Lit&Local: ErinleBeats’ Release of New EP “Beat EP Vol. I”

ErinleBeatsDavid Erinle (his stage name, ErinleBeats) is a producer from Maryland who strives to become the new face of hip hop. His new EP, “Beat EP Vol. I”, was released last week, and it features a collection of songs reflective of his unique style and musical passion. The EP is a rendition of beats inspired by producers like Kanye West, Travis Scott, 40, and Boi-1da. David formulates his songs based on his musical knowledge, technical skills, and what he finds altogether interesting. As a multi-instrumentalist and music producer, he takes his experiences and transforms his interests into what is now his own created content.

Currently balancing his time as a full-time Mason student, marketing intern, and audio engineer, he believes his devoted priorities in production work will be heard in the clarity of his sound. Songs like “Diss Track”, “Future”, and “Echelon (BONUS) [feat Mom]” are all a part of WGMU’s local music playlist, used by volunteer DJs for live airplay. All songs feature great mixing techniques, crafted with cutting-edge artistry that would impress any new listeners passing through. It’s the kind of music that can be heard in any setting: on the car ride home after a long day, during a study session when concentration is necessary, at a party where everyone is dressed to the nines, etc. Now and in the future, he hopes to reach a greater listenership and influence the music industry through his disk jockeying and technical knowledge. “Beat EP Vol. I” is Erinle securing his spot in the iconic collective of hip hop producers, a far from amateur victory against the musical giants. Easy-going structure, with a mix of his distinct sound, David’s work is a narrative abundant of talent and virtuosity, and his catchy selection of songs will generate energetic audiences full of vivacity and flare.

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/erinlebeats/sets/beat-ep-vol-i

Twitter/Instagram: @daviderinle / @daviderinle

Snapchat: @deadgoliath

Interview with Local Music Director, Jackie Reed:

 

Album Review: Rain and Laura by Wylder

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Indie-folk band Wylder has continued to impress me with their beautiful and catchy music, and this new album is no exception. Rain and Laura was released about a week ago, and the songs are awesome.

“Sunstroke”, “Bayhouse”, and “At the End (Pt. 2)” are songs that we’ve had on the station, and that listeners have loved. This album only adds to that love. The 10 songs on Rain and Laura are equally relaxing and also make you want to dance.

Songs like “Lantern” and “Snake in the Grass” make you think more, they’re songs you’d want to listen to in a car ride while you’re deep in thought, maybe it’s raining outside (just trying to create a visual here). They’re more relaxing songs, more emotional songs.

Alternatively, songs like “Sunstroke” and “Swells” are more upbeat, dancing songs. While still thought-provoking, they’re more head-bobbing smiling songs, maybe songs to jam to in the car while sun is out (another visual for you). The balance on this album makes it great and fit for whatever mood you’re in. This album is the love child of Mumford and Sons and Death Cab for Cutie. Which in my opinion, is a fabulous thing.

 

Get tickets to their album release show on April 22 here.

Listen to the album on SoundCloud here.

Like Wylder on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and listen to my interview with them last semester.

The Ar-Kaics self-titled album

The Ar-Kaics self-titled album was released in 2014, which means I’m way behind the times. Hailing from Richmond, the Ar-Kaics label themselves as “trogdolyte teanbeat 60’s-style punk”. I label them as the lovechild of the Beatles and the Arctic Monkeys.

The voices and guitar in some songs, such as “Get My Way” and “You’ll Be Mine” heavily reflect that of the Beatles. You can practically hear the teenage rock fans squealing when they perform. Alternatively, other songs such as “Ain’t Gonna Hold Me Down” sound a little more indie-rock, reminiscent of the Arctic Monkeys.

Then there are other songs, such as “Be My Baby” and “This Time Tonight” that are completely unique to their own sound, combining emotionally-charged lyrics with hard rock instrumentals. They go from rock, to mellow, to grunge-punk.

However, no matter what way you turn it, the Ar-Kaics music will make you want to bang your head to the music or jump around in circles. They will make you reminisce over other rock bands, then obsess over the songs that sound like nothing else you’ve heard.

Check out the Ar-Kaics on Facebook here, and check out their Bandcamp here.

