British indie pop singer/songwriter @Jazz_Mino returns with a quest for “Happiness” from her new EP “Dirty Laundry”

JAZZ MINO, “Happiness”

There are people we come across in our lives that never seem happy, they always seem to put on a false front or a smiling face at the right times. When you’re in a relationship with someone like this, then it’s best that they move on, for the best for both of you because one day they will find that “”Happiness” doesn’t ever hurt”, as sings British singer/songwriter Jazz Mino.  It’s the new song and lead track from her EP Dirty Laundry, which includes her unique reflections on past relationships such as “Part Of This” and the exceptional “Like A Drunk Girl”, which reached #11 on my personal chart last year.  Like those songs, you must stick with “Happiness” to let it gel and get more personal with you. The thoughtful lyrics and vocal are surrounded by cheerful synths that help make the song – and especially its chorus – sparkle. 

Published in: on February 22, 2021 at 10:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

UK producer/musician Thomas Atlas delivers his brand of ‘garage funk’ with “Got This Feeling”

THOMAS ATLAS, “Got This Feeling”

If “Got This Feeling” feels like a spirited throwback to classic disco/funk, it’s because of the live-to-floor sound produced by Birmingham, England producer/guitarist/vocalist Thomas Atlas.  Like the music of Earth, Wind and Fire and the Philadelphia R&B sound of the 70’s in general, “Got This Feeling” is a big mood changer, one with which to celebrate the good times.   Thomas toured heavily in his early career in R&B/soul bands, and the imprint that it has left on his music is indelible. Influences from all stars like Nile Rodgers, George Duke, and George Benson are apparent, with “Got The Feeling” mixing easily into contemporary R&B/dance music by the likes of Usher as it would a classic like Sister Sledge’s “He’s The Greatest Dancer”.  Be sure to check out the video below where he performs “Got The Feeling” in an unplugged setting.

Published in: on February 20, 2021 at 10:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Get to know UK alt.rock singer/songwriter Nathan Day @spacethang with “She Came Down From The Stars”

NATHAN DAY, “She Came Down From The Stars”

Nathan Day is a new solo performer from the UK who previously led the band Darlia, which opened for The 1975 on tour, among others.  His single “She Came Down From The Stars” – great title, eye-catching video too – should be put on the radar for those who enjoy 90’s flavoured alt.rock with electronic flourishes.  His voice will appeal to fans of Nirvana, Radiohead, Oasis, and The Verve, and “She Came Down” is definitely a grower, one that will stand out on alt.rock radio stations and generate texts and emails inquiring about the performer.  Look for a slow build on this one.  Talents like Nathan Day need time to be nurtured with the public, and the kickstart will be when fans look for it to be played on the radio and for placements on popular rock streaming playlists.

Published in: on February 18, 2021 at 10:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,

London-based Australian singer/songwriter @EbonyBuckle returns with a stunning vocal in “Wonder”

EBONY BUCKLE, “Wonder”

I wrote about “Ghost” by Ebony Buckle last summer, which introduced me to her stunning voice and unique stories.  Based on a 1980’s story about the world’s loneliest whale who would sing at a frequency of 52hz (higher than any species known to humans), “Wonder” quite enchanting indeed.  While the video has great effects and weaves the story well, to me it somehow doesn’t capture the warmth and fascination of the song itself as well. Ebony’s voice will recall Kate Bush and Sinead O’Connor for precision, with Maggie Reilly’s flair for storytelling (co-writing courtesy of husband Nick Burns).  “Wonder”, with its taut, contrasting arrangement, keeps you patiently waiting for what Ebony will sing next, until its long and deliberate fade out leaves the eye-opening story finished, for now.

Published in: on February 10, 2021 at 10:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

UK singer/songwriter @KarenHarding meets UK producer @ShiftK3Y for pop/dance treat “Morning”

KAREN HARDING x SHIFT K3Y, “Morning”

Karen Harding mixes it up by following two heavier, sophisticated-sounding deep house bangers, “Undo My Heart” and “Let’s Get Together”, with the spry “Morning”, in collaboration with UK producer ShiftK3Y.  The son of 80’s rock musician and dance producer Chas Jankel (“Glad To Know You”), Shift K3Y, like Karen, has had his taste of singles success with catchy gems like “I Know” in recent years.  “Morning” is a fast-moving, uncomplicated pop/dance track which shows off both Karen’s vocal power and range. It contemplates letting loose and being so wrapped up with your partner and stuck in deep moments that you lose track of time and don’t even care if morning comes.  I’d pitch “Morning” to fans of Katy Perry and Ariana Grande, as well as dance music contemporaries like Vassy and Becky Hill – it has loads of potential for either genre.

