"GOONS WEST" is a start-to-finish clinic on pop songwriting and production. Witty, side-eye lyrics perched on earworm melodies, crafted with deftness and care that brings to mind the great song machines like Squeeze.
This album is a goldmine of pop gold nuggets and our Album Of The Year. Get it HERE
NSK is the creation of the Glenn Berggoetz and Alan Greene, author/filmmaker and cinematographer respectively, and ON LOAN FROM THE UNIVERSE is a colossal, theatrical, chance-taking work of prog-pop-rock-experimental songs that extracts you from wherever you are and takes you where NSK wants you to be.
Get this stellar, exploratory work of popprogrock HERE
Unfortunately Steven, the performance side of LA's Steven Ramirez, has released one of the most brutally honest albums in years, and a real "concept" album. "GROOVY AVOCADO DISCO", a play on the acronym for General Affective Disorder, follows Steven as he enters, participates in, and leaves a therapy session. All presented in upbeat, groovin', and memorable songs that make you want to dance in the streets as you slit your wrist,
Check out this peek inside the persona of Steven HERE
Francis Dunnery, the veteran guitarist and leader of the 90s UK prog group "It Bites", session guitarist who played on albums from YES, and now PA resident has released the MASSIVE, glorious "THE BIG PURPLE CASTLE". Filled with songs showcasing Francis' insightful and thought-provoking lyrics and unmatched guitar work, TBPC is also a wonderful sounding production, far exceeding the standard today. You can explore this expansive release HERE
San Francisco-based duo RPxSB (Roddy Picante and Stay Bizzy) released the 3-LP opus ”CREATURES I-III” in stages between August and September this past year. Any one of the three would make the Top 10. Together, you have an autobiographical tour-de-force that, while not perfect, is a monumental accomplishment, at times moody, angry, but mostly a fun listen. Get to know Roddy and SB HERE
Released in late 2021, "GRACE" from NYC-based multi-instrumentalist COS sets a new progressive rock bar - especially for the US prog scene which hasn't kept up with the British and Italian prog universe. "GRACE" not only has the requisite virtuosic performances, but they are boosted by creative arrangements and, most importantly, solid songwriting. Check out prog NYC-style HERE
Vancouver, British Columbia's WHITBECK, led by guitarist and songwriter Glen Whitbeck, makes unabashedly BIG, LOUD pop/rock music, with BIG GUITARS, BIG REVERB, BIG DRUMS and it WORKS BIG TIME. It's 80s arena rock with better songwriting, but just as anthemic. "THE MIGHTY WHITBECK" is how we refer to him. Turn up your stereos and let Whitbeck rock you HERE
"FIB FACTORY", from Austin' TX's Bottlecap Mountain, is a beautifully written and produced collection of songs that adds Vampire Weekend-like urban grooves over a southwestern Americana storytelling reminiscent of Gram Parsons. Check out this delightful release from the Lone Star state HERE
With heavyweight guest artists like Zakk Wylde and Charlie Starr, NJ rocker Kenny Dubman made it clear he was turning it up on "CONFLICTED", one of the all-around best rock albums of the year, indie or major label. Creative and thought-provoking songwriting, like the eerie "Beautiful Like You", delivered with Kenny's passionate growl and driving guitar, is proof rock and roll is alive and well. You can hear for yourself HERE
Stevie Cornell has been making music since the East Bay in the 1970s. After a stint in VT, he returned to CA (Santa Rosa), releasing the style-jumping, time-evocative self-titled STEVIE CORNELL. From the shadows of Buddy Holly in "If Crying Is A Crime" to the FM-ease of "Sailboat", it is evident Stevie writes from the experience of years. You can hear his WC sounds HERE
Scoopski is a Philadelphia favorite of WDNF-Philly.com, and if Christmas songs were included in the Top 50, "Your First Christmas" would be in single-digits. "See You Soon" is 100% Scoopski. "What is that?" you may ask? It's whatever they want to be. Check it out a quintessentially Philly band HERE
Washington DC-based rapper J Ru had two songs in the WDNF-Philly.com Top 50 Songs Of 2022. This autobiographical homage to Kendrick Lamar is an honest window into a life dominated for a long time by dysmorphia and body image issues. "Scars" may be the most honest 1:47 of recorded music. Discover this incredible work by this up and coming artist HERE
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