[Album Review] Andrew Castro – Inside Out [EP]

Andrew Castro Inside Out EPA collaboration of local Sacramento artists Andrew Castro and Casey Groat comes together in this fantastic acoustic pop album from Andrew Castro titled “Inside Out.” The album features six of Castro’s songs, all written by Castro himself. There are no covers here, this is all original work. What Casey Groat (local Sacramento artist and producer) brings to the table is excellent mixing and supporting instruments. Castro himself is a solo acoustic act, but with the help of Groat it adds some great instrumentals including drums, bass, and some extra guitar work. However, this does not take away from Castro’s own talent.

Seeing Andrew Castro live is quite the experience. His voice work is stellar, and his guitar playing on his Martin LX1E, or Little Martin as it is more commonly called. Also for songs “Wired” and “Headlights” (and sometimes “Inside Out”) Castro will use a loop pedal to record guitar loops live. Something that I had never seen before but is, apparently, a common technique. Regardless I still thought that it was fascinating the first time I saw it.

Now let’s focus on the music. To describes Andrew Castro’s sound is to think of him as a local Ed Sheeran or early Jason Mraz. Castro has that bright and fun sound that makes pop very enjoyable to listen to and accessible by a large audience. The songs themselves follow this sort of love song pattern. Not the sappy “Oh I love you and here’s a song” drivel that seems to plague modern pop. It’s more of a “Here’s how you make me feel and I’m going to sound sexy telling you.” The song I’m mostly referring to is “Wired”, the fourth song on the EP. It has this seductive tone to it between the smooth not-quite-spoken-word-but-still-singing and the subtle bass line that really adds to the flow of the song.

The other quality that Castro’s songs have are a sort of story telling element. To use my favorite slower song “Fall” you can picture in your head exactly how it would play out. The lyrics transport you to the world of this song and you can feel yourself connecting to the character as he watches the love of his life walk out. The subject of this song is very relatable which is probably why I found so much beauty in the words. This song is also aided by the wonderful voice of Sandra Dolores who adds harmonies not only to this song, but also “Headlights.” Dolores’s addition gives me chills with how well she syncs with the ambiance of the song. Listening to this song, the best way for me to describe it is “basically asking to be turned into a music video.” Yeah, it’s that good.

So to wrap up this album review, I love this album. I think it’s a great showcase to what local artists have to offer, and, if you listen to my show on KSSU.com you know that I am always for supporting local music. Andrew Castro has earned my support in the effort to bringing great local artists to the spotlight. Andrew Castro’s album “Inside Out” is available on iTunes and through him directly. I’d highly recommend picking this up if you’re looking to get into local Sacramento artists.

DJ Bluebomber (Zach Kaminski) hosts an Alt/Indie music show on Tuesdays from 7-8 PM Pacific Time. If you’re looking for a wide range of music from indie synth pop, to garage rock, to various metal then tune in

Jake Abbott: The Carpenter’s Son EP

jake abott

Jake Abbott and his production team have just come out with a new EP, The Carpenter’s Son. Bluesy, gentle-on-the-ears guitar, and violin with easy, creamy vocals make this EP something you should definitely look into. There are times when the lyrics leave something to be desired, with repetition taking up the largest section of some songs, but the overall style is absolutely lovely. While it is an obscure reference, this EP reminds me a lot of Troy Baker’s band: easy listening with a hint of twang and well deserved conceit.

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Beck’s “Morning Phase” brings Somber and Bliss to listeners.


Full Disclaimer: I am not an avid Beck listener, nor have I listened to any of his albums in full. But of course I know his hit song from the 90’s, “Loser”, and from many episodes of Futurama. I am aware of his impact in Pop Culture as being an artist who’s not afraid to experiment with his lyrics and musical composition. Now with that being said, lets get started with this album review of his new album Morning Phase.

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Matisyahu: Exclusive Interview and Acoustic Performance at Dimple Records, Sacramento


Volunteering here at KSSU gave me the awesome opportunity to interview Matisyahu before his acoustic performance at Dimple Records and his actual concert at Ace of Spades. Do you guys want to know how it went down? Here it is!

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GNR Album Review- Live Like A Suicide/GNR Lies

After “Appetite” hit the scene, the Guns released a double EP, “GNR Lies/Live Like A Suicide.” “Like a Suicide” was released initially in 1986 as a limited pressing by the Guns own record label Uzi Suicide, and is now a collector’s item. However, they re-released it along with an acoustic EP to both satiate the fans, and to keep the band busy between LP’s so they didn’t actually die. Considered a throwaway by some, this double EP has some mean hits.

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Music Review – OK Go “180/365”

Throughout the entire span of 2010 (all 365 days, and .25 if you wanna get a wee bit more technical), the guys from OK Go were on tour. They had a total of 180 performances around the world. This inspired the title of their latest album “180/365.” This album is a compilation of what one can hope is their best performances of their songs throughout their tour.

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