Category: REVIEWS

CD and DVD reviews

Jeri Silverman – ‘Leaflike’

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South African born singer/songwriter Jeri Silverman is cut from familiar cloth. The texture of her multi-faceted talents, however, differ enough that she deserves consideration as more than just another competent member of a particular musical school. She is working well within the same traditions established by iconic trailblazers like Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks, but her…

Dak – “2 Face”

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Thoughtful and elegantly executed, Dak’s “2 Face” presents brilliant poetic pop. Dak carefully crafts his lyrics, presenting a hopeful look at the world determining exactly what the deeper meaning in life may be. By accompanying these questions of life with a tasteful hybrid of jazz and hip hop the songs are given just the right…

Chris Murphy – ‘Surface to Air’

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Chris Murphy’s quarter century long journey as a professional musician embodies the idea of calling versus vocation. There’s a tremendous amount of hard work and routine that professional musicians, like any laborer, endures to deliver their product. It isn’t uncommon to hear many veteran musicians say that they’re paid for their travel; the gigs are…

Lynne Taylor Donovan – “The Strong One”

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Canadian singer, Lynne Taylor Donovan’s new single, The Strong One is making waves, sitting on HotDisc at number 1 for 3 weeks straight & has been in the top 10 for 7 weeks. She has an old school country appeal and her voice takes you back in time when country music was ruled by the…

Cage & Co – ‘Tyneside On My Mind’

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Sweet and succinct, Cage & Co’s “Tyneside On My Mind” is a tender ballad. Full of love the song’s core rests within its articulate highly thoughtful lyrics. Passionately delivered the song shoots for the heavens and lands among the stars. The arrangement is impeccable kept to the absolute essentials and completely engrossing. By opting for…

Ave Emi – “Faux Hearts” EP

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Effortlessly blending elements of pop, hip hop, RnB and soul, Ave Emi’s “Faux Hearts EP” is a pure joy. With a sound at times reminiscent of Frank Ocean the songs glisten. Attention to detail, from the smooth melodies, crystal clear vocals, and casual grooves result in a perfect kind of harmony. Lyrically the songs serve…

The Energy – “When We Were Young”

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Hailing from Brooklyn, NY, The Energy is a five part rock band with a unique sound. With over a decade of experience, The Energy has been featured in countless publications, including MTV, ESPN, and much more. They’ve also been cosigned by many talented artists, including going on the road with 3 Doors Down. Now The…

Ki-Mani ft Fat Trel – “TDAU (Tear Dat Ass Up)”

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“TDAU (Tear Dat Ass Up)” is an immaculately produced, hard-hitting club banger showing off Ki-Mani and Fat Trel’s undeniable skill. Volume is an absolute must as the bass is physical in nature. Rhythms dominate anchoring the entire thing. Serving as the heart of the song are the vocals, which are perfectly smooth. Lyrics are playful,…

Grant Lyle – “Nu”

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Grant Lyle’s “Nu” taps into the sweetest kind of style, of a lovely languid form of classic rock. Throughout the album Grant Lyle’s voice resonates clearly. By far the heart of the album is Grant Lyle’s soulful approach to the guitar. With an incredible range from the atmospheric to the straight-up pure blues influenced rock…

Sam Crooks – ‘What a Shame’ EP

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Cool and casual, Sam Crooks creates an inviting deprecating piece of work on “What a Shame EP”. Displaying a true knack for storytelling the songs move on ever so leisurely helping to further emphasize the overall introspective tenor of the sound. With a sound reminiscent of the Sea and Cake’s mellow jazz tinged airy pop,…

Tod Hughes – “Time Slow Down”

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Sung straight from the heart, Tod Hughes recalls past singer songwriter storytellers like Bob Dylan and Neil Young with “Time Slow Down”. His attention to detail is exquisite in terms of the impeccable arrangements and the poetic lyricism. Throughout it all Tod Hughes sensitive voice and keen observation helps to give these songs great power.…

Broke Royals – ‘The Luxury of Time Pt. III’

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Based out of the Washington D.C. area, Broke Royals is a two piece band formed in 2014 by multi-instrumentalists Phillip Basnight and Colin Cross. The band’s music defies neat categorization. There’s an underlying rock aesthetic to the band’s work that has allowed them to share bills with a classic rock institution like Lynyrd Skynyrd, but…

Keith Hines Production X Tammi T – “Dance with a Stranger”

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Immaculately produced by Keith Hines, Tammi T’s “Dance with a Stranger” is an incredible ode to the power of house music. Tammi T’s voice rises above tying everything together with fiery passion. Attention to detail is absolutely stunning from the physicality of the bass to the crisp handclaps. What truly serves as the heart and…

Bruce Mountain Band – “Another Day Lost”

