Friday, June 23, 2017

“Missing the Mark” by Paris Youth Foundation – A Song Review

     Interestingly, elements of “Missing the Mark” show an increasing sophistication as the song progresses. Instrumentally, the song from Paris Youth Club begins unassumingly with percussion and guitar strums. That changes at 0:42, when the guitar temporarily goes “quick-pick,” similar to “Chocolate” by The 1975. A second transition occurs at 2:06, when the song fully embraces a Rock riff shortly after a percussion-driven surge. It was the impact from this Rock explosion that created the full appreciation for the song composition.
     Vocally, choppy articulations of syllables mark the beginning of “Missing the Mark.” In the first verse, each of the first three lines ends in a syllable (“…side,” “mind” and “bring”) that is carried by multiple distinct notes. By the end of the track, the greater emphasis on the backing voices smooths the vocals.

     The members of Paris Youth Foundation are Kevin Potter (vocals), Tom Morris Jones (guitar), Jamie Hive (guitar), Paul Bates (bass), and Jonny Alderton (drums). They are based in Liverpool (not Paris, so add this to the list of band names that are geographically misdescriptive).  
     “Missing the Mark” by Paris Youth Foundation


Lyrics of “Missing the Mark” by Paris Youth Foundation 
I don’t care that it’s dark outside
I only came here to change your mind
I couldn’t find any words to bring
Now, it’s the end of everything

Walk through the dark with your hand in mine
Let’s lose ourselves for one last time
I couldn’t find any word to bring
Now, it’s the end of everything

You’re breaking my heart
As you dance in the dark
I can save us somehow
Don’t give up on me now
[Repeat after instrumental bridge]

Quoting the SubmitHub content:
  "Fast rising Liverpudlian five-piece Paris Youth Foundation are set to win over hearts around the nation with their latest indie pop track 'Missing The Mark,' which is out now.
  Relaying back to their last track 'Lost Cause,' ‘Missing the Mark’ further explores the agonies of romantic relationships. The track is the latest release as part of the band’s love letters compilation, inspired by frontman Kevin Potter’s personal anecdotes. Potter’s melodic voice haunts the listener to fall into his charm, while rhythmic guitar and upbeat drums tower up to create an anthemic hook of a dreamy summer hit.
  Following their debut show at last year’s Reading Festival, which had gained them the respects of Huw Stephens, the band has gone on to play all the major new music festivals including Hit The North, Live At Leeds, The Great Escape and Liverpool Sound City. They have toured alongside Transgressive trio Blaenavon and Brighton’s indie rockers The Magic Gang, and will be joining hotly tipped grunge rockers INHEAVEN on their biggest UK tour to date.
  ‘Missing The Mark’ was produced by long-time collaborator, Al Groves, at Liverpool’s renowned Motor Museum studio - the same location which the Arctic Monkeys used during sessions their debut album, and where Oasis recorded their iconic breakthrough single ‘Supersonic.'"


Thursday, June 22, 2017

“Evermore” by Mike Stocksdale – A Song Review

     “Evermore” is a testimony of devotion set to a steady-pace acoustic guitar and an occasional harmonica. So, why it so effective? For us, it’s the poetic portrait of the decades of knowing that he is with the right person.

     Mike Stocksdale is a multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter based in Los Angeles. 


Lyrics of “Evermore” by Mike Stocksdale
You and I have been together
Ever since I can remember
In 7th grade I swear I knew

That you’d be mine without a doubt
Long before we’d ever made out
I must admit I always wanted to

Twenty years went by, and I turned a little grey
Somehow you, you just got better every day

Hey, I can’t shake this feeling
Woah, you have got me reeling
Hey, I said it all before
I will love you evermore

Up the coast and back again
San Francisco, and Ashland, Bend
We only need each other and a tent

Massachusetts, Colorado
Indiana, or El Dorado
It never really mattered where we went  

We been all over, we got hearts that like to roam
I’d want you just the same, if we stayed at home

Hey, I can’t shake this feeling
Woah, you have got me reeling
Hey, I said it all before
I will love you evermore

Now the day is starting new
Our little boy he looks like you
And I never been so happy or so scared

We’re flyin’ blind and pullin’ strings
Turns out love is many things
How did we get here from way back there?

I guess sometimes life it starts to come before you call
When I’m with you I feel like we can face it all

Hey, I can’t shake this feeling
Woah, you have got me reeling
Hey, I said it all before
I will love you evermore, evermore


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The "What” and “Why” of Fighting by The Federal Empire and Fast Romantics

     The Federal Empire have a 1970s-style protest song that includes a background chant, a pair of audio snippets, and a chorus that is destined to steal the show for any concert featuring the band. “What Are We Fighting For” even quotes Mohandas Gandhi’s non-retaliatory philosophy: “An eye for an eye will leave the whole world blind.”

     The core members of The Federal Empire are Chad Wolf and McKay Stevens, with Keith Varon also playing an important role. They are based in Los Angeles. Quoting their content on SubmitHub:
  "This new single is very special to the band and comes at a time when it is needed most amidst the political conflict. The song asks the question 'What Are We Fighting For' and poses some possible answers to that question that seem relevant in the world today 'money, religion, or power.' It explores the negative impact of war with lyrics like 'an eye for an eye will leave the whole world blind.' But it also tells a story of those affected by war 'mothers are crying, watching their children die in vain.' There have been so many terror attacks and wars around the world and we are fighting for peace and hope through music that can bring Unity and Love. The One Love Manchester concert on Sunday was a perfect example. Chad and McKay sing with gang vocals in the chorus of the song to express unity and the belief that music can break down barriers and bring people together better than anything else. The goal is to share the anthem and have thousands singing along with them at live festivals this summer that they are playing."

     “What Are We Fighting For” by The Federal Empire


Lyrics of “What Are We Fighting For” by The Federal Empire
[Audio snippet]
This isn’t a game, yeah
When mothers are crying
Watching their children die in vain

I’m praying for peace now
I saw all the conflict
Somehow there’s got to be a change

No one wins when people die
Doesn’t matter which side
Love will never make it out alive

What are we fighting for
I don't know why
An eye for an eye will leave the whole world blind
What are we fighting for
I don’t know why, no

What are we fighting for
I don't know why
Money, religion, or power all the time
What are we fighting for
I don’t know why, no

The price of our freedom
Is blood in the water
We’re looking for hope, what will it take

We keep on repeating
The fate of our fathers
Somehow there’s got to be a change

No one wins when people die
Doesn’t matter which side
Love will never make it out alive

What are we fighting for
I don't know why
An eye for an eye will leave the whole world blind
What are we fighting for
I don’t know why, no

What are we fighting for
I don't know why
Money, religion, or power all the time
What are we fighting for
I don’t know why, no

[Audio snippet]

What are we fighting for
I don't know why
An eye for an eye will leave the whole world blind
What are we fighting for
I don’t know why, no

What are we fighting for
I don't know why
Money, religion, or power all the time
What are we fighting for
I don’t know why, no
     “Why We Fight” is not a response to the above song. It’s a Bruce Springsteen-style, reality-based anthem to a relationship.  

     Fast Romantics are Matthew Angus (vocals), Jeffrey Lewis (bass), Kirty (vocals, acoustic guitar, synth), Kevin Black (guitars), Lisa Lorenz (keyboards) and Nick McKinlay (drums). 
      “Why We Fight” by Fast Romantics


Lyrics of “Why We Fight” by Fast Romantics
Although I couldn't afford it
I bought a beat up guitar
I worked ’til four in the mornin'
In a broken down bar

This is why we fight
This is why we fight

I know we're all out of money
Don't let the billionaires win
We ain't got much, but we're hungry
It's burning under our skin

This is why we fight
This is why we fight

Oh, come on darlin'
There's a war on our TV
But its alright!
In our bedrooms we are free
Deep in the guts of me
I love you violently
Until the dawn's early light

This is why we fight
This is why we fight

Come put your hand on my heartbeat
There is a marching band in me
It sings a national anthem
For an island in the sea
Where everybody's somebody
Where everybody’s gone free
This is why we fight

Now every morning when I wake up
I put another bullet in my coffee cup

Oh, come on darlin'
There's a war on our TV
But its alright!
In our bedrooms we are free
deep in the guts of me
I love you violently
Until the dawn's early light

This is why we fight
This is why we fight
This is why we fight
This is why we fight