Vol. XI 2014
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
COLTON DIXON AIR FRANCE
ALBUM REVIEWS DIANE BIRCH
BAT FOR LASHES DEAD HEART BLOOM
WWW.NEWSOUNDMAGAZINE.COM DELTA SPIRIT • MDNR •JESS MILLS • JILLIAN BANKS • RED LIGHT KING • VASQUEZ SOUNDS • THE GIVERS
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Dear Readers, Thereâ€™s a rush or pleasure that people experience when listening to something new; something immediately likeable but different from the norm. Heartbeats race as basses drop, bodies sway to addictive guitar melodies, feet tap to pounding drums. The magazine youâ€™re holding is dedicated to recreating that experience for its readers, over and over again. New Sound Magazine is the start of something innovative. Something that is fresh, contemporary, and powerful. Were looking to become an authoritative voice in the music industry. We are doing so by scouring the music scene for fresh talent with the potential to make it big. Regardless of your person preference in music, we are bound to have everything from pop to rock to hip hop to electronic, and all variations in between. Our editions introduce local long island artists, New York City artists, alongside budding musicians from around he world, presented to you in interviews, album reviews, and our take on their live performances. New Sound is reaching out to every gifted new artist and seeing every concert possible in order to let you get inside the heads of the next generation of music. New Sound magazine is truly a cutting edge music publication, and on behalf of the entire staff, were pumped to keep sharing our editions with you. We want to help you find that new band which is going to give you inexorable pleasure. Weâ€™re ready to help you find the new sound!
PUBLISHER/CEO: PAUL CORACE EXECUTIVE EDITOR: JOE D’AMBROSI MANAGING EDITOR: ASHLEY GOLL SENIOR ART DIRECTOR: LOUIS H QUACH GRAPHIC DESIGNERS: WIN-KYE CHEONG NICOLE MANZO SENIOR VIDEO EDITOR: THOMAS FRISINA VIDEO EDITORS: NICK HERMS MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: ASHLEY GOLL CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: KATARINA BARONE JESSICA BERNATT BRIGID DESMOND MOLLY DESMOND ASHLEY GOLL CHRISTINA GOLL DANIELLA GUTIERREZ KEVIN SPERANDEO CRISTIANA VOTTA PHOTOGRAPHERS: MORGAN HARRISON HANNAH SINGLETON COVER ARTWORK: WIN-KYE CHEONG CONTACT: 631-757-3187
“New Sound Magazine spotlights both young, talented artists that have the potential to become the next big name in the music industry, and the truly brilliant bands which already have. We’re finding the voice you’ll fall in love with, the song you’ll play over and over, the concert you won’t want to miss.”
TS Album Reviews
6 10 12 14 16
20 24 26 30 34 38
Diane Birch Dead Heart Bloom Bat For Lashes MDNR Vazquez Sounds
The Givers Air France Red Light King Emeli Sande Colton Dixon E.D.M. : Evolution of E.D.M.
Check It Out
Where are they now?
40 Delta Spirit 42 Jillian Banks 44 These People 46 Jess Mills
BY ASHLEY GOLL
DIANE BIRCH 7
Photos Courtesy of Diane Birch/ Melodie McDaniel
f you happened to have just completely loved Diane Birch‘s first album and were expecting more of the same, then you might be somewhat put off by this followup. The first album, Bible Belt drew quick comparisons to Carole King and Norah Jones, but Speak a Little Louder is much more in the same line as artists like Florence Welch or Adele. There’s an increased emphasis on larger orchestral pieces punctuated with a strong beat. It’s darker yet more pop friendly and seems to be closer to the type of artist that Diane sees herself as. “Lighthouse” is the first song standout (I would have started the album with it instead of the rather mundane “Speak a Little Louder.” It combines synths, strong backing vocals, handclaps, hints of piano and a throbbing beat that veers between 70s pop and modern indie pop and really sets the tone for the album. It’s both darker as well as more interesting than almost all of her previous work combined. “Superstars” features the piano but has a much more melancholic tone and makes fantastic use of subtle synths. This song especially showcases Diane’s unique vocal tone which can veer from quite sharp and almost grating to a smooth powerful beauty. “Staring At You” slips you a bit of distortion in the chorus to make for one of the most straight pop tracks on the album as well as the sexiest. On that note — if you like Diane’s new direction on this album, don’t stop with the normal album and go straight to the deluxe as many killer tracks are hiding out there. Some people may be surprised to see the appearance of the “[Explicit]” tag after the album title given Diane’s gospel influences, and it’s due to inclusion of “Unfucked”. It’s one of the few pure piano ballads on the album and is actually one of Diane’s most vulnerable and likeable moments. It’s honest and so very human. That said — if language isn’t your thing — no need to avoid the album for literally just one track. I really could go into detail about almost all of the rest of the songs on the album. It’s all just that universally consistent and interesting. Diane’s lyrics continue to be a bit of a problem area though. They’re not awful, just sort of generic. She’s capable of more. Her father recently passed, and while you can hear the darker tone and mood to the album — I think she could have reflected this darkness a bit more in the actual lyrics as well. Still, I’ve had this album on repeat since I bought it and just writing about it makes me want to go back and listen to it more. Very solid album from a unique voice and artist who has really pushed themselves to grow and experiment.
