When a science journalist takes on a musical project, one doesn’t quite know what to expect. Will said science journalist apply the same approach to his music as he does his work, or will he go in a completely new direction? Danish Carsten Nielsen seems to have chosen the latter approach, exploring through his music a world complementary to that of his day job. “Rerun” is all about the darker side of the emotional ride that is life; however, Nielsen never dips into depths from which one cannot return. Rather, each of the numbers retains enough joy and hope to be considered as part of a soundtrack for the “hopeful-realist”, someone skillfully straddling the line between reality and utopia. This is the kind of music to indulge in on a bad day–music that will embrace our dark cloud only to dispel it, one note at a time. Tracks are available for streaming on SoundCloud. More information is available on the artist’s website and Facebook page.
Dino Jag’s ‘Breakthrough’
With vocals that embrace something of both Adam Levine and Chris Martin, Australian Dino Jag ‘s six-track EP “Breakthrough” is brimming with energy, even on the slower and darker tracks. Energizing pop rock fun from beginning to end, “Breakthrough”‘s only disappointment is in its length; the five tracks seem like a tease that whet one’s appetite for more. The pop-laden “Two Young Hearts” is filled with optimism and very radio-friendly, potentially the most so after the rockier “You Make Me Feel So Good”. Jag has fun experimenting within the pop rock genre with “Nothing But You”, while his vocals are particularly showcased in the title track. Australia’s summer energy is something we just might need up here during another harsh northern winter. Tracks are available for streaming on SoundCloud. More information is available on the artist’s website and Facebook page.
Joan Torres’ All Is Fused’s ‘Of The Musical’
Eight tracks of almost experimental jazz goodness make up Joan Torres’ All Is Fused’s “Of The Musical”, Joan Torres’ latest release. While the building blocks of good old jazz numbers abound, and solidly so, there are a lot of tweaks and turns that keep listeners engaged and on their toes. Each of the numbers in the set is to be listened to as a number in a musical, and are separated in two acts. Ups and downs are included, such as the rich and upbeat “Invaded”, the bass heavy “Demiurge”, and the deft keyboards leading “Explore”. These contrast with the melancholic imagery of “Ultramarine”, and the eight-minute long languidly dark “Stream of Melancholy”. Just like with some stories, the beginning of the album can sound at times a little halting and confusing, only for it to come all together in a satisfying ending that makes a whole lot of sense—even if you don’t agree with it. Tracks are available for streaming on Bandcamp. More information is available on Joan Torres’ website and Facebook page.
Gert Taberner’s ‘Fallen’
Having grown up in Germany before moving, after finishing school, to Vancouver, British Colombia, Gert Taberner is yet another hope-driven artist whose bright view of the world and its future is embedded at the core of most of his songs, even the darker ones. The now New York-based artist melds folk, rock, and pop in his EP titled “Fallen”. The combination of his soothing vocals, soothing melodies, and poetic lyrics makes for a potent elixir that evokes many an emotion. The title track is gentle, builds up to a satisfying climax before ending with a lingering aftertaste. Tarberner’s vocals, although enjoyable throughout, are best appreciated in “Places” which is also where his fun side is the most evident in its funk-flavoured fun. Tracks are available for streaming on Bandcamp. More information is available on the artist’s Facebook page.
Coral Creek’s Self-Titled Album
A different kind of fun inspired Coral Creek’s 10-track long self-titled album. Feet will and heads will bob, without the listener even being aware of it. That’s just how infectious this band is, creatively mashing its main Americana base with bluegrass, Cajun, country, folk, and rock, all of this come seamlessly together. Rather than diluting its main genre, however, it adds a meaningful depth to it: Americans are, after all, a diverse group of people that have come together in one great nation. A broad breath of inspiration was also blown into this releases’ lyrics, that tell quite the selection of stories that seem all relatable in some way or form. The warmth and emotion behind every story is carried extremely well by Chris Thompson (guitar, vocals), Bill McKay (keyboard, vocals), Luke Bulla (fiddle, vocals), and Nathan Peoples (saxophone, vocals), not to take away though from Rob Garland (bass) and Jack Watson’s (drums) great work. It is easy to feel despair when watching the news, but things will look far better just a few, energetic notes into this album. Tracks are available for streaming on Bandcamp. More information is available on the band’s website and Facebook page.