Take the Time (Feat. Lauren Kinsella)

It is called Take the Time and features the wonderful Lauren Kinsella on lead vocals.

Lauren is an Irish vocalist and composer. Her current projects include the band Snowpoet, who released a wonderful record called ‘Wait for Me’ last year and ‘Skylla’ with Ruth Goller which is a fascinating listen.

I am so grateful she agreed to do this track and couldn’t have been happier with the outcome.

Thanks as ever to my team who gave this track absolutely everything.

Andrew Bishop – Sound Engineer – Co Producer, Recording and Mastering Engineer

Emma Davidson – Backing Vocals

Aled Peter Lloyd – Drums

Dan Nelson – Bass Guitar

Darlee Orcullo Urbiztondo – Artwork

The full lyric video by Drew Hamley comes out on Monday.

You can listen to the full track via the following links:

Apple: http://itunes.apple.com/album/id/1641440453

We hope you enjoy it!

A shame ridden resignation

Too bad that Boris Johnson is incapable of feeling any shame.

It was the same case for Donald Trump.

Are we past the phase of voting in populist leaders who are in the long run so damaging? I won’t hold my breathe, but when you reach a low as low as we’ve done here in the United Kingdom, you have to believe that there is some hope to hold on in terms of us going back up.

Then again, Johnson’s reluctance to resign with immediate effect has a shade of Putin about it.

And what makes me so frustrated is that not enough of the population is aware of the fact that their democracy has been trampled over.

I cannot even bring myself to have a little bit of respect for the ministers who have resigned. They could and should have resigned when Boris Johnson treated the British public with contempt when botching the protective measures needed for Covid 19 and Partygate. The only reason they have resigned is because they have finally realised the ship is sinking and they are making their moves to save themselves. It is all deeply cynical.

The handling of the pandemic from the government in my view is unforgivable. They had plenty of warning signs and ignored them. What’s more, you have a totally reckless push for a hard Brexit which has systemically screwed so many industries over and brought about a massive legal kerfuffle with the NI protocol. Less bureaucracy was the promise and we were given more, and our economic power has diminished. Furthermore, poverty has risen, including child poverty and it took a monumental effort from Marcus Rashford and Jack Monroe to hold the government to account when it came to free school meals and inflated food prices. The defamatory attacks on Monroe from Conservative mps has been especially disgusting. Then there’s Rwanda which was an outright racist and xenophobic move. The Tories are incapable of making policy decisions that are not cruel or squeezing the poor whilst filling the pockets of their over privileged cronies. This is all without mentioning the ignored sexual assault cases that eventually came to be Johnson’s downfall. They are an utter disgrace.

And yet people say it would be no different under another party. Give me a break and do the research. Labour MP Jess Phillips is fighting tremendously hard to bring solutions for domestic abuse whilst Caroline Lucas is a shining beacon for decency, honesty and integrity and whilst things policy wise aren’t that clear with Kier Starmer, there is no question that he is significantly more competent as a leader than any self serving member of the Tories.

So whilst I am somewhat relieved that Johnson will go and hopefully take the insufferable, culturally ignorant sycophant that is Nadine Dorris with her, I am nowhere near optimistic about the alternatives. The best they can offer in terms of an interim leader is Raab. Great: another pathological liar is just what we need.

Standards in the House of Commons are so low, and we need a drastic overhaul where we have a political culture that is more intelligent, compassionate and ultimately one that looks to the possibility that things can and should be better.

It comes down to us to make sure we engage with our democracy and do not take it for granted. We have our vote but we also have our say and Rashford and Monroe proved that you can make those changes happen. If you don’t put in that effort, you have no right to moan about it.

As I wrote in my track ‘Liability’, Johnson is a liability and his bubble was always gonna burst and now it has, we need it to be the first of many.

Head Above Water – Live

I am pleased to announce that I will be performing at Atmospheres Music Festival at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. 

‘Head Above Water’ is the title of my upcoming album and I shall be playing all 6 new tracks from the record, including the recently released singles ‘Until the Stars Align’ and ‘Liability’. 

This is the first time I will be presenting this music live and after rehearsing with Dan Nelson (Bass) and Aled Lloyd (drums) I am really forward to it. 

You can get your tickets via this link: https://www.rwcmd.ac.uk/events/2022-05/atmospheres-2022-head-above-water

Tool – Live at Manchester

It’s been a long while since I’ve seen a show of this scale.

Tool have been on my ‘to go see live’ list for years and I’ve never had the opportunity until now. I believe the last time they played live was early 2010s with the exception of download 19.

I had seen the bootlegs and some live footage and saw the audio visual element which is astonishing but as can be expected, nothing compares to being there in person.

They started by using a gauze curtain with thin textured lines coming down. The work that went into the screens and lights was incredible and about 4 songs in they opened it up.

This is a major part of the experience but the essential element is the playing, which is at the highest possible level.

The Tool band members are in their 50s and their experience and dedication was on full display. They were totally in control and played with so much precision, it was unbelievable. Maynard. Adam, Justin and Danny are all so damn good at their instruments. The sound is unbelievable too. Adam’s combination of Diezel Amps and Gibson guitars absolutely screams whilst Danny is a drumming octopus with loads of nice touches including pitched percussion and a modular synthesiser. Maynard sings in the dark like a ghostly figure and Justin hits the bass hard whilst interacting with the crowd the most.

It was overwhelming…and loud!

But what made it even better was that the audience of 20,000 honoured the band’s request not to have phones out during the show until Maynard granted people request to take their ‘stupid effing cell phones’ at the end.

For far too long, being at a show is about the audience saying they are there than just allowing oneself to be experiencing music in the moment.

It was so good to see music of this level of sophistication being enjoyed by so many people but then again, these guys have been at it for decades, and what we witnessed was decades of work.

It gives me hope. So much music today is blamcmanche and quite frankly banal to the point of total irrelevance and swarming in a desperate toxic sea of approval chasing social media crap, but not all. And it’s about time we start nurturing younger acts who want to make music at this level.

Tool inspires me to maintain integrity, stick to my musical instincts and be ambitious.

If you get the chance to see them live, do it!

What I don’t like about music today.

I have been thinking about this a lot recently.

Music is undoubtedly a topic of subjectivity and arbitrary viewpoints, tastes differ as do personalities and the more you can accept and respect other people’s tastes, the better.

That being said, it’s fun to spark a heated debate now and again and I’d like to touch upon something that I deeply think about when it comes to the music that I really dislike.

Music is hard to write and talk about without getting tangled in knots, but if I am able to express what I don’t like about certain music it puts me in a position to express my critique or opinion in a way that is informed and respectable.

I feel it’s important to do, because one of my biggest issues with music at the moment is the way it does not drive the culture anymore. I have found myself tuning out of so much music that is plugged my way and having to work hard to find music I like and I want to find out why that is.

Here are some general things I have managed to pinpoint that do not sit well with me.

Music being used as a means to tell music theory

This is a byproduct of the Youtube Musical star culture which I ignore because I get no joy whatsoever from using music as a means to fawn over music theory. I study music theory relentlessly and am fascinated by its use in music of all varieties but when the theory sounds like it supersedes the music itself, it makes me really uncomfortable. There is some music that labours on the theory side so much that it completely supersedes the music and I can’t help but find that problematic.

Music that is illiterate

I sometimes read pop lyrics and am sometimes taken aback by how bad some of the language is. Lyrics reduced to text speak, non-sensical metaphors or similes and things that are just grammatically wrong. Lyrics don’t have to reach the literary standards of Yeats or Keats but come on, the least you can do is make some actual sense with some degree of sophistication.

Innocuousness or Vapidness

This rife in modern day releases. Any artist who gains traction and picked up by labels or corporate sponsors is so afraid of speaking out against something that their music becomes reduced to something merely passive and with little meaning.

So much mainstream music that is released is completely and utterly vapid, designed to be here today and then gone tomorrow.

On the contrary a lot of my favourite music has a very focused viewpoint be it deeply personal yet empathetic or standing up for what you believe in. Kendrick Lamar is probably one of the best examples of artists who does this really well. He’s managed to become hugely successful without compromising himself with his solo work. In such an unfair and divided world, we need people to stand up to oppressors and not many musicians of today do this unfortunately.

