Friday, October 31, 2014

Swanky Tiger

Review: The new debut single "Empires" by Swanky Tiger is a tasty little combo rock platter out of NYC. From the moment singer guitarist Will Rockefeller lights the fuse with a intro guitar lick reminiscent of the Black Angels or the Black Keys. You realize you are on the delivery end of a rock barrage. Where the initial guitar teased you with a taste of garage rock the band keeps you thinking and they switch it out in quick order to to expose a more honed sound. And when you feel the sweat on your palms you know that the rhythm section (driven by Mike Glendening and Spencer Hoyt) has dropped in. This is where Empires truly pushes off with both legs right into the deep water.

The overall production on Empires is smart in the sense that it doesn't get in the way of the song, yet manages to frame the motions of the band without using a pick axe. The one thing I kept coming back to was the way the Swanky Tigers vocalist Oliver slides almost sideways into some of his vocal phrasing, vaguely reminiscent of Richard Butler. Swanky Tiger invests in the musical longevity with some interesting lyrics that are a perfect compliment to the evocative and melodic vocal delivery. You could feel the bands strength and swagger come through on this track. Swanky Tiger rocks hard as well as side to side. They seem to deftly dance along the edge of the big rock chasm of hyperbole without getting anything on its shoes.


Swanky Tiger have performed at some of NYC's most iconic venues including The studio at Webster Hall, Tammy Hall, and Arlene's Grocery under their belt, Swanky Tiger is taking the New York music scene by storm.  Coming together while attending boarding school in New England with influences from such acts such as The Cure and Queens of the Stone Age, the future bodes well for Lord Oliver Myles Masburn and his fellow explorers. Swanky Tiger will release their debut album, in January 2015.

Empires is out now and available HERE


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Chicago, IL. Correspondent
Mark J. Panick - Razorhouse
Barumba Art Coalition

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Selena Garcia

Brooklyn- based singer and songwriter Selena Garcia began writing at the age of 13 and gained experience from performing with the A Capella & Jazz choir during college. with the help of a few friends  from Berklee College of Music, Selena organized her band ad launched her foray into music in 2005 and released her debut EP Don't Worry... it's Not Love in 2008. Soon after, Selena was listed as Music Connection's "Hot 100 Unsigned Artists", an honor she's received a total of 3 times, toured North America, opened for The Green Children and Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zero's, and recently shared the stage with Nashville buzz band Johnnyswim in New York City.

In 2012, Selena made her way to Nashville, London and New York where she wrote and played  live shows before deciding to permanently reside in Brooklyn. In March 2014, Selena released the eight song self-titled EP with the help of legendary composer Larry Gold, who's worked alongside Lana Del Rey, Jay Z, The Roots and Justin Timberlake.


Selena Garcia announces the release of her single "Backfire", off her recently released self titled EP. Influenced by artists such as Nina Simone ad Michael Jackson, Selena has developed her standalone sound and songwriting by fusing elements of soul, pop-rock and jazz, all resulting in an smoky, but eclectic mix that can loosely be compared to artists such as Adele, Fiona Apple and The Kills.

The self titled EP Selena Garcia is out now and available HERE


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Dogs Run Free

Pennsylvania-based soaring soul-rock sextet, Dogs Run Free, announce the release of their debut LP To The Travelers We Might Find following a busy summer of touring. The band's lead single "I'll Be Gone" premiered on the taste-making "Out of the Box" program on Clear Channel's Q104.3 in New York, slotted next to Jack White's "High Ball Stepper" and Band of Skulls' Asleep At The Wheel," marking Dogs Run Free as a band to watch.

With roots extending back to March of 2012, Kevin Iobst (lead vocals, guitars, harmonica), Matt Sweitzer (keys) and his cousin Jeff Hanni (lead guitar) realized their natural chemistry as Matt's brother Mike Sweitzer (bass), Ariel Merkt (vocals, percussion) and Scott Westgate (drums) joined the band. The lineup now complete, Dogs Run Free established their warm, expansive tone. The individual members of Dogs Run Free bring their own unique experiences and influences to the table, ranging from the godfather of grunge rock, Neil Young, to funk legends like Sly and the Family Stone.


Dogs Run Free honed their skills and live prowess in taverns and pubs leading to  slot at this year's Mountain Jam Festival. "Tied Up" is their second single from their debut album To The Travelers We May Find. The 10-track album is an electric mix of folk, rock, and singer-songwriter style pop brought together by a modern sound.

To The Travelers We May Find is out now and available HERE


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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Miss Marlow

In the case of New York based band Miss Marlow, the feminine power of central figure Marleen Pfeifer (vocals/guitar) is threefold: seductive, strong, and sassy. having recently moved to the US from Denmark, Pfeifer is getting ready to stake her claim on an international fan base with her blend of dark, striking melodic rock mixed with pockets of softness and enchantment.

With a musical history beginning in girl-punk-garage band Snatch, Pfeifer brings an edge to all she creates. When she joined forces with instrumentalists who could further realize her vision, Miss Marlow was born and soon introduced their hook-laden sound with the debut album Heart Beat in 2012. The release was followed by extensive jet-setting between New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Copenhagen, and Berlin throughout 2013, introducing their uptempo rock to an array of listeners and leaving the audiences hungry for more.


Since then, Miss Marlow has gathered a rapidly-expanding following, released the the single "Teach Me" in April 2014, and received extensive airplay on indie radio station Butterflies radio in Hollywood. The track has been charting at #1 for All Genres in Denmark on NumberOneMusic and gained the attention from Relix Magazine who featured the band in the April/May 2014 issue. Miss Marlow welcomed two new singles "Supernova" and "Something Special," with release shows in New York City.


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Moss Da Beast

By simply listening to just one verse, it becomes very evident that Moss Da Beast is no novice to the business of the music industry. One of Chicago's finest MC's, Moss was born and bred on the South Side streets and even a moved to Nashville for a few years, allowing the ability to familiarize himself  with southern culture, broaden his expertise and hone in on his craft within the industry. Now with almost a decade under his belt dedicated to management, Moss is fully engaged in the success of his solo career. His first solo mixtape "Almost There" was released in August 2010 and well received by fans and press. With songs like "They Know It's Me" and Hip Hop in the Ville's 2010 Hottest Single Nominee, "When It Get Gutta", the streets began to buzz about That Beast. Since then, he's released several mixtapes garnering new fans and praise.

The 2012 release of "Live From The Elevator" and subsequent Netflix Exclusive Documentary releasing within the next year amassed sponsorship from the likes of Hoolegunz Clothing to GoodTimes USA and LoveTag Apparel. Not one to be outdone, Tha Beast rode that live elevator upward, catching the attention of Alabama's own super production squad The BlockBeattaz. They recorded "Hangover" for the his first solo album "Lebron Jordan Kobe".

To accompany the rollout of all Moss' first album after many mixtapes, we caught up with this rhapsodic virtuoso to discuss his new single Surfing in the Air to be released October 28th from his upcoming album If Skillz Sold scheduled to release December 4th.

R. Thanks for taking the time to chat with us this week here at R360. Music is music no matter what genre. How did you get started with Hip Hop? Do you think this genre will last or will people tire of it? Since there are so many great street hip hoppers, what determines who gets to the top?
MDB. I started out just as a fan as a kid  and by the time I was 12 my big cousins were rappin. R.I.P. my biggest inspiration my cuz Sammy aka Relentless. He was the first to make me wanna rap. I felt like they were battle rappin against me and I didn't have any weapons so I quickly learned the ropes and started freestyling and writing to any beats or songs I could.

R. What artists inspired you too become involved with Hip Hop? What is your favorite album of all time?
MDB. 2pac and the power he showed through his music made me want to start. Snoop Dogg made it look fun and easy. I'm also heavily inspired by Scarface, UGK, Twista, Jay Z, Outkast, Notorius B.I.G Pete rock and J Dilla. My favorite album of all time is "One day it'll all make sense" from Common.

R. As a rapper, what do you feel is the most pressing or important problem in our society now, and do you feel as though your experience as an artist has aided or perhaps complicated your involvement in these issues?
MDB. The most pressing problem is people are being blindsided by the television and they are accepting the force fed music that we hear on the radio Its not like it was back in the day when you could hear a song like destruction on the radio and see it on mtvjams. Its all about mostly negativity so people would continue to go in a negative way. I believe my music will and has helped family and friends. I keep messages and lessons in my music especially for my kids to learn from just in case I don't live to see them grown. My music will help them grow and learn about their father's mission.
 

R. If Skillz Sold, is the title of the upcoming album. what can your audience expect to hear? musically and lyrically have you taken on a different approach compared to your last album?
MDB. They can expect me to show examples of plenty skills in song writing and deliveries. I rap circles around most rappers, So they can expect to hear content that they can be proud to purchase and download. Musically its different from my last album because I let more soulful beats come into play therefore lyrically I let them more inside of my personal life. The best artist have have fans that fell like they are family. Which is my goal. Same approach which is to be better with every verse.

R. Surfing in the Air talks about what?
MDB. This a fun song that I wrote while smoking, its about the weed I smoke being better than anything else and hard to explain I go into explaining it on the verses. This song is also first of the singles because I'm still riding high off mixtape artist of the year nomination from southern entertainment awards. The Marleyson 3 tape helped me get it and its filled with songs like this. basically used a winning formula when it comes to content.

R. Who do you think is the most influential artists in US Hip-Hop (past or present)?
MDB. The most influential artist I have seen I have seen in 2pac.

R. What's your guilty pleasure?
MDB. Well I'm not a TV watcher but my guilty pleasure is playing madden... child hood past time lol.

Last but not least...

R. Dead or alive, who would be your dream collaboration?
MDB. Moss Da Beast and Michael Jackson would be my dream collab. They took that way from me unfortunately so I would settle for Jay Z.

Surfing in the Air is out now and available Here


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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Jack Kovacs

An audience-pleasing Jack Kovacs debuts "The State Line" at Hotel Cafè
Review: You come to a live show to get something extra you don't get by listening to an album. Jack Kovacs gave that something extra to us Saturday night at the Hotel Cafè, he gave us himself, in words, music and conversation. Billed as an EP release party, Kovac's appearance Saturday night was less of a party and more of a gathering of friends as he debuted his new EP, "The State Line". The crowd was tight and intimate at the storied venue, relishing his music and his just darn plain friendliness. In a world in which many performances are uncomfortable talking and seem at times to hide behind their music, Kovacs was not only comfortable conversing but in his wheelhouse. he obviously loves people and we loved him.

Kovacs and his person band took us on a melodic and introspective look into the mind of a young songwriter just beginning to discover his power. he has learned to inhabit the in-between spaces that separate public musical expression from internal contemplation. The result on an EP is poetic, dreamy, otherworldly; the results on stage is all of that, but also happy an energetic and very real. He took us into dreams and nightmares and made it all sparkle.


Kovacs filled us in on the backstory behind almost every song, but even when he didn't, when he sings and we know we have been there in the place his lyrics describe. Whether it is the strange and spooky "The Empty House" or the soft an sweet "Jenny", Kovacs connected with us and reminded us of our own dreams and thoughts and memories. carried by soft, precisely picked and strummed guitar, he brought back some people's past and foretold other's future, all the while keeping the conversation going, musically and otherwise.

He opened up slowly with mesmerizing title song "The StateLine", taking a full 5 minutes to transport us on Colorado road trip, signaling that this night was going to be an emotional as well as musical experience. Then brought us back to reality with a conversation about a girl he proposed to, "Jenny', and then sang us into a sunny day with her (he was coy about whether or not she said yes). He shifted into a more mysterious vein with "Something Strange", and then got even more mysterious - calling it "the Halloween part of the show" - with "The Empty House" sung ominously, harmonizing with his female accompanist. For fans who have seen then disturbing video, hearing it live brings back those images and make you shudder a bit. This must be a band favorite because they seemed to grow with energy and presence when the song started and the show moved to a higher energy level afterward.


He upped the tempo and brought us back to something close to reality with "Mariana Trench" and then encased us in total musical beauty - and a delicately picked banjo - with "Voice that Only Sings". All this after regaling us with a story about his grandfather's jacket which he was wearing, strange cults and a pocket-sized Rosetta stone.

Sensing that his audience was thoroughly with him and did not want a break, he moved through "Carolina", and "Human Nature" with his trademark mesmerizing harmony and intriguing lyrics. By the time he announced he had one more song, we were all quite happy and did not want it to end, but the finale, "Song of the Summer", was perfect. Starting gently, the music built up: the drumbeat amplified, the base throbbed and the bands voices crescendoed as they sang We are looking for a chance to be young/And listening for a brand new song to be sung/We will be ready for this moment for the rest of our lives. The audience was clapping and tapping and cheering and wanting more. And a few of us thought, he's right, as we looked back and forward over our lives.

The State Line is out now and available HERE


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LA. Correspondent
Patrick O'Heffernan

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Brett Saxon

A veteran of the Brooklyn scene, folk-rocker Brett Saxon's background blends the concrete streets of his adopted home with the wild terrain of his Minnesota raised youth. Through his electric worldview lens, Saxon's modern approach to acoustic led narratives evokes the sensibilities of influences like Elliot Smith, Bob Dylan and Wilco.

His latest release, Review of the End, extends the lengths of his musical storytelling by highlighting drama in relationships, or exposing holes in social politics. In the appropriate spirit, the LP was recorded with a number of journeymen session musicians, with Saxon leading the band and contributing the mood.

In the live arena, Saxon has been a fixture in and out of New York opening for acts like Bob Nanna, Della Mae and Laura Stevenson. Review of the End out NOW.


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