Andy Wilkinson

Genre: Contemporary Classical/Electronic

Discord

Andy Wilkinson (real name Andrew) has been playing piano and guitar for a while but has recently taken the plunge and shifted into producing, and what a shift he has made! Andy seeks to create new and interesting music, piano and various electronic-ee-ness are his tools. Andy is from Chelmsford, UK and is currently a University of Brighton student. Andy is new to this whole producing thing, but he is doing well and is creating something new and unique I enjoy listening to. On his bandcamp, Andy has two releases, Signals and Discord.

I decided to listen to Andy Wilkinson’s latest track on his soundcloud titled “Simulation: MRTX.” This particular track is very full and synthy, and features an interesting configuration of drum sampling. The piano is slightly repetitive, which reminds me of that whole minimalist movement which is something I’m into. Before you know it a guitar kicks in, and that completely shakes things up. Andy really does bend genres in such a way I cannot define. There is a good contrast from the beginning to the end of a song that creates a nice contrast, and showing some complex themes, but still very enjoyable and approachable as a listener with not an as developed ear.

Check him out below:

http://andywilkinson.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/AndyWilkinsonMusic/timeline

HILROY

Genre: Rap

Photo courtesy of: Reuben Gazer

Photo courtesy of: Reuben Gazer

Rap, Race, and Revolution. Welcome the magician who enchants the lyrics from the pages of a pink hilroy notebook. Hamilton’s very own rapper and poet, Reuben Gazer’s alter ego, HILROY creates witty backboned lyrics to an ingenious sampling of tracks. From the jazzy piano powered, The Way (ft. Goodzilla/prod. Polysonics), to beat-centered Magic Cypher (ft. Goodzilla, Eli Brass/prod. Polysonics), and the oh-so-familiar sounds of Love Club (ft. AshKlash/prod. Polysonics), HILROY’s debut mixtape H.Y.P.E. only shows off his talented musicality and the stellar work of his producers.

What stands out about HILROY and his music, is the truth to his lyrics. In each track much of the rap is based off of Gazer’s personal life experience. (In fact, the cover of H.Y.P.E features his older brother.) From his family to his full-time status as a physics student, you’ll hear everything about when “Gary lost his marbles…” to how “…dilation of the time is affecting [his] inner core.”

Gazer states, “I’m currently working on an EP which samples tracks from Teddy Pendergrass. My main producer – Little Vision put in work making these tracks, and they’re some of the most unique tracks I’ve come across. Look out for some undercover projects dropping this summer too.” Perhaps there will also be some future creations inspired by the Icelandic Compilation I lent HILROY the other day, as well as a list of bands including Youth Lagoon, Alt-J, and XXYYXX.

For now, get H.Y.P.E.d because there’s more where this came from – including the brand new video release of Dirty Dozen (ft. Goodzilla/prod. Polysonics):

P.S. If you pay close attention you’ll find that HILROY’s partner in crime – Goodzilla – is also his producer, Little Vision. Give this a spin at http://littlevision.bandcamp.com

Links:

https://twitter.com/HILROYmusic

https://www.facebook.com/hilroymusicofficial?fref=ts

 

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Rasputin’s Secret Police

Genre: Rock

Picture from Facebook

Rasputin’s Secret Police are a Rock duo which consists of two teenage friends named Brandon Ayres and Josh Phillips from Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania. The duo first began by experimenting in Ayres’ basement, according to their bio and in 2002 they got serious by taking charge in the underground Philladelphia music scene, as someone who is not too familiar with Philly’s music scene, let alone their underground music scene, I have to trust the fact that they have helped to shape it over the the past decade or so. Currently with Fleeting Youth Records (where I find a lot of bands) they have a decent following but I think they deserve more attention.

RSP have a distinct sound, a heavy one, somewhat grungy but not enough to throw me off (well obviously, I chose to write about them). Ayers’ vocals put me in somewhat of transe-like state, he sounds rough but slightly melodic which says a lot. I only had a chance to listen to some of Comfortable and it is quite good. The album notes state that it was recorded above a fishing and hunting retailer in Drexel Hill, on a digital 8 track recorder in 3 days, alone. Not niche, but appealing. Their use of only drums and guitar mixes well together with tons and tons of variance in each track. Rasputin’s Secret Police is gritty, kind of funny, and simply good music.

Check them out:

Music:

http://rasputinssecretpolice6666.bandcamp.com/album/comfortable

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/RSP6666/timeline

http://www.fleetingyouthrecords.com/2014/04/fyr012-rasputins-secret-police.html

Harm & Ease

Genre: Rock/Blues/Jazz

Photo courtesy of Rylan Whalen

Photo courtesy of Rylan Whalen

Hailing from Burlington, ON these local guys have made Argentina swoon with their jazzy blue rock. Composed of Rylan Whalen on vocals, Danny Lopez on guitar, and Alex Hamnett on drums, I was first introduced to the trio through a close friend and was immediately blown away by “the life of Harm & Ease“.

But how exactly did this life come about? What began as early indie rock, the experimental sounds of Harm & Ease eventually became the funky rocky blues it is today. Many influences came from older 60′s and 70′s music such as The Beatles, Crosby, Stills & Nash, and Led Zeppelin, as well as more modern bands such as The Red Hot Chilli Peppers or Portugal. the Man, but nothing has dominated the band like the “harm-o-nies” of Harm & Ease. Just as the band’s integral formation came from the juxtaposed duality between Lopez and Whalen, their music is a continual development and growth of their relationship – of the yin and yang between Whalen’s smooth silvery voice and Lopez’s progressions. With each resonation of Lopez’s strings, the simple partnership of voice and instrument has grown into a masterpiece of rolling tones and detailed guitar work.

Their dichotomy is illustrated on the cover of their upcoming self-titled album, to be released the end of July. As Whalen puts it, the artwork represents, “… the internal struggle each person faces between the good and the bad… integral not only to [the] album, but also to our music and is captured by our band name.” Each track is a reflection of the band’s travels and experiences. From the turbulence of Finer Scotch Whiskey to the simple frustrations of Capricorn Blues, Harm & Ease is sure to paint a dynamic picture as they continue to “…walk …the line where maps cannot find“.

In the future we may see the band introduce further elements. “…[O]rchestral music is something we’d really like to explore as I’m really inspired by the orchestral tones of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Beatles. The swelling orchestra really adds a depth of emotion”, says Whalen. As the talented trio is able to create such mature and intricate work already, I’m excited to see what destination they will reach – if one ever. Harm & Ease continue to explore and find “their sound” but perhaps this talented flirtation with genres is where comfort will always be found.

It definitely keeps up excitement and anticipation – much of which comes each week with the release of new songs on the Harm & Ease Youtube channel and up and coming music videos. Stay tuned for more – and welcome to the House of Ease:

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/HarmAndEase

https://twitter.com/HarmAndEase

Basketball Shorts

Genre: Pizza Rock

From Facebook

Ah Austin, Texas, what a place for music. This next band I came across is called Basketball Shorts which features Ben Seligson, Casey Jones, Daren Carter, and Lobby Bobby. Formed out of the Austin party scene, we get some nice fun punk rock music, or how they like to call it, Pizza Rock, which is something I find clever. On Facebook their interests are Fresh Mountain Air, Pizza, Beer, Drugs, and Hotdogs. These are a few of my favorite things.

The track I listened to is called “A Lot Of Things” which is part of their new album that is joint project with Surfin’ Mutants Pizza Party available on July 22nd via Fleeting Youth Records. This track is awesome, plain and simple. It has the voice type I like which is a combo between yelling and singing. As well as blaring drums and tight guitar. On top of that there are plenty of Woahs.

Check out Basketball Shorts, they are awesome!

Links:

https://basketballshortsatx.bandcamp.com/

http://www.fleetingyouthrecords.com/p/basketball-shorts.html

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Basketball-Shorts/550208355001864?sk=timeline

Plaitwrights

Genre: Alternative Hip-Hop

Illustration by Katrina Cristobal

Illustration by Katrina Cristobal

Toronto is a diverse city with many different types of music and a vast range of artists spanning every genre imaginable. Plaitwrights are a rapping/singing duo consisting of Angela Abrenica & Xylk Lorena. According to their bio which you can read on their facebook page, the two began as one is late 2010 and soon after put out their first release in 2011. The duo is backed by Charleston Relay, which consists of Alonzo Moore, Edrik Barroso, Peter Eratostene, and Matthew Jokhu. Plaitwrights states they are influenced by artists such as Outkast, Janelle Monae, and even Childish Gambino amongst others. On top of this, they have performed on the same stage as artists like Talib Kweli, Kardinal Offishall, and many more.

I listened to their track titled “Take” which comes from their debut EP CMYK. Firstly, I appreciate their natural, yet polished, musical production. Their music is not forced nor is it overly produced, but it does have that sort of, DIY appeal that many artists lack. Angela and Xylk have amazing chemistry moving between verse and chorus. On top of this, their music video is very well done. The concept of the hip-hop band is something I’ve seen many times, and is a cliche of sorts, but Plaitwrights are no cliche, they are original, virtuosic, and creative. In fact, I can’t stop replaying their tracks so please check them out!

Take:

Music:

Links:

http://www.plaitwrights.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Plaitwrights/235311969853834

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Fatima

Genre: Electro Soul/RnB/Jazz

Image pulled from www.dummymag.com

Image pulled from http://www.dummymag.com

So, I log on to Deezer one last time before I cancel my subscription (sorry Deez, your app needs a lot of work) and I see Fatima. She’s been recommended to me due to my interest in Thundercat… Uh, yeah, I’m totally going to click this. I open her Yellow Memories on Rdio and press play.

I could not believe my ears when I read that this was her debut. You don’t understand, this record is remarkably polished. The only feasible explanation is that Fatima’s soul has been body-swapping for decades, simply lying in wait for electro to catch up.

Flako’s dry, nostalgic bells in the background of the smoothly sentimental funk jam ‘Family’, remind me of the all-too-familiar, yet unique story we can all tell about our loved ones. However, nothing hit me quite like the dejected, strangled piano in ‘Talk’. Coupled with bass drenched in sorrowed reverb, Fatima’s wise and understanding method of vocally painting pictures had me peacefully sinking in a sea of my own subconsciousness.

Arriving to existence via Sweden, the UK based singer rolls with the London-based Eglo Records. Being a choir girl during her childhood and a songwriter at heart awarded Fatima with the musical aura that would naturally draw the top-seeded DJs and producers out from depths of the UK music scene.

Her first EP, Mind Travelin’ was distributed through Eglo in 2010, with 2011′s Follow You not far behind. I’m about to go listen to those.

For now, do yourself a favour:

facebook: /fatimasuniverse

Instagram: @vanillasundaecocoasunset (best username I’ve ever seen)

SoundCloud: /fatimasoundslike

 

 

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Antiparticles

By: Brandon Benguaich
Genre: Ambient/Psychedelic

Picture from Facebook

Antiparticles is the Brain child of oh Kyle Preston which started in his bedroom in Columbus, Ohio. His first EP was Letters. His second EP, titled Singularities was recorded in between physics classes which is appropriate considering the name, Antiparticles. After browsing for the internet I came across Kyle’s blog, and he seems like kind of an intellectual which comes out in his music.

I listened to the entire Singularities EP and it is pleasent to listen to, but still varied and interesting, full of synthesiezed ambient noises and hollow voices. One track I really liked was “A Moment Of Weakness (Love Me).” The layered guitar over a bass drum acting as a heart beat is harrowing. The title of the track is obvious in the musical content producing applicable imagery. Thats my two cents. If you are looking for new music, you came to the right place, Antiparticles does not seem to have much of a following, but maybe we can change that.

Check it out!

Music:

http://antiparticles.bandcamp.com/

Links:

http://www.antisounds.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Antiparticles

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Longest Winter

By: Quinn Flom
Genre: Acoustic Bedroom Pop

Picture from Facebook

Picture from Facebook

If you’ve been following this blog, you’ve probably heard of Spark Alaska. But the twenty-year-old Syracuse-based musician, Lorenzo Cook, is back with the release of his latest album, Longest Winter. Released just 9 months after his first full-length album, Longest Winter is another impressive Spark Alaska record. According to Lorenzo, “This is a record about being happy, figuring it all out, and long, long winters”. The album is composed of 10 tracks which showcase Spark Alaska’s unmistakable acoustic bedroom pop vibe. The songs are seemingly lighthearted, filled with claps and whistles, but the sound is juxtaposed by the painful sincerity of the lyrics.

I was instantly drawn into this album. From the cheerful opening track, “Little Ears”, to the closing track “Longest Winter Since ’93”, each song has a distinct sound. My personal favourite is “Portuguese Voices”.

Longest Winter is available to download for FREE (or pay what you can) on Spark Alaska’s Bandcamp page. A limited number of cassettes were also released through Shammy Tapes.

Check out the song “Portuguese Voices” below!

 

Links:
facebook.com/SparkAlaska
sparkalaska.bandcamp.com
soundcloud.com/SparkAlaska

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Lay Low

By: Cissy Suen
Genre: Indie/Folk/Blues

Picture taken from: http://laylow.is/media/images/

Picture taken from: http://laylow.is/media/images/

With 6 albums and an elegant smoky voice, it’s a surprise that Lovísa Elísabet Sigrúnardóttir has laid low in the North American music scene. Having starred in the 2009 film December, this Icelandic sweetheart has toured with fellow native Icelandic giants Emilíana Torrini and Of Monsters and Men. Born from a Sri Lankan father and an Icelandic mother, Sigrúnardóttir’s folky blue music come from her talents on the piano and bass guitar. On her most recent album, Talking About The Weather, Sigrúnardóttir added modern elements to her old-fashioned acoustics. The pronounced bass and beats not only pushed me to press the replay button over and over, but amplify her modulated voice to create the beautiful lulls of songs like “Our Conversations”.

For a sample of her older work, check out “Helganga” from the 2011 album Brostinn Strengur. Originally a poem by Þórhildur Sveinsdóttir, Sigrúnardóttir adds sweet acoustics and an ominous drum pattern. Meaning “holy dendritic” in Icelandic, the black and white stills in the animated video accurately accompany Sigrúnardóttir’s adaptation.

Take a listen and become swept away by this Icelandic beauty’s tunes:

Video:

Links:

http://www.laylow.is

https://twitter.com/lovisalaylow

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