The Return of ‘De:Fuzed Digital’

It’s December 2017. A Facebook post posing the question, ‘Are You Ready?’ appears, with the announcement that harder styles label De:Fuzed Digital is making it’s huge comeback. Complete with a fresh look, sharpened tools and new artists joining the roster, label manager Craig Quinn (aka Quinny) has clearly been busy.

They’ve attacked 2018 hard, already releasing a number of tracks from artists such as Eddy Taylor, Chris F and are teasing a new preview from EQ (Quinny and Eddy Taylor). Plus, they have loads more releases still to come, showcasing the best new talent in the harder styles.

De:Fuzed has had previous success with artists they’ve signed, such as Faze2, who performed at various big named hardstyle events in Northern Ireland.
‘Zodiac’, an original mix by Eddy Taylor and CochaMe reached number 2 on the Trackitdown Top 100 Dance Tracks on the 18th February. The label is doing such a good job by giving a platform for hard dance artists to get their tracks out, and to finally let people hear their talent.
It has just been announced that the De:Fuzed team will be at this years Kiddstock (Alex Kidd’s festival), with Faze2 on the Main Beach Stage, and EQ on the GIS: Rawstyle Stage.

All information about tracks can be found on their Facebook page- https://www.facebook.com/DefuzedDigital/ -and I would definitely recommend keeping an eye on what’s to be released, as 2018 will be a big year for De:Fuzed Digital and all the artists still to be announced.

 

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Fall Out Boy- ‘Mania’ (Album Review)

Fall Out Boy have released their long awaited 7th album ‘Mania’ after months of teasing (and being a wonderful band and giving us 5 singles to get us warmed up for it). Their style of music has changed considerably from early albums ‘Take This To Your Grave’ and ‘From Under The Cork Tree’ to their last album ‘American Beauty/American Psycho’, inserting dance and pop influences and twisting them into their own take on rock music that ends up working so perfectly.

I have just listened to ‘Mania’ from start to finish and let me tell you, it has been a while since I have absolutely loved an ENTIRE album as quickly as I have with ‘Mania’. It runs so well from track to track and you already feel like you know the album because half the tracks off it have already been released for a while. The first song off the album, ‘Young and Menace’, was released back in April and I’ll admit it took me a couple of listens before I understood and properly liked ‘Young and Menace’. The style of it, the warped mess of layers of vocals and instruments- you need a minute to gather yourself because that song is so different from any Fall Out Boy song, you don’t expect them to come out with something like that and pull it off so well. ‘Young and Menace’ embodies the album title and when you listen to it you’ll know what I mean in a better sense than if I were to describe it to you. It’s messy, parts of it sound deranged but then return to calm, however it still makes you feel good when it finishes.

The two main songs off the album that I have been loving and have been my go-to songs to listen to for a couple of months now are, ‘Last Of The Real Ones’ and ‘HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON’T’. They both just make me so happy and so excited, I can go into my own little world whilst listening to them, definitely two of Fall Out Boy’s best most recent songs. ‘HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON’T’ has that catchy, holiday sounding part in the chorus and ‘Last Of The Real Ones’ is so powerful, showing of Patrick Stump’s voice to perfection. I hope they play both those songs on their UK tour so I can properly have a dance to them.

Later on in the album, it gets a bit more interesting, a little bit more different. After all those really energetic and fast-paced songs comes ‘Heaven’s Gate’ and when I was listening to this it caught me off guard. Of course it sounds incredible, because the slow, soul style of the song fits Patrick Stump’s vocals beautifully. It carries you away, and immediately reminded me of ‘What A Catch, Donnie’ from ‘Folie a Deux’. Fall Out Boy always do this type of song so well, and shows how much of a versatile, talented band they are.

