- Creative Director, Artist & Repertoire, Music Supervisor
For over a decade. Currently the Creative Director of A&R for Fervor Records, he has worked to unearth music from all corners of the globe. Whether chasing down dusty reels or brokering agreements with large catalogues, he has proven adept at navigating the twists and turns of both vintage and current music industry trends. As a Music Supervisor, he has worked on projects of all shapes and sizes - from studio blockbusters to broadcast television to indie festival darlings. His recent credits include Music Supervision on TBS’s smash hit “The Last OG,” the upcoming feature film "Archenemy" (2020) and is currently serving as a consultant on the critically-acclaimed "Halloween" franchise for Blumhouse Productions & Universal Pictures
- technology, entrepreneurship, advertising, short films, sync licensing, market research, tv, music licensing / syncing, film / video, music curation
- indie rock, music, video games, trip hop, film, technology, tv
I think that this one is another gem - very different than that other tune I reviewed - and probably a little more on the film/tv side of the sync universe (the emotional tone of the piece sort of has that vibe) I do have a couple sonic observations this time - I think that the vocals are a touch too hot, and I also think that the guitars are glassy. They could be a little bit warmer (especially noticeable in the first verse) and blended throughout. I like the piano in the bridge a lot, and how you come out of it is really beautiful. Again, get the instrumental mixes ready - and definitely have some with lyricless vox on hand. I think cutdowns are wise for your work since it is very commercial and very down-the-middle. You aren't reinventing the wheel and I mean that as a sincere compliment. I guess there's another thing worth mentioning here, but I feel like ahead of the bridge you could build up a tiny bit more - add in a little bit of a swell to crank things up and raise the stakes. There's a little bit of 'tonal flatness' here - the song almost breaks out a few times... And I really wanted it to. That is a creative decision I would always leave to you, the artist, but would probably make the instrumental version a little more engaging for listeners in the sync community. In short - this song is sync-friendly. I think it might need a couple tweaks (not many) - but you have an excellent ear for production and I like your songwriting a great deal. Nice work!!!
Andrew - congrats... this is a song that I can say has a TON of sync potential... and I do NOT say that often. I particularly hear this working nicely for ads. I would work on making a few edits - 30 & 60 second cutdowns - both full instrumentals, and also instrumentals with lyricless vox... the there is some texture here that is pretty stellar. I really dig this song both on its own merits, but also for the commercial possibilities. From a creative point of view, no real notes. I don't totally understand that little piano open, and to be honest, I would consider snipping it. I would also maybe lose the 'retro' label, it might be limiting, and I don't think that this screams 'RETRO!!!' Aside from that I'd say this is both a pleasant surprise, and something of a rarity for me - a really fun song that does everything it's supposed to. I'm surprised about that 4 minute runtime because it really moves along at a great clip. I am very impressed. Make sure you're easy to find - I see you're registered on ASCAP, but since you have these published through your distributor it doesn't list any individual contact info. That means all your socials should be VERY easy to find and have a direct contact form. Make sure that when you're submitting this or sending to anyone - you follow their instructions and send it EXACTLY as they want things sent to them - I do believe it will stand out.
Lots of people say that you only have 15-30 seconds to get a listener's attention - and I think that you NAIL that here. It's a catchy tune, has a great 2010 type vibe (Foster The People?) - and I think this is a song which could catch on. Definitely has an earworm quality to it. I'm going to keep this one handy & also - very nice work making sure that you're easy to locate. Publishing info is clear & easy to find. Nice work!!!
