Friday, February 26, 2021

Secrets of Stone By Joseph L Young


Secrets of Stone


Joseph L Young

Written by

Steve Sheppard


Joseph L Young is on a roll at the moment and Secrets of Stone is the latest single the artist has out at the moment, the sax here drives a mysterious tale indeed, and the spiritual vocalisations doubly so. One could imagine brushing aside vines on a trail and coming across an old temple or even an ancient castle.

The rhythmic nature of the track is also well crafted and works sublimely with the added instrumentation, there is a delicious hovering intensity about this composition that makes it both addictive to listen to, and undeniably brilliant. I am sure this will be a huge success for the artist.


Between Worlds By Jospeh L Young


Between Worlds


Joseph L Young

Written by

Steve Sheppard


I have always had the highest amount of respect for the works of Joseph L Young and here on this single he proves that my faith in his creative ability true, by producing one of the most moving tracks I have heard for a while.

The mournful low whistles used here, manifests a Celtic motif that is quite haunting, and the ethereal arrangement of this track is divinely beautiful. Between Two Worlds is a wonderful musical narrative that allows us the listener to draw upon our imaginations, and engage with this blissfully crafted single.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Moon By Harvey Summers




Harvey Summers

Written by

Steve Sheppard


If I were to write about my thoughts on space and traversing this vast realm, it would probably be exactly the same as Harvey Summers, I too wished to be an Astronaut and fly to the far flung regions of deep space, still to this day, whilst I had to settle for Star Trek to satisfy my space fantasies, it stays a huge part of my life and spirituality, and my rock solid belief that life other than our own exists elsewhere in the cosmos, after all, as someone I used to watch said quite aptly, “it is a most logical thought indeed!”

Here Summers explores that fantasy of space travel through the medium of three brave men whom we all know very well in (Armstrong, Collins and Aldrin), the excitement of the moment and the change it ushered in during the late 60’s, so much so, that life would indeed change for everyone in some way, whether they realised it or not.

Moon, is a work of a vast sound-scape of keyboard brilliance, and we take a first tentative step with by the tones and timbre of track one entitled Dreams of Another Sky, a haunting reverie can be found here, the perfect scene setting offering, a hint of Vangelis with the effortless crescendos and the build and progression, this is without doubt, simply the perfect opening composition.

We move with an almost seamless progression to the piece Departure, the symphonic gestures here portray the time so brilliantly, even the energy of the grand pomp and circumstance of this decade, lay beautifully in this film score of an arrangement.

For some reason I remembered this moment very well indeed, I remembered Earth Orbit as it happened back in the day, and the excitement it revealed even though it was indeed a nervous segue to the future, here Summers lays a short but poignant offering to break our hold from Terra, as we begin to explore space further.

Telemetry is our next footstep on our journey, and this slice of electronic mastery is a wonderful musical example of a slow and steady movement, pay note also to the build and progression within this offering, it is utterly sublime. Telemetry is indeed set and we are firmly on our way, the intensity but also determination of this track also has to be highlighted.

My favourite subject, The Void, this comes in two parts and explores everything and nothing, and the most beautiful aspects of galactic importance, images of the sheer vastness of space can most certainly be felt through the tracks The Void Part 1 – Everything and The Void Part 2 - Star Stuff. This is a duo of very classy ambient electronic music, I’d be most proud to have produced something of this amazing quality, for it literally, through its compositional structures, paints a musical picture of the magical immeasurable size and beauty of space.

Spacewalk is a true empty vessel filled with a gentle floating musical narrative, which once more portrays the drifting reality of the astronauts stroll into space. The gentle performance on piano here is idyllic and creates a wondrous set of images, ones that are only enhanced further through the keyboards and delicate synths of the artist.

The moment has arrived, in the papers we were given many diagrams and pictures of how this would all go. Lunar Orbit Insertion was simply breath taking and that is exactly what Summers has manifested for us here on this utterly exciting musical narrative, the apprehension, the suspense and tension of the moment, it is all here on this powerful, yet moving opus.

Descent is quite brilliant, I adored the silence with which this track started, then the slow build and progression was akin to the opening of a movie, and created with a slight minimalistic feel to begin with. One can really feel the deliberate but downward movement; the later symphonic manifestations on this track were perfectly arranged, and a classical sense of drama was added to the proceedings.

The moment would come when those Small Steps, would be giant ones. I think I was a crying 12 year old when this happened it was so magnificent, and I wish to thank the artist many years later for creating a piece of music, that I wished had of been around in 1969, the keyboards and synths used truly rekindled that magical moment for me once more.

