John Haesemeyer – Come Along Quickly

•January 21, 2013 • Leave a Comment

You can check out my review of John’s album here

Addison Station – Suit up

•December 7, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Link to Music Emissions

Connecticut-based Addison Station hits us with their latest EP Suit Up, which is supposedly serving as a prequel to a full-length effort coming out early next year.  The band is made up of Trent Gerbers, Jeff Kenniston, R.C. Roberts, Peter Bard, and Kenny Razz.

I always go into reviewing a pop record with much trepidation.  Pop music has such a wide range of aesthetics, you really don’t know what you’re going to get.  Out of the five songs on here, “Rock Like A Party Star” and “That Girl” are the closest to being what I would call bubbly.  But to be fair, they are enormously catchy, a skill that seems to be the band’s secret strength.

“Feel It” plays with mixing rock and club themes, with just a hint of hiphop with its rap verses.  “Robyn” is the ballad of the EP.  Not my favorite song, but it does show the band’s versatility and range, and the fact that they can handle both an amped-up pop vibe as well as a simple acoustic one.

“Burn” is my favorite track on here, by a long shot.  It’s bluesy, it’s jazzy, and just a lot of fun.  The vocals are fast and soulful, reminiscent of Justin Timberlake at certain points.  Guitars play right in the pocket.  A very nice tune, indeed.

In the end, I couldn’t help but be charmed.  Addison Station is making incredibly catchy pop music.  But we’re not talking Bieber or Spears here; this is grown folk pop music.  I’m talking Maroon 5 and Jamiroquai.  They’re not quite on that level yet, but certainly on their way.  The songs are packed with story-telling and emotion, and just enough playfulness to keep it youthful.  I’m ready for their full-length.

ZZ Ward – Put the Gun Down

•October 19, 2012 • Leave a Comment

 

Michael Kiwanuka – I’ll Get Along

•October 14, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Michael Kiwanuka – Tell Me A Tale

•October 14, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I will be posting a few of this guy’s performances.  He is that good.  This is from is recent show at the Hackney Round Chapel.

 

Roberta De Francia and The Band – M-East-Ery Park

•October 2, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Link to Music Emissions review

Today I took a listen to M-East-Ery Park from the very charming London-based Italian Roberta De Francia and her band made up of Peter Bakaja on bass, James Taylor on drums, Jozef Berk on percussion, and Martino Scovacricchi on sax and cello.

 

Many influences heard right from the start.  The heavy use of the percussion mixed with guitar at some points reminded me of the flamenco style of The Gipsy Kings, while at other times a more reserved singer/songwriter vibe.  The bass and the sax add just the right amount of jazz to the mix.  A lot of the melodies are quirky, and most of them, in the very least, are fun to listen to.

 

Roberta adds much personality with her singing.  She often compliments the varied instrumentation with her voice, like on “Camera, Lipstick, Action” where she hums along with the sax.  “April’s Smile” is the jazziest tune on here with drums, bass, and guitar all played in the pocket, and a beautiful sax solo right before the first verse.  I found “Five Fibs Fire” to be not only my favorite song, but also the most interesting sounding.  It starts off with a mesmerizing hard-to-describe rhythm that provides the backdrop for Roberta to do her thing.

 

M-East-Ery Park is a solid indie World-music album composed and performed by musicians with obvious passion and talent to match.  Definitely a band worth keeping on your radar.

Chris Riffle – Another Dream

•September 9, 2012 • 1 Comment

Link to Music Emissions

 

What a beautiful EP.  Those are strong words for me.  An EP usually pisses me off.  If it’s bad, it’s bad.   But if it’s good, than it’s too short.  But when it’s really good, I overlook the brevity.  Such is the case with singer/songwriter Chris Riffle’s latest, Another Dream.

 

A collection of six songs packed with so much soul and emotion, I listened without skipping a single track (a big deal for me, by the way).  The thing is, Chris isn’t just folksy.  These aren’t merely acoustic guitar songs; they are deeply intimate with lots of sounds and instruments represented, including piano, bass, drums, and so forth.  But its sleight of hand lies within its subtlety.  Its ability to move slowly, and not be in your face, but rather grip and pull you in to its magic.

 

My favorite tracks by far on here are “All That We Hold” and “Another Dream”.  The first is a smooth and catchy number that builds momentum in increments.  Really nice opener that got me excited for the rest to come.

 

The title track is as dreamy as its name.  Its partly because of Chris’s soft vocal sensibilities, but also the pace and music itself is as relaxed as an infant sleeping.  He’s also a strong lyricist.  I didn’t find any overused poetic clichés.  But rather, I was charmed by his simple and reflective approach, with lines like, “In the end, where do we go?  Into the ground, just like the snow.”

 

Mucically, Chris Riffle is a powerful force of nature.  A quiet storm, but a storm nonetheless.  I found Another Dream to be like food for the soul (talk about clichés). Basically, it’s short and sweet.  But certainly more sweet than short.