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NEWS: BBC Radio 1's Charity Single Aims For Top Spot

Following the huge response to the Radio 1 'Stay Home Live Lounge' cover of the Foo Fighters' classic track ‘Times Like These’, the new version is neck and neck to take the top spot in the UK single chart tomorrow, as it battles to get a double #1 for the NHS following Captain Tom's efforts last week (Happy Birthday Captain Tom!!). 

Greg James kicked off BBC Radio's weekly 'Great British Singalong', which was singing for all the doctors around the UK this morning, with 'Times Like These'. 

All proceeds from the stunning version of the track with be donated to Comic Relief and Children In Need in the UK 

 In a heartfelt email to the BBC Dave Grohl said 'What a crazy few months it’s been for all of us. And what an incredible honour to see and hear my song Times Like These transformed by the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge Allstars for - well, for times like these. The response has been incredible and I wanted to thank you all for your support'. He continued, 'I hope this new version of the song helps lift people’s spirits a little, and that the proceeds we’re donating to Comic Relief and Children In Need reach as many people affected by Covid-19 as possible'.

NEWS: 'Normal People' Soundtrack

Sally Rooney's novel 'Normal People' has been hugely popular and now the TV adaptation is out. It's had everybody talking about Marianne (Daisy Edgar-Jones) and Connell (Paul Mescal). It's a brilliant, emotional love story.

The great news is that the soundtrack is just as good as the show. It features a stunning cover of 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' and songs by Imogen Heap and London Grammar.

The 'Normal People' soundtrack is available on BBC Sounds. 

SINGLE REVIEW: 'Fast Life'-Ayelle

Swedish-Iranian R'n'B artist Ayelle's new single 'Fast Life' sends a message to listeners about slowing down and prioritising self care. 

Speaking on the final release from the mixtape, Ayelle recalls that 'Fast Life' "is the 5th track on the mixtape that I made in New York with one of my favourite producers, Stavros. It's a call to self care and to take quarantine as an opportunity to do less, instead of overcompensating with more productivity, and explore the things that you actually enjoy doing, get comfortable in your space and with yourself. I've always been a bit of a bookworm and I like staying in most weekends reading and drinking tea instead of going out, it's my form of self care and 'Fast Life' is all about that - making time for yourself to slow down and conquer fomo."

'Fast Life' has an infectious chorus, featuring Ayelle's silky vocals. "I'll be at home writing songs/Sipping on my tea," she sings in this self care anthem. 

Ayelle's mixtape 'NOMAD' is out on 15th May. 

EP REVIEW: 'dawn'-mxmtoon

19 year old singer-songwriter mxmtoon has released 7 track EP 'dawn', which follows her highly successful debut 'the masquerade'. 'dawn' sees her embarking on an exciting new chapter.

"I wanted to remind people that things will be okay and even on the darkest day, the sun still rises," Maia states, speaking on the EP. "I want to lift people up. I still love making sad songs, but I wanted to make something that felt refreshing to me this time." 

Opening track 'fever dream' features acoustic guitars, breezy vocals and a feel good chorus. It's pop goodness at its best. "I want something more than, more than restless mornings," she sings. It's a dreamy number, as is 'used to you'' which is about finding solace in being alone. 'lessons' takes inspiration from her own tendency to overthink. It's about learning not to be over cautious in life and growing as a person ("It's OK to step back and look around"). 'quiet motions' is another thoughtful track with optimistic lyrics. 

'dawn' is a body of work which is uplifting and reflective. Her music is a breath of fresh air.

SINGLE REVIEW: 'Who Asked You'-Nia Wyn

Nu-soul artist Nia Wyn's latest offering 'Who Asked You' is unapologetic and empowering. It follows the release of her highly acclaimed debut EP 'Love I Can't Ruin'. The track features strikingly honest lyrics which address negative, judgemental people. She is confident ("I don't need no help"). Her powerhouse vocals are distinctive, soulful and unique. 

Nia has received support from Huw Stephens (BBC Radio 1) and from Tom Robinson (BBC 6 Music).

Speaking about the track, Nia says, “​For me this track is about being faced with unsolicited opinions from others - whether that’s from judgemental people you knew back home who always doubted you or called you unstable and weird because you didn’t fit in with others. There’s also the message of what goes around comes around in some way and how that negative energy people build up will ultimately hold them back whether that’s now or later on.”

SINGLE REVIEW: 'Friends Don't'-Dani Saldo

Canadian based singer-songwriter Dani Saldo's electro-pop debut single is out today, which is also her 21st birthday! Happy birthday Dani!

'Friends Don't' is a personal track for Dani. The lyrics are honest and genuine. Dani's vocals sound great too. Her voice is soulful and powerful while the song itself is catchy.

It's hard to believe that this is only the first single Dani has released. I can't wait to hear more from her! 

