Tuesday, May 31, 2016

“Edges” by Zoey Lily – A Song Review

     It’s rare that a 19-year-old releases a debut single that has a sophistication approaching “Edges” by Zoey Lily. The full lyrics are included at the bottom of this post, but as a sample:
They always said the world is round
But how could something round have so many edges?”

     The sophistication isn’t restricted to the lyrics. The arrangement of instruments enhances the emotional impact of the song, particular the surges and wanes of the strings and electric guitar. And while the backing vocals are simple, they are very effective.

     Zoey Lily is currently based in London. But her press materials state:
Zoey Lily’s personal relationship with music began as a thirteen-year-old girl in the remote village of Les Mayons in southern France, where she first penned naive thoughts into poems, scripts and songs. Her own attraction towards musical expression took her by surprise, but this becomes all the more apparent once you delve into her past. Raised by a Parisian fashion designer for a mother and a prolific live music agent for a father, Zoey Lily’s childhood is soaked in rock ‘n’ roll…”

     “Edges” by Zoey Lily

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/zoeylilyofficial

Lyrics of “Edges” by Zoey Lily
As time goes by,
We all get rough,
We may grow up
What does it feel like
Being silenced, being quiet?
Heads are full,
Full of questions, full of hopes
No one knows, where they’re gonna go.

But they always said the world is round
But how could something round have so many edges?
And although the air around our mouths becomes
Thinner and thinner, almost before the dawn,
I hope there are days,
Days you fall in love with being alive.

And we all know,
There is always this insecurity
Feels like falling
And waiting for the crash.

And we are screaming
For the world to change
Avenge the lost
Images of us.

They said the world is round
But how could something round have so many edges?
And although the air around our mouths becomes
Thinner and thinner, almost before the dawn,
I hope there are days,
Days you fall in love with being alive.

It’s all too much
And not enough at a same time
Tearing up the letters of the past
The letters of the past.

‘Cause they always said the world is round
But how could something round have so many edges?
And although the air around our mouths becomes
Thinner and thinner, almost before the dawn,
I hope there are days,
Days you fall in love with being alive.

Forecastle Festival Collection - Noisetrade Tuesday

     This week’s Noisetrade recommendation is another festival offering. The 2016 Forecastle Festival will take place in Louisville, Kentucky on July 15-17. Until around that time, songs from 21 festival artists are available as a download.
     Our favorites from the collection? Future Thieves and Caveman.


     “Nightmares” by Future Thieves


     “Never Going Back” by Caveman


ABOUT THE FORECASTLE FESTIVAL” (quoting the Noisetrade page):
     "Ready to rock the Waterfront? Forecastle Festival returns this summer to Louisville’s beautiful Waterfront Park, July 15-17. Get a taste of what’s to come with the official festival mixtape, featuring tracks from Brandi Carlile, Gary Clark Jr., Ghostland Observatory, Dr. Dog, and more!"

Monday, May 30, 2016

“London” by Simcoe – A Song Review

     Simcoe unleashed its quick-twitch guitar capability in the latest release – “London.” Earlier songs by the band from Toronto showed the skill. For example, “Lost” has episodes of quick twitch. But the fast-paced guitar play has a much larger role in “London.”

     The members of Simcoe are Mike Barford, Jake Gehlen, Bobby Houston, Emily Coulson, and Mike Strizic.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wearesimcoemusic

Sunday, May 29, 2016

“Sense” by Jasmine Rodgers – A Song Review

     The beauty in the music of Jasmine Rodgers is the cooperation of the acoustic guitar and vocals. The harmonization is attractive. The lyrics are well articulated and interesting. In “Sense,” she adds an electric guitar, but doesn’t allow the instrument to interfere with the overall feel of the song.

     Jasmine Rodgers is a Londoner. Double side single “Icicles” and “Sense” will be released 17th June 2016. 
     “Sense” by Jasmine Rodgers

Friday, May 27, 2016

“One by One” by Opia

     It’s a festival day (BottleRock in Napa, California) that requires some travel. So, here is a song that we recommend but, regrettably, don’t have the time to explain our reasons.

