Friday, 27 April 2018

Land of Trees takes us to a modern wonderland with ‘Just Imagine’

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Marcus Friman, alias 'Land of Trees', describes himself as the romantic simplicity of a modern Earth wanderer - In a country like Sweden, where more than half the territory is covered by forests, it’s hard not to come into contact with nature at some point. Such an inviting environment spontaneously gives birth to wanderers, explorers of Earth who embrace a sort of nomadic lifestyle that fosters artistic inspiration.

Marcus Friman, singer/songwriter behind Land of Trees, has understood and cultivated this way of living as a defining trait of his indie-folk solo project. Just like sitting in the middle of the forest and letting its active stillness wrap around you, Friman’s music proposes a natural simplicity devoid of bombastic instrumental arrangements where acoustic sounds support the poetry of the vocals as the center of the listening experience.

We absolutely just loved the single ‘Just Imagine’ so we decided to have a little interview… 

Hi there, how are you and what are you up to today? 
I’m wonderful, thank you for asking! Right now I’m in the studio working on the upcoming album, where “Just Imagine” will appear.

To those not familiar with you, how would you describe your sound? 
Very down to earth, organic and honest. After all, the name “Land Of Trees“ is kind of a hint towards organic music in itself.

What are the 5 albums and artists that have influenced you the most?

1.“All The Little Lights” by Passenger 
2.”Every Kingdom” by Ben Howard 
3.” Vagabond” by Stu Larsen 
4.”Babel” by Mumford & Sons 
5.”Whispers 2” by Passenger

What other artists do you really like at the moment and why? 
Ben Howard, Stu Larsen, Passenger, First Aid Kit, Christopher Paul Stelling to name a small portion of amazing songwriters first and foremost. I can't listen to a song without hearing the lyrics and every single one of the names above baffle me daily with their lyrics! When you add a sound that gives goosebumps to these lyrics you have my attention.

What are some of the key pieces of gear you use to write your tracks in the studio? Or do you prefer to use software and plug ins? 
I usually just lean on my voice and the guitar. Cajun & banjo has also played a big part in my music and violin/viola will finally be a part of my upcoming music which is super-exciting.

Has your arsenal of equipment changed much since you first started? 
I bought a banjo and a violin but for now I'm sticking to the guitar, practicing these instruments does not make one popular..

Let's listen to 'Just Imagine' and see how this all sounds together:

If we gave you the budget to put a line-up together for a mini fest, who would you book and where would you play?
I have no idea if I would be able to book these acts to a "mini-fest" but here's a shout out to artist that deserve some love:

Jed Appleton 
Holly Arrowsmith 
Luca Fogale 
Alexander Asp 
Marcus Alexander

If you weren't a musician what would you be?
My girlfriend yelled out "actor" when I read this question but I have only tricked her to believe such non-sense over the last few years. It's just an act.

Thank you very much to Land of Trees having a talk with us

For more information, visit Land of Trees on 
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Wednesday, 25 April 2018

An Interview with singer/songwriter Marcus Alexander

 

Marcus Alexander was born and raised in Ängelholm, Sweden, and comes from a family of musicians. He started playing the piano at a very early age. Picking up the guitar with 14 was a big step for his career as a musician, as well as singer-songwriter.

Attending the Swedish music gymnasium "Mega Musik" in Helsingborg was the final step which led him to dedicating himself to really becoming a full blown songwriter. After living a few years in Malta, writing songs and playing at open mic nights at Casey's Bar regularly, and also after becoming a partnered Twitch music streamer, he decided to pursue his music-writing dreams in 2013, and thus moved back to Sweden, just after releasing the very first single 'January Won't Be Long' featuring his friend Jo Elise.

Marcus Alexander now lives in Gothenburg and just released the debut album, Journey, which he was working for over 1 year. It finally came together with the help of Rexius Records, along with his friend Nikos Taramanidis (aka. The Guitar Baron) and Linus Blad od Mega Music, an incredibly talented musician, as well as Marcus's former classmate.

We caught up with Markus for an interview: 

Hi there, how are you and what are you up to today? 
It's a good day! I'm good. I played an album release gig yesterday for my debut album Journey, as I'm currently in Malta where a lot of my friends live, and where I used to live!

To those not familiar with you, how would you describe your sound? 
It's as simple as acoustic singer-songwriter, I suppose some songs can be considered more bluesy and others more folky, but definitely both those words!

What are the 5 albums and artists that have influenced you the most? 
I've never been big on listening to whole albums, but the 5 artists that have influenced me the most are the following:

Coldplay
John Mayer
Gregory Alan Isakov
Bob Dylan
Kings of Convenience

What other artists do you really like at the moment and why? 
I really like BadBadNotGood right now, as well as Charlotte Day Wilson, who made an appearance on their album IV, for their incredibly organic sound and talent in music!

