Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Blacktop Daisy - Fire in the Hole


Brooklyn based indie dance-rock group, Blacktop Daisy comes out swinging with a funk and a groove that you didn't know you needed in 2017 until you needed it. With a production that gives me Giorgio Moroder meets Nile Rogers, this group is everything I need. Chance Encounter is their fourth EP release and it's packed full of amazing tracks. Even though you only get five tracks, you get an fantastic representation of what modern disco sounds like. These songs should be played opposite Sylvester and or The Bee Gees. They don't have the super up tempo vibe of an Amii Stewart or an Alicia Bridges but they've got well rounded funk and groove that's woven through every moment of the EP. The vocals are bananas. I would be remiss if I didn't say that if in listening to the tracks off the EP, I wasn't reminded a tiny bit by some of the vocals giving me some Jay Kay of Jamiroquai. I don't think that's a bad thing in the least bit. I think in the modern era of music, there aren't a whole lot of mainstream artists that can pull off that emotive feel that Jay Kay injects into his music and I'm getting the same here.


I feel like these guys came out of nowhere and I'm damn glad they did. "Fire in the Hole" is this bass heavy funk groove that just gets into your blood and eases everything out. I don't want to make cliché comparisons to being at Studio 54 or anything like that but I will say that what this track gives me is hope for a much funkier resurgence of music across the board. I don' think they're just playing some nostalgia game, I think this group is dyed in the wool, funk soldiers in the army of Disco. They love what they're doing. They're giving us synth and bass and brass and vocals that are built on such depth and have a layered harmony to them that pulls it all together. The rhythm section pulls you forward and leads the way and the song immediately hits it's stride. It's so funky and just makes you listen to it over and over.

Blacktop Daisy on the Web

Blacktopdaisy.com
iTunes: Super Deluxe EP
Amazon: Blacktop Daisy
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BlacktopDaisy
Instagram: @blacktopdaisy
Twitter: @blacktopdaisy
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/blacktopdaisy

Cheffery - Speherical



Dream Pop is a genre that I adore. It's ethereal and it's space-like and it's just got this vibe to it that makes me close my eyes and drift away. Artists like M83, Fuse, Tame Impala, and City Rain all have that psychedelic feel to them that elevates the genre to new levels. A relative newcomer to the genre, Sydney based, Cheffery has released his debut single and if this is the quality music he's going to be releasing into the world; he's got an incredible career ahead of him. The song has this crunchy bass line that just plucks along and sets the mood for the song and the vocals! The vocals!!! So freaking dreamy. I feel like I should be in a Dario Argento film but before the scary stuff happens or a Dino De Laurentis film with Flash Gordon or Barbarella. The song is so colorful and vibrant. It's a solid example of what Dream Pop should sound like. I can't hear any missteps in his production. It's a quality track. There's not much out there about Cheffery but I'm hoping to get to know them as an artist even more in the coming weeks.

Alessandra Grace - Something So Good

 Something So Good  --> Listen Here
 
"Why can’t I breathe
When I am with you
Don’t wanna let go
Of something so good"

There are few dance acts that catch me off guard and make me go, "Damn, that's a helluva song". Alessandra Grace has done that with the latest single off her forthcoming EP, "I Do It For Love". "Something So Good" is a powerful dance anthem that actually has a bit of bite to it. The lyrics are strong and they are only made more powerful by Alessandra's vocals. There's a difference between an artist that is a fantastic studio artist versus an artist that doesn't require a ton of clean up in post production and you can hear it in the vocals. The song speaks to me about relationships and love and how there are times when you just get wrapped up in all that is good and amazing about a person. You don't know how to properly express yourself and you know that if you don't hold on tight enough that it could all be taken away in a moment's notice. I think there's something special about that and it's the feeling that we all strive and want in our lives.

Alessandra is an Italian based singer/songwriter and this song was the track was selected for Vodafone Italia’s #ConnectingWithPride campaign for LGBT rights and is looking to extend to Vodafone’s global campaign. This is a huge honor as Vodafone is a HUGE organization and it means that there are a ton of people that will now have access to her music that may have not had access to it previously. The track has a tremendous amount of European market appeal and it's making strides here in the States as well and there's no surprise when you've got a voice as strong as Alessandra's.

