Tuesday, 31 December 2019

12 Albums of 2019

We're going back to old school Music In Time Blog, to share our favourite 12 albums of the past 12 months. We've also been lucky enough to see the majority of these musicians bring each album to life over the past year as well; in no particular order, enjoy our favourite releases of 2019...

No Words Left - Lucy Rose
Release Date: 22nd March
Genre: Folk
Tracks: 11
Singles: Conversation/Solo(w)/Treat Me Like A Woman

I've seen Lucy Rose perform live a few times now, and whenever I listen to her recorded material it always transports me back to those moments. This album translates her live sound perfectly, her vulnerability, story-telling and musicianship all come to life. The first song I heard from this album was 'Solo(w)', at a much needed point in my life, and I fell in love with it. Now listening to the vinyl since the release, I've found that 'Conversation' and 'Nobody Comes Round Here' are also new favourites. 

When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? - Billie Eilish
Release Date: 29th March
Genre: Pop
Tracks: 14 | 17 (Re-Issue Bonus)
Singles: Bitches Broken Hearts/You Should See Me In A Crown/When The Party's Over/Come Out and Play/When I Was Older/Bury A Friend/Wish You Were Gay/Bad Guy/All The Good Girls Go To Hell/Everything I Wanted

I'd heard of Billie Eilish awhile ago, around the time that 'Ocean Eyes' gained popularity, but then Billie's music blew up! An album dripping with heavy bass, steady beats, catchy melodies and incredible riffs. 'When The Party's Over' was the first song I really enjoyed from the album, with 'Bad Guy' being the guilty pleasure to sing along to. Now, the latest release 'Everything I Wanted', is easily one of my favourite songs of 2019. Billie and Finneas really are a dream team. 

Colours - Walking On Cars
Release Date: 12th April
Genre: Indie Pop
Tracks: 9
Singles: Monster/Coldest Water

Walking On Cars' debut album 'Everything This Way' has been a favourite album of mine for the past three years, so the follow up album had a lot to live up to. 'Colours' stepped up to the mark and after seeing the band perform the majority of songs live, I'm an even bigger fan. They've done an acoustic version of 'Monster', which is a definite highlight from the album, as well as 'Two Straight Lines' and 'One Last Dance'

Cuz I Love You - Lizzo
Release Date: 19th April
Genre:  Pop / R&B
Tracks: 11 | 14 (Deluxe) | 16 (Super Deluxe)
Singles: Juice/Tempo/Water Me/Truth Hurts/Boys/Good As Hell

I haven't been a huge fan of songs that have made it into the charts this year, but I have loved every song of Lizzo's that has made it into the Top 40. I watched her session Tiny Desk Concert in the summer and that's what made me listen to her album. Lizzo brings a great mix of soul and R&B in this release, and it's refreshing. It was that session that also made me love 'Cuz I Love You', I've had 'Boys' stuck in my head for a good section of time, and of course 'Truth Hurts', thanks to that infamous live performance at BET Awards featuring Sasha The Flute. 

Not Waving, But Drowning - Loyle Carner
Release Date: 19th April
Genre: Hip Hop
Tracks: 15
Singles: Ottolenghi / You Don't Know / Loose Ends

Loyle Carner's releases have been a favourite of mine for a little while now, and this album is no exception. Jam packed with collaborations featuring Tom Misch, Jorja Smith, and his own Mum, amongst others. The lead single 'Ottolenghi' has a calming, soulful tone and a story to tell, 'Loose Ends' compliments Jorja's stunning vocals with Loyle's emotive words; and whilst the focus is more on Loyle's Mum, Jean, the poetic, 'Dear Ben' is one of my favourite tracks from the album. Listen to it and you'll understand exactly why. 

Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent - Lewis Capaldi
Release Date: 17th May
Genre: Pop
Tracks: 12 | 15 (Deluxe)
Singles: Bruises/Lost On You/Fade/Grace/Someone You Loved/Hold Me While You Wait

The breakthrough artist of 2019 is undoubtedly, Lewis Capaldi. His songs have featured in every nook and cranny of the year, and I was lucky enough to see him live at Barn On The Farm in the summer. His set was half live music therapy session, and half stand up comedy. I genuinely love every single song on this album, but 'Maybe' is a lesser known highlight for me. I think 'Bruises' and 'Grace' would have to be in my top three as well. 

i,i - Bon Iver
Release Date: 9th August
Genre: Folktronica
Tracks: 13
Singles: Hey Ma/U (Man Like)/Faith/Jelmore

Bon Iver are one of my longstanding favourites. They truly evolve with each release and i,i is up there as their most experimental, taking another step away from their original folk vibe, closing in on electronica but still tying the two together. I first heard 'Hey Ma' live at All Points East earlier in the year, and was worried, but with time, it's grown into a highlight of the album. However, 'Naeem' and 'Jelmore' were favourites from the first listen and I am now super excited to see Bon Iver live again next year. 

Good Luck, Kid - Joseph
Release Date: 13th September
Genre: Folk
Tracks: 13
Singles: Fighter/Good Luck Kid/Green Eyes

Another longstanding favourite of mine is Joseph, in fact I'd go as far to say they are my ultimate favourite. From the first time seeing them on an early slot Saturday morning at Barn On The Farm a few years ago, to now, their third studio album. Their music holds a real passion and grit that you don't often find elsewhere. My stand out single is the title track 'Good Luck, Kid', punchy, rocky and catchy. The songs that hold more meaning to me and therefore are my other two favourites, have to be 'Revolving Door' and 'Enough In Your Eyes', but I genuinely would recommend listening from start to finish - you won't be disappointed! 

Philophobia - Amber Run
Release Date: 27th September
Genre: Indie Rock
Tracks: 11
Singles: Affection/Neon Circus/The Darkness Has A Voice/What Could Be As Lonely As Love/Carousel

Amber Run are back! A Music In Time favourite. Their latesst album 'Philophobia' translates well to their live set and really holds a lot of emotion. They released 'Carousel' last year and it definitely whet the appetite for fans. Renowned for their gritty bass and guitar riffs, punchy drums and emotive and powerful vocals bringing the lyrics to each song to life. Another song that fits in with that vibe and was incredible to see live was 'Neon Circus', opposite to that is the stunning 'Amen', I'll let the song do the talking... 

Without Fear - Dermot Kennedy
Release Date: 4th October
Genre: Folk Pop / R&B
Tracks: 13
Singles: Moments Passed/Power Over Me/Lost/Outnumbered

Another artist I enjoyed seeing live this year was Dermot Kennedy. I admit, after becoming obsessed with 'After Rain' back in 2016, I lost track of Dermot's music and didn't really listen to him until this summer. His studio album 'Without Fear' was then released in October and I haven't stopped listening since. Opening with my favourite track of his 'An Evening I Will Not Forget', and continuing with grit, power and emotion. 'Outnumbered' was my favourite to experience live, because everyone got involved with singing and swaying along. The other song that really stands out to me is 'Lost', it really shows off Dermot's emotive writing and power in his vocals, and the contrast of heavy drums compared to the fragile piano really comes alive. 

Kiwanuka - Michael Kiwanuka
Release Date: 1st November
Genre: R&B / Soul
Tracks: 14
Singles: You Ain't The Problem/Hero/Piano Joint (This Kind Of Love)

Michael Kiwanuka's 2012 album Home Again, was one of my favourites at the time, and I was pleasantly surprised when 'Solid Ground' appeared on my release radar... As always, it's a track full of soul, warm vocals and stunning strings and calming piano. In contrast to this, 'Rolling' offers a rockier edge to Kiwanuka's music, more electronic and incredibly catchy. 'Living In Denial' combines both these vibes together and I think it's a good musical summary of the album. 

Everyday Life - Coldplay
Release Date: 22nd November
Genre: Alternative
Tracks: 8 (Disc 1) | 8 (Disc 2)
Singles: Orphans/Arabesque/Everyday Life/Daddy/Champion Of The World

Coldplay return with a stunning two-sided album; and there are so many highlights from this release for so many reasons. It opens with the orchestral soundscape 'Sunrise', a track that would be fitting on a mindfulness app, which I think highlights the sense of soul searching 'Everyday Life' encapsulates (as the track and the album as a whole). 'Orphans' has been overplayed on every radio station, it gets stuck in everyone's head, and it was the first that many heard when released; but it is arguably one of the most Coldplay tracks on the album.

Friday, 20 December 2019

Feature: Peace Worm

Originally, a passion project of singer-songwriter/guitarist Jack and drummer/muti-instrumentalist Luke. Peace Worm has evolved over the past two years; after releasing their debut self-titled EP in 2018, Alex joined on bass to bring their live set to life. Having taken time out to write and record, the second EP was then ready in time for Josh to get involved on guitar and backing vocals. ‘Got A Light, Handsome?’ follows the familiar alternative rock (renamed bog rock) vibe from their debut EP, and was released earlier this month. They will also be taking to the stage for some acoustic sets following the release over the winter months. We caught up with Jack, Josh and Alex for a quick Q&A... 

1. Which song is your favourite from, 'Got A Light, Handsome?', and why does it stand out to you? 
Jack: I think I'd have to say 'Beauty Behold'. A song I wrote about my childhood, being taken to see trains go under me on the train bridge in the town I grew up, so I could wave at the driver. Sorta growing up from there and gradually losing your innocence. It'd riddled with good and bad memories. It's difficult though as all the songs mean a lot to me and all have personal reasons to be attached to them but I think it's simply because it's been with me the longest. 

2. If you could tour with two other bands/artists (dead or alive), who would you choose and why? 

Alex: We'd be happy to support anyone but it'd be a bit of a band dream to open for Weezer, and Manchester Orchestra would be a bit personal dream for me. 
Josh: Ohh good question. Two very different answers from me. John Mayer is my idol (not very rock and roll) but I'd love to watch him play and just learn! Secondly, Biffy Clyro put on an amazing show every time and it never gets old. It'd be amazing to be affiliated with the best British band going at the moment! 

3. Where in the world would be your dream place to do a live recording?

Jack: Okay, who wouldn't want to record in a volcano? That's just every boys dream no? It'd probably be that, or maybe on the moon in some sci-fi dome with a neat view of Earth. I say cave could be a close second though for a warm ambient recording. 
Josh: The arctic would be cool... (get it?)
Alex: The Wisconsin cabin that Bon Iver recorded his first album.

4. What are your plans for 2020? 

Jack: 2020 is looking to be a highly productive start to the new decade. New releases, new songs to be written and a lot of gigging to come. We'll be starting our live acoustic sessions and performing them around the local area too, which will be a bonus for us and hopefully for you as well. All dates will be on our website as they happen! 

5. Invent a pizza... What would it be called and what would be on it? 

Alex: 'Bone by Bone', the first non-boneless pizza.
Josh: Any kind of meat, but that really expensive lab grown stuff from actual animal cells. I'd call it the reluctant vegetarian... 

'Got A Light, Handsome?' EP Review:
The EP opens with a punchy and catchy track, that has understandably gained support from Peace Worm's local radio station. 'Here She Is' sets the tone for the rest of the EP, with the guitar steadily growing into a contagious chorus, that you will instantly be singing along to. The groovy bass line in 'The Producer' stands out alongside the funky guitar riffs; growing to smash and thrash their way into the heavier chorus out of the four tracks. Jack's songwriting really shines through on 'Beauty Behold', a cinematic story backed by Peace Worm's trademark guitar, bass and drum combo. 'Normal' is a song of two halves, and ironically quite the opposite of any 'normal' song. It seems to showcase all that they stand for and create. Contrasting heavy guitar-led rock with smooth and melodically trippy sections; as well as electronic versus acoustic. This is what they mean by bog rock! 

Peace Worm's Links:
'Got A Light, Handsome?' (Spotify): https://open.spotify.com/album/3NuFW6VJzFwbYEvdplA7v9
'Got A Light, Handsome?' (iTunes): https://music.apple.com/gb/album/1490508924
Website: peacewormuk.com

Music In Time's Links:
Contact: musicintimeblog@gmail.com

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Feature: Toby Burton

Toby Burton is a 22 year old singer-songwriter from Sheffield. He's landed appearances at festivals such as Looe Music Festival and Underneath the Stars; as well as support slots for the likes of Meadowlark, Izzy Bizu and Seafret. Toby released his debut EP 'Fall Into You' in 2018, which featured on BBC Introducing Sheffield's 'Top 50 Songs' last year. Now set to release his new single, 'Lost & Found' on 6th December (2019), following many gigs locally to finish this year off. 

1. Who were your main influences and what was your inspiration when writing your latest single, 'Lost & Found'?
Well, funnily enough I actually wrote this song at a similar time last year! I went to some Christmas markets and had the BEST time, so as I was travelling home I wrote the first few lines of the song, and the song itself is essentially about wanting to run away with someone that you love spending time with, just to get away from everything for a while! Musically I was listening to a lot of music by artists like Lewis Watson, City and Colour and The Paper Kites, but as it came to the recording/mixing of the track me and my friends took a lot of inspiration from Daughter as well.

2. What have you been listening to lately?
I have been loving a band called MUNA recently, as well as The Band Camino! (I got tickets to see them and I’m very excited).

3. If you were to tour anywhere you wanted, which three countries would you most like to visit and why?
I think first of all, I would definitely love to do a full UK tour - there’s so many places I’d love to play that I haven’t played before. But beyond that I’d love to tour the US and Germany - for some reason a lot of my streaming audience seems to be from those two places so I’d love to go there and explore, as well as play to some really cool people!

4. What are you plans for 2020?
In 2020 I’m just looking forward to playing as many shows as I can, as well as releasing new music! I’ve got lots of cool new songs that I can’t wait for people to hear. I’m also going to be working in a new job so that’s going to be an exciting challenge as well!

5. What's the worst thing you've lost and what's the best thing you've found?
I think the worst thing to lose is definitely people - sometimes you grow apart from friends or people that you used to be really close to and that always sucks! But I also lost my copy of Pokemon Lead Green when I was like 10, and that was pretty sad too. I think the best thing I ever found was this little hidden lake in the town where I went to university - it was tucked away down a little country path amongst all the trees, and I was so impressed! Either that or Spotify Premium, because who doesn't love that?

'Lost & Found' Review:
'Lost & Found' starts with an ethereal whirl which continues throughout the track. Familiar guitar strums set the tone for this cosy melody; and Toby's ability to tell a story through his lyrics is brought to life, with his clear but warm vocals. Growing into the chorus with an athletic drum beat to coincide with the words 'running' and 'escape', and a glimmering soundtrack to any autumnal adventure. 'Lost & Found' is a warm hug at a cold time of year. An anthemic acoustic song bound to get stuck in your head. 

Toby Burton's Links:
'Lost & Found' (Pre-Save/Pre-Order): https://ffm.to/lost_found
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/tobyburtonmusic

Music In Time's Links:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/MusicInTimeBlog
Instagram: www.instagram.com/musicintimeblog
Contact: musicintimeblog@gmail.com

Friday, 10 August 2018

Rewind #13

Waterloo Sunset - Ferris & Sylvester
Ferris & Sylvester have gained a whole load of attention with their recent EP and now they've completely smashed this cover of a Kinks' classic. They've still got some performances left over the summer, so if you're heading out in the sun, keep an eye out! 

Amen - Amber Run
One of our all time favourites are back with yet another beautiful EP 'The Assembly', and have just announced a US tour later this year. As usual, Amber Run have created a stunning selection of songs, with beautiful lyrics, incredible harmonies. 

I'm Not Your Man - James Humphrys
Another favourite of ours, James Humphrys, is smashing it! He's just released his latest single 'I'm Not Your Man' and it's already making its way into Spotify playlists and everyone's ears. Keep your ears and eyes out cos I think this is THE song for James... 

Rascal - Annabel Allum
Annabel is smashing 2018. She's been releasing incredible tracks one after the other, culminating in an EP release ('Sorry I'm Not Perceptible') and is getting huge support from Radio 1 right now. Rascal is her latest track supported by a music video, Annabel's smashing the festival circuit this year, and she's heading out on tour in October... 

Us - James Bay
James Bay is back! He's been playing festivals all over the world, and he's recently released his second album 'Electric Light', we've had this track on repeat a fair bit over the last month or so, and we think it's one you'll love too... 

Music In Time's Links:
Contact: musicintimeblog@gmail.com

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Feature: TOMMA

TOMMA is an up and coming artist, guitarist and producer based in Guildford, UK. He's previously co-produced Lauren Nicole's debut album 'Tough Love' and is now releasing his very own debut EP 'The City'. We caught up with him for a quick Q&A... 

1. This is your debut EP, how have you found the experience of creating it?
The process from the start took nearly a year an a half. The first song written was 'Catfish Calling' (single) and the production for the song was done while writing so it was a weird song to have to finish and polish off. The other songs were written, then all rerecorded for the final track. It took me ages to finalise what songs were going to go in the EP. There were 8 songs to start with so some had to be dropped. There is an acoustic version of 'Catfish Calling' that was released with the single as a B-side. So in total this year ill be releasing 6 songs. The EP has 5 tracks and they’re all quite different.

2. Which track are you most excited for people to hear, and why?
I can’t wait to get reactions to 'Crystal Clear' as the song is very different to all the other ones on the EP. the EP is under the Indie rock genre and 'Crystal Clear' is a short progressive acoustic track and I can’t wait to hear what people think. But the whole EP is worth listening to 😉

3. Who do you take inspiration from musically and lyrically?
Musically I take a lot of influence from bands like Bombay Bicycle Club, Everything Everything, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Foo Fighters and loads and loads of others but whats funny is I wouldn't describe my music to relate necessarily to those bands. I feel like in some cases you can hear some Kings of Leon influence and Catfish and the Bottlemen but my writing is highly influenced by my life events and emotion, which is why I can’t write a particularly happy sounding song, the rage and anger that comes from bad situations in life drive me to write much more than happy emotions for me. Everyone is slightly different that way and for me music is a great way to express the way I feel.

4. Where do you hope this EP will lead you?
I hope the EP will be a starting point for me. It's a portfolio project as I’ve never released songs under my own name. There is one collaboration on the EP with David Waters but other than that, the EP is all my project, my little baby and I can’t wait to get peoples reactions to it. I hope it shows people what i can do and in the long run help me improve musically and especially in the vocal department. I’ve never been much of a singer growing up and this EP was me forcing myself to learn to sing and control my voice. I have a lot to learn and a long way to go to be very happy with the way my voice sounds and getting peoples feedback on my EP will be the best way for me to learn how to improve.

5. Would you rather live one life that lasts 1,000 years OR ten lives that last 100 years each?
I would rather live 10 lives that last 100 years over 1 life for 1000 years because in all my lives i'll be able to experience things in a brand new light and learn new traits and experiment with so many different walks of life. For me in this life, music and well being are the most important things to me but if I had to live another life I would see things a completely different way. Living a life for 1000 years you would still be the same person and will only be able to learn a finite amount of things as you get older, but starting again sometimes gives you better opportunities.

'The City' EP Review:
'Temple' ignites the EP with a flame that grows bigger and bigger. Starting off with a beautifully simplistic acoustic guitar, layers and layers create a blanket of very talented songwriting. With harmonies coming at you from all angles, you're sucked into the passion of the song which clearly shows through the vocals. Before you know it you're immersed into a symbol crashing high that gets you pumped to hear more.
'Catfish Calling' is the single of this EP, instantly you know you're about to hear a stand out track. Clearly displaying classic Indie Rock style, the fast paced guitar contrasting with slower supporting drums brings you into a heartbeat trance. The vocals in this track shows vulnerability...with a punch as it's speech like melody compliments the effortlessly intricate background. Flawless songwriting shines through as it takes you through highs and lows, whilst getting lyrics trapped running round your brain. This single is one to keep your eyes peeled for.
As the title track of this EP 'The City' shows a whole new level of showmanship for TOMMA, a very polished track that would never show to be from a new up and coming artist. The instrumentation, perfectly carrying and pushing the vocals throughout, to new and unexpected levels. With influences from Kings of Leon and You Me At Six peaking through, it's clear he's done his research of what exactly it takes to create a catchy track that feeds my hungry ears. 
'Blockade' brings a more electronic vibe to our ears, whilst still keeping true to his style. TOMMA explores through instrumentation in this track, and it's exciting, each section has a new instrument that keeps you on your toes, all whilst tapping along to the steady beat. This track proves a clear example of how pause can be powerful, it works so very well, it takes a good songwriter to pull it off. Narrative driven, this track takes you through the emotion of every single word, even when introducing French, as if there wasn't enough to please us already. 
TOMMA takes a big risk with 'Crystal Clear' and it sure pays off. Giving an unguarded, stripped back feel, every aspect compliments each other beautifully. His vocals give a more mature, raw and edgy feel throughout it's softness, whilst it's simple and honest guitar gets you addicted instantly. This track perfectly brings you back down to earth and is the best way to end this fast paced, exciting EP. I hope to hear more experiments like this one in the future, as TOMMA has clearly performed versatility. 

TOMMA's Links:

Music In Time's Links:
Contact: musicintimeblog@gmail.com

Friday, 3 August 2018

Spotlight: I See Rivers

Originally hailing from Northern, Southern and Western parts of Norway, the now UK based trio, I See Rivers, are back with another fantastic EP. They move in a musical landscape that they've perfectly dubbed  'Float Folk'. Eline, Gøril and Lill have shared stages with the likes of Newton Faulkner, Cosmo Sheldrake and Fredrik William Olsen; and festival highlights include Green Man Festival, Belladrum Festival, and Sound City. 

'Play It Cool' EP Review:
‘Play It Cool’ opens up this EP perfectly with it’s staccato instrumentation combined with glorious harmonies that all blend together perfectly. Their musicianship clearly shines through, as the instrumentation supports in all the right places, laying the faultless foundation for the intricate vocal melodies. This track plays effortlessly, smoothly transitioning through sections like melting butter. As the lead single in this EP, it’s obvious that this song means business from its blissfully clear vocals to incredible song writing. To sum it up, this song takes you through a journey, a journey with gentle waves that cradle you through the highs and lows, whilst the trio’s voices send you off in a beautiful lullaby. 
‘I Think I Like You’ takes over instantly with yet more tasty harmonies, making you fall for the song in ways you never expected. With a more stripped back instrumentation, the acoustic guitar echo’s the vocal melody, adding a fourth harmony. ‘I Think I Like You’ takes hold of the structure and makes sweet musical love as each section cradles each other with great care and passion. This song epitomises the very feeling of having a huge crush on someone, it sounds like wonderful colours, scenes and poetry…just as good song writing should do. 
‘I Don’t Know’ eases you in with layers, layers, layers. Again with a more acoustic, stripped back feel, it starts off with stunning solo vocals, to then three-part unity in creamy goodness. As the EP’s shortest song, it sure makes up for it in climax, as each section there is a new layer of percussion added, intensifying each blanket of genius. Just when you think it can’t get any more full of wonder…the bass kicks in and completely changes the song. Lifting it to places you weren’t expecting. 
‘I Give Up’ rounds off this glorious EP by showing their sensational musicianship as each member uses their voice like a well-tuned instrument, faultlessly gliding through notes as if combing silk. The chorus of this track is hands down one of the most naturally consuming choruses ever. You’re sucked in immediately, taken to another world without even noticing your hearts been stolen. This track feels fuller (and that’s mainly down to the vocals) whilst still maintaining classy subtlety, really finishing this EP with the grand finale. Each riff, melody, harmony and layer captures you in pure ecstasy, intoxicating your ears with songs that you will never forget.

See I See Rivers Live:
17th October: St Pancras Old Church, London (tickets)

I See Rivers' Links:

Music In Time's Links:
Contact: musicintimeblog@gmail.com

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Review: Women Of Rock! (XERO, Wild Card, VNDTA, & Lock'N'Throw @ Boileroom (17/06/18)

We had the pleasure of reviewing and photographing Little Bear Promotion's 'Women Of Rock' night at Guildford's Boileroom; showcasing Guildford's best female fronted rock bands. (Which let's be honest... is a pretty cool and striking title alone, so this was an all round awesome experience.)

Lock 'N' Throw
Lock 'N' Throw, kicked the evening off with an instantly powerful, punchy, punk song. Inspiration from Paramore shines through as their image and stage presence represents true to their sound. They fill the gradually forming room with strong and mighty music, and delicate yet strikingly powerful melodies from the lead singer. They gave a strong performance that gave the illusion of years of confidence through play.
Their beautifully haunting contrasts and emotional performance throws us into the night, giving a fierce start, making the band feel truly in control. You can see they love what they do and clearly mean business. They finish off their set with a new single (yet to be released), 'Bed Bound', which is one to keep your eyes peeled for as it teleports you back to classic pop punk rawness. With it's relatable and catchy lyrics that trickle over their authoritative yet irresistible instrumentation. Overall, a strong start from this young, upcoming band, as they vary smoothly through originals to covers which kick start the crowd into party mode. 

VNDTA take over with an instantly heavier, dramatic yet invincible presence. Using a mix of media, they start with a voiceover that stuns us into silence, not long before shock takes us over as the lead singer smacks us round the face with these incredible screamo vocals. She wandered on stage blending into the room, but she certainly wasn't going to go unnoticed. Instantly the room fills with hungry ears, in awe of the power her stage presence and her vocals bring, leaving the audience captivated. The band provide strong and unforgettably sturdy skills in musicianship, as the lead singer shakes us by showing how versatile her voice can be, switching effortlessly into a melodic chorus with dynamic range. If I can say one thing straight off the bat, it's that these guys know their stuff, and they want to show us. They truly let their hair down in this performance as their passion oozes through every note and movement as it smashes our ear drums in the best way possible.
This lady boss smashes stereotypes and really knows what she's doing, all the way down to communication with the band. Everyone shows true musicianship as they bounce off each other. I've never heard growls and pig squeals sound so sexy, as every single member of the band stands out, making you forget where you are. They pay tribute to musicians out there with their song 'Leaches', representing relationships through music. The chorus still pumps through my veins as I feel inferior to these powerful lyrics. This band is onto big things (they're performing at Techfest this year if you want to catch them) and you need to make note of their name as they made me truly appreciate the skill that goes into metal. 

Wild Card
Wild Card provide a distinctively strong penultimate performance as this four piece fills the stage with their dominant sound. The lead makes love to the audience through her performance as she showers us with her vigorously vast range in vocals and dynamics. She slams down her spirit as the guitar delivers funky riffs that alluringly contrast with their heavy instrumentation. 'Burn' is a brutally honest original written about sexual assault. Recovery is a main theme with it's stunning, striking lyrics take you through the journey with them; with highs and lows, melodically, vocally, musically and dynamically. This perfectly flawless performance will stick with the audience as they spread messages of strength, this is what powerful women of rock need to do... and they certainly deliver. Jamie on guitar who's also from the band Sun House, performs their original 'Running', which gets the crowd moving and feeling empowered. The band interact beautifully, showing their bond and skill in communication through music. Wild Card deliver nothing but pure talent and strength throughout, overcoming technical issues like pros and interacting with the audience like old friends. They wind down their set with a gorgeous, possessing rock ballad, which will haunt the room and stick to the walls like glue. They are onto bigger things as this is their last performance known as Wild Card but they promised something is on the cards soon... Keep an ear out. 

XERO headlined this gig and instantly we all knew it was worth the wait. Hairography came to mind throughout this chilling performance as each member of the band delivered with every part of their body. The lead with a seemingly innocent appearance turned our stereotypes of rock on it's head as she filled our lungs with her handsome and versatile vocals. Their single 'Come Home' paints the venue with catchy and rusty riffs combined with atmospheric vocals. Each member of the four piece supports, lifts and empowers each other throughout, showing their true diversity, passion and pleasure. Their originals from a writing point of view were flawless, with the perfect lifts, space, silence, dynamics and range. They take a risk with a new song, unheard by anyone as it was written a mere 24 hours before. It sure paid off. This clearly shows their talent in every aspect of the genre, confidence oozes onto us as we're in awe of how seamless this single feels, as if it's an old, classic hit. The lead singer really knows how to connect to the audience just with a look, and she takes our breath away but gives our bodies life and movement. The room is captivated by their spiritual existence on stage. Their single 'Follow' transports the room into our darker, more pleasurable side of rock, light floods over the audience's heads as the contrasting vocals effortlessly transition between melodical to ruthlessly hardcore. Lyrically cunning and euphorically pleasing to listen to. They give their all in their performance of 'Birth Right', the first track on their new EP 'Dimensions'. Vocally reminiscent of Amy Lee (Evanescence), striking, stirring and atmospheric. This single clings onto your skin with every section feeding your hungry soul. 
They set the tone with their final song, 'Garden', which I can only describe as addictive, liquid gold. Harmonies fill out the song with unmistakable, breathtaking layers. Phenomenal performance from this up and coming band; each member filled to the brim with talent and an infatuation for music. This band is one to see live as they entrance you into their music. 

Winding down at the Boileroom
Overall, this event was such an empowering experience. Every member of the audience, despite gender were there to support feminism in this male dominated genre... and everyone rocked it. The Boileroom is a perfect venue for a gig like this, as it's friendly and cool staff make everyone feel at ease whilst having a great time. If you've never been to a gig at The Boileroom (Guildford), get yourself down there, the small venue makes up for it in lighting, appearance, sound and its unique niche community. The walls and ceilings are plastered with posters haunting the venue with past performers. Giving you a taste of its musical history and knowledge. 

Huge shoutout to Sophie of Little Bear Promotions for putting on this charity gig to raise money and awareness for the Helen Bamber Foundation, a UK based charity that works to support, protect and rehabilitate survivors of gross human rights violations including torture, trafficking, rape and political oppression. Supporting each other is something we all need to take part in, and if we can do it through music and powerful women... then let's get started! 

Follow The Bands!
Lock'N'Throw: https://www.facebook.com/LockNThrow/
VNDTA: https://www.facebook.com/VNDTA/
Wild Card: https://www.facebook.com/officialwildcardmusic
XERO: https://www.facebook.com/xerobandpage/
Little Bear Promotions: https://www.facebook.com/littlebearpromotionsuk/

Review: Charlie Wren (@charliewrenmusic)
Photos: Cinematic Desk (@cinematic.desk)

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