Album Review: The Dean And I – Dean Friedman

Sampled from Darko The Super’s 2021 album, ‘Great White Buffalo’, DEAN FRIEDMAN’s mammoth album, ‘The Dean And I’ is a compilation that can be enjoyed across generations – from the futuristic sounds of intro single, ‘You’re Such A Flirt’, to pop soulful ballads inspired from the seventies and eighties (such as Lucky Stars, Little Green Lady and Buy My Baby A Car) and also chirpy pieces (Nookie In The Mail, McDonald’s Girl and The Deli Song) that puts you in the mind of the Grease Musical, particularly ‘McDonald’s Girl’.

Covering array of topics relating to love young and adolescence, the album features coming-of-age tales ‘Don’t You Ever Dare’ and ‘Are You Ready Yet,’ which focus on the responsibilities of adulthood and the decisions we make, while ‘Rocking Chair (It’s Gonna Be Alright)’ is a positive reaffirmation that when times are bad, they’ll always get better.

‘The Dean And I’ may be 20-track long, but by no means will you not lose attention as Friedman’s high-spirited take on the aforementioned topics on the collection just displays him as one of America’s greatest songwriters around.

Released through Darko The Super’s indie label, U Don’t Deserve This Beautiful Art, ‘The Dean And I’ is now available for your pleasure.

Must Listen: Lucky Stars; Little Green Lady; Buy My Baby A Car; Let Down Your Hair

Alex Ludovico Taps Love, Ulysses & Producer Jason Griff for Track, ‘Alpha and Omega’

Following a lengthy drought of releases, ALEX LUDOVICO circles back with another Jason Griff-produced gem, ‘Alpha and Omega.’

This time around, the duo has enlisted a guest verse from St. Paul’s up-and-coming spitter Love, Ulysses. This bouncy single starts off with a tribute to the late Lorde Jones Scorcese, as Ludovico opens up the track by proclaiming ‘Stack Chips. All Day,’ before fiercely spitting over a minimalist, spaced-out, bass heavy soundscape from Griff.

Ludovico is gearing up to release his highly-anticipated album YTBoi, while Love, Ulysses has just completed his 2Pack series of ten 2-song EPs released over the past year.

‘Alpha and Omega’ is available at insubordinaterecords.com and also available to stream on all streaming platforms. Check it out below…

Song of the Day: On Top – JonRah (Ft. $Harllan, Black Steel & Breadman)

From the richly talented Philadelphia hip-hop community comes the new single ‘On Top’ from impassioned rapper JONRAH featuring $Harllan, Black Steel and Breadman.

The new single is one of the first releases to hit the streets from Breadman’s new moodGroov imprint and is already receiving highly positive reviews from local DJs and radio programmers. With top-notch beat production from Andyr, ‘On Top’ is cream of the crop. Check out the official video for the single below…

Album Interview: Take My Power – Tunnel Traffic

He was featured numerous times on the blog with singles including, ‘I’ll Be Sorry’, ‘Skip’ and ‘Another Story’ plus albums ‘Age of Conviction’ and ‘Meesh’, but I’ve never formally introduce Adam Hachey, otherwise known as TUNNEL TRAFFIC to you guys. Well I’ve caught up with him, to talk about his brand new album, ‘Take My Power’ – out from the 15th July on all music platforms – and what inspired him to produce the 11-track collection.

NLM: Hey, thank you for taking part in an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC. How is 2021 treating you so far?

TT: Pretty great. Pandemic-wise, I feel fortunate things seem to be looking up within my circles. That and finally releasing this album have been a couple chapters I’ve been eager to close.

NLM: You recently shared your album ‘Take My Power’, where you unveiled singles ‘Gets Me Out’, ‘Through The Day’ and ‘Next To Me’ ahead of its release. What is the public perception on the singles so far?

TT: I’ve been hearing good feedback on several different aspects of the songs – the production, guitar tones, string arrangements, lyrics that stood out. I’m happy that I was able to create music that could be enjoyed in a variety of ways. I spent a lot of times with these songs and it’s reassuring listeners find a way to appreciate something from each stage of the songwriting process.

NLM: What inspired you to produce the album?

TT: I’ve been working on a project that is really complex in scope and thematically heavy, but I also had a few ideas for simpler songs bouncing around in the back of my mind. I figured I’d have some fun with those first, even if they didn’t amount to anything. When I realized the new ideas were converging on a common theme, I knew they had to become this album.

NLM: What is/are your favourite single(s) from the album and why?

TT: I’d have to go with ‘Through the Day’. I like the way it captures the push and pull of keeping it together while facing some mental baggage, and it does it in a quirky, off-kilter way. I also want to give a shout-out to ‘Truth’, which stands out to me as having a simple song structure that progresses in an extremely satisfying way.


NLM: So how would you describe the album’s sound to potential fans?


TT: It boils down to a mix of acoustic and fuzzy indie rock, all with a DIY aesthetic. I actually went with my acoustic guitar throughout the whole album and clipped the signal through my interface to get the overdrive effect. I think fans of The Microphones or Neutral Milk Hotel would appreciate the sound.

NLM: What message would you like the listeners to take away from your album?

TT: The album explores my thoughts/emotions whenever my mental health reaches a low point. It enters some dark places, but I also made sure to include theme of love and support. I think the pandemic made these ideas universal. I hope listeners see it as an expression of solidarity in struggling with mental health and feel appreciation for their loved ones who lift them up.

NLM: If you had to feature one mainstream artist on the album, who would it be and why?

TT: Not sure if this is mainstream enough, but I’d have to go with Will Toledo of Car Seat Headrest. He’s a versatile indie rocker with underlying quirkiness, characteristics that I strived for on this album.

NLM: Do you have other project(s) for 2021?

TT: I have lyrics and rhythm guitar written for my next album already. I know the full arrangements will keep me busy for a while, and I’m hoping to work with other people again. I don’t want to say too much yet but it will be a bit of a pivot from my other releases.

NLM: How can potential fans find you?

TT: All tunnel traffic music is available on every music streaming platform. I have accounts on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Write to me and I’ll respond.

Links: https://linktr.ee/tunneltraffic

NLM: Finally, any special shout outs to those involved in the production of ‘Take My Power’?

TT: I sing to Jacky Muñoz on several songs on the album. She definitely deserves the shoutout here. On top of her constant support in life, she is able to listen to my work as both a fan and a critic, and I am a better songwriter for it.

‘Take My Power’ is out now all music platforms

Song of the Day: City View – Groov Marro (ft. Garf of Generation GT)

Although he sites a host heavyweights including Ludacris, Jay-Z, Eminem, Mac Miller, Anderson Paak and Joey Badass as strong influences, it is very evident that born and bred Philly rapper GROOV MARRO is in a league of his own.

His single, ‘City View’ captures his cocky personality and unique flow over the wavy groove of the track’s b-line . He calls upon singer Garf (of Generation GT) to drop his silky smooth vocals, which gives the production that extra spine-tingling sensation.

Why not check out the official music video for Groov’s ‘City View’ below, which clocked up over 16,000 views since its release earlier this month.