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Eurovision 2021 Review: Romania – Roxen – Amnesia

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Roxen brings a modern pop number to Eurovision representing Romania
Romania was planning on sending young pop talent Roxen to Eurovision last year and was one of the first countries to ask their representative to try again in 2021 after the cancellation of the contest. Her ballad ‘Alcohol You’ ended up in the top 10 of my ranking of last year’s participating songs and was considered to be a favorite to qualify for the big final in its semi final. Will she be able to actually do it this year with her new song ‘Amnesia’?

‘Amnesia’ is a midtempo pop song written by songwriters Adelina Stinga and Victor Bourosu. The modern sounding track also has a lyrical topic that is used often in contemporary pop music: self love and struggles with mental health. Over the chorus, Roxen sings how she has lost herself and forgot how to love herself, while telling others who are experiencing the same that they are not alone.

Roxen has a beautiful tone of voice that suits this contemporary production perfectly, although they could have toned down the autotune in some places. It is one of those songs in the contest that I could actually picture being played on hit radio stations these days. She has been compared to Billie Eilish and Dua Lipa before and although these comparisons might be lazy, they at least show Roxen has a current appeal. I would argue that the hook and build up of ‘Amnesia’ are impressive enough to stick with the viewers, even when competing with numerous other countries. My only slight issue with this entry is that the lyrics are often hard to understand because of Roxen’s pronunciation of the English words. Some of the lines are also written in a clunky matter, but we will forgive them as at least the melodies are more than on point.

In the music video we see Roxen dressed in black, interacting with a group of modern dancers dressed in white. The choreography is a treat to watch and seems to beautifully depict the struggles with mental health of the lyrics. A similar staging in Rotterdam in May could definitely bring in more points for Romania. Either way, ‘Amnesia’ is a final worthy song to these ears.

MORE EUROVISION 2021 REVIEWS: BELGIUMCYPRUSCZECH REPUBLICFRANCEISRAELLITHUANIATHE NETHERLANDS



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Marc Almond announces rescheduled 2022 tour dates

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Marc Almond tour 2022

Marc Almond has announced his rescheduled tour dates for October 2022 adding extra dates in Liverpool, Buxton, York and Cambridge. Says Almond: “The fans have been so understanding and patient through the endless rescheduling due to the pandemic but now we have confirmed these dates I can’t wait to get back on stage.”

All the original dates are the same venues with the exception of the London Roundhouse show which is being moved to the London Palladium. All tickets bought from the Roundhouse will be refunded. Tickets bought on Ticketmaster will be automatically transferred to the Palladium show.

Almond will be singing songs from his last solo album, Chaos and a Dancing Star, released in March 2020plus many faves from his extensive catalogue.

His last album was released to critical acclaim just before the pandemic and lockdown. The singer was able to perform a one-off concert in February 2020 at the Festival Hall with co-writer Producer Chris Braide, joined by guest Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull.

Marc Almond’s career, spanning over four decades, has seen him receive an Ivor Novello Inspiration Award in 2013, a Brit Award as well as an OBE in the 2018 New Year Honours for his services to arts and culture. His latest album with Soft Cell, *Happiness Not Included, was released earlier this year.

Tickets for the rescheduled dates (Manchester, Glasgow, Bexhill and Birmingham) are on-sale now and available from Ticketmaster.

The new dates in Liverpool, Buxton, York, and Cambridge, as well as the London date, will go on-sale on Friday 27th May.

All tickets for the rescheduled shows remain valid except for the London show unless purchased on Ticketmaster.

Tour Dates

16 October         London Palladium – * VENUE CHANGE

17 October         Liverpool Philharmonic Hall – *NEW SHOW

18 October         Manchester Bridgewater Hall

20 October        Buxton Opera House – *NEW SHOW

21 October         York Barbican – *NEW SHOW

22 October         Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

24 October         Bexhill De La Warr Pavillion

25 October         Cambridge Corn Exchange – *NEW SHOW

26 October         Birmingham Symphony Hall

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Listen to “Sunburn” by Sylvan Esso

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I wanted to spotlight Sylvan Esso because electronic music coverage has been scarce of late in the blog. The acclaimed duo have new music out by way of the track “Sunburn“. They are not without a legion of fans. Although I have looked into them frequently, the full extent of their allure didn’t yet rub off on me. They are a band with festival and TV appearances aplenty and a Grammy nomination under their belt. Their popularity is such that I do not think my quiet period of indifference has much impact on them, though.

Since the sun put in an appearance the last weekend. I just felt it appropriate that I slap “Sunburn,” the latest from Sylvan Esso, streaming into my earbuds and seeing what effect it would have on me. Let me begin by first saying I felt the hypnotic pull of the track. (The bass line pops off like the little explosions popcorn kernels make when in a pan, heat on and with a lid firmly in place). This I found immediately transfixing.

Equally, the dreamy vocals by Amelia Meath of the duo exhibit wholly mesmeric properties. “Sunburn” is more of a stripped-back track that relies on a steer of catchy rhythm and blippy electronic bleeps.

Listen on Apple Music

When seeking an electronica hit that is uncluttered but still attention-grabbing. Plugging into “Sunburn” by Sylvan Esso is a move well made. Listening to the song, not only are we swept up in the feverish rhythm. We also get a sweet reminder about the after-effects of sitting out in the sun for too long. The metaphor extends much further than that. As the duo’s Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn explain:

Sunburn” is: eating candy till you’re sick or riding your bike too fast down a hill.”

Coming, from not being sure about them to then having their skittish electronic track, “Sunburn,” firmly stuck in my head. I guess I don’t mind Sylvan Esso after all.

Connect with Sylvan Esso
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SylvanEsso/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sylvanesso
instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sylvanesso/





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Blancmange announce new album Private View

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Blancmange new album
Blancmange

Blancmange have announced details of a new album, Private View, and a return to the label that released the band’s debut album, London Records. Private View is out on vinyl, CD and digitally on 30 September 2022.

The album is being teased by a brand new single, Some Times These, a hook-heavy piece of electronic art-pop that combines Neil Arthur’s vocals with David Rhodes’ guitar and washes of immersive synths. 

Benge returns as a key collaborator on album, while Rhodes (Kate Bush, Peter Gabriel, Scott Walker) returns as guitarist, having previously performed with the band on 1982’s Happy Families (as well as several other Blancmange albums).

Private View is set for release on London Records almost exactly 40 years to the day since they released their debut Happy Families.

In their post-punk early days, Blancmange made tape loops and experimental sounds with kitchen utensils, before developing into one of the definitive British electronic pop acts. Since reforming in 2011 (Luscombe had to leave shortly after for health reasons) Arthur has released a staggering 10 albums in the last decade.

“I don’t know whether I’m on a roll but I feel something in me has been released,” he says. “I used to hold back and I didn’t trust myself. While I’m still full of self-doubt I’m now quite comfortable with it. This is it. We’ve only got one time around the block, so make the most of it.” 

The past is used as a trigger to create new ideas – one track, Here We Go Go, has been in Arthur’s head since 1980.

“A lot of people are frightened of the future and are quite happy to have a repeat of something that was done before,” he says. “But it’s just not for me. Looking forward you’ve got a hell of a world to try and navigate through at the moment. We’re all moving forward – so we’ve got to try and find some answers.” 

An extensive UK tour throughout October, November and December will follow a performance at Grace Jones’ Meltdown in June, with a London show at the Islington Assembly Hall on 9 December. 

You can pre-order Private View here.

Private View tracklisting

What’s Your Name

Some Times These

Reduced Voltage

Here We Go Go

Chairs

Who Am I

Everything Is Connected

I Tried To Be You

Private View

Take Me 

PRIVATE VIEW TOUR

17 June – Grace Jones’ Meltdown – Southbank Centre, London

6 Oct – The HMV Empire, Coventry – w/ Bernholz

7 Oct – The Junction, Cambridge – w/ Oblong

8 Oct – Subscription Rooms, Stroud – w/ Oblong

13 Oct – Arts Centre, Colchester – w/ Oblong

14 Oct – University Y Plas, Cardiff – w/ Oblong

15 Oct – Cheese and Grain, Frome – w/ Oblong

20 Oct – Sub 89, Reading – w/ Oblong

21 Oct – The Level, Nottingham – w/ Oblong

22 Oct – Glassbox Theatre, Gillingham – w/ Oblong

27 Oct – The Fleece, Bristol – w/ Alice Hubble

28 Oct – The Boilerroom, Guildford – w/ Alice Hubble

29 Oct – Tivoli Theatre, Wimborne – w/ Alice Hubble

4 Nov – Exeter Theatre, Exeter

5 Nov – The Brook, Southampton

10 Nov – The Mill, Birmingham – w/ Alice Hubble

11 Nov – Kanteena, Lancaster – w/ Alice Hubble

12 Nov – The Forum Theatre, Barrow-in-Furness – w/ Alice Hubble

17 Nov – Corn Hall, Diss

18 Nov – Gorilla, Manchester – w/ Stephen Mallinder

19 Nov – Hangar 34, Liverpool – w/ Stephen Mallinder

24 Nov – The Wardrobe, Leeds – w/ Stephen Mallinder

25 Nov – The Leadmill, Sheffield – w/ Stephen Mallinder

26 Nov – The Riverside, Newcastle – w/ Stephen Mallinder

1 Dec – The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen – w/ Stephen Mallinder

2 Dec – The Liquid Room, Edinburgh – w/ Stephen Mallinder

3 Dec – Queen Margaret Union, Glasgow – w/ Stephen Mallinder

9 Dec – Concorde 2, Brighton – w/ Stephen Mallinder

10 Dec – Islington Assembly Hall, London – w/ Stephen Mallinder

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