Discovering Sundara Karma

Word and mouth is possibly one of the most popular and definitely the most cost effective ways of promotion. Music always being something people want to share with others, it is possibly the industry to benefit from this the most. Although the English indie pop/rock band Sundara Karma have not been around for that long I’m not sure I would have heard about them had it not been for a friend. This would have been a great loss on my part as I am shocked I’ve never listened to them before. Just from the first song I listened to I knew I needed to share this musical experience with more people.

Beginning in 2011 and hailing from Reading, England, the band consists of Oscar Pollock on guitar and vocals, Ally Baty on lead guitar, Dom Cordell on bass and Haydn Evans on drums. The sound of the band is something that can be likened to ‘classic indie’, that something slightly different that doesn’t quite fit into the mainstream but pushes the boundaries of a niche market at the same time.

Back when both Pollock and Evans were still in secondary school they decided to start playing music together, forming a few bands that fell through until some time later. Meeting Baty and Cordell seemed to help them find that little something the other two were missing and birthed the creation that is Sundara Karma. The band take their name from Sanskrit words meaning ‘Beautiful Karma’ which could be seen as an overall description of their music. A beautiful sound that can instantly brighten your mood and just brush off the worries of the day because that’s just life.

In July 2013 Sundara Karma released their debut single ‘Freshbloom’ on SoundCloud which is a fast paced song perfect to jam out to when getting ready for a night out. They take the idea of a monotonous tune and turn it into something truly artistic as the beat constantly builds to the chorus before mellowing momentarily and hitting back hard. ‘Freshbloom’ alone embodies a sound that will inspire and seduce you with a combination of a heavy beat and Pollock’s echoing voice. Sundara Karma have been described as indie art and their lyrics are undeniable evidence of this claim. ‘Freshbloom’ is an artistic combination of poetic words that seem to describe a night the narrator never wants to end, how they want to ‘live another moonlight’ and ‘see smoke dance through the air.’

Listen to ‘Freshbloom’ here:

The artistic beauty of ‘Freshbloom’ led to the band supporting Swim Deep for their UK tour in 2013 along with Wolf Alice as well as making their debut performance at Reading Festival the same year. By March 2014 they released their second single, ‘Cold Heaven’, on Chess Club Records before going on to release two more singles later that year. One of those singles, ‘Indigo Puff,’ was used in an Australian TV ad in 2015 for Mercedes-Benz. After a few years of slow single releases the band came together to release their first EP, EP I, in 2015 before being officially signed to Chess Club Records. Their first EP lead to a second, simply titled EP II, that featured singer-songwriter Marika Hackman in the song ‘Prisons to Purify.’

The slow building progress of their music has brought Sundara Karma to the growing rock star status they are being donned with today. After signing with Sony’s RCA label, the guys released their first fully fledged debut album Youth is Only Ever Fun in Retrospect earlier this year. The album hit number twenty-four on the UK Albums chart and led to the band being the support act for Two Door Cinema Club and Bastille. Youth is Only Every Fun in Retrospect is an example of modern age rock and continues the band’s reputation as a festival band. Each song being something that conjures the need to hear it live and no doubt viciously increase the demand for tour tickets. Sundara Karma have obviously taken a leaf out of Mumford and Sons book by creating music that will evoke happy memories and good moods no matter the song’s subject content. Tracks such as ‘Loveblood’ further push the band forward as artists with lyrics that explore love in a profoundly literary way.

Listen to ‘Loveblood’ here:

Before even learning anything about the band, ‘Happy Family’ from their debut album had me hooked and needing my next fix of the band’s music before the track had even finished. The sound of the track evokes visions of long road trips and festival nights with a beautifully simple guitar riff for the introduction. The vocals of the song are soothing and unique, soaring throughout the track in an almost angelic nature. ‘Happy Family’ lulls you into a trance you are quickly awakened from by the two minute point as the initial sound fades and hits back with a prominent drum beat that builds into something you can’t help but dance to. The song manages to be comforting and something to keep you on your toes simultaneously.

Listen to ‘Happy Family’ here:

Although Sundara Karma are slowly climbing the ladder of success they are no doubt on their way up. A band taking advantage of a growing festival mad world and bringing the effortless fun music of these events directly to their audience no matter where they are.








