CALLUM PITT – Album Review: “In The Balance”

One of the brightest spots on the British music scene today is Callum Pitt, a thoughtful and immensely-talented singer-songwriter based in Newcastle Upon Tyne. Inspired by such esteemed artists as Elliott Smith, Julien Baker, Adrianne Lenker, Sufjan Stevens, The War on Drugs and Fleet Foxes, he creates, in his own words, “indie-folk with a grand, orchestral, chamber pop sensibility plus an alt-rock edge”. I say that’s a pretty accurate description of his beautiful music, which is characterized by lush harmonies, captivating melodies, and honest, meaningful lyrics touching on subjects like depression, anxiety, and social and political unrest, expressed through his emotive pleasing vocals that nevertheless manage to instill feelings of optimism and unity.

Since 2017, Callum has released an impressive number of singles as well as a four-track EP Poisoned Reveries in 2019. His second single “Least He’s Happy” has been streamed more than two million times on Spotify, with several other singles garnering well over 100,000 streams. He’s also earned accolades such as the Alan Hull Songwriting Award in 2019, and the Fender Player Plus competition in 2021. I love his music, and have previously written about four of his songs, two of which – “Fault Lines” and “Mayfly” – made my Weekly Top 30 chart, with “Fault Lines” ranking #84 on my 100 Best Songs of 2020 list, and “Mayfly”, which peaked at #8 earlier this year, guaranteed to rank even higher on my 100 Best Songs of 2023 list. (You can read some of my previous reviews by clicking on the ‘Related’ links at the end of this post.)

Photo by Daniel Stark

Now Callum has just dropped his long-awaited debut album In The Balance, and it’s a real stunner! The culmination of nearly three years of work, the album’s nine songs were informed by a number of events that prompted him to explore questions of existentialism and fate, including a vehicle accident that could have killed his parents and brother, a close friend almost dying of a drug overdose after leaving a party at his house, and the death by suicide of a childhood friend. Remarkably, he wrote and recorded the album while also working at a job and studying for his masters degree in Occupational Therapy.

He wrote the album in his bedroom, using only a nylon-string guitar and cheap 90s keyboard. He then took his demos to the studio, where he worked with long-time producer John Martindale to turn them into rich recordings, featuring a string quartet, and trumpets by James Leonard Hewiston and saxophone by Alex Saxon. Callum sang lead vocals and played acoustic and electric guitars and keyboards, Luke Elgie played bass, Gavin Christie played drums, and John Martindale played percussion, with Ada Francis and Jodie Nicholson on backing vocals

The album kicks off with “I Feel a God and Devil in This Room“, in which Callum explores how both good and evil are present in human experiences more than in otherworldly realms like heaven or hell, and that we should embrace our lives here and now, rather than wait for a theoretically better afterlife: “I feel alone, but I feel in my bones tonight, something bigger moving like a tidal wave, a wilting bouquet, on fire. I feel a God and devil in this room.The song is enchanting, opening with delicate guitar, piano and strings, then gradually building to a dramatic crescendo with added saxophone, heavier percussion and gorgeous harmonies. The lovely video, filmed and produced by Gareth Williams, features Mia Fuller dancing to the song in an empty church.

Black Holes in the Sky” addresses the aforementioned close friend that almost died from an overdose of acid after leaving a party at Callum’s house, and was thankfully saved by a passing dog walker at dawn: “You left our party, the last one to go / I heard that a stranger found you laid down, blue in the lips and frost upon your clothes on the edge of town.” The song starts off with an almost gospel-like feel, but transitions into a stirring anthem, with emphatic piano keys, bold guitar notes and blaring trumpets. On the hauntingly beautiful and contemplative “Crow“, Callum speaks of his struggles with depression and anxiety: “There’s something in the leaves reminding me there’s no light without dark.” His piano and guitar work are particularly stunning here.

Fraction of a Second” was inspired by a night in 2019, in which Callum was reminded of how a change of a mere second of time could have resulted in a life-altering outcome. Minutes after he waved goodbye to his brother and parents as they left his house, a fire engine hit the back edge of their car. They were all unharmed, but had their car been in the engine’s path a fraction of a second later – if he’d said one more word to them at the doorstep – it would have slammed directly into the drivers’ side. Musically, the song has a melancholy yet hopeful feel, and features a buoyant drumbeat overlain with delicate sweeping synths, beautifully-strummed guitar notes, lovely piano keys and vibrant strings. As always, Callum’s smooth vocals are comforting and warm as he sings of his gratitude that his family safely survived the crash: “And I don’t know what I’d do, if that truck had taken all of you, I think the moon may disappear. But a fraction of a second kept you here.”

On the piano-driven “More Than This“, Callum touches on the impermanence of life and worldly beauty: “And no one ever said there would be more than this, but I feel it turning golden in the fall. Everything must go, it’s an angel in the snow. And I will never ask for more.” The moving video was directed by Sel MacLean and filmed by Ross Marshall, and shows Callum singing the song in an empty theater as he watches a couple, played by Igor Tavares and Laura Alise do an interpretive dance.

One of my favorite songs on the album, “Mayfly” is essentially about adulthood, and speaks to Callum’s feelings of apprehension over the responsibilities he’ll face as a potential parent, fearing he might not be up to the task: “I don’t deserve the love that I am shown, but someday I will. ‘Cause I, I need time, so I can be, who you need me to be. So hold out please.” Musically, the song has a lively, upbeat melody that contrasts with the poignant lyrics. I love the perfect melding of acoustic guitar notes and delicate piano chords in the verses, and how the drums become more intense in the choruses, accompanied by glorious exuberant riffs and swirling keyboards. Callum’s smooth vocals are both comforting and heartfelt, backed by Ada and Jodie’s lovely harmonies, and Alex’s bold saxophone in the final chorus is wonderful.

On “Moths and Butterflies”, Callum speaks to the value of expressing one’s emotions in a society where the expectation is for men and boys to suppress their feelings. Though still essentially a folk song, it has more of a rock vibe, with heavier guitars and drums, especially in the bridge. The enchanting “Uncanny Moon” features delicate guitar notes, stirring strings and gorgeous soaring harmonies.

Album closer “The Will of the River” is a beautiful, cinematic anthem in the vein of Sam Fender’s “Seventeen Going Under”, which means I love it! The combination of gentle acoustic guitar notes with more resonant jangly chords and fuzz-coated gnarly riffs, layered over an exuberant stomping groove, make for an exceptionally impactful track. The poignant lyrics speak of the childhood friend who took his own life, leaving him wondering if there might have been something he could have done to prevent it: “I’m so sorry for how we drifted, maybe I knew you too soon. It’s darker now. You’re now away, but my memories are so clear. We move at the will of the river, but you’re ringing in my ear.”

