The HalShack RockCast has become a breath of fresh air to what had become a rather flaccid arena for what today’s FM radio plays, which can be nothing short of the same female (or male) singers practicing their vocal exercises over a producer’s loops or some recycled or borrowed beat that people had long forgotten.
Hal brings you the unpolished gems of what can (and will) be actual future storytellers brought to you via FM radio. A standard example is Kylie Odetta. Her voice can lift your spirits. At the same time,
Hal brings you a podcast that you can play when you have company over, if only for the purpose of ambience; however, his infectious enthusiasm grabs you into the songs he presents like the FM days of old when DJs kept you hanging on to your radio to hear the next good song.
Hal has the ability to take you back to the soul of what made you excited about music.
Brandon Barnes is a former broadcaster, producer and DJ for 1230AM WMFR, 99.5FM WMAG and 98.3FM WTHP in the Piedmont-Triad, North Carolina metropolitan market.
He was also a vanguard DJ for the Greensboro/Winston-Salem club scene, with venues at Club 5th Season, Club Orion, The Clubhouse, Club Hellenbach and The Red Pepper Tavern, as well as various entertainment complexes throughout the Carolinas.
CLICK the pics to listen and support!
(Left) for Ep 11
(Center) for Podomatic (lots of tunes and more shows)
(Right) for Ep 12
EDITORS NOTE: The original album 'Elecric Youth' got shelved before its release date in April to make way for a new EP to be out on 8-3-18 and a Full cd album in November 2018. Some of these tracks will be released in Nov and some planned for a follow up next year!! So for now its all an exclusive for the Halshack baby!!
We will continue to spin more tracks from ELECTRIC YOUTH on future episodes. So you will at least get to hear most of this awesome unreleased material.
FACEBOOK page link...PAPER JACKETS
Every spring needs a fresh breath of adventure, every summer a new flame of sunshine and so too music always needs novel adventures to embrace and that is just what Paper Jackets bring with their debut album, "Electric Youth". A thick collection of songs nurtured in a captivating mix of indie rock and synth pop with plenty more to get the imagination going, the album is a boisterous blend of the engagingly familiar and boldly unique, one of those encounters which just gets under the skin.
Bursting from the LA indie pop scene Paper Jackets is a brand new proposition consisting of vocalist James Mason, keyboardist Emily Dickinson, guitarist Jonny Vesely, bassist Miles Franco, and drummer Michael Diguglielmo. Inspirations to their imagination come in the shape of artists such as (Sky Ferreira, BØRNS, Misterwives, and Walk the Moon), spices which have been embraced in a sound as big and rich as it is tight and ridiculously infectious, a viral quality fueling the inescapable lure of 'Electric Youth’. The album was recorded with producer Ethan Kaufmann, himself a potent ingredient in their home states pop and rock scene.
With themes exploring the anxieties and tensions of stepping into the world of being an adult as well as the darker corners of personal relationships, Electric Youth needed mere seconds to lure eager attention as opener “California State" unveiled its instantly magnetic welcome. Harmonies and melody straight away unite in a joyful stroll, rhythms just as inviting as they surround the swiftly magnetic tones of Mason. There are some vocal presences which make you look up, capture attention and his certainly achieves that with quick ease. An instinctive if undemanding swing to the song leads to the first of the albums rousing choruses, one of numerous elements within the song coming together for one highly flavorsome proposition. From dancing guitars to ear caressing keys, pulsating bass to air popping beats, each angle of the song unite their lean but rich presence for one ball of a start.
It is an outstanding first encounter with Paper Jackets which is more than matched by the following “Stand Back", a thickly engaging cover of the Stevie Nicks classic. Diguglielmo's hefty swings trigger a summer of melody and enterprise, keys accentuating the warmth with their suggestive glaze. The song's eighties scented synth pop soon grabbed hips and appetite while the emotive shadows spun by Mason had thoughts bound in the heart of the encounter. As its predecessor, the song is pop rock at its lustiness, bold and skillfully crafted fusing something familiar to the band's distinctive character.
The funk fueled dace of “Body Heat" has energy and appetite bouncing next; an impossible to ignore
chorus at its core surrounded by almost mischievous idealization in sound and energy. Once again you may feel there is much in the track which you already know but it only adds to the lively sensual seduction and temptation which is like seeing an old friend in a whole new light.
