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Monthly Archives: August 2012

Amanda McCarthy – Cleanest Dirty Look (Ten Point Records)

The Internet is a wonderful tool that let’s you discover some amazing talent, just like this artist Amanda McCarthy who is an amazing country singer songwriter from America who has released one of the most exciting debut albums for an up and coming artist in a long time. The opening track Bad Habit starts off the album with a bang, a song about bad habits and her vocals, songwriting and lyrics are really good. The band is excellent and is a good toe tapping song that shines. Chevrolet has good musicianship, good vocals and lyrics. Production and songwriting by Amanda is first class. It’s a good song that I could see radio taking a shine to it. Fishin’ Tonight is co written the producer Curt Ryle and is a solid country tune, got great lyrics and musicianship, Amanda vocals are solid, has the same kind of feel as the first track. That’s Gotta Hurt is written by Mark McGuinn & Bobby Boyd is a solid tune with great vocals, musicianship and lyrics. The use of backing vocals are a solid touch. It’s a really catchy country tune. The electric guitar playing like the rest of the album is excellent. Memory Like You, is one of the strongest song, and really does show of Amanda McCarthy songwriting, its a ballad. The lyrics and vocals are solid and the musicianship is on this song is amazing. I could see this being a hit for her. Cleanest Dirty Look is the title track off the album, this is another radio hit as well for me, The songwriting by Amanda is excellent, so is the vocals and lyrics. This song has a bit of an edge to it. It’s catchy and well written. Burn is another song wrote with Curt Ryle and is another catchy track, the lyrics, vocals and musicianship are excellent. There With You, is another good song written by Amanda, good vocals and musicianship, the use of the fiddle through out the album is used very nicely and really does compliment the songs. Get Over It is written by Curt Ryle & Brittany Allen, another good tune, Amanda fine voice alongside a killer band is a winner of track, it’s a well written track and it’s pretty catchy and backing vocals are a nice touch. Highway 65 is another catchy well written track by Amanda and has good lyrics, solid vocals and musicianship. Finishes off the album on a high note. This is a first rate debut album for an up and coming country musician, Amanda should be proud of this, her songwriting is excellent. This is seriously one of my albums of the year. Give this a listen and see why you will be hearing about her in a big way.

Drawn From Bees

Drawn From Bees are a talented queensland band who are doing things. They are releasing some new material and I wanted to know more so please read on.

http://www.drawnfrombees.com/

1. How did the band form?

At the end of a bottle of Whisky at Brisbane’s Troubadour early one Sunday Morning.

2. What was the inspiration for the latest album?
 
We spent about two years in the recording process and it changed a lot over that time, so I cannot recall what our original intention was other than to challenge ourselves. Each song on the album is a narrative of sorts – some are political, others are about love and loss; some of them come from experiences in our normal day-to-day lives. Then we patched it together in about May this year and it seemed to have a cohesive shape. I think albums have some life of their own beyond the creators’ intentions.
 
3. What was the recording process like compared to the last albums?

It was a much longer process but I (Raven) enjoyed it. For about a year I was in Melbourne, separate from the rest of the band, and we would email ideas back and forth. It was an unusual way to work – sometimes the isolation from the rest of the band helped and other times I missed having someone in the room to bounce ideas off.

4. How did it feel to get a touring grant to tour the album?

Great! Qho could not be thankful for the support and opportunity to tour the East Coast?

5. What is The Ballad of Running Bear single about?

It is Drawn from Bees’ answer to Johnny Preston’s original of the same name. However, we wrote an entirely different song and approached the narrative in a different way. It is a great story; a timeless myth.

6. Who have you enjoyed playing with recently?

We haven’t played for a long time but we did a gig with Emperors recently, which was really great and we played with our friends, The Slow Push, at our single launch a few months back. Both great bands!

7.  What was the idea behind having a special performance if you spend $200 get all versions of the album?

We wanted to do something different – the launch is going to be a narrative with projections and a mini-orchestra. It is an experiment we look forward to (hopefully) pulling off.

8. How does social networking help the band?

It gives my horse, Johnny Snow, a break from the extensive letter box drops we did in the pre-My-Twitter-Face era. He just chills out in his paddock now and we ride for fun these days.

9. If you could work with any one who would it be?

Terry Gilliam – I would like to play a weirdo in one of his moves. If I was restricted to musicians then I would like to write some songs with the Ghost of Rowland S. Howard.

10. Any plans to go overseas and tour?

Not on the horizon at present but we’ve done it before and had the time of our lives. We’d love to get back to the UK, Canada and the States. 


Emma Hamilton

I first discover Emma music in a record shop last year after purchasing La Musique and fell in love with what I heard.  I liked her album so much I made it one of my top local releases of the year on my site best of list and she will no doubt be on my list this year again. I interviewed last year but I wanted to find out more from this amazingly beautiful talented artist and what she has been up to recently, so read on.

http://www.emmahamilton.com/

1. What was it like to tour with Tommy Emmanuel?

Touring with
Tommy Emmanuel was definitely a career highlight! I have been a big fan
of his since I was a child, and to share the stage with him was magical!
He is an incredible musician, and we got to hear some great stories on
the road and got to watch his show every night. He is also incredibly
generous by offering Australian artists such as myself to perform in new
territories like Russia which I had never been to before.

2. Was it a good experience touring in Europe?

It
was amazing performing in Europe. Tommy is such a super star so each
night we got to perform in little arenas and opera houses! The audiences
are incredibly attentive, and in Russia they throw roses at you!

3. How is different to touring Australia?

Australian
audiences are fantastic too, however European ones and especially
Russian audiences are pretty wild and passionate! People are incredibly
generous with their applause over there!

4. What has been your favorite show to date?

Well
one of my all time favourite shows to date was one we did with Tommy in
Russia in Moscow at The International House of Music! I got the play a
16 foot Steinway which was just the most beautiful instrument I have
ever played! The actual space was spectacular and looked a lot like the
Sydney Opera house! It was especially great when Tommy invited us to
sing a couple of songs with him!

5. What will be your new album about?

Well,
I have just recently finished recording a new EP of 5 of my new
original songs. My music is a lot edgier than it was before, and my
brother Tom produced it, and we have pushed our boundaries a lot more by
including some electronic instruments, lots of vocal overdubbing, and
there is even a guest appearance by Tommy Emmanuel of one of the tracks.

6. What inspires you when writing songs?

I
try and always write from my own experiences, and I like to experiement
with different types of musical genres. I often draw on retro sounds,
and my songs often include jazz chord progressions. I usually get an
idea in my head, then I need to run to the piano to work it all out.

7. What venue do you enjoy playing the most?

There
are so many great venues, but one I particullarly love is in Melbourne
called The Paris Jazz Club which is a tiny venue in the heart of the
city, and has great memorabilia all over the place and a cute little
stage with red velvet curtains! I love that place.

8. Who would you most like to work with?

Well,
on of my dreams is coming true very soon, as I will be opening for Tim
Freedman in September on the 15th in Sydney. I have always really
enjoyed his songwriting style, and I love his piano playing and his
voice!

9. If you could have anybody in a video clip who would it be?

Michael Jackson!

10. What’s next for yourself?

Well, I have more tour dates coming up, and will be doing some more shows in Berlin next year which I am really excited about !!

Amanda McCarthy

 

Amanda McCarthy is a talented American Country singer songwriter, who music I dug when I first heard it, so naturally an interview was a must so read on.

http://www.amandamccarthymusic.com/

1. How did did you get into music?

1. I have been singing for as long as I can remember. I grew up on
vintage country music records, from Waylon Jennings to Dolly Parton, and
I knew I wanted to be a country artist at some point in my life.

2. What has been the highlight so far?

2. So far, I have met some really great people, and one of those great
individuals is Billy Davis, who works a lot in the music industry with
his brother Chip. They are pretty well known, and have some great cuts
of their own. A few of us were sitting around the studio talking, and I
remember Billy saying, "You’ve got this. If you want it, and you are
willing to put it before anything else in your life, you could have that
chance." It flicked a switch in my brain, and I thought to myself, "Did
he just say that? To me? These guys are friends with Dolly Parton, and
they think I’m cool? No way." But it was true, and Billy’s words haven’t
left my mind. There are a lot of things to achieve in the music
industry, and there are even more things to give up. It all comes down
to this: how bad do you want it?

3. How did the recording process for the album go?

3. The recording process was unlike anything I’ve ever done before.
Sure, I had recorded in a small studio near home, but it was
incomparable to the experience in Music City. I recorded my debut album,
Cleanest Dirty Look, at the Rukkus Room in Nashville, TN. On my very
first day in the studio, the band gathered around to introduce
themselves, and at that moment, I realized this band was one to be
reckoned with. I was about to record with a keyboard player who played
for Dolly Parton; a drummer, who set the beat for Big & Rich; a
guitarist, who has played on countless records, along with the fiddle
player, bass player, dobro player, and violinist. It was a surreal
moment to say the least. We all had so much fun making this record. The
studio was a happy place, filled with jokes and laughter.

4. What inspires you when writing music?

4. When I write, I go to another place in my mind. It’s as if everything
in my head comes together to make a song. I listen to all kinds of
music to kick start my inspiration. I like the attitude of rock ‘n roll;
the soul of blues; and the heart of country music. Combining them is
the art that I like to create. It’s no longer just a thought in my head,
it is a story, with music. It is a song.

5. What was the inspiration for the album?

5. This album is my first "big" accomplishment in the music industry,
and it is everything I could want my first album to be. I wanted it to
display an image of traditional country music, and songs that
appropriately "kick ass". There are songs about heartache and cheating,
and there are songs about pick up trucks and causing trouble. The way I
see it, we all like to live out a fantasy when we listen to music. Maybe
we didn’t actually sneak out of the house. Maybe we didn’t actually run
away to California and get a tattoo. But it sounds cool, right? That’s
the kind of thought I had when writing my first single, There With You.
It takes you to another place, even if you’ve never been there. Then
again, maybe you have.

6. Who have you enjoyed playing with recently?

6. I recently played a show with a great artist from Massachusetts, C.J.
Field. Him and his band are great guys, who play great country music. I
also opened for the band Flynnville Train, who just got back from a
tour in Poland. They are incredible. If you love southern rock, and
classic rock, give them a listen. 

7. What it is the scene like where you are from?

7. I’m from a small town in New Hampshire, on the border of Vermont,
USA. If you take a ride through my hometown, you will see farms and
tractors. Around here, we pay attention to "who has the biggest truck",
or "who got the most deer". It’s not about fashion, or becoming a
pop-star. It’s about working hard to build a life for yourself, and your
family. The way of life around here has been a huge, yet sub-conscious,
inspiration for my music.

8. How has social networking helped your music?

8. Technology is our gateway to the future. It definitely helps artists,
and entertainers in general, because it allows us to show the world who
we are without paying a huge price for it. We can post videos and
songs, and pictures. It’s incredible if you really think about it.
Johnny Cash never had this kind of technology.

9. What advice could you give to some one wanting to give a career in a music a shot?

9. If you want to become a musician, full time, do it. I am a huge
believer in following your dreams, and making sure you do all that you
want to do before the clock runs out. However, before you make this big
decision, ask yourself these three questions. 1) How much are you
willing to sacrifice? 2) How much are you willing to spend? and 3) How
much do you love it?

10. Who would you most like to work with or play with?

10. I love writing and performing with other artists, it really doesn’t
matter how "famous" they are, there is a lot of talent out there! If I
had the chance though, I would love to perform with Brantley Gilbert. I
think his music is one of a kind. He is a fan of Steve Earle, as am I,
so it would be cool to sing an old Steve Earle song with him. He is
close to a friend of mine, and fellow artist, Rachel Farley, who says
nothing but good things about his music and personality.

11. How has radio and the media received the album?

11. So far, everyone has given me positive feedback. Right now, it’s just a matter of getting the word out!

12. What is next for yourself?

12. The next step. I’m not sure what it will bring, but I know that I
will always be singing, performing, and writing. Whether the next step
is writing a number one hit, or simply playing in a bar, I will be
happy.