Hey Victoria - This is a cool track! Interesting choice sending the instrumental as opposed to the vocal for review, but overall I like them both. I think that the instrumental shows off some really solid production - and you have good builds and swells throughout. The song has a nice familiarity to it, like a comfortable pair of shoes or something. The vocal cut has a few things going on worth addressing... I think that the vocals are mixed a little hot, so you could bring those down a bit, and also, there's something a little too clean about them. The track would benefit from a little more grunginess to it, some more of that PNW spirit. It sounds like you might be holding back a little bit, where you should really let it out. In terms of sync licensing - there _could_ be a spot for a song like this in a film or television show, but it would be a highly specific type of usage. Keeping lyrical themes more universal keeps songs a little more 'sync-friendly' - but I'm not going to tell you how to make your art. I think that as a songwriter you have a ton of potential & just need to keep grinding. BUT! You gotta sign up as a songwriter with BMI (or SOCAN) - people need to know who publishes your material & who wrote it. I did a quick search of your name and it didn't pop up, so I'd get that squared away ASAP. Also, make sure that any time you send your .mp3s out you have your contact info in the metadata. Good work!
I like this tune a lot!!! Few basics in terms of getting this to Music Supervisors - you guys need to come up more easily on BMI or ASCAP than you do now... I can't find you easily because they're tricky search engines. Honey & Smoke turns up someone named "David Paul Ellis" on BMI... but I can't confirm that's you because this title isn't listed. It should be, even though it isn't released. Anything you can do to increase your visibility so you pop out on ASCAP / BMI is crucial - so make sure that any & all .mp3s that go out in the world have .mp3s embedded in them. It has to be INCREDIBLY easy to find you to license the track. The song itself - I dig it! Production-wise I would say that it stays a little flat throughout - there's no major swell or big dynamic shift/change type moment, but as a creative choice I can get behind that. Would be curious to hear more of your catalogue... Lyrical themes are solid for sync - they aren't distracting or too specific. The LDR/Portishead in the Old West is a good elevator pitch - and this lines up with that really well. I'd definitely make sure to keep instrumental versions on hand, and also versions with the lyricless vox mixed in.
This is a nice piece of work - but I do think there are some opportunities to tighten some aspects. The intro is a great concept - it's long and has a nice build with good dynamics, but there are a few tinny notes in there which I think could be finessed a bit. Those pop back up a few other times. The solo also has a few rough spots at the high end. Vocally, I like how there's a Brit-Pop element to the way they are laid in - but I think that there are too many effects on your voice in a few parts. There are also a few parts where your voice is a bit flat, that could work stylistically if that's what you're going for - but I'd definitely adjust the levels and make some tweaks to the reverb. The drum sounds are a bit sterile / repetitive which hurts the song - I'd find a way to mix those up a bit and/or add some new sounds. As a general note, I'd consider more of a bridge than that guitar solo - maybe something where your voice goes up or new instruments are brought in. Gotta mix things up a little bit. Now! The good stuff! I like the message here, a lot. I like the visuals you have pulled out as well. I think that if you punch up the vocals so the words are a bit easier to hear, and if you address some of the sonic issues, you can really beat people over the head with the environmental theme. In terms of promoting the song, it exists for a reason, and that's something you can & should be as overt as possible about. This is a song about the world and the environment physically falling apart in a very literal way - so any opportunities to punch up the visual representation of this piece of music could help it basically promote itself. Perhaps you could incorporate bold words with bold lettering, hitting in time with the lyrics - that could be effective I don't think that you need to go back to the drawing board on this - I think you have a lot to work with, but I also think that there are some areas which, as I said above, definitely need some finessing. Overall, this is a strong piece of work and you clearly have put a lot of heart & soul into it.
This is a very nice tune! I think it does everything that a simple & straightforward pop song needs to do. I'm definitely going to listen to more of your material (I'm checking out the EP now) and keep my ear out for opportunities here. I think that the only thing that you might bump up against with a song like this is that there isn't a ton of breathing room, not a lot of dips or swells. I like that it's short & to the point, but songs for sync & songs for Spotify don't always meet in the same area of the Venn Diagram overlap. Drawing out cool instrumental sections (maybe adding a more distinct bridge to mix things up a little bit) would be my only notes to keep in mind moving forward. I think that you're pretty much nailing what you're going for on this track. It's comfortably familiar, but also has a nice fresh sound.
