Following the success of their most recent studio album ‘The Bell’ in 2019, chamber progressive duo Iamthemorning released new EP ‘Counting The Ghosts’ in December last year. 2021 has seen the duo of Marjana Semkina and Gleb Kolyadin quietly working away on their as yet untitled new album but they are set to end this year with a one off special live streamed show.

‘Live From The Forest’ which takes place on 26th November at 8pm is an intimate pre-recorded performance, which sees Iamthemorning playing together for the first time in months. The show will be followed by a zoom call for ticket holders straight after with the band. Marjana comments,

“We really miss live shows and our dear audience so while we’re unable to play live and are both so busy with our own separate projects we thought of the nice way of reconnecting with our listeners. 

It’s not just a streaming gig (and we put a lot of effort into making it look pretty!) – it’s the zoom hangout after!  Bring drinks and all your questions and we’ll be happy to answer all of them on a live call and drink to human misery and to being able to finally start touring again.

This stream had to be pre-recorded because we live in two different countries so setting things up was pretty much impossible due to logistical problems. Then I found out I could come visit at the very last moment so we didn’t have time to organise an actual live stream so this shoot was put together in a day.

This is a very much a one take show. We wanted to keep as real to a real live show experience as possible.”

The performance will be available to view via Munin Live from 8pm and will be online for 60 hours. Tickets are on sale now – https://watch.munin.live/products/iamthemorning-live-from-the-forest

The set list will feature songs from all Iamthemorning’s albums, with some that they have only played once or twice before. Marjana adds, 

“The performance was quite improvised at times, because in the duo setting our material can be quite fluid and driven by the mood at the time. The video was shot and put together by our regular collaborator Eggor Kree and the sound mixed by Vlad Avy.”

While this year didn’t bring any new music from Iamthemorning, both Marjana and Gleb released solo records. Gleb’s new album ‘Water Movements’ was released back in March followed by Marjana’s latest EP ‘Disillusioned’ in October under the name Mariana Semkina.

Expect more news on Iamthemorning’s new album in 2022.

The Best Music From Strictly Come Dancing

Music enriches our lives and lets us experience moments of happiness, and can bring us to tears. But music is something which can be just as impactful through TV shows and films too. There the link can be subtle, like The Fray’s ‘How to Save a Life’ playing in the background of a scene featuring an operation in Grey’s Anatomy to Nina Simone’s track, ‘Sinnerman’ perfectly accompanying Moriarty’s trial entry seen in the drama, Sherlock.

These are just two examples of shows where the music has enhanced the pictures on screen; music isn’t the main feature but these great songs are a perfect fit to complement what’s onscreen. The impact of music in TV is further highlighted by the streaming service Spotify who have recently listed their most played TV soundtracks of all time. Topping the list is soundtrack to the Netflix show, Stranger Things that has been played over 5 billion times.

Strictly Come Dancing is a show that gets a little closer to the music. It sees a host of celebrities pair with professional dancers to compete in ballroom dancing set to contemporary versions of classic hit tracks. A panel of judges scores the couples to determine the best dancers each week, focusing on their moves on the dancefloor. Since it started back in 2004, it’s become a staple in UK households; such is the popularity of the show it’s spawned spin-off shows and the show has taken to the stage too, with venues selling out across the country.

The imagery from Strictly Come Dancing is instantly recognisable, which has led to it being widely used in digital media. It has featured in its own app, Strictly Come Dancing: The Official Game, which is available on iOS and Android. Whilst it might not lend itself to mobile games, the imagery is still used across different games; there is an online slot on Cheeky Bingo called Strictly Come Spinning, which trades on the name and branding but twists it slightly to their own genre. The songs from the show are also available to buy and download, proving its popularity beyond that of just a relatively simple dance contest themed TV show.

There can be some fantastic sounds on the show, which have brought some memorable moments making the combinations of the music and the dancing performance iconic. Let’s take a look at some of them below.

Danger Zone

This classic track by Kenny Loggins is well recognised as one of the hit tracks from the 1980’s Tom Cruise movie Top Gun. It’s remained a popular song ever since and will be re-recorded for the soundtrack to the yet to be released sequel Top Gun: Maverick. The dance was performed by TV journalist Charlotte Hawkins and professional dancer Brendan Cole in week 3 of series 15. The New Zealand dancer was the first professional to win on ‘Strictly’, ironically with another newscaster, Natasha Kaplinsky in series 1.

Johnny B. Goode

Chuck Berry’s hit song from the 1950s is a firm favourite on the show; it’s been a song that has been danced to three times in the past, and it’s instantly recognisable. Listed 7th on Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 greatest songs, it is a real toe-tapper and a perfect fit for Strictly. In the video above, British Paralympic sprinter Johnny Peacock took to the floor with now two-time winner Oti Mabusi in week 2 of series 15.

Enter Sandman

The track by Metallica is arguably the most unusual heard on the show, but it’s a fantastic addition. The track from 1991 which has sold over 30 million copies worldwide, isn’t generally linked to dances like the tango, which was seen in series 18, week 8. Enter Sandman was chosen song for semi-finalists, comedian Bill Bailey and his dance partner Oti Mabusi. It was a song that Bailey said he wanted to bring to the show once he was selected to feature because it’s ‘rhythmic, powerful and full of atmosphere’.

While music is there to enhance the TV show, these songs can stand separate from the show they accompany. Good songs have the ability to do that. So no matter if it’s someone like Karda Estra or Metallica, they all have their own place in the hearts of people who just appreciate good music.


Following their spring 2021 Awake EP and shimmering cover of Billie Eilish’s “Everything I Wanted,” the new single “Animals” finds SOM refining a sound that has been called “doom pop” by Metal Injection, with ethereal heartfelt vocals atop huge riffs alternating between gritty & atmospheric. The accompanying video was directed by Toshadeva Palani (Alcest, Junius, Angel Olsen).

