Wednesday, February 24, 2016

New songs for February 24th 2016

here they are:

"Every Songbird Says" by Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop: This is probably the first Sam Beam song in which Sam actually goes by "Sam Beam" instead of "Iron & Wine". This is also a song in which Sam goes back to his Iron & Wine roots, opting for a pure acoustic song instead of one of the more experimental percussion-driven numbers he's attempted on his past few albums. The lyrics of "Every Songbird Says" are also less complex than most IAW songs as well. It is a love song, pure and simple, that seemed like it was specifically designed for Sam and Jesca to duet on even though they're not a couple (Sam's wife is a woman named Kim). A charming and lovely duet nonetheless, though.

"Water" by Ra Ra Riot: Ra Ra Riot are like a lesser-known Arcade Fire in that their musical arrangements and instrumentation tend to vary from song to song. The last song Ra Ra Riot had a hit with, "Boy", was part baroque-pop and part Police-ish fusion of reggae and rock. "Water" is more driven by piano than it is by orchestral instruments. A more synth-y sound makes its way towards the middle of the song and stays there from that point on. Imagine if Foster the People attempted to do a '90s trip-hop style song and you'd probably get a good idea of what "Water" sounds like. The lyrics of "Water" tend to be about trying to escape the harshness and boredom of everyday life, with the title of the song being a metaphor for "cleansing" oneself of daily responsibility.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

New songs for February 17th 2016

here they are:

"All Day All Night" by Moon Taxi: Not to be confused with the similarly titled "All Day And All of the Night" by The Kinks. In fact, it's safe to say that this song is like that one's opposite! It's mellow, slow, and tropical, as opposed to the loud, fast, and urban vibe of the Kinks song. One reason Moon Taxi's "All Day All Night" has been getting attention lately is because of (you guessed it) the Grammys. No, they weren't actually featured on the program, but the band and the song were both featured on a McDonald's commercial that aired a couple of times during the program. McDonald's AND the Grammys? Way to hit the big time! I can see why McDonald's wanted to use this song on its commercials, too. It's the perfect "have a good time" song that Mickey D's customers probably want to hear when they're just chilling and eating lunch. Of course, if they overdose on Big Macs they'll have heart and stomach problems that are probably better associated with the roughness of the Kinks song than they would be with the smoothness of this song!

"Born Again Teen" by Lucius: This song marks a return to form to the energetic, sugary indie-pop style that Lucius originally had back when they debuted in late 2013 with "Turn It Around". "Born Again Teen" is actually even more bouncy than "Turn It Around" was. The "teen" feeling in the song is invoked in both the lyrics and in the sound. No, it doesn't sound like a "boy band" song, for those who are wondering (after all, Lucius are not male themselves). Instead, it sounds more like a "girl group" song from the early '60s, but with an added flavor of the more modern type of sweet-and-sour girl-pop like, say, Liz Phair, maybe. Bubblegum pop with an edge, that's what this song is! If that's your thing, then please give this song a listen!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

New songs for February 10th 2016

here they are:

"Anywhere You Want to Go" by Santana: Could it be?! A Santana song with NO special guest appearances that sounds more like rock than pop?! This is what old-school Santana fans have probably dreamed of since 1999, back when "Smooth", Santana's duet with Rob Thomas, was the mega-hit of the year! Perhaps there's a good reason that the Latino rockers wanted to get back to their roots. According to Carlos Santana himself, he was upset that pop stars (Coldplay, Beyonce, Bruno Mars) played the Superbowl this time around instead of rock groups (he cited The Steve Miller Band, Metallica, and Journey, as well as his own band, as good examples of who SHOULD be playing the Superbowl instead). Given what a soppy and somewhat unenthusiastic performance Coldplay gave at the Superbowl, Carlos has a very good point! "Anywhere You Want to Go" revitalizes what Santana has been missing for nearly 40 years!! It is a song of pure, unadulterated, free-spirited, non-homogenized rock and roll!! Thanks for keeping the vim, vigor, and vitality of your band alive for us, Carlos!

"Capsized" by Andrew Bird: And speaking of rock and roll...Andrew Bird?! Wait a minute!! The guy who makes a one-man show out of violins, baroque-pop, and whistling?! Yeah, this is him! I guess even HE is getting tired of how calm the whole "indie" thing has become, so he decided to amp things up a bit in his latest song, "Capsized", which one YouTube commenter aptly summed up as "Andrew Bird meets Alabama Shakes". "Capsized" also has a more groovy beat than most Andrew Bird songs. It's not the first Andrew Bird song I've known to have drums, but it is the first one in which drums take on a prominent role. There probably hasn't been any Andrew Bird song that you've wanted to "shake it" to. Until now, that is.

"Ophelia" by The Lumineers: While Andrew Bird continues to experiment further and further with new sounds, The Lumineers, a folk-rock trio that won the hearts of millions in 2012 with their happy sounding earworm, "Ho Hey", prefer sticking to the tried and true. The Lumi's latest song, "Ophelia", is a song that has a rather down-home-y charm like a lot of their songs tend to have. It is a mellow but fun piano-based song with a downright infectiously catchy chorus, which has probably made it the most anticipated new song of the week. Don't be fooled by the innocent sound of the song, though. The "heaven help the fool who falls in love" part of the chorus is actually a subtle reference to how easily people can be drawn into the idea of being famous. This song sure is bright and chipper nonetheless, though!

"Since You Been Gone" by The Heavy: The Heavy's signature brand of indie-pop meets funk appears once again on their latest song, "Since You Been Gone". Between this one, "How You Like Me Now?", and "What Makes A Good Man?", I'm convinced at this point that The Heavy know how to mix together the perfect combination of danceable and catchy into pretty much all of their songs! It might be worth noting that unlike their previous two hits, "Since You Been Gone" is in minor key. However, that does little to affect what a joyride people are in for when they hear this one! Is there anything these guys can't do?!

"Welcome to My World" by Widespread Panic: We started with a band who is legendary among classic rock fans, and we've ended this week with a band who SHOULD be, but isn't. Widespread Panic's loose and funky brand of Allman Brothers-style jam-band rock has been going strong for 25 years, though a lot of their songs sound like they're from even longer ago. "Welcome to My World" is one such song. It's a catchy little Southern rock ditty that bears resemblance to both The Doobie Brothers' "China Grove" and pretty much anything that Lynyrd Skynyrd have done. The song is a reminder of the freewheeling, breezy, fun vibe that rock and roll was meant to have all along! Welcome to their world, a world where every night is a wild party!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

New songs for the day after Groundhog Day

Stuck in a continuous time loop? Not to worry. We have 6 songs that'll get you through it!

"Gardenia" by Iggy Pop: David Bowie and Lou Reed may not be around anymore to grace us with their presence, but at least ONE punk rock forefather is keeping things alive for us, and that man is Iggy Pop! If you're expecting something with manic reckless abandon like "I Wanna Be Your Dog" or "Lust For Life", you'll be sorely disappointed. "Gardenia", instead, is one of the few calmer songs in Iggy's catalog, in fact it kinda sounds more like David Bowie than Iggy Pop, both musically and vocally. I wonder if the "Gardenia" mentioned in the song is Bowie himself?! Could be! One gets the hint that Iggy wants to continue to impress today's "alternative" crowd, just as he did in days of old, as this song seems to be slightly influenced by groups like The Walkmen and Modest Mouse.

"No Love Like Yours" by Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros: Musically, Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros still sound a little like a modern day Mamas and Papas, but vocally, that seems to be lost in this song. That's because the female harmonies supplied by ex-Magnetic Zero Jade are no longer there. Female vocals are present on "No Love Like Yours", but they're not as distinctive as Jade's voice. Nonetheless, ESATMZ fans will probably still be wowed by "No Love Like Yours", as it does have the typical upbeat, post-hippie-folk-rock sound that the group usually have. The tinkly pianos in this song tend to make it distinct from other Magnetic Zeros songs, despite the fact that they've used pianos before. It is also one of their shortest songs, at only 2 minutes and 57 seconds.

"Run Or Hide" by Run River North: Here is yet another indie-pop song in which piano is a defining feature. However, it sounds far too modern to be mistaken for a song from the 1960's, which is funny for a band whose first major song, "Monsters Calling Home", sounded a bit like Mumford & Sons or Of Monsters & Men. "Run Or Hide" definitely has a more modern sound than one might expect from Run River North. Perhaps that's why it's gotten more attention than their other songs have. The shout-y vocals, slightly reminiscent of songs like Imagine Dragons' "Radioactive", might also be a bit jarring for people who originally got to know Run River North through "Monsters Calling Home". However, Run River North seemed to have gained a new fanbase in the process of this song, and they seem to like it, too, especially judging by how much Run River North seem to like interacting with their fans through their YouTube page. Nerds, rejoice! Apparently Run River North are fans of "Pokemon" and "Firefly" according to one YouTube comment they made!

"Spirits" by The Strumbellas: How many people thought that their name was actually "Strumbrellas" instead of "Strumbellas"?! Well, I did. Apparently there's only one "R" in their name, not two. Anyway, The Strumbellas' debut song, "Spirits", is an interesting song. It is an indie-folk-rock song backed by an upbeat drum section and (once again) piano. The paranoid lyrics of the song, "I've got guns in my head and they won't go. Spirits in my head and they won't go" are offset by how happy the song itself sounds. The song seems to be a pretty big hit so far. The secret to their success? Probably just making the song sound as fun and catchy as it does!

"Thank God For Girls" by Weezer: WEEZER?! Some of you probably spit milk through your nose if you know me well enough, as I'm really not a big fan of Weezer ordinarily. However, there are some times where I make an exception to the rule, and this is one such case. Here is yet ANOTHER song where piano takes a central role. (Billy Joel, are you listening?! Take note!) Weezer have made an interesting transformation from self-loathing nerds in the '90s, people questioning their social identity in the '00s, and nerds who are more proud of their nerdiness in the 2010's. This song is pretty quirky, really. I mean who ELSE would use the word "cannoli" in a song even once?! They use that word repeatedly here! I'm not sure that half of this song is even ABOUT girls. "Thank God for girls" just seem to be four words they use here to drill into peoples' eardrums for days upon end.

"Wolves Without Teeth" by Of Monsters and Men: Yet another OMAM song with strange and mystical metaphors for the ups and downs of relationships. I'm sure that's why a lot of their fans (including me) like their music, though. Even their name has an aura of mystique that's just as alluring as the songs they perform. "Wolves Without Teeth" is a light folk-rock affair like a lot of OMAM's songs tend to be, but the distortion of the backing electric guitar here seems to be a bit more noticeable here than it is on their other songs (one YouTube commenter even referred to this song as "Of Mumford and Bastille" - a pretty apt and somewhat funny description, if I do say so myself!)