Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Q&A with Rock band Raglans



Ireland-based rock band Raglans is back with the release of their highly anticipated new single ‘One More Drop’.The past few years have seen them blaze a trail to cult status. Highlights include releasing their self titled Top 5 charting debut album which to date has over 5 million plays on Spotify, the single ‘Who Knows’.

Being nominated for RTÉ Choice Music Prize ‘Irish Song of the Year’ and a host of European tour appearances with acts including The Fray, The Libertines, Lifehouse as well as performing at festivals including Electric Picnic, Soundwave Australia, British Summer Festival and Rock am Ring Germany.

See our exclusive interview with the band below


Looking back, what were some of your earliest entries into music appreciation? And music production?

We all appreciate different music and reach a common understanding of Raglans. Playing sold-out shows early on meant we had to build fun and interesting live shows. It's disciplined us to always try new things to improve our work.

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?

I write songs or Rhos write songs and then we create a Raglans version, sometimes it can divert entirely from what you had in your mind’s eye and that can be wild and exciting. Conn is instrumental in helping us produce the Raglans sound.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

Strong informed and passionate viewpoints. Good cinema, great writing.

As a musician, it becomes apparent that there is a huge difference between the art and the business. Is there anything about the music scene that you would personally change?

There's an army of 'middle men' who place themselves between artist and consumer. One pound of flesh at a time if you wanna run the gauntlet. Even now, you have to secure Spotify playlist with money, the days of organic growth are almost non-existent.

Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?

They are both enormously gratifying in different ways but performing to your full potential consistently is more draining and the art of the studio takes a long time to master but it's an enjoyable process. I'd stick in the studio and bolt out for big shows if I could!

What is the most memorable response you have had to your music?

Too many to mention but Electric Picnic 2015 the third time we played was a turning point personally, for a moment I could feel what the audience was feeling and it changed my whole approach thereafter. Never got jitters again

What's on your current playlist?

Sorcha Richardson, Buena Vista Social Club & Tom Petty, always Tom Petty.

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you in the near future?

We are planning on putting out as much music in 2020 as possible. Including our second album “Heavy Medicine” which we are currently finishing. Then take this beautiful beast on the road and start the party all over again.

Famous last words?

Fake it till you make it

Follow Raglans online
Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Bandcamp

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Monday, 17 February 2020

Q&A with Swedish singer/songwriter Simon Alexander



Swedish singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Simon Alexander emerged in 2017 with the self-released debut EP “Won't Be Found”, breathing new air into the modern folk scene. By continuously releasing several self-recorded acoustic tracks he quickly gained recognition for his profound lyrics and heartfelt vocal melodies, getting comparisons to Matt Corby and Dylan LeBlanc.

After a collaboration with producer Tobias Ekqvist, from Hurricane Love, two singles, ’Slide' and ’Last Dance', was released in 2018 after signing with Swedish record label Rehn Music Group. The new singles showed a wider range of songwriting, venturing into a more pop-infused direction, and was featured on Spotify curated playlists such as New Music Friday in several countries.



Looking back, what were some of your earliest entries into music appreciation? And music production?

Definitely a lot of 70's rock bands. Led Zeppelin, Beatles, Pink Floyd etc. My father showed me a lot of bands I still listen to today.

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?

It always begins with a small idea, often a melody, that I' go around humming before I get the time to sit down with a guitar. From there I just let the creativity flow and see where it ends up.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

Listening to some good music & drinking coffee.

As a musician, it becomes apparent that there is a huge difference between the art and the business. Is there anything about the music scene that you would personally change?

I believe that there should be a more common consensus about paid gigs. It's pretty tough in the beginning to both get gigs and then get paid for them, and I think many people have a hard time seeing performing artists as working. But there's a lot of time and effort going into playing live, and I really think young performing artists should be treated more fairly.

Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?

Honestly, I love both, but the rush from playing live is something else.

I think hearing people covering my music is pure magic. Just knowing that someone actually sat down and learned a song of mine feels incredible.

What's on your current playlist?

Khruangbin and their new collab with Leon Bridges is gold.

