Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Meet Kate Davis

Portland born artist, Kate Davis has already started creating an impressive resume at very young age.  She's already been featured by MTV and People Magazine as an upcoming artist that you should be aware of.  She's won awards from ASCAP and has been making her away around the festival circuit where she is garnering praise from everyone that hears her music.  A multi-intstrumented performer, Kate has shown incredible prowess on the bass, the ukulele and piano as well as being an impressive songwriter and vocalist.

She has 3 tracks on her Soundcloud and you need to understand that when you start listening to them, you need to go ahead and carve out enough time to listen to them on repeat for quite some time.  It would be easy to compare her to other singer/songwriters like Colbie Caillat or Sara Bareilles but if I am going to make a comparison, it's going to be to Regina Spektor, Lauren Marsh or Jillette Johnson.  There is an honesty to her voice that just gets right to the core of you.  It's a deeply grounded sense of urgency that is older than she knows.  There's nothing frivolous about her music.

Everything is done with a deliberate sense of purpose.  You can hear in her voice that she takes very special care of these words because they mean more than just scribbles on paper.  They tell a story and they grow into something organic and effortless.  The brushstrokes her voice command leave an indelible mark on the canvas in your being.  You feel like she's singing directly to you.  There's no one else in the world and you have experienced exactly what she's emoting.  There is a vibrancy and a richness to all three of these songs that expand in your chest like the deepest breath of fresh air you've ever taken.  This young woman is going to be massive and I cannot speak highly enough about her talent.

Kate Davis on the Web
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/katedavismusic
SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/katedavismusic
Twitter: @katedavismusic
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/katedavismusic

Image taken from http://www.laurendesbergphotography.portfoliobox.me/

Monday, January 27, 2014

Lauren Ray - Don't Feel Love

It seems Lauren's trip to Nashville last year yielded serious results.  In one of her first public posts since that trip, it's clear to hear how Music City USA rubbed off on her.  Her vocals harken to the golden age of country referencing Tammy and Loretta and some of the modern masters as well; Faith and Martina.  This woman's voice is like velvet and can take on so many characteristics from all of the influences around her.  This song is antithesis of a love song; it's a self empowerment song that so many of us can take a lesson from.  You don't have to be attached to someone in order to be powerful.  You don't have to rely on someone to achieve your goals and dreams.  Draw on your inner strength and you can achieve all you need to.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Johnny Stimson - So. Good.

There are songs that make you want to just get down and then there are songs that want to take you behind the gym and get you pregnant.  "So. Good." by Johnny Stimson is one of those songs.  It makes you curl your lip and drop into some of the deepest shoulder action you've ever given.  It settles into your bones and makes you groove the swankiest groove you've felt.  It warms you up like a hot beverage on a cold day.  It spreads all through your body and ignites all your pleasure sensors at once.  It's sultry and it's slinky.  It's a warm fire place with the spaghetti straps on the negligée slipping off the shoulder.  It's all of these things without ever being smutty or degrading.  It's everything you want in a song to set the mood.  It doesn't matter what Johnny touches, he is magic.

I'm reminded a bit of Prince and a little Motown.  More than anything I'm just swept off my feet by this track.  This song just makes you feel.  And it feels...good.  It's entrancing and you can't stop listening to it.  It seems it doesn't matter what genre Johnny sings,  he is going all in and making it his by putting his own unique spin on the track.  I really and truly can't say enough about him as an artist and I want him to be a mega star because he deserves it.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Charli XCX - Allergic to Love (Snuffed by the Yakuza)

Perfect. Brilliant. Inspired.  This is punk at it's modern finest.  Charli has created a track that is just stellar.  It's just the right length for a punk song and it's got everything you need to make a brilliant track.  It's not perfect.  It's not clean.  It's kind of distorted and a little too fast.  It's punk.  I cannot love it enough.

Highway Superstar - Take My Time

The New Wave Revival is in full swing and there are droves of artists creating amazing music every day.  What's mind boggling is most of the producers and artists that are making this 80s inspired music were either not alive in the 1980s or they were small children.  So to think they have fully tapped into the overall feeling and vibe of what made music in the 80s so brilliant is genius.  They have created a place where nostalgia meets a whole new generation of consumers.  The influences are pulled from all over the map to meld into this new melting pot of music.  Whether it's pulling from the British New Wave invasion or the Miami Freestyle scene, there are artists for everyone and tracks that run the gamut from sheer fun and enjoyment to tracks that simply tap into every bit of emotion you have to give.   As trends cycle back through, this movement hit at the right time to be fully receptive to a whole new audience while bringing back old listeners too.

At the end of December, Alex Karlinsky better known as Highway Superstar released "Take My Time", his first album on Rosso Corsa Records and it's one hell of an album.  10 tracks of pure New Wave realness.  There's a mix of instrumental tracks and tracks with vocals and each song is an incredible piece of the whole.  Guest vocals provided by Dana Jean Phoenix, Chris Page and Who Ha give this album so much more volume and depth.  Alex knew exactly what he was doing when he tapped these three super talented vocalists.

What makes the instrumental tracks genius is the fact that each one of the songs tells it's own story.  They all have a beginning, a middle and an end.  They are brilliant on their own and when you pull them together as an album, what Alex has pulled together is nothing short of magic.  The instrumentation sounds like it was created in the 80s and then brought forward in time to create this album.  The way that each track was painstakingly put together is nothing more than a labor of love and you can hear it with each synth or drum machine hit.  "Dialtones" is a very special song and it has it's own movie playing in my head.  That's what each of these songs have done.  I can hear them in something from the time period or I have written something around them that puts them in the 80s.  I think music that can do that, cause you to think and to reach inside yourself and become something with it.

The tracks with vocals are nothing short of amazing.  As I said, the choice of singers was spot on as their styles and their voices are perfectly suited for this type of music.  What Alex has done that defies logic are his choruses.  They are so good.  I mean, like some of the best I've ever heard.  It's like he created these amazing choruses then wrapped the songs around them and they became these tracks that were bigger than themselves.  When you have Dana Jean Phoenix and Chris Page come together on "Take My Time" , it's magic.  They were born to sing together.  If this is his first real foray into this genre, I cannot wait to see what he has in store with future releases.  It's every aspect of amazing 80s nostalgia poured into one amazing piece of media.  I cannot speak highly enough about this producer. 

I'll preach this until I'm blue in the face.  Go buy the album.  On BandCamp, on Amazon or iTunes.  Support the independent artists because they are the ones that are making the music that we need to hear and we aren't getting to hear it because they are being drowned out by machined pop.  Don't be a dick and steal it.  Support indie artists.

Highway Superstar on the Web
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HighwaySuperstar
Twitter: @highwaysuperstr
SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/highwaysuperstar
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/highwaysuperstartv
BandCamp: http://highwaysuperstar.bandcamp.com/

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Colorstarr - Do It Again

Dream Pop, Retro Future, New New Wave, Indie Pop.  So many labels but the only one that really needs to be applied here is incredibly catchy pop music.  This international band has created a track that will certainly have you moving.  It's got a full sound and the production and mastering create an amazing sound that is much bigger than their first single.  These guys work amazingly well together to create a sound that rivals bands that have been in the industry much longer than they have.  It's a clean track that does it's job superbly.  You feel uplifted and you want more from them.  It touches on an emotion that we've all felt at one time or another.  It's that feeling that everything is just perfect and you want to experience it again.  Don't dismiss them as a one trick pony because their other tracks on their Soundcloud page are equally as polished.

Colorstarr on the Web

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Colorstarr
Twitter: @Colorstarr
SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/colorstarr
Tumblr: http://colorstarr.tumblr.com/
Instagram: http://instagram.com/colorstarr

Big Dipper - Skank

Here's the thing.  Dipper doesn't defy convention, he crushes it.  He demolishes it and never bats an eye. It would be easy to write him off as a novelty act but what separates him and solidifies him as a true artist is his not only his ability to give you the best performance ever but his skill as an emcee.  Minimize the tab on the video and listen to his lyrics.  Listen to his flow and his command over every bit of what is coming out of his mouth.  The man has talent and then some.  Don't get me wrong, he's raucous and he's over the top but I think that portion of his performance only helps to ground him.  I think what he accomplishes in his videos are the things that we want to do; no, we need to do them but have issue breaking those rules in our every day life.  It makes us take a look at our lives and reflects the things we are afraid to admit.

I've talked before how unconventional he is and how it could be very easy to want to watch his videos behind shaded eyes because they pull no punches.  They are honest and they are raw.  Without that, though, Dipper would be just another rapper in the long line of artists that have a home studio.  He is going to challenge your perceptions and he is going to make you think twice about what is art.  In this video, he is serving all of the Pretty Woman realness he can in a postmodern love story.  It's amazing how easy the song flows over the visuals.  It's perfectly crafted and it leaves you a little worn out and in need of a smoke.  The video was created thanks to the generous donations of his fan base on Kickstarter and he's not afraid of social media.  As a matter of fact, he is very active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Vine.

Big Dipper on the Web

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bigdipperjelly
Twitter: @bigdipperjelly
Tumblr: http://www.bigdippermusic.tumblr.com/ 
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/bigdippermusic