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.

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Musical Discovery: 3 Musicians for 2014

This post is going to be a special Musical Discovery edition. Rather than review one track or artist, I thought I would provide you with 3 artists I look forward to hearing more of in 2014!

1. Capital Cities

I’ve loved this band when it came to their single Safe and Sound last year. However, when listening to the song on Bandcamp, I got a preview of some of their other songs. Since then, I’ve been more explorative of bands. But now, I have downloaded 4 more songs from the electronic duo. Their debut album is brilliant, and look forward to them creating some great new music next year!

2. Chlöe Howl

Chlöe Howl became popular when she was nominated for The Critics’ Choice Award for 2014’s BRITs. Interested with what each of the nominees had to offer, I gave her a listen. Immediately, her soulful vocals mixed with electronic funk fitted perfectly with my particular music taste. Sadly, the winner of The Critics’ Choice Award has since been announced as being that of La La La singer Sam Smith. But despite her not winning the award, I am sure that Chlöe will have be even more successful this year.

3. Clean Bandit

I do occasionally glimpse at the charts occasionally, and a while back I did see Clean Bandit’s track Mozart’s House appear in the chart. However, I didn’t really give it much of a listen. This time, with their 2014 track, Rather Be (featuring Jess Glynne) I managed to hear about it before its release. This track was great, and I personally think that their combination of electronic dance and orchestral violin solos will give them a bit of originality and success in 2014!

Are there any musicans/bands that you’re loving at the moment? Perhaps you think that there’s an artist/band that might debut this year! Comment below with your predictions!

Liam

The Critics’ Choice Award: My Prediction

With The Brit Awards 2014 taking place in February next year, preparations are in place for the night of musical performances and accreditation. One of the pre-revealed nominations of the award ceremony is that of The Critics’ Choice Award, of which the nominations were revealed earlier today.

The three nominated artists include La La La singer Sam Smith, who also collaborated with debut electronic duo Disclosure on their track Latch. So, with two prestigious collaborations underneath his belt, could 2014 see the launch of Sam Smith’s solo career? Personally, I consider him to be a strong contender in this battle for the prestigious award.

But this could be championed by the second nominee of the three. Singer Chlöe Howl has since released many singles and supported debut artist John Newman on his recent tour, and despite her name being unknown to most people, after listening to her songs on YouTube, it is fair to say that she is in with a chance, with her musical flair having a strong sense of originality in her singles, but at the same time it works perfectly with other successful singers in her genres. Personally, her tracks No Strings and Paper Heart are huge tunes, and are likely to storm into the chart should she be announced as the winner on the 12th December.

Lastly, the most-known efforts of the final nominee is through that of her collaboration with much-loved debut drum-and-bass band, Rudimental. With the success of Waiting All Night as a hugely liked track by Ella Eyre and the band, it could be said that she could make it to become this year’s choice. But with no solo successes, it may be harder for her to launch into a debut music career.

So with the winner being announced in a week’s time, I anticipate the news. With last year’s winner Tom Odell having a largely successful debut album, it is likely that the winner will reach similar, if not greater success.

But overall, I’m hoping that Chlöe Howl wins the award, and I wish her all the best.

Liam

Musical Discovery: Jack Neville’s New Album

After its release today, Outlines is the eagerly anticipated debut of singer/songwriter Jack Neville.

Jack, from Bedfordshire, has had previous song successes in the past, with his debut single On Top of the World entering the singer/songwriter chart, and his follow-up single, Wanderlust reaching similar, if not, greater success.

But now the musician has released his long awaited debut album, entitled Outlines, which sees a range of tracks, each with their own flair, and collaborations with other local musicians.

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The album starts with Waiting for the Sunshine – a catchy beat, with fast vocals and harmonica melodies. The track then progresses onto the funky On Top of the World which is followed by Prevail, which showcases Jack’s original style.

The mood changes in the powerful and emotional track, Impossible. Then the musician joins forces with Cody Miller for a great and smooth collaboration for I Will Never.

Carry On sees a memorable chorus with complex but relaxing guitar riffs, whilst Wanderlust contains wonderful ukulele riffs and melodies throughout. The album then finishes with Everything, which is a track with a nice summery feel to it, rounding up a unique album by a talented musician.

The album also comes with two special versions of tracks from the album. One being a live version of Outlines, and the other an acoustic version of On Top of the World – both great additions to the album.

When asked about his thoughts on the album, Jack said: “Outlines is a culmination of about the last 5 year’s of writing music.”

He added: “I’m really proud of the way it has come out and hope people enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed making it.”

The album is out now on iTunes. For more information, click here.

Liam