Displaying items by tag: release

Mark Stone and The Dirty Country Band- For Stories EP Review

 

Mark Stone & the Dirty Country Band , from Minnesota, formed in 2012 as a solo project for Mark Stone himself. Since then, Stone (Guitar/Vocals) has acquired the musical talents of Todd Jameson (Bass), Johnny Strutt (Drums) to form The Dirty Country Band.

They are influenced by Southern Rock and Country, which is prevalent in the song structures and writing. However on their latest release “ For Stories” takes a different direction. The main focus is on good ol’ country rock with hard rock riffs and powerful beats. This EP sees the group coming into their own as a close knit outfit that is evident on here. The chemistry between the music is apparent from the beginning that these are men love their craft!

On first track Until Someone Remember my name is a nice country song that is relatable to a contingency of folk who want to pack in their jobs to play music. The overall structure of the track is a feelgood one steeped with elements of heavy guitar lines that are reminiscent of 70’s southern rock. And a strong, swinging rhythm that supplements Stone’s reflective lyrics.

When love goes to war is an acoustic track that is suitable for a long drive home along the highway. Stone shows his versatility with the guitar and on vocals that express raw emotion that will touch any heartstring in this song about falling out with a loved one. It is these samples of the ability to produce natural forms of motions through music that makes Stone a good songwriter.

The things that impress me the most about Mark Stone and The Dirty Country Band is the musical textures that plays off each other . Strutt’s drumming remains consistent throughout, acting like a metronome that dictates the rhythm. Furthermore, The intelligent lyrics that retain strong storytelling throughout.

Faster than they fall is a combination of Dirty Country ( Excuse the pun!) and Boogie Rock. The riff is a loud and simple juggernaut of a tune that will keep your feet swaying. The strong beats reflect Skynyrd in there pomp with driving rhythm section is like a train pounding the tracks at high speed. This is my favourite standout track that could easily be a breakthrough in the commercial rock charts with fans of 70s and 80’s southern rock .

 

And finally, before you are gone is a country/gospel track that is a nod to religious faith that introduces an organ section that adds depth to the melody vocal lines that make this a beautiful end to an accomplished outing for the dirty country band.

The eP is now available for pre- oreder on Itunes.https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/for-stories-ep/1343653581

You can catch the band on April 5th with the 2 dudes w/ acoustic guitars @ Neumann’s bar in St Paul, Minn

You can also gain further access to the band’s catalogue, tours, news and merchandise via

http://www.markstonemn.com

https://www.facebook.com/markstonemn

https://twitter.com/mst0ne

https://www.youtube.com/c/MarkStoneandtheDirtyCountryBand

Published in Europe Section
Monday, 22 April 2019 18:55

Review And Interview With Betty Moon

Betty Moon is a recognized Toronto- Born singer, producer and Rock ‘N’ roll fashionista, who continues to defy trends with her edgy electronic pop, soul and rock. Moon has achieved success through her previous releases, as well as TV and Films. Her music has featured in several shows like The Walking Dead and Californification, which has led to numerous award nominations.

Moon has gained a following through her social media accounts, and has featured in heavy rotation across worldwide retail airplay, as well as appearing in several publications. The singer is set to release her 9th album Hellucination, which is a follow up to 2017’s Chromes. The 6 track EP draws influences from underground sounds ranging from rock, soul and electro pop. This self – produced piece explores Moon’s sultry vocals in more detail, alongside an injection of soul-searching lyrics, dynamic beats, and a sense of empowerment.

Hellucination exposes Moon’s ear for detail, and an ability to engage listeners with her visionary, and a sense of adventure. I will be exploring the EP further, as well as conducting an interview with the star about her upcoming release.

Fear Takes Control opens proceedings with a twisted trip through electronica beats and a dark passage recited by Moon. This intricate usage of thick synthesizers and hollow singing reminds me of the late Prodigy, as the dark tones and textures evoke images of a tortured soul.

Dirty Love is an introspective look at betrayal. Moon’s vocals are soulful and steeped with emotion, accompanied by a backing drumbeat that emphasizes each point of fragility. This track has an injection of the singer’s vocal range that flickers between mid-tempo cries of “I can’t get enough of your dirty love” to a more dynamic pitch of howls. The tempo changes throughout each verse as Moon ponders what she had with the other character. This causes a change in vocals that build with each beat to reflect the countered emotions the star feels.

Violent City is a more upbeat dance track with more brighter beats. Moon’s vocals are distorted at times; like a woman singing alone down an empty street. The synths contort with more fuzzy beats to produce a track more appropriate for these summer days.

Save My Soul is the lead track on the album which Moon’s vocals continue to steal the listener with raw emotion and variety that leads you to feel empathy towards her. The fuzzy synth sound and electronic beats do sound like Moon is trying to find an escape through distorted vocals around the bridge.

