2am Orchestra [unedited] Music Review

Photo taken by Joel (Instagram)
Photo taken by Joel (Instagram)

To people like myself, doing what you love keeps you sane and happy. You need to do this sh*t so that life doesn’t feel so… Useless. That’s why they call it “a callingprobably. That’s why David J. Kelley has been doing what he loves since 2001 and probably even sooner than that. You can’t really hate those people, you got to admire them. Doing something you love and then sharing it with anyone who will listen is like smiling at a homeless person, it’s the right thing to do.

David J. Kelley has always been enthusiastic about music. He refers to the thrill of making music for the first time as getting that “triple buzz”. “The first buzz is hearing something magical that you love (like ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit‘). The second is not just playing it from your tape deck (dating myself here), but playing it yourself on the guitar. The third buzz is, ‘whoa, I can create my own stuff.'” But even before making music, it has always been intrigued about creating his stuff.

His songwriting has always been inspired by the pressures of existential dread. “Haha. But yeah actually. I think that need, that pressure, is the biggest influence and also the fuel.” In other words, he wants his songs to have the biggest impact on his listeners and/or his imagination as if his life depended on that impact. This is one of many specific influences he has behind his music.

His fan base is made up of mostly his friends and family from New Zealand he says. Although, he does very much appreciate all of his loyal followers who have been listening to his music from the beginning, he released his first self-titled album in 2001.

“Plenty of what I write is just me dealing with stuff, cathartically barfing out the sickness of being inadequate, mortal, abandoned, self-loathing, questioning, whatever. There are thoughts and feelings too big for my brain and body and so I have to magic up a place in the world to hold them. I’m grateful to have music play that role.”

– David J. Kelley (3/19/2020)

To begin with my opinion on 2am Orchestra’s music, does anyone else think of Thom Yorke (Radiohead) when listening to most of the Trading Graves?… Well hopefully now you do if you don’t! That’s basically all I could think of when listening to that album. That and how hard it is to think of any other musician who sounded like Thom. This is a huge compliment from me because I literally was and still kinda am obsessed with that man, he was beyond his time and I really love his songwriting as well. That being said, I admire David’s existential dread drive behind his music, it kind of reminds me of myself at times.

David has moved around wide and far by the way. “For a time I toured state fairs in a trash can drummer band. That was a bit random I guess. I can remember this gig in Kentucky where this one vendor gave us free food, but it was the same thing every day: fried green tomatoes and fried chicken burgers. I was so broke I ate it 9 days straight: Actually, I wasn’t broke so much as cheap – beer was the priority!  My move from Los Angeles to Auckland was pretty spontaneous. I had a friend (Tim Bern, who played bass in the band from 2009 -2010) from New Zealand that was heading home and extended an invitation for me to follow him over. At that time I was burning out in LA pretty hard so it was a lovely change of pace. Figured I’d spend a few months bumming around New Zealand, then head home. 10 years later and here I am still in New Zealand” David says. ***Notice how all the links are from Google Earth, hope it shows how vast those locations are from each other!*** 

“When I was younger I went to China for a year. Played some regular gigs in Nanjing. Back then, being a white guy playing recognizable western tunes (cover songs) made me a sort of local celebrity. What a trip man – play “Hotel California” you’ll have a bar full of best friends. I took some requests for songs I didn’t even know the correct words to – no one noticed.”


At the moment, David is working on an untitled song about how people can go an entire lifetime being strangers to themselves. He says he’s very excited about that release. He isn’t sure what kind of direction he wants to take with his music in the future however. “I guess I want to go in the direction I’ve always gone: with the freedom to do what I want and change it up as I go,” he tells me. 

He is exploring the idea of releasing more songs more often, and is considering releasing more singles like he did last year. “Also, if I can get the boys together I’ll try to put out another one of these casual video performances that we do soon. Those always make for a fun day” David says. I’ll keep everyone posted when I hear of future tracks, which hopefully won’t be long!!!

I would like to thank David J. Kelley for providing me with his answers for 2am Orchestra earlier this month and staying in touch since then. You can follow 2am on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter; and listen to his music on Youtube, Spotify, and Apple Music. You can follow this blog on Facebook (@uneditedmb) and Instagram (@unedited_music_blog); and listen to past musicians that have been reviewed on Spotify. Have a great week, and please #staythefuckhome and don’t be stupid!