I’m not sure what more I can say about In The Balance, other that to state with confidence that it’s a gorgeous little masterpiece. Mr. Pitt and company have gifted us an impressive, flawlessly-crafted work, for which they should be quite proud.

Connect with Callum:  Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Find his music on BandcampSpotify / Apple Music / Soundcloud Amazon

THE PETAL FALLS – Single Review: “Obsession”

After having written about music for nearly eight years, I’ve come to the conclusion that, while trends come and go, music of high quality will always speak for itself and have a following, no matter the genre. Many have written of the death of rock, and while it’s largely been absent from the ridiculous Billboard Hot 100 (which, because it now relies primarily on streaming stats, is heavily weighted to formula pop, hip hop and bro-country), it’s undeniable that rock is still very much alive and loved by millions of fans.

Case in point is British rock act The Petal Falls, the music project of Kent-based singer-songwriter Keith Leahy. I’ve previously reviewed two of his singles “I Won’t Be There”, in August 2021, and “Somebody To Love Me”, in April 2022 (you can read them by clicking on the “Related” links at the end of this post). To briefly reiterate some of what I previously detailed about The Petal Falls’ unfortunate history, Leahy formed the band in the mid 1990s as a performance platform for his music. Consisting of Leahy, who sings vocals as well as plays guitar and keyboards, and four other musicians – Robert Harpum (guitar), Dave Richards (guitar), Marius Ryndziewicz (bass) and Robin Tucker (drums) – they signed with a mid-tier music label in the hopes it would lead to greater success, but it instead resulted in their ultimate undoing. The label stifled their creativity and stalled their career for several years, leading to a great deal of frustration among band members and their eventual demise, without ever being given the opportunity to publicly release any of their impressive output of songs.

Thankfully, their outstanding music catalog eventually became available for release, and Keith jumped at the opportunity to re-master the original recordings into four albums, with help of friend and producer-engineer-drummer John King. The first of those albums, Workin All Night Workin All Day, was released in July 2020 to positive fan and critical response, an amazing feat for an act that had long been given up for dead. Though their songs were recorded nearly 30 years ago and feature an 80s vibe reminiscent of music by such artists as Whitesnake, John Mellencamp and Bruce Springsteen, among others, they still strongly resonate today, garnering over 1.2 million streams on Spotify alone. That first album’s success inspired Keith to resurrect The Petal Falls as a solo project, recording and releasing new music in collaboration with King. They followed with a second album All These Years in September 2021, then a third Everything About You in September 2022.

Now he returns with “Obsession“, the lead single from his fourth album The Rhythm Train, due for release this coming October. For the recording of “Obsession” Keith played guitar and keyboards and sang lead vocals, Robert Harpum played guitar, Martin Corder played bass and Robin Tucker played drums. Backing vocals were sung by Avril Davis and Tracy Tucker, with added guitar by Barry Kitchin and keyboards by Lee Tucker. The track was mastered by John King.

The song is an intense and brooding rocker about a passionate and reckless affair and the burning obsession it breeds. I know from personal experience how easy it is to fall under someone’s thrall, willing to cast all rationality and caution aside in the pursuit of their attention and, hopefully, love. To drive home their message, The Petal Falls unleashes a torrent of searing riffs, pulse-pounding bass and thunderous drums, creating a powerful and darkly sensual soundscape. The combination of three guitarists working their magic results in a rich and contrasting tapestry of shimmery chiming notes, spine-tingling psychedelic runs and grinding buzzsaw riffs. Keith’s arresting vocals are brimming with passion as he wails “I’d jump off a mountain, if I thought you’d stop and stare. I’d swim a raging river, if I knew you would be there. You can beat me, beat me to despair. You can love me, I don’t really care. You’re my obsession!

The dark, beautifully-filmed video brings the song’s lyrics to life with sizzling scenes of a sexy woman dominating her willing subject.

Connect with The Petal Falls: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Find his music on Spotify / Apple Music / SoundcloudYouTube

KEWEN – Single Review: “Chapters”

Kewen is the solo music project of British singer-songwriter Callum Kewen, who plays a pleasing style of folk rock inspired by such acts as Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, the Beatles and Bruce Springsteen. Based in Northeast England, the busy young musician is also frontman and lead vocalist of soft rock band Kewen & The Crosswalks, and does oral music reviews of local artists on his Facebook page.

He’s been releasing music as a solo artist for six years, beginning with his debut singles “This Feelin’” and “This April Day” in April 2017, followed that September by his first EP Chimes. He followed that EP with more singles, culminating in the release of his second EP A Little Bit of Magic in 2019. He dropped a lockdown single “Freedom” in 2020, then a single “The Line” in 2021. Since then, he’s been working on his debut album Chapters, due for release in September. He just dropped the album’s title single “Chapters“, an upbeat song of optimism and hope for a better future.

Kewen elaborates on his inspiration for writing the song and album: “This album has been 2.5 years in the making and I’ve put my heart and soul into it. I wrote ‘Chapters’ not long after I went through a breakup in my personal life. I took myself off to the Lake District in the UK for a night of wild camping on the mountain side, and wanted to get into a different frame of mind which is something I had never done before. This was one of two songs I wrote up there that day, and I think they may be some of the best stuff I’ve ever written. I very much felt at that time in my life that I was moving onto the next chapter in my life and I knew I wanted to title my next project in relation to that. The song started writing itself once I got pen to paper and it was probably done within the hour.

For the recording of the song, Kewen played acoustic rhythm guitar and sang lead and backing vocals, with additional contributions by several of his fellow musicians: Oliver Cobb, who produced the track, played electric rhythm and lead guitars, Kewen & the Crosswalks bassist Hannah Ward played bass and sang backing vocals, Jack Herron played drums, and WayneOnSax played the wonderful saxophone. Primary backing vocals were sung by Teah McCafferty, along with Hope Laverty, James Brown and Eddie Hogg.

I really like the song’s bouncy melody and infectious toe-tapping groove, highlighted by lots of cheerful guitar noodling, exuberant percussion and that marvelous wailing sax. Though he strains a bit on the higher notes, Kewen’s plaintive vocals are pleasing as he fervently sings “I can feel the chapters closing in, I can feel the chapters of life. I can feel the chapters, and everything’s alright. I can feel the pages of this worn-out book, I can feel the new pages rise.” The delightful backing vocals, especially those of Teah McCafferty, nicely complement his. “Chapters” is a fine single, and a promising glimpse of what we can expect on the forthcoming album.

