I’m a little thin on show notes this week, but I’m pretty tired and short on time, so I just patched together what I could. These three mix things up nicely. I was really anticipating the first two and had never heard of the third. And that one ended up… well, just wait and see. Enjoy.

Show Link
Listen Live (Tuesdays)
about StudiaDNA

Album 1: Faith Hope Love Repeat, by Brandon Heath (10/20/17)
I didn’t realize that this was as big of a release as it is – I mean, I like Brandon Heath and have since I first heard him give a showcase performance in Nashville many moons ago, but I never considered him to be much of a mainstream artist. Then he showed up in a PEOPLE magazine exclusively revealing the gender of his soon-to-arrive baby (spoiler alert: it’s a girl). Anyway, as I said, I like Brandon Heath, but his “noteworthy” songs are all from his first two albums (which are – I can’t believe this – about 10 years old). What has he done for me lately? Let’s see.

THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT starts out with a nice syncopated beat accented by strings. It’s a nice pop tune. He makes no bones about his faith in the lyrics, but people may not even notice the first few times because the rhythm works so well. Track two is the lead single (I believe), WHOLE HEART. It has tamer production and a more robust chorus. Less risks, like the radio prefers. Little falsetto action, too. Nice. Wrapping it up, is I RUN, which I’ll assume includes a reference to Jonah somewhere, but we’ll see. Oh, no, the good type of running. I like that they cleared out the instruments to let Brandon just sing, but I’m not too fond of the little run up the scale as the hook. It’s not bad, but it’s nothing outstanding either.

BONUS: Track four, features Tauren Wells (formerly?) of Royal Tailor, which was kind of a boy band. He has a great voice that is a good addition to the song (and a pretty fun solo album, too). This song has a little bit of a disco leaning and it’s enjoyable, but with a title like I GOT THE LOVE, I expect to hear, “down in my heart” a few times, but that’s the Sunday School kid deep down inside of me.

Album 2: Today We Rebel, by KB (10/20/17)
KB is a label mate to Lecrae and Andy Mineo and the whole 116 clique. He (along with the rest of the Reach Records crew) appears to be finding his footing in recent years, making a splash with his most recent albums and guest appearances. It’s pretty fun to look back at where they all started and see how they’ve grown as artists. This one is a little frustrating because the first three tracks have all been released to the wild much earlier, so there’s not much new tune smell to them. C’est la vie.

DNOU stands for “don’t nobody own us”. There’s a video for this song that just came out the other day. This is exactly what you expect from KB: a trap beat, a hint of levity in the instruments, and a steady, hard-hitting cadence that crosses into double time as is deemed necessary. It’s really easy to get lost in the rhythm and miss out on the content, though. TEMPO was the song they used to promote the tour and tease the album in the months leading up to the release. “I just hit my rhythm boy”. Again, heavy beat and steady delivery with the occasional double time. This style has taken quite a while to grow on me, but I do enjoy it when I’m in the mood for it. I like the warped record effect they use here in the middle and on the fade out. MONSTER features Aha Gazelle with more of the same – I know it sounds like I’m down on this album, but it does work, I’m just tired. Aha is one of the newest signees to Reach Records. Not much to say about this. Res ipsa loquitur.

BONUS: The bonus song is PRIMETIME featuring Ty Brasel, another young up and comer. Again, you know what to expect and if it’s what you’re looking for, you should be really happy with this. It’s very well done and the production keeps you engaged.

Album 3: Southern Gothic, by Tyminski (10/20/17)

If you are wondering who Dan Tyminski is, you’re not alone. I had never heard the name before and was scratching my head when I read that he has 14 GRAMMY awards to his credit. While this is his debut as a solo artist, he’s already got quite a history in music, serving as the band leader of Allison Krauss’s Union Station for 25 year. Not to mention lending vocals to Avicii for the hit song, HEY BROTHER. And speaking of brothers, Tyminski was also the vocal stunt double (so to speak) for George Clooney for the movie (and 10 million plus selling soundtrack) of O Brother Where Art Thou? Okay, so now I’m intrigued… what does this sound like?

Roll credits, we’re starting with SOUTHERN GOTHIC the title track. I’m pretty sure this is at least partly because I don’t know what to expect, but this album really draws me in more than the other two. At least tonight. This reminds me of Fernando Ortega on some level. There’s a slight hint of country, but there are so many elements meshing so well in this arrangement. Not the least of which is the vocal. There’s a lot to the lyrics, too. That’s immediately obvious – even if you’re not listening to closely. BREATHING FIRE seems more in line with O Brother’s sound. We’ve got banjos, strings, a nice beat, and a smooth harmonies. I really am digging it. The third track (GONE) features some of the same elements, but it stands on it’s own right. It’s a song of regret for a lost love. Really well done.

BONUS: TEMPORARY LOVE has a little more of a straight country sound and a vocal reminiscent of Darius Rucker (a.k.a. Hootie for those of us of a certain age). I’m glad I discovered this album over all. It’s a nice contrast to what’s typically playing on the radio.

TUNE DU JOUR: MOONLIGHT, by Deepspace5
I wouldn’t typically double up on hip hop in the same episode, but this isn’t exactly a typical release. Deepspace5 has been pretty dormant in recent history, so when they started teasing that they would have some new material, it was big news. Even though it’s only an EP, it’s still exciting. The EP is produced by Freddie Bruno and uses the same samples as Jay-Z’s latest “surprise” drop, 4:44. (Hence the EP’s name of 5:55). Name your price and get it at bandcamp!

peace… love… bdg…