J Tizzle: “The Chill Zone Vol 3” – The taste is smooth and distinguishable!

As living things, we need a steady supply of certain ingredients to survive. In music, the formula is undeniably similar. A song requires both rhythm and pitch. For the musically hungrier amongst us, these ingredients are not enough. We need to add extras, such as mood, atmosphere, emotion and groove. Unfortunately, even with the proper ingredients and extras the results are not always as expected. Stagnancy spreads within the craftsman, as well as a lack of skill or emotion. Luckily one, by the name of J Tizzle (Jeffery Townsend Sr.), avoids these annoying traits. Within his songbook exists all of

Heavy AmericA: “Motor Honey (Peace)” – It’s rock. Pure and simple.

A couple of years ago, the bands to emulate in modern rock were those that flooded the radios with wickedly catchy upbeat power pop tunes. Then came the neo-metal-driven climate, where even the tame end of the spectrum became heavier. On their new single, “Motor Honey (Peace)”, Boston based three piece rock group Heavy AmericA, proves themselves among the best in the alternative rock genre with a track loaded with hooks for mainstream appeal, but with an energy and drive that keeps them from sounding like mere imitators. The new release which has all the potential to climb the rock

Scotty Seed: One of the more original and thoroughly enjoyable alternative listens of the year!

Proud of his Italian heritage and his role in the LGTBQ community as a queer artist, Scotty Seed is a musician based in the East Village of New York City. Obsessed with art, including fashion and music, Scotty, originally a Jersey boy, started taking songwriting and production seriously in his twenties. Influenced by elements of industrial, pop, grunge, PC music, electronic, and screamo music, he counts artists like Crystal Castles, Marilyn Manson, Hole, David Bowie, Madonna, and Depeche Mode among his inspirations. Fighting an ongoing battle with bipolar disorder, making music provides him with an escape from his mental health

Suburbs: “Sound of the Sea” – a rewarding new project

Suburbs is an indie rock band from Scheveningen, Netherland launched in 1995. The band that has its roots in the eighties and nineties achieved national exposure when they won the national contest “De Grote Prijs van Nederland” (The Grand Prize of the Netherlands), the largest and longest-running music competition in the country.  As of the summer of 2013 Suburbs has started a new chapter. Lead singer Arie Spaans and 2 early band members set to work to bring their old sound back. The following year they started dropping singles and video clips leasing to their mini EP “Masters” in 2016.

Martone: “Erogenous Zone” keeps the adrenaline and emotions flowing!

It was 5 years ago that pop superstar, Sam Smith, stepped up to the plate and showed the world that love songs don’t have to be heteronormative to be beloved. Smith came out publicly, stating that he wanted to be clear on what his album was about. “It’s about a guy and that’s what I wanted people to know.” He was also completely aware of how important his success is to the public narrative. Hearing your humanity represented and validated by pop culture is important, and many LGBT supporting musicians have since been stepping up to share their experiences. The

Red Tan: “Don’t You Dare!” – Vocally anchored and soulful!

Red Tan is a young widow and single mom. Living in an unfamiliar environment while suffering depression and anxiety has been a challenge that she was able to put into music on her single “Don’t You Dare!” It’s an inspirational anthem meant to help others overcome their struggles and difficulties, and achieve their goals. In the meantime it has been a healing medicine for the singer-songwriter herself, helping her to become a stronger and better person. Red Tan’s ability to create deep thoughtful music, her timeless voice, and her capacity to be so introspective, makes her extremely relatable to any

Albert J: “Grow” embraces both aural diversity and true inspiration

Albert J (formerly known as f.o.c.u.s.) is an American hip-hop recording artist residing in Tampa Florida. Moving through Maryland, DC, Virginia, NC, California and now Florida, Albert J got to experience a lot of diverse music and inspirations. From bands ranging from Sigur Ros and Coldplay to Linkin Park and Incubus, as well as many Hip-Hop influences from DMX, Kid Cudi, Mos Def and Busta Rhymes, Albert J grew up with a wide palette of sound. His 3 mixtapes “Youth Religion” (Dec 2013) “Remember” (March 2014) and “YR2” (April 2015), garnered serious attention in the Hip-hop scene, finally leading up

Knarly Jones: “Redemption” takes us on an epic journey

“Redemption”, is Detroit-based EDM producer, Knarly Jones’ second drop in a series of four releases this summer, preceded by “Atonement” which was released in June. After spending time away from music to study mathematics and physics, Knarly returns to the electronic music scene with a refined cinematic style and a slew of new releases. “Redemption” combines cinematic scoring elements with classic electro-house feel and heavy drops to create a unique sound for 2019. Knarly goes into his bag of tricks and creates an enlightening, varied soundscape that unleashes bass all over your face. With all of this to dive into, it’s

Maxime: “The Honest Me Pt.1” – a unique piece of work!

Maxime Boublil was born in Paris, France, into a musical theater family. His father Alain, wrote the musical adaptation of Les Miserables and Miss Saigon, his mother was the first Cosette in Les Miserables in France. As a child Maxime played the cello and then went on to study photography Academy of Arts University in San Francisco, but he discovered what he really wanted to do, when he picked a guitar in a friend’s dorm room. After studying Music in Visual Media, Maxime went on to pursue a career as an engineer at Furstock Studios with three-time aria award-winning engineer

Absolute Doubt: “When Nightmares Become Dreams” – extreme melancholic chill!

John Francis, known by his artist name Absolute Doubt, is an up-and-coming rapper with a talent for freestyling. He works with a number of artists and producers on his latest EP “When Nightmares Become Dreams”, including Lucki, Jay Storm, and Downtime. The project imbues most of the tropes in contemporary swaggy rap music with an omnipresent breeziness that feels endemic to a luxurious daydream. The 2-song release consists of mid-tempo, gently forlorn hip-hop, padded out with New Age trap gauze. The music is pervaded by an all-embracing sonic fog. Absolute Doubt is best when he is pitted against gently fibrillating

William Elvin and the Circus: “Happy Days Ahead: The Home Recordings (2010/2011)” – the work of a confident band

The short-lived project, William Elvin and the Circus, and their album “Happy Days Ahead: The Home Recordings (2010/2011)” in particular, is the work of a band perfectly in control of itself. They knew exactly how they wanted their music to sound, that’s why it comes as surprise this project only lasted from 2010 to 2011.  Still, beyond that, it’s hard to write about this band. And I guess that’s because there’s no one “angle” to write from. In one corner, they have a master-class lyricist, able to reflect with the pen as jumpily and profoundly as needed. The lyrics always carry an indescribable spontaneous kind of tone which can only really be called free-spirited, but even if this kind of lyric seems simple, no one else could write it, or sing it, in the way William Elvin Manzano (Vocals/Guitar) does. And the music around the lyrics – the album’s other corner- plays to an even any higher ground.

The music on “Happy Days Ahead” molds songs to feel perfectly for an atmosphere that plays on a hundred little details at once. That’s why there are only twelve actual songs on this album, because Manzano and his cohorts –  Alden Acosta (Guitars/Drums/Percs), Rigil Borromeo (Guitars), Allen Mamaid (Bass), J Victor Villareal (Keyboards) and Marvin Lorenzo Datar (Drums) “The Circus is in Town” and “Tonight, I Break Some Promises”, are so obsessed with the details and so ready to give them their space.

My sensation is that this band thrived on unconstrained improvisation, which allowed their creativity to flow. Hence their songs feels so comfortable and unforced, from the arrangements to the melodies, each of these songs feel just right the way it is, and even in 2017, many of these songs would give the current wave of indie bands a run for their money. The only real improvement could be made in the production quality which has moved ahead in leaps and bounds today.

I could talk about both the lyrics and music separately, of course, because they’re both such brilliant aspects for one band to have, but what would be the use in that? There’s no moment on this album better than the second track “March of the Groupies” to prove the point that without one the other wouldn’t exist: without the music tracing the words around it, the guitar riffs igniting the vocals, the upbeat energy drenching every moment, there would be nothing that makes the, William Elvin and the Circus as brilliant as they were. You listen to every moment of “Happy Days Ahead”, and every noise, big and small, is where it should be.

On “Curtains Fall”, the noise is big. Plenty of dirty over-driven guitars, some improvised dissonance and vocals that go from melodic to manic.  It’s so strange to think of this record as the band’s only album (at least I think it was), because it is the work of a confident band and an articulate lyricist. They seem to know where everything goes, and it doesn’t go much better than on “One Five”. A track that mixes in melody, a hooky guitar riff, clean intimate vocals and some neat harmonies.  The raw “Happy Homesick Blues,” is one big, gorgeous crescendo that climaxes with its sunburst guitars, a chest pounding affirmation of everything that was once pure and good about meat and potatoes rock ‘n roll in the sixties-

This is a record that you want to keep throwing adjectives at, from the all-embracing melodic splendor of “See”, to the electronic-infused thump of “Goodnight, Sheena”, the psychedelic haze of “Trialogic”, to the beautiful heartrending piano ballad “Tonight, I Break Some Promises”.

“Happy Days Ahead” is the work of a band making us listen to every piece of them. And I played it loud, so I heard everything. The problem is now that we’ve heard “Happy Days Ahead”, where do we go from here? Or maybe William Elvin Manzano is planning to surprise us with another recording…

MORE ABOUT: William Elvin and the Circus Tour is the creative project of Hong Kong-based Filipino singer-songwriter and performance artist William Elvin Manzano. Having written a number of original theater productions in his hometown of Manila, William Elvin is now offering his personal, introspective work that paints a musical picture of a journey from loneliness and depression to self-discovery.

The Band:

William Elvin Manzano – Vocals/Guitars

Alden Acosta – Guitars/Drums/Percs

Rigil Borromeo – Guitars

Allen Mamaid – Bass

J Victor Villareal – Keyboards

Marvin Lorenzo Datar – Drums (Tracks 10 and 11)

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITEFACEBOOK

About The Author

Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.