Musical Discovery: ‘You’ by BLOXX

There’s always something exciting about finding a new band at the start of their musical journey. With nearly 3K followers on Twitter and only two singles under their belt, BLOXX (a four piece indie band from Uxbridge, West London) are still very much in their early stages, but have jumped in to the indie genre with gusto. You only need to look as far as their first track (Your Boyfriend) and their latest release, You – which came out last Friday – for proof.

A guitar melody which, upon first listen, sounded reminiscent of the Friends theme tune sets the upbeat, rocky tone for this track. Contrast Mozwin’s pounding drums with Ophelia Booth’s soft, mumbling vocals and you have a gritty indie anthem perfect for both live gigs and bedroom listening.

For the most part, it’s the ‘all too familiar’ guitar riffs and bass drums which are the true driving force of the song, but credit must also be given to Booth’s sound in the chorus. Now adopting a louder voice, it adds to the emotion created by the backing instruments to form the usual indie track we know and love.

As You builds on the success of Your Boyfriend, it looks as though we can expect to hear more of Bloxx on the radio in the future (the band have already had some coverage from the BBC), as well as some new material to boost the summer mood.

Musical Discovery: ‘Fools’ by Lauren Aquilina

Lauren Aquilina is a name I’ve often seen mentioned in tweets on Twitter or elsewhere online, but I never thought to listen to her music – until now. With a humble, warm singer-songwriter sound similar to that of Gabrielle Aplin, I was disappointed that I hadn’t listened to one of her earlier tracks, Fools, sooner.

There’s something about Lauren’s vocals that leads to you imagining yourself lying down on a deckchair listening to this track, or standing watching her perform it in a festival environment. It’s that mellow style of music which calms those who listens to it, rather than boring them.

With light piano melodies and bouncy bass riffs to begin with, the instrumentals are there purely for rhythmic purposes. The emphasis is truly placed on Aquilina’s voice, which is equally as soft. Although timid, that is not to say that it lacks power. Atmospheric drums build the tone for the chorus, telling the listener to pay attention. They are rewarded with occasional high notes and pure soul to add to a relaxing song. If pop’s white noise becomes too much, then the calming voice of Lauren Aquilina is the perfect alternative.

After looking more into Lauren’s music, I saw that she released her debut album, Isn’t it Strange? in 2016. Now follows the excitement that comes with discovering a new artist: I can now continue to discover more of their great music. I look forward to listening to the album in the future.

 

Review: ‘Gameshow’ by Two Door Cinema Club

It’s been three years. The upbeat guitar riffs of Tourist History and Beacon have to be adapted to suit a completely different market. For any band, an album is a chance to try out new directions. Gameshow is the eagerly anticipated third album from Two Door Cinema Club, which sees them burst back into the music industry with euphoric electronica mixed with haunting guitar riffs.

GAMESHOW COVER
Two Door Cinema Club are back with ‘Gameshow’. It’s time for music lovers to rediscover them again.

The first glimpse at their new direction through Are We Ready? (Wreck) – a track with gloomy guitar melodies and synthesisers. With lyrics and a music video poking fun at consumerism, fans knew the band’s latest release will take a edgier, darker tone.

That is, until Bad Decisions, Gameshow and Ordinary all challenged expectations of what Two Door’s new style will be. It’s only when the album was released today in full that we could see which avenues the trio are exploring.

It’s a record which combines vibrant funk with gritty rock. Sam offers new, hard-hitting and fluttering guitar tunes, groovy songs such as Fever and Je Viens De La give bassist Kevin free rein, and Alex tries his hand at falsetto – something which mimics the Scissor Sisters and The BeeGees in terms of style, but also provides a modern spin.

It’s a wise move for Two Door Cinema Club to take. Funk is a genre which has been slowly creeping into the spotlight. After Gameshow, we may just see the popularity of this music style increase further.

Yet, at the same time, the album bursts to life with the synth-heavy Are We Ready? (Wreck) and we hear a Kings of Leon-like tone on the rough title track. That is until the track, Lavender, complete with calm, mellow vocals and punchy guitar riffs, which kickstarts the more laid-back songs and the funky side of the album.

Fever is the smooth alternative to Bad Decisions and a perfect track to drive along to late at night. Meanwhile, Invincible is more reflective and emotional, placing emphasis on Alex’s soft, mumbling vocals. However, this album does not reach a calm atmospheric (to end the record on such a tone would go against the new style the band are trying to create). Instead, Je Viens De La is the fast-paced funk track which sums up Two Door’s new direction: funky, electronic, falsettos and more creative guitar melodies.

Gameshow is a wonderfully diverse third album for Two Door Club, they’ve moved forward without leaving their old style behind (as we hear in Ordinary‘s plucky guitars). This contrast and the individualism of each song is what makes Gameshow such an intricate, diverse and powerful album. After a long absence, Two Door Cinema Club are back. It’s time for music fans to rediscover the band and fall in love with them all over again.

Rating: 4/5

Liam

Musical Discovery: ‘Ordinary’ by Two Door Cinema Club

Gameshow is two days away, and Two Door Cinema Club have intrigued fans with singles which span various musical genres. The band’s three-year absence has both allowed and forced them to adapt their style. Their third album clearly has a darker tone at its core – whether it be masked behind Bad Decisions‘ poppy falsetto or through the gloomy electronica of Are We Ready? (Wreck). The Irish trio have moved away from the upbeat, vibrant style we hear in Tourist History, but not completely. For the fans who will inevitably moan about the band’s new direction, or for those who miss their old songs, Ordinary may just be the track for them.