I have always thought it must be quite a spiritual moment to stand on an alien world and watch your home planet rise into the darkness of space, on Earth Rising we have just that, a perfect slow mirror look at first light, once more the importance of build and crescendo can be found here, and it is done with utter perfection, try closing your eyes whilst imaging this fantasy, and listen to this offering, it is quite stunning indeed.

Our penultimate piece before we return to our home world is Sleeping L.E.M and is a more ambient offering to float with. The sensitive and almost dream like narrative is gradual and calming to listen to. The soft but crafted performance on keyboards here was stunning to behold, and simply idyllic to drift off into a peace filled reverie with.

So it is time to blast off from the Moon and head home to Earth, and we have the perfect composition to do that with in the last track off the album entitled The Journey Home. A slow, but progressive piano sweetly portrays a steady but assured outer trajectory, and once joined with the sweet symphonies of space we are gifted a track that David Arkenstone would have been proud of, and simply the best offering with which to conclude the album with.

Moon by Harvey Summers has to be one of the most outstanding albums I have heard this year by far; it is perfectly performed and produced, and could easily be the music to a film documentary in its own right. For me, I got to relive a moment in Earth’s history, a moment I will never forget, however I do wonder if we can convince Harvey to take the advice of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character from the Total Recall movie, by getting himself to Mars for the next one! Moon is indeed an album that any sane music purist must at all costs have in their library; it would be simply an empty void without it.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Zenezy By Anaya





Written by

Steve Sheppard


Anaya is an artist that with each year that passes grows from strength to strength, and this latest creation Zenezy is a moment of divine bliss to thoroughly enjoy. Its colour and its symphonic gestures are a natural tapestry of beauty, one that radiates from start to end on this beautiful album.

The opening track is a harmonic delight and is entitled Dreams, a piece that floats between a duo of musical dimensions, and gifts us a breath-taking opening to step into, in what is an amazing album.

Anaya’s keyboards and synths are masterful creators of musical magic, especially so on this album and on pieces like Forest Chant, the fluidity and serene posture of this offering is sublime. Then one must pay homage to offerings like Heaven, a composition that is completely ethereal in its output, and of course utterly heavenly.

Zenezy by Anaya is without doubt the most effortless and articulate album she has ever produced, please take in arrangements like A Day In Life, or the gentle and tranquil Lakes, two offerings that are so moving, yet so very natural.

Then we have the happy refrains of pieces like Joy and another heavenly offering in Star Of Light, simply idyllic and musically calming to the senses, with every note played.

Zenezy by Anaya in my view is the best work so far by the artist, the warmth of the keyboards and synth pads are delightful, and manifest something special and to be honest, quite comforting to listen to as well. Here is an album that sits proudly in the neo-classical genre, and is a release that will leave you feeling totally at peace on its conclusion, and that can’t be a bad thing can it?

Friday, February 19, 2021

Sketches By Michele McLaughlin




Michele McLaughlin

Written by

Steve Sheppard


 It shocked me a little, to note that I have been following the progression through the ranks of the Solo Piano genre by Michele McLaughlin for near on 10 years now, and remember well my first album of hers entitled Breathing in the Moment. Time and tide have indeed moved on from that point, and so has Michele as she delivers her latest release to us entitled Sketches.

This journey of the keys starts with a colourful number entitled At First Sight; a mood filled opus with great movement and style can be found here, and because of the time structure it has a wonderful cross cultured feel to the piece too, one that floats into the more Parisian energies of the musical psyche perhaps.

This being a fully improvised album makes it even more compelling, and to come up with a composition that is so deeply meaningful like Hope is sublime. The performance here touched me deeply, as we all need Hope now more than ever in the world, and this song for me was a heartfelt cry for it, and so beautifully played as well.

One Life is a piece that has a lightness of touch to its performance and construction; this is a song that welcomes in the sun on a brand new day, and dances with the dust of a day just passed. While Waiting is a composition that makes me think of our current situation globally in lockdown due to the pandemic, a sense of being held in a stasis or inactivity, and hoping for a change that seems so very far off.

The deliberate sense of onward movement was cleverly built into this piece by the artist; The Traveler is a track that will ring true in the hearts of the many of us who just cannot do that at the moment, but we can, vicariously through the music of Michele McLaughlin and this very composition.

As we approach the half way juncture of the album we come across a delicate offering entitled Farewell Little Love. This is a deeply moving composition, one that feels like it has been pulled from the deepest regions of the heart, the performance on piano here is one of the most sensitive I have heard for quite a while.

On Forever Yours, we have a piece that is a musical dedication; it contains a presentation of truth and honesty, and is so fluently played by the artist it is enough to bring a tear of joy from the eye of the listener.

We now walk with purpose into the second half of the album and as we do so we come across a wonderfully deep and confident creation entitled The Right Choice. Whether to make it or not matters little, the performance is powerful enough to know that the choice is going to be the right one, a sublime anthem styled offering from McLaughlin here.

There have been many of these in my years on this planet; The Long Night is one of those tracks that will resonate with many. The careful progression and touch of notes here is incredible, and leaves one hanging on for what’s coming next, which of course is a wonderfully reflective composition of great passion and sincerity.

Nicely placed after the preceding track we have a song entitled Relief, from the recital one could imagine waking from a long night of darkness, and perhaps to a sprinkling of hope filtering in through the open curtains, once more the artist finds herself in a wistful mood, and delivers a song that contains great feeling, skill and style.

This album may indeed be an ocean of improvisation, but look deeper and you may find a theme, a full flowing mood of sorts, as Home At Last certainly seems to round off a triad of thought provoking arrangements, and concluding with the happy reverie of this very piece, and is without doubt one of the warmest offerings off the album as well.

Our penultimate track off this inventive collection of fine piano performances is entitled Lost. There is a classical mood to the beginning of this track that is nice to hear, but add the moody melody and theme, the result is a brooding film score styled opus, the presentation here was also wonderfully crafted and a joy to listen to.

The last sketch we can interpret is called Unshakeable, and this colourful musical narrative is the perfect ending piece with which to conclude this manifestation of solo piano arrangements and the pristine performance leaving us in no doubt that McLaughlin is one of the finest solo pianists of her time.

Sketches by Michele McLaughlin is a moment of total creative freedom for the artist, her fluency and warm performances thrill our senses, her mood filled reveries encapsulate our own feelings, there is indeed something on this album for everyone, and Sketches by Michele McLaughlin must be rated as one of the best works by the artist thus far, and the ultimate panacea to cure our musical woes.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Silent Voices By Ayla Schafer


Silent Voices


Ayla Schafer

Written by

Steve Sheppard


The rise in vocal based albums is a progressive occurrence within the genre of new age music and it is a very pleasurable thing to see indeed. This latest album, Silent Voices by Ayla Schafer is a prime example of that musical evolvement within the genre, and it is a fine one indeed.

The journey starts with the most welcoming track of all in Guesthouse, there is something about this composition that is so warming and all encompassing; the feel of the piece is indeed like arriving out of a cold biting winter wind, into a warm and friendly respite of a dwelling.

This album has many beautiful facets to it, and one of my personal favourites would be this next piece that has such a compelling musical narrative to enjoy, it is called Silent Voices, yes, the most sparkling of title tracks, there are also two important key changes of energy in this piece that dance perfectly together, Shafer’s vocal manifests a tale so deeply fascinating and addictive, perhaps a single lays within this rhythmic composition.

Next up we drift into the open arms of the track Agua del Amor, this one pricked my attention, the world vibe and global energy was intriguing, the instrumentation of pipes and guitar also added a distinct Mediterranean feel to the composition as well, bearing in mind that’s where I live. I found quite a crossover from the Spanish vibe to the Greek essence, a beautiful piece indeed.

The beauty of this album is that it crosses so many genres, Folk, New Age, World Music and more, and on Guiding and Protecting we have a fine long form composition that touches each and every one. The song has a lush and colourful feel, but one that is also warm and friendly, this piece is the musical equivalent of having a hug, and someone whispering into your ear that everything is going to be well, a truly uplifting song, one that pays great respect to all our relations.

The harmonies and fluency within this album creates a very attractive backdrop of tone and on Flytendo, this is expressed even further. An acoustic guitar begins our singular journey. Here once more we find a track that is bathed beautifully in a global vibe, one that is so rhythmically attractive to listen to and enjoy deeply.

At the half way juncture of the album we come across a piece called Grandmother (I Am the Earth).  This would turn out to be another personal favourite of mine, the intensity build and progression on this classy offering chilled the hair upon my arms, and that hasn’t happened in this style of a composition since Nigel Shaw and Carolyn Hillyer did so with their song Walking As Before.  I could easily be sitting in the middle of a forest listening to the artist performing this with ease, while all around me is the warming embrace of the ancestors.

As we now take a tentative step into the latter half of the album we come across a track entitled Deep Calls the Deep. The guitar here was exceptional at creating a mood and feeling of sensitivity, Shafer’s delightful vocals transport us to a world within in the inner dimensions of time itself. Musically this is a clever track, whilst embracing an expected folk ethic, there is also an under pinned global vibe to the piece too, one must add too, that the harmonic structure of the vocals on this album, and this offering specifically are utterly transcendent in this ultra-reflective composition.

Rose is our next port of call, this song is so gentle, a veritable musical interpretation of the female divinity in fact. The juxtaposition of the flower of the Rose and the female energy is very compelling, and of course absolutely true, and simply performed with a level of unconditional love and tenderness that one could ever possibly imagine.

Cuatro Direcciones is our next offering and is something that I have a specific knowledge of as I have spent a fair bit of time in Oklahoma; this I believe is Spanish for The Four Directions.  The guitar, flute and rain stick lead us into this next offering with a calmness of purpose, once more this is sung in Spanish and the world vibe brings us a flavour and a taste of the real world energies, and also allows us to move with the music along the Sacred Hoop of life, and learn its lessons with ease.

It is almost like this album is meant for me to dive deep into it, I have no less than three spirit and shamanic drums in my studio right behind me as I write this review, and I have an urge after hearing this to bring them down, create a scared space and beat the drums once again. The tranquillity, but uplifting sense of energy of the vocals and lyrics on Song of the Drum is sublime, and the confidence of her composition is enough to raise anyone’s energies, we must also pay respect to the addition of the native vocals within this very important arrangement.

We have arrived at the penultimate offering of the album, it is entitled Wisdom of the Invisible. Ayla Shafer must be commended for bring no less than 12 totally encapsulating songs to our attention, and here is yet another musical tale of wisdom, change and growth, and in parts reminds me of my old friend Jaimie Black in style and content. Once more Shafer employs an inspiring vocal, raising the mood and energies of her listeners.

The last portal to this musical dimension has been reached, and it is entitled Plumajera. A soothing start sets the scene, a wonderful natural and native feel takes us on our final journey, and it is indeed the simple yet effective way with which to bring to a conclusion our musical sojourn.

Silent Voices by Ayla Schafer is a unique album that contains literally something for everyone, its production and the performances upon it are simply perfect, the mood, the heartfelt and honest narratives are utterly compelling, and each and every piece beautifully weaved together with a total sense of complete and unconditional love for all that is true. This is a splendid album, and one that takes the listener on many musical and spiritual journeys of respect, gratitude and joy.

Astrology By Bart Sunshine




Bart Sunshine

Written by

Steve Sheppard


The vast heavens and the very shapes of the stars themselves are pondered upon by Bart Sunshine in this sparkling brand new single entitled Astrology from the artist. This short but incredibly sweet offering is as light to listen to as the first star that lights up a summer sky, and this translucent solo piano performance by Sunshine is that radiant spark that will light up any dull day.


Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Apparitions, Dreams and, Imaginings By Peter Phippen, Victoria Shoemaker & Brian Reidinger


Apparitions, Dreams and, Imaginings


Peter Phippen, Victoria Shoemaker & Brian Reidinger

Written by

Steve Sheppard


The smoothness of creation within this fine album entitled Apparitions, Dreams and, Imaginings by the trio of Peter Phippen, Victoria Shoemaker & Brian Reidinger, is simply everything one could ever wish for from a new age music release, it has 6 long form compositions of which each is a tableau of harmony and peace, its tones are perfectly balanced with the energies of the natural world, and apart from that it, is so fluently easy to listen to.

This journey of serenity starts with Celebration, the many flutes of Phippen and Shoemaker create a backdrop of sound that is utterly undeniably brilliant, and the rhythmic percussive class from Reidinger triply so, one could not wish for a better start to an album than this.

We now move with care and attention to the next offering entitled Contemplate, we can indeed do so to the refrains of this charming offering. The long form style is a must for music of this elk, we can literally drink in every note, every sound, every drum beat of this calming arrangement, and simply float with it on a cloud of musical mastery that is so beautiful to listen to.

In my view the fluent and rhythmic wizardry of Brian Reidinger comes into its own within this offering entitled The Space Between Moments, the purposeful, yet still light of touch percussive styling here is divine to bathe within, the chimes and vibrancy weaves its way with such colour as it dances with the flutes and instrumentations of both Shoemaker and Phippen.

Transcendence is a composition that starts with such a gentle flute; it does indeed manifest a feeling of change from one thing to another, a moment that is created masterfully by this trio of artists, and in fact so well, that there is always a sense of anticipation and intensity built into the weave of this very pristine track, one that literally seems to hover with expectation. Each part is played so well here that the symbiosis between performers is simply excellent and utterly encapsulating.

We now move to our penultimate offering off the album, it is called Enlightened, and never has a track been better named than this, the careful and steady progression of flute and percussion is like one you would make when waking from a long sleep, like seeing through one’s eyes truly for the first time, perhaps at a reality that had been previously over shadowed. The performances here yet again are blissful, but also tinged with a hint of sensitivity and tenderness, this perhaps could be the sound track to a new era in one’s life.

The last portal to our destination of Nirvana is entitled As the Light Dims, the start of this piece is incredibly ethereal and outer worldly, the ambient keyboards of Reidinger are perfectly matched by the sensual and sublime flutes of Shoemaker and Phippen. If we started with the perfect offering, we are most certainly ending with the perfect composition, one that will allow the ever eager listener to float and drift into a blissful reverie as never before.

Apparitions, Dreams and, Imaginings by Peter Phippen, Victoria Shoemaker & Brian Reidinger, is that singular most album, that you dear reader have been looking for, for so long, to bring that much needed peace and calm into your lives. The artists have manifested oceans of tranquillity within the realm of this album, and it has been my honour today to have swum within it, this is a journey I urge you to make as well, and make Apparitions, Dreams and, Imaginings by Peter Phippen, Victoria Shoemaker & Brian Reidinger part of your musical way of life as soon as you possible can, your heart will love you forever.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Gods By Earth Tree Healing




Earth Tree Healing

Written by

Steve Sheppard


Now here is a subject I could wax lyrical upon for ages, Gods. As a child I was almost hypnotised by the Greek Deities, and as a man my fascination for Gods and Goddess has grown even stronger, partly due to my location, which is not that far from Mount Olympus, much closer to me is Apollos birth place, and during my early days of meditation and Reiki, I used the energies of track one, Ganesh to break through many blocks and obstacles that stood in my path at that time, his statue still to this day, gazes down upon me from my studio shelving.

Gods by Earth Tree Healing is the flip of the coin from her much exalted work Goddess from 2019. This is an album that paints such lush pictures of these amazing entities, ones of mystery, imagination and more. The opening piece is indeed a fine testament to the fluent energies of Ganesh, and its eastern refrains and instrumentation are truly sublime.

Apollo, whom I mentioned earlier, is portrayed quite beautifully here by the artist, the compositional structure of this arrangement may have even been approved of by the son of Zeus, and the deity of music among other attributes himself.

Earth Tree Healing gazes into the vast dimensions of realm, tide and time, and features no less than 15 pieces for you to enjoy, all produced with a wonderfully artistic quality, and a sparkling musical narrative. Examples of this mode of genius can be found on the symphonic creation we will know as Neptune, a radiant and powerful opus, or perhaps the sensual tones of Dionysus, known for his wine and his predilection for all things of a pleasurable natur; the rhythm and keyboard mastery here is simply brilliant, and one of many favourite tracks off the album.

The glory and majesty of many Gods are featured here, and their radiance and shining magnificence, such as the exalted brilliance of the track Ra, gleam down upon us all; the performance on this piece has an incredible build and energy about its construction.

Gods by Earth Tree Healing is one of those albums you never want to end, each and every composition has been lovingly and respectfully created to produce a plethora of imaginative images within the listeners open mind. Gods is a release that every true music lover must have within their own libraries, it is a veritable Tardis of sublime new age music to travel with. Musical narration just took another giant leap forwards, thanks to Gods by Earth Tree Healing.

My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose By JC Rodriguez


My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose


JC Rodriguez

Written by

Steve Sheppard


This latest single by JC Rodriguez entitled My Love Is like a Red, Red Rose, takes the theme of love and transforms a short form composition into something of translucent beauty. The performance on acoustic guitar by the artist is so touching and tender, and to add to that his finger picking style and the fluency of this performance is by far some of the best from the artist as of yet.

JC Rodriguez will touch many hearts with this graceful and heartfelt presentation on guitar, and its peace filled refrains will also create a moment of love for the listener to enjoy as well.


Thursday, February 11, 2021

Softer than Silence By New Latitude


Softer than Silence


New Latitude

Written by

Steve Sheppard


The genius of a symbiotic partnership is sometimes sublime and always something to treasure, as much can be said for this new single by New Latitude (Dave Erikson and Jim Carr) entitled Softer than Silence, this is fluency at its very best, and one can see the inspiration from the acoustic pairing, of an icy start, to a new year of snow in a sparkling pine forest, we have both here and it is indeed beautiful.

This symbiotic creation on acoustic guitars is so deeply attractive and utterly artistic with every note played. I for one cannot wait to spin it again, as I hope you will too, here is a song that is packed with beauty and positivity and that can’t be a bad thing, can it?

We're In This Together By Kluane Takhini


We're In This Together


Kluane Takhini

Written by

Steve Sheppard


There can be no higher calling than to unite the peoples of this beautiful planet through artistic endeavours, bringing the world together through music, seems a familiar theme, and here on this brand new single by Kluane Takhini you have a truly eclectic mix of instrumentation, styles and musical journeys to make that happen.

This is one of those special musical creations that comes around every so often in the world, that manifests a feeling of not only a sense of oneness, but perhaps even a deeper thought of what we could all achieve if we put our minds to it.

This has been done splendidly by the artists whom appear on this latest offering, it is not only an anthem for peace and creativity through music, but dance as well, and this collective of creative musicians have indeed manifested a track here that speaks for a multitude of cultural flavours around the world, which should if there is any justice, create a huge hit for Kluane Takhini and the single We’re In this Together.


Sound Condition By Nicholas Gunn


Sound Condition


Nicholas Gunn

Written by

Steve Sheppard


I last had the pleasure of writing a review for a Nicholas Gunn album back in 2020 for a release entitled Pacific Blue, I was stunned and amazed by its beautiful content, and I am even more so, with this brand new offering entitled Sound Condition today in 2021.

Our journey literally unfolds with the first opus, Unfolding is our official pathway to a musical heaven that is lush colourful, and breathtakingly beautiful, the layered keyboards and elevated sounds of Gunn’s chilled creational vibes are without parallel, and a perfect scene setter.

The track Shine follows and creates a natural feel to the proceedings, one could, for example, allow the imagination to flow and see a wonderful forest of full green trees that seem to smoothly drift down to a pale blue ocean of sound. The guitar and keyboards here are sublime at creating a tropical mood, but one so calming and tranquil that I would be proud to play it by my pool and simply bliss out for the afternoon.

Alina Renae features, on a few compositions of grandeur, the first is Angels, a rhythmic percussive start opens a vocal pathway for Renae to offer up, a smooth, heart felt and emotive track; listen to the hook on the chorus, and the melodic refrains, it would make this an ideal single in its own right.

On Sound Condition the title track, Gunn proves beyond doubt his skills as not only a musician, but also as a producer are vast, here is a track that would reign supreme in the chill out genre for years I’m sure, its vibe and tranquil intent would endear it to film makers far and wide, this is simply glorious.

There is a wonderful eastern ethic about this next track that I simply adored; the title of the piece is My Body Is A Temple. A perfect flute floats through the glades of cherry blossoms, and sets the scene not only for something quite startlingly beautiful, but also deeply meditative as well, this would be one of my top tracks off the album

As we move into the second half of the album we come across Broken feat. Alina Renae. The keyboards of Gunn and the transcendent vocals of the singer manifest a symbiotic partnership that is highly addictive to listen to. Once more a memorable chorus lifts our energies and allows us a moment of reflection, one that can nicely be found in the narrative of the song.

The next track was fascinating and entitled Language, the mixture of a chilled dance vibe, partnered with a slice of Jean Michel Jarre, this one created a truly intriguing moment of musical magic for me, again another one for my playlist of choice as we welcome in a wonderful early spring in here in the Mediterranean.

Just Us is track three of four that features the classy talents of Alina Renae, there is a passionate feel to this song that makes it so delightful to listen to, and the manifestation of a serene backdrop of sound keyboards and synths by the masterful genius of Gunn, makes it ever more special.

I adore it when the cadence of a day seems to just Flow. A tenuous link maybe, but true none the less, the flute and careful percussive narrative here is amazing, but Gunn’s expertise and incredibly intelligent work on keyboards and synths seals it for me. The tone has a wonderful ethnic flavour, one that drifts into a vast new age styled dimension, utterly stunning with every note played, and another big favourite of mine.

So we arrive at the last doorway to this truly great new release by Nicholas Gunn, it is called The Promise, and for the last time this includes the vocals of the outstanding Alina Renae, the result here is the ultimate single, a perfect ending piece of an album or even a concert, this is absolutely anthem like in content, which leads me to offer up just one word, wow.

Sound Condition by Nicholas Gunn is one of those albums you really never want to end, and you may well have to leave it on repeat with ease for a second time or more, it is that good. Nicholas Gunn just keeps on getting better and better, with each keystroke this artist creates the sort of musical magic that one needs in one’s life right now more than ever, if Sound Condition by Nicholas Gunn isn’t nominated for an award, then there is really something wrong with the music business.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Ambient Tuesdays By Peter Calandra


Ambient Tuesdays


Peter Calandra

Written by

Steve Sheppard


Peter Calandra is a prolific musician, one whom we can always guarantee a quality product from, his style is utterly crafted, and at each and every turns one will find something they desire from within the far reaching realms of his musical creations. Ambient Tuesdays is his latest manifestation, this collection of creative compositions is sublime and brings us, the ever eager listener a special moment in musical time, a touch of keyboard and piano magic, rolled into the warm bed of an orchestral backdrop, a veritable soundtrack for life itself.

From the first composition we are musical moved and gathered up in an arrangement that has a wonderful sense of energy within, and this lush creation is our title header Ambient Tuesday.

From this scene setting offering we fall into the arms of a creative piano caress with the track New Renaissance, this would be one of my personal favourites off the album.

Calandra is a truly inventive composer of really intelligent offerings, like the almost mystical Desert Skies, or the soft and filled with love opus of Quiet Romance, a track that kisses the sun goodnight before bed.

Peter Calandra’s artistic endeavours on Ambient Tuesdays is lovingly manifested for us by the hand of a true genius, you only have to listen to pieces like the ending offering Matriarch Suite-Postlude to see why, this is a track that could cross a multitude of genres with its symphonic gestures, its crafted keyboards and its beautiful arrangement.

Calandra has once again visited the well of musical mastery and come up trumps, his class filled collection, and all eleven tracks of this wonderfully fluent and deeply felt album, is without doubt one of the best releases of the year thus far, and Ambient Tuesdays is indeed something that every lover of really good music should have in their collections at all costs.

Monday, February 8, 2021

Hey Ya By The Chants


Hey Ya


The Chants

Written by

Steve Sheppard


Hey Ya is truly a powerful and vibrant way to start off the new working week, I listened to this on a Monday morning, and it set me up perfectly for the week. The rhythm and intensity of percussion on this global vibe of a single is simply irrepressible.

This singles message is simple, a unified world, and The Chants will lead the global party, after all, we are all related are we not? The resulting composition is a veritable dance-off across the planet, with a track that has a wonderful combination of colours and textures, in a tapestry of a symbiotic vibrancy as never seen before.

Hats off to The Chants for this very timely crossing cultures release, and they are.

Jamie Papish, Percussion & Vocals, Kevin Fraser, Vocals & Percussion, Dawn Marie Yurkovic, Vocals & Percussion, Renette Jobst, Vocals & Percussion, Uyanga Bold featured Vocalist and Jai Jones Guest Vocalist. These are the architects of something truly special, and a brand new anthem for a brand new world.

Sea By Minna Ora




Minna Ora

Written by

Steve Sheppard


This powerful new single released by Minna Ora is one that operates on a multitude of levels and through a myriad of genres. Sea is a classy offering that has an empowering sense of energy about its construction.

The powerful vocals by Minna Ora, paint a lush and beautiful soundscape for us to swim within, and can also be enjoyed in Finnish and English as well. The fluent nature of this track incorporates a soft rock element, with almost new age cross-overs, making the song assessable to many ears and expectations, Sea by Minna Ora is certainly one to watch.


Friday, February 5, 2021

A Gentle Day By Annie Locke


A Gentle Day


Annie Locke

Written by

Steve Sheppard


Annie Locke is now well known for producing warm and all-encompassing compositions; she has a talent for drawing a musical narrative to suit every soothing moment, and creates a gentle and fluent melody to emphasize that even further.

Her latest single A Gentle Day is all of the above and more; it is a fine example of a halcyon moment in music, a segment in life that you are pleased to be a part of for just over two minutes.

Locke’s performance is like a musical arm around the shoulder, and indeed spending it in bliss on the park bench on her idyllic single art work. A Gentle Day is a loving segment of life wrapped up in a warm blanket of sound, and must easily be another big hit for the artist.

Aerial Views By Todd Mosby


Aerial Views


Todd Mosby

Written by

Steve Sheppard


Todd Mosby is back with an exceptional new album entitled Aerial Views, from the hands of an exceptional guitarist, the last release by Mosby entitled Open Waters, won him accolades and much respect, I expect that this release will not only go in the same direction, but wade in even deeper waters for the artist, taking him to even new rock pools of musical prowess.

The opening two pieces of this brand new offering are utterly sublime at creating the relevant musical narrative to suit the can so to speak, as Gliding and Across Country are fluent and full flowing, with jazzy notes and craft-fully all wrapped up in the some of the finest acoustic work you’re likely to hear.

One of my personal favourites would be Aether, like a glider we fly, noiseless through the sky, raising up on the thermals and with the tranquil wings of an Eagle in flight, we soar now in total harmony; the performance here was utterly blissful.

When you combine the band of musicians that appear on this release it is no wonder that a complete and superb quality product is the end result, and full marks to Will Ackerman and his team of musicians for bringing so much to this classy album.

For the listener, you will be able to glide with tracks like Into Starlight, a translucent offering that gives us such a peaceful vibe, and be at total piece with arrangements like the tranquil To the Sky, or the silky textures of the concluding track Shining Lights, a song that contains the perfect vocals of both Lola Kristine and Kristin Hoffmann.

Aerial Views is one of those albums you hope would never end, it is a bliss-filled collection of truly sublime and peaceful compositions, ones that range from moments of contemporary instrumental genius, to magical silky smooth Jazz creations, in short it is an album that anyone, with a taste in really excellent music, should have within their collection at all costs.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Strolling By Stephen Weber




Stephen Weber

Written by

Steve Sheppard


There comes a point in the day when all around is perfection, the sun streams in through the window and the dust of time filters through its beams, the warm cadence of the day unfurls in our halcyon moment. Stephen Weber’s new single Strolling is now my new soundtrack for that aforementioned statement.

The calming and tranquil solo piano composition is utterly idyllic and improved my passion for this morning tenfold. Strolling is a delightful arrangement that you could leave on play for hours and never get bored, a sublime performance on piano, warm, tender and charm filled presentation with ease.

My Valentine By Rick Sparks


My Valentine


Rick Sparks

Written by

Steve Sheppard


Rick Sparks has become widely known as one of the most sensitive performers of his genre and the new age scene is all the better for it. My Valentine, his latest single, originally composed by Paul McCartney, is probably one of Ricks most beautiful arrangements as of yet, the flute sounds and keyboards manifest a rich tapestry of sound and depth.

At times listening to this colourful offering, one can be transported back to some of the great romantic movies of yesteryear; this is film score standard without doubt, and in my view probably one of the top 3 compositions that Sparks has ever penned, a sure fire hit with ease.

Legacy By Mythos Written by Steve Sheppard





Written by

Steve Sheppard


The brightness of performance on this new single by Mythos is sublime, the world needs vibrant music now more than ever, and the smooth approach, along with the textured musical constructive pathways employed here, gives us all hope.

Legacy is a fine example of really good contemporary instrumental music and the performance by Mythos is a careful, yet fluent pastiche of musical colour and craft.

Guitar both acoustic and electric, percussion and keyboards never sounded so sun kissed and tranquil, and all wrapped up into one lovely song that is guaranteed to be a big hit for the artist.

Monday, February 1, 2021

Music For empty Airports By Steve Sheppard


Music For empty Airports


Steve Sheppard

Written by

Steve Sheppard


Imagine yourself on a long flight home, you have heard that a pandemic has made its way across the world and everything is shutting down, all that you once took for granted is changing.

Music for Empty Airports was an important track for me, I walked out one early spring day and spotted an aircraft flying overhead, last year, I wouldn’t have noticed, now, it was a rarity to even see one. I have therefore cumulated a few things that in my life have fascinated me, to create a composition about this event.

Of course being a huge Brian Eno fan was part of the motivation, but also the desolation of sound and emptiness of life in the movie The Langoliers by Stephen King, played a small part as well. But the overall motivation was a memory of a journey to Atlanta Hartsfield Airport in the US, whilst waiting for my flight home in 2010, I sat at the bar and listened to a solo pianist playing for tips, I wondered if in the days of empty airports, his ghost may still be playing their now! However I offer up a hint of hope at the end of the track, so I hope you can enjoy my latest creation.

This would be my first attempt at combing Piano, electric Piano and synths, and of course I am ever so grateful to my dear friend Andy Rogers for his extra synthesiser work on this composition as well.

Strawberry Spring By Chrissie Sheppard


Strawberry Spring


Chrissie Sheppard

Written by

Steve Sheppard


Chrissie Sheppard has been making her tentative footfalls into the world of the flute genre for a little while now, but her latest single Strawberry Spring is a perfect example of her progression through the ranks.

The flute start, is its processes of waking to a new season within this piece, and the artists clever performance makes that very evident, it is almost like the bear waking from a long winter and leaving the cave, then doing a dance with the piano on realising that spring has started, but is it too early?

Chrissie Sheppard has created a blissful new age styled release, one that combines relevant natural sounds along with a naturally organic based flute performance, and kudos to Andy Rogers for his spring like performance on piano, this one has a big hit written all over it.