Music Recommendation – Single – Gemini Syndrome, “Stardust”

Gemini-SyndromeAnyone who was here for Rock music has probably left by now. It has been a good while since I have shared any kind of pure Rock or Alternative music, but Gemini Syndrome’s “Stardust” should start a pattern of writing about your parents’ favorite genre again.

That being said, Gemini Syndrome are probably closer to Metal than they are Rock. However, “Stardust” is most likely their most universally appealing track from their debut album Lux. It is everything your punk girlfriend will adore in a love song.

I don’t have a whole lot to say about the song. Vocals are a bit shakey, but conviction comes off alright and instrumentals are superb. The lyrics are slightly repetitive but the song finds a way to stay interesting. Overall, I would rate the song at:

8.75/10

You can hear the song below and see what you think:

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Music Recommendation – Single – Issues, “Mad At Myself”

issuesI have issues (ha) with calling “Mad At Myself” a “Metal” recommendation, per se, because I usually listen to it for Tyler Carter mostly. In case you have not figured out (or typed him into the search bar), Tyler Carter is a favorite singer of mine. “Mad At Myself” is a solid song but also important because I consider the weed of Metal music: it’s a gateway drug to liking the genre.

Issues may be the only reason I started listening to Metal (and We Came As Romans a bit). While I have only just starting scraping the surface (which Metal would probably be into, it’s a weird genre full of weird people), I can still say that Issues are my favorite Metal group. They balance their sound quite well and are probably the most appealing Metal group. “Mad At Myself” combines an upbeat Rock feel with a tough, but not unnecessarily harsh, tone.

Overall, I would rate the song at:

9.25/10

While an awesome and incredibly well-paced song, “Mad At Myself” is just a bit drawn out. Any Metal fan can appreciate the song’s value and find it a perfect balance for any listener, Metal junkie or not. Tyler Carter is still the biggest reason I listen to the song, and I think I would enjoy an acoustic version more (See “Hooligans”).

Go ahead and check out the song and its music video below:

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Music Recommendation – Single – Sirena, “Chemicals”

sirenaSwedish Indie artist Sirena (The not-metalcore one) released a song called Chemicals a couple of months ago that I had saved for ages to post about. I am now just getting around to it, but hearing it again, I can still say that this is a rather good song.

The vocals and sound seriously resemble those of Sia or ultimate synth-pop bae of mine, CHVRCHES. The bass is gentle in the first verse and Sirena’s voice just seems to drift until it explodes in the chorus. The second verse is low-key similar to the first, and does not use the chorus as an anti-depressant drug like most songs do to spice up the second stanza.

My only complaint about the song is how misplaced the vocals feel in the chorus. Either downsize the bass and what sounds like the beat sneezing. It just feels as though too much is going on throughout the hook and both sounds just mesh together.

Overall, I would rate the song at:

9/10

This is definitely my favorite Sirena song. The electro-pop sound is catchy while remaining low-key and mellow. You can go ahead and check out Chemicals below:

-Austin Heath

Album Review – Tyler Carter, “Leave Your Love” (EP)

leave-your-love-tyler-carterTyler Carter has the ability to make some excellent and diverse music, ranging from Pop to Metalcore. The lead singer of Issues released his new EP, Leave Your Love, earlier this week to stream on YouTube. The album has a bit more of a Soulful Pop tone and includes only one feature.

So how does the solo work of Tyler Carter compare to that of his popular hits with his band? Let’s break down this album track by track and find out:

1. Sophisticated – The beat is rather basic and the vocal production feels a bit subpar, but Sophisticated is an enjoyable song. The hook seems to just go on for too long, though. I can nitpick this song quite a bit, as little aspects just feel overlooked. It focuses more on the hook than anything else, which while catchy, reaches a point where it is not as enjoyable and just makes the song feel shorter than it actually is. There is something about the song that makes it easy to listen to, however, and Tyler Carter’s voice sounds passionate and flows well with the beat.

7.25/10

2. Leave Your Love – The title track of the EP is a bit more mellow and soulful than Sophisticated, showing the diversity of Tyler Carter’s music.  Leave Your Love‘s tone reminds me a bit of The Weeknd but has a bit more vocal editing and extra notes behind lyrics. These can be a bit excessive, but otherwise the song is enjoyable. The end of the chorus is especially catchy and the fade out instrumental is beautifully composed and executed.

9.25/10

3. Georgia – Already reviewed this song here. Sidenote: This song has become incredibly catchy due to its simple lyrics and soulful sound. Though the rating was not incredibly high, it does deserve a listen.

7.5/10

4. So Slow – Despite starting the musical aspect way too late, So Slow actually becomes a great listen. The song sounds similar to Chris Brown’s F.A.M.E. sound. You know, amazing RnB? The flow in the second stanza is a bit off at times, but the whole song is a great pace and my only wish it that it had ceased the talking part earlier. Though the random pitch sounds for a bridge could have been dealt with any other way perhaps.

6.5/10

5. Tears On The Runway (Pt. 1) ft. Nylo – Two-parters are always interesting, especially when lined up together. Sadly, this one will not get a part two for a while. The duet is rather low-key and features heartfelt lyricism. The chorus is a bit brief, but it is enjoyable. This is my first encounter with Nylo, and her voice is unique, though not very ranged. Tyler Carter’s synth-based and tuned vocals sound a bit too much like the Jonas Brothers for me on this song, but it is still a fine listen.

7.25/10

6. Find Me – Find Me caps off the album decently, as the song capitalizes on the mistakes of the previous songs by adding a bit more emphasis on the points put into the verses. The song is a bit explicit, but feels more emotionally connected with Tyler Carter. The vocals are a bit rough, but have points where they are more impressive. The song is a bit average and hardly stands out as making the album great, but is not difficult to enjoy.

8/10

So overall, the EP averages out to a score of about:

7.75/10

The EP is a bit messy in its sound quality and composition, but the songs are diverse and interesting to hear. There are plenty of catchy melodies worth hearing and I would say listening to the EP in full is not a mistake, but is not necessarily going to be considered a “slept-on album” if it does not get the attention it was made to receive.

I still enjoy Tyler Carter’s solo music quite a bit, though this EP had its flaws. I just want to see these flaws practiced on and a full EP released with a couple of features and better faith in Tyler Carter’s voice. I have seen mixed reviews, and mixed is exactly how I feel about these six songs.

You can stream the EP below on YouTube, along with pre-ordering it on iTunes for its January 2015 release here (So I don’t feel like such an industry killer by only sharing the stream and have Taylor Swift show up at my door):

-Austin Heath

Music Recommendation – Multiple – twenty one pilots, “Ode To Sleep”; “Screen”; “Trees”

twenty-one-pilotsI have a close friend going through a tough break-up, and between her love for twenty one pilots, my love for twenty one pilots, and the incredibly complex and interesting sound that is twenty one pilots, I felt as though this would be a good day to cite my three favorite songs by 21P, as I refer them. I understand when people find it hard to enjoy twenty one pilots’ music and sound, but something about its nature and how unique its sound is makes these songs notable.

So let’s go through each of these songs and break them down:

1. “Ode To Sleep” – This was one of my first 21P songs, and when it began, I expected something Metal-based. The instrumental begins so superbly, but the introducing verse is a bit disappointing. The Hip-Hop-like sound of the beginning slows it down a bit, then at about the one-minute mark, everything picks up until at 1:20 the whole song comes together into what it should be. The chorus is complex and long but just feels perfect. The second stanza is more like the first, but capitalizes on the pace set from the previous hook. After a minute, the song comes together and stands out as unique and intriguing.

9/10

2. “Screen” – While Ode To Sleep is my favorite by twenty one pilots, Screen is a close second and takes the mistakes of Ode To Sleep and crushes them like a walnut under the shoe of a misfit teenager trying to get aggression out. The instrumental progresses throughout the song to become bigger and louder and the vocals have their signature tune but appear at a higher key. Hell, even the verse and its flow are great, despite what the performer says. While I believe this song is better, it is not as entertaining and bizarre as Ode To Sleep. Regardless, it will get a higher rating for its design and style while fixing Ode To Sleep‘s errors. Only disappointing part is the bridge and its repetitive lyrics, though it is not necessarily bad.

9.5/10

“Trees” – Trees has a bit more of a tone of morality and love, and feels genuine. The instrumentals and production continue to impress, and it picks up quickly by transitioning into a bit more of a Pop-y feel. The song is similar to Screen while having a sense of easier lyrics to pick up and retaining its own uniqueness. Of any twenty one pilots song, this feels the easiest to show a friend without worrying about them being offended by showing them a song so outlandish and unlike much modern music. Solid song with mostly-decent execution, style and form, though the whole work cannot seem to commit to a particular sound.

8.25/10

So that averages out to about 8.75/10, though that hardly matters. That there is just a general artist rating, mainly due to the complexity and varying sound of twenty one pilots’ music that is worth noting. It is a bit difficult to enjoy many songs by 21P for each’s uniqueness and individuality, and their vocals are hardly natural often. It seems just as many listeners find the music disappointing to listen to as those who find it pleasurable.

Regardless, check out the songs listed and reviewed above and find some more if you like those.

-Austin Heath

P.S. I hope you are doing better Louise, keep your chin up and enjoy some 21P for me.

Artist Recommendation – Sunroof

sunroofMontana’s own Jeff Simpson, AKA Sunroof, is a dream-core/pop singer who I discovered through Twitter. His music, however, merges numerous genres and is incredibly unique. The sound is something I have yet to hear before.

