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JJ Draper’s New Single, “…if you’re awake in the night” Captures the Emotional Essence of Bon Iver and Sufjan Stevens

“Beautiful” – Huw Stephens, BBC Radio 1
“The mult..

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“Beautiful” – Huw Stephens, BBC Radio 1

“The multi-instrumentalist has already established himself as a calm and assured talent. With a voice full of a sorrow and a heart for songwriting…”In Visions” is a swirling haze of intelligent synth work and yearning vocals that sounds almost orchestrated rather than assembled’ – The Line of Best Fit

“Channelling electronic producers from James Blake to SOHN, ‘Zero-Sum’ largely fits into the same box, but comes with a much warmer texture, feeling as akin to homely folk as it does icy electronica” DIY Magazine

After working with Ed Tullett (Novo Amor, Hailaker) on his previous Silhouettes EP, garnering praise from Radio 1’s Huw Stephens and opening for Rhye at London’s KOKO, JJ returns with a delicate and emotional selection of tracks. JJ’s new single ‘…if you’re awake in the night’ and the upcoming EP ‘The Theft & The Flight’ has all the tenderness and artistry of Sufjan Stevens, Nick Mulvey and Bon Iver while also capturing its own voice and tone. Acoustic guitar-led with soft falsetto vocals, incorporating subtle, dappled sampling, electronics and piano, the new work is an exploration of JJ’s rich and intense, emotional soundscapes.

Following his first EP, JJ went back into the studio to arrange a new body of work. Having spent the early years of his career as a topliner and collaborator, he thought it time to take a considerable catalogue of songs to his band and work with singular vision to create the sound he wanted.

Speaking on ‘…if you’re awake in the night’ and the new EP JJ said:

Returning home in March last year to a police cordon around the car park of my flat, I turned on the news to discover that a young man had been brutally murdered on my doorstep. Not having a real insight into the growing culture of gang violence in London, I wrote ‘…if you’re awake in the night’ to chronicle the surreal experience of those who come inadvertently into contact with a troubling world they don’t understand.

I wanted all my new music to be honest and grounded, both lyrically and in the way it was recorded. I spent months experimenting at Natural Habitat Studios working with many great musicians to make something I hope feels homespun, authentic and vivid.”

Juxtaposing gentle musicwith the unflinching chronicling of real-life events, JJ’s approach to songwriting has seen him gain high praise from the likes of The Line Of Best Fit, Riot Mag and DIY. Interested in honestly reflecting his perspective in any scenario, he talks of surreal experiences or confused detachment with the same gravity as moments of sober reality.

Drawing inspiration from great songwriters and innovators such as Big Thief, Radiohead and Wilco (as well as both Bon Iver and Sufjan Stevens previously mentioned), JJ’s ambitious work is soon to be released with arrangements already made to be performed in front of audiences in a powerful and compelling live show. Expect moments of vulnerability punctuated with defiance and raw emotion as JJ weaves songs of real beauty and influences collide.Searingly honest lyricshit home with JJ’s voice ably switching betweenregisters, rinsing every drop of emotion from the material.

‘The Theft and The Flight’ EP

TRACK LIST:

That’s What I Call Progress!

…if you’re awake in the night

Timshel

The Theft and the Flight

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/iamjjdraper/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/iamjjdraper/

Website: https://www.jjdraper.com/

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/7ee7dtYPnmTZDPdqgeBbhC

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No1 Showcase: The Art Of David Hicks

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David Hicks is a photographer who is just as interested in the behind-the-scenes stories as he is in the stories themselves. A true photojournalist, Hicks aims to capture every aspect of waking life.

Whether that be everyday activities on the streets of Cuba to the passionate and dynamic tango culture in Buenos Aries, Hicks will be there to experience it and share it. He says of his tango collection: “The Tango, a now-popular dance between a man and a woman, started in its current form in the mid-1800s, after a massive migration to Argentina, mostly by men. Because men outnumbered women by quite some number, the only way for a man to get close to a woman was via a brothel or by dance. The men practiced together, as you’d have to be a great dancer to get a woman’s attention. So, this very sexual dance you see now was born out of the reality for men in those old days. Nowadays, you see it performed often, usually on the street corners of Buenos Aires, with live musicians or a pre-recorded soundtrack, and they do it for the tips!”

Follow David’s work down below:  HiXposure (@hixposure) / Twitter  HiXposure | Facebook HiXposure Photography (@hixposure) • Instagram photos and videos

Website: HiXPOSURE | Travel Photography

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No1 News: The Mad Game Embark On Their Latest Rage Against The Machine

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It can always be a struggle when you music possesses such a crucial and pertinent message and yet you’re blocked by the damning limitations of ‘going under the radar’ – electronic animated anarchists ‘The Mad Game’ know this all too well.

The band’s debut EP, ‘Player One’, is a righteous middle finger to what they describe as ‘The Mad Game’ – the absurdities in society that have been integrated as the status quo – after tangling with governments, security services and local mafia. Their message of outrage and vitriol is a potent one found across the EPs five tracks – a mere morsel of their true potential – and is certainly enough to make listeners pay attention.

The trio’s soundscape is an eclectic one: the righteous indignation of the best punk music married beautifully to the jarring and skittish landscapes of the best electronica. The lead track, ‘Game Over ‘, in particular makes a phenomenal first impression to the animated anarchists with members Sonu, Karla and Sonya giving their respective inputs to this chilling three-pronged attack. What these newcomers nail best is their sincerity.

It’s hard to take such a venomous assault from someone you don’t genuinely believe has lived through the horrors that they detail – The Mad Game give off no such illusion. What you hear is authentic and those unaware of the band’s craft will soon learn to such things. It makes for a truly gripping and inspiring experience.

This is not a project that anyone should overlook regardless of their tastes; thoughtful, well crafted and genuine music. Not something 2021 receives in surplus.

Follow The Mad Game below: Twitter: https://twitter.com/MadGameOfficial Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/madgameofficial/ Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/25Aqc6ubzXLDlNUw6qYV35 Bandcamp: https://madgameofficial.bandcamp.com/ Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUhBz3vBndOL6fV__qTn-qQ

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No1 Finds: Tunetables – A Stylish Solution To Music Storage

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“The Tunetables idea was borne,” says Rob Chappelhow, the man behind a range of ingenious new storage solutions, “out of a personal desire to have my music collection around me once again.”

That’s something all of us record-collector’s can empathise with. Now, I’ve banged on before about how, for many of us, digital streaming doesn’t cut it. Streaming services are great, but for a large number of us hard-core music fans, we want something we can hold in our sweaty hands, right? But, once you have all those lovely records, where do you put them?

Flat-pack shelving is fine, but it’s hardly inspiring. That’s where the Tunetables range comes into its own. More words from Rob Chappelhow, who explains that the idea came to him during a visit to  the Joe Strummer Archive exhibition in the basement of Fred Perry’s flagship store in Covent Garden – “Set out under an acrylic plinth was Strummer’s personal tape cassette collection…his musical heritage and inspiration perfectly showcased.”

It was totally spellbinding. I soon started to conceptualise how I could create my own version of this…a personal time capsule of life-affirming music. I wanted something that could be inherently useful, something that I would see and use every day, and that would be a talking point for like-minded music enthusiasts.”

And lo! Tunetables was born… What Chappelhow has done is to take brand new music-equipment flight-cases (the type we are well-used to seeing lugged around by roadies and musicians) and turn them into hand-crafted storage solutions for your CDs, tapes and vinyl. It’s a wonderful idea and, most importantly, they look great. As mentioned, each case is built by hand, and can be personalised with your own initials (or whatever you fancy). Storage ranges from 100 – 500 for CDs, 30 – 60 for tapes, and 75 for vinyl. That’s not a bad amount at all. I can see a lot of people going for this, from pro and semi-pro musicians to plain music-lovers such as myself. This is modern design with an old-school aesthetic. Check them out for yourself!

Check out Tunetables below: 

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