Hooked On The Music

Album Reviews

Joseph – I’m Alone, No You’re Not (2016)

Sister trio Joseph have left their small town in Oregon behind to pursue music. Naming their band after their grandfather Jo, they didn’t realise that they sung together so well until a few years ago. That formula proved to work as they’ve already been named one of Spotify’s Spotlight artists and are touring the US this fall with James Bay, and Europe with Michael Kiwanuka (whose album I reviewed – read here).

Factory Floor – 25 25

Legendary record label DFA produce a plethora of artists including recently revived LCD Soundsystem. Among the artists in their roster are Factory Floor, an electronic techno duo from North London. Their debut self-titled album was critically acclaimed among those within the genre and charts, with it reaching number 18 on the UK dance charts. 25 25 is their second release, with three years of experimenting being built into it. (more…)

Jarryd James – High (2016)

Australian Pop artist Jarryd James has already had a lot of success in his own country with single Do You Remember reaching number two in the ARIA (Australian charts). Following this, he’s released debut album High – does he have a hit album on his hands, not only in Australia but the rest of the world?

Michael Kiwanuka – Love & Hate (2016)

Comfort zone is never a good place to be – Michael Kiwanuka knows this all too well. His first record Home Again showed that he was very much at home with the music he made. With Love & Hate though, he’s had to really push himself to new limits and test the waters outside his comfort to see what would work.

Rob Lynch – Baby I’m A Runaway (2016)

After rising to fame with no management or booking agents and touring at many festivals around the world, Rob Lynch has done quite well for himself. His first EP released in 2011 without a pseudonym was a self-titled one back in 2011, and before that Lynch called himself Lost On Campus. 2016 brings his newest release Baby I’m A Runaway, his first album in two years.


Madilyn Bailey – Wiser (2016)

YouTube is now seen as a springboard to success and for twenty four-year-old Madilyn Bailey this is no different. She reached international fame very quickly, as her sweet voice showed in her cover of ‘Titanium’ by David Guetta & Sia has been viewed over 74 million times in four years, not bad at all. After releasing her debut Muse Box (which was all cover songs), she’s now releasing her own original  songs on Wiser, her latest EP, released today. (more…)

BROODS – Conscious (2016)*

Having being thrust into the international spotlight after their 2014 release Evergreen just shy of leaving school, New Zealand brother and sister duo BROODS say that international touring has a big impact on their already powerful songwriting.

Allison Iraheta + Halo Circus – Bunny (2016)*

Hot off the TV screen from American Idol, Allison Iraheta has teamed up with multi-platinum producer Matthew Hager (Duran Duran, Scott Weiland), drummer Veronica Bellino and guitarist Brian Stead to create music together as Halo Circus.

That music turned into their debut Bunny, which they’d actually attempted to record once before – Iraheta explains. “We decided to re-record what we’d recorded a year before. We wanted to capture the evolution of our live sound.” This determination has been worth it, as single ‘Desire (Lo Que Vale Le Pena)’ has been downloaded over 647,000 times within a week of release. Let’s see what Bunny has to offer.

‘He Promises The Moon’ opens this collaboration, being only fifty seconds long, that sounds like something that would be played on a jukebox or record player in the 50s. ‘Nothing At All’ is a real song of note and straight away the distinct impression of “Gaga x P!nk” comes through in Iraheta’s vocals, as a mix between the two, but less drug-orientated nor any strange lyrics.

It’s the perfect song for the radio, as a lot of people will be surprised to hear that it’s from someone other than a multimillionaire songstress, but in fact from someone who deserves fame much more than that. Hit single ‘Desire (Lo Que Vale Le Pena)’ reminds me of the Las Ketchup hit (Lord knows why it was a hit), ‘The Ketchup Song (Hey Hah)’ but less cheesy and more meaningful – with orchestral overtones and a pure Rock rhythm, I can see why it was chosen as the main single.

‘Band-Aid’ is another song that stands out – with its punchy chorus and piano-heavy verses, it’s the perfect song for performances and festivals, as the crowd will be chanting back every word, I can assure you of that. Bunny proves that Halo Circus are a force to be reckoned with; a great debut from a band that assembled from Idol, giving me and others hope in music reality shows.

If you want to listen to Bunny, you can do so on Spotify and if you like what you hear, purchase the album on iTunes. Follow Halo Circus on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to keep with their news and releases. Follow me on Twitter and Facebook to see what I’m up to.

Happy Listening!
A K Jones
*This post contains PR samples, but all the opinions expressed in the post are my own.

Laura Mvula – The Dreaming Room (2016)*

Laura Mvula’s had quite the few years – her debut album Sing To The Moon was adored by everyone, fans and critics alike. She was also nominated for The Mercury Prize, which is quite the feat for most musicians, especially so early in their career. There’s a lot of expectation building on The Dreaming Room, then. (more…)