Pablo and The Appleheads’ ‘Zaida’ is a nostalgic feeling for something you’ve never heard

What do Oasis, David Bowie, Radiohead and The Beatles all have in common? They have provided musical inspiration for Barcelona native singer-songwriter Pablo Villavecchia. Released from the new album Alessandra, ‘Zaida’ is a mixture of classic vintage sound and the band’s own to create something new that gives an oddly nostalgic feel.

Listen to ‘Zaida’ here:

Portrayed as a romantic Pablo has admitted the new album is named after his girlfriend who he has described as the love of his life. After forming Pablo and the Appleheads, Pablo spoke openly about his relationship with Alessandra saying, ‘meeting her meant the culmination of the album as well as my unsatisfied love life.’ However Pablo expresses just as much emotion for his love of music which is not surprising considering his mother was a singer/songwriter of jingles for adverts and his father played the saxophone for the famed Spanish rock band Loquillo y los Troglodites. During his childhood Pablo listened to VHS tapes of his favourite bands which lead to his more intense interest at the age of nineteen where he tried his hand at song writing and beginning to learn how to play the guitar. Two skills taught by his mother that transformed Pablo into a prolific songwriter and has provided us with music dealing with a diverse range of topics from love to politics and even drugs.

The album is a perfect mixture of old and new, the band’s name also encapsulating this as it is inspired by Rene Magritte’s ironic paining of a suited man with an apple for a head, The Son of Man. Both the image and the band’s sound inspiring the feeling of familiarity that we are used to whilst having that something different that keeps us on the edge. Pablo provides a personal look inside his own psyche with the album Alessandra being a combination of poetic, love fuelled songs such as ‘Alessandra’ and ‘Revolution II’. Whilst others are of a more creative, fun and destructive nature like ‘Zaida’.

The song ‘Zaida’ is a catchy guitar led track that belongs on anyone’s road trip mix tape. The simple tune will no doubt be playing around inside your head for days afterwards and can only be stopped by exploring more of the talented young songwriter’s album. The head bobbing tune has a stripped back feel that focuses on quirky guitar picking that makes it impossible to stay still when the single is playing. The song manifests The Beatles inspiration Pablo takes but also has links to his more modern tastes such as Elliot Smith and Death Cab for Cutie.

The new video for ‘Zaida’ is set for release August 4th.




Review by Skye W.Winwood

Colour Clash 2017!

Colours burst against white shirts, the powder exploding heavily in the air as the ground vibrated with the pulsating of live music…

A little over the top description but the only fitting way to begin explaining the overwhelming excitement this year’s Newport Colour Clash embodied.

Not my video but a montage of the event that provides visuals by the Youtube channel IamLiamFry:

Only running for its second year the festival had a surprisingly large amount of enthusiasm built around it; like a moth to a flame for surrounding Welsh students. Hosted by Newport Events on July 15th at Rodney Parade, Newport, the all-day event was located in a small field teeming with activities other than just live music. Providing food and drink stalls, a multi-coloured Ferris wheel that allowed a bird’s eye view of the festival as well as your classic fun fair rides and game stalls. Throughout the whole day both the main stage and dome tent were providing live music from artists such as Jaguar Skills, DJ Ironik and Ultrabeat. Both artists and festival goers alike were able to purchase colour powder packets from the event and unleash them amongst their friends and others in the crowd. Leaving everyone stumbling from the festival painted in a rainbow mosaic that will forever remain as a reminder of the unforgettable day (although the event promised the powder to be machine washable!)

20138054_1842933792690044_332077795_oMy personal interest in the event stemmed from my love of festivals and a good excuse to meet up with my Uni friends however I found myself pleasantly surprised at the amount of fun I had. The style of music the event promoted (drum and bass) is not my preferred choice but enjoying live music in nearly any capacity I decided to give it a go, especially at only £22 a ticket. Due to not usually listening to the drum and bass style of music, and discovering many of the artists at the event, I will only provide an overview of the event as well as my overall conclusion on the festival.