All the songs off this album are equally as good as each other and this album has impressed me greatly. With a band like Fall Out Boy, there’s always so much pressure riding on them to make the next album as brilliant as the one before. The expectations are always so high, but they smash them each time they put out a new record. ‘Mania’ is awesome, it’s another development in ‘Fall Out Boy’ history and I will definitely be going back and listening to it on repeat to get myself hyped up for their Manchester show in March.

‘Mania’ is available to order now through Amazon, iTunes and to buy in stores.

You can also stream it through Spotify or Apple Music.

Information and tickets for their upcoming tour can be found here: https://falloutboy.com/tour/  

Song Review- ‘You & I’ by Miranda Amess

Trying to find new music nowadays that already doesn’t sound like some recent band or artist in the charts is a very tricky thing to do. Nearly all singer/songwriters with guitars sound like a knock-off Ed Sheeran and nearly all indie-rock bands will have influences of Arctic Monkeys, The 1975 etc.

Miranda Amess however, is a different case.

She has already started to make her mark in the music industry, with her debut single ‘Gravity’ gaining airplay on BBC Introducing when it was released, and also supporting Janet Devlin (Northern Irish singer/songwriter & X Factor runner up) during her Manchester show last year.

Now, after taking time to focus on her solo music, Miranda Amess has just released her new single ‘You & I’.

The overall feel of the song itself is a soft version of a Sia and Christina Aguilera power-pop ballad. Miranda has a beautiful vocal range and her voice doesn’t get overshadowed and therefore melt into nothingness. It is not a stereo-typically processed voice like most female pop acts have. Her accent comes through, which makes her have her ‘own’ voice, and makes this song so good to listen to.  The mix between the pop style lyrics and vocals swirl together with the pop-rock instruments to create a song that has all the right boxes ticked to be brilliant.
It is a very well structured song. It has a good rhythm to it which, after a few listens, begins to sound familiar, as though this song is already in the charts- although it’s better than what’s in the charts. Miranda has written some very powerful lyrics with a lot of emotion conveyed through them- they are lyrics that people can relate to, lyrics which make people listen closer to them, to find their own personal meaning.

Miranda Amess is clearly a professional, and is very much in control of what she does as a musician. She has started making well defined tracks in the music industry, and if she continues to release songs as well put together and recorded as ‘You & I’, then attention, recognition and opportunities are not far off for Miranda.

Check out ‘You & I’ on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/track/4u7KrRMrMUmh1PFAihIFI7

Miranda Amess website: https://www.mirandaamess.com/  

Song Review: ‘Heaven’s Discrepancies’ by The Empire Police

‘Heaven’s Discrepancies’ is the latest single to be released by Preston-based band The Empire Police, and upon first listen, does not disappoint. It is a wonderfully upbeat and energetic song, with an incredible catchy chorus. It’s what I like to call bubblegum sounding, like it could easily fit into an American teen comedy film.
The bass-line in the bridge sounds heavily influenced by Green Day, reminiscent of the bass-line in their song ‘Chump’ from 1994 album, Dookie.
‘Heaven’s Discrepancies’ is short but sweet, where every good thing you want from a song is packed into it 2:10 minute timeframe. You don’t get bored of it, and it’s that right amount of punk-style repetitive which makes it instantly stick in your brain.
The song, as a whole, sounds like the product of what you would get if the Kaiser Chiefs and The Hoosiers were put in a blender. That indie-pop-punk genre which was huge in the mid-2000’s.
‘Heaven’s Discrepancies’ is noticeably different in comparison to their other recently released tracks, such as ‘Yesterday’ and their self-titled E.P ‘The Empire Police’. It’s refreshing when bands do this because it shows versatility. The Empire Police are showing that they are capable of switching from laid-back, Northern indie-rock, to fast paced alternative pop-rock; and do it extremely well.
If you like what you hear and want more, The Empire Police are playing at The Soup Kitchen, Manchester on the 18th November with Scruff Of The Neck Records.
Tickets are available through Ticket Alien: https://www.musicglue.com/ticketalien/events/9f9ff7d0-63e6-0135-c797-2603ee79f6ff

‘Heaven’s Discrepancies’ is available to stream on Spotify, Apple Music and iTunes. 

