Wednesday, January 8, 2014

First blog of the new year - Part 2 - Brand new for 2014!!

So, here are the rest of my songs for this week. Here goes:

"Bad Self Portraits" by Lake Street Dive: In 2013, the word "selfie" exploded to rather unreasonable popularity. Now, in 2014, there's a song about selfies! Well, at least that's what the title would suggest. The song is actually about the loneliness felt after a breakup, but the jazzy beat of this song would probably indicate otherwise. Actually, now that I think of it, "jazzy" isn't enough to describe this song. It also has elements of folk, soul, and indie-pop. Think of all the most talented female musicians that get played on adult alt stations, from the blues-y Susan Tedeschi, exotically alluring Florence Welch, and laid-back, folk-y Indigo Girls, and mix them all together into one sound. That's pretty much Lake Street Dive in a nutshell!

"Josephina" by Big Head Todd and The Monsters: The blues-meets-folk-meets-rock amalgam Big Head Todd and The Monsters once had in the '90s seemed to be reduced to mere folk-pop in the 2000's. Thankfully, in the 2010's, Big Head Todd and The Monsters have picked up the slack once again! Their newest song, "Josephina", has a slightly rockin', but still kinda roots-y sound that might bring to mind musicians like Dire Straits and Tom Petty. The beat of the song could be said to resemble the classic rock sound, too, particularly that of "Takin' Care of Business" by Bachman-Turner Overdrive. For those complaining that the old rock 'n' roll sound isn't around anymore, look beyond your radio dial, and listen to "Josephina" by Big Head Todd and The Monsters today!

"Southern Sun" by Boy and Bear: In fall 2011, I thought Boy and Bear would wind up being one of those indie-folk/pop bands that would hit "one-hit wonder" status with their song, "Feeding Line", since no other songs from their debut CD seemed to become well-known. Their latest song, "Southern Sun", has proven me wrong, though. It seems as though Boy and Bear have polished up their sound a bit for this song. We get a bit of the wistful folk-pop that "Feeding Line" provided in the beginning of "Southern Sun", but the rest of it seems to be a cross between the vocals of Fleet Foxes mixed with the instrumentation of Fleetwood Mac (albeit with more of an "indie" slant in the instrumentation as well). Definitely more meshing together of acoustic and electric guitars in "Southern Sun", and a more consistent guitar riff as well.

"The Devil You Know" by Tommy Castro and The Painkillers: You know a song with the word "devil" in the title is going to be energetic and brash in some way or another. "The Devil You Know" by blues-rock combo, Tommy Castro and The Painkillers, is exactly that! It is not only brash and energetic, but quite spicy as well! The guitar licks in this song are like the audio equivalent of a thick, chunky, smoky salsa! Each sizzling hook only leaves you wanting more, as Tommy Castro weaves a cautionary tale about how "when you dance with the devil, you have hell to pay". Time to set the night on fire!!

"The Moment" by Toad the Wet Sprocket: Just as "New Constellation" proved that '90s alt-pop sensations, Toad the Wet Sprocket, might be hip on the indie-pop trends of the '00s and 2010's in summer 2013, "The Moment" is out to prove the same thing for winter 2014. Each song seems to fit the respective seasons in which they were released to radio stations, too. "New Constellation" was bright and summery, but "The Moment" is a bit more melancholy and wintry. It still has a good beat, though. "The Moment" sounds like it could have been a Scars on 45 or Alpha Rev song, and its chorus, letting its listeners know that "there is nothing but the moment", goes well with the reflective mood of the bands it is trying to emulate.