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Bruce Mountain Band’s “Another Day Lost” offers a modern update of classic psychedelic rock. Their adherence to the sound is admirable: from the fuzzed out guitars to the endless heavy grooves, they keep on driving forward. Akin to similarly structured latter-day driving psychedelic rockers like Wooden Shjips, Bruce Mountain Band is a force of nature.…

Secret Season – ‘Love is the Only Game in Town’

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Franco/American duo Secret Season, featuring multi-instrumentalist Mark Moogalian and vocalist/keyboardist/flutist Isabelle Risacher, have released four albums since their 2011 debut with On Our Own. Their latest release Love is the Only Game in Town carries on the band’s tradition of writing intelligent alternative music drawing from an array of influences. The album’s twelve tracks are…

Midwest Rhythm Exchange – ‘Take Me Home’

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Delicate and refined, Midwest Rhythm Exchange create a warm intimate sound on “Take Me Home”. With lilting lovely melodies the songs shine through full of confidence. The intermingling of a wide variety of styles from jazz to country to folk and everything in between. Such an approach, especially when coupled with their thoughtful lyricism, is…

Jan Cavier – “January” (single)

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Originally from Northern California, Cavier (pronounced “cav-AIR”) has been based in Phoenix, AZ for several years and up until recently was performing as Alan Clark in atmospheric pop duo EyeTalk. Over the course of ten years and five albums, this venture saw Cavier’s music reach audiences as far-flung as Italy, the UK, and Australia. After…

Uncle Tadashi & Da Boyz – “Happiness, Laughter & Joy”

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Cheerful to its very core, “Happiness, Laughter & Joy” shows Uncle Tadashi & Da Boyz tapping into a sense of optimism that comes only after such a long journey. The sense of purpose that home can bring is one that cannot be replicated easily. By growing up one gains perspective on what truly made their…

Jackpot Luck Feat Gary Bonanni

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JackPot Luck is the solo side-project of multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Gary Bonanni. Bonnani and his wife, LiLach, have worked the previous ten years together in their band Just Married, releasing three albums and touring the United States, Canada, Europe and Israel. Gary, who is a seasoned musician, has been working on this solo outing of…

The Afteraffects – “RushHour” EP

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Stylish to its very core, the AfterAffects create a compelling piece of work with the kaleidoscopic color of the “Rush Hour EP”. The range of sounds varies coming from found sounds to jazz to house, with electro tying all of it together. Everything feels positively lush in nature from the hard-hitting percussion to the the…

Version5 – “Take you There”

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Version 5 has set the rock music scene ablaze with their new EP “Take You There”. Brothers Spencer and Andy Olson have a musical bond that is stronger than blood. Their synergy is apparent in this EP with its sparse lyrics and larger than life guitar riffs. Version 5 brings a twist to traditional rock,…

Swift Creek – ‘Magnolia’

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Hailing from North Carolina, Swift Creek makes a splash on the country music scene with their new album “Magnolia”. Swift Creek is a five-part group, featuring Kevin Brown, Dennis Hoyle, Casey Elder, Stephen Fraleigh, and Ann Searcy. In addition to their riveting vocals, they also play a wide range of instruments including a banjo, mandolin,…

bitter’s kiss – “Love Won’t Make You Cry”

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Bitter’s Kiss “Love Won’t Make You Cry” is angelic in tone. Execution throughout the collection is flawless as the pieces hit a perfect indie-pop balance. Delicate in nature everything simply works well from the carefully considered lyrics to the passionate vocal delivery. Throughout the collection Bitter’s Kiss lets the songs interact creating a beautiful sea…

Athena – ‘Ready For The Sun (Part 1)’

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Sunny and satisfying is the spirited work of Athena’s “Ready For The Sun (Part 1)”. Vocals serve as the heart and center of the collection. Athena pays close attention to her lyrics letting them focus on the philosophical thoughts that so often define a life. The sound itself is steeped in country rock in the…

Troy Lindsey Feat Eden Moody – “Runners”

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Music is a labor of love for Troy Lindsey. His talent is displayed and celebrated in this lovely duet with Eden Moody called, Runners. It is a sentimental ditty about love lost. It tugs at your heart strings and puts you right in the moment of each singer as they spill their turmoil out on…

Barton – ‘Simple Songs’

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After a four-year hiatus, Barton returns to the music scene with the release of his second solo project “Simple Songs”. Barton is an original member of the 1990’s bands Petal and Suntribe, who he played with for several years. Afterwards, he took a break to focus on his solo projects. Barton, a Portland, Oregon native,…

Fire In The Field – ‘Look So Strange’

