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

Darshae Kiér: “Translation” – poised to take its place on the global stage

Darshae Kiér is a pop artist based in Miami, FL. After the untimely death of his parents, he entered the foster care system where he was shuffled from foster home to foster home. Despite his rough start in life, Darshae has always been determined to rise above and lead with positivity. Inspired by artists like Aretha Franklin, Sam Cook, Prince, Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake, and Coldplay, Darshae latest single “Translation” rides on a steamy Reggaeton beat, and strives to spread the artist’s message of hope and inspiration. His melodic flow and lyrical style are potent. He creates hooks with ease,

Kill the Reflection: “Forever & Always” keeps itself tight and consistent throughout

Kill the Reflection is group from Oklahoma City, OK, consisting of Morgan Routt (Vocals/Guitar), Mark Martinez (Bass) and Starr Raven (Drums). Their new album, “Forever & Always” is currently available for pre-sale and will release on Dec 27th 2018 on digital and physical CD format with Vinyl to follow in 2019. On the album, Kill the Reflection presents an interesting musical mélange of alternative rock with excellent musicianship and vocals, as well as exceptionally strong lyrics. The instrumental work on the album is worth listening to repeatedly, and the songs are intelligent, though generally dark. “We have adopted the moniker of (Music for broken people) which to us is a precise depiction of what it means to dwell within our emotions. A tragic reminder for love of the obscure, and the maniac within,” explains the band.

While the lyrics are themselves cutting and brilliant, the vocals from Morgan Routt are perfectly suited to the material and contribute markedly to the edginess of the album. There are dark songs, but there are also spirals of hope mingling throughout. However, both the dark and the light edges rip through with an energy that is pure rock melodrama.

Kill the Reflection act on the most basic of set-ups: guitar, bass and drums. And yet, this simplest of formations makes the biggest of impacts. They often create something beautiful out of nothing, building discernable riffs and jangling guitar strums beneath a distinctive vocal to produce something utterly memorable.

“When I Was Young” sets the primary template for the album, relying on the combination of post-punk and rock, yet creating something which is inexplicably hard to pigeonhole with its moody ambience, overdriven crunchy guitar and rolling bass lines.

“Bangtail” introduces the bands alternative template with its strummed clean guitars and outward looking upbeat melodies, reminiscent of edgy R.E.M. Kill the Reflection can be defined at its most basic level as a contemporary rock album, but stands up well on its own terms – there aren’t many bands that sound like Kill the Reflection right now, nor any that approach the songwriting skill explored on this album.

By the time you hit play on the mid-tempo earworm “Hemlock”, and straight after, the mesmeric “New Memory”, you should already be hooked on both Kill the Reflection templates, which are equally captivating. In fact the grungy style of the latter track is hard to resist if you have any affinity for the nineties rock scene.

Every song on this album features flair, passion and a dizzying amount of creativity, but it’s when Kill the Reflection wrap themselves inside their warm, all-embracing radio-ready tones, such as is displayed on the back-to-back tracks, “Black Magic” and “Erase”, when they stand out from the crowd the most.

Musically “Forever & Always” is not the album for anyone interested in swashbuckling solos or insane fret board work instead Kill the Reflection stick to what they know best, harmony among instruments, excellent rhythms, and a tendency to create tangible aural atmospheres. Which is what you will find on standout tracks like “Tambourine Massacre”, “Robin” and the title track “Forever & Always”.

Clocking in at twelve songs, this album keeps itself tight and consistent throughout. The depth in Kill the Reflection’s sound comes not just through its production, and the band’s outstanding instrumental work, but through Morgan Routt’s vocal work; without moving from his comfort zone, he simply outdoes himself.

I’m tempted to say that, overall, “Forever & Always” is the best independent alternative rock release of 2018, but there are still few more days of the year left. So to be fair to any would-be contenders for the label, I’ll hang on to that affirmation for a few more days, but this is going to be one hard act to beat!

“Forever & Always” is being born on December 27th, 2018. Now until December 27th, you can pre-order the full album for only $3.99, after the release date the price goes back to standard prices. Get it while it’s hot and cheap. An added bonus album sale: “Fleeting Melodies Vol.1” & “Together… Apart…” are only $5 each.

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