Song of the Day: Tell Me – Greg Banks

Today’s song comes from GREG BANKS’ funked up effort, ‘Tell Me’. The New Orleans native has been described as “The Saint of Soul”, bearing the influences of Prince, Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone.

Growing up the fifth of nine children, being raised by a single mother in some of the worst housing projects in Louisiana, Banks views his childhood as nothing less than a home and environment of love and from the age of five, Greg and his family knew singing had to be in his future. He would make a song up about everything and anything and sing constantly, which annoyed his brothers and sisters.

In 2012, with just two bags and a dream, Banks moved to NYC to continue the pursuit of his passion and was introduced to his manager and this partnership sparked the evolution of turning potential into purpose…and it wasn’t long that he mesmerised the audiences throughout NYC and was chosen by Deli Magazine as NYC’s best emerging artist.

With his previous hit singles ‘Your Love’, ’16’ and ‘Brooklyn Girl’ , this phenomenon, in the shape of ‘Tell Me’, is causing a further buzz across the industry. You must check this one out; sounds like this guy has been possessed by Lenny Kravitz and Prince –  all at once!

Interview with: The Fireflys

Runcorn rockers THE FIREFLYS made quite an impression on NEW LEASE MUSIC with their single ‘Sever’ which stole the Song of the Month title in March. Frontman Lee Wylding took time out from his very busy schedule and jumped into the interview hot seat to give us the lowdown on the band’s plans for the year and more…happy reading!

NLM: Hey how you doing? Thanks for taking out the time to do an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC

TF: Hi Tracey! We’re fine thank you, and it’s our pleasure to be talking to you now. We’re incredibly busy rehearsing and recording our 5th We have 2 new members in Joe Forber and Phil Conway, who are filling out our sound a lot more with their guitars. Our rhythm section is tighter than ever too as Sam Bramhall and Andie Packer have such a great chemistry. Cannot mention our Keyboardist Chris Tann too, he’s there, keeping it all together.

NLM: How was The Fireflys formed?

TF: We formed waaaay back in 2007 initially just to play the songs I was writing to our friends. It’s our ten-year anniversary in May – but that’s not strictly true as I lived in Canada until 2009, so it’s more like 7 years of us being an actual fully –functioning band. The way I looked at it was – indie music wasn’t really saying anything or sounding like how it fundamentally should, I’m a sucker for verse-chorus-verse, not trying to reinvent the wheel or anything, if you’re an indie band then at least try to be one – that’s how we came about.

NLM: What’s the reason behind the band’s name?

LW: I was blown away by the Rob Zombie film “The Devils Rejects” how visceral it was, from the characters to the cinematography, stark sunlights and desert landscapes, everything about the film just kind of clicked with me, as I’m such a huge horror movie fan, I thought it fitting that I’d name our band after it. What does make me laugh is most people have said at one point or another that we’ve spelt the word wrong, but that’s how it was spelt in The Devils rejects and in turn “Duck Soup” by the Marx brothers who are name checked in the film. Also the thought of these cute little bugs seems nice – but in reality we’re named after a gang of psychopaths!

NLM: Your single ‘Sever’ (from the album ‘The Illumination of Everything’) went down a treat on NEW LEASE MUSIC. What’s the public’s reception on the track?

LW: That’s easily one of my favourite songs, and I’m very proud that you featured it. I think our fanbase like that song but we have maybe only played it live once, I need to put a bit more effort into getting back into our live set.

NLM: What’s your favourite track from the album and why?

LW: Well ‘Branches’ was the song that lifted us a few rungs up the ladder popularity wise, I think with Old Trafford Stadium, the Homeless Ashes movie, MUTV, That’s Manchester TV, Bay TV Liverpool, BBC Manchester, BBC Liverpool and literally hundreds of college radio stations playing it, we went from “Almost totally unknown” to “Cult Indie band” in the space of 6 months, so I’ll go with that song as my fave, in terms of what it’s done for us.

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

LW: A lot of people say that you can hear many of our influences but we sound like none of them in our music, from City & Colour to Stereophonics to Gin Blossoms & Counting Crows, it’s a real melting pot of Americana & Indie music. I’d like to say we sound like R.E.M but I’m afraid they’re too legendary to be even considered in the same sentence as our band.

