Hope your first week of 2018 was a success. We have now arrived at the final reviews for all submissions for the LA Music Critic Awards for the second half of 2017. Here are the final four. Watch for the return of Monday Mashup tomorrow, and our Best of 2017 lists later this week. Have a great day!
Artist Name: LeRiche
Album Name: X-Dreamer
Label: Big Story Entertainment
Genre: Indie Pop
Track Listing: 1. Nomadic Heart; 2. River Runs; 3. Under Covers; 4. Come Around; 5. Dreamers; 6. Roam; 7. Briefcase Full of Booze
Publicist: Auteur Research
Review: LeRiche has such a dreamy voice that it makes his songs float on air. His accompaniment is first rate, with a great singer-songwriter style. From the first note of “Nomadic Heart,” we were hooked. His music fits in with Andy Grammar, Jason Mraz, Ernie Halter, Tony Lucca and similar artists, and would be perfect for pop radio, as well as for placement for a myriad of television, film or commercial use. This is his debut EP, and we are totally jazzed with his potential. Our favorite tracks are “Nomadic Heart,” “Come Around,” “Dreamers,” and “Roam.”
Recommendation: Definitely give the new kid a go – Get his debut EP now!
Artist Name: The Raft
Album Name: Orion
Track Listing: 1. Blue and Blue; 2. Orion; 3. Into You; 4. My Elusive Friend
Review: Phil Wilson aka The Raft has released a trio of EPs in 2017, and we think he saved the best until last. We reviewed his previous efforts in July and September, and consider ourselves privileged to get to do it again with his third EP, Orion. The songs are so upbeat and happy they bring a smile to our faces, especially the title cut. We truly believe that the sky is the limit for this amazing and talented indie artist. All four songs are wonderfully written and performed, making The Raft one of our favorite discoveries of 2017. You can’t go wrong with this one. Check out the amazing vocals of Claire O’Neill on “Into You” – they will definitely change your perspective of indie artists.
Recommendation: The Raft should become one of your favorite indie performers and a household name for indie perfection. Get all of his EPs ASAP, especially this one.
Artist Name: Vinnie Paolizzi
Album Name: Kids
Track Listing: 1. Ugly Drunk and Scared to Death; 2. Over the Limit; 3. Scarlet Sky; 4. Kids
Review: Vinnie Paolizzi has been making a name for himself in his hometown of Philadelphia and his adopted home of Nashville. He is garnering lots of local radio airplay in Philadelphia and being compared to such diverse artists as Jackson Browne, Jason Isbell and Ryan Adams. Upon listening to his latest EP Kids, we can easily understand why he is being met with such critical acclaim. All four songs are great and worthy of more expanded radio airplay, especially “Ugly Drunk and Scared to Death, “Scarlet Sky” and the title track, which has “HIT” written all over it. We look forward to the release of his follow-up EP Grown Ups. This one is a keeper.
Recommendation: Get it now – you’ll thank us later.
Artist Name: Tall Men Group (TMG)
Album Name: Feast
Label: Tall Records
Track Listing: 1. Hey Loner; 2. Unloved; 3. Grandma; 4. When we were Bad; 5. Time Stands Still; 6. Storm; 7. The Night I met George Jones; 8. Eggshells and Tears; 9. California Soul Man; 10. L’Amour; 11. Surf the Mississippi; 12. Baby Sleep
Review: What started as a request from acclaimed Los Angeles indie musician Jimmy Yessian to five of his friends to get together monthly for food and music has developed into one of the premier indie bands on the Folk Alliance circuit. Composed of Marty Axelrod, Severin Browne, Jeff Kossack, John Stowers, Ed Tree, and Yessian, this “supergroup” has just released their third album, and it is a work of pure genius. Every member contributed two tracks, and the combination of their musical, writing and singing skills make TMG the “Travelling Wilburys” of the indie world. With traces of country, Americana and classic rock, the musical sound of TMG is second to none. Lead vocals are shared, with the writer becoming the dominant voice. Each of them have their own vocal style, but Yessian’s vocals remind us of a cross between Gordon Lightfoot and Jim Croce, and highlight “Unloved.” Other tracks we really love include “When we were Bad,” “Storm,” “The Night I met George Jones,” “California Soul Man,” “Surf the Mississippi,” and “Baby Sleep.”
Recommendation: If you love just good ole music, then this one is a must have – we highly recommend you rush out and Get this musical feast.