MARCH 5, 2016

John Sinkevics Album Review
Local Spins

If this is an “upbeat ambient indie-rock” band as suggested, it’s one with a magnificently broad musical palette that has band members painting their music with broad brush strokes that cover everything from 1970s-era prog-rock to New Millennium art rock and groovy, baroque pop. Based in Muskegon and Chicago, siblings Dave Zagar, Andy Zagar, and Laura Ogren were once known as the Dave Zagar Trio, but have overhauled their sound for Rival Maps. What’s resulted from that reshaping is an ever-catchy and mesmerizing collection of melancholy yet vibrant tracks recorded in various locations (including Grand Rapids’ Cold War Studios) and produced by Rival Maps and Mike Council. Highlights abound: the gorgeous ‘60s pop harmonies near the tail end of “Skylights,” the Ben Folds-like pop piano zestiness of “What Was This,” the atmospheric hooks of “Montreal,” the wonderful nod to psychedelic-era Beatles on “Kaleidoscope.” All of it resonates with an inescapable, infectious and inviting charm. Full Review→

December 3, 2015

NOVEMBER 12, 2015

Jim Bond Album Review
The Bond Broadcast

I've been around a while. In over two decades of radio talk shows, I've interviewed musicians and artists from all genres, from jazz legend Sarah Vaughn to famed concert pianist Ruth Laredo. Listening to Rival Maps' debut album Echoes, I was thrilled at what I heard. Seldom have I heard such high quality diversity in contemporary music...sometimes sublime, sometimes gripping, evocative and provocative. Always fascinating rhythmically with magical chord progressions. This is GREAT music; written and performed with clarity of purpose and a deep sense of musicality. Rival Maps was recently on a talk show, The Bond Broadcast with my son Michael and our other co-host Sarah Lepird. We played a cut and Rival Maps performed live. It was a huge hit with our audience! They are as engaging as guests as they are as artists.