Posts Tagged ‘Tori Amos’

DeDeWedekind is a singer-songwriter that finds her sound from influences such as Tori Amos, Celine Dion and even Amy Grant. She has a large amount of spirituality within the lyrics of her songs just like Grant while still having enough of a pop-like sound in her music. In fact, since DeDe’s music is both pop-based and spiritual at the same time, she can easily be considered a “crossover” artist. That “crossover” sound can be found on DeDe’s current five-song release called Love and Fairy Tales.

Love and Fairy Tales from DeDe begins with the track “Blame It on the Summertime”. On this track, the beauty in DeDe’s voice helps to bring the emotional words to life. “Blame It on the Summertime” is the definitive “pop” song as the track has a very accessible feel to the music and would easily fit in with other songs that would be found on Adult Contemporary radio stations. While the song contains a rather strong emotional pull to it, the instrumentation is very strong itself and helps to create a track that is beautiful and energetic. The crossover appeal of the track makes it one of the best songs on the new release from DeDe and makes for a very strong start to the release.

The new release from DeDe continues with “The Fairy Tale Song”. The track has the same type of pop-rock feel to it as the previous track. However, while the lyrics of “Blame it on the Summertime” contain a lot of emotion, the lyrics of this track contain a lot more fun to them. The lyrics of the song refer to several of the fairy tales that we have all grown up on. The way the lyrics were written for this track, the listener ends up being able to sing along with the song with little effort. When taken together, the lyrics and the easy feel of the music create a track that is fun to listen to and would be a nice addition to any Adult Contemporary radio format.

On the track “The Plans I Have for You,” the feel of the lyrics take on a much more spiritual feel than the first two tracks of the release.  DeDe seems to channel artists like the aforementioned Amy Grant on this track as she creates a song with the same lyrical feel as many Christian hymns created by the most popular artists in that genre. “The Plans I Have for You” takes the music of DeDe into a more serious direction but it also adds a lot of beauty to the Love and Fairy Tales release as the track contains a much stronger orchestral feel than the previous tracks as the strings featured on the song give the song a lot of body. The song allows the listener to see the writing ability of DeDe and the song proves that she can create a serious track when she wants to.

Just as “The Plans I Have for You” proves that DeDe can create a serious track, the next song from DeDe of “Just Desserts” allows the listener to experience the less serious side of DeDe as she takes Love and Fairy Tales in a more lighthearted direction. Taking the music in a Classic Country vein, “Just Desserts” feels like a track that would have been written over twenty years ago, back in a time when people used to add a bit of humor in the songs they wrote. The wordplay contained within the lyrics of this song about an ex-lover will definitely bring a smile to your lips as you enjoy the scene that plays out during the song.

Love and Fairy Tales from DeDe comes to an end with the track “We’ll Never Part”. As the rest of the release allows the listener to experience the writing ability of DeDe, the track of “We’ll Never Part” is the song that most definitely shows off the vocal ability of the musician. The track feels like something that could have come from a Broadway musical and the way DeDe sings the song, she seems like she would easily find a place alongside the best performers on Broadway.

When you listen to Love and Fairy Tales from DeDe, you get a brief glimpse into many different aspects of the personality of DeDeWedekind. No matter what song you listen to on the release, you will find something that will grab you. The well-rounded release does wonders to bring out the talent of this talented up-and-coming artist.

Reviewer: Matheson Kamin
Rating: ***** (five stars)

Click HERE for the video to “The Fairy Tale Song” by DeDe.

Steph Barrak is a Boston-based singer-songwriter that takes folk, pop and other styles to create her guitar-based music that can be described as indie-pop. One of the most evident reasons for Barrak for being included in the category indie-pop is her lyrical phrasing. While most of the time she uses a normal style in her writing, sometimes Barrak’s lyrics take on a more free verse feel to them. The nearly free verse feel to the lyrics makes Steph Barrak a unique musician. The style of music created by Barrak would fit alongside artists such as Tori Amos and other artists that can be found in the soft rock/pop genre.
Steph Barrak’s new album Words to Break Your Heart begins with the song “Connecticut”. The first thing you notice when listening to the song is the unusual phrasing of the lyrics of the song for the first minute or so. That first minute of the song contains a folk-like approach to the song. The song then transitions to a folk-rock song and the lyrics take on a more standard feel as the song’s tempo quickens and gives the listener a song that would easily fit with either rock or folk playlists.
Words to Break Your Heart by Steph Barrak continues with the track “Painted Face”. While “Connecticut” has somewhat difficult lyrical phrasing, the song “Painted Face” takes on a much more commercial feel to the lyrics than that of the album’s first track. The song feels a lot more like an indie-pop track than a folk track. The music of the song is very catchy and could easily be the first single off the release.
The Words to Break Your Heart album finds Steph Barrak creating her music with mainly the guitar, bass and drums but with the song “Hardwired,” the song has a much more full-bodied feel as the previously mentioned instruments are joined by violin, trumpet, saxophone and Hammond organ. The additional instruments give the song a much soulful feeling. The track is one of the best songs on the album.
The pace and energy of the music on the album changes with the track “Fossil Tears”. While the track starts with a slightly low-key style, the pace quickens. The song alternates between low-key and a faster pace throughout the 5-minute track. There is a slight country flavor in both the music with the inclusion of the steel guitar and in Steph Barrak’s vocals on the track.
With a vocal and musical style that may remind you of someone like Carly Simon or Joni Mitchell, the song “Oh Lo Lo” is another track on the Words to Break Your Heart album from Steph Barrak that has a light, easy rock feel that will have you thinking back to the sound of music from the sixties. The lyrics to the song are fun and may have you singing along with Barrak.
The pace of the album once again picks up with the song “Natural Progression”. Like much of the other artists in the folk genre, Steph Barrak explores the pattern of life on this track. The song’s lyrics have to do with what is happening with the weather on the planet. The track is probably the closest thing to straight-out rock music on Words to Break Your Heart.
Words to Break Your Heart comes to an end with the song “Watch for Me”. The track begins with just Barrak and her guitar and then, the song slowly builds to include another guitar and drums. The slightly stronger feeling that comes from the additional instruments really gives the track a folk-rock feel. The words to this track live up to the title of the album.
The Words to Break Your Heart album from Steph Barrak takes the listener on a musical trip that runs from folk music to Indie rock and back again. The eleven tracks that make up the 2013 release from Barrak help to give the listener a well-rounded glimpse into the talent of this singer-songwriter.

***** (Out of five)

Find the Words to Break Your Heart album from Steph Barrak on her Bandcamp account.

Click HERE for the video to Steph Barrak’s song “Painted Face”.

ImageConnecticut native Lauren Edman is an up-and-coming singer/songwriter that has taken her abilities as a singer and started creating her own songs that would make use of her strong yet soft voice. Musically, you could compare Edman to writer/pianists like Fiona Apple and Tori Amos while vocally, her voice may remind you of a combination of Fiona Apple and Kate Bush; musical approach that seems like a combination of pop, indie and folk with a little opera thrown in. This unique vocal/musical style can be heard on Lauren Edman’s new release entitled It’s Always the Quiet One.

Lauren Edman’s It’s Always the Quiet One begins with the track “Wasting”. The song features a light musical feel while Edman’s vocals are strong and light at the same time. The soft approach of the music on the track makes for the perfect beginning track to the release, as the listener gets just a hint of what Edman’s music is about.

The piano takes center stage on the beginning of the album’s second track “Slate”. The piano is later mixed with other orchestral sounds along with a light percussive effect that all come together to create a beautiful track that gives Edman’s voice a chance to shine in the gentle feeling of the music.

“Charge” is one of the most commercial tracks on the release. The track begins with Lauren Edman’s synthesizer creating a light musical line that features one note at a time before it eventually builds with many other keyboard elements to make a song that would be a perfect fit on soft rock stations. One of the best parts of the track is the lyrics sung by Edman. Her voice is very lovely on this song and the layering harmonies give that voice a lot of depth on the song.

On the song “Be the Light,” it is truly Lauren Edman’s voice that takes center stage. While she does create a musical landscape for her vocals on this track, the music of this track is very minimal, adding only the slightest amount of melody under her voice. The minimalist nature of the track takes nothing away from the beauty that Edman has created in the music for the tune.

Another track that will catch the ear of the listener is the song “Silent”.With this track, Edman adds a slightly different feel to her music. The track features more than just the sound of her piano or keyboards. The addition of the clarinet on the track gives a more classical feel to the song, which might remind some of a song from a Broadway musical. This is one of the strongest tracks, though also one of the album’s shortest songs.

“This Is It” is a track that should find a place in the hearts of fans of music that can be heard on reality shows like American Idol. The song allows Edman to show off her ability to hit the high notes more than most of the other songs on the release. It’s also the type of song that many people could find themselves enjoying.

The album comes to a close with the song “She’s Not Here”. The light, slow pace of the song brings the album to a close in a very gentle way. The track once again allows Edman’s to shine through.

The new release from Lauren Edman is a piano-driven album that features a lot of great tracks from a talented singer-songwriter. From the beginning track of “Wasting” to the final track of “She’s Not Here,” the songs play out with an easy feel to their musical approach. And the minimalist approach to the production of the music allows the listener to enjoy the lyrics and vocals from Edman as she sings her way through the ten tracks that make up the release. The tracks “Slate,” “Sweet Girl,” and “Silent,” are just some of the best tracks on the release. If you are a fan of musicians like Tori Amos, Fiona Apple or even Kate Bush, you’ll find plenty to enjoy on the 2012 release It’s Always the Quiet One from Lauren Edman.