‘Wildcard’ – Corbin Hale

Wildcard Coverart.pngHailing from the gorgeous beaches of Rio de Janeiro, Corbin Hale is releasing his latest single, ‘Wildcard’ on 14th December 2018.

The song starts with a dark bass and silky smooth vocals. We also hear delicious synths and high hats which build upon each other creating layers of texture. The choruses drive the song along with the verses creating character with their unpredictable twists and turns. We absolutely adored the subtle use of the electric guitar. The guitar riffs created are charismatic and laced with reverb which makes them sit well in the mix. The riffs are in a nice octave comparatively to the vocals which make the riffs feel related to the vocals in their tone and performance.

It is clear the excellent level of musicianship which has been injected into this single. Each of the instruments are played to an incredibly high standard and shine in the mix. Hale’s voice is an extremely integral part of the piece. His voice is filled with charm and warmth. From the almost whispering in the verses to the fuller performance in the chorus, Hale conveys relatable emotion throughout. His cadences are wonderfully executed and infectious – they will have you reaching for the repeat button and singing along in no time!

Inspired by the Beatles, we can hear this influence pulsing through ‘Wildcard’. It has the charm and character of a Beatles song but Hale has reinvented the genre for 2018. The many elements of percussion coming from the drums and the synths create a layered audio production to enjoy. The song has been mixed, produced and mastered to a very high standard and each element has its own place in the mix.

We must also mention the wonderful artwork which accompanies the release. It fits the song’s narrative well and is eye-catching on its own. It is crisp, clean and modern with a definitive purpose.

These days, Hale is based in Vancouver and has worked extensively with prestigious producers from Canada and the UK. Set for a Christmas release, ‘Wildcard’ would be a welcomed introduction into any playlist. We could easily hear Hale’s music fitting into placement for TV and/or film. Put some warmth into this cold December and check out ‘Wildcard’ today!

Reviewed by FVReviews December 2018

https://www.corbinhale.com

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https://www.youtube.com/corbinhale

Josh Pfeiffer – ‘One More Time’ 

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Hailing from Copperopolis, California, Josh Pfeiffer is an incredible singer/songwriter with a voice sent from heaven. His latest single, ‘One More Time’ is a delicate and emotional song which represents Pfeiffer’s skill and talent perfectly.

‘One More Time’ opens to the sound of a gorgeous solo piano, followed by Pfeiffer’s rich, warm and soulful voice. We are also treated to an emotional acoustic guitar, drums after the first chorus and many other beautiful instruments. Each of the instrumental elements builds slowly, which gives the track room to breathe and naturally evolve.

We adored the slide guitar solo in the latter half of ‘One More Time’, it captures the deep and meaningful essence of the song. It is touching and delicate with a deep melodic essence. We also loved the solo kick drum which feels like the heartbeat of the song.

‘One More Time’ is a relatable, touching and elegant single. It’s melody and phrasing add to the tear-jerking nature of the song. Pfeiffer’s vocal performance is a stand out element of the track. He is naturally able to convey emotion through his performance and his sensual tones alone make for a stunning piece of art.

We were also incredibly impressed with the stunning and cinematic video which accompanies this release. Directed by Alejandro Guimoye, the video captures the mood and essence of the song beautifully. It truly is the perfect visual accompaniment to the music. Initially we listened to the audio alone and thought the song to be about a relationship breakup. However, after watching the video (without giving any spoilers away!), it was soon clarified which type of loss is being described. This theme will be extremely relatable to many different people around the world and hopefully will offer some comfort to them.

We must also mention the beautiful production on both the audio and visuals to the song. The audio production is warm and clear with space for each of the instrumentation to shine. The visual production is equally as warm with strong themes and concept.

We could easily see ‘One More Time’ being used as placement in TV and/or film. It would fit seamlessly into many different situations and it would enhance any visual performance.

So grab a box of tissues and check out this moving and emotional song (and video) today!

Reviewed by FVReviews December 2018

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Storming new EP ‘Nature’ by the phenomenal Pastobal 

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Pastobal are a Folk Rock band who have released their latest EP ‘Nature’. Comprised of 5 addictively enjoyable tracks, ‘Nature’ is a relatable showcase of Pastobal’s composition and skilful musicianship. This is an EP for music lovers and once it has been listened to, we guaranteed it’ll be placed on repeat time and time again!

The EP opens with the song, ‘Did you Know’. First, we hear a bass, kick drum and woodblock quickly followed by an acoustic guitar which is playing single chords until the rhythm swiftly kicks in. The guitar playing is extremely skillful and it sounds as though the guitar is being played all up and down the neck. The layers of instrumentation build, creating texture and interest. The kick drum feels like the heartbeat of the song and the rhythm section creates a foundation for everything else to be built upon.

‘Do You Want’ has a Captain Beefheart feel at the beginning with spoken word being heard first. This is quickly followed by an acoustic guitar, ascending bass and the rock feel enters as the drums begin playing. The drums skilfully come in and out and the entire track is a toe-tapping and thoroughly charming song.

Our favourite song is ‘No Time’. It is a beautiful track which sees the bass, drums, and guitars working together to create a song which is filled with energy and harmony. There is a hint of a slapped bass, loose high hats and the double-tracked vocals which all make for a divine piece of music. We adored the vocal performance during ‘Nature’ as it is acrobatic and thoroughly engaging.

‘Funeral Blues’ has a Spanish feel to it which is a departure as to what we have heard previously. From the rim hits on the snare to the interesting chord progressions to the harmonics on the guitar, this song tells a detailed story from beginning to end.

The final song, ‘Let’s Dance’ is an impressive 20 minutes in length. It opens with the lyrics, “And now, let’s dance!” That is exactly what it made us want to do! There are layered vocals in English and French and simply stunning guitars, bass and drums. Divine.

This EP really is Folk Rock at its finest. The instrumentation provides interest and intrigue throughout and there are catchy songs which will be stuck in your head all day!

So if you are in the market for excellent musicianship and enjoyable music, make sure you check out ‘Nature’ today!

Reviewed by FVReviews December 2018

https://pastobal.bandcamp.com/

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https://www.youtube.com/user/pastobal

Shamus / VoKab – ‘You don’t Wanna Know Us’

Shamus / VoKab – ‘You don’t Wanna Know Us’

Shamus / VoKab have released their latest single ‘You don’t Wanna Know Us’ and we have been lucky enough to be able to review it. ‘You don’t Wanna Know Us’ is Hip Hop in genre and features outstanding rap performances by Shamus and VoKab.

A compact 2 minutes and 9 seconds in length, ‘You don’t Wanna Know Us’  packs a big punch. First, we hear a solo synth playing a riff which we can best describe as oriental in feeling. The riff plays throughout the song and is extremely catchy in the best way. The rap unusually begins over the solo synth which is swiftly followed by an interesting full and luscious kick drum, claps, high hats, and a bell.

Shamus and VoKab both have Australian twangs in their rap accents which is a really engaging feature. The talent these two artists possess is clearly encapsulated in this song. Their lyrics freely flow, their cadences hit the mark every time and, their phrasing conveys emotions and vibe. This is truly a banging tune which upon being played in a club, we can foresee the crowd going absolutely mental to it. We particularly adored the chorus as it features double-tracked vocals, these are impactful and adds to the catchy nature. They will have you singing along in no time!

We were massively impressed with the mix, production, and mastering on this single. The bass is full and rich but it leaves room for the mids and high-end tones to shine through. Each element has its own space in the mix but all of the parts come together as a cohesive piece. It would find a suitable home on any Hip Hop playlist or radio station.

We also adored the artwork which accompanies ‘You don’t Wanna Know Us’. It is slick and simple with only using orange and black but it is impactful upon seeing it and is a perfect match for the song.

Hailing from Perth, Western Australia these artists are simply amazing at their craft. The talent they possess is on full display on this single. So do something for you this Christmas and check out ‘You don’t Wanna Know Us’ today!

Reviewed by FVReviews December 2018

Ricky Sweum – ‘Earth Song’ 

b-W1sicmVzaXplIiw1MDBdLFsibWF4Il0sWyJ3ZSJdXQ==Ricky Sweum is a sensational Jazz artist based in the California Bay Area. He is predominantly a saxophonist and band leader for the US Air Force Band and we have been lucky enough to review his latest release, ‘Earth Song’.

The opening song ‘Watermelon Power Generator’, is an excellent representation of what is to come on this record. We hear multiple wind instruments throughout the track, each playing their own parts. These are completely separate from one another but they come together to work as one cohesive piece. There are wonderful moments of harmonies and melodic genius to be devoured. The bass and drums work as a solid backbone accompaniment for the piece and create a template for the saxophone to shine. The sax riffs soon become recognisable and are consistently interesting, thought-provoking and engaging throughout the piece.

‘Earth Song’ is the compelling title piece. It features strong yet gentle female vocals which carry a message of peace and unity. With times as they are in the world today, these are two things which we are in desperate need of. The lyrics are thoughtful and heartfelt and in particular the lyric, “Let the madness cease” deeply resonated with us. The saxophone is very impactful on this song and takes on a role which is equally as moving as the vocals. We adored the part where the sax and piano are vibing along with one another. Together they create a magical wonderland filled with character and enchantment. Blissful.

We adored the song ‘Radiance’ because it has an unexpected genre cross over into a jazz blues hybrid. The song is filled with unexpected melodies and twists and turns throughout. ‘Energy Dance’ is the shortest song on the album but it packs a big punch from beginning to end. The staccato piano and bass create a wonderful platform for the saxophone to dance over the top of – which it does in style.

