Week14 | Tobi’s New Music Monster Picks

A totally random, whatever came to mind first, selection of the latest additions to our
New Music Monster

Music Reviews written by Tobi Davis

Tobi's new music monster

Black HoneyArtist: Black Honey
Track: “Crowded City”
Self described, self controlled, self defined, self obsessed, pride, pomp and arrogance fest; Four piece, pop-rock electro-strut swagger-and-roll, uber-cool professional independent noise/troublemakers, Black Honey are, in their own words, ‘playing the big-boys game’, with self titled new album and the super-tronic, pulp-Morricone postmodernist, “Crowded City”. After a steady string of singles, dating back to 2015 debut release, and homage to the music of Tarantino movies, surf/heroin rock and no small dose of Nancy Sinatra’s staggering, Kill Bill introducing, ‘Bang Bang – My Baby Shot Me Down’; beautifully blended with Dick Dale’s tremolo guitar enthusiast’s wet dream and awesome ‘Pulp Fiction’ title welcome, ‘Miserlou’, stop/start, American-road-movie-crack-pipe, ‘Spinning Wheel’; and 2016 EP, the understated/under-the-saturated, 4am t*tty-bar-melancholic, four track zombie swing, ‘Headspin’, Black Honey are all growed up with twelve tracks of gloriously over-driven guitars in the reverb, sat-so-right/sat-back bass and slap n crunch drums, on shuffle, the hustle and the laid-back, syncopated don’t-you-fuss-y’all. Breaks, waves and reverses build texture and tension; overlapping vocals, fuzzed, fused and distortion blunted; set shifting in layers, further enhance the stylishly worked, B-movie/straight-to-video sound design. Izzy B. Phillips mouths and chews her vocals, with femme fatale nonchalance; only to break open, and break down in heart-surging, bursts of raw emotion; lyric and delivery, an ode to the melodic pageantry and poetry-disposable of great pop music. A twelve track tour-de-force of reference, nod and wink, ‘Black Honey’ deftly walks the line between legitimate pastiche and shameless rip off; ever-teasing the second, while revelling in the first; and in doing so, creates an inspired and singular experience for the listener; that elevates the act of homage to that of the band’s own genre. Jukebox slow dance, snakeskin striptease, mustang car chase and movie theatre bl*wjob, ‘Black Honey’ plays to the popcorn sticky, cheap seats in kodak tones of tail lights and bug zappers; sizzling and satisfying, like a bacon; this album will make you salivate. It’s tasteless and tasty!

Twitter: @BlackHoneyUK
IG: BlackHoneyUK

Shut UpArtist: Millie Manders and the Shut Up
Track: “One That Got Away”
With glorious noise and great audacity, UK based self described, ‘cross-genre punk’ outfit and live touring animal, Millie Manders and the Shut Up, drop 15 minute slice of stomp, slam, chant and sing along, new EP Shutup; jam packed with a Rollicking gauntlet run of soul to ska, punk to pop, surf rock to shut up, the four track release burns through it’s runtime on a tear, with enough genre, idea and influence to feed a double album; resulting in a rapidfire, high contrast roller coaster ride of punch perfect, jump up and down songs, born of and built for the band’s trademark slamming live shows. Wrist tight guitar riffs, rattle and shift, exploding into pulp fiction style solo and lick; snare smacked drums, kick driven and spit off the cymbal and hi hat, toms on the verge of implosion; rhythm and change burst in well worked surges, bass and drum working as one, in swagging lurches and awesomely obnoxious struts. Brass slurs, slews and soars in great expanding, jazzy waves and sudden funk infused stops; Millie snarls, snears and screams; moving from crooner to shouter, she belows and grunts, sniggers and sings; making and breaking the rules as she goes; a punk-pop-alt-rock-superstar-machine, Madonna merged with Iggy Pop. Lyrics slung at you, word stabbed, syllable chewed physical; the social/political ranted, inequity decried, in angry pop hook. Millie Manders and the Shut Up are a band grounded in the culture and heritage of their music; hewn from concrete of high rise tower block, the graffiti of the underpass, the rush, stink and stress of the heavy city; they sweat The Specials, smack of Ian Dury and his rhythm stick; they Clash, they Bragg, they’re Madness, Skunk Anansie and never mind the b*ll*cks; against the machine they rage; a plague upon the houses of chart-friendly pop and lazy, indulgent indie rock. Shut Up!

