Remembering Dolores O’Riordan

The world has lost yet another beloved star, but her light will keep shining among her family, friends and fans. The death of The Cranberries’ lead singer Dolores O’Riordan was announced on Monday the 15th of January 2018 and has left a dark cloud of devastation hanging over us all. At this time, the cause of her death is unknown and those closest to her have asked for people to respect their privacy and let them mourn in peace. A request that should be abided by all, but we can share in our grief through the beautiful music Dolores has left behind.

Dolores began her music career when she joined The Cranberries in 1990, an Irish rock band formed in Limerick a year prior. The band was initially formed by brothers Mike and Noel Hogan along with Fergal Lawler and Niall Quinn under the name The Cranberry Saw Us. However, the line up was simply not meant to be when Quinn left the band after only a year together. The remaining members began their search for a female singer to front their band and found all they were looking for in Dolores O’Riordan. Dolores came prepared to dazzle, writing her own lyrics and melodies but it was the early stages of the famous ‘Linger’ that got her the job. ‘Linger’ is a perfect summary of the band’s style and approach to music, as well as Dolores’s talent and uniqueness. Her sweet and soft voice still manages to project powerful emotions and capture the heart of anyone listening.

The band’s early EPs and demos caught the attention of many people in influential positions, putting them on the track for success from near day dot. In 1993, they released their debut single, ‘Dreams’, an upbeat song about new love laced with youthful innocence. The song entered the top 30 of the UK chart in 1994 and was one of the songs, alongside ‘Linger’, that featured on The Cranberries debut album, Everyone Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?. Although mainstream success was achieved early on, both ‘Dreams’ and ‘Linger’ were re-released at later dates to prove even more popular and quickly sending The Cranberries soaring through the charts.

One year after the release of their first album, the band came back with No Need To Argue, an album that completely outsold it’s earlier counterpart. The album contained the iconic song ‘Zombie’ and went triple platinum within a year of it’s circulation at the top of the charts. Apart from ‘Linger’, ‘Zombie’ is arguably the band’s most popular song to date and is a heavy showcase of their placement in the rock genre. Dolores’s vocal performance is as phenomenal as previous recordings but this time laced with an anger made poetic by her angelic tones. The song contains a powerful message concerning the political conflict surrounding Ireland at the time, filled with turmoil and harrowing lyrics.

No Need To Argue has proven to be the band’s most successful album as popularity barely ceased. Later albums, such as To The Faithful Departed, did not reach the same peak of success but kept the band’s place in the heart of their fans. The Cranberries continued to make music together throughout the years, producing numerous music videos and embarking on one of the most successful tours of their career. Rumours circulated about Dolores leaving the band to follow a solo career and in 2004 the band entered a hiatus. In 2007, Dolores released her first solo album, Are You Listening?, and sold over 300,000 copies worldwide. 2009 saw the reunion of the band – although it was not described as such at the time – where they went on a tour of both North America and Europe. The band played their old songs as well as Dolores’s solo music before then going on to release a brand-new album in 2011. In 2017, an acoustic album titled Something Else was released alongside the promise of tour dates. Unfortunately, the tour dates had to be cancelled due to issues arising with Dolores’s health.

The tragic news of Dolores O’Riordan’s death has left many people in a state of shock and mourning for the young artist. Her fellow band members have paid tribute to the singer via social media and it is obvious she was an admired and well-loved woman who will be missed by both those she touched with her music and in her personal life.

 

By Skye W. Winwood

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Heavyball are telling a tale we all know well with their new album, When Can You Start?

Having dreams is important. Being able to escape the humdrum drag of life is sometimes all we have to survive it. Then again, a healthy, humorous dose of reality can remind us things aren’t so bad after all. Heavyball are bringing you just that with their all British, all complaining new album, When Can You Start?

Listen to lead track, ‘Top of Your Game’, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGBsK4I7pTo

When Can You Start? brings the modern-day problems of Brexit, cost of living and nuclear war into an 80s world, being a twelve-track water cooler story mixed with complaints about your boss and the weather. The album follows a week in the life of an office worker, a tale as old as time we all know even if we haven’t experienced it ourselves. Tracks like ‘Top of Your Game’ introduces our protagonist as someone who once had big dreams that are now being suffocated by the confines of their cubicle. However, it’s not all doom and gloom, with other tracks having a hint of hope. Heavyball have taken the life of the working man, mixed it with the humour from Only Fools and Horses and played it to a sound akin to Madness.

Heavyball was formed in Nottingham in 2011 by Bigface (vocals and guitar) and his brother Habs (drums), later joined by Johnny Iball on bass and Tom ‘Stone Cold’ Frost on lead guitar. Although the band have worked hard to establish a distinctive sound, their music appeals less to fans of a particular genre and more to fans of a particular music style. When Can You Start?, as previously mentioned, takes on more of a story-telling style that sucks you into the life of the created protagonist. The ups and downs of average life are fully captured in songs like ‘The Perils of Midweek Drinking’ and ‘Office Party.’

‘The Perils of Midweek Drinking’ is a toe tapping, guitar shredding tune about the indulgences we all allow ourselves when the week just becomes too much. The song tells the tale of the brief weakness we have before the suffering endured the next day when work comes around once more. The track is a jumping, tumbling downhill spiral into the rituals of the week with a skilled guitar solo and thumping drum beat that might be enough to get you up for work the next day. Whilst ‘Office Party’ is a jaunty tune of trying to find the bright side of life only for it all to go wrong. The track captures the moody, dry tone of British humour where we always expect the worst. The fast pace of the track gives the impression of time slipping away as the character repeats the same routine day in and day out, even referring to the event as ‘another’ office party.

Heavyball have already received high praise from many fans and known personalities such as Chris Hawkins from Radio 6 who has dubbed them ‘one of the best live bands.’ With this praise and the comical genius of their new album, Heavyball have produced something we can all relate to in some way and take something away for ourselves. By creating a character for the audience to follow through songs adds a personal touch that really connects with listeners as they apply it to their own lives. When Can You Start? offers dead end jobs, failed dreams and personal triumphs we can all share in and laugh the pain away.

Links:

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/heavyball

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/7l1XJIYCH6Kop2j6plDWvk

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/HeavyballTV/videos

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Heavyball/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/heavyballreal

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/heavyballreal/

Website: http://www.heavyball.net/

 

Review by Skye W. Winwood

‘DNA’ cover by RobertIDK

People say the best form of flattery is imitation, when someone admires you so much they feel the need to honour your work. Song covers can be a hit or miss deal, either producing tracks that are equal or greater than their original or letting loose into the world something people never wanted to hear. Taking on a song not originally sang in your native tongue is risky. Taking on a song from a beloved band with an army of fans eagerly waiting to tear you apart shows true bravery in creativity. After promising his subscribers an English cover of ‘DNA’ by BTS, fans of both RobertIDK and the popular K-pop group have been waiting with bated breath to see how the Youtuber will pull this one off. On December 28th 2017, Robert released the highly anticipated cover onto his Youtube channel and it was nothing like fans expected.

Listen to the cover here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEj4PSXZgP8

The video begins with a quick message explaining, ‘This is my English rendition of DNA. I tried to write words that felt right with the meaning of the song. I left in all the original English words, as well as some of the Korean lines that I really love and didn’t want to change.’ The original track by BTS is performed almost entirely in Korean to a background of whistles and acoustic guitar before soaring into an explosive chorus. Although not as hard sounding as some of the K-pop group’s other tracks, such as ‘Danger’, the song definitely contains a beat that demands your body to dance.

Listen to the original here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBdVXkSdhwU

Despite this RobertIDK’s cover takes things in a softer direction, backed completely by a beautiful piano melody that still perfectly fits the message of the song. Not only this but, as stated at the beginning of the video, a few of the Korean lines have been kept the same and delivered in a pleasing harmony that show the dedication Robert put into the cover to learn the pronunciation. The rewritten lyrics are a show of Robert’s rising talents as a lyricist and has given his subscribers a little more insight into him as a musician, previously only being shown unchanged covers or parody songs performed by the Youtuber.

Overall, the song is a beautiful rendition of an already popular song but comments from subscribers on Robert’s Youtube channel have showed BTS could possibly have some competition in the future.

Links

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/RobertIDK

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RobertIDK

‘Discovering BTS’: https://musicnews2dayblog.wordpress.com/2017/12/29/discovering-bts/

 

Review by Skye W. Winwood

It ‘Feels Like Christmas’ with Panic! At The Disco

With five more sleeps until Christmas morning, everyone is finding themselves in that inevitable countdown panic. Rushing around to make sure all the presents are wrapped, that there are enough carrots for all of Santa’s reindeer and fighting over the last turkey in the store. With so much to stress over the commercial side of the holiday season, we need songs like Panic! At The Disco’s ‘Feels Like Christmas’ to bring us back to that feeling of joy and remember exactly what Christmas is about.

Listen to the Christmas jingle here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szaJ5aW-LUs

After announcing on an Instagram Live Stream he had a surprise in store for fans, front man of the band, Brendon Urie, had us all waiting in a giddy excitement akin to that of Christmas Eve. Dropping the brand new festive track ‘Feels Like Christmas’ earlier today, it’s as if the big day has come early. The song mixes classic Christmas nostalgia and the funky sound Panic has evolved into over the years, echoing a more upbeat sound from Death of a Bachelor played to a background of bells and beats.

The track begins with a quick guitar snippet of ‘We Wish You A Merry Christmas’ before jumping into the jaunty jingle of Brendon’s vocals. The jolly tune has elements of a musical number, something that would fit perfectly on a live stage graced in floating snow as the narrator swings around lamp posts after discovering the meaning of Christmas. It’s apparent Brendon’s time on Broadway influenced the track and it perfectly encapsulates the fun and excitement of the Christmas season.

Apart from the uplifting lyrics and twinkling sound, the message behind the song is a beautiful ‘thank you’ to the band’s fans. Below the audio video on Youtube, Brendon says, ‘thank you all for making this year my favourite so far. Through the hard times and the beautiful moments, I’m glad we’re always there to lift each other up. I’m so excited for the new year and what’s to come. So to end this year right, here’s a little holiday jam I wrote. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did making it.’ Once again, reminding us of the importance of musician and fan connection whilst blessing fans with the same gratitude we offer the band. Oh, and the best part? The track is completely free to download here: http://smarturl.it/feelslikexmas 

Links:

Website: https://panicatthedisco.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/panicatthedisco/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PanicAtTheDisco

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/PANICatthedisco

‘Death of a Bachelor live album!’: https://musicnews2dayblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/22/death-of-a-bachelor-live-album/

 

Review by Skye W. Winwood

Ikkarus are flying high with their new album Stains & Echoes

Many people can have the talent and dedication to make it as a professional musician but the one thing we all battle against stands as a foe: life. Sometimes duties and responsibilities have a louder call than our aspirational desires but that doesn’t mean we should give up on our dreams. Javier Lardizábal has followed in the footsteps of Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson, not only in genre style but by balancing his rock star life with that of an airline pilot. Javier has flown the skies and after nearly ten years has finally reached cloud nine in the form of releasing his band’s album Stains & Echoes.

Listen to the lead track, ‘Nightclub Sundays’ here: https://open.spotify.com/artist/7hXr34FFuQykjrjKNQt9ix

Javier continued to write and develop the tracks on Stains & Echoes during his time as an airline pilot, finally bringing the album to completion when he found Dave Ramos (drums) and Wens Castellanos Garcia (keyboards). The band are based in Mexico City but have plans to take over the world with their alternative indie sound, a feat that should be easy with Javier’s musical talent and pilot training! Javier, himself, provides the guitar and Layne Staley vocals. The bass heavy sound and Javier’s swirling singing give Stains & Echoes a distinct 90s sound with a musical magic that could belong on the Charmed soundtrack. However, the album fits perfectly into the modern world with snippets of trip-hop being mixed into tracks like ‘Nightclub Sundays.’

‘Nightclub Sundays’ begins with a thrumming bass similar to that of classic Red Hot Chili Peppers songs before slinking into a keyboard/guitar tune that brings it more into the modern day. Javier’s soaring vocals echo throughout the whole track with the same resonating sound of Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam and Shaun Morgan from Seether. The elongation and vocal straining evoke a sound similar, also, to the late Chester Bennington, being fuelled with the same raw emotion and passion.

Other tracks such as ‘A Means to Say Goodbye’ head more towards a Shinedown sound whilst still providing that wash of atmospheric keyboard that make the tracks otherworldly. Whilst ‘The Messenger’ is a blazing instrumental track that adds a lighter layer to the otherwise punk attack album. The almost primal drum beats of ‘The Messenger’ really showcase the band’s talent as musicians by making that musical connection to an audience without any lyrics being needed. Whilst the guitar and keyboard solo’s evoke a distorted and chaotic sound similar to Muse.

Ikkarus are soaring high but show no signs of burning up any time soon beyond the fire this album will no doubt create for them, burning bright throughout music history.

Links:

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/stains-echoes/sets/stains-echoes-debut-album/s-EhKgD

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/7hXr34FFuQykjrjKNQt9ix

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCx_8edZX53UC5yRFGLCZExw

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ikkarusband/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ikkarusofficial 

Instagram: @ikkarusband

 

Review by Skye W. Winwood

Gid Sedgwick is giving an indie twist to the one man band

Indie music has given birth to ground breaking bands such as Arctic Monkeys, The Killers and Radiohead. However Gid Sedgwick has taken on the genre alone to write, provide vocals, play instruments and produce his new album Ochos. A mixture of the best of the 80s and 90s infused with synth soundscapes to create a truly atmospheric yet edgy modern day indie collection.

Refusing any help from the outside world, Ochos is personal to the extreme, a soundtrack exploring the inside of Gid’s mind. Not only did the multi-talented musician create the album solo, he is also self-taught, a fact that just baffles after listening to the professionalism of the songs from Ochos. The vibrating, resonating sound of some of the tracks transports you to a whole other world, removing you from your troubles and basking you in the beauty of sound Gid has created. Although undoubtedly ringing with a personal feel, Ochos has the ability to connect with listeners by how it seems to encapsulate life of 2017. By portraying real and raw emotions allows the album to appeal to a variety of audiences. Tracks such as ‘Paperclip’ hold a powerful melancholy that connects deep where as others like lead track ‘Ochos’ are a slow build, soaring melody that embodies the future sound of UK indie music.

The lyrics of ‘Ochos’ combine with a slow synth sound to lift you gradually higher and higher until you reach the peak of the song’s intoxication where you can sit back and appreciate the bliss it inspires. Although the sound of the song could be compared to the likes of Biffy Clyro and the 1975, Gid has managed to capture a uniqueness that will no doubt become his staple as his career evolves. The swaying sound evokes images of festival nightlife with crowds of people lit up by the low light as they dance in a shared moment of musical ecstasy. Gid’s music really manages to connect on a personal level with the listener and is just one example of the success the artist will no doubt find.

Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GidSedgwickMusic/?ref=bookmarks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GidSedgwick

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/gid.sedgwick/   

 

Review by Skye W. Winwood

Death Of A Bachelor live album!

Forgive me Lord for I have sinned…again. With Fall Out Boy’s new album only months away, it was probably to be expected that Panic! At The Disco would release something to elicit a little friendly competition. Through both 2016 and 2017 fans of the American rock band flocked in thousands to see The Death Of A Bachelor Tour. Of course not everyone was fortunate enough to have shows near them. Some even falling short on the cash to attend. For these fans who were unable to join the tour, Panic! At The Disco have announced the live album All My Friends We’re Glorious, with a release date of December 15th. The twenty-one track album will be available as a limited edition double vinyl and for digital download just in time for Christmas!

The announcement of this album has had me reminiscing back to over a year ago now when I saw Panic! At The Disco live in November of 2016. The glorious insanity of the show was enough to put All My Friends We’re Glorious on my Christmas list. Of course you could argue my bias considering how long I have been a fan of the band but listening to just one track on the album will be enough to convert you. The show was a beautiful, bursting, burning combination of pitch blowing vocals, awesome guitar solos and dazzling light shows. The live album will unfortunately not include the brilliant and enthusiastic visuals but it was a show that could have been enjoyed just as much with my eyes closed.

With the freedom given to him by performing live, Brendon Urie was able to push his vocal range to a level I’ve never heard on any of the studio albums. The singer has always been known for his unquestionably talented voice but the live show provided high note after high note. Classic songs like ‘Nine In The Afternoon’ becoming a new experience as well as a bonus cover performance of Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’ A respectful, dazzling replication of the much loved song that had the whole arena straining their vocal chords. All songs that will be included on All My Friends We’re Glorious. Kenneth Harris killed it on lead guitar, giving songs like ‘Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time’ and ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ an almost classic rock twist that cannot be heard on the studio version of the songs. Brendon also proved his title as a multi instrumentalist by giving a lengthy, impressive drum performance that somehow still managed to sing without words.

Fans of live music, fans who weren’t able to attend a show or just those wanting to relive those golden days should consider pre-ordering All My Friends We’re Glorious. An album that spans through every era of Panic! At The Disco and reminds us why they have been riding the wave of success for more than a decade.

Track List:

Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time
LA Devotee
Ready To Go (Get Me Out Of My Mind)
Golden Days
Vegas Lights
A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out Medley
Hallelujah
Nine In The Afternoon
Miss Jackson
This Is Gospel
Death Of A Bachelor
The Ballad Of Mona Lisa
Movin’ Out

Emperor’s New Clothes
Nicotine
Crazy = Genius
Let’s Kill Tonight
Girls/Girls/Boys
Bohemian Rhapsody
I Write Sins Not Tragedies
Victorious

 

Links:

Store: https://store.panicatthedisco.com/

Website: https://panicatthedisco.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/panicupdating?lang=en

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/panicatthedisco/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UColJTBTSGqaaZr5NOk5r3Pg

 

By Skye W. Winwood

Fall Out Boy’s new single ‘HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON’T’ is a Dia de los Muertos masterpiece

I took too many hits off Fall Out Boy’s ‘HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON’T’ and now I just can’t come down.

Reach my high by watching the music video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jG1JY0rt2Os

In typical Fall Out Boy fashion, the band have been constantly teasing fans with cryptic tweets and website updates. All leading up to the release of their finally finished seventh studio album MANIA on January 19th next year. After already bestowing three singles from the upcoming album upon fans, the band are declaring they aren’t done yet with the release of ‘HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON’T’ on November 14th. Much like the releases of ‘Young and Menace’, ‘Champion’ and ‘The Last of the Real Ones’, ‘HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON’T’ has had multiple teasers. A few of these teasers appearing in the credits of ‘The Last of the Real Ones’ music video in the form of sneak-peak lyrics. Including both ‘when your stitch comes loose’ as the stunt choreographer and ‘I’m pretty sure this isn’t how the story ends’ as the last words before the video comes to a close.

Missed it? Check out ‘The Last of the Real Ones’ music video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YAAyUFL1GQ

Alongside this, pages of themaniacorp.com showed images of the Mexican Day of the Dead festival – El Dia de los Muertos – with the words ‘I love you to death’. All lyrics fans can now recognise as belonging to ‘HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON’T’.

Each new song has added another layer to MANIA with ‘HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON’T’ being an overwhelming celebration of culture and music. The sound of the song alone will infuse your body with an uncontrollable rhythm and have you swaying, jumping and singing at the top of your lungs. The captivating lyrics reflect the beauty of the music video that is a swirling plethora of visual iconography of El Dia de los Muertos mixed with characters and colours that have become a signature for the MANIA era of Fall Out Boy. The performance based music video is a beautiful confusion as no narrative seems to be established. Instead acting as a showcase for the festival and including a Baron Samedi character that will no doubt be recreated during either live shows or Halloweens to come.

‘HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON’T’ is just another example of the band’s capacity to produce intricate yet catchy lyrics as well as Patrick’s insane vocal range. I can only image how incredible the song will be when performed live and the uplifting, surreal atmosphere it will create. Hopefully, I won’t have to image too long as Fall Out Boy released one more surprise alongside the single and announcing the completion of MANIA…UK Tour Dates! Tickets go on sale soon so make sure not to miss out!

Links:

Website: https://falloutboy.com/

Tour Dates: https://falloutboy.com/tour/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/falloutboy

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/falloutboy/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/FallOutBoyVEVO

 

Review by Skye W. Winwood

Help support MANIA Tour Project!

With the release of Fall Out Boy’s new album MANIA finally nigh, fans are gathering together in a musical celebration as the boys begin the MANIA tour. Creating beautifully composed, deeply touching and eccentrically fun music for the past sixteen years has caused these fans to want to give back. To show Fall Out Boy exactly how many people their music has touched and to some even helped through their darkest times. Enter the no profit, fan based MANIA Tour Project who have created something truly amazing.

Beginning as a simple tweet MANIA Tour Project was put together after the release of the first single ‘Young and Menace’ by Gillian and Angie. Gillian had the brilliant idea after seeing a pack of purple glow bracelets. She instantly wanted to do something to show Fall Out Boy just how much they mean to their fans. Especially after the mixed reaction ‘Young and Menace’ received, she saw it as a way to let the boys know there are still fans who support their experimentation in their own music. Gillian took this idea to twitter in the form of a tweet and Angie replied thinking it was an amazing idea. She suggested to Gillian that they create a twitter page that would go towards making it a real thing and MANIA Tour Project (@FOBManiaProject) was born! After being advised by Panic! At The Disco’s right hand man, Zack Hall, that security would not allow glow sticks or bracelets to be brought into the venues, the project took inspiration from Panic’s own concerts. Deciding to create purple cut outs with a special message for Fall Out Boy that could be held up during ‘Young and Menace’ to light the venues up with a purple glow of support. Each cut out reading, ‘FOB MANIA Project – Let’s show the boys some love! Please hold this up to your phone flashlight during Young and Menace!’

FOBThe initially small project has grown an absolutely insane but rightly deserved amount. Now having volunteers working on the project for Australian/New Zealand and European dates. It has truly become a world wide fan project that invites anyone with a shared love of Fall Out Boy to join. After speaking to Angie myself, the genuine love and support the project has for the band really shines through. Explaining that although the girls had their own reasons for starting the project, they encourage anyone with their own reasons to join. Anything to give back to their favourite band and thank them for all they have done and continue to do for their fans. Starting out with the simple goal of just wanting to make Fall Out Boy aware of how much they mean to their fans, both Gillian and Angie never began the project for the purpose of credit or recognition. All they wanted to do was make the boys smile whenever they see those clusters of purple lights that are growing every show. Described as a gift to the boys, I would label MANIA Tour Project a gift to the fans. A wholesome and inclusive way for the Fall Out Boy fanbase to come together and celebrate something that means so much to each of them.

As a long time fan myself, I highly encourage anyone who is a fan of Fall Out Boy to go and support MANIA Tour Project in anyway you can. Spread the word and maybe we can turn those veues into a sea of purple support.

Links:

https://twitter.com/FOBManiaProject

 

By Skye W. Winwood

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