Under the Radar: Ryan Webb

Hold tight rock fans, you’re in for a treat. London-based rocker, Ryan Webb, is releasing his latest album on 9th June and it’s a scorcher.

Stop the World comprises nine tracks of unadulterated, guitar-fuelled energy. Ryan’s toneful vocals play out against a backdrop of well-crafted riffs, subtle reverb and thumping drum work. The album balances well and delivers a guitar led, pure rock sound that avoids the temptation of straying into cliché territory. Our promo copy hasn’t stopped spinning since it arrived.

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Let’s get it out there straight away – Ryan can play. But for me, his rich voice and effortless ability to control each ranging note is what makes his music, and Stop the World in particular, stand out. This album doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not – it’s a thoroughbred example of British rock music that’s been tied together to a very high standard thanks to the mastering wizardry of Pete Maher, who will be well known to those in the industry.

Stop the World finds its feet immediately with Insomnia, a dark lament to sleepless nights that piles in with hard guitar and deep drumming. It’s a blazing track, built around tormenting riffs and vocals that create a perfect nightmare of a song. Impressive. Runaway steps things back a notch, delivering a well-crafted ballad that tells the tale of a relationship stuttering under the pressures of reality. It feels genuine and refreshingly understated, proving to be a fine showcase for Ryan’s inimitable vocals.

The title track, Stop the World, throws up a little something different and stands out amongst the other eight tracks on the album. Sneering vocals and a change of pace could deceive you into thinking this was a long-lost Oasis demo. Lively and edgy, it will appeal to indie kids and seasoned rock fans alike.

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As the album settles into its mid-section, the themes that presumably inspired the title push to the fore. It also slides back into a more traditional rock approach. The gutsy My Religion draws on contentious social issues with a combination of sharp lyrics subtle rock guitar. Lucky Ones thrills with a modern twist on old-school metal, with thumping beats and frantic fretwork creating a hugely moshable track, and In a Day or Two delivers an accessible track with an anthemic chorus that we can all relate to.

Before I Die is a thought provoking, melodic ballad that takes a break from the fierce guitar playing that’s prevalent across the album. It’s reflective, pensive and emotional. But it’s back to rock with the catchy Guilty. The final track on the album is the ghostly Immortal, which sees Ryan deliver a dreamy, echoing vocal that contemplates the everlasting and provides one last chance to show off his machine gun riffs and musical creativity.

Stop the World is a must listen for rock fans and a launch gig is in the pipeline, so keep an eye out and get yourself along to show your support. If you can’t make it in person, follow him on social media and be sure to download the album on 9th June. In the meantime, check out the links below:

http://www.ryanwebb.org

http://www.facebook.com/RyanWebbUK

Under the Radar: Luna Blue

By Barry Humphreys

Brighton based Luna Blue’s approach to their musical landscape brings with it a remarkable set of influences. The sound of this band defies – in fact proudly denies – getting itself identified to any one box, trend or fad. Are they funky? Yes! Are they jazz? Yes! Are they soul? Yes! Are they rock? Yes! They cross boundaries and carve out wayward paths in territories that so many other musicians haven’t even thought to explore.

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These guys give new meanings to the words “alternative” and “indie”, but without forgetting the necessity of making their music superbly accessible for the listener. It’s not broad brush strokes on their musical canvas either, its fine detail that comes to life in audio-full-colour. They have imagination, passion, sincerity, but manage to make it look and sound easy at the same time.

Perhaps it’s no surprise to find out then that as individuals, Tom (vocals and rhythm); Ryan (lead guitar); Nick (bass); and Seb (drums), were still wearing short trousers when they started playing and listening to music. It’s fairly obvious that along the way they’ve absorbed influences to the point where they’ve made them personal, taken ownership and carefully nurtured them. It makes me wonder what remains untapped and waiting in stasis for future discovery!

