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New Emily Wolfe Single to Make you Feel “Better”

Emily Wolfe lets her light shine in her latest single “Something Better.” The song takes the listener on a ride by starting soft and sweet, then showcasing huge vocals, catchy guitar licks and powerful drums along the way. Simply put, after listening to “Something Better,” one can’t help but feel “better.” Even though the lyrical content is rooted in loneliness, the overall vibe is undoubtedly positive and it’s clear that Wolfe has been able to turn a painful experience into an uplifting pop-rock anthem.

Wolfe wastes no time jumping into the lead single from her upcoming album “Outlier.” Right away, she pulls you in with her distinct, high-registered vocals that straddle the line between classic rock and modern pop. It’s something that’ll appeal to many generations of music listeners, almost as if Stevie Nicks and Demi Lovato put their voices in a blender. The intro is gradually complemented with a straightforward drum beat and Wolfe’s scorching guitar riffs. There have been many artists who blend elements of pop and rock, but Wolfe does so in a way that should satisfy purists from both genres. She possesses the look, attitude, and guitar chops of a true Rock n’ Roller. Yet her crisp, dynamic vocal style, polished production, and uncanny ability to create an earworm chorus could easily land her on some of the biggest pop stations around the world. 

Wolfe repeats that she’s “alone” and “tired” and looking for “something better.” She laments about the monotony of it all, and her yearning for a more exciting life is highly relatable -- it’s easy to fall into a rut and mindlessly go about your everyday routine without ever stopping to ask, “Why?” Though this can be a sad reality, Wolfe ultimately is sending an optimistic message -- that it’s never too late to fully go after what you want, and though we may find ourselves stuck at times, there’s always hope that we’ll find “something better.”

It’s easy to see why Emily Wolfe has accomplished so much in her young career thus far. She has her own sound, the edge and the “it” factor that appeals to a wide spectrum of listeners. “Something Better” highlights her ability to craft music that is catchy and pop-oriented, while also rocking out in the process.

 

- Quinn Donoghue

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VIDEO: In “Fool,” Jonny Kosmo Makes A Surreal New Friend

Photo: Joseph McMurray

LA artist Jonny Kosmo has built a dedicated following fusing immaculately-produced 70’s-vintage funk/soul tunes with an at-times truly surreal visual sense that evokes contemporaries Unknown Mortal Orchestra, albeit with a seemingly more playful and innocent heart. But with his latest video, “Fool,” which also serves as a preview for his upcoming album, “Pastry” (out June 4th on Feeding Tube Records in the States), he’s upped his game on both fronts. 

The track itself is a warm, pleasantly viscous slab of gently psychedelic slow-funk steeped in 70s Stevie Wonder-era synths, shimmering tremoloed guitars with occasional wah-wah lead flourishes, a bass line as thick as hash oil, and soulfully gauzy close-mic’d vocals.  

The accompanying video, however, left us questioning our sanity in the best way. Set in a hilly beige meadow that could’ve served as a Windows ’95 desktop background, Kosmo sings the title track while intently at work with a metal detector. He ends up crossing paths with an unusual new friend, and the dance party ensues. It’s simultaneously hilarious and unsettling, another example of the David Lynch-lite vibe that is quickly becoming a Jonny Kosmo signature. Gabe Hernandez





Black Pistol Fire Drop Video For "Look Alive"

Kevin McKeown and Eric Owen may have grown up in North Toronto, but the work they’ve done as duo Black Pistol Fire does honor to their adopted home. Their latest video, “Look Alive,” is pure Austin -- a little bit hick, a little bit hipster, plenty of punk. Their signature straight-ahead rhythm and fat, fuzzed-out guitar sound are still on display, but “Look Alive” shows a few flourishes to stand out from the pack of Jack White acolytes.

“Look Alive” is strongest when it starts, benefiting from a welcome dose of psychedelia courtesy of delayed guitar and some suitably opaque spoken word, but then things chug into straightforward rock that’s a shade predictable after the fun intro. Still, “Look Alive” sticks close to an appealing 70s-freakout sound without ever being too Tangerine Dream to move bodies or too Winters Brothers to blow minds. Black Pistol Fire know their influences and show them due reverence while adding a stylish spin of their own.

The video for “Look Alive” is as dead-on as its soundtrack, mixing a grizzled actor, some garish green screen and the de rigeur muscle car to great effect, even if it might look a tiny bit like the boat scene from “Willy Wonka” from time to time. 

But seriously, folks. Black Pistol Fire is a must for anyone into rock purism with a thick, distorted edge. White Stripes and Black Keys fans should check this out yesterday. If “Look Alive” is any indication, they’re sweetening their professionalism with a welcome dose of weird. And if that keeps up, Black Pistol Fire could rank with the best pure rock bands in town.

- Matt Salter

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Outronaut "World War Tour"

Instrumental Surf Rock Quartet Outronaut has released a P-Chan, aka Phil Fujiwara, animated video for their single "World War Tour". The single is taken from the group's 4th album, Kill The Light, which was released back in April 2020.

The video finds a personified version of COVID-19 battling a healthcare hero on top of the Statue of Liberty. All of that takes places on top of live footage of the band shot at Liars Club.

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Graham Wilkinson Refines His Sound With "Cuts So Deep"

Graham Wilkinson has never been shy about exploring the antecedents and outer fringes of the AOR idiom. Wilkinson's 2009 “YEARBOOK” memorably ranged from ballads to heavy riffs to ska, snagging appearances from local luminaries Alejandro Escovedo and Hayes Carll for even more variety.  2016's effort “Because of You'' brought as much reggae to the table as rock.  

 

That early work was enjoyable, but it was also uneven. “Cuts So Deep,” which dropped on March 5, feels like Wilkinson finally found his own idiom. The title track finds a classic rock rhythm that, while liberally seasoned with twangy vocals and electric blues licks, sticks with straight ahead rock and heartbreak lyrics. 

 

Other tracks go further afield, but all of “Cuts So Deep” gives a sense of consistent, settled skill. Wilkinson is in full control of his powers here – his forays into reggae and blues feel less scattershot now – they're built on a solid foundation of chops, riffs and hummable hooks. “Cuts So Deep” may not have as much experimentation as earlier efforts, but what is here is consistently excellent.

 

A final note – Graham Wilkinson had more to overcome on this album than a shift in genre. “Cuts So Deep” is Wilkinson's first full album since suffering a severe hand fracture.

 

It does us old Austin heads good to have him back and at his best.

 

 

- Matt Salter

 

“Cuts So Deep” is available for digital download now. A vinyl is due out in July 2021.

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