REVIEW: THE SCRIPT – ‘FREEDOM CHILD’ 228

It’s been almost three years since Irish trio The Script released their last album, the chart-topping No Sound Without Silence. A lot has happened since then – the UK is preparing to leave the EU and America has a President who has divided the world unlike any other in history – but one thing has remained completely unchanged; the bands’ ability to create some phenomenal songs.

Freedom Child, written as a testament to the importance and power of freedom of expression, opens with the rather reggae-sounding “No Man Is An Island” and latest single “Rain” – which has already been streamed more than 10 million times on Spotify – follows minutes later.

“Arms Open”, the only true ballad on the album, is largely acoustic sounding, until about half way through, and allows front-man Danny O’Donoghue’s stunning and emotive vocal to shine while the song itself has quickly become a fan-favourite on the recent tour. “Rock The World” is a banger and sees guitarist Mark share in the songs’ spotlight thanks to a lengthy but lyrically inspiring rap in the middle, while “Mad Love” spreads the word about the strength of – as its title suggests – love, albeit through slightly odd references to great whites and piranhas.

Adding a rockier twist to proceedings, “Deliverance” is assisted by a simple chorus that just begs to be sung en masse. Despite having never been much of a politically-based band, the trio’s track “Divided States Of America” makes quite a statement and is the first stand-out number on the album, calling for people all over the world to put aside their differences and unite to make the world a better place for themselves and for future generations: “If we don’t all stand together, we will fall….they built these walls so high, let’s reach across that great divide.”

“Love Not Lovers” pays close attention to the failed ‘relationships’ so many people have found themselves in, and how we all need to take the time to focus on ourselves and all the good that we deserve if we wish to find true love in our lives. “Wonders” is another stand-out track, notably because of how it refers to living in the here and now, and doing all that you’ve ever dreamed of before it’s too late. If anyone needs or needed a reminder that life is short and precious and that each and every one of us should seize the day, this is it.

The toe-tapping rhythm of “Eden” is sure to make the track a smash at live shows while, focused on the reality that a large portion of society often judges people for the way they look, “Makeup” is a song which addresses how everyone should feel comfortable in their own skin, no matter what others might think. In a world where so many people are trying to fit in; being yourself, being a true individual -scars and all – is and can be a revelation – and all of this is explained through the lyrics of a track which, judging by the reaction has Twitter, has brought scores of fans to tears.

Having been released to all those who pre-ordered the album on iTunes a few days before the official release, “Written In The Stars” tells of the strength in taking all you experience, both the good and bad – of never shying away from those moments – and using them to tell your own unique story. It’s an anthem of epic proportions, sure to inspire and motivate millions around the world.

An instrumental titled “Awakening” leads straight into closing number and title track “Freedom Child”. It’s one of the more lyrically simplistic songs on the album, but its impact hits the hardest; simply put it’s a global message to all those who hear it to stand up for what they do, what they believe in and who they love. In the words of the band themselves: “Don’t let them take your freedom child.”

At a time of such global uncertainty and conflict, it’s a message, shared via this track and the album as a whole, that should be seen and heard by as many people as possible, and represents the journey the band have been on during their time together, their determination to evolve and speak out about things that matter to them, and perhaps most importantly, to give a voice to those who feel like they don’t have one while reminding each and every one of those people that they do, and that their voice, and who they are, matters.

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REVIEW: EMILY FAYE – ‘HERE I AM’ EP 34

Championed by Rolling Stone last year and named one of their ‘Ten New Country Artists You Need To Know’, Emily Faye’s passion for music stretches far beyond the short time she’s been in the spotlight as a star in her own right. Having gone from writing songs in her bedroom and studying at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute, she’s now released her debut EP called Here I Am.

Opening with “Open Road”, the collection gets off to a great and upbeat start, thanks to Faye’s soft, almost innocent vocal perfectly being perfectly paired with a toe-tapping country rhythm. “Giving In” is much slower, but maintains the EP’s focus on Faye’s vocal talents as she delivers the tracks’ strong, emotive lyrics that hold a a hint of defiance and rebellion in them.

“Game Over” is the kind of track that deserves to be played when listeners are taking a summer’s day drive with their friends. There’s an unmistakable ‘freedom and exploration’ vibe to the song – a perfect accompaniment to the upcoming summer break – that is sure to have the piece put on repeat.

Written about being comfortable with someone; a boyfriend, girlfriend, partner, or friend, who loves you for you, no matter what, there’s a reflective, deeply emotive and connective feel to closing number “Me For Me”, and as someone who has always struggled with self-confidence, the song reminded me that I have people in my life who wouldn’t and don’t want me to change who or how I am.

The EP as a whole has a very almost old-school, traditional feel to it, making it stand out from the many other releases of recent weeks and months that have focused more on the modern music styles which dominate the charts and the industry in general. The collection is a fantastic introduction to one of the hottest names in country music right now and will certainly have fans eager to see where Emily Faye goes and what she creates with her talent next.

THE SUMMER SEASON KICKS INTO GEAR WITH THE IBIZA BURLESQUE FESTIVAL 59

As summer approaches and the festival season slowly gets into full-swing, one of the hottest upcoming events is the second annual Ibiza Burlesque festival, which takes place Friday 25th – Sunday 27th May.

Founded by singer-songwriter Sapphira, who has found the music of the white isle a lifeline during her struggles with bipolar, this years’ event, organised by the globally established company Sapphira’s Showgirls which champions self-expression and fundraises in support of mental health, includes a tribute of her debut single Money$hot as well as a special guest appearance by Billboard Top 20 and Grammy Award winning artist, Kim Cameron with DJ Halo.

Other highlights of the festival include performances from several world class artists, hailing from seven different countries, with Innocence Bliss and Jamilia Wardknott, both from the UK, and Italy’s Scarlet Lovelace among those confirmed to entertain those in attendance. There’s also a swimwear parade, a couple of pool parties and, if you fancy learning a little bit of burlesque yourself, you can take a beginner class in Sex A Peel with Sheila Starr Siani or Fantastic Fans with Sapphira.

The festival works in partnership with premium venues on the island, with the premier event – the Bass & Tease gala – taking place at the distinguished Heart Ibiza, a state-of-the-art restaurant come nightclub. From the first day to the last, the festival is set to delight and excite all those who attend.

For a full programme of events and to purchase tickets, visit the festival website.