Teeming with classic “in your face” rock energy, psychedelia, and folklore, Big Smile Revival’s new EP The Universal Veil is essential listening for any rock fan. The three members, including lead vocalist Steve Hymas, drummer Matt Rowcliffe, and bassist Edvard G. Till, have a passion for everything from legends and tales of the past to modern issues like environmentalism and mental health, and that comes through in their music. In addition to the storytelling and themes of their music, Edvard has synesthesia, which helps the band write songs that not only reflect a certain sound, but a colour and taste.
The four track EP (out July 2nd) stands as a fascinating and unique slice of rock, combining influences of 60’s rock and grunge to create an otherworldly body of work. In particular, their newest single “The Helm” (out June 25th), a song with immaculate guitar work and unpredictable, transfixing melodies. The song’s last two minutes, in particular, feature a climatic, soaring instrumental break to finish off the track with a sense of release.
The band said in a statement that they “write from experience and truly want to share our stories and melodies with audiences everywhere”, and it’s hard not to get caught up in these stories and melodies. “The Helm” and The Universal Veil are must listens.
Cyber Rock band Punk Guns are back and as daring as ever. The band’s founding members, bassist and lead vocalist Marek Bero and guitarist Giampaolo Guarnieri, are joined by two new members, drummer Dan Western and guitarist, producer, and “synth maestro” Jiri Novotny, for these new releases. The band ties together a vast array of influences, from the classical, baroque, Balkan and Slavic music from their travels to directors Argento, Godard, Vadim and Bava to the world of sports (as Giampaolo was a world travelling extreme skier in a past life).
The first taste of their next album, due later this year, is the wild, engrossing new single Nemesis, featuring everything from classic guitar riffs to electronic beats under Sophie Bokor-Ingram’s narration. The song is entirely unique, and wholly Punk Guns to its core. It’s off-kilter and unique blend of sounds and genres is something that does not leave your mind after the song ends.
The band had this to say about the song:
“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”.
Ghanaian-Swedish artist Aurelia Day continues her string of excellent singles with “Huntress”, a Dancehall infused track themed around woman empowerment. The song’s beat is appealing enough to get anyone moving but unique enough to have lasting power long past the song’s runtime. Dey’s delivery does nothing but enhance the song’s innate swagger. It’s hard not to feel her power in each sneer of “little boy” and the confidence and poise in lines like “you can call me Katniss or Xena warrior princess, if you don’t come over here, I will hunt you down with the spear, grown woman have no fear”.
Dey’s dedication to the female warrior archetype shines through in the song, as does her commitment to inspiring changes in listeners. The song exemplifies a particular form of liberal feminism, both calling back to the warrior archetypes and seeking to empower and lift up all women. The song remains perfectly accessible to all audiences, but with a twist of afrobeat and dancehall.
When asked about the song, Dey called it “perfect for female empowerment boost and norm-breaking stereotypes. It’s about being a huntress – brave and ambitious. Creating a boundary pushing track exuding liberal feminism; breaking gender norms and gender associations. To take command, not only in a relationship, but in any area in a female or non-male life, to claim space. The dancehall beats enhance the funny metaphoric sensual references and the feeling that “I’m in charge”. I want to inspire my listeners to feel and embrace these feelings.”
Norwich based artist Ryan Soanes returns with vibrant new album, ‘The Journey‘. Somewhere between pop-punk and emo, the album is youthful but shares lyrical themes that are emotive and mature. A stand out number on the release comes in the form of refreshing single, ‘Call My Name’. Armed with synthesisers and guitar lines that will leave you breathless, the melodic number captures Ryan’s thoughts perfectly. Relatable and able to resonate with millions across the globe, Ryan’s lyrical themes are expressive and human.
Dedicated to creating music that helps raise awareness of mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, Ryan’s been raising money for the charity Samaritans from the album sales. A way to give back to his friends, family and supporters who helped him through difficult times, Ryan Soanes deserves wide recognition.
Describing the story behind “Call My Name”, Ryan states: “the song was originally written years ago before I even released music, it was written as a love song to a girl I was dating at the time, however, in recent times when I decided to rework the song, I had broken up with the girl… this gave the song a whole new meaning and vibe completely, it’s a happy song that went sad, now the meaning is as followed; the main character is going through / has gone through a breakup and realises their fault, they regret it all and want to reach out to their ex to be on good terms, however they can’t find the words to justify their apology or feelings, the girl refuses to reply or give him another chance (“hello my dear I’m standing here waiting on you / I’m facing my fears waiting on you”), this is a personal experience to me.”
Hard rock band Pentral released their second single, ‘All My Wounds‘, from their forthcoming album ‘What Lies Ahead of Us‘ on Friday – and it’s an explosive return. A mixture of all their influences in one place, the hard-hitting track follows in the shadows of first single ‘Silent Trees’, and looks to be another successful release for this fine trio. Gaining support from Prog, New Noise Magazine and Music Crowns to name a few, they’re certainly raising the bar even further for future releases. Bursting with energy and riffs, the track is another conceptual release that continues the story of a young family lost in a world filled with hate.
