Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Music from down under!!

Hi everyone. Two thirds of the musicians reviewed in this blog (Vance Joy and Lorde) happen to be from Australia and New Zealand, respectively, both countries in Oceania (or, the continent of Australia). That being said, here are this week's songs!

"Rewrite Our Lives" by Ha Ha Tonka: By far the most "indie-centric" (and most American - only American, actually) band on this week's list, Ha Ha Tonka's brand of indie-folk hearkens back to what the subgenre sounded like before Mumford, et al, took over at the start of the 2010's. The recording equipment sounds perfectly lo-fi, and the mix of somewhat messily played (but still decent sounding) acoustic guitars and '60s style organs make Ha Ha Tonka sound "retro" in more than one way in what is now almost the middle of the the second decade of the new millennium. The funny thing is, supposedly Ha Ha Tonka had an even MORE "true indie" sound (think Beck, Neutral Milk Hotel, Elliott Smith, etc.) before "Rewrite Our Lives" was released. Also, for those wondering about how they got their seemingly random name, it wasn't from someone laughing at a children's brand of toy trucks, it was actually from a state park in Missouri!

"Riptide" by Vance Joy: It's no surprise that Vance Joy hails from a land surrounded mostly by water, given how Hawaiian his song "Riptide" sounds, with its breezy vibe and ukulele dominated sound. Even his last name makes him sound optimistic! The lyrics to the song are positively dark, though! Many even suspect that the song could be about someone committing an unforgivable sexually deviant act to his girlfriend, and with lyrics like "Lady, running down through the riptide, taken away to the dark side, I wanna be your left hand man", they could be right! The video contains some freaky imagery as well, so I won't post it in case someone of a more sensitive nature happens to stumble upon the site. You've been warned, though! Always seems to be something scary in October, doesn't there?!

"Team" by Lorde: Lorde, the 16-year-old, New Zealand bred, musical cross (sound-wise) between Lana Del Rey and Bjork, had a huge hit over the summer with "Royals". "Royals" was pretty darn catchy, so it's no wonder she became a success on the heels of that song! Her second single, "Team", seems slightly more melancholy, but it's got plenty of irresistible rhythmic goodness to back it up, so it should do pretty well. As I'm getting to know Lorde's music more, I've also gotten to know her fascination for historical royalty. "Royals" (as well as the "court" part in the title of her song "Tennis Court") seems to hint at this, and even her stage name sounds like a title bestowed upon a royal master if you take out its artificial silent "e". "Team" could be interpreted as a team of guards, kings, queens, princesses, princes, etc. And no, I'm not just drawing conclusions based on coincidence regarding Lorde's interest in monarchy, the little trivia section on the side of the Music Choice channels told me so!