Busola Martins: “Pleasant Surprises” ft. Bukola Bekes – You can hear the passion and her intention

“He turns my life around”, with these words, Busola Martins whets our appetite as we are led with bated breath into her new release “Pleasant Surprises” ft. Bukola Bekes.  With her ingenious use of simple questions and quotable phrases, she challenges us on a mid-tempo cliff hanger to re-access our relationship with Jesus. Precisely because Gospel thrives on its spontaneity, it has often traded lyrical sophistication for its immediacy.  This is not so with this track. Saved without being sanctimonious, and heaven-aspiring while remaining down-to-earth, when it comes to conveying ministry within her music, Busola Martins handles the load with passion

Weston Simonis set to release “Yoga Pants” video on Thanksgiving

For those who’re still unfamiliar with Weston Simonis and his wide range of musical styles, this is a very special talent. A native of the Grande Ronde Valley, Weston is difficult to pin down to one or two genres. Some might say he’s all over the place. I say he has the special ability to play Blues, Rock, Funk, Metal, Punk and any progressive thinking crossover music at will. Listening to his award winning album “Moments Of Intoxication” has reminded me that there was a time when you could hear all types of artists on the same radio station. Now

Jay Felicite: “758 Stories 2” features killer hooks and irresistible melodies

When thinking of England as a musical landscape, Dancehall may not be the first genre that pops to mind for people not in the know, but it’s there, under the surface of the streets, the thump of the drum and pop of the bass reverberating into walls, and spilling out under the doorways from dub clubs and roots bars. One of the current underground stars of the UK’s indie circuit is probably Jay Felicite (pronounced; Fay-Lee-See-Tay) is a Saint Lucian born and raised singer, songwriter, sound engineer. The resilient firebrand is making a big noise with the release of his new

Cris Marshall’s music will ensure he hooks as wide an audience as possible

Cris Marshall is an American Country Music Artist raised in a musical home, the small town of Haslet, Texas. He received his first drum set from his father at the age of two and by 8 he was playing his first guitar. In his teens, and alongside his dad, Cris began performing at some of Dallas/Fort Worth’s most well-known music venues. A singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, Cris also launched his very own home studio when he was 18, recording artists and bands all over Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. However his passion for writing and performing never subsided during this time,

Midnight Watchman: “Liquid Universe” – an extremely focused record

A guitarist and keyboard player who began as a street musician in UK before touring the US and then returning home, Andy Jones AKA Midnight Watchman, is a composer and producer of ambient music. Influenced by an extremely wide spectrum of music and musicians, that go from Vangelis to Chopin, ad Ryan Adams to Tycho, Midnight Watchman has released his 12 track instrumental album, entitled “Liquid Universe”. In the hands of a lesser artist, the varying song structures of this album would likely become tiresome, but every one of the album’s twelve tracks is a testament to the Midnight Watchman’s

Joey Britton: “Edmonton Sessions” – fluorescent, acoustic-centric ambient atmospheres

Joey Britton started his journey in music at an early age. He joined the band ISO and played lead guitar helping to launch the Torn and Tethered Album. After ISO, Joey decided to move to California to expand his skills in the music industry while writing, recording, and producing his own records.  “I try to write songs that tell stories, relate to people, so that when you listen to them – you realize you’re not alone,” says Joey Britton. Exploring is an experience not easily replicated. Associated with it is equal parts thrill, anxiety, and apprehension. Exploring a new artist

Daryl Yahudy: “Soulful Life Within” – a perfect calling card

Indeed, you could say that Darrell McClover aka Daryl Yahudy, a former professional athlete, is a soul singer with a warm timbre and a penchant for sublime, emotional arrangements, defining what the neo-soul genre should sound like in 2017. He is a singer with a fine voice weaving a spell on songs which are full of distinctive takes on universal topics. The album “Soulful Life Within” is almost looking at how he was, how he is and how he will be in life. The warm, evocative, impeccable playing around Daryl here ensures a timeless listen. The album is overflowing with lush, lilting

John J: “Pain To Power 5 Love Letters” – strap yourself in and enjoy this vibrantly orchestrated roller coaster

I have always been eager to pick up every piece of music John J issues because of the lyrical expertise he demonstrates in every song, and the attention to the music production and features he provides. John J has just dropped a 5 track bonus EP, entitled “Pain To Power 5 Love Letters”, which comes hot on the heels of his latest release, “Pain To Power”. Like his previous recordings, each song on this EP carries a different succinct feel and hook while the flow stays swift and acrobatic. The beats, features and subject matter again excel well above average.

