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Steve Ison
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Steve Ison

12/24/2012 2:34:11 PM ---- Updated 12/24/2012 2:42:45 PM

IAC GEMS #10 Lullaby For The Broken Hearted by THE DEPENDENTS
Lullaby For The Broken Hearted by New York band The Dependents is a fabulous soulful pop gem..Instantly engaging, intuitive and timeless in the way so many beautiful 60s tracks were..As a song this could easily've been a top 10 hit in 1966 - which for me - is one of the best compliments i can give..

Its so cool to discover a young band with so much natural class and obvious love for the transcendent magic n power of the pop song..They make it all sound so easy and effortless -as the best bands do..Its like they're carrying the flame forward for the spirit in the music or something..Yeh,they've gotta lotta soul....

It was a toss-up for me between this song and the equally excellent 'I Can't Go With You' from their page..

This is fabulous tho..A beautiful ballad with a wonderful evocative,memorable chorus - and a melody that feels so life-affirming n joyful whilst simultaneously breaking your heart..An excellent professional tasty band performance and a wonderful vocalist who's voice has a lilt that reminds me alot of gorgeous 60s soul-pop chanteusse PP Arnold..

Great music

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12/26/2012 11:13:22 AM

Very spirited vocals. Awesome dynamics as the song ebbs and flows with the hardness of a strong vocalist and the vulnerability of a edged down verse or two. This is instantly a fun song to listen to and the vocalist makes it all believable.

However, there are a few things missing that I would have loved to hear. First off, there is no real bridge for the song. It gave me the impression that the band only knows how to play 4 chords. They play them well though (even when the dynamics shift down) and I got the feeling that they were purposely holding themselves back. Which brings me to the second thing I felt was missing. A really good guitar solo would have broken the 4 chord monotony. Quite often it is not what you do but how you do it that counts. Having a solo would have given the mental perception that something new has happened within the song. As a product of the 60's, I love to hear groups who bring in the new with a dose of the old. If this song would have had a good bridge and a solid solo, I would be totally in love with them. But the overly simplistic in and out changes with shifting dynamics left me kind of wanting something more from them. Something that would make me say wow!

Now, I must say that I have noticed how popular this group is here at IAC. But I never took the time to listen to any of their music due my dislike of the obvious biased hierarchy that tend to ignore other genres such as R&B, Hip-Hop, Reggae and well, I have said this all before. So most folks know that I am very disappointed with the fact that other genres get very little respect or spotlight here. If I was strictly a R&B artist I would have given up on this place a long time ago. Sometimes you just need to go where you are appreciated and maybe even "wanted"? But because I do more than just the typical "Black" genres, I find solace in the fact that a few of my songs have made some headway here. The fact remains that other deserving artists similar to me have or will never see the light of day here at IAC. Genre diversity is not one of IAC's strengths.

But thanks so much for pointing out this group and this song. It was very eye opening as I thought they were just another pop group blowing in the IAC wind of bias and genre preference. But it turns out that they actually have tremendous talent and deserve to be perched on or near the top of the IAC Pop/Rock food chain. Excellent vocalist! Excellent pick!

Much Respect,

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Voodoohead Productions

12/26/2012 11:48:10 AM

Greetings Stoneman, and some fine points and as usual well presented critique of the Dependents music, Glad Steve brought to light this talented group of teens from New York state, who are indeed popular here at iacmusic. and have got some radio play as well on a few stations in their locale and in other areas.

They are a young group who have been doing cover songs and playing together for some time and ramping up their performance abilities, they have quite a following and get booked for parties and special events, more recently , last year they started writing their own music and have been recording a few of their originals.

Getting your chops down
the best way to learn how to write good music, is have good listening skills and learn to play covers. not everybody does this, but it helps one develop a few areas of expertise. getting familiar with your instrument, experimenting and learning how to craft your sound and music as a group is a challenge, they are getting there, sure the songs might be simple, definitely there could be more polished guitar parts, but this all comes with time. the freshness and newness of youth and discovery is what it is all about. that is the beauty of most anything as a young person, and in music and art it is discovering sounds shapes and imagery of music and lyrics, drawing from your personal experiences,I think it is a process and as they grow in maturity as individuals, so they will grow as a group and in their songwriting abilities, and hone their skill set as to offer up tasty morsels of guitar piano leads and such so all in all, for me , i dig their vibe and am honored to be helping them out and offering what advice i can, privately


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12/26/2012 12:03:42 PM

Bryon, there is no doubt that they are in very good hands. Looking forward to hearing more from this talented group. Thanks for the background info about them. Puts everything in perspective for sure.


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Voodoohead Productions

12/26/2012 5:35:19 PM ---- Updated 12/26/2012 5:36:45 PM

it is a learning experience and open mind and accepting constructive criticism important, that is why it is always good to let others listen to your works prior to getting them mastered and prepped for release to radio and not get so caught up in them and even fall in love with your own songs. I mean. you do it, but dont think one cant do better each time,. although it depends on the listener, that is why one does the art for, I hope, to share, but not to be overly infatuated with your songs ,once done, move on, keep writing and creating. each one will strike others in different ways since it is always in the eyes of the beholder, listener.

I have been in studios and recording situations where some artists way over produce a song, and it actually loses its luster and spontaneity..if you get what I am saying

again it is a process, and depends on the frame of mind the creator is in, so many influences and variables

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Steve Ison

12/27/2012 4:38:33 AM ---- Updated 12/27/2012 4:49:16 AM

Stoneman...Thanx for such a detailed and insightful review ! Listening again,i understand what you're saying about the '4 chord cycle'- and usually for me -being such a stickler for spotting songwriting weaknesses/ cool chord changes etc i'd've been cheesed off with that..

Here tho i hadn't even noticed to tell you the truth..The vocal line is so natural,soulful, and expressive - it compensates for the lack of chordal diversity imo..
Some of the note choices -especially in the chorus -are strange (in a really cool way) and -most importantly- its actually got a beautifully expressive melody I WANT SWIMMING ROUND MY HEAD...Its transcendent and uplifting

I can understand your pain about the lack of promotion n interest for reggae,rap,RnB here at IAC..Being honest,i'm not exactly helping the situation 'cos they're not genres i really focus on or promote..Usually for exactly the reason you pointed out.Viz a lack of songwriting interest......The same simple chord progression often simply looped on computer without a magical,interesting vocal line to compensate..Often tho its because (like with very heavy rock ) its the 'sound' i don't like..Alot of modern RnB,rap etc has the drums n bass annoyingly high (for me) in the mix and the whole tracks often compressed and boosted so high in volume it drowns out anything else i might put on a playlist......

I love so much music of black origin...70s soul,60s/70s reggae and (particularly) Tamla Motown and 60s soul is probably my favourite music EVER....
It was all very strongly 'song-led' tho with brilliant writers like Holland/Dozier/Holland, Stevie Wonder,Jimmy Cliff,Bob Marley,Ashford/Simpson,Gamble and Huff etc making evocative magical music performed by fantastic organic players n beautiful singers too..
The songs were just more magical it seems - with a natural transcendence which people seemed to want then (and i still do )
Nowadays most of what i hear in those genres (and others to be truthful ) is so materialistic,predictable and totally lacking in any transcendence..I need music with more than a purely sexual,world-bound vibe to turn me on lol - but if i find them (like with the above very 'soul' influenced track) i'll worship them..

Bryon..Woh thats so cool you're actually working and helping promote this band !
Teenagers man...Very young ... They've got a stack of talent f'sure..
I agree learning covers is a very good way for bands to develop songwriting/playing skills..
The skilful people (hopefully) develop an ability to be able to see past the production window-dressing and be able to hear the core -song beneath - and what qualities make certain songs strong,magical and beautiful - and others weak n mediocre....

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Chandra Moon

12/27/2012 7:42:01 AM

Oh yes oh yes - I added this song in January to Over The Moon the moment I heard the track. One of my all time favourites. Gritty, passionate, rappy without being monotonous - brave lyrics and simply brilliant. This one will stay on my playlist. In fact I've added their other track as well, Mystery in November which is also a great number from this wonderful young band.

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Voodoohead Productions

12/27/2012 8:24:37 AM ---- Updated 12/27/2012 8:29:19 AM

Hello Steve

say, I am offering minimal promotion to radio and those who are interested when I can, not full time of course as I have other artists to work with, although have I offered suggestions and ideas as well as reviewing their tunes on occasion and in fact did up a listen way back on mystery probably in the summer or earlier when I got the track to check out from them to get my opinion, I said it could use a bit more work

they redid it and worked a better and newer arrangement. the thing that really stands out there is the freshness and cohesive quality of their works. and the main vocalist has a hell of a voice. stellar ,very gifted and in fact they are getting better as a unit.

so, not really their promoter for the band, but offer some time when they get new songs out, just more a mentor at times when I can anyways, good stuff all round

you can check out my testimonial page of a number I have done over the years here ,
voodoohead productions artists
and these are a few of who I have been hired to pitch music to radio. like I said ,it is an Ocean out there, a veritable challenge because there are so many songs artists and actually fewer independent stations left as the conglomerates and large corporations cannibalize the little guys, did you know that even in the US a number of well established college stations quite a few are being bought up by the big companies down there. its a shame and will change the landscape for emerging artists , in the old days, and not that long ago, one would break tunes to college first get on the charts and labels would watch what would go on there and check out the new bands and sounds, now that is disappearing, totally unfortunate

the independent radio dj, the remaining stations and those college opportunities are still out there for the taking, but now seems to be the last place to conquer and getting gobbled up by those competing for the ears of the listening public, and in fact terrestrial radio as we know it, probably will be a thing of the past, and is quickly dissipating and and going the way of the dodo bird as internet, cable and otehr means of listening to music is the way and wave of the future. so, in a way, iacmusic could benefit. but there are so many competitors who just have deep pockets ,its a challenge, it seems the whole industry is lost in some wilderness

but, the strong will survive and on we go.

dont know if that makes any sense

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