SoundLooks http://soundlooks.com The Music Journal Sat, 20 Jan 2018 16:37:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 SKOWT A Brand New Platform Connecting Unsigned Musicians To The Industry http://soundlooks.com/2018/01/skowt-a-brand-new-platform-connecting-unsigned-musicians-to-the-industry/ http://soundlooks.com/2018/01/skowt-a-brand-new-platform-connecting-unsigned-musicians-to-the-industry/#respond Sat, 20 Jan 2018 16:37:17 +0000 http://soundlooks.com/?p=7847 SKOWT is a brilliant new venture that helps give recognition to unsigned musicians around the world. SKOWT helps connect unsigned artists with the biggest target markets most relevant to their needs – streaming music fans, event/media companies and A&R/Licensing Managers.

The platform is highly interactive with artists from a wide range of genres represented. The platform is free to register on and provides for a much better and faster introduction of new music to fans – while at the same time creating a chart which quickly gives insight into the most listened to tracks, helping A&R/Licensing Managers as well as media platform owners get in touch with talented unsigned artists. Think Tinder meets Pinterest for music!

So what are the features? If you’re a music fan, the site allows you to filter by your genre preference which in turn presents you with selected playlists that allow you to discover new music by new artists. If you like the track, you can listen to the full track or hit the Like button before the end of the song, and then the next track loads or swipe to the next track.

Based on the most listened to tracks as well as the most liked, SKOWT builds a top 10 chart which is also shared with Music & Licensing Managers who can then connect with the artists behind the music to discuss potential partnerships.

Their mission is clear:

  1. To give independent artists the opportunity to be recognised and help them grow their fan base.
  2. To become the recognized leader for connecting independent artist to fans and the industry.
  3. To provide fresh new streamed music to fans and enabling Music and Licensing managers to discover their next big talent.

Check them out!

Contact information
Contact Person                 : Kumar Krish
Company                            : SKOWT Music Sdn Bhd (subsidiary of Music Notes Ltd)
Address                               : We Work, 2 Eastbourne Terrace, London, W2 6LG
Email                                   : contact@skowt.it
Phone                                  : +60136424336
Website                               : www.skowt.it

IOS app                               : https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/skowt/id1195858492?ls=1&mt=8

Android app                       : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.org.Codecture.Skowt

Facebook                            : https://www.facebook.com/skowt.it/

Twitter                                : https://twitter.com/skowt_it (@Skowt_it)

Instagram                           : https://www.instagram.com/skowt.it/

]]>
http://soundlooks.com/2018/01/skowt-a-brand-new-platform-connecting-unsigned-musicians-to-the-industry/feed/ 0
Bitter Lake: “Frozen Landscapes” has both atmosphere as well as pummeling force http://soundlooks.com/2018/01/bitter-lake-frozen-landscapes-has-both-atmosphere-as-well-as-pummeling-force/ http://soundlooks.com/2018/01/bitter-lake-frozen-landscapes-has-both-atmosphere-as-well-as-pummeling-force/#respond Fri, 19 Jan 2018 09:52:13 +0000 http://soundlooks.com/?p=7844 Ambient and Symphonic metal often run into walls of mundane sameness that conflict with intended results. No matter what could go wrong with these types music, one-man Scottish project, Bitter Lake, of does not fall victim to it. The composer reliably challenges the genres’ categorical parts to create something unique and as equally beautiful as it is noisy. And noisy it is, as Bitter Lake’s blend of the aforementioned genres is abrasive, aggressive and loud on the single “Frozen Landscapes”, which is taken from an upcoming album.

The song construction and the use of classic black metal fare work well for the project. There’s an energy to the writing and riffing as the frantic brutality of the track comes to the fore in chosen moments. Thus it has both the atmosphere as well as the pummeling force ripping your head off.

From the start “Frozen Landscapes” swirls with dark atmosphere, thickly layered riff construction, and a perfectly epic ambiance. Bitter Lake takes the time to craft a distinct mood and carry it throughout the recording, rather than simply pummeling the listener for the entire six minutes of its length.

But be forewarned when the project pummels, it does exactly that, taking no prisoners. Furthermore Bitter Lake adds faraway growling vocals, just to make sure you get enough of your daily rations of abrasiveness.

There is also a sense of artistic flair introduced during the track’s playing time that makes things slow down and retreat from relying solely on unabated heaviness to drive the record forward. It is proficient in establishing mood and then evolving it as the song progresses.

Because while the first few bars may seem a bit crushing and overwhelming, over time things focus to a single, sharp point. Before long, the line between aggression and artistry becomes blurred, and it is then that “Frozen Landscapes” truly impresses.

The guitar sound is hefty, while the riffs are really sinister and full of energy, accompanied by the furious drumming. These drums are loud and deep, they rumble, vibrate and really bring power to the song, they can sound distant before they charge up and crush you. There’s a fair amount of melodic work hidden in the mix as well.

Hence by spacing all these moments out Bitter Lake has created a much more anticipation driven experience. Bitter Lake has managed to conjure an epic atmosphere and a punishing experience that every extreme Ambient or Symphonic metal outfit wishes to achieve, and with a mix that makes the instrumentation sound positively crushing.  “Frozen Landscapes” manages to capture the sheer brutality that is never too far behind the beauty.

OFFICIAL LINKS: SOUNDCLOUDBANDCAMPTWITTER FACEBOOKYOUTUBE

]]>
http://soundlooks.com/2018/01/bitter-lake-frozen-landscapes-has-both-atmosphere-as-well-as-pummeling-force/feed/ 0
Angel: “Hero” – all-embracing artistic approach http://soundlooks.com/2018/01/angel-hero-all-embracing-artistic-approach/ http://soundlooks.com/2018/01/angel-hero-all-embracing-artistic-approach/#respond Wed, 17 Jan 2018 12:26:40 +0000 http://soundlooks.com/?p=7840 Angel is a Los Angeles and Sydney based socially conscious artist who composes what is described as “Statement” Cinematic Soundtracks and Music Short Films/Videos. Trained in acting, singing and dancing, the award-winning artist who has picked up accolades in the UK and Australia, adopted her signature style after attending a Hans Zimmer Masterclass. As a child, her mother introduced her to Hollywood musical and style icons such as Ginger Rogers, Grace Kelly, and Audrey Hepburn, who have shaped her work, and probably explains her all-embracing artistic approach. To complete the picture of Angel’s go-ahead attitude it should be noted that she also has an Honors Degree related to Biomedical Science, Medicine and Surgery.

Angel’s latest project “Hero” – adapted and reworked form the Jim Steinman/Dean Pitchford composition “Holding Out For A Hero”, and made popular by singer Bonnie Tyler – was inspired by the 2017 terrorist attacks in Manchester and the tragic shooting of Christina Grimme in particular.

In fact, Angel aspires to being a messenger of peace, through her music, and chose her moniker accordingly. “Hero was absolutely emotional and yet uplifting and exhausting but it was oh so important to have done this now as a legacy piece for victims of violence,” says the artist.

In deconstructing and then rebuilding the musical and vocal arrangement, Angel also counted on the collaboration of composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist, Jamie Messenger. The Melbourne based creative has worked with many successful artists, including Sia and the Hilltop Hoods.

He also composes music for short films, TV and Symphonic orchestras across Australia. It’s not hard for anyone to comprehend, on the basis of all this initial information that the “Hero” project, is built on a solid foundation of acclaimed and talented performers and creators.

The winning factor, of course, is that everyone involved in the project, injected it with dedicated passion. More so than anyone else, Angel, for whom the Short Film/Music Video of “Hero” represents her official debut. Despite this being a cover of an original song, the recording is an irrefutably personal one, as Angel pours her heart and emotions into the performance.

It quickly becomes clear how her interpretation of words like: “Where have all the good men gone / And where are all the gods? / Where’s the streetwise Hercules to fight the rising odds?” take on a new and appropriate meaning for the theme she proposes.

Blending a little touch of ethereal wispiness with the honest earthiness and heartbreaking emotion that the song’s theme calls for, “Hero” soars through its delicate balladry. Throughout the recording, Angel pushes her vocals into rarified territory, where sometimes in brief moments it’s hard to hold back the emotion.

“Hero” is the sound of an artist’s talent and vision meeting the perfect production, as Jamie Messenger allows the live horns, strings and percussion, to resonate within the rich cinematic THX effect. In fact listening through good quality headphones is strongly suggested for this track.

To bring the project a whole 360°, the screenplay for the Music Video filmed in 4K, was written by Australian screenwriter Liam Lacy, and Angel, who also directed the film. “I wanted to write, film and perform an emotive piece that would reflect the tragedy of this loss, from the victims perspective and how this cowardly act, affects us all,” explained Angel. I think she has certainly succeeded in doing so!

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITEFACEBOOKINSTAGRAMTWITTER

]]>
http://soundlooks.com/2018/01/angel-hero-all-embracing-artistic-approach/feed/ 0
Its Showtime with Billy Stark Stone & Rico Blythe! http://soundlooks.com/2018/01/its-showtime-with-billy-stark-stone-rico-blythe/ http://soundlooks.com/2018/01/its-showtime-with-billy-stark-stone-rico-blythe/#respond Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:38:53 +0000 http://soundlooks.com/?p=7837 Billy Stark Stone w/ Rico Blythe is a new project featuring the aforementioned. Billy Stark Stone was the lead singer/founding member of NYC’s first and original seminal and notorious teen ‘punk’ band, The Blessed. Rico Blythe was the guitarist in a later incarnation of the same that resulted in the release of an EP titled ‘Taboo’ that sold out its initial run. Now Billy and Rico have teamed up to create this exciting new enterprise. Coming hot on the heels of their acclaimed single and video ‘Revolution Rerun’ they have just re-released a re-mastered version of ‘Potters Field’ from the Taboo EP w/ an accompanying Lyric Video. 2018 plans to be a very busy year for them w/ many projects in the works. The big question remains….will they ever play live? Are they even capable of doing so? STAY TUNED.  According to Billy “Everything I have done up to now was a dress rehearsal…now it’s SHOWTIME!”

  1. You just released the revamped version of the song “Potter’s Field”. Everyone song usually has a story or anecdote behind it. What’s the buzz on this one?

Billy Stark Stone & Rico Blythe Well, It’s not really revamped just remastered. But w/the video and the new images I guess you could say it’s somewhat revamped. We like to think it has finally come into fruition. I’m not sure what you mean by ‘Buzz’ but the story behind this song is as follows. Let me preface by saying we are not into embellishing facts nor shaving off years or whatever to accommodate someone else’s idea of what you should or should not say or fit into some asinine idea of ‘The Rules of Rock and Roll’ as if there was some big book of the do’s and don’ts (well, we know the DON’TS HA HA) I have never seen this book and don’t believe it exists and I don’t know why so many subscribe to it. What I’m leading up to is we are all about the unmitigated truth no matter how uncomfortable or salacious (or not) or brutally exposed it can be. We don’t lie about our ages and experience to fit into someone else’s idea of how it should be done or how to present ourselves according to the mythical Rock and Roll Rules. Having said that, this song was recorded and released about 32 years ago (and written a few before that) This period was really ‘Pre-Goth” and lot of bands were doing the whole sad, depressing ,melancholy everything is futile angle so we decided to write a song that was the penultimate of all those feelings and emotions and there you have ‘Potter’s Field’ Now I don’t consider ourselves a ‘Goth’ band in any way ( I think we are beyond goth) but that was the impetus behind it. Listening to it again (and it happens often with some of our songs) after listening to it again, other things popped out at me about what it could be if you look it another way that I never considered. So, overall the passage of time hasn’t dated it all in fact it seems more NOW than it did then. It needed to germinate for a few. Also it features our dear friend Charlie Sox (RIP) on drums and the great Reggie Rhoden on bass and I’m glad Charlie’s fantastic drumming is living on. I know there have been a lot of other songs w/the same title over the years but we were the first out of the gate in ’84

  1. Why did you specifically choose to revamp “Potter’s Field”, and in general what’s the idea of reworking some of your older songs, as I see you’re busy updating a few others too?

Billy Stark Stone & Rico Blythe: We always had planned to remaster ‘Potter’s Field” and the next one but planning to wait until we had our next two NEW singles released (they will be released simultaneously and there is a reason for that but we won’t divulge why now). But there was getting to be too much time since our last single. So, we decided to release them now and keep us in the loop. The reason for re-mastering this and the next one is simply because we think they are great songs that have not dated and sound as if we recorded them yesterday and they really didn’t get their due. In fact …truth be told…wink wink…..some of the NEW songs (emphasis on ‘some’) are in fact revamped songs Rico and I had and we re-arranged and wrote new titles and lyrics to. Not that we are short of material no siree bob, but the songs just resonate now more than ever. Ahead of their time? I dunno, but I do that NOW is just the right time

  1. In your opinion what specific embellishments do your older recordings need to sit on the current music shelves?

Billy Stark Stone & Rico Blythe: Other than the remastering I think what they really need is a hell of a lot more people to hear them. They are fine and are ready for the largest audience they can muster. A good song is a good song is a good song regardless of when it was recorded. Look @ the Rock and Roll from the 50’s.Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Jerry Lee Lewis. Buddy Holly, Elvis, etc. were recorded in a few takes and w/ a few mics…maybe even one and they still sound fantastic. I have said that everything that has happened had to have happened before we could come along

And everything HAS happened so I feel we are as ‘Current ’as can be. The older song’s needed to marinate for a bit. Or maybe the audiences had to marinate and of course many were just not born yet. In any case there was some respective marinating going on.

  1. And talking about ‘music shelves’, with all the music sharing websites and digital download platforms currently flooding the market, what’s your view on the value of music today and how the system works?

Billy Stark Stone & Rico Blythe: Does music have any value? Well, the creator/listener experience, that is INVALUABLE but in the sense you are asking it depends on what delivery system we are talking about and are we talking monetarily? Digital downloads/streaming have very little value as of right now monetarily well, for the artists).I’m sure it will sort itself out in some form or other. But musicians will always record their music in some format or other. That is just not going to go away. It’s nothing new…I have said before every industry in entertainment or what have you have regularly gone thru upheavals. If you told someone in the 50’s and 60’s that someday people would pay to watch TV or buy water in bottles they would have thought you insane. I know a generation or more of kids have grown up accustomed to NOT having to pay for music….so there’s that. It’ll sort itself out somehow. Additionally there is playing live, merch, licensing and who knows what else lies on the horizon. I personally think it’s a very exciting time. Are the models from the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s 80’s and so on viable today? NO Were the movies from the 20’s viable in the 30’s and the movies from the 30’s viable in the 60’s? NO and by viable I mean made in the same way and fashion? Enjoyable yes but society moves on. Discover and discard. So use your imagination and come up w/ a better and more profitable mouse trap. But let me add that one should not IGNORE the past. It’s very important to know the roots of where everything came from so you can learn from it, add yours to it and hopefully pass it on. As we said in our last single ‘Revolution Rerun’ ‘THERE IS NOTHING NEW BENEATH THE SUN, EVERYTHING HAS BEEN SAID AND DONE’ and the kicker is…even THAT is nothing new!

  1. If you had the opportunity to change one thing about the music business, what would that be?

Billy Stark Stone & Rico Blythe:  Just one thing? Ha Ha! Is there a music business anymore? Ok ….that the mundane and mediocre is no longer celebrated and applauded and that these music/judge TV shows will be accepted as they are. Merely entertainment for TV and nothing else. But the cool people know that already right? Hmm that’s two things isn’t it?

  1. How does it feel to be still be a rock and roller after all these years, and what keeps you inspired to continue?

Blly Stark Stone & Rico Blythe: HA! Feels great. Honestly I haven’t felt physically and mentally this strong in I don’t know …ever! I decided to be a Rock and Roll singer (actually Rock and Roll chose me…there are those who have no choice.) when I was 10 or 11 years old and feel like I’m really getting the hang of it Ha Ha! I’m enjoying it more than ever. Plus, I have a few years of experience, including just living life period to draw on so it’s all very very good. What inspires me is what inspired me when I was that little 10 year old and I think one needs to always go back to that frame of mind. When I was that 10 year old I wanted to look and sound and act a certain way and now I look and sound and act exactly like that now so here we are. Let’s go It’s Showtime!!

  1. How important it to you that you perform live music events/gigs?

Billy Stark Stone & Rico Blythe: EXTREMELY IMPORTANT! I think in order to be somewhat relevant or rather to be able to hold your own and deliver the goods as if you mean it, one should be able to bring it live. ESPEC.THESE DAYS. There was time a few back when some bands or performers could get away w/ just recording and doing videos and not playing live either because they didn’t want to or couldn’t for whatever reason but those days for gone for now. Plus I love a live show, that’s really where the whole thing comes together. I passionately love playing live. Now you might ask, WHEN are we going to play live? Are WE capable of it? Go to our website and sign up for our e-mail Website  or subscribe to our YOUTUBE  channel  YT Channel and we will addressing this very subject

  1. I notice that you have released a lyric video for “Potter’s Field”, as well as some other official music clips. How important do you consider visuals are to your music? Or is it more a question of the marketing power YouTube has?

Billy Stark Stone & Rico Blythe:  Visuals are EXTREMELY important. Not only to our music but any group or performer that I was ever interested in. Now visuals could be either the image or whatever creative methodology you use. To me THE WHOLE PACKAGE was the ones were the most worthwhile. Image, visuals, music, and now vids and the whole spectrum of the internet .We are only limited by our imaginations. If anyone is a follower of us on FB or Instagram etc. etc. you will notice that every week or so we have new ‘Artwork’ posted. These are things that are generally done by other groups for flyers or announce a show or what have you .But, with the endless plethora of pages and pages one can avail oneself of…………..why not have a new poster and visual EVERY WEEK OR SO??!!   Let’s get creative here boys and girls and use this technology, utilize and explore it like it was intended Rico and I are vets at going out w/ the bucket and wheatpaste in all kinds of weather. This is much better HA HA! As far as music is concerned You Tube is just the new MTV with a bigger audience. We love recording, we love making videos we love the whole spectrum. We seem to be in a time where the mundane and mediocre is not only celebrated but applauded. We hope to rectify that.

  1. How are your songs developed? Do you handle all the creative processes yourself, from writing the lyrics and the music, as well as the recording, producing and mastering etc.?

Billy Stark Stone & Rico Blythe:  There is a number of way our songs are developed. Rico and I use quite a few methods we have honed over the years. We usually have our antennas up and catch something…’You know, ‘INCOMING’ catching lightning in a bottle You know nobody really ‘WRITES’  anything. It’s all there just waiting for someone to harness it and channel it and smooth it out or rough it up. Rico sometimes records’ a lot of stuff on his own (home studio set up) and /or for everything else (vocals, additional bells and whistles and mixing) we use a studio. We have engineers that do all the technical grunt work but we are always there directing it all. We mix, produce ourselves and then we have a mastering engineer we send the stuff to for that and voila! A new single oh and yes Rico and I handle all the music and lyrics

  1. Once you have created and finished a piece of music, how do you go about distributing and promoting it? Do you use the Internet to facilitate this and what is your relationship with the new technology at hand?

Billy Stark Stone & Rico Blythe: We have an aggregator we use that gets the songs on all the online and streaming platforms worldwide. We use all the usual social media sites and YT and we just got a Vevo channel and we have things coming up that …again….follow us  and like us and friend us wherever applicable and subscribe to our e-mail list for  our latest news and comings and goings. Like everyone else we are navigating the minefield of the detritus that is the music ‘Industry’ and trying to make things as exciting as we can. Ask us again at the end of the year and we’ll see where we are

  1. You have a vast catalog, and apart from the songs you are currently reworking, is there one particular song you have recorded during your career that you’re most proud of, and why?

Billy Stark Stone & Rico Blythe: Actually we don’t have a vast catalog. You mean of things that have been recorded and released? In that vein no, my output in terms of being prolific is rather pathetic. Yes, we (or myself from previous bands) have a lot of material over the years and a vast catalog if you will of songs written and performed live but as I said as far as released…ridiculously lower than what I should have put out. I have studio recorded stuff over the years, different bands and people I have worked with that will hopefully one day see the light of the day. Rico and I have a bunch of older songs obviously throughout the years of our working together but we’re not really re-working all that many…only a handful or so. Rico and I have several dozen songs in various stages, we have the next batch of singles all queued up and waiting for their turn. We have so many ideas and songs and just want to get busy getting them out there. The old ‘What is your favorite song of mine’? Or which one am I most proud of? Well the old THE NEXT ONE answer. Honestly truth be told (remember I’m a stickler for that ) The last single ‘Revolution Rerun’ I’m very proud of ’Potter’s Field’ and the next remastered release coming up I’m very proud of and the new stuff we have planned to release later this year I think are some of the best stuff I have been involved with and am super excited and proud of them

  1. If someone has never heard your music, which keywords would you personally use to describe your overall sound and style now?

Billy Stark Stone & Rico Blythe: Rock and Roll in the year 2018 and beyond. Tell them we are the exclamation point after 60 or so years of Rock and Roll (though I believe Rock and Roll is the world’s first and oldest form of music). The musical mustache on the Mona Lisa of Rock and Roll.  Throw in every genre that has gone before…shake it real well, put it in a blender and pour out a collage that seems to be a summation of it all while simultaneously it’s like you’re seeing/hearing it for the first time. Imagine every artist that has preceded us as the opening act and proceed from there.

  1. How would you describe your musical image? And how important do you think image is to musicians in general and to yourself personally?

Billy Stark Stone & Rico Blythe: I don’t describe our musical image. Look at our pics ,watch our vids and listen to our music and decide for yourself. I personally think image is VERY important. A band can be great musically but if the image sucks then it falls short. On the other hand a band can have a great image but not the music to back it up so another yawn fest. It really is a 50/50 proposition for me at least. I think there are (were) maybe a handful.. if that… of musicians that were so amazing that they could get away w/o having some kind of image. But in our scenario ….this is Rock and Roll (two dirty four letter words these days) When one is going attend a group performance one usually says “I’m going to SEE a concert tonite” “OH, who are you going to SEE? ’or “I SAW a great concert last nite”…”Oh who did you SEE?” no one says” I’m going to hear a concert tonite”…”Oh, who are you going to hear”? Otherwise why is the crowd facing you and you are performing on an elevated platform? They could just sit w/their backs to you and you could just listen. Image and music and presentation and the whole shebang is really what it’s about. You go to SEE a show.  We are a Rock and Roll band in the year 2018 and very aware of what has preceded us and planting our flag here and now and pointing over there. Or is it over there?? And saying ‘Hey, what is down THAT road?? Let’s find out togethe

  1. How would you define ‘success’ regarding your craft? Do you feel you have already reached it? If not what do you feel you would still have to achieve to consider yourself successful?

Billy Stark Stone & Rico Blythe: WelI I wanted to be Rock and Roll singer and perform and record and I have done that so in that sense I guess I was successful but no, I don’t feel I have even scratched the surface……………….so many people who haven’t heard our songs and if we ever play live we want to do clubs, theatres, arenas, stadiums back and forth the whole gamut. We are not household names and have no compunction in stating we would like to be the biggest band in the world whatever that means anymore. But I can hear SOME eyes rolling about us being ambitious. We want as many people as possible to hear our music and if we ever play live we want to play to as many people as we can. As far as any ethos or selling out or any of the other manifesto “ism’s’ that one is supposed to subscribe to….we’re not interested. Alternatively, having a solid audience that is interested in what we do and being to support myself and a wife and family would be OK too. But forget I said the latter and go w/the former

  1. Looking back, has there been one particular moment in your musical career that you’re most proud of?

Billy Stark Stone & Rico Blythe: NO. I don’t look back…only forward. I don’t mind visiting the past, I just don’t want to live there. Being the lead singer/founding member of NYC’S first and original teen punk band (The Blessed) is a nice cred to have in my portfolio. But in retrospect those days Max’s Kansas City, CBGB’S, Mudd Club et al were my high school and college. Now, it’s showtime!

  1. Still looking back, has there been one particular moment in your musical career where you made the wrong decision, which if you could, you would go back and change right now?

Billy Stark Stone & Rico Blythe: YEAH, EVERYTHING, HA HA ! Lots of wrong decisions (and a few right ones) but that is part and parcel of it all. I don’t think anyone who has ever walked on this earth up to and including Moses can look back and didn’t say “Yeah, in hindsight I would have def. done things differently” .That’s life and what experience teaches you .I Don’t know if Moses ever said “Yeah” though.. But in all honesty.no I wouldn’t change a thing (even going back to my childhood) I believe everything happens for a reason and I had to go thru everything to get where I am today. I’m not nearly finished climbing this mountain All that experience ( band wise and life wise) and I’m still learning  and everything has led up to this…….and it’s showtime!

  1. You been going a long time now, why do you think some older bands willingly put themselves in a corner? Can talent just fade away?

Billy Stark Stone & Rico Blythe: Put yourself in a corner?  Like a time-out if you’re naughty? You mean older bands who are well established and whether they are still being creative or not and continually playing their hits or best well songs? Hmm, well is that such a bad thing to have a bunch of songs that people want to continually hear and want to see you perform live? So, some yes, some no, some maybe, every band is different. I don’t think talent fades but one can certainly not use it and nourish or indulge it and it becomes dormant. Of all the people would you believe I had a conversation with an Opera singer once about this and she told me ‘It never goes away, no matter how much you ignore it, it  will come back and bite you even harder’ I think about that often and I have been bitten REAL HARD

  1. You’ve never been exactly mainstream. Did you ever feel like an outsider in the various music scenes you’ve been through during these years? And if yes, do you consider that to be a positive thing?

Billy Stark Stone & Rico Blythe:  If you mean by mainstream, no we are not pop music or do we pander to the lowest common denominator. But I also don’t see us as some weird niche noise underground only thing.  I can fully see us as being on the charts and being a phenom or whatever. When some subversive Rock and Roll blows up big every cycle or so it’s always quite refreshing, and there’s a lot that needs to be refreshed. I never felt like an outsider. I viewed everyone else as one though.

  1. Latching onto my previous question, music seems to be divided into the tiniest of boxes these days with genres, sub-genres and even post-sub-genres. How important, if at all do you think music genres really are?

Billy Stark Stone & Rico Blythe: Yeah, the genres and sub-genres and sub sub genres and sub sub sub sub what’s up bub genres are getting ridiculous. I understand the genre thing though to an extent. If I’m in a supermarket and want a jar of peanut butter it doesn’t help me to be wandering around the household supplies aisle .So, in some cases designations can be helpful but they shouldn’t define. We need people to be more open minded and discover other things and assist w/that rather than make all these little boxes and trying to sort everyone out by categories and labels

  1. We’ve just kicked off the New Year. What does 2018 hold in store for Billy Stark Stone & Rico Blythe? Besides the reworking of older tunes, will there be new material on the way?

Billy Stark Stone & Rico Blythe: Absolutely there will be new tunes. And there’s sev billion people on this planet who haven’t heard the older ones. It’ll be all new to them. But it’s only a couple of older songs we have remastered, we’re all about the here and now and the future. Here’s a bunch of links for us, so don’t forget to sign up to our e-mail list at our website and all the usual suspects FACEBOOK PAGE   You Tube Channel   Instagram   Twitter Thank you. It’s SHOWTIME!

]]>
http://soundlooks.com/2018/01/its-showtime-with-billy-stark-stone-rico-blythe/feed/ 0
M3 El Famoso Leon drops “Dead Inside” (Prod. Vessels) http://soundlooks.com/2018/01/m3-el-famoso-leon-drops-dead-inside-prod-vessels/ http://soundlooks.com/2018/01/m3-el-famoso-leon-drops-dead-inside-prod-vessels/#respond Tue, 16 Jan 2018 16:16:30 +0000 http://soundlooks.com/?p=7834 “Dead Inside” (Prod. Vessels) by M3 El Famoso Leon  is a dark, deep, rock, hip hop love song, about a guy that gets a record deal and falls in love with a mysterious girl. A songwriter, rapper, and singer from Bronx NY, music is M3 El Famoso Leon’s life, it’s how he express his most dark, as well as happy, life experiences.

This is hip-hop which does away with the soothing regularity of traditional flows and lyrics in favor of a brash, dangerously off-kilter rock attitude. M3 El Famoso Leon’s lively lyricism and the brilliantly grungy and experimental production form a beautiful team.

As murky, combative and depressing as his introspection can be, “Dead Inside” (Prod. Vessels)  is not difficult to listen to. With such extreme experiences comes a story that only its narrator can tell, and for artists like M3 El Famoso Leon, it’s inevitable for the listener to end up feeling some sort of attachment to the art at hand.

M3 El Famoso Leon certainly seeks to exceed his listeners’ expectations. And “Dead Inside” (Prod. Vessels)  is focused on both lyricism and production, showcasing disparate elements of rock and rap music into one all-encompassing journey. From the perspective of an upcoming rapper, M3 El Famoso Leon is earning his stripes as an artist who can do things on his own terms.

“Dead Inside” (Prod. Vessels)  shows that the rapper has notched up a level, giving the feeling that M3 El Famoso Leon is being even more candid than he has been before; finally allowing the mask to slip even further. The propulsion of the track seems designed to irrevocably drag the listener into the artist’s contemplative psyche and deep-welled emotionalism and, though stylized, intimates the woefulness he’s seen and felt.

OFFICIAL LINKS: SOUNDCLOUDINSTAGRAM

]]>
http://soundlooks.com/2018/01/m3-el-famoso-leon-drops-dead-inside-prod-vessels/feed/ 0
Matt Westin: “Legacy” – the rising country star with a deep baritone http://soundlooks.com/2018/01/matt-westin-legacy-the-rising-country-star-with-a-deep-baritone/ http://soundlooks.com/2018/01/matt-westin-legacy-the-rising-country-star-with-a-deep-baritone/#respond Tue, 16 Jan 2018 14:27:12 +0000 http://soundlooks.com/?p=7831 Matt Westin found his fulfillment in the creative outlets of singing and singing after years of searching, and walked away from a promising career in engineering to pursue that passion. Influences by legendary artists, ranging from Johnny Cash to Garth Brooks, to even Frank Sinatra, Matt found his voice. He honed his vocal ability in bars and clubs around Pittsburgh for over a decade, with his at first reluctant family, becoming his biggest supporters. But it was the tragic event of his father passing away due to complications of chemotherapy in his battle with Leukemia, which drove Matt to seriously pursue his musical career. He decided to record an album in his father’s honor by roping in musician, songwriter and producer Bryan Cole, along with Doug Kasper to record and mix the record at Tonic Recording Studios. Legendary musicians Mike Brignardello (Big & Rich, Blake Shelton, bass) and Steve Hinson (Dolly Parton, Luke Bryan, steel guitar), and up- and-coming musician, Adam Ernst,  also joined to work on the project. On the 29th of January 2018 Matt Westin will release his long-awaited, full-length debut album – “Legacy”.

Right off the bat, for anyone expecting catchy songs to cross their radios that’s exactly what’s at the forefront of “Legacy”. A majority of the album feels ready for mainstream radio with “Our Redneck of the Woods” and “Too Many Mondays” feeling like the obvious future hits from the record.

A man who knows his way around a ballad too, Westin’s low slung baritone soars on “Right Amount Of Wrong” and “The Road That News Was”. There are quite a few songs here where Matt Westin forewarns fans that he’s one of the best country singers out there right now.

There are hard and fast dividing lines between the classic and modern, and the mainstream and independent in country music, but Matt Westin’s voice and style both embraces and transcends all of them.

He can kick up a barnyard ruckus on “Farm Town”, delve into Top40 rock-induced country on “The Devils Door”, or sing an emotional porch-front tearjerker on “Don’t Feel The Rain”. These songs showcase what Westin does best, combining a little bit of introspection, a touch of emotion and a whole lot of country.

Honesty and lyrical creativity are Matt Westin’s biggest strengths. Missing are the cliché observations so many rely on, replaced by words one is sure he’s spoken in conversation. Westin is the kind of the guy who does everything well, but humbly lets you know he could still do everything even better.

He marks his own genuine path by not being afraid to be vulnerable. The production throughout the record is luscious and layered, but still leaves room for the rising country star to use his deep baritone to portray emotion and tell tales.

Weston has a really distinctive tone to his voice and you will instantly recognize it whenever you hear him. Furthermore his songs are built for radio and they’re so damn catchy that they stick in your head for a good while after they’ve finished. The debut album “Legacy” is clear, indisputable proof of why Matt Westin will land on so many “artist to watch” lists for the upcoming year.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITEFACEBOOKTWITTERYOUTUBEAMAZONSPOTIFY

]]>
http://soundlooks.com/2018/01/matt-westin-legacy-the-rising-country-star-with-a-deep-baritone/feed/ 0
North Carolina Jimmy Bones Releases his first major Single worldwide http://soundlooks.com/2018/01/north-carolina-jimmy-bones-releases-his-first-major-single-worldwide/ http://soundlooks.com/2018/01/north-carolina-jimmy-bones-releases-his-first-major-single-worldwide/#respond Fri, 12 Jan 2018 14:55:40 +0000 http://soundlooks.com/?p=7828 From River Head, Long Island, NY by way of Elizabeth City NC emerges Jimmy Bones and his long awaited Single, “Goin In” Feat. Ms. B now available on ITunes, Spotify, Amazon, Apple Music, and Google Music worldwide Jimmy Bones is Goin In, all the way in with this first major Single release. Signed to Indie Label, out of Muncie, Indiana, G.I. Records LLC, a label that is known for breaking artists, from Indie to Major, one hit at a time.

Jimmy Bones lives the life that he writes and raps about; his music is his blood. The Hip Hop Rap emporium is his way of reaching out to a certain demographic that will embrace his style of Hip Hop music. Listening to his Single, “Goin In” Hip Hop Rap music fans will hear firsthand his thoughts and experiences in life and how he handle each experiences and what he did to cope.

Jimmy Bones’ goal is to use his style of Hip Hop Rap music to reach a common ground with anyone who has been through what he has been through, and thereby getting to know him and him knowing them, and hope that his music can reach out and touch the entire world.

Jimmy Bones is committed to the music and his married to his fans, lovers of his style of Hip Hop Rap music. This commitment is ride or die, and therefore, he is not half stepping when it comes to giving the Hip Hop Rap music community what they want. He’s “Goin In” real hard with this first major record.

 Jimmy Bones’ loyalty to the music and his fans is all or nothing, and he is not going away no time soon. Go see Jimmy Bones when he come to your area to perform in a venue near you.

 For more information, visit: www.facebook.com/officialJimmyBones/

]]>
http://soundlooks.com/2018/01/north-carolina-jimmy-bones-releases-his-first-major-single-worldwide/feed/ 0
Myja display a very specific amount of fearlessness http://soundlooks.com/2018/01/myja-display-a-very-specific-amount-of-fearlessness/ http://soundlooks.com/2018/01/myja-display-a-very-specific-amount-of-fearlessness/#respond Fri, 12 Jan 2018 14:25:42 +0000 http://soundlooks.com/?p=7825 Los Angeles, CA-based side project Myja featuring Michael Marquart and Jacob Bunton release their debut self-titled album on January 12th, 2018. The record was produced, engineered and mixed by Jason Elgin (Maylene & The Sons Of Disaster, Collective Soul), at The Barn, Marquart’s studio in Malibu, CA. In today’s world of singles, short attention spans and immediate gratification, it goes against the grain to release a 10 track rock album. But then I guess that Myja are not a band to go along with the crowd. Let’s face it: Being a classic rock band in 2018 requires a very specific amount of fearlessness, where taking yourself and your music seriously may compromise how seriously others may take you. If you’re willing to create a full-length album in today’s warped industry, then you better be willing to put everything you’ve got into it. Anything less simply wouldn’t do. The LA duo realize this, and go into writing the band’s debut album, ready to spark up a wildfire.

The first thing that strikes you about the music, is that there are no egos, no rock star attitudes and no going through the motions.  These are obviously musicians with a past, a present, and most excitingly… a future.  The next thing of note, is probably the most important in a rock band – the vocals.

From the opening melodic rocker “Hit and Run”, it’s evident that vocalist has the chops to sing the phone-book and make it sound majestic… without misdialing. My theory is confirmed on the following number “Anniversary”, which also establishes the status of the big choruses and harmonies. The third track, “Breath”, closes the deal as Myja forge gritty guitar riffs and screaming solo lines. It’s a clincher. This is rock from another era, where melody, rhythm and lyrics held equal importance.

There are times where the listener is surprised with what this band comes up with.  “Into Focus” begins with an alternative rock sound, before morphing into a classic rock bridge and then an epic progressive rock chorus. This is one of my favorite tracks on the album, and the chorus will get stuck in your head for weeks.

There are some really great crunchy rock moments on this album. “Hangman” is one of them. The song is mid-tempo, catchy, and has some killer guitar work. The slow vocal sections build into rich classic choruses which are followed by heavy riffing and solo work. “Just One Kiss” makes for another great moment. The intro is great, the verses are catchy, and the choruses are unadulterated pop-inclined excursions.

“Dear Eden” has good acoustic guitar work, and some great energy, together with a soaring vocal performance. Next to “Into Focus”, “Flood” is another one of the best songs on the album. The layered vocal harmonies and luscious choruses together with the tasteful guitar work reminds me of super group Asia, in their glorious heyday.

The instrumental and arranging work on the next track, “Plans”, is progressive and creative, and leads into the brilliant closer “Mourning The Death” which is another vehicle for the stunning vocals on display throughout the album. Myra is made up of musicians with new musical life, a new attitude and the desire to create. Michael Marquart and Jacob Bunton have a passion to carry on both the tradition of the past and create new music for today.

OFFICIAL LINKS: TWITTERFACEBOOK

]]>
http://soundlooks.com/2018/01/myja-display-a-very-specific-amount-of-fearlessness/feed/ 0
Andrew Gerard: “Run Away With Me” – This album has much to offer listeners http://soundlooks.com/2018/01/andrew-gerard-run-away-with-me-this-album-has-much-to-offer-listeners/ http://soundlooks.com/2018/01/andrew-gerard-run-away-with-me-this-album-has-much-to-offer-listeners/#respond Thu, 11 Jan 2018 17:45:24 +0000 http://soundlooks.com/?p=7822 Canadian singer, guitarist and songwriter Andrew Gerard was born in Ottawa, and grew up on Vancouver Island. He is also known as Gerard The Hypnotist from the TV series Mindfreak with Criss Angel. Departing from TV and the world of magic after a car accident he rediscovered music while recovering. Discovered by LA Producer Ran Pink who produced his “Two Birds” recording at Fonogenic Records in LA, Andrew has just released his brand new full-length album “Run Away With Me”. Two songs on the album – the titular track and “Miracles” was produced by Danny Craig, while “Shine” and “Rewind” was produced by Troy Samson. The remaining 8 songs were taken care of by Ran Pink. The album also features some A-league players, such as Rami Jaffee of the Foo Fighters, Tom Strahle ( Justin Bieber) and Jesse Green (Wallflowers and Pink), as well as some beatboxing by Mr Wobbles from LA.

Andrew Gerard – Photo by Ghi Stecyk

“Run Away With Me” is pure pop-rock cardio. The thumping, rhythmic collection of songs will make you sweat. Even the ballads come full of energy and urgency. With this album, Andrew Gerard pulls off another one of his neat magic tricks. He stretches the genre further than any artist, but his voice and melodies will keep most from noticing.

It truly is an album full of extraordinary momentum, as rhythm is a driving force behind many of the tracks on “Run Away With Me”. Gerard is a student of the popular music game. This album is his playground, and represents the fruits of his learning through the years. He’s trying out various things — adapting — while staying very much the same.