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The depth of imagination is underlined by their recent appearance with a thirty-piece orchestra in Chichester, with arrangements for said players by Nick. For the time being at least, it was a one-off event and I for one am gutted that I found out about it too late to get myself there. Some small consolation for me – and you- is the promise of a forthcoming release of the recording of the event.

They’re currently working on songs to be released later in the year, but discover them now by way of 2017’s Nightjar EP. Float Away is restrained, tight, structured, thoughtful; the soulful Borrowed Words; Welcome Home casually laid-back and controlled…. But my advice would be to leave the title song, Nightjar, to the end of your introductory listen. From its very start it’s a menacing song which in parts is almost blissfully uncomfortable in the best of ways. It’s a deep dark hymn that echoes around your senses but pulls you into a drifting, shifting musical soundscape. Listen to this and walk away feeling slightly disturbed but uplifted at the same time.Then go back and listen to it all again. Luna Blue have that sort of effect. Wonderful!

Luna Blue are geared up to make a big impression this summer. They’re lined up to play the Seaside Rox Music Festival in Bognor Regis on 21st April 2018, so get along and show them some support! Meanwhile, check out their links below:

Under the Radar: Blue Helix

Rock music has always fought for the underdog. Real music for real people; graduates of the school of hard knocks. Overcoming adversity and proving the haters wrong has fuelled the creative fire burning within hundreds of memorable rock songs, giving listeners hope, motivation and the opportunity to mosh their socks off.

Blue Helix are the latest in a long line of rockers using their music to help good overpower evil. Their latest track, Anti-social Butterfly, is a hard-hitting anti-bullying anthem that delivers its message with style, energy and refinement.  Some tracks with a moral focus can come across gimmicky and insincere. Not this one. It works. Blue Helix have delivered a track that has the potential to rival Shinedown’s unimaginatively titled 2012 anti-bullying smash, Bully. The reason Anti-social Butterfly works is simple. It’s not hollow. It’s based on lead singer Sami Chofhi’s very personal experiences as a victim of bullying. Who’s laughing now Sami?!

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Blue Helix formed in 2008 and are based in Seattle but also have roots in South America. Drummer Marco is pure-bred Brazilian and Sami is half Brazilian, half American. The Seattle sound subtly resonates in the music the make, as do aspects of some of their major influences, such as Nine Inch Nails, Foo Fighters, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains. They’re polished but have an unmistakeable raw edge and originality that makes them stand out from the crowd.

Anti-social Butterfly is the perfect intro to a thumping grungy rock band that has huge worldwide potential. The track is vibrant and energetic from the outset, with tight percussion, fierce guitar licks and Sami’s standout vocals. Fans of their last hit, the melodic rock ballad Aliens, will be impressed by this upbeat offering that showcases their diversity.

Music video lovers will fall instantly in love with Blue Helix. This band understands the importance of providing a visual spectacular to accompany their music and the results are memorable. Aliens won a number of music video awards and was lauded for its lush camera work and spectacular CGI panoramas that fit the track perfectly. Anti-social Butterfly abandons the fantasy vistas, opting for gritty realism that complements the lyrics to a tee. It’s fantastic to see an up-coming group delivering the full package and it seems inevitable that more awards are on the horizon.

So hats off to Blue Helix, kicking sand back in the face of bullies, thugs and haters right across the world. What better way to get your message across than through a truly storming piece of rock music.

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Track Blue Helix by subscribing to the Urban Antenna blog and checking them out on social media:

Website http://bluehelixmusic.com

EPK http://artistecard.com/bluehelix

Spotify https://play.spotify.com/artist/4Y6skLOx7JZILeOgcDdTyW

Deezer https://www.deezer.com/us/artist/393508

Pandora http://www.pandora.com/blue-helix

iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/tale-of-two-halves/id921512905

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

Twitter https://twitter.com/bluehelixmusic

YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/BlueHelixTV

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

Soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/bluehelix-music

Reverbnation http://www.reverbnation.com/bluehelix

BandCamp https://bluehelixmusic.bandcamp.com/

Under the Radar: Lissy Taylor

Countless young British musicians dream of making it in the USA. For most it’s a fantasy hindered by a fear of the unknown. Fortunately, for every thousand dreamers there’s one artist with the talent, drive and creativity to make their mark across the pond. Lissy Taylor is that one…and she’s making a big impression on both sides of the Atlantic.

