Raised in NoHo, David Mariam moved to England during his high school years. His passion for music developed after purchasing a Jason Mraz cd at the age of eleven. His music range includes everything from Folk to Drum & Bass. Some of his favourite artists include King Blues, Incubus, Funeral for a Friend, Tyler the Creator and Shwayze.
Follow him on twitter @davidmariam
Benjamin Francis Leftwich is a twenty one year old English Singer-Songwriter from York. His debut album ‘Last Smoke Before The Snowstorm’ hit shelves recently. Whilst this studio album may be the first time a lot of listeners have heard his music, many will feel familiar with it as he is very reminiscent of the late Elliott Smith.
The main strengths of the album are the lyrics, they aren’t just commercial pop songs - they're enchanting heartfelt poems and each track tells a story. Comparisons could be drawn with Damien Rice with the way he makes the listener feel as if they are being allowed to share his personal thoughts.
The new track ‘Holla’ is collaboration between UK artist Priscilla Angelique and US rapper Major D. The song is very unique in its own sense adding something new to the seemingly plastic and repetitive dubstep scene.
What makes the track so enjoyable is the fusion of different influences that make up the song; the dark and grimey bassline/dubstep beats blended with the fast paced West Coast Hip-Hop lyrics. They have taken two very different genres and made them flow surprisingly well. The use of synth sounds are also a nice addition to dress up the music. It isn’t just the sound of the music that makes it good, but the vocals themselves which are very fresh. Priscilla Angelique has that Ms. Dynamite ‘Fire’ feel about her and Major D has a distinct voice and sounds like the track was made for him. This song is perfect addition to your playlist on for a night out and would fill any dancefloor.
They say the sophomore slump is an uphill battle; these words have never been truer than with the release of Reading based band ‘Pete & the Pirates’ new album ‘A Thousand Pictures’. After the critical reception of their first album, great things were expected from the indie boys, but it seems that they have failed to deliver results.
Technically the album can’t be faulted; it contains everything that a good British indie album should have, depressing subject matter and the upbeat sound to go with it. For some reason however, it just has no spark. Perhaps it the way that the record feels like nothing new, just extra songs left off their old album. The band has seemed to have made literally no progression since their last album. Don’t get me wrong though, it is a good listen, but it lacks drive and gets boring and repetitive within a few songs.
Every now and then you come across a band that once you’ve heard once you are instantly a fan of their music. GSPT are definitely one of those bands. I had the pleasure of hearing this band live last New Year’s Eve, and since then I’ve been hooked on them.
GSPT have blended alternative & Hip-Hop very well to produce a completely unique sound and are able to collect many different types of fans. All that mix of different sounds have paid off because they have really created something special in their mixtape ‘A Band Apart’ and it’s hard to think why they aren’t internationally known.
Artist: The King Blues Album: Punk & Poetry Location: London
The King Blues are one of the, if not the most, underrated bands of current time. With a unique blend of Punk, Ska, a set of raw vocals and some of the most thought provoking lyrics you are likely to find, they have all the ingredients to be a terrible band, but instead they have pulled it off and created some of the best music I have ever heard. They are back with their third album ‘Punk & Poetry’ and have comeback hard. Tracks such as ‘We Are F****** Angry’ shows the society questioning, anarchist side of the band that fans have grown to love; whilst songs like ‘Headbutt’ show their lighter playful side. The King Blues are one of the few bands that are continuing to evolve in their music and their lyrics, and deserve way more credit than they get. This album is a must for any music fan, anarchist or anyone who generally questions the government. Go out and by it now, you won’t be disappointed.
Artist: Chipmunk Album: Transition Location: London
Chipmunk, one of the king pins of Grime is back with his new album ‘Transition’; and what a transition it is indeed. Little Chip Diddy Chip has grown into an international, chart topping rap star, but is it a good change for his music? I think the answer is yes and no. He is with no question a very talented artist and has created another album of hits and catchy songs, such as the anthem ‘Champion’ featuring Chris Brown; but the switch to mainstream seems to have taken away some of the more grittier sounds and lyrics that made chipmunk great and unique. For new fans it is a change that will not be noticed or cared about, but for some of the older fans it is an obvious change and one that probably won’t be favoured, as he is just becoming like every other Urban artist out there. However, this is still a very good album with some prominent artists featuring on the tracks, and definitely worth a listen. I just hope Chipmunk doesn’t forget his roots and start to cater for a mainly American audience.
Atrist: Katy B Album: On A Mission Location: London
I like to think I have a wide music taste and I’ll admit Katy B’s singles before the release of her debut album ‘On A Mission’ were pretty good. She mixed powerful female vocals and dubstep beats perfectly. When I downloaded her CD, I was expecting something new and upbeat but when I listened to it I felt that she is a bit of a one trick pony. Her track ‘Broken Record’ sums up her album very well, it is just blends into the same noise, which becomes very repetitive and boring quickly. I’m not saying she doesn’t have talent, her wide range of vocal chords and soulful voice shouldn’t go unnoticed but it’s as if she got praise of her singles, and stuck to that sound with no variation. I would defiantly give this album two thumbs down, and wouldn’t recommend purchasing it, unless you are a DJ and looking for some good beats to play. Besides that though you are just wasting money.
White Lies are one of those rare bands that sound like no one else out there and never leave you bored. Naturally when I first heard they were releasing a new album I was extremely excited. On my first listen of ‘Ritual’ however it was a different story. It seemed that the band had simply produced a new album that sounded more or less exactly the same as their last one and hadn’t evolved as artists. When I gave it a second listen though it grew on me quite a bit. White Lies have kept their original sound, which is what make them great. They have dug deeper into their emotions than before and pulled out something much more lyrically sound than their debut album. ‘Ritual’ is another prime example of how truly talented the British music scene really is, and the unique vocals of Harry McVeigh will leave you playing their music over and over.
When Bobby Long released his debut album ‘A Winter Tale’ I don’t think many people expected it to be this good. The 24 year old from West England will remind his listeners of an early Bob Dylan. Bobby generated popularity after writing the song ‘Let It Sign’ for friend and actor Rob Pattison to perform in the twilight film. Long has continued to produce musical gold and has captured the true essence of folk perfectly on his first album. He is one of the few artists that don’t get the recognition that they deserve.
Artist: Jessie J Album: Who Are You Location: London
Jessie J exceeds expectations with her debut album ‘Who You Are’. Mixing a blend of pop, urban and soul into one album obviously paid off as it earned her the number two spot on the UK album charts on its release. She shows that she is not just another pop singer, but a talented singer capable of a wide range of vocals.