Kalie Shorr – Awake (Review)

Originally posted on Alternative Airwaves

Kalie Shorr - Awake
Another one of those "off my radar" music submission reviews!  This time, it's Kalie Shorr's Awake EP, which was released January 26th of this year.  Here's a bit of the press release:
Country rockstress Kalie Shorr released Awake last night to an at-capacity crowd of fans, music industry and friends in Nashville. The highly-anticipated new project features seven songs that bring a rock-infused sound to country, showcasing Shorr’s authenticity, passion and energy which she injects into her music. Awake is available now on iTunesApple MusicGoogle PlayAmazon Music and Spotify.
So let's unpack this EP a little bit.  The album is most definitely a country-rock album, reminding me a lot of Miranda Lambert (thinking her Kerosene days as I haven't heard much of her recent music).  If I were to describe the EP as a radio station, it would be the local Country station that drops in songs that straddle the tip of the country-rock-pop triangle.   I felt that the EP started off on the softer side, and built up to a rougher, rock-infused ending.  I appreciated the build-up.  I haven't checked the country charts to see how Kalie's doing, but I imagine that "Who What When Where Why" would be a song that will do well.  I like that one, and "Cool Kids" quite a bit.  "Two Hands" is also not too bad, being a bit of a love ballad.   OK scratch that, I did do some research, I'm not THAT lazy.  Turns out that "Two Hands" was released as a single and quickly added to rotation on Sirius XM, featured on The Highway, as well as added to Radio Disney Country (there were some promotional exclusives involved with Disney and a few other properties) and TuneIn.  Unfortunately I don't see her name anywhere on the Billboard charts but it sounds like she's still getting airplay out there.   Definitely recommend this one if you're into rock-infused country.  3.5/5.

Flavia – Hateful (Single)

Originally posted on Alternative Airwaves

This past Friday June 1, electronic pop artist FLAVIA released a new single called "Hateful".  Prior to this track, I had never heard of Flavia, so I'll let the press release do some talking:
FLAVIA is an electronic pop artist based in Los Angeles, CA. She mixes dark pop and futuristic R&B, exploring the borderland of yesterday’s soul and tomorrow’s electronica. She started to write music at a young age in Ireland and Italy, where she spent her formative years. Having moved often growing up, she feels the closest thing to home-base in her music. “It’s a part of me,” she says. “I couldn’t escape it event if I wanted to.”
In listening to "Hateful", I definitely caught wind of all of these influences in her music.  Oddly enough I also got a bit of a "Lorde" vibe in her music, which is not at all a bad thing. Here's some info about the new track:
Sharing a powerful message for kindness, strength, and human condition, Hateful was inspired by FLAVIA’s own real-life experiences. Reflecting on such experiences opened the way for the larger issues of animosity, division, and bullying in our society today. With the release of her debut single, FLAVIA hopes to reach out to victims of hatred and bullying, and to remind people to treat others with love and respect.
I can get behind that sentiment.  I think that a lot of people share her views toward bullying (online bullying especially) so hearing art related to that is welcome.  It helps take the power away from the people who would direct their hatred toward us. As for listening the track itself, you can find it on Spotify!  Check out Flavia's website at http://www.flavia.la, and be sure to check out her YouTube channel as well!  It opens up with the track "No Gravity" and it's super cool.

Anela & The Early Hours – Yesteryear

Originally posted on Alternative Airwaves

I received this email submission back in June 2017; so right off the bat, a slap on the hand to me for not getting to the review until now, nearly a year later. Yesteryear by Anela & The Early Hours Anela & The Early Hours is an indie pop group out of London, Ontario.  Yesteryear is their debut album; here are some of my thoughts about it. Right off the top, I have to be honest and say that this album did not "wow" me.  I feel that it is a solid, well-produced album, but it doesn't stand out as something special to me.  That said, I would still recommend giving this album a listen. Like I said, it sounds well-produced.  It's "radio ready", in the sense that it sounds good over my speakers and headphones - the sound isn't too flat or anything like that.  Guitar work in the 7 tracks is delicate but has a presence, and the drums have a certain "pop" to it.  I like lead singer Anela Navarro's voice, though it doesn't fluctuate through very much range (however it sounds like she potentially has a wide vocal range in her if she chose to use it). Singles from the album include "Space" and "All Alone", for which there are some YouTube videos you can watch: here and here.  The stand-out track for me though was "Stuck With You" - I liked that one the best. Overall, "Yesteryear" is a good album and I recommend it.  3/5.  You can purchase it from iTunes, or stream it on Spotify/Soundcloud/Bandcamp (link above).

Radio Free Burrito Mixtape: If This Be Sin

Originally posted on Alternative Airwaves

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10 Waves Of You – Sail

Originally posted on Alternative Airwaves

Sometimes I go down a very strange rabbit hole on Jamendo.  The other day on the radio, I heard some jazz in the background and decided that I wanted to listen to some jazz while I worked.  Instead, I did some clicking around to see what was new and found this 4-track instrumental EP from a musician called 10 Waves Of You, "Sail". First, a little about 10 Waves Of You; here's their bio as written on Jamendo:
10 Waves of You is an Italian Ambient Post Rock one man band from Milan (Italy) formed in 2014. Luca Crivellaro plays guitar, bass, voice, keys, piano, synths and percussion. I'm am a free diver (not scuba diver!) When i make music i search for the same emotions that I feel when I free dive in the underground water: alone, curious, numb, trying to reach every possible positive vibes from the underwater creatures and hidden world. I hope my music will make you think, feel and imagine…
So, some interesting notes there.  I really like what Crivellaro has put together with this little EP.  The title track, Sail, was my favourite by far.  Stay with me on this point: I enjoyed the Twilight films, and thought the best part of them was Carter Burwell's scores (Amazon: Twilight [The Score], The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 The Score Music by Carter Burwell).  The piano work is fantastic, and that's the vibe I got from Sail and the other 4 tracks on the album.  I found the album as a whole calming and relaxing, and listened while I got my work done. On the slightly negative side, the album is too short for me.  At 4 tracks, I had to move onto something different pretty quickly.  Also, some of the tracks edged too close to the "elevator / hold music" category, which was a little off-putting. Overall I recommend it, especially "Sail".  You can find the album on Jamendo here: https://www.jamendo.com/album/158044/sail

Jamendo’s Current Best Of All Genres

Originally posted on Alternative Airwaves

There are some pretty solid tracks on Jamendo's "Best Of All Genres" list when you head over to the main page.  Here are some highlights for me:

Pure Mids - These Days - A nice, light pop-rock tune.  I could definitely find a place for this group in my rotation of music.  Pure Mids are an American group.

Always the Alibi - After All I've Done
Always the Alibi - Ain't Another Girl

Two-for-one deal here with Always the Alibi, providing some solid rock for your Friday morning.  Another American group, from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Wonder if they know Chip and Joanna from Fixer Upper?

Jekk - Strong - Smooth soul.  Jekk is a French artist and has been making music since 2014. 

OnClassical - E. Satie - Trois Gnossiennes - I. Lent - Alessandro Simonetto - OnClassical is a great Italian collective on Jamendo.  They release some well-produced classical music.  It's really relaxing and helps get work done.

Tony Petersen - James Alley Blues - The song title says "blues", but it's pure folk.




Recommendation: Daniel Robinson – Little Birds

Originally posted on Alternative Airwaves

Just thought I'd throw out a quick recommendation!  I found this on Jamendo the other day, and thought it was a great folk/pop album.  Some of the tracks are a little dreamy, which is great.  I didn't like Those Were The Days too much; Nowhere to Hide and Little Birds were definitely standout tracks for me. 

I was listening to The Decemberists' new album before dropping into this one, and the transition worked well for me.  If you have some time, take a listen to Daniel Robinson's Little Birds.

https://www.jamendo.com/album/175519/little-birds

The Week That Was: Mar 29-Apr 4

This Week's Motivational Picture
First of all, it's pretty crazy to try and think about regular season baseball happening in March.  Sure, it's the end of March, and it's basically April, but it's still March.  Rest assured though, by 2020 they'll have corrected this when opening day is once again in April (thanks, Wikipedia!).  Of course this isn't the first time opening day has been in March, but it's just so rare that it seems wrong in some way. 

Nevertheless, after a week's worth of games, we have some standings to look at.  Boston leads the AL East with a 5-1 record, followed by New York at 4-2, and Toronto at 4-3.  There are apparently two other teams in the division but they don't matter.  Yet.  I'm a bit surprised that Boston has such a big lead - at least I was, until I looked at their first 6 opponents.  They had the Rays, followed by the Marlins (and then today, April 5th, they have the Rays again).  Luckily they will have to face the Yankees, which I think will be a split between the two teams. 

Back to the Jays - they are at least 1 game ahead of where I expected them to be.  I thought they might be at the .500 mark, but they pounded their way above .500 and even enjoyed a 4-game win streak (which included a split vs the Yankees).  So I'm happy with that. 

Honestly, a split vs the Yankees is probably the best result they could have hoped for.  And then they won the series against the White Sox, another plus.  April is looking like a tough month for the Blue Jays, and I think they'll come out of it in good shape as long as they win 2 out of 3 vs the likes of Baltimore and Texas.  Tread water against the better teams and then move on from there. 

The good news is that on the off day, they are 0.5 back of the wild card spot.  If the Jays can keep up their pace it's going to be a very tight race all year.

Mini Podcast Review: Double Consciousness

Originally posted on Alternative Airwaves

It's been far too long since I've posted anything - will be honest, I've been devoting attention to my personal blog and have been neglecting this one; partially the reason behind that is because I'm not as comfortable writing about music (strange as that seems) as other topics.

I promised in my last podcast and a few tweets that I would review the new podcast from Toussaint Morrison called Double Consciousness.

I will be up front - this podcast is not for me.  I thought that because I love what Toussaint brings to the table musically, that adding his podcast to my subscription list would be fun.  I appreciate the content and discussion topics that he and podcast partner Joetta talk about, but I found the episodes to be a bit too long for my personal preference.

That said, this isn't a podcast I would completely abandon.  I think that they have the makings of a great show, discussing important topics (and some not-so-important topics sometimes) from their perspective.  And to clarify, they're talking about issues from a black person's perspective, which is still relevant today despite any social progression we've made around the world. 

I think one of the other reasons the podcast doesn't resonate with me fully is that I am a white male so it goes without saying that I can't fully relate to their discussions. 

However I still recommend giving it a listen and see if it's up your alley.  It's available on iTunes and most other podcast platforms.