Steve Martin returns with ‘The Long-Awaited Album’

Friday 28th July 2017

Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers will release “The Long-Awaited Album” on Rounder Records/Decca Records on 22nd September. “The Long-Awaited Album,” Martin’s newest collaboration with the Grammy-winning North Carolina-based  band the Steep Canyon Rangers, is full of stories that mix humour and melancholy, whimsy and realism, rich characters and concrete details. And lots of banjos.

That instrument – so dexterously, even acrobatically picked and strummed – is just as crucial to relating these new tales as the lyrics themselves, each chord and riff revealing new depths to Martin’s narrators and to his musical talent. Produced by Peter Asher, the new album is a collection of 14 stunning new songs including the boisterous and humorous new track “Caroline,” the deeply romantic tune “All Night Long,” and the fantastical song “Santa Fe,” which showcases the lively dynamic between Martin and the Rangers.

Steve Martin’s musical career is an extension of the storytelling impulse that drove his work as a comedian, an actor, a screenwriter, a playwright, an essayist, and a novelist. The Grammy Award winning musician found his love for the banjo at the age of 17 and originally used the instrument as part of his stand-up comedy routine. But in 2010, Martin released his first album, The Crow: New Songs for the 5-Strong Banjo, and since then, Martin has played many prestigious stages including Carnegie Hall, The Hollywood Bowl, Stagecoach, Bonnaroo, New Orleans’ Jazzfest and The Newport Folk Festival, Royal Festival Hall in London, and the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. Martin released his second full-length bluegrass album Rare Bird Alert in 2011. The album featured 13 Martin-penned tracks as well as special guest vocal appearances by Paul McCartney and The Dixie Chicks. Additionally, Martin co-wrote two of the CD’s songs with the Steep Canyon Rangers. That year, Martin also won the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year Award.

Martin also collaborated with Edie Brickell on the critically acclaimed album Love Has Come For You, which combines Martin’s five-string banjo work with Brickell’s vivid vocals. Martin and Brickell took home the Grammy Award for “Best American Roots Song” for the album’s title track. Martin and Brickell’s second collaboration “So Familiar” earned widespread critical acclaim and also inspired the Broadway musical Bright Star, which was nominated for five Tony Awards.

The Steep Canyon Rangers and Steve Martin will host their album release celebration on Saturday at The IBMA World of Bluegrass –  in the state where it all began for them.

Connect with Steve Martin via his WebsiteFacebook and Twitter.

VISTA releases sophomore EP ‘Long Live’

Thursday 27th July 2017

Comprised of fierce front woman Hope Vista and guitarist Greg Almeida, VISTA is keeping their momentum alive with their brand new dystopian-themed sophomore EP “Long Live” which was released on the 21st July. Combining both arena and electronic influences to define their anthem rock sound, “Long Live” lyrically focuses mainly on forming an allegiance and finding an ‘oasis’ in a dystopian society. The EP’s concept was designed to mirror current political world events.

The 7 song tracklist includes previously released singles “Henchmen” and “Allegiance” as well as a new version of vocalist Hope Vista’s 2015 solo single “Dominance.” With this record cycle, VISTA also introduces the creation of The Oasis, a metaphorical safe haven for listeners to find comfort in through the band’s music and live shows. Talking about the EP, the band states:

“Growing into our sophomore release, we wanted to expand on our simpler beginnings and create a brand, instead of just being a band. The concept for ‘Long Live’ really stemmed from “Henchmen,” which focused on the idea of fighting against the face of oppression in a politically polarizing society. The words “long live” fight against the image of an apocalypse and also mirror where VISTA currently stands. ‘Long Live’ is the product of a lot of frustration and the examination of current events with one goal; to create a sound and concept that has both flare and remarkable depth. The result is something we are immensely proud of and put forward into the world with hopes that we can all fight against the grain in an increasing dystopian society.”

Conceived in late 2015, VISTA released their debut 4-track EP “VERSUS” shortly after, in which their debut single “On The Brink” debuted worldwide on idobi radio. Their name hasn’t been shy in the press since; the band has garnered praise from outlets such as Alternative Press, Rock Sound, Substream, and AXS. Since the start of 2017, VISTA has supported Fueled By Ramen artist Against The Current at Irving Plaza, sold out their first two headlining shows, was named one of “100 Women Kicking Ass In Music” by Alternative Press, and gained rotation on idobi with their January single “Henchmen,” an anti-oppression anthem. “Long Live” serves as VISTA’s sophomore EP, and the band will embark on their first headlining tour in August to promote.

