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

Kyley Styles: “LEAD SINGER COMPLEX” – the contrasting emotions of 6 split musician personalities!

The first full length album by independent alternative rock artist Kyley Styles is by all means and intent a concept album of sorts. The liner notes describe the experience as: “LEAD SINGER COMPLEX” displays the contrasting emotions of 6 different split musician personalities – told through an in depth interview with the front man of the band. While his opinion may be biased at times, it is thought provoking. His honest answers to a female reporter’s questions are no doubt over the line – but he’s the lead singer. He can pretty much say and sing whatever he wants.”

Sharply witted and tongue in cheek content run rife through these songs. So expect to hear twisted one-liners like: “Being overworked and underpaid, I’m over-jerked and under-laid.” Each song, or couple of songs, is composed by different ‘members of the band’.

From the keyboard player who advocates peace over war, to the guitar player dealing with a bitter breakup, and the financially struggling bassist, still living at home with his parents, as well as the drummer who uses his ‘rock-star’ status to impress groupies. It’s of course the lead singer who wears his heart on his sleeve, and holds the fate of the band in his hands with the most emotional songs.

Trust me when I say I can distinguish an average album from an outstanding one. “LEAD SINGER COMPLEX”, of course, is an outstanding one. Right from my very first listen, this album skyrocketed into my sphere of favorites. But what makes it so special? Charm. Moreover, self-critical charm is something many albums seem to lack in this period of political and social conflict.

These songs are metaphors for our own personal strengths and weaknesses – the characteristics that shape who we are both positively and negatively. Styles himself explains that the idea of the project was to let the songs explain that he is so many people rolled into one. Much like the rest of us, might I add, if only we had the courage to admit it. Something Styles bravely does throughout this album.

The most impressive thing about this masterpiece is it’s complete lack of filler. There are very few albums that I have listened to where I can honestly say that each piece is just as good as the whole. But this one’s different. Every song on here is absolutely incredible.

If I were to review each separate track, they would all get five stars, expect for “Thousand Grand Pianos”, “Rose Petals”, and “Sympathy Song” for which I might reserve six stars, and “Poppin Blisters” which directly earns 10 stars – I’m a sucker for melodramatic and emotional songs! To be honest though, every song is just sincere, unique, and recognizable.

But reviewing each song on “LEAD SINGER COMPLEX” would eliminate a key aspect of this project – this is a whole album. What I can say is that these jigsaws fit to make an interesting emotive and psychological picture. Each song flows into the other perfectly. To me, this recording strays away from the successful routines of its peers and manages to live its own way.

Due to this album by Kyley Styles, you will learn how to appreciate life as it perpetuates into ever-growing and diverse situations…good or bad, and how you are able to relate, react or even overcome it…especially if you are in music…and a band member!

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