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Some may compare Natalia Kills to other female artists as Lady Gaga, Rihanna, a bit of Ke$ha and M.I.A. While those are some big league names, Natalia can definitely hold her own alongside them. Don’t mistake her as the next big thing though…because with her new album, Trouble, she has already arrived.

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I like some songs by the other artists I referenced…some more than others. But, this album from Natalia Kills, I love in it’s entirety. It’s hard to pick just one song to be a favorite. In my first run through of listening to the album, I was like…”Wow! This is so good!!” then the next song would play, and I’m like…“OOH! Definite favorite.” followed by the next one…and well you get the picture. The beats are awesome. The melodies are infectious the way they get in your ear and travel all through your body. Lyrics that are direct, yet interesting, powered by her strong, distinct and beautiful voice…Natalia owns it. Badass. The last time I heard a full album in which I loved EVERY…SINGLE…SONG? Jeez, I can’t remember. It’s been too long.

Get more of Natalia Kills at the links below:

Official Website

On Facebook

On Twitter 

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photo credit: Athfest.com

 

The Athfest 2013 Compilation CD is an absolute must have. If you haven’t already heard it, you should! And if you have…then you know why it’s so good. Make sure to pick up a copy at Athfest 2013 this weekend!

I pretty much love the whole album overall, but here are my absolute top picks to check out:

Darnell Boys
On Stage: FRIDAY 06/21
1:00am (Little Kings Shuffle Club)

Hard Times

Love that this is the album opener. It sets the tone for how good the rest of the compilation is. I love the relatable lyrics paired with the upbeat tones. Even though times can be hard, especially as we try to get through a tough economy, this song keeps from adding to the melancholy of the situation. Instead, I find it uplifting that while times are hard…this too shall pass.

Shonna Tucker & Eye Candy
On Stage: SATURDAY 06/22
4:45pm (Pulaski Street Stage)

Family Dinner
This song cracks me up with the intro. It’s a little misleading in that I think I’m about to hear some heavy rockin’ metal kind of stuff. The gruffness is instead, immediately followed by some awesome southern rockin’ female vocals. This song makes me wanna just dance! Good stuff!

King of Prusssia
I’ll Dance
I didn’t see anywhere in the venue list that they’ll be performing at Athfest. :( If I’m wrong, someone let me know!!! I’d love to see them perform. I missed when they played at the compilation’s CD release earlier this month. Still…it’s a beautiful song. R.E.M.’s Michael Mills is featured on keys is awesome, but female vocals as an accompaniment are like a hauntingly beautiful instrument all their own. They really enhance the lyrics, sung with such tenderness…seriously…I need some Kleenex.

Dangfly!
On Stage: SUNDAY 06/23
4pm (Hull Street Stage)

The Getaway
I love the overall melody with the instrumental part about 2/3 of the way in…but it’s the storytelling in the lyrics that really make me love this one. So awesome!

The Warm Fuzzies
On Stage: FRIDAY 06/21
5:45pm (Hull Street Stage)

Yoo Hoo
The intro to this song already starts me off feeling warm fuzzies! I love the upbeat sound, with it’s nice mix of punk with some rock and pop thrown in. Fun to groove to, it’s catchy and will get in your head. I love it!

For a complete list of tracks, and more information about the album and all things Athfest, click HERE.

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You can also listen to this album online, where it’s exclusively streaming HERE. ENJOY!!!
Then make sure to head to Athens, Georgia this weekend and see some of them perform LIVE!

Wristbands are only $20.oo and get you access to unlimited access to participating venues during the massive club crawl. PLEASE NOTE: Access is subject to age and capacity restrictions. Outdoor stages are FREE and don’t require wristbands. However, having one also provides discounted or free entry to affiliated events that are partnered with Athfest. Get yours HERE.

See ya at the shows!!

I’m sitting here previewing the latest from UNA and wow…just WOW. This 5 song EP, The Laughing Man is absolutely… incredibly…freakin’ amazing! The trio are Richard Larsen (keys), Jennifer Nice (voice), Eddie Barajas (turntables).

This is my first time hearing the band and their unique sound really can’t be compared to anything else out there right now. An eclectic mix of sounds…bits of jazz, funk, soul, electronica, downtempo, and turntables paired with hypnotically sensual vocals…makes this is an instant favorite. I also REALLY LOVE the storytelling in the lyrics. So, yeah…there isn’t really a genre that you can categorize them in. Although, I do think they reflect elements of my longtime favorites, Massive Attack and Portishead. So if you like them, you’ll love UNA.

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This album comes out in just a couple days, so you won’t have to wait too long to get it…and I strongly recommend that you do. The official release date is Tuesday, March 5, and will be available on iTunes, Amazon, and Bandcamp. (Pssst…you can get it NOW at the bandcamp link HERE, where you can get individual tracks and check out the lyrics).

UNA
The Laughing Man EP
Release date: March 5, 2013
Tracks:

  1. The Astronomer
  2. We Are the Lonely
  3. The Myth
  4. Out of the Dark
  5. The Laughing Man

Don’t ask me to pick a favorite song, because I’ve been playing this album on repeat for a couple hours, and every time I listen to a full cycle, I have a different favorite. LOL. Seriously… Check out UNA. Get this album. The only reason I’m about to stop listening to The Laughing Man is to check out some of their earlier music.

BONUS! Enjoy this EPK Video below and hear firsthand a little bit about the band, along with a preview of their awesome music.


UNA on Facebook
UNA on Twitter
UNA Official Website

I love this band. They are so effin’ awesome.

I finally got the chance to see them LIVE when they played at Smith’s Olde Bar in ATL earlier this week… I was so anxious with excitement in the hours approaching, I had to have a drink when I got there, just to calm my nerves. LOL. And I don’t drink!

Though I missed most of the opening performer, I was able to catch the last song from Atlanta’s own, Joshua Fletcher. I like what I heard, so I’m sure he’ll pop up on this blog in future posts. :)

Harper Blynn have been on a winter tour with David Mead, an incredible singer-songwriter out of Nashville. In fact, they wrap up that tour tonight in Philadelphia, before starting a residency in NY on Monday.

One of  the really cool things about seeing a show from this tour was getting the Harper Blynn experience from 2 different aspects. First, as the full band to David Mead’s performance… then, followed by their own show as the headliners. While I never listened to David prior to this show, I gotta say that I really enjoyed his songs. Of course, I was hearing them for the first time with Harper Blynn…and wow… just WOW…  I’m glad I got to discover David Mead’s music and I think he’s damn talented. But you’ll hear more about this part of the evening in a separate review.

So… let’s get to that awesome band from NY already… Harper Blynn are Pete Harper, J. Blynn, Sarab Singh, and Whynot (Yes. That is his name.)

Well, I’m a long ways from NY, or I’d be at their shows more often. After watching them on youtube for over a year to fill my need to see them LIVE… I finally got to experience the real thing. It was even better than anticipated.  Now it’s my pleasure to get to share that with you…

Harper Blynn performed several songs throughout the evening, and I’ll highlight just a few of my favorites. (HINT: Click on song names to view LIVE video or watch all of them on their video playlist HERE)  

They opened the show with Bound to Break, an awesome song from their self-titled EP, Harper Blynn (2010).

The Doubt“, a favorite from their first album, Loneliest Generation (2010) was also in the set. I think I like it even more after this performance.

Sucker andBusy Hands are ones I hadn’t heard before, as they are new songs for their forthcoming album. I like them both, but Sucker is probably my favorite of the two. It’s just got a really fun, upbeat sound and I love when they sing the line “I’m a sucker. I’m a sucker… a sucker for love…”

I REALLLLLY loved this one ballad in particular. However, I’m not sure what the name of it was… The chorus was “I’ve got time… I’ve got time…” J.’s vocals on this one are so beautiful… I actually teared up during this performance. I think it’s new and if it is, I REALLLLLY hope it’s on the next album. Check it out below…

See what I mean? Didn’t that just get you? Where’s my kleenex?

There was a lot of other new material they played. From what I have heard so far, it’s gonna make for quite an album.

Of course, they included the wildly popular cover of Beyonce’s Halo. And lastly, they wrapped things up with two more songs from their EP. Start All Over is one of my favorite songs…EVER and they closed with Models/Dancers. I was in heaven…

I was excited when I interviewed Pete a little over a year ago (Read it HERE). So you can imagine my excitement to finally meet him in person. I was even more ecstatic when I got to meet ALL of them and hang out for a few pics and conversation. (I tried to play it cool, but I’ll admit I was like a little girl jumping up and down on the inside…) Actually, they are really down-to-earth guys and easy to talk to. That just makes me love ’em more. :) I can’t wait until the next time they come to GA.

With two residencies coming up in New York and L.A., as well as a show in San Francisco… There is still some opportunity to check these guys out on stage. While they sound great on an album, they are mind-blowing LIVE. I HIGHLY recommend to anyone who can get to one of their shows, to do so. Seriously…DO NOT MISS THEM!!!

www.harperblynn.com

Last fall, my friend Daniel, aka Rainbow Ghost sent me his debut EP, Tell Us How You Really Feel.  I’ve been in love with this collection since I first heard it in late September.

Tell Us How You Really Feel (2011) is a great collection of songs and best listened to in order. On it’s own, each song provides the listener with an insightful view. Together, they have a more
in depth story to tell…

  • What Went Wrong? – “what went wrong with me? oh, what to do with myself”
  • Falling Apart – “no one wants to hear about when you’re secretly falling apart”
  • Brittle – “feels like I was born brittle, old and decayed…feels like I was born brittle, just made to break…”
  • Maybe It’s Time – “’cause I can’t just wait, and it won’t be fine…I could use a change, and maybe it’s time…”

While the lyrics lean on the sad side, the songs themselves convey a sense of reaching out to the listener…an effort to communicate. And that’s what turns, what could otherwise be an EP full of lonely and depressing songs, into an album of beautiful expression and understanding.

Listen – “What Went Wrong?”

The music has a kind of magic adventure feeling to it. Like you can close your eyes and be in some fantasy world far far away… disappearing from the sometimes not-so-great realities of life. Paired with Daniel’s gentle and intriguing vocals, this makes for a beautiful combination. However, it’s the juxtaposition of these elements with the melancholy-with-a-side-of-hope lyrics that really make this album so special.

I find it hard to believe that there hasn’t been a time we haven’t all felt like we could relate to at least one, if not all, of these songs. I went through a challenging and sometimes difficult part of my life in 2011. In addition to my usually busy lifestyle, I had lost someone I love to cancer and taken on more professional/personal projects, including building this new website.

Listening to this album was comforting and inspiring at the same time. I’m glad I am finally able to do it more justice than spreading the word via tweets and FB posts.

And that, everyone…is how I really feel. :)

Get this EP on cdbaby,  iTunes  or Amazon. It’s also available FREE at www.rainbowghost.com, but if you can spare the few bucks to support a talented and emerging artist, I encourage you to do so. :)

You can also find more RAINBOW GHOST on Facebook and on Google+