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Armed with an instantly recognisable voice and a gift for writing music and lyrics that hit home from the first bar, it’s hard to believe Lissy Taylor is only seventeen. Her talent belies her years and leaves us wondering just how far she can go. She’s classic yet contemporary. Take a pinch of Joan Baez, a splash of Bobbie Gentry and season with equal measures of Lana Del Ray and Norah Jones. Now you’re beginning to understand what Lissy’s all about.

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Lissy’s ambition is clear. How many seventeen year olds can you name who have the talent, confidence and motivation to pack up there acoustic guitar and head out to take on the biggest musical stage in the world? Not many we bet. And she’s already finding success. Since landing in Lexington, KY, her unmistakable style and charming live performances have garnered plenty of attention. She’s already performed at a number of festivals, live shows and was one of the winning acts at the Eastern Kentucky Battle of the Bands, wooing the judges with a dazzling rendition of She, a fiery, self-penned track that oozes maturity. Back in Blighty, Lissy has also featured on the legendary BBC Introducing – an accolade in itself.

Reminds Me of You was Lissy’s debut EP, released in January 2017 at the age of sixteen. Recorded and produced at Broken Crow Studios, Lexington, she stuck to form and committed 100%, enlisting a selection of top-class session musicians to support her. It was a brave move and it paid off big time. The result is a high-quality snapshot of her talent as an emerging singer songwriter. The EP is polished and purposeful, delivering a captivating blend of chilled Americana, acoustic balladry and edgy country-rock. The emotionally charged Home was written when Lissy was just fourteen. We urge insecure and disillusioned musicians to avoid listening to this track at all costs – Lissy’s talent may well be the final nail in the coffin for your music career.

Lissy’s latest venture shows she’s not content to sit on her laurels and blend in with the crowd. Her new track, I Will Wait, sees her team up with another young artist, James Bell, to deliver something entirely different. It’s a pop song that will attract a different audience to Reminds Me of You, but there’s no denying the chemistry between these two.  I Will Wait has received some impressive feedback across social media and it looks like whatever Lissy Taylor touches is set to turn to gold.

Like what you hear? Get in touch with Lissy Taylor via Urban Antenna, or check out her website:

www.LissyTaylor.com

Also follow her on social media:

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

ReverbNation https://www.reverbnation.com/lissytaylor?profile_view_source=header_icon_nav

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/lissytaylor__/?hl=en

Twitter  https://twitter.com/lissytaylor17

YouTube  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC33eq9vhre7Ksn0AvvBJy2w

 

 

 

 

Under the Radar: Haunted like Human

Nashville is synonymous with Country but scratch the surface and there’s so much more. Urban Antenna has been scouring the Tennessee back streets to see what alternative acts are lurking in the shadows. Our searching has paid off…we’ve unearthed a fantastically promising contemporary folk duo who are just waiting to be picked by a record label.

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Haunted like Human are Cody Clark and Dale Chapman. Clark is an unassuming and highly talented guitarist. He’s a musical thoroughbred with a degree in composition; his understanding of musical form is evident in his delicate yet complex conceptions. Chapman is a folk-vocalist who delivers her lyrics with true emotion and depth. She writes from the heart and is an accomplished poet and lyricist. They combine to great effect and their song writing a joy to listen to, especially when you realise they have only been collaborating for ten months.

 

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Haunted like Human’s debut LP, Ghost Stories, is a dreamy and uplifting twelve-track album that was recorded following a highly successful crowd funding campaign. The album is two parts folk and one part Americana, flavoured with a dash of The Civil Wars and Penny & Sparrow. It’s pure and uncluttered, focusing on guitar, cello and vocals. Less is more in this case and the apparent simplicity of the album is its main strength.

