Victoria+Jean – Divine Love

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From the gorgeous artwork by Russian artist Oleg Dou through to the cinematic seducing which escapes each and every song, Divine Love is creative beauty involved with an imagination which simple leaves the listener lost in fascination. The imagination comes from Victoria+Jean, the episodes of aural drama from their debut album, and the brooding romance between listener and artist from instincts that just know when something transcends just ear food.

The band is the artistic and romantic union of Swedish born vocalist Victoria and Belgian guitarist Jean. Brought up in London and moving to Paris where she began her first career as a model, Victoria was a musician at heart and was signed as a solo artist aged 16 by a French major label, though she broke her four-album deal before releasing her debut, unable to make the compromises demanded upon her by the label. Moving to Belgium she met Jean and the couple began a career “motivated by encounters, travels and sound.” We have simplified the background for and leading to the project and union of the pair, with not for the first or indeed last time, Divine Love demanding to be the focus of attention.

art_RingMasterReviewIn creating the album, the duo sent their 12 tracks to their favourite producers with the request of collaboration for the release. The list included the likes of John Parish (PJ Harvey, Goldfrapp), Rob Kirwan (The Horrors, Depeche Mode), Christopher Berg (The Knife), Ian Caple (Tricky, Kate Bush), Joe Hirst (Stone Roses), Alistair Chant (PJ Harvey & John Parish), and Lucas Chauvière (De La Soul). As evidence of things being meant to be, each freely chose the same track Victoria+Jean had intended and hoped for them; a move and success which only adds to the album’s vastly diverse and eclectic character.

Divine Love opens with its title track and the duo’s new single. Within seconds the electronic mystique and ambience of the track has ears and imagination enthralled, the sixties cinematic drama in tone and air providing a great sense of mystery reinforced by the celestial caresses of Victoria’s mesmeric vocals. The gentle and elegant jangle of guitar equally brings rich suggestiveness to the enveloping theatre of dark charm and atmospheric tempting. There is no escaping a Portishead like essence to the bewitching encounter though equally artists like Propaganda and in a small way The Sugarcubes also offer their scent to its evocation.

It is a glorious start followed by the ridiculously irresistible Holly. From an initial lure of fuzzy guitar and mischievous beats, the song soon swings along with a virulent infectiousness which barely needs a handful of seconds to have hips swaying and spirit smiling. Victoria’s voice dances upon the compelling strands of sound, mixing composed moments with soaring harmonics as rhythms dance with addictive tenacity. As provocative in word as it is in sound, the track is sensational; growing with each twist of its musical theatre and lust inspiring alchemy.

Big Billie comes next, coaxing ears with raw blues guitar before thumping rhythms surround the tangy expressive tones of Victoria. Jean’s imagination continues to weave a sultry web of sound and enterprise to surround the tribal beats and descriptive vocals; a provocative blend playing like a mix of The Creatures and My Baby. Enthralling and igniting the senses it makes way for Until It Breaks and its brooding climate of sinister shadows and electronic espionage. As all songs, it has the imagination casting its own adventures to align with that of the song itself, sparking closer involvement between ears and song which is echoed again by Why Won’t You and its delta blues laced tango.

Across the fiery sonic and rhythmic trespass of Your Baby Don’t Know Me and Firecracker, things only get more boldly flirtatious and grouchily confrontational. The first is a prowling beast of a track with a touch of De Staat to its predacious noise rock infested waltz whilst its successor, while employing a similar dark rhythmic throb, courts techno fuelled ingenuity. It is a collusion which just gets more dynamic, agitated, and schizophrenic across its three body involving minutes, like its predecessor inciting a greedier appetite for Divine Love before a haunting beauty cast with a vibrant calm hugs ears through Härligt Sverige. Tantalising harmonies float around the poetic tones of Victoria, they skirted by resonating beats and the low key repetitive niggle of guitars. Winy tendrils vein the piece too; Jean creating an increasingly climactic drama matched by the vocal emotion equally gripping attention.

Ears and pleasure become engrossed in more blues bred invention through Takes You Like A Rose and Where We Belong next, the latter tempering the flavour with a bewitching folk seeded hug of melody and harmony before creating a tempestuous showdown of sound and emotive theatre. It is a glorious slice of aural cinema, again visual interpretation quickly inspired by the song and indeed Pull The Trigger which follows. Rhythms and percussive enterprise tease and play with ears before hitting an imposing stride entangled in sonic and vocal imagination. Anthemic and intimate within every writhing twist and turn of its excellent proposal, the track is like a hex on body and thought.

Closing with the epic spatial and atmospheric romancing of Define Love, an immersion into electronic and vocally harmonic reflection, Divine Love is one of the most enthralling and in turn invigorating releases heard in a long time. Every song provides an individual and compelling exploration still revealing fresh rewards after numerous listens. The album has plenty for fans of blues and rock ‘n’ roll, ambience and electronica, pop and dance and with a host of videos also accompanying each song, Divine Love is nothing less than essential listening and viewing.

Divine Love is released April 29th via FY Records at https://itunes.apple.com/be/album/divine-love/id1089239770?app=itune and across most online stores.

http://www.victoriaplusjean.com   https://www.facebook.com/victoriaplusjean

Pete RingMaster 26/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Kirsten Adamson – New York Girl

Photograph by James Glossop.

Photograph by James Glossop.

Taken from and backing up a thoroughly captivating debut album, New York Girl is the new irresistible single from Scottish singer songwriter Kirsten Adamson. It is one of those songs which though thoroughly fresh you feel you already know and have an affinity with, a lively romp to raise the spirit and get those feet leaping around to. The summer might not quite be here yet but in sound Kirsten Adamson brings it to your doorstep with New York Girl.

If the name has a tinge of familiarity to it that is because Kirsten is the daughter of ex-Skids and Big Country songwriter/guitarist/vocalist Stuart Adamson. As hinted at by her self-titled album released last December and the new single, plenty of his talent has transferred in the genes. With influences from the likes of Kate Bush and indeed Big Country a major part of her formative years, the summers spent in Nashville where her father relocated to in 1998, have equally left a potent impression on her invention and quirky pop sound. Pinning her down with comparisons is a tough thing such the refreshing distinctiveness which flows through voice and music but imagine a mix of Rachel Sweet and Fay Fife with Lene Lovich for occasional company and you get closer.

New York Girl instantly leaps upon ears as throbbing rhythms collude with the energetic and spicy coaxing of keys and guitars. It is a lively entrance which only continues to invite participation as Kirsten’s voice dances amongst the jangly strands of guitar and the bold rhythms which still bound around within the melodic seducing of keys. There is a definite eighties alternative pop scenting to the magnetic encounter, so much so that if Kirsten was around back then you could easily see her being swooped up by Stiff Records.

Continuing to twist and swing with an inescapable pop contagion, New York Girl leaves a spring in the step and a satisfied smile on the spirit; much as the album it comes from which maybe is an even better way to get the song because then you get to bask in the feisty revelry of tracks like Robot Girlfriend, The Calling, and Valentine alongside the beauty of others such as Like This, Feel The Same, and Time To Be Afraid amongst many other impressing proposals.

New York Girl is released Match 18th whilst the Kirsten Adamson debut album is out now @ http://www.kirstenadamson.com/

Upcoming UK tour dates:

March

22nd The Hope and Ruin, Brighton

23rd The Fiddlers Elbow, Camden London

24th The Vic, Derby

26th Gullivers, Manchester

27th The Cluny. Newcastle

30th Stereo, Glasgow

31st Cafe Drummond, Aberdeen

April

2nd Mad Hatters, Inverness

3rd Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh

https://www.facebook.com/kirstenadamsonmusic/     https://twitter.com/kadamsonmusic

Pete RingMaster 18/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Dark Sky Park – Follow Me

Dark Sky Park Promo shot_RingMaster Review

Formed by a rooftop pool in Tenerife, UK alternative rockers Dark Sky Park are now gearing up to make 2016 their year to grab attention and it all starts with their new EP Follow Me getting its national release January 8th. The five track encounter is an enjoyable and increasingly captivating fusion of rock and pop ‘n’ roll with a healthy dose of classic metal to spice things up further. Already a keenly supported proposition on their local and Northern rock scene, Sheffield hailing quartet have those wider spotlights in their sights and with more offerings like Follow Me, it is easy to suggest they will court the rewards they seek.

Made up of vocalist Debbie Bilson, guitarist Ainsley Stones, drummer Hannah Jasper, and bassist Aidan Hall, Dark Sky Park has a sound which toys with any attempts to pin it down. As the EP shows, at times it is stoner-esque, in other moments rock pop or punky, and always carrying a heavy metal spicing to keep things unpredictable. Follow Me is also an encounter which persistently works away on ears and appetite; not a release setting a fire right away but a proposition in varying degrees getting under the skin with its energetically vibrant songs. References have been made to the likes of Royal Blood, Queens of the Stone Age, Black Sabbath, and Ziggy Stardust era Bowie in regard to the band’s sound but this too only reveals part of the picture.

Dark Sky Park Cover Artwork_RingMaster Review  Follow Me opens with its title track, the song striding in on thickly boned rhythms and winy sonic enticing. Quickly it sets down a familiar but inviting canvas to which Bilson adds her potent vocals as the guitars weave a tapestry of melodic enterprise. Early Blondie immediately comes to mind as the song blossoms with open infectiousness and warm harmonies, these aligned to increasingly steely textures from Stones. It is contagious stuff, a song using recognisable essences to fine effect against its darker more cantankerous aspects.

A No Doubt meets Dirty Youth feel grabs ears in the magnetic lure of Lonely Girl next, the second song a sultry temptress with voluptuous rhythmic hips swinging within a smouldering glaze of vocal and melodic seduction. There is a seventies flavoured vocal croon to the song too which only adds to the compelling drama which steals major attention first time around and only strengthens its hold with each play.

Dark Sky Park digs into their classic and hard rock passions for the following Stand My Ground, its tenaciously muscular character the spring board for fiery grooves with matching vocal attack. Fair to say the song lacks the spark of its predecessors yet leaves satisfaction full and participation keen before attention gathers around next up Marty Feldman’s Eyes. With a title like this the song was already half way there to sparking eager intrigue, completing the job with its Animal Alpha/Kate Bush like dance with ears and imagination. As other times within Follow Me, there is a want for a more forceful and aggressive attack from the rhythmic side of the song, but it is a small want in something which continually demands body and voice get involved, completing its persuasion by closing with a touch of The Adverts to its punkish exploits.

Things come to a fine end with Suicide FM and its rock ‘n’ roll swagger cloaked in again familiar but appealing hues and sound. When a track has feet bouncing and emotions smiling there is much to praise and certainly the final offering finds that success with ease whilst hinting at bigger and bolder exploits lurking within Dark Sky Park.

Follow Me is a great introduction to national awareness, one bursting with potential that ensures that Dark Sky Park are going to be watched by a great many hereon in.

The Follow Me EP is released January 8th through most stores.

http://www.wearedarkskypark.com/ https://www.facebook.com/darkskypark

Pete RingMaster 06/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Kiwi – State of Alert EP

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As fascinating as it is tantalising, the debut EP from Kiwi is a mesmeric adventure which flirts with the imagination whilst seducing ears. State Of Alert is an enthralling embrace on the senses, a collection of songs which are as elegant as they are quirkily colourful, and a proposition which swiftly reveals why Kiwi has become a keenly praised prospect.

Kiwi, better known to her parents as Mariachiara Terragin, is an Italian born musician/vocalist who with her riveting haunting tones has drawn comparisons to the likes of Björk, Kate Bush, Saint Saviour, and Annie Lennox. Already making potent impressions with her live shows, it was the collaboration with multi-instrumentalist producer Maxime Raguideau-Obadia which has been the spark to a new wash of attention and the creation of State of Alert. With guitarist Sean Worral and drummer Andrea Rapisarda alongside Kiwi and Raguideau-Obadia, the band has unveiled a startling debut which marks a new refreshing presence in alternative pop.

