Artist Review: Barendo – “Contradictions and Disconnections” LP

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

With keyboard-fronted melodies and viscerally dark vocals, Netherlands-based artist Barendo proves that the craft of his new album Contradictions and Disconnections is brilliantly themed and hauntingly original.

Concept albums are especially rare nowadays, especially ones that are effective and well executed. However Barendo‘s Contradictions and Disconnections is a rare gem in this caliber, and has written and composed a record that encompasses shades of both originality and familiarity. With each track sharing the theme of the title, containing a contradiction or disconnection, we get an exercise of beautifully accented progressions and atmospheric landscapes in every measure as Barendo embraces us with a signature sound that is melodically dark and full of textures.

His vocal range is very appropriate for his style, which blends artistic elements reminiscent of David Bowie and The Cure. It’s hard to put him into just one category, and that’s one of my favorite things about Barendo – his versatility. He extracts many authentic blends of several genres and never makes anything obvious about his sound. It’ll keep you guessing, perhaps debating. But all you know is that it’s very beautifully crafted, articulate, and stays true to the atmosphere of the album as a whole without being repetitive. He’s an original of his own right.

His vocal melody placements parallel each other perfectly in every track, and deliver up vocal content that is almost like whispering secrets into your ear. It’s ominous, dark, and soothingly ambient with an array of emotions when you truly listen to the lyrics. This is an album that is multi-layered and multifaceted in its concept, and Barendo never wavers from this aspect throughout every track.

Also, this is his debut album. His first release. Which is a big surprise granted that it’s gonna leave you very curious with what he puts out next. Some artists take several trials and tribulations to find their niche and authenticity, but Barendo definitely gets it right on the first try with Contradictions and Disconnections. It’s an album that is interesting, isn’t rushed, and has a lot of character depth and artistic merit. It truly knocked my wind out to know that this is a debut record, and scares me as to what tricks he has up his sleeves when he hits the studio again.

Contradictions and Disconnections is uniquely original and has endless likability factors that show several angles of Barendo‘s artistic glow. He’s like candle light, but never burns out. A glow stick that never loses its color. And delivers up a collection of songs that will stick with you throughout its duration. If you love concept albums with actual meaning behind them and songs with real musicianship qualities, then this record is a must-listen. You’ll be glad you did.

Connect with Barendo:

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Press Release: DRK Sharlo Release Debut Single “Changes” And Are Slated To Drop Their Debut EP December 14th

Article by: Justyn Brodsky

Clever rhyming techniques, melodic vocals and a visceral Hip Hop sound is what clearly makes DRK Sharlo vital voices of versatility for the genre. Comprised of Austin-based rappers Jony Shelby and Mad Nice, the duo have come together to create like-minded music that is innovative, influential and next level. And since the release of their debut single “Changes” (produced by VanillaGod), DRK Sharlo has proven that their collaborative effort is onto something.

“Changes”, released exclusively only to SoundCloud and YouTube, is a collective exchange of multifaceted melody choices and ambient beat structures. The duo puts together a track that is subtle yet still attention-grabbing in a way that both rappers are showcased properly. Both artists bring their own elements to the song, but the overall anthemic feel and good vibes is always present between the duo and is consistent with what they both present in the overall atmosphere of the track. It’s a solid chemistry that mixes very well.

With a sing-songy style and atmospheric vibe, the track is very crucial with its catchy vocal melody choices which gives the song a great sense of authenticity and musicianship. There aren’t any convoluted post production theatrics that drown out the vocals and it really leaves the perfect amount of room for each vocalist to bring their skill right to the surface without any unnecessary noise or distractions. It’s a versatile song that brings both vocalists together and really shows how effective a collective effort can be, if done right. And “Changes” really hits it out of the park.

The single is gonna be followed up by DRK Sharlo‘s upcoming EP, slated for release on December 14th of this year. This is definitely a record to look forward to, especially if you’ve heard the single. The dynamic duo is definitely ending the year with a bang to start off 2019 with just as much force. The EP will be available on all digital music retailers and streaming platforms, and will become one of your favorite releases before the year is out. Mark your calendars.

