Self-titled release is due to land on Feb 11th
Based in London and influenced by a heady cocktail of Swans, Spiritualized, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Radiohead, 60s pop, Middle Eastern classical music and more, Slows Down is the musical pseudonym of multi-talented solo artist Alexander Hawthorne.
A proficient self-taught multi-instrumentalist, he writes music which defies easy categorisation – exploding with multi-cultural ideas and independent in every sense. His debut EP, self-titled, will be available from February 11th, and you can hear an early taster here with ‘The Way Down Leering':
Written during spells in India and hitchhiking across the US, the EP is full of heavy themes presented with depth and a full on sound. All the many parts are played by Hawthorne himself, self-recorded and produced into one cohesive unit. But in spite of the broad instrumental strokes, the ideas are simple – minimalist even. It makes for a varied and versatile collection of tracks.
The EP is just the beginning of a longer project, in which Slows Down will continue to experiment in unique and creative ways. A full album will follow the EP, and he intends to bring together a group to perform live next year to perform these tracks in full, live for the first time. Thus far, due to Slows Down’s self-contained methodology, his music has lived in the studio and in recorded form. In spite of those limitations, the music is already getting a lot of positive feedback from previous single releases:
“I’ve grown to appreciate simplicity in music almost above all else. This is why, I think, I’ve fallen quite so hard for Slows Down.” – Matthew Healy, GoldFlakedPaint
“Taking advantage of the no compromise necessary freedom that only a true solo recording allows, as well as the opportunity to really sculpt the sound of these tracks with numerous overdubs and extremely careful manipulation, Hawthorne has created an extremely well defined world here” – Nathan Ford, The Active Listener
“A melancholic hypnosis of painstaking beauty. The track weeps from start to finish and manages to conjure some next level, swirling soundscapes. This is all from just one man, lets not forget that…” Phill Walker, One For The People
The EP will be available in vinyl and download forms from February 11th, and you can also look out for a free download of ‘Silent Night’ to be made available on Christmas Day.
Stunningly off kilter album on Ravello Records due for Release on February 9th
What do you get if you cross movie composer Bernard Herrmann (Psycho) and the sound of Sonic Youth? Well, more than likely you’d get something close to the music of Kim Halliday and his new album ‘Halflight’.
A hypnotic cocktail of genre and style, Kim Halliday is a songwriter/composer with a broad range of influences including Massive Attack, Radiohead, Trent Reznor, Jimmy Page and more. Pulling together a range of ideas to create quirkily brilliant ambient music with a dark twist, he uses the latest technology, including manipulating real instruments with studio effects and processors, to create his tracks.
His marriage of traditional rock and indie chord patterns with electronic upper layers is difficult to comprehend without hearing for yourself, so check out the video to new single ‘7 Deaths’ for a taster: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=TjYEVvFXiyg
Produced by and featuring Martin Lister of Alphaville, ‘Halflight’ was recorded between Halliday’s studio in London and Lister’s studio in Berlin. Tragically, soon after mastering was finished on the project Martin passed away following a heart attack. The pair, longtime friends, had never worked on a full project until this album, making its release all the more poignant for Halliday.
A composer who has worked on film and TV, Kim Halliday feeds that experience into the soundscapes he creates. Since studying at the London Film School he has scored several award winning short films as well as ‘Credo’, a movie which starred Boyzone vocalist Stephen Gately before he died. More recently he won another award for documentary ‘Microbirth’, scored earlier this year.
His solo work – taking those cinematic ideas and transposing them into a stand-alone project – hopes to draw on some of that move making success.
Multi-talented artist unveils new track before it goes on sale Feb 9th 2015
A multi-talented London based musician offering more than meets the eye, Chris D’Lima is an artist whose catchy guitar riffs match with layered vocals to give him a sound all of his own.
His new song, ‘Decisions’, is written about having to make a decision which you would rather run from, but being forced to choose anyway. In your mind there might be a simple solution, but when the time comes to make the decision it’s not as straightforward as you thought. It’s a situation anyone can relate to, captured brilliantly in delicate, heartfelt lyrics which are complimented by a solid funk groove – quite an achievement for his very first single release.
You can listen to the song and see for yourself here:
Produced by Resonant Music, a company who have been linked with Emeli Sande’s management team, it’s a single that the multi-skilled songwriter hopes will open new doors in the music industry. And those doors might just already be wedged open already.
Having completed a Mathematics and Statistics Degree at The University of Leeds, as well as growing up learning the cello, Chris D’Lima’s music is written with the details in mind. With an ear for classical compositions, and an eye for formulas that work to create more than the sum of their parts, his background gives D’Lima a slightly unusual perspective on song writing as a process.
His writing is also heavily influenced by his time as a teenager, playing in funk rock bands since the age of fourteen, which may go some way to explaining why his sound already sounds mature on this debut single.
He doesn’t write to fashion, to fit in with what’s popular right now – he writes music he wants to hear. And it’s clearly something that others like too.
He’s performed 150 gigs in past two-and-a-half years, with venues including the London Astoria, Clapham Grand and Islington O2 Academy. In addition, his YouTube channel of cover songs has over 500,000 views to date. It’s success that has brought the attention of scouts from X-Factor and Britain’s Got Talent, but he has turned them down more than 10 times in the past 3 years, preferring to make his own way.
Instead he mixes work as a maths tutor (the maths degree put to good use) with work as a freelance model. As we said before – a multi-talented London based musician offering more than meets the eye.
It’s said hard work and dedication is what it takes to make it as an artist in the music industry. If that’s the case, Chris D’Lima is already on his way.
New cable TV and online show where it’s all about the song
Brand new and heading to screens next year, ‘Do I Have A Hit Song’ is a television talent search with a difference. Available on cable TV in the US and to a worldwide audience online, the show is looking not for style, but for substance. Many current talent shows cover other people’s songs to find a new singing star, but ‘Do I Have A Hit Song?’ looks beneath the surface and searches for the best songwriters.
The winning act at the end of the series will see their submission professionally recorded and produced by Musik and Film, before it’s released worldwide and supported by international radio promotion, video promotion and full physical and digital distribution.
The winner will also have the full support of www.indimusic.tv – the online channel which shows the programme and has over 800,000 members in its network – including a spotlight ‘Spotlight Segment’ and ‘Artist Feature’ on the site for the full month following the end of the contest.
And that’s not all. Also on offer is a beautiful custom Montarado made acoustic guitar worth $10,500, plus a custom made Toneville amp worth $2,000 – plus official endorsements from both companies!
Second and third place artists won’t go home empty handed either, and will have the chance to release and promote their own songs, including a full PR campaign, through Musik Radio Promotions. 2nd place will also win a guitar – a Montarado TimberKaster custom made electric guitar worth $5,500.
In addition to these winners, there will also be a variety of perks offered to other deserving songwriters such as: One songwriter/artist will win an opening slot with a major touring artist of your genre. Performance of the song will be considered for this special prize. Publishing deals will be offered to some artists at the producers’ discretion.
A global contest, artists can submit their video to http://www.doihaveahitsong.com where site visitors can watch and vote for their favourites. Voting for episode 3 is currently open until January second, and artists can still submit their new songs for upcoming episodes (video or mp3 format) –simply check the site for details. All it takes to upload a video is a one off fee of $30 to enter the competition, then artists can let the general public decide if they do, indeed, have a hit song.
The show gives artists unique opportunities to publicise their music and get it distributed to the world, and with more and more television viewers migrating to online services, the number of potential viewers only looks set to rise further.
For a complete explanation of how it all works, here’s the show’s presenter, Drew Copeland of band Sister Hazel:
Drew, who had a number one US hit himself with Sister Hazel, is available for interviews about ‘Do I Have a Hit Song?’, as is Eliot Sloan – founder of Blessid Union of Souls who had hits with ‘I Believe’ and ‘Hey Leonardo (She Likes Me For Me), and also involved with the production of the show.