 

Chelsey Crisp

Chelsey Crisp is an american actor who work I came across and liked. So read on find out what she doing and has been up to. 

http://www.chelseycrisp.com/

 
1) What has been your favorite role to date?
Way
to kick it off with the hard-hitting questions, Chris! Wow, this is
hard to choose. I’m going to go way back in the history books for this
one and say Sandy in “Grease” at my high school. I think I learned
everything I needed to know about a life in this business during that
show (though I didn’t know it at the time.) First, hard work reaps great
rewards. Second, acting makes a weird kid seem cool. Third, don’t date
anyone in the show with you. Fourth, poodle skirts aren’t for everyone.
Fifth, sticky tape on a halter top IS for everyone. Sixth, get ahold of
the practice track and use it so your solo doesn’t play in a key you
never knew existed. Seventh, always practice a stage slap before a
show. Eighth, my family will sit through anything and pretend to love
it. And finally, you lose a few people when you get a
lead role, but never any real friends. All in all, I walked away from
that show with a goal in life and I’m lucky enough to be working on it
today. 
2) What do you do to prepare for a role?
It
really depends on the project, but I usually start with research. I
like to know as much as I can about the project itself (who poured their
heart into this & why?) and then I dissect what’s on the page.  I
study everything from the large scale setting to the intricate
psychology of the character.  If that sounds like a but much, it
probably is; but I like to have a solid knowledge base to make character
choices from. Without that, I’m limited to assumptions and I don’t find
that I do my best work that way. 

3) Any techniques to remember lines?
I
wish I had a magical clue to help actors with this, but unfortunately I
don’t! When I research, I pull every lead from the lines, so I tend to
learn them quickly because of that. For me, it’s really about spending
the time picking and pulling the words apart; asking “why does this
person speak this way?” I geek out over dialects & vernacular, so
that feeds into it too. I think it’s so important for actors to remember
that writers labor over their words; they chose each one so
carefully.  I feel that the first step of an actor’s work is to respect
that and make sure those words are learned & performed verbatim.

4) How did you get involved with the film Reconciliation?
I
didn’t know anyone on this production before-hand, so I auditioned. 
When I first read the script, I suspected the writer was from Phoenix,
which is where I grew up.  It wasn’t necessarily set there, but I could
tell from some of the geographical descriptions that it was home &
that made me feel very connected to it.  As I kept reading and learning
more about the subject matter, I became even more emotionally involved. 
By the time I went to the last audition and met the director (Chad
Ahrendt), I knew I was in trouble! I usually don’t like to get that
attached to a project because you just never know what will & won’t
work out.  I met Eric Nenninger a few minutes before we went in to
audition together and after a quick chat we realized we’d gone through
the same acting program and had a lot of
teachers in common. That gave us a nice short-hand before going into
the room and the audition went smashingly.  The casting director was
sweet & supportive, Chad was really clear in his direction and Eric
was just dynamite. I was pretty happy when the call came that that would
be the team!
5) Did you enjoy working on the film?
I
loved it. As the movie itself is, the filming process was intense. We
shot it in two weeks and you have to have a magnificently dedicated crew
helmed by a really focused director to pull that off. Fortunately, we
did. Everyone on this film put everything they had into it and it’s won
so many awards now that it shows! I’m really proud of everyone on this
project; it was hard won. 

6) How has the internet helped with your career?
Most
casting happens online now, so that’s pretty key, but the options for
marketing, networking and content creation are endless.  From what I
understand, my agent uses my website to promote me more than he does any
of the online casting sites, so that’s a big part of my marketing. For
me personally, the internet is the easiest way to stay in touch with
people I’ve worked with. I always prefer in-person interactions, but
being able to stay up to date on Twitter and FB is amazing.  I had a
pretty big reality check this week when my email account was hacked and I
was virtually unable to run my business for a few days. It’s
unbelievable how much of our work is online now!
7) Do you think it’s a useful tool?
Definitely. 
I think the biggest change the internet has brought along is how easy
it is to produce and launch content.  With the availability of cameras
and online platforms, there’s no excuse anymore for not releasing
self-produced material. That’s changed the access level that
up-and-comers from all walks of production have to the industry.  Like
everything, there’s an up and down side to that reality, but in general,
if you have something to say, you can now find people who want to hear
it. 

8) What don’t you like about Hollywood?
The
traffic. Cliche, I know, but it’s only getting worse. Everything else
I’m used to now. You can hate this city or you can love it, but it’s
your choice. It’s not a tangible thing; it’s what you make of it. Of
course I’ve had my moments of being “too this” for a part or “not enough
that” for a different one, and those experiences are layered with
crazy-making confusion. However, I chose this business & I’m in it
for the long haul. It’s my responsibility to cope with and make the most
of the parts of the industry that are less than cuddly. 

9) How is theater different to you compared to screen work?
The
immediacy of theatre is a high unto itself.  On stage, you have an
extra character – the audience. You feel their energy, their laughs,
their tears and you work with that to create a full experience that’s
different every night. You have to create the whole world to live and
breathe within two hours.  On set, it’s the opposite; you are a part of a
world that will never be on camera. There are technical considerations
to every second of your performance, down to which one of your scene
mate’s eyes you look into. Coming from a theater background, that takes
some getting used to. At first, it felt insanely limiting &
constrictive to be married to every single choice you make from the
first take. Once I adjusted to it and truly understood it, it was one of
the most liberating “a-ha!” moments I’ve ever had as an
actor. On-camera acting has the freedom and beauty of thought; you can
simply think something and it’ll read.  Plus, the process goes on
without you and you get re-visit it later after the magic of post
production. You get to be a part of the process and the audience.

10) Who have you enjoyed working with the most?
Chris,
I feel like you’re asking me to pick my favorite child! (I don’t have
kids, but you get the idea…) I actually just worked on a project that I
can’t really talk about yet and the cast & crew from it are my
favorite people on the planet right now. When it’s announced in a few
months, let’s do a follow-up interview & I’ll answer this better 🙂
11) What is on your stereo at the moment?
Musically,
Marc Broussard, but if we’re going to be honest here, I listen to a LOT
of talk radio (I’m a nerd); my main staples are POTUS politics and NPR.
I also love podcasts and a few of my favorites are WTF with Marc Maron (http://www.wtfpod.com/), Making It with Riki Lindhome(http://makingitriki.libsyn.com/) and and Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me (http://www.npr.org/programs/wait-wait-dont-tell-me/) These podcasts make all those hours
spent in traffic fly by! The first two offer great insight into Hollywood, so hopefully you guys will enjoy them.

12) What movies you have seen lately you have really enjoyed?
I’m
going to fully derail this question and go with a TV show; I am
addicted to Breaking Bad on AMC! It’s the most brilliantly
written/acted/directed/edited show I’ve ever seen and it’s stealing my
life away. I started it very late in the game (about 3 weeks ago) and
I’m working my way thought it in utter awe.  If you are reading this
right now and you want to skip the rest of my interview to go watch it
IMMEDIATELY, I won’t blame you.
13) What are your favorite movies?
Moulin
Rouge, Little Miss Sunshine, Garden State, Sideways, The Descendants,
the list could go on forever. I absolutely love films that handle real
world circumstances with levity, heart and their own unique tone. This
question may be easier to answer by saying favorite directors: Alexander
Payne, Baz Lurhmann, the Coen Brothers, Joss Whedon, etc. Also, I’m a
comedy nerd; sometimes I just want to laugh out loud and I keep an eye
on anything from powerhouses Adam McKay, Will Ferrell, Judd Apatow &
Ben Stiller for that. 

14) What is next for you?
My main focus right now is with my all-female improv troupe Duchess Riot (www.duchessriot.com)
These ladies just rock my world. We recently did a show at the Comedy
Central Stage in Hollywood & we’re prepping for another one. We’re
also developing some online content, so I can make good on all of my
soap-boxing from question #7 🙂 

15). Who would you most like to work with?
Joss
Whedon, hands down.  Even with the huge success of his many TV series, I
always felt like he was underestimated and I’m SO happy that this
summer cemented him as a force to be reckoned with! Thanks to The
Avengers, people really got to experience his storytelling (visually
& verbally) and his wicked sense of humor.  I think he is so gifted
and I’d love to work with him, especially because he writes such strong,
layered females roles. Who wouldn’t want to dive into one of those?!

Ok so haven’t done something like this since forever but this will be done on special ocassions or when I feel like it. But this weeks Babe Of The Week is gorgeous stunning all natural beauty College Student and Bartender Hannah Gappa.

I was blown away by her all natural beauty, she is an extremely beautiful women and a switched one at that.  Yes she done some modeling for a certain company, but she is going places with what she is doing. I can see Hannah Gappa going very far, and I will be looking forward to seeing what she does and supporting what she does.

You haven’t heard the last of Hannah and I know good things await her. 

Rival Sons – Head Down (Earache Records)

When I discovered Rival Sons a few months back I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, I got giddy, I got excited by music again and I couldn’t stop playing Pressure & Time for days and boy if you loved the last album, your going to love this one.  It’s a killer release, everything you dug from the last one is all here, killer vocals, solid musicianship, good lyrics plus solid production makes this a winner. The opening track Keep On Swinging kicks it off like a ton of bricks exploding, solid vocals, mixed with some excellent riffs and guitar playing plus Jay Buchanan solid voice are on fire. Wild Animal is a favorite of mine off the album; it’s a very catchy tune, solid musicianship mixed with some great vocals, You can feel the blues influences seeping thru the track and it just gives it something extra special to the track. You Want To has Jay singing on fire, his vocal range is incredible, he one of the best vocalist for a band I’ve heard in ages and this song just really shows off how good he is a vocalist.  It’s a very catchy groovy track and guitar playing is solid, there is a real strong blues influence in the bridge and it’s just good and of course Jay just is on fire. Until The Sun Comes has a real r&b influence to it, love the lyrics and the vocalist, the drumming is amazing. It’s just a catchy solid tune. Run From Revelation has a killer blues intro with solid drumming, Jay vocals and lyrics just are on fire.   Jordan is one of the big songs, it’s the anthem where Jay vocals just shine, it’s a slow crafted song but the band shows off it can write a song that will be timeless and classic in no time and they do it well.  All The Way is a little bluesy, even a little swampy but the way jay sings and the way the band performs it’s such a ripping track. The Heist is an awesome tune with solid lyrics and vocals. The band is on fire as they are with all of the tracks. Three Fingers has such a cool intro, love the guitar playing and the drumming is awesome, another pick off the album for me, love the lyrics. Nava is the instrumental track and shows of the musicianship of the band are a nice touch on the album which leads up to the song of Manifest Destiny which is done in two parts. It’s a song that reminds me a lot of another band the way the opening is structure to the way the vocals and band perform the song and it’s a little more darker almost than the other tracks, True is the last song on the CD, and has some amazing vocals by Jay and just a acoustic guitar and a really good way to finish off an album. I loved this album, it was like I was 13 years old again and discovering my first band, I got excited by music again. Make no mistake these guys are an amazing band. I love what they do. These guys deserve the success they are getting because what they do is so good. This is one of my albums of the year. Add this to your collection now.

Cybernetic Express

Cybernetic Express is an exciting new talent I discovered who is signed to Rubber Records. I love what I had heard and thought an interview was a must. So read on and find out more.

1. How did the project form?

It started by me just playing around in my home studio and seeing what came of it, as it all transpired quite naturally as i never really had to think about. From the outset i had a concept for this project in mind, which made every decision a lot easier as it felt i had some sort of boundary to what cybernetic express is.As it all just sort of flowed. My initial aim was  to make some  fun music that doesn’t take itself to serious whilst getting a chance for myself to play all the instruments without having to compromise for anyone. It was pure self indulgency at its finest, as i plugged in all my instruments and just went from one instrument  to another experimenting with what worked whilst purely enjoying the whole process.

2. How did you get signed to rubber records?

I had dealt with them previously and it feels a bit like home for me at rubber

3. Who have you enjoyed playing with recently?

Myself

4. How did the name came about?

I love the old funk band names such as bt express, as the cybernetic bit is the future and the express is taken from the old school, which sums up the bands sound of trying to make the old  fresh all over again.

5. What inspires you when writing music? 

I’m definitely inspired by early italian disco and synth disco which often has a bit to much melody. I also love vocals which have such a strong euro accent that often you cant even tell they are singing in english.The cheesier the better.I absolutely love all the crazy synths and sounds that were developed during italo disco’s peak period of the late 70’s and early 80’s.

6. What is the new song about?

‘love rocket’ is about joining the cybernetic express on a ride to save the earth from cyber terror.

7. How has social media helped you as an artist?

Its great for getting independent  music heard beyond your own borders and getting it into the land of cyber space.