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Ghost Stories begins its journey with the spellbinding First Light. Some may find it strange to open an album with an instrumental, especially when Chapman’s striking vocal is so prominent thereafter, but it represents just what it stands for: a glorious sunrise on a perfect summer morning. The title track, Ghost Stories, offers the first real taste of Haunted like Human. It’s a beautifully evocative song that’s full of meaning and is delivered with true emotion by both musicians.

From a UK perspective, the infectious River (Come Back Up) has the greatest potential for success. It’s the most mainstream track on the album but it’s also one of the strongest. With a toe-tapping beat and tons of romantic imagery, this track screams summer. Other standout tracks are the heart breaking Benjamin – a poignant story of lost love; the powerful Tides and the soulful In a Bad Way. Storyteller is a fantastic closing track and winds the album down to a perfect conclusion, an opposing bookend to First Light that provides a peaceful sunset to a wonderful album.

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It’s set to be a busy year for Haunted like Human as they continue gaining exposure on the Nashville circuit, writing new material and preparing for a booked-out summer touring the States. They’re set to be firm favourites on the festival scene, starting this March in Austin at the Red Gorilla Music Fest followed by Dirty Fest. If you’re in the area, get along and show them some support!

Like what you hear? Get in touch with Haunted like Human via Urban Antenna, or follow them on social media:

https://www.facebook.com/haunted.like.human.music/

Twitter: @HLHOfficial

 

 

 

 

Under the Radar: Normal Suits

Want a dose of blood-pumping contemporary rock? If so, you need to check out Normal Suits. Already blasting the Baltimore indie rock scene to pieces, this experienced trio of musicians have come together to deliver a refined and intelligent debut album: Our New Happy Life. It’s edgy, powerful and packs a punch, but it remains well-structured and draws on a range of influences to ensure it keeps you on your toes.

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Brad (bass & vocals), Shawn (guitar, piano & vocals) and Mike (drums) are Normal Suits. They combine fantastically and know what they want to achieve. They’re seriously experienced musicians who are equally happy on stage as they are in the studio or behind the mixing desk. Of course they write their music but they also record, produce, mix and master everything themselves, ensuring their sound is exactly as intended. So many rock bands choose the easy option and imitate others. Normal Suits don’t. They have vision and it shows.

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Mike setting up in the studio

The 1990s Washington DC music scene is the most noticeable influence on Normal Suits. Baltimore is only a stones-throw away from DC, where Brad, Shawn and Mike cut their teeth listening to legendary post-hardcore bands such as Fugazi and Jawbox. The DIY ethos and cultured aggression of the post-hardcore scene is recognisable in both the approach Normal Suits take and the music they make. But they don’t dwell in the past. They add a forward-thinking slant to their classic foundations, ensuring they aren’t mistaken for wannabes.

 

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Debut Album: Our New Happy Life

Our New Happy Life opens with the catchy and accessible Babble Cadabra before kicking forward with the no-nonsense stormer Thing One – one of our favourites on the album. 19 Times slows things down and shows just how diverse Normal Suits are, and this continues with All We Want – a layered, down-tempo number that maintains the dark and brooding vibe that underpins the entire album. Possibility of Arcing showcases their confidence and Evacuation Special leads with a hint of Asian exotica that I for one didn’t expect. It’s creative and stands out. The hypnotic Eye See Are delivers a guitar-heavy wall of sound and the album wraps up with Green Lemons, which lifts the listener out of the turmoil and back to reality.

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Shawn during recording

So what next for Normal Suits? They’re already writing and recording new material and are set to follow up their debut album later in the year. Subscribe to Urban Antenna and we’ll keep you up-to-date on what’s to come. In the meantime, download Our New Happy Life and get excited about what’s still to come from this promising Baltimore three-piece.

https://t.co/4HfaYRtlKU

 

Under the Radar: 18th & Addison

Every once in a while we stumble across a track that blows us away. You know the sort. A track that screams pure class. Atmospheric, meaningful and lyrically perfect. Haunting and emotional. The kind of track that leaves you with a bemused smile. Hand-crafted musical greatness that so few people have had the pleasure to hear. On one level you’re ecstatic; you’ve beaten the masses to a hidden gem. On another level, you can’t fight the disappointment; a song this good needs to be heard.

Crumble and Crawl is one of those tracks. The moment it hit the speakers at Urban Antenna HQ, we stopped and listened from start to finish. How has this track gone so relatively unnoticed?!

Stop what you’re doing and listen to this right now!!

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18th & Addison are the band behind this moreish slice of rock heaven. Sharing vocals and guitar to wonderful effect, Tom Kunzman and Kait DiBenedetto just click. The group formed in New Jersey in 2013 and we suspect their talent has been pissing off envious local bands ever since.

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Little Parasites was 18th & Addison’s 2015 debut EP and it delivered a raw blend of high energy pop-punk that shows why they forged a reputation as a must-see live act. The release of their first full length album, Makeshift Monster, in 2016 saw a more refined approach rise to the surface. The fast-paced guitar and upbeat lyrics are still there but everything is more purposeful and professional. It’s clear Tom and Kait were growing in confidence and it shows. Support grew in the aftermath of Makeshift Monsters and increased opportunities for studio time fuelled their ambition even further, as Crumble and Crawl proves so well.

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Crumble and Crawl marks a huge coming of age. It’s classy, mature, well produced and memorable. Their early tracks were made for partying; this one’s made for listening. Judging by this, 18th & Addison are one of the most exciting upcoming bands on the horizon and we’ll be watching them all the way.

Like what you hear? Get in touch with 18th & Addison via Urban Antenna, direct via social media or check out their website:

18thandaddison.com

Under the Radar: Sick of the Riot

Since their inception in 2015, SickoftheRiot have stamped themselves on the UK underground scene by gigging tirelessly up and down the country. Hailing from Birmingham, England, this dynamic two-piece have perfected the ability to whip up their ever-increasing fan base into a frenzy, developing their talents by performing alongside established acts such as CJ Ramone, Pretty Vicious and Stiff Little Fingers…not bad company to be associated with. Their efforts have paid off and they’ve also proven themselves to be just as good in the studio as they are live.

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SickoftheRiot are guitarist/vocalist Chris Jones and drummer Paul Brooks. With two years relentless touring under their belt, 2017 saw Chris and Paul launch their self-titled debut EP. It’s truly diverse, comprising four slices of modern punk gold that leaves you begging for more.

Spearheaded by the insanely catchy Catastrophe, which has been lapped up on Spotify, the EP wastes no time in showcasing precisely why the duo have so much to offer. It’s upbeat, pop-tinged and clearly has commercial potential. But fear not, these guys aren’t Green Day in disguise; a point they prove with the dark and aggressive Best Regret. Rapid drums, heavy guitar and distinctive vocals make this a stand-out track that oozes maturity and credibility. The penultimate offering, 21, is a well measured alternative rock number that’s reminiscent of Royal Blood. It’s purposeful, dramatic and will appeal to all manner of music lovers. The EP winds down with the melodic Time; a track that lulls you in with its gentle intro and down-beat lyrics, before unleashing the fire that’s within its belly. SickoftheRiot is a multi-dimensional EP that shows off a band brimming with ideas.

2018 is set to be a big year for SickoftheRiot as they look to build on their current success. They’re writing hard as they add the finishing touches to their follow up release, but their appetite for performing live is ever present. They stormed the show on 2nd February 2018 at Birmingham’s O2 Institute and are set to do exactly the same at The Arches in Coventry on 16th February and Leicester’s Pi Bar the following night. This band is worth seeing. Get yourselves along and find out exactly why SickoftheRiot are causing such a stir.

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Like what you hear? Get in touch with SickoftheRiot via Urban Antenna, or contact the band directly:

Under the Radar: Los Cobrilos

Brace yourself Britain. Los Cobrilos have landed and they’re set to be the biggest thing out of Serbia since Nemanja Vidić. “Serbia?!” I hear you ask. Yes, Serbia. The former Yugoslav Republic may not be famed for churning out rock gods, but Los Cobrilos are making ripples right across Europe.

