Tag Archives: Reverbnation

Monday Memos: Crossley Hunter Album Review

Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ I am so excited to bring you a review for indie rock bandCrossley Hunter album cover Crossley Hunter’ self-titled album, which was produced and engineered by John Wozniak (Marcy Playground) and mixed by Mike Norberg (The Dying Arts) at Mushroom Studio in Toronto, Ontario, and drops August 28th, 2015. A few months ago I first introduced you to this AMAZING band (you can check out that piece here: Monday Memos: Crossley Hunter…the newest band on the rise that YOU need to know about). I was also fortunate enough to interview the band’s vocalist/guitarist Justin Hammond (which you can check out here:Interview with YOUR new fav band Crossley Hunter), which helped us learn about the band’s musical inspirations, how they prepare for live performances, advice the band has for aspiring musicians, and of course, what to expect from this album. Next up we’ll talk a little bit about each song, and then quickly recap why this is a CAN’T MISS album. Ready? Ok, let’s go!

 

1) Devil Smiling: The first song that we’re going to talk about is the band’s lead single Devil Smiling. I went into greater detail when I spoke about this song during my first piece about the band (located in this post’s intro). After listening to ‘Devil Smiling again, again, I still loved the song’s high energy, catchy lyrics, and overall infectious vibe. This is definitely a great introduction to what you’ll find on the rest of the album.

 

2) X Rays: If you love songs that you can turn up loud  while driving and completely rock out to, then X Rays is your song. This is another song with unforgettable lyrics that you’ll find yourself singing along to all day. There is also an UNBELIEVABLY amazing guitar solo about 2 minutes into the song that you will be OBSESSED with!

 

3) Heaven Sent: ‘Heaven Sent’ slows things down just a little bit, and allows you to really get caught up in the raw emotion that the lyrics portray, making it a very easy song to connect with. This is definitely one of those songs that you can listen to over and over again, and never get tired of.

 

4) Burning Bright: What you’ll love most about this song is the powerful vocals that cause you to be completely mesmerized by this song from start to finish. You have to love a song that instantly demands your attention, and keeps you glued to your headphones.

 

5) Down and Out: Down and Out is another song that shows that this album is serious about establishing Crossley Hunter as a band with it’s own distinct identity. This is also another great example of Crossley Hunter’s incredible talents as songwriters, and musicians, due to their ability to make a song that you can’t get out of your mind.

 

6) Bring Me Down: This phenomenal rock anthem is a MUST HAVE for all of your playlists. The song is not only full of energy, but also contains emotionally charged lyrics that are so breathtakingly sincere and heartfelt that you’ll HAVE to play this song on repeat for a few days.

 

7) Like They Used To: In this song we not only get to see the power of this band’s amazing vocals once again, but also the unique depth of Crossley Hunter’s artistry. It’s so amazing to hear an album that still holds strong more than midway through the album.

 

8) Stomp Clap Drink: ‘Stomp Clap Drink’ definitely has a bit of a different vibe than the first 7 songs on this album,  songs but stills has that special Crossley Hunter touch that we’ve grown to love. The addition of the album’s producer/engineer John Wozniak as a vocalist on this song is a fun surprise that fans will love. This song definitely shows that Crossley Hunter isn’t afraid to experiment with their sound, and will make you excited to see how they cultivate their sound for future projects.

 

9) Edge of Night: Just like the song that preceded it, ‘Edge of Night’ shows the band’s artistic growth, due to the inspiration of other genres that is utilized in this song. This definitely gives the band a more wide appeal and will attract fans that may normally fall out of the band’s demographic. A must hear song for music fans everywhere!

 

10) No Heart: No Heart is a ballad that has incredibly honest, heart wrenching (no pun intended) lyrics that will hit you hard, and definitely make you feel a large range of emotions. It’s one of those rare songs that not only holds your attention, but also makes you feel everything the writer is trying to convey.

