The Music Mag: Unsigned UK Music News, Reviews & Promotion
The name Dog Society might ring a bell to some music lovers in New York. After almost two decades away, the NY based band have decided to return with their second album ‘Emerge’ – and it’s a blinder!
Their last album released in 1993 called ‘Test Your Own Eyes’ was released on EastWest / Atlantic Records, but this time their album titled ‘Emerge’ has been released independently and screams of a band who just love music.
For a band who have had an almost 20 year hiatus Dog Society sound amazingly fresh. The opening track ‘Being Here’ sets the standard for the rest of the album, with an uplifting pop-rock style, fronted by talented singer Brian Schnaak.
Having originally taken their name from the Hidatsa Indian Tribes, who played a dominant role in the Cheyenne resistance to American expansion, Dog Society’s name seems appropriate for a group of New York pop-rock rebels that have case off the shackles of that a major label brings. This album feels like a piece of work that means a lot to the band and their passion comes across on every track.
So everybody beware, Dog Society are back with a sound that has grown since their last album and we predict big things for ‘Emerge’. The album is released on November 19th 2013, but is available to download now on Bandcamp.
Bruno Mars has taken a page out of Miley Cyrus’ playbook this week by releasing a controversial music video.
The pop superstar is currently touring, with tickets on sale now, and has released his 4th single from the popular album Unorthodox Jukebox by the title of ‘Gorilla’, which features raunchy and quite explicit lyrics including the line “you and me baby we’ll be f**kin’ like gorillas”.
It’s a different direction for Bruno Mars who is known for being quite safe, trying to appeal to a wide audience and taking pride in not alienating older listeners. However the video for ‘Gorilla’ has an adult theme that includes Bruno visiting a strip club where he meets an exotic dancer (played by Slumdog Millionaire actress Freida Pinto). After a very sexual dance, the two meet and end up getting hot and heavy in a car. Not to mention the Michael Jackson inspired ending where Bruno Mars turns in to a gorilla and runs off in to the night, makes for a memorable music video.
Bruno was very keen on using Freida Pinto in the role, whilst the director, Cameron Duddy, wasn’t as sure – Duddy explained “I said ‘Aw man, she’s so safe, it may be difficult if you go that route.’ And he was like ‘Listen dude, it’s important to the video to use someone who hasn’t been seen in this light before.’ It was a gamble, and I wasn’t all the way sure about it, but I trusted his instincts …and he was right.”
MTV revealed secrets behind the shooting of the new video, revealing that Bruno and director Duddy went to “seven or eight strip clubs” for research. The video is definitely not suitable for work, and whilst it doesn’t contain as much nudity as ‘Wrecking Ball’, it would definitely raise a few eyebrows to fellow office workers.
Since he first appeared on the music scene in 2010 as a solo artist his sound has developed from pop and R&B to contain a more adult tone, and now it seems he has begun to change his image along with his sound. Does that mean we can expect more raunchy videos and seductive lyrics in the future?
The future looks bright for Bruno Mars as it was recently announced that he will be singing on the upcoming Super Bowl’s half-time show in early 2014. He’s currently touring and tickets are on sale now.
The Boston Boys, an electrified folk/bluegrass rock group from Brooklyn, released a new EP called ‘Keep You Satisfied’ on October 8th 2013. The quartet formed whilst attending the Berklee School of music in Boston, Massachusetts in 2009. Alongside the EP release they also have a new video and a full-scale European tour sponsored by the State Department.
Having started off performing in the Boston area, the well-named Boston Boys were honoured when they were one of the seven bands that performed for the campaign to re-elect President Obama – leading to the band receiving two musicial diplomacy grants from the State department.
The song for their latest single ‘Amelia’ can be streamed here:
Their tour kicks off in London on the 9th November at Bar 12, and for more on The Boston Boys check out their facebook page here.
Full tour dates are below:
9/11: London, England (Bar 12)
12/11: Glasgow, Scotland (Stereo, Renfield Lane (City Centre), 8pm)
13/11: Edinburgh, Scotland (Voodoo Rooms)
14/11: Lyon, France (Le Sirius)
16/11: Geneva, Switzerland (The Clubhouse, 10pm)
18/11: Normandy, France (School Performance)
21/11: Amsterdam, Netherlands (People’s Place)
22/11 – 12/19: American Music Abroad (Tour with U.S. State Dep. in
Eastern Europe and Central Asia)
26/12 – 11/1: Arts Envoy Exchange Program (Tour with U.S. State Dep.
