Dakú Lights: “Illuminate” – a consistent palette of genre-melding pop offerings

London based alternative pop band, Dakú Lights, was formed in April 2016 by the three band members who are represented by their own distinct color to match their personality, with Bhavini being red, Haiiiro as pink-orange and Panda as purple. They have a unique blend of music which incorporates Pop, Kpop, EDM and Urban influences. Currently pursuing a record deal, the band is focused on producing high quality music and building their stage presence for international audiences. Dakú Lights recently released their 5-track EP, entitled “Illuminate”. The title takes a cue from the band’s name, as Dakú means ‘dark’ in

Henry Metal: “So It Hath Begun” will grab you by the balls with a cruel squirrel grip

Henry Metal might have a fine veil of satire embracing the project, but he makes just about the best tribute to the excess of the 80’s and 90’s hard rock and metal genres ever. He has just released his 9 track album, entitled “So It Hath Begun” which contains great songs, which are very easy to bang your head and sing along with. The tracks all have a grooving and slamming feel, plus cool shredding and solos. In fact Henry Metal sounds no different to any of those legendary rock and metal bands from the golden era. You either get

Aeronaut: “Skara” – excellent progressive buildups and rhythmic backflips

Aeronaut can be described as Progressive Rock, Post-Rock, Indie, or simply Alternative Rock, but that doesn’t really matter. All I know is that this project delivers very interesting, fresh, and well-rounded music. Aeronaut has a huge dynamic range, from extremely fast and heavy with smooth, powerful vocals to very relaxing and atmospheric. The music is very melodic, clear and well-produced, the song “Skara” flows and changes to new and exciting ideas. The guitars are very lush and full sounding, during both heavier and mellow parts, while the bass and drums thump and bang in all the right places. Aeronaut is

Eric Hausmann: “Soaked” manages to tap into a very specific emotional core

Eric Hausmann is a multi-instrumentalist and film composer. He has produced music for a number of Malaysian films, in addition to scoring for a variety of New York film productions. He performs live as a guitarist with Portland’s Tres Gone, and Malaysia’s Space Gambus Experiment. He is formerly a member of The Gone Orchestra and Brainwarmer. Hausmann recently released “Soaked” a seven track recording which is described as “A cross-section of Asian dub-fused rock n’ roll with deep India influences.” But it’s probably more than that, as I’m hearing post-rock, world fusion, and ambient rock influences injected into these tracks. Eric

MOOD: “The Wave” is in the right lane!

Hip-hop has changed – there’s no debating that – but change isn’t always indicative of something bad. That being said, it’s refreshing to hear more rapping, with the exception of one or two bridges, versus the continual rap/sing mix that’s permeated mainstream as of late. You’re allowed to appreciate more than one way of creating music and while a lot of rappers have the notion that they should be singing as well, there’s a place for it all, especially if you don’t have a decent singing voice. You obviously can’t disregard one lane of Hip-hop while claiming to be a

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

Dan Weintraub: “Songs for Beautiful Souls” – a dignified poise and fluency

For Dan Weintraub, music isn’t work – its therapy. And it’s been that way since he started recording and performing in the mid-80s. Raised on everything from punk rock to jazz, he’s opened for Tracy Chapman, played in a country/rockabilly group with Graham Cassano of Blue Pontiac, and spent his college years polishing skills in a Grateful Dead cover band. In 2008 he released his self-titled debut EP – a folk-inspired effort recorded with punk rock royalty Geza X and Paul Roessler; and in 2016 tracked a second EP with Roessler. On January 1st 2016, Weintraub also embarked on his personal challenge of writing 1000 songs in 1000 days. You can track Dan’s progress on his website here.

Janie's Candle

Janie’s Candle

Dan Weintraub’s day job includes teaching history and coaching soccer at a private high school near Dartmouth College in New Hampshire – a role that’s personally fulfilling, but comes with difficult challenges. One of those challenges occurred in late 2016 when tragedy struck the local community. His student Janie Chase Cozzi was killed in a horrendous car accident with four of her friends, including her childhood best friend Mary.

Attempting to find meaning in the tragedy and mend the broken hearts of the community, Weintraub turned to what he knows best: music. He wrote an EP titled “Songs for Beautiful Souls” to honor Janie and her friends. And in summer 2017, he’ll be embarking on a tour of the same name to share their message. “The songs are all about love – how it’s always present, how it’s timeless, and how it guides us when we’re having trouble seeing or believing,” says Weintraub.

The first that struck me about the song “JANIE LIKE NO OTHER” were the heartfelt lyrics which played off against an upbeat jangling rhythm: “It’s a time like no other / tender sorrow and love so fair / we’ll find comfort together / As tears of longing we still share / For Janie like no other.” I was expecting a morbid and sorrowful arrangement, but had completely missed the point. This song, more than being an ode to Janie, is a celebration of her, which became clear in the closing verse: “She’s a child like no other / radiant with eyes so bright / Sparkle girl forever / Help us make it through the night / Janie like no other.”

Dan Weintraub

Dan Weintraub

Weintraub’s songwriting and narratives are superb. His songs transpose emotion into a sonic experience that pulls you in. You’ll find yourself both sympathizing and empathizing with the feelings and experiences Weintraub is describing in these tracks. The ballad I was expecting on the first track, arrived with “BECAUSE LOVE LASTS FOREVER”: “You said Because love lasts forever / We can carry this load / When our hearts heavy aching / There’s Grace still bestowed / Though The dawn’s foggy breaking / And In the mist lurks such pain / Loving e’er we’ll push forward / Again and again.” The song is built with Weintraub’s voice and acoustic guitar as the centerpiece, but there is violin, harp, bass, drums, percussion, keyboards and beautiful harmonies.

“There are times when at 2am I lie awake in bed / I’m staring at the ceiling, so much noise inside my head / The urge to run comes over me, sometimes i think I might / The darkness heavy on my chest / I am terrified, I must confess / But somehow hope I still possess  Light”, is the opening verse to “LIGHT” another upbeat track with sharp electric guitar and a sure-fire Dire Straits feel.

On the very first listen to this EP everything seemed to fit perfectly together. The songs connect to each other in such a unique and subtle fashion, without sounding forced and melodramatic, which can often happen when approaching subject matter such as this. An earnest soul searcher, Weintraub’s melodies are timeless and familiar, yet they land where you least expect them to.

“Songs for Beautiful Souls” is a stunning document of fragile eloquence that glides seamlessly from upbeat ruminations to hushed balladry. Artistic without being pretentious, Dan Weintraub’s craft is anchored in melody and articulate, but simple arrangements that do not abandon the music’s cerebral and emotional core.

With a pure and sincere vocal delivery Weintraub’s lyrics are soaked in heart-on-sleeve honesty and have the tendency to never come off contrived. Hardly have I heard a recording treat the theme of loss with such dignified poise and fluency.

You can follow and catch up with Dan Weintraub and his music at http://www.danweintraubmusic.com and http://www.danweintraubacoustic.com

or grab the songs here https://danweintraub.bandcamp.com/

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