Buffalo NY native @LexxiRaine goes acoustic with the heartbreak of “Joker”

LEXXI RAINE, “Joker”

Although her direction is now headed away from alternative rock and into the Country music arena with her most recent EP Guilty, Buffalo NY’s lovely Lexxi Raine has a penchant for writing solid, often engaging and sometimes touching songs, whatever the genre may be.  Her latest single “Joker” is her own production while she prepares other songs for future release.  Stripped to acoustics, “Joker” is a cutting and affecting story of heartbreak, when you learn your relationship with your ex never even mattered to them.  It’s an interesting, relatable perspective and Lexxi’s bruised but reflective vocal shines in this purely pop setting. Check out the video above.

Published in: on March 27, 2021 at 10:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Back To That” by L.A.-based singer/songwriter @JaredLeemusic gets a gorgeous acoustic redux

JARED LEE, “Back To That” (acoustic)

A while back, Jared Lee released his pop single “Back To That”, and somehow it didn’t seem to stand out in the current crowded music environment. Enter the brilliant idea to strip everything away and make an acoustic rendition of it, and suddenly “Back To That” has immense appeal.  Jared’s premium voice has been showcased in a number of my blog posts already, but an acoustic track is supposed to be where a great voice stands out even more.  And this version of “Back to That” not only succeeds in that department, but it shows what a lovely and affecting song it can be without all of the accoutrements. So I’ll give major props to releasing this acoustic version of “Back To That” – now someone just needs to promote the hell out of it! To help keep that point going, check out Jared’s acoustic version of his song with Midnight Kids, “Those Were The Days”, in the video below.

Published in: on March 4, 2021 at 10:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Flower” is enchanting, sexy, soulful pop from Dallas’ @JohnnyStimson

JOHNNY STIMSON, “Flower”

I first got to know the voice of Dallas, TX native Johnny Stimson when he surfaced on Kat Krazy’s dance track “Run Run”, which got to #6 on my personal chart a few years back.  The Elton John protégé who has toured with the likes of Tori Kelly has this time self-released “Flower”, an enchanting, sexy, soulful slice of indie pop that should not go unnoticed.  It’s a delicate tribute to someone special that Johnny wrote, produced and mixed.  You can easily put “Flower” side-by-side next to anything recent by L.A.’s Axel Mansoor, about whom I’ve written much in these blog pages.   “Flower” is ideal for inclusion in a Sunday set of quiet, acoustic songs that will make you smile.

Published in: on May 20, 2019 at 11:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Listen to the potent acoustic collaboration of @GoldFishlive and @MarcosZeeba with “It Was You”

GOLDFISH and ZEEBA, “It Was You” (acoustic)

Though I’m not familiar with either performer, the video of an acoustic alliance (recorded in Santiago, Chile!), “It Was You”, is a welcome introduction to both.  GoldFish is an electronic duo (Dom and David) with South African origins, now situated in San Diego, who are both well-educated, diverse musicians as well as producers.  Zeeba is an American singer, based in Brazil and of Brazilian heritage, who is most noted for some recent successful collaborations, particularly with producer Alok.  So it’s no wonder that Armada, of all labels, has taken a chance to release “It Was You”.  Strip away all of the electronic trappings and you can always see who truly shines.  Zeeba’s convincing vocal supported by the grand piano and saxophone from GoldFish meshes together silkily, and though it’s a short effort at only 2:32 it’s one that you’ll definitely want to hear again and again.

 

Published in: on January 20, 2019 at 6:16 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Gentle and reflective “Vice” is new from Australia-based indie singer/songwriter @Vincent_Pine

VINCENT PINE, “Vice”

I wrote about “Perfectly Familiar”, the debut release by Australia-based indie singer/songwriter Vincent Pine earlier this year, and it threw me back to the late 80’s and early 90’s and some wonderful songs of a similar fashion which came out of Britain at the time (the artist is originally from the UK).  With his rich and deep vocal, fine song structure, and production here which saves the best for last, Vincent’s guitar-based songs are well-suited to fans of Classic Rock, Folk, and Americana genres.  “Vice” is a gentle and reflective song where a familiar story unfolds and at around the 3 minute mark the song rocks out nicely in a way that would be perfectly suited to a live performance.  The music of Vincent Pine may seem to be very unassuming but it’s certainly convincing and well worth hearing as his style and songwriting develops.  

Published in: on May 31, 2018 at 10:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Father Time” is @iamaxelm Axel Mansoor’s rumination on a mid-20’s fast-paced life

AXEL MANSOOR, “Father Time” (free DL)

Taking a deliberate stance away from what you might expect to hear on the radio or in a night club, L.A.-based singer/songwriter Axel Mansoor returns with the gentle and acoustic folk-pop of “Father Time”.  While I do have my own children in their teens and twenties, it is too hard for my generation to put itself into their shoes, so instead we offer advice and experience, while they, like Axel in song, observe and tell us all about their lives.  These days time goes fast at any stage of life you’re in – ask my very healthy 80+ parents – so it’s important to consciously put on the brakes and enjoy and celebrate it whenever you can.  “Father Time” is an important reminder that he is always around us and not to take time for granted.  Like with his other songs that you know from reading this blog – “Wasted My Love”, “Out Of My Head”, “Talk To Me” – Axel has a unique songwriting approach which sometimes works best, just like with “Father Time”, stripped down to his vocal and guitar.  Download “Father Time” for free while you can at the link above.

Published in: on May 21, 2018 at 7:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Unsteady” by @XAmbassadors is reshaped into acoustic EDM by @CosmosNCreature

COSMOS & CREATURE, “Unsteady” (free DL)

In great anticipation of their debut EP together, Cosmos N Creature – Brandyn Burnette and Molly Moore – very selectively pick X Ambassadors’ “Unsteady” as a cover to whet your taste buds for what’s to come.  X Ambassadors’ fans will appreciate how this favourite talented pair reshapes the song acoustically and with EDM flourishes, all of which make their vocals together stand out so much more.  You’ve already heard CnC on their own original “Young” as well as featured in other original songs by Vicetone, Two Friends, PLS&TY, and Kiso.  That Brandyn and Molly are so prolific and have so many outlets for their songs and projects – in pop, alt.rock, and dance/EDM genres, as vocalists and songwriters – is great news for us.  “Unsteady” is as good as it gets, a great choice that’s free for you at the link above.

 

Published in: on May 3, 2017 at 9:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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WORLD PREMIERE: Listen to Victor Perry (@perksofbeingvic) sing a gorgeous unplugged cover of @EBTG’s classic “Missing”

VICTOR PERRY, “Missing”

Georgia pop/R&B singer Victor Perry shows off two of his major talents in this stripped down cover of Everything But The Girl’s 1995 smash “Missing” – his slick ability as an interpreter and his beautiful high register.  Of course “Missing” is best known as a pop and dance hit thanks to an historic remix by Todd Terry, which transformed and reinvented the slower, more emotional acoustic original from the Amplified Heart album.  Victor turns it back down with piano for support (courtesy of dad/producer William Perry Jr.) and the result is very special, which Everything But The Girl/Tracey Thorn/Ben Watt fans will love, as Victor’s take conveys a similar emotional vibe to the original.  And just when you think that’s not enough, he lets his high register take off for most of the last minute of the song to give a gorgeous, long-lasting coda that you would have never expected.  And this all came about thanks to a Twitter chat Victor and I had about some of our favourite 90’s records:  I sent “Missing” his way, he fell in love with it, and voilà! 🙂  Thanks for running with it Victor and putting your own signature stamp on “Missing” 😀  Also be sure to check out Victor’s debut EP 4 AM Nostalgia.  Listen to “Missing” at the above link.

Published in: on November 13, 2016 at 10:48 am  Comments (1)  
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Part 3 of Previews from @BrandynBurnette’s Made Of Dreams EP: “Lost (Stripped)”

BRANDYN BURNETTE, “Lost (Stripped)”

Be prepared for goosebumps and teary-eyed moments when you listen to the latest preview from Brandyn Burnette’s EP Made Of Dreams (due Friday November 13) called “Lost (Stripped)”.  It’s a stunningly beautiful tribute to living, carrying on, and being supported, even when faced with incredible loss.  These days I can’t think of another performer who is so much on a person-to-person level than Brandyn, even without many fans ever meeting or seeing him in concert.  “Lost” is a heartbreaking, real-life story of two of Brandyn’s fans who Skyped with the singer while suddenly faced with a suicide of a friend; and then subsequently the singer encountered further sorrow when learning that the father of his producer passed away; lastly upon sending the song to his manager, Brandyn learned his manager’s mother had passed away.  A song like “Lost” reminds us why music can be our friend and solace in tough times, its power should never be underestimated.  I can’t think of hearing “Lost” another way besides this stripped down version, with all of that great high register vocal power, and I’m so happy Brandyn found a place for it on Made Of Dreams.  Hearing the songs he’s previewed thus far in concert will be an experience, and can’t wait for that to happen in 2016!

Published in: on November 11, 2015 at 11:49 pm  Comments (1)  
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You Could Hear A Pin Drop: “Hate Me” (live acoustic version) by @Eurielle_music

EURIELLE, “Hate Me” (live acoustic version)

Yorkshire-born trained soprano Eurielle has been a constant pop music force to watch in 2014, since the debut of her EP The Incarnation last winter.  The last quarter of the year will bring us a full album.  So following the short film experience of the winning “Carry Me” comes a live acoustic performance of a new song, “Hate Me”, that should be sealing the deal for any disbelievers.  British singers like Eurielle are bringing the most rudimentary form of classically-based pop back to be reckoned with the busy electronic pop of today.  There is always room for beautiful music and voices that make you listen.  There’s often so much quiet in Eurielle’s performance of “Hate Me” that you really have to pay close attention.  But it’s worth it.  Amy Lee of Evanescence had better watch out – she’s in great company with the likes of Eurielle!  PS the outfit Eurielle is wearing is most befitting of the wicked queen in “Once Upon A Time” 🙂

Published in: on August 28, 2014 at 9:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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