Izakman Told Me: The Mind Behind ‘Cyber Love’

Described as a ‘vintage sci-fi fairy-tale infused adventure’, forward-thinking rocker Izakman’s latest LP ‘Cyber Love’ is truly something to behold. With an emphasis on psychedelic literature at its core, frontman/songwriter Itamar Isaak manages to conjure an entire world of his own through sounds that are deftly balanced between melancholy and wonder; we got chatting to the man himself to jump down the rabbit hole…

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

Quite recently, actually! I met a friend at the dog park while taking my dog out, and he told me to watch “Inside” by Bo Burnham. It’s a musical documentary by a comedian who brilliantly combines music with comedy—I have been putting the songs on repeat ever since.

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

That’s the way my friends and I all started. It starts as something you do with and for your friends, and as time goes by, your community grows and you try to expand.

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

I performed solo at Gagarin Club, an alternative music venue in Tel Aviv I have been closely connected with since they just started. I would warm up bands and join lineups whenever there was an event. In addition, I would help them out in renovating and designing flyers for different occasions. After naming myself Izakman, I started an artist page account and promoted my first single via Facebook like everyone nowadays.

STM: What made you choose the path of music?

Ever since I remember, music has been playing in my head. When I was ten, I studied piano from Miri Singer – a chamber musician. She enjoyed letting me improvise in her lessons, saying I don’t need to study composition since it came out of me naturally. My passion for music grew as I majored in arts in high school and later in animation school in Bezalel Academy for arts and design. Throughout my studies, I obsessively kept writing more and more songs and immediately after graduation created Izakman.

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

I don’t know, but I assume it would be like before people started streaming; it would be based on album sales, whether physically or digitally.

STM: How would you describe the new album to someone that could not hear, using only images to describe the music?

A vintage sci-fi fairy-tale infused adventure –  a galactic voyage that blurs the distinction between reality and imagination, between cyberspace and outer space, between the past present and future. In other words, what The Beatles would have sounded like if they recorded music for Black Mirror.

STM: Do you have a general songwriting process or has it changed over time?

I don’t have a formula. It’s very intuitive. I sometimes start with a melody and sometimes with a sentence. Still, things begin to spark when I discover an image that leads to a narrative that excites me. My musical experience is also very visual.

STM: Do you have any immediate plans for touring of the new material at all?

I plan to contact festivals and producers, collaborate with more artists in shared events and grow a community. I’m still searching, and I hope promoting the new album will help me find the right connections.

STM: How do you think the pandemic has changed our idea of ‘communication’?

I think the term communication is becoming more and more associated with technology. The pandemic and the quarantines only increased our usage of phones and computers for interacting each other.

Cyber Love is available everywhere on 27/01/22

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Mitsune Told Me: The Mind’s Behind ‘Hazama’

Mitsune is something to truly feast your ears on. Teaching us to look beyond the sounds of the western curtain, the quintet bring traditional Japanese folk music and infuse it with the sounds of modern blues, jazz and rock in a culmination that truly broadens horizons. The band’s latest project, Hazama, is due to be unveiled in mid-February so we got chatting to two of the Tsugaru shamisen players, Youka and Tina, to find out more…

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

Youka: Constantly! The most recent examples are Yuma Abe (Japan), Audrey Nuna (USA) and Juba, a sick UK/Nigerian DJ who lives in Berlin. I found out about all of these artists through friends.

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

Tina: I think it’s a communication of high quality, since the recommendation is added, which gives it this extra kind of honouring. Especially when starting a career, this can be the hidden gem recommendation.

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

Tina: Facebook, Instagram, mailing lists, website and flyers.

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

Youka: This might be controversial, but I think Spotify algorithms are responsible for the homogenisation of a lot of music. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of diverse music on streaming platforms – anyone can put their music out there without a label or distribution deal, and that’s a wonderful thing! But these days most listeners are discovering music via Spotify algorithmic playlists, and I think it can really get you stuck in a genre box. Unimaginative music that sounds like whatever is popular at the time gets rewarded. I think it’s even started to affect the way people make music, musicians catering for this.

Anyway, to answer your question – I think the music industry without streaming would be overall more refined, curated by tastemakers, with more emphasis on albums rather than singles. On the downside, it might be harder for emerging artists to get their hat in the ring.

STM: What did you learn about yourselves as people and as musicians from writing/recording Hazama?

Tina: I learned to appreciate the energy of working together based on deep respect for a person and their skills. And there were so many new musical influences, which was a sensory experience. Last but not least: vocals + tricky shamisen techniques at the same time were a great challenge.

STM: Where did the idea behind the band come from?

Tina: The love for the shamisen was what connected us all. This mutual passion made us reach out for each other. The different paths we came from gave us very unique perspectives to this instrument, and to music in general. We want to show that this supposedly ‘traditional’ instrument is very much alive and contemporary. It is exciting and vibrant.

STM: How important is it that we spread knowledge and awareness of these traditional Japanese folk music sounds to those unaware of them?

Tina: For a more diverse music scene, any music that promotes lesser known instruments and tunes should get attention. There is such a big range of instruments and musicians beyond the western curtain, which still dominates what is broadcast and who is booked.

STM: What is the group dynamic like between the five of you?

Youka: Our rehearsals are a lot of fun, lots of laughter. Mitsune started first as a shamisen trio, so Tina, Shiomi & I have known each other the longest in the band. We have a deep relationship that extends far beyond musical collaboration – it’s a sisterhood. We love each other very much and are an emotional support network for one another. Petros & Daigo, our percussionist & bassist, are both super fun, enthusiastic people who are amazing to be around. They are also incredible musicians, open-minded and willing to tackle anything. The band is essentially based on friendship, so there’s a lot of great energy flying around in our rehearsals and on stage. We try to have fun 🙂

Hazama is unleashed on the 18th of February 2022!

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Winchester 7 & The Runners unleash fuzz-rock anthem ‘When the World Stops Spinning’

What better way to get you through the Tuesday blues than listening to an unforgettable fuzz-rock number!? We can’t think of anything better! Winchester 7 & the Runners are the garage-rock band that you need in your life. Stomping their way through mesmerising instrumentation and fuzz imagery, their new single ‘When the World Stops Spinning‘ is best described as ‘dad-rock’ – which we don’t think is a bad thing.

Inspired by the 70s sci-fi movie ‘Logan’s Run’, the band state, “As the Logan’s Run society was based on human cloning resulting in individuals with numbers after their names to denote their generation of clone, I am Winchester 7. Why Winchester? I chose the name from the television show MASH. That’s right…it’s a MASH mash-up.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/winchester7andtherunners
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RealWinchester7
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/winchester7andtherunners/
Website: https://winchester7andtherunners.com/
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/15Mzrd47XdRknfsKLFIMci
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQtZSreYzhmwZc60RVb7DcQ

Classical Music’s Unlikely Rising Star Six Nights announces new album ’21’

When you see a numeric album title, I don’t know about you, but I instantly think of Adele. Six Nights’ music is far from pop. Set to release his debut album ‘21‘, the remarkable offering is bathed in classical sensibilities, making it a mature release filled with creativity. Not only drawing inspiration from the likes of traditional classical music artists, Six Nights is also influenced by the likes of R&B, hip-hop and even film scores. A cinematic artist that has used this past year in a positive light, ’21’ showcases how diverse Six Nights truly is.

Most likely to find him in a tracksuit than a suit, Six Nights thinks outside the box and makes him a strong contender in the classical world. Not following your typical rulebook or strict guidelines, Six Nights showcases that 2021 is the year of being true to yourself. If this past year has taught us anything it’s to live in the now and love yourself for who you truly are, and that’s exactly what Six Nights accomplishes on ’21’. A breathtaking story with elements of new-age instrumental moments, this highly emotive album will leave you speechless.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Six-Nights-104363975083858
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sixnightsmusic/
Website: https://www.sixnightsmusic.com/

This is ‘The One’ track you need in your life!