Other supporters of the show, pleased to endorse a format looking for long term talent as opposed to simply a good vocalist, include Darius Rucker (Hootie and the Blowfish), Javier Colon (winner of ‘The Voice’ in the US in 2011), Terry Nails (Ozzy Osbourne) and songwriter Edwin McCain. It’s an impressive roll call, with the show even attracting attention outside the music industry. ESPN anchorman Stuart Scott and golfer Chris Dimarco are among the many people excited to see the new music that comes through the programme.
So far in the series, excellent songwriter Ashley Baker has won the first episode to go through to the next stage. The winners of the online vote are set to be announced shortly for episode 2 which will be filmed on January 9th and will be broadcast on January 20th 2015. Episode 2 will have a special guest co-host , 80s hit writer Tommy Tutone . As mentioned previously, voting is currently open for episode 3, and further entries for the series are being taken – simply visit http://www.doihaveahitsong.com and have a recording (video or mp3) of your song available to submit.
‘Bad Things For None’ is an instrumental track, with crashing guitar riffs that evoke and trigger hopeful emotions – it was written with Vaibhav in mind, when he was going through a rough time and was about to leave the music business.
“Ioish is a mix of Indian tinged beats with weird off-time jazzy feel trippyness that is going to develop into something for sure… watch out!” – Martin Atkins
Tracks released through own label Purpose Driven Records
Supported by Gus Redmond of Music Quest Entertainment, who work with some of the finest independent musicians to get their music heard, Deborah Brown is a superb gospel vocalist with an eye for a melody. With the help of her husband Dr Jerry Brown she is releasing ‘Good News’ on January 12th.
Engineered and mastered by Erick Labson of the Universal Music Group, with production help from Jimmy Brown of Raleigh North Carolina Production, the tracks do a great job of showcasing Deborah Brown’s excellent vocal range – you can hear a taster here:
Listen to ‘Good News’ here:
Inspired by a life of hardship and the faith that it took to move through it to ultimate fulfilment, the music is written to do the same for those who hear it and are suffering through hard times of their own.
The songs has been a long time coming, based on life experiences and what it took to overcome them. After finding love in the deprived Bronx projects of New York, travelling the world in the army and then forming their own ministry, Jerry & Deborah Brown are now celebrating their life together in music and in film. This track is taken from the soundtrack to a full length film about their lives together, a story they hope will inspire others to keep the faith when times are tough.
Both Dr Jerry Brown and Deborah Brown were recently featured on The Don Frost Music City Gospel Show and are set to be featured again before the end of the year.
Meet ‘The zzips’ –living proof that Rock n’ Roll is not dead, and is in fact very much alive and kicking. A diverse duo made up of frontman James Butler and writing partner Graham Cupples. Bringing you their debut, yet eagerly anticipated, album ’20 Years Late’. Within their songs, they address issues that are prominent within British society, and question the policies of consumerism, greed and elitism after partaking in social observation. The album is both a call to arms and a cry for revolution and change, whilst some of the songs simply follow what happens within their day-to-day lives. Finding a release in the power of song-writing helped James through some serious personal difficulties over the last almost four years.
Listen here: https://soundcloud.com/thezzips/sets/20-years-late
With an impressive résumé, and many famous faces among their fans, The zzips have already earned themselves a well-deserved prestigious reputation. Graham has supported Gary Numan, and James has opened for bands such as Oasis, Smash and Steps. In true rock n’ roll style, and following in the footsteps of some of the greatest rock artists, The zzips have also performed at Glastonbury festival.
Between the two of them they have written and produced their entire album, which in the era of the typical pop-culture boy-band genre, gives them a chance to display and show off their many talents. Alongside the music, James is a psychotherapist, working with Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy. His interest in psychology is often apparent in The zzips songs, consistently raising the question ‘Why?’
Think classic 90’s rock, with a modern Blues twist and challenging lyrics. There is a very bright future predicted for ‘The zzips’, make sure you’re a part of it!