No More by Silk Cinema | Song Review

My friends in Silk Cinema released a new song yesterday (5/25/18) called “No More” and its a song for summer.

I’ve previously done a review for Silk Cinema and their sound is similar to most electronic pop artists. “No More” is a song that I can see being played on radio or even being covered by acts like Dua Lipa.

Silk Cinema explains the song meaning as being “about having enough of a bad situation and resolving to not accept it anymore. It also acknowledges the nagging doubts and insecurities that can come from this.”

The soulful vocals come in during the beginning to draw you in and give you a sense of what to expect in the song. I feel that the listener can really feel the “fed up” attitude that the song gives through the vocal line.

Once again, Silk Cinema does a great job of working on the ups and downs of a song to give it a sense of motion. That is something that I love about a song, is when there is movement in the melodies and the supporting instrumental.

Silk Cinema released another great track for the electronic pop / chill music genre that I feel can be enjoyed across all music lovers.

You can check out the song on SoundCloud, Apple, and Spotify.

Make sure to check out their other work while you’re there as well.

“Fairy” by Zaiden | Song Review

Zaiden is an instrumentalist and singer from Austin, Texas who recently released his debut EP “Wizard Tale” independently. Zaiden’s music has been described as ” a fantasy inspired with cartoonish-like production along with an acoustic blend.”

I was asked to review some of his work and I have chosen the leading single, “Fairy.” Automatically the song starts with a beautiful acoustic guitar solo that is reminiscent of a traditional flamenco dance. This theme comes back into play later in the song to break the repetition of the other motifs in the song.

The “fantasy” feeling comes into play with the synthesizer beats that are similar to most electronica songs, but what makes it different is the melody in the vocals. There are definitely some parts in his voice and melodic tones that remind me of Tyler Joseph of Twenty One Pilots. But don’t get me wrong, I am not comparing Zaiden to Twenty One Pilots, just some similar techniques are used in his songs.

What makes Zaiden stand out is definitely the unique beats, rhythms and sounds used in his music. The repetitive staccato rhythm makes many appearances throughout the EP which makes a claim as his signature.

Although I am not a fan of this style of music, I would recommend anyone who is into psychedelic/electronica music to check out Zaiden and the “Wizard Tale” EP.

If you would like to check out Zaiden, please follow the links provided below.

Youtube
Website
Facebook
Instagram

*Photo provided by Wendy Ford PR

Ghost of Me | Andrew Carter Song Review

If you want a song to take you back to a 50’s sock hop, then “Ghost of Me” by Andrew Carter is the song you need to listen to.

Andrew Carter is a county rock artist that has a unique blend of the two genres of music that is reminiscent to Lynyrd Synyrd. If you want to learn more about Andrew, you can read my interview with him here.

“Ghost of Me” will be Carter’s new single off his self-titled album. Going into this review I thought I was going to hear a timeless country song that tells a story of a man looking back on who he used to be and the journey he took to be where he is now. Just a classic song reflecting on the changes we go through as humans. But I was wrong.

Yes, the song does talk about how he used to do “this” or “that” but that is now the ghost of him. But it is not the typical country sound that I would have expected to hear. It starts off with this be-bopping bass line that just moves effortlessly up and down the scale.

Then the bluesy guitar kicks in and takes you on this journey back in time where bands dressed in suits and during the guitar breakdown the guitarist slides to the front of the stage on his knees and just shreds.  The overall feel of this song is one that you would typically hear at a 50’s sock hop with greasers and ladies in poodle skirts; but still keeping his country roots strong.

If you are anything like me, someone who is not usually a country listener, you should really give Carter’s music a chance. He is country, but true country. His music is not like your radio pop country today, he is a breath of nostalgia both in the country genre and the rock genre.

“Ghost of Me” is a fun, energetic song that takes you back in time and Andrew Carter is an artist on the rise that everyone should keep an eye on. I am looking forward to seeing where he will go next with his music.

