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Top 10 Albums of 2013

Posted by lonnie On December - 29 - 2013 0 Comment
Kanye West

Unfortunately deemed as the year of the “selfie” and “twerk”, 2013 also marks a time when radio-friendly artists actually made “good” music. Infectious, yet not overly repetitive songs from Fall Out Boy, Miley Cyrus, Beyonce and Avicii restored my faith in commercial music. As these singers rose to stardom this year, some past favorites plummeted with lackluster releases, such as Lady Gaga’s “Applause”, Jay Z’s “Magna Carta Holy Grail” and Arcade Fire’s “Reflektor”. In every defeat, there’s a winner and thankfully new artists, such as Lorde, Haim, Jake Bugg and Sky Ferreira, made 2013 one of my favorite years for music. So congratulations to those on Shockya’s Top 10 Albums  [ Read More ]

Artist Of The Week: Deer Tick

Posted by lonnie On September - 25 - 2013 0 Comment
Deer Tick

With fall officially kicking off this week, you, Shockya readers, no longer have to justify your choice of listening to dismal playlists in the blissful summer days. It is finally acceptable to crank up those moodier tracks. So, you can retire your pop tunes or at least save them for an exceptionally happy day because rock music is at the forefront of this season and leading the way is the folk rock band, Deer Tick. Fronted by singer/song-writer and guitarist, John McCauley, Deer Tick dropped their fifth studio album, “Negativity”, this past Tuesday, September 24th, via Partisan Records. As an avid fan of all things “McCauley”, which include his other  [ Read More ]

Artist Of The Week: MS MR

Posted by lonnie On September - 11 - 2013 0 Comment
MS MR

Nowadays, it is almost second nature to drown out vocals with a flood of instrumental sounds. As if auto-tune wasn’t helpful enough, these artists rely all too often on beats to fill the emotional void in their vocals. According to radio charts, this tactic can be deemed as successful, but when a talent dares to perform a track live, falling flat on stage commonly occurs (cough, cough Miley Cyrus). So, let’s introduce you, Shockya readers, to the New York based duo, MS MR, a group who fearlessly expresses a “pop” sound that rests heavily on raw vocals. Comprised of Lizzy Plapinger, the “MS” (vocalist), and Max Hershenow, the “MR” (producer),  [ Read More ]

Artist Of The Week: Pickwick

Posted by lonnie On September - 3 - 2013 0 Comment
Pickwick

Pop music has become all too commonplace these days. Yes, I do occasionally enjoy belting out to Katy Perry’s “Roar” or Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball” or Lady Gaga’s “Applause”, but as the seasons change, my playlists must follow suit. Shockya readers, it’s time to say so long to the carefree summer days and usher in the distressed fall days with more thought provoking and less auto-tuned music. Note that this pop music “jab” is mostly directed at the now infamous Cyrus, who was far from serious with her performance of “We Can’t Stop” at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards. So, let’s ditch the “twerk” and welcome the tunes from  [ Read More ]

Artist Of The Week: Justin Timberlake and ‘N SYNC

Posted by lonnie On August - 26 - 2013 0 Comment
Justin Timberlake

While I am all about giving Shockya’s “Artist Of The Week” to fresh-faced singers, every now and then a seasoned talent deserves to dethrone the youngins and retake the title. So, my apologies to the next Ray-Ban, Converse and flannel clad outfit because Justin Timberlake and his ‘N SYNC pals triumphed to the top this week with their performance at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. As a teenager during the ‘N SYNC pop reign, I will always have a “soft” spot for this quintet, no matter how much they have tipped the scale since the 90s. Determined to be “different” from the other Juicy Couture donning teens, I sided  [ Read More ]

Artist Of The Week: CHVRCHES

Posted by lonnie On August - 6 - 2013 0 Comment
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Electro-pop music has finally been justified with the Scottish outfit, CHVRCHES. The group, which consists of Lauren Mayberry (lead vocals), Iain Cook (multi-instrumentalist, vocals) and Martin Doherty (synthesizers, vocals), doesn’t abuse their instrumental privileges by flooding tunes with clumps and clumps of beats. Instead, the trio has the ideal mix of catchy melodies, memorable lyrics and vocal intonation. CHVRCHES will be a breakout band of 2013 and their experimental sound will keep them afloat in this industry for many years to come. Let’s address one obvious outlier, the “V”. CHVRCHES is pronounced as “churches”, but to avoid the Google search clutter, the outfit opted for a letter replacement. Smart and  [ Read More ]

Top 10 Albums Of 2013 (So Far)

Posted by lonnie On July - 19 - 2013 0 Comment
Daughter-If-You-Leave-400x400

Eclecticism seeps throughout my list of “Top 10 Albums Of 2013”. So far, this year has seen established artists drop new albums, which broadens their “own” music palette, but also expands the stifling ways of their overall genres and “newer” talents, who shock listeners with their bold debuts. 2013 has been far from a letdown musically, which only made compiling this list more difficult. Check out my “Top Ten” below. 1. Daughter “If You Leave” Daughter (also known as Elena Tonra) takes the NO.1 spot with her debut album, “If You Leave”, which dropped March 18th via 4AD. Yes, collectively the album is instrumentally, vocally and lyrically somber, but through  [ Read More ]

