Author Archives: Ricky Stephens

Ricky Stephens

About Ricky Stephens

Ricky Stephens is an independent musician and music reviewer from Tampa Florida.

[Remix] Marina & The Diamonds – Primadonna (Evian Christ edit)

Evian Christ is an artist from the UK who’s relatively new, making a name for himself through his dark, bass heavy, instrumental mixtape titled Kings And Them and quickly climbing the ranks of the DIY production scene. Christ’s choosing to remix “Primadonna” by Marina & The Diamonds, on the surface, seems completely unnatural- as the track was produced by Dr. Luke, who produces top 40 hits like its second nature- but in the end kind of makes sense.

Christ’s edits transform Marina’s original into something almost entirely new through chopping and dispersing the vocal patterns, which were the driving force behind the original track. Christ’s edits transform the vocal parts into samples and patterns that fit a new melody which very seldom resemble’s Marina’s track. Instead, Christ’s edits create a track that proves his ability as a producer to take a track and remix it until it feels like a completely new song. Stream below:

’Marina and the Diamonds – Primadonna (Evian Christ Remix)’
Related items:

[New] Laurel Collective – Fax of Death and Heartbeat Underground

In just one month the group responsible for the In The Woods Festival, Laurel Collective, will be releasing their debut full length album and are gearing up for the release by giving us an early look into two of its tracks. The two, titled “Fax of Death” and “Heartbeat Underground” respectively, will be released as a Double A-Side in the near future and show the band pursuing a heavy synth sounds, broken guitar chords, and punchy rhythms. The highlight for me is the playful melody and vocal harmony on “Fax of Death”- a song that, overall, just feels good to listen to. Stream both tracks below:

’Laurel Collective – Fax of Death’
’Laurel Collective – Heartbeat Underground’
Related items:

[Fresh] Huey Mack – About Us (Prod. by CJ Luzi)


Huey Mack just released a song he’s calling his favorite to date. The track, tiled “About Us”, is the last single from Mack’s forthcoming project he’s calling A Boy Named Hue and, much like the title, the track provides a retrospective look into Huey himself. The track was produced by, OnCue affiliate, CJ Luzi who did a great job. Check it out below:

’Huey Mack – About Us (Prod. by CJ Luzi)’
Related items:

[New] Black Lips – Dance With You

Atlanta band Black Lips have recently put out a new single titled “Sick Of You” to great reception. The B-Side to that single, though, has been a reputation all it’s own which is funny to me because both tracks are out takes from the groups successful record Arabia Mountain.

In a way being the B-Side of a B-Side has helped earn “Dance With You” a reputation of its own while raising questions as to why it wasn’t included on last year’s full length. The track contains all that we’ve come to expect from Black Lips: a thick bass line, shifting tempos, and groovy/psychedelic jams. Stream it below to see what I mean and, maybe, accept the band’s invitation to dance.

Black Lips – Dance With You

’Black Lips — Dance With You.mp3′
Related items:

Kid A – BB Bleu

As she prepares for the release of her debut full length, titled BLCKRSECHLL (Black Rose Chill), Virginia songwriter/producer Kid A offers a remastering to whet our appetites.

The offering, a track titled “BB Bleau” which was officially released last summer as part of a fictional soundtrack (sung in Japanese), shows the producer honing her art further and gives us a glimpse into what’s to come. Stream below:

Kid A – BB Bleu

’008 – Kid A – BB Bleu.mp3′
Related items:

[Folk] Paul Stewart – Horses Mouth

Paul Stewart‘s “Horses Mouth” is an acoustic driven and intimate offering with a delivery that will tug at your heart strings. The guitars are finger picked and melodic, recorded on what seems to be an “open air” microphone. This approach is essential to the feel and mood of the music as it lets organic white noises onto the track and separates the boundary between performer and audience. The vocal performance, and all other subsequent layers, follow suit with this recording technique in a “diamond in the rough” sort of way (Aladdin anyone?). Think “Moving Mountains” by Thrice for a comparison and stream the track below to experience it for yourself:

Paul Stewart – Horses Mouth

’058 – paul stewart – horses mouth.mp3′
Related items:

Beautiful Small Machines – Paper Planes (MIA Cover)

Beautiful Small Machines recently released a cover of MIA‘s smash hit “Paper Planes”, turning it from a kind of pop- kind of hip-hop mashup into an incredibly well done indie song. The new take on the song is more simplistic, trading synth beats and samples for guitar leads and organic drums, breathing life into a track that I thought had lost some of its original “coolness” due to its being overplayed. Thankfully, rather than slowly shaking my head and shunning “too soon” to the band, I was able to embrace this rework with open arms and thoroughly enjoy the experience. Though, I’ll admit, I do kind of miss the cash register sample during the “all I want to do is… and take your money” parts. Stream it below:

’Paper Planes – Beautiful Small Machines’

Buy this track on bandcamp.

Related items: