Critique: Sunroof’s ‘Stargazing’

Sunroof (@SunroofMusic) is the moniker of 20 year-old solo artist Jeff Simpson. The Bozeman, Montana resident receives high marks for his first ever LP Stargazing. Given the top-notch quality of the record from beginning to end, it is clear as crystal Simpson put his heart and soul into making this album. In fact, he wrote each song and handled the production, mixing, and mastering of Stargazing himself. Note to note, the album sounds like it was done by one of the greats like Trevor Horn, Glen Ballard, or Tom Lord-Alge.

‘Time Travel’ is a great opener that is reminiscent of Erasure’s brilliant sounds. Although it has that 1980s vibe about it, it sounds fresh and demonstrates an Owl City influence. The title track is a hybrid of The Postal Service meets Thirty Seconds To Mars.  Three tracks are ready to rule radio and with proper label support, they would be surefire hits. ‘Etherea’ that makes you wonder what if Ben Gibbard and Ellie Goulding teamed up. It is that much of a ingenious tune.  ‘Brave’, which features SayWeCanFly, has a video made for it and here’s hoping good press leads to it going viral. Lastly, ‘You and I’ is very marketable and this is where Sunroof comes off as a crossover star. This tune could attract listeners at Alternative, Hot AC, and Top 40 radio stations. Electronic-influenced artists Phantogram and Broods are enjoying success, so it is the right time for Sunroof to get himself out there and get a piece of the pie.

For a limited time, Stargazing has been made available to download for no cost at Sunroof’s Noise Trade page. Simpson has carved himself out a great first full-length effort that has multiple tracks that could be licensed to soundtracks, commercials, and sports montages. All the tunes are worth of a listen and with the right marketing, the album should generate a buzz for Sunroof for years to come.  This should be a huge year moving forward for him.  Not bad for a limited budget DIY record from a 20 year-old solo act from Montana.

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Artist on the Rise: Sunroof

Sunroof (@SunroofMusic) is an American musician who is self-described as playing electro-acoustic pop-rock. Montana resident Jeff Simpson started the dream in 2012 playing live shows within that year. Fast forward to 2013 and Sunroof made tracks available for sale at iTunes and other online retailers. Given the quality of what he has released so far, it is crystal clear this artist is on his way to having a very successful career.

“Brave”, the song featured in this video, is not a cover of the Sara Bareilles hit, but a track with Sunroof’s own unique acoustic poppy spin. It is a track that with label support, would have a chance to crack the Adult Top 40 and Hot AC charts. On his official Facebook, page he lists Ed Sheeran, Secondhand Serenade, and Owl City as influences. The Owl City-esque single “The Treehouse” is an inspiring, uplifting song for the upcoming season that the entire family can enjoy. “Atlantic Dreams” has legs as a dance club smash and mainstream pop hit with an Ellie Goulding vibe attached to it.

Although Sunroof’s 2014 touring plans have not been revealed as of yet, but he has the look, the sound, and the drive to be a success this year. He may be without a record deal now, but if the right people get an earshot of what he has offered thus far, it will not be too long before Sunroof has inked a contract. Remember the name and remember the tunes as there is a feeling Sunroof will make an impact in the music scene for years to come.

The British Invasion Continues in the Form of Woman’s Hour

Londoners Woman’s Hour (@womanshourband) is a quartet in their third year of existence looking to make an impact in 2014. The foursome of singer Fiona Jane, guitarist brother William, Nick on bass, and keyboardist Josh have busted their bums to present a unique brand of music. The band is wasting no time attempting to expand its brand as they are in the midst of an international tour that is surely going to increase their profile.

Track “To The End” is a beautiful piece of work that combines Fiona Jane’s sweet vocals with an electronic backdrop. It is some of the songs that can make up the soundtrack of anyone’s life. A YouTube user described the tune as, “A song like when you dive into the water and forget everything around you.” Another single, “Our Love Has No Rhythm” is an intimate tale of awkward desire, but its presentation is a motivation to express desire. The song featured in the above video has the most YouTube views of them all, however, once the full-length is released watch out for Woman’s Hour to make some noise on the Adult Rock and Hot AC charts.

Woman’s Hour is looking to make noise on the independent scene sooner versus later with their world tour. Besides shows in their native England, the group has played Paris and will hold gigs in New York, Los Angeles, as well as the famous SXSW event in Austin, Texas. Based on what the band has provided thus far, 2014 looks to be a breakout year for these four Brits.