Archive | November, 2011

Rumer Has It!

26 Nov

In “Am I Forgiven,” British songstress Rumer concocts a perfect mid tempo tune that carries listeners back to a decade where soulful, insightful music dominated the airwaves.

Set against a pleasant drumbeat and keys which props up the song’s 70’s retro nod, is Rumer’s unmistakable voice. Or rather, a voice that has been called the modern day Karen Carpenter.

As Rumer sings, one cannot help but think, even for a second, that is an unreleased Carpenter song. Not a artist covering a Carpenter song, but a previously recorded Carpenter tune being released to the masses today.

“Am I Forgiven” has an amount of honesty and heart that matches Carpenter’s “Rainy Days and Mondays” and “Close to You”

I Lost My Heart/I Sat On My Window And Looked Out And/Watched The Rain Washed Down The Street/Oh Will The Sun Rise/Like The Birds That Fly Over/Rising Up Through The Trees?

Earnest, and sweet, without ever being saccharine, Rumer delivers the type of music long forgotten by the mainstream radio industry.

The type that makes you want to wrap yourself in a blanket with a hot cup of tea on a rainy day.

Comfort music at its finest.

Discography:Seasons of my Soul (2010)

Official Website: http://www.rumer.co.uk/

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Fall in Love with A B & the Sea

26 Nov

A B & the Sea shed their usual upbeat California style pop in “Setting Moon” for an introspective crooner ballad that has the authenticity of the 50’s doo wop era of music.

Like other classic ballad’s from the 50’s, such as The Penguins “Earth Angel” and The Five Satins “In the Still of the Night”, A B & the Sea delivers a love song that stands on par with these gems from the past.

Lead singer Koley O’Brien’s strong voice carries the tune, his falsetto showcasing his dynamicity which helps to deliver the core message of “Setting Moon”

“But we all fall in love/ cause we’re already waves/ that fade away in the setting moon”

In essence, we live, love, and die like everyone else on Earth.

Towards the end of the track a somber verse indicates that time has passed, and that we cannot stay young forever.

“As the world spinning faster we fall to disaster /somewhere, somehow/your breathing gets slower/your children grow older/somewhere somehow/ but they all fell in love/ in the shadow of the setting moon.

In an era where it seems as if all songs on pop radio talk about partying hard, it’s refreshing to see a group tackle a universal theme that one way or another the party generation will have to grow up and face.

Discograph: Girls and Boys (2009), Run,Run,Run (2011).

Official Website: http://www.myspace.com/abthesea

 

Jack and White are Alright

20 Nov

American Idol season seven alumni Brooke White has teamed up with singer/songwriter Jack Matranga for the duo’s first project Gemini.

The self titled track delivers deep emotional lyrics, effortless vocals, and simple instrumentation that makes you dig deep inside yourself.

“Been walking a fine line/between darkness and sunshine/separate but intertwined/I’m fixed but I’m broken/guarded but open/founded in foolish pride.”

White who is known for her sunny, upbeat personality lays her heart and soul down on this track, exposing the rawness underneath her bubbly appearance.

The song unmistakably has a 1970’s feel, with White’s vocal harmonies soothing the ears. It’s earthy and real, and could easily find a home right in between the classic Fleetwood Mac tracks “The Chain” and “Little Lies”

Playing on the astrological sign of Gemini (the twins) Jack and White further elaborate on the double sided “troubled mind” associated with Gemini’s.

“I smile and I cry like a Gemini.”

Whatever your sign, “Gemini” is alright

Discography: Gemini (2010)

Official Website: http://www.jackandwhite.com

A Refreshing Swig of Little Red

20 Nov

“Coca-Cola” by the Australian band Little Red, starts it’s music journey with an introduction that seems just a tiny bit inspired by The Sufari’s 1963 smash hit “Wipeout.”

The peppy beat held throughout the song, along with the spot on background harmonizing “Ahh’s” and “Ohh’s” seems to put a modern twist on a retro format that the 1950’s band Danny and the Juniors perfected on their single “At the Hop.”

In fact if you slowed the tempo of “Coca-Cola” down, the two songs sound alarmingly similar.

Bringing a modern set of vocals in front of his backing band is Little Red’s lead singer Tom Hartney, who channels the decades old energy of Jerry Lee Lewis.

