Voodoo Rays, The Interview Series.

Words By Joey Rochert.

Empire’; what’s the meaning?

It’s a suite of songs about a woman called Chantal in a relationship that’s gradually falling apart. Partially but by no means totally drawn from observation, and experience. 

Which artists in the current industry inspire you the most?

I greatly admire Kae Tempest, love Dry Cleaning, always get excited by what Kanye is up to (for all his faults) and really like the Sleaford Mods. Loads of others too, but those are the main ones at the moment. 

Voodoo Rays
Photo Credit: Voodoo Rays.

What is the best thing about being a musician in 2022?

The extraordinary range of technology. Recording songs on your phone. Mixing bands on your laptop. Buying vintage guitars on your desktop. Still seems like magic to me. The ability to reach hearts and minds anywhere in the world within a few seconds of uploading your new song. And hearing feedback from them instantly. Brilliant!

Is there a certain place you often go to write? E.g a certain room, or environment?

My living room; a Gibson firebird, Logic X, Rodes condenser mic and a Scarlett sound card. All you need to take a note for a walk. I never write on acoustic guitars or pianos. Instead I’m always on the look out for a texture or sound that grabs my attention. A bit like playing in a sandbox really. Keep messing around until something begins to take shape in your mind. 


Photo Credit: Voodoo Rays.

Julia Thomsen, ‘Travelling Through Wonders’

Words By Joey Rochert.

Julia Thomsen teams up with producer Marie for a one-of-a-kind remake of her standout composition, ‘Wonderness’. The new release, which is called, ‘Travelling Through Wonders’ reaches the pinnacle of beauty and leaves one in a state of relaxation.

For all of you who practise mindfulness meditation, this one is your golden ticket to a relaxing getaway! It is enchanting from the first note, and that aura of tranquillity does not fade away as it continues along its road of enchantment. The arrangement that Julia came up with is magnificent, and she is brimming with passion. In addition, Marie provides an additional layer of shine, resulting in a new vitality that contributes to the original.

‘Travelling Through Wonders’ is out on the 27th of January.


Photo Credit: Kingdumb.

Kingdumb, ‘Do It Like Me’

Words By Joey Rochert.

The release of ‘Do It Like Me’ by Swindon’s ascendant producer Kingdumb draws us back in. Fresh and flavorful, “Do It Like Me” is the ideal song to kick off the New Year. It is not completely novel for the new beginning, but it continues to make enormous strides following its first debut in late 2022.

The bass drop is enormous, and we can feel the floor shaking as the song erupts from the speakers. Also, the layering of synthesisers and infectious percussion fills have us bopping along from beginning to end, excitedly anticipating what Kingdumb has in store for 2023.


Photo Credit: Kingdumb.

Voodoo Rays, ‘Empire’

Words By Joey Rochert.

Voodoo Rays smash it with the release of their album, ‘Empire’. The record, which is comprised of ten tracks, offers something that will appeal to almost everybody, and the quality that the band has up their sleeve is invigorating.

They draw inspiration from legendary figures in the game, yet they are able to combine this with a look and feel that is uniquely theirs in the present era. They stand out thanks to their capacity to maintain their individuality within the scene while at the same time adhering to the course that has been established for them.

The album is full of twists and turns, and the strength it possesses is exhilarating to witness. Additionally, every member of the band rises to the occasion with vigour, whether it be the drums, which strike with intensity, the bass lines, which leave the mouth watering, the guitar riffs, which grip, or the vocal delivery, which is indenting!


Photo Credit: Voodoo Rays.

Charmaine Wohlmann, ‘Avalanche’

Words By Joey Rochert.

‘Avalanche’, Charmaine Wohlmann’s newest offering in the pop game, wastes no time in getting to work. In a scene that is saturated with similar music, the new release is a welcome burst of variety, and Charmaine’s effort is what ultimately wins us over.

The suspense in ‘Avalanche’ only increases as the track proceeds. In addition, it begins with a guitar that strums in rapid succession, followed by a beat that taps your foot, and a standout vocal performance from Charmaine. She talks about life and the challenges it presents, yet the single still has a feel-good edge to it, and we can’t help but move to the groove!


Photo Credit: Charmaine Wohlmann.