“Animals” is the first single from the quintet’s second full-length, The Shape of Everything, to be released 21st January (Pelagic Records) right on time for the heavy shoegazers’ European tour opening for Katatonia and Sólstafir.

Following the acclaim accrued by 2018 debut The Fall, the group (comprised of current and former members of Constants, Junius, and recent Grammy nominees Caspian) had planned to enter the studio in 2020 to record the follow-up. However, pandemic-induced lockdown forced them to improvise and record entirely remotely, producing 2021’s luscious Awake EP.

This new workflow redefined SOM’s process, which carried into the completion of their forthcoming LP. Its concise compositions balance gritty riffs with airy vocal lines that will appeal to fans of Deftones and Tame Impala alike, and are just as primed for rock radio as for shoegaze-loving connoisseurs.

“About halfway through the writing cycle for our new record, I woke up to an email from our guitar player Joel with an mp3 attached called ‘animals’,” says vocalist and guitarist Will Benoit. “He sent it at like 3 or 4 AM, so I knew he was excited to share something that he had obviously stayed up late working on. He was living in Richmond at the time and this was during last year’s George Floyd protests, so he was front row watching monuments getting torn down and experiencing a real cultural shift. Later on he said it was both horrible and inspiring.

“I was pretty blown away by the demo. From the first note of that lonely, haunting guitar intro all the way through the heightened tension of the instrumental outro — that was all in his original version, and it felt like lightning in a bottle that I had to dig in on immediately. I remember I was running errands all morning, and in the car I was bouncing back and forth between listening to the demo and recording voice memos of all the vocal melodies on my phone. By 11 AM I had the chorus lyrics and harmonies worked out, by 2 PM I was back in the studio and had all the vocals recorded pretty close to how they are on the album.”

Watch the video for ‘Animals’ now:

It’s this creative efficiency and sense of intuition in songwriting that gives The Shape Of Everything its compelling power. The intentional, self-imposed paradigm of minimalism, the aim to reduce each musical idea to its emotive essence is what makes the band sound huge — and of course the flawless, modern yet incredibly warm and rich production by Will Benoit himself. The album was recorded, mixed and mastered at his own Radar Studio in Connecticut – New England’s first solar-powered recording facility.

The tracks are part of SOM’s ongoing mission to “leave this place better than we found it.” Frontman Will Benoit co-founded the outfit with drummer and former Constants colleague Duncan Rich, as well as Adai founder and now-Caspian drummer Justin Forrest. While touring on The Fall, the band recruited old friends guitarists Mike Repasch-Nieves and Joel M. Reynolds, both formerly of Junius and Driftoff.

While many artists lumbered in inactivity, SOM used the darkness of recent times to create and heal. The Shape of Everything’s introspective bliss is an insight into the kind of harmony the quintet seek to cultivate in all facets of life.

Will Benoit – vocals, guitars 

Justin Forrest – bass 

Mike Repasch-Nieves – guitars 

Joel M. Reynolds – guitars 

Duncan Rich – drums


Following on from the success of their debut album – ‘A Sèance of Dark Delusions’ and their documentary / soundtrack project – ‘Amplify Human Vibration’, the mysterious Nordic Giants will emerge from hiding in 2022 to tour alongside Norwegian post-punk band Årabrot.

With plans to release new 8 track album ‘Symbiosis’ next year, this tour aims to pay homage to 10 years of Nordic Giants live performances & music, and as those who have seen the live show will attest, it is a visceral experience that goes far beyond the normal descriptors. 

Each mind-blowing performance involves a selection of hand picked award-winning short films projected alongside the music, and each are a work of art by themselves. Whether live action or animation, experimental or narrative, each resonates and will stay with you in its own way.  

Seeing Nordic Giants has been described as akin to a religious experience: the multi-screen visuals, powerful strobes and exquisitely timed accompaniment create a whole that is far greater than the sum of its parts.

Rôka and Löki state – “Imagination can take you anywhere and we hope this album & tour will transport you to otherworldly places!”

The 2022 UK tour will include songs from the new album, as well as a mix of older songs spanning the last 10 years. Expect brand new films as well as some older classics – to shock, awe and inspire.

Credit: Olle Lundin

Årabrot is Kjetil “Tall Man” Nernes and Karin “Dark Diva” Park. They live in the Swedish countryside with their two children in the old church that they own. Rock’n roll is their religion. Årabrot’s 9th full-length album ‘Norwegian Gothic’, released earlier this year saw the band collaborate with Lars Horntveth (Jaga Jazzist), cellist Jo Quail, Tomas Järmyr (Motorpsycho), Anders Møller (Turbonegro, Ulver) and Massimo Pupillo (Zu). 

A stellar production by Jaime Gomez Arellano (Black Eyed Peas, Paradise Lost, Hexvessel, Oranssi Pazusu) made it the quintessential Årabrot record.

Tickets are on sale this Friday from 10am – http://www.nordicgiants.co.uk

Expect more details on Nordic Giants’ new album ‘Symbiosis’ in the coming weeks.


15/02  Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach (Nordic Giants only)

16/02  Manchester, YES 

17/02  Liverpool, 24 Kitchen Street 

18/02  Birmingham, Castle & Falcon

19/02  Nottingham, Contemporary 

20/02  Glasgow, CCA 

21/02  Leeds, Brudenell Social Club 

22/02  Colchester, Arts Centre 

23/02  Gloucester, Guildhall 

24/02  Milton Keynes, Craufurd Arms

25/02  London, The Garage

26/02  Brighton, Chalk

27/02  Bristol, The Fleece 

Nordic Giants Picture Credit: Neal Grundy