The day began with enjoying the upbeat and jovial atmosphere but soon gave way to a night of enticing live music. The two acts that stood out for me the most were Shy FX and Sigma. I found everyone in the crowd to be accommodating and no one looking to spoil the day for anyone else however one particular incident that could have ruined the set was stopped by the artist on stage. During Shy FX’s set a fight broke out in the middle of the crowd but was quickly stopped when the artist drew security’s attention to the incident. After giving a speech on how that kind of behaviour would not be accepted the performer then went on to metaphorically embrace the crowd in a show of love he encouraged the crowd to do the same. As well as enjoying the music I found a sense of respect I feel for any performer who takes an interest in the crowd, something they are not obligated to do. Creating a fun but also safe environment for fans to enjoy.

The last performance of the night was the one everyone had been waiting for: Sigma. At this point I even found myself barely containing excitement. The set was incredible as the English drum and bass duo rallied the crowd in a euphoric wave of excitement that had us all begging for more. The act even surprised the audience by bringing artist and producer DJ Majestic – known for his work with the act – for a collaboration that only amped up the enthusiastic crowd. Playing a mixture of old and new tracks – as well as one that had never been heard before – Sigma brought the festival into the night as well as giving a satisfying end to the event.

When initially arriving at the festival I was unsure as to whether I would return for another year but after my experience I can’t wait to attend again and encourage anyone in the Newport area – or further – to do the same! Even if you are not sure the style of music will appeal to you, the crowd atmosphere and event itself would have been enough but I found myself enjoying the acts regardless. Still only being two years old the event will no doubt continue to grow and keep providing more and more.

List of acts at Colour Clash 2017:

> Sigma
> J Hus
> Shy FX
> Tom Zanetti
> Donaeo
> Jaguar Skills
> Artful Dodger
> Ultrbeat
> DJ Ironik
> Blazin Squad
> Booty Luv
> Sweet Female Attitude
> Platinum
> DJ Kuta (Original N Trance)




Review by Skye W.Winwood

Electro-wave cabaret ‘No Life on Mars’

Music has always been about experimentation and expression, two things some artists seem to forget when releasing new material. Berlin duo Feline and Strange are reminding us why music cannot be pinned down to one specific genre or style in their new single ‘No Life on Mars.’

Watch the concept video here:

Artists are named so for a reason – because they set out with the initial idea to create something they can release into the world. Feline and Strange are going above and beyond by not only releasing their new album Out but are promoting the style of electro-wave cabaret inspired by aesthetics of classical compositions whilst combing this with their electric punk attitude. The duo give a whole new meaning to ‘creative freedom’ by pushing musical boundaries that may not agree with every listener. The single ‘No Life on Mars’ alone embodies the odd and evocative sound of their new album Out which is a collection of ‘aggressive and depressive’ songs that epitomise the style of Feline and Strange.

‘No Life on Mars’ transports the listener on a sonic journey to a seemingly dystopian world (that is in fact our own) where it feels like your mind is being invaded. The chorus of the song repeating ‘this is your mind and I’m just an intruder/explorer.’ Which may be the goal of the duo once you know their back story: the band are extra-terrestrials, outlined in the music video by their unusual appearance, who landed on Earth in human bodies years prior with partial amnesia . The goal of their music is to recruit crew members explaining the out-of-body feeling the song can inspire. The single sounds like a dark and twisted collaboration between Muse and The Pet Shop Boys with the use of classic and electric instruments.

The haunting vocals of multimedia artist/director/opera and tango singer Feline Lang (Brigitte) penetrate the ear drums of the listener in an almost hypnotic trance, leaving a decision on the song to be made after a few replays. Combined with the interspersed piano and jarring combination of heavy drum beat of sound engineer/punk drummer/percussionist and orchestra cellist Christoph Klemke, the two are conquering new grounds in the music world. However their sound is not the only thing unlike other artists out there but their way of preforming is also something to witness. Christoph plays a fold-up cello which he made himself after cutting an electric cello into three pieces in order to transport it as carry-on luggage. As well as this studio musician and co-producer of the album, Brian Viglione, plays a dumpster for percussion on the record.

