You can't like Motown and dislike Smokey Robinson. According to his latest effort, you can't dislike Smokey's friends when they're with him, either. There's odd twists and turns, Steven Tyler makes rocking riffs happen, and there's more than one folk-y song in the effort. In the end, even now in his mid-70s, his classic silk vocals make everything worth listening to.

One of my favorite tracks on the album is his and John Legend's remake of Quiet Storm. Randy Jackson produces, giving a slight modern funk twist to the timeless classic, but it's how Legend opens the track up that evokes inspiration



That first guest minute is only surpassed by the power-packed version of the chorus. It escalates emotionally, spreading itself perfectly for Smokey's verse. The way the two voice circles around each other so gracefully makes the magic happen here. There's nothing too out of the ordinary, you can just feel that it was enjoyed.

The rest of the album is equally enjoyed, just not always so much by the listener. A few odd decisions make awkward turns, but they're always recompensed with the chemistry the collective talents are sharing. If you're a Smokey fan, you can't go wrong.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/08/smokey-robinson-smokey-friends.html
iTunes | Amazon
For me the album's least agreeable moments are due to awkward circumstances between the talented friends. Most of the album has an enjoyable outline for anyone who wants to sit back and relax with tender vocals.

If you're convinced so far, go for the buy. You won't regret it. If you're not completely sure, try streaming what you can. Here's Smokey on Youtube and Vevo. If Spotify is available to you, the entire album and a special commentary album are available there.
First impressions didn't say much for Fortune Club, and maybe that's part of the magic. Their name swings in no genre specific direction, the album cover is extremely vague with a white wispy font I can only remember from pop-y indie bands, and their debut EP title is so honest it almost feels like a joke.

Then I heard their music. Character is built on their talents. A delicious combination of rock music collects itself in the Club's well. Grunge, math rock, hard rock, and enough classic rock influence to keep true rock and roll enthusiasts happy.



Murder in an Orchard is probably the best track on the EP. It shows their versatility, it shows the extent of the passion and its combination with the technical aspects. Most importantly it shows that they can join the best of both worlds and walk right on its line.

The remaining two songs are also extremely well constructed. Colossal aims more for the comfort of hard rock, while the ending track Night Birds shows an escapade into perfect timing and synchronization. What the entire effort has in common is the ability to take an elaborate display of talent and fit it comfortably into a composition that's just barely three minutes long.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/08/fortune-club-first-three-songs.html
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
The First Three Songs is a more powerful statement than I could originally grasp. What felt like a joke was more of a roar, these are just the first three. There's more to come, and what they build from there is capable of a massive following.

The only way to tell if that's the message they were sending is to stick around and watch them develop. If you like the stream, note that the price is a steal. And if you're looking to be part of their successful future, keep up with them on Facebook.
It's been almost two months since I first heard Brisbane indie rockers The Ninjas, but it was just one quick listen to their latest single that kept me waiting for their debut EP. The effort wasn't quite what I was expecting at first, but it made a leap for the best before anything quaked too hard.

Never Had Much Time was my first glimpse of The Ninjas. It's quick to show their key element: attitude. It's that flair, it's how they own their sound and wear it, and for this song it's also a respectful tribute to the bands that owned it before them.



If for whatever reason the stream isn't working, or if you're not a very big fan of iTunes, this was the last single they put on their Bandcamp (so far.) Lyrics and musicianship always present, but it's how they dominate the simple things that make them stand out. Power chords are never overdone, and elaborate displays of talent show up in case you ever doubted they were capable.

The EP layout is a little too similar to their song layout. It starts off decent, lulls a little, then quickens its pace before coming to a halt. It's a fun fifteen minute ride, but that first lull of a hurdle could be all the difference between a fan and someone who's heard of them.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/08/the-ninjas-ninjas.html
Buy:  iTunes | Merch
The first two tracks might seem like great songs for radio play, but everything after them is so much better. If I could give any advice for a new listener, it'd be to go to their stream and start listening at Yeah Yeah. Finish the EP, then start it from the beginning.

If you like what you hear show them some love. Check out their Facebook and Twitter for the latest info, or head straight to their Bandcamp for individual singles.
It's been a while since I've given an honest listen to hard rock, but Mother Leads has given me both an excuse and a reason. Their debut full length, Myriad, will have exactly what you want if the genre's exactly what you expect.

The more recent single off the release, It's A Feeling, sounds pretty cool but doesn't prove as much diversity as Bring You Down does. A catchy chorus and clear view of how the genre takes form are my favorite aspects, but it also holds plenty of other inspiring ideas.


Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp

That first half minute is a little shaky, but everything changes once you see the composition come together. Nothing too harsh, but a foot tap and a head bang are more than welcome. Add the dying art of a guitar solo and I can understand why this single was released months ago.

Myriad is a half hour of power chords and heavy riffs. Some songs are like today's, providing a clear view of a well constructed idea. The whole album might not play quite as nicely, but it all fits. There's no reason not to check it out if you're a fan of hard rock.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/08/mother-leads-myriad.html
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
It feels overproduced to me. I can see masses gobbling this one up, it's fun to hear and sing along with, but I can't see people remembering the music. It's great for the genre-specific public who hold little musical variety to heart, and even better for the lyrically focused.

If you feel their next feature will present better twists, or if you felt a tingling sensation with this one, be sure to show the band some love. Keep up with them on Facebook or Twitter, find their videos on Youtube, or hear a variety of their work on Soundcloud or Bandcamp.
Canadian punk rockers The Dirty Nil released their latest 7" effort earlier this week. It's got a pop-punk touch to it while keeping a fuzz-rock feel and classic screechy vocals. In the mood to start something dangerous yet?

Cinnamon, the A side, rids of the initial pop feel almost immediately, leaving a satisfying raw and dirty residue where your musical tastes used to lie. It's a quick listen and it feels good to have it come and go; give it a shot.



There's some magic in its simplicity, a page from the punk cookbook is present. The lyrics, the rugged riffs, and a nod to more modern influences keep the band between vintage sounds and bordering genres. Part of the pleasure is in its ending, a few more minutes of this song would start sitting awkwardly.

Luckily the B side, Guided By Vices, is quick to turn the mood around. It's definitely the same band, but it prepares you for another feeling. It's a little more repetitive, more hypnotic, and it'd make for an awesome foot-stomping experience in a live setting.

Buy vinyl/mp3 @ Fat Wreck Chords
You can grab the mp3s on their own, or you can grab the 7" vinyl for a pretty reasonable price with the mp3 as part of the bundle. They're offering a few minutes of The Dirty Nil's archaic love on a plate for about as much as a couple of your favorite candy bars.

If candy bars sound slightly more compelling and you still wanna show these guys some love, you can find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. If you're curious for more of their music, check them out on Soundcloud.
Earlier this month I heard my first glimpse of Black Lady Soul's jagged rocked out jazz, and it was those few stewing weeks that had me ready for the entire album. The blues influences, the quality musicianship, the sweat and passion of it all; they've pulled off a dream of a debut album.

The single I heard then is the one I share now. The Fall is a dark and mysterious track with a thick bass line to top off the blue feeling. Passionate lyrics will stand out to the dedicated listener, but the passing ear will hook itself on the musical intricacies.


Lyrics/Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp

If James Bond songs had a punk twist, The Fall would define the sound perfectly. It breaks rules, it melts melodies, but it keeps a certain class to it. It might not be the most elegant, but it maintains form for its duration.

It also starts the album off, displaying a firm side to let you know exactly who they are. They'll experiment along the way, and it's all an enjoyable listen, but The Fall shows their sound. No matter what turn they take from that point on, you already know what they sound like.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/08/black-lady-soul-black-lady-soul.html
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
Out of the twelve songs that make up the album, I like all of them. There's a handful of stars, the kind of sound that begs to be heard live, but everything else just fits together so well. It's raw, it's dirty, it's got character and charisma. You'll be missing out if you don't hear this album but find a future release on the radio; I fear any more perfected studio work would distort the character that's so easy to love here.

Take the hint and give the album a stream on the above Bandcamp link. It might not all be for you, but something there will catch your ear. The next time you hear them you'll be glad you let them stew over. If you're already liking them, show some support. Like them on Facebook, follow on Twitter, or just spread the stream around to friends.
It's been a few years since I last ventured through SOJA's reggae based displays, and I'm glad I took the time to hear their latest effort. They've been polishing everything; from musical talent, to production, to song-writing skills. If you ever listened and enjoyed one of their songs, this album should be of interest to you.

The album was definitely made for commercial success, and they built on that well. Any band can just sell out, but few can give the people what they want while incorporating the best they have to offer. Today's track is a little more commercial than I usually go for, but it still shows their energy well.



Your Song features Damian Marley and runs a lot smoother than I expected after hearing that intro. The bass heavy reggae standard shares its presence almost immediately, leaving everything else to stand out as it shows up. Lyrics, well composed details, and an excellent job behind the mixer.

Most of the album takes similar radio-friendly twists and turns, often fluctuating between their experimental side for unexpectedly refreshing moments. You'll hear sporadic bouts of rock, hip hop vibes, and even some Latin flavor.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/08/soja-amid-noise-and-haste.html
iTunes | Amazon
Amid the Noise and Haste feels like everything reggae should be. It's made for a relaxed mood and it'll sink your feelings to a happy place as the album goes on. You'll rarely find chunks of monotony on SOJA's latest blend, but the album does have its predictable moments.

The band have put all seventeen songs on their Soundcloud, so give it a nice long listen if the vibes call for you. If you need some more convincing, Wait, Treading Water, and Driving Faster are some personal favorites. Show them some love on Facebook and Twitter if they're winning you over.
If I were to keep bias aside, I would say Watsky's aimed for a kind of Macklemore-y commercial success. But the truth is I've heard his prior work, I understand how it develops, and I know that All You Can Do is a collection of well thought rhymes served best in front of a live audience.

That means the album can be a little shaky sometimes. Some songs seems slightly under-produced, and others feel like they're just building blocks for those live performances. Luckily there's plenty of songs like today's feature Ink Don't Bleed that feel just polished enough in all the necessary directions.



We get the best for open ears here. The lyrics are spoken at the right speed for general audiences, and Anderson Paak adds both the jazzy touch in the straight hip-hop sound and the silk vocals that tie everything together.

The single also shows Watsky's maturity as he admits his own faults and, without directly saying so, implores other artists and the public in general to do the same. Messages that strike home for many are not a lonely bunch in the album, but there's plenty of feel-good songs to balance the mood.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/08/watsky-all-you-can-do.html
iTunes | Amazon
As a fan I hoped for something different. I was pleasantly surprised when I heard the spoken word ending move into a beautifully crafted instrumental, and I was happy to see songs that make you think long and hard just because thinking is a nice thing to do. Certain tracks were just a little more pop than I had hoped for.

You can hear a nice selection of the music right on his Youtube channel. Check out this video if you're interested in the tour, and if he's not currently playing near you be sure to follow him on Facebook or Twitter for any updates.
Downtempo trip-hop meets R&B with Kwamie Liv's debut EP Lost in the Girl. I've been hearing some of her work for the past month, but it was yesterday that I gave the entire stream a listen. The best part; if you're reading this before August 26th, it's all available for free download on Soundcloud.

Well written lyrics aren't exempt from the release, but the first song to truly capture my attention was a cover of The Weeknds' What You Need. It spins the original track with added flavor while keeping all the essential ingredients.



She just makes the track more complete. Added elements flirt behind the bass as her silk vocals progress the song. It might have a strong future aftertaste, but by the time you've finished the track it's understood that everything has its purpose.

The six remaining songs have all the elements What You Need has, plus excellently written original lyrics and hints of commercial influences. Its only fault is catering to too specific a mood. If heavy bass lines and synths aren't usually to your liking, odds are you won't stick around for the soul in her vocals either.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/08/kwamie-liv-lost-in-girl.html
Stream/Download @ Soundcloud
There might be some monotony the first few tracks, consider it the mood starter. Afterwards you'll hear stronger pop influences and melancholic airs. With this display of talents she's doing what I wished M.I.A. had done years ago, something easy on the ears with a culmination of modern technique. Kwamie might not be trying to do all this on her own, but it's a beautiful effort.

It's free for the time being, so grab it while you can if your wallet will thank you. Otherwise you can wait until its launch on iTunes, August 26th. If you wanna be there before she's the next big thing, go show some love on her Facebook and Twitter.
In an area where sounding commercial is almost unavoidable, Azwel has managed to sculpt a fresh surface over classic vintage sounds. The solo project's melodic indie pop pays homage to classics from the '70s through the '90s while recreating a feeling on the verge of musical extinction.

Not all of it is quite up my alley as there are strong inclinations towards over-famed pop beginnings like the debut single Out on a Limb, but then other songs like today's feature balance it all out. The Writing on the Wall is a darker track, but I think it accurately represents the album's corners.



The pop influence is still there, but it's backed with guitar melodies and their contrast against the vocals. The song ties together with dark synths and well placed guitar solos. In just over four minutes, you get an entire feeling. Not the brightest the album has to offer, but a lasting one regardless.

The rest of From Now On juggles the listener's emotions well. Much like The Writing on the Wall, the album carries you right through the mood. There's no dead or loose ends, by the time it finishes it feels complete. The beauty of it is the style in which it completes itself.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/08/azwel-from-now-on.html
Stream/Download @ Bandcamp
I almost shunned this release because I thought it'd get lost in the crowd. Most everyone who tries to go after this genre just imitates and recreates what's already been done. What we get here is something new. There's traces of influence, but the sound is genuine.

Give the stream its opportunity, all you need to hear are the first two songs. If you like them, keep listening, the album was made for you. If you're so-so about it, give the album a download and watch it grow on you. It's a name your price release, so grab it for free if you're unsure and spend a few dollars if you can afford it. Once you dig it, share it, and follow Azwel's future endeavors on Facebook and Twitter.
Today's electronic folk-rock duo weren't content with releasing just another single, so they released an entire project revolving around it. The Bloom EP contains the original track and six remixes by DJs from all over the world.

One of my favorites is Knife & Fork's Spring Bloom. It's a more organic mix of the already down to earth single, while tweaking the jazzy air into a more primitive sound. It might be a little too rugged for some, but its own contrast is worth sticking around for.



It's weird, it sticks out and calls for curious listeners. With the instrumental samples swirling around in the background and the bass appearing in a different melody than the track does altogether, it prevents itself from finding monotony.

That may not be for everyone, maybe a house beat or trap-y bass suits you better. The rest of the EP proves itself willing to satisfy masses. You might like the effort as a whole like me, or you might like a single impressive remix, but odds are you'll like something if you give it a fair listen.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/08/the-morning-birds-bloom.html
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
At the very least, check the original version of Bloom out. It's an electro-jazz delight with sprinkles of folk roots. The song on its own shows a lot of potential, so it makes sense when you see an entire remix EP devoted to it.

If you like the original a little too much, maybe you should give their prior effort a listen, Surrender to This. It's not all as jazzy, but the same talents and similar inspirations were involved. If you'd like to find out what they do in the future, check them out on Facebook and Twitter.
If you don't mind the monotonous house thump, Lucian's debut EP will inspire dance through its catchy nu-disco vibes. I admit it's not quite a perfected technique, but the EDM fans should be able to look at the effort and see a tropical neon night.

The only true downfall is the repetitive thump, it's part of the genre but it never hides between all the other details and melodies Lucian pushes through. Up Away is a fairly progressive song that'll do fine to display all those extras. Give it a listen and see for yourself.



A little on the lengthy side, the song starts easy enough for any listener. It just doesn't ease as well as its vibe feels. It blasts tranquil house sounds and works its way to house quickly. Fun, dance worthy, but a little harsh.

I'm not saying it isn't progressive, the whole EP shows sweet melody changes that let you stick around for its duration. Most of the songs just have those jagged edges. Things could run more smoothly, and I'm sure in time they will.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/08/lucian-rekla.html
iTunes | Amazon
The five track EP is an admirable effort. It's pretty straight forward and if you know what you want you won't have to second guess with Rekla. It does leave room for improvement, and it plants enough seeds to leave an open mind ready for whatever Lucian might have in store for the future.

If you're curious about what he's got in the future, you could either follow our socials for his latest singles, or check out his Soundcloud, Facebook, or Twitter for yourself.
Lately we've been swamped with fresh music, so today we bring four awesome free singles of different styles and passions. Most of what we're offering is rock based, but there's a house remix at the end if rock's not quite your thing.

Waterbodies - What the French Call "Les Incompetents"
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
Starting your garage rock needs with a bang is Waterbodies, a Canadian band with a thirst for raw sounds. Their single, What the French Call "Les Incompetents" is a culmination of pop rock vocals over dirty guitar riffs.



If you like what you hear, keep up with Waterbodies at:
Facebook
Twitter
Waterbodies.ca

Dave Rave - 4th of July
Stream/Download @ Bandcamp
Cheering things up a bit is Dave Rave and his latest single 4th of July. The song was written the fourth of July, on a day off during a tour, poolside with beautiful women and fireworks. Let's all wish we were Dave while we hear his pop rock tune.



The upbeat effort is performed with his new Niagara Falls based band Heads Up Lincoln. You can keep an eye out for Dave Rave's latest at:
Facebook
Twitter

Allora Mis - July 5th
Stream/Download @ Bandcamp
Coincidentally, after 4th of July Allora Mis bring us an instrumental experimental July 5th. It's a delicate piece full of details and odd times that must have been just as much fun to make as it is to the ear. It can be beautiful if you hear it through to the end.



I'm looking forward to their EP coming up in September, be sure to stick around for that one. If you'd rather keep up on your own, you can find Allora Mis at:
Facebook
Twitter
AlloraMis.com

Free Download @ Facebook
Last but not least is Belarbi's house remix of New Dorp New York by SBTRKT and Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig. I actually prefer the remix to the original track, it's bright and bubbly while keeping the SBTRKT essence.



Just one string attached, and that's having to like Belarbi on Facebook. Now, you could just unlike after the download, but then you'd miss out on other free downloads and music updates. If you'd rather follow along elsewhere, keep up with the French producer at:
Twitter
Myspace

Most of today's tracks are name-your-price downloads, so spare some change if a track moves you. If the wallet's tight, just share the music with friends or show some love on the socials.
Australian sibling duo Angus & Julia deviate slightly from their blues-folk roots to make this quality indie-esque release. It's their core talent that make the album worth while, but final touches in the production make this latest effort a hit for warm moods.

Today's feature track is the first on the album, A Heartbreak. It makes for one impressionable entrance, and they must have known that because they made it a single. It should only take five seconds for you to know if it suits your mood, but give it a good half minute to be sure.



The very first line keeps you there. There's a stronger story than the music lets on and your curiosity will reach for it right away. Wait for the well layered culmination of sounds draped over a chorus and you'll find key components for an amazing single.

A dozen songs later and those key components show up everywhere. Not always as well produced, but always humming in the background. The only problem being that the hum repeats itself one too many times on the track list.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/08/angus-julia-stone-angus-julia-stone.html
iTunes | Amazon
It runs a little long for me, repeating ideas when there's more to offer. The good news is their ideas are top quality material, so hearing them over isn't such a bad thing. If you really like what they've made, you might even be happy to check out the three extra tracks on the Deluxe Edition.

Be sure to find the stream on Spotify. Once your claws have sunk into their efforts, after you've shown a little love, consider tagging along for the ride. You can find them on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with future tours and experiences.
Back from a hiatus with erratic soul-punk are The Feed with their latest effort Outsider. The four piece brought together individual instrumental freedoms that click together well. There's some areas that could use perfecting, but that just leaves room for improvement in an already solid album.

Today's feature track is Rexy, the first single off the album and a decent enough display of what they're bringing to the table. It's got a pop touch but don't be discouraged, this is one of the smoother tracks on the release.



An awkward riff hooks onto you, followed by a medium rare chorus that strikes well with the band's energy. The track is firm middle ground with small displays of their individual capabilities here and there. It's more of a crowd pleasing track, for mass audiences and radio play while staying as true as possible to their roots.

Of the three singles released so far, none of them capture the true essence the band has to offer: A quick paced skim of varied influences warped into their own branded style. It's not their fault they can't show it all off in one go, it really does take the whole album to let it sink in.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/08/the-feed-outsider.html
Buy: iTunes | Bandcamp | Amazon
Find a way to bring yourself face-to-face with a stream, give all nine tracks a fair listen. The album lasts just long enough to satisfy without stretching itself out, and contains awkward instrumental moments that resonate beautifully if you're growing tired of the norm. It might prove too abstract for some listeners, so don't worry if some of the tracks don't work out for you.

If you do like what you hear, show support. You can even grab a vinyl copy through the Bandcamp link above. If you feel like keeping up, find them on Facebook, Twitter, or stay in touch through their website.
R&B is possibly one of the most successfully evolved genres out there, and Chaz Langley's debut EP does its part in keeping its quality right where it belongs. He blends the core values of Rhythm and Blues with modern day bass-inclined production, leaving us with both nostalgic approval and curiosity for more.

If you've been following us on socials, you might have already heard the lead single Song of Sorrow, but today's feature track will sway less acoustically. Devilish Eyes features a stronger bass line. It's a smooth song with a somewhat Bond-y twist in its composition, an easy listen to relax the mood.



The vocal melodies aiding the chorus lifts the song from common ground. A subtle use of diverse instruments adds to potential commercial success without selling out. It's more of an experiment than an item, the vocals never over-do, and the production is always classy.

The rest of the self titled EP maintains a firm hold on silky vocals and contagious melodies. It'll swirl in all directions relating to R&B, and it'll end with a catchy house remix of Devilish Eyes by Robert Lux that shows the ability to stand his ground anywhere. His passion transcends the genre, his passion is music.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/08/chaz-langley-chaz-langley.html
Buy: iTunes | Amazon
A promising debut from a talented artist, it's almost too well done. It lasts just long enough to show he's capable of mastering diversity, but I'm still curious to find out if he can keep it up for a full length. Until that time comes; this EP will set a standard and hold us over.

Give the stream a listen, it's a real easy 18 minute listen. If you like what you hear, consider following Chaz for the ride. You can find him on Facebook and Twitter. You can also check his website for the latest updates and information.
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