Get Fired Up: New Music for Summer
School’s finally out for the summer, which means there’s plenty of time to browse Best Buy, Hot Topic, iTunes and pretty much anywhere else music is sold these days. But no matter how old you are or what life experiences this season will bring, there are plenty of new projects to serve as the soundtrack. For those looking to rock out at the beach, consider Owl City’s sophomore project or Thousand Foot Krutch’s first-ever concert collection, while the more contemplative CD collectors are sure to dig the reunion record by The Martins, plus the solo debuts from Peter Furler (formerly of Newsboys) and Tricia Brock (Superchick). Add in everything from modern worship to rap or R&B, and the June new release schedule is amongst this year’s hottest!
The Act: Owl City
The Album: All Things Bright and Beautiful (Universal)
The Sound: Electronic Pop/Rock
The Scoop: By now, the story of 24-year-old Minnesota native Adam Young uploading demos recorded in his parents’ basement on MySpace and amassing millions of plays, is nothing short of legendary. Not only did the electronic rocker who operates under the moniker Owl City land a deal with Universal Republic, but he also notched the platinum-selling debut disc Ocean Eyes in 2009. As a result, his latest, All Things Bright and Beautiful, is amongst the year’s most anticipated and Young doesn’t disappoint with this electro-pop odyssey that also explores R&B, power pop and spirituall informed songwriting (including a co-write with Relient K’s Matthew Thiessen). owlcitymusic.com
The Act: The Martins
The Album: New Day (Gaither Music Group)
The Sound: Adult Contemporary/Country/Southern Gospel
The Scoop: After taking time off to focus on family and start solo careers, Joyce Martin-Sanders, Jonathan Martin, and Judy Martin-Hess (best known collectively as The Martins) are back with their first studio CD in eight years. The reunion record finds the trio of siblings teaming with Jay DeMarcus (producer/member of country favorites Rascal Flatts), resulting in the group’s most refreshing disc to date. Though they’ve always been impossible to pigeonhole, The Martins are merging their signature southern sound with a newfound pop flavor.
The Act: Thousand Foot Krutch
The Album: Live At the Masquerade (Tooth & Nail)
The Sound: Alternative Rock
The Scoop: For the first time in its decade-spanning career, Thousand Foot Krutch documents one of its explosive shows on both CD and DVD. The full-throttled rock n’ roll experience features many of the group’s past hits, plus recent chart toppers “Fire It Up,” “Bring Me to Life” and “E For Extinction” from 2009’s Welcome to the Masquerade.
The Act: Blindside
The Album: With Shivering Hearts We Wait (INO Records)
The Sound: Hard Rock
Aside from releasing an EP in 2007, it’s been six long years since Blindside released a proper studio CD. But that’s all about to change on the bone-crunching With Shivering Hearts We Wait, which retains the group’s aggression under a newly laid layer of pop sensibility, thanks in part to the production of Howard Benson (P.O.D., My Chemical Romance).
The Act: Peter Furler
The Album: On Fire (Sparrow Records)
The Sound: Modern Rock/Worship
The Scoop: The former Newsboys' leader takes a stab at solo life, blending the best styles from his tenure with the band. Catch plenty of high octane pop anthems alongside moving moments of worship.
The Act: Tricia Brock
The Album: The Road (Inpop)
The Sound: Pop/Worship
The Scoop: Speaking of vertically charged solo CDs, Superchick frontwoman Tricia Brock showcases additional vocal and songwriting depth on this individual debut (though she promises the band in which she first found fame is still going strong).
The Act: Shonlock
The Album: Never Odd or Even (Universal)
The Sound: Rap/Rock/Hip-Hop
The Scoop: The acclaimed chorographer (Arrested Development, Aaliyah) turned member of TobyMac’s Diverse City Band is even more talented as a solo artist, dropping one of the rap/rock scene’s most compelling concoctions this year.
The Act: Royal Tailor
The Album: Black & White (Reunion)
The Sound: Pop/R&B/Dance
The Scoop: Similar to Maroon 5 or Bruno Mars, Reunion Records’ latest find Royal Tailor is heavy on the blue-eyed, soul harmonies, bouncy beats and electronically-enhanced arrangements.
The Act: Stuart Townend
The Album: The Journey (Kingsway)
The Sound: Modern Worship
The Scoop: Penning current church classics like “In Christ Alone,” “How Deep The Father’s Love For Us,” “The Power of the Cross” and “Beautiful Saviour” only adds to the allure of Stuart Townend’s latest installment of worshipful journal entries, which were mastered at London’s legendary Abbey Road Studios.
The Act: The Katinas
The Album: Collage (Self-Released)
The Sound: R&B/Pop
The Scoop: Considering it’s been marinating for three years, The Katinas’ forthcoming soulful, melodic pop project is arguably its most accomplished, especially when looking at a guest list that includes luminaries like TobyMac, Jeremy Camp and CeCe Winans.
Copyright 2011, watchgmctv.com. For permission to repost or reprint, click here.
About the Writer
Andy Argyrakis is a Chicago-based entertainment writer/photographer who appears in the Chicago Tribune, IllinoisEntertainer, Daily Journal, Concert Livewire, Hear/Say Magazine and Image Chicago (to name few). His record label writing credits include Warner Brothers, Atlantic, Curb, EMI and Universal, with additional photo credits for Fuse TV, Live Nation, Nikon, Pollstar, Celebrity Access, Paste Magazine, MTV.com and Vibe.com. He’s also the author/narrator of "Access Matthews" (an audio CD tracing the career of Dave Matthews Band) and spends considerable time on tour, including outings with Arlo Guthrie, The Guess Who, Madina Lake (on Linkin Park’s Projekt Revolution) and Gospel Music Channel’s very own "Gospel Dream" (where he served as season one judge).
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