Wednesday, November 30, 2016

“Lightning Parade” by Secret Company – A Song Review

     There is a difficulty in seamlessly moving in and out of the falsetto register. When it’s performed well, the ability to transition between or among octaves is easy to take for granted. But even when taken for granted, listeners appreciate its attractiveness. In the Indie universe, Conor Mason of Nothing But Thieves is a standout.

     “Lightning Parade” by Secret Company is another strong example. Scott Revell lives in the falsetto register for much of the song, but shows equal comfort in a lower octave and in the transitions. Secret Company is a UK band that claims Chelmsford as a hometown. The members are Scott Revell (vocals, guitar), James Patman (guitar), Kushal Gupta (bass) and Tim Reyland (drums).


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Noisetrade Tuesday – “The New Age” by Northern National

     Noisetrade Tuesday is no longer a weekly recommendation from the many offerings on the share site. The initial library of recommendations provided the basis for many 2016 posts, but the Noisetrade posts have become sparse. But here's an offering we enjoy.

     Northern National is a five-member band based in Dallas, Texas. The band is comprised of Michael Kanne (keyboard, percussion, Michael Rossi (vocals, guitar), Andrew Supulski (guitar, backing vocals), Dylan Greene (bass, backing vocals) and Anthony Comas (drums).
     The origin draw to Northern National was prompted by the vocal styling in the song “Love Is Fire.” The vocals are reminiscent of Dave Mason after he left Traffic and after his first few solo album releases of the 1970s. 





Monday, November 28, 2016

Holly Throsby feat. Mark Kozelek "What Do You Say?" – A Song Review

     It’s a duet that primarily uses a question-and-answer format. Holly Throsby's voice asks the questions, with the exception of perhaps the most significant one. Toward the end, the male voice (Mark Kozelek of Sun Moon Kill) asks, “Do you forgive me? Do you forgive me?” Her response is “Yes.” Before her response to that question, he repeatedly deflects the two-part request for continued commitment to their relationship:
Q: What do you love?
A: I love you, still.
Q: What do you say?
A: No, you say it best.

     But after she states her forgiveness, the second part ends with his commitment:
A: I say, “Yes.”

     Musically, there is much to appreciate. The song begins with an acoustic guitar. An electric guitar makes its entrance in an understated manner, then pushes forward as the song continues. The questions by Holly Throsby carry emotion, but the inflections in the vocals from Mark Kozelek push the song into the realm of the emotional driven. 
     Holly Throsby feat. Mark Kozelek "What Do You Say?"

Saturday, November 26, 2016

“Shy One” by Nylophone & Oran Reilly – A Song Review

     “Shy One” is a collaboration of an Irish musician, an Irish poet, and a California resident. Oran Reilly and Niall Woods (also known as Nylophone) provided the vocals and instruments, while the lyrics were adopted from a W.B. Yeats poem.

     “Shy One” by Nylophone & Oran Reilly

Oran Reilly
Nylophone

Friday, November 25, 2016

Free Friday (“FL&R”) – November 25

     Free and Legal Downloads? Yes, at least temporarily. Bands often temporarily permit free downloads of their releases.  The end of an offer is usually based on 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. The hope is to post FL&R at least one song each Friday.

     We Singing Colors is an indie-pop band from Bucharest, Romania. 
     “Out of the City” by We Singing Colors


Where do you go when it's impossible to get along with the person you once loved? You just GO!

Lyrics:
Where was I going all these years
Where was I travelling all this time
What were those words I said to you
I wish all this was just a lie, lie

Go!
Put my feet right out of the city
Don’t you say I’m gonna regret it
Speak my mind you better believe it
Pick another heart for your love

Where were you hiding all these years
Where were you running all this time
Why did you yell so bad at me
I wish all this was just a lie, lie

Go!
Put my feet right out of the city
Don’t you say I’m gonna regret it
Speak my mind you better believe it
Pick another heart for your love

heart for your love
heart for your love
heart for your love

Credits:
Released November 23, 2016
Music & text by We Singing Colors
Song recorded at GreenVille Music
Mix&Master: Adam Whittaker

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Kyle Morton and the PBS Series “Soundbreaking”

     We heartily recommend the television series “Soundbreaking.” If you aren't aware of the series, it is offered by the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). Each of its eight episodes examines an aspect of music in a passionate, enlightening and interesting manner. It’s not a lecture series, since the episodes are snippets of different interviews and different songs.

     Our personal favorite is Episode 3, “The Human Instrument.” For at least the next few days, the episode may be viewed at http://www.pbs.org/video/2365882217/. The impressive list of songs from the episode is pasted at the bottom of this post.
     Episode 3 concludes (starting at 51:22),
“We don’t really judge a vocal on an intellectual level. What we respond to is some feeling that they’re honest performances. And when we start to feel like this singer is carrying some truth to us, we make the deeper investment. This is not just the singer/songwriters. It’s not just that confessional mode. It could be James Brown. It could be Chic. But we know when it’s… you know, this is when we start to run out of words and we turn to … authentic.”

