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New Music Friday: The Night Game Debuts Self Titled Album
Photos by Patrick Tracy @ptracy1990

Photos by Patrick Tracy @ptracy1990


In the summer of 2017, I somehow managed to find last minute tickets to go see the one and only John Mayer perform during his The Search for Everything tour when he made a stop in Sacramento. After somehow finding parking in Downtown and rushing to catch our seats before the opener went on, my sister and I had no idea what was to come that night; little did we know that we would stumble upon an act that was familiar to us. The curtains lifted from the stage as the opening band walked out and started performing, with funky guitar riffs and an 80s style pop vibe, we couldn't figure out how we had heard those raspy powerful vocals before. But clearly, this band had the audience entranced. It wasn't until a couple songs had passed that we had realized it was none other than former frontman of Boys Like Girls, the one and only Martin Johnson. Now, who was this new act, this new project Johnson has unleashed, as he casually opened for John Mayer? Say hello to The Night Game, an eclectic and moody solo project Johnson officially released the same year we had seen him perform at an arena filled with thousands of people. Fast forward to 2018, and TNG released his debut album, with 11 songs that will be giving you all the vibes as we transition into fall. 

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The opening song, The Outfield, was the song that got people talking about TNG in the first place when it was released as a single in early 2017; it was also all John Mayer had to hear in order for him to want Johnson to open for his summer tour. The song has power, as we hit the chorus and get punched in the face with some crazy vocals backed up by Gotye. As we transition throughout the album, we can find a common theme of losing someone you're not quite over just yet. With songs like Do You Think About Us?, The Photograph, and Die a Little, TNG reveals a story about a girl he once knew, someone he loved; and even though he's trying to move on, he still thinks about what she could be doing right now if they were still in each other's lives - and yet, he finds it to be better to just be left alone. 

The Night Game is the type of album that has a cinematic feel. The emotion pulled through the vivid poetry and imagery that TNG paints for the audience is something hard to find in the mainstream culture, that "something" being a feeling. A feeling of nostalgia, heartbreak, and the current state of having ourselves to depend on vs someone else. Summerland and Coffee and Cigarettes reflects on a moment in time that plays back in our minds, brings back emotions that we had forgotten about, and the realization that it's all in the past and it's a new world in your today. The intoxicating emotions can bring anyone back to a time where we had someone in our lives that we thought would be there forever. As the album comes to an end with the fun up beat Back in the Van, imagine yourself driving alone, somewhere on the highway, wind blowing through your hair, blasting this album and taking yourself back into that feeling of just being. Yeah, it's that album. And it's fucking good. 

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You can stream the album on Spotify here and take a listen to the epicness that this piece of art encases for yourself. Oh and by the way...The Night Game is going on tour! You can check out the dates below:

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Like what you see? Be sure to follow TNG's journey and find tickets for their tour here, and if you want to get all the latest news on music, interviews, and more, you can subscribe to my newsletter here! Leave a comment below of what you think of the album and what your favorite song is. Until next time!


New Music Friday: Lauv Releases Long Awaited "I met you when I was 18. (the playlist)" LP
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I like me better when I'm with you. Does that ring a bell? You might have heard it once or twice while on your commute to work, or out at a party on a Friday night. And if you haven't heard it yet, where have you been? San Francisco native Lauv has been slowly but surely taking over the radio airwaves with his hit single I Like Me Better, and has finally released his debut album entitled I met you when I was 18. (the playlist), originally known as a playlist collection of songs of love and heartbreak listeners could find on Spotify or similar music platforms. When talking about the long journey behind the story of I met you when I was 18., Lauv says, "I thought I was just going to be writing/producing songs for other artists. But I kept putting songs out to express myself, and eventually that turned into this playlist...(it's) a project that helped me sort through being in love for the first time and figuring out the person I wanted to become." The full statement can be found on his twitter

photo by @rickydirects

photo by @rickydirects

With 17 tracks (!!) fans can listen to (and quite possibly either sob or dance to - maybe both), there is no doubt that the rhythmic beats and soulful vocalizations will make you bob your head and save the entire LP to your favorites, like, right now. If you aren't listening to it by now, what are you doing with your life?

We're introduced to this story with the single I Like Me Better, and taken onto an hour long journey of finding oneself, falling in and out of love, and trying to find the balance of life and love and what it means in the chaos of life and relationships. We're always left into a confusion of the aftermath of a breakup, wondering what went wrong, what could've been done different to save what you had with someone you were crazy about; maybe even diving into frustration, paranoia, and a madness of emotions we can't escape from. I highly recommend taking some alone time to really analyze the lyrics and the storytelling played throughout the songs and how they flow together. It creates such an insane and heart wrenching visual, and, maybe, just maybe, make you reflect on the failed romances you've experienced in your own life. It's a tale that makes you want this to work, but in the end, you might move on even though that person is always going to be hanging by a thread in the back of your mind.

photo by @rickydirects

photo by @rickydirects

Songs like Paris in the Rain and Comfortable make you feel all the feels when it comes to loving someone, and then slowly but surely as we dive into songs like Paranoid and Enemies, we're drawn into the sorrow and craziness of the ugly side of relationships. The album ends on a reminder that "For as long as I live and as long as I love I will never not think about you", as stated in the finale of Never Not. A piece of art that truly stands out in the pop industry, Lauv surely proves himself on this record as an all around creative individual any artist should aspire to be like. The album is available on Spotify and other streaming services, and available for purchase online and in stores. Lauv is going on tour, and you can see the dates below to see if he's coming to a city near you!

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You can follow Lauv on social media by following the link to his site below, and thanks for checking out my site! Want more news like this? Be sure to follow me on instagram and twitter while you're at it and subscribe to my newsletter for the latest music reviews, interviews, photoshoots, and more updates!

Check out the link below to listen to Lauv's newest release now!

Check out the link below to listen to Lauv's newest release now!


New Music Friday: The Aces LP Debut "When My Heart Felt Volcanic"
Left to right: Alisa Ramirez, Cristal Ramirez, Katie Henderson, and McKenna Petty    Photo by @alexanderbortz

Left to right: Alisa Ramirez, Cristal Ramirez, Katie Henderson, and McKenna Petty

Photo by @alexanderbortz


I'm just gonna say it; The Aces is the badass feel good girl group we need. I hate to even have to categorize them in something that is incomparable to their sweet sound, but they are more than just that. I know a lot of people are out there saying, “I don’t normally like girl bands” or something along those lines, but these ladies will prove you wrong and show you a good time with their debut LP entitled When My Heart Felt Volcanic.  

photo by @gabriellahughes

photo by @gabriellahughes

The indie rock/pop band bring a sound reminiscent of LANYPale Waves, and similar artists of the popular California Pop genre, heavily influenced by fun 80s pop/rock, with lots of guitar riffs, synthetic vibrations, and stunning vocals and instrumentals all around. From start to finish, WMHFV is a solid album, and you might think I'm kidding when I say this, but every song is a jam and could be strong as a stand alone single. Not only is their sound absolutely fun and memorizing, but if you really listen to the words throughout this LP, the lyrics are what make The Aces stand out. The adventures of falling in (and out) of love can be found in songs such as the opening and closing number Volcanic Love and Waiting for You, as well as songs like Hurricane, Bad Love, Last One, and more, that anyone can relate to and send chills down your spine. 

Don't underestimate these ladies; their eclectic sound is way too catchy to not blow up sooner than later. I know I'll be having this one on repeat for, well, probably forever. You can listen to their music via Spotify now, and you can find the album on their website for only $8! 

Thanks for checking my site out, and be sure to follow @theaces on all social media, and me @maxbakerphoto while you're at it! The band is currently on tour opening for X Ambassadors, and that sounds like a show you do not want to miss. Check out the link here below to see if they're coming to a city near you! 

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 be sure to follow the ladies here: @cristalramirezz, @alisa_ramirez, @kt_hendy, and @kenpettywap


New Music Friday: Jake Miller's Highly Anticipated "Silver Lining" Will Not Disappoint
photo by @crowbrennan

photo by @crowbrennan


Silver Lining. What does this mean for singer/rapper/songwriter Jake Miller? The very definition of the term is "to emphasize the hopeful side of a situation that might seem gloomy on the surface; even the worst events or situations have some positive aspect." This perfectly describes the sounds and words heard on Miller's 5th studio album. What seems to be his most personal album yet, we listen to a story of heartbreak, making it through thick and thin, the good and the bad, and what has yet to come when it comes to the adventure (and sometimes misadventures) of life, love, and relationships. 

At the age of 25, and starting his career back when he was posting videos online as a high schooler, the growth in his work is shown clearly on Silver Lining,  even if it means finding out someone broke the heart of this heartthrob, making your heart break for him, as heard on the heartwrenching song Permanent (amiright, ladies?). If you want a summary of what to expect before diving head first into SL, I can tell you that it's heavily influenced by sounds like Michael Jackson with a hint of LANY and a dash of Jon Bellion, found in songs like Think About Us, Vibrations, Love Again, the callout on fake girls in Hollywood entitled The Girl That's Underneath, and Drinkin About You. I've personally been a fan of Miller's work for awhile now, and it's always inspiring to see how an artist grows over the years, working and perfecting their craft in the process. With a great response already over social media, fans of Miller's will not be disappointed with the new route he's taken on this album. Because of how personal Miller gets through his music alone, it's an awesome take to hear a voicemail from his parents before the album comes to an end, revealing some pretty amazing life advice from his father, entitled Headlights. The voicemail goes like this:

"Don't stress about what you can't control. You know everything is going to work itself out, okay? It always does. Imagine if you were driving, from one end of the country to the other, and sometimes the drive is easy, and sometimes you're driving in the pitch black, and you can't see in front of you; but you got the headlights, and that lights up about 100 feet, and you focus on that 100 feet, and you get through it, and then the headlights focus on another 100 feet, and you keep going, and you trust yourself, and you're going to get to the other end of the country. Good stuff happens to good people. Just gotta be yourself and don't ever change for anyone, keep busting your ass, okay? I'm proud of you, kid.... and also, remember what Bob Dylan says; you gotta keep swimming or else you'll sink like a stone."

Long story short, take some time out of your day and give this a listen. Starting off with the upbeat LANY/California pop style song, Think About Us, and ending in the awe-inspiring lyrical synthetic sounds of Be Alright, it's the type of music to get you going through your day, and you may find yourself listening to it on repeat...for the next week or so. 


photo by @crowbrennan

photo by @crowbrennan

 

Miller is set to go on tour soon, entitled after one of the songs of this album called Hit and Run. You can see the tour dates below, snag a ticket if you want, or if you really want to, see if VIP packages are still available. Catch him when he comes to a city near you!

https://www.jakemiller.com/

Promo Poster for Jake Miller's upcoming tour, starting in April - taken from twitter

Promo Poster for Jake Miller's upcoming tour, starting in April - taken from twitter


photo by @crowbrennan

photo by @crowbrennan


all photo credit used in this article goes to @crowbrennan. be sure to keep up with @jakemiller on all social media platforms.