Pianist Alchymie releases new seasonal LP ‘Midnight Clear’

The pianist known only as Alchymie has released her instrumental LP of seasonal music, “Midnight Clear.” The full-length album consists of no fewer than 15 tracks for a grand total of over an hour’s listening time. It has been proudly released independent from involvement with the corporate music industry. Gentle as a winter breeze yet evocative, moving and even inspiring at times, “Midnight Clear” is the latest reason for fans of instrumental music to pay close attention to the elegant and intuitive playing of Alchymie.

Asked to name some key musical influences for her “Midnight Clear” LP, Alchymie cites imagery rather than people: “A clear northern winter sky full of stars, the clean newly fallen snow, the stillness as everything waits, the absolute perfection and beauty of a moment in time … midnight clear.”

As unbelievable as it may seem, these ideas go a long way toward suggesting the overall sound of “Midnight Clear,” which album takes its name from the 1849 classic, “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear” (Track 9 on the record). This makes perfect sense, as Alchymie’s selections for her new LP are the same songs and carols which have signified the holiday season for nearly two centuries.

The songs on “Midnight Clear” include such time-honored compositions as “Silent Night,” “Good King Wenceslas,” “We Three Kings of Orient Are,” and “What Child Is This.” Also of note, Alchymie closes out her album with the New Year’s Day tradition of “Auld Lang Syne,” followed finally by what may be the oldest surviving holiday song, “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming,” which first appeared in its modern form in 1599.

These songs have qualities and characters all their own, but the collection, presentation, and overall performance of the album belong solely to Alchymie, a pianist with as much character and soul in her playing as the songs have in their grand histories. She lends to each track an inventiveness and imaginative interpretation which manages to be both innovative and unique as well as strikingly respectful to the original pieces. Returning fans of Alchymie will remark that nobody could balance these aims the way Alchymie can.

The artist describes the message of her new instrumental LP in the following paragraph:

“The magic imparted by a particular time of night during the holiday season, just before midnight when things go clear, it’s quiet. The snow has given a hushed blanket of solitude in which we can relax, reflect and enjoy the holiday season through ambient stillness with soundscapes that remind us of familiar holiday melodies but allow our thoughts and hearts to drift even further.”

“Midnight Clear” by Alchymie is available online worldwide beginning Sept. 1, 2015. Get in early, fans of piano and holiday music.

-S. McCauley

Lead Press Release Writer

http://www.MondoTunes.com

“Midnight Clear” by Alchymie –
http://www.amazon.com/Midnight-Clear-Alchymie/dp/B011K958ZQ/

Website –

www.alchymiemusic.com

DJ HRTZ releases popular new single ‘Accidentally Acid’

Australian digital music composer HRTZ has released her premier dance single, “Accidentally Acid.” The prominent track features original vocals by Canadian DJ Kwe. It has been proudly published as an independent release outside the influence of the corporate music industry. Pulsing with groove, subtly unstoppable, and so easy to fall into that fans of all genres can agree on it, “Accidentally Acid” is a traditional house music anthem with a modern edge that suggests HRTZ will be at the top of her game for years to come.

HRTZ cites music influences from the UK house-music scene, such as Maya Jane Coles and Carl Cox, as well as Russian DJ Nina Kraviz. Listeners familiar with the works of these digital composers will recognize common traits between them: tight, spacious beats, minimal instrumentation, and slow builds that rely on tasteful texturing rather than “are you all ready for this”-style crescendos. Like the music of HRTZ, herself, this is electronic music that has much more to offer than your kid brother’s MacBook masterpiece.

The difference may lie in HRTZ’s musical roots, which differ greatly from that of many digital composers today.

“I was originally a singer-songwriter,” HRTZ writes. “I wrote blues and folk songs and played around the open mic nights in Melbourne. I also played an open mic night in Canada while on holiday and in San Francisco, too. It was fun to experience a different audience from the Australian one.”

Another key quality her new single boasts is that of an underlying complexity. Its patient, classy minimalism allows for a tacit communication between the music and the music fan. It isn’t blaring, isn’t gaudy, isn’t obnoxious. This electronic music doesn’t yell – it speaks.

“’Accidentally Acid’ is about letting go of the daily grind and realising it’s not about the gadgets and the quick sugar rushes that we experience in life,” writes HRTZ. “It’s about something much deeper than that. It’s personal to every listener.”

Maybe that’s why her single has collected 6,000 plays in the few weeks it’s been available for listening – just on her official SoundCloud page alone – and this with precious little hype but word of mouth.

HRTZ (Toyah Hoetzel) is a Melbourne-based house-music producer and DJ affiliated with Beyond The Beat UK & AU. She grew up getting into gay clubs underage in the industrial areas of Melbourne’s grimy Collingwood district. She found her feet amongst the lovers of vocal house where sweaty, bass-driven remixes of divas such as Whitney Houston were a regular vice for many.

Originally a classically trained guitarist and then a singer-songwriter, HRTZ loves and focuses on melodic shifts in tension in her sets, and by doing so commands control of the dance floor. Inspired by the electro movement in Melbourne’s more obscure clubs like Honky Tonks, Eurotrash Pop Shop and The Croft Institute in the early 2000s, HRTZ was exposed to such legends as Ajax, John Course and Carl Cox, where her love of vocal, electro and house were entrenched.

HRTZ returned to her musical roots on a digital platform in 2013 pioneering TopDeckDJs and entered as a newcomer into Melbourne’s club scene with a variety of sounds from house, tech-house, trap, moombahton and bass-heavy EDM sets. She now produces what she loves, indie dance and deep-house tunes, and is gaining momentum as a DJ, producer, and digital-sample artist.

“Accidentally Acid” by HRTZ and feat. DJ Kwe is available online worldwide beginning Aug. 31, 2015. Get in early, house-music fans.

-S. McCauley

Lead Press Release Writer

http://www.MondoTunes.com

eMail –

http://www.amazon.com/Accidentally-Acid-feat-Dj-Kwe/dp/B013MBVR0A/
Website –

www.hrtzmusic.com

Singer-songwriter Michael LeClerc releases new self-titled EP album

The singer and songwriter from Ontario, Canada known as Michael LeClerc has released his new self-titled EP album, “Michael LeClerc.” The record is composed of six LeClerc originals for an approximate total listening time of 20 minutes, making for a comprehensive introduction to this popular performer from Ontario, Canada. Warm, upbeat, and accessible to fans of virtually any music style, “Michael LeClerc” by Michael LeClerc is sure to snare the attention of singer-songwriter fans around the world.

LeClerc’s music, while unique in its tone and surprisingly smooth delivery, fits well in record collections which may include James Taylor, David Gray, Jackson Brown, Dave Matthews, John Mayer, or Van Morrison. Simply cross-referencing the general feel of songs by the above can approximate the tenor and acoustic groove of the “Michael LeClerc” EP, though it must be heard in its entirety to be appreciated and understood.

Part of this is due to the highly textured musical background of the artist. In addition to Dave Matthews and Van Morrison, LeClerc cites as main artistic influences higher-octane acts such as Neil Young, Led Zeppelin, and Nirvana, as well as masters of emotional crescendo like John Mayer and the Beatles.

Michael LeClerc has been singing since the age of eight and playing guitar since 14. After moving to the Cayman Islands in 2007, LeClerc started a band, Smooth Bill, with which band he came to perform for audiences numbering in the thousands. In time, Smooth Bill reached more listeners via online radio stations and on public radio in the Caymans, prompting LeClerc to focus on his music.

He recorded his debut solo EP, “Radio” in 2010. He has since moved to California where he performs as a featured artist at wineries all along the coast, as well as at the Renaissance Hotels as part of their RLIFE Concert Series. The series showcases premier independent musicians and has helped launch careers for acts like Bruno Mars, Robin Thicke, and Neon Trees.

“Michael LeClerc” by Michael LeClerc is available online worldwide beginning Sept. 1, 2015.

-S. McCauley

Lead Press Release Writer

http://www.MondoTunes.com

Website –

www.michaelleclercmusic.com

Yaro J releases new electronic dance EP ‘Electrik Love’

The producer of electronic dance music known internationally as Yaro J has released his anxiously awaited EP, “Electrik Love.” The album includes four original tracks for an approximate total listening time of 17 minutes. It has been proudly published as an independent release without the interference or support of the corporate music industry. Pulsing, thumping, roaring and soaring, “Electrik Love” is a summer finale for lovers of EDM which proves that Yaro J is a producer to watch for in 2015 and beyond.

There’s much to look forward to in “Electrik Love” for listeners of the genre. In addition to the considerable talents of Toronto-based Yaro J, himself, the EP record also showcases the skills of Diana Richie and Victoria Gouveia. The combined talents of these three artists coalesces into an explosive and sensual dance experience which works as well in nightclubs as it does in car stereos and ear buds.

Yaro J’s “Electrik Love” has been widely publicized by official video trailers directed by Andrew C which began appearing in mid August. Each of these trailers has received thousands of views in the mere two weeks they have been available. Yaro J’s fan base can be safely estimated in the scores of thousands, therefore, making him one of the more intriguing EDM producers to emerge this year.

The EP album’s first single, “Let Me Dream” feat. Victoria Gouveia, has drawn especial attention from fans and critics alike. Its swan song featuring Diana Richie also forms a large part of the record’s appeal. “Fly” closes out the album, complete with a six-minute extended remix as an added bonus. Many listeners will play both tracks back-to-back rather than pick a favorite.

All in all, “Electrik Love” brings color and verve to EDM fans ready to see what fall has to offer them. If “Electrik Love” by Yaro J is any indication, there’s going to be plenty of good dance music.

“Electrik Love” by Yaro J is available online worldwide.

-S. McCauley

Lead Press Release Writer

http://www.MondoTunes.com

“Electrik Love” by Yaro J –
http://www.amazon.com/Electrik-Love-EP-Yaro-J/dp/B013D1L362/
Website –

http://www.yarojmusic.com/

Nina Maria releases new sonic-art album ‘From My Upbringing’

The rapper and sonic artist known as Nina Maria has released a new, full-length album, titled, “From My Upbringing.” The record contains no fewer than 28 tracks for a grand total of approximately two hours’ listening time. It has been proudly published on the Coinxiding Arts Entertainment independent record label. Bringing together the synth beats of hip hop and the earnestness of spoken-word poetry, “From My Upbringing” is a rare delivery of truth from this inimitable artist from Missouri.

“From My Upbringing” is not simply music. In addition to rapping that comes off-the-cuff as naturally as breathing, Nina Maria’s new album has elements of improvisational jazz which make it remarkable as fine, sonic art. It is plainly real. The artist does not pretend, posture, or pose, neither coats, nor gilds, nor adorns these words. The result is a collection of stream-of-consciousness English which describes this thinking, feeling person in as clear and direct a manner as language can make possible.

The bitter circumstances which make this possible are several, but largely it is the creative method of the artist which makes this record the thing of beauty that it is. Every one of Nina Maria’s lyrics are improvised. The recordings are, therefore, live performances.

“I freestyle all my songs now,” the artist writes, “because I have schizo-effective disorder. I also make all my beats.”

The story leading up to this legitimate work of genius describes (and is not limited to) graduating high school with a 5.0 GPA via advanced-placement classes, a tour with the US Marines as a computer systems specialist, an abusive relationship, a stint of homelessness, and an ongoing battle with schizophrenia.

– And as stated, this is not nearly the entire story: “I was misidentified by someone from a shooting in the [Columbia, MO] area. I was arrested and up against 30 years. I took a plea when the number got to four [years] because I knew they were trying to hang me out to dry. I did two inside and walked down two years’ parole. By God’s grace He got me back to Eolia.”

Nina Maria responded to this maltreatment by releasing four digital albums. “From My Upbringing” is merely the latest in a repertoire which includes also 2014’s “Santa Maria’s Corruption” and “By the Way,” published only last spring. Each has been made available online worldwide and is categorized as rap and spoken-word poetry.

Maria cites as main artistic influences Beethoven, Stevie Wonder, the Isley Brothers, DJ Paul, and a Tribe Called Quest.

Asked to comment on the themes and messages of “From My Upbringing,” Nina Maria writes, “No matter who you are, we all go through ups and downs and struggle.”

“From My Upbringing” by Nina Maria is a glorious celebration of individuality, the naked sound of a person skilled in rhythm and rhyme speaking thoughts in song. It is a representation not just of Nina Maria, but of us all, and it deserves much praise and attention.

Nina Maria’s “From My Upbringing” is available online worldwide.

-S. McCauley

Lead Press Release Writer

http://www.MondoTunes.com

Nina Maria’s “From My Upbringing” –
http://www.amazon.com/My-Upbringing-Explicit-Nina-Maria/dp/B013D1JZUI/
Website –

www.reverbnation.com/ninamaria

Livid Lover releases new LP album ‘Don’t Worry, I’ll Always Love You… and of Course… Mess With Your Head’

The alternative-rock group Livid Lover has released a new LP album, “Don’t Worry, I’ll Always Love You… and of Course… Mess With Your Head.” The full-length record comprises nearly a full hour of highly textured, evocative rock music in 11 original tracks. It has been published as an independent release without the interference of the corporate music industry. Integrating elements of post-grunge, alt-rock, shoegaze and much more, “Don’t Worry, I’ll Always Love You…” from Livid Lover is a expansive, immersive rock experience that any fan of underground rock music can get lost in.

Livid Lover cites as main artistic influences Jeff Buckley, the Cure, Trent Reznor, Tool, Smashing Pumpkins, the National, Sia Furler, Teagan and Sara, and Pink Floyd. The sound of “Don’t Worry…” has notable elements of each of these (the operatic composition style of Pink Floyd, the emotional access of Jeff Buckley, and the patient spaciousness of Smashing Pumpkins, for instance) which combines to form a multifaceted whole with moments of both hard and soft extremes.

This makes Livid Lover’s new record hard to nail down, but one of its chief charms is that it doesn’t lend itself well to categorization. Part of this, too, is the earnest and unadorned singing style of singer-songwriter Blake Nolan Hanson (also of Halo Minor). His articulate, yet passionate singing conveys all the meaning with which he has infused his very deliberate lyrics, and does so in tones reminiscent of John Doe (X) Brandon Boyd (Incubus) and Jeff Buckley.

This careful balance results in high-impact, refreshingly unassuming rock music that the listener can take as seriously or casually as he or she may like. It is accessible to nearly everyone who enjoys a good blend of hard and soft, loud and laid-back alternative rock. Like its title, “Don’t Worry, I’ll Always Love You… and of Course… Mess With Your Head” can be as complex or as simple as the music fan prefers. Were it liquor, one could call it smoked cognac, or just rye whiskey.

Asked to comment on the themes of their new record, Hanson writes, “This record has recurring love, loneliness and vulnerability themes. [It’s about] being invisible in and to the world, and how that fact in itself can connect those bold enough to live a loner life trying to improve themselves on a daily basis.”

Some of his music has plenty of personal importance, too. One track in particular could easily have ended in tragedy.

“’Come Away,’” writes Hanson, “started as a suicide pact song a fellow songwriter and I had together that twisted into an anti-suicide song. I strive to be compelling and unique in my writing. I feel it to be very important.”

‘Unique’ (not to say ‘weird’) describes Livid Lover’s sound fairly well – a trick nobody has perfected. Hanson knows this and respects the value of it, too.

“All I’ve learned about the dying music industry I keep in the back of my mind as a silly motivator,” says Hanson. “I’m ever trying to prove wrong the old formulas. I feel I am un-pigeonhole-able and don’t take myself too seriously, but I do make serious efforts to drop jaws with my projects. I try to be epic and write my interpretation of beautiful is what I’m getting at. I feel conformity is the wrong path to walk.”

Livid Lover plays and performs in the Minneapolis area.

“Don’t Worry, I’ll Always Love You… and of Course… Mess With Your Head” by Livid Lover is available beginning Aug. 22, 2015.

-S. McCauley

Lead Press Release Writer

http://www.MondoTunes.com

“Don’t Worry, I’ll Always Love You… and of Course… Mess With Your Head” by Livid Lover –
http://www.amazon.com/Dont-Worry-Always-Course-Explicit/dp/B013D1CKGO/
Website –

www.lividlover.com

A First Look at Eric Alán’s “My Favorite Sin”

For those of you fans of pop music living in NYC who haven’t yet heard of Eric Alán, it’s time to come out from under that rock and get a good look.

His “My Favorite Sin” official video premiered Wednesday on BoyCulture.com, YouTube and elsewhere, and unless you have something against rock-solid back beats, darkly driving synths, and singing that recalls everything that was ever good about the Euro-alternative scene of the 1990s, then you’ve got some very good music coming to you.

But the music is just a glimpse of the overall picture.

The first word that comes to mind describing Eric Alán’s “My Favorite Sin” video is blood. (Well, actually, it’s ‘beats,’ but ‘blood’ is a close second.) “My Favorite Sin” is an almost shockingly visceral experience in terms of both sight and sound. Its jabbing, pounding, pummeling boxing motif makes for particularly violent viewing as pop-music videos go, giving an even sharper edge to an already evocative and adrenaline-fueled song.

The song itself has a shadowy tone reminiscent of Depeche Mode’s Violator record, but with house-music additions which make it far more danceable and energetic, something fans of Eric Alán won’t find surprising. Alán’s lyrics are worth hearing and thinking about, too. They’re clearly very intimate to him in particular, but describe the feeling of civil war within us all very well, also.

Alán’s theme of fighting allows for personal, profound and startling symbolism, much more so than mainstream music generally cares to indulge in, though of course the focus of “My Favorite Sin” remains the dancing, the singing, and the (ahem) undulating.

This is, maybe, the most impressive bit about Eric Alán’s new video: it’s catchy, it’s sexy, it’s shocking in its ferocity and a hell of a lot of fun to watch – but it’s also meaningful, dead honest, and nakedly human (even literally). By the end of the 4.5-minute show, “My Favorite Sin” even manages to be wise.

With sledgehammer symbolism, the title bout in “My Favorite Sin” is between reigning champ, Eric Alán, and his ominous, black-knight challenger … Eric Alán. Contrary to inner-struggle stereotypes, though, it is not a battle of good vs. evil, and the video gives few clues as to which Alán the music fan should be cheering on. In fact, it’s entirely uncertain which of them Alán, himself, would prefer to win, the unavoidable point being that they’re both beating agony out of one another and neither of them will relent.

It’s a bloodbath. There’s sweat everywhere. If there are tears to go with these fluids, they’re too mixed in to tell.

The song is performed by a graying Alán at center ring. He wears a dapper tuxedo and sings into a dangling bullet mic like a classic announcer of championship title fights. This Alán represents the scarred and aged Alán, the post-career Alán, the one who gave up fighting long ago, presumably because it’s a destructive, brutal sport in which he either didn’t care to continue – or eventually couldn’t.

There’s even a shot of Alán training which includes his adorable little dog (whose actual name happens to be Rocky, no less). The pup sticks by the singer and works as a kind of foil against all the carnage, looking positively innocent and joyful even as his master strives to ensure that he can devastate himself as totally as possible when the time comes.

Naturally, there’s a ton of exceptional dancing featuring Eric Alán’s onstage dance crew, dancing being at the heart of his music and live performances. There’s also an amount of male flesh – male flesh that is literally inspirational. It’s arresting. Eric trained for months to pull off the boxing character in his video, and it definitely shows.

All in all, the official video for “My Favorite Sin” by Eric Alán is a round-one knockout. Bringing sound, style, dance and even philosophy to the table in one flexing and grimacing package, it’s far more than his fans or critics could possibly have expected.

It’s a game changer for independent music videos and music vids in general, proving not only that pop music doesn’t have to be insipid, but also that if the mainstream doesn’t keep its guard up and come out swinging, indie artists like Eric Alán are going to massacre them. TKO.

–SM

See the official “My Favorite Sin” video from Eric Alán at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DU5JQa1l9fU