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Fire In The Field’s “Look So Strange” reveals its heart and soul as blues mixed with rock n’ roll. With a classic rock sound accompanied by a slow burning fiery passion these songs recall a sweeter more stylish time in pop. Everything works from the incredible emotional vocal delivery to the rollicking rhythms right down…

Dan Isbell – “Father’s Day (My Superman)”

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Dan Isbell’s “Father Day” is a tender country ode to the power of fathers. Sung straight from the heart the song unfurls slowly. A narrative forms from the careful details of a life lived fully. Vocals are delivered with the utmost of familial affection, deep, resonant and crystal clear. By keeping the song to the…

Cool Company – “Summer Daze”

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Cool Company’s “Summer Daze EP” taps into a summery form of nostalgia. With a distinct chillwave vibe reminiscent of Washed Out and Toro Y Moi, the songs effortlessly tie a multitude of styles into a satisfying whole. Elements of hip-hop, soul, and funk work in unison to explore lovely textures. Full of leisurely melodies, laid…

Jeff White – ‘Right Beside You’

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Some of popular music’s best sidemen languish in mainstream obscurity throughout their careers. They earn the respect of their peers, profit from their talents, and leave behind a body of work that often casts a significant musical influence over future generations. However, these sidemen are rarely emboldened or afforded the opportunity to occupy the spotlight…

De’Lise – “Matters”

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De’Lise creates a beautiful song sung straight from the heart on the tender “Matters”. Everything is kept to the absolute essentials with the song delivered in an intimate hushed whisper. From the chorus to the light yet soulful piano work the entire song comes together ever so gradually. Hints of bass enter into the fray…

Soles Of Passion – ‘Escape From Jurisdiction B’

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With drive and energy, Soles of Passion’s “Escape From Jurisdiction B” is a clever concise album. Intricate in detail the sound is a mixture of shoegaze, country, and progressive rock. By weaving together such a wide variety of sounds the songs teem with life. Vocals are the right level of sweetness, ruminating over the state…

3Bubble & J.Gray – “Live From the Pentagon”

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3Bubble & J. Gray’s “Live From the Pentagon” nicely ties together elements of funk, jazz, hip hop and pop into a satisfying whole. Reminiscent of Outkast’s style the songs are colorful vibrant pieces feeling fully alive. Pop culture references flow out of the duo, showing off their impressive delivery. Intelligent, thoughtful lyrics are the true…

Bongo Boy Records – ‘Backroom Blues Volume Two’

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Opening up the collection with a fiery guitar lick is the satisfying blues of Jeanne Lozier’s “Beg and Plead”. Her voice simply soars deep, resonant, and full of passion. The song is intense, raw, and straight from the heart. Everything works from the steady rhythm to the wild guitar soloing. A nimble classic rock introduction…

Lexxica – “Hearts Collide”

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Based out of Los Angeles, Lexxica is a singer/songwriter who believes the best music embodies personal experience rather than functioning as pure product. Her upcoming sophomore EP plans to put forth another solid blend of EDM styles like electro, dubstep, and house that relies on melody and hooks alike to leave an impression on the…

Ray Goren – ‘Save My Soul’

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Ray Goren’s “Save My Soul” taps into the heart and soul of the blues. By tapping into rock’s origins Ray Goren creates the perfect kind of sound one that updates its beginnings in the best most respectful kind of way. His guitar chops are impressive as is his backing band that seems to fit his…

Michael Flanigan – “Old Photo”

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Played with passion, Michael Flanagan’ “Old Photo” is an unforgettable piece with fire in its belly. From the blistering guitar to the insistent rhythm the song refuses to let up. Throughout the piece Michael Flanagan appears to have the sound grow ever larger and more intricate. Layer upon layer of sound is woven together to…

Dingwall – ‘Mad Ones’ EP

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With smooth silky vocals, Dingwall’s “Mad Ones EP” is a passionate polished piece of pop. Production values are astounding as Dingwall opts for nimble dub-influenced structures akin to that of Andy Stott. Brittle textures skitter across as the bass hits in just the right way. Melodies glisten throughout the collection as they further emphasize the…

Sarantos – “Tired Of Being Scared”

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Sarantos creates a lush piece of pop with “Tired of Being Scared”. With a wide variety of textures being brought to the fray Sarantos explores a soulful sound. The chorus hits all the right notes offering a luxurious approach. Infinitely catchy the song grows ever larger, with a particularly satisfying buildup. Rhythms are driving as…

Bryan Deister – “Spines of the Heart”

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Bryan Deister’s “Spines of the Heart” searches for the light in the darkness. These songs are brittle beautiful fragments sung straight from the heart. Haunting melodies dominate the album as they effortlessly mesh with the industrial washed grey rhythms. By implementing such a tremendous amount of power Bryan Deister’s voices feels akin to him singing…