here they are:
"Are You Listening?" by The Kopecky Family Band: Well, ARE you listening?! 'Cause if not, you're missing out on a good one! Though not nearly as catchy as their adult alt smash hit, "Heartbeat", "Are You Listening?" reveals a more folk-y, contemplative side to The KFB. Being that the record this song came from ("Kids Raising Kids") came out in late 2012, the exchange between male and female vocals (a la Of Monsters and Men, Civil Wars, etc.) is not surprising, as it seems to have become somewhat of a trend in indie-pop/contemporary folk-rock music. The billowy, buoyant sound of "Are You Listening?" almost seems to provide a contrast to the relentless happy energy of "Heartbeat", but the diversity in their sound choices is just one more thing that makes The KFB so likable!
"Come to My Party" by Black Joe Lewis and The Honeybears: The greatest James Brown imitators of the 21st century continue to bring in the funk into what is slowly becoming the middle of the 2010's! No real deep message to this song, but there doesn't need to be, really. "Come to My Party" is a song whose title pretty much explains what it is. It's a song about just having a good time! Black Joe Lewis and The Honeybears bring the party straight to your ears in just a little over two and a half minutes. So there's only two things you have to remember when listening to this song. Put on your dancin' shoes, and boogie!!
"Rollin' N' Tumblin'" by North Mississippi Allstars: North Mississippi Allstars are another band who are more focused on the roots of rock 'n' roll than on what it has become. Their latest song, "Rollin' N' Tumblin'", doesn't have very many words (though the words it does have seem to be references to various parts of rock history - "drinkin' muddy water" = Muddy Waters, "I ain't gonna be your dog" = The Stooges' "I Wanna Be Your Dog", etc.) It does have a lot of instrumental parts, though, which seem to combine the dirty blues of The Black Keys and the neo-psychedelic freakouts of The White Stripes. "Rollin' N' Tumblin'" seems to basically be a song that makes rock 'n' roll come full circle, from its Robert Johnson style guitar licks to its memorably odd homage to neo-psychedelia towards the middle of it. Rock lives!! Too bad no one seems to notice.
"Sunnier Days" by Diego Garcia: Like most Diego Garcia songs, "Sunnier Days" has a breezy, tropical folk-rock sound. Unlike most of his songs, "Sunnier Days" is more upbeat. It is not an aching ballad like "You Were Never There", "All Eyes On You", or "Nothing to Hide". Instead, it's a "sunny" song, like its title suggests. At least it tries to be. The suspended chord changes during the pre-chorus of the song give "Sunnier Days" a more moody flavor that most Diego Garcia songs tend to have. Its rhythm makes the song sound more hopeful, though.
"The Way I Tend to Be" by Frank Turner: A similar case to The Kopecky Family Band (see "Are You Listening?" - also listed in this week's blog), Frank Turner had a super catchy adult alt mega-hit ("Recovery"), which has a notable contrast to his second hit so far, the more subdued, reflective, "The Way I Tend to Be". So what IS the way Frank tends to be?! Eclectic, as far as I can see it. Although every Frank Turner song I've heard is centered around acoustic guitar, he always manages to use the instrument to convey different emotions like confidence, mixed with sarcasm ("Recovery") and more anthemic moods as well ("I Still Believe"). "The Way I Tend to Be" is more of a bittersweet song, as far as I can tell. "If you remember me, you can save me from the way I tend to be", Frank sings, over a melancholy strum of acoustic guitar. I dunno about you, but I think music itself is saving Frank from the way he tends to be!