The transfixing affair is opened by Dolls House, piano keys coaxing ears initially before the instantly potent voice of Kiwi adds its seduction, enhanced by glorious harmonies soon after. With a darker bass tone emerging from keys too, there is an engrossing shadow to the radiance of the song, one given richer hue by the strong whisper of melancholic strings. It is a powerfully evocative proposition, vocals filling its air with an array of melodic colour whilst electronic twists from keys flirt just as warmly.

It is an excellent start which is followed by the sultry Fearless with its climate of melodic flames over a gentle yet action packed vocal weave. The electronic beats and percussive elements apart, their punchiness an imposing distraction, the song proceeds to dance tenderly and vivaciously over ears, expelling washes of energy for its chorus which in turn incites a fiery vocal croon from Kiwi. Though the song does not match its predecessor it still provides a captivating glide of synth pop to increase appetite for the release which the title track feeds to greater potency. The third song is a smouldering haunting and seducing, a climactic twang of guitar veining another sublime and picturesque narrative of vocals and melodies.

Make Me Happy is a jazzy temptress of an encounter, vocal flirtation aligned to a bordering on sinister hug of sound with strings and melodies wrapped in tension and drama throughout whilst a noir seeded shadow lies temptingly over the whole swirl of intrigue and radiant beauty. It is a delicious tapestry of emotion and imagination, a further example as to why Kiwi has brewed up a very healthy buzz around her.

The EP closes with Crystal Clear, a song which vocally kisses like a mix of Bjork and fellow Italian songstress Francesca Corradini formerly of The Cellophane Flowers. It is a masterfully magnetic end to a thrilling introduction to an artist with the potential to set the pop world alight. State of Alert is a breath-taking adventure of sound and invention, and vocally one of the most striking and exciting encounters to come our way this year.

The State of Alert EP is available September 2014.

http://www.kiwiofficial.com

8.5/10

RingMaster 15/09/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Mano’s Daughter – The Machine

 

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    The Machine is one of those songs which start seducing with its first breath whilst also laying an underlying lure with its sublime and mesmeric textures which immerses the imagination and passions into an even deeper involvement. The first single from London based electronic synth band Mano’s Daughter, the song is a captivating introduction to an immediately absorbing proposition and simultaneously the most potent invitation to the band’s forthcoming debut EP.

     Mano’s Daughter emerged two years ago and brings the synth and programming artistry of Matthias Garrick, the rhythmic skills of Dan See, and the elegant beauty band sirenesque vocal charm of Sarah Carter together. As evidenced by The Machine, they create a spellbinding embrace of sound which provokes and evokes the imagination. Taking their initial time to write and craft a powerful sound and live show, the band began teasing and exciting the live arena from last year with the February of 2013 seeing Mano’s Daughter selected to go through to the second round of Glastonbury’s Emerging Talent competition.

    The band released The Machine as a free download last December and now with the unveiling of its official video, the track unsurprisingly is brewing up and inciting a wealth of enthused and acclaiming reactions. The song makes a gentle entrance; electronically drawn melodies washing over the ears with a melancholic breath but also with bright hues lighting the way for the brewing narrative. As soon as the magnetic voice of Carter wraps her evocative tones around the continually coaxing and immersive sounds, the song raises its temperature and allurement ready for the impending burst of electro pop vivacity. When it comes the track strolls boldly across the senses right in to the passions with a tantalising saunter come stomp of virulently contagious melodies and expressively bred hooks. It invites rather than demands an appetite for the entrancing persuasion but also ensures it digs deeply from the off to increase the suasion so that you never forget the song and certainly specific moments of its immense attraction.

     Part Portishead, part Kate Bush, part The Mouths of Ghosts and still all Mano’s Daughter, The Machine is melodic and emotive alchemy leaving one of the strongest imprints from electro ambient pop in a long time. The previously mentioned new video for the single is equally as attention grabbing. Featuring the introduction of young actress Ria Ellis Burke alongside Sarah Carter, the video impressively brings the heart and emotive potency of the song into visual colour, the opening and subsequent scenes with the young actress evocative and enthralling whilst the thrust of the song vividly lit in picture by the cinematic presence of Carter bringing a richer urgency and scenic menace to the aural tale. Directed by Ian Gathard and filmed by cameraman Nick Pope, with Carter and Garrick editing, the picture brings another dramatic facet to the impressive track without altering its already full fascination.

     Thanks to The Machine it is very easy to be excited about the first EP from Mano’s Daughter; it is hard to imagine it will be anything but refreshing and bewitching when it makes its entrance in March, the release accompanied by a UK tour. This is a band where climbing on their certain rise at the very first stop is a must.

http://www.manosdaughter.co.uk

9/10

Ringmaster Review 24/01/2014

 Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Rose Redd unveils new video‏

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Rose Redd is a beautiful contradiction. Eighteen years in age but unfathomably older in soul, her music has its roots in darker days, experiences, and stories and finds its bloom in both release and connection.

Equally at home with a stirring acoustic vibe or midnight pop, her poignant verses and explosive choruses let you know that she makes music because she has to.

Following the release of her debut single  “Perfectly Useless” comes its stunning video.

Check out the  visual treat here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GQGOPl41Ok

Born in the sleepy British seaside town of Eastbourne, at six months old Redd relocated with her family to the West Midlands.

She was raised on a varied musical diet of everything from Ella Fitzgerald to Iron Maiden to Kate Bush, greedily consuming it all.

At the tender age of twelve she first found a kindred spirit in Depeche Mode’s Martin Gore, whose lyrics spoke to her as a troubled young woman and gave her the inspiration to pick up a guitar for the first time and explore songwriting as a means of expression.

She’s come a long way since portraying a singing sunflower in a kindergarten play. Along with touring and gigging extensively she has been working on her first single with producer Gavin Monaghan, known for his work with Editors, Scott Matthews, and Robert Plant, among others.

Gavin said, “Redd is a rare talent, an artist who effortlessly transcends genres and makes you feel like you’ve known her forever.”

“Perfectly Useless” is a bewitching contrast of radio-friendly pop with lyrical themes of emotional rawness and yearning.

https://www.facebook.com/rosereddmusic

http://www.roseredd.co.uk

 

Rose Redd – Perfectly Useless

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A surprise and a treat, the debut single from UK singer songwriter Rose Redd is a song which manages to smoulder and romp upon the senses at the same time, its emotive elegance and gentle caress as potent and loud as the energy and eager heat driving it. Expectations were not filled with a pre-determined opinion before approaching Perfectly Useless but it is fair to say they were not biting with intrigue either. The eighteen year old songstress soon changed that with a voice and song which drew submission from thoughts and emotions.

Born in Eastbourne but within six months finding a home in the West Midlands with her family, the eighteen year on was brought up with the eclectic sounds of the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Iron Maiden, and Kate Bush filling her welcoming ears. It was the discovery of the lyrics and songwriting of Martin Gore of Depeche Mode though which ignited her inner musical flame, the kindred spirit she found inspiring her to investigate her own songwriting and to approach the guitar for the first time. As her first single shows she has not looked back, the Gavin Monaghan (Editors, Scott Matthews, Robert Plant) produced song an impressive following to the extensive time she has had touring and playing shows to consistently growing success.

Perfectly Useless is a pop rock song which is a hybrid of styles and genres, a track holding a sultry mix of Evanescence, Depeche 547459_562153730496617_875716635_nMode, and March Violets in their pop rock time. It is a vibrant and compelling song as bright as a sun but is also equipped with pleasing shadows, the well-lit pop stroll veined with darker elements of gothic and symphonic rock. The simmering crystalline opening sparkles against the excellent tones of Redd, her voice a blend of Amy Lee and Alison Moyet, and the beginning a mesmeric charm upon the ear. Soon electro beats make their punchy entrance to offer a little uncertainty but it all blends into a tantalising expanse of heated melodic wash, every note and vocal touch wrapping tenderly yet firmly around the ear and beyond. Whether stepping into a reserve of passionate enterprise or a contagious dance of pure pop temptation, the artists and song offers a lingering thrilling embrace which is impossible to refuse.

Perfectly Useless is impressive, an exciting entrance by Rose Redd, a lady we surely will be hearing a lot more of ahead, her horizons destined to be wrapped in welcoming success.

http://www.roseredd.co.uk/

8.5/10

RingMaster 22/04/2013

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Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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