Album Review: The Introduction – Zoe and Zara

Since appearing on NEW LEASE MUSIC with their single ‘Get Up Now’ last January, my mind would sometimes wonder on the whereabouts of twin sisters ZOE & ZARA. A few week ago, my curiosity was quashed when received an email from the duo.

After five years on London’s music scene, the pair decided to start a new chapter on their journey. So after much deliberation, long hours in the studio (which came with tears and near-breakdowns – their words, not mine!) ZOE & ZARA now present their debut album, ‘The Introduction.’

Recorded at The Blue Studio in Dalston (my hometown!), ‘The Introduction’  displays a delightful journey of Jazz (modern and from the golden era), old school soul and neo soul alternating between the down right funky and the ambient/easy listening.

The flood of tears and near breakdowns definitely paid off –  their neo-soul signature is more rich and refined (compared to their previous releases). The sisters’ venture into other genres by far didn’t disappoint. Their soothing vocals in fourth effort ‘Hey Sir’ were well suited to the golden jazz/big band/rat pack combo.

After reading the review, I think you guys know how I feel about this album. All there’s left say is – ZOE & ZARA, I salute you!

Check out the album and song recommendations below:

Must Listens: Weather Is Golden, Autumn Afternoon, Butterfly, Talk About It

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New Track: Your Fool – Marlon Percy

In the run up to the release of his EP ‘ The Little Things, London-based singer/songwriter/producer, MARLON PERCY unveiled his latest single, ‘Your Fool’.

Boasting an eccentric and alluring mix of jazzy keys and soulful vocals, ‘Your Fool’ documents the power a woman has over a man, both sexually and psychologically, in today’s society.

Having gained support from BBC Radio 1Xtra and BBC Introducing, Marlon recently had one of his collaborative projects, ‘Leaving’, released and promoted by The Vibe Guide. He also features on the single ‘Pay Your Way’, by Fat Lion Hi-Fi, recorded at Red Bull Studios, which was supported by SBTV and DJ David Rodigan.

Marlon has played at venues across London, Brighton and Bristol, as well as at festivals including Boomtown and Farr Festival, showcasing his distinctive live set which blends keys and vocals with triggered beats and bass all going through his laptop for manipulation.

‘The Little Things EP’ explores human experience of love, loss, fear and purpose. Of the EP, Marlon says:”‘While all of the songs deal lyrically with potentially heavy issues, the melodies and the chilled electronic production style creates an uplifting atmosphere. To echo the fluctuating nature.”

So here’s your chance to check out the first installment of the EP…

 

Mixtape Review: The Blue Tape 2 – Dizzy Rambunctious

Following the release of mixtape ‘Wond3rland’ in March, DIZZY RAMBUNCTIOUS isn’t messing around and slams another one, this time entitled ‘The Blue Tape 2’.

The title of the nine-set project pretty much gives it all away with occasional jazz-esque tones alluringly meeting the New Jersey producer’s trademark – that bombastic bassline.

Although there are a few great tracks, I’m not sure that this mixtape has the same oomph as its predecessor, ‘Wond3rland‘. Have a listen and see what you think – and don’t be afraid to comment below!

Must Listens: Days, Sazon, Sunshine Notes.

New Music Video: Mention Nothing – Thidius

South London alt-pop five piece THIDIUS have brought their latest single ‘Mention Nothing’ to life with a psychedelic and eye-catching video. ‘Mention Nothing’ is the lead single from their upcoming release ‘Inversion.’

The video features singer Izzy Risk performing stunning vocals, and contrasts kaleidoscopic, distorted imagery with black and white footage. Thidius’ five-piece line-up allows them to create a sound that is multi-layered, but beautiful and cohesive. The song itself features catchy guitars and soulful singing which, when combined with a funky rhythm section and more moody synths, allowing ‘Mention Nothing’ to be at once upbeat and atmospheric.

THIDIUS’ line up also include Ben Hayes on synths, Tom Driessler on bass and Harry Pope on drums. Hailing from New Cross in South East London, THIDIUS are in good company and have made a name for themselves through collaborating with a plethora of creative’s from this growing artist hub. They achieved recognition by supporting their South London contemporary King Krule on his 2014 European tour. THIDIUS’ live performances have received praise from the likes of London on the Inside, who described them as “a young band that are completely in their element on stage.”

