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.

Single Review – Endscape – Rain

After the release of their second single ‘Validate Me’ that received rave reviews and airtime on BBC radio, UK modern rock band ENDSCAPE are back with their third single ‘Rain’. 

On March 26th 2021, ENDSCAPE, one of the UK’s most exciting new rock acts, will drop track 3 of 12 that will be released this year (one a month). This song was recorded entirely remotely due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

The song fuses together dark synthetic sounds with crunching guitar, thundering drums and brooding, anthemic vocals. 

The song’s theme is a love/hate relationship with the self-imposed pressure to succeed. Rain is a cathartic self vs. self anthem that suggests that maybe the only way to be truly happy is to live outside of success expectation culture.

The track is a crushing testament to what Endscape encapsulate and that is British anthems of epic proportions. The dark synths mixed with the thundering guitar is one track which is just visionary and the drop in the final third of the track is truly inspiring. With a band that only has now only their third track out at the moment, it’s hard to believe that is the case.

Rating:4/5.

Single Review – PinkFiz – Did I Ask?

PinkFiz is an 18-year-old punk-pop artist from Cambridgeshire. Having previously performed as part of other bands, the musician started her solo project during lockdown 2.0, as a way to continue writing and creating while stuck in isolation. PinkFiz represents female empowerment and the songwriter’s pride in being an independent female artist and producer. 

Her latest single “Did I Ask?” touches on female consent. Inspired by the riot grrrl scene and other feminist punk music, the emotion-fuelled “Did I Ask?” emits an energetic, angsty vibe, oozing with confidence and badass femininity. Reminiscent of Bikini Kill, Joan Jett and Destroy Boys, “Did I Ask?” erupts with punk/rock instrumentation, radiating a brooding bassline, fast-paced drums and howling lead guitar. The clashing guitars are a juxtaposition to PinkFiz’s soft, muted vocals, as she sings, “she’s not your possession.” 

PinkFiz confides, “I wrote this song about the phrase “she was asking for it” because I was really angry that day about it and I needed to get all my frustration about it into words and into a song. I am very passionate about fighting for equality and about making opportunities for everyone the same. As a female guitarist, I have been overlooked in the past and disregarded and I’ve often felt invalidated and seen as not as good as my male peers. I also recalled being robbed of opportunities in school and begging for a chance to play something more technical and difficult but the parts I would ask for were always given to an older male teacher without me having a shot at trying them.” Refusing to stay silent, PinkFiz is acting as a voice, emphasising the importance of standing up for equality and putting an end to sexual harassment. 

With the hopes to make listeners feel invincible and capable of anything, the empowering song will help you feel like you’re stomping on top of the world. Having garnered support from BBC Introducing, PinkFiz is storming to the forefront with “Did I Ask?”

This is a track which we need more of in the era we’re living in right now. When she confides “I’ve often felt invalidated and seen as not as good as my male peers”, this track proves how great she is and what her potential is for the future. There’s just something undeniable in the music for ‘Did I Ask?’ that hopefully will rally inside of the younger audience because the opportunity is now for this rowdy riot grrrl for fans to rally behind. Fingers crossed there’s more soon.

Rating: 4/5.

Check out ‘Did I Ask?’ below.

Single Review – Belle Tower – She Moves In Phases

New up and coming artist for everyone today on New Music Friday!

Belle Tower is the lo-fi indie folk rock project of Isabella Harned. Isolation, solitude, pain, love and healing are key themes at the heart of Belle Tower’s upcoming EP, tend to; songs that are heavy in their vulnerability, but that simultaneously carry you weightless through the processing of emotions.

On Belle Tower’s track ‘She Moves In Phases’, there’s something just utterly dreamlike about the track which stands out and the slow pace mixed with the layered instrumentation is one that is just so mesmerising to listen to you just feel transfixed to listen to on the spot.

Rating: 3.5/5.

‘She Moves In Phases’ is available to listen to below.

Single Review – Tea G – ‘See It Through’

18 year old Tea G is determined to succeed in all areas of the music industry. Filling her releases with candid songwriting and personal anecdotes, “See It Through” is a powerful slice of pop from a rising star.

Collaborating with award-winning producer and songwriter Terence LamTEE’ (Alessia Cara), “See It Through” is an emotive release from the young artist. Tea’s vocals are polished and powerful – guiding the listener into her dazzling artistic realm. “I truly believe that if you can love yourself, you can love someone else unconditionally” she explains.

“‘See It Through’ is a track that is about breaking barriers of your past relationships and achieving that breaking point of finally letting go. There will always be hardships and obstacles that you will need to experience to learn and grow and realise how important your self-worth is. Once an old chapter comes to a close, a new one will open with endless opportunities. This track has motivated me to push forward towards my success no matter what challenges come before me.”

Balancing the expectations of writing and recording great music while maintaining academic excellence, the Filipino-Canadian creative takes pride in her artistic output. Alongside her solo work, Tea has had the opportunity to perform with Canadian Tenors Mark Masri and Adam Fisher as well as open for triple platinum pop band Side A and Filipino pop sensation Anne Curtis

With more music to follow, “See It Through” is an exciting glimpse into Tea’s upcoming discography. 

For ‘See It Through Master’ it’s a cathartic track with an infectious beat. There’s a lot of hope in this track which reminds me of some tracks from the 90’s and early 00’s in the best possible places and there’s something quite universal about the tracks which comes together where musicians from most genres can see it as a source of inspiration. I’m unable to find any flaws in this track which sparks such joy when listening to it. This is a fantastic contribution to 2021 and hopefully, there’s going to be more from this flourishing artist.

Rating: 5/5.

Check out ‘See It Through’ below.

Single Review – Alma Grace – Aventura

Mexican-American artist & activist Alma Grace has dropped her latest single “Aventura,” the second single from her forthcoming debut EP, ‘FRIDA,’ due out on May 5th. 

Alma Grace has always felt a strong connection to Frida Kahlo. She first learned about her through the Frida adorned matchboxes and coasters her Grandmother would bring over from Mexico City. As she grew older, she dug deeper into Frida’s life and became fascinated by the ways in which the Mexican painter redefined beauty standards and broke down the boundaries placed on gender, race and sexuality. The ‘FRIDA’ EP, due out on May 5th, is both an ode to Frida Kahlo and an exploration of the ways in which Frida’s legacy has impacted Grace’s own journey through life. 

Following on the heels of the bisexual, feminist anthem “Girl Fight,” which was released late last month, Grace’s new single, “Aventura,” is another striking, narrative-driven pop number. Alternating between English and Spanish, “Aventura” is an ode to her own multicultural and bilingual upbringinga theme that is carried throughout the ‘FRIDA’ EP. “I loved the double meaning of the word “aventura”—it simultaneously means adventure and affair, and Frida certainly had her fill of both,” Grace writes. “Frida is rumored to have had affairs with everyone from Leon Trotsky to Georgia O’Keeffe. She lived her life loving whoever she wanted to love—a courageous philosophy for a woman in the early 1900s and in the modern day.”

Alma Grace launched her music project last year with a string of buzz worthy 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. 

The best thing about Alma Grace is her voice. 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 don’t want to miss out on anytime soon as I’m sure she’ll be propelled to new heights after her EP, ‘FRIDA’ drops on May 5th of this year.

Rating: 4/5.

Check out ‘Adventura’ below.