Self above anyone else

We can thank the internet once again for amplifying this juggernaut of nonsense. Music appears to be used by some as a tool to elevate one’s ego or narcissism and not much else. The music becomes just a byproduct of celebrity culture where the idea is often sold that the most important thing is to be famous and seen as successful.

Negative Ideation

I sometimes check in with the charts and at one point was really worried about what it was that kids were exactly listening to. At one point, the charts were dominated by artists who were taking xanax and singing about it in their works; too many have lost their lives prematurely from messing with such things. I listen to some of the darkest music out there and love bands like Swans, NIN and Clipping. but there’s a difference between exploring horrifying topics in interesting ways and outright glorification of dangerous lifestyle choices.

Lazy or uninspired production choices

There is no barrier to producing music these days, but as a result the long tail of modern day music production is pretty mediocre. Over-reliance on sample libraries, loops, already sourced and preset sounds, triggers (give me some real drum kit sounds please!!!) are all things that turn off my ear because of the lack of originality. It is a long and significantly tougher road to go down to create your own sounds, hone in on the details and find your individual aesthetic, but it is much more worthwhile.

Lack of dynamics

The digital age brought the loudness wars and over-compression. Things did gradually get better but I would argue that there is still so much music that completely disregards dynamic quality to ensure the audio gets into your face in a rather obnoxious way.

Retromania

I’ve been reading Simon Reynold’s book and since the 2000s music has struggled to come up with its own identity and feel. Instead we have seen new artists openly wearing the influence of the latter 20th century decades on their sleeves. The result is music that doesn’t offer much new. Rock music has become the new classic music in many ways and new artists have sometimes deliberately just recycled the acts of the 70s or 80s and built their act entirely on that. The overbearing nostalgia in my opinion is a bit boring and I am keen to hear artists willing to try different things and embrace the future a bit more.

There are quite a few issues I have managed to raise that don’t sit well with me, there is a lot of music I absolutely love, and in another article, I’ll follow up with what it is I tend to like when it comes to music.

What are your thoughts. Do you agree or disagree with me? Feel free to leave a comment below because I love talking about this kind of stuff!

Thanks as always for reading.

Liability – Music Video Release

The music video for my new track ‘Liability’ is out.

This was a really fun track to put together. I wanted to create a really moody, rage filled track to call out all the political leaders running amok who have been so destructive on societies around the world.

Many of us are sick and tired of people in power who are kleptocrats, egoists, self serving and ultimately, not fit for purpose.

It’s sometimes easy to feel powerless, but with music, you always have the power to express your truth.

I hope you enjoy the track and I look forward to sharing more musical releases with you this year.

Credits:

RME – Vocals, Guitars, Synths, Producer, Mixing

Andrew Bishop – Producer, Backing Vocals, Recording and Mastering

Aled Lloyd – Drums and Percussion

Dan Nelson – Bass Guitar

Drew Hamley – Video direction, filming and editing

Until the Stars Align – New Music Release

My new single ‘Until the Stars Align’ is now out.

This is the first single to be released from my new upcoming solo record.

You can listen to the track on all streaming platforms.

A huge thanks to the wonderful team of people involved in making this track. Here is the list of credits

RME – Guitars, Vocals, Keys, Producer, Mixing Engineer

Andre Bishop, Co-Producer, Recording and Mastering Engineer

Aled Lloyd – Drums and Percussion

Dan Nelson – Bass Guitar

Emma Davidson – Vocals

Daniel Soley – Voice

Niamh O’Donnell – Voice

Darlee Urbiztondo – Artwork

Here are links to the track:

Apple

http://itunes.apple.com/album/id/1611298579

Spotify

Lyrics

Until the stars align 

I’ll just bide my time and do what I can 

In this present set of circumstance, what else is there?

Unfurling tragedy, 

the only remedy is to sit and wait it out 

But what of the time, that’s in between?

Until the stars align 

I’ll just bide my time 

Until the stars align, 

We’ll commit the time to keep the spark alight 

Even if it’s just your face and your voice 

We can talk about our days 

And the many ways we keep our hopes alive

For the moment when, we reunite. 

Until the stars align 

One day at a time

Until the stars align 

One day at a time