A beckoning of shadows line the fiercely irresistible “Night Time Killers", a song which has echoes of bands such as Depeche Mode and China Crisis to its flirtatious pop 'n' roll. Dickinson's keys pulsate with an almost portentous touch as Vesely aligns his wiry melodies to the suggestion of vocals and harmonies; a mix which again simply infests the imagination.
Four songs in and on the first listen alone vocal chords were as easily involved in the songs as the body, the persuasive quality all the best pop songs have and one both “Bad Manners" and
“Hip Hip Hooray" have in their contagious charms. The first has an infectious swagger to its saunter, a feisty nature and energy which urges the same tenacity from Mason and his increasingly expressive and impressive delivery. Its successor has a calmer gait and urgency but quickly baits attention with masterful hooks and the dancing keys of Dickinson, their smiling lures perfectly added to by the dark almost growling throb of Franco's bass. Ok, the track did not quite ignite the passions as forcibly as its predecessors yet everything about it is manipulative persuasion.
The best track for us is next in the atmospheric shape of “All Boys". It is a darker almost terrific proposal with menace in its intimation and defiance in its attitude but as virally contagious as anything on the album. Mason is the puppeteer to its drama, Franco the spine to its rapaciously solicitous temptation with all five members creating one of the most irresistible moments heard this year so far, and indeed the last, before “Last One Standing" strolls in with a (Hall & Oates) meets
(Red Hot Chili Peppers) scented enticement to keep the good times rolling for feet and spirit.
"Three for the Show“ captivates ears next, its gentle pop maybe promising more than it delivers at times but once more pleasure is to the rim, it is just the majesty of those before which leaves it in their shadows and something “Heart Is Yours" also comes up against as it shares its virulent croon. Each of the two though is as memorable as anything upon 'Electric Youth' in their own individual way as too, The Police-esque “Mary Louise". That (Sting and company) scent in various ways is a regular hue to Electric Youth and again only adds to its rich appeal.
The band's heavier rock instincts are brought to keen focus within next up “Graduation Day" guitars and rhythms colluding in a great fiery roar while “Another Song About Life" hugs ears and thoughts with its melancholic yet bright ballad.
Completed by acoustic versions of “California State “and “Stand Back", it is fair to say that 'Electric Youth’ had ears hooked on the first listen and even more lustfully involved thereon in. Pop and rock collude with almost fevered enthusiasm from first note to last in a release surely destined to be greedily devoured and subsequently acclaimed.
What a way to introduce yourselves….
Pete RingMaster 02/03/2018
THANK YOU SO MUCH TO PETE RINGMASTER OF THE RINGMASTER REVIEW for your hard work, time and attention to detail in this great early "peek" while we wait for the band to open up their dressing room door and unveil the new PAPER JACKETS!!
Click the pic to link to RINGMASTER REVIEW
The RINGMASTER REVIEW is a prominent independent music reviewer based in the UK whom has been providing quality reviews and articles for the indie music scene for many many years in Great Britain and beyond! I'm proud to have Pete on my team of professional knuckleheads!
Click the pic to hear the new ep 12!!
The first look gives you a sweet, young, charming, blonde girl, but as soon as you start listening to her music you realize that there is so much more beside these features. Kylie Odetta will pull you in with her powerful, but soft raspy voice, and keep you "hostage" on a journey full of emotions.
Prepare to close your eyes and dream. Laying on a warm beach, hearing the waves and the magical voice of a true artist: Kylie O.
As she said about her goal, "My goal is to create art that moves people deep inside their souls, brings love to light & enhances the beauty and power of emotion" you can feel that. In every word, every note of her piano she unites her vulnerability with her passion to move on and make her dreams come true. Mixing pop with soul and r'n'b brings out the freshness in the sound of this talented artist.
Songs like "Waiting Game", "Can't Handle That" and "Gasoline" show that she is not naive anymore, thinking that love can be just as romantic as in the movies.
