Sunday, July 24, 2011

Out the Box (Summer 2011 Issue)

Royalty Magazine is reaching OUT THE BOX to bring you some talented artists in different genres.

This months light shines on...

Adult Contemporary/Rock

Steve McNaughton's passionate songwriting and powerful lyrics are capturing the world's imagination.
Radio stations in the U.S.A., Germany, New Zealand and Australia have really taken to Steve's "Stalingrad Still Stands" & "Hold Me Tonight".  Being covered by legendary Australian rocker, Swanee, "I Did What I Did" is the culmination of a distinguished career.

In 1992, Steve first received recognition when his single "Homecoming (You've Come Back Home)" debuted on Australian radio. Since then, a further 6 compositions have hit the airwaves not only in Australia but also throughout Europe, United States and South America.
"It's not before time that Steve's music has come out of the basement and onto the airwaves"....Jim Shipstone (Sir James Music and former MD of BMG).

A mainstay and highlight of many recent Big Backyard sampler CD's, Steve has also written songs for television, (including "Must be Love" for a Cystic Fibrosis awareness campaign), for sporting heroes and "Guardian Angels" written for Curtis Sliwa, to honor his New York street and subway guardians.

Steve McNaughton’s second album and 3rd CD, is probably his best to date, with songs that encompass solid radio-friendly hooks, and some definite groove and attitude! The opening title-track ‘Storm Chaser’ was inspired by Scott Currens and other storm chasers. It is a high energy rock song that fully captures the fury of nature when the plains turn violent across the United States’ mid-west.

The associated music video clip gives a unique insight into the chasers’ pursuits when the weather hots up. ‘Gimme Something’ is a simple but brilliant pub rocker which forcefully puts the question you ask of someone who’s been screwing you long term! The style of ‘The Devils in the Detail’ is distinctly The Who, yet the album keeps you guessing with some Motown numbers featuring excellent saxophone.

Other tracks of note include the smooth blues styled ‘Dreaming’ which showcases Angus Steventon’s keyboard playing, and the slightly funky/reggae ‘Ode to Odette’. There is also the anthem-like ‘Eyes of a Child’ and the classic rock song ‘Can’t Rock Any Harder’.

Voice of Addiction - BIOGRAPHY

Voice Of Addiction takes on the attitude the the punk rock revolution instilled in us, but infuses it with genre-mashing breakdowns. Sometimes described as a "unique refreshing slant to the rock world." Voice Of Addiction's members put their distinct personalities and experiences into the instruments they play and the music they write. V.O.A.'s music has an immense presence that builds tension and releases it at the most opportune times.

Rude City Riot - BIOGRAPHY

Vancouver, B.C. based "PowerSka" band Rude City Riot now take their place alongside Canada's top ska talents with the release of "Nothin But Time". This is RCR's first full length album for Stomp Records and will be distributed by Warner Music Group in Canada.

Few bands of any genre suddenly show up with a debut album with such impressively well crafted "radio friendly" songs.
Though the members of Rude City Riot have differing musical pedigrees, they all have a strong reverence for the mighty Ska tradition and share the influences of Rock, Punk, Reggae and Soul. Power-Ska is how the RCR's fans describe the band's  wicked blend of all these influences. Have a listen, what do you think?

Airplay is taking form all over the globe on podcasts, college radio, and some terrestrial broadcast stations as well.
This further establishes the fact that Rude City Riot is now on the radar of the global Ska music scene and are looking to wreck a dance floor near you some time soon.

Jordan Reyne - BIOGRAPHY

Jordan Reyne is, in the true meaning of the phrase, contrary to popular belief.  It’s not just a redhead thing; it’s the day-to-day life of this singular musician.  Already with 5 albums to her credit, Reyne is a pioneer on new sonic turf.  With a sound that has been described as the soundtrack to steampunk, her blend of industrial-tinged dark folk is a meeting of genres best imagined as a cross between Dead Can Dance, Nine Inch Nails, and Alanis Morisette.  Her unusual approach to music pairs the rhythms of steam-based technology and machinery with folk instruments and vocal styles, crossing technology with history to tell the dark stories of characters real and imagined.  As evidenced by her 3 nominations for the “Tui” Music Award in her native New Zealand and her performance on the soundtrack of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films, she is a serious artist who puts an immense amount of time and effort into her work, yet balances that effort with a playful and brash brava.

Her life in sound began much earlier than most, when she began singing and writing songs at age 3.  “My Mum used to be woken up to me singing the theme tune to “Rainbow” at the top of my lungs.  I also made up songs on long trips, which had no structure at all and would go on for hours.  At age 8, when my parents could no longer bear my a capella rants, I started learning an instrument.”  Yet, contrary again, instrument is not the most accurate term to describe the tools of the sound she creates.  Reyne employs a genre-bending approach of recording the sounds of an industrial machine, like the engine room of a factory, and using that industrial thrum as the sonic core of a composition.  Traditional instruments like guitars and vocals are then added, and the result is a song, yet not exactly a song, that harnesses the tension between woman and machine.  Musically, it is the clash of folk and industrial.  Philosophically, it is the crossing of history and progress.

Clearly, Reyne’s music does not fit easily into the genre headings found in most music stores and websites.  Her passion for new ideas and new ways to express them musically often places her on the fringes of what people are used to.  It’s from this vantage, though, that she can best bridge the gap between light and dark, and address subjects others shy away from.  It’s from the fringe that she can most effectively recognize the quiet courage present in most people, even when they are overlooked by history and society. 

This spirit marks her most recent album, How the Dead Live.  How the Dead Live was commissioned by the New Zealand Arts Council, and tells the story of Susannah Hawes, one of New Zealand’s first pioneer women.  In this concept record sharing a dialogue between Susannah and History and exploring the darker areas of New Zealand’s pioneer past, Jordan makes sharp commentary on culture which culminates in History’s annoyance with the lack of gore and grand narrative in Susannah’s story and its choice to forget her by throwing her name into the sea.  As How the Dead Live is a historical piece, Jordan defined the sound of the record with industrial noises that would have existed at the time of Susannah’s life, like hammers and anvils, gold pans, and two-man saws, and visualizes how death is close to pioneers even in the simplest actions of life in a music video for the single “The Proximity of Death.” 

On music, Jordan remarks “A song is like a chemical reaction between listener and performer, where both bring so much to the equation that the experience is different every time. The effect is more powerful than drugs and comes with zero hangover.”  This clean high fuels her as she handles her own producing, engineering, songwriting, arranging, graphic design, and web design.  A remarkable task list for a woman who claims she can’t multitask to save her life, but then again, it’s that paradox that fascinates.  From literally knocking on record label doors until one of said yes to being hailed as pioneer in a new genre by New Zealand’s National Radio, Jordan Reyne has always been a winning collection of contrary ideas.  She is humorous and nihilistic.  She is sensitive and thoughtful, rapacious and caustic.  The darkness in her music is beautiful, and the light is just as much so.  Thus, she stands in the middle of all this, directing traffic, casting vision, interpreting culture, and bending sound into an experience that is truly extraordinary.

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