“Hey Mom, Just Want You to Know I’m Not Crazy”
Music Career Mastermind has released their first graduate compilation album, “Hey Mom, Just Want You to Know I’m Not Crazy.” The album features 16 songs by up-and-coming artists in multiple genres. The songs were written and produced by the artists themselves and either mixed by the artists or with multi-Grammy-winning producer Mike Mangini. Mangini runs the Music Career Mastermind graduate program with owner Melissa Mulligan; he also runs the academy’s music production courses.
Fake It All - Nai'a Nai’a opens the album with an ethereal ballad titled “Fake It.” Reverberant vocals lead you through heavy, emotive phrases with a rich, full timbre that grips listeners from the moment you press play. The minimalist instrumentals allow the spotlight to fully shine on Nai’a’s vocal performance creating an intimate musical experience. Nai'a's lush vocals have tremendous range and expression. This heart-wrenching two minutes of dramatic and moving songwriting makes for a powerful start to the graduate compilation.
Bedsheets - Daniel Jay Woods “Bedsheets” by Daniel Jay Woods showcases infectious pop sensibilities greeting listeners with an unforgettable hook and a modern, radio-ready sound. A deep bass and clapping percussion set the groove that moves through your body. Daniel Jay sings, “All I did was fight to keep this thing upright/Sleeping on the couch to watch your love burn out/No benefit from doubt until you left my house/But you never said goodbye.” The lyrics paint a vivid picture of a love that is fading. Woods takes heartbreak and turns it into an ecstatic experience with a beat that makes you want to get up and move. From the catchy vocal melodies to the clean, rhythmic production, “Bedsheets” is sure to be a fan favorite.
Viewfinder - Eliora Eilora’s “Viewfinder” entrances listeners through light and memorable vocal melodies. Eliora's highly descriptive lyrics are vivid and relaxed at the same time, yielding a happy and positive vibe. A combination of bright reverberant synths, acoustic guitar, pulsing bass, and hand drums create an uplifting soundscape. As the song progresses, the arrangement builds with additional accents of melodic synths, hair raising vocal harmonies, a fuller drum-kit, and additional production that makes for an extraordinary radio-ready pop hit.
Badlands - Tenebrous Tenebrous blends the hype of EDM, pop, and trap to create a sound you are sure to fall in love with on his track “Badlands.” Pulsing synth pads lay down a rhythmic chord progression joined by a grittier lead that introduces a melodic motif. As the layers of synths continue to build, Tenebrous graces the track with rich, warm vocals. With the drop of the sub-bass, the record takes on a huge, modern sound. Tenebrous fills each passage with emotion that seeps through his vocals whether he is singing legato phrases or taking on a rhythmic flow. Get ready for your ears to enter the "Badlands" and be blown away. Good Vibes - Holiday Lane
“Good Vibes” by Holiday Lane showcases a uniquely addictive style that draws inspiration from pop music of the late 60’s and the 2000's and mixes it with their own unique and contemporary style. Listeners are treated to a mixture of pristine, modern production elements, some raw sounding instrumentation, and personalized vocals with an intimate timbre. Lyrically, positive vibes flow like a river with two positive minds on the same ship. The composition makes great use of dynamics keeping the sound intense from beginning to end. The hook in “Good Vibes” is reminiscent of alternative hits from the 2000’s leaving a memorable impact and making this a track you will want to come back to again.
Breaking Heart - Foster Moody Deep, droning sub bass and an up-tempo gritty synth lead kick off “Breaking Heart,” an 80’s influenced synth-pop track from artist Foster Moody. A spacious kick and snare drum contribute a steady yet explosive beat creating a simple groove that makes you want to get up and move. Moody cloaks his bright, baritone vocals in effects that give his voice an iconic, lo-fi, saturated sound that blends perfectly with the vibe of his music. This is a song about a love that was doomed from the start. Foster explores the complexities of unrequited love. Fans of classic synth-pop drenched in emotive lyrics will love Foster Moody. Heart Like A Botanical Garden - Worst Sumo
Worst Sumo adds his own flavor of synth-pop to the graduate album with his heartfelt ballad “Heart Like A Botanical Garden.” Sumo uses legato, droning synth chords as a sonic canvas to gradually build upon. The intro has a whistle along like quality to it that sets up the main motif. This motif returns throughout the song. As the song progresses, layers of guitar along with stereo panned percussion create an instrumental bridge that is just as enticing as the vocal performance. Worst Sumo sings about a vulnerable heart blooming like a botanical garden.
Not When You're Listening - Emma Mathieson
Emma Mathieson delivers a personal, heart-wrenching performance with their song “Not When You’re Listening.” Gentle, finger-style acoustic guitar softly accompanies Emma’s tender vocals as she sings about the insecurities of falling for something and entering unexplored territories of love. “I just wanna be clear / I just haven’t been here before / And I don’t know how to tell you / You’re the prettiest girl I’ve seen / Before I met you / Thought my heart had gone numb to / The beautiful things in this life.” With the addition of strings and lush vocal harmonies, the arrangement livens up in a way that will give you goosebumps.
This Time - Bec Bradshaw
Bec Bradshaw adds her own flair to the album her alt-rock track “This Time.” Distorted, fuzzy bass and crisp percussion commence the track as Bec kicks off the first verse. Bec’s performance is fierce and inspiring as she sings about unapologetically leaving a toxic relationship. The arrangement is bolstered by the chugging of electric guitar, adding more presence to the instrumentals. The heaviness, rhythmic feel of her instrumentals is balances by her catchy, melodic vocals that give the tune a pop sensibility. “This Time” is bold and brave. Bravo Bec.
Dying World - Fretless Fox
Fretless Fox embraces a lo-fi, vintage rock sound in his song “Dying World.” Power chords come straight at you joined by layers of guitars, bass, ambient synth, and soft percussion. The instrumentation blends together with the sound of heavy tape saturation supporting a raw, energetic vocal performance. The arrangement is dynamic as it seamlessly transitions from huge, anthemic sections, to soft melodic instrumental interludes. Lyrically, Fretless Fox has a psychedelic vibe with writing that leads you down many portals. As the world slowly drifts apart, Fretless Fox offers an energetic, punk-rock inspired song that shakes things up.
Turn Out the Moon - Sam Wood
Intricate acoustic guitar and a calm and peaceful ambience set up the musical landscape for Sam Wood's reflective song, "Turn Out The Moon." Singing about stolen promises and lives, in the wake a fire in California that burned down a commune for artists, "Turn Out the Moon" is emotionally haunting. Percussion enters for a slow groove as the ghost ships sail on. Sam captures the feeling of profound loss through a heartfelt and moving vocal performance. Tasteful guitar solos pick up on the beautiful melodies. "Turn Out the Moon" sails on long after you've heard it.
Second Chance - Felicia Berrier
The sound of a car driving to school is heard against a syncopated piano track as Felicia Berrier's pop-perfect voice takes center stage. Felicia sings about young love from the past that deserves a shot of making a lasting connection. "We were kids when we fell in love so all the decision we made were kind of messed up." In the most contemporary way, "Second Chances" has a nostalgic feel, both lyrically and musically. From the song's innocent and true lyrics to the choice in harmonies and a clap along section, "Second Chance" is pop music at its best. Like Taylor Swift, Felicia Berrier has a pop songwriting style that is fresh and fantastic.
Snow In May - Colin G. Arpeggiated synth and crisp percussion setup a fantastic groove that you can bob your head to in "Snow In May". Colin sings "ooo's" before the story begins on a typical Tuesday morning at a favorite café. "You order a coffee, the same as you always do with three extra sugars." Colin’s attention to detail is extraordinary and it is what makes him an exceptional songwriter. The experience and emotion of the song are beautifully written and performed. With a full vocal toolbox consisting of amazing dynamics and sound effects, sung against a tasteful piano composition, the song ends with a love that was never meant to be. "Our love is like a sunset never meant to last."
Beautiful Distraction - Burger Some city noise fade away into a smoky, jazzy pop track on the opening of "Beautiful Distraction." As the track moves forward with solemn, whole-note chords on the downbeat, Burger enters singing a heartfelt story about love and loss. She sings about the little things she misses the most. With honest lyrics, she reminisces about she left behind, exploring the complexity of being pulled towards a distraction and realizing it's "not you and me." The track opens with shimmering background vocals as Burger's vocal expression take center stage, captivating listeners with her expressive style from the first note to the last.
(I Won't) Pretend - Nolan Gibbons & Nikki Wildy
"(I Won't) Pretend" by Nolan Gibbons & Nikki Wildly" is a beautiful pop ballad that could stand toe-to-toe with charting songs on the radio today with a melodic composition that is highly memorable. Backed by a light piano and well-conceived strings, the song is moving. Gibbons and Wildy sing a duet with each singer displaying a pure and pristine tone. “(I Won’t) Pretend” is about making promises without regret. "Moral of the story, some promises are worth it." The ending bursts with energy as the singers showcase their dynamic and expression range. Simply put, "(I Won't) Pretend" is a hit song that the charts would be lucky to have.
It Holds Me to The Bottom Of A Heavy Pool – Ameliarose
Percussive textures against an eerie and atmospheric synth ambience opens "It Holds Me To The Bottom Of A Heavy Pool" by Ameliarose. Ameliarose enters singing "Is this the sweet breath that takes me away?" Her entrancing voice is wistful, yet clear and confident. As the song unfolds, the drums arrive setting the groove before the infectious chorus blooms. Gorgeous harmonies and poetic lyrics are just a piece of the artistic brilliance heard in this song. Just when you thought Ameliarose could not get any more creative, a rap section arrives by surprise. The production work is intense throughout keeping your ears locked into every intentional note. "It Holds Me to The Bottom of A Heavy Pool" is a masterpiece in songwriting ending the album on an unforgettable note.
“Hey Mom, Just Want You to Know I’m Not Crazy” is proof positive that Music Career Mastermind is serious about artist development. Showcasing some of the best rising talent in one graduate album, Music Career Mastermind gets a A+ on their graduation playlist.
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About Michael Mangini, Producer
The songs on the album were either mixed by the artists themselves or with the help of the head of Music Career Mastermind’s advanced production program, multi-Grammy-winning producer Mike Mangini. Mangini is an American record producer and owner of Mojo Music, a production and artist management company. He has worked with The Jonas Brothers, AJR, David Byrne, Dionne Warwick, Digable Planets, The Beastie Boys, Run DMC, Bruce Hornsby, Smash Mouth, Dionne Warwick, Five for Fighting, Andy Grammer, Loren Allred, Jackie Evancho, Elise LeGrow, and many more. He was also the Music Producer for the film "Shrek."
About Music Career Mastermind Music Career Mastermind, owned and operated by Melissa Mulligan and her team of industry experts, offers a series of elite online coaching programs that include everything from artist identity, songwriting, production, mixing and music business to entrepreneurial thinking and launching a business. In an industry that often overlooks true artistic development, Music Career Mastermind provides aspiring artists online programs for “road mapping,” a unique perspective on creating a sustainable income while working toward your larger goals.
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