Keeping It Real (ft. Penna Brae, The Winters, Sauce and many more)

Working through the final days of April and still discovering some amazing music from fantastic artists. In this instalment of Keeping It Real, we share music from rock and roll-ers Sauce, alternative rock group PYX, and indie-rockers The Winters.


Another outstanding band from Manchester makes it to our Keeping It Real list. Influenced greatly by Kasabian, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and The Doors, Sauce has a classic rock vibe for the 21st-century audience. In 2016, founding members George Stead and Henry Lewis formed a band called Sauce. Bassist Lewis Rush joined not too long after forming and current lead singer Dean Molyneux joined after the others contacted him online. Quick random note: Lewis was the original lead singer but Molyneux took over in recent years enhancing Sauce’s rock and roll style. The latest release from these four gents is ‘All Of Us’.

I’m personally very proud of it, it’s a big tune and when you look into it properly, it might not be what people expect from us; that could be bullshit, but I want people to know that our tunes mean something. Something fucking positive at that.” – Henry Lewis, guitarist for Sauce, on ‘All Of Us’


Currently based in London, Tokyo and Rose is a unique band with each member coming from different parts of the world. This merging of international members, each influenced by the music from their home country, makes for a very unique and original sound. The band was formed in 2017 by Jamie Fabian-Hunt (vocals and bass), Pitt Vitheethum (drums) and Mahnoor Pirzada (guitar) after meeting at university in London. The band is inspired by and reminiscent of Radiohead, Music and Queens of the Stone Age.

‘Troublemaker’ is the first release of 2020 for this highly original band. A synth-driven track with a strong rock vibe, the single is the embodiment of their catchy alt-rock style.

” ‘Troublemaker’ is a song born from the earliest Tokyo and Rose jam sessions. After the band set out to refine their ideas, the result produced a synth-heavy alt-rock banger.” – Mahnoor Pirzada, guitarist for Tokyo and Rose, on ‘Troublemaker’


Exploding on the Kent music scene in 2019 with their infectious track ‘Play On’, PYX has only grown in skill and demand. The creation of multi-instrumentalist Wesley Triffitt, PYX is a one-man project adopting a true DIY approach. After taking time out to focus on songwriting, Triffitt returns with ‘Is This What You Want’ – the first single of 2020 for the artist. Self-produced, recorded and mastered in Triffitt’s hometown of Folkestone, ‘Is This What You Want’ is a true representation of PYX.

“This song is about that feeling of paralysis that can strike when we’re faced with pivotal moments: the climax, the tipping point and the point of no return. ” – PYX on ‘Is This What You Want’


From their humble beginnings in 2011 as a duo between Romanian singer-songwriter Andrei Ionescu and Mexican guitarist Jorge Sapien, The Alpacas have evolved to a six-piece rock band. In addition to Ionescu and Sapien, The Alpacas now features Adam Leaver (electric guitar), Yuri Shibuichi (bass), Misato Takeda (keys), Adrian Ortman (drums) and Juri Uchishiba (violin). Based in London, the group is building a name as a unique band with diverse characteristics. Their indie-pop sound is rich in melody and lyrically-driven.

The latest release from The Alpacas is ‘Midnight Dance’. Beginning with a gentle voice over an acoustic guitar, it soon emerges as a dynamic ballad with eerie synths and staccato strings.

“Each of our songs has a story behind the lyrics and tends to be progressive in terms of instrumentation. Each player adds a new melodic layer.” – Andrei Ionescu, vocalist for The Alpacas, on ‘Midnight Dance’


Brand new, bright and shiny, The Winters is an indie-rock band from the UK, Taunton to be exact. Characterised by their high-energy performance and melancholic lyrics, The Winters are carving out a one-of-a-kind style. Reminiscent of Sea Girls and Bombay Bicycle Club, Joe Beckhelling (guitar and lead vocals), Matt Bowen (bass) and Sam Caburn (drums) released their debut single ‘We’re Still Kids’ earlier this year. A fun and explosive debut single ‘We’re Still Kids’ combines nostalgia with a recognition of their social incompetence as the band deals with life as an adult.

” ‘We’re Still Kids is about the realisation that none of us really grow up, we’re all still kids that would rather not have had any responsibility thrust upon us.” – Joe Backhelling, guitars and vocals for The Winters, on ‘We’re Still Kids’


Hailing from Los Angeles, NYIKO (pronounced “nee-koh”) is a singer-songwriter, producer, label owner and visual artist. The one-man project is spearheaded by Nyiko Beguin. Reminiscent of Riah and Breakup, NYIKO’s tracks are synth-heavy with strong basslines and minimalist vocals. The latest release ‘Like The Movies’ takes you back to the 1980s and their top pop classics. Using a fully DIY approach, this single was written, recorded and mixed in NYIKO’s bedroom.

“It’s a song about growing up and believing everything we’re fed about love in romance films and tv, only to realise that real love is much deeper, more complex and ultimately more rewarding.” – NYIKO on ‘Like The Movies’


Hailing from Vancouver, Pennan Brae is a singer-songwriter and screenwriter influenced greatly by the 1970s rock musicians. Releasing music for over a decade, Pennan Brae could fall into a niche with the same sound; however, Brae is an artist who constantly evolves as a musician. Ranging from the piano-driven ballads in 2008’s Shaded Joy to the pop-rock tracks from 2019’s The Astronot: Gravity. His latest release is 1970s-tinged rock track ‘Synergy’.

‘Synergy’ is the lead single off the upcoming ‘2 Below 0’ soundtrack. It bursts out of the gate with a driving guitar riff that doesn’t let up until the final beat.” – Pennan Brae on ‘Synergy’


Continuing with our list of talented solo artists, Freeman is an indie-rock artist from London. In only three months, Freeman has already received attention from popular media, signed deals with Universal/Right Track Records via his Catapult Records label, and completed a month-long tour of South America. All of this runs parallel with the filming of his documentary Sex, Hugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll. Donning his stylish wine-red velvet jacket, skin-tight jeans, trilby and Lennon shades, Freeman is the quintessential British rocker. His latest release is ‘Maybe It’s Me’ featuring a strong Britpop sound with effortless vocals.

“Lyrically, I’m writing about a femme fatale – a dangerous, sexy woman who’s very nature can fill one with self-doubt, worry and angst. Are we still together? No, thank you very much!” – Freeman on ‘Maybe It’s Me’


Another new band for the books, Paper Fight are a UK-based quartet merging punk and grunge influences to form attention-grabbing singles. The first release from Dominic Benjamin (vocals), Scott Walker (bass), Matt Barker (guitar) and Tim Rolph (drums) is ‘Normality’. The track is a musical description of punk rock showing influences from The Gaslight Anthem and The Offspring. With the power of the guitar, vocals and drumming, it won’t be long until these Essex lads are noticed on an international level.

” ‘Normality’ is written about a friend of mine that was always getting in trouble with his partner because he never got his priorities straight. Growing up I was always a massive fan of bands like The Offspring. When writing this song, I wanted to throw in that influence.” – Dominic Benjamin, vocalist of Paper Fight, on ‘Normality’

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