L.A.-based producer @Whethanmusic shows massive growth on “Stay Forever” with STRFKR @Starfucker

WHETHAN and STRFKR, “Stay Forever”

To say that “Stay Forever” doesn’t sound like anything that Whethan has offered to date is a bit of an understatement.  The 20 year-old Chicago-born, L.A.-based producer opted not to tour last year to address personal issues and record his upcoming album, probably a very wise move.  “Stay Forever” brings us an alt.rock flavoured sound to the electronic backdrop like some past releases, but the aim is a progressive edge that stands out from the rest.  Other producers like PLS&TY, Pluko and Robotaki also have made this conscious decision with results in unique music that provokes your senses and isn’t always about big synths and beats.  Whethan is paired up with veteran Portland, Oregon trio STRFKR here and their collaboration is seamless and complementary.  The full album should be a treat, and Whethan is returning to touring, but in more biteable chunks, which I’m sure will expand closer to the time of the album’s release.  

Published in: on January 18, 2020 at 6:23 pm  Leave a Comment  
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L.A.’s @meuBrando is back and we’re hearing double – his own “Look Into My Eyes” and @DonDiablo’s “Congratulations”

BRANDO, “Look Into My Eyes”

DON DIABLO and BRANDO, “Congratulations”

You likely first heard L.A. singer Brando’s voice on Loud Luxury’s “Body”, which grew into a massive worldwide pop and dance hit two years ago.  He’s off to a great start this year with two fine new songs, his own “Look Into My Eyes” (above) and one that will become a staple for  Don Diablo fans, “Congratulations” (below).  “Look Into My Eyes” should find its way to pop radio thanks to its interpolation of the hook and chorus of Charles & Eddie’s huge 1992 pop hit “Would I Lie To You”.  But Brando’s top notch, warm vocal connects you to the new lyrics that surround it, and the song stands alone as a result.  “Congratulations” is a snappy rave-up that you’ll undoubtedly hear at clubs and festivals throughout the winter, so remember who is singing it!  As a world renown Dutch producer and songwriter, Don Diablo has the great knack of bringing in partner performers who meld with his music and Brando is no exception.

Is “Bump This” a catch phrase of the winter? Listen to the contagious new hip hop song from @MichaelMedrano @JakeGermain_ and @Michete

MICHAEL MEDRANO, JAKE GERMAIN & MICHETE, “Bump This”

I’m not one to normally feature a song that’s basically about partying and taking drugs, and I’m no hip hop expert BUT the chorus, beat and rhythm made me do it 😛  I remembered L.A.’s Michael Medrano from his heartfelt collaboration with Steve Grand a few years ago called “Heal”, but I certainly didn’t expect the underground pop/hip hop of “Bump This”.  It’s positively contagious in a very retro way – think early 2000’s Dr. Dre or Lil Jon, or even 90’s Snoop Dogg, with a dash of what was once known as ‘whisper rap’.  Michael is joined in this salute to hedonism by two hip hop performers, Chicago’s Jake Germain and Seattle’s Michete.  The production is appropriately minimalist and all three performers acquit themselves well.  But it’s that beat and rhythm and that chorus, “bump this if you wanna get wild”, that will bring the listeners and make it blow up.  A video is much needed!!

“Hello” is the first taste of the new progressive electronic project by L.A. producer @Prizmofficial with vocals by @McEwenofficial

THE PRIZM and McEWEN, “Hello”

Last year I previewed some songs by L.A. mystery electronic producer The Prizm which showed a lot of interesting potential while he figured out where this new project was heading.  So I’m now pleased to introduce you to the first single from his upcoming untitled release, which is “Hello”.  It’s a rather uncomplicated first taste of what’s to come, with a straight forward melody which finds its way through some complex synths and heavier beats.  The pitched up, unrecognizable vocal belongs to McEwen, otherwise known as Adam Tyler, a long-time favourite in these blog pages.  The Prizm uses McEwen’s appearance to unlock the door to the rest of his release, which fans of Illenium or Seven Lions will want to hear.  So say “Hello” to The Prizm, with much more to come in 2020.

Published in: on January 12, 2020 at 11:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“November” is gritty, deliberately-paced alt.rock flavoured trap from @PatrickReza

PATRICKREZA, “November”

Continuing with his successful blend of progressive electronic music with gritty alt.rock music, deep house, and trap, Los Angeles-based producer PatrickReza is back with “November”.  After repackaging last year’s first forays into this stylish mix with “Tip Toe” and “The Wall” into the EP Strung Out (featuring the title song), as well as his white-listed remix of Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy” (which she shared in her socials and has acquired 3.5 million plays on Soundcloud alone), “November” offers a herky-jerky Nine Inch Nails melody, downbeat guitar work, and a disaffected semi-spoken vocal.  It’s a taut blend that gets revved up briefly about halfway through, but it all works quite well.  Modern rock radio would have fun with this one as would clubs for late night play.

Published in: on December 14, 2019 at 10:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Lost To The Night” is a heartfelt tribute to reconciliation by singer/songwriter @CShirock

C.SHIROCK, “Lost To The Night”

“Lost To The Night” is a compelling song that asks the question: What would you say to a loved one in your immediate family who you haven’t spoken to in many years?  The answer lies in the chorus “brother, come home”.  Chuck Shirock is a singer/songwriter who divides his time between Nashville and Los Angeles, but “Lost To The Night” is hardly what I would call conventional of either music city.  Influences here come from U2 – C.SHIROCK sounds a lot like Bono at times – Coldplay, Peter Gabriel, and too many others to think of, particularly from the 80’s.  The big production in contrast to the emotion of the song is consistent with U2 or Peter Gabriel records.  C.SHIROCK’s vocal will definitely move you, and a good companion song to it is the recent and deeply personal single by Cobi called “Island In My Mind” which I wrote about a few weeks back.  C.SHIROCK definitely holds a lot of promise and with songs like “Lost To The Night” clearly has a lot to offer.

Published in: on December 8, 2019 at 10:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
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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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