Single Review – Heckyl – ‘Stranger’

Stranger follows the release of ‘Preacher’ that received great reviews from NOTION, CLOUT Magazine, Talk About Pop Music and others plus it was selected Record of the Day by that influential music business daily.

Self-written, performed and produced in his Sweet Factory studio the song is a mixture of catchy melodies, harmonies built upon a base of imaginative ‘Kygo-esque’ rhythm, percussion and swirling synths. One listen and its earworm qualities will have you hooked and when you take in the lyrics you’ll feel and understand the darker side of life the author describes.

The song captures the inner voices that Luke channels through Heckyl and refer to the anxiety often experienced late at night when feelings are heightened by that imaginary monster that“crawls inside my head”. It’s relatable and, in difficult times like these, the feelings expressed will probably resonate with us all.

With a number of highly successful releases under his own name and co-writes and productions for other artists his songs have nearly 25 million streams on Spotify alone.”

Following on from the track ‘Preacher’, Heckyl’s follow up in the from of ‘Stranger’ just has a groove you can’t forget anytime soon. Punchy, rhythmic and truly fantastic, the artist proves he’s anything but a one hit wonder with the ideas flowing and one you want to see performed right away.

Rating:4/5.

Check out ‘Stranger’ below.

Single Review – Calling All Captains – Tailspin

Tailspin” is out now on New Damage Records, which is their first release in two years and is an energetic and emotional song about falling deep into your own vices. Consistently telling yourself you need to change, but struggling with the real pain that comes with healing. 

On the release, the band say:

Together we are slowly getting better, some days more than others. This is the first song we’ve released in over two years and it features Connor’s voice upfront and personal alongside Luc’s, adding a new element to our music. Thank you for listening!

The track is a perfect reminiscence track while blending genres in such a fascinating way. With reminders of Real Friends, Neck Deep, A Day To Remember and more, this is a very much welcomed return to the scene for Calling All Captains with the hooks coming in every shape and form but what displaces them from every band in similarity is the grungy vocals of Brad Bremmer. What they add to the genre though is the lyrics which encapsulate the feelings of the last year for most of the world. Hopefully they’ll be able to tour this one soon because it’ll go off in any venue!

Rating:5/5.

Check out Tailspin below or via your preferred streaming service.

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EP Review – Alma Grace – FRIDA

On May 5th, Mexican-American artist & activist Alma Grace is releasing her highly-anticipated debut EP, ‘FRIDA.’ The 4-song EP includes previous singles, “Girl Fight” and “Aventura,” as well as two brand new tracks, “Relámpago” and “Aztlán.”

Frida Kahlo is an artist who has inspired Alma Grace since childhood. She first learned about her through the Frida Kahlo-adorned matchboxes and coasters her Grandmother would bring over from Mexico City. As she grew older and started to learn more about Kahlo’s life, Grace became enthralled by the ways in which the Mexican painter redefined beauty standards and broke down the boundaries places on gender, race and sexuality. “In contrast to classmates and casting directors who criticized me for not being ‘white enough,’ Frida made me feel beautiful for my bushy eyebrows and black hair,” Grace writes. While the ‘FRIDA’ EP is certainly a project inspired by a feminist icon, it’s also an exploration of the ways in which Kahlo’s legacy has helped shape Grace into the woman and artist she is today.

When I listen to these songs, I hear my transformation from an angsty teen to a semi-independent young adult,” she writes of the EP. “It’s such a special project to me, and I knew that it had to be my artist introduction to the world.

Weaving Spanish and English lyrics throughout the EP as well as a blend of traditional latin sounds and modern pop melodies, Grace has created a beautiful ode to her bicultural roots. Her narrative-driven lyricism is enchanting, with each song delivering dual stories that tie back to both Kahlo and Grace’s lives. “Aventura” is an ode to adventure and affairs, something that Grace has always admired in Kahlo’s rich life. “Girl Fight” is a queer, feminist anthem that was inspired by Grace’s favorite Kahlo story: after her husband Diego Rivera cheated on her, she had an affair with the same woman. “Aztlan” is about the mythical homeland of the Aztec people and pays homage to both Grace and Kahlo’s ancestors. Lastly, “Relámpago” is all about coping with pain — the physical pain Kahlo suffered due to her near fatal bus accident and the emotional trauma Grace dealt with after being sexually assaulted. 

Alma Grace launched her music project last year with a string of buzzworthy singles. Her mixed musical influences are reflective of a globalized upbringing— she learned how to love from Selena, make witty comebacks from Shania Twain, and turn pain into art from Lauryn Hill. In addition to her budding music career, Grace has also performed on Broadway and Lincoln Center stages, been featured at Tribeca Film Festival, and acted in a multitude of films and TV shows. 

Despite only being 21 years old, the NYC born-and-raised songstress has also had an impressive career in social justice. As an activist, she attended her first protest at the age of 13, has volunteered with community-based organizations in Harlem, and has worked in both the Bronx and the U.S. Senate to defend immigrants facing deportation — a cause close to her heart as a second generation Mexican American. 

Aventura starts off slow to channel the energy in the opening track, dropping instantly into a flow of steady relaxation. Above all else the beats help you move along into quite a different listen to that of most artists.

Heading into Girl Fight, Alma Grace shows how beautiful a voice she has. The way she takes a regular track and uses her voice is just mesmerising. It’s as if you’re in a fixed trance and you just can’t stop listening to her music. The track is already an ear worm for myself and what I hope will happen is that everyone in the near future catches this because unlike most anthem tracks, it doesn’t take a lot to suck you into her world. A track which title partly means adventure in a double meaning with affair, this is one adventure you can’t skip under any circumstances.

Changing things up a little for the third offering ‘Aztlán’ it offers light relief blending her songwriting skills with a more relaxing instrumental backing to that of the first track on this release but there is still the enbodyment of the undertones to keep in line with the EP. This is absolutely the most mellow EP I’ve listened to in while and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

Things get turned up more on Relámpago. It’s more in line with more popular structure of larger artists but Alma brings her unique ability to the table in full force which makes for good relief to that of the rest of the track listing on this one.

One thing that’s clear about the EP is that there’s a defined sound with FRIDA executes perfectly. It shows she’s an artist who’s fearless and confident in her capabilities and will stretch that creative ability whenever the means calls for her to do so.

If this is a stepping stone for Alma Grace then I will gladly await to hear what she has in store for us next because when that drops it will be thoroughly worth the wait.

Rating 4/5.

Check out the EP, ‘FRIDA’ via your preferred streaming service.

Single Review – Dawn Chorus – ‘Modern Being’

Dawn Chorus are an atmospheric indie rock trio out of Salt Lake City, UT. With an energetic life of its own, their upcoming single ‘Modern Being’ radiates a sunny disposition, taking the listener on a journey through an array of instrumentation with a psychedelic vibe. Musically coming together the day Trump was defeated in the presidential election, it’s no wonder the tune has such an uplifting feel!

Utilising their passion for different genres and styles, Dawn Chorus incorporate everything from acoustic guitar to cello, flute, organ and synthesisers on the new track. Every instrument and track was performed by Dawn Chorus and entirely self-produced, composed, arranged, engineered and was even mixed within one of the members’ apartment. The DIY attitude of Dawn Chorus gives them an authenticity that shines through both musically and lyrically.

Dawn Chorus on the meaning behind the track:

It’s about disillusionment with modern life and technology’s effect on interpersonal relationships. Lyrically, this song was inspired by a mushroom trip in Colorado. Musically, the core of this song came together the day Trump was defeated (thank god) as such, it has a celebratory feel. Harmonically, it was inspired by Brian

Wilson’s more daring Harmonic arrangements / harmonic language of Jazz. We were striving to capture that classic 60s / Beatles psychedelic feel with a modern flare /extra dose of harmony.

Having played music together in some capacity for roughly 7 years, Dawn Chorus started writing and recording in earnest with their current lineup in 2018. Priding themselves on their collaborative effort, the trio try to span the multitude of genres that influence them.

‘Modern Being’ follows their November 2020 single ‘Diamond Dust’. Last year the band enjoyed breakthrough success with their track ‘Origami Heart’, which reached 50k+ streams on Spotify over the course of a few months and was playlisted internationally. The single also achieved local coverage by SLUG Magazine and Salt Lake City weekly for the band.

Dawn Chorus is comprised of: William Fait – Guitar, Keys, Vox; Christian Sudweeks – Bass, keys, drums, vox, mixing; and Christopher Weed – Lead Vox, Keys, Drums.

The track starts off quite unconventional as if it was a big band but that’s more of the Jazz influence coming into play. After this, it moves straight into an older indie and more of the 60’s territory which is really quite appealing to the ear. It’s a complete throwback which we may just need right now.

Rating:3/5.

Check out ‘Modern Being’ below.

EP Review – Blitz Union – Not Proud

The majestic arrangement of Blitz Union’s latest EP, ‘Not Proud’ features the bands unique blend of rock and EDM elements with catchy vocal hooks and elevating synth leads



“Why do we still think that the human race is superior to all others? Nature can live without us, but we certainly can’t live without nature. Did we forget?”