Lael Summer has a voice to melt even the stoniest hearts. The New York based classic soul singer recently released her album ‘Burden to Bear’ which features songs including classic soul style of ‘I Need a Man’ to the beautiful acoustics of ‘The Good Fight’. ‘The Good Fight’ is up there with anything you’ll hear in the charts this year and can be listened to below.
Her songs range from slightly raunchy to romantic and adventurous, mixing in an element of rock-chick which comes across very well. Her subjective lyrics include lines such as “I need a man to take me to the finish line”, which is the first track from her new album ‘Burden to Bear’.
Lael Summer experienced the highs and lows of growing up in the heart of New York and the young singer confessed “there is nothing quite like the feeling of being unbelievably lost and alone while surrounded by millions of people. You grow up fast.” Her soulful voice, packed with hundreds of life stories demonstrates that she’s an old head on young shoulders.
Currently Lael is a senior in The University of Southern California’s elite Popular Music program, and her cover of the Hall and Oate’s ‘Do What You Want, Be What You Are’ was picked as the buzz track to watch out for by the Kings of A&R.
UK rock band Jupiter Falls recently signed a deal with US label UNIR1 Records after a discussion on Skype. James Hart, lead singer of Jupiter Falls, revealed to The Music Mag that only days after receiving air play in the US they received contact from the label asking to discuss a potential deal.
Having recently formed in May 2013, Jupiter Falls are a great example of what is possible if unsigned musicians work on creating a good sound and push for radio airplay. James was extremely happy at the record deal: “At the moment everything is a highlight. But signing the contract and the release of our single so far probably the best [moment]. Our tour starts in Feb which we cant wait for and includes the west coast of America.”
The band formed after James contacted guitarist, Deano Silk, on Youtube asking to use his backing tracks for one of his songs. Since which they added Dan, Matt and Lewie to the roster. Skip to just 3 short months later and the band had worked hard and written an album, which is due to be released on December 16th, 2013.
It’s not always been easy for the band members before forming as Jupiter Falls and James shared advice with fellow musicians during the interview; “any advice I would give is never give up. I’ve done this 13 years since I was 15 and I am finally realising my dream. Work hard and you will get your rewards.”
Jupiter Falls was the first independent band from the UK for independent label UNIR1 and their debut single ‘World War Three’ was released on October 7th and can be viewed below on Youtube.
If you want to find out more information or to keep in touch with Jupiter Falls, follow them on their Facebook page.
If like the rest of modern humanity you check out Youtube for your daily dose of music, news, or to watch doughy eyed cats do cute things, then you might be as annoyed as I am at James Arthur being over advertised. Currently it seems that every Youtube ad is shoving James Arthur’s new single down our digital throats.
Not only is the fairly average singer being pushed on Youtube, he’s also everywhere in the mainstream news – from the red tops to forums across the globe. Most recently he hit out at Kingsland Road (another X-factor creation) on Twitter saying “Im sorry but this Kingsland Road have me cringing to the max, they aren’t good enough. There time must come to an end this Sunday #xfactor.”.
At the current time of writing this article the single ‘You’re nobody til somebody loves you’, which some may not know was made famous by Dean Martin, has received a whopping 2 and a half million views. Lets not forget that the song hasn’t even been released yet.
The Dean Martin track on Youtube however has 150,000 views and if you search for ‘You’re nobody til somebody loves you’ on Google or Youtube it would take you a while to even realise that Dean even recorded the song. Well here it is, in case you’re curious:
That says a lot about the money available and the power behind the Simon Cowell-lead giant that is Syco Entertainment. It’s already become apparent that the majority of artists heard currently have come from the X-Factor or Britain’s Got Talent. It just seems very difficult for a talented musician to break through without the backing of a multi-million dollar record label behind them.
So the moral of the story ladies and gentlemen is to follow the path of one James Arthur, stop focusing on your music and push to get on the X-Factor. Once there if you’re a good enough singer and performer you’ve got every chance in the world of covering a song, getting a number 1 hit and co-incidentally annoying a minority of the country who appreciate good, quality music.
Formed in 2008, Brighton based Yossarian had a break through in 2012 being compared to the likes of The National and Pink Floyd. Not only did the hit the festival scene last year, Yossarian raised $10,000 to crowd-fund their debut album, due for release in 2014 called ‘The Little We Know’.
Yossarian’s debut album sees the band combine multi-layered guitars, Floyd-esque minimalism, harrowing cryptic vocals, with heartfelt dark-yet-uplifting songwriting full of conviction and detail.
Originally called The Vanderpols, Yossarian’s best gig so far was playing at the Hop Farm Festival but it’s not necessarily their favourite: “the most memorable was playing a gig at Heroes bar in Kentish Town, a venue that seems to close down and re-open at least 3 times a year” Ash told us “There was probably no more than 50 people there but the venue owner loved our set so much that he started bribing us with tequila shots to keep us playing encores”.
Their sound is new, a little bit different, and mixes post rock, modern pop and old school alternative rock. There’s definitely a strong Pink Floyd influence in their music, mixed with The National-esque vocals. ‘The Little We Know’ strings together themes of alienation in London, travels around Europe and Australia, mixed with death of loved ones, the end of relationships, hope, luck, God and even the history of the universe.
Highlights from the album include the building majesty of “Arrow Part 1”, the beautiful transitional acceptance of “The Season Song,” and the delicate, inspiring “Underwater,” all of which tell a story in technicolour.
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I have been involved with judging large singing competitions, have helped spot talented musicians and even pushed for bands to be on large shows at places I’ve worked which include BT Sport. I’ve also ran The Music Mag since 2009 and have listened to thousands of talented musicians from a variety of genres so really have a good ear for what’s hot and what’s not.
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UK Number 1 October 13th 2013: Miley Cyrus pipped Eminem to the UK number 1 spot with her controversial hit ‘Wrecking Ball’. The ex Disney star has divided audience across the world, and whether or not you like Miley, the likelihood is tha you’ve heard about the teen swinging naked from a wrecking ball.
Not only did Miley Cyrus win the number 1 single, she also reached number 1 in the album chart with ‘Bangerz’, with the title of the album perhaps being a quick look in to her psyche.
The Official UK Top 10 – October 13th 2013:
1/ Miley Cyrus – Wrecking Ball
2/ Eminem – Bezerk
3/ OneRepublic – Counting Stars
4/ Conor Maynard – R U Crazy
5/ Saturdays – Disco Love
6/ James Blunt – Disco Heart
7/ Katy Perry – Roar
8/ Jason Derulo – Talk Dirty
9/ John Newman – Cheating
10/ Vamps – Can We Dance
Miley, with her second UK number 1, was quoted as saying “I truly appreciate the love I’m getting from the UK”. She fought off stiff competition from Eminem and last weeks chart topped – OneRepublic. However I think most people would have guessed that this week would provide no competition for the controversial, twerker that is Myley Cyrus.
There were 6 new entries in to the top 10 this week. I wonder who scheduled that, especially with Miley and Eminem bother entering new tracks. The other new entries were Conor Maynard’s ‘R U Crazy’, Saturdays’ ‘Disco Love’, James Blunt’s long-awaited return with the well timed track ‘Bonfire Heart’, and John Newman’s single ‘Cheating’.
Justin Bieber couldn’t break in to the top 10 this week with his new entry ‘Heartbreaker’ (Yeah right…) slotting in at number 14. Tune in next week to see if Miley can hold on to that number 1 spot.
Hailing from a lovely little place in Cornwall by the name of St. Agnes, Auction for the Promise Club have released their new single ‘Walk the Line’. Proud of their Cornish routes, the band incorporate the beauty and ruggedness of the small sea side village in to their music, and dare I say it they may very well be the best band from Cornwall in recent time.
The song ‘Walk the Line’ – no relation to the Johnny Cash classic – has a beautiful melodic guitar track underneath some beautiful vocals from the lead of Auction for the Promise Club. The video itself is also very well recorded and deserves a watch below: