Rising Artist EL Capitan V-Man is a true example of hitting the ground running. His musical vision started at the age of fifteen, but wouldn’t come to fruition until about fifteen years later with his current debut record Gentleman Of The Jungle. A 10-track juggernaut of a record with a tasteful concoction of Dance, Pop and Urban influences all meshed into a diligently self-crafted and produced signature sound. The album, which dropped this year this past August, has already amassed almost a million streams and continues to spread like wildfire through the power of social media and industry word of mouth. EL Capitan took several years to finally make his album debut, but this record is proof that his coming-up will be much faster, and he’s determined to grab your undivided attention.
With that said, it’s no wonder this debut release has garnered the rapid-paced buzz. Utilizing a modern and multifaceted approach on classic Dance flavors you hear at some of the hottest clubs in much warmer climates, EL Capitan V-Man truly demonstrates his ability to produce an array of tracks that not only resonate with any fan of the genre, but can easily draw in new ones as well. His flavorful measures of bumping rhythms, atmospheric synths and featured vocal melodies deliver a versatile stylization that shares equal parts originality and familiarity; serving up a multilayered and unique presence that will undoubtedly keep any listener engaged as the night plays out at your favorite clubbing hotspot. The track “Juicy Jungle Nights” is direct evidence of this and really sets the tone for what takes place throughout the record’s duration. This upbeat, uptempo banger starts out with a grinding rhythm section that leads into a hypnotic female vocal melody and subsequent steel drums that give this song a Hawaiian-style flavor. One thing you’ll notice is EL Capitan’s ambient and atmospheric swells and transitions in between verses, choruses and breakdowns. His production choices of structured layers and rhythmic loops are not only well executed, but also deliver a cleverly multifaceted approach as well.
Another track that is worth noting is “Road To Success”, a song with melodic piano-based progressions with a finger-snapping rhythm and clean guitar leads. Leaning more towards a contemporary sound, this flavorful track shows another side of EL Capitan’s production value that explores a new edge to his versatile approach. The aura of emotions on every track is very apparent, and you’ll definitely notice his hypnotic elements in several layers of his instrumental structures. One more song worth touching on is closing track “Celebrate”, another upbeat finger-snapper that diligently combines several elements of the previous tracks on the record, wrapping the record up with a tightly knit craft and a pretty bright red ribbon that is nicely packaged.
For a debut record, this album exceeds all standards and expectations, and it’s no surprise that it has successfully amassed almost a million views so far. EL Capitan V-Man took awhile to get off the ground, but now that he finally has, he is quickly taking the industry by storm. You can read his entire story behind the album and his career on his official website below. You can also take a listen to Gentleman Of The Jungle on all available streaming platforms. We can’t recommend him highly enough.
Emerging from the prominent Austin music scene in Texas, Sweet Limb, the official artist project of artist/songwriter Chris Robinson, has been building his craft since 2015 and is well known for his soulful flows and instrumentals. His dynamic signature sound has flavors of old school Hip Hop and R&B but still implements several facets of today’s more modern sensibility, delivering a coherent and cohesive sound that is eclectic, heartfelt and innovative.
Robinson’s breathy and sensually vibrant vocals are what makes his songs truly a standout of their calibre. He has especially taken on the DIY angle to new heights you don’t see with most independent artists, he’s truly passionate about his work and it directly parallels his work ethics as well; and it is especially apparent with his newest upcoming three-track EP Vibes. It’s easily his best work to date and the tracks really showcase Sweet Limb at his pinnacle when it comes to his production and performance value. His songs are written strictly from his personal experiences and his ability to tell a story within his songs are uncanny, unique and multifaceted.
Vibes is definitely a title that lives up to its name. Sweet Limb’s coherently ambient and soulfully subtle style is a tasty concoction that sets the bar high for every track when you listen from start to finish. His track “Kickstart” is direct evidence of this and the song really draws you in as soon as the beat immediately drops. Implementing a chord progression of jazzy guitars as the beat’s anchor instrument, this soulful song has distinctive and notable vocal melody choices as well as lyrical content. “It’s a slippery slope, but we can thicken the road” is a perfect example of the cleverness behind the man that holds the pen to these songs and truly offers a strong message every listener can resonate with.
Follow up track “Ketamine” has a smooth acoustic bass line with atmospheric synth leads that is both bluesy and spacey. The single coil Strat guitar leads add textures to the song as it plays out as well. The instrumental detail in this track is easily the best on the record. Once again, Robinson’s passionate breathy vocals will easily soothe the soul for any listener. His ability to tell a story while utilizing this vocal style is something any listener will not only appreciate, but completely admire as well. Overall, this song’s soulful cohesiveness once again perfectly parallels the production value and is executed in the most effective way.
Final track “Dip” has a dynamic Hip Hop approach but never waivers from the soulful R&B flavors that Robinson is known for. It’s the opening track on the EP and the bossa-nova guitar chords and swells are very crisp and really give this song character. This upbeat anthem has a versatile flow and an arena of clever hooks and bars. Robinson’s showcasing of both his rap and singing skills are vibrant and masterful, trading measures of each to offer up several vibes on this track to really garner the listener’s attention.
This EP delivers several distinctive flavors and colorful instrumentals that piece together a coherently original signature ambient style that is completely authentic and raw. Sweet Limb has been grinding away for about seven years now, and this EP is easily some of his most notable work to date. It’ll easily draw in new fans if this is the first time they are discovering him, which will also entice any listener to do a deep dive into his history as an artist as well as his past and future discography. Vibes drops on December 1st and will be available on all digital music platforms. We can’t recommend this record highly enough.
Tampa-area quintet Hope Darling emerged onto the Florida scene five years ago and quickly began amassing a loyal following after releasing an array of singles and playing live around the area. Their versatile and multifaceted Rock sound draws from many influences and genre implementations including Blues, Classical, Reggae and even Hip Hop. Their distinctive style has several shades of yesterday’s more crucial music eras but also offers up several facets of today’s more modern music market – and their debut album Enso is a prime example of that.
For a debut album, Enso makes quite the unforgettable impression. The production and performance value parallels each other brilliantly and their ability to write catchy riffs and vocal melodies is right out in the forefront. This record alone could easily put Hope Darling at the top with your favorite bands. Opening track “Burning Light” is an energetic and upbeat anthem that launches you straight into the record’s aura and atmosphere, showcasing their gain-driven guitar progressions, anthemic vocal melodies and punchy rhythm section. It’s a perfect opener to demonstrate what’s to come with the rest of the album and will immediately suck you into their signature sound. The catchiness will reel you in immediately and even the average listener will be able to tell that this is a far above average record; especially for a debut release.
Another highlight on this record is the highly anthemic “Lifeline”, a piano-driven song with ballad-like components that draw a slight reminiscence to Coldplay’s earlier material. The chorus in this song showcases their more high range vocals with an arena-like buildup that pays off with an epic climax. This could easily be a song you’d hear on mainstream radio, it has that distinctive modern sound but still has Hope Darling’s signature formula that draws a perfect line between originality and familiarity; giving the audience a taste of something fresh yet still identifiable.
The other notable highlight on this record is the jammy and hauntingly ominous “Rain”, featuring some of the band’s best vocal harmonies and dueling guitar parts. The poetic lyrics diligently match this song’s aura and like other tracks on this record, features an anthemic chorus that will captivate you from the first listen. “Don’t surrender to the rain” will stick in your head for weeks. This song is definitely one of the most versatile on the album and will definitely be a favorite among those just discovering Hope Darling.
Bands and artists are dime a dozen, but there’s honestly only one Hope Darling. This powerful debut has set the groundwork for the band’s future and anyone just discovering them will easily become an instant fan based off this album alone; it’ll also entice you to research into the band’s history and keep a close eye on what they may have in store for the future. Enso is a non-generic record that fits beautifully into today’s mainstream market without the convolution of over producing, auto tune or any of today’s studio theatrics that tend to cover up or diminish any of the talent behind the music. It’s a highly recommended listen on all counts.