VideoMusicStars http://videomusicstars.com Independent Music News Headlines Fri, 12 Feb 2016 15:19:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Sarantos: Valentine’s Day – the music finds a vein of something vital in all of us http://videomusicstars.com/sarantos-valentines-day-the-music-finds-a-vein-of-something-vital-in-all-of-us/ http://videomusicstars.com/sarantos-valentines-day-the-music-finds-a-vein-of-something-vital-in-all-of-us/#respond Fri, 12 Feb 2016 15:19:16 +0000 http://videomusicstars.com/?p=11392 The Akademia LA Music Awards winner, Sarantos, has just released his latest song, “Valentine’s Day”. In 2015 Sarantos swept up awards for Best Song (What If I Never See You Again), Best Rock Song (Easy To Believe), Best Rock Ballad (The Veteran), Best Rock Music Video (We Accept The Love We Think We Deserve), Best Singer/Songwriter Song (A Mission Of Heart, I Sing), Best Pop Song (I Sing) & Best Pop Rock Album (Not Where I Wanna Be).

Sarantos has also won twelve Beat 100 song and music video awards in 2015 and 2014, plus without a label or radio promoters, Sarantos’ song “What If I Never See You Again” has been in the top 200 on the majors list in the US for radio airplay according to the Digital Radio Tracker Top 200 charts. On the independent charts, Sarantos is still in the top 10. And of course, once again Sarantos’ generosity shows, as 33% of any music-related sales profits from this song are going straight to the American Heart Association.

Sarantos

Sarantos

Though love is all around us every single day, Sarantos feels that Valentine’s Day, is a significant day of the year. “This is a singer-songwriter song about a man who spends Valentine’s Day thinking about love and its special purpose in the world,” say Sarantos. “Love is real. Real is love. Love is all around us on Valentine’s Day. Love does not care about our age and whether we have been in love just once or many times. Love will smack us across our faces if it so desires. What do you think about love? What do you think about Valentine’s Day?”

Sarantos has long been one of the most ‘honest’ artists out there. His music always finds a vein of something vital in all of us; this time around, it’s the lover in all of us. Plain and simple…this man has written some of the most beautiful and heart wrenching love songs over the last couple of years and finally here is Sarantos’ take on “Valentine’s Day”. He sums it up in 4 simple, yet highly significant lines – Love is real / Real is love / Love is kind / Kind is love. It really doesn’t need much more explanation than that.

He breathes new life into a day that has grown to become more of a commercial holiday for most. The core audience for this tune is looking exactly for that rich, well-informed voice Sarantos uses to navigate the track, making it a fine pleasure to hear, while the melody and his vivacity cover “Valentine’s Day” like wallpaper. Sarantos puts a lot of passion, intensity and overall effort into every song he does. Maybe more so than many other contemporary independent artists I hear, and this track is no exception.

Just listen to the arrangement, chord progressions, the playing and the music production. Nothing is sold short or done haphazardly. Sarantos treats his music in the best possible way; hence listeners feel that same respect shine through his songs, as it does on “Valentine’s Day”.  You can’t listen to this without missing someone you loved long ago, or reaching your hand out to slow dance with the one you love now.

OFFICIAL LINKS: Sarantos Website – Facebook – Twitter – Google+ – YouTube – iTunes – Vimeo – Reverbnation – Soundcloud

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One Girl Symphony – a multi-talented explosion waiting to happen! http://videomusicstars.com/one-girl-symphony-a-multi-talented-explosion-waiting-to-happen/ http://videomusicstars.com/one-girl-symphony-a-multi-talented-explosion-waiting-to-happen/#respond Thu, 11 Feb 2016 19:07:17 +0000 http://videomusicstars.com/?p=11389 If you are new to One Girl Symphony, I must tell you that their music is very hard to categorize. As a matter of fact, I think we are on the cusp of a new genre. However before experiencing the magical musical world of One Girl Symphony we need to know that OGS is actually a boy and a girl – the talented composer and instrumentalist, Whitney Vandell, a young musical prodigy adopted at the age of two by an American missionary and music teacher, and the exquisite and experienced violinist, William Stewart.

One-Girl-Symphony-CoverWhitney met William online through the random connection of a family-friend. Consider that William had long retired from playing the violin at the age of 21 to start a family, nearly thirty years ago, after leaving the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra. Now, together, One Girl Symphony adventure into classical, rock, hip-hop, folk and blues territories.

‘Today, neither borders nor differences in language or culture can keep musicians apart to stop them from realizing their dreams! Despite us all being from different worlds and working with oceans between us we came together as if we were all sitting in the same room’, says William Stewart, the violinist collaborating on the self-titled, One Girl Symphony album. The inspiring story is proof to musicians worldwide that it doesn’t matter whom you are or where you are located, all that is needed to realize your vision and record an album is a laptop and an Internet connection.

The release of the CD and accompanying DVD film coincided with the premiere performance that united Whitney and William at the TEDx event in Addis Ababa. A crowdfunding campaign was launched and covered William’s flight from France to bring the musicians together on stage to perform. ‘We had never met each other in person but through TEDx we got the chance to realize our fantasy of playing together in front of a live audience’, says Whitney Vandell.

One-Girl-Symphony-TEDxOne Girl Symphony’s music takes you to an entirely different time and place like no other current recording artist. I would encourage everyone to listen to each of their songs in their entirety several times before passing judgment as this style of music is unique and often times the really good stuff really kicks in after the 30 second mark. So watch out for those iTunes samples.

To be sure, the One Girl Symphony experience is a visual as well as aural one, but that isn’t to say the music itself is dependent on the visual. In fact, on its own merits I found this to be an excellent album, showcasing both Whitney Vandell and William Stewart’s technical abilities along with interesting arrangements and, I should say, a sound that I don’t think you can find anywhere else. It’s just that Whitney is a very beautiful lady, which may distract your attention from the music ever so slightly!

One-Girl-Symphony-CDTrayWhitney Vandell has certainly set high standards for her music and that is a good thing because it comes through in everything she creates and plays. This young lady is a multi-talented explosion waiting to happen. And that much is clear from the very first track on the album, “No Glitch” right through to the closer. My only caveat when listening to new music is that I need to feel something when I hear a song, not just want to tap my foot. Her music is so emotional, over and above the melodic manipulation of my brain that it feels almost therapeutic.

Whitney is finding her own expression in this album. It blends genres of music in ways that are very entertaining. You can hear that she is having fun with the music and is not just going through the motions. Very emotional, mature and soul baring, there isn’t a single song on the whole album I wouldn’t listen to again and again; especially “Orleans Dirt”, “What Can I Say”, “Farewell Solace”, “Eternal Savannah” and “Blues City Jam”.  If you like anything that is remotely musical you will most likely enjoy the music of One Girl Symphony.  Without words Whitney Vandell and William Stewart can create beautiful images, stories, and emotions.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITEITUNESVIMEO

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Steve Lieberman: “Terminator V617F” – animates and invigorates the soul http://videomusicstars.com/steve-lieberman-terminator-v617f-animates-and-invigorates-the-soul/ http://videomusicstars.com/steve-lieberman-terminator-v617f-animates-and-invigorates-the-soul/#respond Thu, 11 Feb 2016 14:46:06 +0000 http://videomusicstars.com/?p=11386 Written and produced by Steve Lieberman with the exception of three cover tunes by The Who, Chicago, and the Jim Carroll Band, “Terminator V617F” is Steve’s 25th CD release and features 15-tracks of genuine Gangsta Rabbi-styled industrial metal jazz-rock. The project title made of letters and numbers has a meaning that is as equally important as each song. The (JAK2) V617F is a chromosome mutation causing several types of myeloprolifirative leukemias, including Lieberman’s disease (post Polycythemia Vera Myelofibrosis).

Steve Lieberman who played alongside Weezer and opened for the Misfits, Andrew W.K. and the late Dunn and Vito, completed “Terminator V617F” within 2 months after receiving news that his cancer had become terminal. Brooklyn-born Steve has built a successful career off his unorthodox approach within the industrial rock genre largely due to his signature use of distorted bass, guitars and other instruments such as flutes, saxophones, trombones and melodica.

Steve Lieberman

Steve Lieberman

Some albums are a nexus and a microcosm all their own. This is one of them. This collection of obscure, dissonant tunes will still be kicked around speakers fifty years from now. I have no doubt of it. This album won’t fail to animate and invigorate the souls of those who hear it, it’s a virus in the classic Burroughsian sense, but a virus that fortifies and awakens those who are lucky enough to catch it: This music is passion in its rawest and most vitriolic form.

The first time I listened to “Terminator V617F”, frankly, I didn’t like it. The music was too fast and it was devoid of any melody. Steve’s vocals were screamed so fast and unintelligibly, that it turned me off at first. But there was something infectious about the music that kept me coming back for more. Then I started analyzing the lyrics. They cut with such razor sharp poignancy and heartfelt honesty that the music started to make my stomach churn. I finally got it. This music blew away my old punk and metal records. Steve Lieberman presented his emotions in an honest and beautiful way.

Though often sounding like a casual jam, musically Steve is tighter than 95 percent of the hardcore bands around, and the music stands up. This is revolutionary stuff. I mean who else would blend the diversity of horn instrumentation that Steve does, into a fast-paced, grinding rock raucous like “Terminator V617F”.  All I know is that I can put this record on in my room and roll around like an idiot, get all sweaty, and shout along, and love every second of it. This record transcends punk, hardcore, metal or any B.S. music label that you can think of.

Steve Lieberman is the epitome of musical individualism. Fighting the desire to conform to the assimilating establishment, this album is more of a tribute to ideals than to pervading mediocrity. Granted this is no easy album to listen to. You will need ears of steel, but at least with Steve there isn’t such thing as a dull moment, and this 15-track compilation does much to cement that fact. It’s like being on a rollercoaster ride, going higher and higher, further and further, where the air becomes so thin you can no longer breathe…from sheer excitement and anticipation!

I won’t bother with breaking down song title as they are self-explanatory once you get the album. Suffice to say that every song is an adrenaline rush of therapeutic emotion. By the end, you will discover that “Terminator V617F” is much more melodic than you thought, and much less insane than you believed.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITESOUNDCLOUDFACEBOOK

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AYK & OJ The Chemist: “Trust Issues” – a sincere desire to be the best they can! http://videomusicstars.com/ayk-oj-the-chemist-trust-issues-a-sincere-desire-to-be-the-best-they-can/ http://videomusicstars.com/ayk-oj-the-chemist-trust-issues-a-sincere-desire-to-be-the-best-they-can/#respond Tue, 09 Feb 2016 21:11:13 +0000 http://videomusicstars.com/?p=11382 Andrew Kim (AYK) is a 20 year-old Korean American who has been making music for a little over a year. Omar Tyree (OJ The Chemist) is 19 year-old Afro American, originally from New Jersey who moved to LA in 2010.  OJ met AYK at college through a mutual friend and slowly realized their music interests, among many other things, like games and clothes were similar, so they decided to experiment with making music.

AYK

AYK

Together AYK & OJ The Chemist have now released their first single “Trust Issues”, from their upcoming joint mixtape. Based on a sample of “No Scrubs” by TLC, the track produced by DJ Shakey Biz, discusses breakups and heartbreaks, and how those situations are often beyond our control. AYK & OJ The Chemist is groundbreaking and classic all at the same time. Their music is inspiring and cautionary in the same breath. They can pull off gorgeous alternative rap ballads like this while getting down, dirty, and sassy.

“Trust Issues” packs an emotional punch that resonated with me big time on the very first listen. I believe this track has something that everyone can relate to, no matter who you are or where you come from. Today’s music product is marketed to diverse groups by radio stations that only play what their marketing people tell them to play, and all of us are neatly packaged into clique groups who are supposed to listen to what the rest of our peers listen to. In other words, I’m not supposed to be an AYK & OJ The Chemist fan.

OJ The Chemist

OJ The Chemist

When something really good comes along, it is called a “crossover” to signify popular appeal, proving my point. If there is good material in the hands of a talented artist, there will always be a good product. This is rare in today’s music business. AYK & OJ The Chemist could have followed the lead of almost everybody else in the industry and release “hype”. Instead they have that magic combination that few artists have…a good song, great talent, great production, and a sincere desire to make the best music they can. They go together like peanut butter and jelly.

AYK & OJ The Chemist have an actual friendship, and that makes creating together with no pressures, labels or deadlines a genius idea. There’s no pretense of being hyper lyricists, punchline rappers or R&B crooners. This may be the prime reason you can appreciate this music much more, because you not expecting knock out technical verses or histrionic vocals. AYK & OJ The Chemist are honest and have crafted that honesty into a format that’s easy for anyone to consume. It’s about what’s they say and how they say it that matters. They stay faithful to the music and do what they know best on “Trust Issues”.

OFFICIAL LINKS: SOUNDCLOUDTWITTERFACEBOOK

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Sondado: “Your place has been determined” captures moods, colors and tones http://videomusicstars.com/sondado-your-place-has-been-determined-captures-moods-colors-and-tones/ http://videomusicstars.com/sondado-your-place-has-been-determined-captures-moods-colors-and-tones/#respond Tue, 09 Feb 2016 12:20:06 +0000 http://videomusicstars.com/?p=11379 What does an orchestral musician, an accountant, a software developer, and freelancers, have in common with session singers, a guitarist and a clarinet player? Well they all make music together in an alternative industrial type collective, called ‘Sondado’, led by fulltime core duo, Tamas (composer/keys, virtual drums, FXs, mix) and Gerald (lyrics, and vocal for most of the songs). And as you would expect from artists who originally work in the IT sector, their music is electronic-based. But what you will not expect is that Sondado do not use loops and samples, preferring the more time-consuming but satisfying do-it-yourself creative method.

SONDADO-350Sondado’s latest album is the 12 track “Your place has been determined”, composed and mixed by the duo themselves and mastered by Gabor Noniusz. Every song on this album sounds different, and has different qualities overall from the last. Yet each song and the order they come in manage to string the song structure together with flowing unity. The songs are all there for a reason; extensions of one another, bolstering each other’s overall sound and increasing the quality of resonance left in your mind after listening to “Your place has been determined”.

Many tracks share the same energetic drum & bass feel, which Sondado pass along from song to song, leaving each track with its own distinguishing features and feeling. Specifically, the most distinguishing and differentiating element between the songs, is the vocals – one minute it’s a soaring female voice, the next, the croon of a melancholy male baritone or even the rampant rhyming of rap verses. Without of course forgetting the choir chants and big choral arrangements, fit for any movie score.

SONDADO-300Also impressive is the duo’s ability to carve such dense and emotional soundscapes, track after track, which takes you through the entire human emotional spectrum. From its raging highs to melancholic lows, listening to “Your place has been determined” is a cathartic experience, much like watching an epic film.

The title track, “Your place has been determined” is menacing and driven with its rap and sung verses, when it’s not spine-chilling you with its low bass lines. “Approaching Achelo” is both gloomy and glorious with its beautiful synth pads and switching male-female vocals, adding a notable contrast which attracts and seduces the ear. Sondado’s ability to capture moods, colors and tones in “Project: Social Evolution” using an intense string palette and sedating vocals is unreal. Not that the songs I listed here are the only songs of interest. The rest of the album, of course, is expansive and rich with sound. You will enjoy the epic instrumental reminiscences of “Northern Winter” and the enterprising motion of “Future Visions” and “Road to the Unknown”.

