Silk Cinema “Spell” | Album Review

The Electronic Pop duo across the pond, Silk Cinema, are coming out with new material after a busy year.

Their new song, “Space Age Love Song” is set to release on March 1st, 2019. The song is a dream pop cover of the 80’s hit by Flock of Seagulls.

Silk Cinema has always been the type of group to put on for a mellow mood. Their electronic, dream pop vibe is perfect for setting a relaxing mood.

The album, “Spells”, which is set to release March 15th contains new music as well as music from their previous releases. The album starts off with an etherial melody that is fitting for the title of the song, “Spell.”

As the album progresses you continue to hear the signature sound of Silk Cinema, as well as song soulful elements coming out; “I Know What Love Is” and “Limitless” are examples of this new twist.

If I had to give my opinion on songs to listen to off this album, I would highly recommend “Golden” and “Painted Lady” because they are the ones that stood out to me the most.

Make sure to watch out for their release on their social media accounts listed below and if you like it, tell them I sent you.

Silk Cinema


Music Podcasts and Why You Should Be Listening to Them

It goes without question that Podcasts have risen in popularity over the past year or so. Being a fan of comedy Podcasts, myself I never thought that listening to a music or entertainment industry related podcasts would be worth my time.

That mindset all changed after I was introduced to Music Business Hacks. After listening to a few episodes I realized that the information that was talked about is information that is critical for aspiring musicians.

In the podcast they talk about first hand experiences in the industry; the stuff they don’t teach you in school. Coming from a person with a degree in the business, I can attest to that! Tips and tricks and special facts that are helpful with getting to where you need to be in the cut throat world of the music industry.

This discovery led me to other industry podcasts such as Hey How’d You Get That Music Job, or Creative Juice. All different and unique, all touching on different aspects of the industry, but all very useful.

If you want to get anywhere in the industry, you need to do your research and you need to do your homework. It’s great if you got a piece of paper that says, “yes, you studied and learned the basics of the industry” but it does you no good if you don’t continue to learn beyond the textbooks.

Any profession that you enter there is always an opportunity to learn and grow, and there are always superiors who pass down advice and words of wisdom to the rookies. Take in everything that is given to you with the world of technology, and utilize it. And the best thing is, podcasts are free!

Some music Podcasts that I suggest you take a listen to are:

Hey! How’d You Get That Music Job

Tiny Desk Concerts

Music Business Hacks

Loud Feedback

Sound and Vision

Our Debut Album

Creative Juice

So, while you are cleaning your place, driving in your car, walking around the block or at the gym; throw on one of these podcasts and listen to what these people have to say. Trust me, you will take more away from them then what you would from a textbook.

“Recovery” | Sam McCullough Album Review

A few months back I had interviewed a local Milwaukee artist about his self expression thru music. In that interview Sam McCullough mentioned his plans to release his first full length album by the end of the year.

With an initial release date for December 26, some small mishaps occurred and the release date was pushed back until after the new year. Now his debut full length is live on Spotify streaming and its one that is unique and different from your typical debut albums.

McCullough had mentioned that since it is just him and a guitar when he performs, his previously recorded songs did not sound like how they did during his live shows. With that idea in mind, he decided to make this album, Recovery, reflects just that.

The entire album was recorded live, just him and a guitar. The album reflects just what you would hear when you would go see him perform live, giving the album a more person and intimate vibe.

Some of his previous releases such as Spotlight and Chasing Shadows are featured in this new style for the album.

You can listen to Recovery on Spotify and follow Sam on his social media to keep up to date with his music and upcoming shows.

Sam McCullough Interview

If you are in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area and you haven’t heard about Sam McCullough yet, nows your chance!

Sam is an up and coming rock musician from Milwaukee who is getting his feet wet in the industry and looking to keep rock music alive.

I met up with Sam to chat music and where he plans on taking his music in the future.

Tell me a little bit about how you got started with music?
Linkin Park. My friend got me into the Hybrid Theory album awhile ago. But we always had music playing around in the car like Fleetwood Mac. They wanted me to play piano, but I didn’t have the attention span for it, so I picked up guitar.

Who would you say your musical influences are?
Linkin Park for sure caught my attention. I got into heavy music right away after that. I like a lot of the Ramones and, more current, As I Lay Dying…like heavy stuff. Oasis is also a really big one for me.

Since you’re influenced by heavier stuff, who would you say your favorite artists are?
Bring Me The Horizon, Architects, As I Lay Dying, Rise Against. Those would be my tops.

I’ve listened to the three songs you’ve released so far and “Fool” is my favorite. What is it about?
I was writing a lot of music at the time for the band I was in and I really just wanted that Rock and Roll vibe. I was watching a lot of the news and I was just going through a lot of stuff and I just started writing and out came the song. I didn’t have an intention with what the song is about, its just about everyone goes through a lot of stuff and just to embrace life.

Is that how the writing for the rest of your songs went? Just writing off life experiences?
Pretty much yeah. “Spotlight” is about living in the Middle East and just about being so far way from home and not wanting to be anywhere. But also about embracing the moment and just the feeling of “I’m gonna be alright” type of vibe.

Like the songs get kind of dark, but there’s always a positive message in the end that we can all learn from.

“Chasing Shadows” is about a girl. I released it after a breakup and it was actually about a different girl. But it turned out to work for both. It was just really about excepting that it sucks, but you’re better off for it.

You’re currently writing songs, are you planning on releasing an EP?
I wanted to get those three songs out in a short amount of time but close together. But I took a break because I moved out to Maryland. Since coming home I’ve got all this new stuff and I want to keep it all together and do a longer and bigger EP or like an 8 track type of thing. I want to do that by spring or summer.

Do you do everything yourself? Or do you have friends that help with the whole process?
I have the most DIY set up. I do everything myself and it just goes to show that you can make something out of something little. Money has never been something for me to just spend on a studio session. So I’ve just taught myself with everything, although I did have some people help me with “Chasing Shadows.”

As far as playing shows, are you reaching out to places?
I hit it really hard after I came back from Maryland. I did a few shows and just worked a lot with writing. I needed to get out everything that happened over the last year down. But I also just needed to practice these songs that I have and just work on them because it is just me. I want to have a band involved because the songs are fit for a full band.

Let’s throw in a few fun questions, if you were to have a mixtape that would explain your life, what songs would be on it?
I’d have to start off with a song by the Ramones, “Bonzo Goes to Bitburg” because that was my favorite song in School of Rock. Then probably “Don’t Stay” by Linkin Park and probably all of Hybrid Theory. Bring Me the Horizon, “Sleepwalking” that was my jam since it was released. And definitely Oasis, “Live Forever” that song makes me cry.

Thats tough, thats a tough questions but those are ones that stick out to me for sure.

If you had the opportunity to build the perfect festival line up, who would be on the bill?
Liam Gallagher for sure because Oasis is broken up. Bring Me the Horizon on a separate night, Architects, As I Lay Dying if they are back together. The Misfits with Michael Graves, Rise Against and a lot of British bands. The Stone Roses, Courteeners, The Libertines. And then we’d just find people to play the morning.


Sam is currently working on more material to release with an anticipation date of Spring/Summer 2019.

Meanwhile Sam is set to play his next show on Wendesday, November 21st at the Three Lions Pub in Milwaukee.

Make sure you check out his music and if you’re in the Milwaukee area and need something to do before the Thanksgiving comas take over, hit up his show.

Sam’s Links:

Lucinda Belle

Lucinda Belle is a musician who is putting a jazz twist on modern music. Here is what she has to say about her music.

I think your style of music is fresh and new, what made you take this path with incorporating the harp into your music?
I started out playing the harp as a young child, but classically. In my early 20’s I discovered how to play Jazz on the harp in Nashville, of all places, right! Jazz…. I said.. not country…. well that was a game changer for me. It was at that point I realized I could start to incorporate the harp into my music, but it’s felt like an uphill battle at times, trying not to be categorized as something I’m not simply because my instrument is a harp. I bring rock ’n’ roll timeless and glamorous rebellion to what I do.. perhaps I fit in, perhaps I don’t… don’t care! I just do what comes naturally to me.

Who would you say are your biggest inspirations for the style you play?
This album is heavily influenced by the great American Songbook era, 50’s inspired vibes paying homage to the greats like Louis Prima and Billie Holliday but it also cites my earlier influences in reggae and hip hop, I made subtle changes in post production the beats ensuring we maintained the authentic 8 track recording we made, but adding more weight to the groove. I want people to get into the groove even though it may not be EDM but the groove just makes you wanna nod along in time!  My harp playing is inspired by none other the great Harpo Marx and Dorothy Ashby and the slightly more etherial darker songs on the album are influenced by my earlier EP ‘UrbanLullabies’ which is where I discovered the beauty of combing the harp with dark surf guitar.

Your Urban Lullabies EP is an unique take on the songs featured, what was the creative process like for that EP?
I was on a roll when I made this. I simply love adapting songs and truly casting my own unique impression on them. Simply doing a cover sometimes is great but it’s more challenging to completely re invent a song. My first album ‘ My Voice and 45 Strings’ was a fusion of country bluegrass and jazz and I felt the harp got lost in that record, so I wanted to deliver something totally unique that gave the harp a platform to truly shine. Obviously the harp lends itself to relaxing music and so I came up with the idea of Urban Lullabies. turning rap into lullaby with TI’s Slideshow and turning rock into romance with Nirvana’s ’Smells like Teen Spirit’.

Your next release, Think Big: Like Me, what can we expect from that? Release date set yet?
I’m very amped up for this release and it’s actually coming out in early December (exact date TBD). My second single is due for release October 28th along with the video. It’s called “I’ll be Loving you” and it’s the first song I wrote on the album. I literally had just been dumped by my boyfriend and I wrote it with my collaborator Simon Harris, taking breaks to cry and laugh at the same time.  I’m totally excited about this album, I feel proud of the body of work and in that sense it’s a true album, a body of songs that tell a story and compliment each other, reflecting on a period of my life.


Here’s where you can find Lucinda


Alessa Ray Interview

Alessa Ray is an up and coming pop singer who is bringing her own Latin flare to the industry. Alessa took some time out to answer some questions about her upcoming singles, EP and shows.

Tell me about your song Mamacita? What is the inspiration behind it?
The song Mamacita was inspired by real life experiences. I decided to add a little bit of latin flavor mixing Spanish and English to show my South American roots.

Can we be expecting an EP or album from you in the future?
I will be releasing a new EP later this year or in early 2019. I’m so excited to show my audience who I am as an artist and songwriter. A few years ago I actually released a 6 song EP but since then my style has changed. This time around I am adding more latin influences and styles of music that will get people dancing. I want my audience to have fun like I do!

I see more latin inspired music moving its way into the mainstream radios, do you think its important for more latin artists to try and get their music in this market?
I believe that Latin artists can go in both directions if they want, and the overall market for Latin music is huge as well in both North and South America. If you have the chance to go in both directions I believe that it’s a great bet.

What is next for you and your music? New singles? New shows
Yes. My new single “Game Over” will release this Friday (9/21) and I will be performing at Bar 20, doing an acoustic show in Los Angeles on September 26th. After that I plan on releasing singles from the new EP every few months on top of new shows being announced shortly.


Be sure to check out Alessa Ray’s music and follow her on her social media site linked below.

“Mamacita” Music Video

Lydia Ford Interview

Lydia Ford is a singer/songwriter that is making new waves in the electronic pop scene with a new sound and approach to writing.

I had a chat with Lydia to discuss this change and what is to come next from it.

Tell me a little about your song Bittersweet.
Bittersweet is a pop song that has elements of The Weekend and Disclosure, as I’d like to say, and its a bit of a new direction for me. I used to do singer/songwriter type stuff and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

The song is about a date that I had where I had fun but it was all over a little too soon. The song starts off a little sexy and coy and then ends quickly with rejection and its a little bittersweet.

What made the change from singer/songwriter to this new pop direction?
That was actually to do with the producers that I work with, Steam Phunk. I worked with them on a few feature songs on SoundCloud, and I loved it! I liked how things sounded more perfectly polished and I decided that I wanted to swing that way with my own music. But this is the first track that went under my name.

Do you think you will be continuing to work with Steam Phunk on more songs?
Yea I think that is the plan at the moment. I still write with guitar but then I send the demo track over and they just make it nice and polished.

Any plans for an EP?
I think it will just be singles for now. I put out an EP last summer which was more of the singer/songwriter style. But it seems that singles are more of the way to go right now in the industry, so I think I will stick with that for awhile. And maybe once I work up enough material I can release an EP or maybe even an album one day.

Do you tend to lean towards a concept when writing or is it whatever comes to you?
I think it unintentionally turns out to be around a theme. But its not like I think this is the concept that I’m working on. I like to have an overall sonic identity where when you hear it you’re like “that’s a Lydia Ford song.”

Who are some of your biggest inspirations?
I first started playing guitar and writing music because of Avril Lavigne. But more modern, I really love Sigrid, Dua Lipa, and in Ireland (which is where I’m from) there are a few up and coming artists that I’m really looking forward to seeing what they do.

Any plans for upcoming shows?
Its a little up in the air right now because I want to work out my electronic set. I actually wanna play it instead of sing to a back up track, so I got to work out how to play it and make it an actual show. I had a few opportunities come up but I’ve turned them down because I want to be an actual performer.


Make sure to check out Lydia’s song ‘Bittersweet’ and all her social media sites to stay up to date on her music.



Nick Arneson Interview

Portland based musician and producer, Nick Arneson, is an indie rock artist who recently released his new album, MidLifeCrisis on August 17, 2018.

Arneson’s raw emotions come out to play a major role in this new album, and I had the pleasure to chat with him about the meanings of the songs.

Tell me a little about the album, is there an overall message being told?
The overall theme is kind of in the title. I joke with my friends that I am going through a midlife crisis. This is almost like my sports car or model girlfriend. The message is about all the shit you have to take care of when you get to be my age (39).

But there is also another layer, if you spend some time with the album the bigger meaning is societal. As a country, we are kind of going through a midlife crisis as well. With social media now its hard to rally around a cause because we can’t focus on one problem at a time to help fight the evils of the world.

