Artist Interview: Charlie Burg

Unless you have ties to the metro-Detroit music scene, I doubt you’ve heard Charlie Burg’s work. As a sophomore in college, Charlie clearly has an energetic zeal for life and evident love of music. Charlie’s not signed with a label which gives him a lot of freedom to experiment with different sounds and inspirations. His recently released album, Blue Wave Mosiac, eloquently features Burg’s exceptional vocals and embellished wavy tracks. With hints of R&B, Charlie is reaching beyond any one genre, but reels you in with his relaxed vibes. This feel good album definitely deserves more recognition as his tracks are not overly embellished and leave the listener intrigued.

Blue Wave Mosaic demonstrates Burg’s development as a multitalented artist who began singing and playing guitar covers to songs he liked but is now producing music in a genre that’s all his own. I liked the album so much I decided to reach out to him and learn more. 

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Shannon (SM): Tell me about yourself:

Charlie (CB): “I was born and raised in Birmingham, MI. I went to Dennison as a Freshman for college but realized I needed a bigger school, especially for my music so I transferred to Michigan State University and am studying humanities but I’m hoping to study music.  I learned how to produce at Dennison quickly and it didn’t take me very long to learn the ropes enough to produce on my own, since I didn’t have the resources or time to go to a studio. Prior to that I had just been doing covers on Soundcloud with my guitar and had the reputation of the white college kid with a guitar.”

SM: Tell me about the inspiration behind your title Blue Wave Mosaic:

CB: “There’s a lot of people who are on the project, so I thought it was kind of like a mosaic pulling from different minds. And the blue wave was inspired from a painting I saw at the DIA (Detroit Institute of Art) of a Spanish artist named Joan Miro and I thought, that’s the feeling I want people to feel when they listen to my music.”

SM: What’s the general emotion behind Blue Wave Mosiac? What kind of feelings were you intending to project?

CB: “Mostly about how I feel about love. I recently got out of a relationship and I felt confused, like I lost something important. It’s inspired by R&B sounds and I wanted to portray sadness, tenderness, longing, yearning…It’s not a dance album or a celebration. It’s a reflection of what I want.”

SM: How long have you been working on Blue Wave Mosaic?

CB: “Not very long, from November to December (2015).”

SM: Is there a person or place that most inspired your work?

CB: “My friend Ade inspired me in rap and R&B and showed me a lot of obscure hip hop producers. But Coldplay cultivated my love songs and D’Angelo cultivated my vibe.”

SM: Favorite release of 2015?

CB: “Head Full of Dreams”

SM: Goals for 2016:

CB: “To be in another band with some friends from Ann Arbor, Mi, write 20 songs, and another album…I have so much stuff I want to put out there. I also want to play two shows a week and travel and go hiking this summer.”

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We’re eager to watch Charlie Burg continue to grow as an artist and discover a claimable sound that he most identifies with. Blue Wave Mosiac shows Burg’s immense potential as an up and an extremely talented up and coming artist. Definitely worth the listen – check out his website here!

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Shannon Milner


Check out more music and news from Rainy Dawg Radio @ RainyDawg.org!

New Release: Kaptan’s Sprinter EP

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If you know me, you know that I’m always looking for new indie pop that I can belt out in the shower (or in public…). This week, while scrolling on the new releases page on Spotify, I found Sprinter EP by Kaptan. I’d never heard of the band, and, as it turns out, not a lot of people have, either. However, after listening to the new release, I knew that this band was going places. 

The EP starts out with “Way Out”, a catchy, upbeat tune with a sugary sweet riff that makes you want to dance in the same way as Wild Cub’s “Thunder Clatter”. “Everything” sounds like the perfect summer tune that you want to sing from the rooftops. “Closer Now” takes a much slower, more sultry position on the EP, featuring lots of layered vocals.

The entire EP definitely sounds like something a well-known indie pop band would be releasing, which just goes to show how much potential Kaptan has. Despite having less than 600 likes on Facebook, it seems like their Spotify exposure will be viral. They already have 260,000 monthly listeners, even though the EP only dropped five days ago.

The only place I’ve been able to find the EP so far is on Spotify, but stay tuned for Kaptan’s tracks to hit iTunes or SoundCloud soon. 

(By the way, according to their Facebook page, the band is from Seattle, so that means you pretty much have no reason not to listen to them.)

For fans of: Grizfolk, Wild Cub, Pacific Air, MisterWives

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Ann Evans



Check out more music and news from Rainy Dawg Radio @ RainyDawg.org!

The New Tribe’s “Human” grabs your heart

Sometimes when new indie pop artists appear, I roll my eyes because it all sounds the same after while. Luckily, I found some gentlemen that seem to know how to grab a girl’s attention. 

So let’s talk about The New Tribe.

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An indie pop band consisting of vocalist Phil Cerna, guitarist Peter McMurray, pianist Jared Fritz, drummer Josh Wiedenmeyer, and bassist Joe Coburn, The New Tribe is a group that, although new, knows technique.

With one single recently just released on iTunes and Spotify, the group’s new track “Human,” written by Phil Cerna, snatches you off your feet with hints in their sound of indie pop group Of Monsters and Men.

Within the first minute of the track, the overwhelming instruments of hard electric guitar and drums give you this impression of a hard rock vibe.  Yet, instead of cringing all the way through, your face softens as the track mellows out into Cerna’s soft, tranquil voice overlaying an acoustic melody, and you suddenly realize the hard rock hook works into grabbing you to be pleasantly surprised by the raw vocals of vocalist Phil Cerna.

As Cerna, McMurray, and Fritz harmonize to sing “Nobody’s got what it takes/We’re all just fakes/Doing the best we can/Maybe we’ll make a few less mistakes/But that’s what makes us human,” there’s a heavier emphasis on the instrumentals, and you almost get a vibe similar to Snow Patrol’s “Chasing Cars.” Yet, unlike with other artists in which instrumentals can sometimes overpower vocals, and also like seasoned professionals Snow Patrol, The New Tribe keeps a perfect balance.

There are other elements to the track that keep you from becoming bored with the typical singer-songwriter vibe: the sick guitar solo in the middle, the great way Cerna demonstrates his vocal range in the bridge singing “Nobody’s got what it takes,” and the trippy jazzy stylings on keys combined with the great harmony of vocals in the last minute of the song.

And additional to great musical technique, the lyricism of Cerna once again appeals to a wide audience on a relatable level, proving that maybe these guys know how to write music.

It’s a solid first debut as original artists, and although you get more of an alternative rock serious feel than the bippy-boppy vibe of indie pop, there’s no doubt these guys can take it far, no matter the direction they take their sound. Phil Cerna’s beautiful clear voice does the band a true favor at vocally leading this single that the musicians plan to place on their upcoming EP in the near future.

The New Tribe could just have been lucky with this first single, and only their future EP will really tell whether these guys have a shot or not. But I’m not going to be skeptical yet, with knowledge that Phil Cerna and Peter McMurry take turns at the role of lead vocalist. With all this talent in one bunch, they’re bound to do something rad.

Take a listen, have a treat, because like I always like to say, you want to get their autograph now so you can sell it for millions later.

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Ariana Rivera

Celebrate, celebrate: Holiday Mountain

New musicians are back, let’s dive in and straight up dig it. Holiday Mountain, anyone?

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Holiday Mountain is a band that is completely out of the realm of genre. Synth pop fused with dubstep fused with the meaningful lyricism of soul? It’s trippy.
Which is not a bad thing, we need some more unique eclectic sounds in our lives. Based in Austin, Texas, Holiday Mountain dub themselves as musicians that push musical boundaries, mixing dances beats, unexpected melodies, and airy vocals.

And it’s true, they’re unconventional for sure.

Taking a look at their recently released EP You be You, Part 1, there is a lot going on that you almost wonder, and “How did they come up with this?”

Number one track off their EP “My Body” is so bizarre sounding with a mix of front woman Laura Patino half rapping her lyrics “Don’t need no hates/If you ain’t down, I’ll see you later,” to underlying synth beats and heavy percussion. This group does their own sound, and they make that known to you straight up coming to the album, regarding their unconventional sound.

But you come to get used to the way Holiday Mountain mixes their sound by the time you get to sweet tracks like “Slow Motion Things,” with tangy vocals, poignant instrumental riffs, and musical timing that ironically parallels the theme of the song.

There are funky beats, and there are rich vocals for sure. You’ve got hints of Diplo and M.I.A. with the electronic dance groove and hip hop influence, but Holiday Mountain does have one distinction.

Although their sound is crazy, the themes behind their lyricism are beautiful and empowering. With lyrics like “It’s my body/Don’t need no haters” and “Equal freedom for woman and man,” you can’t help but feel inspired regarding gender equality and female empowerment. Not something typical to normal synth-pop right?

My favorite track off the entire EP is “With You” (featuring Wild Child), and that isn’t due to just the slower tempo and more ethereal sounding vocals. It’s about self-love, but it’s also about love in general and the beautiful feelings that comes with love. There is a very airy feel to the entire track as Patino sings “With you, I am young/With you, I am free.” The layered vocals with the softer percussion and overlay of violin is beautiful. It’s a little hippie, with the underlying chorus and synth, but it’s a beautiful end to the EP, and makes you wistful for just a little bit more. 

It’s nice seeing the versatility of these musicians, purely because not everyone can necessarily automatically groove to Holiday Mountain’s aggressive dance jams. But at the same time, not everyone may not want to sit and mellow out to a more airy, acoustic tune either.

They’ve got a little bit of everything, and that’s what matter when they’re singing about themes of self-love, empowerment, and overall acceptance—something we can all relate to.

You Be You, Part 1, available here to jam to. Go groove.

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Ariana Rivera

I’m talkin bout French house

Annnddddddd we’re back. I’m sorry for such a long sabbatical but I was just researching music.
And being lazy.
So who wants to talk about French deep house?

Gonna be honest, I’m SO NOT an expert on house music, but because deep house has elements of soul and 1980s jazz-funk and this specific musician uses a lot of piano and saxophone, I’m going to say that I somewhat know what I’m talking about.

Should we meet Klingande

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A French duo composed of musicians Cédric Steinmyller and Edgar Catry, these guys don’t give the vibe of what you think of when you think of house music: electronic, boring, repetitive. They dig honest sound, and true jazz, funk, and soul. With three solid singles out, deubting in in 2013, these guys are beautiful in their sound.

There are house beats, but there are also funky basslines, eclectic vocal samples, excellent percussion and hypnotic, just straight-jamming grooves of saxophone solos that distinguish Klingande’s sound.

The two boys themselves label their music as “melodic sound,” and for sure they have this vibe of sunny beaches and the strange juxtaposition of classy, classy saxophone jazz and more modern dance pop.

I mean, take a listen to “Jubel.” You’ve got these straight up dope saxophone melodies (thank you fantastic Mr. Snake Davis) running throughout the entire track of lovely Lucie Decarne’s vocals. Reaching number one on the charts in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and Switzerland, this track also hit #3 on the UK Singles chart.

We start out slow with bongo-drums and light layering of keys, yeah? Then a bassline melody, still good, right? Then a build up to the vocals, and you’re like, “Hmm, pretty good.” But then we hit the sax, and you’ve got to just stop and smile.

And then look at his first single ever released, “Punga.” The vocals are phenomenal combined with the saxophone layered on piano. And to be honest, the sax on this track is better than the sax on Jubel, but the standard of excellence here is just so high that either way, any of Klingande’s tracks are going to exceed any of our expectation for musical innovation.

If you like Avicii, if you like Bakermat, if you like saxophone, if you like grooves, please. Do yourself a favor. Check out his Soundcloud here, trust me, he’s worth your time.

And sweet deal because if you fall in love enough, go and check out his show at The Crocodile on May 20th.
You can bet I’m gonna be there.

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Ariana Rivera