The opening titular track, “Run Away With Me”, is a typical mid-tempo Andrew Gerard type of song – sprawling acoustic guitars, strong melodics and a soaring vocal…at least that’s how it starts before the electronics set in. From there on, and for the next four songs at least, Gerard switches into overdrive with full-on, up-tempo, beat driven material that would make Nile Rodgers and Maroon 5 blush with envy.

“Shine” sparks and thumps with a funky rhythm, elegantly designed for the Top40. The finger-snapping soulified groove of “Rewind” tends an ear to both the Pop and EDM charts, while “Right Kind Of Love” and “One More Night”, seeks to confirm the previous affirmation with gusto.

The album cover artwork

Someone should study Andrew Gerard’s singing on this album, as he tries some unexpected approaches I haven’t heard him attempt before. His voice is sometimes softer, sometimes smoother, sometimes funkier, and sometimes it sounds like he’s ridding himself of all the classic pop vocal idiosyncrasies. And then there’s “Falling To Pieces” which includes all of aforementioned elements rolled into one.

This album has much to offer listeners. Whether its slick electronic beats, sweeping organic arrangement or vivid storytelling, “Run Away With Me” launches the singer-songwriter into uncharted territory exemplifying exactly why he is one of the most highly regarded underground pop-rock talents.

“Forest Fire” grabs an epic Peter Gabriel-type melody and doesn’t let go for 3 minutes of pure musical bliss. “How Long” may not say stuff that hasn’t been said before but it’s a stone cold smash hit in waiting. Same with “Our Last Goodbye”, and I’d be outright shocked if it doesn’t become one of the most-streamed songs from this album.

I haven’t been grooving and jamming to an album the way I have with “Run Away With Me” and I firmly belief that this is exactly what Andrew Gerard tried to get people to do with this album. This one is a cohesive recording from start to finish and isn’t a record that’s just a few singles with filler wrapped around it. The album has all the makings of becoming an award-winning project.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITE – INSTAGRAM – FACEBOOK

]]>
http://soundlooks.com/2018/01/andrew-gerard-run-away-with-me-this-album-has-much-to-offer-listeners/feed/ 0
NOAH ARCHANGEL & THE BAND OF THE HAWK – “THE MASCHINE WARS: SONGS OF SOLOMON” http://soundlooks.com/2018/01/noah-archangel-the-band-of-the-hawk-the-maschine-wars-songs-of-solomon/ http://soundlooks.com/2018/01/noah-archangel-the-band-of-the-hawk-the-maschine-wars-songs-of-solomon/#respond Thu, 11 Jan 2018 14:40:38 +0000 http://soundlooks.com/?p=7819 The Maschine Wars: Songs of Solomon is a journey more complex and original, yet more accessible than anything Noah Archangel & The Band of the Hawk may have released before it. The fact that it exists at all is testament to the projects perseverance, raw talent, and prophetic direction with which Noah Archangel, King Aka Yeaux Majesty, Ash Ra Aka Houey Freeman Fka Ashtonomics, P.ey3, Grynd Seazon, and Juskwam steer the good ship Band of the Hawk aka BOHUP, to the richest musical waters; plucking out those worth bringing along on their musical voyage and creating records greater than the sum of their parts.

In terms of perfection of a sound it’s hard to imagine that Songs of Solomon could do much more. Everything you could want in electronic-based urban music is here with equal amounts of hip-hop and cinematic orchestrations thrown in for good measure. This is an album that perfects a certain style of music.

The Maschine Wars: Songs of Solomon draws its strength from consistency and its fluid track list, notwithstanding its mammoth 22 song duration. The emotional power the record manages to achieve when in reality it is a sequence of luscious electronic beats, sprinkled with raps, is perhaps what is most impressive.

Time will tell if this is a definitive moment for the project, but at this point it seems the realm of electronic and urban music is open for Noah Archangel & The Band of the Hawk to be part of the next big visionaries of their genre.

The album is dense with fresh ideas which battle for elbowroom every few beats, impatiently vying for your attention, before launching each track on another unexpected tangent. Its testament to how good the vast majority of the ideas are that the whole thing doesn’t buckle beneath the weight of its own creativity.

Armed with such an agenda, Noah Archangel & The Band of the Hawk attempt to pull The Maschine Wars: Songs of Solomon apart, treating string laden flashes, bass booming and beat-driven percussion as landmarks in their hyper-lucid vista of hard bop and cinematic-laden ambiance.

From the theatrical black hole of the opener Old Gods and the New to the percussive mono-thematic onslaught of Wendy & Lisa, through to the piano-driven musical epiphany of Transpressions of Trismegistus, or the soulfully sampled soliloquy Those.hoes.over.there., Noah Archangel attempts to redesign the urban album; experimental but conventional, seemingly improvisational but well thought-out, and preoccupied with achieving its vanguard. Which it does.

The Maschine Wars: Songs of Solomon, therefore operates as one whole thematic piece, but with each track serving as a parcel really capable of existing outside of this medium if it has to. As the album moves through various sections and suites, it can create jarring transitions brief passages of reflection that beg for more listening.

In particular tracks such as: Kundalini (feat. Yeaux Majesty), Nebuchenezzar (feat. Juskwam), No Fools (feat. Stx) and the single Black Lotus (feat. Yeaux Majesty, Juskwam & DJ Thruvo), needs your attention, being lyrically driven.

With a plethora of feelings crammed into mere moments on each track, The Maschine Wars: Songs of Solomon makes for some serious listening, both in tone and execution. It’s a defining work a mark of excellence!

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITE  FACEBOOK  TWITTER  YOUTUBE

]]>
http://soundlooks.com/2018/01/noah-archangel-the-band-of-the-hawk-the-maschine-wars-songs-of-solomon/feed/ 0