The Walls Group
The Walls Group market themselves as the new Jackson 5 with a message from God.
Claire Holds “My Audacity”
Sometimes it feels like it will take more than a miracle to save us from ourselves. We have all had self-destructive times in our lives, and in these moments, the words of Claire’s recent single “My...
Elliphant – One More ft. MØ
Australian Miracle: Kimbra’s Unheralded Energy
Fall Out Boy’s Ruby Rose “Immortals” When I first received the email from my editor letting me know I’d be reviewing a Fall Out Boy release, I was ecstatic – I’ve more or less been waiting for this opportunity since I was 14 years old..
According to the Guardian, everybody has a crush on Ruby Rose (The Guardian). The Australian model, television presenter, MTV VJ, and DJ has won over the hearts of her home continent with her startling good..
13. Andy Mineo
It makes sense that if any of the theological genres of music was going to go mainstream it would be rap. Rap is unique in that you can get away with saying things you otherwise wouldn’t, a fact that was...
16. Allison Weiss
Allison Weiss has all the makings of a conventional female pop star, in fact why she hasn’t achieved a level of success similar to other female acts along the lines of a Michelle Branch or Kelly Clarkson, is...
40. Edson Sean
Fans of R&B may be familiar with Edson Sean, who is currently making a name for himself on various platforms online. Based in Brooklyn, New York...
48. Jessie Ware
English singer songwriter Jessie Ware sings trials and heartbreaks in hushed tones; the “tough love” she speaks of in her song of the same name off her 2014 record comes hidden beneath layers of cool synths...
As a musician, covering another artist’s work is tricky, particularly when the song is an international hit....
24. Nikki Yanofsky
Nikki Yanofsky’s music will not be a secret for much longer. The Montreal singer, who is already making strides toward international recognition, packs a soul-
30. Anderson Paak
“I need the right one, with a bad imagination/Someone to talk to, somebody patient”. Paak’s smoothing introduction to “Miss. Right” burns of old school funk and soulful electronic beats. Paak’s ode..
The Byron Bay chillwave group Tora certainly knows a thing or two about chilling and waves; after all, they hail from an idyllic town on Australia’s east coast known for surfing and a hippy alternative...
Utter yes from TEEN‘s sophomore album The Way and Color (Carpark Records) “Tied Up and Tied Down,”..
Federico Agreda, also known as Zardonic, is a music producer and DJ from Barquisimeto, Venezuela.
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happy new year to our lovely readership. 24OurMusic is back for another year of content featuring some of the most exciting music that we curated and cannot wait to share with you all.
We pride ourselves for being able to boast content that features musicians from all backgrounds, no matter the genre or levels of experience. Groups like Sailor and Voodoo Stripe are definitely act that have caught our eye near the end of the year, while Navina Rajanâ€™s solo effort is a masterpiece. We also look into the world of Nikki Yanofsky, while touching on an anthem from Big Hero 6 by the everyouthful Fall Out Boy. The variety continues to surge, and 2015 will be a continuation (if not an even bigger wave) of that energy.
Creative Department Creative Director: Justin Everest Senior Designer: Karl Nicolas Writing Department Editor-in-Chief: Justin Everest Manging Editor: Brandon Minia Senior Staff Writer: Karl Nicolas Staff Writer: Patricia De Oliveira Staff Writer: Trent B Minia Staff Writer: Evan Crandell Staff Writer: Quinn Mason Staff Writer: Alicia Prince Staff Writer: Rasha Khoweiss If you have any questions or would like to advertise with 24OurMusic please contact us with the provided information below. EMAIL: Info@24OurNetwork.com
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Teen – “Tied Up and Tied Down” UTTER YES FROM TEEN‘S SOPHOMORE ALBUM THE WAY AND COLOR (CARPARK RECORDS)
“Tied Up and Tied Down,” arguably the best song on the album, is psyche-pop perfection. Referencing the constrictive nature of the heart, it rocks and bites and it’s difficult to feign neutrality when I’ve clearly found a new favourite band. Having now listened to everything I could find from TEEN, “[Tied Up]” is another pulsar performance, not as shoegazey as the bulk, but just as feathered. This Brooklyn band, about half of which are sisters, is a Paisley recharge, rougher than The Bangles and softer than Bleeding Rainbow. If those aren’t helpful comparisons: I ask a lot from my music and TEEN supplies it with their sonic kick. The track is breathy but not too breathy, suggesting Lesley Feist but with the crunchy bass and low-fi charm of Peaches’ early work. Lyrically it’s insightful without sacrificing clarity or indulging cliché, and the fervent beat pumps blood through each constricted limbs and emotions. Practiced and not arrogant, “[Tied Up]” sounds like the band is loving what they do, regardless of the serious and thoughtful strands; “And all the seeking in the mirror, listening the clear,” with the unrelenting snare and the background howls of young love.
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A touch more rock than contemporaries Dignan Porch and HAIM,TEEN contributes with a stress-free yet punchy blend of rock instruments and effects. Their cohesion, sound, and indie cred is an omen of future success (I pray to the indie spirits). With a simple yet beautiful video directed by Jordan Michael Blake, I expect to see the cool kids on my bus route deliberate on Brooklyn’s finest, and share a tangled ear-bud home with “Tied Up and Tied Down.”
“TIED UP AND TIED DOWN,” ARGUABLY THE BEST SONG ON THE ALBUM, IS PSYCHEPOP PERFECTION.... ....COHESION, SOUND, AND INDIE CRED IS AN OMEN OF FUTURE SUCCESS.
Writer: Eddie Mumford
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Ruby Rose’s Boot(y) LEG REMIX PROVES SHE’S A MUSICAL FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH 10 – 24OURMUSIC
According to the Guardian, everybody has a crush on Ruby Rose (The Guardian). The Australian model, television presenter, MTV VJ, and DJ has won over the hearts of her home continent with her startling good looks and witty commentary. First rising to fame as the runner up in Girlfriend Magazine’s 2002 model search, she then became a regular personality on MTV, beating out more than 2000 other hopefuls during a 3 week national search. In 2009 she won the ASTRA Award for favourite female personality, and 2010 saw the release of her fashion line in collaboration with Australian brand Milk and Honey. Ruby is equally well known for her advocacy in the LGBT and gender queer communities.Rose came out as a lesbian at the age of 12, but most recently admitted to identifying as gender fluid in July of 2014. To accompany this statement she simultaneously released a video called “Break Free” that featured a previously unreleased and unmixed track by Butterfly Boucher and showed Rose transforming from an ultra feminine persona to a tattooed masculine one. Prior to FANS OF this she was chosen in both 2008 and 2009 as one of the 25 most influential Gay/LesHOUSE WILL LIKE bian Australians by Same Same magazine. This video wasn’t Rose’s first foray into musical collaboration. She began her musical career with the release of “Guilty ROSE’S UPBEAT DANCEPleasure” with Gary Go in November of 2012 and hasn’t looked back since. With ABLE CONTRIBUTIONS TO remixes of some of the biggest names in house music today, Ruby has been makAN ALREADY STANDOUT ing a name for herself as both a DJ and recording artist in her own right. Her Rad Rat Boot(y) Leg remix of J. Lo’s “Booty” featuring Iggy Azalea from October of this year proves that Ruby Rose continues to be a force to be reckoned with, no matter what medium she expresses her creativity through. With a catchy bassline and adrenaline fueled buildup, this remix will have you dancing even harder than the original. Check out the other mixes on her soundcloud including Ruby Rose’s Strung Out mix to get a taste for what we can expect from Australia’s darling in the future.
TRACK. THE TRACK IS CONSISTENTLY ENGAGING AND DANCEABLE. 11 – 24OURMUSIC
ANDY MINEO GOD IS ON HIS SIDE 12 – 24OURMUSIC
It makes sense that if any of the theologi-
there aren’t, in fact, any words more se-
continued this trend along with more solo
cal genres of music was going to go main-
vere than “dang”. Mineo has a delivery
artists such as Maximilian and T-Bone as
stream it would be rap. Rap is unique in
style not much different than many oth-
well as the emergence of Gotee Records
that you can get away with saying things
er popular rap artists of today; it’s his con-
in 1994, the first label marketed explicit-
you otherwise wouldn’t, a fact that was ir-
tent that’s different. He doesn’t swear. He
ly for Christian Hip Hop and Rap that was
revocably proved with Ben Fold’s melo-
repeatedly claims that “God is on his side”.
backed by a major label. Recent successes
dious and beautiful ballad version of Dr.
And his new goal is to be “close to the one
include Lecrae, another artist from Mineo’s
Dre’s “Bitches Ain’t Shit”.
who made his soul, man”. It’s not overly
label Reach Records.
preachy, but rather conspicuously uplifting For the casual listener, beat, flow, and
and positive with a subtle spiritual mes-
The distinction of “Christian Rap” is still a
rhythm are equally as important as lyr-
sage. But it is still Christian rap.
bit controversial and each artist categorizes themselves differently. For example,
ical content. That isn’t to say that lyrics play second fiddle to these other el-
A little bit on the history and definition
many mainstream artists such as Kanye
ements, only that the various factors are
of Christian rap: originally termed Gospel
West, 2Pac, and even the Beach Boys have
given equal weight. If a rap song has real-
rap, it is music characterized by a Chris-
created singles or even whole albums
ly great music production, seamless transi-
tian worldview and with the intention of
with Christian topics and overtones, but
tions between verses, and impressive lyri-
evangelization, edification, or simply en-
this does not mean the artists themselves
cal rhythm, you may not even process the
tertainment. MC Sweet’s 1982 The Gos-
are Christian or considered to part of the
lyrics’ semantic meaning on a first listen.
pel Beat: Jesus-Christ is widely accepted
Christian Hip Hop movement.
And so we come to Andy Mineo, the re-
as the first commercially released Chris-
cent breakout Christian rap artist whose
tian rap album, with Stephen Wiley’s 1985
new album Neverland debuted at No. 2
album The Gospel Beat being the second.
on iTunes’ Rap/HipHop chart. If you didn’t
The 80s then saw a slew of Christian rap
know Mineo was a Christian rap artist, you
crews, beginning with JC & the Boyz and
might not pick up on that fact from listen-
continuing with P.I.D. (Preachers in Dis-
ing to the album once through. You may
guise), dc Talk, E.T.W (End Time Warriors),
even need a second listen to believe that
and S.F.C. (Soldiers for Christ). The 90s
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Additionally, many Christian artists, including Lecrae and Mineo,
Whether you consider Mineo a Christian artist or not, the unde-
choose simply to be hip hop artists who are expressing them-
niable fact is that Neverland’s success is due to his loyal and pro-
selves because they are Christian. In a BET video interview, Mi-
active fanbase, which is largely, but not exclusively, made up of
neo stated that “The reason I think I wouldn’t give myself the title
Christian listeners. It reached the No. 2 spot on iTunes with lit-
of Christian rapper is that it limits me in a lot of ways, so it limits
tle to no marketing save a video series documenting the creative
me from being able to be just an impact on culture and people.”
process on andymineo.com. Mineo has said that the title is a dou-
He elaborates by discussing the preconceived notions people have
ble entendre based on his love of the movies Hook and Peter Pan
when they hear that something is “Christian”, most of which are
growing up; you had to have hope and faith to get to Neverland
based on other experiences that have nothing to do with his mu-
– concepts he feels are inherent to his music – and because he
sic. He would just call himself a Christian because that’s what he
wanted to raise people so high that their feet never land.
really is: “I really live this thing out. So it comes out because that’s how I actually live my life. I would like to say I’m a creative. I just
The lyrics certainly reflect this desire. The opening self-titled
wanna create a timeless piece of music.
