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

Ferentz and The Felons: “Hudson County” – an engaging and gripping performance

During his childhood, Zak Ferentz experienced both his parents suffering with drug addiction which eventually claimed the life of this mother. A life on the streets selling drugs and getting in trouble with the police, found Zak headed down his own dark path. However he soon discovered that creating music could help him heal. Furthermore it gave him a purpose in life and also a way to explore his creativity and bring it to tangible fruition. He subsequently teamed up with drummer Matt Waz, bass player Rob Dudziak and lead guitarist Rich Catalano to give birth to the band, Ferentz

JACK OF NONE: “Who’s Listening to Van Gogh’s Ear?” – ranges between indie to full-blooded art rock

It’s not very often that I’m left open-jawed in amazement by a band. My friend suggested that I check out this poetic, experimental art-rock band called JACK OF NONE made up of siblings A.G. Syjuco (principal composer on guitar, bass and synths), Maxine Syjuco (poet-songwriter and vocalist), and Julian Syjuco (guitar)

The band’s debut album, “Who’s Listening to Van Gogh’s Ear?” was released globally in April of 2016. What makes them different at first glimpse is that Maxine Syjuco uses the spoken word rather than actually sings.

"Who's Listening to Van Gogh's Ear?"

“Who’s Listening to Van Gogh’s Ear?” cover

She recites a mosaic of stories and anecdotes, from the dark underbelly of society as she grapples with life’s harsh realities and its daily grind, as well as the reservoirs of the ingeniously obscure crevasses of her mind. The musical style ranges between indie to full-blooded art rock, with great emphasis on the spoken word delivery and the complex musical arrangements.

The tracks are all full of contrasts, and album requires you to make an effort to understand it. The lyrical twists and turns may leave you puzzled in places, but in others it exposes situations with intuitive insight. The more I played it, the more I fell under its spell….it’s strangely addictive.

Raw, brutal, and beautiful, I put this on when its late at night, close my eyes, and feel the emotion break down my barriers and build me back up and feel renewed. This is what music is all about. No, this isn’t the only type of music, but if you can’t sit and feel like this, with what you’re listening to, then you’ve missed the transcendent power of music.

If you do like good lyrics and storytelling, there are many lines here that are packed with so much imagery they will just explode in your mind. So you will have to start pausing the music and get yourself stuff together before venturing into the next intense onslaught. Try “Confessions of a Chop Chop Lady”, “(But) Noise” and “Fire Song” as a prelude to the apocalyptic intensity this band is capable of, both lyrically and instrumentally.

Musically, “Who’s Listening to Van Gogh’s Ear?” is made of that good, solid rock fabric of crunching guitar riffs and complex rhythms with enough twists and turns that always sound fresh and not over-rehearsed-to-sterility, but extremely tight.

JACK OF NONE

JACK OF NONE

JACK OF NONE sound like they have lots of good music in abundant supply, like they could cut a hundred records today if you just let the recorder keep rolling. This is probably an illusion of their style, as they have so much going on at any one time, but it’s a darn effective illusion.

It is only once in a great while, that an album comes out which is more than simply music and words – an album that can be described as nothing less than art. Few bands are capable of producing such an album. I believe that with “Who’s Listening to Van Gogh’s Ear?”, JACK OF NONE has recorded a truly special album, an album that as a whole is much greater than the sum of its parts – And some of its parts are truly immense, specifically, “There Was A Crooked Man” and “The Witherling” which feature amazing guitar work and some extremely creative voice arrangements.

JACK OF NONE is one of those bands that are almost impossible to describe through words. This is a band that needs to be listened to. They will take you through a musical odyssey you may never have traveled before, or at the very least, you were never ever expecting to explore.

Very left-field and at times extremely macabre, “Who’s Listening to Van Gogh’s Ear?” sounds like an intense, harrowing, glimpse into someone’s soul. Rest assured, everything else you ever listen to this year will sound cheap, in comparison to the multi-layered emotional tapestry on display here.

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