The Taboos - No Miracles

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The Taboos are back after their highly successful singles ‘Criminal’ and “2004”.

‘No Miracles’ is the band’s highly anticipated new single and was released on the 23rd August.

Their sound is very diverse varying from punching, anthem-esque choruses to echoey soft pop melodies.

The Taboos are a three piece contemporary indie/alternative band based in East London. Officially formed in 2018 after their success in ‘The Rogues,’ they have acquired experience after supporting prestigious artists such as Nick Grimshaw, Scouting For Girls and Toploader. Their live experience has earned them regular gigs at famous London venues such as the O2 Academy Islington and Camden Assembly.

Siobhan Mazzei - Consumed By Chaos

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Succumb to her siren song and Siobhan Mazzei will lure you in to her spell before blasting the very sails from your ship. A singer-songwriter with a penchant for crafting spellbinding grunge, Mazzei is making waves on the alt-rock scene, supporting the likes of Mollie Marriot, The VirginMarys and Broken Witt Rebels.

For a Leicester-based artist, there’s an edge to her voice that’s strikingly Gaelic - an interesting adornment to her fiery, folky sound and a hook for fans of The Cranberries. Her voice, paired with the ferocity of her band who she says “sprinkle fairy dust” on whatever she writes, merge to embody the chaos she declares follows her wherever she goes -the inspiration for her latest EP.

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Mazzei grew up in a family of able singers – a musical childhood that would fine-tune her ability to express herself through music. Her EP ‘Consumed by Chaos’ flaunts this skill being comprised of emotionally-charged, gritty yet enchanting stories; stories that are sung in commanding, Celtic tones to thrashing drums and indulgent guitar solos.

The first track ‘Never There’ is somewhat of a nostalgic device - a musical time machine back to the bouncy pop-punk era of the early 2000s. That’s not to say this EP sounds dated, in fact, it cleverly scratches a sentimental itch whilst still sounding new and exciting. ‘What Have I Become’ is slightly darker with an addictive, ever-changing tempo and showcases Mazzei’s impressive vocal ability – flipping from serene to full-on scream (whilst pulling it off!).

The slowest of the collection, ‘I’m Not Scared’ feels like the closing of a chapter and aptly concludes the EP. The pendulum of emotion swings between fragility and power – a manifestation of the main theme throughout ‘Consumed by Chaos’: that behind Mazzei’s mammoth sound is delicate story to be told.

Catch Siobhan Mazzei at The Dog and Moon in Derby on August 16th.

Grapefruit - Soak

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“Cut a Grapefruit in half and use your imagination…viva la vulva!” explains Ange, the front-woman of female and LGBT-fronted band ‘Grapefruit’. Characterised by epic drums, silky vocals and seductive hooks, this five-piece from Kent sound as sensual as her depiction of the fruit they’re named after. Initially a duo, Grapefruit has grown organically over the past two years and though very much still in its infancy, their distinguished, slick sound would have you believing otherwise.

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Grapefruit boast a strong, female vocalist at their stern, who fondly remembers her first CD as being a compilation of independent, power-women including Pink and Avril Lavigne. Ange grew up with a dad who loves pop punk and a mum “that didn’t understand or like English music” – but who would sing in Chinese in all day long. Perhaps it was her musical upbringing or the fact that between them, the band has an extensive range of musical tastes (ska, hardcore metal, indie and Frank Sinatra!) that owes them their unique sound and sense of self. Whatever it is, it works. 

 Romantically written in a cabin by a riverbank, their new single ‘Soak’ explores the feeling of dissociating. “We live in a world that is so overwhelmingly chaotic and cluttered that you can lose yourself as life rushes past” explains Ange; a concept they bring to life by pairing drowsy vocals with powerful, pulsing drums. Vocally, Soak is soft and caressing, though the track itself manifests the same kind of intoxicating recklessness as a nightclub romance – hazy, exciting and flooded with urgency. It’s a song oozing with intensity whilst still encompassing an introspective calm – maybe a stamp of the idyllic setting it was created in. 

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This young, alternative band, who proudly represent the LGBT community, seem posed to take on festivals and stadiums alike. For fans of Warpaint, The XX and The Smiths, catch them in and around Kent this Summer, starting with Faversham Beer Festival on 26th July.

Author: Sian Williams

 

 

Jonah Hitchens - Floating

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Jonah Hitchens is a young musician with an old-school Jazz style that’s sophisticated beyond his years. Home grown in “a place near Exeter”, his youth was spent jamming to Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin - but it wasn’t long before he swapped covers for creation. His primary school years were focused less on schoolwork and more on song writing, eager to establish his own musical voice. Now, heavily influenced by his recent studies in Jazz, Hitchens has crafted a unique, soul-infused sound that could be likened to a fusion of Jason Mraz, Leon Bridges and Frank Ocean.

 His new EP ‘Floating’ blends the sound of a slow, cosy, Sunday morning (‘Just the Simple Things/Ballad’) with foot-tapping, sun-kissed, pop soul (‘Let Love Guide You/The Island’). Describing it as a conceptual EP, Jonah’s perception of ‘floating’ is embodied by the laidback, immersive quality to many of the tracks and his contemplation of “the way the mind moves”. Inspired by the idea that our thoughts can be “uncontrollable and sometimes directionless”, this EP emanates the feathery-lightness of a daydream interwoven with romance.

 The final track on the EP, ‘The Island’, is the catchiest and most lively of the collection. A satisfying brew of smooth vocals and groovy guitar licks, let this be the soundtrack to your summer afternoon - drink in hand. Perhaps a nod to his childhood by the sea, this song definitely evokes visions of road trips to sandy beaches. Swirls of jazzy melodies and funky bass give this track an infectious, hip-swaying rhythm that would have even the most reluctant listener bopping along. As a conclusion to the EP, ‘The Island’ leaves us feeling warm, content and wanting to hear more.

 Within the next month, Jonah and his band will be performing the EP via a live YouTube session and releasing the live album on Spotify and iTunes. Be sure to follow ‘Jonah Hitchens Official’ on Facebook for more information, plus gig updates throughout the Summer!

Author: Sian Williams

Maya Kally - 'We're Waiting'

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Kally is a passionate singer-songwriter, composer and multi-instrumentalist with jazz, indie and experimental influence. Her distinct style encompasses lust, family, and topics less spoken about within society. Born in North London and a Leeds College of Music alumni, Maya's music has taken inspiration from living in cities and finding serenity in such a fast paced environment. Maya has worked with supporting artists including multi award winning pianist Bill Laurance, award winning musicians Matthew Bourne and Joe Fox as well as performing at Manchester Jazz Festival, Wigan Jazz Festival, Cloudspotting Festival, Leeds Jazz Festival and many more.

 Her debut single, Another Time, is out now and has been played on Alan Raws BBC Introducing as well as Amazing Radio. Her single Another Time has introduced Maya Kally as a 'Fantastic new talent!'

 Since moving back to London, Maya has been awarded funding from PRS Foundation, Festival Republic and ReBalance, which contributed to the anticipated creation of her newest single: 'We're Waiting'.

 ‘We’re Waiting,’ - is an entirely original and unique track that encompasses both indie and jazz influences. Kally’s creative flair instantly captivated us and we were drawn in to listen deeply to the multiple textures and inventive progressions. While maintaining its melody Kally has incorporated experimental value which takes this track to higher levels. Artist such as Yellow Days and Cosmo Pyke spring to mind and based on the quality of this track, we don’t see why Kally would not reach such heights.

The Petty Thieves - "Heavy Soul"

The Petty Thieves are a Ska/Reggae/Soul/Funk phenomenon from Medway, Kent. The Thieves natural groove oozes through each track and creates a vibe that puts a spring in your step and walks you straight into a feel good zone. Their latest release “Heavy Soul,” is yet another step up for The Petty Thieves and we are super excited for what they can bring to the 2019 music scene.

