Last night I got in bed, put on my headphones and listened to the new CD from Marty McKay called "New York City Dreams". It was very nice. "Nice" almost sounds like damning with faint praise but it was soothing without being dulling, textured without being complex and dreamy without being sleepy. It was a good CD to listen to in bed with headphones because along with its layers of synths came some hard metal guitars.
I tried to think of a good comparison for the lead vocals which were clean, clear and although double tracked and with some background vocals were definitely that of the male frontman as opposed to a multi-vocalist harmony group. A rich and masculine baritone fronting what might be called a Metal band with power drums and crashing power cords over staccato repeating riffs but, as is common these days, without any substantial lead guitar solos. Marty's voice (I assume he's the vocalist since the only other credit I can find is for his co-producer Alberto Pistolera), reminds me of shades of Peter Gabriel and with a slight texture of Elvis Costello but maybe closer to the vocals of the band Toy Matinee. Intimate on the soft sections and soaring rather than screaming on the powerful parts. According to Marty himself (according to his press kit) he is actually most similar to Linkin Park (from my old neighborhood), Incubus and 3 Doors Down, so there's that too.
What kills me is that there are songs on the New York City Dreams CD that if released in a bygone era would have been Top Forty Radio hits (like Linkin Park, Incubus and 3 Doors Down) but now are gems left to be dug up from the mine of the Internet which is one gigantic hole in the ground. Music like this was once believed to eventually rise above the noise and gain the attraction of the masses by constant live shows and touring. Playing these songs to people standing in front of you, looking at you and forming a personal bond with you as you share a special moment in both of your lives. However, although Marty McKay played with Vanilla Ice in Berlin in front of a crowd of sixty thousand, there is no mention of an upcoming tour schedule, booked local shows or even any indication that there is an actual performing band behind these songs.
Maybe what we have today is an evolution of music that is in fact in sync with technology in that the "solo" artist that records on his laptop in his bedroom is creating music specifically for a "crowd" that exists one by one, also sitting alone in their rooms with a laptop, on the Internet. A fan base floating disembodied in Cyber-Space, communicating perhaps even more closely with their idols then the fans of past decades, through Facebook or the Comments section of Youtube.
This "International" aspect ("Inter dimensional" really) of Cyber-Space may also be the reason why so many of modern music's musicians claim to come, physically, from all over the world. Case in fact; Marty McKay, although sounding either English or American since so many American acts try to sound English and ever since The Beatles it has been traditional for English Rock bands to sing with American accents, claims that he's from, or is at least now based, in Zurich Switzerland. I don't think he's Swiss, although I probably wouldn't recognize a Swiss accent, but if he is I am disappointed he wrote a CD called "New York City Dreams". As an American New York City is not exactly exotic and I'd rather his music take me to some Alpine village than NYC. Maybe it's another case of being a big fish in a small pond that is making American and English musicians relocate to other, less musically competitive parts of the world.
Marty, if you happen to read this please tell us your own story in the Comments Section below.