Keeping It Real (ft. Brudini, Joe Pope, The Shelters and more)

We’re closing on the end of July which means the year is half over. Don’t feel to upset and question where the time’s gone. Instead, take a glass of wine and listen to the artists on our latest Keeping It Real. From pop to folk and metal, here is our melting pot of sound.


Armed with guts, guitars, synths and a jazz rhythm section, Brudini is the epitome of noir-experimental music. Using raw expression, the London-based musician has attracted a following from artists to reviewers and the everyday fan. His bold and brooding vocals behind a veil of synth-filled melody form a Jim Morrison meets Jimi Hendrix. Brudini’s single ‘Radiant Man’ was released in May 2020.

“‘Radiant Man’ is the story of a person fighting against a tidal wave. Faced with darkness, there is still something about the enduring human spirit that emerges and can bring us closer. ‘Radiant Man’ is a homage to this human radiance.” – Brudini on ‘Radiant Man’


Known for making political statements using music, Tristan Welch is an artist and activist based in the Washington D.C. area. Focusing on electronic soundscapes, Welch’s music focuses on his obsession with minimalism and repetition of sound. A self-taught artist, Welch has been performing and composing tunes since the early 2000s combining the experimental avant-garde scene of the East Coast and Midwest USA. Always in a suit and a tie, Welch gives the impression of being a highly professional performer, but with a hidden dissipation and evolution in his music. The latest single ‘Asset/Defect’ is far more vulnerable than his previous releases and shows us a little of this licensed embalmer’s soul.

“‘Asset/Defect’ is a piece I wrote after reaching 10 years clean off drugs and alcohol. As a person that had come from being a terrible human to somebody I could look in the mirror, I felt looking at my characteristics and doing a public examination was something I had an interest in. The music starts off slow and ends in clashing sounds to reflect the journey. In the past, most of my music made some sort of reflection on the current state of the world I live in, but with this, I wanted to give a message that I am fucked up. I am getting better. The project is for anyone who feels like that may not be good enough. With some patience, we can grow and that is okay.” – Tristan Welch on ‘Asset/Defect’


What really grabbed my attention with regards to this hip-hop quintet is that they were formed while in prison. I don’t have a thing to say against any of these gents because, well, I don’t know them, but forming a hip-hop group in prison is rather unique. Using the Changing Tunes sessions under musician-in-residence, Dave Fugler, the beginnings of Wak Therapists was formed. Fast-forward three years and the English lads have just released a energetic socio-political debut EP called Escapology.

Escapology is about being able to free the mind when everything else around you is in chaos. Prison forced us to reflect big time and look for positive ways to make changes – that isn’t easy in prison, trust me. Changing Tunes sessions allowed us space to vent our anger through music and the foundations of Escapology were put down. If it wasn’t for Changing Tunes, I’m certain I would still be in there.” – Steve (frontman) on Escapology


Born in Colombia, Kika Pulido‘s aim has always been to become a singer/songwriter – or at least from the age of 11 when she wrote her first song. While performing as a contemporary indie-pop artist, Pulido began training as a classical musician at Xavierian University. During this time, she was part of a choir and fusion band before moving to the United States. Inspired by the works of Ella Fitzgerald and Diana Krall, Kika Pulido fueled her creativity with vintage and current sounds. She released her latest single ‘Hold Me Tight’ in July 2020.

“It’s a song of self-assurance. A song about finding a way back to yourself and your inner child as life goes in its never-ending ups and downs making sure to hold on tight to his/her wisdom, joy and resilience. It’s about being present and wild, staying curious and welcoming adventures without trying to define ourselves or other people. Since life is always changing we are literally a new person every day!” – Kika Pulido on ‘Hold Me Tight’


Beginning, as all good things do, with the attempt to achieve happiness in their separate lives, the gents of Roi Philosophe began their lives with one studying audio engineering and the other politics and history. Despite being happy, they were unsure of their future; hence, the trigger was pulled to form a rock band. Blending the sound of Tame Impala with Oasis and Gorillaz, Maximilian Martin (guitar, bass and vocals), Lawrence Heublein (lead vocals) and Alex Dübner (drums and percussion) came together to form Roi Philosophe. It was their unique means of interpreting and making sense of the world. Roi Philosophe released their single ‘E’ in June 2020.

“The singer of our band wrote the song for his boyfriend’s birthday. The lyrics question the different ideas of living in a relationship and the problems that result from the ideas. Instead of living up to the idea of a Hollywood relationship, we all could enjoy the individualism of our partners. The sound of the song is inspired by Tame Impala using more reverb than usual. The song title ‘E’ is the partner tattoo of the couple which should stand for their closeness.” – Roi Philosophe on ‘E’


Hailing from the United States of America, Joe Pope is a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist in the form of Simon & Garfunkel. Influenced by the iconic America and Gerry Rafferty, Pope has been writing music for most of his life. Outside of the music industry, he keeps down a full-time job and holds an MBA; however, his passion has always been to be a full-time musician. The album Ebb Tide was recorded in Pope’s home studio with some collaboration on instrumentation, mixing and mastering. An accumulation of his life works, Ebb Tide is a very personal, meaningful and vulnerable record.

“I wrote the song ‘Ebb Tide’ while walking on a beach in Maine. My wife Cynthia and I hadn’t seen each other very much because we both had a lot of career pressures on us. Here I was walking on the beach alone during an ebb tide. There was so much beauty just lying around everywhere that would normally be underwater, and it struck me how much our relationship was like that. I just knew at the end of the day the water was coming back and so would we. It was comforting and made me thankful for not only the love but the kind of love that we had.” – Joe Pope on Ebb Tide


Hailing from Mexico City with a stoner rock vibe, The Shelter is comprised of bassist Javier and lead vocalist Elias. Having previously worked with The Ramones (yes, those Ramones) and performed in venues across the US, The Shelter has a strong grounding in the rock scene. Influenced by a plethora of musicians ranging from Queens of the Stone Age to T-Rex, the pair use a distorted bass with intense vocals in their unique sound. They are currently releasing a single every month until December 2020 and their June offering is ‘Misconceptions’.

“We are one of the few stoner rock bands in Mexico who writes songs in English. Our music is based on bass guitar and a few guitar arrangements only. People like Arturo Vega (Ramones) or Danny Fields (The Stooges) have considered our music to be on the right path of new rock ‘n’ roll.” – The Shelter on ‘Misconceptions’


Formed in July 2018 after meeting at university, Matty Long and The LoveGuns are a conglomeration of indie-rock, indie-pop, alt-rock and funk. Inspired by bands like The Eagles, The Beatles, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jimi Hendrix, Matty Long (vocals and guitar), Jack Gomm (bass), George Matthews (guitar) and Rhod Jones (drums) are putting a new swing on the average indie-rocker. Having headlined the O2 Academy Islington and played at Tringfest, these lads are steadily building a strong reputation for being kickass. The most recent addition to their repertoire is ‘Sunshine Love’.

“The song tells tales of a summer romance and the short-spaced fun times they have!” – Matty Long and The LoveGuns on ‘Sunshine Love’

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