 

Album Review: Fight Night Underground EP

My last review of this group was before the release of their whole EP. Call Me Back and Follow Through were already released, and both were flawless. The release of Fight Night’s EP Underground comes with three more songs: Living a Lie (ft. ChooKy), Forever, and Keep Me in Your Heart (ft. ian).

Now I don’t know anything about ChooKy, or ian, but god bless their addition to these songs. They would have been great songs regardless, but adding more talent never hurts.

Living a Lie is a song about a relationship falling apart, two people no longer knowing each other. It’s about abuse and how it came between them, about how they aren’t what they were. A super uplifting theme, right? Whatever, it’s really good. The passion behind the singers voice is incredible and will absolutely get you caught up in your feelings (in a good way). This is one of those “post-breakup listen to loudly in your car” kind of songs that sometimes you just really need to hear.

Keep Me in Your Heart starts with a more uplifting beat, then with the artist recognized as “ian” coming in with her stupidly great voice. I don’t know much about her, but I’ll definitely figure that out. The contrast between her voice and singer Andy Gruhin’s is absolutely beautiful. The connection between their lines and their voices is incredibly moving. About the song, music blog Milk Crater says “Keep Me in Your Heart catches your ear from the very first beat and holds on tight until the final vocal run, where it leaves you wanting more.”

Forever is the last addition to this EP, and it’s really pretty. The song starts softer, not as much power as the other ones. It’s about the singer thinking about getting their life together, and hoping everything workds out. Kind of like a lot of us do, especially in college (except maybe with a little less intensity).

“The two have developed a really dope and original sound by combining punk-inspired vocals with lush, electronic-influenced instrumentals.” – Good Music All Day says about Fight Night musicians, Josh Grant and Andy Gruhin.

“With under 3k fans on Soundcloud, Fight Night is the definition of upstart. These early cuts are a sign of big things to come.” – EDMTunes on Fight Night being up and coming.

 

When I hear EDM I want to hear super cool beats, and moving lyrics, which is exactly what this EP delivers. Read my last review on Fight Night here, and download their EP for FREE on their website here.

Review: Oh, Hello with Nick Kroll and John Mulaney

Originating their characters on The Kroll Show on Comedy Central, Nick Kroll and John Mulaney decided to take their two-man show on the road. Oh, Hello features Nick Kroll as Gil Faizon and John Mulaney as George St. Geeland, two older gentlemen from the Upper West Side of New York City. On Gil and George, the New York Times said,

“They are angry, insular, out of touch, egregious cultural stereotypes who perceive the rest of the world in similarly stereotypical terms.

What’s more, they think they’re really funny, which they’re not. Which is exactly what makes them really, really funny.”

This show is essentially a two-man stand-up theatre show. Which sounds confusing, because it’s a really weird concept. They go along a plot and they have some lines, but a lot of it is improv. And it’s absolutely flawless. The fact that these guys can go two hours speaking in these absurd accents, interacting with the audience, and keeping all of their jokes hilarious is something I was not expecting. One hour, maybe an hour and a half, but two hours without losing the crowd is something I wasn’t ready for.

Background knowledge of their characters on the Kroll show is recommended, but not required. I personally did not know much about their characters on the show, but still found the performance to be incredibly funny. Perhaps I’m biased because John Mulaney is my favorite and Nick Kroll is perfection in The League, but perhaps that also means my expectations were set high. Their witty banter, sarcasm, and ability to stay in character kept me laughing for the entirety of the show.

If you have the chance to see this show, do it. If you don’t have the chance, then sorry but you’re certainly missing out.

Up To Eleven – Matt’s Favorite Albums of 2015

My name is Matt, and I do a rock/metal show on WGMU Radio called Up To Eleven. I wrote about my five favorite albums of 2015. They are listed below. Being a companion to my show, this article is only about rock/metal. Sorry, Kendrick fans! Do yourself a favor and read what I have to say, then go buy these albums!

5. Ghost – Meliora ghost-meliora

So much to be said about the theatrical Swedes that are Ghost. Their artistry is represented in their live performances just as much as in their studio recordings – and Meliora has continued this practice. Composed of the enigmatic Papa Emeritus and a groups of Nameless Ghouls, Ghost has once again released a work of art that challenges government, religion, and commercialism. Ghost knows their audience well, giving them more than the average experience with a studio album. The booklet comes with beautiful artwork, accompanying each song with a detailed miniature painting acting as visual aid to the story and interpretation (reason #132 why I still buy CDs). The album is a work of melodic and lyrical force, leaving behind what could be considered “distracting” as far as technicality in doom/black rock. Perhaps the biggest reason this made my Top 5 list is the experience I got after their live performance. Seeing Ghost in costume with all of their stage theatrics gave their music a whole new light (or darkness), and hearing Meliora again after its live performance was like hearing a completely new album. It was a sort of awakening, thanks to the charisma and fluency from Papa Emeritus on stage. I had the pleasure of interviewing a Nameless Ghoul last fall, where we spoke about their artistic vision and execution (found here on wgmuradio.com). While he adds the disclaimer that they are in fact merely entertainment, his description still heightens your interpretation of Ghost’s music and performance art.

In the end, this is an unusual album to be in the “Top 5” since its accompaniment by live performance is what made it stand out. However, if I can’t use my experience with the music as grounds for judgement, is it even worth paying attention to? Listen to Meliora. Go see Ghost live. Listen again. You’re welcome.

Matt’s Favorite Tracks: “Cirice” & “He Is”

Marilyn_Manson_-_The_Pale_Emperor4. Marilyn Manson – The Pale Emperor

“What ever happened to Marilyn Manson?”

This was a question asked to me by a friends mom, who remembered him as the frightening shock-rocker (and media scapegoat) of the late 90s. With a catalogue of blatancy such as Antichrist Superstar and The Golden Age of Grotesque, Manson certainly has plenty of tracks preaching everything your parents wanted to keep from you in grade school, from sex to violence and everything in between. Flash forward to 2015. Manson is 46, he’s gained some weight, and no one is scared of him anymore. We’ve been exposed to Miley on a wrecking ball and…well…whatever it is that Gaga wears. You can’t shock us anymore. So what does he do? He completely flips his approach. Enter The Pale Emperor. Manson brings in strong essences of Bowie, combined with an incredible dosage of blues influence. Distinguishable drum and guitar tones. Kiss the nu-metal goodbye, and feast your ears on my (second) biggest surprise of 2015. This album is the closest to Marilyn Manson you have ever been, after two decades of artistry. The album artwork features Manson in a buttoned jacket, with his face blurred out. This summarizes the album perfectly. It’s not about what he looks like anymore, what he stands for. It’s about a new age of Marilyn Manson, one where the music takes you by storm. No longer are you hearing an agenda. You hear a person, and one who has a lot to tell you. All hail The Pale Emperor.

Matt’s Favorite Tracks: “Warship My Wreck” & “The Mephistopheles Of Los Angeles”

3. Lamb of God – VII: Sturm Und DrangLamb_of_God_-_VII_Sturm_und_Drang

Heavy metal band Lamb of God has had quite the last few years. Back in 2012, frontman Randy Blythe was imprisoned in the Czech Republic on manslaughter charges and had to stand trial. Once released, the band went on hiatus. Blythe took a long period of reflection. When they returned, they crafted what is their best album in ten years. Opening with “Still Echoes”, Sturm Und Drang begins to tell the story of Blythe’s thoughts while he sat in a European prison cell, knowing his life as he knew it could be forever changed. Acting as catharsis, the album releases his fears, anger, and sorrows track by blistering track. On top of Blythe’s ever insightful lyrics, he is accompanied by some of the hardest-hitting musicians in the business. Each song is filled with furious drum patterns and guitar riffs. This creates a sound that, combined with Blythe’s coarse, passioned screams, is and only can be Lamb of God, the best band in metal right now. You can even hear clean vocals, showing a different side of the roughened frontman in “Overlord”, in addition to guest vocals from Chino Moreno (Deftones) in “Embers”. This album brings an energy and passion that is not easily found in popular metal music anymore, as well as difficulty finding any flaws.

Matt’s Favorite Tracks: “511” & “Overlord”

2. Gary Clark Jr – The Story of Sonny Boy Slimgary-clark-jr-sonny-boy-slim-album-listen

This list acts as a companion to “Up To Eleven”, a rock and heavy metal show. GCJr’s new album is rooted in rock music…and then takes you places you have never been before. Opening up with the familiar blues rock sound of “The Healing”, Sonny Boy Slim then guides you through a tale of folk, soul, R&B, and more. Even months after its release, it gets better with every listen. You find a new vocal harmony in place, a guitar lick so very faint in the background. If Clark didn’t impress us enough with his technical skills on Black & Blu and Gary Clark Jr. Live, he gives us the gift of beautifully crafted music that melts down the idea of genres and puts it all into one piece. Keep an eye on him, because he’s taking the world by storm with his work.

Matt’s Favorite Tracks: “The Healing” & “Wings” (Honestly, every song on this album is a masterpiece. Buy the whole album. Listen to it over and over again.)

1. Bring Me The Horizon – That’s The Spiritthats-the-spirit-55bd3aab74242

I got into BMTH in 2009, just after they released the blistering metalcore full-length Suicide Season. If you told me then that they would release an album that would receive mainstream radio play and contain electronic arena-rock anthems, I would have laughed in your face. Remember when I said The Pale Emperor was the second biggest surprise of 2015? That’s The Spirit is number one. It also happens to be my favorite album of the year. Musically, they have grown into a completely different band than how they got their start. The addition of eerie textures, boisterous group vocals, and electronic samples couldn’t have done more for BMTH and their music. Oli Sykes has turned to clean vocals, softly hitting high notes while bringing melody into his passioned screams. The album takes you all over as you hear emotional ballads, hard-hitting-screw-you-let’s-all-jump anthems, and even poppy tunes with dance beats. Syke’s lyrics have skyrocketed in maturity, dealing with familiar subjects such as addiction, loss, self-loathing, and pleads for help, but in an entirely new way. Plan on hearing this album a LOT during Up To Eleven, and you can probably plan on hearing it in other places such as movies, television, and maybe even on store speakers while you’re shopping. Well done, lads. Well done.

Matt’s Favorite Tracks – “Doomed” & “Happy Song”

Do you dig the music featured on this list? Do you disagree entirely and want to express your frustration towards the writer? You can tweet Matt at @UpTo11_GMU and tell him what you think. You can hear all of these artists and more on Up To Eleven, back on air in just two weeks, brought to you by WGMU Radio.

The Milestones EP: Honey

Local band The Milestones recently dropped their EP titled Honey, a collection of four songs titled “Edgar Allen Poe”, “UFO”, “Shadow Enemies”, and “True Love Never Waits”. All of the songs are guaranteed to remind you of someone, or something in your life, that made you feel something. Whether that be a good or bad memory, this EP will make you feel everything.

The first song is “Edgar Allen Poe”, their most rock-and-roll song on this EP, with intense guitar work and a more head-banging beat than the other songs. This song starts slower then erupts into heavy instrumentals. The band has a Kings of Leon sound as they sing about a girl who is not around anymore. “I fell for you I was so naive, now I am dead on the ground beneath that willow tree”, sings the band in this emotionally-charged song, that also provides a more empowering beat to an otherwise sad song.

“UFO” follows “Edgar Allan Poe”, a more alternative-indie sounding song than the previous harder rock tune. This song talks about a girl that every guy wants, and every girl would want to be. This girl takes no mess from anyone, and loves a good time. This song is a catchy, dance-inducing beat, singing about this girl saying “so she stands beside me, just wanted you to know”, as a way to let everyone know about this perfect girl. This song features a hardcore drum and guitar solo towards the end of the tune, a unique touch to an otherwise more mellow song.

The next, slightly more mellow (although not entirely) song on this EP is “Shadow Enemies”, another sadder tune, touching on the demise of a relationship. This girl is essentially leaving because of issues that the couple has had, saying that she can no longer put up with the mess that she’s been dealt from the guy. This song is relatable to many, and the chorus is, to me, the most powerful chorus on this album. This song has a way of striking an emotional chord (or maybe I’m just more emotional than most), and making the listener want to drop all the bad things in their life.

As a fitting goodbye, the final song is titled “True Love Never Waits”, a song that is about exactly what it sounds like. This is a slower love ballad (although not quiet), with more uplifting guitar solos. This song does not necessarily inflict a negative or positive vibe on the listener, but is essentially up to how the listener interprets the situation. This song is a solid ending to the EP, and leaves the listener wanting more.

To listen to Honey on the Milestones SoundCloud – click here.
To figure out more about the band on their website – click here.

American Holly EP: Four Ways to Say Goodbye Forever

Released September 5, DC-based folk-rock band American Holly dropped four emotionally-charged, but soothing songs. With the sound of a modern-day Beatles, American Holly creates an EP of four songs that also doubles as a guide for getting away from whatever relationship you need to get away from.

The first song, “Sensitive Skin” advises the listener to escape via an honest confession. The second song, “Singapore Song” creates a sadder, more lullaby-esque vibe, instilling a little more emotion and providing a little more insight into the sadness of the situation. After that, “Sound Sleepers” highlights the difficulty of the situation, and the final song “Speaking Spanish” emphasizes the fact that there isn’t anything else to say.

These songs provide a relatable situation, in both an upbeat and more mellow way. Two of these songs are more charismatic and supportive, while the other two are slower and  highlight the struggle and negative emotions. This EP is a must-listen for anyone needing inspiration, or quite frankly anyone looking for a new folk-rock band.

Check out Four Ways to Say Goodbye Forever here.

Album Review: Fight Night Singles

Local group Fight Night consists of GMU alumni Josh Grant and fellow musician Andy Gruhin. This group has recently released 2 songs as part of their upcoming EP: Underground. The first song released, Call Me Back, was dropped on August 12th, and since has gained an enormous amount of traction with reviews by EDM blogs and over 8,000 plays on Soundcloud. This electronic-pop song is relatable on many levels, with an extremely catchy chorus and the voice of singer Andy Gruhin is nothing short of captivating. The sound mixing and instruments in the background are unique, and the heavy bass makes the song more passion-inducing. This song is about never hearing back from someone, whoever that may be to the listener.

Follow Through is the second song dropped on September 9th. Starting a little more aggressive and passionately, the listener is immediately sucked in. This song tunes more of a punk-rock/EDM mixture, and the sound mixing after the base drop is more of a quirky, different approach to an otherwise emotional song. Gruhin’s voice in this song is more passionate, and more aggressive than the more mellow Call Me Back. Fans on Soundcloud were more than excited about this single, and openly expressing their excitement for the whole EP. This song has over 6,000 plays on the bands page.

EDM Tunes says Fight Night is “definitely a group to keep your eyes on for original productions that actually have a sheen of quality around them.”

To hear/download Call Me Back or Follow Through, check out Fight Night’s Soundcloud here.

Honor By August: Four Sides

Rock band Honor By August is one of the better known bands from the DMV. Playing frequent shows at Jammin Java in Vienna and other DC-area venues, a lot of students have already heard of this impressive band. Their most recent album, Four Sides was released on July 9th, and consists of four songs, all with great rhythm and inspiring lyrics.

‘Mad Mission’ is the first song, and a song often played on our radio station. This song is a very relaxing, and catchy song with a repetitive chorus that’s bound to stick in your head. The following song, titled ‘The Way You Move’, is a more emotional love-ballad. While it’s a very moving and beautiful song, I found myself waiting for a more exciting portion of the song. It seemed to go along a little too long for a song so slow and repetitive.

‘Scarecrow’ is the third song on the album, with the instruments in the first couple seconds reminding me heavily of the beginning of a Kings of Leon song. After the unexpected intro this song begins and sounds a little different than the other songs on the album, but this is not a bad thing. There seems to be a little more passion in this song, with the lead singer putting more behind his voice, and effectively showing just how great he can be. The final song is ‘Hey Mamma’, another slower song, but the vocals and the rhythm of the song are perfectly aligned. The passion and message of the song are matched perfectly with the instrumentals and the emphasize behind the vocals.

This album is a moving and extremely satisfying compilation of songs. While there are only four songs, they all have very different messages and different tones. For any local rock or alternative rock fans, these four songs are a must-listen. Keep an ear out for ‘Mad Mission’ and ‘Scarecrow’ on our station!