Connect with Kewen: FacebookTwitterInstagram

Find his music on SpotifyApple Music deezer / YouTube

PHILIP MORGAN LEWIS – Single Review: “When You’re Shattered”

British singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Philip Morgan Lewis is a creative and engaging artist who’s long been a favorite of mine. Drawing from an eclectic range of music genres and influences, including alternative rock, blues, R&B, soul, jazz, garage rock and folk, the London East Ender crafts his own unique sound. That unique style, combined with his distinctive unusual and raspy singing voice that sounds like no one else, makes his music instantly recognizable as only his. And, as I’ve noted on previous reviews, I like how each of his songs is uniquely different, with every release surprising us with a totally new vibe. Moreover, he isn’t afraid to address the darker side of humanity and the emotional wreckage of failed relationships, love gone bad and our sometimes self-destructive ways, while also offering glimmers of hope and redemption.

Over the past decade, Philip has released quite a lot of music, including his 2016 EP Karma Comedown, two albums, the brilliant Grief Harbour in 2017 (which I reviewed), and the ambitious 18-track opus work Now + Then in 2021, as well as over a dozen singles, a number of which I’ve also reviewed. Two of my favorites are “Come Find Me Back”, which ranks #88 on my 100 Best Songs of 2021 list, and “Redchurch Street Blues”, ranking #63 on my 100 Best Songs of 2022 list.

Now he’s back with “When You’re Shattered“, the first single from his upcoming EP, due for release on June 20th. Philip says the song was quite cathartic for him. “I have written a lot over the past year as I was going through a very rough time. I realised that even though I was struggling, I kept on answering “I’m alright mate” when asked how I felt. This track is about that- don’t even try to hide [your feelings], just let it out and help might come.”

Philip wrote, produced, recorded and mixed the track, played guitar, bass, percussion and keyboards, and sang vocals. His 12 year old daughter Annick, who’s sung on all of this records since she was four, sang backing vocals. The track was mastered by Fred Miller in his Copenhagen studio. Released via Philip’s own label TX2 Records, a cool-looking special limited edition 7-inch 45 rpm red vinyl pressing of the single is also available.

To drive home his point, Philip starts with a strong driving beat, fueled by a bold, thumping bassline. He then layers a marvelous array of blues-soaked grungy guitars, snappy drums and mysterious swirling synths, creating a dark, cinematic backdrop for his emotion-packed vocals that range from sultry croons to fervent entreaties. Annick’s lilting backing vocals, which sound far more mature than a 12 year old, are wonderful, and the perfect complement to her father’s raspy croons. “When You’re Shattered” is another gem in an unbroken string of superb releases by this uniquely talented artist.

Your body’s torn to pieces
Your mind is drifting free
You seek blue ladders
That’ll take you to the sky
Well I tell you baby
Your heart is sick and tired
Keep on pretending sugar
This love will never die

When you’re shattered
When you’re shattered
Shattered deep inside
When you’re shattered
Oh baby when you’re shattered
Don’t even try to hide

Now keep on moving baby
Push on through the crowd
When you think of what you’ve been through
This shuffle brings you down
People tell you what to do
They sell you dirty lies
Say everything's all right
And you know that everything’s all wrong
Cause’ when you’re
Six feet buried deep babe
You sure just waste your time

When you’re shattered
Baby when you’re shattered
Shattered deep inside
When you’re shattered
Baby when you’re shattered
Don’t even try to hide
Don’t even try to hide

When you’re shattered
When you’re shattered
Shattered deep inside
Don’t even try to hide
When you’re shattered
Baby when you’re shattered
Shattered deep inside
Don’t even try to hide
You’re shattered baby

Oh you’re just shattered babe
Oh you’re just shattered babe
Oh you’re just shattered babe

Connect with Philip: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Find his music on Spotify / YouTube / Apple Music / Amazon / deezerTidal

Artist Spotlight – Chris Mardula

I seem to be in a pattern of writing about British artists lately (this is my seventh in a row!), but truth be told, they reach out to me about their music far more often than artists from any other countries, including the U.S. Today, I’m shining a spotlight on Chris Mardula, a singer-songwriter from Durham County in Northeast England. His music style is strongly informed with elements of folk, indie rock and blues.

A seasoned musician, he’s played in several bands over the years, but often felt frustrated by uneven levels of commitment by other members. He told me that with everyone having other responsibilities, it was often difficult getting everyone on the same page. Sick and tired of having to rely on other people, he eventually decided to move forward on his own as a solo artist. “I’ve had all of these songs just sitting there doing nothing for years. I thought to myself, it’s time I do something with them and get them out there to be heard. If there’s only me, there’s no excuses. So I built myself a little studio in the house and got busy making a few demos and writing some new tracks.

Last November, Chris began releasing songs at the rate of one per month, starting with a lovely demo titled “Don’t let me down“. Consisting of just his strummed acoustic guitar and heartfelt vocals, the song is a poignant folk ballad about a fragile relationship. He assures his partner that he’ll be there for her, imploring her to not let him down: “Please stop complaining over things that I do. If you’re not so happy, you know what to do. Said I’d be there, I guess I always will. Just don’t let me down, C’mon now, don’t let me down. Cause this time is gonna be the last.” Listening to his pleasing vocals, I could easily be convinced that Chris was from Nashville or Austin instead of Northeast England.

He followed in December with his first official single “Take It Or Leave It“, which is my favorite song he’s released thus far. Written several years ago, Chris says the song is about living in a small town, making the most of it and finding your way forward while getting through the drag of everyday life, and how things usually turn out alright in the end. For this song, he layers beautiful programmed strings and vibrant percussion over strummed guitar notes, creating a stirring cinematic backdrop for his warm vocals as he fervently sings “Taking chances on the outside. I’m on the outside looking in. See my friends and see their faces. And all the places that we’ve been. So take it or leave it. Seen it all before. Take it or leave it. Cause you know you wanted more.”

In January, he dropped “Fade Away“, a beautiful rock song with a more powerful feel than his previous two. Chris’s guitar work is quite impressive as he unleashes an onslaught of scorching riffs over a background of strummed guitars, sweeping strings and riotous percussion. The lyrics seem to speak to the enduring pain over the death of a friend or loved one that refuses to fade away. “Days since he left me, was the day that he died. Still I can’t forget you, still here in my mind. Why can’t it all just fade away?” The song’s compelling video features footage shot by Chris, Craig Addison and Ella Brown.

February saw the release of “Catch a Fire“, an impactful rock song about not continuing to waste our precious time, and to keep pushing forward through the obstacles and pain life throws our way, in order to achieve our dreams and become a better person. The song has a bit of a Southern rock vibe, thanks to Chris’s splendid mix of bluesy and twangy guitars.