Artist Of The Week: The Mowgli’s

Posted by lonnie On July - 9 - 2013 0 Comment
The Mowgli's

Typically gravitating towards the “harder” or “darker” side of the rock genre, I often find my music misplaced in the carefree summer days. So, lately I have become more sympathetic to breezier melodies, which has opened me up to a side of the rock spectrum that I have longed for and thoughtlessly neglected. It’s time to turn a new leaf and thanks to the California outfit, The Mowgli’s, I have zero reservations about this undertaking. The eight-piece multi-instrumentalist band recently released their sophomore album, “Waiting For The Dawn”, on June 18th via The Island Def Jam Music Group. Following the group’s 2012 debut, “Sound The Drum”, and 2013 EP, “Love’s  [ Read More ]

Album Review: NGHBRS “Twenty One Rooms”

Posted by lonnie On July - 1 - 2013 0 Comment
NGHBRS

Since the indie rock influx of the 21st Century, alternative rock music has been on the back burner, but thankfully, change is coming. With Chad Kroeger too engrossed in his recent nuptials with Avril Lavigne, alternative rock is clear of sabotage and gearing up for redemption. While I do enjoy listening to indie rock bands swoon over their lost lovers with weightless guitar riffs, I much prefer the alternative way of aggressive vocals coupled with heavy instrumentals. All my wishes have come true with the upcoming release from the Long Island outfit, NGHBRS. The quartet, which consists of Jordan Schneider (drummer), Ian Kenny (vocalist/keyboardist), Tommy Fleischmann (guitarist) ad Eric Vivelo  [ Read More ]

Artist Of The Week: J. Cole And Kanye West

Posted by lonnie On June - 25 - 2013 0 Comment
j.-cole-born-sinner

Before justifying this odd pairing for “Artist Of The Week”, let me address one point: Other than my daily dose of Eminem, I am not an everyday listener of rap or hip-hop music. So, before any of you, Shockya readers, accuse me of being naïve, I will already proclaim myself as a rap and hip hop virgin. So, save your lack of knowledge slander for the genres’ real poser, Justin Bieber. You should also take note of the careful ordering of the artists in the above title. Kanye West would have been the leader of the two with “Yeezus”, but his relationship with Kim Kardashian, his choice to name his  [ Read More ]

Artist Of The Week: Lorde

Posted by lonnie On June - 18 - 2013 0 Comment
Lorde

While I am forever indebted to Spotify for expanding my music palette, I have just as much adoration for SiriusXM Alt Nation for keeping my playlists current. I hear a new song on Alt Nation and immediately search the artist on Spotify. This pattern allowed me to stumble upon Shockya’s next “Artist Of The Week”, singer and songwriter, Lorde and her infectious single, “Royals”. The New Zealander, whose actual name is Ella Yelich-O’Connor, had me positively dumbfounded with a single play of “Royals”. Her ability to craft a song that can achieve commercial success while also exuding her “own” distinct sound is both daring and often unattainable for a “newbie”  [ Read More ]

Artist Of The Week: NGHBRS

Posted by lonnie On June - 4 - 2013 0 Comment
NGHBRS

Since giving birth to Bravo’s horrifying television show, “Princesses: Long Island”, the island in the northeast is in dire need of redemption. As a native “Long Islander” and a female, I would prefer to not be associated with brainless brats with credit cards and instead have my stomping ground be known as the hometown of the Long Island rock outfit, NGBHRS. Consisting of Jordan Schneider (drummer), Ian Kenny (vocalist/keyboardist), Tommy Fleischmann (guitarist) ad Eric Vivelo (bassist), the quartet will be dropping their debut full-length album, “Twenty One Rooms”, on July 16th. Just last week, NYLON Guys premiered the album’s lead single, “Hold Up Girl”. The track, which will be a  [ Read More ]

Artist Of The Week: Deap Vally

Posted by lonnie On May - 7 - 2013 0 Comment
DeapVally

Welcome readers to a new feature, “Shockya’s Artist Of The Week”. Each week you will be introduced to a new artist or band whose music has garnered a closer look. “Artist Of The Week” is about the collective appeal of an outfit, not the promising nature of a single song. These selections were able to stop my unholy tendencies to quickly click from one new release to the next without “consciously” giving the track a shot. So, here it goes. The first of the batch of awesome bands coming your way is the California rock duo, Deap Vally. Comprised of Lindsey Troy (guitar, vocals) and Julie Edwards (drums), Deap Vally  [ Read More ]

fall-out-boy-save-rock-and-roll-album-artwork-400x400

Describing a band as “selling out” is an overly used expression and it has become more applicable to groups over the years thanks to the accessibility of auto-tune. “Selling out” simply translates to a band adding the “wrong” creativity to its repertoire in order to persist within the fleeting world of the music industry. For the most part, every outfit seeks to transform its sound from one album to the next, but those that do it unnaturally tend to welcome a flood of criticism. So, to those listeners about to slam Fall Out Boy for “selling out” since their “Take This To Your Grave” days, I am prepared to defend  [ Read More ]

Interview: Canto Is A Rock N’ Roll Family

Posted by lonnie On April - 10 - 2013 0 Comment
Canto

With the recent breakup of My Chemical Romance and the reuniting of the Jonas Brothers, the dynamic of sibling bands has been frequently on my music radar these days. Sometimes the family relationship can strain a band and other times, it aids in keeping an outfit intact. Whether the rivalries occur or not, the music industry has undeniably been affected by the in-sync ways of these blood bonded bands. Oasis, The Kinks, Bee Gees, ACDC, The National, Tegan and Sara, Beach Boys, Jackson 5, and The Black Crowes have family connections within them and despite some notable tension (cough, cough Oasis), I believe their nature has been a key factor  [ Read More ]

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