Billy Sterg - Five Of His New Tunes

Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.

In this evening’s edition of the Independent Spotlight, we shine our gaze on Billy Sterg, an independent singer songwriter with an 'impressive range' that’s released a slew of new singles recently. His songwriting and production style has caused some to draw parallels to the likes of Sting and Bruce Springsteen due to the “timeless and emotional” music he’s penning. Thus, let’s explore five new tracks from Sterg, all of which are available on a variety of platforms, including his official website.

‘Bamboo Bar,’ the first track we’ll be digging into, is, very as its name suggests, an island themed endeavor. Thus, its execution is sort of hokey, perhaps akin to ‘Margaritaville.’ Sterg does carry himself nicely, though, and the instrumental performances are actually fairly excellent. The song is injected with a heavy pop sensibility that even borderlines contemporary “country.” (Zac Brown or something similar.) This could make it a perfect song for the playlist at a summer cookout this season.

‘Delila’ has a decisively different style - a far superior one, I’d argue. It’s much more suave, and far more smooth. The song is doused in a few different styles. The strings evoke French gypsy music, and the guitar banter is akin to Spanish stylings. All of this culminates rather nicely, resulting in ‘Delila’ landing as one of Sterg’s better songs available. ‘Dreaming’ feels like a spiritual, more upbeat counterpart to ‘Delila,’ and Sterg is accentuated by a superb performance on behalf of his backing band and vocalists. As a lyricist, Sterg defines himself a bit stronger in tunes like ‘Dreaming,' proving he has chops beyond things like 'Bamboo Bar.'

‘Nothing Lasts Forever’ does sound like it was left on the cutting room floor of ‘Tunnel of Love,’ so I get the Springsteen comparison. The synthesized, reverb-laden atmosphere is most certainly similar to The Boss’ classic 1987 record. Hence, the performances on ‘Nothing Lasts Forever’ do feel a tad dated. They are also, however, particularly lovable, and I think fans of 80s love ballads are going to go nuts for ‘Nothing Lasts Forever.’

‘Woman’ is a good hodgepodge of the four tracks that precede it in this review. It has the ‘island’ feel of ‘Bamboo Bar,’ the emotion of ‘Nothing Lasts Forever,’ and the pop sensibility of ‘Dreaming.’ Out of the five tracks, it’s a close second to ‘Dreaming’ in competition for Sterg’s finest work showcased here on the Spotlight. Thus, I’d highly recommend checking him out if these kind of jams are up your avenue. These are well done songs worth your time. They're quite fun.

(Oh, and instead of including album art above, I included a painting of Sterg’s. If he ever gives up music, he’s got quite the career in that art form. What a lovely painting!)

Nothing Lasts Forever
  • "...awesome! I love this track!"
  • “The song's slow beginning has an undertone of sorrow with some classical music influence which can be heard. It is a slow- moving introduction which sets the tone for this song. The vocalist has a crispy (good) and interesting tone to his voice, not unlike that of Bono of U2. The vocals are rich and deep, providing a solid and nice sound to the song. The backing to the song is also alike to a U2 song and has quite a slow-moving atmosphere to it and certainly matches the vocalist's sound very well; both of which mix together to form an enjoyable sound for the listener. The vocalist once again proves his vocal power during the chorus, managing to hit the high notes well, and effortlessly - a good job! A note however, is the fact that I believe the backing is quite simplistic, and perhaps would benefit by being diversified a little, and needs perhaps a little more progression, to alter the sound of the song as it runs. That being said, the vocalist continues to prove his vocal skills throughout the running of the song, creating a very nice and enjoyable sound. The beats per minute of the song is not too high to be distracting, but is also not too slow to make the song seem 'broken' or disjointed. The production value is clearly quite high, and this is noticeable just by listening to it 's high and professional-sounding quality. It sounds very similar to Chris Isaak or a song from U2.”“The tuning on the guitar is too high because you can hear it breaking up a little on the high notes. I think that the guitar should be tuned down a little bit to fit the deep vocals. The volume levels on this song are not that balanced. The bass is barely audible and the instruments in the background are not easily heard either. The lyrics do not seem to have any passion or desire in them.” 
  • “A perfect intro leads smoothly into the song. The melody of this song is creative as are the lyrics. I love this song. The vocalist is strong and has an appealing sound. A soft love song, the lyrics tell the story completely with a meaningful edge. The harmonies throughout this song are perfect. All singers are pitch perfect. The acoustic guitar accompaniment adds to the softness of this tune and has a rich tone. I would buy this tune this minute if I could. I am already helping to sing harmony. What an engaging and memorable song.” 

  • “Sounds Very 80's. like a blast from the past, but I like it. We need more of this kind of music. Vocals are amazing and lyrics that actually mean something. Would love to hear this or other material from this artist. Melody also very good.” 

 

  • “Nice pitch,love the vocal tones. The strings are quietly mesmerizing. Real soft, calm strokes. This is a cool tune, will do well on the radio.The texture of the song is very inviting.I think the singing goe well with the music.I give it a 9.3' 
  • “This song posses many of the negatives of the ballads from the early 1990s. The lyrics are decent, and the vocalist has a nice voice. The melody is very stagnant and boring, and although the lyrics are ok they don't help the song overall. I think that these lyrics could be used over a more modern sounding melody in order to make this song do well on the radio." 
  • “A soothing melody creates the atmosphere for this melancholy song. The vocalist is top notch and the lyrics are lovely. The beat drives us along as subtle synth and well timed guitar licks play this intriguing tune. A simplicity can be found here that can be hard for some artists to accomplish, but this work is up to the task. Sound Quality is great and the levels are right where they need to be. When the back up vocals come in the mood is enhanced wonderfully.” 
  • “I like this. it has an 80s feel to it and who doesnt love 80s music? The music is good and the lyrics are nice. I see much radio play in their future. Good job, guys. You have a fan. Looking forward to a follow up.” 
  • “I would listen to this its really relaxing. The song has a great singer and the beat is a summer type of beat. Its perfect because the singers voice blends into the beat of the song perfectly. I would listen to this on my free time” 

  • “The drums are subtle but give a nice slow beat. the singer is outstanding as well. This is a really relaxing track and has a soothing meaning behind each word. The tempo of the track is too slow for my personal taste, however the music standard and the recording quality is top notch. Apart from not being my style of music, this track is faultless.”

  

  • “The beat and the melody and the vocals all haves nice flow. They go to very well.. The pitches aren't to high and the beat isn't to fast. It just all flows together. Not missing anything. Def radio material” 
  • “I liked the beginning of the song, it sounded very retro. The vocals are good, the voice sounds soft, calm, romantic, and very expressive of the feeling it is supposed to be expressing. In my opinion, the melody matches the vocals, and the lyrics go great with all of it.” 
  • “This song was easier to listen to than the last. It sounds artsy, if you will. I would expect to hear something like this during a stroll through art exhibits. His voice was honest with a story to be told” 
  • “Reminds me of a softer Tom Petty. Smooth instrumentals followed up with heartfelt lyrics about a life full of heart ache. Words & instrumentals slowly lull you in & before you know it your sucked in, great song!” 
  •  “The song quite excellent actually and the depth quite moves me to my core. I am in love with the beta and the melody of the song and quite frankly I think it is really great. The harmony was definitely on ponint and so was the hook of the song and I absolutely love the singer s voice which quite frankly wa the best part 10/10 for you!” 

  • “in this the singer has a sound that is so precise. his vocal sound really is free and easy. so attractive a voice. a mellow brand of singer. this song as a whole brings out a nice subtle musical balance, good and tune full, shaped well, a light easy melody. a nice attractive and rich sound, this song has a very poised and gifted brand to it.”

 

  • “Classy tone with a unique voice and good melody. instruments give this track a nice sound that goes great with his vocals. the words to this song is calm and relaxing. he has a very confident way to to deliver his song,make it easy to listen. this track is good for a playlist and excellent for long drives and just relaxing.” 
  • “The finger thump on the guitar has a low level of sound for pleasant hearing. The pulsating beat mellows out with the tenor tones of the vocalist. The time continues steadiness and makes a melody for slow dancing. This composition piece is easy listening with pleasant creativeness.” 

  • “I love the music on this track it has a great sound that is very relaxing. The music is simple but very nice to listen to. It has a gentle warmth in the music that makes it comforting. The singer sings with a tuneful older charm that is soothing and inviting. It has a great sound that keeps you going in a way that is really interesting. The lyrics are loving and kind. A romantic song that is gracious.” 
  • “The introduction had a great beat that set the song up nicely. I love the vocalists voice, captivating and simple with a great tone. The lyrics are in my opinion thoughtful but a little corny. I wish there was more complexity in the musical arrangement but overall great job.” 
  • “This song has a nice slow start, which I very much appreciate. The song vocalist and his voice goes great together with the background music of the song. They are perfectly in sync, and they do not go out of sync for a single moment through out the entirety of the whole entire song. The lyrics are mellow and calming, I would find this song soothing to listen to when I am experiencing stress or any pain. This is a great song to calm people down and to relax to. It feels like a great song that would do well commercially and in the public eye. It does not sound like anything that is presently on the radio at this time in my location, but I would say it has a chance at being successful.” 
  • “Vocals are nice sounding, clean, and heartfelt. Music is well written and composed well. Guitar is a nice touch without being overpowering. I was happy when I heard the chorus singers come in to the song. I do wish they would have came in faster.” 
  • “The Song Starts With A Smooth Melody Its So Relaxing. The Mans Vocals Are Amazing. Love Songs Like This Especially With The Instruments In The Backing. The Guitar Is Amazing. Keep Up The Work Man I Recommend This Song To Anyone Reading. Artist Keep It Up Writing Man. Nice Beat Going Also Nice Harmony. I Am Going TO Listen To This Song For Ages Thanks Artist.” 

  • “This sounds a lot like something U2 would play and the vocals compliment this very well. The guitarist used the delay effect well, with not too much feedback. The vocals are in tune and they work very well with the guitar part. The drums are slightly repetitive, but that is something typical of this style of song. This is the sort of song I could listen to again. An excellent piece.”
  •  “The opening bars set the tone for this song perfectly. And though the verse a nice gentle picking of the guitar gives it a moody feel which I guess that 's what the artist is looking for. The drum machine does get a little repetitive but still effective. I liked the seemingly easy way it went from verse to chorus. .. subtle and lovely. The lyrics are very powerful all the way through the song.. sometimes you need a heart brake to write stuff like this. I could definitely hear this on the radio. There's a big market for this type of music and I would certainly buy into it.” 
  • “Really love the vibe of this tune. Singer has a fantastic voice. Kind of a Sting / Chris Isaak hybrid. The lyrics are great as well. Love the arrangement. The mix is pretty spot on. If I had to criticize something I'd just say drop the high hat loop down in volume and throw a little reverb on it. Love the section when the group vocals come in. This tune is pretty near perfect. Great instrumentation. I could definitely hear this in film / TV. Keep up the great work.”
 
