Category Archives: Get it or Forget it

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!

 

Get it or forget it: Landing, Serengeti & Sicker Man, Stereo Off

Wow – we finally did it.  This is volume 20 of our Get it or Forget it review series, and that equals 60 reviews in the past three months.  We are overwhelmed at the quality of indie music and the shear volume that has been recently released.  Congrats to all of you on releasing such amazing material.  Today we cover three more artists from the Noisy Ghost PR catalog.  Enjoy these reviews as we help you decide where to spend your hard-earned cash on music.

Artist NameLanding

Album NameComplekt

Label:  These are Not Records

Genre:  Dream Pop

Track Listing:  1.  Light; 2.  Complekt; 3.  Weft; 4.  Shifts; 5.  Thither; 6.  Grow; 7.  Coulds II; 8.  World 

Publicist:  Noisy Ghost PR

ReviewComplekt is the tenth full-length album released by Landing, a four piece band formed when Aaron and Adrienne Snow, guitarist and keyboardist, met drummer/bassist Daron Gardner and guitarist/bassist Dick Baldwin after moving to Connecticut following graduation from Brigham Young University.  They later added multi-instrumentalist Peter Baumann to perfect their sound.  Multi-instrumentalist John Miller later joined the group to replace Baldwin.   Their music has an airy cosmic sound with elements of indie rock that focuses on instrumentation versus vocals, creating an atmosphere that envelopes the listener like a snowy avalanche of sound.  Like prog rock, this is the type of album you put on and listen to straight through, as each track builds upon the foundation laid by the previous track.  The album provides a surreal soundtrack to your daily relaxation and meditation period.

Recommendation:  If you like having music in the background while you go about your daily life, this is the perfect album for that.  We recommend that you Get it and enjoy it.

Artist NameSerengeti & Sicker Man

Album NameDoctor My Own Patience

Label:  Graveface Records

Genre:  Hip Hop/Pop

Track Listing:  1.  Doctor my own Patience; 2.  Boy; 3.  Impress a Girl; 4.  Loose Control; 5.  Hotelroom; 6.  Hills; 7.  Top Up; 8.  Beltloop; 9.  Remember 

Publicist:  Noisy Ghost PR

Review:  Formed as a collaboration between rapper Serengeti and Tobias Vethake aka Sicker Man in 2013, this duo have created songs that add keyboard based musical beats to Serengeti’s verses and bring them to life.   Sicker Man has an intense control of his keys, which gives Serengeti the perfect foundation to share what’s on his heart.  Although these are the type of songs you might expect at a techno club or a rave, the lyrical punch provided by Serengeti makes them also songs you want to listen to and not just dance to.    Best tracks include the title track and “Loose Control.”

Recommendation:   If you love hip-hop, techno or house, you will probably dig this release.  For the rest, it might not be the best fit.

Artist NameStereo Off

Album NameEP III

Label:  None

Genre:  Indie Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Sunsetting; 2.  Wolves; 3.  Venir; 4.  Disaster Plan; 5.  Ordinary Lives 

Publicist:  Noisy Ghost PR

Review:  Based in Brooklyn, this dynamic band of musical wizards create music unlike anything you have heard before.  The beats swirl underneath the song, while outrageous saxaphone solos and deep throaty vocals emanate from the foundation to create a sound that is impossible to pigeonhole but which will appeal to listeners of a myriad of musical tastes.  It’s upbeat, catchy and fun, kinda like an 80’s new wave band discovering techno music.  We think you’ll like it, especially the first track, “Sunsetting.”  Check it out below and let us know what you think.

Recommendation:  This album won’t be released until February 3, 2017, but we highly recommend you pre-order it now so you can be sure to Get It.

 

Get it or forget it: Year of Suns, Fort Frances, The Show Ponies

Happy Tuesday.  Time now for the 19th installment of Get it or Forget It.  Today we’re featuring music from a pair of clients of the uber amazing indie PR firm Red Boot PR, as well as a long awaited review of a truly outstanding artist from In Music we Trust.  Grab a cup of coffee and join us as we discuss these three new releases.

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Artist NameYear of Suns

Album NameSounds of Silence

Label:  Milk + Gum

Genre:  Indie Rock/Singer-Songwriter

Track Listing:  1.  Rode the Darkness Home; 2.  Hard to Forget; 3.  Once it Comes; 4.  Plain Sight; 5.  Autumn Light 

Publicist:  Red Boot PR

Review:  Chris Matthews aka Year of Suns has had an interesting year.  According to his publicist, Matthews moved from one unstable living scenario to another, this relative died, that relative died, then another, and another, in what would become a tragic comedy of biblical proportions . . . except it wasn’t ever funny.  To top it all off, he also had an intimate relationship fall into dissolution, and was hit by a car in the San Fernando Valley.  Despite all of this, he has created a masterpiece of simplicity with an honesty and rawness that cuts through the crap to deliver powerfully inspiring music.  All five tracks deliver a message of hope, enthroned on a simple musical backdrop that focuses the listener on the lyrics.  It is in our opinion one of the premier indie releases of 2016.  We also discovered this gem from earlier in the year.  Check it out and we think you’ll agree that this artist is the real deal, whether simple and intimate as on the EP, or with a full soundtrack as below.

Recommendation:  Don’t stop, don’t think, just Get It!

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Artist Name: Fort Frances

Album NameAlio

Label:  Roadblock Records

Genre:  Indie Pop/Rock

Track Listing: 1.  You got the Wrong Man; 2.  Take the Wheel; 3.  Days get Heavy; 4.  Best of Luck; 5.  Sigh of Relief; 6.  Anonymous; 7.  Everything is Starting to Make Sense; 8.  Building a Wall; 9.  These are the Mountains Moving; 10.  The Light Years; 11.  This Year is Yours 

Publicist:  In Music we Trust

Review:  On first listen, you might confuse Fort Frances with Maroon 5, as they share a great lead vocalist and an ‘in your face’ musical style that is instantly memorable.  But on closer examination, Fort Frances separates itself in a way that only indie bands can.  They recently completed a very successful tour in support of their new album, Alio.  Listening to this amazing disc confirms the reason why – this band simply rocks!  Every song is radio ready, and keeps the listener occupied with its dynamics and great lyrics.  We could easily put this album on repeat and never get tired of listening to potential hit song after potential hit song.  Best tracks include “Take the Wheel,” “Days get Heavy,” “Best of Luck,” “Anonymous,” “Building a Wall” and “These are the Mountains Moving.”  So glad we were able to introduce you to this band with an exclusive preview of their video for “Going to California” back in October.  These guys are gonna be around for a long time to come!

Recommendation:  Another no-brainer.  If you love quality rock with great musical backdrop to brilliant lyrics and a lead singer that is fast becoming one of the premier voices in indie music, then get off your butt and Get It.

photo by Daley Hake
photo by Daley Hake

Artist NameThe Show Ponies

Album NameHow it all Goes Down

Label:  FreeMan Records

Genre:  Folk/Americana

Track Listing:  1.  The Time it Takes; 2.  This World is not my Home; 3.  Kalamazoo; 4.  Someone to Stay; 5.  Shoulda Showed Him; 6.  Folks Back Home; 7.  Only Lie; 8.  Something Good; 9.  Sweetly; 10.  If you Could Break That Chain; 11.  Don’t Call on Me; 12.  Bravery be Written; 13.  How it all Goes Down 

Publicist:  Red Boot PR

Review:  Laura Goldfarb of Red Boot PR has introduced this writer to a few amazing artists over the years, but none of them compare to this amazing band.  The Show Ponies combine the fun of Mumford & Sons with the lyrical brilliance of Bruce Springsteen to create musical genius that is destined to propel this band to the head of the pack and make them a household name.  Their video for “The Time it Takes,” which was formed from tour footage, is simply amazing.  The second track, “This World is not my Home,” rocks as only a true gospel bluegrass song can.  It is impossible to pick the best tracks, as every song delivers in its own way.  The multiple lead singers (Andi Carder and Clayton Chaney) make every song like a Christmas present that you can’t wait to open.  One thing that truly stands out is the amazing fiddle work of Phil Green, as well as the banjo of Carder.  Add to that the perfect percussive foundation of Kevin Brown on drums and Chaney on bass, coupled with the guitar and piano of Jason Hawk Harris and it is easy to see why we are so in love with this band.  If they ever come within 500 miles of your home, you owe it to yourself to get out and see them perform.

Recommendation:  This album is not scheduled to be released until January 20 2017, but we highly suggest you pre-order it NOW so you don’t miss out.  Here are the links:  iTunes or Google Play.

 

Get it or forget it: JERK, Solilians, Spelling Reform

It’s the last day of November and time for another Get it or Forget.  Today we’re reviewing three Noisy Ghost PR clients, with three totally different sounds.  As we get closer to Christmas, sit back and learn about some new music you may want to check out for the holidays.

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Artist NameJERK

Album Name:  Jerk

Label:  Very Jazzed

Genre:  Dance Pop

Track Listing: 1.  Couch Surf; 2.  Accidents; 3.  Delicacy; 4.  Robert Palmer; 5.  Stand Tall 

Publicist:  Noisy Ghost PR

Review:  With a dense bed of bass and booming rhythms, JERK provides some interesting tunes that will have you dancing in no time at all.  Composed of Austin Smith, Zach Alderman and Vicki Lynn, this band knows how to boogie.  Unashamedly inspired by the music of ABBA, JERK builds on their danceable disco flavor to create its own style.  The vocal harmonies build their home on the perfect foundation, giving the listener a taste of the greatness that awaits this band.  Their songs bear a striking resemblance to Twenty-One Pilots, so if you like them, you’ll love JERK.  All five songs are wonderfully created, but “Delicacy” has the kind of unique sound that would play well on the radio, especially college or public radio.

Recommendation:  Definitely add JERK to your holiday shopping plans.  We’re sure there’s someone on your list that would enjoy these beats, so be sure to Get It.

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Artist NameSolilians

Album Name:  Shin

Label:  Goodbye Better

Genre:  Psychadelic World Pop

Track Listing: 1.  Hine Ma Tov (Merc Yes mix); 2.  Hatikvah The Next Generation; 3.  Lamedvavniks; 4.  Rev’s Gold; 5.  Hine Ma Tov (Space Drone Dream mix); 6.  I have Been, and Always Shall be, Your Friend; 7.  Planet Binah; 8.  Post – Rev’s Reprise 

Publicist:  Noisy Ghost PR

Review:  Solilians’ debut release contains some interesting sounds that would fit best in a futuristic sci-fi film, say a remake of Blade Runner.  Based on Middle Eastern and Hebraic music, Solilians transform these ancient notes into something that is distinctly other-worldly.   Their version of “space rock” makes an ideal soundtrack for watching your favorite anime, but is not the stuff you would put on just to listen to.  This band has a place in the grand musical scheme, but their music will probably not appeal to the general public.

Recommendation:  Unless you are a fan of futuristic soundtracks, you will probably not want this disc.  We recommend to most of you that you just Forget it.

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Artist NameSpelling Reform

Album NameNo One’s Ever Changed

Label:  Black Rd Records

Genre:  Indie Pop Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Microscope; 2.  Expiration Date; 3.  Tuscaloosa; 4.  For Clair Patterson; 5.  Everyone Else’s Experiences; 6.  No One’s Ever Changed; 7.  Tourniquet; 8.  Everybody’s Going Home With Someone Else; 9.  Let’s Start Over; 10.  Drag Your Horse; 11.  The Coolest Guy 

Publicist:  Noisy Ghost PR

Review:  Imagine if Weird Al was the lead vocalist of an energetic indie rock band and you have a good understanding of the magic of Philly-based Spelling Reform.   With driving guitars, frenzied vocals and interesting lyrics, these four lads are destined to take the Indie Rock community hostage with their unique blend of music.  We can only imagine how much fun they must be during a live performance, and would love to have the opportunity to do just that.  This is definitely the type of album you put on and listen to from start to finish, it’s that good.  We love it.

Recommendation:  If you don’t rush out and Get It, you should have your head examined.  These guys know how to rock and we expect they will be rocking for a long time to come.

 

Get it or Forget it: Scarlett Taylor, McDougall, Michael Hornbuckle

Hard to believe but this is our 17th article in this review series – that’s 51 CD reviews since our first one back on September 7.  Indie artists have truly been hard at work in 2016.  I can hardly wait to see what 2017 holds.

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Artist NameScarlett Taylor

Album NameChurches

Label:  Borderline Musick

Genre:  Alternative pop/dream pop

Track Listing: 1.  Fucked up; 2.  Crazy; 3.  Imprisoned; 4.  Vacancy; 5.  Off; 6.  Confessional; 7.  Ignite; 8.  Velvet; 9.  Without You; 10.  Christmas Eve; 11.  Shampoo; 12.  Cutting 

Publicist:  none

Review:  Scarlett Taylor is a fresh indie artist with a style that sets her apart from the pack.  She is an incredible lyricist who uses a musical style totally different from her peers to present her message.  Listening to Churches, her second studio album, it appears that she has had some bad experiences in her religious pursuit, and she tells her listeners the painful truths about her life.  The music is airy, spectral and intriguing, drawing her listeners in with something different.   We believe this artist has a lot to say, both in her current project and in the future, and recommend that you check her out.  We have a feeling that you’ll be hearing a lot more from this gifted artist.  Best track is “Ignite.”  Most provocative tracks include “Fucked Up,” “Imprisoned” (featuring Zay from The Truants), “Confessional,” “Velvet,” and “Cutting.”

Recommendation:  If you only like radio friendly music, then this is definitely not the disc for you.  But if you are eclectic in your musical tastes, and not easily offended, then we think you should definitely Get this album.

mcdougall_reachingforsomelight_cover

Artist NameMcDougall

Album NameReaching for Some Light

Label:  None

Genre:  Folk Rock

Track Listing: 1.  Roads; 2.  Stranger on the Prairie; 3.  Shaken; 4.  Ten Speed; 5.  Cut Loose; 6.  Pitcher on the Train; 7.  Make it Right; 8.  Story of the Gray Man; 9.  Barely Holding On; 10.  Watercolor; 11.  Moving Mountains 

Publicist:  In Music we Trust

Review:  With a voice somewhere between Tom Waits and Tom Petty, McDougall brings his folk rock stylings to his latest project, Reaching for Some Light.  It’s chock full of great story songs full of hope and the overcoming of obstacles.  Unlike his previous recordings, McDougall broke his long-time premise that if he couldn’t play it live, he wouldn’t record it.  What follows is a great disc of music where McDougall still plays almost all of the instrumentation, but recorded in a way that brings these songs to life.   Always a great lyricist, McDougall’s words are the backbone of these songs, but with this record, he allows himself the luxury of providing the musical background they deserve.  Every song on the album is worthy of your attention, especially “Shaken,” “Ten Speed,” “Cut Loose,” “Make it Right,” and “Watercolor,” which features the amazing violin work of Anna Tivel.

Recommendation:  If you like good music with a message of hope and love, then this is definitely the disc for you.  Get off your comfortable couch and Get It.

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Artist NameMichael Hornbuckle

Album NameSoul Repo

Label:  None

Genre:  Blues

Track Listing:  1.  Candle for Mary; 2.  Risin Sun; 3.  Hit me Up; 4.  Angel; 5.  Baby Rock; 6.  Back Seat Blues; 7.  Me and Melody; 8. One Night; 9.  Soul Repo; 10.  Sweat; 11.  Wishin’ Well

 Publicist:  Doug Deutsch Publicity Services

Review:  Michael Hornbuckle has a legacy in the blues world, but he does not rest on those laurels on his latest release, Soul Repo.  From the first notes of “Candle for Mary,” Hornbuckle redefines the blues with this amazing collection of songs.  Of all the artists we have recently reviewed, this is the one we would love to see perform live.  His guitar licks are what memories are made of, and his sweet voice brings the songs home.  Best tracks include “Hit me Up,” “Angel,” “Baby Rock,” “Back Seat Blues,” “Me and Melody,” and the title track, although there is not a weak song among the bunch.

