Ciaran Steward

Ciaran Steward

Feedback Ratingstar star star star (4.1 / 5)

Ciaran Steward

Blogger - We Close Tonight + Assistant Editor - Ransom Note
I run a music blog for independent and unsigned artists, particularly indie artists. I also work for Ransom Note which focuses on house, techno and electronic music. With plenty of time in various bands behind me, I know what it's like trying to get your music heard.
pr, music promotion, social media, emerging artists, logic, music performance, music writing / blogging, music journalism, music theory, music interviews, music reviews
indie rock, alternative, rock, indie, alternative rock, indie electronic

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Recent Feedback

Michael Gray submitted media.

Break You Down by Michael Gray

Ciaran Steward

I love the ominous nature of the track at the beginning, the dissonant picked chords work really nice - as do the initial chords when they come in. My only worry is that the acoustic guitar sounds a little warm for something that has an air of mystery to it. Still, it does help provide a full sound and when everything kicks in fully there's a wonderful cacophony of sounds. Best of luck with your campaign - I'd recommend making sure all your tracks are up on Soundcloud and you're getting your stuff sent out (with as full of a press release) as you can to as many bloggers as possible. Worth trying to get some airtime on local radio stations or stations that have unsigned/independent sections, make sure that your sort of music is the sort of thing they cover first though - otherwise you'll just be wasting your time. Best of luck!

Tom Friis submitted media.


Ciaran Steward

First things first, I think the name Ano Mali is great. The introduction is nice, could perhaps be incorporated slightly better as it sounds a little too disjointed. Some really lovely vocal melodies and I love the depth of the bass. Be careful that the vocal doesn't become too detached from the other instruments, the reverb takes it away a little too much - it gives an interesting effect but could blend a little better. The general emotion of the song is great and I love the sparsity at the 2.20 point, bit of a risk but I love the chamber-esque vibe and the vocals that surround you afterwards. All in all, I'm a fan of this track - there are a lot of great ideas that just need a little fine tuning. Worth sending to the various shows at your local radio stations as airplay can be a huge help in getting the word out there. Also would be good to get some reviews under your belt and a proper press release together so that you can start attracting higher profile media figures.

The JJ Evanoff Experience submitted media.

Rings Of Saturn by The JJ Evanoff Experience

Ciaran Steward

Love the electronic sounds that open the track as they sparkle on by and the drums and effects work really well with this. I'm not entirely convinced by the guitar tone, perhaps it needs to sit a little deeper in the mix or have the tone control lowered.
Unfortunately the track stops playing at 0.49 so I'm only able to give you my thoughts on what happened before that - sorry!

Tony Bednar submitted media.

Kate Bush (Crashing Hotels cover) by Running up that Hill

Ciaran Steward

I'm a big fan of the original song so I was a little hesitant to give this a listen. However, I really like the downbeat vibe you've gone for. The running synth is a lovely starting point and the harmonies suit the general vibe perfectly. I'm not a massive fan of the video but, as you say, who cares? As long as you enjoyed making it! Definitely keep hold of that attitude, remember that you're making music for yourself and that's the most important thing. I'd recommend getting a few songs of your own in a similar style together, possibly as an EP, if you haven't done so yet and firing them off to local radio stations and any online blogs you can. Worth doing some more covers too as that can really help widen your audience. Good luck!

Bob Manning submitted media.

Megan by Cold, cold heart

Ciaran Steward

Honestly one of the most raw, emotional things that I've heard this year. Send it over to and I'll give this a full review. Would also recommend sending it out to any new music blogs etc. Big thing for you guys to do now would be to search for people making similar music and try to organise perhaps some collaborations or gigs so that you can help grow your audience.

Dale Goodridge submitted media.

Crash (Official Video) by Dale Goodridge

Ciaran Steward

Echoes of U2, but there are some good things about it too! Some really well shaped vocal melodies and there's a good build - though at times I'd like to hear a bit more energy. It does get going nicely towards the end but maybe a couple of higher intensity guitar parts would work well, not 100% convinced of the necessity of the harmonies towards the end.

Sam Morgan submitted media.

Better Days Are Gone by Vacant Windows

Ciaran Steward

Love the visuals, really fit the sound nicely. Everything comes together really nicely, particularly a fan of the floating backing vocals and the bass. My only concern would be that it develops a little too slowly, though in all honesty this does also fit well with the mystique of the song. The tender vocals work really well, as does the general analogue feel. I'd recommend getting a private stream of the album up on Soundcloud and sending it out, equipped with a full press release, to any music blogs that like this style of music and to any local radio stations/reviewers that you think there's a chance would be interested in playing it. Getting a few quotes under your belt would be a great next step.

submitted media.

Ciaran Steward

Love the way that the track builds and the vocals have a wonderful breathy quality about them.  There's a really good balance to the harmonies and I love the way that some of the instruments bubble under the surface. Given your bio I assume you've already sent this to any local radio stations/arts magazines. Worth trying to hit up a selection of music bloggers around the world to see how the music goes down - I can see people here in the UK really enjoying this!

The Parlez submitted media.

Pollen by The Parlez

Ciaran Steward

Nice and laid back sound running through it, very interesting vocals which is really nice - much better than hearing the same old sounds over and over again. A tad psychedelic in places as well, makes for great listening!

Ari Herstand submitted media.

Keep Fighting by Ari Herstand

Ciaran Steward

There's a lovely feeling to the song, much jazzier than your standard pop song. The basslines are brilliant throughout the verses and I was pleasantly surprised by the chorus as I wasn't expecting something so pumped up.

Would like to hear a bit more of a melody in the voice throughout the verses, I see what you're going for and it does work but personally I'd just like a bit more variation. Love the contributions of the various instruments, the muted guitar parts are cracking and your voice suits the style well.

As much as the dead stop works, I'd love to hear it end with the resolution, the piano seems to linger slightly too long. A great track though, solid effort!

Fluence Team submitted media.

For the Creative Community by The Fluence Team

Ciaran Steward

Fluence is a brilliant idea that is helpful on all sides within the music industry.

AWaking Dream submitted media.

Ciaran Steward

Some lovely Fleet Foxes-esque harmonies in here, nice to hear them mixed with something a bit more electronic - the oscillating synth works really well as a foundation. Some really good use of pauses in here too, keeps the piece from sounding too rushed. Not 100% sure about the tone of the Vangelis/Chariots Of Fire style bass synth but it helps everything tick over nicely.

Would make for great film music!

AWaking Dream submitted media.

Island Cottage by Sea Oleena

Ciaran Steward

Love the production on this, the vocal sounds so haunting. The claps come on a little too strong at first, maybe just need to be slightly lower in the mix. Generally a really good vibe and some great bits of attention to detail with the sound effects/backing instruments.

Miranda Johnson submitted media.

It's Elementary by Rigbi

Ciaran Steward

There's some great potential for the track, it's got a lovely general feel and the distinctive vocal certainly works to your advantage. At times I'm not 100% about the guitars, particularly the guitar that plays the riff at 18 seconds at which point I find the sound a little too treble-heavy.

Also, it could probably be a good 30 seconds shorter for the recorded version, though this would be the right way to go for a live performance. However, it's a good track and I completely agree about the Garden State feel - shame you've just missed the boat for Braff's latest film, would have been a great fit!