The album Out (produced by Jason Rubal who has worked with the likes of Amanda Palmer and Robert Smith) is a collection of eleven weirdly creative songs of uninhabited cynical rage and terrible sadness inspired by a wide range of topics like political and feminist issues. Combing with the drastic cultural influences of East and West Germany from the artists themselves and described as ‘Nina Hagen meets Depeche Mode and Adam Palmer’ the whole album in an exploration of a hilarious dystopian tragedy.

Listen to the weirdly wonderful and experimental album here:

Feline and Strange are also out on tour. Here are the dates to check out:

July 7th: Berwick on Tweed – Airship Northstar

July 9th: Edinburgh – Frankenstein’s

July 22/23rd: Reading – Reading Fringe Festival

August 10th-13th: Llanfyllin – Phoenix Alternative Festival

September 16th: Wales Festi

September 22nd: Warsop – Snooty Fox

September 29th: Nottingham – Doghouse

September 30th: Llangollen – The Pavillion

October 7th: Leicester – Musician

October 15th: Birmingham – Roadhouse

October 20th:  London, Kew Bridge Steam Museum

October 22nd: Brighton




Review by Skye W.Winwood

Travel on a sonic odyssey with John Dylan and his new single ‘Get Beyond’

Music has proven to be something close to a religion for many musicians, going so far as to be deemed a form of free therapy. One artist this is true for is multi-instrumentalist John Dylan now coming out with his new single ‘Get Beyond’ from the to-be-released album Peripheral Drift Illusion. Album artwork being created by John Lennon’s band mate, Klaus Voormann, who designed the cover of The Beatles’ classic record Revolver.

Watch the psychedelic music video here:

John has been floating through the music world for some time being involved with underground math-rock band Mars Accelerator in the mid-90s, who played alongside Modest Mouse and released an album with the help of Steve Fisk – known for his work with Nirvana. With knowledge in producing John has broken from the genre-defying band Terrence to go solo and carry on blurring musical lines by pushing his talents as a songwriter. A tough task for any musician but John was born into music with his parents listening to the likes of Elvis Costello, Bob Marley and Stevie Ray Vaughn. Combined with John, himself, taking inspiration from bands like Nirvana and The Beatles it’s no wonder his music seems to transport the listener to another era.

‘Get Beyond’ at first can seem like an overwhelming combination of sounds before blending into dreamy vocals with a bouncing guitar riff drifting over a wah-fuelled bass line. The transition is a perfect example of how the song takes the listener on a sonic odyssey that makes a stop at many genre styles along the way. Due to this it would be criminal to confine John to one single band or artist in comparison even as it’s obvious where his inspiration shines from. Although considered a ‘rock artist’ John challenges the style as well as taking advantage of the alternative themes the genre provides, not pigeonholing himself to any single sound by using a completely digital workflow. For each single John is breaking out of the rock genre to explore hip-hop, dance and electronic by holding a ‘remix competition’ where aspiring DJs and electronic artists can sample and rework his songs with the chance to appear on the widely released version of the single.

John reacts to some remix works here:

Pushing the boundaries of music is not the only challenge John faces as a musician as he has recently been diagnosed with a chronic anxiety disorder. However instead of letting this beat him he deals with his issues in his work as a songwriter, creating passionate music that has the ability to connect with many listeners. John has also been very open about his struggles in the past explaining how there are moments when he has to encourage himself to get out of bed and stop hiding from the world. Overcoming losing his job and house after being robbed John proves to truly be an inspirational musician and I personally look forward to his work in the future.




Review by Skye W.Winwood

After 11 Years, ‘The Black Parade’ Marches On

2013 marked the end of My Chemical Romance as a band but fans refused to let them die and have revived the group by voting ‘Welcome to the Black Parade’ MTV’s Music Video of the Century!