You can easily find yourself in her songs. "Promised Myself" is, I am sure of it, a song most of us can relate to. Not giving up on a person even when we see that she acts like she does not want our love, knowing what we have to do, but not doing it. Imagine a kaleidoscope, mysterious, colorful and beautiful, turn it into a person, and you get Kylie Odetta. Personally I am very curios to see all the facets of Kylie O. Her latest album came out on May 19, 2017 and is available on different platforms.
Editor's note.... Kylie placed 10th in our Top 10 "Battleshack" contest and her song
"Sweet Innocence" can be heard in episode 10 (Battleshack) ....here's the link....CLICK HERE
Written by.... Andrea Baskin
Click the pics to hear some of her tunes...ALREADY GONE, WAITING GAME, TOO DEEP IN LOVE
WAITING GAME is new to the Halshack and has never been played or posted on my show. ENJOY!!
Thanks Andrea for the great article and review for KYLIE ODETTA!!
For the last few days I’ve been spinning tracks from Cincinnati based ‘The Civics’, who I understand are now in Nashville chasing the dream. Despite that I’m generally drawn more to the Alt. Rock sound (older The Civics sound) than synth based pop songs (their current direction), The Civics have made a believer out of me, and I can’t wait to hear more from them! One of the cornerstone attributes of a great band is repeatability, and these boys have it in spades. Undeniable, inescapable pop sensibilities flow effortlessly throughout, and every song is both inspiring and anthemic as all hell!
Now, everyone connects with music on different levels based on their own perspectives. As a guitar player, I connected immediately with The Civics’ guitar work. Clean(er) electric guitar swells and tones swimming in delay effects are pretty rare these days, but are an essential component of The Civics sound that resonated with me deeply. Vocally I found their melodic paths and lyrics equally captivating.
Using ingredients (Influences) like Coldplay, Imagine Dragons, U2, The Killers, One Republic, etc. (I also tasted hints of Tom Delong (Blink 182, Angels & Airwaves), Maroon 5, The Lumineers, Mumford & Sons, etc.) The Civics serve up an amazing dish with perfect balances of passion, patience, delicacy, raw enthusiasm and energy.
Exploring the limits of pop sensibilities is something I wish more bands would do, so kudos to The Civics for doing just that and for owning the 9th place spot in the Battleshack 2017!
Listen to one of their best tracks...this song was featured in their debut show episode 8 and it was so good we had to run it again in the Battleshack!!
Article written and contributed by:
(Halshack Indie Rockcast)
This was originally posted on "The Ringmaster Review" back in 2013
Written by: Pete Ringmaster
The musical journey for Colorado band Savage Henry and its members has been long and undoubtedly exhausting for a group whose seeds began with a group of teenagers who started out on a musical quest in 1994 as the band On Second Thought. The musical exploration and venture of the Denver band is still an expanding and growing experience with already plenty of highlights but as 2013 opens its welcoming arms the feeling that Savage Henry is standing on the precipice of a deserved wider reaching recognition is a strong warm wind in their creative skies.From that summer the original members of the band from the those first days and those who joined as Savage Henry emerged in 2004, earned their musical spurs through releases and hard work leading up to the band’s introduction through the album All In the following year. With a line-up of vocalist Damon Guerrasio, guitarist Stu Miller, bassist Ryan Morrow, drummer Mike Rice, and keyboardist Jeremy Lawton, the band found the impressive record strongly received record upon its debut in July 2005 at the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheater (part of the Film on the Rocks series) and showed the creative prowess and imagination of the songwriting was back to its creative best with extra instinctive flourish and rock passion to the new songs, though less of the previous ska and reggae teasing, though it still whispered loudly at times. Constantly rippling with great tracks like the wonderfully engaging Daisy, the tantalising Alive & Kickin’ where the band switches feet and styles with consummate ease and skill, and the feisty Monkey, the biggest highlight of the album, the release incorporated many essences and flavours into its pulsating passage The last of the three mentioned offered a potent Squeeze like warm rock pop beauty, just one compelling example of the thoughtful diversity within the release. It is a record which re-ignited the emotions the first album of OST sparked and more, its varied and riveting array of ideas and sounds going a long way to helping the band find themselves with again plenty of radio attention which included performances at Denver rock stations 93.3 KTCL and 99.5 KQMT amongst a full on charge of gigs and shows, over 175 including sharing stages with the likes of Cowboy Mouth and Better than Ezra to name a couple.
