Aja Volkman, the former female front for the LA rock-trio Nico Vega, has announced her long awaited solo debut with the release of her debut album ‘Sandy’. Featuring the lead single ‘My Man’, the album will be available to download on all major media providers from May 19th. Born and raised in Oregon, Aja Volkman began her musical career at a young age and it quickly progressed into a prodigious talent. Volkman’s musical career opened up after she joined forces with War Paint front woman Emily Kohal and for the first time in the public sphere, she unleashed a provocative vocal that would soon define her career. Her foray into the music world continued in 2004 when she forged the successful LA rock trio Nico Vega. After teaming up with Linda Perry (Gwen Stefani, Pink, Christina Aguilera), Nico Vega released their first full-length album in 2009, which received critical acclaim. In 2015 Nico Vega continued to gain popularity after landing an opening slot for Imagine Dragons and now after a short hiatus, Aja Volkman announces her return to music with her debut solo album ‘Sandy’.
‘Sandy’ is a cosy intimate album immersed in beautiful heartfelt delicate tones with country twangs drizzled on top to add a speckle of fun and vibrancy to the album. Dripping in vintage bluesy soul the album displays a sophisticated sound with rich depth and satisfying textures. ‘My Man’ kicks off the album setting a 50’s or 60’s romantic sway-like scene. Elegant and graceful it glides like a fairy tale waltz. The soft instrumentation and sweet lulling backing “sha la la” vocals create a dreamy swoony affectionate flow and glide to this beautiful track. Volkman’s honey soaked vocals coo the luscious melody creating the perfect soothing fanciful scene to blissfully loose yourself in. This track is irresistibly smooth and velvety as it oozes and seeps idyllic romance. Volkman follows this with track after track featuring sweet gentle lusciously rich textures. ‘Bother Me’ brings warm country twangs to the candied delicious sound. While ‘Nobody’ adds a bounce and vibrancy with a sassy attitude. The album is speckled with jazzy piano elements in tracks such as ‘Deep Love’ and mysterious steamy tones in ‘Skeletons’ all while maintaining an exquisite knack for ear worm melodies. ‘Sandy’ winds down to a graceful, tender almost peaceful end with ‘Cracked’. Volkman has created a collection of heartfelt eloquent tracks that display her classy elegant and affluent musicianship.
Aja Volkman recorded the album with singer-songwriter Joshua James in Utah and it has taken over a year to put together. ‘Sandy’ is out May 19th and you can get her brand new single ‘My Man’ as an instant download when you pre-order the album from April 28th.
Stream ‘My Man’ below
Tiny Eyes is a one-man band from Leicester, a singer and producer who’s reared himself on the understated elegance of lovelorn balladeers from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. After cutting his teeth as the frontman of an angst-rock band for a few years, Tiny Eyes auteur Joel Evans met his partner (singer/songwriter Martha Bean) and found himself mellowing out. Feeling disconnected from the angst-ridden world of thrashing guitars his band drifted apart. It was around that time that he’d acquired an upright piano from the 1920’s.He quickly found a new musical voice and tonality that harmonised with his maturing tastes. He is a narrative songwriter in the classic sense, employing clever turns of phrase and vivid imagery to weave imaginatively and provocative yarns into his music. He has now released his new single ‘Falling’ taken from the ‘Tiny Eyes’ EP which is due out May 19th.
‘Falling’ is a soft flurry of feather-like bliss. A luscious heartfelt melody glides with a romantic sway-like grandeur. Its short sweet arrangement displays his sophisticated mindful approach. A beautiful elegant piano feature wanders through the subtle passionately dainty vocal melody. This track flows in a wave of dreamy calm tranquillity. Its the Shangri-la of mind numbing elation. With a crisp sound and gentle approach Evans creates the perfect little pocket in this crazy world to take time to breath and let go. Tiny Eyes is a brilliant and unique new sound that you can fall in love with.
The accompanying video is exemplary of the DIY ethos Tiny Eyes employs in every aspect of his artistry. Comprised of two layers superimposed on each other and shot almost wholly on an iPhone (half the footage through rave glasses), it’s a homemade psychedelic visual accompaniment to the lo-fi retro pop universe that Tiny Eyes creates through his expansive songwriting.
Watch the video for ‘Falling’ below
Mind Redux is the alter ego of 25 year old songwriter/producer Harry Blackman from Farnham, Surrey. He has released his debut EP ‘Colour Of Dreams’ on which he self composed and produced over the winter of 2016/17 in a shed at the top of his garden huddled around an electric heater to stay warm.
‘Colour Of Dreams’ is a 5 track EP that perhaps personifies Blackmans desire for warmth in that shed. Glowing with laid back sunny vibes and laced in subtle sweet hooks its perfect to transport you to a hazy sunny daydream. ‘Divide’ kicks off the EP with peppy beats, swirling soundscapes and lo- fi vocals. Drowning in blissful psychedelia this track sweeps you up into the unique dreamy world of Mind Redux.’ Love Luck’ brings us sharp zesty guitar riffs against sweet melodies and trippy vibes. It’s a refreshing tutti frutti on a sweltering hot day. Smothered in easy going laid back vibes backed by slick instrumentation its euphoric bliss. ‘Moving To The City’ bounces and floats with jubilant elation. Bright guitar riffs and soft beats teamed with wispy breezy soundscapes create a cushion of summer sun to rest your head on. Blackman really knows how to set your mind at ease and place you happily in a content stupor of euphoria. ‘Coincide’ darkens the tone a little with hints of mystery and eerie qualities.The track perhaps acts as the unexpected cloud that covers the sun momentarily . Strong strides on guitar interweave the sticky beats as they swirl in a gentle opaque whirlpool. Final track ‘This Trap’ is a bubble of snappy catchy indie. Again featuring zealous bursts of honey-toned guitar teamed with a delicious melody and heavenly soundscapes. The sing along friendly chorus dripping in wistful tones creates a luscious track that is almost angelic and too sweet for our human ears. Blackman shows real talent with this EP. Looking forward to hearing more from Mind Redux.
When we asked Harry Blackman what were his plans for the future he said:
This project started just as a pastime for something to do after work and soon developed into a collection of songs I thought I should probably release rather than letting them collect dust. I decided to go under a name which could manifest itself into a band for a live setup. I have never wanted to do a solo project and would always rather be in a band setup but not knowing many musicians makes it slightly difficult. Also not having to consult fellow band members about a track works well with me. I do hope to meet musicians in the near future that would be willing to play the songs as a live setup. I’m very much looking forward to getting back into the shed to start another EP or even a full length album.
Follow Mind Redux on Facebook here https://www.facebook.com/mindredux
Stream the ‘Colour Of Dreams’ EP here
Ottawa-based synth/dream pop duo Church of Trees have released their debut single ‘Crumbs (There’s Only Now)’. Church of Trees is the combination of veteran composer, producer, multi-instrumentalist Bernard Frazer and up-and-coming vocalist/lyricist Felicity DeCarle. ‘Crumbs (There’s Only Now)’ is going to be on their extended player ‘Primitive Creatures’ which is due out February 3rd. Its a breezy fluttering delight, glittering with shimmering scaling synths that sparkle with fairy-like magical twinkle. The spacey swirling elements teamed with a heavy pulsing bass and sticky beat draws you into its winding soft cushioned playful abyss leaving you in a trippy hypnotised euphoria. The upbeat groove gives an inherent sense of fun and whimsy while the lyric reminds us that, despite our focus on the past and the future, all we really have is this very moment. Don’t waste it. The track holds a sense of enchantment and magic with DeCarle’s soft vocals adding shimmer and scintillation to the spellbinding wonder. The lyrics sound a little fantastical, however deeper within the lyrics there are some very edgy comments about the human condition that add a contrasting lonely element to the track. Overall Church of Trees encourage us to take each moment and enjoy it as ‘There’s only now’ by giving us a sweet gentle slice of synth based dream pop to coax us into dealing with life with as much positivity as we can muster up.
Stream ‘Crumbs (There’s Only Now)’ below
RÉN (pronounced rain) is an Indie Pop artist from Brooklyn, New York. RÉN is making waves with her thought provoking tracks which are fresh in perspective. She showed us her wisdom through groovy indie in her debut single ‘Time’, followed by her single ‘Into the Unknown’ which is about escape and a much-needed reminder to let go of those aspects of life you will never have control over. These tracks embodied the core concept of RÉN – live fully, ‘let go’ of everything holding you back, and go ‘Into the Unknown’. When performing live lead singer Renée Orshan is joined by her Von Trap like family with brother Reuben Orshan on lead Guitar and sister Eden Orshan on background vocals.
RÉN has released her new single ‘Give It All Up’ which is bursting with an exploding release of optimism and acceptance. Saturated in infectious dance beats and shimmering synths this track exudes sunny radiant vibes from its very essence. With tropical juicy elements its a fruity cocktail of realisation that gently coaxes you into recognising your feelings and emotions. The sun soaked atmosphere fills you with elation and exhilaration. Its a rush of positivity with Renée’s vocals softly cooing and lulling you with soothing warm tones. The track is surrounded with cool airy fresh vibes that swish and swirl like a gentle breeze blowing away all the tension leaving you relaxed and ready to dance, while the synths rain down on you sprinkling joy and uplifting tones. Richly layered with zest and luscious textures dripping from every note its a shimmery delight to relish and savour. This pulsing pop track will have you up and dancing around the room looking forward to summer in no time. RÉN is one to watch.
Stream ‘Give It All Up’ below
Indie quartet RINSE have released their new track ‘With You’ . The Stoke-on-Trent lads have been featured on stations such as BBC 6 Music, BBC Introducing and Kerrang they have supported bands such as Jaws, DMA’s and Palma Violets on their UK tours and are creating a buzz amongst a growing network of fans.
‘With You’ is dream rock at its best. RINSE masterfully pull off wild gritty rock coated and smoothed off by blissful dreamy melodies creating a brilliantly polished track with just enough raw edge and bite to sink your teeth into. Raspy crisp vocals add grit to the chorus while smooth almost haunting vocals coo for the verse with a soothing eerie quality. Reverb guitars have a sweet tone and add a hazy nostalgic atmosphere that you can loose yourself in. The track explodes with a massive chilling hair-raising bridge that is swoon worthy yet mosh ready, its noisy but perfectly delicately blusterous. Pounding drums and vigorous strident guitars bring the track home as the mellow honey tone on guitar plays throughout sweetening the piercing track. Its an ear-popping infectious track that mixes and blends candied melodies with kick-ass ruckus causing rock.
Stream ‘With You’ below
Dia is the stunning project of composer and performer, Danielle Birrittella. The Indie folk/baroque pop artist has released the beautiful, cinematic music video for her latest single, ‘Gambling Girl’ off her debut EP ‘Tiny Ocean’, which was released with Manimal Records and features songs produced by Joey Waronker (Beck, REM, Atoms for Peace), Tim Carr (The Americans, HAIM) and Frankie Siragusa (theLAB). Raised on a Hindu ashram, Dia sang ceremonial ragas as a child, which led to training and performing as an opera singer throughout the U.S. and Europe. Along these travels, she began experimenting with music and writing song fragments on a ukulele, which was gifted to her by her brother. Dia’s practice as a classically trained opera singer induced an incredibly critical ear. Her influences of classical music, such as Baroque and French Romantics are beautifully infused with modern experimental cinematic folk on her debut EP. A native of New England, and graduate of New York University (BA) and California Institute of the Arts (MFA), she has lived and worked as an artist in New York, France, and Italy. Highlighted performances have included Disney Hall’s REDCAT – Los Angeles, La Musica Lirica – Italy, The Chautauqua Institute – New York, La Main d’Or – Paris, and The Ludwig Foundation – Cuba.
‘Gambling Girl’ is a moody cinematic dream pop swirl that is more sticky than honey. The dark stuffy atmosphere suffocates you in a spiralling dreamy haze. The steady thump beat teamed with sultry bewitching lull on vocals give a narcotic hypnotic effect that draws you further and further into the calming opiate illusion. Dia’s vocals act as a sedative or tranquilliser cooing with soft mind numbing qualities. Driven by a seductive sway-like flow ‘Gambling Girl’ lures and entices with graceful delicate charm and daydream obscurity.
Watch the video for ‘Gambling Girl’ which portrays Dia and a cowboy beneath a sunset, riding horses and dancing in the desert below.
Our Worth A Listen Track This Week Comes From Temples
Psychedelic indie rock band Temples have made their triumphant return with their new single ‘Certainty’. This is their first new music since 2014’s Sun Structures. The single was produced by frontman James Bagshaw and is taken from their much anticipated second album ‘Volcano’ which will be released on Friday 3rd March, 2017. ‘Certainty’ features a floaty “castles in the air” dreamlike vibe smothered in a playful feathery light harmonious melody. Sweet honeyed vocals soothe and coax you down a path of dancing toys and joyous shimmering synths. With darkened eerie and unsettling undertones, Temples give you that candy coated flighty euphoria with a darkened twist. Fuzzed guitar lines and thumping bass adds a bite and edge to this syrupy trip. The infectious melody and elevated sugar rush keeps you craving more and more of this fantastically composed track.
Watch the video for ‘Certainty’ below
Ocean Calling aka Sophie Wilkie was formed at the end of 2013, in a little town called Bellingham in Washington State. Originally from Moseley in the UK, Sophie started making/programming music herself whilst living in the very top corner of the USA. As a musician Sophie is a competent pianist and vocalist, writing lyrics that in isolation could undoubtedly stand on their own as poetry, and as a photographer her work is represented in the USA across various platforms. Almost all of her songs are motivated by and about movement, and discuss, amongst other things, the various travels she has undertaken during the course of the past three years. Wilkie is releasing her album ‘Quiet Magic’ this week. It is bold and adventurous for her first work, soaring effortlessly within various electronic soundscapes, all while maintaining a light dreamy swirl of blissful euphoria blended with hints of dark undertones.
‘Mist and Pine’ introduces Ocean Calling’s 10 track experience. With sweet delicate vocals and aerial atmospheres it is picturesque and beautiful. With elegant piano and rapid spongy beat we instantly get an earthy image of beautiful spring and twinkling mist glistening and fragile.The backing vocals lull and blend calming the mind sweeping the listener up in Wilkies gentle delightful world.Its refreshing tones and echo vocals display fantastic imagery you can almost feel the breeze along with the poetic lyrics its like you are being whispered a secret in the form of honeyed melodies and swirling gentle instrumentation. The album continues this journey with track after track leading you deeper and deeper into a hypnosis of enchanting dreamy melodies daintily flowing and interweaving playfully together. Tracks such as ‘Silhouettes’ adapts a more electronic persona with darker tones surfacing to the top of the mixture every once and a while like subtle glimpses of shadowy tones in a swirling blend of colours. ‘Desert Sky Scarlet’ rushes the mind with a soft rapid sticky rolling beat that gives a feeling of freedom or searching for freedom. A refreshing breezy vibe teamed with bright hazy tones, its a vitalising track that leaves you feeling refreshed. ‘Quiet Magic’ gives us a slow song Ocean Calling style. It has a tender melody that is portrayed with a sensitivity that can draw a tear from your eye. Wilkie’s vocals are heavenly and gentle yet soothing and reassuring. ‘Spun Gold’ surprises with an edgy shadow soaked electronic sound. Deepened eerie vocals and a gooey beat hints trouble bubbling. The track releases tension with an expression of brighter tones like an explosion of a sparkle bomb. ‘Girl and the Road’ takes us to the end of our enchanting journey into Ocean Calling’s world of fascination and wonder. Displaying that daydream airy vibe and her beautifully poetic lyric, this track concludes the album with the sprinkling of enchanting magic and the enthralling yearning will to dream and experience the wonders of life.
Watch the video for ‘Black Sand’ below