BONZIE Interview: Zone on Nine, Collaboration and Intimacy

I first discovered BONZIE, an American musician whose talent betrays her age, purely by accident one evening. Since, I haven’t been able to stop listening to her oddly cathartic music; strong in the belief that I haven’t heard songwriting this refreshing in years. Her first record, Rift Into the Secret of Things, is a gorgeous trek through melodious brevity. While short, the potency of the material within leapt from my speakers with an understated purity. To be more accurate, the music of BONZIE laps against your eardrum with all the playful provocation of relentless waves.

Like soft ocean ripples, her songwriting brings with it a depth that sounds like it’s swirled the entire planet to reach the quiet beach you find it on.…   [continue reading]

Reviewing OKNOTOK Before It’s Even Released…

I challenge anybody on this planet to try to outdo my Radiohead fandom. Presently, it’s a task that would be posing to just about anyone. Even Thom Yorke likely knows less about his own band than I do. I’ve obsessed over unreleased and rare material for the majority of my life, down to the shortest snippets of half-baked soundcheck jams. Therefore, I have some extra insight into what to expect from OKNOTOK, Radiohead’s reissue of their legendary record, OK Computer.

Admittedly, much of the extra material set to appear on the reissue is well-known already. Even a casual fan could have heard the b-sides on EMI‘s own Collectors Edition.…   [continue reading]

Secret Cave Office Chart [MAY 2017]

I don’t know about the Secret Cave readership, but i’m really getting a lot out of making these playlists. Last month‘s had an odd tinge to it, mainly thanks to some personal mishaps in my life at the time. After wishing myself luck for this month, it does indeed appear that things have taken a turn for the better. Oddly, May’s Office Chart has resulted in a slightly darker tone overall. Still, I feel I’ve hit on a nice coherence for this one. I’ve also managed to feature Juiceboxxx‘s latest single, as a follow-up to his interview with us last week.…   [continue reading]

Gorillaz – “Humanz” [ALBUM REVIEW]

Among musicians, and music fans, pop music sometimes gets a bit of a bad rap. Personally, I’ve found the world of pop music across the decades to be a fascinating and enjoyable one. While I zoned out of the pop world for years, I could always rely on Gorillaz to fill that hole. From Clint Eastwood to Plastic Beach (The Fall doesn’t really count), Gorillaz have been a surefire hit-factory. Unfortunately, whenever they would come out with a fresh batch, they’d inevitably bugger back off again for a handful of years.

Everyone knows that Gorillaz are, in fact, a cipher for Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett.…   [continue reading]

Juiceboxxx Interview: Freaked Out American Loser, Thunder Zone and Scaling Up

After sailing the underground for the better part of his life, Juiceboxxx still has an undying thirst to move ever onward. He’s made a name for himself with uniquely direct music, and a live show that lives up to it in spades. Each release sees him delving further and further into what the fuck it even means to be alive; sometimes with anger and confusion, others with an optimistic abandon.

This has helped him maintain a dedicated cult audience, who religiously follow his various interesting endeavours. His strong musical catalogue is just one arm of the Juiceboxxx world; a strange place encompassing energy drinks, radio shows, self-deprecating video-blogs and more.…   [continue reading]

Kendrick Lamar – “Damn” [ALBUM REVIEW]

It’s always unfortunate when an artist has to follow an epochal album. Considering Kid A in the wake of OK Computer was never fair. Pink Floyd‘s awful Final Cut was doomed after The Wall. Placing Kendrick Lamar‘s previous album, To Pimp a Butterflyin such a legendary ballpark is obvious to anyone who’s heard the record without blinkers. As a result, Lamar’s fresh follow-up was always going to find itself trapped under expectations and heft. Released five days ago, Damn has more written about it in comparison to its predecessor than its own merits.

This is natural.…   [continue reading]

Secret Cave Office Chart [APRIL 2017]

April is the month of my birthday. Therefore, I felt it only appropriate that I reflect that general merriment with a more upbeat playlist. I also, in its construction, had several things going on in my life that rather coloured the choices I made. As a result, it’s perhaps not as exploratory as i’d like it to be. That said, I do feel it improves over my more disparate offering from last month. There’s still a clear divide in the groupings of similar material at times, but i’m going to blame that on the personal nature of my decisions. For those who can see the implications of my words, it didn’t work out.…   [continue reading]

Nick Lutsko Interview: Puppets, Songwriting and World-Building

Nick Lutsko is a young musician of unbridled creativity. He’s someone who truly knows how to build a world, from the constituent elements of its puppet inhabitants to an endlessly engaging approach to his audience and marketing. Through his songwriting, recording and performances, he’s amassed no small amount of success and respect as one of Chattanooga’s foremost local musicians. His commercial work for such outlets as Super Deluxe has only given his considerable talent a wider exposure. The sky being the only apparent limit for Lutsko’s potential, he appears to be at the beginnings of a profoundly influential and fulfilling career.…   [continue reading]

Secret Cave Office Chart [MARCH 2017]

This month’s playlist is much more varied than the February edition.  I tried a lot harder to make it a bit more representative of my overarching tastes.  That said, quite a lot of this material was new to me.  I’m finding that making these is helping me to discover a few things myself.  That, at the very least, makes it worth doing.  Overall, i’m really quite happy with this one.  However, I do have a couple of problems i’d like to iron out for April’s Office Chart.  For example, I feel the two halves are slightly too separate.  After a more upbeat opening, it’s quite a bit more chilled out by its conclusion.  …   [continue reading]

Secret Cave Office Chart [FEBRUARY 2017]

Yep, I’ll admit with my hands in the air that this is hardly an original idea.  Radiohead have been doing office charts for years, and I can only assume that thousands of hip blogs and magazines have adopted it.  Of course, it doesn’t really matter.  I just thought it would be a fun monthly thing to do.  Besides, I’ve got a High Fidelity-esque predilection for making playlists anyway.  Neither of the Bens have anything to do with this, in case they get ashamed by the choices.  This is just my own personal “writing an article for Secret Cave” playlist.  …   [continue reading]