2017 Music Reflection

2017 was a great year for rock and alternative music; there were many new albums released, artists, and sounds. To start, here was my year in review: Screen Shot 2017-12-05 at 10.07.09 PM

First, I’ll start with albums.

In no particular order, here are three of my favorite albums from 2017:

1: Neck Deep-The Peace and the Panic

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I am a huge Neck Deep fan. I saw them play at Warped Tour this past summer and will be seeing them again in February and cannot wait. Their latest album, The Peace and the Panic, was powerful, emotional and perfectly captured pop-punk. Neck Deep gets better and better with each album, but this album was perfect. The context of the album illustrates the struggles of lead singer Ben Barlow and bassist Fil Thorpe-Evans and the loss of their fathers. These emotions are captured perfectly and really make the listener feel something. The songs “Nineteen-Seventy Something” and “Wish You Were Here” convey these emotions. Along with heart-wrenching emotions, this album also captures the political climate of the past year and a-half. With mixed feelings and divides, Neck Deep understands these mixed emotions and crafted songs reflecting these feelings. The songs “Don’t Wait” and “Happy Judgement Day” reflect the confusion and frustration of the political world globally today. Overall, this album was truly one of the best from Neck Deep and best of the year and I cannot wait to see them in February.

2. PVRIS-All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of HellPVRIS-All-We-Know-of-Heaven-All-We-Need-of-Hell-billboard-embed

PVRIS’s sophomore album, All We Know of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell, is a beautifully crafted piece to follow their first album. This album, like the last, creates a haunting yet tranquil sound. Front woman Lynn Gunn has a powerful yet mellow voice that creates this haunting sound. The concept of the album conveys a message of growing and overcoming negativity which Gunn perfectly captures with her voice along with the instrumentals of the songs. “What’s Wrong”, “Heaven”, and “Anyone Else” are a few examples that capture the essence of the album. This album was a great follow up and nothing short of amazing. The rock sound is also consistent from PVRIS’s first album while creating a new album concept.

The Maine-Lovely, Little, Lonely 

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Before Lovely, Little, Lonely, I was not an avid listener of The Maine. I had listened to a few songs here and there but this was the album that actually made me start listening to them. Front man John O’Callaghan has an enticing, raspy voice that coincides with the album very well. The concept of the album is laid out nicely, where each of the songs leads into the next one. Each song is crafted carefully and emotionally as well with songs like “How Do You Feel” and “Taxi”. While being emotionally heavy at times, the album still maintains an upbeat sound that makes this album fresh. There is a nice balance between the more emotional songs and more upbeat songs such as “Bad Behavior” and “Black Butterflies and Deja Vu”. Overall, this was a great album and it has made me an avid listener of The Maine.

Overall Reflection

2017 was a great year for music all around, whether it was rock and alternative, or rap and pop. There were many breakthrough artists in many different genres who are already making an impact in the industry. Although 2017 was a great year for music, the rock scene took a bit of an emotional hit with the ending of the Van’s Warped Tour. As announced by Warped Tour’s founder, Kevin Lyman, Warped Tour will be completing its final cross country tour this upcoming summer. Warped Tour has been an amazing organization; it has helped many artists such as Paramore, Blink-182, Fall Out Boy and many more gain fame. It has been an outlet for many foundations and charities to set up tents and spread the word about what they do such as Keep a Breast, Music Saves Lives, and many more. Lastly, Warped Tour is a platform for many different people to come together and share their common interest. I am sad to see Warped Tour ending, but am forever grateful for the memories I have and have yet to create. 2018’s Warped is going to be the best one yet, and I cannot wait. To read more about Warped ending, visit http://vanswarpedtour.com/2017/finaltour/

Well, this is my reflection of this past year and I am so excited for the music to come in 2018. Happy New Year and lets make 2018 the best one yet!

 

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Little Us

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My favorite thing about blogging is connecting with bands and being able to help share their story and craft. One band I connected with is Little Us; a rising rock and alternative band from Connecticut created in 2012 which consists of five members. Guitar is played by Rithya Claude (who is also the vocalist) and Alex Pearson. Bass is played by Alec Iacovazzi and drums are played by Zak Fitzsimons. The last member of Little Us, Ethan Johnson, plays piano for the band, however, a few years ago, Johnson moved away from CT. Even though he moved, Johnson still comes back to play with the band and is still a member. Little Us have released three songs, “Change”, “Light of Day”, and “On and On”. When I started listening to the first song, “Change” I was already hooked before the vocals even started. Once the vocals started I was thinking this band posses something special. After listening to the other two songs, I realized this a band that clearly knows what kind of sound they are aiming for. There are prominent guitar riffs that reflect 80’s hair metal and early 90’s grunge. Little Us does an excellent job of taking 80’s and 90’s rock influences and making them modern while still keeping the nostalgia of classic 80’s sounds. When I was reflecting on what I had just listened to, I was thinking of who Little Us sounds like, and immediately, I thought of Def Leppard, Van Halen, Bon Jovi, Alice in Chains, and Nirvana. These are tough bands to compete with, but Little Us definitely reflects these bands and their sounds. The guitar and bass playing in all three songs are phenomenal and some of the best playing I have heard from a rising band. For fans of Sleeping With Sirens, Bring Me The Horizon, hair metal or grunge, you should absolutely check out Little Us. The three singles Little Us have currently released are a great representation of the band and they are headed in the right direction. This band has amazing potential and I hope to hear more from Little Us in the future! Below is the website for Little Us, where you can listen to their music. Also included is their Instagram and Twitter. Go give them a follow and support new music!

WEBSITE: http://www.littleusmusic.com/

INSTAGRAM: @littleus_official

TWITTER: @littleusmusic

 

 

Joeyi-“Take This Rose”

KZHANYfvAlthough I usually blog about rock and alternative music, it is still incredibly important to celebrate other genres as well. This particular post will be focused on Joe Infurchia, otherwise known as “Joeyi” and he is making a name for himself in the singer-songwriter world. Joeyi has obtained two degrees in music from both the University of Connecticut and Western Connecticut State University and has opened his own studio in Fairfield County, CT, particularly the regions of Bethel, Redding, and Ridgefield. He is also a member of ASCAP and he is even related to Beethoven himself. Joeyi has recently released a single called “Take This Rose” which features him playing the piano and singing. The song begins with the piano playing some airy and upbeat chords, that sets the fun and bouncy tone for the rest of the song. The piano and the vocals compliment each other extremely well and its very hard not to start bopping along and dancing to the song. This is such a catchy and entertaining song; the piano part is beautiful and the lyrics are also fun, yet thoughtful. When I hear this song, for some reason, it reminds me of walking in Central Park, or walking up and down Park Ave. Its a very happy, upbeat, and cheery song, so if you are looking for some feel-good vibes, go and check out Joeyi’s music. You can find “Take This Rose” on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and CD Baby.

WEBSITE: http://joeyimusic.com/

 

As Within, So Without-EP Review

19055204_1315098551941320_2521170360316231924_oFrom my previous posts, you can probably sense that I love discovering new bands, especially in the underground scene. As Within, So Without is a new rising metal-core band from the New York City area and they are a day away from releasing their debut EP, Our Self Destruction. The band consists of four members with Mitchell Lustosa on vocals, Michael Fiornio playing rhythm guitar, Matthew Lustosa playing bass, and Lukas Vitullo on drums. I happen to know both Mitchell and Mathew and am so happy to see their dreams of playing come true. Our Self Destruction is a strong reflection of this bands hard work and dedication to music and the scene, and the character of the band can be heard through their music. The EP consists of five songs that are each melodic, captivating, and powerful; for those who listen to metal-core or post-hardcore music, you must give this EP a listen. The lyrics are strong and meaningful, which is extremely important for developing a connection to a band and As Within, So Without clearly knows how to develop a connection. Lustosas powerful vocals display the passion that he and the other members have and when mixed with the heavy guitar riffs and drums, the perfect metal-core sound is created. As Within, So Without is comparable to Bring Me The Horizon, Blessthefall, and Of Mice and Men, so if you listen to bands like the above, then you should definitely give this band a listen. You can listen to their debut single “Earth Mover” now on their Facebook page, Spotify, iTunes, BandCamp, and CDBaby. Their EP will be released Saturday, August 5, 2017 and the band will be having a release show as well. This release show will be taking place Saturday, August 5, 2017 at The Loft in Poughkeepsie, New York, with doors opening at 7 p.m. There will be special guests and performances as well. Our Self Destruction is nothing short of an amazing EP and I am excited to see what As Within, So Without will accomplish in the future. Great job guys, and best of luck! This is a fantastic start to the career of this band.

You can follow As Within, So Without on these socials:

FB:@AsWithinSoWithoutCTNY

INSTAGRAM: @awsw_offical

 

Warped Tour 2017

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It’s been a while since my last post, but this summer has been full of music and I’m back! Recently, I have been discovering tons of new music from Spotify, Alternative Press, and bands I see on Instagram. However, last Sunday I discovered several bands whose music I have not stopped listening too since. Last Sunday, Vans Warped Tour was set up in Hartford, CT at the Xfinity Theater and it was amazing. Although some of my favorites were there such as Neck Deep and Andy Black, I walked away with some new favorites. After walking around and seeing all the different tents, the first band I saw was New Years Day. I have never been an avid of listener of New Years Day, but after watching them live and seeing the passion that front-woman, Ash Costello, sings with, I can now say I am a fan. The hard-rock sounds of New Years Day are thunderous and melodic, and watching them live is truly an experience. The band is extremely passionate and are a thrill to watch. The band also engages with the crowd which allows for a connection between the fans and the band. I could not sit still while watching New Years Day and am happy to have seen them live. The other band that truly left me wanting to discover more of their music was post-hardcore band Too Close To Touch. Some of my friends had been watching their set so naturally I joined them. Frontman Keaton Pierce was putting on quite the show and the entire crowd was engaged. After listening to a few of their songs I knew this was a band I needed to learn more about.At the end of the set, the band performed the first song off of their latest album, (“Sympathy” from Haven’t Been Myself, released in 2016). This song made me stop and really listen and needless to say, it moved me. Pierce’s tenor voice starts off soft and melodic progresses into hardcore screaming and perfectly captures post-hardcore vibes. Too Close To Touch is now one of my new favorite bands and I am happy to have stumbled upon their set. Warped Tour was an awesome tour, not just because of the music, but because of the people that are there. Everyone is there to enjoy the music and have a great time, and my experience was nothing short of that. Warped Tour 2017 was amazing and I cannot wait to go back next year!

Future Theory-Debut EP “Fools Dream”

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I love to discover new, underground bands, and when I noticed Future Theory through Twitter, I figured “why not listen to their EP”. When listening to up-and-coming bands, many times the music can be a hit or a miss; fortunately, Future Theory is most definitely a hit. The band is from Lincolnshire, UK and is composed of Max Sander on rhythm guitar and vocals, Chris Moore on lead guitar, Jake Scarbo on bass guitar, and Rohan Parrett on drums. In October 2016, Future Theory released their debut EP Fool’s Dream.  They are an alternative rock group that has “a distinctly moody, ambient sound” which is how the band describes themselves.  Their music is absolutely moody and eery but catchy and distinct as well. Sander’s vocals perfectly match the instrumental and create a unique psychedelic sound. Fool’s Dream, although only composed of six songs, clearly captures Future Dreams’s versatility and  the type of band they are setting out to be. Although the entire EP was great, “Eye of the Storm” and “Fools’ Dream” stand out to me the most. While many of the songs are a slower tempo, Future Theory shows they can be upbeat too with their song “Listen Closely”. It is clear that Future Theory strongly cares about music which is extremely important to not only me, but is also important for succeeding in the rock and alternative music scene.  I am so happy that I came across Future Theory on Twitter and hope to hear more from them; they have gained my follow on Spotify. Future Theory can be found on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook and you can stream the EP from Spotify and their Band Camp page (I have included the link at the bottom of the post). Go and give Future Theory a follow and listen to them. You will not be disappointed.

