Music Connection's Jan 2014 Issue

Page 50

Production Lyrics Music Vocals Musicianship

Production Lyrics Music Vocals Musicianship

Production Lyrics Music Vocals Musicianship

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Dirty Shannon


Contact: Web: Seeking: All inquiries Style: Southern Rock, Country Rock Username: dirtyshannon

Contact: Web: Seeking: Label, Booking, Film/TV Style: Acoustic/Pop Username: alfa

It is stunning that this Florida band have not yet been signed or hooked up in a major way, expecially considering how their mainstreamish sound—rock with a heavy country footprint—is so timely right now. The first thing you notice is how arresting Vic Scott's vocals are, and then the crafty writing and radio-ready production. "Whatever You Love" showcases all the band's strengths with great energy, catchy change-ups and, again, a voice that connects. No question that the 18-26 audience would take to this fully developed rock/country hybrid.

Smart, articulate and not a little bit flirtatious, Alfa Garcia brings an extremely strong mic presence, and with the help of a dexterous, organic backup band she pushes her material to its commercial limits. "Blue" is an especially playful tune whose ukulele and great backup "Ooooooo's" make the song quite ripe for an Apple TV spot. Same goes for the wry, observational "Missed Opportunity" with its fun piano lead. All in all, this is an artist who has a spectrum of colors in her palette, a songwriter with a knack for tickling a mainstream ear.

Production Lyrics Music Vocals Musicianship

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Prez P

Contact: Web: Seeking: Film/TV, Radio Style: EDM/Pop Username: parralox

Contact: gwag@dacampsit Web: Seeking: Film/TV Style: hip-hop Username: PrezP

Helmed by artist/producer John van Ahlen, this 14-song project of all-covers of classic '80s synth pop songs is stunningly produced and engagingly performed, remaining faithful to originals such as the "Silent Morning" (Noel), "Eye In The Sky" (Alan Parsons Project) and "Little Respect" (Erasure). The pristine production captures icy-cold keyboard effects as well as the forceful vocals on hit songs that are by turns sensual, melodic and seductive. The group has chosen its material well and—film/TV folks take note—has executed with expertise.

Though the production quality is not all it could be, this artist brings plenty of skills, especially his dark, eerie and memorable beats. "Party In Miami" is a fitting foundation for Prez and guest J Nics, whose voices and flow are a perfect high-low contrast. A Tupac monologue kicks off "Neva Luv Em," a hard-ass screed about the dangers of hooking up with the wrong kind of women. Our favorite is the uber-hooky "Realist" where every voice is distinctive. All Prez needs to do is find someone who can bring sparkle to these tracks, which are at times muddy.

Production Lyrics Music Vocals Musicianship

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Matt Jaffe

Zak Smith

Contact: Web: Seeking: Booking, Distribution, Label Style: Alt-Rock Username: MattJaffe

Contact: Web: Seeking: Booking, Label, Mgmt, Distr. Style: Alternative/Americana Username: zaksmith

The literate, articulate Jaffe and his band manage to be at once alternative and wholesome. And his unusual voice is instantly distinctive. Set to an African/world beat, his "New Continent" shows he's a dreamer/explorer with a gift for meandering syllables and a craftiness that includes a strong pre-chorus. Most memorable for us is "I Wanna Be Cruel." With a chord structure that echoes early Beatles ballads, this clever, introspective tune has a disarming clarity that grabbed us. Jaffe is a talent, an old soul in an 18-year-old's body.

Smith brings a raspy road-weariness to his work, which is bolstered by excellent production and arrangements such as the female gospel vocals on "Tombs Don't Roll Back." Songs such as "Doomed Youth" and "American Stripper" are characterized by a jaundiced view of life that exists at the intersection of optimism and pessimism, and this seems to be Smith's comfort zone. While this NJ songsmith can produce a memorable lyric here and there, it's clear that these tunes would have less impact without the impressive production.

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Music Connection’s executive committee rates recorded music on a scale of 1 to 10. Number 1 represents the lowest possible score, 10 represents the highest possible score. A final score of 6 denotes a solid, competent artist. For more information, see Submission Guidelines on next the page. 50 January 2014

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