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The Danbees release The Veggie Tapes (EP)

YOU TUBE: www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PxO_7Dx-Lw&feature=youtu.be

From the moment drummer Wade McManus cues The Danbees to unleash their sonic brutality in the band’s new single “Down at the Bar,” there’s no denying that the New York alternative rockers mean business in their new extended play The Veggie Tapes, which hits record stores and streaming services this fall and offers fans the sequel to 2016’s Fishnets Anonymous that they’ve been waiting for. The Danbees have never tried to convince critics nor audiences that they’re trying to fit in with the rest of their peers, and The Veggie Tapes goes a long way to establishing their sound as distinctively their own. It may only contain six tracks, but what it lacks in length it more than makes up for in splendid, dexterous substance.

The Danbees have made a lot of very visible improvements since Fishnets Anonymous, chief among them being their decidedly toned down guitar parts. It’s not that Mark Slotoroff or Shane Matthews have started to lose their chops, but more that they’ve made a point of defining the tonality in their riffs and making their entire style of attack much more accessible to casual fans. There’s still plenty of fire and fury to be found in numbers like “Down at the Bar,” “Can’t Sleep,” and “Going Down,” but all of it feels so much more controlled and focused that what we heard in Fishnets Anonymous. I don’t know for certain whether or not they’re intentionally going for a poppier look, but they definitely wear it well in this record.

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/thedanbees

In addition to “Down at the Bar,” The Danbees cut “Can’t Sleep” as a teaser single for The Veggie Tapes and so far the reception has been pretty good. I myself like the swing of the tempo, which is somewhat reminiscent of Kings of Leon minus the brooding boisterousness that always felt like a thorn in the band’s side. Slotoroff’s vocals are as light as a feather, and the way they’re carefully embedded into the exotic guitar lick that builds our tension towards the chorus is simply stunning. I prefer “Can’t Sleep” to “Down at the Bar” purely because of its rollicking beat, which might be the sleekest and most affectionately simple that The Danbees have conjured up in the studio so far.

Their sound has all the hallmarks of a classic rock band but with a pointed, slick modern twist, and I would recommend The Danbees’ new EP The Veggie Tapes to any rock fan who is in the mood for uncut grooves and blistering rhythm that isn’t restricted by a commercial template. This is unquestionably The Danbees’ most accessible release to date, and I think that listeners who are unfamiliar with the band’s sound would do well to start with this record and then give Fishnets Anonymous a spin, just to appreciate how much progress they’ve made in the last two years (which could serve as a valid preview of what we can expect in the next decade to come). They’ve got my attention, and I’m eager to hear how they follow up this latest set of indie gems.

SPOTIFY: open.spotify.com/artist/0e9ABClAYwndgk3RFrg82G

Clay Burton

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Dawg Gone Davis releases In the Dawg Pound

It’s abundantly clear that Dawg Gone Davis knows and loves music. The four songs included with her EP collection In the Dawg Pound hits a fun and intelligent note with the track “Forever Music” and the IT professional proves she is no novice as she reels through a number of often humorous observations accompanied with smart rhyming and astute phrasing. Her willingness to incorporate horns into the track hints at a daring in her approach matching up nicely with the humor and the focus of the song, never wasting listener’s time, is ideal for a performer who might be unfairly tagged with the label of a novelty act. This song, and everything that comes after, gives lie to that slur.

She definitely wants the audience to have fun however. “Butt On Fiya”, while obviously autobiographical in humorous ways, makes light of its situation in a way listeners will enjoy. The brass presence isn’t as omnipresent with this number as it is with the first, but contributes a lot to varying the largely electronic backing. I can’t say enough about her delivery – as a vocalist, she instinctively understands how her phrasing encourages a listener’s involvement in the track and connects with listeners on both a mental and physical plane. I think it’s one of the EP’s most enjoyable tracks and enormously fun. This last fact is crucial – while it is clear that Davis is having fun here, the most important thing is how she presents her songs in such a way that the listener has just as much fun.

URL: dawggonedavis.com/

“Middle Aged Woman – Hip Hop Style” was Davis’ initial introduction to the music world and it still stands as one of the more effective hip hop singles in recent memory. Longtime music devotees will enjoy how she mixes in a variety of reflections on the presumed incongruity of a middle aged woman tackling a genre typically pegged for the young, but she whips up plenty of lyrical and vocal pyrotechnics to prove she more than belongs. This is far more based around keyboards and synths than the previous two tracks, but Davis more than compensates for their absence with a vocal performance illustrative of how and why she’s garnered so much attention.

The track “Anthem Pandemonium” escalates in a way we don’t hear with the other songs and has a bit of profanity thrown into the mix, but never in an objectionable way for me. Instead, it’s another example of how Davis has a lot of tools at her disposal to make tracks diverse and entertaining, particularly working alongside producer Helmutt Wolf, and provides the EP with a bracing conclusion. This Kansas City, Missouri based performer is definitely cut from a different cloth than many of her peers and contemporaries, but she unabashedly loves what she does and provides us with individual entertainment and musical vision. You can’t dare call her an imitator. Instead, these four songs shine as testament to what a singular voice can still accomplish in the music world and we’ll likely enjoy further release after she’s enjoyed well earned success from the release of In the Dawg Pound.

REVERBNATION: www.reverbnation.com/dawggonedavis

The proceeds from the sale of this EP go directly to OPERATION BREAKTHROUGH: operationbreakthrough.org/

Clay Burton

The music of Dawg Gone Davis has been heard all over the world due to the radio plugging services offered by Musik Radio Promotions. Learn more – musikandfilm.com

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Steve Bonham releases “The Girl With the Rattlesnake Heart”

The exotic, rattling start of “The Girl With the Rattlesnake Heart,” the new single by Steve Bonham and the Long Road, conjures images of a weary traveler making camp at dusk and sparking up a campfire, beside which he plans to spin his latest yarn. Bonham acts as our storyteller in this song, sitting beside the roaring embers of his band the Long Road, who dispense fiery acoustic thunder in the backdrop as he plaintively tells his tale. There’s nothing reserved about his lyrics; Bonham has been around this wicked world, and he knows of the sinners who call it home. He’s looking for a girl who is evading him with illustrious skill, but the tone of his voice says he’s not about to give up so easily. The blaze burns on as we descend into the chorus of the song, and if you’re tough enough to stand the heat from the flames as it penetrates the speakers in the form of a rigid bassline, then you’re in for quite the adventure with “The Girl With the Rattlesnake Heart.” Steve Bonham didn’t just churn out a fun new single for us in this song; he and the Long Road assembled an engaging introduction to their intriguing style of folk-rock.

URL: www.artisan-creative.com/

Our singer might not be reserved in his prose, but his performance is nonetheless quite insular by nature. Bonham hides behind the smokescreen of the melody in this track as if to suggest that he doesn’t want to be the center of our attention here; the music is, after all, just as evocative as his verses, but it’s markedly more ominous in its tone. The harmony between he and the instruments is stellar, cerebral even, but it too plays second fiddle to the strut of the pushy percussion. The pulsating beat never gets any less tense than it does as we approach the chorus, but that’s exactly what made me fall in love with this single as much as I have; the climax is the tension that’s building around us. Instead of being a frustrating experience, this concept makes “The Girl With the Rattlesnake Heart” a seductive sonic temptress, who makes no attempt to conceal her true intention – to trap us in these angular rhythms and subsequently smother us with a gorgeous melody.

Haunting, dark and evocatively groove-laden, Steve Bonham and the Long Road’s new single was designed with Bonham’s hardcore fans in mind but satisfies outside admirers of folk-rock just the same. Other than the melodic cushion generated by Bonham’s striking vocal, this is an unforgiving track that basks in its eccentricities and shamelessly celebrates its rough edges, which in my opinion makes it quite a find in today’s stagnant music market. I also think that relative to past works, Bonham seems a little more confident in his performance here. The Long Road has come into its own musically, and I think that this single represents a turning point for the group as a solid unit. Based on the strength of this latest release, I’m quite excited to see what they have in store for us next.

TWITTER: twitter.com/SteveBonham01?lang=en

Clay Burton

The music of Steve Bonham has been heard all over the world due to the promotional services offered by Danie Cortese Entertainment & Publicity. Learn more here – www.daniecorteseent.com/

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Patiently Awaiting the Meteorite Canyon Diablo 

URL: patientlyawaitingthemeteorite.band/

It’s often said by narrow-minded critics in the music industry that a modern rock band can’t dabble in synthesized grooves without losing their edge. The notion arises from what transpired back in the 80s, when a lot of heavy metal and hard rock bands started to incorporate synthesizer into their sound as standardly as they would a guitar or a drum kit and their commercial output became decidedly more watered down as a result. What these critics fail to acknowledge is that we aren’t in the 80s anymore, and the palate of the modern music listener has grown and expanded far beyond that of their parents’. Patiently Awaiting the Meteorite defy the idea that electronically textured heavy music can’t rock as hard as the classics did in their new album Canyon Diablo, which in my opinion could be the finest release the genre has seen in quite some time.

The harmonies we find in Canyon Diablo make great use of PATM’s stylish swagger without egomaniacally devolving into predictable, volume-centric pitfalls. Anyone within earshot of songs like “Strange Intuition,” “Electrified” and “Hit the Ground Running” is invited to take a ride on the moody, unhinged rails that its players’ dispatch with impunity. It’s rare to find a record that you can play from start to finish without encountering some degree of filler nowadays, but Canyon Diablo progresses so fluidly between its ten unique songs that when experienced in its entirety it takes on a totally different meaning than when broken apart into separate tracks.