     Opia is based in Perth, Western Australia. The members are Michael Bok (Guitar Vocals), Dan Zarb (Bass) and Dain Pattison (Drums).
 “One by One” by Opia

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Three for Free, Legal and Recommended (“FL&R”) – The May Version

     Free and Legal Downloads? Yes, at least temporarily. Bands often temporarily permit free downloads of new releases.  The end of an offer might be based upon reaching a maximum number of downloads or the expiration of a set period of time.  But at least for now, here are songs that qualify as Free, Legal and Recommended (FL&R) downloads.

     Finding songs that can be legally downloaded is easy. The difficult task is to find legally downloadable music that we recommend. Here are songs that cover a range of genres - Rock, Pop, Electronic, and Grunge.
     “Santa Cruz Shredder” is a fusion of Grunge and Surf Rock. The song is about a female who is out for blood in Santa Cruz. The last lines:
Fresh blood on her lace
She had some fun
City of Santa Cruz
Population: Minus one.
      The song is by Crocodile Deathspin + The Tall King Dogs. Not easy to remember.

Released March 31, 2016
Guitars/Drums/Lead Vox: Crocodile Deathspin
Bass/Didgeridoo/Backup Vox: Louie Estopinan
Recorded/Produced by Crocodile Deathspin

     It’s a coup!!!
   Through most of “Drift,” the brooding vocals are the focal point, although the guitar work deserves attention. But just before the four-minute mark, the guitars start taking over. First, it's a television-ready atmospheric approach and then Rock guitars cooperate to build a protective wall of sound that muffle the vocals.
     Appollos are based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The members are Seth Bostrom (vocals, guitar), Kevin Berens (drums) and Jake Larson (guitar, vocals). 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ApollosMN/

     District 13 is located in the Dark Electro genre. They are based in Germany (Erfurt and Aschaffenburg). The members are Michael Volkmer und Alexander Erbacher.
     “I Am” by District 13.


     Heading in a completely different direction, imEmi gives us “Break Your Heart.”

Lyrics of “Break Your Heart.”
He leans in and he smells like cigarettes
but I'm only gonna break your heart
He takes it in and he smiles like you won't forget
but I'm only gonna break your heart, I'm only gonna break your heart
He feels like hope, but not like the one I want
He takes me home to the room of what you haunt
He's filled with dope but I'm trying so hard
He takes me home and it's gone too far

He makes it easy to talk, he makes it easy to walk
but I know that the feeling won't stop when you're on my mind
He makes it easy to talk, he makes it easy to walk
but I know that the feeling won't stop 'cause you're what I find

He leans in and he smells like alcohol
but he can't tell the world apart
I'm not all in so I know I'm not gonna fall
I'm only gonna break his heart, I'm only gonna break his heart
We go and sit on the floor of a record store
I find myself wishing I had a little more
and we go and get lost in a big city
and he tells me I'm looking like a little pretty

He makes it easy to talk, he makes it easy to walk
but I know that the feeling won't stop when you're on my mind
He makes it easy to talk, he makes it easy to walk
but I know that the feeling won't stop 'cause you're what I find

He doesn't know I was crying over you last night
He doesn't know I'd rather be with you tonight
He doesn't know what he can't pick apart
I'm only gonna break his heart
You still don't know I was crying over you last night
I didn't know she could make you feel the way that I didn't know
You're only gonna break my heart

He leans in and he smells like cigarettes
but I'm only gonna break your heart
His chagrin but smiles like you forget
I'm only gonna break your heart

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Visiting Some Old Friends – Wild Based

     Both Wildes and Wildlife shared additional music since the Indie Obsessive posts about the artists. The songs add to the reasons to keep track of the artists.
     Wildes is 19-year-old Ella Walker from London. Her music can be described a combination of Daughter (“Home”) and London Grammar (“Metal & Dust”). Her recent release is “Illuminate.”
     "'Illuminate' is a reflection on our human error” explains WILDES, continuing "It's about recognising (or illuminating) the qualities that make us human, but can also lead to our downfall. The song came from the idea that we will do anything - whether it be good or incredibly dangerous - for the people we love and the causes we believe in.”


     Wildlife visited San Francisco in April 2014. Afterward, the band seemingly went into hibernation in Ontario, Canada. “Dead Century” shows that the band is alive, well and highly skilled.  


     The music of The Wild Wild hasn’t hit Indie Obsessive before, but it is well suited for completing a trilogy of wild-related artists. The Wild Wild is the performance name of Benjamin Dunn, who identifies his current location as Santa Cruz, California. We are fans of the song "When We Were Young."

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

BottleRock Festival Preparation

     The BottleRock Festival begins Friday (May 27, 2016 in Napa Valley, California). Each headliner has drawing power – Stevie Wonder, Florence and The Machine, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. The same is true of the next tier performers – The Lumineers, Death Cab for Cutie, Lenny Kravitz, Grouplove, Walk the Moon and Rodrigo Y Gabriela.
     Further down the list, the bands that shouldn’t be missed include Kaleo, X Ambassadors, Nothing But Thieves, and Atlas Genius. And below are some songs of artists who are poised to gain attention as this year’s festival season progresses. 

     “Used” by Strangers You Know

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Strangersyouknow

     “Young & Unafraid” by The Moth & The Flame


     Awaken! By Guardian Ghost

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Guardian.Ghost1

A Silent Film - Noisetrade Tuesday

     Envelope please! The winner in the category of “Band That Deserves Far More Attention Than It Receives” is A Silent Film (insert thunderous applause here)!
     A Silent Film do everything right. They generate quality music; they tour regularly, and put on a high energy performance. Sure, they have a loyal fan base, but it should be more sizeable.

     This week’s Noisetrade recommendation is the five-track “Retrospective.” The offer states:
     “’Retrospective’ is a selection of songs from the past few years that have really resonated with A Silent Film fans. It's a great way for new fans to get introduced to A Silent Film - a combination of older hits and new songs.” 


Monday, May 23, 2016

“It Doesn’t Last Forever” by Common Tongues – A Song Review

     Common Tongues are a five-member band from Brighton, UK. The last release, “It Doesn’t Last Forever,” shows that their ability to draw attention isn’t merely based upon the ability to add the violin. The violin is left in its stand and the song instead takes advantage of soft harmonization, multiple guitars and carefully considered arrangement.

     The members of Common Tongues are Tom Anderson (guitar, vocals), Oli Hinkins (guitar), Andrew Stuart-Buttle (violin, keyboards), James Drohan (drums) and Beau Barnard (bass).

     “It Doesn’t Last Forever” by Common Tongues

Website: http://www.commontongues.co.uk/

Sunday, May 22, 2016

“This Year” by Ine Hoem – A Song Review

     After praising the album from Highasakite, it’s easy to transition to Ine Hoem’s “This Year.” She is also based in Oslo, Norway, and the song includes a flugabone played by Kristoffer Lo of Highasakite. But the voice and lyrics of Hoem make the song blogworthy and cause us to question why it took us so long to discover its beauty.

     The lyrics are included below, after some best guesses. The song is a story of best intentions that were not actuated. The instruments include Lo’s flugabone and a skilled use of the metallic rims of multiple drums.
     “This Year” by Ine Hoem

     The song in a live setting.



Lyrics of “This Year” by Ine Hoem
This was the year
I would finish a book
I was going to live
A Bohemian life in Berlin

And this was the year
I was redecorating my kitchen,
My bedroom, my bathroom
And everything in... side.

This was the year
My life would change
And all of the chaos
Would fall... into haze

This was the year
I would start on a diet
And eat very healthy
While reading the magazines... thorough.

And this was the year
I would write a whole book about life,
How I see it
And they would all think I was... smart.

And this was the year
I would play on TV
I would talk to the host about life
And the hard times last year.

And this was the year
I would tour in the States
I would live in New York buy new clothes,
And drink wine every day.

This was the year
I would make it.
But this became the year... I was faking it
Everything stays the same.

The life that we're living.
I want to move to Paris
With hours to be with my lover,
My lover, my loved one; beloved, beloved, beloved one

I want to tell him I love him
I want to ride on a horse in the sunset
With my beloved beloved beloved one
beloved beloved beloved one.

This was the year 
I would marry,
Have kids, 
Buy a house.. with a garden

And this was the year
I would cook everyday
I would travel the world
Talk to strangers and friends.

Be a lover, a wife, a mother, a friend.
And everything would turn out perfect in the end
In the end
In the end.

Oh I thought I had changed,
But nothing has changed
Everything stays the same.

Friday, May 20, 2016

“Camp Echo” by Highasakite – An Album Review

     Highasakite released the nine-track album “Camp Echo.” Reading through the song titles leads to a mistaken conclusion that the band is in a dark place. “My Mind Is a Bad Neighborhood,” “I Am My Own Disease” and “My Name Is Liar” are good candidates for titles of unreleased Nirvana songs recorded prior to Kurt Cobain’s death.
     There is at least one song that can be described as “dark,” but when the album is considered as a whole, the word is not helpful. “Goldilocks Zone” is more fitting. But as opposed to judging food, chairs or beds, the scale is whether the songs on “Camp Echo” are sufficiently distinctive while not being too dissimilar. The judgment is that the differencing is “just right.” The songs are varied, but not to the degree that Highasakite ever depart from the characteristics that cause their fans to impatiently wait for each new opportunity to hear or see the Norwegian band. Most importantly, the female vocals shine through during all nine tracks.
     Yes, “Chernobyl” is haughty and dark. On the opposite end to the spectrum is “Deep Sea Diver,” with its emphasis in the Electronica genre. The song is synth-driven and almost dance-ready. Then, there’s the percussion-driven “My Mind Is a Bad Neighborhood.” All good songs, but our two preferred tracks are “Someone Who´ll Get It” and “Golden Ticket” (if you’re interested, reviews of the two songs can be found by “clicking on” either “SOMEONE WHO’LL GET ME” or “GOLDEN TICKET”). The nine tracks on the album are:
1. “My Name Is Liar”
2. “Samurai Swords”
3. “Someone Who´ll Get It”
4. “My Mind Is a Bad Neighborhood”
5. “God Don’t Leave Me”
6. “I Am My Own Disease”
7. “Golden Ticket”
8. “Deep Sea Diver”
9. “Chernobyl”

     Without hesitation, we recommend a purchase of “Camp Echo.” And having seen Highasakite in concert, we are equally strong in our recommendation of grabbing any chance to see the band. Highasakite opened for London Grammar in 2014 during a visit to San Francisco (some pictures are included at the bottom of this post). Now armed with an even stronger discography, Highasakite are scheduled as headliners in a European/U.S. tour. The full tour is viewable at CLICK HEREOne stop will be at Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco on Friday September 16. 

      “Someone Who´ll Get It”

     “Golden Ticket”


Pictures taken during Highasakite’s performance in San Francisco in March 2014 (honest, we have a better camera now):



Repetitious, Not Tiresome - “I Need My Girl” by The National

     Songs that feature an almost continuous repetition of a few notes without becoming tiresome are rare. The degree of difficulty is highest if it’s a vocal repetition – the same few words dominating the length of the song. In comparison, the challenge is least difficult if the repetition is a bass line.
     Attempts at remaining interesting while being repetitive date back to the band that some music historians assert made Indie fashionable – Velvet Underground. In “I’m Waiting for My Man,” two guitars maintain their separate patterns for nearly the length of the song. “Heroin” features a single background frequency (the minor oscillations are probably not intended).
     More recently, a song that includes non-tiresome repetition is “All My Friends” by LCD Soundsystem. More than seven minutes of straightforward repetition, and yet the song is destined to be a classic.
     Even more recently, there is the guitar line in “I Need a Girl” by The National. It is not tiresome; a better adjective is “hypnotic.”

     “I Need My Girl” by The National


     “All My Friends” by LCD Soundsystem