Free From Gravity: “Step Into The Sunlight” – a unique and definitive identity

I’m not sure about how much a mature, well-oiled and well-travelled band can improve or grow artistically and technically, but this is exactly what UK band, Free From Gravity, have achieved on the brand new album “Step Into The Sunlight”. With this album, the band still uses catchy music and ear worm melodies, only this time to deliver more complex and profound ideas. Led by founder and front man Vince Barnes, and completed by Philip Estell (Drummer), Urszula Filipowicz (Keyboards/Backing Vocals), Roger Cooper (Lead Guitar) and Andy Stratford (Bass Guitar), the band has a knack for combining dark lyrics and light melodies, while the soundscapes move between dreamy pop

Close up with Rocker Rick Shaffer

Prolific recording rock artist, Rick Shaffer, is a founding member of the Philadelphia band, The Reds©, whose first self-titled album on A&M records, was produced by David Kershenbaum. It highlighted a blend of Rick Shaffer’s guitar and Bruce Cohen’s keyboards. The album was supported with live appearances with The Police, Joe Jackson, Blondie, The Ramones, The Psychedelic Furs, and Public Image. Shaffer has also done plenty of studio work and features on the Marianne Faithfull album (Island); Hilly Kristal’s, “Mad Mordechai” (Stereo Society); Peter Murphy’s, “Holy Smoke” (Beggars Banquet/BMG); and Marc Almond’s, “Fantastic Star” (Some Bizarre/Mercury); as well as writing, producing and

All Atomic: “Destinate To Radiate” harnesses its wild dynamics gloriously

Bristol, England’s All Atomic brings a variety of styles to his new EP – his second release for Pink Dolphin Music. “Destinate To Radiate” covers all varieties of electro music and shows a progression from his label debut earlier in 2017 “???? (Track With No Name)”. Everything is extremely well produced and fits together like pieces in a puzzle. It’s also incredibly diverse, but not all over the place. Songs jump from standard electronic tunes to blaring club bangers and glassy-eyed soundtrack-styled compositions at the drop of a hat. It sounds exactly like a collaboration effort by diverse producers…except it’s

Henry Metal: “Metal O’Clock” – an absolutely brilliant hard rock recording

Henry Metal debuted in late March of 2017 with the release of 2 singles which was then followed by the albums; “So It Hath Begun”,   “Wizard Vs Demon” and  “The Maestro Abides”. “Metal O’Clock” is Henry’s fourth collective offering is again an extremely engaging, epic and anthemic recording which never loses its caustic tongue-in- cheek, confrontational edge as it  investigates government ineptitude, consumerism, drug abuse and cosmetic surgery, as well as and pays homage to the Swedish Viking gods Odin and Freyja. Henry Metal is, to put it simply, stunning. His singing is melodic, yet has just enough grit and low

The Bach and Beethoven Ensemble’s CHICAGO STORIES Project – October 14/15

The Bach and Beethoven Ensemble’s CHICAGO STORIES Project brings the city to life on a personal level through new music written by Chicagoans, with and about Chicagoans and Chicago communities. Through Chicago Stories, the audience learns about the Alvarez Brothers and their renaissance efforts to revive the Pilsen Latin jazz scene. They are then taken on a journey through the harrowing escape of members of the Assyrian immigrant community, who finally found refuge in the neighborhoods of Rogers Park and Lincolnwood. Finally, they scale the wall along with a group of minority women in executive leadership roles who crushed their

Vizualye: “Hunger Games” ft J Schick – delivering wordplay lined with context

Vizualye, born Rajaee Grey presides over his tunes with an old world grace and steely strength that feels oddly calming in these uniquely turbulent times. Given how unorthodox 2017 has been and how much more unorthodox things are going to get, we need someone who has been fighting for a while to tell us the importance of continuing to fight. The rapper knows his duty to educate and inspire the public, and “Hunger Games” feat J Schick is one of his best records since his debut release. The record is produced by Taye Legend, and is steeped in a muscular, economical

Boostman Family: “I’ll Be There For You” – tricks pulled from the very catchy electro-pop toolbox

The electro/pop band Boostman Family, founded in 2012, is composed of different artists from the same family, of which Amy and David are the visible part. David Boostman sings, plays keyboards and drums, as well as being the band’s producer. David has been an arranger for big names in France and has composed movie soundtracks played in European theaters and on TV shows. He speaks fluently English, French and German. Daughter, Amy Boostman, sings, plays the guitar, and also shares in writing some of the band’s music and lyrics. Uncle Jo Flash comes from the European underground electro scene and

