You’re probably familiar with all the work that Bongo Boy Records does for indie artists worldwide. But one of their crowning achievements each year is releasing their next edition of the For Your Consideration album. This massive compilation features artists that were accepted by the Recording Academy on their first voting ballot for consideration for a Grammy Nomination. This is an exciting time for the included artists, and also gives us a look into the artists that work with Bongo Boy Records that stand out among the rest. This year’s special 2 disc edition, titled The 64th FYC Album, is an exemplary showing of indie talent and musicianship across a wide range of genres.
Opening the album we find the gritty hard-rock number Caught Up in the Moment by Fiction Syxx. There’s a clear note of ’80s anthem rock in the blend of driving guitars and soaring vocals, high in energy and full of technical musicianship. This is followed by Pills & Chardonnay by E.G. Holmes, featuring David Vanden Enden. Moving us sharply in the other direction, this is a mournful, string-focused piece, with rich, classical vocals and a mournful, poetic flair.
ORION by Michel Huygen & Sean Ali Stone (featuring Jimmy Demers) follows with a similar energy level, but with a more pop-influenced melody and vocal line. The synth arrangement is ethereal and light, the percussion almost nonexistent for much of the track, allowing the stunning vocals to shine as it crescendos to a breathtaking peak of intensity. Abijah brings a light, traditional folk sound to the album with Global Wilderness, with a relaxed energy and light, intricate guitar riffs and a choir of backing vocals under the main melody. We find the rough and bluesy Don’t Call Her Mama by Doug Byrkit further down on Disc 1. The upbeat classic rock foundation of this track is extremely well-executed, a perfect blend of nostalgia and energy.
We’re thrilled to find Junior Burke’s Coming Home From Shiloh included on this compilation – it still stands as our favorite track he’s released to date, and his extraordinary storytelling and songwriting skills make this a standout piece on every album it’s been released on, this one included.
We also love Ballade No.3 In A-Flat Major by Bruce Leto, Jr. for his clear high-level handle on classical composition and piano performance, as well as the modern country twang on I’m Not Superman from the ever-impressive songwriter Clark Ford.
Moving onto the second disc we find the hypnotic and textured track Sweet Comfort by Windwalker. The track draws on themes of spiritualism, conveying a powerful message with traditional instrumentation and compelling vocals. Faith-based artist Brian Cooney follows with his track Nothing Greater, one of our favorites of his. The sincere vocals and skilled piano playing still succeed at creating an immersive, uplifting sound.
The work of Karen Salicath Jamali on Angel Blue is, fittingly, angelic. Her piano performance is a stunning blend of intense melancholy and longing, holding listeners’ attention all the way through with impressively simple production. But we quickly switch back to a more modern sound with Lomcore‘s Don’t You Think. Drawing on identifiable pop-punk elements, this track showcases the softer, more vulnerable side of the genre. We also find the summery, sweet sound of Studeo with their track Secret Hideaway. Previously featured on Volume XX from Bongo Boy Records, this track is still bringing a delightful mix of warm, sunny tones and strong vocals to this project.
A standout on Disc 2 is no doubt the track by Sheba the Mississippi Queen. Her soulful, bluesy tones are immediately recognizable, and Keeping What I Got has the perfect mix of vintage elements combined with Sheba’s soulful inflection that makes this track a true highlight of this collection.
We also love Sirona by Grayhawk for its cinematic and emotive orchestral production, as well as the classic soul feel that Gar Francis brings to this compilation with Take Away The Rain.
It’s always our distinct pleasure to listen to the work of Bongo Boy Records‘ artists, but on The 64th FYC Album we’re truly treated to the best of the best in the up-and-coming indie world. From rock to pop, from classical to country, the amount of effort and keen listening that has gone into Bongo Boy Records’ work in compiling this collection of music is crystal clear. Any one of these artists is worthy of the recognition they’ve received this far, and any more accolades they might receive on the road to success that is clearly in the future.
BELOW: Listen to the 64th FYC Album and connect with their website and social media platforms. Please support Bongo Boy Records by visiting them online, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing their music, or attending a live show! And, as always, thank you for supporting real music!