The lyrics themselves compare the love for a girl to the love for . . . You guessed it! Coca Cola!

“My one and only advice is Coke, Coca Cola and ice/with a lemon slice on my lip/no I never waste a sip,” Hartney croons.

Not the most sophisticated lyrics, but Coca Cola isn’t that sophisticated of a soda pop.

The playful, sugar-high, tune successfully keeps the track refreshingly modern-retro, and will make one break open a cold one.

Discography: Listen to Little Red (2008), Midnight Remember (2010)

Official Website:http://www.myspace.com/littleredmusic

Go on a Musical Bender

13 Nov

The Morning Benders studio version of “Excuses” starts with the unmistakable sound of a needle being dropped onto a record.

A taste of the late 1950’s – early 1960’s  feeling masterpiece just scratching the surface.

40 seconds into the tune lead singer/song writer Chris Chu can be heard counting off the band which drives into the most luscious, epic melodic backdrop that conjures up images of malt shops, poodle skirts and drive in theaters.

Though the musical content relies heavily on sweeping orchestrations that harkens back to Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me” and a vocal performance that could easily fit in as the third Everly Brother the lyrics are quite taboo.

“You tried to taste me/And I taped my tongue to the southern tip of you body/But bones are too heavy to come up/Squished into a single cell of wood.”

It may be the single most dirty block of lyrics that successfully masquerades itself as romantic. In any other song these words may come off as crude, but behind the plush background of strings and percussion it serves as the perfect example of modern meets retro.

Halfway though “Excuses” there is a vocal and instrumentation breakdown which showcases the band’s raw strengths before the heavy percussion and sweeping strings swing back in carrying listeners to the final note.

You have no excuse to not delve into “Excuses” and discover for yourself the magic of the Morning Benders

Discography: Talking Through Tin Cans (2008), Big Echo (2010)

Website: http://www.themorningbenders.com/

 

Take a Musical Vacation

13 Nov

 

Two seconds into the song, The Young Veins want you to know that they want to take a vacation. And after listening to this jangly, sunnyside-up song, you will want to as well.

Lead singer Ryan Ross, ex singer/guitarist from Panic at the Disco, paints a picture of the perfect getaway, where one can “leave the cold where we came from/ Our loneliness will keep us warm”

The ideal vacation is not just a week jaunt to someplace “very far.”

It’s a lifestyle.

Ross cheerfully chimes “Leave the past out to pasture,/And take the days as they come/Leave the sand in a suitcase /So we don’t forget the fun.”

 In other words breathe in the positive and breathe out the negative.

With hand claps sprinkled throughout, groovy harmonies and summer vibes, “Take a Vacation” is the new “Surfin U.S.A,” “I Get Around,” or any other early Beach Boys song.

“Take a Vacation” illustrates the simplicity and fun that the Beach Boys excelled in conveying.

It’s the kind of California branded pop that makes you want to ride the waves even if you don’t know how to surf.And with an accompanying lively music video, “Take a Vacation” is the perfect packaging of musical escapism at its finest.

Discography: Take a Vacation (2010)

Website: http://www.theyoungveins.com

Consider Yourself Lucky

8 Nov

 

A long steady jangle of a tambourine sets the stage for Lucky Soul’s “Lips are Unhappy” an infectious dance, brit pop tune that will take listeners back to the hey day of girl groups in the 1960’s like the Shangri-las.

But make no mistake. This is not a girl group.

One of these things is not like the other.

Lead singer Ali Howard(the only female in the six member band) channels Mary Weiss as she cutely encourages listeners to “Shake” and “Shimmy,” and you will want to follow her lead.

“Lips are Unhappy” is a fun retro inspired piece that will instantly make you grab a hairbrush, and prance merrily around your house lip synching your heart out. It’s a song that makes you feel good, with it’s happy, upbeat tempo, even though the content of the song is about heart break.

“Pretending that everything’s cool/when I’m 27 shades of blue”. Quite a deep lyric hidden amidst punchy beats and fresh vocals from Howard and her backup band.

If you’re looking for a one stop ridiculously good dance tune, check out Lucky Soul and turn the volume on this track up to maximum for maximum enjoyment!

The Lucky soul is a six piece pop band from Greenwich, United Kingdom.

Discography: The Great Unwanted (2007) A Coming of Age (2010)

Website: Luckysoul.co.uk