Faster is a new country pop single from Nashville singer/songwriter, Megan Golden. With her colorful hair and fashionable look, Megan may not resemble the stereotypical country performer, but she definitely hits all the notes musically, where it counts. Faster is an eclectic song with the potential to appeal to a wide variety of people. Rather than just being strictly guitar and vocals, the track makes excelllent use of synths to offer a listeners more reflective and ethereal experience. Megan’s softly expressive voice is magnetic and addictive. The song strikes a nice balance between tenderness and energy. In other words, you could listen to this song quietly in your room while you’re contemplating your romantic life, but it’s upbeat and powerful enough to be the pulse of a dance party. This song is a good as anything you would hear on a major label today, and Megan has all the ingredients of a budding new pop star. If she stays persistent, the breaks will keep coming her way.
True Love is a new single from Miami based hip hop artist, ill-logicz. The track was produced by Sean Wrightand also features the artist, Zorenzo. The song thematically and lyrically articulates the struggles that couples go through, but ultimately assured us that if it’s true love, then the relationship will endure. For the most part, this is a pop song, but there are elements of hip hop and R&B which are peppered throughout. The pacing is mellow but the backing music is packed with ethereal energy. Vocals on this recording strike me as heartfelt and emotionally expressive. This romantic number is likely to resonate with anyone whose experienced the ups and downs of a rocky relationship. I’ve definitely been there a few times.
I Want It All is a new single from Ontario, Canada based artist, Ben Teeney. He has expressed plans to release a new track every 8 weeks. I Want It All is a colorful and lively pop jam. The vocals also give off some emo vibes, which was a pleasant surprise. Ben’s voice leads front and center. He’s a capable singer and delievers his lines with passion and charisma. The backing music is an array of beats and synths which flow unpredictably but give rise to the song’s chaotic beauty. I Want It All is a whirlwind of emotion and angst. I could definitely imagine this being played on the radio or in department stores.
Lost Paradise is a new single from Joemayk, a singer/songwriter/producer of Venezuelan descent. Joemayk is a musical veteran, with a career dating back to the late 1990s. This particular song is an eclectic blend of classic and contemporary rock. The performance is very good, with some excellent guitar work and cool synth to spice things up a bit. I’m also impressed by the vocals on this recording. With this style of music one can sometimes get by with the bare minimum in terms of vocal skill, but this guy really can sing and goes above and beyond the call of duty. The gamble pays off, as his passionate and professional vocals elevate the song to a higher tier. Joemayk’s experience really shows with this track. It’s well written, polished and competently performed. If I had to describe the sound I’d say it’s uniquely somewhere in between Franz Ferdinand and Aerosmith. It has a contemporary 2000s feel, but there are traces of classic rock influences throughout the song.
Inevitable is a new single from Forest Robots (the name for the musical project of Francisco Dominquez.) I’m familiar with the artist, having reviewed one of his previous releases. This new release has a slightly different feel. While Timberline and Mountain Crest had meditative, nature oriented thematic elements, Inevitable gives off more of an 80′s nighttime vibe. The retrofuturistic synth backing strikes me as something which wouldn’t seem out of place in a dance club scene on the soundtrack of a 1980′s thriller. I don’t think I’m that far off as Forest Robots lists Depeche Mode as one of the influences for this song. Indeed, he captures that sound quite well, and it’s apparent from listening to just the first few seconds of the recording (I didn’t even read the description info prior to my initial listen and could still detect the sound he was going for.) Also I should mention that the synths themselves are awesome, haunting but in an emotionally deep sense. The track is very catchy, and I would rate the danceability as quite high.
The vocals are somewhat poetic, as in the lyrical delivery is somewhere in between spoken word poetry and singing. The voice is just very pleasant to listen to, and it really does remind me of the best of 80s and early 90s synthwave. The song itself deals with self empowerment in a world of commercialist consumerism. Ultimately, that is where we see can the connection between this and the artist’s previous works. The meditative self exploration and idealized reverence for nature aren’t limited to a literal walk in the woods. We can channel the spirit of natural world even while on the dance floor or on a late night drive through the city.
You Don’t Fit In But You Belong is a new album from Ete AhPing, a singer/songwriter based in Park City, Utah. The songs are colorfully uplifting and Ete’s acoustic guitar playing is clear and bright, really pleasant sounding to the ears. The songs have a very intimate feel to them, not just lyrically, but it’s as if you’re watching someone perform these songs a few feet away from you next to a fireplace. The opening track, For the First Time In a Long Time is a fairly straightforward but lovely acoustic guitar track, similar to artists like Bright Eyes. After that the tracks move into more rockin’ avant garde territory, making use of electric guitar, piano/synth and some interesting psychedelic vocal effects. The various recordings do a nice job of displaying Ete’s versatility and keeping your attention. The lyrics all express positivity and encouragement. They’re motivational but not in an obnoxious motivational speaker kind of way. The ambiance here is more subdued and sentimental. My favorite song on this album is probably Ghosts, which has an excellent mix and contains one of Ete’s best vocal performances. Anyway, You Don’t Fit In But You Belong is a solid indie pop album. You should check it out.
Easy is a new release from Dallas based artist, TexMex Shaman. It’s a cover of The Commodores’ song, Easy, although I would apply the term “cover” here somewhat loosely, mainly because TexMex gets so creative with his version that he might as well be given credit for a whole new song. This is what you might call derivative art. TexMex Shaman is one of the more memorable artists I’ve reviewed on here previously. His musical style and associated artwork are so distinctive, he really stands out (and I’ve easily done write-ups of over 1000 musicians.)
Anyway, back to Easy. This version differs from the original in that it’s basically all instrumental. There are no vocals, though this artist is very abstract and deep so maybe they’re layered in there subliminally somehow. I don’t know. What I will say though is that I actually like this version better than The Commodores’ one. It’s just very psychedelic in that refined late 70s early 80s cocktail party kind of way. This would have fit right in on the Boogie Nights soundtrack, perhaps for one of the mellow and reflective, lounging around scenes.
I’m not even sure what level of player he is, but TexMex knows how to get just the right tone from his guitar and amplifier. His technique, gear and effects used make this guy’s guitar playing really pleasing to listen to. Forget ASMR vids. You should be listening to this recording if you want to be chilled out to the max. Just about one and a half minutes into the song though, things spice up a bit as the music kicks into a higher gear. It then alternates back and forth from mellow to rockin’ the rest of the way. Stylewise, some of the guitar on this jam reminds me a bit of Edward Bear’s Last Song (if that song had been an instrumental.) This is ultimately more of a groovy, psychedelic smooth jam. It’s difficult to classify though due to the dynamic changes that occur throughout. In that sense it’s similar to collage style songs like The Pretty Things’ Defecting Grey. One minute it’s soft rock, and the next it’s high octane 70s psychedelia. I’m sure that a lot of people have covered this song before, but I guarantee you this guy has done it with more originality. He does The Commodores’ song justice while making a distinctly worthy creation of his own. It’s not as easy for most people to be as creative as TexMex Shaman makes it look here.
The official release is set to occur in the next couple of weeks, and you can expect to find this track on streaming services in the beginning of August. Keep your eyes peeled.
I Am Not Alone is a new single from SoRi, a very famous artist and entertainer from Seoul, Korea. The song was produced by Folded Dragons, an NYC based EDM producer. I Am Not Alone a lively pop song, and the video features some pretty impressive dance choreography. The dance routines are tasteful, energetic and avant garde. SoRi’s a professional obviously and her vocals are top of the line. The video seems to be shot mostly in one area, but the setting is used creatively in different ways throughout the video, and the main focus is where it should be, on the performers. In fact, SoRi really gives it her all, and her performance has a heroism that makes you really want to root for her.
Thorium is a new album from Los Angeles based rapper, Oluse. A Nigerian-American, lists his musical influences as Tupac and E-40. When listening to these recordings I expected Oluse to have some exotic foreign accent, but nope. He sounds fully American to me. He does have a charismatic and lively delivery though. His voice is very dynamic, and he’s able to alternate tones and change diction at the drop of the hat. Really though, this guy doesn’t just go through the motions. He delivers these lines with spontaneity and moxie. The backing music is retro and groovy. It really gives off some smooth vintage hip hop vibes. The album consists of 9 full songs. Each of them is very colorful and distinctive. My favorite track on here is probably Boiling Point 4788C, which has a trippy and memorable intro.
Worth The Price is a new single from sibling duo URBANO in a collaborative effort with UK producer and DJ RM4K. The music combines elements of EDM, pop and hip hop to create a high energy dance party jam. It’s hard to even describe how much youthful vitality this song has. To say that it’s wild, fast paced, and delightfully chaotic would be an understatement. The brother’s quick witted hip hop delivery juxtaposes well with his sister’s passionate and powerful vocals. Seriously, the girl’s voice is huge. The video for this song was directed by Joseph Graves, and it does a terific job of capturing the electrifying energy of the song and getting it across on screen. This is just a really solid contemporary pop song, and ther artists clearly have found a formula that works.