L.A.-based singer/songwriter @AdamExler returns with crispy, bluesy rocker “Language Of Love”

ADAM EXLER featuring J. HOLLA, “Language Of Love”

It’s been a few years since I’ve written about music by L.A.-based singer/songwriter Adam Exler.  While “Language Of Love” may now be pidgeon-holed into the genre known as “Americana”, it is for me pure bluesy rock ‘n roll.  The former tennis pro has the gritty, credible voice to go hand-in-hand with the arrangement, which focuses on some terrific guitar work, culminating in a seething hook that makes “Language Of Love” so memorable.  While the brief interlude by J. Holla comes a little late and doesn’t always seem in place, perhaps making the song a little longer than it needed to be, it does grow on you after a few listens.  But if crisp, bluesy guitar work matched with salt-of-the-earth lyrics is your thing – think off Nathaniel Radliff & The Night Sweats – then you’ll find yourself spinning “Language Of Love” on the regular.

Published in: on November 2, 2019 at 6:09 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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Check out the soothing, gentle “Chestnut Spoke to Maple” by Toronto’s @Justin Nozuka

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JUSTIN NOZUKA, Chestnut Spoke To Maple (EP)

I didn’t see this one coming when it dropped early last month, but immensely talented Toronto singer/songwriter Justin Nozuka released Chestnut Spoke To Maple, a four-song EP, kind of out of nowhere, and not really as a follow up to 2014’s bold and experimental Ulysees. It was recorded after a series of acoustic shows which Justin performed throughout last year, as well as opening for the likes of Brian Wilson.  There’s always a lot of deliberate quiet and rawness in some of Justin’s songs, and this EP basks in peace, tranquility, love, and being at one with nature.  The gentle zinger here is a stripped down rendition of Sade’s By Your Side (originally from the 2000 Lovers Rock album) which Justin reinterprets and makes his own.  The EP is rounded out by the soothing ear candy of “September Grass” and “Moonlight”, while only “Willow” seems to fade into the background well before it ends.  Overall though, Chestnut Spoke To Maple is the kind of record to play when you need a distraction or to relax, knowing that someone like Justin Nozuka can make it all feel better for its duration.

Published in: on January 5, 2016 at 8:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Voice season 9 contestant @Chance_Pena scores with low-fi original “1965”

CHANCE PENA, “1965”

15 year old Texas singer Chance Peña was a dark horse Top 20 contestant on the most recent season of “The Voice”, but you couldn’t help but root for him with his sincere performances that soared beyond his young years.  He was too-harshly critiqued for his performance of Imagine Dragons’ “Demons” (below) on the show – I personally thought it was the best of that night, honest and vulnerable to the core, and it got better as it went along – which was his last until coach Adam Levine knew that Chance had more to offer and brought him back.  And without that, we wouldn’t have got to see Chance’s take on The Civil Wars’ “Barton Hollow”, which stood out as thoroughly unique from the rest of the performances.  Like season 8 winner Sawyer Fredericks, Chance simply cannot be placed in the same pop box as the rest of his fellow contestants.  He is working on new original music, and he’s posted “1965” on Soundcloud above for you to hear.  It’s low-fi but that adds to his touching story-telling charm; a song like this needs no busy arrangement.  While he might be leaning towards folk and Americana as his key sub-genres, I still think Chance has a lot to offer as a diverse pop singer.  Keep your ears out for more new music from Chance Peña.

Published in: on January 3, 2016 at 9:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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