here they are!
"In Sleep" by Lissie: Having a name like "Lissie" is enough to make one think that there's something unique and kinda cool about her. And there is! Her first breakthrough song, "In Sleep", she almost effortlessly combines country, folk, straight-ahead rock, and slight traces of neo-psychedelia into one song! Altogether, it sounds like an indie rock Fleetwood Mac (the guitar solo at the end reminds me a little of "Go Your Own Way", only it's about a minute and a half longer!) Lissie's cynically smoky vocals make me think that fans of Jenny Lewis (also on this week's blog), Neko Case, and other Stevie Nicks-influenced indie females would really like this song (and artist)!
"Modern Man" by Arcade Fire: As if having Eric Clapton on this week's list and countless other classic rock musicians making their big "comebacks" in 2010 wasn't enough, Arcade Fire's latest pretty much steals the main chord structure of A major and F sharp minor of John Mellencamp's "Hand to Hold On To". Arcade Fire must be making their classic rock influences want to shine out more in their latest material (as I also compared "Ready to Start" to Golden Earring's "Radar Love" as if covered by The Cure). Though "Modern Man" has enough "alternative" instrumentation to avoid being completely mistaken for Mellencamp, I can't help but notice a similarity between the two songs! Another interesting thing is that it seems like Arcade Fire are releasing singles on a MONTHLY basis off their latest album (June - "The Suburbs, July - "Ready to Start", and August - "Modern Man"). One can only wonder what Win Butler and co. have waiting for us in store in September and if it, too, is classic rock influenced!
"Run Back to Your Side" by Eric Clapton: There's an old joke that goes like, "What do Eric Clapton and coffee have in common? They both suck without the 'Cream'". While I don't entirely agree with that statement, I can certainly see why one would think such a thing - ever since Clapton's solo career took flight, he seems to have gotten "softer". In the '00s, he was a bit unpredictable. While it seemed like he wanted his blues-y side back then more than any other decade, he went about it rather strangely. "Revolution" (not to be confused with the Beatles song of the same name) was his take on reggae, he let his inner soul man shine with a cover of Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground", and his "Ride the River" with fellow blues-rocker J.J. Cale, seemed more like blues-folk than blues-rock. Thankfully, Clapton's inner blues man has finally been set free once again on "Run Back to Your Side". While it lacks the heavy intensity of Cream, it is certainly more rock-and-roll friendly than most of what he has put out in the past 20 or so years, so much so that if it weren't for Clapton's unmistakable vocals, this might be mistaken for a long lost Allman Brothers track!
"Scissor Runner" by Jenny and Johnny: I love this song already!! For one thing, Jenny Lewis from Rilo Kiley is in it! (along with fellow indie musician Jonathan Rice, a.k.a. "Johnny" in this side project/band) For another, I love the neo-psychedelic, melodic, folk-rock-y feel of this song! It almost hearkens back to the days of early R.E.M., Yo La Tengo, and the "mellower" side of bands like The Velvet Underground and Pavement. It's really bouncy and just plain fun, too! Favorite line in the song so far? "She ain't a princess/But she's an artist/Painting a portrait/All over my heart". Now THERE's the kind of girl I'd like to meet someday!