Monday, December 28, 2020

NEWT [At Whose Feet is Eternity] By Anantakara


NEWT [At Whose Feet is Eternity]



Written by

Steve Sheppard


Anantakara (Phillipe Wauman) the man behind the music, is a specialist in creating lush and fantastical art works of sound and tone, and I have been a follower of his ever since I came across Momentum Lapses in 2018, and have been hooked ever since.

Here on this brand new offering entitled NEWT (At Whose Feet is Eternity) exploring the realms of Nut the Egyptian goddess of the sky and the night, we have a glorious new release that is as far wide and reaching as you the listener will allow, but this splendid ambient soundscape is a truly amazing mood filled journey.

The careful and almost apprehensive opening offering is called She Holds A Thousand Souls, the atmospheric construct here is wonderfully artistic, it builds and creates a vast dimension of tone to wander through, whilst In Whose Hand is the Always, has a totally different energy and style, and is at times almost classical in its progression and manifestation, the repetitive but growing and expanding mantra on keyboards reminded me of the late but still great Darshan Ambient (Michael Allison) in style, the compositions progression is an art form all of its own, in what is an extremely addictive opus.

Lady of the Sycamore our third piece of creative genius is a much darker offering, there is a sense of movement within the weave of this offering I find particularly alluring, and the structure of the overall composition continuously and symbiotically uses its electronic mastery, to bring us one of those tracks that is difficult not to leave on repeat for hours.

The longest of the 5 musical offerings is She Who Bore the Gods at well over nine minutes long, and employs a crafted musical narrative that is inventive as it is artistically sublime. At around 3 minutes in, the energy of the composition picks up and drives us head long into an arrangement that is like a veritable beacon of sound, and then allows us to pull back and float in its utter ambience, this would be my personal favourite off the album and one that reminded me of another late but great musician in Harold Budd.

The last track off this simply superb album is called One Who Hears; the composition has a sense of finality about its construction, which of course makes it the perfect ending track off the release, the keyboards and the performance by the artist here is so moving and deeply creative, and one that I could with ease listen to many times over, and still it would creative an emotive backdrop to my day.

NEWT (At Whose Feet is Eternity) by Anantakara is and was one of the finest electronic ambient works of the year, a year we can’t wait to see the back of in 2020. Here is an album that has five creative and very classy arrangements contained within, and in my view his best work so far.

NEWT (At Whose Feet is Eternity) by Anantakara is an album of stylish electronic compositions, created by an artist who I rate up there with Al Gromer Khan and Darshan Ambient, it is creative colourful and descriptive, and the ambience it manifests is simply compelling. 

Monday, December 21, 2020

The One World Music Radio Top 30 Tracks of 2020 Written by Steve Sheppard


2020 has probably been one of the hardest years for us collectively to endure, thank goodness for music the panacea to cure most ills, most musicians have been ultra-creative this year during the many and ongoing lockdowns due to the global pandemic, ones likely to stretch well into 2021 too, but this has given a plethora of opportunities for artists, even me, to create new music, whilst we sit at home and stare at the freedom of clouds, and the rise of nature.

I have had time therefore, to create a top 30 of tracks officially for One World Music Radio, ones that have been heard on the station during the year and now are to be recognised as the media outlets top 30 listing, so let’s get this underway.

#30: Jim Ottaway with “Diamonds in the Rain” from the album “When Eternity Touches Time”

#29: Lissa Kathe with “By Nature” from the album “Harp Dreaming”

#28: Lynn Tredeau & Joseph L Young with their single “Broken Dreams”

#27: Michael Whalen with “A Metaphysical Morning” from the album “Sacred Spaces”

#26: Michelle Qureshi with “Shores of Atlantis” from the album “Within”

#25: Andrew Colyer with “Strings in the Ocean” from the album “Mists of Time”

#24: Rodrigo Rodriguez with his single “The Enlightened Face Of Buddha”

#23: Jon Durant with “Tributaries” from the album “Soul Of A River”

#22: Joey Curtin with the single “From the Beginning”

#21: Anaya with “Cathedral” from the album “Secrets”

#20: Bernward Koch with “Lavender Fields” from the album “Becoming”

#19: Jaimie Black with “Violet Flame” from the album “Season Of the Witch”

#18: Holland Phillips with “Our Sweeter Days” from his album “A Momentary Pause”

#17: Hiroki Okano with “Mother River” from the album “Peace On Earth”

#16: Dulce Joya with “Yes it’s You” from the album “Devotion”

#15: Andy Rogers with “Skylark Above The Dunes” from the album “When the Land Meets the Sea”

#14: Prem Vidu with “Holy Devine Mother” from the album “Encounter: Medicine Songs from Ma”

#13: Pam Asberry with her single “Floating”

#12: Kirsten Agresta Copely with “Winterbone” from the album “Around The Sun”

#11: KeithTim Anderson with his single “Evermore”


#10: Joseph Sullinger with “Drawn by The Wind”, released as a single from one of the most accomplished acoustic guitarists in the business, technically brilliant, creatively colourful.

#9: Samer Fanek with “Just Like The Wind” released firstly as a single, Fanek has time on his side to become one of the greats on piano, his flair, passion and musical interpretations will open many doors wide for him in 2021.

#8: Tayu with “Shores Of Atlantis” from the album “Incantation”, featuring the talents of guitarist Mark Barnwell, our surprise album this year on OWMR, but what a stunner, for one I hope to see more of Tayu in 2021.

#7: Vin Downes with “Oak Lane” from the album “Good Light To Go By”. Downes is an artist who you know always releases a quality album when the time comes, there is never a weak track and here is a performer that has all the abilities to reach the peak of the acoustic guitar world in 2021 with his emotive and memorable compositions.

#6: Wayne Bethanis with “The Return Of The Cherokee” released as single and utilising the talents on flute of the brilliant Marcus Sjöwall. Bethanis followed up his mega hit “Tribes Of The City” with another classy moment of genius, I see even bigger things for Bethanis in 2021.

#5: Chasm with “The Silence Between The Words” from the album “Wood, Wind and Skin”. This was one of those songs from an album that became so addictive in 2020, it is one of those magical songs that just has something about it, the construct of the minor and major elements with a wistful sense of refection made this song for me truly special.

#4: The Song Gardeners with “Love Flows”, one of many splendid singles from the new age band, but one that seemed to resonate the most with the station. It was a timely release, when we all needed to see the love flow as well, but the creative genius of this band leaves me to think that 2021 could potentially be huge for them.

#3: Roger Eno & Brian Eno with “Obsidian” from the album “Mixing Colours”. Here we have true mastery from the duo, that shouldn’t really be a surprise of course, but this track with its mysterious and unreal organ sounds created for me one of the most ambient pieces of music I have heard for decades, filled with soft reflective textures and great colour and mood.

#2: Kevin Kendle with “Laniakea” from the album “Deep Skies 6: Laniakea”. It was a long time in the waiting room for this one, but boy was it worth it as Kendle brings us his best Deep Skies album since “Deep Skies 2: Lagoon Of Eternity”, the title track here was filled with a deepness of power and grace, a rich mood filled melody would gift us one of the best space styled tracks of the year, and see the UK artist at the top of his game.

#1: Cadence Spalding with “Trust In Love”, a single earlier on in the year, but one of those pieces of music you could see being played at the end of a concert with people raising their lighters or is it mobile phones now, above their heads in salute of this absolute anthem. Spalding is lyrically perfect, compositionally sublime, likened to Enya yes, but in my view warmer, and my prediction to be the break our star of 2021.

So there you go folks, be ready from the new awards season which starts in January 2021, as we will see for the first time all of One World Music Radio’s awards given on the same night, in a huge evening of award giving, in the meantime, light is just around the corner, keep the faith and trust in love.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

The Fourth Candle By FLOC


The Fourth Candle



Written by

Steve Sheppard


The new EP from FLOC which features the artists George Landress and John Clarity is now upon us and entitled The Fourth Candle. This superbly produced five track collection is a real joy of contemporary instrumental music to listen to. Getting the release off we have the fast paced but fluent opus of Coming Home to enjoy, trust me on this, use headphones to listen, you can enjoy all the textures and stereophonics so much more.

The Path follows, with a slight global percussive ethic, and is one that morphs into a more chilled out style once the 6 string bass of Clarity joins the dance; this is utter class and music to listen to on a warm summers day on the balcony, or perhaps by the pool, the distinct sense of movement within this track also layered an added dimension to the overall weave of the song.

My personal favourite would be the title track The Fourth Candle. The performances on keyboards by Landress and the sublime bass work of Clarity, brings us something so good and something that I haven’t heard the like of since Carpenters, Assault on Precinct 13 in parts, but there is even more here, as the construction of this grand musical narrative holds a blissful global ethic in its weave too.

The Pickins takes us into the latter half of the EP, and gives our ever eager ears something light and refreshing to bathe within, its overall narrative has a delicious eastern groove and mood to enjoy; the percussive arrangements here are extremely addictive, and create a layered chilled mood.

The acoustic openings of our penultimate offering Pull Me Up were delightful and created an opening to a piece that was as smooth as an early sunny Sunday morning, whilst the finishing song Pack It Up, beautifully manifested a perfectly tranquil, yet almost sensual vibe to the conclusion of the album, one that even contained a little rock ethic within its construction as well.

The Fourth Candle by FLOC is one of those releases you really never want to end; each and every track has been carefully created and produced to the highest of qualities, and more so, each musical narrative is openly accessible to all who like to listen to quality compositions and chilled vibes. Contemporary Instrumental music is such a vast genre to understand, but in my view The Fourth Candle by FLOC is a fine example of the best it has to offer.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Spirit Rising By ZEN Seraphine


Spirit Rising


ZEN Seraphine

Written by

Steve Sheppard


The strings and percussion, and the build and progression on this latest single called Spirit Rising by ZEN Seraphine, are both addictive and urgently compelling, this global pastiche of brilliance is simply stunning, it would be virtually impossible to keep still whilst listening to it.

The beat and very soul of this composition is so beautifully crafted, it is a joy to listen to, ZEN Seraphine has manifested something with a true heartbeat, the slow and purposeful construction is superbly arranged, and the added vocals layer that extra world feel, to what could very well be a massive hit single. If you like rhythm and a global feel to your music, this has to be a must to add to your music collection at all costs. 

Infinity By Javi Lobe & Fransoafran




Javi Lobe & Fransoafran

Written by

Steve Sheppard


The latest single entitled Infinity, by Javi Lobe & Fransoafran is a lush neo-classical contemporary musical moment of utter magic. I have bathed musically within the realms of this latest offering from the artists a few times now, and each time I do so, the beauty that flows from this composition is simply incredible and deeply moving.

Strings and piano combine to bring us one of the most fluent and reflective singles of the year. The idyllic nature of this piece and the performance that brings it to us is simply gorgeous, and should be a hit in the singles chart with ease if there is any justification in the world.

Realms By Stephen Weber




Stephen Weber

Written by

Steve Sheppard


It was truly refreshing to hear this new collection of electronically based arrangements by Stephen Weber today on the album entitled Realms, I had just been mulling over a few melodies with my muse earlier too, and I found a depth of inspiration from Weber’s beautiful compositions that may well help me.

The artist has created a fine array of songs here for us to enjoy, like the smooth opus of The Realms of the Cerebral and the Visceral, the opening piece to the release, one that seems to contain energies of movement within as well as creating a portal to a classy artistic realm of electronic music.

The whole album is rich in texture and tone, one of my personal favourites was The Terrestrial Realm, a place I would be more than happy to visit in dream time. Weber’s keyboards and synths manifest something quite tranquil yet equally graphic to float within, in this brilliant eleven piece album.

This is without doubt one of those albums that has that essence of longevity and timelessness about its compositions and manifestations, examples of this can be found on works such as the smooth calmness that can be found on The Realm of Memory, or why not take a moment to explore the inner workings of sound, with the quite clever and crafted opus entitled The Realm of Daydreams, another fine example of the artists in depth musical thought processes.

I am always open when listening to a new artist and a new album for the first time, but I am more than happy to say that Realms by Stephen Weber will be getting many years of constant listening and playing from me, this is ambient electronic music at its very best, an intelligent offering, one beautifully thought-out and composed, which makes it so very easy to recommend.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

The Immortal (2020) Orchestrations and arrangements by Ignacio Ramirez Performed by Matias Bacoñsky


The Immortal (2020)

Orchestrations and arrangements by

Ignacio Ramirez

Performed by

Matias Bacoñsky


The proud and empowering orchestrations of Ignacio Ramirez are akin to a beacon of light radiating upon the land of the two towers, his powerful arrangements early on in this track set the scene beautifully, and this full flowing and incredibly arranged piece takes the listener into the realms of a world that stands alone.

The tone and timings of crescendo are vital here, to bring us the ever eager listener a quality film score product to enjoy. There can be no doubt in my mind, and from my many years of experience in the music business, that I am listening to one of the brightest new faces of a new era of soundtrack music, composers and arrangers in Ignacio Ramirez.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Little Drummer Boy By Joey Curtin


Little Drummer Boy


Joey Curtin

Written by

Stephen Sheppard


In my view this is a little used composition when artists choose a selection of Christmas tracks for a single or album, so when the latest seasonal single entitled Little Drummer Boy landed on my desk to review I was elated, I have much respect for Joey Curtin, she has produced some splendid work during her career, and with this new release she can add to that ever growing list of musical success.

Her performance here is delightfully soft and respectful, but one that contains a steady onward movement, the drum roll and added keyboards also gives the piece a seasonal Celtic feel to the song as well. Curtin should be proud of this one, it is utterly addictive.

Reflections By Stephen Wallack




Stephen Wallack

Written by

Steve Sheppard


To be honest I am amazed that each year artists release a Christmas album and still somehow find a way to make the whole process and outcome completely fresh, new and exciting, this can be said nicely to sum up Reflections, the latest album from pianist Stephen Wallack.

The very beginning is a fine example of my aforementioned statement, Wallacks version of We Three Kings is bright, sparkling and extremely empowering, and the performance here is utterly radiant and uplifting.

I always look for something new, something creative at this time of the year and Wallack has gifted that to me with ease; take a listen to his rendition of Rudolph, a classic from every single Christmas I can remember, but here Wallack creates a new and fresh energy, in fact it is almost like you are hearing the song for the first time.

The tempo of this next offering, We Wish You A Merry Christmas is clever, it has a teasing slow to start, then bursting into life, the charming refrains and structure used here are truly crafted and once more outside the box, but easily recognisable.

We Three Kings is a memorable composition that just about everyone who loves this time of year will have their own reflections of, Wallack manifests something much deeper here than expected, his performance and the beautiful use of the minor chords bring us something quite emotive and deeply moving to revel in.

The journey continues with Away in a Manger, Wallacks arrangement here has that wonderful new age style feel to its construction, it has a gentle fluency, but a wonderful musical purpose to enjoy.

One of the most fun pieces at this time of year is Jingle Bells, here however is a totally different view on the composition, the slow and carful beginning is part of a crafted build and progression, which manifests one of the most colourful and beautifully performed arrangements on the album.

Frosty, well it never is here in Cyprus, but I can just about remember the days of building snowmen! Wallack brings energies of a reflective nature to this offering, but it’s one that also retains its original essence; this light hearted reverie is actually quite ambient to listen to.

The five notes most recognisable at this time of year probably come from the well-known and renown piece Joy to the World, they are here on this wonderfully light offering from Wallack, his performance is also a musical narrative that is filled with hope and happiness too, something we all need right now more than ever.

Our penultimate composition is a real anthem like opus, and of course called Oh Christmas Tree. Stephen Wallack’s ability here to manifest something new and fresh is simply riveting to behold, the keen ear and willing musical mind of the artist once more breathes a new purpose into a much loved arrangement.

The last track off the album is probably one of the most well-known Christmas carols of all time, so I must be referring to Silent Night and of course I am, what Wallack has done so well here, is not only to leave the album with a classic, but to add some creative nuances to the piece, whilst allowing it to retain its original overall form.

Reflections by Stephen Wallack is an album that most families would love to have playing on Christmas day, each is a memory palace to a personal place of reflection, and all are created with the love and intention that an artist of Wallacks standing can do with such ease. To manifest something clear crafted and deeply enjoyable is a wonderful thing indeed, which of course makes me think that it would without doubt make an excellent present too.

Stories By Stephen Wallack




Stephen Wallack

Written by

Steve Sheppard


Stephen Wallack’s last album Chapters stormed the charts last year and reached the grand spot of number one and deservedly so, this year, a year so difficult to deal with for us all due to the pandemic, has brought its own challenges, but to Wallack this global hiatus has no doubt given the artist much time to be creative, and indeed this new release shows a fine array of very classy and thoughtful musical narratives to enjoy, and collectively called Stories.

The sojourn within the realms of this collection of fine tunes starts with the slow but ever upward energies of the track Sunrise; the artist has it spot on, as we could easily listen to this offering whilst watching the yellow orb rise in the sky.

Rain is a wonderfully energetic track that literally falls down upon us musically with a sparkling reverie and a blissful shower of warm notes to bathe in, the performance here by the artist is truly uplifting and incredibly well played, one indeed has to admire the fluency here of Wallack’s style.

This is an album that has such a beautiful flow to its stream of charming music, and for me it’s always going to be about tracks like this next one that light up my heart, and called Children. The mood and performance is so moving and deeply heartfelt, that it is a pleasure to listen to and be dragged back in time to when things were just so simple or at least they appeared to be.

We now drift into the open arms of a composition called Excelsior, there is a feeling of a colourful grandness about the foundations of this glorious offering, but also one that is carefully created and played, the piano sings a song of a grand past perhaps, and the performance highlights that energy perfectly.

At the midway point of the album we gaze over the tor and look across this horizon of beautiful piano, to come across a track entitled The Dancer, this is one of the most fluent and exciting pieces off the album, one can picture with ease the dancer styling and profiling each and every move, to this quite breath taking opus.

My Love calms the waters and gifts us a moment of peaceful reflection to enjoy, I must admit I thoroughly enjoyed this arrangement, it gained a momentary pause, a delicate hesitancy of breath and time to simply listen to the warm performance and bathe in this anthem like musical narrative, one that in my view is one of the top tracks of the release.

On our next presentation, I allowed the heart felt reverie of Cousins float over my senses and was very glad I did so, the artist has really excelled here, bringing us a moving moment of life’s rich tapestry, the change of pace and tempo highlighted for me the many memories we carry around and can access at any moment, this is one truly amazing performance to be enjoyed from the positivity it was created from.

There was a colourful moodiness about this next track that I really adored, the piece its self was called #8 and whilst I am unaware as to what this refers to, I am aware that there was something quite poignant about this track, that manifested a stylish sense of melancholy about its construction, one that as it moved onward, blossomed into something quite encouraging and anticipative.

I must admit I am a bit of a fan of Monet, I now hope that this track is dedicated to his works of realism and modern art, something I like to create myself. I must admit I was deeply impressed with the melody of this track; the colourful nuances were delightful and perhaps even, the truth of nature!

Our last doorway to this musical realm now known to us as Stories by Stephen Wallack is entitled, and quite appropriately Goodnight, a musical look over the shoulder at life perhaps, and a respectful and maybe even wistful gaze at the journey thus far, in a clever and quite idyllic conclusion to the release.

Stories by Stephen Wallack is another step up the ladder for the musician, in my view it is his best work so far, and one that contains ten incredibly well performed and arranged offerings that draw in the listener, and never lets them go. If you are a fan of the solo piano genre, you really want to have Stories by Stephen Wallack within your collection post haste. 

Cosmic Dawn II: Star Child By Andrew Kinsella


Cosmic Dawn II: Star Child


Andrew Kinsella

Written by

Steve Sheppard


I have followed the musical path of Andrew Kinsella ever since the album Evolution back in 2008, his impressive climb up the ranks for class acts electronically speaking has been exciting, and now with this new offering, in my view Kinsella has manifested his best work so far.

On the heels of the huge success obtained by Cosmic Dawn the first part of this collection during 2018, Kinsella is back with number 2, Star Child, something we all are of course; the beginning of this voyage of sound is incredibly impressive and called Nebula. The synths here swirl and transport us to this location with such ease and many comparisons could be drawn from the space works of Kevin Kendle on this opener.

Born of Light follows that stunning opening foray and what a beautiful piece it is indeed. The ambience and tenderness of this track is so prevalent and deeply touching, this is one of the most soothing musical narratives I have thus far heard from the artist, and I am sure you will be floating in a state of bliss whilst listening to it.

There is always a wry smile of pleasure that floats across my face when I see that a long form composition is about to come into my view, and that is what we are gifted when we reach the title track off the album Star Child. We are all but stardust, and as such we are all children of the universe, this statement has now got a musical soundtrack, it is one of the most exquisite arrangements your ever likely to hear. Star Child is fluency in perfection; the sounds of the keyboards almost create a whale like cry at times, that seem to fly across the great divide of space, in an ethereal composition that is simply timeless in its construction.

Vortex is a really compelling offering, I found a real depth within this piece that I personally found really endearing, and greatly attractive, this is truly masterful music that will elevate Kinsella into one of the elite electronic space music artist’s top 10 with ease. Vortex has a little Jarre in there as well and is one of the most addictive offerings off the entire album.

The shortest track off the release is the mysterious and deep Dark Matter; at just shy of three minutes it gives an insight into the multi layered aspects of the mind of Andrew Kinsella, short this track maybe, but as far as performance and production, simply top notch.

We have now entered into a region of space so far unknown to the gaze of humanity, and as such this track entitled Emerging is perfect for the occasion. From its gentle synth pads we can with ease see our vast craft appear from the nebulous gasses of a system we have just passed through, and as soon as we do, we view the beauty before us, the tones of the music break into a colourful and moving segment that leads us gently by the hand, to the final collusion of this most charming arrangement.

Ascending is now before us, this suspense filled offering morphs into something quite spectacular and eventually manifests into something ethereal and almost angelic at times. I must say I felt completely moved by this composition, it has been so beautifully created and musically drawn, and the synths are so delicately played, that it made it my number one favourite off the release, one that at times reminded me of Flame Nebula by Kendle, but lighter and less dramatic in texture. Kinsella has in my view manifested something here that is beyond special, it is one of the best compositions I think I have heard from this genre for some ten years or so.

As we move to the end of our space journey we arrive at a beautiful blue M class planet and decide to place our ship into a Higher Orbit, this will no doubt give our science officer time to scan the surface for life forms, without them being aware of us doing so of course. Now you see how easy it was for me to slip into Sci-Fi writing mode, and really it is no wonder when you have such excellent music to inspire you. At times there is a feeling of awe here that is mixed with a little reverence too, in what is possibly one of the most picturesque pieces off the release.

The sad part about listening to and reviewing albums like this, is the point when it all ends, and this is where we are right now, but the upside is that we go out of the album with a track that is just shy of nine minutes long and called Solar Logos, we end with something almost new age in melody, but bright and energetically positive in its overall construction.

As many will know, I’m a big fan of this style of music, I love what it brings to the mind and soul, and here Andrew Kinsella has done it, he has truly created a work of art that will never be forgotten, I do actually believe it, to be his best work so far, and Cosmic Dawn II: Star Child will become one of those landmark albums in many peoples collections. Kinsella has taken his time here, he has played with his heart and soul combined, and manifested an album that is destined to be a classic in this genre.

Friday, December 11, 2020

A Single Wish By Melany Thompson & Elson Complex


A Single Wish


Melany Thompson & Elson Complex

Written by

Steve Sheppard


I was just thinking on my third listen to this single, that it has to be one of the nicest songs I’ve heard released in 2020; there is such a beautifully layered performance here from the artists Melany Thompson (Piano) and Elson Complex (Acoustic Guitar).

There is also a truly warming and hope filled musical narrative to be gained here too, in what is a splendid symbiotically passionate performance on piano and acoustic guitar by the artists.

This single comes from a compilation album entitled Angels Among Us released by Yellow Rose Records, but this single has all the hall marks of a huge hit for the artists with ease and one that is very easy for me to recommend without a shadow of a doubt.

Evolutionary Child By Mary Lydia Ryan


Evolutionary Child


Mary Lydia Ryan

Written by

Steve Sheppard


Mary Lydia Ryan has been in my musical world ever since the release of her solo piano album Little Red Boat. We had a hint of her angelic singing voice when she released her hit single My Life’s Work, and now she is back with a vocal piano based album of great quality entitled Evolutionary Child.

The beginning offering is the title track Evolutionary Child, it is one that offers up a moment of rag style, crossed with a little Jazz with its swinging textures, then the artist follows that up with one of the most beautiful pieces I have ever heard her perform called River, a mood filled arrangement that offers both major and minor chords to manifest a lush and beautiful soundscape with.

This 13 piece release has many wonderful moments of great quality within, like the reflective There She Is, Whispering, with some slight Beatles nuances in the weave if you listen carefully, and one of my favourites The Crab & The Scorpion, Lydia Ryan’s almost mermaid-like siren vocals, lure us into what is one of the most wonderfully performed pieces off the album

The charming sense of a warming musical narrative is in abundance within this album, and can be heard on offerings like Midnight, a deep and sensual composition that floats across a darkened sky, with a performance that resonates and teases the listener with its alluring performance, and of course the ending song Imagine, yes that Imagine, I personally cannot think of a better song to cover, to end an album with at Christmas time, especially after a year we have all had, a stroke of utter genius here.

Evolutionary Child by Mary Lydia Ryan is a soothing symbiotic presentation of piano and serene vocals, on an album that offers up a fresh and enlightening approach for us to thoroughly enjoy. Each song has been carefully created and chosen to allow reflection, positivity, and build on a tranquil energy of peace and love; Evolutionary Child by Mary Lydia Ryan is simply one of those albums you won’t be able to put down.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Neverwhere By Sylvain Millepied




Sylvain Millepied

Written by

Steve Sheppard


I have now listened to this release Neverwhere by Sylvain Millepied several times now, and each time I do so I am taken to a whole new dimension of emotions, colour and passionate full flowing music; this is a wonderful new realm to musically bathe within and my next sojourn of tone and timbre to enjoy.

The title track Neverwhere opens the album, now I have to say this is my personal favourite; its mournful refrains fill my soul with a production that contains remnants of a past, long since gone and a sense of loneliness, but the lessons have been learned and that narrative can be found within this glorious pastiche of an arrangement.

This is a 14 piece album that will take you on a journey with each and every offering, like the upbeat take of So Far, a track with some crafted string work that brings the listener energies of an onward steady movement, but leaving the interpretation of the arrangement to be one open to change perhaps.

One has to applaud Millepied on tracks like In Your Arms, a beautifully composed and arranged offering, and Flowing where the classical motifs are so strong, yet undeniably creative and quite breathtakingly beautiful; the latter with a slight hint of Vaughn Williams built into the weave to perhaps.

This is one of those albums that is an utter delight to listen to over and again, the neo-classical romantic essences can be found in the hovering and intense pieces like the reflective Look Back, and the conclusion is addressed perfectly with the final opus entitled Between The Lines, which reminded me in parts of the cinematic efforts of one Phillip Glass.

Neverwhere by Sylvain Millepied is an album that will touch the hearts and minds of the Neo-Classical and Classical genres; those who love contemporary instrumental works will also be utterly delighted. There can be no doubt that Sylvain Millepied and Neverwhere is an album of outstanding natural beauty, composed from the many realms of the artists mind, and into your heart with as much musical love as possible, it is certainly one to recommend indeed.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Tattoo By Glo Macari




Glo Macari

Written by

Steve Sheppard


The latest single by Glo Macari is out across the world and is entitled Tattoo. This exciting and fast paced single recorded in West Sussex, could well have its roots in a multiple of genres, but this live performance is certainly one that will raise the roof and blow off the rafters. At times a little bluesy, mixed with a layer of punk, and with a deft extra touch of an underling rock ethic, Tattoo by Glo Macari is one of those singles that you will find it all too easy to become addicted to.

Monday, December 7, 2020

Mists of Time By Andrew Colyer


Mists of Time


Andrew Colyer

Written by

Steve Sheppard


I first became aware of the work of Andrew Colyer back in 2018 with a Christmas release he had at the time, but time never ceases its onwards march, and now I am elated to be reviewing his latest offering in 2020 called Mists Of Time, an album I would say holds its new age roots as close to its heart as mine.

This is a true journey through music, one that touches many pathways on route to its conclusion; the beginning is the short form cleverness of the scene setting Rain Notes: Storm. A beautifully picturesque performance on keyboards here draws the veil on our journey wide open.

The intriguing musical narrative entitled Oliver's Journey is now upon us as we walk a path of almost ambient minimalism in nature, personally this is just what I adore, a free flowing natural composition that seems to drift from the subconscious mind and can be known from time to time as genius, the journey of Oliver must certainly have been an interesting one.

The vast quality of this next composition is as equally delightful as the last, and called In Alex's Orbit. There is a lighter more sensitive approach to the arrangement that created a multi-textured musical platform to really enjoy, built into the weave is a light sense of movement; the joining percussion was beautifully manifested with a timely sense of a symbiotic energy as well.

On Climb, the intensity of the performance is evident and strikingly crafted, Colyer on piano manifests something quite clever here on this piece, a slight hint of a Jazz ethic mixed with notes of new age and the sublime fluency of a solo piano narrative, utterly enjoyable indeed and one to put on repeat without doubt.

This next offering would be one of my favourite tracks from the album, it is entitled Strings of the Ocean, the symphonic gestures and string work here were so delightfully descriptive, especially for someone like me who lives by the sea, the soft nature of the natural sounds added to the energy of the arrangement too. The keyboard and drifting musical nuances were simply idyllic, and drew a fine narrative for me of time passing in a memory filled package of life, a truly splendid composition indeed.

At the half way juncture we come across a remastered piece entitled One Thing. The gentleness of performance here was so soothing to bathe within, and the overall nature of calm and serenity that I drew from this composition was something I never wanted to leave.

As we take our first tentative steps into the second half of the album we come across a mysterious and intriguing number called Rain Notes: Forest, akin to the opening piece here, we once more have a track that sets the scene nicely for the latter part of the release, and remarkably well too, as the sounds and keyboard work create such an exciting mood.

A Thoughtful Moment, I adore that title as I have many of them, I can gaze across the skyline and fly with the memories of the past, not attached to the pain, but remembering all the lessons learned from an objective perspective. The performance on piano here is one of a wonderfully ambient nature, and could easily be the sound track for the mental perambulations just mentioned.

The Celtic motifs here were much appreciated as we head into the longest offering off the album entitled Ghosts of Aberfan. One must applaud Colyer’s performance here, it was utterly sublime, the first time of listening I drifted off into a haunting reverie, the second time I was totally encapsulated by the presentation, the third time I was at last able to construct this narrative to reveal my thoughts on what is an outstandingly crafted and well played offering.

From the world within, we move to the realms above with Moons Of Jupiter, the manifestation of an astral mood here was simply beautiful, it’s dreamlike and extremely vast overtures birthed more than enough room for the listener to float within, this is fluent piano at it’s very best, one that created such a descriptive presentation for me personally as well.

The penultimate track off the album is entitled Overcoming, Colyer builds an offering here that has ambient constructs, but also a sense of a story being told within the confines of its musical development. For me this was yet another piece and a performance that had a deep level of intensity and purpose, and easily one to listen to again many times over.

Our last glorious opus is called Serenity, a fine title and a splendid ending musical arrangement, one that will leave the listener feeling fulfilled and respectfully grateful of the musical sojourn they have just taken, and of course a crafted way to  conclude the album, with such a stylish ending composition.

Mists of Time by Andrew Colyer has to be one of the best new age albums I have had the honour to review in this ugly year of 2020, the images that the music created within my mind’s eye were a release all of their own, the performance, the compositions and arrangements along with the musical narratives, were an endless moment of musical magic that I truly never wanted to leave. Give your heart a total treat and purchase this album, you won’t regret a second.

Friday, December 4, 2020

Paradise Road By Euphoria Station


Paradise Road


Euphoria Station

Written by

Steve Sheppard



Ronald Van Deurzen kicks off the beginning to the emphatic Paradise Road with a vast and powerful piano, a single that also contains some quite scene setting and emotive Harmonica work, hats off to Tollak Ollestad for that. The song is a driving force all of its own, and urges seizing the moment on the road to paradise, a true rock classic if I have ever heard one, and of course the longest piece off the release at just shy of ten minutes.

The chemistry of the band is certainly one that works so well and symbiotically, giving us the ever eager listener a wonderfully full musical experience; Euphoria Station are indeed a force for good in this land of rock. 

The Reverie Suite By Euphoria Station


The Reverie Suite


Euphoria Station

Written by

Steve Sheppard


The Reveries Suite has to be the most unique rock albums I have ever reviewed, we often look for comparisons within music, but here Euphoria Station have gone further than even that, and created an album that touches the hem and tips the hat to others, whilst creating a totally singular sound of magic for us all to enjoy.

Our journey begins with Prelude / She's Calling, a track bathed in all that is good and great within the progressive rock dimension, but we don’t stop there as one can find an element of Native American styled flute and rhythms too, folk music, and a hint of acoustic craft as well, simply the best start possible indeed.

The Reverie Suite is our second track and of course title header, the band comprise of Saskia BinderVocals, Hoyt Binder - Guitars, banjo, mandolin and background harmonies, Ronald Van Deurzen - Piano, organ, Trevor Lloyd – Strings, Tollak Ollestad – Harmonica, Rebecca Kleinmann – Flute, Paulo Gustavo – Bass, Chris Quirarte – Drums, Mike Disarro - Background harmonies and Bobby Albright – Percussion, this amazing outfit build a composition here that is a story book of youth and the forgotten passages of the energy of those free and wonderful days, oh but had we realised it at that time for what it was.

