Saturday, 10 September 2016

Genre Wander: Lola Sparks - The Last Royals - Inventions - DENNIS - Modern Inventors

Lola Sparks - Soon To Die.

Background promo - Lola Sparks is an English/German singer/songwriter and author based in Berlin, Germany. Moving there at the age of 18, she started having readings and quickly got discovered by her producer and co-writer Kris Steininger. They teamed up and decided to set her material into music.

The result is an album made of her very unique reality, flavored with Berlin's pulse of dirty dry electronic beats, analog synths glued together with the classical element of an epic Orchestra - A tuneful masterpiece leading us through everything that goes on in the deepest darkest cornersof Lola´s manic realities... The lead single "Soon To Die" is from her forthcoming debut album "Diary of a Lost Girl". An elektro/alternative-pop/orchestra-album, self produced with Lola Sparks and Kris Steininger.

Other guest collaborations include like James Dring (Gorillaz), Alan Moulder (Smashing Pumpkins, Interpol), Dan Gretch (Lana del Rey, Keane), Jules Buckley (Arctic Monkeys, Björk, Flying Lotus) feat. The Metropole Orkest from Amsterdam and the Babelsberger Filmorchester from Berlin, which all participated.

Singing is only one artistic expression that Lola Sparks works in.  Her time spent in Berlin building up her character -however -true-to-form has paid off. What emerges here is a fully-realized artist just waiting to be uncovered by the masses. Here's a poem in which she describes herself in halves, painting a picture of polar balance.

'Soon To Die' really does mix up differing musical elements in a creative manner, whilst Lola's vocals pull the song together, giving the piece constant direction. Orchestral, melodical, with beats and beautiful vocals, this is delicious.

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The Last Royals - Miles Away.

Background - The Last Royals is the pseudonym of singer-songwriter Eric James, whose second studio album ‘Never Be Alone’ is both a move back and forward. Still co-producing with Mike Beck, the new album returns to an original mode of songs as personal diary entries while also pushing beyond the raucous and at times disjointed feel of debut ‘Twistification’. From smooth jangle indie-pop (“Miles Away”, “Tragedy”), to more electronic territory (“Promise You”, “If You Wanna Say I Love”), the album captures an artist who’s a bit older, a bit wiser and definitely more self-loathing.

The Last Royals saw their first break in 2011 when satellite radio heavyweight Jeff Regan debuted single “Crystal Vases” on SiriusXM and saw the single spend 5 consecutive months on the AltNation Top 18 Countdown. Label Ooh La La Records presented the band as a two-piece band, with James enlisting his friend and drummer Mason Ingram as a would-be second member and ultimately touring a 4-piece band for numerous live performances including Firefly Festival, Summerfest, and tours with Sir Sly and The Hush Sound.

The success of “Crystal Vases” ultimately outpaced the label, however, leading to severe internal discord and ultimately the release of debut album ‘Twistification’ in 2013 without support for followup single “Friday Night”. With Ooh La La refusing to accept offers to partner from better funded options, James choose to cease touring and support for the release, ultimately gaining freedom from the label in 2014.

The intervening time saw James and his wife have 2 more children, for a total of 3, move to Brooklyn, and lose his mother-in-law to suicide. The full TLR touring lineup reconvened in 2015 to record and release two cover songs (The Beatles’ “Real Love” and Flock of Seagulls “I Ran”) but it became clear that James’ new songs would be more suited to a self-recording ethos and collaboration with Beck.


With a rich, melodic, synthy background and a rhythmic beat 'Miles Away' has the perfect musical backdrop for Eric James dreamy vocals.One a fine taster for the album!

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Inventions - Worthless (feat. Vonnie Sofia).

Background - Challenging the current pop-punk and heavy music paradigm, Melbourne five-piece Inventions lace everything they do with a touch of drama and emotion, presenting a fresh take on a sound deeply rooted in the early 2000s Alt-rock scene. Armed with biting new single ‘Worthless’, the band are gearing up for the release of their second EP ‘Exist, Explore, which is due out September 23 via Firestarter Distribution.

Produced by none other than studio guru Forrester Savell (Dead Letter Circus, Karnivool), ‘Exist, Explore’ serves up five full bodied tracks of hard hitting, frenetic guitar driven rock, rounded out by frontman Jacob Leaney’s impassioned and theatrical vocals. Lead single ‘Worthless’ features vocalist Vonnie Sofia (previously of Danger! Earthquake!), a track that embodies Invention’s dark and introspective themes.

Since the arrival of their debut release in 2014, Inventions have supported the likes of mewithoutYou (USA), Emery (USA), D At Sea,Masketta Fall and Forever Ends Here amongst others. This October 15 will see the launch of ‘Exist, Explore’ at The Workers Club in Melbourne followed by a national tour soon TBA. ‘Exist, Explore’ featuring ‘Worthless’ is out September 23 via Firestarter Distribution.


Alt-rock band Inventions colaboration with Vonnie Sofia, really does bring the song 'Worthless' up a notch or two. With a driving rhythm and fine guitars the vocal double up, works really well on this hooky song.

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DENNIS - Give Me Soul.

Background - DENNIS are a Eight piece roots folkrock & brass band from the former pit town of Hetton-Le-Hole whose songs about the local town captivate audiences across the country. Open Your Eyes is the debut LP from DENNIS

Produced by Darren Hall on location at Easington Lane Miners Hall & Empty Shop Durham and mastered by Andy Baldwin [Coldplay, Blur, Arcade Fire, Oasis] at Metropolis London, the “Open Your Eyes” LP proceeds three acclaimed DENNIS EP releases via Sapien Records Ltd.

DENNIS have to date received generous support via national radio broadcasts (BBC 6 Music, BBC Radio 2, BBC Introducing shows and live sessions), blogs & printed articles / reviews, a number of sold out headline theatre performances and festival appearances.

Members have played European tours, O2 Academy tours and National Brass Band competitions with previous projects, collaborating under DENNIS to create music influenced through a heritage of brass bands, workingmens clubs, pit village life and stories of the working class.


'Give Me Soul' is a good indication of the melodic and very catchy songs on the eleven track album 'Open Your Eyes'. The musicianship is high quality and the vocals and beautiful harmonies are notable throughout the album. Imaginative songs, finely honed music, and top quality production, it's a good one!

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Modern Inventors - Tonight.

Background - Nashville-based Modern Inventors have premiered their track "Tonight". The song is off the 2-song single - “Tonight / Closer," out September 9th. Migrating from Philadelphia to Nashville a year ago, Josh Benus and Matt Kass have expanded on their backgrounds as formally-trained musicians with a sound that’s both unique and powerfully emotional.

After several years of collaborating in a variety of projects, including a soundtrack for the HBO documentary First Comes Love, they solidified their partnership by founding Modern Inventors. Shortly after that, they decided to move to Nashville, where they connected quickly with the city’s vibrant artistic network and — critically important — found the house that functions now as their personal and professional home base.

“Working and living here is great because we can put all of our time into writing and recording,” Josh explains. “We have our hands on every second of these recordings. They are us. And because this house has allowed us to do this, it’s become our signature.” “For me, the allure of Nashville is, that it’s about the songwriting,” Josh adds. “It’s inspiring living here because everyone’s so passionate about their craft. So in retrospect, this is the probably the best move we could have made.”

Dinner parties featuring Josh’s gourmet creations morph into jam sessions here. Songs take shape on the weathered upright piano in their living room. Other artists drop in, stay awhile, lay down a few tracks and leave their mark on this ever-evolving community. That’s all part of Modern Inventors’ mission, to keep their door open to anyone who might drop by and contribute ideas and inspiration.

But, always, Matt and Josh helm this ship. “Our long-term plan is to have a sound that people know when they hear it,” Matt insists. “We have the ability to curate not only what we do and to make Modern Inventors a great American rock band but also to say, ‘We really like this artist who opened for us. We want him to come to our studio and work with us, just to see what happens."


'Tonight' begins with an expansive atmospheric sound, and takes things even further when the smooth melodic vocals kick in. With a gorgeous refrain three quarters of the way through, the song builds towards an almost epic finish.

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