The second single from Patiently Awaiting the Meteorite’s album Canyon Diablo, “Strange Intuition”, accelerates the momentum the collaboration between producers/writers The Grand Brothers and singer/songwriter Dee generated with the album’s first single “Electrified”. The band cites a variety of influences for their material, but the latest single demonstrates no clear pedigree while still working well within the realm of electro-influenced rock. The hard-hitting, yet immensely stylish, approach to this single moves them further afield of the cookie cutter approach lesser outfits seize on as their entrance into the popular musical world, but Dee’s previous success with singles like “Miles and Miles (Living on the Edge)” and “Filter Factory” and the Grand Brothers’ track record as successful writers and producers proves to be a potent recipe for the outfit’s current and growing success. Continue reading “Patiently Awaiting the Meteorite – Strange Intuition”
Kazyak’s Reflection is the sort of album I think you’ll be able to keep returning for years to come and never fully exhaust its appeal. The band complied eight demos, b-sides, and outtakes to form this album, but this unlikely method for structuring anything more than a hodgepodge collection lacking rhyme or reason pays off, instead, for Kazyak in a big way. Patterns and connections aren’t always apparent in an artist’s work – a seemingly unrelated batch of songs may, long after their initial composition, assume different significance later on. There’s no question the songs included on this release share an over-arching consistency despite exploring wildly different styles. The uniting element is their daring. Kazyak excel at fundamentals, but they use that bedrock musical command to marry seemingly disparate styles into a cohesive whole. Continue reading “Kazyak release Reflection (LP)”
The smoldering reverse echo of a guitar rises from the ethers in the opening bars of Opposite Day’s “Day of the Triffids” as if to warn us that there’s an ocean of chaotic discord just waiting to be unleashed behind this fragile dam. A bass with the legs of a spider dexterously wanders between the strut of the riffs that are literally growing around us, and before we know it we’re smashed dead center between a crunchy modulation in the tempo and the focused assault of the band. Opposite Day’s Divide By Nothing gets off to a furious start, but it doesn’t let up in any of the five tracks it dispatches at listeners who are bold enough to embark on the group’s latest progressive adventure. Continue reading “Opposite Day release new Music”
In an era when dirge and depression seem to dominate the pop charts to the point of leaving no room for anything other than music celebrating the bleakness of society, folkie singer/songwriter Abby Zotz offers up a piece of pure optimism in her new album Local Honey, and it couldn’t be coming at a more significant time. In all of the gloom and doom of modern music, a record as remarkably uplifting as Local Honey shines as bright as a shooting star and get us excited about the vibrancy of pop once more. Divided into eleven tracks that each contain a different element of Zotz’ sterling creative persona, this album is a must listen for anyone who has been feeling down and out about life and could use a little musical pick-me-up to get through the day. She might not be a household name yet, but if given the right platform I have a feeling that audiences from Canada and beyond are going to have a tough time resisting the charming harmonies and relatable lyrics of this up and coming pop sensation. Continue reading “Abby Zotz – Local Honey”
Saint Jaimz’s vocals immediately bring you into his world and heart and he isn’t even singing. Instead, “AWOL (Absent Without Love”) begins with Jaimz’s spoken word voice in a brief introduction that sets an early mood. This is near torch song R&B, a reflective rumination on the descent of a relationship holding together by pure inaction and long past its sell by date. It’s all part of Jaimz’s purpose in songwriting, to engage meaningful themes and stories through which he can communicates messages of intense personal meaning for him. He backs up those efforts with an equally strong commitment, evident in each second of this song, to marrying those messages to rich musical arrangements instead of glorified vehicles for his point of view. It’s the latest and greatest in a string of singles for this Californian and Army veteran. His intense personal commitment to the music reflects the wisdom he’s gleaned overcoming a number of trials in life and it gives his songwriting, even in its darkest moments, an affirmative slant all his own. Continue reading “Saint Jaimz release AWOL (Absent Without Love)”
Of every genre in modern music, R&B is arguably the most eclectic in its body of artists. From soul crooners to the furious high tech beats of club DJs, R&B has become a blanket term for virtually every kind of music that incorporates smooth, dance-inspired rhythms with the sizzle and brooding tinge of the blues. Mikey See, a rising star in the west coast indie pop scene, has often been described as one of R&B’s more experimentally minded young voices, and his single “Love My Body” definitely lives up to his burgeoning reputation as one of the most fearless artists in the entire genre. If urban music is truly in need of a hero right now, one won’t give in to the commercial interests of big marketing firms and archaic establishment figures who don’t want to see music progress unless it involves making a whole lot of money in the process, Mikey See is nominating himself for the position, and singles like this one are definitely enough to fuel his campaign. Continue reading “Mikey See releases “Love My Body” (single)”
The Silent Wish is a new, joint album from extreme flutist Bill McBirnie and jazz magnate Bernie Senensky, but to say it’s simply another record would be the understatement of the decade. The Silent Wish is a 12 song journey into the heart and soul of Canadian jazz as played like no others can, and if you’ve got the sonic capacities to take the leap, this listening experience is one you won’t soon regret. I’ve never been the biggest jazz fan in the world, but this album was so addictively hypnotizing I can’t help but nominate it for album of the year. Continue reading “Bill McBirnie releases “Silent Wish” (LP)”
Countrified singer/songwriter James Lee Baker has become quite the cult favorite of the Midwestern indie folk and alternative country circuits over the last couple of years, and with his new album Home Again audiences worldwide finally have the opportunity to experience his ethereal charms in all of their magnetic glory. Divided into ten equally stylish tracks produced with the upmost care and attention to detail, Home Again is a supremely affectionate look at one of America’s most talented young songwriters in the prime of his career and ready to take on the whole planet one epic song at a time.
