Haux

Haux is a one man operation of Woodson Black, with the help of other musicians. This dreamy folk and electronic artist was born and raised in the U.K. “Dreamy folk” what an excellent way to best describe this airy and gentle voice. I can’t quite remember how I came to his music. I am sure in my way it was a stumble. Practically always is. It’s kinda my favorite way to be honest. Anyway, back to Haux and the music that is being made. The first song I heard was “Heartbeat” and then my favorite “Cologne”. But frankly they are all amazing and throughout my journey with this artist I have grown to love other songs. It has a sweetness and subtleness that will captivate you to want to search for more. To support this artist please listen and download.

Haux

Songs: Cologne, Heartbeat, Caves, Seaside, Arrows, Homegrown, Touch, The War

Albums: Something To Remember, All We’ve Known

Website: http://www.hauxmusic.com

 

Abi Ocia

Abi Ocia has one of the most stunning voices that I have heard in quite some time. It is soulful angelic tones are so moving that you can intimately hear the feeling of every word that releases. I just want to keep hitting repeat and I want more of her music to be released. She has a few videos posted on her Facebook that want you begging for more or to simply just load the entire video. I recently heard a version of “Can’t Make You Love Me” and of course in true myself form, I commented. She graciously acknowledge my comment. The artistry this woman posses is nothing sure of amazing. There isn’t too much of her solo work out there but she has been featured as a vocalist with artists such as Draper. There is also a great version of her song “Running” mixed with Drake and produced by DJ Cones. I didn’t give too much of her background for I believe there is no need for her voice and music explains it all. To support this artist please listen and download.

Abi Ocia

Songs: Running, Expo (Stripped), Konfyt

 Featured vocals: Draper – Home, Drake – Running (produced by DJ Cones)

Website: https://soundcloud.com/abi-ocia

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ethan Gruska

Ethan Gruska is a singer-songwriter from and based in Los Angeles. Gruska hails from a highly profiled family, his father is Jay Gruska who writes music for television/film and his maternal grandfather the famous film composer, John Williams. He had many heads turning a few years ago with his detailed and polished sound, that gave him and his sister, Barbara, recognition of their impeccable style as the band, The Belle Brigade. A band I was somewhat familiar with, only like 2-3 songs but I am actually new to Ethan Gruska’s solo music. Introduced last year sometime through one of my many resources for discovering new music. Gruska’s song, What Are You Thinking Of? is what seriously drew me in. It was this hauntingly beautiful delicate piece that had me submerged in thought about my life, family and friends. I listened on repeat all day long. Neighbors was equally a song that had me reflect. Don’t get me wrong the entire album, Slowmotionary (2017) is fantastic, these were the two that resonated with me on a personal level. The album will speak for itself…a journey of Ethan’s life it would seem. Memories of growing up in pieces, different sections of his life experiences, like the song, The Valley and Teenage Drug. Another thing I noticed that stood out was his high register and falsetto vocals. Sweet and tender like the music that accompanies this airy voice. Anyway, take a listen for yourself, you won’t be disappointed. Please continue to support all artists. It isn’t always an easy life no matter who you are connected to. It takes real fortitude to pour your heart out and be vulnerable with your emotions. Braveness. Listen and download.

Ethan Gruska

Songs: What Are You Thinking Of?, Neighbors, Me Who Wasn’t Trying, Teenage Drug, Short Film, Reoccurring Dream, Rather Be, Time Is The Healer, The Valley

Albums: Slowmotinary, Mahogany Sessions

Website: http://www.ethangruska.com

 

Red Rocks Worship

I have never really considered myself a religious person but rather a spiritual one. I believe we are all God’s children in whatever religion you believe. At the end of the day to me it’s one God but in different formations to make those feel comfortable in his presence, hence all the different religions in today’s society. It was and is God’s way to connect to us if that’s what it takes.

I am sure some of you are wondering how could I like Christian music…but you must remember who you are reading from. I am a lover of most, if not all music. This genre being one of them ever since I had the profound stumble of Jars Of Clay when I was interning with BMG Distribution. Yep, I was that kid that went around to the record stores (when we had more of them) and put up posters on the walls and end caps to promote artists under the BMG Distribution umbrella of record labels. During that time I had a copy of Jars Of Clay’s first album and the rest, well was history. It was Alternative Rock but Christian. I was amazed that this was around, so by listening to them led me to others, like Switchfoot, etc…Years later I have found even more bands to listen to. And that’s where comes this group of talented people, Red Rocks Worship. I came to them by an introduction to a song that featured Nicole Serrano. I totally dug her voice and thought, who is this? So I started doing what I do best. Researching this artist and her on-goings to find that she has done guest performances but is primarily a part of Red Rocks Worship as a songwriter and a lead singer. I am not entirely sure but I believe everyone contributes to writing the music but man I gotta tell you that the music and lyrics are brilliantly composed. Not to mention the ones also driving this incredible work, the musicians. The vocal arrangements are superbly seasoned with many sharing in the limelight. I love that. Everyone part takes in the making and performing of this music. A blessed unity of musical bliss. I mean I became an instant fan. I played, All I Want on repeat for a solid hour. It just made me feel good to listen to them but that I also found their music. If I hadn’t been introduced to that wonderful song, which I will share in a compilation posting in the future and dug Nicole Serrano’s voice then I wouldn’t be here featuring this wonderful group of people. Red Rocks Worship have self-released several EP’s through their church, The Rooftop EP (2014), Into The Light (2015), Living Liturgies EP (2016). A year later after they formed, Red Rocks Worship inked a deal with Sony Music/Essential Worship. Here – Live (2017) was released and filmed at the Paramount in Denver, CO.  All their music is available on iTunes. I am sharing a few of my favorite tracks. I understand it may not be your cup of tea but I believe it’s worth the aural experience. Listen and download.

Red Rocks Worship

Songs: More, All I Want, How I Love You (Linda’s Song), Love Changes Everything, How Great Your Love Is, Nobody Like You, You Don’t Forget, I Will Trust, Echo The Son, Fill This Place, God With Us, Not Afraid

Albums: The Rooftop EP, Into The Light, Here – Live

Website: http://www.redrocksworship.com/

 

 

 

Bernhoft

Bernhoft (Jarle Bernhoft) is a multi-instrumentalist singer from Norway. He did live in NYC for about a year (2014-2015) but has since moved back to Osio, Norway. He has been in a number of bands, notably Span. To me it has always just been him, solo. This discovery was much needed a few years ago. It’s taken me this long to share this wonderful artist with you. One thing that stood out about Bernhoft is his soulful rich vocals, high falsetto (Prince-like), guitar playing and the fact that he is a one many show. Categorically you would be peg him only as a singer-songwriter, however there is much more there, that it’s like a pulling back a layer at a time. R&B blended with saucy undertones of funkadelic, soul rock, beat boxing, bluesy greatness. It’s like a fantastic mesh of cleverness. It has me just shaking my head, toe tapping, dancing standing or sitting. It’s feel good jams. There are so many tracks I would like to share with you but I will leave that for you to dabble with. His cover, which he’s known for of Tears For Fears, Shout is pretty good. Judge for yourself, you won’t be disappointed. Listen, download and support this artist.

Bernhoft

Songs: Esiwak, So Many Faces, Don’t Let Me Go, C’mon Talk, Choices, Fly Away, Come Around With Me, Stay With Me, A Bad Place To Reside, Shout (TFF cover)

Albums: Ceramik City Chronicles, Solidarity Breaks, Walk With Me, Islander

Website: http://www.bernhoft.org/

 

Inward Oceans

A Canadian band formed in Vancouver, BC with the belief that beautiful music can be intimate and grand. This was a stumble, a great one. I am very much a lover of ambient music that can express sounds interpreted in many forms, like nature perhaps. Most of the time music like what Inward Oceans creates is more like a movie score, that’s what I hear but not just for a movie but for your life. A cinematic soundtrack for your life so to speak. That is what gets me going when I hear ambient music. And that is exactly what this band has done. I can submerge in my thoughts and moments of time in my life and add this as the background music. A conjure of moving memories, good and bad. I love doing that. When music like this makes you do that, then it’s good. Instantly happened with Inward Oceans. The name says it all…an ocean of emotions, an ocean of beauty, angry and gentle. If this kind of music moves you, then this might be right up your musical alley. Listen, support, download and enjoy creating your cinematic score of your life with this band.

Inward Oceans

Songs: Valleys, Rolling Through, Distant Lights, After The Storm, Saved, Field of White, Sisters, Amelioration, Paths from Home, Tornado Circles

Albums: Weather The Storm, Paths from Home

Website: http://www.inwardoceans.com

 

 

Mandolin Orange

Mandolin Orange is an Americana/folk duo from Chapel Hill, North Carolina that formed in 2009. The duo is comprised of Emily Frantz (vocals, violin, guitar) and Andrew Marlin (vocals, mandolin, guitar, banjo). They have release five albums to date and in 2013 they signed with Yep Roc Records and have produced 3 albums under that umbrella, they have actually produced all their albums. They have been touring extensively for three years quietly gathering local and faraway fans. This duo’s music is meshed with bluegrass, folk, country, gospel with a hint of pop. All the ingredients are there, it’s just down right feel good with it’s strong snug vocal harmonies and dazzling musicianship. Mandolin Orange is a definite must listen to if you feel like a good story, swaying or just a good ol’ foot tappin’. The music they make is nothing short of perfection.

Mandolin Orange

Songs: Wildfire, Hey Stranger, Picking Up The Pieces, Hard Travelin’, Cold Lover’s Waltz, Old Ties And Companions, Rounder, The Wrecking Ball, Lines on the Floor, Angel, Boots Of Spanish Leather (Bob Dylan Cover)

Albums: Blindfaller, Such Jubilee, This Side of Jordan, Haste Make|Hard

Website: http://www.mandolinorange.com

 

The Suffers

Where should I start with this one? I will say this…I know all my Texas readers especially those from Houston will know about this next wonderful band I am about to share but the rest of the masses must not let this band slip through the cracks. The Suffers (Kam, Adam, Nick, Patrick, Jon, Kevin, Michael, Jose and former members Cory and Alex) formed in Houston, TX around 2011 pegging their sound to be Gulf Coast Soul. Agreed but with hints of ska, classic soul, R&B and reggae. Winning a number of awards, 11 Houston Press Music Awards in 2015 and gaining much recognition from the likes of Billboard, Esquire, SPIN, Paste and The New York Times. Man o’ man they are such a beautiful mixture of many forms of music…it’s just a well seasoned music machine. The band has great chemistry that keeps the performances nicely neat and tight. Motown comes to mind and especially Gladys Knight and the Pips…A force to be reckoned with musically. I will just let them tell you! Makes me feel like dancing or tapping along. It’s that good y’all! Support this artist and download their music.

The Suffers

Songs: Make Some Room, Giver, Peanuts, Stay, Midtown, Slow It Down, Gwan, Better

Album: The Suffers

Website: http://www.thesuffers.com

 

 

Amason

An indie pop rock band from Sweden formed in December of 2012, taking their name either from an old make of Volvo or the female warriors of Greek mythology. It is made up of vocalist Amanda Bergman (also known as Hajen, Jaw Lesson and Idiot Wind), guitarist, keyboardist and vocalist Gustav Ejstes (from Dungen), keyboardist Pontus Winnberg (from Miike Snow and Avant of producing duo Bloodshy and Avant), drummer Nils Törnqvist (from Little Majorette) and bassist Petter Winnberg (from Little Majorette).  Pegged a super group for having success with other projects, they released their first EP (same title) around August 2013 with Flygplasten EP (2015) to follow under the Swedish label Ingrid. I read an interview that states, they were signed to Universal Music Group but ultimately severing ties with the label due to conflicts of creativity, etc. A story told one too many times.  Amanda’s vocals are flawless and reminiscent of Christine McVie (Fleetwood Mac), everything on point. So on point that, the band won a Grammis (Swedish Grammy) for the release of their debut full length album, Sky City (2015).  Amason’s sound is sure to please with an 80’s pop rock feel mixed with a synthy indie rock vibe; well seasoned to the touch. Their recent release of the EP, California Airport Love (2016) includes covers of Foreigner’s “I Want To Know What Love Is” and The Mama and The Papas, “California Dreamin'”. Both exceptional covers, some of the best versions I have heard. I don’t know, I just dig their sound, it’s slick and polished…and I love they have songs in Swedish, it makes my ears happy! Please support this artist! Listen and download!

Amason

Songs: Yellow Moon, Went To War, Duvan, Alen, Kelly, Algen, Paradis I Krisen, Airport, Margins, California Dreamin, I Want To Know What Love Is

Albums: Sky City, EP, Flygplatsen, California Airport Love

Website: http://www.amasonband.com

Damien Jurado

About 7 years ago I discovered the music of Damien Jurado by chance and I was instantly hooked. Some of you may know of him already but I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to share his beautiful music with those of you that don’t know who he is. He began his start in Seattle with releasing his own music on cassettes on his own label he created called Casa Recordings. By that time he had gained a cult following locally and the attention of Jeremy Engik whose band was signed to Sup Pop; who in turn had the label interested and they signed Jurado. To date in total, he has released 16 albums/live albums and 15 EP’s. I have so many favorites to share and this a tough decision but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t make your way to discover your own favorites. I am certain that you will find that one that you relate to, he has many beautifully written songs. Recently, I watched a video of his upcoming 50 state tour (see video below) announcement and he described his reason for doing this, a re-connection with humanity so to speak. A true testament of what kind of amazing artist he is:

“It started as a dream as I drove past so many neighborhoods and towns on my way the “major market”. I have watched our choice to connect to the experience in front of us dwindle away, only to be replaced with connection to a screen. We are told what is success, sold what is the “it” thing, and fed what people think we should know. Its not that any of those are bad, but on their own, they are nothing. We are nothing without the connection to one another. We are blesssed to live in a beautiful world FULL of incredible people. If that isn’t worth getting together and celebrating, I dont know what is. Join me in celebrating our country and the things that not only make us the same but also the beauty of our differences.”

Jurado’s indie rock singer-songwriter style is one to be reckon with…the music and lyrics are a slice of heaven and his voice is like butter. This artist is a definite must listen to…a must. Take the musical journey with this artist, it will be a heck of an experience. Discover, download and enjoy.

Damien Jurado

Songs: Maraqopa, Everything Trying, Sheets, Abilene, I Can’t Get Over You, Hoquiam, Denton Tx, Silver Joy, On The Land Blues, Horizons

Albums: Maraqopa, Caught in the Trees, Where Shall You Take Me?, And Now That I’m in Your Shadow, Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son, Tumbledown

Website: http://damienjurado.com