#FeelGoodFriday: Rina Sawayama – ‘LUCID’

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


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

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


#MellowMonday: Gabrielle Aplin – ‘When The Lights Go Out’

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Gabrielle Aplin is an English singer-songwriter who amassed a following after uploading a series of acoustic music covers to YouTube, before signing to Parlophone in February 2012.

Her style falls anywhere from folk and indie rock to synthpop, with her latest single, ‘When The Lights Go Out’, being a mellow, synth-driven anthem.

This particular song was written shortly after the release of her latest album, Dear Happy. Aplin says, “I wanted to make a song that felt like a hug that you can also dance to and I’m considering it the song that closes the Dear Happy book.”

It does just that – it manages to be a somewhat upbeat record that you can have a boogie too, whilst also being something mellow, easy listening and like the closing of the Dear Happy chapter in her career. It’s a brilliant amalgamation of happiness and calmness and is mellow enough to be a great #MellowMonday start to the week.

I can’t get enough of this track right now!

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
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‘When The Lights Go Out’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/when-the-lights-go-out-single/1543733734


#Review: Panic! At The Disco – Pray For The Wicked 🙏


   

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Panic! At The Disco is an American band notable for its combination of alternative rock, synth-pop and emo lyrics, creating a very unique sound. After the huge success of the band’s debut album, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, back in 2005, they have had a string of albums, continuously kept their sound fresh and built up a very loyal following. Now, in 2018, and with only Brendon Urie in the official line-up, the now-solo project is releasing a sixth studio album, Pray For The Wicked. Here’s what we have to say about it…

Panic At The Disco - Pray For The Wicked

Let’s just start by saying that this album couldn’t be further from their 2005 debut but somehow still manages to have a distinctive Panic! At The Disco sound… mostly due to Brendon‘s instantly recognisable vocals!

Throughout the band’s life, they have had many incarnations, from the cabaret-infused emo-pop of their debut, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out (2005), to their Beatles-inspired, Pretty. Odd (2008) and even their remarkably elaborate 2016 offering, Death Of A Bachelor. Well, Pray For The Wicked is no different…it’s another eccentric overhaul of the act and with that, brings a new and exciting sound.

It all opens with the show-stopper, ‘(Fuck A) Silver Lining’; an all-out, overly-extravagant anthem that oozes an air of success about the guy. The production is top-notch and unapologetic about its use of heavy drum fills and lavish symphony instrumentation. I particularly love the use of the one-off beep where a “fuck” should be – a great little production addition.

This is a theatrical record that doesn’t hold back in any way, shape or form!

As with any Panic! album, there is a great deal of sass behind the lyrics but this record also serves as an honest reflection on certain aspects of his life; his religious upbringing coupled with his rise to fame but rather than focusing on him living the high-life (as was the case on 2016’s Death Of A Bachelor), delves further into the journey to get there. This is a theatrical record that doesn’t hold back in any way, shape or form! It could easily be the soundtrack to a film like The Greatest Showman or feature on Broadway.

Some of key tracks to listen to on this record include, the quietly catchy, ‘Hey Look Ma, I Made It’; the pop-infused ‘High Hopes’ which you can’t help but sing at full pelt; the aptly-named ‘Dancing’s Not A Crime’ – which is a bloody good thing, as you’re unable to hear this without busting out some moves; and the beautifully heartfelt ‘Dying In LA’.

There is a real amalgamation of sounds on this album, from the superbly-integrated brass sections throughout (which add a certain class and almost seem to flaunt the budget that must have been spent making it), to the urban flourishes, such as gritty vinyl sounds, ballsy trap beats and even hip hop-tinted, high-pitched vocal samples. There’s no escaping the fact that Brendon sounds like he had a friggin’ great time making this record and at the same time, was not afraid to push some boundaries.

One thing’s for sure; fans of label-mates, Fall Out Boy‘s, newer sound, as well as die-hard Panic! fans, will undoubtedly love this record…but I have a feeling that with this new direction, he might well be picking up a whole new army of fans too! There are moments here and there that I could give or take, but on the whole, this is an outstanding, current and contemporary album that I would just LOVE to see performed live!

Rating


‘Pray For The Wicked’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/pray-for-the-wicked/1361152002


Pray For The Wicked on Spotify

Hey Look Ma, I Made It (Official Video)

Say Amen (Saturday Night) (Official Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of this band’s sixth album? Are you a fan? 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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#MellowMonday: No Rome – ‘Do It Again’

 


 

   

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No Rome is a recent, electro, synth-pop signing for London-based label, Dirty Hit (also home to the likes of The 1975 and The Japanese House). In fact, his upcoming EP, RIP Indo Hisashi, was produced by none other than The 1975‘s Matty Healy and George Daniel.

The first single to be taken from the upcoming release, is Do It Again. It certainly has a very similar vibe to that of his label mates, with its echoing vocals, atmospheric and cascading synths and richly textured production.

There’s no doubt that with this team behind him, No Rome will be about to embark on an exciting new phase in his musical career and I expect to be hearing a lot more from him in the months to come.

No music video has been released as yet, but I’m sure when one emerges, it’ll be artistic and mesmerising, if some of his photo shoot pictures are anything to go by.

What are your thoughts of this up and comer? Do you like his similar vibes to The 1975? Have you got 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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‘Do It Again’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/do-it-again/1384849862?i=1384850054


#Review: Geowulf – Great Big Blue


   

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Geowulf is a duo comprised of members Star Kendrick and Toma Banjanin, originally from Australia. They started writing music a few years ago and released their first track, ‘Saltwater’, in July 2016, which now features on their debut album, Great Big Blue. Here’s what we had to say about it…

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Self-described as ‘Beach Pop’, this album is exactly that; it’s hypnotic, easy listening music with a brilliant blend of laid-back guitars, floaty vocals, subtle synths, down-tempo beats and all-round melancholic vibes.