If any critics need confirmation of Baker’s incredible abilities as both a master composer and a skilled vocalist, I’d have to point them in the direction of Home Again’s “Disappear for the Weekend,” which is easily one of its most fascinating highpoints. Showcasing its songwriter’s knack for generating catchy hooks out of otherwise simple structures, “Disappear for the Weekend” might be the best candidate for a lead single from this record thanks to its memorable chorus and freewheeling beat. It’s far from the only alluring track on Home Again, but its strength alone makes the record a more than worthy acquisition.
James Lee Baker’s music is quite exotic in comparison to his peers and he incorporates a variety of intriguing influences into his sound. There’s a touch of rock n’ roll tenacity in his guitar play, but it isn’t laced with pomp or bravado. The same can be said for his country music edge, which is only implied through the twang of his instrumentation and not in the concentration of his subject matter. If you’re in the market for a predictable album that recycles the same themes and song designs as its contemporaries, you’d better look somewhere other than Home Again, which is possibly the most original album I’ve heard in years.
In the song “The First Time,” James Lee Baker shows us that he can shift the tempo towards a more sensitive, loving side without losing the vibrant energy that drives his more anthemic songs. The textured harmony between Baker’s voice and the backing band in “The First Time” is a fine example of his ability to mesh with any different set of musicians, regardless of style or background. Performers like him don’t concern themselves as much with the rules of songwriting as they do making impressive melodies at any cost, and we as an audience benefit from this attitude immensely in the resulting content.
After listening to Home Again a number of times in the last week in preparation for writing this article I came to the conclusion that the only way Baker could top this record would be to take it out on the road and play it live – which is exactly what he’s doing right now. This album would make for an amazingly nimble set list in concert, and I can’t think of any artist more adept and able to express its narrative than James Lee Baker. His devotion to his medium is evident in every note he pens, and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with for us next.
In his first extended play and fourth overall release, entitled Rusty Strings, Peruvian singer/songwriter Brown Kid struts with a swaggering confidence through a plethora of colorful material that is instantly memorable and contagiously optimistic. Rusty Strings sees Brown Kid’s signature style of easy going folk music and reggae-influenced pop advancing to a new level of conciseness and clarity that was hinted at in previous releases but comes to fruition in this latest offering, which could be described as his most streamlined and polished record to date. In the six songs it contains, audiences are given front row seats to a spectacle of audiological wonderment they won’t soon forget. Continue reading “Brown Kid – Rusty Strings (EP)”
California indie rockers Dangermaker unleash their most musically sophisticated album to date in Run, a twelve track smorgasbord of textured sonic bliss that will change the way you think about modern pop. Dangermaker have been quietly building up a cult following on the west coast over the last few years, and their latest record sees their sound evolving into a full color kaleidoscope of rich melodies that are unparalleled in 2018. I had the chance to listen to Run ahead of its October 5th domestic release date and was absolutely enamored with every stitch of brilliant audio it contained. Even if you’re not familiar with Dangermaker, this record will make you an instant fan of their unique blend of spacey psychedelic pop and primal post-punk nimbleness. Continue reading “Dangermaker unleash their most musically sophisticated album”