Based in San Francisco, The Wyatt Act describes themselves as a high energy, experimental SlamRock band. Their latest track, “Hong” has elements of funk and lounge music. Vocalist and bassist Guinevere Q carries the song with her chic and swanky vocals. The song also features some terrific trumpet playing and even a keytar. Ultimately the trumpet and Keytar melodies work in tandem to provide an almost psychedelic atmosphere and set the darkly contemplative mood. I was hooked in by them within the first few seconds. This is just excellent music all the way around.
Bronx based, underground hip hop artist John J has released a new album, “Pain to Power.” Being more of a fan of old school hip hop than most contemporary styles, it was a pleasant surprise to discover that John J’s music has a very 90’s vibe, especially in his delivery…which is at faster moments is sometimes reminiscent of Bone Thugs. He also doesn’t make the mistake that modern rappers make by overdoing the effects and processing. This album has some potential. The songs are very dynamic and have a lot of coordinate elements. You can tell this wasn’t just thrown together.
New Orleans based artist 1stDegree’s has a new EP titled “DDay” out. He has one of those delivery styles that is laid back and unassuming, yet you can tell he means business. There are some memorably classic lines like “y’all stick to that JNCO.” What I like about these tracks is the backing music, which has a delightful chimy tone to it. They are very smooth and retains just the right amount of analog tape hiss to give the album a bit of an old school flavor. These mixes are extremely well put together, and 1stDegree has a professional and distinctive style that will have appeal with a wide variety of listeners.
New single/video out from artist Andrea Chiapparo, featuring Max Kleinz and produced by Cosmophonix. Video quality is very impressive and professional, with actors helping to convey the mood of the song through brief romantic interludes. It also incorporates some incredible sky views and ocean scenery. The song has a light and poppy, 90’s style dance beat and an overall bright tone to it. It’s a pretty cool summertime dance track.
Hussy, an alternative rock artist from Boston and signed to Pace Recordz, has a new single out titled, “Karen.” In the song Hussy refers to Karen as an “old friend,” but it seems clear from the lyrics that they were more than just pals. The music has a very 90’s alternative feel to it and would not have been out of place on a Party of Five or Melrose Place soundtrack. Hussy’s vocals do an excellent job of carrying the song, which is very minimalist. The tone is sometimes reminiscent of groups like Sebadoh or Modest Mouse. This is a terrific track and certainly not what I was expecting from an artist that goes by the name “Hussy.”
Dark, fast, and retro-futuristic is how I would describe Untitled Art’s new single, “Philly to Long Branch (Part 2.)” It has elements of synth, psychedelia, punk, and new wave and is just oozing with aesthetic. Listening to this jam makes you feel like you’re in a club scene of an 80’s vampire movie, and who wouldn’t want to be there? One thing I hate about most contemporary dance music and the “EDM scene” is just how nauseatingly happy and uplifting it pretends to be all the time. It’s here where Untitled Art really find its niche in the underbelly of the Miami, Florida music landscape , feeding a healthy range of emotions back into dance music. There’s hate, sadness, love, regret, bitterness… a whole kaleidoscope of sensations out there to experience.
Untitled Art achieves an authentic avant garde sound without coming across as tryhard. If I were DJing a night somewhere I would play this track. The part of the song which gets me fired up is the line “I watch the sun go down. I watch the sun.” That’s where it really feels like it hits home, and you get that feeling where it’s like “Oh yeah this song is legit.” I’m really impressed by this recording, the material these guys are putting out and how they’re presenting it.
Available on Bandcamp:
JP.Kazadi’s debut single is a surprisingly positive and uplifting song that instructs you to “Keep pushing on” through adversity. The video utilizes a lot of bleak and depressing everyday imagery, the kind we can all relate to when we just don’t know if it’s worth it to get out of bed and leave the house. It is very subtle though. The combination of the slow pacing of the song and upbeat message is highly effective. There’s no phony cheerfulness and fake smiles here, just a guy going through the daily grind and continuing to pursue his dreams. JP is a good singer and brings with him an authenticity that’s rare to see in these times.
KAIYA, an electronic-indie-pop artist based in NYC, originally was born in the Ukraine and grew up in the European fashion world. Recently, in a collaboration effort with Brooklyn-based songwriter/producer ÅMBE, she released “GAMES,” a debut single. I especially liked the intro which had the feel of a crowd cheering at a sports event. Then the song kicks in and it’s a beautifully playful electronic tune. The backing track almost has a kind of early 90’s, carefree summertime vibe. If I had to describe this music in colors it would be pastels. KAIYA’s vocal presence is just right for this style of music. Really this is a beautiful song, and it really does relax you.
Hip hop artist NatStar’s new track “GIMME” is a fast paced ride all the way through. The video for this song was “shot directed and edited by EE Clark.” NatStar’s jams have gotten him a rather large following on youtube for an indie artist. Stylistically, “GIMME” is mostly just straightforward contemporary hip hop, although it has elements of soul and a pretty sweet electronic backing. NatStar’s quick delivery and larger than life personality helps to drive the song where he wants it to go.