VAVO: “No Friend Zone” captures millennial youthfulness and free spirit

New York-based EDM duo VAVO was formed in 2015 by the talents of Vancouver native Jesse Fischer and London born Alden Martin. VAVO’s early works featured a progressive, electro sound, which appealed to a wide audience, and it included their remix of Martin Garrix’s “Scared To Be Lonely,” their first solo single “Ace Of Spades,” “Astronomia 2K17,” and their remix of TheFatRat’s “Fly Away.” The duo started 2018 off with a bang, dropping ‘How Low’ with John Christian on Tiesto’s Musical Freedom Records. In March, VAVO debuted a new creative direction – an EDM/Pop crossover sound that has resonated with

Quinn Soular: “Ovah & Ovah” ft. Ziggi Recado – both impressionistic and insightful

Quinn Soular has released his 3rd official single “Ovah & Ovah” which is a summer banger featuring guest vocals from Dutch-Caribbean Reggae superstar Ziggi Recado. Born on the Island of St. Maarten, Quincy Adolphin aka Quinn Soular is a Pop and R&B singer-songwriter who has his own music production company, QP (The Quinn Productions). If you’re a fan or just a longtime R&B historian in general, you probably know that some of the game’s most renowned voices were cultivated in choir stands and churchyards. Sure, R&B’s secular content often clashes with the gospel’s divine intent but the similarities are unmistakable.

Emmanuel Dalmas & Kirby Howarth: “This Is Love That I’m Feeling” – a song with a country bent

Emmanuel Dalmas a company founder and high level executive in the scientific industry from the South West of France, also moonlights as a multi-genre music composer. Dalmas has been steadily building his music catalog since kicking things off in 2016 from his home studio. He produces instrumental and vocal tracks, engaging talented male and female voices to complete his projects, which in turn are made available for both commercial and non-commercial use. Emmanuel Dalmas recently dropped his latest single, “This Is Love That I’m Feeling”, done in collaboration with Kirby Howarth, who added the vocals and lyrics to Dalmas’ music and

Armonite: “And The Stars Above” – complex, vibrant sonic landscapes

May 2018 saw the release of the new album, “And The Stars Above”, by Italian progressive rock band, Armonite, featuring violinist Jacopo Bigi and keyboardist Paolo Fosso. The album also includes a guest appearance by Porcupine Tree’s bassist, Colin Edwin. Composer Fosso and violinist Bigi are classical musicians who through their teenage years, joined local bands, playing a variety of genres and artists, from the Beatles to Dream Theater. At the end of the ’90s, while still in college, they would play in a band called Armonite. They released an album in 1999, performed a few dates live, and then

MVJOR ARCVNA: “The Last Word in Love”- a master of layers and sequenced progression

Jaron Pearlman aka MVJOR ARCVNA, is an audio engineer, backing musician, and songwriter who grew up in Asheville NC, and is now based in Atlanta GA. Over the years he has toured and recorded with a wide range of artists, including The Indigo Girls, The Shadowboxers, Amor Kismet, Mercury Jackson and more. MVJOR ARCVNA is revered by many critics – and certainly by us – as one of the most quintessential independent producers currently around, standing almost alone in his ability to mix catchy crossover EDM-Pop sounds with complex rock-styled songwriting, and igniting the electronic underground in a truly unprecedented fashion.

DJ Mizzy: “Prost” – gorgeously phrased synth lines, and subtly floating aural overtones

Boasting a sound that goes from his favored deep house grooves to hip-hop, DJ Mizzy, born Claudel Larose, is an international DJ and producer raised just outside of New York. Inspired by artists such as Sander van Doorn, DJ Yonny, and Avicii, Mizzy has a strong passion for his work. Throughout his 18 years of DJing, Mizzy has traveled all over the world to perform, using the original Technic SL1200 turntable as his prime tool. His latest endeavor is “Prost”, a German influenced track with a melodic tone, incorporating a subtle Caribbean flair. DJ Mizzy’s melodies are emotionally evocative and

Boy Leadfoot: “Turn-Buckle” – wholeheartedly playing to their strengths and sounding great while doing it

Max Gordon with Boy Leadfoot is a three-piece blues-based, alternative soul and rock project, from Vancouver Island, Canada. Their latest release, the EP “Turn-Buckle” is a breath of fresh air compared to the pop dribble permeating the American music scene right now. This is the type of musical project that will carve out a steady cult following and attract a good deal of critical acclaim. All three members are very professional and innovative musicians, and musicians of any sort will gobble up all kinds of licks, tones and spices from this release. The EP resides in the nebulous nexus of

Juan Donovan: “Merlot & Marijuana” – a brilliant compendium of styles and luxurious production

As one half of the production duo Darkroom Productions, Juan Donovan has produced with his partner Jamal Roberts some of today’s hottest artists. That list includes R Kelly, Wale, Young Money, Maino, JellyRoll, 24Hrs (Royce Rizzy), Brick Squad, G-Unit, Bad Boy, and more. The duo also won multiple awards for its phenomenal work on HBO’s classic hit series “The Wire”, which garnered them featured in major publications such as FADER, The New York Times, VIBE, and dozens more. It’s not surprising then that Juan Donovan would want to drop a record that’s as much a personal statement as a collection

American Spirits: “Nowhere Near Perfect” – at their most musically and lyrically ambitious

Since being launched in 2017, Bowling Green, Ohio, Indie Rock band, American Spirits, have also founded The Summit Shack, a local DIY venue that has hosted over 25 bands since its inception in the same year. 2018 saw the four piece band release their album “Nowhere Near Perfect”. This recording will grip you by the neck and slam you into the ground. It’s simply one of the most listenable Emo albums you would have heard in a while. You could play the whole thing through without getting bored, probably every day if you wanted to. The music is catchy. The

Internationally Acclaimed Contemporary Jazz Band Drivetime Drops Elegant New Single “Mysterious Life”

 Song is the Lead Single and Title Track of their Latest Album Single Follows their Billboard Jazz #1 Most Added song “Whispers”  Single Marks Band’s relaunch Via Red Hot New The Sound of Los Angeles (TSOLA) Records  (Los Angeles – The Sound of Los Angeles (TSOLA) Records is proud to announce the release of a new single, “Mysterious Life,” by Jazz Fusion torchbearers Drivetime. This Michael B. Sutton production is enriched with sensual soprano saxophone, spacy synths, pulsating drums and percussion, deep pocket bass and enigmatic electric guitar, “Mysterious Life” – the title track of the band’s eight and latest

Craig Johnstone: “We Humans” – a master at crafting distinctive, memorable music

Craig Johnstone (formerly of This-z-This and Sledge Nicely & the Panty Bandits) is a passionate and dedicated Indie Rock artist currently living in Red Deer, Alberta. “We Humans” is a collection of home-recorded songs, written and produced over several years, most of which Craig has created and performed the majority of the sounds on.

He makes simple observations and twists them around into amazingly left of center songs. Craig is the freshest, most genuine, most original, most exciting, most intelligent voice to emerge in pop since…I can’t even remember when! He is an extraordinarily compelling mix of influences from the 1960s, 1990s and the 2000’s.

craig-johnstone-albumCraig Johnstone sets his wonderfully quirky stories to a blend of indie and garage folk-rock, infused with a plethora of theatrical elements in between. This record is like one of those rare occasions where somebody is rambling on to you about what seems like the most specific situations, and you find yourself nodding along the whole way through- because the same bizarre things happen to you, or because they don’t!

That’s what Johnstone is. He isn’t somebody to be analyzed or dissected because you’ll never work him out anyway. He’s someone to be listened to and understood. Period. His whimsical storytelling only becomes more compelling with the peculiar instrumentals and the off-the-wall sound production. To be frank, you either love Craig Johnstone, or you don’t. There’s no in between.

Johnstone’s voice maps a direct line to the listener’s soul and often lifts even the schmaltziest sounds above cliché. This album heralds in a recording of sonic experimentalism and simply stunning storytelling. “We Humans” is strikingly original; you will never, ever hear anything that sounds like it.

On first listen, there are a number of tracks over the album that veers dangerously close to a dissonant style, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Craig actually smothers the songs in melody and then disguises them in over-the-top production echo and other effects or screeching instrumental interludes. “Ass Over Tea Kettle” may be a good example of this. “Big Rock Candy Mountains”, is another.

craig-johnstone-350If there’s anyone in the music business who manages to fend off the mainstream label so blatantly, it’s Craig Johnstone.  He proves to be a master at crafting distinctive, memorable music that would never find a place on the radio, with nothing more than his gravelly voice and some rock-meets-blues-meets-folk-meets-country backing sounds.

Listen to the chugging rhythm of “Ear Bastards”, or the acoustic driven spookiness of “We Go Together”. And of course, there’s his vocal range, which covers everything from atonal rasps on “Buttnugget 16” to achy crooning on the title track, “We Humans”.

“We Humans” is an eclectic masterpiece of an album that contains impressive, timeless songs of great lyrical depth, melodic beauty and stylistic variety, bordering on the absurd. Johnstone continually stuns with his ability to pioneer his own unique sound throughout the album without falling into any stylistic rut.

Whether you like Craig Johnstone as a phenomenon by himself or whether you like only certain of his styles, this album will not disappoint as it offers enough contrasting brilliance to surprise everybody.

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