donskoy, “cry by the river”

donskoy, “cry by the river”

Fashion-conscious artist Daniel Donskoy’s debut single “Cry by the River” is here and it is making waves. With the release of the accompanying music video, the singer/songwriter and TV star has broke through the music industry with a chart topping alternative hit.

Daniel Donskoy, artist name DONSKOY, infuses the feeling of alternative-pop with experimental sounds.  He utilizes a very interesting auto-tune in portions of the track that are reminiscent of Kanye West from the “808s and Heartbreak” era, or that of Justin Vernon from Bon Iver.  The song makes you want to cry and dance at the same time.  Pair those feelings with a very profound and artistic music video, and you have “Cry by the River”.

You can stream or purchase the song here. Keep up with DONSKOY here.

lampland, no mood

lampland, no mood

Tommy Bazarian’s, known by his musical space Lampland, debut album No Mood is debuting with a thunderous wave of emotion and sounds that will make you sway.  Bazarian utilized his day job of being a radio producer to form the album’s lyrics, and his past formed the stories that are portrayed with drum loops, synths, and even a dash of some trumpets.

Bazarian’s vocals remind this listener faintly of The Smashing Pumpkins front man Billy Corgan. The whispering-moody feeling is definitely present throughout, but Bazarian makes it his own with his ability to compose unique music that is not like that of the loose comparison I have made.

This description on Lampland’s website, which you can find here, perfectly encapsulates what this debut album brings to the table sonically:

“In the spirit of Paul Simon’s solo albums, No Mood features almost as many genres as tracks. Alt-country rockers sit next to Elliott Smith four-track recordings, followed by dramatic full band arrangements. It’s all held together by Bazarian’s distinctive voice, by his vivid lyrics, and by his restless energy. Which, by the end of the album, he’s come to accept. ‘I know that you don’t blink insanely’, he sings. ‘Well, I do.'”

You can find more information on Lampland and No Mood at https://www.lamplandband.com/.

kaz murphy, ride out the storm

kaz murphy, ride out the storm

Kaz Murphy‘s music is about as Americana as it gets, and his newest release Ride Out The Storm is no exception.  This folk artist’s sound is that of the old west, forming stories with each lyric and melodic refrain.  Kaz has had an illustrious career, stemming from his beginnings as a lead-singer and drummer at age 10.  He established himself as a respected writer of musicals in the 1980s, transitioning to music after forming a folk new wave band in 1988.  Multitudes of bands and projects later, Murphy as come to Ride Out The Storm, which can be seen as a return to his roots.

Each track on this album paints a picture, forming simple, yet elegant, audio tapestries for us to envision while listening.  Stories of younger days, tough times, and perseverance are spread throughout the 11 song project.  While listening, I couldn’t help but think about my own difficult situations.  I also couldn’t help to make a vocal and sound comparisons to country-western artist Marty Robbins and the illustrious Johnny Cash.

For those looking to get lost in deep Americana story telling, then Ride Out The Storm is the album you must listen to.  Ride Out The Storm is out now.  You can visit Kaz Murphy’s website at https://kazmurphy.com/ for more information.

the moth &the flame, ruthless

the moth &the flame, ruthless

The Moth & The Flame have returned to the forefront of alt-pop with the release of their new album Ruthless. The Provo, Utah natives have channeled immense depression and anxiety into their new release, and it comes through in waves of pop synths and harrowing vocals. Brandon Robbins (vocals, guitar), Mark Garbett (keyboards/vocals), and Andrew Tolman (drums) have been together since 2011, pushing their sound further and further with each release. With the release of Young & Afraid in 2016, which defined the trio by NPR Music as “channeling a pop sound, the group shows its resilience” while maintaining “a wonderful moodiness to the music that always lands right in the sweet spot”, the fans clamored for more from the musicians from Utah.

After a successful kidney transplant in 2016 between Robbins and Corey Fox (founder of Provo’s all-ages music venue, Velour) the band felt at the top of their game and began to release single after to single. All these releases led to the culmination of Ruthless, which embodies the fighting spirit of the group. The ebbs and flows of the album are intriguing to say the least. The opening track, “The New Great Depression”, has a lot more poppy feel than the title would suggest, but the lyrics behind said pop sound suggest otherwise. It is rare these days to listen to music that constantly forces you into contemplation and in-depth thought, and Ruthless is chock full of this thought provoking music. The use of voice distortion is used perfectly on the track “What Do I Do”, catching you off guard about half-way into the song, but it is a pleasant surprise. “Lullaby IV”, the closing track, is reminiscent of punk, but with a dash of voice distortion and a soft-pop outro.

Robbins had this to say about how the album came together through so much strife: “What we wanted to show people was the journey through anxiety and depression,” he says, “not just the lows but the highs as well.”

Ruthless is out now! You can also get more information about The Moth & The Flame here.

in the valley below, the elephant EP

in the valley below, the elephant EP

In The Valley Below are a socially conscious duo that are on the forefront of raising awareness of important issues through their music.  Consisting of married couple Jeffrey Jacob and Angela Gail, the indie rock infused dream pop sound created by In The Valley Below is aesthetically pleasing on all levels.  They have a new project coming out (today!) called The Elephant EP, and it is both socially aware and sonically satisfying.

“Bloodhands (Oh My Fever)” is the first – and one of the most impactful songs – on the five song EP.  It was inspired by the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, MO and racial tensions between people and the police. Second track “Pink Chateau” brings with it lighter instrumentals and more of a springtime vibe, as it begs you to “slow down” and “simmer down” which aren’t bad bits of advice, if we’re being honest. “Hold On Tight” has more of a whirring, pop sound and then breaks down into some insane old school guitar solos to really throw you off guard.

But we’ve come to expect the unexpected from In The Valley Below, as they blend so many genres and weave show stopping tempo and key changes that should throw you for a loop, but really make their tracks that much more intriguing. The same can be said for fourth track “Break Even”, which has such intricate percussion parts that it completely changes what we had begun to think was the established vibe of the EP. Fifth and final track “Elephant” is the standout ballad, slowing the tempo to a crawl and really allowing you to revel in the lush, vibey vocals.

With so much going wrong in the world today, there are a plethora of songs inspired by the darker side of life. The uniqueness of In the Valley Below is that they do not phone in the music or the message when they create their art.  They believe that in order to have the most effect, they must reach the largest audience with genuinely good music, and it shows.  This EP comes from a authentic mindset, raising awareness for important issues, and it doesn’t hurt that the songs are great to listen to.

For more information about In The Valley Below, you can visit their website at inthevalleybelow.com.