- Vancouver, British Columbia - Do you remember Esthero? Back in 1998, she released her debut album Breath From Another, which was supposed to be her big break and make her a new household name. I was quite young when it came out and I remember I really enjoyed her radio hit, “That Girl.” Now, apparently the album didn't perform very well at the time, which is disappointing, but it seems that time has treated it well. What Esthero didn't get in record sales, she at least made up for it with acclaim and respect and has been an active figure in the music industry, co-writing and collaborating with countless artists over the years. Breath From Another is still held with very high regard from a lot of fans and is considered a classic album in the trip-hop and acid jazz genres. Doesn't really sound like a failure at all to me. Fast forward to 2005 when she released her second album, Wikked Lil' Grrrls, which was a bold reinvention of her style, drifting from the slickly produced electronic music into pop-jazz territory. It was also a stunning album and also received frequent radio play, particularly in Canada. I can't really speak for American radio stations. But again, mainstream success evaded her, but I don't know if that was the goal so much, especially since the opening single of that album was “We R In Need of a Musical Revolution,” which was a clear plea for better music on the radio. Understandably, I didn't hear that one much.
Music Reviews and Commentary
Entries in Kickstarter (3)
- San Diego, California - Piano-ballad-based rock is one of my favorite genres, because it has the potential to mix the articulate, intricate feel of piano with the angsty drive of overdrive guitars. The difficulty I often have with this slow-burning style, however, is that it tends to get lost in itself and become too dependent upon the lyrical story of the album, resulting in a musical repetition that becomes tiring after listening to a few tracks. I stumbled upon Via Coma serendipitously on Reddit, and, on a whim, gave their newest album, Figures, a spin to discover an excellently written and executed album that features a host of imaginative effects and mix choices. Via Coma plays as a dark, brooding cross between Falling Up and Explosions in the Sky but features a welcome, restless drive and structural ambition that sets it apart as an easily immersive experience worthy of several listens.
- Vancouver, British Columbia - About a year ago, independent singer/songwriter Charlene Kaye set out to make her sophomore full length album and came to her fans for help. Since the release of her first album, Things I Will Need in the Past back in 2008, she has released a number of singles and EPs and has been building a loyal fan base. And a couple of years ago, I joined that fan base simply by stumbling upon her bandcamp page and instantly noticied her honest song writing and outstanding voice. Sometimes you can tell when a talent will definitely go somewhere and I recognized that right away. So, when she came to her fans for help on her next album, I gladly donated to her cause as best I could. And I wasn't the only one as she surpassed her Kickstarter goal, making over 50% more than what she asked for.