Stelios Kyriakidis staked his claim as one of the most evocative neo-classical guitar composers of his generation upon the unveiling of his debut album, 508 Days. The opening single, Copenhagen, pays a fitting ode to the titular destination; each note, a breath taken at the profoundly inspiring scenery, a moment stolen within the rich culture, a step taken through the enriching streets.
The serenity within the instrumental soundscape constructed by the London-based Greek guitarist and composer echoes his influence of neoclassical, folk and film music elements. If the soundtrack to the film Her made an ever-lasting impression on you, expect the very same affecting experience from Stelios’ intimately composed score which undoubtedly resounds as well in a live performance as it does on record. The connection he feels to the guitar in hand is comforting throughout, echoing his own familiar and fond acquaintance with the instrument he uses to make highly visual mirages from melodies.
Prior to the release of 508 days, Stelios Kyriakidis performed in prestigious venues globally and has been featured by BBC Radio London, The Music Dances When You Sleep, and the Minor7th. Since releasing Copenhagen, the single entered the iTunes Classical Charts at no.34. We can’t wait to see where he takes his sound next.
Visit Copenhagen via Spotify and explore the rest of Stelios Kyriakidis’ debut LP,
The post-rock artist and composer, Sairen, created the embodiment of cinematic tension in his seminal instrumental score, Délivrance. This seven-minute piece flourishes distinctive avant-garde flair, marking it as a standout creation in the realm of modern instrumental music.
The track’s progression is a journey through the artist’s intricate vision, characterised by eloquently moody tones and a sophisticated use of musical elements. Sairen’s expertise in blending diverse musical influences is evident here. From the harbingering guitars that siren through the track to the tenaciously placed cymbal crashes, each element is carefully crafted to contribute to the overall narrative of the piece.
One of the most striking features of “Délivrance” is the introduction of chamber strings, which seamlessly complement the sonic spectacle of the crescendos. This inclusion not only enhances the track’s emotional depth but also showcases Sairen’s ability to fuse classical sensibilities with modern post-rock aesthetics.
The middle-eight of the track is particularly noteworthy. Centred around the motif of a ticking clock, it builds a palpable sense of drama, leading to a break into an arcanely all-consuming sequence that can only be described as filmic ingenuity. This segment demonstrates a touch of Glenn Branca in its composition, highlighting Sairen’s skill in creating complex, layered soundscapes.
Sairen’s background, with his early introduction to music and his affinity for baroque, romantic, dark metal, and post-rock, shines through in this creation. He bridges these seemingly opposite genres, crafting a unique sound that is both haunting and enchanting.
Délivrance was officially released on November 7th; stream it on SoundCloud.
The Cambridgeshire, UK-hailing songwriter and composer Sean Daniel has veered away from his alt-rock inclinations to make his debut in the pop arena with his latest single Counting Stars.
Immerse yourself in a celestial experience with this starry piano-driven pop ballad from Sean Daniel and the phenomenally talented female vocalist who brought swathes of soul to the release, which uses each note to weave an intricate tapestry of chords that hint at a profound understanding of musical storytelling and showcases a maturity that belies the artist’s novelty on the scene.
The track’s dreamy star-roving atmosphere is crafted through delicate yet powerful piano melodies, perfectly paced to lift listeners into the cosmos. The artist’s skill in chord progression shines brightly, offering a transcendent journey through space and emotion. Delve in for a shot of sonic visceralism.
Counting Stars was officially released on November 7th; stream the superlative single on SoundCloud.
After a bell ring in the intro to pay a conceptual nod to the iconic conditioning experiment, Roman Gastelum moves straight in with an amalgam of funk grooves, jazzy timbres, and hip-hop beats in his standout single, Pavlov’s Dogs taken from his debut LP, EQlibrium.
With the single and LP title, we probably don’t need to tell you that the LA-based bassist, vocalist, lyricist, and composer is an intellectual cut above the rest. In fact, if there were any more genius touches to this release, Roman Gastelum’s door would be blown off its hinges after an army of sapiophiles came knocking. But it is far from just pretentious art over substance.
The sublime sonic atmosphere conjured around the bruisingly clever bars by the artist who received his Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance from the Musicians Institute in LA ensured that even on the 100th listen, you’ll take something new from Pavlov’s Dogs. As the cherry on the urban alchemist cake, the spacey sci-fi surrealism towards the outro is a lesson in experimental scintillation.
Pavlov’s Dogs is now available to stream on Spotify with the rest of the EQlibrium LP which dropped on September 29.
Insentient Natureis the latest cinematically sombre neo-classic score from the avant-garde ambient composer Basil Babychan, who has garnered international critical acclaim for his phantasmally affecting work, which entwines futurism with touches of classical orchestration to create profoundly reflective sonic spaces.
The darkly compelling minor key progressions against the spectral shadows cast by the classical strings and glitchy synths lead the instrumental soundscape into a brand-new depiction of dystopia; one which allows you to see the beauty beyond the consternation. Harbingering the age of the machine and a sense of detachment from the organic world, Babychan taps into our fears, while demonstrating everything has its place and a right to belonging and freedom.
Insentient Nature is due for official release on November 10th; stream it on SoundCloud.
Fans of Tom Odell, James Bay and Birdy won’t fail to be consumed by the latest piano composition, Skies, from the UK multi-instrumentalist, composer, and producer, Keli Woods.
If his voice accompanied this year’s John Lewis Christmas advert, I wouldn’t be coloured surprised, and that is only the start of the crossover appeal of this sombrely intimate yet juxtaposing strident release, which seamlessly amasses evocative momentum and flair with every intricately laid progression in the epic 6-minute progressive ballad.
Keli Woods’ experience as a monk lent itself effortlessly well to the powerfully metaphorical introspection within Skies. His ability to conjure vivid pictures in the mind with his deeply affecting lyrical prose is second to none. He may have missed out on West End stardom at the age of 11, but all paths, which included performing jazz band in a decommissioned ambulance in Swansea and living the late-night rock ‘n’ roll life, have led him to this point of proving the transformative force of music.
Listen to the live recording of Skies from Real World Studios via YouTube from October 18.
After two nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for his music scores, orchestrating endless film and television OSTs and collaborating with everyone from Werner Herzog to Jason Lee to Kylie Minogue, the LA composer and guitarist and composer, Mark Leggett played by the rules of his own expression in his acoustic Americana LP, Folktown.
The title single is a score of Americana that is almost impossible to form an objective view of. The emotion he pulls from the fingerpicked notes overwhelms every conceivable sense as you’re drawn into the sonorous intricacies of the loose and rickety yet tightly profound progressions. That contradiction is only the start of the alchemy that awaits you within his latest album.
Words were surplus to requirement when the fretwork painted such an evocative panoramic picture that lets you feel the humbling bitter-sweet breeze of bluegrass from wherever this masterpiece of an album finds you in the world.
Lose yourself in the dusky twilight of the latest electronic folk serenade by the Oxford-based sound designer Mosa. His scintillating single, The Night Sets In, is a plaintively compelling composition that could be easily compared to the artfulness of Radiohead, Mogwai, and Low; although those comparisons can allude to the diaphanously sonorous atmosphere of his sound, they don’t do Mosa’s intrinsic authenticity much justice.
His unique ability to infuse the dusty soul of blues into his sound design around the neo-classic keys and ethereal motifs establishes him as one of the most authentic artists around in 2023. We were hooked after hearing his single, Helicopter, earlier this year, after hearing The Night Sets In, which could easily rival the beguiling gravitas of any of the releases on the Westworld soundtrack, we are even more assured that Mosa is one to watch.
The Night Sets In will be officially released on October 7th. Hear it on all major platforms via this link.
The North Dakota alt-folk artist, composer and producer Joel Porter’s fascination with the human psyche knows even fewer bounds than the experimentalism in his harmonic landscapes.
Art brings meaning to life; in Porter’s work, which includes his recently released single, Godsend, life also brings meaning to art as the quiescent neo-classic melodies complement confessional emotional exploration. With his signature sense of intimate longing, Godsend is yet another testament to his talent and introspective eloquence. With a sound so sweet it stings, the melancholic cries for providence in Godsend are so profound they resonantly overwhelm the senses.
Combined with the aesthetic desolation in the black-and-white music video which visualises the monochromatic hues of a forsaken soul, Godsend is yet another masterpiece in Joel Porter’s repertoire.
Over the course of his career, he’s worked with renowned artists, showcased his music on a national level, accumulated over 7.5 million streams, and secured sync placements with the television series The 100 and in the Grey Skies: A War of the Worlds Story video game.
Something tells us the best is yet to come for Porter and his ability to construct bridges between the pensiveness of Elliott Smith and the intricate ambience of Nils Frahm.
The official music video for Godsend will premiere on September 28; watch it on YouTube.
While My Guitar Weeps for Mehdi Rajabian, performed by Peter Xifaras and the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, pays homage to the bravery and tenacity of an Iranian artist imprisoned for working with female dancers and musicians, something which has been banned since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
After a three-minute trial, he was convicted and tortured during his sentence, but that wasn’t enough to break his indomitable spirit that inspired this jazzy composition, which orchestrally berates the indignity and senseless oppression; it carries the quintessence of the Iranian protesters throwing away their headscarves in a bid to retaliate against regimented oppression.
While Les Pauls don’t often take the lead in orchestral arrangements, on this wild and jazzy contemporary ride, the sonorous sustain lends itself effortlessly to the instrumental piece as Peter Xifaras demonstrates his prowess as a guitarist, composer, and producer.
Stream the official music video for While My Guitar Weeps for Mehdi Rajabian via YouTube.