Key Tracks: “Lighthouse” “All The Love You Got” “Staring At You” “Unfucked” “It Plays On”
designed by Win-kye Cheong
“Hold On A Little Longer” NEWSOUNDMAGAZINE.COM
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ere we are, down to the last installment of New York’s Dead Heart Bloom three part EP series. This one is called In Chains, and was released in December. This EP has gotten really good critical reviews, and has even jump-started a chain reaction (no pun intended) of success, like being a featured artist on The Frontloader and being nominated on The Deli Magazine for Artist of the Month. In Chains has to be my favorite out of all three EPs, and mainly because there is a strong focus of folk in their music.
It’s mostly acoustic guitar-driven with a Western movie sort of appeal to it. And it’s even fitting as bar music as it’s saturated with an intensely intimate feeling to it. Not only do I love it for its musical aspect, lyrically I think it is the strongest of all EPs. Take a listen to “Flash in a Bottle” and you’ll know what I mean. They are natural storytellers who use a touch of the folksy flavor to their lyrics, so intimately told and performed it almost makes me cry.
The instrumentation, as usual, is awesome. It’s composed and produced well, and you can definitely see improvement from the first EP. It’s easier to distinguish different sounds on this EP, too, perhaps due in part to the fact that it’s a folk album. Even if it protrudes as a folk EP, it draws on many different influences like blues, jazz, and gospel/soul. I like that they also switch up the vocals (like the last EP, Oh Mercy). I guess there isn’t much difference about what I’ve said about the overall band previously through my other reviews (Fall In and Oh Mercy). I still think that Boris’s tenor voice sounds a little weird in context, but it’s something I’ve gotten used to listening to the EPs over and over again. They do make a strong duet
when harmonizing like in “Farther Than You,” however. It’s a powerful tune with both voices combined. Overall, the EPs are a fantastic trio. And it’s almost like we’ve journeyed along with Dead Heart Bloom from the way back Fall In (or even earlier if you’ve gotten to their previous releases), watching them grow and bloom into something not similar to dead hearts in In Chains. All of their music can be downloaded for free on their official website but I’d suggest getting all three physical copies because the covers look wicked put together side-by-side.
See more at: http://awmusic.ca/2009/02/17/dead-heart-bloom-inchains-review/#sthash.4xHjn4re.dpuf
BY K ATA R I N A BA RO N E designed by Win-kye Cheong
BY: DA N I E L L A G U T I E R R E Z
These set of songs still contain Bat for Lashes’ unique trademark flourishes. On The Haunted Man’s enigmatic title track, Khan enlisted a choir of marching band soldiers literally singing three-part harmonies. This peculiar juxtaposition with the electronic blips and bloops, the strings and synths, along with Khan’s cascading vocals telling her lovelorn ghost story is the aural equivalent of falling over a cliff. As these songs build momentum it’s clear that Khan is determined to shed memories that harm and hold on to the ones that define her—if only by a string.
hen Natasha Khan, better known as Bat for Lashes, stepped out with her first album, Fur and Gold, people officially took notice. She was dubbed eccentric, artsy—spooky even. But the one thing that couldn’t be denied was her almost unfair abundance of talent and creative verve. On Bat for Lashes’ second album, Two Moons, what was once seen as potential, now became confirmation of a singular talent. The dark undercurrent to the psychedelic folk mired in mysticism was disarmingly infectious and succeeded in pushing Khan to the front of the line. With the album’s lead single, “Daniel,” resonating deeply with so many listeners, critics included, the album was universally hailed as a near masterpiece. After three years, Bat for Lashes returns with The Haunted Man––a stark, inventive and sublime work from a maturing artist who finally seems to have caught up to her considerable gifts. Initially what jumps out on the new album is the stellar technical production—the choice of
arrangements and presentation come together to form a gorgeous soundscape. Whatever preconceived notions people may have about Khan’s music, it’s hard to deny that from a technical standpoint, this album just flat-out sounds great. The payoff though, is much more than in the technical specifications or choices made by producers. The real weight of these songs comes from a newly evolved lyricism and Khan’s nuanced delivery. An assured vocalist, Khan never travels too far outside her range and maintains precise control of her instrument. The album opener “Lilies,” is a ballad with an electronic-laden foundation. She builds each verse leading to the melancholic chorus describing the titular lilies. This song sets the stage for the prevailing concept of the album— it’s somber but somehow is always on the edge of hope. When Khan raises her voice slightly and proudly exclaims, “Thank God I’m Alive!/ Thank God I’m Alive,” before the final chorus, it breaks through the wall of moody atmospherics to triumphantly declare her emotive state. It’s almost an admission of sorts and functions as a marker for the artist that she’s become.
The standout on the album is “Laura.” Khan’s piano ballad serves both as a loving message and hard-won lamentation. In recent interviews Khan talks about how the track grounded in reality, is based on a friend. The song begins with the soft touch of encouragement for a friend who doesn’t know what to do now that the party is over and the lights are off. Khan gently consoles, “You say that they’ve all left you behind/ Your heart broke when the party died.” Its obvious that Khan is not telling the story of a single party but rather the somber tale of not being able to let go or transcend the past. The arrangement of the song is chillingly sparse and Khan’s heartbroken consolation is sobering. She assures, “You’re the train that crashed my heart/ You’re the glitter in the dark/ Oh, Laura/ You’re more than a superstar/ And in this horror show/ I’ve got to tell you so/ Oh, Laura/ You’re more than a superstar.” The majority of the songs on the album are about relationships: letting go, accepting and not being ready. When these songs make their way through the thin shimmering gauze of Bat for Lashes they end up sounding mostly like ghost stories. This is the key to the album’s success. And while the prestige seems to be that Khan’s songs are heightened with drama and wrought with fear because of her reliance on the dark stories of her earlier albums, it’s not a sleight-of-hand magic trick. It seems Khan has finally figured out how to make sense of her version of the world. DESIGNED BY NICOLE MANZO
BY ASHLEY GOLL
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE WILD MAGAZINE
ALBUM REVIE W
t's neither Amanda Warner's fault nor entirely ignorable that she's surrounded by so many peers. Warner, who's performed for years with producer Peter Wade under the moniker MNDR, makes buzzy synthpop amid a deafening buzz of likeminded bands, and from any point in her career, it's a short step to two or three rough analogues or influences. After a couple of years jobbing behind the scenes for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and others, Warner's break came in 2010 when she lent a careening hook and Francophone snappiness to "Bang Bang Bang" by Mark Ronson, an act arguably better known for his antecedents, protégées, and followers than his actual music. This proves apt. The EP that caught Ronson's notice, E.P.E., strutted and shouted and revived all the 80s synthpop fit to get print. It commanded both attention and an inevitable clutter of comparisons: La Roux, Santigold, Goldfrapp. The namedrops were predictable, but not entirely unwarranted. Warner's said she turned down various unnamed honchos with Katy Perry designs, though she didn't mind tossing tracks about with Patrik Berger, who co-wrote Robyn's "Dancing on My Own", and in the past few years she's built up a small battalion of collaborators eager to emulate that track. E.P.E.and its follow-ups are primarily Warner and Wade's work, but it's hard not to hear their influences. "I go my own way…/ This is my anthem," Warner sang on lead single "I Go Away" over meticulously rippling percussion and sumptuous synths; her way, by all indications, was stylish and fully formed, but perhaps a little too timely. Two years later, Warner's debut LP arrives in much the same manner. She bursts off the cover of Feed Me Diamonds amid neon and
chrome shrapnel; it's arresting, but it's pastiche. The music inside is much the same: 12 mostly solid electro-pop tracks that are immediate, immaculate, and suited equally to outlets populist-- "U.B.C.L." appeared in Jersey Shore in a prior rewrite-- and outré. The album's custom-built, in other words, to the synthpop template of the past few years. Some tracks veer house, others electroclash, others toward an 80s slow dance. Strewn through the mix are percussion stutters and pinball noises, and dubstep touches you could actually call tasteful. "Burning Hearts" begins with hoover synths, guitar bluster, and slivered vocal samples, like the Sleigh Bells/Purity Ring hybrid that legions undoubtedly asked for; it's even got spider imagery that could have crawled off the latter's debut. "Waiting" rides either a "Tainted Love" groove or whatever's left of it after three decades of further tainting. Albums like these have a few things in common. They're generally likeable. They almost always sound fantastic. At their worst, they substitute sheen for swagger and noise for punch; at their best, they have all four. At her best, MNDR does. Single "#1 in Heaven", inspired by kidnapped then corrupted robber-heiress Patty Hearst, gleams like a bumper sticker; it turns her post-arrest taunts into a killer hook ("Tell them I'm smiling/ Send my greetings") and her bank stickup into instructions for the dance floor ("put your hands above your head…."). Warner's similarly occupied on loopy club anthem "U.B.C.L.", a rework of EPE's leadoff track, skewed only as much as its title. It's half as clever as it thinks it is, but probably twice as functional. "Sparrow Voices" is bracing, Warner and a sequencer trying to outfeint one another, though it's
probably advisable to ignore anything it's trying to say about the cracks in China's economy. That's the sort of topicality MNDR ascribes to almost every track. She's called the album an attempt to "[challenge] money, wealth, power and the class system," an admirable goal for a different occasion. It's not that dance-pop can't be subverted, but Hearst repurposed as a dancing queen is roughly par here. "Fall in Love With the Enemy" doesn't get much deeper than saying it isn't a choice. "Blue Jean Youth" is a list of nostalgia checkpoints that aims for iconic but lands somewhere around clip art. These are missteps, though, and few. "Faster Horses", named for an apocryphal Henry Ford quote ("if I'd asked my customers what they wanted, they'd have said faster horses") is noisy and addled-- the vague vocal patois on "the front ro-ow... you don't kno-ow” has too many similarities to mention-- but as a commentary on the genre's demand for ever-catchier material, it works. DESIGNED BY NICOLE MANZO
PHOTO COURTESY OF DEER DU BOIS
VÁZQUEZ SOUNDS BY CHRISTINA GOLL
en-year-old Angie Vazquez has become an Internet phenom belting out a soulful cover of Brit pop star Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep.” In an online video seemingly shot at home, her teenage brothers Abelardo and Gustavo play the keyboard, guitar and drums. The video drew almost 18 million views, interviews on Mexico’s major television networks and a mention on Good Morning America. Within weeks of its Nov. 11 posting, the so-called Vazquez Sounds signed a contract with Sony Music Mexico. They released their first album this week that includes another Internet smash cover, of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You.” Their nearly overnight success online evokes the now legendary saga of Canadian ‘tween idol Justin Bieber, who was discovered after his mother posted online amateur footage of him crooning and strumming. “We make a lot of videos of a lot of things, but my son Abelardo wanted to record this song and share it with friends and family,” said father Abelardo Vazquez in a telephone interview from the family’s hometown of Mexicali, on the California border. “We really didn’t expect the cover to become such a phenomenon on the Web.” Before you call the Vazquez clan Mexico’s version of Bieber-mania, consider this: The elder Abelardo Vazquez is a professional music producer instrumental in creating the sound of well-known Mexican bands such as Reik and Nikki Clan, also from the border. The videos of Angie and her brothers in their home studio are also professionally produced, mixed and lighted, with slick camera work.
