The Peanut Gallery – Video Review

New Jersey Hip-Hop duo The Peanut Gallery recently released its first single “Deep Thoughts” from the upcoming “Tales from the Basement” album. Check out the track here:

The Peanut Gallery is made up prep school graduate and breakdancing Orlando and his partner in crime Flee Jones, an inner-city gangster using music as an outlet. They got together after their plans to start up Party of 5IVE went astray and now the duo are making songs they want to and connecting with fans on a deeper level.

The song starts off with a symphonic keyboard track and popping beats that get you in the mood to hear what deep thoughts could come from the unorthodox duo. Almost immediately, hints of OutKast and A Tribe Called Quest can be heard yet the duo takes their expressive style in their own direction. The music production by Flee Jones has been accurately compared to the likes of Dr. Dre, Ja Rule, and Ludacris.

The personal lyrics cover topics like getting locked and being denied, but the main takeaway is that Orlando will not change his outfit or stop rapping because that’s who he is. The track delivers the message of accepting who you are and making it as far as you can despite the haters that will inevitable try to tear you down. His poetic style of the song and the lack of a chorus allows Orlando to fully express what’s on his mind without having to conform to any typical songwriting patterns, creating a refreshing and unexpected take in the rap genre. “Everything I end up loving always seems to disappear” is the final line that puts into perspective the overall message of “Deep Thoughts” and allows the song to be relatable to other people who are going through similar experiences.

The video strongly features Orlando’s interest in plushies, especially one of cartoon character Arthur. The visualizations on camera represent what’s being said lyrically and there’s a humoristic tone with the acting throughout. The use of the dolls highlights Orlando’s comedic values and soft spots rather than trying to appear all hard like most other rappers do.

The Peanut Gallery are in the process of writing and producing their album and both plan on releasing various projects together along and touring this year. “Deep Thoughts” is available on iTunes Spotify and SoundCloud, and we know we’ll be seeing more of them as they continue to rise. Be sure to check out the album “Tales from the basement” coming out Oct. 13.

Find more of The Peanut Gallery on YouTube, Vevo, iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud and Twitter.

Avery LR – Song Review

Rapper Avery LR released his 25-plus track album that featured the thought-provoking song “Never Surrender” that provided a spotlight on sexual abuse, drugs, and teen suicide. Check out the moving video here:

Right off the bat, “Never Surrender” hits hard and doesn’t hold back any punches. Avery LR puts his heart into the track and the music video successfully accompanies the brutally honest lyrics. The opening lines set the stage about his hard life and tough upbringing: “Back in ’96, that’s when life got hard / My Grandmother died, mom’s locked in the yard.” Avery discusses the hardships of having his father killed by the cops and growing up without positive direction, yet using his frustrations he felt in this situation as well as his struggles in school as motivation to overcome it all. The positive message behind this track is a useful tool for anyone who is going through similar circumstances.

The lyrics also delve into a narrative about a girl being inappropriately touched by her father, with the music video showing this part of the story in full effect to really drive home the message of the song. Avery’s commentary is all about real talk and rough situations, and the video matches the theme well without being too explicit, showing just enough to get the idea across and still be accessible to all who watch it. The most difficult topic Avery raps about in the song is how people who are unable to deal with the situation commit suicide, serving as a reminder that there’s always a way out before taking one’s own life. Although Avery’s lyrics originate from a very personal standpoint, the song covers universal themes that could be used to motivate listeners to take charge of the unfair situation they are in.

“Never Surrender” is a very bold song that tackles serious issues, and Avery knows how to use his talent to enlighten listeners about topics they may be unaware of. The song is also a good representation of the “Surviving 2017 Mixtape” it originates from. If you are in the mood for a 2Pac-influenced, free-style gangster rapper with substance behind his words, look no further than Avery LR and his single/video “Never Surrender.”

To stay to date with all things Avery LR, follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Soundcloud, and YouTube.

Erich Mrak – Song Review

Toronto-based Hip-Hop and rap artist Erich Mrak has released his new track “With You” produced by Bento. Check out the song here:

A lot of times artists in the music industry look at what has worked in the past and try to replicate trends to chase popularity as opposed to achieving originality. For Hip-Hop artists, it’s usually a message between the harsh life growing up or the idealized life when making it big, and as the beats have changed throughout the years, the subject matter has become predictable. Mrak enters the Hip-Hop landscape offering an original take on a situation relatable to many.

