Archive | August, 2013

You’ll Never Be Lonely With Ludo

25 Aug

With its light as feather instrumentation, smooth vocals and sweet and innocent lyrics, “I’ll Never Be Lonely Again,” by Ludo, is a magical slow dance retro throwback to the days before The Beatles made a name for themselves.

It’s the kind of song you would want to dance to with your steady boyfriend Biff at the prom if it was 1955. It’s also the perfect love song for anyone who feels they should have been a teenager during that era.

Oozing charm and sincerity, rarely heard in current pop music, “I’ll Never Be Lonely Again,” is this generation’s “Pledging My Love” by Johnny Ace. In fact, if you played this song to someone who grew up in the days of poodle skirts they might think it is an unearthed authentic tune from the 50’s.

The earnest lyrics and vocal delivery by Andrew Volpe add to the spot on homage of the decade. It is only when Volpe’s voice drifts away from a soft patter to a louder rock wail that one may realize this track was released in 2010.

Discography: Ludo (2004), Broken Bride (2005), You’re Awful, I Love You (2008), Prepare The Preparations (2010).

Official Website:

God or Man or Ivan & Alyosha

18 Aug

You won’t find anybody named Ivan or Alyosha in this indie band, but what you will find is a retro spin on current folk music.

“God or Man,” an introspective look at what love really stands for and the design of life, clocks in at close to five minutes but is well worth a full listen.

Guitar and drums make up the musical backbone of this track, with a piano adding just a pinch of vulnerability.
The lyrics lend themselves to several interpretations including an open letter to a higher being and it is perhaps that deeper level, combined with Tim Wilson’s upper register, that connects song with audience.

Understated and thought provoking, “God or Man,” recalls John Lennon’s solo work such as “Isolation.”

If you’re in the mood for solid indie, deep thought, music this is the song for God, man or you.

Discography: All The Times We Had (2013)

Official Website:

Down with the Drums

11 Aug

“Down by the Water” by the Drums is an unmistakable 80’s tune. Except for the fact that it’s from 2010

A chorus that sounds like The Beach Boys in their prime, married with a synth bassline mimicking the <em>Twin Peaks theme song, and lead vocals that bring to mind Tears for Fears “Head Over Heels,” this tune is all about moodiness.

And it has got plenty to spare.

The dragging, anguished, slow paced single is dark, highlighted mainly by a synthesizer, and is the perfect backdrop to the hopeful, yearning lyrics.

“Everybody’s gotta love someone
But, I just wanna love you, dear
Everybody’s gotta feel something
I just wanna be with you, my dear”

Along with these universally themed lyrics, lead singer Jonny Pierce’s voice adds to the 80’s new wave, retro feel and overall downtrodden feel of the piece. His voice cuts through the chorus like a knife, sharp and full of pain.
For those nursing a broken heart, you might want to avoid this song. Or indulge in the melancholia.

Discography:The Drums (2010), Portamento (2011)

Official Website:

Carnival of Songs

4 Aug

After a one week hiatus, I am back from the Newport Folk Festival, and ready to bring you new, retro inspired music.

One of the main reasons I attended the festival was to see the folk rock duo Shovels & Rope and they did not disappoint.

Though they did not perform “Carnival,” a song reminiscent of Patsy Cline’s “She’s Got You” I am giving it full attention here.

Both Cline and Cary Ann Hearst sing with mourning and sorrow about a lost love with a magical maudlin quality and country croon.

The lyrics showcase the imaginative interweaving of a dying love with that of a county fair, written and delivered so well, you can almost see the twinkling lights of a carnival at night

“No one can hear our voices.
I can tell your future and past
by the light of the carousel horses.
Across the world I wonder,
my moments made from years.
On a still and silent midway,
I wait for you to reappear.”

With the harmonica wailing like an old fashioned carousel itself, listeners are brought not only to the midway, but to another time, tying in the retro aspect of the tune.

Discography: Shovels & Rope (2008), O’ Be Joyful (2012)

Official Website: