Category Archives: 2011 Indie Spotlight Reviews

Indie Spotlight Review – Haydon Spenceley – Heart Strings

Released November 22, 2010

Reviewed by Justin Monsewicz

Haydon Spenceley’s Heart Strings, the follow-up to Circles, applies both synth-pop and synth-rock vibes to the album. The first two tracks on the album result in fast tempo and high energy, but the majority of the album after the first two tracks seems to mellow out and slow down, which is great honestly. The reason for this is that the lyrics within the album could be heard in a contemporary setting despite the music itself being different that customary.

Spenceley’s vocals and his music are both reminiscent of the Newsboys, such as in “Lay it Down.” Two things that seem to be themes throughout the album are Spenceley’s ability to craft songs that seem to be from the perspective of God, such as “Crying”, and also his ability to write in such a way where he is open and transparent to the listener. This last theme makes the album a pleasure since it makes it easier for the listener to relate and gain something from the album in its entirety.

Passionate lyrics, openness, and overall worshipful lyrics make this album a good listen. It may take a little while to get into, at least for me it did, but once you start to enjoy the album, it is definitely worth it. If you’re looking for a worship experience that may be different from your norm, this album is worth a listen and is definitely for you.

Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/haydonspenceley

Indie Spotlight Review: Sojourn – The Water and the Blood

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Indie Spotlight Review – Luke Parker – Home

Released Feb 21 2011

Reviewed By Lonnie Pando

Luke Parker’s album “Home” is a wonderful compilation of an intimate conversation with God and the soundtrack that goes along with it. You get a glimpse into Luke’s heart as he serenades the Lord with each song. It has a mellow, Simon & Garfunkel feel with a pinch of Enya from time to time.
His single “Sweet Surrender” is a fantastic prayer, and I can easily see it used in churches for their times of worship. Its simple guitar gives Luke’s heart a chance to converse with His Father yet the music is free flowing and not forced to the lyrics. I love how he has explored his talent as a conduit to praising the Father. If you get a chance pick up a copy of Luke Parker’s “Home”, grab a cup of coffee, curl up on the couch and enjoy!

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Indie Spotlight Review: Ursa Robotica – The Memory Trigger

 

It was less than two years ago when Ursa Robotica came out with their debut album, Discord and Dancefloors, followed by The Blue Line Metro EP, featuring Joy Electric influenced beats and Showbread-esque lyrics, with a heavy focus on screams and zombies.  With the release of The Memory Trigger, however, Ursa Robotica has become a solo project of Chris Works and the changes are quite evident.  The production has improved, as well as a vast difference in the sound by way of dropping the screams and focusing more on the synthesized vocals and instruments.  The lyrics are more cunning and witty in nature, with songs like “The Aesthetic” busting out a heavy dose of pop culture references.

Indie Spotlight Review: Tidewater – The Seas We Sail

We all need a creative outlet, don’t we.  Some people draw pretty pictures, while others may make sculptures that make for great photo ops, and others write until their fingers go numb.  For Brett Allen, out of St. Louis, Missouri, it had to be creating Tidewater as his solo music project.  What you’ll hear in his debut album, The Seas We Sail, is an eclectic acoustic sound, mixing in elements of folk rock, indie pop and maybe even a little bluegrass if you listen for it.  If you’re looking for something between Josh White and Lakes, here you go.

Indie Spotlight Review: An Epic, No Less – We Are The Echo of Love

Sometimes I just stumble across great things, making it seem like all of my hard work is a little less important than just being in the right place at the right time.  When I came across this indie worship band, all I knew is that Run Kid Run’s guitarist, Neil Endicott, was involved somehow, though I found out that the main contributors are Hannah and Daniel Chancellor, which makes for some great back and forth vocals that can be found from time to time on this EP from An Epic, No Less.  For all the big time productions that are made into worship albums, from churches like Hillsong to big time names like Jeremy Camp, the stuff that I get into are usually a little bit off that course.  Thankfully, there are indie bands like An Epic, No Less who come out with stuff that is a little off the beaten path.  We Are The Echo of Love features keyboard led, chill out, pop worship songs.

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Indie Spotlight Review: Wolves At The Gate- We Are The Ones (EP)

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Indie Spotlight Review: Cooper Brown – Venture

He may not have started out at the age of three like a lot of pop starts, but the Jackson, Tennessee native still learned a way to write a catchy piano pop rock tune when he finally started the music game when he was 23.  Cooper Brown’s album, Venture, was released back in October of 2010, but was just brought to our attention, and looking at the cover I almost feel like the art could explain the music itself, with melancholic, nostalgic, soothing tracks

 

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Indie Spotlight Review: Mirrors – Kovesh EP

Coming straight out of the mean streets of Santa Rosa come the fresh faces of post-hardcore band Mirrors, having just released their new Kovesh EP.  While many bands may settle for generic of vague lyrics that could be applied any number of ways, Mirrors have a mission in mind behind their work, with a devotion to helping people who are fighting the sin of lust, by pointing them to Jesus Christ.  Mixing words that deal with those struggles, hardcore beats and classic rock and roll vocals and guitar riffs make for an in your face music stream by this quartet.

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Indie Spotlight Review – Joseph Henschel: At The Edge of Imperfection

I knew I recognized that name.  Joe Henschel was once the lead singer for a little known worship/rock band called “Farewell Down” that played a ton of local church shows where I was living in Southern California for half a decade, so the name, the music and the heart for worship were already known commodities to me, but not necessarily on the national scene.  Now Henschel has put out his second solo album, following up “Capture Me” with the acoustic singer/songwriter indie worship tunes that can be heard on “At The Edge of Perfection”.

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