If you follow independent country music, there’s a good chance that you’ve already heard at least a little about Stokoff in the last two years. Stokoff, who is based out of Miami, presents his audience with an interesting fusion of Latin American themes and country swing, and in his new single “Embrujo” and its glittery music video, he puts on an exhibition of his talents without leaning towards one direction over the other. “Embrujo” is a string-powered country song adorned with some sensuous lead vocals from Stokoff, and though its harmonies are probably the most fetching element in its big picture, they’re made accessible to us almost exclusively through the top notch mixing done post-recording. This artist’s style is one that is extremely hard to describe without using terms like hybrid and alternative, but in an era that has produced a lot of experimentalism both decent and dreadful alike, his is a sound that comes at just the right time between the end of one creative age and the dawn of a brand new one.
Production-wise, “Embrujo” is very efficiently constructed from top to bottom, as is its music video, but I’m not totally convinced that Stokoff’s vocal is being exploited for everything that it’s worth here. There’s a bit of hesitation on his end, but it’s not so glaring on the melodies that we lose sight of his lyrical narrative (quite the opposite, actually). If the natural bass tones in his voice had been accentuated with any less of a walloping instrumental thrust from the string section, I think that we would have gotten a much more powerful lead vocal out of him in this scenario, although I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t still taken with the charismatic singing that he applies to this track regardless of the cosmetic issues. Stokoff has a gift that deserves to be shared with the whole world around him, and with a little more astuteness from his producers in the future, I haven’t any doubt as to whether or not he’s going to win over the mainstream just as he has the underground in due time.
If you’ve never heard his work before now, “Embrujo” is a really excellent way of getting to know Stokoff and his signature sound, and with any luck it will give us a glimpse into what his third official studio album is going to look and feel like when it finally hits local record store shelves. Stokoff has the potential to become the face of an emergent subgenre in American country music, and when taking into account the long and storied history of this medium and the makers of its most iconic melodies, the fact that this artist is finding the kind of fame he is right now is a testament to how far it has come just in the last century alone. A tale of great western swing is still to be told through this man’s music, and “Embrujo” is the next chapter unfolding before our very ears.
Donate to IndiePulse Music Magazine’s Academic and Music Education Scholarship Program HeartBeat4Kids
IndiePulse Music Magazine creates Scholarships to help Youth In Need of assistance to complete their educational goals and stay in school.