REVIEW: PAPER HAWK – ‘THE TIDE’ EP 36

Opening with lead single “Trails”, the 4 track EP from Brighton alt-folk duo Paper Hawk gets off to a strong start with a song that’s all but an anthem – and lyrical reminder – about not going back to something, notably a relationship, that is/was volatile and no good for you. It’s one of those songs that anyone who has endured negative situations in their lives will identify with, and one sure to find itself on repeat.

Next comes “The Fourteenth Floor.” Addressing long distance love and relationships, it’s not quite as strong as its predecessor, but with a impressive vocal performance, one cut from the demos the pair recorded on the same night they wrote the song, there is both a rawness and a vulnerability to the track which will likely leave anyone who hears it feeling that spine-tingling feeling that they can do achieve anything – especially when it comes to love.

There’s a fizzing, slowly building energy to “Northern Sky”  which ensures it’ll go down a storm when it’s performed live. At a time when mental health and personal struggles are all too commonplace, the track offers a soft, comforting, but at the same time strong arm of support to anyone who needs someone by their side to help them through difficult times.

Closing number “Written In The Lines” is all but a final chapter, a closing few paragraphs as it were, to the story told within “Trails.” Focusing on those final few life changing moments of a relationship when you reflect on how it should have ended some time ago, together with the toll it’s taken on you, physically, mentally and emotionally, the vocal performance very much mirrors that of “Trails”, bringing the EP’s story full circle, and finishes it off in a reflective, but also accepting manner – something rarely found or displayed in any artists’ music today.

Paper Hawk’s The Tide EP is out now.

 

 

 

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SUPERSTAR DJ AVICII FOUND DEAD AGED 28 39

The Swedish-born producer and DJ known as Avicii has been found dead in Oman.

Publicist Diana Baron said in a statement that the 28-year-old DJ, born Tim Bergling, was in Muscat, Oman.

“The family is devastated and we ask everyone to please respect their need for privacy in this difficult time,” the statement said.

Avicii was a pioneer of the contemporary Electronic Dance Movement and a rare DJ capable of worldwide arena tour. He won two MTV Music Awards, one Billboard Music Award and earned two Grammy nominations. His biggest hit was “Levels.”

His death comes just days after he was nominated for a Billboard Music Award for top dance/electronic album for his EP “Avicii (01).”

His hits include “Wake Me Up!” ”The Days” and “You Make Me.” He is the subject of the 2017 Levan Tsikurishvil documentary “Avicii: True Stories.”

Avicii had in the past suffered acute pancreatitis, in part due to excessive drinking. After having his gallbladder and appendix removed in 2014, he canceled a series of shows in attempt to recover. He quit touring in 2016 but continued making music in the studio.

“It’s been a very crazy journey. I started producing when I was 16. I started touring when I was 18. From that point on, I just jumped into 100 percent,” Avicii told Billboard magazine in 2016.

“When I look back on my life, I think: whoa, did I do that? It was the best time of my life in a sense. It came with a price – a lot of stress a lot of anxiety for me – but it was the best journey of my life.”

REVIEW: JOSH WHEATLEY – ‘I KNOW YOU’ EP 47

Having first caught the attention of Radio 2, and in particular, Janice Long, Josh Wheatley has only seen the interest in his talents rise over recent months. Inspired by the likes of David Gray, in his own words, he has a “self-diagnosed addiction to writing” and now, he’s shared just a sample of what he’s been working on with the world via his ‘I Know You’ EP.

There’s a rather psychedelic, disco-dance sound to opening number “Calling” and although the instrumentation often overshadows Wheatley’s voice, it makes for a considerably strong start. With a toe-tapping, hip-swaying melody that will be stuck in your head after just one listen, and a smooth almost angelic vocal, “I Know You” was a great choice for a single release, and is easily a contender for the strongest track on the collection.

“Worry” maintains the uptempo rhythm the EP’s running with and I dare you to try and not tap your fingers along to it if you’re working at a desk, sat at a table or even driving in your car. “Notice” is a tad slower – and I do mean just a tad – and is the most lyrically simplistic of the tracks featured. With that said, it does showcase Wheatley’s vocal well and like its predecessors, it’s sure to have hands clapping and toes tapping.

Closing number “Savior” has a rather Paolo Nutini-eqsue vocal to it (imagine it performed with a distinctive Scottish accent and you’ll know what I mean) and although it’s far from bad, it could be considered as the weakest of the EP’s five tracks, purely because it’s lacking the power and exciting ‘flair’ of the others. Nevertheless, it ends the album on a good, rather solid note.

With a lot of new talent popping up all over the country, Wheatley’s EP helps cement the young singer-songwriter as one of the top, hot picks for 2018. Whether he can maintain his position there however, only time will tell.

Josh Wheatley’s ‘I Know You’ EP is available now.