Sunday, April 04, 2021

The Blue Stones bring more confidence and swagger on their second album 'Hidden Gems

‘Hidden Gems’ is the second album from Ontario based duo The Blue Stones, which is set to bring a rock n roll sound to the table. The album was highly anticipated by many after the duos debut in 2018, and I for one could not wait to sink my ears into it. The duo are made up of Tarek Jafar (Lead vocals, guitar) and Justin Tessier (Drums & Backing vocals). 

Their debut album was set to be all about them “finding themselves both musically and existentially”; and their latest release solidifies that absolutely they did just that!

‘Lights On’ begins the album with a bang; filled with powerful vocals, this track sets the scene of the entire album. It incorporates a boldness which is the perfect introduction to their latest release and an even more rooted sound. The song certainly makes a statement. ‘Shakin’ Off The Rust’ comes next, a notable track from the album, first released as a single in 2019. According to the band it “serves as a statement for their renewed sense of confidence and newfound identity”. It’s a tune which talks about believing in yourself, with lyrics such as “walked through the fire, made it back again” and “take another step, push it to the edge”.

‘Careless’ is a relaxing and mellow number, it brings the tone of the album down a bit, balancing a mixture of deep and soft vocals alongside gentle percussion. ‘Grim’ and ‘Let it Ride’ follow on from this tune continuing on with the bold, brash vibes prominent throughout.

Next up is ‘L.A. Afterlife’, which was the song I was most drawn to… and it did not disappoint; it’s groovy and catchy, with jazzy undertones… what more could you want? ‘Spirit’ features as the album starts to draw to an end and is also the most recent single. The track is loud, guitar driven, erupting with rolling percussion and has an infectious rhythm. ‘Oceans’ closes the album, once again bringing a more chilled out vibe. Filled with impeccable harmonies, and dreamy instrumentals, it’s the perfect tune to add to your beach playlist. 

‘Hidden Gems’ was produced by Paul Meany, frontman of American alt-rock project MuteMath, who has also worked with the likes of Twenty One Pilots and Lany. While this influence certainly shines through, the band's sound is the driving force behind the album; there is a play on such influences whilst making music that is still their own.

The Blue Stones have had their music featured on TV shows such as Suits and Parks and Rec, as well as opening for the likes of The Tantrums and Justin Nozuka. It’s seeming like this latest release has already further pushed their name out there, with their Spotify following only continuing to grow. 

You can find The Blue Stones on social media (@thebluestones); and ‘Hidden Gems’ is available now across all streaming platforms.

Emily Pugh



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