Album Review: “Dogviolet” by Laurel

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I am very behind on some of my new releases lately. I had plans on putting up at least four reviews throughout September, but I just didn’t feel like it, so I eventually decided on the two that I knew I wanted to talk about the most, and we start with Laurel’s first full album called “Dogviolet” that was came out on August 24th 2018! The album itself consists of 12 songs so we’re going to be here for a while.

I have talked about Laurel before, the first time I was introduce to her mysterious voice, was during a steamy scene on The Vampire Diaries with Damon and Elena, they were basically having vampire sex and her song “Fire Breather” came on and I remember rewinding that scene so I could hear that song again. At that time, I wasn’t a “Delena” fan so that definitely wasn’t the reason for the repeat of that activity I swear! When she released her EP “Holy Water” back in 2014, and it kept that dark alternative sound to it and I just loved it! However, I’ve noticed that her music has went in a totally different direction, it’s more in the indie rock category now and even though I was a bit taken back at this new sound, I did slowly coming into it with an open heart purely because I love her voice, and honestly it works with both genres in a way.

Laurel did release a first single back in June I think and afterwards she began to put out three to four songs on EPs throughout the summer. I was tempted to listen to those but I knew this was coming so I kept myself away for as long as I could! So, let’s start with the first track “Life Worth Living,” I want to say that I like the title, but the song itself is fairly soft, although I do like when the drums make their presence known, against her raspy voice, she has such a blues-y tone that it works that good with this sound. It actually made me feel good, and I was even dancing too! I liked it a lot. Next we have “All Star” and this one has a seductive tone to it in the way she sings her way through the story, and again I had trouble not dancing to the gentle groove of the guitars.

Third is “Same Mistakes” and this has a more hearty sound, it still that soft undertone but the best way I can describe to what I’m hearing is a sassy sound. I think it fits with the topic of the actual song, because it’s very upbeat and I was somewhat surprised that I liked it that way even though it was basically a break-up song. After that is “South Coast,” I generally loved this. I thought it’s an ideal autumnal type of song by the fact that it’s so easy-going and full of emotions. I didn’t really want it to end that’s how much I enjoyed this one! Next is “Hold Tight” and from the moment it started, I was glad to hear a different cord on the guitars. It’s definitely a lot calmer in the groove. The song is so different compared to the previous tracks, and I’m so glad because I can’t stand when most, if not, all of the songs on an album sound alike, it’s annoying!

“Adored” is next and I really love this one! When it first came on, I was like “this is going to be good” and I was right. It has this fierceness quality about it, and another uniqueness that I enjoyed was the “ah, ah, ah” throughout the choruses, they just added another element to this track.  Next is “Sun King” which at first reminded of what people called the Kings in France before the monarchy was overthrown in the 1700’s. That’s strange, I know! Anyways, the song itself is interesting because it’s an admiration song for whoever she’s talking about, and the sound is quiet but in a good way. You only hear two things: Laurel’s beautiful and dreamy voice and a breezy electric guitar. It’s actually very pretty!

We move on to “Crave” and as I figured we have a song that has a more seductive way about it. It’s not that dirty but with just the cords and velvet voice, it gives the song a sexy vibe. I can tell it more so with this track than any of the other songs which surprised me because they all are somewhat similar in their own ways, but we’ll get that in a bit. Next there’s the first single that came out in the early part of summer, “Lovesick” and what shocked the most was when I heard this for the first time, I didn’t think I’d really like this direction, but the song changed my point of view. Unfortunately, there is one bad part of this song. Since I’ve heard the rest of the album after listening to this on repeat, it does sound incredibly similar to “South Coast” as far as the tone and sound around the choruses, so that is a bit of a let down for me. but it makes sense in a way since I really meshed with both tracks in the same way!

We’re almost done with the review, we only have three songs left. “Take It Back” is this fun song to listen while cruising in the countryside in the middle of the afternoon. At least, that was came to me when I started listening to it! It’s upbeat and chill at the same time, and I really liked it. There’s “Empty Kisses” and I hoped that this would be a quieter sound to it, and I wasn’t necessarily happy or sad on what I got with this, because the sound itself was a little cheerful – although the tempo never went away so it still kept that quiet way to be counted as a sweet, love song to my standards. Lastly, we have “Recover” and I decided to let it play and see what the outcome would be and somehow what I wanted in the previous song, I got with this one but I actually liked it better because I would rather have an album like this, fade off into the distance. I’ve always been this way and I’m glad that this is how it ended. It even ended with this last shard of uniqueness of what sounded like a ukulele in the background of the song, I thought it was an interesting element to add for this song.

 Now that we’re done officially, I can say that even though there were many songs that sounded like the other, it was actually pretty good! One of the things that I thoroughly enjoyed (which freaked me out) was the clear 1970’s vibe I was getting from majority of the songs on this album. I thought at first, that this was caused by Laurel’s voice but then my views quickly changed when I discovered that it was the blues-y guitars. It was a fun and interesting pop-rock album, definitely not what I was expecting, but a good end of the summer release though!

Have you listened to Laurel’s new album yet? We’re you supportive in the change to her music? I’d like to hear some of your thoughts in the comments below!

snowflake

 

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Album Review: “Beautifully Broken” by Plumb

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It’s crazy to think that it’s been roughly three years since singer Plumb released her album Exhale. Now she has a new album called “Beautifully Broken” and I’ve been really excited to hear it, because every once in a while I need something that’s lighthearted and her music is my go-to on those rough days. It all started when she released her album “Need You Now” in 2013, I just love that album so much! They make me feel calm and some even make me happy surprisingly too! So whenever she announces she’s putting out new music, I instantly get excited for it.

We start with the title track “Beautifully Broken” and funny story, when this song and it’s EP came out, I was going to review just that, and I had the whole beginning written up, and then I found out that the whole thing was only the original and four remix versions of that song. So, long story short, I scrapped that post and now I’m thankful I get to talk about the song officially! I really love the playful but gentle piano introduction. She speaks a lot about God in her music, but sometimes it’s not as “out there” as other songs, and I like the fact it’s a neutral in that aspect. I found this, while I was having a rough week and I’ve loved it ever since! Next, we have “Impossible” and this is a lively little track. So loving and fun at the same time! Third is “Crazy About You” and it has an interesting beginning, it’s soft and slow, but you have a standard light, pop beat. I was swaying while listening to it, so that was cool! I really like this, it’s kind of quirky and doesn’t sound anything she’s done in a while.

“I Can Do This” and we have another different vibe going on, but I like the lyrics. They’re relatable to people that suffer from various aliments. I think it’s a very positive, motivational song for anyone who needs it. What I think it is cool though, is that the beat mimics the feeling of the words she’s saying, it’s farce but quiet at the same time. It builds into the moment where you feel like you can say those words “I can do this” too! Really good song! The sixth track is “Somebody Loves You” and the first thing that popped into my head was this may or may not make me cry. It rarely happens, but like I’ve said above, I’ve had having some difficult days lately so a certain beat can instantly turn on the waterworks! I like the fact the beat is secondary, the lyrics are loud and clear and you can see the story of this woman in your head. You don’t need a music video or anything, the words are there. It’s very bittersweet, because even the lyrics themselves are somewhat dark, you feel like she’s speaking directly to you, and saying somebody loves you. To have two songs with similar messages back-to-back is very nice. Why can’t everybody do that too?

 I think she released this song at the beginning of the year, but it’s called “God Help Me” and I’m not very religious, but I do believe in a higher power and of course I pay at night or in the middle of the day, when somebody needs it for emergencies.  I like it, but I don’t love it because of my own reasons. I do enjoy the lyrics and the string section throughout the whole song, so that’s a plus! We move on to “I’m Not Alone” and it has this whimsical/dream vibe going on, I thought it would be only at the introduction but it just continued on. It’s good though! It’s kind of short though, I wanted it to be a little longer! Next there’s “Human” and the lyrics are pretty, but the sound itself is louder, but I don’t exactly hate it for being that way. It definitely has more an alternative rock sound to it.

These are the last three songs of the album, starting with “Fight For You” and we’re back on the playful train. This is such a fun little beat. I instantly had different summertime pictures pop into my head while listening to it, which is weird because it’s not that kind of song, but the beat created those images in my head. The lyrics are so catchy, they’re also caring and sweet. I really enjoy the ukulele outro with Tiffany singing the chorus with just that sound. It just made that summer feeling real for me! “Acrobat” is next and this has a pop oriented sound, but I like the imagery with this one. It’s a nice song to casually listen to. Lastly, we have “Sleepwalking” and I like the fact that this is so slow. I like the soft quality of it, with the piano and violins towards the second verse. It’s just so beautiful!

I really liked this album. I know it’s not very smart to compare albums with each other, but I actually didn’t really like E that much. I think, maybe because I knew it would be more of a Christian music type of album, then a casual alternative pop-rock collection of songs. So to me, this has more of what I liked about NYN and maybe I’ll want to go back to it now and again to re-listen to certain songs, I mean to me, that’s kind of the whole goal to an album.

Have you listened to Plumb’s new record yet? What were your thoughts about it?

snowflake

Album Review: “Modern Alchemy” by Zayde Wolf

34880138_1296168613848824_1392279993358221312_nYou guys know how much I love my dark alternative music; artists like Banks and Verite, are like my guilty pleasures, so that fact that there’s a male artist with that same flare is kind of cool and interesting.

Earlier this month Zayde Wolf released a new album called “Modern Alchemy” which the title alone, sounds freaking cool! I am very curious to see what we would hear on this release, because when this came out, I only listened to one song because I needed to make sure I had made up my mind about whether or not I wanted to review this. The album has a total of thirteen songs, and as far as I know, no other artists are featured on it.

The first song we start off is “Dangerous” and I liked this. I think it’s more pop oriented than I thought it was going to be, but honestly I really liked it for that though. It wasn’t overwhelming in any way, and has a great groove to dance along. Next is “No Mercy” and its a little sexy but sharp tone. I think it has an interesting indie rock vibe going on, but I really like the combination the darkness it brings. Third is “Next Level” and this one is a little bit more mellow compared to the first two songs. I think it has more of an urban feel to it, full of attitude kind of track! I feel like people could have a lot of fun dancing to this song, because it has that perfect adventurous atmosphere from the moment it starts to finish.

Considering we started on such a high note, it’s nice to see that “Won’t Ever Let You Go” has a totally different sound. It makes me think of summertime, full of youth–not calling myself old or anything–and wanting to fun all of the time with friends and in life. I really like it. Next there’s “Do What We Wanna Do” and the fusion of alternative and cinematic is strong with this one. However, it’s not as intense, but I’m okay with that. It has a party anthem sound to it, but it’s not at all in your face, claiming the title off the bat, type of songs and I think that’s why I like it a little more than I thought I would. This next one is right up my alley. I love a bold introduction and this definitely has it. Of course, this is called “Gladiator” and it has such a strong, motivational outlook to it. I just love it so much!

I always love how certain words can excite me and something about “The Crown” made me really pumped, and I was right with my thinking because this is great! You have that dark cinematic tone coming alive in this! It’s so action packed, but I’m always so worried that the lyrics will get lost with having such an intense sound included, but Zayde’s voice isn’t in a “cocky” tone, so it’s a nice medium. So good! The eighth song is “Billionaires” and since I’m in the middle of Arrow, I instantly thought of Oliver Green, but then I realized he was a millionaire, not the other one! Anyways, I am conflicted by it as a whole. As much as I just wanted a softer track, because usually once we get to a certain section of an album, we finally start hearing ballads, but not yet for this. However, it’s another summer type of song, so it has that perfect lighter sound but has a feel good vibe to it. I don’t know, it’s interesting, in a good way!

The last five songs start with “Higher Than High” and again, the mellow beat is in full force, but surprisingly I’m not over it. I’m not exactly thinking of “summer” while listening to it, but since I’ve been dealing with a number of emotional things at the moment, it gave me a sense of calm, which is really nice! You don’t have too many of those songs nowadays, or at least I don’t! Next there’s “Rule The World” and we’re back on the cinematic kick! I’m not going to lie, I would have been disappointment if it didn’t have a kick-ass beat to go with that title! I really, really love the fact that there’s drum solo on this sucker, like yes! It gives it a totally different flare, it actually brings everything out. What I think is interesting is that it brings out that fighter in the listener, at least the phoenix inside of me was awakened, even if only for three minutes and twelve seconds. I always want these types of songs to be longer!

I have to say, I was really curious about “Breathing Oxygen” I didn’t want to guess on how it would say, even though I really wanted to! I like the fact that you can find the rhythm almost instantly. It has a nice groove to it and just has thought perfect notes to it. I really like the breakdown, it’s intense with the semi-slow sections of the beat.

“Animal” is next and you have this ominous introduction but then it kind of shifts to this mellow beat. It never quite changes when you want it to, but then again it’s not that bad! I think anybody who enjoys cinematic music like me will like that it’s not following the normal standards of the other songs of the genre. It’s unique and I really enjoy the drums in it, so I can live with that.  Lastly, we have “Take A Look At This” and we somehow went back to pop music. I seriously thought I was listening to Justin Timberlake when this first started like no joke. I like being able to dance to it and the fact that it’s asking you to pay attention to it. It’s a fun song and that’s what makes me love it so much!

I will say this and I swear to goodness that I don’t take this lightly, but I seriously LOVED this album like wholeheartedly! Every song was so good. There wasn’t anything that I can pinpoint that I hated and wanted to change, and that rarely happens to any of the albums I listen to! If I had money and obviously a stereo system, I would buy the album and listen to it proudly on full blast, that’s how much I loved it!

Have you heard of Zayde Wolf’s “Modern Alchemy” yet? If so, what were your thoughts and favorite(s)?

snowflake

Album Review: “Svrcina” by Svrcina

15492305_1319308094800184_7204047501463654602_nToday’s review is about an artist that has lend her voice on Tommee Profitt’s music in the past couple of years! Svrcina is like many singer-songwriters of the age, where they don’t usually release a full on album, where it’s like 12 songs of brand new material, they only put out a few songs a year. It’s periodically, but it’s where we are in the music industry where people would rather buy one single at a time. She recently released an eight track album during the last full week of March, and I’m happy to talk about it with you!

On her Facebook, it says that she does “alternative, ambient pop, and electronic” and that has become a favorite combination of mine in the past few years, so she has the upper hand already! The first song is “Whispers” and I really like the pop-y beat, it’s light and airy, but not obnoxious, so right out of the gate you get a nice dance track with a soft voice and catchy lyrics. Next is “Steady” and you instantly get that ambient vibe with that introduction of popping, the first thing that came to me was it’s like bubbles popping! It has a chilled, ambient and electric beat to it that I found to be really fun! Svrcina has this voice where it sounds so powerful and sweet at the same time. You get this loving vibe all around on this one. It’s becoming one of my favorites!

Third is “Who Are You” which will come back to us in a remix later on, but now we have the original version and I absolutely this jungle or over-worldly sound you immediately hear when it starts. It keeps you guessing and it’s definitely a great cinematic track. I had to look back through my reviews of Tommee Profitt’s albums to make sure I hadn’t talked about it before, but nope, this is a new track. I can’t say for sure that Tommee produce it, just because it has a cinematic vibe going on, doesn’t always mean anything. And then after that heavy hitter, we slow it down with “Astronomical” and from the moment I wrote it out on my note pad, I knew this one would be interesting no matter what. I really love the gentle storytelling, her voice is very easy going and the piano matches it so well. It’s just beautiful!

Now we move on to “Deeper” and it has this zigzag beat that makes it seem like it could be a regular pop track. but then you have all of these different elements. You have the first sounds you were introduced to, and then you have an acoustic guitar with an light dance beat on top of it. What blows my mind that even though I wasn’t really hearing the actual words of the song, I was really into it and it wasn’t even overwhelming either! Sixth is “Island” and this was another one I was really curious about, and I really love it. You really only hear her voice, but it’s almost dreamy like she’s floating out into the abyss, singing out her troubles.  It’s absolutely gorgeous!

These will be the last two songs of the album, starting with “Sweeter Place” and this has another ballad, but as much as it does have that space-y vibe that the other two tracks had, this one is completely unique. You can hear her emotion, the rawness of it, is so loud. The beat itself does increase, but not in such a way that you lose the gentle atmosphere. I like it, but not as much as I thought I would, but I will grow into it. And remember when I said we’ll  be seeing “Who You Are” again, this is a remix of it by Russ Macklin and I actually don’t like it. I felt like he downgraded it from its original state, but I guess there’s only so many ways to remix such a jam-packed track like that, so I can’t say I hate it, but it’s definitely my least favorite out of the full thing.

I was very surprised with this. I didn’t think that I would like almost every song, but I do. Once I found out what kind of music Svrcina actually makes, it did make things easier to do this. I’ve also been in a different mindset lately, so I actually liked the ballads a lot more, I am usually a lot harder to impress but whenever I get in these moods I feel like I need all of the dreamscape-ballads I can find at that point of time. Overall, I thought it was a great release, and if you don’t mind I’m going to go listen to her other singles on her Spotify profile.

Have you listened to Svcrina’s debut album yet? If you have, what are some of your favorites? Are there any other alternative artists you think I should listen to? Let me know below!