Jaryn Jones is Astonishing on New EP “Angles”

Every now and then I hear an artist who registers a 9.9 on the Wow! Meter – and Nashville’s Jaryn Jones is the newest to make the club. (Jaryn is pronounced like “Aaron” with a J, by the way.) Her music meshes the breathtaking beauty of great composers like Stephen Sondheim and Alan Menken with […]

Stephanie Michelle Mesmerizes on “Waves”

There used to be a radio station in L.A. that dubbed itself “The Quiet Storm”, playing hypnotic-and-melodic songs by artists like Brenda Russell and Regina Belle. If that format still exists, Stephanie Michelle’s song “Waves” would fit right in. It’s elegant and unforgettable. Michelle is a Detroit songwriter who sings her own compositions, but isn’t […]

Carey Latham Weathers the Storm on “I Don’t Drink Like I Used To”

Carey Latham is a songwriter who splits time between Nashville and the Gulf Coast. Her song “I Don’t Drink Like I Used To” is an emotional grabber that reminds me of Morgan Wallen’s best work. The song is about a person who “doubles down” on drinking after a series of personal tragedies. And the accompanying […]

Liv DeToma Soars On The Powerful “riot”

One of the benefits of being a reviewer is that you get to be a musical Magellan, finding new artists around the globe who are astonishingly talented. One such artist is L.A.’s Liv DeToma, who has the vocal command and songwriting chops to be in the vanguard of tomorrow’s stars. Her latest single “riot” has […]

Gia Darcy Finds the Courage to Just “Say It”

Gia Darcy is a fast-rising pop artist from Sydney, Australia who just concluded a swing through the U.S. Her latest EP is a treasure trove of great songs, including the title song “Horror Movie” and the ultra-hooky “Toxic” (which isn’t a cover of the Brittany Spears’ hit). But the highlight of the EP is Gia’s […]

Meagan Sky has the Power of a Modern-Day Aretha

Portland, Oregon doesn’t immediately spring to mind when you think about blues-inspired singers like Bonnie Raitt and Aretha Franklin. But that’s the home of artist Meagan Sky, whose incredible voice and songwriting put her in the select company of all-time greats like that duo, plus Dusty Springfield and Adele. For someone this magnificently talented, Meagan […]

Miss Machina Finds that “Nirvana” is Bittersweet

Miss Machina (aka Ashleigh Smith) is a mega-talented L.A. artist who previously lived in Dallas and Chicago. Her songs are insightful, beautifully sung and immensely hooky. Her latest single “Nirvana” is a haunting look at how the end of a relationship can torpedo a lot of the shared experiences and memories that were once so […]

Alena Ciera Dazzles on “Change Your Mind”

Alena Ciera is an incredible guitarist, songwriter and singer in the Washington, D.C. area – and her most recent single “Change Your Mind” is a pop delight. She played guitar on Broadway in David Byrne’s American Utopia. If you haven’t yet seen the Spike Lee movie of that production, you’re missing an amazing, uplifting performance. […]

Natalie Madigan’s YANG EP is a Masterpiece

Natalie Madigan’s latest single “Butterfly Effect” is so gorgeous and uplifting that it deserves comparisons with The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and Taylor Swift. Madigan has released two complementary EPs this year, fittingly entitled YIN and YANG. As you probably can guess, the EPs are vastly different, both musically and thematically. It’s an impressive achievement […]

Films on Song Leave Room for Imagination in “Gnome”

“Gnome” is a song about killer gnomes. What I like about it, and about the work of Charlottesville band Films on Song generally, is its emotional realism. Songwriters Jonathan Teeter and Francis McKee collage stock images from science fiction with snippets of everyday speech, making stories set in someone else’s dream of your hometown. I […]

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