Vol. XII 2014
CRYSTAL CASTLES THE WOMBATS TWENTY ONE PILOTS
NEW POLITICS THE 1975
KYLA LA GRANGE
WHERE ARE THEY NOW? THE BEATLES
WWW.NEWSOUNDMAGAZINE.COM LOVE & THE OUTCOME • JASON CASTRO • ST LUCIA • RHYE• MIRI BEN ARI
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ASHLEY GOLL 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:
MISSION STATEMENT “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.”
TOMMY FRISINA VIDEO EDITORS: NICK HERMS MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: ASHLEY GOLL CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: KATARINA BARONE BRIGID DESMOND MOLLY DESMOND TOMMY FRISINA ASHLEY GOLL CHRISTINA GOLL DANIELLA GUTIERREZ KEVIN SPERANDEO CRISTIANA VOTTA PHOTOGRAPHERS: MORGAN HARRISON COVER ARTWORK: NICOLE MANZO CONTACT: 631-757-3187
contents Album Reviews
6 10 12 16
20 24 28 32 36 40 44
St. Lucia New Politics Kyla La Grange The 1975
Check It Out 46 48 50 54
Lucy Rose Jaston Castro Py Rhye
The Wombats Love & The Outcome Twenty One Pilots Crystal Castles Miri Ben Ari Julia Easterlin Gramatik
LIVE Review 56 Bronze Radio Return
Where are they now? 62 The Beatles
ST LUC BY ASHLEY GOLL
ALBUM REVIE W
ative South African pop singer Jean-Philip Grobler’s band name evokes the exotic imagery of an extinct volcano, tropical forests, mountainous terrain, and all the sandy beaches that comprise the island of St. Lucia in the Eastern Caribbean Sea.Nicknamed “Helen of the West Indies”, after the desirous Helen of Troy, the island changed hands fourteen times between the British and the French Empires in a tug of war for its beautiful landscapes. As immediate and gorgeously crafted as the songs are on Grobler’s debut album When The Night, I can imagine there was quite a label bidding war for the seductive sounds captured here amongst these eleven tracks. Brooklynite by way of Johannesburg and Liverpool, Jean-Philip began his formal musical training as a child in the Drakensberg Boys Choir School, touring the globe and being introduced to everything from “Bach to minimalist opera” in the interim. He outgrew the South African mountains, headed to England to continue his academic studies, and eventually ended up in New York City. It seems he found his land of musical milk and honey, for the promise he and his live band had displayed on previous EPs,
has evolved into widescreen electro-pop more inventive than most of his peers out there. When The Night shows an artist who has sharpened his knives, played homage to his genre’s past, and created songs that are uniquely and rapturously his own. Expect to have a smile slapped across your face by the end. The album deftly balances a fine line between unabashed indie pop and a more conventional synth pop sound.With the right amount of cross-promotional exposure, the songs of When The Night could easily spill over into the collective mainstream conscious. Grobler deserves that kind of success.Each track seems to have been built from the rhythm section up, like a carefully-assembled, sonic layer cake.The previous EPs didn’t necessarily flow as smoothly between songs, but that seems to have been remedied in the full length format. Intros and outros are often tied together through swirling synthesizer passages that evoke the soundtracks to ‘80s fantasy films, images of hand gliding through clouds or hazy island sunsets. Devoid of any filler, St. Lucia has delivered a flawlessly constructed record, one that begins as strongly as it ends.
“All Eyes On You” kicks off the set with the sound of gauzy synths, plucked bass guitar strings, and Grobler’s singular voice waxing hopelessly romantic, as he promises that he’ll have eyes for no one else. Latching on to a current trend of throwing a sax solo into the mix, the clever arrangement is such that the inclusion of a potentially hackneyed retro instrument doesn’t send your eyes rolling skyward. The track builds and builds to the point where you could easily imagine a crowded club with hands stretched high in the flashing colored lights. Having seen the band live, that’s exactly the kind of physical response their music elicits. “Call Me Up” continues the retro pastiche, and again surprisingly rises above all the influences.Grobler appears out of the surging haze accompanied by bass, trolley-clanging holiday chimes, drums, and the pulsating sound of a tinny hi-hat before erupting into an infectious chorus where he’s joined by the vocal of his bandmates, in a wall of sound. By the end of the song, it appears night has crept in and the sound of cicadas and nocturnal insects make their presence known in the background. “Closer Than This” fully utilizes the lovely harmonizing talents of co-vocalist Patricia Beranek and injects the proceedings with the shimmering sounds of an acoustic guitar, jangling tambourine, and a summery vibe that finds the band pushing past the confines of an intimate nightclub venue into full-on stadium territory.This aesthetic trickles into the latest new-wavy single “Elevate”. Once the horns come blaring into the mix, thoughts of a Phil Collins brass breakdown instantly pop into the mind. It’s at once deferential and tongue-incheek innovative in its execution. By the time track five has arrived, things have taken an inky black, clubbier turn as the synths come roaring forward and the tribal drums
come out to play. It’s as if The Presets and St. Lucia had decided to throw a party together. The sexy four-to-the-floor “September”, with its menacing melody, driving bass line, jagged guitar riffs, and magnificent middle eight, explores the darker side of Grobler and his bandmates.The song throws you in the middle of a crowded, sweaty dance floor before dawn breaks. As daylight arrives Jean-Philip sings, “Hold your head up / Reach for the sun”, and the sound of clanking percussion and lightdrenched choral harmony sends the track out of the club and into the early morning sky. “The Night Comes Again” recalls something you might have heard in the closing credits to a film some 28 years ago. If “September” placed St. Lucia firmly in the thick of the island nightlife, post-midnight, then this track serves as reminder of all the festivities that came before and will come again. “The Way You Remember Me” is the throbbing heart of the album, as rapturous as anything that came before and as joyful as anything that follows. It evokes the innocence of a wide-eyed, youthful love, with its constantly fluttering synth chords, surging drum beats and wailing saxophone solo. I kept waiting for the brassy woodwind instrument to return after it appeared on the opening track. It resurfaced again and in the context of the song, it works perfectly. The epic, seven minute long “Too Close” initially gives the impression that it will float along like a jellyfish on the surface of a lagoon, until suddenly something dark pulls it underwater. Layer after layer of sound is added until the sweeping percussion and synth sirens come to a halt. The lyrics “I will hold you too close” take on a different interpretation, as whatever was peacefully bobbing on the surface, now lies in the jaws of something below. The track ends as tranquilly as it began.
“Wait For Love” coasts along on a electropop, Tropicalia ambience, similar to British altdance band Friendly Fires. Former EP single “We Got It Wrong” contains a multitude of moods throughout its four minutes and fifty-eight seconds, faultlessly bouncing from Afro-pop to Temper Trap-esque indie-pop, capturing the ups and down of a relationship. Final title track “When The Night” begins with a light, rapidly thumping synth, before the bass is cranked up and the joy quotient fully erupts. My foot started tapping the floor and by the end of the song, my inner Jennifer Beals in Flashdance, wanted to gyrate about the room. I’ll admit it, I eventually gave in to the beat. Luckily, no one was there to see how ridiculous I looked. The Nobel Laureate, poet, playwright, professor and St. Lucian-native Derek Alton Walcott once wrote this of his island home: “In the mist of the sea there is a horned island with deep green harbors…a place of light with luminous valleys under the thunderous clouds… Her mountains tinkle with springs among mossbearded forests. And the white egret makes rings stalking its pools…a volcano, stinking with sulphur, has made it a healing place.”Clearly Jean-Philip was equally as transfixed with the beauty of that place, where “the land, the people, and the light” is the cultural motto. Whether he actually set foot on its beaches, or stumbled upon photographs and thought it would be the perfect name to conjure up escapism or island nightlife, Grobler’s debut album succeeds in capturing every one of those images. If you can’t get out of bed, you’re miserably depressed or having an absolutely rotten day, I present to you the antidote. Few debuts by a pop artist or band are this actualized, this mature or this euphoric, but When The Night takes home the prize.
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BY K ATA R I N A BA RO N E
ALBUM REVIE W 10
friend of mine recommended this band to me, and I was instantly curious, just because I absolutely adore indie-rock and indie-pop. Those are some of my favorite genres, so needless to say, I was all over that single. I really enjoyed how straightforward and how catchy it was. The hook on that track was a monster, and it could easily get stuck in your head if you’re not careful. Fast forward a couple months, and the band’s new record A Bad Girl In Harlem finally is released for the public to hear. The public certainly seems to be interested, because “Harlem” is finally making a splash on billboard charts. For good reason, too, because this song is easily one of my favorites on the entire record. Speaking of the whole record, however, that’s a good and a bad thing that it’s one of my favorites. It’s a certainly a good thing, because it’s a wonderful track, and easily one of the highlights on the entire album. The downside to that, though, is that the album is insanely short. Clocking in at about 33 minutes, it’s one of the shortest albums I’ve heard all year, especially for an indie record. The length may be a bit shorter than what I’m used to, but that’s not necessarily a hindrance to the entire record. It’s not a bad record, it just seems way too short than what it should be. This band is really awesome, so it’s kind of shocking to me that they would release a record that’s not even 40 minutes long. If they want to make a quick lasting impression, they’ve certainly done just that. Because the record is so short, it does mean you have to pay attention to it to truly understand it, and listen to it. Some bands can get away with shorter records, because the record itself is truly wonderful, with New Politics being an example. Even then, their music is rather short, concise, and to the point catchy hooks. That’s what this band seems to enjoy doing, so it does make sense that the record would be quite short. Nonetheless, this band is wonderful, so the fact that it is quite short is rather disappointing. Of course, this doesn’t factor in with the overall music, because that’s truly something to marvel at, to some degree. In a genre where there are plenty of bands trying to remain relevant, or even break out into the mainstream, it takes a truly special sound to stay afloat. New Politics definitely have that sound, so with that being said, let’s take a bad girl into Harlem, and dive in.
The record begins with “Tonight You’re Perfect,” and this song is rather misleading to represent the entire record, especially as an opener. It’s a rather sweet indie pop track with equally cutesy lyrics and a nice breezy melody. This song isn’t as energetic as “Harlem,” but it’s definitely a catchy song, nonetheless. It’s not my favorite, either, but it’s enjoyable. Speaking of “Harlem,” that’s the second track, and it’s easily one of my favorites on here. I love this song in every single way. It’s a very energetic, and off the wall song. It’s rather straightforward, but that’s the best part. After this track, the next few tracks aren’t all too memorable, although they are all catchy songs. Third track “Berlin” is a rather straightforward indie track, but it does have another catchy hook, as most of the tracks do. Following that, fourth track “Stuck On You” has a very catchy chorus, but that’s it. It’s a slower track, and the lyrics are rather cliché, but it’s still enjoyable, nonetheless. The first half of this record is rather interesting, but doesn’t do anything different or unique. Those moments come a bit later. One does show up in the form of fifth track “Give Me Hope.” For the most part, the track is a rather straightforward indie track, but then suddenly, vocalist David Boyd starts rapping out of nowhere. It’s pretty cool, but it’s completely out of nowhere. It’s not like fellow indie band Twenty One Pilots, whom use rapping as a very common vocal technique, because hip hop is a very important part of their sound. . On the second half of the record, these random “outbursts” do show up a couple of times; “Goodbye Copanhagen” is the third track on the record that namedrops somewhere (first was “Harlem,” and then “Berlin”) that’s actually relevant, considering the band is from Denmark, so this song seems to be all about the trio wanting to leave their homeland, just to follow their dreams. But they do make an effort to say they’ll be back soon. It’s a nice little song about their home, but this song does feature Boyd’s “rapping” in the bridge, and again, it seems really out of place, because it just happens. He’s not bad, but it just seems rather out of place, because it comes so randomly. Next track “Overcome” is even more different, because it’s got a nice breezy reggae sound throughout, and it’s a very enjoyable song.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, “Just Like Me” is a very energetic track; it rivals “Harlem,” frankly. In all honesty, it reminds me of bands like the Clash, and the Sex Pistols. Very straightforward pop-punk with very loud and shouted vocals, which is what this song has. I don’t really care for this song very much, because while the rapping parts seemed out of place, this just seems insanely out of place. And to make things even stranger, last track “Fall Into These Arms” is another catchy indie-pop track that doesn’t do anything differently. The biggest problem with this record is that they don’t know what they want to be; at one point, New Politics is an indie-pop band with tracks like “Fall Into These Arms,” “Stuck On You,” and “Tonight You’re Perfect,” but at other times, it seems like they try to be a pop-punk band with tracks like “Harlem,” and “Just Like Me.” Then they throw in a reggae song “Overcome” into the mix, and you have a band who is clearly trying to be very ambitious, but doesn’t know what kind of band they are. It’s one thing for a band to be ambitious, and to throw different “sounds” into their records. Chicago pop-rock/R&B/alternative band Fall Out Boy is one who knows this very well. Vocalist Patrick Stump can write one heck of a song, but he understands that a band needs direction, and the one thing that keeps me from really liking this record is its lack of direction. It doesn’t flow very well together, and that keeps me from really enjoying it. Most of the songs on here are very enjoyable, but as a whole, it falls a bit short. Nonetheless, it’s a nice indie record that indie fans should check out. DESIGNED BY NICOLE MANZO
K ATA R I N A BA RO N E
peaking about her forthcoming album, La Grange has said: “Writing songs was something I always did because I felt like it was the only way I could release all the noise and cluttered emotions inside my head. It was, and is, an escape.”
