Archive | January, 2015

Baby, It’s Mapei

25 Jan

Over the past few decades there have been many covers of The Shirelles 1961 classic “Baby It’s You,” most notably by a little band you may have heard of called The Beatles. But just last year in 2014 singer Mapei released her own cover that comes very close to the magic of the original.

The track starts off with a record scratching sound, right away bringing in a retro element and a bare minimum instrumental that is like Santo and Johnny’s “Sleepwalk.” That leads into Mapei’s vocals which combines the talk-sing vocals of the original recording with an almost Amy Winehouse vibe. The background vocals are so spot on to the original that the only way to tell the two apart is from the original male voice in the Shirelles recording.

There is a small rap section in the midpoint that is not needed, and takes this cover down a peg, but Mapei recovers quickly getting back into the soul of the song, vocally adlibbing, especially towards the end of the tune, which ends in perfect symmetry with the start of the song.

Never straying too far from the original, Mapei does her best to put her sass and style into the cover, making it her own.

Discography: Hey Hey (2014).

Official Website: https://www.facebook.com/mapeimusic

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It’s a Miracal

18 Jan

If you were to hear “Give Me A Chance” by The Miracals for the first time and think it was taken straight out of the jukebox of the 1950s, well it’s understandable.

The tune is a brilliant piece of pop-rock n roll that clocks in at just three minutes. Like many classic pop and rock songs from the past, The Miracals do not need much time to put their stamp on a song and make it worthy to a casual listener. It draws comparisons to “Old Spanish Town” by the Bell Notes and works from modern band A B & The Sea.

The innocent and simple lyrics such as “If you were my girl, I’d hold you so close and tell you take care” matches the impeccable light and fun vocals with pitch perfect harmonization. Remember that Weezer video that took place in Arnold’s? This is exactly the type of song that one could picture Potsie Webber and his band crooning to the girls at the restaurant.

Towards the end of the track the vocals become more aggressive, pushing the song more into a modern alternative feel, but it is clear where The Miracals true influences lie.

Discography: Hermosa E.P. (2010), Give Me A Chance E.P (2011), FRNZ (single) (2013).

Official Website: http://www.facebook.com/themiracals

Let The Takeover Begin

11 Jan

Many artists have tried to create and produce songs that not only talk about sleep, but also mimic that action. It has never been done more brilliantly so than “I’m Only Sleeping” by The Beatles with its impeccable , spot on lyrics, and instrumentation that feel as if one is being dragged out of a deep slumber.

But here in modern times, The Takeover UK is attempting to give The Beatles a run for their money with “Sleep It All Away.”

It starts off very quietly with very little more than lead singer Nick Snyder’s voice and a guitar. In its simplicity lies the solemn and unadorned act of sleeping. The lyrics here, however, are about more than just drifting off at bedtime. Here, sleep is the act that keeps the singer safe from thinking about his relationship gone sour.

“Sleep  my favorite pastime/ The one thing keeping you off my mind”

So while the tune is less plainly about the act of sleeping, it perfectly encapsulates what catching some Z’s is like. The whole track builds up, from the minimal guitar to full on strings and horns which reflect dreaming. The horn solo in particular leads up to a crashing chorus, full blown, perhaps at the height of REM sleep stage.

It’s loud when it needs to be and then peters back out to a minimalist approach towards the end of the song.

At nearly six minutes long, “Sleep It All Away” is the ultimate modern day song to let your mind drift away to, while resting.

Discography: Running With The Wasters (2009).

Official Website:https://myspace.com/thetakeoveruk

Rock Dreams

4 Jan

There’s no doubt about it. “Wolves” by Dreamers sounds retro right from the first second. But that throwback element is more than just reminiscent of one decade. At first listen, there is a clear 80s new wave sound. But after a deeper, second listen, one can hear echoes of the 60s.

This track is a great companion song to “Victoria” by The Kinks. They both contain similar tempos and dark, rich, and powerful vocals by their respective lead singers. Oh yeah, and killer, almost anthem like choruses.

Like contemporary artists such as Neon Trees and The Vaccines, Dreamers know how to tap into several decades at once, bringing out the best in each. It is the type of song that can induce head banging and toe taping, but also contains a darker message.

“If you lie down with wolves you’ll learn how to howl” the chorus exclaims, and while we are busy singing along we may not notice how messed up the relationship centered in this track really is.

The breakdown showcases a variety of vocal stylings as well as an impressive, albeit short, guitar solo which ties everything back to the catchy chorus

Though the content is different, “Wolves” and “Victoria” really do make great listening companions. And shouldn’t every song have a little bit of The Kinks in them?

Discography: Dreamers (2014)

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