Wednesday, July 30, 2014
You get hit with an immediate warmth with the track “Feeling New” then you start to roll through a variety of different tracks that bring together the concept of “Blood Orange” in a very eclectic way. Each track jumps from one end of the musical spectrum to the other and at the end of the 10 tracks, you are left with an iconic representation of independent spirit. There is no shortage of styles here, and each one is represented through the varying tracks, that will send you through a variety of spaces.
Whether it’s the guitar filled intro of “Am I Gonna Have to Read Your Mind?” or it’s the spatial sounds that come with “Fish Song”, there is a lot to enjoy on the release. It’s this type of music that first introduced me to Jade Tree a long time ago. You will definitely find bands trying to emulate this sound today, but they are not doing it quite as well as Sulking Blood is doing it right now. It’s their focus on implementing several sounds with the vocal approach that makes this a compelling release.
You are going to want to set aside some time to listen to this interesting project, as it is a refreshing take on the indie rock genre. Stand out tracks include “Feeling New”, “Simple Spell”, “I’m Glad You Came My Way”, “You Don’t Seem to Care”, and “Where’d She Go”, but the whole album is a good one. I appreciated the sound on display and urgency of the vocals, alongside the lyrical elements that pull on your heart strings. Like I said up front, it’s one of the better independent records I’ve heard this year.
If you like bands like American Football, Joan of Arc, and the rest of the Jade Tree bands, this is going to definitely find a home with you. Check out their band camp page here, and support their music, it’s well worthwhile.
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Jiggley Jones Provides a Soulful Acoustic EP That Shatters Expectations on A Mountain, A Struggle, A Tunnel, A Light
Listening to the songs definitely felt like more than just musical presentation. There’s soul here, and you get the picture as you start to listen to the tracks on a closer level. With the tracks moving so well together, you will be hard-pressed to pick a favorite. “Hope in a Bottle”, “Look What I Found”, “Modern Day”, “Nothing So Natural” and “Walk on Me” all present a unifying blend of music that has many layers. It’s not just one man and a guitar, there are other instruments that embrace your mind as you listen.
This is a very strong release, and one that will have you closing your eyes and listening closely to the layered approach of Jones’s production. It bridges a lot of different genres, but it stays home in a bluesy, pop, country way. It’s not too unlike Johnny Cash’s latter work, but with a taste for the modern. It’s hard to put Jiggley Jones in a box, because there are so many different connections that you can place within the course of the EP.
Overall, I would recommend "A Mountain, A Struggle, A Tunnel, A Light”, as it is a solid entry into modern music. It’s not confined to one genre, which is always a good thing. Jones’s voice carries the strength of the songs here, and it’s definitely an EP that wets your appetite for more. Keep track of this artist, you’re going to want to hear these songs again and again.It's a modern folk, country, alternative, acoustic rock EP that is hard to nail down with one description. Listen up and see what you think.
You can check out more information on Jiggley Jones via the official website here, follow on Twitter here, check out Facebook here, and view the Youtube page here.
From the first notes on “Guilty Victim” you get a feel for the music, but it’s not until you hit the guitar solo that you really get a sense of urgency from the band. They build up to it and when it hits, it really gets your toes tapping. Lyrical strong, and overall a catchy tune, SweetEve is quality rock and roll done right. It’s still a bit raw on the recording, but that’s ok, they are up and coming and the tracks represent a good beginning to what very well may be one of the bands of the future.
The opening track is definitely a good one, but it’s their second track “Kings and Queens” that really resonates their passion for rock, as it starts with a great intro and pushes through to catchy lyricism and solid rocking choruses that bring about the prowess of the members here. Turn up the stereo and you’ll definitely be singing along with this one, as it is one of the better rock songs I’ve heard in a while. The third track, “Dead Like Me” also presents a good tune, and with the strong introduction and wall of noise you get is a well-fitting piece to the puzzle that the band creates for listeners.
Overall, SweetEve is on to something with their latest tracks. They present the best elements rock, pop, and even a little bit of soul here and there. The band creates a strong series of tracks that make you want to hear more from them and see what else they come up with.
Listen, follow, and learn more about this powerful alternative rock band via Reverbnation here.
From the first moments that you hear the bass line, you know what that you are in for a good tune overall. I was impressed with the high quality mix, and then Eloni’s vocals come in and you’re really taken to a new place of musical integrity. I love the bounce of the music and enjoy the lyrics, as well as the catchy choruses. It’s a very unique track that mixes jazz, funk, and disco into a tangible element that is definitely not used often today.
I like it, it’s a good song and one that represents the talents of Eloni Yawn’s voice. It’s eclectic, it’s talent driven, and it’s a song that is definitely going to be on repeat once you hear it. It very well may become your favorite song as it is a strong contender to get stuck in your head. “No Excuses” is a solid track, and features some excellent production values. I highly recommend that you listen to this track, and don’t forget to turn up the bass on this one. Do a little dance, enjoy your day, and listen to “No Excuses” I highly recommend it.
Mixed by Paris Toon and Mothers Favorite Child, this is an awesome song worth repetition, so check it out. You can learn listen to this track via soundcloud here, and learn more about Paris Toon here.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
The first song captured my attention right away, and I was thrilled to hear the rest. “Black River Gospel” immediately became part of my daily rotation as it is by far one of the best opening songs on any release I’ve heard so far in 2014. I love the lyrics, I love the message, and I can envision the story that is presented through the song. It’s a catchy tune, it’s one of my favorite songs from Susto or any other artist thus far this year.
The music continues through the self-titled released, and you get a more traditional country feel, one that illustrates slices of life, and things only improve and mix genres even more. You’ll find alternative rock, sounds come through and even a bit of Eddie Vedder and Pearl Jam at times. The way “Black Jesus” comes through, I’m brought back to a simpler time. In fact, the lyrics is solid, and it absolutely floored me. It’s been a long time since I’ve been compelled to close my eyes and listen to a record, but this is one of those records. The track “Black Jesus” is by far one of the best things you’ll hear this year, bar none.
Susto’s record is a beautiful album. It’s full of life, it’s full of images from life and limb, and it bleeds through the heart. I love it. I’m completely at a loss here, as this is the type of music that should be getting the most praise by music magazines, instead of just me telling everyone I know. Standout tracks include “Black River Gospel, “Black Jesus”, “Cigarettes, Whiskey and Wine”, “La Mia”, “Vampiro 66” and others. This album is a top contender for album of the year for me right now. I’ve made mention in the past reviews that there were some solid indie records, but right now, mark my words, Susto is my top pick for album of the year 2014 so far. I’m impressed. I’m definitely impressed, this is the best record I’ve heard cross platform, and will be listening over and over again. It’s a mix of what makes classic country great, and what makes independent rock music so compelling, and it is just amazing. I’m short of adjectives, because it gripped me so hard. I’m still thinking about the lyrics.
You absolutely owe it to yourself to listen to this record, there’s no better right now.
You can learn more about the band by clicking here for their official website, check out their bandcamp page here, listen via Spotify here, and check them out on tour no matter what you need to do to get to see them.
Saturday, July 19, 2014
With each song you hear from Race Against Time, you begin to get a full picture of the talent found with the music. It’s not just an independent rock record or anything like that, it has Indian instrumentation, with a pop feel, but it’s not so far off that you’ll be out of place. In fact, it’s a welcoming mix, and you definitely hear that on “Photograph”. On “Casually Leave” you really hear the Indian influence, more so than on the other tracks, but once again, the lyrics comes through to shine light on another solid song, which is a breath of fresh air. By the time you listen to this one and then pair with “Shadows”, you go through an emotional rollercoaster that is comprised within the music of this incredible artist.
As a music lover, I’m always looking for new music, and this is one of the more compelling releases that I’ve heard from a singer/songwriter in a while. The mix of instruments, lyricism, and focus on production makes an eclectic mix here and one that is definitely worth taking note of. Overall, I would recommend Race Against Time for anyone that loves pop, rock, and independent artists with a focus on emotionally driven acoustic music. It’s this solid recording that should make this artist one to watch in the coming year as the instruments and structure are beyond the scope of what you may have heard already. I recommend listening to the songs released, and mentioned here, I’m impressed.
You can listen to Race Against Fate by visiting the official website here.
Ton the latest release, “Atlanta”, the listener gets thrust back into the 1980s post punk world, and it’s very good. It’s not quite new wave, and it’s not quite electronic only, it’s something modern, and something enjoyable. It’s a serving of 10 tracks done in a unique manner, but with ethos that are on par with the alternative rock radio that you might have found in the past. This is on par with Richard Blade’s lunch hour on KROQ here in Los Angeles. It is there that you find tracks like “Let Me Down”, “Motives”, and “Stop”, which all feel like they are mixes from a 1980s classic film.
