Wednesday, August 20, 2014

New songs for August 20th, 2014

here they are:

"Flaws" by Bastille: Synth driven beats and melodic British vocals made for a winning combination for Bastille's first two hits, "Pompeii" and "Bad Blood", both of which became chart toppers, so it only seems natural that their fans were just begging for more from them. With the strength of Bastille's third big hit, "Flaws", fans of the band have yet another chance to experience their music! Like Bastille's other two songs, "Flaws" combines catchy beats with brooding, angst-ridden lyrics. "Flaws" is more a song about self-blame than the more outwardly accusatory "Pompeii" and "Bad Blood" were, though.

"Light Will Keep Your Heart Beating In the Future" by Mike Doughty: Mike Doughty isn't an Imagine Dragons fan...or is he?! Mike's latest song, "Light Will Keep Your Heart Beating In the Future" (wow, that's a mouthful!!) seems to take after Imagine Dragons' folk-guitar-meets-pop-beats type sound. Knowing Doughty, if he intended to emulate Imagine Dragons at all, it was probably satirical. Then again, there is the inspirational sounding chorus (consisting only of the words to the title), so maybe it's a sincere song after all. However, if you consider that the title is the only part of the song that really makes sense (and that he actually got it from a newspaper article, as opposed to feeling the need for being inspirational), then you basically have a song that is folk-rock in sound, but an oddity in lyric, typical of Mike Doughty's material.

"Stop Your Crying" by Lake Street Dive: So apparently we're starting AND stopping with bands who are (so far) three-hit wonders, with one album each. Unlike Bastille, Lake Street Dive haven't been on multiple pop charts yet, and are instead exclusive to the adult alternative charts. Given how catchy Lake Street Dive's songs are, as well as their slow but steady status as a "cult band", I don't understand why Lake Street Dive haven't made that big of a splash beyond one format yet! Beginning with a crunchy guitar riff that somewhat recalls "No Matter What" by Badfinger, "Stop Your Crying" quickly turns into an irresistibly fiery combination of both classic rock and classic R & B by the time the drums enter the song! Lead singer Rachael Price is able turn yet another tale of romance gone wrong into a joyous musical celebration as she leads the rest of the band into action with her passionately exciting vocals!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

New songs for August 13th, 2014

here they are:

"I Hope This Whole Thing Didn't Frighten You" by The Hold Steady: Where Bruce Springsteen romanticized city life, The Hold Steady expose the seedy underbelly of city life. "I Hope This Whole Thing Didn't Frighten You" is basically meant to frighten you, at least lyrically it is. It's a woefully angry tale of Craig Finn's current life breaking into shambles before his very eyes. The passionately grungy sound of the song recalls similarly themed life-gone-wrong, downward spiraling songs, like The Afghan Whigs' "What Jail Is Like" and Goo Goo Dolls' "Long Way Down". The Hold Steady are clearly not holding steady!!

"Let's Be Still" by The Head and The Heart: While seeing The Head and The Heart in concert at the Hollywood Bowl on Sunday, I got a taste of this song before I reviewed it! "Let's Be Still" is a very calming song, as its title implies. It is probably one of the best contemporary songs to meditate to, for both its soothing melody and for its message of trying to find a blissful escape from the fast pace of the modern world. The vocal harmony of the song flows quite well with the spiritual harmony of the lyrics.

"Three Headed Woman" by Boy and Bear: For Boy and Bear to even come up with a song title as bizarre as "Three Headed Woman", they are probably more eccentric than the quaint folk-rock group they appear to be. The title is only mentioned at the beginning of the song, when Dave Hosking sings about how he "had one of those dreams where you were a three headed woman". What this means is anyone's guess, and Sigmund Freud would probably have a field day with trying to figure out its meaning! As for the song itself, it seems to be about being caught between loving and hating one's object of affection.

"Work It Out" by Knox Hamilton: Don't be fooled by the name, Knox Hamilton are a quartet, not a single person. You should also not be fooled by the gentle "Mr. Rogers"-ish chime of the xylophone in the intro of the song, as it is does not define the song, and it is also not used in the rest of the song, which is one of many alt-pop songs that I have come to label "new new wave" (using an anthemic contemporary pop/rock sound in which guitars and synthesizers are both dominant instruments). Not a whole lot of particularly memorable substance in the song, and the chorus of "I know we can work it out" is nothing new. Sure is catchy, though!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

New songs for August 6th, 2014

here they are:

"Gotta Get Away" by The Black Keys: The Black Keys' latest record, "Turn Blue", has been interesting so far!! The infectious funk-pop of "Fever" and the more adventurous, uneven, "Weight of Love" were already reviewed on the site earlier this year. For all their experimentation, though, it is great to hear The Black Keys return to their rock 'n' roll roots on "Gotta Get Away", their third single from "Turn Blue". No fancy tricks here, just basic, three-chord rock! To give the song a good ol' American flavor, famous cities like Kalamazoo and Atlanta are mentioned in the song. Try, though you may, there's no getting away from "Gotta Get Away"!!

"The Great Unknown" by Jukebox the Ghost: Taking a detour away from the blues and into more contemplative territory, our only other song of the week comes to us from Jukebox the Ghost, an upbeat indie-pop group who named themselves after the lyrics of a song by avant-rock legend Captain Beefheart, but whose music sounds far more mainstream than the Captain's. Jukebox the Ghost's latest tune, "The Great Unknown", does not take any ventures into the unknown of the music world. It does, however, have a charm all its own, with its simple but universal message about how "there's something waiting for you in the great unknown". Built around a piano riff that sounds like it got caught between the sentimentality of Five For Fighting and the wit of Ben Folds, "The Great Unknown" is a song that aims to bring change not to the world, but to your heart.