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James Deacon’s new music video for ‘Mr Misery’ is a COVID-19 pièce de résistance

The video for ‘Mr Misery’ brings James’s vibrant energy and iconic look to life by giving a nod to anti-establishmentarianism and resistance in light of recent South African social injustice.x

Following the recent release of his EP ‘Renegade’ – which has already seen major support across some of South Africa’s main radio stations; 5FM, 947, KFM, Jacaranda FM and Algoa FM plus A&R Worldwide’s Passport Approved playlisting and Amazing Radio play in the UK, as well as support from streaming services across the board – South African alternative pop artist James Deacon reveals the official music video for his alt-rock banger ‘Mr Misery’.

The video is out today, July 8th, and sees James and his band mates teaming up with creative visionary and video director, Eric T Graham, who says “I was absolutely blown away when I heard the new music James has been putting out. It took no more than a few seconds of Mr Misery’s first listen before I was adamant on making a music video with these guys.

Eric explains the theme and concept for the video, saying “Being heavily restricted by lockdown, I knew I wanted to incorporate and use the restrictions as an advantage, rather than having the video postponed. I took an antagonistic approach towards the current circumstances and restrictions put in place by the overarching pandemic and the South African government’s response towards it.

The music video introduces us to the band wearing face masks, staying the appropriate distance from one another and applying hand sanitizer. Monitoring an empty street at night, the band addresses the situation head-on with withered statements on cardboard (all of which being segments from local headlines). The main theme would be questioning and confronting reality, authority and the layered response from our government.

After editing a preliminary video, we shot some silhouettes to mask over the main narrative and performance, to amplify the forms of deflection, masking and deception that this pandemic (and how the government is responding towards it) yields.

While being one of my proudest works, this was easily one of the most effortless music videos I’ve ever produced. James, Dan and Pierre were amazing to work with and never doubted or questioned my vision for this video.”

Speaking about the making of the video, James explains “Shooting ‘Mr Misery’ was a 3am decision!

I got a message from an old friend from my days playing guitar in a previous band, who turned out to be an amazing videographer! We literally decided to do the video and started filming 2 days later.

Eric T Graham was the Visionary behind the video and from moment 1 I knew that he was the perfect person to truly bring out the meaning of the song and make a statement at the same time.

From start to finish the entire project took only about 2 weeks and it flowed amazingly from phase to phase without any major issues, which is really rare with these things! It’s the kind of video that you will instantly want to re-watch.

Part of the video’s message is a statement on the current socio-political climate in South Africa.

‘Mr Misery’ which was released on James’ ‘Renegade’ EP on June 12th through Bad Future Records is perhaps the genre-defying artist’s most alternative-rock offering to date. The song is a bluesy, rock infused sing-along anthem with sweeping distorted guitars, driving bass lines and a thumping beat topped off with infectious vocals and headbanging hooks.

When asked about the track’s narrative and lyrical content, James confesses: “I try to be a positive guy for the most part, but sometimes I have trouble with the cynical, negative Debbie-Downer side of myself. This song came about at around 4:00am, as I stumbled to the kitchen to get some water, the melody and chanted delivery of the opening line for the song came to me and it kinda developed from there.”

“It’s basically the dark side to my last single ‘Shine’, because as much as I believe that persistence and positivity are the keys to success, I think a healthy tolerance and understanding of the undesirable aspects of one’s mind is just as important. ‘Mr Misery’ is a metaphor for my bad side, and the song itself is a kind of resilient juxtaposition to “Shine”,

After his single ‘Son Of Apollo’ was selected to soundtrack HBO’s 8-week movie promo campaign in America, follow up singles ‘HERO aka Rich’ and ‘Reason’ both achieved stints at #1 on 5FM’s Indie Chart, and Deacon’s work has received online tastemaker support from Record Of The Day, Earmilk, Indie Shuffle and CLASH, to name but a few – this 23-year-old multi-instrumentalist is quickly becoming some of the hottest property in alternative music.

While most of us are ready to write off 2020, the lockdown has only reinforced James’ undeniable talent and there seems to be no end in sight to his musical prowess and fierce determination.

