Artist Review: FRND CRCL – “Famous” Single

Review by: Justyn W. Brodsky

It’s refreshing when a band like FRND CRCL hits the scene to remind us that melodic pop/punk is still alive and well. This articulate quartet of professional musicians not only have a solidified signature sound that is raw and melody-driven, but relentlessly fun and energetic as well. And their newest single “Famous” demonstrates their ability perfectly.

Accompanied by a colorful official music video with some clever meme-themed editing, this song launches into a dangerously catchy chorus that will have a very hard time leaving your head. Combining an indie pop-punk sound reminiscent of genre juggernauts like Blink 182, Alkaline Trio, Neck Deep and others of a similar caliber, FRND CRCL hones a unique style that is memorable, personal and elegantly crafted. The four musicians blend diligently and really showcase a type of self-awareness that most bands lack nowadays. Despite the song title, this band is humble and doesn’t portray an arrogance that leads you believe that they’re out just to chase fame. These dudes have fun with what they’re doing, and this song sends that vibe pretty much instantly.

With a pounding rhythm section, crunchy guitar chops and dual vocal melodies at the forefront throughout the song’s duration, “Famous” sets the bar high for the band and really delves into the band’s ability to write a catchy riff with melody choices that fit like a glove. The verses have a punchy groove and really gives you that rare feeling of intrigue when it comes to tightly knit songs angled more towards the newer era of pop-punk, but still maintains that wit and charm the genre has been known for since it started exploding back in the mid-to-late 90s. Overall, FRND CRCL puts forth a balance and composure that showcases each member’s influence in the band, conjuring a solid rock sound that sustains both originality and familiarity. “Famous” from the very first listen will be very difficult to get out of your head: and will stick with you long after it’s over.

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Artist Review: Wolfe Black – “Runaway” Single

Review by: Justyn W. Brodsky

When it comes to natural beauty, unwavering talent and insatiable passion for her craft, Wolfe Black is quite the trifecta. And it really shows on her newest atmospheric single “Runaway”.

Originally hailing from the landscapes of Australia, Wolfe Black has been establishing her musical foundation in the Montreal music scene in Canada, and so far has hit the ground running. Armed with this first single, a regional buzz and word of mouth, Black has been laying down the groundwork for big things in her horizon and “Runaway” is direct evidence of this.

Drawing a nostalgic reminiscence to award winning artists like Enigma, Sia and those alike, Black really focuses on bringing forth an atmosphere that is magical and musically sensual. Her vocal range is showcased very diligently and shines bright on every element this song conjures up throughout the duration of this single. Her melody choices are effective, her vocal approach is authentic and natural, and the overall production value of this song really shines the spotlight on Wolfe Black‘s signature exotic sound.

This is not only a song, it’s an emotional journey; one of those tracks that you can feel as it plays out. Black has one of those voices that can guide you, and she really takes the lead on this fresh single from start to finish. Another important component of this song is the consistency; there is a vibrant edge that touches on melodic swells, subtle simmers, as well as buildups that never let you down. It has a structure that is more adventurous than it is formulaic; which gives it the charm it needs to retain the staying power all hit singles should possess.

This is not your average single, and Wolfe Black is not your run-of-the-mill Pop singer. She truly breathes life into her music and harbors a passion that immediately draws you in. “Runaway” is one of those songs that will soothe the body, the mind, and remind you that you can get lost in the moment at any time. Just close your eyes and let this song absorb into you – you’ll see (and hear) exactly why Wolfe Black is an artist to be keeping an eye out for.

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Artist Review: Leaving Zero – “Get Your Body Moving” & “Coming Back For More” Singles

Review by: Justyn Brodsky & Bethany Stephenson

Some bands know how to grab you by the ears from the very first listen. They say first impressions are the most crucial ones, and can make or break a career when attempting to launch. In this case we have Memphis-based Hard Rock quintet, Leaving Zero, who immediately has hit the ground running.

For a band just starting out with their first two singles, these guys are an absolute mind blow. Their first single, “Get Your Body Moving”, does complete justice to the song title. It’s a heavy concoction of frantic guitar progressions, fierce tones, a heavyweight rhythm section, and a masterful vocal approach that steers the track into mid-to-high range ferocity. Drawing reminiscence to influential rock bands like Shinedown, 3 Doors Down and Stone Sour, Leaving Zero combines many versatile elements that deliver up a signature sound that is recognizable and original in their own right. Chris Autry’s vocals are authentic, full of attitude, and really delves into the band’s overall artistic merit as the cog of the machine. With a dangerously catchy chorus at the centerfold of the song, “Get Your Body Moving” does exactly what it advertises.

Moving on to their subsequent single, “Coming Back For More”, we get the same punch and precision as the predecessor, but this time with a more driving tempo and upbeat key signature. This one has a little more adrenaline but sustains the same amount of charm as the first single. Focusing more on the technical skill set of the drums and guitar work at the helm, this tightly fit track is comfortable like a leather glove and never lets up on the insatiable energy. Autry comes out swinging once again with more tasty vocal melodies that soar through each verse and reach a climactic feat by the time the chorus shows up. It’s a perfect follow-up to the last track and continues to showcase the band’s signature sound and each member’s influence on the overall execution of each song.

One of the most notable factors of these singles is the high quality production value. For a band honing their craft with a prominent hard rock sound in this modern era, the pre and post production is beyond the norm and exceeds expectations for a band just starting out. It sets the bar high for the band, and they are more than ready to reach those heights very few bands in this era really do. Both of these songs have mainstream potential and Leaving Zero is definitely a band I can see labels taking an interest in.

I’ve been in many bands for the last 23 years, and this is the type of group I’d love to write/jam/perform with. And trust me…I’m picky. Leaving Zero is just starting out, but not without a bang. Fans of this band will be impatiently waiting for a full length album, just like we are. You won’t regret giving these guys a listen.

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Artist Review: Alpha Circle – “Circles” Single

Review by: Justyn W. Brodsky

It’s a breath of fresh air when we come across a band or artist with true authenticity. A collective group with a nostalgic signature sound that brings us back to the good old days when good old fashioned quality songwriting was on the priority list. Alt/Rock quartet Alpha Circle is one of those cases, and for good reason.

With ambient reverb-accompanied guitar swells, a groovy rhythm section and intelligently crafted clean vocal melodies, this band’s newest single “Circles” is a massive sigh of relief in comparison to what we hear in today’s music market. This quartet of professional musicians come together to deliver a track that is not only effective, but sustainably catchy in its own right from the very first listen.

Alpha Circle is a rare find, a group that is true to themselves in a way that brilliantly reflects on their music in a way that shows the band in its forefront of artistic merit, musicianship quality, and versatility all wrapped up into one tastefully catchy package. With clean and crisp vocals driving the song forward from the very second “Circles” begins to play out, this track truly demonstrates the collective cog of the machine between all four musicians that bring their own diverse additives to the table. The rhythm section is tightly knit and cruises through each measure, the dueling guitar tracks are very effective and deliver their own standout when it comes to the track’s atmospheric textures, all topped off with vocal melodies that are especially strong in the chorus – which is definitely the highlight of this song.

One thing that is made apparent throughout the duration of “Circle” however is atmosphere – a feel-good vibe that not only carries the song, but pieces it together perfectly as well. It’s the type of song that never gets old. It utilizes an almost oldies sound, more reminiscent of 90s Indie Rock, with the perfect touch of today’s more favorable rock-infused touches. It’s a tasty combination that truly delivers up a sound that is flavorful, eloquent, and original in its own right as well as familiar to the music listener in search of nostalgia.

Another factor of this track is the authentic production value – there is no cheesy auto tune or post production theatrics needed to enhance the song into some electronic mess. It’s four musicians playing what they love, and each member shines on this single without the overuse of studio antics. A rare quality in today’s music industry.

“Circle” is a more than solid single that is driving Alpha Circle forward with diligence and are determined to bring the masses a future of unforgettable music releases. Once you take a listen to this song yourself – you’ll definitely see why these guys are well on their way to something much bigger.

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Listen to the single:

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Artist Review: NuJ4X – “Wilmas & Bettys” Single

Review by: Justyn W. Brodsky & Sydney B

If you’ve been one of our more dedicated readers over the last few years, then you’ll definitely remember elite Nashville DJ/Producer NuJ4X. And one thing this artist does consistently is continually exceed expectations with every release. And he does it again with his most recent hit single “Wilmas & Bettys”.

Paying a direct homage to the classic cartoon The Flintstones, this track grabs you from the very beginning, most notably the hook from the verses – which carries a Maroon 5 vibe, but much smoother and subtle. You will find yourself singing along to it on the very first listen, and easily could be a chart topper in its own right as well as the song that gives NuJ4X his introduction to the commercial market. In short, “Wilmas & Bettys” is catchy at dangerous levels.

This track has all the elements – vibe, catchiness, versatility and talent. But another thing it has most notably is sustainability – a way where the song sticks with you and can be appreciated through multiple listens without ending up stale or boring. It’s the kind of song where you wanna play it for your friends and see their first reaction.

