here they are:
"Empire" by Of Monsters and Men: "Crystals"? "Empire"?! Any Bronies noticing a pattern here?! Heheheh. Joking aside, though, "Empire" really is a good OMAM song, like most of their material. Much like their previous hit from this year, "Crystals", "Empire" doesn't stray too far from the standard OMAM pattern of gentle, pensive folk-rock combined with somewhat mystical, opaque lyrics. There are some things that set the two songs apart, though. First of all, "Empire" is in C minor (as opposed to the C major key "Crystals" was in), and it also features more male vocals than female vocals, the latter of which were used more on "Crystals". OMAM win once again with their nature oriented imagery ("river running wild", "feel the ocean as it breathes", "see the mountains where they meet", etc.)
"Fake Roses" by The Lone Bellow: As you might expect from a song that contains both "fake" and "roses" in its title, this is a rather melancholy song. It appears to be a song about being able to "see through" a relationship to know how bad it might have been. Quite a turnaround from a band whose last song was a rather confident number called "Take My Love"! Still, though, as the autumn season slowly approaches, "Fake Roses" is a very apt song for the somber season. What better way to shake off a negative relationship than to snuggle up inside surrounded by blankets, warmth, and a drink of hot chocolate? Songs like this certainly get me in the mood for that!
"Keep Going" by The Revivalists: "Keep Going" is exactly what the soulful, jazzy, and aptly named Revivalists are attempting to do here! With their solid, dynamic sound, they are out to convince the world that "Navigate Below" was not going to leave them branded as one hit wonders! The relentlessly happy "chugga-chugga" sound of "Keep Going" is enough to win over fans of the band (as well as fans of similar acts like Alabama Shakes, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, and Gary Clark, Jr.) Revivalists, keep going! Keep on doin' what you're doin'! You're good at it!
"Maggie I've Been Searching For Our Son" by Craig Finn: Classic roots-rock revivalist Craig Finn from The Hold Steady turns down the electric guitars on his latest song, which is a rather plaintive protest song. Finn still has the Springsteen-esque sound he usually has here, though it sounds more like something from The Boss's largely folk-rock-y "Greetings From Asbury Park" than it does the sweeping, epic anthems of "Born to Run". For a man whose band has become an adult alt radio staple within the past couple years, Finn has never focused on acoustic rock songs (surprisingly) until now. The angst and sarcasm typically present in Finn and The Hold Steady's material is replaced here by something of a more pensive, yearning quality. Surprisingly, it actually works here!
"Monkey Tree" by Mother Mother: After three plaintive folk-rock songs (and one soulful, blues-y number), it's refreshing to end this week's blog with a bouncier, quirkier pop song like "Monkey Tree". Even its title is kinda goofy! A song that opens with the lyrics, "I live in the jungle, I sleep in a monkey tree", is bound to make you smile! Well, it did for me, anyway. This song is also one that'll make you wanna dance! Come on and do the monkey, everybody!