Kayak launch video for ‘Mystery’/ first single taken from ‘Out Of This World’

Legendary Dutch progressive rockers Kayak recently announced they will return with their 18th studio album ‘Out Of This World’ on the 7th May 2021. Now they are pleased to reveal the first single taken from that album, and you can watch the video for ‘Mystery’ here:

Founding member Ton Scherpenzeel comments: “This song is about the, in my view, unfathomable mystery and wonder that is the world around us. No matter what stunning progress science makes, and whatever religion wants us to believe, the essence will always be that: a mystery. Which doesn’t mean we have to stop trying to figure it all out.”The album is now also available for pre-order, arriving as a Limited CD Digipak, Gatefold 2LP + CD, and as Digital Album. An exclusive blood red vinyl edition is available directly from the band. Pre-order now here: https://kayak.lnk.to/OutOfThisWorld

The full track-listing is as follows:

1.     Out Of This World

2.     Waiting

3.      Under A Scar

4.     Kaja

5.     Mystery

6.     Critical Mass

7.      As The Crow Flies

8.     The Way She Said Goodbye

9.     Traitor’s Gate

10.   Distance To Your Heart

11.   Red Rag To A Bull

12.   One By One

13.   A Writer’s Tale

14.   Cary

15.   Ship Of Theseus

Watch a short teaser for the new album here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zo-YUX4RbWM 

‘Out Of This World’, the band’s eighteenth studio album, with 15 new tracks, spanning 70 minutes of energetic and incredibly diverse material- though still very much recognizable as Kayak. It is clear that the new found energy has gained even more momentum since Hans Eijkenaar rejoined the group. Although they were forced to cancel all tours because Ton Scherpenzeel suffered a heart attack at the end of 2019, and immediately after that because of the Covid pandemic, we’re hearing a band that, since the demise of Pim Koopman in 2009, has not sounded more together, balanced and motivated. The current line-up of the band is as follows: 

Ton Scherpenzeel – Keyboards, lead and backing vocals 

Bart Schwertmann – Lead and backing vocals 

Marcel Singor – Guitar, lead and backing vocals 

Kristoffer Gildenlöw – Bass, lead and backing vocals

Hans Eijkenaar- Drums 

Kayak History:

KAYAK was formed in Hilversum, The Netherlands, back in 1972, by keyboard player Ton Scherpenzeel and drummer Pim Koopman who struck up a friendship in their early teens after meeting at a local volley ball club. They were committed to writing original material. With loads of melodic, symphonic songs in their pocket they recruited fellow music conservatory student Max Werner (lead vocals) and Johan Slager (guitar). After bass player Cees van Leeuwen joined, the first lineup of KAYAK was complete with the new band being signed by EMI Records being launched as a new supergroup. Their debut album ‘See See The Sun’(1973) featured a minor hit single , ‘Lyrics’, with ‘Mammoth’ and the title track also reaching the top 40. The album sold well in Holland, earning the band significant critical acclaim and developing a growing army of passionate followers. 

After a series of successful albums and several hit singles in their homeland KAYAK was on the verge of an international breakthrough in 1977 when the single ‘Want you to be Mine’, from ‘Starlight Dancer’ achieved chart success in the U.S, peaking at #55 in the Billboard Charts. KAYAK was even voted Most Promising Band of the Year by the influential American music magazine Record World. Due to the fact that charismatic lead singer Max Werner wanted to fill the vacant position of drummer meaning the band was suddenly without a lead singer, making it impossible to embark on an American tour. KAYAK focused on finding a vocalist instead. The search began with advertisements placed in British magazine ‘Melody Maker’, spotted by Edward Reekers, a huge fan of the band since the early days. Passing the audition with flying colors he became the new frontman for KAYAK and with the addition of two female singers the band returned to the recording studio to create their 6th album, the award winning ‘Phantom of the Night, which turned out to be their commercial peak. The blend of progressive rock and immaculate pop brought them phenomenal success. The album went to number one on the charts, reaching platinum status and ‘Ruthless Queen,’ became their highest charting single, (#4 in the Dutch charts). 

The next album, ‘Periscope Life’ (1980), was similar in style and recorded in Los Angeles. It consolidated KAYAK’s position as one of Holland’s most popular bands.

With their next effort, ‘Merlin’ (1981), KAYAK returned to its original progressive and symphonic rock roots, with a suite about the legendary medieval magician on side A. Many music fans considered this a milestone in the bands career. Personal and musical struggles within the band however led to a break up in 1982. The first era of KAYAK ended after the release of the semi live album ‘Eyewitness’. 

The next chapter in KAYAK’s career began in 2006 with ‘Kayakoustic’, presenting the now seven-piece band in an intimate setting.In the new millennium KAYAK was resurrected after an 18 year pause and came back with the strong symphonic crossover album ‘Close to the Fire’ (2000) with again Pim Koopman on drums and Max Werner on vocals. Unfortunately, due to ill health Max was soon forced to leave, with ex- Vandenberg singer Bert Heerink, who already joined the band on stage, taking over. With Heerink three studio albums were recorded, including the rock opera’s ‘Merlin – Bard of the Unseen’ and ‘Nostradamus – The Fate of Man’, their most ambitious efforts yet. The rock opera’s, dominated by longer, prog-based compositions, also showed KAYAK’s theatrical side with an extended cast of singers and dancers contributing to an impressive first rate live experience. It also marked the return of Edward Reekers and introduced Cindy Oudshoorn as first female lead singer. 

2008 was an important year celebrating their 35th anniversary and embarking on a large tour taking the group to the theaters and clubs. ‘The Anniversary Box’, a DVD containing the Paradiso concert as well as a collection of fan chosen tracks is released. 

The tragic, unexpected death of drummer and composer Pim Koopman one year later in the middle of the ‘Letters From Utopia’ tour almost led to KAYAK’s downfall, but two years later the group re- emerged with Hans Eijkenaar on drums and the album ‘Anywhere But Here’, dedicated to Koopman. After a period of two years preparing and recording the new rock opera ‘Cleopatra- The Crown of Isis’ was released in 2014. Shortly before the tour, lead singers Reekers and Oudshoorn unexpectedly and inconveniently announced their departure, leaving the band in disarray. But as they say “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” and like the proverbial cat with nine lives – in 2018 KAYAK came back with a vengeance and ‘Seventeen’. 

Look out for more information on the bands 18th studio album ‘Out Of This World’ in the coming months.

Nad Sylvan – “The Stolen Child” single & video release / “Spiritus Mundi” pre-order starts today

After a very successful release of the first single “The Fisherman”, Nad Sylvan is now proud to be presenting the second song “The Stolen Child” off of his new album “Spiritus Mundi”, to be released on April 9th 2021. The album’s lyrics are based on poems by W.B. Yeats. 

Nad comments on the new song as follows: 

”The Stolen Child” is one of W B Yeats’ most popular early poems first published in Irish Monthly in 1896. Like much of his early work, it is based on the myths and legends he heard from local people while growing up in County Sligo. 

I feel this song is a very captivating take on the lyrical content and will place you in a colorful dreamy landscape which will take you back to your own gullible childhood.

Let the fairies come and get you.”

You can watch the video for “The Stolen Child” here:

“Spiritus Mundi” is available as Special Edition CD Digipak (incl. 2 bonus tracks), 180g Gatefold LP Vinyl Edition (incl. the entire album on CD) and as Digital Download. You can pre-order the album here: 

https://nadsylvanmusic.lnk.to/SpiritusMundi

“Spiritus Mundi” tracklisting:

1. The Second Coming (7:00)

2. Sailing to Byzantium (6:41)

3. Cap and Bells (4:47)

4. The Realists (2:18)

5. The Stolen Child (4:58)

6. To An Isle In The Water (4:36)

7. The Hawk (4:09)

8. The Witch and The Mermaid (1:57)

9. The Fisherman (5:28)

Bonus Tracks

10. You’ve Got To Find A Way (5:55)

11. To A Child Dancing In The Wind (5:08)

DOWNES BRAIDE ASSOCIATION Launch Third Single Today

Album Halcyon Hymns Out Now!