track “Neverland”, featuring MARZ, a Croatian rap artist who spent
" THE MUSIC PRODUCTION IS WELLCRAFTED AND IMPRESSIVE ACROSS A RANGE OF STYLES. " Quinn
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several years with the ministry prior to launching his
tuitive and his skill as a hip hop artist are irrefuta-
music career, discusses feeling alone and driftless un-
ble. His choices in collaboration are also top notch as
til God lifts him up. In another verse he self-titles him-
every featured artist brings something unique that
self a “boom-Baptist”. He even clarifies that when he’s
doesn’t detract from Mineo’s cohesive sound but adds
talking about getting high he “ain’t even talking ‘bout
a pleasing complexity. “All We Got”, featuring Dimi-
sticky no lie.” In “You Can’t Stop Me” Mineo pines that
tri McDowell, combines McDowell’s R&B vocals with a
“they try to shut us down” but it’s alright because
jazzy instrumentation that manages to showcase Mi-
the “only thing I fear is God and he on my side, that’s
neo in a new light, proving he doesn’t shy away from a
the confidence of God, cause he got me.” The lyrics
variety of musical influences and genres.
throughout the entire album are positive and uplifting, inspiring hope and faith just like the title.
So is Mineo a Christian artist? I think that debate is irrelevant in the face of the quality of music apparent
Theological discussion aside, the music production
in Neverland. While Mineo’s Christian fanbase may
on this album is impressive. “Paisano’s Wylin’”, fea-
have been instrumental in his rise to wider exposure,
turing Marty of Social Club, stands out with a con-
his music holds up outside of limiting genre labels. He
cise bassline that perfectly matches the well-crafted
has mastered how to showcase his abilities to the best
rhythmical banter of the two artists. “Rewind”, fea-
of their potential with impressive music production
turing Kam Parker, also shows an impressive depth of
and well-chosen collaborations. He tests the bounda-
sound that blends well with Parker’s smooth vocals.
ries of the hip hop genre, much less the Christian gen-
Every track on the album feels finished, well thought
re, and his ardent fan base is well deserved as well as
out and polished. If you needed any proof that Mineo
an indicator of his merits as a musical artist. With so
is in this for the music and not the evangelization, the
much going for him, I would be willing to bet that God
music speaks for itself. His flow and rhythm seem in-
is indeed on his side.S
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Weiss’ lyrics of heartbreak and lost love.. 16 – 24OURMUSIC
Writer: Eddie Mumford
Allison Weiss lets it all out UTTER YES FROM TEEN‘S SOPHOMORE ALBUM THE WAY AND COLOR (CARPARK RECORDS)
Allison Weiss has all the makings of a conventional female pop star, in fact why she hasn’t achieved a level of success similar to other female acts along the lines of a Michelle Branch or Kelly Clarkson, is an issue worth raising. Weiss’ talent clearly out shines many of her contemporaries. Perhaps her lack of notoriety has something to do with her musical ideology, recently she quoted, “When I started playing, I wasn’t so much inspired by other musicians as I was inspired by the need to get a feeling out in the world”. With Remember When, Allison Weiss has a lot of feelings she just had to let out. Remember When is an anthology of reflection, neatly littered with songs about past love and loss, and charged with power pop emotion. The title track, “Remember When” is Weiss’ at her songwriter best, direct, almost abrasive. Like a Taylor Swift, it is likely she is writing about a specific past lover, but unlike Taylor Swift this past lover meant something. “Remember When” features a composition so beautiful in its simplicity, strung out guitar chords blindly being hit with a soft, continuous drumming and hi hats. Weiss’ brand of
power pop doesn’t complicate things, instead it seeks closure. “The Fall” stands out on the EP, displaying an indie rock tone. The lyrics are catchy and leave you nodding your head in empathy. The chorus seeps through the rampant strumming, (“When you’re young, it’s so easy/’Til reality calls/It’s a new kind of letdown/It’s the rise and fall.”) It is so fittingly followed by a rhythm that resigns itself amongst the rising drums. Weiss’ follows “The Fall”, with a slower and softer cover of Robyn’s “Call Your Girlfriend”. Weiss voice wafts over the indie rock plucking and new wave pop. “Call Your Girlfriend” is a subdued homage, and sits comfortably as the penultimate song on the EP. “Take You Back” which ends Remember When, is the acoustic decision bought forth at the end of Weiss’ emotional journey. Remember When is a showcase for Weiss’ talents, especially as a songwriter. It envisioned a concept that is simple in its execution. Yes, the EP only features five songs, but Remember When is a lesson in quality not quantity.
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DIE (SORT OF) FALL OUT BOY’S “IMMORTALS” (BIG HERO 6 OST) WHEN I FIRST RECEIVED THE EMAIL FROM MY EDITOR LETTING ME KNOW I’D BE REVIEWING A FALL OUT BOY RELEASE, I WAS ECSTATIC – I’VE MORE OR LESS BEEN WAITING FOR THIS OPPORTUNITY SINCE I WAS 14 YEARS OLD. BUT THAT EXCITEMENT ALMOST IMMEDIATELY TURNED INTO A SINKING DREAD WHEN I READ EXACTLY WHAT
Introduced less than a month after the surprise announcement of “Centuries” and a new album, Fall Out Boy debuted “Immortals” as their contribution to the soundtrack of Disney’s latest, Big Hero 6. In an interview, bassist and lyricist Pete Wentz described the process of meeting with the movie’s directors as “insane how much [the story] lined up with the way our band saw the world”, and mentioned how the film is an “authentic story, and [ultimately] it’s who our band is”.
ties of Take This To Your Grave took a darker turn into From Under the Cork Tree, I loved it. When melancholy lyrics met upbeat pop alternative in Infinity On High and eventually matured into Folie A Deux, I loved it. In the eleventh grade, I wore my special edition “Fall Out Boy Hasn’t Been Good Since…” shirt with none of the boxes ticked off every day until it tore into shreds, because that’s how much I loved them. Even the black sheep of the FOB discography, Save Rock and Roll has a solid place in my heart / iTunes.
