I'd stumbled onto this cute little EP a while ago, and finally got around to hearing all of it. The twins and their talented bassist bring a classic Rock touch to their Dreampop, though it often sounds like that Dreampop twist is very silent.

Today's track is worthy of a sentimental slow-dance, so if you have a partner near by be sure to pick them up and pretend you're in an '80s coming of age film. Because it's fun, that's why.

Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp

It's just so old fashioned and easy going. Smooth and chill-worthy. The general composition is relaxed, relatively simple, but still very well executed. It's not as easy as it looks, but I think the twins have got their system down already.

The rest of the album also just slides right out of the '50s. It's refreshing if that's your musical era of preference, otherwise it just makes a great filler EP. Something to listen between your favorite albums. Maybe if it were longer it'd have better character.

http://www.d4am.net/2013/12/summer-twins-forget-me.html
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
The 5 track EP is short and sweet, like most of its contents. It's easily digestible, and ready to have you move on in less than 20 minutes. With the lovely after taste and the positive feelings it leaves behind, Forget Me is almost comparable to a warm slice of pie.

I encourage giving the stream a listen. If you like that California twang on your Classic Rock, it'll be a fun release to skim through. Hit play, sit back, and pretend you're at the beach, or that the year's nearing it's end.
Being able to ask an artist firsthand the questions I would normally ask Google is a rare gift. Just a few days ago I basked in it, as Jennifer Zuiff and I held an amateur's interview. Indie Killed the Pop Star is a message for musical artists, as much as it is a movement and Jennifer's own stage name. With each song you hear, you're subliminally reminded that an independent musician can have just as strong an impact as the mainstream influences that are shoved in our faces. Indie, as an artist with a heavy background in Classical Music, makes the perfect candidate for such movements.

Her debut single, on the other hand, visibly carries a much simpler message. Of love, and understanding. If you get down to it, it's the melodies pieced together perfectly, and the subtle entrance of an acoustic arrangement that bring this song home.



What I enjoyed the most here is that those intricate musical tidbits going on in the background are all her. Every bell, every key, every pluck of the string is all her talents; despite the fact that she does have a supporting band. I guess what I love is that such a complete songstress can still be so musically well rounded. It's just a shame this and 2012's free Christmas EP are the only things to collect.

Coming up in 2014 she expects to release a series of gems. She hopes to release an acoustic EP to compliment today's single sometime soon, an EP or potential album featuring her elaborate and talented band, and a charity album with 3 other talented females for the American Cancer Society. Until then, we've got this single.

http://www.d4am.net/2013/12/indie-killed-pop-star-what-love-is.html
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
The track is available for a minimum asking price of $1, and serves mainly as the teaser for the upcoming acoustic release. Supporting through a purchase is always appreciated, but if you need alternative methods, her Facebook and Twitter are great ways to follow the journey.
“Artists can be true artists and they don't have to be dictated or molded into something they don't want because of money and other factors. The point of an artist is to state his or her truth— it's so precious and important and the people that want to hear it will find it. It should never be stifled or suffocated because of big corporations and money... that's the opposite of making art.”
— Jennifer 'Indie Killed the Pop Star' Zuiff
The first generation Russian, Atlanta, Georgia native has musical backgrounds and inclinations as diverse as her upbringing. Don't be surprised when she combines with Hip-Hop, dabbles with Electronic genres, and explores different tempos. If you're looking forward to it, be sure to check what's already made available through Soundcloud, Reverbnation, and Youtube. It might just be to your liking.
A very classic American Rock atmosphere was exposed to me when I first heard Ollie Vee several months ago, and the sound stuck with me well enough to consider looking them up. Lonesome Girl (as an album) was released back in July, and while I can't say I love the release front-to-back, I can definitely say I appreciate the effort.

These guys bring the classic sound out with a sweet double bass, a bouncing drum set, and a couple of guitars (or a guitar and a 'gitar'.) Add in some near southern flavor and vocals Elvis could tip his hips to, and you've got today's concoction.



This is one of my favorites. It's got a swing to it, decent flow at a nice pace, and it feels just original enough to have a refreshing twist on it. You can tell it's a recent recording, but all the predominant puzzle pieces scream for the early years of Rock and Roll.

The album follows on a similar track. An admirable, arguably perfectly executed mimic of early Rock and Roll with future equipment. My problems with it are mostly hidden within the details of the execution, but also go as far as biased flaws within the composition. I know I'm wrong when I judge some of these tracks.

http://www.d4am.net/2013/12/ollie-vee-lonesome-girl.html
Buy: CD | mp3
Issues for me range between the southern flair getting a little too Country for my tastes, and some faux-tropical guitar riffs that actually bring out some more of that Elvis feel in the vocals. I can admit to the elegance, it's just a matter of personal preference. I know lovers of the general era will enjoy this modern day gem.

You can currently stream it all at their website and their Soundcloud, so enjoy that while it's around. And if you do love it, consider the purchase. It's not like these guys are generic wannabes, and the real deal deserves its support.
http://www.d4am.net/2013/12/internal-flight-live-at-gara-vasara.html
Start listening now @ Bandcamp
I was introduced to Estas Tonné about a month ago with this video of The Song of the Golden Dragon. The beautiful 9 minute guitar piece was enough to keep his name in the back of my mind, maybe do some research, and find what else he was capable of afterwards. It's his skill that brought me back to find today's album.

July 25th of 2013, him and a few other artists (mostly percussionists but also an electric guitarist) were found at the Gara Vasara festival in the Republic of Latvia. The festival as a whole seems like a humbling meditative experience, but I've found no evidence of that other than written word. Today's album, Internal Flight, is a recorded gem made with us, for us, at the festival. While it shows me what kind of experience exists within the festivities, it also shows what human connection can do to music. It's a beautiful thing.

The recorded experience lasts just beyond 3 hours; I warn you it might be a little difficult to swallow. The first track, totaling roughly 14 minutes, is nothing but an introduction to the event. It shows Estas speaking of the rules, the most peculiar of which to hear on a live recording is no clapping, and no cheering, for the audience and the musicians are one. These rules almost make the result seem like a studio effort. While I suppose the introductory track could be skipped, I find it crucial to establishing the mood.

I recommend trying the album out. If it's not for you, but you enjoy Estas' guitar work, check out the rest of his Bandcamp. If you find yourself engulfed with the music, I recommend sticking around for Joy Is Here. A track most appreciated after hours of beautiful guitar work gnawing into your psyche. If you end up loving the album by the time it ends, it's available as a name-your price download. Grab it, donate if you can, and share it with the world.

Hit play. Relax. Enjoy.

A while ago I saw Suli Breaks circling social mediums. I witnessed as some of his messages became known. I've admired Spoken Word long enough to know it's a tough method to sell. Strings in the background often won't be enough to make someone sit through your speech, regardless of the time, effort, or talent put into it.

To date, the video I saw reached over 2 million views, and a related one reached past 4 million. I don't think it's solely because of the message; though he crafts it well. I think it also has a lot to do with the fact that he breaks things down so you can understand his point of view regardless of whether or not you agree with him. Watch one of my favorites and see for yourself.



The title might be enough to upset a few, but he starts off with psychological skill. He makes it a game in which you have no answer, it incites you to pay attention; he hooks you. You might stop if it bores you, but not if you have something to debate.

What I really like is that in voicing out and expressing his thoughts, he conquers the fear people have when they have the same unpopular ideas. His openness has the potential to bring happiness to others, to bring definition to their morals. At the end of the day, the likeliness of bringing someone a smile is what makes the release so stunning to me.

http://www.d4am.net/2013/12/suli-breaks-dormroom-ep.html
Buy: Amazon | iTunes
The EP flows pretty well, but unlike with traditional audible arts, this is an audio story. It has background, it has personal experiences, and it has an ending. The best part is that even though the story ends, the thoughts don't. There's gonna be that one line that sticks with you throughout the day, or the idea that you'll remember at a certain time in the distant future. It could also just be a memory of the pain in the ass who thinks differently; it's all a matter of how you perceive.

If you surf his website well enough you can stream an updated version of the EP and download a free track. Alternatively, if you're not a fan of story telling and prefer the points made, the Youtube channel is an amazing space to bask in. It'll be difficult to swallow for some, but very comforting for others.
Accidental finds are probably my favorite way to find new music. Searching for one thing, and getting something completely unexpected. Today's case is with Washington D.C.'s Drunken Sufis, a politically voiced Punk band with obvious talent and an inclination towards eerie Avant-Garde/Shamanic/Experimental sounds.

Needless to say this won't be your typical Punk Rock album. It's more of a musical statement, with questionable musical ideals that push boundaries for the musically open minded. My favorite track is an instrumental piece that might be a little easier to get into. Try that one out.


Buy/Stream @ Bandcamp

The reason I find it easier isn't because it's instrumental, the vocals aren't really bothersome as the release continues. This one works for me because of how it's composed. It feels musically complete, while maintaining the dark and disastrous feel the rest of the album provokes. It's still a little awkward, maybe a little Math inclined, but all that shows is talent and dedication.

Now, this is not what the album is made up of. In fact, there's only one song on there that feels like traditional Punk (check it out.) The album is truly made up of nightmare sounds. It's everything you don't want to hear when you're alone in the dark, with maybe an alien-inspired undertone in there. You know, those creepy sci-fi sounds.

http://www.d4am.net/2013/12/drunken-sufis-dronewars.html
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
It's not so much subtle as it is sneaky. You know they're sending a message, you even know what it is, but the details they put into it make it that much more interesting. Still very unsettling for the common set of ears, but a connoisseur of the darker Rock genres should have plenty to enjoy here.

If you liked today's track you might as well try the album, regardless of whether or not you normally enjoy Punk Rock. This isn't the traditional stuff; don't expect the noisy guitar and loud vocals. In any case, expect something like Experimental Rock. Different, awkward, and in DroneWars' case, dark.
Dead Meadow have been at it for a while with smooth bass lines and trippy tracks, and they've just added a new addition to their collection of chill-worthy Rock albums. I wasn't expecting to like Warble Womb much, but I'm glad to say I was pleasantly surprised.

Today's track is my personal favorite, Mr. Chesty. It takes a bit over a minute to play clearly, but you get the feel for it before then. It's a studio track that they know is meant for playing live, and yet still makes for an excellent track on a studio release.


It's not meant to be over analyzed. It's just there; relax with it, soak it in, learn about Mr. Chesty. You make sure to keep it simple and keep the peace the track can give you. It might make you wanna start a bonfire or grab a beer. Go ahead, the music's not going anywhere.

While not the whole album is quite as chill, it's definitely the undertone. You might get a song or two like this one, completely chilling out, but it also focuses on that abstract side. The more artsy inclined Rock beauties; pretty solos and musical echoes.

http://www.d4am.net/2013/12/dead-meadow-warble-womb.html
Buy: CD | mp3 | Vinyl
The release is perfect for those long days with a simplified assortment of tasks. Put this on and do your thing, take your time, enjoy life. It's gonna be a sweet ride if you don't pay too much attention, but if you're looking at the album for its technical details you might find a problem or two. My biggest complaint is they take sweet melodies and loop 'em for a little too long sometimes. It works for the genre; it's up to you to see if it fits your mood.

Gotta recommend checking the stream out if you were into today's track, but I really feel it fits more while working with a handful of tasks than it would while cruising down the street. Just keep that in mind. Regardless what you're doing, if Stoner Rock's your thing, it'd just be insensible not to give it a chance.
Took a few hours to explore Psych-Rock yesterday and found Golden Animals' latest. The Psychedelic genre based duo have brought us a sweet little 10 track album with a sprinkle of Surfy/Westernish Rock vibes that end up giving the album character

I wouldn't call it a perfect release or an undeniable listen, but it works great with an assortment of moods under a nice assortment of volumes. Today's track works just as well in the background as it would under the limelight. Give it a chance.



If I had to complain, I'd say it runs a bit long. In reality, I enjoy the length to it. I like the monotone vibrations, the dragging journey, if only because it feels like it's actually taking me somewhere. I found it pleasurable; even if all I get out of it is the ride.

The real problem is that most of the album presents itself the same way. You can argue that there's only so much a duo can perform, but I don't buy that any more. I believe this is what they wanted, and while it's tolerable, it's definitely not as refreshing as an initial listen might be.

http://www.d4am.net/2013/12/golden-animals-hear-eye-go.html
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
Maybe they pride themselves in the lyrical content, but if that's the case the droning melodies make it hard to get into. The vocals sound as a backing instrument, making deciphering the lyrics a little dull. What I could make out seemed to me like this was an effort for fun. More for the sake of making something together than to be judged. It sounded pure, full of defects, and yet birthed with joy.

It's because of this that people who really like that Indie Surfy Psych Rock are probably really gonna dig it. This is a pure release. Not at all perfect by my standards, but it's still worth at least one listen. I'm glad I took the time to acknowledge it, even if my immediate response was to move on.
It was about a year ago I was first introduced to Comedian/Actor Donald Glover, or rapper Childish Gambino. I enjoyed what I heard, but didn't think much of it. I knew he had talent, but I moved on. I wasn't caught, and frankly even once I started this album my attention would stray.

Then I really heard it, I pushed the "edginess" of the backing beats aside and heard what he had to say. And then I heard it over, because his phrases sounded like gibberish. What I found was close to buried treasure; abstract lyricism with progressive Hip-Hop beats. I've been searching for this since my early teens, and even then, I figured it would never reach my high expectations.



The above Crawl probably shows what I'm talking about the best. It'll still sound a bit like gibberish the first few times around because you're missing a key element, the rest of the album. There's still an excellent display of wit, but you can get that anywhere else. The truth of this story relies heavily on everything you're gonna hear. He made an experience.

It also shows that abusive modernized bass line that's gonna be difficult to get into for a lot of traditional mentalities, and if you never liked Hip-Hop, it won't be doing much to help you start enjoying it here. Then again, this wasn't an album made for beginners. You have to know what you want in order for him to meet or exceed your expectations.

http://www.d4am.net/2013/12/childish-gambino-because-internet.html
Buy: CD | mp3
If you wanna give this a shot while working, or just for the sake of leaving it on in the background, you might be biting off more than you can chew. He made sure to release this when people have time to vacation, and for good reason. And while not necessary, it might even help to be in an intoxicated state of mind. I mean, just look at his eyes on there. Visine couldn't fix that.

Putting things into perspective, to say this is a Hip-Hopera would be a lie, despite the fact that there's a story being told. The truth is the album is only part of the project, and you can find more of it at becausetheinter.net. On its own it's a screenplay, but it also comes accompanied by a short film and enough loose ends to keep you occupied for a comfortable weekend. Sadly, I had to draw the line at 12 hours, or risk lengthening this post further.

If you've got the time and the interest, it's worth a listen. Frankly, the whole album was worth it to me by the ending because of the ending. That last track, Life: The Biggest Troll (featuring himself) was so clear and well written that I couldn't find a way to dislike the release. It's all up for stream on Myspace, so take advantage of the quality while you can.
I've been letting this one sit for a while. Slowly enjoying, dissecting, and getting to know the release before forming an opinion. It's just more fun when I can soak something in for a weekend, especially because I can be sure of what a great listen it ends up being.

The Black Sea is an instrumental Post-Rock piece which lies heavily on beautiful guitar work. It's elaborate, and very rich in complex content, so let it seep into your ear holes for a bit before making your final verdict. You might thank yourself for it.


Stream/Download @ Bandcamp

It takes a minute of much smoother music to get to the core of what this is. It's rugged, yet excellently executed. It might take the average Joe some getting used to, but guitar lovers and admirers of a fine composition will find plenty to enjoy.

It's not even just that, it's the fluidity with jagged edges. The Black Sea is like learning to juggle machetes for the first time, and deciding to stroll down the beach during a sunset as your synchronized hand movements guide your fate. It takes more than a song to understand, but I also understand that for many, sunsets and machetes just don't work out.

http://www.d4am.net/2013/12/jakel-black-sea.html
Stream/Download @ Bandcamp
Much like a black sea, this album rolls over you in waves. Often harsh, sometimes smooth, and though constantly varying in emotion, it tends to stay on a dark side. There's lots of progression and tons of talent, so in the end it's a matter of whether or not you like Post-Rock Instrumentals that decides whether it's for you or not.

If you're not quite sure where you stand, don't worry. The album's available for whatever price you choose to pay, even if you choose to pay nothing at all. If you end up loving it, consider buying the CD or following the work on Facebook.
Twin Wave has been a tough band to follow these past few months, but with time and focus I've finally witnessed their debut release. The self titled EP consists of 4 tracks totaling 17 minutes, and is elaborate enough to play back-to-back if the sound fits you. I'm on a 4th listen myself; as I write this.

Today's track is their first single, Relapse. Expect traditional Psychedelic Rock tendencies, catchy Indie Rock inclinations, and a particularly enjoyable set of strings on the chorus. Needless to say; the track is well rounded.


There's something about it that hooks you before the music really starts. Then once the song gets into its groove, there's another form of magic to behold. It's normal for me to boast on about talent, but in this case the talent is such that each individual instrument is playing an amazing enough tune to hold its own without everything surrounding it. The fact that it all fits so well together is just an amazing display of chemistry.

The rest of the EP is still a pretty decent listen. It's a bit calmer, and has more of a gentle sway effect. It's not always as musically elaborate, but that's nothing to dock points from. Some of the best records I've ever heard have similar qualities.

http://www.d4am.net/2013/12/twin-wave-twin-wave.html
Buy @ Amazon | iTunes
There are two kinds of EPs as far as I'm concerned. You either get a taste of a single style, or an idea of the variety you could expect from an entire album. Twin Wave's latest shows the latter. It's got a little bit of a lot of style, all placed together in a compact session so you can know you're gonna love them without the potential loss of time.

They don't even allow you the opportunity to forget them. If you don't have the money to support them (and don't mind questionable audio quality) the EP is temporarily available for individual download over at Soundcloud. Relapse is available at name-your-price at Bandcamp for the audiophiles. There are no excuses.
I've dedicated about a year on here to modern music, despite the fact that I originally displayed diversity both in genre and age. I focused on the modern, on not living in the past. While that's still a general guideline, sometimes it's nice to visit a masterpiece from classic times, even if just to remember that the magic of excellent talent and composition has always been the same.

Today's case is fault of Herbie's Watermelon Man, which I was told would be a beautiful display of piano talent and Afro-Latin flavor. It turns out the original wasn't very Latin at all, and that it was thanks to Mongo Santamaria that it became as popular as it is (I mean, listen to it.) Eager to find a longer version, I stumbled onto Herbie's second release of the same standard on Head Hunters.


This still isn't all that Latin, but the Funk of fourty thousand years practically resonates throughout it. You can definitely hear the Afro-influences, and it's because of them that it strikes more effectively than the original. The song was, after all, composed to show his ethnic experience. He said so himself.

Watermelon Man isn't even my favorite track on the album. It just hits home for me, particularly because it was heavily sampled in the Hip-Hop I heard during my tweens. If I had to choose, Sly would probably be my favorite on the entire release. The fact that I can't quite make up my mind on a 4 track album says a lot about it, too.

http://www.d4am.net/2013/12/herbie-hancock-head-hunters.html
Buy: Amazon | iTunes
Yes, it holds only 4 songs, and 40-something minutes of top notch work. It may be a little difficult to get into some of the abstract pieces, but the album as a whole contains key parts to Jazz progressions that are much easier to get into than on most modern displays. It's got a swing to it, a fresh pulse, and it's with that life that it coaxes you into it.

The classic is a must for the piano enthusiast, so go ahead and give it a listen on Youtube or Grooveshark. If you haven't already, odds are you'll be happy you took the time. If you need more, or if you're in need of something a bit more modern, I covered his latest release just last October. You might wanna check that out, it's pretty sweet.
I've been following Mkaio for just under a year now, and considering the time it's taken to get to this release, I'd say I'm impressed with the progress. It's still just a two song EP, but the total running time is just past 13 minutes making it a relatively lengthy piece.

My favorite track of the two is the first, Stars. Be sure to click play below, let it run, and if it feels natural just let it fade onto Snow. It's gonna be a pretty clean transition and it'll probably mold into your mood, so sit back and relax while the Chillwave takes over.



It might feel a little awkward at first if the genre is new to you, especially with his vinyl influences seeping through between tracks, but really it's a matter of whether or not you're in the mood for the electronic droning background.

It's the details carefully pieced together and layered over each other that finish it all, giving both songs the same uplifting undertone that defines how everything else pans out. Kinda sounds like the credits rolling down just as the happy ending takes place. It's all of the feeling in significantly less time and adventure.

http://www.d4am.net/2013/12/mkaio-stars-snow.html
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
Considering the length of the EP, you could say it's flawless. It's just long enough to be more than a tease, and produced well enough to merit at least a second listen. I would've expected some more diversity had there been another track on there, but it keeps simple. Maybe he knew what he was doing, maybe he was lucky, but in the end all that matters is the beauty of the result.

I recommend it to people who enjoy the chill sounds. The sounds that border meditative/ambient music, but have enough charisma to withstand the masses if presented correctly. It's 13 minutes of bottled delight; the least it deserves is a full listen if you're enjoying it so far.
A short while ago I was introduced to Miss Gill's first EP, which was held together neatly by Brad Hammonds' musical composition. You get the best of a strong female vocal and acoustic based backgrounds to morph what could be ordinary old music into something worth listening to.

At the time, I was lucky enough to hear her version of Two Way Street (originally by Kimbra) which knocked me right off my feet. Ridiculously matured vocals for a 16 year old, and the musical arrangement felt so natural to the song that I had to keep listening. Then I found the rest of what she has to offer.


Stream/Download @ Soundcloud

The core members here are what makes this feel so organic. Some horns thrown in for good measure, some well sustained vocal notes, and that earthy acoustic goodness tucking it in for a good night's rest. It's gotta be hard feeling awake when that dream feels so good.

Beautiful as these first songs may be, they're not without some faults here and there. Most of which are minuscule melodic errs that I'm sure will quickly be polished up, so for the most part it's still a pretty awesome deal. It's only an especially good deal because right now, it's all downloadable for free.

http://www.d4am.net/2013/12/hannah-gills-debut-ep-free-download.html
Reverbnation | Soundcloud
Probably seducing me into it all the most is the disorganization of the initial release. It had kinda been made public, thus the free downloads, but it's still scheduled for an eventual official release. If you're wise enough to have her either on Facebook or Twitter, you might find her touring near you. And if you're lucky enough for that, you might actually find a physical EP to grab.

For now, the rest of us get to pick the songs we like best one at a time. As time goes on there may be issues finding these first free gems, so just in case you're reading this in the future, the songs (and links) are Whisper, I Feel Awake, Story of a Man, Two Way Street, Medicine, and Distance.

With the talent she's got and Brad's involvement in production, I have no doubt she'll be striking the radio by force really soon; make sure to grab these quick before they're pulled from the internet!
In case any of you missed Plini the first time around, he's back again with Scottish Sithu Aye to make a split one-man-band EP. The release has 4 tracks consisting of two singles from each, and each with one track featuring the other as well as other special guests.

If it sounds a bit confusing it's probably because it's meant to be analyzed with your ears, so sit back and give the first track in Sithu's side of the EP a listen. It's a sweet Prog piece that shows most of the talent in the guitar work, but still contains the necessary musical background to feel complete.



It's quick to show the Metal influences, but between the riffs and the bass you can hear a clear Jazz guitar influence that's almost undeniable. The only thing truly keeping it away from a full on Jazz piece is the hard hitting percussion.

This is also the Sithu track that features Plini. The change in style is subtle, but you'll be able to hear it pretty clearly. The beauty is how well they can adapt to each other, and how in the end, despite their differences, they can make one big elaborate concoction. The same goes for the entire release, if you don't pay attention you'd swear it's all just one band.

http://www.d4am.net/2013/12/plinisithu-aye-i.html
Stream/Download @ Bandcamp
The collaboration results in extremely well balanced sounds, and begs to be carefully analyzed with each progression onto a different chapter. The emotions discovered and the clash between the young guitarists is the blissful balance; with nothing but intricate beauties to separate them.

I is a name-your-price release, so grab it for whatever you can offer if you love it, and snag it for free if you're not sure how it'll grow on you. Just make sure to share it if you acknowledge the talents involved, and to appreciate the efforts it took to create the EP.
It's difficult being around during the rising moments of a decent band, but when you're there you can feel the connection the band has with its following. In today's case, a demo release made available for free. Not name-your-price, and not only for the dedicated followers. It's all yours if you want it to be.

Today's track is the first on the album, and shows exactly what kind of music these guys want to put out: thick bass lines, assertive tones, and a dark backing mood. Expect classic '70s style Doom Rock, clear rugged vocals, and the almost forgotten chills of a sweet guitar solo.

Stream/Download @ Bandcamp

The Doom is so clear and haunting that having it start the track abruptly is a sensation all its own. The fact that it gets beyond the initial sound before the lyrics even come through is just a plus. It's slight progression to keep you from noticing the monotonous riffs plastered through the verses.

It's also a clear display of my only disappointment, the recording quality. This is nitpicking here, it's free music, but it's got that dirty LimeWire-esque quality to it that brings it down just half a notch. The talent is still obvious, and the guitar solos are beautiful regardless of quality.

http://www.d4am.net/2013/12/holyphant-demo-2013-free-download.html
Free Download/Stream @ Bandcamp
I find the Italian trio have found themselves well adapted in their style, and I'm pretty sure that with this free release they'll be able to fuel the existing support and find the basis of a larger following. They're nothing but a small studio away from an excellent EP.

The quality isn't reason enough to step away from the download, but if you happen to be in Venice at the same time as one of their live shows, please do head on over and enjoy their act to the fullest for me. Alternatively, give them a like just in case you ever find yourself in the vicinity.
Anticipating this release for a short while now, finally getting to hear it out was nothing but relief. I patiently waited a year for this one, and while it's not quite what I was hoping for, Overwerk's managed to make something I still want in my collection.

Today's track shows more of what his fans are used to. Near-symphonic compositions mashed together with Electro-House to make epic sci-fi sounds. It also shows some movement towards other directions with ridiculously subtle influences winking at you here and there.


Stream/Download @ Bandcamp

It might drag a bit for some if you're used to lyrics, or if you're not used to House tendencies, but as usual Overwerk makes easily digested House music. It only remains as familiar for these 6 minutes, though, as he does try to push the sound beyond his comfort zone.

My only problem with it is I was hoping the push to be stronger. I was expecting a pull between genres. I knew the symphonic twists were coming, and maybe I hoped for more of them. Instead I received an EP with a lot of what I already knew existed, and some added Electro.

http://www.d4am.net/2013/12/overwerk-conquer.html
Stream/Download @ Bandcamp
My issue is mainly that with each release so far, all I've found is a bunch of contents for a potentially huge album. It all sounds alike; it all fits together well. That might be easier to DJ, but with his talents I wanted a little more variety.

Don't misinterpret my disappointment, I'm still all over the new material. If you enjoy Electro-House this is a release you shouldn't miss out on. As a name-your-price download, there's really no excuse for you to head on over to his Bandcamp and steal it for whatever it's worth to you. But if you do nab it for free, do him a solid and spread the word.
Just yesterday I gave Passafire's latest release, Vines, a thorough listen. I was hesitant, giving the American Reggae band a shot despite my often biased views on the genre. Luckily these guys didn't quite disappoint. They made some healthy adjustments and focused a lot on Rock's sub-genres to keep some originality.

Despite the Rocky influences, they never really hit hard with Ska sounds. They keep a focus on the upbeat rhythms, but when they do introduce the Dub side they also make sure it keeps its lower paced smoothness. It makes the overall genre a little difficult to define, but all we should care about is whether or not it sounds good by the end of it all.



The above Go is probably up as one of my favorites on the album. Contrary to the few other songs I really enjoyed, this one shows equal sides of what these guys are capable of on this album. It shows the Reggae side, the uncommon adjustments, and some of the Rock influences.

If you tend to prefer slower, more relaxing American based Reggae, these are still your guys. You just also have to expect added sounds elsewhere of that vibe that turn entire tracks into Alternative Rock, or even Reggae influenced Country. It was a shocker for me, but I strolled through it all with an open mind.

http://www.d4am.net/2013/12/passafire-vines.html
Buy: CD | mp3
Vines was a difficult listen. At times it was hard enough just to finish a song in hopes of having it better itself. Luckily, there were also times where the thought put into the overall piece was so exquisite that I had to listen to those songs twice.

The problem is that half the tracks couldn't capture me at all. Over half of the album sounded like Pop Reggae, which is basically a canned base line with well written lyrics and sugar sprinkles to coat it and make it pretty. That might work for you, it just didn't feel right for me. Give the stream a listen if it still intrigues you, though. I'm sure it'll still be worth a listen to the average Reggae admirer.
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