John Bassett: Unearth


John Bassett uncovers the complexities of the human emotions through layers of sounds in Unearth. 

From The Album “Unearth” available March 31st released on Stereohead Records.
Bandcamp Pre-Order –
Amazon Pre-Order –

With poignant songwriting style, I am sure English singer/songwriting John Bassett has already captured a huge fan base. This music isn’t what I would call as ‘typical folk rock’ as it covers a huge spectrum of genres. There is also a kind of elegant way in which he builds his songs from ground up. You can really tell when an artist deserves a respect from his idols due to the way he crafts his tunes.

This is his solo release through his seasoned style. Harmonies and big hooks are typical of his music. He has a unique way of choosing his chords, making most of them sound like sun’s rays. His vocal harmonies are warm and appealing. His guitar playing always stands out. In Unearth, the other supporting instruments are tightly woven and each song has its story to tell.

I feel as if I am transported to another world upon listening to the first track Stay Away from the Dark. He sings in many layers of expressions. And the lyrics? His songs have a strong sense of self. It also revolves around one’s state in the midst of external forces like people, places and alienation(as in the song Nothing Sacred). There are also times when palpable hope shines through like in the case of Keep Dear.

As I mentioned, his voice has layers, so is his craft. Everything in this album is cloaked in different moods. The layers weave and undulate seamlessly. It’s like being dazzled by the sun’s ray in the midst of the rain.

I think the strength in his tracks is his ability to assimilate pop elements like in Nothing Sacred but at the same time keeping everything in borderline. It means that years from now, these songs will never sound outdated in a sense that the sweetness is all over the album but he layers it with other  elements. This reminds me a bit of OK Computer by Radiohead. Unearth is a must-have album if you want something timeless but sounds like the tunes are what you hear on the radio.


Second EP and Canadian West Coast Tour for Once A Tree this 2014 (Interview)

Once A Tree

Once A Tree


Hayden and Jayli Wolf form a strong musical bond with their First EP and beautiful single Light Me Up. In this Interview, Hayden explains the story behind the formation of Once A Tree and other interesting things that await them this 2014. Their music is a great find. It is something that penetrates you right away because of its craft and style. I am so excited to represent this band to everyone because I believe in what they do and I think they will win more fans as they continue in this glorious path of music.


1. What’s the story behind the creation of Once a Tree?

Jayli and I met through our love for music, and as corny as it sounds, it was love at first sight! We had mutual friends, and she needed someone to sing a duet with her. So I traveled to her town and ended up staying three extra weeks! We started out writing folk music and gradually transitioned into more of a digital space where the project “Once A Tree” was born. The rest is history.

2. Are we going to hear more songs similar to the style of Light me Up? I like this style because it doesn’t sound like anything else I’ve heard before.

After the release of our first EP we took a bit of a break to work on our writing style and where we wanted to take our sound. We always want to be experimenting and growing in developing ourselves and our sound. So you can expect to hear more tracks similar to “Light Me Up” as well as some stripped down (more  organic) tracks that we have in the works.

3. What’s the songwriting process between you and Jayli?

Jayli and I both work to develop a melody and with Jayli’s singer-songwriter background; she is the one to usually form lyrics. After we have that down we move on to production where I do what I do.

4. What are the plans for this year as far as music is concerned?

2014 is our year to grow. We are excited to start performing live! And after we release our second EP we are hoping to do a small Canadian West Coast tour. As well, we are both developing our solo projects that we are really excited about. 

5. How do you maintain creativity in making tunes?

There are so many musicians and producers that we truly admire and inspire us, and we are always listening to new music. But drawing aspects and circumstances from life is where we gain a lot of inspiration for writing out music. There is always something in this experience we call life to draw inspiration from. The good times and the bad times. All circumstances deserve a chance to be told in their own unique way.

6. Where can fans buy your music?

Currently all our music is available for free or by donation.

You can stream and download our music at the following:

And follow us on 


And twitter:

7.Message to your listeners?

We want to thank everyone who listens to our music! We are so grateful for you all; you don’t even know! We are truly looking forward to growing and sharing our musical experience with you all. We wish everyone a blessed 2014. May all your dreams come true.

Oceans of Love,

Hayden & Jayli

//once a tree//

Beautiful Nova Scotia Sounds Captured in Crocus Song by Thomas McCallum


Thomas McCallum: Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica
Tim Davidson: Bass, Mandolin
Emily Fox: Violin
Karis Tees: Vocals
Nick Halley: Drums
Austen Hilchey: Slide Guitar
Lydia Mainville: Cello

This is the first time I heard of singer/songwriter Thomas McCallum. Let me say this, that you’ve got to give this guy a listen. He makes fantastic tunes. Thanks to my friend Layne Greene for always sending me links to the music of his friends. I feel rich haha! I love the title track Crocus Song. I haven’t been to Nova Scotia yet but I can imagine that this song really reflects the beauty of that place. I love the violin and cello on this one and on every track. His mandolin playing is exquisite.