Now, here’s the thing: I have been an advocate for and a defender of Fall Out Boy’s ever changing sound for more than a decade – when the pop-punk sensibili-
But as for “Immortals”? Well, I’m not sure I can say I feel the same. At best, “Immortals” is a safe bet in the wrong ways. Despite ostensibly being about the rise
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Writer: Samantha Mok
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At best, “Immortals” is a safe bet in the wrong ways. Despite ostensibly being about the rise of the underdog and the outcast, there is just something entirely off about how predictable and formulaic it seems to be – as if it were desperate enough to do anything to be part of the “in” crowd. And although it is chockfull of those quintessential Wentz-esque lyrics we all know and love (“I’m bad behavior but I do it in the best way” / “I’ll be the guard dog of all your fever dreams”) as well as the powerful presence of Stump’s telltale vocal chops, there is just so much about this song that seems inauthentic to the band: be it the overabundance of generic electronics and pop, the bland, over simplified song composition, or complete lack of instrumental prowess that we know each member is capable of. It seems that even some of the most diehard fans of the band are inclined to agree: James Shotwell, founder of Under the Gun, laments the track as being something “anyone could have written and performed”, while commenters on the site admitted to only buying the song out of obligation, despite it being “pretty awful”. Scott Murray, another writer at Under the Gun, described “Immortals” as being
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“another new song that sounds like Patrick Stump’s continued efforts to be a solo artist”, but I think even that falls short of what the song really is. Whereas Stump’s own project featured wonderfully intricate yet delicately balanced composition and instrumentation, “Immortals” suffers from being over-synthesized and synthetic and sounding entirely unfocussed – or as Murray puts it, “like it came out of [a] metaphorical music food-processor”. Sure, it’s catchy enough to catch a few waves of radio play, but it’s just as forgettable too. I do have one digression from this review, however. At the end of the day, “Immortals” is not Fall Out Boy’s best work, nor is it anywhere near being my favorite release from them. But ultimately – that’s okay. It is perfectly alright for a band to change their direction every now and then, and up until now Fall Out Boy has been a great example of that. “Immortals” (and possibly the entirety of the “American Beauty / American Psycho” era) might be a complete misstep for the band, but it is certainly worth a try if this is where they find themselves now.
" CATCHY ENOUGH FOR THE RADIO AND POSSIBLY YOUNGER FANS OF THE BAND. CLASSIC PETE WENTZ LYRICS AND IMPRESSIVE VOCALS ON PATRICK STUMP’S PART " Samantha Mok
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Equipment: - D-Lite RX - MiniSoft-44 - Boom Stand - Backdrop 10x36 (Black & White) - 45 Convertible White Umbrella - 2x Softbox Location: - Montreal Contact: - Info@24OurNetwork.com
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NIKKI YANOFSKY BREAKS NEW GROUND WITH “LITTLE SECRET” 24 – 24OURMUSIC
Nikki Yanofsky’s music will not be a secret
room.” She is clearly ready for primetime,
addition to these smoothly integrated in-
for much longer. The Montreal singer, who
and that confidence is reflected in her de-
fluences from past styles, she attempts
is already making strides toward interna-
livery and lyrics. Later on, she appropri-
an ode to one of the original jazz masters,
tional recognition, packs a soulful punch
ately articulates her place in the current
Louis Armstrong with a revamp of his clas-
with her second album Little Secret.
music landscape with the words, “Hey let
sic “Jeepers Creepers.” Yanofsky’s version
me show you what I want to roll to / If you
(which adds 2.0 to the title) drops direct
From the first note, the music hits listen-
kick it old school I could be your some-
samples of the original band arrangement
ers like a slap in the face. Without the
thing new.” The song integrates elements
and vocal lines into the context of her
stinging pain, that is. The album is an ex-
of Jones’ “Soul Bossa Nova” and Han-
thumping beat and gymnastic vocals.
hibition of Yanofsky’s fiery vocals, crea-
cock’s “Watermelon Man” while maintain-
tive compositions, and punchy arrange-
ing a current urgency and vitality through
The area that Little Secret perhaps suc-
ments that blends the worlds of pop, soul,
Yanofsky’s powerful voice.
ceeds the most, though, is not when Yanofsky highlights direct influences of
and jazz. She follows the footsteps of some of the greatest genre mixers (or per-
Elsewhere on the album, Yanofsky con-
yesteryear, but when she forges ahead,
haps avoiders), having worked with Quin-
tinues to thrive on the push and pull be-
more subtly integrating her inspirations
cy Jones and Herbie Hancock. At various
tween tradition and innovation with help
with her own ideas to carve out a tru-
moments throughout the album, Yanofsky
from composer/producer Rob Kleiner.
ly original sound. This more mature side
seems to draw additional inspiration from
She taps into the fruitful well of inspira-
is heard most prominently on tracks like
greats like Ray Charles and Amy Wine-
tion that is swing music for moments on
“Necessary Evil” and “Waiting On The Sun.”
house, concocting a juicy blend of the old
tracks like “Little Secret,” “Knock Knock,”
and “You Mean The World To Me,” interspersing the tracks with traditional swing
Little Secret starts with a bang with the
drums and heavy backbeats. Yanofsky’s
mission statement song “Something New.”
vocal nod to swing-era singers like Ella
Yanofsky’s voice comes blasting out of
Fitzgerald comes in the form of her ex-
the gate with sass, singing, “You’ve nev-
pressive scat singing that somehow (most-
er seen the likes of me / when I walk in a
ly) avoid clichés of the technique. In
Writer: Evan Crandell
25 – 24OURMUSIC
on the other hand, has a slinky, laid back neo-soul feel to accom-
er they are craving elements of the swing era, early soul, or con-
pany its introspective, almost gloomy lyrics. Both tracks do more
temporary pop. She is still young, and with her already impres-
than simply apply their influences in a modern context. In them,
sive pedigree, combined with her continued efforts to hone in a
Yanofsky deftly synthesizes elements of soul musicâ€™s lineage from
uniquely original sound, she will undoubtedly be thrilling more
its inception to today, cementing her place in that ancestry in the
and more listeners for years to come.
process. With Little Secret, Yanofsky has proven to have a respect for history that will draw in listeners young and old, and also the chops to carry out her musical vision. She will excite audiences wheth-
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" YANOFSKY’S IMMENSE VOCAL TALENT CARRIES THE ALBUM, CONSISTENTLY DRAWING THE ATTENTION OF LISTENERS DESPITE WORTHY INSTRUMENTAL PERFORMANCES. " Evan Crandell
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TORA PERFECTLY MARRYING THE ARTIFICIAL WITH THE UNTOUCHED TORA PROVIDES A COMPLETELY UNIQUE AND REFRESHING SOUND THAT SUBVERTS MULTIPLE GENRES.
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The Byron Bay chillwave group Tora certainly knows a thing or two about chilling and waves; after all, they hail from an idyllic town on Australia’s east coast known for surfing and a hippy alternative lifestyle ever since the Aquarius Festival was held in Nimbin in 1973. And indeed their self-branding and imagery consistently enforces this influence across the different social media platforms; assorted pictures depict the five young musicians relaxing in their sunny home climate and posts to their facebook page reveal that they spent part of the summer variously surfing Indonesia or diving in Vanuatu. But while its clear where the laid back influences in their music come from, it by no means explains the unique sound they’ve been crafting increasingly well since their first title EP Tora in 2013. In fact, it’s impressive how far the group has come stylistically since they formed in May of that year. Their first EP is refreshing in its creativity, and the looping vocals in “Calming Her” are especially standout in both the recorded and live versions. But there’s more depth in the musical production on their newest EP Eat the Sun. It’s like they’ve refined all the elements they experimented with in their first album and have produced a more finished product with layering that manages to be both subtle and impressive. What many people don’t realize is the number of live instruments and vocalists that make up the band; it’s not just electronic music, it’s an impressive fusion of electro, drums, bass guitar, and three very talented vocalists. Not to mention their excellent taste in guest performers. The track “Never With Me” features vocalist Merryn Jeann and rapper Meals in a way that showcases the talents of both artists and the band without any one element overshadowing another. Jeann’s gorgeous jazz vocals mesh seamlessly with the instrumentation and Meals’s seductive rapping manages to sound perfectly in place as well. The three styles, complementary but still distinct, manage to come together in a way that is interesting and profound. Their solo songs are equally impressive, blending and looping vocals, instrumentation, and sound bytes collected from their travels until it’s nearly impossible to make out where the electronic ends and the live instrumentation begins. The title track “Eat the Sun” has an unexpected change of tempo at the end that introduces jazzy guitar riffs – in fact this entire album feels more jazz influenced than the last. There are also some synthy R&B style tracks such as “Surround” and “Sugar Snap”, while “Admire” errs more towards electropop. But despite discussing the different influences on Tora, I think it’s more relevant to consider what their influence on the rest of the musical world is and has the potential to be. Because at the end of the day, no matter how many influences it’s possible
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ANDERSON PAAK Sings About The Silly Little Things SMOOTH RHYTHM WITH A TASTE OF FUNK & PAAK’S CROON WORTHY VOICE.
The 20-year-old English singer-songwriter, who got her start posting self-produced videos on YouTube as a teen, recently took a big step towards international recognition with the release of her single, “Silly Little Things.” While she posted an acoustic version of the song was almost two years ago, it’s clear that Saunders’ popularity has grown exponentially in that time, as the song is now matched with fully fleshed out pop production and a sleek lyric video. The song maintains an organic feel with stomp-like drums and scattered hand clapping throughout the track. Underneath it all are somewhat stagnant synth bass subtones and other atmospheric effects that fill out the sound. Paired with Saunders’ sassy flowing vocals, the product appears ready for the mainstream airwaves. The lyrical content of “Silly Little Things” finds Saunders shedding the desire and tendency to fall back with an insincere former lover. Her words imply that this person lived a fast life and perhaps lured in Saunders with the appeal of possibly raising her status. She admits, “I wanted to feel upper class / you grab my shoulder said I looked like a superstar / fast like a supercar.” It’s somewhat ironic that it is this song – which talks about these experiences and temptations with this person – that might possibly lift her to those desired heights. Saunders’ admission of being seduced by this person, however, is not the crux of the song. Her later declaration of having moved on from those old longings is the focus and the subject matter of the song’s recurring
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chorus. She claims to have outgrown all of those “silly little things,” presumably allowing herself to move forward with her hopes and dreams. There is a hint of ambiguity, though, when at the end of each refrain after mentioning her growth, she laments, “it’s such a shame.” Is it a shame that she was drawn into those emotional games or that she has outgrown them? Either way, it’s clear that it takes Saunders considerable effort to avoid those temptations to turn back. Given that the song covers some complex emotions, the production seems to lack an adequately wide ranging palette of expression. The track features very little variation in overall sound and power to reflect the words. Even the song’s bridge, which does feature one of the song’s only dynamic drops, feels as though it’s cut short and never really seems to take off, particularly when the refrain returns in exactly the same manner as it has been delivered before, making it somewhat anticlimactic. Before the release of the full-blown version of “Silly Little Things,” Shannon Saunders had already shown enough skills in songwriting and vocal talent to ensure a bright future and amass a loving fan base. And given that she comes from an acoustic background, which is somewhat dynamically limiting, it seems normal that she tends to lean toward more static production. That considered, and being that “Silly Little Things” is her first foray into the infinite sonic possibilities of professional production magic, we can still look forward to what’s next.
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Keolya offers a creative interpretation of the original. 32 â€“ 24OURMUSIC
Writer: Evan Crandell
KEOLYA BRINGS Something New To “In The End” ALTHOUGH BORN IN NEW YORK CITY, BRYCE VINE’S EP LAZY FAIR SEEPS SOUTHERN CALIFORNIAN LIFESTYLE WITH ITS UP TEMPO REVELRIES,
As a musician, covering another artist’s work is tricky, particularly when the song is an international hit. Rehashing the music verbatim would come off as unoriginal but one must portray the essence of the source material. Montreal musician Keolya has developed a following by reinterpreting renowned pop hits in his own eclectic, electronic style. His latest release is a dense, atmospheric reimagining of the Linkin Park anthem, “In The End.” Part of Keolya’s charm is his ability to keep his audience guessing as to how he will interpret various songs. Even within a single playing of “In The End,” one cannot predict where he will go with the track and how he will portray the themes of the original. His version begins with the signature piano line from the original, which, along with the lyrics, are about the only similarities between the two. Keolya quickly makes it clear that he plans to take the material in new directions. The original version of the song resonated to such a large audience generally because of its angst-ridden lyrics and the overall rawness of the performances by Linkin Park. Keolya takes a different approach, opting for the layering of instru-
mental tracks and his own vocals on top of one another, bringing the song to a new sound world and giving it a sense of weight. The track slowly builds in waves as it progresses, gradually adding various synth elements and percussion to Keolya’s sound stew. While he is able to tap into some intriguing musical territory, there are a few elements that prevent Keolya from achieving the emotional grit of the original. The first, which is perhaps the most outwardly notable, is that his vocals simply do not match the robust abandon and intensity of Chester Bennington from the original. As previously mentioned, Keolya uses creative layering techniques that offer a diverging use of the lyrics, but these methods do not necessarily reflect the subject matter. The other hindering piece is the lack of live instruments on the track, which would give it that extra pulse and urgency that the lyrics seem to crave. The primary faults in Keolya’s rendition of “In The End” spring up from the simple fact that it is based on an extremely well-known song, and one that taps into a certain mood and emotional release which has spoken to people around the globe since its original release.
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MIRACLE KIMBRA’S UNHERALDED ENERGY I’M GOING TO TRY TO NOT MENTION THAT ONE MASSIVE HIT INDIE SONG THAT WE ALL KNOW KIMBRA WAS FEATURED IN WITHIN THE LAST FEW YEARS.
I’m going to try to not mention that one massive hit indie song that we all know Kimbra was featured in within the last few years. In October 2014, our writer Evan Crandell reviewed The Golden Echo by Australian pop queen Kimbra, and really it goes without saying how unfortunately unheralded this album is. We already know she has a silky, crooning voice that is enough to supplement the most repetitive of pop songs that conspicuously blow up the radio, but has the world really seen Kimbra in her element?
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It’s a tough question, really. The Golden Echo so far features two singles, “90s Music” and “Miracle,” and though admittedly 90s Music might seem a little too outworldly for the casual listener, Miracle has an upbeat feel-good energy that channels a certain retro flair, comparable to your Donna Summers and Anita Ward soundtracks.
And just like any other retro-inspired pop songs in my music library, this one is currently on repeat.
Writer: Brandon Minia
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The Golden Echo in itself has no uniform sound, and yet it all melds together with incredible cohesion. Our writer Evan noted an immense “amount of detail and effort that have gone into crafting each song”; indeed, Kimbra does not falter in ensuring each and every song on the album is so well put together that it could launch an entire record of its own. “Madhouse,” for example, has a distinct 90’s Michael Jackson vibe (and yet it sounds unique in comparison to the aforementioned “90s Music”), while the song right after “Everlovin’ Ya” sounds like a conglomeration of modern day R&B with a chopped up CHVRCHES blend. Track through track, each entry on this record is a musical adventure.
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“Unheralded” at this point is simply an understatement; The Golden Echo is the type of energy that can only really be experienced through listening, not talking. I will echo Evan Crandell’s previous praise for this album; for something that is out-of-this-world yet not so unconventional that it is totally inaccessible, Kimbra’s The Golden Echo is definitely worth a peek.
" KIMBRA’S VOCAL, COMPOSITIONAL, AND PRODUCTION SKILLS ARE ASTOUNDING. EACH STANDS ON ITS OWN AS ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF THE ALBUM. " Evan Crandell
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EDSON SEAN Gets Raw On “Stupid Me” CREDITS
Fans of R&B may be familiar with Edson Sean, who is currently making a name for himself on various platforms online. Based in Brooklyn, New York, this impressive rapper brings harmonious vocals and well thought out song construction to underground R&B and hip-hop scenes. Though Edson Sean explores various styles across his many releases, he frequently settles on a true melding of hip-hop and rap. Defining himself as experimental hip-hop, this inventive artist clearly has enough talent to make a real splash. On his newest release, “Stupid Me”, this versatile artist dives into a strikingly honest love song. Love songs can be tricky for independent artists, as heartfelt topics often come off as
CANDID AND UPFRONT TAKE ON LOVE.. STRAYS FROM THE TYPICAL HIP-HOP GLORIFICATION OF “PLAYERS”
cheesy instead of genuine. Admirably, Edson Sean manages to tell a threedimensional story, as well as expand his vocal talent and meticulous song construction. The first thing any listener will notice is Edson Sean’s unbelievably catchy hooks, both in the verses and chorus. As the song progresses however, it’s clear that Edson Sean seeks to tell a upfront and true to life story. In a genre that can sometimes lean towards obsessing over living large and dominating sexually, this independent artist takes a fresh stance. On “Stupid Me”, Edson Sean tells a tale about a relationship he sabotages by cheating on his girlfriend with her best friend. Rather than glorifying being a player, making excuses, or indulging in animalistic urges, this artist delivers a refreshingly candid take on the value of meaningful relationships. In terms of style, “Stupid Me” takes place over traditional R&B loops and instrumentals. However, Edson Sean’s full body of work showcases impressive cross-pollination between many different genres and styles of music. Truly an experimental hip-hop artist, Edson Sean is not afraid to step outside traditional
Writer: Alicia Prince
boundaries. Some listeners may write off this song as reminiscent of slower R&B songs by mainstream artists, but the extended catalog released by Edson Sean speaks to his ingenuity, creativity and original perspective on hip-hop. Overall, “Stupid Me” is a song about relationships that manages to avoid the pitfalls many other independent artist succumb to when exploring this topic. Edson Sean avoids cliches, overly dramatic melodies, and pandering to female listeners. In particular, love songs from over produced, mainstream artists tend to describe the romantic situation or female subject in vague terms, so every female listener can imagine the song is about them. In a more intellectual take, Edson Sean describes this ill-fated relationship with specifics, crafting a nuanced and impactful story. Without sounding preachy, repetitive, or generic, Edson Sean portrays a flawed, yet frank picture of himself. Though this track alone is less experimental in style then his other releases, Edson’s full body of work is that of an increasingly refined artist. If Edson Shawn continues on this journey of innovation and creativity, his future as an artist is sure to be a bright one.
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ELLIPHANT ONE MORE FT. MØ 44 – 24OURMUSIC
Stay up with me and do one more, I’m buy-
bridge then turn away, otherwise pre-
about all their young, eager fans watching
ing. That’s the feeling of the unassuming
pare to be fish-hooked. The almost desper-
pop-stars piss hard-core on camera. Eu-
and tightly-mixed “One More,” the title
ate screams from Elli near the end and the
ro-hipsters making me feel boring again.
track of Elliphant’s new album, featuring
backup from MØ is a crafty mix, and when
If you enjoy this track-suit then contin-
the Danish singer-songwriter MØ and a
the laces fold together I like it. Simple, al-
ue clicking for MØ, categorically worth the
most simplistic but not tedious, I can see
unskippable mascara commercials on You-
this song being incredibly popular with au-
Tube (the One Direction commercial less
Last time I saw Elliphant (Ellinor Olovs-
diences not exhausted with “I really don’t
dotter) on screen she was singing like a
wanna go home[s]” and “stay with me to-
Jamaican woman with Skrillex tweaking
night[s],” though the sentiments are uni-
Elliphant‘s pseudo-creepy edge is in flat-
noise in the background. This time she’s in
versal with any after-party intentions.
tering company with MØ’s higher pitch.
matching track-suits with her girl MØ get-
The music video is as exploitive as it is
Less pretentious than Kiesza, but not as
ting fucked up in the back of a cab. Not
impressive as Tove Lo, independent pop is a hot scene right now, and Eliphant and
as aesthetically dark as Banks and more chilled out than Charli XCX whose North
It appears they both have a lot creative
MØ might be a powder keg or a big metal
American tour Elli joined this year, “One
control in the behind the scenes mak-
drum burning under an overpass at night.
More” is a viable hit from the Swedish
ing of the video, no evidence to say con-
“We can count the street lights” and al-
singer/rapper, available now on iTunes (via
trary, but “In a way to be a pop artist to-
most a million hits on the Tube.
day… you feel a little bit like a prostitute,” Elli goes on to says “I wanted a geisha
“One More” comes on with hip-hop
thing, I thought it was a cool thing,” re-
drum-machinery, working in the glassy
garding their crayon-geisha hairstyles. The
synth, haunting along with their sweet
raunchy clip also responds to the infa-
and salty vocals. It took a minute to get to
mous question about going to the toilet in
me, but when the bridge blasts with the
films—or on the curb, track pants around
unrelenting synth, initiating the ramp-
the ankles with LED stacked trainers light-
up; if you’re not into the song by the
ing up your crotch. Not sure how I feel
Writer: Eddie Mumford
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In fact, this is chiefly what distinguishes SonReal from oth-
produced by Mad Ruk Entertainment and often directed by Peter
er hip hop artists; he doesn’t restrict himself to that insular bub-
Huang (also known for directing the forceful video for Avicii and
ble. Rather, he incorporates drama, comedy, theatricality, and
Nicki Romero’s “I Could Be the One”) feature his alter ego Steven,
his own unique brand of performance, borrowing elements from
a Napoleon Dynamite-esque nerd. The videos are very stylized
multiple music genres as well as – I would argue – musical the-
and each one follows a narrative arc; they are entertaining works
atre. His videography work is almost as prodigious as his musi-
of art in their own right. SonReal is bringing his own brand of dra-
cal work, having released 22 music videos since 2010. The videos,
matic performance and style to hip hop, and it rules.
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" MY MUSIC HAS ALWAYS BEEN A REFLECTION OF THE LIFE I LEAD, HAVE LED OR WILL LEAD, SO WHEN I MAKE MUSIC WITH OTHER ARTISTS, I’M JUST BRINGING MYSELF TO THE TABLE, NOTHING MORE, NOTHING LESS. " SonReal
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JESSIE WARE CALLS IT TOUGH ENGLISH SINGER SONGWRITER JESSIE WARE SINGS TRIALS AND HEARTBREAKS IN HUSHED TONES; THE “TOUGH LOVE”
She speaks of in her song of the same name off her 2014 record comes hidden beneath layers of cool synths and soft drumming.Ware is sophisti-pop’s latest queen, a breeder of melancholy ambiences, a maker of pop that is subdued, polished and graceful. The darkness is there, no doubt, only it’s in the details, in the slow pacing, in the melodic vibe that fails to crescendo or provide closure. Ware also brings out the aesthetic artillery that goes along with this kind of oneiric pop, and for the music video of “Tough Love,” the story of the broken heart is told through a landslide of pretty pictures, arty shots overlapping, red roses blooming in fast motion, bright colors and a medley of shadowy scenes. And she’s right to step it up. The British pop invasion is real and her immediate entourage is no other than the likes of Jessie J, Lily Allen, and powerhouse diva Adele, strong contenders in this game of crowns. And while Ware is on the soft side of things – the sleeve to “Tough Love” is a Patti Smith-like black and white image of
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Ware meekly posing – her potential for great success cannot be denied. Jessie Ware’s voice is a crystalline delight, particularly on that track, and it is this elusive and dreamlike quality that makes “Tough Love” so haunting and ultimately romantic. There is a realness to her lyrics too, the opposite of sugarcoating, that can get lost on first listen if not paid attention to, and even in the most subtle lines “I dream in all your clouds of glory, it’s true” the cutting hard facing of reality is felt. Here, the broken heart doesn’t lie, and while the words get stifled in the elegant spread of sonic ornaments, the outpouring of truth does exist. The words are strong and the music soft, and the clashing of the two is what gives the song its melancholy finish; it’s as if there is a will on her part to travel the plane of dreams and erase the hurt. CREDITS
Writer: Patricia De Oliveira
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CLAIRE HOLDS Strong with “My Audacity“ To follow up with their amazing, super-catchy debut single entitled “The Royal Handkerchief Ballet” (which we have already raved about in our previous review), the band is looking to carry over the momentum from their successful debut which has won the hearts, ears, headphones, and speakers of many listeners and critics into their upcoming and latest single, “Centre Straight Atom.” A follow-up single, most of the time, can lead to two things: it can either take the artist to even higher levels, proving to listeners more than one song and style can define who they are, or it can totally bomb, making the artist look like a promising one-hit wonder.
