Bringing us a wonderfully fitting nine-track album that the late-great legend himself would surely love with all his heart, Monica Frank is absolutely outstanding on ‘The Stargazer Collection: A Bowie Tribute‘.
Monica Frank is a USA-born, London, UK-based indie classical pianist. Mentored by Mike Garson, David Bowie’s pianist for many years, she is a graduate of New York City’s Manhattan School of Music.
”Monica’s arrangements combine Bowie’s original material with her classical sensibilities to create a unique concept for each piece that further affirms the genre-spanning scope of his music. The three Mike Garson tracks are from his collection of 24 Nowtudes, beautiful contemporary piano miniatures.” ~ Monica Frank
With a sizzling performance that is of gold medal standard, she stuns our souls into action with a marvelous interpretation of all the tracks presented and sends us into a trance that is so beautiful to be wrapped inside. Her skills on the piano seem rather effortless at times on such an extremely difficult instrument, and seems to float majestically through this brilliantly projected nine track arrangement.
“Monica has created some astounding piano versions of some of David’s greatest songs. She also performs them very well. I’m sure if David was with us he would have liked them a lot.” ~ Mike Garson, legendary American pianist
‘The Stargazer Collection: A Bowie Tribute‘ from the excellent London-based classical pianist Monica Frank, is a true modern day masterpiece from a highly skilled artist. Her creativity only seems to get better and better on each single – and she displays such love and care here – to bring the world a tribute to one of the all-time great musicians, who is sadly not with us anymore. Monica performs with a real elegance that is so rare these days and fills up our hungry hearts, with a quite excellent display of extreme quality.
Hear this new album on Spotify and see more on the IG music page.
The brutalist architecture in the single artwork perfectly captures the bleak tone in the Fullers’ latest semi-orchestral single, Unreal City, which comes with 70s melancholic pop-rock nostalgia and a sorrowful indie post-punk edge.
The Fullers have been in formation since 2018; they garnered the attention of BBC Surrey and Essex before transforming their rock sound to make the most of songwriter Peter Neilan’s classical training. The evolution in their sound allows classical motifs to coalesce with folk elements; any fans of Ben Folds will want to pay attention.
Unreal City was officially released on August 13th; you can check it out for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud.
For his latest single, Once Again, Toronto singer-songwriter and composer Christopher Siu collaborated with Amber Jakes to create a theatrically cinematic ballad; the orchestral score is almost arcane in its ability to immerse you in fantasy.
The light and sweeping piano notes set an evocative tone for Amber Jakes’ soulfully imploring vocal timbre that starts succinctly and climbs to the higher notes in line with the instrumental crescendos tenderly crafted by Siu. Once Siu’s vocals make a resounding appearance, his influences of Disney and music theatre start to shine through in the mesmerising single. Wherever Siu takes his sound next, we are sure that it will be a resounding, panoramic success.
The official lyric video is now available to stream on YouTube.
For her latest single, the classically trained singer-songwriter, composer and multi-instrumentalist, Mad Gallica wrote a cinematic pop ballad about supernatural romance; the orchestral soundscape is just as immersive as the deeply meta story weaved by the LA-based artist.
‘Souls on Fire’ is one of those tragically rare singles that evokes the perfect balance of awe and emotion as you listen to the fierce yet flawlessly pitched vocal crescendos. The LA/Nashville-based artist’s degree in vocal performance from the Musician’s Institute in LA was discernibly worth every cent.
She has toured the world as a keyboardist and backup vocalist, although I couldn’t easily name many voices that Mad Gallica couldn’t easily outshine. She has opened for the likes of Metallica, System of a Down, Ozzy and Guns and Roses.
Libya-born, Brussels-based self-taught neoclassical composer and pianist Nizar Breden has released his latest composition, Journey; through the gentle melodic crescendos, Bredan’s diverse cultural heritage emerges through the delicate score that is provoking and profound in equal measure.
By switching between dramatic, uplifting and tentative cadences, Journey is a score that will leave you hooked by its multifaceted nature, expressive textures, and Bredan’s ability to melodically flit between melancholy and an almost Machiavellian style of playfulness.
After finding influence in the wandering tones of Chopin, the circulating melodies of Tiersen and the evocative works Ólafur Arnalds, Ludovico Einaudi and Nils Frahm, Bredan discernibly found his signature style that will easily enamour any fans of the aforementioned.
Journey is the first of the singles to come from his new series of original compositions; the rest are due to follow throughout 2021 and 2022.
‘I Walk Alone Tonight’ is the confessional debut single from the classically trained UK singer-songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist, Iona Maclennan. With the orchestral strings pulling across the minimalist ballad, the instrumental score parallels the evocative magnetism of Iona Maclennan’s artful, spiritual in part, vocals.
After spending almost a lifetime trying to make sense of the world and the confusing dynamics within it, studying the sounds of Bastille, Finneas, and Jacob Collier, and taking lyrical influence from Billie Eilish, Lewis Capaldi and Taylor Swift, it comes as little surprise that the self-produced single carries enough emotion to leave your heart in your throat as you succumb to the power of the melodies and the lyrical poetry.
However she follows on from her debut, we’re stoked to hear it.
The lyric video to I Walk Alone Tonight is now available to stream via YouTube.
Artist and composer Lee Olivier-Hall is set to release his most candid work to date. His EP ‘Moments in Sound’ was written during the pandemic as the film composer captured the emotional impact of uncertainty, fear and isolation.
The conceptual duplicity of the lead single, This is Only the Beginning, plays with our newly found pessimism and fear of beginnings as the tender ambient neo-classic keys reflect the fragility of our optimism. The use of spatial effect and instrumental minimalism is devastatingly profound as it mimics the hollow, vacuous nature of our new world.
Since graduating from BIMM London, the artist has primarily focused on composing for film, his experience scoring for film reflects in the visual nature of the four-track EP which is easily one of the most stunning accounts of lockdown melancholy.
This is Only the Beginning will be available to stream and purchase on all major platforms from June 4th. In the meantime, you can check out Lee Olivier-Hall via his website,Instagram or Facebook.
Taken off her upcoming debut EP called ‘I Want You To Know‘, which was first created after taking a brisk walk in Moscow to conquer a moment she needed to deal with from her past, Evelyn Bates is absolutely brilliant on her lead single that will have you lighting the candles on ‘I Used to Have Dreams‘.
Evelyn Bates is a highly professional and award-winning classically trained pianist, composer, actress, piano/vocal coach and indie pop singer. She forms that classy soundtrack that dazzles your mind and takes you to a calming place – to get your thoughts together from this confusing world – that can easily lead you astray.
”She was born into a family of musicians and composers. Evelyn started studying piano in the tradition of the Russian piano school and singing at an early age and was accepted at a classical music school at the age of 6. She continued her studies and later started her degree at the renowned Gnesin Academy of Music, Moscow.” – Evelyn Bates
‘I Used to Have Dreams‘ from the mightily skillful yet elegantly humble London-based, Moscow-born pianist/composer/actress and singer Evelyn Bates, shows us into a mindset that has evolved through time and life experiences. She knows what is is important now and although she feels like she has lost some dreams to the night and has seen them fall apart into pieces, this stunning piece of music art has also helped her to see the bigger picture. That growing self-awareness is what makes her such a superb musician, and this wonderful song is surely the start of something special.
”Writing this EP was like therapy, where I needed to simplify things to see them more clearly in order to reflect on that.” – Evelyn Bates
Hear this new and calming effort on Spotify and see her IG page for more info.
Experimentally spiritual London-based artist Jason Potter has followed on from his 2020 debut album with the release of ‘The Marriage of Celestial Things’. With Gregorian chants meeting gothic inclination, the dark sermonic soundscapes may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Yet, anyone with the proclivity to delve into an exploration of the duality between damnation and salvation will want to bear witness to the subversive eight-track album.
The opening single, Creation, acts as a guide into the light within the arcane orchestral album; but it isn’t long before the haunting and evocatively striking tones pierce through the ambience in the neo-classic soundscape. With ominous spoken-word offerings, The Marriage of Celestial Things purposely disturbs as a method of awakening.
When fully immersed in the album, you can practically feel your tunnel vision widening as you’re drawn away from superficiality and forced to reconcile with the vastness of the universe and yourself.
While some artists fall out of the mainstream to make a point, perceptibly, Potter’s authenticity was something that he didn’t have to orchestrate.
The Marriage of Celestial Things is available to stream and download on Bandcamp from May 14th, 2021.
Alen Chicco is already a household name (with a certain degree of notoriety) for being the first drag artist to walk onto the stage in his native Lithuania’s version of the X Factor TV show. Mūsų Lietuva – (‘Our Lithuania’) – is bold, theatrical, full of passion and dynamic, sounding at times more like a modern opera song or a piece from a film score as much as a pop single. Written and performed in his mother tongue (although the accompanying video does come with helpful English subtitles), Chicco’s voice is impressive, blending and mixing with the powerful musical composition tightly, his vocal performance well outstripping the usual ‘singer-songwriter’ and more akin to musical theatre or classical ballad.
The track builds slowly, gently adding strength and power, an ode to ‘home’ and to belonging, Chicco’s voice easily able to cope with the rise and fall of the track, potent and emotive. Sure, it’s easy to draw a ‘Eurovision entry’ comparison in terms of the feel and the language, but ‘Our Lithuania’ is more than that; there’s elements of performers like Callas or Caruso in the way Chicco’s vocal – which feels effortless at the same time as it’s full of strength and emotion – is delivered, maybe even Freddie Mercury’s surprise performance of ‘Tavaszi szél’ in Budapest, and – coupled with the narrative video translating the lyrics – ‘Mūsų Lietuva’ is an epic, honest, and authentic neo-operatic piece that makes a compelling and commanding change from meaningless bubblegum pop; for that, all power to it.
You can watch the (subtitled) lyric video on YouTube; check out Alen Chicco on Instagram.