Go to
Featured
Artist
  New Music  show
February 4, 2018

Go Back
  Full Album
 

Surreal Nation

Sometimes, it’s just a matter of time before all the right pieces come together to create an indie/alt rock powerhouse. Just a few years ago, guitarist Paul Joseph and vocalist Nikki Nation were performing as an acoustic folk duo at a small restaurant in their hometown of Smyrna, Delaware. Now, with the addition over the past few years of Jackson Vari (lead guitar), bassist Kevin Curry and drummer Gene Nelson, Surreal Nation – whose name blends Paul’s and Nikki’s given last names – rocks throughout their home state and everywhere from Philly to NYC. They’ve also opened for nationally recognized touring artists like Jeff Ruby (Nashville) and Days N Dayze (Houston). Their dynamic new EP I Know Better marks a high point of their evolution into to a multi-faceted five piece band.
Paul and Nikki first met when their sons were on the same soccer team in 2011 For three years, while Paul played keys in another band, they were just good acquaintances while their boys became friends. One day when Nikki was in Paul’s house talking to his wife, he began noodling with Dashboard Confessional’s “Hands Down” and heard Nikki singing along. Impressed with her vocals, he invited her over to sing again. She joined him at one of his gigs and soon the two were a full-fledged duo, playing at open mics and coffee shops before getting the restaurant gig. They performed this way for a year. Then, seeking a bigger sound with deeper grooves in the hopes of gaining more high profile gigs, in 2015, after some auditioning they brought on Jackson Vari.
“Adding Jackson on the bass gave us the fuller sound that we were looking for,” Paul says. “As a duo, I used to say we were like Iron and Wine but with a female singer. Once Jackson joined, we quickly realized that we can be more diverse, and stand apart from other bands, by switching instruments. He and I would switch between electric guitar, acoustic guitar, and bass. At that point, I would define our sound as folk-rock with a blues influence. We recorded our second EP Wash Me Clean as a trio and released it in early 2016. Seeking a more organic drum sound, we added Gene at the end of 2016, and Kevin joined shortly thereafter. Our sound got heavier and faster, and we knew our Iron and Wine days were behind us. The chemistry between the five of us is incredible and has taken our music to places Nikki and I couldn’t have imagined just a few years earlier.”
I Know Better EP (2018)
The I Know Better EP reflects a confident, focused unit that’s long past its days of switching off lead singers and trying to find its place in the indie music world.
With Paul and Jackson as chief songwriters, Surreal Nation penned the five songs as a concept recording of sorts, trying to keep the same theme throughout. Creating haunting, noir-ish imagery, they created a single female character who is navigating her life in Hollywood during its golden age. They bring raucous energy to the playfully titled “Would You Do Me the Honor of Being My Mexican Divorce,” about a quest for true love instead of just expensive trinkets of affection. The band shifts tempos from cool and sensual to a more propulsive rhythm on the title track, about the woman’s understanding that she’s charting dangerous territory in her latest relationship – but is all in anyway. Other highlights are the edgy, percussive “I Can Feel The Night,” about a descent into despair, but pushing through as the night fades away and daylight dawns; and “Spirit Is Silent,” a deeply soulful ballad that takes a hard look at a loved one with substance abuse issues. Its key line is, “My spirit has gone silent in the absence of you.
Capturing the essence of I Know Better, Paul says, “These songs were written over a time period that began with Jackson and I both being in dark places in our lives, but ended with us coming out of those places and being better for having those experiences.”
The I Know Better EP reflects a confident, focused unit that’s long past its days of switching off lead singers and trying to find its place in the indie music world.
With Paul and Jackson as chief songwriters, Surreal Nation penned the five songs as a concept recording of sorts, trying to keep the same theme throughout. Creating haunting, noir-ish imagery, they created a single female character who is navigating her life in Hollywood during its golden age. They bring raucous energy to the playfully titled “Would You Do Me the Honor of Being My Mexican Divorce,” about a quest for true love instead of just expensive trinkets of affection. The band shifts tempos from cool and sensual to a more propulsive rhythm on the title track, about the woman’s understanding that she’s charting dangerous territory in her latest relationship – but is all in anyway. Other highlights are the edgy, percussive “I Can Feel The Night,” about a descent into despair, but pushing through as the night fades away and daylight dawns; and “Spirit Is Silent,” a deeply soulful ballad that takes a hard look at a loved one with substance abuse issues. Its key line is, “My spirit has gone silent in the absence of you.
Capturing the essence of I Know Better, Paul says, “These songs were written over a time period that began with Jackson and I both being in dark places in our lives, but ended with us coming out of those places and being better for having those experiences.”


Notes for the artist:
This page will always be here under your name in "Featured Artists" You can always send us an updated Bio using 'CONTACT' on Menu at the top of page.

