Zelinen – LIVE FULLY


LIVE FULLY is a new single from indie artist, Zelinen. The song is upbeat and spiritually motivational. One can’t help but experience a feeling of momentum generated from Zelinen’s straightforward and unabashed words of encouragement. Her positive mental attitude beams at you like a ray of sunshine, all throughout this humble and pleasant little recording. The synth driven backing music is delightfully quirky and just makes you feel happy, ready face whatever life throws at you. Zelinen has a strong natural singing voice that projects well and comes through with crystal clarity. If you’re feeling unsure about yourself, this song might be just the uplifiting experience you need to reaffirm your potential to live a fulfilling and spiritual life.

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Slakpapi – Papi

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Papi is a new album from New York based, Dominican hip hop artist Slakpapi. The album has a very distinctive, funky, sometimes dreamlike sound. In fact, the opening track is actually titled Funky. A good way to describe the ambiance of the intro song is that it’s like listening to an ethereal conversation going on in someone’s head while they’re playing an old school video game. One of the strongest tracks on this release is Sanctuary. In this mini masterpiece, Slakpapi demonstrates he has real skills, demonstrating an impeccable sense of timing and razor sharp delivery. It’s also somewhat refreshing that he’s willing to sing naturally at times without a ton of processing and autotune, and his voice gets the job done just fine. Sanctuary is delightfully melodic and extremely catchy. In my opinion it’s the song with the most potential to score a hit. There’s a surprising amount of versatility on these recordings though, as the artist experiments with all kinds of different song formats, pacing, effects, delivery styles and backing music. No two songs sound quite the same, but all are fun, lively and ocassionally feature memorable titles like Lambo Swervin’. Papi is both an entertaining and respectable album. There’s ample talent on display here.

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iTunes: https://music.apple.com/us/album/papi/1499399772

Juan Sánchez – Rebirth


Rebirth is the debut album from artist/composer, Juan Sánchez. The tracks are largely piano-driven but often incorporate strings and other instrumental sounds, creating an atmosphere of quiet intensity. Emotionally evocative, the music elicits feelings of sadness and solitude, while maintaining a subtly uplifting and deeply engaging ambiance throughout. Artistically, the expression is off the charts. You can just feel the passion in these recordings. Heading to Dreamland and Arctic Solitude are two tracks to me which stood out as particularly powerful and both feature memorably climactic moments. From a technical standpoint, Juan is a very proficient piano player, and everything is very delicately crafted. This guy is a veteran musician and really knows what he is doing when constructing these compositions. Rebirth would make an excellent soundtrack to any film which deals with quietly dramatic emotions and thought provoking material. If I had to characterize the “mood” of this album I’d say it reminds me of the feeling of being outside just after it rains.

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Magazine Gap – Superficial


Superficial is a new single from Magazine Gap, an alternative pop-soul band based in London. The song is supposedly the “sister song” to (and filmed in tandem with) another release, titled For the Ride. We’ve covered releases from this trio a few years ago, and it’s great to see that these guys are still going strong.

As far as this latest release goes, if I look hard enough I can usually find something worthy of praise in just about any recording, but in this case I don’t even have to look at all. The music is flawless from start to finish by nearly every objective metric. The guitars stand out immediately as being very precise, and you can hear every note in its delicious detail. “Tone” is a subjective element, but the guitar tone on this track is warm, and soulful. It achieves what most guitar amp enthusiasts and tinkerers would characterize as “the holy grail of vintage tones.” The vocals are also outstanding, probably the best singing I’ve ever heard from what is technically an “indie” band. The vocals don’t sound stereotypically British to me though, which is interesting. If you heard this song randomly you might actually assume this was an American band. (I personally would never have guessed that two of the members apparently grew up in Hong Kong.) Like the guitars, the keyboards’ elaborate melodies are meticulously performed, while the drums provide a clean and light rhythm to serve as the backbone of the song. Topically speaking, Superficial is a sentimental jam which deals with themes like relationship honesty and transparency. The lyrics are laid out in a simple and “matter of fact” fashion (“Let’s put it out there baby, and set the record straight” is an actual line from the song). All in all, Superficial qualifies as another stellar release under this band’s belt. These guys are true music professionals.

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