With vocal melodies reminiscent of Handshake, the final single to be taken from Gameshow is a reassuring one for those who prefer TDCC’s fuzzy guitar and bass riffs – complete with a bouncy drum beat – right at the forefront of the song.  That being said, the electronic undertones is something present in the band’s most recent releases. It’s a track which fuses Two Door Cinema Club’s new direction with their past work. It’s the perfect middle ground.

Once again, like Bad Decisions, we hear a more falsetto and high-pitched voice from Alex. It’s a risk which pulled off for the lead singer, and in terms of instrumental developments, we still hear the catchy, flourishing guitar tunes which the band are known for, but in tracks such as Gameshow and Are We Ready? (Wreck) there’s a slightly eerie, electronic and gritty style.

Ordinary is a single which bridges the gap between old and new for Two Door Cinema Club. If there’s more of these types of tracks on the album, then fans uncertain about the wide ground which Gameshow appears to be covering in terms of genres may be satisfied. However, I’m not one of these people. From the sound of things, Two Door Cinema Club’s new release is going to be wonderfully intriguing, inventive and diverse. It’s certainly an album worth listening to when it comes out this Friday.

Whilst their first three singles are an exciting look at what’s to come, Ordinary is a refreshing look back at the band’s earlier work, which still lives on.

What do you think of Ordinary? Are you looking forward to Gameshow? Do you like their new direction? Comment below!

Liam

Musical Discovery: ‘Gameshow’ by Two Door Cinema Club

It’s an album which continues to sound unpredictable with each single that Two Door Cinema Club releases. Are We Ready? (Wreck) was more electronic in nature, Bad Decisions was a vibrant nod to the funk genre, and now, Gameshow adopts a rougher, gritty feel, which only teases fans desperate to know what the band’s eagerly anticipated third album sounds like.

The only thing we know about Gameshow (the album, that is) is that it takes a much darker turn. Aside from the haunting tone of previous releases, the music videos tell bizarre stories. Are We Ready pokes fun at commercialism whilst the lead singer, Alex, peels his face off. Meanwhile, Bad Decisions‘ weird cartoons are almost completely nonsensical, resembling a crazy hallucination.

Gameshow adds to this nature with guitar riffs you’d normally hear on a Kings of Leon or Kasabian track. It’s the hazy instruments and whiny backing vocals which really compares to the previous two singles that were more upbeat in style. It’s pretty obvious, but this song certainly isn’t upbeat like Sun or What You Know.

Each track from Two Door Cinema Club’s upcoming album appears to be completely different in style. It’s surprising, interesting, but it does mean that fans may take a while to get used to the constant change in genres.

Gameshow is growing on me slowly, but I hope my love for the track will grow when I see how it fits in what seems to be a very intriguing album.

What do you think of Gameshow? Do you like the direction in which Two Door Cinema Club are heading? What do you think of their new style? Comment below!

Liam

Musical Discovery: ‘Bad Decisions’ by Two Door Cinema Club

One month after the fast-paced Are We Ready? (Wreck), Two Door Cinema Club have offered us another glimpse at their third debut album, Gameshow. Whilst their first single featured darker guitar riffs and thoughts on consumerism, Bad Decisions still addresses a similar message about today’s society, but this time masked under vibrant, funky bass melodies. It’s certainly something different, and proves that their upcoming album remains wonderfully unpredictable.

Whether you think Bad Decisions sounds like the Scissor Sisters, The BeeGees or The 1975, it’s certainly a nod to the disco funk which everyone loved in the 80s. When Tourist History was arguably their most defining and well-known album – setting in stone their unique bass and guitar riffs – understandably, this new release took some of their fanbase by surprise. However, with a plucky bass running through the whole of this track, Two Door Cinema Club’s traditional style is still apparent – it’s just in a funk track this time.

To be honest, this song took a while to grow on me, as did Are We Ready? (Wreck). But as every track challenges our expectations of a ‘typical’ track from the band, each new release from their third album Gameshow has shown us that the trio are exploring new ground and redefining their music. This is something for fans to welcome and look forward to, rather than criticise.

In fact, the only criticism I have is not about the new style, but the falsetto vocals of Alex Trimble. Of course, it is impressive to see Alex challenge himself when it comes to his singing, but the issue lies with it being hard to decipher the lyrics. Thankfully, sites such as Genius Lyrics are on hand to help. On the whole, as a big fan of both funk and Two Door Cinema Club, I rather like this track.

What do you think of Bad Decisions? It’s certainly a different style, but do you like the direction which Two Door Cinema Club are moving in? Comment below!

Liam

Musical Discovery: ‘Some Other Dude’ by Everywhere

It didn’t surprise me when I noticed that the alternative rock band Everywhere have worked with the American producer Mark Needham – who has worked with big groups such as The 1975, The Killers and Imagine Dragons. Now, as Everywhere release their new single, Some Other Dude, there’s wonderful similarities between them and Matt Healy’s band.

At the heart of the song is a pulsing bass guitar riff and a memorable chant-like chorus. Both of these elements combine to form a vibrant funk-pop anthem which really stands out in a heavily dominated alternative/pop scene.

There’s always something exciting about witnessing an up-and-coming band hitting the mainstream music scene. Already, Everywhere have supported The Kaiser Chiefs and appeared at the NME Awards in 2013. As with every Musical Discovery, finding a track you love is amazing, but finding a new band to listen to is even better.

Three years ago, they released their debut EP, American Grandeur, so you can expect some songs from that release making an appearance on the blog very soon. Alongside Some Other DudeShades at Night is another track I’ve been listening to lately, and would definitely recommend.

If you like this track, then you may be interested to know that you can download Some Other Dude for free by signing up to a newsletter here.

What do you think of Some Other Dude? Are you a fan of Everywhere? Comment below!

Liam