Listen to ‘Mr Misery’ HERE:

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4 December 2020 (Australia) – Independent artist Ziggy Alberts today debuts the music video for his latest single “heartbeat”, out now on YouTube.

Directed by the ARIA & ACS award-winning Allan Hardy and Josh Weier, this 1940s stylised video unfolds in a picturesque country hall. The uncomplicated feel-good story features subtle ‘Notebook-esque’ undertones and cinematic dance moments, capturing the essence of the “heartbeat track – “finding resolution in the common thread of all good things – love” as Ziggy describes.  


Upon the single release, “heartbeat” was premiered on Under the Radar Magazine (US) and Wonderland Magazine (UK) and received praise from Spindle Magazine (UK). In its first week, the single debuted at #20 on the AIR Single Charts for Independent Labels and #20 on the Apple Music Australian Singer-Songwriter chart.

“heartbeat” is the latest track from Ziggy Alberts forthcoming fifth album “searching for freedom – out 19 March 2021. The album marks a new chapter in the evolution of Ziggy Alberts and “heartbeat” gives us an exciting glimpse into the tones of his progressive journey.

With over 1.59 million monthly listeners on Spotify alone, show sizes on the continuous rise and praise from publications like Billboard Magazine, American Songwriter and Clash UK, there is no doubt 2021 will be Ziggy Alberts’ year.


Ziggy has been awarded ARIA Platinum certification for his tracks Gone, Runaway, Heaven, Love Me Now, Laps Around The Sun, Stronger and Four Feet in the Forest (EP) plus, Gold certifications for three tracks in his catalogue.


“Ziggy Alberts is giving us a glimpse into his new era of music with his emotive single ‘heartbeat’. Diving into the topic of love, Alberts beautifully explores the complexities of relationships with his captivating storytelling. From his warm vocals to his earnest lyrics ‘heartbeat’ is a record that will leave you floating through the clouds.” – Spindle, UK

“In keeping with Ziggy Alberts’ style, “heartbeat” is a piece of easy-going acoustic pop. It is a simple and timeless formula but one Alberts pulls off to great effect. With an exceedingly smooth croon, gently fingerpicked guitar, and a hint of steady percussion, the track isn’t breaking his folk-tinged mold, but he delivers the romantic track with an earnest passion that even the most cynical will find hard to resist.”- Under the Radar Magazine, US

“Folk-hewn but modern-facing, his work sits alongside those early Ben Howard cuts or even Jack Johnson, that kind of slick but still endearingly earnest musicality.”Clash, UK

“For fans who’ve been following Ziggy’s career from day dot, his increasing popularity wouldn’t come as a shock. To everyone else, the Ziggy story is probably still something of a surprise. He’s a self-made success, and it’s a grassroots swell plenty of people are getting behind” –Triple J


