Here’s to “2020” with an R&B-flavoured pop release by NYC’s @GreatGoodFineOK

GREAT GOOD FINE OK, “2020”

“2020” starts off with a silky smooth Jon Sandler vocal, recalling much of their early music which won me over back about six years ago.  Along with keyboard wizard Luke Moellman, Great Good Fine OK has established a career with numerous fine and diverse, mainly danceable original recordings that have found release on Sony and Ultra along with collaborations with the likes of The Knocks and St. Lucia.  “2020” is a slower, warm R&B flavoured song that will be a welcome draw in concert, where Great Good Fine OK becomes a tight four-piece unit, amid their many higher energy songs.  Along with their work as go-to remixers, Great Good Fine OK have set a welcome tone for the year ahead, which I expect is going to be very good to them!

Great Good Fine OK plays The Garrison in Toronto on Saturday January 18

Published in: on January 5, 2020 at 6:48 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Summer’s hardly over when you’re “Swimming With Sharks”, by NYC’s @itsDaveEdwards and @FlyByMidnight_

DAVE EDWARDS & FLY BY MIDNIGHT, “Swimming With Sharks”

Late last year, NYC producer Dave Edwards released the danceable delight that became one of my favourites of 2018, the euphoric “What We’re Made Of”.  After offering up sturdy remixes for the likes of The Knocks and ROZES, he’s back with another original, “Swimming With Sharks”, this time in collaboration with fellow New Yorkers, the vocal duo Fly By Midnight (Justin and Slavo).  The pristine melody and summery groove are all well intact in this song about falling in with the wrong kind of folks, only to request aid in getting out of those relationships (a personal Sharknado, if you will haha).  The vocals are just the harmonic sheen that the song needs, while the rhythm will easily have you shaken and stirred.  “Swimming With Sharks” is an obvious, recognizable add for club DJ’s.  Add “Swimming With Sharks” to your Mid-Summer Fun playlist using the Spotify link above.

NYC Rockers On The Rise: @ManonEarth and @TheUglyClub

The only things Man On Earth and The Ugly Club have in common is that they are from New York City, they play solid rock ‘n roll, and have a determined journeyman style which just naturally generates a loyal following and praise from various sources.

manonearth

MAN ON EARTH, self-titled album

Man On Earth have a solid, earnest rock style that will appeal to fans of Fall Out Boy, Marianas Trench, Hedley, and Theory Of A Deadman.  While they clearly like to rock out hard, and don’t sacrifice melody in the process, there’s a fair bit of depth in their songs that will keep you listening.  “If Not Now Then When” is a sea of thoughts amid power rock that’s well worth blasting out your car window on a summer’s day accompanied by a fine bass line.  It’s probably the most immediately ear-catching song on the record, but also well done are “Bombs Around Me”, “On Our Way”, and “There”.  The biggest surprise that shows this quartet’s versatility (and perhaps singer Stephen Nathan’s best vocal) is “We Are All Dreamers”, definitely a thoughtful ode of reassurance to that important art of dreaming.  The band will continue playing some gigs in June, so if you get a chance check out their website and get out to see them.  Man On Earth, the album, is available on iTunes.

theuglyclub

THE UGLY CLUB, Loosen Up (EP)

The Ugly Club is another NYC quartet but one who draws their influences likely more from British psych/indie rock – Radiohead, Oasis, all that good stuff from the 90’s.  The Ugly Club though bridge some very accessible moments on this three song EP with some experimental, danceable sounds that will please fans of the genre.  Both “Loosen Up” and “David Foster Wallace” are rhythmic, sometimes R&B/funk influenced songs which definitely beg  listening, while “Under the Great Wave” has an arrangement with some prominent synth work that reminds me of California’s Saint Motel but perhaps with some jazz influences.  Overall, the EP (which you can stream below) is a pleasing, diverse surprise carried by another strong vocalist in guitarist Ryan Egan.  All of the songs are repackaged from the band’s 2012 album You Belong To The Minutes, available on iTunes.  Lend your eyes above to the snazzy vinyl album cover art and blue vinyl on limited release through the band’s website.

The Ugly Club play NXNE in Toronto at The Hideout on Friday, June 20.

 

Ryan Star’s NYC show and 11:59

I must now backtrack on last week’s trip to New York City, which was primarily a get-to-know-NYC for my 10 year old daughter as well as an opportunity for me to explore and do some things in the city with her.  So Monday evening was the lavish “Phantom Of the Opera” production, but Tuesday I took her to her first rock concert, Ryan Star’s show at the Irving Plaza (Fillmore).

I couldn’t have picked a better show.  Opening up with strong sets by Thriving Ivory and particularly Lion of Ido (I will blog about them in the near future), Ryan’s show was a celebration of the release of his major label debut album 11:59, which has been years in the making.  It was a high energy and deeply felt set of approximately 75 minutes, focusing on most of the songs from 11:59, as well as the odd cover (The Beatles’ “We Can Work It Out”), and older songs with which I was not familiar such as “Sink or Swim”, “You and Me”, or the frenetic “Psycho Suicidal Girl”.  Highlights for me were a new favourite song of mine (!) “Start A Fire” (video above) as well as the encore performances of “Breathe” – you could literally feel the connectedness in the room which has been held together by Ryan’s close contact with fans over the various social networks – and a song originally done by his previous band Stage called “Back Of Your Car”, for which he brought on stage his three former band members (he also unexpectedly segued the song into a few verses of the B.o.B./Hayley Williams hit “Airplanes”).  It simply seems natural and genuine for Ryan to want to do all of this but the best part is actually making it happen.  Ryan is well on his way from club dates and opening act stints to major league performer.

The 11:59 album is all that we could ask for and more.  It includes past favourites like “Right Now”, “Last Train Home”, and of course “Breathe”, plus “Lie to Me” TV theme “Brand New Day”, the emotional “Losing Your Memory”, and the thoughtful title track.  I think “Start A Fire” could be a massive radio hit if it’s promoted properly.  11:59 is all about rock and pop music that you can play at any time and it will make you feel good about just about anything for the duration.  I’m hoping Atlantic Records takes the time to promote 11:59 and Ryan Star to make a win-win for everyone.



Published in: on August 8, 2010 at 12:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,