Fitzsimon & Brogan: “Big Blue World” – a full, punchy pop sound!

Fitzsimon & Brogan is a musical project based in London, whose creators therefore logically are songwriter Neil Fitzsimon, and vocalist Bee Brogan. The two setup their songwriting and production to produce, what they describe as “pure pop for now people.” Both were previously in a band called Pretty Blue Gun who featured guests musicians such as members of The Art of Noise, Dave Bronze (Eric Clapton’s bass player), Tobias Boshell (Moody Blues) and Pip Williams, who played guitar on the Walker Brothers’ track, ‘No Regrets’.  The two critically acclaimed albums were produced by Pat Collier, who produced Katrina and the

Lord Conrad: “Only You” – a journey through sound, emotion and introspection

Italian DJ, producer and model Lord Conrad, continues his prolific run with a series of acclaimed crossover hits like “Touch the Sky”, “Day After Day”, “1 Minute” and “Fight Till The End”. Lord Conrad has made it so far since his introduction to the music scene with his first release. With his innovative sound that only he can perfect, his reception is steadily growing, to beyond the strongest communication devices on the planet. Now with the release of his brand new track, “Only You”, the producer once again takes the music world by storm. His sound has drastically improved through the years, and it

Arush Dayal is a triple threat!

With a career spanning acting, singing, and writing, Arush Dayal is a triple threat. Originally hailing from India, Arush has seen a wide swath of the globe on his quest to hone his craft. He has studied at prestigious acting programs across the world including the Acting Program at the International Academy of Film and Television in Hong Kong and the One Year Conservatory at T Schreiber Studio in New York. Meisner Technique, Acting for the Camera and Commercial Acting are all facets of the industry Arush has studied in depth. He continues to perform both onstage and in front

The Frost: “Keep It Real” – There’s a classiness to this!

The Frost is a multi-genre group comprised of Leah Evans (Vocals) and Christian Gratz (Guitar, Piano). Located in Pennsylvania, their brand new single “Keep It Real” was released on December 7.  The duo emerge at a time when the ranks of sophisticated pop contenders seemed to have disappeared on a daily basis. Simultaneously chic and very creative, they thrive on the considerable charm of lead singer Evans, with her smooth chocolate voice, the instrumental talents of Gratz, as well as the pair’s impressive abilities as a songwriting unit. An absolute stand-out aspect of the new song is the way it’s

Forest Robots: “Timberline and Mountain Crest” – Inspired by natural landscapes

Let’s start of by saying that Fran Dominguez aka Forest Robots is a master at producing chilled out electronic music with heavy beats, and lots of orchestral instrumentation thrown in the mix. To call it electronic music almost seems unfair, as it implies this is music made by machines. Yes, I realize he is called Forest Robots, but this could not be further from the truth, as Dominguez’s music is pumping with life and human emotion. His latest album “Timberline and Mountain Crest” showcases 10 tracks of stunning depth, the kind of album you just throw the headphones on, turn

Edward St. Martin: “Lullaby” – blur the lines between savvy pop stylings and hard hitting kinetic soundscaping

Hailing from San Diego, Edward St. Martin has a background in film composition and classical music. His most recent single is “Lullaby”. Expectations met, superseded and immediately I hit replay. This track is going round again and I’m not the only one within ear shot of my stereo who is pleased about it. The easy laid back crossover Pop/EDM groove take is not unexpected, as I had already read that St. Martin was one for mellow tones combined with pop and soul vibes. But this track has another key element which makes a record of this nature standout. Intelligence. This

Katiah One: “Tail Spin” – an evolving, audacious artist

Soon releasing debut first EP “A Whole Lotta Water Works”, Katiah One is an artist raised on the Upper West Side of New York City. His mission is changing the common perception of the average rapper. Katiah draws inspiration from many genres including R&B and Rock, while his favorite artists include Freddy Mercury, Sam Cooke and Issac Brock.  On his latest single “Tail Spin”, taken off the aforementioned EP, Katiah deals with the deep issues of existentialism, or simply put, the meaning of a human being’s existence. Sure his talking ‘black’ talk, but you can’t go there without understanding the

Alisa Chirco: “Give Me More” – bench marked with confidence!

Alisa Chirco sure isn’t shy about revealing what’s on her mind, on her brand new single “Give Me More”, the follow up to her almost gothic-like pop ballad “Box”. Alisa sounds passionate, wanting and determined, in a driven rock song that is an anthem for empowered women. Her music here is very strong, has meaning, and is legit. The track shows that she is learning to emote in a more visceral and arguably more demonstrative way. Alisa has now escalated to being a rock chic with an attitude and bold open-confessional lyrics. A sensible direction for any reinvention is maturity, and

Roger Cole & Paul Barrere: “Old Folks Boogie Redeux” – true to their sound!

“Ya know that you’re over the hill, when your mind makes a promise that your body can’t fill!”, this is the line that inspired Paul Barrere to write the original version of the “Old Folks Boogie”, which would subsequently feature on the 1977 Little Feat record “Time Loves a Hero”. The citation came from a line Paul’s dad – an actor at the time – picked up at a vaudeville theater. He would often sing it around the house, so eventually Paul got hooked turned it into a song. For some time, Paul’s partner over at Better Daze Records, Roger

Glorious: “Move” – throbs with club energy

Pop singer, Livetronica drummer, producer and songwriter, Glorious, is a graduate of Berklee College of Music, who has been making music since she started playing drums at the age of three. Named after her grandmother Glorious Cooper, Glorious recently unveiled her single “Move”. In an increasingly crowded field of urban pop artists, you may be wondering what makes Glorious worth your time. To be sure, she boasts a lot of the qualities that her peers also bring to the table. Her song is outlined with an exquisite beat, her vocals are mesmerizing, and her persona appears spectacularly captivating. Without close

Vivienne the Witch: “Shadowbox” – a combination of up-in-flames guitar riffs and subtle sweet hooks

Vivienne the Witch are Caterina Fuso (drums/backing vocals), Greta Fuso (vocals and bass), and Lucrezia Peppicelli (vocals and guitar). They started playing together as teenagers in a band called Twister. Having taken part in contests and festivals, as well as recording their first Ep, Twister changed its name to Vivienne the Witch and got noticed by Simone Lanari (El Topo Diablo) and Alessio Rosi who proposed that the band recorded a few songs in their studio. The end result is the 8-track album “Shadowbox”, recorded at Casaohm Recording Studios. The girls have also released a video for the single, “Dreams and Pain”, directed by Francesco Ciavaglioli.

The album cover

The album cover

“Shadowbox” is pretty yet powerful, emotional and cathartic. Musically, the album resurrects post-punk and alternative melodies and rhythms fusing them into dirty, grunge like riffs. In general the song themes seem to address the apparent beauty and promises that life seems to offer on the surface before being disillusioned when expectations fail to live up to your dreams or desires.

Vivienne the Witch combines many attractive elements: a strong sense of melody, good use of hooks delivered a la grunge, solid guitar work, meaningful lyrics, and confident vocals that pull the songs along while evoking the right mood. These girls brings to contemporary music the understanding that you can rock hard and still be musical – that the heavy guitar sound works best when melody and harmony are worked into it. “Shadowbox” confidently accomplishes all of this.

 The vocals set a good tone for the album and the entire band lays down no-nonsense instrumentals into the rest of the work. From track one, the songs combine a plethora of dark moods and threads them together with luminous sonic-splendored arrangements and unabashed honesty. Vivienne the Witch’s combination of up-in-flames guitar riffs and subtle sweet hooks are the backdrop to the scathing and bare vocals.

Vivienne the Witch

Vivienne the Witch

Every time I listen to tracks like “Reason Why I Laugh and Cry” and “One Step To The River”, I am struck with the naked expression of feeling and yet still want to bang my head along with the music. Obviously where Vivienne the Witch stands up a notch higher is on the faster songs, where they are able to unleash their power – leading to standout tracks such as “A Sparkling Explosion” and “Dreams and Pain”.

 Vivienne the Witch come across as talented musicians who understand their craft, understand themselves, and who know that there is no room for ego where art is concerned – that good music must speak for itself. So if you’re looking for three scantily clad girls posing behind instruments, look elsewhere. This music is deep and raw – It’s distinct, unique, and such a relief after all of the cookie cutter bands who have been played on the radio over the past few years.

“Shadowbox” is for the most part an intelligent, sometimes angry, but gratifying album that attempts to face some of life’s growing pains head-on. Showing off both, a subtle vulnerability and a raw edge, Vivienne the Witch connect their lyrics to the music with such heart and vigor that it sounds beautiful.

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