Recommendation:  Hornbuckle personifies the blues.  If you only get one new album this holiday season, then this is the one you want.  Get out and Get It now!

 

Get it or forget it: Mike Jacoby, Rachel Brett, Patrick Joseph

Up early this morning to make sure I had time to write these reviews before my step son and his family arrive for an early Thanksgiving dinner.  Couldn’t pass up the opportunity to bring some more amazing indie musicians to your attention.  Grab a cup of coffee and check out our reviews of these new projects.

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Artist Name: Mike Jacoby

Album NameNortheastsouthwest

Label:  None

Genre:  Singer-songwriter Americana/roots-rock

Track Listing:  1.  Ready When you Are; 2.  Nevermind Me; 3.  Hell if I Know; 4.  Explaining to Do; 5.  Lay of the Land; 6.  Anyone’s Guess; 7.  Talk a Good Game; 8.  What’s That got to do With Me; 9.  Lie in Bed; 10.  Where she Goes; 11.  The end of the Line 

Publicist:  KG Music Press

Review:  Founder of the Los Angeles based band Haymaker, Mike Jacoby has released his second solo project with Northeastsouthwest.  The album is a true solo project, with Jacoby doing the producing, recording and writing, while Grammy-winning engineer Gavin Lurssen contributed the mastering.  The album contains 11 story songs that are well crafted with the lyrical content being the dominant force.  The album title gives homage to the fact that Jacoby was born in the northeast and current lives in the southwest.  His musical accompaniment is tight, laying the perfect foundation for his well-written words.   Jacoby doesn’t have the smoothest voice, but it totally fits with the Americana vibe coming forth from this incredible collection of songs.  Best tracks include “Nevermind me,” “Hell if I Know,” “Lay of the Land,” “Anyone’s Guess,” “What’s That got to do With Me,” and “Where she Goes.”

Recommendation:  This album is definitely for everyone who loves great songwriting, especially if you are an Americana and/or roots rock lover.  This one is another no-brainer – go and Get It.

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Artist NameRachel Brett

Album NameNot Just Another EP

Label:  None

Genre:  Pop/Country

Track Listing:  1.  Don’t Flatter Yourself; 2.  Sensible; 3.  All my Life; 4.  Second Best; 5.  Bad News 

Publicist:  None

Review:  Rachel Brett is a young actress and musician with whom I became acquainted at the Hollywood Fringe Festival.  She has been described as Taylor Swift meets Avril Lavigne, and the description is spot on.  Her music is edgy pop that would work well on Top 40 radio.  From the first notes of “Don’t Flatter Yourself,” it becomes obvious that this girl can sing and create music that needs to be heard.  In fact, she has been a voting member of NARAS since she was 16, and was recently picked as a Featured Artist by ReverbNation.  “All my Life” is her most popular song on iTunes, and she has just posted a new remix of “Second Best” on ReverbNation.  We are impressed with her maturity and her potential for a very long career, both in music and acting.

Recommendation:  We are proud to recommend this EP, as well as all the rest of her catalog.  If you like music that’s fun, witty and sung by an incredible vocalist, then rush out and Get It.  You’ll be glad you did.

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Artist NamePatrick Joseph

Album NameHindsight

Label:  Moon King Music

Genre:  Singer-songwriter Indie rock

Track Listing:  1.  Don’t you Know; 2.  Sorry; 3.  Better off Alone; 4.  Don’t Believe It; 5.  Piece of Your Love; 6.  Foot in the Door; 7.  Arsonist Blues; 8.  Untangled; 9.  Such a Long Time Ago; 10.  Setting Sun 

Publicist:   None

Review:  Patrick Joseph has had an amazing career so far for an indie artist.  He looks back on that career in his latest, Hindsight, a collection of old songs, new singles, remixes and remasters that gives the listener a taste of his awesomeness.  His voice is the perfect complement to these very radio friendly tracks, featuring songs that span his career which includes film and television placements, massive radio airplay on such tastemakers as LA’s own KCRW, and the honor of Producer of the Year at the 2015 Independent Music Awards.  Best tracks include “Don’t You Know,” “Better Off Alone,” “Piece of Your Love,” “Foot in the Door” and “Arsonist Blues.”  Check out this original version of “Don’t Believe It” which was released back in 2011.

Recommendation:  Joseph is a special breed of singer-songwriter, with powerful lyrics on top of skillfully mastered musicianship, resulting in one of the brightest “best of” albums we have ever reviewed.  You owe it to yourself to get out and Get It ASAP.

 

Get it or forget it: No One Mind, Racing Heart, Affordable Hybrid

Welcome back to another edition of Get it or Forget It.  We are so thankful for the opportunity to review indie music, and to let you know what we think of it before you give your hard earned cash away.  Take a moment from all the Thanksgiving preparation and join us as we discuss three new releases from Noisy Ghost PR’s talented client base.

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Artist NameNo One Mind

Album Name:  Self-titled

Label:  Third Uncle Records

Genre:  Indie Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Folk Wagon; 2.  Tiger; 3.  In the Valley; 4.  Revenge; 5.  I Don’t Know who you Are; 6.  Big Talking Man; 7.  Grey Days; 8.  Bad Attitude; 9.  Island of Hours 

Publicist:  Noisy Ghost PR

Review:  No One Mind (“NOM”) was created by Ellis Anderson, Noah Dehmer and Missy Thangs after their previous musical partnerships had dissolved in betrayal and acrimony.  Fused together on a musical base of traditional rock and pop, NOM brings their message from the perspective of both the accuser and the accused, creating an interesting sound along the way.  Based on the material contained in their debut album, we believe that this band still has a lot to say.   Stand out tracks include “In the Valley,” “Revenge,” “I Don’t Know who you Are,” and “Big Talking Days.”

Recommendation:  NOM has a truly unique sound within the indie community, and a message that needs to be heard.  If you like music that is outside the norm, then this is the band for you.  Take a chance on this as yet unknown band and Get It.

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Artist NameRacing Heart

Album NameWhat Comes After

Label:  Misra Records

Genre:   Experimental/Electronica

Track Listing:  1.  Flogging a Dead Horse; 2.  That Doubt Remains; 3.  Bargaining Chip; 4.  New Economy; 5.  Letters From the Compound; 6.  Sleep With my Fists Clenched; 7.  A Prayer From our Leaders; 8.  New Economy (Slight Return); 9.  Badlands; 10.  Squaring the Circle; 11.  What Comes After 

Publicist:  Noisy Ghost PR

ReviewWhat Comes After is the sophomore release for Norwegian artist Mathias H. Tjønn, who calls his solo project Racing Heart.  The album is full of political statements about many different issues, including recession, power, conflicts with no clear enemies and those caught in the crossfire.  The sound is fresh and diverse, helped in no small part by the creativity and musical genius of Jenny Hval, who contributed both lyrics and vocals.  The album is a definite departure from the type of music we usually hear, but that departure is a badge of honor as Racing Heart continues to find its voice.  Best tracks include “That Doubt Returns,” “Letters from the Compound,” “Sleep With my Fists Clenched,” “Badlands,” and “Squaring the Circle.”

Recommendation:  Racing Heart brings a lot of meat to its material, creating a diverse and fresh sound that crashes through supposed musical barriers to deliver hard hitting social commentary.  We recommend you Get it.

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Artist NameAffordable Hybrid

Album NameBat/Roky

Label:  Flannel Gurl Records

Genre:  Post-punk

Track Listing:  1.  Bat; 2.  Roky

 Publicist:  Noisy Ghost PR

Review:  Affordable Hybrid is a four-piece post-punk band from Sweden which has not released any music since 2009.  On their latest two-song 7″ vinyl EP, they reintroduce themselves with a frenzied sound that immediately draws the listener in and puts a spell on their ears and mind.  Both songs are best listened to loudly, and offer hope that this band is back on the scene.  Welcome back to Lars Ludvig Löfgren, Samuel Järpvik, György Barocsai and Mikael Björklund.  The music world and music lovers everywhere have missed you.

Recommendation:  Definitely Get It.  The energy alone is worth the price.

 

Get it or forget it: Sharif, Steven Graves, The King Brothers

We’re back with another edition of Get it or Forget it, focusing on Americana and blues today.  Check out these three amazing artists and keep the indie music spirit alive.

sharif

Artist NameSharif

Album NameTangled Dreams and Empty Bottles

Label:  None

Genre:  Americana/Medicana

Track Listing:  1.  Hold On; 2.  When She’s Drunk; 3.  Last Night’s Lanterns; 4.  Burn in the Breeze; 5.  One Fine Day; 6.  Fatal Love; 7.  Waiting on a Whisper; 8.  Lay Your Arms Down; 9.  When He’s Drunk 

Publicist:  Judi Kerr

Review:  Sharif has been creating amazing music for several years.  He recently completed his Masters at Berklee in Spain, focusing on melding the sounds of Middle Eastern music with Americana, creating a new genre which he calls Medicana.  He has incorporated several uniquely Middle Eastern instruments, including bouzouki, sitar, oud and glissentar into the soundtrack of this album.  He also has added the sounds of several gifted musicians to the mix, including Daniel Clark (Ryan Adams), Josh Grange (Sheryl Crow, Dwight Yoakum) and John O’Reilly Jr. (Beck), which further elevates this CD among most other indie music.

From the first notes of “Hold On,” it becomes quickly obvious that this new music will be quite special.  Add to that the smoky smooth vocals and the listener soon learns how great indie music can be.  Best tracks include “Hold On,” “When She’s Drunk”, “Fatal Love” “Lay Your Arms Down,” and his amazing cover of Carole King’s “One Fine Day,”  although every song is worthy of attention.

Recommendation:  We have reviewed quite a few albums from Sharif, and this one just happens to be his best.  We highly recommend you immediately Get It and add it to your collection.  We think you’ll listen to it over and over again.

steven-graves

Artist NameSteven Graves

Album NameCaptain Soul

Label:  None

Genre:  Americana/Roots

Track Listing:  1.  Light Turns to Day; 2.  Man From a Different Planet; 3.  Walk With Me; 4.  Somewhere, Somehow; 5.  Take you for a Ride; 6.  Fly Like the Dove; 7.  Forever Wild; 8.  Called her an Angel; 9.  No one Left to Blame; 10.  Heaven in Your Hands; 11.  Another Day 

Publicist:  KB Music Press

Review:  Steven Graves has been recording music for quite some time, and Captain Soul is his seventh studio album.  Raised on country music, Graves naturally gravitates to that genre, with a healthy helping of Americana, roots, gospel and classic rock thrown in for good measure.   This message-infused music provides an ample supply of food for thought, making Graves the Arlo Guthrie of his time.  Best tracks include “Somewhere, Somehow,” “Take you for a Ride,” “Fly Like the Dove,” “Forever Wild,” and “Another Day.”

Recommendation:  Steven Graves is truly a voice for his generation.  His meaty tunes combined with an excellent soundtrack make Captain Soul a definite Get It.

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Artist NameThe King Brothers

Album NameGet up and Shake It

Label:  Club Savoy Records

Genre:  Blues

Track Listing:  1.  Rock me Baby; 2.  Just Driving Around; 3.  Hound Dog; 4.  Hootchie Cootchie Man; 5.  Just the way I Like It; 6.  Blind Snake; 7.  Close to You; 8.  Get up and Shake It; 9.  Bigg Legged Woman; 10.  Tore Down 

Publicist:  Club Savoy Entertainment Group

Review:  Talk about blues history.  The King Brothers, second cousins to the legendary Freddie King, have also shared the stage with the king of blues himself, BB King and their adopted “uncle,” Albert King.  They have been playing together for more than 60 years, and every song on their latest Get up and Shake It is proof of their amazing talent.  With a combination of original instrumentals and outstanding covers of such classic blues songs as “Hoochie Coochie Man,” “Tore Down,” and “Blind Snake,” the King Brothers will have you singing the blues in no time at all.  This disk is delightful from start to finish, and hard to believe it’s only their third album.  Definitely check out their tribute to Freddie King on the Leon Russell penned tune, “Big Legged Woman.”

Recommendation:  If you are moved by the blues, then this is a must have for your collection.  By all means, get out and Get It.