A Chat With: Easton Guillory

Interview, Pop, Prog, Uncategorized

Prog pop may not be the most obvious combination in the music-fusion canon but forward-thinker Easton Guillory is not putting on the brakes on his creative train. Ahead of his new EP, End of Walls, we got chatting to the man himself to find out more…

RR: What to you is the best rock album of all time and why?

Tricky one. I find myself going back and forth between a classic 70s-ish prog album like Gentle Giant’s Power and Glory, Bowies Hunky Dory or literally anything by King Crimson, and a more modern vibe like Alt-J’s first two albums or a selection of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. If I really must choose I think it would have to come down to a Radiohead album, choosing between them is like making me choose between my children (cats).

At the time of first listen I’d say the album that gripped me the most was Hail to the thief. A really great balance of tricky time signatures, everchanging modulation and general proggy vibes but delivered in a manner that is approachable by your average joe and not too scary on first glance. The range of instrumentation and general soundscape between tracks I also find interesting, almost an homage to how they have developed throughout the years since Pablo, giving hints of punk rock, electronic, heavy rock, orchestral etc. Always maintaining a very clear Radiohead sound and compositional approach.

RR: How did you first discover rock music?

I was pretty late to rock music to be honest, growing up the only music that was played in our house was traditional English or Gaelic folk music which was down to my mam, she’s a mega ‘folky.’ By the time I was a teenager and finally got my first electric guitar and started receiving lessons, my teacher introduced me to the world of classic rock like Gun’s N Roses, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin etc. Although it wasn’t until I came to Leeds to study music at University that I truly found my own musical opinion and fell in love with all things proggy and weird.

RR: How would you describe the current state of rock/alternative music?

I think every genre has its good and bad artists, and rock is no exception, however I do genuinely feel positive about the future for rock. The rise of bands such as Black Midi and Black Country New Road is extremely exciting for noise/prog rock and rock in general as I think they are really going in their own direction and bring a sense of originality, which gets harder and harder every day.

You have Richard Dawson with his last few albums, a strange mixture of folk-esque lyrics with very proggy composition and often quite purposely harsh performance giving it the very rawest of feels. The new band The Smile is also very exciting, again using typically very proggy compositional methods like crazy time signatures and sudden modulations, but with an overlying sense of punky jazz?!? I think underground scenes in cities across UK are getting more impactful so bands with your smaller ‘cult’ followings are getting more recognition in the wider community and it’s something I personally love to see.

RR: Who is your current favourite rock/alternative artist and why?

It’s gonna have to be Radiohead. They were the band that made me seriously fall in love with music and set the foundations for my musical opinion as a whole. As I mentioned earlier, the way they can disguise very proggy and general unconventional compositional techniques within user-friendly rock music is baffling. When you see your none musician friends nodding there head along to a song in 13/8 you know something has been done right. I’m almost always surprised when I actually start to analyse a Radiohead song because it always ends up being way more complicated than it sounds.

I read somewhere recently that Radiohead were defined as ‘stealth prog’ which I just absolutely loved because it explains this entirely. Radiohead are the kings of stealth prog, and that’s why they’re my favourite band.

RR: Do you see the genre evolving in any particular way at the moment? For good or for bad?

Yes like I mentioned earlier I have hope that the growth of underground scenes and smaller cult followings will bring forward these more unconventional bands/artists and more styles of music are being accepted into the mainstream media.

RR: Progressive pop is such an interesting and unique genre label, what made you want to produce music within this sphere?

At the risk of repeating myself, the whole idea of having unconventional, proggy ideas within a nice, easy sounding package is something that really appeals to me. Being my debut EP I want it to be accepted by a wider crowd but I’m also really not one for a 1, 5, 6, 4 progression if you feel me.

Personally I never listen to lyrics first in a song, I’m always drawn to the music and the lyrics come entirely second, which is parallel to how I write music 90% of the time. I wanted the music to be the main interest in my songs, however I still wanted to tell my story therefore the music needed to make way for that. This balance of trying to make the music interesting whilst not being too overwhelming for the lyrics to have actual meaning and impact, resulted in this Prog Pop blend.

RR: What was the general songwriting process on the EP? Were there any challenges to overcome?

It was a long and slow process the production of this EP. As usual, time and money was the main issue throughout the earlier stages and not to mention F*king covid and lockdowns. I worked in a restaurant as a waiter doing long hours for minimum wage while trying to find the time and money to work on this EP. It got to the point where I was pretty much ready to give up and pack it in due to how expensive it was turning out to be.

I then received the tricky news of my grandmas passing which I struggled with for a while and took some time off from music. We have a very big family with not a lot between us but when we sold our grandmas house we all got a share which finally gave me the financial boost I needed to record and produce the EP once and for all. She was always very supportive of my musical endeavours and turned out to be the sole reason I was able to take them further, even after death.

Easton’s new EP ‘End Of Walls’ drops 05/04/22!

Connect with Easton Guillory below:

Website

Tiktok

Meet Your New Favourite Folk-Punk Artist: Jay Thackery

Folk, Punk, Rock n Roll

Feeling angsty yet sensitive? Need to look else where to get you punk-folk fix after you released that Frank Turner stopped releasing decent music and became kind of a knob? Well look no further because we’ve found just the guy to fill that particular hole in your life: Jay Thackery.

His debut EP is a gold-mine of story-led folk-punk ballads rooted in personal experience. Indeed, ‘The Rehab Diaries’ isn’t just attempt to make the artist sound edgy and tortured: the album was literally written and recorded during Thackery’s second stint in rehab for various  substance abuse issues. He refers to the EP as a ‘perfect snapshot of that period in his life’, which encapsulates the almost memoir-like quality that the record has: it is introspective, reflective and cathartic.

 

The sound, at its core, is folky. Jay Thackery has a one-man-band vibe going on, with his use of an acoustic guitar and bass-drum adding to the rough-and-ready production value that amplifies the emotive quality of his music. Manufactured pop-punk this is not. Coupled with elements from classic rock’n’roll, bluegrass and punk- all genres that traditionally have had a large grassroots scenes—his music is nothing if not authentic.

There is also a smattering of rap in songs such as ‘Don’t Cry’ and ‘The Fall’, in which Thackery shows off some of his best lines, and is reminiscent of a younger Ed Sheeran, before he became the unofficial mascot of Heart Radio. We only hope that his upcoming releases contain more spoken word segments, as we feel that this shows Jay at his most inventive.

 

Check out the album and more on the links below!

SoundCloud– www.soundcloud.com/jaythackeryuk

Spotify– https://open.spotify.com/album/248U9ocWc6U2e8Xg5Qt4kQ

Youtube– www.youtube.com/jaythackeryofficial

Facebook– www.facebook.com/jaythackerymusic

Website– www.jaythackerymusic.com

Adam Lanceley helps out Brain and Spine Foundation with new EP

Acoustic, Rock, Singer-Songwriter

Records always seem to have a much greater impact when they’re devoted to a good cause, just think about the Military Wives for example. But now, singer-songwriter, Adam Lanceley has returned with another one, a new EP that is donating all its proceeds to the Brain And Spine Foundation.

This charity, in particular, is close to Adam’s heart as it is one he has raised money for in the past, running several 10k races and even the London marathon in their name. However, Adam had to come a long way before he reached this point.

As a child, a terrible car crash left Adam with seemingly irreparable damage to his head, and the doctors told his parents that he would never walk or talk again. As you can see, Adam proved them wrong and is now a hugely inspirational musician too.

Music became a form of therapy for Adam and he began to write music during his adolescent years, after picking up the guitar and learning some basic skills. Since then, Adam has produced a stunning back catalogue of 5 full length albums, Back To The Sunshine, the new EP being his sixth record.

The EP continues with Adam’s summery style, employing intricate guitar leads alongside well thought out lyrics where there is much more beneath the surface than originally meets the eye.

Check out more on Adam here:

Links:

https://play.spotify.com/artist/0UFbDrAYa0cnAp41cQnyNb

https://twitter.com/AdamLanceley

https://www.facebook.com/adamlanceleymusic/?fref=ts

https://soundcloud.com/adam-129087330

http://www.brainandspine.org.uk/adams-story

Proud Camden Favourites Vidal & Curma Release EP

Singer-Songwriter

Vidal & Curma have played in some of the most prestigious independent music venues in the city; their reputation has already won them a residency at the revered Proud Camden, where they were invited for repeat showings by popular demand thanks to the innate energy and sense of fun in their songs. Now, three track EP ‘Another Plane’ is being released – and it’s an offbeat, acoustic treat.

Watch Vidal & Curma in action here:

Vidal & Curma’s ‘Another Plane’ EP is due to be released on August 10th.

Links:

https://facebook.com/VidalCurma

https://twitter.com/vidalcurma

http://tradiio.com/vidal-curma-1

Bentley Jones stuns with new EP, ‘The Prequel’

Music

Song smith Bentley Jones returns with a glowing new release combining rock, pop and electronica to create a unique sound and style. This is the most streamline release you will hear this year and something you don’t want to miss out on.

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Having been compared to David Guetta, will.i.am and Avicii, Bentley Jones is keen to cement his place as a leading performer and so far he’s been successful in that aim.  Jones has collaborated with Curtis Young who happens to be the son of Dr Dre, on a number of releases. His version of “West End Girls” was adored by Neil Tenant and even Lady Gaga follows him on Twitter!

Listen to ‘Follow You Down’ here:

Melodically, sonically and lyrically Bentley Jones has created a flawless release which will appeal to people of all walks of life and tastes in music. The EP will be released on August 31st.

Links:

http://www.bentleyjones.com/

http://youtube.com/BentleyJonesMusic

https://soundcloud.com/bentleyjones

http://facebook.com/bentleyjonesmusic

@Bentley_Jones

Kinky Dove ready to release new self-titled EP

blues, Rock, soundcloud

3 track release set to be unleashed on June 15th

scott_2

Born in in Australia but now living in London, Kinky Dove is the musical moniker of frontman Scott Wade and his evolving collective of musicians. Progenitors of gritty, driving rock, the group are readying themselves for a fresh assault on the music industry with a brand new three track EP.

Their particular brand of rock and roll, defined in many ways by the bluesy, post-rock growl of Wade on vocals, is currently in short supply both nationally and globally, and Kinky Dove are now looking to redress that balance.

For a taste of their punchy style, check out the video to EP track ‘Some Kind of Fool’, featuring an epic slap-happy montage of Hollywood moments.

The EP also features a remix/cover version of classic 1978 track ‘Another Girl Another Planet’ by The Only Ones – in this case titled simply ‘Another Girl’.

There is also a trance remix of ‘It’s Called Heartache’ on the EP. You can find the video for this at

The EP is online at

Produced by Chris Kimsey, previously of Olympic Studios, the EP marks Kinky Dove out as one of a few unique rock bands on the scene. Fans of Scott Wade and Kinky Dove before they began working together, the producer understood the style and heights at which the music was aiming, and helped mould that vision into the musical reality that Kinky Dove has become.

The CD was mixed by Wade. Studio legend Phill Brown loved the sound of the CD, commenting that the mixes were “open and alive.”

The resulting EP is a continuation of form from previous album ‘Kinky Dove vol. 1’, and the latest step in Kinky Dove’s  climb.

Links:

www.facebook.com/kinkydove

www.reverbnation.com/kinkydove

www.kinkydove.com

Brand new ShadowIcon EP is more than ‘Smoke & Mirrors’

Uncategorized

Born and raised in Slovenia, ShadowIcon are a six piece melodic metal band with a heavy impact and a compelling lead female vocalist. Taking elements from metal and thrash, but marrying them to a tuneful vocal and a great appreciation for a stylish groove, the  band serve up a potent blend of heaviness on new EP ‘Smoke and Mirrors’.

