If you have followed my website for a long time, the name Simon Kent may sound familiar to you. Ever since I was introduced to his music a couple years back, Simon’s music has held my attention. You can imagine my excitement when I was given early access to his forthcoming record In Another Life for a review.
As I already expected, the album is full of well-structured songs that give gentle nods to the electro-pop of the 1980’s. Simon’s voice is as amazing as ever, quite frankly he is in possession of one of the most attractive and unique sounding voices I’ve heard in a while.
Fans of Simon Kent will not be let down, as he only builds upon the strong sound he has developed over the years. The melodies have strong hooks and the instruments are heavily electronic with ambient tones washing over the tracks.
Though In Another Life is not due for release for some time, one of the tracks(which has had airplay on BBC Radio 2) is available on Youtube for a listen (link below)
If you have not had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with Simon Kent’s music, now is the time to start. This record is perfect for anyone longing for the sounds of Duran Duran, Tears for Fears and David Bowie being reimagined for the modern era. When the record releases on the 6th of March 2017, I highly recommend you experience In Another Life for yourself.
Simon Kent can be found at:
I’m always on the lookout for new and fresh artist to brighten my day. I recently came into contact with the music of Jake Aldridge and I can say I was pleasantly surprised. His new single “When I’m Feeling Down” is a combination of rap verses (via Jake) and pop choruses (sung by Ellie Jamison). Jake’s Suffolk accent gives a unique charm to his rap flow, and it works well against Jamison’s bright vocals.
The song itself is a celebration of friendship, the kind that is everlasting. In Aldridge’s words he wanted “to thank my best friend for always being there for me and I hope” the song “inspires others to be thankful for their true friends as well.” The lyrics which play off of this theme are easy to remember and make for a great radio single (the easier a song is to remember the more likely it is to chart).
The production of the song, from the instrumentation to the mixing (done by producer Johann Elliot), is done just right. There is a tendency for people these days, especially with pop songs, to over-produce the track. “When I’m Feeling Down” has just the right amount of effects to give it a good feel and nothing beyond that (which is a good thing).
If you want an upbeat song to give your day some needed sunshine, I suggest you check Jake Aldridge’s single out.
“When I’m Feeling Down” can be found at:
Jake Aldridge can be found at:
It’s always interesting to see how a music artist evolves in terms of their sound. In the case of Manchester native Naomi we’ve seen her go from what I’d call a “pure” pop sound (when she performed as Caleidra) to a more progressive pop sound (with her debut single under the Naomi name “Rivers Run”). This is most evidenced in her new EP Take Back The Power which is a departure from her more organic record Another Day.
Here we see a full embracing of an electro-pop sound with lyrics that reflect her new sound. The lead single from the EP “Take Back the Power” almost seems to be a declaration that states “welcome to the new era.” The song exists in three forms on the album; the single version, a Tiesto-esque dance club remix by DJ George Bowie, and (my personal favorite) a crunching rock remix by Simple Minds’ producer/collaborator Gordy Goudie. The song has a strong melody and each mix gives a different experience of the track. The other tracks on Take Back the Power are the songs “My Mistake” and “Didn’t Make the Grade.”
“My Mistake” is honestly the strongest song on the entire album. The harmonies, the atmospheric tones, the groove, the instrumentation, and Naomi’s voice all come together in a truly perfect way. From the pre-chorus you know something great is going to happen and then the heavily harmonized chorus kicks the song into the stratosphere.
“Didn’t Make the Grade” is the most relaxed and arguably darkest song on the record. The heavy use of Naomi’s falsetto along with the pocket groove and strong piano/synth lines really gives the song unique character.
All in all Take Back The Power is a strong EP that easily can be placed among today’s pop stars. Naomi’s sound is mainstream and unique at the same time. Her voice is uniquely hers; not a clone of people currently occupying the Billboard top 40.
Naomi’s worth your time, I promise.
Take Back The Power can be found at:
Naomi can be found at:
Naomi (formerly Caleidra) and me go back. She’s done an interview here and has eventually earned a fan (and friend) in me. She is also amazing for the reason that she played my song “Omega” on her Manchester radio program; this was my first ever radio airplay. When we aren’t trading jabs about football on Twitter (she’s a Man City fan…I’m a fan of the obviously better team Man United), she is making fantastic music. She released this new video for her fresh single ‘Rivers Run’ and it is clear she has pushed herself artistically. The song is easily able to hold its weight against pop tracks in the Top 40 and the video is imaginative. Check it out.
New Singer. New Message. A band and a music reborn, and perhaps hearts starting to heal. I have written much about the tragedy with the lostprophets (a subject that pained me greatly as a longtime fan of the band). I always hoped that something new would come from the ashes, and I got my wish. Here is No Devotion’s “Stay.” Welcome back my friends, indeed welcome back.
I was born, raised, and still live in Los Angeles. I have yet to see an angel. You know what though? I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. I’ll die here with a guitar in my hand and a dream on my lips.
This song is a result of many different songs, many different ideas I had coming together at the right moment. I had a moment of clarity in how I wanted to approach things musically and was able to put it all together after a dry patch of writing songs featuring my voice. I suppose there is a certain amount of vulnerability when I sing, I’m not totally used to just putting myself out there on display like that. In this case, I sing and play all instrument synth/piano effects (everything you hear is the result of my playing and my computer working together in my design). The lyrics are interesting. When I first wrote them, in their first draft, I was thinking of a love song cut and dry. A few drafts later, there is enough thematic material that you can allow for interpretations of your own. For me, it’s still about a girl, and it is also about me. About “me” as a human being, looking introspectively, which for some reason works here? There are many influences on my song-writing, but I think with this track I found the greatest inspiration in Radiohead (especially songs off of “In Rainbows” and “Amnesiac”). I know full well my music is not meant to reach a broad audience, it is very eccentric/experimental (yet at times approachable), so receive it how you will. Listening to it once, just giving it a chance, means something to me and I thank you for it.
Ice cold veins
Woken by light
Broken into the day
Grasp my hand
This fear will break
You can say I feel
Where do I belong?
I never needed this
I never needed anyone
The lies and the truths
Each pave their way
Intersecting in the paths
Of our minds
Don’t run away
It’s just me