The song begins with playful electronic notes as the beat slowly kicks in, giving off a mellow vibe and relaxing tone. The lyrics tackle the issue of wanting to relax without having to deal with the complexities of dealing with a relationship. As Mrak said, “The song is about the indecisiveness between two people, with regards to committing to a relationship, and if it is ideal for their current lives.” The message is genuine without trying to sound unnecessarily hard or focusing on cool delivery with empty meaning. The track is going for a soothing groove dealing with hardships, and the execution is spot on.

The chorus is calm in delivery and easy to remember, showcasing Mrak’s ability for catchy songwriting while maintaining a deeper message underneath. Walking on the fine line between sounding good and making sense is the balance true lyricists deal with and Mrak has no problems in talking about experiences he has most likely been through. He has drawn comparisons to artists such as Mac Miller, Macklemore, Asher Roth, J. Cole, but he has enough of an identity of his own to stand apart from them and to continue to rise and make a name for himself. Harnessing his own take on the Hip-Hop genre, Mrak will soon be getting much attention on the scene.

erich mrak

Photo provided by Erich Mrak

ETV will keep a close eye on the ongoing developments of this up-and-coming star and we look forward to seeing what’s next to come. To stay up to date with all things Erich Mrak, check him out on Soundcloud, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and iTunes.

Maryama – Song Review

Iranian American Maryama has released a new hypnotic music video for her recently released track “Where The Mermaids Are.” Derived from a fusion of Jazz and Persian influences, check out the song here:

The song slowly draws the listener in with a minimalistic approach utilizing tribal elements that convey the calmness of an empty beach. Maryama’s soothing voice combined with piano chords elicit a relaxing feeling that increases as the vocal harmonies join in. Beginning with the word “mermaid,” the song fills the empty painting with images of mysticism and feelings of spirituality with slow jazz influences. The meditative breakdown offers a passageway into the inner depths of the ocean as the echoing voice of Maryama bounces from ear to ear and we feel ourselves drowning peacefully. The song offers thought-provoking, easy-listening vibes great for dates by the bay during sunset.

The video is an accurate portrayal of the track’s lyrical themes and represents Maryama a siren herself who is calling for her listeners to join her beneath the ocean where she creates music. The scenes feature imagery as vibrant as the lyrics themselves. Directed by Benjamin Hunter, the video shows a glimpse of Maryama’s storytelling and we can’t wait to see what comes from her next.


Maryama is currently working on two new debut albums featuring her newly formed Maryama Band as well as new instrumental music. To stay up to date with all things Maryama, be sure to check her out on Soundcloud, Twitter, YouTube, Reverbnation, Facebook, and her official site.

Grown Up Avenger Stuff – Song Review

Charlotte-based indie-punk band Grown Up Avenger Stuff’s new track “A.I.M.” is filled with high energy and raw emotions. If you’re looking for a new musical addiction to sink your teeth into, check out the band’s track here:

“A.I.M.” harkens back to when alternative rock was king, taking the best from a decade known for its willingness to simply rock without unnecessary theatrics. Although the song shares similarities to memorable tracks of the 90s, the band is not merely content with taking what worked in the past, but rather using the pop hooks and heavy punk vibes as a foundation to do their own thing. The result is a welcomed fresh take on the familiar.

Ray Stern’s vocals are clear and addicting, delivered with authority and incorporating lyrics that read as an anecdote to common life: “Just put the past behind you / step into the stance / of the present moment.” It adds an introspective element needed to become more memorable than other songs that focus on just head-banging and pyrotechnics. John Thomsen blisters away on guitar while his sons Hunter (bass) and Tyler (drums/percussion) carry the rhythm section and all members shine equally without one taking over the spotlight. There truly is a sense of unity that makes the experience all the more enjoyable.

The band worked with Mark Needham, an engineer with a track record that includes working with The Killers, Shakira, Stevie Nicks, and Chris Isaak, among others. The production is clean and crisp and makes us want to hit ‘repeat’ as soon as the song ends. If “A.I.M.” is a snapshot to where the band is heading, then sign us up for the ride.


Image via Grown Up Avenger Stuff

Grown Up Avenger Stuff has been breaking out onto the scene like wildfire and we want to see where the road burns next. It’s not hard to believe they will establish themselves as a premier act in no time. The music landscape is in dire need of true, genuine rock, and Grown Up Avenger Stuff looks to be filling in the void nicely. To stay up to date with the band, follow them on Reverbnation, Facebook, YouTube, Soundcloud, and their official site.