Review by Skye W. Winwood


The NaveBlues self-titled album is a new generation of blues music

When it comes to music some artists focus on sound whilst others are meticulous about lyrics, The NaveBlues are a band who seem to have found the perfect balance of both. Standing at a crossroads of music and managing to take both paths, the four piece Norwegian blues band are bringing back classic blues music with their own personal twist to keep things interesting. Consisting of bass, guitar and drums as the basis of their sound The NaveBlues will both shock and impress you with their peace, love and harmonica approach to music.

The band’s new album, named after themselves The NaveBlues, has a beautifully unique selling point in the form of lead singer Nave Pundik’s insane harmonica playing. Their lead track ‘Possess You’ is a perfect example of Nave’s vocal and instrumental talent for an instrument that hasn’t seen the spotlight for some years.

Watch the music video for ‘Possess You’ here:

‘Possess You’ is a spine tingling track that resonates with a similar sound to rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival and evokes images of a desert sky moving rapidly from day to night. The track begins with a guitar riff that is not that unlike something from The Foo Fighters before plunging deep into the pool of blues music. The first two minutes are a showcase of Nave’s rock star level harmonica playing that seems to sing as passionately as any voice could. The vibrating continuous notes soar high and low with an inclination that speaks beautiful words without any sound passing Nave’s lips. The song could work as a completely lyrical-less piece but Nave’s singing at the mid-way point drives home the message of the song. Nave’s vocals compliment his harmonica playing with the same inflection and vocal style that can be compared to Kristofer Dommin of the band Dommin and evokes a similar sound to Type O Negative’s Peter Steele; Nave’s bluesy rock voice is a perfect finisher for the blues inspired track. The song also showcases The NaveBlues potential to slip into other genres such as space rock as ‘Possess You’ also has Muse hints hidden within the sound.

The NaveBlues have also challenged musical conventions by covering Led Zeppelin’s ‘Thank You’ that continues the hint of space rock with their human adapting to a lonely life on mars music video.

Watch the music video here:

The NaveBlues push musical boundaries by taking the simple, plaintive song and turning it into something both visually and musically fantastical. Through the band’s adaption the song becomes something more intense than the original and works perfectly for the angle they decided to put on it. The pure passion for music this band embodies is encapsulated in ‘Thank You’ through the unbelievable harmonica solos and Nave’s rustic vocals overlapping with those of a soft female voice. Covering ‘Thank You’ further proves how The NaveBlues cannot be pigeonholed and will fly with ease between different genres such as rock, soul, indie and still manage to hold all the conventions of blues music.

The NaveBlues, and their new album, are the band to listen to for anyone who is a fan of musical genius and insane instrumental talent.









Review by Skye W. Winwood

Homerik are bringing their self-titled album just in time for Halloween

As September draws to a close Samhain approaches, causing the veil between worlds to thin dramatically and allow creatures like Homerik to pass into our world. The New York trio are bringing their new album Homerik with them after three years of meticulous crafting and splicing to unleash their twisted sound upon the masses.

Ken Candelas, Andrew Petriske and Obed Gonzalez have combined to create something uniquely dark and in some tracks even on the side of disturbing. Most bands and artists on the road to success have been influenced by a plethora of sounds and Homerik are not that much different as they have their feet in progressive, orchestral metal bands. However Homerik are also inspired by the malevolent sounds of the world throughout history that they have combined with their music to create something unnervingly raw. Even more unconventionally the band’s want to challenge modern art ranges also comes from twisted video games like Gears of War. These influences have allowed Homerik to highlight the darker side of humanity and take you through the plague-infested pastures you would otherwise glance the other way from.

Whether you want to or not their addictive debut album Homerik will drag you from track to track until your protesting cries turn into screams for more. Beginning with ‘Curse of the Black Nile’, an epic monstrosity incorporating lines from one of the most disturbing Ancient Egyptian texts (The Cannibal Hymn). The track has a regal elegance that slowly descends into something more sinister the longer it plays. Crescendo-ing into a rapid heavy metal drum beat and combining with a mixture of soft and aggressive spitting of lyrics. The guttural vocals are a combing sound of the bands Rammstein and Slipknot with a guitar riff giving the band a slightly Avenged Sevenfold sound. However despite these similarities they are only slight as Homerik have created something new by combining sounds and genres other before them have not. The album then moves even further into the macabre with ‘Unforgotten Kin’, a furiously dark tale about brothers mourning their deceased sibling trapped in limbo. The whole of Homerik embodies a fully orchestral sound that delves even darker than the similar orchestral band Within Temptation and push so strongly against musical barriers they could be breaking through into new territory. The album combines three interweaving vocalists in their ranks as well as guest sopranos to create a chorus seemingly of hundreds eerily floating through each track.

