Archive | September, 2013

Take a Trip Down the River with Little Green Cars

29 Sep

“My Love Took Me Down To The River To Silence Me” by Little Green Cars can be interpreted as a lovesick anthem, or a murderous folk tale among other theories. No matter which way you read it, the track channels the harmonies and folk stylings of Crosby Stills Nash and Young (“Teach Your Children Well”) while keeping the song fresh and new.

Faye O’Rourke takes the helm of the track, strong and exotic but also vulnerable and fragile. Reading like a tale of folklore passed around at a local Irish Pub, O’Rourke commands listeners to feel her pain. “This love’s killing me but I want it to” she repeats in the chorus while her bandmates wail like damaged ghosts “But I’m still here waiting for you.” You can’t help but sense the eeriness of the tune which gives it an old world appeal.

Mixed with the 70’s retro aspect, “ My Love Took Me Down To The River To Silence Me” is a song for any generation.

Discography: Absolute Zero (2013)

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

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Say Hello To Goodbye

22 Sep

There is no denying the influence the 60’s has over The Coral’s “Goodbye.” From start to finish it is a rollicking, harmonic, trip down Merseybeat lane.

What starts off as a strong electric guitar opening, fades into smoky vocals by frontman James Skelly and tight backup harmonies reminiscent of The Zombies “She’s Not There.” Simple lyrics such as “Once so very long ago/Is when I loved you so” help push the song into British Invasion status.

Towards the middle of the tune there is a big electric guitar and percussion throw down, adding a psychedelic, progressive rock twist (complete with a echoed countdown) in for modernity. But replace this interlude with a keyboard and you are pretty much left with The Zombies vibe.

“Goodbye” is the perfect match for anyone wishing to relive the sounds of the 60’s in a slightly new view.

Discography: The Coral (2002), Magic and Medicine (2003, Nightfreak and the Sons of Becker (2004),The Invisible Invasion (2005), Roots & Echoes (2007), Butterfly House (2010)

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

*Special thanks to T.S. for introducing me to this band*

New Man on the Scene

15 Sep

You may not hear the retro aspect in John Newman’s “Love Me Again” right away. But give it a second and it will kick in.

A neo soul fusion of old school funk and modern production, John Newman channels legend James Brown, a la “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag,” infusing “Love Me Again” with a jolt of electric raw energy.

Like Brown, Newman has a presence and voice that is hard to ignore. A big personality and even bigger chops, Newman proves that he is one artist to watch in 2013.

Following in the footsteps of top 40 radio kings Bruno Mars and Justin Timberlake who are drawing on music from the past for their hits, Newman, with his own brand of retro delivery, is carving out a nice niche for himself.

There is no mistaking that this is a modern track, but with its horn section and charged chorus there is just enough of a throwback to make this new song sound old fashioned.

Discography: Tribute (2013)

Official Website:http://johnnewman.co.uk/

Wake up with The Apache Relay

8 Sep

A humming sound followed by electric guitar and percussion crashing mimicking the cacophony of transitioning from a sound asleep state to one of alertness is the perfect jolt of energy to start The Apache Relay’s “Can’t Wake Up.”

Folk-rock-alternative and soul combine into 4:30 minute musical melting pot. While the tune relies heavily on Americana twang, it is when lead singer (and Bassist) Michael Ford Jr slips into his higher register and r&b soul sound that “Can’t Wake Up” makes you stand up and take notice. Part Smoky Robinson and the Miracles “Tracks of my Tears,” Ford wails and croons so smoothly, one can’t help but wonder what other musical talents he has up his sleeve.

With just a hint of retro soul intertwined within the song “Can’t Wake Up” proves that a little bit of old fashion goes a long way.

Swim Into a Musical Ocean

1 Sep

Amanda Sudano and Abner Ramirez better known as Johnnyswim have been compared to contemporary folk duo The Civil Wars. And while the similarities are sometimes uncanny, such as the electric energy in their live performances, Johnnyswim can hold its own especially in standout tracks such as “Adelina.”

The tune is a poetic ode to Ramirez’s mother, and is reminiscent of John Denver’s “Annie’s Song” lyric wise. The song also shines a spotlight on the duo’s voices which are the main attraction. While Ramierz powerfully and tenderly sings lead on this track, Sudano proves she also has chops to showcase. By herself, Sudano evokes the sound of Ronnie Spector . When the two voices join together the harmonizing is pure folk perfection.

Combining elements of both the past and present, “Adelina” is a love song for the ages.

Discography: “Johnnyswim” (2008), “Home Vol 1” (2012), “Heartbeats” (2013)

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