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January 16, 2023 Hooked like Helen offers a tantalising new song

Hooked like Helen offers a tantalising new song

Image credit: Rat Majesty

Pleasing and alluring vocals erupt in Hooked like Helen’s latest song ‘Winter (Tori Amos cover)’ released under Stipp Manor Music. The new track is powerful in its lyricism which is expertly interpreted by both the simplicity of the gentle piano notes and the contralto of the singer. consequently, as the vocals rise and fall throughout the melody, an out-of-body experience takes place because the song can transcend happy emotions to expose the hidden tender need a girl holds for assurance towards her father. Continue reading for the interview below.

Stream/ download: ‘Winter’

How has ‘Winter’ (Tori Amos cover) changed your lives?

The song is about a girl’s relationship with a father figure who believes in her and sees greatness in her that she might not see in herself, even as time goes by and dreams fade. Ironically, I did not have anyone in my life who fit that role for me as I was growing up, but I think this might be the very reason the song resonates with me on such a visceral level. Music allows us to escape, imagine, and build castles in our minds. When I sing and play “Winter”, I am (for 4 minutes and 30 seconds) one of those girls with a dad who loves her. I get to have a moment in the snow where I’m protected by gloves too big for my hands. Creating our version of “Winter” has been cathartic and painful and healing and challenging…and just what I needed.

What would you like listeners to take away from the song?

We really just wanted to introduce this beautiful song to our listeners through our lens, without compromising too much of Tori’s vision. Art is open to interpretation, especially music like this; it paints pictures and evokes emotions without too much specificity. We wanted to create a modernized version of Tori Amos’ musical perfection for our audience, and let them consume it in whatever capacity feels right to them.

What are some of your earliest memories of music?

Music has been our deepest love since both Jon and I were kids. Babies, honestly. When I was 3 years old, my big sister had a little Casio practice keyboard. I remember vividly, all these years later, that one of the demo songs pre-programmed into the keyboard was “Just the Way You Are” by Billy Joel. The cheesy synth sounds that floated out of those cheap internal speakers painted streaks of colour and moving patterns across my mind, each musical part in the arrangement creating a different visual against the black backdrop of my consciousness. This was the first time I experienced Chromesthesia that I can remember, and the beginning of my obsession with music.

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

The songs come about in different ways, but there is always an “ah-ha!” moment in the process; that moment when we know we’ve struck the right note with the right chord with the right lyric. Sometimes this comes quickly, and sometimes it takes hours or even days of coming back to it, but the song is not a song until it hits that sweet spot when you just KNOW it’s the way it’s supposed to be.

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

Writing songs is preferred over recording – Jon and I are perfectionists so it can get a little tedious in the recording process. The writing part is our self-expression and our contribution to the world, so it feels incredibly satisfying to create something that we think is worth other people’s ear-time. Playing live is our fuel, our life source, our energy. It is SO incredibly fun and cathartic and we can’t live without it.

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

Over the course of our career, we have had quite a number of people on the autistic spectrum and parents of autistic children tell us that our music – and our live performances in particular – have soothed them and connected with them in a way that other music does not. We have tried to analyze why this might be the case, and we’re not sure, but it means the world to know that these special, neurodivergent individuals are able to take something from our art that they might not get from other music.

Also, Fiona Apple saw us play once and told me she was in love with me haha. That was a highlight for sure!

If you could put together a radio show, what kind of music would you play?

All the best music from the 1980s and 90s! Pop, rock and alternative.

Name five artists and their albums who would appear on your radio show

Michael Jackson – Dangerous

Guns N’ Roses – Appetite for Destruction

Green Day – Dookie

Mariah Carey – Butterfly

Prince – Purple Rain

What would you like to achieve with your music? What does success look like to you?

Success looks like reaching people who are truly positively affected by our music. It’s earning enough money to be able to have freedom and opportunity for our son and to make a difference in the world.

One last thought to leave your fans with?

The world is full of monsters disguised as men. Protect yourself and believe in yourself no matter what.

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November 17, 2022 Skilled musician Cimo Fränkel offers new single ‘Closed The Door’

Skilled musician Cimo Fränkel offers new single ‘Closed The Door’

Image credit: Lee Alexander

Under Cimo Fränkel / AWAL, talented musician Cimo Fränkel released his latest single Closed The Door’. Hailing from Amsterdam, Netherlands, the LA-based singer-songwriter recognises the work of Huey Lewis and Michael Jackson as the inspiration for his music. At the age of fifteen Cimo started out collaborating with other young Dutch musicians as well as delving into music production.

