QUARTERLIGHTS: LIVE ACOUSTIC SESSION

QUARTERLIGHTS


Quarterlights, the rock/pop band, who formed at Royal Holloway back in 2013, recently released their EP ‘The Real Life’. The band consists of Ollie Clark  (Vocals, Piano, Saxophone, Violin), Tom Molloy (Lead Guitar), Andrew Skipper  (Bass Guitar) and Luke Beasley  (Drums). 

They came to the studio for a chat and live, acoustic session – follow the link to listen to the show (in two parts)…

PART I

PART II


Interview conducted by: Isobel Sheeran and Halina Hayre

‘The Real Life’:

Itunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/the-real-life-ep/id1155073513

Spotify – spotify:artist:3S4hlPFZxiNsOA1QOQVnsJ

 

FESTIVAL REVIEW: NOS Alive 2016

From the 7th – 9th July 2016, the music and arts festival NOS Alive in Lisbon, Portugal, celebrated its 10-year anniversary. With the beautiful weather and location, the festival has grown considerably over those 10 years, evolving into an event popular not just within Portugal but across Europe and the world. It now attracts both local and international visitors, as well as widely spread big and upcoming artists from a variety of musical genres. Having been fortunate enough to attend the festival this year, I had the opportunity to see headliners including Radiohead, The Chemical Brothers and Arcade Fire as well as other big names from a range of genres, such as; The 1975, Years and Years, Biffy Clyro, Two Door Cinema Club, Band of Horses, M83, Wolf Alice, Tame Impala, Foals, Pixies and Grimes. The list is endless and it was awesome!

As it was my first festival ever, I was a little anxious at the prospect of going to one abroad instead of remaining within the UK. However, following the three days I can confirm that the festival combined everything that I love about music in an environment that was both safe and organized but also just the greatest fun! From the moment you arrived following the 4pm opening, whether by car, train or bus from the local campsite, there was live music as well as people handing out lanyards and colorful cowboy hats, ready to greet you. Entering the festival area with the sea on one side and beautiful cultural landmarks on the other, it was evident that the light-up sign along the edge that said, “The Dream is Real” could not have been more accurate. From there, the music, starting officially at about 6pm on one of the three main stages (NOS, Heineken and Clubbing), continued non-stop through to the next morning’s sunrise.

With a line up that continues to get better every year, it was hard to pick just a few stand out performances. The Chemicals Brothers however, packed the main NOS stage, with the entire crowd hanging onto every beat of the intense bass, enjoying their endless drop teasing. The incredible light show and addition of two giant robots also helped to create an atmosphere of communal excitement. Two Door Cinema Club, who were very well received on the Heineken stage, also deserve a mention and were a personal favourite, with their ceaseless collection of indie rock hits that got the entire crowd jumping and dancing. It was this feeling of celebration and enjoyment that was evident in each crowd across the course of the festival and what really made the few days. With the range in age of the audiences, from the most adorable 6 year olds all the way up to seasoned festival veterans, the collections of friends and families were open, enthusiastic and respectful. Evident particularly, in the mosh pits of Foals and Biffy Clyro, the voluntary nakedness for the big screens during Tame Impala and the presenting of a bra to Father John Misty! As well as, of course, the non-stop insane dance moves throughout the nights.

The festival was also home to many independent food stands serving a range of items ranging from wraps to burgers, pasta, pizza, and churros. The bars set up around the arena also sold endless Heineken beer along with a mix of many other drinks and I feel the need to mention that the bathrooms were also surprisingly adequate! Overall, I have only positive things to say about my experience at NOS Alive 2016! With a capacity of only about 55,000, the festival combined the joys of being a part of an amazingly excited crowd whilst maintaining a community feel and intimacy with the artists. The line up speaks for itself and I know the festival will only continue to grow from here based on its past success. If you are at all interested in exploring alternatives to just UK festivals, NOS Alive is one of the firsts you should consider!

*For more info visit: http://nosalive.com/en/

ALBUM REVIEW: Tom Odell – 'Wrong Crowd'

Tom Odell’s ‘Wrong Crowd’ Album Review


There was a lot of excitement in the rise up to Tom Odell’s new album ‘Wrong Crowd’. Prior to the release, Tom teased his fans with the slow reveal of some of his albums’ hits, such as ‘Wrong Crowd’, ‘Here I am’, ‘Magnetised’ – songs which, like so many others, made me remember just how talented he is. His first debut album back in 2013, ‘Long Way Down’, made it into the Official Chart. In the interim, his few, but powerful tracks, have had a positive response from listeners.

Three years on, ’Wrong Crowd’, released on June 10th 2016, delivers a rather depressing set of songs of heartbreak and misery – yet its catchy rhythm and lyrics, makes you want to hear more. His influence of Elton John really shines through – powerful piano riffs and new percussion-based beats, brings a new vibe to his music – different from previous releases. This development has benefitted his material considerably, by creating something quite different from the usual chart numbers.

Odell’s sold-out shows, titled ‘No Bad Days Tour’, begun on the 20th of April 2016 in London, and he will continue to perform in multiple festivals this summer, such as ‘T In The Park’ in July.

The tracklist for Wrong Crowd is as follows:

1. Wrong Crowd
2. Magnetised
3. Concrete
4. Constellations
5. Sparrow
6. Still Getting Used to Being On My Own
7. Silhouette
8. Jealousy
9. Daddy
10. Here I Am
11. Somehow

(Listen/Buy on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon*)

Each song seems to give a different feel; some good in exploiting his incredible vocals, some more attributed for energetic live performances (which got him spotted in the first place). One of the great things about the new, innovative album, is that a large majority of the tracks are ‘hit-worthy’ – in that they become well-known, whether making it to the charts, or simply having air-time. I believe that in Odell not rushing into producing music for label requirements or financial reasons, instead, draws passion and a heart-felt approach into every word and the overall sound; really reflecting on his success and influence as a young artist.

Ever since he released his first album, he has been climbing up the ladder to recognition and success, and I will patiently sit in the corner waiting for his next release, as this album will adequately ‘feed my thirst’ of his music till the next album.

*Tickets and Merchandise available on his website: http://www.tomodell.com

ALBUM REVIEW: Netsky – '3'

Originally published on inthemeantime.me.uk

When it comes to the drum and bass scene, the first artist that usually comes to mind for me is either Sigma or Netsky. But as this title suggests, this is not a review of Sigma, today I’ve decided to review the highly anticipated third album by Netsky.

For me, I only got to know about Netsky after the start of the new year when I heard ‘Rio’ which features Digital Farm Animals. The chilled out vibes and the slower tempo, combined with the DnB made for a quaint mix which I personally liked, a lot. It was not until I discovered ‘Work It Out’ which also featured Digital Farm Animals, that I actually became a fan of his music. It was certainly a departure from my usual tropical house and cheese vibe, but I liked it.

Three Tracklist:

  1. Thunder feat. Emeli Sande
  2. Work it Out feat. Digital Farm Animals
  3. Rio feat. Digital Farm Animals
  4. Leave it Alone feat. Saint Raymond
  5. Who Knows feat. Paije
  6. Go 2
  7. High Alert feat. Sara Hartman
  8. TNT feat. Dave 1 from Chromeo
  9. Stay Up With Me feat. Arlissa
  10. Forget What You Look Like feat. Lowell
  11. Bird of Paradise
  12. Jauz X Netsky – Higher

I’ll try not to talk about every song..

To kick things off, Netsky partners up with Emeli Sande to produce ‘Thunder’. Starting with a string based instrumental introduction, it was an immediate cue for me to continue listening. In fact it became one of my favourite songs on the entire album. Emeli’s vocals were perfect for this song. I was glad to see that ‘Work it Out’ and ‘Rio’ were on this album because they were the first songs that made me a fan and so to see them on his third studio album made smile. ‘Leave it Alone’ was an interesting song which I found to be very funky in its approach. The backing vocals reminded me of ‘Higher’ by Sigma, but when the beat came in after the intro, I knew I’d like this song, and it certainly did not disappoint. But what surprised me the most was the next song. ‘Who Knows’ was certainly a surprising package. The mellow vibes along with the combination of string instruments and Paije’s vocals (which reminded me of John Newman) made for a beautiful song. ‘TNT’ was a departure from Netsky’s usual vibe. It was funky, it was something that I really got into. I think the vocals by Chromeo assisted in adding a certain degree of funkiness. No complaints though, I really like Chromeo as an artist and so to see them back is a welcome thing to see.

Whilst looking for music, I’ve been gathering lots of songs which I’ve found to be chilled in its approach, and I found a new songs to add to my list in ‘Who Knows’ and ‘Bird of Paradise’. In ‘Bird of Paradise’, the beautiful mixture of ambient noises, string instruments and piano, juxtaposed with the drum and bass beat makes for a wonderful combination.

‘Go 2’ showed promise. I could just about grasp a beat to the song. But it’s not something that I would say I enjoyed. Instead lets just say that it left me confused. Some songs that didn’t seem to hit the right chord with me were ‘Stay Up With Me’ and ‘Forget What you Look Like’. With these though, they’re not necessarily bad songs. They are in fact pretty good. They have the standard vibe that you would expect of a DnB-based album. However, I feel this is one occasion where releasing instrumental versions first followed by the release of the versions with vocals as ‘remixes’ might have made me enjoy it a lot more. I can certainly get into those songs, I just think I would’ve enjoyed it a lot more if it had been released as an original mix and a separate vocal remix. Something that is commonplace in the music industry, especially when it comes to EDM.

The Verdict..

The verdict from me personally is generally positive. I’ve criticised a few songs (sort of). Just like most EDM these days, there has been a shift in what can be considered ‘mainstream’. I’ve seen DnB evolve with that shift. From liquid DnB to just full on dirty DnB, you will always find something that you will enjoy. The thing I saw with Netsky was that there weren’t moments when the quality of the album peaked or troughed. Instead, it remained consistent. His style always shone through which is what we generally expect. We want more, but we want their type of more. The only gripes I had were based on my own confusion or what I would consider to be a better way to release the tracks. This certainly does not mean that it was flawless, but putting all my little gripes to one side, I will put my hands up and say that I loved this album.

ALBUM REVIEW: Boys Noize – 'Mayday'

Most people are unaware of Germany’s big techno scene and thus, are probably also unaware of Alex Ridha, aka Boys Noize. The Berlin-based producer started out in 2007 with his album Oi Oi Oi, ruthlessly banging brute electro beats in German club kids’ ears. By now, Boys Noize is among the most well-known techno DJs in the world, having collaborated with Skrillex as a duo called Dogblood, and played in sold out venues like Fabric. Boys Noize introduced me to techno with his 2009 club-tune ‘Jeffer’ and soon I found myself on my first ever rave with Boys Noize headlining. That’s why Boys Noize holds a special nostalgic feeling for me and it worried me when new song ‘Starchild’, featuring lyrics by singer Poliça, was released 2 months ago on his YouTube channel.

The first released song from his new album Mayday sounded more like Disclosure and other commercialised electronic music in the charts (not that I don’t like Disclosure, but in my opinion techno should feature less lyrics and more hard bass). But my anxiety that another of my favourite electronic artists had turned mainstream was unfounded and I was positively surprised to find that Mayday opens with 3 really convincing tracks. All of them are dark and vicious tracks a la Boys Noize style, that belong perfectly into a sweaty, flickering underground club, clanking the bass between the crowd. I can’t deny that the next song ‘Rock the Bells’ is captivating, but sampling Run DMC’s ‘Peter Piper’? Missy Elliot already did that back in 2002, so I immediately had the word unoriginal in my mind.

‘Euphoria’ and ‘2 Live’ both feature memorable melodies, but the songs take too much time to actually start and I was immensely annoyed by the added pop lyrics as the track would have worked better on its own. After this point the album comes to a long haul, because nothing really seems to happen. The tracks are not distinctively weak, but quiet repetitive and similar sounding. The next-to-last song ‘Hardkotzen’ I had to skip, because it was simply inaudible and gave me horrible headaches, which I guess because of the song title, was Boys Noize’s intention (‘Hardkotzen’ translated means ‘Vomiting harshly’).  The last track ‘Birthday’ stands out because of its rap lines by Hudson Mohawke und Spank Rock and bubblegum-pop beats, which is why at the end I’m still not sure if I really liked the song or absolutely hate it.

Whereas the album started out by surprising me with confetti tracks, Mayday dropped in the middle because of solid, but not really grandiose and innovative tracks, that are too repetitive. Boys Noize is missing something in these new tracks, most notably the spirit and ambition from his previous work.

Review by Carolin Wolfsdorf

 

GIG REVIEW: Majid Jordan @ Heaven Club, 30/05/16

Canadian R&B duo Majid Jordan started their European tour with a sold out event at the popular night club Heaven in London, in which they showed how amazing they were in both their performance and crow pleasing aura. This was clearly shown in their ability to keep fans moving, cheering and active for the time they were on stage (even with a range of female clothing being launched at them, much to this reporter’s surprise.)

Perhaps the most interesting factor of the event was the musical duo taking musical cues not just from the R&B scene but elements from trance, soul and reggae. With a hint of newretrowave design (with regards to the background), it created a very unique musical backdrop that plays to the strengths of Jordan Ullman’s producing skills and Majid Al Maskati’s lyrical skill. As such, there was an interesting mix of some very different style of music, along with Majid’s ability to keep the crowd active throughout the performance. This not just with the skill of the crowd singing, but also by their willingness to record the event, clap when required and even request an encore to end the night.

Perhaps the only flaw I could have is that at certain points Majid seemed to a bit reserved, but this may have been due to technical difficulties or just nerves for this first night on his European tour. However, these were minor issues that would not significantly take away from an amazing event showcasing perhaps some of the most interesting musicians to come out of the R&B scene for some time. The next stop on their tour is Manchester on the 31st of May, followed by Paris on the 2nd. Nevertheless, if this show was any indication of the duo’s skill then the following events will only get better and could truly bring an interesting and unique style of R&B.

Review by Syed Aadil Ali

TRANSVIOLET: "Seeing the World Not As It Is, But How It Could Be"

Among a wave of young artists writing songs which not only represent entertainment, but also a defiant statement that their generation is as aspirational and determined as any other previously, US electropop quartet Transviolet stand out not only for their brilliant music but also the message behind it. Sarah McTaggart (vocals), Judah McCarthy (guitar), Michael Panek (bass) and Jon Garcia (drums) were in the midst of their first headline tour of the UK when Insanity Radio caught up with them. At the Boston Music Rooms in London, we met to talk about their music, “millenials”, and their plans for the summer festival season and beyond.

Insanity Radio: How has your tour been going so far?

Sarah: Amazing! It’s our first headline run in the UK, so we didn’t know what to expect, but a lot of the kids we met on the Twenty One Pilots tour have been coming to these shows and it’s been fun.

Insanity: So far, what have you found are the main differences between touring in America and here in Europe and the UK?

Sarah: You guys have a lot of stairs.

Mike: The drives are much shorter.

Judah: Yeah, it’s easier to get from venue to venue. Also, most venues and clubs here allow younger kids in, which we’re very appreciative of as a large number of our fans are younger. We prefer having younger kids in the room ‘cause they’re crazier, louder and get the older cool kids to get into it too.

Insanity: How have you found the difference between playing as a support, as with Twenty One Pilots, and stepping up to play your own headline shows?

Sarah: I think as a support act, the people there are usually there for the headliner, which is great ‘cause you’re making new fans, but the pro of being a headliner is that the crowd are there for you and are singing your songs back to you.

Judah: When the people in the room are singing at the same volume as the music coming from the stage, that’s awesome.

Insanity: You’ve got a four-track EP out right now, what is your favourite song on it to perform live?

Sarah, Jon and Judah together: “Night Vision”.

Mike: For me, “Bloodstream”’s pretty fun.

Judah: Yeah, we’ve been opening our set with “Bloodstream” and it’s a cool dark, heavy way to start the set.

Sarah: And we’ve added a new intro to it, which is pretty awesome.

Insanity: Nice! So when you write songs, do you think about how you’re going to play them live?

 Mike: I hadn’t, but now I’m starting to.

Judah: On our record, and with all the songs we’ve written, I record as much guitar as possible so it’s impossible to play live.

Sarah: There are normally about seven layers.

Judah: I can’t recreate it, so I have to write something new to play live!

Insanity: When you’re writing songs, do you tend to start with one musical idea, or a lyric; how does your songwriting process work, in effect?

Sarah: I think it’s different every time, sometimes I’ll come in with vocals over piano chords, ask the guys what they think about it and start adding things. But sometimes it’s the opposite, one of the guys, who all produce now, will come in with a track and ask what we think about it, so then I start writing vocals over that. It’s different every time.

Insanity: The lyrics to Girls Your Age” struck me as very emotional and interesting, did that come from a personal story?

Sarah: Definitely, it’s my personal coming of age story, talking about the first time I was in love, or thought I was. It’s about being young and a bit naïve, and being in love with somebody older, and looking back trying to understand those feelings now that I’m older. It’s kind of a cliché, the younger girl falls for the older guy and she’s manipulated, but I don’t know if I was manipulated or who was manipulating whom. I couldn’t work out fully what the story was, so I wrote the song to try and figure it out myself.

Insanity: The other standout song on the EP is “New Bohemia”. It’s a very positive way of presenting young people which is rare in the media, was that a conscious decision?

Sarah: Yeah, I was looking for a way to describe our generation as I saw it, because there is a stigma about our generation that everybody’s entitled and lazy, and we have no game plan for the future, but I don’t think that’s the case – I think there are a lot of young people who are intelligent and resourceful and want to change the world for the better.

Insanity: British media right now seems to have an obsession with the term “millenials”…

Sarah: Yeah it’s the same in the States. It has a really negative connotation attached to it. I feel like we’ve been handed a timebomb, told to suck it up and stopped whining.

Insanity: What’s cool about “New Bohemia” is that it expresses that everybody is individual, in contrast to the idea of “millenials” putting a blanket term on people with real differences.

Sarah: It labels everyone in the same way, as if we’re all just sitting here chanting Drake lyrics and drinking or something. Not all millenials are the same.

Insanity: In summer you’re coming back for Reading & Leeds Festivals, have you done any big festivals in Europe before?

Jon: We just played our first festival, but we didn’t know it was going to be a festival.

Judah: Until we got there we had no idea what it was!

Sarah: When we got there it was fun. It was called “Les Nuits”.

Judah: (Struggling with French pronunciation). It was “The Nights”, anyway, in… French? Anyway, it was awesome, a great country to play in.

Insanity: Do you know much about Reading & Leeds, or the lineup?

Judah: We’ve been asking around since we got here.

Sarah: Everyone tells us to wear shoes we don’t mind getting messed up.

Judah: We’re playing quite a few festivals this summer, and I don’t want to know too much about the lineup ahead of time ‘cause at any festival we do play, there’s so many bands that we want to see but there’s no time. You show up, play your set, do promo and press and then you leave.

Jon: I know we’re playing the same day as Red Hot Chili Peppers so I’m looking forward to that.

Sarah: Isn’t Die Antwoord playing? I want to see them if there’s any way, they put on quite a show.

Judah: I know the lineup’s incredible, I remember looking through it and thinking “oh my god!”… it’s stacked.

Insanity: Are you planning on putting out any new music before then?

Sarah: Probably not… it’s not up to us, we have music finished and ready to go, we’re ready to put it out when everyone else is.

Judah: We’re sitting on a trigger just waiting for the word.

Insanity: If there were any festival or venue in the world you haven’t played yet that you could, what would you pick?

Mike: Red Rocks is what Judah would say.

Judah: Well that’s a venue, but Glastonbury is the top of my bucket list. We’re also playing Governor’s Ball in the States this year, which is a big one for me. There’s so many…

Sarah: Coachella!

Jon: Coachella would be cool ‘cause it’s so close to all our friends in California; it’s where they all go.

Mike: I know which one I want to play, it’s one in Alabama called Hangout Festival, it’s on the beach and every stage is literally right on the water.

Judah: I’d like to do a tour like Lollapalooza, I know they have one in South America now, and I think they have one in Germany as well. All the festivals!

Insanity: You’ve toured America and you’ve been over here in Europe and the UK, where else in the world would you like to head to next?

Judah: Asia, Japan…

Sarah: I’d like to do Asia because it’s so culturally different to us.

Jon: Australia as well…

Mike: Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Kuwait… all the good ones!

Judah: Mike’s on tour by himself there! (jokingly) North Korea?

Insanity: So one final question: for someone unfamiliar with Transviolet, how would you sum up what your band represents?

Laura: Seeing the world not how it is, but how it could be.

Judah: Yeah, that’s good.

Mike: That’s the headline.

(Interview conducted by Michael Bird.)

Check out our gig review of Transviolet at the Boston Music Rooms. The band’s self-titled EP is out now.

GIG REVIEW: Transviolet @ Boston Music Rooms, 18/05/16

2016 has been a ludicrously exciting year for new music, and one of the bands at the very forefront of that are Transviolet. Having only released four songs to the world so far, they’ve already attracted an ever-expanding hardcore fanbase, many of whom were won over on their recent tour with Twenty One Pilots. As brilliant as their debut self-titled EP was, there’s no acid test quite like your first UK headline tour. Insanity caught Transviolet at a sold out show at London’s Boston Music Rooms, and they certainly did not disappoint.