Millie Manders and the Shut Up are currently touring throughout the UK. See their socials for details.

Twitter: @MillieManders
IG: MillieManders

Let It FlyArtist: Katie Ellen
Track: “Let it Fly”
UK based singer songwriter Katie Ellen releases unplanned second single for 2018, stark portrait of a breakup, “Let it Fly”. The BBC Introducing endorsed Artist, having released her first single of the year in June, ‘Yours’ to stella reviews (Music Talks, describing it as ‘..how a great song should be written & heard’), had intended to follow up with a five track EP. However the rigors of holding down a fulltime job as a vocal coach, while trying to write and record, took its toll on Katie’s health. And despite the universally positive reception from critic and fan alike, the heartbreakingly beautiful, ‘Yours’ struggled to gain traction amongst the summer themed playlists and releases (made worse by Spotify adding the single to the wrong Artist’s account). In the midst of bad luck and frustration, Luxembourg based producer Tobi, completed the mix and master of “Let it Fly”. The combination of Katie’s trademark, intuitively simple songwriting and deft vocal performance, coupled with a creative and well judged sound design from Tobi, made for a stark, yet strikingly dynamic and original piano ballad ; upon hearing it for the first time, Katie was so reminded of the writing experience, she broke down; her best friend describing it as, ‘the best song Katie had ever written’. Though completed in July, the release of “Let it Fly” was held back until late September, the darkening evenings and Autumn weather a better fit for the mood and feeling of the track.

BBC Introducing premiered “Let it Fly” in early September, describing it as ‘a stand out track’.

Twitter: @KatieEllenMusic
IG: KatieEllen_Music

Week14 Music Monster Picks

You can now submit / recommend new releases for our New Music Monster, every Friday via our new Reddit!

About Tobi Davis (BRASH! Magazine/Blog Writer)
​Good producing is like good plumbing. If you do your job right, no one notices. Mix, Remix + Master. Run @monsterthread w/ Singer Songwriter Jon Magnusson. Host Thursday’s @musichouruk. Music Reviews for BRASH! Magazine. Promote. Occasional Lyricist. Love my beagle Enzo + fav bands Little Empire and Moxi.
Check out Tobi Sonics – Mixes + Remixes!

Twitter: @producedbytobi
Instagram: ProducedbyTobi

About The Monster Thread
The #MonsterThread is a community of Independent Musicians, Bands and Artists supporting each other in making and sharing Indie Music.

Twitter: @MonsterThread


New Releases! | “Temporary” by Greg Rider

Rising country artist, Greg Rider Releases New Single, “Temporary”

Temporary by Greg Rider

Nashville, TN – Greg Rider has been performing around the country including performing regularly at Luke’s 32 BridgeFGL House, and Jason Aldean’s rooftop bar. In 2017, Greg released his debut single, “She Don’t Matter” on all digital platforms.

Music had been an influence on Greg, but he never did anything to pursue it until his 20’s, considering himself a closet singer and only picked up guitar at age 20. In time, this was to change. As he built his confidence, he began to play locally in a duo. When the duo disbanded, it was time for Greg to take his next leap of faith. He accepted a job as a Bartender in the Cayman Islands and spent his off time writing and performing at open mic opportunities.

Aside from music, Greg is also an author. His first book, The Uneasy Man, was released through Amazon early in 2018. It is a self-help guide based on his story of how he over-came his struggle with Anxiety and Depression. The book is geared towards youth and young adults but, can benefit anyone looking to expand their knowledge on the subject.

“Temporary” is Available Now on iTunes & Spotify!

IG: GregRiderMusic

The Saga Continues… | Interlude EP by Leo Vance

Toronto Recording Artist-Leo Vance Releases Heart And Soul With Interlude EP

Interlude EP by Leo Vance - BRASH! Magazine BlogInterlude, is part of the 5 EP Series Leo will be releasing that feature different styles in the rap and hip hip genre. Vance wrote, mixed all the songs and produced two songs on the Interlude EP, “Something About You” and “Lessons”. Producers Vybe Beatz and Patrick Carmelo also make an appearance on Interlude as well. The EP captures the heart and soul of Leo Vance, each song reveals relatable timeless stories that strike a chord with conscience lyrics. Moody tracks that feature a chill, laid back vibe which can crossover into many genres, and captures anyone’s heart at any age.

Watch the Official Video for “Something About You”
Director: Mercenary Films


Interlude EP is Available Now on Apple Music, Spotify, & Tidal!

About Leo Vance
Leo Vance, 22 is a recording artist from Toronto, Canada and burst into the scene a year ago with his debut album The Legend Begins. He was nominated for The Break Through Artist Of The Year Award at the Canadian Urban Hip Hop Awards in Toronto in May 2017, and won his first industry award for the album.

A visionary, artist, writer and music producer Leo has been honing his skills since the age of 13. Coming from a musical family, Leo knew his passion for music would lead him to where he is today. A serious artist Leo leaves it all on the stage when he performs, he has performed both here and in the US in many events and festivals. Leo works hard on his craft on a daily basis, never taking anything for granted.

Twitter: @LeoVanceMusic
IG: LeoVanceMusic

Week13 | Tobi’s New Music Monster Picks

A totally random, whatever came to mind first, selection of the latest additions to our
New Music Monster

Music Reviews written by Tobi Davis

Tobi's new music monster

Leg Puppy Twit MachineArtist: Leg Puppy
Track: “Twit Machine”
Following up on their Freshnet selected summer romp & stomp, and two fingered salute to the corporate nob culture (lack thereof), “Meds and Beer”, south London electro punk nutjobs, Leg Puppy are back with another trademark punch in the gut public service announcement, new single “Twit Machine”. A 2 minute 25 second, high speed rant of ear catching mantra and sing along chant, “Twit Machine” oscillates like a bi-polarized particle between, alarm driving riff and dub infused, delay drenched, guitar breaks; drum and bass style ‘one shots’, resonate deep in reverb; rapid stuttered beats break dry; dancefloor style kick, punches hard and tight, down the centre. Smart use of vox delays, further enhance the percussive assault; saturation used to contrast vocal lines and introduce a ragged edge to the accomplished production. Although ‘snapped to the grid’ on point, the track is willfully illformed; musical sections intentionally jutt out, left ugly and ‘user unfriendly’; Leg Puppy crafting satirical commentary into the construction of the track, as they rail against our lazy, convenience obsessed culture, with the very the act of composition; the knowingly heavy handed sonic juxtapositions, also adding a compelling and unconventional dynamic structure. From “Selfie Stick”, through to “Meds and Beer” and now, “Twit Machine”, Leg Puppy continue to put aggressive, fiercely contemporary, social commentary at the heart of their music. A tech-noir clown mask wearing rabble rouser; demented beats slinging, cage rattler; set the puppet amongst the pigeons (Watch Music Video), Leg Puppy are the rising noise on the UK scene, and you better be ready to listen, because they have something to say.

Twitter: @LegPuppyMusic
IG: LegPuppy


Evalyn Pill to CrushArtist: Evalyn
Track: “A Pill to Crush”
Scattered gutter trash, stereoized, saturated ripe in the Californian sun; stuttered vinyl scratch, caught in the wake, the updraft; sonic flash flood, ‘Revelry!’, delayed wash, left to right, storm drain trapped and carried downstream, ‘I wish that I could be a younger me’; singer/songwriter Evalyn releases 3 minute 41 second, ode to the sin, excess & grit of her adopted home/lover, the city of fallen angels, with new single “A Pill to Crush”. Taken from her forthcoming and eagerly anticipated EP, Salvation, produced by fellow Angeleno, Nicopop, “A Pill to Crush” swaggers and struts, with a limp; warped sickly, uber cool, ‘heroin rock’ infused, guitar loop and pitter patter, six string cracks, rattle and twine through the track. Beats burst and defuse, gated and modulated; pitch shifts and drops, crank and sling through dynamics on the hop. Evalyn’s vocals arrive in waves of fizzing reverb, expanding and enveloping the song; her voice intoxicates, lyrics lift ethereal; nonchalant in tone, irreverent in topic; she breathes vapor pop. Melodies build in teasing phrases, like perverted nursery rhymes. Creative use of double track, altered off-tonal, sit uneasy; the track, like the city of its birth and subject matter, at odds with itself. Driven by clear Artistic intention, the hyper-tight pop production stands apart, and a cut above; Artist and Producer crafting a composition of singular vision and bespoke aural experience. The toughest gig in town right now, female electro pop singer/songwriters struggle to make their mark in a crowded market, where supply and talent, more than outstrips the public’s demand/appetite for the overhyped, playlist-bot-bloated, alpha consumer-targeted, marketing department orientated, ‘more often than not, style over substance’ musical genre. Bringing lashings of both style and substance, “A Pill to Crush” is both bold artistic statement and confident marker within the marketplace; Evalyn’s obsession with and idolization of, her adopted home, Los Angeles, testament to the value of working to a singular vision. With so many of her contemporaries struggling to find ‘their sound’, Evalyn is focused on finding herself.

Twitter: @YoEvalyn
IG: ThisisEvalyn


JEEN_GiftShop_1800x1800_v3.jpgArtist: Jeen
Track: “Pull Out Your Knives”
Cut on the rush, the overdrive, the fuzz, jump up and down drums and glorious noise, Canadian singer/songwriter Jeen drops new album, Indie Alt Rock, DIY dream , Gift Shop and opening track “Pull Out Your Knives”. Having already made a name for herself, writing songs for an impressive and eclectic array of recording artists, from folk rock band Great Big Sea to JPop, Idol Group Fawa Fawa, Gift Shop marks the third full length solo release for the prolific and talented artist ; and does so, in stark contrast to the growing trend of releasing EPs and lone singles, as a way to tame, and hopefully conquer the almighty streaming media beast. Jeen is no stranger to self produced material, her 2015 and 2016 releases “Tourist” and “Modern Life” having been recorded in her attic, latest release Gift Shop has a warm, roomy feel, rich in dreams and nostalgia; and a lovingly, joyful and disorganized sound ‘un-design’, successfully reminiscent of Pavement’s 1994 release, “Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain” and the more recent home-brewed offerings of DIY superstars, Swearin. Tortured guitar tones run the gambit, between screech and shimmer; garage drums thump, crash and slap, with raspy hi hat and deep, thunderous loud. Jeen’s vocals echo and dance in the layers of delay, diffusion and reverb; moving from distant cries at the back of your mind, to huge, cathedral like voicing, towering above the frenetic noise and sonic energy of the track. Gift Shop is an immensely enjoyable and rewarding experience and very much plays, like a proper independent release. While many unsigned artists lose the value of their independence in misguided attempts to create ‘cut price’ mainstream style productions, Jeen has chosen to celebrate and embrace the freedom of self produced / home recorded music; the result is an album of beautiful oddities and introspections, hazy dazy soundscapes and off-kilter sonic delights. Untidy, under produced and undeniably wonderful, Gift Shop is out now.

Twitter: @ThisisJeenMusic
IG: ThisisJeenMusic

Week13 Music Monster Picks.JPG

You can now submit / recommend new releases for our New Music Monster, every Friday via our new Reddit!

About Tobi Davis (BRASH! Magazine/Blog Writer)
​Good producing is like good plumbing. If you do your job right, no one notices. Mix, Remix + Master. Run @monsterthread w/ Singer Songwriter Jon Magnusson. Host Thursday’s @musichouruk. Music Reviews for BRASH! Magazine. Promote. Occasional Lyricist. Love my beagle Enzo + fav bands Little Empire and Moxi. Check out Tobi Sonics – Mixes + Remixes!

Twitter: @producedbytobi
Instagram: ProducedbyTobi

About The Monster Thread
The #MonsterThread is a community of Independent Musicians, Bands and Artists supporting each other in making and sharing Indie Music.

Twitter: @MonsterThread

Chart Topper | Clayton Morgan

Dallas Singer-Songwriter Clayton Morgan Tops iTunes Canada Chart

Taste for Love by Clayton Morgan

The artist’s track, “Taste For Love (Deep House Remix)” hit number one on the iTunes Canada Electronic Songs chart on September 13, 2018. It’s his first #1.

It’s been quite a summer for Dallas r&b/soul/dance singer-songwriter Clayton Morgan. His critically acclaimed single, “Taste For Love” back in June 2018. The remixes and official music video dropped on July 16th. Since then, the video has been named as an Indie Best Videos Festival Selection, and the single has been racking up airplay, charting on the Airplay Today charts.

Now, one of the remixes, “Taste For Love (Deep House Remix)” has topped the iTunes Canada Electronic Songs chart. The track reached the pole position on Thursday, September 13th, ahead of releases by Thom Yorke, Major Lazer, and FatBoy Slim.

“Yes, monumental! Omg! This is great news!” said Clayton, upon hearing of his #1 status. “Thank you to all of the fans for supporting this track. What a blessing.”

“Taste For Love (Deep House Remix)” is Available Now on Spotify! 

Watch the official video for “Taste For Love” (original mix)


Clayton Morgan in the Press
“It’s been several days. It’s been several hours. It’s been a long time. I still have this song stuck in my head. ” — Gustave Carlson, Vents Magazine DALLAS , TEXAS, UNITED STATES, September 14, 2018–

“Morgan appears to be on his way to soaring to new heights” – Markus Druery, Neufutur Magazine

“It’s been several days. It’s been several hours. It’s been a long time. I still have this song stuck in my head” – Gustave Carlson, Vents Magazine

“Clayton Morgan warms up his listeners with a hot and spicy track” – Mindy McCall, NoDepression Magazine

Clayton Morgan - BRASH! Magazine BlogAbout Clayton Morgan

Based in Dallas, TX, Clayton Morgan released his critically acclaimed single, “Taste For Love” back in June. The son of Four Sonics member, Eddie Daniels, Morgan has proven to be one of the most original and talented new artists to come out of the area, this year. Music played a big role in Clayton Morgan’s upbringing, both at home and at school. Clayton was regularly part of school musicals, choir groups and drama clubs. Outside of school, he always looked up to his father as his mentor and was also heavily influenced by a wide range of singers, including Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Prince, Madonna and Whitney Houston, to name a few. All of these ingredients combined, have no doubt, been the main contributing factor toward Clayton’s unique and authentic vocal style.

Twitter: @ClaytonMorganMusic
IG: ClaytonMorganMusic

Anticipated Releases | “Speak In Tongues” Music Video by Cooper Phillip

Pop/Soul Artist, Cooper Phillip, Releases Captivating Visual for Upcoming Release “Speak In Tongues”

Pop/Soul Artist, Cooper Phillip

Russian born, Los Angeles based pop soul artist Cooper Phillip succeeds in capturing the undivided attention of listeners across the globe. With her intense drive, soaring vocals and passionate songwriting, Phillip is elevating herself to the top of her genre with her highly anticipated upcoming release, “Speak In Tongues”.

After a couple of successful releases, the stunning performer is now ready to grace audiences with “Speak In Tongues”, a single co-written with Emmy Award-winning Max Matluck and Alessandro Calemme. Featuring dreamy and sensual soundscapes, metaphorical lyricism and powerful vocal melodies, the song takes you on an emotional journey, allowing listeners to open up to a new feeling of reality. “Speak In Tongues is about living through the feeling of love and passion and capturing this state of mind – love that has no drama, no tension and no limits”, reveals Phillip. Highlighting soaring, angelic background vocals, the single takes inspiration from Enya. “There is a big influence in this particular arranging style of Celtic pop. I thought it could be really cool to bring that element and combine it with the urban pop sound of today”, confides the artist.

Watch Official Music Video for “Speak In Tongues”

Phillip’s music features an underlying theme of strength, grace and empowerment. “I believe we underestimate ourselves often and our fear takes over. My goal is to show people that they are stronger and can do much more then they think they can”, she admits. Using true life stories, hardships and experiences, the songwriter emits authenticity and courage throughout her music.

Cooper Phillip has seen success with her previous single garnering over 10 million listens online. She has also developed an impressive and loyal fanbase, particularly on social media and has performed at some of Los Angeles most prestigious venues.

About Cooper Phillip
Born in a small town in Russia to a family of accomplished classical musicians, her early years were shaped being raised by her grandmother and aunt while her mother, a master violin player, toured around the world with various symphonies. This separation led Phillip to take comfort in music where she was enamoured by the vocal stylings of Ella Fitzgerald. A young Phillip taught herself Fitzgerald’s songs inside and out, noticing every nuance of phrasing and jazz intonations. Phillip eventually enrolled at the prestigious Moscow State Classical Academy where she studied classical piano, music theory, harp, jazz, blues, ballet and voice. The songstress worked diligently to expand her vocal range and control, taking everything that came in her path and feeding off of the challenge.

Recognizing her daughter’s talent and charisma, Phillip’s mother gave up her flourishing career to accompany a young Cooper on tour throughout Russia. Determined to pursue an international career in music, Phillip moved to New York City at the age of 17. With barely a dollar to her name, the singer worked and hustled, performing in weddings and clubs and sleeping in the storeroom of a restaurant where she sang. It wasn’t easy but she would not be deterred. After a few years in the city, Phillip jumped at an opportunity to sing at a important gig in Los Angeles. She never went back.

Twitter: @CooperPhillip1
IG: CooperPhillip

Music Messages | “Likkle More” Music Video by Stratz

North London Rap Artist, Stratz Delivers a Motivational Message with Debut Single “Likkle More”

The new single, “Likkle More” embodies the best of his afro-Caribbean roots and London upbringing. Inspired by the likes of Popcaan, Vybz Kartel and Movado, “Likkle More” emits a feel good, summer atmosphere. “I want to mix that unique touch from dancehall into dance music in the UK”, explains the British rapper. Produced by Mayfield Studios in Portsmouth, the track features soulful female vocals, sharp percussion and gritty raw beats, giving it all the ingredients for the perfect summer anthem. Narratively, the single is an ode of encouragement for people to give a little more back in all aspects of life. It’s a reminder for others to be happy, proud and graceful and to help others in anyway they can, as you never know what it could do in the long run.

With his distinct delivery and relentless energy, Stratz is on the path to create a sound that encompasses everything that is true to him. He describes, “I’ve always had a different style and I think this is what allowed me to develop a unique sense of lyrical development and instead of adding to problems, I try to find the solution”. Stratz is ready to continue his musical journey with “Likkle More” currently available worldwide.

Watch Official Music Video for “Likkle More”

“Likkle More” is Available Now on Spotify!

North London rapper Stratz - BRASH! Magazine BlogAbout Stratz

Born and raised in North London, rapper Stratz creates a vibrant sonic palette through his collective fusion of modern hiphop and Jamaican dancehall. His fresh and spicy sound, combined with his lyrical craftsmanship and honest narratives are putting Stratz at the forefront of his genre.

Stratz draws his verbal inventiveness through past experiences, having spent his youth in a neighbourhood where you find yourself having to constantly look over your shoulder. The rapper reveals, “It is funny to think this is how most of us used to live and scary to know it carries on and worsens”. Having lost his friend, who was killed in a gang incident, Stratz turned to alcohol and struggled with depression. After narrowly escaping a prison sentence, Stratz fell into his music and immersed himself in expressing his emotions through lyrics and melody, saving himself from the environment he was in and evolving into the artist he is today. “The only way I came out of such a bad stage was the constant reminder that I have to live this life for all of us and having such support from my family and music 24/7. I came out of such a bad stage and have now become so prosperous I don’t think Hulk could stop me if he tried”, confides Stratz.

Twitter: @StratzDontstop
IG: StratzDontstop