Singer-songwriter Abraham Trai releases debut single ‘The One‘, and it’s super special. A debut single always needs to stand out from the crowd, especially the oversaturated music industry today, and Abraham’s debut lives up to any expectations you might have had. Inspired by the likes of soulful singers such as Adele, Sam Smith and Lewis Capaldi, Abraham Trai is armed with a distinctive vocal ability and could easily be the next big thing in the soul genre.

Written with Louisa Glanville, ‘The One’ showcases Abraham’s delicate vocals with an intricate piano line. Capturing the heartbreak of losing a loved one, this sadly relatable single is breathtaking. Writing songs about his personal experiences in life, ‘The One’ is taken from his forthcoming album, expected in 2022.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/abraham_trai/
Website: https://abrahamtrai.com/abraham-trai
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Abraham-Trai-104892304920401/

Youtube: https://youtu.be/3Pyg4nbGoyE

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Melanie Masson releases northern soul twist of Future Islands’ iconic hit ‘Seasons (Waiting on You)’

Series 9 X Factor finalist Melanie Masson releases her new single ‘Seasons‘ into the wild. Following in the footsteps of her exceptional debut cover of Beyoncé’s ‘Why Don’t You Love Me?’, her second single ‘Seasons’ is also a cover; this time Melanie puts her unforgettable twist on Future Islands’ anthem ‘Seasons (Waiting on You)’.

The artist has already received praise from the band themselves, with bass player William Cashion hailing it as ‘a beautiful version’. Produced by renowned producer Tristan Longworth, ‘Seasons’ is armed with a northern soul arrangement that will leave you dancing around your house.

“I loved the melody and lyrics to Seasons and really connected to it. It felt very reflective yet optimistic and that’s the mood I wanted to create for the video. I wanted to send out a positive message. It feels like we’re all in the same challenging situation right now. We all have our struggles, our ups and down but there’s always hope. It’s about hanging on to what’s important, taking strength from that and holding onto the belief that better days are coming. It’s a message to everyone to hang on in there.” – Melanie Masson

A soulful rendition that lives up to the original, Melanie Masson’s ‘Seasons’ is warm and feels like summer’s come early.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theofficialmelaniemasson/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/melaniemasson1
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/melanie.masson.official/
Website: https://melaniemasson.webador.co.uk/
Spotify: https://ffm.to/seasonsmm
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheMelanieMasson/videos

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The Fabulous Red Diesel’s ‘The Queensbury House Sessions’ is an incredible modern-soul jazz release

A collective quite unlike any other you’ll come across, The Fabulous Red Diesel are innovative and creating music without a specific label. Quirky and armed with everything you’d want from a ‘soul meets jazz collective’, ‘The Queensbury House Sessions’ is for fans of Madeline Peyroux, Joni Mitchell & even Frank Zappa.

With leading single ‘Butterfly Mind’ telling the tale of how true love remains a constant factor in life, no matter where your mind may drift to. On the release, vocalist Kat Lee-Ryan mentioned, “it’s about the way my brain works and the way music flits from one person to another, changing their perception (hopefully for the better) by tiny inspirational touches. And then it’s also a love song – I am married to the drummer and I’m saying no matter how many twists and turns and expansions my mind has, I am always grounded in him – you know I’ve got a butterfly mind but I settle on you.”

Uplifting and showcasing real potential in the world of soul-jazz and even funk and hip-hop, The Fabulous Red Diesel are a band that should be on everyone’s playlists.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FabRedDiesel/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/FabRedDiesel
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/Fabreddiesel/
Website: http://www.TheFabulousRedDiesel.com https://www.sparklybird.co.uk/
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/thefabulous-reddiesel
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/6QVUJf9fbGUlknJ7DSDrqQ
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcwSFdbx-xw&ab_channel=TheFabulousRedDiesel

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8-year-old Elle raises money to support homeless people with new Christmas single

Capturing the heart of the Country with her beautiful new single ‘It’s Christmas’, Elle is only 8-years-old, but proves that talent can be found at any age.

A percentage of all money raised from downloads goes directly to the charity Shelter. With the added songwriting talent of Elle’s hairdresser Saab Vancootan, the heartfelt Christmas single will melt your heart this Christmas with its powerful message.

On her emotive new single, Elle mentioned, “I just hope this song makes people think about homeless people this Christmas. It must be horrible to live on the streets and I just want to try and help them more if I can. Thank you to everyone who supports this fundraising campaign.”

Max Newton, head of community fundraiser for Shelter said, “It’s been a year of unbelievable difficulty for many people. The impact of the pandemic means that many people are facing homelessness for the first time; some will be forced to sleep on the streets this winter. Shelter is working hard to help those who are worst affected – but as growing numbers of people need our support, we need the support of the public.

Using a simple approach to convey the story, whenever you see the lyric ‘It’s Christmas’, you won’t only be thinking of Noddy Holder from Slade anymore.

We need more humans like Elle…

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ellesangellittlestar/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ellesangellittlestar/
Website: https://www.ellesangellittlestar.co.uk/
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/5UGmeIaJfyyhdOqRmnTec6?si=_gkrhZntR-CA1Qcf-JeuGg
Apple: https://music.apple.com/gb/album/its-christmas/1539860492?i=1539860708
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1nvGLm1h9o

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Episode 3 of ‘Just Checking In’ is now out – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pNt2GF_LcA&t=197s

‘Electric Gold’ is the latest track from pop singer-songwriter Ruth Brosnan

An ode to the Superheroes of the COVID-19 Pandemic, ‘Electric Gold‘ is the latest single from Cork-based pop musician Ruth Brosnan.

Highly energetic and armed with a task to make listeners dance along, this up-tempo number is comprised of a mixture of influences from the 80s and electronic eras.

Hoping to bring an escapism to the current dark climate of the world, the track’s message is to provide hope to millions during these uncertain times. Something to stick on repeat to also filter away those winter blues, it’s a reassuring number that feels like a shoulder to cry on.

On the track, Ruth mentioned, “It’s about realizing that we are all our own heroes and will overcome these tough times and emerge together stronger. It is a shot of adrenaline to all of those obeying the rules so far to keep on going and a thank you/acknowledgement to frontline staff.”

“Electric Gold” attempts to uplift listeners, guiding them through what currently feels like a monotone life, through the lens of rose-tinted glasses. A friendly reminder that things will get easier, and to always look for that light at the end of the tunnel, Ruth Brosnan is a songwriter destined to leave you with a smile on your face.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/watch/ruthbrosnanmusic/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ruth_brosnan
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ruth_brosnan/?hl=en
Website: https://ruthbrosnan.com
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/track/1DZW6KvND9HzEiXjDdWnqr?si=8HUGivXeSLyGEU1_7zb32w
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTWRolkc9s0

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Australian band The Bonnie Doons release new EP ‘The Betweeners’

Brisbane-based quintet The Bonnie Doons release their highly anticipated EP ‘The Betweeners‘. Having already supported big names in the industry from the likes of Wolfmother and Bootleg Rascal, this outfit are no strangers to the music industry, and their new EP solidly confirms that.

Creating effortless music weaving through different avenues of genres, The Bonnie Doons’ ‘The Betweeners’ is something to stick on to soothe the soul.

On leading single, ‘Fred’, taken from ‘The Betweeners’ EP, Torian Brewer of The Bonnie Doons states, “In this track I talk about staying true to who you are and not letting your emotional attachments to things or people keep you from doing what’s right for you. Breaking down the barriers of guilt, letting something go and moving on.”

Four tracks of personality, ‘The Betweeners’ soars through 90s influenced, alternative sounds with additional elements of rap and pop in the mix. A warm EP fuelled with the sound of the summer, The Bonnie Doons are definitely radiating Spring’s weather across the whole globe.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thebonniedoons/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/the.bonnie.doons/
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-372856471/fred-radio-edit/s-vCkmiH0sIRY
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0lbHIz95wYDW5c457KoKVl?si=0ij5K6h8TbGFJ03RcQYW6Q
Apple: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/the-bonnie-doons/1309588262
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XERdAFHKeeo

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