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: Calafyx

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

Melodically driven, drums and bass heavy, and an insatiable feeling of musical nostalgia.

The melodic vibes from UK EDM-Artist Calafyx’ newest EP Freedom really bring the dynamics of Ableton Live software and magnetic songwriting to the forefront; expressing many moods, structures, and cinematic-worthy production value. 

The first single from Freedom is the instrumentally soothing “Made”. A perfect introduction and demonstration to Calafyx’ signature sound and artistic merit. This track definitely sets the tone for the rest of the EP and already begins to leave you transfixed on the track’s versatility and infectious melody.

The second single “Fantasy” brings forth a shift in formula, but sticks to the melodic foundation that makes these songs stand out. With beautifully crafted vocals featured by artist Charlea B, the uptempo drum track from this song really drives the structures forward with more versatile elements when mixed with the powerful melodies this EP showcases. The vocal harmonies are absolutely flawless and really put the perfect touch to the track’s atmosphere altogether.

And with EP-title track “Freedom”, again with authentically sensual mid-to-high range vocals performed by Charlea B, we get another nostalgic angle of Calafyx’ song structured moods with balance and composure that really tie all the songs together. This title track definitely shows a lot if charisma and really hits home with the EP’s concept. Each of these songs are cleverly connected and also experiment with different elements while sticking to a solidified chemistry that really puts high likability factors on Freedom altogether. No matter what, these singles are going to entice you to check out the rest of the EP in whole, and perhaps have you research more into Calafyx as an artist and persona. You won’t be disappointed when you do.

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Artist Review: Uyoka – “Jupitersong” EP

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

Enchanting, ambient, and strikingly cinematic with moods that can have you walking through the city streets, while feeling the vibe and aura coming at you from every direction.

There’s a lot of different ways to describe this dynamic and beautifully-crafted record. Uyoka‘s Jupitersong displays artistic merit, and production value that fits the EP’s ingredients perfectly. This has very powerful moods and innovative musical spectrums that bring out different angles of genres we know and love today. With Jupitersong, we hear an R&B and Alternative crossover with very subtle vocal textures that showcase beautifully written melodies and lyricism that parallels it beautifully. With her deep vocal tones and great use of layered backups, I can hear musical influences ranging from Natalie Merchant, Tracy Chapman, to Alanis Morisette and Bjork.

With her opening track “Aquaheart”, we have pure emotion and an introduction to the Soul side of the record. With a chord progression that can easily play at your heart strings, it’s hard not to fall head over heels for this song. Uyoka‘s vocal textures drive this track forward and definitely keep you fascinated.

With “Love Song”, we get a very good-vibes-only stride with the straight-forward rhythm section and soundtrack-worthy vocal melodies. This one displays more of a verse-to-chorus buildup that gives this song character and wit in all the right places. A very interesting and dynamic changeup to this song’s predecessor.

“Diamonds, Silver, and Gold” is definitely the radio hit and most-likely the most-notable track. It has that chorus that sticks with you long after the song is over and keeps the song structure simple and memorable. It’s a fantastic execution of something that could be called contemporary, but with likability factors that prevent this song from being generic. It’s a feel-good experience. Her song “Firestarter” sort of follows up from what’s already been structured as well, but maintains the feel-good vibe we’ve come to hear so far on this EP.

“Daydreamer” and “The Star” are great closing tracks, with a charismatic back-to-back sensibility that works for both songs like an anthem that could attach itself easily to the other. They are songs that conclude something that reminds you of a sound, vibe, and texture you haven’t heard quite yet. And by the time you finish this EP, you’re gonna add this to your list of favorites and pass it along to your friends.

Uyoka‘s thoughts and inspirations behind the EP: “This album explores my introspective thought process, and I hope it gives listeners a chance for them to stop and think, even if it’s just for a little while. It’s so important to take that time and really get in touch with yourself. And who knows – you might also discover something new.”

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Artist Review: Nate Utley – “Infinite Potential” EP

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

Acoustic, eclectic, and an edge you never saw coming. 

As a guitarist myself, I must say, this is an artist that knows his way around a fretboard. From star to finish, we get some of the most full sounding, detailed, and innovative guitar chords that turn progressions more into compositions with Nate Utley‘s “Infinite Potential” EP. 

But it’s so much more than that. It’s beyond your run-of-the-mill contemporary acoustic-infused solo record. We have twists, turns, and genre-bending we have yet to hear come from this type of acoustic-based approach.

His opening track “Blue Dream” is very nostalgic, and showcases Utley‘s fully-detailed guitar parts along with his perfectly mid-ranged vocal melodies as well. He makes great use of multi-layers and dualing-vocals as well, demonstrating different angles of his defining factors as a songwriter, guitarist, and lyricist altogether.

The next track, “What Up”, with a more darker edge to the guitar measures, is one of my favorites off the EP. But this is where you begin to hear something completely different. And his track “Bet” touches on this as well. We get the same dynamic guitar riffs, but add in some Hip Hop and Reggae to the mix; both in the beats that drive the song forward, the rhythmic rhyming schemes, and lyrical content that pieces it all together. It’s straight Hip Hop laced acoustic-infusion that is merciless, brilliant, and brings out a whole new realm to the genre altogether. It’s one of the best mixes I’ve heard in a long time.

The same goes for tracks “Its over” and “Blowtorch”. Songs that start subtle, but delve into the same chemistry you’ve heard thus far. Utley‘s Jack Johnson style vocals definitely add to the raw and original factors to this EPs spectrum. It sings and speaks volumes, with moments of intensity, and always with perfectly executed textures with Utley‘s mastered craft of songwriting, and with an indie-lover’s production value.

Overall, the likability factors of this EP are supercharged and relentlessly high. It’s a chillout-album with elements of something raw and original in every way. If you want some new food for the ear, then Nate Utley delivers it beautifully with “Infinite Potential”.

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Artist Review: Tune Tank – Invasion Of A Skyline LP

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

I’ve reviewed this fine Swedish trio once before. They weren’t a disappointment then, and that remains the same now with their debut full-length and freshest sounding release to date, Invasion Of A Skyline. In fact, they may have topped their predecessor with some of the nostalgic goodness on this record.

Just like their previous release, Tune Tank definitely brings many elements into their blissful and mesmerizing take on Alt/Rock with a 90s feel. Each song offers up a different side to the band’s writing style and great use of multi-instrumentation, while keeping their craft’s integrity that is in their forefront. 

One track really stuck out at me with this new record, and that track is “The Beauty In The Beast”. Introduced with an eclectic bass riff, this is one of those songs where all the pieces of the puzzle fit. The guitar swells and piano verses really carry a subtle and magical feel, and really shows that the trio are made up of composers as a whole, blending it all together without missing any ingredients. 

The lyricism is very dynamic and comes with a story-telling and theatrical approach to its concept of humanity. And it has layers that really peel back and show you just how well the band members flow together; a chemistry that has a perfect mix for the genre, and the production value that showcases it appropriately. This song is for everyone who appreciates the genre, and it may just end up being one of your new all time favorites.

The other track that grabbed me was “Insanity”. A simple, versatile, and melody-driven Rock song with the simplicity that made the genre great in the first place. It has an R.E.M. feel to it, and it’s definitely a song bound to stick in your head like glue. I believe this is one of the songs on this release that will entice you to listen to Tune Tank‘s entire catalog, if this new release isn’t enough.

It’s an honor and an amazement to have amazing artists like Tune Tank come back for another review, where you get a chance to really see and hear the evolution of a group musically. If these guys keep it up and continue down the path they’re on, they’ll be heard everywhere. If you heard about them just now in this review, listen to them and thank me later. 

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Artist Review: Morrow’s Memory

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

Powerful. Energetic. A musical discovery you’ll take pride in.

These energy-fueled rockers and elite songwriters are called Morrow’s Memory. And they are memorable indeed once you take a bite into one of the tracks off their EP Take Control. That track (or single, rather) is “Bloodlust”. Simply, a mind blow for any avid Rock listener.

You can hear elements from other Alt/Rock greats such as Foo Fighters, Alter Bridge, and Three Days Grace. But in all honesty, I think MM carries much more weight with their own signature sound that has the perfect ingredients to give you some of the best songwriting and musicianship this genre has been needing for far too long now.

They’re great for the radio, but I wouldn’t classify them as some play-it-safe-radio-friendly band at all. Nope. These guys are much more dynamic, have a very solidified chemistry, and a vocal delivery more powerful than I can even describe. Morrow’s Memory is one of those bands that makes you think “Whoa, where has this band been all my life?” after listening to them. Yes, they are that good.

The vocals and clean guitar starts “Bloodlust” off very effectively, brings out a great buildup for the vocals, and just smashes you in the face with some of the most intense Rock elements you could ever want. With great vocal melodies, a very catchy chorus, pounding rhythm section, and dynamic guitar work…we have something nothing less than amazing. Morrow’s Memory is a must-listen. You’ll be blown away.

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