Click here for tour dates and tickets.

Connect with VISTA via their Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Ciircus Street – Interview

Tuesday 25th July 2017

Indie-pop duo Ciircus Street have just released their debut single ‘Mouth Like That’ and upon first listen I found the track to be extremely catchy; I just couldn’t get it out my head for most of the day!  So, if a song catches me like that, then I know I’m on to something good.  Taking their inspiration from the likes of Ed Sheeran, The Kooks, James Bay, and most importantly each other, I was intrigued by Ciircus Street.  Watching their videos, including the acoustic version of ‘Mouth Like That’ it’s easy to see straight away how well the pair work together and their connection.  Definitely a recipie for success and lots of fun, so I caught up with Sam Brett and Jim Crowder to find out more about them both and where they’re heading.

Hello! Please could you tell me a bit more about yourselves? It’s clear there’s great chemistry between you. How did you meet, and did you know each other before the night you formed the band in Oxford?

We originally met at Reading College about 5 years ago when we were doing a performance course. After that we stayed in contact for years, just meeting as friends, hanging out, having a pint or nine. Then in October 2015 we went to go see Saint Raymond at the O2 Academy Oxford. After a few beers, and missed buses, we decided to walk to the venue from the city centre, and on the way passed ‘Circus Street’ and we agreed it would make a good band name, and after a few more beers ‘Ciircus Street’ was born. We then wrote a load of terrible songs, scrapped them all, and started some ones we where happy with. 

When did you both start playing music and have you been in bands previously?

We’ve both been playing solo stuff for about 7 years now, but joined as Ciircus Street almost 2 years ago.

You’ve just released your debut single ‘Mouth Like That’. How are you finding the response to your music so far?

So far the response we’ve had has been amazing. Being our first single, we weren’t 100% sure what the response would be like. We felt confident with the track, and enjoy playing it every time, but we are extremely grateful that people have been buying it on iTunes, and streaming it, then messaging us to let us know what they thought. It’s really exciting!

Have you received any airplay or mentions on mainstream radio?

We’ve had a few plays from BBC Introducing Berkshire which we has been great, and we really appreciate the support from them! We’ve also had some play from Bay FM and Kane FM.

Who did you work with for the accompanying video for the single, and where did the shoot take place?

We shot the video with Simon Aukes, who’s an incredibly talented director/film maker. He’s also a really nice guy, and great to work with. If you watch the video, it’s hard to imagine it was all one guy filming and directing. We had the basic concept of the video, and after talking through with him, he put his creative ideas in, and we worked quickly to get the finished idea. It was a great experience, and we look forward to working with him again.

Let’s talk about your inspirations because it’s easy to draw a comparison to the likes of Ed Sheeran, but your biggest inspirations are each other. What is it about your friendship that encourages you?

We both listen to a wide range of music, from Hip Hop to Metal, and anything in between, so inspiration wise, I think the cross genre really opens us musically, to create something a little different sometimes. Each song has a different vibe, but also falls under the umbrella of our sound.

What’s your writing process and how do you come together to create the final track?

Writing wise, usually one of us will get an idea, to a really bad recording on a phone, then we will meet up and create the track. Sometimes we meet up and just start writing a song from start to finish together, it’s a bit of a mixed bag really.

You’ve got a handful of live dates performing around London in July.  Can we catch you further afield over the coming months?

The July shows were a lot of fun, we played our first Sofar sounds gigs, and loved that! We are looking into some dates for later this year… possibly a little tour, you’ll have to check out our socials to see what we are up to!

Being in the early stages of your music career how are you finding the whole process, and have you been given any lasting advice?

Over the years we’ve heard a lot of advice, some that’s great, and some that… well.. we let those ones leave our brains aha. But sticking at it, understanding that this will be a slow build, and generally just being yourselves musically, and as a person, is probably the best advice we’ve taken.

What can we expect next from the band, and can we look forward to an EP release in the near future?

I don’t think we’re going to be releasing an EP soon, we’ll probably focus more on singles for now, and really pushing our live sound, but you never know, maybe next year!

Connect with Ciircus Street via their Website, Facebook and Twitter.

Walkway – Interview

Tuesday 11th July 2017

Having recently been contacted by Chris Ready who is the lead singer for rock band Walkway regarding the release of their 3rd studio album WWIII, the band immediately piqued my interest as not only is rock one of my most favourite genres, but they’ve been touring for almost 10 years and opened up for some of the biggest names in rock (Status Quo, The Darkness, Black Stone Cherry and Slade to name a few), yet this was the first time I was hearing of the band.  However, after checking out their track ‘Mission Impossible’ which I was certain I’d had actually heard before, I decided that it was only best that I asked for an interview as it’s clear these guys have quite a story to tell.  This includes their album containing a tribute to the late Rick Parfitt which they recorded with Status Quo drummer John Coghlan, so make sure you check that out too.

Your 3rd album ‘WWIII’ is due for release on the 8th July. How are you feeling about the release, and what can be expected from it?

WWIII is a step up from anything we’ve done before and we can’t wait to release it to the world. I think the fans are going to absolutely love it and be pleasantly surprised with how much bigger this sounds than our previous albums.

How does this album compare to your previous material, and are there any notable differences or developments?

Top Shelf Content (our first album) was a classic rock album through and through and Streetwise (our second album) was a bit more commercial. WWIII contains a mix from the two, however all in all the record is heavier than our previous albums. We always aim to make each song/album better than the previous and I think that shows on WWIII – the songs and production as a whole are a real step up and I think that comes from how we have matured as artists.

What’s your writing process as a band? How do you all come together to create the final track, and how do you know when a song is ready?

We have worked with a range of very successful and experienced songwriters in the past, however the majority of our songs are written by myself (Chris) and James. With us both being brothers we have a great understanding of each other – James will usually lay down the music and I put lyrics to it. Once we have the main basis we will then take it to rehearsal and work through it with the guys to come up with the finished result.

You’ll be featuring a tribute to the late Rick Parfitt on your album, which you recorded with Status Quo drummer John Coghlan. How did that come about?

We toured with Status Quo over the last couple of years and Rick particularly became a fan of the band. We were going to be working with Rick this year on his solo project – myself (Chris) and James had written some tracks for his solo album, however the opportunity unfortunately never went ahead due to his passing on Christmas Eve. It was a real blow for us in both ways in that he was such a nice guy and fan of the band, and also that the project never went any further. We felt that we had to do a tribute of some sort on the album and we thought that what better way than to record a cover of one of Rick’s Quo songs, Rain. Our Manager then had the idea to contact original Status Quo drummer John Coghlan to see whether he would be interested in playing on the track and he was more than happy to do so. It added that little extra authentic tribute to the track.

Who are your biggest musical influences, and how have they encouraged you and helped to develop your sound?

We all have different individual influences, however as a whole the band take influence from artists like Aerosmith, Def Leppard, Eagles, Led Zeppelin, Nickelback, Van Halen. As the singer my two main vocal influences are Steven Tyler (Aerosmith) and Steve Perry (Journey) – two incredible voices.

Are there any tracks in particular that you’re looking forward to getting out there and also performing live on your upcoming tour?

It’s difficult to choose any particular tracks off the new album as we’re so proud of everything on the record – all of the tracks are going to be great fun to play.

This year you’ll be reaching your 10th year milestone together as a band, and you’ll have performed a staggering 1000 shows. How do you find the experience of being on the road and performing live, and what are your personal highlights?

It’s quite a milestone to reach 1000 shows. We’re constantly touring and play around 120 shows every year as we take on the old fashioned work ethic of constantly touring anywhere and everywhere. Our show highlights have got to be the Quo shows, particularly with Rick’s passing, those shows have become that bit more special, but we played some amazing venues to some huge crowds and it was a great experience to play with one of the iconic legendary British rock bands.

You’ve opened up for many big names over the years. Who have you enjoyed touring with the most and why?

Again the Quo shows, but we’ve also supported The Darkness, Black Stone Cherry and Slade to name only a few. To play with these artists who we look up to is something really special and something that we will never forget.

As soon as I heard your track ‘Mission Impossible’ straight away I knew I’d heard you played before on Planet Rock.  How are you finding the response to your music, and have you been picked up by many stations?

We haven’t actually been played on Planet Rock, YET! But it’s nice to think that Mission Impossible sounds like something you would hear on the radio. The tracks from the new album which we’ve been sending out to radio shows and all other press contacts absolutely love the new material and we’ve had nothing but praise which is great feedback.

[Editors note: I’m still convinced I’ve heard this track played out on the radio.  However, an email is currently flying its way over to Planet Rock HQ in the hope that Murray J plays it on his request show]

Are you managing your own website and social media accounts, and how important is it for you to connect with fans this way?

We do everything ourselves and are very switched on when it comes to social media as it is so important and essential these days. We have such an incredible fan base and we love to keep them updated with everything we do.

Connect with Walkway via their Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

White Noise Radio – Interview

Friday 30th June 2017

Tomorrow we see the release of the debut EP from Bristol alt-rockers White Noise Radio, and if you’re interested to find out exactly what to expect from ‘Cosmos‘, then you’re in for a meaty 4-track ride.  Riffs, hooks and loud choruses your sort of thing?  Then make sure you give these guys a spin.  They’ve also just released a fantastic video for lead single ‘Dawning‘ so make sure you scroll on down and give that a watch too.  White Noise Radio are very excited about the release and can’t wait to share their masterpiece, so not wanting to miss out on such worthy upcoming music I spend a moment finding out more ahead of the release.

For those who are just discovering you please could you tell me more about yourselves? Have you been in bands previously and what has driven you to form White Noise Radio?

We’ve all come from different backgrounds, but what brings us together is a love of clever, heavy music, and that’s what we want White Noise Radio to be – something that combines the artists we love with our own unique twist.

Your debut EP ‘Cosmos’ is due for release on the 1st July. How are you feeling about getting it out there, and what was the decision behind self-releasing?

Really good, the material on this latest record is top notch. We’re really proud of how it’s all come together, because it’s a real evolution from last year’s debut EP. As far as self-releasing, we never really considered going any other route – it worked well for us the first time around. Plus, no record companies wanted to buy the record off us!

What inspirations did you draw upon when putting your EP together; and what was the idea behind using a space theme?

We didn’t go into this record with any conception of what it would be, the theme of space really emerged once everything had been recorded. I suppose I’d say the theme isn’t really literally about space, it’s more about identity and how people’s personality influences the way they interact with the world around.

Who did you work with to create the video for your first single ‘Dawning’ and how did it feel to see it complete?

We worked with the amazing Rob Ellis, a local cinematographer who brought a huge amount to the project. Not only did he shoot some stunning footage, but he had a lot of artistic input into the video’s theme and how it was eventually realised. Anna Macarthur, our lonely astronaut, was a joy to work with, and likewise brought some great ideas to the table, making the video much more than it would have been without her!

What about the EP artwork, who was the creative genius behind that?

That was our very own Mark Detre, White Noise Radio’s bass player. We spent a whole evening together as a band brainstorming concepts for the artwork, fuelled by Mark’s Hungarian mother’s lethal homebrewed spirits, and what he put together is really amazing.

How easy was it to pick the final 4 tracks that made the EP, and were there any that didn’t make the cut?

3 of the 4 songs on this record were written in the 12 months following the last EP’s release, and because we put everything under such a microscope it took us a lot of work to create songs we were completely happy with. We even scrapped a near-finished demo of “Siren” and rewrote the entire thing in a different time signature. “Gone Inside” is actually an extensive rewrite of an old song of ours called “All the Right Reasons”, which our producer George Lever pushed us to do. We’re glad he did, because it’s become such a killer track!

Did you face any challenges when putting the EP together, and how did you overcome them?

Well, because we haven’t got a label behind us, we have to keep the costs of recording down, which means minimising the amount of time we spend in a studio. Because of that, we recorded all our guitar, bass and backing vocal tracks at home, which put a real strain on us – coming home from work and tracking guitars every night for several weeks is harder than it sounds!

What about your writing process as a band; how do you all come together to create the final track, and how do you know when a track is finished? 

Most of the writing in WNR happens with Ben and Antoine, who bounce off demos to send to the other two guys. Once we feel it’s in a playable state we’ll take it into the rehearsal room and see what works and what doesn’t – after a few weeks of this, the song will usually take on a final shape, but some tracks take longer than others. “Dawning” went through so many changes that the only section remaining from the original demo is the middle section!

Being in the early stages of your music career, how are you finding the whole process and have you been given any lasting advice?  

It’s an uphill battle, and while we’re slowly gaining ground there’s still a mountain to climb. A lot of the effort of being in a band isn’t a lot of fun, all the admin and organising, travelling and practising . . . it’s important to focus on the enjoyable parts, and not let it become a slog. George gave us some good advice, in that we have to treat the band as a business – you can’t just say yes to everything, because you end up doing loads of stuff that doesn’t help you.

Have there been any personal highlights so far, and what can we expect next from the band? 

The biggest highlight so far has been our drum-tracking day at Middle Farm studios, where Black Peaks recently tracked their debut album. It’s such a beautiful location, and there was so much cool stuff there – George got a cracking sound, too!

White Noise Radio will be out on the road this summer, so keep an eye on their website for details of upcoming shows.

Connect with White Noise Radio via their Website, Facebook and Twitter.

Cameron Jay – Interview

Thursday 29th June 2017

Cameron Jay has been chasing her dreams of becoming a Singer/Songwriter ever since her first music lesson when she was 9 years old.  She is working hard to build herself a successful music career; from her early days of performing at charity festivals, to recording her debut EP, and  having the amazing opportunity to join Sam Bailey on her UK tour earlier this year, Cameron has been gaining continued support.  With such a story to tell I wanted to chat with Cameron to find out about how it’s all going and what to expect next.  Her single ‘I Want You‘ was released on the 4th April and has a great R&B vibe, with her debut EP providing a more emotional and heartfelt ambience to it.  I recommend you give it a listen!

Hello! Please could you tell me more about your early years and what inspired you to become a singer/songwriter at such a young age?

Well I had my first singing lesson at aged 9 years old at school and I knew then that singing was what I wanted to do. I did my grades 1-3 and took part in the festival competitions and I was always marked really well. Unfortunately, a year later I was diagnosed with a rare form of liver cancer which put all my after school activities on hold but soon after my recovery I took part in a charity competition which I would say paved the way for my whole career leading up to this point now.

I was only 12 at the time of winning the competition and George Walker who was running the show really took a shine to me and continued to support me throughout my early teens years.

The prize was to record and write a single and perform at the Emmerdale Annual Charity Ball that he held in aid of The Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Trust. From there I joined the girl band with one of the competitions he hosted a year later and we went by the name of ‘Heaven Scent’. We recorded a covers album called ‘From Above’ and performed at the Emmerdale Balls and day time Extravaganza’s for a couple of years before breaking off to do our own thing.

I recorded my first solo covers album when I was 16 in aid of CLAN who supported my recovery after my cancer and then went on to record a single ‘Where Will We Run’ in aid of Just A Drop Charity whilst living in London.

I did a lot in my early years for charity but since then I have released my first EP which showcased my original material for the first time. I worked with so many amazing individuals whilst living in London and this journey has brought so many amazing opportunities from dancing in the Olympics, to performing at Brixton Splash, winning a singing battle, auditioning live in front of Fazer of N-Dubz, travelling to Nairobi, Kenya to perform and I am just so glad I never gave up on my dream to make a career from singing.

What artists did you listen to growing up, and how have they encouraged you and helped you to develop your sound?

Growing up listening to Lauryn Hill as well as getting into hip-hop at quite a young age I feel has definitely influenced my writing style but vocally I think Christina Aguilera, Dina Carroll, Carole King, Whitney, Mariah and definitely Celine Dion played a massive part in allowing my vocal range to excel.

My singing teacher left for Australia and I didn’t find anyone else that I felt I resonated with so I would say these artists were like my teachers. Of course, the Spice Girls had a massive influence on me as well which I think every girl aged 7/8 loved the Spice Girls at that time.

As I got older Christina Aguilera was someone who inspired me massively to sing songs that had messages of hope and speak of the things I have been through in life. Her ‘Stripped’ album got me through a really a dark phase in my life and I thank God my dad gave me this album as I would say it really brought me back to being me again after that horrible time.

You released your single ‘I Want You’ on the 4th April from your debut EP ‘Fearless’. How are you finding the response to your music so far?

The reception to ‘I Want You’ has been fantastic actually. So many people enjoyed hearing an upbeat track from me as the songs on my EP ‘Fearless’ are a little more serious and speak about my experiences of leaving my hometown and moving to London and the things I experienced whilst living there. ‘I Want You’ was written with my good friend Junaid who is based in London and was produced by two really cool guys from Derby who go by the name ‘Sound Junkeyz’ and we are looking forward to working on some new music over the next few months.

But to be honest it is extremely difficult being an independent artist because you are juggling so many things from writing songs, booking studio time for track production and recording vocals, whilst trying to liaise with venues and event organisers to book you for their shows and actually pay you for those shows. As well as making sure any new opportunities that arise you create a press release, contact all the media platforms in your local area, then have to chase them up via email and by phone before getting an answer on whether they will run your story or not. This doesn’t include the time needed on social media, meeting and greeting those you follow to show your appreciation and directing them to your music.

Then you have to create visuals for your songs and film directors are certainly not cheap. You are literally doing so much on a very small budget which means you really have to work full time to be able to pull this all together. We really need more hours in a day! So I am currently really needing some more support from radio stations, promoters, agents to support me in getting my music heard across the UK and further afield.

Will there be a video release for the single?

Yes, there will definitely be visuals created for this track. I am going to be holding auditions for dancers & dance groups to come in and dance for us in front of a green screen and their auditions will be used to help create the visuals for this song. Other shots will hopefully be taken outside on a nice sunny day here in Aberdeen which doesn’t happen so often, so we may need to wait until the end of July or beginning of August to film these parts.

How did you find the process of putting your EP together, and were there any obstacles you had to overcome?

Actually, this took a lot longer than expected. It took me around 2 years! I did a lot of sessions with Jay Inkz and Adryan Glysson whilst living in London and I really took my time getting the lyrics and production for each track exactly how I wanted them all before I left London, so that when I moved back home to Aberdeen everything was ready just for me to start recording with Ryan Curtis.

He is someone I trust with recording my vocals and the recording process was pretty quick to be honest. I then researched independent companies in Scotland who could help design my front cover and actually print the CD’s as well as upload them to iTunes and Spotify, etc. At the same time as doing all this I was creating and organising my EP launch for which I hosted a 2 course dinner for 200 guests along with entertainment of 5 support acts and a mini burlesque show. It was so much fun, my only regret was not having someone there to capture professional footage on the evening.

What’s your writing process and how do you draw upon your inspirations?

I tend to write a few different ways… mostly I prefer to work in sessions with other writers as I feel you can capture different views on how the story for the songs could go. If sometimes I’m working with a guitarist I can just freestyle what I’m feeling or thinking in the moment and record a voice note and go back and type the lyrics up afterwards. Living in London was great because you would spend a lot of time on buses and trains and lot of inspiration would come to me in those times travelling back and forward to work or to music sessions.

What did you hope to achieve with ‘Fearless’ and how does it feel hearing the finished record? You have a great voice, and there’s a notable difference in some of the tracks. Was that intentional?

My intention for Fearless was to ‘let my music do the talking’. That’s why I didn’t go for a front cover with a picture of me on it as I really wanted people to get to know me better through listening to my songs.

You recently supported Sam Bailey on her UK tour. How was the experience for you and what were your personal highlights?

Supporting Sam Bailey has to be the highlight on my year so far! I had heard about the opportunity in April 2016 and I was actually pregnant at the time and I was desperately trying to reach Erica Banks who was the point of contact for the opportunity, and finally when I reached her she said not to worry as the performance wouldn’t be until April 2017. So a year later after my daughter was born I received an email saying that Sam and her team were keen to hear my music and within 5 days they had got back to me to say they would love to have me support her at His Majesty’s Theatre in Aberdeen. You can actually see the footage on YouTube.

What other artists are you listening to at the moment, and what was the last album you bought?

The last album I bought was Emeli Sande ‘Long Live The Angels’. I love her music, I love her writing style and of course she is a massive inspiration to me with having came from Aberdeenshire as well. Emeli has a song on that album called ‘Give Me Something’ that I can really relate to because I have felt that after having my baby and becoming a new mum I just didn’t feel like I knew where my place in the music industry would be and really needed something to believe in. But after the opportunity to support Sam came along I released my new single and since then everything has just been flowing effortlessly which is such a blessing!

