Album Review: Flowers Of Doubt – Rain To Dust

A hazy melodic theme, heavily influenced by post punk of the early 1980’s, runs throughout Mert Yıldız’s  – aka RAIN TO DUST –  debut album, ‘Flowers Of Doubt’. Beyond buttery soundscapes, it’s very safe to say that the lyrics are far from melodic….

Every song on the album revolve around how fear brings a need for dependence which consequently breeds more fear, eventually pushing the human being into a shell of personal dogmas and psychological routines that he/she will probably end up dying within.

Introducing the eight-track album is title track, ‘Flowers Of Doubt’, which was inspired by the suicide attack that took place in İstiklal Street, Taksim, İstanbul in March 26th, 2016. The cover photo which was taken in Taksim, in the exact same spot, roughly 2 years after the event.

‘Drinking The Ghosts’, carries the themes of fear and doubt with a story that was inspired by Mika Kaurismaki’s ‘Zombie And The Ghost Train’. It is about the downward spiral of an alcoholic who eventually finds relief from shame in death.

Taking its title from an Osamu Dazai novel, ‘A Farewell With Regret’ is about two people having a one night stand and deciding to hide their true feelings from each other out of fear of emotional rejection. Musically, it references Funk influenced bands of British New Wave with its groovy rhythm, funky electric guitar licks and vocal harmonies.

After several listens, ‘Flowers of Doubt’ becomes a brutally honest production but, at times, I cannot help but feel a agree of empathy to the easily relatable stories featured. It’s worth a trial; have a listen below…

Must Listens: Flowers Of Doubt, Drinking The Ghosts, A Farewell With Regret For When It Hurts.

Album Review: Dream Team: A Stokely Hathaway Joint – Griff/Scorcese

GRIFF/SCORCESE‘s latest project, ‘Dream Team: A Stokely Hathaway Joint’ serves as a time machine, possessing  mainly hazy boombap tones and, at times, a menacing b-line (mafia -style) inspired by the golden hip-hop era of the late eighties/early nineties.

In parts, the mammoth album leaves the nostalgic feeling  and goes bang up to the date. ‘Slick Talk’ could be described as a union of old school and new school hip-hop, with a real slick flow that (personally) uncannily resembles the likes of Jay-Z.

Towards the end of the set, the guys gets all experimental with the genre, through ‘It’s Personal (Lucky Lefty)’ for example, where the distorted guitar riffs create a sound that’s disorientating yet soothing.

So if you fancy taking a journey with hip-hop through the years, well ‘Dream Team: A Stokely Hathaway Joint’ is your perfect guide…let me tell you; this is one bada** set. Check it out below…

Must Listens: Peruvian Encrusted Swordfish, Classie Freddie Blassie, Slick Talk, Flex Kavana 

EP Review: The Contender – Bülow

BÜLOW‘s brand new EP, ‘The Contender’, starts off with her trademark – that infectious urban drive with ‘Own Me’, which carries on with tracks such as ‘Boy Will Be Boys’ and the spine-tingling ‘Upside Down’. Although I’m always pleased to hear her perfectly balanced combo of pop sensibilities with an urban kick, her latest collection sees this promising artist do something a little different..

For instance, ‘Puppy Love’ mainly possess a melodic and almost airy tones that’s more simplistic compared to her other releases.

Concluding track, ‘Sundress’ adds another dimension to the EP with its intimate setting, fronted by compellingly light vocals coupled with the crisp, folkore plucks of the acoustic guitar.

Overall, ‘The Contender’ is just as pleasing as her previous work, even though the lick of the urban pop package – to my frustration – was shortly interrupted. Have a listen below…

Must Listens: Boy Will Be Boys, Upside Down 

Album Review: Beautiful Sin – Some Kind Of Illness

Hailing from Manchester, brothers Paul and Mark Hinks – aka indie rock outfit, SOME KIND OF ILLNESS – latest album, ‘Beautiful Sin’, could be described as smooth as a Sunday morning with a tranquil introduction through instrumentals ‘Within A Shadow’ and ‘Ghost’ with the latter featuring a slight sinister spin on the album’s theme.

Third offering ‘A Moment In Time’, first offers a full set of vocals, that’s so smoothing, to the equally smooth and inmate setting. ‘A Lament Reprise’ adds another dimension to the album with its slight electronic drive to the production, uplifting a bed of atmospheric soundscapes similar to what’s offered in the previous productions. ‘Beautiful Sin’ also interrupts the album’s soothing vibe with the distorted and racing guitar riffs breaking through the production, giving off a feather-light and (perhaps 60’s-inspired) Americana feel.

The album concludes with ‘7 Days’, which ventures into a more sinister side of indie rock, with guest vocalist Jenny Jen shedding some light and sweetness to the whole arrangement.

Through their fourth album, SOME KIND OF ILLNESS has effortlessly combine two worlds – indie and rock music –  in a way that’s accessible to those who aren’t massive fans of the aforementioned genres. Have a listen to ‘Beautiful Sin’ below:

Must Listen: A Moment In Time 

Album Review: N2DEEP – BeKreative

Following his ten-track project ‘Insomnia’, BEKREATIVE bounces right back with his latest collection, ‘N2DEEP 2’.

With a rally of upcoming lineup, the Houston smooth spitter leads with placing all cards on the table, displaying emotions for his burning desire to be the best version of himself.

Leaning towards a more soulful theme, the latest project greets with a melodic execution of piano keys with the rhythmic bounce of the b-line through ‘Wolfcry’ and ‘Dreams’, where the rapper delivers a smooth yet a determined flow of his desires.

Offering a different dimension to 12-track collection, tracks ‘Mind The Heart’, ‘Dirty Diary Sessions’ and ‘News-Stand’ makes way for the alluring guitar plucks giving off a rich bluesy/soul sensation, with a catchy urban drive adding body to the productions.

With ‘Insomnia’ EP, BEKREATIVE injected a mainstream fusion of R&B/atmospheric pop music…but he switched it up a bit and opted for a prominently old-school sound that’s so authentic and honest which perfectly reflects on his – and his crew’s – raw storytelling. A massive thumbs up!

Check out ‘N2DEEP’ below…

Must Listens: Star, Mind The Heart, Pride