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

Rome Will Burn has the ability to stomp out major anthems for intense highs

Why on earth would an aggressive rollerblade competitor, together with a figure skater, who trained with an Olympic coach, make a trendy and meticulously creative, electro-pop duo? Well, he the rollerblader, is Carlton Moody aka Manifesto, international DJ, producer and violin virtuoso. She, the figure skater, is singer-songwriter, Alyssa Suede. Together they are known as “Rome Will Burn”, and they boldly state that, “Their experiences made extreme discipline and performing for large audiences the norm.” That and the fact that they broke a lot of bones, admits Suede.

The EP Cover

The EP Cover

Rome Will Burn has recently released their self-titled 6- track EP. This was the year of electro-pop disappointments. Many well-known bands failed miserably with their latest releases. I’m starting to notice a pattern wherein bands driven by electronic and synthesized sounds tend to hit the sophomore slump a lot harder than most bands. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that this synth and string (violin) gem, Rome Will Burn, is a debut.

The hidden gem here is obviously the lead single, “Chameleon”, which has 2 versions on the EP – ‘Clean’ and ‘Dirty’. Manifesto’s restrained synth bass and violin drives the song patiently along until about after the first chorus, and then it lashes out and surprises you in the same way that a roller-coaster does, but then it retreats gently back into its shell only to emerge with a heartbeat breakdown-build-up that requires you to dance. All the while Suede’s vocals shine, shimmer and soar through the verses and choruses. In fact, in thinking about it, that’s what they do so well. Rome Will Burn can take a good song and figure out exactly what delicate bridge of finesse they need to add to make it addictive – you go back and listen again for that bridge, even if you don’t realize that’s why you’re doing it.

Rome Will Burn is doing their best to stand out in a sea of electro-pop. And on their debut, they do in fact stand out in the best of ways. Accessible and fun yet with an underlying aggression and angst paired with strong beats, the uncannily appropriate violin sounds, and a full bodied vocal, Rome Will Burn has created a recording that many established pop stars don’t seem to be capable of making.

Carlton Moody and Alyssa Suede

Carlton Moody and Alyssa Suede

Lead vocalist Suede deserves much of the credit for the success of this EP. A lot of similar bands have girl vocals that are thin and whimsical, but Suede has a fuller sound, better range and an uncanny skill at building layers of drama and emotion through tiny tone changes. She can casually get away with quite dark lyrics at times and still have the music sound very danceable and light given her sweet clear tone.

Rome Will Burn’s lyrics have an intelligence and layer of complexity that is unusual, considering their candid clarity, “These Three Words” and “Waging Romance” are particularly engaging in this respect, besides being my favorite songs on the EP. Musically, this EP  breaks new ground, with the superb introduction of the violin and when playing the EP through; the songs do stand out from each other which I find is the most common problem with synth based music. The music is also refreshingly straightforward and yet, with Alyssa Suede’s vocals, it has the ability to stomp out major anthems for intense highs. “Live By The Beat” is mind numbingly catchy with a chorus that’s going to wreak havoc with your subconscious. “Body Language” has an almost movie score quality to it while being suitably shiny and bright.

Rome Will Burn explodes natural high energy with an infectious enthusiasm. They are musically brilliant, while this EP just entices and draws you in. You just can’t help yourself but to follow. And listen or dance!

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