Accomplished singer, composer, and lyricist, Pauline Frechette has released a magnificent new piece title “A Quiet Walk in the Snow.” It is an incredibly poignant song that maintains a consistently gentle pacing throughout. It seems to me that it evokes a range of emotions as a reflection of one’s current mindset. When one takes a quiet walk in the winter, it can be one of somber reflection or it can be a majestic experience of joy. Is this a walk of joy or one of sadness? Perhaps both. The context is open to interpretation.
Pauline seems to have roots in French Quebec. Though renowned composer David Campbell is credited with the arrangements, I can’t help but notice how distinctly European this composition comes across. It actually reminds me very much of the film scores of classic French and Italian films of the 1970’s. This would fit right in with the best of them.
“A Quiet Walk in the Snow” is a fine example of what gifted artists can achieve if they dedicate enough time and passion to mastering their craft. Pauline manages to combine meticulous instrumental precision with elevated abstract emotion. It all comes together quite impressively.
“Grieve the Astronaut” is exactly the kind of musical project I love to feature on here. Not too much is known about the band. As their name suggests, they seem focused artistically on a “re-birth of shattered dreams.” Their self-titled album is epic. It very much has the feel of a soundtrack to a space opera. While their style has been compared to groups like Pink Floyd, I must say the tracks on “Grieve The Astronaut” would have fit right in on the soundtrack of films like “Dune.” Everything about this release just oozes with talent, class and imagination. It’s crafted with professionalism and musiciansmanship. It’s like if you fused classical music with futuristic synthwave. This is a terrific release.
E. Bandit has a new track out called “I Been.” The video for it makes great usage of color and effects to illustrate the mood and give the song an artistic quality that goes beyond the lyrics. She describes the song as a “trippy kind of love song written in a drunken stupor.” The psychedelic atmosphere depicted in the video certainly conveys this image. The lyrics carry a lot of self reflection and remorse and plays out almost like a confession or reluctant goodbye letter. E. Bandit definitely displays some delivery skills and good musical instincts here. Expect more good things from her.
One noticeable pattern in much of Charles Luck and his associates’ work is the positivity and uplifting nature of the content. This isn’t just limited to the lyrics but also is evident in the music itself. The beats, the tonality, the melody and even the choice of sounds lends itself creating a positive atmosphere. “Lift Off” (Featuring Tino Red) is no exception to this. Even the title hints at optimism about the future, or at least a possible future.
Where “Lift Off” succeeds is in allowing hip hop to explore new dreamlike themes while managing to avoid a lot of the tired cliches that have stifled meaningful creativity in the genre. One of the great things about the internet, is that it has made collaboration with far away artists more feasible than ever before. Such collaboration results in interesting collectives and ambitious projects such as “Lift Off.”
The song is smooth and mellow, without trying to be slick or clever. Tino Red delivers his rhymes with a relaxed and methodical musicality. One doesn’t hear the stirrings of any misplaced angst in his voice or get the sense that he has a chip on his shoulder. I’m confident these guys will continue to put out good quality work because they’re talented and appear to be in this for the right reasons.
Artist Daniell Nelson has a new track out called “Tomorrow.” It’s hip hop/R&B but with kind of a jazzy, tribal feel to it. The lyrics are reflective and socially aware, illustrating a depth which elevates Nelson’s music above that of most other similar artists. “Tomorrow” is an authentic experience and the song itself is smooth and pleasant to listen to from beginning to end. Daniell wisely chose to focus on substance rather than flash and hype when creating this jam, and it worked.
Armond Jason, “a singer, songwriter, recording engineer, and music producer from Midlothian, Virginia” has a new single out called “I Know.” The production quality of the vid is pretty good and incorporates a lot of gold color tones, which makes sense given that it’s the opening song on his debut album, “The Gold Album: Signature.” The song has a delightful, chimey intro. Stylistically, the music is kind of hard to categorize. It has elements of pop, hip hop, R&B and even electro. The backing music is especially good quality, and this seems like it could be a worthy club jam.
Houston based artists Grynd Season and Noah Archangel (Band of the Hawk) bring to you the new song “EZ” featured on the album titled “Grynd Season.” The style is reminiscent of the golden days of early 90’s hip hop, which is laid back and smooth but not frivelous. Unlike a lot of other contemporary hip hop, “EZ” refreshingly takes a straightforward approach to production. The artists don’t utilize unnecessary effects or over-process vocals the way many misguided young hip hop producers. This helps Grynd Season and Noah Archangel achieve an authentic mature sound that stays true to their influences, while incorporating some of their own modern flavor.
Natstar is an artist, producer, and songwriter from Charlotte, NC. He’s looking to catapult himself out of the unknown, with his new album, “Anatymous.” The album contains 13 tracks and Natstar utilizes an array of different samples and instruments for the backing, giving the songs some intra-variety. The 2nd song, “Roulette” is probably my favorite jam on the album. The female vocals help to further enhance an otherwise decent track. The other solid song is probably “Dagga,” which has a wonderfully chimey and uplifting backbeat. Natstar also seems the most laid back and authentic on this track.
Based in Paris, France, Han Sino has released a new album called, “The Blue Shapes Core.” He describes his style as “groovy instrumental” and “NuJazz.” After listening to his latest release I think that’s a very accurate description of his sound. It is kind of a “psychedelic Jazz.” His songs typically open with some quiet and minimal bass lines, soon introducing other instruments until the music builds into a colorful and dreamlike kaleidoscope of sound. The tracks all have single word titles like “Azure,” “Turquoise,” “Persian,” and so on. According to Han, these are intended to represent “the imaginary soundtrack of erotic and fairy-like variations of the color blue.” The titles help to create a certain ambiance for each song, thus enhacing the listening experience by giving your mind something to visualize with the experience.
The songs frequently change within themselves, with some parts being very different from the next, giving them a bit of unpredictability throughout. This works very well because it makes you want to listen to the entire song see where it could go, but also sometimes takes the song in odd directions. “Azure” has one of the best intros on the album and incorporates a kind of “chime” sound which gives it a uniqueness to an otherwise psychedelic sound. “Indigo” is another song which makes use of the chimes. My favorite track on “The Blue Shapes Score” is probably “Pastel.” The melody of the strings and echo give the song a kind of fantasy world quality. Listening to it, I pictured elves playing in the forest. “Methylene” is another example of this quality. It’s also one of the few tracks that doesn’t begin with a bass intro. Rather it introduces the full dream sequence immediately which makes it stand out from all the others.
Hans has a lot to be proud of with this release. It’s very pleasant and creative. Some of this music would be ideal for a film soundtrack, but otherwise it would be good to listen to on a long drive, or even if you’re trying to relax and want to put on your headphones and escape the sounds of a loud city.
Hip hop artist Ace Drucci has a slick new EP out called “Earotic.” It’s a lot brighter and more colorful than I was expecting. At times the backing and some of the vocals remind me of a mix of hip hop and early 90s rave music. Earotic has a very “summertime party” feel to it. Ace’s lyrics are often light hearted and deal with good times with friends and his crew. Musically, my favorite track on this EP is probably “Put Your Hands Up” which has excellent production quality and was mixed to perfection.