No Mercy is a new single from artist, Xitanna. Backed by a robust beat, this bold and lavish track blends elements of hip hop R&B and pop. As the title suggests, Xitanna gives a charismatic and assertive performance. Her lyrical delivery is brimming with sensual style and confidence. The rhythm is crisp and melodic accents in the mix round things off nicely in the music department. This song makes effective use of vocal layering, and the backing has a subtly dreamlike ambiance. No Mercy is a solid, no-nonsense track, performed with enough feeling and sensitivity for the listener to appreciate the song’s romantic undertones.
Chargeback is a new single from Chicago-based hip hop artist, 773JUAN. This hard-hitting jam crams plenty of energy and action into its 2 and 1/2 minute runtime. The melodic intro offers up a smooth and R&B flavored side to the music, before transitioning into a fresh, colorful beat. The rhythm has a swift, summertime bounce to it. It’s a minimalist beat but sufficiently gives the song a tight framework, leaving enough room for the vocals to take the reins.
Speak of which, 773JUAN’s delivery maintains a dynamic, quick-paced and natural flow. He doesn’t merely “rap” though. He actually sings the lyrics, and effectively incorporates vocal harmonies to enhance the mix. I’d estimate that this track is about 85% hip hop and 15% R&B vibes. It’s actually impressive just how many words 773JUAN manages to fit into the song without cutting corners and being repetitive. His performance is relentless and he doesn’t even bother to come up for air.
In keeping consistent with the theme implied by the song’s title, the concept of credit is peppered throughout as an artistic motif. Lifestyle, excitement and money are the name of the game. 773JUAN’s exemplifies the Chicago hip hop style, which is substantive, no-nonsense and action oriented. He just very direct. Musically, it’s very enjoyable. The song has an intensity but is laid back enough to be appreciated in a low-key party atmosphere as well. Ultimately, Chargeback is a solid and straighforward hip hop entry, smooth and polished around the edges with musicality. Th song is available on Spotify, Apple Music and other streaming platforms. I’d recommend you check it out, and keep your eyes peeled for other releases from this prolific artist, who already has a number of other singles under his belt.
I Want You is a new single from artist, Miss Chay Bella. The song is a vibrant and passionate expression of longing, with an underlying message of how hope can get you through tough times. As the title suggests, the lyrics are straightforward and stick to the heart of the matter. Musically, the track features a modestly paced beat and bright, exotically flavorful melodies. Miss Chay Bella’s sentimentally honest vocals ultimately carry the song, providing the artistic and emotional traction to free the listener of any negative vibes. Her voice is empowering (even in its sensitivity) and has a sincere charm.
You really can’t ask for something more heartfelt than this. While it’s the 4th of July right now, keep this jam in your playlist for when Valentine’s Day comes around or just save it for some rainy afternoon when you’re looking to lift your spirits.
Thirty Three Degrees’ self titled debut album impresses from start to finish. One gets the idea right away with the opening track Get Me Outta Here, which contains some of the best vintage guitar tones you’ll ever hear. The whole album is robust and rocking. The best way I can describe it is that this is like classic rock that’s better than most actual classic rock. The sound is very much reminiscent of groups like Badfinger, The Kinks and The Yardbirds, particularly where the guitars are concerned. When the vocals come into play, they’re powerful and loud, really amping up and intensifying the vibe a few notches. It’s hard to even believe this is a “debut” album. It’s just too good. These guys have real style.
The Life of Someone I Once Knew is a new album from Toledo-based artist, Adrian John Szozda. What’s unique about this release is that it is actually a story. Featuring a full narrative, complete with hero and heroine, the album takes the listener on an avant garde and poetic journey. The tracks are packed with sentiments youthful exuberance, passion, romance and a bold “zest for life.” Don’t let the esoteric setup fool you into thinking this is a gimmick album. This music is of the highest quality, both technically and artistically.
It’s difficult to classify the style, but it has a folkish rock quality with elements of Americana, capturing very much the spirit of travel and exploration on the open road. The performance is clean and melodic, enveloped in a mix that really brings out the best of the sound. Some of the more romantic songs will really make you blush. The Life of Someone I Once Knew is scheduled to be released on 07/16/21.
Two is a new album from singer-songwriter, Matthew Austin Hunt. Scheduled for official release on 07/30/21, Two is good old fashioned clean and powerful music right here. The sound is rather eclectic, as there are elements of rock, Americana and country, and Matthew Austin Hunt also cites legendary crooners like Bing Crosby as being among his influences. The guitars on songs like Things I Find have a delicious crunch to them, providing the backbone in what are some satisfyingly full mixes. The album subtly blends themes like patriotism, love and loss, interweaving them together cohesively. Hunt’s vocals are emotionally expressive yet charismatic and cool, balancing a “down to Earth” sensitivity with a strong stage presence. He’s a highly capable singer as well. The songwriting is as sincere as it gets, and overall this is a solid album. My favorite song is probably Questions, which has a melodic bounce to it.
Rainbow is a new single from Los Angeles-based artist, Brooke Josephson. After what has been a difficult year for many people, this colorfully inspirational pop track offers an uplifting message, reassuring people that it’s okay to celebrate being themselves. The music is bright and peppy, and Brooke Josephson proves herself to be one heck of a gifted vocalist. Dynamic, elaborate and technically on point, this is one of the best pop vocal performances I’ve heard in a while. The lush guitar backing gives the sound an almost retro rocking ambiance, as the melodies are brimming with optimistic tones that seem like they’re from another era. Rainbow is an invigorating and energetic release that will leave you feeling refreshed and ready for new adventures. The video for this song is professionally done and features some impressive effects, which really enhance the experience.
2 Years is a new single from Toronto-based singer-songwriter, Sheenique B. This track goes a little deeper than the average indie pop song, as Sheenique B reflects on a lengthy “on and off” relationship she had with a girl while she was in college. Her vocal delivery is touchingly sincere and sentimental, and the minimalist mix really allows the listener to experience the heartfelt sensitivity at full capacity.
Unlike most contemporary music, 2 Years has an innocent quality to it. It’s very personal and almost feels like a diary entry or letter in audio form. Sheenique B can sing rather well, but more importantly her voice fits well with this style. This is as real as it gets. Sheenique B also understands how artistic expression can be therapeutic and help people both heal from and celebrate their past experiences.
Blu is a new single from Evin Gibson, an award-winning singer-songwriter, actor, and model. Blending elements of pop and R&B, this smooth track flows in a fluid and dreamlike fashion. Evin Gibson is clearly a gifted vocalist, and his dynamic voice functions as an instrument in its own right. He squeezes every last drop out of each note, guiding the song majestically. The backing music is ambient and ethereal, providing a meditative backdrop while a fresh beat keeps the action tight. Blu is much more enchanting than standard R&B fare. It’s enjoyably hypnotic and has a chill vibe.
Thematically, this track deals with the bittersweet feeling people experience when being played after falling for someone. It combines the hopeful tenacity of moving forward with one’s lingering sense of sadness. The recording itself has a nice, clean mix that’s mellow and sonically pleasing to the ear.
White Girls is a new single from DJ Kosho (also featuring the talents of Slim Spitta). As mentioned in a previous write-up, DJ Kosho was a pioneering figure in the West Coast Breaks scene and was the original founder of Club RED in Los Angeles way back in 2000. From 2009-2010 he ran Club RED San Francisco. He’s been active in his most recent venture, iRED Recordings, since 2016.
DJ Kosho brings down the house with White Girls, a lively party jam .The high octane mix just sizzles with productive richness and clarity. This song really gets the juices flowing. Blending elements of hip hop and dance, a good way to describe this music is that it’s the type of song that would be playing if you strolled into a party at its most climactic point the evening. Slim Spitta’s no-nonsense delivery is crisp and straightforward. The lyrics maintain a disciplined and laser-like focus on the prize, which in this case translates to living it up and partying to the fullest in every facet of life. White Girls takes me back to simpler times of late-90s dance mix compilations and carefree clubbing. The audio quality is excellent, as DJ Kosho proves once again he knows how to put together a top notch recording. The action never lets up.