SINGLE REVIEW. Siboney + Andy – Secret

Release date: Out now!

Genre: Pop-Folk

Rating: ★★★1/2

Siboney + Andy recently joined forces, along with their influences and styles to create this debut EP, encompassing a variety of pop/folk/electro vibes. This title track of the EP certainly makes a statement and ensures their names will not be easily forgotten.

With a delicate opening, Siboney tells a painful tail, supposedly from personal experience. The opening verse could be claimed to be predictable, but as the bridge builds up, Siboney’s voice steps up before delivering a powerful blow with the lyrics “I will keep this sib-and-andy-02-lowres1secret ’till I die” during the chorus. With a blaring electric riff accompanying the voice, a new level of passion is brought to this track. The second verse is more playful as the due get settled into what they’re doing, with electro-pop synths coupled with folk-y vocals
and guitar, this is a creative song showcasing what it is Siboney + Andy are capable of. As Andy emerges into the track not only as a producer but a vocalist, the track gets that bit warmer. It is at this moment you can see why the due work so well together, as their voices intertwine to create a pop/electro-pop juxtaposition.

The music video for this track brings a visual element to better explain the journey this track takes. The pair describe the following: “The lyrics in Secret are quite literal, and pull from rather painful self-experience, so we wanted to hint at that feeling within the video, but let people come to their own conclusions within the narrative.”

 

Check out the music video for Sectret and follow Siboney and Andy’s journey:


Check out the debut EP ‘Secret’ here.

You can also find Siboney + Andy on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

 

 

Baker out.

EP Review. Isaac Gracie – Songs in Black and White

Released: 30th September 2016

Genre: Folk/Acoustic

Rating: ★★★★

This EP opens with a live rendition of ‘All In My Mind’, giving us a stripped back welcome to this tender and entrancing live performance at The Waiting Room, London. Hearing Isaac Gracie performing live lets you hear the delicate imperfections and heavy breaths in between verses, this is an artist who is not afraid to exhibit the most raw aspects of his being, a feature of his music that takes you off guard at first, but gradually secures an emotive connection that, once made, is hard to break. These are not simply acoustic songs, they are folk ballads (if there is such a thing).

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The 21-year-old from Ealing, London first caught people’s attention on Soundcloud with his track ‘Last Words’, a song recorded modestly recorded on GarageBand and posted independently online. Since growing in success and following, Isaac Gracie’s standards of recording may have drastically changed, but his approach to music has not.

The second track ‘Burn My Clothes, Bury My Clothes’ takes a slightly different tone, one reminiscent of more 60s folk and –dare I say it – expresses the influence Dylan has on him. A tale of sacrifice and heartbreak that against his delicate melodies, creates a gentle melancholy feeling. The EP then goes onto a harsher and more aggressive tale told within ‘Digging’, with a heavier electric strumming out 70s-esk psych sounds and Isaac questioning the legitimacy of love. This EP demonstrates Isaac Gracie’s ability to surf through different sounds and sub-genres of folk for sure, however, I feel this EP is more about showcasing the all-giving-non-hiding song writing talent, the way he can tell anyone’s story, remove the ego and complicated noise and get down to the raw bare-bones of it all. From remorse and desperation to retribution and blissful content – Isaac here demonstrates how to put soul into it all, how to portray the reality of any emotion in an honest and heart-wrenching song.


Check out Isaac Gracie’s Live EP here

Give him a follow on Twitter and a like on Facebook

 

Baker out.

INTERVIEW. Black Foxxes ahead of debut album release.

Following a sold out tour with Milk Teeth and in the mist of the numerous festivals this Summer, we got to know Mark from one of the country’s most exciting bands at the moment, Black Foxxes. The band’s much anticipated debut album, ‘I’m Not Well‘ will be out August 19th via Search and Destroy/Spinefarm Records.

 

So how’re you finding the tour of festivals this summer? Has the experience affected Black Foxxes as a band at all?

Not especially. It was really important for me to get out and prove to myself I could tour and be away from home for long periods of time. Anxiety had always stopped me from doing that before, so if anything it’s just good to prove to myself I can do that.

Do you find yourself being in a community of alternative/hard rock bands that are similar to Black Foxxes? like yourselves? 

We’re not really part of any community. We are just going in our own direction. It’s funny, there are so many bands that do the same tours together, are in the same magazines together all the time, play the same festivals… it’s all about who you know, but at the end of the day we couldn’t give a fuck about all of that. We’re just making honest music, if we don’t fit into a mould I’m okay with that.

How does your song writing process work, is it always the same or do you find it varying every time? 

I will usually come up with the bulk of the song at home, something I’ve written that week or a while beforehand, then I’ll take it to practice and we’ll shape it however seems best. There’s no set formula per say, but we don’t tend to spend too long on the song, else it becomes over-saturated and non-organic.

So you just finished recording your debut album and the anticipation for it is already huge, what would you say this album is based on?

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The debut album I’m Not Well‘ is out 19th August

I think it’s pretty self –explanatory; I wrote most of the songs when I was in a really dark place, mentally and physically, and the album encompasses that. As far as inspirations are concerned we’re all into quite a wide range of music, but at the time we were all listening to a lot of Ryan Adams, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Death Cab For Cutie…

 

 

 

What’s in store for the future, the bigger picture following this album?

We’re off to the states later this year to play Riot Fest and play some other shows around the country, so that’s huge for us. Ultimately, we want people to relate to this band as much as we think people will, we want to make music that is going to stand it’s ground for years and years to come.

Finally, Black Foxxes are known for their inspirational acknowledgement of mental health within their music, how was your recent single ‘I’m Not Well‘ written specifically with Mental Health and personal experiences in mind? 

I think the whole album is written with my mental health in mind, it’s so important for people struggling to speak out and seek help. I know first-hand how vulnerable and weak it can make you feel, and how much just talking about it will help you. I’m sure everyone will take their own things from this album, but if it helps people in any way then I’ve done something right.


Check out ‘I’m Not Well‘ here:

 

You can pre-order the album here and follow them on facebook and twitter

 

 

Baker out.

SINGLE REVIEW. HYLA – ‘Why Blame Me’

Release Date: 2nd July

Genre: Aggro-grunge

Rating:★★★★

We first encountered female-fronted South-East band HYLA at a Boileroom gig (review here) celebrating female talent within music. This band were not only the perfect band to showcase this celebration, but they continue to demonstrate the power of women within the industry, and exactly what they are capable of. Ahead of their upcoming EP, we managed to get our hands on their new single ‘Why Blame Me’ out tomorrow (2nd July 2016) and it is a good’n.

HYLA waste no time with this track, as lead guitarist Aaron Blandford storms on with the intro littered with grungy riffs. This will have your heads banging from the first chord being struck. Then enter Vicky Holburt, a powerhouse of gloomy vocals and impassioned lyrics. The verses tell the gritty tale of an unsatisfying, substandard relationship, and all the mess that comes with it; synergy between the calm vocals and Yani’s bass lines here creates a underlying level of cynical mocking to the lyrics. The chorus sees Vicky explode in a fit of rage, with inspirations from Marmozets breaking through. The vocals become increasingly untamed as the drums (curtesy of Libby Langley) take the track to a heavier level before sinking into the smugly content lyrics “I got out easy“. ‘Why Blame Me‘ takes a surprising turn during a hardcore breakdown towards the end. Here is where HYLA indulge into what they do best, creating seemingly manic but carefully constructed bursts of dark energy and grungy vibes.

This band depart from grunge, a collective genre that remains appealing while steadily becoming somewhat dull and give life to it. The amalgamation of Vicky’s feisty voice and the musicians’ uncompromising hardcore sound result in a unique creation. You would struggle to find another alternative-grunge sound that is as aggressive and authentic as HYLA’s.


Make sure to check out HYLA’s new single on their website here
You can also connect with HYLA on here

 

Baker out.

SINGLE REVIEW. Jamie T – Tinfoil Boy

Release Date: 30th June

Genre: Alternative/post-punk

Rating:★★★★1/2

The man is back, and boy does he know how drip feed us. After the boom of his first two albums (Panic Prevention 2007, Kings & Queens 2009), Jamie T has got into the habit of leaving one to five years in between releases. As he returns to the scene, even if only momentarily, we have several questions to greet this release. Where has Jamie T been? What’s he been doing? The answer is who knows, all we know is while chilling in Detroit he decided to record the crushing ‘Tinfoil Boy’ in a moment of spontaneity – and it is great to have him back.

jamie t
image: htbackdrops.org

The song opens with the taunting giggles of a women which evolves seamlessly into Jamie setting the scene with calm vocals and rather subtle bass lines. Suddenly “he’s a Tinfoil Boy…” is blasted down the line repeatedly as a heavy riff develops and sounds reminiscent of Rage Against The Machine seep through as the drum beat is thrown around is a fit of delirium. The deprecating lyrics of the verses seem to be written with a new air of maturity, while the chorus allows the London troublemaker to lash out and explore the heavier side of his post-punk music. Finally we are left with the lyric “It’s times like this I feel tripped into waking up” reminding us of the intense and ominous tone lying under his most recent albumCarry On The Grudge that seems to have had a long-lasting affect.

 

So far there is no word on whether this is simply a ‘just felt like it’ single drop or the beginning of the journey to a new album. Jamie T has always been good at keeping his fans waiting and wondering, but we are certainly hoping it is the latter.


Stream the new single ‘Tinfoil Boy’ here

 

You can also follow Jamie T on facebook, twitter and instagram.

 

 

Baker out.

 

ALBUM REVIEW. Bosco Rogers – ‘Post Exotic’

Release date: 8th July 2016 via Bleepmachine

Genre: Flower Punk/Psych-pop

Rating: ★★★1/2

Bosco Rogers consists of Barthélémy ‘Barth’ Corbelet and Delphinius ‘Del’ Vargas, and after seeing the successes of two introducing EPs, and the funky single ‘True Romance‘, the duo have put together their debut album, and we managed to get our hands on it before it’s released next month. 

The highlights of this album are varied across the kaleidoscopic spectrum this duo have created. With ‘Anvers‘ being an ulta-cool single, setting the trend for what Bosco Rogers have to offer being sharply contrasted by ‘French Kiss‘: a bass-heavy, psych-guitar track mirroring the likes of Temples. Meanwhile, the hit single True Romance‘ is pleasantly reminiscent of the melancholy sound of MGMT. This track is about “never losing your sense of curiosity or wonderment at the world” according to Del; The world is going downhill in front of our very eyes, but we still need to experience every little bit of it while there is still some real beauty remaining. 

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Image: Division Media Ltd

This album is simultaneously realist and joyously psychedelic in its execution: Bosco Rogers experiment with state-of-the-world addresses and depreciating lyrics while weaving them into exuberant, 60s-esque riffs and hooks. It is the sort of album that may well represent the ultra-cool summer sound of the next few months, which is a strong reception to gain from a debut album as it makes for a promising future. Despite having full potential to reap these rewards, ‘Post Exotic‘ seems at times overly sporadic: with the differing arrangement of tracks suggesting slight confusion or misconception over exactly what Bosco Rogers is as a musical entity. But these are issues that will naturally resolve themselves, as the Franco-Anglo due continue to grow and gain confidence in there place within this messed up musical world. And we are very much looking forward to that progression.

 


Pre-order ‘Post Exotic‘ now here while listening to the hit single ‘True Romance

 

Follow them on twitterfacebook and instagram

 

 

Baker out

SINGLE REVIEW. Cross Wires – ‘Pink Dogs’

Genre: Post-punk

Rating: ★★★★

Cross Wires consists of four guys who come together from Essex and East London to make lots of post-punk noise, and they’re starting to get rather good at it too. The release of ‘Pink Dogs‘ ahead of their debut album to be released this Autumn is the perfect introduction to Cross Wires.
The track opens with an ominously tame guitar melody from Peter Mullar (Guitar) which is hammered to the ground by the aggressive but playful drumming of Ian Clarke. Some proper punk vibes are sent out from the bridge, with building vocals curtesy of front-man Jonathan Chapman, the kind that would get anyone nice and rilled up ready for the big show. The Chorus is where this track gets interesting, with a curiously indie-rock guitar riff that blares through Chapman’s vocal declarations of rage and angst – a refreshing aspect that lifts the track up above the sea of other predictable post-punk music.
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Image: Cross Wires Facebook
As Ian’s drumming carries on relentlessly, Chapman’s vocals and style begin to become more reminiscent of Paul Weller (The Jam). As energy levels are kept at an almost Brit-pop high while simultaneously keeping the irresistible punk-characteristic of discontent and frustration, it is clear that Cross Wires are not just another nostalgic copy-cat band, but a new-wave group that brings a fresh range to the world of post-punk.
With a reputation for bringing their all at live shows and standing out from the overly-optimistic ‘tweens’ that attempt to recreate true punk, this band are sure to do well if the rest of their debut is anything like this.

Listen to ‘Pink Dogs‘ and other beauties from Cross Wires here:

Follow them on twitter and give ’em a like on facebook

 

Baker out.

 

 

 

ALBUM REVIEW. Carina Round – ‘Deranged to Divine’

Release Date: 29th July 2016

Label: Do Yourself In

Genre: Alternative Rock and a little bit of everything else

Rating: ★★★★

Carina Round is a unique one, that much is for sure. With four critically acclaimed albums and a heavily committed fan base under her belt, many started to believe that her LP ‘Tigermixes‘ would be it for the Wolverhampton artist, but she is back with the invigorating ‘Deranged to Divine‘ a retrospective collection of over a decade of work, which for this artist, means a diverse roundhouse trip through her work, spinning off in all possible directions.

The opening track, ‘You Will Be Loved‘ is a crescendo warning call to all new comers, and a welcoming message to all friendly faces. Carina’s vocal range is the first of many talents being showcased here, as a delicate folk track lifted up by soft high pitched melodies turns into a heavy electro-alternative arrangement, with the sinister lyrics “has your world been shattered, confounded by fear?” biting through. Meanwhile, ‘Into My Blood’ is an angsty dark horse, with pounding bass lines setting the perfect foundation for Carina’s emotive rantings. ‘Slow Motion Addict’ later follows on from this, will a blaring guitar riff that simmers through her almost gothic threatening words.

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Image: Instagram

There are many a surprise in this album, with gentle acoustic/folk songs such as ‘Backseat‘, telling sad tales in the form of haunting vocals. The highlights of this collection are hard to pick out due to the hige variety of choice, but ‘Elegy’ is one that shines through, as the solo instrumental at the end of the track just about teeters on the edge of madness, before the calm settles and it is done.
Mother’s Pride’ is another hit, with seemingly jaded but romanticised lyrics and purposely slow pacing that flows wonderfully before exploding into a frenzy of passionate vocal reprises and heavy drums – one for any Lana Del Rey fans out there. On the other side of the spectrum you have the brilliant ‘Want More‘, a catchy chorus bursting with hooks contrasted by carefully thought-out verses built to cut deep.

With retrospective collections of an artist’s work, it is often difficult to hold a consistent tone that flows throughout, and this is evident at certain points of this huge 18-track LP. Jazzy numbers such as ‘How I See It‘ are contrasted and arguably jolted out of the way by the more aggressive vibes of ‘Gunshot‘. However, all of the tracks on ‘Deranged to Devine’ – enjoyable or not – are not what they seem in the first few bars. Her voice is tremendously difficult to categorise: is that a country twang? A grungy bellow? Tantalising low-tone vocals reeling you in? It is all of the above and more. Carina Round is clearly the result of a melting-pot of talent, with a deep pocket of carefully crafted tunes to pick from. Overall, this album is an all-encompassing roundhouse of sounds, influences and emotions, and you won’t know where the turns are coming from.

 


Pre-Order ‘Deranged to Devine‘ here

You can also connect with Carina Round on facebooktwitter and instagram

 

 

Baker out.

 

 

INTRODUCING. Interview with Danish artist Fjer.

 

Danish artist, Fjer has emerged seemingly out of nowhere. Ever since moving to New York to start her career with full commitment, she has independently released two EPs, and began to catch peoples’ eye (and ear) with her obscure electro-pop sound. We got to get to know Fjer soon after she released the music video for the recent single ‘Her Turn‘ (out now – link below). We talked international influences, life in New York and the question of whether people need formal music training in order to succeed in a career.

Where did you start out and how has your experience of coming from Denmark to the American and British music industry been? 
I actually started Fjer in New York. This is where I came up with the name, released my first EP, found the people to work with and really started to believe in my self. It was so inspiring being here, around people speaking English, because I quickly learned the language fluently and began to get accepted in a different way. The UK audience came more recently and I’m so happy about that. England reminds me more of home – things like the weather and culture are way more similar to Denmark. I miss those things.
What country would you say most of your musical influences come from? 
I’m inspired with Danish music in the sense that SO many great artists come out of there and it’s where I grew up. You can hear the cold, nordic sound in my music, I feel. The American/British music scene inspires me a lot too, because everybody does everything ALL the way, 100%. Nobody’s afraid to be an artist, and that’s something we struggle with in Denmark, where it’s kind of frowned upon to be super ambitious.
You studied at the Royal Academy of Music, how has that experience impacted your musical endeavours?
When I got into the Royal Academy, it was one of the best days of my life. It was so unexpected, because I was only 19 years old, there were hundreds of applicants and it’s just so hard to get in. Going there for the years I did, was a great experience and I learned music theory, producing and just being a better singer. But it was a very elitist school and the constant competition (especially between the guys there – it was a total ‘boys club’!) eventually broke me down. So I took a year out to go to New York and I haven’t looked back or regretted that decision for a moment. School will teach you so many valuable things, but there’s nothing like going out and trying on your own. You’ll learn everything faster.
 
How did you find releasing your two brilliant EPs completely independently? Is it something you want to continue to do?
It was lucky that I met producer and indie label-owner of Quintic, Peter Anthony Red, who believed in me from the very start. Fjer, has been us building together from day one and he released my two first EP’s with me. It can be super scary but also very freeing not being on a major label, fitting into budgets and ads. It’s like.. I have the freedom to do whatever I want. Nobody’s trying to change me or put me in a box.

 

Watch here and listen here:

 

You can also connect with the lovely Fjer on facebook and twitter

 

 

Baker out.

ALBUM REVIEW. Spring King – ‘Tell Me If You Like To’

Release Date: 10th June 2016 (Island Records)

Genre: Indie/garage-punk

Rating:★★★★

 

We were very excited for the debut release from the new boys on the block, Spring King after seeing them headline the Boileroom last month (Check it out here) and seeing the success and hype generated from hit singles such as ‘City‘ and ‘Rectifier‘. And it is safe to say that we were not disappointed.

The debut kicks off with the signature pounding drums that Tarek Musa masters so well accompanied by a fitting heavy bass line for the opening track ‘City‘. This is a care-free danceable track with the freeing lyrical hook ‘Who am I what does it matter?’ – Perhaps these boys foolishly believe they’re still in the small leagues, or maybe they are embracing their shooting success with an uncomprimising attitude.

We are then graced with the irresistibly catchy hits such as ‘Detroit‘. This pre-released hit along with the fan-favourite ‘Summer‘ pain a fuzzy picture of the romanticized, chaotic, British summer experiences of one’s youth that we just love to reminisce of. The next track, ‘Who Are You?‘ tells a more cynical tale, with relentless garage-rock guitar and bass lines keeping it alive. Spring King then continue to intertwine gloomy-punk undertones into their energetic anthems in songs such as ‘Demons‘ and ‘It’s so Dark‘, a quality of this band that is flourishing with great responses. At this point, it could be said that Spring King may be suffering from an identity-crisis, with a seemingly endless melting-pot of influences and musical styles bouncing off each other throughout this album, but these boys shouldn’t be criticised for that. ‘Tell Me If You Like To‘ is a powerful, and solid establishing debut album, one that oozes more confidence than most being released right now. It does a good job of demonstrating that they are not the standard 16-year-old-indie-phase band that they could be accused of being at first glance – they are much more, and go much deeper.

The pre-released track ‘Rectifier‘ leads the charge of establishing what Spring King are all about. The seemingly chaotic but in reality genius arrangement of floor-shattering drums, heavy indie-rock guitar lines and Tarek to-the-point vocals makes for a highly danceable track, and a chorus that makes for a perfect British-style drunken chant. This track is also outrageous live.

Some bands are just made to be heard live, and it is always hard to capture the mad on-stage energy in professional recordings of these bands, but Spring King have taken a solid stab at it and this is only the beginning of what’s yet to come.


Listen to ‘Tell Me If You Like Tohere and buy it here.

They are also on facebook, twitter and instagram.

 

Baker out.