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you in the near future?
A whole lot of music. First my new EP “In the Rust”, and then we'll be releasing some of my acoustic tracks on Spotify so that feels great. Then hopefully I'll get to head out for some new shows this summer, but I can't announce anything quite yet.

Famous last words?

Don't forget to check out my new EP “In the Rust”, which comes out February 28th!

Follow Simon Alexander online 
Facebook | YouTube | Spotify | Instagram | Soundcloud
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Premiere: Music composer and singer Alex De Rose shares new song ‘Pink Cloud’



St. Petersburg, Russia -based musical composer, guitarist, and singer Alex De Rose has shared a brand new song ‘Pink Cloud’ which will be released on the 21st of February.

The song was completely recorded and produced by Alex in his home studio. This song is the first part of the album that Alex and Chris are working on now.


Follow Alex De Rose online
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Tuesday, 4 February 2020

Interview with musical duo Plastic Barricades



Based between London and Paris, Plastic Barricades are Dan Kert on guitars and vocals and Paul Love on drums.Romantic and honest, gloomy and curious, melodic and melancholic, Plastic Barricades chronicle life in the troubled yet fascinating XXI century, asking questions and trying to find answers.

Inspired and influenced by almighty the Radiohead, Foo Fighters, Oasis, Coldplay, Muse, Death Cab for Cutie, Placebo, Snow Patrol, The Shins, Nirvana and many others, the band loves to experiment with styles, sound and approach.

See our exclusive interview with them below:


Looking back, what were some of your earliest entries into music appreciation? And music production?

Dan Kert (singer, guitar player):   Back in Tallinn (the capital of Estonia) I've attended music school since I was 6. I remember being fascinated by the unreal beauty and melancholy of Chopin's nocturnes and the complexity of Bach's preludes. At the same time, my parents were playing the guitars and singing songs by Soviet-era singers-songwriters, that had very poetic and philosophical lyrics. And then, when I was around 11, I’ve discovered a really deep and meaningful connection to Kurt Cobain and Nirvana. I got my first electric guitar for my 12th birthday and played my first "gig" a year after that. 20 years on - and the fascination with the magical process of writing and performing music continues.

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?

Over the last 5 years, I've grown to really appreciate and enjoy the spontaneity of music creation and learned to embrace my limitations, while still constantly trying to improve my musicality and skills. I have a long list of song ideas and titles and just topics I want to sing about, but I never force a certain theme onto the song. Music comes first, usually just out of playing the guitar and recording bits. When I have two parts (verse and chorus) that work well together, I will put these aside and come back to them in a few days, with some melodic and lyrical ideas already floating in my head. I would then try to write the melody and the lyrics simultaneously and find a certain song form that fits. Then the first demo is created, without overthinking it. That is put aside for a week or two and then either turned into the second demo with refined phrasing, melody, lyrics and chord progression or moved to the "never meant to be" folder.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

I think this might be common for many songwriters: the world is seen through a special pair of glasses, when you pay special attention to certain phrases and metaphors, collect stories and observe human behaviour. It is a pretty natural state of being for me. I also try to channel both my anger and my elation into songwriting: the world constantly evokes strong feelings about things happening around us. Most people have nowhere to channel those feelings into, so they go out drinking, or sit at home and complain or develop other bad habits out of sheer boredom. A lot of inspiration for Plastic Barricades songs was found in documentaries, photo exhibitions, art galleries, literature of all sorts and, of course, the incredibly immense world of honest and heartfelt music.

As a musician, it becomes apparent that there is a huge difference between the art and the business. Is there anything about the music scene that you would personally change?

There are many things that I would prefer to change, but one of the big ones concerns not just the music industry, but human life in the XXI century in general. I would get rid of the like buttons and play counters on all social media in the hope that creators would focus more on the quality of the product, rather than the numbers. Sure, in some cases numbers come when the quality is high, but many times that's more about the marketing budget. Will this interview have a rating? A score from 1 to 10? A counter with the number of plays/reads? Probably not. So why do other things need to have those? Let people decide for themselves if they like something or not.

Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?

