Artist Review: Empire Of The Ants

Review by: Justyn Brodsky & Mark Sullivan

An audio and visual realm of ambience, texture, and a familiar versatile stylization.

With many years under their belts as songwriting musicians from the UK cityscapes of West London, dynamic studio-duo Empire of the Ants bring us a fresh take on stylized Electronic Rock with 90s-era Grunge and Industrial influences that are among some of the best we’ve come to know.

Their music video for “Radar” is a solid first impression of the band. With a low to mid vocal range in the forefront, this ambient and subtle track really explores a progressive edge that shows comparisons to pioneer artists such as The Cure, Muse, and David Bowie. With a driving rotund low end and attention-grabbing vocal content, this listening experience parallels perfectly with the visual experience perfectly, and really shows you a style and image that is not only fresh-faced, but pays homage to some of the best music eras we’ve come to know and love over decades.

Their second video “Sirens” brings a more upbeat side to the duo with great cinematic elements with stunning use of color. This grunge/industrial crossover sustains an energetic flow but still brings out the same ambience that really gives Empire of the Ants the signature sound that solidifies their artistic merit and persona.

Their third video, “Utopia”, is another stroke of visual gratification with excellent blends of black & white cinematography. The song is very climactic and utilizes significant structures that deliver a buildup that makes this song an effectively compelling measure-for-measure and frame-by-frame experience. This one definitely looks and feels like the heart of their sound, and showcases their originality the strongest.

All 3 of these music videos are very much worth the watch & listen. If you’re into the classic 80s/90s Rock/Industrial era with magnetic framework and production value of today’s modernization, then Empire of the Ants will be added to your list of discoveries you wished you discovered much earlier.

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Artist Review: Cat Beach – “Go to Work” Single

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

Another astonishing and compelling reason that the Nashville music scene never disappoints.

That reason comes in the form of the charismatic and artistically articulate recording artist Cat Beach. A pioneer of the city’s renowned music scene with all the right ingredients to showcase some of today’s finer modernized Country & Blues.

Her hot single “Go to Work” is a perfect demonstration of how these ingredients are mixed with Cat Beach‘s very impressive mid-vocal range and groovy production value. While this song lyrically could be the polar opposite of the acclaimed “Take This Job and Shove It!”, we still get to grasp the same catchiness in a whole new way; except this time, you go to your job rather than quitting it on bad terms.

It’s only a lyrical reference however. The song itself is a very enchanting danceable experience with great backup vocals to compliment Cat Beach‘s fun, witty vocal style and bluesy riffs that drive this song forward. It starts out with a bang and cruises with a modernized take on classic Blues progressions that many famous songs utilize, but has a whole different kind of originality and versatility that emanates from every measure. Its message is conveyed beautifully and makes this song very addictive and quite the fun listen.

“Go to Work” has that staying power that will keep you coming back to this song again and again, as well as entice you to check out more of Cat Beach‘s catalogue. If you dig a catchy tune with a big band experience, then this song is definitely for you; and will give you another reason to absolutely adore the Nashville scene.

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Artist Review: Natasha Jane Julian – “Now I Know” Single/EP

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

When it comes to turning heads and capturing the ears, renowned Pop recording artist Natasha Jane Julian does exactly just that with her recent EP Now I Know.

Natasha, from a small mountain town in Southern California, gained a lot of her on-stage experience as a showgirl, performing relentlessly in theatres and dance shows. When Natasha moved her stomping grounds to the landscapes of Florida, her experience in music hit the ground running when she joined forces with an eclectic band called Psychedelic Mist. 

A handful of shows and an EP later as a band, Natasha decided to spread her wings of versatility and began to find her vision as a solo artist by the time 2015 came around, and respectively departed from Psychedelic Mist. 

This is when Natasha began her Artist Development process, and decided to take time off gracing the stage to hone her craft, find her sound, her musical niche, her inspirations as well as aspirations, and even learned piano during this time, which took place around 2016, and even added learning some guitar during the process; refusing to leave a stone unturned. 

After some years of blossoming into a solo artist, Natasha Jane Julian released her debut EP in June 2016, Now I Know. The first single from this freshman-effort was her Rock-influenced track “Gemini Twin”. The EP received positive reception, critical acclaim, and eventually prompted Natasha to make her rounds throughout the cityscapes; she currently has an elite team of musicians now gigging her original songs all over the US, UK, and more.

But the one that really stands out is her EP-title track, “Now I Know”. A song that’s tight, well-put-together, and charismatic. Natasha‘s mid to high singing approach breathes life into this song and really parallels the musicianship, as well as structures. It screams with melody as well and fits every piece of the song like puzzle pieces. So I have to really tip my hat to Natasha Jane Julian. Her musical acclaim and path is very promising.

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Artist Review: The Keymakers – “Good For You” Single

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

R&B the way it should be, and a groove that was meant to make you move.

Dynamic duo, The Keymakers, are some very talented voices contributing to the R&B and Hip Hop flow that makes artists like these guys stand out in versatile ways with a signature sound that could easily appease both old school R&B fans, and new sensibilities. A sound that’s integrated in natural production value between the duo with their current buzzing single, “Good For You”. A track of sensuality and a great showcase of both voices honing their craft in order to do their part as a duo with a duality approach. It’s a brilliant mix for any avid listener of the R&B good nature along with the rhyme and flow that beautifully drives this song forward.

There’s many twists and turns in different ways with many different dynamics that The Keymakers succumb to. You can hear many artist influences, but there’s a vibe and natural persona that absolutely puts likability factors in the forefront with the duo. It only takes one listen to really hear the witty edge and nostalgic factors that these two bring to the table, and really bring their own vocal structures and melodic executions right where they can grasp at your heart, ears, and mind. “Good For You” is definitely the song for you. A song with drive, diversity, both indie and mainstream sensibilities, and with the right marketing and getting this song out to the correct people (hint: That’s where WE come in), “Good For You” just might bring some good for The Keymakers future prospects. We can hear the potential loud and clear.

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Artist Review: Wounded Spirit – “Stand Up (featuring Har-Q)”

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

When it comes to production value, this band supercharges it with top-notch quality and beautifully executed multi-genre, multifaceted, and even multilayered qualities. 

Wounded Spirit‘s extremely versatile single “Stand Up”, featuring some rhymes and bars from Har-Q, and also accompanied by an entertaining animated music video, pulls out all the stops to give you a song that not only puts great energy and moods in the air, but also gives you an uplifting message and the hankering to, well, stand up. And perhaps jump around and dance quite a bit.

With witty verses that Har-Q delivers us in a very unique and clever manner, we also get some very clean and impressive vocals with an excellent range; and gives the song high likability factors with the sharing of the verses, and really prepares you for a very powerful chorus that not only deepens the message, but is also utilized with an amazing post production mix that includes a choir-stylized and almost gang vocal-edged way of making this song’s chorus explosive and unforgettably melodic. It’s a flawless chorus that really captures your soul, and your knack for dancing.

Whether intended or not, the avatar-stylized animation is not only fun to watch, but brings a nurtured humor with it as well. And now that I really think about it, I’m more than positive that the video was intended to have its humor. It really adds to the song’s (and band’s) overall character; the charisma, the message, the good-nature of having fun, and playing the music they really believe in.

It’s hard to really pick out one defining factor that sells you on this song. There are so many positive twists and turns, top-notch production value, and amazing Songwriting structures that turns this song more into an anthem. You’ll be very surprised at just how impressive Wounded Spirit is. They’re not a band that needs several listens to “grow on you”. They’ll grow on you right from the very first listen.

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Artist Review: Mercury & The Architects

Review by: Justyn Brodsky & Dave Welsh

As Plucky Duck would say, expect the unexpected. But with a multi-genre group with a chemistry unlike anything we’ve heard in quite some time, Mercury & The Architects really put together something raw, fresh, and akin to sonic alchemy. Their dark and melodic approach is transcending, but regardless, the stars really aligned when their songs were put together.

“The Wolf” starts with dark melodic piano and a cleverly shared intro that switches between the male and female vocals. Then after leading into a synchronized duet between the duo, we get an astonishingly unexpected uptempo beat that really kicks this song off and gets your head bobbing along as it progresses into something more. The duality that is conveyed between the male and female lyricists tells a very multi-layered and multifaceted story, which leaves enough room to let your imagination parallel with the song’s themed likability factors. Although dark, it has elements of what an uptempo EDM modernized pop song might have, however this darker spin diminishes the pop sensibility and instead indulges in something versatile with influences from The Clash, The Cure, Danzig, and Blue Oyster Cult. A blend that has yet to be touched on in the EDM world, making “The Wolf” an entity of its own.
The theatrical and melodically string-oriented track “Genesis” really shows a whole different side to this artist. This track is far more structured with twists, turns, and mood swings that really show different components of the writing style and use of different plugins and post production. The low-to-mid vocal range really sets the tone for every song, and brings a charismatic nature that is powerful and versatile. The climactic Hip-Hop sequence really adds to the song’s depth and character of how the song is put together. It’s a track you’ll find yourself coming back to and hearing something more each time. It ends brilliantly subtle, and leaves you frozen in your seat.

“Machine” is very lyrically insightful with a sort of Adele influenced vocal approach, but more stylized and original. The Hip Hop sensibility is more at the forefront in the verses and really captivates the energy that this song garnishes with the soft and sensual female-vocal chorus. One thing that sets Mercury & The Architects apart from your contemporary artist is their content and arrangement; elements and chemistry from the lyrical content to the versatility of how each track is executed with different moods, concepts, likability factors, deep insights, and a style that always keeps you guessing. This is an edge-of-your-seat experience, as it has been with every track we’ve heard. You definitely won’t hear the same thing twice, and each voice carries its own weight to make each song a gem; something that is truly unique and stylized. 

Like any other group, there is probably a story behind the artist name. However to us, looking from the outside in, the group name definitely fits with Mercury being a flowing metal and the architectural arrangements and precision of each song puts justice to being synonymous with an Architect and songwriting. 
If you crave amazement and something completely mind-blowing out of the box, then Mercury & The Architects do justice.

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Artist Review: Jennifer Hope – “My December” (Linkin Park Cover & Chester Bennington Tribute)

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

In this last 1-2 years, between the losses of many music icons like Scott Weiland (Stone Temple Pilots), Chris Cornell (Soundgarden / Audioslave), Prince, David Bowie, and most noticeably for Jennifer Hope, Chester Bennington (Linkin Park). 

And with her cover & tribute version of Linkin Park’s “My December”, I must say, I haven’t had goosebumps over a tribute like this since Tori Amos’s Piano/Vocal version of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” back in the 90s under the same mantra and concept that Jennifer Hope brings to the forefront with this cover.

It’s not just a run-of-the-mill Piano/Vocal cover, Hope really brings the vocal sensuality of the verses that parallel the same vocal delivery intended by Bennington himself, and puts a strong and even raspy tone to the chorus that once again brings the expression of the original version. 

But despite all the similarities, Jennifer Hope breathes new life into this song and performs it with that kind of simplicity that showcases her strongpoints in talent, emotion, production value, and true meaning in her artistic merit. She really lights up the room with this version, but still brings forth a darkness that beckons the Soul of the original version in all the right ways. 

This tribute was also released with the intention of bringing the components of suicide prevention & awareness, which currently has an active fundraiser that Jennifer Hope put together to support the cause and utilize the song into the hopes of helping others through the fundraiser. 

This Linkin Park cover is definitely a version that will give you the shivers and really put a sensation and aura of pure emotion into you with the beautiful swells from the Piano parts and mid-ranged vocals that tie in perfectly with the song’s production value and beauty. This phenomenal version will not only amaze you, but will entice you to see the bigger picture. The centerpiece of what Hope put into this tribute with her undeniable talent, and the awareness that should not be overlooked. Take a listen to this tribute, and also check into her GoFundMe campaign as well and contribute to a selfless cause that is far too common among today’s youth and pop culture.

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