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Today, British troubadour Passenger (Mike Rosenberg) shares new song “Suzanne” from his forthcoming album, Songs for the Drunk and Broken Hearted, set for release on January 8th 2021.  The song’s music video picks up where “A Song for the Drunk and Broken Hearted” left off – in a half empty dive bar where the camera’s focus moves away from the sad clown band and switches to one particular drunk and broken-hearted patron named Suzanne who is reflecting on days gone by. Watch the official video HERE.
Rosenberg explains, “This song tells the tale of an older lady, drinking alone in a bar and thinking back to a time when she was youthful and beautiful and had her whole life ahead of her . I think its a subject that I keep on returning to in my songs – The fleeting nature of youth and the inevitable passing of time. Suzanne had it all in front of her and wasted it and now sits longing for something that can never happen again.”
The majority of Songs for the Drunk and Broken Hearted was written when Rosenberg was newly single. “Coming out of a break-up creates such a fragile window,” he reflects. “You’re incredibly vulnerable for a few months. You’re so used to the safety of being with somebody and suddenly you’re out in the world on your own. And you get pissed and probably make some bad decisions. In some ways, you make it worse for yourself. But it’s a heady moment, losing love and being drunk. And it’s universal. Everyone goes through it at some stage.”
Songs for the Drunk and Broken Hearted is available to pre-order HERE. All physical packaging of CDs and Vinyl will be made of 100% recycled material, and one tree will be planted for every physical piece sold  via the Passenger webstore thanks to a partnership with Ecologi and the Eden Project.
Passenger’s proposed year of busking, festivals and headline shows is postponed until 2021*. With an authentic and engaging live show that has won over scores of fans and critics around the globe and allowed him to headline some of the world’s most famous stages, he looks forward to returning to the road as soon as it’s safe for everyone. Until then, Rosenberg invites fans to an intimate evening at London’s famed Royal Albert Hall for an exclusive performance film that will be broadcast on January 10, 2021 to celebrate the album’s release. Everyone who pre-orders the album receives priority access to the event and will receive Suzanne, A Song For The Drunk and Broken Hearted, The Way That I Love You and London In The Spring as instant downloads.
Hailing from Brighton, England, Passenger is a multi-award winning, platinum-selling singer-songwriter. Although still known for his busking, he long ago made the journey from street corners to stadiums, thanks in part to supporting his good mate Ed Sheeran, and most notably with “Let Her Go,” which reached number 1 in 19 countries and is approaching three billion plays on YouTube. With over 11 million monthly listeners at Spotify, ‘Let Her Go’ is just one song from a remarkable and prolific back catalogue, including 2016’s Young as the Morning, Old as the Sea, which topped the charts in the UK and beyond. The consistency of his output, coupled with his authenticity both on and off stage, has won Passenger a dedicated fanbase around the globe. 

* As with all global touring events at present, we are assessing on a daily basis the various issues in each country. As soon as any changes or updates are made, we will be notifying all ticket buyers with as much notice as possible. Please sign up to the mailing list for the most up to date information. 
    Track Listing:
1. Sword from the Stone
2. Tip of My Tongue
3. What You’re Waiting For
4. The Way That I Love You
5. Remember to Forget
6. Sandstorm
7. A Song for the Drunk and Broken Hearted
8. Suzanne
9. Nothing Aches Like a Broken Heart
10. London in the Spring
11. London in the Spring (Acoustic)
12. Nothing Aches Like A Broken Heart (Acoustic)
13. Suzanne (Acoustic)
14. A Song for the Drunk and Broken Hearted (Acoustic)
15. Sandstorm (Acoustic)
16. Remember to Forget (Acoustic)
17. The Way That I Love You (Acoustic)
18. What You’re Waiting For (Acoustic)
19. Tip of My Tongue (Acoustic)
20. Sword from the Stone (Acoustic)  

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“Jeremy Loops makes jozi dance with this new creation” – JOZI-DEEP
WATCH ‘TIL I FOUND YOU’ HERE INTRODUCING JEREMY LOOPS… WATCH HERE   “Write great songs and put on great shows. If we do that right, everything follows”
Jeremy Loops

  With a busy 2020 that saw him release mega-hit Mortal Man and launch his own food security organisation that raised north of R1 million, singer, songwriter and producer Jeremy Loops shares his new single Til I Found You’, out on 13 November on UMG South Africa.   Jeremy says,’”Til I Found You’ is about the search. For a person, for a feeling, the search for yourself, even. So there’s big themes of love and connection here, but it’s really about fulfilment.”  

A career characterised by smashing through glass ceilings to break onto the international scene, the new single is a taste of Jeremy’s singular sound while showcasing his incredible global momentum through A-List collaborations. It’s a summer anthem through and through.

  Co-written and produced by Jake Gosling (Ed Sheeran, The Libertines, Shawn Mendes, Nina Nesbitt) and Tobias Kuhn (Milky Chance, Jack Johnson, Rhys Lewis), ’Til I Found You’ is bright, buoyant and hopeful.  

The music video also marks Jeremy’s directorial debut, something he’s very proud of. “I had this very specific vision and I know as someone who creates, sometimes the best way to see out your ideas is to chase them down. I think it captures this positivity and sonic energy that says so much under the surface, especially given this year,” he says.  It’s a sun-soaked remedy ushering in the warm days and South Africa’s silly season.  


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the Nespresso Team is back!

To our valued Club Members, we welcome you back!
The health and safety of our employees and consumers is our top priority, which is why we have put in place many precautionary measures in all of our Boutiques and Booths.

These include:

  • Providing protective masks for all our Boutique staff
  • Providing hand sanitisers for all our Boutique staff and customers
  • Limiting the number of people in our Boutiques and accessing our Booths
  • Putting in place social distancing measures for all and reinforcing our already strict hygiene measures.

We will continue to abide by all the governments rules and regulations.
Stay safe, the Nespresso Team

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Nespresso ProfessionalTel: 0800 B2B PRO (222 776)

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  12 November 2020 (Australia) – Rising artist, Ziggy Alberts today drops his new single “heartbeat”, alongside the release date for his fifth album “searching for freedom” – out 19 March 2021, available for pre-order now.
heartbeat is a song about how love brings us together no matter how far we are apart… a breakup song, turned into a story of hope and trust on a summer adventure,” said Ziggy. “[The song] talks about the past and present, finding resolution in the common thread of all good things – love.” 
This new single follows in the wake of an incredible past year for the independent singer-songwriter. From the conclusion of his 110+ date World Tour and a string of new releases in 2020, including singles ‘together’ and ‘don’t get caught up’, which both appear on the “searching for freedom” album.
This album announcement marks a new chapter in the evolution of Ziggy Alberts and “heartbeat” gives us an exciting glimpse into the tones of his progressive journey. With over 1.59 million monthly listeners on Spotify alone, show sizes on the continuous rise and praise from the likes of Billboard Magazine, American Songwriter and Clash UK, there is no doubt 2021 will be Ziggy Alberts’ year.
Ziggy has been awarded ARIA Platinum certification for his tracks Gone, Runaway, Heaven, Love Me Now, Laps Around The Sun, Stronger and Four Feet in the Forest (EP) plus, Gold certifications for three tracks in his catalogue.
The ‘Laps Around The Sun World Tour’ saw Ziggy travel and play to fans across Europe, United Kingdom and North America, all before returning home to Australia in December, to play his biggest sold-out headline tour, to-date. These shows on his home turf were a significant career milestone. The independent artist played prestigious venues – Hordern Pavilion (Sydney), Fremantle Arts Centre (Fremantle), two nights at Thebarton Theatre (Adelaide), Sidney Myer Music Bowl (Melbourne), and ended at Riverstage (Brisbane). 
Listen to the new single “heartbeat” now from Ziggy Alberts forthcoming album “searching for freedom”, out 19 March 2021. 
“If you like powerful, soulful voices like Dermot Kennedy and storytellers like Vance Joy, then this is for you.”Substream
“Folk-hewn but modern-facing, his work sits alongside those early Ben Howard cuts or even Jack Johnson, that kind of slick but still endearingly earnest musicality.”Clash, UK
“For fans who’ve been following Ziggy’s career from day dot, his increasing popularity wouldn’t come as a shock. To everyone else, the Ziggy story is probably still something of a surprise. He’s a self-made success, and it’s a grassroots swell plenty of people are getting behind” – Triple J
“The songwriter is adept at diving into big situations and swimming expertly back up to the top. With a warm smile and a bright batch of energy, Alberts offers ideas of unity and appreciation in his buoyant music.” – American Songwriter
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SonOfOld’s brand new album is an 8-track masterpiece

SonOfOld’s album is out now at
[PICTURED: Nic Olsen – SonOfOld]
Photo Credit – Cornell Meyer

  SonOfOld today releases his 4th and self-titled studio album across all digital platforms and it’s an 8-track masterpiece from start to finish.
SonOfOld has had Texx And The City describe his music, stating “With so many of today’s popular releases conforming to a certain style of form, SonOfOld legit does not give a sh*t about what’s mainstream, instead focusing on exactly the kind of art that he wants throw out into the universe.” A quote taken for the music video for ‘Much Better’ that not only defines one song, but is pretty apt for the entire album.
Nic Olsen, aka SonOfOld, finally gets to release his full body of work after teasing with 4 singles leading up to the album drop today.
  Explore the making of the album here as Richard Chem interviews Nic Olsen about the brand new
SonOfOld album:
The last Sonofold record “The Wolf Album” recorded with Steve Albini, was released in 2011 and 9 years later the 4th studio album is finally out. The “SonOfOld” album was recorded over a two week period in 2019 with Tom Hughes and is something special in that the music is taken from a writing period that spans just over a decade.  It is in a way for Olsen to reflect and move on.
For SonOfOld, or any artist who has not seen the A-list success with their name, looking to break a new album is a tough task in its own, so how do you please the masses? You don’t. You make an album you love and you reach those who resonate with it. Nic has finally achieved this. “All I can say about this record is that I enjoy listening to it… other albums I have written/been involved in I have little desire to reflect on, but this one is different. So, for anyone else, this album just might be worth taking some time to stick on some headphones and take a listen . It’s only 8 tracks and 30 minutes long, what’s the worst thing that could happen?”
With singles ‘Atom Man’, ‘Saturday Night’, ‘Much Better’, and ‘A Message’ already released from the album, these remaining four tracks complete the newly released SonOfOld masterpiece that is Nic Olsen’s eccentric 4th Studio album.
Nic explores the stories behind these remaining singles and how they came about:
Shout it out: This track was written in 2018… when I recorded the demo I laid down a drum beat based on the Portishead track “Machine Gun” from their third album.  Shout it Out though is a pretty straight forward pop song … I think what makes it sound special are the drums and the bass line which sit in direct contract to the piano and vocals. 
No Escape: This is my favourite track from the album. The beats again full of 90’s flavour … Rob Zombie-ish some have said. My favourite part of the track is the bass line in the chorus and the backing vocal “doo doo doos” . Guitars I kept minimalistic; I was going for that Velvet Underground feel in places. 
Take a Trip: This track took a while to finish … one of those pieces one keeps revisiting. I eventually decided “f*ck it, let’s finish it and put it on the album.”  The highlight in this one is oddly enough the outro, more specifically the melody. I have been influenced a lot by Brian Wilson and in particular his work on “Pet Sounds”, which comes through strong in the outro for ‘Take a Trip’. The lyrics are inspired by the true crime documentary “Murder Mountain”. 
Whiskey and Plastic: This is an oldie. I originally recorded the track with David Birch and we have recently pulled that from the archives, but that’s for another time. The song came out of nowhere. I simply sat down at the piano and wrote it from beginning to end (because I’m a musical genius – lol) . Lyrically the song is introspective and, in a way, hasn’t lost its meaning… perhaps a self-fulfilling prophecy. 
SonOfOld’s self-titled album is out now, so play it loud at
In support of the album release, SonOfOld has a few shows set up in Joburg, so see him live this weekend at the following venues:
Saturday 24th Oct @ 6pm – Grid n Grill, Benoni (Free entrance)
Sunday 25th Oct @ 3pm – Lock Stock & Beer, Fourways (Free entrance)
  Tracklisting for “SonOfOld – SonOfOld” album:
1. Atom Man
2. Much Better
3. Shout it Out
4. A Message
5. Saturday Night
6. No Escape
7. Take a Trip
8. Whiskey and Plastic

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James Deacon’s new single “Take Control” explores serendipity while living it up

Watch the music video for “Take Control” here:

James Deacon’s new tune “Take Control” blends old school swagger and contemporary coolness
After being nominated for a SAMA for Best Alternative Album and his previous singles receiving massive support, including playlisting and charting on the biggest radio stations in South Africa, as well as streaming services across the board, James Deacon returns with some feel good vibes.
His latest single and the accompanying video for “Take Control”, out on October 23rd through Bad Future Records, is a positive and upbeat expression of the appreciation of chance encounters, and shows off the singer’s trademark sound as he continues to blaze an exhilarating career path.

“Take Control” co-written with Paul Gala is a bluesy, blustery jam. Deacon’s signature genre-busting style shines with haughty, enigmatic rap verses that contrast his soulful vocals, groovy guitar riffs and bold, heart tickling bass lines. This clap commanding anthem is an instant modern day classic, featuring 60’s style blues guitar driven lines layered effortlessly over slickly produced hard hitting hip-hop beats, vintage breaks and 808s. The middle 8 section makes use of psychedelic country soundscapes created with Deacon’s voice and some production genius on behalf of the ever present Paul Gala.

“‘Take Control’ is a fun track all about meeting a girl at a house party and the song is basically just me hitting on her for 3 minutes. I started off only singing in the verses, but after listening to the track a lot I decided I wanted to try and rap over the verse and it flowed really nicely. The main guitar line that features throughout the track was written years ago but never used until one day in the studio when I heard Paul’s beat which seemed to fit with it perfectly and ‘Take Control’ was born”, James explains.
  Stream “Take Control” on all platforms:  
James also releases the video for “Take Control” which sees him once again joining forces with creative visionary Eric T Graham, who explains: “‘Take Control’ is essentially a homage towards every house party I’ve ever thrown. Taking place within a broader framework (yet to be revealed), ‘Take Control’ makes an early reveal as the culmination and celebration of a few different projects.
As with most of the projects I’ve tackled alongside James, we started off with a vague idea of what we wanted to accomplish and figured the rest out on the fly. I’m all about nudges, easter-eggs, references and pouring elements of the artist’s life (as well as my own) into a project, without feeling the need to ever discuss the underlying meanings. Is it poetry? Is it art? It’s just a house party.
With James’ previous work receiving online support from lauded sites Complex, Record of The Day, Earmilk and CLASH, playlisting on Passport Approved, an independent internationally syndicated tastemaker import radio show that airs on over 70 radio stations and six continents worldwide, and HBO selecting his single “Son Of Apollo” to soundtrack an 8-week movie promo campaign in America, the anticipation around “Take Controlis palpable and warranted as James is poised to spread his musical message globally.
“Take Control” is the latest single off James Deacon’s highly anticipated upcoming debut album ‘Season One’ which is out November 20th. Catch James performing at the 947 Joburg Day Festival on 23rd October.

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Vaughn Prangley finds a sense of hope with the release of his debut single and music video for ‘Oasis’

Watch the music video for ‘Oasis’ here:
[Pictured: Vaughn Prangley]
Photo Credit – Graeme Wyllie

Vaughn Prangley releases his debut single ‘Oasis’ which is out today across all digital platforms. Stream or download it now from

On his way to quickly becoming one of indie-pop’s most promising young talents, South African singer-songwriter and guitarist, Vaughn Prangley is carving out a unique path with his unmistakably deep, soulful and emotionally weathered voice, that speaks to a maturity way beyond his years.
Humble, loving and ridiculously talented are words often used to describe the 16-year-old. Vaughn has achieved more than most his age, and there ain’t no stopping him now.
He describes his songwriting process as something that comes naturally, “I tend to write from my sub conscious, from experiences of my own and observing what is going on around me. Songwriting is a way of expressing myself. I am also heavily inspired by what is happening around me, everyday situations are just another little melodic story waiting to happen.”
Prangley explains what the single is about and being in a recording studio for the very first time, “2019 was not my greatest year. There were moments where I felt down, I was not myself… I was in need of an Oasis, a sense of hope. I felt like I was stuck in a desert. The meaning behind the song, is finding your sense of hope and motivation in difficult times. It’s looking to the positives when surrounded by negatives. The process of bringing my music to life was just incredible – from a boy and his guitar on his bed to fully produced songs. I have learnt so much and was very lucky to find such an amazing producer (Howie Combrink from The Hit Lab) who has a very similar thought process when it comes to music. The whole production process has been something I will never forget.”
Vaughn’s energetic presence can be felt as soon as he walks in a room and his heartfelt, honest lyrics never fail to take his audience on a rollercoaster of emotions.
Howie Combrink, producer and owner of The Hit Lab explains what the production process was like, “Working with Vaughn was a truly amazing experience. For a 16-year-old to be so articulate and developed as an artist is very refreshing. Oasis was an intense acoustic song when I first heard it in my studio and after we had completed the production, I felt something entirely different and big. It’s a big song with an epic music video and I hope the listeners enjoy the journey.”
The music video was shot in one day during July at a location in Hartbeespoort Dam and directed by Rici Martins.
Working with Vaughn on the ‘Oasis’ Music Video was an absolute pleasure. I could already see the idea for the video when we were recording the vocals for the song and he was a champion at embodying the energy we needed to tell the story through the visuals. The idea was to have him in a desert environment experiencing a variety of emotions”, Rici explains.
“Vaughn Prangley – Oasis” is out now across all digital platforms –
[OASIS Cover artwork]  
Follow Vaughn Prangley online on all social media platforms: Instagram: vaughnprangley Facebook: Vaughn Prangley YouTube: Vaughn Prangley Official Website  

