A totally random, whatever came to mind first, selection of the latest additions to our
New Music Monster
Music Reviews written by Tobi Davis
Track: “Gave it All”
Piano notes, broken, brittle, fall in delicate cascades; paused on the rep, to linger in the ambient; and in resonance, slight definition given, left to right; 2nd rep, build on the reverse, a sharp intake of breath. LA based electro-nostalgic, dream-pop artist, Linney drops it, pure and simple, with graceful piano ballad, new single “Gave it All”. North Carolina born, singer songwriter Caitlin Linney, has been working the electronic-dance/pop-phonic sound hard, with a string of eight, indie-EDM-sonic, singles ; from the sweeping and sequenced, majesty of ‘w/o’, to the upbeat come melancholic, yet pop-tastic, ‘The Hurt’, right back to the pulsating, synth-rising, aspiration of ‘That Night (remixed by Michael Sinclare)’; in a stark turn, and with the samples kept very much in the background, “Gave it All” has a feeling of ‘coming home’, for the talented young Artist. In comparing her latest release, with the 2016, Anchor + Bell collaboration and piano piece, ‘Unsteady’, the development curve is as striking, as it is steep; the compelling honesty that made ‘Unsteady’ so engaging remains, but now expressed in tastefully crafted pop hooks, well finessed lyrical surges, contrasting drops and quietly anthemic, sing along chorus; Linney’s voice, ever beautiful, has matured into a carefully, composed performance, with the singer demonstrating accomplished judgement and vocal dexterity, in working the emotional and musical dynamics of the track to great effect; all of which is backed up by an intuitively, seemingly effortless piano arrangement; moving through the song, in a series of inspired musical patterns. The hands off, kept on the low down, mix and production design, further enhances and elevates the emotional experience of “Gave it All”, with stylish cinematic drops, providing depth and drama, tense reverses and well placed backing vocals, adding width and additional depth, sat deep and ambient in the reverb. With an eclectic collection of EDM features, indietronica and dance-pop releases, plus acoustic and piano pieces, Linney is taking a bold, ‘genre-counterpointed’, road to pop stardom; one that challenges the ‘search engine friendly’ convention of strict branding and sacrificing of artistic freedom, for the sake of the ‘all important’ hashtag. And yet one quality, above all others, stands out and stands tall, throughout Linney’s music; an ever present awareness and respect of, the silent and most vital, unspoken contract between artist and audience ; on which all value and creative integrity rest, honesty; that whatever else, at the very least, what the artist tells you, will be true. In Linney’s own words, ‘I gave you all, I gave you all of me’. #honesty
Artist: Me Not You
Track: “Buried Alive”
Drawn up through the steam pipe vapor, the velvet slick of the asphalt, the clouded daze of the midnight headlight haze; New York built, self described ethereal garage pop duo come four piece, Me Not You, drop new single, “Buried Alive”. With five singles and a rapidfire 6 track, 20 minute EP, Reckoning 2 (follow up to 2017 released, Reckoning 1) and a slew of live shows to boot, the east coast outfit are grinding it out old school in 2018. Saturated vocals, delayed and reverb clung, open up the track with a perfect dose of pop-lyric calling-card; distant thunder drums land foreboding, synth sonics build ambient; the band working in shifting, overlapping layers; the track surges, six string rattles and synth pad glimmer textures; the experience, liquid, visceral; drowning in phonics, swallowed up by the East River tide. Well thought out instrumentation, encircles, reflects and enhances the accomplished pop vocal line; imagery and idea, arriving in a series of short percussive phrases; voice and word working together to create intoxicating effect. Throughout, the song compels and contrasts with an intriguing mismatch of neo synth pop elements set raw, against underground guitar blunts, trashy tasty drums and FX fused vox. Having already worked their way into the Hype Machine Top 10, with previous single, deliriously beautiful, ‘Imagine That’; and earned the favor of the Spotify Gods with places on their coveted playlists (‘Chill Vibes’, ‘Dream Pop’ and ‘Sad Indie’), Me Not You are a band on the move. And they are moving fast.
Artist: Steve Maggiora
Track: “Hearts & Scars”
Orange County based pro music making animal, Steve ‘the Wreck’ Maggiora takes time out from playing keys with the ever-touring, Southern Rock, groov-i-fi-cation machine, Robert Jon and the Wreck , to bring us a healthy slice soul and good old fashioned musicianship, with new album and its title track, “Hearts & Scars”. With 300 live shows and counting for 2018, the singer songwriter, session musician and solo artist, Steve Maggiora is very much the embodiment of the modern day, hard working independent musician; working long hours, playing back to back shows and juggling multiple gigs, all to pay the bills in a post-download world; the optimistic projections for streaming revenues, skant comfort for the tens of thousands of professional musicians grinding it out 7 days a week, just to stay a float. With it’s real world instruments and live room feel, “Hearts & Scars” plays very much like an album from ‘back in the day’. A rich array of highly musical songs, each comprising of a series of intuitively crafted movements, framed by well judged arrangement and presented by a ‘band in the round’, group of accomplished musicians. One part of Robert Jon and the Wreck’s glorious three part harmonies, Steve’s vocals run the emotional gambit beautifully, as his voice surges and rises on the emotion highs, and lays back into heartfelt nostalgia and melancholy; drawing the ear and compelling the heartstrings. “Hearts & Scars” is every bit an album in the classic sense; every song being equal to the other and worthy of its place, that being said, ‘Right by You’ is a stand out, strikingly graceful piece of work. With the Industry struggling to get people back into the habit of paying for music, re-establishing the inherent value of the art form, in the mind of the consumer is paramount; rather than continuing the current strategy of hyping the already hyped to the max, strikingly average collection of dancers and models, produced by loop-schooled, well branded, midi-ocrity; the marketing departments of the major label’s corporate overlords, might want to use a fraction of their not inconsiderable talent and resources, to shine a light on young, hard working musicians like Steve Maggiora; who, in contrast to their chart topping contemporaries, are without doubt, the real deal.
Support Steve via his patreon site.
Robert Jon and the Wreck will be embarking on an European Tour in October. See their website for details.
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!
About The Monster Thread
The #MonsterThread is a community of Independent Musicians, Bands and Artists supporting each other in making and sharing Indie Music.