Bev – Crusher

Bev_Crusher_Album Cover

Crusher is a new album from singer-songwriter, Bev. The songs have a dreamy, retro-futuristic 1970’s quality. The ambiance is surreal and contemplative. While it may have had some classic rock and jazz inspirations, it also reminds me a lot of early 2000’s indie rock, which represented a golden age I didn’t fully appreciate at the time.

Bev’s performance has a certain honesty and sensitivity. She’s a solid vocalist from a technical standpoint as well. The lyrics frequently deal with heartbreak and the rediscovery of one’s self. Apparently Bev recently went through a divorce in 2018, and some of the sentiments expressed are probably a reflection of that. From a musical standpoint, the hooks on many of these songs are so good they will give you goosebumps. My personal favorite track on here is Madrid, which is catchy, melodic and strikes me as an instant indie classic.

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Jeff Engholm – Little Big Things (21)

Little Big Things is a new album from artist, Jeff Engholm. This one is set to hit the street on June 18th, 2021. In terms of genre, it’s difficult to classify. Combining elements of folk rock, and adult contemporary, the songs on this album are rich with melody. There’s an upbeat and subtly quirky quality to this music. It just has a lot of personality. Recording quality is excellent. The guitar tones are bright and brimming with detail. You can tell Jeff Engholm really enjoys making music. The vibe is off the charts. My favorite song on this album is Feel the Sting. It’s surreal, slightly psychedelic and absolutely rocks. Every track on here is a hit.

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Jeff Goldsmith – That Witch… (22)

That Witch… is a new single from Minneapolis-based composer and sound designer, Jeff Goldsmith. Slated for release on May 28th, this is one of the more interesting tracks I’ve heard in recent memory. In a Jekyll and Hyde like fashion, the song oscillates back and forth between demonic noise rock and a kind of elegant alternative. Goldsmith is somehow able to make the jarring juxtaposition work. The ambiance is dark and somewhat haunting but in an appealing way. What makes the contrast successful is that the “mellow” portions of the song are performed very well. This guy really is a solid musician. That Witch… is an avant garde, mini-masteriece.

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Maya Wagner – Closeted

Maya Wagner Cover

Closeted is a new single from artist, Maya Wagner. It’s the title track from her upcoming EP that’s scheduled to be released June 25th, 2021. Maya gives a superb vocal performance on this soulful jam. She’s a great singer from a technical standpoint, but her voice also has a certain innocent purity. It really gives the song credibility. The modestly paced backing music has a nice sparkle to it, and the vocal harmonies work very well. Taking everything into account, Closeted is about as close as you can get to a perfect indie pop song.

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Dick Aven – It All Started in the Garden (23)

It All Started in the Garden is a new album from American singer-songwriter, Dick Aven. He’s also apparently a multi-genre saxophone player and multi-instrumentalist. Needless to say, this album rules. The songs have kind of a classic, 1960s vibe, with elements of folk rock, Americana and psychedelia. The music is just very organic. Production quality is quite good. The mix is nice and bright, and Dick Aven’s vocals project clearly. His performance is brimming with substance and emotional sincerity. My favorite track on the album is No Clue, which features a rich lyrical narrative and colorful melody.

Goldilocks – Future Famous

`Goldilocks Future Famous Album Cover

Future Famous is a new album from NYC-based artist Goldilocks. Blending elements of reggaeton, pop, and hip hop, the sound is uniquely satisfying. There’s a lot of variety, as each song leans more toward one style than another. One of the songs that strikes as having obvious potential is Cherry. It’s catchy, fresh and has a surreal backing track. Goldilocks gives a charismatic performance that combines assertive qualities with emotion and sincerity.

The songs on here are surprisingly complex and dynamic. There are many layers and components to these songs, and it’s impressive how well everything comes together. The stylish and structural finesse of this album cannot be understated. My favorite jam is probably Slide My Way, with its reggae vibes and bilingual lyrics. This album is set to be officially released on May 28. In the meantime, I recommend checking out Cherry on Spotify to get a taste of what’s in store..

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Certified Flip, Bop Boyz – Twerkin’ For the Berkin


Twerkin’ For the Berkin is a new single from Certified Flip and Bob Boyz. Blending elements of hip hop and pop, this collaborative effort is catchy and vibrant. Bop Boyz have been around since 2011 and have demonstrated a knack for cranking out chart-worthy jams, with releases like Car Full of White Girls and We Created a Monster. The minimalist piano-driven beat in Twerkin’ For the Berkin serves as a backdrop for the song’s money shot chorus. The repetitive lyrics really get stuck in your brain, making this party track an instant sing-a-long classic. The vocal delivery is smooth and fresh, while the beat backs enough heat to keep the action on the dance floor moving.
Twerkin’ For the Berkin is just one of those songs that is just primed to go viral. These guys understand the recipe for creating a hit song.

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Lonerkid – Cliffside


Cliffside is a new single from Central New Jersey-based artist, Lonerkid. Originally, from Syracuse, NY, Lonerkid blends elements of hip hop, pop, emo and R&B. Thematically, his music is heavily influenced by experiences with past relationships. The of lyrics in Cliffside deal with heartbreak and spirituality. Lonerkid puts a new twist on these subjects, as he expresses his thoughts with rich, emotional detail. As the title implies, the song’s narrative involves an individual standing on the edge of a cliff, perhaps considering jumping and just ending it all. He reflects on a recently ended relationship and ponders where it all went wrong. Though the music has more of a hip hop and R&B sound, the spirit of this jam is pure emo.

Crafting a narrative that’s both engaging and coherent, Lonerkid proves himself to be an excellent lyricist. The catchy hooks and competent structure demonstrate that he knows how to make a decent pop song. This isn’t amateurish at all. Nor is it someone just blurting out their deepest darkest thoughts like some teenager’s diary. There’s is a method to Lonerkid’s sadness and despair. He doesn’t neglect any aspect of the song. The production is solid, and this is just very well put together. Despite the content, this isn’t really depressing to listen to. Cliffside has a mellow and chill vibe, that is enjoyable and somewhat meditative. This guy has genuine songwriting skills and could gain traction if he makes the right connections and catches a few breaks.

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Wagner Productions – Freestyle Friday


Here’s a new freestyle mini-jam released by UK-based hip hop artist, Wagner, on his Instagram. It appears to be part of his recurring “Freestyle Friday” series. He maintains a reliable flow throughout and his delivery is surprisingly melodic. The sounds is actually a lot more musical than typical freestyles, which often have more of a spoken-word slam poetry vibe. He demonstrates a good sense of timing. There’s some potential here, as Wagner gives an impressive performance for this being an impromptu Instagram upload. He could really start releasing these as complete tracks. Keep your eyes peeled for more Freestyle Friday action from this artist.

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Blvd Gerard – Get Gangsta


Get Gangsta is a new single from hip hop artist, Blvd Gerard. A man who describes himself as a “hustler to the bone,” Blvd Gerard delivers this crisp track and surprisingly groovin’ track. The backing music features some sweet retro organ music and slick bass, giving this jam a distinctive sound. If it weren’t for the rapping, this song wouldn’t seem out of place on the soundtrack of a typical 1970s action movie. Blvd Gerard’s lyrical flow is fresh and lively. He creatively employs some interesting vocal effects which boost the song’s entertainment value and thicken up the mix nicely. This is a good, solid single. Blvd Gerard proves himself to be both a worthy performer and an artistically inventive songwriter. This guy has some style.

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