Watch the music video here:

Up against iconic music videos such as Beyoncé ‘Single Ladies’ and Rihanna ft. Jay-Z ‘Umbrella’, ‘Welcome to the Black Parade’ has taken home the title of best music video in this millennium. The win is not surprising when taken into account it was directed by Samuel Bayer who has worked with the likes of Green Day and Nirvana. As well as having Oscar winning Colleen Atwood on board for costume. The single was available on Myspace on September 2nd 2006 from the band’s third studio album The Black Parade (released September 11th 2006).

The music video itself was released September 26th 2006 in the UK and was featured heavily on MTV. The mix of narrative and performance based visuals follow a character only known as ‘The Patient’ (portrayed by Lukas Haas, Mars Attacks!) as he is on his death bed where he transcends to join the “Black Parade.” The band are seen preforming on a float where they are followed by a group of masked people, the hidden identities conveying how they could represent anyone. The whole video takes place in a dystopian world with contradicting lyrics of ‘carrying on’ despite the inevitability of death. Rallying listeners that death is not the end and ‘the world will never take [your] heart’.

The main concept of the video follows the idea that death comes from your most powerful memory, as lead singer Gerard Way explained in an interview with MTV. In this case death manifests for ‘The Patient’ in the form of a parade he saw as a young boy, something that followed him through life and now he will follow it in death. The passionate and enthusiastic performance of the band gives an uplifting vibe to the otherwise seemingly depressing visuals and has become iconic no matter what genre of music you prefer.

The music video has proved truly timeless and though My Chemical Romance is dead and gone, believe me, their memory will carry on.




Review by Skye Walshe-Winwood

The month may be over but pride is forever

As the month of June comes to an end so comes the awful realisation that some people think the LGBTQ+ community disappears with it. To keep the rainbow flag flying here is a collection of songs either written about or by someone in the community. Whilst some highlight the hardships many people still face today, others are a celebration of all that has be won.


Queen – I Want to Break Free:

A huge icon in the LGBTQ+ world ‘I Want to Break Free’ encapsulates the struggle many homosexual people faced during British rock band Queen’s era as well as staying as a reminder of the fight still going on. The powerful vocals of Freddie Mercury penetrate to a personal level inside all of us to the desire that we all want more than what we have. The music video challenged social norms at the time by having all the band members dressed in women’s clothing to represent how people are made to be something they are not. When first released the song was controversial in America and banned by MTV but now can be viewed as a constant reminder of fighting against oppression.


Rocky Horror – Sweet Transvestite:

The 1975 cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a personal guilty pleasure of mine with its catchy tune and brilliant lyrics. The performance of Tim Curry perfectly portrays the famous Dr Frank-N-Furter as he reminds us all not to ‘judge a book by its cover’ in the sensual and sexual song. More than just a homosexual anthem, ‘Sweet Transvestite’ stands for anyone deemed “different” facing oppression with an ‘I don’t give a damn attitude’.


Troye Sivan – Blue Neighbourhood Trilogy: (Viewer discretion: there are scenes of physical abuse some may find upsetting).

When an artist creates a story it is impossible to isolate something that comes together so beautifully. Unlike the first two tracks mentioned this collection of songs does not hide its message of oppression in an upbeat rhythm. The raw and stripped back sound of the songs reminds us all that people cope with things in different ways but also sometimes it can be too much. The Blue Neighbourhood Trilogy follows the story of two childhood friends who grow up and apart, their friendship turning into something more that becomes too much for one. The shocking and upsetting message is a reminder of what can happen when people don’t have the right support and are lead to believe they will never be accepted.


RuPaul – LGBT:

RuPaul has famously been quoted with ‘if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you going to love somebody else?’ The world famous drag queen has always been a spokesperson for the LGBTQ+ community and the song’s title speaks for itself with the message of accepting yourself before expecting others to do the same. With the lyrics following the belief that you can be who you want to be as long as you let me be me. The song calls out listeners to rise up and be themselves as RuPaul sings, ‘come on let me see you rock this town/come on let me see you tear it down.’ The message of always fighting whilst explaining the true ideal of the community: ‘LGBT you be who you wanna be.’


Kinky Boots – Raise You Up/Just Be:

Coming from another iconic LGBTQ+ musical Kinky Boots’ ‘Raise You Up/Just Be’ speaks of support and making sure to always look out for one another during hard times. The musical marked the debut of Cyndi Lauper as a musical song writer with her lyrics of ‘if you hit the dust/let me raise you up’ reminding everyone they are not alone. The whole production surrounds the message that no one should be left to struggle alone and everyone deserves a helping hand. The song also reminds those who have managed to make it through hard times that they cannot forget those still fighting their own battles. The summary of the song being that people can face whatever threatens them and beat it with help from others who understand and that giving up is never an option.


Over the Rainbow – Judy Garland:

When written for fantasy/comedy musical The Wizard of Oz who would have thought the impact the song would create in the LGBTQ+ community. The term ‘a friend of Dorothy’ became a way for gay men to identity to one another without revealing themselves during a time when it wasn’t safe. Since then the song has become a gay anthem of having faith for something better to come along, and keeping the hope that eventually it will. Although the lyrics originally related to a young farm girl’s dream of wanting to escape where she grew up the idea of ‘somewhere over the rainbow bluebirds fly/oh why, oh why can’t I?’ has become about not understanding how some people can be accept when others are not.


Christina Aguilera – Beautiful:

The pop and R&B ballad speaks of inner beauty and the importance of improving self-esteem over looks. The music video is a visual representation of the different kinds of people who exist in the world and how there is nothing wrong with them being themselves just because it is something others do not understand. With people still facing prejudice for things that harm no one ‘Beautiful’ is an emotional and uplifting song reminding people that they are accepted even if they don’t feel like it. That it’s okay if someone else thinks you’re “ugly” due to the way you are because they are wrong and you truly are ‘beautiful in every single way’. A true song for anyone struggling with accepting themselves no matter who they may be.


Pink – Raise Your Glass:

Like Christina Aguilera’s ‘Beautiful’, Pink’s ‘Raise Your Glass’ supports the differences in everyone in this song of celebration. Asking you to ‘raise your glass if you are wrong in all the right ways’ because there is no wrong way to be you. Pink’s music has always been about staying strong and understanding who you are so others cannot tear you down. ‘Raise Your Glass’ rallies everyone who has ever faced oppression because of who they are in a toast to them for not letting people tear them down. The simple and comical lyric of ‘what’s the dealio?’ questions those who see the differences in others as wrong and embodies the whole idea that prejudice has never made sense and will continue to be beaten.


Cyndi Lauper – True Colours:

Already having one on the list for her inspiring writing in Kinky Boots, Cyndi Lauper lends her own voice to the song ‘True Colours’. A beautiful and moving song about not only being accepted because of your differences but being loved because of them too. ‘True Colours’ encourages people to be who they are because they will always find love with those who understand and accept them. The song also embodies the idea that you should never hide who you truly are because ‘your true colours come shining through’ and you should never try to darken yourself to please others.


Lady Gaga – Born This Way:

The pop artist Lady Gaga has been an outspoken supporter for underdogs through her entire career and has always put forward the belief that we are made to be who we are. The song born this way challenges those who believe that some people are made unnatural by saying, ‘I’m beautiful in my way because God makes no mistakes/I’m on the right track, baby, I was born this way.’ Gaga sings about how as long as you are being who you were born to be there is nothing you are doing wrong.


Whether you belong to the community or are a supporter, continue to always love and support each other no matter what.


By Skye W.Winwood

Fall Out Boy are back with the madness in their new single ‘Champion’

Always supporting the underdog Fall Out Boy have literally released an anthem that would fit perfectly into any uplifting film montage.

