Hello and welcome back to another 'My Thoughts' blog post of which, this is a very positive one from recent posts of late! Alas, it's something I couldn't keep locked in as I listen to the latest singles by Black Foxxes.
In eager anticipation for the album release this Friday (16th March), I wanted to put my thoughts out there as to why Black Foxxes and their new album 'Reidi' will be a revival for rock music. It's about time someone brought something out that, A. got me very excited for their release and B. released some mature rock music that everyone should listen to.
So, yes this is a Black Foxxes appreciation blog post, but if you have a listen to their singles they've released for this new album, I think you'd understand where I am coming from. Firstly, why Black Foxxes and what makes them stand out so much to me as a rock band, there's thousands, why this band?
Since discovering them in February 2017, I've been blown away by their mature rock sound. Their sound is very hard to mimic and being a three piece band also makes it even more impressive. The reason a call it 'mature rock' is because they blend heavy rock with melodic rock and produce this 'Black Foxxes' sound. Currently there aren't many bands within this heavy rock realm, it's mostly punk and pop-punk, but then to add the element of melodic shouting too just completes it!
Now when I say melodic shouting from Mr Mark Holley, people would instantly turn off. Think of someone singing but belting their notes out with so much passion it develops these notes into an additional rasp in the voice. It's also refreshing to hear a vocalist put everything from their vocals into the music too. Pushing it's boundaries, a song like "River" is a perfect example. The melodic shouting compliments the heavy vibes of this song. Mark knows when to belt those notes out and when to control and sing for those quieter sections.
Music has been influenced over the last few years by electronic sounds. There's needs and wants for this sound and you have to experiment a lot with your traditional sound to get it right. Sadly, this is not the case for most bands. I respect Black Foxxes for keeping their traditional rock sound, keep it up lads.
"River" was the turning point for me to realise that this band was something special. Do go listen to it and then come back for the second half of this post about their new album. I forgot to mention that 'River' is from their DEBUT album...their debut and they're pushing music like this out!? You can find 'River' here and enjoy!
Right, now your mind has been blown, let's get onto some of the music from 'Reidi' that's to be released on the 16th March 2018. What the band have done on this record is kept their ethos of a big sound for a three piece band, but added subtle elements to make it sound even bigger. Heavier guitar riffs and trumpet sections in songs like 'JOY', catchier guitar hooks in 'Saela' and the the big one...
'Breathe' is the new records 'River'. The huge sound on the song along with a string section at the end just shows the enormous capabilities of this band. Listening to this song you get the feeling big things are happening for the lads and rightly so. Anyone who listens to 'Breathe' will think "okay these boys mean business". I haven't even heard the whole record yet, but they've released 5 singles and it's already going to be hard to knock off the top spot of The Music Scout Album Of The Year 2018. Even with some of my favourite artists releasing music this year like Frank Turner, it'll be difficult to knock it off it's perch.
Bring on 16th March and the revival of rock.
Ta Rah x
Hello folks! I'm back again for another 'my thoughts' blog post and this one is going to probably be my most controversial yet.
As you can see from the title, it's going to be about the remixing of songs and why I just don't understand why they're so popular. Firstly, some disclaimers. This isn't about EVERY remix possible and I'm preferably talking about remixes that change the beat/tempo of a song, not remixes of songs like Despacito with JB where they just added his vocals. Now that I have put that out there, let's go!
So, let's lay down some examples that I've heard recently to put this into context a bit more. The remixes I'm comparing to are: Ed Sheeran "Thinking Out Loud" (Alex Adair Remix), Sam Smith's "Too Good At Goodbyes" (Galantis Remix) and Clean Bandit "Symphony" (R3hab Remix). These, albeit popular songs, are a perfect example of what points I am about to make so bare with me.
So, why do I care about these remixes to popular songs and why should I shout about it. My personal opinion is that all of these songs have no value added to the songs. A remix should be adding something exciting, vibrant and something creative, but there's none of these things added. It really annoys me how these 'remixes' are accepted by the artist and the label (probably more the label) as something to shout about. It's another point to make about just money being made and not about the quality of the songs.
The 'Symphony' song is just adding some electronic elements over the top of it, Ed's and Sam's songs have just been sped up...where's the creativity in that?! I'm clearly in the wrong business if all it takes is to just speed up a song to earn a decent wage from a song...
What happened to people covering songs and those artists being proud of them covering their song to such a stunning level, the artists themselves would rave about and ask their audience to check it out. How many do you see themselves (a video of them saying it, not a tweet their PR team has tweeted) talking about the remixes of their songs...very few. Even so, they don't go 'oh this is an insane remix of our song'. It's just more of reason why pop music is so bland right now.
Now the reason i get so up-tight about this is because these are a simple change to a song that is earning lots of plays and lots of money when there's artists out there who are putting everything to get a career. Yet these guys are using computers and push of a button to gain millions. Yes the artist gains some commission, but it's not fair and not right. If they were ingenious and interesting remixes (and there are some) then fair enough, the musical genius shines through, but simply speeding a song up doesn't do justice for me.
I hope I'm explaining my views in the best way possible. Yes it's a dig at DJ's and people who remix, but i'm simply just asking people like R3hab and Alex Adair to just try change it up, experiment and really develop those musical cells to create something unique to bring an interesting side to the song that the artist would never of thought of.
It's time to end these crappy remixes of sped up songs and call it a 'remix'. Let's get creative folks and wow people with what musicians are really made of!
Ta Rah x
Hello again! I'm back for another 'my thoughts' blog post and this time it's looking into an interview with Muse lead singer and guitarist Matt Bellamy with his BBC News article that was posted a few days ago.
The title for the article was:
"Muse: 'The guitar is no longer a lead instrument'"
Being in a 'rock' band themselves I thought this was a rather strange thing to say. The article is a bit 'click-baity' (as is everything these days), but it did raise some interesting points. In a nutshell, Matt Bellamy was saying that guitars aren't part of the leading line with songwriting and the general sound of pop music anymore. It's now mostly lead by electronic equipment and electronic drums...but that's just in pop music, not everything.
The other point he wanted to raise is that Muse are always following the trends for what's new and what's popular at the moment, which, to me, isn't selling the band very well or giving the band a good name. Now, don't get me wrong, I really like Muse, they're a clever and talented band, but when you say "oh we're just following what's popular out there", it does tarnish their ethos a little.
If every artist ever started to do 'what was trendy currently' then we would just be going in a loop and in a cycle. Personally, I'd go mad! How about instead of following trends, you create your own trends. Explore something outside of the box and don't be a sheep. It's one of my life motto's, be yourself!
Getting back to the guitar part of the article. Matt is saying that guitars are no longer at the forefront of pop music. This may be true, but the problem we face is not that there aren't enough artists using guitars in their music, because a lot of songs are written with a guitar, but are now transposed onto a machine instead.
The problem is a lot of big labels and artists are thinking that it's not selling as well. It's an old form of music that everyone isn't really into anymore (not true). This next passage is lyrics from my favourite artist Frank Turner from his song 'Four Simple Words' and it sums this point up perfectly:
Somebody told me with music with guitars
Was going out of fashion and I had to laugh
This sh*t wasn't fashionable when I fell in love
If the hipsters move on, why should I give a f**k
Why, Mr.Bellamy should you leave guitars behind because they aren't 'in fashion' anymore. This goes for any rock band (it's also hard to define a rock band when the likes of Twenty One Pilots and Imagine Dragons are considered to be in this category *sigh*), why should you care where pop music is going. Soon enough everyone (hopefully) will be over this little blip of average music we're enjoying right now.
Anyone who is smart enough should know that vintage comes back around. Look at vinyls!? They've seen the biggest margin of profit since 1991! Sony are producing vinyls themselves again, it's making a massive comeback! People enjoy vintage and guitars and rock bands will never die out. So instead of joining the bandwagon, give your genre a nice hoist of the trousers and give it a good ol' crack!
The moral of this is to not be a sheep. Be yourself, be unique and be creative.
Don't become Imagine Dragons...please, god don't!
Ta Rah x
Welcome back to The Music Scout blog folks and boy have I got an interesting, yet probably controversial topic for you guys. It'll none the less be a great read for you all and I hope you can all see vision in my opinions of the nominations for this years BRIT awards. So without further a do, let's get into this...
This BRIT's awards has always been the focal point to showcase some of Britain's best music from the last year or so. From best male/female artists to recognition of the best artist video voted by the public. It's an exciting event for British music, but personally, it doesn't showcase the music we've produced in the last year in the best way.