AJ Whyte, ‘Run’

Words By Joey Rochert.

AJ Whyte grabs the spotlight with the release of his new single, ‘Run’. The latest release from the Rutland-based performer is out now, and it follows the highly-praised ‘You Won’t Hear Me’ which AJ dropped in October.

‘Run’ continues in the same vein as AJ’s previous work, with the guitar playing an essential part in the whole experience. In addition, the song starts with a strumming guitar pattern; then AJ quickly enters the mix with a powerful vocal lead. His vocal is even more engaging than it was in his previous performance, and he tells a story about war, even though this may just be a metaphor for the difficulties that many people encounter in life.


Photo Credit: The Chewgs.

The Chewgs, ‘Let It Out’

Words By Joey Rochert.

The Chewgs are a band on the ascent, and with the release of their newest single, ‘Let It Out,’ they are not holding anything back.

Combining aspects of folk music and pop, the duo are not holding anything back, and we are delighted by the infectious style that they have developed. In the beginning of the song, a guitar strumming its way forward can be heard, then shortly thereafter, a vocal can be heard emerging from the mix.

The words reverberate with stories that prove to be thought-provoking, and as the song progresses, the intensity builds as the chorus burrows deeper and deeper into the heart.


Photo Credit: The Chewgs.

Ervin Munir, ‘She Never Made Old Bones’

Words By Joey Rochert.

Ervin Munir takes control of New Music Friday by releasing his new folk gem, ‘She Never Made Old Bones’.

Carrying on from where he left off with his previous single, ‘Why Did I Keep Moving On’, Ervin bolsters his name in the modern songbook even further. His style is getting better and better with each new arrival, and this one proves that he is here to stay.

Vocally, Ervin sings with genuine passion and narrates a story about life, hardship, and a woman who will never make old bones.


Photo Credit: Gareth Gabriel.

Julia Thomsen, ‘Angels of Peace’

Words By Joey Rochert.

Julia Thomsen encaptures the serene air flowing as we lead up to Christmas with the release of her new composition, ‘Angels of Peace’.

The latest release from the British composer is better than any of our wildest dreams could have imagined it being. In addition, Julia surrounds us with her lovely arrangements, which bring the spirit of the holiday season to the forefront and provide an opportunity to cleanse and reflect now the year is concluding.

Because it is so potently moving, this piece has a glimmering quality, as if it were meant to be the soundtrack of a blockbuster movie in Hollywood.


Photo Credit: Julia Thomsen.

Paraffin, The Interview Series.

Words By Joey Rochert.

Hello, Paraffin, Let’s talk about your new single, ‘Mean’, what is the meaning? 

The song embodies the feelings of watching someone turn from somebody you recognise into a human you no longer want to associate with. Whether that’s as friends or in a relationship.

Which artists in the current industry inspire you the most?

As a collective currently, we enjoy artists such as Kid Kapichi, The 1975 and The Snuts, and traditionally we have always been most influenced also by Muse and the Arctic Monkeys. It is also very inspiring to us what Sam Fender has gone on to achieve, the way he has broken into the mainstream is amazing and he couldn’t be more deserving.

Paraffin
Photo Credit: Paraffin.

What is the best thing about being a musician in 2022?

In short, being able to play live again. The lockdown was hard on everyone, and it very nearly killed off the music industry – us included. We had real momentum prior to the pandemic and it was absolutely stopped dead. But all things happen for a reason, and we are now a better band than ever before! Playing live is what makes it all worth it.

Is there a certain place you often go to write? E.g a certain room, or environment?

We have always rehearsed in Portsmouth predominantly, however we all have our own environments and processes individually in which we feel most inspired – we all contribute to the creative and song writing process individually, before bringing ideas together in the room. Southsea Sound studios have always been amazing and very supportive with us, and that is our go to place to rehearse. But ideas can come to you anywhere at any time!

What is your first memory of music? 

My personal first memories of engaging with music go back to my very early childhood, where family friends would come round and my parents would play a massively diverse range of tracks, alot of the time on compilation albums. Oasis, Ocean Colour Scene and other britpop bands, Duran Duran, The Human League and 80’s, ranging also back to Black Sabbath and Motörhead with my dad. A very diverse range of early impressions. – Tom


Photo Credit: Paraffin.