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Get your summer funk-pop fix with Monté’s red-hot bubblegum earworm, Heart2heart

The electro funk-pop trio, Monté, has been feeding the airwaves sticky-sweet euphoria since forming in 2019. They brought out their sharpest arsenal of pop hooks yet with their summer 2022 release, Heart2heart.

Far from your average fawny proclamation of passion, the track was written for those who deserve better. With the vibrant energy in the Disco-Esque crescendos, the seductively smoky horn stabs, and the sheer soul oozing through Leah’s vocals, with Heart2heart on your playlists, you’d be hard-pressed to forget to have self-worth. There’s something subversively genius about the lyrics “you’re a piece of shit” versed through butter wouldn’t melt vocals.

Heart2heart is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Mark Earnest – Just a Dog: his beats aren’t as bad as his bite

For his latest single, Just a Dog, the Ireland-born, Tokyo-based artist Mark Earnest served a stellar slice of lush RnB pop. You can’t help but drift away with the mellow funky grooves, the soulfully resonant vocals that are pinched by melancholy instead of overarched with it, and the mellow guitar-centric rhythms.

With the bedroom artist’s greatest motivation centred on bringing catharsis and compassion, he gave his soul free reign over Just a Dog, which lyrically sees him changing species to allude to his need for simplicity. If you aren’t on board with that sentiment, have you even been alive for the past few years?!

Just a Dog will officially release on July 1st. You can check it out for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Jake George needs that extra time on the cinematic release about ‘Your Ghost’

Taken from his brand new 11-track album called ‘Drive All Night‘, Jake George is at his illumination-filled best on the deep thinking new single about that vivid journey beyond the present with ‘Your Ghost‘.

Jake George is a Melbourne, Australia-based alternative psychedelic funk/rock solo singer-songwriter, music producer, and sound engineer.

Returning with a song that should be in all of our playlists when we need some true introspection, Jake George takes us back to a time that we have all possibly hidden away inside a locked cupboard. Lifting us into a whole new world that seems to strike your soul with that feeling – which is so hard to explain – this is a delicately emotional release made with so much love.

Your Ghost‘ from Melbourne, Australia-based alternative psychedelic funk/rock artist and music producer Jake George is the type of single you play loud when you are floating in that deep reflective state of mind. He performs with a realness that is so rare these days and takes us into a better place and time. Vocally advanced and with so much deepness, this is a track that will have your heart beating so much faster than before as you delve through your darkest emotions.

Finding your way will take as long as it needs to until you are conclusively ready for the next step.

Check out this new single on Spotify and see more via the IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Sydney singer-songwriter Robbie Maroon brought Reckoning (day) to us with his third funk-pop-rock album.

Interest in the LP format may have waned in recent years. If anyone can make a case for them in 2022, it is the Sydney singer-songwriter Robbie Maroon, with his riotously eclectic blend of funk, pop, RnB and rock in his third album, Reckoning.

The opening single, The Fighter, doesn’t set the tone for the album that throws everything from soulful ballads to rock anthems to groove-led jams. Instead, it throws you head-first into the captivating energy and expressive soul that Reckoning was created with. The consistently evolving nature of the release never allows you to get complacent with the unpredictable transitions in tone, style and lyrical influence. Yet, each visceral piece of the puzzle binds together seamlessly.

After the early Faith No More meets Go West opener, the album careers into funkier and playfully synthy territory with Track 2, Cyberlovestory, which will resonate with everyone who had the displeasure of experiencing the surrealism of dating during the lockdowns. Crafting the track in the form of an 80s synthwave love song was cunningly clever. I think the extent of the ridiculousness of the past few years finally just hit me with its full force.

After two infectiously protestive tracks, in track 3, Maria, Maroon delivers the indie funk-pop ballad, which celebrates the sanctuary that only certain people can open the door to. The upraising vocal layering, Men at Work-reminiscent horn stabs, and the sticky sweet melodious essence is enough to make you pick up your phone and tell your favourite person you love them.

Track 4, Rewind, is the perennial soul-pop earworm of the album that gives you a view into just how much command the Prince-inspired artist has over funk-bridled rhythm. From rap bars to vocal lines that would give Seal’s soul a run for its impassioned currency, the vocals stick to your synapses like superglue.

Track 5, My Love, allows Maroon to wear his James Brown and George Michael influences on his sleeve through the slick-with-salacious-funk-disco-grooves. The hand claps against the Nile Rodgers-Esque chops bolster the nostalgic euphoria, while the smooth vocals and equally as smooth lyrics scribe Maroon’s unrelentingly sonic signature.

With track 6, Falling out of Love, Maroon proves that love goes as quickly as it comes in quick to burn love affairs before he grooves into the striking funk aesthetics of Stand. Track 7 gives plenty of limelight to the female backing vocals that raise the energy throughout the album with their shimmering old-school soul.

Track 8, I Won’t Be Doing That, leaves a similar question springing to mind as Meatloaf’s I Won’t Do That. The intriguing ambiguity in the rock-licked track grips onto grooves reminiscent of Hall & Oats, and there is plenty of room for the unpretentiously virtuoso solos. Strangely, they amplify the sense morality mystery while you wait for more clues.

In Track 9, Maroon is out of his funk in the harbingering 80s rock title single, which grieves the normalcy that forgot to get a return ticket after the pandemic. I can quite honestly say that listening to The Reckoning was one of the most vindicating and affirming aural experiences I’ve indulged in this year. While the mainstream media keeps trying to sell us fear and hate, the masses find new brands of tribalism, and everyone secretly loses their sanity in the privacy of their bedrooms; it is impossible to find a voice of reason. Thank god one exists on my playlists now.

I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing the closing single, Take a Bow before, but my tear ducts still opened the floodgates to the ode to Prince. Simultaneously a celebration of his legacy and an illustration of the impact that inspirational people have on us, the subtle and quiescently yearning single is a tribute like no other. Hell, it’s a ballad like no other.

Check out Robbie Maroon on his official website, Facebook, and Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: You’ve gotta ‘Feel It’ for yourselves in MDMelo & Francis’ standout electronic soul single.

With its kicking beat, shimmering sonics and the effortless resonance of Francis’ vocals, MDMelo’s title single from his collaborative album, Feel It, rhythmically commands you into an evocative appreciation for the aural delivery of oxytocin.

It has been a while since we have heard funk-riding electronic beats with such deep seductive grooves; the euphoric aesthetic of the collaboration is nothing short of electrifying. The zealously infectious track marries old school soul with new-age electronica to achieve an uplifting effect that can scarcely be put into words; you just have to feel the disco synthetics up against the funk, soul and RnB textures for yourselves.

Here is what MDMelo had to say on his latest collaboration with vocalist, Francis

“Feel It, featuring Francis, is a breakthrough for me; it was a long-term project which focuses on production, composition, harmony, groove and sonics. My main objective is to make sure that Francis gets the notoriety he deserves; he transformed my music world.”

Watch the official music video for Feel It, which dropped on the 20th of May 2022, via YouTube.

Before the release of the 11-track soul album, Feel It, in May 2022, MDMelo & Francis caught up with A&R Factory. Check out the A&R Video Interview with MDMelo and Francis here.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Flying Oceans lit up the Manchester music scene with their soul-stirring funk-rock fusion, Circles

Flying Oceans

The Manchester music scene became infinitely richer for the latest release from the funk-rock pioneers, Flying Oceans. If you can imagine what it would have sounded like if Incubus abstracted their plaintiveness and implanted unbridled soul, you will get an idea of the stirring alchemy that Circles delivered.

With the guitars consistently transitioning between roots-deep funk chops and jangly Marr-Esque rhythm and the seductively low basslines bringing just as much gravitas as Mr Bungle’s, Circles has all the makings of a playlist staple for anyone that wants to find a slice of aural solace in our disjointing times where it’s all but impossible to find rhyme or reason away from the airwaves.

Hear Flying Oceans’ latest single, Circles, here.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Strutman Lane visualizes what is needed for this romance to flourish on ‘Our Love’

With the debut track off their upcoming EP, ‘The Bedroom Sessions‘, Strutman Lane glance in the direction of that new romantic companion and beams glowingly on the foot tappin’ wonder that is, ‘Our Love‘.

Strutman Lane is a Washington, DC-based indie funk/pop outfit that was formed by a group of UMD jazz school classmates who assemble those crisp classy vibes for us to be completely enamoured by.

A high energy, funk/pop love song about the rush of a new relationship, and the feeling of unwavering support and love so desperately needed in the face of the pandemic.” ~ Strutman Lane

Drenching our sad souls with some splendid harmonies to change our moody frowns into cheeky smiles again, Strutman Lane leads the way when it comes to fresh-sounding music that actually has that proper soul wrapped inside with a bow. They are a collective who have us dusting off those candles to set the correct ambience, that gets you feeling all joyful again and sensing that everything is about to become a lot brighter.

Our Love‘ from Washington, DC-based indie funk/pop group Strutman Lane, is a bass-slapping treasure of a single that features some of the smoothest vocals and grooviest soundtracks you will probably hear today. There is an air of optimism that is rather remarkable here, as we start to understand – or be reminded – what it takes to connect as one plug point that sparks alive with that wonderful feeling you can’t get enough of.

This is a heart-warming story about making sure that your souls are at one as you take it to the next level, which will have you feeling that this romance is something that could last forever.

Listen in to this new single on Spotify and check out their IG for more news.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Robbie Maroon has released his catchier than Corona funk-pop track, Rewind

“Rewind” is the latest jazzy rock-licked funk-pop track from the raw-soul-peddling Australian singer-songwriter Robbie Maroon. After being introduced to his sombre and spacey sound in 2019 through his single, Stepping Stone, this new profoundly hopeful approach to production is quite literally music to our ears. You can’t help but catch the positive vibes that radiate through the release that captures the chaos of our lives and releases us from it with the era-spanning old school grooves.

With vocals that sit somewhere in between Shinedown and the sultry timbre of George Michael, it’s all too easy to find yourself in the heart of the hook-filled track which comes complete with stabbing horns and layers of funk-riding progressions which pull together to deliver a nostalgia hit you’ve never tasted before.

Rewind was officially released on March 18th. You can check it out for yourselves on Robbie Maroon’s website or via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Prepare your funk-rock playlists for Alexander Godman’s zen hip hop track, Reconciliation Day

Funk rock fuses with zen hip hop in Alexander Godman’s standout release, Reconciliation Day. The London, UK-based alternative artist’s spoken-word style is instantly ensnaring for the way it flows against the minimalist funk-riding rock instrumentals.

The woody and organic bass lines bring the warmth and structure to Reconciliation Day while the bluesy and sunny guitars evolve through the raw chords and intricate finger-picked notes. It isn’t every day that we discover an up-and-coming artist with the confidence to follow their flow and style so confidently, and it shows on the Waitsy and folky B-side single, Out There Glow.

Alexander Godman’s debut is now available to stream on Spotify.

Connect with Alexander Godman via Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

San Raquel deliver sheer funk-rock salacious soul in their latest single, Redrawn Lines

The London-based alt-rock outfit, San Raquel, is in fine form once again in their latest single, Redrawn Lines. After forming a decade ago, they’ve continued to hone in on their eclectically absorbing experimental style that pulls in funk-rock, proto-punk and Hendrix style solos.

The seductive semi-crooned vocals in Redrawn Lines are sure to serenade any fans of Chris Cornell; in the instrumentals, there’s a untameably wild Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ style furore that raises Redrawn Lines to anthemic heights. With the warm guitar notes against the handclaps, steady rhythmic percussion and relentlessly dynamic basslines, it’s impossible not to drink in a little of the salaciously demure funk-rock energy.

Redrawn Lines is now available to stream via SoundCloud. It is the first single released from their new EP, Where You End, and I Begin, which is due for release on April 8th.

Review by Amelia Vandergast