Adam Lytle – “This is the Fire” (Album Stream)

Adam Lytle

Today I’m excited to announce that singer-songwriter Adam Lytle has released his new LP called This is the Fire. Adam Lytle writes songs that explore the darker regions of the heart. When speaking on his new record, Lytle shared, I wanted to write in a way that spoke to the feelings of anxiety and disillusionment that many in my community are feeling. This is anti-escapism. It meets the issues head-on.Known for the mysterious power of his live performances, Lytle honed his craft for years leading acclaimed bands, Quicksilver Daydream and Wild Leaves. He has won over crowds all across North America; sharing the stage with Marlon Williams, Daniel Romano, Imarhan, and appearing at festivals like NXNE, MidPoint Music Festival, and CMJ. If you’re enjoying the album stream, please consider supporting this talented artist here.

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Interview: Thomas Nicholas Band

Thomas Nicholas

Recently I was able to schedule an interview with actor/musician, Thomas Nicholas, who will be releasing an album next year via SBÄM. In this conversation, I asked Thomas about his great, energetic new single called, “Tomorrow’s Gonna Hurt” and the inspiration behind it, his recent collaborations with musicians like Jaret Reddick of Bowling For Soup, and the difference in how prepares for film roles versus making albums.

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Hallie Spoor – “Heart Like Thunder” (Album Stream)

Hallie Spoor

Today is a great day to get reacquainted with modern folk artist, Hallie Spoor. Her new EP, Heart Like Thunder, has now been released, and her sound channels 70’s music stalwarts like Joni Mitchell, but with the modern pop sheen of Sheryl Crow. When speaking on the direction of her new EP, Spoor shared:

Heart Like Thundertells the painful truth that when things get difficult, sometimes it’s easier to slip away than try. Yet, ironically, writing and recording Heart Like Thunder allowed me to do just the opposite: to live authentically, to rewrite my stories in their purest, truest versions. When I look at this record as a whole, I realize that I’m much more honest — and far wiser — in songs about my life than I am in my real life. Writing these songs gave me the chance to re-frame experiences in a way that healed me. In place of villains and martyrs, now I could see the characters as both flawed and beautiful.

Hallie Spoor is delivering the goods in more ways than one.

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Endearments – “Selfish” (Song Premiere)


Today I’m thrilled to bring everyone the latest taste of Endearments, called “Selfish.” Though Endearments’ new forthcoming EP, It Can Be Like This, largely pivots away from the angstier subject matter of the band’s earlier releases, the onset of new love nonetheless yields its own unexpected ambivalence. The band’s latest single, “Selfish,” cuts celebration with caution, as front-man Kevin Marksson grapples with what he calls, “the liminal space before anyone has said ‘I love you,’” where excitement is laced with fragility and the past still looms. Carried by drummer Will Haywood Smith’s steady groove and guitarist Anjali Nair’s staccato-picked leads, “Selfish” builds to a rapturous bridge — “Would it hurt me if you say you love me?” — that explodes with a gust of Nair’s distorted guitar. The EP’s emotional core, “Selfish” climaxes in a falsetto final chorus, with moments of intimate candor criss-crossing questions of readiness to love again. If you’re enjoying the latest single by this talented band, please consider pre-ordering the EP at their Bandcamp page.

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Interview: Dan Marsala and Ryan Phillips of Story of the Year

Story of the Year

Recently I was able to schedule a Zoom call to connect with Story of the Year members, Dan Marsala (vocals) and Ryan Phillips (guitar), to discuss their memories of recording and writing the now 20-year old album Page Avenue. I also asked the band members about other album anniversaries coming up, including In The Wake of Determination, and their plans for celebrating these key milestones. The band is currently touring in support of the 20th anniversary of Page Avenue, and they have released several merch items on their webstore to celebrate.

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Wilson Getchell – “This To That” (Album Stream)


Today I’m thrilled to share with everyone that Thirsty Curses’ front-man, Wilson Getchell, is releasing his debut EP called This To That on October 13th. This To That opens with the puerile and playful coming of age tune, “Brand New Nintendo,” in which Getchell humorously retraces his life’s missteps, and ponders the resulting twists and turns. It’s followed by the Pavement-esque “This Just Might Take Some Time,” a cathartic post-breakup anthem with a banging saxophone solo, and then the toe-tapper “Trauma Queen.” The EP is rounded out by the existential crisis themed “Fifty Straight Nights,” and the ballad “Are You Still There?”, an orchestral-ish rearrangement of a tune which previously appeared on Thirsty Curses’ To The Ends of The Earth. Getchell shared, “Earlier this year, my band Thirsty Curses took a couple months off and I started recording a handful of songs which ultimately became This to That. When we’ve recorded Thirsty Curses material in the past, we’ve always tried to present the songs in the same way we would perform them live. This solo EP was much more of a studio record which allowed me to explore some different sounds and instrumentation. I performed all the instruments on the new EP with the exception of guest appearances by Jason Froeber (saxophone on “This Just Might Take Some Time” and “Trauma Queen”), Tee Corbett (trumpet on “Brand New Nintendo”), and Lodge McCammon (cello and bass on “Are You Still There?”). I think the new tunes came out pretty great and I’m excited to finally get to share them.” If you’re enjoying the early listen, please consider purchasing the EP.

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Review: The Menzingers – Some Of It Was True

The Philadelphia-based punk rockers, The Menzingers, are showing no signs of slowing down on their great seventh studio album called Some Of It Was True. Produced by Brad Cook (Bon Iver, the War on Drugs, Waxahatchee), the album feels as reinvigorated as the band themselves, and highlights the band’s songwriting improvements from moving away from more introspective songs to more worldly issues that affect the lives of everyone around us. While their last record, Hello Exile, was drenched in the cloud of COVID quarantines, Some Of It Was True finds The Menzingers reaching outside of their usual comfort zone of writing by expanding upon the ideas they’ve tinkered with over their storied career, and quite possibly, creating their most fully-realized work of art to date. This album was recorded at the legendary Sonic Ranch in the heart of El Paso, Texas, and this foursome utilized the strengths of producer Brad Cook to create a record that not only moves the needle of creativity further down the line for The Menzingers, but also makes for an ultra-memorable statement as one of the best albums of 2023.

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Review: As Good As It Gets – Some Fantastic

The latest EP from Kentucky two-piece pop rock band, As Good As It Gets, called Some Fantastic, is a love letter to the pop-punk bands we all grew up with like Weezer, Green Day and The Starting Line. While As Good As It Gets wear these influences proudly on their sleeves, Some Fantastic offers up some glimmers of a direction the band can take as they continue to develop their sound. Having formed in 2001, and releasing 3 EPs and 3 LPs during that period of time, As Good As It Gets are coming to terms for what works well for them, and they hone in on those elements on this record.

”Keep The Lights On” is a brash, pop-punk rocker that is in the same vein of punk rock bands like The Homeless Gospel Choir and Gob, while “Pushing Papers” finds the two-piece band adding in some well-placed piano/keys to expand upon their sound. The lyrical material covers the pitfalls of working a 9 to 5 job, and trying to make ends meet, all the while looking for those key parts of inspiration in their true love: music.

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Review: Barely Civil – “Coasting, Mostly”

The start of a new album cycle is always a thrilling process. Barely Civil have kicked things off on the right foot with their newest single, “Coasting, Mostly” that has a punk rock spirit, and highlights a more emotive side of the band. While their last record, I’ll Figure This Out, focused largely on the soft/loud dynamic in their sound that became popular during the emo boom of the 00’s, the latest single found here reignites the passion for this scene of music.

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Frank Viele – “Trying To Raise A Man” (Video Premiere)

Today is a great day to share that singer-songwriter Frank Viele has returned with a great new single and video for a song that’s sure to pull on all your heartstrings, called “Trying to Raise a Man.” When speaking on the track’s origins, Viele shared:

”Trying To Raise A Man” is a song that came from a place of honesty, gratitude, and perspective. It was written on the first Mother’s Day of my life I couldn’t be with my mother due to the pandemic and corresponding quarantine rules. Writing this song was my way of still being with her in my mind and heart that day. The way my young adult life panned out, it ended up me and mom versus the world at a real confusing age for me. It wasn’t until I got older that I started to realize just how hard it is to be a parent and as I grew up and conquered so many obstacles in front of me, I eventually realized how all that strength and perseverance that became synonymous with my character came directly from my mother and the sacrifices she made for me and my siblings.

If you’re ready to discover your next favorite artist, Frank Viele is here for you. I was also able to catch up with this talented songwriter for an interview below.

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Review: Someone Who Isn’t Me – Geoff Rickly

Addiction can be one of the most heart-breaking things you can see a loved one go through. Whether it’s seeing someone deal with a disease like alcoholism, or in the case of Geoff Rickly (the front-man of Thursday and No Devotion), it was heroin use. Rickly’s debut novel is called Someone Who Isn’t Me for a myriad of reasons in my interpretation of the book: he’s writing the book with a person named “Geoff” as a fictional character who just happens to be the front-man of a band called Thursday, he’s writing with the intention of replacing several key “character” names with different names, and most importantly, Geoff Rickly doesn’t recognize the person that he’s become. Someone Who Isn’t Me is riddled in tragedy, heartbreak, and luckily the real Geoff makes it out fairly unscathed in the process. As great of a lead singer and lyricist Geoff Rickly is, he is arguably a more talented writer on this loosely-based work of fiction that feels as raw as its likely intended to be.

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Review: Record Heat – Welcome To Record Heat Country

When I caught wind of Record Heat (previously known as Spirit Animal) recording their next album, I was immediately intrigued to see what this talented band would cook up. Welcome To Record Heat Country is a part-concept album about the wild west, part-Alt country much like classic rock bands like The Eagles, and part-rock and roll bliss. The band is comprised of lead vocalist Steve Cooper, lead guitarist Cal Stamp, and bassist Paul Michel, and their growth shown on this latest LP is pretty remarkable. Since the album came out in late September, to very little promotion, it’s been one of my “best-kept secrets” in the world of music. I often name-drop Record Heat to my friends looking for something unique in the music world, and this certainly fits the bill for creative music that is hard to describe without taking the time to absorb it after a few spins. Record Heat is what happens when you mix the rhythmic-rap driven Alternative Rock groove of Cake, the Country-tinged spirit of Fleetwood Mac, and the modern flair of The Struts.

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Mara Bloom – “They Who Invite” (Track-by-Track)

Mara Bloom

Today I’m excited to share with everyone the news that Hawaii post-hardcore band, Mara Bloom, have returned with their debut LP called They Who Invite. Along with a deeply evolved conceptual storytelling style, the new record also transcends the sonic bounds of the genre. Increasingly progressive elements are introduced with unusual song structures and winding referential lyrics. Influences of Japanese city pop and progressive metal riffs are abundant and tangible, creating an attention grabbing brand of modern hardcore. And while frenetic, the young quintet have crafted an astute songwriting, that glazes the top of a gripping rookie collection. The band breaks down the full album in an exclusive track-by-track below.

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Review: Coheed and Cambria – In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3

How exactly does a prog-emo band like Coheed and Cambria satisfy their rabid fan-base that was steadily growing by the day after the release of their debut, 2002’s The Second Stage Turbine Blade? The answer would be found by going even bigger and more grandiose. In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 was released 20 years ago via Equal Vision Records, and the expectations that fans, critics, and quote-unquote “gatekeepers of the scene” would all be blown into oblivion on Coheed’s sophomore LP. While Coheed and Cambria may have never fit the mold of the Warped Tour band-label back in the early 00’s, the scene was rapidly changing at just the right moment in time for this ultra-talented group. At the creative surface, this album was continuation of The Armory Wars trilogy, that came from the brilliant mind of front-man/guitarist/lyricist Claudio Sanchez, yet there’s so many layers to the complex storytelling found on this record that plays out in its own type of music multiverse. The album was produced by Michael Birnbaum and Chris Bittner, and their crisp production allows for the record to shimmer much like the cosmos above us that inspire science fiction stories far and wide. While their debut full-length record invited fans into the world of Coheed and Cambria, In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 blew the doors off the hinges into a cosmic exploration of what creative music can be.

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Interview: Emo Orchestra and Hawthorne Heights

Emo Orchestra

Recently I was able to schedule a Zoom interview with the leader of Emo Orchestra, Ben Mench-Thurlow, as well as the bassist from Hawthorne Heights, Matt Ridenour, to discuss the on-going tour. I asked both of them about what challenges this unique concert experience brings to the table, how the setlist came together, as well as what they each love about Emo music. This tour of Emo Orchestra wraps up on November 12th in Anaheim, California.

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