Anna Westin Told Me: The Mind Behind LEV

The second album is always an exciting challenge. It’s the moment to show that your music goes behind a proof of concept and that lightning can indeed strike the same place twice. For Anna Westin, Folk-pop singer-songwriter, this very challenge lies ahead with her forthcoming LP ‘LEV’ nearing the horizon. We got chatting to the woman herself to find out more…

STM: When was the last time you discovered an artist through word of mouth?

That is generally how I hear about people. I think the latest was Sibylle Baier, from my vocal coach Hughie Gavin

STM: How useful is the tool of ‘word of mouth’ when an artist is just starting their career? 

I think it is hugely helpful, because it is already riding off of a foundation of trust, which brings credibility to what the person is saying. If you know someone, and you trust their musical taste, then you’re probably more likely to check out what they are backing because of who they are and what they have liked before. It isn’t just random advertising. It’s building out of a network of relationship. 

STM: What were your first ‘tools of promotion’ when you first started in music?

Friends, word of mouth. A haphazard instagram campaign. 

STM: What made you choose the path of music?          

Because I love it – because it makes sense of experience, and I can’t ’not’ do it. It’s just been natural to how I communicate with life. 

STM: What do you think the industry would look like without streaming platforms like Spotify?

I think it could be a good thing – slowing things down, making people more conscious of choosing to look for music, savouring a specific album rather than rushing through playlists. And there’s the issues of payment for artists. I wonder what it would look like, whether it would return to more physical -based experiences where word of mouth and actual copies of records become the point of contact with the world, or gigging is seen as the entry point in. I need to think about that a bit more, as it sounds quite refreshing!  But Spotify has also enabled me to have access to lots of voices that I probably wouldn’t have had, so there’s that… 

STM: How excited are you to take the new material out on the road? 

Very. It feels like a long time coming. 

STM: If you had to describe the new record to someone who could not hear using only images which images would you show them?

A heart, I think, as the album means heart in Hebrew. But it is more of a whole sense of being human, the integrated connections of emotion and soul and thought and how they all connect to love, to loss. So maybe I would also show them sea, which is where I wrote most of the songs, and an eye, because I have been thinking about the saying of having a ’good eye’ which is connected to seeing the world with love. 

STM: How did the songwriting process for LEV begin?

I think it started with the first song, a few years back. At first it was just a collection of songs. It was only later that the more recent songs brought it into a whole concept for an album. So, probably sitting in my new flat in margate, wondering whether I should have moved to a town I didn’t know by the sea, excited about the possibility of what was next, mourning an old love. I remember distinctly – the flat, with one sofa, before the furniture was bought – the cold blast of sea air, the sense of anticipation, and making sense of a few dreams that I kept having. That’s where Bright Burning Mess started, and where the album emerged essentially. And Margate, and then New Brunswick Canada, became the cradle contexts for it – the folk scene in Margate was hugely influential in going back to what songwriting looks like as storytelling. 

Then when the songs were written, my producers Imogen and Ellie helped make sense of the structure as a whole, filled in bits that were missing, coaxed the songs out further. 

Connect with Anna down below!

Website

True Religion unleash an entrancing fusion of Spanish and English influences on their new single “Que Bonita”.

Today, I would like to introduce you to one of the most novel musical acts currently performing today. The duo “True Religion” consist of the virtuosic flamenco guitarist Juan Carmona and the exceptional vocalist Amy Gill. With distinctive vocals, combined with pounding beats that will fill any dancefloor, “True Religion” have crafted one of the most unique sounds of the fast-growing underground music scene.

The exhilarating single “Que Bonita” begins with the strumming of Carmona’s tender guitar strings which immediately grabs the listener’s attention. Then, the exceptional, soulful vocals of Gill kick in, which will make any listener yearn to dissect every word that emerges from Gill’s vocal chords. Gill’s voice is very reminiscent of a young Sinead O’Connor, due to her unique ability to hit the highest of octaves. The first 50 seconds of this track allows the listener to hear Gill’s isolated vocals, combined with exceptional production work, Gill’s vocals have a distinctive ‘echo’ effect, which allows Gill to have the maximum emotional effect on the listener.

“True Religion is the truth about ourselves, about how we can handle things, the emotion of being alive and feeling the others, about how we can manage difficult situations, by being kind, conscious, by practicing mindfulness and meditation, by true friendship, by trying to be better persons every day.” – True Religion

The track then takes an unexpected turn, when a house dance beat is introduced alongside Gill’s vocals, with Carmona’s distinctive guitar playing also making a much welcomed return. The music gradually grows into an irresistible electronic/dance track that will be welcomed at any nightclub in world, especially post COVID-19.

