Budding pop superstars [ai] have released a video!
Budding pop superstars [ai] have released the video for the single “The Subway Song” from their new offering No Cure for the Princess Disease, set to be unveiled later this year.
Fans of the rock n roll classics or late 80’s/early 90’s rock will enjoy the Replacements and Pixies-esque guitars that begin this tasty pop kernel. With easy to remember and relatable lyrics, a fine vocal timbre and upbeat vibe, “The Subway Song” is sure to make this exciting artist conglomerate an underground secret no more.
[ai] — as in I, eye, aye, etc. — is an independent musical collective directed by Texas-born singer-songwriter Mark Will. Based on the island of Taiwan, the backdrop for the songs on Carmina Formosa (2016) and Carmina Formosa Deluxe (2020), the group creates its sonic alchemy in collaboration with producer Zen Chien (a.k.a. the George Martin of Asia) at the legendary 112F Recording Studio in Taipei (a.k.a. Abbey Road East).
Tracks from the Carmina Formosa project have received considerable notoriety. The funk-inspired tune “The Kinkster” was honored as “most bonobo song” of 2016 by sex therapist Dr. Susan Block, and since that time it has been the unofficial theme song of her podcast and radio show.
In July of 2021, “Dystopian Theme Song” was featured as “song of the day” on the Media Monarchy morning program, which showcases “real-deal independent protest music.” The ballad “Love in the Time of Tuberculosis” has been praised by the publication A&R Factory as an “archaically infectious serenade” and a “uniquely captivating soundscape.”
The band’s new album, No Cure for the Princess Disease, is scheduled for release in November of 2021. With innovative and surprising variations on the genres of hard rock, alternative rock, prog rock, rockabilly, pop, and punk, the Korea-themed record offers listeners a wide variety of auditory experiences.
Mark Will’s songwriting is firmly rooted in the best of the classic rock tradition, his workmanlike basslines and emotive vocals are complemented by the virtuoso performances of guitarist C.J. Hsu and drummer Cody Byassee, and studio wizard Zen Chien’s production is, as always, state-of-the-art. It might safely be said that there is at least one song for every type of music fan on No Cure for the Princess Disease.
So if you like the bardic lyricism of Dylan, the exuberant craftsmanship of the Beatles, the raw power of the Stones, the conceptual experimentalism of Pink Floyd, the transgressive artistry of the Velvet Underground, and the DIY ethic of the Sex Pistols — well, dear listener, you may have found your new favorite band.
Are you ready for the expat rock revolution? All in favor, say [ai]!
[ai] - The Subway Song [official music video with lyrics]
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Colombian superstars Monsieur Job’s New CD!
Burgeoning Colombian superstars Monsieur Job, who regularly chart on the Billboard Latino Top 40 alongside artists like Maluma and Karol G, have released the new album W.T.F! boasting hit after hit.
The supersized (120 tracks!) release has already spawned 5 hit singles that climbed to #3 on iTunes’ Top 40 US Jazz Songs chart, a historic achievement for a Colombian artist.
The group is tied with J Balvin for most hits (12) from a Colombian artist on Billboard’s Latin Digital Song Sales list for this year.
Instant hits “Backstabbers” and “Piel Roja,” charged tunes “No More War” and “Another Casualty,” and dance-floor shakers “S.O.S. Siloe (feat. Jhomba c4) (Remix)” and “Chiki Chiki Bau Wau feat. Leu2 (Remix)” alongside 10 (tracks 98-107) psychedelic remixes of 2020 Billboard hits make W.T.F! not just an essential listen, but a masterwork that will elevate Monsieur Job to new heights.
Hip-Hop and Jazz have never had as strong a relationship as they do on “W.T.F!” Monsieur Job’s latest release fuses the two with Latin flair and sensibilities, as well as Contemporary R&B, Trap, Reggaetón, Dancehall, Reggae, Rockaton, Drum & Bass, Dance, House, Funk, Dub, Soul, Jazz, Classical, Global, Ambient, Cinematic, Experimental, Spanish Rock, Gothic Rock, Classic Rock, Pop, Twerk, Pop, and Soul.
W.T.F! is loaded with love and lust. The group serenades a soul-captivating love on “Malevo Maleva,” comparing her beauty to a garden of flowers, then things heat up on “Estoy Ready Pa’ Ti,” a plea for a woman to undress and get busy. Monsieur Job needs less talk and more action, which is most clear on “Entra Pero Come Callao” with the desire to make a meal out of a hotel room lover.
Any great love story involves tragedy, and such is the case here. The thumping remix for “Problemas (feat. Ruzzo)” paints love as a complicated affair, unpacking the woes and circus tricks of a manipulative relationship, while the soulful ballad “There Is Nothing I Can Do to Forget You” longs for love lost. “Quiero Darte la Mano (feat. Tito Murillo) (Remix)” addresses the tragic COVID-19 pandemic, the isolation it inflicted on humanity and our collective longing to touch one another safely again.
With rich and thick production, multiple electronic percussive elements blend masterfully with various vocals on the downtempo ballad “Al Oído,” then Caribbean flavor seeps out of the Reggae knockout “Got to Keep on Movin’,” banging bass and subtle strings lay the bed for the sensual “Like an Animal” and warm tones and stereo panning on instill an irresistible groove on “Perdidos en el mar… Buscándote.”
Without any words, the group invites listeners to a world of their own with unforgettable instrumental adventures like “Backstabbers,” a mid-tempo, cool breeze stroll gives way to dread of what may lurk around the corner, “Varanasi,” a masterclass in strings with electric guitars, sitars, and mandolines playing countermelodies each as beautiful as its predecessors, and “Another Casualty,” where somber keys are forced to soldier on and march to the pounding of the drums.
Wailing horns search for answers and identity on “Piel Roja” amidst tribal percussion and electronic Hip-Hop elements. These answers are perhaps found on “The Guiding Light,” the group’s latest heat-seeking missile on the charts, with horns confidently striding on a path to otherworldly liftoff.
“W.T.F!” is enlightened with all-star performances from Benjamin Mosquera, Ruben Aragon, Miguel Salazar, Laura Viteri, Camilo Mina, David Guerra and Abstain Caviedes (Monsieur Perine) as well as Carlos Zapata and Eduardo Manuel - who tour with Groupo Niche - Abstain Caviedes from Monsieur Perine and Leo Jaramillo and Juan Moreno of Monsieur Job.
W.T.F! is Monsieur Job’s magnum opus, a masterpiece made of bass-banging mountains and heartfelt valleys, where contagious remixes stand proudly alongside instrumentals of beauty all forged by the fires of world class musicians. With several chart-climbing singles, “W.T.F!” is a crowned jewel garnering praise and reverence for its creators.
Listen Now to W.T.F! on Spotify
Listen Now to W.T.F! on iTunes
Monsieur Job - Entra Pero Come Callao (Lyric Video)
Monsieur Job - Estoy Ready Pa’ Ti - (Lyric Video)
Monsieur Job - Malevo Maleva (Lyric Video)
Listen Now to W.T.F! on Deezer
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Keith & Kristyn Getty Join Forces w/ Ricky Skaggs!
Prolific modern hymn writers Keith and Kristyn Getty are privileged to announce their duet with the iconic Ricky Skaggs on the Christmas hymn “Brightest and Best,” coming out this Friday (12/3).
Skaggs lends his musical mastery to the classic, blending seamlessly with Keith and Kristyn.
Skaggs performed the song for the first time with the Gettys as a special guest on their annual Sing! An Irish Christmas tour at the Kennedy Center. Immediately falling in love with Skaggs’ haunting rendition of the song, The Gettys were eager to record it with him.
Keith Getty says, “We were so thrilled to have Ricky at the Kennedy Center for the spine tingling moment of performing ‘Brightest and Best,’ and are even more honored to have recorded it as a single with him.”
Skaggs says, “I really love this song, ‘Brightest and Best.’ It says so much about the Lord JESUS coming to us as a baby and how the world changed from that day forward. Getting to sing it with Kristyn Getty was a real joy for me. She’s one of my favorite singers.”
To celebrate the release of “Brightest and Best” the Gettys and Skaggs will be performing at the Grand Ole Opry Friday as well (12/3).
The Gettys will be embarking on their annual Sing! An Irish Christmas tour starting December 10th in St. Louis with a special appearance from Skaggs, additional stops will include New York City’s Carnegie Hall, Nashville’s historic Schermerhorn Symphony Center and many more.
Previously featured to millions of households internationally on public television, the BBC, and the Trinity Broadcasting Network, this year’s Christmas tour will feature seven brand new songs from Keith & Kristyn Getty, along with many of the traditional Christmas carols fans have come to know and love.
Their Christmas special will also be broadcast on TBN and the BBC this year.
They also recently released their newest album, “Confessio – Irish American Roots,” 13 songs inspired by their history in Ireland, filled with traditional Irish-melodies and instrumentation, brand-new songs as well as timeless hymns arranged with the signature sound that is only the Getty’s.
The album features the lead track, “Pass The Promise” a new-anthem that is instantly singable, guest artists including Alison Krauss (“In Christ Alone”), Sandra McCracken (“All My Heart Rejoices” “Pass The Promise”), Kirk Whalum and Dana Masters (“Amazing Grace”), as well as classic well-known hymns that are all the soundtrack of the green hills of Ireland.
Official Purchase Links
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LEE MARTIN Releases New Single What If I Die
For those unaware, Lee Martin is a New Zealand-based singer-songwriter who has been impacting the music scene with her thought-provoking lyrics and storytelling writing style.
She is South African born, and this is where she recorded two original albums, which received ample radio play and enjoyed great success from her fans from all the corners of the world.
Now the world is set to hear her latest single, the beautifully crafted, enigmatically sewn throughout with sunbeams and pure lush gossamer within What If I Die on November 5th, 2021.
Lee’s first recordings in New Zealand were released by AAA Records to high acclaim as the Lost Girl EP in 2019. Falling Down (2019) was released as a ground-breaking 360-degree VR video which allows the viewer to move inside the video to look at different aspects, and discover up to eight Lees performing at the same time 360 VR Video Falling Down.
The new track off her upcoming album, bar backing vocals, was recorded at Redroom Studios in Auckland, with co-production by Chris Ward and TeMatera Smith.
Brendan Zwaan engineered the piece, TeMatera mixed, and Chris Chetland at Kog Studio was on mastering. The African Gospel style Backing vocals were recorded and produced by RJ Benjamin at Jazzworx Studios in Johannesburg, South Africa, paying homage to Lee’s African roots.
Lee gives an insightful narrative of how the tune came to her, I played a gig one night at a corporate event and was seated next to a man that I got talking to. I love asking deep and meaningful questions, and he ended up telling me that his biggest regret was never taking his wife to Paris when that was her one dream. They always had excuses, kids, house, finances, the usual.
When they finally were able to go, she became terminally ill, and they never got to go before she died. This story really touched me, and I realized how important it is to do the things you want to do and not postpone your life. Things can change so quickly, and opportunities can be missed.
I’ve always wanted to see the painting by Van Gogh, Starry Night, in real life and it has also always been my dream to go to the Greek Islands. So of course, I decided to delay no longer and make it happen.
I booked my tickets for New York and Greece which were both in 2020. Of course, then Covid hit and neither dream came true. This song is about bucket lists and the things we want to do. What if I die, without ever seeing Starry night. Starry night is the metaphor for whatever your bucket list might be.
Lee started her training in classical guitar at the age of nine, and a childhood spent listening to greats such as Van Morrison, Dire Straits, Pink Floyd, Leonard Cohen, etc. greatly influences her music.
She is an old soul with a versatile writing style that allows her to cross genres as she glides easily between Adult/Contemporary, Soul, Country, Folk, and blues all the while maintaining her unique sound.
Lee Martin - What If I Die (OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO)
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AllOne Premiere New Music Video Don’t We!
For those unaware, lyrical gunslinger Bruce Pandolfo, who records and performs under the moniker AllOne, has premiered the animated music video for his mesmerizing tale of two cities ‘Don’t We?’ (feat. Brian Kjellgren of Sargasm).
AllOne conjures two characters’ dreamscapes with his unique blend of rapid fire delivery and knack for scene setting storytelling. Bri Martinsen, whose animation illustrates these two worlds, transports a man to a sunny countryside, complete with a vividly detailed general store.
AllOne’s lyrics awaken all the scenes as the clerk “gently growls orders at ransacking grandkids,” his hair visibly “less pepper than salt” atop a mind saturated with “sepia-toned tales” of years gone by.
With musty air and candy jars dusty to the touch, the scene is one of pure beauty in the enticed yet wandering mind of a city cabbie, slouching behind the wheel day after day in the noisy city traffic.
After a chorus graciously sung by Sargasm’s Brian Kjellgren, the cabby’s backroad fantasy is another man’s reality. Switching perspective, the underground star raps poetic about bustling taxis and tourists clogging the sidewalks, bumping shoulders with stars of page and screen.
Street artists, novelists, jazz musicians, comedians all under “a billion blinding Iron Giant eyes” pouring through “modern monoliths that model Metropolis.”
The man confined to the rural dreamscape of an urbanite longs to live among the racoon-eyed “sardonic sardined populace” of his counterpart’s city.
“‘Don’t We?’ is a grass is always greener tale,” Pandolfo said. “The power of daydreaming and how there’s always someone out there craving the thing you’re bored with or longing to escape.”
“The writing was an opportunity to capture place in painting settings and images, almost a series of sketches. I loved the idea of the music representing the bucolic imagery as well as the metropolitan landscape.”
“Conscious Robot did an incredible job, this was one of few songs on the album where the direction started with me and having a song written and structured already and giving them the direction to compose around it.”
“The chorus is sung by my friend Brian Kjellgren of the Long Island metal band Sargasm.”
Emotionauts is AllOne’s eighth album overall, quenching fans’ thirst after a five-year wait for a full-length follow-up to 2016’s I’ve Been Thinking. But for the artist and his fans alike, the album is worth the wait.
