Exit 22 Music: “Last Goodbye” – one of the finest musical acts in the pop-rock underground

It seems almost impossible that an artist that has been around this long – 20 years in Chris Calamera’s case, can keep making records that stand up among the best that he has ever done. Let’s be clear: “Last Goodbye” is a great song. It’s poppy, with a big melody and an insistent rock rhythm, and it’s catchy as hell. Sounds like authentic Exit 22 Music to me. This is pure Calamera from his pop-rock songwriting style standpoint, and pure Exit 22 Music, considering the breathtaking vocals and high production-value quotient. The perfect, power-pop formula. Exit 22 Music has been keeping

Lake of the Lion embodies embody emotive sounds and textures

Lake of the Lion is the brand name and moniker for Luxembourg music composer and producer, Daniel Kohnen, who is steadily building up his catalog and increasing his fan-base with regular new releases. In recent years, ambient instrumental and soundtrack scores have been following a certain trend. Composers seem to have this motif of creating overblown pieces with harsh lead instruments blasting out from the blue and background strings creating suspense with their melodies. Sure it was fun for a while, but within that little span of time listeners were just begging for it to stop because composers had this

Natalie Jean and Levi Moore: “The Letting Go” speaks the language of the ordinary person

A good duet, in our modern age, is a rare thing. There are plenty of features, guest verses and co-writes, and the cameo drop-in is a dime a dozen. The number of genuine duets, where vocalists share verses and tell a story together in the space of a song, is very small. If your optimism fails you, as you wonder whether there are enough great acts to keep hit radio stocked with worthy pop music duets, it’s reassuring to find that Natalie Jean and Levi Moore have a first-rate single to carry us through the next few months, all by itself. The

MAKI: ‘Waking Up With The World On Fire’ – truly majestic — grandiose, slowly unfolding, and extremely cinematic

The world is a fragmented place, with fear and hate giving rise to isolationist movements around the globe and huge portions of the population turning inward rather than outward towards each other. As such waves of bigotry spread like wildfire, the music scene becomes extremely important, not just because it means more great music, but because it connects us all together on a wavelength that hits the human heart, soul and mind even harder, faster and deeper than anger can. A creative constant in the field of communicative contemporary Instrumental music, is MAKI who focuses his ample talents on a

3 Phase – ready for genre domination!

The names Chirag Shah, Prasham Deliwala and Melvin Saldana may in themselves not ring a familiar bell in your ear right now. Probably, neither will the moniker ‘3 Phase’, nor their 6 track self-titled EP. It’s logical, it’s the law of the industry’s hype machine – cast a light on the big label clones, and leave the independent creatives in the shadows. Luckily the internet has a different set of rules.  On hearing the 3 Phase EP, the lofty ambition, the focus and dedication of this creative collective of producers, songwriters and vocal talent, makes sense – its six tracks

Sy: “Get Out Of My Dreams” – grab this R&B and Soul extravaganza

The singer, songwriter and author, Sy, releases a brand new single produced by Rueben Wood. The track “Get Out Of My Dreams” is the first single release written by the artist in 2018, since writing two self-help books, “A Swan Among Ducks” and “Saying Yes to (No): Learning the Power of (No) before the end of 2017. This track soulfully captures the spirit and feel of the emotional journey of grown womanhood. It is juicy, dynamic, soulful, gorgeous, and it is nourishment for the soul…and mind, as it examines the intricacies of a relationship built on want and lust. As

IJK: “Johnny & June” – sounds invigorated!

Alternative rock artist Imad Jack Karam, known by his initials and stage name IJK, is a Dubai-based, Lebanese singer-songwriter, who has released critically acclaimed songs and recorded with internationally known music producers in prestigious London studios. Both his singles “Space Odyssey” and “Dancing Shadows” garnered a positive reception from fans and critics alike. IJK has a style that can move between edgy modern-day alt-rock and sixties rock n’ roll crooning.  He recently published his latest single and supporting, fully animated video, for the song “Johnny & June”. So, how does this new offering cope? Very well, in truth. “Johnny &

TRVP HIPPI3Z: “On Lock” – no lack of muscular skill-flexing!

TRVP HIPPI3Z is a Canadian rap duo who just dropped their latest single entitled, “On Lock”.  Listeners beware. This product has been known to blow up and cause fires in a variety of stereo systems, due to the super-hot fire provided by this crew. TRVP HIPPI3Z is a team-up that has risen as great exemplars of righteous chaos. Their supersonic sound and hard-nosed imagery gives them a mysterious sheen, but the duo have grounded themselves via booming production, and a sonorous verbal presence, coupled with their willingness to fuck you up. Their chest-beating bravado is explosive on “IDGAF (Prod. THZ)”,

Eddy Mann: “Simple Things” will leave you breathless and in a state of euphoria

At first as a musician, I created music, then as an A&R executive I challenged it, now as a music reviewer, I explore it.  Of the three, the latter is the most difficult. Criticizing or appraising somebody else’s creation is no easy task. Enjoying it is one thing, understanding it another, and translating it is even more arduous. The funny thing is, I’ve always hated describing music. It’s such a volatile and subjective art, that nobody should really have the authority or the presumptuous audacity to judge the level of enjoyment or emotion any one piece of music is capable

Kitson Lau: “Be By Your Side” – an expressive paean to love’s transformative powers

Kitson Lau wears many hats – a musician, songwriter, singer and graphic designer, he is also a medical graduate. Initially without any musical background, Kitson became inspired by Norwegian record producer and DJ, Alan Walker. This passion drove him to learn music and song production. And soon, with dedication and focus Kitson Lau hit the top of the China Kanjian ING 10 Charts with his Mandopop albums. Since signing to Sony Music Entertainment Malaysia, Kitson has been encouraged to record English songs, so now he is making his official debut via Sony, with the song “Be By Your Side”, which

Hunter DeBlanc: “Daydreaming” will have you hitting the repeat button for weeks

Hunter DeBlanc is a pianist and singer-songwriter from Lafayette, Louisiana. Synth pop hooks like Chvrches and The 1975 blended with the piano driven sensibility of Elton John or Billy Joel is how the artist’s music is often described. Hunter, has been performing live for the past 5 years, and has completed his new album titled “Daydreaming” released September 8th 2017. The genre-bending 10-track effort is the culmination of the many sounds Hunter is able to put out, equal parts haunting synthpop hooks, breathy lyrics and big choruses, as well as explorations into plenty of new sounds.

Hunter DeBlanc has crafted a skillful pop album that you can listen to while you stare out the window at some dreary weather or while you drive around under sunny skies with the top down, not an easy expanse to cover, but he does it. That said, the album is at its strongest when the Hunter sticks to exhilarating, provocative pop songs. It’s a refreshing look at how to make ear-worm songs that rely more on the musicality of the artist than the image and marketability. That’s not to say that Hunter isn’t sellable. But, he doesn’t just rely on his perception as a would-be pop star, but as musician who values his craft.

Their upbeat, electro pop-rock sound, coupled with personal lyrical meaning should win fans all over the country. The intro track “Dawn” sets the tone for what’s to come on the album. “Breaking Out” is a song that encapsulates the hallmark of the Hunter DeBlanc style with an infectious beat, happy tune and heavy drums.

The chorus is anthemic and just made for crowd sing-a-longs. The harmonies rise dramatically to a crescendo until the song cuts out sharply. Comprising more of the favored chanting-style harmonies, “When The Sun Goes Down” has a syncopated rhythm and eventually develops into a cool funky style groove. Awesome.

Unbelievably catchy vocal hooks and a powerful clap-along beat, supports the engaging melody and Hunter’s crystal clear tone that will have you hitting the repeat button for weeks on “Back 4 More”. “Night Noises V2” coupling a thick mid-tempo rhythm with powerful, coarse keyboard lines and drum-fueled goodness.

It deserves a massive stadium to really do it justice. The smooth, almost unpredictable rhythm which opens “Daydreamers” quickly settles down and becomes an even slicker, slower-paced groove. The bass is showcased in this groove-led track, grounding it, while Hunter declares: “Take the sand out of an hourglass, and build a paradise for you…)

The outro “Dusk” closes the regular show down. A short interlude that is ethereal and floats above us, on another plane of reality somewhere. Trippy but no less musically individual than the other tracks. Three more tracks await us thereafter – The Badboxes Remix, the Matt Kennedy Remix and the Stripped version of “Back 4 More”.

Each track on “Daydreaming” unwaveringly good. Rhythms are consistently infectious – tapping feet and nodding heads abound, but similarly Hunter DeBlanc isn’t afraid to dabble in catchy melodies and rich harmonies.

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