Category Archives: Get it or Forget it

Get it or forget it – King Washington, Sara Petite, The Wild Now

We are really excited about this edition of Get it or Forget it.  We get to review new material from a rising Los Angeles band, a new album from an old favorite, and introduce you to a new band that we think is going to be huge.  All three albums are also being released on the same date, May 19.  So grab your coffee and sit back as we review these three albums for you.

Artist NameKing Washington

Album NamePotential

Label:  The End Records

Genre:  Indie Rock

Track Listing:  1.  My Reflection; 2.  Superman; 3.  Interval; 4.  Evelyn; 5.  Love be Gone; 6.  Hey Boy; 7.  Nowhere’s Hard to Find; 8.  I Wouldn’t Laugh About It; 9.  The Other side; 10.  Be Where you Belong; 11. The Great Disguise; 12.  Interlude; 13.  New Meaning; 14.  Climb out the Valley

Publicist:  The End Records PR

Review:  From the first notes of “My Reflection,” King Washington reminds us why they have been designated as one of the best live acts by LA Weekly.  The vocal harmonies hit you right off, with a driving beat that propels you into musical nirvana and force your feet to get up and dance.  King Washington forges its own sound from the influences of the masters, like the Beatles, CSN and the Talking Heads.  Their music is uniquely California while still being universal.  The second track, “Superman,” is their latest single, and we think it was a wise choice.  They have also released music videos for those first two tracks, which we previously shared in our Monday Mashup series.  This is definitely an album you want to listen to from start to finish.  Best songs include “My Reflection,” “Superman,” “Love be Gone,” “Hey Boy” (which sounds a lot like CSN), “Nowhere’s Hard to Find,” “The Other Side,” and “Be Where you Belong,” while “The Great Disguise” also shows great promise as a future single.

Recommendation:  We think that the album title is very apropos for this band.  They have always had ‘potential,’ and this album just shows the accomplishment of that potential.  We strongly recommend that you Get It as soon as it goes on sale on May 19.  You might want to pre-order it now to ensure you don’t miss out.

Artist NameSara Petite

Album NameRoad Less Traveled

Label:  Self-released

Genre:   Country/Americana

Track Listing:  1.  Road Less Traveled; 2.  It was Just a Kiss; 3.  Blackbird; 4.  Getting Over You; 5.  You Don’t Care at All; 6.  Patchwork Quilt; 7.  Good 2 B Me; 8.  Sweet Pea Blues; 9.  Monkey on my Back; 10.  I Will Rise; 11.  Sweet Pea Patch; 12.  Road Less Traveled Reprise 

Publicist:  KG Music Press

Review:  Back in 2010, we feared that we had heard the last of Sara Petite after she released her third album.  She had just graduated from college and was headed down the corporate path.  But fate intervened with the death of her partner, and music provided the only path for her to deal with this.  We are happy to see her return to her musical roots, and she has compiled an extensive musical library since then to convince her that she has a career in music.  Road Less Traveled is her fifth studio album, and it firmly sets Petite within the musical elite of country music.  She is obviously greatly influenced by classic country, which permeates the album from start to finish.  Her lyrics cut deep as she uses her music to talk about life, including brutally honest songs about love and heartache.  Her pure voice provides the perfect conduit for these songs to grab hold of the listener and implant her truth deep within.  Best tracks include “Blackbird,” “Getting Over You” (her first single), “You Don’t Care at All,” “Good 2 B Me” (with its Tom Petty feel), “Sweet Pea Blues,” and “I Will Rise.”

Recommendation:  We are happy to recommend this album, which is surely one of the best country albums of 2017.  The Academy should stand up and take notice that Sara Petite is back, stronger than ever.  You should definitely Get It as soon as it is available.

Artist NameThe Wild Now

Album NameAfterglow

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Indie Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Afterglow; 2.  Run for Your Life; 3.  Spinning; 4.  Troubled Paradise; 5.  Tongue Tied

Publicist:  Noisy Ghost PR

Review:  Composed of Taylor Baker and Drew Walker, this Austin-based duo create music that is upbeat, real and life-changing.  The musical background creates the perfect foundation for the rising vocals of Baker, which create an atmosphere of audio perfection.  The lyrics are thought-provoking and the total package is worthy of a much broader market.  These guys are better than the majority of what you hear on commercial radio today, and deserve their chance to spread their music to the world.  “Afterglow” is a rousing number that kicks the EP off to a glorious start, and foreshadows the taste of things to come.  All five tracks could easily reach the top of the pop charts, and we strongly encourage Programming Directors to add The Wild Now to their regular rotation.

Recommendation:  Definitely Get It as soon as it is available.  We strongly encourage you to follow these guys on all social media platforms and hop on board now.  They are definitely going places.

 

Get it or forget it – Pi Jacobs, The Dream Eaters, HotKid

One of the advantages to being unemployed is the chance to review lots more new music than I could while working full-time.  Luckily, I have received more than 200 requests for reviews in the past few weeks, and I now have time to sort through them to bring you more great artists.  Here are three of our new favorites.  Thanks to them for reaching out.

Artist NamePi Jacobs

Album NameA Little Blue

Label:  Travianna Records

Genre:  Acoustic folk/roots

Track Listing:  1.  Dance Clean; 2.  All Love; 3.  Good Things; 4.  Faking It; 5.   Weed and Wine; 6.  The Moment; 7.  She Don’t Love you That Way; 8.  Half Way Done; 9.  We Always Come Home; 10.  Dead Man; 11.  Purple State; 12.  When my Father is Gone 

Publicist:  From the Top Communications

Review:  Pi Jacobs has been an LA staple for quite a few years, but even her biggest fans will be thrilled at the differences in her current project, A Little Blue.    We have always said that a true musician is one whose acoustic music is as good as their full band.  In Jacobs’ case, it is definitely true.  Her pure voice comes shining through with the simple acoustic background, revealing an artist that truly has something to say.  It is obvious that she has poured her heart and soul into this project, which shows in every track.  From the upbeat and fun first track, “Dance Clean,” to the soulful ballad “All Love,” and continuing throughout the album, Jacobs raises our spirits and makes us thing about what is most important to us.  If you love the multi-faceted music she has previously produced, then you will love this stripped down album, which allows her intriguing lyrics to come to the forefront of each song.  We especially love her first single, “Good Things,” which reminds us that regardless of what is happening to us, we have much to be to be thankful for, as well as “The Moment,” with its down home rhythms and soulful feel.

Recommendation:  We are proud to recommend A Little Blue, and urge you to Get It as soon as you can.  Request her single, “Good Things” at your favorite radio station today.

Artist NameThe Dream Eaters

Album NameWe are a Curse

Label:  Song Dynasty

Genre:  Dream pop

Track Listing:  1.  Dead on the Inside; 2.  Neanderthals; 3.  Dots; 4.  Astral Asshole; 5.  Sugar Coma; 6.  So Heavy; 7.  Almost Afraid; 8.  Plastic Priestess; 9.  We are a Curse; 10.  Brazil Song 

Publicist:  Behind the Curtains Media

Review:   Composed of Jake Zavracky and Elizabeth LeBaron, The Dream Eaters’ latest release is a tantalizing audio morsel that will make you tingle all over.  The haunting voice of LeBaron over the multi-layers of musical texture provided by Zavracky create a sound that is dreamy and surreal.  Considering Zavracky’s background of musical placements in such hit shows as NCIS, JAG, The Sopranos and Shameless, as well as Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, this winning combination is sure to become even more powerful as they mature their sound.  Best tracks include “Neanderthals” (which we feel is the strongest song on the album), “Dots,” “Sugar Coma” (with its perfect harmonies), “So Heavy,” and “Plastic Priestess.”

Recommendation:  If you like dreamy pop music, with a healthy dose of thoughtful lyrics and otherworldly harmonies, then this is definitely the album for you.  We think you should definitely Get It and prepare yourself for audio heaven.

Artist NameHotKid

Album NameLate Night Mornings

Label:  Fortune Stellar Records

Genre:  Indie Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Need a Friend; 2.  Late Night Mornings; 3.  Here4U; 4.  Little Mess; 5.  Caught in the Light; 6.  Jealous; 7.  Wasting Time; 8.  Walls; 9.  What we Wanted; 10.  This Time 

Publicist:  None

Review:  This is the first full length album from the band, and it provides enough juicy music to let the listener know that they intend to be a force on the indie music scene.  The amazing vocals and guitar work of Shiloh Harrison rise above the solid bass and drums provided by Peter McIntosh and Robbie Butcher to create electrifying rock music that provide a soundtrack for your day.  From the first notes of “Need a Friend” to the last notes of “This Time,” it is evident that this band came to rock your world.  Every track has that indie feel that is special and different, capturing your heartbeat and working its lyrics into your mind.  They are impossible to forget and worthy of your attention.  Strongest tracks include “Need a Friend,” the title track, “Here4U,” “Caught in the Light” (their first single and the most popular song from their SoundCloud streaming), and “Wasting Time.”

Recommendation:  If you love music that moves you with a steady beat, a great vocal and incredible guitar, then this is the album you’ve been looking for.  We strongly recommend you pre-order it so that when it is released on May 5 you’ll be the first in line to own this impressive rock album.

 

Get it or forget it: Monster Movie, Pale People, Jennifer Vazquez

Welcome to another edition of Get it or Forget it.  Still volunteering this week at the International Wildlife Film Festival, but taking some time this morning to review three more indie releases.  Please let us know what you think about them.

Artist NameMonster Movie

Album NameKeep the Voices Distant

Label:  Graveface Records

Genre:  Dream Pop/Indie Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Trapped; 2.  Going Backwards; 3.  In the Pines; 4.  No More; 5.  Keep the Voices Distant; 6.  Shouldn’t Stray from the Shadows; 7.  In the Ground; 8.  Don’t you Want to Love us; 9.  Into the Light; 10.  Dead in the Water 

Publicist:  Noisy Ghost PR

Review:  It is a rare talent to make music that can seamlessly fill in the background of life, but Monster Movie definitely has that ability.  Their music provides the perfect soundtrack to daily living, as it flows around the listener, filling in the holes and cushioning the environment.  This band was meant to write cinematic musical scores, and we believe that they will be most successful in that endeavor  Every song on the album is beautiful and majestic, but we love the title track, their first single “Shouldn’t Stray from the Shadows,” “In the Ground,” “Don’t You Want to Love Us,” and “Into the Light.”

Recommendation:  This album was just released on March 31, and we highly recommend you rush out and Get it.  You’ll thank me later 🙂

Artist NamePale People

Album NamePortraits

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  You tell me

Track Listing:  1.  Mitchell; 2.  Debra; 3.  Jason; 4.  Annabelle; 5.  Carol; 6.  Josephine; 7.  Steven; 8.  Lee; 9.  David; 10.  Joyce 

Publicist:  None

Review:  We attended the CD release show on April 14 and were wholly unprepared for this band.  The music is extraordinary, but the vocals remind us of a cross between Crash Test Dummies and Sam Kinison.  With a heavy dose of piano rock, this three-piece band from Missoula, Montana deliver music that is unique in its approach and its style.  These 10 songs deliver “portraits” of people that have influenced the lives of the Pale People, with subjects ranging from robots from space and parental disapproval to the colonization of Mars and child stars, while the music ranges from harmonic to discordant.  They are impossible to forget.  Lead singer and pianist Mack Gilcrest is uniquely perfect for this musical endeavor, which combines a myriad of auditory material to form the perfect reflection of the current state of affairs on planet Earth.  Best cuts include “Mitchell,” “Jason,” “Annabelle,” “Steven” (a stirring attack on religious intolerance), and “David.”

Recommendation:  This album should be in your music library for the simple reason that it is unlike anything you have ever heard before.   Support indie music and grab this one.

Artist NameJennifer Vazquez

Album NameRediscovering Me

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Singer-songwriter Pop/Country

Track Listing:  1.  After All; 2.  I Should Have Told You; 3.  Isn’t Mine; 4.  Rocked; 5.  Let you Back in; 6.  Worst Enemy; 7.  Let’s go Wild; 8.  The Radio in You; 9.  Rediscovering Me; 10.  New Deck of Cards; 11.  Austin Sky; 12.  So Perfectly; 13.  I Believe; 14.  Gold 

Publicist:  None

Review:  With a voice that is reminiscent of Mary Chapin Carpenter and a musical delivery that is akin to Bonnie Raitt, Jennifer Vazquez is a special kind of indie musician.  Born and raised in the Bronx, Vazquez brings that fierce independence to music that is more than a little influenced by her current hometown of Nashville, Tennessee.  She is a treasure that is yet to be fully discovered by the music industry, but who has the chops to be a successful radio artist.  She kicks off her latest album Rediscovering Me with the moving ballad “After All,” and then proceeds to blow her listeners away with track after track that deserve serious radio play.  Her songs are wonderful individually, but they are each a part of a greater story that encompasses the entire album.  This is an album that needs to be played again and again, and each time the listener will garner another snippet that they might have missed the first time around.  The album is a true work of art, and easily one of the finest albums released in 2017, regardless of genre.

Recommendation:  We stand strongly behind Vazquez’s latest effort, Rediscovering Me, and are proud to award it our highest recommendation – Get it like your life depends on it, because it does.  The album is set to be released on May 11, and we highly recommend you preorder it from all the usual sources, as well as from her website at www.jennifervazquez.com.

 

 

 

 

Get it or forget it: Gigi Rich, Hush Machine, Jimmy Urine

Can’t believe it’s April and still snowing, although it was perfect this morning for our River Nature Walk as part of the International Wildlife Film Festival.  Good to know that we’ve got some great indie music to warm us up and get us ready for a music-filled summer.  Check out our reviews of these three great artists!

Artist NameGigi Rich

Album NameAll in my Head

Label:  None

Genre:  Pop/Soul

Track Listing:  1.  Mr. Bossman; 2.  Stupid; 3.  Some Kind of Crazy; 4.  Still Want You; 5.  All in my Head 

Publicist:  None

Review:  We have always had a soft spot for pop & soul performers, and are proud to welcome Gigi Rich and her debut EP to that list.  From the first glance at the cover art, you realize what a beautiful lady she is, but from her first notes, you realize that beauty is shining forth from the inside out.  Her EP hits the ground running with the lead track, “Mr. Bossman,” and goes nowhere but up from there.  This five-song EP is simply too short and leaves the listener wanting much much more.   All five songs are outstanding, and we really love her music video for the third track, “Same Kind of Crazy,” which we shared in yesterday’s Monday Mashup article.  If you love power ballads, we think “Still Want You” will become your go-to jam.

Recommendation:  OMG, this lady can sing.  We can’t wait to see what the future holds for Ms. Rich.  In the meantime, we highly recommend her debut EP All in my Head, and urge you to Get It ASAP.

Roger de La Fresnaye (French, 1885 – 1925 ), The Watering Can (Emblems: The Garden), 1913, oil on canvas, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon 2014.18.26

Artist NameHush Machine

Album NameHush Machine

Label:  Jigsaw Records

Genre:  Indie Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Batter Up; 2.  Congress Hotel; 3.  Diner; 4.  Realize (Hands on the Wheel); 5.  So we can Dance; 6.  Sorry; 7.  Try Forever; 8.  U Best 

Publicist:  Noisy Ghost PR

Review:  Hush Machine is the alter ego of pop guitarist Sam Boatright, only 21 years old but light years ahead of his peers.    Although written four years ago, they are just being released to the world via his debut self-titled album, which is finally being released on April 21, 2017.   The music is reminiscent of an upbeat Plain White T’s song, and lifts the listener’s spirits as only good positive music can.  The upbeatness continues throughout the album, as more and more of his influences are revealed, like Oingo Boingo and Tears for Fears.  Boatright does not have the best voice, but he more than makes up for it with the sheer brilliance of his musical compositions.  Best tracks on the disk are “Batter Up,” “Diner,” “So we can Dance,” and “Try Forever.”

Recommendation:  If you’re all about the vocals, then this is not the album for you.  But if you can look beyond its vocal shortcomings, then Hush Machine provides quality musical entertainment.  We are proud to recommend that you Get it when it comes out on Friday.

Artist NameJimmy Urine

Album NameThe Secret Cinematic Sounds of Jimmy Urine

Label:  The End Records

Genre:  Electro-punk

Track Listing:  1.  Fighting with the Melody; 2.  I Want to be Human; 3.  Phase; 4.  Final Level; 5.  End Boss; 6.  All Together Friends Forever; 7.  Patty Hearst; 8.  Not for Me; 9.  Aching Addicted Affection Again; 10.  Salome; 11.  Beethoven Symph 7 Alleg Mvt 2; 12.  Available on Betamax; 13.  Lento Romantico Erotic Incubo; 14.  Based on a True Story 

Publicist:  The End Records PR

Review:  Some of you may be familiar with the music of Jimmy Urine’s band Mindless Self Indulgence, but unless you play a lot of video games, you may not have heard this side of his creativity.  It’s obvious upon even a casual listen why his music is popular for movie soundtracks, television and video games.  In fact, some of his music will be included in the soundtrack for the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 movie to be released this summer.  Best tracks include “Fighting with the Melody,” “I Want to be Human,” “Phase,” “Patty Hearst,” and “Salome.”

Recommendation:  This album is set for release on April 28, and we recommend you pre-order it now.  It is a great album that provides a stirring soundtrack for your everyday living, and we highly recommend that you Get it.

 

Get it or forget it: Oak House, Omega Vague, Desert Culture

Our second Get it or Forget it article today features three more bands from the Noisy Ghost PR roster.   Sit back and check them out as we review their latest releases.

Artist NameOak House

Album NameHot or Mood

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Indie Rock/Psychedelic

Track Listing:  1.  Damp Eyes; 2.  Reticence; 3.  Spirit; 4.  Cut That Out; 5.  Esque; 6.  Seventeen; 7.  Mundane; 8.  Song of Myself; 9.  Around the Room; 10.  Spring 

Publicist:  Noisy Ghost PR

Review:  Oak House is a band that cannot be pigeonholed into any particular musical genre.  With elements of rock, psychedelic, grunge, and experimental, their music is in a category all itself.  With the release of their sophomore album, Hot or Mood, on April 7, the world will soon be able to taste musical greatness from these Georgia boys.   Be warned – this is not your typical indie rock album, and we are excited to see where their career takes them from here.  Every song brings out a different nuance of their music, and keeps the listener occupied with its creativeness.  We believe their music should be enjoyed by every true audiophile, and only wish we could check them out at a live show to see how it translates in concert.  We especially like the tracks “Spirit,” “Cut That Out,” “Esque” (which is their first single), “Mundane,” and “Song of Myself,” which are all different and unique and provide a good representation of the total package.

Recommendation:  If you like more than the average indie release, and enjoy music that separates itself from the rest, then this is the album for you.  We recommend you go and Get It.

Artist NameOmega Vague

Album NameAversion/Reversion

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Dream Pop/Prog-Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Afraid; 2.  Awake; 3.  Drown; 4.  Hideaway;  5.  Cringe; 6.  Forever; 7.  Resolve 

Publicist:  Noisy Ghost PR

Review:  Omega Vague is a project created by Craig Douglas, who wrote, sang and played all the instruments on the album, as well as producing it.  It is a modern take on anthemic indie music, incorporating portions of dream pop, shoegaze, darkwave, minimal ambient and prog-rock.  It is well conceived and performed, creating a wave of musical sounds that envelope the listener with a sense of peace and dreaminess, providing a worthy audio backdrop to daily life.  We think it would make a wonderful addition to any music lover’s library.

Recommendation:  We simply love this album, and highly recommend you Get It when it is released on April 14.  It should be a necessary part of your daily life.

Artist NameDesert Culture

Album NameThey’re Not Gone

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Indie Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Buffalo; 2.  Elva; 3.  Terlingua; 4.  Badlands; 5.  Desert Theme; 6.  Matagorda; 7.  C Minor; 8.  Texarkana 

Publicist:  Noisy Ghost PR

Review:  One of the best things about Texas is that so many of their artists are unafraid of combining different musical styles into their own creations.  Desert Culture fits that description to a “T,” combining surf rock, country, and Latin into a unique combination that is reminiscent of Dick Dale and the music of the movie Pulp Fiction.  From the first notes of “Buffalo,” it becomes immediately obvious that this is a work of musical genius.  It is clearly the type of album you put on and then listen straight through, as every song builds on its predecessor, culminating in a musical climax that is worth the wait.  All hail to Daniel Vega and Desert Culture, who are setting the bar extremely high and whose music is like an oasis in a desert, providing much needed audio relief to our day-to-day dreariness.

Recommendation:  This one is a true no-brainer – you simply MUST Get It.  This album is scheduled for release on April 28, but we highly recommend you pre-order it today.

 

Get it or forget it: Joe Goodkin, my education, Chris Shiflett

We’ve got a couple of articles for you today while we review six more great indie albums, including the latest from the amazing guitarist of the Foofighters, Chis Shiflett.  Be prepared for some amazing tunes.

Artist NameJoe Goodkin

Album NameRecord of Loss

Label:  Quell Records

Genre:  Folk Singer-Songwriter

Track Listing:  1.  Nothing to Lose; 2.  Never Come Back; 3.  Charlie and Roger; 4.  Sarah and Julie; 5.  Eric and Gina; 6.  For the Loss 

Publicist:  KG Music Press

Review:  Folk music keeps a record of our lives and legacy, and keeps them alive by retelling those stories in song.  Our country has not had a true troubadour since Woody Guthrie, but we believe that his successor has finally arrived in the person of Joe Goodkin.  His latest effort, Record of Loss, is the second in a trilogy of albums about life and loss.  His first album, Record of Life, was released to rave critical review and his second album picks up where the first left off.   Besides the deeply personal nature of the songs, with lyrics that create word pictures that strike deep within your soul, what sets this record apart is the fact that it is recording using just a guitar and voice, although that guitar contains up to  eight layers within each song.  It is impossible to listen to these songs without having them impact you, unless you’ve lived in a cave for the majority of your life.  They deal with such issues as ALS, suicide, divorce, abortion and euthanasia, topics few songwriters will touch.  The overall effect is an album that is brutally honest but still uplifting.

Recommendation:  This album is not for everyone, but if you’re brave enough to face the truth about your frailties and weaknesses, it just may surprise you with its uplifting truth.  We highly recommend you add Joe Goodkin to your list of favorite musicians.

Artist Namemy education

Album NameSchiphol

Label:  Headbump Records

Genre:  Instrumental

Track Listing:  1.  Intro; 2.  Open Marriages; 3.  Coordinates; 4.  Class A; 5.  Krampus; 6.  This Time Let’s Rock; 7.  Grey An; 8.  Reekei Plume Plucked Minnow; 9.  Reprise (Coordinates) 

Publicist:  Noisy Ghost PR

Review:  Unless you listen primarily to jazz, classical or movie scores, you probably don’t care too much for pure instrumental tracks.  If that is the case, we want to introduce you to my education, a rocking band out of Austin, Texas that just might change your mind.  With a sound reminiscent of some of the great prog-rock bands like Rush and Kansas, my education has released a sweet mix of tunes that combine elements of rock, classical and strings to create the perfect soundtrack for your life.  These lad were chosen Austin American-Statesman as the Artist of the Month for March, right during SXSW, and even a casual listen will explain why.  Their music is like a symphony of why we love rock music, with guitars, strings, discordant notes and chords that stimulate the mind with the sounds of true music.  We also recently shared their music video with you and truly believe that this band has a great future and a place in today’s musical world.

Recommendation:  This album is the perfect addition to your musical library, and should be part of your daily relaxation and/or stimulation session.  We highly recommend you Get my education and look forward to more from these forward-thinking musicians.

Artist NameChris Shiflett

Album NameWest Coast Town

Label:  SideOneDummy Records

Genre:  Alt Country

Track Listing:  1.  Sticks & Stones; 2.  West Coast Town; 3.  Goodnight Little Rock; 4.  Room 102; 5.  The Girl’s Already Gone; 6.  Blow out the Candles; 7.  I’m Still Drunk; 8.  Cherry; 9.  Tonight’s not Over; 10.  Still Better Days 

Publicist:  Sacks and Co.

Review:  Although you may be most aware of the talents of Chris Shiflett as the lead guitarist for the Foofighters, he is a most talented solo artist as well, with a sound reminiscent of two of Bakersfield’s finest – Buck Owens and Dwight Yoakum.  His voice is perfect for the alt-country/Americana sound and his tantalizing guitar licks provide just the right background for his storytelling lyrics.  His music is the perfect blend of old and modern country, and is ripe for radio and for placement in a variety of movies and television shows.  We love every song on this album, but are most excited by the title track, “Goodnight Little Rock,” “The Girl’s Already Gone,” “Blow out the Candles,” and “Cherry,” which has a Vince Gill sound and a great two-step beat.

Recommendation:  Although the album will not be officially released until April 14, it is currently available at live shows, and can be pre-ordered online on the website.  We highly recommend this album and consider it to be one of the best we’ve heard in 2017.  Definitely Get It.

 

Get it or forget it: See, Emily Zuzik, Mark McKinney

After a long hiatus, we’re back.  Indie artists have been blowing up our email with news about their new releases, so it’s time to start returning the favor with the continuation of our review series, “Get it or Forget It.”  This edition will cover three amazing artists, with lots more to follow.  Grab your coffee and check them out.

Artist NameSee

Album NameTies

Label:  Blue Élan Records

Genre:  Electronica

Track Listing:  1.  Green Line Killer; 2  Closed Eyes Open; 3.  Blue Await; 4.  Potions; 5.  See Cries 

Publicist:  MAD Ink PR

Review:  Teenage sensation See is the youngest artist on Blue Élan Records impressive list of artists, but her potential for stardom cannot be denied.  Although her EP Ties was released last year, she is just beginning to create a buzz on the music scene, thanks in no small part to her YouTube channel, where she has been releasing acoustic versions of her songs, as well as her two official music videos.  Her first single, “Potions,” has received more than four million views, while her latest single, “Green Line Killer,” has already gotten more than 50,000 views in less than a week.

Needless to say, it really is all about the music, and all five tracks deliver, both musically and lyrically.  Although listed as “electronica,” her music has elements of rock and pop that underscore the extremely mature lyrical content.  Hard to believe See is only 19 years old.  We believe this artist will have a long career ahead, making her a worthy addition to the Blue Élan roster of Grammy winners and nominees.  We especially like the final track “She Cries,” which deserves radio airplay now.

Recommendation:  This one is a no-brainer.  Definitely Get It and be the cool kid on the block as you share in her current and future success.

Artist NameEmily Zuzik

Album NameAngelenos

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Electronic pop-rock

Track Listing:  1.  Gravity; 2.  Alone; 3.  Spiritual Heart; 4.  Warrior; 5.  Oh Yeah (feat. Knower); 6.  Modern Lovers (Louis Cole remix) 

Publicist:  None

Review:   The music immediately grabs your attention and then that voice comes in, lifting your spirits as the lyrics open your mind to the amazing artist who has composed and performed these songs, which are nothing short of masterful.   This is one of those albums that you can just put on repeat and revel in the magic.  These songs are perfect for chilling, and should also find a home in the soundtrack of your favorite movie or television show.  The first notes of “Gravity” awaken your senses and makes you want to listen to the track all day.  That trend continues with “Alone,” for which we shared the music video back in January, and stand by our assessment that this artist is destined for greatness.  We especially like the instrumentals in “Spiritual Heart.”  The music takes a different turn on the final three tracks, with “Modern Lovers” being the best of the three.

