When the month is January and the weather is dark, wet and miserable, the kind of music you want to listen to is the kind that gets you up dancing, the kind that brings that little bit of joy. Happily, for Angry Baby’s first review of 2021, we can bring you just that sort of music with the debut EP from Russian electro-pop, funk band, Neon Tapehead. The band, who have honed their craft playing live shows in Moscow for the last few years are Dmitry Ursul (lead guitar and synths), Aleksandr Kovalchuk (drums), Maya Shonia (vocals) and Dmitry Votintsev (bass).
Never Say Never is a set of five tracks that effortlessly lifts the spirits and will have you toe tapping and dancing away from the very first song, ‘I’m Not Lost‘. The electronic influences from the 1980’s and 1990’s can be heard throughout, with the catchy melody and lyrics ensuring an immediate earworm. From there, the second and third tracks continue in the same vein with a pulsing beat and funk coming more to the fore, together with Maya Shonia’s soulful vocals. ‘Know What I Want‘ is a song that glorifies those who know what they want and aren’t afraid to go and achieve it – something a lot of us aspire to but is harder than it sounds. Play this track before your next big decision and the confidence will fly out of you. Musically and thematically, this song leads onto ‘Let’s Get Down‘, a more laid back sound with a classic pop edge. There’s even a mention for finding “balance in the force”.
The highlights for me are the last two tracks of this EP, ‘Never Say Never‘ and ‘Somethin‘. Lyrically, the storytelling comes to the fore with the title track, showing us that life is about taking decisions, moving forwards and saying “everything is possible”:
Life is full of reasons to never say never
The track is enhanced by allowing Maya’s vocals to shine, her range and ever smoother tones taking the opportunity to show off. I’d like to see what else she can do in the future. The same can be said of ‘Somethin’, a song that delivers as a final track in every way. This is what winter music is about.
Maya’s advice for aspiring musicians is to
“Love your music! Don’t do anything just because it is currently ‘fashionable’ or ‘on trend’. You can be a successful artist only if you love what you do and you are sure about it. And always be yourself: on stage, backstage and on your socials as well!”
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