A healthy balance of both would be my preference. Band life is usually quite cyclical: you spend a year (or two) writing and recording your new record and then the next year (or two) is spent on the road, giving those songs a chance to make people happier. But if I would need to choose one and sacrifice the other, I would just keep writing new music, that's something that I would probably never get bored of.

What is the most memorable response you have had to your music?

It is a strange and very rewarding feeling when people you've never met in a town you've never been to sing your song back to you - and they smile - and they hug each other. Music belongs to the people as soon as the writing and recording process is complete. The other memorable response is when out of the blue someone writes you a message or an email saying thank you for giving him or her thought of spending a Friday volunteering at a blood donation centre or at an animal shelter or at a soup kitchen. This is what art is all about - inspiring people to be the best version of themselves.

What's on your current playlist?

I am revisiting Pearl Jam discography in anticipation of their upcoming new record. Death Cab for Cutie is on repeat for the last couple of years. Biffy Clyro is competing with Foo Fighters for the playlist dominance, regularly interrupted by Radiohead, Two Door Cinema Club, Peace, Daughter and Frightened Rabbit.

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you in the near future?

Our brand new single ‘Optimist’ is out on the 2nd of February - and we are so so so excited about both the song and our truly DIY music video, featuring 8 houses, 8 cars, plenty of glassware, some benches and trees, a crowd of exactly 300 cast members and around 20 buckets of water. Our second album "Self-Theories" will follow sometime in summer. As for the live shows - just keep an eye on our pages to be the first to know when the noise wagon will be stopping by your cozy village.

Famous last words?

We are all in the same boat - so let's try to grow in the same direction without shaking the boat too much!

Follow Plastic Barricades online
Website | Spotify | Instagram | Facebook | Soundcloud
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Friday, 24 January 2020

Interview with indie-folk singer MARCELØ



MARCELØ DEISS is a project headed by a Brazilian musician based in London, who has just returned to South American soil for a series of shows. Walking through indie and folk-rock music, he brings in his worked songs that approach themes about social alienation and the human condition in subjects like greed, hypocrisy, absurdity and despair. Certainly not positive criticism

Influenced by visual artists such as Steve Cutts and John Holcroft, the songs revolve mostly around the struggling underclass with anthems about anti-establishment, anti-capitalist and anti-war with tunes full of originality.

Looking back, what were some of your earliest entries into music appreciation? And music production?

I remember listening to Guns n Roses over and over when I was 11. I used to love them. Still do. My first CD was a present from my parents when I was about 8 and it was INXS greatest hits. Used to listen to it non-stop. Great classics in that compilation.

I started taking guitar lessons and my teacher was really into blues. I learnt a lot about B.B King, Clapton, Johnny Winter and all of the greatest guitarists that inspired so many people. That got me into the whole era of the ‘60s and ‘70s which I love. My first time recording in a studio, I think I was about 20 or 21. I recorded about 5 songs with a guitar that only had 3 strings. Only the top strings. I think I was just so curious and desperate to find a new sound. I wanted to bring something new to the table. I've always felt this way about writing and recording.

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?

90% of the time it comes from the melody. That's my first step when creating a new song.
Establishing the melody throughout the whole song. From there I can start putting words to it. I am forever writing things in notebooks or on my cell phone. This way I have always got words that I can play with once I have the structure of the song finalised.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

There is no particular method or formula. I love discovering new shit. It usually stems from those moments when I am discovering something new. I have a few sentimental places that I like to visit from time to time. Travelling and exploring new places, meeting new people all play a vital role in inspiring me to hit the recording studio.

As a musician, it becomes apparent that there is a huge difference between the art and the business. Is there anything about the music scene that you would personally change?

The music scene is always changing. And it always will be. That's what makes it a business. It's about trying to find new ground to cover. Personally I would give more space to artists from other countries. Particularly non-English speaking countries. There is a ton of original material coming out from them. And it doesn't have to be in English. Who knows? Maybe kids will dig it. I love singing and writing in English, but I would be a fool to not recognize that there is a lot of great material out there to explore.

Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?

Definitely playing live, nothing beats it. However, I have had such a great time producing all the new material in the studio over the last year and a half. I felt like it was a very different experience from before. I felt a great sense of freedom because I knew the type of sound I was looking for and the things I wanted to say. I am really looking forward to sharing the new music on stage.

What is the most memorable response you have had to your music?

I particularly love it when friends send me videos of them listening to the songs or watching the videos. It really puts a smile on my face. Other than that I think it's just the general support from people that are getting to know my work and feel a deep connection to the music.

What's on your current playlist?

Rafiq Bhatia, Aldous Harding, Ben Harper, Rodrigo Amarante, Sufjan Stevens, Thundercat,
Parquet Courts, Secos e Molhados, Cat power, Kevin Morby, Ten Years After

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you in the near future?

There is a lot of new material that is due to come out this year. Singles, videos and a couple of EP's. I'm also really looking forward to playing gigs in the UK. I am currently still recording and putting some final touches on a few songs but I'm looking to line up gigs during the summer months in the UK!

Famous last words?

Time to go back!


Follow MARCELØ online 
Soundcloud | YouTube
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Interview with music producer Strath



Melbourne-based singer Ben, aka Strath, often reminisces of home, where he would play keys and sax from an early age in class bands and would often stick around after school to put beats together on the computers.

He spent the first two years of his studies writing screenplays alongside his film course, as well as having joined the University comedy organisations. It wasn’t until his trip to Way Out West in Sweden that he decided to return to music after a particularly inspiring Frank Ocean set.

Have a look at his exclusive interview

Looking back, what were some of your earliest entries into music appreciation? And music production?

I remember watching someone play the saxophone on Sesame Street when I was really young and knowing immediately that I wanted to play it. I began producing tracks when I was about 13. There was a music class at my high school where the task was to compose a piece that went through 5 different variations of the "happy birthday" theme. This was when dubstep was just starting to take off, and I went on YouTube and learnt how to create that kind of synths and then made the filthiest happy birthday banger.

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?

I like to map out as much of the song as possible in my head before picking up an instrument or sitting at my laptop.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

Walking and coffee.

Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?

Yet to play my first live show so I'll have to get back to you!

What's on your current playlist?

Vegyn, the whole of Only Diamonds Cut Diamonds.

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you in the near future?

Another release in Feb, and then a bunch of live shows


Follow Strath online
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Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Take a stand with electronic producer, Uppermost and his latest release


Uppermost, an electronic producer traditionally associated with expressing and creating positive emotions, has released his new single, ‘Fire Starter’. Social commentary in the form of music, Uppermost takes his distaste for the current political climate in Iran and transforms it into a fusion of electronica and rock.

“In the creative process, I have learnt that any idea or inspiration, no matter how useless it may sound, can trigger a big step towards a beautiful artwork if we act on it. ‘Fire Starter' is a tribute to those elusive moments that can lead to the biggest changes in our lives if we value their power.”

The track encompasses all of the raw power of Rage Against The Machine while adding electronic orchestral aspects to it, creating a new form of hard rock that has the potential to take off in a big way.

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Monday, 13 January 2020

Interview with singer/songwriter Kev Minney



Brighton based music producer Kev Minney is a guitar player, singer and songwriter who takes inspiration from folk greats, Simon and Garfunkel, Neil Young and Nick Drake. After a lifetime of becoming well-known for his virtuoso guitar skills, Kev turned to singing and songwriting at the age of 30. Before this, he had lacked the confidence to sing due to a stutter. After years of hard work, fine-tuning, and carving out a name for himself doing what he loves, Kev was invited to New York to record his debut EP titled All You Need in 2015.

Now his second album, Modern Stories, is due to be released in February 2020. The first single, God is an Algorithm, has already had radio plays from Tom Robinson on BBC Radio 6 Music. Both of Kev's albums were recorded with a Mercury-nominated producer in Brighton, UK. Kev has toured internationally, playing hundreds of shows in some of the UK's and Europe's finest venues. His debut album Stories of the Sky has gained over 250,000 streams on Spotify.


Looking back, what were some of your earliest entries into music appreciation? And music production?

I started to listen to music around 9 or 10 years old.  My parents would play music such as; The Beatles, Free and various ‘60’s artist.  Shortly after this time, I started learning the guitar and which led me to explore many more great artists.

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?

There are a few different ways, though most of the time I’ll be playing around with the guitar in an open tuning and creating some sounds that may interest me, around the same time if there’s something I want to write about — something on my mind, or something that has inspired me — I’ll start to pen words down.  I often find that if I get the first line down, and it has meaning, it has a better chance of becoming a song.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

Having space and time.  As a DIY musician, I constantly am floating between being on the computer; booking gigs, promoting, making posters etc, and practising my songs.  At the moment I’m due to release my second album, so I’m not in that space to write, once it’s released I’ll probably take a year out to write and practice.

As a musician, it becomes apparent that there is a huge difference between the art and the business. Is there anything about the music scene that you would personally change?

The bottom line is the quality of music.  The problem with the industry is that there’s so much music out there, that it’s kind of harder to find great music.  Being a musician in modern times is liberating and frustrating.  It’s never been so easy, yet so hard.  My advice is to just focus on the music being as good as it could be.

Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?

I do enjoy them all, though I lean more towards the songwriting process.  Being in the studio or playing live comes with a lot of pressure, though I like that, there’s just a time and place to tour, and the same with recording.  Timing is everything, and touring is about being ready, and picking the right places to play, and recording is about making sure your song is strong and ready enough to record.

What is the most memorable response you have had to your music?

Someone messaged me recently saying they play my song ‘Dark Stars’ to their child most nights to help them sleep, and it always works.  I’m glad my voice may sound soothing to some.

What's on your current playlist?

Jackson C Frank, Joni, Motopony, Neil Young

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you in the near future?

My second album ‘Modern Stories’ is to be released on the 28th of February— this is something I have been working on for the last two years.  After this I’ll be doing one more tour in April then I’ll be staying at home, writing new songs, practising and recording.

Famous last words?

Never give up


Follow Kev Minney online 
Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud | YouTube
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Thursday, 9 January 2020

Singer/songwriter Harrison Whitford announces January 2020 tour dates



Emerging LA songwriter and esteemed guitarist - HARRISON WHITFORD - has unveiled plans to support Noah Gundersen in the UK this Winter.

Jetting over from the US for a string of appearances in early 2020, Harrison will be joining his fellow American alt-folk troubadour on a tour that will kick-off on 16th January at the London Union Chapel, with subsequent shows in Manchester, and Bristol. Harrison will also precede the tour with a performance at The Line Of Best Fit Festival at The Lexington in London (15th Jan). Full dates and details included below.

Some of his most high profile shows this side of the Atlantic to date, Harrison will be looking to engage UK audiences with the accomplished songs of his debut album “Afraid of Everything”, plus introduce some tantalising new material planned for a new EP later next year.

Even if you didn’t realise it, you might well have heard Harrison Whitford’s playing already – his haunting guitar parts can be heard all over Phoebe Bridgers’ “Stranger In The Alps”. Whitford is a longtime collaborator and friend of Bridgers, having played and written with her consistently for over six years. A formidable collaborator yes, but left to his own devices, Harrison’s own music more than speaks for itself.

In releasing his debut album last year “Afraid Of Everything”, the Californian singer/songwriter delivered a spine-tingling collection of tracks to place him firmly on the solo artist spectrum. Balancing the sombre delivery of Elliot Smith with the pop charm of Paul Westerberg, the album offers a startlingly honest debut, packed full of poignant, candid songs that put Harrison and his frank and songwriting on full display. As an additional bonus, fans who invested in the vinyl edition of “Afraid of Everything” were rewarded with an extra song ‘What's Happening’ (as championed by Line of Best Fit); a track made in collaboration with Phoebe Bridgers who plays bass and drums throughout. Bridgers also appears on the record’s heartbreaking ‘Part-Time Heart’, which she famously used to cover in her own early live sets.

An early opportunity to witness this talented songwriter unfurling at the beginning of what promises to be a long and twisting career, Harrison Whitford will perform at the following UK venues this January:

HARRISON WHITFORD - JANUARY 2020 DATES
15 - London, The Lexington (The Line Of Best Fit Festival)

16 - London, Union Chapel
17 - Manchester, Gorilla
20 - Bristol, The Fleece 



Follow Harrison Whitford online
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