Nicky Wattz latest single ‘Cautionary’ is an electrifying release. With heavy kicks and ambient crisps snares Nicky Wattz crafts a soundscape that is energetic and demanding. Stuttering electric guitars and pulsating keys buzz in and out before the track fully kicks off with spacious pads chiming in immediately accompanied by rapid fire lyrics. LindonMusic and Jacyn Joseph join in and all display their lyrical prowess with one liners, punchlines and palpable anger and energy. ‘Cautionary’ is truly a cautionary tale for any naive Hip-Hop artist daring to compete with the raw sound and “the wrath of a menace” that is Nicky Wattz most recent release.
With their latest single ‘Our Beloved Sun’ Julius & Julia detail a pleasantly open and optimistic perspective. Over an upbeat rhythm, strumming guitar riffs and thumping kick drums they craft a tune about acceptance and love. With the chorus being the climax of a crescendo the memorable hook is coupled with vocal chants and enchanting harmonies. Julius & Julia’s unique sound and take on music is a direct representation of the their one of a kind story. The Icelandic duo of identical twins separated at birth brought together by fate by letters throughout their teenage years manifests itself in their one of a kind art. Their talents are merged solely through music as they have not yet physically met in person, their energy connects in their music and their love, optimism, and fate are all felt on ‘Our Beloved Sun’.
With their album ‘Dearheart’ Andy Babb and Lara Elle bring a true and honest positivity with their uplifting acoustic Pop Folk sound. Audience members describe attending their shows as ‘Church, without all the dogma’ and their self categorized genre of musical medicine is spot on. ‘One Spirit’ opens up the album and acts as more than a confessional of the unity of romantic love. The song’s spiritual message resonates outside of their personal microcosm and into the larger inter-connection of all beings as one spirit. The stripped down minimal acoustic sound allows for a sharp piercing focus on the profundity of the lyrics. ‘So Much’ and ‘You Are Love’ are encouraging and inspirational, Andy Babb and Lara Elle have knack for a directness in their message. Each song sounds as if they are speaking directly to the listener face to face with a tailor-made message based off the happenings in their own personal life. Hailing from Denver, Colorado the duo’s debut collaboration was actually recorded in Bangkok, Thailand. Taking advantage of the low costs – high quality professional recording opportunities their music blossomed, along with their love, as Andy proposed to Lara. The energy can be felt on ‘Dearheart’ immediately, the transcendent feeling travels with the music and the frequency is received on each track. ‘Seems To Me (Hallelujah)’ continues the message of connection and understanding as a means to resolve conflicts; how we have more in common than the minute superficial differences that begin these superfluous conflicts and simple interactions can be the solution. The poetic and powerful lyrics on ‘Dearheart’ are just as astounding as the instrumentation and vocal performances. ‘Saddle Up’ concludes the album with a western style soundscape and a feel good story as an optimistic allegory for the journey of life.
Soulful, conceptual, concise, and smooth ‘Point Five’ delivers at the highest level an EP profusely packed with personality. Geno Five teams up with Alejandro for a full project that flows conceptually and sonically, literally starting with ‘Gettin Familiar’ to ‘Gettin Hurt’ and every other phase in between. Geno Five’s signature multi-level metaphors and subtle lines are on full display as well as soulful harmonizing and a sung delivery on smooth sample chopped soul beats worthy of both bars and soul ballad bellowing. ‘Gettin Thru It’ finds Geno severely introspective, open and baring it all detailing personal tragedy and despair while maintaining optimism. ‘(Never) Going Back’ is beautifully ironic in the fact that each beat switch warrants an immediate repeat, each leg of the song expands to an even more soulful and heartfelt piece of the puzzle, once the trilogy is complete a complete song-restart is a necessity. ‘Point Five’ in it’s entirety is a time capsule to an era when creating a classic was a benchmark, the formula of one producer and one artist, complete realization of a concept, and skits further tying together ideas and subject matter- ‘Point Five’ has all the makings of a modern classic presented in 20 minutes.
Adrian Prath, the 25 year old from Karlsruhe (Germany), releases his amazing ‘Lake Ontario’ EP a optimistically wistful ambient adventure. At times spacious and atmospheric and at times upbeat and groove heavy, the fast pace and dance-able rhythms on ‘Rupert Station’ kick the EP into high gear, a stark contrast from the chill down tempo ambient DreamPop that sets the foundation for ‘Lake Ontario’. The track ‘North’ has a haunting guitar melody mixed with psychedelic reverb and effects and crunchy drums that sound like a classic cassette recording. The ever evolving instrumental expands past psychedelia and tip-toes into down tempo experimental funk, another interesting departure from underlying substrate set in the sequence of opening tracks. The closing track ‘2nd Floor’ is indie heaven, dance heavy and heartfelt, the chorus and spacey guitar melody put the listener in a trance-like state. Immediately upon finishing ‘Lake Ontario’ you want to restart it, hearing the tape be inserted one is relieved on the beginning of ‘Hat Away’ , the lofi Indie ballad, not having to actually rewind to revisit this riveting work.