#NewMusicFriday: ‘Broken Sleep’ by Fickle Friends

Hot off the heels of their debut album release and a string of summer festival performances, Fickle Friends explore new ground on the driving pop track, Broken Sleep.

It’s time for some new directions for the Brighton band. Leaving Polydor Records to start up their own record company, the five-piece are back with an evolved pop sound ahead of their new EP out later this year.

Their first album, You Are Someone Else, was a strong introduction from Natti Shiner and co. Colourful instrumentals and soft vocals on a slow beat cemented the group as a band with a clear, distinctive sound, and room to experiment.

Listening to the lead single of their new EP, this traditional sound remains, but it feels different. While hits from You Are Someone Else packed a punch with a slower tempo, Broken Sleep has a driving rhythm which is much more urgent and excitable. If we’re seeing Fickle Friends move towards faster, poppier hits, then the band is heading in a very exciting direction indeed.

Broken Sleep is available now on Apple Music and Spotify.

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Musical Discovery: ‘Leaving No Traces’ by HighAsAKite

If you saw my post yesterday, you will know that I saw Of Monsters and Men and HighAsAKite at Lincoln’s Engine Shed. The main act were incredible, and I was so pleased to come across HighAsAKite. They were so great that I listened to them some more, and discovered today’s Musical Discovery – Leaving No Traces.

An off-beat rhythm drives through the song at the start that’s typical of the alternative genre. However, what is not typical is Ingrid Hävik’s vocals, which is both calm and soulful. Alongside the powerful vocals and up-beat drum beat, the track also contains a colourful piano melody and haunting bass riffs.

Towards the end of the song, the chorus is repeated on top of the drums, which makes the song a perfect track to sing and dance along to. I am so happy to have discovered this band, so you may see some more Musical Discoveries from them soon.

What do you think of this track? Comment below!

Liam

Musical Discovery: ‘Redemption Days’ by Josh Osho

In case you didn’t know, I’m the producer of a radio show! You can find out more about that here.

Of course, one of the main things about a radio show is that they play a lot of music. Whilst I was in the office I heard a track I particularly liked. This track – and today’s Musical Discovery – is Redemption Days by Josh Osho.

The track begins with euphoric violin melodies, which combine with Osho’s soulful vocals to create a vibrant song. As well as that, a driving drum beat with snare brushes also gives the track a unique and upbeat feel.

Just like the strings at the start of the song creates a slightly classical-pop style, the chorus also builds upon this. Backing vocals and a developed string melody add to the colourful feel of the track. Redemption Days is the perfect feel-good song for your Monday morning.

What do you think? Comment below!

Liam

Musical Discovery: Alesso and Duke Dumont

Last week, whilst listening to BBC Radio 1, I stumbled across the latest track by Alesso called Sweet Escape. I had previously seen it on YouTube, but after hearing it a lot recently, it’s become one of two Musical Discoveries this week!

The other track which I discovered recently is Duke Dumont’s new single, Ocean Drive. After taking a quick look at iTunes’ ‘Hot Songs’ category, I noticed that Duke Dumont had a new song out. I liked the preview, listened to the song in full on YouTube and really liked it!

Sweet Escape by Alesso feat. Sirena

Beginning with a violin melody, it’s clear that the song’s tone is different to tracks such as Cool and Heroes (we could be). Instead, the song creates a euphoric feel with simplistic guitar strumming similar to that of Deadmau5’s The Veldt.

But then as the song progresses nicely towards the chorus, the guitar melody develops to create a vibrant and euphoric feel which is accompanied by Sirena’s smooth vocals in lines such as: “And if you fall, I pick you up/I follow you till the end of time“. During this, Alesso is quick to add the track’s main electronic interlude, which is not rushed but instead gradually increased to create a great melody.

Whilst the chorus comes across as loud and upbeat, the song then has stripped verses sections which further develops the track’s euphoric style. When comparing Sweet Escape to previous releases, it’s clear that this adds diversity to Alesso’s debut album, Forever.

Ocean Drive by Duke Dumont

A groovy bass-like synth melody is introduced at the start of Duke Dumont’s song. Once again, the DJ pays homage to the 80’s style of music with sections of the song sounding similar to tracks such as Stevie Wonder’s Signed, Sealed, Delivered and Man in the Mirror by Michael Jackson (which some comments on the YouTube video have mentioned). However, this is somewhat typical of Dumont’s style, with Won’t Look Back sounding similar to Black Box’s hit, Ride on Time.

As usual, the vocals – this time from Boy Matthews – remain soulful and continue the 80’s tribute. In particular, the line: “Pretending we’re in love, when it’s never enough.” contains fast-paced lyrics typical of dance tracks in the eighties.

With an almost off-beat drum rhythm and a groovy bass guitar riff, Ocean Drive sees funky instrumentals combine with soulful vocals to create another great eighties tribute from Duke Dumont.

What do you think of these two tracks? Comment below!

Liam

Musical Discovery: ‘Treasured Soul’ by Michael Calfan

For this week’s Musical Discovery, I discovered a song I think I’ve heard of before.

Towards the end of March, I went to see Madeon live in London (read the post here). Before he came on, his support act, One Bit, performed. If I’m not mistaken, this track, Treasured Soul by Michael Calfan, was on their set list. I was the reminded of it when I overheard it last week.

As the song begins, it’s clear that the track has a strong soul theme. With a light, mellow piano riff alongside an offbeat drum beat, the song starts with the typical 90s dance-soul.

Then, the fitting soul vocals add to this style, and it isn’t long before the track delves into it’s anthem-like chorus. Unlike the recent dance anthems of today, the track’s chorus incorporates the marimba style of African music. This new style creates an exciting new melody that means this song is contender for this year’s summer anthem.

What do you think of the song? Could it be this year’s summer anthem? Comment below!

Liam

Musical Discovery: ‘I Loved You’ by Blonde feat. Melissa Steel

Deep house duo Blonde, which comprises of DJs Jacob Manson and Adam Englefield, collaborated with Melissa Steel in their latest dance track, I Loved You.

Despite this song being out for some time, I only started to like the song after listening to it more than once. Now, the track’s deep house style makes it a warm and vibrant track to listen to.

As the song starts, it is clear to listeners that Melissa Steel’s vocal talents are suited to the style of soul expected on such a deep house track. Then, with a synth build-up similar to the style of Chicane’s Poppiholla, the track descends into a chorus with fast-paced vocals combined with upbeat piano riffs. Mixed together, it creates a catchy and feel-good chorus that is expected in today’s dance anthems.

What do you think of this track? Comment below!

Liam 

Musical Discovery: Two New Songs from Maroon 5!

I’ve always been a fan of Maroon 5, previous albums were often listened to in the past, and Maroon 5 had a unique pop style that I enjoyed. This is no different in two tracks that Maroon 5 have released from their latest album, V.

Maps

This track definitely has a mellow feel. It leans more to This Love than that of Payphpne. The guitar riff is relaxing and catchy which makes it fit perfectly with Adam Levine’s vocals. The chorus is a contrast to this, with a more soulful feel that makes the song unique.

Each verse has the same style, apart from the bridge before the final chorus. For me, this didn’t match the feel of the song. But nonetheless, it is a song that clearly tells fans that this is a new and unique album from the band.

The song will be released on iTunes at the end of August.

It Was Always You

Unlike Maps, this song is lead strongly by the bass guitar and electric guitar. This track adopts an electronic rock feel, that hints at a truly diverse album. Also, the track develops in volume, adding more soul as the song develops.

As for Levine’s vocals on this song, it clearly explores his vocal range, as the song is supportive towards the vocals. Whilst Maps proves to fans that this album is unique, It Was Always You shows just how diverse this album will be.

What do you think of these songs? Comment below!

Liam