Browsing Tag

Pop-Rock

In anticipation of OneSelf’s seventh album, we sat down with musician & producer Mario Deschenes to delve into the inspiration that led to his prolific ever-evolving creations.

Mario Deschenes

After delving into the nostalgically colourful haze of his former psych-pop albums, we were desperate to know the direction of Mario Deschenes’ new album that is currently in production, and how his journey as a multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter and producer started.

Thanks for sitting down with us to discuss your latest album, Seven Eleven; what can your fans expect from your 7th LP?

First of all, let me thank you for this interview. What my fans can expect is, it’s gonna be more than expected; they will get 12 songs and 12 videos. I have to tell you this album is not completed yet; today, I almost finished the 11th one; if I can complete this song as I think it gonna be a great one.

Yes, 12 songs and 12 videos, with a deeper implication from the lyrics to the final mixing. I was more attentive to each step and I took my time to have the best songs I could get. I think my fans will be surprised; they will hear Rock songs for their pleasure. I’m sure they will hear an evolution in this album if they compare it with my other albums.

For your new fans, how did your venture into music begin, and where has the expressive venture taken you?

My musical journey into music began with Can’t Buy Me Love, a world of possibilities hit my mind, and that is what I tried to go with since that moment.

My biggest influence is The Beatles. I was 12 when I heard The Beatles for the very first time. I was a shy boy, a very shy one. When I was in Grade 6, someone in my class brought an LP, Hey Jude’s album from, of course, The Beatles.

When I heard the first song of this album, Can’t Buy Me Love, something happened in my mind, in my whole body and soul. Do you remember, I wrote I was a shy boy, I took all my courage to go to ask her if she could lend me this LP, and she said YES.

At home, I copied two songs; I found the rest of the album was too loud and heavy, It sounds funny, but it was the first time in my life I heard music like this. For days I listened to these two songs; again and again, I had never enough.

This souvenir is so clear in my mind. I remember How I felt, it was the first day of a long journey. Later I bought a cheap electric guitar, no amp; it came later; I read everything I could find about the Beatles. The more I find things about them, the more I discovered other groups like Rollings Stones; it was the beginning of my biggest influences.

From the moment I wanted to play music for a living, I don’t remember it so clearly as the first time I heard the Beatles. What I knew is I had to learn how to play the guitar. I learned how to write songs in English first and years later, in French. I learned how to sing, have learned how to record my music.

It was a passion; with every new chord I learned, I composed songs with them. I have written a song with one chord. I thought it was a good song, Oops. Not really … Believe me!

Years passed by, and I kept writing songs and music. Friends of mine found that my songs were very good, for me, I did not think so. Today I understand more about how it works, my songs are better, and I am proud of the time spent learning how to create my style; you can hear this in my songs.

What themes do the 12 original tracks explore lyrically?

Seven Eleven’ features 12 songs alongside music videos that represent my vision of life, relationships, and the plethora of thoughts that keep me preoccupied. As for my brothers, relatives, father, teacher, nephew, getting older, dating, authentic friends, and my mother.

We love the nostalgic psych-pop tones on your former releases; how do you achieve those?

Thank you for loving, as you mentioned, the nostalgic psych-pop tones on my former releases. How do I achieve those? I could tell with time and patience and the will to do better songs I have never done yet; I don’t want to write or play or record the same songs.

I like when my songs are different, I always try to do something new, things I did not try yet; if it works, fine; if it is not working, I look for something else, and I am to the service of the song. It is a matter of feeling.

What are your favourite pieces of gear to make your reinventive pop-rock sound with?

My favourite pieces of gear are my guitar, a GODIN model XTSA, my GR 55 by Roland and the Vocalist 4 by Digitech, and the DR 880 by Boss for the drum parts.

I don’t think I reinvent the Pop-Rock sound. I only try to do my best for every song; I am demanding a lot from myself for my songs. I try to have my own sound; for one song, you listen to there are a lot of songs I did not take for several reasons. From my point of view, I only keep the best songs for my albums.

Where did you pick up your production skills, and what would you say you do differently from other producers?

Where did I pick up my production skill? In my early days of learning to record music and songs, I began with a 4- track recorder, an 8-track cassette recorder, a Digi 001, and, most recently ProTools. It seems easy or obvious, but it takes time, only time; year after year, I have improved my production skill. It demands a lot, but it is a passion, you know.

What would I say I do differently from other producers? I don’t know, I don’t really know; I have the chance to have a little home studio, and then I can try a lot of things. I think they have a studio too. The only thing I see is since I began the musical journey, I mainly worked on my songs, increasing my music at the same time as my production skills. I like to learn new things or new ways to record songs. That’s what I like; I can learn as much as I want to.

What are your plans for the future?

Along my seven albums, I created my musical style, the way to play the guitar, the way I sing, the way to write, how I write, and how I record. All these are me. I’m as unique as my songs are authentic as my albums.

For every album, I followed my path; I went further and discovered myself with my albums.

What keeps me pursuing my music career? I think it is a kind of quest to leave traces of my journey on earth. This is a feeling that comes inside me, I don’t have any choices if I don’t do that, writing songs, recording them, singing them, I don’t feel fine; I have to let them out.

After a good day of work on my songs, I’m tired, my voice is so tired because I sang too much, and my soul is at peace. I’m proud of these kinds of days.

I cannot do anything to stop; as long as I can, I will make albums. I don’t want to stop recording music, especially my music. My 8th Rock album is almost written.

Discover OneSelf’s music on his official website.

Interview by Amelia Vandergast

Freak out with the anthemically resonant single, Trauma, from the Atlanta indie powerhouse, yin.

Discussing inter-generational trauma no longer has to be confined to the therapy sessions you can’t afford, and posting statuses online that will result in a cascade of patronising care reacts. Atlanta’s most relatable alt-indie three-piece, yin, is here to make sure of it with their latest single, Trauma.

The infectiously maniacal high energy lets you ride the rare peaks that intersect the depth of the isolated lows. Strap yourselves in for the most anthemic indie jangle pop guitars you’ve ever heard as they sail through the dynamism that brings Take on Me to mind with the eccentrically soaring climactic choruses that leave the 1975 and Bleachers in the archetypal dirt.

In the style of Yung Blud, yin pair euphonic sonics with dark lyrics that make no bones about alluding to the dark places we drift into and all of the even darker thoughts that keep us company during the bouts of anxious madness that late-stage capitalism has left us to linger in. With their debut LP, Someone Who Isn’t Me, set to release on November 22nd, all eyes and ears should be on yin right now.

“There’s something really wonderful and terrible about being human in the modern age. We’re all struggling with the mere fact that waking up and convincing ourselves that we don’t hate each other is normal, and there’s always this emotional and spiritual push to try and love and cherish the little that we have to call our own. We just want to be honest about all of the sad parts as well as the really amazing happy parts.”

Trauma is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Go down the downward spiral with Daniel Antonio’s dark electronic rock debut, everything I touch

Any fans of Blue October, Celldweller, and Three Days Grace will be gripped with the evocative raw candour that complements the turbulently dark electronic rock aesthetic in Daniel Antonio’s debut single, everything I touch.

For infectious appeal, the debut fuses pop hooks with glitchy electronica and down-tuned guitars. With the bilingual lyrics adding yet another repeat-worthy facet to the track that exhibits Antonio’s fearless vulnerability equally through the lyrics and vocals, every time you listen to everything I touch, the immense sensory experience becomes that little bit more visceral. The single was written to encapsulate a relatable dark downward spiral that made losing touch an inevitability and admirably as an admission of fallibility.

Away from the music industry, the Sheffield-based solo artist starred in the BAFTA-nominated film Everybody’s Talking About Jamie – which explains the colossal cinematic touches in his debut. He also provided backing vocals for Ed Sheeran & Bring Me the Horizon’s earworm, Bad Habits, which hit number 3 on the UK charts. If this single doesn’t chart too, I might start a riot on his behalf.

Everything I touch will be available to stream from November 25th. Catch it on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Spotlight Feature: Pop-Punk’s Fiercest Lyricist, Juliette Irons, Advocated for the Heartbroken in her Latest Anthem, Skydive

After a brush with disorientating heartbreak, the Toronto-born, LA-based artist, producer, and dancer Juliette Irons picked herself up, dusted herself off and released the stormer of a pop-punk anthem, Skydive, as an act of solidarity with anyone feeling the same anxious dejection.

Skydive follows on from her evocative whirlwind, Prisoner of My Mind, which introduced the airwaves to the claustrophobia of anxiety. Still on stellar lyrical form, Skydive ensnaringly traverses the euphoric highs and dark and despondent lows of a situation-ship to prove even if you’re the one broken and bruised, you’re not the loser.

No heartbreak can survive the flood of dopamine that surges from Skydive. The rap verses are the vindicating cherry on the hook-sprinkled pop-punk cake, which tastes like 00s nostalgia, but Juliette Irons always brings her own signature emboldening flavour to the mix.

“Skydive was inspired by the confusion that comes from whirlwind heartbreak. I had just come out of a brief rollercoaster situation-ship that ended abruptly without much explanation. I felt like I had been thrown from a moving plane, woke up on the ground, and I was the only one who jumped.

I had given everything to this person, only to end up a shell of myself as I picked up the pieces during a realisation that everything was over. I hope this song can help other people going through a similar ungrounding shock to the system, and we can be empowered through it together.”

The official music video for Skydive will officially premiere on November 18th. Catch it on YouTube, and stay tuned on Facebook & Instagram, as Skydive is only the first part of the story. The concluding chapter will be told through her follow-up single, The Fear of Flying.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Martin Paul Cuthew made hope permissible in his synthy pop-rock soul-stirrer, The Machine

Following a dark Nine Inch Nails-Esque prelude that reflects the drudgery of the late-stage capitalist hellscape we call modern society, the bright and rich melodicism in Martin Paul Cuthew’s latest single, The Machine, starts to break through the soundscape like sunlight piercing a storm cloud.

The switch in the guitar and synth tones are effortlessly matched by the luminously humanist soul projected through the lyrics and optimism-inspiring vocals, which spoke to me on a level that normally only James Dean Bradfield reaches.

The UK-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist is the ultimate testament that awareness doesn’t have to be synonymous with pessimism. His vibrant expositions on love, hope and longing which complement his soul-stirring pop-rock proclivities effortlessly guide you to a perception that makes hope permissible. Take that Nietzsche.

The Machine is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Tatum Quinn is nobody’s fool in her fiery pop-rock anthem Short Supply

Montreal-born and raised Berklee college grad Tatum Quinn rolled with the pop-rock punches in her latest single, Short Supply. Not that she has to prove she is a force to be reckoned with after opening for Kool and the Gang, the Pointer Sisters and April Wine. But if any track asserts her unreckonable talent, it’s Short Supply, which galvanizingly proves that she’s nobody’s fool.

With atomically powerful pop vocals laying down the hooks over the stadium-filling crunchy guitars and adrenalizing percussion, it is all too easy to get caught up in the no holds barred account of Quinn’s lack of patience for usury hacks who will use emotional blackmail to claw their way back into a relationship they took for granted.

Ending the trailblazingly authentic anthem with “go fuck yourself” followed by an affable giggle, we couldn’t help falling in love with Quinn’s emboldening motive to create inspirational music that advocates empowered autonomy that little bit more.

Short Supply will officially release on November 10th. Catch it here.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Hana Katana pierced through the veil of plastic pop tropes with her pop-rock anthem, Friends Don’t Make You Cry

California-born, Austin-raised artist Hana Katana tore through the plastic pop cliches with razor-sharp precision to deliver the emboldening indie pop-rock single Friends Don’t Make You Cry. Turns out, wholesome content can sit hand in hand with kickass volition.

The lyric “friends don’t f**k you with their eye” is all proof you need that Hana Katana, who took her adapted adage “the tongue is mightier than the sword” for her moniker is one of the wittiest rising artists on the airwaves.

With touches of Paramore with the sonic glam of Marina and the Diamonds around the gorgeously angular indie guitars, Friends Don’t Make You Cry is a triumph. Kathleen Hanna would be proud. Especially, as the rising artist is doing stunt training while working on her visual album that will feature fight scenes to represent the conflict in each song.

Check out the official music video on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Simona-Valentina compels her listeners to follow their dreams in her confessionally quaint country pop-rock single, Head Outta Washing Machine

London-based singer-songwriter and guitarist, Simona-Valentina, gave her listeners an intimate view into how her creative life began with her country-tinged pop-rock single, Head Outta Washing Machine, which officially released on October 22nd and spilt 90s nostalgia onto the airwaves.

With a similar snappy melody to Avril Lavinge’s game-changing earworm, Complicated, in the intro, along with a few nods to the 90s, Head Outta Washing Machine is an immersive unravelling of the singer-songwriter’s humble and adorable beginnings as a singer-songwriter. You only have to hit play to see how far she has come as an expressive advocator of following your dreams.

Head Outta Washing Machine is the 12th single released by Simona-Valentina after she made her debut with her single, Unspoken Love, in 2019. She’s also one-half of the acoustic duo SVRPoole, who are melodically enlivening the London music scene.

Here’s what Simona-Valentina had to say about her latest release:

“I used to sing with my head in the washing machine when I was around six years old. This is my genuine and retrospectively funny music story, and what I am basically confessing with this new song.

I was shy and introverted at that age, lacking the confidence and courage to sing in front of people; hence, the darkness and intimacy of singing with my head inside the washing machine appealed to me greatly.”

Listen to Head Outta Washing Machine on Spotify.

Follow Simona-Valentina on Facebook and Instagram

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Gratitude envelopes platonic love in Lizzie Hosking’s latest alt-pop single, Skye

Platonic love may take a backseat on the airwaves for fawning declarations of lust; if anyone can push it to the forefront, it is Lizzie Hosking with her uplifting ballad, Skye which soulfully celebrates the lifelong friendship with the person who has lifted her from every downward trajectory.

After realising that she’d written songs about people that don’t deserve an ounce of her time, Hosking delivered this timeless feat of pop which starts with minimalist ambient production around her soulful vocal timbre before building into an epic outpour of gratitude, soaring electric guitar riffs and all.

Skye, titled after her best friend, is a taste of what is to come on Lizzie Hosking’s upcoming album, which will keep the focus on folky storytelling instead of the punchy upbeat sonic style that she’s become renowned for since making her promising debut in 2020. We wholeheartedly approve of this wholesome move.

Skye was officially released on October 21st. Check it out for yourselves on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast