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

Darshae Kiér: “Translation” – poised to take its place on the global stage

Darshae Kiér is a pop artist based in Miami, FL. After the untimely death of his parents, he entered the foster care system where he was shuffled from foster home to foster home. Despite his rough start in life, Darshae has always been determined to rise above and lead with positivity. Inspired by artists like Aretha Franklin, Sam Cook, Prince, Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake, and Coldplay, Darshae latest single “Translation” rides on a steamy Reggaeton beat, and strives to spread the artist’s message of hope and inspiration. His melodic flow and lyrical style are potent. He creates hooks with ease,

thisiswar: “The Lonely Life of a Space Traveler” – lo-fi indie folk-rock with a psychedelic twist

thisiswar came to life as the solo imprint of song-writer Travis Wright, who began his career back in 1998. The project’s lo-fi indie-folk sound and alt-rock roots set out to evolve, bend, twist and echo over the sound of 3 studio albums and 37 unreleased personal albums, featuring songs that have been covered by artists the likes of Lovedrug and Sierra Swan. The project’s 2014 release “Rooftops” saw Travis collaborating with a full line-up of musicians sporting wildly different backgrounds.

The latest album by thisiswar, “The Lonely Life of a Space Traveler”, includes guest appearances by Nicole Fiorentino / Backing Vocals (Smashing Pumpkins/The Cold & Lovely), Dale Baker / Drums (Sixpence None The Richer), while the title track is performed by Sierra Swan. On the fringes of music you can find some really spectacular things. It’s a journey that’s often worth taking- trying to scope out artists doing something unique and passionate in the face of everything corporate and plain. This is one of those few examples of true gems that can only really be found with a little searching.

thisiswar-flyerIf you like your lo-fi indie folk-rock with a psychedelic twist and uncanny melodies underlining gorgeous, surreal lyrics, then you might be into thisiswar. While technically not your customary rock crooner, Travis Wright has one of the most honest voices I’ve heard. He’s got Bob Dylan’s nasal tone all wrapped up nicely within his own unique style. The guitars are really interesting too. Sometimes it gets heavy, others times it is sprawling, but always retains a basic, bouncy sound in an accomplished, majestic way.

The lyrics showcase stunning imagery, and insightful, personal, poetic streams of consciousness. They meld perfectly with the melody flowing from Wright’s voice. “The Lonely Life of a Space Traveler” is one of those few albums that can actually be classified as an “experience,” when listened to.

Musical soundscapes are usually smooth and shimmering. thisiswar leap into unknown territory by making theirs distorted, scratchy and heavy in places, with thick fuzz and reverb in others. thisiswar is a project for people who like their music raw with a soul and a lot of guts – just the way music should be; the exact opposite of those awful techno and pop sounds that are polluting the airwaves out there.  thisiswar picks you up and shakes you down, leaving you naked and hopeless within a few moments of kicking things off with the barebones piano-driven track, “You Are My Favorite Condition”.

Travis Wright is both creative and focused. He is talented in all areas, both musically and lyrically. The guitar sounds bob and weave, bringing songs to a haunting conclusion. “No One Else Is Watching” is such a song. “Relentless”, on the other hand, is an upbeat, drum-dominated song, reminding me of some British pop-rock and punk songs of the past.

thisiswar-red-sunAll through this album, the formidable guitars, more than any other instrument, are used as a means of texturing and coloring each song rather than just playing catchy riffs or aimless solos. But the genius comes from the way Wright seamlessly blends everything together to achieve a magical synthesis. This is most evident on the album’s grungiest track – “Black Rabbit”. I could go on naming and describing standout tracks which abound here. But the object should be to listen to the entire album from start to end!

As a rule, I don’t judge people by their musical preferences because it only starts arguments, but it is beyond me how anyone could listen to this album and not understand its sheer brilliance. I do understand however that failure to connect immediately with thisiswar is not a random thing. His stuff comes at your ears from a different direction than you may be used to, and it should be listened to several times before you start to get it. Great music is often uncomfortable to hear the first time.

Travis Wright aka thisiswar is one of the most fruitful musical minds around. On “The Lonely Life of a Space Traveler” he has stretched the edges of modern music, and rejected genres. He has broadened the boundaries by kicking down the fences of indie and alt-rock. And unlike mainstream corporate rock, thisiswar is not pure musical masturbation, but the aural evolution of an artist within the context of modern rock looking back at its roots.

“The Lonely Life of a Space Traveler” which features Dale Baker on drums, Josh Lennen on guitar and an all-star roster of musicians will be available November 13th 2015. You can Pre-Order now at http://thisiswarmusic.com

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