TWITTER: twitter.com/patmband?lang=en

As conceptual a piece as Canyon Diablo is, there’s still plenty of multidimensional contrast between the tracks for us to see that PATM are anything but a one trick pony. Take “Don’t Lay Your Fate” and “Keeping My Head Above the Water” for example. “Fate” is a pointed, Nick Cave-esque elegy that swings just enough to keep it from becoming undyingly dark, while “Water” is a focused folk rock ballad, grinding away at a string of lyrics that crush us under their brooding weight. Both songs are ominously magnetizing, but you wouldn’t necessarily expect to find them sitting on the same album together. If all of their upcoming releases are as vastly explorative as this one is, there’s no doubt in my mind they’re going to rise to the top of the rock n’ roll hierarchy in no time.

I’ve listened to a lot of really fascinating records this year, but none of them blew me away the way that Canyon Diablo has. I wasn’t sure what to anticipate out of this album, which was described to me by a colleague as vintage punk sharpness mixed with the freeform nature of an ambient pop release, but having given it my full attention over the course of the last week I can only conclude that trying to assign it pre-existing labels is pointless. Patiently Awaiting the Meteorite are carving out their own path in the world of pop, and their style is truly their own. The bottom line is that whatever you want to call the music they play, it’s a more than worthy acquisition for anybody who is keen on premium audio.

SPOTIFY: open.spotify.com/album/1eeNlLFhfcAHPAkeOmIr4s

Clay Burton

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Abby Zotz releases new Album 

Abby Zotz releases new Album

PRIMARY URL: abbyzmusic.com/

Critics from one end of North America to the other can’t seem to stop talking about Local Honey, the ambitious new album from Canadian singer/songwriter Abby Zotz, and just one listen to any of its stunning eleven tracks will clue you in as to why. Outfitted with a stylish production that features the caliber of high definition audio you would expect to find on a much more mainstream affair, Local Honey showcases an artist who has so much within herself to share with the world and has found the perfect medium in which to convey it. Her music speaks to the humbleness of mankind, but it also tells us a lot about the identity of Zotz as both a composer and as a human being.

“Big Hope,” one of the star singles from Local Honey, is by far one of the most exquisitely warm power ballads I’ve reviewed this year. Accompanied by a simple music video that features nothing more than Zotz playing an acoustic guitar and singing the affectionate lyrics of the song, “Big Hope” is a prime example of stripped down pop that utilizes melody over volume to capture our attention. Don’t let its surface minimalism deceive you though – beneath the delicate whisper of Zotz’ vocals and the accompanying instrumentation is a calculated arrangement that dexterously fuses influences from country, jazz and a touch of pop.

Although not one of the album’s singles, the song “Pirouette” is another essential excerpt from Local Honey that should be noted as one of the more evocative and poised compositions in Zotz’ repertoire. Focusing the spotlight squarely on her light, almost translucent singing while a storm of major key wonderment churns in the background, “Pirouette” has a timeless quality to it that is almost reminiscent of 1930’s vocal music. Zotz’ palate has so much depth to it, and this song is an excellent testament to her talents.

It would be criminal is any review of Local Honey failed to mention “Hush Baby Waltz,” which to me is tangible evidence that Abby Zotz isn’t just among the best singer/songwriters in the game right now; she towers over them. She doesn’t overcomplicate any of her music, but it’s moments like this one where there’s nothing but a guitar in her hands a voice to join it where we see just how melodically skilled she really is. She reaches into our hearts with Local Honey (and in this song especially), and the imprint she leaves behind isn’t one I’ll soon forget.

There’s a lot of reasons to be excited about pop music in general right now, but I don’t think anyone is garnering more attention and acclaim than Abby Zotz is. Rarely do I find myself agreeing with the majority of anyone on almost anything, but in this case the product is so divinely superior to everything else it’s up against that trying to deny its greatness would be futile. It’s still fairly early in her career to be certain, but if she keeps turning out records of this quality she’s going to find herself a part of the larger conversation in pop culture for some time to come.

I-TUNES: itunes.apple.com/ca/artist/abby-zotz/1420231384

Clay Burton

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Hughie Mac releases Great Songs, Pt. 3

URL: www.hughiemac.com/

Singer Hughie Mac has been quietly building a mammoth reputation as one of the last true blue lounge singers in America over the last few years, and his new record, titled Hughie Mac Sings Some Great Songs, Pt. 3, is by far his most exquisite and accessible offering to date. Styled for fans both young and old, Great Songs, Pt. 3 is one of the most affectionately simple and unfiltered glimpses into a subgenre of pop that has been grossly overlooked in recent years. Vocal standards have never sounded so concise and cutting as they do in the clouded musical climate of 2018, and Hughie Mac is just the man to bring them back to the surface.

It’s not easy to make some of the songs included on Hughie Mac Sings Some Great Songs, Pt. 3 sound fresh and non-recycled, but Mac’s individually tempered vocal style splashes a colorful texture onto these tracks that didn’t exist beforehand. He nimbly dispatches tunes like “Hello Mary Lou” and “I Have Dreamed” as if they were his own written word, and there’s never any need to question his ability to tackle virtually any composition and come out victoriously. His abilities are incalculable, but his self-control as an artist is really something to marvel at.

There’s a magnetism in Hughie Mac’s voice that is so easy to get completely lost in. I get the idea that he could sing almost anything, be it a Dean Martin classic or a few pages out of my mom’s recipe book, and make it into a gold standard without having to give much effort. Regardless of how hard he has to try, it’s clear in Great Songs, Pt. 3 that Mac never gives less than 110% of himself when he enters the studio, and we never get the impression that he’s trying to fill up space or woefully connect narratives in this LP.

I think that Hughie Mac would also sound awesome in collaboration with a live jazz band or even something a little more classical by design; he has so much versatility and knowledge of musicality that his options are practically limitless when considering what he might record next. He’s got the dexterity to do more complicated songs, but he also has the relaxed charisma that it takes to really make a slow song or a stripped down ballad feel larger than life. Finding songs for Mac to play isn’t the problem; the real challenge lies in finding ones that are up to the pedigree of his facilities.

The future looks overwhelmingly bright and positive for Hughie Mac and his career in the wake of his new album’s surprising (to some) success, and my gut tells me that he’s only just begun to show us what he can do when he’s got all the necessary recording tools at his disposal. Mac isn’t looking for his musical identity, but he also isn’t afraid to try new things and see what sort of opulence he can render as a result. If his next record contains the same level of showmanship that this one does, his status as a rising icon in this era of music will be solidified and impossible for even the most discriminating of critics to deny.

I-TUNES: itunes.apple.com/us/artist/hughie-mac/1173657813

Clay Burton

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Mikey See drops new Single

YOU TUBE:
youtu.be/K58bNNsU2VM

From a critical standpoint, American indie pop has never been more enthralling than it is right now, and eclectically stylized artists like Mikey See are the precise reason why. Like many of the other gems of 2018, See is creating his brand of rhythm from scratch, honing talents that have long been buried within his psyche and developing them using techniques that go against the grain of what traditional pop musicians have employed in the past. In “Love My Body,” the explosive single from his highly praised debut EP, See invokes all of the raw sexual energy of funk and exotic jazz minus all of the pomp and frills of radio pop, and in a complete twist of irony ends up creating something that is more appealing to mainstream ears than anything the establishment has rendered in the last half decade.

When I listened to “Love My Body” for the very first time, I knew that I was listening to a surefire hit for both See and the highly competitive southern California scene that he’s conquering at the moment. From the very start of the song, there’s a brutally catchy backbeat that grabs our focus and leads us around like a young pup on a leash. Mikey See gradually pours the rhythm through the speakers, and before we have any time to assess what’s taking place, we’re completely engulfed in the white hot heat that drives the chorus. I can’t say for certain, but I feel like anyone, even the most dedicated of wallflowers, would have a hard time resisting the urge to bust a move to this single.

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/iammikeysee/

Mikey See comes off so composed in this song that I could have been easily convinced that he was working on his second or third album rather than pushing a debut release. He doesn’t sound like the typical first-timer in the studio; there isn’t any nervousness, unneeded bells and whistles or the feeling that he’s holding back from unleashing his full potential. It’s just Mikey See, a microphone, a melody and us, and that combination is the perfect formula for creating something that is both magically innovative and divinely ancient at the same time. He’s onto something good, and anyone with a pair of ears could tell you that he’s going to make a fortune with it.

If you haven’t heard his self-titled debut or for that matter aren’t familiar with Mikey See and everything that he’s doing both in and out of music right now, “Love My Body” is the perfect jumping off point to get familiar with his persona as an artist and as an individual. There are plenty of reasons that I could list as to why I think we’re witnessing the birth of a real star in See, but I’ve always found it annoying when critics like myself try to play lawyer for an artist that we believe to be relevant to the future of music. Instead I’ll just tell you to give “Love My Body” a spin at the soonest possible occasion. Trust me, it will be well worth your time.

SPOTIFY: open.spotify.com/track/2UfDvBn3H8B0VaTPFIq8qx

Clay Burton

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In/Vertigo presents “Bad Enemy”

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/getinvertigo/?__tn__=*s-R

To the critics who would say rock n’ roll hasn’t had a pulse in ten years and further that those who try and resuscitate its life force are wasting valuable talent, In/Vertigo presents “Bad Enemy” a blistering new single from their upcoming debut extended play, out everywhere that independent music is sold this autumn. A lot of my peers in the journalism community have been in love with this idea that rock is dead, hip-hop is dead, even pop is dead, but I for one have never bought into any of it. The underground is where all music lives and breathes regardless of the industry, and that’s exactly where In/Vertigo came together and found that they could be pretty brilliant when they put their heads together.

Looking for real rock amidst all of the chaotic white noise occupying the FM dial lately hasn’t been easy for the novice listener, but in reality it’s been right where it always was – existing just beneath the surface of commercialism where nothing can tarnish its pure relentlessness. In the Canadian wilderness, In/Vertigo found inspiration to make music as bold and beautiful as the nature around them, and their hometown of Calgary has seen their sound expand into a gargantuan powerhouse over the last couple of years. Now the group is ready to make the leap into the big leagues, and although this is only their first ever recorded song, I think that we’re bearing witness to the rise of an unstoppable giant.

“Bad Enemy” is dangerous and mischievously confident in its warring momentum, but more than anything else it’s In/Vertigo’s attitude that really makes this a standout song for the year. Vocalist Reed Alton is one of the more physical frontmen in the game right now, and not only does he spellbind us with his nimble navigation of the complex construction of “Bad Enemy,” he actually creates a lot of sincere melody along the way. Alton doesn’t compete for all of the glory though with guitarist Shaddy Elsaghir, who competently bludgeons us with one cruel riff after another, nor bassist Duncan McCartney and drummer Keaton Byfield who handle things on the backend with expert level care. Together these cats are making enormous waves, and Americans are bound to start feeling the mist in the coming months.

I’ll have to see them live and in person to know for certain, but if In/Vertigo’s sound translates onto the stage as well as it does through the speakers of my headphones then this could be the hottest touring act of the 2020s. I’ve been a harsh critic of the live rock circuit for the last half decade because it’s felt like no one was putting everything into their performances anymore; that isn’t the case with this crew. If anything, In/Vertigo put themselves out there so much that their vulnerability could be construed as avant-garde when stripped down to its bare bones. In either case I plan on finding out for myself what the secret is to their success, and I’m sure the band will give me plenty more material to study in the next couple of years ahead.

RELATED ARTICLE:  sleazeroxx.com/reviews/invertigo-invertigo/

Clay Burton

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Del Suelo release LP and Novel

URL: delsuelo.net

For the last week it’s been extremely difficult for me to get the jazzy sway of The Musician’s Compass: A 12 Step Programme out of my head. A progressive rock companion to Del Suelo’s book of the same title, it loosely follows the same plot as the novel. Featuring the protagonist Devon of the fictional folk punk outfit North By Choice, listeners shadow Devon as he chases after fame and glory in the rock n’ roll world, only to find that the journey to stardom is often littered with a lot of demons to encounter along the way. Del Suelo is one of the most enigmatic figures in all of indie rock today, but in this record his diehard fans get to know a side of him that most artists in his position would never dream of exposing.

Devon, much like Pink in the legendary Pink Floyd rock opera The Wall, is a character who stands to both gain and lose everything in the heat of the spotlight, and it’s only when he starts to embrace the power of the music he yields that he begins to learn a little more about himself and shed the pain and trauma that comes with a life of artistic suffering. Much like the novel, we can’t help but stay glued to our headphones as the story unfolds, constantly wondering whether or not Devon is going to make it through to the light at the end of the tunnel, and more importantly, what will be waiting for him when he gets there.

The Musician’s Compass doesn’t get so progressive in arrangement that these songs couldn’t be released on their own. In fact, “Pack Rats” has done quite well getting the attention of listeners who would otherwise avoid progressive pieces completely. I think the problem with most concept albums is that the people responsible for making them frequently don’t know how, or to whom, to properly market them. But Del Suelo isn’t even concerned with the marketability of this album – it speaks for itself in terms of aesthetics and doesn’t need a big ad campaign to get people interested in its statement. By not caring about the bottom dollar, Del Suelo has actually discovered the perfect marketing formula.

It’s been a hot debate lately as to whether or not art rock, and really all of progressive music, has a place in today’s modern format where pop songs rarely have any continuity between each other on an LP, and most artists with such lofty ambitions have tended to veer away from the mainstream completely. I think that with The Musician’s Compass: A 12 Step Programme, Del Suelo proves that progressive rock can still serve a pretty important purpose in 2018 and beyond, and you don’t even have to be all that familiar with his work to be able to see the impact he’s having. I loved this album, and I think that with time and the right exposure it will come to share the same iconic status as other titanic releases of its medium have.

BANDCAMP: delsuelo.bandcamp.com/releases

Clay Burton

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The Gary Douglas Band releases new Single

URL: www.garydouglasband.com/

A thinking listener can’t argue much with the message and imagery in the words for “Nothing Ever Goes as Planned”. The new single from The Gary Douglas Band spares no punches revealing our society as an unforgiving, violent, and inhuman world where the best laid plans of the best among us are often subverted by selfishness, madness, and greed. It’s notable, however, that the song never succumbs to despair. The musical mood harbors a light downcast air, but the sonic spirit of the tune leans much more to the exhortative side of things, a quality especially underlined by the song’s chorus. Full on backing voices answer the lead vocals during the chorus and Douglas caps things off with his most passionate moments at its conclusion. Rarely are any songs as put together as “Nothing Ever Goes as Planned”, everything slides into place, every idea and motif pays off for the listener.

Few elements in the song succeed as well as the vocals. Douglas may not have a bevy of releases to his credit, but he takes on this song like a canny veteran of both the studio and stage and applies both the right amount of force and personality to bring this song to life. The thoughtful consideration of his phrasing helps accentuate the quality of Douglas’ lyrics and mitigates some of the darkness in its imagery. The tone of the backing vocals has a much different feel than we hear from Douglas and the stark contrast between those sounds adds a lot to “Nothing Ever Goes as Planned”. The vocal melody matches up nicely with the arrangement without ever imitating it and it’s another important contrast making “Nothing Ever Goes as Planned” work so well.

The song musically hinges on the acoustic guitar and percussion. The acoustic guitar maintains a fairly consistent tone throughout the song, but the drumming brings an evolving character to the performance that gives it genuine flair. Listening to how the drums are recorded provides a microcosm for how the production enhances “Nothing Ever Goes as Planned” and the artful way the mix frames the song is a big part of its success. Most of the song has a warm crack in its snare drum sound that gives the single an emphatic and unwavering pulse.

“Nothing Ever Goes as Planned” is a magical second single from The Gary Douglas Band’s second album. The pending sophomore release Deep in the Water thus far shows a songwriting who has refined and developed on the talents we heard with the band’s debut Keepin’ Faith. It’s music and songwriting that stands behind its passion, never backs off, and unflinchingly gives the listener its take on the world with an ear always turned towards entertaining its audience as well. It’s uniformly successful. The Gary Douglas Band illustrates how passion survives no matter what paths we pursue in life and our deepest personal happiness comes when we obey our inner voice. “Nothing Ever Goes as Planned” is full of soul, artfulness, and a deadeye aim on its message.

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/garydouglasband/

Clay Burton

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DawgGonDavis releases “Anthem Pandemonium” EP

KKBOX: www.kkbox.com/hk/tc/album/APucOxkzFmHep0F2Nyni009H-index.html

A slick drum beat walks us into the neon heat of “Forever Music,” a slice of old school flow from DawgGonDavis’ awesome new EP Anthem Pandemonium, and while it leads us directly into its songwriter’s twisted world of abstract humor it also triggers an insatiable desire to shake our bodies to its oddly romantic groove. DawgGonDavis is not a household name in the hip-hop world, but if you’ve been keeping an eye on the indie rap scene her elegantly off the wall tracks have been hard to avoid. Finally assembled into an extended play, DGD’s hardcore fans are guaranteed to be enthralled by her most ambitious release yet while new listeners will get hooked on her infectiously glowing style.

DGD is only a part time musician, but when she gets into the studio she’s totally involved in every stage of the process. From the composition of the music to the careful crafting of the lyrics, she doesn’t leave out a single detail when constructing her songs, and audiences won’t have to listen very hard to notice the difference in her material above everyone else’s. DGD’s primary objective in her career isn’t to rack up a bunch of platinum records but to raise awareness for charity, and that’s a big motivation to keep her extremely attentive to her records.

Anthem Pandemonium is crudely designed (in a good way) on purpose, and rather than coming off as totally outsider-branded and inaccessible to mainstream listeners it adds a creative flair that you won’t typically find scanning the radio. Hip-hop has the problem of often taking itself too seriously, and by consistently using her platform for self-deprecation and jovial banter DGD isn’t just making good music, she’s humbling the genre that she celebrates. Many artists half her age have tried this and failed miserably, but she makes it look effortless.

Stylistically DGD isn’t influencing the future of rap music or even the Midwestern scene that she’s come to call her own, but she’s still having a lot of fun getting us to have fun in the face of such dark and depressing circumstances in our country. With so much fighting and division between people in America these days, it’s nice to hear an artist who openly wants to take the tough subjects and have a laugh with them at no one’s expense. She’s tough as nails in her vocal delivery and straight forward in her songwriting, which actually could make her a good artist for us all to lean on in the years to come.

Whether it’s cancer, the fear of unacceptance or the intimidating task of making a record that everyone will love, there isn’t anything that can keep DawgGonDavis from accomplishing what she sets her heart out to do. For one of the more inspirational and relaxing listens of the year, I highly recommend checking out Anthem Pandemonium and its four stunningly original rap songs. When life gets us down, art is always there to pick us back up, and thanks to this gifted and talented woman 2018 is a little less gloomy than it started out to be.

DawgGoneDavis’ music on SPOTIFY: open.spotify.com/artist/17zkKolXnMXBF26UdTSVBp

Clay Burton

DawgGonDavis’ music has been heard all over the world due to the radio plugging services offered by Musik Radio Promotions. Learn more – musikandfilm.com/

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Wave 21 release Self-Titled LP

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/wave21band

Perhaps it isn’t such a bold prediction based on the quality of this release, but I expect Wave 21 will be around for years to come. The Canadian based country rock outfit are solid and often all around inspired, but they are particularly notable for the presence of sisters Mary-Lynn and Emmy-Lou Doroschuk, a songwriting tandem responsible for penning each of the ten tracks on the band’s debut collection. Their talent is DNA driven; the band’s bassist and violin player on this release, Stefan Doroschuk, is Mary-Lynn and Emmy-Lou’s father, a former member of Men Without Hats, and encouraged the sisters’ early musical development by rewarding the young girls ten dollars for each melody or song they created. As a result of this early motivation and wood-shedding their craft, the Doroschuk siblings come off as impressively polished songwriters from the first.

This polish doesn’t announce itself with immense fanfare. Instead, songs like the opener “Ya Ya Ya” illustrate it subtly. Though the lyrics aren’t entirely sun-streaked joyful, the song has an irrepressible air and Mary-Lynn’s singing easily matches its energy. She has a canny knack for phrasing reaching far beyond her years, further testament to how hard she’s worked to hone her chosen craft since a young age. One of Wave 21’s key musicians, lead guitarist Nick Rivera, turns in a particular key performance for this song. “Here We Go”, the album’s second cut, is similar to the first track in some respects, but Wave 21 opts for dispensing with the electric guitar flourishes and rumble we heard with “Ya Ya Ya” in favor of an energetic acoustic guitar attack. It has, undoubtedly, one of the best choruses you’ll hear on an album full of such strong suits, but the commercial appeal of the tune is just as key to its potential success.
“It’ll Be One of These Days” is another of those songs with likely large commercial appeal. Despite the maturity and hard-won wisdom shining through, Mary-Lynn dispatches the vocal with a lot of empathy and youthful vigor while the backing vocals, a consistent highlight of the band’s debut, punctuate things quite nicely. “The Fun Times” is another winner with its deliberate pacing, surprising musical turns, and a band performance that’s every bit as committed as what we hear from another stellar Mary-Lynn vocal. It’s one of the album’s longer songs as well, one of only two running over four minutes, but Wave 21 confidently extends themselves in these moments and come up with memorable tunes.

Many fans and listeners will flock to the tune “Catch Me” and much of the credit should be ascribed to Stefan Doroschuk’s violin contributions. The instrument, essentially, acts as a second vocalist for the song and its “duet” with Mary-Lynn’s voice, as well as secondary vocals, with spectacular results. The clean, unvarnished simplicity of “Set Me Free”, the album’s briefest tune, doesn’t make it a lesser number than the other nine tunes but, instead, serves up another side of Wave 21’s musical character without upsetting the album’s balance. It definitely has a distinctive sound, particularly with the production effects surrounding the vocals, but it plays fully in lockstep with the other tracks. “Far Away”, the debut’s concluding track, shows listeners another example of how the band’s songwriting excels integrating their strong verses with climatic choruses underlining the ocean of feeling behind each of the band’s songs. Wave 21 will make a mark with this fine debut album.

YOU TUBE: www.youtube.com/channel/UC0rm0gWc7RWsOeR8PrKtEGA

Clay Burton

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Mariel Darling releases “No Mirrors” single

URL: marieldarling.com/

Pop music has been leaving a lot to be desired as of late, and it hasn’t just been critics who have been saying so. From coast to coast and from one end of the globe to the next, audiences have been craving something different from the everyday, run of the mill pop music that has come to be the only thing mainstream radio seems to want to play. Plastic themes like cheating girlfriends, buying cars with cash just to crash them and trying to discover the meaning of life through a lot of pointless self-indulgence are archaic to the millennial listener; they need something more calculated, more detailed and frankly full of more life. That’s where Mariel Darling and her song “No Mirrors” come in. In the song, Darling literally looks deep into a mirror and tells us what she sees, and it isn’t someone who fits into average terminology or characterization. She sees an individual, a free spirit, a person who isn’t able to fit in with the rest of the crowd and wouldn’t want to anyway. Her words are cutting and true, and they represent the start of an important new movement that pop music needs to embrace.

“No Mirrors” would work well even if it was just a straight vocal track rather than the multifaceted electro-pop ballad that it is in this setting, and that says something about the quality of Darling’s skills as a performer. She doesn’t need a synthesizer or even a band behind her to get her message to the people, and the wisdom that perpetuates her narrative isn’t the kind that takes a lot of years on earth to obtain. It takes common sense logic and a lot of love for humanity itself. In reality, it takes someone like Mariel Darling and her knack for looking at things through the lens of optimism, which isn’t something that we should try, it’s something that we need to put into practice as a people and as a society at large. If everyone spent more time being themselves rather than trying to blend in, we might actually learn what genuine diversity can do for us all.

I cannot wait to hear a full length studio album from Mariel Darling. Based on the sprawling nature of “No Mirrors,” I don’t think it’s premature to suggest that she’s ready and willing to take the leap into primetime and come up with her head above water. Unlike a half century ago when an artist only needed a couple of singles to generate praise and credibility from critics and audiences alike, it takes an entire record for most of my peers to really start giving am artist the credit that they deserve. I don’t know whether or not I would want a full blown electronica album from Darling or something more squarely focused on her vocals because I think that either one could and would be a commercial smash hit. I’m sure I’ll have the chance to find out in the next couple of years as her sound continues to expand and become a brand all its own.

TWITTER: twitter.com/marieldarlingxo

Clay Burton

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MkX drops new single

URL: www.mynameismkx.com/

With so much variety in music to choose from today, it can be wicked difficult trying to find artists that are the real deal and making music that is different than anyone else yet still immersed in a modern, contemporary style that suits our current consciousness. An artist’s vulnerability is at the heart of distinguishing themselves from anyone else making similar sounds, and vulnerability can be expressed almost exclusively through the intimacy of their lyrics. Showing all of us that he’s as much of a poet as he is a show-stopping performer in person, MkX’s “One Sided Love” isn’t just a great dance anthem but also a loving look into its composers gentler, more private side.

