Playology is an upcoming EP from ErMonii. In addition to being an artist, ErMonii is also a music producer, audio engineer and the CEO of a music production company (The Product LLC). He has a pretty decent following already. Some of his releases have over 40,000 plays on Spotify. His jams often feature exquisite and ambient beats, fronted by passionate and expressive vocals. The sound is ethereal and the vibe is inspirational. You can tell he really puts his heart into creating and performing these jams. The preview tracks for Playology are tantalizing and crisp, with backing beats containing some slick synth sounds. In terms of lyrical delivery, he really has a solid flow and gets on a roll when he’s rapping. Other times he opts for a more intimate and sentimental approach. There’s a lot of artistic versatility here, and plenty of creative variety in his catalog, as ErMonii is something of a jack of all trades. Playology will be one to watch for.
In The Hills of California is a new album from Santa Barbara-based artist, Clay Rodgers. This album is interesting in that it actually contains a narrative storyline. Basically, it’s about an individual who ventures into the San Ynez mountains looking for people who have gone there for various reasons (to commit suicide, find themselves, indulge in their addictions, etc). Musically, the sound has an indie, experimental jazz sound. It’s very organic, and almost seems like it’s from another time period. The vibe is cool and swanky, with elements of folkish psychedelia. My favorite track on here is A Silent Hill Weeps which has a 1960s quality comparable to that of groups like The 5th Dimension, (only with thematically darker undertones). Also notable is the multi-part epic, Another Bend In the Road, which spans three full tracks. I review all kinds of music, but this album probably comes closest to what I actually listen to in real life. In The Hills of California is authentic, soulful, and just an all around great work of art.
Just Another Tuesday is a new single from hip hop artist, Santa Sallet. This song has one of the coolest retro-futuristic synth beats I’ve ever heard. It almost sounds like something you’d hear on a 70’s scifi soundtrack. The intro is really attention grabbing and will instantly pique your interest with its subtle and mysterious vibe. Inspired during a freestyle session with a friend while driving home one ordinary afternoon, this jam offers up catchy lyrics and precise timing. The flow is tight and rhythmically hypnotic. Santa Sallet makes rapping look easy, as he blends casual confidence with subtle humor and entrepreneurial spirit. He spits out gold bar rhymes like he’s got a vault full of them to spare. Sallet has a natural talent for songwriting and a good ear for “beat aesthetics” as well. Just Another Tuesday is a prime example of how great songs can materialize out of seemingly mundane events in our daily lives, if we are willing to seize the creative moment.
The Noise Militia #38/76 is a new single from renowned artist “Steve Lieberman the Gangsta Rabbi.” This guy is an indie legend and one of the most prolific songwriters of all time, with a catalog of underground releases that spans several decades. This particular track is apparently over 23 hours long (which would make it the longest song ever). I didn’t have time to listen to the entire thing, but any jam which features a flute rendition of the theme song from Leave It To Beaver is a winner as far as I’m concerned. Steve is a multi-instrumentalist, so we’re treated to quite a pleasant variety of sound. Often times this track functions as an organic collage, with a thick and entrancing blend of noise and creative musicality. It’s like listening to those delightful radio waves emanating from deep in the cosmos as you turn the dial on your walkie talkie.
Lieberman has created a new sub-genre here, with what he describes as a “fusion of military music and noise punk.” That’s actually a pretty accurate characterization. The ambiance of The Noise Militia #38/76 is basically like a musical cauldron, consisting of marching music vibes, radio static, brainwaves, punk rock and morse code. It’s a creative and strangely inspirational release. If you don’t have any big plans this weekend and are up for a marathon, maybe you can listen to this epic in one sitting to achieve the full effect. This song has the potential to open a stargate.
Knights is a new single from Black Note Graffiti, a well-known band that has toured extensively (from Hollywood to NYC) and worked with some heavy hitters in the music industry. This song rocks. The vibe is both energizing and confrontational. In what could be construed as a chess metaphor, phrases like “We’re taking over your knights!” are asserted confidently throughout the track. The guitars are robust and crisp, fronted by full-throated vocals. Seriously, the vocals are powerful and also solid from a technical standpoint. Tone-wise the sound falls somewhere in between screamo and the classic hard rock/metal of the late 80s and early 1990s. It’s all very clean and well-structured, indicative of polished musicians who know what they’re doing and aren’t just weekend warriors looking to make some noise. There’s excellent cohesion in these performances, enhanced by a professional mix and a pretty rad album cover.
First Date is a new single from Louisiana-based artist, Sk8way 10thousand. With influences ranging from Blink182 to Lil Wayne, Sk8way has a creative and unpredictable style. Blending elements of hip hop, R&B, and emo, the song is loaded to the brim with passion and fresh beats. Featuring a fun-filled and exciting Valentine’s Day party vibe, First Date is largely driven by Sk8away’s vocals. His distinctive voice maintains a relatively high pitch and when combined with the sentimental lyrical content, often fits as much within the realm of emo or pop punk as it does hip hop. The song actually rocks in an innovative, experimental kind of way. It’s quite catchy, too. Sk8way has an unassuming and unpretentious style, yet still manages to muster enough low-key charisma hold the listener’s attention. He comes across as instantly likable and the type of performer you really want to root for. There’s genuine sensitivity in his songwriting. I suspect his music will get even more interesting and refined as his budding young career progresses.
Animal is a recent release from UK based singer-songwriter/rock band, Samh. It was released in March, just before the pandemic began to engulf everything. This stunted the song’s momentum a bit, but now this indie gem is finally starting to get the attention and recognition it deserves. The simplest way to describe Animal is that it blends folk with psychedelia. The sound reminds me of the 60’s group, The Pretty Things, in the way that it builds and transitions from a sentimental, minimalist style to high energy psychedelic rock. It does this in a very artistically effective way. If you were to just hear the first couple minutes of this jam, you’d have no idea how hard the second half rocks, but when as the song progresses, it will make sense. In true psychedelic fashion, this track clocks in at nearly 7 minutes long. Impressively, Samh maintains the performance level and intensity throughout, even within what is a fairly complex songwriting structure. The vocals and ambiance have a very organic and “Earthy” quality. There’s an appreciation for nature, humility and the unknown.
There is also a second song on this release, titled Ballsack (Just Like Me and You They Don’t Know What They’re Doing) which actually defies traditional categorization. It contains experimental elements of alternative, lounge, psychedelic and maybe even a touch of soul. It almost sounds like a vintage live record. Broadly speaking, this is great stuff. This is honestly what indie is supposed to be all about.
the brainchild of Darkflow Music, Gotham Poetry Podcast (300820) features over 2 fun-filled hours of high intensity techno. The ambiance is delightfully dystopian and mecho-futuristic, as Darkflow Music harnesses bleakness and transforms it into a high octane dance fuel. This track is a real pulsepounder. It’s the perfect background music for a lengthy late night drive across state lines. Gotham Poetry Podcast (300820) contains a lot of musical variety while maintaining a thematically consistent tone throughout. In a slight twist, it takes subtly bright turn toward the end with a touch of colorful musicality. I highly recommend curious readers take some time to revel in this well-constructed (and highly satisfying) atmospheric wasteland.
Fear is a new single from singer/songwriter, Trey Connor, and appears on his recently released album, Horizons. Originally from the Detroit/Flint MI area, Trey is now based in Austin. Fear has already racked up over 18,000 plays on Spotify. The song has a very bright and polished feel. It easily qualifies as a contemporary pop gem. Trey’s vocal and guitar performances on the track are both stellar and establish him as a serious songwriter. The tone oscillates between quietly sentimental and outright euphoric throughout the song. While guitars provide much of the musical backbone, the drums pay a robust role, and layered vocals make the track full and colorful. This is a very crowded genre, where it can be difficult to stand out. Fear is definitely a top tier production, and people will take notice of Trey Connor’s ability.
ONE FAMM MUSIC GROUP is run by Theo “Mr. Network” Hall III & Dennis “DT” Turner. The FAMM in the name stands for “One Family Always Makes Money” and the group represents all musical genres. Founded in 1999, OMFG operated until 2005, took a hiatus and then reestablished itself in 2013. A look at their youtube channel shows that OMFG is clearly on a solid path. Featuring major label quality videos from artists like Dray Love and King Hanz, this is an outfit that’s striving for greatness.
According to Mr. Metwork, the foundations of OMFG are “humility, sincerity, passion, and perseverance,” values which are much needed in the music industry. OMFG aims to promote talented artists who “have fallen through the cracks” and may not have the resources to get enough exposure on their own. OMFG has an impressive roster of up and coming artists, and over the years their performers have opened for many of music’s biggest names (from a wide variety of genres). Be on the lookout for this company and expect a few of the artists from their talent pool to have breakout success in the coming years.