Anders Helmerson is keen to relate his latest arrangement – iScherzo – to futurism, noting, “My music is conceived in an iworld”. I can see the comparison with its speed and momentum, but I’ve always considered that form too angular and abrasive to feel comfortable relating it to this piece.
Bold piano runs paint broad strokes across the canvas, as a grand picture takes shape from these three base elements. Admittedly, the colour runs a little outside the lines, but that’s alright. For, Anders stretches but never snaps – moments of near-madness on the improvisations always right their course back to the delightful, recurring, ‘la-di-dah melody.
Lukaz Chyla’s walking bass grooves go on a similar roundabout journey. He sometimes disappears from view, but even in those moments, you can still make out the muddy rumbling under the radar. His always-progressing strumming fills in the foreground as Anders does the sky.
If they are our painters, then drummer Juan Meija is our frame – sturdy and reliable. He rides the crashes a little too much for my liking, but all of his strikes hit clean and with cause. His comfort in moving around the kit also aids this track’s graceful forward momentum.
They create a beautiful sound, which while shifting and complex, never causes stress. It’s incredible that this elaborate and elegant arrangement could be performed remotely, as seen in the music video.
The arrangement of drums, keys and bass, played intensely (with moves from outside the jazz playbook), makes a comparison to BADBADNOTGOOD necessary – especially to their 2014 offering ‘III’. But the constant progression and honed performance lets the Anders Helmerson Trio stand on its own merits. I look forward to more.
iScherzo is the first single from the coming LP ‘Opus i’. To hear more from the trio, follow them at the links below:
“Taking their listeners on an otherworldly experience from start to finish, Punt guns’ daring nature and sense of originality never cease to amaze”
Neanderthal Cyber Rock formed by Godlike beings across the Balkans, Russia, China, and the sweeping plains of Mongolia – welcome to the world of Punt Guns. Based in London, Punt Guns are a twin attack of baritone guitar, six-string bass, and a whirlwind of cinematic atmospherics and industrial depth charges thrown in for good measure. Gearing up to release a brand-new album, the first glimpse of pure-spun gold on the horizon is Nemesis, an astonishing journey through dark corridors and forbidden zones with an accompanying video that will make your blow your mind and make your eyes melt. Forget everything you’ve ever heard – Punt Guns are the real deal.
Punt Guns were formed in 2017 by Marek Bero (bass/lead vocals) and Giampaolo Guarnieri (guitar/unearthly sounds) and have allied themselves with producers Andy Wright and Gavin Goldberg, whose credits include the likes of KLF, Jeff Beck, Simple Minds, and Massive Attack. The first stunning results were documented on their debut album, a mix of skewed pop melodies, violent rock riffs, and alien orchestras but this only hints at the glories to be heard on their forthcoming release. Now augmented by drummer, Dan Western and guitarist, synth maestro, and producer Jiri Novotny, their sound is derived from a sonic stew of classical, baroque, Balkan and Slavic music, soaked up by the band as their lives took them around the world. They’ve travelled for years and spent time in such disparate locales as Mongolia, Slovakia, Italy, the Himalayas and Lebanon. The band are influenced by the vast global array of music, but also influenced by the likes of maverick sportsmen (Giampaolo travelled the world as an extreme skier in a previous life) and film, with transgressive directors like Argento, Godard, Vadim and Bava all casting their shadows on their work.
