A Flock of Seagulls Reconvene to Release Super-Charged Greatest Hits

A Flock of Seagulls were one of THE most iconic bands of the 1980s, known for their outlandish haircuts, a tribute to the power of hairspray. Criminally, their music output is less celebrated in many circles, partly as their success was centered more in the United States than the United Kingdom. This is finally set to be redressed as all four original members return to the recording studio for the first time since their mid-80s break-up.

2018 is definitely the year of the orchestral reworking, with fellow popsters, Ultravox, also employing a full orchestra to re-work their tracks. AFOS have also returned to their original material and have re-recorded all elements, which far from sounding stale and reinvigorated them immensely, the sweeping strings and horn sections really beefing up the already rather majestic choruses. Lesser hit “Space Age Love Song”, a lost classic, is the first track to be released from the album, “Ascension”, though fans will be delighted to learn that the tracks with which they are most associated: “I Ran” and “Wishing” (If I Had a Photograph of You). The album is out now and is highly recommended.

Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/aflockofseagulls

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcluFtLtRzipm7CdtERnceA

Facebook: facebook.com/seagullsrunning

Twitter: twitter.com/seagullsrunning

Instagram: instragram.com/seagullsrunning

Website: www.aflockofseagulls.org

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Hitha: introducing the new pop princess on the block

It’s been some time since we’ve had a teen pop princess in our midst. The likes of Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande, and Selena Gomez are now in their mid-20s and making music for more mature audiences. But there is one budding singer we can think of who’s chomping at the bit to fill their shoes.

13-year-old Californian, Hitha, is already demonstrating her understanding of the millennial listener with pop nugget ‘Standing Up With Pride’.

This is a single which gives listeners of all ages a message of hope; that by focusing on what you want to achieve in life, you can use a positive mentality to overcome any hurdle. With a video which cleverly uses black and white imagery transforming into a world of colour when Hitha realises her potential.

Clocking in at just under four minutes- it’s all the time she needs to get etch her earworm hooks into the heads of her audience and leave the inspirational message resonating long after the music has stopped.

Website: https://www.hitha.me/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HithaMusic

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hitha_music/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ByHitha

An Album For The Ages! Satellite Ravens’ ‘The Equinox’ Is A Treat For Any Music Lover…Or Bassist

 

Taking all musical angles possible to create a fusion based album unlike no other, Satellite Ravens forefront leader Carson Rohde’, has made darn sure he has the funkiest and tastiest bass lines around.

Taking Funk and mixing it up in a rock-pop-jazz medley is probably no small feat for Carson, however, to the average music listener that something that is interesting, rich and full of life, making Satellite Ravens a band to watch out for.

With tracks like bright and colorful ‘Rearranged’, and the always fantastic ‘Changes’, there is no doubt that you will love this album!

Be sure to check him out:

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/satellite_ravens

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/4DWM8jTdcf2wyyWt3a7SzV

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuJAay056LCLnCks9ua9Duw?view_as=subscriber

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/satellite.ravens/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/satelliteravens

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/satellite.ravens/

Website: https://satelliteravens.com/

Dissecting Donegan – 1st XI Reviewed

My favourite albums all have a few things in common:

1. Great tracks – and no duds.

2. work as a coherent whole end-to-end.

3. include enough variety to keep you going (with softer and more upbeat numbers too).

4. Start in a way to draw you in and end with an epic.

5. Would sound awesome played live.

Those pressures don’t square with today’s world of online streaming and it’s therefore most encouraging to report on British band Donegan’s new album “1st XI”, a true tour de force of an album in the fullest sense of that phrase.

