Wednesday, July 29, 2015

New songs for July 29th 2015

here they are:

"Different Colors" by Walk the Moon: With each new Walk the Moon song that comes out, the alt-pop quartet continues to prove that they are heavy hitters today, just as much as their namesake (The Police - specifically "Walking On the Moon") was in the late '70s/early '80s. "Anna Sun" and "Tightrope" were already pretty huge, but their Fall '14 smash hit, "Shut Up And Dance", outdid even THOSE songs!! So, does WTM's star continue to rise on "Different Colors"?! I would say, yes AND no. Yes, because it's catchy as heck, like pretty much all of their material is! No, on the other hand, because "Different Colors" isn't INSTANTLY catchy like their other three singles have been so far. A short description of this song's sound?! Think Foreigner's "Jukebox Hero" mixed with The Killers' "Shot At the Night".

"I'm In Love With My Life" by Phases: "I'm In Love With My Life", indeed! And with a song as catchy as THIS, why shouldn't you be?! It has all the makings of a classic pop radio hit! Disco beats, INXS-ish guitar hooks, and the perfect blend of male and female vocal harmonies! What's more?! First off, not a single lyric in the song is negative, a rarity for this day and age! To add to that, Phases are also an indie-pop supergroup, consisting of members of groups like The Like, Phantom Planet, as well as one member who was in both Bright Eyes and Rilo Kiley. Have you ever known a song whose title fits its mood more than this one does?! I sure haven't!!

"Light And Candle" by JJ Grey and Mofro: The '60s R & B vibe is here, as is the case with most JJ Grey and Mofro songs, but this time the boys slow things down a bit for a sound that is smooth and sensual, yet still gritty. The sweet, sensitive sounding title of the song kinda gives away how the song comes across overall. This sorta song is perfect after a nice night out of fine dining, or a walk in the moonlight. You'd swear you were hearing a long, lost Otis Redding ballad of the most passionate quality!

"Meet Me In the Woods" by Lord Huron: February's "Fool For Love" was the surprise hit of the year for Lord Huron! The group have always been favorites of the indie-folk community, but "Fool For Love" reached a little beyond their usual crowd! Could that be what's in store for Lord Huron's next big song, "Meet Me In the Woods"? Well, probably not. Still, though, the captivating, haunting sound of "Meet Me In the Woods" is bound to be a treat for Lord Huron fans, as well as fans of similar acts like Fleet Foxes, Iron & Wine, and The Tallest Man on Earth. So far, "Meet Me In the Woods" is the only minor key Lord Huron song that I've heard, which is interesting, considering how "lo-fi" their overall sound is. Perhaps it is the minor key sound of the song that makes it sound so mysterious, like a group of people traveling through a forest in the middle of the night!

"Sparks" by Beach House: Ah, nothing like a nice, dreamy song from Beach House. 'Cept this one kinda isn't! At least not as much as their usual material is. "Sparks" is more influenced by neo-psychedelia (and post-punk, in the vein of bands like My Bloody Valentine and The Jesus & Mary Chain) than it is by ethereal, airy folk/classical/jazz/rock blend they usually have. The screeching, fuzz soaked electric guitars about 30 seconds into the song make it apparent that this is a different Beach House song than usual. Well, at least Victoria Legrand's vocals are still soothing. It also retains the one-word titles of their previous hits ("Norway", "Zebra", and "Myth").

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

"Star Wars" Episode IX: Return of the Tweed-eye (and 4 other good ones)!!

In honor of Wilco's new album, "Star Wars", I have decided to make the title of this week's blog a reference to the "Star Wars" movies!! Here are this week's songs:

"Phone In A Pool" by Ben Folds (featuring yMusic): Ben Folds is one quirky dude! I mean, who ELSE would come up with a song title as random as "Phone In A Pool"? As it turns out, the title is not as random as it seems. It actually comes from how Ben was sick of answering his cell phone all the time. This resulted in how he did, in fact, throw his phone in a pool, out of the anger that rooted from having to answer it so often, even when he just got off stage. The song itself is charmingly odd, like most of Ben's material. New York ensemble yMusic provides a bit of light classical influence to the song to add to Ben's signature piano sound.

"Random Name Generator" by Wilco: So here's the moment you've all been waiting for, folks! A long time ago (1995, to be precise) in a galaxy far, far away (actually Chicago, Illinois), a singer named Jeff Tweedy decided to form a band, and he called it Wilco, after a military term short for "will comply". They started off as a country-rock group, but soon ventured into more folk, psychedelic, and even punk influenced territory as their career progressed. Their ninth and latest album is called "Star Wars", though no one quite knows why (yet). The first single off that album, "Random Name Generator", is, well, random! Both the title and the lyrics are rather mysterious, perhaps as an ode to musical heroes of theirs, such as Bob Dylan, though the song itself sounds more like something from what a Lou Reed led Led Zeppelin might have sounded like.

