Monday, January 28, 2013

Young Galaxy - Pretty Boy

In what is one of the hottest things I've heard this year, Young Galaxy have captivated me with their particular brand of synth. The drums are amazing, the progression of the chords through the track are compelling and never once do you get the feeling that Catherine's vocals are misplaced. She is right where she needs to be and she commands respect from that place.  Everyone in the blog universe are falling head over heels for this track and with good reason.  It's a brilliant piece of artistry and it's got the potential to push them into the American mainstream.  That's probably not a goal of this group from Montreal but nevertheless, it's a brilliant track.  They have an album coming out in April so as it gets closer, I'll keep you informed.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Del Marquis & Xavier - Tickle EP

I am at a point where I honestly have no words to express the joy that this mix tape brings me.  This is probably the best thing I have heard in a long time.  I have just been sitting here listening to it over and over for what seems like forever.  I was going to write a piece about Walk The Moon's EP that came out today, but this has stolen every bit of it's thunder.  I almost have no words for how good this EP is.  I just feel like a blithering idiot trying to come up with a clever turn of phrase when there isn't one.  If you are a fan of funk and groove and just all in all amazing feel good music, this is the best 30 minutes you are going to spend.

I've been trying to find an audio link but I can't so just go get it, sight unseen because it is brilliant.  So I'll shut up and give you the link.  Stop reading and go get it.  It's awesome!!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Lauren Ray - Question EP

Blue Eyed Boy
This song is just super cool.  It's easy breezy and refreshing.  It's a great way to start off the EP.  You can't help but to bob your head along with her.  I love how it is just the perfect tempo and how never once does Lauren have difficulty keeping time with the track.  She never loses her place and this is a brilliant show of how her musicality is so much more developed than a new artist.

The title track of the EP is next up and it's a brilliant piano ballad that could easily stand up beside anything by Colbie Caillat or Sara Bareilles.  I think this track shows a considerable amount of vulnerability to her voice and along with the strings on the track, it's easily a beautiful ballad.

Bang Bang
The upbeat jazzy piano against the macabre lyrics of this track come together in an unsettling cacophony of brilliance.  It's a bit unsettled and it's a bit broken which makes it one of the most honest "Done me wrong" songs I've heard in quite a while.  I love how the song progresses through the story and how the song ends.  It is quite unstable and for that, we thank you.

Two Bare Feet
This song is incredible.  It's a song about loving someone so much that you have to let them go because it's doing neither of you any good and sometimes you just have to do what's right for the both of you.  It hurts and you wish that it could be easy but it's not. (Or at least that's what I hear).

The EP is a mixed bag of emotions, just like life and it all plays out without being over the top (even though it could easily), Lauren is able to bring you to the edge of emotion and let you sit there for a while and she does it without ever breaking a sweat.  Her voice is just so malleable and it doesn't matter what genre is thrown at her, she takes it on with such carefree abandon that you know she's been singing that way her whole life.  She has an incredibly bright future ahead of her.  Get on the bandwagon now because it's going to be an amazing ride.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Wayne Meyer - Folsom Prison Blues

Supporting local musicians isn't just good for the local art scene, it's also good for the soul.  When you run across a musician that has talent, it's your responsibility as someone that isn't a dickhead to help foster their talent by going to shows and buying their merchandise and sharing their videos on all the social media outlets you can.  As a blogger, I have the ability to go one step further.  I can talk about it in my little corner of the verse and spread the message further.  Wayne Meyer is an aspiring musician from Evansville, Indiana and he is good.  I don't mean like karaoke bar good, I mean like good enough that a record label should go...."Hey, Wayne Meyer, here's a contract and a huge sign on bonus because you're gonna be huge one day".  He's released an album of cover songs and if his take on Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues" is any indication, it's gonna be the best $10 you've spent in a long time.  Take a listen to this cover and then buy his shit.  You won't regret it.

Contact him at or to purchase your copy of his album!

Monday, January 14, 2013

UltraVillain - Break Out

This gem slipped by me last month and for that I am sorry.  Vancouver Future Pop duo, UltraVillain are serving up dark, sexy, sultry vibes in their video for their debut single, "Break Out".  This track is hot.  This group is hot.  The production on this is a slow build that never wears you out.  The synth is solid and doesn't sound repetitive like other artists can.  It has a very futuristic vibe and combined with the strength of not only the vocals but the lyrics and the imagery this song is freaking amazing.  I really think that this group is sleeping giant that is just waiting to take the industry by storm and with the right promotion in a few months everyone is going to know them.  This song has just the right amount of sex appeal that it doesn't border on dirty or too much.  It's a great track and I think it has the potential to be huge.  They have an EP titled, Lost In You coming out March 13 of this year so make sure you are looking out for it.  I can't find much about them online so I am going to do some investigating, in the meantime I'll just leave you with this video and a cold shower if you need it.

By the way, you can also download the track for free here: or buy on itunes here:  As awesome as it is to get it for free, go support them.  It's a dollar.  Don't get the Venti today, just get the Grande.  The song is better than the coffee anyway.

UltraVillain on the Web

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Wild Feathers - Backwoods Company

I saw these guys open for Delta Rae and was amazed.  They have 3 lead singers that all take turns and it creates not only these amazing harmonies but it gives the band a distinct flavor based on the singer.  This is the official video for one of the two tracks they are giving away free on their website.  It's pop/rock/alt. country/alternative and it's great.  The Wild Feathers are absolutely a band to watch out for this year.  I think that they are an amazing way to follow up what has been a resurgence of Folk/Blue Grass and are going to be a dominant force in this new genre.  Go download the tracks and play them over and over.  It's completely worth it.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Son of a Kid - Burning Blood (Lonelier)

This was the first Dyno song I ever heard.  I knew that it was going to be super impactful and it has.  This artist and this song helped solidify my love for the Swedish music industry.  This man single-handedly planted a seed that I have been cultivating for years.  This song is one of the most emotional songs I've ever had the pleasure to hear.  Alx has taken a great song and created something more from it.  That's my idea of reinvention.  It took something that already had a solid footing and gave it even more depth.  His voice is so clear and so strong.  I want you to listen to this track and then listen to the original.  They are so different because of how the production and arrangement are done.  There is such an ache in this song that his new title is so unintentionally appropriate. Son of a Kid is my favorite Swedish band.  There are those that come close but when they sound like this, they are everything.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Big Dipper - They Ain't Ready

Here's the deal.  We are all different in our own ways and we are all valid for what we contribute to the universe.  There was an episode of Queer as Folk where Peter Paige's character Emmett Honeycutt became a contributor on the local news, a la Queer Eye and controversy broke out when he became sexualized and the moral to the episode or what they were trying to prove is that at that time, the world wasn't ready for a fully realized sexual gay guy on the local news.  So Emmett quit the show in fantastic fashion proving that they couldn't force him to be a eunuch.  I think that is still an issue in today's society, it's great to have gay characters on television and in movies but the heterosexual masses don't want to or can't deal with the backlash of the idea of gay sex.  It's still fine to have style contributors or sassy gay neighbors but what happens when those gays start actually talking shop?

That's something that Big Dipper isn't going to shy away from.  He's pulling no punches.  He's not censoring himself for anyone.  I'll be honest, there are times when I listen to him where I have the same reaction I did when I heard Lil Kim talking about sucking dick.  I've actually looked around to see if anyone heard what he just said and then I just say fuck it and crank it up.  But what he's not is a one note sex stereotype.  He is an actual emcee with  real lyrical timing and skills.  Anyone can say a rhyme but you actually have to have it in you in order to spit that rhyme and make it stick.  He does just that.  If listening to gay sex against a throbbing club beat, then he may not be your cut of tea and make no mistake, he isn't trying to be something he's not.

A gay, Jewish bear cub from the Chicago area he is blowing up expectations in the mostly straight arena of hip hop.  Listen to his lyrics, hear the rhymes build and cross over and come back better than a lot of emcees in the game.  He has talent and he has control.  He will break down barriers and do more good than artists like Frank Ocean.  I love Frank Ocean and think he's an incredibly courageous man for coming out but artists that are in the trenches like Kendall Kelly, Cazwell, Elephant, Yo-Majesty and Big Dipper are going to do more good in the gay community.

So his EP, They Ain't Ready, is it any good?  It's damn good.  The songs are strong, his raps are tight and the production doesn't sound like it was done in a basement studio.  Listen once for the overall feel of the songs but then you need to go back and actually pay attention to his flow and his style and how he pieces things together.  All the tracks are great, I don't want to say one is better than another because what he does he does well.  Yeah the songs are dirty but who cares, he's a trail blazer.  Plain and simple. And did I say it was free?  Yeah, it's a free download from his site.

Big Dipper on the Web
Twitter: @bigdipperjelly

Paper Route - You And I

When you know by the 3rd chord that the group is going to grab you, it's a good ass song.  Nashville based, Paper Route have been making music for quite some time but it's one of those situations that you don't hear them until you're ready to.  I don't know much about their history but I know they are three guys making music that just resonates.  They released a new album in 2012 called, The Peace of Wild Things and it's a brilliant mixture of synth, pop, rock and a little bit of something secret.  This chorus is ridiculously catchy and just makes you bounce along with them.  This track has more of a mainstream pop feel to it and it would fit on terrestrial radio easily.  I am going to do some more digging into this band but I think they are easily going to be someone that I will look forward to listening to.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Missing Andy - It's Over

The lads in Missing Andy spent the better part of today teasing fans and getting them worked up into a frenzy for some much anticipated new tracks from their upcoming release, Guerrilla Invasion, Part 1 - which is going to be a double album and I can't wait.  Alex's face in this video as he is singing is incredible.  He's not phoning it in, he is actually singing this song like it matters and it does; matter that is.  The song captures an emotion that not everyone has had to deal with and a decision that can't be taken lightly.  When you actually decide that it's time to take everything that isn't working any more and do away with it because your sanity is more important; it's not something that should be taken lightly or even hurried through.  It's heart wrenching and hard and awkward and sad but it has to be done.  And they have taken all of that and turned it into an incredible song that is going to speak right to the heart of a ton of their fans.

If this is what I'm to expect from a double album then sign me up.  Hell, sign me up twice because this is brilliant.  Having this band in my life has been so huge because of their message and the power they put into every song.  It makes me sad that they aren't bigger int the United States.  I want them to be massive.  I want them to be mega stars headlining their own concert series.  They are brilliant artists and deserve to be heard.

Listen to this track and tell me I'm wrong.  I dare you.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Michael West - A Fond Farewell

Smack dab between country music and pop music lies a musical destination that is growing larger and larger, Americana is a musical genre that is comprised of all the hopes and ideals created by the American public.  The hope for something better, the desire for true love, the realization that at the end of the day, all we want is to be part of something that is bigger than ourselves.  It's the place that has been pushed around and had sand kicked in its face.  It's where life has been just a bit to real but has taught us the important lessons.  It's a fusion of everything that makes us keep on keeping on.  It's the blues from Memphis.  It's the muddy waters of the Mississippi river.  It's the gospel music of the deep south and it's the rock and roll from the Motor City.  It's Motown and it's Rhythm and Blues.  It's Patsy Cline and Joe Cocker and Marvin Gaye all recording the same album.

When I run across an album that encompasses all of that and doesn't seem like it's trying to accomplish any of it, I stop and take notice.  If you read my blog with any type of regularity, you know that I will never slag someone for the simple fact of doing that.  You'll also know that I only write about artists that inspire me.  And today, I have been properly inspired.  Michael West is an independent artist from Salt Lake City but now finds his roots planted in Maryland and that is a lot of geography to cover and not be affected by people and places that you meet on the way. Michael's second release, A Fond Farewell is a collection of 14 songs that will fill you with hope, warmth and a sense of familiarity.  Michael's vocals and the arrangements on the album are so familiar that you swear you have heard these songs before.  They are old friends that you haven't seen in a while but you welcome them with open arms and a warm seat by a roaring fire while you catch up on a cold winter day.  His voice has a longing and a bit of lonesome but if you peel it away just one layer, you can see a brighter outcome just waiting to shine through.

What he does is incredible and what's incredible is his ability to take a ballad and sing it like it's the first time you've heard it and the last time you'll ever hear it.  It's like this moment in time that you'll never get again and no matter how many times you listen to the song, you'll never get it again because it's already had a chance to make an impact on you.  You are a different person, even in the most minute way, but he has touched you and it's something that will be with you throughout the rest of your life.  Am I saying that he has the ability to change you, I think everyone does but Michael has a way of doing it in an incredibly sincere way.  It's not hat he wants you to change or feels that you need to change but through the act of spending an hour with him, it's inevitable.

There are moments in this album where you go, "Really, this is only the second album he's recorded?".  Sometimes with independent artists you get some lyrics or tracks that sound very homemade.  While there's nothing wrong with that, when you release an album for the general public to consume, you want it to be super professional and this album shines without even trying.

There are outstanding stand out songs on this album that just touch your heart because you can tell they were made with the most pure of intentions.  "Zephyr's Song/It's Not Easy" is the song that you want someone to sing to you.  You want to be a part of that because it's an incredible song about love and it's about coming together as a family to be something more than you ever could have been before.  Jonell Mosser lends her beautiful voice to "When I Reach the Place I'm Going" and there has always been a quote I use when talking about music.  I don't know who said it but it's got me this far.  It goes, "Music is Music and it doesn't matter what it is as long as it takes where you need to go."  This song is the lyrical representation of that quote and I think I am head over heels in love with it.  Other favorites include, "Since You Been Gone", "A Fond Farewell", "Nothing Remains".

I highly recommend this album if you are a fan of just honest music.  I know I say that a lot but I'm not going to waste my time on something I wouldn't recommend.  Michael West has a product here that he should be very proud of because it's beautiful and well put together.  I know there are songs that are going to help me through rough patches in my life and there are songs that will help me "Reach the Place I'm Going".

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Azealia Banks - BBD

My first post of the New Year is none other than my favorite female emcee of the moment, Azealia Banks. She dropped a preview track from her new album coming out Feb. 12., Broke With Expensive Taste. The first single to debut was supposed to be "Miss Amor" but she totally flipped the scrip and gave us a whole new track called "BBD" (Bad Bitches Doin). The bass line is crazy, her rap is crazy and she definitely lives up to BBD.