The lead track from the album, ‘A Song of the Night Part 1’ is a fitting example of the way Homerik are infecting music and taking no prisoners. The track begins as a soaring, almost magical ascent into an ethereal sound before plummeting back to the core of Homerik after about three minutes. Giving a sense of false security that the track takes full advantage of. ‘A Song of the Night Part 1’ can be summarised as a spiralling nightmare you can’t help but have over and over as the track becomes stuck in your head. The single seven minute track is long enough and infused with enough musical ability that it could be separated into two but the way the band have combined the different sounds is gothically beautiful. The track is also a perfect example of the band’s video game influence as it sounds like something that would be played on a lute in a tavern with many patrons gathering around to listen. The combination of soft and hard vocals paints the image of the narrator not understanding who they are or what is going on around them, causing them to descend into this world of no control as portrayed by the almost manic playing of both drums and guitar. A swaying hypnotic track that will keep you on your toes with it’s constant tempo and instrument changes. The including of ‘Part 1’ in the title could imply how the band plan to add to this track as they progress to complete the fable like story they have begun.









Review by Skye W.Winwood

It was the summer of 2009…

Summer has officially come to an end. School, university and work are all creeping up on us to blow away the hot summer breeze and sweep our carefree days under the rug of Autumn. Leaving nothing but our memories and the echo of songs long forgotten.

A common reaction to the passing of time is to reminisce and as I get older I find myself doing it more and more. I’m not old enough to have been born during the golden era of the 60s, the psychedelic era of the 70s or experimental era of the 80s and I was too young to appreciate the 90s until the early 2000s. Therefore I’ve decided to create a playlist of ten songs for one of the most memorable summers of my childhood and hope some of you can relate to the nostalgia.

Lady Gaga ft. Colby O’Donis – ‘Just Dance’

The song that started my (and many others) obsession with the American singer/songwriter Lady Gaga. A classic party tune that would guarantee to have anyone within the vicinity up and dancing. The R&B influenced, synth-pop, dance-pop single kicked off Gaga’s career in 2008 from her debut studio album Fame and received a Grammy nomination in 2009 for Best Dance Recording but lost out to Daft Punk for their just as icon ‘Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger.’ Gaga has described the song as a happy one and wanted it to help people going through hard times such as losing their jobs or homes. ‘Just Dance’ was written in ten minutes and still remains Gaga’s most famous single that has the power to transport you back to wherever you were when you first heard it.

Black Eyed Peas – ‘I Gotta Feeling’

The second single from their fifth album The E.N.D ‘I Gotta Feeling’ was produced by David Guetta and has become a part of music history for classic songs. Upon release of the upbeat dance pop song it hit #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chat only losing out on the number one spot to ‘Boom Boom Pow’ another song by the group. The song was nominated for Record of the Year at the 52nd Grammy Awards and won the Grammy for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. It was also nominated Song of the Year at the 2009 World Music Awards and therefore deserves a top spot on this playlist. ‘I Gotta Feeling’ samples the song ‘Take A Dive’ by Bryan Pringle and is built upon a heavy use of auto tune and futuristic synthesizers that was a theme throughout the whole album.

Beyoncé – ‘Single Ladies’

Through countless years Beyoncé has released phenomenal music that resonates with and drives her fans crazy. Nearly any song the American singer releases becomes an instant hit and ‘Single Ladies’ was no different. Creating also an iconic video that has provided us with both an artistic, dance infused visual and numerous parodies that can even reach the same calibre of professionalism. ‘Single Ladies’ won three Grammy Awards in 2010 including Song of the Year and has been considered the best song of both 2008 and the decade. It hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and has been certified quadruple platinum by the Recording Industry of America.

All American Rejects – ‘Gives You Hell’

A song on everyone’s lips in 2009, ‘Gives You Hell’ was the lead single from American rock band The All American Reject’s third studio album. Alongside ‘Dirty Little Secret’ it has been named the band’s most successful song to date and peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart as well as being certified platinum for four million shipments. The tongue in cheek song continues the band’s stereotypical ‘high school movie’ sound and contains drunken backing vocals so the chorus sounds like a ‘bunch of drunk assholes.’