The closing song, ‘Expansiveness’ sees the addition of synths to the musical family. It is a beautiful piece which has a different feel and new direction to the rest of the album. It made us wonder, is this the direction Sweum’s next album will take? We can’t wait to find out!

It is clear that Sweum is an excellent musician and composer. He plays all of the saxophone parts on the record and they are filled with luscious melodic performances which are relatable and sensational throughout. ‘Earth Song’ was also produced by Sweum. He has achieved a high quality sounding record with songs which could easily be used for placement in TV, Film and/or games.

Make sure you check out this wonderful artist today.

Reviewed by FVReviews December 2018

www.rickysweum.com

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Matt Simon – ‘Space Alchemy’ 

2 (1)We were completely blown away to discover the phenomenally talented artist Matt Simon. His album ‘Space Alchemy’ is a masterclass in musicianship and flexibility. The album seamlessly darts between genres and is a thoroughly enjoyable and enthralling listen throughout.

First, we hear the song, ‘Evolution’. It features interesting and intricate playing by gorgeous electric guitars, drums, and a bass guitar. All of the parts are extremely detailed and, in places feel as though they are playing their own melodies and playing their own individual part. However, the instruments are always feeding off of one another, they work together well and the song feels like one seamless cohesive piece of music. This is all credit to the extremely clever writing and performance.

We adored the song ‘Lush’, it opens with luscious picked notes and has a laid-back feel to it. The bass and drums kick in which add further layers of texture and colour. The melody lines are heartfelt, emotional and very melodic. Simon’s guitar playing is extremely skillful and it reminds us of Walter Becker in places.

‘Midnight’ features an organ opening, followed by classical strings. There are chromatic and dissonant guitar notes to be enjoyed. The melodies are unusual and unpredictable and once the woodwind enter the piece feels as though all of the major players are in place. Magical.

‘Flux’ hears the spoken word at the beginning which carries on throughout and the rest of the instrumentation are built around it. This piece feels experimental and exciting. We loved the horns which come in as the song progresses. The spoken word element is not in English and we have no idea what is being said but this does not matter, it highlights that music is a universal language, it is the melodies which make the song relatable.

Upon reading ‘Space Alchemy’ was a guitar/instrumental album, we assumed it would be the run of the mill instrumental type of album we are used to hearing. We could not have been more wrong. This album is full of texture and colour which transcends it being an instrumental album. The melodies are so melodic they leave no space to be filled by vocals. The variety of the pieces keeps the listener’s interest extremely well and they all work well together as one cohesive piece of work. In one album you are taken on a journey over different continents and cultures while always feeling safe in Simon’s hands.

Matt Simon is quite simply a top quality musician. His composition and playing are both outstanding and we can not wait to hear what comes next from such a gifted musician.

‘Space Alchemy’ is available to listen to on iTunes, Amazon and all good listening platforms. If you want to hear a piece of work which is innovative and intoxicating, make sure you check out ‘Space Alchemy’ today.

Reviewed by FVReviews November 2018

www.youtube.com/ghostguitars 

Ximares – ‘Be a Badass’ 

Album Art.jpgXimares is a truly exciting artist hailing from the Netherlands. Having begun his musical journey by learning to play piano in 2010,  his talent has grown from strength to strength. We have been lucky enough to review the intoxicating track, ‘Be a Badass’. The song is full of character, charm, and power. We recommend it whole heartedly as it would be a welcomed addition to any playlist.

‘Be a Badass’ is certainly a badass song. First, we hear a hard-hitting opening which features a big and bold sounding bass which is full of character and depth. The bass is accompanied by disorientating synths which move fiercely like an alerting siren in the darkness. The synths riff is heard at the forefront of the mix and then echoed in the background, this creates a nice depth of texture and makes for a full and fulfilling opening.

Next, we hear the drums kick in. Here, the song changes its feel. It now has a Rock element that takes the listener in a brand new direction. The bass and drums take the lead and steer the listener through a maze of hard-hitting melodies and beats. The kick drum sounds like a machine gun, spitting out hits and sounding thoroughly impactful. The bass tones make the song feel dark and mysterious.

We then hear the synths taking the steering wheel again. The synths create a sense of lighter fun to the piece. There are semitone descending notes in the melody of the synths and recognisable riffs begin to appear.

We also adored the parts where the drums take the lead on their own. There is a high hat break and tom fills to be devoured. Three-quarters of the way through we hear what feels like a new beginning, all of the instrumentation breaks away for the synths to produce chords which opens the gate for the drums and bass to reenter. Blissful.

Overall, the composition of ‘Be a Badass’ is exquisite. We adored how in different parts of the song different elements took centre stage. The listener is kept on their toes throughout and all of the sections marry together seamlessly. This is very clever and experienced writing to cross genres and add textures yet still make everything sound as though it belongs together.

Also, a talented singer and voice actor, there seems to be no end to Ximares’s talents! Make sure to check out this inspirational and individual artist today, you will not be disappointed!

Reviewed by FVReviews November 2018

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