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Los Cobrilos are Neven and Andrej (the one with the massive beard!). Life-long friends brought together at a young age through their love of rock, blues and grunge. Their camaraderie shows in their tight arrangements and searing live performances. Driven by a pure love of music, they learnt their trade playing acoustic covers and rock staples, developing their own musical identity en route. Having served their apprenticeship under various incarnations, Los Cobrilos is a long-term project that signals their coming of age.

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The Los Cobrilos sound is packed with gutsy blues guitar that will be lapped up by British rock lovers. Their debut single, City, showcases their potential and fans now eagerly await their upcoming EP, due for release in spring. The track is illuminated by Andrej’s masterful work on the fretboard, providing the perfect backdrop for Neven’s gritty delivery of some truly poetic lyrics that are tinged with a hint of darkness. Just when you think it’s peaked, guest sax player Drasko (can you believe he’s only 18?!) blasts out a truly magnificent solo.

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One thing is clear. Los Cobrilos are talented and determined to make this project a total success. My money’s on them achieving just that. These easy going, genuine musicians may be laid back in conversation but their work ethic and determination is undeniable. Los Cobrilos are not going to stop until they reach the top.

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Los Cobrilos are attracting plenty of industry interest but they’re holding out for the recording contract that fits their vision. They’re thinking big and see a future outside their native Serbia. If their debut single is anything to go by, they’ll be snapped up in no time.

Watch Los Cobrilos’ video for debut single, City:

Like what you hear? Get in touch with Los Cobrilos through Urban Antenna, or contact the band directly:

https://www.facebook.com/loscobrilos/

https://twitter.com/los_cobrilos

https://soundcloud.com/tili-l-f-c

 

Under the Radar: Joe Platt

What does your average 22-year-old do when left alone in his bedroom with a laptop? Well if you’re Joe Platt, you write, record, mix and master your own unique brand of genre-crossing pop magic.

Joe epitomises everything that’s good about today’s UK independent music scene. He’s not afraid to push boundaries and experiment with new sounds, but he stays true to the soulful rhythms, funky bass lines and old-school hip-hop breaks of days gone by. Throw in a touch of digital wizardry, a hint of psychedelia, and you end up with a catchy, blissed-out sound that can only be achieved by a musician with true vision.

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Laying the foundations for his latest album

Whilst reluctant to compare Joe to other artists, it’s difficult not to draw comparisons with Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker. Both make use of echoing samples, synthesised hooks and pay full attention to their production from start to finish. Joe tends to work alone when laying down the foundations of his music, but for live performances and studio embellishments he turns to his hand-picked group of session musicians, The Peacekeepers.

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The psychedelic, lo-fi artwork that adorns Joe Platt’s innovative new album, Chill Out.

Joe’s latest album, Chill Out, is his third self-produced album and it flows as smooth as silk. Alien Touch gives first-time listeners a glimpse of what’s to come. Tinged with funky strings, tight snare beats and haunting sax, it’s an instant winner that’s followed up by the equally catchy Purple + Blue. As the album progresses it doesn’t get stale. So Much Soul slows things down beautifully, only for Way Out to storm right back and take the album higher than ever. As the album begins to wind down, things get more trippy. Enlarged Heart brings hazy reverb with a touch of R&B and Get Real is the kind of track Ian Brown would create if he was starting out in 2018. The album closes with another stormer as the deep-soul of Graduation stamps its mark and ensures you walk away knowing its only a matter of time until Joe Platt gets his break and finds himself on the receiving end of a record deal.

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Get in touch with Joe on Twitter @JoeAndPeace

Want to listen to Chill Out? Check it out on iTunes, Spotify, YouTube and SoundCloud.

If you want to find out more about Joe Platt, contact Urban Antenna or contact him direct via Twitter @JoeAndPeace.