Changes in personnel occurred in 2007 with bassist Morrow joining fellow Denver band, Black Blood Orchestra and drummer Rice turning to solo projects. Replaced by John Jeffers and Mike Boyd respectively and with the additional joining of second guitarist Glen Esparza, the band sculpted another striking evolution to their sound for next album Step Lively which was unveiled in 2009. Again the even stronger rock voice of the band ignited the passions whilst the pop and ska breezes added extra relish to their increasingly potent music. From its very start with the magnetic Shot In The Dark and the immense Broken, the album is a wonderful storm of sinewy riffs and thumping rhythms entwined with a heated melodic majesty as well as a seamlessly fused intelligent caress of emotive and golden elegance in songs like Melody and Call On Me. The release also found a rich vein of pop punk to ignite certain songs as in the excitable and brilliant Unrequited and the equally scintillating Vice. Without doubt the album is the band’s finest moment to date and the strongest of many reasons why you feel the band is standing on the verge of breaking into that worldwide recognition.
Since the album the band has continued to make an impression on the radio and live, as well as having their song 300 Miles which was inspired by a terrible bus accident with a Fed Ex truck during a tour of the mid-west, licensed by Eddie Bauer and First Ascent ski clothing company to use in a video to advertise their clothing around the world from 2010-2011.The past year was noted for a video produced by the band’s passionate P.R. Manager Hal Jester, for the track Hero which was written to honor fallen soldiers and those that have made the greatest sacrifice for us, as well as generally a growing intensity in the media through blogs and radio play. Their increasing presence thanks to the online drive of Jester has put the band in a prime position to make 2013 a major landmark in the eighteen year history of the band. Savage Henry is a band everyone should get acquainted with.
Pete RingMaster 02/02/2013
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
STEALING EDEN: album... "Truth In Tragedy"
"YES!!!", is all I can say about Stealing Eden's album, "Truth In Tragedy". This is one of those rare albums where I can hit play, put the album on repeat and just let the ass kicking ensue!
It is a high energy rocking album that kicks you right in the head with "All I Need" and the impeccable vocals and harmonies of singer and band founder, David Ottoson. Other notable power songs for me were "No One Else" and "Just A Memory". There are also a few well-placed softer and thoughtful songs like "Right In Front of you" and my personal favorite, "Seed".
You will instantly be drawn to the powerful harmonies of vocalist David Ottoson while the rest of the band drives song with confidence and power. The lyrics cover a broad spectrum of relationship situations from being hurt and used to standing by the other person's side at all cost as in "Never Give Up". This album is definitely worth purchasing and adding to your collection if you want energized rock anthems and hook after hook with the choruses. There is a follow up album in the works and I am sure it will be just as exciting and well played as "Truth In Tragedy" is.
Get out there and support the bands you love! Buy their music and merchandise, see them live and spread the word to keep the music and musicians you love entertaining the masses!!!
link to play.....Song "Never Give Up" at Podomatic
Andrew J. Liles
(former affiliate scout for ROAD RUNNER records website)
Facebook .... Andrew
Halshack would like to add the fact that this band is from Vancouver, British Columbia Canada and has had over 40.000 cd sales!! They have done this on their own without a label......VERY IMPRESSIVE!!
Seven Circle Sunrise: "Beauty In Being Alone" ... album review
Here we have a hard-to-nail-down five piece. There are a ton of influences here, yet they manage to craft material that defies a simple label. “Enigmatic Groove Punk” is about as accurate a handle as I could dream up after listening to their eclectic mix of straight ahead standards to almost a 180 degree “Sir Fish”, which is my #1 pick for this batch of songs. Almost psychedelic in nature, the contrast is deep, opposing any defining cornerstone one may be led to believe..
The individuality of each song conveys a desire to play musical “whack a mole”, with a 4/4 mallet with the odd sideways change here and there to keep us guessing. It would seem there is a huge desire to involve all band members in the writing process, as the bass guitar is showcased often, which is rare outside the virtuoso bass-guy territory. A no-fear approach of topics on the darker side of life with a smattering of edgy, sub-culture references force the ears to process the lyrics despite the rhythm.
Bluesy overtones and clever hooks solidify the intent to produce a high quality product for an ever changing scene. I get the impression most of the material is recorded live, but I could be mistaken. Sure, there are influences that stand out, a few production issues,…….but the writing shows depth within the confines of a couple handfuls of tunes, with a green light for growth and development…..Uncountable Kings…..Have a look-see….What are your thoughts?
link to play..."Sir Fish" at Podomatic
Magic Giant……an indie-folk three piece out of southern California. Their bio gives the impression that destiny played a role in their continuing in the business. I’d say the “magic” part of their name is no happy accident but a testament to tenacity of “hanging in there”. This is an example of the mysterious ways of modern pop culture and the bizarre music industry.
With the four songs I was given to have a look at, I immediately got the impression that these guys have a really great utilization of soaring harmonies, with a range of movement that touches the better part of three octaves. This range is maturely executed and provides a clinic on how to write enormous chorus breaks and breakdowns to force the crowd into joining in on the tunes whether they like it or not.
The band instrumentation also provides a few moments of: “Did I just hear banjo?”. The parts are simplistic, yet necessary and blend together perfectly, weaving in and out of the songs while complementing the vocals, providing an anchor for Austin to craft his wide interval structures that are part of their signature.
The songs are inherently dark in nature that is somewhat misleading with the catchy hooks. Almost a Pop contradiction, since the tunes are soaring with more movement than the bathroom at a shady buffet restaurant. Joking aside, these guys have the gem “Glass Heart”. I must have listened to this tune a hundred times in this process. The build of the song takes a listener from somber intro to an immediate barn burner. The chorus is genius with a falsetto answer to the normal verse, with an outstanding chordal movement, with sneaky dark lyrics that you don’t seem to notice till you realize them.
Exceptional art from these guys would prime up any live situation. The upbeat nature, regardless if they were singing about puppy-love or capital punishment, proves that harmony and melody win every time.
Promoters would be wise to pick up these guys as an opener in an appropriate lineup of a wide assortment of shows. Very diverse band that deserves to continue on as the “Magic Giant” they are.
link to play "Glass Heart" at Podomatic
Uncle Marcus SMT (former major record label affiliate scout for Road Runner Records website)
For some reason, most of the millennial generation has evolved to despise country music. Alongside this repudiation, the genre itself has begun to evolve to appease the taste of the generation. And now, a burgeoning band may have a shot at successfully infiltrating the sound waves of the peculiar and particular 20 somethings.
Beginning as a duo comprised of Errol Sammut and Johann Schembri, Airport Impressions has certainly come a long way from the small island of Malta. The two spent six months in Ireland, which proved to be a significant musical influence. Later on, Chris Curmi and Steve Farrugia joined, adding to the band’s creative and musical potential.
To label Airport Impressions "country" would certainly be a stretch. The act makes it difficult to be pigeonholed into one word. As with any musical anomaly, ITunes manages to solve this problem by stamping "alternative" onto a sometimes questionable amount of bands. By combining two generalizations, "alternative country" isn't necessarily an inaccurate indicator of this band's sound.
By focusing on the elements that could identify Airport impressions as country, it becomes evident where their strengths lie. Errol Sammut's vocals are a prominent example of this. Somewhere between rock and country, his vocal ranges never remain static, and along other vocal harmonies, exceeds what seem possible for his range. Further country esque distinctions are the occasional mandolin and banjo riffs hidden within some tracks.
A prime example of their versatility is "let it shine," from their sophomore album "Mariette." The opening guitar riffs pave what could have been an uncharacteristically atmospheric song. That is, until the song's drums open into a much more indie rock driven sound. Next to the the previous tracks of the album, this is a stand out.
Although Airport Impressions may not be for everyone, their talent as a band is evident. Being able to effectively pull in various influences is an appeal to outlining fans of both country and alternative. From their debut to latest release, they maintain an overall consistency that leaves room to be built upon in future releases. Although, their first album definitely leans more toward the alternative side on the spectrum. Upon first listen, the band doesn't sound particularly innovative, but the quality of what they create is undeniable.
link to play ...."Let it Shine" at Podomatic
facebook link for Airport Impressions
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