Category Archives: Album Reviews

EP Review: Zella Day – Self-titled EP

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We’ve been talking about LA based singer/songwriter Zella Day for sometime now and the moment has finally come for her music to be praised by the masses. Day’s self-titled debut EP was released this week via B3SCI Records – leading with Zella’s dazzling new single Hypnotic.

If you’ve been listening to Zella Day’s music then you’ll already agree with the talent she possesses – shoe gazing pop music with an adventurous side that’s indeed captivating. Intertwining shimmering synths, delicate piano chords and indie wave guitar strings to create dreamlike atmospherics which truly come to life by Day’s beautiful vocal tones and unique songwriting.

Singles Sweet Ophelia, East of Eden and Compass have sparkled the blogsphere over the last few months but it’s the new single that makes Zella Day the future pop star we’ve all been waiting for. Hypnotic is the song that’ll get everyone talking – rhythmic offbeat, glittering electronic synths and a chorus that truly embraces its name. It won’t be long before we see Zella amongst the likes of Lorde and Lana Del Rey.

Verdict – 4.5/5

Stream Hypnotic below and be sure to buy the debut EP on iTunes.

Review by Mustafa Mirreh

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EP Review: Colour The Atlas – Opaline EP

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That precious feeling when you’ve been following an artist or band from their very first record, progressing over the past year, releasing new material and conquering live shows; that has been the case with Swindon’s alternative four-piece Colour The Atlas. After the short break, Jess, Andy, Alex and Stefan are back with their brand new EP Opaline and with it a new era of music.

Opaline is certainly not rushed, the group returning back to their hometown over the months to work on new material and it has indeed paid off, what we have here is a music that truly transcends above the norm, moving on from their older acoustic sound to a more mature and experimental approach – submerging into the growing genre of Trip Hop, music with no boundaries allowing it to flourish in multiple elements.

We recently reviewed the single That Sound, a leading beacon into Colour The Atlas’s new era, embracing the tranquil mixes of production, textured beautifully alongside Jesse’s infectious vocals. Come Alive is certainly upbeat, bongo drumming backdrop layered with shimmering electric guitar and Jesse’s harmonic thrums, the track further continues to progress with further rhythmic drumming and souring vocals, fusing both ambient electronica with tropical elements. Things continue to impress with How Many Times, an elevating piece as we explore further into the unique sounds of Trip Hop. Opaline truly shines through with the partnership of Jesse and Alex, their illuminating duets and thought-provoking songwriting are unmatched by anyone else; Look Inside Your Mind is a perfect harmonic and lyrical understanding, the core of Colour The Altas’s sound.

Colour The Atlas have really grown into their own, matured and with a sound that set’s them apart from everyone else. We are beginning to see a new era of music unfold and Colour The Atlas are firmly in pole position.

Verdict – 5/5

Opaline is available now on iTunes.

Review by Mustafa Mirreh

Album Review: Emel Michael – Not Afraid Of Heights

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It was a little while ago that we were introduced to singer/songwriter Emel Michael and her wonderful creative world of music. At the time she released her debut single Like A Melody, showcasing soulful melodic harmonies, shimmering guitar strings and inspiring songwriting. A glowing introduction to her debut LP which is has now reached its completion, produced by David Leighton at RiverRun Studios Not Afraid Of Heights is a colourful presentation of an artist with humbling talent and heartfelt personality that continues to reach audiences across the music scene.

With influences ranging from Tracey Chapman, Sting and Jon Mitchell with delicate layers, harmonic arrangements, warm melodies and thoughtful lyrics; Not Afraid Of Heights paints a picture of Emel’s artistic imagination, an escapism from the real world and into her inspiration and dreams – each track reaching out to others and inspiring them to engage with music.

Title track Not Afraid Of Heights comes at you in full spirit, heavenly vocals tones and truthful lyrics – a story of fallng in love for the first time. There’s a fun character that continues on throughout the record, London Sky is a delightful jingle with Emel’s beautiful vocals weaving through clapping percussion and tingling guitar strings in breaking through those cloudy days. Jack & The Beanstack follows suit with shimmering guitar strings and captivating vocals, Like A Melody as previously mentioned with it’s resounding harmonies, warm jingles and clapping percussion, a colourful piece indeed. Not Afraid Of Heights is neatly crafted with multi-instrumental layers, musical arrangements brought together to produce music that’s organically authentic. Burning Fuel is a prime example of this authentic sound, opening guitar strumming and drum sequences confidently wrapped around a looping electronic chord all make for an enticing piece.

Emel Michael comes with it all, beautiful voice, multi-instrumentalist and a poetic storyteller, all packed in a colourful artistry in her debut album. One listen and you’ll be in dreamland!

Verdict – 5/5

Not Afraid Of Heights is available now on iTunes with an album launch taking place next month November 20th.

Review by Mustafa Mirreh