INTRODUCING. Cameron Avery with debut album review – Ripe Dreams, Pipe Dreams

Release date: 10 March 2017
Genre: Experimental blues/folk
Rating: ★★★ 1/2
Words by: Scott Murray

With such an emphasis on production in the modern era, vocals have seemingly fallen to the back burner. This is not the case for Perth’s Cameron Avery. His debut album ‘Ripe Dreams, Pipe Dreams is a truly beautiful offering thanks to Avery’s transcendent vocals, with the entire album highlighting vocal qualities reminiscent of Jeff Buckley. This, paired with Avery’s poignant lyrics of longing and loss, create a dramatic vocal landscape.

That is not to say that Avery’s production suffers as a result, to the contrary Avery has created a striking instrumental landscape filled with sounds not of the modern age. His use of strings, horns and even an organ is shockingly refreshing in an industry filled with synths, and generic drum beats.

This old school sound shines in the albums fifth track, ‘Big Town Girl’, a soulful ode to Jane, the girl running circles in Avery’s brain. Avery drives this home in the song’s forth verse.

“You know I’ve never had the time to wait around for a dame, but if I knew that we could make it I’d wait around for Jane”.

The track begins with a swell of an organ before being joined by thoughtful guitar and minimalistic percussion. Avery’s voice then cuts through the instrumentals in what feels like an instant, but lasts in your ear for far longer.

A standout of this track is the pain in Avery’s voice, constantly oozing his longing and eventually his loss. These two themes can be heard throughout the record, no more so than when Avery croons “Could I suit her better, than that dark blue sweater? Probably not.”

There isn’t a tune on the record that manages to escape Avery’s titanic wave of despair, every track dips its toe into the deep pool of Avery’s pining. This coupled with Avery’s seeming opposition to contemporary sound has allowed Avery a unique opportunity to let his lyrics to take the fore.

However, there are tracks that seem entirely independent of this sound. The album’s third track ‘Dance With Me’ highlights this through its neo-western sound, similar to that of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds track ‘Red Right Hand’.

As well as this there are tracks that give glimpses of Avery’s psych rock pedigree. Avery, Tame Impala’s touring bassist and a former member of Pond, briefly lets his roots show in the album’s two busiest tracks ‘The Cry of Captain Hollywood’, an entirely instrumental track that is as rousing as it is peaceful, and ‘Watch Me Take It Away’.

Watch Me Take It Away begins with pulsing, almost sitar-esc guitar before the track takes flight with a swarm of rhythmic clapping and heavy short bursts of guitar and rapid fire percussion. This ensemble becomes a tapestry that allows Avery to highlight his range whilst also allowing his powerful lyrics to shine. The track follows Avery’s growth as he grasps that he need not waste his time on relationships without mutual respect, starting the third verse with the glass shattering realisation that his time is as important as anyone else’s. “I aint got time for your perversions, I spend my time transcribing versions of the truth”.

Overall the album is musically undefinable, and yet astoundingly beautiful. There is something ethereal about Cameron Avery’s voice that creates a sense of hope, despite the distinct sense of loss seen through almost all of his lyrics. This is a fantastic first effort from a talent that has been hidden behind a bass guitar for far too long.

 


Listen to the highly anticipated debut album from Cameron Avery here
Also make sure to check him out on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

 

S.M.

 

EP REVIEW. Retrograde – Ariana & The Rose

Release Date: 24 March 2017
Genre: Synth-pop
Rating: ★★★★
Words by: Martina Di Gregorio

 

Ariana Di Lorenzo, or as she is most known as Ariana & The Rose, has finally released her first EP ‘Retrograde’, after teasing fans with the singles ‘Love You Lately’ and ‘Supercool’. Retrograde is coming out as the perfect embodiment of a young woman coming to terms with who she is. Originally from New York, Ariana is based in London and has been working to create a sound that truly represents herself; this album is full of powerful electro-pop anthems that would work to get anyone dancing while fully grasping the depth of both the highs and the lows of love through her vocals and powerful use of synths.

How Does That Make You Feel’ is the first single off this EP. Starting with a falsetto, Ariana’s voice engages the listener even before the percussions and synths jump in. The use of percussions intertwined with harmonies bring a whole new level of depth to the song. The song tells the relatable tale of a passionate love, and it is a good start to the EP, as Ariana’s voice and her ability to use her voice and as a diverse instrument instantly charms the listener.

Love You Lately’ released earlier this year has the power to make you emotional thinking about a lost love. The song played with the duo RKCB is an electro-R&B song that talks about a relationship ending. Ariana’s voice completely embodies the feelings of someone that is in a relationship but doesn’t love her partner anymore. This song shows a more serious side of Ariana, as well as her flexibility to go from a dance song to an R&B songs. The background beat gives a great rhythm to the song while Ariana and RKCB since “I don’t understand why you push away” and “I guess I don’t love you lately”.

ari2

These Ruins’ has a slow beginning, with Ariana’s deeper voice accompanied by a low keyboard that is emphasized through different electronic instrumentation. The song describes a love that cannot be repaired, emphasized by a slow, melancholic, dark, creating a new universe where the melody gets more dramatic with every verse. Her voice has the capacity of perfectly encompasses the emotions of a tragic love, with her voice breaking at the end of the bridge. The roughness of the melody and the darker synths, as well her echoed voice that gets overpowered by the background vocals and drums gives a new dimension to the song, which ends with her tired voice and the keyboard again. This track takes you through all the emotions felt after the end of a love.

Supercool’ is the last song of the EP, and it goes on a different path by describing the partying in New York, with the use of electro beats. The song describes the reality behind the glamour of New York by describing a woman that is so beautiful and charming at a party, but looks like their lives could be falling apart any second.The falsetto voice, backing vocals and electro beats come back once again to show a whole new side of New York.

Ariana & The Rose’s EP embodies the journey of love and loss through the use of synths and a sound that is heavily inspired by Robyn and Goldfrapp, but still keeping a sense of originality. ‘Retrograde’ proves Ariana’s flexibility and ability to use her lyrics and melody to create a journey of emotions that can completely engross the listener and spark past memories and a world of feelings.

Ariana is renowned for her live shows, especially the immersive Light and Space, which was first done in London in 2016 based on 80s disco scene. She has created another world and this EP is the first step to gaining more visibility and showing a new side of the synth-pop world.

 


Listen to Retrograde now here
Give her a follow on Facebook and Twitter

 

SINGLE REVIEW. The Fem Doms – ‘Dropped’

Released: Out now
Genre:
Psych-Rock
Rating:★★★

 

The Fem Doms comprise of four dudes and two girls from New York who have been creating trendy psych-rock noise for just over a year. Ahead of their upcoming EP ‘Attic‘, they have ‘dropped’ this lil’ number (get it). It is an instantly gratifying tune with catchy hooks a meaningful backstory.

The track opens with a fiery foundation of guitar riffs, it no wonder their sound consists of many layers of riffs with three guitarists in the band. As the front man, Chris sings of watching from afar as a friend descends into their demons, there is a strong connection made with this impassioned lyrics detailing the all-too-frequent hardship of losing loved ones to drugs and other vices. The chorus then sees head-bang worthy drums and a much larger vocal presence during “But I never tried”, the sort of chorus that would be belted across the room by everyone in the crowd at a gig. This song, along with previously released ‘Flood Town‘ and ‘THUMP‘ have the sort of courageous sound for a less-established band that only the real deal could master, it brings both a feeling of excitement for what’s to come as well as a gratifying familiarity.

13558879_985159751582848_1031543266256001211_oAs the band go on tour around America (sorry UK) this summer they are sure to bring together the early-committers and the lucky people who won’t know what’s hit them. The Fem Doms are definitely a Lock In Music’s ‘Ones To Watch’

 

The Fem Doms are now on tour!

Get tickets and info here and give them a like while you’re at it.

 

 

 


Check out the new single ‘Dropped‘:

 

 

Baker out.

EP REVIEW. Newborn’s new self-titled release

 

Release Date: June 14th

Genre: Alternative Rock

Rating:★★★★

Apprehensions are running high ahead of New York’s fresh alternative-rock quartet, Newborn’s debut EP release (Out June 14th). After interviewing the band (check it out here) and knowing how excited they are for this release, you can hear straight away that these boys are trying hard, and it just might have worked.

The opening track, ‘Runaround’ is characterised by the funk bass line running throughout the song reminiscent of early Red Hot Chilli Peppers, which makes for a somewhat mocking-style of front-man Allen’s romanticised criticisms of the youth of today. The heavy guitar sounds that peak at the choruses is where Newborn put their individual mark onto this track; it is steadily becoming their trademark.

The track ‘Gravity’ is the EP’s dark angel. With lyrics such as “drift away on liquid dreams, will you find out what they mean?” Newborn have made their next passionate endeavour into a troubled-love song since the first single ‘Beautiful Disguise’, with their own heavy twist. With Allen’s delicate vocal range during the reassuring “you won’t fall with me, I’ll be your gravity” Newborn here expose their vulnerable side, a very honest quality.

The subsequent hit, ‘Innocent Guilt’ continues to showcase the guitar style that Newborn are currently mastering, although it could be seen as slightly monotonous, it is more than overcompensated for by the alluring first single released by the band ‘Beautiful Disguise’. It is evident from not only Allen’s vocals but also Blake’s (drums) purposeful pacing of the song that this is an important release for the band – their first beauty. The rerelease of this track results in us listening to it from a different, even more appreciative perspective.

We are left with the lighter, more delicate track, ‘Old Soul’ to close this EP. With a soulful, bouncing guitar melody, and the amorous, you could almost be forgiven for thinking this band have a romantic side.

This self-titled release is sure to result in big progressions for New York’s Newborn, with an increasingly varying repertoire of talent and potential, the live performances are sure to be interesting, as well as the world is sure to start noticing these guys.

 

Newborn‘ is to be release June 14th on Soundcloud. 

Listen to the single, ‘Beautiful Disguise‘ here:

 

Also be sure to give’em a follow on facebook and twitter

Baker out.

 

INTERVIEW with YELLOW SHOOTS following single ‘Stormy Weather’

Following his emotional and elusive single ‘Stormy Weather‘ (out now, link below), New York artist, YELLOW SHOOTS has been experimenting, planning and exploring other musical influences. We got to hear all about it in this interview.


stromy weather single YELLOW SHOOTS
Image: Yellow Shoots soundcloud
How does this single differ from your past releases and how have the reactions to it been?
Stormy Weather‘ was a really comfortable song to write for me. I actually completed it in less than a few hours, which ultimately made the process extremely honest and personal. The overall reaction to the song has been great. People seem to connect to it and understand it.
You have worked with features artists in the past such as Mayo and Faja, do you enjoy collaborating?
 
Yes. I really do. I feel that in order to grow you need to collaborate. Collaboration isn’t easy, so it forces you to work with other people’s work styles and values.
How do you find the music scene to be in New York? 
 
I think the music scene here is pretty awesome from an international perspective. There are some many people here from all over the world following their dreams. That really makes NYC a place where you’ll see something out of the ordinary quite often. I really like popping into an unknown bar and seeing a band play.
 
Are you looking to move or travel any time soon?
 
Moving- no. Traveling-yes. I’ll be heading to LA to do some writing soon. I’m also planning to do some shows in the UK and Australia.
What are your main influences and inspirations for your unique RnB sound? 
Actually most of them are non-RnB groups. Bands like Radiohead and Yes. Tame Impala has been a great influence lately.  A lot of jazz influences like Wayne Shorter and Robert Glasper too.
What are your plans for the future?
Currently working on a few music videos and my live show. I’ll also have a new EP for you in about a month or so.

Give YELLOW SHOOTS a follow and a like now on facebooktwitter and instagram

Check out and download the new single ‘Stromy Weather‘ below:

 

Baker out

EP REVIEW. The Strokes – ‘Future Present Past’ a sign of their times?

This EP is the band’s first musical release in three long years. And the title of it is no mistake, so first let’s assess the Stroke’s interesting history before envouring the contents.

 

 The Past

The Strokes made such an iconic name for themselves in the indie underworld of New York, with ‘Is This It‘ (2001) commanding people to stop what the they were doing and reassess their current tastes and groupings. They have been running from it eversince (devistatingly for long-time fans).

 

The Present

Littered with mediocre solo albums, (Julian Casablancas, Phrazes for the Young and Albert Hammond,  Jr, ¿Cómo Te Llama?) and arguably half-hearted reunion appearences after the glow of ‘Comedown Machine’ calmed. guitarist Hammond, Jr hinted at new Strokes material while simultaniously sounding tentative and almost apathetic when discussing the various solo projects being endevoured by other leading members.

 

The Future

After the release of this daring collection of expressive hits in the form of this EP, are they…could they…should they go onto do a new album? Are this band going to settle into their corner of nostalgia over their hey-day after this small peak of excitement? Are they going to go too far and ruin our adoration for their ability to impact everything from underneath? Or are they going to go on to get it just right?

 

 

strokes ep cover
Image + Feature image: cultrecords

 

The title of this release may be a reference to the struggles this band face in regards to time and their evergrowing repitour of indie-rock seronaders, but each track here takes the time to answer some of our questions. 

Drag Queen‘ opens up the EP with electronic Joy Division vibes that The Strokes dabble in sometimes when feeling adventerous and Casablancas explored in more depth in his solo work. With dense layering of sounds, falcetto vocals and the muffled guitar lines we are so lustful over with The Strokes, this track represents what their plan of attatck is, and it is looking to be a good one. ‘OBLIVIUS‘ is a more light-hearted tune, if only in guitar riffs. However it is brought right back down to Casablancas‘s level with his iconic drowningly pessimistic vocals. The chorus of this song it huge, with all members coming together to step up the energy levels. Casablancas said to Annie Mac (BBC Radio 1) on her show that a full album could be happening “if the collective will could be summoned and caroused” but I predict that this is already on its way to happening by the sounds of the lyrical hook “Watch out” in this retro-progressive hit. ‘Threat of Joy‘ sees Casablancas saying “Okay, I see how it is now, you don’t have time to play with me anymore…fuck the rest” before going onto sing about the romantisised dangers of enjoyment. Is this a sign of acknowledgement of the past? Or a warning of the adventerous to come in the future? Either way, the EP commands us to remember, and listen up.

Strokes’fans reaction to new release after hearing three tracks were summed up perfectly on twitter as one fan wrote “The Strokes are back, everything is right.“, other reactions included relieved praises such as “I remember why I love the Strokes so much“. Hopefully this is a teaser for what is to come, rather than a brief moment of giving into our relentless demands for a nostalgic Strokes throwback.

 

Rating -★★★★☆

Past Present Future‘ is availible to stream now on spotify and will be physically released 3 June 2016 via Cult Records.

Pre-order the EP here

 

Baker out

 

 

INTERVIEW. Introducing New York’s Newborn

Newborn. An alternative-rock trio from Brooklyn, NY. Made up of Allen, Eric, and Blake.

Newborn are an energetic, alternative sensation that have risen up from Brooklyn and are definitely ones to watch both in the UK and the US. After their first EP, ‘Broken Virgo‘, gained a positive response on the local scene, they are now looking to broaden their horizons and cement in their band identity with their new self-titled EP (To be released June 14th). With a strong online following and an ever-growing local fanbase, this group are headed to do great things. Check out their new single below.

I got to catch up with Allen (Lead vocals and guitar) to discuss their background, inspirations, and future plans. 


Hey guys, so you guys have been doing your thing and growing as a band since 2013. How did you guys first get together? And how have you grown as musicians over time? 