Really big and bright with the opening, I like that. At around the 00:50 mark I was hoping for a good ol' fashioned Brit Pop build and I think that maybe didn't hit quite hard enough for that. Into the second verse, you're still sort of keeping things at the same level. You're painting a really lovely picture here - there's great imagery and there's a lot of depth to the production. I found myself, on a few listens, really enjoying the tone created - but also - waiting for something to pop. Vocally, I find the bridge to be the most interesting part of the track. I like you up in that register. Really can't speak highly enough of the production overall - I think that you know what you want to do on that front and are indeed executing. When the harmonies come in, that's another really pretty part - and at the 4min mark, we do sort of get a swell & a build - but I do believe that you might want to consider moving that forward. This is the type of song that I'm 100% comfortable saying that I like, and is good, and stands on its own merits if you are happy with it. That being said, I just think there needs to be an explosion in here. There are hints of that towards the end, and there are great parts throughout. It's a strong piece of work and there's a lot of warmth throughout. I suppose an elegant solution to this would be to perhaps reach out to people you know and see if anyone would be interested in trying their hand at a remix of the song. I'm not talking Deep House, just more of an upbeat pop/rock/electro spin on this. You have wonderful components to share - I think that some manipulation and maybe some fresh ears on what you have here could really make this pop. It would also allow this song to exist here, as it stands, which again, I do quite enjoy. You have something here, for sure, but I don't know if you're quite over the finish line in terms of positioning it commercially. Thank you for sharing!
I can definitely hear that there are some nice elements to the production - it might be a little too dense throughout though... Almost a 'kitchen sink' mentality at play perhaps... I think that the biggest arrow in the quiver is your voice. It's good songwriting, general & dynamic. I think that finding a way to capture the inherent sweetness & warmth to your voice is your best bet. It's really pretty - and I can definitely see it being served from some more 90s/early 2000s style production (ie early Ben Folds, Pernice Brothers, Lou Barlow, Rufus Wainwright) Definitely a lot of upside here, but keep in mind that finding quick ways to turn around content is a double-edged sword. Good to engage fans, but also hard to maintain a high standard for the output. Vocals vocals vocals - I think that's where your focus should be, and let everything else fall into place around that. Nice work - wouldn't mind hearing this stripped down a bit.
KILLER OPENING You definitely get into the vocals quickly, and then the shakers hit the spot fast, my dude. I'm sitting here the chorus sticks the landing... and.... and.... and... it's different! I like it and not what it was expecting. This is the first tune in a while where I've wanted to check out the lyrics - which is a great look overall. The "Alright" is a good hook. I think you might wanna consider a way to amp it up a bit (you're sort of doing that) each time you bring it back around. In terms of making this a "Sync-friendly" song - you have _almost_ all the pieces here. Gritty & swaggy opening, catchy hook - but you're missing a tiny bit of warmth. You have an organ style sound come in somewhere, and I'd consider doing an edit where you have that amp up and build along with the rest of the track. Have alternate mixes of songs like this is ALWAYS a good idea - and one that's a little less angular in the construction (just think "how can this be a little poppier with thei pieces I have here?") could be a good exercise. All that said, as it exists now - there is definitely a chance that it could hit & catch on. But if you're able to have a few different mixes to present, it could open up some new opportunities for it. The only straight up criticism is that the vocals are pretty flat. Not tonally, they just don't vary much from how they come in throughout the rest of the track. It sounds like you have some harmony in the background - so even bringing those levels up could address that. Just some thoughts - like I indicate above, I do sorta love this track and it's a total earworm. Nice work!