     We all have a collection of songs and vocalists in which we have made the deeper investment. Because he recently passed, I’ll mention Leon Russell’s “A Song for You” as being on the “short list.” Turning to the 2016 albums, the investment is in Kyle Morton’s “What Will Destroy You.” It is Morton’s debut album, but he has released albums as a member of Typhoon, the orchestral Rock band from Portland, Oregon. We have a number of recommendations from among the ten tracks, including “Survivalist Fantasy” and “Perverse Fascination.” But the song in which we have the deepest investment – “My Little Darlin Knows My Nature.”
     Kyle Morton will begin an extensive tour in January 2017. San Francisco is among the stops. On January 4, he will perform at Swedish American Music Hall. For ticket information, CLICK HEREThe full tour schedule is available at TOUR SCHEDULE.

Lyrics of “My Little Darlin Knows My Nature”  by Kyle Morton
My little darlin knows my nature
My little darlin knows my mind
She has sheltered me from it all the time

For left alone to my own devices
I will tear at the carpet I'll chew the blinds
A more feral specimen you won't find
But every year I am getting older
And I lose my good looks, lose my charms
All I used to lure you into my arms

Who could blame you being cynical
You're right the world it is a crypt
It's pitiless and cold
And though I remain skeptical
That you still love me
May be the only miracle

I never learned to trust a love song
It was not because the words were trite
But I felt the love itself was trite

Now my little darlin I'll sing you a love song
One you can hang your hat on every night
I will be your witness if you be mine
I will be your witness if you be mine
I will be your witness if you be my wife

*********************************
As promised above, here is the song list from Episode 3 of “Soundbreaking.”
1. Walk Away – Ben Harper
2. We Are The Champions – Queen
3. On A Carousel – The Hollies
4. Jeremy – Pearl Jam
5. Piece of My Heart – Big Brother and the Holding Company
6. Do You Feel Like We Do – Peter Frampton
7. How Can You Mend A Broken Heart? – Al Green
8. Skyfall – Adele
9. Rollin’ In The Deep – Adele
10. Not the Only One – Bonnie Raitt
11. You’ve Been a Good Old Wagon – Bessie Smith
12. I Surrender, Dear – Bing Crosby
13. I Don’t Know Why (I Just Do) – Frank Sinatra
14. I’m a Fool to Want You – Frank Sinatra
15. Valerie – Amy Winehouse
16. Rehab – Amy Winehouse
17. Don’t Let it Bring You Down – Neil Young
18. Mr. Siegal – Tom Waits
19. Come Back Baby – Aretha Franklin
20. Respect – Aretha Franklin
21. Georgia on My Mind – Ray Charles
22. Walk Away – Ben Harper
23. Who are You? – The Who
24. Luka – Suzanne Vega
25. Once a Day – Connie Smith
26. Poker Face – Lady Gaga
27. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
28. Quiet Storm – John Legend and Smokey Robinson
29. Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around – Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
30. Hide and Seek – Imogen Heap
31. I’d Know You Anywhere – Kay Kyser
32. More Bounce to the Ounce – Zapp & Roger
33. Believe – Cher
34. Love Lockdown – Kanye West
35. Up Down (Do this All Day) – T-Pain
36. Ain’t No Other Man – Christina Aguilera
37. Beautiful – Christina Aguilera
38. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

“Tear Us Apart Again” by Little Children – A Song Review

     Take a splash of an Arcade Fire riff, use it to support quieted vocals (ala The xx), and attach an orchestra-quality horn section. That’s a partial formula for “Tear Us Apart Again” by Little Children.
     Little Children is the alias of Linus Lutti from Stockholm, Sweden.

     “Tear Us Apart Again” by Little Children


     “Keep The Car Running” by Arcade Fire – The similar (not a duplication) hook starts at 0:17 of the song.

Monday, November 21, 2016

“Unforgiving War” by We Were Strangers – A Song Review

      “Unforgiving War” is emotive and atmospheric while describing a relationship that should be ended. The song begins by featuring a reverberated slow-play guitar. The voice of Stefan Melbourne soon joins. But it’s not until the 1:30 mark that the passion becomes evident in the instruments. At that time, the build is slow, yet powerful, as it walks the listener to a song segment in which the vocalist admits to his share of responsibility for the relationship being is the state of hopeless disrepair.