At times it feels as though you’re taken back in time, but the production and musical values bring you back into modernity. There is an attention to details on the record that point you to modern futurism, more than just going back to the 1980s. That’s why I feel this record is so powerful. It divides the line, and brings you forward to something new, and that’s how good musicians craft great, resounding music. They take the past and filter it through the present, giving you a taste of the future, and it transcends explanation.
On “Atlanta” this pop electronic sound that drives Opien’s musicianship really stands out. It’s by far the best electro-pop, alternative rock record I’ve heard thus far. It’s not just one genre, it mixes several well, and that is just grand. This is one album that will be heavy in my rotation in the coming year, it’s that good. The band finds a way to fuse so much good on this record, that it's hard to avoid listening to it over and over again. It's one of the best I've heard this year, bar none. Don't let the electronic moniker fool you, this is a standout mixed genre record.
Check out Opien's official website here, and get the latest via Facebook here.
Friday, July 18, 2014
The mixtape has a lot of different elements to it, not giving the listener one style or rhyme scheme, and that’s where Vero really shines. He finds a way to incorporate all sorts of musical flavors to rhyme over, and the eclectic sounds makes this one of the stronger mixtapes that I’ve heard in a while. Just the jump from “Mr. Hyde-And-Seek” to “Pickup or Delivery” is an example of how the artist can flow through different elements with ease. His delivery is clever, never being contrived or forced, focusing on the lyricism with elements of music that will keep you in tune, and right when you think you’re going to turn it off, he surprises you with a solid rhyme to bring you back. I like the way the mix works to keep your attention through more than just the standard rhymes and reasons, it truly is a solid testament to the rapper’s focus.
As far as rap goes, Vero’s “Look What God Did” mixtape has some solid songs on it. You’ll find yourself tapping along, singing along at times, and listening closely to the messages and stories that Vero is pushing forward. He does it with a very slick style at times, allowing the words to fall out with a certain vocal penmanship that is often not found with rappers. He’s clear, he rhymes well, and the mix is well put together. Nothing feels out of place. It’s a solid release, and something that will definitely get you thinking time and time again. Stand out tracks include, “Mic Check”, “Pickup or Delivery”, “INAS3NSE”, “The Weirdo”, “Our Religion”, and as a whole the mix stands out as a complete work that shouldn’t be taken apart. I like it. I recommend it, and definitely can’t wait to see what else Vero throws out there.
Check out the mixtape via datpiff.com here.
Thursday, July 17, 2014
At moments you will find yourself wanting to compare this band to your favorite 1980s post punk groups, but they are beyond that. They get into different cycles through the track, and at one point you realize that this is new, it’s refreshing and it’s going to change the way your playlist is set up. I know that you will do this, because that’s what I did when I heard the song and it’s now a permanent fixture in my playlist. The track is compelling, and it’s unique, switching from straightforward indie alternative, to a bit of a pop sound that is accessible by all.
Plastic Barricades definitely does well on this track, and really made me interested in listening to their other single, “Shine!” and really takes me back to a better place. Amidst my writing assignments, I will definitely be listening to these songs more and more. I love the layered tones, musical interludes, and lyricism that works to paint a broad picture of so much classic and iconic musical moments. It’s by far one of the best singles I’ve heard from the independent music world, and I hear a lot. I love it, check it out, you owe it to yourself to get into some new music.
You can catch up with the band via their official website here, listen to the single on Soundcloud here, listen on Spotify here, and purchase via Itunes here.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Mercer creates an iconic song here, and it’s for anyone that has ever been bullied. A sense of hope springs up through the lyrics, and the song that really does play an incredible role for those that need an uplifting song. It’s not a self-serving, marketing heavy piece, it’s an honest to goodness song about beauty that springs forth when you believe in yourself. It’s the sincerity that fills the musical notes here, as the song really ramps up with an incredible message.
“I Believe In Me” is a wonderful song, and it is truly inspirational in a lot of ways. You will find that it hits home if you let it. Pay attention to the lyrics, the way Torrey Mercer ushers you into painting a picture of hope in a world that is not always friendly or forgiving. It’s that type of honest to goodness soul searching, and iconic lyricism that makes this one a good pop song from an up and coming artist. I am fascinated by the artist and song, and definitely recommend taking note of it. For anyone that has felt pressure, been bullied, or just found that life is hard to live through, this is for you. It’s a heartwarming song and it’s going to make you tear up and smile. I like it.
You can follow Torrey Mercer via her official website here, connect via Facebook here, and twitter here.
Aztec’s release starts slow, reminding me of Jade Tree’s releases and even some Deep Elm artists that I recall, and is far better than Slow Coming Day’s constant droning that I hated on Tooth and Nail Records. They put together a nice track on “The Benefits of Being Alone”, which to me is an anthem that reminds me of how awesome it was to be back in Los Angeles after a divorce in 2011. It’s the kind of honesty and slow moving song that really captures the band’s emotional prowess, without going into an “emo” type of sorrow, it’s actually quite impactful and well written, bringing a nice start to the record.
The record continues to work through several different moods, and while at the core it’s indie rock, it has a touch of class that will put it right in place with the 1990s alternative movement, especially with the guitar driven “Too Shallow to Be a Grave”, and it’s nice. You would expect this to be a B-Side on the “Angus” soundtrack, because it’s that catch, that good, and dare I say reminiscent of Weezer when they first showed up.
Through the 5 tracks, of this record, you get a nice mix of songs that stand out, and are well rounded. No one song is better than the other, they are all encompassing as a whole. I’m sincerely impressed with how this record flows, and it’s a united front that plays to the strength of the band. It’s this type of cohesion that really makes this record a standout in the scene for me. I’ll be surprised if this record doesn’t get the band signed to a nice contract or at least to tour with some well-known indie bands.
“Stitches” is rocking, it has legs, it’s powerful like Drive Eight’s first record, and yet it stands on its own as a quality recording that I personally claim is the best indie rock record of this year. It’s going to be hard to top this one, and believe me, I hear a lot of music, all day and night. I throw my support to this record, and hope Aztec continues to produce quality records like this one.
You can check out Aztec via Facebook here, and their official website here. Don't sleep on this release.
Saturday, July 12, 2014
The flow of this track features both melody and rap that is very solid. It bounces, and it definitely feels like a bigger track than it is. It’s repetition, and use of rhyme schemes to illustrate the overall message is definitely not lost here. I like how Nelson’s poetry shines throughout. It feels a lot like slam poetry, and free thinking or improvisational communication. Each word hits you with a focus on society today and it really pushes your mind to think about heavenly things.
Daniell Nelson rises above the norm, and does so in a way that comes across as sincere, and passionate about the message with this release. It pulls no punches, and it’s repetition grows on you from the first minute you hear it until the last seconds of the rhythm.
Overall, “Tomorrow” is a song that makes you want to hear more. Whether you’re religious or not, there’s something about this song that pulls you in and continues to follow you after you’ve heard it. I was singing it to my cat after hearing it for the first time, and while Ronnie is usually more of a metal minded cat, she seemed to enjoy my lackluster vocals singing along with the track. All in all, this is a good one to check out and definitely keep an eye out from more tracks from this talented up and coming artist.
You can check out this track, "Tomorrow" on cdbaby here.
Ed Roman Creates a Highly Accessible Country Folk Alternative Record With Letters From high Latitudes
Roman’s lyrics make you think, and if you pay attention you will catch a lot of cool references. “Electric Beauty (Distant Gods)” has to be my favorite of the tracks, including a little nod to Nikola Tesla. The whole record, however, is accessible, triumphant and definitely something that I can see myself and others appreciating over and over again. I especially like how it all flows, and is mixed together. It’s a wonderful mix of sounds, and it’s written with a certain passion and attention to minor details that will catch you singing along sooner than later.
While I say this is a country album, it feels like so much more. The songs are structured well, and they hang on your mind long after you stop listening. I was impressed with how catch the tunes were, and the way Roman’s vocals mix very well over layered guitars, acoustics, percussion, and some nice guitar solos that really make this a stand out recording.
Some of the best tracks include “Better Day Blues”, “Electric Beauty (Distant Gods”, “I Found”, “Jamaica”, “Tinker”, and so much more. The 13 tracks all feel important, and they are like slices of pizza, each one making the whole stand out so much more. No matter what genre of music is your favorite, this record is going to find you smiling and singing, it’s a strong release, and one that really impressed me. I’ll definitely be spinning this one around the house a great deal.
You can catch up with Ed Roman, listen to music and more via his official website here, facebook here, twitter here, and of course youtube channel here.
Delyric Oracle goes big on the release, and it’s an astonishing elemental fusion of hip hop’s best from the past and the present into one very laid back flow. It’s a calm flow, but it speeds up, slows down, and forces you to listen as the presentation of all sorts of ideas gets released into your veins. You’ll hear rhymes that you just can’t believe are put together, coupling words and ideas that are nothing short of incredible. From the first track of “Paper Beats”, you will get a swagger that comes from an MC that is not only standing tall, but is trying to shake things up amidst a world of contrived hip hop.
Stand out tracks on the record include “Paper Beats”, “Damn Man”, “Chit Chatter”, “Do You Do You?” and “Lock Dis Down”, but that’s not to say the other tracks aren’t important. This is an album that you have to listen to whole, as it comes with a larger message, and all of it is worth taking in like strong medicine.
You will find that Delyric Oracle is unique, different, refreshing, and will completely shine a light on what you feel is hip hop and rap. She blurs the genre, and doesn’t just stick to the same old formula, throwing paint on a canvas that so desperately needs change. The best way I can describe her work is to compare it to modern art like Jackson Pollock, throwing words, beats, and ideas out in chaos and folding her arms into a dynamic and impressive recording. Delyric Oracle’s work is mystifying in the presentation, and you’ll definitely not hear another artist like her.
You can listen to Delyric Oracle and try to figure out the rapper's world via Reverbnation here.
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Sure, there are a lot of mainstream bands that are trying to bring this sound back, but they fail to progress through the talent and production quality that is presented with this upcoming single. You’ll find that In Isolation fits directly next to The Cure and all your new wave favorites. They do so with seamless production, quality vocals and classic lyrical assault that will completely bring you back to another place. This is the type of single that will have you hitting the play button over and over again. I can only imagine how messed up the 7” record would be if I got my hands on it because it deserves to be heard over and over again.
As for now, however, you can stream it, and you can eventually purchase it through the normal mediums. In Isolation creates a rich layered sound that will completely knock you on your butt. I love it, and my cat Ronnie loves it too. She’s a kitten and woke up to the sound of “Tears” playing, only to fall asleep on the subwoofer, so there you have it, Ronnie James Dio (my 6 week old cat) approved single from in Isolation. You absolutely owe it to yourself to listen to this track and the rest of their songs, I’m impressed, and completely enthralled by the sound.
You can follow the band via their official website here, check them out on Facebook here, and get the music on band camp here. You will not regret checking these guys out, I sure am a fan now. They are now officially in my Spotify playlist, and I will be putting on my skinny tie tonight. Mark the calendar for July 21st, this could very well be the next big radio hit...I sure hope they make it big, this is epic. Oh, and one more thing, check out the song via sound cloud here.
The musical style here is what is called prairie jazz, mixing elements and creating a rich tapestry of sound. You have solid acoustic guitar work, incredible strings, and jazzy interludes that will fit with any jazz record you have heard. The vocals make this one stand out, as they are laid back and brought together with sheer balance. In fact, there is an incredible balance to this record that is missing from a lot of other acts. Some of the songs, including “Cold” remind me of Mike Ness’s solo work, to give you a slight idea of how eclectic this record is.
Don’t get me wrong, this is a mix of country and jazz, with a sprinkle of alternative acoustic vibes and stand-up bass guitar tones, which is fine, but it is not rockabilly or swing. Some may think my descriptions will fit in that category, but the band is doing something down home, different, and all together welcome. The F5 Four really play well together and create a sound that is true Americana in essence. It’s this type of framework that you will want to put on during those warm summer nights, as it truly is fitting. It’s like watching a documentary by Ken Burns, but with music. The lyrics aren’t necessarily educational lessons, so don’t worry, it’s a mix of storytelling, emotions and poetry. I like it.
“Tornado Breakdown” is by far the most unique record I’ve heard in a long time. It combines elements of several genres, but at the end of the day, it’s prairie, jazz, and country mixed into a very good mix. It’s this type of creativity that is missing from modern radio, and it’s a crying shame. Stand out tracks include, “Perfect on Paper”, “Cold”, “Is That a Man or a Fool”, “Up Gertie” and “Tornado Breakdown”. It all plays well, and I love the way it flows. You will like it too, guaranteed.
You can catch up with the band by going to their official website here, their facebook page here. You can also follow them on twitter here, and get the record via iTunes here or on Bandcamp here.
Check out a live track, and see what I mean about creative genius below: