SoundLooks http://soundlooks.com The Music Journal Sun, 15 Jul 2018 19:50:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Emmanuel Dalmas & Kirby Howarth: “This Is Love That I’m Feeling” – a song with a country bent http://soundlooks.com/2018/07/emmanuel-dalmas-kirby-howarth-this-is-love-that-im-feeling-a-song-with-a-country-bent/ http://soundlooks.com/2018/07/emmanuel-dalmas-kirby-howarth-this-is-love-that-im-feeling-a-song-with-a-country-bent/#respond Sun, 15 Jul 2018 19:50:36 +0000 http://soundlooks.com/?p=8272 Emmanuel Dalmas a company founder and high level executive in the scientific industry from the South West of France, also moonlights as a multi-genre music composer. Dalmas has been steadily building his music catalog since kicking things off in 2016 from his home studio. He produces instrumental and vocal tracks, engaging talented male and female voices to complete his projects, which in turn are made available for both commercial and non-commercial use. Emmanuel Dalmas recently dropped his latest single, “This Is Love That I’m Feeling”, done in collaboration with Kirby Howarth, who added the vocals and lyrics to Dalmas’ music and melody.

Emmanuel Dalmas is not one to follow any predetermined path or play to expectations. And so, he puts out songs from different genres from time to time. “This Is Love That I’m Feeling”, is a song with a country bent.

Now, with something of an underground backlash bubbling towards the surface in the face of Nashville’s backing-track dominated pop country pap, this new Dalmas-Howarth release serves as a reminder of what country music can and should be when composed with passion. There is a soullessness to the music of current chart toppers trafficking in what amounts to little more than pop music with a twang.

So to hear any sort of organic instrumentation on a modern country recording is a breath of fresh air, a relief from the claustrophobia of the Nashville assembly line. The instruments on “This Is Love That I’m Feeling”, all have a chance to breathe and Kirby Howarth’s voice sits in the mix well.

The stand out instrument on the record is by far the Dobro guitar. The twang gives a special feel to the fills in the song. One can’t help but be impressed by the instrumentation on a whole though.  All of which are played with energy, delicacy, and passion.

These days, artists are expected to push boundaries in the name of staying relevant. Emmanuel Dalmas waves this ideology by, and prefers to achieve an authentic country sound on this song. As a tunesmith, his pen can have a magic way with a love song, as he proves here, alongside Kirby Howarth’s words and voice which lends a heartfelt honesty to the proceedings.

Dalmas has been the epitome of consistency thus far. Each of his songs are held together by a narrative or stylistic musical thread, each project expanding on his songwriting and production prowess.

Every time you listen to an Emmanuel Dalmas composition, you can be sure you are going to get really solid writing, great musicianship, good production, and a voice that matches the quality of those elements.

“This Is Love That I’m Feeling”, delivers just that, and deserves at least one play through from any music lover. I’m not a huge country music fan but I found myself listening to this track over and over. As usual, this is another outstanding job well done by Emmanuel Dalmas and his collaborators.

OFFICIAL LINKS: SOUNDCLOUDYOUTUBEINSTAGRAMSPOTIFYDEEZERTWITTERFACEBOOKITUNES

]]>
http://soundlooks.com/2018/07/emmanuel-dalmas-kirby-howarth-this-is-love-that-im-feeling-a-song-with-a-country-bent/feed/ 0
Armonite: “And The Stars Above” – complex, vibrant sonic landscapes http://soundlooks.com/2018/07/armonite-and-the-stars-above-complex-vibrant-sonic-landscapes/ http://soundlooks.com/2018/07/armonite-and-the-stars-above-complex-vibrant-sonic-landscapes/#respond Sat, 14 Jul 2018 14:51:05 +0000 http://soundlooks.com/?p=8269 May 2018 saw the release of the new album, “And The Stars Above”, by Italian progressive rock band, Armonite, featuring violinist Jacopo Bigi and keyboardist Paolo Fosso. The album also includes a guest appearance by Porcupine Tree’s bassist, Colin Edwin. Composer Fosso and violinist Bigi are classical musicians who through their teenage years, joined local bands, playing a variety of genres and artists, from the Beatles to Dream Theater. At the end of the ’90s, while still in college, they would play in a band called Armonite. They released an album in 1999, performed a few dates live, and then split up. In 2015, they formed a new band while borrowing the name of their old one. Hence the revival of Armonite. There are artists who choose to make music because it’s their calling. It comes from their core and they have the burning desire to create something that will ignite your imagination and make your dreams of complex, vibrant sonic landscapes become almost tangible, easily accessible realities. Armonite explore their artistry in progressive electronic and organic sound design textures.