OUT NOW Downes Braide Association (DBA) fourth album Halcyon Hymns CD. DBA also launch the video and radio edit of the third track to be taken from the album entitled Today – today!

Buy Halcyon Hymns here:
CD/DVD OUT NOW – Pre-order the 2LP White Vinyl out 26th March: https://downesbraide.co.uk/

Today is an anthemic celebration of life and making the most of what we have, here and now, something we have all come to appreciate in these unprecedented times.

Today’s a perfect day, so spend it with me. The sun is high, the wheel of time. It will turn. You know it goes by so fast. No time to dwell in the past. I wish today would never end..

“Today Is about being in love with a moment that can never last,” says Chris Braide, “and treasuring the feeling that fleeting moment, brings. The lyric is truly from the heart.”

Geoff Downes adds: “Today is DBA’s 21st Century take on the romance of spending a perfect day with someone you love. Here’s to more perfect days – today, together and beyond.”

Geoff Downes (keyboards, programming) and Chris Braide (vocals) are joined on the album and Today by Ash Soan on drums, Andy Hodge (bass) and Dave Bainbridge who provides a particularly tasty guitar throughout the track. Today sends out a positive message while the infectious melody promises to make this a radio delight.

Halcyon Hymns is the fifth DBA collaboration and follows their previous critically-acclaimed studio albums Pictures of You (2012), Suburban Ghosts (2015) and Skyscraper Souls (2017). The duo have also released Live In England (2019) recorded at their first ever concert at Trading Boundaries, East Sussex, in 2018.

About Downes Braide Association
Downes Braide Association was formed as a studio-based project by Geoff Downes and Chris Braide and has already produced three acclaimed studio albums: Pictures Of You (2012), Suburban Ghosts (2015) and Skyscraper Souls (2017) together with a live album Live In England (2019). The project draws on Downes’ and Braide’s rich musical heritage to create a delightfully accessible brand of progressive rock.

Keyboard wizard Geoff Downes was thrust into the limelight with the worldwide success of Video Killed The Radio Star in 1979. The single topped the charts chart in 16 countries for The Buggles duo of Geoff and Trevor Horn (vocals, bass guitar). They briefly joined prog legends YES before Downes became a founder member of the supergroup Asia with YES guitarist Steve Howe, ELP drummer Carl Palmer and the late John Wetton (vocals, bass guitar).

The Wetton-Downes composition Heat Of The Moment became a world-wide hit in 1982 heralding many years of success for Asia with their FM radio-friendly brand of rock. Downes later returned to YES in 2012 and remains with the band alongside Steve Howe.

British singer-songwriter-pianist Chris Braide has recently returned to UK shores after many years based in California. He enjoys enormous success writing and producing music for film scores, advertising campaigns and working closely with artists including Toni Braxton, Sia, Lana Del Rey, Marc Almond, Christina Aguilera, Beyonce, Paloma Faith, Britney Spears, David Guetta, Chris also co-wrote the music with Hans Zimmer and Sia for Seven Worlds One Planet – David Attenborough series.

Downes Braide Association release both the single Today and CD version of Halcyon Hymns, today 5th February.

Downes Braide Association: Halcyon Hymns buy it here:CD/DVD Out Now – Pre-order the 2LP White Vinyl out 26th March: https://downesbraide.co.uk/

Nad Sylvan – releases new single & video for “The Fisherman” / Reveals cover artwork for “Spiritus Mundi”

Nad Sylvan ended 2020 on a rather happy note. He released “You’ve Got To Find A Way” in December 2020, a bonus track on his upcoming album “Spiritus Mundi”. 

Today Nad is excited to be releasing the first proper album track “The Fisherman” off of said album to the world.

Nad comments: 

“No one is a prophet in their own land”. W.B Yeats, the famous Irish poet penned the poem “The Fisherman” in 1914 that this song is based on. At this point in time, he felt misunderstood by his contemporaries, just like I have done growing up in a small minded world. Yeats poems are filled with double and hidden messages. So is this video.

Watch the video for “The Fisherman” here: 

After concluding the Vampirate’s trilogy, Nad now changes course on his upcoming fourth album by converting poems of WB Yeats into music. The new album is due for release on  April 9th 2021 featuring the stunning new cover artwork by Robin Damore.

The pre-order for “Spiritus Mundi” will start on February 12th 2021. 

MONO ANNOUNCE NEW LIVE ALBUM ‘BEYOND THE PAST’ – RELEASED 19TH MARCH (PELAGIC RECORDS)

For two decades, MONO have defined and re-fined a kind of orchestral rock that is as emotional as it is experimental. Their 10 studio albums over those 20 years have established MONO as what Pitchfork described as “one of the most distinctive bands of the 21st Century.” Meanwhile, their live concerts are typically more subdued in instrumentation – and more supercharged in volume and voltage. Rarely is there the opportunity to combine those two experiences.

In their 20-year history as a band, MONO have presented no more than a half-dozen live concerts featuring the support of an orchestra. Such events are not only unusual they are also unforgettable.

Released on 19th March (Pelagic Records), Beyond the Past • Live in London with the Platinum Anniversary Orchestra documents MONO’s extraordinary performance from the Beyond the Past event that celebrated the band’s 20th anniversary, which took place at the historic Barbican Centre in London, England on December 14, 2019. 

For that once-in-a-life- time event, MONO selected a memorable lineup of old and new friends, including fellow Japanese underground icons, Boris and Envy, as well as French post-metal legends, Alcest, and UK collaborators A.A. Williams and Jo Quail. The event culminated with MONO performing with The Platinum Anniversary Orchestra, featuring National Youth String Orchestra to a rapt, sold-out audience of 2,000.

Playing through a two-hour set that touches on the band’s entire history, the sheer euphoria and dynamic resonance that engulfed the massive crowd was captured in brilliant detail by MONO’s live sound engineer, Matt Cook. 

Listen to ‘Meet Us Where the Night Ends (Live in London)’ for a taster:

Meticulously mastered by Bob Weston and presented here in its entire two-hour glory, Beyond the Past is one of the most essential MONO recordings. Packaged in a triple gatefold with accompanying 40-page photo book, this is the rare document of an event that is an event in and of itself.

Pre-order now – https://bit.ly/monobeyondthepast

UK heavy proggers HeKz announce new double concept album ‘TERRA NOVA’

HeKz’s fourth album ‘TERRA NOVA’ will see lead singer and bassist Matt Young joined by a new line up of international talent.

“HeKz has always been a musical chimera, fusing elements of heavy metal, hard rock and progressive music,” explains Young. “The new line up reflects that perfectly – we’ve got a prog guy, a metal guy and a rock guy. On paper, that’s an odd mix but the chemistry is undeniable. This album is the next logical step in the band’s evolution.”

Pieter Beemsterboer – pic by Arthur Haggenburg


The new guitarist cannot yet be revealed due to contractual reasons, and ‘TERRA NOVA’ will see Pieter Beemsterboer (ex-Black Rabbit) on keyboards and Moyano el Buffalo (5th Avenue Hamburg) on drums.

Moyano el Buffalo – Pic by Jesus Figueirido

“Working with this new line up has already been so rewarding. The guys have so much talent, but also the taste to hold back when necessary. Everybody plays to serve the song, and when they get their moment, it’s quite extraordinary to behold!”

A concept piece, ‘TERRA NOVA’ was written by Young over a two year period. A familiar story with a unique flavour, the album weaves a tale of ambition, duality and the desperate fight to overcome the darkest parts of your personality in order to become the person you were born to be.

“We’re making a double concept album in 4 different countries, working remotely and all during a pandemic. It’s completely mad but tremendously exciting. We’re proud to share this first taste of new music and can’t wait to take you on this journey with us.”

The first part of the album will be released as an EP in late 2021, with the full double album to follow in early 2022.

The first single from ‘TERRA NOVA’ will be released in Spring 2021.

Matt Young picture by Sally Newhouse.