Blending a range of influences including jazz, funk and synthpop,THIDIUS have an exciting sound that is both soulful and ethereal. The video brings this out by taking simplistic footage of Izzy Risk’s charismatic performance and giving it colourful, dizzying distortion. With an EP to follow this summer 2017 looks set to be a defining year for these south Londoners.

Album Review: Fiero – Population 7

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Hailing all the way from the West Midlands, nine piece hip-hop/neo-soul act POPULATION 7 have dropped their brand new album entitled ‘Fiero’, earlier this week.

A real sultry soulful/jazz fusion takes centre stage and swagger throughout the nine-track production, with smooth Erykah Badu-esque vocals and the occasional, laid-back freestyling giving the slick combo that extra kick.

I’ve found a real treasure here – so don’t disappoint me now and CHECK IT OUT!!!

Must Listens: Blindspot, Slugums, Wi – Fi, Fiero, Paz6 & FoxP2.

 

 

 

 

 

New Track: Meditations – Mr. Metronomo

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Coming straight out of Los Angeles, experimental band MR METRONOMO released their latest single Meditations, available on all major music digital platforms, including Bandcamp.

Judging from the newest offering, their music can’t be pigeonholed under one genre. Led by lead vocalist John Perea, this almighty band typically provides a steady/laid back flow of electronic beats, horns and low-key vocals, with Rory Mahtews offering up the smoothest guitars riffs.

The rest of the members include: Tenor Sax, Sarah Rosenkrantz on vocals,  Isaac Lopez on bari sax, Gabe Martin on trumpet, Nick Kennerly/Bonnie Brooksbank on violins, Mathew Witmer on viola and Evgeny Tonkha on the cello. That’s a pretty big band, which can fuse a variety of new sounds together; a completely different sound that’s very fitting for that lazy Sunday morning.

Meditations is the latest release from their 13-track album, The La Metro Experience, released in August…take time out and have a listen.

New Lease Music’s Top Ten Music Videos of 2016

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10. Down – XamVolo

9. Honey B – Bella Loka

8. Waters Run Deep – Coco (ft. Shola Ama)

7. Not Staying The Same – Big Rain & Trigga Rider

6. Royal Blood – Sound Glyphics

5. Vogue – 3Bubble & J. Gray

4. Don’t Be Shy – Kane

3. Divinity Machine – Crisis Renegade

2. Falls – Awir Leon

  1. Pixelate – Shaefri

EP Review: Chirality – XamVolo

xamzolo-chirality-ep

If you heard of XAMVOLO then you’ll certainly heard his leading soulful/jazz number, Down…and if you dig the single, well you’ll be in for a treat with his four-track EP, Chirality.

The laid-lack set is, by large, a continuation of Down – a hazy juxtaposition of the aforementioned genres, which showcase a Sade-level of class – and that’s REALLY hard to top.

With irresistibly hypnotic pieces that can be hailed as modern classics, this (clever) cool cat has positioned himself as a promising and timeless artist who will have music fanatics, all from generations, buying his future projects blind. If you’re not convinced, hit that play button.

Must Listens: Down, Gold Leaf

Album Review: A Band On Hope – A Band On Hope

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Award-winning alt hip-hop duo A BAND ON HOPE have released their 13-track album of the same name last week…and you’ve been warned; it’s not your run-of-the-mill mainstreamer.

Producer/multi-instrumentalist Kristian Sharpe and lyricist Ill Literate do not present a single dull moment. The two cleverly fuse hip hop, rock, funk, soul, blues, electro and a hint of jazz with raging guitar riffs and infectious (80-ish) flying synths which gives a respectfully wayward and futuristic feel to each offerings in the collection.

A Band on Hope is just like Marmite – you’ll either love it or hate it; there’s no in-between with this one…but the only way to find out is to hit that play button on the four-track sampler.

Must Listens:  Dead Angels, Low Budget High Life, Phantom of Hipopera, Russian Dolls, Spaced Out Break Out

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.