Possibly is the latest release from San Jose based band, “God Analog.” Despite the name, “God Analog” is a rather humble minded musical group consisting of Adam Days, Christian Jaeger, and a guitarist simply known as “X.” Their sound is like if you were to combine Depeche Mode, Marilyn Manson and some ’00s hipster garage band like The Faint and manage to make it all blend together cohesively. While, the band may have started as a bedroom musical experiment, Possibly demonstrates that the group can achieve label-tier production quality. Seriously, whoever mixed this did a hell of a job cause it sounds smooth and crystal clear. There is a lot of stacking and layering going on in this track, but the best sound always seems to be brought out.
Christian Jaeger’s mid-to-high pitch vocals are easy on the ears, while the lyrics oscillate between emo yearning and jaded disillusion, with Adam’s backup vocals rounding things out. The backing music is driven by drums, guitars and a variety of snazzy synths which contribute to the ambiance and give the song a little more moxie. Anyway, these guys are tremendously talented. It’s kind of disheartening to think how hard of a road bands like this have to get recognition, but the potential is there.
Fronterror is the latest EP release from a rock outfit called “Harmless Habit.” It’s tough to pin this group down to a particular genre. It’s basically metal / hardcore but since there are a million subgenres that doesn’t really tell you much. The band seems to blend rock’n’roll styles from the 60s-90s. Their new EP, Fronterror, could best be described as a mix between alternative punk, classic rock, glam, and even screamo. The title track reminds me a lot of the kind of music you’d hear on late 80′s, early 90s horror movie soundtracks (think Night of the Demons,Return of the Living Dead 2, etc.) Other songs like Freakshow display more of a pop punk feel. The most classic rock sounding track in my opinion is Damage Control, which is also my favorite on the album. Production wise, this release sounds nice and warm, and everything in the mix is right where it needs to be. Musically, the performances are very polished. These guys aren’t faking it. Some great technical guitar distortion on this EP, and the vocalist can actually sing. I went on the band’s Facebook page, and a lot of people seem to have become fans after seeing their live shows. That’s a good sign.
Veteran musical artist C-WILL121 is an architect of what he dubs “New Vibe Music,” a genre which fuses future, soul and hip hop into new niche sound. He has a few new summer singles that are floating about out there on the airwaves.
Stuck offers an ambiance that’s both somber and upbeat at the same time. Stylistically, it’s vaguely reminiscent of Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get it on, only with a more modern and futuristic backing beat. The song combines a rather uplifting musical tone with lyrics conveying the metaphoric distress of feeling “stuck” on a desert island (within a romantic context.) Stuck makes good use of harmonies and layering, with everything sounding where it should be in the mix.
Your Portal is easily my favorite of theses singles. It features some killer, spacey synths and has a very minimalist vibe. It isn’t just a boring, straightforward beat. There are a lot of changing bits and pieces, and perfectly timed, tiny musical components are added throughout. This is a solid dance track, but more importantly it demonstrates C-WILL121′s level of creativity and penchant for the avant garde.
Change Your Mind also comes equipped with some impressive synth hooks, almost sounding like early 90s video game music at times and tropical surf music at other times. The overall tone is slightly brighter than the other tracks. I think this song could also be released as an instrumental version, which would make a great commercial jingle or film soundtrack piece.
C-WILL121 definitely has a knack for composing interesting songs, and I have to admire his willingness to explore new creative angles and fresh sounds.
His full length album, Music Hero (which includes the above tracks,) is scheduled to be released December 7, 2018.
Time to Spare is a new single from Leo Salom, a DJ/producer who divides his time “between Rome, Italy and Los Angeles, California.” Time to Spare is a medium paced dance track with a light ambiance and quite a bit of musical dynamicism. There are a lot of elaborate, somewhat unexpected transitions and vocal layerings in this song, as Leo manipulates the sound effortlessly. He could have gotten way with just having one steady beat and playing it lazy with stylistic monotony…and the song still would have been pretty good. Impressively he utilizes breaks and transitions to transform different parts of the track into substantially different musical components, which he manages to piece together in a manner that doesn’t seem forced or awkward. Indeed, this is a very slick production. It’s energetic party music but very ambient and calmly cerebral. Time to Spare is dance music for club-goers of a slightly elevated consciousness. If I had to make one mild criticism, it’s that the words of some of the vocal samples can be difficult to understand. It doesn’t really matter though, because this kind of music is intended to be more abstract. It’s promotes a certain carefree, vibrant state of mind, and in this case, it is very well done.
Sweetest Surrender marks the 7th independent album release for singer/songwriter Amy Loftus. This 10 track collection of songs is notable for its embrace of positivity. In fact, after listening to this uplifting album, one might be convinced Amy doesn’t have a negative bone in her body. That may or may not be true, but Sweetest Surrender is a romantic anthem that treats the listener to the joys of allowing oneself to fall in love with someone completely.
The songs have quite a bit of contemporary pop flair. The best way I could describe the style of music is that it is very sentimental. It reminds me of the stuff you would hear in commercials that deal with any kind of uplifting or togetherness kind of message. The song On The Inside fits this mold very well. I envy Amy Loftus because she strikes me as someone who has found balance and inner peace. She has a very sweet sounding singing voice, but ultimately I’d recommend her music to anyone that just wants to develop a more positive attitude toward their life.
Amy also hosts the podcast Something Better (of which the album’s title track Sweetest Surrender is also the theme song,) a show which targets both singles and spouses. She’s also a certified yoga teacher, and I have no doubt that whatever she charges for yoga classes, it’s well worth it.
Audible is a new track from “Belize born/Brooklyn raised” hip hop artist JLewis. What’s striking to me about JLewis is in the way he defies rap cliches and stereotypes, while at the same time retaining credibility with his music. If one were to listen to Audible without paying much attention to anything but the music and tone, they might just assume it fits the mold of a standard, decent hip hop track. He has a nice flow and delivers his lines with a capably charismatic intensity. However, JLewis avoids the usual griping and posturing and instead articulates a more constructive message. Rather than complaining and blaming others for a laundry list of problems they may or may not be responsible for, JLewis sees the path forward as one where people find ways to achieve success (buying property etc.) and subsequently use their financial and social leverage to control the system the way others do now. One interesting tidbit about JLewis is that his bio states that served in the military for 8 years (including 3 different wars,) eventually leaving the military on good terms with an honorable discharge. A hip hop artist who has been around the globe a few times, it seems clear that he has learned a thing or two about how the world works. It’s nice to see a rapper go into so much depth in his lyrics. “Freedom of speech costs a pretty penny.”
A rapper from Norfolk, Virginia known by the moniker of “Kidd Cutta” has a new jam out titled Tha Man. It’s much more melodic and musical than I was expecting. Usually these types of songs are all bluster and attitude, but Kid Cutta demonstrates some ability to carry a tune in addition to his excellent timing. The kind of pacing alterations and transition to (casual) musical vocals are not something that just anyone can do. To put it another way, this recording does not sound amateurish at all. Kid Cutta is not just another guy trying to pose as a rapper. Tha Man is legit, and this artist does a fine job in representing the Norfolk, Virginia scene. The musical backing itself on this track is good, too. Has a nice ambient quality to it.
Kids Play With Guns is a provocative new track from pop/hip hop artist, Kettie Munroe. Kettie displays all the ingredients here of a budding contemporary pop star. In Kids Play With Guns (an its accompanying video,) Kettie’s not shy about flaunting her attitude. She delivers edgy lyrics in a catchy style, and asserts herself on the dance floor capably and confidently. Kettie has a fashionably colorful and aesthetically pleasing appearance, which comes across well on the video medium. Her musical sound could be described as if you were to combine the Spice Girls’ and Aaliyah and added some aggressiveness and NC-17 content. Kids Play With Guns definitely hits the mark in terms of marketability.
Australian musical icon Diana Anaid returns to the scene with a new album, My Queen. This LP doesn’t feel like a side project or casual effort either. This a full blown, chartworthy alternative/pop/rock record. She must have spent her downtime recharging her crystals because there’s a lot of energy in these songs, which contain trace elements of 60′s psychedelia, 80′s new wave, punk, pop, alternative and even country. The music is very fast paced and upbeat and shouldn’t be confused with the more “dreary” styles of alternative rock. Positivity appears to be one of the major themes of the album. An entire essay could probably be written about the lyrical meaning behind so many of these songs. They tend to focus on rather serious issues, but do so in a way that allows the listener to choose whether they want to explore social consciousness, rock out, or both. Diana’s vocals display such universal appeal and versatility that they could be adapted to almost any genre or era, which probably explains why she’s seen success in 3 different decades of music.
FEMI.X, a self described “latin erotic poet,” is set to release her erotic rough house EP, DJ’s BANGMEE. The songs feature erotically charged, occasionally raunchy lyrics, which are surprisingly listenable. FEMI.X has a very pleasant, almost hypnotic voice. It’s very easy on the ears. Content wise, she’s like a house music version of the singer Peaches, (but much less abrasive.) The tracks are very well produced, with backing house beats which blend well with the vocals. The EP is sexual and seductive without seeming cheap, or done for shock value. A lot of attention (here by all parties involved) was paid to getting the music to sound just right, which is what makes it all work.