Biography

 Since early 2016 The Petty Thieves have quickly established themselves in the local music scene, putting their dirty Reggae footprint firmly down in the Medway towns. The Thieves released their E.P 'Better Things' in 2017 leading them to play shows up and down the country, headlining Wigfest as well as main stage at One Love Festival, ending the year by support Ska legends Bad Manners at Concerde 2 in Brighton.

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 2018 has been a huge year for the Thieves and it kicked off with a new single 'Riddles Of Madness' in the build up to the thieving rapscallions eagerly anticipated debut album 'The Right To What Is Wrong'. The gigs came thick and fast, taking the underground Festival scene by the cahoonas. This summer they played Jurassic Fields Festival, Ey Up Mi Duck Fest, Chin Up Fest, Gig In The Park, Tonbridge Calling, Glastnost plus a headline slot at One Love Festival.

2019 has brought us “Heavy Soul” and to put it simply we LOVE LOVE LOVE this track and its accompanying music video. It has it all from smooth lyrics, complimenting harmonies, groovy reggae vibes, brass sections and an amazing break down sequence at 2:26 which gathers a strong momentum, before propelling us further into the raw feeling of the track. There is a real depth to the track, we have been looping it for hours and we still want more! “Heavy Soul” is an absolute hit with us, listen below and let us know your thoughts!

The Gallerys - Lucid Trail EP

Every so often when reviewing new material you come across that band that has just got it right. They have drawn on influences but stayed original, had a story that has shaped the tracks and convey a message that rings a relatable truth. As listeners we are enticed to solely tune into the music and allow it to take you to a certain place in a dreamlike state. The latest EP Lucid Trail by The Gallerys does just that.

The EP was recorded at Square Head Studios in Sittingbourne Kent and it was expertly mixed, produced and mastered by Dave Young and James Simpson.

LUCID TRAIL

In the opener “Lucid Trail,” we are hit with an impactful indie/rock acoustic number that really sets the tone of the EP. The track illuminates The Gallerys song writing talents; James Wood’s lead vocal is exceptional and draws a raw emotion. The backing vocals from Craig Barden and Dan Maggs produce perfect harmonies which creates a unique depth to the track. Lucid Trail conveys a powerful message about a struggle to overcome anxiety and although “the lucid trail is hard to find sometimes… in time you’ll figure you have done just fine.” When listening to the lyrics it really inspired me to take time to self-reflect. It is a hit for us as it has all the elements of a top track and we are not surprised that there is such an excitable buzz surrounding The Gallerys. Lucid Trail also has a music video…that must have been unbearably cold at the end!  

SHADOW STREET

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Shadow Street, the second track on the EP offers a change in dynamic and we begin to pick up the pace and open up into that classic Britpop 60’s influence. Crunchy guitar drives through the track and guarantees to send fans into frenzy. So if going to one of The Gallerys gigs is not on your 2019 to do list then you should really fix that. Shadow Street is all about being born and growing up in gloomy circumstances and how you can channel inner ambitions to get out of these circumstances.

STEADY BEAT

The third track on the EP is titled Steady Beat and draws on influences from punk rock, Britpop and new wave genres. This track cranks the EP up another notch I found myself driving along and turning this one up just a touch. Steady Beat carries over a similar message from the previous tracks and expresses how it can be difficult for young individuals to make money in the modern age.

SILVER LINING

It can be a struggle sometimes to balance creative ambitions like being in a band, acting, writing and being in a relationship; this is what the final track Silver Lining is all about. The track is 60’s influenced rock with outstanding dual harmonies. The vocals throughout the entire EP are first class but they really do shine in Silver Lining. My personal favourite arrangement is the harmonies at around 2:11. They are constructed and executed beautifully and contribute so much to the passion behind the track.

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The Gallerys have really upped the level with this latest release and we cannot wait for what the future holds for them. We have added them to the Raw Step Network playlist and we suggest you add them to yours!

Upcoming performances:

12th Jan – The Black Market VIP Venue,

10 George Street, Hastings, East Sussex

 

Unit 48 - Dopamine Girls

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Unit 48 are a Kent based experimental funk/pop band. They draw on influences from a range of artists from the likes of Snarky Puppy, Prince, Submotion Orchestra, Jack Garratt, The 1975, Knower, The Funk Apostles and so on. The band has recently released their live studio recording ‘Dopamine Girls’ and we are extremely impressed with the depth of talent within the band and are very excited about the fresh material these boys are bringing to the music scene.    

The track highlights how social media has potentially changed the outlook of relationships within society.

 Darren Barnes (Vocals) States:

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“I've always been deeply engrossed in music, and it stems back to early childhood, listening to the beach boys on my granddad's vinyl. When I think about that time, I remember listening to 'California girls' and the way it resonated with me. They were singing joyfully about girls of that generation. 'Dopamine Girls' is a tongue in cheek jab at a girl who represents a trend in our generation, posting provocative pictures of themselves for the hit of getting "likes". The tagline "I'm not falling for you" is a statement of not falling for her tactics, rather than falling in love.”

 What we love about the track is the amount of texture created from a live recording. Pumped up brass sections, punchy bass lines, keys and clever guitar work create a complete performance. The instrumental developments support each other and craft a masterpiece. The vocals are crisp and possess a raw passion that really connected with us as the audience. It’s almost like a more chilled out Streetlight Manifesto vibe. The instrumental section at 1:50 really shows Unit 48’s class and ability as musicians. We are hit with a range of developments that spiral us into a musical trance before bringing it straight back to the catchy hooks and chorus. As far as live track recordings are concerned this is up there with the best! Have a listen and let us know what you think! We highly recommend catching Unit 48 Live. We are 100% certain they will deliver a performance that you will not forget.

 

Next Event:

Unit 48’s Live single launch  at The Ship, Gillingham Dec 21st   8PM

Harico - Bloodline EP

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Bloodline Ep is the latest release from Birmingham band Harico. The four- piece electronic indie band have really pulled out the stops, if you’re going to do anything today then put these guys on your playlists.

 Dressed up to the Nines

From the off we are hit by iconic chilled indie vibes that set the uplifting tone of the EP. Catchy riffs and crafty developments throughout the track kept me hooked and wondering where the track was going to take me. It has a consistency that indie fans will absolutely adore as it effortlessly encourages you to pop along to it. I can imagine indie fans having to quickly Shazam when it comes on in high-street retailers as we cannot simply listen once.

Piece by Piece

A change of dynamic with this track as the keys spins us into a dreamy spell. We really begin to feel an electronic influence and theatrical performance. The track is a lot shorter than all the others and acts as an interlude that mesmerises and entices audiences deeper into the EP.

 Doves

Melodic guitars and keys create an atmospheric feel; it’s almost as if this was produced by The Gallagher Brother’s if they actually liked one another. I found Doves to encompass a very inspirational tone. The final section of the track will offer fans a moment to lose themselves in the music and really just let it all out.

 

Catch Harico live at; The Bristol Pear, Selly oak, December 14th

Grapefruit - ASTR/Colder

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Grapefruit are a female-fronted alternative band from Maidstone. I was lucky enough to witness their performance at The Nags Head on 30th November and have since been eagerly anticipating the release of their latest tracks A Swim Through Red and Colder. Grapefruits’ performance instantly turned my head as I was captivated by the deep and intense atmosphere created from the very first note. The new track releases are an absolute treat and they are going straight onto our playlist!

 

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A Swim Through Red –

ASTR has a superbly intensive depth that gathers an enchanting momentum as it progresses. Melodic breakdowns and clean guitar work propel listeners into a huge emotive finale, that really mesmerises and catches a hold of you. This combined with dark moody vocals, with similar vibes to the likes of Hannah Reid (London Grammar) and Alexandra Savior, charm throughout the track creating a truly exceptional and captivating experience.