“And The Stars Above” sees Armonite pushing musical boundaries and taking the listener on a mystical and reflective journey. The opening song “The March Of The Stars”, after an airy choral start, develops into a hypnotic rhythm and builds up with intense drums and dramatically dynamic instrumentation, it’s an emotional introduction and promises much to come on this album.

“Next Ride” experiments with rolling basslines, pumping percussion and over-driven electric violin riffs with Jacopo Bigi’s melodies weaving its way through the arrangement. “District Red” brings the strings entirely to the fore in a dashing orchestration which is as luscious as it is vigorously compelling.

“Plaza De España” brings moment of respite, all wrapped up in the organic splendor of rich and resonating pianos, crunchy distorted strings and playful percussion. “Clouds Collide” focuses on the angelic and airy female vocals that dominates the melody complemented by sophisticated instrumentation.

“Blue Curaçao” gets back to the gritty progressive grind, with a heavier rock sound, where once again the strings and bass lines shine brightly, turning it into a complex psychedelic haze and fusion-like composition. By the time Armonite hit on “By Heart”, it is clear that they are in overdrive. The rhythms and musicality flows simply and majestically throughout each composition.

The music composed by Paolo Fosso is spellbinding, and at times even deeply moving, just like you would expect from any enthralling progressive rock band, except that the parts normally played  by a virtuoso guitar player, is occupied by the masterful nuances of Jacopo Bigi’s electric violin.

Right up alongside Bigi, are bassists Colin Edwin and Alberto Fiorani, along with drummers, Corrado Bertonazzi, Emiliano Cava, and Jasper Barendregt. Together this ensemble is simply sublime, moving from complex and jarring progressive rock rhythms, through to epic cinematic-like soundscapes, without losing a note or beat along the way.

An enchanting melody, and uncharacteristic instrumentation, on “Freaks”, continue to capture the essence of what makes this work so distinguishing. “By The Waters Of Babylon” exactly encapsulates the cinematic element previously discussed, as this second part of the album regularly combines Paolo Fosso’s sprawling piano sounds with the mood-inducing strings.

“The Usual Drink” takes this combination to its highest level of poignancy, before Armonite switch the tempo and intensity on “What’s The Rush?” – Another showcase for the project’s arranging and performance skills. Essentially, the closing track, “Ghosts”, is decorated with varying violin interludes, dynamic percussion, and welcoming interlocking bass passages, resulting in a sort of captivating introspection.

The album however does not finish there, as Armonite include two bonus tracks – “A Playful Day (For String Quartet)” and “The Fire Dancer (For Piano Solo)”. Consequently, they expand the meaning and scope of the album while also providing a cumulative overview of violinist Jacopo Bigi and keyboardist Paolo Fosso’s performing talents.

No matter how you view it, “And The Stars Above” is an essential emotional journey and a testament to the magic of uncompromising artistic vision. This is a record that LA-based indie label Cleopatra Records, will be proud of distributing.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITEFACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAMBANDCAMPSOUNDCLOUDYOUTUBEITUNESSTORE

]]>
http://soundlooks.com/2018/07/armonite-and-the-stars-above-complex-vibrant-sonic-landscapes/feed/ 0
MVJOR ARCVNA: “The Last Word in Love”- a master of layers and sequenced progression http://soundlooks.com/2018/07/mvjor-arcvna-the-last-word-in-love-a-master-of-layers-and-sequenced-progression/ http://soundlooks.com/2018/07/mvjor-arcvna-the-last-word-in-love-a-master-of-layers-and-sequenced-progression/#respond Fri, 13 Jul 2018 16:56:47 +0000 http://soundlooks.com/?p=8266 Jaron Pearlman aka MVJOR ARCVNA, is an audio engineer, backing musician, and songwriter who grew up in Asheville NC, and is now based in Atlanta GA. Over the years he has toured and recorded with a wide range of artists, including The Indigo Girls, The Shadowboxers, Amor Kismet, Mercury Jackson and more. MVJOR ARCVNA is revered by many critics – and certainly by us – as one of the most quintessential independent producers currently around, standing almost alone in his ability to mix catchy crossover EDM-Pop sounds with complex rock-styled songwriting, and igniting the electronic underground in a truly unprecedented fashion. We could not be more enthralled that MVJOR ARCVNA has released his latest single, “The Last Word in Love”.

The track takes you deep into the world of MVJOR ARCVNA that you may, or may not already be familiar with, and mesmerizes with his new material. Already a master of layers and sequenced progression, different pieces come together in “The Last Word in Love” to a tell the full range of an anthemic and emotional story.

This time, more mature in his sound and more expansive as a whole than we are used to, MVJOR ARCVNA rises to new heights. Listening to the chord progressions and lusciously intense instrumentation, it’s easy to understand that MVJOR ARCVNA is to EDM, what progressive is to rock.

Whether you’re a die-hard MVJOR ARCVNA fan or you’re listening to his music for the first time, you can’t help but acknowledge “The Last Word in Love” as being undeniable for what it is. An iconic track of 21st-century crossover music that’s so expansive and far-reaching it outgrows its very genre blend, unable to be contained within any box or label.

The track soars with a powerful melody from the opening bar and only grows stronger and more captivating with each verse and chorus. The lead vocals and harmonies showcase MVJOR ARCVNA’s ability to craft gripping melodies and textured soundscapes into one expertly mixed track.

The Atlanta based producer is on a flourishing trajectory throughout this track, and his unique musicality and inspired production prowess knows no bounds. MVJOR ARCVNA’s career seems not only to be on the verge of underground dominance, but also leaning towards mainstream notoriety at times.

He’s got a way with shimmering chord structures, and his soul-bending melodies pay heed to the modern day chart busters. “The Last Word in Love” strikes a fine balance of effortless uplifting progressions and inspiring vocals.

While capturing a firm sense of authoritative synth shots he drops a glimmering retro-styled solo that reeks of classic synth-pop, before pivoting into another euphoric chorus and firmly reiterating his entrancing modus operandi. There’s more than just emotion and the vibes are incredibly overpowering here.

“The Last Word in Love” is a stunning melodic anthem, with its riveting arrangement and rich instrumentation. There’s something incredibly unique and inspiring with MVJOR ARCVNA’s sound design on this one!

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITEFACEBOOKINSTAGRAMTWITTERSOUNDCLOUDSPOTIFYAMAZONITUNES

]]>
http://soundlooks.com/2018/07/mvjor-arcvna-the-last-word-in-love-a-master-of-layers-and-sequenced-progression/feed/ 0
DJ Mizzy: “Prost” – gorgeously phrased synth lines, and subtly floating aural overtones http://soundlooks.com/2018/07/dj-mizzy-prost-gorgeously-phrased-synth-lines-and-subtly-floating-aural-overtones/ http://soundlooks.com/2018/07/dj-mizzy-prost-gorgeously-phrased-synth-lines-and-subtly-floating-aural-overtones/#respond Fri, 13 Jul 2018 13:43:38 +0000 http://soundlooks.com/?p=8263 Boasting a sound that goes from his favored deep house grooves to hip-hop, DJ Mizzy, born Claudel Larose, is an international DJ and producer raised just outside of New York. Inspired by artists such as Sander van Doorn, DJ Yonny, and Avicii, Mizzy has a strong passion for his work. Throughout his 18 years of DJing, Mizzy has traveled all over the world to perform, using the original Technic SL1200 turntable as his prime tool. His latest endeavor is “Prost”, a German influenced track with a melodic tone, incorporating a subtle Caribbean flair. DJ Mizzy’s melodies are emotionally evocative and his arrangements are like paint on a canvas.

But where this producer truly rises above, establishing himself in the upper echelon of EDM, is in his originality. Mizzy is grounded, connected, powerful, and real, and his production never feels too shiny, canned, and artificial, as often can happen in this genre.

Aside from the thumping four to the floor beat, there are many beautiful moments on “Prost” but none as gorgeous as the breakdown and heartbeat that follows. The sparse build-up is attention-grabbing, as DJ Mizzy uses white noise to gain momentum, before breaking back into the beat which by now has taken a new direction.

At its most energetic, the track makes the most of being given the freedom to rupture the dancefloor with a distinctive boom and pound, but the sparks can also be found in the synth breaks and builds.

Others have ventured into this sort of changing-tempo and mood, electronica territory, but hearing DJ Mizzy’s thumping percussion and sticky synths do it, is a revelation. He must be given full credit for branching out so much on this track, instead of limiting himself to a simple straight club anthem.

Here he has brought his own personal touch to all of it. There are gorgeously phrased synth lines, and subtly floating aural overtones, ranging in volume from barely audible to explosive, as well as energetic drums. It’s hard to think of a reason why any intelligent EDM fan should not like this track.

DJ Mizzy will no doubt gain widespread attention with this crowd-pleasing arrangement – a glowing mix of kick drums, synth squelches and hi-hats that somehow transcend dance music’s many sub-divisions. Mizzy shows solidity in musical abrasions cavalcading both the straight and narrow, as well as adventurous sonic elements.

“Prost” is an example of the sound that makes DJ Mizzy such an extraordinary artist in the too-often formulaic world of dance music. He makes synthesizers and drums, live and breathe in a way few others can. The powerhouse beat, cunning electronics and resonating ambience are delivered with imagination and flair, all pointing to an even brighter future.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITEINSTAGRAMTWITTERFACEBOOK

]]>
http://soundlooks.com/2018/07/dj-mizzy-prost-gorgeously-phrased-synth-lines-and-subtly-floating-aural-overtones/feed/ 0
Boy Leadfoot: “Turn-Buckle” – wholeheartedly playing to their strengths and sounding great while doing it http://soundlooks.com/2018/07/boy-leadfoot-turn-buckle-wholeheartedly-playing-to-their-strengths-and-sounding-great-while-doing-it/ http://soundlooks.com/2018/07/boy-leadfoot-turn-buckle-wholeheartedly-playing-to-their-strengths-and-sounding-great-while-doing-it/#respond Tue, 10 Jul 2018 19:02:30 +0000 http://soundlooks.com/?p=8260 Max Gordon with Boy Leadfoot is a three-piece blues-based, alternative soul and rock project, from Vancouver Island, Canada. Their latest release, the EP “Turn-Buckle” is a breath of fresh air compared to the pop dribble permeating the American music scene right now. This is the type of musical project that will carve out a steady cult following and attract a good deal of critical acclaim. All three members are very professional and innovative musicians, and musicians of any sort will gobble up all kinds of licks, tones and spices from this release. The EP resides in the nebulous nexus of blues and alternative rock, leaving us to wonder what the hip blues sound like and how to get down to the blues hop.

Boy Leadfoot make a wonderful lazy mix of blues and roots rock, where keyboards flow with groovy drums, killer bass hooks and strummed guitars; the vocals are on the laid back but fully dynamic side, and are always ready to reach up and out when needing to switch towards a more urgent register.

Smooth, slick and graceful, “Swallow” opens the proceedings and is a fantastic back-to-basics effort. Employing effortless songwriting skills that mix in a cadre of guitar tones and subtle-yet-perceptible organ flourishes, the record finds the band wholeheartedly playing to their strengths and sounding great while doing it.

By the time you hit play on the second track, “Sun-Shine” which is as fresh and smooth as a peach, you realize there is simply nothing else that sounds quite like this right now; it just clicks into a unique sound. It swings, it rocks, it grooves, it flows – it simply works.

Whether cruising on a road trip, kicking back with family & friends on a lazy summer night or out on a date and trying to set the mood, this track feels good and enhances the positive vibe. Bare to the bone, “Take Easy” is raw, gritty, honest, and beautifully simple. This track exemplifies everything wonderful in Boy Leadfoot’s music. Smooth, supple, and the very sonic incarnation of another intriguing summer’s day jam, with its hypnotic lead guitar motif and intoxicating beat.

“Melting” is practically a case study in Boy Leadfoot’s distinct flavor of effortless cool groove, as the track unfolds at its own pace. This Vancouver Island alternative blues project doesn’t lose time in getting worked up by a sweet groove and some exhilarating melodies.

“Made To Last” presents Boy Leadfoot at their finest, laying down a smooth lyrical flow over beautifully acoustic guitar riffs and rhythms. For all of their laidback, blissful sound and soulful vocal delivery, don’t for a minute make the mistake of consigning them to the middle of the road, as musically they are too profound for that.

This is a return to the beginning, where musicianship and creativity was once off the wall in every project. Deconstructing crossover blues preconceptions, Canada’s Boy Leadfoot are thematically on fire, daring to integrate the blues into alternative flavors, while subtly tearing up the joint, jamming and jiving in the coolest possible manner.

These songs don’t even need over the top lyrics or any radical statements more than the message in the melodies – simmer down or move to the powerful groove.  The songs on “Turn-Buckle” are perfectly crafted, every single one! Presenting the evolution of the blues, Boy Leadfoot is just too damned different not to have in your collection.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITEINSTAGRAMFACEBOOKSPOTIFYGOOGLE PLAY

]]>
http://soundlooks.com/2018/07/boy-leadfoot-turn-buckle-wholeheartedly-playing-to-their-strengths-and-sounding-great-while-doing-it/feed/ 0
Juan Donovan: “Merlot & Marijuana” – a brilliant compendium of styles and luxurious production http://soundlooks.com/2018/07/juan-donovan-merlot-marijuana-a-brilliant-compendium-of-styles-and-luxurious-production/ http://soundlooks.com/2018/07/juan-donovan-merlot-marijuana-a-brilliant-compendium-of-styles-and-luxurious-production/#respond Sun, 08 Jul 2018 11:02:01 +0000 http://soundlooks.com/?p=8257 As one half of the production duo Darkroom Productions, Juan Donovan has produced with his partner Jamal Roberts some of today’s hottest artists. That list includes R Kelly, Wale, Young Money, Maino, JellyRoll, 24Hrs (Royce Rizzy), Brick Squad, G-Unit, Bad Boy, and more. The duo also won multiple awards for its phenomenal work on HBO’s classic hit series “The Wire”, which garnered them featured in major publications such as FADER, The New York Times, VIBE, and dozens more. It’s not surprising then that Juan Donovan would want to drop a record that’s as much a personal statement as a collection of stunning songs. His long anticipated debut album entitled “Merlot & Marijuana” conveys a sense of summation, as Donovan deploys a lavish roster of all-star talent in a broad overview of R&B, and urban music flavors in general.

There is no stylistic redlining on Juan Donovan’s block, where contemporary R&B, RnBass, Soul, Trap, and Ambient all get credit – sometimes in imaginative combinations that occupy the same song. The album’s main strengths are a thorough smattering of variety that guarantees almost infinite replay value, and a plethora of stylish vocal thrust to go with Donovan’s brilliant compendium of styles and luxurious production touch.

Wonderful musicality says an awful lot –as Donovan doesn’t make beats as much as he produces songs – and the high points on “Merlot & Marijuana” are brimming with it. The opening song “Work” (feat. Devon Hill), which drops in after the intro, is a slow, bracing, potentially influential amalgam, in which Donovan weaves yearning choral motifs, around and over busy hi-hats and pianos, then turns up the melodic juice with some soulful crooning by Devon Hill. Donovan’s role on this album can be likened to that of a high class tailor who chooses the cloth then cuts it to perfection.

He shines with his ability to not just make human voices sound enticing, but ensures that together with the music they become irresistibly captivating. With his eyes, heart and musical mind always fully focused on the project, the occurrence of a perfect match between vocals and instrumentals, is repeated on every track on “Merlot & Marijuana”.

Both “Presence” (feat. Tatmancoop x Shayla) and “All Over Me” (feat. MKHL x Aliché) are such brilliantly constructed pieces of music. The melodies are infectious as the vocals transport you to a world of slow groove with some awesome arrangements.

Every element of “Fireworks” (feat. Aliché) has been carefully thought out. Every frame of its construction from the synth interludes, the vocals, and the ability to let the song simmer in its instrumental with Aliché putting in a stellar vocal performance.

Juan Donovan is able to arrange and compose songs to fit any sort of mood. His musical knowledge is all on display with this project, and can be savored on the piano-driven instrumental “Arturo Fuente”. Chrxstal’s mesmerizing vocals are in full force on “Running On E” (feat. Chrxstal). This mellow groove is pretty intoxicating with its finger-snapping beat.

For me personally, “Roses” (feat. Adria Jenée x KenTheMan) is one of the album’s absolute highlights. The instrumentation, especially the bass lines and thumping kick drum are intensely manipulating on the senses. The track also has an edgy urban flavor as the rapped lines perfectly contrast the soft melodic vocals and lush production.

To be fair, “Lost In A Minute” (feat. Danni Jackson x M.A.V.), is pretty much locked into the same hierarchy. It’s hard to imagine anyone listening to this downtempo groove on replay and not attempt to sing along with the chorus at least once.

Juan Donovan clearly wanted to bring together some of the finest voices in the game as well as compose and arrange some fantastic pieces of music. Many songs here play testimony to that fact. Sometimes he allows those voices to reach out on their own, as on the smooth and soulful “Win Your Love” (feat. Danni Jackson).

Even as I listen to the closing instrumental track, “Indulge”, I can appreciate the amount of work that has gone into these 11 tracks, in what is one of the most listenable R&B and urban music albums I have heard in a very long while.

Overall these tracks present a treasure trove of skills sets from Juan Donovan and his collaborators. It may take a few listens to fully grasp the source of each groove, the choice of voices, the song structures and the arrangements, but you will connect to it on the very first listening. And that’s a sign of great music – something which captures you instantly, and then allows you to unpack and unfold it for deeper, sumptuous and endless listening pleasure!

OFFICIAL LINKS: TWITTERINSTAGRAMSOUNDCLOUD

]]>
http://soundlooks.com/2018/07/juan-donovan-merlot-marijuana-a-brilliant-compendium-of-styles-and-luxurious-production/feed/ 0
American Spirits: “Nowhere Near Perfect” – at their most musically and lyrically ambitious http://soundlooks.com/2018/07/american-spirits-nowhere-near-perfect-at-their-most-musically-and-lyrically-ambitious/ http://soundlooks.com/2018/07/american-spirits-nowhere-near-perfect-at-their-most-musically-and-lyrically-ambitious/#respond Mon, 02 Jul 2018 10:55:07 +0000 http://soundlooks.com/?p=8253 Since being launched in 2017, Bowling Green, Ohio, Indie Rock band, American Spirits, have also founded The Summit Shack, a local DIY venue that has hosted over 25 bands since its inception in the same year. 2018 saw the four piece band release their album “Nowhere Near Perfect”. This recording will grip you by the neck and slam you into the ground. It’s simply one of the most listenable Emo albums you would have heard in a while. You could play the whole thing through without getting bored, probably every day if you wanted to. The music is catchy. The lyrics are clever, they make a statement at every turn, and are easily sung along with.

Top to bottom, “Nowhere Near Perfect” is just plain good. Their songs don’t just contain a bunch of simple, repeated chords and typical lyrics, the music is genuinely interesting, as they tackle the ills of the 21st Century, which impair our relationships, social status and psychological well-being.

At the same time American Spirits is not one of those bands who squeamishly preach and implore. They make powerful affirmations in just over 3 minutes, and leave you to work it out for yourself. The album’s opening track, “So Much Time Has Pabst”, right off the cuff, engages the Western World’s capitalistic tendencies and its impact on our personal lives.

The track interchanges, restrained verses, impacting bridges, soaring choruses, and an insanely pummeling outro. Every song works off the one prior to it, setting an accurate atmosphere for itself. So by the time band dive into the phrase: “I’m not content, with the content, I want more, more, more…” on the carefully paced second track, “Blanket Forts”, you’re already hooked and singing along.

Originality is a tough quality to achieve within the music world in this current age. The band conquer this feat with ease and it shows. What distinguishes American Spirits is their flair for conjuring idyllic radio melodies embedded in coarse, jangling guitar-driven soundscapes; they move from serenity to a scream, where they’re most beautiful when they align between Emo and Hardcore.

This quality is manifested in “Anthem” – as it is on all the other songs to be honest. It’s the clarity and authority of American Spirits sound which is impressive. Just because they’ve only been together for a short time, doesn’t diminish the sonic satisfaction of their performances and production.

Deeper inside the substance of their arrangements is the density of their musical dynamics, as the band’s sound again teleports between sweet coated yearnings and searing malice on “Open 9-5”, which hallmarks the provisional rise in credibility and popularity of emo revivalism.

The arrangement is bold, spiny, and played with intensity. Perhaps nothing confirms this better than the closing song, “C’est La Vie”. The guitars ring out with resonance and everything sounds simultaneously digestible and almost elegant, forcing even casual listeners to chalk it up to a win.

Whatever the band’s approach though, the songs that shine brightest on “Nowhere Near Perfect” are those that strike a balance between American Spirits at their most musically and lyrically ambitious, together with their raw immediacy. Tightly-wound, well-thought-out, intellectually sharp and instinctually captivating, this album will become the benchmark to judge the rest of the band’s upcoming catalog.

OFFICIAL LINKS: SPOTIFYBANDCAMPFACEBOOKTWITTERYOUTUBE

]]>
http://soundlooks.com/2018/07/american-spirits-nowhere-near-perfect-at-their-most-musically-and-lyrically-ambitious/feed/ 0
Internationally Acclaimed Contemporary Jazz Band Drivetime Drops Elegant New Single “Mysterious Life” http://soundlooks.com/2018/06/internationally-acclaimed-contemporary-jazz-band-drivetime-drops-elegant-new-single-mysterious-life/ http://soundlooks.com/2018/06/internationally-acclaimed-contemporary-jazz-band-drivetime-drops-elegant-new-single-mysterious-life/#respond Fri, 29 Jun 2018 14:38:54 +0000 http://soundlooks.com/?p=8249  Song is the Lead Single and Title Track of their Latest Album

Single Follows their Billboard Jazz #1 Most Added song “Whispers”

 Single Marks Band’s relaunch Via Red Hot New The Sound of Los Angeles (TSOLA) Records 

(Los Angeles – The Sound of Los Angeles (TSOLA) Records is proud to announce the release of a new single, “Mysterious Life,” by Jazz Fusion torchbearers Drivetime. This Michael B. Sutton production is enriched with sensual soprano saxophone, spacy synths, pulsating drums and percussion, deep pocket bass and enigmatic electric guitar, “Mysterious Life” – the title track of the band’s eight and latest 8-song project – is an edgy and progressive yet adroitly broadcast-friendly release that reiterates Drivetime’s longstanding reputation as contemporary jazz light years beyond smooth. The composition whisks the listener on an aural journey of which their minds will be inspired to conjure and reconjure again.

