jazz

Brushstroke - One vs. One Review

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Debut album from Southwest Philadelphia multi-instrumentalist Eoin Murphy is like a well crafted mixed drink; icy sweet from the first sip with a lingering tension at the end of each gulp. Released under the pseudonym “Brushstroke,” this album paints a masterpiece from ear to ear. 

Ten songs come together to make up One vs. One, and they can be enjoyed on all major streaming platforms. If you consider yourself a listener who is hip to the artist-centric music streaming site Bandcamp, then you may have spotted One vs. One in their January edition of Bandcamp Weekly, where the website features new releases everyone should be hearing; otherwise a digital tip of the hat to Murphy from the Bandcamp family.

Check out the tracklist down below!

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One vs. One Tracklist:
1. Welcome
2. Tapestries
3. Tongue Tied
4. S.T.C.
5. Fall In Love (w J Dilla)
6. Mindgames
7. Fever Dreams
8. Sun Lens
9. Tomorrow
10. Thanks & Goodbye
 



It was the catchy single “Tapestries” that caught their attention, a song that has any listener singing along by the time the second chorus hits. The hook’s lyrics are filled with imagery and transport you to a hazy, blissful atmosphere layered with wispy guitar leads...

“Waitin on that dotted time
Drivin through the candlelight
Watching as the sun fades on the hill
I can feel this passin through
Maybe I’ll get back to you
Only after I see that blue
Tapestries of me and you”


Murphy’s voice tiptoes throughout the track, the longing for something he once had evident in his swooning vocal melodies. The lyricism feels impeccable, especially with lines like, “Drivin through the candlelight,” and, “Tapestries of me and you.”

Can you see it? The blurred horizon of driving through candlelight and two people weaving their relationship with each strand like a woven tapestry.

Tucked in the middle of One Vs. One, "Brushstroke" pays a homage to one of the most worshipped producers of our time, J Dilla. Murphy serves up his own rendition of the beloved tune “Fall In Love” and decides to strip the song of the beat entirely. This is a bold move to cover a Dilla tune, but he pulls it off gracefully. The cover starts out with simple guitar strums, eventually blooming into a multilayered masterpiece. The riff continues over and over again, trying to lull the listener into a peaceful dream.This record is a mature and powerful debut release from Brushstroke.

Not only are the songs catchy, but they highlight Murphy’s prowess as a guitarist, singer, and producer.

I cannot wait to hear what Brushstroke has in store for the future. In the meantime, of course, at least we have an entire album to jam to while we wait!Catch Brushstroke’s updates on their social media, or today, March 22nd at Bourbon & Branch right here in Philadelphia!

Brushstroke: Facebook // Instagram

Brother Martin - Led-Son Review

Photo:  Laura Jane Brubake

Photo:  Laura Jane Brubake

Jazz Fusion meets Indie Pop in Brother Martin's debut EP, Led-Son. The five track EP is a sweetheart of a release, one that will capture your heart from the moment you turn it on, so we suggest you turn that on.

With Led-Son being released back in January, the project includes Maria Mirenzi (vocals, baritone saxophone), Dan Espie (keyboard, vocals) , Jacob Kelberman (guitar), Jon Gruver (bass), and Austin Wagner (drums). Tracks 1-4 were recorded/mixed by Luke Shefski of Shefski Productions, and "Martin" was recorded/mastered live at Rittenhouse Soundworks by Michael Cumming, audio engineer. All of this hard work and effort has created an EP that often speaks for itself, whether that be in lyricism, performance, instrumentalism, or style. 

Check out the tracklist below to follow along!

Artwork: Margot Gatenby

Artwork: Margot Gatenby

Led-Son Tracklist:
1. Led-Son    
2. Describing Time
3. On Top of a Mountain
4. For Tomorrow
5. Martin

 

 

 

 

Opening title track is one that extends an open hand to the listener, it says "come in, you're safe here," and that is the only way I can explain my experience listening to Led-Son by Brother Martin. The entire EP is witty, light, soft and easy to listen to. Not once did I feel off put by any track on the EP, and I really dug Brother Martin's ability to change up their range and style while still staying in a sound vein that felt familiar and productive.

"Describing Time" slows us down from opening track "Led-Son" and let's you sink into the warmth that is Brother Martin. The use of the saxophone to follow the vocals is smart, well placed, and quite frankly makes me melt a little every time I listen to it. "On Top Of A Mountain" is a fantastic little diddy that brings back a euphoric joy and carelessness to Led-Son that makes it feel ethereal, thank you piano.

"For Tomorrow" dials down the theatrics and brings you back into orbit, and closing track "Martin" sweeps up the whole experience that Led-Son was and packs it back up neatly where it came from. This sweet lil EP knows exactly what it's doing the whole way through, and it is a truly impressive put out for Brother Martin, seeing as the debut EP feels solid and put together. 

Honestly, this is just some good jams to simmer out too, and we recommend you do so. To follow Brother Martin and what they're up to, we've got their social media down below so you don't miss a single moment!

Brother Martin: Facebook // Instagram // Website

Juice Wax - Don't Eat Me Review

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I love living in Philadelphia because of the music, let's get that straight from the get-go. It's a never ending stream of soulful, funky euphoria that I want to always be trapped in. That's where our latest music kick comes in, Juice Wax, who have quickly claimed a place in our top 5 listening for the month!

According to the band the group started as Jessie Wexler and Rosalie Swana writing songs and performing acoustic performances, which then evolved into a group that combines a live and electronic setting into one experience. The group quickly included Jonah Christian (guitar), Jake Taenzler (bass), and Spenser Forwood (drums). Juice Wax released their debut EP, Don't Eat Me, in July of this year! The 6-track EP is a collection of tracks that range from short to long, but all embody a disoriented jazz infused manifesto that oozes out of all the spaces it inhabits. The record also features guest horn performances by John Swana, Randy Kapralick, and Chris Farr.

Check out the tracklist below to follow along!

Don't Eat Me Tracklist:
1. This Way I Feel
2. I Think I'm Thinking, Again
3. Dapem Dadio
4. Share 
5. See Far
6. Bluff

 

 

"This Way I Feel" opens up the EP as a disorienting chant - it welcomes the listener in to the escape that Don't Eat Me presents itself as. It is also the shortest track on the album, perhaps preparing you for "I Think I'm Thinking Again" which seems to be one of the heavy weights of the album. It competes with closing track "Bluff" both in length (7+ minutes vs 8+ minutes) and also as two of the most concise tracks on the album. They show off Swana's velveteen voice against the dreamy seascape of instruments. "Share" had been previously released as a single earlier in July, and is a comfortable track that sits nicely in the middle of the album to balance it out.

Otherwise, other tracks are going to be much more instrumentally influenced rather than "sing-song" type. This makes this album perfect to put on while the world falls apart, in my opinion at least.

Juice Wax are melding a few different genres together to create something really cool and exciting. As a listener, I can't wait to hear what's next from them. Where else can they take me with just a soft horn? The possibilities are endless, honestly. If you dig this stuff, which we're hoping you do, you should check out their social media links below to always stay up to date on what Juice Wax is up to!

As always thanks for reading!

Juice Wax: Facebook // Bandcamp

Dan Amato & The Sentimental Gentlemen - Homecoming Review

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First of all, I love the band name. It rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it? Dan Amato & The Sentimental Gentlemen. It’s fun to say.

These guys recently put out their debut EP, Homecoming. They’re a mix of blues, rock, jazz and soul, hailing from West Long Branch, New Jersey. Homecoming is a 6-track album that introduces their style to the world in a way that ensures they won’t be easily forgotten. I was way into this EP right off the bat. They’ve got saxophones. They’ve got keyboards. They’ve got some fantastic beats. This is music that you’re gonna want to dance to. It’s impossible not to move to it. It’s catchy, it’s infectious, it’s wonderful. I love some good jazz, and Dan Amato & The Sentimental Gentlemen put a spin on the genre that gives them a unique element and an original style.

Check out their tracklist below to follow along!

Homecoming Tracklist:
1. Old Fashioned Way
2. Miss Psychopath
3. Roosevelt
4. Next Time You Need Me
5. Beautiful to Me ‘17
6. Hometown Girl ‘17

 

 

 

 

My favorite song is the first, “Old Fashioned Way.” At first I thought I was watching an episode of SNL, because it starts off with that hook “Ladies and gentlemen, live from Brooklyn, New York. . .” But then the music starts, and I was pulled immediately into the song. It’s a footloose kind of track that had me nodding my head along with it, wishing I was standing up and dancing around the room. The first two songs are pretty similar in that aspect before the album transitions to a slower vibe.

The music changes a little, variations to keep the album upbeat and interesting, but I wonder what the album could do to feel more interesting to listeners at times. What could Dan Amato & The Sentimental Gentleman do more or less of to make music in the future stand out more. Of course Homecoming is great though. It has that special something that makes Dan Amato & The Sentimental Gentlemen who they are, a something that carries throughout the whole album. 

These guys are talented, and I feel like they’d also be a great band to see live. Their music is the type that you’re gonna want to be present and in the moment for. Listen to Homecoming now and see what I’m talking about, and keep up with Dan Amato & The Sentimental Gentlemen (say that 5 times fast) on social media down below!

Dan Amato & The Sentimental Gentlemen: Facebook // Spotify
 

Shawn and Kira - Unexpected Album Review

Out of West Chester, PA comes singer/songwriter duo Shawn and Kira. Shawn and Kira are a pop duo consisting of multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Shawn O'Donnell along with vocalist Kira Clements! The pair are celebrating the release of their debut EP, Unexpected, which dropped May 16th of this year!

The four track EP is a sweet, sensitive little diddy of a collection, one you definitely want to get your hands on this summer. Shawn & Kira are a duo that bring to life this beautiful fusion of singer/songwriter emotion, surf rock fun, and hints of jazz to keep it neat. 

Check out the tracklist below to keep up!

Unexpected Tracklist:
1. Unexpected
2. P.D.A. 03:35
3. You're My Shelter 03:25
4. Oh, The Places You'll Go! 03:37

 

 

 

 


Opening title track is the perfect 'hello' to listeners.

The fun, sensitive track drops listeners into the world that is Shawn and Kira. The duo bring together a romantic type of diddy into each of the tracks they bring forth. The instrumental background for all 4 tracks is strong, carrying the songs against the beating of the voices. Their voices juxtapose one another in an interesting way, some of which feels successful, and other of which I hoped for a bit more.

Tracks like "Unexpected" and "Oh, The Places You'll Go," feel strong for Shawn and Kira. The songs bookend the EP, which makes sense. Shawn's guitar highlights "Unexpected" with just the right amount of quirky come through. Kira's voice grounds the track in the thickness of her vocal addition. "P.D.A." and "You're My Shelter" felt the most incomplete to me on the EP. I wonder if Shawn and Kira could put some more work into tracks that would compliment not only their own voices, but the duo in a more productive way. 

Check out our EP favorite, "Unexpected," below!

Overall, this sweet lil' EP has tons to offer and you should definitely check it out. To keep up with Shawn and Kira, check out their social media down below, and as always thanks for reading!

Shawn and Kira: Website // YouTube // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram