Archive | July, 2014

Join The Club

27 Jul

Charles Watson and Rebecca Taylor, better known in the music world as Slow Club, deliver an earnest, deeply soulful, and retro track with “Not Mine To Love.”

Taylor’s vocals are the star of the track, dripping with power and tenderness, giving the tune a fine balance. Somewhere between pop ballad (Think Dusty Springfield’s cover of “Tupelo Honey,”) and country songstress conveying her blues (Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You”) there is Slow Club.

With crashing percussion and detailed electric guitar wailing in the background, Taylor is allowed to shine while Watson backs her up later in the song. What starts off as an almost bare instrumental escalates as “Not Mine To Love” progresses, all leading up to the final round of the chorus.

There’s no mistaking the throwback element to the song, especially when Taylor vocally riffs on the chorus, harkening back to female driven tunes from the 60s.

This song is yours to love.

Discography: Yeah So (2009), Paradise (2011), Complete Surrender (2014).

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

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On The Lookout for Jaws

20 Jul

Jaws debut album doesn’t come out until September, but based on the lead single “Be Slowly,” I would surmise that many more songs in the 80’s new wave genre is to be expected.

Musically the tune sounds like a companion to The Cure’s “Friday I’m in love,” with a blazing and commanding intro full of crashing drums and guitars. But it also takes a page out of A Flock of Seagulls “Space Age Love Song,” when it comes to lead vocals.

There is no Robert Smithesque singing here. Instead we find the refreshing, light, voice of Connor Schofield. A voice that listeners can truly believe is on cloud nine when he sprightly expresses “I feel so happy today.”

Hand claps dispersed throughout help to bring more of a throwback nod to “Be Slowly,” which fade out ending the song.

Perfect for a road trip mix, step on the gas, roll down the windows and blast this musical gem before the whole world is doing it too.

Discography: Be Slowly (Sept.2014).

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

To Be Like China Rats

13 Jul

With its punchy punk and surf rock sensibilities, China Rat’s “To Be Like I” is the one essential tune you should have on your summer playlist.

There’s an overall retro feeling to the song, from the sprightly and poppy vocals with just a slight edge, to the barely there lyrics. But even without grandiose poetry, the simplicity of the song harkens back to the days of carefree and reckless music.

And clocking in at just over two minutes, China Rats nail down the perfect rock song like veterans.

Part Beach Boys, and a hefty amount of The Ramones “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend,” “To Be Like I,” and its infectious melody will rattle around in your head long after the song is over.

Blast this tune and have the summer of your life.

Discography: To Be Like I (2012), Don’t Play With Fire (2013).

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

Bouquet of Fresh Music

6 Jul

Paul McDonald. Nikki Reed. You may have heard of them before. He was on American Idol. She is best known for her role as Rosalie in The Twilight Saga films. But put the two together and authentic, retro, Americana – folk fusion is born.

In “Bouquet of Lies (Ghost in Apt. 8,”) McDonald does the heavy lifting, carrying the verses in his signature Rod Stewart like, raspy vocals while Reed joins in to harmonize adding a soft wisp of elegance and light when needed.

The tune itself has remnants of Rod Stewart’s “Mandolin Wind” keeping itself gritty yet polished. It’s soothing to listen to, but also has just enough rock to elevate the track up a notch.

By the time McDonald and Reed reach the chorus it’s as if a musical firework has been shot off, bright with color and heartfelt emotion. And if you don’t already have chills after that, the bridge is a surefire clincher with McDonald wailing

“And I can’t keep on living with all of the lights on/And I can’t move on, I’ve been spending all of my time alone.”

With imaginative lyrics, a hint of early 70s folk rock, and harmonies to die for, “Bouquet of Lies (Ghost in Apt. 8)” is one beautifully sorrowful spirit you may hope never leaves.

Discography: I’m Not Falling (2014).

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