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Writer: Evan Crandell
In the case for Kassassin Street, “Centre Straight Atom” impresses to new levels. The single begins with grindy bass synths before the guitars and drums kick in, strumming and playing to a steady 4/4 beat. The chorus is contagiously catchy produced to grip hard onto your head, with captivating vocals, a dance-evoking drum beat, and mean-revving guitars. A song can never have enough cowbell, and the use of it after the chorus plays a second time makes the song more attractive. Centre Straight Atom is fast, and dark, which goes from quiet to loud, back down quiet, before rising back to loud again. This gorgeously-addictive track will have you scrambling for the repeat button, making you listen to it so many times it will never be enough to get it out of your head. Their first single “The Royal Handkerchief Ballet” was an impressive debut track for the young Kassassin Street, and their second single, “Centre Straight Atom,” elevates them to higher levels once again. This song is by no means a direct copy of their previous single; Kassassin Street uses their creativity prowess to take Centre Straight Atom to a whole new different level of their music, while sticking to their psychedelic rock roots and adding their distinctive and unique Kassassin Street flair to it.
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Zardonic’s Latest Track FIGHTS FOR JUSTICE
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Writer: Brandon Minia
Federico Agreda, also known as Zardonic, is a music producer and DJ from Barquisimeto, Venezuela. Since starting ten years ago, he was named the #1 DJ in Venezuela through The DJ List, and was also #1 on multiple charts from Beatport and Amazon. Sharing his talents with music lovers across 26 countries, he blends elements of genres such as rock, electro, drum & bass, and industrial all under one genre, in which he calls it “Bass Metal.” Zardonic brings us his latest single “For Justice.” This track doesn’t mess around—it is packed with a lot of energy to get you jumping off the floor and your fists pumping. The track starts by warming up listeners with a rhythmic synth. Roughly 30 seconds into it, the vocals kick in along with the rest of the instruments,includingthehard-thrashingdrumsandtheelectricguitars—and the song is in full swing. A lot of effort was put into the making of For Justice. There’s variety throughout the song, rather than just having repetitive synthlines, repetitive lyrics, and a constant thumping 4/4 dance beat. To keep the listeners engaged and surprised at each measure of the track, Zardonic features intensely gripping synthlines, uplifting drum beats at varying rhythms, and chaotic guitar solos. For Justice is a track that deserves the repeat button for a never-ending roller coaster night ride. Within the single also features three extra tracks. One is an extended vocal remix which—as the title suggests—extends the track with an extra introduction and vocal work. An instrumental version of the extended vocal remix is also featured, and listeners should find the instrumental version just as thrilling to listen to, even without the vocal work. The third remix track is the “Counterstrike Remix,” which is faster paced with drum & bass elements. Defining his music as “Bass Metal,” Zardonic is a Venezuelan DJ casual listeners and music lovers can get behind. His latest and upcoming track, For Justice, is a track that proves his uniqueness amongst other producers in the music universe. As long as future releases will be as
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The Walls Group The Jackson 4? URBAN POP WITH A POSITIVE MESSAGE DEMONSTRATING THEIR CONTINUING COMMITMENT TO FAMILY VALUES AND THE MINISTRY.
The Walls Group market themselves as the new Jackson 5 with a message from God. And in many ways that depiction is fitting. The musical foursome is made up of brothers and sisters Darrell, Rhea, Paco, and Ahjah ranging in age from 15 to 22 and from deep in the heart of Texas. According to the bio on their impressively maintained website, they grew up with musically inclined parents and “could not escape the melodiesandharmoniesthatcoursedthroughoutthehousehold and seeped into their souls”. The singing group remains firmly grounded in family values and their commitment to ministry is at the forefront of the group’s musical focus. After the success of their first self-titled EP in 2012, they continued to tour southern North America and convert listeners into fans wherever they went. Their newest EP, Fast Forward, was released in September of this year and demonstrates an increased maturity and an elevated performance style. While they have obvious gospel
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influences both in their singing style and their content, their song “High” featuring Christian rapper Lecrae, smacks more of R&B and pop than gospel in style. In fact it is notedly nostalgic of the 80s instrumental song “Moments of Love” by Art of Noise. With a pulsating beat backing up the smooth vocals and rhythmic rapping of Lecrae, this is urban pop at its finest. And in this way I think they could arguably the Jackson 5 of this generation, albeit a more updated hip hop version. Whether you’re a Christian or not, this song will get you grooving and prove that Christian music is increasingly and seamlessly making the transition to mainstream audiences these days.
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Published on Jan 19, 2015
Published on Jan 19, 2015
A happy new year to our lovely readership. 24OurMusic is back for another year of content featuring some of the most exciting music that we...