HOLY CHICKEN SHIVERS!!
Okay, I’m seriously not exaggerating with that statement. The intro’s, outro’s, riffs, drumbeats and characteristic rock ‘n roll rhythms are spot on and I really had goose bumps at times. A voice almost like that of Ronnie Winter (The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus) and I cannot believe that I’ve been missing out on so much.
That is my first and foremost opinion of Stanley June’s newly released album, titled Maps & Minutes.
Stanley June is excited to release fourteen brand-new tracks, including two bonus acoustic tracks. The album title refers to making the most of your time by experiencing various parts of the world and being exposed to its people and cultures.
This release follows Stanley June’s debut album, ‘Imitating Art’, in 2013, which delivered numerous radio singles and promising responses from critics and music lovers. Once again, he is responsible for all the lyrics and compositions on his second album. Apart from two tracks recorded and produced by the renowned Jake Odendaal at Maven Productions, Stanley June recorded and produced the rest of the tracks at his own studio, MusicSwan Studios in Johannesburg. Musicians he collaborated with on the album include Andy Maritz (drummer for amongst others Dan Patlansky and Stuart Reece), Paul Loots (session guitarist for amongst others Snotkop and Chris Chameleon) and Corné Crous (lead vocalist of Paper Plane City).
The album kicked off with a fantastic riff and as the title suggests, gave me “Different Eyes” for what I was about to experience. The instruments, lyrics and Stanley June’s vocals harmonize on most of the songs on this album and one thing is sure - Stanley June deserves a place on radio stations.
I’m genuinely proud of this album. It has been quite a big growing experience for me; not only as a musician, but also as a producer and a songwriter. I think the album really encapsulates exactly who I am at this point in time. The album is extremely dynamic; there are heavy songs, slow songs and upbeat songs – truly a little bit of everything. I can't wait to take it on the road and hear people’s thoughts. – Stanley June about the album ‘Maps & Minutes’.
This statement really reflects in every song. Stanley June still stuck to his roots and listeners can look forward to a new album that still has June’s personal stamp on it. However, Maps & Minutes is definitely a more evolved version of Stanley June and the “heavy and upbeat songs” didn’t disappoint. In comparison to Imitating Art, where more mellow and contemporary melodies were on the forefront, Maps & Minutes has that definite rock feeling in each song with lyrics that are fantastic.
His songs are gripping and I could get lost in them while listening to the album. I got lost in a world of words and music notes that flew around, but the edgy guitar, drum and bass notes took me to a whole other scene. The first four songs perfectly fell into the rock landscape and had me hooked to this album. Songs like “Horizons” and “Devil Sleeping In” showcases his versatility as it is an amalgamation of various tempos and energies that make for a great listen. And then comes my personal favorite: “Phantom In The Fog”. This song spoke to my soul, so fellow rock lovers – this one is surely for you. The lyrics of the chorus might be a bit cheesy for the everyday rock lover, but the song’s overall sound is enough to keep you listening (and wait for the instrumental near the end of the song!) I personally hope that this is the next single to be released on radio platform, because I can guarantee that it will debut as number one on every chart.
After the hardcore sound, there is an unexpected piano in the mix and a strong guest vocalist. The colab with Corné Crous on “Southern Sky” does itself justice and both artists showcase the versatility in their vocal ranges, oh and not to mention that guitar solo! This song is quite a mood shifter and the piano work is so to say the least, perfection. This can be ticked off as my second favorite of this album. “My Medication” is an upbeat rock song with a harmonica – which wasn’t a feature instrument in the rest of the album, and is therefore a welcome addition. Stanley June still includes his stamp of rock on the last two songs and plays around with intricate chord progressions, so hang on if you think of “skipping on” to the next song. Just before Stanley reveals his two acoustic songs, the album titled song “Maps & Minutes” features and man, oh man. It’s a real treat for your ears. It’s just magic.
I would have been satisfied with just twelve songs and they were enough to make me want more, but I’m elated that Stanley June included the two acoustic songs, “Define Love” and “Holding On”. The acoustic versions showcased a raw side of him that some might be unfamiliar with and I must admit that the acoustic version of “Define Love” is a bit of a twist; yet it doesn’t deviate too far from the universal sound of the album.
Listen to Stanley June’s debut album now on iTunes, Spotify, Deezer, Amazon, Google Play.
Stanley June has already released two singles and music videos off ‘Maps & Minutes’, namely ‘Define Love’ and ‘Never Let Me Go’. These singles enjoyed listings on numerous radio stations (including SAFM, MixFM, MFM, Zone Radio, Groot FM and RSG) and music video plays on SABC and M-Net. The third single to be released off the album and currently on its way to radio and TV, is entitled ‘Holding On’.
‘Holding On’ is about how our words and actions affect those around us, often even without our knowledge. It's important to always be kinder than necessary, because everyone is going through some sort of struggle that you don't know anything about. I tried to illustrate that in the video to show how our actions have an influence on the atmosphere around us. I wanted to show this by adding smoke and floating particles in the room that reacts to the dynamics of the music. – Stanley June about ‘Holding On’.