Before Alice Boman steps foot on American stage, you the listener should know what you could be missing out on. Delicate lo-fi emotion tugging at your heart strings combined with raw open-heart lyrics, is basically her core.

The first song on the EP is almost haunting. Stunningly daunting vocals are handled beautifully, timed together with the smallest details that'll end up bringing the entire track to life. The song might develop slowly, but there's never a dull moment.



Melancholy is probably the best fit description. A sense of helplessness together with a clear view of the listening experience make for an abstract thought. Follow this with well composed transitions and you'll have a fair idea of what the rest of the EP contains.

For some reason it's labeled as pop, and maybe in Sweden pop can be such a tender thing, but it's far more abstract to me. EP II makes for as bitter-sweet a listen as the thought of caged beauty. If I had my way I'd probably just call it lo-fi sorrow.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/07/alice-boman-ep-ii.html
Buy: iTunes | Amazon
Alice shows us quality with her latest effort, and she shows us deep dark corners of emotion that few people can master into a completed composition. You already know what to expect, but stream the album before you plunge for the purchase. You can find it at The Line Of Best Fit, or Spotify.

Once you decide you're into it, check her out on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. If you by some chance you find yourself in the United States this upcoming September (or Sweden and neighboring countries after October) be sure to check out her live schedule.
There are few things I wouldn't expect from Japan, and I think it's safe to say Americana roots falls somewhere on that very short list. Today's Kyoto based sextet master the genres involved gracefully, creating a beautiful musical long distance relationship.

One of its biggest set backs, if you can even call it that, is a predictable push. You'll know what to expect from the first song onward, but it still makes room for your curiosity. The good news is there's never a notable dip in quality, so everything will be just as good from start to finish.



A slight jazz touch swings this track favorably, leaving a very positive lasting impression and a fair idea of their comfort zone. They're willing to twang in a bluer direction, but it won't be long until you start hearing well played banjos and country-paired compositions.

The beauty of their work is there's little bias with the definition of roots. This is their interpretation and all they really want out of it is a graceful sound for a summery mood. To appreciate it, you need to accept it as its own defining factor.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/07/pirates-canoe-one-for-pain-in-my-heart.html
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
While the ear might acclimatize to the general sound, the brain will enjoy well prepared composition and gift wrapped ideas. There's even a pretty decent cover of Love Shack with a new-school Americana swing that I had to fall in love with.

Considering their blend of musical backgrounds is far from what I'm usually comfortable with, I'd say these guys have done an excellent job. If you see their music sticking with you after the stream, you should show some support. Find them on Facebook and Twitter for love, or go to their website to stalk what they've done.
With a name like I Smell Blood, I think it's safe for anyone to assume the band's genre will fall somewhere around hard rock. While naming their style can't be cookie-cut to a single genre, I'd say they're progressive instrumental rockers with a firm belief in melodic noise.

They've got a bit of punk mixed in there too, meaning some of their tracks are particularly short. It's amazing what an opening 40 seconds can do, and it's amazing how everything can come together so well in under two minutes. Tracks like today's Taxidermized Bear Claw show that talent.



It's a quick track with a quick spirit and an equally speedy melodic progression. These things might sound awkward to the unprepared ear, and that's fine. The truth is this is the stuff that's advanced enough to demand your attention and slaughter it if the music doesn't suit you.

It's also such a quick track that it just blends into the next one. The five song effort is almost entirely seamless, leaving a single Manface imprint while dividing some of its ideas. It makes for a breeze of a listen.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/07/i-smell-blood-manface.html
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
In its entirety the effort brings psychedelic influence, some post-rock flair, and one of the better displays of prog-punk I've heard this year. It'll end with a pretty intense track that, while ending the release in a positive note, also makes you wish for more blood smelling goodness.

Give it a stream, if you really like it you can grab a vinyl copy (+ immediate digital download) right on Bandcamp. If you're a fan of the duo you should show some support, check them out at Facebook or Twitter before they really boom.
Goodnight, Sunrise are giving us a killer split single to rock and roll the rest of the summer away. Two grade-A tracks will show of each lead vocalist individually, and if your pocket's feeling empty you'll be glad to know it's a name-your-price release.

Since the entire contents are over with in seven minutes, I recommend giving the stream a listen from the beginning 'til the end. You'll feel David's vocals kick off the first track with a classic rock swing, and end it with Vanessa's catchy '80s side.



Personal tastes will play a role in which track you prefer, but any rock enthusiast will feel a tugging heart when these songs play. The talents and influences displayed beg for a willing ear, and it's because of these classic influences that once it grabs you, it hooks you.

These are just the latest seven minutes, the second effort of their individual vocal display. If you dig the contrast, there's D/V 1 with seven more minutes available and ready for your enjoyment. Let's just start with their latest and work our way back.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/07/goodnight-sunrise-dv-2-bridgeburner.html
Stream/Download @ Bandcamp
Short releases like these are where you start to see a growing maturity among the next generation of musicians. It's the ability to release a little bit of an improvement at a time, meaning that yes, this effort is better than the last. D/V 1 is pretty sweet, and their debut Create/Destroy/Create isn't half bad either, but Bridgeburner is top of the line GNSR.

You can find the releases mentioned at their Bandcamp, and if you're liking what you hear you can show some support by tagging along in Facebook or Twitter. If you're reading from Canada, you might find them on tour. You can find the schedule here.
I admit I was fooled, I didn't understand why it was considered indie pop until after I dove head first. Jeen O'Brien's best tracks have more of a '90s hard rock feel, but when you explore her variety you can feel the pop seeping through. It's still a nice combination, just not quite what I was expecting.

That first listen was Buena Vista, a quick paced track with hazy vocals and a catchy chorus melody. It's not really the best track out there, but the pop influence together with some memorable moments really works in its favor.



It's not even three minutes long, making it a quick fix for your air guitar head bopping, but also making room for the rest of the album. Sure, the next song floats with the same bass-heavy musicianship, but they keep it short and sweet for when the music makes its transition.

Short and sweet best describes her comfort zone too, with cute pop twists and turns and some more obvious radio tendencies, half the album seems like it's made up of very commercial influences. It's kinda balanced with the alt mixed in there, it just also feels a little overdone for me.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/07/jeen-tourist.html
Buy @ iTunes | Amazon
Just because I didn't know what to expect doesn't mean you shouldn't either. Just over half the album is a little too pop for my tastes, ready to share the commercial spotlight and quickly shuffle away. A little more than a third of the effort sides with a raw rock mentality that makes for happy memories and good times. All of the album is full of talent, it's just not as smooth a compilation as I'm used to.

If you're not as spoiled as I am you can give the album a stream on her Soundcloud, and if that's not working you can probably find it on Spotify. If you like what you hear, you can find her on FacebookTwitter, and Google+.
Changing Modes have come up with possibly the strangest concept for art rock I've heard yet, they take all the beauty of the genre's experimental nature and spice it up with pop. They compose in loops and add some pretty cute vocals to make up the magic. It's hard to believe it works out for them, but it really does.

Most of the album's kept hush-hush from curious ears, but their lead single Dinosaur is readily available for stream. Prepare your ears and give it a go; expect a relatively awkward composition and a bass-driven chorus/break down.



Dinosaur does a great job of hiding just how outgoing their pop influence is, but it hints at what's to come regardless. There's some funky melody matching and some wobbling  ideas that shine just bright enough for the right kind of attention. Then you've got clean and capable vocals, and percussion that while obviously talented, stunts itself in order to propel the track.

Along the course of the album you'll hear songs with significantly stronger pop influence as well as jazz and punk, making for a pretty elaborate listen that somehow manages to stick together well. It's probably not the smoothest listen, and as with all art rock it's usually more of an acquired taste, but it perks your ears and keeps you on your toes anyway.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/07/changing-modes-paradox-of-traveling.html
Buy @ iTunes | Amazon
This effort was probably made with the live audience in mind. Most of these tracks would obviously sound better with an excellent set of speakers and live band mate chemistry spicing things up. It's not supposed to always sound the same, it's out of its nature to become normal, and yet it's still a great release.

I recommend the stream if possible (try Spotify) but you'd definitely be better off witnessing a live show. If you intend on looking out for that, try finding them on Facebook, Twitter, or their website for details.
We saw Emily Danger transform from folk rock to dark cabaret, but now with this last transition we see them take on dark prog-rock. The only way I could possibly be happier with the four track EP is if they found a way to slip their Easy Remix in there, but it's honestly better off. It has a different life now.

Quality musicianship is nothing new here, what's making a kind of debut is progressive detailing. I haven't had this much fun listening to progressive rock since the last time I heard a prog-rock band live, years ago. Their lead single/title track will give you a fair view of what you're getting into.



Not sure I'd call this one my favorite on the release, but that's only because I heard it first. It wasn't surprising to see that uplifting mid section, I'd already heard the vocal melodies blend into the music with all the other instruments, and I'd already felt the purity of raw emotion the first time around. So yeah, it's kind of amazing, but the next three tracks shake things up to great enjoyable lengths.

It grows darker immediately with Stop Short, showing enough difference in production style to stand out while maintaining the Peace Arch vibe. Essentially, it's a complete and cohesive effort with explosions of flavor. The ideas are put together perfectly to make the most of the twenty minute run.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/07/emily-danger-peace-arch.html
Buy @ iTunes
There's definitely a right mood to be listening to Peace Arch in. It's not a light made-for-whenever release, it's concentrated effort and talent swirled into a tornado of emotion. You'll enjoy it anyway if the genre's to your liking, but you'll make the most of it when you're feeling just vulnerable enough to stay strong.

You can find the full stream at Death and Taxes if you're curious, and you should be. If for some reason you only dig today's feature, it's a free download on Soundcloud. If you already know all about Emily Danger, then you're probably already a fan and are still following them on Twitter. You can also check EmilyDangerBand.com for the future info, or the Emily Danger Soundcloud for the latest singles.
It's difficult to pin exactly what it is about Blank Paper's synth pop that sounds so much better than 95% of the other stuff, but if I had to guess I'd say it's a profound appreciation for electronica as a whole. It really feels like they go beyond the retro-hype and use modern techniques and ideas that simply didn't exist when the genre was in its first boom.

If synth pop is usually to your liking, don't be afraid. You should be salivating for the synthelicious platter you're about to be served. You're just also going to feel the need to appreciate some great composition and vocals that fit snug into their concept.


Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp

Ambien is a great example of that concept. Those first two minutes show a very clear '80s influence that manages to keep the future where it belongs; in a nice mysterious corner just out of your reach. After that 2:25 mark though, that's when those transitions start setting in. To the wandering ear it's just cool sounds, but the dedicated listener will pretty much feel the layers and concepts draping over each other.

The rest of the EP is about as good, if not better for varying reasons. My sole guideline is that I usually loathe the genre, and yet here I am wishing its existence in my music library. Wouldn't quite name it release of the year, but it's a damn fine listen.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/07/blank-paper-blank-paper.html
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
Four more tracks, all worthy of being their own singles, make the rest of their self titled effort. It's a twenty-minute clump of synth-gold, and it's just there waiting for you to go pick it up. Maybe I'm over-hyping this, maybe it's just too big a shock for me, but I'd rather think it's just real good.

If you're looking for more, you can find an older release on their Bandcamp. If you're looking to see more of them in the future, check out their Facebook and Twitter. Show some appreciation, give them some love.
June marked the beginning of a giant wall of great music in D4AM's direction, and with that a slightly smaller wall of free downloads. It's now mid-July and it's time to show off the best of these efforts. Expect different kinds of electronica and rock, so get your clicking hand ready and make the most of these freebies.

Captain Supernova - Marvin Gaye - What's Going On (In Space Anti-War Mix)
Stream/Download @ Mediafire
We'll start this off with yet another Captain Supernova In Space Remix, once again re-electro-funkifying a Marvin Gaye classic. Give it a nice long listen and add it to your In Space collection. Sometime soon you should be hearing about his Visions of the Unknown EP. I'm hyped, you should be too!



MAD ONES - Leather Rug
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
Watching the adorableness of a hyper Boston Terrier might not be the most punk-inclined thing to do, but giving away a raw sound for free sure is. Canadian punk rock band MAD ONES strike hard with their latest single Leather Rug.



Stream/Download: Here
For some reason they're calling this pop, but what Heyrocco are bringing forward are a classic '90s grunge sound that's rarely ever as well executed as they've managed to pull off. It's noisy, it's loud; this is a headbanger. Grab this download quick, I'm not sure how long that link will be active.



Free Download
Turning things in an electro-disco-pop direction is Reigen with his latest effort, Good Love. It's catchy, decently written, and bound to get you toe tapping in seconds. If you're really digging, you might even want to buy it.



Stream/Download @ Soundcloud
Last but not least are MANKIND. A Swedish punk rock band with complete control over their talents. This shouldn't even be plain old punk rock, this should be math punk. This single, Blood, Sugar, should be the hardcore track of the year. And you? You should already be downloading it.



Alright, so maybe I over-hyped that last track a little. Kinda. Maybe. It's still my top pick, but it's definitely a close call with some of these other amazing releases. The best part with all of these is you don't have to be torn. You can download them all and share them with friends. Be sure you do.
It has been years since I've been this excited over a trip hop release. Years. Finally, Kiwi duo Doprah have reawakened a silent yearning for me. Their debut EP rediscovers the need for calmed loops and the vocals that dance in circles around them.

The latest single, Stranger People, has a haunting vibe to it with a great bass line and some welcomed progressions. The video might throw you off and show you a hidden side, so consider streaming the track before giving the video a view.


Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp

The beat is easy to feel while keeping elaborate, and the duo's vocal layering serves as a catchy way to make simple content more notable. The song sinks, so give it a moment if it's not making sense right away. It becomes clear just before it hooks you.

Stranger People isn't even my favorite track. It's got a killer vibe to it and its presence live has got to be one amazing experience, but it doesn't near to everything they have to offer. Their debut single, San Pedro, is probably the strongest track on the release.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/07/doprah-doprah.html
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
Their debut self titled release chimes in at five tracks in length; four originals and a Stranger People remix by Race Banyon. From start to finish, what an amazing release. I'm not sure they even had any fears, they went into this with all they had and made this creepily awkward bumbling child of a release.

After you've given the stream a listen, you're gonna want more Doprah. If you stalk their Youtube you'll find an awesome Do I Wanna Know cover (from that awesome Arctic Monkeys album) as well as some more strange videos for their already strange-enough songs.

If for some reason you don't have the time to listen and watch beautiful things, you might want to take a rain check by following them on Twitter liking them at Facebook, or keeping up with their Soundcloud.
Finding true-to-the-core punk rock is more and more difficult as time progresses, but every once in a blue moon you find bands like Van Dammes who stab the gut of the movement and lick the knife clean. Music for the sake of making it, regardless of motive or initial talent, is exactly what punk's supposed to be.

You could hear any of their tracks and have a pretty clear idea of what they're all about, but an excellent example of their capabilities can be found while hearing Lisbon, I Promise You. Who knows; maybe it's a profound love statement, maybe it's just a drunken chant.



Catchy riffs, classic drum beats, a simple composition, and loud vocals. Their base is about as classic punk as you can get, the only thing really setting them apart are the sweet little production tricks that have gone perfecting themselves over time. The reason their fresh, essentially, is the fact that the debut released in 2014.

If you're not digging their ode to Lisbon, odds are you won't be liking the other three tracks either. Give them a shot anyway, you can only get addicted through repeated listens and forced fist pumps. At just over 8 minutes in length, it's not like it'll be wasting your time or anything.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/07/van-dammes-vd-ep.html
Buy @ iTunes | Amazon
The Finnish four-piece set are party starters. Check out their Youtube or Soundcloud and you'll see that they don't really need to give a lot of thought to their music before putting it out there. If they decide it should exist, it will, and it'll exist with a metaphorical strut in its step.

While you're on Soundcloud, you might want to check the full album stream to The VD EP. If you're punk enough, you'll probably like them on Facebook, too.
Even though there's clear traces of psychedelic and garage rock in Shadow Folk's very essence, I think it's best to consider their sound good ol' rock 'n' roll. A very classic feel, full of band-mate unison and an essential experimental willingness.

The first track in their latest collection is Season's End, it's made up of a slow dream-like composition and hazy psych-rock vocals. The first minute will give away the track's direction, but it's laid out well enough to make sticking through to the end a breeze.



Swaying beach-y tendencies and a relaxed core are easy to dismiss with the thousands of bands cluttering the view, so give this track a clear listen. Hear the bass sway in and out of the groove with flair, keep an ear aware of how those vocals are affecting the music, and you'll see where the talent starts building up.

If you're liking it, there's only two more tracks in the effort. Next up is Hey Ganeymwa which is probably best enjoyed while chilling out with alien space explorers, and following that is Here at Home with an even clearer classic rock view.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/07/shadow-folk-seasons-end.html
Stream/Download @ Bandcamp
If today's track leaves you so-so, the least you could do is give that last song a listen. There's some fancy guitar work and some perfectly executed ideas. It's a great way to end such a short effort. The entire listen is about 10 minutes, so give it a listen if retro rock is your thing. You'll be glad you did.

Some of you might have heard Shadow Folk on the Poncho Records Compilation Album featured a few weeks back (and the rest of you should probably check it out.) Today's effort is name-your-price, so go ahead and grab it for free if you like, but if all gestures move you positively you might wanna show some support. You can catch them at Tumblr and Facebook to show some love and keep up with the latest.
Waking up this morning after last nights show with From The Embrace, I immediately noticed that first, I don't have a headache and second, I did sleep all night without that horrible ringing that stays retained in the center of your head from being at a show for more than 3 hours. With that being said today's review is for a very clever product from the good people at EarPeace, we'll be looking into their HD High Fidelity Hearing Protection Ear Plugs.

We all know what earplugs do, but what makes these earplugs different from the rest? To answer this, I have to talk about what I always found wrong with earplugs in general, as a live musician and a fan in the crowd.

For musicians wearing earplugs is a 50/50 experience. One understands the importance of protecting your hearing but it's kind of hard to stick to earplugs when you are trying to set your live tone, work volume levels for a show, or just anything where you really need an uninterrupted filter on your ears to really grasp what is going on. You always find yourself taking your earplugs off to check on the real sound or mix of things. This could lead to frustration and/or giving up on your plugs and going commando on your ears, leading to blowing out your ears through out the night and ending up with that horrible ringing that doesn't let you sleep.

All of my personal problems with earplugs were solved once I gave EarPeace a try. Lets look into the unboxing to see what we get.

Unboxing

For the HD plugs you get two earplugs and an extra one (because we all know how easy plugs can go missing.) You get an aluminum case and three extra filters.


You also get application instructions and instructions for replacing the filters.


These filters are where the magic happens. There are three ways you can filter out unwanted frequencies.

  1. Wearing your plugs without any filters for the perfect balance of protection and filtering (in my opinion.)
  2. Wearing the cream colored filters for medium protection/filtering.
  3. Wearing the red filters for maximum protection/filtering. 

In my experience wearing no filters made my live tone setup as smooth and enjoyable as possible. High fidelity and preservation of the real sound environment was at 100%, plus good hearing protection.


The Aluminum container lets you protect your two earplugs on the top and your extras in the bottom, very handy.


Sound, style and comfort meet together to achieve by far the best earplug one can buy for reasonable price. If you are photographer shooting shows or concerts these will make your job much more enjoyable. They're also great for people trying to enjoy live music without all the fizz and hurtful frequencies. They are great basically anywhere where clarity and protection are needed. EarPeace HDs get a 10 out of 10 in my book.


Interested in buying some? Click here for pricing and ordering, here to learn about their custom made earplugs, or here to learn about their standard earplugs. If you're looking to snoop on your own, the website is EarPeace.com.

— Gio Mirage

Gio Mirage will play and review your gear!
Contact @:
Sade's silk vocals have inspired many throughout the years, but it takes a talent and guts to turn smooth jazz and beautiful vocal melodies into a collection of quality hip-hop beats. If your interests include instrumental hip-hop, today's free EP is worth a listen.

I feel the best of both worlds is represented extremely well in today's feature track, I Still. The track is based off Sade's Love Is Stronger Than Pride, and it really captures the smoothness of the original track while making the best out of Teck's boom bap.



Vocal melodies practically make the entire track. Using the essence of a beautiful vocal composition is where this track's magic lies. Incomparable to the original track, the song makes its own vibe. Sade is the inspiration and a huge part of the talent.

The rest of the album pulls itself together just as well; often indulging a bit more in beats than soul and vice versa, but always consistent. The excellent chemistry might just exist because like Sade, Teck-Zilla was born in Nigeria and spent time living in London. The beatsmith currently resides in Montreal, Canada.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/07/teck-zilla-son-of-sade-ode.html
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
While Son of Sade might not be a perfect release, it's still definitely very well done and executed. Some tracks are a little longer than I'd hoped for, some just really need a slick lyricist behind them. Overall it's a great effort, and as a name-your-price, there's really nothing to lose.

If you're looking for a quality stream, try Soundcloud out. Give it a nice long listen, and if you have the time give it another. Support the artist if you can, or just share it with friends to show your appreciation. If you're becoming a fan, find Teck-Zilla on Facebook or Twitter.
It's not very often I give pop rock the time of day, but with Beautiful Small Machines an exception was made. I admit half the album's just a little too commercial for my tastes, but the talents are there. Ideas are exposed, shared, and left for the indulging.

I'm Lonely feels like one of the better tracks on the release. It catches your ear from the start with its whistle, and it shows off enough of their pop tendencies to keep you intrigued. Nothing is overdone, everything is balanced for the best possible listening experience.



Enter those delicious vocals. That high note in the chorus completes the song. Even if you could get bored during the verses, the promise of those beautiful highs keep you glued. Added percussion and softer stringed details finish the song off as far as production is involved, but this is one of those tracks that would sound amazing with nothing but an acoustic guitar.

The rest of the album isn't quite as lucky. There were some solid ideas, and some great executions, but this was one of the few songs that really felt finished. This doesn't mean the rest of the album sounds under-cooked; it's still worth a stream to the right pair of ears.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/07/beautiful-small-machines-dj-stayed-home.html
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
It'll start off with the title track. A complete, slightly pop, fun to hear tune. After it's paved the way they'll explore other areas of expertise. You'll find hints of ska, extreme pop tendencies, and an amazing M.I.A. Paper Planes cover that'll likely win you over if nothing else did.

My only problem is a lot of the album is too commercially inclined. The ideas are there, the talents are used, but the effort on the musician's behalf often feels sacrificed for the sake of radio play. Maybe not the way things actually played out, but that's how it feels.

If you dig the sounds, keep up with Beautiful Small Machines through Facebook and Twitter. You might also want to check out their Soundcloud or Bandcamp for older material.
D4AM regulars might remember Mkaio's chill electronics, and fans should be excited to hear the producer's latest. The Devil Lived is a 4 track EP depicting a modern take on The Garden of Eden. Beliefs aside, the effort is a clear step forward to some of his prior efforts.

My favorite track is the eight minute intro, complete with great progressions and trance-like added details that really start things off with a sweet dynamic. It's a bit slow for what it is, so instead of that song, I'm leaving you guys with a shorter track to give you the EP's overall feel.



Instant thump, the track is quick to get on its feet. Darkened synthed out vocals and a borderline hyped vibe give this track instant appeal. It should appear to be complete on its own, despite it being a small piece of a much larger idea.

Stick around 'til the end and you'll see it slowly plateau and gain momentum again. It's that moment that most accurately describes the effort. Never quite boring to the right set of ears, but always easing in and out of the story.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/07/mkaio-devil-lived.html
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp | iTunes | Amazon
Start the experience right. If today's track was to your liking, give the stream a chance. Have it run from start to finish and ride its wave of a story. It's not exactly a roller coaster, but every up and down becomes pronounced.

If you're new to Mkaio you might want to check out past efforts. If you're deciding you're a fan, you might want to check in on him via Facebook or Twitter. Show some support, spread the love.
Summer of 2014 pretty much belongs to singer-songwriter Jackie Venson thanks to her debut full length, "The Light in Me". I'd heard her blues-rock vibes months ago and expected a solid effort, but wasn't prepared for such an amazing debut. You'll find sparks of reggae, hip-hop, jazz, and classic R&B when you give the album a listen.

Don't expect more than you need to. Her strength is definitely song writing, but musical composition and an experimental state of mind do help the effort stand out. You can catch it all on today's feature track, a personal favorite, Beauty of Your Love.



This track is a complete story, an excellently written set of lyrics with the right musical freedoms and talents put together to keep listeners engaged. A slick but comfortable bass, a lamenting guitar lick here and there, and Jackie's soothing vocal melodies.

It also shows a significantly more blurred genre outline than most other tracks. If she feels like rocked out reggae after her acoustic track, it'll happen and it'll work. She'll introduce hip-hop artists with the time they deserve, and end the effort with a nine minute display of jazzed out talents.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/07/jackie-venson-light-in-me.html
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
It's not every day you see singer-songwriter multi-instrumentalists taking so many risks in a single effort, but these are passionate risks. The Light in Me sounds like everything laid out on the table; no holding back, no worries.

The effort is so rich and organic, it's honestly one of the best streams I've heard this year so far. There's some awkward moments here and there, but they're so minuscule compared to the complete efforts that they don't even matter. I don't doubt the sound's better in a live scenario, though.

If you're digging Jackie as much as I am you should consider some love. For a few dollars more than the digital you can buy her CD right at Bandcamp. You might also want to check out her FacebookTwitter, or even her Soundcloud if you want past and future material.
I'm super pumped to be able to share with you guys a nice written review for my Aristides 010. It's something else, you really can't compare it to another guitar. You might think "wow Gio is exaggerating," but it's that different in such a good way. Resonance, sustain, craftsmanship, and unique looks, all come together when strumming this guitar acoustically! When you plug her in it gets even better. Let's start from the headstock and continue from there.

The 010 comes with either Sperzel locking tuners or Hipshot open gear gro lock tuners. I have the Sperzel in mine, they work amazingly! Further down you will notice the string nut, it is a ''Black Tusq LX slanted nut'' by Graph Tech. The nut is slanted from the low E to the first string for better intonation. The nuts also sit nice and low so you can really get a lower action on the guitar if needed. The guitar doesn't have a truss rod cover and the whole head stock's shape looks so good.

Gio and his Aristides 010
Gio and his Aristides 010
The neck is C shaped, not too thin nor too wide. It's very comfortable. The fretboard is made out of ebony (this is the only part of the guitar that is made out of wood.) 22 medium jumbo frets with pearl inlays. The neck is mega smooth and a joy to play. You will notice that it's not a bolt on neck, nor is it of neck through construction, but then what is it? It is a one piece mold, from the head stock to the body it is all just one single piece. No bolting; no gluing together. This is where its fame for such sustain and resonance starts to become more believable. It doesn't end there.

Having said that the only part of the guitar that was made out of wood was the fretboard, now I must explain what the rest of the body is made of. Body and neck are one piece construction, integrally layered with Arium. Many of you should be asking yourselves: what in the world is Arium?

Arium is a material produced from different special resins and microscopically small vibration sensitive glass particles.

A wear-resistant cover made of glass and carbon fiber protects the sensitive mixture when it is inserted in its aluminum mold. The material has several advantages when compared to wood. Wood cannot vibrate in the direction of the fiber and it therefore forces sound waves to resonate in only two dimensions.

Arium, in contrast, has no fiber structure and it vibrates three-dimensionally. This does not only extend the sustain considerably, but also enhances the acoustic sound volume.

As it does not contain any water, it is more stable than wood. It reacts less to temperature fluctuations and humidity, has a conspicuously more stable tuning, and requires less maintenance.

If there is one thing that unites all guitarist, it's the love for amazing sounding woods. This not being made from wood will really make wood tone fanatics uneasy. Now, if you're the type of person that seeks better tone in new, better and innovative ways, then Arium will feel amazing to you. When taking her out of the guitar case and strumming, I was blown away with how loud this guitar sounded. Anyone that knows about guitars knows that this is a key feature to a really good guitar. When plugged in notes last incredibly long, chords will feel richer and fuller. When palm muting on breakdowns you can really feel the percussive aspect just shoot out of the guitar and amp, and dynamics are extremely usable and present. An open note can even last around 20 to 30 seconds!

The guitar comes with a HSS pickup combination, with Seymour Duncan USA TB-5 at the bridge and 2 APS-2 for middle and neck. I must say that this combination can do it all. Being stock pickups, they work remarkably well when playing different styles. It has a 5 way switch and a push/pull on the volume, for splitting the humbucker.

For the bridge you can get a Wilkinson VS100 tremolo bridge by Gotoh or a Hipshot US contour. In my guitar I have both *haha inside joke for the guys at Aristides.* Wilkinson is a fine bridge with many interesting features but if you are a metal player like me, I would recommend the Hipshot. It's simpler to setup and it has less moving parts making it more stable when aggressively playing.

When you open the back cavity you will be blown away with the cleanest most amazing electronics, they use very high end wires. You also get tools, strap locks, and a very soft and comfortable leather strap. The guitar case looks like a relic from a sci-fi alien movie, it's the most interesting guitar case ever, and it's a very good protecting case.

Catch the Aristides 010 in action in my play-through for Too Many Dreams:



In the end I'm really happy with my 010. It's truly an extremely high-end guitar, the best of the best. Having used Ibanez all my life and dealing with the change which is never easy for anyone, one just can't help but to take the chance when all change is for the best.

Thanks to Pascal and Erik from Aristides for working and being so patient with me (I'm not an easy guy to deal with when it comes to guitar needs.) They give the best customer service you will ever find and have a bright future with many outstanding plans for Aristides.

— Gio Mirage

Gio Mirage will play and review your gear!
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Dog, Paper, Submarine bring us the kind of genre that would have been birthed had psychedelic rock been stunted by grunge back in its earliest stages. The Swedish three-piece set use their latest effort to explore that happy medium between noisy riffs and early rock vibes.

Starting the album off is Anglerfish, a head-first dive into their sound. It's a quick shock that ends up calming the appropriate audience, showing maturity in the seemingly angst-driven track while still keeping fresh for the rebels.



Straight to the point and ready to rock, Anglerfish was the best decision of the album. Killer opening track with quality progressions and a catchy melody. It's a harsh three minutes, but it's a fun listen while showing some of the talent these minds possess.

A similar path is paved for the remaining five tracks, leaving just enough wiggle room to explore different ideas while remaining true to the effort's sound. It didn't all sit perfectly for me the first time around, but with a few more listens even that final over-synthed track won me over.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/07/dog-paper-submarine-dog-paper-submarine.html
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
I'm not quite sure what it is they're doing that makes each track so much fun. You'd think awkward sound combinations and transitioning could only get you so far, but DPS add enough emotion to go beyond that. Stream it, if you like it give it a second listen. You'll see how the music sticks.

If you really dig the sound you might want to grab the CD, which contains an exclusive bonus track and comes with a sampler album from the label. You could also check their old Bandcamp with their prior releases. If funds aren't quite so prosperous, you should keep up through Facebook for future releases and the latest info.
Hailing from Amsterdam, Labasheeda wish to show off their semi-acoustic art-rock EP with the world. Titled after, and featuring a cover of the Yoko Ono track, the EP is also available as a 7" white vinyl. This is a pretty fancy single with an enjoyably awkward sound.

The first song will give you a very rough, very general idea of what to expect with its minute and forty-five seconds of worth. It'll start slow, it'll develop and culminate, and it'll show off the beauty of translated languages.


Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp

The lyrics really caught me off guard on that initial listen. They've got a kind of innocence to them that works perfectly with the simplistically blunt attitude the music portrays. The overall composition also has a slant to it, a favorable ending that makes up for the silence of the intro.

Awkwardly slanted composition and beautiful idiom barriers are really what make this effort stand out for me. Art-rock without the drums is cool as an idea, but all it really brings is a different kind of freshness to the production.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/07/labasheeda-listen-snow-is-falling.html
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
It'll end with the Yoko Ono cover. The cover wasn't exactly my cup of tea on its own, but after hearing it in context as an ending it made more sense. It fit with the EP layout, and contributed to the emotion and to the blissful serenity.

If you kinda like the sound but are still on the fence about it, you might wanna try out the LP they released the day after this one, Castfat Shadows. It'll be more active and strong, and that one's got a sweet transparent green vinyl you might just want in your collection.

If you love the sound, show any support. Find them on Facebook and Twitter. Be part of their cult following, and help them explore the world.
Rock for the sake of it. Rock just because. Australian indie-alt band Tape/Off show with their latest effort that when you care less about the reason and more about the outcome, the musical effort feels more complete.

Today's track has an awkward start to it. It's got some odd composition-based ideas that don't take long to develop into a clear tune. It's as if they took progressions to complete the puzzle, instead of to create an atmosphere for you to put together.



Where to Begin has all the little details and all the power to gain massive radio play, while also feeling reluctant to the idea. It splits comfortably between both of the worlds making for a black sheep of a single, embodying the genre for its worth and potential properties.

Because of its progressions and the substance of the rock the track exposes, it's also a good first look at the album. Some of the songs are heavier, some of them are even more awkward, but the fundamentals are there. That fresh-out-of-the-garage sound is alive and kickin'.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/07/tapeoff-chipper.html
Stream/Download @ Bandcamp
From the slow tracks to the hype, and from the relaxed floating songs to the quick punk tendencies; Chipper is a grab bag of feelings and sounds. A faint lo-fi feel and classic emotional outbursts will comfort the average listener, and anything beyond that is purely because they felt like it.

This is the kind of effort that leads to a questionable future. You can hear the need for some maturity as far as certain ideas go, but the fundamental sound starts to give out as soon as serious thought is introduced. There's talent to make it work, but will it synchronize and still sound like Tape/Off?

If you liked today's track, make sure to give the album a stream. If you're not sure how you feel about it quite yet, the album is name-your-price so take advantage. When you love it, buy the vinyl, like them on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.
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