Sharing their thoughts on the track, Pentral state, ‘All My Wounds is the second single from our debut album. This song tries to express an uplifting vibe with its lyrics, melody, harmonies, and groovy rhythm. It is about the quest for spiritual healing, dealing with the highs and lows of life, and toxic people. It touches upon how hard is to cope with grief and loss and how rewarding is to bounce back from rock bottom. It’s a part of the journey described on the concept album called “What Lies Ahead Of Us” which is about a saga of a lowly couple fighting for their lives and sanity.‘
Unapologetic and requiring your full gaze, “All My Wounds” has the power to mend scars. Music is a healer for millions across the globe, and serves as a form of escapism during these uneasy times. Pentral’s distinctive sound keeps getting stronger and stronger.
A collaboration sent straight from the heavens, StarMoney teams up with Snap Capone for new single, ‘Catfish‘. As real as it gets, ‘Catfish’ is StarMoney’s response to all the fake people on Instagram and beyond. Looking to establish himself in the music world as one to watch, StarMoney is a hip-hop artist that’s destined to leave you wanting more.
Chatting about the release, StarMoney mentions, “Catfish is about fake portrayal. For example, someone might be pretending to be a real gangster or a rich person in flesh or on the internet but in reality that is not what they are really about. Nowadays there are a lot of guys out there pretending to be gangsters or rich bawlers when really they are not. Instead, they fool the public by using their Instagram pretending to be someone of money and power on the streets or even off the streets and they use this act to gain status, publicity and fame”.
Incorporating trap with grime, ‘Catfish’ is an exquisite release that’s best served with a good set of speakers or headphones and your full attention.
Hailing from Florida, Billy Mick is an artist that clearly makes a statement with his music. Returning with addictive new single ‘The Tourist‘, this is certainly a track you won’t be getting out of your head any time soon. Taken from his forthcoming sophomore album, ‘Levelling Up‘, Billy Mick is an icon that will instantly give your day a boost.
‘The Tourist’ is a track that recalls Billy’s time on holiday in the UK and especially at the celebrated community event that is Manchester Pride. Feeling a sense acceptance from his travels and happy to be true to himself, Billy explores themes of reassurance and optimism for the LGBTQ+ community in the track. Saddened to go home to a place where there’s increasing racial intolerance and bigotry on the news – it seems, unfortunately, that the two places are worlds away from each other.
Adding his thoughts on the experience, Billy mentions, “In 2018, my husband and I attended Manchester Pride as part of our trip to the U.K. We were so amazed at the overwhelming sense of acceptance, love and community we felt when we were there! The streets were filled with drag queens, lesbians, straight people, bears, twinks…and everyone was actually celebrating together. My prior experiences at some pride events were different – there would be a single big event or parade where people would come together and when it ended everyone would go to their separate parties or bars. It was just so cool and awe-inspiring to not only see the diversity but to also be welcomed by everyone we met. We felt very much at home”.
‘The Tourist’ is a captivating release that draws you with it’s vibrant arrangement.
Set to release their new single ‘Citizen 202‘ on March 26th, Kavanagh are a youthful outfit that will instantly grab your attention. A release that can only be described as an anthem best served loudly, this whirlwind single showcases that Kavanagh aren’t frightened to turn their amps up and get up, close and personal. Just under two minutes long, it’s safe to say this track is short but certainly sweet. Leaving you wanting more? Dive into the band’s back catalogue, you won’t be disappointed.
Sharing their views on the track, Kavanagh state, “Citizen 202 is about escaping the idiosyncrasies of humanity and being a member of the universe instead, simply a part of creation. more than a human.”
Recorded at Far Heath Studios with Angus Wallace of legendary band The Prodigy, the track was produced with Mike Bennett (The Specials, Ian Brown, The Fall, Fat White Family). Certainly in fine company on the track, ‘Citizen 202’ is an explosive return from your new favourite band. A slice of alternative rock to get you through your day, Kavanagh state that rock and roll will never die, it just has a new face.
Stourbridge, West Midlands based artist Saint (Matthew Derham) is making waves within the hip-hop industry. An artist and also the CEO os a label, Matthew teams up with his producer PsyRo on exceptional new EP ‘Lucid‘. Released at the end of January, the EP is speaking to thousands across the country who simply can’t get enough of this artist. Focusing on real issues and using music as a form of escapism, music is best described as a healer for Saint, and many listeners out there too.
Armed with 5 tracks of pure bliss, the EP might speak to hip-hop and rap lovers more than anything, but is still emotive and intimate. While the lyricism reflects Saint’s interest in subjects such as law and philosophy, ‘Lucid’ is an elevating release that uses an uplifting production to convey it’s enchanting story.
“Little Lady” is a truly breathtaking single. Based on the early experiences of parenthood, husband and wife duo Toby & Pip are passionate and truly heartwarming. Dedicated to their daughter Josie, who inspired the addictive folk-pop tune, this joyful love song brings hopes to thousands across the globe, and sits perfectly during Valentines. A weekend filled with love whether you’re in a romantic or platonic relationship, this warming single professes that love truly does win.
Their second single to date was released back in 2020 describes the first steps forward in parenthood. It also touches on how becoming a parent makes you want to be the best you can be and always do the best you can for your child. Paired with a fitting music video, Toby has filmed one second of Josie’s life everyday on his phone, and the music video is made entirely from the daily shots.
Toby & Pip are playing a Valentines live-stream tonight at 9pm over on their Instagram, and we highly advise you tune in.