This song borrows many components from today’s more contemporary genres, but has more than enough charm and wit to really stand on its own and carry massive weight. It’s an anthemic single that boldly showcases NuJ4X‘s raw talent and skills behind the mixing board ,as well as his vocal and songwriting structures that is consistent with his prior releases. But there is just something about this track that makes it completely unforgettable, and it’s done in a way without having to resort to pushing the envelope with post production theatrics. It’s good old fashioned solid songwriting – the most effective way an artist truly stands out among the crowd.

We’ve had Beckys, Dolls and Baes. But once you take a listen to this single, you’ll be searching for your Wilmas and Bettys in no time. It’s a clever branding song that is delivered up in a hit single format that puts other female-attributed tracks to the wayside. We dare you to get “Wilmas & Bettys” out of your head after the first listen – you won’t be able to do it. This song will get stuck on you. And you’ll be glad it did.

About the song:

Wilmas & Bettys is a song about surfing and surfer girls. The name “Betty” was a popular term for really attractive girls who surfed in the 1980s and a bit into the 90s as well. Betty is also the name of Betty Rubble from “The Flintstones” and Wilmas & Bettys is a clever double entendre for both of those names. The lyrics are built from actual surfing lingo. “Dawn Patrol”, “Ride A-Frames & Chase the Ghost”, “Barneys”, “Ankle Busters”, “Hodads”, “Bennys” “Get the Skinny” etc. All surfing terms. I wrote this song because I’ve always loved the ocean, always loved the beach, always loved surfing and the island / tropical lifestyle.

Listen to “Wilmas & Bettys”:

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Artist Review: Astara – “Take Me Higher” Single

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

We’ve had amazing female solo talent grace our platform over many years. But it’s rare that we run into an artist that is truly versatile, with music that is surreal from the very first listen. Astara is one of those rare occasions with her newest single, “Take Me Higher”.

Truly a visceral experience from start to finish, Astara‘s vocal approach in this song is unwaveringly enchanting, and a rollercoaster of emotions throughout the track’s duration. With catchy vocal melodies that you can tell were carefully structured to deliver a solid impact on each listener, Astara really showcases her versatility and multifaceted nature that really gives you an everlasting impression.

“Take Me Higher” is a soundtrack worthy song that has reverb-driven structures that tell a very compelling story as the song plays out. The production value is more than impressive, and the instrumentally structured elements really help bring out the best of Astara and truly develops her signature sound that is deep, emotional, with endless likability factors throughout. It’s the perfect track to get to know her music from the first listen, as well as a brilliant addition to her catalogue that her fans will absolutely appreciate.

This song is also a great balance between today’s mainstream sensibility and yesterday’s more alternative and pop influenced sound that really brought the genre to the forefront in the first place; and can be appreciated by all music listeners from several eras. Astara is a gem, and “Take Me Higher” demonstrates her authenticity and true talent that a lot of artists tend to lack in today’s era of convoluted genres and overproduced tendencies. Which is another factor that makes Astara truly stand out – she’s a natural in her craft that doesn’t need all the post production antics to deliver real music. Her style can fit among influential artists such as Sia and Mazzy Star, but with a more modern spin and original approach. It’s a truly refreshing sound that almost anyone can identify with.

If you haven’t heard Astara yet, then “Take Me Higher” is the perfect track to get to know her. We can’t recommend her highly enough.

Connect with Astara:

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

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/astaramusuc

•Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/astarasmusic

•Official Website: http://www.astaramusic.com

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Artist Review: Rob Georg – “Dust” Single

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

With bluesy guitar riffs, insatiably catchy vocal melodies and state of the art production value, Country/Blues & Rock recording artist Rob Georg shines bright on his newest single, “Dust”.

This song does not disappoint in the least. The quality of this track not only delves into a whole new realm, but also gives a nod to several influential modern Country artists with Georg‘s signature sound that showcases equal parts originality and familiarity; giving his audience a taste of something fresh yet still identifiable to anyone that resonates with his genre. It has that classic country slickness with the perfect dosage of Rock elements to really broaden the fan base and appreciation of what Georg’s music genuinely offers.

Georg‘s vocals are very direct, surreal and truly bring a solid melody to this song and really helps structure it properly. With great guitar progressions and a tight rhythm section to showcase the song, it really demonstrates how truly talented and authentic Georg really is, and really highlights his likability factors in all the right places. This is one of today’s modern Country tracks that should be on the Billboard, and it’s easy to imagine his music climbing this kind of feat. It’s not just recognizable in his genre’s realm, it also brings a new and wholesome sound to the table that is perfect for today’s modern music listener, as well as fans of the classic sound they’ve come to know and love.

Once you give “Dust” a listen, you’ll immediately know that this is a song you’ll be coming back to time and time again; as well as entice you to check out more of Rob Georg‘s catalogue.

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