Posts Tagged ‘Simon and Garfunkel’

YOUWhile Dallas-based singer-songwriter Ezra Vancil has explored several different styles of music over his time in the music industry, his album of You finds the singer-songwriter exploring the Folk music aspect of his personality as well as other styles to help bring the tracks on the new album to life. Recently, Vancil took a deeper look within his own life and started writing songs with a very personal connection. But instead of writing the collection of songs from a first-person perspective, the resulting tracks on the release deal with his relationship with his wife and other aspects of love as his various relationships have seen ups, downs, highs and lows. With the eleven tracks that make up the release, Vancil makes use of his personal influences such as Cat Stevens, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, even women such as Emmylou Harris and Joni Mitchell, as well as several other artists. Together, those artists helped to influence the music of Ezra Vancil that appears on his new release called You.

The album You from Ezra Vancil begins with the track “Galveston”. While the track deals with Vincil’s divorce from his first wife, the music and feel of the track brings to mind another artist: Although known for the track “Convoy,” the songwriter C.W. McCall created tracks with this feel with the help of producer and owner of the record label American Gramophone, Chip Davis. Together, the duo of Davis and McCall would have created a track with this very feel, including the story-like approach to the lyrics of the song. That feeling of familiarity makes Vancil’s “Galveston” feel both fresh and retro at the same time and that gives the listener a good reason to continue on the musical journey set forth by Vancil.

Ezra Vancil’s new release continues with the track “Complicated Man”. The track starts off with a rather strong acoustic guitar approach that helps create a sound that will remind listeners of early recordings of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkle, especially those days when the duo went by the moniker of Tom and Jerry. The easy pace of the solo acoustic guitar at the beginning of the track starts the song off with a simple sound. Soon, more guitars and some percussion are added to the track to add a lot of texture to the music. Although texture is added to the track, Vancil keeps the song low-key rather than building up the energy level. The low-key approach of the song allows the songwriting of Vancil to come through without being buried with a ton of other musical elements.

You from Ezra Vancil continues with the album’s title track “Wild Girl”. While the previous tracks feature a slightly light feel to the music, the title track finds Vancil adds a lot of energy to the album while still keeping a light approach. The Folk-Rock track of “Wild Girl” features an acoustic guitar as the focal point of the music and other instrumentation to create an “unplugged” feeling to the song. The song even features strings in the background to add an orchestrated feel to the music. Even though it’s a little late, “Wild Girl” is the type of song that would have fit in with all of the electric-made-acoustic songs in the nineties that made up the “Unplugged” fad back then.

With the next track, Ezra Vancil takes the music of his release to the next level. While the track “Broken King” still contains a definite acoustic approach, the track contains a complete listing of instruments. Gone is the lone guitar as “Broken King” contains a complete band playing behind Vancil. The track’s instrumentation creates a Folk-Rock sound that is heavy on the Folk influence but still heavier on the Rock influence than the previous tracks on the release. And with the addition of female vocals, the track becomes a duet of sorts. Even though the song “Wild Girl” is easily the focal point of the release, “Broken King” is yet another track on the album that could (and should) receive a lot of airplay.

One of the most emotional tracks on the You release is the song “Don’t Push Me Away”. With the overarching theme of relationships running through the album, this track’s connection to that theme is more apparent than most of the other songs. The Lite Rock feel of the song and the use of the theme in the lyrics makes “Don’t Push Me Away” one of the most emotional songs on the You release.

Throughout the various tracks on the You album, Ezra Vancil explores many different styles of music. With the track “Polka Girl From Tennessee,” Vancil brings a little more Folk influence into his music. In fact, with the inclusion of the fiddle on the track, you can even say he added a little Country flavor to the release. The resulting track gives the listener a song that feels a lot more like Country music and nothing like Polka music as you might expect with the track’s title.

