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

Little Steve-O: “Hidden Objects” possesses a magic that sets Steve and his music apart

Singer-songwriter Little Steve-O (Steven V. Fine) who plays harmonica and acoustic guitar is a former member of an award winning Blues duo who made it to the International Blues Competition (IBC) in Memphis, placing as a semi-finalist in 2011 and a finalist in 2015. With well over 200 shows per year Steve performs 4 to 5 nights a week throughout the Akron, Canton, and Cleveland area. Through the years, Steve has performed and recorded with several bands and has now released his 12 track solo album, entitled “Hidden Objects”.

This may sound like hype, but I don’t give a shit when it comes to my personal opinion, so I’ll shout it now before we even start. The quicker you know which side of the fence I stand on, the better it will be for both of us – “This album is a true classic. Little Steve-O’s lyrics are poetically beautiful, his voice exhibits raw emotion, and the songs are soulful.” Okay, now let’s do it.

Unlike so many pop stars that are shoved down our throats at every turn, I’ve never heard one of Steve’s songs on the radio. That’s a travesty! Honestly, people, what is going on with the dumbing down of America when it comes to music? This man has real talent. Something you can sink your teeth into.

Every song on this album is a gem. And they’re all different. His style is eclectic, which I love – one moment he can be an acoustic-blues version of the gritty Joe Bonamassa, the next he is the soulful voice of Van Morrison, and then he can be the lyrical heart of Damien Rice or infuse the heartland rock of John Cougar Mellancamp. His gritty, soulful performances truly touch every emotion.

Little Steve-O is at his best when he lets the emotion of his songwriting become outsized and dramatic, like in the opening track “Magician”. Right from this opening song you immediately know that this is a special album. In fact it’s so good you can’t wait to hear what’s next.

“A Simple Gathering” and “Your Virtual Being”, are pretty ordinary singer songwriter songs…by Little Steve-O standards, not by anyone else’s, where they would be recognized as standouts. Now listen to “Half A Circle” and forget the fact that the lyrics are amazing all by themselves, his soaring vocals and exquisite production make this a standout effort that oozes with class and raw energy.

“Hidden Objects” is packed with the kind of music that wraps itself calmly around your heart and squeezes, instilling warmth and a sense of well-being. Undoubtedly Little Steve-O is at his most impressive when moves out of his comfort zone, when he pushes his voice and music beyond its easy listening boundaries, which thankfully happens often.

Grouped into this list of songs you will also find “The Talk Behind Their Smiles” and “Room 6132”. This album possesses a magic that sets Steve and his music apart from anything played on the airwaves. Little Steve-O’s biggest problem will be to follow this up with a better album, but for now, just enjoy this great artist!

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