Marek came up with the name “Punt Guns”. Long forgotten and then banned, this absurd gun with a gigantic, long canon was used to hunt fowls, leading to the angry duck that represents the band, as well as the ‘quacks’ which drown out any naughty words in the radio edit of Nemesis Esteban Ron in Buenos Aires arrived at the logo by using an angry picture of Donald Duck and reducing it to the band’s own Punt Guns duckling. You’ll have to wait until later in the year to hear the new album in full, with work currently underway at the legendary Rockfield Studios (Queen; Pixies; Royal Blood) in Wales but the first single, Nemesis is introduced by the band themselves:
“The main riff and harmonies of the verse came after a coaching session Giampaolo had with Jean-Marc Belkadi during which they worked on Ashkenazi and Russian chords and harmonies. Giampaolo translated such ideas from a standard tuning guitar to his baritone guitar. He played the tune to Jean-Marc who said that it was a “dark & unpredictable” vibe that reminded him of UK gangster style movies. This led Giampaolo to use part of the quote by Alan Ford defining Nemesis in the movie Snatch and use a voice-over actress, Sophie, to narrate it. Jiri started to create hooky electronic elements to the initial draft and Dan recorded drums for the chorus. Marek then laid down a huge bass line and a sick, slapping bass solo together with magical hooky lyrics that worked as a quasi-dialogue with Sophie’s narration. This track offers the “rock pedigree approach” of the band and then climbs to an electronic world reminiscent of the likes of Justice, Goose or Aaron”.
If you’re in the mood for some headbanging alt-rock, then crank up the volume and get ready for Kavanagh’s new single ‘Citizen 202‘. The band are releasing the track on the 26th March and it is not one to be missed.
In true alt-rock style, the track is a blend of conventional rock elements with a powerful punk feel to it. The crescendoed introduction leads you on a whirlwind of gargantuan, distortion-heavy guitars and dizzying vocals, comfortably clocking in under two minutes!
The Brighton based band, containing five members, have been crafting their sound and mastering their dynamic style since 2016, bringing local pubs and clubs of Canterbury to life with their unique sound. They won two national Battle of the Band competitions, so one could easily deduce they made an impression on the locals and know how to put on one hell of a show.
They are the epitome of unsigned, DIY Rock n’ Roll. With their larger than life sound, it is no shock that they have made waves through the UK, touring the country and featuring on multiple radio appearances. Their talent most definitely has not gone unnoticed and they look forward to supporting Fat White Family in the near future. The track ‘Citizen 202‘ also features in the upcoming movie, Vegan Vampires from Zorg, with members of The Sex Pistols and New York Dolls!
Recorded at Far Heath Studios with Angus Wallace of The Prodigy and esteemed producer Mike Bennett, ‘Citizen 202’ is a virtually faultless track full of flair and fire.
‘Citizen 202‘ sets to outline the next chapter in Kavanagh’s exciting development as a new and unique alternative rock band. Fast, explosive and poetic, their latest tune is a self-expressive, proper hungry rock track that depicts a modern society in less than two minutes.
Glasgow-based duo der Mist have been readying themselves for the release of their self-titled album all year. On the 26th of February, listeners were gifted with the unique amalgamation of genres that make up the album, featuring elements of pop, rock, indie, electronic and new wave elements.
der Mist is Craig McKissick and Ali Whitty, both based in Glasgow, Scotland, and equipped with impressive multi-instrumental skills that give the band an enlarged sound as though there were 3 or 4 members, rather than 2. Previously in Crash My Model Car (signed to V2 Records) and Augusta Fireball, Ali found Craig through a local charity he set up which looked to help young musicians – this certainly proved to be the case as the pair decided to avoid the trappings of a traditional four-piece and use the combination of their musical and technical skills. Ironically, COVID-lockdowns proved to catalyse their work effort, making them even more committed to avoiding gimmicks and fake methodology to show the real people behind the music and the process of making it by using social media and vlogs on their Youtube channel to speak directly to fans.
The lead track, ‘It’s Alright’, which was released on the 15th January, was an inebriating concoction of indie rock found through experimentation with pop formulas, sensitively positive lyrics and some awesome guitar riffs. But the upbeat tempo and mix of synths add texture to the track and prove that there is plenty of room for guitars and electronic production to coexist.
The brilliant accompanying video, released on 22nd January, captures the energy, passion and positivity of the band, echoing some of the giants of 80s synth-pop like Duran Duran whilst containing rock elements influenced by the artists’ favourite rock bands, such as Pixies. This is most definitely a track to be blasting throughout the day; the lyrics are pertinent and reflective of the time we live in, imploring a positive mental attitude and assuring one that things will be alright. Whether you’re on your daily walk, cleaning your room or some kind of seemingly menial task – this is a track to inject some required positivity into your day.
Craig explains the genesis of the track:
“It’s Alright was the first track Ali worked on with me when I was 16 that I can distinctly remember having this feeling that we were on to something – that’s why it’s the debut track. Like a lot of tracks on the album, it went through so many versions. I remember at one point it had so much going on, I was getting carried away layering up sounds trying to turn it into a drum ‘n’ bass dance track. After hearing it, Ali swiftly decided we had to go back to basics and get the core elements of the demo and turn them into something better.
Some elements from my outrageous version are still in there, but my favourite part of the process was recording the guitar solo. We had so much fun trying to channel our inner 80’s child (even though I wasn’t born then), trying to get something unique and fresh but also something that evokes that nostalgic feeling. Lyrically the track harkens back to the uncertainty I and I’m sure a lot of people had growing up and just having the confidence to tell yourself everything is going to be ok. And yes there is a reference to Kool and the Gang’s ‘Get Down On It’ in there, why not!“
The 14-track masterpiece is teeming with catchy, charming lyrics and upbeat instrumentals that make the album full of fun and positivity; even the structure of the album is audibly appealing as tracks effortlessly lead into one another. However, it is the interlude that caught my attention, because ‘From the Inside Out’ slows things down a little bit as the lyrics are sadder, and instead of electric guitar we hear bells and Spanish guitar notes mixing together in a way that is contemplative and hopelessly romantic.
“Tearing me apart,
From the inside out.”
der Mist – From The Inside Out.
And this is not the only exploration of musical formulae, ‘Life is Flashing’ combines elements of spoken word and stylistically paced hip-hop motifs.
The final track on the album is ‘Connected’, and the opening reminded me of I Can See Through You by The Horrors. However, it drifts into a different direction that make it the perfect conclusion for the album.
“We are taking it to the top,
We aren’t going to take it no more.”
der Mist – Connected.
Overall, the album is an intoxicating blend of albums, coming together in a way that is almost anarchist in its lawless disregard for sticking to one genre and contains lyrics that are rebellious yet optimistic. In a year of confinement and authority, the duo fights back against the normative in a way that incites hope and amplifies the need for self-expression.
der Mist lifts the lid on every aspect of their lives as real musicians (vegan, teetotal musicians, no less!), leaving their forthcoming album to speak for itself.
Keep up with der Mist and their upcoming releases here:
LearningToDive, New Zealand’s post-punk and New Romantic inspired musician, is releasing a debut album this Spring. The album acts as a love letter to the innovational 1980’s music scene, packed with the best elements of the post-punk and synth-pop genres that come together in an exhilarating blend of sounds.
Known as Bravo Bonez, the singer, songwriter and producer is a native of Wellington, who has compiled this album by translating his personal experiences and perceptions of the world through the template of 1980s musical sounds. Over the last few years, Bravo Bonez had come to question some of his own assumptions about life and his place in the world as a husband and a father.
Now permanently settled in the capital of NZ due to Covid-19, Bravo spends his time reconnecting with his musical passion through a variety of musical projects, as well as helping to develop and encourage local musicians through owning and running his own music studio PureSound Studios NZ
One of the leading tracks, Rainbow Fall, was recorded in Norway in August 2019 when the weather was surprisingly hot. Unsurprisingly, then, beholding a beautifully cinematic landscape on the western seafront in Giske, LearningToDive recorded a track in which his observations about the world take centre stage.
“We want no prejudice, we want a world that’s fair.”
Bonez’s benevolent baritone enters the track in a warm, sonically-pleasing sound that is reminiscent of The Horrors. The track is underscored by tribally rhythmic drums and lively brass notes that come together and exude a comforting optimism. The hook, “Don’t let this rainbow fall” rings throughout to perhaps remind the listener of the inherent fragility of this planet. Finally, the track ends with a friendly and final reminder for: “Humanity, humility.”
The track forms a pseudo-social commentary that is rich in texture, depth and harmony. The track happened to be released in a timely manner as US politics had taken and turn for the worst, the track comments on the unnerving division between the left and the right.
LearningToDive said: “This song, although not directly written about the USA, is a timely release as the USA transitions from one administration to another.
“It is a call for reconciliation between Left and Right, and not to let dark forces manipulate us into fighting each other. A call to be humble, and not to forget others’ humanity.”
‘Little Requiem’ is harrowingly orchestral and the voices of a choir ring out to a synthesised beat that makes the track somewhat ethereal and dreamlike. Only to then be stunned into action by the upbeat tempo of ‘Tainted’.
“Bravo uses his expertise of various instruments from keyboards to the violin to produce a truly breathtaking single full of anthemic atmospherics, ambient dream pop and a smattering of shoegaze” – Indie Central
The final track, ‘I’ll Smile’, appears at first like a letter to a long lost loved one, but slowly transforms into a final goodbye to the bad memories of 2020 and recognises the benefits of letting go of negativity.
“A dirty sun falls, as a crippled autumn fades.
We fooled around, we played with fire.
I understand you’re tired now,
I’ll smile, as you walk away.
I’ll smile, as you walk away.”
However, the lyrics also remind one of the inherent fragility of the earth and our impermanence as mortals, the fact we are playing with fire and messing with earth’s natural balance, and ultimately an understanding that eventually we may be abandoned by such a balance and left to fend for ourselves as we destroy the planet we live on.
The release of High & Dry on the 20th of November was LearningToDive’s first outing under this musical identity. His debut album will be ready for release on the 2nd of April 2021. He now has 4 released singles (High & Dry, Falling Leaves, Rainbow Fall and Tainted), with his monthly listeners consistently sitting around 3200 per month.
Follow LearningToDive and keep up to date with all music releases here:
Pakistan-born singer-songwriter SHK, has released an anthem for all with his new song ‘Undefeated’, A lyrical motivation for everyone to follow their dreams.
Now living in Reading, England, SHK has taken inspiration from a very unlikely source. With his main passions alongside music being poetry, spirituality, self-reformation, and martial arts, SHK takes inspiration from this combination to create an upbeat, empowering tune, which is sure to motivate listeners.
Alongside this track, SHK has released an inspired music video with symbols to strength and power throughout:
One of his biggest inspirations for this song was his admiration for Russian mixed-martial artist, Khabib Nurmagomedov, who has remained undefeated in all 28 of his fights. Being one of SHKs personal heroes and having gained legendary status in the world of MMA, Nurmagomedov has remained a devoted and dedicated Muslim throughout.
“I have been really inspired by his hard-work, skills, integrity, discipline and unconquerable spirit. I think he is a great role-model for any professional, especially for Muslims”
The pop-rock tune is catchy and uplifting, with a memorable melody and sing-along chorus that has a deeply embedded life lesson presented lyrically. ‘Unbeatable’ portrays the message to always be true to yourself and overcome any obstacles that may come forth.
If you’d like to hear more from SHK, follow his social media’s below:
Ahoy there! Bringing our heads firmly back to sea-level for the time being, we want to introduce your new SoundCloud obsession: the esoteric Captain of The Lost Waves’.
Legends permeate around the misty waters concerning The Captain of The Lost Waves. Dressed head-to-toe in a Vaudevillian get-up, The Captain is certainly a sight to behold. Known primarily for his absurdly engaging live productions, including well received performances at the Glastonbury Arts and Edinburgh Fringe, The Captain is every bit as enchanting on the soundwaves.
The Captain, who lists time travelling, standing on his head and tea drinking on the planet Hixxlyvoom among his hobbies, is a celebration of the renaissance of the bard starring their very own folk opera. Through his mystical voyages he has mesmerised and captivated his audiences, seeing expressions transforming from the rigid and terrified to the joyous and amiable.
The Captain of the Lost Waves is sure to appeal to diverse audiences, despite his wholly idiodsyncratic style. Whether you are a fan of the Steampunk aesthetic or of the story-telling prowess of bands like The Decemberists, you will enjoy the whimsy of The Captain.
The first single/video from the album Synthesis will be ‘Uniforms‘ will be released on 12th November but for the time being, check out the tracks on his (you guessed it) Soundcloud!
If you don’t quite get the concept of our website, feel free to check out The Captain on other platforms! Links below:
In December last year, cinema’s worldwide released sing-a-long smash hit ‘The Greatest Showman’, but ringmaster Julia Scott has got a new circus that isn’t for the faint-hearted. Eccentric singer Julia Scott (pictured above) provides a entire new world of symphonic sounds with her new theatrical single ‘Stand Up’ under the alias Alice’s Night Circus. The track exudes emotion and Julia is able to portray this with her powerful vocals which cut clean through the middle of the track, leaving you encapsulated by her voice.
Behind the curtains (yes, that was ANOTHER circus pun) Julia was brought up in Sheffield, UK, and has been classically trained in the vocal department from an early age, which absolutely clarifies why her voice is outstandingly powerful. The plethora of knowledge she has gained from her musical training has allowed her to be influenced by several genres such as opera, musicals, jazz and symphonic metal.
You may be thinking, where does the influence come from? Was it Hugh Jackman’s incredibly apt portrayal of P T Barnum? Or does she just really love the Circus? Julia explains that her love for Steampunk inspired the look and name of her project. The lust for a sub-genre of Science Fiction is something that cannot be ignored, as similar things have been married up in the past i.e multi-award-winning rock gods, Muse, and their love for outer-space.
She actually made her debut live appearance under the Alice pseudonym at the world’s largest and longest running Steampunk festival called The Asylum in Lincoln. It was there she met fine art photographer Gary Nicholls, who went on to feature her in his photography book The Imaginarium which is centered around steampunks.
So, we’ve stated the obvious, her vocals are out of this world, but what is it that makes Alice’s Night Circus so bloody brilliant? Of course, it’s the originality of it all. There is no doubt that this project has the potential to go far, and we think that Julia still has a few more tricks up her sleeve before the night is over.
LA based electronic production team AT-ATs On The Beach (ATATOTB) are releasing their debut EP which aims to escape the electronic music cliché, whilst infusing dance beats and heavy bass lines. Maintaining a unique approach to the process of music creation, ATATOTB delivers a new experimental style that reflects their ambition and experimentation as artists. Featuring remixes of Elton John, Rolling Stones, Eagles and original mixes, the debut EP sets the group apart from the rest.
Previously working under the name of ‘InFiction’, they focused on creating original electronic music which took inspiration from their backgrounds as film editors and producers. In the past, they have written scores for films such as Black Swan, The Thing, The Last Exorcism and Wrath of the Titans and are known for their edgy theatrical remixes and melodies crafted specifically for the downtempo, chill community.
With ATATOTB, a new era of downtempo house has landed in the world of electronic music. This experimental mix of theatrical themes, rhythmic beats and other instrumentation are a few things that make this innovative group stand out from the crowd.
Bayonesse is the musical vehicle of artist and singer, Christy Lee Rogers, and Ryan Murphy. The duo create hauntingly beautiful rock music, with an epic feel and quality musicianship.
The duo have shifted their passions from art to music after realising it is the most “powerful and intense” art form in which to express their thoughts, whilst finding peace and understanding within the chaos of society. The alternative single ‘Angel Touching Down’ from their upcoming album, Bleeding Heart, will be released alongside a dark and mysterious underwater music video.
The video stars actress Elisabeth Donaldson and Bayonesse themselves and was edited by award winning filmmaker Ray Izad-Mehr. The video provides the perfect visuals tot the feel of the music and it displays the underlying darkness in their heart-felt lyrics.
Rogers’ powerful passion for music always controlled her art and she soon found that it was the most effective way to express her thoughts. By early 2016 Rogers joined Murphy to form Bayonesse and with their clash of musical influences from Bjork to The Kills, they have formed a unique and unusual sound that brings something slightly left-field to the table.