Wednesday, June 22, 2016

New songs for June 22nd 2016

here they are:

"All I Ever Wonder" by St. Paul and The Broken Bones: Retro-soul revivalists St. Paul and The Broken Bones are on the run once again! In addition to the Al Green-ish R & B they've already become known for, St. Paul and The Broken Bones have a bit of an added gospel influence in their latest song, "All I Ever Wonder", that wasn't exactly apparent on their previous songs. So what is it that they "ever wonder", you may ask? Well, the song is basically about trying to make it through difficult situations. Perhaps the high-spirited gospel influenced sound of the song serves as a way to find light through the darkness of life.

"Better Love" by Hozier: The hits just keep on comin' from Irish soul/alt-pop hybrid, Hozier. Nearly half of his debut album has become well loved among indie and alt fans. With news of a new Hozier song that was NOT on his debut album, I thought maybe he had already released a sophomore effort! Sadly, this is not the case. His newest song, "Better Love", is actually a song featured exclusively on the soundtrack of the new movie, "The Legend of Tarzan". Most of Hozier's songs deal with the battle between the sacred and the profane, but it seems like it is mainly the former that is being focused on in this case. This is especially evident on the chorus when Hozier proudly proclaims that "there's no better love that beckons above me". What does sacred, pure love have to do with Tarzan?! As someone who has not seen the movie yet, I have yet to find out, but I'm guessing it has something to do with some heroic triumph that the title character has towards the end of the film.

"Good Grief" by Bastille: Since when has Charlie Brown joined an indie-pop group?! Come to think of it, that'd probably be pretty fitting for everyone's favorite "blockhead", considering how heavy the weight of his problems are, but I digress. Actually, "Good Grief" is pretty energetic for British indie-pop stars, Bastille, in spite of its pessimistic sounding title. The song plays out like Queen and David Bowie's "Under Pressure" filtered through a bright, flashy indie-pop lens. It seems to be more of a song about missing a girl than it is about general frustration (which I thought it would have been due to its title.)

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

New songs for June 15th 2016

here they are:

"Cleopatra" by The Lumineers: Simon and Garfunkel seem like a pretty obvious influence on bands like The Lumineers, but they've never sounded more like them in both a musical and a lyrical sense than on "Cleopatra", albeit with a slight influence from the softer side of Southern rock as well. Lead vocalist Wesley Schultz weaves a tale filled with metaphor and the struggle between the sacred and the profane in this song. Songs such as Joni Mitchell's "Free Man In Paris" might have also influenced "Cleopatra", as both songs center around protagonists whose genders are the opposite of that of their narrators. In "Cleopatra", Wesley sings as a "young actress" who basically tells the story of her life and career in vivid detail.

"Good Girls" by Elle King: Who you gonna call?! Elle King, apparently! The "Ex's And Oh's" jazz-rock songstress is featured on the soundtrack of a "Ghostbusters" remake. This fierce, feisty, and fun blast of music comes off like a blues-y Stevie Nicks trying to cover "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'". Elle scratchily croons about how she "does what the good girls don't" in a sinfully sweet song filled with references to the unpleasant side of the afterlife in a manner that is more playful than scary. Hell hasn't been this tempting since Squirrel Nut Zippers sang about it back in '97!

"Take It From Me" by Kongos: Just like on their smash hit (and debut song) "Come With Me Now", Kongos have roared back onto the alt and adult alt charts with a song where rock guitars and "Graceland"-esque accordions collide! "Take It From Me" is song that's sure to scorch up your summer (in a good way, of course)! As this quartet of South African brothers proclaim on "Take It From Me", "nothing can stop me". Indeed, nothing CAN stop them from being one of the few 2010's bands that are liked equally by rock, pop, and alt fans! They've got all the good music in a single package here!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

New songs for June 8th, 2016

here they are:

"All We Ever Knew" by The Head and The Heart: Well, this isn't ALL we ever knew about The Head and The Heart, that's for sure! Their signature piano sound is still the centerpiece of their latest track, "All We Ever Knew", but the roots-y down-homy-ness that the band has been known for seems like it's vanished from their work in this song. Instead, we get a clap-heavy, brightly colored sing-along punctuated by "la-la's" in between that seems like Josiah, Chris, Charity, and co's attempt at gaining a hit on the pop airwaves. There's a bit of salvation for old school Head & The Heart fans during the middle and end of the song where a violin sound appears, but for the most part, this song just doesn't seem the same as the others by the happy-with-their-sound band I saw about two summers ago at the Hollywood Bowl. I guess one thing the band IS starting to pick up on that I hadn't noticed in their other songs is lyrical dissonance. Witness, for instance, when Josiah sings, "You don't see why your world has no love to give? Well, what goes around comes around." Very cutting lyrics for such a happy song, dont'cha think?!

"Grand Canyon" by The Wind and The Wave: A song that opens with the lyrics, "Down to your skivvies at the watering hole, gonna get you wet, gonna save your soul" just gets you in the mood for summertime, doesn't it?! (Not to mention that upbeat acoustic guitar based sound before the lyrics come in). The title of the song as well, "Grand Canyon", also evokes summery images. Guy-girl folk-rock duo, The Wind and The Wave, sure know how to release a song at the right time of year, don't they?! The title of the song comes from lead vocalist Patricia Lynn Drew's insistence in the song that "You haven't lived until you've gone to the Grand Canyon". The fun, free spirited vibe of the song's rhythm is just as fun and free spirited as its lyrics and the delivery in which they're sung. Next stop, the beach!

"Low Life" by X Ambassadors (featuring Jamie N Commons): Despite Jamie N Commons' "Rumble And Sway" becoming one of the most played songs of 2013 on adult alt stations, not a lot of people seem to know who Jamie N Commons is, and he hasn't had a hit since then (until now, that is). As for X Ambassadors?! Who DOESN'T know "Renegades"?! The song was all over the radio and commercials in summer of last year, and their followup hit, the more melancholy but still memorable "Unsteady", was almost as inescapable. "Low Life" is what happens when alt-pop superstars join forces with a blues-y jazzy one-hit wonder, a combination that no one was probably anticipating, but a good one nonetheless. This is by far the blues-iest and jazziest song that X Ambassadors have had so far, and perhaps a song that could gain them a new audience in the process. Lead vocalist Sam Harris repeatedly claims he's "nothing but a low life" in this song, but he sure doesn't SOUND like a low life. He sounds like anything but, as a matter of fact!

"Never Gonna See Me Cry" by Good Old War: GOW are a good band, to be sure, but I'm just not feelin' it with the songs on their latest album. Their previous hit, "Tell Me What You Want From Me" just seemed to have way too much shiny, clean pop production, but at least it had the band's trademark folk-y guitar sound. In "Never Gonna See Me Cry", there isn't even a hint of acoustic guitar. Judging from the solo of the song, GOW seem to want to be going the other way around, actually, though it's mostly just a plain ol' pop song as far as I can tell. You're never gonna see me cry with this song, but you are gonna see me disappointed. It's not terrible, though.

"Opening Statement" by Hard Working Americans: Roots-rock supergroup Hard Working Americans are already releasing their sophomore album! It seemed like their debut was more recent than that, but it was actually from December 2013. Anyway, the slow burning roots-rock sound of HWA's "Opening Statement" is kinda similar to their debut single, "Down to the Well". Todd Snider's vocals are also similar to how they were on "Down to the Well". Nothing exactly remarkable about "Opening Statement", but it's still worth listening to on days when you just want to laze about and not have to worry about anything, 'cause it just gives off that kinda vibe.

"Wow" by Beck". Wow!! That's all I gotta say about this one! OK, so it's not THAT impressive, but this IS Beck we're talkin' about here, so the title fits the song at least somewhat. Like his 2015 song, "Dreams", "Wow" is a single-only song that takes on the form of neo-psychedelic dance-pop. "Wow" actually hearkens back to Beck's early days with its zonked out hip-hop influenced rhythm. The chorus only contains two phrases, "It's like 'wow'" and "It's like right now", but they stick in your head like glue from dawn 'till dusk once you hear "Wow" for the first time. The self-proclaimed "loser" does it again, folks!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

New songs for the first of June 2016

here they are:

"Let Me Get By" by The Tedeschi-Trucks Band: Once again, we find Susan and Derek experimenting with retro sounds during a modern time. Janis Joplin-esque vocals collide with Allman Brothers-ish guitars and a distinctly early '70s sounding organ to buoy The TTB's latest song, "Let Me Get By" in just the right direction. As the second single from their latest album, "Let Me Get By" bears noticeable distinction from the album's first single, "Anyhow". "Anyhow" was a slow jam that totaled to 6 and a half minutes. "Let Me Get By", on the other hand, is a fast jam that only goes to 4 and a half minutes, about the average length of a rock or alternative song these days. "Anyhow" also seemed like a bittersweet love song, where "Let Me Get By" seems to have the opposite sentiment in mind, as Susan repeatedly states, "get out of my way" during the chorus of "Let Me Get By".

"Oblivius" by The Strokes: Yess, the misspeling uv this songs tidle iz intenshunal. As for the song itself? It appears to be unlike anything The Strokes have ever done before. It sounds a bit like Blondie attempting to cover the funk/disco classic, "Pick Up the Pieces". The Strokes have had danceable songs before, but this seems like it's SPECIFICALLY meant for dancing to at clubs and the like. An interesting move for The Strokes, who started out sounding like how punk rock did before it had a name, with their Velvet Underground and Television influences worn on their sleeve. It appears as though they are now trying to sound more like Talking Heads or Blondie, both of whom were influenced by The Velvets and Television, but took their sound in a new direction.

"White Flag" by Joseph: Joseph?! Joseph who?! Is this a band who omitted the "and the Technicolor Dreamcoat" part out of their name?! No, and it is not a guy named Joseph either. As a matter of fact, it isn't even a guy AT ALL, but a trio of women!! Mixing the icy techno-pop beats of Lorde with the lush harmonies of First Aid Kit, Joseph's debut song, "White Flag", is a very soothing and alluring song that also manages to be somewhat catchy. As you probably expected, this song, like Dido's song of the same title, is about having the willingness to surrender, as that is what a "white flag" is symbolic of in lyric and prose. As Paul Weller from British punk group, The Jam, once said, this song will have you "succumb(ing) to the beat surrender!"