Colder

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Colder holds a similar intensity as ASTR through beautifully constructed layers and drops to kill for. It reminds me of The Antidote era by Foals, only juiced up on a darker and deeper enticement. Colder develops into a whirlwind of attitude and lyrically sounds innocent to begin with, but progresses into an almost murderous tone. Repetition of the lyric “I grow Colder” brings a real aggression to the track and this is reinforced by a dirtier and slightly heavier guitar sound that produces a highly driven finish. I really enjoyed the emotional ties behind this track and I feel the meaning of Colder has been put across to audiences brilliantly.

I highly recommend seeing Grapefruit Live to experience the captivating depth of their performance. I was very impressed with their chemistry on stage and how they all contributed something unique which created a complete performance that will really stick with you. I would not be surprised to see Grapefruit reach real heights.

The next performance:

15th December - The Five Bells - London

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

Wake Up The People - Tres Kings

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Three hard working lads - Wes King’s guitar and song-writing magic brought to light by Lachlan Fuller on bass and Rhu Fuller behind the sticks.

 Now we are in for a treat with the latest track Wake Up the People from Maidstone based band Tres Kings! Gritty guitar, clever shouty meaningful lyrics and a pumped up drive give a fresh taste of a unique indie sound. The sort of track that fans will absolutely relish in a live environment. Throw your arms around your mate, grab a pint and sing your hearts out. The more I listened the more I felt a concoction of influences from the likes of “old school” Arctic Monkeys, The Fratellis and The Libertines. Lyrically, the track reminds me of Slaves if they did Indie. This said, the track feels new, fresh and entirely original!

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 We are very impressed from the debut release and we expect to hear a lot more from Tres Kings as we eagerly anticipate their new releases coming in the future. Wake Up the People is a brilliantly constructed track that should be out there on all of your playlists.

Not Telling You - Pacific

Pacific are a Chesire based piano driven band made up of brothers Anthony Orzel – Vocals/Piano and Daniel Orzel – Synths/Bass/Backing Vocals, Dave Bithell – Guitars and Drew Burns – Drums/Percussion.

 They have shared stages with the likes of, Razorlight, Maximo Park, Newton Faulkner, Toploader, Fun Lovin' Criminals, Wheatus, The Hoosiers, Starsailor and many more alike.

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 “Not Telling You” is the title of their latest release and we just excited about this track as we are of the prospects for Pacific in the future. The track features that unique Piano/synth sound that Pacific have mastered. This, combined with extremely catchy vocal hooks, propels momentum throughout the track, transpiring a raw passionate drive to audiences. Not Telling You lyrically voices a message of keeping your cards close to your chest. The poker scenes within the music video cleverly support the tracks message and the high energy of the performance ensures the passionate drive is easily visualised, creating that connection that is all so vital.   

We expect to hear big things from Pacific in the future and will not be surprised if they can reach the very top. We cannot wait to catch them live and really experience the band in person.

 Watch them live:

 The Independent – Sunderland 15th Dec

The Salty Dog – Northwich –18th January

Jimmy’s - Manchester (Supporting Modern Strangers) – 08th Feb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aid Lewis "Love" Music Video Review

The new music video from Aid Lewis “Love” directed by @Sagar_Gaut is out Now! We have been eagerly anticipating the final cut of this video and it was so worth the wait. The track itself has a very embracing feel about it. The vocals are effortlessly flawless and bring out a strong feel good vibe. The catchy melody, raw emotion and smooth progressions grab a hold of you and refuse to let go throughout the entirety of the song. This combined with the music video further draws out the emotional side to the track as we are hit with references of love from the start. The Church performance, the message exchanges between a couple, the candle lit conversations and so on, superbly add to the meaning of love being portrayed in the track. In comparison, I feel there’s an influence from the likes of Damien Rice and in some respects early Ben Howard material, not only because of the clever acoustic work but with its aim to make the audience embrace a particular emotion. The entire performance we feel deserves a huge amount of credit and the production is something to be very proud of. Have a listen and let us know what you think in the comments below! If you would like to see Aid Lewis perform live you can catch him at Pizza Express in Maidstone on Thursday 29th November.  

Salvation Jayne EP Review

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Salvation Jayne’s EP has absolutely blown us away. They have crafted a masterpiece designed to take listeners on an emotional ride at different paces. Each track is sewn together by a darker and deeper meaning presenting the EP as a complete collective bursting with attitude.

Cortez - The first track on the album and we loved how this track is inspired by American Horror Story. It features passionate distorted drive, draws on heavy rock influences and a riff that is going to ensure that crowds are bouncing off the walls at their gigs. Cortez was originally released as a single and featured a brilliantly produced music video.

Juno - The second track on the EP is lyrically ingenious and the flow of the song cleverly develops as you listen. The passionate dense drive really gets a hold of you and the lyrics “get yourself together” followed by “ain’t no love in the mirror” draws out an element of self-reflection. The outro then repeats this phrase but becomes more uplifting changing the emotional tone of the track. Juno is extremely captivating and deserves the highest of praise.

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Black Heart- Shimmering with excellence and more fuzzy drive. Enticing build ups and a belt your heart out chorus will really ignite fans in a live environment. The attitude behind this song is gripping and you will be singing this is your head all day.

Tongue Tied – The melodic guitar combined with a dirty bass fuzz creates a contrast that continues to gain momentum until it opens up to a chorus that sounds BIG. The perfect song to really let yourself go in a live environment.

Next Performance:

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The Priory Hotel Dover

1st December 2019

The Art of Falling – Lyrically touching, the deeper meaning behind the lyric really creates a moving experience for listeners. Toning down the drive, this track really adds a dynamic to the EP. I personally think this song is a dark horse and when listened to carefully I found it develops on from the earlier self-reflection experienced in Juno. The outro of this track is going to force out an incredible live music moment. I found this to be very motivational and a beautifully constructed piece of art.

Juno- Stripped – What a treat this track is. The original Juno meets a chilled RNB track creating an entirely new feel that completely captivates audiences. The moody vibe transforms the song into a magical masterpiece. A very brave choice to add this track but I think it finished off an exceptional EP perfectly.

Sam Simmons - RSN

White Heat - The Blues

The Blues by White Heat – “Flourished with an attitude that refuses to relax”

Sound: Indie/Alt Rock

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The latest track “The Blues” from Maidstone based band White Heat offers layers of musical brilliance through carefully constructed song structure. The track builds from start to finish and is flourished with an attitude that refuses to relax. The melodic vocals and crunchy guitar parts drive the track, while the punchy bass and fat drums provide tight characteristic stops.

Lyrically ingenious, the track takes you to a reflective place as we began to analyse its deeper meaning. The track title and lyrics fit perfectly as it tells a retrospective story of some kind of struggle. The “I will never give it up” phase is the real hook in the song and latches inside your head for hours. Overall, we personally think the track is top quality and holds a lot of value in production and song writing ability. We highly recommend this track, so put it in your playlists and get listening. White Heat are often playing in and around the Maidstone area so get to one of their gigs! You will NOT be disappointed.

Harry Evans Wine Ep

“Driven by a raw emotion that transpires through an exceptional vocal and clean guitar work"

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80’s pop and traditional indie influences that create an original and fresh fusion that sounds BIG. Harry Evans Band has really developed their latest work into something extraordinary. Full of catchy stops, drops and fast paced driven tracks, the E.P does not let up from start to finish.

The title track of the EP Wine sets the scene for the rest of the album. The track is driven by a raw emotion that transpires through an exceptional vocal and clean guitar work. This is then bolstered and complimented with an 80’s influenced electronic vibe, creating something fresh, truly original and propels an attitude into each track that will hook listeners in. So add this to your playlist. Seriously, you really need to.