Obviously you have to have the heavyweights in there that have slammed the charts and broken records such as Ed Sheeran (unfortunately), but there's something missing. When I look at these nominations, it's mostly a lot of artists who've had breakthrough singles played heavily throughout the year (thanks Heart Fm...). I get the feeling that these nominations are created by a board that put a list together of the biggest artists/singles and albums of 2017 and make the nominations out of those.
I do give credit where it's due where we're starting to see some more left-field choices being made for some of these nominations such as LCD Soundsystem for International Artist. That was a nice surprise, but there needs to be more like this. We can't just have all these really well known songs/albums/artists just dominate the BRIT Awards. It shrouds and covers all of the amazing, hard graft work that goes into this industry below it. These are just the artists at their pinnacle currently thanks to some sheer luck, a major label funding their success and people enjoy basic pop music currently.
We are a proud nation of our music. The independent venues that have a legendary status, the countless tours that go on as well as music festivals. All of these aren't celebrated currently in the British Music Awards...The BRITISH Music Awards. It should encompass everything we are proud of!
Independent music venues should have their own award for their choices and talent they decide to put on. It's a dying breed right now of which over the last year, over 20 have closed down which is a real shame. It's a market that the BRITs could really support because the artists they're nominating wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for those venues. So celebrate them.
What the BRIT's should also be commemorating is the radio stations too. Us Brit's love listening to radio stations and podcasts alike. We have such a variety of stations, nationally and independently that there should be an award for a pioneering station in that year. Even if that station get's the privilege of choosing the artists for a specific award. Just to commemorate and celebrate the work and importance of UK radio stations.
It's showing that the BRIT's really lacks the celebratory edge that it could potentially have. It's just such a shame that it just focuses on such a small (albeit successful) part of the business, when there is so much more to celebrate in the world of music.
One other thing before I list off what awards the BRIT's could use in the future. A breakthrough act is not someone who's amassed millions or billions of streams. Breakthrough means there weren't existent to the industry before these BRIT awards and have excelled in the year. Loyle Carner is the only one in that category who fits.
So, my awards that should be created for the BRIT Awards 2019:
So those are an example of some nominations that should be made. British music is more than just the chart music and who get's more than 10 million streams in a day for when their album drops. We're much more than this and we do more for independent music/venues than any other country. So let's celebrate this and broadcast it to the world that we're the best in creating fantastic music.
I hope you all have your own opinions on this and I hope you agree to a certain degree. Thanks for your time for reading this rather long blog post!
Ta Rah x
DON'T SELL YOUR TICKETS YET PEOPLE!!!
Upon reading the title, you're probably all wondering what I am talking about and where I'm going with this theory...correct. Hold on folks, this all stems from the Reading and Leeds festival announcements that were made today.
So below is the first line up announcement of Reading and Leeds festival 2018 and people aren't too happy about the rather average and albeit 'safe' headliners too.
I've made the poster really big so you can all see the artists on web and phone for you lovely people.
People are raging that the line up focuses now more on grime and R&B rather than the more traditional rock line-up is no surprise. Then again, I do understand why they have done this, rock is not as popular as it was and these other genres are where the monies at unfortunately.
To all those annoyed and pissed off people, I have a solution for you and for you NOT to sell your tickets. Yes, the main line up is a bit shady, but look further down the bill and you have fantastic artists such as Dream Wife, Pale Waves and Beartooth currently on the bill. This is just the first announcement, hold your horses until the smaller bands are announced!
Reason is because you'll probably have a brilliant time going from tent to tent finding new and amazing music which arguably is much better quality than that of some of the main stage or evening artists. This brings me onto the point about this blog post.
So with this in mind, here's what I am thinking. With major festivals arguably setting up worse line ups than say 5 years ago and before. This begs the question of, if you're going, who are you going to see? You're certainly not going to be going to the main artists because they're boring...so, you naturally go to other tents, discover new artists. This is where it might be better for new and emerging artists to apply and get onto the scene of the major festivals now more than ever!
I know this wouldn't be on a grand scale, but this definitely would be something of a substitute for the festivals goers who are disappointed with the major line up. This could flock more audiences away from big stages and to more intimate grounds. Plus with the whole 'save our independent music venues' being a major topic currently, this might help. If you see an unknown artist at a festival and really enjoyed their set, you're likely to go see them in the future afterwards. Of which they'll probably play an independent venue, which would mean more ticket sales.
