Browsing Tag


Neil Friedlander saunters in barefoot with chilled and peaceful single ”Kindness”

With sounds of the beautiful ocean illuminating in the sunny background, I imagine Neil Friedlander to be walking the earth without any shoes on. This is a majestic man, truly at one with nature while he crafts chilled and beautiful music. ”Kindness” is the next single to be released from 2020’s ”Love Is a Ripple on a Lake” and this is peaceful tranquility at it’s most purest form and the way music should be created.

Alternating between Brooklyn, New York and Jerusalem in Israel, Neil Friedlander makes star touching Indie music that makes you feel all warm inside your heart. This is an artist on a journey of self-discovery and his peaceful nature as a friendly guide in this harsh world, is tremendously appreciated by all of his loyal listeners.

Kindness” is a reflective song, about finding ones purpose. This album is dedicated to anyone who has forgotten something they would like to remember and this song follows in the same path. What is it you would like to remember? Being kind is something that is too often looked at as a debilitating weakness when in fact, it is a quiet strength. I love the concept behind the message and Neil Friedlander’s softly spoken voice that implores you to listen, without actually asking.

Hear the song right here on Neil’s Spotify page.

Review by Llewelyn Screen

North London’s The Theft release smooth dance floor winner ”Everything Nice”

Lo-Fi beats with funky fresh hi-fi values. London Producers Vier & Ray Alex, sure know how to bring out soulful music with a positive message. Their brand new release ‘’Everything Nice’’ is here at just the right time to inspire us in 2020.

‘The Theft’ were formed in 2016 and the Finsbury Park, London natives are back with the follow-up from the smooth 2018 release; ‘’Love Paralysis’’. Well-known for the popular 2016 breakout track ‘’Pool of Doubt’’, the boys are back with a slightly edgier beat to show the world the progression in their craft.

Their new song starts off with a chilled intro to get you in the mood and then turns into a definite dance floor slider. This 2 minute track leaves you wanting more as it’s catchy and I could listen to it again and again. The volume needs to be up loud for this one.

Look out for more releases from this up & coming North London duo and I personally will be catching them live when venues open up again. ‘The Theft’ have developed a winning formula and should be up there at most festivals in 2021, so keep an eye out for this promising act.

‘’Everything Nice’’ is out now on Spotify and all streaming platforms: 

Review by Llewelyn Screen

A&R Factory Present: J. Bernardt

J. Bernardt is proud to announce that he will release his debut album Running Days on 16 June, 2017 via Play It Again Sam. Today he shares the opening track from the album, ‘On Fire’, as a subtle statement of intent. It’s warm piano chords, persistent guitar hook and gospel infused harmonies melt away as he soulfully laments, “No way back to where we came from”.

It’s an innocuous lyric, but one that nods to both the changing nature of love and a sea-change in J. Bernardt’s sound; as he shifts gears from being in a band known for effervescent ’60’s-tinged indie-pop, towards a deeply personal soul-inflected sound. “Looking back, I suppose I didn’t know what I was making during the making of the album” he says. “But now when I listen to it I find it hard” he pauses, “It’s such an honest record”.

J. Bernardt is the nom de plume of Jinte Deprez, a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, whose career has been largely focused on Belgian pop institution Balthazar, that is, until now. All too often, when artists go solo after a long time in a band, there’s a tendency for them to fall into well-trodden routines when writing—something Deprez won’t deny he had to shake off. “I’m a very automatic songwriter, so at first I was still creating Balthazar-style music”, he says. But after experimenting with a Korg PolySix, the project began to evolve, drifting further from his comfort zone as he explains, “Working alone I learned that music’s not hard to create, but it is difficult to finish” he laughs. “And that was the most interesting part of this journey – and definitely what I needed – because when you’re on that kind of path you discover something new about yourself”.

On this his road to self-discovery, Deprez began to play with the sort of genres he’s always had a passion for, but rarely got to express in Balthazar, “I still love the old-school ‘60s sound we created in the band—but for this project I began to think about what I’d play at a house party”. It’s perhaps for this reason, that Running Days brims with elements of R&B, soul and hip-hop; echoing the emotional clarity of ‘90s-era D’Angelo and the vocal resonance of How To Dress Well, over beats inspired of Child of Lov and the melodic simplicity of Gorillaz. Whether in the sunny vocal hooks of ‘The Direction’, the jazzy, mellifluous horns of ‘Wicked Streets’ and ‘Motel’, or the lush serpentine rhythms of ‘Calm Down’, which surges with synths and skittering breaks.

Perhaps Running Days most surprising facet is the slickness of its production, something that belies the aesthetics behind it’s recording, “I really wanted this to be a very DIY album”, explains Deprez, who recorded the bulk of the LP in his home in Ghent. His intention behind this process, was as much about convenience as an attempt to get away from the circus of life in a band, “As Balthazar grew so did the tours, the crew and the involvement of the label” he explains. “So I felt the urge to get some distance from that and find something new and more straightforward”. But mining personal experience was an alien concept for Deprez, especially coming from a well-established group, “When you write an album with a band It’s hard to get really personal, because you’re not saying something for yourself, you’re saying it through four other people”, he says.

This new emotional rawness is something Deprez joking describes as ‘Cry Disco’, “I like that term, because while the music is uplifting, it holds a lot of lyrical sadness” he says. “I enjoy that balance, because while I don’t want to be too dramatic about stuff, I don’t want to be too happy either – in my mind I guess I’d like to be the preaching crooner” he laughs. ‘The Other Man’, which is titled somewhat ironically, exemplifies exactly this mode, moving away from themes of ‘the other’ to capture a resonant moment in time. “It’s an introverted monologue” he says of the song, “It’s not about love, or other people, it’s about me. It’s about self-exploration, self-doubt, the end of my 20s and becoming 30, and like…what the fuck?” he laughs.

For a record so steeped in themes of love and loss, J. Bernardt’s Running Days remains incredibly warm, while avoiding dramatic cliché, perfectly melding his love of potent melodies, heartfelt lyricism and lush vocals. It marks the start of a spectacular era in Deprez’s work – one of beguiling rhythms and personal revelation – which leaves the record posing an open-ended question: not about what he is running away from, but what glittering new chapter he is running towards.

J. Bernardt’s debut album Running Days is due for release on 16 June 2017 via Play It Again Sam. Catch J. Bernardt live at The Great Escape next month, and at the Waiting Room in London on 7 June.