All posts by Anastim Ducray

Claro – Fifteen


Fifteen is a new album from Claro, an R&B/Pop artist from Sydney, Australia. The album consists of 15 flavorful jams, which range from peppy and upbeat to sentimental and romantic. In fact, most of the tracks deal with relationships on some level, but the tone varies from optimistic to somber. Even the lyrics that chronicle heartbreak are couched within playful and rejuvenating melodies. They aren’t depressing.

I really like the album intro, which almost reminds me of 50′s Doo-wop. It’s just very classy, well done and managed to grab my attention immediately. While the intro gives us a taste, the 2nd track Get Me Easily unleashes the full power of Claro’s vocals. It’s really a fantastic performance. There are some real high notes here, hit without even the hint of a strain. His vocal dynamicism is on display from start to finish. Claro’s voice has a refreshingly innocent quality to it. It doesn’t convey any of the cocky attitute or pomposity we’ve come to expect from budding young pop stars. This gives his songs a rare touch of sincerity and lends the subject matter an air of credibility. For example, Don’t Waste Your Time is one of the most humble attempts to court a female romantically that I’ve ever heard in a pop song. It has a great, bouncy, Nintendo-like beat, which the lyrics hop along to nicely.

There’s good variety with the backing music. Every song has its own distinct musical personality, and the instruments vary as well. Some songs have a light, funky dance music vibe, which others like Just In Time and Never Got the Chance have a traditional and straightforward piano backing. Since they are mostly all romantic songs, the pacing is on the slower side, but there are plenty of moments where the action picks up and gets your pulse going. My favorite song on the album is probably Sunsets, which has some excellent hooks and chord progressions of course but really just seems to contain that intangibly magic ingredient of a memorable, hit song.

All in all, Fifteen is an impressive album from an artist who performs at a very high level. Some of Claro’s songs are good or better than what is currently being played on the radio. Perhaps more importanly his music comes across as genuine, and that makes you want to root for him.

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Katiah One – Fight The Good Fight


Fight The Good Fight is a new album from Katiah One, a hip hop artist raised on the Upper West Side of New York City. The songs have a nice old school feel to them, with that warm, analog sound, complete with subtle tape hiss and record crackle. The album opens with an instant classic, We Livin the Dream…(Nightmares.) In addition to Katiah One’s enjoyable deadpan delivery, the song features a very well placed vintage sample from British philosopher Alan Watts’ seminar on how to “still the mind.” It’s a while since I’ve heard hip hop artists incorporate these kinds of samples into their work, and I kind of miss it.

The thing I like about this album is that Katiah One doesn’t neglect the musical side. The songs are very melodic and pleasurable to listen to, and the artist doesn’t make it all about himself. It’s not some spoken word slam poetry indulgence. This album reminds me very much or early to mid 90′s “golden age” hip hop, making use of samples, electric piano and some downright symphonic atmosphere. The tracks are pretty laid back but Stop This is probably the most epic in terms of dramatic suspense. All and all this is just very impressive, and Katiah One has released the best hip hop album I’ve heard so far this year.

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Interview With Rising Young Starlet, KSENIA


1. Ksenia is a beautiful name. What is the origin?

Thank you very much! The name, Ksenia, comes from Greece. Xenia translates as hospitality. Fun fact, my name is ranked the 6430th most commonly used name in the world. It’s pronounced Kiss-en-ee-uh.

2. Your voice is beautiful. When did you first begin singing?

Thank you very much. I began singing in the kindergarten. Good times! And then I could not stop. I was singing and singing and still singing. I love it.

3. Tell us about your background in film and comedy as well!

I love film and comedy. I got an MFA in acting for film; In school they taught me how to make a movie from scratch. And that got me started. I made many short films and even one feature film, romantic comedy “THIS MUCH”, I co-wrote, produced, starred in it, and did all the soundtracks. I even won best actress for it, just like I dreamt to. The other thing is I was always funny, not even on purpose. I was doing my singing shows and talked to the audience in between songs, and everyone was laughing. And then I thought maybe i should take a standup class, and I loved doing standup. But then I was too exhausted doing all of it and recently made a decision to focus just on music. I am happy that i’ve had so much comedy and film experience, it only helps my music, i am looking to incorporate it all in my music videos.

4. You have a lot of followers on IG. Do you enjoy being an influencer?

Believe it or not, having lots of followers on Instagram is a lot of work! I do enjoy it I guess. I don’t know, I look at it like at the portfolio of everything I’ve been doing, and I love connecting to my followers; everyone is so supportive of what I am doing.

5. If you could play any stage, anywhere…where would it be and why?

I would love to have a show at the Staple center. I went to see so many shows there, Sam Smith, Ariana Grande, Lady Gaga, Adele, Alicia Keys, Grammys, Cher. It’s time I have a show there :wink:

6. What is the new single entitled? Can you tell us a bit about the song?

New single called Let Somebody Love You is about a person who has a hard time letting people in and giving and receiving love. This is how most of us are these days. No one wants to commit to any relationship; we are playing it too cool. We have all been hurt, and we don’t want to get hurt again. Inspired by true events, of course. I think lots of people can relate.

7. Where are your favorite places to go in NYC ?

You know I love comedy, so I love to go to a Comedy Cellar for a good laugh. I enjoy live music shows at places like Rockwood Music Hall, and I love watching Broadway shows. I watched so many already. I also enjoy watching movies by myself. I am a bit weird. I also enjoy long walks in Central Park.

8. Do blondes have more fun?

Nah. With all the work I constantly have to do I feel like I don’t have any fun at all lol. So, I believe people of all hair colors are capable of having the same amount of fun. :wink:

9. Please list your links for our readers. Thank you Ksenia.


Insta: @iamksenia
Soundcloud: @iamksenia
Facebook: @iamkseniamusic
Twitter: @iamkseniamusic

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Midas Well – 3AM

Midas well

3AM is a new single from Austin based singer/songwriter, “Midas Well.” There are hip hop elements, but this is more of an R&B pop jam. The backing music is delightfully haunting and ethereal, creating a dreamlike atmosphere for Midas Well’s sometimes soft and always smooth vocals. What really works in this song are the well executed harmonies. These really complement the backdrop of the eerie cinematic ambiance nicely. A great job was done on the mix here, with everything blending together cohesively. While Midas Well’s voice has a naturally soothing quality to it, the mix succeeds at matching the tone from start to finish. There’s still enough action and vitality though to make this a tune worthy of the dance floor.

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Wav-Legion II – Wav-Dr and Bonnie Legion


It was only back in January, when I reviewed Wav-Legion, an album from Wav-Dr and Bonnie Legion. The prolific musical duo is already back with new full length album, imaginatively titled, Wav-Legion II. When I say full length, I do mean full length, as this record includes 16 action packed tracks. Several songs on here also feature the talents of other artists like Miss eFeMBy, Robert P.Kreitz II and Metropolis Music.

The songs on Wav-Legion II blend a wide variety of genres, including pop, hip hop, electronic, rock’n’roll, singer-Songwriter, and soul. Despite the fact that some of these stylistic ingredients may not inherently go well together, the artists manage to make this concoction work. A big part of that alchemic success is in their technical ability and talent as musicians in general (which is apparent if you watch any of live their video performances.) These are trained professionals on a closed road. Don’t try this at home. The music varies widely from one track to the next. For example, Escape the Mundane is a retrofuturistic electronic track, which sounds like something they would play at the Love Shop in the film, Logan’s Run. Just a few songs later, Money Crime comes across as a soulful cross between synthwave and Fleetwood Mac.

My favorite track on the album is probably Fear of Flying, which is a pretty straightforward electronic rock song, catchy and memorable. Note that they also do a live acoustic version of this song (video is below,) which has more of an Americana vibe. A lot of artists who claim to be multi-instrumentalists or chameleons are full of crap, but Wav-Dr and Bonnie Legion are the real deal. They shapeshift in and out of different genres effortlessly and in a way that makes them credibly appear as experts in each one. Bonnie Legion’s singing is incredible. She probably could have even made it past the obnoxious judges on American Idol. It must be a joy to record with her as I bet she’s a one take wonder.

Anyway, this is obviously a very impressive album, a case of quantity and quality. There’s a lot of richness to the songs. None of the tracks feel like “padding” or throwaways. The “tone” of this album has a subtle, emotional darkness to it, creating just a hint of edge. Wav-Legion II closes with Stop Thinking (featuring Robert P. Kreitz,) a rather poignantly haunting song which (despite the title) will leave this album lingering in your thoughts well after you’re done listening.

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Deane Nesbitt Jr. – Tracking the Soldier

Version 20

A lot of musicians have had strange day jobs over the course of their lives, but Deane Nesbitt Jr is one of the first artists I’ve heard who once practiced law for over a decade and co-founded an investment management company. His latest single, Tracking the Soldier appears on the aptly titled EP, Soundtracks in the Sand. This is indeed soundtrack music. It’s multi-instrumental ambiance which has a classic feel. Tracking the Soldier is not boom box roaring, action sequence material. Rather this song is more mellow and contemplative. In fact, this particulr track would be ideal for meditation and wellness exercises. It’s very relaxing but also has the power to evoke emotion and pull thoughts out of you. Unlike many contemporary instrumental songs, this one doesn’t consist of “synth beats.” There are actual organic instrument sounds being used here. It’s just good old fashioned world music. The cover image of the beach really captures the mood, as my first thought while listening was that this reminds me of the music you’d hear in exotic desert and island related films of the 40s and 50s. Be sure to check out the rest of Deane’s EP, because the songs are all quite different and interesting.

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TexMex Shaman – Fever In the South


Silly me! When I sat down to review Fever In the South, (a new EP from Dallas based artist, “TexMex Shaman,”) I naively assumed it was going to be a standard country or “roots americana” type album. Spoiler alert: It isn’t. What it is precisely, I’m not quite sure… other than that it’s very powerful stuff, the kind of music you can astral project to.

The lead single on th EP is Roll over Matryoshka, a 6-minute kaleidoscopic musical odyssey, with elements of synthwave, rock’n’roll, psychedelia, noise, disco, and maybe even a hint of twang somewhere in there. Despite this eclectic amalgamation, the song doesn’t sound like some sort of jumbled collage, because the track delineates these elements in various “phases” along the way. This leads one to suspect there’s some type of epic abstract journey or underlying narrative at play here. The artist also reveals a few clues in the description of the video:

boy chases girl
boy loses girl
boy fights off hell demons with disco power

If one were to visualize this song, that does seem like a plausible characterization of events, but I would also say that it’s open enough to interpretation to be whatever you want it to be. Just use your imagination and get into the zone. My favorite part of Roll over Matryoshka is when the disco kicks in, partially because I love disco (and this disco segment is particularly good) but also because this is the point in the song where you realize there is actually something grander or cohesive at work here. It’s the point where I made up my mind that this track was a splendid little work of abstract art. I can’t help but think that this song must have taken a lot of work. There are lots of instrumental hooks, beats, guitar riffs and imaginative transitions, which have been meticulously put together in a coherent way. There’s nothing shoddy or amateurish about this mix. TexMex Shaman plays all the guitar and bass stuff himself and does so quite well. His tone and style reminds me of late 60′s early 70′s bands like The Pretty Things and Jefferson Airplane, basically post mod era but before classic rock. It’s just very groovin.’

The rest of the EP is a worthwhile listen as well, as each of the other songs stand on their own with distinct identities. One particularly entertaining track is Peking Bass, the sound of which could best be described as C+C Music Factory on acid. There’s also a nifty, mini outro titled You look kinda like my neighbor Gordon (lol,) which sounds like it was made from 1950′s spaceship sound effects like those you’d hear in movies like The Forbidden Planet or old Twilight Zone episodes.

This guy clearly doesn’t give a crap about musical conformity or industry standards. That’s a good thing, because 99% of what is played on the radio today is garbage and isn’t interesting at all. TexMex Shaman’s Fever In the South is on another level and will attract the audiences who dwell on those wavelengths which can’t be purchase with mere money (you should still buy the album though.)

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Peripheral Method – Runner (DLMD remix){2019 version}


How many layers of remixing are you on? The question comes to mind with Runner, a new jam from California based sound artist and producer, Peripheral Method. Runner is described as a “new version of a remix of The Chainsmokers’ Don’t Let Me Down,” by Peripheral Method, a California-based sound artist and producer. It ultimately does’t matter many musical derivatives are sliced and stacked into this collage, because the end result is something beautiful. This avant garde track is thick with ethereal ambiance. It retains a meditative quality while also boasting enough peppy synth activity for one to dance to. This is artful EDM for the thinking man (or woman,) falling somewhere in between indie folk and dreampop. The song flows continuously for the 6 minute duration, like a mini-wave on a desolate beach. In true collage form, the sounds all feel like they are part of each other. With heavy usage of echo/delay, nothing is separated here in the mix. Everything feels like one long dreamy motion. Peripheral Method strikes me as an abstract perfectionist. This version of Runner is a keeper.

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Im Just Dane – I Don’t Need’em (Clean Master)


I Don’t Need’em is a new single from Chicago raised and Los Angeles based artist, “Im Just Dane.” The song is a fast paced conglomeration of emotion and style. It’s contemporary, high energy R&B with hints of classic hip hop. A party jam that remains lively throughout, the track features carefree lyrics guaranteed to loosen the mood. Dane’s delivery is charismatic and upbeat, never boring. Far from being monotonous, his tone is dynamic, and he demonstrates some versatility as a vocalist, not afraid to change it up or experiment with his voice. Dane’s humble presentation of himself as an artist is refreshing, but don’t let that fool you. I Don’t Need’em (Clean Master) shows that he conceals his power level, knows how to liven up a dance floor, and is secretly ready to bust a move at all times.

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Roseburg – Wave


Wave is a new single from Provo, Utah based band, Roseburg. The members of the group are actually from all different parts of the country originally, and the band is named Roseburg after the town in Oregon where they began writing their first album.

Judging by the band’s bio, I was half expecting Wave to be some kind of melancholy, northwest style indie pop track. I was pleasantly surprised (blown away actually) to discover this song is energetic and absolutely rocks. The guitars are tight with a touch of crisp distortion. The music is peppy and melodic, falling somewhere between indie rock and 80′s new wave. The vocals here are especially remarkable, far beyond the level of what one expects from a contemporary indie band. These guys really hit the the jackpot with the singer and should hold on to him. All around this is a very precision performed track, and everything in the mix sits where it should. The fact that these guys are all from different places makes me think of them as an indie all star steam of sorts. Just great musicians that work well together.

The highly anticipated single from their upcoming debut album “Righteous Punk”, entitled “Be Good” is to be released on May 25th”. Fans can enjoy the new single by following Roseburg on all platforms.

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