The Courtneys are back with their second release, The Courtneys II. The Vancouver-based fuzz-pop band brings together Jenn Twynne Payne (lead singer-drums), Sydney Koke (singer-bass) and Courtney Loove (guitar) offering ten tracks of straight forward fuzz power-pop. Overall, the tracks are pop, but not overly so. There still some pretty rough edges (grunge), so you can have a good time enjoying the album and feeling good without risk of feeling bubbled to death.
Sallie Ford’s second album “Soul Sick” is all about…well…soul sickness or those feelings and emotions that give rise to fear, anxiety and troubles of living in one’s own skin. Ford is certainly not the first to pick up on the themes of the album, but what makes this recording worth the time is her energy and abililty to bring together disparate sounds such as retro Top 40, rock, and psychedelia. Check it out!
Latoya is a passionate music fan who loves helping spread the word for new, up and coming artists. She also enjoys discovering new music via carefully curated playlists online.
A Beginner’s Guide to Becoming an Online Album Reviewer
By Latoya Gay, Contributing Writer, HorizonVU Music
The typical music lover’s need to discover new music and gain insight on recently released albums is fairly common. People enjoy reading up on what others think about an album to better inform their own opinion. Additionally, album reviewers are great sources for unearthing underground up and coming artists that deserve more exposure.
In this article, we’ll dive into how you can become an influential online album reviewer so that you can set up your own central hub where people can learn about your thoughts on music and different artists. You’ll help new artists gain publicity and connect fans to music that inspires them and gives them joy.
Set up a Blog
Blogs are great online spaces that allow for full control over content and layout. You could set everything up on a social media platform such as Facebook, but you’d be limited with what you can post, and you’d be competing with all the other distractions that the platform provides.
Using a service such as WordPress, you can use themes and a few graphics to set up your blog’s appearance in next to no time. You can create whatever content you like in video and text format, releasing as much content as you want, whenever you want, there’s no limitation.
Give your blog a unique name and think your branding through so that you become an authority figure in the online album reviewing sphere. If you plan on being a generic album reviewer, adding anything and everything from all genres, go for something broad. However, if you plan on only reviewing specific genres, try to focus your design and content on that area. Blogs are also effective for building a social following, due to their easy navigation and widgets.
Artists regularly release new material, but it’s important to remember your position as a reviewer before you post to your blog and social channels. You should approach each piece in an unbiased manner, even if you love the artist’s previous work. Just because an artist you like has released something new doesn’t mean it’s going to be any good. Let the music do the talking and then express what you honestly feel to be true in your review.
Not every album or song an artist sets out into the world is going to be a hit; this has been proven countless times before. If you’re following starts to feel as though you’re plugging an artist blindly, they will stop visiting your blog and find a new review site.
Dig into the Underground Scenes
If you want to gain the respect of artists and real music fanatics in your demographic, then you’ll want to dig deep into the underground scenes of the genres you review. Give newer acts some exposure by reviewing their latest releases. You will gain more followers and do more good in your community this way, as people will like the fact that you’re bringing to their music libraries something different and interesting.
Finding newer artists to review will also make you feel great knowing you’re helping them break out and gain more publicity through your following. Mix things up by reviewing artists of all calibers; you’ll be respected and provide people with a unique and varied experience for finding out about new albums.
Sourcing New Music
If you want to stay ahead of your competitors, arm yourself with as much new material as you can take on. Follow popular playlists on Spotify and YouTube in your genre, as curators are always updating these lists with new artists and songs, which will help you discover new albums and releases to review. You can even bring your work with you as you go about your day, using social media to keep a connection to your readers and give them recent updates about your passion.
That being said, be sure to find a good Virtual Private Network to run your activity through, the last thing you want is to undergo a hacking attack while sourcing new music. Review services such as Secure Thoughts can help you make this kind of decision much easier. The main takeaway is that you need to protect your investments as you explore the online world of music.
Some music fanatics prefer the old-school way of discovering new music, which is to go out to shows and hear it performed live. This does provide the potential for a more in-depth review since you can potentially talk to the artists themselves and gain insight on their albums and releases. You can even include interviews in your reviews if you meet up with the act. If you aren’t camera shy and feel creative enough, try recording video interviews and album reviews together.
Los Angeles-based pop trio MUNA’s first album “About U” is power-pop/new wave advocating for political and social change – women’s rights, abusive relationships and violence. The album is self-produced highlighting Katie Gavin’s strong vocals and guitars of Naomi McPherson and Josette Maskin.
Alabama native Allison Crutchfield has released her first solo album “Tourist in This Town”. Produced by Jeff Zeigler, the album makes use of Zeigler’s knowlege of synthesizer music lending space to the recording. As for Crutchfield she artfully captures feelings of that go with breakups (anger and sadness), but the listener won’t feel trapped in the past. It’s clear that Crutchfield has moved forward. While there’s a sense of popishness on the album there’s still plenty of rock influence.
Cherry Glazerr brings on great post-punk/indie noise pop with this latest release “Apocalipstick”. Clementine Creevy heads up the band along with drummer Hannah Uribe , vocalist Sophia Muller and bassist Sean Redman. “Told You I’d Be With The Guys” is an stand-out track along with “Nuclear Bomb” (the video features Creevy having an interesting, however bizzare) relationship with her Rickenbacker https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3Pnr3S10yA
Led by singer/songwriter Lydia Night, The Regrettes have released “Feel Your Feelings Fool!”, delivering a very high energy punk-pop thwack. Despite the sense of urgency one might feel from the fifteen-track album, the band is led by Lydia Night who does know how to write songs that stick. Night formed the Regrettes with guitarist Genessa Gariano, bassist Sage Nicole, and drummer Maxx Morando in 2015.
Above expectations. Romy Madley Croft along with Jamie xx and Oli Sim has undergone a transformation an moved into the mainstream over the past years bringing us “I See You”; a smooth, vibrant release.
It’s been a very busy month for the ÉCU team – as it always is at the end of the year. Between some chocolate cakes and some Portuguese cupcakes we found the time also to shoot some funny videos, but spent most of the time watching film submissions.
We shoot a lot in this month – from EICAR – The International Film & Television School Graduation Ceremony, where we saw the creatures of a lot of very promising filmmakers (which we hope to see submitted to ÉCU soon), to the fantastic evening at the International Chamber of Commerce for their 2016 Photographic Awards. We saw some beautiful photographs along the current theme of #PeoplePlanet and we had some great food cooked by Les Cuistots Migrateurs, thanks to the work of some very talented chefs hailing from migration countries. ÉCU Team is also a master of combining fun and work: we spent a day in Batofar, where we had the chance to see indie rock band Belle Roscoe perform. This brother sister duo really offered us a great performance and a perfect occasion for shooting the magic of the moment!
This month was so full that we could not visit them but a lot of our festival partner took place and we always have a look of what happens in them. In Italy D.E-R, an association of documentary filmmakers from Emilia-Romagna, held its 10th edition in the inspirational city of Bologna.
In Berlin instead, took place the Award Ceremony of the Around Film Festival is a network based film collective that gathers international colleagues all around. Flying to Netherlands, we could have seen the movies of the Eindhovens Film Festival, an independent and non-commercial festival that prides itself on searching for “artistically free” independent filmmakers who make statements and choose unconventional storylines.
Although our international staff went home for Christmas, some of us stays in Paris waiting for your film submissions! Our Regular Deadline is on the 31st of December. We think submitting your film is the perfect way to spent an amazing New Year’s Eve and look forward for 2017!
This Michigan-based indie band springs forward with an upbeat garage pop. Led by Autumn Wetli, the tracks on “Just for Fools” focus in on personal experiences with past lovers without overdoing gloom and doom. Quite to the contrary, for example, “Kiss You” is all high energy pop.