For more information visit: www.hekztheband.com

ARC OF LIFE release second single JUST IN SIGHT

Arc of Life is Jon Davison, Billy Sherwood and Jay Schellen (additional drummer) from YES together with Dave Kerzner on keyboards and Jimmy Haun on guitar.

The new band release their debut, eponymous, album on February 12th and have just released a video for the second single from the album, ‘Just In Sight’.

THE FLOWER KINGS – launch video for ‘Black Swan’ / track taken from latest album ‘Islands’ out now

In October 2020, progressive rockers THE FLOWER KINGS released their new double album “Islands” on InsideOutMusic, just a year after the group’s much celebrated “Waiting For Miracles”. Today the band have launched a brand new video for the track ‘Black Swan’, and you can watch it now here:

Roine Stolt comments: “’Black Swan’ was a little piano melody I wrote around spring 2019 – I thought of it as ‘Polish melancholic’ or a ballet piano piece. I did present a demo for the Transatlantic sessions but when it didn’t stick there I brought it along to the TFK ‘Islands’ session. Here it found its way in to the album and concept and with a slightly more dry guitar-driven sound and with nods to both The Beatles & Queen it became one of my favourite tracks. Hasse delivers some of his finest vocal on the album here.”
 
With an epic length of 92 minutes, “Islands” offers all trademark sounds and melodies, the band is renowned for including vintage keys, brilliant guitar solos, odd drum patterns and symphonic elements. Rounded off by artwork courtesy of the legendary Roger Dean (Yes, Asia, Gentle Giant, Greenslade, Uriah Heep), THE FLOWER KINGS present a dynamic and complex record that is bold, bombastic and beautiful.

 “Islands” is available as a massive Limited 3LP & 2CD box set with slipcase and 180 gram vinyl housed in one gatefold, one single sleeve; as Limited Edition 2CD Digipak and Digital Album.
 
Order here: https://theflowerkings.lnk.to/IslandsID

Disc One (49:40)
1 – Racing With Blinders On 4:24
2 – From The Ground 4.02
3 – Black Swan 5:53
4 – Morning News 4:01
5 – Broken 6:38
6 – Goodbye Outrage 2:19
7 – Journeyman 1:43
8 – Tangerine 3:51
9 – Solaris 9:10
10 – Heart Of The Valley 4:18
11- Man In A Two Peace Suit 3:21

Disc Two (43:01)
1 – All I Need Is Love 5:48
2 – A New Species 5:45
3 – Northern Lights 5:43
4 – Hidden Angles 0:50
5 – Serpentine 3:52
6 – Looking For Answers 4:30
7 –Telescope 4:41
8 – Fool’s Gold 3:11
9 – Between Hope & Fear 4:29
10 – Islands 4:12

Line-Up:
Roine Stolt – Vocal, Ukulele, Guitars, Additional Keyboards
Hasse Fröberg – Vocal & Acoustic Guitar
Jonas Reingold – Bass, Acoustic Guitar
Zach Kamins – Pianos, Organ, Synthesizers, Mellotron, Orchestrations
Mirko DeMaio – Drums, Percussion
Guest: Rob Townsend – Soprano Saxophone

AIRBAG CO-FOUNDER BJØRN RIIS DEBUTS POIGNANT NEW SINGLE INSPIRED BY PANDEMIC

AIRBAG CO-FOUNDER BJØRN RIIS DEBUTS POIGNANT NEW SINGLE INSPIRED BY PANDEMIC

The COVID-19  pandemic has brought loss and suffering to millions of ordinary people world-wide, the majority of whom  have had to face the fact that their lives have been completely changed, and that for many, life will never be the same again.  Stuck inside their homes, denied the ability to see their loved ones, unable to perform the usual daily tasks,  and living in fear, many have found themselves wondering what is happening, and when will it ever end.

AIRBAG co-founder, songwriter and lead guitarist BJØRN RIIS is no different from anyone else, but he has turned this universal despair into something beautiful, creating “Desolate Place” a song that expresses what so many are feeling, not just lyrically, but also through its haunting melody.  