      “Unforgiving War” by We Were Strangers



Saturday, November 19, 2016

“Good Medicine” by Laura Burhenn – A Song Review

     There must be a good story behind the misspelling of Burhenn at her Soundcloud streams. The account uses her band’s name, The Mynabirds, so it should be easy to drop the first “n” from Laura Burnhenn.
     Laura Burhenn has lyrics that tell a good story. In ‘Good Medicine” she tells us
Ya, them judges keep passing down bullshit sentences
Another rich white boy getting off on his privilege
You'll be in prison for the rest of your life
By the shit he put to you that night.

Still you stand and sing your name
Even though your voice shakes
Keep singing, the glass that holds you in
It'll break.

     Burhenn is the face of The Mynabirds, a band based in Los Angeles.
     “Good Medicine” by Laura Burhenn

Friday, November 18, 2016

Free Friday (“FL&R”) – November 18

     Free and Legal Downloads? Yes, at least temporarily. Bands often temporarily permit free downloads of their releases.  The end of an offer is usually based on 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. The hope is to post FL&R songs each Friday.
     Today’s songs are available through the site that leads the way in the Australian Indie scene – Triple J Unearthed.
      “Fight” by Magnets is a three-minute crescendo followed by 30-second decrescendo. Magnets is Siobhan McGinnity in Melbourne. She has been vocally and instrumentally assisting other artists for years. She has decided to step forward.
           “Fight” by Magnets -To access the free download, go to Triple J site (https://www.triplejunearthed.com/jukebox/play/track/5481106) and click the down arrow.


     Woodlock is formed of two brothers and their friend - Ezekiel Walters (guitar, vocals), Zechariah Walters (guitar, vocals), and Bowen Purcell (percussion). They are currently based in Melbourne.
     “Something Broke That Day” by Woodlock - To access the free download, go to Triple J site (https://www.triplejunearthed.com/jukebox/play/track/5487426) and click the down arrow.


     “Build a Kingdom” by Woodlock - To access the free download, go to Triple J site (https://www.triplejunearthed.com/jukebox/play/track/4581006) and click the down arrow.



      “The Garden” by Woodlock - To access the free download, go to Triple J site (https://www.triplejunearthed.com/jukebox/play/track/3388986) and click the down arrow.


     PLGRMS is the Sydney-based duo of singer-songwriter Jacob Pearson and multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Jonathan Bowden.
     “Gemini” by PLGRMS - To access the free download, go to Triple J site (https://www.triplejunearthed.com/jukebox/play/track/5371486) and click the down arrow.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

“Glow” by Idle Frets – A Song Review

     The lyrics of “Glow” are built around a mournful wanting. He made a connection with her, but she remains in a relationship that he views as troubled. The vocals establish the emotion behind the wanting. However, it’s the instrumental arrangement that sets the song apart from other songs on our playlist.
     The sophistication of the arrangement is evident during the first 30 seconds. At the start, “Glow” is atmospheric, as the instruments allow the vocals to establish the emotional setting. Soon, the guitars make their presence, as the vocals describe the “one night” and how she is discounting its meaning. At the 29-second mark, the intensity of the instruments is increased, as the vocals declare that her lover is taking her for granted.

     Idle Frets are based in Chester, UK. The four members are Ben Davies (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Dave Hennessy (lead guitar), Luke Lewis (bass, backing vocals), and Erin Gibson (drums, backing vocals).
     “Glow” by Idle Frets

Website: http://www.idlefretsofficial.com/

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

“Vaseline” by Mowbeck – A Song Review

     Mowbeck defines its music as “Gritpop,” a gritty Pop. That’s fair, although we would add the Rock aspect that is evidenced in many of their songs.
     “Vaseline” is a good example of the grittiness. The lyrics are a passionate plea for a connection. Musically, the song is an emotional build, with an almost matter-of-fact questioning approach at the start and an intense Rock guitar-supported urgency near the end (which skillfully leads to a downtempo 17-second conclusion).

Mowbeck is from Nottingham, UK. The members are Andy Thomas (vocals), Phil Clark (bass), Finn Mclean (drums), and Lee Hamilton-Cooper (guitar). 
     “Vaseline” by Mowbeck


Monday, November 14, 2016

“Scared for the Children” by Jeff Beck – A Song Review

     Jeff Beck is making an effort to depart from the “guitar nerd” designation. His poignant song “Scared for the Children” reflects the transition. Lyrically, the track is a concern for the priorities of the younger generation and the consequences of the priorities of the older generation. Instrumentally, the track can be considered a tribute to Jimi Hendrix. Jeff Beck openly acknowledges the similarities to “Angel” by Hendrix.

     Indie Obsessive thanks Clark G. for alerting us to “Scared for the Children.” The contributors to the song include:
  • Vocals: Rosie Bones
  • Bass: Giovanni Pallotti
  • Drums: Davide Sollazzi
  • Lead Guitar, Producer: Jeff Beck
  • Producer: Filippo Cimatti
  • Rhythm Guitar: Carmen Vandenberg
  • Composer: Carmen Vandenberg, Jeff Beck, and Rosie Bones



Lyrics of “Scared for the Children” by Jeff Beck
Billy skipped school again
Looking like a fool again
What a little waste for a taste of a big boy’s life
I'm scared for the children

Computer screens and magazines
Manufactured hopes and dreams
Playing in a concrete box
‘Cause mother's got her shows to watch
I'm scared for the children

This is the end of the age of the innocent
One more game before they go
This is the end of the age of the innocent
What will we leave them with?
Suppose we'll never know

Processed greens and man-made meat
Running out of things to eat
Little boys having way too much fun playing with a big boy’s gun
I'm scared for the children

And on the day the last bird dies
There won't be a drop from their big square eyes
An old man with his eyes just like glass
Kisses the last blade of grass
I'm scared for the children

This is the end of the age of the innocent
One more game before they go
This is the end of the age of the innocent
What will we leave them with?
Suppose we'll never know

Instrumental Interlude
[Then, repeat the chorus.]

No respect for anyone
Why would they after what we done?
What an example we have set,
What a planet we have left
Let's be there for these children

Saturday, November 12, 2016

“Cocoon” by Milky Chance – A Song Review

     That steady stream of quality Folktronica that flowed in early 2015 became a trickle in 2016. Coleman Hell, Howard, Message to Bears and others carried Folktronica (the fusion of Folk and Electronica-style sampling) to its high water mark last year. But the more recent entries have been less solidly based.
Milky Chance while at the Outside Lands
Festival in San Francisco
     Well, this week Milky Chance released a single that fortifies the argument that the German duo (trio for concerts) has special skills within the genre. “Cocoon” combines infectious guitar, the band’s characteristic vocals, and sample-based beats to first draw the listener’s attention and then hold it firmly.

     Quoting the press materials:
  "Cocoon" is the first track to follow up from one of the most successful debut albums of 2014, "Sadnecessary," which featured the international smash "Stolen Dance" - one of the Top 20 most Shazam-ed tracks in history (a feat shared with such artists as Daft Punk, Macklemore) - and consequent hit singles "Down By The River" & "Flashed Junk Mind." A truly modern musical success story, the young German duo headlined gigs all over the world, including a sold-out UK tour which included two nights at Shepherd’s Bush Empire and three sold-out US Tours comprising more than 60 dates in total.
  Milky Chance, comprised of former schoolmates Clemens Rehbein and Philipp Dausch, explain that "Cocoon" came from a period of reflection on the runaway success of their first album. The band’s sound combines deep, organic warmth of instrumental arrangements with Clemens raw, raspy voice. As the single’s name and sound implies, it also brings forth a palpable sense of returning to a place of serenity. Or in Clemens own words “trying to find a place where you can be yourself and not be distracted; to slow down and reflect on yourself.”

     “Cocoon” by Milky Chance

Website: http://www.milkychance.net/



Lyrics of “Cocoon” by Milky Chance
Eh-ah, eh-ah, eh-ah, eh
Eh-ah, eh-ah, oh
Eh-ah, eh-ah, eh-ah, eh
Eh-ah, eh-ah, oh

I know that you must feel like facing
With ruin, facing with ruin
I messed it up as always,
I'm afraid of losing, I'm afraid of losing
I made you thinking oh so wrong
I made you feeling the worst
And I don't how to get along
With myself when I'm weakened
When I'm weakened

So let's go back to our cocoon
On the blackened afternoon
I see your heart is bleeding too
Let me bleed instead of you
So let's go back to our cocoon
On the blackened afternoon
I see your heart is bleeding too
Let me bleed instead of you
Let me bleed, let me bleed
Eh-ah, eh-ah
Let me bleed, let me bleed
Eh-ah, eh-ah
Instead of you

I've been always playing
Solid as I'm waving, solid as I'm waving
So I became a liar, I've been underrating
Overestimated
I made it really hard for you
Hard for you to love me
But there's so many things we could do
And all we need is escaping, escaping

So let's go back to our cocoon
On the blackened afternoon
I see your heart is bleeding too
Let me bleed instead of you
So let's go back to our cocoon
On the blackened afternoon
I see your heart is bleeding too
Let me bleed instead of you
Let me bleed, let me bleed
Eh-ah, eh-ah
Let me bleed, let me bleed
Eh-ah, eh-ah
Instead of you

Eh-ah, eh-ah, oh
Eh-ah, eh-ah

So let's go back to our cocoon
On the blackened afternoon
I see your heart is bleeding too
Let me bleed instead of you
So let's go back to our cocoon
On the blackened afternoon
I see your heart is bleeding too
Let me bleed instead of you
Let me bleed, let me bleed
Let me bleed, let me bleed
Let me bleed, now I will bleed
Instead of you