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 #2: Dobie – “You Are My Life” Single

Review by: Justyn Brodsky & Dave Welsh


Dobie has come back to the Artist Reach review platform for round two, and since then has recently won the Unsigned Only Music Competition for 2017. And with his track “You Are My Life“, I wouldn’t expect anything less.

This track is better than ever and comes out swinging. It’s one of those tracks that pulls you in from the very beginning. It’s heavy, fast, and has a unique and perhaps video game pacing. It’s extremely upbeat and is a clubbing and raver’s track that pulls out all the stops to make sure the energy is in the forefront, and keeps its consistency without straying from the formula of this take of the EDM genre.

With his own polished take on EDM, Dobie has cleverly blended house and trance, but not in a throwback sort of way. He’s taken familiar concepts from the genre and made something of his own that exceeds the notion of what an EDM artist should be. It’s a step above and beyond the everyday contemporary EDM expectations. There’s a very strong visceral feel that engages in versatility and tranquility.

The production value is exactly where it needs to be. And really comes together in its post production sequences. This was a flawless execution of a genre that has really evolved over the years, and Dobie has successfully managed to stand out from endless amounts of other DJs and EDM artists that can sometimes fall short, or flat completely. But however, this is not the case at all. Dobie really hits the ground running with this track and puts a very versatile hybrid style of uniqueness that implements all the right elements to make this track energetic, charismatic, supercharged, and mainstream-worthy. 

The growth of Dobie is definitely present, and we hear something more amazing each time one of his tracks comes our way. And over time, I believe he will be one of EDM’s more influential and talked about artists of his kind, and will have no trouble at all making his way to the top; which is already something that seems to be happening.

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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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200th Review Special: Craymo – A Look Into his Artist Bio

Article by: Justyn Brodsky


Welcome to a very special 200th Review special.

We have a special, special treat for you all as we look back on an Artist that has been one of the most supportive, just as much as he is as a talented one that’s graced our Review platform and continues to strive for success with catchy, versatile songs that deliver very positive messages, and also a story about how he’s come this far in his journey and what the promising future holds for acclaimed recording artist, Craymo.

Here’s what we had to say about his anti-bullying themed hit single “Be Myself”:

It’s very rare that an artist reaches out for a review, and is armed with music that is insatiably captivating and original. With Craig Raymo‘s multi-genre mind blowing single “Be Myself”, we get just that with so many clever twists where it almost can’t be put to words. This is one for the books on the Artist Reach platform.

With this track, as Plucky Duck would say…expect the unexpected. Starting off with a hand-clapping and crowd participation inspired intro, we get the perfect introduction into the dynamic and charismatic vocal approach that Raymo showcases, all while maintaining one of the catchiest hooks to prepare you for what’s to come in the following measures.
Anticipating a possible generic Pop-influenced track, we instead get a stroke of genius and mind boggling acoustic infused pre-chorus that you didn’t see coming at all. This song will put you in awe by this point, and when the powerful chorus jumps in with Raymo‘s multi-layered harmonies with perfect precision, you’ll easily understand what makes this song the gem that it really is.
This song is the perfect combination of the best of 90’s style Songwriting and today’s Pop sensibility and production value. It’s just a track that needs to be heard to be believed. You’ll have this one not only on repeat, but passed among your friends as well. 
I go way back with Craig Raymo, so in a way I was expecting nothing less than something amazing. But this track exceeded my measures by a landslide. This is a must-hear on all counts. Raymo is also Director of Publishing for company powerhouse Moho Productions. Listen, research, and reach out to a brilliant artist and person altogether.

And looking back on this review, we believe this still hits home. This song is amazing, as is Craymo as an artist altogether. But we wanted to take the next step and go beyond the review for this Artist. Giving you all a chance to get to know Craymo for who he is as an artist, and what brought him to his success. This is not only an honor, but also a first for us on the Artist Reach platform. And if there’s one Artist I can especially think of that is worthy of going behind the scenes to get his career’s story more out there, there’s no better man than Craymo. An Artist Reach family member for life.

An Artist is Born:

Craymo was born Craig Stephen Raymo in Massena, New York and grew up in nearby Ogdensburg, a quiet little city on the St. Lawrence River bordering Canada. Music seemed to possess his soul from an early age as he had always tried to imitate the singers and bands emanating from his little 45 rpm record player. In 3rd grade he picked up the alto saxophone taking lessons from Kenneth Van Winkle, father of future Grammy winner Dixon Van Winkle. Craymo continued taking lessons and played in elementary and Jr. and Sr.High Bands and the school Jazz Rock group. Craig wrote his first song when he was 16. He sang in the school choir from elementary through high school. The young performer craved the stage and graced it every chance he got joining the local vaudeville style minstrel group Showtime. Craymo performed in community theatre and high school drama and musical theatre productions.

As a senior in high school he took interest in DJing and got a job spinning at Big Ed’s Dallas Lounge and also at a local radio station where co-workers first started calling him Craymo. Craymo went to Fredonia State University majoring in Broadcasting with a minor in drama.  

 

Moving up and Manifesting:

Feeling the call of the big city, Craig left college and moved to Los Angeles to pursue his dreams. He soon landed acting gigs in the TV soap operas General Hospital and days Of Our Lives, most recently in The Watchman’s Edict (2017), The Misadventures of Walt’s Frozen Head (2017) and the HBO original film Recount. All the while focused on his music, Craymo wrote hundreds of songs and started recording demos in Los Angeles recording studios. He auditioned to be the lead singer for several bands but ultimately realized his destiny was to be a solo artist. The determined young man took vocal lessons with R&B pioneer Bobby Womack and recorded a demo of one of his songs. Craymo then met record producer David Longoria who took him under his wing and recorded his first professionally recorded song “Love Touch” and filmed his first official music video. Then they went on to create several more songs including Craymo’s first EP entitled “Be My Girl” whose title track was licensed in the indie film Paper Thin Immortals. The next video was “Take It Slow” with a sixties beatnick vibe and the song was licensed in the indie film Accidents Don’t Happen. Craymo appeared as a male vocalist on Star Search 89 with Ed McMahan. He formed several backup bands and got booked at many lucrative venues such as the Whiskey A Go Go, The Roxy, Genghis Cohen and opened up shows for Smashmouth, The Plimsouls and Fishbone. He then met record producer Chris Irwin and recorded several songs in his Malibu studio. Craymo then ran into his old friend, songwriter and producer Brandon Jarrett. They went into the studio and magic happened. Combining their song catalogs into one company, Moho Productions, LLC. They recorded “One Love One World” which became a worldwide phenomenon being featured on the United Nations project UNESCO web site http://www.newsongsforpeace.org. School teachers all over the world downloaded the song, taught it to their students who then performed it at their schools in the USA, Canada, China and Australia. The opening scene in his music video for “One Love One World” features students in Pang Liu Village in China who were taught to read English using the words and music to his song.

 

The Acclaimed & Inspirational Artist:

Craymo is an award winning songwriter winning Best Male Easy Listening Artist in the 2017 Indie Music Channel Awards. He is also an anti-bullying advocate who recently won back to back Worldwide Music Contests. In Version 3 he won Best Song for “Be Myself”, his anti-bullying anthem and in Version 4, Best Video for “One Love One World (We Are One)”, another anti-bullying anthem that also promotes equality, tolerance, brotherhood, human rights and world peace. Craymo won Best Alternative Recording in the 2016 Indie Music Channel Awards for “Moment”, a song promoting suicide prevention awareness. His song “Love You More” won Best Alternative Recording in the 2015 Radio Music Awards and was a Finalist Best International Song 2016 Australian Music Oz Awards. Craymo has been a semi-finalist and finalist in several songwriting competitions including the 2012 Australian Music Oz Awards, 2012 Hollywood Music In Media Awards Unisong, the Hollywood Spiritual Film Festival, UK Songwriting Competition, Pacific Songwriting Competition and the Artist Undiscovered Competition. His songs have been licensed in the indie films, Lucky Dog, Culture Shock, Gabe The Cupid Dog, Cinnamon, Super Southern Sweet Sixteen, Miss Castaway, Leaving Hollywood and Successful Failures 2. Craymo has licensed several songs in television including The Mysteries of Laura (NBC), The X Games (ESPN), The Orlando Citrus Parade (SYND), Sinbad’s Reality U (pilot), Toddlers and Tiaras (TLC) and Chris and John To The Rescue (Canada). Craymo is currently receiving airplay on commercial and internet radio all over the world.

Musical influences include: Duran Duran, George Michael, The Beatles, Morrissey, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, David Bowie, Elton John, Sting and The Cars.

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Artist Album Review: Maribel Hill- “The Unveiling” LP

Review by: Justyn Brodsky


Jazzy, swingin’, and a writing formula that really adds appeal to the grooves, whole-band melodies that follow the vocal structures, and the bossa-nova textures that makes Maribel Hill‘s LP, The Unveiling, one of the most refreshening artists you’ll come by is not only an astonishing group that is very jammy and free spirited, but beautifully structured as well with a formula that is traditional, but modernized as well.

With the LP-title opening track “The Unveiling”, we get the perfect demonstration of this formula; a fantastic introduction into the aura that does justice to the song/album title. We are thrusted into adventurous musicianship that showcases the soothing mid-range vocals from Hill along with the band’s punctuality and precision that often follows her vocals in unison completely, syllable-by-syllable, which puts jazz songwriting techniques to a level you’ve never quite heard. Its versatility is relentless, and the likability factors are endless.

With the more uptempo track, “Sway”, we still enter the same prototype of their Jazz marksmanship and versatility, but explored at different angles. This is another song that does justice to the title completely. A track that shares some mood changes, but gets your hips to sway and place some ownership on the dance floor.

“Beautiful” is similar to the predecessors; the signature sound is still there, but a whole new showcase is brought to the forefront that encompasses you to hear another side to the moods and jazzy grooves that Hill and her band bring to the table. The musicianship is completely top notch and parallels the production value, as well as the intricacy of the signature sound that Hill offers up with every track. 

There’s something new, fresh, and multifaceted offered up in every song off The Unveiling. And it’s also an album that ties everything together both musically and lyrically. I can’t express how well put-together these songs are, and the band does a fantastic job of bringing in new additives and elements that are dynamic, soothing, and absolutely refreshing. Maribel Hill completely hits it out of the park with The Unveiling.

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Artist Review: Trilhoutte – “1×1 = X” Single 

Review by: Justyn Brodsky


A track that has yesterday’s Classic R&B foundation with today’s Hip Hop sensibility is quite a treat. It’s also a chemistry that sets the groundwork for marketing and reaching an audience that is bound to take an immediate liking to what is presented.

That’s what makes Trilhoutte‘s infectiously catchy single “1×1 = X” the gem that it really is, and glistens with some very high likability factors with its versatility and familiarity of the genre that this song combines in its own effective way.

With sing-songy stylized verses that could be comparable to Ne-Yo and Nelly, the Rapping and melody combination emulates a fluid and charismatically well-crafted flow that brings out a versatile edge that sets this song apart from your average artist. The syllable-wise and wordsmithy approach really hits home without sounding generic, run-of-the-mill, or pretentious. 

This is a track that shines on a whole other level, while still being able to utilize the mainstream elements of today’s Hip Hop and R&B that you might hear on Hot 97 or 106 & Park. This song has one key factor that is very difficult to compose with today’s saturated pop-culture influenced songwriting–staying power. That memorable and infectious feeling you get after the song is over; something that stays with you and perhaps becomes a part of you. It’s a very hard thing to achieve, and even in today’s industry standard of what is called a “hit song” still doesn’t do justice to true staying power that a song can manifest. And Trilhoutte accomplishes this rarity with this single.



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Artist Review: Sofistipunk – “Invincible” Single

Sometimes all it takes is asking your parents for a Moog Sub-37 Tribute Edition Synthesizer for Christmas, and then, an amazing recording Artist/Producer & Songwriter is born.

That happened to be what Sofistipunk‘s main member, Raven Hunter, exactly did. At only 17-years of age, this Hong Kong native is able to play multi-musical roles of Music Production, Tracking/Engineering, Singer, Songwriter/Composer, and everything in between needed to create the high-energy tunes with soaring melodies and vocal hooks he’s become known for.

With Sofistipunk‘s single “Invincible”, you can hear many different angles of an artist that is manifesting beautifully; shining light on his versatility, Infectiously catchy vocal melodies, heavy EDM breakdowns, and a very dynamic sound that showcases not only his artistic merit in performance and songwriting, but his ear for detail behind the mixing board during post-production as well. This is just one of those tracks that hits the spot; fits like a glove.

With a solid assortment of musical influences ranging from Rock giants such as Linkin Park, Nine Inch Nails, David Bowie, to modern Pop icons like Justin Bieber and Troye Sivan, Hunter’s love from the USA and UK pop culture really began to bring the aspiring teenage recording artist to new heights of determination and prospects of becoming something greater. Hunter even covered a couple songs from Bieber and even Taylor Swift on YouTube; paying homage to a staple of Artist influences that is continuing to inspire the rising star to find his niche, which is becoming strongly apparent with songs like “Invincible”. 

Hunter is definitely one of those raw and original artists that found his versatility and strong musical elements through the chemistry of his influences; which like said before, is very uniquely open-minded and utilized even more cleverly than you’d expect. And due to this immense creativity ontop of these strong influences, Raven Hunter’s multi-genre mashups include Electro-Pop, EDM, Alt/Rock, and many others that contribute to his electronically-melodic sound.

For a 17-year old debuting his first self-produced track with almost endless likability factors, I’m completely stoked to see (and hear) what Sofistipunk comes up with next. In the meantime, the rest of you really need to check out “Invincible” yourselves. 

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