Kepa Lehtinen – Simple

Finnish multi-instrumentalist and composer, Kepa Lehtinen, is a renowned artist in his homeland, after being involved with the scores and soundtracks of multiple award-winning films and TV shows from Finland. In addition to that work, he has released three EP albums: Playing Theremin (2018), Helsinki In November (2019) and It Is Ok To Be Sad And Dark (2020). The latter EP consists of six tracks of what is considered classical electronic music, mostly because of the use of a Theremin (if you don’t know much about this peculiar instrument, I highly recommend watching this video) in some of the tracks. However, my favorite song from that EP, Simple, is just a straightforward piano piece with an enchanting melody. Sometimes, simplicity is all we need.

You can listen to this beautiful tune below.

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Marako Marcus – Raindrops of Refreshing

Marako Marcus started making music on audio cassettes in the 90s and hasn’t stopped since then. Today, he is an indie musician who likes to experiment with lofi, ambient, chill-out, and easy-listening music, giving them his own twist. His musical goal is to create cinematic compositions that allow listeners to immerse themselves into his music, and that’s precisely what he achieved with Raindrops of Refreshing, one of the singles he’s released this year.

Each one of Marako Marcus‘ songs have a story and in the case of Raindrops of Refreshing, it is about relaxing at the end of each day focusing on the positives rather than the negatives. It is a soothing song that relies on acoustic guitars to captivate the listener. On a lazy Sunday just like today, there is no better way to relax (well, besides sitting on a beach drinking cocktaila and reading a nice book, but that feels like science fiction in 2020). Enjoy this lovely tune below.

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ThePianoPlayer – Secrets

ThePianoPlayer is a musical project from Italian pianist and composer Enzo Orefice. As ThePianoPlayer, he uses his creativity to experiment with ambient and neo-classical music, but without ending up with abstract pieces. All his pieces are elegantly beautiful yet easily accessible.

Take, for example, one of his releases from 2020, the stunning Secrets. A beautiful song that reminded me of the work Ólafur Arnalds did for the show Broadchurch. Whether you are having a pretty active Sunday or a lazy one, I can’t think of better ways to end it than by listening to this breathtaking piece. Enjoy!

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The 93 – 09

Hopefully, by now, you are familiar with the work of The 93 after we featured them here back in June. I hadn’t been in contact with them before writing that entry but since that entry was published, I’ve got to know Sylwester (one of the two brothers who form this awesome duo) quite a bit and I can say he is one of the kindest and coolest person I have met (as well as one of the most active supporters of T.A.M!). This has allowed me, in some way, to be part of the process behind the release of their new EP, Space, which got out across all platforms in the last 2 days. They worked incredibly hard to get everything ready on time, from composing and making arrangements, to producing the songs, all of this while also taking care of their day jobs/occupations.

Now, something you have to understand about these two brothers is that they aren’t doing this for fame or money, but pure love of music. Their main goal is actually finding people who can connect with them, using music as a language. And that brings me to Space, inspired by their passion for sci-fi movies about space travel. I had an opportunity to listen to the whole EP before it was mastered and I can tell you that even then, the whole record -which consists on five tracks, an intro and an outro- sounded amazing. The 93 tried hard to make it sound as close to audiophile-grade as possible and you can certainly notice it. I simply cannot get enough of the guitar riffs on these songs.

We are familiar already with one of the tracks in this EP, 03, as it is the one featured here before. What I didn’t know then was that the theme of this song was mysticism in the future through sound. Even cooler, however, was what inspired the Intro and Outro, which was basically what you would feel if you were travelling in a space ship, looked out the window and saw a nebula for the first time. 12 is a great track about the current state of the world (2020, hi!) and how we should focus more on peace and prosperity. I was close to featuring this track today but, in the end, I opted for 09, because, quite simply, it is my favorite track in the EP.

From the intro that would make Tom DeLonge jealous for not coming up with it himself for Angels & Airwaves, to the surreal vocals and atmospheric soundscape of the track; everything in this song is flawless. Written as a letter to our architect (or God), The 93 meant to express with it their fears and doubts while respecting said architect. I assure you, you will want to put this song, and the whole album, on repeat.

These two brothers came from a small village in Poland to the UK a few years ago chasing the dream to do music, as they believed they had something to say. I personally think the whole world got lucky because of that. Don’t believe me, just give them a chance.

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Nick Box – Reveal

If you search for Nick Box on Google, most of the results you will get are going to be related to Nickelodeon, but the Nick Box I’m referring to here is a talented musician who, as a solo artist, writes beautiful ambient piano music for our enjoyment. Additionally, he’s been involved in multiple musical projects across different genres, such as alternative/indie rock band, Sleeperstar. He is very talented indeed.

Reveal is one of the singles Nick has released this year under his own name. A magical cinematic piano-based composition that I could listen to all day without getting tired of it. To say that this song is relaxing would be a massive understatement. I highly recommend the work of this prolific musician. As a starter, listen to Reveal below.

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Regiments – Beginnings

Regiments is a post-rock/orchestral musical project and, you guessed it, another one-man show (I’m starting to believe all cinematic rock acts are like that). Founded in 2019 by New Jersey-based Peter Cipparulo after falling in love with bands such as Explosions In The Sky, Regiments‘ goal is to create something interesting that could also evoke emotions. Well, I think it’s safe for Peter to say: “mission accomplished!”.

Beginnings is the name of Peter’s debut album under the Regiments moniker, and also its title track. It is a beautifully orchestrated song that uplifts your spirit and results in an emotive soundscape. I’ll just keep it short because there’s really no much else I can say here. Listen to Regiments‘ work, you won’t regret it, and you can start with Beginnings ,below.

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Diarmuid J Kennedy – The Piano Tide

The Piano Tide is a beautiful composition that soothes your spirit whenever you listen to it. It got traces of Erik Satie on it and a subtle elegance that takes the piece to another level. This piano solo is as charming as it can get. Give it a chance and you’ll see what I mean.

The composer, Diarmuid J Kennedy, is a classically trained pianist from Ireland. His debut single was released just last year and back in January he performed a sold-out gig in Dublin. Diarmuid describes his style as indie classical (I like that) and he can’t wait to play live again once it’s safe to do so. If he keeps composing pieces as delightful as The Piano Tide, he’s have plenty of chances to do that.

Listen to this wonderful piece below. Isn’t it the perfect soundtrack for your lazy Sunday afternoon?

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Stan iB – The Sky Above You

The Internet and Social media may have a lot of issues, but we cannot deny the fact that that they help us connect with people from all around the world. This is specially true for musicians. How else could we have been aware of, for instance, Bulgarian pianists if you didn’t live there unless they became worldwide famous? Stan iB is a good example of that. Not the worldwide famous part –not yet– but the one about being a talented pianist and composer from Bulgaria. Influenced by both classical music and Jazz, he focuses on the latter with his project Stan iB trio, and on the former as a solo artist, having released several albums so far.

The Sky Above You is the first track from Stan’s latest album, Dedication, and it is a sublime piece that lifts your spirit on a chilled day. If you’re looking for a calming piano-based song, head over to the mixtape with relaxing melodies or just play the video below. You won’t regret it.

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Max Richter – All Human Beings

According to Wikipedia, Max Richter “works within postminimalism and in the meeting of contemporary classical and alternative popular musical styles”, and I totally agree with that description. This German-born British musician is one of my favorite composers out there today. He’s not an unknown artist, with over one billion (yes, with a b) streams and after having worked on the soundtrack of popular movies such as Ad Astra, but just in case this is the first time you hear about him, let me tell you that you have probably heard Spring 1 from his album Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi – The Four Seasons (2012), as it’s been used in plenty of TV ads, like this one from LinkedIn.

This month, Richter returned with a conceptual album, Voices, which is based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This peculiar records consists of 2 discs: the first one features recordings of people in over 70 countries reading articles from that document, perfectly intertwined with Richter’s mesmerizing compositions played by his orchestra (which has an unusually high number of cellists). The second disc got the voiceless versions of the same compositions. Both versions are beautiful and interesting. The piece I liked the most is the one called All Humans Beings, and in the video below you can listen to the original version with the “voices” in it. However, the version I added to the mixtapes listed after the video was the “voiceless mix“. I highly recommend you try both versions. Enjoy!

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Holly Jones – Believe

Few instruments are as capable of giving you calm and peace as a piano, and when it comes to piano compositions, I favor heavily the melody over everything else. This is why I like Holly Jones‘ latest piece, Believe, so much. The song’s beautiful melody takes you on a journey to the Sea of Tranquility and back, which is very much in line with what Holly had in mind when she composed the song. Her aim was to bring relief, reassurance and comfort during these uncertain times.

This contemporary classical pianist and composer is originally from Kentucky but now lives in Oklahoma. Her debut piano album was released in 2003 but it wasn’t until 2016 when she released her sophomore record. Since then, Holly has been getting new music out regularly, including Believe just this week.

Check her work out on your favorite streaming platform. In the meantime, you can relax on this Sunday afternoon listening to Believe here.

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