What are some of the key pieces of gear you use to write your tracks in the studio? Or do you prefer to use software and plug ins? 
I don't write in the studio actually, and I always just write with an instrument, guitar, piano or ukulele!

Has your arsenal of equipment changed much since you first started? 
Yes, indeed it has! Every time I've been in a studio I've been trying to identify my favorite microphones or pieces of equipment like plug-ins, sound proofing tools, headphone amplifiers etc.  Then I see how they fit into my home studio situation and apply them accordingly.

Let's listen to 'Something Empty' and see how the equipment sounds like 

Do you enjoy playing to an audience or working in the studio? 
I enjoy both! I prefer playing live on intimate venues with minimum equipment. However, I really love organic music and what it does.

If we gave you the budget to put a line-up together for a mini fest, who would you book and where would you play? 
I am not really into conserts and festival stuff to be honest, I have no clue about anything related to it really, and I haven't thought about it before so I don't really have an answer I'm afraid!

If you weren't a musician what would you be? 
I would be a pro PC gamer for sure, or a professional rock climber!

Do you have any information regarding upcoming releases, projects, DJ mixes or collaborations in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?
I'm going to record and release my song "Grateful" that I've performed at Sofar and Gothenburg Open Stage which is already on YouTube, but just as a low quality video with poor sound, I will be recording it in my home studio and release it as a real single! :)

Sounds great! Good luck with your new single. We would like to thank you for providing us with these personal insights and we wish you all the best for all upcoming releases.

For more information, visit Markus Alexander on Facebook // SoundCloud // Twitter


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Monday, 23 April 2018

We got together with Jacob Lee for an Interview


With no Label or Management, Jacob Lee is in a league of his own. Primarily a Singer/Songwriter, at 23, Jacob has embraced the role of entrepreneur, surpassing 20 Million Spotify streams with just 11 songs released. Known for his meaningful, emotive lyricism, powerful melodies & mesmerising live show, Jacob is one of the only independent, Australian Artists to achieve features on numerous Spotify Official Playlists, esteemed YouTube Blogs & Commercial Radio. Supporting the likes of Billy Gibbons (ZZ-Top), Jamie Lawson, Justice Crew, Uncle Jed & Foreign Figures, Jacob has independently toured throughout the U.K, Europe, USA & Australia multiple times. He will be slowly leaking his debut Album 'Philosophy' over the course of 2018 whilst he writes & records his second record, 'Prophecy'.

We got together with Jacob for an interview:

Hi there, how are you and what are you up to today? 
I'm fantastic, I write this mid-way through a 10 hour drive to Arizona, on our way to one of my final shows here in the States. It's currently snowing & my Australian body is unprepared. But how are you?

To those not familiar with you, how would you describe your sound? 
When asked this question I generally resort to 'Alternative Pop Music'... Although, if I’m to be honest with you, I wouldn’t say I have a particular sound. My way of songwriting is more concentrated in conveying a particular message or emotion, which results in each track having it’s own unique atmosphere & aura. I personally feel as though chasing genre is somewhat restrictive as it doesn't allow your thoughts to explore your subconscious & otherwise. My aim in releasing original music is to bring forth emotions people may not have felt before, which makes it a little difficult to describe my exact sound... But, in a sentence, I’d say it’s definitely lyrically driven, consumed by the desire to be purposeful.

What are the 5 albums and artists that have influenced you the most?
That's actually a tough question for me... From about 14 years-old, believe it or not, I found myself inspired by heavy metal music. I noticed that artists within that genre never screamed, sung or spoke about anything trivial, it was always so emotional & deliberate. I'm also inspired by Alan Watts, a Philosopher who passed in 1973. His private class teachings, which were leaked online before I was born, have always encouraged & reinforced deeper thought for me. As strange as it may sound, I’ve never really had a specific album speak to me in such a way, I’ve found that individual songs are personally the catalyst to providing those feelings. My true, bottomless source of inspiration is drawn from my parents & my older brother, though if I were to mention 5 albums that have intrigued me, I’d say, Logic's 'Everybody', BMTH's 'Suicide Season', Ed Sheeran's 'Multiply', Jaden Smith's 'SYRE' & any of the three NF albums. They're all phenomenal.