“Your place has been determined” is a fully consistent album, which defies the limited boundaries of boxed genres. The flow of the music almost fits perfectly like a puzzle. Its magnificence is not compromised for inaccessible experimentation or for mainstream exploitation, balancing the warring poles of minimalism and cacophony. The result is an album that blends and distills Sondado’s most satisfying elements down to a near-perfect 43 minutes. “Your place has been determined” is epic and subtle, technically savvy and emotionally charged, and visceral all at once.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITEBANDCAMPITUNESFACEBOOK

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Bravado: “Passenger” – The power, punch, harmonic textures, and melodic hooks are very impressive http://videomusicstars.com/bravado-passenger-the-power-punch-harmonic-textures-and-melodic-hooks-are-very-impressive/ http://videomusicstars.com/bravado-passenger-the-power-punch-harmonic-textures-and-melodic-hooks-are-very-impressive/#respond Tue, 09 Feb 2016 02:09:18 +0000 http://videomusicstars.com/?p=11376 Bravado is a female fronted rock band that has been performing together for little over a year but has already drummed up interest around the country playing venues and festivals. The band consists of Pamela Stewart – Lead Vocals, Paula Knight– Vocals & Lead Guitar, Milo – Bass & Keyboard and B.Y – Drums. A few months ago, Bravado released the single and supporting video for “Passenger”, a track off the “Euphoria” EP. If you liked the hard-rocking and the 80’s power ballad era, you’ve got to love this track. These ladies (…and gentlemen) know how to put good music together. The power, punch, harmonic textures, and melodic hooks that they amalgamate are very impressive.

Bravado

Bravado

Crank up the volume and let Bravado rattle the pearly white’s right out of your head. The seasoning has an occasional and familiar dash of a classic rock era gone by, but the main ingredients are contemporary and fresh. Furthermore, the song reveals tiny aural gold nuggets upon repeated listening. You get a little of everything here: a hard rocking tune, some beautiful acoustic guitar, killer vocals, spot-on harmony, and overall superior songwriting. Paula Knight’s guitar playing and singing indicates that she is confidently at the helm of her craft, while Pamela Stewart’s lead vocals are stunning. Alongside them the twin-cylindered rhythm section made up of Milo and B.Y, is an immaculate powerhouse.

Music styles change. Each decade seems to have its signature style of music. Some bands, like Bravado, keep up and make both good and timely music, while still bringing in important influences from a past heritage along with them.  “Passenger” starts off with the sound of an acoustic guitar, and then takes off into a great mid-tempo rock song, which could belong to any rock era you choose.  The songwriting perfectly melds the raw rock sound of the 70s with the commerciality of the 80s, the alternative feel of the 90s, and the edginess of now. It’s a much welcome 180 degree departure from the overly formulaic, “marketing machine” sound, rock bands are currently carrying the torch for.

This track brings us back to what rock is truly about (and should be about) – in your face, straight ahead, passion rich rock-n-roll, complimented by some emotional, melodic, and heartfelt vocals to complete that perfect musical mix. Bravado’s newest effort paints images with words and instrumentation found sadly lacking in today’s music industry. Having taken in all the sights, the final destination you arrive at with “Passenger” has a feeling of being comfortable. The music is new and different, retaining a quality of familiarity.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITEFACEBOOKTWITTERCDBABY

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E-Mute: ‘I Can Pay For It…’ – cutting lyrics, superb instrumental passages and blistering jams! http://videomusicstars.com/e-mute-i-can-pay-for-it-cutting-lyrics-superb-instrumental-passages-and-blistering-jams/ http://videomusicstars.com/e-mute-i-can-pay-for-it-cutting-lyrics-superb-instrumental-passages-and-blistering-jams/#respond Mon, 08 Feb 2016 19:37:25 +0000 http://videomusicstars.com/?p=11373  ‘I Can Pay For It: A Collection of Songs for the Current Political & Socio-economic Crisis’ is the new EP from E-Mute. Having evolved over the years as a fluid collective of creative and experienced musicians, multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter Theo Mak, who is the driving force behind E-Mute, enlisted the help of three of those musicians to bring life to his politically minded brand of alternative rock. A consummate musician, Theo has earned a Bachelor in Music Performance, with a focus on drums at Drumtech, and a Masters’ degree in Music Performance and Composition at Kingston University.

Mixed by engineer Andrea Adriano (Adele, Katy B), and mastered by Sigurdor Gudmundsson at Skonrokk Studios, ‘I Can Pay For It: A Collection of Songs for the Current Political & Socio-economic Crisis’ was fully recorded with live instruments. I’m an E-Mute neophyte, having just discovered their music within the past few days. Theo Mak and E-Mute are so intelligent, provocative, irreverent, inventive, audacious, cunning and brilliant; they have become one of my favorite ‘new’ artists. For a rabid music fan who owns and listens to an infinity of music, that is quite a feat. No one has made such a drastic climb on my faves list ever!

Theo Mak of E-Mute

Theo Mak of E-Mute

E-Mute defies category. They fit their lyrical and musical innovations within an up-to five-minute framework and create some of the finest music recorded today. Theo Mak stands out in my mind as being one of those musicians who deserves a musical sub-genre named after him. He seems to bring all his influences together into a sound that is unpredictable, cocky, witty, explicit and often downright ingenious all at the same time. He has changes in tempo, key, cadence and surprises at every turn in his music…sometimes all in the same song, as is the case with the track, “I Can Pay For It”. The songs come right out at you with that exciting intersection of, in the groove flamboyance at the funkier end of the alternative and progressive rock spectrum, and a sensation of creative free form improvisation. Yet there is a strong underlying sense of control and perfectionism which purveys the EP.

Theo Mak knows exactly what he wants and leads his expert band through some amazingly complex arrangements.  I was going to start picking favorite cuts, but I don’t think I could, as every number here is a classic in my mind. From the blazing foot-stomping “Pink Elephant”, to the gritty, guitar-rocking muscle of “For Yourself” and the brooding piano-driven arrangement of “Miracle”, these songs contain everything about E-Mute: The cutting lyrics, the superb instrumental passages, the blistering jams and sounds, and the overall fantastic musicianship of the band.

‘I Can Pay For It: A Collection of Songs for the Current Political & Socio-economic Crisis’ is all over the map, but it never loses your attention or makes you scratch your head, as it leads you to the promised land of infinite musical possibility.

Purchase the EP: Spotify / Amazon / Google Play / Rdio

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITE / FACEBOOK / TWITTER / YOUTUBE / SOUNDCLOUD

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Myco: “Myceliated” captures the fundamental nuances of our existence http://videomusicstars.com/myco-myceliated-captures-the-fundamental-nuances-of-our-existence/ http://videomusicstars.com/myco-myceliated-captures-the-fundamental-nuances-of-our-existence/#respond Mon, 08 Feb 2016 15:03:56 +0000 http://videomusicstars.com/?p=11370 Myco is a psychedelic project created by Kyle Henry. The moniker, ‘Myco’, is the scientific name for fungi. Myco, who has an album coming out this year, believes that we should emulate nature and just like fungi be decentralized. He is strongly influenced by music from the 60s, 70s and 80s but most of all nature and the psychedelic experience. The latest single release by Myco, entitled “Myceliated”, is a song about fungus and the influence it has on the universe and the human experience.

It is very difficult to write music that is inspirational, spiritual and esoteric. Many writers say it is many times harder than creating music about life as we see it. I can understand this point and it’s clear when you listen to this marvelous recording by the Myco. It’s difficult because sometimes this type of ‘enlightening’ music may come off as preaching, not on this track, however. Myco pulls it off, but it’s not easy. He has a clear, powerful and at times soaring vocal style, not too different than that of Dave Gahan, and in all honesty, even the dark 80s synth motifs, distinctly remind one of Depeche Mode at their best. Which I find all the more endearing and fascinating, considering that DM has always been one of my favorite groups.

