The Idle Silence are back!!!
Yes as the title says, The Idle Silence are back in full force with their new single “Close”, and once again it’s a banger!
I previously wrote a review for these guys (check out my review for 'Dark Matter' here) and was really impressed with their ability to sound like a fusion of two bands, The Ramones, and Nirvana, yet still sounding fresh and original. However I feel like the grunge sound from their last song “Dark Matter” has been replaced with a more punky feeling sound. You can really hear and feel each band member doing their part to keep the song driving and fast. It doesn’t feel as dark as their previous track. Instead, it feels more at home in a surfing or skating environment. It’s a track that keeps the adrenaline flowing and keeps you feeling sharp between the ears, it makes you want to get up and achieve something.
The song starts with the drummer counting the rest of the band in with his sticks. A very typical rock n roll one two three four count before the guitars and bass come charging in to accompany the track in all its punky fury. Something I’ve noticed this time is that there aren't many effects on the singer this time. The previous record had some kind of effect on it where it sounded like his voice was inches away from breaking up or becoming distorted. Because of that, you can hear the singers range a bit more. Maybe it is deliberate, but it feels much more melodic. There’s no Ramones style chanting in the chorus like the previous song, it’s more radio friendly. And on top of that, it’s a song that I could imagine hearing in a movie or a sitcom. Something like American Pie or the Inbetweeners, some kind of teenage movie about people basking in their youth and enjoying their new found freedom.
Something that I’ve found myself thinking after a few listens is how much this track reminds me of another famous surfing/skating track, which is Welcome To Paradise by Green Day. In fact, this new punky sound that The Idle Silence are displaying in this track really is reminiscent of the first Green Day album. I said previously that The Idle Silence made me feel like I was in the 90’s again, and this track really does that again. I think rather than trying to experiment with different genres, the band has the attitude of stick to one and try to master it, which is exactly where they are headed.
I really like the way how there’s no clear pre chorus or anything. There’s no shift in energy or no attempt to try and drop and build. It’s just pumping drums and loud guitars until it all comes to a stop so the singer can ask “how close am I?” Then, it all starts again. The perfect song for a festival in my opinion, and one that could easily have some form of crowd interaction. I could definitely see a scenario where the band stops, the singer points his microphone towards the crowd as they all scream the line “how close am I”, before going back into a frenzy.
Once again I’m left feeling really impressed and bewildered that a band like this hasn’t been signed up to a major label yet. They’ve got the songs, they’ve got the sound, they just need that one person to take a punt on them. The only thing I would improve on the song is the very end bit. It all just kind of comes to a stop and the sound fades out, but I think it would be cool if you had those few seconds to hold on the ending notes before the drummer does one last run down and the guitars have one more big hit to really end the song on a wow. But that’s just me being picky.
Well done The Idle Silence. Once again you’ve blown my mind!!
I’m going to start by saying, I absolutely adore this song! I can already tell this is a song that I’m going to have on repeat for ages. It had me nodding my head along to the energetic driving drums upon first listen, and I feel like that’s a great early indication of a fantastic catchy song. There’s no slow start with ‘One Way Road’, it’s straight into the fun, and it feels like you’re in a sports car going 100 miles per hour with your head hanging out of the window, an absolute thrill ride.
Mad Simple are a four piece indie rock band from Bournemouth, and I have to say, the name suits them perfectly. They’ve not tried to overdo this track by adding all these fancy production tricks, they’ve kept it simple. There’s plenty of breathing room in this track, they’ve not tried to cram every second with fast guitar solos or screeching vocals. Instead, there’s points in the song where it’s just the drums and the chugging bass line. And I think that’s what really helps keep this song interesting. I can’t help but compare their style to that of Catfish & The Bottlemen, it caters to both the mainstream audience who would give it a few listens after hearing it on the radio, and the hardcore indie head who listens to this kind of music all day every day.
I don’t think I’ve come across a song where I’d argue that the verses are more catchy than the chorus. I especially love the pre chorus where the guitar does this ascending riff which helps with the build up, again it’s typical indie rock, but it doesn’t feel stale or old, it feels fresh and exciting. And although I’ve compared the band to Catfish & The Bottlemen, I also hear a little bit of 2017 Liam Gallagher in the singer when the verse first starts. The vocals feel smooth, I think the professional term is head voice, the sound is being produced from the back of the throat and nose rather than from the stomach. But that’s what I like, it’s different. You can feel that the singer is capable of producing those powerful moments if he needs to, but he knows what the song needs.
Towards the end of the song, the words “One-a- way, one-a-way-road” are sung throughout. It only happens twice, but it’s not something that the song needs to rely on in order to make it catchy and memorable. In fact I think if it were sung a few more times, then it would just get lost within the pumping instrumental. That’s another reason why I love this song, everything feels so carefully crafted and thought through. There’s this perfect balance of every instrument, the drums, the bass, the two guitars and of course the vocals. They’ve not tried to cram in all these extra lines, they’ve done enough talking, they’ve taken the listener on the perfect journey. My only complaint is at the length of the song, but it’s only because I don’t want it to stop. The song is 2:11, quite short in today’s market, but I also think that benefits new listeners. It doesn’t drag on and make you wonder how much longer until the next song starts. It’s a great introduction to the band's sound and would be perfect for someone looking to get into both the band and that genre of music…but I’m selfish and I want it to last longer simply because it’s so brilliant! I even found myself air drumming after the second listen!
I could sit here and rave to you about how brilliant this song is, but I would be here all day and all night. And I know I’ve said it before, but it just does feel like an instant classic. It also gives me that feeling you get when you discover an old song that you love. You’ve got a warm feeling in your heart and a smile on your face. So congratulations once again Mad Simple for creating something so brilliant! In my opinion, a song that would go perfectly live in a small club on a Friday night with a glass of Vodka Lemonade to hand.
Written by Jack Saunders
A future movie soundtrack!
I’m a big fan of Ben! I really loved his debut album “be safe, goodbye”. It really blew me away how talented he is. But now, he is NEXT LEVEL. Ben’s new single “City Life (dreading desire)” shows just how versatile he is as an artist. It’s so much different than the material on his album. It’s darker, it’s bigger and it’s more mature.
The start of the song opens up with the crashing sound of thunder in the distance. It instantly makes me think of Ben standing outside during a rainstorm, feeling a bit sad, broken, a bit angry, and just singing to no one but himself, and the sky. Like I said it feels super dark, like something out of a movie. And that’s what I love about it! Ben has also swapped his infamous guitar for a much darker sounding synths, stomach rumbling bass and a drum machine. However there are still some sprinkles of his slick guitar playing throughout the song, but it’s clear that Ben is headed in a new exciting direction. Swapping lyrics about begging his love to stay, to more X rated ones where he’s being much more assertive, more confident and feels like he’s saying to the person you either keep up with me, or you leave me.
“You don’t wanna fall in love with me, because I can’t be pleased, why can’t you see?” Is what echoes around during the huge chorus. I think it’s such a clever line, it’s almost like Ben has become numb to this person and is trying to warn them not to fall in love with him and waste their time because nothing they can do will make him feel satisfied. The whole song feels like it could fit right in on the latest “The Weeknd” record. It's the start of a more modern era in the discography of Ben Reidy.
“Expensive cars are all a facade cos I’m working towards what is real” this is a line that comes much later in the song, and is another favourite of mine. I feel like Ben let’s down his guard a little bit here and exposes a bit of vulnerability. He’s essentially saying that he’s not interested or bothered in this flashy lifestyle equals happiness equation that everyone else is caught up with. He’s set his sights on something completely different and more important to him, which I think is his music and being considered a successful musician? Or at least that’s how I interpreted it. Along with the instrumental taking on a different style, Ben has also taken on a much different approach to his vocals and has traded his powerful belts for a quick off the cuff rap style which kind of acts like an instrument in itself. Instead of his voice taking on a more melodic and slow style, it follows the rhythm of the song acting like another drum that really helps the flow and feel of the song maintain its fast, in your face feel!
Something else that’s just come to me is there’s a warning that Ben puts out towards the end of the track. “Cos when loyalty is a rarity its f***ed when you’re nice.”, i think it’s maybe a warning and reminder to himself for future occasions. And like he says, in a generation where loyalty is a rarity, it’s seen as strange when you’re nice to someone and have good intentions. And the outcome of this is usually following the unfaithful people who then are bound to disappoint you. And of course the last line “be careful who you trust, make sure you think twice” is a reminder to always check over your shoulder, and although someone appears genuine, it doesn’t mean their intentions are just that. Maybe again it’s Ben reminding himself due to past encounters?
Overall, I can’t speak highly enough of young Ben who is only 17, but feels like he’s already an established act. And I think when an artist is in the process of making a second album or second single, they sometimes have the desire to branch out into a new genre and style but so often fear the unknown and stick to one style. But Ben has taken that in his stride and is now welcoming us to the new and improved Ben Reidy. Let the new era begin!
City Life (dreading desire) is out now on all streaming platforms!
Written by Jack Saunders
You may remember Ben Hadwin from Antix Music Network; as well as taking on various Antix gigs throughout 2022, but this time last year, we interviewed him as he was about to take on a 36 hour DJ set for charity.
Well, he's back; and this time upping the stakes. 48 hours behind a set of decks, and next year, 72 hours.
We caught up with Ben before his biggest challenge yet.
Frazer Mitchell; Hey Ben, welcome back to another interview with Antix. It must have been quite a 12 months for you? What have you been up to since we spoke before the last charity set you did?
Ben Hadwin; thank you for having me back Frazer, it’s been a good year thank you. Played at some new venues including a restaurant on Weymouth harbour, and a festival with SASH
FM; So last time you did a charity fundraiser, where you DJ’d for a solid 36 hours, how did that go? How did you cope?
Ben; very well thank you raised a decent amount of money. Coped very well thank you didn’t really get tired.
FM; This time, you’re upping your game to 48 hours. 2 whole days you’re staying awake. How are you preparing yourself for this one? How are you feeling about the challenge ahead?
Ben; had a chat with a few DRs about the week leading up and what food to eat. Will have people with me at all times to make sure I’m ok and awake. Im just wanting the event to hurry up as can’t wait.
FM; Last time, you had a lot of donations and sponsors, it seems like this year you have even more support already, and the event is still about a week away. What do you want to say to all the support you’ve had?
Ben; just want to say a HUGE thank you to The Lugger for the continued support last year and this year, for holding the event. The donations of prizes is unbelievable this year and can’t thank people enough.
FM; So let’s look forward to next year. You told me over breakfast recently you were thinking of doing a 72 Hour event… is that still on the cards?
Ben; ha ha, now the wife knows. It’s something I’m Interested in yes. However would also like to have a crack at the world record.
FM; Is there a link for donations? And any businesses thinking they might like to sponsor you, how do they go about getting in touch?
Ben; donations are going towards The Masonic charitable foundation and Andy’s man club
FM; Best of luck to you Ben, I think you’ll smash it, and we’ll be sure to share it on Antix as it’s going ahead.
Ben; Thanks for your support!
Make sure you #GetInvolved and follow Ben's journey, starting on 31st March.
Angelic vocals that make you feel like you’re being flown to heaven!
The song starts with the gentle piano playing of Patrick Clark, another finalist from Closet's Got Talent. Feeling an immediate a sense of weightlessness, Olivia starts to sing. A 15 year old singer based in Bournemouth, who recently won the 2023 Closet’s Got Talent competition, and to be honest, she could probably win X Factor if she entered. Olivia, has done a cover of a song called Wings which is originally by Birdy. However despite it being a cover, Olivia really makes the song feel like an original!
In the original version of the song, there’s lots of layers of production to the song that makes it feel very busy and can even draw focus away from the vocals themselves. However in Olivia’s version, there’s nothing but piano, and her voice in what feels like a big room with lots of reverb. There are no distractions like drums, or bass, and because of that, you feel like the performance is a bit more intimate. Instead of it being played to an arena of people, you feel like it’s being played to just you and maybe a handful of other people. And that’s what I love about it!
The song no longer feels like a soulless smash pop hit that was only produced for commercial purposes. It feels like an original that was written to help the artist get through a hard time. It’s softer, it’s purer, and all round better. I’m also amazed by Olivia’s control over her voice. The song goes through waves of high angelic falsetto back down into a normal voice, which can be hard to both pull of and sound as natural and fluent as it does in this song.
Speaking of voice control, there’s another great example of this during the verses. Instead of Olivia’s voice being at a constant volume, she dips and rises it, like waves in the ocean. She can go from a really big sounding belt back down to almost a breathy whisper. Her vocal ability is simply phenomenal for someone of her age. The title of the song is called Wings, and I personally couldn’t have thought of a better, more appropriate song than this one for her debut release.
Well done Olivia, and congratulations on winning Closet’s Got Talent. I can’t wait to see where your wings take you to next!
You can stream Wings by Olivia on Spotify and Apple Music.
Wrapping us all with the feel good summer vibes that we have missed during the cold months!
Straight away your ears are graced with the beautiful sound of an acoustic guitar and echoes of Finlay’s voice, which immediately gives me the vision of wild-flowers beginning to open back up and bringing the warmth of summer with them at the same time. You instantly begin to feel a little better, a little happier, and of course, a sense of intrigue and wonder. This is just the beginning, what’s going to happen next?
After about 40 seconds, the light sonic vocals are accompanied by a pumping kick drum. This is where the incredibly talented virtuoso, Frazer Mitchell, makes his mark on the track and helps elevate it into this toe tapping pop hit. Although this song was released in January, I could easily imagine it being blasted from a car stereo with the roof down, on the way to the seaside on a scorching summers day!
Just before the catchy chorus comes in, there’s a particular set of lyrics that really stood out to me and caught my attention. “Don’t wanna be holding you back, from the fun of living your own life”. It’s a really clever lyric which paints the picture of a person wanting to reach out to the one they love, but they fear that they’ll hold them back from doing what they want to do. And maybe in the process, take away the fun that they experience currently with their independence. As the lyric says, don’t want to hold them back from the fun of living their own life. It’s as if the person you love is walking away and about to walk out of the door. And you’re stood there watching them leave, and you’re having this internal dialogue with yourself. Do I tell them how I really feel? Would they understand if I told them? And would I interfere with their life? So you reach your hand out ready to confess your feelings, but instead you stop yourself and watch them, and your golden opportunity walk out the door completely unaware. For me, that’s the sign of a well written and structured song. One that the listener doesn’t have to listen to a million times to try and get some sort of message out of it.
The chorus starts and it does an excellent job of carrying on that feel good factor! I know I’ve used the example of a car journey to the south coast a few times, but it could easily be the soundtrack to a quiet Thursday night at home, where you and your loved one are cooking some food together and have a little dance in the kitchen with one another. But it could equally fit right in at a festival, where the thumping kick drum could entice onlookers in the crowd to get up and have a dance themselves.
So the conclusion then? Well, I could write for hours about this song. I love the message of wanting to reach out to that special person, but being afraid of getting hurt. So as a result you stay 'bubblewraped' in your own life. I love the angelic harmonies that Finlay does during the verses to enhance them. And I love how Frazer has used his vast and versatile music ability to transform this beautiful acoustic track into a fun and enjoyable pop song by adding the drums, tambourine and bass. In most cases, it’s the production that propels a great song, into an instant classic. Imagine “Castle On The Hill” without that constant thump of the drums in the background. It would still be a great song, but definitely not the smash hit we know it as today. So massive congratulations to Finlay Leslie and Frazer Mitchell. Proving that they’re both amazing artists individually, but together, they make magic!
Listen to Bubblewrap here.
Frazer Mitchell - Producer, DJ, and Events Coordinator at Antix Music Network