"Spots of Time" by Warren Haynes (featuring Railroad Earth): As a temporary member of The Allman Brothers Band, Warren Haynes is quite an accomplished "jam band" guitarist! His studio songs often feel more like live recordings due to their enormous length. Another thing he has in common with The Allmans is how blues-y he sounds. Well, normally. Warren's latest song, "Spots of Time", sounds more like an amalgam of flamenco, bluegrass, and jazz. So how did this happen?! Perhaps it's because he chose to jam with Railroad Earth, who are known for being more bluegrass than blues. For you guitar solo hungry folks, though, fear not! There is still plenty of chunky guitar jams in this song! It's just that this time around, they're interspersed with fiddle solos, too.

"The Next Storm" by Frank Turner: Plenty of folks have opted for folk-rock in the 2010's, but in 2013, Frank Turner won over more than just the usual folk-rock crowd with songs like "Recovery" and "The Way I Tend to Be", both of which made it into my Top 20 of 2013 at the end of the year. Songs like these were invigorating, lively, and quite clever as well! Frank continues this pattern with his newest song, "The Next Storm", proving himself to be England's answer to Bruce Springsteen in the process of performing it! "I'm not gonna live my whole life indoors, I'm gonna step out, and face the next storm", Frank proudly and defiantly proclaims in the chorus of "The Next Storm". Adventure, ho!

"Trouble" by Keith Richards: Since quite a large number of adult alt stations have started spinning this song when it isn't even a week old yet, I was expecting this to be a softer Keith/Stones song. It is not! It's basically a Stones song with Keith taking the lead vocals instead of Mick. The song has plenty of juicy Chuck Berry style riffs, a fast, propulsive beat, and an overall rebellious (but fun) sound. The world's oldest looking Stone is still young at heart! The dry, sardonic delivery of the lyrics is also worth noting here, as a marked contrast to the louder, more direct vocal delivery of Mick Jagger.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

New songs for July 15th, 2015

here they are:

"Outta My Mind" by The Arcs: Who are The Arcs, I thought this was The Black Keys!! That's because it IS The Black Keys. Well, kinda. It's their lead singer Dan Auerbach's side project. The title of this song, "Outta My Mind", serves as an apt description of the song in the sense that its mildly post-psychedelic sound will drive you "out of your mind" when you hear it!! (In a good way, of course). With its fresh, funky sound, "Outta My Mind" is probably gonna end up being one of the number one jams of the summer!!

"Winning Streak" by Glen Hansard: Glen Hansard's newest song isn't as soulful as "Love Don't Leave Me Waiting", and nor is it as poignant as "Falling Slowly". Instead, it falls somewhere in between the two, sounding a bit more like a second, or possibly third rate version of The Head and The Heart more than it does Glen Hansard. Perhaps constantly injecting passion into his songs has taken its toll on Glen, though. Glen himself apparently thinks of "Winning Streak" as a song written to a friend, in hopes that he/she is doing well. Simple, but still effective.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

New songs for July 1st 2015

here they are:

"Bullets And Rocks" by Calexico: Though they are a "folk-rock" band, Calexico's material never emphasized rock music as much as it did genres like bluegrass and mariachi music. "Bullets And Rocks" is the first Calexico song to use electric guitar as its primary instrument. The mariachi and folk elements present on most Calexico songs is still present here, but this song will probably expand their audience into including both rock and folk fans. Here's another bonus for you all. "Bullets And Rocks" even has a brief guitar solo!! Never expected that from Calexico, did ya?!

"Compound Fracture" by My Morning Jacket: Could this be Jim James and co's attempt to try to do a song in the style of Simple Minds' "Don't You Forget About Me"?! Sure sounds like it! At least the first minute or so does. A gritty electric guitar and sax enter about 30 seconds into "Compound Fracture", but those instruments are mainly present in the chorus of the song. Lyrically, the song seems more like an attempt to answer another beloved '80s new wave/alt-pop tune, XTC's controversial "Dear God". However, the attack on religious beliefs is not exactly direct in "Compound Fracture" until the lyrics "'God' and 'the devil' were made up anyway" show up. Instead of attacking religion throughout the song, though, MMJ prefer to repeatedly insist that "There is no evil, there is no good, only people doing as they should". Food for thought, eh?!

"Strangers" by Langhorne Slim: Langhorne Slim's songs are usually somewhat upbeat, but his songs usually aren't as upbeat as the Mumford and Sons gone bubblegum pop type sound of "Strangers"! The mysterious, spooky title of the song belies its irresistibly happy sound! Even the horns on this song sound more like "Walking On Sunshine" than they do your run of the mill Americana-rock tune!! And what's this?! A "doo-doot-doot-doo" punctuating each verse?! Why Langhorne, that just isn't like you!! This song is just so darn happy, though, I can't help but like it! Guaranteed to put a smile on the face of even the most hardened hipster!