What can we expect from you next; do you have a goal, and where do you hope your music will take you?

I have been scouted for O’Neill’s Sound Of Summer competition which is sponsored by Jagermeister and I really hope I can get to the semi final in Liverpool. The prize winnings are £6000, studio time in a professional recording studio as well as slot on the Jagerhaus stage at Bestival this year. This is such a great opportunity for me and I really hope I can take it all the way to the final in London so I can see everyone I was working with whilst living there as it’s been over 2 years since I have seen everyone.

I am looking forward to getting back into the studio this year. If I win Sound Of Summer I will be using some of the money to record my first album. I will be performing at our local radio station Northsound’s ‘Little Black Dress’ event on 25th August which is a ladies event to raise money for Cash For Kids charity and I am currently working with Mastermind Promotion who are an award marketing and and PR company based in London and I’m really looking to seeing how our campaign for my new single progresses over the next 3 months :)

Connect with Cameron Jay via her Facebook, Twitter and SoundCloud.

John Dylan releases new single ‘Get Beyond’

Sunday 25th June 2017

Multi-instrumentalist and producer extraordinaire, John Dylan, has had music running through his veins before he was even born, his parents playing the likes of Elvis Costello, Bob Marley and Stevie Ray Vaughn whilst he was still in the womb. But now, after previously having exhibited his work through the vehicle of the genre-defying band Terrene, (who had their record produced by Phil Ek: The Shins, Fleet Foxes, Built to Spill), John has now gone solo, bearing the load on his reliable talents as a songwriter.

With the uniquely named Peripheral Drift Illusion album in the pipeline, John is releasing the record’s first single, ‘Get Beyond’; a spacey, effects-laden piece of shoegaze-pop that owes much of its style to the classic sounds of bands like the Beatles, a major inspiration for John. Dreamy vocals combine with a bright, bouncing guitar riff that drifts effortlessly over a wah-fuelled bass line, before wading through a sludge of distortion. As a result, John takes us on a sonic odyssey that stops off at almost every genre and style on the way.

To confine Dylan’s eclectic stylings to a single genre, or compare him to a single band would be a near impossible task. With a life revolving around music, John has formed some unique standpoints when it comes to his work. For example, whilst he may be considered a ‘rock’ artist, John enjoys flipping analog rock aesthetics on their head, using a completely digital workflow. Also, for each single, John is embracing his counterparts in the hip-hop, dance and electronic cultures by allowing the songs to be ‘open sourced’, holding a remix competition for DJs and other electronic artists to sample and rework his songs, with the chance of appearing on the widely released version of the single.

John was recently diagnosed with a chronic anxiety disorder, but in spite of this, he uses it as fuel for writing his songs. Although it can be difficult to deal with, John notes that “there are hopeful moments in the form of songs like ‘Get Beyond’, where I encourage myself to get out of bed and come out of hiding into the world. ‘Get Beyond’ was written after a string of bad events in my life – I got laid off from work, my car stolen, my house robbed and my house entered foreclosure proceedings.  I realized these were hard things to go through, but they boiled down to material concerns and my ego was choosing to take all of these things personally.”

Although John takes inspiration from a wide range of sources such as Nirvana, My Bloody Valentine and The Beatles, his style draws similarities with the likes of The Flaming Lips and Tame Impala. Back in the mid-90s, John was involved with underground math-rock band, Mars Accelerator, who played alongside Modest Mouse and released an album with the help of Steve Fisk, who coincidentally, had worked with Nirvana.  In the past, John has also supported experimental outfit, Of Montreal, and the artwork for Peripheral Drift Illusion is being created by John Lennon’s bandmate, Klaus Voormann, who also designed the cover for the Beatles’ classic record, Revolver.

Dylan can be considered the complete musician, playing all the instruments and singing on his records: “Through the influx of things I go through in life, I try to reverberate them right back out of my body, by playing drums, or guitar, or bass, or singing. Or if I need to change where I’m at in my head, the headphones come on, and I can feel the ground move beneath my feet.”

Connect with John Dylan via his Website, Twitter and Facebook.