Wednesday, April 29, 2015

New songs for April 29th 2015

here they are:

"Fade Out Lines" by The Avener: This song blends the best of two unlikely worlds, upbeat funk music and sad, minor key music. Behind the funky beat of "Fade Out Lines" lies its heartbroken, struggling lyrics, which state that, "The shallower it grows, the fainter we go". Guest vocalist Phoebe Killdeer from new wave cover band Nouvelle Vague provides the sublime yet detached vocals in this song. Not every day that you get lovelorn lyrics wed to funky beats, but somehow, they manage to gel pretty well this time around!

"Head Over Heels" by JD McPherson: What if Nirvana's song "About A Girl" was released more than 50 years ago?! Probably not a question on anyone's mind, but that's pretty much what JD McPherson's latest song, "Head Over Heels", sounds like. It is built around two chords, G major and B flat major, the pattern of which sounds strikingly similar to the E minor to G major shift in the verses of "About A Girl". Coincidentally, "About A Girl" was a song that Kurt Cobain intended to sound like an early Beatles tune. Perhaps JD is (unintentionally) doing Kurt a favor?! Time will tell!

"Language of the Dead" by Delta Spirit: A very late entry, as the single for this song has actually been out since February, but better late than never, I say! This song packs quite a punch, lyrically!! That is to say, it's a whammy of pop culture trivia! Agamemnon (whom I studied in class recently) and Ulysses are both mentioned, as are Tolstoy and Robert E. Lee. The only icon in the song who is not dead is Bob Dylan. Towards the end of the song, we are dealt a different kind of whammy altogether, when lead singer Matthew Vasquez gives his own personal "take that" to "inspirational" songs and poems everywhere, by saying, "dreamers, get your own dream!"

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

New songs for April 22nd, 2015

here they are:

"Alive Tonight" by Grace Potter: Anthemic dance-pop may not work for everyone, but for Grace Potter, it seems to do the trick, making a musician who started out with calm country-rock music into a sassy powerhouse! This song also marks the first time Grace has performed without her longtime backing group, The Nocturnals. Whoever her backing group is now, though, is doing a good job at maintaining the energy Grace reserves for her more uptempo numbers. The rousing chorus of "we are, we are, we are alive tonight!" is easy to get stuck in your head! On top of that, the song even contains a guitar solo in the middle!

"All the Pretty Girls" by Kaleo: Mumford and Sons imitators have been everywhere during the 2010's. So where does that leave fans of pre-Mumford indie-folk, like Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes?! Well, it pretty much leaves them with Kaleo, whose song "All the Pretty Girls" sounds like a cross between Bon Iver's "Skinny Love" and Vance Joy's "Riptide". Kaleo are also the only other indie-folk band (so far) besides Of Monsters and Men to hail from Iceland. Unlike OMAM, however, the lead singer's accent does not sound Irish. Instead it sounds like a cross between Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) and Vance Joy. Seems like this song is taking bits and pieces from other indie-folk songs and bands. Perhaps it could be said to be indie-folk's Frankenstein in that regard! I like it anyway, though.

"Mama Knows" by Sister Sparrow and The Dirty Birds: Arleigh "Sister Sparrow" Kincheloe is blessed with having the looks of "Portlandia"'s Carrie Brownstein and the voice and musical stylings of Susan Tedeschi. A winning combination if you ask me! Even better, perhaps, is how the "mama" in the title of the song refers not to herself but to her own mother! The song was inspired by Arleigh seeing some of her mother's concerts and how much admiration she felt for her. The central message of the song lies in the chorus, where Kincheloe sings, "If you ain't got lovin', you ain't got nothin'". With Mother's Day close on the horizon, it seems like the perfect song to be released for this time of year!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

New songs for April 15th, 2015

here they are:

"Dead Fox" by Courtney Barnett: Courtney's first two big songs seemed to be on opposite extremes from one another!! "Avant Gardener" was mellow, spaced out slacker rock at its finest, yet "Pedestrian At Best" is one of the rawest, meanest, and hardest rocking songs I've ever reviewed on this blog!! Her third big song, "Dead Fox", appears to be somewhere in between the two. It's more upbeat than "Avant Gardener" but not as earth shatteringly angry as "Pedestrian At Best". "Dead Fox" sounds a bit like a Pretenders song circa the early '80s, only with Courtney Barnett's deadpan vocals taking the place of the more deep, sublime vocals of Chrissie Hynde. "Dead", in the title of this song, appears to be a metaphor, as in "you are dead to me", given how the chorus of the song ("if you can't see me, I can't see you") is basically about choosing to ignore someone you'd rather not be dealing with.

"Gates of Dawn" by Heartless B*st*rds: This band doesn't exactly live up to its name (which is kind of a GOOD thing), but that's because they were actually named after a question on a game show that asked what the name of Tom Petty's backing group was (one of the choices was "Tom Petty and The Heartless B*st*rds"). That being said, it's probably no mere coincidence that a lot of Heartless B*st*rds' songs sound like '90s era Tom Petty songs, including their latest song, "Gates of Dawn". A bit of the more anthemic side of Tom Petty gets mixed into this song as well, which starts out acoustic, and steadily adds more and more electric guitar as it climaxes. Nonetheless, "Gates of Dawn" still manages to be a somewhat laid back song.

"The Wolf" by Mumford and Sons: Like "Believe" from two months ago, this is yet another Mumford and Sons song that takes electric guitar over acoustic. However, "The Wolf" doesn't seem to be striving for an "epic" adult contemporary sound along the lines of Coldplay, and instead opts for something that sounds more like Kings of Leon mixed with Spoon. It also maintains a fast, electric sound throughout, instead of meddling between the two the way "Believe" did. The song still contains the typical, soul-searching Mumford lyrics ("Hold gaze my love, you know I want to let it go", "Been wandering for days, how you felt me slip your mind"). Here's hoping this song receives more airplay than their last one (which received quite a bit of airplay, but I like this one better). Perhaps I should be careful what I wish for?!

"Things Happen" by Dawes: Between this song and the last one I reviewed, all I can say is that Kings of Leon must be either incredibly proud or incredibly weirded out that they have now spawned so many imitators! "Things Happen" still maintains the roots-y feel Dawes typically go for, but the guitar appears to sound fuzzier and more echo-y than it usually is on their material. The lyrics of "Things Happen" seem to present a "Where do we go from here?" frame of mind for the listeners. This being Dawes' fourth album, perhaps it was hard for them to come up with topics for a new song. The chorus of the song ends with the empty, mystifyingly worded conclusion that "things happen, that's all they ever do". Wait, things do things OTHER than just "happen"?!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

New songs for April 8th 2015

here they are:

"My Type" by Saint Motel: Indie-pop hasn't been this disco-fied since the days of Scissor Sisters (and that was about a decade ago)! The saxes that blare in the beginning of the song already let you know what a groovy ride you're gonna be in for! I feel like Saint Motel released this song one season too early, given what a summery vibe it has (although there's really nothing wrong with that). Beneath "My Type"'s funky fever, though, there are some very tongue-in-cheek lyrics. For instance, during the chorus, the lead singer declares that the subject of the song is "just his type" simply because she "has a pulse and (she's) breathing". "Love comes wearing disguises" and "double check for double meanings" are other clever lyrics that the song has to offer!

"Quarterback" by Kopecky (formerly The Kopecky Family Band): When was the last time you heard a song beginning with the letter "Q"?! Actually, it was rather recently, with Paul McCartney's "Queenie Eye" from just two years ago, but other than that, it's been quite awhile! The word "quarterback" itself is pretty unique for a song title, given how I haven't heard that word in any other song title yet. This song is probably the most fuzz-guitar heavy that the typically bubbly Kopecky have gotten so far. The subject matter is a bit darker than most of their material as well, with the words "lies that you told me" being the central words in the chorus. Rest assured, though, Kopecky fans will probably still enjoy this song, as it is a catchy song with a melodic sound.