Connect with DRK Sharlo:

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Artist Spotlight: Marquis Music

Article by: Justyn Brodsky

Artists can be dime-a-dozen, but there is only one Marquis Music.

Emerging from the Clinton music scene in Maryland, R&B recording artist/producer Marquis Music began hitting the ground running in the music realm in 2014, and since that time has manifested into a versatile and multifaceted artist with his own signature sound and stylization.

Known for his soulful voice and melodic vocal arrangements, Marquis Music‘s music touches on a style that touches on equal parts originality and familiarity, giving his audience a taste of something fresh yet still identifiable. Since performing his first show in May of 2015, his insatiable passion for the stage has driven him to perform music that is captivating and charismatic. Since putting out songs on YouTube, his debut track “Sex Play” has garnered him an extensive fan base and currently has over 26,000 plays to date.

Recently, on October 26th, Marquis Music dropped his highly anticipated single “Down On Me”, which is currently available on digital music retailers and streaming platforms. As he continues to compose, create, manifest and innovate as an artist and producer, his plans are to continue connecting with his fans and release music that will get him the recognition he deserves. With each release he’s put out, Marquis Music has proven that he exhibits the skills to be a vital voice for R&B music and is determined to make his mark. He plans on connecting and collabing with mainstream artists as a feature artist and take his place alongside the industry’s major players. Judging by his success so far, he is well on his way to the top. And music fans will soon be knowing him as a household name.

Connect with Marquis Music:

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Artist Review: Through Infinity – “The Sight Of An Eagle” Single/Music Video

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

Anthemic, powerful and melodically visceral, Croatian Indie/Alt-Rock band Through Infinity takes us through a cinematic journey with their anchor single “The Sight Of An Eagle”.

Possibly one of the most beautiful locations a music video has ever been filmed at, “The Sight Of An Eagle” is a breathtaking experience from the very second it begins. With a dynamically paralleled Piano and Flute intro that foreshadows the song’s chorus, this song brings every emotion to the forefront with its catchy nature and Indie approach. The song has an anthemic grittiness that is hard to explain, and is very innovative – almost completely ahead of its time.

But this video’s stunning cinematography is an absolute show stealer and makes the listening experience all the more powerful. With a great vocal buildup between the singer and the band throughout the well crafted and ominously dark verses, we get a sense of anticipation that almost no other song has ever accomplished. It’s an edge-of-your-seat feeling with a blending of moods that almost separates your body and mind. And when the chorus hits, it hits home right where the heart is.

And that’s one of the song’s inescapable highlights – the chorus. Bringing us the full band version of what the intro eased us in with, we get a chorus that sticks with you in a way that will heighten your senses. It’s a captivatingly powerful chorus that is very rare among a lot of today’s contemporary artists, and the multi-genre nature of the song is really something to behold that truly makes Through Infinity a real original outfit.

The interchangeable harmonies between the woodwind, keyboards, guitar and vocals are intelligently blended and all keep a balance and composure that is almost unheard of. It comes together in a way where your emotions are at the forefront, and makes the visual aspect of what we hear in music a completely new experience when presented in this way. When you really sit back and clear your mind to watch this song and video, it’ll give you a whole new sensation to the music video experience with a whole new aspect altogether. It’s something you need (and hear) to see to believe.

Through Infinity breaks absolute new grounds when it comes to the visual aspect to music. After watching/listening to “The Sight Of An Eagle”, you may not view music videos quite the way you used to anymore. This video will grab your undivided attention from the very beginning, and even stays with you after it’s over.

Connect with Through Infinity:

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Artist Review: Kevin Calhoun – “For The World”, “Shoot Your Shot (feat. Drizzle Gwalla)” and “Nerd Confessions” Singles

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

With a a collection of three anchor singles that showcase amazing facets of Kevin Calhoun‘s abilities with the mic, we get a versatile catalogue of singles that are captivatingly original, all of which give a nod to yesterday and today’s most iconic Hip Hop eras; and you have to hear them to believe them.

