IN RETROSPECT: Gwen Stefani – Love. Angel. Music. Baby.

The 2000s was an important time in popular music. There was so much quality and so much of it to choose from. Pop music could be anything, anything at all. And by anyone at all. Competition within the industry definitely existed, but overall, there was a lot more variety across the board, an abundance of artistic individuality, all combined with original, well-crafted compositions.

At that time, there was also ‘just a girl’ who exemplified the aforementioned characteristics. She also happened to be the lead singer of an already established ska/punk/rock band. If you know anything about me, you’ll know I was a huge fan while I was growing up. Yes, we’re talking about Gwen Stefani.

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NEW MUSIC: Ellis Aaron – “Me & You (Remix)”

Ellis Aaron is a singer, songwriter and musician from Bristol who is slowly making a name for himself on both the Bristol and worldwide music scenes. Having had his music played on local and international radio stations and received a lot of positive feedback from his fans and peers alike for his soulful and high-calibre productions, Aaron has released a new follow-up remix to his most recent single.

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“The Stars, Like Dust” – Curxes’ new music video

Curxes (also known as Roberta Fidora) is an electronic musician from the Isle of Wight, who makes “bleak and oblique choral post-pop songs”. Featured in many publications, such as NME, MOJO and BBC Music, and having toured across the UK, she has gained an appreciable following with her eerie, somewhat sad, yet complacently content music.

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FEATURED EP: Oscar Jerome

London-based musician and singer-songwriter Oscar Jerome released his eponymous debut EP last week. After spending years grafting in the music scene and refining his talent, the young artist unveils a work consisting of four weighty tracks that are certainly a testament to that.

It’s hard to define Jerome’s sound as it’s a peculiar mixture. The influences of jazz, hip-hop and soul are clear, but it’s more aptly described as alternative. With contemplative and obscure lyrics, and arrangements that have carefully been thought out, he creates something original and mysterious that captures your attention from start to finish.

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INTERVIEW: Annalise Lam

Annalise Lam is a remarkable young jazz and pop violinist based in the musical city of Bristol. Having been involved in music since she was very young, she’s an intuitive and dedicated talent with a spirited energy and inquisitive attitude to music in many of its styles. She has played at a number of festivals, and with orchestras and a quite a few local bands and musicians, including Immigrant Swing, Julia Turner – and myself.

Last week I’d scheduled to rehearse with Lam (who also happens to be my friend) and I asked if she’d be so kind as to let me interview her – gladly she agreed. I thought it would be a great opportunity to get to know her a little better… or in other words have a slightly more formal and thus potentially awkward chat.

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LIVE REVIEW: Julia Turner “Fifteen Times the Moon” Album Launch

Last Friday I attended an important gig for a good musician friend of mine. Jazz, blues singer-songwriter Julia Turner, whose new album Fifteen Times the Moon is set for release this year, hosted a pre-release album launch at the Bristol Folk House.

The show took place downstairs past the cafe in the medium-sized hall, which had a surprisingly really intimate feel. People sat in groups around tables or on a line of chairs off to the side of the stage. Lighting was dim (obviously, that would be pretty harsh to make people eat and drink in the dark now, wouldn’t it), which added to the cosiness – I felt as though I were in a living room. A big one, of course.

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