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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Young Jesus: Welcome to Conceptual Beach

Read "Welcome to Conceptual Beach" reviewed by John Bricker

Once a band has established its sound, two options arise: Stick to your guns and keep giving fans what they know they want or start exploring new artistic territory. Oftentimes, the choice to pursue a new aesthetic can lead to a string of unfocused or messy albums, even if the band's catalogue eventually improves.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Thundercat: It Is What It Is

Read "It Is What It Is" reviewed by John Bricker

If you're looking for some dreamy neo-soul and jazz fusion with a charming sense of humor, no one can satisfy you like Thundercat. Released on April 3, his fourth studio album, It Is What It Is, demonstrates his seemingly limitless confidence and charm as a singer, songwriter and bassist, delivering a solid crop of gorgeous and ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

David Lavoie Quartet: Juno

Read "Juno" reviewed by John Bricker

The experimental and avant-garde side of jazz can be incredibly rewarding and a whole lot of fun, whether delivering the adventurous dynamics of a Sun Ra epic or a maelstrom of dissonance at the climax of an Angles 9 track. But, despite the value of risk-taking and innovation, straight-forward and focused jam albums will always have ...

COVID-19 Quarantines Plague Venues, Labels and Artists

Read "COVID-19 Quarantines Plague Venues, Labels and Artists" reviewed by John Bricker

While musicians and bands are canceling tours because of “stay home" mandates in California and around the world, indie labels, local venues and online platforms are supporting artists by running special promotions, planning online performances and continuing operation as much as possible. After California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a statewide stay-home mandate on March 19 following ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Frances Quinlan: Likewise

Read "Likewise" reviewed by John Bricker

Frances Quinlan's debut solo album, Likewise, is full of pretty but incomplete production, leaving stunning vocals and lyrics without the backdrop they deserve. Quinlan and her Philadelphia-based band Hop Along have been making waves in the world of indie rock with their excellent songs and intricate instrumentals, culminating in the 2018 masterpiece, Bark Your Head Off, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Josiah Everhart: Yearn in Years

Read "Yearn in Years" reviewed by John Bricker

Video game soundtracks immerse players by provoking a strong emotional response, either in the cozyness of a welcoming melody, the eerie dread of cold synths or the encouraging energy of an upbeat jazzy theme. Given how versatile and emotional this music can be for those who grow up with it, it is no surprise ...

ARTICLE: CATCHING UP WITH

Josiah Everhart: From YouTube Cover Artist To Confessional Songwriter

Read "Josiah Everhart: From YouTube Cover Artist To Confessional Songwriter" reviewed by John Bricker

While in the third grade, Josiah Everhart recorded a mixtape of music for his school bus by setting a Casio boombox in front of his television and recording songs from his favorite video games. The Oregon-based singer-songwriter's love for video game soundtracks eventually led to a career on YouTube, where he has posted covers of video ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Carsten Rubeling: Volk // People

Read "Volk // People" reviewed by John Bricker

It is not often that production on an explicitly jazz release blends synths reminiscent of '90s video-game sound effects with drunken hip-hop rhythms. Despite a few rough spots, Carsten Rubeling's Volk//People deserves a healthy dose of praise for that. The Canadian trombonist's debut album on lo-fi hip-hop and ambient-music label Inner Ocean Records strikes ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

The Hot Sardines: Welcome Home, Bon Voyage

Read "Welcome Home, Bon Voyage" reviewed by John Bricker

The Hot Sardines' impressive musicianship and infectious energy make it hard to accept that early 1900s swing and proto-jazz ever went out of style. The New York-based eight-piece band gives a perfect example of how they revitalize classics on Welcome Home, Bon Voyage, a collection of live recordings from sets at Joe's Pub in New York ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Ranky Tanky: Good Time

Read "Good Time" reviewed by John Bricker

The West African phrase Ranky Tanky roughly translates to “get funky" or “work it," according to the band's website. The band earns this title with danceable blends of gospel and jazz, celebrating the Gullah culture found in their home state of South Carolina. Although Good Time delivers more infectious energy than their self-titled debut, Ranky Tanky ...


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