Meet L.A.-based synth-folk duo @PublicArtmusic with “Montreux”|

PUBLICART, “Montreux”

Incorporating elements of folk into pop/dance music may seem to be a bit of a trend, but when it works well it’s worth checking out.  And L.A.-based duo PublicArt certainly have the pedigree to get it all across.  Singer Stevvi Alexander is the touring lead for the Game Of Thrones live production, while collaborator Jan Ozveren is Charlie Puth’s guitarist on record and on tour.  From their forthcoming EP Modernika, “Montreux” is about the aftermath of a relationship that wasn’t meant to be – the repeated phrase “but we faded away” is guaranteed to stick in your head.  The song has an 80’s new wave electronica sensibility that surrounds both folk and soul influences, and Stevvi definitely has a spot-on voice from which you will want to hear more.  There’s even more diversity in the EP, which gravitates more to pop and jazz at times with an electronic foundation.  PublicArt are off to a great start but to me “Montreux” will be their calling card.

Published in: on September 1, 2018 at 3:23 pm  Comments (2)  
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It’s so easy to get lost in their “Verona”: Peter Wilson and Sean Smith’s compelling duet @pete80s @SeanSmithsolo

PETER WILSON & SEAN SMITH, “Verona” and its Remixes EP

“Verona” has a such a beautiful melody at first listen that you simply must play it a few times for the rest of the song to sink in.  Once you’re hooked, it’s so easy to get lost in the “Verona” as sung in the duet of the unlikely vocal pairing of Australia’s Peter Wilson and England’s Sean Smith.  Some of you will know Peter from his fine work with John von Ahlen’s Parralox, and others will recognize ex-Same Difference’s Sean Smith from these blog pages last year when he tantalized us with “Magic” in an Andy Sikorski remix.  The voices don’t really sound like they should be together but they offset each so well other that you don’t want to wait until whichever of them sings next!  And when they sing together, it’s a perfect sonic fit.  “Verona” of course is the setting in Italy for Shakespeare’s “Romeo & Juliet”.  Here, the song is a story of a love that is losing its vibrancy only perhaps to be rekindled by the end.  With its musical influences sunk in German europop of the 80’s, “Verona” has this massive and unexpected appeal all around.  And there are even a variety of remixes to choose from, but I will tap Matt Pop’s extended version for adding a triumphant flavour to “Verona”.  Check out the original below (from Peter’s forthcoming album The Passion & The Flame) and pick up the Remixes EP on iTunes.

Published in: on August 17, 2018 at 9:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Taut, rich alt.soul-pop from new duo @Toucanband with “Gold”

TOUCAN, “Gold”

Sometimes, the deeper tracks in albums and EP’s are the ones to acquire your attention.  Such is the case with the unique charm of “Gold” by new duo Toucan from their self-titled EP.  Departing from the EP’s hefty mix of pop, rock, soul and jazz, “Gold” goes full tilt sultry late night club ballad.  It’s also the best showcase for the deep, mellow voice of Irish singer Conor Clancy, whose voice is soulful and moving when paired with the right song.  His partner in Toucan is keyboardist/arranger Martin Atkinson, and the instrumentation in the song gets amped up with a lot of guitar and drums as it progresses.  “Gold” is alt.soul-pop as you might least expect it, and shows a lot of promise for what Toucan has to offer.  Add “Gold” to your Rich & Deep playlist using the Spotify link above.

Published in: on August 17, 2018 at 9:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Dark and Darker: @BobbyNourmand’s atmospheric “Subterranean” EP

BOBBY NOURMAND, Subterranean (EP)

In recent years, Bobby Nourmand’s unique and sometimes otherworldly sound has found detours into reworks of well-known songs, instrumentals, hip hop-house, and British flavoured R&B-house.  His new EP Subterranean, from his new imprint Deep In The Night (DITN), gives us deep house for the darkest of hours and minimal lighting to accentuate some very sexy vibes.  The title song is the the more accessible the two songs within, with breathy uncredited female vocals and a whispering male voice riding some deliberate and constant dark house rhythms.  “Estranged” is a creepy, relentless track, essentially an instrumental aside from some ominous, chanting deep male vocals – I don’t think I’d like to be in a dark club with only a handful of people if this song was playing, but it would sound great blasting out of huge speakers at a festival.  Once again, Bobby Nourmand proves himself to be an original contender, taking risks at every turn.  You can check out the extended and dub versions of “Subterranean” and the original longer cut of “Estranged” over at Beatport.