The Vamps blessed the music scene all the way back in 2012 after meeting online and posting covers on YouTube. From that small garage band, they have grown into one of the biggest bands in the UK. After six headline tours, becoming the first band to perform at London’s O2 Arena five years in a row, a number one album, and performing to hundreds of thousands of adoring fans worldwide, Brad, James, Connor, and Tristan return with their fifth studio album titled “Cherry Blossom.”
Considering Nik Kershaw wrote the tracks on ‘Oxymoron’ before Covid-19 irrevocably altered 2020, there’s a great many songs which work very well in describing this year. But that says a lot about Kershaw doesn’t it; there’s a reason Elton John described him as the best songwriter of his generation. He is the consummate songwriter, his songs stand the test of time.
Out today via Mute Records, Erasure’s album, ‘The Neon’, could be just as easily be a trip back in time, as much as it’s a contemporary album. It’s all about how you view it. Those of a certain age might be transported to the days of neon fingerless gloves, teased up hair like birds’ nests, and stirrup pants and Doc Martens (brogues or boots – your choice), paired with oversized painter shirts. But then again, it’s very much a contemporary album, touching on very modern themes. A lot of the issues of the 80s are revisited – albeit in slightly different form – today, and albums like ‘The Neon’ are what we needed then, and now, to take our minds off those things.
Opener ‘Blue Sky Days’ features a marching band drum beat combined with rich strings and purposeful piano from Sage, on a track which seems to have an overall message of defiance. Her vulnerability is on show for all to see on ‘Bravery’s On Fire’ which documents her personal journey whilst she battled with Uterine cancer. The lyrics are relatable to people who have gone through similar hardships and may be a real comfort for some people.
When you hear the lyrics of ‘More Time’, the first track on Eileen Gogan And The Instructions new album, ‘Under Moving Skies’, you know it’s by an Irish artist. Sure, you might argue, Eileen Gogan’s very name is a bit of a give away, but I think it goes further than that. There’s a certain melancholy to Irish music; you’ll hear it in The Cranberries, The Corrs, U2 – even more recent Irish artists such as Inhaler, Jedward, Columbia Mills, and Robert O’Connor have it. Kodaline has it. And Eileen Gogan has it in spades.