Gabby B “Loot”

Loot is a bouncy, robust track that builds upon the tradition of performers like Ciara and Beyonce. Gabby B’s vocals will immediately draw listeners in while an intense backing beat make this the perfect track for the mall, dance floor, or anywhere in between. Londynn B’s feature on Loot is able to keep things popping at max speed while hitting high-water marks for the single. Loot is a single that gives listeners nary a chance to breathe. With lyrical content that anyone that aspires to be the queen of the mountain will understand, Gabby B’s latest seems destined to garner rotation and playlist placement.

Gabby B “Loot” / Domain /

Chelzzz “Somewhere In Miami”

Chelzzz comes forth with some intense bars on her latest cut, Somewhere in Miami. With a backing beat that brings late-oughts Jeezy and Rick Ross, Somewhere In Miami succeeds in pushing Chelzzz’s rap and pop cred. The 2:115 mark indicates a different section for the single as the backing beat fades a bit into the periphery. By showcasing Chelzzz’s flow, this middle section resets listeners’ expectation. Another shift into a booming conclusion will tattoo the sound and inimitable approach of Chelzzz deep into the mind and psyche of anyone that has tuned in. We’re expecting big things from this performer in the second quarter of 2020.

Chelzzz “Somewhere In Miami”  / Domain /

Laney Lynx “Bad Attitudes”

On Bad Attitudes, Laney Lynx is able to make the approach of Vitamin C and Mandy Moore sparkle with an entirely new veneer. Lynx has a coyness to her vocals that are bolstered through the laid-back sequencing and synths. As Bad Attitudes moves to the chorus, Laney is able to build up the momentum and keep butts firmly planted on the edges of their seats. The switch over to a more sedate section at around the 2:15 to 2:30 mark sets the stage for a glorious conclusion. Give the video for Bad Attitudes a spin and let us know what you think about Laney Lynx’s latest.

Laney Lynx “Bad Attitudes” / Domain /

Kick 5000 – Birthday (Ice Mix)

Kick 5000 has just released a new single, Birthday. This hard-hitting, rapid fire flow will immediate turn heads. With hints of Migos and The Game acting as a backdrop upon which Kick 5000 can further add his own flair, this single could easily slot onto rap rotation just as it will bounce around hip-hop aficionados’ playlist. As Birthday moves towards its chorus, the bit of echo that is included into the mix provides further variation in an already-dense effort. Fans will continue to find new twists and turns even five or ten plays into Birthday. The cadence that Kick 5000 reaches in the last minute is some of the most infectious we’ve heard from his neck of the woods.

We previously covered Kick 5000’s For 6 back in January.

Kick 5000 – Birthday (Ice Mix) / Soundcloud /

stAlkid – Dreams in the Witch House

Dreams in the Witch House is a haunting piece of lo-fi indie rock, given a bold new turn with sequenced percussion and a haunting demeanor. stAlkid’s vocals come from a distinct place than the backing instrumentation, ensuring that the whole composition has a stark sound. This means that fans will be eagerly devouring what follows; subsequent movements in the track blend a dark and brooding synth with sizzling guitar work. Dreams in the Witch House ends emphatically with repeated vocal harmonies. This step keeps things fresh as fans continue to delve ever further into stAlkid’s new release, Spooky Tunes, for Lovers and the Dead.

stAlkid – Dreams in the Witch House / Facebook /

Aradia – ‘No One Can Stop You’

No One Can Stop You calls back to the synth-pop of performers like Tiffany and Debbie Gibson. There’s an insistent synth / percussion backdrop upon which the hopeful vocals of Aradia lay. The single could easily be the theme for any 1980s teen flick. By hitting all the highs of a Scandal or Suzi Quatro, Aradia is able to put a bit of current sheen on a timeless style. No One Can Stop You hits on all cylinders with on-point drums, confident guitars, and vocals that will stick with fans long after the song ceases to play. Hope to hear more from Aradia in 2020.

Aradia – ‘No One Can Stop You’ / Domain / Facebook /

Renay – “Pure Love”

Wanna Share is the opening effort on Renay’s new album, Pure Love. The effort will immediately draw fans in with the unique melange of pop, dance, and ambient / atmospheric styles. While the song is draped in the mid-to-late 1990s style of performers like Christina Aguilera and Madonna, there’s a vibrancy that permeates this single that will have it hang nicely with other songs climbing the charts. Inspire Me is a sea change from Wanna Share, coming forth with an insistent EDM effort that spans a range from dubstep to Spinnin’ Records acts. The charisma of Renay’s vox here allow her to move into some intense vocal sections without impacting the crossover potential of the composition.

Pure Love slows things up well, linking Renay’s narrative ability with a bit of a tribal dance sound. Fans will have their psyche and heart imprinted by Renay’s voice here, as she is able to effortlessly pull double duty in contributing to the song’s melody while telling participants a story that anyone can appreciate.

This Ride shatters the conception that late-album tracks are necessarily weaker than what is slotted first. This cut has the instrumental and vocal sides gradually cede the spotlight to one another. What results here is an earnest and honest single that touches upon Corinne Bailey Rae or India.Arie, if not back to the late-90s work of Mariah Carey. Butterfly is the final composition on Pure Love, beginning slowly before moving into a fairly robust pop/dance track. It is this holistic approach that acts as a bow, wrapping up the album like a present. We’re excited to hear more from Renay in the months and years to come; give her Facebook a spin if you’d like to experience more of her music.

Top Tracks: Wanna Share, Inspire Me

Rating: 8.6/10

Renay – “Pure Love” / 2020 Asteria Records / 9 Tracks / Facebook / Domain /

John Moreland – LP5 (Old Omens/Thirty Tigers)

On his aptly titled fifth album, LP5, Oklahoma’s John Moreland still hues closely to his trademark, introspective songs laced over a satisfying blend of modern Americana and folk that flirts with punk rock candor. But he also manages to deviate a bit from the tried and true with a little musical experimentation for one of his strongest records to date.

This also happens to be the first album Moreland has worked with an outside producer, bringing in Matt Pence whose divergent resume includes work with everyone from Jason Isbell to the Breeders. That confidence to stretch out musically can be heard throughout, like on the wah wah guitar lines of “A Thought Is Just A Passing Train” or the organ that opens “East October.”

But putting aside the strides he makes with experimental instrumentation on this outing, his lyrics are still the lynchpin to his allure and what sets him apart from most others. Whether singing about love (“When My Fever Breaks”) or losing a friend (“In Between Times”), Moreland’s knack for just the right turn of phrase has made him one of the strongest songwriters to come out of the Southwest in years.

Building on an already solid foundation, more than a decade in the making, LP5 finds Moreland improving on a formula that was already impressive to begin with.     

John Moreland – LP5/11 tracks/Old Omens & Thirty Tigers/2020

Flutist Patricia Lazzara’s releases Radiance LP

Patricia Lazzara’s flute duels with Kristin Johnson Dabaghian’s piano in “Woodland Sonatine.” It harmonizes with the alto melodies distributed by Steve Markoff in “Reflections of Radiance.” Lazzara finds the perfect vocal partner for “Ave Maria” and “Oblivion” in soprano Jessica Davila, while in “Serenata,” not even the most vibrant of instrumental backdrops could distract us from her exquisite play in the center of the mix. Contrasting in tone and yet smoothly tied together by some top tier arranging skills, the album Radiance by Patricia Lazzara is, simply put, an engaging listen meant for classical aficionados more than it is anyone else, and although it was released some two years ago, it’s getting a second wind of attention on thanks to the strength of its mightily melodic content.

PRIMARY URL: https://www.patricialazzaraflutist.com/

There are no less than seventeen songs in Radiance’s tracklist, and while some of them – like “A Muse,” “Velvet Waltz,” “Portrait of Miss L” and “Adagio E Allegro,” for example – are more conventional in spirit than others – such as the aforementioned juggernaut “Oblivion,” “Sicilenne,” “Never Love Thee More” and the closing number “Salmon Lake” – there’s a lovely progression from one composition to the next that never allows for interruptions in the overall flow of the album. It’s often hard for classical artists to construct such fluidity in a record as large and in charge in style as this one is, but through Lazzara’s evenhanded aesthetical approach (and excellent collaborative efforts with the guest players here), she makes it look and sound all too easy.

Cellist Gerall Heiser, guitarist Darren O’Neill and harpist Kristy Chmura introduce a phenomenal string section in some of the more elaborately harmonious tracks on Radiance, and personally, I felt like their emotional investment is particularly evident in “Divagando” and “Sicilenne.” I would love to see a more liberal use of their talents in another collaborative record with Lazzara in the future, but if this ends up being one of the few occasions on which they make beautiful music together, I think it could end up being considered some of the best work that any of them have put down on record together. Chemistry is everything in music, and especially among classical outings, and it’s obvious to me that none of what we hear in Radiance is unnatural nor forced.

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/Radiance-Patricia-Lazzara/dp/B07DVGP9BQ

I’m just getting to know the extended catalogue of Patricia Lazzara’s music, but after getting hooked on this ninth studio album from her moniker, I can’t say that I’m not eager to hear a lot more out of her in the next couple of years. She manages the works of Carlos Franzetti, Maurizio Balzola, Daniel Dorff, Gary Schocker and Astor Piazzolla incredibly well in Radiance, and if this is just a taste of what’s to come in the 2020s, it’s hard to deny the fact that she should be regarded as among the more noteworthy classical artists to watch in the new decade. She’ll definitely be on my radar, and after you give Radiance a spin, I think she’ll be on yours as well.

Kim Muncie

Cliffs release 13 track LP “Panic Attack”

What is it about three-piece bands hold our attention? How do they slam all that sound into their music? In the grand tradition of Cream, Green Day, Motorhead, Nirvana, The Police and ZZ Top – to name a few – Dallas, Texas, has unleashed another wall-of-sound trio in the band, Clifffs. Out now via State Fair Records is the brutally tight Panic Attack.

Panic Attack has 13 tracks, starting with the first five, “Undone”, “Manatee”, “Into The Salt”, “You Are Freaking Out” and “It’s All Gone Wrong”. Not to be smug, but let’s just say if you’re looking for a go-get ’em cowboy song, these aren’t them. These songs are fury, these songs are punk. Much of the lyrics are repeated, as in the first track: “you know this can’t be undone, you know this can’t be undone” and you get the impression these songs are constant insecurities. It’s just an immediate reaction and the way that front man (and presumably songwriter) John Dufilho delivers the news, he’s pouring his ever-loving soul out to his listeners. He’s joined on bass by Andy Lester, with Bill Spellman at the drum kit. The rhythm section also takes the mics with backing vocals. These songs, while they touch on darker, cynical moods, make the listener feel alive.

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

The next five tracks, “I Might Try Physics”, “Gotta Fix This Now”, “Panic Attack”, “Dark Clouds” and “Drown The Thought” might better yet be too Sylvia Plath for some, but again, the brightness in the guitars just wash over the insecurities. It’s relatable. It’s real. In the title track, Dufilho has this echoey-way of singing “panic attack” and his “don’t know why” has this strange way of making him sound vulnerable, nearly childlike. The juxtaposition of the two are intriguing and the way he’s presented feels emblematic of the jumble in your head during a panic attack. That anxiety, man, it’s a bitch.

The final three tracks “Stipe”, “Tilt” and “Life” close out a very fine album. All of these songs on Panic Attack are just so tight with the constant barrage of bass, guitar and drums. These instruments play off each other like ping pong to a paddle. In the “Life” the band stakes its claim and sings over-and-over “we’re just getting started, we’re just getting started, just getting started.”

BANDCAMP: https://clifffs.bandcamp.com/

These songs capture the sound of ideas running around in your head. When you have a panic attack, this coming from first-hand experience, you do feel like sound is pelting you from every direction. All 13-tracks on Panic Attack have that insane power. Only, as a listener, you aren’t covering your ears and hoping they shut up. Crank this one loud, music lovers, Clifffs is a band worth jumping into. Fans of Green Day, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Hives, The White Stripes, The Strokes and The Vines and especially Nirvana,  looking to stir up their musical library will want to take a listen to these track with special consideration to the title track, “You Are Freaking Out”, “Stipe” and “Life”.

Kim Muncie