Trading Graves by 2am Orchestra (2020)
Trading Graves by 2am Orchestra (2020)

Overall: 4.7/5

Trading Graves: 5/5

Working to Divide: 4.5/5

Impermanence: 4/5

2am Orchestra: 4.5/5

Top Song: Feeling of Home (2020)

Moana A. [unedited] Music Review

Moana Pionertown (Photo Taken by Sarah Lleon)
Moana Pionertown ~ (Photo Taken by Sarah Lleon)

I understand why Rita Ora says she doesn’t “wanna hear sad songs“. I get it, your in love… But what exactly is so bad about sad songs? Sad songs make us look at our happy lives and help us find that perfect medium. I bet there are plenty happily married songwriters who write depressing music, and guess what… They’re probably as happy as people who write more uplifting songs are! That’s why I loved Moana’s version of Kelly Clarkson‘s Since U Been Gone. Kelly’s version reflected “an empowering message of finding the best out of a potentially tough situation”. But Moana twisted that message into a darker and more cynical version. She says, “it sounds more like pretending to be okay, and trying to deal with strong feelings, while still showing vulnerability.” In my opinion, Moana’s version represents an equally powerful and relatable struggle. So I ask again, what is so bad about sad songs

Like most musicians I have reviewed, Moana says music and song writing has always been a part of her life. For a long time she would keep her songs locked away just like a diary, because they would be just for herself. When she was a teenager her piano teacher suggested to her dad that she should go to Berklee School of Music for college because he thought she would thrive in that setting.

“I did and he was right,” she says.

Growing up in the Caribbean, Moana was exposed to all sort of styles of music and she took a little bit of each with her. Such as co-writing, “I love how the sum is greater than the whole when working with other people, because we can enhance each others’ ideas to new levels,” she says.

Her fan base doesn’t really know what to expect from her, because they don’t know exactly what kind of crowd she is looking to attract. However, they are very supportive of her nonetheless. “When I had a crowd-funding campaign in 2013, I felt humbled by all the help I received from so many people!”

“Growing up in the Caribbean, I heard ALL sorts of different styles of music, and took a little bit of each with me. One of my favorite things is mixing genres. When I’m going through rough times, songs just pour out of me, and it’s always been easier for me to write sad songs.”

-Moana A. (3/14/2020)

I choose to not review Moana’s 2013 album called Dotted since it was entirely different beast compared to her latest releases, so I will disregard that album and allow other people to give their own opinion.

“Wild Card is about being confident and unpredictable, without needing to fit the mold,” Moana remarks about her first single release of 2020.  This song is so powerful and reflective of what she is as a musician. Moana, like previously mentioned, has released a lot of different songs… So she definitely is unpredictable. But the vocals in this song represent how confident she is in what she makes.

Moana’s version of Since U Been Gone continues her pursuit into a newer sound, a sound that she might just continue to produce consistently.

I really like these two productions, and I am very intrigued to hear where she goes from here. I want her to continue to put out music she feels confident and vulnerable in, but I also want her to push herself and her genres. I would love to see her explore sounds that are unlike any other. It would be nice to hear something different just like what she did with Kelly Clarkson’s song.

“I want to write orchestral pop with film composers; acoustic, stripped down song; rock songs, pop songs, Caribbean songs. All the songs! The one consistent thing will be that I will be releasing new stuff consistently from now on.”

-Moana A.

Now I want everyone to take that introduction sh*tting on happy songs, and just forget what I said. Cause guess who has never written a happy song… Moana… And guess who wants to produce a happy love song…

“I started writing words. Then a melody came. I was afraid to show him, but when I did we immediately came up with a guitar part that I LOVE, and it became something so beautiful that now I’m scared of even finishing, for fear of somehow not making it perfect. I feel like this will be a very important song and I want to give it the best I have. We’re recording it this month.”

That’s right… Moana is going to be recording a happy love song this month… Talk about unpredictable…

*insert GIF here*

So I guess she will producing a happy love song in the future, but she will be releasing a lot more than that. “I want to write orchestral pop with film composers; acoustic, stripped down song; rock songs, pop songs, Caribbean songs. All the songs!”

One thing is for sure though, she will be aiming to release a new track for each month… Doesn’t that sound familiar… *cough cough Only Sun‘s 2018 tracks cough cough*…

So with that said, everyone and myself should be looking forward to another track from Moana this month… Don’t be shocked if it’s a happy song…

I would like to thank Moana for her continued communication, I was really excited to review her because she seems like a very kind and passionate person about her music. You can listen to her music on Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music, and SoundCloud. You can follow her on her social medias; Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Also, feel free to join Moana’s mailing list! You can follow Unedited on Instagram (@unedited_music_blog) and Facebook (@uneditedmb). You can also listen to other songs that have been reviewed on Unedited through both Spotify playlists (This Is Unedited (newest playlist in celebration of our 3rd year!) and UMB’s Favorites). I hope everyone stays COVID-19 free and healthy, and I hope all college boys and girls enjoy their extended spring break!

Since U Been Gone by Moana A. (2020) ~ Photo taken by Ananda Dhar James

Overall: 5/5

Since U Been Gone: 5/5

Wild Card: 5/5

Top Song: Since U Been Gone (2020)

Damien Gibson (unedited) Music Review

Damien Gibson taken by rollovbaer

I was going to add a nice long quote, like I’ve been doing recently for past articles, but you know what… You can’t really philosophies a philosopher. And that’s how I view Damien, he’s wise beyond his years… And those kind of people you can’t really find wiser words than their own. So I will begin this article by saying something Damien would be surprised to hear… I was actually kind of hesitant to review his work. I was afraid that after 2 years of really exploring and taste testing soo many different genres of music, I would change so much as to dislike his kind of music. But I was pleasently surprised because I actually didn’t hate it. I loved and still love his unique videos (especially his new music video for 18 Pañatas) and his tracks that had a feel of Frenship, Drake, Blackbear, and such artists. All in all, I feel like if you enjoy R&B, hip hop, and electropop then you’d definitely enjoy his most recent album called Domenika.

Then, I was going to dive into Damien Gibson’s answers to my questions about his past… But I think he was high cause here are his answers…

John: are you high? Damien: Depends. John: Okay um so, What inspired you to start making music? Damien: Pass John: What influences your songs? Damien: Totally random stuff John: So, What is your fanbase like? Damien: I don’t know. if you mean demographically or numbers. I’ll just say my fan base is amazing and I love them very much.

I took on this blog because I’ve always had a big passion for music and invested a lot of time in my life to discovering new music. The blog was a thing I wanted to do to prove that a boy from a small town can make something bigger than themselves. But not all people are living to improve the person they were, and that’s okay. This is true for Damien. Sure the guy always wanted to make music for his career, but he isn’t doing it to prove a point. He’s doing it to prove that a dream can be fulfilled through a pure passion. And honestly, that’s really cool because that’s why music is music… Now back to his review…

“What makes (my music) different is there an overwhelming sense of impending doom. Like you can just tell my crazy side is about to pop out at any moment.”

-Damien Gibson (8/8/2018)

I find myself listening to Damien’s music on my own time and keep liking it more and more as I do. His favorite song he’s made he said is Media Mirror, however I can’t find that song so I’ll just have to take his word for it. For a very long time I tried to comprehend what it was about his music that I loved so much. I knew that I absolutely loved the alternative sound mixed with electronic and dark pop… But he said it best with the quote above that refers to the sense of “impending doom” in each song. It’s an infectious sound he’s got, and it’s hard not to like and/or appreciate it.

I don’t really have any. Just be an entertainer. Make music that feels good. That takes life to the next level I don’t know about five years but I know that I want to have 1,000 songs before I die so there’s that.

-Damien Gibson

I don’t actually know what is in the works at the moment for Damien, but that’s cause I haven’t talked to him for a while. As soon as he tells me something that he’s working on I’ll probably announce it on Facebook and/or Instagram. Either way as soon as I hear he released new music I will share it on social media.

I wanted to thank Damien Gibson for being very patient with me, it’s been about two years since the interview was done. This article has been a long time coming, and I guess you could say I was waiting for the right timing. Anyways you can follow Damien on Facebook and Instagram. You can listen his music on Soundcloud and Spotify, and watch his awesome music videos on YouTube. You can follow Unedited Music Blog on Facebook (@uneditedmb) and Instagram (@unedited_music_blog). You can listen to other songs that have been previously reviewed on Spotify. Have a fabulous week!!!!

Continue reading “Damien Gibson (unedited) Music Review”

Cafe Disko [unedited] Music Review

Cafe Disko
Photo posted on Instagram

“(The next generation) might rely heavily on electronics, tapes. I can kind of envision one person with a lot of machines, tapes and electronics set up singing or speaking and using machines.” This quote from the famous Jim Morrison, who’s quote found it’s way on a Skrillex 2011 track, can be directed towards any of today’s DJs, producers, and musicians that are categorized under any electronic genre. Cafe Disko is one of these artistic duos, and while there’s no doubt Paul and Patrick are talented and know what they’re doing… But I’m going to focus on their undeniably infectious vibe that they bring to every track… A vibe that even Jim would appreciate.

Paul and Patrick have always had a strong passion for music, and they said it was “only a matter of time before we started making it!” Cafe Disko pulls their inspirations from many different angles, such as the artists they work with and their fans who listen to mostly pop and hip hop music.

Up to right now, Cafe Disko has already opened for the likes of Matoma, Robert DeLong, and Autograf.

According to Bandsintown and Facebook

As I said in my introduction, I wanted to focus on Cafe Disko’s vibe because they’re undeniably talented. They’ve played and worked with equally as talented musicians, and continue to master their sound and improve with each release. But what I find fascinating about their music is how easily they work with hip hop, pop, and rock elements. For instance, just listen to their fantastic remix of Heart Shaped Box (originally by Nirvana). In this remix they took the familiar guitar riff and replaced it with a similar electronic version. Then they put an absolutely crazy drop that pleases the ears. In other songs they take rappers like Austin Filmore and Divmond and combine them with crazy drops and a popish beat. They have done a very good job with basically all their tracks, and I can’t wait to hear how they will continue to grow in the future. I also want them to collaborate with other type of hip hop and pop musicians, artists similar to Blackbear, Khalid, and such.

Confirmed: Chance the Rapper approves of Cafe Disko. If that isn’t a reason you should, then something is terribly wrong with you!

Proof: Instagram

As of right now, the guys are finishing up a few songs that they’re really excited about, two of them already came out and both were remixes of All These Pretty Girls (Milk N Cookies and Flynninho). They have confirmed with me that these two remixes are the only ones that they will be releasing, and the rest of the tracks will be their original songs… Those will come out in the next few months. Their past tracks have touched on “hip hop/pop/future bass” and they tell they like the sound they’re coming up with. “We are always looking for new ways to push our sound to the next level so we will continue to try new things and see where it takes us,” they tell me.

I would like to thank Cafe Disko for keeping in touch with me during this process, even though we lost touch for a months between 2018 and 2019. I was really really excited to get to this article, and I’m really excited to hear what other people think of this review. You can follow Cafe Disko on Facebook and Instagram. You can vibe with their music on Soundcloud and Spotify. You can follow Unedited Music Blog on Instagram (@unedited_music_blog) and Facebook (@uneditedmb). You can also listen to Unedited’s Spotify playlist of other musicians that have already been reviewed. Enjoy your day and I hope work goes swell for you next week!!

We Came to Dance (Ftr. Divmond)
by Cafe Disko

Overall: 4.7/5

Heart Shape Box: 5/5

Sleep In My Shirt: 4.9/5

All These Pretty Girls: 5/5

SOS: 5/5

Lindsay Loh (Uh Oh): 5/5

Santeria (ftr. Divmond): 5/5

Love Is War: 5/5

We Came to Dance: 5/5

So High: 4.5/5

Take Over Me: 5/5

Don’t Let Go: 5/5

Top Song: We Came to Dance (2018)

Continue reading “Cafe Disko [unedited] Music Review”

Cedric Brazle: South Florida’s King of R&B

Cedric Brazle is coming in hot to the South Florida music scene. Motivated by his ability to connect with others through music, Cedric is on the path to hit some of his greatest goals. He hopes to create a non-profit to reach young boys through the power of music. He wants to empower the youth and inspire others to breaking free of their limitations and lead successful lives.

Humble Beginnings

With a talent stemming from a family tree full of musicians, Cedric was destined to fall in love with music. He first flirted with music as a child when he took piano classes. The love grew as he joined a local choir. Today, the piano and vocal chords are still his instruments of choice, but he would love to learn how to play the guitar.

In addition to his musical grandfather and uncles, Cedric is continuously inspired by the support team he has created and the dreams he hopes to make a reality. He is hoping that his music will carry him around the world. Cedric intends for his music to serve as a vessel for other people, as he only sings about things that he feels are relatable.


The Inspiration Behind the Art

Some of Cedric’s favorite musicians are Michael Jackson, Sam Cook, Usher, Brandy and Chris Brown. He hopes to have the positive effect on others that these artists have had on him.

Two pieces of advice that Cedric has for anybody who hopes to be successful are “don’t let others put their fears on you” and “stay out of your head and keep pushing forward.” To him, a huge part of success is connecting with others.

With his glowing personality, heart of gold and undeniably beautiful voice, Cedric will surely go far. Keep an eye out for the big moves he will be making in his music career. You will not want to miss it.

Continue reading “Cedric Brazle: South Florida’s King of R&B”

Moodbay [unedited] Music Review

Moodbay 2

A vast amount of musicians I know have been mostly self-taught, and for Anna Stephens and Alfie Cattell that is no different. Producer Alfie Cattell taught himself how to play the piano at 14 from which point he was inspired to make his own compositions. Singer/songwriter Anna Stephens started writing music on her own when she moved to Paris in 2014 and then made melodies on her mom´s piano in England. In my opinion, this is what makes musicians so special and a definite example of how talented they can be. 

Moodbay are made up vocalist/songwriter Anna Stephens and producer Alfie Cattell and are based in England. Alfie tells me his inspirations are his two brothers (who are both guitarists and songwriters), The Beatles, and Radiohead. The band seems to be influenced heavily by what Anna is inspired by, but for now they are looking up to musicians such as David Bowie and Chvrches. ¨Sometimes Anna will come up with a melody in the shower and run down to the studio in a towel before Alfie starts to put a groove to it. Other times, Alfie will come up with a song idea at about 5am whilst Anna is sleeping (we’ve got opposite body clocks). Anna will add vocal melodies to the song the following day. Other times we’ll write together, influenced by something we’ve heard or talked about recently,¨ said the band.

¨We have some enthusiastic supporters and we want to keep them interested. We’re also looking to grow a bit of a following at home in the North East, with the live side of things.¨

Anna Stephens (Vocalist for Moodbay) [8/10/2019]

¨Alone is about a man Alfie saw when he was driving, and was walking towards traffic in the middle of the motorway at 3am. He had his hood up and you could just make out his mouth. This led to me and Alfie talking about what his story could be,¨ Anna says. It is amazing what you can make a song out of, in this case it is just a hooded man walking down the street. The imaginations that Anna and Alfie have are remarkable and another piece of what makes them so talented. Listen Up is no different, it´s minimalistic and sharp. There’s not a lot I can criticize the band, however I want to encourage them to use their imaginations and continue staying true to their sound and eclectic music.

¨We like all genres and we aren’t worried about whether the music conforms to a trend, so our music as a whole can’t be placed easily in any one genre. That doesn’t mean to say we are anti trends or anti anything.. We just try to make good songs and we use all the experience and tools we’ve learnt over the years to do our stuff.¨


The band tells me that ¨the future isn’t certain but we know we still want it to be electronic, with human emotion.¨ They do hope to continue making music that keep getting better, and ¨as long as we can afford Polski bread and tea we’ll be laughing¨. After the release of Alone on August 16th, they are coming out with a debut album which will be released towards the end of the year with a love/hate theme to it.

I would like to thank Anna, Alfie, and everyone else for being so patient for this review. It wasn´t burn out because I love writing, and it wasn´t boredness because I literally get 6 to 10 review requests from bands ranging in so many genres every week. I guess it was the feeling of not being heard, but after so much support and encouragement I see now that people do read my articles and that’s all I ever wanted. Anna and Alfie are truly good people with an amazing talent and if you would like to follow them then you can find them on Facebook and Instagram, and listen to their music on Spotify. To see future posts and updates for Moodbay and all other musicians then please feel free to like/follow Unedited on Facebook and Instagram. Have a wonderful rest of your weekend!

Untitled image
Listen Up (Dark House Radio Edit) by Moodbay (2019)

Overall: 4.8/5

Alone: 4.9/5

Listen Up (Remixes): 4.6/5

Listen Up: 4.8/5

Top Song: Alone (2019)