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Tia McGraff Impresses on “Sometimes Love’s Like That”

Tia McGraff is undisputedly a wonderful performer, a shining star within the Country, Folk and Americana music scenes. She specializes in making music featuring soft sentimentality, and she has a complete grasp over this strength. Her ability as a musical story-teller makes her stand out from her peers, and this comes across perfectly in her latest single, “Sometimes Love’s Like That.”

Like most of Tia’s output, “Sometimes Love’s Like That” is a sweet, sad sounding single. There’s a certain dreamlike atmosphere to this single that we feel really sets it apart from Tia’s usual work. It has all the hallmarks of her style, but there’s a warmth to it that evokes feelings of nostalgia. It’s like a perfect encapsulation of comfortable memories in the form of a song.

The songwriting matches this, as Tia writes about reliving old love and the sweet memories that come with it, even if there’s pain mixed in. We’ve got some fairly complicated feelings going on here, requiring a delicate and thoughtful approach to them. Taking these themes and butchering them can lead to the song sounding insincere or haphazardly put together, so how does Tia do?

We’re happy to report that “Sometimes Love’s Like That” succeeds in this department in spectacular fashion. Tia touches on these ideas and themes tastefully, greatly enhancing the song’s overall feel and vibe. We’d even go as far as to say the writing on the single is by and far one of its strongest suits, really capturing the feelings the song is going for.

There’s a fleeting sense of pain and sadness with the song too, which Tia expounds upon throughout the single. Love is a complicated topic, regardless of how simple and common it is, and Tia understands this. She explores the intricacies and pains of love, in a way that’s simply fascinating to listen to.

Production is fairly sparse, but it works better that way. The more simple production quality is essential to keeping the personal, intimate nature of the song. What’s most important however is that the song pushes the most important parts of the arrangement forward, enhancing the song’s atmosphere. There’s an almost grand sense of scale despite how personal the song is.

Overall, Tia McGraff once again impresses with “Sometimes Love’s Like That.” It’s an emotional tour de force of a single, standing out from the rest of the genre in its sheer quality of writing. Tia’s performance is also phenomenal, really conveying the complex emotions the song is trying to capture. We’re definitely looking forward to whatever she has in store for the future.

-Jason Airy

Entertainment

Jen Ash’s “Trouble” is Worthy of All Accolades

The latest single from Jen Ash has been circulating for a little over a month now and is demonstrating traction in the RnB field as critics, fans, and newcomers are flocking to this track which is a tribute to the late Amy Winehouse. My first impressions of this release are that the vocals really match the song. With an abundance of clever instrumentation, the vocals maintain a perfect symmetry to the melodic form staying comfortably in the frequency range the track is allotted to. Although this is a classic RnB style track, fused with the typical elements and changes that make this genre recognizable, Trouble exhibits a lean toward Gospel, Pop, and Soul. With these sub-genre roots, Trouble incorporates an exciting choice of organ pedal chords to compliment the piano lines while the saxophone samples carry the main melody. However, as stated by Jen Ash, “The song is so jazzy and bluesy. it takes me back in time. The saxophone adds another dimension to the song, where I feel like I’m immersed in a 50/60’s black and white movie.” This nostalgic feel is contrasted by a very modern vibe allowing this piece to resonate with a contemporary audience. Trouble doesn’t really like to experiment with timing and tempo changes that separate the chorus from the verse, this hinders the impact of the main hook this song really wants to push through. This step back from the punchiness allows listeners to get caught up in the jazzy and blues feel that permeates past Pop RnB. What we get is a vibe that captures the audience and sucks them into the track making it more wholesome and vibrant.

Trouble would be an excellent addition to any Urban, Pop, Adult Contemporary, and RnB commercial radio playlist. This track would also be a great fit for any club setting, as the main groove and the bottom end pushes through the main melody to elicit a dance response from the listener. Every aspect of the production has been meticulously fawned over, as each instrument is allowed its place within the frequency spectrum, yet blended together allowing for a full and competent mix. Trouble is a very enjoyable track, and worthy of the accolades it is receiving. As a follow-up to her other singles; No Other Lover, and I Am Dreaming Of You, Trouble is a perfect addition to Jen Ash’s growing catalog of up-and-coming hits. As a fitting tribute to the great Amy Winehouse, Trouble offers metaphor and symbolism that captures the essence of Amy’s music and the impact she had on her fans.

 

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Louis Siciliano is Back With New EP

Louis Siciliano isn’t holding back with the song “Ancient Cosmic Truth,” the staple song of his new EP of the same title, but if you think his moxie is going to be isolated to this one track, you’re in for quite the surprise when listening to this incredible new record. So many of the crossover jazz/experimental works I’ve reviewed in 2023 have fallen back on retro themes as a means of bridging aesthetical gaps and appealing to a more chamber-minded generation, but that isn’t the case in Ancient Cosmic Truth.

Siciliano isn’t looking to take the route of his rivals in this work; he’s cutting away the throwback influences and getting to the core elements that make his approach such a profound point of interest no matter what kind of song he’s playing. There are many virtuosic instrumental components here, but there isn’t a sense of arrogance that would normally accompany a player with the kind of talent this man has – it’s just a performer beside his band doing the work of the divines, and potentially raising the profile of a frontman in Siciliano who needs to be getting a lot more attention than he ever has before.

“Translucent Dodecahedron” is probably my favorite track here as a man who loves the sax, and as adverse as I tend to be about wily rhythm tracks as eclectic as it is, this one that I couldn’t help but fall in love with the first time I listened to it over the past weekend.

 

 

Siciliano isn’t just attacking the melody with his compositional strength; he’s putting soul into it with the chemistry he has with Brecker, Muselli, and Roman. “The Secret of Mansa” showcases a lot of the same punch that we hear in the other songs, but with a slightly avant-garde bottom-end, as if to give us a hint of what the artsy vibe can produce when it’s channeled towards a climax. My man has got so much presence in this record, and I’m very curious to hear how it plays out in person for myself.

There aren’t many who can rock the big rhythm he does in “The Secret of Mansa,” and I’m seriously jealous of those who got to see this firsthand in the studio.

Whether it be the ramshackle grooving of “Bambara’s Symmetries” or the elegance of the title track, you can be certain that Louis Siciliano has got something moving to present to you this autumn through his new EP Ancient Cosmic Truth.

He’s got a lot of buzz surrounding his career at the moment largely thanks to positive critical reception from the international jazz underground, but I don’t see where he couldn’t break out of the indie circuit for the mainstream so long as he continues to break off incredible content like Ancient Cosmic Truth. It’s a timeless kind of record and one that makes sure to leave a mark on anyone who listens to it, but especially those who consider themselves as much of an enthusiast of excellent, left-field jazz music.

 

Sebastian Cole

 

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