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