“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.

As featured on the album Gilded Cage (2017), her latest music video “The Stars, Like Dust” opens with the sombrely sung lines, “Give them the gift, give them the gift, ’cause if they gave it to me I’d only waste it”. Curxes sings in a soft, half-spoken voice, as ethereal synths play over a pulsing, trippy beat, giving the song a weightless outer space feel.

With space disaster films and “unusual suburban hobbies” as its theme, the video was directed by music and portrait photographer Rob Luckins. Interspersed with animation, it follows a moon-landing fanatic and her pet chihuahua. The retro mise-en-scène and garish space paraphernalia sit neatly in its ordinary, documentary-like presentation, hinting at the work of Martin Parr.

Take a look.


Stream and download “The Stars, Like Dust” at Bandcamp.

The album Gilded Cage is also available on Bandcamp (also on limited-edition translucent orange vinyl).

You can find Curxes on:

facebook.com/CURXES
curxes.bandcamp.com
twitter.com/CURXES
soundcloud.com/curxes
curxes.com

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Pariis Opera House release music video for “Your Body, My Tune”

Pariis Opera House is an electronic band hailing from London. Their latest release, “Your Body, My Tune” is taken from the album MIRRORS (2017), which the band have described as “the soundtrack to life and love in our digital age”.

Founded in 2011, the duo have played festivals and shows across the UK, received regular play on BBC Introducing and BBC Radio 6 Music, and had their songs featured on television and in films, such as Hello, My Name is Doris.

“Your Body, My Tune” is a bright and perky pop-punk anthem, with a catchy motif and kicking beat. Perfectly accompanying it, the futuristic video – directed and animated by Thibault Zeller – is reminiscent of old 90s/00s video games. Good memories.

Check it out.

Stream and download “Your Body, My Tune” at Bandcamp.

You can find Pariis Opera House on:

facebook.com/pariisians
pariisoperahouse.bandcamp.com
twitter.com/pariisians
soundcloud.com/pariisians
pariisoperahouse.com

FEATURED SONG: Hidden Gentlemen – “Jericho”

Hidden Gentlemen are an alternative rock band from Glastonbury. I first met them when we shared the bill last year at a gig at The Louisiana in Bristol and they’re really nice guys (which I now realise is a testament to their name). Consisting of Mark Anthony (vocals, guitar), Kyle Cullen (drums, vocals) and Greg Shepheard (bass, vocals), the band have played various festivals in the UK, as well as toured individually in Germany and the U.S.

They have released three EPs to date, including 2017’s Quietly Step Inside, and since February this year have been releasing a new single every month, the first of which is “Jericho”.


The smooth, upbeat song is about the journey of life. It has such an uplifting and infectious energy that it’s one of those feel-good songs you’ll play on repeat.

In addition to their monthly release project, Hidden Gentlemen give their fans the opportunity to watch their writing and recording sessions via livestream on Twitch, every Saturday from 2:30 PM (BST).

Stream and download “Jericho” at Bandcamp.

You can find Hidden Gentlemen on:

facebook.com/HiddenGentlemen
hiddengentlemen.bandcamp.com
twitter.com/HiddenGents

LIVE REVIEW: ‘Life & Soul’ Bristol 9.4.17

We could all use some uplifting and encouragement, so when a live music, poetry and spoken word event pops up with the name ‘Life & Soul’, you can expect it to do exactly what it says on the tin.

On Sunday 9th April, public relations and events company E. Stellar PR hosted its first live event at Toto’s Wine Bar in Bristol. Where “soul and inspiration collide”, the evening promised to “uplift, inspire, spread love, bring life and be 100% honest and real as artists share their truth”. Sounds good, no? I must reveal that I was part of the line-up, and I also happen to be sibling to the organizer, but here’s proof of my non-bias:

(Yes, I did just use Twitter as a credible source – it’s 2017.)

Nepotism debunked and thus pushed aside, honestly – if I thought it was crap, I wouldn’t write about it.

Keira and Soulay of the podcast ‘Two Fools Talking‘ came down from London to host. After the jocular duo warmed up the crowd a little with an introduction and a joke or two, the poetry began.

First up: Thembe Mvula – an experienced and pronounced performer. She shared poems about familial relationships and of young women and their desire to save, support and stand by young men who, perhaps, sadly are only looking for fugacious shelter. Thembe, being committed to her feelings and her musings, speaks with a satisfying conviction. I had never heard her material before and I felt every word that she spoke.

Thembe Mvula Life & Soul Bristol 090417 E. Stellar PR

It’s cool how you can reconnect with people from your mostly undeveloped, nascent past and discover that they not only have creative talents, but are actively pursuing them – Pierise Poetry is someone I went to primary school with. She has more of an abstract quality as a poet, which I like – it makes you think and really pay close attention. She performed a few short poems and a couple of long ones, and my favourite had to be her ending piece about confidence and her refusal to conform or be less, said to be inspired by one of her favourite poets, Maya Angelou.

Pierise Poetry Life & Soul Bristol 090417 E. Stellar PR

To close out the poetry section, Aiden Williams came up to do (if I’m not mistaken) one of his first performances. A wearer of many hats (among other things a writer, poet and photographer) Aiden has been writing poetry for a long time and his thoughts on life are deep. Much like his personality when you meet him, often he’ll say one line or finish a stanza and it will take you a full five seconds to gather the full import of his intention – and your response will either be to laugh or profoundly nod your head. He’s a skilled writer, knowledgeable of the sharp tools he possesses in order to build concepts you want to walk inside, interrogate and experience.