Right from the jump - LOVE this video. Candidly, I don't really care about music videos 99/100 times but this works to propel the tune. The whole "don't bore us, get to the chorus" is sorta addressed by the visuals. I was in right away. Definite Elliott Smith vibes, which are a little tough for sync in general. I think that the production & overall style here is strong enough that it shouldn't hold you up too much - just need to get the tunes out there. I don't have any negative notes on the music dude - I really like the song and on a technical level it's really tight and plays nicely! I'd say to look at current trends in film & tv music (check out Tunefind, read all the blogs and articles you can find, see what music supervisors work on what shows and cross-reference against what artists they typically license... etc) and then PUSH PUSH PUSH. Also - this title isn't registered on BMI. That could be lag if you registered it on SOCAN (they work together and sometimes there's a delay) but you need to be VERY EASY TO FIND - when we need to use a song, we can't go hunting for you for too long. I'd call your SOCAN rep and see if they can help you get your contact info up on BMI. Also, obviously, you gotta build up social. That isn't really my wheelhouse, but that's how things are moving more and more. I'll listen to more of your tunes - subscribing up to your youtube channel now.
Really like the energy & production - there's a very strong feeling of 'completeness' to the recording. I think that the vocals are a little bit sharp - they could be blended a bit more with the background if you're really trying to showcase your production work. That being said, they're on key & interesting to listen to. Lyrically - if you throw in phrases like "Sword of damocles" it takes me, as the listener, out of the song a fair bit. Catches the ear funny. I'm sure you've heard/been told the importance of 'universal themes' when it comes to lyrics & commercially-minded songwriting. This is a pretty good example of needing to consider that. I think that things do go off the rails a bit with the solo you close with - and prior to that there isn't a ton of building throughout the tune. My advice would be to take this mentality, which I do think is working, and maybe consider asking yourself 'what would this sound like as a pop song?' I think that could involve swapping out some instruments for some more upbeat sounding synths, maybe finding a spot for a fun bridge, and streamlining the lyrical content. There's a sense of urgency here in terms of all of the elements that you're incorporating which I'm not sure is serving you well. It could require a 'less is more' mentality in terms of the instrumentation - or possibly some minor tweaks. You are the artist, and those are decisions that I feel should be made by you. TONS of potential here for you as a producer, and I think that your songwriting is strong. I don't want you to think that I'm being hypercritical, but I hope you appreciate my honesty. That being said, there is definite potential with this track, and I would say tremendous opportunity for your skill set when applied to other projects. I'd continue to find collaborators and diversify your sounds. Good stuff!
Hey Raygun - Cool name! I think that your vocals start really strong, but when the strings come in around 1:40 it sounds a bit like you're reaching outside the style & tone of the way the song opens. If there's a way to keep an emotional build/crescendo & keep the low, Leonard Cohen/Mark Lanegan style vocals there as opposed to kicking it up - I think you'd be doing yourself some favors from a licensing point of view. Also around 2:58, there are some goofy instruments that sound GREAT together. Production gets really fun in this verse (also, it sounds like this part is back in the vocal range you start with) I think this is a catchy tune, a little polish on the middle section - not sure if it's a bridge per se - but that could basically put a nice bow on a pretty cool tune! Really like the delicate dusty piano throughout.
Observations! 1. This is a cool track & has a nice vibe. The vocals are mixed really well. I can't quite tell what sound you're trying to capture, there's some 60s throwback instrumentation and some 80s style vocals (REM?) 2. I think that there's something in the mix/mastering process that might need some refining - the pieces are there, but there's a slight muddiness that I believe can be corrected fairly easily. It's also possible that it could be the quality of the file. 3. I don't really understand the political message here - it gets a little lost as it exists in the vacuum of this track - perhaps the other songs you guys have help to tell a story. When you have overtly political messaging in songs, it does limit the market a bit - and also make film & tv placements a little trickier. 4. The jam section at ~3:30 got my attention in a great way. I'd encourage you guys to consider making 30 and 60 second instrumental cutdowns of these tracks. It would help to keep those handy if you're approached for any sync or ad opportunities. 5. In terms of exposure & getting out there, I think that keeping at it in terms of local shows and/or regional tours is a good look - but also look for similar artists out there on social media and you could perhaps find opportunities to collaborate or maybe do a Split with a band that has a sound which is complimentary. 6. I think that there's a bit of repetition here that works with the overall aesthetic of the song, but when you head back into the studio I would consider adding in some dynamic sections with changes and drops - and always consider adding builds where you can. 7. I really dig the vocalist. Would love to hear him in a tiny bit more out front over some of the noisier parts. 8. Strong work! Needs a little overall polish and tightening but I think it's a cool vibe with great energy.
I dig this tune! if there was an option between 'like it' and 'love it' - i'd have chosen that. Personally, I enjoy it and think it's very listenable. From a commercial/professional point of view - I think you're doing much more right than wrong, however - there are a few areas of improvement I notice consider the 1.15 mark - it doesn't hit quite hard enough maybe a bigger/harder build? bridge comes in at around 2.15 - i think this is the strongest part of the song... and it takes you a little too long to get into it I like the overall vibe & instrumentation. production is slick! I think it gets a bit repetitive on the outro. also, I think you have a great voice and really wouldn't change the vocal performance. the overall word here in terms of my feedback i guess would be 'tightening'
This is a nice tune which definitely has some big cinematic elements. I went through and listened to a handful of other tunes on your soundcloud as well - I think that you're doing great things. One idea would be to incorporate some more percussion to help move the songs forward. I think that the songs have a tendency to 'settle in' to some familiar rhythms and sequences - shaking that up could help make the different parts of the songs stand on their own. Good example of this is YEAH YEAH - where the horns come in at ~1.33. That's a great change, and plays into a great build. I would probably consider that tune a bit more 'sync-friendly' in terms of placements. Really cool name as well. I'll definitely flag your page for future updates - thanks!
Love the way you're putting this together - definitely hear the Norah Jones vibe, but very much a 2018 update on some of her earlier material. Also some Carla Bruni in here, really nice arrangement and really great production. Bravo! This song is definitely sync friendly and I'll keep it in mind for all future opportunities
Definitely a unique sound - I like the bass more and more as I listen. Vocals do some cool mid-to-late 90s alternative things, and lyrics are doing that weird thing where they're both thoughtful AND general enough to welcome listeners. Overall I think this is music that would be great to see live, and I also think that it's the sort of music that is begging for a vinyl release - maybe some cool color or something to sell off the stage or at a merch table. Moving forward I would maybe consider looking for ways to punctuate the verses and chorus a bit - sharper edges to each section of the song. It might help the listener move through it a bit more easily but overall I dig the vibe and always welcome crunchy guitars and real instruments and songwriting. Thanks for sharing!
Definitely takes me back! Excited to hear more songs from the album so I can get a better grasp on the whole aesthetic. Great production and writing, everything is super tight and I think that there is a lot of potential for a song with this vibe right now to do well commercially. Looks like it just came out? Congratulations on the release!!!
Cute intro - perfect length! At around the 01:00 it starts feeling a little repetitive - the bridge could come in a bit earlier. By 02:37 or so, I'm ready to move on. I don't care for the instrumental section here - I think that you have enough space around your vocal components to snip this down. The song really feels long on the way out. Lyrics are clever but remain pretty general (that's a good thing!) Since there's a fair bit of repetition throughout the song (same phrase over again) I think that structurally you might want to consider rearranging it so the bridge comes in and can add to the 'build' of the song. You have really good parts here, but you gotta finesse it a bit. Let me distill this a bit: 1. The song is too long. 2. You need to refine the crescendo - I like the bridge, but you might need to put it behind the second verse and find a different way to sustain energy between v1 and v2. Definitely need to punch it up. 3. The outro really goes on for a long time. This is a 60s style pop song - look at the length of those tunes. 2:00 to 2:30 are the longest ones. I'm not sure if it serves the song (which is really catchy and fun) to have it play this long. Great job, very professional production, nice vocals and I'd look forward to hearing more.