.

Rating


‘Expectations’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/expectations/1332078481


Expectations on Spotify

Curious (Official Video)

Feelings (Official Video)

Sleepover (Official 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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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Review: Vance Joy – Nation Of Two


   

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Muzik Speaks Loves Atlantic Records - SmallerVance Joy is an Australian, folk singer-songwriter who, having released his debut solo album, Dream Your Life Away, back in 2014, is now back with his sophomore offering, Nation Of Two; a powerful tale of a couple’s love.

Vance Joy - Nation Of Two.jpg

Vance Joy has crafted his own unique brand of folk-pop, using instruments such as the ukulele and banjo to make his style stand out and Nation Of Two continues with this tradition; this time telling a story throughout the 13-track collection.

Vance himself explains that “Nation of Two describes a perfectly self-contained couple; their world beginning and ending at the bed they share, the car they ride in, or any other place where they’re together… the idea that their love for each other gives them their bearings; a point of reference that makes sense of life.” (Reference)

The album, as a collection, tells the tale of two lovers across a beautiful array of styles.

The album starts out very strong with stand-out songs, including leading single, ‘Lay It On Me’ (with it’s funky brass sections), plus ‘We’re Going Home’ and the fun-filled, ‘Saturday Sun’. Other great songs include the punchy, almost alt-rock-like ‘One Of These Days’ and the beautiful banjo ballad, Where We Start’. The album, as a collection, tells the tale of two lovers across a beautiful array of styles, however a couple of the tracks, I felt, could easily be skipped, but as a whole body, it is great.

This is definitely going to sit well with fans of Mumford & SonsRay LaMontagne, Seth Lakeman and possibly even Ed Sheeran – it’s folky, pop-tinted and got a real honest feel to it. It’s well produced but not over-produced and stands out as a quality, folk-pop album.

The first half of the album is strong and I certainly think this album will bring new success to Vance Joy, but the second half is lacking in a couple of places. This is however, as a whole, a wonderful way to tell the story of a couple’s love and life together and is well worth a listen.

Rating
3.5


‘Nation Of Two’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/nation-of-two/1325861276


Nation Of Two on Spotify

We’re Going Home (Official Video)

Lay It On Me (Official Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our latest review of Vance Joy’s second album, but what are your thoughts? Are you a huge fan or do you think it will go straight in to the bargain bin? What would you rate it? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or share your feelings with us, via our social media accounts.


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#MuzikSpeaks: An Interview with Charly


   

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Having released the EP, Wild World as part of Charly & Faust (interview here), back in October 2017 and now releasing her solo record, Film Scores, we had the chance to chat to Charly about who she’d like to collaborate with, what recent chart song she’d love to cover, what she gets up to before and after a show and much more. It’s all here…


Hey, how’s it going?
Pretty good. Thanks for asking.

What future plans have you got? Any new singles or an album in the pipeline?
I just released an album, a month ago, called Film Scores, regrouping songs I composed for short movies I got the chance to work on. I am now recording my new artist solo EP with two really talented musicians, Eric Reymond (bass and artistic production) and Coralie Hervé (drums and percussions). I can’t wait to release it and to perform it live with these two great friends and co-workers.

Where do you take inspirations from when making your music?
From everywhere. My parents always told me to look around me and to not just focusing on myself and my problems. It can be hard sometimes *laughs*. But it really helps me.

What’s your usual process for writing/recording?
For writing, it depends. When it is for a short movies, I focus on the script, talk to the filmmaker and then try to link the story to personal experiences to get a more specific idea of what should be expressed through the music. When it is for me, I usually start by playing guitars and when some melodic pattern catch my ears, I start to sing on it. I usually end up with some words that help me figuring out what the song is about.

If you could do a collaboration with anyone, who would it be and why?
I could say Patty Smith or Tracy Chapman, but right now I would say Asaf Avidan. I rediscovered his music, and it really inspired me.

That’s great! I’ve not heard of him, but I’ll definitely check him out. So what music have you been listening to most recently?
Asaf Avidan, Twenty One Pilots, LP, M.I.A, Tank and The Bangas, etc.

If you had to cover a recent chart song, which song would it be and why?
‘What About Us’ from P!nk. I really love her way to tell things that are hard to tell. Covering her stuff helps me to write lyrics actually.

What makes a great show for you?
The connection with your band mates and with the audience.

Do you have any pre-show or post-show rituals?
Before the show jamming and get a beer with the band, after the show get another beer with the band and the audience.

Has anything scary ever happened to you on tour?
Not really. I saw weird stuff, but it happened to others so that wasn’t scary for me. I am sure if one of my band mate reads this interview, he/she will try to scare me on our next tour just to change that…

HAHA! They sound like a fun bunch of people. Do you have any other passions outside of music?
Gardening. That is my new obsession and everyone around me is tired of it. Except my cat which loves the idea of eating all the plants I am trying to grow.

*Laughs* What’s the best film you’ve seen lately?
Maudie. It is a movie from 2016, but I just saw it on the plane coming back form France, and I really loved it. It has been a long time since I enjoyed a movie like that.

If, in say 20 years time, a film was made about your life, who would you want to play you?
Anyone who will like to play this role. I am not sure it would be really interesting for an actor though. My life is boring.

*Laughs* I bet it’s not that boring – making music is fun! If you could be any chocolate bar, which one would you be?
I might disappoint some people, but I don’t like chocolate. It hurts my teeth.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Take what comes without asking yourself too many questions and be positive whatever the situation gets in front of you.


Charly‘s releases are all available:


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