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Get all the latest music news and reviews in the Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Richmond, VA areas.Visit us daily and stay up-to-date on your favorite local and national acts.

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Hero Magnus is “Yours First” in New Single Ahead of New EP

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of chatting with young indie singer-songwriter and Alchemical Records writer, Hero Magnus to discuss her inspirations, goals, stories, and her new single, “Yours First,” now streaming. Her EP, “Make Me a Man,” is set to release on March 26, 2021.
Hero did a lot of Jewish singing in temple at a young age, which was very lovely. At around 14 or 15, she started writing her own music. However, she thought she was too old to make it and stopped for about six months. Fortunately, she started writing again and went to Berklee College of Music for a Summer, which was really inspiring to her. Since then she has focused on writing, performing, recording, and releasing songs, which became extremely important to her.

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The J.O.B. Are Still On The Clock In Vacationland

Playing hundreds of shows touring in twelve states with regularity – with six studio albums, nationally-charted songs in rotation on various radio platforms all over the world, The J.O.B. had big plans for 2020 that (like many musicians) came to a screeching halt when the pandemic hit. Eric Bandy, the band’s drummer for more than five years decided to step away from the project, providing room for replacement Brian Penczak, who auditioned for the band via Skype, becoming the newest addition to the band since bassist Jared Merrill joined in 2016.

The J.O.B. stands for the Jim O’Ferrell Band, led by (you guessed it) Jim O’Ferrell, a U.S. Army veteran who had enlisted guitarist Jason Crawford to help lay down some tracks for Jim between deployments in 2007. Jason and Jim would continue to collaborate through Jim’s eventual retirement from the military and pave the way for the numerous accolades and critical acclaim that would follow.

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Cancer Can Rock (No Really)

In 2017, Edward Miskie published a book called Cancer, Musical Theatre, and Other Chronic Illnesses. As you can probably imagine from the title, it broaches a very serious subject from as lighthearted a space as it can, attributed to Miskie’s experience as a singer and actor. He had never really considered himself a writer, but after experiencing cancer himself (Rare-Enlarged B-Cell Burkitt’s-like Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, to be exact) and speaking with other cancer survivors, Miskie was inspired to share his own experiences as a patient as well as the aftermath of survival.

“When you come on the other end of it it is just as much of a shit-show. When you’re a patient you have a team of nurses and doctors and other people kind of holding your hand and guiding you along, and telling you what to do. So once that’s over you’re kind of like, ‘Well, okay, I have to get back to some kind of life now.’ It’s weird. It’s jarring. It’s definitely a re-readjustment.”

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Get To Know Washington D.C. Band Moozy

Moozy is a fully independent band from Washington D.C. born from a collaboration of musicians Dylan Rockwell and Pat Gunning. They’re an extremely talented duo that has really caught our attention on their most recent release Tru Love. We had the opportunity to ask them some questions, which you can check out below!

What first got you into music?

A: I think originally we were just middle school kids looking for identities and we found one with music. I remember thinking as a kid “ok, if I practice really hard for like a year then I’ll probably be like the best guitarist at school and then I’ll be cool.” Pat had a similar high school experience thinking that playing in a band would increase his “cool” factor. I think he still does. I’ve always been slightly competitive with music, for better or for worse. Usually for better I think. It’s all for the sake of the art at the end of the day.

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Cutting Crew’s Nick Van Eede: “The Dreamer That I Am”

Most songwriters spend their entire career in search of it. The elusive perfect hit song that defines a career and connects with a mass audience of millions of fans around the globe. For Nick Van Eede of the band Cutting Crew that moment came in 1986 when his song “(I Just) Died In Your Arms” became a worldwide hit, topping the U.S. charts at #1. Over time that ballad served as everything from your mom’s prom theme to pivotal soundtrack moments in “Stranger Things” and “Batman Lego Movie.” Nick and the band followed that with other unforgettable tunes including: “I’ve Been in Love Before” and “One for the Mockingbird.” When the band’s co-founder Kevin MacMichael died in 1992 Cutting Crew called it a day. Van Eede went on to do everything from producing Cher’s demo for “Believe” to co-writing songs with Marillion’s Steve Hogarth to auditioning to replace Phil Collins in Genesis. A gig he lost to Ray Wilson.

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Matthew Sweet: “Solitary Man”

For decades now Mathew Sweet has been delivering consistent albums full of power pop-tinged rock and roll. His 1990s albums “Girlfriend,” “Altered Beast” and “100% Pure Fun” are now considered modern classics on par with The Beatles. Yeah, he is that good. For his 15th ever studio album “Catspaw” Mathew Sweet found himself completely alone. Every note on the 12 track near masterpiece was written, recorded, performed and mixed by Sweet himself. Yes, even the lead guitar parts. But this is not a lock down quarantine record where he had to do it all alone. This is an album he made solo by choice. The only thing he did not tackle on the release were the drums (Ric Menck handled that) and the mastering which was done by Bob Ludwig.

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Amanda Cunningham is Breaking “Patterns”

DC-Area native, Amanda Cunningham has just released her third single called “Pattern” on February 5. “Pattern” was co-written with Miranda Glory, who has had songs cut by Jesse McCartney and pitched her music to Usher as a 2020 contestant on NBC’s “Songland.” 