Recommendation:  If you don’t rush out and get your copy of Angelenos, then you should seriously consider therapy.  This is one of the best releases of 2017, and we strongly recommend you Get it.

Artist NameMark McKinney

Album Name:  World in Between

Label:  Texas Evolution

Genre:  Country

Track Listing:  1.  90 Miles; 2.  Bridge; 3.  Bacon & Eggs; 4.  Rainy Day Money; 5.  Sunshine; 6.  Alright; 7.  Yours; 8.  Stories; 9.  Close; 10.  Monday; 11.  Revolution 

Publicist:  KG Music Press

Review:  Like Chris LeDoux and Pat Green before him, Mark McKinney has made a decent living playing his music in the great state of Texas.  However, with the release of his fifth studio album, World in Between, Texas can no longer contain his greatness, which is destined to spread throughout the US and the world.  If the songs on this new album are any indication, McKinney should become a household name and a regular on country radio, as well as a popular performer at the ACM and CMA.  His songs have a great musical feel that is conducive to a good two step, and his instrumentation will appease even the most sophisticated country music lover.  He immediately grabs our attention with “90 Miles” and “Bridge” before stealing our hearts with the dynamic “Bacon & Eggs,” and its amazing backing vocals by his wife Cassie.  On and on the hits keep coming.  This one is our early favorite for best  Country album of 2017.

Recommendation:  Run, don’t walk and Get It.  If you love country music that easily provides the soundtrack for life, then this is definitely the album for you.

 

 

Get it or forget it: Derek Davis, Of Verona, Findlay

Welcome back to our review series, Get it or Forget it.  We’ve gotten quite a few new submissions since 2016 closed out, and we have been listening to them in preparation for the return of this series.  Grab a cup of coffee, sit back and learn about these three great artists and their latest offerings.

Artist NameDerek Davis

Album Name Revolutionary Soul

Label:  Apocalypse Records

Genre:  Classic Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Revolutionary Soul; 2.  Rapture; 3.  Valerie; 4.  Think About It; 5.  Love and Abuse; 6.  Nobody Knows you When You’re Down & Out; 7.  Vicious Heart; 8.  Woman’s Gotta Have It; 9.  King of Fools; 10.  Picture of Love; 11.  Stop!  Wait a Minute; 12.  All the Roads 

Publicist:  Doug Deutsch Publicity Services

Review:  If Janis Joplin and James Brown had a child who grew up playing the music of Grand Funk Railroad, the result would be a fitting description of the musical style of Derek Davis.  Formerly the lead vocalist of Babylon A.D. , Davis combines the best elements of Joplin, Brown, Jim Morrison and GFR to create his own musical genre, which hits you right out of the box on the title track.  He especially shows off his abilities on covers of Amy Winehouse’s “Valerie,” Jimmy Cox’s “Nobody Knows you When You’re Down & Out,” and Bobby Womack’s “Woman’s Gotta Have It, all of which he makes his own with his dynamic interpretations.  Of the rest of the self-penned songs, “Rapture,” “Think About It,” and “Love and Abuse” continue to showcase his rock side, while “Vicious Heart,” “King of Fools” and “Stop! Wait a Minute” highlight the R&B and soul side of his repertoire.  He wraps it all up with the heartfelt “All the Roads,” which is the perfect icing on this magnificent cake.

Recommendation:  This album releases next Tuesday, but we highly recommend you Get it  by any means possible.  This one will rock your world for years to come!

Artist NameOf Verona

Album NameGlass Beach

Label:  None

Genre:  Alternative Pop

Track Listing:  1.  Kids on the Street; 2.  Can you Hear Me; 3.  Under a Purple Sky; 4.  Glass Beach (interlude); 5.  Fleurs de la Lune; 6.  Bright Precious Things; 7.  Wish you Were Here; 8.  Miracles 

Publicist:  De Novo Music Management

Review:  We have followed the career of Mandi Perkins, lead singer of oV, as the band is affectionately known by is fans, for many years.  Their first album, The White Apple, released in July 2012, and its key single, “Dark in my Imagination,” has been streamed more than one million times, while other songs have received placements on such television shows as Grimm, Grey’s Anatomy, Pretty Little Liars, Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Teen Wolf, and Stalker.  Their new album takes off from there, and should propel this dynamic duo even further into the musical stratosphere.   The first two tracks, “Kids on the Street,” and “Can you Hear Me” are already receiving massive attention while being constantly streamed on such sites as Spotify and SoundCloud.  There are no bad songs on this second masterpiece,  and their cover of Pink Floyd’s “Wish you Were Here” is especially poignant, not only capturing the true meaning of the song, but giving it that special oV treatment.

Recommendation:  If you love music that comes from the heart, and is true to itself, then we highly recommend you rush out and Get It.  This album, which was released on February 24,  is perfect for repeated listens and can form the soundtrack for your daily living.  Be one of the first to grab it and share it with your friends.

Artist Name: Findlay

Album Name:  Forgotten Pleasures

Label:  The End Records/Mint Records-BMG

Genre:  Electronica/Garage Pop

Track Listing:  1.  Electric Bones; 2.  Waste my Time; 3.  Stuck in Your Shadow; 4.  Greasy Love; 5.  Monomania; 6.  Junk Food; 7.  Off and On; 8.  Wild & Unwise; 9.  Forgotten Pleasures; 10.  Stoned and Alone; 11.  We are Never the Last; 12.  St. Elmo’s Fire; 13.  Sunday Morning in the Afternoon 

Publicist:  The End Records PR

Review:  Manchester, England born Findlay is an artist that has been around the industry and back again.  Signed to a major label at the tender age of 17, she found the arrangement stifled her creativeness.  Consequently, she created her own label, Mint Records, which is distributed by BMG in the UK and Europe and by The End Records in the United States.  She has had success in the European music festival scene, while writing and putting together the 13 songs on her debut indie album.  She’s inspired by such diverse creative muses as David Lynch and Michael Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.  Working with such great producers as her accompanist Jules Apollinaire, as well as Jake Gosling, Samy Osta and Flood, she has assembled an album that takes you on a musical journey across time and space.  The best tracks include “Electric Bones,” “Waste my Time,” “Monomania,” “Stoned and Alone,” “Sunday in the Afternoon,” and “St. Elmo’s Fire,” on which she collaborated with Carl Barat of the Libertines.  In addition, her song “Off & On” was used by BMW on a recent international campaign.

Recommendation:  If your musical tastes include artists like Bjork, Beck, Tame Impala and The Velvet Underground, then this is definitely the album for you.  It will be released on March 3, and we recommend you go out and Get it.

 

Get it or forget it: Imaginary Friends, AJ Hobbs, Andrea Hamilton

As 2016 draws to a close, we have one last Get it or Forget it to bring you.  We’ve reviewed a lot of great music this year and can hardly wait to see how 2017 turns out.  Watch out of the LA Music Critic Award nominations for the second half of 2016, which will be announced soon.

Artist NameImaginary Friends

Album Name Falling Inward

Label:  None

Genre:  Indie Folk Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Spirits of Ballona; 2.  On my way to Nowhere; 3.  Shades of Fire; 4.  Don’t You; 5.  I Wanna be There; 6.  Heaven Knows; 7.  Karma Doesn’t Sleep; 8.  Keep Hope Alive; 9.  Never-Ending Nights; 10.  Forever and a Day; 11.  Generations 

Publicist:  None

Review:  Imaginary Friends is a musical collaboration featuring Stacy Robin, Donna Rawlins, David James and Tom McCauley, as well as special guest musicians.  This time around, those guests include Michael Yorky, Barrie Berg, Angie Taylor, Chris Garcia and Ed Gould.   From the first percussive beat of “Spirits of Ballona,” it becomes quickly evident that this is going to be a great record.  Add in those seamless harmonies of Robin and Rawlins, coupled with the backing vocals of James and McCauley, and Falling Inward becomes a must-have for every serious audiophile.  The perfection continues with “On my way to Nowhere,” a dreamy song that brings memories of CSNY. which is followed by the equally wonderful “Shades of Fire.”  The indie rock sound finally manifests itself in track 4’s delightful “Don’t You.”  The band even does a beautiful cover of Cindy Alexander’s “Heaven Knows” that truly captures her spirit and attitude.  James knocks it out of the park when he takes over lead vocals on “Karma Doesn’t Sleep,” before Robins returns with her mystical sound on “Keep Hope Alive.”  The album concludes with an amazing instrumental by McCauley.  Overall, every song is worthy of attention and will provide thoughtful insight into things we can do to make this a better world.  Thank  you Imaginary Friends.  You are true friends to the world.

Recommendation:  Run, don’t walk to your computer and pre-order this CD, which will be released in January 2017.  You simply must Get it.

Artist NameAJ Hobbs

Album NameToo Much is Never Enough

Label:  Booker Records

Genre:  Country

Track Listing:  1.  Too Much is Never Enough; 2.  Life Without You; 3.  The Loser; 4.  The Bottle let me Down; 5.  Daddy Loved the Lord; 6.  Eastside; 7.  Shit Just got Real; 8.  Are you Going to Tennessee?; 9.  A Whole lot of You and Me; 10.  Take it Slow; 11.  Waylon & Merle; 12.  Tomorrow I’ll be Hurtin’ 

Publicist:  KG Music Press

Review:   There has been a lot of chatter these past few years from old time country fans who want more of that old style country music.  If this describes you, then your ship has come in.  AJ Hobbs has a style that mixes in equal parts Travis Tritt, Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings, which seems appropriate since the album was mastered by Grammy winner Pete Lyman, who has worked with this year’s Grammy nominee Sturgill Simpson, as well as Jason Isbell.   Hobbs even has that “country outlaw” look, with his hat, denim shirt and two-day beard.  He has also surrounded himself with some of the best musicians in country music today, including Storm Rhode IV, Jeremy Long, John Schreffler, Jr., Aubrey Richmond, Matt Lesser, Jim Doyle, Brian Whelan and Jeremy Long.  But the important fact is that Hobbs can sing country music like he belongs on the radio.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see him amongst the nominees for next year’s Grammies.  He even gives a loving tribute to Haggard with an excellent cover of “The Bottle let me Down.”  This is a great album from start to finish, with “Life Without You” being our pick for the best cut.

Recommendation:  This album is scheduled for release on February 17, 2017, and we HIGHLY recommend you pre-order it to ensure you Get it before it becomes scarce.  We highly recommend Hobbs and expect to see more great things from  him in the future.

Artist NameAndrea Hamilton

Album NameHope and Struggle

Label:  None

Genre:  Hopeful Pop

Track Listing:  1.  Am I Dreaming; 2.  Finally Free; 3.  Our Love; 4.  Carry Me; 5.  Higher; 6.  Fevertown; 7.  An Easy Life; 8.  Love you Better; 9.  Meant to be; 10.  Colors; 11.  You Bring to Mind; 12.  Shadow Dancer 

Publicist:  None

Review:  The angelic voice of Andrea Hamilton, coupled with the insane production work of Kevin Penner, give Hope and Struggle life and instantly make it one of the best albums that will be released in 2017.  It’s hard to believe that Hope is Hamilton’s seventh album, and yet she is still a relatively unknown indie artist.  Although she has had some success in the pop world with co-writes with award winning songwriters and producers like Kevin Fisher, Ashley Argotta, Matt Arcaini, Jonathan Lee, Eman Cervantez and Tyrone Wells, Hamilton has not reached household name status like Kari Kimmel. This should not be true.  Hamilton’s voice alone, as well as the incredible songs on Hope, demand a larger audience and we think this album may just finally introduce Hamilton’s greatness to the world at large.  Every song grabs you with its musicality, while the thoughtful and heartfelt lyrics soar on Hamilton’s vocals, giving you hope in the midst of your daily struggles.  This album belongs on stations like KLoVE and Air One, as well as on other mainstream stations.  We especially like “Am I Dreaming,” “Carry On,” “Higher” and “Meant to Be.”

Recommendation:  Although the album is not out until February 1, 2017, we think this one is truly worthy.  We strongly advise you to pre-order it so you can listen sooner.  Go out and Get it.

 

Get it or forget it: Pollen Rx, Kari Kimmel, Daddy Issues

Only ten more days until Christmas.  We thought we’d get you ready with our latest edition of Get it or Forget it, featuring three entirely different artists for your musical edification.  Today we feature releases from two artists we’ve told you about before:  Kari Kimmel (pop) and Daddy Issues (rock), and introduce you to a new artist, Pollen RX (punk).  Check out our reviews below.

Artist NamePollen Rx

Album NameSunbelt Emptiness

Label:  Austin Town Hall Records

Genre:  Dance Punk

Track Listing:  1.  Billboard Promises; 2.  Control; 3.  Packaging; 4.  Apartment; 5.  Sunbelt Emptiness; 6.  Interstate; 7.  AR AK; 8.  Again; 9.  Sand in the Well

Publicist:  Noisy Ghost PR

Review:  Composed of Maud Morgan, Ben Hirsch, Caroline Sallee and Maggie Exner, the music of Pollen RX is part punk, part pop, part indie rock and part dance, seasoned with a healthy dose of 60s rock and roll.  The music is memorable, complete with catchy hooks and beats you can groove to, as well as a message that needs to be heard about the difficulties of growing up.  Both Morgan and Hirsch provide electric vocals as they trade off on the lead, and the music this band creates is worthy of your attention, especially the amazing guitar riffs.  Best tracks include “Control,” “Packaging,” the title track, “AR AK,” and their single, “Sand in the Well.”

Recommendation:  Pollen Rx is the perfect prescription for what ails you.  We definitely think they have a great future and recommend you Get It, play it and dance on.  This album will drop on January 27, 2017.

Artist NameKari Kimmel

Album NameCovers One

Label:  Rykim Records

Genre:  Pop/Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Against all Odds; 2.  Eternal Flame; 3.  Ring of Fire; 4.  Rocketman 

Publicist:  None

Review:  By now the music of Kari Kimmel should be very familiar to readers of this blog.  We have been fans of hers since her early days, and she continues to surprise us with hit after hit, not to mention weekly placements on television shows, movies and commercials.  This time around, Kimmel reinvents four classic songs as only she can, adding that special Kimmel magic to the mix.  We love all four of these covers, and think that they stand up well to the originals.  our favorite is “Against all Odds.”  Let us know what you think.

Recommendation:  Kimmel’s latest EP drops this Friday, December 16, and we think you should definitely Get it, especially if you love cover songs by a classy artist.

New album releases on September 10

Artist Name Daddy Issues

Album NameHandle It

Label:  Play Like a Girl Records

Genre:  Alt Pop/Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Inside my Mind; 2.  Different; 3.  Dead end Road; 4.  Too Soon; 5.  Nice Try; 6.  Rusty; 7.  My Favorite Fantasy; 8.  Born to Fly; 9.  Your Lies; 10.  The Blade

Publicist:  Jennifer Allison Publicity

Review:  Girls rock, and no band exemplifies that more than Daddy Issues, who we introduced back in September.  With Angela Alvarez on lead vocals and rhythm guitar and Julia “Jules” Whelpton on bass and rhythm guitar, supplemented by Andrew Cushman on lead guitar and Brett Weir on drums, this band has a sound that sets them apart and creates an atmosphere where it would be cool to be a groupie.  Reminiscent of the Wilson sisters of Heart, Daddy Issues truly bring “girl power” to a whole new rocking level.  There is such a sweetness to their music that complements the cutting edge guitar sounds laid down by both Alvarez and Whelpton.  We love every song on this debut album, but are especially impressed with “Inside my Mind,” “Different,” “Too Soon,” with its obvious No Doubt influence, “My Favorite Fantasy,” and “Your Lies.”  The album closes with a very personal song, “The Blade,” which gives an intense message about the dangers of depression.

Recommendation:  One of the best CDs of 2016, this one is a true no-brainer:  you simply MUST Get it!