Dario Distasi “Stuck In Here”

Dario Distasi is able to make a wholly unique track in Stuck In Here. Echoing vocals, deliberate drums, and a chunky bass combine to make for something that could easily slot onto rock rotation or radio stations. Dario’s vocals on Stuck In Here come forth from the mid-oughts emo and post-hardcore scenes; there are traditional harmonies here but they are infused with a bit of punky weariness. Stuck In Here covers a lot of ground over the course of 3:20, providing listeners with a solid introduction to Distasi’s music. Perfectly polished, this single is something that we’ll be playing through the spring here at NeuFutur headquarters.

Dario Distasi “Stuck In Here” / Facebook / Twitter /

MariBased1 – Bouncin

MariBased1 has went back to 1990s California rap with his new cut, Bouncin. The track has a lush backing beat that builds off of the Dr. Dre-styled production of The Chronic, while MariBased1’s flow brings in hints of Too Short and E-40. Bouncin is an infectious track, tattooing its melodies and lyrics deep into the psyche of listeners. Focused, with a visual style that is tremendously reverent of Ice Cube, Master P, and Mr. 3-2, MariBased1 is able to break from current rap artists and make something that truly resonates through the entirety of the style.

We last covered MariBased1 back in November of 2018.

MariBased1 – Bouncin Facebook / Instagram /

Michael Bright “Heartache”

Michael Bright’s Heartache is a sultry, chill R&B track that immediately will impress fans with alluring instrumentation, charismatic vox, and a production that is on par with radio fare. With stylistic nods to Ne-yo, Chris Brown, and Jason DeRulo, Bright is able to tie the past to the present. With even a brief tinge of the New Jack Swing style of Jodeci / Boys II Men and gospel interspersed here, Michael has ensured that the widest possible swath of fans will be able to dig what’s going on with Heartache. Check out the video below the jump and let us know what you think.

Michael Bright “Heartache” / Instagram /

Cleo Alexandra “Who Can It Be Now”

Cleo Alexandra takes the Men at Work classic Who Can It Be Now and add a bit of hard rock, industrial, and gothic flair into the mix. The darkly emotive vocals laid down here by Cleo are matched well through a feature by Rick Springfield. While enough of the spirit of the original is contained in this re-tooling, the Fear Factory meets Linkin Park sequencing spins this off in a bold new direction. Cracking electricity and sizzling guitar work further bolster the effort, ensuring that listeners will be singing Cleo’s lyrics long after the single ceases to play.

Cleo Alexandra “Who Can It Be Now” ft. Rick Springfield / Facebook / Instagram /

Broncho “Big City Boys”

On their new single Big City Boys, Broncho is able to make a hauntingly beautiful alt-rock track. Replete with synths and a 1980s new wave-inspired demeanor, Big City Boys stands boldly above the rest of the college rock fare currently being released. What is perhaps the strongest side of Big City Boys has to be the vocals; pulling double duty in providing listeners with a narrative as well as adding a further level of harmony to an already deep and detailed effort. The visuals, shot entirely on iPhone, do well to further contextualize the story contained within the track.

Broncho “Big City Boys” / Domain

Shadow Puppet Theatre “Mystery Girl” and “John Doe”

Mystery Girl is an introspective, beautiful rock track that builds off of the influences of the Counting Crows and Audioslave. Charisma drips off of the vocals on SPT’s newest, while audiophiles will be able to continue to find new twists and turns even five or ten plays in.

On John Doe, Shadow Puppet Theatre adds a bit of funk and Red Hot Chili Pepper rock/funk styles. With just a bit of gritty, blues-infused vocals standing on the top of the effort, SPT is able to make a cut that effortlessly links a variety of styles. Check out the videos embedded on this page.

Shadow Puppet Theatre “Mystery Girl” and “John Doe” / Facebook / Instagram

Seth Walker – Are You Open? (Royal Potato Family)

For his 10th studio album, Seth Walker dug deep inside for inspiration and managed to turn in one of his most personally vulnerable efforts to date. Covering both love and loss, lyrically he covers some of the most honest territory yet in his two-decade long career.

The album kicks off with two soulful tracks, “Giving It All Away and the more funked up “Inside,” both solid tracks, but not nearly as inspired as what follows. By the time he gets to the stunningly beautiful title track, a number that lyrically lays bare his vulnerability, the record pivots to a far more compelling product. Tracks like “Hard Road,” which could easily have fit beside any song off of Paul Simon’s epic Graceland, and “No Bird” find that Walker clearly soaked up plenty of the city’s vibe when he moved to New Orleans several years ago.

The bulk of the songs that close out the album manage to flirt with Americana, Blues and even hints of Gospel for a slightly uneven, but ultimately remarkable 10th album.  

Seth Walker – Are You Open?/10 tracks/Royal Potato Family/2019 /Facebook

Ron Louis Smith II – Need It Tonight

Need It Tonight is a robust track that shows the raw passion and charisma of Ron Louis Smith. On his latest single, Smith is able to pull double duty in adding further complexity to the instrumentation while setting up the story of close comfort that is told here. We’re in love with the layered approach that is taken on Smith’s current cut, which ensures that listeners will be able to play Need It Tonight multiple times to hear every twist and turn that has been placed in the background.

Of particular note has to be the bass line that rises and falls at all the right points, laid down by Rick Finch (K.C. and the Sunshine Band). Need It Tonight works perfectly alongside 1970s funk and more modern interpretations of the style (e.g. Chromeo).

Ron Louis Smith II – Need It Tonight / Amazon / Spotify

Jonny Polonsky – Unreleashed: Demos and Rarities 1996 – 2018 (CD/Vinyl)

Although it took Jonny Polonsky more than two decades to put out five records, the LA, by way of Chicago, cult pop artist apparently harbored a bunch of songs none of us were ever privy to. As a follow up to last year’s Fresh Flesh, Polonsky is offering up 21 rarities for his patient fans and it appears the wait was worth it.

This set spans the full 22 years since his fantastic debut, Hi, My Name is Jonny, (an album that sat alone on the merch table for eight long years before Polonsky finally turned in the follow up) and last year’s solid LP.  

Like most compilation albums, especially one with close to two dozen tracks, not everyone here is destined to be a fan favorite, but the record starts of strong with two of his best songs yet, the deceptively dark “Everywhere All the Time” and “Do You Remember”. Overall, the cache here is in keeping with Polonsky’s brilliant marriage of lyrical wittiness and smart catchy pop music.  He also excises some of his quirkier musical impulses here on songs like the Samba/Wah Wah-filled “Black Rainbow.”

Unreleashed is available on a special vinyl gatefold edition, with a limited run of colored vinyl. And while the vinyl version houses 18 tracks, the digital and CD versions include three extra songs. 

 Jonny Polonsky – Unreleashed : Demos and Rarities 1996 – 2018/Jett Plastic Recordings /2018 / Facebook

Pezzettino – Resin

Pezzettino – Resin, is an artistic album by an equally artistic trio of musicians led by Margret Stutt (who goes by Pezzettino). Resin in the 11th album by this interesting group now based out of Oakland, CA, but came from as far as NY and Wisconsin to ultimately bring it to the west coast. Stutt plays classical piano, sings and plays accordion, with Carly Bond (guitars, synth, clarinet, vocals), and Andrew Maguire (percussion, drums), all making an equal team effort to these songs which tend to go together as each one plays out like a story if you catch the clues.

BANDCAMP: https://pezzettino.bandcamp.com/album/resin

Don’t hesitate to delve into the collection of songs like a storyline because even though the songs stand out on their own individual merit, they do have a running theme which becomes obvious if not already given away by the titles. “Home” is where it all begins and ends, so it naturally leads the pack of songs, but by no means has a lead single appeal. That is something which belongs more to songs in the middle of the album, but the second “wikiHow” is there to help guide you through it with a strongly suggestive tune. Rest assured this is where it starts to take off and get interesting.

The intensity picks up as it goes, but “If You’re Listening,” definitely- holds some of the highest songwriting and playing levels to be heard out of these tracks. It sets the bar for a few others too, and it does so with pure simplicity but massively good effects from a mostly bare ambience with a melancholy vocal delivery. If that isn’t enough, “Falling Down” might even be a slightly better song to go with it all with certainly one of the album’s finest tracks. Either way it’s something to be very proud of, and there’s nothing you can take away from that at the end of the day. It helps peel away life’s bad layers and freshly replace them in the process of falling for someone.

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

“How To” gets a little more seemingly robotic at first, but it’s succeeded by its own greatness as it unfolds into another great song which shows the prowess of Stutt without sounding too clinical or stale and actually- clocks in with the better tracks in my opinion. But there’s also tracks like “Virginia” which get plenty of respect but might be more personal oriented when fairly compared to some others but if you’re following it all comes out in the mix.

“Shower Song” finds itself as properly placed as the rest, which pretty much results in getting closer to the end of a day in the life and gets even a little more personal-space oriented, but that voice keeps anyone interested and it does bring things to another point with the next track always connected somehow to the one before it. And after all the question asked in the prior track, “Sleepless” makes all the sense in the world before ‘Cloudy Covers” take you away. Resin is not just a great album, but Pezzettino should be globally discovered by now.

Kim Muncie