It’s another installment of Future Flavours and in this month I learned that Purple Rain (1984) the soundtrack sung by the hobbit of the singing world (I mean that with affection) is twenty nine years old.
That soundtrack helped to further cement him as the multi-talented Prince at the fore-front of music at that time. He was evidently compared to one Michael Jackson who was seen as the clean middle American favourite while Prince languished in the hearts of those more likely to beat up a middle American for being way too dry!
Anyway the reason I brought this up, simple, could the Future Flavours on display today last as long as Prince’s soundtrack never mind his whole career!?
Let’s see as we take a walk through some chilled out soul, a strut into to some hip-hop, a skip into pop rnb and meander through indie-let’s go in!
Lauren “put on the” Crown
First up is the Scottish lass (I just felt the need to use that word don’t usually use it) Lauren Crown who is so fresh that I think when I met her for an interview I saw some cellophane wrapped around her feet-it said “Box Fresh”!
As usual it’s the beauty of friends in the music industry that highlighted me to Lauren (nice one Aaisha) and on hearing her laid back chilled soulful vibes I was indeed hooked. As clichéd as it sounds, Lauren has as she professes, “always been around music” and we are of course a product of our environment ergo Lauren Crown the singer.
Straight from a Scottish rural background it was her family’s love of folk music and her mother and father’s love of soul music that shaped her musical leanings. This unusual musical mix has created a singer who does indeed sing with that deep emotional yearning that is a feature of folk music yet her actual voice just feels deeply soulful. Whilst she does not go all falsetto there is a Mariah Carey-esq quality with her vocal that seems to prefer lighter higher ranges -it’s ethereal, enticing, engaging and beautiful-lots of superlatives but well deserved.
Her four track EP with its oxymoron title Adult Youth is hugely accomplished and just requires you to sit back, open your door on a hot sunny day and be washed away into Crown’s world where everything will be ok. Production is ambient soul album that swirls occasionally around hip-hop-ish feeling beats.
Crown’s style is understated and draws you in without clubbing you over the head and I love it. From the track Butterflies which kind of reminds me of Mariah’s Carey’s, Bliss off her album Rainbow (1999) to my personal favourite Hype Adult Youth which certainly has the vibe that the US would love-the EP just envelopes you in a beautifully arresting musical. She is all about the art, as she told me when we met and song writing therefore is of the highest calibre.
Lauren’s debut EP is out now and it is a real treat look out for her.
Shake The Baron-firing.
Next up are Shake The Baron a US indie rock four piece band that shot me down with their terrific guitar infused sound blessed with strong hooks and melodies. It’s through my email updates that I came across this band and in an early morning listening session, Shake The Baron’s sound stood out as I listened to Eric Clapton-esq guitar riffs while being beguiled by great song writing. They have already garnered much acclaim having performed at the SXSW festival where people were doing the clichéd but appropriate raving about them.
Formed in 2007 at college where they started out as mutual friends with a love of music the band have done the obligatory rounds on underground circuits honing and perfecting their individual sound.
Their first project was their eponymous album which was rock pop amalgamation which received a lot of great reviews for of course great song writing and an individual sound. Great tracks were numerous and I really loved Trunk brilliant track
or Crazy Align which had a video which reminded me of something from that film Kalifornia (1993) where Brad Pitt plays a proper psycho-scary!
If their new release the title track Ghost Hits from the album is anything to go by then the sophomore album (due for release later this year) will add further credence to the believe in their talent. The track builds nicely with their signature guitar driven energy, catchy beat and some sumptuous bass guitar before the drum beat really kicks in and the leader singer tears it down -nice!
Here in the UK they have not really pushed their sound until now but with the release of this single spear heading their campaign, they are definitely dropping a bomb on the UK market like some Red Baron!
Anyway go check out their material and get ready for that album.
Ghost Hits on 5th August.
Hawk House-flying high
Ok now we get into a love of mine hip-hop ya hear?!
I do not always feature barring on the blog so it’s nice to get something on a hip-hop flex. What I really love even more however is that type of hip-hop that is soulful and conscious vibes. It does not always have to be conscious incidentally and every now and again a bit of ‘move bitch get out the way’ Ludacris and (I like extortion) Mystikal (2001) is needed but right now this UK band are blowing my emotional mind rather like how Serena Williams felt after Liskick beat her (where did that come from???).
This trio features two male rappers being Sam and Emman while Demae a female singer adds some welcome balance (does this numerical gender composition spark some similarities?) Hawk House pulsate like an athlete’s heartbeat after the hundred-metre sprint – no need for bars concerned with bling it’s simple afro-centric, empowering, laid back bars blessed by the female singer’s beautiful voice who compliments the each song with soulful hooks and choruses; she is a double threat by the way and she drops sixteens with consummate ease-that’s awesome.
