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From the haunting “La Pérdida” to the brash title track and the stealth-like “El Fruto”, the 15 tracks from Rubio on the thrilling Mango Negro ignite futuristic tones over embellished classical string movements. Rubio’s, sophomore outing is a nonstop emotional bucket that pulls from a wealth of sonic bliss and more often than naught, darker, more mysterious textures. Songs on Mango Negro are sung in Spanish, the native language in Rubio’s home base of Chile.

BANDCAMP: https://rubiomusic.bandcamp.com/album/mango-negro

Rubio is the moniker of the moniker of Francisca Straube. She’s a percussionist and her wide swath of beats and percussion is exceptional. When the album starts out, it’s an abrupt violin that grips you. Instantly, it swells to an aura of sophistication — like a fluttering dance, into a more amalgamated beat concoction. As a listener, I got a very strong sense of community and pushing boundaries from Rubio. She’s mesmerizing and her musical pallet comes from a spectrum of scarlet red hues and bold colorings. I felt a strong sense of nightlife and escape from all the tracks. In track two, “Oro” (which means mouth), the electric pulse is poppy, and zig-zags. …


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Vocal-dominant pop will always be a big seller in the western market, but rather than trying to employ a blueprint her contemporaries would just as soon stylize their own sound around in the new single “Waterfall,” Lexi Mariah is going the extra mile to give us something wholly original and unindebted to the mainstream model as it stands in 2020. …


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Stacy Gabel’s new song “Stir Crazy” might actually depict the psyche of human kind as we know it. After months of social distancing and working remotely from home, we’ve all had to adjust in some way. “Stir Crazy” lights the way during a time of isolation. In many ways, too, Gabel lets down her guard in “Stir Crazy” and reminds us that it’s okay to feel the way we’re feeling. Afterall, we’re in this together and it’s song like Gabel’s the binds us tighter.

URL: http://www.stacygabel.com/

Gabel utilizes her strong vocals to present her case. In a fascinating turn, her main instrumentation is the acoustic guitar. While there is also a balanced mix of strings, keys and percussion, the guitar is a prime choice. I liken her guitar playing to a folk song, or an Americana gem. I think when you hear that the song is entitled “Stir Crazy” you might be getting something more frenzied or electric. This song is more than meets the eye — and ears. I loved the layering of the acoustic guitar and the way it wraps around those simple words she sings we’re stir crazy. The strings do make a point to come to the surface. You hear them if you really focus, but I found my attention going back to the slick guitar and Gabel’s voice. …


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Yachtclub101 are out with their new self-titled album. And in the immortal words of The Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations” — I don’t know where, but she sends me there, this is the feeling one gets while listening to the swirling and blazing synthesizers. Add to the mix Yachtclub101’s singer, who goes by just Scott, and his voice is a solar powered entity in its own right, this package of songs delivers a myriad of emotions between those luminous soundwaves.

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/yachtclub101

Right out of the gate with “This Too Will Pass”, Scott has the listener warming up their dancing moves. His voice has the luster of a Californian, a pondering wanderer. The press materials note that Scott is originally from Vermont, and has staked his home in Oakland, California. An adventurous spirit is whispered between the lines. Scott’s confidences derive from an artist that has not only immersed himself into a new community, but surrounded himself with some of music’s greatest minds. You feel it in these songs. Scott, who has worked with Debbie Harry and Nick Cave, points the listener towards a deeper emotional connection in the next two tracks with “Nothing They Say” and “Leave Me Alone”. …


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Sultry and yet packing enough of a punch to knock you on your backside if you aren’t expecting as much muscularity from a bluesy temptress this autumn season, the lead vocal Linda Imperial has for us in her new single “I Found Me” is so angst-ridden, but in all honesty, it’s the biggest source of vitality in the whole of the song. …


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In the new documentary Like a Flowing River: A Bluegrass Passage, you don’t necessarily have to come into the film having been a lifelong fan of James Reams and the Barnstormers to walk away with a newfound love of the bluegrass music the iconic player has been producing in the past 25 years, but for those who are, it’s a landmark release without dispute.


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Afternoon Ambience is a mesmerizing new album from instrumentalist Dan Blanchard. Chill and giving the listener a chance to be lost in your own thoughts, Blanchard sets aside any stressors and rejuvenates your musical spirit. He doesn’t use words, but the sonic wavelengths he composes are special reminders that inner peace is attainable. Yoga practitioners or even daily meditation routines will benefit from Blanchard’s engrossing songs.

URL: https://music.peacefulvibes.com/

World music fans will be enraptured from the flexing wind-instrumentation, calligraphy-like strings and elusive percussion strands. Blanchard’s patience, his slow-building cadence starts from the first song, “Unwind” (Raga Bhimpalasi Alaap). Playing out like a yoga session, he unveils an easy-going sojourn. Just when you think you’re caught up in the airy, wistful patterns of the songs, the dust settles and Blanchard centers the listener. The pace picks up a few notches in the second, track, the aptly titled “Deeper” (Raga Bhimpalasi Jod). Even if you were not one to practice yoga, you could glean from this song a dive into the inner peacefulness Blanchard keeps his listeners apprised. …


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Lyrical duality is essential to a successful career as a singer/songwriter, and if this is still the case through the duration of the 2020s, I think Leni Black should count on seeing a lot of good fortune coming her way on the back of songs like her debut single, “Barcelona Butterflies.” …


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“Tears they’re falling from what I been through / This pain in my heart that’s aching for you / That black rushin’ river is all I can see / And the whispering waters are calling for me,” we’re told in the chorus of Rock Hearts’ “Whispering Waters,” one of my favorite songs included on their debut album Starry Southern Nights. …

About

Colin Jordan

Graduate: McNeese State University, Avid Beekeeper, Deep Sea Diver & Fisherman, Horrible Golfer

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