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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The Echelon Effect – Your Memory Feels Like Home To Me

There are plenty of musicians out there who have been studying and playing music for decades and can play and compose the most challenging pieces, which usually sound every bit as complicated as they are supposed to be. I dislike that type of music. I think the true musical geniuses, like The Beatles, are those who are able to make even intricate compositions sound simple. Do you know what’s hard? Making music that sounds beautiful and original using the same four chords everybody have been using for ages. Yet, it happens from time to time, and when it does, you wonder why no one was able to come up with that idea before. Well, that’s because it isn’t easy.

All this preamble is just to say that I think David Walters, the man behind The Echelon Effect, got that talent. His songs, which dance on the border between ambient music and cinematic/post rock, are beautiful yet sound incredibly simple, until you start noticing all the different layers and textures revealing just a wonderful entanglement. The Echelon Effect started in 2009 and I fell in love with its 2019 track, Goodbye My Friend (a really emotional song despite having no lyrics). Now, David is back with a new single, Your Memory Feels Like Home To Me, that is just as good. What could be a better song to “chillax” to on a Sunday afternoon?

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Darkfield – A New Beginning

I”m always amazed by the amount of talented musicians that are out there just waiting for an opportunity to be heard. Here we have another example of that with Joey Westerlund, a multi-instrumentalist from Portland, Oregon, who is the person behind Darkfield. The music he creates as Darkfield is catalogued as post rock, with some songs leaning on the heavier side and others, like A New Beginning, on the mellower one. All of them, however, are definitely cinematic.

In fact, A New Beginning –which is part of Darkfield’s second EP, Carry Us Away, released in June– certainly feels like the score of an epic movie about space travel. At the very least, this beautiful track could be the perfect score for this Sunday afternoon. And you can enjoy it here:

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Kirsten Agresta Copely – Tableaux

Friends of The Alternative Mixtapes, Kirsten Agresta Copely, is back with a new modern classical harp track inspired by Rachmaninoff‘s Études-Tableaux. With the piece, Kirsten wanted to “capture romantic era elements with a modern approach”. I think it is safe to say she managed to accomplish more than that.

Tableaux is a charming and very peaceful song. The perfect track to relax to on a Sunday afternoon. Enjoy it, here:

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Floating In Space – Eclipse

From Spain to the world, Floating In Space is yet another great cinematic rock band in Deep Elm Records‘ lineup, which includes Lights & Motion and U137. And just as those bands, Floating In Space is really the one-man show of multi-instrumentalist Ruben Caballero, which is frankly incredible. Earlier this year, the “band” released its third full-length album: A New Dawn, which is a great collection of emotional soundscapes, such as Eclipse, the epilogue of the record.

Eclipse is a beautiful song that evokes new beginnings, featuring a magical clarinet that sets it apart from other cinematic songs. It is really a beautiful track and album. Enjoy!

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