The Brutal Simplicity of Sound by Tom Raistrick

Artist_Display_Picture_-_Tom_RaistrickTom Raistrick, a new artist from Oxford, UK, creates the kind of sonic soundscapes you listen to when you want to be enveloped by the music. Raistrick makes intoxicating indie electronic music, which sounds experimental and mellow at times. His EP, The Brutal Simplicity of Sound, features six songs including “A Sail to Catch the Wind” and “Lost Soul.” I like how it starts with a song called “Sunset” and ends with a song called “Sunrise.” I do recommend you listen to the entire 21-minute release from start to finish in order to get the full listening experience. The Brutal Simplicity of Sound is available on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon and all other major platforms. –Mark Weber Music Blog

Justin Bieber Love Yourself

Justin Bieber has a hit with the song “Love Yourself.” There are two things about this particular song that stand out to me: 1) it’s vocals and guitar throughout…but NO drums! 2) it has a trumpet solo…a TRUMPET solo!

You see, most pop music– the kind that makes it into the Top 10 of the charts, anyway, would say yes to drums and no to trumpet solos…and yet Justin Bieber has managed to make something that sounds quite different than “everything else out there today,” with a fairly simplistic, quiet song called “Love Yourself.” A trumpet solo is a bit of an odd choice for a Justin Bieber song, but hey, it’s working…the song’s a huge hit, having sold more than a million in the USA, at #3 on the Hot 100 (as of this writing), and heard on a variety of radio stations, from the ones soccer moms listen to…to the ones kids and teens love.

“Love Yourself” is on Justin Bieber’s fourth studio album, Purpose. The song itself lists Bieber along with Ed Sheeran and Ben Levin as writers. It got started on the charts back in November 2015, and did something unique: it made it into the Top 5 at the same time as Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” and “What Do You Mean?” were there. That meant Justin Bieber had three concurrent songs in the Hot 100’s top five, a feat only The Beatles (in 1964!) and 50 Cent (in 2005) can claim. Whether or not you like Justin Bieber, you’ve got to admit he has done well by getting three hit songs in the top 5 of the charts at one time. Impressive.

A promotional video for “Love Yourself” was released on YouTube on November 14, 2015. The video features husband and wife dancers Keone and Mari Madrid dancing their way through their house. They are later seen dancing on their phone screens. The video ends when the wife wakes up and finds a note on her husband’s pillow saying, “Love Yourself.” –Mark Weber Music Blog 

Classic 1980s Songs

Classic 1980s songs are being discussed by the artists who performed them and made them hits? Where? On YouTube, thanks to Boom 97.3 Toronto. With the “Behind the Vinyl” series, now’s your chance to hear from 1980s artists like Spandau Ballet, Howard Jones and Taylor Dayne, as they talk about their huge hit songs– while the record plays!

Here’s Spandau Ballet talking about “True.” The lead vocals were recorded in London, but the song itself was recorded in the Bahamas, and it definitely has that laid-back island vibe. It was quite a departure for the band, more known for its synth rock sound than a soulful ballad like “True.” Still, can you name any other songs from Spandau Ballet? “True” remains their worldwide classic 1980s song!

Howard Jones had a big hit with “No One Is To Blame.” He recorded it with help from Phil Collins. As a classic 1980s song, “No One Is To Blame” was almost not a radio single, but Howard Jones fought for its release and he was right: people loved it.

Leslie Wunderman, aka Taylor Dayne, was working in a Russian nightclub in Brighton Beach (NYC area) when she and her friend Ric Wake looked for the kind of song that could do well on the “mix shows at night.” They found “Tell It To My Heart,” and Taylor Dayne made it a classic 1980s song…

Run-D.M.C. took a breakbeat and made it the first true rap-rock song; you know it… “Walk This Way,” a classic 1980s song that combined Run-D.M.C. with Aerosmith and history was made.

Dee Snider talks about the classic 1980s song, “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” which became a worldwide pop anthem even though it was a hard rock song complete with a memorable music video of men dressed up like…well…twisted sisters. By the way, Dee Snider mentions it’s the same sound as “O Come All Ye Faithful!” True!



Hillsong Young & Free

Hillsong Young & Free’s newest single “Where You Are” has taken over MTV. Filmed in their native Australia, the music video is appearing exclusively across the popular network’s three broadcast channels (MTV, MTVHits, mtvU) as well as and Upon release of the single in December, the track resonated with listeners, garnering a position in Spotify’s viral top 50 and a current spot in the Top 20 at Hot AC/CHR.

“It doesn’t matter how much satisfaction that you can get from the world, you are never truly satisfied until you are where God is, where He wants you to be and where He is purposed you to be,” explains Hillsong Young & Free’s Laura Toggs when sharing the concept of “Where You Are.” “This song is about pursuing and choosing that over everything else.”

This isn’t the MTV video, but here’s the lyric video so you can hear the song:

Hillsong Young & Free’s newest album Youth Revival, which includes “Where You Are,” has an upcoming global release date of February 26. The eclectic collection of songs found on Youth Revival articulate the deep desire of the human heart for something more. With their relevant EDM and pop sound, the project continues their own journey and experiences through their faith. –Mark Weber Music Blog

Brett Vogel

Brett Vogel wrote to me about his music and included the words “positive vibes.” I gave his songs a listen and positive vibes indeed– Brett Vogel will tell you music keeps him alive; it saved his life and it helps people heal as well as connect in positive ways. Agreed.

Originally from Illinois, Brett Vogel started playing guitar as a teen and loving The Dave Matthews Band. Eventually, he ventured out to California “with only his clothes and guitar.” Sleeping on a friend’s Mom’s couch for a year, Brett Vogel tried making a go of it in Los Angeles only to find himself back in Illinois a couple years later to “pick up the pieces” and get healed from a time of bad vibes…

With a renewed outlook on life, Brett Vogel ended up back in Los Angeles and this time around it has been better, for sure. Perhaps you’ve seen or heard him performing around Southern California with cellist Aniela Perry? In 2013, for instance, they played more than 150 shows.

From “When You’re Lonely” to “Never Giving Up,” Brett Vogel pens songs which are meant to elicit positive vibes from listeners. Check out his site to hear more at –Mark Weber Music Blog

Dream Aria

Dream Aria is an eclectic Canadian group known for its “fresh, fiery and haunting music.” Featuring the vocals of Ann Aria Burstyn, Dream Aria manages to combine elements from rock, techno, classical, and world music, among others. Their mission? “To create music without rules or boundaries…music that takes you on a far away journey.”  –Mark Weber Music Blog