Aiden Williams 2 Life & Soul Bristol 090417 E. Stellar PR

Ellis Aaron Life & Soul Bristol 090417 E. Stellar PR

To begin the musical part of the night was singer-songwriter producer Ellis Aaron. You can’t get any more soulful than his voice and his productions have a groove and contagiousness, which the band (Mike, Jon and Jerry on keys, drums and bass, respectively) effortlessly absorbed and played. His focus is towards the light and moving on, a powerful and universally relatable message.

 

Life & Soul Toto's Wine Bar Bristol 090417 E. Stellar PR

Two Fools Talking Life & Soul Bristol 090417 E. Stellar PR
(Left to right) Soulay and Keira of Two Fools Talking

 

Genie Marie brought spoken word firmly into the programme after the brief interval (Aiden had performed one spoken word piece at the end of his set), and she was definitely the energy high of the night. Her flow is serious, swagger effortless. She really vibes on the music and jammed with the band as she talked of relationships, inspired by the successful ones around her. Then Hetty Jane performed a handful of covers from Alicia Keys, Bob Marley and Lauryn Hill. Accompanied by Everton on guitar, it was a stripped set, which is all her emotionally-driven vocals need – the audience was silent throughout her performance and her voice resonated, carrying her purposeful deliverance of each song.

Genie Marie Life & Soul Bristol 090417 E. Stellar PR

Hetty Jane Life & Soul Bristol 090417 E. Stellar PR

 

Last up (or so everybody thought) was Eleanor VS.

…I’m not about to review myself, so let’s just say I had a good time.

At the end, our organizer Estelle sprung a surprise on the audience, gifting two covers by India.Arie and Emily King, which I was honoured to join her on, as well as with the band.

Life & Soul delivered and lived up to its word. It was a great turnout and it should also be noted that the majority of the acts were from Bristol – hardly surprising is it, my fellow Bristolians? It was such a treat to witness so many talented artists and see the world from their enlightened eyes. Here’s to more truthful and authentic soul being brought to our own.

For more information, news and updates on E. Stellar PR and its events visit:

estellarpr.co.uk
facebook.com/estellarpruk
instagram.com/e.stellarpr
twitter.com/estellarpr

Life & Soul Bristol 090417 Eleanor VS. Estelle Hartley and Everton
(Left to right) Eleanor VS., Estelle and Everton cover India.Arie’s “Get It Together”

Thank you to Lauren Powell for photographing the event.

Lauren Froderman choreographs for “Samson” by Regina Spektor

If you’ve never heard “Samson” by Regina Spektor before (even if you have) you have the absolute privilege of experiencing the eloquently and ridiculously sweet love song in this beautiful way.

Originally from Arizona and now based in LA, American dancer and choreographer Lauren Froderman (also winner of season seven’s So You Think You Can Dance) has been busy writing and producing concept videos of her choreography along to some of her favourite songs. The first uploaded to her YouTube channel was a fun, slippery sequence to “Soap” by Melanie Martinez, and today she released her interpretation of one of Regina Spektor’s most beloved and well-known pieces.

The whole video, directed by Matt Thompson, is from the precious point of view of a hand-held camera, as Froderman dances for us (I guess in this case, her ‘Samson’) while we lie in bed. Changing setting and scenery are threaded seamlessly together with her fluid and poetic movement as she throws herself about the place, leaping and gracefully landing, plunging and passionately pivoting.

Froderman’s expression of her “sweetest downfall” is quite simple – which is a bold and wise move (pardon the pun) with such a delicately poignant song – but it’s not to say that what she conveys or how she moves is standard or uninspiring. It takes a serious amount of skill and control to make all that look easy, and on top of that, transmit so much pure joy and contentment through the lens.

If you’re in need of a little heart-hug, this will definitely do the trick.

Photo credit: Lauren Froderman/Instagram

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.

Casually, Jerome rap-sings on the up-beat opening track “Give Back What You Stole From Me,” featuring a cool, repetitive hook; whereas on the slower “2 Sides” words slip out, which, coupled with the moody tone, forges a hazy recount from what feels like a dark room in his head. When he shouts sometimes his voice becomes fiercely coarse, and throughout the EP Oscar’s delivery sits comfortably in amongst the instrumentation of electric guitar, drums, bass, saxophone, trumpet, keys – there’s even a string quartet on the last track “Evil Song”.

Produced by Jerome, Jay Sylvian, Thomas Heigl and Maxwell Owin, this EP feels like getting lost in a mystery novel. The ambient and abstract nature of his compositions is dream-like and well worth a listen. And if you’re slightly bewildered or dazed after the first listen, that’s a good thing – it means you should give it another spin.

EXHIBITION: “Don’t Trust These Walls” at 123space

You never know what to expect when you walk onto Stokes Croft any night of the week. There are dozens of cafes and bars always packed with brooding or buzzing punters socializing their sorrows away, music is always pulsating through the walls of these same establishments, and there is certainly an ever-present people-driven spirit that supports and welcomes art of pretty much any format. Last Wednesday, siblings Beulah Davina, ThisisDA and Eric Sings picked the rustic and minimalistic 123space to host an exhibition displaying their art and music.

Creative talent obviously runs strong in the blood and it’s really nice to see a sister and her two brothers collaborating this way. It was a successful night with many of their friends in attendance, as well as several curious passers-by who wandered in to take a look (even a white cat snuck in to see what the fuss was about). I brought my friend Salma along and after making the rounds we pondered the overall vibe. To both of us we perceived pain, juxtaposed with peace and self-identity, and of course strength of familial bonds. At the end of the night ThisisDA got up on stage and gave us a few verses. Take a look:

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