It's very much in the grand scheme of things per se, but I like to think optimisticly and this definitely got me thinking in a more positive light about the whole situation of the major artists and the downgrade in quality.
Here's to smaller artists, smaller venues and a much better time being in the audience !
Ta Rah x
Welcome back to the blog folks! Here are three releases for the week that you all should go feast your ears on! At least one is a little strange, but it's definitely the most creative of the three selected for this week and this comes from..
1. Field Music - Open Here
This album blends itself nicely into something that should've been released in the 80s as a very experimental record. Field Music take every element possible into all 11 songs on this record. From flutes, bottles, popping noises, orchestras to your standard four piece alternative band set up.
It's definitely number 1 on the list for how intrigued I've been by this album! It's definitely not something I would jump into right away, but it's got a specific charm to it that's rather addictive. Keep an eye out for one of their songs on the podcast soon!
2. Hookworms - Microshift
This album has a unique blend of looking into the future with it's sounds, but not blasting off into space too much with it's original indie tone. There is definitely an influence of synthesizers here , but in a melodic, space way. It compliments the whole album nicely and doesn't be too brash about using it throughout the album.
Some interesting melodic hooks are present in this album too. Overall, it's a solid album and one for people who enjoy electronic alternative/indie music. This is one for those lovers of Pet Shop Boys that collabs with a really cool indie band!
3. Red River Dialect - Broken Stay Open Sky
This album is perfect for a lazy Sunday. Folk group Red River Dialect never rush their songs. The opening track "Juniper/The View" has an intro of 2 minutes and 42 seconds. It's a 7 minute folk track and it definitely makes me want to kick back and enjoy this record.
The violin/fiddle in this album really staples their sound throughout the record. Each song is also over 6 minutes long which does mean there are only 7 songs on this album which is the only downfall. Although break it down to your traditional 3-4min song length and you'll have 14 songs. Although the structure in these songs is astonishing, no need to rush to finish in 5 minutes. These 6-7 minute folk songs are a real breath of fresh air!
That's all for this week guys, check back next week for another 3 new releases to check out for the week!
Until then...I guess you could check out the podcast episodes ;)
Ta Rah! x
Hello and welcome back to The Music Scout blog!
This time around it's New Music Friday so what better way to celebrate than to tell you all about the new music I will specifically be listening to today from 3 different bands.
1. Dream Wife - Dream Wife
Their debut album is finally here! After many single releases with the likes of "Fire", "Let's Make Out" and "Somebody", their debut album is available for all to hear! They were extremely well supported at The Great Escape festival in 2017 and have been making waves since.
The three piece female rock band are set to light up 2018 with this record and the year of touring coming up! Let's see if this album makes it into the top 10 final list in November? It's a strong contender so early in the year already.
2. Khurangbin - Con Todo El Mundo
Another band I have been following since their discovery and are known as one of the tightest bands on the festival circuit. Still yet to see these guys live, but sooner rather than later would be nice!
This album comes off the back of their previous successful album 'The Universe Smiles Upon You' and carries in their unique sound and tradition for 'Con Todo El Mundo'. A slightly more Spanish flare to this album, but still got those tight grooves for you to chill out to none the less. Songs especially like "Como Te Quiero" and "Lady And Man" are particularly chilled out.
3. The Lost Brothers - Halfway Towards A Healing
The Lost Brothers are back with their 5th studio album and this acoustic/folk album is perfect for Sunday afternoons. It's got the vibe of old Iron & Wine albums which is my personal favourite era from those boys.
The combination of the acoustic guitars with the minimalistic drums really works with their almost exposed sound. There's not too much going on in the songs, yet everything is going on at the same time. It's a fantastic blend and their vocals can sooth you into a slumber of musical greatness.
Thanks for coming back to the blog and the podcast too, it's great to see so many people engaging with the blog as well as the podcast!
So next week is a big one for the podcast...Episode 50!
I thought, what better way to reward my viewers, readers and listeners than to give you some insight details on what's going to happen on the episode when it drops next week! Well...I can't tell you everything, but I will tell you the first song being played and also who the interview is going to be with!
So firstly...the first song being played on Episode 50...it comes from a band close to my heart.
Black Foxxes - Sæla
These beauts are back with new music and I'm surprised I haven't played this single already! Dropping this single last year, it's made me very excited for their album when it drops Spring 2018. It's going to be big, it's going to be loud and above all...it's going to be a contender for Album Of The Year 2018 already.
These boys stunned me with their 2016 album "I'm Not Well", I discovered the album via Spotify in 2017 though so it didn't count towards my end of year list for 2017. Although if it were, it would've come in at either 1 or 2... I can't decide! So get ready for this beast to start us off!
Conducted today and it's sounding brilliant, I will be chatting to lead singer of Irish indie band KARMS. Colm was an absolute delight to talk to and I have high hopes for this band this year. Their first EVER gig was supporting The Amazons. I huge gig for anyone, let alone your first gig!
We chat about their latest EP they dropped last September, their intriguing writing process to creating their songs as well as the album artwork, a bit about Foo Fighters and you'll get to hear 2 songs from them in the course of next week.
So that's all the info I can give you at the moment guys, but it'll drop next Thursday on the 18th Janurary and I can't wait to share it with you guys!
Thanks for the support.
Ta Rah x
Hello once again readers!
Thanks for coming back and reading the second blog post of the podcast! In this time we've released the first episode of 2018 and with another coming up this Thursday, it's going to sound a little different!
This is the reason why...
Episode 49 is going to sound a lot cleaner and more professional too. This is one step to improving the podcast as we try to improve the overall ethos of the podcast too!
We're already over 200 downloads into January and it's only been 7 days so it's looking great so far! Thanks for all your support.
Let me know what you think of the new microphone and the quality of my speech when Ep.49 drops on the 11th Jan!
Ta Rah x
With 2017 almost over, it's time to look ahead to 2018 and what the podcast has in store as well as my own musical tastes and what I'll be looking forward to in the year to come. Plus a sneak peek at the very first artist and song played on the first podcast episode of 2018!
Firstly, if you haven't noticed already on social media (and above), the podcast logo has changed to a brand spanking new one!
Secondly, there will be weekly podcasts out and maybe more! With some life changes recently, I'll be looking to potentially be releasing some more episodes in the week, but what to fill this with...? Interviews! Yes that's right folks, I'll be looking to conduct a lot more interviews for the podcast next year. Whether they be my next door neighbour or a global superstar, over the course of this year I have really enjoyed doing interviews with people such as Damian Keyes, Kev Minney and Ten Minute Detor and will continue to come 2018 so keep an eye out for more interviews which will lead to more episodes of the podcast.
This year has really been fantastic for my new music searches and findings. I've found some phenomenal artists in 2017. Some have 200 streams and some over 2,000,000 streams, it doesn't matter, it's the quality that matters.
This year will be the same. To continuously search for new artists for the podcast (otherwise there would be no podcast!), but one thing I want to start looking at more this year is exploring undiscovered golden oldies of music. Not necessarily for the podcast, but more my own listening habits. I know a lot of music from the past already, but quite specific unknown bands I'm talking.
A few weeks back BBC Radio 6 Music put out a tweet saying "What are the unsung albums of the 90s?" and reading through the comments, I saved a load of them on Spotify and had a listen to quite frankly some outstanding music. All of which I'd not heard before, so i'm making it my resolution for music in 2018 to listen and delve into some fantastic music of the past.
The artists/albums I found through the tweet were:
The Bluetones - 'Expecting To Fly'
Longpigs - 'The Sun Is Out'
One Dove - 'Morning Dove White'
The Verve - 'Storm In Heaven'
It's amazing that just one tweet can give you over 4 hours of undiscovered music!
First Song Of 2018:
Alright folks, here is the song and artist that will feature on Ep.48 of The Music Scout...
Circa Survive - "Lustration" (The Amulet 2017)
This band was introduced to me this year by a very good friend of mine and I've been interested in their music since, but only recently have I delved into their music properly and boy this band is a treat. Their beautiful blend of heavy rock with some blood good songwriting makes them heavy weights in the modern rock genre.
Not only this, they really put a lot of effort into everything. Artwork, music, music videos, they're an incredibly creative band! To the right is the artwork for their new album 'The Amulet' and this is one of seven albums they've released. These boys are really coming to age with their music and reaching a lot of people with their impressive sound.
So with that, let's head into 2018 with our ears at the ready for some fantastic new music and I'll see you all on the flip side.
Ta Rah x