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

Vitne: “Jupiter” – a fantastic listening experience!

Vitne, born Joseph Kimbrell in Charleston, SC USA, began playing in punk rock bands at the age of 15, eventually co-founding the band Golden Palace in 2004. With Golden Palace, he honed his guitar playing, began songwriting and upon relocating to Norway in 2010, he polished his vocal skills as a singer in the underground sleaze rock scene of Oslo. During this time he met Julian Angel of the hair metal band Beautiful Beast and the two have been working closely ever since. In 2013 Kimbrell adopted the name Vitne (meaning “witness” in the Norwegian language), starting his solo career after his band activities were put on hold. Since embarking on his solo career, the rocker has released critically acclaimed albums, been nominated and has won various music awards.

Released during June of this year, the album “Jupiter” features the skills of Vitne (Lead vocals, backing vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, flute, synthesizer, piano), Julian Angel (Lead guitar), Nigel Rios (Drums) and Max Saidi (Drums on “Edge”). Vitne has never been one to surround himself with slouches. He knows how to really pick a quality line up of musicians and on his latest album, the band shines brighter than they ever have before. As a fan of Vitne since I first heard him in 2014, I have grown to love his mix of hard rock, glam and hair metal as well as Visual kei extravagances.

Though some may imagine this sound to be somewhat dated by way of the previous description, this couldn’t be far from the truth. Once you press play on the opening piano sequence, “Mirror”, you’ll discover the immensity of this recording and find yourself completely enjoying the hell out of this album.

Vitne has managed to create a perfect mix of what I loved about classic hard rock, as opposed to the corporate sounds of nu-metal. “Masquerade” opens with an infectious groove that had me nodding my head with a sheepish grin as I was totally loving what I was hearing. The groove was completely driven by the excellent drumming, the crunchy guitar riffs and Vitne’s melodic roar. “Lion” is a shining moment for the guitarists, but also a great example of why Vitne is great rock singer. The song is so anthemic and has such a nasty groove that your toes will curl up. This one’s great for live shows.

The harmony-filled rocker “Make Believe” leads to “Are You Real” and “Under The Moonlight”, which has to be one of Vitne’s best stripped down ballads ever. Vitne’s breathy, and emotional voice sounds delicate and very natural as it scales the octaves into falsetto and back, carrying the most poignantly subtle instrumental soundscape you could imagine on a rock record.

“Jupiter” is the perfect song for a quick recovery if you’re not into ballads, as it totally cooks and has a really great rocking vibe – Vitne continues to beautifully blend melody and layers of harmony with pure aggressive over-driven guitars. The vocals here once again confirm Vitne to be an absolute front-runner in his genre. “Edge” is an absolute album standout that will captivate and draw you in, with its ever evolving rhythms and constantly transforming vocal arrangement. The track is also imbued with a stunning guitar solo.

“Far Away” is yet another piano based ballad. The passion and longing in Vitne’s voice shows a man that has said good-bye more than a few times in his life. This just may be his greatest vocal delivery as it made the hair on my arms stand up. He sounds so connected on this song that it obviously means a lot to him and as a listener, I can feel it as well. “Say Goodbye” once again showcases the unstoppable drums and screaming guitars, and works really well as a closing track for ending on a high note.

The album “Jupiter” is yet another surprise that I was not prepared for. This is a great testament to the fact that Vitne is far from running out of ideas. He has managed to artistically and creatively revive himself after a 4 year break from recording, by surrounding himself with stellar players and putting out an album of really well-written and well-executed songs.

Any rock fan will find that this album is a fantastic listening experience. I can’t think of any artist out there right now that does what Vitne does. Hence he is not only brilliant, but a rare rock treat to be cherished indeed. I can guarantee that this album will be getting multiple spins, without a doubt!

OFFICIAL LINKS:

Website: http://www.Vitne.net

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/1Nh93Btp349C6dwnYZGqOB
Bandcamp: http://vitne.bandcamp.com
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/jupiter/id1229066104
CD Baby (CD version): https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/vitne15

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/VITNEOfficial
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/VITNEOfficial

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