First up is ‘Bad Apple‘ by Louis Antoniou. Kicking off with a rollicking drum-roll and pulsating bassline, the song soon jumps into its first verse, with a soulful vocal performance from Antoniou himself. His voice has an Alex Turner quality to it, certainly in tone, but establishes its own style that’s perfect for this type of song. ‘Bad Apple’ features an angular guitar riff that works as a great transition from one line to another. The impressive falsetto breaks ensure a smooth link from verse to chorus, with the reverb applied to Louis’ vocals being a welcome feature. The bass/guitar interplay is something to be cherished too as each instrument finds its own place in the song, without overpowering one another in the process. Some descending blues riffing and one last croon from Louis sees the song home, which has benefited from the use of analogue recording technology. I enjoyed the song and thought it had enough hooks and interesting elements for it to stand out amongst a crowd of modern-rock songs. The video itself (directed by local student Ryan Peck) is a good marketing tool for the release as well, featuring a grainy texture that adds to the retro vibes heard in the song.
Antoniou has big plans for the future, with his follow up single ‘No More Woes’ due for release in April. I’ve heard a preview of the song and have high hopes for its success, as well as the man himself. It begins with a slow, plodding beat which gives the song a murky, delta-blues setting before ramping up a gear for the last verse, which is played in double-time. Featuring a gritty, blues-based guitar riff, it’s sure to blow the socks off of anyone who thought that Blues Rock had died when ‘The White Stripes’ called it a day some years ago.
Second up is Michael Reddington with his latest single ‘The Choices of Few‘. The song begins with a descending chord progression, reminiscent of late-60’s Beatles songs and George Harrison’s early solo career. Reddington’s vocals have a Lennon quality to them as well, whilst his melodicism is much more in tune with that of McCartney – the best of both worlds in my opinion. There’s something very comforting about this familiarity but Reddington inserts enough of his own personality and originality into the song to stop it from becoming a trite derivation. Some sweet-harmonised vocal overlaps make for a smooth transition into the chorus, which features lyrics such as ‘I dreamt big, then I grew tall‘ and ‘What more can I do? I’m torn up in two“. It’s this self-confessional style with a hint of optimism that makes for a great universal message and is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. ‘The Choices of Few’ also has great production that suits the subject matter really well, rather than making it overproduced or twee. Some phasing on the drum rolls and guitar solo adds another retro element to the piece, whilst the addition of piano licks in the instrumental break gives the song a breezy feel. This offering is sure to please any fan of The Beatles, Oasis or The Verve and is available to purchase here.
By Oliver Cobbin