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/1wywbtI5PQjtJaINE7GvUA?si=Fd7OSgrf

The Empire Police Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/theempirepolice/ 

Live Review: ‘Avenue’ @ Night & Day Cafe, Manchester (11/10/2017)

The Night and Day Cafe in Manchester is slowly becoming a favourite place amongst young bands. It’s cool, quirky, and at first doesn’t strike you as a music venue, just an overly alternative coffee shop-cum-bar. But it definitely has that hipster vibe which is becoming a must have accessory for a lot of today’s young talent.

Tonight, the headline act is Avenue, a jazz-rock band from Manchester. The place isn’t packed out, but I wouldn’t really expect a full on mosh pit to happen at a jazz gig.
As they kickstart their first song, ‘Mellow Yellow’, it instantly comes across how professional they must work together. They are tight, the sound is clear and the singer has a voice very reminiscent of Amy Winehouse. The overall sound of jazz vocals mixed with rock instruments blends together so smoothly. It’s actually so refreshing to hear a young band sound like this and not like a wannabe Arctic Monkeys/Oasis tribute band.

I just wish they had more spark in their stage presence for in between songs. It deflates the set when they go from full performance mode, to standing around awkwardly, talking shyly to the audience.

‘Move On’ injects some feistiness into the performance, with lead singer Lauren George spitting out lyrics such as, ‘Move on, you need to get some help!’. It has that element of sassiness which makes you want to applaud and shout, ‘YES GIRL!’.
Remember I said the singer sounded like Amy Winehouse? Well sure enough, mid-way through their set, they launch into a cover of ‘Valerie’ (originally done by The Zutons, Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse covered it in 2007). It is definitely their stand out song, getting an impressive reaction from the audience. A crowd pleaser, yes, but it shows off Lauren’s vocals beautifully, and with their own relaxed jazz-rock twist, it makes the song sound effortless.
All the songs that Avenue have performed tonight are slick, well rehearsed and enjoyable to listen to. You just need stage presence guys! Get some movement in there, dance a little, it’s your night and you are in control.
However, it is a good thing that this the only negative thing I have to say about their performance tonight.
Last song ‘Wicked Heart’ leaves the gig on a happy-go-lucky, feel-good note, and finally shows the two guitarists enjoying themselves.

Avenue have incredible songwriting talent, and seem to have already established a solid sound with no doubts of who they want to be. Their set was a perfect mix of well rehearsed originals and crowd pleasing covers. It went down so well, they definitely deserve to feel proud as musicians.

Review: ‘Out Loud’ by Gabbie Hanna

Over 4.9 million subscribers on YouTube. First book due out in the coming weeks. An acting role in YouTube Red series ‘Escape The Night’. Now…a new song to kickstart a potential music career. Gabbie Hanna is definitely putting all her fingers in every kind of exciting career pie and gaining reward, after reward.

Not many of you will know, or may even have heard of Gabbie Hanna, but it’s time you should.

Having started out on Vine, creating 640 posts of 6-second content and gaining nearly 5 million followers, Gabbie was able to progress onto YouTube and continue to flourish. She took part in fellow YouTuber Joey Graceffa’s series called ‘Escape The Night’, and on September 19th she will be releasing her first book- a collection of poems- called ‘Adultolescence’ (pre-order at gabbiehannabook.com). But that is not all.

On September 6th, Gabbie Hanna added ‘singer/songwriter’ to the list of her many occupations, after releasing her first song, ‘Out Loud’.

The day it was released saw the song literally shoot to the top of iTunes charts, peaking at #3 overall. It has been streamed 782,275 times (as of 10th September) on Spotify and the lyric video on Gabbie’s YouTube channel (TheGabbieShow) has nearly 3.5 million views. ALL IN THE PAST 4 DAYS. 

It is undeniable that ‘Out Loud’ is a T-U-N-E. It sounds so different, so fresh. You can hear from Gabbie’s vocals how much emotion and hard work went into creating this song. The lyrics give you an insight into how gripping and beautifully written her poetry book will be, it is clear that her talent for writing will get her far in life. The song flows in a way which seems as though it was effortless to write. That once pen was put to paper, the words and lyrical formation came out as easy as it is to listen to.
And that CHORUS! If that doesn’t get stuck in your head there’s something wrong with you. You need to listen to it on repeat until that’s all that is in your head.
I’m not the only one who thinks ‘Out Loud’ is incredible, as it has received 212 5 star reviews on iTunes, with people saying, ‘This track is a dream to listen to’ and ‘Best song I’ve heard in a long time’, ‘I’m so proud of you Gabbie!’.

It is quite astonishing how ‘Out Loud’ has become a such a huge hit in such a short time. Gabbie recently performed the song LIVE to approximately 4,000 people at Vidcon Australia, which saw nearly the entire crowd shouting along with Gabbie during the chorus. It is beautiful to see how much her fans are supporting her throughout her many ventures.

Expect many great and wonderful things from Gabbie Hanna. She is going to be a very powerful, successful and influential women, and already has millions of people believing in her. I already want to hear more music from her.

Download ‘Out Loud’ on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/out-loud-single/id1275959030

Watch the ‘Out Loud’ lyric video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNZTec6BbOU

Making money off the dead

Another in-depth blog post, but one which I feel needs to be discussed because there are two arguments to the side of this, more controversial topic.

Continuing a similar theme with the last post, where I discuss that ALL musicians who die should be given the same remembrance by the media, I wanted to write about what happens after the musicians die.

Celebrating a musician after they die is of course, normal and completely fine. But, I have very mixed feelings about whether it is right or wrong for their manager or record label to use the fact that they have passed, as an opportunity to make as much money as they can from their music. Within the next few days of the artists death, there will be adverts on TV showcasing their ‘Greatest Hits’, copies of every album lining the main displays in HMV, and the charts will suddenly be swarmed by all their well known singles.

Suddenly, it seems every person on the planet is a ‘huge fan’ of said musician.

But where does all the money go from the sales? Straight back into the record labels pocket that’s where. Which raises the question- do these massive record labels see artists deaths as the best promotion opportunity, essentially, making money off the dead?

When put like that, it seems quite insensitive, but think about it: who are these sales benefiting? Obviously not the artist, they have no idea that their number 1 hit from 10 years ago is back in the charts. They left this earth just hoping to be remembered, at least for a little while. So which major party is left, but the record label who is giving the go-ahead for the CD’s etc to be sold in the first place. You may not want to believe people like that exist, but unfortunately they do. There are some people who work in the industry, in record labels, who only have money on their mind. They couldn’t give two shits about the artist, just the revenue they bring in.

All that leaves a bad taste in your mouth, doesn’t it?

However, this is my other argument to this subject. As I said previously, there is nothing wrong with celebrating an artist after their death. Those people have affected other people’s lives greatly. They will leave a lasting impression in the music industry, with songs which shall be played for years to come. I just feel that record labels should have the artists family in the forefront of their mind, rather than their pay cheque. Money from sales should be given to direct relatives, then some to charities/organisations the artist worked with- that would benefit the world a lot more, wouldn’t it? I’m sure that would be the lasting impression the artist would like to leave, knowing their family is secure, rather than ensuring workers at a record label get their end-of-year bonus.

This is a subject that does get me riled up, as I feel very strongly about it. But once you see what is happening, once you think deeper than, ‘Oh isn’t it nice to see all [insert artists name here] CD’s on sale again! Isn’t it nice for them to celebrate them!’, you do realise what is actually going on. It has made me view the situation a lot differently. I don’t go into shops and see joy at how the artists CD’s are everywhere, how their songs are back in the charts, because I know they aren’t here to be benefited.

I wish they could be.