AllOne tackles the struggles of codependence, unrequited love, suicidal depression and ADHD. He expresses the pain of feeling like an outsider, leans into the adverse uncertainty of youth that lingers into adulthood, and steps back to explore the vastness of the universe.
The Long Island-based rapper, slam poet and songwriter Bruce Pandolfo spent countless hours studying the craft of MCing, and the time had come to leap, whether the rip cord works or not. But this was no project born of carelessness.
Pandolfo is nothing if not meticulous about the placement of every syllable in his dense, rapid-fire rhymes. He understands that there comes a time when, creatively speaking, you just have to risk falling on your face.
“I still feel like I can fall on my face with it,” he chuckled. “But at this point I don’t know if I’d feel comfortable without that level of uncertainty. There’s such a great spark of creativity in all that tension that comes with it.”
His career was born out of such a leap into uncertainty. A sophomore in high school, Pandolfo took his notebook down to a coffeehouse, and surrounded by seasoned poets who were all in their sixties, he took his place at the mic and gave it a go.
He’s never looked back since.
An avid reader since childhood whose father was a rock guitarist, Pandolfo has nevertheless continued to step into unfamiliar arenas: hip hop, slam poetry, jamming with other musicians and (most recently) production and arrangement were all somewhat foreign territory for him when he discovered them, but he’s jumped in with both feet at every stage.
He has also, over a span of 8 albums and 4 EPs broadened the DIY concept so that it no longer stops with the artist. Part of the AllOne mision is for the listener to feel encouraged to go out there and do it themselves.
Pandolfo’s musical journey begins as a teenager immersed in the cerebral end of the punk pool.
“My mother,” he explained, “encouraged reading so strongly that I still do it voraciously now. So my life has always been defined by words. Even the music I was drawn to pre-hip hop was very lyric-heavy bands like Bad Religion. I was always fascinated by how lyrical composition could completely transmogrify a genre.”
“You take a piece of music that you might immediately have all these assumptions about because it’s easy to identify within certain genre parameters, but then you do something more ingenuitive with the words, and then you’ve changed that piece of music almost on an alchemical level.”
“When I got into rap music, I was naturally magnetized to people who were doing it on such an articulate level that I couldn’t help but be blown away by and fall in love with the genius of it.”
It was fortuitous, then — it actually altered Pandolfo’s destiny — that Epitaph Records began featuring cutting-edge hip hop artists like Sage Francis, Atmosphere and Eyedea & Abilities on its annual Punk-O-Rama compilations in the early 2000s.
Pandolfo’s path was set. From there, he dove into slam poetry, which then led to the collaborations with Long Island musicians documented on AllOne’s 2010 debut Coal Aberrations.
Since then, he has worked with a variety of different producers and instrumentalists, tending to organize each release according to a unifying theme, so that subject matter and musical presentation contrast significantly from release to release.
Still, even when he delved into the blood-curdling world of true crime on his 2017 Dusty Dossiers EP, the common thread has always been Pandolfo’s irresistible attraction to being a constructive force.
Even when he’s writing from, say, a murderer’s perspective, the goal is to inspire and motivate (no surprise from an artist who has the words “keep pushing” tattooed on one forearm and “pull through” on the other).
It’s clear throughout Emotionauts that Pandolfo has upped his lyrical prowess to deliver his most fully-realized work to date.
He wastes no time expressing the innermost struggles that pain him on opener “Thought Ballon Aeronaut,” then turns to offer aid to fellow sufferers of anxiety and suicidal depression, urging them to seek community in niche spaces on “Left Field Day.”
Whether pondering the ever complicating world of love on “Heart Syncing” or delivering gut-wrenching and striking honesty throughout “Anodyne as Oblivion,” fans can expect Pandolfo to stick to his strengths as a masterful wordsmith as comfortable with a mic as he is his trusty typewriter.
Conscious Robot’s spacious and experimental musicality makes numerous listens of Emotionauts necessary. “This is the strongest relationship and interactivity I’ve ever had with a producer,” Pandolfo said. “So it’s really the first time where I feel like I’m not just adding my vocals on top of the music. There’s a musicality and a progressive quality with Conscious Robot that hasn’t always been there in some of the more lo-fi boom-bap stuff that I’ve rapped on. I love that stuff, but it tends to have a uniform feel.”
With debut rap guest Kavi, songwriter Laurie Anne Creus, poet and singer Marie Polaris, metal guitarist and vocalist Brian Kjellgren, and Necter singer/songwriter Sam Raia, Emotionautus boasts the most collaborations of any AllOne full-length to date.
AllOne - ‘Don’t We?’ [Official Video]
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