Category: REVIEWS

CD and DVD reviews

Chris St. John Releases ‘I Just Knew (with Leah Haley)’

Chris St. John delves into a blissful ode to love with “I Just Knew (with Leah Haley)”. Tender tones radiate throughout. The mixture of country and folk helps to lend the song an intimacy. Vocals intertwine to create this joyful story. Guitar work keeps things simple and effective. Every gesture is carefully considered. By far…

“It’s Amazing” by Brian Shapiro Band

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s Brian Shapiro Band first formed during the height of the pandemic and released their debut, All That We See, during the same period, but their second collection shows them remaining as urgent and inspired as ever. It’s Amazing features ten songs and a small cast of supporting guest musicians such as saxophonist Michael Brenner, piano…

@skopemag Review – ‘Black Hole Sun’ New Single By Marcelo Maccagnan

Marcelo Maccagnan delivers a truly unique take on Soundgarden’s classic hit with “Black Hole Sun”. The instrumental variety here means they infuse that classic grunge track with an unexpected and outright delightful amount of experimentation. Lots of the interplay feels quite spirited for they truly listen to each other. Quite psychedelic the song gains a…

@skopemag Review – Rob Eberle’s new song “Doubtful”

Rob Eberle delivers an experimental pop brilliance with “Doubtful”. There’s a flexibility here that is absolutely genius. Grooves here feature an elastic quality to them, for he stretches it all out in unexpectedly delirious ways. Everything here is game for getting distorted and distended into pure chaos. Vocals here veer from treated to untreated as…

Cary Shields Off to the Races with “Run Rabbit”

As soon as you hit play, the listener will be invited into an adventurous world where “Run Rabbit” reigns supreme. Cary Shields is a creative spirit who has composed a song that is full of spirit. Based in Kentucky, Cary is a talented singer/songwriter & drummer with a snappy tune in his hands called “Run…

‘You and McGregor’ by Deep Sea Peach Tree

NYC “sleepy surf rock” band Deep Sea Peach Tree, a project first concocted by Kristof Denis and enlisting friends Zack Pockrose and Andrew Dell Isola to complete the band, sound like Dick Dale transplanted into the early 21st century and loaded up on downers. The surf rock tendencies of the music are often obscured or…

@skopemag review – ‘Decisions (Remix)’ By Uncle Tadashi & Da Boyz

Uncle Tadashi & Da Boyz embrace a truly remarkable luscious sound with “Decisions (Remix)”. The instrumental variety has a grandeur to it, and they offer a wide spectrum of styles. Saxophone, bass, ambient washes, all of these come through to create this peaceful quality one that draws the listener into this finely honed sound. Everything…

@skopemag Review – Bongo Boy Records, Vol. XXI by Various Artists

R.O.M.A.N. goes for a whole universe of sound with the hip-hop/R&B hybrid of “Touch”. Everything here features a lushness from the pinpoint stabs of percussion to the taut strings that sweep through. By far though the true heart of the song stems from the forceful vocalist who takes on a commanding presence. “Mr. Crazy” shows…

VRBS New Album ‘The VRBS’ – self-titled

VRBS definitely harken back to that classic early aughts style of indie rock on the joyful “The VRBS”. Strong nods to the Strokes in all the right places mean that these songs linger on in the listener’s mind long after they have ended. Lots of it has a life-affirming aspect to it featuring wonderfully warm…

Rev Peter Unger Presents ‘For the Little Ones’

Rev Peter Unger captures the zeitgeist of the moment with “For the Little Ones”. A nice mixture of reflections alongside elements of faith, the piece radiates a coolness. Lyrics here rest in the very center of the entire thing. He keeps things simple too in order to further emphasize the sheer power of his words.…

New Single By Steph Sweet – ‘A Wicked Man’

Steph Sweet lets “A Wicked Man” soars all the way out into the sky, with an expansive take that possesses a wild freedom to it. The blues, dream pop, hard rock, and shoegaze all mesh into a singular experience. A western twang certainly rests right in the center of it giving it a hazy, animalistic…

Palms Psalm Release ‘The Coast’ Single

Palms Psalm’s piece, ‘The Coast,’ is a gorgeous track that delivers indie tastes while giving a vibe that matches surf rock. After listening to the art, Psalm did a brilliant job. His vocals produce a smooth and groovy sound which is more indie. The music maintains the gear it starts with through the three and…

“Fate” from Follow No One

Although they aren’t tasked with pushing a lot of brawniness to the front of the mix, there’s no denying the imposing strength of the guitar parts in the new single “Fate” from Follow No One this summer. From the moment the strings first come into focus, it’s obvious that this song is as driven by…

‘Choices’ by Bloom

When you feel helpless, remember what’s in the light, sings Bloom in the invigorating, inspiring new pop track “Choices”. A blend of gorgeous melodies and poignant, motivating lyrics, Bloom connects with the listener on all levels in this stirring hit. Bloom, who hails from Australia, is joyful and completely in command of her wide-ranging vocals.…

Stephen Jacques Presents ‘Symphony of Freaks’

Listening to Stephen Jacques’s new single “Symphony of Freaks” from his new album, “Send Them Love”, was a pleasant and classic country music experience. There’s a nice blend of recognizable instruments in the arrangement that are not out of place in the genre. Also the Vocals are playful and full of good vibes. I appreciated…

Singer/Songwriter Chris St. John Releases New Album

Melodicism is the most important thing on Chris St. John’s mind heading into this summer season, and if this weren’t the case I doubt he would be giving us as purely melodic a listen as he does with his new album Fly Away. Fly Away is beautifully smooth and driven by harmonies that remind me…

@skopemag Review: Hoodie Rob “Teardrops (2010)” Video & Single

Hoodie Rob Uzumaki delves into their innermost thoughts and feelings with “Teardrops (2010)”. A vulnerability of sorts filters through the entirety of the mix. Nods to groups like Yung Lean feel unavoidable given the indebted of Emo Rap to that sort of distinct sound. Everything within it feels majestic to behold in full. By allowing…

Jump Into ‘Sun Mountain Sea’ with Joss Jaffe

What an exhilarating listen this was from beginning to end as Joss Jaffe truly brings you into his world of ‘Sun Mountain Sea’. Joss Jaffe’s music has a way of uniting people through a universal sound that is inviting and positive in nature. The new album from Joss Jaffe is a real gem and so…

Debbie Deane Revealing ‘Red Ruby Stars’

Debbie Deane is a talented composer/pianist/vocalist from Brooklyn and is releasing her highly anticipated 3rd album called ‘Red Ruby Stars’. There are many layers & dimensions to this record but all material is 100% genuine, honest and original. Debbie Deane is digging deep on the new album and not holding back at all. Reflecting on…

Joe Keene with ‘I’ve Done It All In My Time’

Joe Keene has been recording and performing songs for over 60 years and this new album, ‘I’ve Done It All In My Time’, is a true testament to Joe Keene’s longstanding career in music. With 20 songs on this new album, Joe Keene offers a flashback to the golden oldie sound. It comes as no…

Black Masses Present Self-Titled Album ‘Black Masses’

Black Masses bring hard rock and garage rock together on their unhinged self-titled effort. Volume is a given for they play as loudly as they possibly can. Everything here has a degree of wild, feral spirit to it. They dive deep into rock’s very soul within each of these tracks while they conjure up a…

‘Weary Old Highway’ by Jim Hurst (feat. Darin and Brooke Aldridge)

There’s a pastoral calm to the string play in the single “Weary Old Highway” that draws us back to a simpler time in the history of Americana, where the aesthetic was less an influence and more a force of culture all on its own. URL: https://www.jimhurst.com/ Neither complicated by construction nor filled with any of…

Nick Phoenix Releases New Album

Nick Phoenix doesn’t have anything to prove. His ongoing work as one half of film music outfit Two Steps from Hell more than occupies his time, especially considering their pending European tour and status as the #1 streaming film music artist working today. Such lofty heights, however, haven’t dampened Phoenix’s desire to write and play…