You can follow Andrew on the sites below and hear his song “Ghost of Me” on his website.

Andrew Carter Website
FacebookSoundCloud

Photo provided by Wendy Ford PR
Wendy Ford PR Website

Dancing in the Rain – Everafter Song Review

It has been a while since I’ve posted, and a long while since I’ve done a song review. Apologies.

But my friends in Everafter asked me to do a review for their new single “Dancing in the Rain” and what better way to bring me back out of my absence than this.

“Dancing in the Rain” starts off with a very nice sound of effect of rain which sets the mood for a bit before the instrumental comes in. But when the music starts I was taken back a bit. I was under the impression that this was going to be a more mellow song because of the title and the sound effect in the beginning. I was wrong.

This song, although not as hard as you can imagine, still has a driving beat but it is not one to settle down with at the end of the night while you sip your glass of wine in a bubble bath. The beat is consistent and hard throughout the song and doesn’t vary often.

The vocals are clear, easy to understand the lyrics and the melody is very simple and easy to catch on to as well. I found myself singing the melody in my head a while after listening to the song. Overall, very solid song consistently and if you are into the classic hard rock sound, this song has a very similar vibe to it.

There was a guitar solo towards the middle which I was pleased to hear. Its not often that you hear guitar solos, like actual guitar solos, in rock songs so to hear this was a treat. Although I would have liked it to be a bit longer, but for the structure of the song I feel a longer guitar solo would have been a bit out of place.

I really enjoyed this song, my only criticism would be that there wasn’t much for tempo change. I am a person that loves a good tempo change and a good key change. Those are components of a song that really grab my attention and make me listen. If this song would have had one of those it would have had hold of my attention throughout the whole song, instead of me wondering and waiting for that change to come.

I enjoyed the last song that Everafter sent to me and I was excited to listen to more from them. Again, if you are a fan of classic hard rock, please give Everafter a listen! I will post the link to the song above and a link to their social media sites down below for you to check out!

Great work again boys!

Everafter Twitter

Everafter YouTube

Everafter | Song Review

Long time, no music reviews. Sorry. But, I’m back with a song that is coming from the United Kingdom. London based band, Everafter, released their new song, “Last Boat To St Helena” in early August, but recently asked me to give my thoughts.

I don’t like to be given a lot of information about the band or their music because I much rather be surprised and give a clear, unbiased opinion. For some reason, I had in my head that this was going to be a real heavy song. I don’t know if it was the fact that the name of the band sounds like a heavy band, but I was definitely surprised to find out I was wrong.

The song has a fairly steady tempo throughout the entirety of the song, fast enough to keep your head bobbing. The acoustic, almost folk like, sound is really enticing as well. It reminded me of a classic folk tune with a modern twist. I would definitely suggest that if you are into that folk/traditional sound, that you check out this song. Its got what you need.

The melody is easy enough to catch on to and by the second chorus I found myself singing along. This is something that I find really important when it comes to releasing a single. You want your listeners to be able to sing along and you want it to be catchy enough that it sticks in their head.

One aspect that I really did enjoy was the bass line. For some reason, and this doesn’t happen often, I was intrigued by the bass line. I found it complimented the guitar on top and the main theme of the song. It really does help the movement of the song all together. This song does tell a story, which is another important aspect of a song in my opinion. I love songs that tell a story and are relatable to a vast majority of people. I feel it gives the listener something deeper to connect with. Although I’m not sure what the story is behind this St. Helena island, I was interested in looking it up and finding out. I would like to know the songwriters connect with the island.

One thing I would have wished to hear in this song would have been some type of change in tempo, key change, something that is a clear shift in the song. It did seem a bit “one note” (not literally obviously) but very consistent throughout the entire song. If there would have been a key change for a few measures, maybe for like a final chorus, or an acapella moment for a bridge or hook, then it would have given a bit more depth to the song.

