J Tizzle: “The Chill Zone Vol 3” – The taste is smooth and distinguishable!

As living things, we need a steady supply of certain ingredients to survive. In music, the formula is undeniably similar. A song requires both rhythm and pitch. For the musically hungrier amongst us, these ingredients are not enough. We need to add extras, such as mood, atmosphere, emotion and groove. Unfortunately, even with the proper ingredients and extras the results are not always as expected. Stagnancy spreads within the craftsman, as well as a lack of skill or emotion. Luckily one, by the name of J Tizzle (Jeffery Townsend Sr.), avoids these annoying traits. Within his songbook exists all of

Heavy AmericA: “Motor Honey (Peace)” – It’s rock. Pure and simple.

A couple of years ago, the bands to emulate in modern rock were those that flooded the radios with wickedly catchy upbeat power pop tunes. Then came the neo-metal-driven climate, where even the tame end of the spectrum became heavier. On their new single, “Motor Honey (Peace)”, Boston based three piece rock group Heavy AmericA, proves themselves among the best in the alternative rock genre with a track loaded with hooks for mainstream appeal, but with an energy and drive that keeps them from sounding like mere imitators. The new release which has all the potential to climb the rock

Scotty Seed: One of the more original and thoroughly enjoyable alternative listens of the year!

Proud of his Italian heritage and his role in the LGTBQ community as a queer artist, Scotty Seed is a musician based in the East Village of New York City. Obsessed with art, including fashion and music, Scotty, originally a Jersey boy, started taking songwriting and production seriously in his twenties. Influenced by elements of industrial, pop, grunge, PC music, electronic, and screamo music, he counts artists like Crystal Castles, Marilyn Manson, Hole, David Bowie, Madonna, and Depeche Mode among his inspirations. Fighting an ongoing battle with bipolar disorder, making music provides him with an escape from his mental health

Suburbs: “Sound of the Sea” – a rewarding new project

Suburbs is an indie rock band from Scheveningen, Netherland launched in 1995. The band that has its roots in the eighties and nineties achieved national exposure when they won the national contest “De Grote Prijs van Nederland” (The Grand Prize of the Netherlands), the largest and longest-running music competition in the country.  As of the summer of 2013 Suburbs has started a new chapter. Lead singer Arie Spaans and 2 early band members set to work to bring their old sound back. The following year they started dropping singles and video clips leasing to their mini EP “Masters” in 2016.

Martone: “Erogenous Zone” keeps the adrenaline and emotions flowing!

It was 5 years ago that pop superstar, Sam Smith, stepped up to the plate and showed the world that love songs don’t have to be heteronormative to be beloved. Smith came out publicly, stating that he wanted to be clear on what his album was about. “It’s about a guy and that’s what I wanted people to know.” He was also completely aware of how important his success is to the public narrative. Hearing your humanity represented and validated by pop culture is important, and many LGBT supporting musicians have since been stepping up to share their experiences. The

Red Tan: “Don’t You Dare!” – Vocally anchored and soulful!

Red Tan is a young widow and single mom. Living in an unfamiliar environment while suffering depression and anxiety has been a challenge that she was able to put into music on her single “Don’t You Dare!” It’s an inspirational anthem meant to help others overcome their struggles and difficulties, and achieve their goals. In the meantime it has been a healing medicine for the singer-songwriter herself, helping her to become a stronger and better person. Red Tan’s ability to create deep thoughtful music, her timeless voice, and her capacity to be so introspective, makes her extremely relatable to any

Albert J: “Grow” embraces both aural diversity and true inspiration

Albert J (formerly known as f.o.c.u.s.) is an American hip-hop recording artist residing in Tampa Florida. Moving through Maryland, DC, Virginia, NC, California and now Florida, Albert J got to experience a lot of diverse music and inspirations. From bands ranging from Sigur Ros and Coldplay to Linkin Park and Incubus, as well as many Hip-Hop influences from DMX, Kid Cudi, Mos Def and Busta Rhymes, Albert J grew up with a wide palette of sound. His 3 mixtapes “Youth Religion” (Dec 2013) “Remember” (March 2014) and “YR2” (April 2015), garnered serious attention in the Hip-hop scene, finally leading up

Knarly Jones: “Redemption” takes us on an epic journey

“Redemption”, is Detroit-based EDM producer, Knarly Jones’ second drop in a series of four releases this summer, preceded by “Atonement” which was released in June. After spending time away from music to study mathematics and physics, Knarly returns to the electronic music scene with a refined cinematic style and a slew of new releases. “Redemption” combines cinematic scoring elements with classic electro-house feel and heavy drops to create a unique sound for 2019. Knarly goes into his bag of tricks and creates an enlightening, varied soundscape that unleashes bass all over your face. With all of this to dive into, it’s

Maxime: “The Honest Me Pt.1” – a unique piece of work!

Maxime Boublil was born in Paris, France, into a musical theater family. His father Alain, wrote the musical adaptation of Les Miserables and Miss Saigon, his mother was the first Cosette in Les Miserables in France. As a child Maxime played the cello and then went on to study photography Academy of Arts University in San Francisco, but he discovered what he really wanted to do, when he picked a guitar in a friend’s dorm room. After studying Music in Visual Media, Maxime went on to pursue a career as an engineer at Furstock Studios with three-time aria award-winning engineer

Absolute Doubt: “When Nightmares Become Dreams” – extreme melancholic chill!

John Francis, known by his artist name Absolute Doubt, is an up-and-coming rapper with a talent for freestyling. He works with a number of artists and producers on his latest EP “When Nightmares Become Dreams”, including Lucki, Jay Storm, and Downtime. The project imbues most of the tropes in contemporary swaggy rap music with an omnipresent breeziness that feels endemic to a luxurious daydream. The 2-song release consists of mid-tempo, gently forlorn hip-hop, padded out with New Age trap gauze. The music is pervaded by an all-embracing sonic fog. Absolute Doubt is best when he is pitted against gently fibrillating

Nehedar: “High Life”

Nehedar is the project of singer-songwriter Emilia Cataldo performing in the NYC area since 2001.

The daughter of two New York musicians who fled urban life for the country, Cataldo was born in Southbridge, Massachusetts, where her family lived in a barn on the outskirts of town. Music always permeated their home – her mother a hippie piano teacher from a Jewish home & her father a Puerto Rican jazz saxophonist.

The Cataldo family which grew to six children, moved from Massachusetts, to Miami FL, & eventually to the religiously-infused town of Zion, Illinois, on the outskirts of Chicago where Cataldo briefly attended high school.

Cataldo quickly grew disenchanted with her small town surroundings. As soon as she was old enough, she left high school to travel the country, and later the world, on a journey that would eventually lead her to Israel, where she would study the Jewish faith in Seminary, and take on the Hebrew name Nehedar, which means ‘wonderful.’

While spanning indie-rock, folk, jazz and pop genres, the music of Nehedar has continued to deliver her blend of deeply personal yet quirky lyrics, beautiful vocal harmonies and a variety of instrumentation that sets her music apart.

Her new album, which was released this month is entitled “High Tide”. Nehedar delivers an album that seems designed for comfort and easy listening. Featuring slow, medium and up tempo songs which are frisky and very beguiling.

There’s something hypnotic about quirky female singer songwriters. Quite possibly it’s the wryness of outlook that comes from combining intelligence and emotion with maturity. Three qualities that are to be found in abundance in Nehedar’s latest offering.

There’s a certain surefootedness to the album. Every step taken – even when on tricky ground – takes the songs forward and much of what keeps these songs on the ground is the sumptuous and sophisticated production, which takes turns at presenting retro synth sounds as well as modern pop mixes.

On the first half of the album, the sounds are all extremely reminiscent of the Eighties. Strings, synthesizers, pianos, moogs and drum machines abound all across the songs, while Nehedar pitches her ethereal sounding voice amidst these lusciuos retro arrangements with absolute ease. Providing much of the enjoyment gained from this album.

On “The Interrogation”, for example, the vocoder interludes give the feeling of a distint urban tale countering Nehedar’s country prom styled vocal. While on “High Tide” a moogish bassline riff delivers a similarly startling effect. Providing a spunky background for Emilia Cataldo to sing her catchy chorus lines over.

On “Distracted” and “Tinkerbell” you clearly get the impression that words flow effortlessly from songwriter’s pen and her voice is weathered with sufficient apathy to ensure that each one of these words rings true.

“Take It Apart” has definite jazz and latino influences. Rhythmic beats and stabbing horns keep this track stomping throughout, while Ms Cataldo’s surefire, rollercoaster vocal-phrasing, makes it all sound so easy. Simple and effective, as is “The Song No One Hears” a tongue-in-cheek pop melody with a definite Morcheeba sounding arrangement creeping around the edges.

It appears that up until this point of the album, no deliberate attempts have been made to really impress the listener, but rather a more concerted and successful attempt to charm and enchant instead.

It is on “Intro”, that the production takes an impressive drastic left turn. The sound instantly becomes more austere, dark and determined.

“Dig Deep (Parts 1&2)” seriously confirms this impression. Accompanied by a simple tambourine beat, Nehedar offers a stunningly haunting vocal performance. Quite honestly, this is the Nehedar that I personally find more appealling.

Moving ahead things only get better. “Unlove Song” is my absolute favourite track on the entire album, and is definitely suited to, and ready for radio play. Beautifully sung with a bittersweet lyric to match and wrapped up into a tight modern arrangement.

“Baby I’m Falling” doesn’t fall much far behind the top mark either. If like me, you’re just a sucker for a good melody, a straight guitar riff rhythm and an honest-to-goodness Sheryl Crow type vocal, you’ll love this one too.

“Ocean” and “Opening” further demonstrate how much more impressively Nehedar sounds over a guitar driven background as opposed to a synth arrangement. Above a six-string strum, Emilia’s already endearing vocal timbre sounds significantly more determined and grittier.

Track 14 presents the final song of the album, and yet another sharp turn in production.

“Count Down The Days” is a big booming brass arrangement which could so easily have come off a broadway musical by Lionel Bart. If nothing else Nehedar flaunts her fiery versatality, with another showstopping performance.

The album “High Tide” seems deliberately split down the middle, between the Eighties sounding tracks and the Modern-pop sounding ones. Both are convincingly done and Emilia Cataldo’s voice lends itself to either genre equally well, and with absolute ease.

I however, particurlay like the “modern pop sounding genre” which sets in from track 8 onwards.
It presents a craftier, more reflective and impassioned sounding Nehedar.

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