EsZ: “If You Didn’t Get This Message, Call Me” – an audacious creative effort

On his new album, “If You Didn’t Get This Message, Call Me”, EsZ aka Erron’s Attic comes out swinging from the first song, a great balance between classic Hip Hop and modern. As usual EsZ gets well thought out ideas through his songs in innovative ways; you definitely get the feeling he has the lyrical substance he wants to express. Although we’re in a dismal era of Rap currently, this could be one of those instant underground classics. EsZ catalog is filled with parables, fables, morals and lamentations, forms of storytelling that compress people and experiences into neat, digestible lessons.

Luna 13 – the solid foundation for gut-ripping synths

The award winning Los Angeles band Luna 13 is forging a new genre of music they call Black Metal/Bass Music. Their brutal yet groove based electro-metal incorporates elements of electronica, death metal, and industrial rock – all done with electronics, which means no string instruments. Music maker Dr. Luna, creates a metal sound with synthesizers and by wrapping heavy distortion around sub-bass. Luna 13 who has been performing live for a few years now, opening for death metal/industrial and electronica projects alike, came into its own when Lilith Bathory joined in 2015. Since, Lilith, the band’s front woman, has been booking modeling jobs

Dezzyano: “Hello World: The Renaissance” – a cohesive feel and tone throughout the album

Now I’ll be honest, before this album was released, I didn’t know much about Dezzyano, the rapper raised 5 mins from Atlanta on Six Flags Dr. I decided to give it a go. And I became a very unlikely Dezzyano fan. The 16 track album, “Hello World: The Renaissance” starts off strong with ‘Anita Baker’. It has an extremely catchy refrain built on a bass and horn driven soul soundscape. This sets the tone for the album, which sees Dezzyano finding different ways of telling his story with catchy hooks and intense verses. From a critical standpoint, this album has

Sick.Life: “Dreamers” – showcasing the diversity and talent of the roster

Sick.Life a collective of artists and an independent music label based in El Paso, Texas. A couple of months back they released their critically acclaimed album, entitled “Contagion”. Now off that album comes the single “Dreamers” produced by NZO, and featuring Josh Brown on the chorus and bridge, while the verses are handled in order of appearance, by Sonny Weston, Lavoe, C.Notes and E$ BFNE. For hip-hop fans growing up in the 21st century, the Sick.Life collective is simply a perfect match between raw lyrical muscle and dynamic production. I listened to the track last night with the intention of

Cassie Holt and The Lost Souls: “Curvy Girl” makes a strong statement

These days, it seems anyone can make an R&B record. However, recording a soul track takes that special intangible element that not all have. Cassie of Cassie Holt and The Lost Souls, offers cadences that move in an affable manner as she declares her sense of self-worth on her latest single release, “Curvy Girl” which tackles the theme of body positivity. She never rushes the pace. She intones in different ways to let the song build in complexity. Think of it as the aural equivalent of a Lego set. One can use the simple bricks in different styles and colors

Bloomer: “Good Morning, It’s Breakfast Time” – washed away by sunlight and a downpour of musical ideas

Bloomer is a rock band from Baltimore, MD created by musical partners Luke Boardman and Matt Zorzi. The band’s sound emerges from a mix of 70’s & 90’s Rock, Soul and American Roots Music. “Good Morning, It’s Breakfast Time” is contemporary indie rock at its finest. The music is sprawling and psychedelic. The mood can range from rocking to mellow. Bloomer is a band that has great song writing abilities and expressive improvisational abilities. Depending on the given song, the band moves effortlessly between straight rock and psychedelic infused jam-band grooves. This 4 track EP showcases both the band’s alt-rock

“Final Curtain” represents yet another progression for Roger Cole

Roger Cole is anything but predictable. Other than the fact that excellence flows in abundance from his river of musical and artistic expression, his music (usually together with his partner in crime Paul Barrere) is always engaging on an emotional level. Here on his solo effort, the single, “Final Curtain”, Cole is not content to repeat himself, nor is he afraid to confront difficult subjects or at least ideas that many artists don’t frequent. This time around there is this ongoing tug-of-war between moving on and living in the past. The time when someone needs to say no, and the

Pauline Frechette: “Always Lover” (feat. David) works its magic

Not so much a singer as a sublime song stylist, Pauline Frechette returns to release an impeccably performed love ballad simply entitled “Always Lover” (feat. David). Avoiding any pretense or extravagance, Pauline stretches her breathy voice to gently embrace the lyrics, as she brings out the ultimate best of her vocal and piano artistry. Pauline wanted you to hear the instruments, the vocals, and the emotion in the breathing etc., instead of a sonic rush of noise. She does this by allowing some ‘quiet’ in the recording. Pauline is blessed with a great voice, a distinctive and beautifully frayed tone

Lyndon Rivers: “Nothing I Can Do” creates a celebration in your head!

For fans of Lyndon Rivers who love dance music, house, and techno, this is not an EDM single. It’s not the house music that we know Lyndon Rivers to have made, with filtered sampled loops, drum machine-programmed beats, and electronic harsh noise. It’s not any of that that. You can’t fist-pump to this music; you can’t go nuts to it. Well you can go nuts, but in a different way you’re normally used to in the club. So when you listen to “Nothing I Can Do”, the new single by Lyndon Rivers for the first time, go into it with

An Old Friend: “I am, I was” reaches for stratospheric heights

An Old Friend is an upcoming Alternative Rock band based out of Long Island, New York, they have been said to be significantly ahead of most contemporary peers in their stylistic niche; they show an ability to stray from the norm and focus on truly innovative fragments, as opposed to one linear hook yearning for radioplay. Founded in 2011 An Old Friend continue a career of sustained excellence, the new 6-track EP, “I am, I was”, bursts out of your speakers and infects your heart and mind like few other modern-day recordings. Not only is the production quality of the music

Steven Blane: “Kill Me Nice” – the lure of the storytelling is a powerful magnet

From the moment I viewed the album cover of “Kill Me Nice”, I knew we had winner from Steven Blane, a jazz performer who writes, sings and plays the ukulele, piano as well as the guitar. I was drawn immediately into the warmth of his unique, tender and catchy style and incredible lyrical poetry. The excellent band gives sterling support and the beguiling light pop-jazz rhythms are just magical. I really can’t stop playing it. I listen in the lounge, in my studio and it’s also very relaxing on my car journeys. Every track is a gem, my favorites of the moment being “Coffee Understands”, “Too Beautiful For Words”, “You Once Killed A Guy” and “Spark”.

Steven Blane

Steven Blane

Apart from being able to turn up the intensity and energy when he wants, Steven Blane is a poet masquerading as a terrific songwriter and his slower songs perfectly celebrate his warmly sophisticated vocals, which is why I adore the above-mentioned songs. Steven never misses a beat. His timing is on key. The melodies ooze from his musical pores. He’s ability to ease up and down on notes is absolutely effortless, while the words emerge from his lips like a vintage rhyme. He speaks from the heart, and sets it to music.

Steven Blane’s, is the kind of music that makes one say “ooh,” as the blood pressure comes down, the shoulders relax, and the stress melts away with each note. Also worth a mention is the absurdly high quality of the recording itself. Every nuance of sound is captured here with incredible clarity, detail and warmth. Taken as a whole, the mood that is set, the instrumentation, the production and the topics of the songs add up to one awesome album.

Steven Blane

Steven Blane

I will be honest; my expectations were extremely high considering that Steven Blane is an experienced and world-weary musician. Furthermore he finds himself in a genre which allows many things but does not accept technical insufficiency. However, the music is nothing short of excellent with Steven proving to be a spotless tune-oriented craftsman. “Kill Me Nice” is romantic, nostalgic, lush, and a really good time musically.

Overall, this album has much to offer the listener who is looking for a style of music that conjures settings that are graphically perceivable, where the lure of the storytelling is a powerful magnet to many of us. And one where the artist is able to describe life’s discontent, its pleasures and the beauty of what is all around him. This is an album that is richly textured, mature, and shows Steven Blane at the top of his game. Crafty lyrics and top rate musicianship is trumped by one fine voice!

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