Archive for the ‘Artist Features’ Category

A band comprising of three members in their teenage years may remind some of that other band that came from Disney but such comparisons should stop right away. Teen band Burnham is composed of three members namely guitar man Alex, 18, bassist Andre, 16, and lead vocalist Forrest, 14.
Recently, the band has released their debut single entitled Catch Me If You Can, a track co-written by OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder. As for the other tracks in their debut album, renowned producers such as Espen Lind and Amund Bjorklund of Espionage (Hey Soul Sister and Irreplaceable), Brian Kennedy (Chris Brown, Rihanna, Backstreet Boys, Jesse McCartney), and James Bourne of Busted (Year 3000) lend a hand in writing some songs together with the band. Anyway, to see the single Catch Me If You Can in its vidular glory, the video is embedded in this post for your viewing convenience.

Sibling rivalries will be normal for ‘sibling bands’ but such instances actually help the band big time for these rivalries are good in nature. Every band member has their own specialty that helps in their musical journey. Alex does well in creating lovely guitar riffs and Forrest’s specialty is finding that proper melody, while Andre organizes band rehearsals and spearheads the songwriting process.

With a record deal under Island Def Jam signed, sealed, and delivered, the band is set to prove that age is only a number and that talent, ultimately, decides a musician’s fate. They have already taken their first step in their musical journey with the release of their debut album and they’ll make sure it is not their last one.

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Lola Dutronic are an electronic pop duo who divide their time between Berlin and Toronto. Vocalist Lola Dee, who has performing on stage in Germany since the age of 5, sings in both English and French for their latest release, the Musique EP. Her partner, producer/composer Toronto-based Richard Citroen was a former member of the Canadian band The Diodes. Richard Citroen also does the mixing for their latest release.
ALBUM REVIEW: Musique by Lola Dutronic

The seven-track-long EP boasts of having great musical arrangements in every track. The overall vibe of the EP may be said as modern filled with electronic leanings. Lola Dee’s vocals do seem to act like they are not the main attraction in the record though. However, the album closer Best Years of our Lives allows Lola Dee’s vocals to get the spotlight while accompanied by a very polished arrangement. The aforementioned track actually is the best track in my book because the track utilized to full extent the capabilities of the duo.

The best arrangement in the EP goes to Chanson D’ete (Summer of Love Mix) for possessing new wave qualities. The production work done overall is good. Every arrangement in the record is well-polished and very pleasant to the senses. However, more attention could have been given to the vocals. Lola Dee does have some good vocals to boot. This is why I am wondering why at times, I felt like I was basically listening to an instrumental effort. Still, it must be said that Musique is a great effort though not everyone will appreciate material such as this.

Genre: Pop
Label: Red Star Digital Music
Date Released: May 18, 2010

Describing himself as a someone who lives his life through music, Benny Cassette is a name that may be unknown to some folks but let me tell you, if you dig some ear-crashing club music, you’ll surely love what this dude has to offer. He is inspired by falling in love, heartbreak, the future, pre-1980 French and Italian films, fashion designers that are over 50, impressionist paintings, women with accents, and all things ugly. He is set for world domination and with his music, he hopes to have this mission accomplished very soon.

White Limousine is Benny’s latest release. Honestly, the song is not entirely spectacular but it does have its shining moments particularly the sampling of Vanilla Ice’s classic Ice Ice Baby. The lyrics may be on the crappy side of the spectrum but that beat is something palatable enough. The overall vibe that the track has is something party-goers would really dig.

For your convenience, here is the video:

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Stealing the show at the 2009 MTV Music Awards in Asia, Serese surely have made some heads turn with their performance at the said awards show. The girl group, comprising of Mandee, Anu, and Anita, also earned a nomination at the said awards show and will not rest in order to build on the momentum built by their success again due to the said awards show. The girl group recently released their single Feelin’ Myself which would most likely be included in their soon-to-be-released self-titled debut album.

The single may be described as good pop. It does have some very strong points which flash some brilliance that may be seen from the girls. The arrangement is the best part in the song in my opinion. It is not too strong but it did what it had to do – which is to give the song some punch. The vocals are both the track’s boon and bane. Boon because they were partly brilliant and bane because the talking parts were really downright annoying.

In the end, Feelin’ Myself showed some flashes of the occasional brilliance but that could not save the song from the destruction brought by the talking parts. However, the song remains relatively good and may still be liked by some. Hopefully, this will be only a minor misstep for the girls and use this as a motivation to bounce back with a big bang.

Lady GaGa’s label mate Natalia Kills is back with Activate My Heart, her newest single after releasing Zombie. The Italian-American musician again resorts to using some gimmickry for her to stand out among the crowded number of musicians out there. Just like what happened in Zombie, it works yet again.

Activate My Heart sports a slower pace compared to Zombie. Natalia Kills’ vocal range gets showcased more as the dreaded Auto-Tune technology does not get abused in grand fashion unlike what happened to Zombie. Arrangement-wise, the track sounds much better than her previous offering with a better sounding intro that just induces some outstanding pop goodness from the soon-to-blossom singer.

All in all, Activate My Heart ends up convincing me that Natalia Kills will be indeed an act to watch out this year. The single shows off more of her vocal range. And yes, immediately stop the comparisons to Lady GaGa please. Natalia Kills is a different act and should not be given such unfair comparisons.

Date Released: April 13, 2010 (iTunes)

This singer-songwriter from Charlotte, North Carolina certainly caught my attention when I saw that he actually came to the Philippines to do a series of shows, if I am not mistaken. It turns out the singer-songwriter’s name is David DiMuzio who not only lives as a musician but also as a top-notch juggler who has won in the World Championships.

An observation that piqued my interest in Mr. DiMuzio is that he can actually converse in Tagalog and it seems that the language has become native for him. Another note is that David does all of the lyrics and arrangements in the material that he does. Pretty amazing, right?

Album Review: I Wanna Save The Last Koala Bear

The album showcases DiMuzio’s wide skill set as a musician with aplomb. The 16-track album is loaded with material that infuses energy with enthusiastic beats coming from the drums helping the cause. The guitars make their presence felt in every track in the album. DiMuzio’s vocals sound smooth and well-polished as well.

Since the album has lots of tracks, I would like to describe the tracks that left an indelible impression in me. Lots Of Girls Like You In Malibu may be considered as the album’s most enthusiastic track. I did like the storytelling done in the track. The guitar combined with the rhythmic beating of the drums made the track an enjoyable one and did get lots of plays in my playlist.

Hey Julie focuses again on love just like Lots Of Girls Like You In Malibu. The arrangement adds a touch of ‘jamming session feel’ in it. The lyrics are remarkable in terms of telling the story of the track. At times, music can be considered as literature and tracks like Hey Julie showed why having a good lyric pays off big time.

The title track uses lots of imagery which I totally appreciated. I did not expect a song about koala bears to make it into the album though. Seriously though, koala bears rarely get any attention nowadays but the way DiMuzio uses the koala bears as a part of his symbolism is something that I did like.

The rest of the tracks retain that distinct sound which the two aforementioned tracks (Hey Julie and Lots Of Girls Like You In Malibu) gave. David DiMuzio, in my book, is a fantastic singer-songwriter. Music like the ones that he creates have the ability to connect fantastically with different people for the stories in his songs are basically experiences which can happen to the average person.

Eventually, I Wanna Save The Last Koala Bear is an effort that I did like because of the songwriting that DiMuzio did. A problem that I could see though is the number of tracks. Sixteen tracks felt like a little too many for me personally. Still, there is no denying that DiMuzio’s artistry shines with this album. As I have said earlier, his skill set as a musician gets the limelight and rightfully so – David DiMuzio’s skills are simply laudable and should be recognized.

Recommended Tracks: I Wanna Save The Last Koala BearHey Julie, and Lots Of Girls Like You In Malibu

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After reaching 8000 followers in his Twitter page, Simon Curtis has finally released his debut album, 8Bit Heart, in his website. The said album could be downloaded for free at his website.

The 13-track-long album does not disappoint with material that indulges the listener big time. The album can be described as pure pop goodness. However, the album does have some minor problems which will be said later.

I do not want to talk about the interludes so this review won’t focus on all the material included in the album. Hopefully, I could do a good job with this and eventually give this album the justice it deserves.

Don’t Wanna Be Alone, with its enthusiastic appeal, does give the listener a good glimpse on Curtis’ immense talent. The track may only be a two-minute one but it does a very fine job, to say the least.

Super Psycho Love crashes into the hearing of the listener with its lovely and friendly beat. However, I do find some problems in the vocals for this song but I am still pleased.

Fell In Love w/an Android struts off some lovely verses with infused arrangements that scream ‘technological madness.’ The track really sounds modern with a catchy chorus to boot. It ends up as one of my many favorites for this effort.

The title track, 8Bit Heart, utilizes the lovely synths to perfection. The beat also gives the freshness that the track needs. It’s definitely great pop material, without a doubt.

Diablo adheres well to the ‘technology theme’ going on with its cool laser sounds. The chorus got me nodding my head lots of times. The song is definitely catchy with the word ‘diablo’ being repeated lots of times; thus, helping the song’s cause.

The best track comes in the form of Delusional, the first single released by Curtis for the album. Everything in this track is absolutely brilliant – the chorus, the beat, the lyrics, the arrangement, the list goes on and on. It is definitely a track that can be played non-stop and it’s fun factor just will not disintegrate no matter what.

I do love how the video game world gets incorporated in Joystick. I do think this is an innuendo-filled track but the lyrical genius of Curtis does present itself in this one – the special mentioning of the beloved Nintendo 64 made me give Curtis some mad props.

The intro of Beat Drop reminded me of that Black Eyed Peas song named Boom Boom Pow. There is also this certain part wherein I suddenly got reminded of GaGa screaming ‘I want your bad romance.’ It might be because of the opera thing going on in the song.

A favorite of mine comes with Brainwash. I may not be a fan of absolutely disgusting vocal manipulation (also known as the auto-tune) but this track simply utilized the technology with great aplomb. The lovely arrangement and creative synth work are just some of the reasons why I truly love this track.

I did not really feel the vibe in The Dark. It’s pretty decent though. I just did not dig it. It may be dope for some but not for me. Again, to each is to his own.

In the end, 8Bit Heart is one of the best pop records that I have ever heard in my lifetime. Some tracks may sound rough probably due to lack of production touches but the album does still sound impressive. The cohesion that some pop material just lack nowadays is present in this one. The themes present in the album are impressive and to see the album end on a good note simply left me in awe. Simon Curtis definitely achieved ‘victory’ in this one just like what ‘Boy Robot’ did in the conclusion of this album. Absolutely stunning. You should definitely hear this out.

Best Track: Delusional
Other Recommended Tracks: DiabloDon’t Wanna Be AloneFell In Love w/an AndroidJoystick8Bit Heart, and Brainwash
Genre: Pop
Date Released: March 23, 2010

To hear Simon Curtis’ impressive album, please go to his site and download the album for free. The website’s link is
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The two-piece band out of New York is composed of Adam Roddick (vocals and drums) and Dan Lawley (guitar). The band has recently released their new EP entitled Bear Island on Merrifield Records, the new label of Mike Hinderts who some might know for being the bassist of The Bravery.

The band describes their music as ‘pop songs that are probably more rock’ and as ‘rock songs that are probably more pop.’ The band also says that their music is a vehicle which wants to go to a place named ‘Bear Island.’

This post will focus on the band’s new release which is Bear Island. The review of this album can be found below:

Album Review: Bear Island

The 13-minute-long effort begins with Summerstills, a track marked by the sweeping guitar sound. I did find this track to be pretty good. Next comes the first of the album’s two standouts, Lucy Takes The Dare. What makes the track very likable are the pulsating drum beat present and the clever intro which builds slowly. The third track, Wolf, ends up as Bear Island‘s second standout track. The change in pace is noticeable in the track. Another thing that made the track great is the overall sound – it is clearly something polished and should be appreciated big time by people who simply love great jams.

Repeater still sports the drums that have been remarkable all throughout the short album though the overall sound that the track had did not please me that much. The album closer, which also turns out to be the album track, ends the album on a great note. The band slows things down with Bear Island (the track) and it works. I do consider the track as the short EP’s ‘hidden gem.’ I hope the band tries to do more stuff like the closing track. They sound better with slow stuff in my opinion.

Ultimately, Bear Island is a solid record. It is definitely one of the best indie records that I have ever heard, no doubt. This band hopefully can achieve great things and they should just keep on doing what they are doing. The band wanted to reach ‘Bear Island’ with their music as their vehicle and boy, they surely have reached their destination.

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Note: Merrifield Records will be having a SXSW showcase this year. It’s going to be March 20th, 4pm-10pm at The Tiniest Bar In Texas, featuring The Young Jaguars, The Growlers, Thee Lexington Arrows, The Royal Chains, The Safes, Nikki And The Weeps, and The Danvilles feat.Ihsan Bilal. Please attend if you do have the time.

When I saw this video by Sherwood, a Californian band, covering Ke$ha’s Blah Blah Blah, I basically said what the eff. I could not get the message of the video whatsoever but you have got to appreciate their effort. Still, I would like to hear your thoughts regarding this video.

Originally comprising of Judd Hancock, London Van Rooy, Jim Mandel Jr., Small Leaks Sink Ships began their musical journey in late 2006. The band out of Arizona gained some exposure after their debut effort, Until The World Is Happy; Wake Up You Sleepyhead Sun, got positive feedback from established media outlets such as Alternative Press, Absolute Punk, Spin, and many more. The band now has five members as two new members, namely Ryan Garner and Rafael Macias, joined. The band describes their music as being written with pure emotion, in total disregard of any plots and boundaries.

Small Leaks Sink Ships recently released the first single named Glass Hypnotist of their soon-to-be-released new effort. This 6-minute single gets the spotlight in this post. The review of this single is found below:

Single Review: Glass Hypnotist

The track starts off well with a great arrangement dominating the intro. The vocals do sound a little bit indie but pretty great. However, some people might be annoyed with the sound but heck, I have go to say that the single is very likable. What shines out in the track is the arrangement. I have got to say this made me listen to the track without being bored.

A negative going for the track is the length. The song tends to drag towards the end but everything’s fine in the end. The band’s artistry is great. Glass Hypnotist is actually the first single from the band that I have ever heard. I was actually delighted with the track though I know the band’s musicality could still get better.

Overall, Glass Hypnotist could be a great ‘introductory track’ for people who have never heard Small Leaks Sink Ships. Sure, the length may be long but the creativity (especially in the arrangement of the track) does shine and deserves to be applauded.

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