Jacob Aiden – JamSphere http://jamsphere.com The Indie Music Magazine & Radio Network! Mon, 19 Feb 2018 11:33:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Natalie Jean and Levi Moore: “The Letting Go” – whirling you in a spell of great sound http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/natalie-jean-levi-moore-letting-go-whirling-spell-great-sound http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/natalie-jean-levi-moore-letting-go-whirling-spell-great-sound#respond Mon, 19 Feb 2018 02:41:59 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=31560 A good duet, in our modern age, is a rare thing. There are plenty of features, guest verses and co-writes, and the cameo drop-in is a dime a dozen. The number of genuine duets, where vocalists share verses and tell a story together in the space of a song, is very small. If your optimism fails you, […]

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A good duet, in our modern age, is a rare thing. There are plenty of features, guest verses and co-writes, and the cameo drop-in is a dime a dozen. The number of genuine duets, where vocalists share verses and tell a story together in the space of a song, is very small. If your optimism fails you, as you wonder whether there are enough great acts to keep hit radio stocked with worthy pop music duets, it’s reassuring to find that Natalie Jean and Levi Moore have a first-rate single to carry us through the next few months, all by itself.

Natalie Jean

The track “The Letting Go” was written Michael Peloso and Natalie Jean. If there’s a track that’s going to revive your interest in indie Country-Pop this year, it’s this one — largely due to its willingness to smash the tropes that’ve stagnated the genres.

Natalie Jean and Levi Moore spend time going into deeper, darker, and introspective places, as they discover how it feels when you stop chasing dead romance and start letting your life happen. Natalie is full of girl-next-door charm and her music is written and sung from the heart, full of emotion and passion. It amazes me how she always speaks the language of the ordinary person. In her songs, she says everything we want to say but can’t or don’t. Maybe that’s why so many people gravitate towards her.

This track is a great addition to both the country and pop music world. It has a dexterity and willingness to take shape at each turn, whirling you in a spell of great sound. Aurally it is stellar, holding validity within each vocal delivery. “The Letting Go” is a beautiful song about love and life.

Levi Moore

Levi Moore

Everyone has messed up in love. Everyone, to one point or another, is haunted by their past, and we all long for happiness within ourselves. Natalie Jean and Levi Moore take on the roles of compassionate narrators who make you believe in yourself again. It’s a little sad, but an encouraging song that lets you know that letting go is the only way to free yourself from the past’s hurtful chains.

Both singers do a great job at creating a sincere but uplifting mood and atmosphere. There’s also plenty that show’s Natalie’s evolving style here. She is clearly experimenting, which makes sense as her wider range of emotions require a music that matches the words.

Throughout, she always maintains the honesty that won her original following. This clearly shows Natalie’s progression as a writer and artist. To say I’m impressed would be a gross understatement. The substance and maturity of the song, and her stunningly nuanced vocal performance is what strikes me more than anything.

Michael Peloso

“The Letting Go” sounds like Natalie Jean’s truest accomplishment yet, together with co-writer Michael Peloso they find that chord in a lyric, and hook that strikes a universal note, and pair it to a most grounded and gorgeous, effortless sounding arrangement.

An arrangement that stretches Natalie’s usual musical boundaries, as I don’t remember her doing anything as country-inclined before. Of course it has to be said that Levi Moore’s assertive baritone lends a rich and resonant voice to the track’s all-round authenticity.

“The Letting Go” firmly plants Natalie Jean in the fertile ground between Pop and Country, and her marriage of the two is effortless and thrilling. This impeccably crafted melody reminds you that a truly talented artist like Natalie Jean can be held to a high standard and still exceed expectations.

The fact that she keeps great musical company – in this case Levi Moore and Michael Peloso – has also become a dominating factor in galvanizing her artistic growth.

CREDITS:

NATALIE JEAN: WEBSITEFACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM – Natalie Jean is an award winning, multi-nominated singer/songwriter performer. She is also a Voting Member in the Recording Academy (GRAMMYS). Natalie Jean is a versatile performer and singer. She sings many genres, such as Jazz Pop, R&B, Blues, and Dance. She can also sing in French, Spanish, English, and Creole.

LEVI MOORE: WEBSITE – Levi Moore, is a country singer/songwriter out of Savannah, GA. Nominated for Male Vocalist of The Year in Modern Country at the 2017 Josie Music Awards Levi is a full-time musician, currently into his third successful year.

MICHALE PELOSO: WEBSITE – Michael Peloso is a New Jersey-based lyricist/songwriter who writes touching, honest lyrics with a sense of simplicity that are uniquely all his own. He began writing at the tender age of 10.  “I remember buying REO Speedwagon’s Hi-Infidelity, and was just floored by the words and music,” Michael says.

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MAKI: ‘Waking Up With The World On Fire’ – captures moments that achieve sublime sonic poetry http://jamsphere.com/reviews/maki-waking-world-fire-captures-moments-achieve-sublime-sonic-poetry http://jamsphere.com/reviews/maki-waking-world-fire-captures-moments-achieve-sublime-sonic-poetry#respond Sun, 18 Feb 2018 00:10:10 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=31547 The world is a fragmented place, with fear and hate giving rise to isolationist movements around the globe and huge portions of the population turning inward rather than outward towards each other. As such waves of bigotry spread like wildfire, the music scene becomes extremely important, not just because it means more great music, but […]

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The world is a fragmented place, with fear and hate giving rise to isolationist movements around the globe and huge portions of the population turning inward rather than outward towards each other. As such waves of bigotry spread like wildfire, the music scene becomes extremely important, not just because it means more great music, but because it connects us all together on a wavelength that hits the human heart, soul and mind even harder, faster and deeper than anger can. A creative constant in the field of communicative contemporary Instrumental music, is MAKI who focuses his ample talents on a decidedly textural, atmospheric and cerebral style. Rather than trying to keep up with popular music’s standard structures, this work offers unusual musical values that transcend barriers.

With his new album ‘Waking Up With The World On Fire’, the composer avoids elaborating any one single genre, thus eschewing isolation from another. He abandons any one known human language, using signature voices which MAKI confirms, took him years to refine.

Using bold exotic forms to infuse his music with dramatic monumentality, MAKI captures moments that achieve sublime sonic poetry. With its mesmerizing swirl of pulsing strings, whooshing keys and rumbling percussion the album possesses an impressive sonic sheen, yet it feels pared down to it’s core essentials – tone and texture.

The listener is allowed to wade through an ever-changing musical current, finding emotional resonance in sounds from a subtle palate. But underneath all the blissed out textures is a deep mystical consonance and a practiced sense of composition designed to communicate.

The resulting 7 tracks on the album offers us a mystical bridge between our world and the greater cosmos – as its music, or at least a redeeming impression, will linger on in the listener’s mind. ‘Waking Up With The World On Fire’ is one of those MAKI works that’s projected to augment the space around you or open the space within you, depending on how you choose to listen.

From the moment “Polypropylene” opens the proceedings, this album is truly majestic — grandiose, slowly unfolding, and extremely cinematic, like the soundtrack to an epic film. It conjures up images of deep space, the regions between the galaxies, where no matter exist, while “Nylon” brings to mind the distant nebulas where stars are born.

At times, it is very easy to get lost in the sheer sound, the isolating sense of it all, on “Xylene” for example. In those moments, this album truly is like floating in a void. And perhaps MAKI is hinting at the universe inside us, the microcosm that exists inside of us. And in that respect, ‘Waking Up With The World On Fire’ takes on a profound spiritual sense.

I experienced the last three songs, “Acrylic”, “Methylene” and “Zephylin” in a dark room with some incense burning and my stereo at just the right volume. Being perfectly relaxed I went on the 3-track journey of sound with an open mind and plenty of excitement building inside of me.

It really hooked me mentally, spiritually and musically and the album has since become a true favorite. Dark yet textured, effortless yet so full of tones, this album possesses sounds and voices that can indeed carry you to places you have never been. Haunting and beautiful, MAKI, with this album has certainly made his mark in recorded music – specifically in the Darkwave, Ambient and Experimental genres.

This is a sonic journey to the true depths of the inner space that flows through each one of us, making you not a passive listener, but an integral and active part of the music. Published and distributed by the Natalis Group, ‘Waking Up With The World On Fire’ signals another bold step forward for independent music.

 OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITE – MUSIC EPK – MUSIC DOWNLOAD – SOUNDCLOUD

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Damian Sage: “Memories” – a bold and powerful statement! http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/damian-sage-memories-bold-powerful-statement http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/damian-sage-memories-bold-powerful-statement#respond Fri, 16 Feb 2018 13:27:12 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=31531 There has never been such a gap between popular and quality mainstream music as there is today. The biggest cause of this shift is technology. You can listen to virtually any artist and any song, in any genre, subgenre and sub-subgenre, instantly, at the push of a button. There’s amazing technology that can actually tell […]

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There has never been such a gap between popular and quality mainstream music as there is today. The biggest cause of this shift is technology. You can listen to virtually any artist and any song, in any genre, subgenre and sub-subgenre, instantly, at the push of a button. There’s amazing technology that can actually tell you what music you would like, before you even listen to it. All of this makes for an endless stream of new forms, and new hybrids of new forms of music. But the downside is while the periphery flourishes, the core of music culture decays. Before the advent of the new technology, you were pretty much stuck at least somewhat in mainstream music culture. Most music was consumed through broadcast radio, or local record stores with limited inventories.

At the time, the most discerning music consumers were chained to the mainstream masses. So they raised the level of discourse and the quality of the product that the masses were producing. It wasn’t the perfect filter, but chances are that if you turned on the radio during the sixties or the seventies, you could find something of ‘quality’ playing.

Try that today, all you’ll get is…well you can fill in your own favorite names. Hence, those discerning music consumers, who once raised the level have completely withdrawn from the mainstream and gone into separate cocoons to hide with their privately discovered musical gems. And without them the mass market has cratered into a cluster of crap that appeals to the lowest common denominator.

The person to blame for this rather lengthy prelude is none other than Damian Sage, a singer and songwriter based in Los Angeles, CA. The New York native has just released his latest single, written in collaboration with Robo H“Memories”, which opens with the lines: “Tired of all these insipid songs on the radio, whatever happened to good old rock and roll. Spewing words that have no real meaning. Lot of people talking but not saying anything.”  It got me thinking…

Damian’s music is always full and with a depth of emotions unmatched. This particular song has that same dramatic and haunting music the artist is noted for, coupled with lyrics indicative of a man who has come to terms with some of the demons, and with a little bit more bitterness about how the intrinsic art of his craft has morphed over the years.

But “Memories” should not just be circumscribed to the music world, as it in fact, is also a compelling metaphor of our ever changing society which is becoming more shallow and superficial.

And when Damian’s roaring voice ragingly echoes out the lines: “We seem to have lost our way. Where are the good old days, when raw emotions could have filled up all the ocean. Now it’s just a sea of grey…”, the analogy between the evolution of modern living culture and artistic expression in song, is potently evident to me.

“Memories”, to all intent and purposes is a bold and powerful statement, no matter how you read its message – literally or metaphorically. You will instantly be drawn into the mesmeric crunch of the hard driving musical arrangement which seems to ignite the passion and emotion in Damian’s voice.

His vocal delivery is as aggressively angry as it is poignantly beautiful. This song is everything I like about Damian Sage -emotional, passionate, visceral, and authentic with just a hint of hope, no matter how dark the horizon. As a matter of fact that’s what I loved out the old music too!

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITEINSTAGRAMTWITTERSOUNDCLOUDSPOTIFY

This single is available on iTunes and all other major digital download outlets.

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The Silver Bayonets: “Fake” – higher voltage hooks! http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/silver-bayonets-fake-higher-voltage-hooks http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/silver-bayonets-fake-higher-voltage-hooks#respond Thu, 15 Feb 2018 22:18:29 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=31521 The Silver Bayonets’ essence remains. Sharp hooks, crushing riffs, locked-in grooves and Kabir Sheikh’s sneer dominates their soundscapes. Which leaves the band where exactly with their brand new single “Fake”? An ever-growing fanbase, and a free pass onto the rock n’ roll’s red carpet – without appearing remotely compromised. Quite frankly, this song is a […]

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The Silver Bayonets’ essence remains. Sharp hooks, crushing riffs, locked-in grooves and Kabir Sheikh’s sneer dominates their soundscapes. Which leaves the band where exactly with their brand new single “Fake”? An ever-growing fanbase, and a free pass onto the rock n’ roll’s red carpet – without appearing remotely compromised. Quite frankly, this song is a beast! Kabir’s vocals are totally superior. And when he opens the track with the line “I’m alone you don’t care. Can you ever care too much?” you can predict that is going be quite a humdinger.

Not surprisingly the chorus is made of even higher voltage hooks that totally bend’s your ears with its intensity. As the merciless rule aptly indicates, you’re as good as your latest release, hence The Silver Bayonets deliver another tour-de-force rock ride that bursts with restless energy and their usual creativity.

“Fake” is rendered with admirable precision, retaining the attributes that have thus far made the outfit’s music such a precious commodity. There’s rock swagger on display which, along with hook-centric song craft, desert vibes and a dash of flamboyance, makes for a truly seductive sound both deeply ingrained in alt-rock legacies and relatively novel.

On top of that, Kabir Sheikh puts in his most enthralling vocal performance, making the transitions between his verse and chorus absolutely captivating. The track showcases The Silver Bayonets at their most immediate as it revolves around a robust arrangement that amazes with a unique symbiosis of dense riffs and tight rhythms.

“Fake” is utterly enchanting in its progression from brisk verses to a stomping grandeur of its chorus, while drummer Enzo Cuticchia takes a simple hard driving pattern and expands it into one manic jam, featuring irreverent rolls and cymbal crashes. In contrast, Ross Guy’s bass trades malicious for liberating, with his exquisite blend of throbbing and thumping lines.

As always Kabir’s guitar is up for the ride, coloring the band’s trademark style with gut-invoked crunch and cinematic splendor. His blissfully epic six-string overflows with a sinister spaghetti western atmosphere built around the action-filled soundscape and a dynamic rhythm.

Kabir Sheikh remains in the limelight throughout the song’s entire running time. His dominating presence only reaffirms his artistic independence. It strikes me as admirable that he refuses to look back, redefining the style of The Silver Bayonets with every new release, yet never moving away one single inch from the band’s core roots. With all its sonic diversity, consistency and precision, “Fake” is yet another impressive step in the right direction.

MORE ABOUT: The Silver Bayonets are a London-based indie-rock band formed in summer 2012 who fuse loud rock guitars with vocal harmonies and pop hooks to produce melodic, often anthemic, addictive power pop. Fronting the group on guitar and vocals is songwriter Kabir Sheikh, while bassist Ross Guy and drummer Enzo Cuticchia both add backing vocals. They have a modern DIY ethic, recording and releasing music through their own label, Header Records, and managing their own press campaigns and band promotion. The band’s latest album, “Braveface” was completed in January 2018 and includes the single, “Fake”. The album is set for official release on the 13th of April 2018.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITE & STOREFACEBOOKTWITTERYOUTUBESOUNDCLOUD

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3 Phase – six tracks of chart topping battering rams! http://jamsphere.com/reviews/3-phase-six-tracks-chart-topping-battering-rams http://jamsphere.com/reviews/3-phase-six-tracks-chart-topping-battering-rams#respond Thu, 15 Feb 2018 13:32:14 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=31514 The names Chirag Shah, Prasham Deliwala and Melvin Saldana may in themselves not ring a familiar bell in your ear right now. Probably, neither will the moniker ‘3 Phase’, nor their 6 track self-titled EP. It’s logical, it’s the law of the industry’s hype machine – cast a light on the big label clones, and […]

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The names Chirag Shah, Prasham Deliwala and Melvin Saldana may in themselves not ring a familiar bell in your ear right now. Probably, neither will the moniker ‘3 Phase’, nor their 6 track self-titled EP. It’s logical, it’s the law of the industry’s hype machine – cast a light on the big label clones, and leave the independent creatives in the shadows. Luckily the internet has a different set of rules.  On hearing the 3 Phase EP, the lofty ambition, the focus and dedication of this creative collective of producers, songwriters and vocal talent, makes sense – its six tracks of chart topping battering rams. What 3 Phase has created in this project is no mere concept, no experiment – it’s a towering blueprint. Plundering the eternal springs of EDM, Chirag Shah, Prasham Deliwala and Melvin Saldana have added every enviable trick in the book to these tracks.

This collection of electronic songs is so intensely colorful and catchy, and just the right side of groovy. Whatever 3 Phase’s mission may be with the release of this EP, genre domination is the likely result. It’s hard to detail just how many gallons of creative fluids have been pumped into these tracks, but the tanks have been filled to the brim.