Stream / Download: Cimo Fränkel – ‘Closed The Door’

The vocals in Closed The Door’ are awe-inspiring,  boast a celestial quality and display the potency of Cimo’s vocal abilities through its euphoric high notes. Listening to this single is like listening to an angel singing because the control of the vocal cords is soul-stirring and speaks to a deep place in listeners’ hearts. The harmonisation in the song reaches an ecstasy with its effervescent high notes as it matches the exigence and vibration of the electric guitar that dominates the track towards the end. 

Cimo Fränkel elaborates on the subject matter of the single: “Closed The Door’ is about a relationship coming to an end. It’s about being courageous enough to speak up and accepting the consequences of making the decision that it’s over”.

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September 27, 2022 Cimo Fränkel drops mesmerising new single

Cimo Fränkel drops mesmerising new single

 Image credit: Shiobian Cheyenne Dumas

R&B and Alt-Pop hitmaker Cimo Fränkel shared his latest single ‘Burning House (Live from Amsterdam)’ on the 16th of September via Cimo Fränkel / AWAL. The single is taken from the recently released deluxe edition of his debut album Cimo Fränkel via Cimo Fränkel / AWAL. A native of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Cimo is currently based in LA, USA. Cimo tells us that his earliest music education was from his father who was a funk musician who advised him through the DIY mentality of funk culture.   

Stream / Download: ‘Burning House (Live from Amsterdam)’

The vocals are incredibly beautiful and awe-inspiring like the sight of the earth from space. The highs and lows of Cimo voice are refined and rich. The melody sits on the threshold of edgy rock. However, it is not a rock ballad. The listener is invited into a world where effortless aspects of acoustic guitar strings merge simply with the vocals. 

Cimo Fränkel tells us the motivation behind his embarking on working and releasing the new single, “I’ve always admired CAM as a singer, songwriter and artist. When I first heard ‘Burning House’ I fell in love with the melody and message of the song right away and was immediately inspired to make my own version of it”.

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April 25, 2022 R&B infused pop band SYTË share song ‘Where Did the Love Go’

R&B infused pop band SYTË share song ‘Where Did the Love Go’

Image: Rina Statovici

Fusing pop-perfect hooks with a laid back indie style, SYTË (meaning “eyes” in Albanian) are making their mark in the alt-pop scene. Based in New York, the group has an abundant blend of musical backgrounds, with elements of R&B, pop, indie, metal and Jazz, creating a sound and vibe that transcends genre, geography, age and gender.

The group initially formed when vocalist Nita Kaja was visiting her family’s hometown of Prishtina, Kosovo and met future partner and band mate Drin Tashi. Falling deeply in love with the free-spirited and alternative lifestyle of the city, and being surrounded by a thriving and youthful music scene, Kaja felt inspired to create her own music, forming a duo with Tashi in 2018, before teaming up with drummer Granit Havolli and bassist Fatlind Ferati; evolving into the four-piece band we know today.

The new single “Where Did the Love Go” was written after three long months of isolation. Feeling disconnected from the world and missing out on a European tour due to the pandemic, Kaja penned the lyrics after finally reuniting with a friend, causing a burst of inspiration and the creation of this soulful tune. The sultry-hued vocals are a perfect complement to the funk-driven bassline, twinkling keys and groove-laden percussion, resulting in this vibrant, yet sonically textured track.  Hoping to encourage people to express their seemingly-niche emotions, the band write music about acknowledging and navigating through destructive thoughts and patterns. Wanting to see popular music shift to a more introspective and intentional place, the band expressed, “Documenting these overlooked emotions can help bring humanity together and highlight how much more similar we are to one another than we think”.

Known for their electrifying performances, SYTË have already played a number of well-known festivals including Pop Kultur Festival, Localize Festival and Sunny Hill Festival, where they opened for powerhouses like Dua Lipa, Action Bronson and Martin Garrix. Returning to New York City to work on new music and grow as artists, and with nods from publications such as i-D, Noizz.d and The Line of Best Fit, the band are in for a swell of a season!

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