After several decades of being in the game, St. Paul- based Rock and eclectic powerhouse Radio Drive has been making his way across the musical landscape far and wide, amassing new fans just about everywhere he goes, and not to mention, has graced our platform here in the past. And if it’s one thing we’ve learned about him, it’s that he always knows how to step up the bar each time. And he has done just that with his latest monumental effort “Cast Out Your Light”.
This anthemic and chorus-driven tune plays out like chapters in a book. Starting off with pretty piano measures and ambient guitar swells, the buildup into the vocals and strings really add subtle yet effective foreshadowing into the more gain- driven guitars and snare driven tempos and melodies; all just to bring that subtlety right back as a pre chorus that leads into the full blown chorus. It’s this formula that truly encapsulates Radio Drive’s aura and ambience when it comes to song structure, balance, as well as composure, his compositions are very big in their execution and his use of chorus really draws in your undivided attention. If this is your first time hearing him in his full glory, then this will definitely be the track for you.
This is also the type of a song that’ll keep you coming back for more; perhaps delving further into his discography both past, present and future. RD has a lot more on the horizon and it’s a promising one to say the least. You’ll absolutely love this newest anthem. You can hear “Cast Out Your Light” on Spotify, iTunes and several other streaming platforms. You’ll be glad that you did.
Hailing from the picturesque island of JeJu in Korea; a beautiful place that easily renders itself as the Hawaii of Asia, we find the successful climate and location of Indie/Pop-Folk/Rock Artist Matthew Smith. A rising Artist that so far has encapsulated an insatiable buzz with his highly eclectic and emotions-driven signature sound that gives off several nostalgic throwbacks to early-mid 2000s emo and folk, yet still implements fresh and innovative ideas. And with his newest album Back To Me, these crucial factors are made apparent from start to finish after giving the record a listen from top to bottom.
Matthew has a sound that is familiar but also provides a plethora of originality factors that serve up a style that perfectly implements a coherent balance of originality and familiarly; offering up a sound that is familiar yet identifiable to any of the indie genre. Opening title track “Back To Me” blissfully draws reminiscence to mid-2000s Spill Canvas record One Fell Swoop but there’s so much more brilliance among the song structures and mood shifts that Matthew himself puts into i hi s songs that also separate himself from that particular record as well. But either way, old fans of Spill will instantly fall head over heals for this song and immediately render themselves invested for what’s to come throughout the record’s duration. “Back To Me” is one of those anthemic openers that comfortably leads you in with Matthew’s more subtle vocal ques and tenderness, structuring his words in a way that gives it a more storytelling vibe all while paralleling the immediate vibes and moods the rest of his band are laying as the foundation. And as the somewhat-slower buildup takes place, your investment into Matthew’s craft rises right along the musicianship factors they collectively concoct into one big, anthemic song with an incredible climactic ending. This opener will leave a big impression on just about anyone upon first listen.
Another notable number is “Out Here”, a full band track that really brings Matthew Smith’s energy and versatility to the forefront. But despite how much energy is utilized in this song, Matthew undeniably effective subtlety still works diligently. This song just explores new depths, heights and multifaceted layers among the songwriting this album offers. It’s definitely a radio-worthy track with excellent crunchy guitar tones, a punchy rhythm section and some of Matthew’s more stronger vocals to accompany the shift in sound. Heavier fans will definitely take notice of this one.
One more album highlight is definitely the more ballad like and almost lullaby-stylized Tonight”, an unrelentingly gorgeous anthem with atmospheres of subtlety and ambient measures that are performed/sung in a way that will almost put you to sleep, in a very good way. It’s a soul soother from start to finish. The acoustic rhythms and subtle musical textures and additives make this song one you’ll be falling asleep to or perhaps listening to during a romantic dinner setting. Either way, the inescapable beauty in this song is impossible to go unnoticed. Any fan of any Indie era will appreciate this record in full without any reservations or hesitations.
The album is currently available now on Spotify, Apple Music, Youtube and many other streaming digital music platforms. You will not regret giving this one a listen.
For the last ten years, Austin-based Alt-Rock recording artist Jordan Hasto has emerged onto the market with his uniquely versatile and catchy signature sound; drawing influences from a vast array of industry heavyweights like John Mayer, Jimmy Page, and Marvin Gaye respectively. Since hitting the ground running, Hasto has diligently put out an array of eclectic releases that showcase his multifaceted songwriting, authentic performance value and several crucial angles of his musicianship factors that really shine a light on his ability to write wholesome songs with deeper meanings behind them. And Hasto’s two newest anchor singles are perfect examples of this formula.
The first single is “Blood Red Moon”, an upbeat track with a funky guitar progression, smooth rhythm section and soulful vocals with thought provoking lyrics that immediately draw you in from the very first verse. Jordan Hasto’s ability to create an anthemic and atmospheric aura on this track is very apparent, utilizing multiple instrumental layers in the arena-like chorus including keyboard swells, melodic harmony placements and chorus-driven backup vocals that truly give this song an ambient atmosphere. It’s a track that you will easily find yourself identifying with lyrically while also fully embracing the soul soothing nature of the song’s instrumental structures. If this is your first discovery of Hasto’s discography, then you’ll become an instant fan from this song alone. It delivers a first impression that will easily stick with you.
The second new single is the more crunchy guitar-driven “Where Is Home”, definitely the highlight of both tracks and completely compliments the other. This atmospheric number really encompasses Hasto’s mid-to-high range vocal melodies and makes great use of the same ambient formula as the other track, but this time implements more crafty chord progressions that allow Hasto’s vocal structures to perform more at the forefront while adding a more innovative Pop sensibility with its production value that definitely makes it more of a standout of its calibre. It’s an Alt-Rock song that diligently balances both originality and familiarity in a way that garners the listener with tastes of something completely fresh yet still identifiable with its doses of nostalgia that take place in several parts of the song.
Overall, Jordan Hasto’s newest duo of singles have immense staying power – the power to stay with you even long after its over. They will also definitely entice new listeners to do a deep dive into his discography as well as keep a close eye (and ear) on future releases. We can’t recommend these songs highly enough. They are currently available on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes and several other digital music streaming platforms.
San Francisco-based Identical-twin-duo The Harmalators have graced our platform before and are well known for their charismatically colorful and catchy signature sound; implementing catchy riffs and sing-songy choruses into a tightly knit package of Indie-Pop Rock goodness with a familiar yet innovative approach. Starting off as a power trio in 2005, this duo has written and released a vast array of prominent records and have been a constant routine request among listeners on radio stations nation, recently taking the #1 slot on Chicago’s BMS Radio.
Now in 2022, The Harmalators duo have put out some of their most notable tracks to date with the release of their newest album Time Portal To A Better Future, a 10-track collection of well thought out versatile songs that showcase several paralleled angles of the brothers’ performance and production value, serving up a tasty concoction of glistening guitars, anthemic vocals and dangerously catchy choruses that are bound to stick with you. “Dream Dream Of Waterfalls” is an excellent example of this formula, starting off with the chorus immediately to set the tone for the rest of the record’s aura and atmosphere. This track will easily charm fans of the older Rock sensibility that they grew up with, putting catchy and easy-to-follow vocals into a structure that showcases crispy guitar swells to give the brothers a complimentary sound you can easily identify with. It’s a nostalgic song with magical vocal melodies, and provides a lovable chorus that will undoubtedly stick with you long after it’s over.
Another notable track on this record is the acoustically-driven piano track “Clean Cool World”, a track with several layers of synth-y and electronic touches. This inspirational song has very atmospheric verses and leads into a simple yet effective chorus that once again never fails when it comes to catchiness. This song in particular is a more experimental effort on the record, shining a light on more musical angles that both brothers explore throughout the song’s duration. One more noteworthy track on this album is “On The Way to Heaven”, a more subtle piece with inspirational lyrics, a serene chorus with very effective backup vocals and an aura of peacefulness that will have you playing this one in your most relaxed state. It’s a feel-good song with a glistening atmosphere from beginning to end, with an almost Pink Floyd type of ambience. This song definitely lives up to its title and is definitely a standout of this album in both performance and execution.
Overall, Time Portal To A Better Future is an exciting release for The Harmalators duo and is definitely a step up from their previous releases. It’ll easily entice new listeners, satisfy current ones and will have you putting this record on repeat anytime you need a musical uplifter in your day. The album is available now on Spotify, Apple Music and several other digital music streaming platforms. You will not be disappointed in the least.
Emerging from the Minneapolis/St. Paul music scene, Alt-Indie recording artist and multi musician Kevin Gullickson (known under his solo monicker Radio Drive) has been writing, recording and releasing his own dynamic breed of eclectic Rock/Pop-oriented material since launching his solo career in 2008. Since then, he has undoubtedly hit the ground running and has amassed an impressive name for himself since emerging into the market; putting out an array of albums and releases at a frequent pace and constantly innovating his signature sound and stylization. He has received numerous glowing reviews and critical acclaim since his inception; receiving an array of airplay on several local and regional radio stations both in the US and Canada for his 2009 album Dream The Impossible, his sophomore 2010 follow up record Life Today as well as his subsequent release I Can See The World From Here. His release Life Today also hit the Top 40 charts on CJSW Radio in Calgary.
Fast forward to 2022 and Radio Drive has brought his inventive and cohesive sound full circle with his newest dynamic 4-track EP One Breath Away, comprised of some of Kevin Gullickson’s best work and most notable tracks to date. Each song is carefully crafted with fine detail, several coherent layers and a signature sound that touches on equal parts originality and familiarity; delivering a solid performance that brilliantly incorporates Rock and Pop elements from older more classic flavors and today’s more modern sensibility. It’s not only a record for fans of the classics, but also for today’s hungry music fans searching for the next fresh take on the genres they have come to love. Fresh from the EP, the song “Be Yourself Tonight” diligently encapsulates the aura and atmosphere that this particular record gives off. It’s a minor scaled piano-driven tune with layers of complimenting clean guitars and a cohesive rhythm section to tie it all together. Kevin’s mid-to-high range vocals are very magnetic and anthemic, encompassing a style that cross breeds Rock vocalists like Sting and Coldplay’s Chris Martin. His melody choices are not just coherent, but brilliantly arranged and executed. His upper third harmonies in the second verse and octaves in the chorus are immediate standouts in this song and really demonstrate Kevin’s ability both as a singer and songwriter. This track will easily impress anyone upon first listen.
Another notable track on this EP is the more upbeat “I Believe I Believe”, a song with several impressive instrumental layers and a dangerously catchy title hook. Definitely the sing-along track of the record, this nostalgic track has surprises around every corner ranging from heavier crunchy guitars, a female chorus of background vocals, violins/strings and an anchor hook that will likely stick in your head like glue. This track definitely has staying power, and will stick with you even long after it’s over. “Don’t You Know” is another track with beautiful string layers and really showcases more of Kevin’s vocal range and arrangements. This Rock number has a nostalgic 90s feel that sounds like a song directly imported from that era. This ridiculously catchy song has shades of REM throughout the track’s duration and the glistening harmonies in the chorus’s “don’t you know, don’t…you know” will be stuck in your head for weeks. Lastly, the acoustic-oriented “Moment By Moment” is the final track and is an anthem all about life and living in that important moment, day by day, hour by hour. This feel-good track is a straightforward song with some tasty three part harmonies and really has that oldies vibe going on, but still has that same innovative signature that Radio Drive is known for. This track fits on this record like a glove and really ties Kevin’s sound together into a tightly wrapped package, with the bow and all.
Altogether, One Breath Away is a record for those seeking that dose of nostalgia, but still being able to indulge in that modern twist that we frequently hear with today’s more contemporary artists. Every track could easily be a radio hit, and the production value diligently parallels the performance value from beginning to end. Kevin Gullickson serves up a tasty platter of Alt-Indie songs on this EP with several key elements in each one offering a more cohesive finish product in whole. It’s a record that will easily capture new fans, satisfy old ones, and entice any listener to dive into Radio Drive’s impressive discography – as well as stay up to date on future releases as well. This is an absolute must-hear in every way.
One Breath Away is available now on Apple Music, Spotify, iTunes and several other digital music streaming platforms. You’ll be more than glad you gave it a listen.