Speaking of Country music, with the track of “Settle Down Good,” Ezra Vancil and the rest of the musicians on the release create a track that contains a strong Country influence, creating a track that would easily be categorized as Alt-Country. With the musical mix on this track, Vancil and the band bring to mind the music of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, with more of as modern spin on the music.

The album You from Ezra Vancil finds the singer-songwriter creating the prefect singer-songwriter release as each track feels different from the others. And with each track, Vancil and band show off their versatility because of that variety in the tracks. Having come from a much different musical background than what is contained within the release, You from Ezra Vancil truly shows off his songwriting ability. And the emotional feeling that is contained within the tracks that make up the release add to that singer-songwriter feeling of the album.

The You release from Ezra Vancil has yet to be released. However, the album is currently up for pre-order on Vancil’s website. Click on the link for more information.

While the You release is still not available, check out an earlier version of the track “Galveston” which will be on the album when it comes out.

For more information, check out Ezra Vancil’s PR Firm, Whiplash PR

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Singer-Songwriter Alexander Vlachos is a Detroit, Michigan-based musician. The style of music that Vlachos makes contains both a folk and jazz quality to it. The resulting music is fresh as it has a sound that brings to mind folk artists like Simon & Garfunkle, Jason Mraz and several other artists. Vlachos performs under the moniker of Greater Alexander. The new album from Greater Alexander is called Positive Love.

Positive Love was mostly created by Alexander Vlachos as he played the large majority of the instrumental parts that help create the songs. As a result of those songs that contain only Vlacho, the majority of the album has a sparse feel to the music. On the few tracks that feature more than just Vlachos by himself, you get a bigger, fuller sound.

The first track off of Positive Love from Greater Alexander is “Any Way out of It”. The first thing you notice when you listen to the track is how much the track sounds like a song that would have been created by Simon & Garfunkle.  It is the vocalizations by Vlachos that really brings to mind that famous folk-rock duo. The song also features a simple guitar part that will remind you of songs created by Simon & Garfunkle.

Positive Love from Greater Alexander continues with the title track. The African stringed instruments on the track “Positive Love” give the track a very interesting sound while still maintaining the folk feel that was present on the track “Any Way out of It”. The track has a feel to it that is similar to that of “I’m Yours” of Jason Mraz.

With the track of “Baby Steps,” the resulting track from Alexander Vlachos has more of a full sound to it than most of the tracks as percussionist Bryan Arnold joins in with Vlachos and gives the track just a little more rhythm. The resulting track has a style that will bring to mind songs from the likes of people like Jack Johnson.

One of the strongest tracks on Positive Love from Greater Alexander is the song “Better Days”. The track features some of Alexander Vlachos’ strongest vocals on the album. The lyrics will also stick with you as they are very upbeat and will have you wishing for those “better days” to come. The music of the track is stronger than most of the tracks on the release as it features Alexander Vlachos who has been joined by Bryan Pope as Pope adds violin to the track. The vocals on the track once again seem to be very powerful as Vlachos adds many levels to the vocals and creates three-part harmony to the lyrics. “Better Days” is easily one of the most commercial tracks on the album.

While most of the tracks on the album feature Alexander Vlachos and his guitar, the song “Everlasting” is one of the tracks that also feature Vlachos on the piano. The sparse piano playing on the track helps to add a slight beauty to the song while it also helps to separate the track from the majority of the rest of the release. Percussionist Bryan Arnold once again joins Vlachos and gives some added texture to the track. The track turns out to be one of the most entertaining tracks on Positive Love.

Alexander Vlachos returns to a more simplistic feel to his music on the track “Negative Fears”. And while the song features only guitars and Vlachos’ voice, the track does feature a layered feeling to the guitars as they give the music a beautiful quietness that adds to the somewhat strong subject matter in the lyrics.

Positive Love from Greater Alexander comes to a close with the track “In the Stillness of Water”. The track begins rather quietly as Alexander Vlachos describes a peaceful scene of tranquility. The song slowly builds to include a full-bodied sound that includes light percussion and keyboards. The song continues until it returns once again to a quieter feeling that fades out.