Let's see if you can find the relation to those and listen to 'Cursed' on IndieGROUND

What other artists do you really like at the moment and why?
The Artists mentioned above are my most recent obsessions, however I adore the consistency & quality of Drake... An Australian band called Lime Cordiale is providing me the good vibes, Foreign Figures from Utah are releasing tune after tune, Northlane & Underoath are always at the top of my list for their unique ambience & lyrics. The Weeknd's 'My Dear Melancholy' is actually fantastic, Alina Baraz is by no shred of doubt an angel & J. Cole literally just released a new album, KOD, which is a true work of art.

What are some of the key pieces of gear you use to write your tracks in the studio? Or do you prefer to use software and plug ins?
Every song you've ever heard from me has been written on an acoustic. Some of the more recent tracks like 'I Just Know’, Demons', 'So Wrong' & 'Black Sheep' implemented my RC-300 loop station, which provides an entire new level of creativity & experimentation. I usually write alone, & when I say alone, I mean completely isolated. My best music is born in areas shut off from the outside world, where I consciously know no one is even in the vicinity of hearing me. I am unsure whether this is a common trait for a writer, I just know that I feel more connected to myself & any higher power, vibration or subconscious thought that way.

Has your arsenal of equipment changed much since you first started?
I grew up playing a right-handed acoustic upside-down, which was then restrung to be left-handed. My father purchased me a basic lefty Takamine, which I thought was the best guitar on earth until I saved enough to buy my own custom Cole Clark. Since then, I’ve been collecting hardware for a pretty extensive pedal board, which I travel with throughout Australia & tour overseas. My most recent addition is a live playback rig running Ableton, which my producer, Matt Bartlem helped me construct. For a while I was interested in incorporating an SPD-SX into my live set-up, but I think that desire has faded.

Check out how Jacob makes use of the equipment he has on this 'Philosophical' life session


Do you enjoy playing to an audience or working in the studio?
I adore performing to an actual crowd. The energy & ability to change lives in those moments are everything to me. I’m yet to find that feeling in any other aspect of my life.

If we gave you the budget to put a line-up together for a mini fest, who would you book and where would you play?
Without a doubt I'd book the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado, that venue is just a whole new level of beautiful. I saw Imagine Dragons perform at Loveloud Festival in Utah last year & their live show absolutely blew me away, so, I'd choose Imagine Dragons, Chance the Rapper, Foreign Figures, Ed Sheeran, Francis & the Lights & Dirty Loops. I'd then organise a seperate stage for those that love Crystal Lake, Underoath, Parkway Drive, Blessthefall & Bring me the Horizon.

If you weren't a musician what would you be?
I’d chase my other passions to an even further extent. I want to be an established author & I am obsessed with fitness & health. I’m a Personal Trainer back home, as well as a first degree black belt in Tae-Kwon-Do. So, I guess I’d pursue those passions to an even deeper level.

Do you have any information regarding upcoming releases, projects, DJ mixes or collaborations in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?
I’m releasing a track every month throughout 2018. 4 tracks from my debut album ‘Philosophy’ are already released, with 6 to come. Shortly after, I’m planning on releasing all songs tracked acoustic for those who prefer my ‘Philosophical Sessions’. Music Video’s & Lyric Video’s are always in abundance & I’ll be filming more of them as soon as I arrive back in Australia, May 5th. I’m writing a book & have almost finished writing album no. 2, which I’ll start tracking later this year… Also, I’d love to visit the USA one more time, Europe & potentially Brazil before the year comes to a close. I know, very ambitious, but I have faith.

Sounds great! Many thanks for taking your time to conduct this interview with us and for sharing your handsome good-resonating tunes with us. All the best for your music infused future!

For more information, visit Jacob on 
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Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Feel ‘Superfly’ with the new Munchie Squad single! We decided to catch up with them in an interview


Munchie Squad defining themselves as Future Bass, Chill, Reggae influenced music topped with some nice vocals. From Wien, Vienna this powerhouse act has an electric future ahead of them.

After hearing their new single ‘Superfly’ we decided to find out more:

Hi there, how are you and what are you up to today? 
Hey Guys! We are fine and totally relaxed! Currently we're working on our new EP in Costa Rica. A beautiful place!

To those not familiar with you, how would you describe your sound? 
I think our sound varies a lot. It's all about cool lyrics and fresh, new sounds!

What are the 5 albums that have influenced you the most? 

The Kooks: Inside in Inside Out 
Blink 182 : Enema of the State 
Ricky Blaze: Conquer the Moment 
Miley Cyrus: Bangerz 
Wild man Fisher: An evening with Wild man Fisher

Which other artists are you into at the moment and why? 
We honestly like so many artists its hard to say. We've been listening a lot to Russian trap & pop lately. Cardi B's new album is fire too. Music is awesome.

Are there any key pieces of equipment that you are using to define your sound?
C'mon were living in the 21st century. Laptop, Headphones, a good Mic and a little Midi Keyboard is all we need when we're traveling. Don't let the Equipment define your sound.

Let's give 'Superfly' a listen:

What would you say some of the challenges artists face today in the music industry?
I feel that the music industry changed a lot in the last years. The Internet makes it easier to release music - though it’s harder to pop out nowadays. But getting yourself surrounded by good and hard working people is probably always the best way to go.

Where do you gather song writing inspiration? 
Girls, Girls, Girls...

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when put music together?
It's so different every time. If we catch a vibe we'll write. Not every beat is easy to write to. Whole process can take a few hours to several days. We start with a very basic beat, write to it, if the result is good - we start producing the song and get into the details.

What’s the best gig you have ever done and why? 
At this stage, we're only producing music - trying to get as much done as possible. We'll start playing gigs when we have our first radio hit. So soon.

And the worst? 
Soon to come probably.

If you weren't a musician what would you be? 
Synchronized Swimmers or Investment Traders i guess.

Do you have any particular gigs or festivals that you dream about playing?
Private Concert for the Royal Family of Sweden.

If you could perform alongside any other band or artist, who would it be?
Hannah Montana, Skrillex, or Bono.

Do you have any information regarding upcoming releases, projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about? 
Better be ready for this Summer!

We thank you very much for taking your time for sharing some personal insights with us. We wish you all the best for your career and very much hope to hear from you again.

Find more information about Munchie Squad and ‘Superfly’ right here:
Facebook //  Spotify  // itunes
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Monday, 16 April 2018

We caught up with Ade Mai for an Interview about his new single ‘Miles’


Ade Mai is an old school folk-artist, a singer-songwriter and an experimental sound engineer of the new generation based in Bournemouth, UK & Helsinki, Finland. He writes classical songs with his guitars and a piano and sings simple heartfelt words.

Hi there, how are you and what are you up to today? 
Extremely well, thanks! Right now I'm spending some quality time back home in Finland, chilling out here in the middle of all the snow and cold and doing promo for my new release 'Miles'. I'm also trying to finish some new releases before returning back to UK, where I'm currently based.

To those not familiar with you, how would you describe your sound? 
What, who's not familiar with me? Shame on you! For your information my sound consists of melancholic acoustic guitar riffs and thick and recognizable lead vocals blended with uplifting folk drums and backing vocals. Not less, not more. The genre could be described as something like sunset/sunrise indie nu-folk.

What are the 5 albums and artists that have influenced you the most? 
Absolute all time favorites:
Ben Howard - Every Kingdom. 
Bon Iver - All three albums. 
Coldplay - Ghost Stories (and others). 
The Lumineers - The Lumineers. 
Ziggy Alberts - Land & Sea.

What other artists do you really like at the moment and why? 
I really 'dig' the sound of Novo Amor and Dustin Tebbutt at the moment. Really atmospheric and deep. These guys really have seized the moment in their songs, which is something I really love about music. Sean Rowe, Nick Mulvey and Hollow Coves are other ones I'm listening on repeat.

What are some of the key pieces of gear you use to write your tracks in the studio? Or do you prefer to use software and plug ins?
Argh, nothing too interesting I'm afraid, mate. The process usually begins when I accidentally play something interesting on a guitar or a piano. This is followed by the humming phase, when I'm trying to figure out the melody and accidentally come up with the lyrics. Then I probably play some more guitar, drums and bass and put a lot of effects on. Then I go to my wardrobe and play what I find: harmonica, recorder, congas, didgeridoo, tennis socks, banana... whatever is in there.

Let's give Miles a listen on IndieGROUND:

Has your arsenal of equipment changed much since you first started? 
It is not too long since I started this project, so not much. My gear pretty much consists of guitars, a real piano, real drums and then software stuff. Yeah, I've bought some more plugins during the project, but nothing major has changed.

Do you enjoy playing to an audience or working in the studio? 
Both are nice, but I see things the way that I'm using my time in studio, so that I can have something to play live. Gigs are the main thing, but that doesn't mean that you can't enjoy the whole process. Creating something new which sounds amazing is one of the most uplifting things there are. Still I think there's a bit more in touring than studio; things like visiting new places or meeting new people for example.

If we gave you the budget to put a line-up together for a mini fest, who would you book and where would you play? 
I would probably just keep the money myself and organize an Open Mic -night at a local pub, hehe. Seriously talking, I would probably book the same guys I mentioned earlier, and of course play with each of them myself. The whole thing would take place in Nicaragua.

