There’s plenty of music released every single month, and with each Monthly Music Roundup article, we share some quick reviews of several releases from throughout the month that we personally enjoyed and want to cover.
Ashland “Over The Moon”
Ashland released their sophomore album, “Over THe Moon,” which sees them going in a bit of a different direction in comparison to their debut/ The band incorporated a lot of pop influences into this record, and a few of these tracks really embrace that, such as the the well-written “I Hate That,” more simplistic “Over The Moon,” the darker “No Place.” A few others mix these pop elements with bits and pieces of alternative and pop rock, from the very upbeat “Get To Know You,” where the huge chorus really shows off the amount of energy the song truly has, and the very fun and catchy “Think You Know Me,” to songs like “OMG” and “Ghost,” both of which start out softer and lead up to huge and very memorable choruses. “I Don’t Mind” is on the much slower and softer side overall, between the vocal performance and acoustic guitar driving the song, the darker composition and harmonies found on the pretty memorable “Motivation” makes it stand out, and “Gotta Go” builds up so well to its huge chorus and makes a great closer for the record. Ashland do a good job at combining all these different influences and “Over The Moon” is a solid sophomore album from them.
The Carolyn “This Will Begin To Make Things Right”
Following the release of an EP and a few singles, The Carolyn released their debut full-length, titled “This Will Begin To Make Things Right.” The punk rock influences are very prominent on this album, through songs like “H.P.P.D” and the faster paced “Burden” as well as the energetic and memorable “A.M,” “Rot,” and lead single “Heartsunk.” The band also mixes in some slight elements of pop punk, emo and alternative, shown especially in the tracks “News” and “Old Habits,” and the incredibly catchy “Heavy Eyes” and hard hitting “Every Move.” They also slow things down a bit for a couple of ballads, including “Sympathy,” which mixes acoustic and electric guitar very well and contains some of the catchiest melodies and instrumentals on this whole album, and “5 Years,” where the bass and vocals really show off. “This Will Begin To Make Things Right” is very catchy, a great mix of pop punk, punk, emo and alternative, and makes a great debut LP for The Carolyn.
Names Without Numbers “Silos & Smokestacks”
After a little over a decade, Names Without Numbers have released their sophomore album, “Silos & Smokestacks.” The record opens off with “For Today,” which kind of combines the various influences found on the rest of the album, as well as bringing some really catchy melodies and instrumentals throughout, especially during the chorus. This is followed up by a cover of “Style” by Taylor Swift, and the band did a great job at putting their own twist on the song, and it was a very interesting take on it. The more pop punk and alternative rock influences are shown in tracks like the more upbeat “Inside My Head,” with one of the catchiest choruses on the record, the more midtempo “Middle Ground,” which adds in some synths to mix things up, and the closing track “Goodnight,” a slightly darker and more hard hitting track that’s easily the most energetic on the album. The more emo leaning influences show in tracks like “The Apathy Anthem,” with some unique melodies and impressive vocals later on in the track, and “Firing Squad,” another slightly darker one that builds up to such a massive chorus. “I’m The Bad Guy” and “The Dragonfly And The Owl” are the two ballads on the record, and they both stand out not only because of that, but also the vocal performances found on both tracks (especially as the vocals get louder) and the interesting melodies that those vocals bring to the table.”Silos & Smokestacks” combines a wide variety of genres (and does so very well) and is a very unique release.
Sharone has also released her sophomore album, titled “Reflection.” The softer side of this record is shown through a lot of moments throughout it, from the piano and softer vocals in “Poisonous,” which lets her vocals shine, and the really good ballad “Shatter,” and both of these tracks have some of the biggest and best choruses on the whole album. “Closer To Love” is a lot slower, but brings powerful instrumentation, “Final Reflection” builds up so well to another huge chorus and has catchy instrumentals all around, from the piano parts leading the intro to the guitar riffs and drumbeats that build up to that chorus, “Unspoken” shows off her vocal range through some impressive, yet still catchy melodies, and “Turn Back Time” provides a good balance of softer and harder hitting sections and is another good ballad from the record. On the other hand, there are quite a few upbeat moments on here as well. “Marionette” has some very strong instrumental and vocal performances, and mixes the piano with those heavier instrumentals well, “Filling The Void” brings so much energy and some tempo changes that make it stand out, “White Witch” draws you in with the darker melodies and interesting vocal style, and “Cold” is one of the tracks that showcases her talent as a vocalist the most in the verses and yet another big chorus. “Reflection” is a very powerful release that shows off her talent as a musician.
Fiveash “Move On For Now”
Fiveash released their final EP, titled “Move On For Now.” “Don’t Wait” makes a great opening track, providing catchy instrumentals and melodies instantly, and the pre-chorus and chorus are just as memorable. “Subside” is a bit different from the previous track and is a nice change of pace, bringing some slightly darker composition and a ton of energy, as well as showing the emo and alternative rock influences in the band’s music. “Ashes In The Grey” begins a lot softer, which lets the vocals to really show off at first, but the louder vocals and instrumentals come in not long after, making the track a bigger, hard hitting and more anthemic one. The melodies (especially in the chorus) of this track and the following track “Picture Frames” are really good as well, and “Drive Home” adds in some synths and a very strong vocal performance, both of which make it one of the biggest standouts on the whole release. “Move On For Now” is also on the slower and softer side at first, but slowly and gradually builds up to one of the best choruses on the EP with another fantastic vocal performance. “Move On For Now” is memorable and overall a great EP from Fiveash.
Maven “Am I Awake?”
Maven have released their third EP, “Am I Awake?” The EP begins with its title track, “Am I Awake?,” and while it’s very short and primarily driven by synths and keys, the composition is still good and it draws the listener in, preparing them for the next track, “Stronger Than You.” The vocals are a lot softer, and the instrumentation shines as it drives the rhythm in the verses, but the vocals get just as loud during the pre-chorus, before a huge chorus where the song overall is at its strongest, full of emotional and passionate performances both vocally and instrumentally. “Heart Time” brings some softer vocals and cleaner guitars in the verses, but harder hitting instrumentation and louder vocals put on impressive performances when they come in during the much bigger pre-chorus and very catchy chorus. “Am I Alive?” closes out the EP, and the catchy riffs and soft piano parts accompany the vocals in the verses before hard hitting guitars and drums bring some catchy composition and a lot of extra energy to the song, followed by an impressive guitar solo. Maven’s latest EP is a very captivating one that really impressed me.