New Video: Jesse Romo – The Beauty of One

Jazzy and slow, Jesse Romo, starts off his latest track, “The Beauty of One” with a casual collection of guitar and drums. As the vocals begin, a wave of relaxation washes through all the instruments at once. Although the music isn’t technically difficult, it does challenge the listener to take in the message that Jesse strives to convey. “It is about feeling lost and alone, having a spiritual experience, and coming to find connectedness with the Universe,” the artist shares in the description of the song’s music video:

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A compilation of various Yosemite and Joshua Tree time lapses accompany the song as it drifts through various states of calamity. Check out the music video on Facebook or in the stream above.

This track is decidedly different than the music that can be found in Romo’s previous releases. While mixtapes like Listen, Love (Epilogue) and Afterthoughts rely heavily on sample-based production around jazz and hip-hop, other projects like happykid vibes out like old school Nintendo. This single ushers the first time that Jesse’s voice has appeared on a track – needless to say, I am glad to hear it.

To explain the inspiration behind the song, Romo states:

I started writing this song last summer, during a difficult couple of months in my life. Facing trials and tribulations again recently, but now with a greater sense of hope, I felt it was time to complete the song.”

There’s plenty of more beauty to be found in this artist’s work on Bandcamp and Soundcloud. Feel free to stream and download anything as he has gladly offered it all up for free!

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DJ Desman

Hozier: Let’s appreciate the man and the album (Artist/Album Review)

Hi I’m Ariana Rivera and I like writing words and music so I asked some people about a way to combine the two and they gave me this job.

So lately, I’ve been obsessed, and I think you know what I mean. I’m talking about soul-sucking, mind-numbing, “Wow, I can’t stop listening” plain obsessed. This entire album and the man who writes it has stolen my heart and although it’s only been a couple of weeks, I just can’t help but love it.

Meet Hozier.

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Born Andrew Hozier-Byrne, 24, Irish born and gifted with a soulful, bluesy as hell voice, this man is relatively new to the industry, with his debut album, Hozier released in Ireland in September, and globally just last month. Studied music in Dublin for a bit and was involved in an Irish vocal choral group, but dropped that…to become who he is, a modern day, Van Morrison and a male Adele.

So let’s talk about his album, now that we have an understanding that he’s somewhat successful and a little bit beautiful.

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Starting off with “Take Me to Church,” his first single that went viral on YouTube and topped the charts all around, we get a feel of how Hozier feels about love in his analogous parallel of love to religion: that falling in love essentially resulted in a death of everything. Not the happiest way to start the day, but the song starts off just a pure tone of his voice and some simple piano chords. Once we get going, background vocals come in, and for a second you see a hint of the vocal choral group roots that he has. The lyrics of this song are powerful once you reach the chorus, and we end the song not just with a pianist and smooth sounds of Hozier’s voice, but with a powerful guitar and drum combo, thundering through to make a statement.

So obviously, this guy has power, and we get a second hint of that in his second track off the album, “Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene” (which had a hint of influence from the Black Keys to me). At this point in the album, however, you might already have the feeling of, “Okay, I got that he can do powerful R&B and soul, but is this really the sound for the entire album?”

Hozier switches it up a bit and finally shows a softer bluesy side in “Jackie and Wilson,” with an asymmetric rhythm and feel. “From Eden,” the 6th track off the album, other than having incredible lyrics that reference a lil bit of Satan (“I slithered in from Eden”) has the oddest sound of the entire album in my opinion. Start a song off with some cello and guitar, and just a voice resonating “Babe,” and it just is too soulful. It sounds like you’re listening to a lullaby when you first start off. The lyrics come in, and the symbiotic relationship that the cello, guitar, and drums play off each other, and although the song loses its lullaby feel, the instrumentals alone still leave you feeling just serene and peaceful.

 “Work Song,” one of the later tracks, is my favorite of the entire album simply because of the melodic hums that swell beautifully and timed claps that start off the song (This is so weird, but I swear it reminds me of  Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Don’t judge.) He sings this track with almost a careless croon of just walking around mournfully. I dig the style. My favorite lyric off the entire album comes from this song: “When, my, time comes around/ Lay me gently in the cold dark earth/ No grave can hold my body down/ I’ll crawl home to her.” He’s an intense guy, but an intense lover all the same, and this lyric holds it true for me.

Take a listen.

We end the album, still soulful, but much more toned down from when we started. “Cherry Wine,” the last track of the album, is the live version, and features Hozier picking at his guitar and his voice. Unlike with previous songs in the album, in which he sings it with a completely folky, blues style similar to that of the earlier track “Like Real People Do, “ Hozier sings it pure, clean, and naked of any influence. It’s the purest song of the album, and the happiest song as, in terms of tone. With sound clips of blue birds in the background and pretty guitar riffs, “Cherry Wine” ends the album on a happier, more serendipitous note than the intense, tormented sound of “Take Me to Church” in the beginning.

If ya like Van Morrison, if you like The Black Keys, and if ya like some bluesy soul, grab a copy.

Where to get it: http://www.myplaydirect.com/hozier

Where to listen: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8KVn2EQ_jy3dXEtYoeTI0EPy40usREYO 

Overall? Obviously, I’m obsessed for a reason. There’s hints of the Gospel/choral influences in almost every track, and I thank it for it. Although his soulful, bluesy riffs are beautiful, they can be a bit intense, and the heavy content of his lyricism is nicely off put by the heart lifting melodic swells. Additional to that, it seems to add to the holy atmosphere he had in his sound and the love/religion obsession he has in his lyrics.

Maybe you won’t be obsessed, but I still love him for his soulful vibe. That, and the fact he followed me back on Instagram.

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Ariana Rivera

LT’s Choice: Little Kid’s Album Logic Songs

This week, instead of posting a playlist, I feel obligated to post an album because no singular album that I have stumbled upon recently has captivated me in a similar fashion to this. 

Little Kid’s Logic Songs was recorded somewhere in Ontario, Canada. The only way we get a feel for where the location is is through the extensive use of train field recordings throughout the album. These overlap with guitar riffs and vocals that mirror the styles of both The Microphones and Elvis Depressedly

The first song starts out slow, as it is more of a cold invitation to the album, as opposed to a warm embrace of what is to come. The album defines itself from the second song out, so bare with it. With that being said, the album is one that is best listened to all the way through. 

Check it out in the bandcamp stream below:

Logic Songs by Little Kid

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Lauren-Taylor Mansfield

Show Review: The Black Keys Turn Blue World Tour @ KeyArena, Nov 1st

this. concert. was. insane.

being a biased Black Keys fan girl, i was amped about this concert to begin with, but they exceeded my expectations. first of all, the set list was beautiful:

  1. Dead and Gone
  2. Next Girl
  3. Run Right Back
  4. Same Old Thing
  5. Gold On The Ceiling
  6. Strange Times
  7. Nova Baby
  8. Leavin’ Trunk  *if you don’t know this song, go listen! i heard it for the first time at the concert*
  9. Too Afraid To Love You
  10. Howlin For You
  11. A Girl Like You – Edward Collins Cover
  12. Money Maker
  13. Gotta Get Away
  14. She’s Long Gone
  15. Fever
  16. Tighten Up
  17. Your Touch
  18. Lonely Boy

THEN, after about 5-10 minutes of agonizing anxiety, the black keys came back out for an encore. which was

  1. Weight of Love
  2. Turn Blue
  3. Little Black Submarines

needless to say, everyone in the arena was on their feet and screaming the lyrics by the second half of Little Black Submarines. the first half, Dan Auerbach sang and played guitar ballad style, and i’m pretty sure i felt a tear well up in my eye. then, because the duo couldn’t resist, the second half was a crazy headbanger and an amazing way to end the concert. 

the stage lighting was super dope as well. the coordination between the music and lights was well executed and required a serious amount of planning, respect. you can see that in some pictures i have, for example:


The combination of lights and setting was a perfect backdrop


The view from the nosebleeds

yeah, i had nosebleed seats, but it was worth it. if you ever get the chance to see the black keys live, i would recommend it. also, all the people there are cool because they have good taste in music and you all immediately relate to each other. 😉

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gnovs

The Ani Joon Review: Taylor Swift hits 2014 with a 1989 Banger (Video Review)

Rainy Dawg Radio’s resident vlogger reviews TSwizzle’s newest album: 1989. Check it out above ^^^

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Ania Kamkar