Taylor Swift – ‘You Belong With Me’

Back before the media started taking bites out of Taylor Swift’s career she was a sweet country singer/songwriter who released songs about unrequited high school love. No matter your opinion on her now it cannot be denied ‘You Belong With Me’ has become a classic everyone knows the words to even if they are not sure when they learnt them. Swift has said the song was inspired after overhearing a male friend of hers arguing with his girlfriend on the phone. The pop song won Favourite Song at the 2010 Kids’ Choice Awards and was nominated for Song of the Year and Record of the Year at the Grammy Awards. The music video won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Female Video in 2009 and created the iconic Kanye West interruption during Swift’s acceptance speech.

3OH!3 – ‘Don’t Trust Me’

Although now becoming a ‘where are they now?’ kind of group, 3OH!3 were hugely popular back at the end of the 2000s with ‘Don’t Trust Me’ probably being their most popular song. The pop single was certified gold by the Recording Industry of America in 2009 and reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart as well as having huge mainstream success. The music video received a nomination in 2009 at the MTV Video Music Awards for Best New Artist but lost to Lady Gaga’s ‘Poker Face.’ 

Pink – ‘So What’

Released in 2008 from the American singer’s fifth studio album Funhouse, ‘So What’ has become nearly timeless in its popularity. The angry heartbreak lyrics are based on Pink’s separation from Carey Hart and infuse a musical fury that stays with you long after the track has ended. Although largely successful people were split on whether they thought it was an empowering single or just too childish to be taken seriously but critical acclaim won overall and has since been dubbed one of Pink’s most iconic songs. The song is a perfect performance marrying both Pink’s aggressive female empowerment as well as her silliness to not take herself too seriously. The song was nominated for a few awards and appropriately won Most Addictive Track at the 2008 MTV Europe Music Awards.

Owl City – ‘Fireflies’

Making a recent re-emergence in the online community Owl City’s ‘Fireflies’ is arguably still as loved and hated as it was back in 2008 when it was released. Possibly the marmite of music even those who don’t like the ‘bleepy synthline’ song have to admit how addictively catchy both the tune and the lyrics are. It was the debut single from the American electronica project and was described by Adam Young as ‘a little song about bugs and not being able to fall asleep at night.’ The single managed worldwide success and is something pure and simple that evokes nostalgia no matter your personal opinion on the track.

The Veronicas – ‘Untouched’

The Veronicas themselves are probably still quite unknown despite being active since 2006 but their debut single ‘Untouched’ is a tune nearly anyone will recognise. The electropop song has been compared to both Pink and Avril Lavigne by having a foot in both the alternative and pop music genres. The lyrics of the song relate to the Australian twins (Jessica and Lisa Origliasso) feelings about separation from loved ones more so than physical separation.

Boys Like Girls – ‘Love Drunk’

The last song on my Summer of 2009 playlist is the one that was probably played the most among myself and my friends, even to this day the opening causes a smile to break out across my face. ‘Love Drunk’ was the lead single from the album of the same name by rock/pop band Boys Like Girls in 2008 and peaked at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song received a mixed reception upon its release with some critics enjoying the pop/rock tune whilst others criticised it for its controversial similarity to The Killers ‘Somebody Told Me’ due to the choruses of both songs. The song became popular due also to the music video that featured singer/actress Ashely Tisdale from the first shot who makes all the boys in the video fall for her only to lead to a surprise ending.

Of course these are not all of the songs that made up the summer of 2009 so here are some honourable mentions:

Taylor Swift – ‘Love Story’

Jason Mraz – ‘I’m Yours’

Kanye West – ‘Heartless’

Soulja Boy Tell ’em feat. Sammie – ‘Kiss Me Thru The Phone’

Jay Sean feat. Lil Wayne – ‘Down’

T.I. feat. Rihanna – ‘Live Your Life’

Kelly Clarkson – ‘My Life Would Suck Without You’

Flo Rida – ‘Right Round’

Katy Perry – ‘Hot n Cold’

Shinedown – ‘Second Chance’

Jay-Z, Rihanna and Kanye West – ‘Run This Town’

Britney Spears – ‘Circus’

Beyonce – ‘Sweet Dreams’

Sean Kingston  – ‘Fire Burning’

Lady Gaga – ‘Paparazzi’

Jason DeRulo – ‘Whatcha Say’

Iyaz – ‘Replay’

Jay-Z and Alicia Keys – ‘Empire State Of Mind’

Shakira – ‘She Wolf’

Rihanna – ‘Disturbia’

Green Day – ‘21 Guns’

Katy Perry – ‘Waking Up In Vegas’


By Skye W.Winwood

Pink Milk will take you on a trip with their new album Purple

Pushing the boundaries of music should be a requirement for all artists. To break out of their box and explore fresh, new areas and ideas never before touched upon. Unfortunately this is not the case and although the music of today does provide some good tunes, I feel, along with others, that there is something missing. Pink Milk are proving they could possibly be that something with their new album Purple.

With an other-worldly sound Maria Forslund (vocals and drums) and Edward Forslund (guitars and bass) are something completely new by exploring a sound deemed old. Their break through single ‘Detroit’ put the band on the map of music and the radar of critics. Earning benevolent praise from the likes of Clash Magazine, Shortlist, Kerrang! Radio, Virgin Radio and BBC6 Music Radio. Their first album is a collection of monstrous, cinematic wonders drawing together twisted and dark ideas that evoke clandestine rituals and smoke-filled corridors. Their music has been described as ‘haunting beautiful’ and ‘fascinating’, comparing them to the likes of The Cranes and Cocteau Twins for their approach to recording.

Purple is a heavy heated, 80s infused album that is the product of three years hard labour and uncontaminated by outside influences off the coast of Sweden in the Baltic Sea. Pink Milk’s debut album will hypnotise and seduce you with its displays of additive, darkly atmospheric sound. The whole album blends together perfectly with the expert use of synthesisers and electric guitars to create a sound right out of The Lost Boys or Legend. A magical, haunting collection of songs that takes the listener on a journey through a world they could never even think to exist.

Although the album overall has a similar sound running through it, each individual track showcases the genius of Pink Milk. Such as ‘Kill 4 U’, a hypnotically harsh track that spirals down a dark path as Maria’s voice pleasantly haunts the inside of your mind. A vocal comparison that is a combination between Alanis Morissette and The Cranberries’ Dolores O’Riordan. The album also includes a cover of Foreigner’s ‘I Want To Know What Love is’ but completely reinvents the song into something harrowing and almost unrecognisable from the original.

Watch their brooding video for ‘I Want to Know What Love Is’ here:

Pink Milk have created a completely unique and refreshing sound that reminisces long forgotten 80s movies but the band are unlikely to find themselves as easily forgettable any time soon.





Youtube Channel






Review by Skye W.Winwood

The Sheratons are proving hard to pin down with their debut single ‘Better Days’

As 2017 has progressed the music world has seen numerous re-emergence from eras gone by. Indie rock band, The Sheratons, are continuing this trend with their new 80s fuelled debut single ‘Better Days.’

Listen to ‘Better Days’ here: 

A band compromised of Kane Bulleyment on lead and lead guitar, James Jowett on bass guitar and vocals, Finely Ryan on rhythm guitar and vocals and Emma Liu on drums. The Sheratons hail from Bingley – a place that is not quite Bradford but also not quite Leads, leaving them as inbetween and as hard to pin point as their sound.

The band’s musical sound lies between a mix of The Byrds – due to their carefree, breezy snapshots – The Cure – for the jollier side – and has the promise of a return of the long missed Paisley Underground. The latter a DIY music movement from the 80s which saw the emergence of clever, perfectly preformed pop with a twist. The total mash up of sound comes from each member of The Sheratons having their own individual style, from Kane’s James Dean cool to Finley’s Doc Marten ska. Even with these differentiations in personal sound the band still manage to pull together to create something seamless.

The grunge-esque single ‘Better Days’ brings a sense of nostalgia in both sound and name. The song itself sounds like it belongs as the soundtrack of a summer montage from the 80s or 90s. The fast paced guitar playing and drum best combined with Kane’s lassie faire vocals is a perfect contradiction that blends to create a fun filled track. Described as ‘the vintage sound of tomorrow’ the single contains chilling harmonies and also unleashes the band’s secret weapon of Emma from her control centre behind the traps. The clean cut rock band have launched with their suitably springy and stupidly catchy single making the most of youthful experience out of the something seemingly unglamorous.

See The Sheratons Live:


15th – Venue, Skipton

16th – Steeton Club, Bradford

19th – West Street Live, Sheffield

22nd – Manchester Academy, Manchester


7th – The Exchange, Bradford

14th – Indie Week Uk – Jimmys, Manchester

21st – The Zanzibar Club, Liverpool


18th – The Lending Room, Leeds



Review by Skye W.Winwood


Ten seconds is all Anthony Vincent needs to win you over to his music

In this day and age music stars are being created across all kinds of platforms. Signing a record deal to gain fame is a thing of the past with multimedia sharing websites such as Youtube. Anthony Vincent, better known as Ten Second Songs by his Youtube channel, has fully taken advantage of the opportunities the internet offers by creating something to showcase both his talent and musical genius. Anthony takes popular songs and preforms them in ten second snippets in 20+ different styles.

Listen to Katy Perry’s ‘Dark Horse’ in 20 different styles here:

Beginning his channel back in 2014 Anthony blew up the internet with his unique take on ‘Dark Horse’ currently his most popular video at over twenty-one million views! The cover includes twenty different styles by twenty different artists ranging from Frank Sinatra and Pavarotti to Panthera and Slipknot. Anthony manages to perfectly capture the unique sound of each artist so that they are recognisable even without the subtitles crediting who they are. As his channel has grown Anthony also manages to imitate mannerisms and stage personas of certain artists such as Marilyn Manson in his ‘Pokémon in 20 Styles of the Late 90s’ video. Branching out even further to include styles of Mongolian throat singing and Mozart in ‘System of a Down Chop Suey in 20 Styles Cover’ and ‘Twenty-One Pilots Heathens in 21 Styles Cover.’

Despite being able to imitate a plethora of genres and styles Anthony’s personal talent lies in the heavy rock genre, giving him the multi instrumental talent and powerful voice to seamlessly transform between styles. It’s obvious Anthony takes great pride in his work, the editing of his videos as precise and well thought out as the music itself. Anthony takes the idea of a one-man-band to a level of professionalism that astounds as he also includes videos of himself playing the instruments of each video.

Not only does Anthony provide a bounty of entertainment but he uses the popularity he has gained to interact with his fans. Holding votes for certain songs to be solely preformed in one style or voting for which song he will cover next. As well as his affinity for music Anthony comes across as a genuine guy who appreciates all the support people have given him over the years. His Youtube channel currently stands at over two million subscribers and I encourage anyone with a love of music to follow him as he continues to provide humorous, talented entertainment with a genre or style for just about anyone.

As well as covers of other artists’ songs Anthony has his own band, Set The Charge, who deserve just as much support and will be covered in a separate blog post in the future!

Popular Videos:

Linkin Park ‘In The End’ 20 Style Cover:

Jason Derulo ‘Talk Dirty’ 20 Style Cover:

Adele ‘Hello’ 25 Style Cover:

Pokémon Theme in 20 Styles the late 90s:

System of a Down ‘Chop Suey’ 20 Styles Cover:




Review By Skye W.Winwood

Royal Blood Influenced Three-Piece Let Drummer Lead from the Front

Dave Grohl; Phil Collins; Roger Taylor; Levon Helm, Karen Carpenter…modern music has thrown up the occasional musical quirk over the years, none more so than the singing drummer. The ultimate in patting your head and rubbing your tummy at the same time, these talented renegades have proved that it’s always possible to go beyond the conventional four-piece band set-up.

Enter Dead Days, one such trio who have elected to put their singer at the front of the stage with a mic stand. Readying the lead track “Fight” from their forthcoming EP, Start Over Again, for radio play and live performance, the Home Counties-based brothers Travis (drums and vox), DC (bass) and their guitarist friend James Mattocks have made up for their lack of personnel with a huge, thunderous sound which immediately brings to mind current press and fan faves Royal Blood.

Add in a dash of Biffy Clyro, a splash of Foos, a sack of deliciously melodic rock and a heavyweight video to boot and you have the earworm your brain has been craving.


Discovering Rufus Wainwright

Music is ageless. Time passes, eras fade and new genres are invented but these things don’t destroy the music from our memories. This is the excuse I will use for only recently being made aware of the singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright. My personal music interest can sometimes be dated or specified to a specific genre. Meaning although Wainwright has been active in the musical world since 1988, it took for a Samsung TV advert to make me aware of his captivating music.

Listen to Rufus’s cover of ‘Across The Universe’:

Wainwright caught my attention instantly from the simple fact he had the guts to cover the song. Taking an artist’s song and making it your own whilst still remaining respectful to the original is a tough task but even more so when those original artists are The Beatles. Wainwright went above and beyond with ‘Across the Universe’, preforming a hypnotic vocal sound to continue the exceptionally moving feeling the song creates, nearly bringing me to tears the first time I heard it. Needless to say he made an impression.

Upon further research I discovered Wainwright has been popular for some years, his music always circulating and realised I had heard his music before but mistook it for other artists. Wainwright has a sound similar to that of English rock band Keane, with a similar out of body, otherworldly voice and resonating sound but more in the pop genre. Wainwright’s cover of ‘Across the Universe’ has similarities to both Keane’s ‘Bedshaped’ and ‘Somewhere Only We Know’. Even with this distinctive comparison Rufus Wainwright still manages to maintain a unique sound to his own music with songs like ‘Going To A Town’, ‘Out of The Game’ and ‘Rules and Regulations.’ The artist’s more mainstream songs dip their toes in the pop genre but inherently belong to baroque rock (a fusion of rock music with classical elements). However Wainwright broadens his music horizons by also releasing songs in the indie rock and folk genres.

Listen to examples of Rufus’s genre blending here:

‘Going to a Town’:

‘Out of the Game’:

‘Rules and Regulations’:

Rufus Wainwright was born in New York but after his parents’ divorce lived most of his youth in Montreal and has dual US and Canadian citizenship. Starting his career in music at a young age, Wainwright had an impressive start. He had a taste of the artist’s life at the tender age of thirteen when he began to play the piano and toured with The McGarrigle Sisters and Family folk group. The group consisted of himself, his sister, his mother and his aunt. He earned himself a nomination in 1989 at the age of fourteen for his song ‘I’m a-Runnin’’ at the Genie Awards for Best Original Song. Then in 1990 he was nominated at the Juno Awards for Most Promising Male Vocalist. During his young life he had an interest in opera leading to the genre heavily influencing his later music such as ‘Barcelona’ that features lyrics from the libretto of Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Macbeth. As well as this Wainwright has cited his musical interests as Edith Piaf, Al Jolson and Judy Garland to name a few. Paying tribute to other artists like River Phoenix in ‘Matinee Idol’ and Jeff Buckley in ‘Memphis Skyline.’

As Wainwright became older he performed weekly shows at the Cafe Sarajevo, putting him on the Montreal club circuit and leading to a number of demos produced by Pierre Marchand. Marchand remained with Wainwright to produce his album Poses which peaked at number 117 in US Billboard’s 200 (in 2001 but rose to 103 in 2004) and number 1 in Billboard’s Top Heatseekers. The demos eventually made their way to Lenny Waronker, an executive at DreamWorks who signed Wainwright to his label. On this label Wainwright released his self-titled album to critical acclaim, being recognised as ‘one of the best albums of the year’ by Rolling Stone and named him ‘Best New Artist’ of the year. The album won the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Music Album and a Juno Award for Best Alternative Album.

The success of his first album lead to Wainwright’s explosion in the music world and eight more subsequent albums. However Wainwright has not limited his career to a preforming artist but delved into the world of opera, television and film. Wainwright has had roles in films such as The Aviator, Heights and played a part in Tommy Tricker and the Stamp Traveller. His music has featured in iconic films like Brokeback Mountain, Moulin Rouge!, Shrek and Meet The Robinsons as well as his recording of ‘Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered’ playing in the closing credits of The History Boys. Wainwright’s love for opera has bloomed into the creation of two of his own (Prima Donna and Hadrian). The second of the two premiering at the Canadian Opera Company in 2018.

Beyond music Wainwright also began Blackoutsabbath in 2008 which is a concept he created to become more environmentally conscious, promoted by the organisation Blackout Sabbath. In 2008 Wainwright came out as completely in support of gay rights, stating ‘I don’t think any government should encroach on what goes on in the bedroom.’ Later in April 2010 he became in favour of legalising gay marriage after meeting his now husband, Jorn Weisbordt.

With such a full life covered in the media it is shocking how the artist has only recently come to my attention but has made a lingering impression.



Review by Skye W.Winwood

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