Exclusive Artist Review: West Of House – “Drown The Wind” Album

We’ve reviewed and featured West Of House before and these guys do not disappoint. With 2021 in full force nearing the end of summer, the alt-rockers have put out a subsequent album release that surprised just about everyone that knows them, and intrigued a plethora of new listeners as well. And that release is their newest album ‘Drown The Wind’, which is easily their best effort to date that really brings their signature sound right to the forefront.

Comprised of 11 anthemic and atmospheric songs, ‘Drown The Wind’ is an alt-rock album that encompasses the band’s artistic merit while combining crucial elements from 90s industry heavyweights like REM, Coldplay and Oasis. Anchor single “Entwined” is an excellent example of this and really delivers the production and performance parallels that set the tone for the rest of the album. The song begins with some dynamically executed time signatures, showcasing the band’s driving rhythm section and dueling guitars that bring out the brilliance of the well-written vocal melodies. It’s a very multi layered mix that shines a light on each band member where you can easily hear each of their individual contributions into one precise unit. Another anchor track on this record is “Fall Down”, featuring a glistening mandolin intro that is anthemic, melodic and insatiably versatile. This melody-driven track really showcases the high-range vocals that once again really encapsulate into melody choices that are very next-level. The song is hauntingly ominous, ambient and really adds a layer of magic to the album that puts the band at the top of their game. This is a song that sustains a standout all on its own and will easily be one that people will be talking about.

One more track that needs mentioning is “Where To Begin”, another atmospheric tune with visceral synth parts that implement alongside the chord progressions and add a layer of detail that is crucial and effective. This one is a little more rhythmic and has climactic measures that really serve up a wholesomeness not heard often with independent artists. This track also embraces melodic structures like the previous song, but also diligently blends more atmospheric guitar swells and smooth bass lines. This will easily be a favorite on the album right alongside the sensibility we heard with “Fall Down”. Overall, West Of House have really set the bar higher for themselves and continue to manifest magically with every release. You can hear the evolution of their own signature sound but still get a dose of nostalgia from great callbacks to the 90s alt-rock sound that we’ve come to know and love over many years. ‘Drown The Wind’ from start to finish is brilliantly crafted, melodically visceral and really explores the depths of combining originality and familiarity. You can get your copy of the album now on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes and several other digital music streaming platforms.


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Exclusive Artist Review: Cornelius Wright – “Bandit” Album

Rising Hollywood rapper Cornelius Wright began heating up the streets with his distinctive bars and hooks since his inception into the market in 2011. Originally hailing from Chattanooga in Tennessee, Wright’s gritty and innovative signature sound has garnered him an insatiable growing fan base and the independent artist over the years has proven to be a standout of his calibre with both his talent and work ethics collectively.

Now in 2021, the manifestation of Cornelius Wright’s craft comes full circle with the album release ‘Bandit’, comprised of nine hypnotic tracks that diligently showcase his own unique breed of Hip Hop with several crucial musicianship factors and cohesive elements as a songwriter. After the success of his first two singles earlier this year, Wright knew that he’d have to come out swinging with his follow-up release after already setting the bar high for himself. True to that notion, he did exactly that with ‘Bandit’, which is also a milestone for him considering it’s his debut album. There are many highlights on this record, and one of those highlights is opening track “Shine (feat. Maal the Pimp)”, an excellent banger that sets the tone for the rest of the album with Cornelius Wright’s aggressive and witty flow that gives him his distinctive stylization. This heavy-bass beat is very ambient and really gives Wright room to deliver an effective and dangerously catchy chorus alongside visceral verses that parallel each other brilliantly. This track opens the record powerfully and really serves up many crucial flavor throughout the song’s duration.

Now while this album has very innovative ideas and formulas, it also touches on originality and familiarity within the underground spectrum with the track “It’s Dark And Hell Is Hot”, boasting a flavorful 90s sensibility that showcased Wright on a whole different angle. And one thing he maintains in this track is his ability to be consistent while exploring other directions. His artistic merit is just as effective even when the formula changes, something not heard often in today’s market for Hip Hop. The beat on this track has an anthemic and subtle overtone that allows Wright to have plenty of breathing room to deliver his distinctive style of lyrical outbursts, giving us more of what we’ve come to know on this album while implementing new approaches as the cohesive measures play out.

One more notable track on this record is “Dusk Til Dawn (feat. Vanessa Krauss)”, a hauntingly ominous song with R&B components which diligently enhance the multi layered textures already present in the song. Vanessa Krauss vibes on this track with a hypnotic vocal melody in the chorus that really adds a multitude of flavor. Wright brings out a more low-toned vocal delivery that builds up to a climactic resolution, keeping the listener on the edge of their seat. Once again, this track is another example of the different effective angles that take place throughout the album, almost like chapters. But they are coherently structured and put together in a way similar to how puzzle pieces form the entirety of an overall picture. And that’s what we get with ‘Bandit’, many chapters and milestones with each song being the contributing factor to a collection that forms one big picture and payoff. And once it comes together, you look at in awe and come back to it time and time again to admire its presence and influence. This album will easily satisfy any Hip Hop fan whether it’s old school or new school – it has a bit of everything and never leaves a stone unturned. You can get your copy of ‘Bandit’ now on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes and all other digital music streaming platforms.


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Exclusive Artist Interview: Nightbird Casino

Rogue Valley, Oregon-based quintet Nightbird Casino emerged onto the scene as a duo and in the last six months have manifested into the fully functional unit they are today. Known for their ambient and cohesive indie signature sound and inspired by prominent 90s artists like Hum, Interpol, Silverchair and Radiohead, the band formed in 2017 and quickly began hitting the ground running, putting out a handful of prominent releases since their inception into the market and proving that their artistic merit is more than deserving of your undivided attention.

Now in 2021, with their highly anticipated upcoming LP ‘Russian Carpet’ slated to release in two days on September 5th, we got a chance to sit down with the members of Nightbird Casino for a comprehensive interview where we got to discuss the past, present and future of the band.


How long have you guys been active under your artist/band name?

Nightbird Casino has been around in some fashion since mid-2017. The band was started by myself (James Moore, lead vocals/guitar/piano) and Don Shepherd (guitar/piano/backing vocals). We met in a tribute band and branched off to start writing our own original music. It took until 2020 for us to get serious and actually write a full album. It wasn’t until early 2021 that we recruited our other three members (Oliver Orion – drums / Amanda Moore – ondes martenot/keyboards / Patrick Manville – bass) and really took off.

What music scene/city do you currently represent?

Currently we live in Medford, which is in southern Oregon – but there’s not much of a music scene here at all. We’re originally from LA, so ultimately I’d say we have much more of an LA vibe than a rural Oregon vibe.

The pandemic has really thrown a wrench into the live music experience and for artists altogether. How has it affected you and your career (if at all)?

It’s been a mixed bag for us. On the downside, we haven’t been able to tour, which has been frustrating of course. It’s pretty difficult to build an audience without playing any shows. On the plus side, it’s allowed us an enormous amount of time to write and record. I doubt we would’ve finished two full LPs, a live album, an EP, and four singles in just over a year if it weren’t for the pandemic.

What are some of your music influences?

There are five of us in this band and we all draw from different influences. Some of those might include some more indie/alternative rock artists: Interpol, Radiohead, The National, King Krule, Modest Mouse … a lot of early 90s grunge i.e. Nirvana, Bush; The Beach Boys are a big influence, lots of classical music too.

What kind of concepts do you tend to write about as an artist? Shine some light on that.

I don’t have a particular subject matter I plan out when writing lyrics, but I think most of our songs have themes of alienation and anxiety running through them. I tend to use intimate personal stories and dreams as metaphors for more big picture concepts about what’s happening in the world. Frequently I’ll find out what I was writing about after the song is finished… lyrics are usually the last part I finish. I’ll write down words and phrases and stream of consciousness ideas and then I look at it all and think ok, what is this about? What was my subconscious trying to say through these lyrics? There’s also a pretty prominenttheme of psychedelia and the psychedelic experience that comes up again and again.

If you could put together a dream show or tour, what bands/artists would be on the bill?

Oh gosh, that’s a hard question. We’d love to tour with Radiohead or Modest Mouse, I think our style of music would make sense with those bands.

When is your next release coming out?

Our 2nd LP, Russian Carpet, will be released on September 5, 2021. (on all streaming services everywhere, physical copies available to purchase via our website nightbirdcasino.com).

•What’s in store for you in 2021? Give us the goods.

So much. Our second LP Russian Carpet will be released in a few days as I mentioned. We also have a live album / video series that’ll be released in some fashion later this year. Also, with a full band in place and some covid restrictions easing, we’re finally able to start playing shows and touring. We’re currently planning a west coast tour as we speak. Also also, we’re in the beginning stages of LP3 – we’ve just started putting together some ideas for new songs and we’ll be recording that in – hopefully – early 2022 with Matt Talbot of HUM.


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