Ever been a bar when the DJ drops ‘Play That Funky Music’?, that’s the level of momentous energy you’re treated to when you hit play on Hartley’s Encore’s latest self-titled track.
With the soulfully inspired vocals, the viscerally reverberant popping of bass and guitar and good-vibe lyrics, you’re in for a Funk-soaked treat with Hartley’s Encore. If that wasn’t enough, you also get to soak up the electric fever of the organ as it seamlessly progresses alongside the brass section. The Albany NY- based Funk & Soul powerhouse may be up and coming, yet their ability to curate a mind melting seamlessly rhythmic ensemble has definitely already arrived.
So, If you’re looking for an aural boost, you can check out Hartley’s Encore for yourselves by heading over to Spotify now.
Review by Amelia Vandergast
Putting Tom Holden’s ethereally quaint style in words almost seems blasphemous given the fact that he’s created something completely, irrefutably succinctly prodigal with his sound. His single Flesh Vessels from his latest album is just one of the tracks that left me in a state of beguilement after drinking in the up-funk sultry rhythms on offer from the cathartic yet grinding experimentalism. If you could imagine a subtler offering of the conceptual contortions of sound created by Frank Zappa you may get close to imagining Tom Holden’s Jazzy, rhythmic Alternative soundscapes which could only truly ever be contained under the label of Art Rock. The amount of progression packed into a track that already hosts such an array of complexity made Flesh Vessels one of the most enigmatic tracks I’ve checked out this year.
You can check out Tom Holden’s latest track Flesh Vessel’s as part of his 2018 10-track album ‘Chickens Drinkin’ on Spotify now, and yeah, based on the title alone you can throw out any expectation of normalcy out the window before you hit play.
Review by Amelia Vandergast
Stay is Ed Charles latest Funk addled RnB Soul track with the perfect pinch of parody. I’m not sure if the parody was intended or it was just Ed Charles playful demeanour at work, but I dug it anyway. Stay is the title track from Charles’ upcoming LP which is due to be released in Spring 2018, he’s kindly left us the single to get hooked on his sound in the time being.
Through his debut single Charles’ fuses the warmth of the cacophonic instrumentals with a high-vibe vocal energy that nods slightly towards romanticism through the eyes of an RnB Lothario. The Woodstock, NY based writer and producer’s passion is palpable through every track in his back catalogue and it’s pretty refreshing to hear his playful style. The audible influences behind Ed Charles sound include the likes of The Beatles, Marvin Gaye, Springsteen and Fleetwood Mac.
If you’re looking for a pioneeringly innovative Funk & Groove sound, you can check out Ed Charles’ debut track Stay on SoundCloud using the link below:
For more information on this ridiculously talented Rock, Soul, Jazz mastermind check out his official website:
Review by Amelia Vandergast
If you fancy listening to the drawling drone of melancholy disguised as an Experimental Funk track look no further than the new release of Loser by The Slims. The three-piece band have been around since 2017 in their hometown of Pittsburgh, they promise to sound like nothing we’ve ever heard. They’re so right.
I’m not adverse to the more lachrymose sounds out there having The Smiths and Joy Division on my regular playlists, but their latest track Loser just takes it to the next level. The lyrics seem to be a list of apathy that doesn’t really give any substance, it just conveys as morose meanders of the mind without any context which is possibly the most infuriating feat of this track.
It’s clear that the vocalist has a lyrical ability as he tunefully moans in an almost Shoegaze indie fashion over a doom impending backbeat that makes sure you’re thoroughly depressed by the time you get to the end of the 3-minute track.
I almost want to write a good review so The Slims don’t have something else to add to their list of disappointments.
Check out The Slims debut track Loser via Spotify now:
Everyone needs a song like Unfinished Business by M.R.J in the soundtracks to their lives. Euphoric, funk dabbled, electro indie pop beats finished with the quintessence of an infectiously upbeat styling, who could beat it? Not many, that’s why stumbling across the gems that make up M.R.J’s track list was a pretty special moment. The contemporary Pop scene is a minefield at best, you never know what mixed bag of overproduced atrocities is waiting for you on the other side of the play button. So I’d like to thank M.R.J in restoring my faith in the Pop scene with this uniquely refreshing style. If you’re a fan of acts such as Alex Cameron & Jack Ladder, you’re going to love M.R.J.
Yet Unfinished Business incorporates the right amount of trepidation in his tracks to make sure you feel the full immersive explosion which accompanies the synthesised chorus.
Whilst the undeniable history of Pop is implored with the styling of M.R.J’s track, it’s clear that he sets his own standard and tone when it comes to his music.
The London based Pop artist always has new tracks in the mix, however in the mean time why not pop across where you can sample his latest hit Unfinished Business?
Through the impossibly competitive music scene of Portland, Oregon emerges Salvatore Manalo with his debut track Rain.
It’s a mixed bag of genres, but when you get to the bridge, putting a label on his majestic sound quickly floats to the back of your mind as you find yourself fully attuned to his sound. With riffs more fitting in Rock tracks this R&B Funk Pop enigma allows the track to flow with sweet unpredictability.
The entire ensemble is flawless, from the vocals to the instrumentals, the lyrics to the Jazz vibes that taint the track with poignantly upbeat symphonies. I’m really not sure how Manalo remains on the underground with such an array of talent. There’s a true narrative to his emotions which he explores through his command of rhythm.
Sadly, Rain falls under the category of the type of track that you’re likely to hear whilst dining at an upmarket restaurant or wandering round the supermarket. It’s not a sound that you’d hear in trendy cocktail bars or being spoken about fondly by teenagers. Never the less, if you’re looking for a sound to dispel the winter blues look no further! (Despite what your friends may think)
One month after the initial release of DreamTaun, the fresh new single from Ekaterine Music and we’re still revelling in the absolute masterpiece of this sonorous sound. With its wholesome hints of Country, Americana, Electro-Pop, Funk and Ska DreamTaun has the momentum of a thousand wild horses.
The track progresses with Ska tones reverberating from the guitar with transient slips of melody from the verse to the chorus. The track has an angelic aura about it twined with the exuberance of one of the most confident women that you’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to expressing herself in a midst of raucous energy. The sound dominates its sweet euphoric vibe. The vocals are as clear as glass fracturing into a thousand pieces through the rhythm of this track. Ekaterine Music is the new musical venture from visionary Moscow born singer song writer Ekartine Goglidze whose music soon caught the attention of the BBC. In 2016, she was invited to perform her original material in the live sessions. She’s a woman of astounding grace and stunning talent.
Check out her new single DreamTaun on the SoundCloud link below:
Make sure you also check out her website & social media, once you get a taste of her sound, you’re going to want to get acquainted with her.
Damask are an innovatively underground act from Essex, UK who have recently celebrated the release of their first single Inner City. Their sound is a concoction of Pop Rock & Funk styling, which is wonderfully produced into an enigmatic universal sound. The idea behind the sound came from band members; Duncan Haslam and Takahide George combined desire to create sweet, soulful vibes with a touch of class.
Inner City boasts the unmistakable soul jingle which introduces the track before it starts to flow with infinite possibility. I adore the darker undertones to this music, it transcends the usual cheap styling of the genre to create a dulcet sound which are resonant of bands such as The Killers, Editors and Chris Cornell.
The lyrics are as catchy as the hooks in the music, put them both together and you get an infectious melody, not too dissimilar for Daft Punk’s cult hit with Get Lucky. However the lyrics have a far Deeper Indie Rock resonance behind them thanks to the monumental vocal arrangements of the lead vocalist.
Check out their debut hit on the Soundcloud link below!
Why not stay connected with Damask via Facebook on the link below?
“Bitter Mind” is just one of those songs that feels good. It does not only feel good because of the passionately soulful raw vocals or the groovy bass line. It also feels good because of the way it shifts drastically but seamlessly from a slow mellow guitar driven narrative into a funky, uplifting tune with an extremely catchy chorus. Through these two very different sections Samuel J.Lawrence’s sound is presented as an authentic blend of soul, folk, rock and funk with just the right balance.
The first section of the song, featuring the natural flowing guitar lines and Samuel J’s raw vocal is already enough to show that this tune is going to be a big success. From the very first few dung notes it is clear to see that the vocal tone can express a myriad of soulful colours but the fact that this is blended in with a folk element makes it even more intriguing. The drastic change happening around one minute into the song was definitely a pleasant surprise and without a doubt this section keeps unraveling Samuel J’s passionate vocal as well as a juicy bass groove that will just make you smile. This song is definitely one of those gems which you cannot ignore. Give it a listen and you’ll know it’s true.
-Sarah Marie Bugeja
With a rich velvety vocal tone that is capable of portraying a variety of colours, a steady laid back funky groove and bass line, smooth saxophone phrases and an immersive performance quality “Lion’s Den” showcases Forstory’s ability to capture the atmosphere and essence of a live concert into one very well crafted song. Forstory’s collaboration with DTale creates an exciting combination of soulful sounds which blend extremely well with each other and indeed create one homogenous sound.
One thing that stands out is actually the use of the voice like an instrument, adding scat-like melodic phrases and unison parts with the other instruments towards the end, which gives the song its very particular character while showing that the music is created and performed by true musicians who know what they’re doing. The harmonic and melodic content are among the many interesting aspects of the song, providing great shape which brings out that vibrant “live” sensation making the music a perfect show starter as well as an exciting and immersive track to listen to on the radio. These guys know what they’re doing and they are ready to take you on a brilliantly crafted sonic adventure and experience so definitely keep an eye out for their upcoming performances and releases!
-Sarah Marie Bugeja