Speaking on her inspiration behind 'Friends Don't', Dani said: “This song is about codependency and how ugly it can get, if left unchecked. In the movies, I feel like it can get super romanticized, being someone’s everything & having someone who would do anything for you. This song explores the narrative of having a friend and getting little glimpses of what it would be like to have a relationship with that person, maybe wanting more than what they are able to give you, not because they dont love or care about you, but because it’s a different kind of love, so you feel at a little bit of an impasse. You don’t love each other in the same way and it can feel a little vulnerable & unfair and that love can also be exploited, even without meaning to. Sometimes the love you hold for your friends can make you do anything for them, even if it causes pain. Boundaries can take time to recognise and put into place but are vital in every kind of relationship, something I am learning even more, every day.”

SINGLE REVIEW: 'Falling For You'-Charlotte OC

Charlotte OC recently toured with Tom Walker and James Arthur and now she has released 'Falling For You', taken from her upcoming EP 'Oh The Agony, Oh The Ecstasy' (due for release 15 May).

She has also received support from BBC Radio 1's Jack Saunders and BBC Radio 2's Rylan for previous singles 'The Pain' and 'Freedom'. 

'Falling For You' is a heartfelt, upbeat number. Her vocals shine on this track. "I'm floating right up to the ceiling/Since I met you," she sings. It's an infectious, summer-y pop track.

I can't wait to hear more from Charlotte when her EP is released!

NEWS: Kasabian Cancel Victoria Park Show

Kasabian Announce Cancellation Of Leicester Victoria Park Show - June 20th 

Photo Credit: Venla Shalin/Redferns

What promised to be one of the highlights of 2020, Kasabian have announced the cancellation of their hometown show at Leicester’s Victoria Park for June 20th, as a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic. 

 Serge says: “We are absolutely gutted to not be able to play our beloved hometown this summer. We hope to see you all very soon.” 

 Look out for an email from your ticketing agent very soon and please only contact them if you have not been contacted after 7 days as they are very busy at this time.

ALBUM REVIEW: 'Morning Kiss At The Acropolis'-Halloweens

'Morning Kiss At The Acropolis' is the debut album from Halloweens, a project by The Vaccines' Timothy Lanham and Justin Young. The 11 track album is full of playful lyrics and soul-searching. 

'Rock Bottom Rock' is a catchy number while 'My Baby Looks Good With Another' embraces its pop sound to the point where it borders on the line of cheesy (like, seriously cheesy). It's all good. You get the feeling that they're not taking themselves too seriously with this new material and just having fun. I love the lyricism of 'Rock Bottom Rock' ("I moisturise before I face my demons").

'Ur Kinda Man' wasn't my kinda song at first. I'm not sure why, perhaps because it's a slower track than the others. Luckily, it grew on me. The song is very sincere. "I think about you every hour of the day, though it probably sounds like I'm lying". 

'Hannah, You're Amazing' was the first single Halloweens put out into the world and is easily my favourite. There are too many witty lyrics to quote but I'll start with, "Hannah, Hannah, Hannah, we're running out of different ways to play it. Hannah, Hannah, Hannah, oh it sounds the same whichever way you say it". Some of the lyrics in this song have made me laugh out loud (in a nice way). It's pretty genius. Justin sings "Hannah" so sweetly too. I dare you not to sing along to the chorus. 

'Broken English' has a very honest vibe to it. 'Pizza Shop by Poison Beret' is a unique take on a break-up song. 'Corridors of Love' is the closing track on the album and ends on a less pop-y note when compared to the opening tracks. 

I wonder whether this is one for The Vaccines fans since Halloweens have gone in such a drastically different direction. Regardless, it's a great debut from the duo. The lyrics are cheeky and their sound is infectious. I can't say I love every single track on the album (I'm just being honest) but that could change with a few more listens. Despite this, I have to say I'm a big fan of Halloweens and the sound they have created. 


London's FOURS are a really special band, so it makes perfect sense that their debut album 'Soak' is equally as special. Read my recent interview with them here

It's rare to find an album with non-stop bangers, let alone a debut but with 'Soak' FOURS have done just that while keeping the lyrics honest and emotive. 

Opening track 'Jay' is a big number. It's an obviously romantic, heart-on-your-sleeve type of song with lead vocalist Edith singing honestly "I'm ready for us to watch the world cave in and we'll drown together". She continues, "I talk so much shit, but you just listen". It's an excellent opener and gives a real taste of what's yet to come on the rest of this infectious pop album.

'Youth' is an energetic, eighties-inspired track which could give Tiffany's 'I Think We're Alone Now' a run for its money. However, 'Youth' definitely sounds much more contemporary. It's another big song, featuring Edith's powerful vocals and a very cool guitar solo towards the end. Speaking of Edith's vocals, they sound on point as she sings, "Don't you ever leave, ever leave, ever leave me". 

