Michael Lukes, ‘Here And Now’

Words By Joey Rochert.

With his brand new single, ‘Here And Now’, Michael Lukes has left us in awe. Savine is also featured on the track. The two of them are a match made in heaven, and their collaboration has resulted in the creation of a folk-pop treasure that exudes an air that is everlasting!

Michael, who is influenced by some of the most successful folk bands of the past few decades, combines the aspects of the genre that he enjoys the most into a concoction that is uniquely his own, and we cannot get enough of it! The zeal is contagious, and the sincerity of the words makes this song one that you’ll want to listen to over and over again.

Photo Credit: Michael Lukes.

Michael Lukes, The Interview Series.

Words By Joey Rochert.

Hello, Michael, Let’s talk about your new single, ‘Here And Now’, what is the meaning? 

The single came to me at the moment I realised I was not living my life consciously: I was simply living another life, according to all the rules, in which I did not understand the full meaning of my existence. Everything was a bit standardised.

It was a moment of ‘rupture’ between past and present, perceived when I became aware that I was living someone else’s life only to please today’s society. Here and now marks the beginning of a more conscious life: it is a constant dialogue in which I speak to the old Michael and the new me, in which the old thinking of the past speaks to the spiritual present.

Which artists in the current industry inspire you the most?

Definitely The Lumineers! After releasing my EP, during Lockdown, I worked hard to shape my own definitive sound identity and they have been my main source of inspiration. With Stevepad, my producer, we meticulously studied every one of their songs from the sounds to the lyrics; it was through them that we came up with the idea and story for the new album. 

Michael Lukes
Photo Credit: Michael Lukes.

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

Definitely having the opportunity to relate closely with your fans. Social media can sometimes be very dangerous if we overuse them, they can really distort your reality! But if we used them sparingly they are that direct connection with the people who support us. To have that direct contact with them, to hear that one of your songs helped them out of a sad time, giving them a smile or an emotion, that’s priceless. At the end of the day, they are the fuel that drives us to be music.

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

I don’t actually have a specific place, I learned that you never know when an idea might hit you. Many have come to me while I was cooking and others while I was walking.

For example, the idea for Here and Now came to me while I was on a plane. I assure you that my cell phone is the one that has saved me many times. Before I forget, I immediately mark it in my notes or record an idea on the fly. Today I have more than 1,300 notes, definitely a lot of material for the next two or three more records. 

Photo Credit: Michael Lukes.

Karuna, The Interview Series.

Words By Joey Rochert.

Hello, Abi, What is the meaning of the two new singles?

“Tipping Point” is all about the environmental crisis that we are living through. It points out the issues- deserts growing, forests burning, species decline, and mass migration of people as a result of desertification. 

I hope to emotively move people’s hearts towards caring, considered action in their worlds of work and influence so we can work together before it is too late. There is a need for us not to stand alone but work together with wisdom in the biggest collective crisis we all face. Together we can make a difference- actions are taken from concern, care and joined-up thinking. This is the meaning of Tipping Point.

“Shape of Water” is about the inner qualities we need to develop as humans to thrive through this crisis, not just survive. For this crisis to shape us into something more evolved than what we are. We need to take on the flexibility of water, and develop the powers of listening, watching and loving at a deeper “meta” level. We need to be innovative in our thinking and above all consider each other and other species as worthy of care and fairness. If we develop these qualities even a little bit then we can make everything around us a little bit better and the world a more beautiful, healthy place.

Which artist in the current industry inspires you the most? 

All kinds of people for very different reasons!  Amongst them: Alt J, because they push the envelope musically and combine unusual musical ideas, Lau because they push folk music into new areas, Dakha Braka – a Ukrainian band, because they are wonderfully creative and inventive and have such wonderful close harmonies, Sam Lee, folk musician, for his conscious use of his art to make a positive difference in the world.

Abigail Rooley-Towle.

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

This is a tricky one! I think musicians have the opportunity to be conscience questioners and light-bringers! There is so much in the world that can be looked at in this way, that there is no end of material to write/sing about. The world needs change and music and art can be used as a gentle catalyst to encourage this.

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

This is very prosaic- my kitchen! I often start the songwriting process when I am making family suppers. I take a kernel of an idea that has caught my attention during the day and then play with it in an improvised way whilst I am chopping the vegetables. Then I write it down and let it grow from there.

What is your first memory of music? 

This is a very hard one as I grew up in a family of early music musicians, so music was around me all the time. We didn’t have a tv and rarely listened to the radio, so music was a totally live experience. I remember colouring in pictures whilst listening to my dad practice his lute fantasias. The sound of early music has become absorbed in my work as a result.

Photo Credit: Karuna.

Karuna, ‘Tipping Point And Shape Of Water’

Words By Joey Rochert.

Karuna are back and stronger than ever with two new tracks, ‘Tipping Point’ and ‘Shape Of Water.’

@ Karuna

Both singles stand out and hit home with their relevancy to the world around us right now, each conveying their own distinct storey. Furthermore, Abi, the group’s singer, speaks frankly about the amount of harm we are doing to the globe and the urgent need to do something; she uses the song ‘Tipping Point’ as a metaphor for humanity driving the planet over the edge of no return. ‘Shape Of Water’ carries the message, as both tracks emerge with an early music texture and a spectacular vocal performance from Abi.

Photo Credit: Karuna.

Christie Reeves, ‘Thaw’

Words By Joey Rochert.

Christie Reeves is making a name for herself this week with her new track, ‘Thaw’. The track is now available, and you won’t want to miss it!

The singer-songwriter has been polishing her art for some years, and ‘Thaw’ takes her to a new level of sophistication. It is poignant, and it portrays the journey of discovering our true selves. It’s a narrative that many people will find familiar, and Christie expresses herself without dissonance. Her vocals are full of flavour, and the music is memorable.

Check it out below.

Photo Credit: Christie Reeves.

Karuna, ‘Heartsease’

Words By Max Jordan.

Karuna are the up and coming folk group who delve into an unorthodox realm with ‘Heartsease’.

It is a release that is akin to no other in the modern space, given it a unique edge from the opening second. It opens with a dreamy vocal from frontwoman Abi, and although she speaks a message about modern society, she takes hints from early world music vocally.

As the track progresses, the soundscape opens up with welcoming arms, greeting us to an infectous fiddle and a captivating guitar rhythm.

You can check it out below.

Photo Credit: Karuna.