“Donegan” is an eponymous family band: songwriter Thomas sings and plays piano, organ, guitars and synths, with Emmet on guitar, mandolin and vocals and Martin on percussion. The new album and its singles prosper from collaboration with renowned producer Chris Coulter, who recently took Arcane Roots to no. 1 in the UK Indie charts and various other guest musicians credited.  Followers of the underground music scene will already have heard “Reminisce” and “Candles” and so will be aware of the broad array of musical influences and genres affecting this band’s music.  With melodies and harmonies dominating over bass, the album reflects songwriter Thomas’ classical training and passion for melodic rock music.  The variety of musical influences on display here is extraordinary: rock, indie, folk, pop, classical – albeit generally with a piano rock / alt rock vibe.  The album in part pitches up somewhere around where Radiohead left things around 1996 and in part somewhere near Billy Joel or Keane.

To kick things off, opening track “Requiem” is an orchestral film-score kind of piece, forewarning us – in this study of love – that “All must fall”.  From there, we move to a series of love songs.  Donegan’s acclaimed single “Reminisce” deals in the joyful sparks of first love.   This catchy, radio-friendly, synth-rock track is simultaneously uplifting, reflective and insistent.  “Around the World” is equally catchy, based around broken piano chords and a piercing lead guitar solo.  For the album, Coulter remixed Donegan’s debut single from a few years ago, “Waking”.  This synth dominated love-song wears its heart firmly on its sleeve – a more passionate and earnest exposition of true love in a happy couple would be hard to find – and may be too much for some.  Completing the love-song end of the album’s spectrum, “I wonder” may be its strongest track, a beautifully produced piece featuring more of folk musician Emmet Donegan’s influence than the others, being led by acoustic guitars, mandolin, harmonica and his backing vocals.

From there, things get darker.  “Democracy” pitches an anthem on the sad current state of politics, lamenting politicians, whether they stand for remain, leave, war, tax or change (“they’re all just after number one” … “didn’t want it, don’t support it”).  This is another classical-piece-turned-synth-rock, with interesting chord modulations and a heavy brass bass-line.  This, and the next track, “Television” are metaphors for argument – and add notable variety to the album. The latter is an outspoken critique of the media and another Coulter remix of a little-known previous Donegan b-side.  This is quite an audacious track: a waltz piece in three-time (quite unusual for a rock track now or ever) using church organ, strings, a Latin cow bell and bongos, without an electric guitar in sight.  And yet, it blew me away as a piece of rock music.

From there, the album turns darker. “Falling” is a synth-dominated break-up song, featuring some impressive chord combinations, key modulations and instrumentation.  “Human Behaviour” would sit easily on Blur’s Parklife – satirising a desperado chatting up women in a bar.  This story leads into “Candles”, the second single from this album.  This dark song tells the story of a difficult conversation after the night out depicted in the previous track, addressing darker themes such as anguish, conflict and regret, with an engaging narrative and symbolism built alongside yearning melodies.  Finally, “The End” terminates things quite appropriately with a bombastic rock epic, featuring no less than three simultaneous lead guitar lines, plus bass and two rhythm guitars, as well as a brass section.  This reflective break up song is quite more upbeat than “Candles”, reminding us that it is better to have loved and lost, than not to have loved at all.

So what did I not like?  Well, the concentration of three love songs at the front-end may be a bit too much for some.  And the better tracks are at the end meaning that some might not get there.  Secondly, whilst lead singer and songwriter Thomas Donegan’s voice is adequate in terms of having a decent range and having an interesting husky quality to it, it does not compare to some of the great vocal talents that dominate music charts today – and in the post-X Factor world generally – in lacking a bit of depth or feeling and its somewhat nasal quality.  This is counter-balanced by musical arrangements which activate all the senses and hit all the wavelengths: like the album’s whole tenet, this is something of a throw-back to times when the music came first and the personalities were secondary.

All in all, this album presents a quite extraordinary musical and narrative journey.  Turning to my criteria for a great album: 1. These are 11 great tracks – no duds in sight.  2. They tell an interesting coherent story. A concept album studying love sounds fairly banal and unoriginal even, but this deals in experiences of a whole adult lifetime from the good to the bad in a quite engaging way.  3. Musical variety – be it instruments, genre variation, key modulations, track length, song structure – is extraordinary if not unprecedented – and keeps you wanting to hear the next track without the album ever verging near disinteresting experimentalism.  4. It hooks you in and sends you off: this starts with a film score and ends with a rock anthem featuring one of the best guitar solos I’ve heard. 5. I’d really like to hear these guys live.  So, “1st XI” ticks all these boxes for a great album and some.