Find out just how well it fits here:

‘Champion’ is the second single to be revealed from the punk rock band’s highly anticipated album Mania to be released September 15th. ‘Champion’ encapsulates the “never give up” attitude Fall Out Boy have always tried to put forth for their fans but this time with no apologies. Both front man Patrick Stump and main lyricist/bassist Pete Wentz have been honest in the media about their struggles with depression and the simple lyrics of ‘if I can live through this, I can do anything’ are an uplifting triumph they want to share with others. The constant repetition of the song’s title ‘Champion’ coupled with the slow building start breaking through into a heavy drum beat connotes the issues many fans of the band themselves may struggle with.

The song seems to be one of looking back with the first two lines being ‘I’m calling you from the future/to let you know we made a mistake’ but that they are still here and things will get better. As well as this the song holds the ideal that it is never too late by saying ‘I’m just young enough to still believe.’ Stump’s powerful vocals perfectly complement Wentz’s lyrics in a way that differs from any of their previous albums. After the release of ‘Young and Menace’ new and existing fans of the band were split on whether they were witnessing yet another beloved band changing their sound to fit pop culture conventions. ‘Champion’ has removed any doubt that the band are continuing to explore their creative genius through their music. The song embodying an echo of Fall Out Boy’s old sound as well as giving us promise of what they will provide in the future.

Watch Pete Wentz skateboarding with some Llamas in the video here:




Review by Skye W.Winwood


Debut Dark Electric Single ‘Caving’ by Ciqala

In a world conforming to generic pop conventions to stay on top, it’s hard to find artists willing to push the boundaries for the sake of art. One who is still willing to keeping fighting is Ciqala with her musical weapon in the form of her new single Caving.’

Listen to the track here:

Yafit Rahamim-Fleisher, otherwise known as Ciqala, has teamed up with producer Shai Pelled to create the hypnotically dark electro rock single ‘Caving.’ The feel of the song can be compared to the likes of Within Temptation with its oddly beautiful vocals and its ability to feel as if you have been transported into a twisted fairy-tale. This is not shocking as Ciqala is influenced by artists such as Depeche Mode and brit-pop acts Blur, Pulp and Suede. As well as being drawn to music composed by Danny Elfman to add to that fairy-tale persona of the song.

On the surface the theme of the song comes across as one of breaking free of confines or trying to decipher reality from illusion. This idea is not surprising as the concept Ciqala has created is one inspired by Native American culture with a focus on spiritualism and simplicity as well as the purity of nature. With these themes in mind the song ‘Caving’ conveys the idea that everything ‘is just an illusion’ because ‘as we grow older nothing remains’ and people shouldn’t be so attached to the materials of life. The idea that these things cannot be taken with us after we are gone but we are all guilty of giving into materialistic desires as Ciqala sings about ‘feel[ing] ashamed’. The single itself feels like a spiritual journey when listening to it through ethereal vocals, heavy drums, and an alluring electric beat that could be something directly from The Lost Boys.

‘Caving’ is perfect for people seeking that something other from their music taste but don’t want something invading or too heavy. Ciqala is no stranger to the music industry having previously performed under the pseudonym of Y-Fi where she began her journey and is one to look out for in the future.

Watch the video for ‘Caving’:




Review by Skye W.Winwood

Hip-hop experimentalist M3staken ends trilogy with ‘Rain’

M3staken, otherwise known as M3, is an ambitious producer from South Carolina who mixes classics hip-hop beats with progressive, electronic instrumentation, and the outcome is like nothing you’ve heard before.

It’s dark, it’s brooding and full of complicated nuances that take a few listens to appreciate properly. This only goes to demonstrate the young musician’s boundary-pushing aesthetic as he aims to break down the confined walls of boxed genres with a style of music that defies them all.

‘Rain’, the final part of M3’s trilogy is by no means ‘easy-listening’, but it’s not intended to be. You can imagine it providing the perfect soundtrack for a video game or sci-fi movie, so perhaps this is where M3 will head next with his talents.

Check out ‘Rain’ here:




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