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

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 

A stand against authoritarianism

Putin has always been known for the saying the fall of the Soviet union was the biggest tragedy of his life.

And this act of war on Ukraine is tragic but to anyone paying a smidge of attention, it was coming.

The invasion of Georgia, The annexation of Crimea, the Salisbury poisoning, the interfering of elections.

And what did the west do? Pander to Putin, do deals with him, elevated his power and Russian Oligarchs and enabled a dictator.

And the scary thing is that Putin’s completely false claims about Ukraine Nazism and peacekeeping operations are notions that he has probably convinced himself are true. This is what happens when people have absolute power, the longer they have it, the more their grip on reality subsides.

When it has come to dealings with Putin, moral principles, values of democracy and justice have all been superseded by money. For too long, money has trumped everything.

Speaking of Trump, he has been closely tied with the Russian Mafia for years! Dark money was allowed to run amok in the US elections. He has openly praised Putin and called him a genius for his move on Ukraine! What more evidence do you need to ensure that Trump can never run for office again? He is an aspiring autocrat himself and funnily enough has also weaponised misinformation ad infinitum. Heck the US can’t even fundamentally protect their own postal service and the right to vote. They can’t even investigate the capitol riot properly!

And Boris Johnson isn’t insane enough to be like Trump or Putin, but he is still a useless imbecile, a liability and someone who has also weaponised misinformation. Him and the self servicing racist parasite of a human being that is Nigel Farage have engineered a damaging Brexit that Russia so blatantly assisted with to weaken the EU and make their move. And when it comes to donors, the Tories haven’t though twice about the influence of money coming from Russian Oligarchs. What a joke of a democracy the UK has when our country is constantly lobbied by corporations and individuals who have no interest in any positive development and only pursue the interest of filling up their own pockets.

Germany is going to get hit hard by cutting off supplies to Russian gas but it feels like the only necessary step, but it is a wake up call to all Western countries to start accelerating self sufficiency and investment in Green and renewable energy. Lord knows the world and climate needs it let alone avoiding doing business with dictators. Dirty dealings are everywhere and countries need to clean themselves up.

So I am really pissed off. Putin and his cronies are responsibly for this tragedy and have been utterly consumed by evil and illusion. But I am also pissed off at the western world for being so complacent and more-so complicit, not taking the warning signs seriously and not addressing the issue before innocent people started losing their lives and homes. Democracy has continued to be undermined and is on a global decline whilst a small minority of rich elites do whatever the hell they like and everyday people suffer.

But I am also hopeful. Zellenskyy has spoken and acted with dignity and honour and he has managed to rally his citizens behind their cause. For the most part, sports and arts organisations have made their sanctions. Ukraine has also managed to garner the support of the Western world so much to the point where some of Putin’s closest foreign allies have spoken against him.

So Putin will lose this war and go down in infamy, and this happened as soon as he decided to invade Ukraine, but at what cost?

The cost is already too great, but at the heart of all of this is sovereignty and freedom against Tyranny.

This is what our ancestors fought and died for in World War 2, and everyone who has enabled this tyranny to go this far via corruption should hang their heads in shame. Liberal democracies are not perfect, but they will always be better than the tyranny of authoritarians and dictators and I urge everyone to reflect on the importance of this and stand up for these values and principles. Things can and should be better.

My heart and respect goes out to all affected by this war, all Ukrainians who have lost loved ones or have become refugees and the Russian citizens bravely protesting against this aggression.