“Pattern” follows Amanda’s first two singles “Selfish Fool” and “Highlights of Youth”. Amanda’s first two singles are reminiscent of H.E.R. and Alicia Keys and you can clearly hear Amanda’s neo-soul influence. “Patterns” diverges slightly with a more acoustic-pop feel, but her soaring vocals remain strong and soulful. Amanda can definitely sang!

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Black Dog Prowl and Friends’ Reimagine Beatles Epic Album Through Epic Collaboration

The Black Dog Prowl and Friends version of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band pays homage to the source material (which spent 15 weeks at number one on the Billboard charts in the U.S. in 1967) and the musicians (Lennon, McCartney, Starr, and Harrison) that spent the better part of four months recording what some consider to be the legitimization of pop music as an artform.

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A Musician’s Moment with Azure Wolf

The coronavirus hit musicians hard in 2020,showing a steep decline in streamingnumbers as the revenue stream from gigs andlive concerts faced extinction as a result ofsocial distancing. For the world at large, mostbusinesses have already adapted in order toremain functional and maintain profits in2021. For the music industry, standing roomat venues may still be out of the question,concerning fans with how to stay up-to-datewith their favorite artists without seeing themlive or in-person.

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“How Come” You’re Not Listening to Stray Fossa?

If you haven’t heard of Stray Fossa yet, you’re missing out.

Stray Fossa is a band that started out in Sewanee, Tennessee. They took a bit of a break for some years, and met up in Richmond, VA and they have slowly becoming one of our favorite bands in the DMV area as of recent. They are made up of brothers Nick and Will Evans, and Zach Blount, who combine retro-synths and reverb layered guitar chords to create a sound that relaxes the listener while also leaving them wanting more.

Instead of hearing it from us, why don’t you check out the song above, and take a gander at our interview with them.

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Free Union Soars on Bold New Single “Somethin'”

The genre-transcendent collective called Free Union just released a new song called “Somethin’.” The band is headed by vocalist Michael Coleman and drummer Rob Dunnenberger, with many other musicians featured on their first EP. If you haven’t heard them yet, you are in for an enormous treat.

Charlottesville-based Free Union describes their sound as something indescribable, a bit abstract. They want to represent not just one genre but the musical roots of each of the members, so the band happily traverses from r&b to pop, and doesn’t fit cleanly into any particular genre. Coleman hopes that “when you hear it, you won’t be able to keep from moving.”

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After a Decade in Gestation, D.C.’s own Kemi Adegoroye is Set to Release EP ‘For the Record’

Kemi Adegoroye dreamt her entire life of having her own album-release party. It will finally happen on Jan. 29, but thanks to the coronavirus, it won’t be quite as she imagined. Absent from the event, to be broadcast online from Crescendo Studios in D.C., will be a live audience, though several of her bandmates will be present to share her music with the DMV—and the world.

“It’ll be full lights, five cameras, a full production. And people will be able to watch it safely and comfortably from their homes,” Adegoroye said this month, adding that the song arrangements will be slightly different from what will be heard on the EP, also recorded at Crescendo. “I love that it’s full circle. So to be able to come back [to Crescendo] for the release out into the world is a really special thing.”

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One Way Out Speaks Freedom in Black Lungs (and a Broken Heart)

My first introduction to One Way Out was as an open-mic host at Villain and Saint in Bethesda, MD, which closed its doors on September 30, 2019. That would mean I had the pleasure of catching their music careers beginning to develop at the ground floor, before many of them had turned eighteen, similar to my exposure to Southern Maryland rockers Flippin’ Eyelids. Today’s young rock bands have a leg-up on previous generations in that their parents have been watching a two-decade or longer restructuring of the music business, which has yet to settle into its ‘final’ form. The family units that manage these young artists and develop them into career minded individuals are much more aware of their intellectual property, and the ability to harness the various benefits that technology and connectedness afford.

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Kim Shires Encourages All To “Ride Your High”

This week, I got the wonderful chance to speak with up & coming artist Kimberly Shires, a native to the DMV area, about her new single called “Ride Your High.” “Ride Your High” is Shires’ debut single. The record is a bluesy rock tune with her sultry vocals and features her own father, Dean Shires, on the organ. The record was produced, mixed and mastered by Max Rich of Los Angeles, CA, who also played guitar and bass for the track.

While this is Shires’ debut single, it’s certainly not the first time she’s been involved in music. It might not even be the first time you’ve read her name on this platform. She is also one of the writers at Alchemical Records. Shires is the type of person who really goes for it, and in that vein she has been dedicated to different forms of music for decades.

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Vacation Manor Just Wants “You”

Vacation Manor is a band that has really caught out attention lately. Their 2016 debut EP, Girl, Say, yielded fan favorites such as “A Toast and a Spirit” [9.9 million Spotify streams] and “Careless” [6.2 million Spotify streams]. On its heels, 2018’s Everything I Can’t Say Out Loud elevated their total streams past 25 million powered by “Say We’ll Make It” [1.5 million Spotify streams] and more. During 2019, they commenced their next chapter. Reteaming with Girl, Say producer Kyle Cummings, the musicians wrote and recorded their new EP, Thoughts in Progress, Pt. 1.

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