Arun O’Connor Releases Debut Album

Arun O’Connor’s debut album Songs from the Reading Room corners the market on “Kiwi County”, the unlikely marriage of New Zealand sensibilities with country music trappings and establishes the young man’s bonafides as a notable songwriter. Each of the album’s dozen songs illustrate O’Connor’s thorough understanding of the style without ever sounding like a shallow imitation. URL:…

Nick Phoenix Releases New Album

Nick Phoenix doesn’t have anything to prove. His ongoing work as one half of film music outfit Two Steps from Hell more than occupies his time, especially considering their pending European tour and status as the #1 streaming film music artist working today. Such lofty heights, however, haven’t dampened Phoenix’s desire to write and play…

Beaux Atkins’ Latest Album Is A Blues-Meets-Country Classic

Beaux Atkins has perhaps the most interesting history of any artist I’ve had the treat of reviewing. Its’ title, ‘Redfearn’ is a tribute to Beaux Atkins’ grandfather. The name Frankie Redfearn brought fear and respect when it was whispered around the jungles of Southeast Asia, the French Quarter of New Orleans, or the swamps of…

Slide Milligan Releases Atmospheric Album ‘Blood Red River’

In the gap between country and indie genres, there’s a certain sweet spot. In that sweet spot, sits Slide Milligan. Whilst his musical journey may have been half a life in the making, his music feels like a new wave of country classics. He somehow fuses the fundamentals of country, psychedelia and alt-rock into one…

Mimo Set To Take Over With Upcoming EP ‘Mars Took Over’

On your first to Mimo’s debut album ‘Mars Took Over’, it’s impossible not to get swept in the slick lyrics and flawless flows that dominate every track. This Montreal-born and New York-based artist has proved exactly why she’s such an exciting act rising the ranks in the New York scene, as each track is laced…

Steve Markoff and Patricia Lazzara Cover Eric Clapton Classic

Patricia Lazzara’s skill and dedication to her concert flute playing has garnered her critical praise, awards at a variety of competitions, and the recognition of her peers. Her work as a music educator proved fortuitous for one reason, if no other, thanks to her meeting Steve Markoff. The alto flutist originally came to her looking…

Airee Is On Fire In Upcoming EP ‘Fiya’

Airee has proved time and time again that she can offer up an utter banger. With her unique blend of R&B, pop and hip-hop, her discography is dripping with sultry singles and hypnotic hooks. Her latest EP ‘Fiya’ is an effortless evolution for Airee as each of the six tracks could easily be stand-alone singles.…

Carla Ulbrich has the ‘Twang’!

Carla Ulbrich is a talented singer/songwriter from New Jersey with a sweet ‘n’ sassy, Southern spirit! Carla has been performing since the 90s and her music has been featured on: BBC, Dr. Demento, Sirius XM Comedy Radio, Pandora and NPR’s Morning Edition. Carla has also appeared as a musical guests on the television shows “The…

Ariee Releases Sultry Single ‘Sugar Daddy’

With impeccable vocals and a performance prowess to match, Ariee is back with another single bursting at the seams with her signature sultry style. ‘Sugar Daddy’ is the most recent release off of her upcoming EP ‘Fiya’ — an EP where all six of the tracks could be standalone singles in their own right. With…

Project Grand Slam Drop New Single

You don’t have to love jazz or fusion to appreciate what Project Grand Slam has come to mean to their scene, and in the live version of their song “I’m Falling off of the World” as it’s presented in the new album The Shakespeare Concert, I think we get a really incredible demonstration of just…

Jonah Leatherman Releases LP

Inspired by the airiness of alternative rock and the clandestine charms of indie pop, there are definitely some familiar elements in the new self-titled album from rockers Jonah Leatherman that will resonate with college radio fans everywhere this spring. Although stylized with a bit of panache where it matters, the vocal in songs like “Couldn’t…

Twelve Days Of June Finds Some Joy In Recent Album Anhedonia

Twelve Days Of June is the kind of artist that only comes along once every so often. Armed with his acoustic guitar and powerful performance prowess, Dave Hulegaard — known to us as Twelve Days Of June — sews together the striking sounds of pop, rock and orchestral music that creates sound worlds unique to…