Leeds band Artio (Hol Brazill, Ieuan Jones and Rob Arkle) released their third EP in September, finding that the pandemic fuelled creativity and so ventured into the studio to record, live music laying somewhere between limited and non-existent these days. Stand Alone and Do Your Dance is a five track EP that deals with the complexity of human relationships and the ways in which they affect us – after all, everyone has to deal with others, no matter how difficult interaction is. During our current circumstances, more and more people are finding that lack of human interaction is causing problems for even the most resilient of us so this look at relationships is very timely.
The EP kicks off with the powerful synth pop sound of ‘All Things End‘, a look at the nature of loss and grief – “all things end but I’ll never let you go”. Hol’s vocals alternate between raw pain and power, pulling you in to the EP; It’s a great choice for the opening track.
The best rack for me is ‘Hell’s Door‘, with a banging intro that gives way to a calmer melody that bridges from the mix of explosive electro sounds mixed with quieter moments that is ‘Basement Dance‘.
By contrast, the last two songs, ‘Cat’s Eyes‘ and ‘The Venom‘ are a move towards a more measured, slower sound. In ‘Cat’s Eyes’, Hol’s vocals are given rein to find a a balance between power and restraint – the power when it comes is worth waiting for.
Artio’s advice for aspiring musicians comes from singer Hol and is a guide to the music business by itself. However, the highlights are:
Don’t expect anyone else to do anything for you. Be proactive with content, connect with audience. Do as much as you can yourself. Be able to handle yourself.
Be able to work with others. Take constructive criticism. Be proud of your work and understand that a first draft is never the last draft.
You need a plan – music is fun but is also a job, an industry. Work six months in advance with songs – schedule a release and leave time to get content together for promotion. Put as much into promotion as you put into recording / performing.
Put your heart and soul into every performance – you never know who might be watching.
Get comfortable in front of a camera, taking direction.
Get comfortable at sound check and support other bands.
Give roles to people who suit them best and will do best job eg promotion, bookings, content ideas, social media.
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