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Maxïmo Park announce'S new album

  Watch the video for lead single Baby, Sleep
Maxïmo Park | Photo credit: Em Cole

Maxïmo Park are today announcing details of their forthcoming new album “Nature Always Wins”, along with the album’s first single proper – Baby, Sleep.   The news follows last month’s surprise new track Child Of The Flatlands, a majestic, psychedelic slow-burner that cast a lovelorn look toward the meaning of place and its impact on identity – all set to a visual art piece from experimental designer and video artist (and recent Daniel Avery collaborator) Greg Hodgson. The track was described as “absolutely beautiful” by Lauren Laverne on BBC 6 Music and laid out a marker for their ambitions with “Nature Always Wins”.   It follows, then, that “Nature Always Wins” arrives as something of an examination, zeroing in on the notion of the self, identity as a band, and that of humanity as a whole. The album’s title nods to the famous Nature vs Nurture debate. Discussing whether change is capable under the influence of time, perspective, environment or if we are destined to be bound by our own genetics, it asks, “who are we, who do we want to be, and do we have any control over it?”.   Refining their approach as a three-piece, writing began last summer with Smith, Lloyd and English seeking a different kind of fourth member – a producer who was also a musician. Fitting the bill came Atlanta-based Grammy-winning producer Ben Allen (Animal Collective, Deerhunter) who afforded the band freedom to play and create. What wasn’t anticipated was how that freedom would be soon be stripped, as Lockdown restrictions left the band making the most of technological advances to perform real-time recording sessions across the ocean – themselves in Newcastle and Liverpool, with Allen at the helm in Atlanta.   Resulting first single Baby, Sleep is a world of pop energy, driven by the inimitable guitar of Duncan Lloyd and the deft turns of phrase that can only come from Paul Smith.   Paul Smith comments:  “I’m so happy we were able to make this album during lockdown, as it’s been a challenging time for everyone. After almost 4 years since Risk To Exist, we wanted to explore new musical territory (for us) without sacrificing our trademark melodic twists and heartfelt lyrics.  As always, the passing of time looms large, although the songs contain more affection for the past than before, and there are occasional hints of the fractious, divided time that we live in. Baby, Sleep is a light-hearted look at the surreal nature of sleep-deprivation, and the way it distorts normality in a capitalist society.”
  Hear Baby, Sleep on streaming services HERE and watch the video HERE.  Pre-order “Nature Always Wins” HERE.   The album title was revealed by superfan, BBC Radio 1’s Greg James, in a humorous spoof of Celebrity Mastermind between him and lead singer Paul Smith. Watch it back HERE.  

Nature Always Wins album artwork   Maxïmo Park – “Nature Always Wins” track listing:   1. Partly Of My Making 2. Versions Of You 3. Baby, Sleep 4. Placeholder 5. All Of Me 6. Ardour (featuring Pauline Murray) 7. Meeting Up 8. Why Must A Building Burn 9. I Don’t Know What I’m Doing 10. The Acid Remark 11. Feelings I’m Supposed To Feel 12. Child Of The Flatlands Maxïmo Park
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