Album Review: Nathan Sykes’ “Unfinished Business”

nathan-sykes-reveals-unfinished-business-album-artwork-01I’m so excited to finally write this post! Nathan Sykes has been a favorite of mine since I was thirteen years old and he was a part of my most favorite band at the time, The Wanted. I’ve so enjoyed watching him grow and evolve as a solo artist since then.

The Wanted were an Irish-British-pop band formed in 2010 made up of members Nathan Sykes, Siva Kaneswaran, Jay McGuiness, Max George, and Tom Parker. (I’ve been following this band since my love for them in middle school, so I don’t even need to research any of this information.) After five successful years, the band decided to take a break from making music together and pursue their own careers in various fields. Since then, all the boys have succeeded in one way or another–and for Nathan, his biggest accomplishment so far has been releasing his own, debut record.

Nathan has a unique vocal style that ranges from pop, R&B to soul-sounding. He never sings one song the same way each time, and his incredibly raw, natural talent really comes through in this record–he sounds exactly as he does in his live shows, which showcases rare, amazing talent. (I’ve seen him twice, and met him two different times.) Check out the live version of his single “Famous” below. (And if you want to see videos of Nathan singing live last summer in Portland & me chatting with him, click here.)

This album, “Unfinished Business,” is an incredibly strong debut. With a variety of songs ranging from ballads, electro-pop bangers, to jazzy, trumpet-filled anthems, this record has something for everyone.

img_8317The first track on this album is a great introduction to Nathan’s new style–“Good Things Come To Those Who Wait.” This upbeat, trumpet-and-drum-infused tune features a choir accompanying Nathan, which sounds incredible. (Reminds me a bit of the style The 1975 have been incorporating into their new music–especially with songs like “If I Believe You.”) (Photo on right taken by me.)

A few of the most memorable tracks on this record are: “I’ll Remember You,” “Famous,” “There’s Only One Of You,” (this one is very John Mayer-esque), “Twist,” and “Tears In The Rain.” This new album also features a few familiar faces/voices such as rapper G-Eazy and singer-songwriter Ariana Grande.

nathNathan did a bit of touring last summer in the U.K. and U.S. to promote his upcoming album, and is planning to do another tour (most likely early next year) now that it’s released. I had the pleasure of chatting with him before his show in PDX last summer, and it was a pretty cool experience to discuss this record with him. (Plus, he’s just a funny and very sweet guy.) I tried to coax the title of the new album out of him before it had been announced, but he stubbornly refused, telling me that I “probably already know the name of the record and just don’t realize it.” 😉 Nathan also talked about how much this record means to him–he put his heart and soul into producing it, and has poured his memories and experiences into each and every song. This album is just as good as I hoped it would be. I  highly recommend checking out Nathan’s music if you’re into artists like Charlie Puth, Union J, or Olly Murs. (Picture on the left: me and Nathan!)

Nathan’s album is available on CD, vinyl, and through most streaming sites. Take a listen here!

Advertisements

Concert Preview: Beat Connection

s4m02qlotqfwk3bq4zhultdnvtj2pxstgatj3wh1voxoeizhayrslatttzwv3-tpynuutj6uledyzlpjc6lwjpk89h42cpgkawz1ypsuukt_9asebby54ljsjmbofv2pvulrbfhy8d1f5qhakq-zwgvwbu850j0pks-2rlct90cnj7f5fkqvnckoiqeh8ifpkj3qcbnq

Beat Connection, a four-piece group originally formed by college friends Reed Juenger and Jordan Koplowitz, began in their garage. Garageband to be exact. After compiling songs and testing out various DJing styles, Reed and Jordan self-released their debut EP Surf Noir in 2010.

The band has evolved over the years in more ways than one–and not just in their musical style. Originally an indie-electronic duo (composed of solely Jordan and Reed) based in Seattle, Jordan eventually left the band and was replaced by drummer Jarred Katz, singer Tom Eddy, and bass player Mark Hunter.

picSince the success of their debut EP, they’ve released two more records: The Palace Garden in 2012, and Product 3 in August 2015. In addition, they’ve opened for bands such as Rhye and Years & Years all over the U.S. With a retro-electric sound similar to bands such as Glass Animals, Alt J and Tame Impala, Beat Connection are a guaranteed to be a concert crowd pleaser on their ongoing Northwest Fall 2016 Tour.

polaroidAn impressive amount of synthesizers and keyboards cover the stage during their live shows, and lead singer Tom Eddy’s gruff, engaging vocals have no problem captivating the crowd. Beat Connection does just what their band name suggests–connects and engages the crowd with a variety of unique beats and harmonies. A few personal favorites of mine are “Hesitation,” “For the Record,” and “So Good.” If you’re into bands like Flume, Grouplove, or any of the bands mentioned above, you’ll fall in love with Beat Connection.

(Photos by Megumi Arai, Conner Lyons, and Beat Connection’s Instagram.)

Follow the band’s tour here!

Wanna see them in Portland? Get tickets to their show at the Doug Fir Lounge here. ($12, 21+ show)

Listen to the band’s latest record on Spotify here.

Follow Beat Connection on Twitter here.

record-player