As a guitarist myself I adored the acoustic nature of the opening of On My Way, the build and progression here was careful and respectful of the onwards ethic and manifestation yet to come. The vocals of Saskia Binder are exceptional; it would be pretty easy for her to be the first female singer for the super group Yes with ease, a band that I find a musical affinity with the arrangements of Euphoria Station as well.

Heartbeat gives us a steady and creative place within music to enjoy, the tempo is undeniable and is one of those songs you may find yourself singing many days after hearing it, as it sits within the mind and refuses to leave; the percussive beat and acoustic nature of the piece is simply sublime.

As we approach the half way juncture we come across one of my personal favourites on the album entitled Bridge of Dreams, Hoyt Binder on Banjo and Saskia Binder on vocals are amazing here, and then what I like to call my Elton John moment, with the segment on piano by Ronald Van Deurzen, simply breath taking, now I mentioned Yes earlier on and this is so redolent of their later style, add in the strings of Trevor Lloyd and you have yet another layer of class performance to lay upon this stunning arrangement.

There was something special about Queen of Hearts, no not the old Dave Edmunds track from the 70’s, but this extremely crafted mixture of folk-rock from Euphoria Station. A nod also has to go to Hoyt Binder for his guitar excellence yes, but also to the strings of Trevor Lloyd, who in all honesty manifest one of the most original rock instrumentals I have heard for literally ages.

Ronald Van Deurzen kicks off the beginning to the emphatic Paradise Road with a vast and powerful piano, a track that also contains some quite scene setting and emotive Harmonica work, hats off to Tollak Ollestad for that. The song is a driving force all of its own, and urges seizing the moment on the road to paradise, a true rock classic if I have ever heard one, and of course the longest piece off the release at just shy of ten minutes.

We now come across a portal of pleasure entitled Move On, the acoustic styled beginning mixed with a little Banjo was sublime and Ollestad on harmonica, giving us that Led Zeppelin moment with a little help from the engine room of Chris Quirarte on drums and Paulo Gustavo on bass. Essences of both Jefferson Starship (late 70’s version) and Canadian rock band Triumph could all be found in this exciting vibe, and much more.

Time to sit back and enjoy a gentle flavour on the offering Seasons, a lesson in time and reflection and rightly so, the value of one’s life as sung aptly by Binder. There was a touch of a 60’s ethic here in this arrangement that I found so addictive, and perhaps a new genre has been found in new age rock! The acoustic fluency here was a beauty to bathe within. At just around the 4 minute mark the build and progression took the piece to a whole new level, this was truly an opus to enjoy at full volume and beyond.

As we move into the deeper waters of the album we come across another moment of reflection with the song Reprise. And as innocence fades, the dusty roads of fate take control and alter our perceptions. I found this song particularly moving, I was only looking back only the other day and thinking on how my beliefs and thoughts on certain subjects had dramatically changed over the years, so if there was ever a song written about understanding the growth of aged wisdom this would be it. Once more Ronald Van Deurzen is utterly sublime on this piece, a king of the keyboards and a prince of the piano without doubt.

The rhythms are raised with our penultimate composition entitled Remind Me, there was something light and fresh about this pieces that was so delightful to swim with, again a fine moment of harmonica by Ollestad, and a symbiotic performance by all who have manifested this moment of sparkling magic on a track that that flows like a roaring late spring mountain stream; note the added flute here to by Rebecca Kleinmann, once more adding an extra layer to the performance.

The acoustic guitar of Hoyt Binder starts our last song within the realms of the piece entitled Content. The tempo on our last offering was perfect and allowed us not only a chance to appreciate this offering, but to reflect on the entire unique journey we have just taken with Euphoria Station.

The Reverie Suite by Euphoria Station is an outstanding and extremely unique set of works and arrangements that have been created by a band of individuals who are masters at their own game. The Reverie Suite is an album of pristine and exceptionally produced songs within the progressive rock-folk genre, which are simply outstanding, and unreservedly magnificent in their own right, and collectively as an album. I have yearned for something new and exciting to appear on the scene like this for years, well it seems like my wait is over!

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Christmas Night (Single) By Rick Sparks


Christmas Night (Single)


Rick Sparks

Written by

Steve Sheppard


Christmas Night is the proud new single that comes from the album of the same name by Rick Sparks; it’s a wonderland of beauty and sparkling refrains and textures, ones that are the musical equivalent of watching light snowflakes drop from the sky, late, late on Christmas Eve.

Sparks has that magical special touch that is rare, he is a grand master at manifesting mood and tone, and this shows in complete abundance on this quite breath-taking new offering. A totally smooth, classy single can be found here, one beautifully produced to hold dear in our hearts, the absolute magic of the moment we all know called Christmas.