# (PST) Name length Rating Notes
1 9:00 Would You Do Me The Honor of Becoming My Mexican Divorce? 02:29 4 New song
2 9:04 I Know Better 05:42 4 New song
3 9:08 I Can Feel The Night 03:08 4
4 9:13 Hangtime 03:50 4 New song
5 9:18 Spirit is Silent 04:09 4 New song

Full album Featured Artist
 

Shiraz Hempstock Ft Sam Robinson   

Shiraz Hempstock - My Journey with Music so far…
I am a singer/songwriter and guitarist based in Kidderminster ,Worcestershire.
I currently attend Halesowen College studying music performance and work two-part time jobs waitressing.
Growing up I was influenced by Ed Sheeran, I tried to attend to as many of his UK concerts as possible I always left his Gigs feeling totally consumed and inspired by him and his music. Many other artists I’ve discovered to along the way notably the 1975s, they only re-enforce my musical dreams to be an artist.
I grew up in a home full of music, this was due to my Mum’s eclectic musical taste two artist I distinctly remember were Amy Winehouse and Duffy. They had a left a huge impression on me despite being so young. Later, I listened to Miley Cyrus at every opportunity I would tune-in to watch Hannah Montana. It was then I informed my Mum that I wanted to be a singer, so she encouraged me to join Kidderminster Young Voices Choir. This enabled me to sing with other aspiring vocalists travelling all over the UK performing, which was great fun.
I have to say that my Mum has always encouraged me to become the best I can be as a Singer/Songwriter.
At the age of 13 years of age I secured place at BOA Performing Arts School in Birmingham at which I studied BTECH music and performed at any opportunity the school provided This was an idea of Russell my singing teacher of several years put forward to me So with my Mum’s support of course I thought I would apply to the college and try and secure a place.
From the age of 14, I have performed at Open Mic nights and I can usually be found at the Marrs Bar in Worcester a local live music venue that supports local artists and Worley’s The Swan at Stourport and other open mic venues in and around my local area. When I get free time, I can be found “busking” in Liverpool and Birmingham city centres which has given me so much enjoyment and a chance to earn money and do something I’m passionate about which is to perform. Also, it’s been a great way of learning the art of entertaining live audiences that haven’t turned up just to see me.
From performing at live music venues and “busking” on the UK city streets it has given me the chance to meet some amazing people, from record management labels, music producers and talent scouts and other local artist which enabled me to produce my own EP, whilst still at school. Also I have been able to collaborate with other talented artists I wouldn’t have met in any other way than on those city streets and performing live.
By the age of 15 I was now performing solo and in a band at school performances and feeling my feet to get out and about to perform. I auditioned for a singer contest which is the biggest teens singing contest in the UK, called Open Mic-UK which I went three rounds of that competition, but because I had never written my own music I was never going to reach the final. Any way on the back of that I was invited by the events Director Chris Grayson to start a music development course which would be subsided by Open Mic-UK which would help me with my song writing and that’s how my music journey takes its next turn.
So now my next part of the journey starts and I’m attending music development with River Studios Southampton writing my own music and producing my first release by the age of 15 “On My Mind”, with another two tracks that I’m currently working on.
Then at Open Mic at The Queens, Wolverly, Kidderminster got approached by a couple very talented musicians to collaborate on a track called Hold Me written by Sam Robinson a local singer song writer which I feature on, the song about falling in and out of love and making up. Then I approached Sam Robinson to help me write a song I started called Rain after being inspired listening to Annie Lennox track, Here Comes the Rain Again. It’s about sadness pain coming and going of a un-requited love. I wanted Sam Robinson’s expert guidance and support with helping me finish it off and adding more meaning in the lyrics to the song.
Rain has just been released and can be downloaded on Spotify. Rain was Produced Mixed and Mastered by Jared Bryant and the session player are: John O’Connell on bass and Rueben Bannister on drums, tit was recorded at http://severnvalleystudios.com/
Thank you, Sam, John Rueben and Jared, …You Rock
The track was also aired on Black Country Radio with Pat Breslin Unsigned artist channel. Thank You Pat
http://www.blackcountryradio.co.uk/
Also recently My new release Rain was featured on A List Brum Radio produced by Danny de Reybekill on his 2pm show Saturday.
https://www.brumradio.com
Also Rain as just made track of the week on BBC Introducing Hereford and Worcester
At Worley’s the Swan Stourport I was spotted by Local and national music producer Alan Evans a DJ and music producer, who has been a real fantastic support throughout my journey and I attend sessions at Serious Studios. Thank you so much Alan and the team at Serious Studios
https://www.serious-studios.com
Best of British Unsigned have also given radio and play and cant wait to hear more and gave fantastic reviews .
http://www.bestofbritishunsigned.com/
Deuce Radio also have given Rain Air time and so as RKC
https://www.deucemusic.com/deuceshow
https://twitter.com/RadioKC.


