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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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January 12, 2023 Duo Belau create another sensation with new single ‘Unimaginable’

Duo Belau create another sensation with new single ‘Unimaginable’

Image via publicist

Belau is one of the most promising electronica newcomers around the European music scene. In four years, they had more than 200 live performances in 25 countries. The debut LP, The Odyssey won the Hungarian Grammy in the best electronic music album category. Their long-awaited sophomore album, titled Colourwave, made their name on the international level, and now they release ‘Unimaginable’ featuring Sarah Jay Hawley, who was the vocalist of the legendary Massive Attack album, Mezzanine

“Take You to The Sea” – claims about their compositions. Belau (Peter Kedves and Krisztian Buzas) is a band that tries to provide shelter for the modern human through their music – representing the path to self-awareness through the depth of the individual – by making modern and elegant electronic beats with longing lyrics driven for the solace of the mind. Forever inspired by the fundamental elements of nature, especially the infinite sea. 

The duo had many international successes. In the last years, they played more than 200 shows in 25 countries and impressed audiences at renowned festivals like Primavera, Eurosonic, Electric Castle, Sziget, and SXSW – to name just a few. Belau was supported by radios like BBC Radio 1, Triple J or KEXP and mediums like Clash Music, Billboard, The Line of Best Fit, or Rolling Stone. Their debut album won the Hungarian Grammy Award, the second one streamed by millions and had massive radio successes.

Belau is back with a new single called ‘Unimaginable’ featuring a soulful English art-pop electronica artist, Sarah Jay Hawley, who was the vocalist of the legendary Massive Attack album, Mezzanine. The vocal was recorded by Martin Smith who also worked with Bombay Bicycle Club, Bob Sinclar, Jarvis Cocker, and Groove Armada. “As long as we give it to ourselves, there comes a point when we realize how much more difficult it is to sustain the unsustainable illusion around us than to simply become ourselves. Beyond this point, we simply no longer wish to be other than what lies within us. From the starting perspective of this process – as the title of the song states – the end result is unimaginable, but the path of the anxious person can be purification itself, and there is certainly a way out of the infinitely hopeless. The music video sets a fine example of this process. For us, it was a huge honour that Sarah said yes to our request and we could have a really special underwater video for it. We feel that the song, the lyrics, the music video and the creators are now in a wonderful harmony” – said the electronica duo about the new single which is a dreamy soulful R’n’B hymn.

Belau who’s currently working on its third LP. Hungary’s No.1 musical export good, Belau will continue its European tour in 2023 including some club shows and summer festivals. You can always find all the updated information about the new dates or the special splatter vinyl release on their social pages.

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January 12, 2023 Singer Max Jury invokes pleasures with new song ‘Feel Free’

Singer Max Jury invokes pleasures with new song ‘Feel Free’

Image Credit: Yasmin Cowan

MAX IS BACK!  The most-recently-talked-about, American singer/songwriter and Iowa native Max Jury today announces his brand new third studio album Avenues – out March 31st.

The news follows the release of his infectious single Is This Love? – a duet with rising British star, Delilah Montagu – produced by London Grammar’s Dan Rothman. The track was warmly received by the UK Press: “The two voices intertwine like whiskey and ice, with the pair steering their music in a warming, organic, acoustic vibe” – Clash. I declared it “a folk earworm that gets better with every listen”, and The Star described the track as a “fab duet”.

Today also sees the release of a second track, the Nick Drake-esque – Feel Free. “This is a song about the creative process and all the peaks and valleys that come along with it. It’s dedicated to the people and places that have helped and inspired me along the way. “ 

Listen here.

Max has been travelling without moving, exploring without leaving, and getting ahead without getting out. And now, with his glorious third album, he’s taking us all with him, on a country-soul odyssey into the canyons of his mind. The American singer-songwriter is taking us down Avenues.

In the first year of the pandemic, Max bunkered down in North Carolina. He worked out of a studio run by an old friend next to his old friend’s parents’ house. True to form, Max started travelling once more. Destination… once again, London. Connecting with another new collaborator, Dan Rothman of London Grammar – they met after sharing mutual appreciation on Instagram – he realised he had even more songs ready to be fleshed out. Even more, journeys to share. Working too, with Jimmy Hogarth, the Grammy-winning, London and Dorset-based writer/producer (Amy Winehouse, Suzanne Vega, Paolo Nutini), Max sought to colour the vision he and Harden had sketched in North Carolina.

Peace of Mind’, is a tripped-out blast of folk-rock freakery: written with his partner in North Carolina, scuzzed up in the studio in London with Rothman. ‘Is This Love?’ and ‘Happiness To Myself’ is further products of the UK sessions.  Equally, other songs on the album were left as they were when he recorded them in North Carolina, notably ‘Is There A Light?’ – a symphonic wonder that starts off quite hymnal, and ends up like The Zombies.

 “Avenues is the album I’ve always wanted to make.” Max explains. “It’s the closest I’ve come to being my true self as an artist, and it re-inspired me to keep pursuing this whole music thing. It’s about self-reflection and discovery, it’s about rebirth, and it’s about not giving up on a dream. But most importantly it’s about being present for the journey.

 Max Jury is a footloose songwriter, a troubadour in the classic sense. Someone who’s always followed the music. Ahead of his self-titled 2016 debut Max Jury, Max set off for London, which marked the start of his unique musical journey.  The debut album went on to receive great critical acclaim, with the first single Numb connecting with new fans alike across the UK, France and America, garnering more than 40 million global streams to date. 

For his second album, 2019’s Modern World, Max decamped to Los Angeles to work with award-winning producer, Robin Hannibal (Kendrick Lamar, Little Dragon).  However, the Covid 19 pandemic descended soon after the album’s release, bringing the campaign to a halt before it had a chance to get started.

Max returns to London early in 2023 for a residency at The Slaughtered Lamb with a hat trick of special headline shows and a few surprises.

Tickets are on sale HERE.

Settle down and lean into the yearning, restless, reassuring and wholly wonderful sounds of the first tastes of his third album, from a musician who’s still roaming far by digging deep. It just might be the best trip you take this year.

Avenues tracklisting:

Real World

Is This Love? (ft. Delilah Montagu)

Peace Of Mind

Avenues

Happiness To Myself

Feel Free

Love Too Fast

Is There A Light?

Not Over You

All Along The Way

Follow Max Jury:

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December 5, 2022 Synthian foursome LADYTRON unveils new video

Synthian foursome LADYTRON unveils new video

Image via publicist

For Immediate Release: Revered synth quartet Ladytron recently premiered the lead single ‘City Of Angels’ from their upcoming Time’s Arrow LP, earning praise from Flood for its “rich, industrial textures and utopian, shoegaze melodies”, Brooklyn Vegan on its “motorik rhythms” and Spin for its “icy synth-powered sound”. Today, they unveil the track’s haunting video thriller, directed by Manuel Nogueira, just in time for Halloween.

As the band have often said: “Where we are from it is always Halloween.” While the song inverts sensuous imagery into a vision of the future collapse of cultural memory, the visual infuses these themes into a beautifully chilling setting. It’s a choreographed musical thriller inspired by cult favourites Roeg and Argento, shot in the brutalist mansion of architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha. The band haunts the set that surrounds lead actress Bianca Comparato, the star of the Netflix science fiction drama 3%, who brings her supernatural acting skills to the forefront as she plays a photographer entranced and drawn in by a mysterious force – the next A24 horror hit waiting to happen! Bianca comments,  “I’m such a fan of Ladytron – I was lucky enough to be in the music video…the whole experience was a dream come true”.

This is not the first time Ladytron has released a video around Halloween. Reminiscent of J.G. Ballard and video artist Chris Cunningham, 2019’s Deadzone, directed by regular collaborator Bryan M. Ferguson, depicts two survivors of a car crash interlocked in a morbid post-modern dance. The scene opens on two vehicles that have collided head-on. Wired Mag said, “Really working the Ballardian in this one.” Additionally, the concept for 2008’s Ghosts was inspired by Stephen King’s Christine, while Mirage was heavily influenced by 1970s occult thrillers like the Wicker Man.

City of Angels” is the first single from Ladytron’s upcoming album, Time’s Arrow, returning to their themes/motifs of beauty, disposability and fragility of the culture that surrounds us, and the exhilaration of freeing yourself from those structures. Listeners can expect crystalline melodies enveloped in icy textures and rippling arpeggios, shoegaze, disco, and industrial sounds that combine in their signature electro-pop style. 

ABOUT LADYTRON

Ladytron are:

Helen Marnie

Mira Aroyo 

Daniel Hunt

Reuben Wu

Forming in Liverpool in the late 90s and taking their name from the gloriously blank Roxy Music track, Ladytron’s debut album 604 was released a year ahead of 2002’s Light&Magic with Witching Hour in 2005 – “a quantum leap record” said Pitchfork. The group were lauded as leaders of the new electro-pop and electroclash scenes then flourishing, and Light&Magic went on to be influential, for both independent and mainstream electronic-pop music which followed.

Next up, 2008’s Velocifero, before 2011’s more serene, dreamy Gravity the Seducer and the cue for a deserved break which lasted years longer than imagined. Along the way they wrote and produced for other artists, including Lush and Christina Aguilera. The group reconvened in 2019 for an album that Q Magazine called “near perfection”, with Mojo insisting that in “Dark times, Ladytron soundtrack them beautifully”. GQ described it as “Formidable machine music, full of urgency and menace.” While NPR posited that “Ladytron seems enraptured at the idea of change, and of new beginnings in the face of a possible fiery end”.

Full Tracklist for Time’s Arrow

City of Angels

Faces

Misery Remember Me

Flight From Angkor

We Never Went Away

The Night

The Dreamers

Sargasso Sea

California

Time’s Arrow

Ladytron UK Dates

March 10th, 2023 – Glasgow, SWG3

March 11th, 2023 – Liverpool, Camp & Furnace

March 12th, 2023 – London, Koko

Follow LADYTRON:

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