"Chasing The Day," released on Sh-K'Boom Records, is the debut album by up and coming composer/lyricist Will Van Dyke, is one to purchase. Will’s music/lyrics are showcased by some of today's established Broadway performers as well as those on the rise. His lyrics and music are smart, sophisticated, and emotional, making it relatable on many levels. Even if I have not experienced the exact scenario being presented in the song, I know someone who has. While most of his songs are about losing love, all of his songs are about learning, growing, and staying hopeful despite going through rough times. Will Van Dyke is somebody to keep your eye on and “Chasing The Day” with him as he continues to rise! Purchase "Chasing The Day from Sh-K'Boom Records or iTunes. For more on Will Van Dyke (who is currently playing keyboards in "The Addams Family" on Broadway) and his music be sure to visit http://www.willvandyke.com.
Marie and Me: Alex Brightman
Tells the story of guy who really likes this girl Marie, but didn’t know how to let her know yet stuck by her through the tick and thin. Then one day she found someone else and left this guy for him. He always wished her well, but longed to still be with her and while they kept in touch for some time, eventually they drifted apart, though he will never forget her. Alex Brightman wonderfully conveys the emotions of this song with the use of his inflection/belting, taking me on this ride from hopes of something good all the way down to a shattered dream.
Come Home: Carrie Manolakos
This song is about a girl who regrets losing the love she let go of. Trying to move on, but thinking she should go after her love and try to make things work, yet hesitant because she’s been there before. Carrie Manoloakos was a wise choice for this song as her vocals show the range of emotions/thoughts this girl is going through: regret, hope and clarity.
Gateway: Adam Kantor
Fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest’ participant Adam Kantor really hits the mark on all levels of “Gateway” about a guy who fell in love, but not true love and now lives with the consequences that came out of that lie, but through the pain learning to take in the many lessons he’s learning from this lie and now is coming out on the other side, finding true love.
The Lighter Side: Danica Dora
I’ve never experienced the voice that is Danica Dora, but I am sure glad I have now…beautiful and strong, Danica explores the story of a girl who’s boyfriend is not showing any emotion, slowly drifting away, but still giving her little aspects of potential deeper emotion, but she’s longing for the true depth they once had. With thoughts of “What’s happening?” this girl would still do it all again and all the while learning a bit about herself.
If You Only Knew: Morgan James
A song about a girl who’s boyfriend dumped her, struggles to get past the hurt, the loss, and understanding how someone who she loved so much could turn on her so easily. This is my first time listening to Morgan James and hopefully it won't be my last. With her softly sung vocals, Morgan James’ brings the hurt and emotion to life, allowing me to feel the same hurt this girl is going through.
Settle: Matt Doyle
Matt Doyle is one of today’s rising Broadway performers, so it’s no wonder Will chose him to be on his debut album. Matt’s voice is perfectly suited for “Settle” about a couple who’s going through a rough time and one doesn’t know what they want while the other has thoughts of what’s to come and what’s out there, but in the end decide to just stay together because it’s easier than being alone. Through his talented vocals, Matt’s able to show the struggle and emotion of the one person who wants more, but sadly, is settling.
Why’d You Hold My Hand: Pauline Pisano
Pauline Pisano is another performer I'm learning about With a beautifully soulful voice, Pauline strikes all the right notes about a girl who’s been hurt before and unexpectedly falls for a love that comes her way, only to be left when the love can’t accept her for who she is. Pauline shows all the hurt and hope, especially when this girl looks back on their time together, she knows deep down what they had was love.
Fly Away Gone: Stephanie J. Block
Using her extremely skilled, controlled, and powerful vocals, Stephanie J. Block takes me with her as the song explores the end of a relationship and asking “What If?,” but wondering how to stay strong while saying goodbye, even though one person wants to give it another go. In the end, the person wanting to hold on finally finds the strength and courage to put that thought out there and Stephanie is right there making sure we can hear that emotion.
The Very Worst Year: Jay Armstrong Johnson
This rock-style song suits Jay Armstrong Johson’s voice very well about a guy who looks back on all the hardships he has gone through from the second grade to the high school bus, to the end of his relationship, but surviving them all. This guy has learned that even though he has endured rough times, he’s become who he is because of them and that no matter what comes his way, he will survive “The Very Worst Year.”
Life Times: John Eric Parker
John Eric Parker is another performer I’m being happily introduced to on “Chasing The Day.” This is a song about living, learning, and loving life for all it throws at us and John Eric Parker displays this effortlessly.
Truth, Beauty, and Love: Katie Rose Clarke
Katie Rose Clarke is yet another performer I’m experiencing for the first time. Her vocals are well received on this song about a girl who is so happy to have finally found the love of her life and how her world has been reignited.
The Legend of Wonderboy: Morgan Karr, Sam Tedaldi, Preston Sadleir, Josh Lamon, Katie Gassert
Aside from Morgan Karr, I am a new listener to Sam Tedaldi, Preston Sadleir, Josh Laomn, and Katie Gassert. Morgan, Sam, Preston, Josh, and Katie's voices blend wonderfully together on “The Legend of Wonderboy,” a song about a superhero named “Wonderboy” who lives on the Planet Dearth and battles an ogre named Kai the Destroyer who sets out to make Planet Dearth a dark place to live because of the hurt he suffered long ago. Individually each performer is great, but when they vocalize together, it’s pure enjoyment just like the song.