Delilah
  • "I love the beat. I started dancing in my seat. I love this song. Its my favorite song. I was singing this songs as I am writing this review. This song has a nice melody, nice guitar in the background nice soft voice." Bold"I love the beat. I started dancing in my seat."  
  • "Intro is great that makes a energetic person to make a little dance of the feel. Vocal tone with music stills the day. Non boasting simple song with great vocal . Another lovely love song that punches every heart. Changes the mood of the room .guitar and background music is too good for the singer and the song. Overall wonderful music and simple song of my choice."       
  • "The melody is very thoughtful and interesting. It is very professional and melodic. It warms my heart to listen to and it is very vocal. The beat to the song is strong and memorable. This song is full of beautiful melody and rich strong vocals. Something I would here in a restaurant. With careful execution, the song maker really nailed the skillfulness of this song." 
  • "The First Intro of the song is Really cool tune which is Awesome. The Vocals are not so good though Although i did think the words were really really meanfull and without the vocals this could get to N1 Easy. The Vocals Are not to bad but they need some editing or something."       
  • "Great guitar. Great voice. What did Delilia do? Thought the instrumental blended well together. I liked the upbeat tempo in what some would call on odd "love" song of desperation. Still loving her, but what happened? I like the. "High notes being played. Different. Good."      
  • "The opening sound gives the song the sense of a semi upbeat sound. The singer's voice is full of emotion and flows with the music. The lyrics are interesting. It's interesting how many songs are about a girl named Delilah. It's a good song. I find it interesting how some lyrics rhyme. This song is definitely a song that could get stuck in my head until I listen to it again."
  • "Smooth intro and brilliantly played however the vocals were not very strong and the lyrics were a bit weak. An average song. Neither bad or good. If the vocals were a bit stronger then I would of rated higher."      
  • "Sounds like salsa music! The arrangements of the instuments are great but you do need a different singer! the singer voice just is not catchy at all. on this song I just wanna here the instrumental that's all." 
  • "This song will work better as a jazz instrumental. The vocalist does not fit the flow of the instruments. The bass guitar does not provide a solid foundation for the lyrics. Instead the guitar and the drums could stand alone. The vocalist's voice is basically a distraction to the beautiful composition of the music. The hook is very distracting. It sounds as if the tenor is almost screeching. This song has more of a Latino feel. A more calm voice should be incorporated if any voice should be present in the song. The voice could be accented to give a flavourful vest. The current voice overpowers instruments."           
  • "The introduction is very powerful and appealing to the core audience, it captured my attention from the start to the finish. The lyrics are mysterious and sad, making the listener think he's heartbroken. The background guitar really did this song justice, and made the audience see from the artist point of view. Amazing break up song, and I would recommend it to anyone."      
  • "This song sounds like it would be played on a vacation at a tropical island. This is what I love about it, because it makes me happy and puts me in a positive mood! It also sounds as if it could be a song from Europe either way I love foreign sounding music and think this would be a very popular hit!"      
  • "A sultry, moody guitar led introduction. Really great playing technique. Could listen to this as just an instrumental. The lead male vocal, continues this moody introduction. Great power and range in the chorus. Carries the theme of the song very well. The only thing that lets this song down, is the mediocre quality of the lyrics."            
  • "The guitar notes in the introduction give this song a Spanish flamenco feel. It jarred me, then, to hear a strong British accent when the vocals began. The percussions also remind me of a flamenco or Spanish influence. This song's lyrics are interesting and concern a temptress who hasn't changed her ways and who betrays the narrator. Her name is Delilah, too, which is the name of the biblical temptress who betrayed Sampson and therefore emphasizes the evil nature of the woman in the song. I liked the lyrics and the unusual background music. However, this song is a lot different than the usual pop fare, so I'm not sure it will appeal to pop audiences."       
  • "this really has a nice brand of music. there is a light and fresh, instrumentals. a musical sense that really has a magnificent and attractive mix. the sound of this singer is excellent, a voice that is mild and easy. so smooth and collected. the lyrics to this have a brand that is composed and easy."      
  • "This song sounded really Hispanic. The guitar playing sounded smooth. I liked the singers voice. He sang professionally. I liked the lyrics, " the games you used to play, you still play them today." This singer had a really strong voice. This song was about love. This song should be played on the radio. I liked it."     
  • "Stimulating beat of the chimes with the keyboard give the song a striking and spirited feeling to it. The deep and low vocal tone of the artist, is befitting of the song, as the mellow sound of the song brings out the artist's vocal well. The artist have a bit of emotional expression that needs to be projected better, so that this lyrics stand out a lot more to the audience."        
  • "Yes! Really like the spanish vibe. Conga groove is cool. Singer has a great voice. Guitar work is great, love the tone too. Cool cymbal groove on second half of the verses. Choruses are awesome! Love that high note... Delilah! Mix is pretty good. I'd probably buy this tune. Reminds me of taking a road trip after going thru a bad break up."    