Alessandra on the Web

www.alessandragrace.com/music
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thealessandragrace
Instagram: @thealessandragrace

Monday, August 21, 2017

Tom Kiesche - I (Who Have Nothing)



There are few artists that pour themselves in their work like Tom Kiesche. I think reckless abandon is an appropriate description for the way he attacks anything he sings. These songs aren't just words he's delivering over a music track, they are him. They are parts of his soul being laid bare with a power and an intensity that few people can match. You can honestly hear every single ounce of passion he throws into his music. You can hear the lifetime of experiences he's had that have lead him to this very moment in which he delivers a performance that is nothing less than ovation worthy. I had to turn the volume down a couple of times during this recording because of how he was belting the words. You feel them. They echo in you. They touch every part of you and you are left with all that emotion that he's so freely given. This man is an entertainer. He has so much creativity coming out of him that he has to express it any way he can. Acting, writing, singing. He is the total package of creative types. And I am glad to say that on some level, I can call him an acquaintance. He's a damn fine individual and you should check out his projects and support the hell out of him.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Secret Lynx - Bones



There's something kind of lo-fi about this song and the video, specifically the video. I wish I knew more about the lo-fi movement so that I could actually make the determination that this is or is not an actual entry into that category but I digress... Secret Lynx is a band from San Diego and has been making a name for themselves around the area. This reminds me a lot of the psychedelica of the late 70s/early 80s. The Blue Oyster Cult or The Alan Parsons Project type of band. It works because it's a damn good song.

From the slow, easy progression of the song and Ronnie Dudek's vocals - this is a solid example of good indie rock. It's just wraps you up and holds you in warm blanket of sound. It's nostalgic but it's current and it's on point with where music is right now. It's got enough of that old school vibe to make it reminiscent of something you remember from a different time in your life but it's still new and innovative.

I could easily see them on tour with a band like Portugal. The Man or Deerhunter and they would be welcomed with open arms by the fan base. I want to know more about these guys. They've got a four track EP out and this is the second single from it. Ronnie's voice is magic. It has an amazing emotive quality to it and it's hearty enough to stand up to the instrumentation of the tracks. I think that it's easy to get caught up in the magic that they're creating. This is solid work and I hope they get a ton of recognition for the work they're putting in. You can get the EP from iTunes or Amazon

Secret Lynx on the Web

http://www.secretlynx.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/secretlynx/
Instagram: @secret_lynx
Twitter: @secret_lynx
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCONL0MGkCnpzAxrwixVsL-g

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Jaded - In the Morning



This song is kind of ridiculous in the most amazing way. It's a song about being hangry but it's done in such a fantastic way that you don't even care. The vocals are so solid for a club track. It gives you enough to dance to in the club and the lyrics get embedded in your brain because they're simple enough that they will sound amazing in a club. And to top it off, this song was used on this week's episode of "So You Think You Can Dance" as the music piece of an amazing jazz routine choreographed by Brian Friedman. This song has been burning up the charts in the UK and with the use of it in an American television show, I have faith that it's going to gain some traction in the US.

Nari, Jordan and Teo met there from Iran, Italy and London respectively. With their previous release grabbing tastemaker acclaim from the like of Clash Magazine, Idolator and Dancing Astronaut, their newest offering continues to be the right kind of representation for London’s scene and a celebration of proper city values; multi-ethnicity and female equality.

Everything Everything - Desire



This is my first exposure to Everything Everything and it will not be the last. Sure these guys have a definite Muse quality to them but that's not necessarily a bad thing. The song is massive. The chorus is huge and it just makes you keep coming back for more. The group hails from Manchester and as part of their thing, each member is an "Everything' - that's their surname. The lead singer's voice is glorious and the harmonies they create with all the voices coming together are sublime. The song is just fun. It's full of energy and washes away all the things in the world that are troubling you and in today's climate...there are a lot of things that are doing that.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Signal - Progression EP

Today marks the release of Basingstoke rapper, Signal's debut EP release. The EP was produced by Jay Picasso and features 6 tracks. It is now available to download and stream across all major platforms! If you want to jump over on iTunes and purchase it, you can click here --> http://hyperurl.co/SignalProgressionEP

The EP is a fantastic example of what young hip hop in the UK sounds like. The tracks have a classic break beat sound to them with a bit more EDM than standard American based hip hop. The lyrical content is solid and Signal has a flow that's all his own. His rhyme structure glides across beats and measures and he punctuates lyrical expressions with clever wordplay and innuendo. I think it's a solid album and if you're looking for something to get you away from the over abundance of trap music out there, this is definitely the album for you. The first single to drop off the EP is going to be "Basic" which has guest vocals by Chelsea Jade. When the video releases, I will be sure to feature it. In the meantime, here's the video for "What Goes Around" to tide you over.



Make sure you check out the EP and support an independent artist. You know how I feel about supporting the artists that are out there busting their asses and hustling every day. Check back for the video for "Basic"!!

Ryan Costello - Comes Undone



This is how I like my male singers. Emotive, thoughtful, and able to express themselves clearly through song. Ryan Costello has done all of those easily in his latest single, "Comes Undone". The plucky banjo against his earthy vocals and the addition of Kelly Morris as his harmonizing vocal partner creates an atmosphere that is slow and deliberant and echoes his melancholy thoughts and ideas in the lyrics. There is an undercurrent of wanton desire that is burning through him and he's expressing it in the only way he knows how as everything seems to be slipping away. Nothing is promised and nothing is ever guaranteed. All we have is right now and in this fleeting moment in time and space; everything I am, everything I have ever been and everything I will be is yours. I offer it freely and without malice. I know we've not had the best go of it and I know that we keep bumping against each other in the dark, but I am yours for now.

"Comes Undone" can be yours as a free download at his Bandcamp but while you're over there, toss him some coin on his latest album release, "Songs of Devotion and Betrayal". You will not be disappointed and you'll be helping an indie artist do his thing.

Ryan Costello on the Web

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RyanCostelloMusic/
BandCamp: https://ryancostello.bandcamp.com/
SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/ryancostello-1 

Beth Ditto - We Could Run



In the world of criminally underrated talent, Beth Ditto stands at the front of the list. This woman has one of the most powerful voices in the industry but you hardly ever hear anything from her. "We Could Run" is the lead single off her second solo album, "Fake Sugar". This song is everything. It's powerful. It's lasting and it's going to have an affect on those people that listen to it and hear her. It's a gorgeous vehicle for her voice and it shows off why she is one of the greatest vocalists of our time. I adore Beth. It's one of my goals to see her perform live because I think that would be just about the closest thing to a religious experience I could have in a venue. The video for the single is gorgeous. It's a beautiful story and it showcases the song in such an amazing way. She is everything.

Kesha - Rainbow



I honestly am having a horrible time expressing properly how this album has affected me. The fact that she's released 5 singles before the album actually dropped was ridiculous in the most amazing. I am going to write a review of the album later today so this is just going to talk about this released of the video for the song, "Rainbow" and not the album.

This song is another example of just how you can take all the shit that you've been experiencing and you make it something good and valid and full of light. And can we talk just a second about how this track is produced by Ben Folds.... I mean, come on; how freaking cool. This song is everything. It's got so much power and so much depth and you can hear just how beautiful Kesha is in every note and every vocal expression. This song is going to mean so much to so many people, myself included. There is so much healing wrapped up in this four minute song. It's so gorgeous. From the strings to the harmonica to the huge, swelling back up vocalists. There is so much musicality and theatricality to this song and it's all done with such deft precision that it's perfect.

Acceptance and processing and learning to move forward with your life are all concepts and ideas that we struggle with and to hear them so beautifully expressed in this song makes me so proud to see her standing so tall and strong in light of everything that's been happening to her the past 4 years. This is a fully realized artist that's finally able to sing with her own voice and it's beautiful. Her first two albums established that groundwork that was her fan base but this album will cement it and hold it together forever.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

MissDefiant - ICYMI



Most of the time, you just want pop music to be fun. And London ElectroPop Duo, MissDefiant are showing you that music is just that. Fun. With former Fluke front man, Mike Tournier producing their debut album; MissDefiant are making a splash all over the club circuit. Citing influences from CharliXCX to FKA Twigs to Die Antwoord, these ladies have a ton of potential to make something memorable. I listened to another track "You Can't Sit with Us" first and not only did it give me all my Mean Girls vibes I needed from it, it also threw me back to listening to Shampoo in the late 90s and I was a HUGE fan of groups like Shampoo, Crush, and Katalina and I think the girls in MissDefiant have a real opportunity to play up on that fun, bubblegum pop nostalgia that the genre is missing today.

"ICYMI" or In Case You Missed It is a damn fine song with a super playful vibe that taps into the social media buzz that has engulfed anyone with a mobile device. It's got all the benchmarks of a proper pop song. Catchy hook and lyrics that you're going to find sunk deep into your brain long after you've finished listening. You've got some dope rhymes on the track courtesy of DOPEBOYLDN and this creates just a party feel that you can't get enough of. They're going to be huge around the world with the release of their debut album on September 8, 2017. Make sure you keep you're eye out for it because these social media icons are going to kill the game when the album drops.

MissDefiant on the Web
Twitter: @MissDefiant
Instagram: @missdefiantofficial
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MissDefiant
SoundClould: https://soundcloud.com/MissDefiant
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/MissDefiant

Ananya Birla - Meant To Be



This is POP music at it's finest. This is a restoration of the genre that has long suffered from an identity crisis. Gorgeous vocals, amazing lyrics, a beat that slays. This is everything. Ananya hails from India where at the young age of 23 is making a huge name for herself with her business ventures. We'll talk about those in a minute. Let's talk about this song first. This love song is everything you want in a song. It's hopeful. It's soulful and it's honest. You can hear how she is pouring everything she is into this performance. It's important to her to be her most authentic self and you hear it in every breath she takes and in every lyric she sings. We all want someone to feel this way about us. We all want someone to love us truly, madly, deeply and she's giving you all that.

The song will stay with you long after you've finished listening and you will quickly smash that replay button because this is sheer pop perfection. The production is perfect. There aren't any missteps in how the song is created and layered. The vocal track has an amazing resonance that slides across the instrumentation and makes you just get lost in it. This track has the potential to be huge if it gets in the right hands and makes it's way across the world like it should. Take a listen to it and then go out and listen to her previous single, "Livin' the Life" and tell me she's not a mega star in the making.

So, now lets talk business ventures because that's what elevates this young woman to amazing heights. At just 17, she launched Svatantra, a microfinance organization that helps empower rural women. Since then, she started Curocarte, a design and interiors e-commerce platform and Mpower, a mental health initiative that works towards dispelling the stigma associated with mental health illnesses. She has been hailed as one of Forbes Asia’s Women to Watch, the “Top 50 Power women of 2016’ by Verve Magazine, Miss Vogue's 28 Geniuses under 28 as well as a recipient of the CNBC Young Business Woman Award.

Ananya on the Web
www.ananyabirla.com/
Instagram: @ananya_birla
Twitter: @ananya_birla
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnanyaBirlaOfficial/

Wake Up Leo - Nowhere To Go



There's something primal about this. From the tribal style chant that kicks off the track to the way the chorus builds into something large and voluminous. The crescendo at the end of the chorus that drops back into the chanting after the first chorus takes the listener on quite the ride.  It's got a bit of a Mad Max vibe to it that makes it a little reckless and a little "take no prisoner". It's like crashing down at breakneck speeds on a roller coaster and then song doesn't stop from there. "Nowhere to Go" is the debut single from London based indie band, Wake Up Leo's first EP, "Devolution EP". It's a helluva ride that touches on social commentary about how we can be forced to grow up too fast and be made to experience life before we know who we are. The song talks of child mercenaries and children being forced into service by militaries in many third world countries and knowing that the only solution we have is to show as much compassion and love as we can to those less fortunate people in the world.

We have to create a world in which the horrors being forced upon these children is non existent. Having a song that brings awareness to an issue that we don't discuss is a very valid way of disseminating a message about tolerance and building a world that will survive for the next millennia instead of self destructing.  Wake Up Leo, comprised of Leo Ulph and his band mates have created music with a conscious that I feel is reminiscent of The Replacements, XTC, Darren Hayes, and The Rembrandts to name a few. There are so many elements that build into a soaring sum of it's parts in the music that these London boys have put together. From the live instrumentation to the synth and the electro that is very smartly used, Wake Up Leo is a band that you need to be aware of.

They'll be releasing their debut EP, "Devolution EP" later this month so you're damn well right that I'll be keeping up with this group and as they release additional singles, you'll hear about them here.

Wake Up Leo on the Web
http://www.wakeupleo.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wakeupleo1/
Instagram: @wake_up_leo
Twitter: @WakeUpLeo

Monday, August 7, 2017

Somaya - Stand Up



I think that if you've been around long enough you know how much music means to me. Especially when the music has been created to give a voice to those that are a voiceless. To act as a delivery system for a message. To empower the listeners to make a positive change in society. And that's exactly what New York based singer-songwriter Somaya is going to do with this song. There is so much conviction and power in her voice as she's bringing awareness to a subject that we don't talk about enough in our society. I don't want to detract from her message so I'll let her do the talking. Please listen and share the video. It's an incredible song and she absolutely does a gorgeous job with it.

Josh Tobias - Summer Thing



You want an incredible song? You take an artist with a fantastic voice and you give him a guitar and let him sing his heart out. When you have an artist with a voice as soulful and honest as Josh Tobias, you don't need a lot of production. You don't need a lot of embellishment and the producers of this song have shown a tremendous amount of restraint with the creation of this track. Brooklyn based, Josh Tobias has released what I consider to be one of the hottest summer tracks in a long time. It's funky. It's got a groove to it that makes you just forget everything else in your life for three and a half minutes and you just have a great time letting him take you where you need to go. It's got a little Ed Sheeran to it. A little Beiber. A little John Mayer and none of those are bad things. If those are the artists I conjure up when I listen to him, I feel like he's in good company.

The song is a perfect morsel of what you want out of summer. Memories and experiences. Whether it be from Danny and Sandy singing about their summer romance or many, many of the other examples in pop culture of summer time romance and love; sometimes all you need is that moment. That's exactly what this song is; except it's going to stick around long after the sunburn and the smell of the ocean have all but faded away. This man has an incredible voice and he does a bang up job of expressing the honesty and the desire behind wanting that connection; even if it's only fleeting. You don't want something that's going to last until the end of time, you just want something that's mutually beneficial to both parties. I think that honesty is what sets this song apart. He's not disguising his want and desire into something more than what it is - he's telling you exactly what he needs and if you're down, both parties are going to get what they want.

He's got a ton of funk and soul in him and you can tell that he's got to get it out. It has to be expressed. You don't hear music that is this creative and not feel what the artist is expressing. I'm damn sure going to be keeping an eye out for new music from Josh because this is good stuff and it's going to add a much needed injection of smoothness and soul into my life.  Let me know what you think about his music and if this fulfills your need for something passing and fleeting in the summer months, comment and let me know!!

Signal - Down (ft. Eclipse)



Grime isn't a music genre that is commonly heard in the United States; it's very British in it's execution and the majority of artists that have flourished in the genre are all from the UK. If I had to categorize it for American audiences, I'd have to say that it is a mixture of hip hop, dancehall, and breakbeats. It is heavily influenced by music from the Caribbean; ragga, dancehall with a bit of EDM mixed in. It's generally syncopated and the lyrics that ride on those beats follow that same syncopation. The rhyme structures will move across bars and measures and can be spit with a rapid fire delivery. Much like all music, it pulls influence from what's happening in society around the artists that are crafting this. There have been notable artists such as Chipmunk, Dizzee Rascal, and most recently Stormzy.

Signal is a rapper from Basingstoke, Hampshire and has been making music for quite some time. With the August 11th release date of his first EP, "Progression", Signal is doing an amazing job at starting to make a name for himself. Whether it be supporting Chipmunk or heading the local music festival and getting your name on the front page of the local paper. "Progression" was produced by Jay Picasso, who also produced the debut album from Britain’s Got Talent finalist Wayne Woodward. The singles off the album are absolutely amazing. This man has got an incredible flow and knows exactly how to build his rhymes to get the most out of the beats and production laid down by Jay. The songs are reflections of what he sees in his life and chronicle his experiences coming up in South Central England. In many areas around the world, the youth of today is perceived poorly but Signal, a 25 year old native of Basingstoke, has been working on honing his craft for the past 10 years; getting off the streets but never forgetting how those perceptions shaped the young man he's grown into.

"Down" is different than a lot of hip hop that American audiences have experienced. It's a damn banger that's for sure but the thing that will stick out is just how Signal flows. His lyrical command is ridiculous. He knows how to make the most out of every syllable he spits. It just makes you want to get down into the beat and get your feet moving but at the same time harnessing the grime feeling to it's fullest. The beat is fire, the lyrics are fire and the addition of Eclipse as a guest artist just fills out this track amazingly. This is an amazing independent track but it's got a tremendous amount of mass market appeal and could easily find it's way to BBC Radio and hopefully cross over to American audiences.

I'll feature more of the music off "Progression" in the coming weeks and I suggest you get a copy of it as it's going to be one of the best releases of 2017. Check back with me and I'll keep you updated on just how far this young man is going to go in this industry.

Signal on the Web
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SignalOfficial/
Instagram: @signalofficial
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw-KEkYwFmhcxAm-eb006bg

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Kesha - Hymn



Catharsis, be thy name. Plain and simple, that's what Kesha continues to give us with each track she releases from her new album, "Rainbow". "Hymn" is the 4th song to be revealed and again, it's a song about hope and belonging and finding your place when you didn't think you had one. After everything Kesha has been through, would anyone have faulted her for just throwing her hands up and quitting? Probably not but she didn't quit. She worked through her pain and she's created an album full of music that is going to do her fan base a world of good. It's going to teach them how to process emotion and it's going to teach them that no matter what happens in your life, you are strong. You are powerful and you can get through it. Surround yourself with people that matter and you will do amazing things.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Luna Ruggiero - Venomous



One of the coolest songs I've heard in a while comes to me from Melbourne Australia. Luna Ruggiero is an alternative artist that's looking to make a name for herself with her dark and smoky vocals that made me immediately think of one of my favorite female music icons, Amy Lee. The way Luna expresses herself in this song has a breathless ease and an atmospheric quality that fills up all the space in the room. Her voice is HUGE and she knows exactly how to use it.

The synth is gigantic in this song. It's got a surge and swell to it that pulls you out into this musical journey of letting go and walking away. Sometimes we have to burn bridges in order to maintain our sanity and our happiness and if that means we cut out the negative in our lives like cancer, then that's what we have to do. Core out what's rotten and make a clean break. Luna is doing an amazing job of expressing that in this song and it just makes you close your eyes and get swept away in her journey.

She's a relatively new artist and I can't wait to hear more from her and this is her debut single. It was a very smart choice to use a song like this as her break out single because it cuts through the chatter of so many other young female vocalists. I think she's got an amazing voice that's super distinctive and that's going to give her an edge above so many other female singers in the industry today. You're going to be able to hear her (and I think she can go much harder with her vocals or softer and they'll both sound amazing) and know immediately that you're listening to a Luna Ruggiero song.

Luna on the Web
https://www.lunaruggiero.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lunaruggiero/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lunaruggieromusic/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lunaruggiero
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/lunaruggiero

Adore Delano - Negative Nancy



Adore Delano has never shied away from being who she was once she realized who she was. And with this new single, you're getting full Adore. All Adore and nothing more. It reeks of Iggy Pop and The New York Dolls. It's got a fantastic punk sensibility that just makes you want to hear more of this style from her. It's dirty. It's grimy and it's good. It's a bit different from her previous musical offerings but that's what makes an artist well rounded. Showing that she's stylistically versatile will help her build a strong foothold and allow her to shift and move in the industry where she needs to. Out of all of the Drag Race girls, I have to admit without question that she is the absolutely most musically savvy. I love Willam and the Triple A girls. Manila does humor well. But no one does music better than Adore.