Archive | March, 2014

Musical Gold

30 Mar

If The Eurythmics and Paramore joined together to write and sing a song, it would sound something along the lines of Ivy & Gold’s “Ghosts.”

Jamie Davies and Rachel Wilkinson mix the best of both alternative pop genres of the 80’s and now to create a sound of their own.

Wilkinson is as much Annie Lennox’s falsetto as Haley Williams drawl. It’s experimental but catchy, not veering too far into foreign territory.

The track opens with Wilkinson wailing like an angel which will leave listeners feeling haunted. Davies drives the lower register of the piano, dark and moody evocative of both the Eurthymics and Paramore.

“Ghosts” with its balance of light and dark, classical and electronic. is like an updated “I’ve Got an Angel” by the Eurthymics mixed with Paramore’s “My Heart.”

And it’s golden.

Check out this bonus live version:

Discography: Awake (2013)

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

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Fill in the Blank

23 Mar

If you’re looking for great bluesy, folk, retro music take a stop and listen to The Blank Tapes “Somebody New.”

Simple instrumentation (a guitar, what sounds like a banjo, and a harmonica) are all that are needed on this track which mimics the simplicity and frankness of the lyrics.

“Lonely. Please don’t make me lonely.
Please don’t make me lonely for you.
Or I’ll find somebody new”

The tune, in its and twang of strings and Matt Adams voice, brings forth echoes of The Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Daydream.”

Both are the type of songs you can imagine yourself in a rural part of the world, among the simple pleasures of life, sprawled across the grass listening to.

And for that, be thankful

Discography: Landfair (2009), Daydreams (2009), Invisible Colors (2011), Vacation (2013), Home Away From Home (2014)

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

Watch and Listen to Barcelona

16 Mar

“Watching Me” by Barcelona is a pure blended fusion of several decades rolled into just over three minutes.

There are so many influences heard, from The Police to modern day bands such as Snow Patrol, that can be picked up in lead singer Brian Fennell’s voice both strong and powerful and subtle and airy.

But the most direct comparison is to the 80’s hit “Talking in your Sleep” by the Romantics. While “Watching Me” is much more mid tempo, the chorus is almost identical in melody to “Talking in your Sleep.”

Intentional or not all of the elements combined, the vocals and the melody, help bring a retro but new vibe to this indie treasure. It’s haunting (the yearning in Fennell’s voice as he cries and wails about a failed relationship) and echoes just the right amount of old school vibe to earn this modern tune a space on this blog.

They Blinded Me With Science

9 Mar

We are Scientists, from Brooklyn New York, dabble in many different genres, but most with a power pop influence.
On their latest album it is a heartfelt ballad “Courage” that steals the show.

And while it is polished and smooth, here I present to you the demo version of the track in all its rawness. Still at its core, with just a guitar and lead singer Keith Murray, one can hear the similarities between “Courage” and retro power pop kings Big Star’s “Try again.”

Simple in melody and instrumentation and focusing on voice allows one to be reminded that fancy production is not needed to create a retro sounding song. The honesty and fragility in Murray’s performance shines through while still providing an alternative/rock/ throwback power pop background

Discography:
Safety, Fun, and Learning (In That Order) (2002)
With Love and Squalor (2005)
Brain Thrust Mastery (2008)
Barbara (2010)
Business Casual EP (2013)
TV en Français (2014)

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

Official Website:

Daley Special

2 Mar

Daley may be a new artist hitting the music scenes but he is already garnering fans and respect from within the industry with his soulful, R&B, retro inspired music.

Need an example of his brilliance?

Let’s examine the track “Look Up.”

With its urbanized, percussion driven melody, combined with the soft and subtle vocals of Daley himself, it’s easy to draw comparisons to Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” even if the lyrical content is different.

Daley is doing what Justin Timberlake attempts to do, but makes it feel retro authentic, and not just an attempt at recreating a sound.

“Look Up” has just the right amount of funk and playfulness, to contrast with the slow and assuredly steady beat.

This is a sound Daley is committed to. And you should get committed to it too.

Discography: Days and Nights (2014).

Official Website: http://www.daley.tv/