The wonderful attraction of “True Religion” is that you never know what they are going to do next. This is the case with “Que Bonita” as the track’s final two minutes contain no vocals and instead allow the listener to appreciate Carmona’s exceptional musicianship on both the guitar and piano, this is his moment to shine!

This track is a wonderful blend of flamenco and house, with influences from both England and Spain that will hopefully unite the whole continent of Europe during a period in which we arguably, the most isolated from each other. Check out “Que Bonita” if you haven’t already!

WATCH THE ‘QUE BONITA’ MUSIC VIDEO HERE – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFRKHEYrjUg

Facebook
Soundcloud
Spotify
YouTube

Words by Aidan Whelband

The Ex Convict, Ang Low, embraces his musical prowess with the release of new single “If I Slipped”

Against all the odds, the Brooklyn based singer-songwriter and producer has manufactured an exceptional R&B track by blending momentous topics such as religion and romance with compelling drum beats and synth riffs. Low’s soothing vocal melody throughout this exhilarating single further transcends his musical genius and hones in on the emotional turmoil of making regretful decisions.

Low’s road to this musical greatness has been far from a quiet ride. Low has served a substantial amount of time in jail and suffered hugely from depression during the cold, lonely nights in a prison cell. But Low has been able to use his first-hand account of this traumatic experience into a positive musical outlet. Low says:

“I just wrote songs in my cell every day. I had no clue where to go from there. But the music just kept me sane, writing kept me focused and going. Eventually this mentality just blossomed into an artist.”– Ang Low

Make sure you keep your eyes firmly fixated on Ang Low’s SoundCloud account around mid-late July 2021, as this is when “If I Slipped” will finally be released. This single to me feels like it has been divulged by a seasoned musician with decades of experience, whereas Low has only been on the scene for a number of years. He is an up and coming artist you will not want to miss!

Check out Ang Low here:

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Website
Soundcloud
Spotify
Youtube

Words by Aidan Whelband

LearningToDive transport us back to 1980s musical greatness with their latest single “You Said It Best”

With the release of “You Said It Best”, LearningToDive have expanded their distinctive sound following the critical appreciation of their previous album “Norwegian Pop”. LearningToDive has successfully mixed everything great about 1980s music along with soulful, melodic soliloquies with profound thought and meaning.

‘You Said It Best’ is an uplifting, heartwarming message incorporating themes of
self-acceptance, forgiveness and gratitude, and is about coming back to one’s roots and working out what really matters.”

The magician behind the music is Bravo Bonez, whose decision was to not release this brilliant song as part of their previous album, “Norwegian Pop”. The track “You Said it Best” is a hypnotic concoction of Sophisti-pop and country that would not have complimented the album’s deep connections to 80s indie, post-punk rock artists such as Echo and the Bunnymen.

The public are already catching on to LearningToDive’s exceptional musical talents, having amassed over 10,000 Spotify listeners. This is a single you absolutely do not want to miss!

Check out LearningToDive here:

Website
Email – learningtodive@gmail.com
Instagram
Facebook
Soundcloud
YouTube
Spotify
Band Camp
Linktree

Words by Aidan Whelband

Country singer-songwriter Adam Lanceley unleashes the inordinate album “Welcome to the Next Century”

I would describe the Adam Lanceley as an irresistible fusion of melodic Eagles songs with a vocal delivery akin to Bob Dylan. Lanceley’s latest release, “Welcome to the Next Century”, is a fantastic collection of 11 songs that infuse everything excellent about country, guitar-driven music.

The album opener ‘Summer of Love’ is a gentle acoustic-driven track with an addictively catchy pop melody that you are sure to be humming along to once you get the chance to hear it. The album takes a much more mellow direction with the third track, ‘Asking for Shelter’, a powerful ballad with an alluring piano riff alongside Lanceley’s scintillating vocals. My personal favourite track on the album is ‘A World in Blossom’, a brilliantly bristly guitar riff reminiscent of Nirvana in their ‘In Utero’ days.

“The new tracks that are on this album have all been recorded since my last EP came out and all were written and recorded during lockdown. Doing this then helped me to escape some of the stress of the situation and almost take myself away to a sunnier, more care-free place. It was always intended that they would be released when the world seemed ‘brighter’ and on a more personal level, it felt like a turning point where things suddenly seemed easier”. – Adam Lanceley

However, Lanceley was not born with exceptional musical talent and suffered many severe setbacks before embracing his destiny to become a supremely talented musician. At age 10, Lanceley’s life changed forever when a car accident left him with devastating injuries that demolished his dreams of becoming a sportsman. He sustained severe brain injuries during this accident and has struggled with his mental health ever since. However, this excruciating experience allowed Lanceley to escape through music and found refuge in crafting songs. His love and passion for music are evident throughout ‘Welcome to the Next Century’ and have a lasting impact on anyone who gives it a listen.

Check out Adam Lanceley here:

Twitter
Soundcloud
Spotify

Words by Aidan Whelband

David Omlor reawakens 60’s guitar music with the exhilarating folk-Debut LP “Entropy”

David Omlor has just released his eagerly awaited debut album “Entropy” to a glistening reception from ‘The Ark of Music’ & ‘SleepingBagStudios’. David Omlor has delivered a scintillating album that is both a nostalgic throwback to 60s folk-rock and a progressive contemporary piece of art.

Omlor wastes no time in grabbing your attention, with the album opener ‘Let You Know’ delivering an irresistibly captivating guitar riff and melody that you won’t be able to rub out of your ears. The album’s second track, ‘Truth’ is a tranquil song with a gentle acoustic guitar alongside a tender electric guitar riff, reminiscent of Gary Moore’s ‘Parisienne Walkways’ beautifully melodic guitar riff. The entire album was recorded during the tumultuous year of 2020, but Omlor has used his valuable free time to construct this excellent record. Omlor states:

“During the complete insanity that was 2020 I locked myself in and created a solo record titled Entropy. Through the magic of modern technologies like Dropbox and Zoom I was able to collaborate with amazing musicians from all over the US to put together nine songs that try to make sense of an extremely strange and difficult time and come out of that darkness with some hope.”David Omlor

My favourite tracks from “Entropy” are the beautifully melancholic “Ghosts in Oklahoma” and ‘Surprised’ which takes the listener on a leisurely stroll through a tale of finding someone you love.

Omlor’s influences include such greats as Jason Isbell, Aimee Mann, George Harrison and the folk-rock legend Bob Dylan. Music is Omlar’s enduring passion, and he is currently a member of the sensational US band Benjamin Road who have played countless shows all over America. “Entropy” is Omlar’s first step into the world of being a solo artist, and I certainly cannot wait to see what other music he has in store for us. Go check out “Entropy” if you haven’t already.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BenjaminRoadMusic/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/djomlor
Website: https://davidomlormusic.com/
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/djomlor
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/2M5qfWXOwj7wysYePv8ca9?si=nDYtleVlQpaOu-K2S5fSiA

Words by Aidan Whelband

Juga di Prima is an empowering asset to the world of chess and music

With The Queen’s Gambit quickly becoming one of the world’s most talked about subjects, Juga di Prima is intriguing audiences everywhere with her two passions: music and chess.

Composing multiple chess-themed tracks, ‘Oh Capablanca‘ has been mentioned by chess pros and fans as ‘the best chess song ever written’. Another masterful Juga hit, ‘Tactical” is a thrilling single about inner insecurities.

“Chess is a mirror of life, a treasure of humanity” – Juga di Prima

This Chilean artist is an empowering artist bringing two completely different worlds into the same ‘genre’. Combining her life as a recording artist as well as an artistic ambassador for the world of Chess, her extraordinary ambition can be heard throughout all her tracks.

With ‘Chess Divas’ to be unveiled this month as an audio-visual tribute to women chess champions throughout history, the world is in the palm of this contemporary icon’s hand.

Amazing chess song, you will love it!”Judit Polgar, Most successful female chess player in history

“Absolutely love this song!” – Alexandra Kosteniuk, Russian Chess Champion

The Passion of chess made art. Chess needs more artists like Juga”- Leontxo Garcia, El País (Spain)

“Every chess fan must listen. Epic, moving, authentic” Anna Rudolf, Chess Commentator/Olympic Champion

“Chess has inspired many writers and painters throughout history but until now, very few songs had been written about the game. Juga has filled that gap. She has become the voice and music of chess” David
Llada Fide, International Chess Federation

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jugamusica/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JugadiPrima
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jugamusica/
Website: https://www.jugamusica.com/
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/juga-musica/albums
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/4kDj5alm5mRpcDjwE46cdA
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/Jugamusica/videos

Listen to the latest episode of The Quite Great Radio Show:

Follow Quite Great’s new partnered platform Cambridge Unwrapped:

www.facebook.com/cambsunwrapped

www.instagram.com/cambridgeunwrapped/

www.twitter.com/cambsunwrapped

Michael Cooke finds his identity with latest album release ‘Doin’ Alright’

Michael Cooke’s recently-released debut album ‘Doin’ Alright‘ is doing more than alright. An exceptional release that finally helps Cooke find his own identity after a years of looking in different industries; his story doesn’t start with music. Having had his hopes dashed of becoming an Olympic athlete, Michael turned to acting.

To keep you fully in the loop, Michael has an identical twin who is always in the acting industry. Coming up against his own twin for the same roles, Michael still became a successful actor, and has featured in films ‘Now You See Me 2‘ and ‘Outpost 3‘ to name a few.

‘Doin’ Alright’ is an 8 track release straight from the heart. Soul-bearing and securing a strong indie persona, the album hears all of Michael’s influences under one roof. Somewhere between the sound of the 60’s while still sounding refreshingly like the present, the album resides in a folk come indie rock atmosphere.

Listen to ‘Doin’ Alright’ below, we’re certain it’ll brighten your day.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/michaelcookemusic/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/michaelcookeofficial/
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-830073447-182196885
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/5MxyKC6glppKNIXoR0mbaI?si=W5vd0Nv6QG-JTpO9lBUOjw
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRp-OTMQGvxHX3Cp1C1dx_g/videos

Check out the latest episode of The Quite Great Radio Show: 

Former Eurovision contender Waterflower releases industry-bending new single ‘Palm vs Palm’

To distinguish Waterflower as a unique artist is rather an understatement when considering her methods behind making music.

With a similar sound to that of Bjork and FKA Twigs, Latvian-born art student Sabine Moore (AKA Waterflower) is bending industry norms by using plants to produce her songs (Yes, plants).

Watch: Waterflower’s latest single, ‘Palm vs Palm’.

From using electromagnetic pulses to extract melodies from plants, to playing them live on stage as a living keyboard, Waterflower’s approach to making music is something we’ve never seen before.

“I started working with plant synthesisers in 2015 when I saw the Kickstarter project for the Ototo Synthesiser. I decided that this is what ‘Waterflower’ is all about, playing with plants as synthesiser keys.”

WATERFLOWER, ON HER INTRODUCTION TO PLANT-BASED MUSIC.

‘Palm vs Palm’ is the latest example of her work that previously saw her just miss out on representing her home nation at Eurovision. With the song title derived from the plant which she used to make it, Waterflower’s latest tune is a cacophony of delicate strings, wobbling synthesisers, thudding drums and effortlessly controlled vocals.

Having toured Europe, receiving rave reviews from the likes of The Playground and Resonance FM, Waterflower’s individuality and creativity has seen her gain significant attention.

From the looks of ‘Palm vs Palm’, Waterflower’s upcoming album Balta Gaisma will be innovative, experimental and somewhat extraordinary.

Check out ‘Palm vs Palm’ as part of the new album set to drop on September 28th, or listen now on all major streaming platforms.


Follow Waterflower to keep updated on all her new releases here:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WaterflowerMusic

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/the_water_flower/

Website: http://www.waterflower.lv

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/waterflower

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3hC37A4FC6LS41h5E7VUk7

Youtube: http://youtube.com/waterflower

Bandcamp: https://waterflower.bandcamp.com/

Words: Ellis Maddison.

Ruth Brosnan’s ‘Toodle-oo’ is the summer power anthem we’ve been waiting for

Cork based singer-songwriter Ruth Brosnan has released her catchy summer single Toodle-oo and it’s truly addictive.

The vibrant track is another brilliant display of Ruth’s infectious character and wicked sense of humour.

With an ultra-catchy chorus, flawless production and some witty lyricism the track really is a feel good, summer vibe we’ve been silently praying for.

Watch the colourful and bright Toodle-oo video below-

The Toodle-oo visuals are energetic and fun, featuring an amazing choreographed dance piece that perfectly showcases Ruth’s quirky style and personality.

Toodle-oo is a follow up single from Ruth’s previous track Good Enough. A powerful and emotive ballad that showed Ruth Brosnan’s more vulnerable side.

Moving and heartwarming, single Good Enough soon made waves for the talented artist amassing thousands of streams on Spotify and Youtube and obtaining great exposure on radio stations and popular music blogs.

IndulgeMe made the song their ‘Track of the week’; and Pure Magazine had her at number one on their Spotlight Chart.

Good Enough came from a very personal place for Ruth Brosnan, she explains-

“I wrote this song from my own life experience. I lost my mother to suicide in 2010 when I was fourteen years of age.

In Ireland and many other countries there has been an increase in suicide rates with worrying increases among younger people. Mental health and wellness are really important and I want to increase awareness”.

Toodle-oo shows us a brighter side to the incredible Ruth Brosnan, demonstrating her diverse songwriting talent and ability to make us laugh and smile with her feel good music.

Listen to Toodle-oo now, out on all streaming platforms.

Find, follow and support Ruth Brosnan

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Website

Spotify

Youtube

Written By: Jessica Rowe