https://futuretheory.bandcamp.com/

Waterparks

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Its been a while since my last post, but since November, I have discovered a large amount of new music and new bands. One band that has stood out to me is the pop-punk band Waterparks. I love pop-punk and edgy music and Waterparks delivers just that. The group from Houston, Texas is composed of Awsten Knight (lead vocals and guitar), Geoff Wignington (lead guitar) and Otto Wood (drums). Waterparks have released three EP’s and released their debut album Double Dare back in November. I throughly enjoyed listening to this album because it is fun to listen to and incorporates many different sounds. Their sound is pop-punk with electric influences that make you want to sing and rock out when listening to their music. The guys in this group have an infectious, fun attitude that makes them very personable. The image of Waterparks itself is fun and inviting and fans literally feel like they are friends with the members and Knights vibrant blue hair is very distinct. Double Dare is one of those albums that understands those fans of alternative and pop-punk music and the songs are relatable. The lyrics are fun and meaningful at the same time which work harmoniously with Knights melodious vocals. Some of my favorite songs from this album are “21 Questions”, “I’ll Always Be Around”, “Hawaii (Stay Awake)”, “Royal” and “Stupid For You”. I honestly love every song off of this album and love listening to Double Dare over and over again; it honestly never gets old. Waterparks have released music videos for “Royal” and “Stupid for You” which perfectly capture the nature of Waterparks and depict the character of  band. Waterparks has recently become one of my favorite pop-punk bands and since they are a young band, I am excited to follow them throughout their musical career and see what they will create next.  This past summer, Waterparks toured on Warped Tour and is currently on their first headlining tour throughout the months of February and March. Waterparks is for fans of Blink-182, Paramore, State Champs, With Confidence, and Neck Deep.

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Palaye Royale

5ac9ad5fcc2e788df47589399506a8a9_originalI love to discover new music, and one band I came across this past summer was the fashion-rock trio, Palaye Royale. I found them through the Vans Warped Tour Instagram account which I follow avidly because they constantly post and promote bands. Palaye performed throughout the entire summer at Warped and have been touring for most of the year. This group composed of Remington Leith (vocals), Emerson Barrett (drums), and Sebastian Danzig (guitar/organs) are an extremely talented group of young men who have combined many different rock sounds to create their own unique twist on fashion-rock.  Their debut album, Boom Boom Room, released this past June was a lot of fun to listen to. Each song sounds different but keeps a constant rock theme throughout the album. The lyrics are thoughtful and well-written, which I feel is very important, and combined with Leith’s vocals, you are left with raspy, haunting, chords and raw sounds which make you want to keep listening. When I listen to Palaye’s songs, I feel that I am being told a story and the album leaves you wanting to hear more. The entire Boom Boom Room album is worth listening to, but some songs that stand out to me are “Mr. Doctor Man”, “Ma Cherie”(ft. Kellin Quinn), “Where is the Boom” and “Warhol”. This album perfectly displays the diverse sounds and talents of each member of the trio. Another song, released from a previous EP that is also worth listening to is “Die For Something Beautiful”. This song captures many different emotions and is written beautifully as well and it is one my favorite songs by Palaye. Music videos have been released for “Mr. Doctor Man” and “Don’t Feel Quite Right” which display their passion for music. There is nothing more inspiring and motivating than to see a band that truly embodies rock and roll vibes and truly enjoy what they are doing, all while putting their own distinctive qualities into the music as well. Palaye knows exactly how to do this and they do exactly that. They have their own distinctive look and certainly know how to grab attention and pull in an audience. Their live performances also exhibit their passion and fashion-rock vibes. For fans of anyone that listens to Sumerian Records, check them out if you haven’t already and fans of Kellin Quinn should listen to Palaye too. *Side Note-Sumerian Records have had an awesome and very successful year between the records and new artists they debuted.*  Palaye is certainly a band to watch and I am eager to see what they will create in the future. Palaye will soon be recording Boom Boom Room, Side B, which I am very excited to hear and in February will be touring with Andy Black and William Control.

