ROCK RUNDOWN FOR 6/21/21

Fashion Week – “Déjà Vu”: Released a few weeks ago, this latest banger is the Columbus, Ohio outfit’s follow-up to their 2020 release (a powerful take on Coldplay’s “Yellow”). Their newest output is arranged beautifully with every member playing their part with absolute precision. The drum play is spot on and the guitar work is awesomely distributed throughout, but the vocals are the straw that stirs the drink. Combined, Fashion Week have themselves a rock bop that should find itself on lots of alternative playlists online and at rock radio stations. “Deja Vu” is an excellent kickoff to what should be a hot summer for music.

Jimmy Suspect – “The Walls”: Released just before Father’s Day, the follow-up to his debut single “Bad News” is flawless from the first note to the last. He was motivated by his dad’s dedication and drive during his adolescent years. Nowadays, as a father himself Jimmy Suspect wants to pay it forward and leave a lasting legacy. “The Walls” is brilliantly crafted hip-hop with words that flow like a river and seamless beats giving this hard-working Ohioan another respected tune he can be proud of.

F/L/P – “Kiss That”: Music is in the blood of Norwegian artist Philip Dementiev, which reiterates his credibility on his latest single. The tune tells the unfortunate tale of when attraction turns into an addiction. F/L/P felt it was important to get the point across that love can be either a delight or detriment. It has been thought that his newest creation is a hybrid of The Neighbourhood and The Weeknd and whoever came up with that opinion is not far off. The brooding R&B style and arrangement make “Kiss That” seem like a sultry, seductive single but it is imperative the listener keep the subject matter in mind. This is where F/L/P’s creative genius comes into play as the song walks that tightrope between passion and obsession.

Photo by Celina Morken

Yndling – “Cotton Candy Skies”: Born Silje Espevik, Norwegian dream pop artist returns with a sugary follow-up to the song “Childish Fear”. Yndling’s dove like voice fits the music perfectly giving off a trippy late 70s/early 80s pop/new wave vibe. Inspiration for her new single came from having low morale and looking at the sky one day, improving her mood. “Cotton Candy Skies” will certainly place listeners in a euphoric state as that is just her style at this point. She is excellent in executing her idealistic style and emotionally impacting people in a good way. Espevik’s brand of pop lullabies are starting to resonate with aficionados and her breakthrough moment will happen sooner rather than later.

Said Sara – “Bleedways”: San Francisco singer-songwriter David Benson is back with an acoustic tune with a lot of vigor behind it. Benson’s vocal delivery is angsty throughout the song, which is appropriate given his time as a drummer in the rock outfits Acephalix and Plaguestate. Said Sara is the musical act in which he gets to simmer down a bit, yet keep a little of the rock vibe in terms of the vocals. His lead singer experience from yesteryear in the band Extinction (later named Transition.) still serves him well these days. Jesse Nichols of The Atomic Garden West did the mastering of “Bleedways” and along with the actual songwriting and performance, everyone involved can say they did a world class job of creating an intense and captivating acoustic rock tune that will leave a positive impression on all who hear it.

Gina Naomi Baez – “Uniqeuorn”: Already garnering attention from countless major outlets including Entertainment Weekly, The Huffington Post, Yahoo! News, and the like, the social media influencer, actor, and singer/songwriter is well on her way to being a success in the music industry. On her latest song, Baez proves she has the skills to back up her own sense of bravado. The pop bop has awesome arrangement, bombastic beats, and Baez’s ready for prime-time vocals making the song worthy of an entry in the CHR Top 40. “Uniqueorn” is an anthem that reinforces Baez’s own confidence and self-worth, but also empowers its listeners to embrace what makes them different from the status quo while maintaining their ambitions. A week and a half ago, the official video dropped and lives up to the message of being, well, unique. The vid captures Baez being light-hearted and fun even if the subject matter of being oneself is quite important these days.

Von Boyáge – “Laissez Faire”: Inspired by the end of a relationship that grew apart figuratively and literally, L.A. duo Christopher Hocker and Stevie Noah came up with this mellow tune with an attitude of letting things happen organically when it comes to romance. The song is closer to a ballad, but packs a whole lot of pop with a melodious chorus and sharp, yet laid-back execution. The proof of the Zen-like approach by the lads is evident in the video with all its relaxing imagery as directed by Cameron Masingale. The nonchalant perspective in “Laissez Faire” mirrors their execution as seen in the video, but the effort is 100 percent as the production side of the single is sharp. This is the “don’t sweat the small stuff” anthem that people going through turmoil need to hear. The tandem has other compelling songs that show their performance and songwriting range which include “Dreaming” and “Summer”.

Can Guru? – “Winner Today”: Belgian-born Colin Crichton is influenced by the likes of The Chemical Brothers, Aphex Twins, and 808 State to come up with his own brand of electronica. The song deals with the concept of perseverance and overcoming adversity, which should resonate with several people who are attempting to emerge from the global health crisis. The captivating music video that gives the song’s full effect was directed by Chris Booker and captures the concept of rags to riches and back again quite well. “Winner Today” possesses on-point beats, ravishing rap parts, and a memorable and inspirational chorus. Crichton studied Sound Engineering at Salford University, which explains how the single can sound so crisp and concise. Being on the production side of music has served him well as a performer and in addition to his latest electronic music connoisseurs should enjoy prior releases like “Digitize” and “Strawberry Smiles”.

Catbells – “Fade – Rainy Day Demo”: A tribute to a lost love, the current single from the New England-raised singer-songwriter is a well-written as it is executed. Melancholy and reflective, her latest tune delves into the concept of romantic heartache and she delivers it with grace and poise. Although the song is a tad up-tempo, this version of “Fade” appropriately matches the somber mood Catbells seeks to convey. The accompanying animated video will get the song’s message across as well and those who witness it might want to have a pack of tissues handy. This mysterious artist has the talent to go far in the industry and will captivate listeners along the way as she wears her emotions of her sleeve through compelling performances.

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