 



 
Why
  • “The singer has a similar sound that reminds me of an Elvis sound. It seems like a good love song. I like the repetive use of "have you ever wondered why" and how it's used to describe different situations. The song also has a very Hawaii music sound.”  
  • “I would rate this song a 9. I liked how the lead singer sounded like Elvis. I also like how the lyrics are very sweet and kind. I just wish that the lead singer would sing a little louder.” 
  • “The start of the song and the style of the nstruments make me think that this is going to be a piece of soul music and I am not wrong. The singer sounds heartbroken in his tyle which obviously fits the piece of music. The instruments all work well together as if they are trying to look after him. I like how all the verses all start with 'Hav you ever wondered why'. Good song!” 
  • “The organ goes well with the song. I love the lyrics, so real and easy to relate to. The chorus was well done. The vocals tend to sound rushed and off tone until the solo, which sounds awesome. This song has potential but the vocals will need to be worked on. The song has a nice harmony that goes perfect with the bass. Well done.” 
  • “The beat to this song is very strong and is very melodic. Sometimes, the melody strays between what it should be and what it is. The vocals are very warming and rich, full of beautiful sound. The vocalist seems very interesting and experienced. Overall I really loved and enjoyed this thought-provoking, inspiring, memorable song.”“The intro is good, but it seems like some of the music is behind the others. The singer starts and he is melodic, but I don't like the tone in his voice. They seem to be pushing the lyrics to fit the music. The singer seems to be singing faster than the music to compensate for the lyrics having more syllables than the beat of the music. I wouldn't buy this or ask to hear it again, but that is a personal opinion because I don't like the tone of the singer.” 
  • “The Intro to the song has a feel good factor to it, which is really good. The Vocals are Well Developed into the song it is a great radio tune which i find is amazing. Another good aspect is the middle of the song which is amazing to listen to and puts me into the song which i think thats what a song needs. Although the song does have a down side.. The singer sounds abit out of tune to the music, Other then that the song is well made and is really good.” 
  • “The melody is tuneful, and sounds fun. I can see myself singing along to this song in the car, it has just the right amount of vocal range and depth. The lyrics sound heartwarming and positive. The artist is experienced, skillful and creative.” 
  • “This track seemed a little messy. I think that this was because of the timing of the vocals. The percussive instruments seemed a little loud. Maybe adding a bass sound would help complete the overall sound. The singer has a great folk-like voice. I think that the song could be great if it were an acoustic sound. It reminds me of a Mumford and Sons and Barenaked Ladies type track. If I could change anything, i would make it a folk piece.” 
  • “love the attractive nature of this osng . the music here is a very appealing style. the instrumentals are very consistent and precise. the vocal in this has a queit voice, not a full range, but clear ad has good pitch. does this osng in a pure way. the lyrics are magnificent, there comforting.” 
  • “This beat was good. This song had alot of soul. The singer kind of reminded me of Billy idol. This song was nice. It was catchy. I liked the melody in the verses. The song had a good hook about 60 seconds in. He sang very nicely in the chorus. This band could be famous."
  • “Mix is decent. Voice is a little cheesy. It would help to have an effect on it. It's way up front and too dry. I like the change in vocal rhythm on the second part of the verse. Chorus is cool. Nice falsetto. The end of the chorus needs work. When all instrumentation drops out except the drums it 's very obvious that it 's a repetitive and generic loop. Overall it 's a cool song but needs better instrumentation and arrangement.” 
  • “Showy, spirited, and stirring describes this track for me. The opening is relaxing with the mellow and simplistic sound of the melody with its guitar and chimes tunes that just flows well with one another. The artist have a soft vocal tone that is decent, but his high notes are not pleasing to the ears, as they feel stressed whenever he tries to go for them. The lyrics lacks a story to it, to keep it engaging like the melody.” 
  • “Sounds Like Caburys Advert, Abit Loud And Old For My Style, The Background Music / Melody Is Cool Had To Turn Down Volume A bit, nice vocals but abit croaky But it is still soothing, i dont think the artist spent enough time on the song personally” 
  • “The piano is nice and very well done. Catchy for sure. One problem I have is the overdubbing of the vocals on the verse. They aren't always aligned and can feel a little sloppy at times. Also, the lyrical direction in this song is something that's been done several times before. Overall though, this is a deep piece, which isn't something you see a lot of anymore. It is nice to see real art being put out. Although it has it 's shortcomings, there are a lot of worse pieces being put out nowadays.”

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