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A&R Factory Present: ARLO

Where ‘Ivory’ gained the pop newcomer some impressive praise, ‘Shake The Room’ is poised to floor the fence sitters in proving this 24-year old Londoner has what it takes to stamp his mark all over 2017 and all off his own back.

In the man’s own words : “’Shake The Room’ is about losing confidence in yourself, not trusting your gut and allowing others to control your future”. In pure defiance, he sings “I don’t need your reverence, I don’t need your approval” – constantly striving to be the individual that he was always destined to be.

A songwriter and vocalist who cites influences from current pop giants Adele and Kanye West to 80’s pop heroes Terence Trent D’Arby and Tears For Fears. ARLO displays a natural knack for story-telling with a wise head on his young shoulders, his narrative is delivered by his distinctive vocal all wrapped up in uplifting pop rhythms and triumphant percussion

Shake The Room is the second in a series of songs to come from ARLO across the summer and gives you some insight into what he has to offer.


A&r Factory Present: Brick + Mortar

New Jersey alt-pop kings Brick + Mortar have just announced their new EP Dropped Again, coming out April 28th. Dropped Again is a re-release of the band’s 2015 EP Dropped, including two new tracks and a remix of “Move To The Ocean.” The band is now premiering one of those new tracks “One Little Pill,” which can be streamed now on Spotify and Apple Music. A quote from the band on the single can be found below.

“One Little Pill reflects on how America deals with depression and our nations insatiable desire to always be happy.” – Brandon Asraf (guitar/bass/vocals)

Sometimes music saves people from taking the wrong path and that’s exactly what it did for Brandon Asraf. While his partner, John Tacon, grew up in a relatively normal suburban setting, Asraf grew up “like wolves” amid five siblings in a New Jersey household headed by a conman father. Dad’s scheme ultimately tore the family apart. “Mom didn’t take everything that happened that the best,” Asraf Says. You can learn more about that in VICE’s article: “My Buddy’s Dad Was a Blood Diamond Smuggler”…

Brick + Mortar have truly been building a movement. Spreading a message of empathy, positivity, and self motivation…Their song have garnered a notable history at both terrestrial and satellite radio, with singles like “Locked in a Cage”, “Hollow Tune”, and “Train”, which remained on AltNations Alt 18 for 10 weeks, peaking at #11.

In celebration of acquiring ownership of the masters, Brick + Mortar will be releasing a fully remastered version of their Dropped EP cleverly called Dropped Again. The new EP will feature two new singles “One Little Pill” and “Great Escape”. Both singles offer a glimpse into the world and sound that will be their first full length album due out later this year.


A&R Factory Present: Kings

Hailing from Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands in the English Channel, the four piece indie rock outfit Kings has released their latest studio endeavor, a single entitled ‘Drowning.’ Drawing influence from 80s pop music citing the likes of Michael Jackson and Queen, the foursome is striving to make their name known in a contemporary independent music community chock-full of rock groups. Thus, is Kings able to separate themselves from the pack and create a sound that’s authentic? Let’s dig in and find out.

Out of the gate, ‘Drowning’ is a very well-produced effort. Kings clearly connect in the studio, and their musical camaraderie is abundantly obvious, especially in the electrifying guitar solo section and the brief, but remarkably effective vocal harmony parts. At three minutes long, ‘Drowning’ feels especially punchy. It’s a track one could listen to a dozen times over without fully realizing it.

Despite drawing from a well of inspiration that’s likely older than many of its members, Kings does do a fine job of sounding entirely contemporary. There are hints of Queen, for example, in the solo section, but it never feels dated or derivative. Kings have combined modern indie pop rock with some more “classic” influences, and that’s something that isn’t done often. It’s a fruitful culmination of styles, and ‘Drowning’ is surely a track that could get concert halls moving.

If there’s any criticism to be levied at Kings, it’s that their music, while entirely inoffensive and well executed, doesn’t break down any walls, either. The sound is slick, but safe. The vocals are smooth, but the lyrics are forgettable. ‘Drowning’ is a great song to add to one’s spring or summer playlist, but it’s not a dynamic piece of music that’ll linger on beyond this summer. It’s carefree radio pop that’s also well done.

That’s not a bad thing. It exhibits Kings’ massive potential and offers them a foot in the door by hooking an audience with their catchy anthem. It seems very likely to me that Kings could later produce music that is profound. Right now, their focus is quality pop music, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

It also helps that Kings’ music video for ‘Drowning’ is very good, a simple performance on soundstage in black and white, but an effective and memorable one at that. Hence, ‘Drowning’ is very much worth the time of anyone seeking an enjoyable indie pop rock song that while not entirely groundbreaking, is fun in its own right.

Words By Brett David Stewart


A&R Factory Present: Mandi Rose

Hailing from Los Angeles, independent pop music scene newcomer Mandi Rose has recently thrown her hat in the ring with ‘Back for More,’ a seven track EP that explores her reverb-soaked take on the genre.  The 20-year-old singer songwriter’s collection of songs is surprisingly versatile, showcasing her as a talent that could certainly broaden beyond just “pop” if she ever chose to do so.

‘Intro to Back for More,’ the minute-long, aptly-titled introductory track highlights Mandi Rose as an artist who is experimenting with different sonic ideas in a rather unique way. A scratchy radio switches from station to station as the listener hears Mandi Rose approaching a bevy of songs and genres. This is a perfect lead-in to ‘Make It Ours,’ one of the EP’s better songs. The pop ballad perfectly balances infectious pop influence and compelling production. At times, Mandi Rose is reminiscent of a younger Lana Del Rey.

‘Roll One’ has tinges of hip hop influence, especially in relation to the way the beats are orchestrated for the track. True to its subject matter, ‘Roll One’ is an easy-listening, suave pop ballad that’s non-invasive. It doesn’t have an explosive moment, but it doesn’t need one. It’s subtle and methodic. Structurally, ‘Lies’ is very similar, though that track actually delves into R&B and soul territory that’s especially fascinating for Mandi Rose. Her vocals on ‘Lies’ are some of the finest on the EP.

Another track with hints of R&B influence is the lovely ‘Don’t Go Away,’ a song scored by soft finger snapping and elegantly sparse piano and atmospheric synthesizers. “What about trust, what about us?” Rose croons,“what happened to you and me?” It’s a solemn track about the end of a relationship gone awry despite one party still wanting to fix its remnants.

The only feature on ‘Back for More’ is the rapper Destruct, who is spotlighted on ‘Hennessy.’ Frankly, it’s the least imaginative track of the seven. Both lyrically and musically the track pales in contrast to strong predecessors the likes of ‘Lies’ and ‘Don’t Go Away.’ Destruct does accentuate Rose’s sound nicely, though, and his feature is a welcome inclusion.

The best song on ‘Back for More,’ however, is its self-titled finale. ‘Back for More,’ the song, is the perfect culmination of every element that makes the EP as successful and fresh sounding as it is. There’s pop influence, but it’s injected with a heavy dose of R&B and contemporary soul, and Rose’s conviction as a vocalist sells each performance. ‘Back for More’ is a beautiful finale, and ‘Back for More’ is a truly surprisingly indie pop EP. It’s actually good, and that doesn’t happen often.

Words By Brett David Stewart


A&R Factory Present: Jay Pray

Today Connecticut’s Jay Pray reveals the gripping, moody, lovelorn official video for fan favorite I’d Go Anywhere (Do Anything), which premiered with Northern Transmissions. The Wild Honey Pie also debuted the full album stream earlier this week, offering fans an early glimpse into Jay Pray’s repertoire.  

Justin Romanos learned how to make music growing up in rural Connecticut, both by playing and by recording in his own makeshift home studio. During college at Drexel University’s Music Industry Program, he found a home with like­minded peers, and gained the nickname, “J Pré.” He honed his craft by continuously writing, and spent much of his time in the close ­knit Philadelphia basement community, where he fronted the indie rock band SHMNS. After graduating college in 2014, he moved back to Woodbury, CT to regroup, refocus, and reinvent himself as a musician. He spent the last two years writing and recording songs for this album as well as many, many others that may never see the light of day.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Soundcloud


A&R Factory Present: Wild Front

Organically formed, South Coast Band, Wild Front, aim to pair the unrestrained emotions of music with the capricious nature of life. It came as no surprise when the band formed,as the 4 had been musically working together for years.

Although 80’s rock and alternative indie is a love they all share, their primary musical influences are so different. Jack offers his love of folk and Josh studied classical music at university, whereas Mike and Joe’s musical repertoire ranges from West Coast hip hop to indie folk. It’s this exotic mix that creates their unique anddistinctive sound. Wild Front have just released their self-titled debut EP,and are in the studio constantly writing and recording new material.


A&R Factory Present: Miccoli

Birmingham three-piece, Miccoli are set to release their new single on on the 3RD of March 2017.

‘Idle Stranger’, the follow-up to last year’s ‘Silent’ EP, was self-produced and recorded at Clarion Studios in Penang off the coast of Malaysia. Available to download from all the major outlets, the track is a near perfect piece of infectious Indie Pop which completely encapsulates the band’s vocal harmonies and ear for a catchy tune. The first indication of what to expect from the eagerly awaited debut album, the new single is accompanied by a stunning video filmed in Venice and directed by up and coming photographer Valentio McKenzie.

After spending most of their childhood studying and making music, twin brothers Adriano (vocal and acoustic/electric guitar) and Alessandro (piano, vocal and acoustic guitar) teamed up with their younger sister Francesca (vocal, piano and harmonica) and decided to form the band a few years ago.  Taking inspiration from the likes of Simon and Garfunkel, The Police, Crosby Stills And Nash, Fleetwood Mac and the classic hits of Motown, the three siblings set about crafting their own blend of haunting, melodic and eclectic sounds to great effect.

Miccoli has since toured extensively throughout Europe and America; hanging out with Motley Crue along the way and have recently performed at the Wireless Festival in Hyde Park. Previous singles have attracted the attention of public and critics alike and have seen them feature on American, British and Asian television and pick up airplay on national and regional BBC radio as well as Internet and college stations across the board.

Having spent the last year in the studio, the band are now ready to set out on the road again and perform the songs that will make up the forthcoming debut album. In what promises to be a busy and exciting year ahead, they will announce live dates in the very near future.


A&R Factory Present: Lost Beach

Hailing from the beaches south of Los Angeles, LOST BEACH combines the sentimentality of sun in your face, while pining for the unknown in what we call indie rock n roll. Native Texan Jonny Perdue came to California to further his pursuit in music, finding guitarist and collaborator Steve Stout via a chance encounter while both playing for siblings of two different bands. During his time on the coast, Jonny met Hermosa-raised drummer Davey Latter and bassist Zacc West, also linking up with keys player Davey Allen after seeing his performance at a soundcheck in LA. “Perdue,” meaning lost in French, and the band’s residence on the coast inspired their moniker LOST BEACH. From Otis Redding to Elliott Smith, the group draws inspiration from the sounds of older records and a DIY mentality of self-production.

Lost Beach will be releasing singles in the coming months in anticipation of their self produced full length LP later this year.


A&R Factory Present: Needle Points

Needle Points is a psych-boogie outfit from Philadelphia formed in 2013. Their music, largely influenced by sixties and seventies vibes, is what punk music would have been if Keith Richards invented it. They have toured the east coast twice, including shows at Delaware’s Firefly Music Festival and Georgia’s Savannah Stopover Festival and recently finished a 30-day national tour with mewithoutYou in November 2016. They have also supported bands such as Temples, Dead Meadow, Fat White Family, Sun Club, Spank Rock, CRUISR, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and many more.

Needle Points’ first release Bom Tugangu (2013) , intended as a collection of 4-track basement demos to book shows with, was met with acclaim locally and even internationally. The album, along with their raucous, face-painted, animal suited, hair-for-days live shows, led them to a record deal with indie label PaperCup Music in 2014. With the label, they released a 7-inch for “Cripple Street” a song that has since been picked up for use by Converse for showroom play.

In the fall of 2014, Needle Points worked with Dr. Dog frontman Scott McMicken on their recent release Feel Young. McMicken produced the album and lent his talents as a second guitar player and keyboardist to several tracks. The band decided to leave PaperCup earlier this year and form their own label NeedLove Records on which they released Feel Young.

Needle Points, a band of artists, have also worked hard to develop a marketable aesthetic. Everything they have done and worn since their formation in 2013 has been meticulously curated. Their psychedelic taste and party vibe has helped them develop a loyal social media following, notably in their nearly 13,000 Instagram followers. The band members have also always designed and created their own merchandise. Their talents were recently validated when Philadelphia based clothier Free People purchased one of their t-shirt designs. The company released their Needle Points shirt in department stores and boutiques nationwide in July 2016. Free Peoplealso cited Needle Points as their “favorite band” in a 2015 blog post, and used their track “Needlove (City Walls)” in a YouTube commercial featuring model Alena Blohm. Other brands such as Billabong, Marc Jacobs, and Harper’s Bazaar have also featured Needle Points songs in their work, and they signed with the Discovery Channel, NASCAR, and TLC for televesion in August 2016.


A&R Factory Present: MYFEVER

MYFEVER is a rock band residing in Atlanta, Georgia. Not that it particularly matters when you hear them. If it did, then it wouldn’t exactly make sense to you that brothers Weston and Garrett Hine have somehow managed to capture an authentic energy of West Coast and marry it to a ‘90s sensibility, all while being from Northwest Florida and still in their mid-twenties.

After ten years of playing music together, the core-member Hine brothers have attentively distilled their love of alt-arena rock into a truly memorable and truly modern expression of the genre.

To compare MYFEVER to a homogenized list of names, with the purpose of winning you over, would be pointless. Their offerings deserve more than a casual stream or well-intended earmark. This is burn-worthy music. Theft-worthy music. The point is, you’ve got a date with MYFEVER, so show up.

See The Light is the band’s debut album, released May 2015, followed by their Twin A couplet in early 2016.

Find out more here

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