His most recent release “Calm In The Storm” is a terrific bluesy instrumental, where his skills on the guitar, piano and drums are allowed to really shine.

While it could be argued that the music world has more than enough ‘guys with guitars’ to go around, I think the quality of his songs places Chris near the top of a crowded field. Based on the five tracks he’s released so far, I’d say that he’s a pretty talented songwriter, musician and vocalist with a promising future. I also like that each of those five songs sounds completely different, a testament to his ability to reach across genres. He’s now putting the finishing touches on his debut album Monumental Horizons, which he plans on releasing later this year.

Here are his songs on Spotify:

Connect with Chris: FacebookTwitterInstagram

Find his music on SpotifyApple MusicAmazon MusicSoundcloudYouTube

NAVE – Interview & Album Review: “God’s Waiting Room”

Though my feelings about social media are conflicted and complicated – a sentiment I’m confident many others share – one of the things I do like about it is that it’s allowed me to connect with a lot of really talented musicians and bands. One I’m happy to know is NAVE, the solo music project of British singer-songwriter, composer and producer Nathan Evans. Incorporating a broad array of genres and styles, including alternative rock, electronica, trip-hop, ambient, orchestral and dark wave, the hyper-talented Bournemouth-based artist creates dramatic, incredibly compelling music that’s often atmospheric and gorgeous, but sometimes also harsh and disturbing. Nathan is a thoughtful guy who’s unafraid to tackle issues relating to social justice and mental health, calling out the incessant bullshit and hypocrisy we seem to be faced with on a daily basis.

A truly prolific songwriter, he’s released a staggering amount of music over the past 10 years, both as NAVE (also sometimes represented as Nave or N.A.V.E.) and as front man of alternative psychedelic rock band Native Tongue. He’s been on a creative tear since 2021, and from what I can tell, he dropped eight singles last year, including “Broken Record”, a hauntingly beautiful song decrying the addictive nature of social media and its negative impacts on our emotional well-being. I love it so much, it went all the way to #1 on my Top 30 chart and ranks #14 on my 100 Best Songs of 2022 list.

He’s continued to release lots of new music in 2023, and on February 19th, he dropped God’s Waiting Room, a monumental work which I believe is his first full-length album. The words “full-length” are a massive understatement, as the album contains a mind-boggling 31 tracks! Because of its daunting length, it was a few days before I was able to give it my full attention, but once I did, I was literally blown away! The word “masterpiece” is often overused and lightly awarded, but I can say with all certainty that in the case of God’s Waiting Room, it’s well-earned. Listening to this brilliant and stunning album is an immersive experience that takes us on a sonic journey through the many moods, ideas and emotions of NAVE’s creative mind.

In order to gain a bit of insight into his inspiration for creating such an epic work, I asked Nathan to answer a few questions, which he was more than eager to do. Here’s what we talked about:

EML: You’re an astonishingly prolific musician and composer Nathan, and I’m truly in awe of your tremendous output. Not only have you released an epic 31-track album, you’ve also recently released a number of other stand-alone songs. Where and how do you find your inspiration for all this music?

NAVE: First off, thank you for your continued support and kind words. You have been a true rare find in this shallow industry. The lack of camaraderie and true music lovers is scarce and we need more people like yourself who truly care about new music. 

My 31 track album is a collection of songs and ideas spanning over 8 years to now. The majority of those songs were never intended to be released, but after going back and listening, I felt it was important because they carry so much emotion. I tend to release stand-alone songs that I spend a lot of time on and have that feeling of “oh this is a single”. The reason I called the album ‘Gods Waiting Room’ is because most of the songs aren’t singles, but more snapshots of moments in my life. What was going on and how I was feeling. I could imagine them all being played in a waiting room because they are so random and odd. 

In answer to your question though, the honest response is I don’t know where and how I find the inspiration to have such a high output. Maybe I feel I have something to prove to myself and others who never believed in me. I was written off in school for having ADHD, and was medicated for 6 years with Ritalin so I always felt like an outcast. Maybe my subconscious wants to leave behind a large library of work that I feel is important. Maybe I’m on an autistic spectrum and I can’t stop jumping from one idea to the other, constantly trying to outdo myself and find my “smells like teen spirit” banger. Maybe I am trying to refine my tools and become the best I can be, which is very similar to the mentality I had when I was competing in trampolining from the age 5-11 and had to come 1st in all competitions. If I would come in 2nd ever, it would be crushing. I knew I had the magic and that has translated to music today 

EML: Continuing on the theme of inspiration, some of the tracks on ‘God’s Waiting Room’ seem to have titles and/or lyrics dealing with self-assessment, mental health or personal well-being – e.g. “Jealous Little Bitch”, “Passive Aggressive”, “Son of a Rich Man”, “Computer Is My Friend” and “Kiss My Bad Side”. Are any of these songs autobiographical, or a means of addressing some inner demons or conflict?

NAVE: I find my songs either have a personal meaning, a message, or they don’t mean anything to me. Some tracks are blunt, some are cryptic, which means something to me, but to someone else interpreting them, it is completely different (which tends to happen often). Someone will tell me what my song means to them and I’ll be like “whoa, that’s not what I had in mind”. But I love that and it’s become clear from people’s comments that my music/lyrics creates imagery and causes multiple interpretations which I love.

For example, the songs you’ve mentioned. “Jealous Little Bitch” is an instrumental song, but made at a time when I was angry at certain people in my life and patterns of behaviour where I felt jealousy from “friends” or “family” instead of support and love. “Son of a Rich Man” was a dig at certain people that would never know the stress and uncertainty of having no money. They have an easy ride almost in a world where billionaires exist, and shouldn’t. I compare them to cartoon characters in a fairy tale paradise.

My track ‘Rose Tinted Glasses”, which was a stand alone release, was probably the most personal and therapeutic song I’ve ever written, about the loss of my Mum at 26. I put out a music video of it and I would cry every time I’d watch it. I’ve never had that with any song I’ve ever written and it addressed grief, anger and such sadness in me.

Another driving force isn’t so much facing inner demons but a feeling of obligation and duty to spread truth, love and light. Call out corruption, bullshit and lies. I made a tune called “blood thirsty billionaires” and made a video calling out certain people and shone a light on the ridiculous injustice and imbalance. It pisses me off that actors, musicians, sportsmen and whoever don’t use their platform enough to stand up to the lies we are fed everyday. The food we eat is full of harmful pesticides, the water we drink contains high levels of chlorine and the doctors don’t have our best interest at heart. They just read from a script or give us big pharma products. Cancer is 1 in 2 from the water, food and air, yet we freak out over a flu that mainly kills old and vulnerable people. We keep bending over to the government and accepting their lies and obeying without thinking for ourselves and truly questioning. Can you tell I am passionate about all this stuff. Can you see maybe why I make so much music lol?

EML: You certainly have a lot to say! When recording your songs as a solo artist, do you play and record all the music yourself? And besides the piano as your primary instrument, accompanied by what I’m guessing are lots of programmed synths, what other instruments do you play?

NAVE: Yeah, I mostly use the keyboard to write in synths, then programme and edit the drums. Then I finally add vocals. The vocals are always hit and miss. Sometimes they come quick and other times its a slog. I focus on the beat, atmosphere, melody and bass to create a vibe and if it makes me feel something, I quickly know whether to spend more time or move on. There always comes a time when I produce where that moment happens. Its like a magic. A transition occurs when the song comes to life and its amazing. I play drums, piano, guitar, bass and hope to learn the violin one day. I tried once and was terrible. The noise was so bad, I was unable to persist. So big respect to you violin players out there. You truly have to crawl through thorns and stinging nettles to reach the roses.

EML: With 31 amazing tracks, you could have broken them up into two or even three separate albums. Why the decision to include them all in one monumental album?

NAVE: I had considered that, but it felt they were all from a chapter in my life and belonged together. It also shows my progression till now and it was appealing to release a large body of work, particularly under such a poignant album title.

EML: That certainly makes sense. What other musicians or bands do you consider primary influences for your music?

NAVE: I ingested a lot of music as a teenager, but over the years I tend to stay away from listening to music as I find it better to be naive and not influenced by others’ music. The more music I listen to, the more chance I might feel I am copying them or “I cant do that because that sounds like that” if you know what I mean? But obviously Radiohead, Nirvana, Queens Of The Stone Age, Muse, BRMC, UNKLE, Jose Gonzalez, Deftones, Limp Bizkit, Morcheeba, Moby were big influences. Our bass player in my band Native Tongue is a music freak so he shows me a lot of new music and one track in particular that blew me away recently and inspired me to write my track “CONNIFER” is the track “NOT” by Big Thief. Incredible song.

EML: Is there anything I’ve neglected to ask that you’d like people to know about yourself or your music?

NAVE: I have struggled not finding the audience I was hoping to. It hurts when I put my heart and soul into these songs and I can’t reach anyone new or build my fan base, no matter how hard I try. I feel I’m finally coming to peace with that and doing this because I love it, not for people’s validation. My main drive has always been to reach people, and its been a painful road reaching so few people and not building that fan base I hoped for. Obviously there is still time but if it never happens, then fuck it. I still touched you and others, and devoted myself to an outlet which has kept me sane for so many years. Without it, I may not even be here now to answer these questions. 

So my final thing to say is to everyone out there, do what makes you happy and try not to seek happiness externally. Think for yourself and question authority. We have been boxed up like objects and we are still treated like slaves working long hours for no money. It doesn’t have to be this way. Seek the truth within yourself and the world will open up like a flower. Independent thought. Love yourself and be kind to others. 

Thank you Jeff. You are a star. 

EML: Thank YOU Nathan for taking the time to answer my questions, and for all your incredible music. Hopefully, this review and interview will bring you at least a few more fans.

Okay, let’s get to God’s Waiting Room, shall we? Because it contains so many tracks – all of which are outstanding – I won’t be doing my usual track-by-track discussion, as it would take me forever and besides, no one would read it all! Instead, I’ll touch on my favorites, as well as some of the more fascinating and impactful tracks. Of the album’s 31 offerings, 17 are instrumentals, whereas 14 feature lyrics and vocals of some kind or another.

On the unsettling opening track “The Speaker“, NAVE talk-sings in a mysterious whispered voice “Why do you listen to the speaker? Isn’t that, in listening to the speaker, you’re listening to yourself? Is that what is taking place? The speaker is only pointing something out. Acting as a mirror in which you only see yourself. Your own state of mind. Your own consciousness. And if at the end of these talks, you say to yourself ‘I have not changed’, why, it is your fault.” Though I didn’t ask him, my guess is that the song set the overall tone for the album, also serving as a kind of introduction.

As the album unfolds, each new track brings a different mood and vibe, keeping it sounding fresh and holding our attention. The second track “Sleepy Head” is a darkly beautiful instrumental featuring a mesmerizing trip hop groove and rather spooky string synths. And speaking of spooky, “White Witch” is downright chilling as NAVE drones “Never again, will you and I suffer. Never again, will the world go by unnoticed” against a mysterious cinematic backdrop that would make a great opening for a horror film.

Several instrumental tracks, like “Into the Abyss“, “Twilight Zone” and “Watch It Unfold“, are atmospheric and beautiful, with haunting piano movements, sparkling synths and cinematic strings. One of my favorites is the stunning “Linda’s Song“, with its vibrant piano keys, soaring strings and pleasing guitar chords. I also love “Jealous Little Bitch“, with its gorgeous violin notes and eerie synths layered over an assertive skittering beat.

Another favorite (on an album full of favorites) is “Passive Aggressive“, with its trippy hip hop groove, highlighted by menacing industrial synths sprinkled here and there with twinkling little touches that keep the song from sounding too heavy and dark. NAVE does a great job rapping the wonderful lyrics about an encounter with an unpleasant receptionist at a medical appointment: “Walk in the door, time for my appointment. Ignored by a lady unhappy in employment. Making me wait for a good few minutes. Grittin’ my teeth, pushed to the limit. I calm myself, instant reflection dealing with this middle-aged bitch on reception. Stay strong, try not to break. Refrain from explaining, I’m here cuz my balls ache. I’ve come a long way, massive obsessive, passive aggressive.

Swim Away With Me” is so quietly majestic and beautiful, it brings tears to my eyes. Then, abruptly changing the mood with “Millions of Wilfully Ignorant Sleepwalkers“, he skillfully uses a droning melody and rather ghostly, dream-like synths to convey a sense of people moving through life like zombies, seemingly unaware of their surroundings. The darkly beautiful “Breath With Me” has a strong Radiohead vibe, thanks in large part to the beguiling falsetto by appropriately-named guest vocalist Ethereal, which seems to channel Thom Yorke.

The terrific “Son of a Rich Man” is a languid and bluesy, guitar-driven song that NAVE touched on earlier as being a dig at people born with a silver spoon in their mouths. I love the pointed lyrics: “I don’t know who I am anymore. In fact, I don’t think I ever did. I’m indecisive, with hindsight bias. Sure, the grass could always be greener./ But who knows, paradise could just be a fairly tale, only fit for cartoon characters and billionaires. Maybe I should make a plan, or wait to reincarnate as the son of a rich man.”

One of the most beautiful tracks on the album is “Infinite Ground“, where NAVE’s dreamy echoed vocals meld so perfectly with the delicate acoustic guitar notes, it nearly takes my breath away. The unusual “Tashi Delek” is a dark song, featuring a strong trip hop beat, deep bass and harsh industrial synths, punctuated by contrasting delicate xylophone sounds. NAVE’s otherworldly vocals add to the song’s edgy vibe as he wails “I looked at your face. I couldn’t help but stare. I got you on my mind. There ain’t nothing wrong. Just a slip of the tongue. Can you feel my pain? And I miss you.”

The album closes with the contemplative piano piece “My Goodbye“, a beautiful and fitting end to this exquisite work of musical art. I’ve probably listened to God’s Waiting Room more than 15 times, and it manages to reveal new sounds, textures and meanings each time I hear it. I love this album, and hope at least some of my readers will appreciate and enjoy it too.

Connect with NAVE: FacebookTwitterInstagram

Find his music on SpotifyApple MusicBandcampYouTube Soundcloud

Fresh New Tracks, Vol. 26 – Eleanor Collides, Future Theory, THE Q’s

April 7, 2023 seems to be a big day for releasing new music, as scores of artists and bands I follow are dropping new singles, EPs or albums today. Because my time and energy are of limited supply, I’m able to only write about a tiny fraction of it. With that in mind, I’ve chosen three new singles for my latest edition of Fresh New Tracks, all by British acts. They are, in alphabetical order, singer-songwriter Eleanor Collides, psychedelic alt-rock band Future Theory, and indie rock band THE Q’s. I’ve previously written about Future Theory many times, whereas Eleanor Collides and THE Q’s are new to me.

Eleanor Collides – “Pantomime”

Eleanor Collides is the solo music project of London-based singer-songwriter and guitarist Nick Ranga. After having written songs for many years, Nick finally decided during one of the Covid lockdowns in March 2021 to start recording them under the moniker Eleanor Collides, the name of his childhood imaginary friend. Working with a group of like-minded London musicians named The MusiCollective, Nick recorded songs with such acts as Pisgah, Colin Tyler, Corporate Drone and Lucoline. That July, he released a four-track EP How to Make Friends, then followed in March 2022 with his debut album People are Taller in Real Life. Since then, he’s released a series of six singles, the latest of which is “Pantomime“. All six singles will be included in his forthcoming second album, due for release later in the year.

Drawing influences from some of his favorite acts like Depeche Mode, Alice in Chains, Hole and Manic Street Preachers, he melds alternative, indie and dream rock with synth pop to create his distinctly melancholic, yet beautiful sound. A great example of his signature sound can be heard on “Lifeboats”, one of my favorite Eleanor Collides songs. His latest single “Pantomime” is even more enchanting, with dreamy atmospheric synths layered over a throbbing bassline and accompanied by gentle percussion and subtle guitar notes. Nick’s smooth vocals are comforting, but with a quiet vulnerability that’s nicely complemented by his own backing falsetto.

He states the song “started life on acoustic guitar, with a four chord loop in the Dorian mode which lends the track a mysterious, melancholy sound, and is about going through the motions and feeling insignificant.” The lyrics describe a couple being driven apart by unseen forces, unsure of how to fix things: “I can be there if you want me. I can give you space if you need time. Floating away on the breeze. Replaying this old pantomime. What time did love arrive? When did affection slip out of the room? But we’re just two people, and what the hell can we do?

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Future Theory – “Why”

I’ve been following British alternative psychedelic rock band Future Theory since early 2017, and was immediately impressed by their intelligent songwriting and strong musicianship. Blending elements of alternative and progressive rock, psychedelia, grunge, shoegaze and funk, they fearlessly create arresting music characterized by complex melodies and arrangements, and delivered with lavish instrumentation and mesmerizing vocals. Like many bands, the Lincolnshire-based foursome has experienced changes in lineup over time, and now consists of Max Sander on rhythm guitar and vocals, Chris Moore on lead guitar, Jacob Brookes on bass and Rohan Parrett on drums.

Almost exactly six years ago, I reviewed their superb debut EP Fool’s Dream, and have written about them and their outstanding music many times since. It’s been a pleasure watching them mature and grow as artists, and their music keeps getting better and better. One of their singles “One and the Same”, from their 2022 debut album Future Theory, spent 18 weeks on my Weekly Top 30 chart and ended up ranking #42 on my 100 Best Songs of 2022 list.

Future Theory have been hard at work over the past several months recording a new batch of songs with Corsican producer Yves Altana (Peter Hook & The Light, The Chameleons), and will be releasing a series of singles throughout 2023, as well as touring in Northern England and Scotland in June. The first of these singles is “Why“, a dramatic and powerful song about a dysfunctional relationship that’s breaking apart. And what a spectacular song it is! First off, the jangly and chiming guitars by Chris and Max are breathtaking in their beauty and intricacy. Then there’s Jacob’s deep, resonant bassline, keeping the rhythm in perfect time with Rohan’s muscular drumbeats. Topping it all off are Max’s distinctive, emotion-packed vocals I love so much as he plaintively croons “Say, for me and you there’s really no in-between. We either set sail or crash and burn the dream. Get up before I scream. You’re breaking my heart./ Tell me why, would I lie? Tell me why.” The music builds to an electrifying crescendo of gnarly guitars and explosive percussion that continues to the end of the track. I can’t wait to hear their upcoming singles.

Connect with Future Theory:  Facebook /  Twitter /  Instagram


Last, but certainly not least, are THE Q’s, an indie rock band based in Leeds. Formed in 2014 while they were all in secondary school, the five-piece consists of Leo Grace on lead vocals, Freddie Franchi on rhythm guitar, Dexter Burningham on lead guitar, Mattia Paganelli on drums, and Ben Woolford on bass. Apparently possessing a cheeky sense of humor, the guys released their first single “IN NEUTRAL” on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2021, followed by “TRANQUILO” on Valentine’s Day 2022. Both are really good! Listening to their songs I would generally describe their sound as a happy blend of indie, rock’n’roll, punk and shoegaze.

Now they’re back with their third and latest single “MOVIES“, a sweet, upbeat song about young love, and the trials, tribulations and second-guessing that come with it. I really like the bouncy punk groove, exuberant guitars and snappy drums, and that funky little bass riff in the bridge is terrific. Leo’s vocal are perfect for the song, conveying just the right amount of youthful angst when he sings “But I don’t mind when you make a scene. You make life feel like a movie. And when you’re lying there with me, love life feels like a movie. You’re quite a find. Make life feel like a movie.” But later in the song, he pleads for her to cut him some slack, admitting that he’s partly to blame for their misunderstandings: “Don’t hang up that phone. I know that you’re at home. We’ll sort this out tomorrow, c’mon just let it go. I’m a dickhead, yeah, I know.”

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TIM EVELEIGH – Album Review: “A Record”

Describing himself as “a middle-aged, middle-class singer-songwriter from South London“, Tim Eveleigh seems to be a humble man right from the get-go. After listening to his charming debut album, simply titled A Record, I am certain of it. Not only that, he’s a Renaissance man of sorts, with many talents and interests ranging from music and stand-up comedy to computer programming/IT development, music and events promotion, economics and politics. He’s also a staunch advocate for racial justice and equality.

Tim’s been involved with music since his childhood, and in a wonderful  interview with the webzine Croydonist, he discussed how he began studying piano at a young age, eventually working his way up to violin and then viola in secondary school, where he also played in the orchestra. He began writing songs when he was 10, and ended up playing in two bands, which he cheekily remarked “rather worryingly, evidence of this still exists“. By his early 30s he’d written what he described as a solid collection of songs, but “after playing these for a few years I scrapped them all and started again, and I’ve written enough songs to record a couple of albums.”

From what I can tell, he’s released music rather sporadically over the past 15 years, beginning with a three-track EP this is all i have in December 2007. Nearly 13 years passed before he put out another release, a three-track EP In Kilnsea in June 2020, and last month, he returned with his debut album A Record, which dropped March 15th. The album features nine tracks, eight written by Tim and one, “White Lines”, written by British singer-songwriter and musician Ben Cosh. For the album’s recording, Tim played guitars, keyboards & percussion and sang lead vocals, Maria Levesley sang backing vocals, and Joe Jones played bass. Additionally, several other musicians contributed their talents on selected tracks, including Pete Long on saxophone, Pete Cooper on flugelhorn and trumpet, Andy Thornton on guitar, bells and bass, Chris Kimber on tubular bells, and Cara Thornton on backing vocals.

The album opens with “Overture“, a lovely, almost gospel-like song with a bit of a Celtic folk vibe. The inspiring lyrics “tell the world you’re alright, tell the world you sleep tight, and nothing can wake you up” set an overall tone of love and optimism for A Record. And though most of its tracks touch on aspects of love, relationships and emotional well-being, the lone – and glaring – exception is “Drones“. Though the song sounds pleasing from a musical standpoint, highlighted by Pete Cooper’s appropriately droning flugelhorn, the lyrics are searing and bitter, calling out our leaders who lead us into endless wars while insulating themselves from the resulting horrors: “You send our sons and our daughters to war. You send our sons into battle and our daughters into hell. You send our sons and our daughters to war and now you want us to do it all again. Have you learned no lessons from the deaths of the millions. Now you want us to do it all again. I see your sons and your daughters are alive. You make these big decisions, then let others do the killing. I see your sons and your daughters are alive.”

Tim has a pleasing and warm singing voice that’s similar to another British artist I’ve written about, The Blue Flame (aka Richard Stone), as well as Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys in spots. On the beautiful and jazzy “Manifesto“, he sings of the games we play and things we say in order to keep our romantic relationships alive, referring to them as ‘propaganda’: “Propaganda: keeping us together. Propaganda: the lies that we tell each other. Propaganda: tell me what i need to hear. Propaganda: we are all actors. And I will love you till the end of time, and I will take you everywhere you want to go, and I will hold your hand while you sleep. I will be here until you go.” With Joe’s terrific little bassline, Tim and Andy’s wonderful guitars, Tim’s lovely keyboards, and Maria’s enchanting backing harmonies, this is one of my favorite tracks on the album.

On “Headrest“, strummed acoustic guitars and cheerful rhythms create a lighthearted backdrop for the rather bittersweet lyrics about a relationship that may have reached its end: “I don’t have the skills that I need to recover your faith and trust, but this is the best I can do with the lessons I’ve learned in life. I understand we’re in a tricky situation. A song and a smile are not the solution. If your ears are burning this might be the reason. Just this once we tried love, we tried grace, we had hope, we had faith, I found work, we had sex, I’m not sure there’s anything left.”

Binary” is a brief but upbeat, guitar-driven song with a bouncy melody and sweet lyrics describing a relationship where both partners have long-settled into a comfortable routine that many of us in long-term relationships can identify with: “Turn the light out it’s on your side. Turn the light out it’s in my eyes. And I’ll let you know if I need you now.” On the poignant ballad “Good“, Tim tenderly sings to a loved one of his love and devotion in spite of the hurt he’s caused, accompanied by melancholy piano keys and strummed guitars.

Another favorite of mine is “Deluge“, with it’s bouncy bass-driven groove, lively strummed acoustic guitars, melodic mellotron, and Tim’s spirited taps on the cajón (a box-shaped percussion instrument originally from Peru). Tim assures his romantic partner of his love and devotion as they face the perils of war and conflict: “I have touched you everywhere. we have spoken in the dark. We have talked about so many things and you, you are perfect as you are The sky’s alight with bombers, and the truth is withheld from us, I don’t know what to believe. The train is at the station, and the soldiers keep us safe from everything that would destroy us.”

The album closes with the tender love song “Touch“, in which Tim serenades his romantic partner of his fervent affection: “The beat of your heart a light in the dark. When I hear you laugh I’m tongue-tied.” Pete Long’s warm saxophone gives the track a nice jazzy touch (no pun intended!). It’s a fine ending for a delightful, well-crafted collection of songs written and sung from the heart.

Connect with Tim:  FacebookTwitterInstagram

Find his music on BandcampApple Music / SoundcloudYouTube

A.WAKE – Single Review: “Railings”

A.Wake is the musical moniker of Anita Wake, a fascinating and innovative singer-songwriter and musician based in Sheffield, England. She’s been a member of several bands, in which she played bass and sang backing vocals, and more recently, decided to start creating music as a solo artist. With a keen interest in sound therapy, mysticism and the healing properties of music, she seeks to incorporate healing frequencies and modern music elements into her songs.

She released her enchanting debut single “Lemuria” this past July, and followed in October with her darkly stunning second single “Railings“, which I’m featuring today. Inspired by an idea by r. Crampton, A. Wake wrote and recorded the song, sang vocals and played keyboards, while Steve Hulme produced the track. About the song, A.Wake says “‘Railings’ is a modern synth sound song, embedded with a healing frequency to align the heart chakra, to help heal feelings of sadness and loss.”

Opening and closing with sounds of pealing church bells, the song is both beautiful and haunting. The dramatic and stunning swirling orchestral synths have a mysterious quality, punctuated by moments of piercing sharpness and booming percussion, all of which create a ghostly cinematic soundscape. A.Wake’s layered vocals are bewitching mix of mellifluous croons and breathy whispers, adding to the song’s spooky ethereal vibe. Though I cannot pinpoint exactly where the healing frequency lies within the song, I will say that the sounds and overall aura are so powerful and resonant, I can feel its existence.

The lyrics are sung from the perspective of someone who’s already passed away to a loved one who’s still living and missing them, trying to reassure and comfort them in their grief: “The railings round my grave, hold ivy for you. You are not to blame, I died before you. Heaven is to blame, I’ve cried for you. Patience is the game, I’m trying to be. Saying your name. I feel you near me. Looking at your frame, I watch you watch me. If I could hold you just a day. If you could hold me in some way, I’ll know.”

The video for “Railings” was created by PSYNC and directed by Douglas John Thorp, with images of A.Wake singing the song superimposed against footage of her in a Sheffield cemetery shot by Thorp and Rob Cohen. Thorp had this to say about its creation: “There’s a beautiful simplicity to it, dealing with love & loss across the divide that needed a stripped down approach to match. All the shots are hand-held in one location & the video splits itself into two halves: yearning & the possibility of rebirth. Fans of Ari Aster’s ‘Midsommar’ may spot a few unashamed influences here, particularly the use of strong daylight as an unsettling presence. Perhaps also some of the 1970s British folk horror tropes where landscape & natural sounds signify something altogether more disturbing.”

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Stream her music:  SpotifyApple MusicSoundcloudBandcamp

HULLAH – Single Review: “Wild as the Wind”

One of my best new finds of 2022 has been British singer-songwriter, producer and sound designer Charley Hullah, who goes by just his last name, stylized as HULLAH. I first learned about the handsome, talented and highly engaging London-based artist as a result of being a guest moderator for the BBC Music weekly song competition Fresh On The Net, for which he’d entered his gorgeous single “Chasing Trains”. I loved it the instant I heard it, so much so that it ended up spending 20 weeks on my Top 30 chart, going all the way to #1.

Born and raised in the Midlands, HULLAH relocated to London in 2013 to study songwriting at The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance, where he earned a B.A. Since graduating, he’s worked as a creative freelancer in the music and media industries, writing and producing music for his solo act, as one-half of the electro-pop duo Futuretape (currently on hiatus), and for other artists, as well as sound-designing for theatre, creating digital content, organising music workshops and working on events such as the Artist and Manager Awards. Most recently, he became Content Manager for Disabled Students UK, and has held the role of Content Manager for Alight Media where he developed a content delivery department for high budget nationwide out-of-home media campaigns.

According to his bio, HULLAH “creates music inspired by a passion for nightlife culture and stories from the queer community. Wrapped in the sonic flavours of trip-hop, 90’s house and synth-pop, his tracks emulate a nocturnal spirit and are complemented by the themes of city living, alienation, ambition and a sense of dejection – commonly expressed through his lyrics. His songs, both introspective and solitary, offer insight into how he navigates his way through the noise and distortion of everyday city life.” His music is inspired by such acts as as Everything but the Girl, Real Lies, Portishead and Pet Shop Boys.

He’s just released his third solo single “Wild as the Wind“, and it’s every bit as magnificent at “Chasing Trains”. Written and produced by HULLAH and mixed by Matt Catlow, the track features more of the lush, sultry vibes I loved on his previous song, but with even more sound textures that take it to a higher, more sophisticated level. Whereas “Chasing Trains” was entirely electronic, “Wild as the Wind” is anchored by a deep, sensuous bassline played by fellow musician Gabrielle Ornate, and fortified with spine-tingling distorted guitar work played by Orlando Sadler. HULLAH explains: “I knew that I wanted and needed live instrumentation on this one so I reached out to my great friends Gabrielle and Orlando. Gabrielle laid down killer bass on this that just glues the whole track together. It packs a gut-punch. Orlando mirrored the sense of dejection in the soundscape and lyric by creating these huge, distorted synth-like guitar lines that create an awesome atmosphere.”

Well, I have to say that together, they’ve created something quite spectacular. “Wild as the Wind” is a dramatic, hauntingly beautiful little masterpiece. The combined warmth of Gabrielle’s sensuous throbbing bassline and HULLAH’s plaintive sultry vocals contrasts with – yet perfectly complements – the icy soundscape created by the ghostly industrial synths. There are so many wonderful little instrumental touches heard throughout the track, like the sparkling keyboards and delicate jangly guitar notes. I’ve been listening to it on endless repeat.

As to the song’s meaning, HULLAH elaborates: “‘Wild as the Wind” is an ode to the wilderness I feel inside myself – the parts of myself I don’t understand and have to grapple with. It’s about trying to make friends with your own insecurities, worries, dread, hopes and desires – the things you don’t quite understand but that equally push and pull you in life nonetheless. There’s the ‘us’ that we present to the world and then there’s the ‘us’ that we are when we are alone, uncomfortably alone. That’s what I mean by wilderness, the space in between those two versions of yourself. ‘Wild as the Wind’ is about not trying to contain this wilderness – it’s about truly seeing those aspects of yourself and attempting to accept and be at peace with them. The song was initially written about two people in my life that were going through hard times. As I kept writing, I later realised that it also reflected my own experience navigating this wilderness I felt they were also battling with.”

You've spend a lifetime looking for something on the other side
You could spend another drifting like you do
All that guilt and history is like a thorn caught in your sleeve 
I know the pain, the hurt and how you yearn to let it go

And I can't save the soul you hold
And I can't save you on my own
I can't do that, but you can't see that
If you don't swim now you will drown

You're as wild as the wind
And I can't catch you
Cause you're as wild as the wind
And I can't cage you

You're so warm outside, but so cold within
A smile is a wall that's caving in
You're breathing to a rhythm that you can't play
Little feet don't make big steps without 
Soles that can tread some hard ground
So how many years will be lost before you finally take the reins?

There's no escaping a wild mind
No easy way to win the fight
But you must fight back
You must see that all that you need is in yourself

Cause you're as wild as the wind
I can't catch you
Cause you're as wild as the wind
And I can't cage you
You're full of grace and gold
So let the wind be what you know
And be as wild as the wind
And let it take you

Though time is all you fear
And nothing is all you feel
Keep on running for a reason
Just let that reason be your life

Connect with HULLAH:  FacebookTwitterInstagram

Stream his music on Spotify / Apple Music / Soundcloud 

Purchase on Bandcamp