Published in: on January 27, 2021 at 11:22 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Your new theme song: Toronto electronic dance producer @RyShepherdmusic’s latest is “Hello Sunday” featuring UK singer/songwriter Caitlyn Scarlett @CaitlynSmusic

RYAN SHEPHERD and CAITLYN SCARLETT, “Hello Sunday”

Give yourself one day a week to let go and enjoy yourself during these difficult times when many places are in lockdown or under many restrictions.  “Hello Sunday” is your theme song where you can “focus on yourself” (check out the lyric video above).  It’s brought to you by Toronto producer Ryan Shepherd, no stranger to these blog pages or my personal chart where his huge release with Loud Luxury, a rework of Craig David’s “Fill Me In”, reached #1 and now has over 36 million streams on Spotify alone.  To help lift people up and gently persuade them to assist Toronto’s declining bar, restaurant and nightclub businesses, as well as local and national charities, Ryan had weekly “Hello Sunday” fundraiser shows on Twitch and Instagram last year, and his much-praised philanthropy has already raised over $20,000.  The song is co-written with UK singer Caitlyn Scarlett (who has sung on tracks by Rudimental and Jack Wins), a real pick-me-up that will help and inspire people away from being down too often. Let’s hope Ryan’s goodwill continues to spread and that we’ll see more of the “Hello Sunday” shows this year.

Published in: on January 24, 2021 at 11:12 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Meet London-based Ukrainian electronic producer/songwriter @Sleep_woka with “Together We Are”

SLEEPWOKA, “Together We Are”

“Together We Are” calls for a united, loving front for all music listeners around the world during these strange times.  Its passionate lyrics are brought to you by new London-based Ukrainian producer Sleepwoka, who creates retrotastic soundscapes using analog synthesizers that take you back to the early 80’s new wave days of Depeche Mode and Simple Minds. He plays on the rock elements of that style rather than fusing it with more contemporary dance or house flavours.  The vocal tones are rather simple but expressive at times in order to stress the important message of the song, which gives it kind of a ‘root for the underdog’ appeal. With only a handful of singles on release since 2019, Sleepwoka has latched onto a good thing that is worth following.

Published in: on January 2, 2021 at 9:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Seminal UK electronic music group @Faithless returns with “Synthesizer” featuring @NathanBallHQ in a @cometoButch remix

FAITHLESS and NATHAN BALL, “Synthesizer” (original and Butch remix)

Their music has lived on in dance clubs for over 20 years, but British electronic music legends Faithless hadn’t released an album of new songs for 13 years until All Blessed surfaced this year.  It’s an adventurous and atypical record which, like Inner City, brings back strong techno flavours to the 2020 music scene.  l had to go back to “Synthesizer” (original mix and video edit, both above) a few times before I realized it was the highlight of the album.  Led by a wicked vocal by British singer Nathan Ball, it’s accompanied by a droll sense of humour in its lyrics, an unconventional arrangement, and luminous synths that show that Faithless continue to be electronic wizards of the best order.  Its recent remix by Butch (below) strips away some of its unconventional layers in favour perhaps of a tight, fluid mix more suited to dance music radio.  Both versions stand on their own merits and are most worth of dance music fans’ attention.

Published in: on December 23, 2020 at 10:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

“Criminals” is top-notch Killers-inspired alt.rock from UK band @TheTrusted

THE TRUSTED, “Criminals”

Following up their EP Love & Suicide, from which came “Wild Love” which I wrote about in the Fall, is “Criminals” by UK alt.rockers The Trusted.  The obvious comparison, because of their penchant for strong melodies, is The Killers, or perhaps more specifically Brandon Flowers.  But that’s where the similarities end, and The Trusted carve out their own niche with ease.  “Criminals” is definitely radio-worthy, with the melody-line being the highlight while Tom Cunningham’s anguished, sympathetic vocal provides the tough-love story.  Fans of Cage The Elephant, The Strokes, and Billy Talent will enjoy songs by The Trusted.

Published in: on December 20, 2020 at 11:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,

Listen to the sublime pop vocal and arrangement in “Dust On The Wind” by UK singer/songwriter @JamesPoole_

JAMES POOLE, “Dust On The Wind”

It was only a few weeks back when I featured “Hope You’ll Be Here Soon” by UK singer/songwriter James Poole, about whom I’ve written much over the last six years or so.  I called that song a return to the vocal pop style of his You Tube days.  “Dust On The Wind” isn’t as light or cheery as “Hope”, not what you would expect as a follow up. In fact, it’s a song you can visualize being sung at a Broadway theatre, with James’ sublimely rich tenor being the star attraction here. It’s a commanding, chill-inducing, somewhat traditional pop performance that passes here as a variation of alt.pop, and the taut and sparse arrangement couldn’t be more fitting.  I could listen to songs like this for hours on end.  James is ever the musical chameleon, so he’ll keep us guessing for the next one. But I will definitely take a release like “Dust On The Wind” any time!!

Published in: on December 17, 2020 at 11:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,