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

We Need Surgery: A Profound And Moving Indie Rock Album

Indie rock band We Need Surgery, was formed by some English teachers in Seoul, S. Korea.  After a few years of writing and performing all original material in packed Korean nightclubs and festivals, they added a Korean guitarist and headed off to North America searching for a record deal. They quickly achieved that goal, signing a 3 album deal with Canadian label Light Organ Records.

Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on which way you look at the ever-changing music industry), label deals aren’t what they used to be. The band’s  label, although helping them produce their self-titled album, as well as with photos shoots and a video shot in Japan, won’t fund tours outside Canada until the band acquire a following abroad. To worsen matters, the band member’s mix of nationalities has made it almost impossible for them to perform or even to hold day jobs to support their efforts since arriving in Canada from Korea, – making it impossible for them to get their act across the border to the US.

The album “We Need Surgery” was produced by Dave “Rave” Ogilvie (Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Carly Rae Jepsen) and mixed by Steve Bays (Hot Hot Heat). It is full of blinding guitar riffs, haunting lyrics, and so much energy and emotion – you can really feel that the band have put all their heart and soul into the music. This Joy Division/Arctic Monkeys/Muse/The Cure sounding band, whose music also contains slight touches of The Talking Heads brilliance, have developed a unique and original sound. Miso (Vocals/Synth/Guitar), has a superb unique and strong voice that has great range and gives the songs a whole new dimension. Together with Liam (Guitar), they use a lot of delay, tremolo guitar effects, and chunky riffs that give the songs a sound of their own. Paul (Bass), and Brandon’s (Drums) creativity is what makes this album really shine; they do a great job of cementing the rhythm section.

We Need Surgery completely surpassed my expectations. This doesn’t sound like the average indie banality. You can feel a great deal more passion coming from this album than from most of their contemporaries. Quite frankly, most of the releases out there are the musical equivalent to flat-lining. Having grown up in the early rock era, and having enjoyed the grunge years, I am used to passion and anger in my music, not musicians merely going through the motions. Consequently, I was a little apprehensive on first listening to this album.

I was knocked back by the mix of rocky guitars, danceable beats, and Miso’s intense vocals. But there was something more. Sure there are the tunes that catch your attention and make you tap your feet, but the real revelation here is in the lyrics. It feels like there’s been a real effort here to write from the heart, to write about things that truly mean something to the band, and as a result Miso’s voice comes across as more sincere, more evocative, and absolutely captivating.

There is not a single bad song on here. Some may stand out above others when listened to individually, but really this album is truly experienced when you hear the whole thing. A few personal favorite tracks include: “Simon Says,” “Stranger,” “Why’s It Always Gotta Be This Way,” “Wait Forever,” “Sisters and Brothers” and “Lion.”

“We Need Surgery” is a beautiful, profound, and moving album, with something we can all relate to.

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