By: Nick Manduley
Ocean County singer-songwriter Kelli Faith independently released her debut full-length album 21 on September 20th. 21 is filled to the brim with catchy choruses and cheeky melodies bound to leave the listener humming for days after the first listen. Faith opens the record with the emotional number “Sincerely,” which acts as a grandiose welcoming to the next 40 minutes of unfiltered boppage. It’s always great when artists start their albums off with a bang, a couple noteworthy examples being “The End” from My Chemical Romance’s The Black Parade or “System…Meltdown” from Enter Shikari’s A Flash Flood of Colour.
The album pushes forward with the catchy mid-tempo tune “Bad News,” which is laden with encapsulating yet simplistic lead guitar melodies and relatable lyrics; once you hear this song you’ll be humming “Man, I really messed up this time!” for the whole day. And I’m not just saying that because it’s exactly what my roommate has been doing for the past week, driving me absolutely bonkers. Faith gets in touch with her rock roots on “Chasing Tails,” which is arguably one of the more memorable songs on the record. Faith asserts herself as the frontwoman she is on “Chasing.”
Tracks such as “Time Will Tell” and “Someone New” are bound to have people dancing with their infectious guitar progressions and vocal melodies. Faith delivers a wonderful vocal performance, painting the tracks with sweet harmonies. However, if we’re talking about dancing, it would be criminal to not shine a light on the songs “Him” and “All Parts.” “Him” was the first single released from 21 and immediately ropes in the listener with that insanely catchy chorus, ending with a powerful cacophony of harmonies and clashing vocal parts. However, Faith keeps the energy flowing as “All Parts” explodes right out of the gate with rippling beat courtesy of drummer Dee DiMeola, who also delivers all the infectious lead guitar on the record. Faith gets in touch with her pop roots on “All Parts,” utilizing dance beats and plenty of vocal hooks.
The record slows down for a bit with the ever-so-relatable tune “Love Myself” as well as “This House” which is easily the emotional powerhouse (no pun intended) on this record. The record pushes towards the end with “Still There” before ending with “21” and “More.” Faith delivers a tear-jerking ode to her late father on “Still There” before switching gears into the title track, which recounts the tale of overcoming of a toxic relationship in favor of a brighter future. We reviewed “More” some weeks ago as it was the second single off the record, but after hearing the full release, it’s clear that “More” isn’t just a romantic country tune with a face-melting guitar solo; it’s also the perfect ending to this little storybook called 21.
By: Nick Manduley
Acoustic indie rocker Mike Simmons independently released his latest single “Give My Girl Back” on May 10th. The single is the Los Angeles singer-songwriter’s first release since his 2017 track “Wherever It Goes.”
“Give My Girl Back” is a gentle track that opens with the blissful arpeggiated picking of an acoustic guitar, paired with Simmons’ emotive, reverb-laden vocals. The alternative guitar picking acts as almost a blank canvas upon which Simmons paints with harmonies and themes of feeling as though you’ve found your soulmate. Clocking in at just over two and a half minutes, this song is perfect for a warm, sunny morning sipping tea or coffee on your front porch.
Simmons gives a more docile take on his sound with “Give My Girl Back”; his previous single, “Wherever It Goes,” is a full band indie folk rock ballad guaranteed to have indie lovers everywhere singing along.
When Simmons emerged as an artist, the formula was pretty simple; play some songs and read some poems on the street and in strip clubs, and then hopefully make some cash. After making some friends, getting a band together, and fleshing out his sound, producers from coast to coast began knocking on Simmons’ door. Since then, Simmons has performed his music all over America in venues of all shapes and sizes. Fans can find “Give My Girl Back” on all major streaming platforms, along with “Wherever It Goes” and Simmons’ 2016 full length album, “Sunburn.”
For some people, music is just in their blood. That’s no exception for indie performer and singer-songwriter, Frank Moyo. Recently he sat down to talk about his passion for music and his debut solo EP, “Waves of Emotion”.
“Since I can remember I have always wanted music to be my primary focus in life. I remember singing and playing Elvis with an imaginary guitar at family functions as a kid. My first memory that sits in my mind is buying my first guitar. I had passed by the window of a music shop that was run by my grandmother’s neighbor and immediately fell in love with it. After I bought it, the owner of the shop gave me some lessons and quickly after that I began writing my own songs. Using simple chords, I began to write nearly a song a day, rushing home from elementary school just to play my guitar until I had to go to bed.”
Click here for the full interview.
Midwest singer-songwriter Vinnie Hines has just announced he will release his new music video for “The Riddle” on March 27th. Check out a teaser image below, and in the meantime take a listen to “The Riddle” or purchase on iTunes here.