This album’s tracks were composed over more than 20 years.  It’s been a long gestation period, but it’s really been worth the wait!

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/1st-xi/1350991442

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0CDlwG8LzNxLQAuJcgSbhj

Website: https://donegan-music.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/donegan_music

All Hail-er Nele Needs a Holiday!

After enthralling the European mainland, Nele Needs a Holiday are finally releasing their album, Love Yeah, in March. Rolling up to join the likes of Amanda Palmer and Adam Green, Nele’s (not pronounced Nelly but Nailer) heart is in her lyrics, the kind of involved, introspective observations which feel like diary posts as much song lyrics. As such, her wry observations of life and, specifically on this album, love, are not the kind of processed, cliches you’ll find in a zillion other songs but instead darkly comic, personal and sometimes acerbic.

Marrying up with her sound, Nele Needs a Holiday have a touring band of 7 female musicians, the whole cast appearing in matching costumes – this is entirely in keeping with their slightly cabaret, strangely English image (somewhere between the Bonzos and Divine Comedy), which is all the more confusing given they’re from Belgium.

Lead track, ‘We’ll See’, is, to throw a spanner in the works, is a far more poignant, reflective piece, with a nod towards soul as well as classical female singer-songwriters. Equally impressive is Nele’s expressive voice which is completely huggable and lovely. Check out the track above and look out for the album, a classic in the making.

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/1BCRY2szkW4oM4aOFSRDLQ

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/NNAHoliday

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/NeleNeedsAHoliday

Twitter: @NNAHoliday

Instagram: neleneedsaholiday

Website: www.neleneedsaholiday.com

OLISHA NAIKER: MEET THE ARTIST WHO SANG ‘STRANGERS’

Creating classic pop songs for a generation and bored with manufactured bands, Olisha Naiker has taken things into her own hands as she debuts her new single ‘Strangers’.

Olisha Naiker debuted her new single ‘Strangers’ and wants the world to hear her beautiful talent.

South African and having an Indian heritage, Olisha, is certain she has every control over every element of her music from writing to performance to production.

‘Strangers’, her new debut single, has a cool, atmospheric video to accompany it, Olisha wants to influence her audience with her strong alluring voice.

Olisha has added, “I want people to focus on the song and the message, the message of trying to let someone go who is now a stranger to you.”

You can watch the video to ‘Stranger’ here:

She has no other hobby other than music, for her, music is a way of life and she wants to share her wonderful talent with everyone!

Olisha’s music is a combination of today’s modern pop with influences from artist such as Michael Jackson and Jay Sean.

You can follow/ here more about Olisha:

http://www.facebook.com/olishanaicker

http://www.twitter.com/olishanaicker

http://www.instagram.com/olishanaicker

http://www.olishanaicker.com

 

 

 

Dance, Dance To The Sounds Of The 80s!

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Adonis had me from the moment My Different Lover first note reached my ears. Right from the get go, it’s an upbeat, joyous throwback to the glory days of pop in the 1980s, and any fans of Michael Jackson should check it out right away. It’s all there and as satisfying as ever, from gated reverbs to warm analogue synths, Adonis’s musical knowledge and ability is clear and undeniable.

Listen to My Different Lover here: https://www.reverbnation.com/adonis83

My Different Lover focuses on the spiritual love between two people, rather than lust. Taking influence from classic Motown and soul, the exhilarating production is enlivened by Adonis’ bass playing and multi-layered keyboards and vocals.

Adonis is not only a songwriter though and his experience with music is clear when listening to his work. Over the years he has worked as a co-writer, a producer and an arranger and it is now that all this has come together to create something that is truly special.