Lazlo, founder of BlowUpRadio.com (an online station based around New Jersey artists), shines a light on some of the many new releases from NJ based musicians each week with this column. This week Lazlo takes a look at releases by Sunblossom, Kristy Chmura, Tom Barrett, The Lovely Creatures, John Cozz, Damfino, illuminihilation, Jon Caspi & The First Gun and two compilation albums.
Various Artists - "Don't Get Up, Relax". "Don't Get Up, Relax" is a trio of covers of songs by NJ musician, Sean Faust, with all proceeds going to help with his mental health costs. Full disclosure, I helped put this benefit EP together, and I *gasp* attempt to sing on it! If anything, that is not a reason to get it, because I cannot sing. However, the other two songs (by NJ's The Maravines, and Finnish band The Fisherman & The Sea) are outstanding, as is Pat Veil's work on my song, which makes this no musical talent DJ sound... well you be the judge.
Various Artists - "The Light Between: Songs of Hope and Mercy". Local musician Dw Dunphy put together this excellent collection of 22 previously unreleased songs, some of which are NJ artists, with all proceeds going to St. Jude's Children's Hospital. Good music for a good cause. A win-win!
Sunblossom - "The Open". Bedroom-indie-rocker Sunblossom return with their latest album of tunes, "The Open". this is a beautiful patchwork of rock, pop, melancholy, and a downright epic closing track.
Kristy Chmura - "Where The Light Gets In". Kristy Chmura's new EP, "Where The Light Gets In", showcases the skillfulness of her harp playing melding seamlessly with her vocals, creating beautiful adult contemporary music.
Tom Barrett - "You Are And You've Always Been". Summer is coming to a close and fall will soon be in the air... the smell of pumpkin spice already is (yuck!) Why do I mention fall, because Tom Barrett's latest album is a fall album. Sparse arrangements, perfect for listening to while walking through the woods, the album is as beautiful as the colors of fall foliage, but also melancholic... like the realization that fall's beautiful foliage means winter will soon be here.
The Lovely Creatures - "Black Heart". The Lovely Creatures are a duo (Mike Calamari & Chris Vigorito), but not a folk duo or a guitar & drums duo (Local H, The White Stripes)... in fact they don't have drums on their excellent album. Acoustic & electric guitars, along with keyboards from Mike mix beautifully with Chris's bass to create music influenced by Joy Division, Nick Cave, and The Cure, without sounding like trying to be any one of them.
John Cozz - "Sunday Sauced". "This album isn’t just about the people I hate it’s about the people I love, it’s about myself. This album is a reminder that music has saved my life more times than there are words on this page. So I wrote this album as a reminder to keep moving on." - John Cozz
This album is all the above and has relatable songs for someone who has been involved with any local music scene, be it as a performer, or onlooker.
Damfino - "Skywriting by Word of Mouth". Is alt-pop-rock allowed to be this infectious? It is, and this is one infection I urge you to catch, and maybe, if you are like me, get up and dance (doesn't matter if you dance well) to these tunes.
illuminihilation - "Shattered Shields, Pt. 1". With song titles such as "Let's All Eat Shit & Die!" and "Burn Utopia, Burn!", if you were looking for a feel good album, this is not it. However, if you are looking for an excellent metal/hardcore rock album, then you should check out illuminihilation's new album, "Shattered Shields, Pt. 1".
Jon Caspi & The First Gun - "Watching You" [single]. Well hot damn, I am a sucker for harmonies, and the harmonies that kick off this peppy little garage-pop-punk tune gave me chills. The rest of the song was just a heck of a lot of fun to bop along to. And this song is benefit for A Leg To Stand On, an organization that helps children with limb disabilities get the care and prosthetic devices they need to live better lives.
That's all for this week.
Remember BlowUpRadio.com, plays these and many other New Jersey based artists on our internet radio station, so please check us out. #SupportGoodMusic - If you like any of the above artists, please purchase their music from their site. And if you would like to part of BlowUpRadio.com's New & Notable, please send downloads or contact Lazlo at Lazlo-at-BlowUpRadio-dot-com