Get Your Gun features a more grunge rock sound with high energy driven distorted guitar. Moon’s vocals are sensual and energetic that feels soul inducing with a powerful range.

Hellucination is due out on May 19th

You can find more information about Betty Moon by visiting her website http://bettymoon.com/,

Or alternatively, you can follow the artist via any of these social media accounts,

https://www.instagram.com/bettymoonmusic/

https://www.facebook.com/BettyMoonmusic/

Interview with Betty Moon

Hello Betty, congratulations on your newest release. Can you explain what fans are to expect from your new album Hellucination?

Thank you! I think longtime fans of Betty Moon can expect a nice mix of my original sound and much of a electronic/pop that I’ve been putting into my music as of late. For those that don’t know, I have my latest single “Save My Soul” out now and that will be on ‘Hellucination’. Up until and after the album comes out there will be multiple singles and music videos made available, just to keep things fresh and interesting over the upcoming months.

On first listen, I can hear a lot of ideas going into the lyrics and music. Is the album title Hellucination about this?

I like to leave the lyrics and deeper meanings of every song up to the listener to make it their own. However, the overall vibe and theme of the album is fairly direct, and explores how we are all living in a ‘Hellucination’. It was really fun putting this album together, and I couldn’t be happier with how it came out.

It is quite eclectic with sounds ranging from electronica to pop to rock. Did these genres have any inspiration behind the thought process in the album?

I think it’s really a combination of everything I’ve been influenced by since I started listening to music long ago. Since my music has a blend of rock, pop and electronic, it’s only a given that many of these songs will touch on themes that some of the artists I grew up on talked about. However, I make a conscious effort to always blaze my own trail and write about the things that truly mean something to me.


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What was the writing process like behind making it?

It took about a year to fully write, pre-produce, hit the studio and mix ‘Hellucination’. Some of these songs came together in a day, while others were pieced together over the months. I worked with my team to write a lot of these, and some ideas were over email, but many were simply by us being in a room together with the agenda of writing some great music.

I understand you self-produced the album. Was it difficult to write and produce the album together?

Not at all, I’ve been doing this a long time and since I didn’t have a deadline to finish the album things really came together naturally. Sometimes artists are under the gun to wrap an album and it can add unwanted pressure or even kill the vibe of the music. I made it a priority to self produce an album that made me 110% happy and take the time needed to get all the work done without hiccups.

What was the recording process behind it like for you?

I tracked everything at my studio here in Malibu, CA. We used real drums, guitars, bass and tracked everything using real gear, heads, cabs, mics etc. You get it, the way it ought to be for a great rock/electronic record. Much of ‘Hellucination’ has electronic instruments (keys etc), so for anything rock I wanted to make sure it was organic. We spent sometimes entire days in the studio tracking this thing, and other times just an hour or two to work on some critical parts.

And do you feel there is a different sense of pressure producing an album, in comparison to being a singer and writer in the studio?

Sometimes you get in your head about parts or you second guess your work. That’s the only downside of handling so much of it yourself. I didn’t feel too much pressure though, there wasn’t a deadline to get this album done.

As a producer, I imagine you need an astute ear, do you feel this was important in making the album?

Absolutely, sometimes I have to come back to parts of a song or a mix the next day so I can rest up and be ready to listen. After a long day in the studio that ear for a great song/mix can get fried, so talent is really half the battle. That’s why artists and producers need a good amount of time in the studio, so there’s time to rest and revisit parts with a fresh set of ears.

Do you see yourself being critical of some parts, in comparison to being a performer and having a producer instruct you?

It’s a blessing and a curse. I can only imagine most people in my position would agree. It’s nice to have outside feedback, which I do get from my band, other producers and professionals that I work with.

Did you perform all the instruments on the tracks, or did you get help from a backing band?

I have a tight knit group of other musicians that help me in studio and live (drums/bass/guitar etc). I play guitar, keys and obviously know production, but it’s so important to have the best musicians around in your circle to help.

You recently released ‘Save My Soul’, the track has a cool vibe towards it with hints of Lana Del Rey and Lady Gaga. Could you explain the concept behind the track?

I wanted to create a song with just this sort of pulse and vibe, and once that came together the lyrics came to mind pretty quick. The song is about how we all need our soul saved at some point. We’re all different but alike in more ways than not. With how crazy and fucked up the world is, sometimes it can get the best of us and we need our soul rejuvenated.

On the album you have remixed ‘Crazy’. What was your decision behind the idea to do this?

I just really like that song, and the remix just made a lot of sense for “Crazy” specifically. I’ve done remixes for a lot of songs off past albums, whether I handle the remix or hire other mixer/producers, and it really helps keep things fresh.

As I have previously alluded to, the album is quite diverse. Tracks like ‘Get Your Gun’ are heavy with nods to grunge, whilst ‘Dirty Love’ are more soulful. I feel both bring a lot out of your voice. Are these elements that went through your mind when you first approached the album?

I didn’t really think about that when writing the album, honestly I’ve always just been into early/mid 90’s rock and 80’s electronic music. Thankfully I came up with some pretty cool ideas that happen to work over the different genres of music. Some of the tracks on the record I intentionally wanted to write, but most of them just came naturally during the writing sessions.

Did you find these songs came to you easily, or was it a lengthy process for you?

It really depends on the song, some came to me so easily. Others were like pulling teeth to put together because so much time passed and I was double-triple checking the songs, wondering if they were perfect. As mentioned though, since there wasn’t a deadline it made things much easier.

This is your 9th studio release. Do you see differences in your approach in comparison to your first album?

It’s an absolutely 180 degree turn from how things were done in the 90’s. I now come equipped with wisdom, technology and badassery that I didn’t have before. Things are a lot more streamlined, with less guesswork and it’s a heck of a lot cheaper to make the music now.

Do you plan a tour in support of the album?

Nothing planned at the moment, but we are thinking of ways to get a live show created for songs off ‘Hellucination’ and my last album ‘Chrome’.

And finally, what are your future plans for Betty Moon?

I’m working on a lot of things that will surprise the fans and industry, so you’ll have to wait and see. For the immediate future though I have a lot of content produced for ‘Hellucination’ including music videos, remixes and a couple more singles.

Written by Anselm Anderson - UK / Lancaster

My name is Anselm and I have a strong passion for music. I host two rock radio shows for the internet on a weekly basis. Also, I have experience in the past year of writing music reviews and conducting interviews with upcoming artists for several online music magazines. My main goal is to continue to write for thse interested in learning about what is new in the musical world.

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Published in Europe Section

Vajra

 

During a self-imposed exile in India, Annamaria Pinna - child of a school teacher and former monk - was encouraged to learn about her surroundings and question her reality. In 2011, Pinna formed Vajra with Pat Reilly on guitars, Erek Smith on bass, and Shu Inaba on drums. Described as a 'tapestry of dark and hypnotic, foreboding and mysterious lullabies', Vajra helps listeners experience her music on a high plane. Having played various festivals (including SXSW and Loudwire Music Festival), Varja has also received several awards from Rolling Stone, Loudwire Magazine, and Sirius XM Radio to name but a few.

Varja is:

Anna Maria Pinna on keys, flute, waterphone and lead vocals.
Pat Reilly on guitar.
Erek Smith on bass.
Shu Inaba on drums and percussion.

Varja releases singles on their Patreon page regularly. The latest was released on October 31st as a Halloween celebratory demo.

https://www.facebook.com/vajratemple/ - Varja's Facebook profile is a very engaging one with regular posts providing more than promotional content. The account is evident of her unique personality, and all of the videos and pictures allow visitors insight into Varja's music life. An attractive profile picture, with an EPK widget where visitors can listen to a playlist, view music videos and peruse tour dates. My one criticism is there aren't links to other social media accounts, but there is a link to her official website which is helpful.

http://www.thevajratemple.com/ - an attractive website with a landing page showing all necessary information. If you scroll down, you will see their featured single music video, along with upcoming events and press information. If you wish to delve further into the 'Varja Temple', there are links to socials and EPK profiles. No complaints, just that the links are a little difficult to notice.

https://www.instagram.com/vajratemple/ - as I've mentioned before, I'm not expert when it comes to Instagram; however, I have a fair understanding of what makes a good profile. This is a good profile. A decent balance between professional and personal images, along with some videos for variety. A short bio in the personal information section with a link to the official website makes it easy to find more information.

Lucentia

 

Lucentia is an electronica band hailing from Fort Wayne, Indianapolis. Quite new on the scene, Lucentia released their debut single, 'The Machine', in September of this year.

Lucentia is:

Chris Nunley
Cassandra Nunley

https://www.facebook.com/lucentiamusic/ - Lucentia's Facebook was only opened in January, which may contribute to its poor maintenance. Only a few posts are available promoting their releases. While there are links to different social media accounts, and a contact email, no background information is available for the band. I would recommend updating this to give visitors some insight into the artist.

https://lucentia.bandcamp.com/ - the official website is Lucentia's bandcamp site. As with the social media account, no information is available on the site, only the basic details. The band, obviously, wants to promote their releases more than share details of the band.

 


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Thread The Lariat

 

All the way from San Diego, California, we have Thread The Lariat. A five-piece rock 'n' roll band, this group has been described as a 'refreshing take on modern progressive rock'. Playing venues throughout Southern California, Thread The Lariat has developed a unique and impressive sound drawing their listeners to impressive live shows.

Thread The Lariat is:

Collin Davis on lead vocals.
Douglas Bell on guitar and backing vocals.
Alexander Brennan on guitar.
Aaron Torske on bass.
Brian McGee on drums.

Thread The Lariat are releasing their latest single in November 2018. Their music video for 'Break The Fall' was released in October.

https://www.facebook.com/threadthelariat/ - this Facebook account is quite well-maintained with regular posts promoting shows and single releases, along with images hinting at new music (keep fans interested!). An array of photographs are available ranging from gig posters to live pictures which is engaging for visitors. Only a few videos are available, but what is available is enjoyable. I would recommend placing more background information in the 'about' section, along with links to other social media accounts.

https://www.instagram.com/threadthelariat/ - Thread The Lariat's Instagram is a well-maintained and highly engaging one. Not only are there promotional pictures, but there are also some personal images giving it a good balance for fans to view. A link to their YouTube account in the information section is also very useful.

http://threadthelariat.com/ - the official website is an easy to navigate one with music played when you reach the landing page. It's well laid-out with an easy-to-find menu. Links to social media accounts are available, and this is a footer widget so it's found on all pages. A good website, although a bit dark.

Ellanoure

 

Ellanoure is a five-piece band hailing from Biloxi, South Mississippi. Made up of two sets of brothers, Ellanoure combines post-rock instrumentals with indie rhythms resulting in a unique sound for their listeners. The group released their debut album, Things More Purely, in 2018.

Ellanoure is:

Jared Kozlowski on vocals and guitar.
Heath Riddle on guitar.
Brian Kozlowski on keys.
Shawn Riddle on bass.
Shawn Kozlowski on drums.

https://www.facebook.com/ellanoure/ - Ellanoure's Facebook page is a relatively well-maintained one, but the information is lacking. While they have contact details and links to their merchandise store, it would be helpful to include an official website (if they have one). Moreover, the Instagram link is broken. A band profile is available offering fans access to a playlist, videos and gig dates. I also enjoy the different images available ranging from live shows to posters. My only concern is the broken link and a need for more information - then again, that's just me.

Scott Thiessen

 

Scott Thiessen is a Canadian singer-songwriter swooning his audience with soulful pop music - emphasis on the soul part. He graduated from Seneca College's Songwriting programme in 2017, and made it through the Independent Music Production programme in 2018. So, he's not only handsome and talented, but he's pretty smart as well! His influences are Sam Smith, Adele and Adam Levine.

Scott Thiessen released his debut single 'Lips Don't Move' in October 2018. He is currently working on a debut album.

https://www.facebook.com/ScottThiessenMusic/ - Scott's Facebook account is very well-maintained with a post every week, if not every day. The posts are mainly promotional, but he uses informal language to engage with his fans. There is a plethora of live photos and some amusing cover videos, so it's an enjoyable audio-visual experience. My one complaint is the lack of background information. He has no links to other social media accounts and no contact information.

https://www.instagram.com/scott_thiessen/ - Scott's Instagram is also well-maintained with mostly promotional images, but there are some personal photos here and there. It keeps fans updated on what is happening in his life, and I suppose that is the purpose of Instagram. A suitable amount of information available on the page including links to his official website and a contact email.

https://www.scottthiessen.ca/ - a very neat and concise website that is easy to navigate. The landing page contains a basic biography with links to social media accounts, as well as a gallery and easily accessible menu. I enjoy the colours and simple background image promoting his single - it's not overpowering using neutral tones. A more detailed background might be beneficial for press purposes.


Since you've come so far ...

.... we would like to inform you about The Old School Project's operation. Over time, the number of people interested in The Old School Project has steadily increased. Unlike other websites and online media, the core of The Old School Project is not the well-known journalists and radio producers, but the young people in the field of journalism who nevertheless worthy of their place. Therefore, the resources for running The Old School Project, which requires time, money and hard work, come only from its physical place, the coffeehouse.

So to continue to provide our services to upcoming bands / artists, giving the opportunity to new journalists publish their articles, and to develop our innovative ideas, we ask you to devote a minute of your time and become a part of The Old School Project.


You want to go bigger? Enter your own contribution amount.


 

Written by Nicole Mendes / Germany - Norden

My name is Nicole and I am a South African-born music writer currently based in Norden, Germany. For several years I have worked with award-winning indie music blogs conducting reviews, reported on breaking festival news, but my specialism is interviewing.  I currently work as editor-in-chief for an indie music blog I founded where I specialise in interviews with independent artists.

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