Saturday, 4 April 2020

MUSIC REVIEW: New single by Scenius:Wild And Wooly

I recently reviewed the debut single from Scenius, namely “Glass Rain” – this single “Wild and Wooly” is the follow up. The band is essentially a collaboration between Steve Whitfield from Leeds and Fabrice Nau of Angers in France.

Their first single was quite a minimalistic track – some vintage synths with a modern mix and some really melancholy vocals from Nau. This single is quite different.

“Wild and Wooly” is much more complex, it retains that whole retro electronic feel which is clearly the bread and butter for these guys. It harps back to those days in the '80s where bands were producing this type of material week after week. I likened the last single to work from the Human League, here Nau’s vocal reminds me a lot of OMD’s Andy McCluskey which in my world is very high praise.

The track has many more layers than their first single but they have retained that element of likeable pop music that is required in this genre. “Wild and Wooly” has a distinctive melody that makes your mind drift into a different world – a world where you feel isolated but somehow in touch with your own emotions. It is very hard to describe that feeling but it makes you want to listen again and again – it is addictive.

A friend of mine asked me whether I enjoyed Scenius because I am a big fan of the electronic era of music. I thought long and hard before answering and there is an element of truth in that statement but there is more to this music than simply replicating that time in the '80s and the potential of where this can go is limitless.

If any of you read my review of “Glass Rain” then you will be aware that I loved it. The fact of the matter is that “Wild and Wooly” has moved Scenius to a new level already. I have heard that they are planning at least another single in the next few months and an album later this year. I can’t remember being this excited about a new band / project for many years and I urge everyone to check out Scenius as soon as they can – I sincerely hope that live dates follow when the world returns to normality and social gatherings are possible.

Reviewer - John Fish

NEWS: New single by Raines described as 'cinematic folk-infused pop'

Raynes is a transatlantic trio made up of two Americans and a Brit. Now based in Los Angeles, Mat Charley and Joe Berger, both born and raised in North Dakota, met UK native Mark Race through Instagram after an extensive search for the final piece of this project. The geographically unlikely three combine their unique and complementary strengths to form an artistically authentic band, integrating elements of modern pop with classically Americana instrumentation. Their ability to blend pianos and synths, pounding drums and sophisticated vocals, and string arrangements with acoustic guitars and mandolins results in an impactful, one-of-a-kind style.

Following the release of their debut single ‘Lemon Drop’ the trio are back with yet another banger. "Come My Way" is a simple and straightforward song narrating the desire and feelings you have towards a loved one. The band reveal, "There’s something of an 'us against the world' quality to it, naive and young and probably foolish, but motivated by nothing but love." Sonically, the song draws much of its inspiration from world music - taikos, toms and shakers blended with acoustic folk instruments. "We feel like the production and instrumentation is quintessentially us; from the mandolins and violins to the cinematic synths, harmonies and gang vocals, it basically has all our favorite sounds and sonic flavors packed into three minutes and eighteen seconds." admit the three-piece. 

Raynes' sound has been compared to the arena-filling choruses of Coldplay, the Americana instrumentation of Mumford and Sons and the harmonic complexity of the Beach Boys. Raynes call this inimitable fusion “expensive folk”––folk instrumentation which incorporates very obvious elements of pop production, ultimately creating a slicker and shinier sound than straight-down-the-middle folk. “Even with all of the more exotic or unusual components, it’s really just pop music at its core,” reveals the band. 

There are recurring lyrical motifs running through the music of Raynes––heads and hearts, blood and bones, sugar and salt, sun and rain, and wine and water, among many others. There are also a number of musical ideas and elements that repeat in many of their songs, such as atmospheric synth tones, violin and mandolin counterpoints, and world-inspired percussion. But there’s not really one thematic throughline other than “the human condition” and all that comes with it––longing, confusion, cowardice and despair, but also joy, hope, growth, and of course love. Some songs are inspired by Bible stories, Greek myths, or historical events, and some are more personal, direct, and intimate.

With a catalog of songs, ready to unveil one by one, Raynes continues to grace audiences with their robust folky foot-stompers, introspective ballads, and pure pop sugar.


NEWS: New video released for Swedish alt pop singer JANOS for his single "Sicky/Sticky"

Swedish born artist JANOS spends his time between the streets and pubs of Oslo and London. Fusing beautiful pop melodies, soulful vocals and explosive energy, the pop-punk soul artist delivers listeners with a fresh, contemporary sound. From fragile, heartfelt ballads to funky upbeat anthems, JANOS tells a story relating to the highs and lows of our generation.

JANOS’ message is one of strength and self-empowerment. After years of performing with other bands, the Swedish artist finally took the leap to go it alone, setting him free to create the music that is true to who he is. With the desire to mix organic sounds with elements of R&B, pop and rock, JANOS was able to create an entirely unique sound. Inspired by the likes of Daft Punk, Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak, JANOS has crafted an infectious and dance-worthy sound, rich with colour and oozing with euphoric surges.

The musician starts 2020 off with a new release, incorporating elements of JANOS’ new found love for jazz and soul. The infectious ‘Sicky/Sticky’ which has been a huge crowd pleaser at live performances for it’s uplifting feel good vibe, is the first track to be recorded with a horn section. The big, bold brass sound, along with soulful vocals and funky guitars, creates the ultimate groove-fuelled track. ‘Sicky/Sticky’ narrates trying to hide from your worries with drugs and alcohol, while still hoping it's not too late to reach your dreams.

JANOS has been applauded by fans and critics across the globe, receiving notoriety from prestigious publications and renowned radio stations including the BBC. 2020 is set to be an exciting year for this artist on the rise.