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by PopMatters Staff

13 Apr 2016


Pryor Stroud: Structured around a cascading acoustic guitar melody that sounds like rain pattering on a window, Benjamin Francis Leftwich’s “Tilikum” is a heart-on-sleeve folk ballad that creates a deeply nuanced and dimensionalized emotional portrait through only a few musical components. “Be my rose / Growing in the cold / Be my light in the window at home,” Leftwich sings, and the hurt in his voice accumulates with each word, making it easy to envision him as the outcasted lover his lyric paints: guitar-in-hand, shivering, waiting out in the dark for someone to take him by the lips and lead him inside. [9/10]

by PopMatters Staff

13 Apr 2016


Pryor Stroud: Lizzy Plapinger’s voice remains a wonder: nimble, principled, and ragged with the scars of past failures and mistakes, it seems to quake with each stomach-knotting passion it breathes into being, yet it never loses its balance, remaining upright, anchored, sure that the next passion will come and overshadow its predecessor. In “Wrong Victory”, MS MR crafts another miles-spanning chorus that pushes this voice to a new limit point: “When your skin doesn’t feel like home, oh / And I don’t wanna break down and feel alone”, she effuses, the word “skin”, in particular, delivered with an admixture of disdain and desire, like the syllable itself has become an act of pushing-away from this flesh that once loved her but now treats her as a stranger. [7/10]

by PopMatters Staff

13 Apr 2016


Photo: Michele Siedner

Dr. Robert’s day job is being the singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist with veteran new wave band the Blow Monkeys, but he’s always made room for his solo work, having released nine solo albums to date. Now Robert is about to release his 10th record, Out There, on May 2nd via Fencat Records and we’ve got the video for the new single “A Bottomless Pit”, which Dr. Robert says “was written about someone close to me. Musically I was trying to cross the spirit of Johnny Cash with Jacques Brel. I used local accordion player Jos Hawken plus saxophonist Joe Degado who busks locally in Granada. The video was shot by my wife Michele and edited by our Webmeister Julian. It was shot in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in Andalusia” where Dr. Robert now resides.

by PopMatters Staff

13 Apr 2016


Pryor Stroud: Sprinkled with jittery percussion, frothing-at-the-mouth verses, and Skrillex’s distinctive flavor of pulse-pounding EDM, “Drum Machine” is a manic electro-hop joy ride that tries to compact as much electric energy into one space as possible. The track moves so quickly that it seems to value movement itself—getting from point-A to point-B—over what it’s passing though or where it’s going, but the pace is fast enough that this observation only arises as an afterthought. At the very least, the production is rich and heterogenous enough to warrant multiple listens, but be careful as epilepsy could be induced. [6/10]

by PopMatters Staff

12 Apr 2016


Morgan Y. Evans: One of the more interesting projects out there, a truly well rounded “circle of creation” in tone, talents and intent, as the song asserts in the lyric. Part groovy meditation on acceptance, part positive manifestation ritual over a soothing yet repetitive round-like vocal mantra, comforting keys and a sense of finding wellness within the great scheme of things, if that’s your bag. This is about my speed right now. An easy but bold timbre of allowance, warmth and growth accompanied by a deep seeing gaze and more chakra opening than goofy psychedelic visuals. Plus a voice that could put most people on puppet strings. Between this and Purson’s new Desire’s Magic Theatre record, there is hope to be found yet for those who’d prefer to float atop the rising tides of bad modern music with a concealed smirk and big dreams without preferring to believe in hope, humanity and the potential sophistication of audiences looking for an experience rather than serving up more toxic slabs of half cooked and empty styrofoam sugar pill pop. [9/10]

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