REVIEW: ESTELLE MASKAME – ‘DARE TO FALL’ 118

After the phenomenal success of her DIMILY book series, some fans might have been concerned that Estelle Maskame couldn’t and wouldn’t be able to follow up the trilogy with something as strong when it came to her next release. Well, I’m pleased to report that she has indeed succeeded with her follow-up, Dare To Fall, and I can even go as far as saying it’ll win her an even bigger fan-base.

One of Estelle’s biggest strengths has been able to create characters all readers can identify with and such characters are littered throughout the pages of this book, with a heavy focus on family and friendships. I won’t go into specifics (if I do, there would be spoilers) but what I will say is that I personally identify with central character MacKenzie – someone with a close group of friends she can confide in and who, like so many of us in this world, has experienced a tragedy.

As someone who lost a loved one earlier this year, this book resonated with me strongly and I had it finished in less than two days. It may not have been a year since my loved one died but the reality is I already know that I’ll never be the person I was before I lost them again. Whether I’ll be a better or worse person a year from now or whether I’ll feel somewhat better in myself or life in general remains to be seen, but, regardless, this book has reminded me that all that we experience in life can be a lesson – need it be a good or bad one – and that no matter what, each and every day allows us to grow into someone more than we were the day before.

Dare To Fall is available online and from all good bookshops now.

Previous ArticleNext Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

REVIEW: DAVID FEDERMANN – ‘WATER’S EDGE’ EP 35

Mostly unknown outside of France, jazz musician David Federmann has enlisted the help of several friends to collaborate on his new EP, which blends jazz and electronica together in a way perhaps never heard before.

Opening number “Water’s Edge” doesn’t make for the strongest of starts, as the piece works more as a spoken word track rather than an actual song. Those who like rather psychedelic sounding instrumentation might enjoy this, and vocalist Karen Luke’s voice is captivating in some respects, but it’s a shame that her voice hasn’t been put to better use.

Featuring Coco Jonza, “Significant Other” fares somewhat better, if only because the tempo has been kicked up a few notches however what lets it down is its length – at just over six minutes, it could and potentially would work and play much better for those who listen to it, were it cut down to maybe four.

“Dream It” is perhaps the most radio friendly track on the collection and features Awa Sy. With a toe-tapping rhythm, it would perfectly suit being played in clubs across the country and has just enough momentum to leave listeners feeling energised and upbeat.

The introduction to “In Between” is rather pointless and the track might hold a listener’s attention better were the song to kick straight in with its first verse. Camille Delage’s appearance on the song works, given how, for lack of a better word, ‘different’ sounding the track is, but sadly, said difference is not represented in a particularly good way.

Federmann’s music tends to work best when it’s upbeat, and nowhere is this more evident than on “Ring Road.” Yes the instrumental intro is a little long winded, and lyrically isn’t not the most sophisticated or complex piece ever shared, but nevertheless, it’s four and a bit minutes of considerably enjoyable musicianship.

Not much can really be said about closer “133”, featuring Valli, other than that it maintains the more positive and up-tempo style of its predecessor and as a result, the collection ends on a better note with which it started.  Ultimately, with its array of guest vocalists and several genres and styles reflected through its six tracks, “Water’s Edge” is an EP that certainly won’t suit everyone, but for those looking for something a little ‘out there’, they won’t go far wrong giving this a few listens.

Water’s Edge is available now and for more information on David Federmann, give his page a like on Facebook or follow him on Twitter. Header photo credit: Bartosch Salmanski.

REVIEW: PORT CITIES – PORT CITIES 65

Made up of Breagh MacKinnon, Carleton Stone and Dylan Guthro, the debut album from the trio more commonly known as Port Cities, has finally arrived, and certainly lives up to the rather high expectations that started building several months back.

The single “Back To The Bottom” makes for a strong start, which continues with the toe-tappingly upbeat “Don’t Say You Love Me.” Blending both sultry, almost soulful vocals with a rough, more rebellious rock edge, “In The Dark” is a highlight, although not by much of a margin as there really isn’t a weak number to be found on the entire album.

Love plays a big part on and in the album and nowhere is this more evident than through “Sound Of Your Voice”. It’s a shame Valentine’s Day has come and gone, as this would work as a gorgeous backing track to a romantic evening, but putting that aside, it’s also one of those songs that can and does make you think about that special someone in your life, and how even just their voice, means so much to you.

“Where Have You Been”, addressing the feeling of being absent and others being absent in your life, is, in some respects, darker than many of the songs that come before and after it – however, the punch it brings is a much needed one and adds tone and depth to the collection. Closer “Astronaut” rather appropriately leaves listeners feeling a little in awe at the reality of how small each and every one of us is in compared to the world and the universe we’re a part of. It’s a song about the power of dreamers and dreams and a reminder to all of us to not let them get away from us.

The collection as a whole works as a soundtrack to chilled-out evenings alone at home, parties with friends and summer drives down the motorway with the wind in your hair. With such versatility, both lyrical and instrumental, displayed through each track, it’s an easy, but early contender for album of the year.