Tag Archives: indie music

Monday Mashup 2017: Vol 5

Wow – five weeks into 2017, and indie artists are really making noise.  Milck, an artist we introduced you to back on September 21, 2015, is truly blowing up!!!  In the past seven days, her official music video for “Quiet” has gone from just over 142,000 views to more than 400,000.  She has been featured in Billboard, Allure, ET Online, Twitter and Facebook, and made several appearances on national TV, including her appearance on Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.  The YouTube video of that appearance has already drawn more than 75,000 views in less than three days.  We are so proud of you Connie Lim aka Milck.  Thank you for having the courage to bring your message of hope in a time of increased insanity.  We are proud to support you!!!  We are also proud of her PR effort, spearheaded by the Big Kahuna herself – Go Laura and Red Boot PR as you champion another worthy indie cause!!!!

KEATON SIMONS JOINS WITH BACKBONE POSSE

LA Music Critic Icon Keaton Simons has been busy, but not in the typical way.  Always a firm believer in collaboration, Simons has lent his talents to the Backbone Posse on their new music video for “Supawaz Gaz,” which also features the talents of Slimkid3 and Adam Vadel.  Please be warned this video is NSFW or young kids.  Enjoy.

GRAMMY NOMINEE PERFORMS AT THE TROUBADOUR

Indie artist Janiva Magness, nominated for Best Blues Album for Love Wins Again, is having a birthday today.  She recently performed before a packed house at the world famous Troubadour in Los Angeles, and posted several videos of her live performance.  Please enjoy this one and make sure to send her best wishes.

NEW MUSIC VIDEO

We are proud to spotlight this incredible new indie video.  Watch for us to review her new release soon.  Please give it up for Emily Zuzik from Los Angeles with the amazing release of “Alone,” which has garnered more than 25,000 views in the past four days.  We think this one is a definite keeper!!!

We look forward to chatting with you again next month.  Have a great week!

Monday mashup 2017, vol 4

OMG what a weekend.  Were you as impressed with the million woman march as I was?  So many indie artists participated in the marches across the globe, but none of them had the impact of one young woman from Los Angeles.  Connie Lim, aka MilCk, has written an anthem that has become the voice of the Women’s March.  Her music video, which was released just one week ago, already has almost 142,000 views.  Check it out and see why this song has struck such a chord with people across the globe.  #ICANTKEEPQUIET.

NAMM ONCE AGAIN A SUCCESS

If you’re like me, then your Facebook was blowing up all weekend.  So many friends performing at NAMM, running into old friends at NAMM, running into new friends at NAMM, and witnessing those wonderful NAMM moments.  My long-time friend Tim Moyer, who helps schedule, host and maintain the nightly musical entertainment at the Marriott and Hilton Hotels during NAMM posted a video by a friend that captured one of those moments.  Check it out. Thanks to Marcy Kraft for the video.  Thanks to Rolling Stone for spreading the word.

THE SHOW PONIES CELEBRATE THEIR NEW CD

Tonight’s the night when The Show Ponies and special guest Freddy & Francine celebrate the release of the new album by the Ponies, How it All Goes Down.   Tonight’s show is at the world-famous Troubadour in West Hollywood.  If you are in LA, we highly advise you to get down there and enjoy the show.  Here’s the link for tickets.

SHANNON HURLEY ANNOUNCES NEW KICKSTARTER

Los Angeles Indie Music Queen Shannon Hurley announced this week that she has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund her fifth studio album.  She celebrated the moment by releasing a video of an acoustic version of her song “Number One,” which will be the first single released.  Check out the video and support indie music by contributing to the campaign.

Have a great week and we’ll catch you next Monday.  If you have anything coming up that you want to promote, please let us know.

 

 

Best Indie Albums of 2016 (an unbiased opinion)

Happy new year.  While you’re all chomping at the bit to find out who won the LA Music Critic Awards for the second half of 2016, we thought we would give you our take on the best indie albums of 2016.  The list is in alphabetical order, as we could not rank them otherwise.  Each of these albums has been reviewed by Indie Voice Blog (except for one), so we are providing the link so you can check out the full review.  Here we go . . .

Camile Bloom – Pieces of Me

We have been fans of Bloom for many years, and her latest masterpiece is also one of her best ever.  You cannot go wrong in adding this one to your musical collection.

Chely Wright – I am the Rain

This is the one album we have not previously reviewed.  Wright was a huge country star 20 years ago when she was signed to MCA Nashville.  I discovered her talent in the late 90’s when she and another “unknown,” Kenny Chesney, opened a show for Confederate Railroad at the Date Festival in Indio, California.  Since MCA stupidly dropped her, Wright has continued making music, as well as being the first country artist to come out.  We were privileged to have been a supporter of her crowd-funding campaign for this album, which is one of her most intimate and profound projects to date.  Needless to say that most people will be deeply touched by the music on this album, and we highly recommend it to all our readers.

The Congress – The Game

Thanks to our friendship with the Big Kahuna, Laura Goldfarb, of Red Boot PR, we discovered this gem in September.  It has all the right elements to propel this band into the spotlight.  Grab it while you can.

Daddy Issues – Handle It

This band took us by storm after Jennifer Allison introduced them to us.  They are gorgeous and even more talented, and are taking the rock world by the sheer force of their music.  This is a band that will only get better as they mature.  Check them out now – you won’t be sorry.

Earwig –  Pause for the Jets

We must admit, what first caught our attention about this band was their collaboration with Lydia Loveless on “Wasted on You.”  However, once we had a chance to hear their CD, we were equally impressed by them.  We think you’ll be hearing about them for years to come.  Thanks to Michelle King for introducing them to us.

Janey Street – My Side of Paradise

Janey Street has been writing great songs for as long as Janice Ian, but has remained relatively obscure, until now.  Her latest on Blue Élan Records is amazing, and truly deserving of recognition and industry attention.  Definitely add this one to your collection.

Sharif – Tangled Dreams and Empty Bottles

Sharif is another artist we have followed for years while we were in Los Angeles.  He has since returned to college for his Masters degree in music.  While there he discovered Middle Eastern music, and incorporated it into his style as part of his thesis.  The resulting album is by far one of his best.  Check it out and we think you’ll agree.

Sonia Rao – Meet Them at the Door

Another artist who reached out to her fans for crowd-funding help, Sonia Rao is just becoming known outside of the indie music scene.  Her recent tour in support of this album was a rousing success.  Take a listen to these tunes and we think you’ll understand why.

The Spider Accomplice – Los Angeles:  The Abduction

We have followed the work of VK Lynne, lead singer for The Spider Accomplice through her journey from singer-songwriter, country, pop, rock, and metal to her rightful place as the voice of indie music.  This EP is the second in their Los Angeles trilogy, and solidifies their place as one of the premiere indie rock bands in the world.

Spiritual Rez – Setting in the West

We at Indie Voice Blog have always been fans of reggae music, and no one did it better in 2016 than Spiritual Rez.  Not only are their tunes impossible to sit still through, they have also incorporated and featured other amazing artists into their groove, including Daddy B of Dirty Heads, HIRIE and Billy Kottage of Reel Big Fish.  In addition, their music videos are ‘off the hook’ wicked.  Thanks again to Laura Goldfarb for introducing them to us.

Looking forward to revealing the LA Music Critic Award winners on January 17.

Monday Mash-up 2017, Vol. 1

Happy new year – so glad you made it through 2016.  Here’s hoping that 2017 will be your best year yet.  If you believe in the power of indie music, it should be a great one 🙂

LA Music Critic Awards

The nominations for the second half of 2016 for the LA Music Critic Awards were announced last week.  Already almost 300 people have voted on their Fan Favorite or suggested nominees for the Icon Award.  There’s still time to vote.  Simply click here to review the nominations, go to the bottom of the article and add a comment about your favorite artist.  The winners will be announced on January 17.

K-Syran to perform first American show

European dance-pop artist K-Syran will perform her first show in the United States this year.  The event is scheduled for Monday, January 9 at the world-famous Los Angeles venue, The Mint.  The show is one of the monthly events for local promoter Hunnypot.  K-Syran will perform at 8:45pm.   The Mint is located at 6010 West Pico Boulevard.

2016 Best Of Lists

You’ve probably seen them everywhere by now, this penchance for always making a “Best of” list for every category every year.  What’s been nice about this year’s music “Best of” lists is how many indie artists are being included among their mainstream peers.  It’s a good sign that indie music is finally making it on to the radar of the general public.  Congratulations to all the indie artists that have made these lists, including The Spider Accomplice, Jerad Finck and Janiva Magness, who by the way is up for a GRAMMY.  Keep spreading the message of indie music until we conquer the world!

Have a wonderful day and we’ll be back soon with more reviews and news.

Nominations for LA Music Critic Awards for the second half of 2016 announced

Wow – what a year 2016 has been for indie music.  So much great music has come out that it has been a painstakingly hard effort to sort through it all and bring you our nominees for the LA Music Critic Awards for the second half of 2016.

Remember – you the fans get to nominate your favorite artists for the Fan Favorite award, and your comments and feedback are considered by our panel when we decide who will be the winners.  So comment below, share this article with your friends, and let’s break 1000 comments.

You can also help us by nominating people who have either had a long indie career or have helped indie artists by nominating them for the Icon Award.

We look forward to your thoughts on our nominations, but above all, remember to support indie music.  It is the best music around.  Without further ado, here are the nominations for the second half of 2016:

Best EP Female: Katie Costello (From the Vault), Amie Miriello (Seeya When I Seeya), Gina Sicilia (Sunset Avenue)

Best EP Male:  McDougall (Reaching for Some Light), Year of Suns (Songs for Silence)

Best EP Band:  Stereo Off (EP III), The Spider Accomplice (LA:  The Abduction), JERK (Jerk)

Best CD Female:  Camille Bloom (Pieces of Me), Lauren Adams (Somewhere Else), Sonia Rao (Meet Them at the Door), Janey Street (Janey Street), Cindy Alexander (Deep Waters), Kari Kimmel (Poppyfields)

Best CD Male:  Sharif (Tangled Dreams and Empty Bottles), Bobbo Byrnes (Motel Americana), Patrick Joseph (Hindsight), Josh Farrow (Trouble Walks With Me), Michael Hornbuckle (Soul Repo)

Best CD Band: Streets of Laredo (Wild), Spiritual Rez (Setting in the West), The Congress (The Game), Spelling Reform (No One’s Ever Changed), Daddy Issues (Handle It)

Best Christmas Single:  Shannon Hurley ft. Brandon Schott (“Fairytale of New York”), Cindy Alexander (“Christmas Song”), Katie Garibaldi (“Tomorrow is Christmas Morning”), Frank Shiner (“Please Come Home for Christmas”), Kaylee Keller (“Christmas in Your Arms”)

Best Video (Holiday):  Katie Garibaldi (“Tomorrow is Christmas Morning”), Redhead Express (“Away in a Manger”),  Frank Shiner (“Please Come Home for Christmas”)

Best Video (cover):  No Small Children (“Ghostbusters”), Redhead Express (“Chocolate on my Tongue”), Redhead Express (“Clean”)

Best Video (live):  Patrick Joseph (“Piece of Your Love”), India Carney (“You”), Mitch Hayes (“All Fall Down”), The Congress (“Oh Babe”)

Best Video (lyric):  Jess Penner (“Together”), War and Pierce (“On and On”), Mikey Wax (“Helium”)

Best Video (official) Female:   Lucy Woodward (“Live Live Live”), Alexis Keegan (“Empty Heart”), Camille Bloom (“Pieces of Me”), Caitlin Eadie (“Don’t Want to Be”), Alyssa Jacey (“I Want it to Rain”), Shannon Hurley (“Heartbeat on the Radio”), Katie Garibaldi (“Delightful”)

Best Video (official) Male:   Jon Mullane (“Born Beautiful”), Dan Franklin (“Live to Dream Again”), Brian Travis (“Shipwreck”)

Best Video (official) Band:   The Spider Accomplice (“You Still Lie”), The Show Ponies (“The Time it Takes”), Spiritual Rez ft. Hirie (“Together Always”), The Congress (“Home Again”), Roots of Creation (“Struggle”), Sleep Machine (“Animal High”)

Best Video (Collaboration):  Earwig and Lydia Loveless (“Wasted on You”)

Best Rock Band:  The Spider Accomplice, Daddy Issues, Pollen Rx, Sleep Machine

Best Pop Band:  Lovers and Poets, Foxtraxx, The Congress, Ray and Remora, No Nets

Best Country/Americana Band:  Elouise Deep Water, The Show Ponies, Riddle and the Stars, Honey County

Best Pop/Rock Male Artist: Patrick Joseph, Year of Suns, McDougall, Mikey Wax

Best Pop/Rock Female Artist:  Jess Penner, Katie Costello, Cindy Alexander, Janey Street, Camille Bloom

Best Blues Artist:  Peach & the Almost Blues Band, The King Brothers, Papermoon Gypsys, Michael Hornbuckle

Best Country/Americana Artist:  Alice Wallace, Lauren Adams, Brian Travis, Katie Garibaldi, Mitch Hayes

Best Jazz Artist:  Lucy Woodward, Nancy Sanchez

Best Reggae Band:  Roots of Creation, Spiritual Rez

Rising Star:  Juliana Wilson, Meresha, Kaylee Keller, Rachel Brett

Fan Favorite:  (To be nominated by  the fans)

Icon Award:  (To be announced)

 

 

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: 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!

ff-alio

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.

 

Monday Mashup: what’s happening in the indie world?

Welcome to our third installment of Monday Mashup.  The year is drawing to a close and indie musicians are as busy as ever.  The LA Music Critic Awards are on the horizon and this one appears to be one of the strongest ones we’ve seen in recent memory.  If you have released an album, EP, single or video since July 1, or plan to release one before December 31, please contact us so we can consider it for one of the awards.  In addition, we will have some great news to share in January regarding the Awards.  You don’t want to miss that announcement, so make sure you’re subscribed to our blog.

Jerad Finck wins grand prize in US Songwriting Competition

We reported last Monday that Jerad Finck had won the Best Pop Song in the annual US Songwriting Competition for his title track to his latest album, Criminal.  We have since learned that he also won the overall Grand Prize for the best song of 2016.  We are so proud to have introduced you to this amazing artist, and look forward to seeing what comes next.  Finck is a client of Ue3 Promotions.  Congratulations to you both.

Teen sensation Meresha releases new single “Together”

Meresha has released a new single.  According to Meresha, “In today’s world, we can’t let ourselves be divided because of our skin color, national background, religious practice, sexual preference or other beliefs.”  We wholeheartedly agree.  We think this song is great in many ways, and should be a part of your daily dose of healthy music.  Meresha is another client of Ue3 Promotions.  Download her song on iTunes or Google Play.

LA Music Critic Award winner Rod Melancon scheduled to play Hotel Café

Americana artist Rod Melancon, a two-time LA Music Critic Award winner will be playing a special show at the world famous Hotel Café in Los Angeles on Saturday, December 10.  He will be performing at 11 p.m. after the set by The Vegabonds.  Melancon is signed to Blue Élan Records and is a proud client of MAD Ink PR.  We only wish we could be in LA next weekend for this show.

Blue Élan Records releases A Blue Élan Christmas

LA Music Critic Award winner Cindy Alexander is among the artists with singles on the new Christmas release from her label, Blue Élan Records.  Check out her cover of the Dave Matthews Band’s “Christmas Song” below:

Video Releases

Red Boot PR client Lucy Woodward has released a video for her hit single “Live Live Live.”  We think you’ll agree this is an amazing song and an even more amazing video.  Check her out.

Multi LA Music Critic Awards winning trio The Spider Accomplice has released the latest in their video series supporting their album Los Angeles:  The Abduction.  Check out their video for “You Still Lie.”  We think you will see why this blog and LA Music Critic are so in love with these indie rockers.

 

That’s it for this week.  Please let us know if you have any news you want us to share.  Until next Monday . . .

 

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.