Archive | March, 2013

Try out the Summer Twins

31 Mar

A slow, waltz and trance – like instrumental background set the mood for the superb Summer Twins song “Try.” With dreamy, breathless vocals by Chelsea and Justine Brown, one is immediately transported to a musical landscape fit for the last dance at a 1950’s themed prom.

The tune is a great parallel to The Teddy Bears classic “To Know Him is to Love him.” Though more than 40 years apart, both feel at home in the 50’s pop ballad genre, with its quiet harmonies, and dreampop tempo.

Perhaps musically the little sister of modern-retro bands Best Coast and She & Him, “Try” shows that the Summer Twins are ready to make a go for the big leagues.

Discography: Summer Twins (2012)
Official Website:

Relating to the Past

24 Mar

When musician Pete Yorn musically hooked up with actress Scarlett Johansson, something surprising happened.

Johansson proved she had vocal abilities which could hold its own against the much respected Yorn.

“Relator” the opening track on the album Break Up is somewhat of a revelation. Taking turns on verses, Johansson is the one who adds a slice of retro heaven to the tune. Smoky and sultry, with a dash of despair, Johansson is the perfect partner to Yorn’s more jubilant interpretation of this break up song.

Yet it is when the two come together that the modern-retro factor goes into high gear. Evoking Simon and Garfunkel’s smooth harmonizing, and the overall bounce of their hit “Cecilia,” “Relator” recaptures a glimpse of 60’s-70’s folk-pop that also feels revitalized and fresh.

Discogarphy: Musicforthemorningafter (2001) Day I Forgot (2003) Nightcrawler (2006) Back and Forth (2009) Break Up (2009) Pete Yorn (2010)

Official Website:

Ruby Velle & The Soulphonics are a Gem

17 Mar

A blasting horn section kicks off Ruby Velle & the Soulphonics “Mr. Wrong.” It’s the kind of entrance that packs a one, two punch. The kind of entrance that makes you want to get out of your seat and dance.

It immediately has the retro – cool sound down cold.

But then the real star of the song comes into the picture. Ruby Velle commands attention with her powerful, soulful, bluesy voice.

It could almost be mistaken for a lost Martha Reeves & the Vandella’s tune.

The voice. The soul. The Sass

All of these elements combined instantly make Ruby Velle & the Soulphonics “Mr. Wrong” all kinds of right.

Discography: It’s About Time (2012)

Official Website:

Taking a “Stand” for The Last Shadow Puppets

10 Mar

A rolling guitar motif opens The Last Shadow Puppets “Standing Next to Me”, a repeating pattern which helps jet set the jangly tone of the song.

Almost immediately listeners are thrown into the staccato lyrics, which match the jerking instrumentation of the tune. “Want her, have her/Two Years have gone now/But I can’t relate/To the never ending/Games that you play”

Echo’s of 60’s favorites The Zombies “Tell her No” are brought to mind, as singers Alex Turner (of the Arctic Monkeys) and Miles Kane (The Rascals) voices compliment each other in a neat, crisp sound. The pep of “Standing Next to Me” matches the Monkees classic “Valleri.”

The Last Shadow Puppets have crafted a tune that feels as if you are taking down a stroll through 60’s music history, proving that sometimes repeating and retooling history is not as bad as we’ve been taught.

Discography: The Age of the Understatement (2008)

Official Website:

The Secret is Out

4 Mar

Laura and Lydia Rogers are known as The Secret Sisters, but their talent is no longer hidden away.

Oozing and dripping with early 50’s charm, “Tennessee Me,” penned by Laura, is a ballad that sounds as it could have been an Everly Brothers cover. The sisters, like the Everly Brothers, shine on their two part harmonies, evoking a simpler, more innocent time.

The bare bones instrumentation add to the demure lyrics such as, “I’m nothing special, but I can hold you,” and the play on words of “TennesSEE” is a driving poetic force of nature.

A modern tune wrapped in an old timey country shell, “Tennessee Me” fits in right alongside the likes of Patsy Cline and Kitty Wells.

DiscographyThe Secret Sisters (2010)
Official Website: