Browsing Tag

one republic



Irish indie rock band Rofi James released their new single ‘Everytime I Make You Hate Me’ on April 24th 2020, an alternative pop effort that follows the success of their previous debut singles ‘Fools For Your Love’ and ‘Open Eyes’.

‘Everytime I Make You Hate Me’ is a compelling combination of the best indie pop and indie rock influences of the last decade, with its melodies sounding original and fresh among the contemporary alternative scene.

The song presents a range of pads and rhythmic guitars that broaden the sound both in the verses and choruses, and grows even wider with the balanced pop drums resulting in a almost epic harmony. The little crunch in the vocals perfectly suits the sweetness of the overall song, a fantastic contrast that will immediately catch your ear.

Head over to Spotify and listen to ‘Everytime I Make You Hate Me’.

Review by Jim Esposito.


After Success In The iTunes Rock Album Charts ZEALS Release ‘READY TO FLY’ EP

Zeals is a 3-piece based in Somerset, England. Their recent EP exudes passion and directness, going for a bright, lush and relatable sound.

The songs featured on their new EP, titled “Ready To Fly”, could be compared to the work of artists as diverse as The Fray, The 1975 with even a hint of Bruno Mars.

Their sound is cheerful and uplifting, yet chock full of beautiful grooves and engaging melodies. This release actually marks the band’s sophomore EP – their second studio work, featuring 5 new songs that offer a very balanced set list, somewhere in between sincere love songs with a mellow tone and unapologetic party songs with bright and wide-open vibes.

Opening track “Feel it” falls right in between these two different approaches, going for a really melodic vibe that still has some poetic lyrics with a romantic flare. The second song on the EP, “Do You Really Care”, is probably my favorite track on this release. I really love the contrast between the sampled beats and the cool guitar sounds, and the brooding, reverberated atmospheres of the song really open up later into the arrangement, making me think of influential acts such as U2 or One Republic, among others.

“Paddles” kicks in with a rocking, incendiary riffs that mark the band’s most vicious effort in this set-list – standing as proof that these guys can rock out if they so choose! This song is dead-on rock and roll with a modern edge, echoing the work of artists such as The Foo Fighters or Muse, but with a catchier approach.

The following song, “Dark Waters” brings the vibes to a more mellow pace, offering a very emotional ballad that stands out as one of the most introspective moments on the entire album. The sparse arrangement really hits the spot.

Last but not least, closing number and title track “Ready To Fly” is a stunning and catchy arena-rock anthem, where the band seemed to be able to take every element they have explored on the various sounds on this EP and put it all into one beautiful song.

This band managed to wrap up a consistently great release, with tons of beautiful melodies, memorable lyrics and amazing grooves – where different genres and ideas collide seamlessly into one another, making for something truly special – this little gem of an EP was recorded over the last few months at Longwave Studios in Cardiff with producer Romesh Dodangoda.


A&R Factory Present: Heffron Drive

Based out of Los Angeles, CA, Heffron Drive is an Alt Pop band started in 2008 by lead singer Kendall Schmidt and Guitarist Dustin Belt. The duo began making music together when they were teenagers. Both Kansas natives met while living on the same street in Burbank, CA called Heffron Drive, which ultimately inspired the name of their band.

Before Heffron Drive had a chance to take off, Kendall booked the lead of a television show/music group and gained worldwide popularity as the lead Singer of the Nickelodeon/Columbia Records project Big Time Rush. After 5 years of success, Kendall, alongside guitarist, Dustin Belt, got back in the studio together as Heffron Drive.

The two best friends and band mates have been busy touring all parts of the world since the revival of Heffron Drive. From Europe to South America, the Philippines and all over the US. Their first album Happy Mistakes was released in 2015, shortly followed up by Happy Mistakes: Unplugged; per the fans request for an acoustic album. Happy Mistakes is a soaring example of how pure songwriting can be. The music is thoughtful and meticulously crafted to go along with lyric and melody that pull on every individual heart string.


So far the band has only impressed and they aren’t slowing down anytime soon. With the release of their two new singles “Rain Don’t Come” and “Don’t Let Me Go” in 2016 they have brought a new sound to their music that has pleasantly surprised the fans and attracted new listeners. These two new singles push the limits of what HD is all about; unforgettable music. “Rain Don’t Come” is a heart racing track full of desert vibes and incredibly thoughtful production. “Don’t Let Me Go” is the new sound for the project, showing the love that Heffron Drive has for electronic music while keeping their unique sound alive.

The band has been hard at work in the studio writing and producing new music. Their first new song of 2017, “Living Room”, was released January 13th, followed by an EP entitled “The Slow Motion EP” released February 10th. They will be playing a few shows in Mexico in January, and then of to Europe for a full European tour in February.


A&R Factory Present: Sam Nicolosi

“If I were to break down what ‘Realign’ is about, I’d say it is about returning to your roots. Sometimes you have to forget what you’ve learned about “who you’re supposed to be” and listen to that inner voice inside that just wants you to be happy.” – Sam Nicolosi

Sam Nicolosi is a singer/songwriter and producer, born and raised in Evanston, IL located just outside of Chicago. During elementary school, Sam began playing the djembe, shortly thereafter picking up the piano and guitar. During those years, Sam had also developed a love for poetry. He began hearing melodies when he played music, and, eventually, those poems started becoming songs. Having grown up listening to a mixture of alt-pop and hip-hop along with music from the 60’s and 70’s, Sam pulled from each of those genres as he began writing and creating. At the young age of 12, Sam’s parents bought him a ProTools rig and he began recording his songs; however, too shy to sing in public, he formed a duo, allowing a friend of his to sing the songs he had written.

A year later, Sam started gaining confidence in his voice and released his first solo, acoustic EP. About his music, Sam stated, “I am mainly a guitarist (acoustic is my heart and soul) and my sound is made up of reversed/chopped & screwed guitars. But along with the guitar I also play piano, hand drums, and so on. I pick up everything.” As his skill developed, Sam began releasing small projects, each one leaving him hungrier for more and more time in the studio; more and more time expressing himself creatively.

Those days increased, leaving little time for much else which eventually caused the young musician to leave school. Eventually his music was put in the hands of songwriter Julie Frost (Beyonce, Ed Sheeran, Black Eye Peas, Charlie Puth, Meghan Trainor, etc) who immediately sent it to her publisher, Jon Platt. After meeting Jon in Chicago to talk about music, Sam signed a deal with Warner Chappell Music where he began writing and producing daily, truly honing his skills. It was during this time that his summer project “Origins” was created. A collection of 13 songs, mainly written and produced by Sam alone, leading with single, “Realign”, an uptempo record about returning to your roots when you feel lost. “Origins” will be released in 2017.


A&R Factory Present: Medic

Very few rock bands are capable of wowing people right out of the gate. It usually starts with a half recorded demo here, another half recorded demo there, empty bars, empty promises and then you finally get to the good stuff.
In February 2011, four young men who were tired of such a pattern gathered in an empty church to discuss their dreams, aspirations and what they were going to do about it. The idea was to create the music they’ve always wanted, spend all the money they had and make the best music they’ve ever been apart of.
The group enlisted producer Michael Rossback to help them craft the sounds that they were striving for and to help the songs come to life. “The whole thing was a big experiment. None of us had worked with a producer before and the biggest thing was, the band had yet to even play music together in a room.” says Aaron Wagner, the groups frontman, “when we got to Rossback we had only laid ideas down piece by piece in a computer, never anything
more. Rossback would then make us play everything as a live band when we arrived at his house and that’s when things came to life. There was a chemistry and sense of trust between us all.”
August rolled around and after months of working, Medic had finished their first EP. Five songs that had stolen the very breath away from all who would hear and with a developed sound that felt like they had been around for 10 years, the band started to play around the Denver area with the intent to stun the audience. They are succeeding. Bassist Drew Barnard explains: “We went in to this just wanting to make music with hope. Music that made people feel like they were understood and the shows feel like that; like we are reaching an understanding between us and the audience that hope is alive and well.”
“In the midst of the trials that we go through these days, I think we are just tired of the same old. Anyone can make art these days. It’s so accessible to make and promote and yet most of it is so negative. It was wearing on us. Medic is about something new, we are about creating a community of thinkers, dreamers and believers that aim for something positive. This world will continue to fall apart if we keep talking about how it’s falling apart. But what if
we dare to be the people to figure out ways to put things back together? That’s our platform. That maybe our music can be apart of someones healing process and spread from there.” says Aaron.
So maybe it is time for something new. New songs to sing, new dreams to dream. Maybe Medic is formed out of four guys who might be what we call idealists. But maybe it’s time for us to leave the cynicism behind and begin to embrace hope. Maybe it’s time for a new beginning.
Let us welcome, Medic.