Thomas Cole, ‘Late To Bloom’ – Album

Words By Sam Wetherby.

With the release of his new album, ‘Late To Bloom’, Thomas Cole brings a sound that is fresher than a box of gum. The kind of artist who never settles for less than the best pushes things to an entirely new level with this 11-track gem, which includes hits that we have previously reviewed, such as ‘Execute The Vision’ and ‘Cringe’, as well as others! However, much to our surprise, he has also unveiled two new bangers, ‘Pass The Baton’ and ‘This World & The Next’. Both of these additions provide something fresh to the album.

‘Late to Bloom’, which is also the album’s title track, kicks off the album. From this song, we get an idea of what the remainder of the album will sound like. It is an effective intro, and it carves out an elegant way to get into the well-known ‘Fairy Tales’. My particular fave is the song ‘Up in Smoke’, which can be found around halfway through the album; it is this song that has been spinning in my ears for most of summer 2023! The album wraps up with ‘Pass The Baton’, a highly engaging track which will ring out for a long time.

Photo Credit: Thomas Cole.

Francesca Luker, ‘Sunshine’

Words By Sam Wetherby.

Francesca Luker just dropped ‘Sunshine’, and I’m totally here for it! Remember how she wowed us with “Promise Land”? Well, this new track takes her vocal game to a whole new level.

The chorus in ‘Sunshine’ is where Francesca absolutely shines (pun intended). She effortlessly glides over the music, belting out those notes like a boss. And she’s not afraid to get a little gritty, adding some serious depth to the song.

But here’s the thing – ‘Sunshine’ isn’t just about Francesca’s incredible vocals; it’s got this chill, feel-good vibe that’s like a musical getaway to paradise. It’s the kind of song that makes you want to close your eyes and just soak it all in.

I can’t wait to see what she does next! You can listen below.

Luke Mock, The Interview Series.

Words By Joey Rochert.

Hello, Luke, Let’s talk about your new single, ‘What You Deserve’, what is the meaning? 

I created “What You Deserve” as a reflection on a past relationship where I felt unable to provide my partner with what they deserved, primarily due to bad timing and my own journey of self-discovery, revealing emotions of guilt and regret.

Which artists in the current industry inspire you the most?

Shawn Mendes, Harry Styles, Olivia Rodrigo, and John Mayer all inspire me and my music!

What is the best thing about being a musician in 2023?

How many different ways there are to share my creativity with the world and resonate with anyone at the right time.

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

I’ve written most of my songs in my bedroom, especially over Zoom during covid. I love writing in my room because I have everything setup perfectly for me to have a fluent environment for my ideas to flow, and an efficient workflow.

What is your first memory of music? 

My first memory of music is singing karaoke at a bar when I was 9. I sang “The Earth Song” by Michael Jackson.

Photo Credit: Luke Mock.

Luke Mock, ‘What You Deserve’

Words By Sam Wetherby.

Sharing with you all ‘What You Deserve’, the latest pop song from Luke Mock. The track boasts multi-faceted narratives and meticulously crafted melodies to get lost in! Also, amidst the beguiling hooks, Mock’s lyrical creativity prominently shines. His exuberant vocal delivery resonates with profundity, intertwining with a performance that bears the hallmark of a top-tier artist.

The song’s constituent elements synergistically converge to eloquently narrate an emotive anecdote, with the inherent intricacies open to discovery.

Cathy Mpaka, The Interview Series.

Words By Joey Rochert.

Hello, Cathy, Let’s talk about your new single, ‘Distorted Heart’, what is the meaning? 

Hi, yes so DH is basically about heartbreak/about a bad breakup. The pain of a relationship ending that you put so much time, emotion & effort in is truly heart wrenching especially when your efforts fall flat & unappreciated. It’s really about the pain of feeling like you have tried everything & yet it wasn’t enough & that hurts especially when all you want is undying & everlasting love.

Which artists in the current industry inspire you the most?

To be quite honest, nobody. 

What is the best thing about being a musician in 2023?

1. Social Media. I have to say that Social Media is truly a great thing. I can promote myself & create my promotional content myself. I can control how my roll out is going to be & what I wanna share first & last. Social Media truly is good for promotional purposes & for your fans to connect with you on a more personal level.

2. You don’t necessarily have to wait to be discovered. You can just post a cover on youtube or scrap a couple 100$ together for a demo & release it yourself with a distribution website, it’s very easy, though a bit confusing in the beginning. A lot of things that were quite out of reach a few years ago are so accessible now a days which is amazing. You’re basically in control of what you do & not somebody else.

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

Well, I’d say I just go to my bedroom to write songs but I have also written some songs in the living room. I’d also say that I need some kind of quietness but sometimes some background music makes me feel more creative. There’s truly not that much that I need in order to write a song.

What is your first memory of music? 

My first music memory. I’m not quite sure or I am, I don’t know how to say it. I can say that the first probably was Michael Jackson because my parents had some DVD of his music videos & we would put it in the DVD player so that we could watch it & it had a bunch of old towards new-ish music/videos on it. But then again it feels like at the same time or as far as I can remember I was also very mesmerized by Hannah Montana & the High School Musical series.

Photo Credit: Cathy Mpaka.

Francesca Luker, ‘Promise Land’

Words By Sam Wetherby.

Francesca Luker’s latest single, ‘Promise Land,’ is now available to stream online. Luker outperforms all expectations here; we were anticipating a respectable performance, but she excels admirably. Moreover, her ability is readily comparable to that of Remi Wolf and Rapsody.

For me, ‘Promise Land’ is more than just a groovy pop song; it has a powerful narrative about finding yourself in a perilous circumstance and knowing that you have someone there to provide a helping hand. It has a powerful impact on me, and I love it! Check it out below.

Francesca Luker, The Interview Series.

Words By Joey Rochert.

Hello, Francesca, Let’s talk about your new single, ‘Promise Land’, what is the meaning? 

I wrote Promise Land in 2020, after a very dark time in my life transitioned into one of the happiest summers of my life. I had just met an amazing new band who helped this song blossom into the lively track it is today. They have since grown to be some of my best friends, so this song represents the beginning of an important era for me.

Promise Land encapsulates the very true cliche that hard times do always come to an end. I wrote the lyrics about adopting a half-glass-full attitude to life, embracing change and making positive steps towards my future- The idea that every small challenge you throw yourself into can lead you in the right direction.

Which artists in the current industry inspire you the most?

I’m inspired by many artists, but my all time favourite is Lana Del Rey. Album after album I continue to adore everything she releases, even though her music has evolved drastically from some of her earlier stuff. For me I love that her albums tell a story- her songs are raw, personal and true reflections of how she’s feeling at the time. She doesn’t write to please her audience or to have a chart topper, she writes whatever the hell she wants, which can vary from nine minute long songs to new melodic and lyrical material that sounds nothing like any other artist. But whatever she writes, I always enjoy her mellow, enchanting sound as a refreshing contrast from the other mostly upbeat music I listen to.

What is the best thing about being a musician in 2023?

The best thing about being a musician in 2023 is how easy it is to access advanced music technology. Being able to use programs such as logic, takes my songwriting to a whole new level. Instead of just having piano and vocals to write with, I have a whole library of drum loops, midi instruments and synths to work with. For example, without even playing bass, a lot of the songs I’ve written started off with bass-lines- Promise Land included. Using Logic, my guitarist and I were able to record the whole song from home without even going to a recording studio.

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

I usually write music in my room, because this is where my keyboard and recording equipment is. But song ideas can come to me absolutely anytime, anywhere- I could be walking around in public, at uni or in the shower- So I just have to record a voice memo to save for later so I can create a song from it next time I’m writing in my room!

What is your first memory of music? 

My earliest memories of music are of my dad playing artists like Lauryn Hill, Ella Fitzgerald, Joni Mitchell and Sia around the house. Growing up I was exposed to an eclectic range of genres, especially Neo-soul, jazz and funk- all of which had a massive impact on how I learned to sing, because I developed a love for these genres and began mimicking their style of vocals. As a kid I was basically just singing all the time- so music has always been a big part of my life.

Francesca Luker on social media:

Photo Credit: Francesca Luker.

Cathy Mpaka, ‘Distorted Heart’

Words By Sam Wetherby.

Music fan? Have you heard Cathy Mpaka’s hot new release, ‘Distorted Heart’? It’s the freshest thing to hit the music scene this last week! Also, with those European dance vibes, it’s impossible not to vibe with it.

And let’s talk about Cathy’s vocals – they are on point, no doubt! ‘Distorted Heart’ is an absolute bop, perfect for your party playlist and you will be eager to listen to more the second it concludes.

You can check it out below.

Thomas Cole, The Interview Series.

Words By Joey Rochert.

Welcome back, Thomas! We’re thrilled to have you here, and we’re eager to learn more about your new single, ‘Up In Smoke.’ Could you provide our readers with a glimpse of what they can expect before delving into the track? 

💛 Yes, absolutely! Thank you so much for having me. ‘Up In Smoke’ is my ninth studio single of my upcoming debut album, ‘Late To Bloom’. It’s a dance track that I like to call the sexy song on the album, and it kind of speaks to all the things that try to distract us and throw us off course; such as sex, drugs, temptation in whatever form… in it, I say “my good intentions up in smoke / your sweet sativa has a hold / my good intentions up in smoke / not gonna lose control / not gonna take you home.” So it’s kind of an internal battle as to where to draw the line, because, let me tell ya, actions have consequences. The lyrics and music video tell a story about being approached by someone at a bar, while being in a relationship, and how to kind of manoeuvre that situation. 

Your growth as an artist has been evident in the progression of your previous releases. It’s clear that you’re evolving and becoming more influential with each new release. What fuels your inspiration to consistently produce such captivating music?

💛 Thank you very much! I like to think with each song release, I’m getting better and stronger at what I do. It’s very much a learning process and you learn through trial and error what works and what doesn’t. Unfortunately, I’m a virgo, and a perfectionist as a result, so it’s important to me to put out captivating art that engages the audience. 

Collaborating with Rudy Bundini for the official video must have been an exciting experience. How did that collaboration came about? 

💛 Oh, Rudy and I go way back! Maybe eight years ago, we met modeling and walking the runway for all kinds of New York designers. The great thing about social media is it keeps everyone close in a way. Even though all that time had passed, when I was imagining the concept for the video, I immediately saw him as my co-star, so I reached out and he said yes!

Thomas Cole
Photo Credit: Thomas Cole

As we approach the midsummer of 2023, we’re curious to know what standout moments or experiences have been the highlight of your summer so far?

💛 Honestly, rehearsing for, and filming the ‘Up In Smoke’ music video was a real stand out moment this summer. It was my first time having choreography and professional dancers in a video, so it took a lot of work, and seeing it come to life was really special. Other than that, I saw Ava Max on tour…finally, last month. She’s been a huge inspiration for my music and finally being able to see her live, after covid screwed up her last tour, was really really a highlight of my year! I’m taking my husband to the South of France to celebrate his birthday next month, so that’s something super exciting, still, to look forward to! Maybe it’ll inspire a song on the next album…who knows?!

With the release of your latest single, ‘Up In Smoke,’ in the spotlight, can you hint at any plans you have in store for more releases this year?

💛 Well I thought you’d never ask! YES! My debut album, ‘Late To Bloom,’ is set to release on September 29th. It has 11 dance tracks, all produced by the brilliant LA producer, Electropoint. You can preorder it on vinyl, as well as the digital versions, now. Head to my website for more info. You may be getting a surprise or two before then as well, so stay tuned!

Photo Credit: Thomas Cole.

Marsha Swanson, The Interview Series.

Words By Joey Rochert.

Hello, Marsha, Let’s talk about your new single, ‘In Parallel’, what is the meaning? 

The song is reflecting on what is involved in maintaining a long-term relationship. I reference swans, as a symbol of loyalty. Not only do they mate for life, but they can often be seen swimming in parallel together over great distances. As humans, we have many distractions and interferences both internally and externally that can knock us of our path. In the video, I use ballet to represent the expansive dance involved for any couple.  I include in this dance, each person’s understanding and management of their own inner child. I also wanted to get across that whilst some threats to the relationship may be conscious, others may only become knowable via dreams. However, it is the ability to face up to or throw sentient light on what lies in the shadows,  that can ultimately strengthen a relationship.

I found it particularly poignant to learn that swans sing when they die.  I feel that each song of mine is perhaps a swansong of sorts, because there needs to be a death to give rise to a birth so it is inherent in any creation.

Which artists in the current industry inspire you the most?

The way that David Bowie continued his music to the very end of his life, incorporating his own dying process into his art was profoundly moving and inspiring. Even though he died in 2016, the ripples of this legacy are still powerfully current.

My daughter listens to a lot of Billie Eilish and as a result of this, I have been exposed to more of her music over the last few years than almost any other artist. I have been really struck by the power of her vision, from her songs to her videos, her performance and even the way she engages with her fans. 

What is the best thing about being a musician in 2023?

All musicians who lived through the pandemic have seen that music still has a place, even when we can’t perform live. For all its widely reported problems, technology has enabled us to both record and share music without even leaving our homes and that is incredible. I think in 2023 we are all appreciating being able to play live again, whilst also knowing that whatever the circumstances, the music will still play on!

Photo Credit: James Sebastian

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

When I’m writing for my own need to express something, it will always be on my piano in my lounge. A piano that goes back 3 family generations and is still able to keep its tune! If I’m writing as a commission, or as a project or co-write, it is a very different head-space and I can do that anytime and anywhere!

What is your first memory of music? 

I don’t know that I could trust any answer I gave to this question. Memory is so unreliable as we tend to construct and fabricate our stories without realizing it, shaping them subtly over time like a Chinese whisper. However, I do have consistent and powerful early childhood memories of my Dad’s best friend singing to me before bed on his guitar. I loved his voice which was gentle and soothing. It certainly had a formative impact on me.

Photo Credit: Marsha Swanson.