Lyndon Rivers: “Heart To Heart” – a mix of nostalgia and current innovation

The people who decide the sounds of the future are the producers and songwriters of the present. They blend familiar sounds and emotional beats with modern-day lyrics and studio advancements, often capturing the world’s imagination with a mix of nostalgia and current innovation — throwback pop no longer has to sound plainly retro; even the past can pick up future sheen. This is exactly what English-born and Australian based producer Lyndon Rivers is getting up to lately. His latest creative effort is the single, “Heart To Heart”. This reminded me of the some music from the 50s, whimsical, with great energy.

Digital Down: “Open Source Nervous System” – pulsing rhythms, mingling with the spiraling synths

Digital Down is located in central Arkansas and consists of sole member, Melville Bragg. Melville started his professional career in late 2015 with the release of the first EP entitled “Incunabula”. Melville has since placed 2nd in an international music contest hosted by software company Open Labs and sponsored by Linkin Park, as well as release his first full-length album, entitled “Open Source Nervous System”. At this point, many decades into its existence, it can be fairly expected that rock is not going to cough up a new paradigm anytime soon. The advent of digital sampling technology and electronic manipulation,

HALO: “Expressions” moves between various soundscapes which have distinctive influences

Darnelle Treadwell aka HALO, was born and raised in Gary, Indiana. He started singing in the church at the age of 4, by 13 he found that he wanted to pursue a professional career in singing but didn’t know how to go about it. He met an artist by the name of B.L.O.U.N.T. who introduced him to M80 a producer from the Midwest that owns an independent label called G.S.P. Music & Film. Halo signed to G.S.P. and has been working closely with M80 for the past 9 years. Their latest artistic collaboration has delivered the album “Expressions”. The recording

Detroit artist – The Infamous Crackhead

Born on the Eastside of Detroit, the youngest of six, The Infamous Crackhead was kept off the streets and into music which became his passion. He worked hard at his craft as a DJ, then a beat-maker, and improving his mic skills before creating The Law Breakers. A couple of months backed The Infamous Crackhead dropped the 14 track album, entitled “Mental”. Focused and furious this is an album that has moments of great energy, toughness, lyrical smartness and a great old school atmosphere. How long have you been in the music business and how did you get started in the first place?  The Infamous Crackhead: About

Adam Idris: “Count On Me” – rich with influences and thoughts

Formerly known as Adamjlss, Adam Idris is musician and composer based in the United Kingdom. Almost a freshman to the scene, Idris started recording and making music seriously in 2016. Entrenched in the urban genres and blending R&B, Pop and Dance elements, the artist has a host of singles in circulation, including “Count on me”, “I’m incarcerated” and Power hungry”. The songs are by turn oblique, smolderingly direct, forlorn, funny, sad and gorgeous: a vertiginous marvel of digital-age urban pop. On the lead single, “Count On Me” Adam wraps his voice in woozy emotion and pivots in the space of

John Grind: “Numb” – a track brimming with confidence and energy

John Grind is a hell of a songwriter with an undeniably cracking voice, brilliant lyrics, colossal tunes, grungy swagger and of course, as always, the right amount of light and shade in his songs. Through his life experiences riddled with pain, darkness, and self-destruction he has quickly moved towards being an adventurous and psychedelic musical maverick and author of timeless sounding pop-rock songs that effortlessly became part of our consciousness. Grind is a masterful song writer. Raw, brash and yet supremely polished – “Numb”, the single taken from his “Beauty Of Decay” EP, is an impressive track an ever-reliable artist.

TONI REDD releases “Take Me To Paradise” featuring the smooth sax of Walter Beasley

Atlanta, GA – The tantalizing talents of multi-faceted entertainer Toni Redd is in the music spotlight with the new release of her latest gem, Take Me To Paradise, a jazzy, soulful, up-tempo feel good song that features the smooth sounds of renowned saxophonist Walter Beasley. Its a brilliant collaboration that will be a signature standout from her forthcoming jazz project. Her soaring, feel-good vocals coexist harmoniously in the infectious tune. I recorded Take Me To Paradise because I love the song and I wanted to show my listening audience the jazzier side of me, just in case they forgot.  Jazz is

A Silver Lining: “Don’t Let me Down” – absolutely massive and immaculately performed

A Silver Lining is a five-member alternative rock band from Bay City, Michigan. Formed in 2017, the band is treading new ground with old influences, and re-discovering the sense of purpose and fun in rock music. Their single “Don’t Let me Down”, taken off their debut album “Paralyzed” is covered in a welcome confidence and swagger that has been disconcertingly absent from the genre for far too long. On this latest offering, we are presented with a concise magnum opus – prepared to weave and shapeshift, prepared to embrace the unknown with reckless abandon, utilizing crunching riffs, pounding percussion, soaring

Shashika Mooruth: “Jogan”- Indian traditional influence on her music style

Jogan is an album of folk songs in the Hindi language that enthralls the listener with an uplifting experience. Shashika Mooruth is an independent artiste from South Africa. Her lineage extends to her forefathers from India hence the dynamic Indian traditional influence on her music style. Under the auspices of her music label, Urja Music, she displays her holistic musical artistry at every level of production. Her voice, however, is her main instrument. In Jogan, she has rendered her voice to compositions based on styles that are popular in North India, particularly the state of Uttar Pradesh, which praise Krishna

Jessie Wagner: “I Want To Dream” – Few can soulfully croon a love song as convincingly

Jessie Wagner returns, and boy do you need this track in your collection. “I Want To Dream” is the kind of quality R&B that brings a tear to the eye. Composed by P.M.B, the strong, emotional lyrical content of this song is a giveaway that Jessie, or perhaps her some of friends have been through a fair amount of dubious moments with the men in their lives. This is more than evident on this smoldering vocal interpretation. The jaw-dropping classy piano lead, the lyrical content, the production, and sheer power of the vocals, would suggest that “I Want To Dream”

Elmo Karjalainen: ‘Age Of Heroes’ is full of diversity

Elmo Karjalainen is a ‘guitarist’s guitarist’ who revels in a self-penned musical hybrid shot through with intensity and precision. His latest album ‘Age Of Heroes’ is a big sounding album with enough twists and turns to make Karjalainen’s solos sound both dynamic and interesting. This album represents a milestone, for Elmo, who is considered one of the best rock guitarists in his native Finland. On this album he realized his dream of playing alongside side some of his own ‘heroes’.

“This album saw me realize a dream. I have always wanted to have people I consider influences appear on an album of mine,” says Karjalainen, continuing, “I dreamt of playing with Steve Vai or Yngwie Malmsteen, and on this album I saw that happen. I got Derek Sherinian (ex-Dream Theater, Yngwie Malmsteen keyboard player who also toured with Billy Idol, Kiss and Alice Cooper) to play a killer solo on one of the tracks. The second artist to feature was none other than Viking guitar maestro Mattias IA Eklundh of Freak Kitchen. He’s a guy who has truly influenced my playing. In addition to those two I got the extremely talented Janne and Emil to feature on one song, where we did a three guitar battle. ”

Elmo Karjalainen

Elmo Karjalainen

There are plenty of incendiary guitar breaks and harmony guitar parts, shredding and the like, but Elmo Karjalainen also demonstrates a lightness of touch which is almost playful at times. This aspect is offset by several complex moments that explore rock, pop, metal, blues and even classical influences as he cleverly balances the obtuse with the accessible.

‘How Can Less Be More’ is full of diversity, a wide range of solos and an array of tone colors. He glues together all the elements on ‘The Colour of Greed’, which he tops with an incredible shred and then joins keyboardist Derek Sherinian (ex-Dream Theater, Yngwie Malmsteen) as they trade instrumental virtuosity before slipping into some beautiful slow-burning guitar ambience  on ‘Chikken Noodul’.

The lyrical duality of ‘A Fertile Discussion’ is exulted by the subtle dynamic tension between Mattias IA Eklundh’s exemplary playing and Karjalainen’s fusion ensemble sensibilities, laced with multiple harmonies. The restless live feel of ‘A Meeting of the Gods ( And This Guy)” is evidenced by the way Janne Nieminen and Emil Pohjalainen (winners of Yngwie Malmsteen’s Guitar Gods competition), together with Elmo Karjalainen trade electrifying riffs as if it  was an adrenaline pumping rollercoaster ride.

This is an intense high octane collaborative track. And it’s this constant search for that one lick to match the others that gives the tune such a captivating appeal which is exemplified by the booming ‘call and response’ riffs.

Karjalainen saves one of his biggest impacts for ‘Falling for Falafels’ on a collision of understated power, song craft and intense guitar playing. The big crescendo before the outro is effectively a musical sleight of hand, as it suggests a succinct resolution to a bulldozer of an album, but magnificently, ‘Age Of Heroes’ has even more depth than that.

It’s a frequently multi-layered and surprisingly diverse album full of magisterial guitar lines that constantly draws Elmo Karjalainen into new musical avenues.

He’s at his tasteful and poignant best on the meandering twist and turns of ‘Three Days of Peace’ and the bluesy ‘Limiting Rationality’, while the upbeat fusion groove of ‘The Grassy Gnoll’ is an example of an artist following his own musical path. ‘Age Of Heroes’ reveals new nuances with repeated plays.

Elmo Karjalainen’s musical knowledge, breathless guitar playing and imaginative musical arrangements shape the musical vision of a genius shredder with a penchant for real songs. Elmo personally feels that this is his best album to date, and on the evidence showcased across the 15 tracks here, it would be hard to disagree.

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