*Started writing this last night but didn’t finish it, so it’s now Christmas Eve *

It’s the Eve of the Eve and we’re still at work reviewing the myriad of new releases we have received.  We have another five for you today, which you can check out on your holiday downtime.  Enjoy these delicacies.

Artist Name:  Whitney Lusk

Album Name:  This is Who I Am

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Country/Pop

Track Listing:  1.  Still the One You Want (pop); 2.  I’m Better Off; 3.  Your Strong; 4.  Won’t Run Away; 5.  Lack of Love; 6.  Heaven’s got a Good One; 7.  Where we Got it (ft. Kylee & Andrew Lusk); 8.  Who I Am; 9.  Still the one you Want (country)

Publicist:  None

Review:  We first heard Whitney Lusk at the Durango Songwriters Expo in Denver this past October, and were impressed by this young woman’s songwriting chops.  She is definitely one of the voices of the future, and her songs are very radio friendly, both country and pop.  She deserves some serious industry consideration, and we believe this album is the perfect vehicle to garner that attention.  She reminds us of a younger Jessica Andrews, and even Taylor Swift, when they first broke into country radio.  Her country instrumentation is perfect for her sweet, airy voice and her storytelling songs perfectly fit that genre.  There is not a weak song on this album.  Kudos to Joel Pack for his production and to Stephan Hawkes for his mastering of this gem, one of the best debut albums we have reviewed this year.

Recommendation:  A true no-brainer, you simply MUST Get this one!


Artist Name:  Zoey Clarke

Album Name Creative Juices

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  EDM/R&B

Track Listing:  1.  Wonder Woman; 2.  Bernadine; 3.  Rewind; 4.  Shots Fired; 5.  Sometime; 6.  Gone; 7.  That Part

Publicist:  First Born Music and Entertainment

Review:  We love that this EP is introduced/hosted by DJ Scream, and could easily hear these songs at our local club.  This music sets your body to rocking and begs you to get out on the dance floor and boogie.  The first track is pure dance and then an awesome R&B vibe comes out of the second and third tracks.  Just watch out for the explicit language on “Bernardine.”  The EDM vibe returns on “Shots Fired” and “Sometime” before she closes out the last two tracks back in the R&B camp.  Every one of these songs is truly worthy of industry attention.  We look forward to hearing more from this fresh new voice.

Recommendation:  Definitely Get this one – you’ll be dancing in no time.


Artist Name:  Xs and ARROWs

Album Name:  From Here

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Indie Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Missing; 2.  Fire From Gold; 3.  Par Ici; 4.  Questions (ft. Glen Hansard)

Publicist:  None

Review:  This amazing trio of Los Angeles ladies began their career as a quartet under the band name EXIT, and even opened for U2 at the Staples Center for a performance of “Out of Control.”  This version has them more subdued but no less intoxicating, with their steady rhythm, soaring vocals and thoughtful lyrics.  We really love the guest vocals of Glen Hansard on “Questions.”  The industry needs to wake up and see what kind of homegrown talent exists in their own city.  This band deserves their turn on the world’s stage, and we truly believe they will achieve that.  Our only complaint is that this 4-song is just too short, and we can’t wait to hear more.

Recommendation:  Be the first to jump on this bandwagon before their train leaves the station.  Get their debut EP now.


Artist Name:  Dōpapod

Album Name:  MEGAGEM

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Indie Prog Rock/Dance

Track Listing:  1.  Plaese Haalp; 2.  Piazole; 3.  Zonk; 4.  Mucho; 5.  Confabulation; 6.  Turn by Turn; 7.  Buster Brown; 8.  Starfish

Publicist:  The Syndicate

Review:  OMG – we were not prepared for the awesomeness that is Dōpapod!  Where have they been hiding?  MEGAGEM is their fifth studio album, and we are in love with it.  It’s as if the Beatles joined up with Led Zeppelin, and we can’t stop listening.  Based on what we hear on this album, this band deserves their upcoming sabbatical, and they have left a legacy to tide us over until the return in 2019.  We never would have believed that a prog rock band could create dance instrumental music, but check out “Piazole” and “Zonk” to see what we mean.  The band’s instrumental flexibility reminds us of Dick Dale.  From surprise we moved to utter amazement on the incredible Spanish track “Mucho,” which has some of the meanest keys we’ve heard since our last Dave Yaden show.   They return to the prog rock vibe for the rest of the album, and especially shine on “Confabulation” and “Buster Brown,” which has an almost jazzy feel.  Truth be told, every track is a winner.

Recommendation:  Get up and Get it. NOW!


Artist Name:  POLLENS

Album Name Mister Manufacture

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Avant-pop/experimental indie rock

Track Listing:  1.  Close; 2.  Dinosaurs; 3.  J-Train; 4.  Looks; 5.  Not Talking; 6.  Words

Publicist:  Behind the Curtains Media

Review:  Pollens is not your “band next door.”  They play experimental music utilizing percussion, shouting and ambient noise, and they have a lot to say.  This unusual duo consists of two unnamed musicians who are truly modern-day beatniks, reciting poetry with a myriad of musical sounds underscoring their lyrics.  Some of the songs are nonsensical while others actually seem to be trying to espouse their view of modern day life.  The music is by no means commercial, but we’re sure there are a few people who would enjoy their truly unique sound.  “Looks” and “Words” are the best tracks.

Recommendation:  Unless you are truly eclectic in your musical tastes, or like the experimental vibe, it might be best to Forget this one.

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