Category Archives: Music

MY INTERVIEW WITH KRIGARÈ

Starting off 2017 with a bang, KRIGARÈ is definitely one of the greatest singer-songwriter’s to come onto the scene. Previously releasing music under Kennedy Noel, Krigaré has proved to be a strong presence and a great change from her previous persona. With songs such as ‘Falling Apart’ making me want to punch the air and ‘Sleeping Awake’ taking my breath away, I knew it was time to finally have a catch up with Kennedy/Krigaré to see how everything was going and find out more about that EP.

 

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

17634608_10154962304346352_3254543998917349153_n

Krigarè – Sleeping Awake. Single Review

How great is this girl? Bringing her third some under the Krigarè moniker, Kennedy brings another fantastic addition to her collection with this banger!

‘Sleeping Awake’ is surely a pop-influenced track compared to the first two songs, but this still hits hard. What I always enjoy about Kennedy is that she doesn’t shy away from singing about her experiences, this track is brimming with personal nods to her own life and what she has been through.

I never tire from hearing Kennedy’s music. Truly one of the nicest musicians on the planet and a soul which you need to hear as she pushes the boundaries of music by crafting these brilliant tunes. Hopefully we aren’t too far away from the eventual E.P. due for release later this year.

Final rating: 9/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

You can hear the song on Spotify and buy now on iTunes!

18813842_10155135064256352_3304760589582492390_n

Charlie Fink – Cover My Tracks. Album Review

It’s been over two years since Noah and the Whale disbanded and all the members went their own way. Charlie Fink was initially keeping a low profile, but then released the song ‘My Heartbeat Lost It’s Rhythm’ in 2015 to give us a taster of what Charlie was going to later unleash onto the world…then we got COVER MY TRACKS which is indeed a fantastic and well-rounded album with plenty of offer, but a different direction to what I was expecting.

The album kicks off with the quaint and chilled ‘Firecracker’. The album opens with a relaxed melody which then carries on to ‘Anywhere You’re Going Is On My Way’ which is a very enthralling track that is so laid back, you could listen to this one song a million times over.

This is not to say the whole album is mellow, especially when track three kicks in. ‘I Was Born To Be A Cowboy’ will definitely get your foot tapping and the song will sit in your head all day. From this point, there does seem to be a lot of reflection (plenty of first person lines too) and it’s always nice to have that unique perspective which Charlie has always incorporated into his music.

2015CharlieFink_TheLorax_Press_ManuelHarlan-1

As the album goes on, there are certainly more peaceful, chilled-out tones with a few peaks along the way. As with many works by Charlie, there is a very personal feeling towards many of the songs. ‘The Howl’ and ‘Here Is Where We’ll Meet’ definitely keeps the album grounded.

It would be unfair to compare this to Noah and the Whale, but a couple of tracks were bound to get inspiration from the work that came before. That is the strength in this album, Charlie Fink has stuck to his roots and knows exactly what works for him. It would have been nice to see the more electronica side come out as teased from a few years back, but hopefully that will be for the next album.

Overall, I really enjoy this album. It works well as a complete story told from a female perspective, which is different to come from a male singer-songwriter, but that is the hook as you don’t expect it. After doing work on the stage adaptation of The Lorax and music for the film A Streetcat Named Bob, I couldn’t be happier to see the former NATW frontman back to making music!

Final rating: 9/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

The album is available now through Amazon, iTunes and can be streamed on Spotify!

Cover_My_Tracks,_album_artwork_for_Charlie_Fink's_album

Single Review: Harry Styles – Sign of the Times

By Joanna Cosgrove

Background
Harry has been a quiet, secretive man recently, head down in writing music and finishing the filming for his (technically) acting debut in Christopher Nolan’s war flick Dunkirk, but now we have seen what musical talent he has left over from his One Direction days. But now it’s him, and him alone, and he has taken himself down a different route.

With a post of a photo from a possible album shoot, stating the title “Sign of the Times” and today’s date (7th April) – and now we got that song! It’s been a long time, so let’s see how this re-introduction has been.

The Song
The song, straightaway, you can feel this isn’t the Harry Styles from One Direction. This man has matured, grown, and he has experienced his fair share in life; you can feel it all from the slow piano-led introduction.

Styles’ vocals have changed and honestly, improved. Not that he had a horrific singing voice prior, but it’s a lot stronger and much more confident. The song quickly builds up to a strong verse, as the percussion comes in, and if vocals can overshadow the drum beats, you’re doing something right – and Styles definitely is!

Let’s discuss that beautiful falsetto, that appears a fair few times throughout the tune. Styles puts his heart into every reach of a high note, and it doesn’t sound forced or pushed; it feels natural, and it feels passionate, and matches the change of key perfectly. Styles has always been known in his old boyband for having one of the best range of vocals, and when you give him five minutes for himself, you can tell that is 100% true. It tugs at the listeners’ hearts as his lyrics speak out, discuss how tears are just “a sign of the times”, which suggests a yearning to leave the anger and sadness behind to move forward into a better and easier environment.

This story can speak to a wide range of people, young and old, men and women. That’s how you know your song’s story is worthy: when a whole population of different people can hear it and picture a moment in their lives when they felt they had to sit and ask “why be here when I am not getting anywhere?”

Styles’ debut solo gives the feeling of a classic power ballad from the 1990s, and as he stated in interviews (particularly from the BBC Radio 1 interview with Nick Grimshaw), he had to work his own influences from songs he learnt and loved from his childhood, listening to what his parents enjoyed. That is evident when you hear the instruments work together, along with Styles’ strong but sensitive lyrics and voice, to give those older listeners a nostalgia trip. I’m sure they would sigh, lean back, and remember.

To conclude, this song is a great step towards a successful solo career, and I will support Harry as he continues this new and scary journey as I have and will with the other members. He knows his former 1D audience have grown and matured with him, and in a way, this song shows that he sees the fans are no longer the boy-crazy teenagers they once were. They have changed, their music tastes have broadened, and Harry is no stranger to change himself so he is welcoming them all.

Adults: don’t groan and shake your head! Give this a listen and I swear you will listen to it again. And again. And again.

Rating: 4/5

Noah and the Whale’s Charlie Fink announces solo album

It’s been over two years since Noah and the Whale brought their tenure as a band to an end (on April Fools Day! It still stings!). But, where we had Fred Abbott release his debut effort SERIOUS POKE, Matt Owens doing some solo work and with his band Little Mammoths, Tom Hobden joining Mumford & Sons and drummer Michael Petulla taking part in multiple projects…Charlie has been keeping busy with doing shows at The Old Vic and contributing to the soundtrack to the hit film ‘A Streetcat Named Bob’ (which was bloody brilliant!). Charlie Fink has made some great steps as a musician, and it will be fantastic to finally see him release his debut record.

COVER MY TRACKS will see Charlie Fink release his first album since 2013 with Noah and the Whale’s fourth album HEART OF NOWHERE. The album is to be released on Friday 2nd June, so not too long to wait. Then we have the theatre production at The Old Vic of the same name, which will see Charlie Fink and actress Jade Anouka take the stage from June 5th-17th. So not only is there a new album, but you can go for a night of live music pretty soon to see it performed before your very eyes.

2015CharlieFink_TheLorax_Press_ManuelHarlan-1

First track ‘Firecracker’ has been released and it sounds great. Similar to the 2015 track ‘My Heartbeat Lost It’s Rhythm’, the song has a significantly different style to the days of Noah and the Whale and their folk-rock melodies. Which is a good thing as this establishes the development in Charlie Fink’s musical production in the 10 years he has been releasing songs. While there is little known about the rest of the album, I think this will be a great release.

COVER MY TRACKS is due for release Friday 2nd June 2017 and is available through Amazon, iTunes and on www.charliefink.co (yes, that is the website. It’s not a typo!)

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

17796091_1232342576884870_2561711106372541717_n

Harry Styles’ Solo Debut “Sign of the Times” Coming 7th April

By Joanna Cosgrove

We thought he was gone. We didn’t know when he was gonna come back into our lives. But now, it’s finally been revealed what Harry Styles has been working on during his career silence.

We know he is to appear in war flick Dunkirk (which in turn will teach a lot of teenagers about the war, while they support their favourite boyband member), and he has been writing songs with and for other artists here and there, but finally it has been revealed that out of nowhere, Harry is coming back to our ears with a solo single. His very first!

Styles announced on his Instagram account (@harrystyles) recently that his first single, titled “Sign of the Times”, is coming – this Friday!

Yes, on Friday 7th April, Harry Styles will be releasing his debut solo single. This announcement was accompanied by a promotional photo, suspected to be the single cover when it’s released.

hsig

I personally cannot wait until Friday, so we can all hear this. Will it be different? If so, how different? Where will his influences be coming from?

I’ll keep you all updated and I can assure you, a full single review will be uploaded as soon as I hear the song.

Let’s all wait together!

Remembering Kurt Cobain

Today, 20th February 2017 would have been the 50th birthday for the music icon. While many today still find his music inspirational, I find it almost hard to believe I am older now than what Kurt ever was and I still find him a massive influence on my musical taste. The world sadly lost Kurt in 1994 when he was just 27 years old, though he showed us so much in his short time. Today I can only imagine many others are honouring Kurt Cobain in their own way. Imagine what the world would be like if Kurt was still here? Would Nirvana still be going strong? Would the Foo Fighters ever have formed? We really will never know.

But in a small tribute, I would like to make a mention of some of the tracks which I grew up to and still love today.

The Best Ever Cover Song?

You know you have covered a song well when even fans of the original artist don’t even know it was actually their song. David Bowie spoke of when people said well done for covering a Nirvana track, not knowing Bowie had released the song over twenty years previously. No disrespect to David Bowie, ‘The Man Who Sold The World’ is indeed a classic on both sides, but Nirvana really gave the song life and still today stands as one of the greatest cover songs ever!!

The Loud Debut!

The first album BLEACH featured many rough and ready tracks, signalling a change in the music we had become accustomed to. Nirvana didn’t know how far their brand of grunge was to take them. While the album is filled with many favourite songs, ‘About A Girl’ is one necessity to start any rock playlist.

The One Everyone Knows!

Of course you know this one, this is the song that put Nirvana to the top. ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ was not only a massive hit worldwide, it helped make the album NEVERMIND a massive seller (over 30 million albums sold). Even Weird Al Yankovic gave this song a parody and the results were fantastic…and Kurt liked the cover too!

The One With The Questionable Title!

How many bands could get away with a track called ‘Rape Me’? Not many! Have you ever dealt with censorship? It isn’t fun! This track from the IN UTERO album earned much praise for being a straightforward song and giving a great anti-rape message. Kurt would also agree that it had more meaning to him personally, but you can’t disagree with the impact this song has.

This One Makes You Rock Out!

I think it has already been said that Nirvana created many great songs. After originally making ‘Lithium’ for a follow-up on their independent label, they eventually re-recorded it for 1991’s NEVERMIND. Kurt said that there was a lot of fictionalised elements in the song, but he did also use real experiences in the album. Plus, it is so damn good!

The fourth album that wasn’t the fourth album!

I am referring to the fantastic MTV Unplugged session that the band recorded in 1993. Taking mostly unreleased songs and covers, the band sculpted a mighty fine performance which today is still enjoyed and studied. So many people are glued to this release and even those who may not be fans of the grunge band still find this release popular.

R.I.P. Kurt Cobain and happy birthday, you will never be forgotten.

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

kurt-cobain-mtv-unplugged-650

Linkin Park (feat. Kiiara) – Heavy. Single Review.

Linkin Park has managed to keep themselves fairly relevant over the years, the mix of music from all six albums so far has shown much evolution and change. With THE HUNTING PARTY seeing more collaborations and a more mainstream rock vibe, could we see album number seven changing even further? The answer is…Oh My God this is different!

linkinpark-aug12-620

‘Heavy’ is the first single from the upcoming album ONE MORE LIGHT, and immediately it is nothing like anything from Linkin Park’s Nu Metal past (or the alternative rock movement that it took later on). Straight away the thrashing of guitars is missing and the ferocity of Chester Bennington’s ripping vocals are absent, but there is a lot of weight to this relatively lighter tune. The lyrical content though is still what I would expect from the group and the delivery of Kiiara (I will look her up later as I am unfamiliar with her sound. But she does sound good). While the rock sound may not be too evident, this may just be one part to a more complete puzzle when the album is released.

While I may be a bit uneasy about the massive change in output, I can’t hate the track. The song is a good way of showing evolution in their sound and I just hope they don’t completely forget where they came from. I feel this may be a step too far for the band, the radical change may be too big of a gamble. I hope I will like this more as time goes on, but I honestly hope this will lead to a great album.

Final Rating: 7/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

linkin-park-heavy-2017

Holly Holden – Tropical Soul. E.P. REVIEW

Born in London and having a huge link to Cuban and Caribbean sounds, there is definitely a fusion of sounds and flavours to take in from this artist. I can’t name many artists who can seamlessly go between singing in English and then to a Spanish tongue, but Holly works it so well. Self-producing your own music is not easy, but Holly and her fantastic group make this sound like a great production.

The soul vibes begin from the opening track ‘El Impulso’, Holly immediately impresses with the blendless back and forth of the languages she works so well. The tune comes in with an easy beat and then the party comes to life. Then next on the list is ‘Run’ and immediately I love the soul/ska blend that comes. If the first track was a display of the European roots, this song is the tribute to the Caribbean vibes which Holly and her band have truly embraced over the years.

Listening to this E.P. makes me think I am taking a trip around the world and each song is a new destination. ‘Dead Coral’ was a dance number in which I feel the need to don my Cuban heels and hit the dancefloor. England has made a great name for itself with many great ska acts, and I would think maybe The Specials have been a big influence on the track ‘Mellow Drama’ (If I am wrong, I won’t be upset with being corrected, it is just my opinion and I mean it in a positive way). Hearing this song makes me wish that Holly Holden could maybe collaborate with miss Millie Manders for a track or two (please make it happen!).

jqg_pbpb

‘Benji Muji Mau’ is fun, energetic and continues this party that we have been enjoying for the last 15 minutes. Then the closing track ‘Born At The Right Time’ allows the release to come to a nice climax. Reflecting on this last song and the E.P. as a whole, there isn’t many acts who can make songs that sound both original and inspired. The blend of influences is surely the winning factor for Holly’s music and I hope she has her passport in hand to help create the next release! An inspired experience and one I had to hear twice in a row because it was a fine one for 2017!

The E.P. is due for release this spring.

Final Rating: 9/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

936898_575794175773992_76729228_n

Rag’n’Bone Man – Human. Album Review

Rory Graham AKA Rag’n’Bone Man initially got inspiration to become the musician he is today by watching repeats of Steptoe & Son (really?!?!). Following his major debut single ‘Human’ in 2016 being a top-selling song of the year, we finally get to see his debut album also called HUMAN as it makes a solid impression and easily is one of the best releases of 2017 so far.

Funnily enough, ‘Human’ is the first track on the album. It is indeed a very strong track and a joy to hear once again. The soul side of the album does stand out strong as the record progresses. ‘Innocent Man’ lets his harsh tones become softer and then the magnificent ‘Skin’ is truly a breathtaking experience. There is a huge theme of mortality and I can’t help but love records that take this direction. The album isn’t all deadly serious and thought-provoking, there are some tracks that is just good for the easy listeners.

rag-n-bone-man-huck

‘Be The Man’ has got a good foot-tapping rhythm to it. ‘Arrow’ is the “let’s go to the 70’s” section, it feels like a trip back in time. Though a majority of the album is definitely personal and hits hard, there are a few moments to just let go and almost chant along. “When It Comes To Bury Me, Put A Fifth Of Rum In My Hand” is the opening line to the last song on the standard edition (The deluxe version has 19!). ‘Die Easy’ is a brilliant acapella track, it truly grabs you and you are engulfed in every word that is thrown at you.

I really do enjoy this album, I think it is a great release and a worthy Number One. The deep and powerful tones of Mr Graham’s voice will surely be a welcome addition to the music scene for a long time to come. I am going to go back now and listen once again to all 12 (or 19 if you got Deluxe!) tracks again. Truly one of the greatest debut albums this decade! Rag’n’Bone Man deserves every award coming for him, including that lovely BRIT!

Final Rating: 9.5/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

P.S. How about ‘Skin’ winning a few Grammys this time next year?

rag_n_bone_man_human_960-1

Image result for rag n bone man human album cover

Available through iTunes, Amazon and other music retailers now!

TV, Film, Video Games, Music and all the other things that you need to see and hear!

%d bloggers like this: