Nickie’s Niches July 2022

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Artist Song Time Album Year
Doug Woods and Colin Powell A Journey of 1000 Miles Begins with a Single Step 4:08 Levitation 2022
Returned To The Earth White Room 6:17 Fall of the Watcher 2022
Dhafer Youssef Humankind 7:13 Sound of Mirrors 2022
Leafblade The Goddess With Child Pt.1 5:59 The Goddess With Child 2020
Jupu Group Täyttymys 4:44 Umpeen Kasvoivat Polut 2022
The Steve Bonino Project Eva Prima Pandora 4:39 Pandora 2022
electric mud empress of the last days 6:30 Lost Places 2022
Gemma Ίκαρος or Icarus 4:27 Gemma 2022
  1. Levitation
    by Doug Woods and Colin Powell
    Here we have the latest outing of a UK duo, which is a combination of progressive and electronic rock, played on keyboards and guitars of all stripes. This is music to let your mind wander to the many lands where it takes you along with their musical guidance.
    1. Fall Of The Watcher
      by Returned To The Earth

      favorite track

      Symphonic/progressive/alt/art rock outfit from the UK with their 4th release. The trio has hit upon a recognizable sound throughout the release, which is often moody, melodic, and mesmerizing. This music is more complex than it appears, it is well-crafted and the depth becomes more discernable with each listen. Well executed instrumentation and with emotive lead vocals, this is swiftly becoming one of my favourites of this year, so far.
      Sounds of Mirrors
      Dhafer Youssef: “Sounds of Mirrors” Tunisian master musician brings us another sublime recording, this time combining some Indian flavoured accents to his jazz-scented Middle Eastern styled compositions. Dhafer’s virtuosic oud artistry and stunning vocals are joined with tablas, clarinet and guitar, which all blend into a most satisfying and meditative entirety. Favourite Track: Human Kind https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72gc27PvucM&ab_channel=DhaferYoussef
      1. The Goddess With Child
        by Leafblade
        Coming from the seaport of Liverpool, Leafblade are a trio that excel in Celtic, neo-medieval progressive music. Utilizing acoustic and electric instruments they continue in a long tradition of original music that captures the feeling of much more ancient times. There is a lovely paganistic three-part suite within the 13 total tracks, the remainder of which touch on similar themes. Dreamy and mystical throughout.
        1. Umpeen kasvoivat polut
          by Jupu Group

          favorite track

          From Finland, this is progressive rock with avant and jazz overtones. Sometimes Zappa-esque, sometimes almost indefinable, the stellar band traverses it’s own distinct terrain, moving adroitly from complex to moody and dulcet. They utilize the usual instrumentation (guitars, drums, bass, and keys), plus a female vocalist. The guitarist is particularly to my liking, with fiercely fluid fingers, but make no mistake, everyone here is a superb musician.
          1. Pandora
            by The Steve Bonino Project

            favorite track

            Steve Bonino just keeps getting better and better. This latest outing takes us to Greek mythology and revisits the perils of Pandora, from a perspective that brings in all of the creation tales throughout history and the unjust condemnation of women that prevails in them. The songs are well-crafted, with help from guest Shimmer Johnson, becoming the voice of Pandora on one track and stays on theme throughout. The opener’s cascading vocals are stunning.
            1. Lost Places
              by electric mud

              favorite track

              This is a series of pieces of music that didn’t make their last release, of earlier this year. There are some real stunners here, instrumental music that falls squarely in the realm of cinematic progressive rock, which is often chillingly haunting. Although I am practically addicted to the guitar riff of Metamorph Diaries, the short, almost mini-suite, Empress of the Last Days, gives a broader idea of what you will hear on this release:
              1. Gemma
                by Gemma Official

                favorite track

                Finally, this Grecian band’s debut is available on Bandcamp. They are primarily postrock with a psychedelic edge, but add more than a nod to their Greek folk roots. Their music is positively infectious, veering wildly from thick and heavy instrumentation to the soaring vocals of Danili Evangelia. They additionally visit hypnotic territory, which is decidedly lysergic in nature.

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