Abelardo Vazquez says he’s not driving his kids into the music business, though he acknowledges they’ve had a leg up. “My kids have had a musical education since they were very young, because I have worked producing groups for many years,” the father said. When the video sparked interest in a few million people beyond the Vazquez’s immediate circle, the decision to cut a CD was natural, Vazquez said. Although Vazquez has had an eight-year relationship with Sony, Roberto Lopez, president of the label, said he and his team were unaware of the Vazquez Sounds and first heard the group like everyone else — on the Internet. Working with such a young group poses special challenges and “very strong personal care,” Lopez said. “It is something special because they are children, and we want them to stay in school,” he said. “The agreement was that their involvement in music, which has been going on for years now, would continue without affecting their lifestyle.” Vazquez said other record companies had expressed interest, but Sony was the only one that met his conditions for the kids. Cynics note that Sony is also the label that signed some of Vazquez’s other acts. The CD includes the original cover of “Rolling in the Deep,” a remix of that crowd pleaser and, at least in its online version, a more wobbly cover of the Mariah Carey song. Coincidentally, it’s the same song Bieber included in his holiday season “Under the Mistletoe” disc. In the meantime, the Vazquez Sounds have been invited to perform on television programs in the United States, Italy and England. But they can pick and choose. “The kids are not obligated to do promotional work like other acts,” said the elder Vazquez. “We want them to live a life like any other child their age.” designed by Win-kye Cheong
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GIVERS BY: B R I G I D D E S M O N D
hen Hurricane Katrina devastated the historically preserved city of New Orleans in 2005, thousands of American citizens were displaced. Amidst the chaos and ruin an inspiration for a band was forged. Almost serendipitously brought together among a crises of epic proportions. Founding members Tiffany Lamson and Taylor Guarisco were attending college in New Orleans before they had to abandon their academics and apartments to return back to their native hometown Lafayette with limited options. In a shared apartment all of Tiffany and Taylor’s belongings were submerged under 15 feet of water. Everything that they attached to their identities were ripped away by an unforeseen event. Through that period of displacement Tiffany fought to find the positive light in her critical situation, seeing the natural disaster as a reality check. Tiffany and Taylor sat down and wrote their first song together. “Saw You First” was performed with duo vocals and launched them into a world where negativity was no longer the accepted vision. Creativity and positivity became virtues upheld and the road to the formation of Givers had begun. “We were displaced into each other’s lives,” laughs singer/ guitarist Taylor Guarisco. Givers were formed in 2008 in Lafayette, Louisiana. The band knew each other from high school . The music scene was a small world where “There’s two or three clubs and everybody plays there and supports each other.” Up until that point Taylor had toured with a zydeco band, while future members parlayed in Cajun and jazz music. Vocalist, ukulele and percussion player Tiffany sung in the church band where her father was a pastor. She instead chose to feel the music on an emotional level while the other members decided to study it. From her feelings she was able to bring a genuine innocence to the table other than a formulated instrumental perspective.
However orthodox it may appear saying that Givers knew each other since high school, how they came to be was quite a riveting story. Tiffany Lamson and Taylor Guarisco hopped on the last minute two- hour slot after another local band dropped off the bill. They were able to recruit friends Kirby Campbell, Josh LeBlanc and Will Henderson for a two-hour slot at a Lafeyette pub. Unnamed as a band, they improvised the entire set. Gaurisco explains “They were total free-form state where we just played and recorded and then excerpted and rearranged.” The unnamed band was well received with impeccable timing as the city of New Orleans began revitalization process. A resurgence of 30,000 people moved back into the city created a cultural explosion. Never was there a more opportune time band to find their voice through their improve music and channel it into the booming and positive album.
