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

The Hopeful Giants: “Hawthorne EP” – musical beauty in its purest form

There are two types of people in this world – those who enjoy music and those who like music as a background noise. The Hopeful Giants is for people who like music. The heart and honesty that went into their debut recording is extremely commendable. It will leave you hanging on every word and note. The Hopeful Giants are a three-piece, indie folk band from the Inland Empire in Southern California, composed of husband and wife, Ryan and Kelly Skove, along with longtime friend Greg Kent. Having released their first record, the “Hawthorne EP”, on February 25th, the band has set their sights on engaging the local music scenes of Southern California.

Listening to “Hawthorne EP”, we get beautiful, poetic lyrics and haunting, simple melodies that will not leave your head. It’s primarily an acoustic EP with a folk, singer-songwriter sound. Ryan and Kelly Skove harmonize and sound excellent with Ryan’s trembling tenor voice evoking innocence and passion.

The entire EP sounds like the band is sitting across the table from you, beers in hand, telling you stories through song. It’s a very cohesive work, somewhat reminiscent of Sixties folk. It’s such a rare and amazing feeling when you find a recording that you genuinely love every single song on.

The “Hawthorne EP” is a very strong acoustic recording, and from the start with “Again and Again” you will find whimsical songs laced with deep cutting lyrics that go straight to the heart. Hitting track two, “Change of Heart”, The Hopeful Giants continue to impress.

Not only do they have creative songs with both unique lyrics and completely new music, but from the harmonies on “The Fall” to the swift but gentle percussion on “Once at a Time”, and the naked guitar strumming on “Great Escape” to the more layered and lush, upbeat arrangement of “Repentance”, every single piece is specially crafted to be timeless and enjoyable, anytime from now until infinity.

If folk-based music is your thing, this music is exactly what you have been looking for- a somewhat indescribable, raw but crisp to lively sound, wrapped up in a combination of simple organic instruments, thoughtful lyrics, great harmonies, and melodic tunes, for an overall effect which is nothing short of stunning.

You could put The Hopeful Giants in the same broad category as Mumford and Sons, Bright Eyes and The Lumineers, but they’re a little bit more closer to the stripped-down, singer-songwriter core of the genre.

This EP presents musical beauty in its purest form; the recording contains a whole new breed of acoustic hooks and vocal harmonies which create a cohesive listen that takes you on a reflective contemporary folk journey with some nice retro flavors, reminiscent of our classic, legendary singer-songwriters.

The “Hawthorne EP” is full of sincerity and emotionally deep, coupled with a style that is meant to easily work live. Each track here lets their ambitious, yet tender nature shine through brightly, displaying an impressive capability to create something contemporary out of a timeless legacy.

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