 

11) Aphelion: Just like the first song on an album, the last song is incredibly important, because it definitely sets your thoughts on what the project is as a whole. Aphelion is another emotionally charged song with honest lyrics that hit you right in the heart, and fits in with the standard that Crossley Hunter has set for itself. The sound of the song is very reminiscent of classic 90s grunge, but once again has that special something that instantly makes it identifiable as a Crossley Hunter song. A perfect ending for this album!

 

To recap, Crossley Hunter’s self-titled album is an album I HIGHLY recommend that you all check out. It really establishes a unique identity for this band, and will instantly capture and keep your attention for the duration of the album. Although the album has a unified vibe that is present throughout the album, there are certainly some songs that will make you excited to see what Crossley Hunter will do with future projects. Lastly, don’t forget that the album drops August 28th, 2014!

 

Keep up with Crossley Hunter:

Twitter: Crossley Hunter (@crossleyhunter) | Twitter

Instagram: @crossleyhunter • Instagram

Reverbnation: Crossley Hunter

Facebook: Crossley Hunter | Facebook

 

 

  • All credit goes to Crossley Hunter, Twitter, Facebook, Reverbnation, Instagram, Blacktop Records, Ben Andress, John Wozniak, Marcy Playground, Mike Norberg,The Dying Arts, Capitol Records, The Agency Group, Mushroom Studio,Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Thirty Seconds To Mars, 3 Doors Down, Pearl Jam, Coldplay, Rancho Relaxo, The Rockpile, Alien Ant Farm, all companies, individuals, corporations, managers, record labels, writers, producers, and/or businesses that should receive credit for anything mentioned in this blog post, and all original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. If any people, corporations, businesses, companies, etc, were not previously given credit for their work, they are given credit now and their previous absence was unintentional. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended.

Monday Memos: Interview with YOUR new fav band Crossley Hunter

crossley hunter interview

 

Hello people of the Internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’, we have an AMAZING new interview with rising band Crossley Hunter (you can check out my 1st blog post about them here: Monday Memos: Crossley Hunter…the newest band on the rise that YOU need to know about | celindareyesblog). In this interview I got to speak to Justin Hammond (who is the vocalist/guitarist in Crossley Hunter), about how the band formed, where they got their awesome name, and so much more! Please remember to look out for the band’s 1st full length album, which will drop later this year (don’t worry I’ll keep y’all updated on the release date!), and support Crossley Hunter by checking out their newest song ‘Devil Smiling’ (you will be ADDICTED to it, trust me!). Also remember that if you’re in the area, definitely check out Crossley Hunter on April 23rd at the Rancho Relaxo in Toronto, Ontario & on May 4th, at The Rockpile in Toronto, Ontario. Ok are y’all ready? Let’s jump into the interview!

 

 

Celinda: Let’s start off with who/what inspired you to pursue a career in the music industry?

Justin: To be honest, I just decided I wanted to try playing guitar when I was younger because I was never huge into sports or anything. So my uncle took me out one weekend and helped me pick out my first guitar, and then I started taking some basic lessons. I soon realized that I had the most fun experimenting and trying to write my own stuff, and after about ten thousand hours of that, I started to kind of get the hang of it.

 

 

Celinda: Cool, so how did Crossley Hunter form, and what inspired your name?

Justin: Crossley Hunter essentially started a bit after Michelle and I started dating. We had met at a local show that my old high school band was playing, and started dating soon after. We had been together for several months before I even knew she played music, but I was pretty surprised to find out she was a classically trained pianist. She had given up playing when she was younger, but I sort of convinced her to start playing with me and experimenting with some of the music I had been writing. After we had a few songs written, I found out that her brother Jay had played guitar in a few bands growing up, and that he was also a pretty talented drummer. So he started playing and writing tunes with us, but we were still short a bass player. That’s when we got the idea to go out and buy a bass guitar for their other brother Joe (who also happened to be very musically talented). We jammed with various lead guitar players under various different band names over the years, but we eventually settled on the name Crossley Hunter for no other reason than it being the name of the road that Michelle, Jay, and Joe grew up on, and where we jammed at the time.

 

 

Celinda: That is such an interesting story! So which artists/bands would you say have influenced your sound?

Justin: I can’t speak for anyone else in the band, but some of my biggest musical influences growing up would have to be Matthew Good, Third Eye Blind, Our Lady Peace, Alien Ant Farm, Saves the Day, Weezer, the Pixies, Boys Night out, Radiohead… but that’s just to name a few. I listened to a variety of different stuff over the years.

 

 

Celinda: Staying on the topic of influences, which artists/bands have influenced your sound that might surprise your fans?

Justin: Well, listening to our music, most people probably wouldn’t think of The Doors as being a huge influence. But I’ve always been a huge Jim Morrison fan…. his vocal style has had a huge impact on mine.

 

 

Celinda: Now let’s move on and talk about your upcoming album. First of all I just want to say that ‘Devil Smiling’ is an awesome song that I’m completely addicted to. Is this song a good indication of the vibe of the rest of your upcoming album?

Justin: First of all, it’s so great to hear that you dig the tune! Your review of Devil Smiling was more than generous, so we’d like to thank you for that! To answer the question, I’d say that song is a pretty good representation of the album as a whole – which is why we’ve decided on it as the first track. I think the majority of the album has a similar feel… however there are a couple curve balls in there – just to keep things interesting! I mean, we really wanted John Wozniak to agree to sing on a song on the album, so we ended up writing a tune that kind of catered more to his brand of folk rock song writing. So in short: we do change up the pace and feel for a few of the tracks, but they all sound like Crossley Hunter.

 

 

Celinda: I’m so glad that you enjoyed my review of Devil Smiling! Based on what you’ve just told me, I’m honestly even more excited to hear the album! So, I know it’s probably hard to pick favorites, but what’s one song off of the upcoming album that you’re really excited for fans to hear? If you can’t give us a name, then can you say whether it’s a more upbeat song, or a ballad?

Justin: Umm, there’s a few that I’m pretty excited for people to hear. The song that John sings on called “Stomp, Clap, Drink” is a really fun tune, and it’s something different for us, so I’m interested to hear what people think of it. Another one I’m pretty proud of is the album closer “Aphelion” – it’s just got kind of a dark, raw feel to it that came through really well during the recording process.

 

 

Celinda: I’ll definitely look out for those songs. So what’s one thing you wish you had known about the music industry before entering it?

Justin: Well… it’s hard to choose just one thing, but I’d say what probably stands out most to me, is the ridiculous amounts of effort that independent musicians have to put in to get even minimal recognition. I don’t think the average person realizes just how hard aspiring musicians work, and how much of their effort ends up being entirely in vain. I know that in recent years especially, I’ve personally been feeling more and more cynical about the idea of ever accomplishing the goal of becoming an established musician – but then I have to stop myself and realize that that’s not really the reason I write music in the first place. The real value of writing and playing music lies in catharsis. Without this outlet, I think I’d be pretty spun.

 

 

Celinda: I love that answer, it’s very insightful. So I know that you guys have some live performances coming up, do you have anything special that you do either individually and/or as a band to prepare for a live performance?

Justin: Besides lots of practice? Nothing really comes to mind, other than maybe having a drink or two beforehand to help take the edge off!

 

 

Celinda: Cool, so what advice do you have for anyone who wants to get into the music industry?

Justin: I think this is a good place to pick up where I left off earlier: any aspiring musician should be prepared for years and years of hard work that may ultimately go entirely unappreciated. But again, if you’re just ‘in it to win it’, then you’re going about it the wrong way anyways. The only reason anybody should be wasting their time on music is if they truly enjoy it. Besides, the sense of community that comes with being involved in some of these local music scenes is worth all the effort alone. Some of the best people I’ve ever met came into my life as a direct result of my involvement in these independent music scenes, so for me, that alone has made all the effort worth the while.

 

 

Celinda: Lastly, do you have anything else you’d like to say to any of your fans who are reading this interview?

Justin: I’d just like to say that we all really appreciate anyone and everyone who gives us the time of day, and everyone who has, and continues to support us by coming out to shows and such. We’re extremely excited to release our first full length album this summer, and we really hope that everyone enjoys listening to it as much as we enjoy playing it!

 

 

Celinda: Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with me today!

Justin: Thank you for having interest in our music, and thanks again for the thoughtful review you did for us!

 

 

Keep up with Crossley Hunter:

Twitter: Crossley Hunter (@crossleyhunter) | Twitter

Instagram: @crossleyhunter • Instagram

Reverbnation: Crossley Hunter

Facebook: Crossley Hunter | Facebook

 

If you haven’t already heard Crossley Hunter’s new song ‘Devil Smiling’, then check it out below

 

 

  • All credit goes to Crossley Hunter, Twitter, Facebook, Reverbnation, Instagram, Blacktop Records, Ben Andress, John Wozniak, Marcy Playground, Mike Norberg,The Dying Arts, Capitol Records, The Agency Group, Mushroom Studio,Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Thirty Seconds To Mars, 3 Doors Down, Pearl Jam, Coldplay, Rancho Relaxo, The Rockpile, Alien Ant Farm, all companies, individuals, corporations, managers, record labels, writers, producers, and/or businesses that should receive credit for anything mentioned in this blog post, and all original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. If any people, corporations, businesses, companies, etc, were not previously given credit for their work, they are given credit now and their previous absence was unintentional. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended.

Monday Memos: Crossley Hunter…the newest band on the rise that YOU need to know about

Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ I have the honor of bringing you the premiere of rock band Crossley Hunter’s new song ‘Devil Smiling’, which was produced and engineered by John Wozniak (Marcy Playground) and mixed by Mike Norberg (The Dying Arts) at Mushroom Studio in Toronto, Ontario. Now remember the name Crossley Hunter, because you will soon see this band’s music constantly popping up on your ‘most played’ lists. If you love bands such as: Thirty Seconds To Mars, 3 Doors Down, Pearl Jam, and Coldplay, then you will absolutely fall in love with Crossley Hunter. Next we’ll talk more about the band’s new song ‘Devil Smiling ‘ (which will be on their debut full length album, which drops this summer). Also, if you can, I would definitely recommend that you check out Crossley Hunter live on April 23rd at Rancho Relaxo in Toronto, Ontario & on May 4th at The Rockpile in Toronto, Ontario (where the band Alien Ant Farm will also be playing). So are y’all ready? Ok, let’s go!

 

Honestly, as soon as I heard ‘Devil Smiling’, I was instantly hooked (and I may have worn out my phone’s battery pressing the replay button…hey when a song is that good, you can’t help but put it on repeat!). ‘Devil Smiling’ is a track that will automatically grab your attention and keep you mesmerized from the first note to the last. This song is everything an epic rock song should be: it’s a high energy track that will instantly have you rocking out; it has lyrics that you will instantly find yourself singing along to, and the song only gets better every time you hear it (talk about a perfect song!). It’s rare in music today that we find a band that is truly able to rip us out of reality and fully immerse us in a song, but that’s exactly what you’ll get when you listen to Crossley Hunter. If  ‘Devil Smiling’ is just the first taste of what we should expect from Crossley Hunter’s new album, then y’all should definitely get excited because this is going to be an extremely epic album. So please check out the song below, to get introduced to your new favorite band, and remember to follow Crossley Hunter on all of their social media accounts to stay up to date on everything this rising band is doing!

 

Keep up with Crossley Hunter:

Twitter: Crossley Hunter (@crossleyhunter) | Twitter

Instagram: @crossleyhunter • Instagram

Reverbnation: Crossley Hunter

Facebook: Crossley Hunter | Facebook

 

 

  • All credit goes to Crossley Hunter, Twitter, Facebook, Reverbnation, Instagram, Blacktop Records, Ben Andress, John Wozniak, Marcy Playground, Mike Norberg,The Dying Arts, Capitol Records, The Agency Group, Mushroom Studio,Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Thirty Seconds To Mars, 3 Doors Down, Pearl Jam, Coldplay, Rancho Relaxo, The Rockpile, Alien Ant Farm, all companies, individuals, corporations, managers, record labels, writers, producers, and/or businesses that should receive credit for anything mentioned in this blog post, and all original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. If any people, corporations, businesses, companies, etc, were not previously given credit for their work, they are given credit now and their previous absence was unintentional. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended.

YouTube Wednesday: Victoria Watts, the singer/songwriter that your playlists are begging you to discover

Hey people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ we are going to discuss an amazing musician whose unique sound will instantly grab your attention, and not let go. I found out about this artist after she followed me on Twitter (once again thank you twitter!!!), and I have to say that I have become completely addicted to her music. She has already made a powerful impact on the music scene, and will very soon be inescapable (and trust me when I say that you wouldn’t have it any other way). So now that you’re all excited, I guess you want me to tell you who I’m talking about right? Good, I’m glad you asked! I am talking about the amazing pop/rock/alternative singer/songwriter Victoria Watts. If for some crazy reason you don’t know who this amazing musician is, then be prepared to meet one of the fastest rising stars in music, and your favorite new artist.

 

Victoria Watts is a singer/songwriter who is originally from San Diego, CA, but currently resides in Philadelphia, PA. Victoria discovered her love of music at a very young age, and thus was able to perform all over the US and abroad before entering college. Upon entering college, she moved to the east coast to attend the Contemporary Music Center (which is an artist colony, where qualified applicants are invited and are able to work on their music skills such as:  live performance, studio work, and songwriting).  Later on, Victoria moved to Nashville, TN, and then finally to Philadelphia, PA. Currently she performs both as a solo artist, and as the front woman and multi-instrumentalist for the band Element K. Victoria has been featured on the read up stations, Radio 104.5 and WSTW 93.7, as well as appearing on countless podcasts and in numerous publications. Along with this, she has also topped the Philadelphia Pop charts on ‘Reverbnation’, and was also named one of ‘Rock on Philly’ Magazine’s finalists for artist of the year. On April 23rd, 2013 Victoria released her  EP ‘Songs for the Sidewalk’ 9which I HIGHLY suggest that you purchase after you finish reading the bog post…or you know you can download it while you’re reading the blog too…yay for multitasking!). Now that you know all about Victoria, let’s dive into the music!

 

The first cover video that Victoria posted on her YouTube page was a cover of ‘The Dog Days are Over’ by Florence + the Machine on February 12th, 2013 (Victoria Watts performing “Dog Days are Over” on Radio 104.5 Philadelphia). I really love Victoria’s take on the track, because she slowed it down, and really allowed her vocals to take center stage. I could also really hear the rock influences in her vocals, which truly made her give off the vibe of a rock star. I also liked that the song did pick up towards the end, and which made that part reminiscent of the original. However, what I enjoyed most about this rendition was the fact that Victoria was able to put her own mark on the song, and make it sound like an original song. I really like that Victoria was able to find a happy medium between adding her own style to the song, and not straying too far from the originally vibe of the song that fans love. This cover truly showed that Victoria is not only a great musician and vocalist, but also a great artist. The next cover that we are going to discuss is Victoria’s cover of ‘Free Fallin’ by Tom Petty, which was uploaded on July 22nd, 2013 (Victoria Watts performing “Free Fallin” – YouTube). I am so in love with this cover I have honestly been listening to it nonstop! I really love how the originally feel of the song is still intact, but Victoria is able to use the unique tone of her voice to make the song sound completely new. ‘Free Fallin’ is definitely one of those songs that can be hard for an artist to cover because it is well known and loved by fans that span various generations and musical genres however, Victoria will quickly make anyone a fan of her rendition of the song. The last cover that we are going to discuss is Victoria’s cover of Torn’ by Natalie Imbruglia, which was uploaded on August 3rd, 2013 (Victoria Watts performs an acoustic cover of “Torn” – YouTube). This is definitely my favorite cover on Victoria’s channel, because her performance is not only vocally amazing, but further proves that she knows exactly who she is as an artist. The sound and vibe of the cover is very cohesive with the unique sound that Victoria has crafted for herself, and once again she is able to take a song that is well known and loved, and turn it into a song that sounds completely new and unique. I also loved that although Victoria was singing and playing the guitar live, she still moved around and gave a performance. In the video you can really see how passionate Victoria is about the song she is singing, and that, makes you want to watch her even more. Needless to say, I am VERY excited for everything that is ahead for Victoria, because her cover videos alone show that she is a talented, well-skilled musician, whose unique sound and passion instantly captivates viewers.

 

Now that we’ve discussed Victoria’s AMAZING YouTube covers, let’s move on to her original music (everybody say it with me…YAAAAYYYY!). The first song that we are going to discuss is Victoria’s official music video for her song ‘A Thousand Miles Between’ (which was uploaded on YouTube on December 13th, 2013 and can be found on her EP ‘Songs for the Sidewalk’ Victoria Watts- A Thousand Miles Between Official Music Video – YouTube). This song definitely has a very early Paramore meets early Flyleaf sound that will appeal to rock fans however, the song also has a certain something about it that automatically let’s you know that it is a Victoria original. I could definitely see this song getting radio airplay, and I really love that Victoria has been able to create a sound that her fans instantly recognize. Often times an artist can have a hard time initially discovering where they fit, but Victoria has been able to prove that her voice exceeds boundaries. The next original song that we’re going to discuss is Victoria’s song ‘Waiting on the Sun’ (the official music video for the song was released on YouTube on June 23rd, 2014 and can also be found on Victoria’s EP ‘Songs for the Sidewalk’ Victoria Watts- Waiting on the Sun (Official) – YouTube). I am absolutely in love with this song (yes I know that I say this a lot, but trust me, it is very true and you will soon agree too)! This song integrates more genres of music than ‘A Thousand Miles Between’ does, and gives off a very alternative rock meets jazz vibe. I really love that Victoria proves with this song, that although she might experiment with her sound, at the its’ core, all of her music has that same little stamp that let’s fans instantly know that it is a Victoria original. Sometimes when you hear an amazing artist covering songs on YouTube, their original music might leave you a bit let down. However, Victoria’s original music is just as good as her covers, if not better. I love that every performance that Victoria gives is heartfelt, and leaves you hanging on every note.

 

See, I told you that she was AMAZING! I am honestly so excited for everything that is ahead in Victoria’s career, because I feel that her unique sound and natural talent will definitely make her a standout act in the music industry. I always love to hear artists who are genuinely unique, and I truly feel that Victoria will create her own lane in the music industry, which will make her impossible to ignore. I also love that Victoria’s sound is so unique and diverse, that she will not be sorted into a little genre box, and as a result will appeal to a wider range of fans. I am definitely a fan of Victoria now, and I know that you will all be too once you hear how amazing she really is.

 

Click here to keep up to date with everything Victoria is doing!:

YouTube: Victoria Watts – YouTube

Twitter: Victoria Watts (Victoria_Watts1) on Twitter

Facebook: Victoria Watts | Facebook

MySpace: Victoria Watts | Listen and Stream Free Music, Albums, New Releases, Photos, Videos

 

 

 

  • All photos and information used in this blog belong to Victoria Watts, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Element K,the Contemporary Music Center, Radio 1045, WSTW 93.7, Rock On Philly Magazine, Reverbnation, any record labels, managers, organization, additional artists, writers, producers, businesses, or people involved with any of the previously mentioned or following artists, bands and/or songs mentioned in this blog post, Tom Petty, Florence + the Machine, ITunes, Natalie Imbruglia, Lis Sørensen, Ednaswap, rockonphilly.com, and all other original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended.