- Cyndi Cresswell Cook
Cyndi started out as a comedienne and was considered one of the top five joke writers in Boston. Some of her jokes have been publlished in the Judy Brown series, She’s So Funny and Mom, this jokes for you. Soon, though, feeling the need to be even more expressive, she put her energy towards writing songs. Her first song was Chance of Rain and was soon followed by others. Her songs are in a variety of genres: jazz, alternate rock, 50’s rock, pop, country, and other genres that are uniquely her own. Her song, Zombie Wonderland, was picked up by Alan Cross for his 2015 Christmas addition of his popular syndicated radio show, The Ongoing History of New Music ( episode 739). She has been on his web-site three times so far with her songs: Meds, Zombie Wonderland, and Pre Op Mama in Striped Pajamas. Her album, Cloud, was also reviewed on the blog, Miss Dorothy's and her video, Pre Op Mama has appeared on Gender Society and their magazine, Frock. She was recently a finalist on the American Songwriters Awards and her music video, Cloud, has been picked up by Gravity One.
- Hanover Mass
Sweet opening moment. Love the noise and the punk-ish feel to the opening. Definite rock core but seems to move in some strange directions. I kind of lost the plot by the halfway point. Feels a bit like trying too hard to be weird and different while mixing in several different elements that didn't feel quite right. I like this but it feels like it's trying too hard to be something you are not. The organ solo seemed so at odds with the rest of the song. Just didn't quite click for me. I could hear the lyrics better the second time through but still wasn't easy to to catch the words. Definitely a like not love for me.
Straight-ahead midtempo rocker. Nice. Why do I think that you could peddle this to a country songwriter who could turn this into a hit for the pickup-with-a-gunrack crowd? I'm not being flippant; it could be arranged in such a way that it would work. Now that I'm thinking about, have you ever thought about trying to work as a pure songwriter once in a while? It would be another way to get your stuff out there. Just a thought...
Nice Pink Floyd-ish guitar open! Took me a minute with the vocal. Felt like a clash with the music at first but got over it. The music is just a bit overpowering on the vocal. I have little clue what she is singing about. Really need to hear and FEEL the voice. I would love this if the vocal came on in the last power section with a wailing cry to the universe. The music is really good but needs a slight dial back. It's kind of a hard rocking blues song with a light blues vocal that isn't keeping up. Definite potential here.
Wow. Not your usual sort of material, is it? (My deepest sympathies about your mom. I hate this time of life when we start losing people.) I understand the catharsis this song provided, but when it comes to the rest of your material, it's a sharp counterpoint. To avoid confusing people with your image and attitude, you may want to keep this separate. For example as a B-side or bonus track.
Rough, raw and dirty guitars meets sultry vocals, perfect small club / pub performance which we all like deep down. That sound that is slightly too loud for the size of the venue! Those keys in the bridge are a cool addition as well didn't see that coming. With tracks like this, the lead singer really has to be up front with the crowd and teasing them and thats what i envisage when i hear this track, its a good head nodder which belongs on the stage but not refined enough for mainstream radio, and to be fair indie rock music only stays indie when its played live and word of mouth gets it around. Good live track and happy to share, thanks again for thinking of us! C
This songs starts of with a great hook and vibe to bring the listener in, that intro/first verse really caught my attention. This one give me a super Joan Jett feels with some 50's vibes, that could definitely be helpful in TV/Film given the right project and timing. Maybe looking into some publishers would be a good start for career building!
Love the opening clang. Fuzzy guitar is really good and not overdone. Voice is reminiscent of a 60's/70's sound and I like the way it hovers over the music. May sound strange but I get an Iggy Pop feel from much of this. Not sure how feel about the organ bit. It's a bit overdone and not sure if it should stay. Feels a bit out of place. Nice wind up to the song. I wonder if you cut the music completely for the final vocal piece if that would add something. Not sure. Might be worth a try. Really enjoyed this. Can't say if it will take the world by storm but certainly a highly enjoyable tune!
I really like this one! Love the hook and the attitude and the organ (even though it might be mixed a little high--although that might just be the stereo setup in my office.) Very Courtney Barnett (and thanks a compliment.) Speaking of whom, what's she doing to get the attention she's enjoying? It might be worth studying her career trajectory.
This is fun--way better than the last song you sent. Timely, too. I'm convinced at what you can do, the quality of your songwriting and your sense of humour. The big question is how to get your stuff to a wider audience. What are your promotion and marketing plans? I can it a push through my channels, but I'm a small fish. I'd love to see you succeed. Where do you go from here? Lemme know, okay?
Love the song as I said! The video is cute - great de online stuff but it doesn't feel as virally sticky as it could be. A good reference would be anything by Third Man Records (as I think I mentioned before) I love the song and would have loved to see a stronger video.
Great opening. Vocals are completely washed out by the music. Like the jazzy feel a minute in. Not sure if this is just trying make the band as strong as the singer but the effect is simply killing the vocal at times. I like the concept of the song. The humour of the title is being devastated by the fact that I cannot hear the lyrics throughout huge chunks of the song. I generally like the track but the music needs to be dialed back much more or the vocal brought forward.
I felt the vocals were lost in the mix somewhat. Also, I'm not sure if it was because of the mix placement or not, but they sounded a touch off-key and jarred with the instrumentation rather than work as a single unit. The composition and musicianship is great.
I think your song titles/material is always clever and has a good sense of humor. They are like little music cues for a sketch comedy show or something. Creativity is great, delivery is always a little rough (performance, production). I still don't know what to do with them exactly. If you can meet the right people you probably should be writing for a tv show or jingles etc.
Sorry for taking so long to reply, but I'm travelling on business in Asia. Tiny bit of Amercana/country twang this time, huh? Or is that more of a nod to classic rock?Nice video production, too. And okay, I'll bite: where is this intersection? In Hanover? Again, the songs are there. Where are things at in terms of gigs, promotion, tours and marketing? Besides me, are your songs getting in front of anyone else? I'm going to send this to my friend at eOne. Let's see what he says. Meanwhile, keep the faith!
Your music clips are always fun to watch. This one brings back some vibes from the Eighties and it's definitely entertaining. Like I said last time, your sound is not exactly my cup of tea, but I respect when artists stay true to the essence of their music offering and persevere in doing it with genuine passion. I would have worked a bit more on the chorus, maybe another take of vocals would have given to the song a different nuance. Thanks for the submission, I'm sharing this on Twitter. All the best.
Hi, thanks very much for sharing with us. I always look forward to your videos, they're always a bit random! The guitars remind me of Don Henley Boys of Summer a bit. I think you've crafted a nice little niche for yourself. You're just totally doing your thang. It's personally not something I would really listen to but I can appreciate an artist staying true to themselves and lord knows we need some more humour in our lives. Maybe a web series would be a good avenue for you to explore then you can marry the music and humour. I think just as a musical artist it might be harder for you to be taken seriously. So I would def consider that. Thanks again for sharing with us. K x
Holy crap punk opening!! Love it! I get the simplicity but a few things bother me a bit. The dirty, noisy opening was exactly what I wanted but it got cleaner and more repetitive after that. Not so sure that works. And there a strange addition of sound just after the 90 second mark that felt out of place to me. I think it was guitar of some sort but could have been some odd keyboard sound. Not sure. I love punk music and it is hard to hit all the notes to connect with the audience completely. I like this but it could use some work. Keep it dirty and keep making it messy across the piece. My two cents anyway.
Fun! How have things been working for you? Have you had any success getting placement or getting gigs? I do appreciate you keeping me up to date on what's happening. Let me forward this to a couple of people.
good song. fairly catchy. Good performance. Ok production. The melody and vocal keep the track from being too generic but the vocal performance is slightly lacking in conviction. Commercially this sound is hard to crack in to mainstream because of the "retro" rock n roll sound. if you havent already, seek out fans of Shannon and The Clams and Hunx and His Punx because that's the strongest current commercial market for this sound and the fanbase is very LGBT positive. for placement in to film/television, because the subject matter is specific it has a smaller window of opportunity...currently. LGBT ( specifically transsexual) programming is still new in mainstream media (more money available) so focus on that programming for pitching and placement potential.
Cyndi, please submit your lyrics here. I'd like to see a video of this amazing song because since its starting drum and voice part part with the following boosted guitar, it evokes something funny and makes me shout: I thought when you'll play this song during a concert with a captivating "clap clap" moment. I noticed some similarities with a sixties voice style to sing a brilliant song like this even though you can hear a strong influence of eighties post-punk and better of first nineties alternative rock music, in primis by the first albums of Courtney Love's Hole. If I'd analyze the whole song structure, I found all the parts in a perfect balance between them: starting verse is very powerful and it almost compels you to follow the music because shortly something awesome will happen. I love the intermediate part with the drum solo, guitar riff and solo voice bringing the listener to the funny strong refrain. I strongly see your song promotion in college radios and advertisement of young clothing brands.
Let's be honest, (sadly) tracks like this are not going to be troubling the top 40.. but clearly that wasn't the intention and thats all good. The lyrics themselves are kind of quirky but also betray a real sense of wit that is refreshing. the chorus in particular is fun and upbeat and most importantly very singable. This is a little rough around the edges but this is likely an intentional choice and serves the track well and the underlying pop arrangements are not betrayed as a result If i had to make a slight complaint I might suggest that the song needs a little more oomph at the mastering phase to really bring out all the varied tracks. Also, a friendly suggestion would be to include biographical information and relevant links in your description area as, ultimately, you only get one chance to impress whoever checks this page. P.s. bonus points for the handclaps.
Apologies for the delayed review! That is a wonderful intro you have to the song. Really love the voice as well. I am a big fan of dark and this has that edge to it in spades without being too much. The organ really adds to the overall effect. One issue. I could not really tell what the song was about because the vocal is too far back. I don't mind missing bits but I found the storyline lost to the music. I'd bring that forward a bit. Definitely a style I like a lot. Will that appeal to the masses? Likely not. But it's gritty and honest and worthy of sharing, no question.
"Slithers" is a good description. I don't think there's any question that you've got the goods. The question now is how are you going to get more people to know about what you do? My suggestions about a radio plugger stand. Maybe time for a publicist?
love the cheese! fun, funny, good song and structure. i hear a little punk rock attitude coming in around the edges. nice! the main selling point of this song (at least for film and tv placement) are the lyrics. some are clean and clear but some lines are difficult to understand. keep that in mind for future recordings. if a production is looking for something about the placebo effect they are going to want that line really clear and easy to understand. marketing help: i would look up any blogs, writers, books, speakers, etc. who have anything to do with the placebo effect and just make them aware of the song. if they post it, embed it, etc. you have a built in audience! good job! good luck! rock on!
Genuine blues/rock.. I pay my respects to that. It's not really material for my blog, which is more pop/electro oriented, but I think you can easily find other blogs and a lot of radio stations interested in giving a spin to your music. I'll share the song through our Twitter account. Thanks for the submission and sorry for the late feedback.. I've been very very busy lately. Thanks for understanding.
Fun green screen effect at the beginning and solid music (as always). I wonder if there's a way you surf the same wave that Courtney Barnett is enjoying right now? Are you using a radio plugger yet? There's no reason that your stuff shouldn't find a home on speciality shows and with friendly bloggers. And do you have dedicated YouTube channel? I quick (and I mean quick) search couldn't locate one. If you don't, that should be a big priority. Keep me posted on everything. By the way, I used "Zombie Wonderland" on my annual Christmas show that's syndicated across Canada.
This was an interesting song, I'm not usually into country music, but a few has grown on me. This could be one of the few. The video itself was pretty entertaining as well. Thanks for giving me the chance to listen and review this song.
Definitely a fan. "Zombie Wonderland" has made my the list for my annual syndicated Christmas episode of "The Ongoing History of New Music." I like the Courtney Love-ish phrasing at the end of couplets. It works for me. You are working with radio pluggers, right? If you find the right now, you should be able to make some inroads. And what about NPR? This is just the kind of stuff they seem to like.
Definitely the right time for holiday music. Love that it's dark as hell too :) It gets to the point super fast, which is great. I also like that you chose a popular subject to write about, easy to relate to, easy to groove to, easy to go along with, etc. All in all, this is a fun song that knows exactly what it is and has a damn sharp sense of humor about itself. If I had to guess, I'd say your a fun hang as well. Definitely hit me up if you're ever in the LA area - I'm easy enough to find :)
It's pretty good. I'm not a fan of zombies and the combination with Christmas was intriguing. Very different and unique. In a way a really great start. This might be the last time I'll watch this video though. But in all I liked it.
This would have been perfect for a party during Halloween, if only I'd had it in time. I like the kitschy way in which the video stands, If I may, I would have made the zombies dancing earlier.. it would have helped to involve more the viewers. I'll tweet the video anyway. Good luck for your future and thanks for the submission.
More alt rock kitschy fun! Don't know if I'll be doing an alternative holiday music show this year, but if I do, I'll include this, so please send high quality mp3 to me at email@example.com. Vocals on the mark until about the two minute mark when (in my ear) they get a bit pitchy. At same time would love to hear the vocals a bit more upfront in the mix -- you got it, flaunt it! Thanks for this submission!
