Anyone who has been watching has seen the huge changes in the music industry over the last decade.  In particular the dynamic changes in the role of a record label.  Gone are the huge conglomerates that would just throw money at an artist and actually spend the time to develop them if they fit into what pop culture was buying.  We have seen the origin of fantastic independent labels that can not put the big money into the artists but make up for it in hard work, loyalty and dedication to the cause of releasing great music to the world.  One such label is a recent startup Hembot Records.  


Hembot Records harness today’s tools to bolster the careers of artists who are fearless self-starters. They have formed a “collective” of like-minded artists working together and “sharing” fan bases, connections and opportunities.  The newest addition to the label is STV.  The multi-talented musician also known as Steve Counts had established a host of Southern California bands such as The Refuge, Killing Tree, Mule Davis, Boxer, and Luxury Cruise Missile.  Now STV is on a solo mission with a sonic style that celebrates the spirituality and beauty of music.  The themes of his songs can be brutally honest as they dive into love, pain, and redemption.  

Always a big thinker STV has now started putting together his debut recordings which will be part of a three-album solo collection known as VCR, SOS, and FIN.  The first 9 songs have officially been released under the VCR title.  It is made up of older songs from 2005-2010 that STV had recorded on VCR tapes.  On the opener “Suburban Function” the tone is set for something different with a pretty toy piano melody meshed with lyrics sung with passion yet somehow a laid back style.  The listener will be hooked instantly to get into the mind of this dynamic songwriter.  There is a bluesy feel to “Good Morning New Day” but the acoustic guitar strumming seems like it could explode into a full out rock song at any moment.  It does come out on “Rock Stars Don’t Die” as the melody chugs ahead and STV pours all his emotion into the heartfelt lyrics.  This one will get the blood flowing and relax you at the same time.  If that even makes sense?  The experimentalism takes hold on “Ouch Don’t Touch”.  The computer blips and bleeps pair with a 70’s supermarket vibraphone as the the sonic space is filled with other odd noises to complete a beautiful wall of sound that proves that convention is in the ear of the beholder.  When you are ready for the full experience check it out at: 

You can get the VCR album on iTunes at: 

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