New York’s JEAN is a singer and songwriter who creates his work from the ground up. His independently released debut album features 11 tracks written, produced, and sung by JEAN himself. Time Capsule is a body of work over ten years in the making, inspired by and dedicated to those most impactful on his life. First and foremost, this includes JEAN’s beloved late mother, who’s middle name he took in her honor. Jean has released two successful singles Another Year” and “Chasing a Ghost”, also collaborating on “ Motion In Time” with upcoming female artists Melloe D and Tulypz, Jean finally releases his first debut LP Time Capsule. As the title indicates, Time Capsule is a collection of past moments and listening to each track feels like sifting through a shoebox of polaroids or reading through a lost diary. Throughout the album, an imagined experience of traveling through memories is evoked through the utilization of layered, harmonized vocals, atmospheric synths, and experimental guitar riffs played in reverse. At the same time, Time Capsule is able to feel unassuming and approachable with danceable beats, smooth transitions, and catchy hooks. JEAN couples this unique indie rock sound with potent lyrics in which he speaks poetically yet unflinchingly about his emotionally lowest moments and his journey towards feeling hopeful about life again. “I want my music to comfort others whether they’re happy or sad and let them feel whatever it is they need to feel at that moment.” JEAN cites his musical influences to include artists who he feels have done this well including Death Cab for Cutie, Coldplay, and Now, Now. The effect of Time Capsule is a product of JEAN’s lifelong love of songwriting and feels expressly intimate and moving.
Time Capsule is essentially a concept album, the themes and instrumentation blend together perfectly.The first track Black Holes we hear the cassette tape click and it takes us on a journey. It starts off as a melodic soft synth ambient build up. This interlude really took me to another place it is almost dream like. Towards the end of the song it smoothly transitions to a more upbeat 80’s esque song “Paradox” This song has a sense of spirituality talking about how life can be over in a moment and feeling disconnected from life. Reflecting on existence. A paradox of denial and struggling to accept the reality of life. We hear the vocals more brought out and finally get to hear Jean’s soothing vocals. This synth driven song is very relaxing and the lyrics are really jarring at the heart strings. The next song Chasing A Ghost is a more chill indie rock vibe. The vocal harmonies are really nice on this track. The bass line is clean and punchy. In the chorus the clean guitars mixed with light distorted fuzz make for another ambient song. Another Year starts off with a simple piano riff followed by a kick drum and more spacey synths making for another relaxing vibe. This all builds up for more indie rock driven guitars. The whole song slows down and gets very ambient and then speeds up again. The energy of this song is incredible. The familiar piano riff repeats as it transitions into When We Land. I can definitely hear Jean’s influences in this song as he sings “transcending space and time” reminiscent of Death Cab For Cutie. This song is about meeting each other again in the afterlife when we land. Anymore/ A LetterTo You starts off with a catchy acoustic guitar riff almost ukelele sounding. Jean sings how he doesn’t want to go out anymore and doesn’t want to go dancing at night. He wanted to go back to the days where his mom is alive. This song he has a spoken word where he really opens up about being suicidal in the past. He says he’s glad he didn’t end his life and wants his listeners to know that everything will be okay and that they aren’t alone. This song is so comforting and beautiful. It’s one of my favorites on the album. We then get to Windows which is another killer indie rock anthem with a catchy chorus and airy guitar riffs. Then we get to the song Mirage. I think this is an another song where it’s clear to see another one of Jean’s influences Coldplay with its emotionally moving atmosphere that pulls the listener in. The melodies in this song where he sings “I can’t stop running towards you” and “I can’t stop running from you” another contradictory image and real story telling. Jean makes us realize healing isn’t always in black and white that we feel so many different conflicting emotions when we are grieving. In the next track, From The Road it tells a story of driving around traveling, trying to clear his mind of all the chaos around. A very familiar feeling we can all relate to. Once again the transitions in this song are super smooth. It goes from being upbeat to slowing down so effortlessly. I really love when it slows down around 3:20 and it’s just Jean’s vocals and piano chords. The emotional control of his voice you can almost feel it. He still sings of being disconnected but is starting to accept the reality of things. Gravity starts off slower and it’s another song where it really picks up the pace especially towards the end into beautiful chaos. I love how the vocals and instruments from the interlude are weaved into this song. The last track Fool’s Gold is a very powerful track to close out the album. Again we have really intimate lyrics paired with the mellow vibes that builds up for the chorus. To me this song was a more hopeful message. He’s starting to believe in having a future again and learning to love again. This also felt like it took us somewhere along the journey in Jean’s time capsule. The spacey ambient guitars really gets us lost in this track in the best way.
You can follow JEAN on social media @jeantheanomaly and purchase his album on bandcamp
“Let me go Son” is BUKVE’s debut single. It’s a deeply personal song about letting a father go, not letting his death linger in his life anymore, and also speaking to his son; live your own life when you grow up, you don’t have to walk in my footsteps. It features vocals and steel guitar from the eminent talents of British Firewoodisland, and is produced and mixed by Stamos Koliousis. The song is mastered by Grammy winner Big Bass Brian Gardner (Dr. Dre, David Bowie etc).
BUKVE is the solo project of songwriter Sveinung Fossan Bukve (Secret Treehouse, Vöödöö), who seeks the best for each of his songs, bringing in guests wherever guests are needed to get the best out of the song. The sound will vary in a familiar world of indie pop and alternative pop. A wide selection of collaborators will feature. A full debut album is in the making. BUKVE works closely with producer and friend, Stamos Koliousis, and it is all being visualized by Achilleas Gatospoulos, merging BUKVE’s great Great Grandmothers, Alvhild Fossan’s old drawings and paintings with glaciers, rivers and mountains, from where BUKVE’s family name origins from.The lyrics are very personal, and all music and lyrics are by BUKVE.
The song starts off very atmospheric and almost dream like. The arpeggiated steel guitar gave this song a kind of darkness. The vocals are very soft and beautiful. The background vocals were a nice touch and really brought out the depth of this tune. I love when the drums kick in adding momentum and emotion into the song. The lyrics repeat “let me go son you’re not alone” in a very comforting and soothing tone. I really enjoyed this one and I’m excited to hear more from this artist. For more updates on these artists follow @bukvemusic and @firewoodisland
Mindspark is a group of musicians from Slovenia and India. The band consists of Jerneja Medved vocals/guitar/keys, Duane Wilson on bass/vocals and Adriel Wilson on guitar and vocals. This track also features UK drummer and percussionist Camilla Perselli. They have just released their debut single today “The Lucid Dream.” I had picked this song because I was very impressed with how unique the music sounded. The music itself off the bat reminded me of the Grateful Dead with its eclectic style and sort of sweet psychedelic vibe. The guitar riffs are very catchy and melodic. I also enjoyed the acoustic guitar. The bass line is pretty groovy. Their voices really compliment each other well and the message of the song seems to talk about reflecting on the past and letting go. The song depicts a lucid dream that transcends into a spiritual awakening. Overall, a fantastic track from Mindspark.
Annie Foxx has just released her debut single Blood Runs Cold. She is a brand new artist inspired by artists such as Bishop Briggs and Billie Eilish. This song was a collaboration with Nashville songwriter/producer Austin Bianco. They had both watched Peaky Blinders during quarantine and were inspired by Thomas Shelby’s character. Thomas Shelby is a very complex character that gives off a cold and callous mentality and confidence essentially in order to survive and to escape his dark past. I could definitely picture this song in the Peaky Blinders soundtrack. Blood Runs Cold has a really nice pop beat but also has an edgy alternative vibe to it. Annie Foxx’s powerhouse vocals really carry this song. I love the attitude of this song it reminds me of Believer by Imagine Dragons. Also reminds me of Dark Horse by Katy Perry. The song is very well produced and comes together really nicely. The lyrics “Let the crazy burn right out of the cage load it up and let it fire away” lead me to believe this person has a lot of rage inside and is ready to let it all out. This all builds up to the chorus where Annie sings “Take what I want I’m about to explode”. However she’s been through this struggle and they’re ready to let go and take control. You can keep up with Annie Foxx on IG and Twitter @anniefoxxmusic
Young Josiah was born in San Antonio, Texas and currently lives in in Tallahassee, Florida. He is a brand new artist that started writing music during the pandemic to pass the time and ended up falling in love with the songwriting process. One of his biggest influences in music is Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody which I found really interesting. He has released a new song called Breakfast At Tiffany’s. This is a really catchy fun tune. As a foodie lover I really enjoyed all the selections on the menu. His flow is really smooth and natural reminded me a little bit of Big Sean. I also really enjoyed the animated music video of the song which brought interesting visuals to the story. Young Josiah is working on a few upcoming projects. The first album is called Changes it will be a 12 song storytelling visual video album. The second album is called Crockpot Fusion which is a multi genre rap rock infused album. Young Josiah’s goal is to make unique music that will inspire generations to come. To stay updated with Young Josiah you can follow him on Instagram @youngjosiah_bgkghost
Bryan Hansen Band is an award-winning adult alternative rock band located in New Jersey. Members include singer songwriter Bryan Hansen, William Blakey on Bass Guitar and Vocals, Cwan Merritt (Q) on Drums. They have made a name for themselves playing at venues all throughout the east and west coast. Bryan Hansen Band’s sound is a mix of funk, rock, soul and R&B with music influences from Stevie Wonder, Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer, Al Green and Victor Wooten. They remind me of Maroon 5 however more soulful and funky. My personal favorite song is Diamonds from their 2019 album Gas Money. The tempo is very funky and reminded me of Watermelon Sugar by Harry Styles. I also really love their 2016 album When You Stop Pulling Back which really brings out their bluesy sound and even some jazzy elements. Their energy is incredible, I could totally picture them playing on the streets in New Orleans. This band really brings back all the memories of live shows that we’ve all been missing. Keep this band on your radar, they are going places! For more updates you can follow them on Twitter and Instagram @Bryanhansenband
Luke Watterson is a singer songwriter from Ireland. He has made a name for himself travelling the world and performing in Ireland, Scotland, England, The Netherlands and Germany. Influenced by artists such as Ray Charles, Nirvana, Queen, BB King , and also modern artists such as St Vincent and Meg Myers. He has released a brand new song called Cold And Dry. This song reminds me a lot of Lewis Capaldi with his hauntingly beautiful tone. Cold And Dry is a down tempo ballad with piano and strings that really bring this song to life. The chorus to me speaks in a lonely place of somewhat desperation to help comfort and ease the pain of his true love. He says “keep searching for me” He wants this person to know he truly cares and doesn’t want to be forgotten. Definitely keep Luke Watterson on your radar he has a lot of new music on the way. You can find him on instagram @wattersonluke
Meghan Pulles is a very talented singer songwriter from New York. She has been recognized by fans all over the world for her lyrics that take her fans on an emotional journey of healing. New Horizon is a brand new song that shines bright with an uplifting story to tell. It is a very minimalistic song which I really enjoyed. It has a very neo folk vibe which reminded me a lot of The Lumineers. In my perception, this song is about leaving behind a broken past and moving towards a happy chapter in life. The lyrics “How do I say goodbye when it’s dark and cold inside” makes me feel that this person is having a hard time moving past the darkness in their life. The chorus is very positive and hopeful. I think a lot of people will relate to this song as we are all trying to find our happy place and leave behind the past. Overall, I definitely recommend this track as we need more songs to inspire us and get us through the year.
Middle England is a band from South London, described as a bunch of misfits living in a troubled world, who have been beaten down and are ready to rise up and stir things up. Their debut EP The Lucky is such a vibe. This EP really stood out to me because of how well they blend so many genres. It’s chaotic and moody yet fun at the same time and you can sense a deeper meaning: influenced by a lot of electronic music but also very old school punk, hip hop and just an all out jam. Mentioning the troubles of the UK’s troubled psyche, the vocals on these tracks are very gritty and emotive. It has a lot of darkness and angst to it which is perfect for the daily struggles we have experienced. The tracks that really stood out to me were Honestly and Tongue Tied. The funky bass lines in Honestly are really groovy. The vocals in Tongue Tied reminded me a bit of Smashing Pumpkins. I also thought Old Town Sound was a beautifully written song about the society we live in. Overall this EP has immense energy from start to finish and I highly recommend checking it out.
You can follow Middle England on instagram @middleengland
Break The Tide is a band that formed during the isolation as a necessity to make music during these current times. Bridging the gap between US and UK, this collaboration is influenced by pop punk bands such as A Day To Remember. “Someone I Don’t Know” is the first single release from the upcoming EP “Reborn.” This song is very relatable. Getting close to somebody that changes into someone you don’t know. I was also very much reminded of Blink- 182 with the catchy pop melodies and fast paced punk instruments. I think what really makes this track is the punchy guitar riffs and vocal harmonies. The drums really bring this track together and give it a life of it’s own. I’m really excited to hear the New EP and see what else comes from this band. If you’re digging this track and want to stay updated you can follow Break The Tide On Instagram @break_the_tide