The band decided to brand themselves as the “Givers” after endlessly searching their I Tunes libraries hoping to find unique song titles they can whittle down to a band name. Taylor finally chose a song “Givers” sung from the band Lucky Dragons Givers debut EP was recorded in January of 2010. The group locked themselves up in guestrooms along the swampy banks for Vermilion Bayou. Away from the casual distractions the come with living in a city, recording the album came easy to them as it took a mere 20 days to recording their EP. Dockside studios gave them freedom to take their original songs that were recorded in Campbells bedroom and revamp them into something more along the lines of the bands vision with less limitations. The bands performance in the 2010 Austin City Limits Festival sparked a record deal with
Glass note. The band signed to Glass note Records on February 1, 2011. That June the group released their first full length album In Light. A major turning point occurred when they performed indie rock song “ Up, Up, Up” on the Late night with Jimmy Fallon Show. This song became such a success it was sung by Dianna Agron and Kevin McHale in the third season of fox’s popular show “Glee” Once you visit their official band site you will be welcomed by a plethora of Giver music videos with various live/ acoustic performances with music from the Giver s EP and In Light album. A dance of versatility between instruments such as the ukulele, guitars, flutes, and synthesizers. The joyous interaction between the members and ethereal , Louisiana- infused style will leave you completely enamored to the beauty of positivity and their philosophy that beauty from destruction can birth something authentic true, and most importantly delightfully beautiful. DESIGNED BY NICOLE MANZO
PHOTOS COURTESY OF AIR FRANCE
AIR FRANCE BY K ATA R I N A BA RO N E
ir France, two studio hounds plus a fluid lineup of players and singers, come from Sweden, the home of a certain type of perfect pop. Like fellow countrymen (and women) Club 8, Jens Lekman, the Tough Alliance, El Perro Del Mar and NBOTD favorites Studio they use samples and sequenced beats to create a music that has been described as “postrave bliss”, “beach foam pop” and “Balearic disco”. But with its dance pulse, deodorized female vocals, and classic mix of urgent rhythms and melancholy melodies it bears echoes of groups from all over the world, particularly Avalanches and the Go! Team, the pioneers of forlorn girl-group house-pop St Etienne, and the godfathers of pristine disco ennui New Order circa their greatest album Technique. It was always so difficult for journalists and fans to understand the concept of the Swedish duo and the world they existed in unless you got to experience it first hand. Their live show was often talked about with as
much fervor and anticipation as that of their elusive debut album – two elephants in the same room that became such a domineering topic in interviews during the band’s latter months but ultimately never saw the light of day. As much of a tribute as a history lesson, the story of Air France is re-told here by Best Fit founder Rich Thane – a die-hard fan and longtime friend of the band – as well as Joel and Henrik themselves and the handful people who shaped the group’s short lived career. “Me and Henrik met in 1997”, explains Joel Karlsson – “I was super shy, but tried at the same time to seem cool and urban. Henrik also seemed to struggle a lot with his social interactions with people and we realized that when we were together, we could communicate with people – we filled in where the other left off. When we found out this equation I think people started to believe that we were cool and, we actually became quite popular. We would write magazines
and fanzines. Made radio shows… Start political riots in school and play practical jokes on teachers.” After high school, the pair would drift apart as further education took its hold and Henrik began studying at the University of Uppsala – 50 minutes north of the pairs native Stockholm. It wasn’t until Joel started a fanzine with a close friend that the pair were eventually reunited, with Henrik brought into the fold to illustrate the ‘zine. Shortly after, and months apart, the pair upped roots and fled to Gothenburg where they’d found love with twin sisters Ida and Elin. “Henrik and I listened to a lot of dance music this during this period and thought it would be cool to have a band with beats but one that didn’t sounded so cold like everything else that was coming out during that time.” Karlsson continues, “Our first song was called ‘Behind Cabin Curtains’. We worked on it every day for six months until one day our computer crashed and we lost Designed By everything…” Win-Kye Cheong
BY: C R I S T I A N A V OT TA
edlight King, of Hollywood Records (also responsible for tracks from artists such as Jimmi Hendrix, The Doors, and Neal Young) is a pure example of perseverance, passion, and dedication as experienced through the life of lead singer Mark Kasprzyk, better known as Kazzer or Kaz. Kaz roots back to Hamilton, Ontario where his journey all began with a simple dream. Believe it or not, music was not always his desire — he once worked towards mastering the art of judo, a diversified sport of unarmed fighting which originated from jujitsu and is practiced to train the body and mind. Kaz’s goal was to be a part of the 2000 Olympic games with the Canadian National Judo team. Seeing as he was just an alternate and didn’t quite make the cut, his dream was quickly shot down but also caused the kindling of a new idea. At the young age of 16, Kaz recorded his first track showing he had what it took — today, the people that he surrounds himself with say he is persistent and wont go down without a fight. While Kaz began to write, he was battling tough times growing up and becoming the strong warrior he would later become. He readily steered towards writing music that posed very real issues and experiences that he had faced as an individual. Through personal experiences, he made his music come to life.
In 2002, his solo career took the wheel. After experimenting with different sounds, Kaz found his niche through a rock-type vibe. Then, his full stage name, Kazzer, was signed and then he later released his first album, “Go For Broke” ( which sold 25,000 copies worldwide) which was then released in Canada, Germany, Scandinavia, and France. Of this album, one song took precedence over each of the others. “Pedal To The Metal,” was one of the most successful tracks on the album and is an upbeat song with very speedily sang lyrics that capture your motors and force you to nod your head. The song proved to be a big hit as it was recognized in various places such as the 2003 soundtrack of “The Italian Job” and the well-known television series “Malcolm In The Middle”. A few short years and produced tracks later; Kaz was nominated for a New Artist Of The Year award from Juno Awards (2004).
He then took his talents and spread the joy of his sound with fans all over. Starting with an MTV Campus Invasion tour in 2003 he then performed concerts and festivals anywhere from Chicago, New York and as far as Europe. In 2005, Kaz released his second and last solo album which was called “Broke” and following this, Redlight King was formed. The first task that Kaz took on for the team was the sampling of Neil Young’s “Old Man” which was released over forty years ago. With permission from Young, his music re-grew with Redlight King when they released the sampling they had done on their first album as a band, “Something for the pain” which was released in the summer of 2011. The track reached a high of 17 on the Billboard Alternative Songs list and 24 on the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks list at the time. Since the start of the band, two albums have been produced and more are to be expected.
Outside of the studio, Redlight King kicked off a tour on November 26th in Tennessee in support of Halestorm. The tour hit renowned venues such as Terminal 5, New York City, HOB in Cleveland and Chicago and Newport Music Hall in Columbus Ohio, before it ended on December 15th, just in time for the holidays. While the tour was taking place, Redlight King debuted an official music video for their track “Born To Rise” which takes place in Los Angeles, Ca. They interact with their fans through their website (http://www.redlightkingmusic.com/), facebook(https://www.facebook .com/ RedlightKing), and twitter (https://twitter.com/ redlightking) so be sure to check them out for more updates and to see where 2014 takes their never-ending musical journey. DESIGNED BY NICOLE MANZO
` BY: M O L LY D E S M O N D
meli Sande, born March 10, 1987, is an English recording artist and songwriter. Her real name, Adele Emeli Sande, was changed after Adele became a popular singer and Emeli didn't want there to be confusion. She possesses an impressive soprano vocal range that has depth and soul at the same time. Learning to play the piano at an early age allowed her to not only write but preform her own music. She was also classically trained. It's very important to her that people know she writes, preforms, and records all of her own music. Lyrics are very important to her, as she doesn't wish to be seen as some throw away pop star. First coming into to spotlight in 2009, Emeli was featured on rapper Chipmunks song "Diamond Rings." It was her first top 10 single in the UK. Her second top 10 single was in 2010 when she was featured on the track "Never by Your Woman" with rapper Wiley. It wouldn't be long before she was topping the charts all on her own. Creating music is Emeli's passion. She has written for several well known artists, including Alicia Keys, Cher Lloyd, Susan Boyle, Rihanna, Leona Lewis, and Cheryl Cole. In 2010, she signed a publishing deal with EMI Music Publishing. Shortly after, Virgin Records gave her a recording deal. Her first album, Our Version of Events, was released in 2012. It spent 7 weeks at the number 1 spot on the UK charts and was the best selling album of the year. Her album was richly melodic, classically powerful, and featured soul-full pop songs. The first single off the album, "Heaven" came out in August of 2011.
Three singles were released that reached the number 1 spot on charts across the UK and Ireland. The song, "Next to Me" which she is most famous for in the states, won her two Ivor Novello Awards. One for the Best song musically and lyrically, and the other was the PRS for music most preformed work in 2013. In 2012, she won Brit Awards Critics' Choice Award. Emeli has said that she has known that this was wanted she wanted to do since she was age 11 when she wrote her first song. The song was titled "Tomorrow Starts Again," had proper structure, and even a middle eight. Although she knew she wanted to pursue music, she also knew how important education was. She attended the University of Glasgow for medicine, completing 4 out of the 5 required years. Sande was lucky enough to preform at the opening and closing ceremonies of the London Olympics. She also preformed for President Obama in May of 2013 at the White House in Washington, D.C. Other than preforming, Emeli has been working on her second album, titled "Who Needs the World" set to be released July 2014. DESIGNED BY NICOLE MANZO
BY ASHLEY GOLL
inishing 7th on the 2012 season of American Idol, Colton Dixon’s rise from pop star during the American Idol weeks to a CCM artist has resulted in his debut project, releasing next week under the title of A Messenger. Signing to Sparrow Records towards the last half of 2012, it was his faith during the show that led many of his fans and critics alike to both respect and question his motives when he announced he was moving into the Christian music scene after the American Idol season finished (with many of his fans and supporters thinking he was going to play in the pop/rock circuit). Despite what many may see as a limiting career choice, Colton continues to remind everyone of his first and foremost priority through his music, and that it “ was definitely a blessing that I didn’t win. I would have found a way, had I won, to maybe not be as lyrically pinpointing about my religion, but it would still have the same message; you would’ve just had to dig a little deeper of whatever..” Regardless of what the press, fans or even media may say about Colton or his music, A Messenger reminds us all of our goal in life- to show Christ’s love to everyone we meet in a way that draws them closer to Him rather than indirectly distancing them from Him instead. Releasing promotional single ‘Never Gone’ and first single ‘You Are’ late last year, it is his work with many artists since his exit from Idol that has led a great anticipation for A Messenger, and though none of Colton’s co-writes with these artists made it onto the record, the finished product is still destined to be a great highlight of January 2013. From the emotive ‘Scars’ to the piano driven ‘I’ll Be the Light’; listeners in both the Christian and mainstream circles are sure to give some interest into an album that is as bold as it is subtle, confronting
as it is comforting, helping listeners and healing them along the way as we collectively declare that ‘…if I had no voice, if I had no tongue, I would dance for You, like the rising sun…’ (‘You Are’). Both ‘Never Gone’ and ‘You Are’ were released in 2012 to iTunes and other digital retailers, with each of these songs portraying a different side to Colton musically, with ‘You Are’ primarily a ballad and ‘Never Gone’ a rock anthem. Nevertheless, both these songs still convey the same truth- that God is with us because He is our Savior, our life; giver and sustainer. Starting off ‘You Are’ with a keyboard riff, we are met with one of the most vulnerable songs on the album. Written with good friends Jared Martin and Rhyan Shirley, Colton’s motivation for this song was two-fold- creating a worship melody that expresses the praise that we have for our Father; as well as a more poignant and personal motivation- “ the other reason I had another friend who was contemplating suicide at one point, and he needed something to get out of that slump and get his life back on track. He was in the back of our minds when we wrote this song” Reading this quote from Colton has led me to respect both the song and the lyrical content even more, keeping in mind the fragile inspiration the song draws upon. Listening to the simple yet equally profound words ‘…You are the song; You are the song I’m singing. You are the air; You are the air I’m breathing…’ I am personally reassured that my faith is firm in the life-giver and maker of everything, yet also one who’s equally relatable and personable with everyone on the planet simultaneously. If ‘You Are’ is a comfort melody sung in the moments of both surety as well as difficulties, ‘Never Gone’ is a song from God’s point of view, sung to us during the times when we may even question His very presence.
