Press Release – Teashhur – November 28, 2016



Teashhur Releases Dynamic Debut Endeavor, ‘Dreams’

Last Thursday, November 24, the independent singer songwriter Teashhur released her debut studio effort, an EP entitled ‘Dreams.’ Available now on iTunes and all other major digital music platforms, the three song collection is a compelling insight into Teashhur’s intensely personal, poignant songwriting style. Alongside the title track, ‘Dreams’ has two other songs: ‘Angel Eyes’ and ‘Boats.’

Teashhur is an Australian who has traveled extensively and lived in places like London and Dubai. She currently resides in Singapore, where she can often be found in local venues performing the songs on ‘Dreams.’ When she lived in London, Teashhur attended a vocal college, which ignited her passion for singing and opened up the art as a creative avenue for her expression. Prior to that, she has studied classical piano since childhood.

The emotional tracks on ‘Dreams’ were sparked by a time of hardship in Teashhur’s life. “I started writing songs to say things I couldn’t verbalize,” she explains. “This journey has not been easy, but I would change nothing, because now I know who I am.” Though the songs have been in the making since 2011, a chance meeting with producer Julian Simons brought them to the studio.

Teashhur can be found on her official website and social media, all of which can be found below. ‘Dreams’ is available now! Fans should sign up for Teashhur’s mailing list on her site to keep updated on her live performances, upcoming releases, and more!

Brielle Von Hugel – ‘Naked’

Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.

In this morning’s edition of the Independent Spotlight, we shine our gaze on Brielle Von Hugel, a vocalist and songwriter based out of New York City. Earlier this week, Von Hugel released her latest studio endeavor, a single entitled ‘Naked.’ The powerhouse track arose out of the songwriter’s ‘strong desire to inspire young women.’ Is it worth taking a listen to and having in your indie music collection? Let’s dig into ‘Naked’ and find out.

Before penning this review, I probably listened to ‘Naked’ half a dozen times. Now, I always listen to music several times through before offering any analysis, but I couldn’t stop hitting the replay button on ‘Naked.’ When I first spun the tune, my jaw hit the floor when Von Hugel reached the first chorus. She may very well have the best voice of any singer I’ve delved into here on the Independent Spotlight this year. The emotion in her delivery is absolutely captivating.

Much to my delight, ‘Naked’ doesn’t attempt to overshadow Von Hugel’s vocal prowess with any ostentatious or overpowering production, something that happens all too often with independent artists. No, ‘Naked’ is scored with a minimalist piano and some very light string sections that arise in the final minutes of the track. Von Hugel is front and center, and that’s exactly how this song should be.

Lyrically, the song is beautiful. It’s inspirational, but it isn’t cliche. It’s a track that I could absolutely see having a meaningful impact on young women who are self-conscious or struggling to find themselves in those difficult, often painful teenage years. (Or anyone else, honestly.) Von Hugel’s vocals are steeped in authenticity, and you can tell she’s lived the song. The importance of that truly cannot be understated.

‘Naked’ is absolutely stunning. It’s one of the most gorgeous tracks I’ve had the pleasure to showcase here on the Spotlight, and I’d highly recommend connecting with Brielle Von Hugel and picking up this tune.

Twitter & Instagram: @BrielleVonHugel

Smoking Martha – ‘Say You’re Mine’

Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.

In this morning’s edition of the Independent Spotlight, we shine our gaze on Smoking Martha, an Australian rock outfit with a new single that came out this fall. Entitled ‘Say You’re Mine,’ their new tune is the first glimpse into their upcoming debut album due out in April of this coming year. Is the track worth picking up, and is that record going to be worth your time as well? Let’s dig into ‘Say You’re Mine’ to find out.

Put plainly, there aren’t enough badass women fronting rock bands in the independent scene. For every fifteen bands that come across my desk, perhaps one of them will have a female personality at the forefront. Smoking Martha has Tasha D. as the helm, and she dominates their sound in the best way possible. She injects an incredible amount of emotion and passion into her performance style, and it’s absolutely fantastic.

Tasha D. can only be as strong as the instrumentation backing her, though, and fortunately, the rest of Smoking Martha is on point throughout ‘Say You’re Mine.’ It’s a wham, bam, thank you, ma’am sort of rock track: it gets in your face, explodes into a symphony of distortion and intensity, and leaves with a bang. More often than not, heavy rock outfits like this come across as abundantly pretentious. Smoking Martha feels genuine, though, and that’s a breath of fresh air for a critic like me.

To top it all off, Smoking Martha partnered with director and producer Tyson Lloyd of Tyson Lloyd Films to release one hell of a music video. I’ll include it above, because it’s a beautifully shot video very much worth checking out. Again, as an indie music critic, I’m all too familiar with poor homemade music videos… I get half a dozen every day. Smoking Martha’s professional sound is echoed on the screen – another welcome breath of fresh air.

‘Say You’re Mine’ is a fantastic hard rock track, and if it’s indicative of the rest of Smoking Martha’s upcoming debut LP, it’ll be a record very much worth taking a listen to come April. Check the band out below!

The Millers – ‘Ginkgo!’

Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.

In this morning’s edition of the Independent Spotlight, we shine our gaze on The Millers, an independent rock outfit from Frankfurt, Germany. Their latest studio endeavor is ‘Ginkgo!,’ a six track EP teeming with punk and alternative influence. Immediately, I was pleasantly surprised when this came across my desk; there aren’t a lot of acts in today’s indie scene citing bands like the Pixies as influence. Is ‘Ginkgo!’ any good, though? Let’s find out.

“We love recording in the studio, but even more to beat the shit out of our instruments on stage,” The Millers told me when explaining their music. As gleeful as this anecdote made me, I was initially worried that ‘Ginkgo!’ wouldn’t translate to the studio well because of it. Some bands with that sort of live show struggle to find their footing when it’s time to cut a record.

That really isn’t the case with The Millers, though. Their studio music has that raw energy that causes them to beat the hell out of their instruments on stage. The production quality of ‘Ginkgo!’ is sharp and the band was captured well in the studio, but at the same time, there isn’t any excessive production. ‘Ginkgo!’ is an album that sounds like it was recorded in a single take with the instruments in the musician’s hands.

‘Cold’ opens up the album, a punk track that has the pounding, stripped down nature of a Sex Pistols tune elegantly mixed with more bizarre Clash-esque lyricism. It’s a wham, bam, thank you, ma’am type of song – it slaps you in the face and continues to do so in a punchy, intense manner throughout. This was a smart sequencing decision, because the atmospheric ‘Desert Song,’ an alternative rock jam with American western vibes, is much more elongated than ‘Cold.’ It’s actually a better track, I’d argue, and exhibits some of the band’s strongest lyricism, but ‘Cold’ is the perfect opener.

‘Boy Enjoy Your Life,’ one of the darker songs on ‘Ginkgo!,’ has a definite Ramones aura to it. It’s the shortest song on the album, but arguably its most rocking. Again, The Millers’ excellent sequencing benefits them here, because ‘Sandpit’ follows with a snappy tune that combines the alternative and punk elements that The Millers toy with to wonderful success.

‘Poem to Her,’ perhaps the best song on the album, is the perfect culmination of the strongest guitar riffing and soloing on ‘Ginkgo!.’ If The Millers were to introduce a new listener to their music, I’d recommend doing so with ‘Poem to Her.’ It’s accessible and immensely fun, even despite the melancholy lyricism.  ‘Sailor Song’ closes the album, a perfect spiritual successor to ‘Desert Song’ that actually seems to evokes some folk influence, surprisingly.

The Millers have a very bare bones sound. Again, this album sounds like it was recorded in a single take without overdubs. (Though I’m sure they exist on it.) That’s a compliment to this outfit: they have an authentic, passionate sound that’s wholly them. There isn’t any fancy production to mask when the vocalist goes slightly out of key or the band falls out of step. ‘Ginkgo!’ sounds like a live album recorded in the studio. Since The Millers sound like they’re one hell of an exciting group to see live, they should be proud they’ve translated that to the recordings.

Press Release – Noavi White – November 24, 2016



Noavi White Releases Dynamic Debut Single, ‘Hair in the Wind’

Last Monday, November 14, the up and coming independent pop singer songwriter, Noavi White, released her debut studio endeavor, a single entitled ‘Hair in the Wind.’ The infectious new track is now available on all major digital music platforms, marking the beginning of White’s promising career in the music scene with an explosive entrance.

Born in Thuringia, Germany, Veronika Einbrodt fostered a love for the arts from a very early age. She began to sing and dance in her youth, and she ultimately refined her talent as she traveled the world, living and working in places like England and India. The call of music was strong for Einbrodt, however, and in the last year she has honed her skills even further by working with producer Philipp Stephan and composing music for companies the likes of BMW, Porsche, and Ferrari – all under the moniker of Noavi White.

‘Hair in the Wind’ has all of the hallmarks of a pop single that’s destined to dominate the airwaves. The sharply produced track is as anthemic as it is passionate. White defines herself as a songwriting and vocal talent to be reckoned with, and ‘Hair in the Wind’ is indicative of an artist with an immense amount of creativity to offer the music community moving forward in her career.

“Tender companion, reach for the stars,” White sings in the opening lines of this new inspirational ballad. “Application for life: follow your heart.” That uplifting message is at the core of White’s artistic persona, offering an authentic insight into what makes her tick. Fans are sure to champion ‘Hair in the Wind’ as a track worth including in one’s soundtrack to life.

Connect with Noavi White on her official website and social networking below. ‘Hair in the Wind’ is available now!

Neonomora – ‘Be Still My Soul’

Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.

In this evening’s edition of the Independent Spotlight, we shine our gaze on Neonomora for the second time this week. On Tuesday, I issued a review of her 2014 album ‘SEEDS,’ in which I lauded it for being “infinitely better than the majority of independent music that comes across my desk.” Now, though, we’ll be visiting some upcoming material from the artist, a single entitled ‘Be Still, My Soul.’

‘Be Still, My Soul’ is definitely a stylistic departure in some ways from ‘SEEDS.’ There’s a lot more electronic influence in the soundscape of this tune, and Neonomora is accented by thick, reverberated synthesizers and thick, intense beats. Despite being more electronic in nature, however, the production on ‘Be Still, My Soul’ is actually less busy than Neonomora’s previous efforts.

This is something that’s thrilling about the new single: it offers a soft, more intimate look into Neonomora as a performer. The production is an excellent as it ever has been on her end, but it’s far more subdued, which in turn allows the spotlight to remain squarely focused on the vocals. “One day you rise, one day you fall,” Neonomora sings as waterfalls of sound similarly rise and fall around her.

Like her previous work, though, Neonomora’s new single still has an anthemic attitude to it. It’s a track that inherently has the listener reaching for their lighter or phone light by the end of the five and a half minutes. It’s a comforting, peaceful listen that offers one of the more passionate, personal performances I’ve seen from Neonomora. It also borders further on soul music, which is something I’m excited to see her exploring further.

‘Be Still, My Soul’ is a superb entry in Neonomora’s growing, and increasingly impressive catalog. She is one of the female vocalists I’m most excited about in the indie scene right now, and her music is very worth your time. Connect with her below.

David Gielan – ‘This Old Burning House’

Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.

In this evening’s edition of the Independent Spotlight, we shine our gaze on David Gielan, a critically acclaimed singer songwriter currently based out of Los Angeles. His latest single, the sparse, but elegant ‘This Old Burning House,’ is a compelling insight into Gielan’s relevance in a contemporary independent music scene. The track was released earlier this month with an accompanying music video. Let’s explore it and discern if you should have it in your collection.

‘This Old Burning House’ only has Gielan on guitar and vocals, backed by Kaitlin Wolfberg on violin and Rome da Luce on keyboard. The importance of Wolfberg’s contribution, I’d argue, cannot be understated. Her performance is absolutely stunning, and it compliments Gielan’s melancholy soundscape in an absolutely perfect fashion. In fact, her inclusion on the recording is plays a large part in separating Gielan’s sound from the rest of the introspective singer songwriters that the indie scene is chock-full of.

Featured performers, however, can only thrive if the material they’re accenting is of a similar grade. In Gielan’s case, ‘This Old Burning House’ is a very sharply penned piece, one that explores the aftermath of a relationship in a very peaceful, poignant way. “I’m not the bad guy, you’re not the worst I’ve ever seen,” Gielan croons in a track that’s surprisingly affectionate and contemplative toward his previous lover.

In truth, ‘This Old Burning House’ is probably one of the healthiest break-up songs that’s ever come across my desk. This is no ‘Idiot Wind.’ The track is a reflective endeavor that seems to offer a cathartic release of emotion for Gielan. It also helps that ‘This Old Burning House’ is exceptionally produced, too, and the music video that was released with it is one of the best shot videos I’ve seen this year in the indie community.

‘This Old Burning House’ is an excellent track that every fan of independent singer songwriters should have in their collection of music. It’s a lovely tune worth checking out.





Neonomora – Her Debut Album

Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.

In this edition of the Independent Spotlight, I’ll be exploring ‘SEEDS,’ a twelve track endeavor from the independent singer and songwriter Neonomora that was released in 2014. Hailing from Indonesia with an international upbringing, the performer cites an eclectic palette of influence, ranging from the likes of Radiohead to Florence + The Machine. This, of course, has helped her paint a particularly diverse sonic portrait on this debut record. Is ‘SEEDS’ an album worth having in one’s collection of excellent independent music? Let’s dig into the tunes and find out.

From the opening notes of ‘Bentley,’ the album’s introductory track, the aforementioned Florence + The Machine influence is abundantly clear. Neonomora’s bombastic, anthemic sound speeds off the starting line with a production that boasts quite the ‘wall of sound.’ While contemporary parallels like Florence, Mumford & Sons, and Of Mice and Men are all valid, I’d actually align ‘Bentley’ even further back: it has a Phil Spector sound. The drums at the two minute mark are straight out of ‘Be My Baby.’

‘Too Young,’ a track that boasts similar infectiousness to its predecessor, also has some especially fascinating new elements early on in the record. There’s an electronic influence that seeps its way into ‘Too Young’ in a very effective fashion, and it’s also the track where Neonomora’s vocals start to explode out of their cage. She can belt; that’s for sure – the range Neonomora exhibits on ‘Too Young’ is spectacular.

The titular track of ‘SEEDS’ showcases a softer side of Neonomora. “Don’t you ever want to love somebody?” she croons in the chorus with beautiful emotion as synthesized strings rise and fall in waterfalls around her. The track has an inherent passion to it, something that couldn’t be more apparent than in the final thirty seconds, which features an intimate, stripped down vocal section from Neonomora.

One of the stronger vocal exhibitions on ‘SEEDS’ is ‘You Want My Love,’ a track that’s actually at its most poignant in the verses when Neonomora isn’t backed by vocal harmonies or expansive percussion. In fact, ‘You Want My Love’ is indicative of a vocalist that could thrive in a few different genres: blues, gospel, and soul especially. I hope that Neonomora experiments with that versatility throughout her career.

‘Palace In My Dreams’ is one of the more obscure tracks on ‘SEEDS,’ at least, lyrically. It seems to explore a relationship that’s long gone by that’s still affecting Neonomora. There’s a sense of optimism to the track, as if it’s an inspirational ballad of sorts. This is contrasted uniquely by ‘The Man,’ one of the album’s most fierce tracks, and one that gives Neonomora’s persona some more edge. ‘The Man’ even evokes a classic vibe, like Neonomora is channeling a Mick Jagger influence.

The electronic influence on ‘SEEDS’ manifests itself deeper on ‘Fight,’ a track has electronic synthesizers in the vein of eight-bit sound production. It’s more experimental on behalf of Neonomora, especially in the wake of traditionally some ‘safer’ tracks. (Like ‘Palace In My Dreams, for example.) Similarly, the electric guitar focused ‘Verge Of Universe’ is the closest the record gets to pure ‘rock,’ and it’s a fitting sound for the artist that’s also quite experimental. Her intensity is accented wonderfully by thick, distorted bar chords, something that’s unique to ‘Verge Of Universe’ in this collection.

If there is a weak link on ‘SEEDS,’ it may be ‘Demons Gone.’ The track lacks some of the razor focus of its eight predecessors, blending verses and choruses into a larger, more droning monotony of a track. Its exclusion probably could have sharpened the sequencing of ‘SEEDS,’ but the ball is quickly picked up by ‘Republic 106,’ a track that toys with religious imagery, but does so in a truly fascinating way. (Goodness, there’s even a church bell somewhere in the massive mix of ‘Republic 106.’)

There are times when Neonomora’s music does begin to feel a bit safe. She establishes a sound on  ‘Bentley’ and there are half a dozen tracks on this album where she doesn’t venture too far off that reservation. With that said, she has honed her sound remarkably well, and there is enough diversity in between those tracks to maintain a listener’s interest. Tunes like ‘Fight’ are notably more experimental as well.

The album does include two remixes in its final tracks. There’s a mix of ‘You Want My Love’ by Adhe Arrio that essentially converts the track into a dance track – a mix that may suit clubs, but listeners will likely prefer the superior original cut. There’s also a Devva remix of ‘Fight,’ a rendition that takes that eight-bit style and infuses it with dance stylings. It’s actually different enough from its original to warrant it being regularly listened to alongside the rest of the album.

Neonomora has put out a debut album that’s infinitely better than the majority of independent music that comes across my desk. The production is sharp, the performances are great, and her vocals are on point throughout. In order to be truly great, she needs to continue to innovate that sound. I’d love to hear her explore even more unusual stylings, and I’d love to hear her stripped down. This album does have a lot of production – I’d be absolutely compelled to hear Neonomora in a more bare bones composition that highlights her vocals at the forefront above all else.

‘SEEDS’ is worth the time of any indie music fan. It’s chock-full of enough influence to bring in listeners from across the spectrum, and it’s indicative of the beginning of a career worth following.

Press Release – Aqcora – November 19, 2016



Aqcora To Release Latest Studio Endeavor, ‘Your Love’ feat. Deyn Shawket

Toward the end of this month, the Universal Music Entertainment remixer, Aqcora, will be releasing their latest studio effort. Entitled ‘Your Love,’ the new single features Deyn Shawket and is set to be distributed on all major digital music platforms, including iTunes and Beatport. The track, which Aqcora classifies as tech house, is the first in a series of similar releases.

‘Your Love’ is set for release on Yellow Rhinestone Records, a global independent record label dedicated to EDM releases from selectively signed artists such as Aqcora. Following this release, Aqcora and Deyn Shawket are set to produce a subsequent five track EP, with which they will approach major labels to introduce their unique style of ‘tribal tech’ to a broader audience.

In early December, Aqcora is also scheduled to release their latest remix project, a compilation CD entitled ‘Remix The Classics’ under Universal Music Entertainment. The album feature Aqcora’s second remix in a series of classic remix CD’s that reinterpret the likes of The Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, Nina Simone, and many more.

Connect with Aqcora on Facebook and Soundcloud below to stay updated on the release of ‘Your Love’ and the slate of other exciting projects the artist has on the horizon!

Press Release – ALTOSPIN Records – Nov. 19, 2016



ALTOSPIN Records To Release New Singles From Astraer

Astraer, a project from Joseph Papadopoulos, a member of Mood Krafterz and Psychic Ströpharia, is preparing to release a new EP, ‘Lithium,’ on ALTOSPIN Records. Hailing from Rennes, Astraer elegantly combines melodic techno and neo-trance musings to create wholly authentic, remarkably stunning soundscapes. The EP, chock-full of sonic diversity and nuance, is set to be an outstanding entry in ALTOSPIN’s growing catalog.

‘Lithium’ will release on ALTOSPIN with two brand new tracks: the title track and ‘Space Brass.’ The titular track of ‘Lithium’ is an ethereal, surreal affair. Astraer’s epic new song spans nearly seven minutes of aural waterfalls rising and falling with fantastic tact. The B-side, ‘Space Brass,’ is an even longer excursion through pounding, danceable beats and infectious, fascinating synthesizer experimentations.

In an Independent Spotlight interview last June, Astraer delved into his unique creative process in some further detail. “I try to bring different ambiances to different tracks,” he mused. “But I also try to link them – to develop a logic between all my tracks, and to have a coherent musical universe behind the Astraer project.”

‘Lithium’ is Astraer’s sophomore release on the ALTOSPIN label. While the release date is to be announced, fans can keep up to date with Astraer and the label via their official website and social networking below to be notified as soon as the release is announced!