'Play Dumb' is more of a seductive yet snarling number. It's a song about control in a relationship and I feel is eye-openingly honest. Not many artists are willing to leave themselves so vulnerable in their music. Another track on the album and it's yet another catchy one. 'The Kiss' begins with background noise as if it was recorded at a party. "I wanna kiss you all night long." We've all been there, when you find yourself infatuated with your partner, especially in the beginning stages of a relationship.  

Of the 10 tracks on the album, 'Burn' is a highlight. A heartbroken Edith sings about finding out an ex-lover has moved on. "I don't want to see you with her, I just want to see you burn". Again, it's a sentiment most of us can probably relate to ("If only I could get over you").

'Out of My Depth' has a darker feel to it while 'Irrational' is a live track, and a real tear-jerker. 

FOURS can do no wrong in my opinion and 'Soak' is testament to that. It's a perfect pop record and one you should let yourself become fully immersed in. Their songs are extremely passionate with raw lyrics and upbeat sounds. It's so refreshing. 

I'm really looking forward to seeing and hearing more from FOURS. 


I spoke to Ayelle recently while she was in New York. She has collaborated with Rationale on ‘Hurt The
Most’ and worked with him again (this time in the role of producer) on ‘Choice’. We talked about her
influences, working with other songwriters and producers and her new mixtape which will be out soon.

How are you?
Ayelle: Yeah, I’m good thank you. Just in quarantine, sort of, in New York.

Do you produce your own music?
Ayelle: No, I work with a lot of other producers, so I’m constantly collaborating. I do produce a bit myself but I prefer to work with others. I’m more into the songwriting aspect of it and singing, obviously.

What inspired your single ‘Effort’?
Ayelle: So that was actually one of the first songs that I wrote in Sweden. [When] I was a kid, I moved from Sweden when I was 14 and then I went back a little over a year ago for a writing trip in Stockholm and I wrote it with these other Swedish writers who are really incredible. It’s about, basically, being in a relationship where the other person is so consumed with social media that they’re unable to be present with you in the moment. It’s a plea to the other person to make the effort and notice that I’m here and spend the time that we’re together being fully present.

What was it like working with Rationale on ‘Hurts The Most’?
Ayelle: Incredible. Rationale is one of my closest friends. He’s an amazing writer and producer and every time we work together it’s so effortless and it’s just really fun. We have a good time with it. ‘Hurts The Most’ was interesting because I was in Spain and I was in a dark place and I wasn’t feeling too well and he sent me that song and it was everything that I needed and everything that I wanted to say in that moment. 

What’s next for you?
Ayelle: Next up I’ve got the release of my mixtape called ‘NOMAD’ and it’s a collection of songs that I’ve been recording over the past two years, recording and writing. It’s really personal-a lot of events that happened to me growing up, a lot of different relationships, a lot of storytelling in this mixtape. It’s about how, me as a person, I’ve never really been rooted anywhere. I grew up in Sweden and then I moved to Spain and then I moved to London. And I’m also half-Iranian. It’s like a fusion of all these influences. Musically as well, there’s a bit of the Middle Eastern as well as the Scandinavian inside of me. And the pop fused with R’n’B. I’m really excited about this project. It’s the first bigger project I’ve released and I feel like it’s more representative of who I am as a person than anything I’ve released before. I’m really excited.

‘NOMAD’ is out on 15th May.

NEWS: Love Fame Tragedy Release Live EP

Love Fame Tragedy has announced a new EP 'Live From SIR, Hollywood' and Part 1 (featuring tracks 'Multiply', 'Bills' and 'Body Parts') is out now.

'Multiply' is accompanied by a live video.

Part 2 should be out in a week, according to LFT's Instagram page. Can't wait! 

SINGLE Review: 'Choices'-Ayelle

Swedish-Iranian artist Ayelle recently collaborated with Rationale on 'Hurts The Most' and the pair have worked together again on Ayelle's latest alt-pop single 'Choice'-this time with Rationale producing. You can read my interview with Rationale here where he talks about working with Ayelle.

'Choice' is an honest and personal track and she sounds quite vulnerable on it. Her emotive vocals and soft harmonies combined with the soft drum beats make this is a great song. 

Speaking on the release, Ayelle says "I wrote 'Choice' with one of my favourite people and London collaborator, Rationale. When two broken people start falling for each other a lot of old fears can start resurfacing and you have a choice of whether to go through the fear or avoid it. That's a choice we're all entitled to and even though it hurts when someone decides not to take the risk of allowing themselves to fully fall for you, that's still their choice and no one else's."

NEWS: Jessie Reyez New Videos

Jessie Reyez's fantastic new album 'Before Love Came To Kill Us' is out now. 

You can now watch the music videos for her songs 'Do You Love Her' and 'Love In The Dark'.

Both videos see Jessie singing her heartfelt songs into a microphone, but in real life settings.