“HAZEY (The EP)” finds a way to highlight every element of its artistry

Hazey aka Yung Doowee is a 19 year old producer and artist from Dallas, Texas. He moved to Portland 2 years ago and has devoted himself to his music. His latest EP release is the 10 track self-titled “HAZEY (The EP)”. Hazey oscillates between extremes of exhilarating and surreal, through the album, both musically and lyrically. There’s plenty of wheedled and growled phraseology, as well as temperate and tuneful melodic singing, too. Hazey, makes the eccentricities of “HAZEY (The EP)” sound like embryonic visions of a future, calculating take on trap music. The results are something to behold. In its

Flexico Deeskie: ‘Leanin’’ falls within trap’s ever-expanding parameters

Flexico Deeskie comes out of Dallas, TX, to where he moved from Kansas City, MO, in 2005. Fresh on the grid, he became an active artist in July of this year, and has been steadily dropping singles to build his catalog and fan base. Flexico’s emphasis on a positive attitude and grinding, pops up regularly as does his commitment and dedication to his craft. These trademarks of his personality and style, are of course very much evident in the single project, ‘Leanin’’. Trap music’s roots date back quite a few years, and it’s been a presence in rap’s mainstream in

“Trump in the Trunk” attacks political, social and cultural issues

From Backwards is a master at creating high quality music with low quality satire. The only thing more surprising than how well those two aspects mesh, is how well he performs them on stage. His genius, however, lies within the fact that while he will laugh at (not with) almost everything he does, his audience will nod and move in sheer appreciation that someone is able to articulate the frustrations they otherwise are unable to deal with. From Backwards is the much needed fifth of whisky to last year’s presidential debates. Hip-hop and politics have been together for a long

Alien Skin: ‘1980 REDUX’ takes synth-pop to a different set of limits

There aren’t many synth-pop bands that I deem buyable today. I could probably count them all on my left hand. And if I only included the bands that actually played authentic 80’s analogue-driven synth-pop, I’d probably be left counting my stiff middle finger.  Sure digital and sampling can mimic just about any sound today…if you know what to mimic of course! Our current generation of electronic heroes can knock up the most devastating beats, create massive drops, and stirring buildups, so synth-pop might seem like the simplest form of electronica to them. Technically that is. Because musically we’re talking two

C-Los N.S: “Ye-Tape” features a wide range of thought-provoking lyrics

Songwriter and Rap Artist C-Los N.S (Carlos Ruelas) was born in Santa Rosa, California (East L.A.), and raised in Racine, Wisconsin. He recently released his mixtape, entitled “Ye-Tape”. After listening to it three times, I must say that this album is a mature product. C-Los N.S sounds like he has graduated from the rap game. He has an intelligent narrative that goes along with the music, while the experience is filled with more emotionally charged singles rather than club bangers. The production created is haunting with each song bringing about a different mood but it fits the messages masterfully. Beginning

Third Realm: “The Suffering Angel” – a bold and compelling addition to the group’s growing legacy

Recently signed to Distortion Productions, Third Realm is the eclectic dark electronic project founded in 2000 by Nathan Reiner of Buffalo, New York. The danceable darkwave band with powerful industrial tones, is known for their shadowy, sexed-up blend of synth rock and intense vocals. On their brand new album, “The Suffering Angel”, the collective spends half the time perfecting their gritty, driven sound and the other half eclipsing all expectations of their efforts. The result is an intense listen with tremendous highs, and outstanding performances by members, Nathan Reiner (Lead Vocals/Music Production/Songwriter), Arrow Fitzgibbon (Guitar/Keyboards/Backing Vocals/Sampler), Melanie Beitel (Keyboards/Backing Vocals)

Nika Starr: “Connection” – succinct, sassy, and sincere

Nika Starr, female Soul/RnB singer from Toronto, is currently working with her mentor DT the Artist for Artist Development from the ‘Ground Up Program’. Her latest single is “Connection” which was produced by ClevaMix Records with an instrumental from ShamGodBeats. Being a woman in a male-dominated music industry, means they always want to back you into a corner and force you to wear a label. Unfortunately, that means you either fall into one of two categories: sexy or cute, and maybe lust or love. Now more than ever people need to be reminded that women can be in more than