Chaz Hearne: “Rise of the Voluminous” – sneakily inventive and massively engaging

The very first thing I learned while listening to the album “Rise of the Voluminous” by eclectic folk artist, Chaz Hearne, is that the defining question regarding any Hearne song is which Chaz Hearne he’ll be. Will it be the introspective, contemplative Hearne of slow-burning masterpieces like “Falling For Reason” and “Hount The Jab”? Or will the party-starter behind “Fun In ‘82” poke his head out, armed with flash phrases and funky beats? Or maybe he will just activate his progressive art-rock mode, as on “Voluminous Man” and “Spicy In The Dim Halls” – catchy, complex, yet ultimately armed with a sort

The Gibb Collective: “Please Don’t Turn Out the Lights” – perfectly cut gems!

October marks the 45th anniversary of the Bee Gees song “Please Don’t Turn Out the Lights,” and fans of the musical super group of the 1970s, have reason to be excited. The Gibb Collective is a musical tribute, and a family legacy.  On the input of Maurice’s daughter, Samantha, the children of Andy, Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb have found a way to honor their fathers by infusing new lymph  into the more than memorable Bee Gee classics of the 60’s and 70’s. And what better title for the 10-track album, than “Please Don’t Turn Out The Lights”. Though I

Julian Kelly: “Alive” – Her language is at once colloquial and complex

“Alive” is Julian Kelly’s third album. It centers on what it means to be alive—the compromises that have to be made, the loss which must be endured, and the resilience required to simply exist in a society such as ours. Julian, born in Baltimore, Maryland was placed for adoption soon after birth, and has been searching for her biological parents since the age of 12. She filmed a documentary called “Almost Family” which explores many facets of adoption, and also released the music CD “The Family Reject” which sold thousands of copies worldwide.

The album “Alive” is a powerful affirmation of Julian’s existence despite all of life’s difficulties. Foremost, her voice throughout the album is strong, expressive, and varied. From the opening notes of “Fish of Plenty” to the piano-driven closer “Generations Drowned” this album is a mystical journey into the life of one of a most elegant songwriter. The songs here don’t grab you instantly, but beckons you to listen closely and discover new meaning in its words and sounds each time.

Julian’s capacity for lyrical expression is so sophisticated that some might tend to overlook the miracle of her music. Yet she possesses a rich musical vocabulary of her own invention, consisting of complex chords, idiosyncratic syncopations, distinctive vocal harmonies, textural soundscapes and spacious melodies.

The album is self-produced with an artist’s sensibility. Each soulful syncopation is complemented by delicate dabs of paint-tapestry drums, keyboard swells, guitar strums, and stacked vocals harmonies hovering in and around the edges.

Like the legendary singer-songwriters who came before her, Julian understands the value of space in music-eschewing sustained chords that bleed over many measures to savor and mingle the colors in a delicate sonic dance. Her smoky vocals, confident and strong, etch the lyrics like etching cream on glass.

These are songs that require and reward repeated listening, as she mines fresh melodic territories, liberating her organically-induced tunes to twist and turn in unexpected directions. Her language is at once colloquial and complex, compacting observations with stunning economy.

She is at her lyrical best on songs such as, “Generations Drowned”, “The American Dream”, and “At The Table”, while vocally she shines on the more fully fleshed out arrangements like, “Mission To Achieve”, “What Happened In The Dark” and “Bobby”.

To be honest though, most of the melodies are unforgettable, and the arrangements are brilliant. Julian Kelly’s voice and lyrics are uniquely hers. Each and every song carries emotional weight and, seemingly effortlessly, wins you over with a delicate sense of melody and wistfulness, and much wit.

She delivers personal confessional songwriting just as much as she investigates and describes the world she sees around her. But Julian’s songs are somehow always about her, about her experiences.

And perhaps better than many songwriters of our era, she’s brilliant at zooming in and out of songs, presenting the big picture by showing the tiny, intimate details. There are few songwriters who write songs like these anymore, and that she’s still doing it is a reason to rejoice.

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