You’d have to be a relative newcomer to Essentially Pop to not have read our posts about Peppermint Heaven. The duo, comprising Juno and Spark, are a bundle of contradictions: they come from Chicago, they’re based in LA, but their sound is anything but representative of either city: rather it is a very pleasant trip down memory lane to the 80s and the sound of UK synth pop.
30 years after forming in Limerick (initially as The Cranberry Saw Us), The Cranberries are set to release their 8th and final album, ‘In The End’. With Stephen Street once again taking producer duties, the eleven-track record brings a remarkable career to a fitting and powerful closure. Announcing the album, the band has shared the first single ‘All Over Now’ that blends rock, alternative and catchy almost pop-sounding melodies to deliver a classic Cranberries sound.
Sinplus comprise brothers Ivan and Gabriel Broggini, and if you’re like me, you’ll remember them from the Eurovision Song Contest in 2012, where they represented their native Switzerland in the first semi final with the song, ‘Unbreakable’. But even if you’re not like me, you’ll nonetheless be impressed to know that Sinplus won an MTV Award as best Swiss Act, as well as a nomination for Best European Act. Sinplus’ latest single, ‘Dreams’, was released in April, and its radio friendly sound, with delightfully close sibling harmonies, should well see it played on radio stations across the UK and US.
Back in their native Ghana Reginald Ainooson and Ishmael Hamid, now known as Reggie n’ Bollie, achieved popularity performing as solo artists. They moved to the UK and tried to break into the very difficult music industry but had no luck until they joined forces as ‘Menn On Point’, and auditioned for X Factor, in 2015. They wowed the judges and audiences, and after finishing in second place, were signed to Simon Cowell’s label, Syco Music, through which they released their debut single, ‘New Girl’, followed by ‘Link Up’. The partnership with Syco ended in February this year, but the duo weren’t about to let this setback destroy them, and they set up their own label, F.R.O.D Music, and have gone on to release the singles, ‘All The Way Up’, and ‘This Is The Life’. The former appears on their debut album, ‘Uncommon Favours’, which was released yesterday.
Trio, theSHIFT all attended Berklee College of Music, in Boston, but now they call New York City their home. Their debut album, ‘7th Direction’, was released in 2015, and the tracks ‘Consecrate’ and ‘Dreams’, from the album, show the ability of these talented musicians to combine their influences, which range from Led Zeppelin and Van Halen, to The Police, Ryan Adams, and John Coltrane.