Downtown Mystic – ‘3-Way Heartbreak’ – more than just a nostalgic listening experience!

One of the things Downtown Mystic notoriously excel at is masking emotional lyrics with upbeat, driving-with-the-windows-rolled-down kind of melodies. Their double-side single, ‘3-Way Heartbreak’, which also includes the track ‘Same Old Lover’, recorded in 1983, has all that and more. While for most other contemporary bands, it’s hard to recapture the real magic of rock n’ roll, for Robert Allen and his crew, this comes easy. They grew up during rock’s golden era, hence Downtown Mystic’s music lives up to the genre’s legacy, rather than just riding on its coattails. The ‘3-Way Heartbreak’ single, on the Sha-La Music, Inc. catalog,

P Bailey – “Change The World” – a lush blend of mid-tempo R&B and Soul

P Bailey has adorned our pages many times over the last few years, but just in case you missed it, we’ll fill you in again. Originally from the UK, Paul Bailey aka P Bailey grabbed his first musical influences from Motown and Muscle Shoals, as well as Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson. Without any formal training, the 5 octave singer, developed his singing and writing style by listening to artists like, Ron Isley, Donny Hathaway, Luther Van dross, Prince and James Brown. Bailey had his first major break when Rick James sampled his track ‘Part time Lover’ for the sound

Mandalan and So Foreign Productions Launch Campaign For ¿CÓMO SABRÉ? ft. Emarie Video

Mandalan is the music project of Los Angeles-based musician, songwriter and producer James Brennan. He produces a tropical house genre of dance/pop music with a dramatic sound including heavy drums and electronic elements. Together with So Foreign Productions, Mandalan is creating a music video experience for his new dance single ¿CÓMO SABRÉ? ft. Emarie, which you can be part of. On PATREON, they have launched a campaign inviting Patrons to be part of an upcoming official music video for the song. Supporters will receive a digital download of the song along with credits in the music video. They will also

Sofi Maeda – “ASHITA” bursts with sound and energy!

Sofi Maeda was born in Takamatsu, Japan. The alternative pop-punk starlet has been doing music seriously since 2016. She has released the album “You Know Me Well” in 2017 and has followed up with a series of successful singles. She has won singing as well as song contests, and has performed on the Red Square in Moscow, at the festival in Gorky Park, as well as concerts in Depo, Live Stars, San Diego, Glastonbury and many more. This year Sofi has dropped 3 singles so far, including “ASHITA”. If you like Sofi Maeda then you should already have “ASHITA” on

Jona Da King – “Roots Of Love” EP – balancing rhymes, and soulful crooning|

Jona Da King is a hip-hop artist from Toronto, Ontario, based in Edmonton, Alberta. Jona is set to release his EP “Roots Of Love” which is scheduled to drop September 30th 2020. The artist has an eclectic musical palette which is colored by Hip-hop, R&B, Pop, as well as Jazz and Rock tones. We checked out his prime tracks in anticipation of the EP, and if the goal of this release is to make a breakout statement that Jona Da King is getting seriously started, he’s succeeded, delivering some of the smoothest, most mellifluous urban sounds we’ve heard in music

Berani – “Cut And Taste” strikes an incredible balance of disparate elements

Berani is an electronic beat maker with a diverse sound spectrum and a tendency to produce bouncing rhythms or spacious and relaxing aural experiences. In a short time span, this emerging artist out of Byron Bay in Australia, has discerning music fans and casual listeners paying attention. The sound design throughout his latest single “Cut And Taste” is what we’ve come to expect from this creative top tier producer: popping percussion, basslines that melt like butter and a healthy dose of twisted horns to make everything bump in a soul-like fashion. Sprinkled around the track are sonic effects that keep

EsZ – “Liquor & Emotions” – introspective and emotional

Hip-hop has been cranking out bangers and high energy anthems for decades, but the average genre historian is well aware that dark or emotional thoughts on a chill backdrop is not a foreign concept for the game. After all, profound moodiness feels rather natural for a culture that grew out of urban plight and the trauma of purposely disenfranchised people. It makes sense that at least some mellow tunes in the genre, reflect deep-thinking speculation, in what artist EsZ, describes as thoughts on “life, growth and fake friends” in his track “Liquor & Emotions”. The song is a drunk text

Quad – “Love” embellishes each track with his personal revelations

Based in the south of Chicago, Quad started making music when he was around 14 years old and started taking it artistically seriously two years later. He produces, records, mixes and masters, using only a Blue Yeti microphone and FL Studios. So far Quad has written over 300 songs and released 1 EP, 1 Album and 8 singles. Currently training as an audio engineer at SAE University in Chicago, Quad explained that his latest album “Love” describes his personal understanding of the sentiment. The album “Love” was written and recorded over the course of 2 months after Quad was electrocuted

Acemattz & Bipha shine on “Tshanana”

Watching Acemattz & Bipha perform in any of their videos is like watching friends realize they’re onto something big time. They are accomplished rappers individually, on their own terms, and as collaborators, as a unit, their styles gel perfectly. They’re not just comfortable performing together—they are feeding off of each other, refusing to be one-upped, beaming and grinning and head-bobbing as they take turns impressing one another. By the end of each of their performances, their formation into a real show-stopping combination seems inevitable. In the new wave rap scene, there is plenty of talent to go around, Acemattz &

FuzzKill – “The Get Better” reaches all the expected heights!

FuzzKill is a four-piece rock band that started in Boston, MA. Introduced to one another through musical theatre, the band’s sound is firmly rooted in early 2000’s pop-punk influences. They released their debut studio album, “Happen”, in early 2019, and their sophomore album, “The Get Better”, just dropped on September 19th 2020. We have all heard the biggest punk bands of the 90’s and early 00’s. Their music mainly consisted of driving drums, distorted pop-punk guitar work and a set of memorable lyrics to go with the angst-filled high energy vocals. Today punk bands are a rarity, and any good

KBong: “Easy To Love You” – expanding a feeling and sending it out to the world

Kevin Bong aka “KBong” is a Hawaiian born and San Diego native. The multi-instrumental artist who is well-known for his ‘key’ role in Stick Figure. Touring with the group since 2012 KBong has solidified his status as one of the top keyboards players in the current reggae scene. KBong’s debut solo studio album “Hopes and Dreams” dropped in 2014. The artist has shared the stage with bands such as Stick Figure, Passafire, Tribal Seeds, The Steppas, HIRIE, Ezzrah, Mike Pinto, John Brown’s Body, New Kingston, Micah Brown, HI Roots and more. On August 24 2018 the artist released his second studio album “Easy To Love You”, produced by Johnny Cosmic, who also featured on the recording alongside Scott Woodruff (Stick Figure), The Movement, and Raging Fyah. This is beautifully arranged reggae album with some outstanding tracks that takes the essence of reggae and provides a modern Cali sensibility without losing the soul of its core sound.

This is music to dream, music to let your thoughts run free, and even music to dance to, if you want. Somehow, KBong succeeded in making every song come alive with an individual characteristic that goes beyond the stylistic variety of the release, almost personifying each piece.

The opening and title track, “Easy To Love You” (feat. The Movement), sets the pace for what is to follow: a vocally mature KBong delivers uplifting feel-good lyrics spread onto an instrumental carpet of rich bass, resonant keys and crisp drums. Skillfully backed by the band, KBong invites us into his very melodic vision of Reggae.

On a bright and joyful rhythm, “Good Lovin” brings yet another positive groove infused with swaying horns. With a catchy melody, well-arranged harmonies lyrics and an endearing swag, KBong presents himself as an international sounding artist to be reckoned with, on “Middle Of The Ocean” (feat. Stick Figure).

On “Heavy As Gold”, KBong’s bright strumming is matched by the luscious strings and singing that whispers, proclaims, imparts, trills and inspires. These are songs that elicit a deep emotional response and make you feel alive.

It is all about expanding a feeling and sending it out to the world. And few songs do it explicitly better on this album than “Music and the Message”, as KBong sings: “Music in the message, the message in the music. And the message is love.” In the slower and romantically calming, “Long Distance Lover”, KBong’s voice seems to gracefully absorb and echo his emotive ode.

While I had been smitten by the beat alone on “Need A Ride”, there is indeed a whole galaxy of words to dive into, and the way KBong’s voice plays, constructs, deconstructs the lyrics is pure art. Not to mention the sumptuous trumpet solo.

The same can be said about “Travelin On” as well. There is such a deep, intricate relation between the core reggae beat and the way the KBong wraps his voice around and through it, that every note seems to condition the words riding them and vice versa.

Embedded into the ethereal keyboard work and vocal harmonies of “Open My Eyes” is a synthesis of these arts that sets a high standard in terms of quality and innovation. “Lovelight” drips emotion and taps into that nostalgic edge that my brain seems to thrive on.

With “One More Song” (feat. Johnny Cosmic) and “Awake” (feat. Raging Fyah) – two of the album’s standout songs – KBong has managed to weave lush and hypnotic threads together, creating a fabric of message and sound anybody can relate to.

KBong has delivered an album that is worthy of the title he has chosen for it. “Easy To Love You” keeps every promise made with its resonant title. A title that enriches this year and every year to come with joy, melody and message. Open your hearts and ears to the stories KBong has to tell.

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