EP Review: Beast Side – Tom Bem

Tom Bem Beast Side

Following the release of his well-received debut EP Shallows, TOM BEM slams another one entitled Beast Side, released earlier this month.

Displaying his usual emotionally intensive arrangements, the South-East London producer and singer injects vulnerability in this vocals, revealing the battle within himself in containing his emotions during the turbulent years of his life. Among the stunningly atmospheric soundscapes, there’s a tinge of Timbaland/Timberlake influence present in some tracks…hit the play and see what you think…answers below please!

The Must Listens: Rebound, Hide & Seek, Kalashnikov 

Song of the Day: In The Morning – Sophie Longshaw

Sophie Longshaw In the Morning

Today’s song comes from the adorable freckled redhead SOPHIE LONGSHAW. Fresh to the music scene, the London-based songstress released two original tracks under international music agency/record label DEFDISCO (UK/Dallas) in collaboration with Chris Mann’s Twin Records, which includes the stunningly emotive, In The Morning.

With such delicately soulful vocals, this 20-year-old clearly has what it takes. After leaving BBC’s The Voice, she recorded a heart wrenching acoustic cover of Muse’s Supermassive Black Hole was premiered on Gigwise…so if you can spare five minutes, check it out – but before you head off, I highly recommend you to stick around and listen to In The Morning.



EXCLUSIVE Interview with: The Optical Illusion

Kieth Cousins from The Optical Illusions

Rock duo THE OPTICAL ILLUSION have made their presence known here on NEW LEASE MUSIC. Their latest single, See You In The Stars, is currently the Song of the Month – and has subsequently stolen the Song of Week hotspot for five consecutive weeks! Frontman Keith Cousin takes the interview seat this month, revealing the band’s near-future plans and the reason behind their latest effort.

NLM: First of all, thank you for taking part in an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC

OI: It’s my pleasure. I think you’re doing great work, and you’ve always been very kind and supportive to The Optical Illusion. We’re big fans.

NLM: Thank you! Your stage name – THE OPTICAL ILLUSION – is really cool! What’s the reason for choosing the name?

OI: Thanks for the compliment! The Optical Illusion came to me in a dream. I always wanted to be a rock n roller, and I woke up one morning and muttered to myself “Optical Illusion, Optical Illusion”. For some reason, it has stuck with me to this day. I placed a “The” at the beginning because so many great bands had it: The Beatles, The Doors, The Who, The Kinks…etc. So, you could consider me a rock and roll traditionalist.

NLM: You’ve released your single See You in the Stars in June. Describe the story behind your latest effort?

OI: David Bowie was a legend. He touched so many lives and, in my opinion, was a musical genius. I’ve been a lifelong fan of his work. When he died, I was in shock for several weeks. I felt I had to do something about it. Since I don’t like to write about a subject without doing some serious research, I committed about a month to watching various documentaries, and interviews (the Heathen interviews in particular) about the man. When I was finally ready, I penned “See You In The Stars”. It was a serious labor of love. I put in over 15 lyrical references about Mr. Bowie. I even sang it the way I felt he would (without the British accent, of course). I wanted OI fans to feel as if David was actually telling the world about his life through me. I hope I’ve done him justice. I’d like to believe he would enjoy the tribute.

NLM: What’s the public’s reception on the single since its release?

OI: The reception has been awesome. I’ve gotten some really positive feedback and I’m very humbled and appreciative for anyone who has listened. These days, there’s so many ways to spend your time, and so many distractions on the Internet. Anytime someone selects “See You In The Stars” to listen to, over a cat video, or the latest Beyonce/Taylor Swift/Cold Play stuff that is most prevalent in the mainstream, I am honored.

NLM: How would you describe your sound to potential fans?

OI: The Optical Illusion is a power/pop/rock band. We also have some elements of progressive rock. Wayne and I make a great song writing team. I’m usually more of the structured, straight up rocker (influenced by The Beatles, The Cars, The Kinks, Rick Springfield, Joe Jackson), and Wayne is the more progressive force (influenced by RUSH, Spock’s Beard, Porcupine Tree). I never try to have the same type of sound, which can be a blessing and a curse. You can’t listen to one of our songs and immediately know who is singing, because I try to change things up so often.

NLM: If you were to collaborate with just ONE chart-topping artist of today, who would it be?

OI: Dave Grohl is the man! If I could collaborate with any rocker, it would be him. He has a huge respect for the greatness of rock past, and the vision to make new explosive rock in the future. Plus, he seems like a really nice guy; someone I could bounce ideas off of; and he plays every instrument. He’s just a really great, all-around rocker!!

NLM: If you were granted three wishes to change the music industry, what would they be?

OI: Good question.

1. I wish radio stations would have a wider variety of music. Regular radio (air waves, not satellite), has such a narrow rock format. In New York, there’s only one or two stations that play rock at all, and I can only stomach The Rolling Stones so much…I need to hear some new stuff.

2. I’m hoping for a rock resurgence. I think overall, unfortunately, rock music is a dying breed. I think it needs to make a comeback in a big way.

3. Streaming services need to pay artists more than .0001 cents per stream. At this rate, I can retire in the year 2500. Ha!!!

NLM: What are your plans for the rest of 2016? Do you have any upcoming gigs/other projects?

OI: The Optical Illusion is going to do a little more studio work (a couple more singles to be released in the near future). After that, we may have plans to do some stripped down shows. If they go over well, a larger scale project could be in the works. If that happens, you’ll be the first to know.

NLM: How can potential fans reach you?

OI: Fans can always reach us at OIRocks@aol.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheOpticalIllusionBand/. We also have a presence on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/oirocks

I try to answer any fan mail as quickly as possible and I invite anyone to contact us. You can discuss our music, any music, or anything you like.

NLM: Finally, if music didn’t exist, what other profession would you do?

OI: A sports announcer! I’m a huge sports fan (baseball, basketball, football).


New Track: Higher – ADI (ft. Curtis Williams)

ADI Higher

Tel-Aviv singer and producer, ADI (otherwise known as Adi Ulmansky) returns with new track, and first single taken from her new of the same name EP; Higher, featuring Atlanta-based rapper Curtis Williams.

Taking her music in a new direction and yet remaining true to her own unique production style, this is the first project that ADI has enlisted external producers whilst still co-producing the entire EP – a mix of R&B, future beats and hip-hop.

The Higher EP is set for release in October…so look out for that…but for now, check out the first release of the upcoming project.

New Track: Final Exit – Tom Mitchell

Tom Mitchell Final Exit

NEW LEASE MUSIC is proud – nope wrong word – ecstatic to welcome back TOM MITCHELL with his spanking new single, Final Exit.

The Bristolian alternative folk rocker and songwriter last made an appearance back in 2014 with the ever-so-soothing Shadow In The Water.

So if you’re trying to get rid of your weekend hangover, this will do the trick – listen now to his less-than-24-hour effort and happy Monday!

New Music Video: We are Young – Bella Loka

bella loka video clip

Exactly a week after appearing with the mystical visual to single, Honey B, indie-pop duo BELLA LOKA are back with another fun-pack video to new single, We Are Young.

The four-minute production is “a short sharp slap in the face and a kiss on both cheeks to the music industry”, says singer/songwriter and video director Tea Boothby, before adding, “just like me!” The song is a mildly venomous, deeply sarcastic f*&k you to the “so-called tastemakers” who sit and tell you that you have “everything but time.” A defiant call that “we’ll sing until our time has come”, We Are Young is a challenge to keep going, never give up, and refuse to allow anyone to tell you that you are too young or too old to achieve something.

Produced and directed by Tea Boothby, the black and white visual was filmed on location around BELLA LOKA’s hometown of Camden Town, London, including scenes filmed on and under the bridges at Regent’s Canal and in the famous Stables market.

For other scenes, the pair asked friends and family to film their young children dancing to the song and to send their footage for use in the video, and the result include scenes filmed in places as far-flung as Australia. The video contrasts the creative and free-spirited nature of children when left to their own devices with the soul-destroying and barren constraints of what’s left for young struggling artists trying to be heard.

So you know what to do – hit the play button and unleash your inner child.

Song of the Day: Love On The Brain (Cover) – Teenear

Teenear video clip

Before the release of her anticipated new single, TEENEAR gives her version of Rihanna’s Love on the Brain, showcasing her vocal range – and her god-given gift to dance!

Born and raised in Miami, music found 19-year-old Teenear at the tender age of three. She gained her determined and positive spirit from a supportive family and from a musical influence that she emulates; Michael Jackson.

At a young age, she has showcased her skills in pageants, talent shows and church. A prolific moment for the teenager was a talent show where she performed Rihanna’s Stay and captivated her audience. “Being on that stage and singing gave me such a push and drive and I loved it so much” says Teenear

“I remember when I went backstage after the performance and people came up to me telling me they enjoyed the performance and asking for my picture. It was a great moment and it gave me so much confidence to push further.”

So be prepared to be blown away –  hit that play button and witness a star on the rise.

New Music Video: No Lele – Ezi Emela

Ezi Emele video clip

Manchester born EZI EMELA has a diverse network of influence. Born to Nigerian parents, the British songstress has kept a tight grasp on her African heritage and takes the shining elements of UK culture to create her brand new single No Lele.

The record is doused in sensuality with a lick of fierce determination as the velvet tones of EZI EMELA entwine their way across the Omeiza beat. The afrotrap-leaning record makes a bold statement about her persistence in the face of any doubters.

Accompanied by an equally mesmerizing video that sees the former Chanel model take on many different guises, the colour and dancing cascade across the screen in an amalgamation of fashion, UK street and African culture.

Having previously released a variation of music that has seen EZI EMELA sway between styles and vibes, including a clearer British R&B sound on Voicemail through to her collaborations with some of the biggest African music legends such as PSquare, 2Face, Idibia and Chocolate City, it is No Lele that takes elements of all to make this her biggest records to date.

New Music Video: Down – XamVolo

Down XamVolo

XAMVOLO makes a return on NEW LEASE MUSIC with a too-cool-for-school visual to his latest single, Down, coming from his forthcoming EP, Chirality, out this Friday.

The 22-year-old has written, produced and arranged his project, which will feature brooding, eclectic mixture of jazz and soul over hypnotic beats in which he describes as resembling “a messy mind over raw, dark jazz grooves”.

If you like this single, well the EP will be a real treat! Check out the video.