Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Son Lux - (SPECIAL POST) an artist worth your time & attention!

The artist is Son Lux, a New York songwriter, that's doing some pretty creative work! I can't believe I hadn't heard of this guy until recently...

Critics have said, "an epic, almost schizofrenic carousel of sounds that picks up where Radiohead's Kid A left off."

So without any further adieu, here is Son Lux...ENJOY!

(close your eyes and spend a few minutes escaping)


Monday, June 28, 2010

The Boy in the Well - Where's Lawrence

Where's Lawrence is a creative indie-rock act producing great tracks for your listening pleasures. They work in the vein of Death Cab For Cutie meets Arcade Fire meets The Decemberists.

Wokuk is a driving song layered with great instrumentation. Its like a beautiful onion, each layer perfectly placed to support the overall composition. On Beauty Fell, the acoustic strum meets yearning vocals. Its pure rawness and has an intense quality.

The Forest...You're Nothing Anyway, is a slower, more down-tempo track. It has a close, intimate quality and the stripped down intro draws the listener close. The band enters and nicely lifts the song without taking away the pure, simple qualities.

Where's Lawrence does a fantastic job of pulling various instruments into the mix and putting them precisely where they belong. These guys clearly know what it takes to compose true art!

RATING: 5 of 5 stars

Tomorrow is What it Used to Be - John Riccio

John Riccio's album, Tomorrow is What it Used to Be, is a nice summer listen. Its laden with hooky tracks, easy acoustic strums, and melodies you'll remember for days. Riccio's opener, One or Two is reminiscent of a pop/rock Bruce Springsteen. The production quality is stellar and the snare drum is especially perfect for the song.

On My Will, strings begin the song in a huge fashion. Its swelling and draws the listener in. The vocals excel and are perfectly set in the mix. In and Out has a fun two-step feel with a great circular-acoustic riff leading the song and propelling it forward - its one of those songs you'll crank the volume on as you drive down a country road.

Riccio is a talented writer, player, and arranger! This album is sure to please, so check it out ASAP!!!

Visit him on myspace: www.myspace.com/johnriccio

RATING: 5 of 5 stars

All Hearts - Troubaduo

Troubaduo is making a name for themselves as they write, record, and perform quality material. These golden state-ers write pop-rock with a rootys/americana bent.

Tracks like, What's Really You, feature Jill's vocals cutting a more soulful rug. On Houdini, the band works and succeeds in an almost big-band, 1940's era track. Houdini is a perfect track, mixed exceedingly well and instrumentally impressive - easily their best! On Show Me, Jill's vocals again take on a more clearly soulful attack. Its a hooky track with some great electric guitar tones.

Overall, Troubaduo writes well and displays a nice understanding of the genre.

RATING: 3.5 of 5 stars

Alone or Lying - Christa Gniadek

From Massachusetts hails Christa Gniadek; a talented singer/songwriter writing anti-folk/arty/pop acoustic tracks. On her opening track, Adjust, Christa lilts in a beautiful free-floating melody over bouncing acoustic guitars. Her vocals are clearly her bread winner! Combine crystal clear vocals and catchy lyrics with the depth of her songwriting and you have a star in the making.

Her sound is reminiscent of an acoustic-driven Regina Spektor, but yields an honest and unique quality - close enough to the genre for easy listenership, but unique enough to hold her own.

I Do, is another catchy tune that immediately grabs your attention. It has the quality that begs an indie-movie soundtrack deal. Finally, on Late on Newbury, Christa closes her album like a late night conversation. Its as if she's strumming and singing on the couch across the room from you. Its a perfect ender to an album that's stripped down, easy to engage, and intimate.

Watch out Christa Gniadek and in the mean time, pick up her album, Alone or Lying!

RATING: 4.5 of 5 stars

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Moons - Ekra

Ekra is a duo rock outfit from New York that's creating circular and layered music with ease. Songs like Intercourse fill the space between ambient Radiohead and dark U2. The track is instrumentally, dark and driving; while the vocal melody is more soothing, anthemic, and reverb-laden.

On Sagittarius A, a dirty trumpet opens the song before a catchy drum sequence drives the song and takes it to something you might expect from Thom Yorke. I love the way they mixed this song. Its spacious and capitalizes on the hooky vocals, while still giving support and tribute to some stellar instrumental musicianship.

Album closer, 49 Days is a mid-tempo piece featuring tight bass and drum work. It has elements as contrasting as NIN and The Postal Service, but seems to pull the angularity off.

If creative ambient-rock is your genre, you'll love Ekra. If not, you'll still appreciate the ride! I would love to see a live show to experience how they pull off the soundscapes as a duo group.

RATING: 4 of 5 stars

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Naked - Steve Baskin

If its textured Americana alt/pop-rock that you're into, then you'll dig Naked, by Atlanta-based, Steve Baskin. Surrounded by a stellar band, they create soundscapes that accurately articulate each song and Baskin's vocals.

Album opener, Catch Me If You Can, is overly poppy, and lends itself to all listeners. It comes across like a blend of Counting Crows and Blue October. Later track, A Day in My Shoes seductively explodes with a great, soaring lead guitar riff. The melodies aren't quite as singable, but the hooks come at you one after another.

Something Smells Fishy belongs main stage at Bonnaroo. Its jammy and catchy all the same. Clearly, these guys know their way inside a studio. Their sounds are solid, and they all complement each other song after song.

RATING: 3.5 of 5 stars