Check out their music video here!

With over 50,000 fans on facebook already, this band are set for extremely bright things in 2015!

The ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ EP is out March 16th.

Links:

www.shadowicon.com

www.facebook.com/shadowicon

Expansive minimalism from debut Slows Down EP

Uncategorized

IMG_2613 bw

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’:

https://soundcloud.com/slowsdown/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.

Links:

https://soundcloud.com/slowsdown

https://slowsdown.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/slowsdown

River Child invites us under the ‘Lone City Lights’

Uncategorized

PRImage

Single taken from upcoming  debut EP ‘Start Over Again’

A thoughtful singer songwriter based in North London, River Child is the creator of original indie-folk tunes with a soulful edge.

An ex-busker who got so much good feedback from his pavement performances he decided to take to the studio, with second single ‘Lone City Lights’ coming next.

Brilliant in its simplicity, the track marries a vocal reminiscent of Dylan with an upbeat shuffle rhythm which belies the darker lyrics, as well as mixing acoustic and jangling electric guitar to great effect. You can hear the song here:

Looking to build on his burgeoning reputation with this single, River Child is working hard on the London scene to keep turning heads – and with top quality, accessible music like this it shouldn’t be long until more and more eyes are on him.

Produced by Ian Wallman, this is music easy on the ear but written from the heart – a soulful reminder of how affecting a simple chord/melody combination can be.

‘Lone City Lights’ is out on January 19th

Find River Child online:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/riverchildmusic

Twitter: https://twitter.com/child_river

Instagram: riverchildpics

Italian rockers Noel and the Pandas set to release debut album ‘In The Art Of Doom’

Uncategorized

noel and pandas pink sky

 

Noel and the Pandas are the hottest new alternative rock sound to emerge from Italy. With a soft rock sound and sensitive lyrics, the guys add a hearty Italian twist to rock.

The band is led by front man Noel, who is the ultimate Italian Jack of all trades that has finally found his calling in the world of alternative rock music.

Noel’s journey into music has been an unusual route, to say the least. Having lent his hand to many trades, Noel’s career is a fascinating and chaotic tale; beginning his career as a lawyer, Noel went on to have a long career in the banking industry. One day Noel’s career as a banker came to a crashing end over night as he lost everything in the blink of an eye when the bank he worked for was drawn into an Italian banking scandal, which even saw his father unjustly imprisoned for a brief period. Following this tragedy Noel was left recovering metal scraps from the streets and was even worked as a fisherman in West Africa for a short while, as he struggled to make ends meet.

With nothing left to his name, Noel turned to music to overcome his troubles. After mastering the guitar Noel soon realised his real passion lied in making music and began to express his troubles through his lyrics. Whilst learning how to harness his new found talent Noel began the quest for band mates to help complete his new musical venture.

Nicola Rosti, the bands lead guitarist, was the first recruit. Having been Noel’s guitar teacher for some time, the pair had a natural musical chemistry that morphed into band mate material with ease. The talented Rosti has a long and illustrious career in the music industry; having been involved with numerous bands Rosti brings technical brilliance to the ensemble and is responsible for the production of the album. Dominic Sambucco, on rhythm guitar, was the next to join. A Canadian citizen living in Italy, Sambucco’s strumming talent completed the guitar sounds of the band. Well versed in the art of alternative rock, Filippo Parmeggiani joined the band to play drums. Finally, the band was completed by the arrival of Matt Straveden. With a history as a classic pianist, Straveden is the bands keys player.

The band has an alternative rock sound, with a soft undertone that subtly embraces the best of rock. ‘In The Art Of Doom’ is the debut album from the band and showcases the rockin’ talents of the five guys. A number of tracks on the album explore the heart ache Noel has suffered over recent years and draws the listener into his complex world through his heartfelt lyrics.

Check out Noel And The Pandas music here: https://soundcloud.com/noelandpandas_official

Keep up with the band here:

Soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/noelandpandas_official

www.noelandthepandas.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Noel.Music.official

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/noelmusicofficial