Which song on the album sticks out as having a personal meaning to you?
The whole thing is personal, there’s not an ounce of bullshit. But there are a couple relationship songs on there that are super personal. Try and Stay are really close to home, but the latter half of the record is more existential in nature.

Tell me about the inspiration behind the song ‘Once’?
I quit drinking recently, it was something that I had dealt with for a long time. The song Once is basically me talking to myself about that. Whatever vices people face, its about that inner voice that everyone has telling them its not worth it, but their body just isn’t listening.

If you had to pick one song to tell people to listen to that would sum up the whole album, what song would it be?
I would say, Inertia. Its the most outlaying song and my favorite on the album. Its the most rock and roll, and I played all the instruments except for bass. It starts out very inward talking about the process and then it goes into social commentary talking about whats going on around us. It has a lot of my over all message of the album. But I would also pick Outsiders, it talks about not quite fitting in with the crowd and being a little different.

What can fans except to see from you in the upcoming months?
I feed the internet. I do live performances, I have a place I call ‘The Barn’ and I do a live stream on there. So in the next few weeks I’ll be doing a performance on there and I typically announce them weeks out. Sometimes we do full album performances, and we did one for the album release.

But musically, I’ve been working on the next album. I got so much material that I just don’t know what to do with it. So I’ve been trying to stay on this album for a little bit long and then move on to the next.


You can keep up to date with Nick and his music on his website

Photos provided Bradley PR and Marketing.

Boy Hero Releases New Single “Window Pains”

Boy Hero releases new single, “Window Pains” which has us hoping for a new EP from the group soon.

Boy Hero has previously been releasing throwback covers to keep our earbuds entertained; already covering A Day to Remember, All Time Low and My Chemical Romance. When I spoke with singer, Dan Rudd, last December he told me that he was working on a spooky-Halloween themed EP in which he was hoping to release this fall.

I always look forward for new material from Boy Hero and “Window Pains” is no disappointment.

You can listen to “Window Pains” as well as all of Boy Hero’s previous material on all platforms.

Window Pains Youtube (Audio)
Window Pains iTunes
Boy Hero Spotify
Boy Hero iTunes
Boy Hero Twitter
Boy Hero Instagram
Boy Hero Facebook

Songs of the Season | Fall and Winter 2017

Now that spring is officially upon us, even if it doesn’t feel like it in Wisconsin, its time to talk about the songs that defined the previous season for me. I’m sure I’m not the only one that when they hear a song they think of specific time or moment. There are certain songs that when I hear them, I think of a season and year. These are the songs that defined that time of year for me.

The first song up is off of one of my favorite album releases of 2017, and it’s “Where The Mind Wants to Go” by I The Mighty. This whole album really was one that I listened to all the time during the fall and winter so it was hard to pick a specific song. But I kept going back to “Where the Mind Wants to Go” when I needed a song to fill the silence. I would also like to mention that his whole album is a great one to go on long drives with. I took a trip up state playing this album on repeat and it fit the mood of the drive perfectly.

Second song that defined the season would be “Numbers” by The Cab. I noticed, that besides a few songs, the fall and winter season was filled with nostalgia; listening to a lot of throwback songs from middle and high school. The Cab was one of those groups that I felt were very underrated when I was in middle and high school. This song in particular was one that I never really paid attention to until this past year and its a beautiful song that had me singing every time.

“Hero” by Monsta X was my Kpop representative song of the season. Just something about the beat in this song gets my day started every morning. I would specifically play this song first on my playlist to get going in the morning. It was my mood setter, if you will, and trust me when I say this beat will get stuck in your head. If you are a fan of kpop and you haven’t listened to Monsta X before, what are you doing?

Finally, I’m going to end with a new release song as well as a new to me song of the season. The new release song being “Pray” by Sam Smith. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m in love with Sam Smith’s voice and this song was one I had on repeat throughout most of the fall and winter season.

Every season, I like to discover songs and artists that I’ve never heard of before. This previous season that would be Leikeli47’s song “Miss Me.” It’s typically not a style of music that I would listen to during the fall and winter because it is more hip/hop and electronica, but it really stuck out to me and I loved it.

There you have it, the top songs that defined the season for me. Although these are not all the songs that I’ve listened to during the fall and winter months, these are the ones that I listened to the most and that stood out to me the most.

If you want to check out any of these songs, I have linked all the songs listed above. But if you want to check out more or want to know what I’m listening to during the year, I will leave my Spotify playlist for Fall and Winter 2017 linked down below, as well as my Spotify profile so you can follow all my playlists and stay up to date on what I’m adding during the year.

Spotify Fall/Winter 2017
Spotify Profile

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Snapchat: ohstefne