Exclusive Review: Susana Esono – “My Baby” EP

Review by: Justyn W. Brodsky

Cover Art for Susana Esono’s debut EP

Every artist is inspired by someone, something, or perhaps by an event in their life that gives their life some kind of direction. And through the trials and tribulations of losing someone very close to her, R&B recording artist Susana Esono‘s debut EP “My Baby” delves deep into the tragic loss of her brother along with the concept of mourning stages.

Through her heartfelt lyrics, you can hear and feel Susana‘s pain as she brings out an array of emotions in her opening title track “My Baby”. With an authentic vocal style infused with delicate piano progressions driving the song, this highly emotional track is reflective and really touches on the concept of how someone can be taken out of your life in the blink of an eye without warning. The tracks “Save It” and “In Addition” continue to echo this sentiment through many other angles of the emotional mourning process, carrying on the crafty piano themes that put an effective parallel between the moods and lyrical concepts.

Her song “Wanna” is a beat-driven track with flavorful R&B additives and gives this EP a versatile edge. The concept stays consistent with relatable lyrics and continues to reflect the many facets of Susana‘s journey of turning emotion into art. And then finally leads into closing track and previously released single “Work From Home”, the catchy 2019 song that began mapping out Susana‘s music career and winning the hearts of many.

As a young thriving artist, this debut EP puts Susana Esono off to a great start, and definitely creates anticipation into what she puts out next. “My Baby” is full of real emotion, eclectic lyrical textures and relatability factors that just about any R&B listener can appreciate. You can find the EP on Apple Music, Spotify, and all other major music streaming platforms as well as Susana‘s official website.


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Exclusive Review: Andrew Farstar – “Classics” Album/LP

Review by: Justyn W. Brodsky

Cover Art for Andrew Farstar’s “Classics” LP

This album of classics, just like the album name ‘Classics’ suggests, is a nostalgic treat from the way-back-when machine that features a vast array of songs from renowned artists that we’ve come to know and love over many years. With the voice of Sydney-based artist Andrew Farstar at the helm of this record, tackling these beloved anthems with a modern and youthful approach that gives us a whole new perspective on these high profile covers, ‘Classics’ is not just a run-of-the-mill tribute or half hearted renditions, it’s a visceral reimagination.

Featuring chart-topping hit songs on the record that includes classics like “Your Song” (Elton John), “I Don’t Wanna Lose Your Love” (Crystal Gayle), “Sealed With a Kiss” (Brian Hyland), and many more, Andrew Farstar breathes new life into these songs with a modern millennial signature sound that brings out a whole new world to songs that have been loved for decades by a widespread of fans from many different generations. His versatile and multifaceted mid-to-high range vocals are precise and punctual as they are charming as well. He also brings these tracks out in a way that could resonate with younger generations, who will find an entirely new perspective and appreciation for songs older generations may or may not know…but most likely definitely do.

The musicianship factors and production value parallels perfectly with both performance and structure. A lot of the tracks have a distinctive sound that could be reminiscent of artist pioneers like Tony Bennet, Frank Sinatra, Michael Bublé, James Arthur, Harry Connick Jr., and those of a similar caliber. But, when it comes to the overall execution, Andrew finds a way to truly make these songs his own reimagining in a way that gets us to appreciate these classic tunes in a whole new spectrum. Basically, if the renowned artists that wrote these songs took a listen to Andrew‘s versions, they’d be definitely mind blown at the brilliant balance between the insatiable feeling of originality and familiarity he brings to these songs. It’s an album of nostalgia, skilled musicianship, and a demonstration of making something completely your own when it comes to artistic merit.

You’ll love every rendition of these songs that Andrew has put together and will remind you that these songs still can have a major relevance in your life. You’ll love ‘Classics’ from beginning to end, unconditionally. You’ll be glad we recommended this to you. You’re welcome.


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Exclusive Review: Alexia Madrid – “For Me” Single.

Review by: Justyn. W. Brodsky

A little spice, a little sweetness, and multifaceted textures of acoustic guitar swells and vocal auras is what creates a soothing signature sound for the upcoming indie starlet Alexia Madrid an absolute gem in today’s musical realm. The Toronto-based artist (who also attends college in Calgary) is currently in her first active year in her solo career, and her debut single “For Me” is direct indication that she has hit the ground running and has no plans on stopping.

This talented, young artist has a soothing voice that not only projects unwavering musicianship, but her passionate vibes as well. Her well-placed melodies are effective but are also projected at the right moments throughout the song’s duration; giving us a glimpse into many different angles of Alexia‘s artistic merit that range from Pop, R&B to Soul. She’s not just another random girl that decided to wake up one day and become an artist, but instead, discovered a part of herself that was always there; a versatile songwriter and performer coming out of her own shell. And “For Me” is a song that demonstrates this part of her completely, she has debuted her craft diligently and really shines bright throughout this track and shows the world around her that she has what it takes to fit right in with the brighter circle of stars and winners that come from the likes of places like The Voice, American Idol, and those alike.

The production value of this song is elegantly put together and has glistening dueling guitar parts EDM touches, digital drums and other post production theatrics that fit this song with insatiable attentiveness to detail. And that’s one of the strongpoints to this track – it has enough detail to keep you interested, but still leaves enough room to showcase Alexia‘s impressive vocal range and melody choices, which gives this track a perfect introduction into Alexia‘s career and overall sound. Once you take a listen to this song, you’ll build enough up anticipation to hear what she has coming out next.

“For Me” officially drops April 24th, 2020, this Friday.

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Artist Review: Katie Veltri – “Catch Me” Single

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

Bringing acoustic grooves and rhythmic Blues to the forefront with sensual vocal techniques that speak to the soul, recording artist Katie Veltri encompasses new ambient territory with her newest single “Catch Me”.

“Catch Me” is definitely catchy. It’s a timeless track with jazzy guitar chord progressions that really facilitate the anthemic vocal melodies to make each measure really count. Katie‘s voice is tender, natural, and really puts emphasis on how she projects every line of her clever lyrics this song has to offer as the track plays out. The guitars also have a spiciness and aura that brings a true uniqueness to the modern rhythm this song blends in. It shares a classic feel while still embracing a modern take on today’s more versatile pop-infused genres.

Put simply, this song is very hard to dislike. It has very powerful vocals that shine bright in the forefront. Katie‘s voice not only has an impressive range, but also projects a multifaceted nature as well that really showcases her talent very effectively. “Catch Me”, accompanied by a lyric video, is a song that shares equal parts originality and familiarity – it has that classic signature sound that you’ve come to know and love throughout many years, as well as today’s more notable mainstream edge that resonates with more modern music styles. Katie Veltri will definitely reel you in with “Catch Me”.

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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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