Franco Esteve: “The Hunt” – a backdrop to life itself

Three years in the making, the loosely tied together, classical crossover, concept album, “The Hunt”, represents a masterwork for Puerto Rican multi-disciplinary artist, Franco Esteve. The award-winning filmmaker and music composer, once again forges his intense-storytelling, and vivid imagery-driven compositional skills. Esteve’s music not only engages the ears but also intrigues the mind and feeds the soul. “With The Hunt, I wanted to do something different, expressing through classical, orchestral music, the images and feelings one gets from life itself,” explains Franco Esteve, continuing: “Whether it’s the drive of ‘The Hunt’, the insomnia of ‘The Wait’, or the sadness of

Plastic DJ: “Giving Up” – Truly euphoric, refreshing and atmospheric!

The album “Giving Up” by Barcelona-based producer and singer Plastic DJ, is the very best that the blended genres of Deep House, Downtempo and Electro have to offer. The thing that sets Plastic DJ so far above his contemporaries is that he’s genuinely talented as a musical composer, and stunningly enchanting as a singer. The music is of a baroque complexity, and here’s no overpowering bass or wailing synths. It’s like listening to a dream. You’ll play this in your car when you want to relax, at home when you’re at the beach or sitting on the porch, or as

One Step From Everywhere: “Somewhere in Between” – an insistent rhythmic thrust, adorned with fiery guitar work, and soaring vocals

One Step From Everywhere is a Seattle based band that does not limit themselves to genre or style. Primarily a rock band, with a passion for playing live, they are not afraid to add shades of any style that may strike a chord within them.  Their album, “Somewhere In Between”, is a full and complete artistic statement that can function equally well as an introduction to and summation of the varied strengths of this band. The production and engineering also aids immeasurably in this regard. The sumptuous mixes place the listener deep within the instrumental interplay of a band whose

Kingdom Atlas: “Severe Spheres” – ripping rock combined with lucid moments of intense and beautiful melody

Kingdom Atlas is a Georgia-based hard rock band that was originally launched as Rising Tide in 2013by, Grant Purvis with friends Nick Blake and Adam Chiarella while studying music with them at Georgia Southern University. The lineup of Purvis (vocals, guitars) and Blake (guitars, keyboards), along with Devin Ruiz (bass), Aaron Coburn (drums) and Cody Barber who replaced Chiarella as lead guitarist in 2015, was stable until the groups disbanded in 2017 due to schedule conflicts and some members graduating. In 2018, Purvis, Blake, Coburn, and Barber reformed with the new name Kingdom Atlas to record their debut album “Severe

Tiaday Ball drops two new singles – “Current” and “Good To You”

Tiaday Ball has released two follow up singles to her first release “Favors”. The songs “Current” and “Good To You”, are both now available anywhere you get digital music from. Tiaday stated: “R&B has been the foundation of my life in music since I can remember. Gospel, soul and R&B were always playing in the house or being sung by my father who was also a singer and he loved Stevie Wonder, Otis Redding, Donny Hathaway, etc. One of the first songs I ever learned how to REALLY train singing along to was “A Song For You” by Donny Hathaway.

DAV!D&CLARA: “Repair” – rugged and intense!

The man and machine duo of DAV!D (David Castillo) and his computer CLARA, better known as DAV!D&CLARA, are back with a new single in 2019, called “Repair”. The track is taken from the upcoming album, “CONFESSIONS OF THE MACHINE” to be released early 2020. Much of this latest single displays a minimalist, almost survivalist element, as if every movement, gesture, and note is conserved and used for maximum effect. DAV!D’s songwriting principle seems to be “less is more”, a sentiment CLARA seems to adhere to perfectly. Together they have an artistic sensibility that’s far from common. The song is based

Catch up with Boston based group Urban Lights Band

Boston, MA based Urban Lights Band is an eclectic group of musicians and artists who harness the power of all styles of music to create unforgettable experiences. They are seasoned professionals committed to providing quality musical showcases that bring various audiences together. Their global mission is simple; aspire to inspire! If you are in the Boston area you can find them at:  May 25th 2019 – Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen- Boston, MA June 20th, 2019 – The Milky Way – Jamaica Plain June 21st 2019 -The Middle East Night Club (Corner Room) – Cambridge, MA Hook up with Urban

Royal: “Letter To Cecil” narrates his hardships, his grind and his contributions

Royal is a hip hop artist who currently resides in Hockessin, Delaware. He understands the importance of giving back and he performs at dozens of middle schools and high schools. In the past, he has donated the proceeds from concerts and albums entirely to the community, spreading his generosity to the surrounding neighborhoods. Royal has performed alongside artists such as Waka Flocka, Meek Mill, Yo Gotti, YG, and Tory Lanez. His latest project is the single, “Letter To Cecil”. Here Royal seems to be hungrier than ever and is out to remind hip-hop of the abilities that should eventually bring

‘The World We Live In’ EP by ‘Redford’ is Out Now on Glasstone Records

Simon Ratcliffe (BASEMENT JAXX): “Redford have a unique fresh and lush sound with strong heartfelt songs, gorgeous melodies – not to mention superb musicianship.” Mastered by Greg Brooker (Dejstil feat Peter Hook – Joy Division / New Order, You Love Her Coz She’s Dead, Micky Diana) Polish indie-rockers Redford have announced their arrival with a brand new single, cinematic video clip and a new Ep on Glasstone Records. The new Ep The World We Live In is on streaming platforms now, and you can watch the video for the single To The Morning below on YouTube.  With a brand

Iskar D’Abrel: “Ruins of You” – a compelling musical depth

Perhaps Iskar D’Abrel’s only misfortune is releasing his music at the wrong time.  Had he dropped the track “Ruins of You” in the 70’s, 80’s or even early nineties, he surely would have been recognized universally along with other greats of those eras.  It was a time where artists were not defined by a specific genre and allowed to approach different styles of music with a creative freedom almost totally lost today. Iskar is a master of song construction.  No song in his catalog is just a repeat of parts.  Each song is its own story; each follows its own

“Off the Ground” by Frank Topper & Shannon Laing

Perhaps it’s redundant to add yet another flattering review to what is already a chorus of praise for lyricist Frank Topper and his collection of collaborations with some of internet’s talented musical songwriters. Still, I’m always inspired to write as I listen to Frank’s poetry and yet again marvel at how truly excellent it is. The emotional layers of his song lyrics are not as furtive as current pop releases, which is one distinctive merit relative to Frank’s so-called peers. Frank Topper’s lyrics display unadulterated emotional clarity. He is an artist (albeit part-time, may I add) of remarkable honesty and interior beauty.

On “Off the Ground”, young Canadian music college student, Shannon Laing, rocks with her piano, and she writes a gorgeous arrangement to match Topper’s lyrics, which are unattainable to lesser artists. She is obviously complemented by lyrics that tantalize with their complex imagery. Her brilliance puts most of today’s pop puppets to shame. There’s something magical about this song.

Frank Topper’s songs utilize beautiful, raw emotion, and lyrical poetry to address a wide array of issues, and he always seems to find just the right musical collaboration to exult his lyrics. Shannon’s style is uniquely her own, and the contrasts between soft piano-playing and abrupt emotional outbursts of strident notes and words are incredible. This is best exemplified by her performance of “Off the Ground”, but which can also be found on “Another Reason”, as well as, “Liked You Better When You Loved Me”.

Frank Topper has released a lot of brilliant songs through Youtube – all in raw first draft appearances. He never uses elaborately polished arrangements with full instrumentation, rather just sketch board ideas; nonetheless, they remain remarkably accessible and suck you into Topper’s world, getting you interested in other, deeper stuff by him.

Frank Topper is one of those lyricists who you can sum up in one word: Genius. You might not think so at first, but if you don’t, you really should listen harder.

I must also give credit and respect to Shannon Laing who has managed to write and perform her own music along with Frank’s lyrics as beautifully as she does. She has an angelically alluring voice and I think she is a great inspiration who doesn’t need to show off anything. A totally original, emotionally compelling piano player, she wraps the sound of “Off the Ground”, around your ears like a blanket to warm up your imagination.

Sometimes, I wonder if Frank Topper knows the effect his songs may have on people? It may be time to move to the next level of recording…

Frank Topper

Frank Topper

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