Friday, September 15, 2017

JUDAS - Ceasefire

Solid pop rock doesn't come along too often and when it does, you should grab ahold of it and not let it go. London based quartet, JUDAS has released their latest single after coming off a tour of amazing headlining dates at festivals around the UK.

Cutting through the press bits and the standard blog talk bout this group, this song is really amazing. It's a fantastic commentary about dating in today's society where we all have had one too many bad experiences and how we are all so guarded in that we don't want to divulge too much of ourselves because we will invariably get hurt. We are so protected and we don't want to put ourselves out there but every now and then, we are met with someone that just wants to be let in and be part of something bigger. They want to get to know us and they want to drop all the pretense and the agendas. They come to us bearing open arms and no ill will but we are still apprehensive.

This is a beautiful musical allegory about modern experiences and it's so well put together. Musically it's got one of the catchiest beats I've heard in a very long time. Vocally, this is one of the tightest vocal productions. The way the song builds into the chorus is brilliant and it makes you want to listen to the track over and over. If this is an example of what JUDAS has to offer, I want to hear much more from them. There are so many artists they can be compared to but I feel like they have the talent to stand on their own without comparison to other artists. They are creating their own path and making music that will take them to the next level, artistically. If they are able to continue writing music that has a universal appeal and taps into experiences we've all shared, they are going to rise quickly to become one of the biggest groups in the game.

JUDAS on the Web

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Lucky Thief - Equator

There's an undercurrent of violence in this track that's both sexy and the smallest bit unnerving. Like you're not sure just how rough the sex you've just consented to is going to be but you're damn sure willing and ready to find out. One of my favorite songs of all time is 'Sex Type Thing' by Stone Temple Pilots and this song and video give me the exact same rush of emotion that I had when I experienced STP for the first time. It's a combination of the plucky bass and Thief's voice and the percussion. It gives the song this tension that fills the room and it's good. Music should have this type of effect on you. You should feel something. You should let it worm it's way into you and it finds a place to live. This song does that. It makes it's home in some of the darker recesses of your mind and I don't mind it at all.

There is a power in this song. In the performance and in the fact that all parts have been sung and recorded by Lucky Thief. From the percussion to the guitars and everything in between. There is definitely something to be said about being able to do all those things and be in complete control of your creativity. It says a lot because it gives you the freedom to express yourself as you feel the need to without compromising your morals or beliefs. I think this is the beginning of amazing things for this young man and I think that he is going to continue to create music that makes you feel alive and experience those parts of ourselves that we relegate to the darker areas of life.

Lucky Thief on the Web

Sofi Tukker - Best Friend (f. NERVO, The Knocks, Alisa Ueno)

THIS! THIS! THIS! This song is some of the hottest shit I've heard in a long time. But when you look at who all is involved, it's absolutely impossible for it to not just be fire. Sofi Tukker, NERVO, The Knocks, and Alisa Ueno all together on one track makes an amazingly strong powerhouse of creativity and I know that I'm just kind of stuttering and repeating myself but I mean..... just listen to it. From the track to the vocals and the lyrical content to every single piece of this song as it's put together. The only thing I have issue with is that it's not nearly long enough. It's a 3 minute song but it should be at least that and then some. The groove that this song lays down is one of the craziest I've heard in a long time. Sofi Tukker and NERVO both have worked with Scissor Sisters in the past so you KNOW that I am all about them. The Knocks is one of the most prominent production teams in music today. I've been in love with them since I saw them on tour with Alex Clare. I can't even express properly how amazing this song is. Just listen to it and you will be wrapped up in the vibe. It's not hard to see why Apple decided to use it in the launch of the iPhone X because this song is so vibrant and dynamic.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Ellis - Okay (In The Morning)

From the beautiful orchestration to Ellis' sultry delivery, this song starts out in the most amazing of ways. I immediately get a Leona Lewis, Sophie Ellis-Bextor type of vibe from her vocals and that does such an incredible job of cutting through wave after wave of indie pop singers that all have a very similar breathless delivery and it is so refreshing to hear power in a voice. Her musicality and knowledge of how to properly use her instrument is brilliant. Universality is what we always strive for when listening to a song or writing about it or even when the artist is singing. We want to be part of something. We want to be part of something bigger and when the artist taps into a shared experience that we've all had, it makes it so much easier to relate and look inward in our own lives to see how they've now put words to what we've felt so deeply in the past.

When we've made the realization that it's time to let go and move on; a lot of powerful things happen. We have confidence and a strength of conviction that we may not have had previously. We know that as dark as things may seem at the time, after a good night's sleep and a bit of distance; everything will be 'Okay (In The Morning)'. Ellis does an incredible job expressing all those feelings and thoughts in this song and does it in such a heartfelt, soulful manner that we get swept up in the swell of the music. A song about powerful affirmation and introspection is what we need sometimes and there are times that we don't need it until it's given to us. This up and coming Nashville based singer/songwriter has an incredible future if she continues to put music out like this. Check her out and let me know what you think.

Ellis on the Web

Friday, September 8, 2017

Dutch Party - Blade Runner

Infectious guitar riffs and a vocal quality that rivals that of Ezra Koening of Vampire Weekend or Michael Angelakos of Passion Pit, Ken Franklin of Dutch Party is carving his place in the world of Dream Pop with the first single off their upcoming EP, Combat Pop. The video for 'Blade Runner' is set in a very near future and follows Ken as he's delivering a package before falling into shenanigans and being rescued by our intrepid video heroine. The song is a fun romp through how proper Alt Pop should sound. It just makes you bop along with it and you find yourself coming back for more when it's done. It's sugary sweet but not so much so that you're not willing to go in for seconds. I really dig their sounds and the very intelligent use of the synth in this track gives it a much more realized sound than a song that is just more synth based. It's good to hear instrumentation of an actual band opposed to just a song completely and totally constructed via the use of synths and drum machines.

Hana Brooks - Someone New

I've lately been inundated with dream pop and indie pop and while it's all amazing work, there gets to a point where you're searching through every whisper in a song to try to distinguish it from the next amazing artist that deserves your time and energy as much as the one before. So it's really quite awesome when you get something that doesn't fit into those same categories. I would still classify Hana Brooks as an indie singer/songwriter but there's more rock in her veins than just pop. You know that one of the things that immediately makes me take notice of an artist is their voice. If there's a quality to their voice that makes them stand apart from other artists, I will gravitate toward that. Hana Brooks has just a bit of a raspy voice in the same vein of a Vicci Martinez or Melissa Etheridge and it's gorgeous. It's earthy and it's full bodied. It is expressive and it's full of emotion. There's a longing and a hope in her voice at the prospect of "dancing with someone new" and it resonates with us as listeners because we've experienced that feeling.

I love the overall upbeat, rock vibe and after working with a producer like Nick Bennett, who has worked with another one of my favorite females with an incredible voice; Hannah Reid of London Grammar, it stands to reason why she's been making a name for herself around London. She's even been featured by Huw Stephens and has been touring with Sofar Sounds around the UK. I like the cleanliness of the live production of this song. It doesn't sound like there's been any, if all, post production work. It all sounds like what she's created and what she's putting out there for us to hear. There is so much passion in what she's doing. You can watch her face as she's singing the chorus and see just how much she's putting out there. It doesn't just come across in her music but in her performance as well. I think she's got the potential to be an amazingly successful recording artist and if she is paired with producers and creative types that foster that grounded, earthy sound she's got; she will easily stand apart from so many of the other artists that are releasing music right now. Make sure you check out this track and follow her on her socials. She's going to be big. I can feel it.

Hana Brooks on the Web