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: Chuck W – “Get Your Shit Together!” LP

Review by: Justyn W. Brodsky

With an exercise in innovation, experimentation and musical stimulation, Long Island’s Chuck W brings forth 4 years of in-depth puzzle pieces in every track of the frenetic, lo-fi synth-travel signature sound of his Get Your Shit Together! LP. An album that not only grabs you with persistent musicality, but imagery as well.

This instrumental album is comprised with a vast array of musical elements that range from clever looping samples, atmospheric textures, groovy tempos and jazz-infused outbursts that top off with a theatrical and at-times industrial edge. The track “Monoarm” is a grungy and multifaceted set of layers that sends us on an audio and visual journey. The ambient mood that underlies in this frantic track really demonstrates Chuck‘s dynamic behind the mixing board, as well as his songwriting structure that touches on many tangible elements that gives this song the push that it needs to enter your brainwaves. It’ll stick with you in a way you can’t really explain, but it’ll easily have you enticed to explore the rest of this album with your antennas for detail up. The rhythmic groove on this song is not only notable, but downright necessary. There are no blanks to fill on this track – Chuck covers all bases on “Monoarm” and really delves into detail that gives him undeniable versatility.

Veering over to the soundtrack-worthy “Jazz For A Rainy Day”, this creepy track lends an arm to a more theatrical take on Chuck‘s signature touch. This one gives you visuals and it really dives deep into the clever songwriting structures that is made apparent throughout the album. This keyboard-driven track really adds a fascinating parallel to the other songs on the album and really adds more concept to this multilayered musical journey.

Get Your Shit Together! is a nostalgic landscape of audio imagery that is immediately gratifying to the experimental sides of our brains. It has a wit and charm that speaks solely through instruments, structure and textures. Once you give this a listen, you won’t quite be the same again. But you’ll keep coming back to this album to go through each measure of detail, trying to capture every puzzle piece of the in-depth structure that Chuck W conjures throughout this album’s duration. You can’t go wrong with this album – there’s nothing else like it.

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Artist Review: BiGG$ – “Marijuana Memories (prod. by Novmber)”

Review by: Justyn W. Brodsky

Get ready for a feel-good track with a fresh new vibe, because on-the-rise Hip Hop pioneer BiGG$ is doing big things for the vital future of Hip Hop. And he continues to push forward in his career with the recent release of his popular single, “Marijuana Memories”.

As a track that draws in both old school and modern sensibilities, this is a song that has insatiable passion, clever punchlines, and a feel-good aura that delves you into what BiGG$ is all about – creating effective and addictive tracks that stay with you far after the first listen. Carrying an ambient beat that is more subtle, well-paced and at-times nostalgic, the flow from BiGG$ dynamically crafted lyricism really shines in the forefront and never waivers from the song’s identity and self awareness. It’s a laid back track that lets us know to enjoy life a little more, and to relax with a good quality doobie.

The production value is notable and impressive; putting a visceral and modern spin on old school flavors that mix together like good weed and fine wine. BiGG$ has an established and direct approach in his vocal delivery, yet still knows when to incorporate that subtlety in all the right places to make “Marijuana Memories” the gem that is really is.

His lyrical structures are intact and never attempt to outdo/overdo itself in any way. The post production offers more magical touches than anything else – keeping a level ground to walk on throughout this track’s duration. We’ve heard many marijuana concepts in many Hip Hop tracks, but this one is a definite standout and could easily get a Snoop Dogg approval. BiGG$ is doing big things, and it’s tracks like “Marijuana Memories” that is helping pave the way for the rising artist. You will not regret putting this song on repeat.

