Tag Archives: Jake Furia

Top 15 EPs of 2014

2014 had a lot of great albums, but what about all those EPs? People tend to let smaller releases slip by unnoticed, but at Planet Stereo, the phrase, “nice things come in small packages,” is muttered throughout the year. (…that may be partly because I’m only 5’2″, but hey! It’s a valid argument!) Here are the Top 15 EPs of 2014. Here’s hoping 2015 brings some good ones too!

 

1. Savannah by Nick Santino – released December 19th, 2014.

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A quality EP that displays both artistry and originality throughout. There is pure character in each track, which gives Savannah  a cinematic quality/value. The stripped down sound provides a quiet, almost hushed tone that carries a lofty emotional weight.

2. Waiting For a Sequel by Beat The Heart – released on May 6th, 2014.

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The epitome of indie/rock. There is an almost tangent energy to the EP, fusing together a cinematic, melodic style with the ballad worthy attitude of the 80s.

3. Strangers In Fairyland by Jocelyn Arndt – released October 27th, 2014.

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Jocelyn Arndt perfectly delivers wit and attitude, wrapped up in raw power. It’s a debut EP that showcases the pure talent of Arndt and an effortless mystery behind it all.

4. Sweet Talk by Sinclair – released on November 4th, 2014.

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From the opening notes of Sweet Talk, it is obvious there is something very special about Sinclair. I had said in my review that I believed there was a star in the making; that this wasn’t a debut, “this is an explosion,” and I stand by that.

5. It’s So Much Friendlier With Two by The Millenium – released on February 23rd, 2014.

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“[A] memorable EP. The effort and talent put into just five tracks shines through in every line, but, in a surprising twist, it doesn’t sound forced. This EP flows organically and sounds like the product of a group of very creative people collaborating. One listen, and The Millenium are difficult to forget, not that you’d want to. If this EP is anything to go by, we should all be expecting big things from this group in 2015. ”

6. Nonvesations by Summon The Octopi – released on November 17th, 2014.

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“Summon The Octopi have figured out how to do something many modern artists would deem impossible: they have managed to speak to listeners without having the need of a voice on every song. There is a true originality to every track, speaking for Nonversations, marking it as more than a debut EP, but more as a launch station for a talented group of musicians. ”

7. As You Were by Arc & Stones – released on June 10th, 2014.

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“The more I listen to As You Were, the more I want to see a tour with Arc & Stones and Thirty Seconds To Mars headlining the bill. The EP is an instant classic, and, considering this is the first time I’ve ever listened to Arc & Stones, a perfect introduction. As far as first impressions go, the band has left a fine one on me, and I look forward to hearing what they come up with next.”

8. Commonweather by Commonweather – released on November 25th, 2014.

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“Chicago is known for being home to some of the best artists, especially in the alternative rock arena, but even hailing from such a city, it is a rarity to hear a band that sounds so developed, and so confident in their sound on an EP. Just listening to Commonweather’s EP, it is obvious that we will see big things from them soon, because they already have enough quality in their work to compete with some of their more experienced counterparts. I, for one, cannot wait to see the results.”

9. Nikos by Nikos – released on October 21st, 2014.

NIKOS EP

As an introduction to the band, it is a wonderful preview at where they are headed, and how certain they are in their sound already. Their self-titled EP is delightfully melodic, energetic, and hauntingly brilliant.

10. All In My Head by Seaway – released on November 4th, 2014.

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“As a debut, All In My Head is pretty much close to perfection, showcasing what Seaway is capable of musically, lyrically, and even style-wise. It is refreshing to hear a group who so obviously knows the direction they plan to take with their career, without imitating their icons.”

11. Thieves & Lovers by Thieves & Lovers – released on September 23rd, 2014

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“Thieves & Lovers are fiercely talented, seemingly avoiding the over-produced quality that so many artists seem to be floating towards these days. With their self-titled EP, the band definitely stands out, and leaves listeners waiting for a full-length album.”

12. I Woke Up by Nominee – released on October 14th, 2014.

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Nominee’s sophomore release is wonderfully original; a well-made addition to the band’s discography. The EP had an irresistible style, with a dynamic and infectious attitude that further emphasizes the overall quality.

13. Balloons by Ruby My Dear – released on October 14th, 2014.

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There is a soulful beauty to this EP, and every track had something to offer. The music and lyrics of Balloons work together, fitting like pieces of a puzzle; there is not the typical competition of which will win the heart of the listener.

14. At Night by Choir Vandals – released on October 27th, 2014.

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Between the mixture of emotional intensities, explosions of raw power, and a brooding undertone, Choir Vandals are the musical Heathcliffs of the scene…if, you know, stages could stand in the moors. The intricacy of their sophomore EP makes them one to watch.

15. HEART by Alexz Johnson – released on February 18th, 2014.

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“One thing I really enjoy about HEART is the raw, melodic tone each track has. Unwaveringly honest and powerful, this EP encourages listeners to not only sing along, but to feel what is being sang about. Alexz Johnson is an artist who has a very recognizable voice, and her songwriting rivals some of the greats. HEART is more than an EP; it is a statement. It might say different things to different people, but one thing is undeniable: whatever it’s saying is coming through loud and clear.”

 

 HONORABLE MENTIONS

The Acoustic EP by Jake Furia

Move Now by Marshall Crenshaw

Lucy Scholl by Lucy Scholl

Chemistry by Plaid Brixx 

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REVIEW: Jake Furia – ‘The Acoustic EP’

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Jake Furia’s debut, The Acoustic EP, has a certain charm about it that can only be accomplished with acoustic music. Starting off with “Ulnet,” the guitar is truly stunning, and once those lyrics come in, with a poetic stance about them, it’s clear that this is a great first impression. Furia’s vocals get a bit stronger as the chorus hits, seeming to almost become thicker, if not a bit raspier, with frustration and emotion.

“Meet Me In L.A.” has an intimate live-show vibe to it, as well as intricate strumming that is both soothing and impressive. This is a bittersweet love song, with both female (Megan Mass) and male (Furia) perspectives chiming in. When Mass’s vocals kick in, there is an added layer of depth to the track, opening it up to its full emotional capacity by showing the emotions of both parties. Definitely a noteworthy track!

Stepping away ever so slightly from the typical acoustic sound, Furia takes on a Kurt Cobain like persona on “Crazy Woman.” There is a rough quality to Furia’s vocals that showcase him in a different, edgier way. In all truth, this is easily a favorite of mine, sounding more like something from an MTV Unplugged session than an acoustic debut EP.

One thing I really enjoyed about this EP was the fact that there are two live tracks featured on it. In many ways, this allows Furia’s talents to really shine through, as well as allowing listeners to hear that the quality is not just studio magic–it is legitimate talent. “Breathe” is both poetic and beautifully delivered. “Access To Ecstasy” even has the speaking parts and clapping crowd, adding even more to the feeling that you’re at a show, not just listening to The Acoustic EP coming from speakers. The guitar is a bit more simplistic, but no less lovely to listen to.

Overall, The Acoustic EP left a great first impression. The more I listen to it, the more I hear the great things coming for Jake Furia.

To purchase The Acoustic EP, please click HERE.

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A Bold New Force: Jake Furia

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Boldly spanning multiple genres, twenty-one year old Jake Furia is truly a force to be reckoned with. After garnering more than his fair share of experience with a variety of genres, even when compared to some of his older counterparts, Furia decided to release his debut, The Acoustic EP, stripping down his sound to the bare minimum. 

At the time, I had written a few acoustic songs and people we’re all saying like, “whoa, how come you don’t do that?”, as I used to play metal,” Furia explains. “One of those people was my Dad, who gives me all the support in the world and funded me to do those recordings.

“So, I mean, that helped me pick that direction,” he says with a laugh. “Also, when I became a solo artist, I felt like I had the opportunity to build my career in any way that I wanted. I thought it would be a romantic idea to start at what felt was the beginning.”

For many artists, they see the debut EP or album as the chance to engrain who they are in people’s minds. That being said, an acoustic debut is one thing many artists (barring those who are part of the acoustic-genre) are normally hesitant to do, for fear of the impact it may have on future endeavors. “I know how it’s affected me immediately,” Furia claims. “What I really like about starting as an acoustic artist is how it’s super palatable for everybody. Regardless of genre, there’s usually acoustic guitar rooted in everybody’s music. I didn’t think about it this way originally, but with that in mind, it’s like everybody has a place for you.”

 

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It’s difficult to imagine Jake Furia not being palatable for everybody, especially as he’s been involved in every genre going; from metal to EDM and beyond. With his hands in so many musical pots, some people may wonder how he finds himself drawn to so many genres, and why he just can’t seem to settle on one. “I actually think that’s just the cool thing about my generation. I mean, I’m the only artist that I know that’s building a career around a multi-genre vibe, but seriously, so many people that I know love everything and it’s awesome. I think what draws me to a variety of genres though is what draws me to loving art in the first place,” he explains with almost startling clarity. For a moment, he reminds us that music is an art form that can be appreciated no matter if it’s surrealism or impressionism. “I dig passion; I love seeing the singer of a Hardcore band screaming and spitting about something that’s killing them inside, I love seeing people at raves with the biggest smiles on their faces and dancing around because the music makes them feel alive, and I love driving down the road listening to Pop Punk ballads with tears in my eyes.”

It’s this incredible versatility and the true passion he puts into everything he does that makes Jake Furia an artist to keep an eye (and ear) on. In the fall, Furia is hoping to release his full-length album, Where The End Falls Off, following its recording over the summer. “We want to go into it, my backing band and I, with a complete sense of openness,” he states. “I want to put as much creativity and general feel into the album as we can. That’s why I’m really happy that everyone in the band loves all kinds of music. The theme of the album is unity and a celebration of being alive, so I want to get every ounce of humanity into it that we can.”

With The Acoustic EP already under his belt, a full-length album is anticipated by listeners, driving their curiosity wild. Perhaps that is another reason to introduce yourself with acoustics; it keeps the mystery alive. Being such a versatile artist, it’s difficult to imagine where Where The End Falls Off will land in terms of genre. “Well, the straight up, biggest difference between The Acoustic EP and what will be my first full-length, is that it will feature my full backing band, The Be-Yourselves. The next thing, is it’s going to be a pretty blatant with the idea of mixing genres. We’re gonna try to keep it as fluid as possible and it’s going to be an Alt. Rock vibe in the end but It will definitely have notable influence from Pop Punk, Reggae, Hardcore, Electro, and of course some good ol’ Rock N Roll.”

The twenty-one year old may brim with confidence, but even he admits to being nervous about his album. I definitely know what I’m a little nervous about,” Furia laughs. “It’s really the performance of a few things. In the last few months, I’ve been trying to garner some new talents like screaming and producing electronic music for the album. I’m just working on getting them down perfect.”

Coming across as somewhat of a perfectionist, the quality in Furia’s work is easily distinguished, hinting at a well developed creative process. “[The process has] definitely changed since I started playing music, but as of late, I can say that I have a little bit of a method. For me, when I started working as a solo artist last year, the one thing that I changed was how I wrote music. Like, when I used to play just metal, I always just wrote to sound like a Rocker,” he explains, almost amused by the thought. “Point is though, that the lyrics didn’t have much substance. Now, I just like to open up my mind and try to let whatever I want to say flow naturally.”

One listen to his work now shows no thought to imitation of how a genre is expected to sound. With extremely well-penned lyrics, there is something very compelling about Furia’s solo sound. “I pretty much get my inspiration for lyrics from all my own feels. I realized recently that when I’m writing about happiness, the feeling of inspiration, struggle, whatever it’s been, it’s literally all been about me. But that’s what I like about music, I think that you can connect with people the most by just letting your guard down and showing of the realest part of you.” It is tapping into that vulnerability and sense of self-expression that may have been the key to Furia’s true artistry, and perhaps the foundation for what appears to be a successful future.
Attached on The Acoustic EP, was a live track called “Access To Ecstasy,” which Furia claims to have landed on the EP because of “luck and circumstance.” Lyrically, it boasts a poetic style that sets it apart, but the sad truth is, the track almost didn’t make it. “I wasn’t originally going to have the opportunity to put it out on the record, because it wasn’t recorded yet; but one night, I walked into a show and there was a sign on the wall that said for $20 you could get your set recorded. Boomski.”
Despite only being twenty-one, Furia knows enough to have a few bits of wisdom tucked in his back pocket. “[To all young artists, my advice is] just persistence and good vibes all the way,” he declares. “I realized along the way that if you’re looking to be a famous performer, it’s only about support. There’s a million wonderful musicians in the world, but my favorites are the ones who support each other. It’s a beautiful thing.”

That support can be found on small scales in a tiny corner club, or on larger, more grandiose ones, such as the Vans Warped Tour, where Furia can see himself in five years time. I have this aspiration; in five years, I’d really love to be playing a slot on the Warped Tour with all my homies in my backing band, and DJing the rave clubs along the way in the night time hours. Haha that’s just something I’d really love specifically.”

With his first LP, Where The Ends Fall Off, due out this fall, it’s easy to imagine Furia’s dream becoming a reality. Keep your eyes peeled for any updates on the album via his social media pages, which he has kindly listed below.

 


Any final words?”

“Yes indeedy; if you dig, please keep an eye out for my first LP, Where The Ends Fall Off, which should be coming out this Fall, and feel free to keep up on my medias (below). I’ll be keeping the updates rolling in every step of he recording process, andd that’s it. Thank you so much for taking the time to interview me!


Facebook.com/jakefuriamusic 

Soundcloud.com/jake-furia-music 

YouTube.com/jakefuriamusic 

http://jakefuriamusic.bandcamp.com

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Instagram.com/jakefuriamusic    @jakefuriamusic

twitter.com/jakefuria      
@jakefuria

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-acoustic-ep/id721877775

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