Owl Company: “Horizon” carves out blistering rhythms

Owl Company is a band from São Paulo, Brazil that combines hard rock influences from the 70s to the 90s with modern rage and brutality, creating a sound that is fresh, aggressive, and engaging. Launched in 2015 the band has built a strong presence in São Paulo, playing all the premier venues in town. Their first single “Condescend,” quickly grabbed attention locally and now the band is setting its sights on crashing international borders. Owl Company’s chosen vehicle to get them where they need to be going is their full-length debut album “Horizon”, set to drop July 14th 2017. The

Harmony Drive: “Be There” – fresh, upbeat and vibrant music!

Most times you can gauge the potential quality of a creative project just by gazing through its credits. In this case, the single by Norwegian band Harmony Drive – “Be There”, was recorded in Denver, Colorado. With help of production duo Glenn Sawyer & Rich Veltrop (Tom Petty, Ozzy Osbourne, Macy Gray), and Dave Elitch (Mars Volta, Killer be killed) on drums. The music video, filmed in Norway and the Philippines, features the multi-talented Supermodel, TV-host, and Surfer Mona Lisa Neuboeck. Of course for the potential quality to transform into effective quality you need a stunning song and band. Lars

Delta Station: “An Unexpected Turn of Events” – the experience is more epic and cinematic

The little 14 year old Australian genius who goes by the moniker of Delta Station, has a new album out. And, somewhat predictably, it’s another utter and perfect treat. Before you listen to Delta Station’s latest album you really should leave all preconceptions at the door. Despite the connotations of the album’s title, “An Unexpected Turn of Events” is a joyous affair. It is an album that is warm, exhilarating, and incredibly uplifting and it is his greatest piece of work to date. Delta Station has only been in the production craft since June 2016, but has already released two EPs, previous to this album.

The Valium: “Amazing Breakdowns” – walking the high-wire intersections of visceral punk-rock expression and high art perfection

The Valium hooked me as soon as I heard the first track “Too Many Dreams Of Rock N Roll” from freshly released album, entitled “Amazing Breakdowns”. This was an album that hit me in the gut and instantly dragged me along for the ride. After listening to it, I must say that this is one of the most unique, interesting and high-energy bands I have ever heard in the alternative rock scene of late. Though taken from a myriad of influences, their sound is completely their own and every song sounds unique to their band. I can’t really imagine some

Newborn: “Honey Trap” – something of a perfect alchemy

The Coney Island, Brooklyn-based band Newborn was formed by  high school friends Allen James (vocals/guitar) and Eric Weglicki (guitar/bass/vocals) and a love of rock spanning from Metallica, Nirvana, to Muse. After many years of jamming together they decided to form a band. Newborn played their first show December 2014 which was followed by the release their debut EP “Broken Virgo”. The band has since evolved musically, adding drummer Dave Goldenberg, and going from strength to strength, culminating in the release of their latest single, entitled “Honey Trap”. The song features Newborn’s most diverse lyrical palette to date. The result is a cohesive,

Gloom Influx: “First LP” – looping the listener into a nostalgic yet futuristic world

Montréal-based musician Luc Leclerc, aka Gloom Influx, delivers a unique and powerful blend of metal and synthwave, influenced by 80’s movies and video game soundtracks, heavy metal, and contemporary artists like Justice, and Carpenter Brut. Sometimes you need to listen to music that makes you feel like you are in the future in outer space and somehow the 80s never ended. And sometimes you want to add elements of robots, monsters and fear. When you want those things, there are few better than Gloom Influx . Whether you come at this album from the perspective of someone into synthwave, darkwave

Jigsaw Man: ‘No Home’ – a self-produced EP with strong stoner overtones

The 4 track ‘No Home’ EP is the debut release from Jigsaw Man, the moniker under which singer-songwriter Steven Faulkner is releasing original material. “It’s nice doing things under a pseudonym because you can be more personal about the lyrics, and because you have that separation,” said Faulkner, continuing: “In my head the lyrics belong to Jigsaw Man, so I can be more honest and personal. I can write far more honestly and I’ve certainly done that on this EP. In the past I’ve always looked for metaphor or simile but this EP is very honest.” Playing since he was a

Corlioni: “Destiny” has a genuinely refreshing effect!

In case you’re not down with the nomenclature being thrown around the EDM community currently, on his latest track, “Destiny”, electronic producer Corlioni, comfortably slides into the trend-setting genre called ‘Tropical house’. Though, it would be correct to say that the masked British producer is not really confined to that specific genre at all. Tropical house is a more relaxing yet uplifting form inside the EDM craze, a response to the grimy, dark sounds of the dubstep craze which has been losing steam for the last several years. Rather than deep bass growls that sound like a broken inkjet printer,

DJ DezZ: “SometimeZ” – a tour-de-force!

Fast forward a quarter of a century and the phrase ‘Deep House’ has become to mean something completely different from its first incarnation during the halcyon days of house. It’s hard to move in the overpopulated market of all things ‘deep’ these days, but in amongst the monotony of the same old EDM samples and generic preset bass lines are a number of artists that really are able to tickle your fancy. One such EDM producer that we believe has kept it deep, down and dirty so far in 2017, with the release of his single “SometimeZ”, is Charlie Desi aka DJ

Toni Castells: 2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal? – The emotion is very compelling

Toni Castells is a Hispano-British composer currently based in London. A lecturer at Imperial College London and the London College of Music, his sonic worlds transpire an inherited precocious classical training with an inventive use of modern technologies to create unique and distinctive soundscapes. Castells latest musical endeavor is entitled ‘2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal?’ which explores the prediction by computer engineer and futurologist Ray Kurzweil that the year 2045 will see the start of a new era in which human and artificial intelligence will merge, man will cease to age and so acquire the potential to live indefinitely. In the original interview with Kurzweil

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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