Wednesday, February 15, 2012

'Twas the day after Valentine's

...and all through this blog, are four new songs, to make you happy as! Anyway, here they are:

"A Little Bit of Everything" by Dawes: If by "everything" you mean "songs that sound like Jackson Browne", then yes, this song IS a little bit of "everything". But seriously, this is a good song (and coincidentally, the members of Dawes just happen to be friends with Jackson Browne). Unlike the previously guitar-oriented songs of Dawes, "A Little Bit of Everything" is mostly a "piano-rock" song, with the exception of the electric guitar solo in the middle (which, once again, sounds like something out of a Jackson Browne song). As their first major song to focus more on piano than guitar, "A Little Bit of Everything" comes off sounding more melancholy than the typical Dawes song. That being said, those attending Coachella this year who happen to be fans of Dawes might be in for a surprise when/if they hear this song from them, but hopefully it will end up being a pleasant surprise!

"Low Fuel Drug Run" by 7Horse: One of the few songs I've ever known to really put the "rock" in "country-rock", "Low Fuel Drug Run" is basically a one chord vamp (built almost entirely around a D chord capoed at the 5th fret), which is more common in blues than country OR rock. It is a fast, fun, and quite catchy tune! The harmonica in "Low Fuel Drug Run" adds a nice touch to it. The vocals in the beginning of the song are higher and easy to understand, but the lead singer quickly switches to lower vocals during the chorus and throughout the second verse, and the speed at which the lyrics are being sung becomes faster, the latter of which bears slight resemblance to Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues". Though drugs (the title of the song) are referenced and alcohol is mentioned (the refrain of the song is "six bottles of whiskey and a bottle of wine"), "Low Fuel Drug Run" still manages to be a lively, high-spirited blues-y romp!

"Meant" by Elizaveta: The dramatic, almost neo-classical intro to "Meant" gives way to a piano arpeggio similar to many of the best-known songs in pop/rock history, from The Righteous Brothers' "Unchained Melody" to The Beatles' "Oh! Darling" and Queen's "Somebody to Love". Unlike those three songs, "Meant" is written in a minor key, which is fitting for a song about a breakup. The orchestral backing instruments add to the intensity of this song, giving it a very powerful, convincing sound. Of course, breakup songs are nothing new, but classical and opera influenced arrangements to such songs?! I don't recall that happening before, so therefore, I think "Meant" puts a whole new spin on breakup songs. It also makes me think Elizaveta's musical influences reach from many different genres, so I look forward to hearing what she will come up with next!

"Movement And Location" by Punch Brothers: Not since the days of The Velvet Underground has a string instrument other than guitar been used so intensely that it sounds like an instrument from a typical rock band!! In "Movement And Location"'s case, TWO instruments - violin and mandolin! Though there are no electric guitars present on "Movement And Location", it seems to take cues from progressive rock songs in that it is structured more like a suite than a pop song (thankfully it's only 4 minutes and 6 seconds for those who feel bored/irritated by the incredible length of most progressive rock songs). "Bluegrass-rock" has become pretty common by now, especially in alt/indie rock music, but not typically with the sort of of craftsmanship and in-your-face vibe that shows up in "Movement And Location"!