Chicago’s @Autografmusic return with slick classic house of “Ain’t Deep Enough” with vocals by @JaredLeemusic

AUTOGRAF and JARED LEE, “Ain’t Deep Enough”

When you think of slick classic house, music from Chicago in the late 80’s and early 90’s comes easily to mind.  Autograf return to follow up their EP Love and Retrograde in this fashion with “Ain’t Deep Enough”.  I’ve seen Autograf perform a few times in Miami.  Now a duo of Mikul and Louis, with a forthcoming album called The Ace Of You,  they certainly deliver in their DJ sets, of which “Ain’t Deep Enough” is going to become a standard highlight.  Contributing immensely to the success of this song is the effortless vocal of L.A.’s Jared Lee, fresh off his fine work with Midnight Kids on “Those Were The Days” (which got to #5 on my personal chart).  The talents all mesh seamlessly and are worth repeating on another couple of songs, if you ask me!  In a great year for Armada, which has released this record, “Ain’t Deep Enough” delivers uncomplicated house music with a lot of class.

Published in: on November 29, 2019 at 10:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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L.A. producer @Christofimusic returns with light-hearted, funk-tinged original “Break You”

CHRISTOFI, “Break You”

Call it revenge of a different shade – Michael Christofi returns with the solid original dance track “Break You”.  The song’s theme is a bit of a fantasy – the uncredited female vocalist sings about a guy she knows but with whom she hasn’t hooked up.  He’s a bit of a jerk, so should she go mess with him and ultimately break up with him?  It’s definitely an idea that gives pause for thought for both genders.  Christofi’s production has requisite appealing funky edges which often feature in his songs, but the vibe is totally light-hearted and would appeal to fans of other producers that I’ve featured in these blog pages such as Two Friends, The Disco Fries, and Young Bombs.  

Published in: on November 29, 2019 at 10:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
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L.A.-based trio @Raynesmusic know their way around great songwriting with “Lemon Drop”

RAYNES, “Lemon Drop”

Raynes is an L.A.-based trio consisting of Americans Mat and Joe and UK native Mark.  And with “Lemon Drop” they seem to have taken all of the best elements of songs by Coldplay, Bastille and Keane to create the wonderful original “Lemon Drop”.  Featuring a memorable chorus which will have you singing, these guys know their way around writing a great song, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they get offers to write for some famous names.  The performance is engaging and the vocals are top notch – you can’t ask for more than that in an independent pop release.  Well done!!

Published in: on November 29, 2019 at 10:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
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L.A-based Canadian singer/songwriter @PeterFoldy is back with an ode to optimism in a “Toxic World”

PETER FOLDY, “Toxic World”

Peter Foldy has been fortunate to bridge his entertainment career between recordings (notably Canadian hits “Bondi Junction”, “Roxanne” and “Julie Ann”) and film (directing and writing in L.A.).  Following up his album “Nine Lives”, Peter shifts gears to find optimism and unity in his latest release “Toxic World”.  With his voice ever timeless, “Toxic World” is Peter like you’ve never heard him before. 

In a sparkling mix by Miklos Malek – whose diverse credits include everyone from star acts like Kristin Chenoweth. Jennifer Lopez, and Yanni, to dance music producers you’ve read about in this blog like Alyx Ander and Shane 54 – Peter offers the backstory on “Toxic World”:

The song was influenced by all that is happening in the world right now. America is divided by political turmoil, racism continues to rear it’s ugly head, climate change is denied by many and military conflicts seem to have no end. The lessons of the past have clearly been ignored—but despite its sobering world-view, “Toxic World” is also a love song. It offers up hope and unity for a young couple who have lost their way. 
 
Music has always played a small role in bringing about change, and while I am not naive enough to think this song can change the world, I’m hopeful that at the very least it will make you get up and dance. That in itself would be very cool.

With his strong story-telling prowess, Peter quickly draws you into “Toxic World”, and you’ll find yourself easily grooving along to the synths while memorable acoustic guitar work ensures a melodic human element.

“Toxic World” is a fine pop song indeed, and a fresh change for Peter Foldy while always sounding like the same Peter who his many fans have enjoyed over the years.  It’s well-suited for Adult Contemporary radio to spin next to songs by Ed Sheeran and Maroon 5. 

Published in: on November 9, 2019 at 10:42 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Mine” is a laid back, SoCal pop-flavoured song for quiet days on the beach courtesy of Axel Mansoor @iamAxelM

AXEL MANSOOR, “Mine”

If many other songs were written like Axel Mansoor’s new single “Mine”, we would have 70’s pop songs all over again according to the 3 minute rule for radio play.  The singer effortlessly emotes about his object of affection set to a crisp, sparse backdrop that focuses on the simple melody.  It’s really quite suited for quiet Sundays on a beach, but I can hear clap-along participation in the last minute of the song in a small club setting.  And perhaps we’ll find out if that all works out while Axel is on tour opening for Ben Zaida.

Axel Mansoor opens for Ben Zaida on Saturday, November, 23, 2019 at The Drake Hotel in Toronto, and I’ll be there, so I’ll keep you posted 🙂

Published in: on November 7, 2019 at 10:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
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L.A.-based singer/songwriter @BadW0lfy will tap into your soul with “When I’m With Me I’m Never Alone”

BAD W0LFY, “When I’m With Me I’m Never Alone”

“When I’m With Me I’m Never Alone” brings about a striking return for L.A.-based singer/songwriter Bad W0lfy, known in her early career for some potent electronic dance music of its time and her collaboration with Simon Curtis in the duo Wrathschild, which was now five years ago.  “When I’m With Me…” is a deliberate change of pace for W0lfy, who is dipping into the styles of the likes of Normani and Selena Gomez to harness a cool, R&B-flavoured sound.  and “When I’m With Me…” will tap into your soul with its relateable theme of being your own best friend when you need it the most.  So many young people agonize about the social aspects of their lives, and sometimes we all just need to switch off and allow ourselves to breathe and move on.  It’s easier said than done, but thoughtful and insightful lyrics like W0lfy’s are refreshing and can help foster change for those who truly want it.  Melodically, “When I’m With Me…” (produced once again for W0lfy by Ray Reich) moves swiftly, with surprising early 90’s new jack swing and house elements, matching W0lfy’s often lush vocal.  “When I’m With Me I’m Never Alone” deserves all of the right attention for all of the right reasons that I’ve mentioned.  It’s great to have Bad W0lfy back – let’s help keep her and look forward to more great new songs.

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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L.A.-based duo @CoastModern offer up the off-kilter, feel good “Puppy Llama”

COAST MODERN, “Puppy Llama”

Don’t ask me what a song called “Puppy Llama” is all about, because your guess is as good as mine.  The musical basis though is alternative electro pop/rock from L.A.-based duo Coast Modern.  “Puppy Llama” will really have you scratching your head from its beginning, but fortunately the song does not let up, keeping you locked in and filled with numerous infectious moments for its strange ride.  The playful vocals sometimes remind me of Rivers Cuomo from Weezer, and the overall effect sometimes is like a Beck song flipped sideways with a crooked smile.  Make of it what you will, but Coast Modern is on to something that will make more heads turn with “Puppy Llama”.

Published in: on November 2, 2019 at 6:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The vibrant, sunny sound of L.A. duo @itsPapaYamusic heats up the rest of North America with “Cali Girl”

PAPA YA, “Cali Girl”

They don’t release music too often, but when they do the song is usually a humdinger, and “Cali Girl” by L.A. duo Papa Ya is no exception.  Like a few other performers from the hotter parts of the US, Papa Ya intentionally spreads the warmth through their music.  “Cali Girl” shows off the band’s above average local gal who makes a guy lose “his head like vertigo”.  There’s nothing new here thematically, but it’s all in great fun, and Nate and Alex know how to write an execute a song that is laden with hooks.  So take a breather and relax, and “Cali Girl” will definitely help make your day that much brighter!

Published in: on November 2, 2019 at 6:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
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L.A.-based singer/songwriter @BrandonColbein returns to recording with stunning, emotional ballad “Mad”

BRANDON COLBEIN, “Mad”

It’s been almost three years since we’ve heard Brandon Colbein sing his own songs, which were previously recorded as Brandon Skeie.  With a striking voice that wastes no time in convincing you of its potency, Brandon is back with the emotional ballad “Mad”.  I often look for perspective in lyrics, and Brandon nails it here.  The song is offered from a point of view in the aftermath of a relationship when you’re still angry at your former lover – and perhaps, always will be.  But it plays on those moments when you still realize you loved this person at one time, and you’re torn about staying mad at them forever.  As with the exhilarating “So Bad” in 2016 – which has had millions of views online and turned out to be my favourite song of that year – “Mad” cuts right through to your bones. It fills you with empathy but also presents a second look at the relationship, even if it’s fleeting, before life continues on its path.  Despite his absence from recording, Brandon’s been a busy songwriter for Warner Chappell, co-writing songs for the likes of Zayn, Liam Payne, Hayley Kiyoko, Bea Miller, and In Real Life, among many others.  “Mad” puts Brandon right back into the mix without skipping a beat.

Published in: on October 11, 2019 at 11:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
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