If you weren't a musician what would you be? 
I was doing fine in football before things started to go even better in music (less worse). So I think I would be an average semi-pro football player somewhere in Europe. Not bad at al.

Do you have any information regarding upcoming releases, projects, DJ mixes or collaborations in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?
More is coming! I will be releasing few more singles before dropping out a full album, which will be worth waiting for. Hopefully all the world will hear about it and dance to it. See you on tour!

We thank you very much for taking your time for sharing some personal insights with us. We wish you all the best for your career and very much hope to hear from you again.

Follow and Listen Ade Mai – ‘Miles’ right here:

IndieGROUND : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYMhT9_tu1c
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/ademaiofficial/
SoundCloud : https://soundcloud.com/ademai
Spotify : https://open.spotify.com/artist/073s2zTquoStQeb482SxhP
Itunes :  https://itunes.apple.com/ca/artist/ade-mai/1299676008

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Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Alba Plano is set to release the first single off her upcoming project.


Soulful songstress Alba Plano will be releasing a single off her upcoming EP 'White Lotus' through the label Sunrise. To be released on the 20th of April, the single ‘Out There’ will be the first off the unreleased project and sets the tone perfectly with Alba Plano’s amazing vocal elegance and sophistication. The vocally trained musician hails from Sicily and began singing in her early teens. Alba Plano has experimented with different sounds whilst growing up, utilising her voice as an instrument as well as taking inspiration from jazz artists and acclaimed vocalists Norma Winstone, Kurt Eiling, Barry Harris, Bob Stoloff and Joe Blake. The singer has spent many years curating her unique sound making her music stand out.

‘Out There’ sets a melancholy tone for the EP with it’s delicate vocals, upbeat neoclassical elements that encompass swinging grooves and stylish guitar lines. The song speaks about living a life in fear and encourages one to search deep within to live your truth. Fusing contemporary jazz and psychedelic soulful sounds, Alba Plano co-produced and co-wrote her upcoming EP along with Karme Caruso (Karyn White, Omar) as well as David Shorty (Retrospect for Love, Mr Jukes).

Speaking of ‘Out ThereAlba says: “it's about fears, about the limitations we hold within ourselves because it make us feel safe, because at least "we know who we are". But that's not helping when you want to grow and expand your soul, it takes a big amount of love, respect and trust for oneself to be able to see from a different perspective".


Listen to Alba Plano's 'Out There' here




Follow Alba Plano:







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Listen and learn How to: Friend, Love, Freefall with the brand new Rainbow Kitten Surprise Album

 

Rainbow Kitten Surprise dropped a brand new album titled How to: Friend, Love, Freefall and we can’t stop falling in love with it. The Album will be available on the 6th of April.

With a name like Rainbow Kitten Surprise it comes to no surprise that all eyes are focused on these gentlemen. Don’t take the name lightly for this electrifying five-piece harmony master class act have returned with another edition of indie hits.

Exploding into the worldwide indie music scene from Boone, North Carolina. On their first headline U.S Tour they sold out more than 45 shows; making Rainbow Kitten Surprise no stranger to the dancing and singing soul.

Now it’s your turn. Listen to the song: It’s Called: Freefall


Follow and support Rainbow Kitten Surprise Facebook // Twitter // Instagram
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Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Indie legends Broken Social Scene announce UK tour




Canadian indie super group Broken Social Scene will be heading back to the UK & Ireland this year having just announced a string of dates for this May & June with shows in Dublin, Glasgow, Leeds, Birmingham, Bristol & London.

The band released their first new album in seven years last year via City Slang, to a rapturous response from fans and critics alike. ‘Hug Of Thunder’ is everything Broken Social Scene fans love from the Canadian collective and then some, an album overflowing with glorious open chords, multi-voice harmonies, spacious psychedelia-tinted breakdowns, and more. Since the record came out, the band have played a multitude of triumphant shows across Europe, America & Canada.

Watch the official music video ‘Vanity Pail Kids’ by Broken Social Scene below –



Live dates:
28th May – The Tivoli, Dublin
29th May – Garage, Glasgow
30th May – Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds
31st May – O2 Academy 2, Birmingham
1st June – O2 Academy, Bristol
2nd June – All Points East Festival, London

Get Tickets here.

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Handmade Festival Line-Up


It is time to get ready for the festival era in 2018. The Handmade festival has lined-up nicely with cinsiderable artists such as Drenge, Circa Waves, Little Comets, Future of the Left and The Wytches amongst others.

The Handmade Festival is "a totally independent music and arts festival that takes place on May 5th & 6th in the city of Leicester." 

For the ones who haven't got a ticket yet, find them here and get ready to rock Leicester.

More information at: http://handmadefestival.co.uk/


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