Artist of the Month

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November 2015
Alex G
"Beach Music
Amid increasingly high/steep expectations, Alex Giannascoli, a.k.a. Alex G, released his latest full-length album Beach Music via Domino. After a jarring, noise-laden percussive “Intro,” “Bug” crawls under your skin and skillfully into your head as its crisp guitar lays the foundation for the song’s mesmerizing tone, stripping down temporarily instrumentally - “and when you go there/you stay there/bug in the crosshair/you stay there.” A momentary electric guitar swell marks the return to movement.
The scratch of acoustic guitar chord changes, and a gloomy organ develops the rained-in, haunting sound of “Thorns.” Conversely, to the weathered weary sound of its predecessor, “Kicker” immediately jumps into action as advancing percussion/guitar dictates a forward blitz of lyrically rhymed oppositions - “White bird in a black cloud… big fight for a small right.” Wrapping tightly woven imagery into a steady downhill stomper, the track sits smooth, whilst retaining a gritty after bite.
“Salt” returns to that head-in-the-clouds, daydreaming ethereal bedroom vibe. Soaked in keys and accented by electronic percussion, the scene is set. “Into my big cloud, I’m flying all the time.” As he watches, opposing deep and child-esque soft vocals stir in a chanting manner, Alex questioningly reemerges - “Did you hear what I said? I’ve got salt in my head,” resolving his issue in a calm yet despairing manner. “Today I washed my hands, I want to be alone, I want to fry.” “Brite Boy” lifts with light-as-a-feather percussion, and its innocent beach-strolling instrumentation is underscored by a playful call-and-return vocal dialogue. Ushered in by the tandem of dashing trumpet and dreary keys, the artist tears himself open, and is left emotionally exposed. “Crying I’m running in love/losing in love/scratching in love/wired in love.”
Alex G continues to evolve, creating songs that aren’t afraid to expose life’s knack for pulling one individual simultaneously in multiple directions. That’s why Beach Music thrives in its ability to paint grey clouds within a sunny landscape or a ray of light bursting through a downpour. His honest, hypnotic melodies and its murkiness pull you in. - Michael Colavita

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In the Indiestry: YVYNYL/Small Plates Records’ Mark Schoneveld

In the Indiestry: YVYNYL/Small Plates Records’ Mark Schoneveld

The music industry has always been dictated by a bevy of tastemakers - one way or another. Back in the day, the gatekeepers who decided if a performer would make it in the biz were usually music executives who managed to maneuver through and survive the shark-infested waters of the industry. However, as we have learned especially in more recent times, those in charge of making the big decisions probably had/have more business sense than actual taste and passion for music. Well, the music industry is at a very interesting crossroads now with the interweb evening out the once very slanted playing field. The suits with the big expense accounts aren’t the only people holding the keys to the gate for young artists to make it onto the big stage. Instead, you’ll find a bunch of them climbing the walls with a boost from a new generation of passionate music lovers who are using and evolving with modern day technological advances to change the archaic ways of a truly flawed system. One such self-professed “music nerd” is music blogger (YVYNYL) and indie record label co-owner (Small Plates Records) Philly’s own Mark Schoneveld. We recently had a chance to pick the brain of the tall, bearded art and social media loving all-around good dude about the past, present, and future of music as well as some personal stories from his life that helped to make him who he is today. You can read all about it in our interview with Schoneveld HERE.


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