Martin Brothers – Looking For You


Looking For You is a new single from electropop duo, Martin Brothers. This retro-futuristic track combines 80′s nightclub aesthetic with contemporary production flair. Well crafted and brimming with high-octane energy, the song seems tailor made for the dance scene. Visually, the group yields comparisons to outfits like Daft Punk, but Martin Brothers give off more of a Californian, Americanized vibe. While the vocals have a Top 40 pop-like quality, the pacing is quick, pushing the odometer into EDM territory. The synth backing creates an energizing and mildly euphoric ambiance, setting the overall mood.

Featuring a professional mix and studio tier production levels, the song wouldn’t sound out of place if you heard it on the radio. Nothing too shabby here. The group has put a great deal of effort into cultivating a certain image. Fortunately, they haven’t neglected the musical side, so the listener won’t be disappointed. The video for this summertime club jam is cinematically impressive and boasts some incredible picture quality (this isn’t VHS-C “home video”). It really comes down to whether or not you dig this style of music or the surrounding scene. These guys know what they’re doing and have done a fine job carving out their niche in this genre.

Martin Brothers-Looking For You

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King Soloman – $ippin on the Tree$


$ippin on the Tree$ is a new single from Brooklyn-born hip hop artist, King Soloman. The short and sweet track features eerily engaging backing music and King Soloman’s stream of consciousness style delivery. Everything flows together like an exotic dream. The mix is very fluid and smooth. Some of the lyrics deal with practical subject matter like not being able to fix the air conditioning. King Soloman’s laid back and down to earth demeanor juxtaposes neatly with the tropical rainforest-like musical atmosphere. In the spirit of quarantine life, $ippin on the Tree$ is a song that seems ideal for kicking back with close friends, and it just has a generally chill vibe.

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Tra Bolo – Silver Rain 4


Silver Rain 4 is a recent tape from hip hop artist, Tra Bolo. It has already been given a shoutout by Bronx-based legend, Mickey Factz. You get the idea right away with the first track, Desert Storm. Tra Bolo employs some unique backing music that’s a real attention grabber and sets the tone for his distinctive delivery style. Not content to just bust rhymes, Tra Bolo often creatively uses his voice like an extra instrument, really getting the most out of it. He doesn’t try to be too flashy with his performance either. Rather, his delivery is organic and naturally larger than life. There’s a couple of cover songs on here that in my opinion are more imaginative than the originals. The backing music is much better than what you find on most contemporary hip hop releases and demonstrates that the artist incorporates an aesthetic vision into his releases. In other words, the guy has good taste. These tracks are never boring. Tra Bolo dials up the entertainment level to the max. This tape punches above its weight. It’s not surprising to see that it already has so many streams.

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Fam Band – Escape From Ohio


Escape From Ohio is a new single from Ohio-based duo, Fam Band. It’s just a rich and dynamic rock song with a well-written, complex structure. There a traces of alternatives and the verses have a fun and quirky vibe. Basically the artists aren’t talking about a permanent escape from Ohio (which seems like a pretty nice place) but merely escaping for a little while. Apparently the song itself was inspired by such an excursion. Sometimes you’ve just got to get away and clear your head. One thing the song somehow manages to pull off is to rhyme the word “while” with Ohio. It’s one of those catchy, memorializing hooks that give the song character. The musicianship is “classic rock-tier excellent” throughout, with technically proficient guitar playing and some very impressive vocals. It’s refreshing to see artists that don’t hype themselves up so much for a change. The talent and substance on here speaks for itself. Great jam.

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Billionaire Buck – Couple of P’zz


Couple of P’zz is a new single from Compton-based hip hop artist, Billionaire Buck. Like a short film, the video for this jam actually has a narrative that correlates with the song’s content. It also features Billionaire Buck rapping in front of an stunningly impressive mural. The minimalist beat is tight and creates an atmosphere of suspense. Buck’s delivery is very paced and deliberate. He’s one of those rappers that maintains his poise when performing but you can tell he is ready to conduct biz at all times. The lyrics are straightforward and simple, yet catchy. There are a couple of choice lines. Overall, this track has solid construction and incorporates an entertaining vibe.

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Calvin Priice – Pineapple Sunset


Pineapple Sunset is a recent album from artist, Calvin Priice (stylized with two “i”s). Everything about this release is smooth. The recording has excellent sonic quality and vocal clarity. There isn’t anything harsh or abrasive in the mix. It sounds better than what you’d get from most contemporary major labels. Most of the beats combine groovy retro vibes with a contemporary aesthetic and relevant cultural references. Calvin cohesively blends the better elements of pop, R&B, funk, hip hop and EDM to create a formidable sound.

In an interesting fashion, the track Downtown Love is immediately followed by Uptown Love. These two distinctive jams mirror one another, with each attempting to capture the romantic ambiance of their respective areas. Both tracks can either be interpreted to literally (to reflect love as experienced on these particular sides of town) or figuratively, in the sense that downtown and uptown can symbolically represent different kinds of love, regardless of one’s physical, geographical location. Musically, these songs are fantastic, but the depth elevates them artistically and intellectually. There is also a video for Downtown Love (embedded below). It’s professional quality and features some great shots of various areas in New York. The vid is worth watching even just for the incredible intro.


Most of the songs on Pineapple Sunset have romantic and laid back “lifestyle” related subject matter, but the mood is chill, and Calvin maintains a relatively humble and low-key demeanor. The standout track on the EP(aside from the two mentioned above) is On Point, which has a great beat and features one of Calvin’s best vocal performances.

It should be noted that Calvin has a brand new EP called Bon Voyage, that’s slated to be released July 24, 2020 (that’s tomorrow). The album features tantalizing new tracks like Sugar Honey Iced Tea, Party en Casa, and Amor Galactico. Downtown Love also reappears as a bonus. Keeps your eyes peeled for this new release to hit Spotify and all other platforms.

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Emcee Fresh – Self Titled

Emcee Fresh Album Art

Houston-based artist Emcee Fresh has a new self titled album. As an artist, Emcee has an eclectic and unique sound. It’s largely hip hop oriented, but he creatively incorporates elements from a wide range of other genres to give the tracks a distinctive vibe. The album opens with a super catchy jam called I Be On Like a TV. Most of the songs have contemporary cultural relevance. The standout song Do the Tik Tok seems like it was born to go viral.

This guy has a knack for writing great hooks and clever catch phrases. The most important thing though is that the music is very good. The production is clean and polished, the beats are vibrant and the Emcee Fresh’s performance is solid. Clap Your Hands (which has a groovy backing beat) is a good example of how the artist combines lyrical simplicity with intelligent, complex songwriting. If Emcee Fresh could obtain some serious financial backing, almost anyone of these songs have the potential to be hits. Hopefully, with some grass roots promotion, one of these jams will take off. I can definitely see it.

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Newcomer Spotlight: KIDD JAY


KIDD JAY is a budding young hip hop artist from Atlanta, GA. His real name is Jordan Alexander Rivera, and he was named after the famous Jordan River in the Middle East. No official releases yet from this young talent, but KIDD JAY does have a couple of tracks under his belt. Rumor has it, he’s getting ready to shake things up and handle biz. Given that he’s only 14 years old, this potential hip hop prodigy has a head start on most artists in the industry. Some traumatic events in his life helped inspire his passion to create music. To give you an idea of his style, he lists some of his influences as Lil Goat, Ybn Cordae, Jcole, Xxxtentacion, Juice Wrld, and Eminem. This kid is hungry for success and experience. Keep your eyes peeled for any upcoming releases by following him on Instagram

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Dream States – Something Borrowed, Something Groove


Something Borrowed, Something Groove is a new album from Akron-based band, Dream States. Apparently, the group started a few years ago with a cover of the iconic jam, Kokomo. They’ve become something of an ensemble, and a musical representation of the trans community.

The songs on Something Borrowed, Something Groove blend elements of EDM, synthpop, and emo but are not by any means genre restricted. What they have in common is that they’re all high energy and feature some incredible backing beats. Almost everything maintains a peppy pace that’s bright and brimming with emotional intensity. The lyrics are catchy and passionately delivered. The artists even break the fourth wall occasionally in a meta fashion, toying with the concept of writing catchy songs in tracks like Hooks. One of my favorite songs on this album though is Next Halloween which feels like it should be the backdrop to a car chase scene in 80s action/romance movie. It’s powerful stuff that really gets the juices flowing.

Another notable track is Unlimited Love, which in my view is the most “polished” of the bunch. Surprisingly, it incorporates Blondie-style hip hop verses (delivered at speeds that would make even Bone Thugs-N-Harmony blush). These are juxtaposed with a dreamy disco ambiance that channels euphoric gems like It’s Love, Love, Love, from The Space Angels in the original Battlestar Galactica. Production on this tune is clean, clear and all around pristine. Unlimited Love a mini-masterpiece, and I don’t throw that term around lightly.

The most mellow songs are near the end of the album. Both Love’s World and There We Go (introducing Jasper Lee) help to wind things down with a touch of tenderness. Reflective, sentimental vibes permeate throughout these starry-eyed jams. The beats are bright, with a xylophonic quality and the vocals are melodically dynamic.

All in all, there’s a lot of talent here, excellent songwriting and (in my opinion) some genuine hits on this release. I highly recommend this album.


Natalie Martin: songwriting, vocals, piano, bass
Madeline Eckhart: songwriting, vocals, ukulele, guitar
Jo Heil: vocals, aux percussion, writing assistance
Jasper Lee: vocals, aux percussion, writing assistance, graphic designer.

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Prxscott – Northeast Legends


Northeast Legends is a new album from Portland-based hip hop artist, Prxscott. This five song EP features sparkling synth-driven backbeats and a casually dreamy ambiance. The songs often build in intensity as Prxscott’s crisp and no-nonsense lyrical delivery keeps the vibe action-packed. Solid rapping fundamentals are demonstrated throughout, and it should be noted that the album includes contributions from several worthy guest artists: Tony Ro$e, Tedd Lokc, Yd Laze and Cabbage.

Part of what makes this release enjoyable is that Prxscott doesn’t neglect the musical aspect. The focus isn’t restricted to the lyrics or to his persona. These songs are complex and melodic, at times incorporating elements of R&B and pop in a mesmerizing fashion. The most musically dynamic tracks are What I’m About and On My Own, both of which showcase some impressive vocal serenading. (What I’m About is sampled from an artist known as Cool Nutz, who is recognized as a pioneer in the Portland hip hop scene.) The guest vocals serve to enhance the songs melodically but also help to convey an image of a friendly, party-like atmosphere.

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There’s a lot to be said for the lyrics themselves though. Prxscott’s verses are rich with substance, specificity and detail as he relates stories and pays respects. There’s more than just flash here. His performance maintains an underlying sincerity and continuously demonstrates a sense of community. Lines like “Everything we did was to protect the essence,” exemplify this abstract commitment to friendship, family and even the city.

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In fact, My City (featuring samples from Portland rap group, Kant B Caught) pays a realistic homage to Portland itself. Prxscott’s punchy delivery combine with a catchy chorus (“ain’t no squares in my city, just lions and tigers and bears in my city”) to make this song and instant local classic. My favorite track on the album is probably Gotti, which has a perfect intro, and Prxscott picks up the torch and carries the momentum all the way to the finish line. Each song is distinctive though, so listeners will be able to choose their own flavor.


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