 

 

newborn
Image: Soundcloud

Eric and I, who had been close friends since high school,  decided to start a band in 2013, although I don’t think we really got our start until December of 2014. We were trying to be a 4-piece band but our first year was a mess of lineup changes . Finding a drummer was the biggest problem. We met Blake through a mutual friend in 2014. Our bass player at the time soon left the band. We eventually grew tired of looking for band members so Eric made the switch from rhythm guitar to bass and we became a three piece. On December 28th, 2014 we played our first show as a trio. We’ve grown quite a lot. I for one, had never sung before until we started the band. Eric never played the bass before.

 

I think what matured the most, though, even in the course of just over a year was our songwriting.”

 

 

You seem to write quite personal songs, such as beautiful disguise, what would you say is the main inspiration behind your songwriting? 

“It’s so many different things, to be honest with you. Every song is different. Beautiful Disguise, for example, began as a bass riff that Eric would play at rehearsals. He said it reminded him of people in masquerade masks dancing in a ballroom. So that sparked the idea for me to continue a masquerade theme musically and lyrically. The song is about using beauty to hide one’s vulnerability. Often times that beauty comes with a touch of cruelty. “

 

 

How do you find the music scene around New York with so many creative people everywhere? Is it positive or quite challenging? 

“It certainly is challenging, but we see that as a positive. Sure there are thousands of musicians here but it only makes us work harder and strive to be better. We are incredibly blessed to live in NYC. There are so many venues, festivals, events…etc., music here is alive and kicking.

 

 

Do you guys have any plans to come over to the UK soon? I reckon you would get quite a positive reaction here!

“Thank you! The UK is definitely on our list. We have been gaining a lot of fans  there through social media. Unfortunately, it’s a bit difficult for us financially to travel overseas. We all have day jobs and rent to pay (that’s the true challenge of living in New York). But where there’s a will there’s a way. I know it will happen one day. Hopefully soon!”

 

newborn trio
Image: Facebook

 

 

 

So you’ve got one EP down last year, and a new one coming up this June, how has the writing process gone for the new EP, have you guys done something different with this one? 

“We recorded it in a new studio and the production quality sounds lightyears ahead of our first EP. We never really had a writing process aimed at an EP specifically.  Songwriting is just a part of our lives and all 5 songs were just chosen out of the 20+ songs we had written this past year. I think this EP  differs from the first in the sense that these songs represent our style and our sound better. It gives us a much stronger identity as a band. That’s why we self-titled it.”

 

 

 What are you plans for the future, ie going on tour after the new EP launch?

“We have a big EP release show on June 19th at The Knitting Factory, Brooklyn. We will most certainly be gigging a lot in NYC. We also would like to plan a tour of the local states on the east coast. We’re really looking forward to this summer!”


Newborn’s latest music video:

You can also check out their souncloud here

And their facebook here

 

Baker out.

 

 

Are The Yeah Yeah Yeahs back? Band reunite for a New York gig

The much loved American indie-rock obscurity have graced the world with their presence once again after sixteen months in their home town, New York.

The female-fronted trio played at the after party for the premier of Shot!: The Psycho-Spiritual Mantra of Rocka documentary on renowned music photographer, Mick Rock which opened at New York Tribeca Film Festival on Friday. The film is directed by Karen O (lead vocalist)’s husband, Barney Clay.

After the group’s 2013 smash hit album, Mosquitothey announced they were officially on hiatus in December 2014. Karen O released a solo LP, ‘Crush Songs‘ in September of that year, but ever since them, the members have been rather quiet.

So much to everyone’s suprise they turned up on Friday all guns and guitars blazing, with much loved hits of their own as well as covers of David Bowie‘s ‘Moonage Daydream‘ and Lou Reed‘s ‘Perfect Day‘ (Video clips of both below)

So are the alternative, pop-punk group back in action and potentially ready to get back into the studio or back onto the stage? Or was this a one-off sentimental gig dedicated to Barney Clay? Only time will tell.

@ko sang Bowie earlier and

A post shared by Colby Taylor (@colbstay) on

What a covers band! The @yeahyeahyeahs playing for @therealmickrock after party #loureed #perfectday #mickrock @ko

A post shared by dannydeldiamond (@dannydeldiamond) on

 

Baker out