#MusicReview: Martin’s In The Blink of A Life brings something new to the table.

Growing up, I was drawn to the song “Crazy” by Patsy Cline. I didn’t know why then (now I’m aware that her vocals on that piece were raw, honest, and carried you on an emotional journey despite the track being less than two minutes in length), my dad and I would just bond over how much that song spoke to us.

In much the same way, April Martin’s music speaks in a similar way: her vocals carry you on an emotional journey of where her heart has been, and her music reminds all who listen to it of greats like Loretta Lynn, Rosanne Cash, and Gillian Welch.

Click the image below to hear In The Blink of Life in it’s entirety.

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April Martin started her professional life as a Ph.D. in clinical
psychology and maintains a successful practice in New York City. Though
she made up songs in her head from as far back as she can remember, she
didn’t begin writing them down until later in life.

Her first album, Pennies in a Jar, was released in 2010, and garnered
more than 10,000 fans worldwide on Internet radio. This album, In the
Blink of a Life, takes her exploration of the human heart – which is
done with tenderness, humor, and passion, to greater depths of
reflection and maturity.

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On her work on this album and as a musician as a whole, April explains:

“When I was a child in the 1950’s you could
get a song sheet for 5 cents at the corner candy store with the lyrics
to tunes on the Hit Parade. My dad, whose natural tenor voice was always
bursting into song,  would give me a nickel each week when the new ones
came out. Together we learned songs like “Secret Love”,  “How Much Is
That Doggie in the Window?”, and “Oh My Pa-Pa.” These were some of the
happiest moments of my childhood.

Those songs were my constant companions. I overheard my first grade
teacher complaining, “If that child doesn’t stop humming I will go
crazy.” I hummed the tunes and memorized the words, which spoke life’s
truths to my little heart. I knew for a fact that love is a many
splendored thing, that Davey Crockett was king of the wild frontier, and
that when you load sixteen tons all you get is another day older and
deeper in debt. My musical tastes may have broadened, but to this day
I’m drawn to the simplicity of a song that makes me laugh or cry or
wonder about something that rings deeply true.

Songwriting came to me half a lifetime later, after spending decades
immersed in the human condition as a psychologist and a parent of three
children. To my surprise I found myself humming tunes I’d never heard
before and giving voice to things that welled up in me.

With every song I write I’m grateful to the people who trust me with
their vulnerabilities and joys, to my children who made me understand
love as never before, and to my dad who brought those wonderful songs
into my young world.”april-martin-cityscape-no-2

Song By Song review:

One Breath: This song speaks volumes about something we all forget and we need a major reminder of in today’s world. We only have now. We must take life one breath at a time. Favorite line “It’s all about now, the why, and the how. It’s all about love.”

Heart Break Doesn’t Come: My favorite song off the album solely because of it’s musicality about all hell breaking lose but the speaker saying blatantly “heart break doesn’t come from loving me.” The guitar breakdown adds a nice musicality to the track.

My Rock and My Rain: This song boasts lyrics that are practically songwriter perfection. A perfect to dedicate to your upcoming valentine.

While I’m Waiting: This song could have stayed an instrumental for it’s suspenseful musicality through the use of a rain-stick and various other percussion instruments.

Looking Back: Perfect song to play at someone’s memorial, it’s a perfect combination of soft music, lyrics that are tears of memory, and soft vocals.

Everday I Love You More: A beautiful love song with nice percussive musicality

Would You Let Me In: The flute adds a great musicality to this song about falling in love with someone who is grieving.

Sara’s Lullaby: Taking on the sound of Spanish folk music, this is a both a pleasure to listen to and a little bit of a style change for the artist.

All I’ve Got: Vocally, Martin reminds me of Karen Carpenter a little bit on this track folky love song.

One Part Truth, The Party’s In Full Swing, Life is Good, and Praise The Morning all boast of Martin’s country style as a singer-songwriter, both lyrically and musically.

In The Blink of A Life

April Martin

Rating: Four out of five cookies

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#TeamGrimmie: Christina Grimmie Post-Humanly Shares Last Four Music Videos

Just writing that title made me choked up. I am still not over the fact that young and beautiful Christina Grimmie has passed away. Yet, was amazingly impressed with the way her team decided to share each of the four tracks off her Side A EP with each of the music videos that could be one long extended play final film that Christina starred in.

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Snow White: This music video introduces us to the character of Jessica Blue who Grimmie and the music from the EP is portraying. Debuting on her Youtube channel on August 11, 2016, this one made me cry my eyes out because it was the first time I had seen new footage of Christina since that last performance video was shared. Yet, overall, whoever edited the music to match her lip syncing in the video did a poor job and I was worried all the videos were going to turn out this way.

Thankfully, the next video proved me wrong and set my worries at ease.

Her vocals slay on this track and coming from someone who hadn’t listened to the full EP, I was really impressed with the video, it’s editing, and the imagery and direction of this video. Christina stuns in that rooftop still. Wow.

This is by far my favorite music video because not only is this my favorite song off the EP because I relate to it but Christina sneaks in some of her personal values within it by having the lead grandmother say to Jessica: See that girl right there. She’s beautiful exactly how she is. Plus, you can really see Christina’s pure musical talent in this one and on this track.

One of the last tracks Christina ever performed live, this video is eerie because it shows Jessica at a live performance but to see Christina pretending to perform live knowing she isn’t ever going to again really shook me here. Yet, I love how beautiful she looks and sounds in this final video.

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RIP Christina, you will forever be missed. You will forever be loved. Your music will live on to carry the message that was your life.

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#MusicReview: Loaded with Potential; Loaded Gun EP

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Originally hailing from Toronto, Crystyna Marie sings with a powder keg
voice over a cocktail of grungy blues and pop. The classically trained
Canadian-born singer has supported Ontario acts and been featured as a
demo singer on indie labels from as young as 18 years old.

Marie has taken first place in various categories in the Kiwanis Music
Festival 2 years in a row. She’s taken lead roles in local community
plays; West Side Story as Maria and Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. Over
the years, she has racked up a long list of smaller roles in music
videos, television and was also the lead singer in an LA founded pop
group called Greencat. Writing and releasing her own music, with her own
unique voice, however, is where her true passion lies.

Believing the classics are just as essential as modern favorites, she
finds musical inspiration in everyone from Janis Joplin, Ottis Redding
and Etta James to Selena and Christina Aguilera.

Although Crystyna has been represented by several independent labels
over the years, she decided that in order to shape the sound she wanted,
releasing music on her own was absolutely necessary. Her first solo
single, “Loaded Gun”, is proof that this was the right choice, revealing
the first taste of Marie’s gritty take on the blues.

The EP was released on Feb 29, 2016.

Song by Song Review

“Loaded Gun”: Starting out with a staccato drum beat and bluesy guitar chords, this track with vocals that remind me of Miley Cyrus (at her best) discusses love that has you all over the place emotionally.

“Down The Road”: True to form bluesy rock with gut wrenching raw emotive vocals, this song has the total potential to be as powerful as a Jonny Lang song.

“No More”: Totally reminds me of a pop rock song from bands such as 3 Door Down, Marie sings about feeling so numb after someone breaks your heart. Favorite lyric: “No more I feel of you.”

“The Tower”: The musicality of this track is by far my favorite, as well as the lyricism and songwriting.  Favorite lyric: “There will be no breaking down only breaking through.” Strength penned so succinctly.

Overall, if you haven’t downloaded Marie’s Loaded Gun EP your Itunes library is probably not living up to it’s potential and is definitely lacking for some of what Chrystyna Marie brings to the table.

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#ICYMI: New music from Greer

As most of you all know, I love finding new music. It’s like the same feeling as when the coffee from my Starbucks espresso kicks in. It gets my adrenaline pumping and boosts my mood. The feeling intensifies when the music is really good, and I become obsessed with the song or songs. For example, right now I’m obsessed with the song Just Like Fire by Pink. It’s melodic, punk enough to not be candy coated, and it’s written and performed by Pink, whose music has helped me through many trying times in my life. Once again, this song hits a high note.

In the same way, independent pop artist Greer has released two new songs recently that are equally as mood-boosting. Affiliates

“Love Me Less”: a club anthem with the message of being who you are despite the pressures someone you love puts on you.

“Deal With The Devil”: Not really for me as a born-again Christian as I’m not looking to make a deal with the devil in any way but thanks Greer for suggesting this. The beat on this track is sick, though.

#ICYMI: Nishe’s new song “Out of Place” is perfectly in sync

According to their Twitter bio, Nishe is a UK based alternative rock band which is made up of three guys portraying different environments, mixing energetic guitar riffs with urban grooves and cutting edge electronic layers.

Check out their song above and make sure to follow them on Twitter. I see nothing but big things in store for these three guys. This song has just enough rock and roll edge to be considered to be featured in a skateboarding video.

#ICYMI: Blow Your Mind by Greer

Devil horns included. At least that’s what I picture the CD cover saying of this track. It has serious bad-boy vibes from 19 year old Boston independent artist, Greer aka Christian Wilson. Blow Your Mind is an EDM pop anthem about taking the fast track when you meet someone. It has a very enticing rhythm and ear-worm potential lyrically.

Be sure to check it out below and to stay up to date on all things Greer make sure to visit his Facebook page and subscribe to his Youtube channel.