Here is what Blitz Union says about the release:

“Not proud” is the main single from our same-titled second EP. This song sums up the message of the EP dealing with topics and questions around the relationship of humans and their environment, artificial vs. natural, human-made vs mother earth. With this release, You can again expect a fusion of hard-hitting rock elements and EDM hooks, which became the signature sound of our band Blitz Union lately.”



Since the band signed with the label Dreamstart Music 6 months ago, Blitz Union has seen a steady and constant rise in new listeners who turn into devoted fans around the world. Whether in the U.S., South America, Asia or all around Europe, the band’s most popular singles catch new fascinated listeners.

The band has had successful live shows in the past, playing at festivals and supporting bands like Oomph! regularly, and they can’t wait to go on tour again. With the release of the second EP ‘Not Proud’ and many more exciting releases, videos and hopefully live shows as well to come in 2021, the band is just warming up to conquer the hearts of even more fans of their music.

Every concert of the Blitz Union is a reunion of their supporters and those who want to join. And every time the giant guy dressed all in black and wearing a Blitz Union mask hiding his eyes walks through the audience and scans everyone making sure they are eligible to join… one thing is for sure: nobody is questioning their story… and everybody is ready for a change… ready to be the change.

To use the band’s wording: “Are you ready for a change? Join the Blitz Union!”

Kicking off the EP with the track, ‘TV’, you immediately hear the techno rock vibe, where if you think Crossfaith but a little less hard but more lyrically driven with that guitar is being more specially aware but in places more subtle.

Heading into ‘Money Crazy World’ there’s more of the feel of the opener but more of a dance feel. It has a defined beat where you can’t help but imagine this would be amazing in a club setting but some of the lyrics definitely in tune with the title. When it comes to a head, the influx of more hardcore aspect comes out to play if only for a moment but it brings out so much more in the band where you are overcome with an all out assault to give you the inspiration of that cathartic release of energy which is well and truly need.

‘Human Robot’ is just one of those alternative tracks that’s hard to forget about. By now, Blitz Union have introduced you to their world and genre they’ve seemingly created and all but mastered but here, they give you a track that’s too hard to ignore because of its brilliance. The synthetic and huge sounds they’ve derived is the standout of the EP so far.

‘Plastic’ is still building the world and pulls you in to a more vastly thought out cyberpunk synth world you want more of. In addition I have to mention the lyrical aspect of the EP. It’s leaps ahead of what some artists write where they’re having pops left, right and centre about the way of living of the modern era and’Plastic’ encapsulates this in a way which is brilliantly done where they address themselves as the plastic, they make us listen to what we as humans are doing while taking this all this amazing music in.

Sometimes with an EP, the music runs its course a few tracks in but the title track still rakes you into the world that’s created by Blitz Union in such a different way because you want more from this world because there’s seemingly no shortage of inspiration and ideas. Lastly for this track, when the echo of the track in the final third mixed with the bass and drums comes into things it’s a little disappointing they don’t make it more of an anthem but the alternative choice with the harmonic guitar pays off just as well.

Not Proud is a stunning and provocative body of work in which people must listen to because in a world where this amount energy needs to be released and in this time of the world, it’s more crucial than ever to get back to a world that gives and much as this EP does.

Rating: 4/5.

The EP, ‘Not Proud’ is available to listen to right now!

Check it out via your preferred streaming service.

Single Review – Boxteles – ‘D’YOU MIND?

Huddersfield alt-rock collective Boxteles make their return with their tantalising new single ‘D’You Mind?’ April 23rd

Boxteles journey began back in 2018, now comprised of Tom Bedford (vocals and guitar), Alex ‘Rex’ Richardson (bass), Ryan Smith (guitar) and Will Hirst (drums). Their musical journey began in front of a sound-tech and an elderly couple in Keighley. Fast-forward 18 months and Boxteles were selling out headline shows throughout the north. The new line-up is ready to blow rooves off venues throughout the U.K. and beyond (as soon as it is safely permitted).

Having released a string of popular singles as well as supporting acts like; Kyle Falconer of The View, Larkins and Glass Caves, Boxteles have gained a strong and loyal following that grows faster and stronger with every release. 2020 started with a bang, selling out two headline shows in Huddersfield and Manchester, and having signed their first record deal with Caos Music Ltd, we’re expecting big things from Boxteles this year.

Boxteles sound combines hard hitting riffs, sing-along choruses and more than a little of that famous Yorkshire wit. Now, making their return with ‘D’You Mind?’, Boxteles Tom Bedford explained: 

“D’You Mind? is a song that tries to encapsulate the excitement, anxiety and adventure that is the world of modern dating. It’s about trying to be yourself and be true to yourself as well as trying to impress and maybe hide aspects of your personality that you feel may deter others from wanting to stick around, all wrapped into a, rocky up-beat pop song.”


They look to 2021 with positive energy as it’s set to be a huge year for the band. They prime to hit stages once again with an all-new storming set of soul-stirring songs, with their sights set on the stratosphere. With ‘D’You Mind?’ set to drop on April 23rd 2021, this cheeky Yorkshire band are going places.

Check out ‘D’You Mind’ below.

Starting off with a little blues and then transporting into that rifftastic explosion is just utterly fantastic. Also, with the track diving further into modern dating is commendable and somewhat enjoyable to listen to but with the mix of the alternative and rock instrumentation coming together within the final third I was just blown away by the cathartic explosion the track really is.

Rating: 5/5.

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Single Review – Prey Drive – Socrates

Norwich-based alternative four-piece PREY DRIVE have released new track ‘Socrates’, from their upcoming ‘Neon God’ EP, out 28 May via Lockjaw Records. The accompanying music video, the second in a trilogy, sees singer Bradley Smith confronting himself as he comes face-to-face with his evil doppleganger. (Watch the first part of the trilogy here.)

Bradley says of the new track, which sees the band get a little darker and heavier, “Socrates is about growing older, while your body is slowly falling apart. Trends coming back into fashion that you remember the first time around. Experiences that you have to go through in adult life, like marriage, divorce and unfaithfulness making your perception of life and love slightly bitter. Relying on medication so your body doesn’t destroy itself prematurely. Wanting to go back to a simpler time. It’s all about having the years of life experience and wisdom on your side but not the optimism you had in your youth.”

He adds, “The song incorporates a quote from ‘Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure’ in which Ted befriends Socrates by being philosophical with him saying, ‘all we are….is dust in the wind, dude’. I used this as a metaphor meaning that we basically only have a short time on this earth and things will keep on spinning long after we are gone, like they did before we were even here. So make the most of it. I used this just to sum up the whole theme of the song.”

‘Neon God’ is Prey Drive’s first release with label Lockjaw Records and comprises five new tracks following themes of hopelessness, fear of an ever-growing technological future, and our dependence on devices like our phones and the internet to actually be able to live in it and not feel like you’re missing out.

Listeners can expect a powerhouse of authoritative rock riffs intertwined with intricate mathematical lead lines and a dream-like ambience, with soaring vocals soaked in canorous harmonies. The lyrics reflect on self-frustration and the personal challenges of adhering with society’s expectations – something we can all relate to. 

Prey Drive have been garnering a passionate following from touring across the UK and EU and their 2018 debut album ‘Once More With Feeling’ has racked up over 350k streams on Spotify alone. The band’s progress to date was recognised with an opportunity to support Busted at their sold-out reunion show at Norwich’s 1500-capacity UEA.

Is it me or is everything just that little bit better as something goes darker and heavier? That’s exactly what Prey Drive have done. Starting off the track, it’s just basstastic, going in a more hardcore vibe then retreating to a more traditional alternative route while still keeping that guitar in all the right places. There is a good balance in the genre for ‘Socrates’ where that last breakdown comes and just hits home. A truly epic track for anyone that needs a fantastic band to be listening to right now.

Rating: 4/5.

Check out the video for ‘Socrates’ below.

Single Review – Lacuna J – Fool (For Loving You)

LACUNA J is an independent and self-published artist/songwriter based in Manchester. Like her name, her music is alluring and evocative, referring to herself as genre fluid, LACUNA J will not be defined to a certain box. Relating more to the stubborn daisies flowering through the cracks in the pavement than to English roses, this songstress is quite simply a force to be reckoned with. 

After honing her craft at the Tisch School of Arts at NYU, LACUNA J’s magic lies in her ability to create misfit love songs and confessional odes about sexuality and bleeding emotions in a unique combination of indie lyrics and electronic beats. Her captivating tracks range emotionally from melancholic to exuberant, bubblegum pop anthems.

With a distinct authenticity and individuality, LACUNA J’s music is a total breath of fresh air. 2021 sees a new era of music, from exotic melodies streaked with neon, to moody lyrics that pack a punch. Her latest tune “Fool (For Loving You)” narrates her perspective as a spectator. It’s easy to become blinded by love and be blissfully unaware of someone’s toxicity and this songwriter knows all too well what it’s like to be in a vulnerable position at the hands of someone heartless. Written as a means of attempting to crack the rose-tinted glasses of a loved one, LACUNA J shares, “I guess it’s a silent plea for them to figure it out on their own without my interfering but the frustration of also sitting back not wanting to be officious.”

Describing her songs as “diary entries” she shares, “It’s almost like my subconscious is spilling all the tea on what I’m really thinking or feeling.” The lyricism is chilling, beautiful, raw and most definitely relatable. The production has an empowering tone with the trumpet-esque synths that elicit fierce feelings and a diverse catalogue of dynamics. With an R&B style beat that floats into a more pop feel, “Fool (For Loving You)” is glazed in waves of bright, luminous melodies that thrive amongst the vibrant soundscapes. The track contains a selection of sounds and pockets of individual elements that result in a journey of dreamy clouds of LACUNA J.

LACUNA J has landed multiple official Spotify playlists, amassing close to half a million streams across all platforms. Garnering support from the likes of BBC Introducing, as well as BBC Manchester and Gaydio, LACUNA J, is also known for her songwriting and top-lining work for Sony ATV.

This track is just a slow burner in the best way. You see more emotion than most artists deliver in such a subtle way but the best thing about this track is the atmosphere that is created leaving you swaying your head to the beat of the melody. In addition the song structure having it as a ‘diary entry’ is something fascinating which gives us something more emotional and in turn something quite chilling to listen to.

Check out ‘Fool (For Loving You)’ below.

Single Review – Meisha And The Spanks -Mixed Blood Girls

Mixed Blood Girls is the latest single from Meisha & The Spanks April 16th 2021 Singles EP release.

On the singles release, they say:

It’s (some of) my story as a mixed Secwépemc girl from the East Kootenays. My dark skin and white features left me open to compliments on my “beautiful tan,” and when they found out it wasn’t, I was “too pretty to be an Indian.” From ballet moms to dudes in bars, I’ve heard it all.

But it isn’t all skin deep. Being mixed isn’t just about appearances and everyone’s entitled opinion about them. My story follows where I came from and where I currently stand, distanced from family and culture and often pretty isolated because of it.

I was inspired to write “Mixed Blood Girls” after attending my friend Smokii Sumac’s book launch. A poet before them, Rain Prud’homme, read their poem, Mixedblood Girls, relating their experience as mixed Creole-Indigenous. I loved it. I wanted to be that brave and say my words, but it wasn’t an easy thing to do. I had to dig deeper than my own story.

In my search for community I think I wrote an anthem. Our full force behind M-M-M-M-Mixed Blood Girls,” I call them hard from the start – anyone who’s been living in between or felt left behind. Anyone who can’t catch up to their culture. Women and girls fetishized for being darkexoticinteresting (NDNyou weren’t expecting.) For those girls who are brown in the sun, and brown in the shade.

It’s got a raw punk rock feel to it that just goes all in right from the start with a triumphant and unadulterated sound you can mosh to at any time. What’s more is that the lyrics have a more commanding presence than any in a song of recent memory. It’s a statement track you need to be hearing right now.

Rating: 4/5.

Check out ‘Mixed Blood Girls’ below.

Single Review – Heckyl – Preacher

Fresh pop artist Heckyl, aka the incredibly talented Luke Potter, drops his first track, ‘Preacher’. Super Catchy and well-produced.

As an experienced producer, Potter wrote, produced and recorded the piece himself in his ‘Sweet Factory Studio’. Synth-lead with bouncing percussion and vocal samples, the track is a perfectly crafted modern pop song from start to finish. The memorable and sing-a-long chorus is both melodic and meaningful.

Talking on the track, he states “​‘Preacher’ is about living in the moment and appreciating what you have in life, not chasing the things you don’t need.”

With a previous body of work under his own name, Potter is no stranger to musical success and is very experienced in his own right. Working as a producer for other artists as well as himself, he’s released tracks such as ​‘Something More – Andrelli Remix’ which has over 18 million plays on Spotify alone. Now rebranding as Heckyl, his new project focuses on the inner demons plaguing us all, a world where anxiety, love and creativity come together, especially apt in the current climate. With many more tracks to follow, this new look is an extremely exciting one from a new songwriter/producer with a vast potential.

The track is something definitely fresh but the thing I can’t get over is how high quality that production is! This always pops in the ear and is going to be one ear worm you’ll want to remember. Pop infused and incredibly entertaining, ‘Preacher’ is one track you don’t want to snooze on anytime soon.