So where are you going to sample this great trio’s music-go check out their album A Little More Elbow Room which is one of those projects that just takes you on a gorgeous journey of great melodies?
Tidal Tendencies one of the cuts off that mix-tape has been blessed with a video which is so simple as they just walk through their manor-it’s been done a million times but it just seems right as molasses like bars drip off Sam and Emman’s tongue while honey saturated vocals ooze through Demae-love it!
While Tidal Tendencies is defo a summer track, Hawk House do beats for the winter, the autumn and spring-a trio for all seasons.
Future Flavours will be keeping a close eye on this crew in the meantime go check out the full album you will not be disappointed.
A Little More Elbow Room out now!
Kayla L’ayton (phew!)
So from some soulful hip-hop to Kayla L’ayton who brings something a bit more pop.
Kayla has been working the industry for a while now having worked with big UK names like DaVinChe, DJ Manny Norte, Kele Le Roc and The Mitchell Brothers. In 2012 Kayla’s first EP This is Me received over 5,000 downloads via Soundcloud but more recently she actually co-wrote for a past Future Flavour in the shape of Blaise and her single Thunderstorm.
So off the back of that past activity Kayla comes storming in with her own material and her fresh EP Un-inhibited which is out now.
It seems aimed at a more pop/commercial audience (with the occasional track that is slightly more underground). There are some great cuts that allow Kayla’s powerful voice to take us on an indulgent journey in this EP co-written by Rob Harvey, the other half of Mike Skinner’s new band. Don’t Let Me Go is a power ballad really and maybe it should not work but it grows on you as she talks about being broken by some horrible man- I cannot believe anyone would break Kayla I really want to sort them out!
The opening cut Cash Money is on an atmospheric flex which uses a bit of that drum and bass beat-it is defo on my playlist.
Kayla is obviously showing her versatility in this EP and so we are guided through power ballads of a sorts, to something tantamount to soft rock and then to more dance influenced tracks which punctuate this 6 track project.
Go check it out.
Elliot Marshall-2 step yeh boy!
I do not know much about this young eighteen year old called Elliot Marshall aka ETML and perhaps I am talking about him too earlier but what the heck the track Bind Me is so totally awesome, it’s a slamming, club banging, garage thumping, stamp your feet and start jumping piece of niceness that I had on a dubious number of repeats.
In between studying for his A levels Elliot has managed to drop the soulful banger that just envelopes you in a haze of productive niceness as deep bass turns you on like watching Babe Station (I have heard there is a channel like that ahem!) before Elliot’s vocals which seem perfectly suited to this soulful banger take you soaring-it is a bit orgasmic-sexy garage come house makes a nice return-(Check a track he features on called Jaded different flex but just as good.)
It’s already got huge amounts of love from the radio and it seems this will be the precursor to some more material indeed it better be Elliot- nice work!
Ok last up is a band that I actually got to know through Lauren Crown (thanks Lauren) and from the get go, me love them long time.
The London based band are so uber fucking cool that you could receive a kick in your teeth from them and be fine with it because they are just so damn cool; rather like Jim “bullshit Mr Han Man” Kelly (RIP). Anyway I digress. In their bio they detail the genres they cover and in truth it’s almost everything from chilled drum and bass, to bass music, some orchestral leanings you name it it is here.
Polaroid 85 as a band was initially founded by Neeta Sarl who actually lives in a creative space-(so uber fantastic) in 2011. Neeta who produces, sings and composes moved to London and “recruited an army of talented musicians to help breathe life into her songs and take things to the next level”.
The songs are now indeed breathing with the intensity of a stalker and the result is a 5 track EP called Escapist with suitably surreal artwork.
If I said I loved this it would be like saying a man that had not eaten for a week “ate” the food-it would be an inappropriate use of the word “ate” it would be better to say “devoured with the ravenous intensity of a hungry wolf, chewing on the chicken bones with vigor and sucking out the marrow before licking his fingers even under his nails” see what I mean?
They have been gaining heavy support from the likes of Soundcrash Music, Chai Wallahs, Playgroup Festival, Wormfood, and Tom Robinson of BBC 6Music and support slots with connoisseurs of music like Hidden Orchestra, DJ Vadim and Anchorsong speak volumes.
Cuts off that ep could be described with numerous superlatives and there are an abundance of tracks but simply put I would say check out bangers galore on all of their social media contacts and get ready to be absorbed-Polaroid 85 are defo in my musical album (click-flash!)