Overall, its a solid song and I am looking forward to hearing more from this group!

Everafter’s debut album, produced by Chris Tsangarides, is available now on iTunes! Check out the song, “Last Boat To St Helena” and follow them on Twitter, if you like what you hear!

 

Boy Hero | EP Review

Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 9.37.41 AM

Boy Hero, a post-hardcore band from LA, just released their first self-titled EP today (August 9, 2016). The group consisting of the members Dan Rudd (vocals), Ben Illies (guitar), Eric Bensen (guitar), Topher Vallez (Bass), and Brennen O’Malley (drums) are an emerging band you need to know native to Minnesota and Los Angeles, California.

After following this group for just about a year, I was anxious for a collection of their works. The EP is a great introduction to the band and what they are all about. The songs flow together effortlessly telling stories and experiences of their lives. Dan, previously of This Is Breathing, has an infectious vocal that draws the listener into the lyrics. Back that up with the skilled guitar of Ben and Eric and you have a well written song.

With this being their first EP, I was expecting a little less of production value to be completely honest. But while listening to this the first time through the production value is high quality and its almost hard to believe that this is an independent release. You know that whomever was working the production and engineering of this EP was skilled and knew what they were doing.

As far as songs go, my favorite is “White Knights” which was their first audio single released in 2015. The chorus is one that sticks in my head for hours with a driving instrumental introduction that really sets the mood for the song and a melody that is easy to pick up and just flat out fun to sing. Lyrically, I feel that it is a song is one many can relate to. Highly recommend this song; great introduction to the band as well.

For all my Issues fans, I suggest you check out Boy Hero’s song “Desperate.” Tyler Carter, vocalist for Issues, makes an appearance on the track. Asking Tyler to sing on this particular track I believe was a smart move. Not only will that bring Issues fans to their band, but Tyler’s vocals fit the track perfectly and his feature is the right amount of airtime. I feel sometimes bands get too caught up in getting a bigger name on their track that they give them too much vocal time. This can outshine your band and draw the focus onto the feature artist and not your band.

Overall, a great first release by Boy Hero. The EP is a great blend showcasing their talents and establishing their place in this industry. I have a feeling that we are only going to see more growth and progress from this group. You can get their self-titled EP on iTunes and you can check out their music video for “Rebel Flesh” on their YouTube channel.

Find Boy Hero on Social Media:
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

Experience the Music,
Stefanie

 

What The F*ck is VNYL?

You may have been seeing ads on social media, or maybe you haven’t, about a subscription service called “VNYL”. This is a service that you pay a monthly fee for and you receive 3 vinyl records catered to your music taste to your door. These 3 vinyl records you can choose to keep or give away to someone else, but regardless they are yours to keep.

I saw an advertisement on my Facebook page for it and was curious, so I checked out some videos on YouTube of people “unboxing” their VNYL box. To be honest, I had mixed feelings about it. Some videos their boxes were catered to them so well and they seemed very excited about it, but I also realized that those were the people featured in the ad that I saw on Facebook. So I tried to find videos of people that were not featured. And those videos were hit or miss; some people loved it and others hated it.

I came to understand that the ones who hated it were ones who tried the service when they were just a start up company and were giving out “used” records that could be found at any vintage record shop and were not catered to the receiver very well. But, I found a video that explained that the company has stopped doing that and are sending out new records of all genres, decades and artists.

After about 2 weeks of watching these videos non-stop I decided to try this out for myself. I figured if I didn’t like it I could alway cancel it after a month or two (I usually try these services out for at least 2 months to give them a chance).If I didn’t like what I got I could just sell it at my local half-price book/record shop. Of course I wouldn’t get total value for it, but it would be something.

I went on the site, got the invite code and signed up. I filled out my music profile, linking my Spotify profile as well as listing bands/artists and genres I love and ones that I hate. They also allow you to select a plan (1 record a month or 3 records a month) and tell them how adventurous you are with music. If you want to stick to what you know, if you are willing to get stuff you might never heard of, or somewhere in-between.

Once I finished filling out my music profile I then picked a “vibe” and this is something that you have to do each month (from what I gather). And this “vibe” comes along with a previous playlist where you can listen to music that is featured in that vibe and get a sense of what you are feeling for the month. Based on that and your profile that you fill out, someone hand picks 3 vinyl records for you.

For this month I picked the “#EndlessSummer” vibe because it had a lot of punk bands on the playlist and that interested me the most. And I’m glad I picked it because my box what spot on.

I first received Taking Back Sunday’s “Tell All Your Friends” album, which is such an influential album to all early 2000s alternative/punk lovers! I was so excited when I pulled this out because I remember owning this album when I was younger, but through the process of moving a few times I lost it.

Next I pulled out A Day To Remember’s “Homesick” which is one of my favorite albums from high school! Again, an album that is home to some of ADTR’s most popular songs, some of which are their best songs ever (in my opinion) and one that I once previously owned. I think I loaned it to a friend and just never got it back, but now I have it!

And lastly, I got an album from some one I’ve never heard of before (I selected that I would like new music from time to time). Its called “Facades” by Peter J. Brant. I have never heard of him before, and in my hand written letter from the person who put together my box, they never mentioned why they picked this album for me. So I am curious to know hear what it sounds like and if it is something that I would like. If not, I will try and find a friend who likes similar music and if they want it or I will give it to the half-priced store by me.

Overall, I was very pleased with my first box. The person who curated this box for me was named Sam and this is what he wrote in his letter to me:

“Hey Stefanie, Welcome to VNYL! Thanks for filling us in on your relationship with music! For your #endlesssummer box, I’m starting with something nostalgic, for the All Time Low/Good Charlotte fan in you – Taking Back Sunday’s super influential debut! Next up, since they made your “Spring/Summer 2016” playlist on Spotify, here’s A Day To Remember’s intense “Homesick”! Enjoy, Sam.”

I think Sam it the hammer on the nail with this first box and I will definitely be receiving another box next month. Hopefully it is as good as this one.

If you are interested in VNYL, click here to go to their site.

“Heathens” | Song/Video Review

To all of the Clique family out there, this is something I think we all can agree on…

Heathens is amazing!

If you are not part of the Clique family and have no clue what I’m talking about, I’m reviewing the new song my Twenty One Pilots for the soundtrack of “Suicide Squad” which is set to release in August of this year. I am going to break this review into 2 parts; the song and then the music video.

The Song

People are saying “Heathens” is going to be the new “Stressed Out” but honestly I think this so is way better than “Stressed Out”. In true TOP nature, the song is haunting and eerie, but blended with a solid beat it brings a different light to it. TOP is known for not fitting into one specific genre, their music is in its own category and this song really proves it. Its got elements of hip-hop, alternative, electronic, and rock.

The melody of this song is what sticks out to me the most and I like the fact that they started the song out with the chorus. Right away you get this infectious melody and chorus that will get stuck in your head. Its a very simple melody, one that has many variations in many songs for decades, but one that is very effective.

There are perfectly placed electronic breakdowns with a certain element placed into them to break those sections up. This element is hard to express in words but it reminds me of the sound a canned jar makes when it pops but recorded and lowered 3 octaves and sped up. Does that make sense? No? You’ll know what I’m talking about when you hear it. Either way, its a stand out element in the song.

The lyrics are ones to pay attention too. Now, I haven’t listened to the song enough (although I’ve listened to it like 10 times already) but some of my favorite lines are,
“You don’t know the half of the abused” and “We don’t deal with outsiders very well” 
I feel these are very strong lyrics, as are more from the song, that really expose the ugly truths of society. We are quick to judge people who do wrong without getting to know their story as to why they did it. There are a lot of people that are suffering from abuse or mental illness that snap and we are too quick to mark them as bad people. And the line about outsiders is exposing our human nature of ostracizing people who are different. Very powerful meaning to the song when you think about it.

The Video

Like I said before, in true TOP nature the video is just as haunting as the song, but it matches perfectly. Tyler is dressed in an orange prison jump suit as he’s being walked through a prison. Meanwhile you are being introduced to different “heathens” and inmates as the song continues. Scenes from the movie are being shown here and there but the best thing about his music video is that you don’t even notice. The editing and filters used on the video match perfectly to the ones on the movie that they look like one. I had to watch it 3 or 4 times to really see which scenes were from the movie and which ones were not.

I think the best thing about the video is that the inmates all come out and jam to TOP performing on a lit up stage. At first I thought this was a little out of place, but it actually isn’t. For some strange reason, and it could be the vibe of the song or the part of the song that it is helping to visualize, it fits.

VIDEO: Heathens by Twenty One Pilots

Overall this is probably one of my favorite Twenty One Pilots songs to date. I think they did a wonderful job on emulating the vibe and story of the movie as well as staying true to their roots and who they are as a band. Great work!

I highly suggest to check this song out and the movie when it comes out on August 5, 2016!

-Stefanie

“Traveling East” |Corrington Wheeler EP Review

Its been a while since I’ve had the pleasure of doing a music review, so you can guess that I was excited when Corrington Wheeler reached out to me about his EP “Traveling East.” I was even more excited when I found out that he is a rock musician; my favorite.

His EP “Traveling East” is a three song CD of what I think is a solid foundation to music. And when I say “solid” I mean that Corrington definitely has potential in his genre (there is screaming in this music so if you are not a fan of that please be aware).

The songs have clean vocals all around, his upper register is not piercingly annoying like some vocalists that are trying to stretch their range and just aren’t quite there yet. The instrumental is strong and has a nice driving beat that is appropriate for the genre. It doesn’t sound like a muddled mess, which I find that with this style of music it can go real mucky real easily if you don’t know what you are doing.

As I was listening to this I was really impressed, obviously, but what impressed me the most (and made me a little giddy inside) is that the songs “Altering Buddha’s Principals” and “Skorkas Witchery” are half in Japanese! If you know me at all, you know that I am a sucker for anything Japanese! I was really thrown off by this but it was a pleasant surprise and I would highly suggest that if you are into any J-Rock, like any of my One Ok Rock or Crossfaith fans out there, you should definitely look up Corrington Wheeler! Even if you don’t know who I just mentioned and are like “what is J-Rock,” you should still look up Corrington Wheeler if you are into the whole hardcore rock scene.

Personally, my favorite song off the EP is “Skorkas Witchery” featuring Tada Maico. It is a nice change of pace for the EP as it is a slower song. I was a bit worried after listening to the first two songs that all the songs on this EP were going to he hard-driving songs and we were not going to see a more softer side, but the balance was nice and smart. (I would suggest this to anyone who is thinking of putting together an EP, have at least one slower song featured to show versatility).

Corrington Wheeler and his team will be release their first full length album later this summer, which I know that I am excited about! If you are a fan of rock music and love to support the local scene, please check out Corrington Wheeler! All his links will be listed at the end of this post so click on them and show him some support, the guy deserves it! I can definitely see great music coming from this guy in the future!

“Traveling East” EP Youtube Playlist

Corrington Wheeler Music Website

Corrington Wheeler Facebook Page

A Week Of Releases

There has been an explosion of music releases the past week. Every time I opened the internet there was some new artist dropping a new music video or single. And, being the music junkie that I am, I of course listened to every single song and watched all the music videos (generally speaking).

So here is a tiny review of each one, my first impression and thoughts…

PVRIS – You and I

Probably the biggest buzz going on in the Alternative world would be the release of PVRIS’ new song “You and I” (February 22) and the music video to go with it. Lynn’s voice is undeniably unique and during the chorus, the raspiness of it sends shivers down my spine. The song is beautiful and eerie and so is the black and white music video.

Although I have nothing bad to say about the song or the video, because I love them both, I just feel like I am ready for something new from them. And by that I mean a new album. “White Noise” was released in 2014 and now they are re-releasing it as a deluxe version with the single “You and I” on it in April of 2016? Why not just wait and release the new song on a new album or EP? Of course, I am not part of the band or their team so I do not know the reasoning behind it all, but I feel like its just time for something else.

Demi Lovato – Stone Cold

Demi released her new music video for “Stone Cold” this week (February 23) and although I’m not a huge Demi fan, I heard that this song was a big one. I am on the fence with this one. I think this song, lyrically and instrumentally, is amazing. The emotion and pain that the song writer wrote down is real and you feel it when listening to the song. The instrumentation supports this emotion beautifully with simple half note chords.

But, unfortunately, I did not care for Demi’s voice on this song. It almost felt like she was putting too much emotion and pain into it that the true talent of her voice got lost a times. No doubt about it she has a strong voice, I just felt that this song, vocally, was not her best. But the music video was simplistic and easy to follow. Not an outstanding video, but with the contents of the song, it complimented it well.

Troye Sivan – Youth

Troye Sivan is quickly becoming one of my favorite breakthrough artists this year! I’ve been a viewer of Troye’s videos on Youtube for a while now, and got moderately excited when he started writing and recording music. My initial thoughts were “great another youtuber that is trying to become a musician” but boy was I wrong…in more ways than one. I found out later that Troye was already a musician and had tiny singing gigs throughout Australia. But I never really listened to his music until this past week. I briefly heard song of his song “Youth” but it wasn’t until the music video was released this week (February 24) that I really listened to it.

This is the catchiest damn song ever. Troye has this sweet, smooth, innocence to his voice that is just aesthetically pleasing to me. I also like how most of the instrumental is in the verses and the chorus just has the beat and his vocal. It really catches your attention and brings the focus to the chorus in a way most songs don’t do. The video fits well with the song as well, teenagers or youth hanging out and being themselves. Its very indie, its very “hipster” but I love it.

The 1975 – The Sound

The 1975 are a quirky bunch, as I would like to express it. I am a fan of their music, loved their debut album, loved their live show, and I was excited for their new music. So far they have released three singles off their upcoming album which are “Love Me,” “UGH!” and now the newest one “The Sound” (February 25). All three songs I like, musically, and the music videos got me feeling a different way for each one. “Love Me” I didn’t care for, just not my taste, “UGH!” was fun to watch and reminded me of their previous videos, and now “The Sound.” I think out of all this one is my favorite.

The song itself is definitely The 1975, they have this sound that when you hear it you just know its them. It also has this killer guitar solo in it as well, which you don’t hear much of anymore. The video is my favorite as well, the use of their signature lights and the hues of pink and white resembled a bit of the new 1975 as well as the previous album. But I also liked how the band incorporated, what I assume to be, negative reviews of their band in the music video. The band is trapped in a box and there are “critics” outside the box and every now and again the video cuts to a negative comment. But in true 1975 fashion, the band is un-phased and at the end the band is outside the box and the critics are inside. Symbolism.

Against The Current – Runaway

Already have this song memorized…oops! This is the new single off of their HIGHLY anticipated (for me anyways) debut album called “In Our Bones” and its a tune! They released their first single “Running With The Wild Things” earlier this month and it has a great rock and angsty feeling to it. But “Runaway” has a different vibe and I think that it was a smart move to release two different vibe songs to give their fans an idea of whats to come. This song is a great love song that has a bit of a pop feeling, which is why when you listen to it you wont help but put it on repeat or at least sing it in your head the rest of the day. I’ve already listened to this song a million times and it just got released last night (February 25).

 

There you have it! Practically a new song for every day of the week this week. I certainly had my ears full trying to catch up!