Liam Merrigan: “Broke Beyond Tomorrow” – a high sense of life and perception

Liam Merrigan is 29 year old singer-songwriter from Kintbury Berkshire UK. The 10 track album of original songs, “Broke Beyond Tomorrow” deals with Liam life experiences – either lived first hand or witnessed. I enjoyed the intimate nature of the recording, which sounds as if Merrigan was playing a beat old guitar on a stool 10 feet in front of you. Totally stripped down, this album demonstrates the great craft of the songs, as well as Liam’s expressive voice, and of course his acoustic guitar. Liam is the English equivalent of rejuvenated Neil Young in his observational skills. Liam Merrigan puzzles

Etop: “Masterworks” is ground-breaking and innovative

Etop is not your typical electronic artist. If someone says to you that Etop plays electronic music do not go thinking that he plays heavy beats and dance songs. Well he does, but not quite the way you’re thinking. Etop is everywhere. He can go to a bubblegum electronic pop tune, to a groovy dance song, all the way over to a depressing ballad. And then he can do something better than just about anyone else…go back in time. No, this is not another installment of Return To The Future. He really goes back to the past, and out of

Andre Gimaranz: ‘Supermoon’ – a rare jewel!

After 15 years as a session musician, Brazilian guitarist, singer and songwriter, Andre Gimaranz’s first solo album, ‘Handmade’, was released in 2015 gaining instant attention from the industry and fans alike, resulting in Gimaranz being considered one of the best new live acts in Brazil. In 2015 and 2016, Andre was a nominee in the categories ‘Song of the Year’ and ‘Artist of the Year’ at the IMEA Awards. He recently dropped the highly acclaimed single, ‘State of Rage and Fear’, and has now followed that up with his brand new full-length album, entitled ‘Supermoon’. Every once in a while, after making

Jake Ward: “Sound With Intention” gives you plenty in each song

Jake Ward, a longtime singer-songwriter, producer, performer, and multi-instrumentalist with years of experience writing original songs, performing, and contributing to a plethora of musical projects. Ward attributes his musical awakening to listening to the Goo Goo Dolls when he was just 13 years old. His other musical influences include John Mayer, U2, The Script, and a ton of 2000s era pop punk, like Fall Out Boy, Panic at the Disco, All Time Low, and Yellowcard. Ward says that every one of his songs was written with an acoustic guitar as the base instrument. Jake Ward has now officially released his first solo musical project, “Sound With Intention”, a 5-track E.P produced entirely by himself and Nick Loiacono at Fang Studios in San Mateo.

Jake Ward has sort of perfected his own genre — acoustic indie-pop with some rock mixed in and electronic influences. Ward, as you will hear, is well-versed in the recent past. There’s no doubt he has spent his formative years studying the guitar scene of the post-millennium intently. But it is his air of confidence and zest that lifts Ward out of the cheese saturated pseudo-guitar quagmire inhabited by his odious ilk who profess to peddle wares of a similar nature.

Jake Ward’s decent onto unsuspecting hordes of potential fans, with his EP, “Sound With Intention”, is one of tremendous hard work and belief, not just in his own ability but in order to ensure anyone outside of his hometown would take him seriously. That’s the absolute first feeling these songs gave me.

Ward’s stunningly melodious, yet spiky songs are tighter than a kiddie cap on a pill bottle. Each track is an economical three minutes or so with no wasted bars, or even notes for that matter. This the kind of music that is very hard to stop listening to once you’ve heard a few songs, because Ward gives you plenty in each song, but 3 minutes just seem not quite enough, forcing you to want to hear more – to discover how far he will push his skillset.

There are those artists who don’t just write songs, they write songs, and then there are artists who don’t just sing songs, they really sing songs. These are artists who know a thing or two about the math and emotion of music and how that corresponds into making a song sound awesome. Jake Ward is part of the latter categories

With his talent Ward can reach any audience, and it’s clear that he is very familiar with the construction of the pop matrix. It is evident from track one, “If You Leave Me Know”, with its sumptuous harmonies, glorious falsettos and jangling layers of gritty guitar.

It is evident on track two, “I Don’t Really Know”, with its edgy, hand-clapping urban beat, its coy vocal intonations and soaring bridges wrap in multiple choral embellishments. It is evident on track three, “Make It Right”, with its funky guitar strumming, the ever-evolving and uplifting beat, and the heartfelt vocals.

It’s evident on track four, “Never Letting Go”, with its sweeping, epic choruses, and summer breeze-like sonics that is simply heartwarming. It’s evident on track five, “Picture Perfect”, with its soothing, feeling-good verses, the crisp and clean acoustic-guitar soundscape and the sweet as syrup choruses, which really are bittersweet when you listen to the lyrics. It really is all too evident, to simply overlook or miss listening to “Sound With Intention”.

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