In this issue:
• "Songs of Summer" Contest
• Weekly Song Stats Changes
• New Free Loops Pack
• New Members Only Discount
• Artist Spotlight
• Criminally Overlooked
Apply to be featured in an Artist Spotlight on iCompositions' homepage. Today's applicants could begin receiving a tremendous amount of exposure as early as July 20th.
Submit Application »
"Songs of Summer" Contest
iCompositions' latest contest celebrates all things summer: warm and sunny days, fun at the beach, and a refreshing glass of lemonade or perhaps sunburn, monsoons, and noisy kids at the pool. Positive or negative, compose a song that encompasses your feelings towards summer and submit it to iCompositions. This contest's theme is intentionally broad so have fun with it.
Once the contest submission period ends, members will vote for the song that they feel best reflects the mood of summer.
More information » Changes to Weekly Song Statistics
One of the most frequent complaints submitted to the iCompositions team is regarding the Top Songs list. Less prolific artists often find it extremely difficult to achieve high placement in the list without resorting to fraud or excessive plugging. It is also nearly impossible for anyone to get to the top of the list unless they post on Saturday night or Sunday morning.
We would like to level the playing field a little bit and alleviate the need to post at a specific time of the week. As such, we've decided to alter the way we reset weekly stats. Previously, all songs' weekly statistics (weekly plays, weekly downloads, etc) were set back to 0 at 12:01 am Sunday morning. Under the new system, each individual song will have its weekly stats reset on the day of the week it was originally uploaded.
For example, if a song was originally uploaded on Thursday, January 22, 2004, its weekly stats would have been reset every Sunday morning with every other song under the old system. With the introduction of the new system, its stats will be reset at 12:01 am every Thursday morning.
This new method will mitigate the need to post your music Sunday morning if you want a chance at achieving placement in the Top Songs list. It will also make the list more dynamic, giving more artists a chance to enjoy the added exposure.
We're introducing this new method on a trial basis. If it works well, it will become permanent. If not, we'll revert to the old method. But we need your feedback!
More information » New Free Loops Pack from Inner Rhythm Studios
iCompositions has once again teamed up with Inner Rhythm Studios to bring iCompositions members even more royalty free loops. Our newest collection includes 67 loops from 10 of their loops CDs, covering a wide range of themes and styles.
Download the loops » New Members Only Discount
Inner Rhythm Studios is offering all of their loop CDs to iCompositions members for just $14.99, 40% off their usual $24.99 price. To take advantage of this offer, visit our Members Only section and make note of the promo code listed there. Enter it at checkout to obtain the discount. This offer will expire on July 21, 2007.
More information » "Criminally Overlooked" Music Recommendations
It's been a long time since I've really devoted time to writing and producing anything at all. It seems that I was wrong when I thought that things would have slowed down after December and I would have the time to devote to writing more Criminally Overlooked columns AND producing music. For both things, I apologize.
I must say though, that I certainly have enjoyed being a listener and really delving into some of the excellent songs my friends and co-contributors (conspirators) have been recommending.
Last year I discovered an artist here on iCompositions whose voice and her songwriting just blew me away. Nadiestar is that artist and man-oh-man, has she been amazing or what? I remember the very song I ever heard from her, "Baby's Breath". I was just blown away, moving lyrics about our (the West that is) apathy for Africa, am incredibly powerful performance. I was hooked right away. THEN I heard her awesome duet with another one of my favorite artists here, pandasdontdance. "Where Do You Keep A Secret" is one of those gutbusting songs that will remain in your iTunes rotation because it is so good. It harkens back to the days and gives hope to a modern day renaissance of great songwriting and performances, that were the hallmark of classic rock and pop songs from what feels like a bygone era.
To juxtapose that rocker of a tune, check out the quiet and introspective, "Rutt". It's just lovely. Great harmony vocals, an uncomplicated arrangement-- just a voice and guitar. And it's perfect.
Now I had a commented recently on nadie's recent upload and one of the best songs here on this site, in my humble opinion. The truth is, there are a lot of simply amazing songs here --the list is ever-growing, but "I Break Twice" is one of those songs that just strikes a chord in you and it's hard to not be moved by a song like this. Now this song is on nadie's CD "The M'Naughton Rule", and I personally can't wait to get it. The thing is, this song alone is worth the price of the disk, but from what I've heard, every song is a real winner. Still doubt me? Then go listen to the sublime "All I Can Give". Power-pop balladry at it's finest. And if you want more, check out another song that's up here with "I Break Twice", the incredible "Coffee Shop in RIchmond".
Pharmaceus, a great artist here (that I will be writing about soon) mentioned that Nadie reminds him of Aimee Mann. Now if you haven't heard of Aimee, well you need to. She's been around for a while. Some of you friends of 80's music will remember the highly underrated 'till Tuesday, which she formed. Aimee is in my opinion, one of the best singer-songwriters of the past 30 years. She writes profoundly moving songs, and they're almost always melancholic and very personal (except her last album, which is a fantastic concept album about love and addiction called The Forgotten Arm). Nadie is definitely similar in that aspect of great songwriters. But Aimee does have a monotone thing happening a lot with her voice that can make her an acquired taste for some. Nadie certainly doesn't have that issue! So if you like Aimee Mann, then you'll love Nadiestar.
One more thing about Nadie: her best friend is the aforementioned and lovely pandasdontdance, and they have a group going on called the Ladykillers. Nadie and Pandasdontdance have both uploaded songs from their upcoming demo/EP/LP/CD. Please check those out too. "Take Your Mama Out" is one of the gems that they've done.
Now heading further east from Nadie's UK base is the incredible Swedish brnPetra. I tell you, this woman's doing some really unique and great songs! Her latest is the amazing and raw sounding "Som en fjŠril". Now, like RabidBaboon wrote in his comment on the song, "Don't understand a word, but it sounds great". It's how I feel about all of her tunes. Music transcends languages, so to me it all about the feeling of and the music. And her stuff feels intense and awesome. Thanks to gnialf we do have a translation of he lyrics and they really are wonderful lyrics too!
The first song I ever heard by brnPetra is the raw and, as she describes it, "trashy band feeling" but VERY cool sounding "The Boy". I love the percussive drums in here. They really create a wonderful sense of motion in the song. They're perfect!
The hauntingly perfect "i Skuggan" that's a collaborative effort with the always amazing jolofsson is simply one of those songs that again, once you hear it, you will want to keep hearing it again and again. Jolofsson's stuff seems to have that effect on me. Listen to the perfectly sparse arrangement with just the piano and guitar and then the lovely harmony vocals at the end. It's just wonderful.
Whether brnPetra sings in her native language, or in English, she always commands your attention. Sometimes she reminds me of Bjšrk. Maybe it's just the exotic language and the high pitch. But I think it's more because she, like Bjšrk is a true artist; she is, along with being a musician of considerable merit, a very talented sculptor, and painter. Check out her profile and click on her link to her personal site to see what I'm talking about.
Like nadiestar, brnPetra has done some wonderful collaborations as well. Isn't that the great thing about this site? "You Save Me" a fantastic collaboration with Dylan and JodyG, is a sheer sonic treat. The subtleties that the artists use to make this song so wonderful is magical.
She also did another killer collab with Dylan, the wonderful "Without You" is another true classic.
Now Pete has been an iCompositions mainstay here since I joined over 2 years ago, and I feel that Pete is seriously overlooked, and that's a real shame; he's done some really cool creative stuff.
"12 Volt Bettery Blues" is, like Dylan commented on the song, a JJ Cale- *** type of tune. Some nimble picking by his friend Brian Coate lends this to a laid-back sunny kind of bluesy number.
"A Delicate Dress - Curmudgeon Mix" has long been a mainstay in my iPod. A fantastic collaboration with the always a thrill to listen to jkane and enicholsIC. I think if any one song got me hooked on the site, this one would come at the top or near the top of my list.
Pete's versatility is always a joy too. I mean he can do a great rocker with Ed and John and then do this great island-y thing with the lovely and truly sunny "Cruisin' with Cruzan". You definitely want to chill out- kick back, and enjoy a nice tall cool one with this particular beauty!
Then he can really tug at the family man in me with this lovely very intimate little gem called "Goodnight Dreamer, The Dream". While some may complain about the lo-fi recording, I think it's just that charm of the intimate recording that makes this number so special.
"Rosemary Moon" is another one of those sonic treats that leaves you feeling very happy after you check it out. Some great use of loops and some nifty guitar and pennywhistle.
Now one of my very favorite songs here is Baboon's and enichols simply wonderful "Sea Chanty (Ship and the Sea Revisited)". It's just one of those tunes that really struck a chord in me. It's always in my iPod rotation and I guess Pete has had a thing for the song too. He covered it, and his take on it is really original and a great listen. Check out his Sea Chanty (Covered).
Lastly, zallas, has made some brilliant music here. Whether it's his collaborations with Dylan and Rhonie or Boss Hook, or his solo stuff, you're never disappointed. His "Surfin' On Mars" is one of those great instrumental tracks that you seem to keep humming over and over again. It's simplicity is it's charm.
Frankly I can't quite figure out why a song like his duet with the aforementioned Rhonie, a total winner in every way called "Solitary Girl" doesn't have 2,000 listens. It's a great, great tune! The first comment on that tunes' page is by the mad-genius Ignoramus and his comment is that Rhonie reminded him of Chrissie Hynde. I can see that, but I feel that Chrissie wishes she could have made something this good in the past 15 years!
Emily is another one of those killer raw tunes about a tough-as-nails girl. It's a great rock tune!!!
And to end this week's on a great rock tune, please check out his wonderfully raw collab with BossHook."Bottom Drops Out" is simply a great, fun song, that really embodies the spirit of rock and roll.
Enjoy the tunes, have a great 4th, and see you all next week!