The first thing that stands out with Kate Brown’s new single, “6 Shots” is the energy. It has a faster pacing than what I normally expect from the folk/rock genre, and it really engages you from the first second. It also isn’t depressing or bleak. The musical tone feels much more upbeat, even though the difficult subject matter deals with a caustic love and the sensationalism of violence in the media.
The singing is terrific and fits the style rather well. Kate has just the right amount of angst in her vocal delivery of these lyrics, and she doesn’t overdo it. She has a lot to be proud of with “6 Shots,” and I hope it is successful.
Pop singer Holly Elle’s new single “Flip that Script” is a catchy song about a girl reclaiming herself from a lover that presumably has treated her badly in the past. She’s a classically trained singer, and it’s apparent in her music, where her voice seems to direct all the action. She seems to be heavily influenced by Mariah Carey, but her style comes off slightly more European, and this is better in my opinion.
My favorite component of the song is the accordion in the background which is played by her father. In addition to giving it a little bit of Eastern European identity, it also provides another a layer of authenticity that most of these types of songs lack.
A longtime musician hailing from Scotland, Dave Bremner is releasing a new single, “Gentle Healing” with Shine On Records. As one of the first to get a listen to the song, my immediate impression is that Bremner’s music is incredibly genuine and heartfelt. The craftsmanship in “Gentle Healing” is apparent from the beginning, and the production quality is excellent. The guitar playing and singing is flawless throughout. There’s nothing amateurish to be found in this recording. Dave Bremner is a total pro. What’s interesting to me is that though he hails from Scotland, the song has almost a country western feel to it, something I wasn’t really expecting but was a pleasant surprise nonetheless. I’d recommend “Gentle Healing” to anyone who enjoys adult contemporary rock. It delivers in this genre but with a sincerity and uniqueness that propel it beyond stereotypes.
Top quality production here from Aiym Almas, an alternative pop artist from Kazakhstan. A good way to describe her sound is that it has elements of pop but without any of the cheapness or characteristiz sleazy vibe. Aiym has an incredible voice, which carries the songs in such a way that one would listen to them even if there were no other instruments. Her third single, “You Must Be True” has kind of a mysterious quality to it as it slowly builds to the main message. My favorite of her songs is “The Other Side,” which is like a blast of energy when the song kicks into high gear/dance party mode with the payoff.
Blue Moon Harem(a band featuring members of a popular 90′s band from Boston called ‘Requiem’) has just finished their third studio album. It’s titled “Deep Into Blue.” It is extremely well put together and has kind of an alternative pop feel to it. Listening to these tracks made me nostalgic for times when good music was still played on the radio. The arrangements and production quality are top notch, but not in the overproduced, overprocessed, effects ridden way most music is today. This comes across as a very professional album, made by people who take their craft seriously and have spent decades working on it.
The vocals by Jonathan Bix particularly stand out as terrific. He has an excellent range and wisely doesn’t drown out the sound with a lot of unnecessary effects and filters. A good example of this is on the track “Lucky,” which was my personal favorite.
I recommend checking out their website and social media sites for updates on their new album.
Lizzy Small, a young up and coming pop star that you may recognize from her supporting role in the recent film “Spare Parts,” had a popular song out called “Gravity.” The first thing I noticed about it is that Elizabeth really does have a great voice. Lots of times these pop jams are comically overloaded with auto tune and pitch correction, but in Lizzy’s case the producer wisely left her voice (mostly) alone other than a few subtle effects here and there, and one can tell she’s a good natural singer. “Gravity” is a catchy song, and the part when the chorus kicks in you can visualize it being a club hit.
As a pop song, Gravity manages to achieve its appeal while taking the high road. The highly professional and well edited video comes across as a refreshingly innocent romance tale. It doesn’t utilize anything sleazy or cheap to get a reaction. It doesn’t rely on any of the shock value or preachiness we’ve come to expect in this genre of music. In fact, there is nothing cheap or shoddy about this production.
The same goes for her recently released track, “Always Be There,” which has a slightly more hypnotic feel to it as opposed to a club track. It reminds me of the sort of song a girl would listen to on a late night long drive home or afternoon road trip out of the city. It’s fitting that a captivatingly romantic song like this was released for Valentine’s Day. The echoey chorus can get stuck in your head pretty quickly after a couple of listens, and it’s no surprise the song currently has nearly 3 million plays on Soundcloud already.
Lizzy manages to achieve a respectable sound without appearing as though she’s “trying too hard.” From watching her videos and interviews, I get the impression that if anything, she is a tireless worker who takes care to consider every detail and genuinely takes her craft seriously. Either that or she just surrounds herself with good people and has terrific innate marketing skills.
Be on the lookout for more exciting stuff from Lizzy. I have a feeling these tracks will be just the beginning. Don’t be surprised if she makes it to the next level, and she does…remember you heard it here first.
Was floored by this incredible song from Dan Mclean Jr. If this track is any indication of the level of quality for his upcoming album, then I predict it will be extremely well received. He’s an incredibly gifted singer, a real pro. Also, unlike many other performers in this genre, Mclean has a great sense of aesthetic and an avant garde style, as is evident by watching the video for “I’ve Seen Love,” which features an assortment of classic tv clips, put together in an artistic fashion.
Indie singer, songwriter “STV” has another new album out called SOS on Hembot Records. It’s every bit as good as the last one which I reviewed sometime ago. STV describes himself as a multi-instrumentalist, and that’s definitely evident here. SOS features arange of different synth and guitar sounds throughout the 9 tracks. STV’s music seems to skillfully combine elements of chillwave with a sort of dark, brooding indie alternative style. The impressive vocals and complex lyrics both help to illustrate STV’s storytelling ability.