Was immediately impressed by some tracks I received from Florida artist, J. Evan. His EP, “Get Up” is energetic, and backed by some pretty groovy melodies. It kind of has an early 90′s “jam” sort of vibe but with slightly more modern production quality. It’s great to see so much musical talent going in a positive direction. J. Evan’s music is sure to put you in the mood to party. He’s got his start as a vocalist in the church choir, and it shows. He has a good vocal range, and it’s refreshing to hear poppy songs that aren’t autotuned.
Donica Knight is a country singer/songwriter from Montgomery, Alabama. She has an awesome voice. Unlike most contemporary recordings, her songs aren’t loaded up with autotune and other effects. Donica’s genuinely a talented singer. Her music has a classic southern feel to it combined with modern production quality and energy level.
Here’s Donica Knight’s new video for her single release ” Love Ain’t A Prize” set for release Nov 1st, 2015. The video was produced and directed by Noel Maitland and composed by Donica Knight, Jim Huff and Chris Vos.
Here’s an extremely creative and unique Japanese funk jam from a band called “Otonana Trio.” The song is called “All They Wanted and All They Need.” The video contains some psychedelic elements, combined with some entertainment and humor. It must be seen to fully appreciate the aesthetic. Words can’t really describe it. Their album is called, “The Lost Ramen Generation.” The Otonana Trio is set to tour the US. Their first appearance in the states will be Oct 21st in Victoria, TX.
Gothic driven melodic dark rock band “Luna Rise,” currently signed to NRT-Records, has a solid video out for their song, “Valentine.” The song can be found on their album “Dark Days and Bright Nights.” It’s extremely high quality and well produced. Both the band’s sound and the video ambiance have a late 80′s horror movie vibe(Think “Night of the Demons” era.) They employ a keytar, which adds a bit of a synth dimension. Luna Rise is an impressive band that clearly went the extra mile to put out an impressive release.
When I first heard I was going to be reviewing someone’s cover of Don Henley’s 80′s hit, “The Boys of Summer” I groaned a little bit and wasn’t particularly looking forward to it. I’m not a huge fan of the 80′s adult rock genre, except maybe to sing along with ironically on road trips or put on blast as a guilty pleasure in traffic.
To my surprise, I was absolutely blown away by rock/metal guitarist “Xander Demos” and his cover of the song. He reinvents “Boys of Summer” into more of a heavy metal jam. Henley’s track was released in 1984 and had that kind of cheesy power pop/rock vibe. Xander’s version has more of a 1989-90 feel to it, a sort of polished metal with epic guitar solos like Iron Maiden. It is an amazing recording, and the vocals are flawless. To call it a cover song does not to it justice. I dare say that this is actually even better than the original. Xander is obviously a total pro guitar player, and this is top notch in every way.
New York-based R&B singer/songwriter Wadena is celebrating her birthday with the independent release of her back-to-school dance single “Let’s Get It” on Aug. 31st, 2015. All the R&B, Hip Hop and Reggae lovers will enjoy Wadena’s birthday release. You can pre-order “Let’s Get It” now at www.wadenapyatt.com
Wadena’s birthday single, “Let’s Get It” is a Southern styled mix of R&B and hip hop. The female vocals that kick in around the 35 second mark are highly impressive and one of the highlights of the jam for me. The song as a whole comes across as very polished, rhythmic and well produced. It achieves the ideal sound for this genre and hits all the right buttons.
A young Californian girl who goes by the moniker “Masked Misiz“(which I presume is pronouced like Mrs. and not the Italian way that it sort of looks like) has a well produced single recently out called, “I Do What I Like.” It’s a relatively straightforward pop jam with a little bit of spice and some “halloween-like” backing music. The melody in the background is fairly hypnotic and sets the mood of the song. Masked M’s rapping is faster and more aggressive than you might expect from looking at her photo. One of the better elements of the cadence in the song is the back and forth switching from fast to slow. It kind of reminds me of a female member of Bone Thugz to be…or maybe if TLC had made a Halloween special. Give this song a listen and make up your own mind.
At first glance at her aesthetic I was expecting Soo Han to be some kind of mainstream, dance pop artist. So it was great to discover that she’s actually much more advanced than that. Her music is decidedly jazz influenced, and she reminds me of those talented lounge singers from the early half of the 20th century.
Soo Han’s latest jam is titled “I Don’t Want You Anyway,” and it’s quite impressive. The song title and the bitingly spiteful lyrics give the listener the distinct impression of a girl that “doth protest too much.” We get the feeling she is trying to convince herself(that she doesn’t want the man described in the song) moreso than convince “we the listeners.”
An accomplished and well studied musician, Soo Han clearly knows how to compose and construct a quality song. She’s a highly capable singer as well. The rich piano backing gives the music an elevated mood that would never have been achieved by some generic dance beats. This girl is extremely talented, and I’d like to hear more from her in the future.
New single out from an up and coming group called “A&L.”
According to their bio: A&L is a new act made up of two seasoned industry professionals: Anthony Casuccio and Lana Marie. Anthony is a 20 year music veteran whose production work has been nominated for three Grammy awards, been featured in major music publications and topped the music charts. Lana is an award winning vocalist who has been a long-time force on the East Coast music scene and voice to many jingles on radio and television.
It’s not surprising that the two of them have so much experience when you listen to their music. It’s professionally crafted and performed artfully.
They characterize their latest jam as being “an upbeat, Pop/Rock song with catchy hooks and killer guitar riffs. The in-your-face vocal will have you singing along. With a vocal style that sounds like The Pretty Reckless meets P!nk, Lana delivers a vocal performance that demands your attention.”
The best way I can describe “Onto The Next Heart” is that it is vaguely reminiscent of of the kind of pop/rock music that would be playing at a high school dance in a mid to late 80′s teen movie. That’s quite a good thing actually, and I would hope to see more pop music head in this direction. That isn’t to say that this is a “retro” song by any means. It’s only retro in the sense that pop music has been so horrible in recent years that any good music somehow invokes nostalgic sentiment by default. Would love to hear more from this duo.
Decked Out Boys, an emerging rap group from Mississippi, has put out a fun new jam called “Boppin’” The video features some pretty dank, old school automobiles intercut with scenes of the group dancing(boppin’ presumably)with fans and friends in a park. The video production quality is very good, and the song itself is quite catchy. Probably my favorite component of this video is the guy who is randomly rocking the “meow we’re talking!” t-shirt with the giant cat on it.
My particular notion of boppin is based more along the lines of 1950′s sock hop nostalgia, as articulated in Elton John’s, Crocodile Rock. According to Urban Dictionary though, the term has several possible meanings in modern society. Decked Out Boys are a talented and energetic young group. If this single catches on, their version of Boppin’ could become a popular thing. The song is available on their website.