OneMillionDownloads: OMD Hand-Picked Spotlight Artists

OMD SPOTLIGHT ARTISTS: It can't all be about the RLB and their quest for One Million Downloads. Rich is a music journalist and reporter with over two decades of music writing under his belt. He's contacted daily by dozens of the industry's top publicists. Here he'll put some of his editorial experience to work by spotlighting other OMD worthy artists!


Parting Is by Jon Durant ( is an innovative instrumental album. Its atmospheric sounds are beyond traditional guitar tones. As Jon explains "many pieces begin as loops that I would play a melodic lead over. I recorded several of these, then began to deconstruct the loops and record the various parts as separate components which could become less loop like and more dynamic and flowing. The track, "Open Window" is a perfect example of how that played out." Parting Is is a masterful, mellow, nine track collection that would be ideal for a meditation class.

The Security Project ( features King Crimson and Peter Gabriel members presenting the early works of Peter Gabriel on their latest effort entitled Contact. The group is much more than a tribute band as they craft new arrangements that still stay true to their original muse. The Security Project's eleven covers creatively melds striking rhythms, soaring vocals with world tones. Our favorites including a riveting "I Don't Remember", an innovative "Intruder", a still insightful "No Control" and the classic "Games Without Frontiers." The Security Project pays their respects to Mr. Gabriel with Contact a reverent and revolutionary album.

• Who's next? Stay tuned! It might be you.


• I don't know much about the artist Austin Colon ( but I do know he studied contemporary writing and production at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and that he has learned his lesson well. There's not many better sounding studio efforts than "Alone (Again?)" from his The Path Ahead and even a streaming version sounds like he's in the room with you blanketing you with sound and harmonics that evoke both joy and sadness. He's been compared to Manchester Orchestra, Bon Iver and Pink Floyd with good reason - we can't wait to hear more!

Dan Sheehan ( - founder and frontman of the Dan Sheehan Conspiracy - has a theory that there's something wrong with the world and you can hear all about it on his forthcoming solo album that is stacking up to be his most commendable project to date. Tales From Earth, Inc. is a concept album and live show from the artist and large supporting cast that addresses the effects of greed on people around the globe. Take for instance "Cross the Border" - a timely track about weapons trafficking that starts off acoustically before morphing into a full-blown rocker complete with Dan' s post-classic-rock psychedelic style. It's good to know that in the age of Trump currently dominated by cycle after cycle of fake news that there's still truth to be found within the grooves of an articulate artist's protest songs. Now, if the rest of the industry would take the lead, we might just get somewhere!

• German rockers Formosa ( cite some of their favorite things as "rock n roll, rock and bier" and that makes perfect sense as these devils from Deutschland are both deviant and delicious. Some of their output is definitely not for the faint of heart. But that's not the case with "Maņana" the third single whose bright and pounding crunchy chords will give you all the reason you need to get up tomorrow. Their new album Sorry For Being Sexy is loaded like a bizzarro world mashup of Guns n Roses meets the Sex Pistols. Still, who are we to judge? This one overall is well done even if it's just a little crisp around the edges.

Hemmit ( are a Portland, Oregon based duo who weave lo-fi garage rock, lush power pop and 80's synth rock into a wonderfully alluring sound that is all their own. On their latest, One Ultra, the record is ultimately billed as the solo EP from Hemmit drummer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Keith Fleming which is confusing because it is still branded under the band name??? It's too early for this! What's not confusing is the music is top notch - so much so that they (he) has been featured on MTV and numerous notable radio stations around the world. Fleming makes a captivating case as an artist with a compelling collection of tunes that is ultra fine and all of his making.

• Nashville's Jay Pounders has all the requisite tools needed to excel in the biz including songwriting skills and musical chops in abundant supply. One listen to his crafty "Bastards" unveils a moody yet pleasing melodic track inspired both by the Arab Spring and a Kris Kristofferson saying. The big reveal is that this S.O.B. and veteran of the CBGBs stage can write a good song.

• American rocker Jefferson Thomas ( has made a bold declaration on his recent Play Hurt album that has all the signature elements he's been honing for a lifetime - determined vox and jangly guitars all bound together on a path of classic rock meets retro soul. With consistent quality and conviction throughout this one hurts so good.

• Brooklyn indie's rock/pop outfit LadyChild will leave you breathless with their dramatic soundscape that is "Man Overboard". Clocking in at four minutes and 31 seconds complete with jazzy undertones and frontwoman Genevieve Faivre's torrent of emotions this one will leave you floating even as you're swept away.

• Growing up in the 70's and 80's my favorite artists were mostly strong male singer songwriter types like Jackson Browne, Tom Petty and Neil Young. Somehow the artist known as MIZ ( conjures up thoughts of all three of them on the opening track to his new full-length release. "Being Good at Being Blue" is a colorful and strong start for the musician who also sounds like he could be right at home jamming with Bruce and Joe G on the Jersey shore. As for the rest of A Year Ago Today we're not sure if he hits this peak again. But, he does come close on the slower "I Will Take You Home" and the plaintive closer "Stay Today Forever". It will interesting to see where Mike Mizwinski finds himself a year from now.

• Toronto's Andrew Oliver is better known as Nightshifts and on "Next To Me" the latest single from his debut EP he is part Neil Young plus Wayne Coyne weaved together with an impressive use of vintage synths and groovy guitars that will find you wanting to gravitate even closer to the artist who is creating a wonderful niche with his soulful and cosmic pop tunes.

• Hailing from Sweden the State Cows ( keep things moving along nicely with their purposeful "I Got The Message" which finds the duo putting their own spin on West Coast AOR in the style of Steely Dan, Toto, Chicago and Doobie Brothers. There's a lot of meat on the bones here and we're fans of their tasty offerings.

Sydney Brown ( is the daughter of former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown and she's now taking social matters into her own hands by releasing a charity single for California fire relief. It's safe to say that the peppy 16-year old veteran singer is turning up the heat on a poppy dance track produced by industry legend Narada Michael Walden. The devastating conflagrations that decimated much of the Golden State last year really hit close to home for the artist so she penned "Love Is Stronger Than Smoke And Fire". It's always tough to find silver linings in the face of such tragedies but in this case a true talent has risen from the ashes surrounding the Bay Area. She's got friends and family in high places so let's hope Sydney stays on the good path. One thing's for certain - she's got a long road ahead of her - and there'll be many more opportunities for her to turn lemons into lemonade and real world aid as she's done with this statement track.

• Detroit rocks. If you have any doubt all you need to do is check under the hood of the Tommy Marz Band ( This hard rockin' trio are powered by three flashy cylinders that drive a determined mix of energetic hard rock. The guys are set to put a few more miles on the road as they prep Seventy-One Trips Around The Sun that features Tommy's most personal songwriting offering to date and a worthy take on the Stone Temple Pilots classic "Tumble In The Rough". They're just getting revved up and they look ready to go far!