Friday, May 29, 2020

Reverse Mechanic releases new single “Head in the Clouds”

Outfitted with a rollicking guitar melody and a spitfire set of rhymes from Reverse Mechanic himself, the new single “Head in the Clouds” might not be an easy track to classify, but that’s exactly what makes it such a hot listen. Reverse Mechanic combines Say Anything-style pop-rock with a loose, unflinching hip-hop attack that is on-point from beginning to end here. His delivery is quite fiery, but make no mistake about it; this is a show of melodic strength more than it is anything else. “Head in the Clouds” is as cerebral as its title would imply, yet more centered than anything its creators has produced before.

 The vocal is the main star of the show whether we’re listening to the song on its own or watching the music video. While Reverse Mechanic varies his speed, customizes his flow and maximizes his showmanship in a couple of key junctures here, one thing he never does is invite overindulgence into this mix. He appears to have no interest in riding a fat beat into the horizon here; there is no monstrous bass breakdown, nor any looping sample for him to straddle. He’s thinking like a composer in “Head in the Clouds,” and not like some random rapper off the internet.

I hadn’t heard very much of Reverse Mechanic’s music before getting ahold of “Head in the Clouds” just this past week, but I can tell you now that I’m definitely going to be listening for more in the future. He’s got a lot of confidence in himself here, and whether that swagger is sourced from within or from the instrumental prowess he affords this track and its video, it’s something I’m dying to hear more of. Reverse Mechanic isn’t looking to reinvent rap in “Head in the Clouds,” but he’s definitely making his own mark on the genre regardless.

Scottie Carlito

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Jefferson Thomas releases “Greyhound Bus” Single-Video

A vocal harmony as potent as a roaring Midwestern wind. Rollicking acoustic guitars that meet their perfect match in an electrified lead. A swinging beat that rocks with as much passion as any of Jefferson Thomas’ verses ever could. Wearing his heart on his sleeve like few others in his genre are able or willing to, Thomas offers up one of the brightest jams of spring 2020 thus far in “Greyhound Bus.” Whether enjoyed in its music video form or in its original incarnation on the recently released Sixteen Sundays LP, “Greyhound Bus” is one song you definitely want to stop and spend some time with this May. 

The compositional framework here is very rock-centric, but I will say that the pastoral sensibilities make it just as accessible to country fans as well. There’s a blend of themes and aesthetical components in this track that would seemingly be straight out of the 80’s heartland rock playbook, but I wouldn’t deem “Greyhound Bus” a throwback to the old school. This feels more like a celebration of influences than it does the watering-down of a familiar sound, and for what I look for in Thomas’ style of music, his is a tough brand to beat.

I was admittedly impressed with what I heard in Jefferson Thomas’ debut album Play Hurt back in 2017, but his most recent work shows a tremendous amount of growth I wasn’t anticipating I’d find so early on in his career. There’s not a doubt in my mind that he’s cultivating his craft at the right pace in 2020, and with a little more exposure on the college radio front, his momentum is going to increase a lot sooner than later. Indie rock fans everywhere should take notice – this is an artist you need to have on your radar. 

Scottie Carlito

“Midnight Cowboy” by Antherius

In his surreal adaptation of the iconic “Midnight Cowboy,” Antherius combines atmospheric melodies with profoundly crisp beats for what could be one of the smarter new indie videos of the season. Originally recorded a few years ago, Antherius’ “Midnight Cowboy” finds a second wind this spring courtesy of a COVID-19-inspired music video lamenting the ambience of a now-deserted New York City. Sonically one of the more provocative numbers I’ve heard in this artist’s discography, it’s easily among the more intriguing listens I would recommend to fans of instrumental music in 2020 without question. 

The music video for “Midnight Cowboy” stimulates all of our senses at once whilst paying tribute to the cosmopolitan lights of New York City, but its true centerpiece is its soundtrack. Strangely elegant and yet cutting and evocatively stoic in a couple of its most exciting moments, the rhythm of the song is defined by a synthetic harmony as grand as the Long Island Sound. While there’s a lot more indulgence in this variation on the composition than some mainstream fans might be prepared for, it’s completely necessary to maximizing the catharsis of the harmony here. Antherius is a very methodical player, and if that wasn’t clear before, it should be when other critics get ahold of this latest document. 

Though the year has been filled with strife in ways that most of us wouldn’t have fathomed back in 2019, Antherius nevertheless delivers an ambient gem in “Midnight Cowboy” seemingly perfect for the times we’re living in. You don’t need an extensive background with experimental artistry to find something to love about this track and its postmodern music video, but if you’ve got a taste for the surreal, it’s a tough release to top right now. Whether isolated or in the company of friends and family, “Midnight Cowboy” has the sonic capacity to whisk away your worries on the spot this May. 

Scottie Carlito

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Interview with Alanzo

Hey Alonzo! So excited to be chatting with you! Can you tell us a little something about yourself?

Hey! Excited to chat with you as well. Thank you for having me. A little about myself? Hmmm. I’d say I’m just a small-town boy with big dreams and a lot of talent. I come from humble beginnings and I’ve overcome many obstacles however I’ve never stopped chasing my dream. Now I pride myself in inspiring others to fight for their own. 

What inspired you to pursue music? 

 Music has really always been a part of my life. I’d say my biggest inspiration was Michael Jackson and through him discovering the power that music can have. This power inspires me because I know the good that can be done through it. A good that will last far beyond my life. Music is power because music is universal and music is forever. How would you describe your musical style? I’d say I’m a fusion of genres. A little Rock, A lot of soul, and a touch of pop. Rock Pop Soul is what we call it. 

What artists do you look up to right now? 

BeyoncĂ© & Fantasia are my top 2 at the moment. Both at 2 different levels of success but they both possess that power that I speak of. 

What would you say is your most braggable moment

Definitely being the first lead singer approved by the Prince Estate to sing on the 4 U Prince Tour

What has been the greatest lesson you have learned from a mistake? 

My greatest lesson has been not to act out of emotion. Impulsive decision making is dangerous. I now consciously try to work hard not to make permanent decisions from temporary emotions. 

Why do you think social media is so important for artists today?

It’s important because it gives us access to people and our fans without anyone’s permission. It’s the one tool that artist have to become successful on their own. FREE Exposure. 

How has this whole music career experience been? 

My career has been a journey for sure. I’ve had ups and downs. I’ve toured, I’ve been told no, I’ve lost major opportunities when it wasn’t my fault but I have ALWAYS kept fighting and I refuse to give up. I truly can’t see myself doing anything else. Its definitely been the most exciting part of my life. I never know what’s going to happen or what the future brings but it gives me something to work hard for and something to believe in. A life with a reason to wake up is a life worth living. My dream to have a successful music career is the driving force of my life. 

Do you have any advice for aspiring music artists? 

Even when you’re taking baby steps you are still moving forward. DO IT even when you’re afraid. This is a business. If you want to be successful in this business STUDY the business and study your craft. There’s underlining science to people’s success. 

Thank you for your time! 

Thank you! I do not take these opportunities for granted. Sending everyone love and limitless positivity during this trying time. Please follow me on Instagram @StoryOfAlonzo Press:

End of Interview

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Andy Michaels Releases Memorable Single

Surrounded by a vibrant melding of string play organized into a perfect harmony, we find the lead vocal of Andy Michaels ready to seduce anyone it comes into contact with in “Darling It Hurts,” his latest single from the album Incendiary Heart. Like its parent album, “Darling It Hurts” is a product of surrealism without question, but at the same time, it also provides us ample evidence of the complex compositional wit that Andy Michaels possesses when he’s in the studio. 

 This Perth, Australia-based powerhouse has been creating a lot of buzz across the Pacific in the last year, and if you want to know why, I would probably point you to the video for this track before anything else. Despite its grandest feature being the potently emotional soundtrack, the video for this song provokes a reaction made all the more intense by the intimate visual landscape it presents us with (which, I might add, is perfectly synched with the lyrical narrative of this composition). Michaels may not have set out to craft his best song yet when he recorded this single, but nevertheless, I think that’s exactly what he’s done here. 

The equalization of both vocals in this track is very streamlined, but I don’t think I would describe it as being pop-influenced outside of its polished cosmetic front. The instrumental side of “Darling It Hurts” is debatably just as smooth, apart from the raised textures on the rustic string parts shaping the rhythm of the song from the background, but whether it’s the content of the verses or the substance of the harmony that Michaels is leading here, there’s something about the lyrics in this single that feels just a bit more captivating than anything else in the track does. 

I love the way that the strings were arranged as to reduce the tension created by the duet’s melodic ascent, and to some extent, I think that the relationship between these two elements in “Darling It Hurts” actually tells us a vivid story all by itself. There’s no hiding how much talent this Aussie is working with in this track, and in my opinion, its seamless construction alone makes Incendiary Heart worth picking up this spring. 

If you haven’t seen the music video for “Darling It Hurts” or browsed through the tracklist of the album it was cut from, now is the time to get yourself introduced to the latest works of Andy Michaels, who by all accounts is taking the underground world by storm this year. Michaels is facing some of the toughest competition that we’ve seen among indie artists in well over a generation, but if he keeps the attitude that he’s brought to this most recent release, I think he’s going to see his momentum continue to grow both at home and abroad over the course of 2020. 

 As I previously noted, I believe this to be his best work yet, and according to the critical consensus I’m hearing on the international circuit, I’m far from alone. 

Scottie Carlito

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Interview: Joey Stuckey

Hello Joey! Thank you for your time! We would love for you to share with readers who may not know a little about your story of where you started and where you are now. 

Thanks for having me! I started my musical journey when I was around 17 years old with guitar lessons and haven’t looked back. I got started in what I would call the recording sciences when I was around 13 years old and started getting paid to record people and work in sound by the time I was 15 years old. Music has always been an important part of the Stuckey household with both my parents being music fans, but I never really considered having a career in music as a child as I was focused on survival as I am a brain tumor survivor.

The brain tumor took my sight, sense of smell and also left me with a host of other health challenges, like no adrenal function. Despite these challenges I have been able to do all the things I have wanted to do with my life and career. I realized at an early age that music was a beautiful force for positive change and that I would tell my story of overcoming adversity through that vehicle! Over the years, I have done many exciting things and you ain’t seen nothing yet!

 We just finished a great show at the famous Whisky A Go Go and played some great GRAMMY parties in LA and I am about to expand my studio space by around 9,000 square feet. 

For someone just getting into the music business – what is your best one line advice?

Don’t give up. Trust yourself, but be willing to entertain other people’s ideas and opinions. Work hard. In your opinion do you feel like an aspiring musician needs to be in LA to “make it”? You don’t have to live there, but you do need to visit LOL. Of course where you should be depends upon a number of factors including where your fans, or potential fans, are and other things you will need to make your music/brand work. But you will have to go to LA and NYC and Nashville at some point!

Okay so your live show looks like such a good time from the snippets we have seen on IG – tell us what we can expect when we come out to see you. It is about 30% comedy and 70% music—and all heart! We promise to make you think but also to make you groove, and we most certainly will entertain! We love meeting new people and love shaking hands and kissing babies, so come out to a show and we’ll be glad to meet you and spend some time with you! 

Do you have a song that you play every time you do a live show no matter what, if so why that song? 

 We most always do “Take A Walk In The Shadows” which was one of the first songs I ever wrote. It is a great opener with high energy. We also almost always play another original called “Truth Is A Misty Mountain” because it is a band and fan favorite. And we mostly close with the Allman Brothers’ “Whippin’ Post” for the same reason—and our version is cookin’! 

If you could be remembered by only one song, which one are you picking? 

Oh man I don’t know. My answer will most likely change depending upon the mood I am in LOL, but I think my song “Aint It Good To Be In Love”, co-written by my dear friend Charlie Hoskyns, is a good one that folks really have responded to. It is also dear to me because Charlie passed away in 2017 and I like to think I am keeping his musical legacy alive! Tell us where we can catch more of you online and listed to your music! 

End of Interview

Monday, December 9, 2019

The Inoculated Canaries plow into their new single “Donna”

A flurry of drums comes barreling out of the speakers with a violent thrust as The Inoculated Canaries plow into their new single “Donna,” and though the chaotic percussion envelops the initial foray into the song in unapologetic discordance, it isn’t powerful enough to stop a blunt instrumental melody from making its way to the forefront of the mix inside of the first few bars. It becomes quite obvious within only moments of making contact with “Donna” that The Inoculated Canaries mean serious business with their latest release, which caps off a very productive year for the critically acclaimed alternative rock group. Though they’ve been incorporating a lot of pop influences into their sound as of late, this track reestablishes the band as a rock-focused unit able to construct simple verses and calculated hooks without creating a jagged finish for audiences to look past, which is something that many of their competitors in the American underground have failed to accomplish in their most recent studio recordings. 

I really like that the vocal is just as prominent in the master mix here as any of the instrumental elements are, because were it not given as much of a boost in the big picture as its afforded in “Donna,” I don’t know that we would be able to acknowledge (much less enjoy) its emotional depth as much as we can in this version of the song. Production tricks and studio schemes aren’t a crucial component of The Inoculated Canaries’ sound, but I would be lying if I said that they weren’t refining their studio presence in this track. They’re using every inch of sonic space in the mix to yield a tense atmosphere eventually broken up by the vocal’s cutting verses, and instead of making one part of the harmony the center of the song’s climax, it feels as though we’re listening to one epic release staggered out across four minutes of play. Is it a little unconventional? Of course – but this could be the reason why their compositional approach comes across as being the unique gem that it undisputedly is in this single. 

The Inoculated Canaries’ “Donna” finishes us off in a fading haze of harmony and havoc-wreaking percussion that has now become familiar to us thanks to the track’s chest-pounding beat, and much like “Sneakers” and “Who are you?,” it leaves behind an enormous melodic void just begging for us to keep the spirit and play the song all over again. While I won’t say that this is the most grown-up that The Inoculated Canaries have ever sounded, they’ve made a ferocious rock n’ roll juggernaut in this single that should be regarded as a beast of listen this December nevertheless. “Donna” is a rhythmic track with a creative music video worthy of the moniker that it wears, and though I’m fairly certain it won’t be the last song this group releases to the praise of critics and fans alike, it marks a step towards their sleekest sound yet, and perhaps one that will bring them the fame and fortune they’ve been working so hard for.

Scottie Carlito