Hi thanks very much for sharing with us. I think we may have reviewed one of your tracks before? So today is Halloween and i'm reviewing a track about zombies! I think when you write a track about Halloween or Xmas it kind of gets stuck in that one little time zone. Which is great if it becomes a Xmas number 1 then it will be played forever and you will probably never have to work again, which is nice! Or it kinda just passes by and then never really gets played again cos it's not really relevant when the sun is shining and you're feeling happy on a beach etc. You can tell you used to be a comedienne cos all of your tracks have that comedic vibe to them, which might mean some people might not take you seriously. The track itself is OK, sounds a bit like a Blondie track at times (I like the chorus) but for me personally it's not something I would really listen to. The video is quite good, I think though you could have had a lot more fun with it though. The zombies just kind of stand there swaying then they start to dance at the end, which is OK. But if you are gonna have zombies in your video you can go all out. Have them chasing you, maybe they could have ate Santa or something. Go wild with those zombies! Maybe some zombies could have made out or something, I dunno. If you're gonna be a comedy kind of music star. Go all out with it. Embrace it. Make that your genre. At the minute you are kind of not quite rock but not quite comedy either. And the comedy dilutes the rock. So people won't take you seriously. Or if you are gonna do the comedy then go all out and then people will just love it for what it is. If that makes sense? Anyways thanks very much for sharing with us! Happy Halloween! (perfect song for tonight!) Kx
hey cyndi~ i love the campy, bright colors and retro feel of the video. solid song structure. good performance. great vocals. this is a fun rocker that shines with indie spirit. suggestions for the next video: get an amazing dancer in there for a scene or two. how about an album of zombie themed holiday songs-- easter, 4th of july, etc. you've got a cool song with a great hook. nice work! obviously you'll want to push this as hard as you can between now and xmas. hook fans with some kind of physical sale-- zombie candy canes? something like that. good luck! ~jeff
Back in grade 3, I was forced to sing a duet of "Winter Wonderland" with a girl named Susan for a Christmas pageant. The whole experience traumatized me to the point where I refuse to sing a note today, even in private. Now that you know by backstory, you can understand why I enjoy anything that even remotely destroys that hated song. On top of that, I collect unusual rock-based Christmas songs. This one will get an immediate post (I have to capitalize on Halloween) and I will be featuring it in my annual alt-rock radio show which is syndicated across Canada and into the US. If you can, please send me an MP3 to firstname.lastname@example.org. I need this song.
Style is so distinctive, campy, kitschy and fun. Just want to say again, keep putting it out there and making it better, actively work on it, especially your vocals. The more right on they are, the more chance I think you have of getting respect, attention and recognition for your music and your style. It is so unique and will draw the Rocky Horror Picture Show type of crowd especially. Thanks for your submission! I will get in touch regarding promotion as noted in previous submission.
I like the opening! Had a good giggle at the first round of 'Zombie Wonderland'! Great that the music comes as a surprise for the style. The drums really give this song its feel (and the driving guitar of course). Despite the usual reptition of the chorus I love that it isn't excessive. The only part of this that put me off a little was the more 'ghoul-ish' sounds around the 3/4 mark in the song. Minor really. This song is good fun and worth checking out!
This is more like it! There's something here beyond just a solid song. The performance complements the essence of the song in a way that makes both components better. Can't help but think of the Cranberries (who I love) during the hook. After listening to both songs you've submitted I can say with confidence that this is the sound/style/vibe that you should continue to focus on. There's something about your voice that naturally fits into a ominous and dark ether, and when the lyrical content and production support that creative choice, the result is beautiful.
Thanks for submitting this to me. When I first heard the intro I was worried it was going to be some over-girly radio-pop but I was pleasantly surprised. I like the over-done psychedelic vocal but it doesn't seem to quite fit in places. However, the swirling heady guitar solo is really great - summery and hazy. There's something a bit batshit crazy about this and I like it. Perhaps the long bridges could be shortened, but that's my only criticism. There's punches of personality here, so keep it coming!
I hear The Sundays, Bill Pritchard, Robyn Hitchcock and Natalia and Imbrulia through the intro and the chorus--all good attributes in my books. It's nice, but there was something in the melody line of the verse that sounds odd. It's as the vocals and the chords played by the band don't quite mix, resulting in something that's slightly...atonal? Dischordant? Repeated listens lessened the effect (and softened my opinion) by I worry about those who might be disinclined to give the song a second listen. Then again, it could just be me.