Notes for the artistt
: This page will always be here under your name in "Featured Artists". You can always send us an updated Bio using 'CONTACT' on Menu at the top of page..

# (PST) Artist Name length Rating Notes
6 9:19 Shiraz Hempstock Ft Sam Robinson Rain 04:26 4
7 9:24 TolbertToz Life Rolls By 03:47 5
8 9:28 Allen and Douglas Million Moments 04:14 4 New song
9 9:32 Anja Schumann The Little Mermaid Song 04:20 4
10 9:36 BK Gray Hellbound 04:43 4 New song
11 9:41 Blue Return Everything 03:23 4 New song
12 9:45 Brendan McMahon Marker 04:09 4 New song
13 9:49 Kim Smith Smith and Brown 02:47 4
14 9:52 Mack Meadows Jennifer Come Home 04:07 4
15 9:56 Mars Bonfire Better Luck Next Time 04:14 4
16 10:00 Nicole Berke UP  04:26 4 New song
17 10:05 Riff Reign Soulless Man 04:32 4
18 10:09 Sonny Hunter You Want Attention 03:40 4
19 10:13 The Sorentinos Seventeen 04:28 4
20 10:18 W. Dire Wolff Summer Magic 05:20 4
21 10:23 Naryan _764 07:20 4
22 10:30 Jiggley Jones Restless 03:49 4
23 10:34 Coco Scott Obsession 03:38 4
24 10:38 WholeSpirit This Is Why Sparks Fly 04:57 4
25 10:43 MAKS Stones in My Passway 03:04 4
26 10:46 KURT ZELTNER Change 03:45 4
27 10:50 Landing on the Sun It's Like I Told You 03:52 4
28 10:54 Non Duo Free 04:05 4
29 10:58 SixTwoSeven Top of the World 03:41 4
30 11:02 TJ Doyle Everything 05:27 4
31 11:08 Christopher Galen Pushing Away 04:42 4
32 11:12 Hegarty  redemption 05:09 4
33 11:18 James B Shining On 04:52 4
34 11:23 The Jess Novak Band Fireworks & Fairytales 05:13 4
35 11:28 Kate Grom Whistle Cry 03:49 4
36 11:32 Lance Glass Love Is A Matter Of Action 04:46 4
37 11:37 Mark Reitenga Seasons 04:03 4
38 11:41 Non Duo Dark 03:22 4
39 11:44 Paradox Burning Out 03:30 4
40 11:48 Petrella I Like A Man to Drive 03:14 4
41 11:51 Rob Phillimore Slow Fade 02:47 4
42 11:54 Rocker Space Jungle 04:05 4
43 11:58 Ryan Boyce Virginia 02:39 4
44 12:01 St.Cyr-White Mexico 03:04 4
45 12:04 TJ Doyle Living In Our Dream 04:37 4
46 12:09 Whiskey Child Guess I'll See You Around 03:40 4
47 12:12 Angus Powell Monsters 03:42 4
48 12:16 Bang Bang Rouge Altered State 03:28 4
49 12:20 Bristol Kids Alice Springs 03:21 4
50 12:23 Christopher Galen The Master Plan 05:40 4
51 12:29 Cloverlift Jupiter 04:49 4
52 12:34 don ewaldo i still believe 02:35 4
53 12:36 Eyeball Red Minimum 06:30 4
54 12:43 Falling into Red Burns So Slow 03:59 4
55 12:47 Follow No One The Greatest Sin 04:27 4
56 12:52 The Red Button Can't Let Candy Go 03:15 4
57 12:55 Fool's Paradise Need To Explain 06:41 4
58 1:02 Foxpalmer Where Do You Sleep Tonight? 05:10 4
59 1:07 A&L Tell Me When it's Over 03:36 4 New song
60 1:11 Maureen Griffin Aint Nothin Like 04:44 3
61 1:16 Richard Gilbert I'll Say Goodbye 04:02 3 New song
62 1:20 Brian The Hat Duckworth I'll Just Run Away 02:29 3 New song
63 1:22 Danielle Haskell Always With You 03:51 3
64 1:26 Bunch of Heathens Feed the Wolf 05:12 3 New song
65 1:31 Bunch of Heathens Pain Retains 06:18 3 New song
66 1:38 Bunch of Heathens Rain of Fire 06:41 3 New song
67 1:45 Nicumo Beyond Horizon 05:48 3
68 1:50 Jimena & Torbjorn Vagle Escapology 05:01 3
69 1:56 Maureen Griffin Pieta 04:12 2