This album is Americana through and through and could quite happily be the soundtrack to a lazy afternoon around a Californian pool-side or whilst hitting the open road in a big convertible, wind through your hair, driving down an American highway. It has a strong resemblance to some of Lana Del Rey‘s music too…just with a slightly more light-hearted feel to it.

Great Big Blue is hypnotic, easy listening music with a brilliant blend of laid-back guitars, floaty vocals, subtle synths, down-tempo beats and all-round melancholic vibes

Prior to its release, the album enjoyed several successful singles but some of biggest highlights on the record include; ‘Sunday’, which is a beautifully mellow ballad, setting the tone for what’s to come (plus the opening lyric gives the album its title), ‘Saltwater’, is slightly more up-tempo with a real summery warmth to it, ‘Get You’, has an almost African rhythm, topped off with Star’s long, drawn-out notes, whilst ‘Drink Too Much’ is probably one of the most conventionally pop tracks, with a tongue-in-cheek look at how drinking a little more than you should, whilst on a night out, can land you in trouble when you get home, with the simplistic yet honest lyrics; ‘Coz I get myself in trouble when I drink too much, Think too much, And you’re somehow on my mind when I drink too much, Think too much.‘ At face value, it sounds cheerful and uplifting but when you listen to the lyrics, it’s a real oxymoron to the sound.

On first listen, the songs tend to blur a little into one, however it’s after a few plays through that you can begin to detect the differences between each track and truly admire Star’s euphoric vocals, Banjanin’s stunning melodies and understand the complexity behind the simplistic-sounding, psychedelic production, appreciating just how much time and effort must have gone into producing Great Big Blue. I have to say, whilst I really did enjoy this record, from start to finish, it is not necessarily an album that you will want on repeat for weeks on end; it’s a very good album but will it stand the test of time? Sadly, I’m not convinced.

Rating
3.5


‘Great Big Blue’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/great-big-blue/1316527015


Great Big Blue on Spotify

‘Saltwater’ (Official Video)

‘Don’t Talk About You’ (Official Video)

‘Get You’ (Official Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review of Geowulf’s debut album! What do you think of it? What would you rate it? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or hit us up via our social media to talk about it.


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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#MellowMonday: Christine And The Queens – ‘Tilted’


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Although Christine and the Queens released ‘Tilted’ back in the UK in 2015, it seems like the perfect #MellowMonday track to kick off this week!

The song has had a few different incarnations but ‘Tilted’ is the one which found success in the UK, reaching the Top 20 of the UK charts when it was released.

The way Héloïse Letissier (Christine and the Queens) combines music, art, performance and videography is stunning – the translation of the song to the performance in the music video is astounding; a real masterpiece to behold.

What are your thoughts of this cool, quirky and intriguing track? Please leave your thoughts or own #MellowMonday suggestions in a comment below or via our social media, using the hashtag.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Tilted’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/tilted/id1167547148?i=1167547374#


#FeelGoodFriday: The Naked And Famous – ‘Last Forever’


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The moment I heard this song, I just knew it was perfect for #FeelGoodFriday; it’s got all-consuming, energetic vibes running through its very core!

Every aspect of the song is perfect; the light, echoing synths, traditional dance beats and soft vocals in the calm verses build into an almighty, hard-hitting, epic chorus that just begs to be pumped at full volume. I can’t get enough of this song; it’s electronic indie at its very best!

No official video has been released as of yet, but the lyric video is featured below, which usually means a music video is due to be made; we’ll keep you posted!

What are your thoughts of this New Zealand band’s sound? Have you got another song of theirs to recommend us for #FeelGoodFriday? Please share your thoughts or own song suggestions in a comment below or via our social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Last Forever’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/last-forever/id1136207223?i=1136207776


#FeelGoodFriday: RALPH – ‘Something More’


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I’m completely new to RALPH (aka Raffa Weyman) but I’m already a fan!

Having recently been introduced to the songstress, I have been captured by her unique sound and the way she combines uplifting 70s/80s disco synths with funky pop beats and her contemporary vocal style; she’s bound to gather a huge audience, quickly.

She has stated that “‘Something More’ was inspired by Aziz Ansari’s Netflix show ‘Master of None’. The show honestly narrates the existential issues faced by young adults now. Consumed with social media and dating apps, we’re obsessed with the idea of something more or someone better, often leading us to sabotage the good things we have.”

Her honest lyricism and tempting sound make for a real auditory treat – this one’s definitely a great song to kick start your weekend! #FeelGoodFriday at its best!

No official music video has been released (that I can find!) as of yet, but of course, we’ll keep you updated on this.

What are your thoughts on this newcomer? Have you heard any of her previous releases? Has this song got you excited for more? Please share your thoughts or own #FeelGoodFriday choices in a comment below or hit us up via our social media accounts.

Have a great weekend guys!

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Something More’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/something-more-single/id1135404978


#WildCardWednesday: Matto Rules – ‘Tonight’


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I’m currently loving these Swiss electro-rockers – Matto Rules.

The band have recently released the single, ‘Tonight’, from their album What Comes Around. This song is spectacular as they have combined epic electronica soundscapes with indie rock guitar riffs and powerful, pop vocal melodies creating a sound that’s just perfect for arenas and festivals – no doubt they’ll be filling them in no time!

This song is BIG and deserves big recognition, so please share the link across your social media accounts and check out the music video below.

What are your thoughts of this song? Heard of the band before? Please share the link and your #WildCardWednesday choice with us in a comment below or on your social media accounts.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Tonight’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/tonight-single/id1080610923