MYCO-PROFILE“Myceliated” is a well-produced, well-sung and played, inspirational track that strives to connect with the life force beyond mankind to a higher plateau of awareness and appreciation of just exactly what we are. It strives to create a mood of humbleness and thankfulness for our very lives. We’re on this planet spinning and traveling through space among the stars and we know only one thing for certain….we will die, every one of us. What is the meaning of that? What is the meaning of this existence? Just how are we programmed to behave and live? The realization of these questions and facts should make us better people…that’s what Myco examines, in relation to the properties of the fungus and the Myceliation process, I believe.

As far as likeability and replay value, “Myceliated” is a winner. Symbiosis is the only way to describe Myco’s voice rising and falling within this beautiful electronic arrangement. Blending technology with the natural human voice, then mixing in deeply poetic lyrics and some stunning guitar lines – played by Roland Seph Erulo – is always an amazing feat; and herein it is done so effectively as to leave the listener in an enduring state of awe. Myco’s emotive songwriting style constructs a beautiful, haunting melody backed up by gorgeous harmonies that touch the deepest parts of the soul. It is rare that one finds an artist that captures the fundamental nuances of our existence like mileposts along the road to somewhere. Myco has enthralled and delighted my senses with the atmosphere of sound he creates on “Myceliated”.

Myco supports free art and decentralization, so each of his digital releases is available on torrents with a donation option. Find the FLAC version HERE. You can also purchase the song on ITUNES and AMAZON.

OFFICIAL LINKS: BANDCAMPSOUNDCLOUDFACEBOOKTWITTER

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Weston Simonis: “Moments of Intoxication” – a single of depth and unbridled energy! http://videomusicstars.com/weston-simonis-moments-of-intoxication-a-single-of-depth-and-unbridled-energy/ http://videomusicstars.com/weston-simonis-moments-of-intoxication-a-single-of-depth-and-unbridled-energy/#respond Sun, 07 Feb 2016 21:24:35 +0000 http://videomusicstars.com/?p=11366 A native of the Grande Ronde Valley, Weston Simonis has been on the local music scene for many years. Simonis has been the frontman for several bands over the years, including Drive By, Hopeless Endeavor and The October Sky. As frontman for the band Metal Under the Influence, Simonis and his band mates won the ‘Battle of the Bands’ contest then went on to participate in the Warp Tour, playing at both Boise State University and Eastern Oregon University.

After high school, Simonis went on to study at Full Sail University in Florida, known for being one of the best multimedia institutes in the nation. Working with music producer Michael (Wolf) Reaves (Metallica, Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake), Simonis gained the skills needed to open his own recording studio in La Grande. He has also been growing his own career as a performing artist, and had a fair amount of success with his single “Lynique”, which can be heard on Jango Radio, Live 365, Future FM, iHeart Radio, and Spotify. At the close of last year Weston Simonis launched his latest single entitled, “Moments of Intoxication”.

Weston Simonis

Weston Simonis

Simonis did an amazing job with this track. I think the song stays true to who he is – an artist that doesn’t completely fit within the confines of one particular genre of music, and I think that, in and of itself, is pretty transcendent and awesome. No one can better themselves by simply being one-dimensional. It would be a disservice to all the experiences you’ve amassed along the path to the present. Yet at the same time this isn’t a departure from who Simonis is at the core, it is just him evolving into greatness.

On first listen, Weston Simonis is one of those artists that you just want to dislike. Maybe it’s because he is so far ahead of you, in mixing sounds, styles and musical textures. Or maybe it’s because he has a vocal range that stretches from coast to coast, and then he plays a whole set of musical instruments to go along with that too. He is not pop, punk, rock, or emo; in fact he is all of those things, sometimes in the same song! So it’s confusing and you can’t put your finger on exactly why, but you just know that you shouldn’t like him. But he is so damn good at what he does, and his songs are catchy, the lyrics are smart and his energy is very evident…that you end up loving him instead!

“Moments of Intoxication” is nothing short of spectacular, wrapped up in Latin, pop, rock and urban flavors; Simonis takes the reins of his own musical diversity and constructs a single of depth and unbridled energy. It explodes with vitality and grit and a rough edge polished over with intensity and both musical and vocal prowess. I was smitten upon the first listen, and Simonis’ screaming falsetto continues to live in my head now. The arrangement, the lyrics, the voice…this is music you can feel in your bones.

I have listened to some of Simonis’ previous stuff and I think that “Moments of Intoxication” is one of the coolest things that he has ever done. Music is about doing what you feel, and not about fitting into a genre or trend, and the writing that goes into Weston Simonis’ creations and the feeling that comes out, just hits me in the right way!

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Suits Boulevard: “Oblivious” will draw listeners like moths to a flame! http://videomusicstars.com/suits-boulevard-oblivious-will-draw-listeners-like-moths-to-a-flame/ http://videomusicstars.com/suits-boulevard-oblivious-will-draw-listeners-like-moths-to-a-flame/#respond Sat, 06 Feb 2016 23:58:58 +0000 http://videomusicstars.com/?p=11363 The band, Suits Blvd (short for Suits Boulevard) was formed by Armin Kavousi (Vocals), Peter Scherfig (Guitar), Mads Albertsen (Guitar) and Mads Lindum (Drums) in December 2013, with the vision to create music, which emotionally brought you back to a certain point in life. In the summer 2014, percussionist Ashok Kumaran joined the band, and was followed in January 2015, by bass player Thomas Laursen. In less than 12 months the band has appeared on MTV, VH1, CMT and VEVO, as well as charting on radio stations in Canada and Europe. They have filmed a documentary series on the facts of being an upcoming band, played more than 60 concerts and written and recorded their debut album, “Oblivious”, which was released in January 2016.

The album cover artwork

The album cover artwork

Suits Boulevard is amazing. They write complex, emotional music, never sound corny, and they can flat-out run a chill down your spine. The vocals by Armin Kavousi are simply astounding: he can sing soft and beautifully and conversely go all out and yell. During all of the yelling, however, he never sounds untalented; he is able to keep the high quality of his voice. That’s very rare to find these days. And last but certainly not least, Mads Lindum’s heart-pounding drums are able to pick a song up from a slow melody to all-out rage and then slow it back down again. Another thing I can pick out is that I like the bass on this album. Thomas Laursen uses it to great effect, keeping the flow of the songs together, allowing Peter Scherfig and Mads Albertsen’s guitars to play more complicated and varied riffs.

You won’t hear a million flying solos on this album. If that’s what you’re looking for in music, you’ll have to look elsewhere. Suits Blvd simply rock in a different kind of way. Sure, their music is riff-based, marked by plenty of visceral rock nuances, and amidst all these complex passages, the guitar work is simply one of a kind. The guitar lines bleed atmosphere through and through, in a very unique way. I wish I could describe each track in great detail, but it would be impossible to do so without missing vital moments. The lyrics alone make you dig into yourself, introspect, realize what’s there and what isn’t and what should be. This band is never afraid to push a screwdriver into the most sensitive places in the human psyche, and this album does precisely that in places.

Suits Boulevard

Suits Boulevard

Suits Blvd’s blend of amazing lyrics, musical talent and Kavousi’s vocals creates a sound that is somber, disturbing and powerful…and everything else to the contrary. They have no limits and no bounds. Not less so than on the title track “Oblivious”, the slow burner “Broken Wings” and “Everything”, the mid-tempo rocker “Like a Lion”, the single “Ocean of Lights” and the absolute standout for me, “Imperfect”. But every song on this record is compelling and thought-provoking, and will draw listeners like moths to a flame. With plenty of buildups and emotional crescendos, “Oblivious” resonates with vocal beauty and lyrical artistry.

The major thing about Suits Boulevard is that you cannot take their music at face value, not for one single second. If you look at them from only one perspective, then you will completely miss the point of what they are trying to show us. Every track on here has its own special sound and part, in it that makes you want to listen to it over and over. “Oblivious” is an excellent alternative rock album by a band reaching out towards the height of their powers, and they are finding it in every direction possible!

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