Julia King releases “Lovers Lament”

Shattering the silence with the hustle and bustle of a gorgeous piano melody, the rhythm of “Lovers Lament” pulls us ever so closely so that singer Julia King can season the music with her erotic crooning. King is no stranger to gracious grooves of this nature, but in this latest single she takes the jazzy timbre of her vocal to an entirely new level, pushing us into the core of her backing band’s sizzle and adorning it with a unique tonality that belongs to her alone. The drums pitter-patter in the foreground alongside her, and with a swing as hot and heavy as they come, it crushes us with its hungry, uncompromising heart. “Lovers Lament” isn’t your average dirge; it’s a celebration of loneliness that will heal the deepest of wounds in a way that only good music of its caliber can.

The world around us is constantly changing and adapting to meet the needs of the people who call it home, but one constant in all of the progress is the everlasting tradition of making strong vocal pop music in the style that Julia King does in this track. What’s special about this song isn’t just the way that she tackles such an incredibly difficult chapter of the international songbook, but more so that she contributes a flexibility that hasn’t been utilized very much in this modern wave of surreal pop yet – for whatever reason, I don’t know. Her dynamic isn’t limited to the microphone alone here; she’s commanding every element with her vocal, and casting a spell over us through her harmonies and not just the substance of the lyrics they mount before us.

SOUNDCLOUD: https://soundcloud.com/msjuliaking/lovers-lament

There’s no denying that Julia King is very much a student of music history, and that’s more than demonstrated in “Lovers Lament,” both in the way that she executes the material and in the manner she conceived and styled the song to begin with. She’s wearing her influences on her sleeve here and connecting the dots between vintage jazz, midcentury blues and a more contemporary rock-fashioned equalization, but I don’t think it was necessarily meant as a sacrificial offering to the pop gods of old. If anything, she’s being herself more in this single than she ever has in the past, and I really hope that her direction doesn’t shift far from this present sound.

King’s backing band is almost as stirring as King is on her own here, and that says a lot about how balanced this master mix is. Anytime King steps into the spotlight, she brings all of the eyes and ears in the room to attention the very moment that she starts to sing, and feeling the presence of her fellow players in this track is a real testament to how beautifully produced it is. She’s close to reaching the pinnacle of her aesthetical journey, and considering just how fast she’s risen to the position that she’s in now, it’s no wonder why critics have become as enamored with her product as we have. “Lovers Lament” could present her with a window for her big break, and I for one sincerely hope that it does.

Kim Muncie

Merrymaker’s Orchestrina releases 14 new tracks

If making psychedelic music relevant in 2019 sounds like an impossible dream, you need to make a point of listening to Little King and the Salamander (demos), the latest release from the one and only Merrymaker’s Orchestrina. In 14 multifaceted songs that blend smooth folk melodies with gargantuan space rock grooves, the trio bring the violent guitar experimentation of the 60’s into the 21st century, utilizing every modern weapon available to them in their quest to revive sonically provocative pop music. We start with the swarthy sway of “Hey Everybody,” and soon find ourselves immersed in the thick bass and glossy acoustic guitars that form the foundation of the album’s sound.

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/themerrymakerso?lang=en

“I’ll Be (Kisses at Your Door),” “She’ll Do Anything” and “White Light and Lullabies” are fairly loose in their execution, but they’re just as tightly mixed as what we find in the more sharply arranged eponymous track, “What Fools We Can Be” and the fun-loving “Definitely Not My Underwear.” The critical consensus with Little King and the Salamander (demos) has generally given praise to the album’s fusion of contrasting styles in a singular disc, and I have to agree with my peers on this one. While this record is quite diverse in its experimentations, it flows together beautifully, not unlike what we’d find in a straight up concept piece.

“Thinking of You” and “Fade into the Night” are two of the more textured numbers on the entirety of the LP, but I like that the band doesn’t get hung up on the intricacies of these compositions and stays focused on the slick stylization of the string play. At a moderate volume, I think that it’s easier for us to appreciate the pop sensibilities of Little King and the Salamander (demos) than it is when we listen to the album as loudly as possible. The melodies are so soft but retain the warmth of the tube amplifiers that emit them, a touch that I believe to really make a difference in the finished product.

There’s a punk rock-influenced energy to a lot of the songs in this record, namely in more urgent tracks like “Together” and “Definitely Not My Underwear,” the latter of which has a somewhat glam-ridden, New York Dolls sort of a vibe to it. In slower songs like “I’ll Be” and “She’ll Do Anything,” the bittersweet lyricism is spiked with an angsty, irreverent attitude in the vocal that makes them so much more interesting than your typical alternative rock ballads, and the same can be said of the closing track “I Have Always Been Here” as well.

Music fans who have been looking for something different to spice up their daily soundtrack this year have a record that should be considered required listening in Little King and the Salamander (demos), and you needn’t be familiar with the iconic indie status of its composers to instantly find something to love among its 14 exciting songs. The Merrymaker’s Orchestrina garnered a tremendous amount of critical acclaim for their record Act 3, and this collection of raw demo tapes lets us get to know the band from behind the scenes and further helps us to understand why their brand of rock n’ roll is quickly becoming an unstoppable force in the American underground.

CD BABY: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/themerrymakersorchestrina3

Kim Muncie

Stephanie Rose releases new EP & Single

Those who crave the delicate nuances of the Canadian wilderness but don’t want to venture out into the cold for themselves would do well to check out the new video for Stephanie Rose’s single “Luxury,” a prime cut from her EP Sprout, out now everywhere country music can be streamed. “Luxury” is a song about enjoying the rural treasures that come with a day marked by little more than a trip out to collect firewood for a lazy night by the fire. The video is as packed with tangible textures as the music is, as is the case with all six songs found on Sprout.

Rose utilizes many weapons in the melodic assault she levies in her brand new EP, chief among them her moving vocal, which is constantly a dominant force to be reckoned with. “Luxury” is actually one of the only tracks that doesn’t amplify her singing well above the rest of the players in the mix. “Crushed,” “Same Old Same Old” and “Rusted Love” are built around her countrified swagger exclusively, driving engrossing harmonies home via the strength of her palate. As unbelievable as it may sound, there’s not a doubt in my mind that she would be just as spellbinding were there no guitars or drums to accompany her lyrics.

URL: https://www.stephanierosemusic.com/

Sprout is short and sweet in every way; be it the raw production value or the clean cut structures of the songs, nothing about this extended play is overdone or indulgent in the slightest. The title track is so meticulously arranged that we’re able to decipher where every stitch of the main melody is coming from, and even though there’s a lot of action going on beneath the bassline, it’s never presented to us with any sort of aggression. Rose is a patient songwriter and performer, and that patience yields some really awesome results in all of these songs.

“LUXURY” SINGLE: https://open.spotify.com/album/4JZExI3sU8AjmkadbfjJwk

To me, the only way that you would ever get a more authentic Stephanie Rose experience outside of listening to this record would be to see her live and in person, as this master mix is so wonderfully generous with the emotionality and passion in her play. We don’t have to try and piece together lyrical narratives with musical ones; if anything, the bonding between the two is so tight and unbreakable that it takes a straightforward video like “Luxury” to clarify their artistry any further than it already is. This is a far cry from the woefully unfocused fodder of her peers in the Nashville establishment, who have left a lot to be desired in the last couple of years.

A fun record from a legit talent, Sprout and its featured single “Luxury” are winners in my book, and if you love a solid country record with a sophisticated pop edge, you’ll likely agree. Canadian singer/songwriters have been leading a new wave of alternative country artists that bear more of a resemblance to the acoustic folkies and roots rockers of the 1970’s than they do the country-pop patriots of the 90’s and early 2000’s, but Rose seems to have found an interesting balance between the two. Her sound is very unique, and I can’t wait to hear what she does with it next.

“SPROUT” EP: https://www.amazon.com/Sprout-Stephanie-Rose/dp/B07HGHYCT6

Kim Muncie

Wlady & T.N.Y. feat lossa drop hot new Single

Wlady & T.N.Y. compile vicious beats and supple grooves in a titanic new dance track titled “Beatrice,” allowing singer Iossa to convey love’s endearing spirit through a collection of lyrics that bond with the musical backdrop elegantly. “Beatrice” isn’t the first time that Wlady & T.N.Y. have made beautiful music together, but it could be considered their most prolific single to date in terms of sonic virtuosity. In this song, the pair explore their shared passion for amplifying subtle details into evocative gems that are strung together to create an atmospheric patchwork of melodies. Iossa doesn’t disappoint on any front, throwing in a dash of intimate poetry to complete this rollercoaster of harmonies and heroic beats that come at us from every conceivable direction.

This has got to be some of the most refined club music that I’ve heard in a long time, and I would even say that it bears a strong resemblance to the trance scene’s more underrated indie offerings. From the get-go, it’s obvious that we’re supposed to be focused on Iossa’s vocal stride, but it’s difficult to ignore the pulsating percussion that is pushing him through the song. “Beatrice” isn’t cold, but it’s definitely a calculating piece, deriving all of its charms from the complexity of its arrangement instead of from its enormous hooks exclusively. I’m not discounting Iossa’s singing here at all; without his lyricism, this might be a little more stock in terms of how it fits in with the output of Wlady & T.N.Y.’s peers. To a certain extent, Iossa makes this track the class act that it is.

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNIMLnpSvy0

Multilink for streaming & download here: https://SMI.lnk.to/BeatriceWladyTNY

Even with all of the rampant electricity that frames every nuance within the musical profile of “Beatrice,” nothing about its tonality feels synthesized or disingenuously produced. The primary reason why I’ve been as reticent to gravitate towards this kind of electronica in the past has been because of a perceived lack of legitimacy in the instrumentation (particularly in comparison to rock or jazz music), but that isn’t an issue with Wlady & T.N.Y.’s music. Their sound is as unfiltered and loaded with tonality as anything else that I’ve listened to in the last couple years, with the key difference being that I remember hooks like those found in “Beatrice” long after I’ve forgotten those of other EDM songs


You don’t have to be a disciple of electronica to appreciate just how magnificent a musical specimen this single is, and really all of the releases that these three consummate artists have shared with us in the past. On a certain level, this is actually more accessible than most EDM simply because of Iossa’s rollicking verses that inject a shot of adrenaline into the emotion within the song and drive it home for those of us who need a bit of structure to really get into a dance track. No matter what your personal taste is comprised of, this is top shelf producing that deserves to be respected. If I were the betting type, I would have to say that this isn’t the last we’ll hear from any of these supreme talents.

Kim Muncie

Black9 releases “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around”

A metallic revival of a 1980’s classic rock staple that is as vocally brooding as it is rife with brutal riffing, Black 9’s rendition of the Stevie Nicks/Tom Petty song “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” (originally released on the required 1981 LP Bella Donna) is a juggernaut of a cover and a fine new single from the acclaimed trio. Black 9 play a style of melodic heavy metal that owes as much to the grimy dirge of Black Sabbath as it does Alice in Chains’ tempered style of attack, and though a number of critics will tell you that metal couldn’t be much further from the mainstream in 2019, this band finds a way to challenge that narrative with this stylishly appointed release. I’ve never been a big fan of new bands reshaping classic songs, but that’s not what this cover of “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” does. Instead of trying to do something that has already been done, and essentiallyperfected over a generation ago, Black 9 dig deeper into the aesthetical makeup of the song and yield something decidedly fresh and new from a mainstay of the American rock n’ roll songbook.

There are a lot of ways that you could reinvent the simple structure of “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” as is the case with most of Stevie Nicks’ best-known releases, but Black 9 are careful not to tread on any previously ventured ground. The biggest thing that they do here is filtration; they’re basically straining the compositional concept through their own unique blend of fiery riffage and evocatively woven vocals, which are never quite at the forefront of the mix yet still manage to spellbind us from the moment of their first appearance.

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/Black9music/

The same honey and vinegar dueling that we encounter in the original song is present, but it’s been refined and re-stylized around this studded rhythm, which is a lot more agile than anything I was expecting to hear in this recording. Instead of preserving the spaces and gaps between the verses, Black 9 are constantly attacking them with the crunch of the guitars and wail of the vocals, which together form a gorgeous harmony that justifies the acquisition of this single on its own.

Solidly outfitted with heavy metal grooves and a sizzling melodic twist that will bring pop fans in droves, Black 9’s “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” is a smart, affectual cover song that doesn’t try to patronize its listeners with a lot of cheap studio scheming nor tired and tried showmanship, but instead makes the most of its exotic combination of creative elements. Though their sonic profile could be considered at odds with that of Stevie Nicks’, the distance between the two camps doesn’t seem all that severe in this track, which seems to unite past with present in a dazzling display of carnal rock n’ roll machismo flanked with searing feminine charms. You don’t have to be familiar with their work to appreciate the highbrow nature of this cover, and I think this song will eventually serve Black 9 well in exposing their diverse and versatile skillset to a much larger audience.

Kim Muncie

The music of BLACK9 has been heard all over the world due to the radio plugging services offered by Musik Radio Promotions. Learn more – HTTPS://musikandfilm.com

Protovulcan – Life is Twigs/Psychic Pinball (EP)

Records that have a concept behind them, whether musical or poetic in nature, tend to be sprawling, drawn out affairs that have a hard time remaining contained in the space afforded to them, no matter the size. While this can be said of Protovulcan’s Life is Twigs/Psychic Pinball, it shouldn’t be said without asterisking that for as over the top-jarring as this extended play is, the band couldn’t have rendered much more endearing charm of its brooding, experimental content if they tried. Life is Twigs/Psychic Pinball is really two smaller EPs mashed into a single disc, and each show off a different angle of the band’s incredibly volatile brand of noise music, which often flirts with melodious rock n’ roll rhythms against a textured backdrop of feedback, controlled chaos and bombastic beats. We start off with Life is Twigs and the affectionate “Pine for You,” which ungracefully sets the tone for the adventure we’re embarking on. “The Force Remains the Same” follows up with a pendulous, “No Quarter”-style dissonance that slowly evolves into a crushing harmony under the command of a grizzly bassline.

“Snake Legend” tediously concludes Life is Twigs on an ominous, somewhat dooming note that isn’t carried over into the freewheeling “Soma Sutra,” which rattles and writhes at the direction of a twisted old world circus-like groove. Psychic Pinball, as its name would suggest, is like a divine game of chance that we become strapped down beside and given no choice but to bear witness to. A coupling of included remixes for “Purple Sky” and “Celestial Slingshot” offer up an electronic-tinged take on two of Life is Twigs/Psychic Pinball’s most intriguingly composed numbers, but I truly feel that they stand in the shadows of their original mixes, which are menacing and create a bleakness that is, for whatever reason, spellbinding from the very moment that it comes into focus. Nothing about this extended play falls in with what I was anticipating out of its tracks, which were advertised to me as being extreme but not as inventive or happily “outsider” as early stuff by The Velvet Underground was. I beg to differ on multiple counts; one, this lives up to the high standards set by the Velvets so long ago, and two, to say that these guys aren’t embracing their eccentric image would be absurdly inaccurate. After all, their music wouldn’t come off as confidently and seamlessly if they weren’t.

Life is Twigs/Psychic Pinball is, at its core, experimental sounds compiled together exclusively for the discriminating music buff among us who isn’t amused by the comical attempts at relevancy that are often given credence by the national media and international music-oriented television outlets. Protovulcan strike me as a band that has no problem standing on the outside looking in and making music that doesn’t fit into the pre-designed categories that help us to determine which payola-backed singer/songwriter will win what Grammy this year. This release is a respectable, original, unvarnished stab at enriching tone and music theory through the power of creative thinking alone, and if that isn’t inspiring in these electronically-faceted recording times we’re living in now, I don’t know what is.

RELATED ARTICLE: http://chicago.thedelimagazine.com/38260/protovulcan

Kim Muncie

Ronnue releases “Something About U (The Retro-Funk Mix)”

R&B has been celebrating its third great renaissance of the last 70 years recently, and perhaps no one captures the essence of the genre’s new generation of performers and their worship of the old school better than Seattle’s Ronnue does. Popping his new single “Something About U (The Retro-Funk Mix)” and its accompanying remix into your CD player will result in taking a step back in time to the golden age of funk, long before new jack swing, hip-hop and the second vocal age reigned supreme atop the charts. Ronnue plows through these lyrics with a muscular command of the microphone that is something to be feared if you’re in a rival crew or looking to cut in line ahead of him in the hierarchy of the Seattle music scene. From the moment we first cross paths with the sinfully addictive opening salvo and ominous vocal harmony that lines the intro in a surreal yet hostile melody, there’s no question that the music is as big and bold as it can get, and by the time we’re through it’s also clear that Ronnue himself is an artist who doesn’t need an introduction when he takes the stage – just a microphone to do his magic with.

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/ronnue?lang=en

The lyrics of this song are straight up cutting, even more so because of the sharp delivery. You could argue that in funk, vocals are never supposed to be the central point of attraction that listeners automatically gravitate towards, but then again, you could also make the argument that in 2019 making any variety of hard funk at all goes against the trajectory of the mainstream. Ronnue doesn’t have much time for anyone to call his artistry into question, and personally I don’t blame him; his sound is so brutally efficient, bluntly executed and full of a special vitality that is typically only possessed by icons of this industry. Funk has never had the dated profile that some of its more watered down subgenres (i.e. disco) have suffered from, which actually makes it a really prime candidate to receive the revival that it is experiencing right now. This single has no problems wearing its identity with pride, and if anything it stands alone as one of the only modern R&B tracks to do so in 2019.

Unstoppable beats and an enormous, melodic vocal from an artist who refuses to play by the rules are just two reasons why getting ahold of “Something About U (The Retro-Funk Mix)” is a smart idea for anyone who loves urban music that puts more stock in swing than it does blatant commercial pandering. Ronnue doesn’t weigh this song down with anything other than his trademark singing, and even though his peers have repeatedly demonstrated having no issues with artificially constructing their narratives out of terribly predictable themes and anti-cinematic admissions, he shows us that he isn’t interested in taking such a pathetically unoriginal path towards stardom. He’s the real article, and this new single solidifies his spot in the pool of must-watch artists currently dominating the underground.

Kim Muncie

Brady Novotny’s Passions Collide

A pendulous bell is warning us that the clock has struck midnight. As if awakening from a horrid nightmare, we hear a gasp cut through the abrasive wails of the bell. A bittersweet vocal clings to a tempered guitar part that slowly skulks about in the distance. A softly spoken prayer joins it, followed by an electrified guitar that seems to emerge out of the ethers like some sort of fabled magic. Without warning the guitar ignites a blaze that wraps us in melodic flames and drags us asunder, into the deep core of human emotion at its most raw and real. This is “Midnight Prayer,” just one of ten new songs that Brady Novotny’s Passions Collide brings to the table ready to slay your stereo mercilessly.

URL: https://www.bradynovotny.com/

“Midnight Prayer” isn’t the only slice of sonic heaven that you’ll find when scanning through these tracks driven by the gargantuan grooves of Mr. Brady Novotny. The intensity and bombastic beats have actually slowed down quite a bit by the time we reach this part of the album; after all, early on we’re beaten into the ground with the title track, taken for a trip to the southern dessert in “Cara Bella,” through Bayou swampland in “Heart’s Fire” and into a faraway psychedelic dimension with “Soul Harmony.” Passions Collidestarts off as heavy as an elephant and gradually finds its softer side, though I will say that its definition of “soft” and that of a Delilah-anchored radio station is, unequivocally, a bit different.

Personally I found “Ancient Romance,” the title track and the pensive “Blue Rose” to be the most evocative of the record. “Ancient Romance” alone is strong enough to build an entire album around, while the more modest “Blue Rose” carries so much emotion and angst that its lyrical content almost distracts us from really understanding its deeper, unspoken narrative. For being an LP that is all about guitars, there’s a poetic feeling to the music of Passions Collide that would exist whether there were vocalists appearing on it or not. I would argue that the instrumental songs are a touch more inspired than the ones that aren’t, but to say that this album is even the slightest bit fragmented would be an unquestionable falsehood of criminal proportions.

A true master of the six string like the guitar gods of old, Brady Novotny hits it out of the park in his new record and leaves an impression that audiences won’t soon forget. I hadn’t really heard much about Novotny prior to picking up this album for the first time and becoming entranced by its hypnotic sway, never ending swagger and incalculable appeal on a lazy afternoon when there’s nothing to do and nowhere to go, but you could definitely consider me a legit fan from this point on. Novotny is a dynamic player who doesn’t necessarily strike me as someone with a big agenda on the other side of his work. He plays for the sake of playing, and that doesn’t just make him a cut above his peers, it makes him a worthy role model for any young guitarist coming up in the music industry today.

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/bradynovotnyofficial/

Kim Muncie

John Vento releases new music

In thirteen elegantly produced tracks, John Vento invites us into his world of Love, Lust & Other Wreckage, while offering up some brooding confessions and inspiring balladry along the way. For fans of eclectic rock, Vento needs no introduction. The Pittsburgh-based performer has made a career out of never sticking to the script, and his attitude of constantly adapting and evolving his style of play has earned him a permanent place in the music industry’s maverick sector. Regardless of the artistic politics, Vento is an unquestioned master of his medium, dispensing insightful lyricism alongside endearing melodies that make songs like “Humble Way,” “Eye Candy,” “With You” and “Well Yeah Maybe” larger than life bridges to a colorful Americana of old. For musicians like Vento, anything less than premium audio isn’t fit for release, and this album adheres to that high standard wondrously.

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/pg/johnventomusic/posts/

They say that less is more, and in the plaintive “Just Don’t Care,” “Rainbows & Lightning” and the charming “Only Love Stays Alive,” that statement couldn’t be any truer. Vento doesn’t feel the need to dress these songs, or really any of what we find on Love, Lust & Other Wreckage, in a lot of studio-generated cosmetics. Were tracks like “Baby Blues,” “I’ll Be Still” or “I Hope I Don’t Fall in Love with You” outfitted with any sort of frills, I honestly don’t think they would be half as impactful as they are in the natural, somewhat understated form that they’re packaged and presented to us here. In an age of excess that rivals the 1980’s, it’s nice to see that some artists are investing more in their tonality than they are in bells and whistles.

Love, Lust & Other Wreckage never plays by any one set of rules; we get rolling with a harmonica-driven blues bruiser in “A Good Life Made,” swing through cerebral folk with “Let Me Down” and “Baby Blues,” wander into some sort of Nick Cave-style dirge that is unstoppably catchy in “Just Don’t Care,” and end up spacing out to the shoegaze-style sparkle of “Rainbows & Lightning” before falling into the jazzy skip of “Follow Your Heart.” Put simply, Vento wasn’t content to give up his wild man lifestyle behind the microphone just yet – I would even have to say, based on what I’ve heard here, that we’ve only just begun to see his carnal side (of which I can’t wait to experience more of).

DISCOGS: https://www.discogs.com/John-Vento-Love-Lust-Other-Wreckage/release/12710643

There’s so much to breakdown in this LP that I can’t see growing tired of its suffocating echo, insulated vocals that penetrate the thickest of guitar riffs, muscular EQ and multifaceted lyrics anytime soon. With all of the experimental-minded releases that we’ve seen in and outside of rock music lately, I was initially unsure of what to expect out ofLove, Lust & Other Wreckage, but to my delight John Vento kicks out some feverish jams that stir the soul with a bone-dry sonic finish that’s hard to get out of your mind once you’ve consumed it at maximum volume. I highly recommend this album and say with confidence that if you weren’t a Vento disciple before hearing it, you most likely will be afterwards.

Kim Muncie

Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout LP

With a name like Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout, this compilation of various artists performing music written by the legendary Rick Lang promises to get you on your feet and singing along to the bittersweet melodies of old Appalachia. Dave Adkins stops by to dish out the churn of “Thinkin’ Outside the Box” and the humble “There is a Light;” Marty Raybon takes up the mic with “I See God” and the plaintive “I’ve Read the Book;” Kenny and Amanda Smith poetically share “They Were Fisherman;” The Cox Family puts some polish on the self-explanatory “There Will Be Singing;” all under the watchful production eye of Jerry Salley, who also couldn’t help but partake in the musical festivities in the majority of these tracks.

DAVE ADKINS: https://daveadkinsmusic.com/2018/10/dave-adkins-sings-new-tune-from-the-pen-of-rick-lang/

As if all of that weren’t enough, those six songs only make up half of Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout. Americana runs wild in the strings of “Henry Clayton Parker” and the song that shares a name with the album, directed by the pipes of one Claire Lynch. The intoxicating vibrancy of these tracks is hypnotizing to put it mildly, and once you get into the guts of a track like “The Back of the Church” trying to press stop before finishing the rest of the record becomes next to impossible. This isn’t FM radio-ready pop music, but it’s definitely just as hook-laden and catchy.

None of these songs devolve into overindulgence; they avoid such tragedy by sticking to a lyrical narrative that cohesively holds all of the content together, despite the surface-level differences. Cosmetically, “Sunday Morning Gospel Jubilee” and “Don’t Tune Him Out” owe a lot to the same set of influences, but it’s when we listen even closer that we see how intricately structured each are outside of their praise-giving subject matter. The music keeps us glued to our speakers, but the words are what really get us to relate with the splendor of the material.

RICK LANG MUSIC: http://ricklangmusic.com/albums/gonna-sing-gonna-shout/

“Heaven’s Back Yard” and “Thinkin’ Outside the Box” remind me of a country music that doesn’t quite exist anymore and has been missed by critics and audiences alike ever since its departure. High Road’s “Heaven’s Back Yard” is built on a tender melody that feels homespun and honest. The lyrics are so illustrative that they literally take us to a back porch somewhere in secluded pastureland. Its track listing predecessor transcends the boundaries of bluegrass altogether, tapping into a Nashville twang that is heartbreakingly vivid and unafraid of its own identity. There’s no two ways about it; this is thoroughly engaging gospel music from top to bottom.

Filled with high caliber performances from equally high caliber artists that represent the best of the best, Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout is one record that is virtually guaranteed to leave anyone who listens to its twelve tracks feeling even more pleasant than they did beforehand. Gospel is an evocative style of music that has never relied on flash or showmanship to touch us where it counts, but in this album it’s reimagined with a boisterousness and virtuosity that is fresh and thrilling. Check out this LP and the amazing artists it brings together – I have a feeling you won’t regret it.

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/Gonna-Sing-Shout/dp/B07HNVJKM4