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

LW: Great question! And I have a very quick answer because the charts and the top 40 are absolutely full of the same staid pop formula with all the fingerprints wiped away, if you’re a 14-year-old really getting into guitar music right now, the only hope you have is to rifle through your older brothers or dad LP’s. Search out Neil Young’s Harvest and The Beatles White Album and link them up all the way through The Smiths to Pearl Jam & Oasis, the charts now represents none of this I’m afraid, so my answer would be no-one! Guess that wasn’t such a quick answer after all. 🙂

NLM: So what other plans you have for 2017? Any upcoming gigs or album?

LW: Well we’ve just signed a record deal with the fabulous folks at Strawberry Moon Records, and they’ll be releasing our next single “Grace” in the coming months. We play Bowlers arena Manchester on April 14th and return to the brindley theatre in the Autumn. Basically we will be doing as many shows as we can, and trying to record our fifth. Very busy times.

NLM: How can potential fans reach you?

LW: Twitter mostly which is @thefireflys and facebook – facebook.com/thefireflys

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

LW: Wow imagine if music didn’t exist! That would be horrible, no point living! When I was younger I was a cracking left back when I played football, so I think I would have really put the effort in to become a footballer for my beloved team –Manchester United!

 

 

New Track: Over – Sleeplust

Since claiming the limelight on NEW LEASE MUSIC with single ‘My Place’ last February, there’s been a reshuffle in the SLEEPLUST lineup, with two new members (vocalist Amber Ruthe – replacing Meghan Tartamella – and drummer Sarah Luffred) joining twin brothers guitarist Michael Pepe and bassist Joseph Pepe.

With the big change comes an even more honest approach to their songwriting with highly emotive arrangements of floating electro pop/rock soundscapes through their latest offering ‘Over’. Released last Monday, the almost four-minute single gives an account of one refusing to end a relationship and the burning desire to keep it alive.

To date, SLEEPLUST has released two EPs, their debut Self-Titled EP and its follow-up remix EP simply titled Remixes. Together, those EPs have accumulated over one million plays across digital streaming services, and tracks from both have also been placed on television shows such as The Real World, Bad Girls Club and Total Bellas.

Their new single is the beginning of the band’s next chapter as they prepare their forthcoming album for Summer 2017.

Have a listen to ‘Over’.

New Track: Say My Name – Cherry White

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Four-piece act CHERRY WHITE unveiled their first single in over a year, coming in the form of ‘Say My Name.’

Draped in strong elements of brooding bluesy rock, the perfect build up to the mind-blowing soulful vocals, ‘Say My Name’ serves as a platform for anyone who feel powerless to voice their opinions, whether it’s in the workplace or at a place they suppose to call home.

Their rock bluesy trademark earned them various live spots, including Planet Rockstock festival in Wales and White Trash in Berlin. Recently they chalked up their 200th gig with a show at London’s legendary 100 Club, cementing their reputation as one of the UK’s premier up and coming rock bands.

These guys are REALLY good; have a listen to their latest creation.

Album Review: Fairytale Land – Pedro Syrah

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Featured on NEW LEASE MUSIC back in September, PEDRO SYRAH‘s delicately warm effort, ‘Summer Night on Fairytale Land’ is the built up to his long-awaited debut album, ‘Fairyland’… and as much as I enjoyed the single – because it does spark a soul-glowing sensation – I wondered if I could survive ten tracks of the same tempo….

…Well I stand corrected, as from the very beginning, the bass guitar and drums receive a good workout in the introductory track, creating that real gritty funk. Soothing ambient soundscapes with, at times, feather light elements of Americana/new-wave follow through to the first half of the album, completed with tingling harmonies providing a real magical and folklore kick.

The second half of ‘Fairyland’ becomes progressively emotive and intense when Syrah takes to the limelight with put his vocals to almost stripped-back pieces – a combination that will smooth over manic traffic in an instant.

This collection is worth investing in for those quiet spring/summer nights…here’s your chance to have a listen.

Must Listens: Cocaine and Cigarettes, Paper Thoughts, Release the Clocks.

 

 

New Track: 2 Lovin U – DJ Premier x Miguel

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Hip-Hop icon, DJ PREMIER, and R&B superstar MIGUEL, connect on eclectic new single ‘2 Lovin U’.

Ever the revolutionaries in their own fields, the pair have no hesitation in creating unpredictable music together that is destined to strike a chord. Having previously teased fans with the collaboration via a video snippet on Miguel’s instagram during his Wildheart album campaign, the release of the album, (which was later nominated for two Grammy Awards), left fans in suspense as the track mysteriously eluded the tracklisting.

Now the mystery is resolved as we not only get answers and closure, but a stirring new single, edged with rocky guitar riffs and splashes of Hip-Hop undertones as DJ PREMIER scratches through the beat.

Shedding some light on to the situation, DJ Premier declared: “Miguel and I were vibing at a session and just really seeing what we could come up with. What we came up with was a dope, but a rough version of what you hear today. Miguel and I had deadlines and we never got around to finishing it. We both really believed in this version of the track and we both felt very strongly that it needed to come out and be released as a single. Miguel and I approached the label about releasing it and everyone was on-board”

As MIGUEL has previously stated, he and Premier were always going to find a special way to release this track, now entitled “2 LOVIN U”; and true to their words, they have. “The track having a different title gives it a new light” DJ Premier states. “Wait until you see the video!”

But for now, check this sizzling hot collab!

Song of the Day: Justice – Cherryshoes

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CHERRYSHOES have made a return with a completely upbeat south through their single, ‘Justice’.

The Welsh pop/rockers, seemed to have dropped the infamous hypnotic tone, featured in their previous effort, ‘Ride On’ and adopted a slight housey, 1990s Massive Attack feel in the almost five-minute offerings.

have a listen and see what you think.

Song of the Day: Shredded Jeans – Mark L. Oakes

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Today’s song is ‘Shredded Jeans’ from Belgian singer/songwriter MARK L. OAKES, taken from his debut album, ‘Call Me The Moon’.

With the acoustic guitar and woeful violin taking centre stage and existing in sweet harmony, the nine track production is certainly worthy of the description as the ‘ideal soundtrack for a karmic road trip’.

After much deliberation, ‘Shredded Jeans’ made it to the hotspot for its heartfelt and subtle  influences of folk/rock heavyweights, Neil Young, Tom Petty…oh this is too good to miss; have a listen.

Song of the Day: Sever – The Fireflys

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After a prominently heavy hip-hop week here on NEW LEASE MUSIC, I decided to take it down a couple of notches and inject some soothing rock through this track entitled ‘Sever’ by THE FIREFLYS. The four-a-half minute piece of heaven is taken from their latest album, ‘The Illumination of Everything’ released last April.

Take time out and have a listen.

Upcoming Release: The Grass Ain’t Always Greener – Darren Parry

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After a successful 2016, DARREN PARRY  is not slowing down (literally) anytime soon and kicks off the new year with a ZZ-Top-esque stomper, ‘The Grass Ain’t Always Greener’, set for release later this month.

The self-penned reflective production features the Welsh multi-award winning singer/songwriter on lead vocals and acoustic guitar, with long-term collaborator, Rob Devereux providing the go-wild guitar riffs, and vocalist Kaysha Louvain (heralded as the “Welsh Bonnie Raitt”) on backing vocals.

Last year,  Darren extended his impressive CV by writing and producing for other artists, including teen sensation, Nina Jones (‘Promises’) – featured here on NEW LEASE MUSIC-  and Lee Gilbert (‘Soar’). ‘Promises’, written especially for Nina, has received a Semi-Finalist position in the 2016 UK Songwriting Contest (judges included Stuart Epps, Shelley Peiken and Kipper Eldridge) and an enviable Runner Up position in the 2016 USA Song Of The Year contest (judges included Alicia Keys, Steven Tyler and U2’s The Edge).

‘The Grass Ain’t Always Greener’ is out for download on 28th January via iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and all good retailers.

For now, go crazy and check the single.