Here he explains how it all came about:
I can see the road from my house and the bus that drives by no longer stops like it used to. I had the guitar and this short piece that sounded like it could turn into something.  “Desolate Place” pretty much wrote itself inspired by the strange and unfamiliar times we live in. It’s like a bad dream or a road movie where you drive to the next place or town in search of something better but it’s the same wherever you go.

Together with long-time collaborator Vegard Kleftåas Sleipnes, we created this dark and almost claustrophobic atmosphere that tells a story in itself. I’ve never done a stand-alone track like this before but it felt like the right time and it’s rewarding to feel inspired in times like these. 

With music and lyrics by Bjørn Riis, who also produced the track, and with mixing and mastering by Vegard Kleftåas Sleipnes, “Desolate Place” features Bjørn on vocals, guitars, bass, keys and programming and Vegard on  keys and programming.

Photography and design for “Desolate Place” is by Bjørn, and the single is released on Karisma Records today.

Download from bandcamp here:

https://bjornriis.bandcamp.com/track/desolate-place

A much-respected guitarist within the musical community, BJØRN ‘s  interest in music started while still a teenager, when guitar-led bands were at the forefront and spearheaded the rise of the Progressive Rock movement.   It was this movement, together with Electronica and Movie Scores, that influenced the young guitarist,  leading  him to develop a style filled with soaring leads and gorgeous textures.   Bjørn has recently renewed his contract with Karisma Records,  and begun work on his fourth full-length album which will be released during 2021.

New vinyl editions of the two first BJØRN RIIS albums, “Lullabies in a Car Crash” and “Forever Comes to an End” will be re-released on March 5th 2021. Pre-order can be made here: https://www.karismarecords.no/shop/

Frontiers Announces Signing of Arc Of Life

NEW PROG ROCK GROUP FEATURING MEMBERS OF YES & SOUND OF CONTACT – DEBUT SINGLE & VIDEO ‘YOU MAKE IT REAL’ OUT NOW

Frontiers Music Srl is excited to announce the release of ARC OF LIFE’s self-titled debut album on February 12, 2021. Arc Of Life is a new progressive rock supergroup featuring three members of the current YES line-up, vocalist/guitarist Jon Davison, bassist/vocalist Billy Sherwood, and additional drummer Jay Schellen, one of the most interesting talents in the “new” progressive rock scene in the US, Dave Kerzner (Sound of Contact) on keyboards, and Jimmy Haun (also featured on YES albums in the past) on guitar. Fans can get their first taste of the band’s forthcoming debut with the new single and video, ‘You Make It Real’

Pre-order/save “Arc Of Life” HERE: https://orcd.co/arcoflife

The concept behind Arc of Life is, in keeping with the progressive rock philosophy, to craft creative, challenging, and ear-pleasing music that pushes boundaries. 

Billy Sherwood describes the music as, “interesting, with well-crafted songs, performed with precision and grace. All songs feature memorable melodies and lyrics that take the listener on a sonic adventure. Dynamic arrangements with peaks and valleys… it’s all there.”

The other idea behind the band is that YES would be a clear point of influence. But while YES is clearly the main point of comparison, a lot of musical similarities can be drawn to describe Arc Of Life’s grandiose and epic approach to music. 

In Jon Davison’s words, “Each YES member understands and supports when others may desire to explore and thrive along new artistic avenues. We then each find further inspiration to bring back to the YES fold.”

But all the descriptions are best left to the listeners to discern for themselves as repeat listens will reveal more layers. 

Arc Of Life is a true garden of delight for progressive rock fans and the band is looking forward to performing live. “Once the world gets over the COVID hump, Arc Of Life will be planning as much touring as we can fit in between YES and our other projects. Quite honestly, we’re all chomping at the bit to be out performing again!” concludes Jon Davison.

Tracklist:

1. Life Has A Way

2. Talking With Siri

3. You Make It Real

4. Until Further Notice

5. The Magic Of It All

6. Just In Sight

7. I Want To Know You Better

8. Locked Down

9. Therefore We Are

10. The End Game

Line-up:
Billy Sherwood – Bass and vocals

Jon Davison – Vocals

Jay Schellen – Drums

Jimmy Haun – Guitars

Dave Kerzner – Keyboards