All posts by Closed Account

JEWELS: ‘TOO CLOSE’ EP

Jewels, a band I introduced to you all a while back, are releasing a new EP with six incredible songs on the 14th of April. I had the pleasure of previewing the EP, and thought it was only right that I did a small review on the tracks and the albums overall feel before its release, as it is such an amazing record.

The first song, ‘Sally’ has previously been released as a single, and is one of the reasons I fell in love with the band. It’s such an ambient song, with the alternative guitar riff, stunning vocals, and heavy drums. ‘Sally’ also promises some brilliant lyrics, based on a ‘real-life’ situation they seem familiar and expressive, almost like you’ve lived Sally’s story or you’re watching it unfold. The sounds on the track work so well together, I can’t stop listening to it!

‘Glow’ is the next track on the EP, one which I think really highlights the vocal talent of Jewels. A lot of things about this song remind me of another great alternative band, ‘Sunset Sons’, as the strong vocals join with the melodic guitar and create something you really want to jump around to. These two songs really set the overall vibe of the EP, the rocky, alternative guitar and drums with amazing vocal lines and indie sounding lyrics.

The third track, ‘Someone Else’ is much more upbeat and fast than the first two; its a proper dancing track (perhaps even one for mosh pits when they perform it live!!) I love the instrumental sections where you can really hear the heavy guitar and drums, this one really goes back to alternative music’s roots and style. This one has the potential to be a favourite of mine, purely because of the surprising last minute of it where the vocals are extremely raw and emotional.

When I first listened to the fourth song on the EP, ‘Can I be a Better Man’, I honestly got chills. It is so perfectly produced with the smooth guitar, heavy drums and the lyrics and vocals that are softer than that on previous tracks making it poignant and reflective. It reminds me slightly of new ‘Sundara Karma’ or indie band ‘Peace’ but has its own creative difference; its not completely like anything I’ve heard before.

The fifth track, ‘London Town’, I knew I would love straight away. It’s so full of passion and emotion, which is something Jewels are so good at conveying. It starts with an amazing acoustic verse and then adds layers of sound, making it so full and rich in sound. The lyrics are so powerful; its a real anthem and one I advise EVERYONE to listen to as soon as the EP is released.

The sixth and final addition to the EP is entitled ‘Leave me alone’, and is a fitting finale to such an amazing record. It goes back to the heavier side of Jewels, the chorus especially, reflecting the pure talent the band have when it comes to each of their instruments. I love the honesty and emotion in this track, its very hard-hitting and again one I can imagine mosh pits involved when its played live!

This EP is honestly one of the most creative and dynamic releases I’ve heard for a long time, and I am grateful to have had the pleasure to preview it. I implore you to listen to ‘Too Close’ as soon as it is released on Friday; its the sort of music you really don’t want to be missing out on. Make sure you follow the boys on their instagram – @jewelsband and keep your eyes peeled for them playing live in your area. With the possibility of them playing Colchester Arts Centre in the future, it looks like this is going to be a good year for Jewels.

-Kaia-

Twitter: @kaia1975

Instagram: Kaia.nicholl

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INTRODUCING: Vivacity – Interview

Hi all, it’s Kaia again, only this week I’m extra excited to be able to write this blog, as I’m introducing a new and quite frankly amazing band, Vivacity. The young Essex-born alternative 5-piece have been increasing rapidly in popularity, recently having played several gigs including Chinnery’s pub in Southend-on-Sea. I’m lucky enough to have met a couple of them at a Ratboy gig in Rayleigh a while back, and after keeping in contact, decided to interview them all about Vivacity and their music.

 

Introduce yourselves and what instrument you play within Vivacity.

Connor Winston – Lead Vocals and Guitar

Anna Campbell – Vocals and Guitarc5hvvviwqaijgwg

 

Stanley Lodge – Guitar

Joe Reeves – Bass Guitar

Dan Payne – Drums

 

Where did you guys meet and how long have you been together as a band?

Stanley – Me, Joe and Connor met at a Ratboy gig.

Anna – I met Connor ages ago and we started making music together.

Connor – Me and Joe met up cos we because we wanted a McDonald’s.

Joe – Yeah, then me and Anna met at a year 7 disco.

Dan – I met Connor through school, then we went to our first band practice and that’s where I met the rest of you guys.

 

Who are your influences, favourite bands and people you aspire to sound like?

Connor – We like Arctic Monkeys, obviously!

Dan – And foals, they’re cool.c49ffwmwcaechma

Joe – Yeah, I like foals…and catfish

Anna – I love a bit of Mac Demarco

Stan – yeah, I like everything like that.

 

What’s your biggest accomplishment so far, as a group?

Joe – Pretty much selling out Chinnerys with Blush and then being asked to play again the same day. That was pretty cool.

 

Who write your music and how do you find inspiration?

Connor – I write all our stuff. It sounds deep but…when I write songs, like a love song or whatever, I don’t necessarily write from personal experience. For me, it’s about finding a certain emotion and channelling it into a song, and exaggerating your personal experiences…like, no one has ever wanted to shoot me literally like in our song ‘wild beasts’.

 

Who’s the funniest in your group and why?

Joe – Me.

Anna – I think we’re all funny in our own ways!!

Dan – Yeah, and Anna and Connor are constantly hyper!

Connor – You 3 just have the driest sense of humour!

Stan – Connor is mainly the centre of our jokes. We really just take the piss out of him…

 

Last question guys, any advice for other small, young and upcoming indie bands?

Dan – Find a sound that is you and never try to sound like someone else, be unique, after all that’s kinda the point of indie!

Stan – Yeah, I totally agree with that…

Connor – I think use social media as a platform…

Joe – Yeah… put everything online, on twitter, Instagram and Facebook so people get to know you a bit!

Anna – Yeah, and just stick with it!

 

I really really love these guys, they have such an amazing sound for a group of people who aren’t really that much older than me. I have a lot of admiration for them. Go check out their twitter account (@vivacityband_) and their Instagram (vivacityband), they’ve got some sick videos and photos of their recent gigs.

These guys are destined for great things. Watch out for Vivacity, and when they start selling out Brixton, don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Kaia // @kaia1975

SUNDARA KARMA – ‘YOUTH IS ONLY EVER FUN IN RETROSPECT’ – REVIEW

 

Hi all, kaia here, it’s been an INCREDIBLY long time since I wrote for this wonderful blog; I’d like to say I have a good reason for this, but I’ve literally just been procrastinating (I promise I’ll do better!). However, my love for all things indie remains, and I’m back with the pleasure of reviewing one of my favourite band’s new albums released on the 6th, Youth is only ever fun in retrospect by the brilliant Sundara Karma.

The album begins with the classic Sundara anthem, A Young Understanding. Although perhaps considered ‘mainstream’, as it was released as a single and helped the band rise to fame, this song will always be one of my favourites by the boys, as it was the first I ever heard of them and my most memorable live experience. Besides this, the song itself is all-round perfection – singer Oscar Pollocks rousing way of singing, his incredible vocal range, the togetherness and tightness of the band itself, not to mention the almost relatable lyrics; this song is the perfect familiar start to the album.

The track list then moves on to another familiar face; Loveblood. As Clash magazine once wrote, ‘Sundara Karma arrive with choruses built for arenas’ and Loveblood is this quote personified. This is my real dancing song, perfect for any occasion with anyone, and the riff in the chorus is almost contagious. It reminds me of the summer and it’s a seriously feel-good anthem.

The third song on this album, and personally one of my favourites, is Olympia. This song begins a bit subtler than the other singles Sundara have released, but throughout the song, layers upon layers of sound are created and, in their amazingly unique way, ends full of harmonies, drum rolls and guitar riffs. Again, I praise Oscar so highly for his voice in this one; you can’t help but relate to his soulful and heartfelt singing (the chorus starting, ‘And oh lord, is heaven such a fine thing?’, gets me wailing along every time).

Next comes a song which I think, musically is a masterpiece. Happy family; although far from what I imagine when I think of Sundara Karma, this song reflects their versatile nature as a band and expresses their talent not only in indie pop but also more folky soft music. This song reminds me of Ben Howard or Mumford and Sons, which I never thought I would be saying with regards to Sundara, but it is a welcome asset to their discography. I also really love the lyrics of this song, because they question our acceptances in our modern society – ‘The news that’s on the screen, it’s all violence, heartbreak and misery’ – I’ve always loved the boys ethically minded approach to lyrics, and this is no exception.

The fifth song on Youth is only Ever fun in Retrospect is definitely one you’ll have heard before; first released in November 2016, Flame is the work of only a true lyrical genius and it shows the bands immense intelligence and wit through their words. You cannot help but sing when the chorus kicks in, and seriously, witnessing the crowds reaction to this song live is like nothing ive experienced before. Referencing Plato’s cave analogy, a key part of philosophical history, whilst creating honestly one of the most artistic music videos I have seen in a long time is no mean feat. I will always love this one.

This next song, Lose the feeling, almost reminds me of 80s/90s popular group REM. It has almost the same riff throughout the instrumental sections of the song as is found in REM’s ‘Losing my religion’, but with a modern twist and revitalised lyrics. I really like the airy and carefree tones in the verse of this one, although it isn’t my favourite on the album its nice to see the boys experimenting with new sounds and ideas.

Seventh on the track list is another of the songs I just cannot avoid dancing to. ‘She said’, with its faster pace and heavier chorus reminds me of everything I love about this band – they don’t try to conform or adhere to ‘popular’ culture, and this really comes across in this song, as they experiment with heavier bass and guitar and, in my opinion, come out with an amazing end product. As usual, I cannot fault their lyrics, with modern and current issues being addressed creatively, is there NOTHING the boys cannot do?!

‘Vivienne’, the next song to feature on Youth is only ever fun in Retrospect, is my motivation song – if I ever need a little pick-me-up this one does it for me. It’s got the angst, the emotion and the love without being cringey, which is a breath of fresh air in the modern age of extremely cliché love songs. It’s the sort of song that if it caught you at the right time might make you shed a tear or two, but could also make you get up, sing your heart out and feel ready to face the day; this is the reason I love it.

The next song, ‘Be Nobody’ begins with extremely 80s vibes with synthesiser sounds and effects on the singer’s vocals, is another surprising experiment on the album, but one which I embrace with open arms as I love the obvious hard work that’s gone into making such a short song have such an impact. I also love the hard-hitting lyrics surrounding religion (as a keen philosophy student, music and philosophy colliding is what I live for), with lyrics such as, ‘there’s nothing in the devil, nothing in the sin’, its all I could ask for in a song.

‘Deep Relief’ is another of my favourites from this album, reminding me a bit of the strokes’ Liztomania but maintaining Sundara’s amazing vocal range and lyrical genius. I can really picture this one on the stage (soon to be more than just a picture as I see them live in London in February!!) and I think its contagious chorus once again works its magic and entices the listener.

The penultimate song of the album, ‘Watching from Great Heights’, upon first listening, gave me so many different feelings it was kind of overwhelming, but I really really love it and it kind of reflects to me how far the boys have come in the past year. It’s got a real feel-good factor and I can just tell it’s going to be one of my favourite songs of the year.

The album ends on a slower track, ‘The Night’, which really rounds off the whole rollarcoaster of an album. I love the emotion behind Oscar’s voice in this one, you really get an idea of what the album has meant to them, and how much effort has gone into it, on all of their behalves. It’s slow and melodic feel seems a fitting ending for the record, and hints at a lot more to come from this incredible band.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post, I just had to express my love and admiration for the band and I know this is a platform where like-minded people can also appreciate this amazing music.

Until next time,

Kaia //