Night Riots

265889I have recently discovered a new band, Night Riots, who just released their debut album, Love Gloom, in October, and I am very happy I came across this band. I love hearing new sounds and diversity in music but while still keeping a rock tone. Night Riots perfectly capture  diverse sounds while still keeping  rock vibes. I found this band through other bands I listen to from the same record label, Sumerian Records. Sumerian is known for creating and producing bands with diverse sounds such as I See Stars, Palaye Royale, and many more. Night Riots is composed of five members; Travis Hawley (vocals), Rico Rodriguez (drums), Matt DePauw (guitar), Mikel van Kranenburg (Bass), and Nick Fotinakes (guitar). The best way to describe their sound is dance-rock. Each instrument played creates chords that are fun, catchy, and gripping and you want to keep listening to them, even when the album ends. The unique vocals of Hawley are strong and at times even haunting and accompanied with the sound of the instruments, they masterfully craft a unique sound that all fits perfectly together. I recommend listening to their entire album, but some songs that stand out to me are “Work It”, “Nothing Personal”, and “Contagious”. Night Riots have also released  music videos for “Contagious” and “Nothing Personal” which exhibit their showmanship. It is clear that they are passionate about music and about creating unique sounds. For people who are looking for a rock band that has a twist with modern dance beats should absolutely check out Night Riots. Download their album from iTunes, stream it off Spotify…whatever source you use to get music from, check them out. I am so happy to have discovered this band and their musical talent and I look forward to seeing what they have in store for the future. For their first album, they did a great job and their talent should be shared. Go check them out and even give them a follow on Instagram or a like on Facebook.

The Master of Lyrics-Bob Dylan

4192Growing up, my dad was always playing all sorts of music that expanded over many different decades; everything from the fifties through the nineties. I grew up listening to a diverse pool of music such as doo-wop, rock, country, folk, and more. When I think of folk music, I think back to the sixties. Times of war, civil rights, JFK, the space race, the hippie movement, and much more. The music that came out of the sixties clearly reflects the events happening at the time and Bob Dylan perfectly captures the essence of sixties through his thoughtful and passionate lyrics. Dylan is widely recognized for his lyrics and has been an inspiration for many artists such as The Beatles. According to Rolling Stone, Dylan is the number 1 songwriter of all time. Dylan also rightfully landed a spot in the Rock Hall of Fame. Every song of Dylan’s has a message and if you read the lyrics, they are pure poetry. Many find that Dylan’s voice is a bit harsh to listen to, but I feel that his voice makes his music more authentic. It shows that a man who was passionate about certain political and social issues decided to write about the problems in the country and sang about them while playing a guitar and his harmonica. There is a passion in Dylan’s voice that not all artists capture and you can truly feel the passion when really listening to what the words are saying. There are no bad Dylan songs out there. Each one has its own personal message that wants to be shared with the world. Some powerful songs that come to mind now are “A Hard Rain’s a Gonna Fall”, “Like A Rolling Stone”, “The Times They Are a Changing”, “Hurricane”, and “Blowing in the Wind”. Each one these songs contains a message beautifully crafted by Dylan and the messages do not only tell us to be more understanding, but they teach us life lessons as well. Being a history minor and music lover, I find it fascinating how music reflects the times. Dylan captures the times perfectly and his lyrics can very well be applied to today. If you read or watch the news or see on social media, events within the past few years show turmoil in our country and others. History repeats itself, just in different ways, and the themes and messages from Dylan’s music can be applied once again, especially with the political division currently in the country. Honestly, no matter what party you identify with or how you feel about certain issues in the world or country, everyone should take a deep breath and listen to Bob Dylan or any folk/folk rock artist from the sixties. Listen to what is being said, get lost in the lyrics and things will be better for a little while. With a fast paced and continuously advancing world, we should all take a step back and listen to the music. After all, the times truly are a changing.

Source: Rolling Stone