Sunerian: “I’m Not Worried” – genuine emotion, and positive energy abounds here

Singapore- based EDM Producer Sunerian, who has a preference for Tropical House and Chill Music, has released his 3 track EP entitled “I’m Not Worried”. Sunerian’s EP doesn’t fit the old overnight success adage, which is all for the better—he prefers his bright, electronic melodies drenched in sunlight. Brimming with sun-kissed flavors, the recording hinges on spring-break nostalgia for glistening bronze skin, sand snug between the toes, and young love and lust. It is the perfect September soundtrack for those clinging to the final scraps of summertime. When done right, an artist can invoke nostalgia without losing their purpose or

Emilio Crixell & Border Soul: “Music People” – exploring all of the possibilities within musical hypnotism

There is an essence of allure that exudes from the content of “Music People”, the new 11 track album by Emilio Crixell & Border Soul. The music is jubilant, with a mesmerizing melody that entices the listener into a sensation of musical ecstasy. We open with “A Face in the Crowd” featuring soulful songstress Leeann Atherton, immediately it induces a entrancing atmosphere to set the mood, a seductive horn blowing ambience decorated in a sensual percussive mysticism. And just as the music has us succumbing to its will, when we give up all restrain and let our senses sink deeper

Nina Kotova: “TCHAIKOVSKY” – outstanding technical detail

Born in Russia, Nina Kotova belongs to the third generation of a family of musicians—most notably her father, the renowned virtuoso double-bass player Ivan Ivanovich Kotov. At the age of seven, she was accepted into an adult cello class at the Moscow Conservatory. At fifteen, she won First Prize at the Prague International Competition. And at nineteen, having graduated from the Moscow Conservatory, she left her homeland to continue her studies in Germany and the United States, where she now resides. Kotova has been the subject of numerous features in Time, Newsweek, Vogue, Elle, the Wall Street Journal, and The

Green Light Silhouette: “The Mind Suggests Less Knowing” – a smart album!

Green Light Silhouette is a group with influences ranging from Alt/Rock to Folk, Hardcore/Punk and everything in between. Loaded with members coming from other bands they put this project together because they all have the same passion for creating music. Green Light Silhouette currently is Neal Mckenzie (Vocals, Guitar), Nick Yanez (Lead Guitar), Ryan Macauley (Bass, Vocals, Synth) and Joel Heun (Drums). Rock music is the art of feeling weightless. It’s about shaking yourself free of the burden, the obligation, the ball-and-chain boredom of modern life. About how three-chords and a melody can make the bad stuff seem less bad. Less powerful. Less likely to swallow you up. It’s made for drunken dancing, slurred singing, being with your friends and enjoying life despite what it does to you. And Green Light Silhouette easily fills part of that soundtrack with their album “The Mind Suggests Less Knowing”.

These days, it’s commonplace for young bands to not fully live up to their potential, as they aim too high, trying way too hard to impress, but anyone who dismisses Green Light Silhouette’s new album after just one listen is seriously mistaken. On the new full-length album consisting of 10 tracks, the band sounds like one with plenty of touring experience, with lots of musical ideas, and maturity.

All their most defining characteristics are brought to the fore – the highly melodic vocals, the creative drumming, the understated, yet highly effective basslines, and the guitars that share impeccable, licks and riffs. It’s what the band does with those ingredients that makes this album a superior one.

“The Mind Suggests Less Knowing” is loaded with nifty little touches, accents that give it more color. There’s the slinky, chiming guitar-infused opening in “Drifting”, the juxtaposition of the vocal harmonies and crunchy overdriven guitars on “Walk Away”.

There’s the off-kilter bass in the epic sounding “Let Them Starve”, or the wall of guitars and forceful drumming on “You”. The deliciously catchy angular guitars that gets in your head and won’t ever leave in the title track “The Mind Suggests Less Knowing”. The high speed punk of “Alderaan”.

You can hear the hint of Latin rhythm in “Charmed Life”, which also boasts a terrific guitar line and a shuffling chorus.  “Particle Fog” is pure, buoyant energy which is driven by the drums and guitar work, while “Hammer Away” divides it’s time between both acoustic and electric guitar dominated passages and tons of vocal harmony.

There’s so much musical depth in this album that it makes many of the bands contemporary’s sound stale in comparison. Which is weird considering that Green Light Silhouette sometimes lean on retro influences (knowingly or not).

Many of the songs often reiterate how good these guys are at composing uncomplicated, contagious pop hooks time and again, right inside their alternative rock arrangements. The melodic vocals and lush harmonies are obviously a focal point of the band’s sound, and on this album, prove their worth.

You can also hear a sense of world-weariness in their songs. “The Mind Suggests Less Knowing” doesn’t bowl you over, as much as it sneaks up on you. It’s a sly piece of work, an album that niggles its way into your brain with each repeated listen. This album is remarkably controlled, focused, and devilishly smart. And it sure as hell delivers some thrills along the way.

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