8. What is next for yourself?

Getting the live band together and having to work out who plays what and who brings the oranges for half time.

9. If you could have any body into a video clip who would it be?

Michael Jackson doing a dance routine with some mad cyborgs/robots as backing dancers.

Natalie Gauci – Ha Ha Ha (The Gauci Records)

Natalie Gauci is back with her latest release, an amazing jazz album full of well written and performed and produced tracks. Only the Lonely shows off her vocals and songwriting, its starts off the album well, the use of horns is a nice touch. This is jazz at its finest. Running Away has good lyrics and musicianship, her vocals are on fire and I like the use of the drums on the track.  Free Falling has good use of beats and the use of piano is a good touch. Natalie has got a solid voice, she can really sing and her songwriting is excellent. It has a slight pop edge and adds to the tune. Aint Gonna Change is an upbeat jazz tune with solid use of the horns, her vocals shine does as her lyrics. It makes you feel like your in a Smokey jazz club and it’s a great track. Grow Up has a bit of tribal and pop flavors mixed into the track, I love the use of a group backing vocals into the mix and the use of strings is a nice classy touch, it’s a solid tune.  Save Tomorrow is one of my favorite tracks of the album, it’s a littlie funky, the use of strings is excellent, her vocals are on fire as is her lyrics.  Ha Ha Ha the title track is a good tune her vocals and lyrics are solid as is the musicianship. U has some excellent vocals, the use of piano and drums are solid. I love the use of echo on the vocals is good. Give You Up is a great track the musicianship, use of organ is all working well together here. Sex is a funky track use of cowbell and the way the vocals are performed are excellent.  Rush finishes off the album well and is another favorite off the album for me. The way the song is constructed and performed. Seriously this is a well produced, performed album. Natalie Gauci is an amazing talent, she can sing really well, she can write some excellent tunes and this really does show off her amazing talents and why she is good at what she does. Natalie is going from strength to strength and this album really does show it, this is one of my albums of the year so far.

Destine – Illuminate (Rude Records)

When I first heard about these guys, I knew I had to check them out and boy I heard something good, something really special and well these guys may have delivered one of the albums of the year for me. A masterpiece rock/pop album that delivers solid production, musicianship and first class vocals and lyrics. Also the artwork is stunning and really grabs your attention. The first song Four Leaf Clover shows off what the band is about, a well written catchy tune that could easily be played on radio and being a crowd favourite and plus one of my favorites off the album. Stay shows off the lyrics, the musicianship and the knack of crafting a killer tune. All The people is one of the big songs off the album. Shows off the melodies, the vocals and lyrics. The use of keys on the song is a nice touch, this song could be used for those big moments on TV and I could see this be one of their big hits It’s less rock and more pop and straight down the line, Its an anthem which they do well. Wait Forever is like the first track in song structure catchy well written and solid vocals and melodies and excellent musicianship. Thousand Miles has a great intro with the guitar playing and use of the keyboard done nicely and Robin vocals just perfectly used. Then the band comes in full flight and it all works together nicely. Its another anthem another radio hit in the making. Unbreakable has some excellent musicianship, vocals that shine and some excellent lyrics, it’s a catchy rocking tune that shows off the band. Night Skies has a great use of keyboard through out the track, band just work really well together and the solid production shines through out the song like it does with the rest of the album. Best Kept Secret has some excellent keyboard playing and the use of guitar alongside the vocals and keyboard are a solid touch. Then when the band comes in properly in full flight just truly works and alongside the good use of backing vocals is a plus. Its another song like pretty much all the songs that radio could pick up and play easily. It’s another pick off the album for me. The Awakening is another solid song, love the intro into the song and Robin Vocals shine. The end track Illuminate is an amazing song which also happens to be the title track off the album is a masterpiece, a song that could be a big hit for them. I reckon, the way the song opens with the keyboard and robin vocals the use of the guitar, drums and bass all work together well, this song shines, its an anthem, a hit in the making. Seriously this album is a masterpiece, a first class effort for a band who are going to be one of the next big things in music worldwide. Getting James Paul Wisner to produce the album was a great choice, the album sounds amazing. If you wanna hear an amazing album by an amazing band this one is it.