Exclusive Artist Review: Nick Duane – “Broken Promises” Album

Emerging from the Providence, RI and prominent surrounding New England scene, rising Indie artist Nick Duane has been building an insatiable buzz throughout the landscape since his inception into the music realm with his debut album Confessions in 2011 and hasn’t slowed down in the slightest. Encapsulating a signature sound that diligently blends an ambient 80s/90s Indie Rock sensibility with today’s more modern approach, Nick Duane’s uniquely captivating songwriting and lyrical concepts have truly manifested into something that is both original and versatile in its execution; drawing in fans from many different musical backgrounds and tastes.

With a slew of releases under his belt since his debut record, the recently released fourth album Broken Promises is a true pinnacle of Nick Duane’s craft and really showcases his dynamic ability to put together a collection of songs that captivate your attention with his classic yet futuristic Indie Rock sensibility. Completely self produced and written, this 12-track record sets a tone that is both anthemic and atmospheric. Each track compliments the next and Nick proves that he truly knows how to write/tell a cohesive story both lyrically and instrumentally. Comprised of rhythmic grooves, crunchy guitar progressions, ambient key textures and anthemic vocal melodies, Nick delivers a solid execution on this record equally between the factors of performance and production value. His mid-range Bowie-style vocals fit his Indie style diligently and his thought provoking lyrics offer up a futuristic flow that is both interesting and original.

One of the notable tracks on this record is opening track “Anything”, a rhythmic song with a smooth bass line, crisp guitars and a catchy vocal progression that really sets the tone for the rest of the album. This song especially delivers very cleverly crafted keyboard riffs and smooth guitar leads, so Nick’s musicianship factors are very apparent as this track plays out. Another standout on this album is “The Old World”, an atmospheric tune with beautiful synth swells and guitar textures. This song especially shines a light on Nick’s versatile songwriting approach and really adds several new layers of depth. This song has hints of The Cure and Pink Floyd in it, which compliments Nick’s overall approach on this record and really explores a fresh angle of his musicianship factors.

One other notable track on this record is the album single “Birthday Greetings”, an acoustically driven anthem with several atmospheric layers and textures that brings Nick Duane’s signature sound to the forefront. This soothing track has very rhythmic progressions and leads that compliment each other throughout the song, and with Nick Duane’s story-telling vocals at the helm partnered with effective vocal melodies, this song truly hits it out of the park and brings every element of this record into one tasty flavor. Fans of the Dark Side of the Moon album will especially love this track, but even with nods to some of the original Rock greats throughout the record, Nick’s style is completely versatile, original and insatiably catchy. Any fan of the Indie Rock genre, no matter the era, will appreciate this record in full. It brilliantly brings together the essence of old school flavors and today’s more futuristic and modern musical realms, all stirred into one solidly anthemic tasty stew that is Broken Promises.

The album is currently available on Nick Duane’s official website along with Spotify and BandCamp. You’ll be more than glad you gave it a listen. You will also be enticed to do a deep dive into Nick’s discography and history.


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Artist Review: Kevin Borland – “Talking To Dead People” Album

Orlando, Florida’s Kevin Borland started making his impact in the music world with his 2016 debut album ‘Harbor City Meltdown’, a record that handsomely boasts his artistically progressive pop/alternative rock signature sound with a stylization that is original and dynamic. Tackling the realm of music with many successful releases under his belt over many years, Borland has a true knack and passion for being a composer/solo artist with several crucial influences from industry heavyweights like David Bowie, Peter Gabriel, as well as guitar pioneer Steve Vai.

Consistently putting out an array of notable releases since his debut in 2016, Borland has manifested into a thriving and rising solo artist, upping the ante with every record in terms of catchiness, coherence, creativity and originality. And this is heavily apparent with his newest album ‘Talking To Dead People’, a 15-track juggernaut that brings Borland’s colorful musical landscapes into to the forefront with cohesively catchy guitar riffs, progressive keyboard measures and melody-driven vocals fused together with well thought out lyrical themes. The track “Spoon Without a Fork” is a good example of this. With an unwavering groove from start to finish at the helm of this song, this track’s bass lines really tighten up the rhythm section in a way that drives the song in a dynamic direction alongside the story-telling narrative of Borland’s vocals. Topping the flavors off with prog/rock-style single-picking guitar riffs, this song is a standout of the album with its innovative verses and dangerously catchy chorus alongside all of the layers this song peels back as it plays out. If this is your first time hearing Kevin Borland, then this song will leave you with an insatiably unforgettable impression.

Another notable track on this record is the synth-driven “Autographed Picture of a Robot Dog”, a more jam band kind of approach with a gritty, bluesy rotund low end carrying an ominous melody that reminds you of the London nightlife. This song is anthemic, atmospheric and continues to demonstrate Borland’s inventive lyrical narratives – giving this song a distinctive edge that is sharp, witty and altogether innovative. Every part of this song is put together very diligently, especially the background vocal layers in the chorus that really give the entirety of this song’s melody an enhancement of compliments and style. It’s a brilliant listen from beginning to end and really solidifies the album’s overall tone.

One other song that really stands out on this record is closing track “No Love in the USA”, a more upbeat track with cruising tempos, diligently paralleled keys and guitars, and a big chorus that encompasses an anthemic arena of catchiness. This crafty closeout song not only wraps the record up with a shiny bow on top, but also entices you to start the record over again and do a deeper dive into Kevin Borland’s discography altogether. One thing this album has especially is multi genre approaches without crossing into absurd genre-mixing territories. It’s not some experimental craziness, it’s a diligently-composed and brilliantly themed collection of songs with crafty thought provoking lyrics that implement artistic outbursts of spoken word measures that really lend to the theming aspects of each song – coherently showcasing a signature sound that’s not only effective, but innovative in its execution as well. The attention to detail is amazing not only in terms of writing, but the performance factor as well. The production value is on point and doesn’t outdo itself in any way throughout the record’s duration. All in all, ‘Talking to Dead People’ is hands down Kevin Borland’s best release effort yet and will definitely hold a high regard upon those giving him a first listen. Those who are just discovering him will especially be impressed and will likely find enticement to go down the rabbit hole of Borland’s past releases, as well as pay close attention to the prospect of future ones as well. This album will not (and does not) disappoint in the slightest. ‘Talking to Dead People’ officially drops in June of this year and will be available across all digital music streaming platforms.


Connect:

•Official Website: https://www.kevinborlandmusic.com/

•Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KevinBorlandMusic

•YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqBEbImP6SgSCYUhdMXpfQ


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Exclusive Artist Review: Sarah Rae – “Crimson Rose” Single

Atlanta-based recording artist Sarah Rae has graced our platform before and left an undeniable impression on our readers. Her distinctive, ambient signature sound has paved the way for her to a thriving career, recently signing with indie label Bentley Records who is helping her gear up for touring in 2022 as well as her subsequent releases. So today, we bring Sarah Rae back into the spotlight with last week’s release of her newest single “Crimson Rose”, proving that she continues to hit the ground running from all directions.

“Crimson Rose” is a retro wave, 80s synth pop tune written about the highs and lows of human connections, and letting things go. It’s an emotional song with anthemic vocal melody placements that truly showcases Sarah Rae in the most effective angles throughout the song’s duration. Comprised of melodic alt-emo guitar swells and progressions accompanied by very multi layered synth leads, Sarah Rae’s vocals are a complete standout of their calibre that delivers a diligent range of emotions and projections. You can feel her passion, her energy and her insatiable appetite to serve up an anthemic song with unrelenting staying power. And that’s one thing this single definitely has – staying power, the power to stay with you even long after it’s over.

“Crimson Rose” is a powerful release for Sarah Rae that continues to raise the bar and reach new heights. The rising artist has really manifested into an innovative artist that is constantly climbing the incline in a way that leaves every listener with an everlasting impression. Both old and new fans will have endless love for this song and her flavorful vocal style that is made very apparent from beginning to end, especially on this distinctively atmospheric track. “Crimson Rose” released on August 4th and is available now on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes and all other digital music streaming platforms.


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