Before that, though, the capacity crowd got a more than welcome taster of the talents of London’s own Miamigo. Drawing elements from The 1975 and The Killers and throwing them into a blender with 80s new wave textures and an intangible additional spice, the four-piece were consistently impressive over the course of their 30 minutes on stage. If anything, the set got better as it went on, building from fun electro-indie that entertained, but rarely excited, into more unusual sounds. The bluesy strut of “Forever” was particularly striking, with a chorus that shifted time signature so effortlessly it was barely noticeable. Ending their set with the intriguingly left-field minimalism of “Hard to Love”, Miamigo made more than a few friends among Transviolet’s fans.

If the ecstasy among many of those fans when the headliners took the stage is anything to go by, then they won’t be in venues as intimate as the Boston Music Rooms for long. “Bloodstream” is a genius choice of opener; the dark, pulsating synths of its recorded version bolstered live by heavier guitars and bass. Transviolet’s music as a whole is meatier and more “rock” in a live environment, and all four of the band members throw themselves into every crescendo without slipping out of the tight structure of the songs. Many good bands are full of energy, but great ones are made up of characters. Vocalist Sarah McTaggart is a captivating presence, assuming the role of mesmeric rock star but ensuring the focus is always on her chameleonic, stunning voice.

What’s also very reassuring about the band’s live performance is that they are very much a band, rather than a vehicle for their singer, and each musician plays an integral role in how the songs are recreated live, whether it’s Judah McCarthy’s varied guitar lines, the pumping bass undercurrent from Mike Panek or the great balance between sampled and full-on rock drums provided by Jon Garcia. Those songs are, without fail, excellent. Inevitably it’s the already released tracks that get the biggest reactions, but unreleased gems like the dreamy “Astronaut” make the imminent prospect of a full-length Transviolet album tantalising. “New Bohemia” is predictably rousing, while it’s obvious why “Night Vision” is almost unanimously designated the band’s favourite song to perform live, as its chorus hits harder and soars higher each time it bursts out of the speakers. The best is left until last, an encore performance of “Girls Your Age” that perfectly captures the dark electronic magic of its recorded version and sends the crowd home very happy indeed.

Transviolet’s show proves not only that they can recreate their songs in a live environment to a standard that equals, and at times even betters, the EP performances, but also that they have a catalogue of material at least as good that’s ready to be unleashed on the world. The band return to the UK this summer for the Reading & Leeds festivals, and if you happen to be going then they’re a part of the lineup you do not want to miss.

Review by Michael Bird

Check out our interview of Transviolet here. The band’s self-titled EP is out now.

ALBUM REVIEW: Radiohead – 'A Moon Shaped Pool'

Radiohead did it again and completely blew me away with their new album. After 5 years of over and over listening to The King of Limbs (2011) and other Radiohead masterpieces, A Moon Shaped Pool, their 9th studio album dropped on the 8th of May. After locking myself into a dark room for several days in order to fully enjoy and let the album grow on me, I finally feel confident about writing a review worthy of the album.

A Moon Shaped Pool is introduced with its first released single ‘Burn The Witch’ which starts with a glimmering guitar and Thom Yorke’s dream like voice, letting you drift into another dimension, higher and higher, the more sharp the violins and guitar become. This dream though escalates into a shivery nightmare in the last seconds and Yorke’s voice and its instruments literally pierce through your head in horror. A masterpiece which sets the atmosphere for the following songs. The next song’s title ‘Daydreaming’ perfectly describes its tone, transporting you onto a summer grass field with Yorke’s melancholic voice shimmering in the background. This daydream though doesn’t turn into a nightmare,  but rather stays continuously dreamy and fantastic, ending with electronic sounds metaphorically letting you carry on trance like into Radiohead’s next song ‘Decks Dark’. The dreamy atmosphere is kept through the piano theme but mixed with choir voices rising up mid song, but is finally broken when the drums and bass kick in, transforming the song into a chilled rock song. ‘Desert Island Disk’ is among the less distinctive numbers (I hate myself for writing that). The song is clear and comprehensible, with less decorative bells and pianos in the background, making it more ordinary and less memorable.

‘Ful Stop’, a song that Radiohead played in their live performances in 2012 for the first time, was massively enhanced for the record. The live version suffered from its echoing sound mixing it into a chaotic blur of beats, whereas the new studio version with its threatening bass and wafting synthesiser builds up, claustrophobic and oppressive, marking the album’s height and a cut for the first part’s dream. ‘Glass Eyes’ then starts with less (positive) chaos in the background, being a very regular (a word that doesn’t describe Radiohead at all) quiet song, with its violins and piano. ‘Identikit’ is first a fairly tidy song with its rhythmic guitars and drums accompanied by Yorke’s smoothing voice, echoing in the background. But the ordinary is broken midway through a choir and later again by a guitar solo by Johnny Greenwood, which more sounds like a Nokia ringtone from the early 2000s (I also hate myself for writing that). This song is the first where I think that Radiohead would have been better off to keep to the simple. The next song is one of my favourites on A Moon Shaped Pool as ‘The Numbers’ embodies Radiohead’s artistic diversity in just over 5 minutes, starting off as a Jazz influenced piano dominated number, transferring into an atmospheric and room filling state of trance and over to a melancholic ballad accompanied by violins escalating in a emotional breakdown, setting me off rollercoaster of feelings.

Thankfully ‘Present Tense’ brought me out of the hole of emotions by being more uplifting again, letting you sway along to the melodic guitars and mysterious choir. ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier…‘s course feels similar to the album’s title, slowly closing the circular Moon Shaped Pool of light dreams and oppressive nightmares filled with emotions of fear, hope and melancholy. The album is perfected by ‘True Love Waits’, which was first played back in 1995 by Yorke with his acoustic guitar. Now, the song seems to be in his final version, finalising A Moon Shaped Pool after 21 years, because true love waits. The song stands at the end of the album as a summary of the evolution of Radiohead, clearly separated in its theme with less intrusive instruments and just pure uncovered beauty.

A Moon Shaped Pool is an album that is united by hustle in the background, the combination of bells, pianos, guitars, drums and synthesiser, creating the most melodic and quiet album of Radiohead’s career. The album stands for the uniqueness of its creators, but at the same time as a sequel to its predecessor. At the end of the emotional rollercoaster, I realise that I didn’t pay attention to any of the lyrics, but to be honest, Yorke could sing about bringing out the garbage and his voice would still put me in trance into fantasy world, creating the wildest pictures in my head (even though Radiohead’s lyrics are always full of meaning and poetic genius).

Review by Carolin Wolfsdorf

ONE SENTENCE REVIEWS: letlive. – "Reluctantly Dead"

Guess who’s back, back again – it’s One Sentence Reviews! Check out what the music team thought of the new single from soul punks letlive.

Carolin Wolfsdorf – “Very generic rock, but alright to listen to.”

Molly Pearson – “I’m not quite sure what to think – I feel like I want to like it as I enjoy this genre of music but maybe the song is one that needs to grown on people.”

Katie Gamble – “Not bad, a little bit funky for this kind of genre.”

Thomas Gibbens – “Sounds fun, but a bit repetitive.”

Zoe Stanton – “A catchy tune but sounds similar to many songs of this genre; great to listen to to get you in a good mood.”

Young Kuk Noh – “Sounds very repetitive and quite generic, which is to be expected in this saturated genre of music; some variation would have been nice, but they played it safe.”

Sophie Shapter – “If you like Linkin Park, you’ll like this; catchy, punchy chorus, give it a listen!”

Alice Copeland – “Really liked the guitar vibes but felt the guy was shouting a little too much.”

Michael Bird – “Surprisingly straightforward from this band, Jason’s vocals are fantastic but the song lacks the energy typical to the group’s material.”

The Insanity Music Awards

On the eve of the 58th annual Grammy Awards, we at the Insanity Radio Music Team thought we’d compile an alternative list of nominees for three of the prestigious award categories, based on who we think merit the accolade. Which of our choices do you think most deserves each award? Do you think we’ve done better than the Grammys? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Song of the Year

Calvin Harris & Disciples – “How Deep is Your Love”

Carly Rae Jepsen – “Run Away With Me”

Jason Derulo – “Want to Want Me”

Kygo – “Stole the Show” (feat. Parson James)

MNEK & Zara Larsson – “Never Forget You”

 

Album of the Year

Lianne Le Havas – Blood

Hudson Taylor – Singing for Strangers

Bring Me the Horizon – That’s the Spirit

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5_7z5UaTi0&list=PL-5yo8m5X2R1szwiLGJa28yHeRXmduOXF

Major Lazer – Peace is the Mission

Imagine Dragons – Smoke + Mirrors

 

Best New Artist

Years & Years

Låpsley

Creeper

Frances

Astronomyy

How Daft Punk Changed My Life