Thanks for sending this to me. I remember your air guitar video! Part brilliance, part ridiculous, all fun. So for this video, I actually found myself liking the rhythm and guitar tunes. I love the shadow band shots on old 70's wood panelling (it would seem). I'm super curious as to who is Cindi and her motivation to make music. I read the description but I want to know more. For me to help you I'd love to know what you're for in terms of help or interaction. When I watch this video, I think to myself that here's someone who knows how to enjoy life, have fun, and make it happen. You've gathered good musicians and are making good music for people. I hope you're community is enjoying you. Write back to me and let me know how I can help specifically. I can't share this to my audience and friends and followers, because they wouldn't appreciate. I do appreciate and want to help. Kudos for making it work!
cyndi~ i think this song has a good vibe and structure. solid vocal hook and lyrics. great performances. good work! however, the mix is a little muddy. i can't quite get all of the lyrics. but my biggest concern is the video. although there are a few good shots, it feels cheesy in a bunch of ways. the performance shots are not particularly interesting. the shadow shots look like an afterthought. and the bit with the thought bubbles is not happening (for me). if you're going for a cheezy look and feel, i'd go way further and push it as far as you can. as it stands i can't quite tell what image you are trying to project. remember to think about wardrobe, what the musicians are doing behind you, etc. for future vids i would look around at tons of indie artists and look at what they've done and mash up your own visual style from there. you've got plenty of talent and style, i'd just like to see it be presented in a more focused way.
I really like the guitar sounds on this one - it gives the track a nice ethereality and supports the vocals nicely. The mix is well balanced. The the vocal harmonies on the chorus are just a little pitchy - if you're not opposed to it I might gently auto-tune them to give them - I think the chorus will be more impactful if they're tightened up just a bit. Nice work!
Catchy, kitschy, fun. Solid musical performance behind talented songwriting and harmonies. Good production and arrangement as well. I'd suggest keep honing your craft (your vocals) -- good timbre, but just off a bit that make this questionable for radio. They need to be really GREAT to pull off the ironic tone. At first I was put off by the video but on second view its got that kitschy feel that could attract viewers (and you seem to have a sizeable # of viewers on youtube, and if they're real, you've got something here). Would like to hear more in the future from you, thanks for your submission, good luck with your music! ps - link to your website cindicc.com produced 'page not found' error.
Hi Cyndi, First off, I think you have a very fresh, original concept. One of the biggest challenges of songwriting in my opinion is to say something that hasn't been said before. You certainly accomplished that with this song. You used vibrado on a few of the notes in the song and it sounded really good, I think you should use that vibrato more often in general, it sounds really good in your voice. I also really like the melody, groove and chord changes, it almost has a Santana-esqe vibe. I would continue to collaborate with Bill, he seems to be very good at what he does. I had a hard time understanding some of the lyrics, they way you pronounced some of the words made it difficult to comprehend. That's not necessarily a bad thing as it is often a stylistic choice. I noticed you didn't list the lyrics so I am unable to give lyrical feedback, just something to be aware of in the future. The video quality is also very well done and professional, I would check The Hype Machine for promotional opportunities. Thanks for your submission I hope this was helpful. -Jesse
great song, performance and production! you start with a fantastic video idea but i felt like you missed a huge opportunity. playing invisible instruments is cool but then it sort of gets watered down. also, there is a whole subculture of air guitar players out there, video of those guys would be great and hook you into an entire community. perhaps some edits between real and invisible guitar solos? i would also consider some faster guitar soloing on the recording because that's a big part of what the air guitar community loves. great lyrical idea. good start on the video. just needs some development!
Love the bleakness and black humour of the video (was this the intention!?) and your voice is so lovely. Very beautiful track and contrasting in creative nature to the video. I'm not sure I know of anyone personally who would be able to push it further, but I'll share anyway! Best of luck promoting.
I didn't know what to expect, and you pleasantly surprised me with something I definitely did not expect. Of course after I saw the whole video, I was like, of course. As a former master of the air guitar in my pre-college days, I think everyone should learn the air guitar. The scene in the video where you get the ring and are like, wtf, is priceless. You brought a smile to my face, and I dig the smooth jazz. And of course the very end bird shitting scene...classic.
Very cool video. The air instruments definitely makes it stand out. There are some quality pieces throughout the song. In my opinion the chorus is repeated a little too much. A nice jazz feel in there.
I really like this song to start. Great concept, catchy song, catchy gimmicky video that made me continue to watch -- and laugh, especially at the marriage proposals subtheme. But to be honest, I think the vocals need much work before it’s ready for prime time. Easily doable with coaching, and I’d encourage that. You’ve got a tongue-in-cheek sensibility that can go far. Thanks for your submission, good luck with your music!