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Embracing Change in Music

Do you ever feel like you go through the same old music catalogues, playlists and albums day-in and day-out?

Do you have that feeling of drought with your musical palette? Well, fret not, for I have a proposition.

Why not listen to something other than what you’re used to?

Be it a genre you’re not familiar with or an artist you dread, stick it on and delve into the plethora of the unknown. Even if it just for an hour and you come away with a little bit of knowledge about something you didn’t know an hour ago, that is equally fine.

For me, I’ve recently been diving into the classics of hip-hop, rap and more importantly, the mysteries with the likes of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls.

Notorious in not just their alter-personas as international music artists, but notorious for their sounds they made and their power-house profile it brought to the scenes of East Coast hip-hop and “Gangsta rap”. Although they were taken from us by a scenario we’re all too familiar with, within the crevices of America, the sheer impact they had with us in the world paints us a picture how iconic these two were and are.

Of course, this led on to the mightiest who are still mighty in their corresponding leagues – Eminem, Jay-Z and Kanye.

So for today’s Sunday – where I usually request for you to take out your favourite Sunday chill playlist with your morning (or afternoon) coffee, instead, listen to something different and learn something new along the way.

Hope your week upcoming is just as prosperous, folks. Take care of yourselves.

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The Rock List: April 2021

Fancy a dabble in new rock? Take a gander at the list I’ve compiled below for the most recent rumblings of rock over the past weeks of April.

… The sheer number of female-fronted rock bands is a sight to behold in the music scene right now …

  1. SHY AWAY – TWENTY ONE PILOTS: Exciting eccentrics for the duos’ return.
  2. SMILE – WOLF ALICE: Dark exploits for the rock-indie favourites; another album to look out for this year from them.
  3. LA DI DIE – NESSA BARRETT, JXDN: Romantic-revenge anthem drawing on both rock and hip-hop.
  4. BOILERMAKER – ROYAL BLOOD: Thumping funk-rock from the Brighton duo, altering their course for another rumpus year in music.
  5. VERTIGO – ALICE MERTON: Mystery-abound new stuff after being so quiet for two years.
  6. ORDINARY – YONAKA: What we’re used to from these lot: loud and chaotic.
  7. WEAPON – AGAINST THE CURRENT: New emphatic returning from another female-front rock collective.
  8. BAD PLACE – THE HUNNA: One of the most consistent rock tribes right now; altering sounds to a down-tempo electronic style.
  9. NERVOUS – WHILE SHE SLEEPS: Recent album release in 2021, “SLEEPS SOCIETY” sees While She Sleeps make the top-ten list favourites this week with this hungry power-house of a song, featuring Simon Neil from Biffy Clyro.
  10. NUMB – WATERPARKS: Ambitious rock-pop workers of “Stupid For You” return this year for another album release in 2021 since their 2019, FANDOM.
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One Big Year: The Snuts

A ferocious year.

Record deals.

Ad campaigns.

International partnerships.

Released in April this year, their debut album reflects on humble beginnings, emotional dreams, and have since become one of the most exciting and vital bands of the new decade.

But after catching their big break; was it simply the luck of the draw? What makes them grab a number one at debut level as opposed to the thousand other artists who just … don’t?

Above all else, I think it majorly just falls down to the band being in the right place at the right time.

Their debut album, W.L, which was released on the 2nd of April this year, has elements of a perfect music fairytale. The album brings glossy, flourished and instantly catchy indie-rock hooks that resonate with the grandeur of UK music. Even future classics, Elephants and Juan Belomonte make you hesitate and think to yourself, “have I heard this before?,” with them being prominent in style and pizzazz. But for this story, it is more than likely you have listened to this before, yes.

After grabbing ad campaign success with beer powerhouses, Strongbow and titans of sports, Electronic Arts within the FIFA21 soundtrack, it is safe to say you’ve heard the sound of The Snuts before one way or another. Now, challenging the top spot with their debut, they’ve reached unfathomable heights in such a short span of time.

When a band skyrockets like they’ve done, it’s always important to think why. That way, once you get an understanding of how they’ve managed to grow so emphatically, our favourable bands and artists with similar music goals, can simply do the same.

Now, I know it’s easier said than doe per se, as the industry is as unpredictable as the UK weather, but it shows the precedent of how the music industry works and how us as consumers work. It makes me want to spit and squabble at the music industry with how it works internally because, there will be music artists who are just as talented, just as hard-working and dedicated to the cause, and they will not reach the same numbers as The Snuts would do in the span of the year they had. Hell, in the same in five years.

Truth be told, their music is delightfully fun, catchy and downright remarkable if you’re a fan of other indie-dwellers like Blossoms and The Amazons. But it’s not overly complicated or showing anything we haven’t heard of anything before, in fact – it’s quite simple. It’s just tapping into the right audiences, the right “holes” so to speak, and us as consumers will do the rest and play the music.

It’s simply sharing our love for an upcoming UK band among our friends because we’re proud of our music. A Scottish band, no doubt.

A popular trend-setting cause people can willingly get behind. #SNUTSFORNUMBERONE. The proof is in the pudding.

If the four lads from Whitburn pull this off, they will become the first Scottish band to deliver a number one debut album in 14 years. The last band that did that was The View in 2007 – and they haven’t been prevalent in the industry since 2015.

So far, they have topped the score with both vinyl sales and streaming since its release. The question is, they can maintain the speed and claim the top spot from Demi Lovato? Find out tonight.

Emphatic in style and breaking records, Scottish bands certainly don’t make music by halves. They’re certainly out to prove a point and they’re not doing a bad job going about it.

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Kings of Leon – ‘When You See Yourself’ Album Review

Tennessee-bred quartet draw up eighth studio album that replaces swagger for subtlety that strengthens over time.

Reprising their roles as emphatic titans in the rock music industry, they have returned from their 2016 album, WALLS with their eighth release, When You See Yourself in early March of 2021. With less temper and angst to it than most other records compared to Find Me and Waste a Moment on their previous, it is ultimately fashioned with progressive playing, delicate sentiment and glossy productive finish.

Unfortunately – while this record is a blissful listen – it carries itself with not a lot of substance. Whilst dirty guitar hooks are present in pre-single, The Bandit and halfway-down-the-list Stormy Weather, the album soon becomes lost in itself and an intermingling of songs folding into one another seems to happen. For a while, while listening to this album, I did seem to forget where I was, who I was listening to and would often take a step back and play the record again. Nevertheless, it is still a confident and mature direction from the rock quartet that no doubt stamps their mark on their triumphs they have had throughout the years they’ve been active.

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For Kings of Leon, their legacy drives a hard bargain and majorly wins over your opinion for such a delicate studio album.

While it does seem to lose itself on rare occasions, it is a blissful listen with its glossy textures, playful guitar song-writing and exact ambiguity that was present on some of their first records like Because of the Times and Come Around Sundown.

Favourites from the 11-track selection include When You See Yourself, Are You Far Away, A Wave and Golden Restless Age.

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Let’s Talk: What is the PERFECT Summer music anthem to you?

As we draw closer to the anticipation of the summer and the return for live music potentially to our shores, let’s talk.

Question for today: What is the PERFECT Summer music anthem to you?

What song brings you the most uplifting joy during the season of sun?

As flowers bloom, and pollen counts rise, what else rises within you when listening to a certain song?

What song makes you feel like you’re in the midst of summer – even when you’re not?

For myself, it is a hot mix-up between playing with past bands at little local and nestled music festivals covering Oasis songs in front of the breaking-hot sun to an audience of about 30 or 40 of my most dearest and cherished friends of mine. All relationships once gathered, now all lost.

But regardless, those memories are simply too precious to forget and will stay with me forever – whether or not I venture further into the music industry with stronger professional standards. Next in line would have to be Leeds Festival dating back to August in 2016, I believe, if memory serves me correct. There is nothing so simple than hiking your gear in your friends’ atrociously small car, driving across half a country to stew a piss-up in a festival fuelled with anthems, angst and anarchy.

Unfortunately, I have no photographs to show this madness because I couldn’t dare risk bringing out anything more than the price of a festival burger, but I guess you’ll just have to take my word for it.

Still,nothing quite like it, eh?

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Now … whether it be on the fields of Somerset for Glastonbury Festival here in the UK, or one of the largest music festivals in Europe via the Sziget Festival in Budapest or – even simply an electronic anthem you reside with while relaxing at your local park; let me know!