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EVOLUT OF E.D. T
he crowd began to sway and then back away rapidly — I thought it was just a silly arguement but, suddenly a body came darting towards mine. What could I do? Just walk away like every one else? No, I snapped into a heroic mode, caught the incoming body and immediately ran for help after looking at the boy’s condition. He was purple in the face, seizing, and breathing with great difficulty. To this day, I’m still unsure if he survived, but from that point on, I knew something had to give.
way to unite with people — whatever the matter, the music brings some sort of a special feeling to its true fans. The harsh reality is that the EDM scene has been given such a negative mojo because of those who are in it for the wrong reasons. Designer drugs such as ‘molly’ have been all the rave for “ragers” of all ages. The necessity and correlation to this drug and EDM has been on a steady incline. This epidemic is not new by any means and you know what they say, history does indeed repeat itself
Then, just a few short weeks later, September 1st 2013 marked the cancelation of this year’s final day of Electric Zoo on Randall’s Island and a realization to the electronic dance music world. Instead of waking up to tweets, Instagrams, and live Facebook posts of the excitement heading into the final day, the EDM world mourned two of its own and the cancelation of one of the biggest festival days in NYC.
This black cloud of drugs & misconceptions lays heavily on the present and future of the EDM world. To those who aren’t around “the scene,” it appears to be something much different. To those who love the music, it’s not about the drugs by any means and these false accusations lead to the worst of judgments to some of the most genuine people to walk this earth. The EDM world breeds a fan base unlike any other. They’re typically extremely loyal, compassionate and respectful people.
This past year at Electric Zoo Five, a harsh recognition as to what the scene has migrated towards was scratched to the surface for the entire world to see. Through these deaths, the EDM world was torn and put on hold. Although the final day was canceled, many of the festival-goers migrated their high energy groups to Central Park “meet ups” and of course the never ending list of after parties in Manhattan to follow. For some, the music comes as a release, for others, it’s a
The dance music community has been built upon ideas of peace, love, unity, and respect since the beginning of its roots. The euphoria this music brings to masses of people generally creates the most ideal situations for making bonds and changing lives, for the better. The experiences that are felt through this music are ones that shouldn’t have to be enhanced by drugs or alcohol. The feelings should naturally run through your heart and soul and really touch deep.
BY C R I ST I A N A VOT TA
Although the deaths were unfortunate to say the least, they have not been uncommon in the past and did not come as a big shock to many. Maybe this is exactly what the dance music world needed in New York, a wake up call — a “so long” to those who aren’t around the music for the right reasons and a real eye opener to what the scene’s reputation is slowly sliding to be. Kudos to the Electric Zoo staff, Made Events, and the city of New York who handled the situation with perfect care and did exactly what needed to be done. Some said ‘well, would you cancel driving because of a two car accident?’ — That statement was quite out of place. The scene is all about love and respect. How many times can these tragedies go without being noticed or frowned upon? Actions need to be taken to create a safer more enjoyable environment for the masses. The “blame” has been thrown all over with statements being expressed that the Electric Zoo staff wasn’t thorough enough in their security searches. Let’s get a grip of a reality here and take a step back to view the bigger picture. Regardless of anything else, when taking a drug of any kind, you’re putting yourself at risk knowing full well what some of the negatives effects may be. The responsibility lies on
no one but yourself and to post the blame on anyone else is ignorant. Festivals are supposed to be safe havens and special get-aways for all who attend. If you’re around the music for the right reasons, you’d do virtually anything for those that are in your shoes and provide you with an indescribable friendship, the rave family. That is one of the only ways that these deaths came as a shock. The ‘family’ that’s created with those around you should provide you with security and a stable mind to the point where these incidents should never occur. Similar to anything, time will heal all wounds. The EDM community will continue to prosper and change. It’s unpredictable to see where it will go but if the “fads” are similar to those of the late 1990’s, the scene will gain back the respect it deserves and will evolve back to the people who’s hearts are with the beats and euphoric experiences. It’s disheartening to a lover of the music to hear such negative talk about something that can touch so close to the heart, but there is only one way, up. Hopes are with the idea that the EDM world will live and learn from these negative experiences and become an even stronger family then before. designed by Win-kye Cheong
DELTA SPIRIT BY DANIELL A GUTIERREZ
elta Spirit has been tearing up the stage and ascending the ranks of rock hierarchy with their abundance of raucous energy and freewheeling rootsy soul. They’ve conquered the festival circuit with slots at Austin City Limits Music Festival, Coachella and Lollapalooza, amid headlining tours around the U.S. and across the Atlantic. Tonight they bring their “spirit” to our stage for their debut on Austin City Limits. The band’s self-titled new album, released in 2012, shies away from the twangy undertones enveloping their previous recordings in favor of a more modern style in both sound and scope. “We found the sound that we’ve been looking for, that we’ve been growing into, and as soon as we hit on it, we ran with it,” vocalist/guitarist Matthew Vasquez said. “Just like novelists want to write the Great American Novel, we wanted to make a Great American Record.” Critics and fans alike have responded favorably to the band’s new dynamic, whose heavier dose of catchy rock ‘n’ roll earned the No. 1 slot on Billboard‘s Heatseekers chart. Designed By Win-Kye Cheong
Jillian Banks BY: DA N I E L L A G U T I E R R E Z
illian Banks began writing music at 15 years old, after a friend gave her a toy keyboard while she was "going through a tough time" with her family. When she was feeling helpless, songwriting tapped into something empowering. "I could say anything I wanted -- I could be as graphic as I wanted, I could be as real and as vulnerable and as angry and raw, and it was the most liberating feeling," she says. "I became addicted ever since." Banks says that she answers every call or text she receives -- mostly texts, since she believes that most people are "too scared to call" -- but that might be difficult if her burgeoning career continues on its upward trajectory. Four months after posting her
first song onto Soundcloud, the 25-year-old is being touted as a magnetic writer with songs to obsess over. Her rhapsodic voice possesses a frail vulnerability and recalls singers like Feist and Erykah Badu. Although her disregard for Twitter updates and lack of commonplace promotion have saddled her with the "mysterious chanteuse" descriptor ("It's like I'm this creature that just hatched as a grown woman," Banks says with a laugh), the blogosphere is starting to listen. "Before I Ever Met You" has garnered 218,000 plays on SoundCloud after being released at the top of 2013, and the video for her newest original track, "Warm Water," has scooped up 189,000 YouTube views in less than a month.
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he name of this band captured my attention right away. As someone who loves listening to all different kinds of bands, this band really knew how to up-hold my ear for a while. Their song titles and rhythm intertwine with the way the band handles each lyric. Their song â€œBeast of Evilsâ€? is a must listen to track. I think this American punk band can go very far with their sway of the way they like to get things done.
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BY ASHLEY GOLL
t must take nerve, at your biggest gig to date, to step up and sing guest vocals on a longadored tune in front of 20,000. Factor in a close-fitting silver space suit and a swirly-armed dance routine and Jess Mills’s performance at last year’s Rockness Festival – where she sang the vocal to Leftfield’s “Original”. It was an eye-catching performance and it earned Mills a solo record deal with Island Records. Now she’s recording an album of her own. “When you step up and it’s your moment,” says the 30-year-old, working on a cappuccino in an east London cafe, “you’ve really got to nail it.” Intriguingly, she first learned the need for a bit of swagger during live performances with a pal, Niomi McLean-Daley, better known as Ms Dynamite. They were at school in north London, “doing dodgy dance routines in assembly together. When it came to the singing I was quite shy. Niomi was, and still is, a total powerhouse. She was always telling me, ‘Come on. F*cking Designed By ‘ell.Sing.’” Win-Kye Cheong
WHERE ARE THEY NOW? BY: C AT H L E E N K E H O E
hey may be a band of middle-aged introverts who barely move on stage, but Portishead more than make up for it with a razor-sharp ability to create mood and high drama using only a handful of elements. Most of their power as a live act comes from the interplay of their skeletal ominous soul ballads and the admirably restrained atmospheric video projections. Beth Gibbons seems most comfortable hiding her face behind her hair, but grainy distorted footage of the singer clutching her mic flickering on the giant screen above her head proved just how powerful electronically-generated visuals can be when they've got a strong vision and well defined aesthetic steering them. All the high concept videos in the world wouldn't mean much if the music wasn't up to snuff, and when an act is so closely associated with a forgotten genre like trip-hop as Portishead are, you can't help but go into one of their rare live shows wondering if it's going to feel like a dated nostalgia tour. The band seems aware of that, and despite having an incredibly small catalog of music to draw from, managed to avoid the temptation of pulling too heavily from their massively successful 1995 debut album Dummy, while still dropping just enough fan favorites to satisfy the sold out club. While the material from their last two albums is much darker and shies away from big pop hooks, using that more experimental post-punk-influenced material to frame Dummy-era songs tells a musical story that's much more complex than "aging trip hop band tours again". It might turn out to be another decade until they get around to recording a new album, but judging from how much power they've still got on stage, we're willing to wait. DESIGNED BY NICOLE MANZO
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