Old Hollywood comes alive in the voice of Julie Esposito as she reinterprets a few of the film industry’s lesser-known gems. “I am too young to be old Hollywood,” she says, “but I guess I have always had an old soul.” The songs Esposito features in her 2007 self-produced album, Unsung Hollywood, include the whimsical and the romantic, some from as far back as the 1920s and 1930s. Indeed, an album standout, “Little Jazz Bird,” was written in 1923 and omitted from the 1947 film Lady Be Good. This track in particular embodies the benevolent cabaret-style of Prohibition era speakeasies and jazz clubs with lively horns, deep piano, and Esposito’s slightly sardonic tone.
One of the newest tracks Esposito croons called “What Can You Lose?” comes from Dick Tracy, a 1990 film crafted in the style of a 1930s detective drama.
Beating its way into your heart with its jazzy drums, and grungy guitar and vocals, Stereo Off’s first single “Bullet Time” is just simply awesome. With synth backing, reminding you of the eighties — without being too overused — this song is electric and captivating, much like the common romantic situation that the band explains inspired it: “the song is about lovers— that feeling when you get to an impasse, and instead, you both slow down and are drawn back together.”
Following in the banjo-playing trend, “Westfjords” — the catchy new single from New York indie pop band Stargroves — proves why it is an ever-popular and growing trend; uniquely blending folk, pop, electronic, and fantasy elements, charmingly fun is the only way to describe this new single.
With this being my first experience with Echo Bloom and their music, I am considerably awed by the never-ending beauty and power of the lyrical writing and eclectic arrangement of instrumentals in Blue Shift. An incredible, fun, humbling, emotional performance, Blue Shift illustrates what band-leader, guitarist and song-writer Kyle Evans terms “folk-estral” music. Intoning lyrics rich with biblical allusions– lending the album a subtle, overarching theme of personal spirituality– and backed by a variety of instruments such as the oboe, violin, and banjo, this live performance album is articulately and fantastically arranged, a truly magical experience.
Australian singer-songwriter Tim Fontaine saw a major transition of style and scenery in 2011 when he moved from Melbourne to New York City in committed pursuit of a music-making career. The addition of four other instrumentalists solidified Fontaine’s future as lead singer of Boroko, a project he says is “somewhere between a band and a solo project.”
A little explanation regarding this review- I had initially meant to cover Allison Strong’s new single “One and Only,” but after an amazing conversation with the artist herself, and a few dozen plays of her single, I just needed to hear more of her beautiful, captivating music. Her truthful, relatable lyrics shine with Broadway strength vocals as she is accompanied by a symphonic variety of instruments and styles. Varying between …continue…
Self-described piano pop group Jukebox the Ghost recently released a new single, “The Great Unknown,” in preparation for the release of their fourth full-length album this summer. The album name has not yet been announced, but it’s sure to hold all the magic that has catapulted JTB to fame since the release of their debut album “Let Live and Let Ghosts” in 2008. “The Great Unknown” has a cohesive theme …continue…
Sarah McGowan’s “Williamsburg Boy” In her lament about a star-crossed crush on a hip “Williamsburg Boy,” Sarah McGowan shines in this new folk-pop single. With some humorous irony on the cheesiness of love songs- stopping, for example, midway to speak “I would literally fucking die [if he changed his hair]”- this upcoming singer proves that she not only has the talent to write relatable, lovable songs like Taylor Swift or …continue…
Dr. Tom Hansen, retired academic and activist, will appear at Charlottesville’s Quest Bookshop on July 11th at 7PM to perform nine unique songs and spread his philosophy that human beings are “not just physical beings having an occasional spiritual experience.” Hansen’s rich voice, intricate melodies, and softly strummed guitar create a warmth in his music; believers in his spiritual ideas will no doubt take additional feelings of comfort from the lyrics Hansen presents with serene confidence. Each song is comprised of quotes from Hansen’s latest nonfiction work, Remembering Our Oneness, a continuation of his 1995 book Trying to Remember. “I contend that consciousness is the cause of the physical,” he says about his work, comparing it to the ideas of certain masters of quantum physics who use this spiritual idea to justify the existence of the universe.
The most successful and influential pop group of all time, the Beatles landed in America in February 1964. By the time the Sixties came to an end, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr had taken the world by storm, not only becoming icons of popular culture, but also collectively creating an unprecedented legacy of hit singles and best-selling albums. It’s particularly telling that when Rolling Stone recently chose the top 500 albums of all time, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was perched at the top, with Revolver, Rubber Soul and The White Album following close behind in the top ten.