24 year old Kyla La Grange, a University of Cambridge philosophy graduate, has been a fixture on the alternative London music scene for a couple of years now. She’s long been a mainstay at Communion UK club nights, and over the course of the past year has come out with three 7” singles on respected indie label Chess Club. La Grange’s debut album Ashes, released on July 30th through ioki Records/Sony, is a hard-earned but much deserved victory. WithAshes, La Grange joins the ranks of Clare Maguire and Anna Calvi as one of the most promising and talented British female singer-songwriters to emerge in the wake of the success of Florence + the Machine. Ashes begins with ‘Walk through Walls’, a track which has undergone some significant studio treatment since it was first released as a Chess Club single in early 2011. The song is typical of La Grange’s sound: dramatic and infectious in a non-traditional way. It’s followed by ‘Courage’, a tune of similar ilk. La Grange sets expectations for her audience early on. If you don’t like the first two tracks, you probably won’t like the rest of the album. La Grange has been marketed as a kind of Cyndi Lauper meets 21st century Guinevere. Her branding is obvious, but accurate: Cyndi comes across in her vocals, Guinevere in her lyrics. On ‘Vampire Smile’ she sings about drinking her lover’s blood – “I’m gonna get so drunk on
you and kill your friends/And you’ll need me and we can be obsessed” – but her words are implicitly awash in the afterglow of the success of popular vampire fiction and film. Bloodsucking is not as edgy a pastime as it once was. Tracks like ‘Heavy Stone’ are delightfully reminiscent of Kate Bush, showcasing La Grange’s vocals and demonstrating the visceral effect that her music can have on its listener. Other standout songs include ‘Been Better’ and ‘Lambs’ which illustrate the pleasing synergy between La Grange and her band, something that distinguishes her from the likes of Maguire. Ashes celebrates La Grange’s voice, her band’s music, and the connection between them. The album’s main flaw is that its sound is almost too uniform for its own good; all of the tracks on Ashes sound different in the same way. But there’s no doubt that La Grange has taken a formula, in the post-Florence era, and infused it with fresh and appealing life. Her lyrics are not as interesting as Florence’s or even Maguire’s, but they’re less obtuse. La Grange is just more Pop. The most pleasant surprise on Ashes is ‘Sympathy’. The track pairs the full range of La Grange’s voice with stripped-down but captivating guitar music. On it, and indeed throughout the whole album, you can hear echoes of La Grange’s foremothers: Bush, Lauper, Björk, and Florence. The entire album reflects the sound of familiar artists, but avoids being overly derivative. Ashes mainly looks backwards; La Grange may not offer a concrete idea of where female alt-pop artists are going, but she paints a lovely picture of where they’ve been. DESIGNED BY NICOLE MANZO
BY: A S H L
ALBUM REVIEW 17
t the end of 2013, The 1975 released “Chocolate,” the catchiest song of the year and a surprise summer hit that actually had quite a bit of depth to it. The track was genuinely refreshing, especially in the fact of the bland electropop that has been in complete domination of radio waves for far too long now. Now, a few months later, the group has released its first record, and the good news is that “Chocolate” was no fluke. The even better news: this is easily the best pop record of the 2010’s. What separates The 1975 from their peers is their sense of ambition. It’s apparent that the group aimed to create the perfect soundtrack to youth and have achieved this goal, crafting an album that would serve as the perfect soundtrack to any 80’s teen movie .Through sixteen songs, Matt Healy sings about alienation, awkward sexual encounters, and a fear of growing up, and ultimately crafts a set of lyrics that perfectly encapsulates youth. In the song “Sex” the narrator is in love with a woman who has no interest in him and already has a boyfriend, and only wants to hook up with him. He knows that it will ruin their friendship if he hooks up with her, but does it anyway because he’s so controlled by his desire. “Chocolate” is about drug usage, and the narrator of the song is addicted to marijuana (which he refers to as chocolate) and continues to do more of it because of the woman that he is with, but is tormented by the police and feels that he needs to stop, but can’t. In “Girls,” Healy sings about hook ups and how glorious they seem in youth but how they ultimately become stale and how a youthful act of rebellion like hooking up can ultimately lead to consequences in adult hood. In fact, the whole album shows how the teenage years of a man are dominated by sexual desire, and ultimately it illustrates how this desire must be conquered in order to mature. DESIGNED BY NICOLE MANZO
'Talk!' The busy, almost unpredictable rhythm which opens the track is confusing at first but eventually settles down and becomes a slick, slower-paced groove. Bassist Ross McDonald is showcased in this groove-led track, grounding it, while Healy implores us (or, you know, society) to shut up, yelling “Why you talk so loud?” 'An Encounter' A short, minute-long instrumental interlude that is ethereal and floats above us, on another plane of reality somewhere. Trippy but no less musically individual than the other tracks. 'Heart Out' This song has something for everyone. Sounding a little like French pop collective College – there’s synth, sax and a ton of 80s electro pop vibe – with elements of Eurythmics and even a little bit of Fleetwood Mac decoration thrown in. The chorus is anthemic and harmony-filled - something The 1975 have mastered with ease.
The lyrics are only piece of what makes this album so great, though, and in actuality the instrumentation and production are the best part of the album. Every track is layered with lush vocal harmonies, pulsing drums, and fantastic guitar riffs from Adam Hann, the best of which might make Nile Rodgers jealous. There is not a dull moment musically to be found on the record, and even the interlude tracks “12” and “An Encounter” are gorgeous and don’t seem like filler in any way. The band produced the record themselves with some help from Mike Crossey, whose been producing some of the best records coming out of the U.K. lately, and the record sounds polished and clean without being over done. In fact, the quality of production can be noted by comparing earlier versions of “The City” and “Sex” to the versions that are present here, which are significantly better. “The City” now features smoothed out drums and a razor synth bass line that help to better underline Healy’s vocals, and “Sex” is now an arena rock anthem that sounds like what Kings of Leon dream of sounding like.
BY: DA N I E L L A G U T I E R R E Z
remember discovering The Wombats. It was the fall of 2007 and I was surfing a British music blog when I came across a funny song title and clicked. Although I'm used to hearing probably 1000 new bands per year and falling in love with only a couple dozen, it took just one chorus for me to be hooked—"Let's dance to Joy Division/And celebrate the irony!" There was a gleeful, cheeky, winking intelligence on top of pure adrenaline that exploded through the speakers. British indie-rockers The Wombats are back with This Modern Glitch, a more danceable, darker output than 2007’sA Guide To Love, Loss & Desperation. The 17 tracks on A Guide, except for the barbershop-quartet-style opener, all fit the energetic British indie-rock vein, similar to The Mystery Jets and The Kooks. It’s full of high tempos, angular guitar riffs, repeated chants and quick-twitching bass lines. Their sophomore LP is every bit the indie dance rock follow-up they could have ever hoped to make. Taking their trademark wit, self-deprecation, teen angst, and pop culture fanboy-ism, This Modern Glitch is heavy on the sweet sounds of synth and a ton of nerdy boyish ache. Don’t, however, let that awkwardness skew the fact they’re mature, dedicated songwriters.
This Modern Glitchremoves A Guide’s excess and shifts the band’s direction; the former album contains just 10 songs, not 17. Its opening track, “Our Perfect Disease,” sets the mood for the rest of the record by inserting rapid electronic bloops before adding ‘80s-style synths and keys. The Wombats’ new course feels like an attempt fit in with modern trends. Music’s equivalent of ‘80s-style sunglasses has returned to pop charts, so The Wombats’ move isn’t surprising. Synths and deep drones, staples of recent dance-rock outfits, appear throughout the majority ofThis Modern Glitch. Such digital traits combined with songs of nostalgia and regret (e.g. “1996”), lend the album a gloomy feel. But thanks to The Wombats’ intensity, it never approaches depressing.
“Tokyo (Vampires & Wolves)” focuses heavily on gloomy synths and rhythmic elements, reaffirming the group’s dance-vibe direction. By highlighting a warm bass and adding subtle flourishes, “Tokyo,” along with the more minimal “Jump Into The Fog” and string-heavy ballad “Anti-D,” stand out against the remainder of a rather stale album. Unlike other groups in the modern indie dance-rock category (Cut Copy, Friendly Fires) that create intriguing layers and textures by mixing in disparate, interesting electronic elements, The Wombats stick to a relatively ordinary bag of tricks. DESIGNED BY NICOLE MANZO
The group’s main selling points remain. Every song is designed to get people moving by focusing on danceable rhythms that all build to infectious, energetic choruses. Occasional background vocals add ethereal elements behind lead singer Matthew “Murph” Murphy’s confrontational delivery, and most songs try for at least one noticeable hook.
MISSION STATEMENT “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.”
Info@NewSoundMagazine.us (631) 757-3187
LOVE & THE OUTCOME BY MOLLY DESMOND
or a restless, life-is-an-epic generation, Love & The Outcome's self-titled debut has plenty to say. Husband and wife duo Jodi King and Chris Rademaker met on the road, married, and melded their separate musical careers into one. From a mix of Rademaker's rock sensibilities and King's popdriven influences, Love & the Outcome was born, and the couple decided to take a risk, sell almost everything they owned, and travel the world to share their songs with all who would listen. Those few years of journeying led the duo to signing with Word Records, a platform to share their music with even more people, and the result is Love & the Outcome's self-titled album, a catchy introduction to the duo, showcasing bright pop rock sounds and a deep trust in God. Opening track "When We Love" sets the stage with a catchy tune, but the real spirit of their music is best summarized in the album highlight and lead radio single, "He is with Us." The song opens with a relatable question -- "Remember when / Your hope is lost and faith was shaken" -- and rises toward the proclamation of total reliance on God. Musically, it's a perfect mixture of King's cheery, sweet vocals with a strong, anthemic chorus. Even the most jaded CCM listener might find it challenging to listen through the song's buildup without feeling inclined to chant along "He is with us, He is with us / Always! Always!" From there, this album proves itself to be a collection of solid, feel-good songs, with few surprises. Themes of trust and reminders of God's providing nature are woven all throughout the lyrics, whether imploring listeners to "Ask" God to meet their needs, declaring Him the "King of My Heart," or asking HIm to create a pure "Heart Like You," the songs are decidedly Christ-focused and upbeat. Even "The Story You're Building in Me," a piano-based ballad that takes an personal turn as it reflects on childhood nostalgia and the loss of a loved one, doesn't linger on sadness too long but circles back to the positive in the midst of life's good and bad, remembering "the things that matter in life." Musically, it's solid, cheerful pop rock straight through, with a surprise sneaked in here and there. "Bring Us Back" has a drum vibe that makes a fun 80s throwback, and "City of God" takes its inspiration from global sounds and the couple's travels to places from Liberia to China, an appropriate celebration
of the world-spanning community of believers. The songs have enough variation to keep the record interesting and pleasant, but don't expect too much deviation from the CCM norm. From the rockstar cool of the cover (complete with an old convertible and graffiti-esquire title font) to the spacious, anthemic sound of some of the bigger tracks, Love & the Outcome is a record that exudes confidence and invites listeners into a bigger story, yet remains thematically relatable enough to serve those whose adventures don't necessarily lie somewhere down the open road. It's not too musically or lyrically ambitious, and though the optimistic message is uplifting, this reviewer can't help but wonder what sort of songs they will write a few more years down the road. Still, this debut works, both as a snapshot in a young couple's journey and an inspiring, Godcentered soundtrack for the traveller in us all. ‘…Imagine, if you will, selling most of your worldly possessions (including the place you call home) and hitting the road to pursue a musical vision. You’re leaving your native country. You have no idea what’s ahead. You don’t know where you’ll rest for the night. You take stock and realize that all you have—or all you have left—are your songs, your dreams, your spouse, and your trust in God…and these four things make up the rope of hopefulness you cling to, day in and day out…’ This above statement is perfectly true for many artists uprooting themselves in any part of the world and coming to America to make it big in the Christian music industry. From The City Harmonic, Hawk Nelson, Manifest, Matt Maher, and Manic Drive, to Newworldson and Thousand Foot Krutch; Canadian Christian artists have been thriving within the music industry of late. Add now to the list Love and the Outcome, a Canadian husband and wife duo with vocalist Jodi King and husband and bass player Chris Rademaker; a pop-contemporary band that currently has a great radio single on the radio ‘He is With Us’, perhaps becoming one of my favorite songs of the year so far. After selling their condo in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 2010 and traveling the country of the U.S., their love for each other and the band is what has created the 11 tracks on the album, with both Jodi and Chris meeting through touring together not that long ago.
While Love and the Outcome continues to incorporate Jodi’s pop melodic sound that was present on her solo albums released over the last 3-4 years, the message behind the forthcoming album reminds us to be the conduits of God’s love and grace to everyone that we meet. From the heartfelt first single ‘He is With Us’ to the first music video of the song ‘City of God’; the duo’s vision is clear- that the songs sung on the album and at the live shows
become more than just that, that the songs ‘… plant a seed in people’s hearts: to go for the things that they might be afraid to go for and join this joyful revolution…’ Enthusiastic and joyful, and perhaps one of the most passionate and enjoyable albums to listen to throughout these past few months, this debut album from a band that I suspect will follow the likes of Hawk Nelson, Newworldson and Matt Maher and gain the fans and popularity of millions of Americans and other listeners worldwide; is a certain purchase if you enjoy contemporary pop a la Natalie Grant, Amy Grant or Britt Nicole. ‘He is With Us’ is the first radio single from Love and The Outcome, and also one of my favorite songs that I’ve heard on over these last few months. Speaking about how Christ is
with us in the good and bad times, this acoustic guitar driven melody with a pop contemporary edge and great harmonization of vocals from both Jodi and Chris, Love and the Outcome present to us a song that we can certainly sing both in the high peaks and low moments. The poignant words that start off the song present to us scenarios and moments where we could feel lost, hopeless, unsure and alone, as Jodi cries out ‘…we can’t pretend to see the ending or what’s coming up ahead, don’t know the story of tomorrow but we can stay close to the One who knows…’ A moment of clarity comes as the song progresses from quivering doubt to unshakable faith as through the powerful vocals Jodi possesses becomes a great asset as she delivers one of the most powerful vocal performances on a song released to iTunes this
year! Full of emotion and uplifting motivation, there’s no question that listeners will be changed after hearing the song, no matter if they enjoy pop rock or folk or acoustic. With ‘He is With Us’ inserting alongside ‘You Are’ (Colton Dixon), ‘I Am’ (Finding Favour), ‘Beautiful Love’ (Shine Bright Baby) and ‘Never Beyond Repair’ (Everfound) as one of my favorite 5 songs from New Artists this year so far; we are offered hope and wisdom in the ending words of the song ‘…he is with us always…’ A comfort to know that when God means always, it is; this song reflects to me the message Christ wanted to give His disciples before He left after His resurrection, and what He still longs for us to hear.
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BY: A S H L E Y G O L L
olumbus, Ohio-formed band, Twenty One Pilots, is soaring to new heights on the broad-backed wings of their rule-breaking talent, but also thanks to their downto-earth, grassroots approach to music. Tyler Joseph and Josh Dunn didn’t traverse the musical horizon based on antiquated ideals or old-school ways of operating. The pair adopted a progressive approach to songwriting and a precise plan of attack at playing shows. Quickly, Twenty One Pilots went from a small band named after the plot-line of an Arthur Miller play and demoing songs in a basement to one that elicits pride throughout the state of Ohio. “If I were to give advice to someone that just started a band and how to get someone’s attention, you’ve gotta have a central hub. For us, it was Columbus, Ohio,” explained Joseph. “Then outside of Columbus, we’d play all these small shows without promoting. If we go up to City A and we play a show for ten people, we make ten fans; you have to have the live show to kind of solidify them. Then you go up to City B.” According to Joseph, the trick was to not promote “City B” so that fans from City A wouldn’t go to the show. The main hub was their city of Columbus. When they’d have a big show in the hub, that’s when they’d blast out their whereabouts on social media, effectively attracting people from all the outer regions they played to one central point. If you are looking for a band that mixes genres into a true melting pot of music, your search has ended. Seemingly coming out of nowhere, Twenty One Pilots have begun their path to fame with their first album released on a label, "Vessel." Consisting of 12 tracks, this album reels you in with an attractive electronic sound that leads you to great vocals by Tyler Joseph and simple yet connective drum beats by Josh Dun. With every change in music comes the question, “Will it still catch my attention? Will I still love the band? Are they selling out?”. twenty | one | pilots, partnered with Fueled by Ramen, are proving that bands don’t have to pertain to a certain demographic to make record sales, that the band can still be themselves and still make new fans. “Vessel” is that prime example, and only time will tell just how far this band will go. However, after hearing the new improvements, still seeing the ecstatic, energetic live performances, and seeing how humble and appreciative the band has still remained after being signed, the future is looking very bright for these individuals, and the question will be, “Who hasn’t heard of these guys?”.After the label announcement, the band went forth to begin work on their EP, "three songs", as well as their third full length album, “Vessel” which would include the entire EP. "Vessel" was to be a mix between old and new, with roughly half of the album being older songs from the "Twenty One Pilots" and "Regional at Best" days, to brand new material. Although the new material was what everybody wanted most, it was also very exciting to hear the redone versions of the old songs, to see what was going to change, if the band was gonna keep their original formula, and if the band could keep their fans while making new ones, which has proved to be very difficult for bands after being signed to a major label. Not surprising, however, twenty one pilots kept their fans very satisfied and stayed the same old duo that fans fell in love with and grew with during their local days, all while maturing and developing a new sound that would create a fan out of new listeners after just one song being played.
For those that don’t know, how did you get your band name? Tyler: Band name is Twenty One Pilots. I was taking a theater class at Ohio State and one of the plays we were studying was called “All My Sons” by Arthur Miller. It’s been awhile since I read the play, but the gist of the plot line is this guy who makes air plane parts for the war at the time (WWII), found out that his parts were faulty, so he comes to a moral crossroads. He has to make a decision to send the parts out or recall the parts. Really it’s what’s the right thing to do. Sending the parts would benefit him now, which is the wrong thing to do. The right thing to do would be recall the parts. He ended up sending out the parts and twenty one pilots died because he did. Actually his son was a pilot and ended up dying, but there was no way of correlating the two, but when his daughter found out he sent out the parts, she ultimately blamed her dad for her brother’s death. The rest of the play he tries to justify why he made the decision he did, and in the end he ends up killing himself. But how do we relate this to us as individuals and as a band, theres constantly decisions coming our way and crossroads and our paths and where we’re going to go and what we’re going to do. Having the band name mean something that reminds us that sometimes the right decision may not be the decision that benefits you right now, it may be the harder decision, it might be the decision that takes more work. The right decision is ultimately worth it, no matter when the reward is. It’s something we live by as a band and as individuals, it’s nice to have a band name to remind you of that.
did. When it comes together, it’s that moment that it’s working and you can’t stop thinking about it and all you want to do is get back into the basement to put together a demo. It’s definitely comparable to what it’s like to be out in front of a bunch of people, but we will always be a band that embraces the live show, before anything else. We’re in the studio now and recording, and I don’t think a lot of band’s think this way, but when we’re recording, we want “this part” to be recorded like this, because when we do it live it’s going to be really cool, it’s going to create a moment live. So we’re always in that space of what’s it going to be like live, instead of what fits the track when someone’s listening to the CD. Josh: When it comes down to it, as long as I’m playing my drums, I’m happy. When we’re home for a week or two off, I set my drums up in some office warehouse and hopefully play everyday and for a couple hours. Did you reach out to any labels or did they come to you? Josh: No we didn’t reach out to any labels. Tyler: We didn’t even know what that meant. Who’s number do we call. If you want a record label call “1-800-LABEL-ME” (jokingly) We were very strategic and focused and dedicated to our local fan base in Ohio. We were doing what you thought you were supposed to do as a local band, which is to build a fan base around you and not harass them, not take advantage of them, but to trust them, so they trust you. And when you say come to this show, they’ll come to that show. Since we were able to build that trust, we were able to fill up a room at Newport Music Hall in Columbus, OH, and I guess when a local band sells the place out, it just doesn’t happen very often. We were like “it doesn’t?” When your in music and you’re pursuing as a local band, everyone and their mom are in a band trying to make it, and we didn’t really know where we lined up. We don’t know how it happened, but it just steam rolled into one label hearing, then another, then another; we actually got turned into this thing that was larger than life and it was really a lot of pressure to make music. Today is our first time every doing headlining in Pittsburgh, so we don’t even know what tonight will look like, so we’re not really that seasoned as a band for traveling and touring. It just all came at once, it was crazy, I’ll never forget it.
Which do you like better, playing shows or recording?
What is your favorite song to perform live?
Josh: Both are very unique and both are very fun. I’ve only really recorded once and it’s really an experience like this, and in my own mind, I ask myself if I prefer recording or performing live. I love recording, but I think, hands down, it’s performing live for me. There’s nothing like it, especially playing in front of people who have never seen us perform. There’s nothing like that, in the sense that you you feel like you have to prove something. There’s really nothing that compares to it. Tyler: Writing and recording are two different things for me. I would say playing live shows is much more enjoyable, but writing is up there in playing live shows. When I’m in my basement writing a song, things come together and things start happening. I feel like being a good songwriter is just getting good at accidentally falling on something and knowing when to stop and focus on that thing that you accidentally
Josh: My favorite song, I probably speak for both of us, is a song of ours called “Trees.” We usually play it last or at least really close to the end. For me, I noticed it pretty quickly after Tyler and I started playing music together, we try to play as hard as we can, and give all of our energy. And that can wear you out physically, but it comes to the point of the set where we play that song, I don’t know what it is, but I think for both of us, when the song starts, I feel like it’s the first song again, physically, mentally, and spiritually. It does something really cool, I enjoy that song quite a lot. Tyler: I also like to play “Ode To Sleep,” because a lot of times we open up with that and my favorite thing to do is play in front of people who haven’t seen us before, because I like to smack them in the face with something, and that song is really good for that.
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STAL TLES BY BRIGID DESMOND
rystal Castles are one of the more recent–– and more popular––bands to dispel the notion that abrasiveness and escapism are mutually exclusive. More underground outfits discovered this long ago and never looked back. Just this year, albums from Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Ital, Swans, and Andy Stott have demonstrated that exploring dark places need not be a cold, lifeless exercise. Crystal Castles’ initial releases seemed to share this assumption. Their first full length was a concentrated explosion of biting synths and shrill vocal distortions, which suggested that their creators operated with a combination of apathy and masochism. Yet, albums (I) and(II)also had numerous moments of sleek catchiness (“Untrust Us,” “Year of Silence”) and some legitimately chartfriendly numbers (“Crimewave,” “Not In Love”). Further, their 2010 release often abandoned Glass’s shrieking vocals in favor of a sound that bordered on dream-pop. Ethan Kath and Alice Glass seem intent on experimenting with their sound, but to call their more recent work “experimental” would be a disservice to the artists who have absolutely no interest in being popularly recognized. Crystal Castles have made the oddly typical journey from purveyors of sinister, conscious-altering electro to composers of shrouded, depressed dance tunes. Some will undoubtedly appreciate the more polished production; however, with less of the numbing quality that marked their early work, dabbles in dark places with often predictable results. The Brooklyn duo, formed in 2004, quickly established their niche with a string of limited EPs and a notoriously ferocious live concert. Their mysterious insularity (and vicious synth lines) proved marketable, as hoards of hooded youths turned out for shows filled with flailing and pining after Alice Glass. Crystal Castes have tried to remain true to their aura of disaffection. Glass recently noted that she “didn’t think she could lose faith in humanity and more than [she] already had.” However, “after witnessing some things, it feels like the world is a dystopia where victims don’t get justice and corruption prevails.” She mentions that this sentiment played a role in the shaping of. The album is indeed their angriest release yet. Glass often opts to let her vocals form coherent constructions rather than just being splattered words and images. One gets the sense that she has more of a story to tell; however, the story doesn’t comfort so much as it makes you feel like Bruce Wayne after he falls into the well. On “Plague” she sings “virgin cells to penetrate/ too premature to permeate/ they can’t elucidate/ never thought I was the enemy/ I am the plague.” It’s an intense portrayal of how Glass views the subjugation of women. This is the Crystal Castle’s wheelhouse, so to speak, and it calls for production that makes the listener engaged, even frightened.has some very enjoyable moments, but it is not the tour de force that
one would hope. Kath has said that he threw out all of his old equipment for the recording of (III), seeking to build a completely new sound. His productions have a deeper quality to them – more full bodied bass, a wider range of timbres, more searching melodies – but they are unmistakably Crystal Castles’ songs. Still, some of the sleeker dance numbers are indebted to recent production trends “Affection” sports snapping trap drums and washed out synths that swirl around the dreamy vocals. Similarly, “Transgender” and “Violent Youth” have eery undertones but they are mostly clean cut dance numbers cloaked with reverb. In the vein of their more traditional, glitchy anthems, “Kerosene” and “Pale Flesh” pummel along purposefully, as various layers of moody noise work their way in and out of the arrangement. These tunes are fun and immediately re-playable, but they are also a slightly less catchy version of what everyone expects from Crystal Castles. “Wrath of God” is probably the most interesting production on the record. It begs to be blasted at painful levels and it succeeds at evoking the kind of emotion that seems intent on conveying. Some might argue that (III)is a more mature, accomplished record from a band that has moved on from its hostile roots. First, to make that claim one would have to ignore much of (III)‘s unevenness and find some continuity in a slightly scattered record. But more importantly, that argument seems to betray what the foundation of this album is meant to be. Kath and Glass are angrier and more disillusioned than ever but yet (III) comes out as a more balanced work with cleaner production? It feels more like Glass is screaming in an effort to make her point but her words are muddled by a somewhat stunted production aesthetic. The mood that the album creates is often quite dark (save for the strangely uplifting album closer) but it is the kind of fleeting blackness one experiences in a dark, crowded room, rather than the oppressive emptiness that the duo seems to want to inhabit. (III) is worthwhile in that it is an interesting take on dance music, yet that doesn’t seem quite enough for a group predicated on delivering an onslaught of emotional energy. The cover of (III)depicts a Yemeni woman holding her son. The image is rife with a sense of oppression. The child has just been exposed to tear gas and the woman is heavily clad in a burka. There are moments of the album that give form to this image. Glass’ violent moans on “Wrath of God.” The claustrophobic synths on “Insulin.” But the photo’s visceral intensity is largely buried deep within the record. Given that Crystal Castles are a mainstay at festivals around the world, it might be unrealistic to ask for a more sincere representation of their album cover. Still, I think that that is the album they are hoping to make. They would do well to remember that they became popular because of their abrasiveness, and not in spite of it. designed by Win-kye Cheong
By: Ashley Goll
Q: Your career hasn’t stayed put in any one tradition. How did you decide to branch out from your early training? A: Miri Ben-Ari: The violin -- although it fits classical music amazingly -- doesn’t necessarily need classical music. It’s just a voice. When I listened to jazz when I was still in Israel, I felt that it was a very unique use of instrumental music, with a different language. I moved to the U.S. to study jazz, knowing that if I learned how to improvise music I’d be able to write my own original music. There are enough violinists in the world who can play the Bach, the Beethoven, the Brahms. Q: How would you describe your style? A: MBA: It’s a fusion of many many styles, and my experiences from growing up in the Middle East and being from Israel. But it's funny, even when I started jazz here in the U.S., when I composed my own music, it came out as soulful R&B music. Almost like I grew up playing it at church. Q: Did you feel a kinship with artists of other backgrounds? A: MBA: Kenny G would be the artist I most relate to. He’s a Jewish musician like myself, and he makes his saxophone sound so soulful and not white. I’ve been hearing the same thing over and over, when people listen, they go, ‘OK, so you’re black. You sound black.’ Q: What does that distinction mean to you? A: MBA: I really don’t know. It’s funny because I work with Kenny G, and we both laugh about that. ‘Do you believe in reincarnation?’ Because I don’t get it too. How do I know what to play? How to play? Why do I sound like someone who grew up playing gospel music? Q: Did you have any idea growing up that your sensibility would be so in demand? A: MBA: I could have never really envisioned how it went down. I didn’t envision myself, for example, performing at the White House and being honored by the First Lady Michelle Obama. Some moments in my life come as a surprise. Q: You played one of your own compositions, selected by Michelle -- the Symphony of Brotherhood featuring a recording of Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech. What drew you to that piece of American history? A: MBA: I am a third-generation Holocaust survivor. My grandparents escaped Poland, but their family was murdered. I was the only child in the family that ever heard the story. It’s something I’ve been carrying. This whole subject of racism, it’s very close to me. MBA:When I was in Atlanta more than ten years ago, I went to the lunch counter and it blew my mind. I wasn’t very familiar with black history. [In Israel,] we had one page in the history book. When I saw what they had gone through, I felt that the world is so small. People suffer all over. When I heard that part of the [King] speech -- I have a dream -- I felt that I had to include it in one of my songs, and make almost a soundtrack to his words. I was so touched. Q:: How does one go about obtaining rights to what must be a very protected recording? A: MBA: It’s very difficult, basically impossible. My attorney at the time said, 'There’s no way. You’re not clearing that. No one has and no one does.’ But the people who own the rights cleared it pretty much after hearing the song once. They felt the speech was represented in the right way. Q: What’s next for you? A: MBA: I'm recording a solo album and a duet album with Kenny G. I’m also working with the trance artist Armin van Buuren. I play on the title track of his new album [“Intense”]. The programming in this genre is ridiculously difficult and complicated. It’s not like jazz. I recorded my third jazz album live -- a 50-minute album, and it took 50 minutes to record it. You press record and that’s it. Here, you work on one song for hours sometimes. But it’s so much fun. That collaboration opened up a whole new audience for me. People from all over the world tweet to me. It just shows you, when it comes to music, there are no boundaries. DESIGNED BY NICOLE MANZO
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julia easterlin BY C R I ST I A N A VOT TA
n searching for new music, oftentimes originality and newfound skill is difficult to find. That surely wasn’t the case with “futuristic” singer and songwriter, Julia Easterlin of Georgia.
Easterlin incorporates a lot of her musical background into making music that’s unique and pleasurable to the ear. Although she is musically inclined to various instruments, Easterlin takes advantage of her breath-taking voice and use of a looping hardware to create melodic, memorable music. With extreme support from her mother who is also a musician helped her to find her calling at a young age. Around the age of 6, she began to sing and learned to play the piano alongside her mother where she was “encouraged and supported” to make music under her presence. With influences varying anywhere from Radiohead, to Carly Simon, it’s no wonder she has a variety of different sounding tracks. Currently, she has one album currently available on iTunes and plans on it being released around the fall time of this year. The tracks that she choses to perform contain a mixture of originals along with some “arrangements of old traditional American folks songs or songs by my favorite rock bands,” Easterlin said. About a year ago Easterlin collaborated with Moe Pope, who has a quite different sound then herself. “I loved it,” Easterlin said. “It’s great to be on a Hip-Hop project.” Personally, Easterlin’s favorite “instruments” to play include her voice and
L’amour De La Hoto the drums but her uniqueness is exquisite due to the fact that she uses a piece that’s foreign to many, a loop synthesizer. Eye-opening to many, this tiny piece or hardware serves as an interesting focal to her performances. “I became curious about looping hardware after hearing an Imogen Heap radio performance in high school,” Easterlin said. “I did online research to find a loop station and had one shipped to my house. I plugged it in, and the rest is history.” Easterlin has been privileged enough to play at various venues for a wide range of fans. Her current fan basis varies in ranges from around 16 to their 40’s and are split between male and female. Easterlin says that they are mostly just folks that are “music-loving urbanites in their 20s.” She’s hoping she can kick off a tour once the new album launches. Easterlin worked extremely hard to get where she is now, but her hard work has definitely paid off and she’s now had some very memorable moments in her career. “I’ve been lucky to have so many good experiences,” Easterlin said. “Lollapalooza was a really fun challenge and the show with Moe Pope last year in Boston was a blast. It was fun to be in front of an entirely new audience.” An end to this current success doesn’t seem near. With a new album in the works, more gigs popping up, and prior motivation, Easterlin’s fast paced forward movement seems limitless. designed by Win-kye Cheong
The Age of Reason BY TOMMY FRISINA Slovenian born, Brooklyn based producer, Denis Jasarevic, more commonly known by his stage name, Gramatik, is known for his sample based, instrumental HipHop production. However, take a trip through his catalogue and there are elements of various Electronic sub genres such as House, Dubstep, and Glitch Hop. His funk and jazz influence also doesn’t go unnoticed as he combines all of these genres on his latest LP, The Age of Reason. The album starts off in a somber tone with the introduction track Bravemen that drops heavy synth and bass lines towards the end, leading us into the funky sounds of the second track Torture featuring Hendrix style vocals from singer Eric Krasno. Proving he is far from a one trick pony, Gramatik supplies us with the third track Bluestep which delivers exactly what it promises; a blues sample met with the Dubstep drums and synths. Before you even get halfway through the album, it’s clear to see there is a little something for everyone. Jasarevic calls upon his
fellow Exmag members throughout the album to contribute additional production to the already diverse sound of his newest album. Four of the fifteen songs featured on the album have accompanying members of the production collective, showcasing their different styles of down tempo Electronic music. The group appears on the standout track Just Jammin NYC, a rework of Gramatik’s previously released Street Bangerz vol. 2 track Just Jammin. He and his peers recapture the feel of the original with additional instrumentation and production. The two previously released singles, You Don’t Understand and obviously fit in perfectly with the rest of the album’s sound with the former featuring some of Gramatik’s classic style of vocal sampling seen in his previous work on his Street Bangerz series and his Beatz and Pieces album. The ladder, Obviously once again features Gramatik’s production collective Exmag as well as newcomers Cherub who lend their vocals well as their signature talkbox to the track. Obviously gives us a taste for what Gramatik has
to offer the Electro Funk sub-genre championed by himself and fellow producer GRiZ. The third single from the album, Get A Grip is the second song to feature singer/producer Gibbz. The track showcases Gramatik’s ability to produce solid Dubstep tracks without succumbing to the cliché of obvious build ups leading to a large bass drop featuring wobble synth. Instead, he trades the wub bass for a funk guitar and futuristic laser synth that work perfectly with the feel of the album. Although a little scatter brained at times, The Age of Reason is a solid cohesive piece of work from Pretty Lights Music artist Gramatik. Utilizing all of his influences as well as his past endeavors in various genres, Denis Jasarevic crafts an album that fits just as well on the dance floor as it would at a small gathering amongst friends. Gramatik’s diversity allows for the listener to play his music in any given setting and his latest albums only adds to his catalogue of laid back Electronic production. designed by Win-kye Cheong
BY: DA N I E L L A G U T T I E R I E Z
ith her star firmly in the ascendant, Warwickshire songstress Lucy Rose is making her own destiny and shaping her future like no other new artist. A mixture of true grit, sheer dedication and an unshakeable sense of self has all led Lucy to the kind of status that most new artists dream of. Her heartstoppingly poignant songs and cracked porcelain voice saw her enter her career with YouTube hits, radio plays and crowds like nobody else out there. Such is her fan-base, she now sells out tours with ease, and at the tender age of 23, Lucy is being tipped by the great and the good as the one New British Artist who may stick around longer than any of the other fly-by-night contenders. It’s not just the online world and press who’ve been raving about Lucy either - she’s been clocking up the airplay with playlists across radio for her last four singles - 'Lines', 'Bikes', 'Middle Of The Bed’ and Shiver all made themselves very much at home on Radio 1. Her critically acclaimed debut album 'Like I Used To' was recorded in her family home with producer Charlie Hugall and truly embodied the very essence of her personality and honest approach to music and song writing. Following the albums release Lucy embarked on a huge tour schedule which saw her performing to vast crowds all around the world and firmly placing her amongst the most exciting female artists out there. With album number 2 on its way in 2014 there is very little holding her back. DESIGNED BY NICOLE MANZO
BY: A S H L E Y G O L L
ason Castro’s transition from the mainstream music market to the Christian one was a choice that just happened, he says. His newest album, Who Am I, is hitting all the Christian radio stations and stores this week. Regardless of his first album being mainstream, Castro told The Christian Post that he is a Christian and that affects everything he does. “As I was out on the road, it wasn’t like God wasn’t on my mind. God is definitely the central part of my life,” he said. “As I was on the road supporting this album, it just became such a hectic schedule. It was really sucking the life out of me.” Castro hadn’t planned on making his next album a Christian one, but the songs he wrote expressed a time in his life when he had a yearning for God. “I was so tired all the time, I didn’t even have the energy to reach out to God, and I started having this longing for more God in my life,” he explained. “And I wanted more God in my music. Everyday, I can count on connecting with him there.” Like Castro, other famous bands and artists such as Switchfoot or U2’s Bono have steered clear of classifying themselves in the “Christian" genre. The artists are careful not to place themselves in a box, where only believers will seek their music. Castro targets both believers and non-believers with his music. But he noted that he had so many churches and Christian groups that were loyal fans that he wanted to create something specifically for them. DESIGNED BY NICOLE MANZO
BY: DA N I E L L A
or London-based "vocalist, songwriter, visual artist and instrumentalist" Py, her recently released mixtape, Tripping on Wisdom, wasn't just an excuse to cobble together some half-finished songs and dump them on the internet for free. Instead she used the 40-minute collection featuring collaborations with producers Breton, Lapalux, George Fitzgerald, Raffertie and Greenwood Sharps as a way of charting her own personal journey – connecting the songs with snippets of field recordings captured as she travelled from Brighton to London. "It's a story of the memories and nostalgia of my past, feelings and situations I have dealt with," she says of the mixtape, "and that bittersweet feeling from leaving one place, letting go and moving into another time." One of the highlights is the defiant Black Magic, produced by Kadabrah, which places Py's textured voice front and centre while in the background an explosion of pogoing beats erupts. The video – premiered here – starts with Py having a bit of a mope in her room after what looks like a difficult phone call, before she and her pet rabbit storm off to the woods to have a bit of a dance.
Q&A Q:How did you end into doing music? A: So, I’ve been singing since I was about 4 but I think I started to do a lot of creative writing and poetry and stuff growing up. I used it as a way to escape from a lot of stuff but I never really put lyrics with music until when I moved to Brighton when I went to uni when I started to be a bit more serious about writing music and putting words to music.
Q: So what did you study at school? A: Music. And visual arts where I made lots of films and visuals and art installations with surround sound.
Q: So you did that song with Lapalux, how did that happen? A: He contacted me on Soundcloud asking me if I was up for working with him and I really liked his sound already and then we started working together. He then sent over a loop that was actually quite simple and structured for him and then I made up a melody and sung the lyrics over the top. The thing that he sent me and the thing that he made sounded
completely different to what he made it into. It was quite a structured song but the he kind of ripped it apart but I love what he did with it.
Q: And you’ve worked with Damu? A: Yeah, so Damu was one of the producers that worked with me on my mixtape (it’s called Tripping on Wisdomand is out on the 21st May) which was great as I’ve always really liked him as well but the thing we did together is quite different from his stuff and I really wanted it to have more of a song structure rather than it be a straight up dance tune.
Q: Where do you record? A: I record in my room. Everything that’s on the mixtape was recorded in my room apart from ‘Lungs’ which I recorded in the studios that I work in at my day job.
Q: So what are you doing at the moment? Who are you working with? A: So, I’ve just finished the mixtape who I worked on with loads of people: Damu,
Raffertie, Breton and now I’m working on my own music of which I have an idea of how I want it to sound that is: if you imagine Lauryn Hill’sMiseducation but done by a white English girl that grew up listening to Portishead and The Supremes and Billie Holiday but also with a twist of creative jazz. I basically just want to get in a studio and record all of the instruments that I love, with loads of percussion and autoharp and work with some great producers.
Q: You sing on a song on the Breton album, how did that come about? A: Well Breton also did a track that was on my mixtape and I’m actually supporting then for my live debut show at Corsica Studios. Basically, Roman asked me to sing on it and we get on really well. I love Breton’s sound and the way that they work. It was great. There’s a really cool story behind the song too. Well it’s actually quite a sad story.
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RHYE BY ASHLEY GOLL
ith their subtle sound, Rhye show that sex doesn’t have to be a dirty word. The anonymous act reveals itself and explains why facelessness can be powerful. When seductively smooth duo Rhye’s candle-lit “Open” started oozing online earlier this year, listeners were left to imagine who exactly was behind the track’s breathy, Sade-like vocals. Is she a totally fresh face or a known entity hiding behind a digital cloak? Is she American? British? Is she some sort of savvy industry concoction put together in the wake of similarly subtle UK trio the xx’s success? Well, it turns out that she isn’t even a “she” at all. The vocalist in question is actually singer/ producer Mike Molish, who’s previously released three albums as Molishon Los Angeles label Plug research. Rhye is a collaboration between Toronto native Milosh and Robin Hannibal of Danish electro-soul outfit Quadron, who both now live in L.A. The pair linked up two years ago when Milosh was commissioned to remix a Quadron song. “I didn’t want to do a traditional remix,” he says, “so did some singing, and it ended up with me flying to Copenhagen and us doing a song together instead.” One song turned into an EP, which eventually led to Rhye’s debut full-length, which is out early next year on Polydor/Innovative Leisure/Seven Four. designed by Win-kye Cheong
BRONZE RAD PHOTO COURTESY OF BRONZE RADIO RETURN
Photos Courtesy Of Greg Notch
DIO RETURN BY TOMMY FRISINA
he Bowery Ballroom, known for its quaint atmosphere, filled from the stage to the doors on a frigid winter night. Patrons slowly filling up the floor from the bar on the lower level, emptying onto the top balcony and squeezing against the walls of the venue. Drinks in hand patiently waiting for indie roots revival band Bronze Radio Return to take the stage.
the stage welcomed by screams from friends, family and fans alike as the lights go down. Without hesitation they break into song that has the audience dancing and singing along. It can be heard from the energy in lead singer Chris Henderson’s voice and the body language of the entire band that they’re just as happy to be playing here as the audience is to be seeing them do it.
Originally hailing from Hartford, Connecticut, the sextet says playing in New York City is almost like playing a hometown show. This was evident as a number of family members and friends greeted the band before doors officially opened at 8.
The band played old favorites like “Shake! Shake! Shake!” and “Wolves” that the crowd was happy to join in on as well as delving into some of their newer cuts from their most recent album “Up, On & Over”. Regardless, the venue was packed to the back with beanie wearing fans fighting the cold, drinks in hand swaying to the music. The good vibes brought by the music was evident from wall to wall and even spread to the upper level of the balcony. Being tightly packed into the small room wasn’t a problem for most in attendance who seemed not to mind the lack of personal space available.
Before the lights dim, chatter fills the room as anticipation builds. A woman is overheard discussing how she had just discovered the band, but seeing them at the renowned venue was not an opportunity to miss. Another man who had made the trip to the big apple all the way from Mexico was equally filled with excitement to see the group on the acclaimed stage. Finally the six piece band take designed by Win-kye Cheong
However, the tight space benefits the crowd, allowing the front row, bodies squished against the stage, to have just
as good of a view of the performance as the people sitting in the back on barstools toasting to the good times. The venue’s design is to thank for this as sound doesn’t get lost anywhere and every aspect of the music can be heard clear as day from Hudson’s vocals, to lead guitarist Patrick Fetkowitz’s riffs, to every note of Matthew Warner’s keys. Even the sound of Craig Struble’s harmonica can be heard as if it were a street performance taking place in one of the subway stations in the big city. The band finishes their last song and say goodnight to the mass of people standing before them, sweat dripping from their brow. Roars of cheering are heard one last time as the members exit off the stage. There is no denying the energy in the room when the house lights come on. Satisfied fans finish their drinks and dally over to the door or to the band’s merchandise table. The boys of Bronze Radio Return pack up there gear, saying goodbye to loved ones who made the trip to see them perform, and get ready for the next stop on their tour, leaving their fans with a ringing in their ears and good memories.
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THE NIGHT THAT CHANGED AMERICA: THE BEATLES SALUTE Paul McCartney and Ringo Starrr at 56th Grammys
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
BY ASHLEY GOLL
he 56th annual Grammy Awards found a way to mix old and new musical acts by paying tribute to classic rockers while featuring a string of sexy performances from today’s superstars.Some of modern music’s biggest winners at the awards show were Lorde, who won Song of the Year, and Daft Punk, who won Album of the Year. Still, the big stars of the night were The Beatles.The crowd took a trip back to the ‘60s when Beatles drummer Ringo Starr took the stage and a series of Beatles-era photos flashed on the screens behind him. Starr sang “Photograph,” bringing the crowd to its feet in a standing ovation. If there’s one thing pop has learned in the last 50 years, it’s that Beatles songs never wear out their welcome. The Beatles’ original recordings have retained not only their musical brilliance but also the nearly universal good will that the band generated in its time, as well as the accumulated nostalgia that makes baby boomers conflate its music with all the pleasures of their youth. On purely musical grounds — the foundation of melodies, harmonies and lyrics — Beatles songs have thrived through half a century of remakes. But the night’s Beatlemania was just getting started. As many fans hoped, a Paul and Ringo reunion happened on the Grammy stage. After being introduced by Julia Roberts, McCartney sat down on a psychedelic-painted piano with Starr on drums and the pair of onetime Beatles performed “Queenie Eye” from Macca’s latest album, New. The tempo was upbeat, McCartney commanded the vocals like a legend and in the crowd Yoko Ono danced along. The Beatles’ first appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” was one of the most watched television events ever with 74 million people tuning in to watch the group perform five songs during the variety hour. It is considered by many historians and critics as one of the most important moments in music and television. And their performance at this year’s show follows rumors that TV producers were courting Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr for a musical reunion at New York’s Ed Sullivan theatre. To pay tribute to the event, Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart will also reunite the Eurythmics for the first time in almost a decade. The duo are expected to cover one of their Fab Four favorites alongside performances by Maroon 5, Alicia Keys and John Legend.
PHOTO BY MARIO ANZUONI
PHOTO BY KEVIN MAZUR
PHOTO BY MATT SAYLES
Starr’s three-song set served as a reminder of just how charming and charismatic a live frontman the Fab Four’s drummer has become. He followed the night’s theme of celebrating the 50th anniversary of his former group’s first appearance on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ by performing two songs — ‘Matchbox’ and ‘Boys’ — that could have been in their set lists at that time. Then he traveled ahead a couple of years to lead the crowd in a massive ‘Yelllow Submarine’ singalong. McCartney and his fantastic however you want to say it solo band kicked off their set with the totally appropriate ‘Birthday.’ After an energetic reading of ‘Get Back,’ he launched into the theme song from ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,’ which of course led into… ‘With a Little Help From My Friends,’ with Starr (err, sorry, Billy Shears) returning to take over lead vocals. The duo then invited everyone who had performed earlier in the night including Joe Walsh, Jeff Lynne, Kenny Aronoff, Steve Lukather off Toto and Peter Frampton — for a big ‘Hey Jude’ finale. The latter three musicians, together with Don Was, served as part of the backing band for much of the night, providing support for performances by Brad Paisley, Stevie Wonder, Katy Perry and others. In between the performances — which were highlighted by Walsh and Gary Clark Jr.’s guitar duel on ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps,’ Dave Grohl’s heartfelt ‘Hey Bullldog’ and a pleasantly lively and creative acoustic rendition of ‘Revolution’ by Imagine Dragons — McCartney and Starr were shown being interviewed by Dave Letterman. These talks were particularly poignant since they were conducted at the Ed Sullivan Theater, where Letterman currently films his ‘Late Show’ program. McCartney told a particularly funny story about the backstage scene just moments before the group’s legendary Feb. 9, 1964 performance. Apparently Paul was “standing there, all prepared, with my guitar, ready to go on,” when a Teamster in charge of pulling back the curtain decided to get more involved. “He says, ‘are you nervous?’ I said, ‘no, not really’.. lying.” To which the man responded, “Well you should be, there’s 73 million people watching!” Fifty years after conquering the United States, Mr. McCartney and Mr. Starr didn’t come across as self-congratulatory, or weary, or simply going through show business motions. Somehow, they’ve held onto what they brought in 1964. They were still having fun. designed by Win-kye Cheong
“HAPPY” PHARRELL WILLIAMS
“TALK DIRTY” JASON DERULO FEAT. 2 CHAINZ
“YOU MAKE ME” AVICII
“OXYMORON” SCHOOLBOY Q
“COME A LITTLE CLOSER” CAGE THE ELEPHANT
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“BOTTOMS UP” BRANTLEY GILBERT
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