Drivetime is a sextet comprised of band leader/producer/percussionist Bernie Capodici, Keyboardist Jimmy Dell’Orefice, guitarist Gene Terramani, bassist Mike Ruhl, drummer JJ Zeller and newest addition, 22-year-old Shane Arnold on saxophones. Bullish on retaining the `70s and `80s era sounds of Jazz Fusion by bands such as Yellowjackets, Spyro Gyra and Passport, the multi-cultural and internationally acclaimed Drivetime has been wowing fans of the genre for over a decade during its high-energy concerts and on its mind-bending albums.

“Mysterious Life” is on track to expand their fan base as it expands the imaginations of all listeners who take the time to climb inside.

For more information Drivetime, visit their website drivetimeuoj.com 

]]>
http://soundlooks.com/2018/06/internationally-acclaimed-contemporary-jazz-band-drivetime-drops-elegant-new-single-mysterious-life/feed/ 0
d’Z: “Connected” – dazzling musical arrangements and a super-tight rhythm section http://soundlooks.com/2018/06/dz-connected-dazzling-musical-arrangements-and-a-super-tight-rhythm-section/ http://soundlooks.com/2018/06/dz-connected-dazzling-musical-arrangements-and-a-super-tight-rhythm-section/#respond Thu, 28 Jun 2018 22:18:39 +0000 http://soundlooks.com/?p=8242 Hans-Peter de Zeeuw a.k.a. d’Z is a Dutch drummer and composer in the soul, jazz and funk genres. Born to a conservative family in Rotterdam, the life of d’Z changed at the age of nine when he took his first drum lesson. He knew he was destined to be a drummer. By 19, d’Z attended the largest conservatory for pop, jazz and world music in Europe, being taught by leading musicians of the Netherlands. It wasn’t long before d’Z was a sought-after drummer, but he attended the summer of 2016 before turning his attentions to recording. d’Z handpicked his favorite 5 original songs and headed off to his favorite producer, Raoul Soentken. Together they brought in some of Holland’s best musicians, and then decided to call in a different singer for each song.

The choices fell on Katie Léone (Incognito, Chaka Khan, The Brand New Heavies, Jocelyne Brown), Freddi Lubitz, a German singer and bass player, Ingmar Glerum, a young Dutch vocal and guitar talent, and Adriana Romijn, a well-known singer in the Netherlands. The EP’s title track was trusted to American vocalist Sandra St Victor, former singer of The Family Stand, and longtime background singer for Chaka Khan, as well as a two-time Grammy nominee.

With all this glorious talent it is uncanny to behold how d’Z is the driving force throughout the “Connected” EP. It is his vision of creating a soul/jazz/funk hybrid combined with talented musicians which bring the music alive and add a performance depth on the recording – one which you would usually only get from a live show.

The album begins in true souled-out jazz fashion – from the smooth tones of the brass section, which complement the self-assured, soulful vocals of Freddi Lubitz and the riveting mid-tempo groove provided by the array of backing instruments on “Conviction”. It is trend which is paved out throughout most of the EP.

With its fusionesque bounce and power, its ability to take every favorable extract from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s scene, and revive it with a modern twist is admirable in the sparkling funky rhythms of “Lovin’ & Dancin’” Ft Katie Léone. Apart from the dazzling musical arrangement, super-tight rhythm section, and fiery electric guitar interludes, Katie’s vocal tones, phrasing and range is spectacular and pure Adrenalin to the ear.

“Lovin’ & Dancin’” is a strong demonstration of interwoven guitar, bass and horn patterns, where one instrument will allow the other to perform their nuances before coming together as a formidable force and blow the song out of the water.

“Clean Slate” Ft Adriana Romijn steps down the energy a notch for an auditory reprise, as d’Z and the band smooth out the tones and groove, going for a richer and more luscious soundscape. The second part of the song picks up the momentum with some fabulous horn passages and stunning drum fills by d’Z, as the performance crew step up the song’s complexity coefficient.

“Something New” Ft Ingmar Glerum contains some of the EP’s finest drumming moments. The syncopated, intricate rhythms and patterns are full of vibrancy, aiding in the song reaching its full potential. Again, the brass arrangements are no less than breathtakingly impressive, while the guitar and bass drive the song into a state of delirium.

By the time the title track, “Connected” Ft Sandra St Victor, hits your sound system, it is just to confirm all of the greatness which has occurred before. This track encapsulates all of the remarkable elements that makes d’Z and his crew such an infectious bunch of performers. The rhythm section, the brass, the guitar, and of course the extra-dark, chocolate-soul vocals, of Sandra St Victor.

The EP “Connected” is a recording which d’Z can be proud of. This is a stellar effort, with top-notch vocals, musicianship, groove, production, arrangement, writing, and feel. In amongst the sterling choice of musicians and singers, the structure of the songs and the ability to create some of the most accessible jazz, soul and funk songs in the last decade, d’Z has proved that he is one of the most relevant underground artists of his kind currently on the scene. This EP is a keeper.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITE – FACEBOOK – INSTAGRAM – YOUTUBE



]]>
http://soundlooks.com/2018/06/dz-connected-dazzling-musical-arrangements-and-a-super-tight-rhythm-section/feed/ 0
SUMMY: “Sus” – ready to reach through the stratosphere for stardom http://soundlooks.com/2018/06/summy-sus-ready-to-reach-through-the-stratosphere-for-stardom/ http://soundlooks.com/2018/06/summy-sus-ready-to-reach-through-the-stratosphere-for-stardom/#respond Tue, 26 Jun 2018 17:18:12 +0000 http://soundlooks.com/?p=8238 SUMMY is a US-based pop singer who captured the attention of audiences and the music industry with a viral video. SUMMY’s cover of “Issues” by Julia Michaels landed her a spot on MTV’s Cover of the Month and was watched by over half a million music enthusiasts all over the world. These viewers included award-winning producers, and Lady Gaga, who retweeted the video. After her runaway success, SUMMY focused on producing original work. Her current single “Sus” is available now. A music video and album are in the works, and SUMMY is looking ahead to announcing a tour in the near future.

Far from being a copy-and-paste instant songstress, SUMMY’s emerging and distinctive sound, will steadily establish a foothold in mainstream pop, aided by breathily-voiced verses, soaring choruses and smash electro-pop beats.

The results on her latest track, “Sus” is largely sparkling. It glides from shimmering electro-pop rhythms to skittering R&B vocal intonations. This is the sound of an artist treading in her comfort zone, all ready to reach through the stratosphere for stardom.

“Sus” presents SUMMY with the opportunity to define her personal brand and carve out a niche in a field dominated by ambitious, super-colossal personalities. Through personal, intimate lyrics, nuanced vocals and a modern cutting edge sound, she lays down her own sonic footprints.

Injecting a much-needed celestial charm in to pop music. The track most definitely demonstrates the perfect fusion of SUMMY’s authentic vocals and a thrilling electro-pop tune.

SUMMY has the talent to go from a viral video star, to a fully-fledged popstar with her eyes set firmly on chart success. Her boundless energy is reflected in her high-impact electro-pop that’s morphed from wistful to rapacious nuances, hitting the sweet spot of pop homogeneity.

SUMMY has officially moved into a completely new era with the release of “Sus”, as she takes a break from her cover-versions exploits on YouTube. The leap to releasing originals seems to work brilliantly, with SUMMY’s versatile vocals and shifting musical style coming to her aid.

“Sus” is definitely a full-fledged pop single of the highest order, where SUMMY has managed to keep in touch with the genre’s affinity for electronic music, allowing for an easy transition into a higher place for her talents.

Vocally powerful, lyrically relatable – the track has everything a modern pop song should have, including a meticulous production aesthetic. She has matured within the sounds of her cover work and is now ready to establish herself as an artist to be reckoned with.

“Sus” may not be a groundbreaking sound we haven’t heard before, but it certainly packs a punch and shows off exactly what SUMMY does best. Her fluttering, ethereal vocal styling is entirely captivating, and perhaps most importantly of all, it feels passionately honest. Something that often proves to be decisive with an audience. If anyone is to be a shining example of raw talent eventually paying off, it will be SUMMY.

OFFICIAL LINKS: INSTAGRAMTWITTERSOUNDCLOUDSPOTIFYSTREAMS

]]>
http://soundlooks.com/2018/06/summy-sus-ready-to-reach-through-the-stratosphere-for-stardom/feed/ 0