Simpson has been performing since 2012 and has gathered his works together in his first album Stargazing. This album and its sound have been praised by multiple writers; however, I wanted to add my own input on the experimental electronic-acoustic combinations in his music and share my favorite tracks by the artist.

Along with his own songs, Sunroof has uploaded numerous videos of covers and remixes. There is a serious loyalty to his work, making this hoe loyal. Forgive me if you are reading this Jeff Simpson, I in no way am implying you are a hoe. That is your choice, of course. You may (or please may not) also quote that if you wish.

Among his covers, remixes and original songs, my favorites would most likely be his title track for the album Stargazing, featuring a Alternative/Metal-type sound, Etherea and Time Travel, with their EDM-based basis, and the acoustic-based and longer-than-necessarily-needed-titled I Followed A Dream Out My Window.

My first song I head by Sunroof was Brave featuring SayWeCanFly. This song was also impressive, and I would not skip on any song even if they are not listed in my favorites.

With each song Sunroof brings a different sound. It is entertaining and keeps me wanting to hear more and finish the playlist. It is an incredible feat, and though the vocals can be a bit bland, the sound of the music is always so intriguing that it makes up for it. Overall, I would rate the artist’s sound at:

9.25/10

You can go through some of his popular tracks in the SoundCloud playlist below, from his official account. I think anyone could enjoy this music as it can appeal to so many genres. It’s funny though, a lot of his beats remind me of Owl City’s Fireflies and parts of its sound. That’s the first thing I think of when I hear a few, not sure how relevant that was though.

Go ahead and Sunroof a listen below:

-Austin Heath

Music Recommendation – Single – Feed A Lion A Feline, Misplaced

feed-a-lionDespite their cannibalistic name, Feed A Lion A Feline make enjoyable music. Their metal-core music is intense, as their name may suggest. Misplaced is the group’s only single on a YouTube stream, but more of their live music can be found on their YouTube channel here.

I do not listen to much from the Metal genre, but I have been diving into it. I do not know much about this frontier, but others have recommended the group and I have heard some positive feedback on the track. If you are a serious Metal-core fan, you might enjoy this vocal-focused track.

Overall, and of course I have little room to judge Metal, I would rate the song at:

8.75/10

Just like the song title, any break from the deep scary voice seems misplaced, though the instrumental is quite enjoyable. I do feel like any Metal fan reading this blog should give this song and the up-and-coming group a chance. I also really wanted to change up my focus a bit with a new genre. You can stream the song below:

-Austin Heath

57th Grammy Awards Predictions And Thoughts

grammyI will be going through every Grammy category and post my predictions for the winners. This will be a bit long, so I am adding a “Read More” tag below this paragraph. Keep in mind, just because I post the predictions, does not mean I agree with them. So without further ado, let’s get started:

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Music Recommendation – Single – Issues, Hooligans (Acoustic Version)

Call me soft, call me any name you want, but I can still say I like Hooligans‘ acoustic version best and still possess testicles. I’ve already known Tyler Carter has a great voice, but if anyone ever doubted that, I feel like this song ruins those doubts.

The instrumental sounds amazing throughout and my only honest complaint would be the slight wait before Carter begins singing, which is hardly viable when the whole band sounds great. At this point it is seriously difficult to find a reason to not like Issues as a group, whether you are a Metal fan or not.

I will try to keep this one brief as I want to emphasize the song. Overall, I would rate it at 9.5/10. I seriously recommend a listen below:

-Austin Heath

Music Recommendation – Single – Flyleaf, Set Me On Fire

Okay, I am gonna post this. I promised myself I would do it finally. The reason I have a bit of a problem writing about this song is that I know virtually nothing not only about Flyleaf, but about the Hard Rock/Metal genre in general.

Flyleaf is, as implied by my ignorance above, a Metal/Hard Rock group originating in Texas back in 2002. The group has some age to them now, but have featured a change in vocalists. In 2012 Lacey Sturm departed from the band and Kristen May took the open slot. Therefore, May is the singer on this track.

So this group is Christian metal, which is insane to me that these two genres are combined. I have only heard a couple of other Flyleaf songs but Set Me On Fire is definitely my favorite. The song is passionate and has more of an Alternative/Rock feel to it that I enjoy more than Metal.

The opening right away sets the tone of the song, but the few lines before the hook really stand out. At times, the notes feel a bit long, but it does not take away from enjoying the song. The brief guitar solo at about 1:12 is cut a little short as well, as that was a huge climax in the tune, yet brought back before the bridge. The song is a loud and catchy, making it great pump-up music.

Overall, I would rate the song at 9.25/10. I really like the song for it’s genre, and when a song stands out in a genre I tend to not listen to so much, that is impressive. I recommend a listen below:

-Austin Heath