There are definitely moments in each track which will bring a smile to the face of anyone tired of a predictable drop. These beats are creative and sonorous, paying testament to 3 Phase’s penchant for a thick bassline, a wall of shimmering synths and an anthemic chorus, as displayed on the EP’s opening track “Alone”.

Tracks worth noting include “Alright” which delivers a bouncy, almost electro-swing beat that gives way to a delightfully brassy drop. This represents one of the best things about 3 Phase. Like peeling the seal from a fresh jar of coffee, the first listen is always incredibly powerful and lingering. These are tracks that should be played loud in a big room, which I recommend you do with the ever evolving tonal changes of “End Of The Line”.

But you may turn down the volume slightly and slip on a pair of headphones for tracks like “Krazy Kolors”, “Runaway” and “Sky High” where you can catch the musical nuances, sonic timbres, and overall atmosphere of each arrangement. All the while, the vocals are superbly executed and well-defined, supported by powerful melodies and gorgeous harmonic elements.

Clocking in at just over 4 minutes “Sky High” sounds like a melting summer – warm nights on the sand, and being young and in love – it is a perfect piece of crossover electronica. The track is sweet and catchy enough for the commercial airwaves, yet experimental and creative enough to catch the ear of the more cynical EDM fan; a winning combination indeed.

It is also one of the two tracks featuring female lead vocals. The other being “Krazy Kolors”. Forging updated production values for an ever-discerning listener base and effectively expanding its stylistic range from song after song, this EP can work both as a Pop or EDM recording, depending on how you swing the volume dial.

This speaks volumes for the production finesse showcased by 3 Phase. Overall, though, the EP owes its strength to the effective synthesis of all its key elements – from the vocals to the melodies, and the rhythms to the instrumentation. Make no mistake, it’s definitely got a mainstream twist, and will undoubtedly garner accolades from across the board. Considering how well 3 Phase have carried out their creative direction here, they clearly get our full stamp of approval.

Now you go grab a pen, or your smartphone, and carefully write down the following three names – Chirag Shah, Prasham Deliwala and Melvin Saldana. In the not so distant future, when they eventually pop up on your national radio chart, or at one of those glamorous music award-winning ceremonies, you’ll already know who they are – 3 Phase!

OFFICIAL LINKS: APPLE MUSICITUNESSPOTIFYSOUNDCLOUDGOOGLE PLAYAMAZON

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LREDS: “Tell Me” ft. Rafaela Koseva – a perfect amalgam for crossover EDM and Pop http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/lreds-tell-ft-rafaela-koseva-perfect-amalgam-crossover-edm-pop http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/lreds-tell-ft-rafaela-koseva-perfect-amalgam-crossover-edm-pop#respond Wed, 14 Feb 2018 14:37:48 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=31509 Electronic dance music has turned into a multi-billion global industry. Simultaneously, producing and making music have become far easier than when synth bands dropped songs in the early 80’s: physical, analog equipment has been replaced by easily accessible and affordable software. And with the internet as your audience, bedroom producers have taken the music world […]

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Electronic dance music has turned into a multi-billion global industry. Simultaneously, producing and making music have become far easier than when synth bands dropped songs in the early 80’s: physical, analog equipment has been replaced by easily accessible and affordable software. And with the internet as your audience, bedroom producers have taken the music world by storm. Anyone with the acumen, has potential to become a dance music producer. But the bigger the genre becomes, the more sharp its divisions – even down to the BPM and type of synths used. Your sound is your brand – and thus the most important facet a producer has to establish. Italian based EDM producer and pianist, LREDS, is building his brand alongside the melodic and soulful voice of his vocal collaborator Rafaela Koseva.

The two have worked together on quite a few of LREDS’ productions. Last in order of time, “Tell Me”, released less than a month ago. Once again they set themselves firmly in the mainstream pop arena with a sound that is as poignant and as it is sweetly melancholic.

The sounds of EDM have firmly entered mainstream pop, but what interests me is the softening of those sounds, to make the genre more accessible to ears far removed from the dancefloor. It’s almost an easy-listening type of EDM, that doesn’t as much lose its energy and momentum as it does its abrasive loudness.

There are a handful of capable producers able to make this transition, without selling out there electronic dance roots, and among them is LREDS. “Tell Me”, possibly signals his finest hour working in this crossover direction.

A fair dose of classical strings, a shimmering piano, a strumming acoustic guitar and a steady drumbeat. On top of this the warm and resonant voice of Rafaela Koseva – a perfect amalgam for crossover, easy-listening EDM and mellifluous pop.

EDM’s effect on the pop landscape has been to elevate the producer out of the director’s chair and into the spotlight. So while Pop artists are more frequently joining the world of electronic music, EDM producers and DJ’s are busy taking over the mainstream charts. I

t’s not easy creating a club bagger or festival anthem that can still be played on mainstream radio and be well liked by the masses, but more and more of the EDM artists are figuring out how to do it. In the underground list, LREDS has been doing it for a while now with his pop infusions. But on “Tell Me” he has taken an even sharper turn towards the subtle and the sublime, with a track that is smooth on the ear and food for the soul.

OFFICIAL LINKS: SPOTIFY  – SOUNDCLOUD – FACEBOOK

 

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Sy: “Get Out Of My Dreams” – embracing our vulnerabilities http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/sy-get-dreams-embracing-vulnerabilities http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/sy-get-dreams-embracing-vulnerabilities#respond Wed, 14 Feb 2018 06:05:22 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=31502 The singer, songwriter and author, Sy, releases a brand new single produced by Rueben Wood. The track “Get Out Of My Dreams” is the first single release written by the artist in 2018, since writing two self-help books, “A Swan Among Ducks” and “Saying Yes to (No): Learning the Power of (No) before the end […]

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The singer, songwriter and author, Sy, releases a brand new single produced by Rueben Wood. The track “Get Out Of My Dreams” is the first single release written by the artist in 2018, since writing two self-help books, “A Swan Among Ducks” and “Saying Yes to (No): Learning the Power of (No) before the end of 2017. This track soulfully captures the spirit and feel of the emotional journey of grown womanhood. It is juicy, dynamic, soulful, gorgeous, and it is nourishment for the soul…and mind, as it examines the intricacies of a relationship built on want and lust. As well as the need to have someone else, other than the person you are already committed to. In this case the narrator is ‘the other woman’, just waiting for her dream to come true: “Would it be a crime if I could – have you all the time – I promise – I would make you mine and you would never wanna leave – I don’t want to break y’all up – I’m just trying to be straight up – wish I could pull you out my dreams into reality.”

It’s not necessarily interested in the neo-soul, electronic influence and heavy fusion occurring in R&B at the moment because it prioritizes the storytelling part of old school R&B. It reminds us that music is more than hearing something different or new, or assessing patterns and trends but rather appreciating the story the artist is telling.

Sometimes utilizing the familiar is the best way to tell the story. To me, “Get Out Of My Dreams” takes the familiar and makes it novel by telling a story we really need to hear in a way that catalyzes new layers of feeling, both negative and positive.

It investigates and lays bare the many repercussions of desire. It’s a warning, an ode and a warm welcome all in one, embracing the vulnerability of a woman. The idea that love is something that not only begins within, but also physically needs to be within reach.

Sy’s vocals match her message: vulnerability, just like strength, means recognizing when a person has captured your body and soul: “lucky lady- that I ain’t a homewrecker- but ooh if she mess up- I’m on the market- you’re on my target- I’ll wait in vain for your love.” The lyrical content on the track feels real and intimate like she is expounding her personal feelings to you over the backyard fence.

On the whole, Sy relays the many shades of impassioned womanhood on this album. Her vocals definitely provide some worthy listening material and her writing cuts straight to the heart and allows the listeners to feel her soul. Love and lust is always going to be complex and Sy tells it like she knows it.

Here she boldly expresses so many emotionally raw layers of what makes ‘the other woman’ who she is, allowing everyone to understand and relate to her journey, whether or not they agree. The production by Rueben Wood has a very vintage, soul vibe to it, lending itself perfectly to the theme. If you love, powerhouse vocals, sensual, thought provoking, poetic music, then grab this R&B and Soul extravaganza.

OFFICIAL LINKS: ITUNESSY INSTAGRAMREUBEN WOOD INSTAGRAM

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IJK: “Johnny & June” – a swirling, ever-building rhythm http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/ijk-johnny-june-swirling-ever-building-rhythm http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/ijk-johnny-june-swirling-ever-building-rhythm#respond Tue, 13 Feb 2018 12:28:31 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=31493 Alternative rock artist Imad Jack Karam, known by his initials and stage name IJK, is a Dubai-based, Lebanese singer-songwriter, who has released critically acclaimed songs and recorded with internationally known music producers in prestigious London studios. Both his singles “Space Odyssey” and “Dancing Shadows” garnered a positive reception from fans and critics alike. IJK has […]

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Alternative rock artist Imad Jack Karam, known by his initials and stage name IJK, is a Dubai-based, Lebanese singer-songwriter, who has released critically acclaimed songs and recorded with internationally known music producers in prestigious London studios. Both his singles “Space Odyssey” and “Dancing Shadows” garnered a positive reception from fans and critics alike. IJK has a style that can move between edgy modern-day alt-rock and sixties rock n’ roll crooning.  He recently published his latest single and supporting, fully animated video, for the song “Johnny & June”.

So, how does this new offering cope? Very well, in truth. “Johnny & June” is an excellent track. Not an excellent “rock track”, or an excellent “pop track”, but an excellent IJK track. It’s a distinction worth making because these days many artists’ appeal are confined, to their own unswerving horde of adherents.

In this case IJK is likely to attract many more new fans from both of the aforementioned genres to sustain him artistically and to keep the wolf a very healthy distance from the door.

It’s an enviable position for an artist to occupy and a really simple deal: IJK makes excellent, well-thought-out, well-constructed, and well-executed music. Period. Furthermore, In addition to the accomplished music arrangement, IJK has produced an exemplary fully animated video, in collaboration with Matias Alejandro Cabrera.

This renders the entire package palatable to a vast number of music and audiovisual fans. Guitars hammer and twinkle; the music is crunchy and insistent; there are bass-pumping refinements, but mostly the music throbs like an electricity substation.

“Johnny & June” is primarily a powerful up-tempo love song – with all the sappiness usually associated with love songs removed. A gorgeously controlled vocal is augmented by fiery electric guitars and festooned with a swirling, ever-building rhythm leading to a soaring chorus.

The drums insistently move the momentum, while IJK breaks through the thickly layered harmonies into a sustained falsetto that rises well above the rest. Cranking up the volume and letting loose with explosive guitars, rattling bass, and earth-shattering drums, IJK has given us, what I feel is his best single release to date. It is another bit of essential listening for his fans.

Overall, “Johnny & June”, produced by Pete Turtle at Turtle Studio London, UK, packs breathless, power-guitar riffs, irresistible verses, and thermal meltdown choruses. The story-line in the video is very cleverly executed and perfectly matches the song’s lyrical narrative.

With the band pushing him rather than simply covering his back, IJK sounds invigorated, stretching, twisting, and doing those wordless falsettos more convincingly than ever. These elements make the track affecting rather than just a good tune.

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Amateur Scientist: “Oedipus Complex” – swirling dissonances and common sense melodies http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/amateur-scientist-oedipus-complex-swirling-dissonances-common-sense-melodies http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/amateur-scientist-oedipus-complex-swirling-dissonances-common-sense-melodies#respond Mon, 12 Feb 2018 19:32:20 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=31486 Oedipus complex, in psychoanalytic lingo, is a Freudian theory that we all want to fuck our mothers and kill our fathers at some stage in early childhood. It is described as normal and an emotion that need not be suppressed. Three-year-olds are normally too small to act out this desire, but what about an experimental […]

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Oedipus complex, in psychoanalytic lingo, is a Freudian theory that we all want to fuck our mothers and kill our fathers at some stage in early childhood. It is described as normal and an emotion that need not be suppressed. Three-year-olds are normally too small to act out this desire, but what about an experimental musical collective from England? We don’t’ know if Amateur Scientist have, or ever will carry out this objective, but in the meantime they have released a 17 track album entitled… “Oedipus Complex”! Amateur Scientist is a Lo-Fi indie musical collective from that came about from a mutual shared music taste by two friends who wanted to create the music they wanted to hear back in 2015. This, their first album was released on Spotify this year.

Straight off the bat, I’d feel guilty and ungrateful if I didn’t give Amateur Scientist its due praise. Listen to this with an open mind, and you’re in for one hell of a musical experience. Like all classic albums, it may not appeal to you the first time, probably not even the second time — don’t give up.

This is a masterpiece, if you’re willing to give it a chance. And it becomes such, right from the minute the infectious hand-clapping melody of “Dance with Death” kicks in. This albums eschews all the technical crap and studio pretense associated with modern pop music. This thing is rough and ready, almost as if it was recorded spontaneously during a few live session rehearsals. It feels alive.

If you love it, even the miscues will sound intentional and the highlights will grow with each listen. If you hate it, you will struggle to make it through the album once, and should go back to you old Justin Bieber and One Direction albums. It’s hard to compare this to the universally gooey pop sounds.

You can love it or hate it, but you just cannot ignore tracks like “Ice Cream Van” and “Ice Cream Man (Where are you?)”, especially if you listen to the dark lyrics, which is a far cry from the catchy light-hearted melodies the boys are singing. This is a record everyone should own; it is fun and melodic, inventive, creative, and gives you that good audio buzz you got the first time you heard the Beatles or XTC.

This duo sets all the pop musical pretension aside with a dose of close to the bone lyrics, McCartney-esque melodies, breathy vocals, and off-kilter instrumentation that you’ll find absolutely absorbing. This is a collection of songs that wouldn’t be as good without the magical glow of the brilliant songwriting, and which gains a unique appeal in its combination of swirling dissonances and common sense melodies.

Most of which happen on Side 2 of the album, called “The Fantasy Deepens”. Here there are surprise tracks like “Something Evil” and “Cosmic Eye” that will grab your attention with their twisting sonic arrangements.

Quiet yet upbeat, introspective in some places very bouncy in others this album is perfect to get your body, but mostly your mind, moving. In some cases Amateur Scientist seem confused and off-kilter, producing strange loping beats. But then the guitars – acoustic and electric- enter, building into forceful strums as a few finely placed notes punctuate the reverie.

Suddenly, it all comes together. The vocals, drums and guitars work to produce sudden changes of key, the effect of which is akin to a rush of blood to the head. Brilliant!

OFFICIAL LINKS: FACEBOOKSPOTIFYBANDCAMP

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Decades: “Vertical Boomerang” displays a sense of craft and majesty http://jamsphere.com/reviews/decades-vertical-boomerang-displays-sense-craft-majesty http://jamsphere.com/reviews/decades-vertical-boomerang-displays-sense-craft-majesty#respond Fri, 09 Feb 2018 17:19:35 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=31455 Decades is an Alternative Rock band from the US consisting of Jose Rodriguez (Vocals), Jeff Tussi (Guitar), Nick Alfieri (Guitar), Rich Woznicki (Bass) and Rob Cangialosi (Drums). They originally initiated the project in 2004, but it wasn’t until 2012 that they eventually turned it into a serious mission under the Decades moniker. The band is […]

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Decades is an Alternative Rock band from the US consisting of Jose Rodriguez (Vocals), Jeff Tussi (Guitar), Nick Alfieri (Guitar), Rich Woznicki (Bass) and Rob Cangialosi (Drums). They originally initiated the project in 2004, but it wasn’t until 2012 that they eventually turned it into a serious mission under the Decades moniker. The band is currently finalizing the release of their album, and in the meantime have dropped a double-track EP, entitled “Vertical Boomerang”, which is their second EP release. In a generation of generic, same-old-same alt-rock bands that have been popping up like weeds devouring the landscape, it is a fantastic surprise when one finds something more blooming in the rough. Decades is an example of a modern-day alternative outfit that does more than then simply regurgitate the past or clone the sound of the other countless bands treading water around them.

Decades meld modern-day alt-sensibilities with classic elements and progressive rock-fusion flavors. It’s undeniably non-formulaic, eschewing hook-laden choruses, while expansive melodies and driving rhythms permeate throughout the heart of their arrangements.

The voluminous chord progressions and hypnotic bass hooks highlight the inimitable interplay between guitarists Jeff and Nick on “Second Wind”, where the band’s drive, pushed by the rhythm unit of Rich and Rob, as well as the overall melodic fervor, elevates the musical piece way beyond mere pastiche. Add the vocal nuances of Jose Rodriguez to the equation, and the results are impressive indeed.

Press play on the flamboyant “Vertical Boomerang”, and immediately the listener gets a sense that the band understands the importance of shadows and subtlety that have long been all but missing from rock soundscapes. Trends come and go and the only form of art that stays, the one that passes the test of time, is the one that embodies soul.

Amidst the bands that are trying to reach ranking on whatever charts they pursue, there are musicians who simply want to put their heart and soul into their music, and this is the music that stays. “Vertical Boomerang” bares that very heart and soul of Decades’ music.

“Vertical Boomerang” is driven by guitar chords consistently jangling throughout, the bass interplay, subtle drums and production really shine here. It is moody and foreboding, with the shimmering guitars alluring in their ability to capture an emotion which is as beautiful as it is melancholic. It is a perfect housing for the lyrics, and above the vocals, which again, shine most gorgeously.

Overall, with their complex melodies and great variation in style, Decades display a sense of craft and majesty on these songs that will have you begging for more. The songs are inner-based, intensely personal sounding, and if you’re at all an intuitive person, you’re going to pick up on that energy in this EP, and it will soak under your skin and become a favorite.

OFFICIAL LINKS: TWITTERINSTAGRAMBANDCAMP

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David Candelas: “Rancho Muerte” – adrenaline-infused crackle and grit http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/david-candelas-rancho-muerte-adrenaline-infused-crackle-grit http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/david-candelas-rancho-muerte-adrenaline-infused-crackle-grit#respond Tue, 06 Feb 2018 23:04:15 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=31440 David Candelas is an American/Mexican singer and songwriter. He is also known as the lead vocalist and guitarist of the band Blood Roosters from Aguascalientes, Mexico. David dropped his first solo single “Jacket Song” in 2017 and has now followed that up in 2018 with his debut EP entitled “Rancho Muerte”. Fully produced and interpreted […]

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David Candelas is an American/Mexican singer and songwriter. He is also known as the lead vocalist and guitarist of the band Blood Roosters from Aguascalientes, Mexico. David dropped his first solo single “Jacket Song” in 2017 and has now followed that up in 2018 with his debut EP entitled “Rancho Muerte”. Fully produced and interpreted by David Candelas, the recording was also mixed and mastered by the artist himself, and as well as being launched via his own independent label Esquina Maldita Records. This is the kind of music that’s great to crank up on a stereo and listen through the whole thing.

There is the slower song (Rancho Muerte) the bluesy ones (Bobby Ice, Sin City Bandit), the rocker one (Rousey On Crack), and the indie one (Relevance of Rock). Its 5 tracks of David Candelas pushing his instruments to the limit.

Each song has noteworthy guitar playing, while the vocals are also impressive. The vocal harmonies are sweet and thick, and David’s cries are loud and full of soul. The enthusiasm he puts into the music makes it even better. The songwriting is way above the average.

The right chords are chosen and David doesn’t use excessive soloing, keeping the songs focused and just the right length. The album’s sound is a melting pot, but the guitar playing perfectly fits whichever style the song is in.

So while the song styles differ from track to track, one thing remains brilliantly constant. David Candelas’ guitar. And to be fully honest though, David adds imagination, grit, and tough grooves to everything he touches.

Exceptionally well produced, and well written, these songs result in being alluring, and in some cases the grooves are nothing short of infectious. And I’ thinking particularly of the all-round funky vibe on “Bobby Ice” and the captivating bass lines in “Sin City Bandit”. Both of these songs showcase magnificent musicianship and consistency.

“Relevance Of Rock” still maintains the intensity exhibited by the majority of the songs, but in more laid-back fashion. “Rancho Muerte” smartly kicks down the tempo and lifts up the intensity, following the thoughtful and more restrained acoustic guitars that stay tightly glued to the percussion.

Rewinding back to “Rousey On Crack”, you’ll finally discover that it’s a loose, incendiary stinger where riffs, vocals, hooks, and rhythms collide and then slip into place, stacking on top of one another. The funky guitar in this cut is to die for, and truth be told, David Candelas is creating a new kind of mainstream and indie crossover vibe here.

The ear-popping guitar riff is complemented by the crunchy rhythm section totally laying down the floor. It’s a track anyone can groove to, as the kick-ass vocals puts David left, right and center.

Ultimately, “Rancho Muerte” is an exceptional debut EP from David Candelas. Eclectic, consistent, and performed at an incredibly high level of musicianship, the Mexican American delivers some excellent adrenaline-infused crackle and grit. The recording shows great conception and the accompanying execution of that conception at its finest.

OFFICIAL LINKS: FACEBOOKYOUTUBETWITTERINSTAGRAMGOOGLE+

STREAMS: BANDCAMPSPOTIFYAMAZONITUNESGOOGLE PLAYTIDAL

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Earpiphany: “Ultraviolet Dreams and Other Songs” – stunningly nostalgic! http://jamsphere.com/news/earpiphany-ultraviolet-dreams-songs-stunningly-nostalgic http://jamsphere.com/news/earpiphany-ultraviolet-dreams-songs-stunningly-nostalgic#respond Tue, 06 Feb 2018 15:48:02 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=31433 Dan G.Hagerman aka Earpiphany is a songwriter, arranger, composer who writes many genres, including his latest pop-rock offering, “Ultraviolet Dreams”, done with Aubrey Whitfield, a talented female music producer from the U.K. who also does the vocals. The track is taken from the “Ultraviolet Dreams and Other Songs” EP. Dan lives near Los Angeles with […]

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Dan G.Hagerman aka Earpiphany is a songwriter, arranger, composer who writes many genres, including his latest pop-rock offering, “Ultraviolet Dreams”, done with Aubrey Whitfield, a talented female music producer from the U.K. who also does the vocals. The track is taken from the “Ultraviolet Dreams and Other Songs” EP. Dan lives near Los Angeles with his lovely Japanese wife of thirty-five years, Reiko, and his daughter, Holly. “We love Japan, sushi and Huskies!” affirms Hagerman. In any potential mythology built up around the music of Earpiphany on “Ultraviolet Dreams”, Whitfield may represent an irrepressibly sanguine voice and Hagerman the barbed songwriter, but to reduce them to polar opposites is to miss out on the nuanced outlooks that come into focus when they’re working side by side.

Aubrey Whitfield

Earpiphany is skilled at enhancing mood shifts in his songwriting, while Whitfield layers the tones with stunningly nostalgic, epic 80’s-styled rock production. On top of that she brings a solid, full range voice to the table, which lends total rock authenticity to the project.

Certainly, proceedings have been enriched with the participation of Aubrey Whitfield on this project. Audrey is a UK based record producer and a songwriter, and one of the very rare female record producers in the UK’s Music Producers Guild. Earpiphany, on the other hand, makes room for unfurling multi-faceted emotions and changing styles in his songcraft.

The pensive resolve of his “Caught in the Rain” gives way to breezy romanticism with the introduction of sun-kissed harmonies, a rich baritone voice and a crystalline organic soundscape. In the propulsive country-rock number “My Caffeine System” he dwells on love’s addictiveness, then pivots to buoyant defiance in the chorus, lifted by the entrance of shimmery guitar lines.

During “Dandelion Wine”, the crooner broods in a warm haze of hypnotizing harmonies and a delicate, string counterpoint illuminating his expression of desire.  “Like a Long-Tailed Cat” (feat. Lydia Salnikova), which is actually the second track on the EP, takes us back to the crunchy rock rhythms displayed earlier, on the title track.

The EP Artwork

The marvel is that singer Salnikova, and Earpiphany can simultaneously stand on their own and still exert a gentle pull on each other, expanding our appreciation of their combined crafts as singer and songwriter. Rather than just being simple collaborators in song.

Flashes of vintage rock come to the fore here, as Salnikova pulls the strange trick of sounding laid-back but emanating urgency. It’s further proof that all of Earpiphany’s songwriting faculties are fully focused on driving home the emotion which the singer so perfectly translates into realness.

Thickly layered and constantly shifting shape – this song is both deliberate and considered in its production and execution. Ultimately, the EP “Ultraviolet Dreams and Other Songs”, falls somewhere between tantalizingly curious and solidly convincing, as it moves from straight rock to country-pop flavored rhythms.

There’s enough here to hold the attention of any casual fan, however fleetingly, and music lovers with bigger appetites should find a much more to dig into during the complex moments, especially on the two opening rock-orientated songs.

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Rod Clemmons: “What’s Up? It’s Me” – Taking charge and pulling at the heartstrings http://jamsphere.com/reviews/rod-clemmons-whats-taking-charge-pulling-heartstrings http://jamsphere.com/reviews/rod-clemmons-whats-taking-charge-pulling-heartstrings#respond Sun, 04 Feb 2018 21:30:42 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=31413 Rod Clemmons is a multi-talented R&B and Neo Soul artist from New York. In addition to being a writer and performer, Rod is a producer and the founder of Verdict Records. Totally blind since birth, Rod has developed a keen ear through years of training and practice. He started his musical training at the age […]

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Rod Clemmons is a multi-talented R&B and Neo Soul artist from New York. In addition to being a writer and performer, Rod is a producer and the founder of Verdict Records. Totally blind since birth, Rod has developed a keen ear through years of training and practice. He started his musical training at the age of 4, studying classical piano. His debut album release, “What’s Up? It’s Me”, is Rod’s first album as an artist. The 11-track album featuring the cover of James Taylor’s “Carolina On My Mind”, is a display of Rod’s passion for music. Switching between crooning serenades and an effortless mid-tempo grooves, Rod Clemmons is delivering his version of love songs in a variety of dynamic ways.

Taking charge and pulling at the heartstrings, the opening track “What’s Up? It’s Me” and “Whats My Name? What’s Your Name? build slow, milking every beat, enhancing a somber atmosphere to deeply serenade and draw you into his every word. Such tracks are the ones that resonate in particular, as each line is sung with such passion and emotion, they’re the forerunners, encapsulating the tender power of Rod Clemmons. While other tunes dial up the emotion a touch, and play with a catchy melody too, like the ballads, “What The Hell Do You Mean” and “She’s My Girl”.

Grooving on a different spectrum completely, the up-tempo track with slick riffs, “I Love My Music”, takes deep, pulsing beats to turn out a track full of funky vibes.  And of course, the unexpected “Crazy Love Stories” plays on a similar effect with its funky electric rhythm and energizing verses.

It’s stylistically different to the core content of the album, but it embodies such an effortless vibrancy that it’s almost impossible not to bop and groove along. With each track being groovier than the last, Rod Clemmons proves that everything develops better with time.

A real standout is the cover of the vintage James Taylor track, “Carolina On My Mind”. Backed by a keyboard laced production, and colored by an acoustic guitar, Rod gently harmonizes his way through the arrangement.

Avoiding the temptation to latch on to trendy production was a smart idea, and the live instrumentation utilized throughout the album gives it an authentic feel. Rod has proven here that he is a master songwriter. Almost every song on the album is a positive expression of love that anyone who feels love or has felt love can surely relate to.

And he leaves the best of the batch for last with “Unbelievable Love” and “That’s What Love Is”, where he also forges his most powerful vocal performance. On this album, Rod Clemmons has brought together a collection of songs which bask in melodical and lyrical excellence.

The 11-track album wastes no time in charming the ear, with Rod crooning passion-filled lyrics accompanied by a dominating acoustic guitar and a set of standard organic instruments. “What’s Up? It’s Me” is a step in the right direction for any artist wanting to acquaint the music scene with authentic R&B sounds that are well-equipped to enchant the listener.

More About Rod Clemmons: On a full scholarship, Rod attended the prestigious Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington Indiana and later graduated with honors from I.U. Clemmons. A fixture in Louisville, KY clubs as an R&B keyboard player and singer, Rod started to develop his signature sound that led him to start Verdict Records. As a producer, Rod has worked in diverse sounds such as contemporary Gospel, contemporary country, pop/rock, children’s music, and R&B.

OFFICIAL LINKS: SPOTIFYFACEBOOK

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Ashley J: “Satisfied” – a contemporary artistic powerhouse! http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/ashley-j-satisfied-contemporary-artistic-powerhouse http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/ashley-j-satisfied-contemporary-artistic-powerhouse#respond Sun, 04 Feb 2018 15:24:47 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=31405 The 3-time Billboard charging artist Ashley J has just released her latest single, entitled “Satisfied”, which is the title track from her upcoming EP. Her previous singles, released via Bombshell Music, Inc., “Unbreakable”, charted at #2, and “Trapped” had an incredible 5-week #1 long run on the European Independent Chart. Recorded in Canada with producers […]

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The 3-time Billboard charging artist Ashley J has just released her latest single, entitled “Satisfied”, which is the title track from her upcoming EP. Her previous singles, released via Bombshell Music, Inc., “Unbreakable”, charted at #2, and “Trapped” had an incredible 5-week #1 long run on the European Independent Chart. Recorded in Canada with producers Adrian and Lucas Rezza, the track is geared toward Ashley J’s growing dance and electronic music fans. EDM, like all of the popular and overpopulated genres of the world, is a fickle lover. As a singer at the height of your career, your voice caresses the minds of millions of listeners through collaborations with producers on countless tracks.

At the lowest point, you are forgotten, another echoed voice over a dance beat. But Ashley J is far from the lowest point in her career, and rather than aiming for the heights, she is aiming to be the best possible artist she can be. And if her latest single, “Satisfied” single is any indication, Ashley J presence will be a given.

“Satisfied” is a very atmospheric and melodic track, aiming to engage the senses rather than lay siege on them. And dance music, in comparison, is usually a siege. So on this track Ashley J’s voice is the star, as it has and always will be.

The worldly melody and subtly uplifting beat though, is a far cry from the sweaty, euphoric arena that is full-on dance, having a lot more pop sensibility injected into its soul. In its most compelling moments, Ashley J drops the beat and sings the melody against the flux of synths and chords which carry her along.

“Satisfied” is one of the better new EDM single releases of 2018 so far. Not because it’s packed full of break-downs or build-ups, but because it’s filled to the brim with excellent songwriting and dramatic tension.

Ashley J proves herself as one contemporary artistic powerhouse. The lyrics are romantically-inclined and pure euphoric poetry, coupled with Ashley J’s vocals, which are simply too good to be mortal. On the surface, “Satisfied” can be construed as a romantic electronic song, and savvy festival-goers will respond to the inevitable peak-time remixes that are likely to ensue.

Overall, “Satisfied” is stellar from start to finish, with a smooth and glossy production, and Ashley J helps elevate to it an even higher level thanks to her ethereal voice. It is one of those songs that instantly commands the listener’s attention, and it is a match made in musical heaven with her producers, Adrian and Lucas Rezza. Without a shadow of a doubt, the track garners five out of five stars.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITEITUNESAMAZONFACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM

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Ellis Hadlock: “Fusion to Love” – strong melodic sensibilities are in full bloom http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/ellis-hadlock-fusion-love-strong-melodic-sensibilities-full-bloom http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/ellis-hadlock-fusion-love-strong-melodic-sensibilities-full-bloom#respond Sat, 03 Feb 2018 18:57:10 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=31390 “Fusion to Love”, the latest album by Ellis Hadlock, is seven tracks of layered pulses, melodic vibrancies, and foundational grooves that evoke a human expression of awe-inspiring vastness that stretches the very fabric of imagination. It is a beautiful and powerful expression of friendship, love and the artistic spirit. On this new offering, composer and […]

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“Fusion to Love”, the latest album by Ellis Hadlock, is seven tracks of layered pulses, melodic vibrancies, and foundational grooves that evoke a human expression of awe-inspiring vastness that stretches the very fabric of imagination. It is a beautiful and powerful expression of friendship, love and the artistic spirit. On this new offering, composer and creative force, Hadlock once again expertly navigates the fine line between poignancy and elation with his trademark melodies, chord structures, and instrumentation. Fans of previous Hadlock albums will not be disappointed. The classic ambient spaces are certainly present, and Hadlock’s subtle rhythmic flair and strong melodic sensibilities are in full bloom on this effort. There are also some stronger, more straightforward elements such as electric guitars, drums and orchestral programming that bring a satisfying intensity to key moments of the album.

While “Fusion to Love” holds many mysteries, its music still enlightens. Ellis Hadlock aims for the high horizons of the spirit in his recordings, and his recent albums of contemporary instrumentals have helped to raise the easy-listening genre from mere entertainment to an enriching art form.

It is possible that some consumers will use the recording as background music, but there is a depth and complexity to this album that makes active listening a most rewarding experience – even more so in isolation where it easily stands on its own. In spare and unhurried arrangements Hadlock explores the magic of spatial depths. With generous applications of reverb and echo an airy halo seems to surround each note.

Mostly paced at an amble Hadlock does mix up moods with tempo changes. Slow crescendos move the atmosphere from the quiet impassivity of rest into a more potent and beautifully crafted zone of moody strings, thumping drums, twanging guitar, and elegant piano tones. On a few tracks he combines synthesized and piano sounds, which results in ethereally original melodic lines – something difficult to achieve in such a crowded field.

Sometimes artists may create as if they were on fire, and Ellis Hadlock is no less passionate. Yet while he makes sure his work is not fully ablaze, he does indeed allow it to smolder. The first half of the album is dedicated to more drifting pastoral soundscapes while the latter half encompasses more of Hadlock’s rhythmic side. All-round though, he has tapped into a wellspring of inspiration that has let loose a flood of creativity and innovation.

By putting his rich piano against a backdrop of shimmering textures and punctuated by skittering rhythms, he achieves a pluralistic impact. The listener can’t help but smile with childlike delight, yet the warmth of the music permeates the soul with a calming sense of contentment. This happens on the titular track, “Fusion to Love”, as well as on other standouts like “Space Trippy”.

Spotlighting tracks on the album is difficult because describing the music itself would require a fair amount of detail, as Ellis Hadlock features a wide assortment rhythms, sounds and melodic structure. And not all songs have rhythms either; the best among these being “Royal Time” and “Beauty In Us”.

On this album, Ellis Hadlock enters into a sound universe where everything becomes possible, even the solidification of spectral and extraterrestrial ambiences which is the spearhead of a universe that few are able to approach with such a temperate attitude.

OFFICIAL LINKS: REVEBNATIONCDBABYITUNESYOUTUBEFACEBOOKTWITTER

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Brice Sedgwick: “Venice” reaches into your heart and soul, and connects http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/brice-sedgwick-venice-reaches-heart-soul-connects http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/brice-sedgwick-venice-reaches-heart-soul-connects#respond Tue, 30 Jan 2018 17:13:18 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=31378 Consistency is the easiest virtue to feel cynicism toward – it’s not flashy and it can be hard to get excited about it. Albums that shatter expectations often make headlines, and bands that constantly evolve their sound tend to get the most applause. Putting out a great EP or album, with song after great song, […]

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Consistency is the easiest virtue to feel cynicism toward – it’s not flashy and it can be hard to get excited about it. Albums that shatter expectations often make headlines, and bands that constantly evolve their sound tend to get the most applause. Putting out a great EP or album, with song after great song, all with major style tweaks to one’s sound, while maintaining a steady, high level of creative quality is arguably more difficult and more impressive. “Venice” is a beautiful EP with amazing lyrics and musicality. It creates worlds and waves, digging deep and lasting long in the listener’s mind. Almost like an addiction, the songs contained within this collection will keep drawing one back to the harmony and melodies, long after the last note has ceased. The mind-blowing arrangements create intense sounds that make it hard to believe that this is only the second release from Australian musician, Brice Sedgwick, after his critically acclaimed debut album “Pacifico”.

It would have been easy for Brice Sedgwick to lose it all in this maelstrom of acclaim, and succumb to difficult second album syndrome. It would have been all too easy to have written some songs, used his well-trodden formula, added a sparse piano and a few more adlibs in the background, package it up and roll it out quickly to continue riding the wave. Thankfully, he hasn’t.

Not that he has lost any of the otherworldly magic present on “Pacifico”, on the contrary, I feel that “Venice” is even more transcendental than his previous work. How else would you describe the awe-inspiring titular track which opens the EP?  This goes right into our head and hearts when we remember drowning in an unwanted relationship that just won’t work, no matter what the other person brings to it.

Brice Sedgwick doesn’t seem to be moved by the pull of radios, labels or critics. He remains rooted in his own personal sound and in his will to stay grounded, the physical here and now. The authenticity breaths through his melody, lyrics and vocal approach, and this EP embodies that direct sound which reaches into your heart and soul, and connects.

“Symmetry” has an all-powerful rhythm and richly layered instrumentation which is a showcase for Brice’s emotional voice and powerful harmonies and chants. “Mondays Aren’t Blue In California” is a mid-tempo burning delight, with a sting in its tail. There is an under-the-surface energy which allows us to join in on the musical journey the song takes.

If there’s a common thread between the songs on “Venice”, besides the varying lyrical themes surrounding relationships, it’s that these songs hit you on an emotive level before anything else. There’s a distinctive sound, instrumentally and vocally, that sets them apart, and it tends to stay with you long after you’re done listening to it.

You’ll be hypnotized by the swaying rhythm of “Neighborhood Scenes”, and the effect of the sprawling harmonies with its multiple textures. It is, in my opinion, one of the EP’s strongest components. To listen to a Brice Sedgwick song is to be aware of the vastness of the sound itself. You do not get the sense that you’re cooped up in some small music venue.

No, it’s more like being outdoors, surrounded by a multi-textured landscape and an ocean of sound. Which is unusual really, considering the detailed intimacy of Brice’s narratives. More often than not, singer-songwriters have a style that sounds as if they’re communicating with one person at a time.

In Brice Sedgwick’s case, it’s as if he is singing to groups of people all at once. It’s like he is standing on a pedestal candidly narrating suburban tales and relationship intricacies to us all. The trick is being able to balance pop grandiosity with singer-songwriter intimacy, and Brice gets it just right on “Boys Don’t Cry”, as he does on the rest of the EP.

The melodies and harmonies on “Venice” are all strong, the instrumentation is wonderful, and the arrangements are very tasteful. Ultimately however, it’s the compelling songwriting and Brice Sedgwick’s striking performances that will leave you utterly breathless.

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King Solomon: “Illuminate the Dark” – a concept rap album that focuses on inspiration http://jamsphere.com/reviews/king-solomon-illuminate-dark-concept-rap-album-focuses-inspiration http://jamsphere.com/reviews/king-solomon-illuminate-dark-concept-rap-album-focuses-inspiration#respond Mon, 29 Jan 2018 22:53:03 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=31371 King Solomon has just released his first album, entitled “Illuminate the Dark” on the 16th of January. It is primarily a concept rap album that focuses on inspiration and an insight into the artist’s faith, however King Solomon does not consider himself a gospel rapper. The rapper lives in the UK but is an American […]

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King Solomon has just released his first album, entitled “Illuminate the Dark” on the 16th of January. It is primarily a concept rap album that focuses on inspiration and an insight into the artist’s faith, however King Solomon does not consider himself a gospel rapper. The rapper lives in the UK but is an American born and raised, descended from Nigeria. Based on technicality and production values alone, “Illuminate the Dark” stands as an expertly crafted hip hop album, and arguably one the best I’ve heard in the genre for the last 3 years. Of course, due to its Christian message, most people would want to pass it by, due to personal gripes with music about faith. And that’s a pity, because not since Kendrick Lamar’s epic “To Pimp A Butterfly”, have I been so enchanted by a hip-hop album. From the moment the soulful and melodic titular track, “Illuminate the Dark” (feat. Jay Singh) opens the proceedings, you’re sucked into a vortex of emotions that’s hard to control.

“Illuminate the Dark” is an excellent, cohesive, relevant, and thought-provoking album. From start to finish, this recording is packed with messages, meaning and melodies that understand and speak to the soul. King Solomon is vulnerable and honest with the issues that plague him, and hence our culture in general.

His creative genius, catchy beats, and dedication to understanding his faith make him a true hip hop anomaly. And by the time you’ve finished playing through the heart-wrenching introspective verses of “Altar Call”, King Solomon would have convicted and inspired you beyond your expectations!

With all songs performed in the first person, each narrative tackles a specific moment, event or mind-set King Solomon has experienced in his ongoing plight to come to terms with the joys and sorrows encountered in his daily journey.

One of the most accessible and catchiest songs on the album has to be “Yahweh” (feat. Truthz & Moyege), with its stunning Rihanna-type vocal hook, and King Solomon’s spontaneously sounding, free flowing lyrical scheme. Get this clear, King Solomon isn’t just the average rapper spitting out Jesus’ name in every bar, this guy can actually rap and he isn’t trying to be being preachy about anything at all.

King Solomon isn’t one of those Christian rappers expected to be annoying and overly holy. For a person like me who has always liked intelligent hip-hop, and not the self-hyping junk that is popular, this is an extremely worthy album indeed. In essentially every song I heard the exact same level of quality, lyricism, and intentionality as any other A-league hip hop artist today.

The same rules apply to the production. Very few artist’s blend outstanding production with meaningful lyrical content. And King Solomon pulls this off with grace. This is a powerful project that the whole family will enjoy. There are so many great songs here that it becomes wholly impossible to choose any single standouts.

Depending on your personal tastes, you may succumb to the melodies and harmonies of tracks such as “Everybody Cries” (feat. Ёrin Hebrews) and “Hallowed Be Thy Name” (feat. Bethia Morris & Joshua Kilonda). Or if you’re attracted by aggressively passionate raps, you’ll be mesmerized by the songs Tired” (Small Voice) [feat. Moyege] and “Rise” (feat. Anjee).

The synopsis of each song is clearly laid out by King Solomon, but I doubt you will ever need them, just press play, and each song will speak to your soul directly. King Solomon passes the emcee test with relative ease here, and the thoroughly cinematic production of this project flies with Technicolor.

“Illuminate the Dark” successfully emulates the crystalline, modern production aesthetics without a hint of carbon-copy construction. And it bangs too. Taken together, King Solomon has the ingredients for a winner.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITETWITTERINSTAGRAMFACEBOOK

MUSIC STREAMS: WEBSITESOUNDCLOUDSPOTIFYYOUTUBEITUNES

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Rex Macadangdang: “The Pasadena Sessions” – a fresh, unique identity http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/rex-macadangdang-pasadena-sessions-fresh-unique-identity http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/rex-macadangdang-pasadena-sessions-fresh-unique-identity#respond Mon, 29 Jan 2018 18:54:54 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=31362 There’s nothing like a pop music mystery. It intrigues, it induces wonder, it confuses. Mysteries, in these days of production line pap, faux-angry American noise bands and Rap moaners, is hard to find. Everything seems so formulaic, so predictable, and so staid. Although new bands are emerging, they seem…well, simple. Rex Macadangdang is many things. […]

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There’s nothing like a pop music mystery. It intrigues, it induces wonder, it confuses. Mysteries, in these days of production line pap, faux-angry American noise bands and Rap moaners, is hard to find. Everything seems so formulaic, so predictable, and so staid. Although new bands are emerging, they seem…well, simple. Rex Macadangdang is many things. Simple is not one of them. Rex’s music is a quiet storm, a swirling, powerful quiet storm intent on sweeping you up and never letting you go. It almost seems like Rex doesn’t belong here, like we should be eternally grateful for his very existence. Of course we could go back to listening to the Beatles and Kinks records to here that sound, filled with gorgeous melodies again.

The harmonies and hooks are indelibly tied to early 60s pop, with a strong tip of the hat to the set of famous Liverpudlians. Rex Macadangdang’s sound, despite the obvious linkage to a bygone era, never sounds dated, maintaining a fresh, unique identity without ever becoming derivative or ironic.

Rex Macadangdang is an enigma, a maverick in today’s corporate music scene. Though he plays 60’s influenced pop, when you listen to his latest record “The Pasadena Sessions”, it all seems so much more. The melodies are like perfect dreams from which you will never wake up.

The first time you hear them, it’s like you’ve spent every day of your life listening to them. They seem to induce some sort of chemical reaction in the brain that spreads joy throughout your body. The way the melody peaks and troughs on “Beautiful and Amazing” the layered chorus of “Melody”, the orgasmic horn-filled opening of “Walking In The Rain”. It’s perfection.

Lyrically, Macadangdang is as good as they come. His songs are blessed with a Morrissey style classical allusion, yet he is able to sum up complex emotions with simple lines. The slight Mersey-Beat sound of “Gimme Love” carries Rex’s uplifting lyrics, bringing to mind bands like the Monkees. “Melody” begins in a swirl of guitar and saxophone, not quite psychedelic, but enough to provoke the imagery.

The song’s clutter drops to reveal a rich mid-tempo retro-pop song without calling on the production clichés of the day. Clearly Rex Macadangdang strives for perfection in his arrangements, but that constant strive for perfection leads to a stellar, enduring set of tight, muscular and thrilling pop music. The four tunes on the disc are concise, sharp, pop tunes, filled with memorable hooks and punchy 60’s inspired melodies.

Rex Macadangdang harmonizes well together with Annie Hardy and Marisa Frantz on the vocal parts, while the rhythm section with Brandon Davis on the drums is solid.  Joni Fuller on Violin and Michelle Packman on Cello, together with Cameron Black on saxophone bring rich embellishments to the arrangements, and the songs themselves are breathtaking.

If ever an advert was needed for melodically structured, unpretentious pop songs being enough to forge a legendary sound, this is it. Also thanks to the production by Doug Grean, “The Pasadena Sessions” is a timeless recording, packed with pop numbers that reflect the glory days of classic British guitar music, without ever becoming a poor imitation.

Ultimately, the brilliance of “The Pasadena Sessions” lies in how its creator feels liberated, not constrained, by the songs’ classic palette. Where so many revivalist acts become restricted by their choice of music, Rex Macadangdang absolutely revels in it, free to explore the 60s fantasia inside his own head.

MORE ABOUT Rex Macadangdang: Born in Kansas City, Rex’s familial roots are in the Philippines, though he has been in L.A. most of his life. Besides music, Rex is a scholar, and holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology. He has recently launched an online business based on his other passion, which involves making music videos for other artists. In his spare time, he keeps up with the latest movie releases, watches football and basketball, goes to Disneyland and hangs out at the beach when he has the chance. He loves spicy food, especially Mediterranean and Thai – the hotter the better! He meditates for at least thirty minutes a day, and cites a strong faith in God, which reflects effortlessly through the ethereal tones in his music and his lyrics, which are at times reverent and often reflective of a life continually filled with the wonder of it all.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITEFACEBOOKINSTAGRAMTWITTERBANDCAMPSOUNDCLOUDITUNESSPOTIFY

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llluminatè Steele: “A Darker Shade of Heaven” – a compelling force http://jamsphere.com/videos/llluminate-steele-darker-shade-heaven-compelling-force http://jamsphere.com/videos/llluminate-steele-darker-shade-heaven-compelling-force#respond Mon, 29 Jan 2018 16:23:48 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=31358 llluminatè Steele, is a multi-talented musician, published poet, producer, video editor and director. She started her career as a DJ and promoter in both Portland and Washington DC, and has since developed her own signature avant-garde synth wave sound which mixes 80’s vibes with modern cutting edge grooves. Her latest music video release “A Darker […]

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llluminatè Steele, is a multi-talented musician, published poet, producer, video editor and director. She started her career as a DJ and promoter in both Portland and Washington DC, and has since developed her own signature avant-garde synth wave sound which mixes 80’s vibes with modern cutting edge grooves. Her latest music video release “A Darker Shade of Heaven” features MN burlesque royalty, Elektra Cute. The track was mixed at Terrarium Studios in Minneapolis, MN and mastered at Rare Form by Greg Reierson (Prince/The Cure).

llluminatè Steele is a walking superlative. She can do dance routines, infect with her angelic lilt, and preach seduction through her gaze. An added dose of ambition turns her art into spectacle. The twist is how all of that isn’t what’s at the core of her creativity. It’s her self-awareness, and the search of it.

The track’s movements flow like natural metamorphosis rather than wild swings thanks to llluminatè’s voice. “A Darker Shade of Heaven” finds her continuously rediscovering new crevices in her vocal range, she switches from a serenade, to a gasp, and then a deep-throated whisper.

It leads to an emotive performance: how she softly pants with yearning, how her airiness adds an extra velvet layer to the breakdown, how it’s sensuality gives a sense of empathy. For a track that’s meant to be dark and mysterious, “A Darker Shade of Heaven” shines because of how it slowly lets us in. This demonstrates that llluminatè Steele is a compelling force.

It’s the equivalent of an oozing, slow-paced romp in the tradition of Barry White and Marvin Gaye, performed by Grace Jones on top of an eighties Madonna beat. A seemingly contrasting artistic equation, but an extremely explosive one, if you sit down and contemplate of it. Well you don’t even have to contemplate it, you can actually listen to track and watch the video of “A Darker Shade of Heaven” to get the gist of what I mean.

This gem deserves your attention. llluminatè’ is on a creative high, and artistically she has something important to say. The song is mature but fleet-footed, somehow as poignant as it is entertaining to listen to or watch, as llluminatè’ balances sexuality and seduction.

“A Darker Shade of Heaven” is a record that sounds aware of what’s happening on the radio right now but not particularly interested in conforming to its trends. It is a master class in how to make a grown-ass pop record — these days a disappointingly rare commodity.

This track has shaped up to be an intriguing listen, while the video also deserves a special mention due to its superlative production and provocative imagery. Both llluminatè Steele and Elektra Cute fill the frames with enterprising awareness that will captivate you.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITEFACEBOOK

Illuminatè Steele: A Darker Shade of Heaven (featuring Elektra Cute) from Illuminate Steele on Vimeo.

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