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/mkxmusic/

In the timeline from his first releases to today, we’ve seen a lot of growth and maturity in MkX’s sound and approach to making a song. He still has a little more work to do in not drowning out some of the edgier moments in his music with treble-laced synthetizations, but “One Sided Love” is quite obviously his most accomplished piece to date, proudly highlighting his ability to be introspective as well as charismatic. And with such a widely appealing narrative, MkX is also showing us that his music doesn’t have a certain market attached to it, freeing him from any of the obligatory expectations that come with making a flat out “pop” or “rock” release. I get a strong sense of individuality in everything he’s given us so far, and I don’t expect that aspect of his artistic direction to change anytime soon (and God knows that anyone with half a wit wouldn’t want it to).

YOU TUBE: www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSR4o_gVYv4

As much as I believe he rejects expectations and limitations associated with pop stars, MkX does exhibit a number of leadership qualities that could make him a good role model for artists just starting out and pursuing a career in this field. You can’t have an ego, you can’t have a hard time taking criticism, and you definitely can’t rely on other people in your scene to lead the way for your music to happen. If you’re like MkX, the only person you’re depending on is yourself when it comes to forging your own identity and brand, and that’s really the only way to get to the top without sacrificing your own soul or that of those around you.

The future is upon us, and it’s time to decide what we want our pop music to look and sound like as we enter the 2020’s bravely and without attachment to the past. Do we want music that celebrates indulgence and cheap pleasures, or do we want music that relates to the very nature of the human condition in a way that we can all find some solace in despite all of the noise and chaos surrounding us? I for one am hoping to see MkX’s style of feel good music come out as the dominating force, and if he keeps producing tracks like “One Sided Love,” my hopes will be satisfied in no time at all.

SPOTIFY: open.spotify.com/track/2NOtSte1nDljlEEsRaF14F

Clay Burton

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Musik and Film – Empowering the Artist

READ THE TESTIMONIALS: musikandfilm.com/?s=testimonials

”Working with Musik and Film Radio Promotions has been glorious. Because of built-in relationships with thousands of radio stations worldwide, it has enabled me to chart both nationally and internationally amongst major label artists.” -Madlyn

That is what just one artist has to say about Musik and Film, a full-service Radio Promotions company and record label with Distribution, and a number-of other services which can be found at their site which makes up a great business card, especially once you see who’s on the team and what they do. You will find that this is no small-time assembly of music professionals.

CURRENT ARTIST ROSTER: musikandfilm.com/artists-2/

The work of Stephen Wrench, Rhonda Houston, Robyn Robins, Terry Nails, Wayne Killius and Jey Mayberry come together from a long line of experience in all fields from production and publicity to A&R AND most importantly distribution services. It takes an army to do all these things and they seem to have all bases covered, including a radio promotion show with a playlist and testimonials on their huge website. They make sure the artist goes in the direction they seek by providing so much in one company that’s capable of connecting all the important dots and keep them connected for the better.

GENRATING REVENUE: musikandfilm.com/thanks-to-fuser-for-the-tips-on-musik-radio-promotions-fuser-has-released-9-singles-listen-to-how-fuser-used-their-promotions-to-successfully-tour-and-make-money-off-their-music/

“As a non major label, you do not have access and direct links to major national radio fm stations and other options for promotion and without promotion no one will be aware about the artist.I have tried most of the different services and companies offering for airplay promotion with different costs which are more or less expensive and they have been mostly a disappointment with very limited results or limited amount of stations to be reached. It is of course crucial that the material have a potential.

“I have used Musik and Film service for 3 of my artist and the outcome is way above my expectations and the amount of countries that have downloaded the songs.I was counting to maybe have a couple of hundred stations but it is over 10,000 stations including syndicated radio and fex BBC in the US. Film and music is the only one that delivers a result. If you need airplay, use Musik and Film Radio Promotions.” Roland Billberg (CEO, Billberg Entertainmnet Ltd)

MOER ABOUT MUSIK AND FILM: musikandfilm.com/about-us/

They also provide such up to date artist news as: Musik and Film Productions Present S3 EP32 Euro Indie Music Chart Top 20 Countdown Show as a running headline for their Radio Promotion show hosted by Jey Mayberry and company president Steve Wrench, just top provide more examples in this review. Not being an artist, I still find it useful for all things concerning the indie music world, it’s more than just a service that way, check their website and see all there is to see, because it’s the best way to find out what they’re up to on a daily-basis. It will become a go-to for all your music industry needs, even if you’re not a musician you can refer them to anyone looking for their services. More of what artists have to say

RELATED ARTICLE: emigfoundation-my.sharepoint.com/:v:/g/personal/aaron_emigfoundation_org/EfK0-Ga9G4JFsjHPmFwemmgB1zBBcSx0cUM8cdGGVYx7jA?e=VDYqzU

Clay Burton

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