Positive Love, the new album from Alexander Vlachos’ moniker of Greater Alexander, is an enjoyable release of modern-day folk music. If you happen to be a fan of folk music, this release will have something for any lover of the genre.

Click HERE for the video for “Any Way out of It” from Greater Alexander. You can also check out the Positive Love album from Greater Alexander HERE.

May Stands Still is a band that showcases the talent of Emily Herndon along with Asha Sukumar. With the new album of When You Come Home, the two have done a great job of creating music that will grab you and never let you go. The music written for this album is fun to listen to. If you like music that crosses from folk to country/bluegrass, the new album of When You Come Home from May Stands Still is just what you’re looking for.

Emily Herndon is a rising star in the folk music genre. With the beauty contained within her voice, Herndon may remind you slightly of either Norah Jones or Sarah McLachlan or even another relative newcomer to folk music, Annie Crane.

Along with Asha Sukumar who adds violin, mandolin and vocals, Herndon creates music under the moniker of May Stands Still. May Stands Still create music that stays true to the music of the artists that have come before them. While there was an EP released a little while ago, May Stands Still is now promoting the new full-length album entitled When You Come Home.

When You Come Home begins with the track “Gotta See”. “Gotta See” is a song that brings to mind the music and songwriting style of Simon and Garfunkel. You can almost hear the style of the duo as you take a listen to this song.

Taking piano and combining it with the ever-present guitar creates a slightly different take on the music on the album. It is on the second song of the release, “Wild 1,” that the light piano feeling plays well off of the easy pace of the guitar. The combination of the piano and the guitar along with the bass, drums and mandolin creates a song that slows the pace of the music down just a bit. The light vocals of Emily Herdon along with the rest of the instrumentation on this track give the listener one of the best tracks on the new album from May Stands Still.

While the electric guitar shows up on a lot of When You Come Home, the instrument becomes a little prominent in the song “I Want You”. The guitar gives the background of the song a stronger feel than most of the rest of the album.

One of the best tracks on the new album is the song “New Groove”. The song will immediately take hold of your attention with its strong beat. The beat, the strings, bassline and many other elements come together to create beautiful that goes perfectly with Herndon’s beautiful vocals on this track. With everything coming together perfectly on this song, you end getting one of the strongest tracks on the entire song. The music shifts from one part of the song to the next and helps to keep the listener entertained throughout the nearly four minutes of music.

With the song “Sleep Alone,” Emily Herndon approaches the song as if it was created by a singer-songwriter with little more than the guitar for the first half of the song. The lyrics feature the singer coming to grips with what her heart is feeling in a new relationship. When the rest of the instruments (which include strings) come in, the song takes on a more orchestral feel. The song has more emotion in it than most of the other songs on the album.

The song “Raina” features a very strong bluegrass feel to it. It also has a strong beat to the music. The song is one of the most infectious of the songs on When You Come Home. It is the bass that makes the song so much fun to listen to as the bassline is very bouncy and the clapping of the hands gives the song just a little more fun to the music.

When You Come Home winds down with the song “Falling”. This song contains lyrics that once again bring to mind those of Sarah McLachlan. The strings on the track really bring a lot of beauty to the ending portion of the album.

“Blue June” brings the new album When You Come Home from May Stands Still to a close with a song that sounds a lot like something from Alison Krauss and Union Station. The pace slows down and the guitar takes the lead for a few bars before the rest of the instruments come in to fill out the sound of the music.

When You Come Home from May Stands Still is due to be released on November 1, 2012. Until then, you can check out some of the music from May Stands Still by going to the band’s website.

***** (out of 5)

While the album of When You Come Home by May Stands Still won’t come out until November 1, 2012, here is Emily Herndon performing “Falling,” one of the songs off that release.

And as a special preview of the actual music from When You Come Home by May Stands Still, here is the song “Gotta See