Okay, this week, the new show is going on right this moment and I’m just now getting around to posting the show notes from last week. Just trying to continue to adjust my scheduling and stay on top of things. What’s that? Oh, okay, I need to go… enjoy the show notes from LAST week. This week’s notes should be up later this week.

Three of the artists/bands represented here today are completely new to me. This was a fun week of discovery, but unfortunately it also means that I don’t have much background info on any of them. But that’s never stopped me before. We’ll just dig into the music and see what shakes loose.

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Album 1: Lost in Translation, by New Politics (10/6/17)
The album opens up with what feels like an 8-bit video game soundtrack, before it starts building with additional musical components – including a nice driving rhythm, some intriguing tempo changes, and a solid guitar part. And halfway through CIA, there’s like an entirely different song going on. ONE OF US starts out almost like a Matthew West song, then kicks off with more of a fun. (the group not the emotion) sound. This is such an eclectic group. It’s a great mix of pop rock and orchestral experimentation. Piano in this one. So cool. Our third entry, TELL YOUR DAD features Rivers Cuomo (Weezer) and you can feel the influence immediately. However, it most definitely is not enough to derail their signature appeal as they’ve incorporated a lot of other elements to make the track their own.

BONUS: MADELEINE has a nice uptempo rhythm which actually accelerates throughout the tune. This band is a really nice surprise for me. Piano again, guitar, and a really captivating style.

Album 2: Perception, by NF (10/6/17)
NF is, I believe, the first repeat artist featured on NMD. I don’t have time to double-check, but it sounds right. He’s known for his passionate cadence and raw, honest lyrics. Can’t wait to hear what’s in store here. INTRO III kicks right off with an ominous piano part that stays in the background while NF rips off verses that pick right up where Therapy Sessions left off. He’s arguing with his past and as the track unfolds, the music builds and feels intensely cinematic. Chills, thrills, and we’re off to a great start. Next up is OUTCAST, which puts us in a jail cell of sorts. He’s going to great lengths to keep the listener off balance as he’s delivering his message here. Staying off beat, hitting odd notes, breaking rhythm. And then, finally, a hook which is again non-standard. It’s engaging, but you have to be patient to let it fully sink in. 10 FEET DOWN has some of that backwards masking the church marms always warned you about. But this is more of a driving rhythm and he’s sticking to a more traditional high speed cadence. The melody is provided by Ruelle (not sure who that is), but it’s a nice way to break up the verses.

BONUS: One of the singles released ahead of the album, GREEN LIGHTS, bridges the stylistic gap between Therapy Sessions and Perception. It could have fit on either record. I can’t wait to really dive into these lyrics – and the rest of this album.

Album 3: Raised Under Grey Skies, by JP Cooper (10/6/17)
JP Cooper is a brand new artist and this is his debut release. So, I suppose that excuses me from not knowing him. But once I started listening, I quickly realized that he’s an artist worth knowing. The album opens with essentially the title track, WE WERE RAISED UNDER GREY SKIES, is a really bare bones tune that showcases Cooper’s soulful voice. I suppose it won’t appeal to everyone, but I’m immediately drawing comparisons to Gavin DeGraw, Jason Mraz, and even Jamiroquai. Next on the docket is SEPTEMBER SONG, which has a little more of a formal soundtrack behind the vocal that draws listeners more directly into the poppy nature of the album. GOOD FRIEND wraps up our three song peek and it’s along the same lines. I guess I’m just so digging his voice that I’m okay with the fact the arrangements are not particularly original or complex. Yeah, I guess as I’m listening to this again, it’s less amazing, but no less impressive in the same regard.

BONUS: Oh, see I love the rhythm of this song. Again, it’s not unique, but I do so love it when the vocal hangs out and plays tricks on the rhythm, which it does here. ALL THIS LOVE is probably my favorite of these four.

This is a dance group as far as I can tell, but there’s enough here to warrant a listen. I’m not sure the album as a whole is one I would listen to a lot, but I’d say if you like The Chainsmokers, you will get some enjoyment out of Illenium. This song plays like a single that would chart well on Top 40.

peace… love… bdg…