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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: Ples Jones – “Sounds Of The Mind” LP

Review by: Justyn W. Brodsky & Bethany Stephenson

Today’s era of Electronic Music and Hip Hop can be very convoluted with all the sub genres that conjure from today’s contemporary run-of-the-mill artists. It’s a big industry with a persistent rise of up-and-comers from platforms like SoundCloud, DatPiff and those alike. While those platforms remain true to form, it’s hard to stand out from this massive crowd. But every now and then you run into one of those rare gems that truly is a standout of their caliber. And a shining example of this gem is Pittsburgh-based Electronic DJ and Producer Ples Jones with his latest LP “Sounds Of The Mind”.

As the title suggests and perhaps putting one of the freshest takes on today’s Electronic Music standard, Jones comes out swinging on every track of this album and brilliantly showcases his versatile craft by setting a nostalgic tone to his signature Chillhop sound. Specializing in R&B and House music, Jones conjures a refreshing vibe to the table that dynamically puts his skillset to the forefront with exceptional precision and authenticity. He’s been honing his craft behind the mixing board for 15 years, touching on his love for Jazz and Soulful R&B additives to a very addictive Hip Hop sound that is reminiscent with yesterday and today’s more elite producers.

“Sounds Of The Mind” really sets the perfect nostalgic tone in consistency and never waivers from the nostalgic flow Jones brings to each track with his clever production techniques and versatile compositions. With tracks like “Alonzo’s Groove”, “Apologia” and “Bleu Light” to kick this record off, you immediately get a grasp on Jones‘ ability to create tracks that touch on several genre elements that blend very tastefully. The beats and rhythm sections that carry each song drives every electronic-infused melody perfectly and really delves into a craft that touches on equal parts originality and familiarity. Carrying over to “Cherish”, this track serves up a classic R&B style that really puts soul into the record. It is refreshing goodness with that perfect beat that reminds us how R&B was meant to be. The standout on this album, however, is feature-artist track “Drop”. A Hip Hop track with EDM touches that features brilliant lyrical hooks and bars from feature artist Phantom. This sweet concoction delivers an array of genre blending, vibrancy, consistency and everything in between to make this song completely unforgettable and a home run on the album.

“EmpPHATic” is a synth-driven tune that continues to drive the R&B element forward and really helps carry weight on this record with its vibrant setting and ambient flavor. “Late Nite Snack” brings us more of that nostalgic feeling this album has demonstrated from the beginning while “Married To The 90s” and “Shine” are more upbeat and animated in their execution. These four tracks in particular really give us a deep dive into the diversity of Ples Jones‘ production value and garners a dynamic quality that is rare among today’s DJs and EDM creators. The next feature-artist standout track “Quien Tiene Boca (feat. Alba Santos)” is a tasty R&B flavor with an amazing Spanish vocal delivery and soulfully crafted melody. The vocal mix on this song in particular is more than notable as it is beautifully performed. This one will get your heart fluttering. “Rise” is another female-featured track with a sound reminiscent to Sia with its own special touch. Featuring female singer Liz Cirelli, this dreamlike sequence brings new heights to the album with a sense of climax and anticipation as the track plays out. It’s brilliantly mixed, perfectly executed and adds more layers to this record while remaining consistent in the overall signature sound.

The bass and beat-driven “Santorini” is edgy and industrial with a darker tone in its delivery and fits like a glove with the predecessors on the record. “Shine (feat. Late Nite Vegas)” is the perfect subsequence that also captivates a darker tone with an upbeat flow and clever production narrative, while closing track “The Realization” brings us a synth-infused light at the end of the tunnel as a perfect album closer. Altogether, creating an innovative and creatively effective album where all the pieces fit no matter how many times you hear it.

The best thing about “Sounds Of The Mind” is the execution of each song with top of the line production value. Every track flows perfectly to the next while keeping consistency afoot with nostalgic vibes and tasteful genre blends. This album is not just recommended, it’s an absolute must-listen in its own right and demonstrates a very versatile skillset that Ples Jones showcases from beginning to end. This album has staying power with an ability to keep you coming back for more. You’ll be more than happy you gave this album a spin, and this record will definitely entice you to look deeper into Ples Jones‘ artist journey.

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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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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.

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