It states on his liner notes that the songs have been written over a period of six years. I think that the long wait has paid off as it’s given us these artfully crafted tracks that reflect his handsome and vibrant spirit. Instruments are essential any album  I listen to(I always want to go beyond the usual guitar-bass-drum setup) and I hear slide guitar and harmonica together with these crystal clear acoustic instruments. His vocal harmonies embellish True Icon and other songs. I listened to this album after waking up and it’s a good way to set the mood. Another favorite track is Enoch(Moth Song) because of its tempo and melody. Everything sounds good in the Crocus Song EP. I recommend you give this fantastic fella a listen.

A launching for this record is happening on Friday, 21 February 2014. Please refer to this link:

Come on by BaKED in downtown New Glasgow to see Thomas McCallum, Layne Greene and  Karis Tees in a small, intimate setting. Come early to guarantee a seat!
There is no cost for this event, though there will be an open donation at the door to cover the costs of the venue.
CDs will be available!

Sonic Dark Chocolate: Love Honour Obey EP by Flip Martian(Phil Marsh)

Front cover

Front cover

Love Honour Obey EP by Flip Martian(Phil Marsh) reminds me of reasons why I love electronic music. It’s that sense of creating  time, space and emotions from electrical impulses. I know Flip as a DJ of Radio Happy. He also loves to post humorous updates on his social networks. His generous spirit and amazing vision are captured in this 4-track recording. His beats are robust. His high and low frequencies belong to good speakers. His melodies are superb reflecting the works of his favorite artists like Gary Numan, Midge Ure(Ultravox)  and Jean Michel André Jarre.

My  introduction to his music was through Ocean Road which he uploaded via soundcloud late last year. Since then I follwed his projects because I was pretty sure something great was bound to happen. And I was right! Love Honour Obey is a beautiful recording. As a DJ, he is good in terms of balancing the tempo of the order of his tracks. For example, the title track introduces the EP with its slow ‘sauntering tempo’ followed by the hyper Ocean Road and so on. Never a dull moment here.

If there is one Electronic artists I would give a high five at the start of 2014 then it’s Flip Martian. He clearly shows his potential in this recording and I am confident the next ones will be amazing as well! You can also listen to his amazing weekly radio show here:

About the EP (In the words of Flip Martian):

1. Love, Honour, Obey the lead track is based around remembering the traditional marriage vows.

2. Ocean Road the one instrumental, features some great rock guitar from Glenn Kennedy, a guitarist living in Canada God bless internet file transfers! and is an imaginary soundtrack to a drive along the Pacific highway.

3. My Heart Beats a love song, of sorts. But twisted around and sung by a robot. Why not?

4. Two Minutes a DJ asked me for a new track once and I set a limit of 2 minutes for the track length and then thought “what CAN I do in 2 minutes?”. Tongue in cheek.

All 4 tracks have been produced and mastered by Sam Wale, from Sam Wale Productions and guitarist for

Birmingham band Among The Echoes. The EP is set for release on Thursday 13 February 2014 via, with release to all download stores (iTunes, Amazon, etc) to follow in a week or

two’s time.



A Homeless Christmas :Charity Project for 2015

We are all connected. Artists realize this and so they are quick to respond to any tragedy. Last year, a super typhoon hit my country and claimed thousands of lives. Singer/songwriters from Northern Ireland recorded a wonderful compilation album to raise funds. Being a blogger from this side of the world has its perks as it makes friends take notice and help. It’s succeeded by another compilation album from Radio Happy where I have a weekly show (every Saturday). If you haven’t listened to my shows yes, let me say that they are a combination of Celtic and Indie Variety music. So expect The Chieftains back to back with Arctic Monkeys to cite a better example.

About A Homeless Christmas

Marc Hupkens has already organized compilation albums through his Dance 4 Syria series which I also reviewed here. Just this month, he released A Homeless Christmas.

With this Little mini album, I like to raise attention to the fact that many people are getting homeless these days. This Christmas, we will be sharing food and other groceries with the homeless in our town, and I urge all of you to do the same.

All proceeds of this album, will be used to support these and other upcoming charity projects of the Elektro Punkz label

There are four tracks in this EP: Breaking Dawn, A Homeless Christmas(analog jam session), Kush and Goodbye (A song that he wrote the day Nelson Mandela died). These are all instrumental electronic music with varying styles and tempos. My favorite is Goodbye Madiba because of its complexity. I like Christmas albums that don’t sound Christmassy if you know what I mean. That way, they can be played all year. I think it is also wise to release charity projects, a year ahead. That way more funds can be raised.

Many artists are dedicating their lives to raise awareness to global issues. We are fragile. We think we are sheltered and we have a lot of cash to spend. But no one is invincible. When tragedies hit like wars or natural disasters, people die. We need to start caring and paying attention to the human condition and make this world a better place to live.