Most notable of the three tracks is the 90s-influenced gem “For The World”, which serves up a world of likability factors. With a dangerously catchy female-featured hook and an LL Cool J vocal approach, this song takes on a visceral throwback feeling while completely staying relevant to today’s modern aura of mainstream artists. Kevin‘s flow tight knit, subtle, and convey’s very uplifting and inspirational lyrical content that makes this track more anthemic rather than just another song.

His number “Nerd Confessions” is more of a street heat banger that never wavers from its charisma or passion. With a vocal approach that has a multifaceted Dr. Dre vibe, Kevin demonstrates that when it comes to cranking up the energy in epic proportions, he is extremely effective and lyrically compelling. This is an edge-of-your-seat cliffhanger that is top notch from start to finish.

Then coming to his final number “Shoot Your Shot”, this hypnotic track has another subtle and atmospheric vibe that delivers up a great female-featured hook, dynamic rhyming techniques and an R&B-infused approach that makes this song catchy and next-level. It’s very soothing and has incredibly effective beat structures with melodic chord progressions that make this song an unforgettable listen.

It’s rare that songs with precision on this level grace our platform. No matter what era of Hip Hop/R&B you listen to, Kevin Calhoun will easily become one of your top artists before the year is out.

Listen/Connect to Kevin Calhoun:

•SoundClound: http://www.soundcloud.com/kevizm

•Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/kevizm25

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Artist Review: Big Kou – “No Rules” Single

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

Delivering up a sound that is dynamically catchy and lyrically contagious, we get a track banger of straight swagger from Big Kou‘s fresh new single “No Rules”.

Unlike some other Hip Hop Records that have been sliding through the gate over the past handful of years, we get something straight and to the point with “No Rules”. Delving into a signature sound that combines an old school sensibility with today’s mainstream flavor, Big Kou comes out swinging on this track from beginning to end, and never wavers from the song’s direction.

Kou‘s rhyming techniques are charismatic, witty and carries a flavorful edge to his lyrical approach. He combines a versatile flow with a catchy hook that resonates perfectly as the track plays out. And Kou also proves that sometimes less is more. The track’s short runtime is one of the likable components and doesn’t boast any convoluted or unnecessary additives, the song is perfect with its edge-of-your-seat structure and keeps you interested throughout every measure.

Big Kou is definitely a name you need to look into. His style is innovative, clever and he is more living proof that underground Hip Hop is where the magic is made. You’ll be heatin’ up the streets with this track.

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Artist Review: TyGunzzz – “Style Too Hard (Remix)” Single

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

Coming at the platform with a swagger Hip Hop and R&B sound with versatile vocal techniques, recording artist TyGunzzz proves that he has what takes to grab the industry’s attention with his single “Style Too Hard (Remix)”.

When taking a listen to this track, we can definitely gather a sense of Ty‘s identity with his musicianship factors that resonate between melodic vocals and songwriting structures. His music is a perfect additive to today’s mainstream sensibility and exhibits the production value needed to showcase his sound effectively, and really delivers a track with authenticity as well as precision.

Utilizing a tastefully melodic nature that is catchy from beginning to end, TyGunzzz delivers up something modern with a reminiscence of yesterday’s old school sound. This remix is innovative, versatile and shows different angles of Ty‘s dynamics behind the mic. The feel-good vibes in this track really gives him the room to deliver up a tasty hook in the forefront of each measure, all the while still attributing lyrics that are well crafted and well executed.

His blend of Hip Hop and hybrid R&B flavors give TyGunzzz a signature sound that is credible, relevant and identifiable. You’ve heard this type of multi-genre approach before, but he puts his own multifaceted touch on it as well as artistic merit in his overall delivery of the song. It’s the perfect track for any Spotify or digital music streaming playlist, and will definitely be up there as one of your favorites before the year is out.

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