Archive | February, 2015

Make Your Day

22 Feb

Zella Day’s “1965” is a step back in time, paying tribute to torch singers of the past and present. Honestly the track most closely resembles something Lana Del Rey would put out, especially in its longing, sorrowful, and poetic lyrical content.

“You saw me spinning from the corner of your eye You saw me spinnin’ like it’s 1965 You saw me spinnin’ from the corner of your eye

And you touched my neck You’re a beauty baby child I never had nobody touch me like I’m glass. You had me spinnin’ in the midnight summer grass. I never had nobody touch me like I’m glass. With a moon bird kiss.

Can we go back to the world we had? With a love so sweet it makes me sad Can we go back to the world we had? It’s the world we’ve been dreaming of”
But it also calls to mind the song and vocal stylings of 60’s darling Cilla Black. Part the light verses of “Step Inside Love” and the more powerful, ballad traditions of “You’re My World.” Day has a unique enough voice to make this tune her own, even with all the echoes of other artists.

As it is true with many torch songs, the star here is the singer herself and the lyrics. The instrumentation plays its part to let Zella Day shine. What she is longing for may be a lover or a time past, but it is most definitely a torch song, and much like Lana Del Rey, Day is bringing the genre back where it belongs.

Discography:Zella Day (2014).

Official Website:http://zelladay.com/

The Wise Choice

15 Feb

The Staves, a  three piece act consisting of sisters Emily, Jessica, and Camillia Stavely-Taylor, have concocted a song straight from the folk spirit of the past on ”Wisely and Slowly.” With their immaculate and on point three piece harmonies, the group is like an all female version of Peter Paul and Mary.

With little to no instrumentation for the better part of the track, all attention focused on the vocal talents of the sisters, “Wisely and Slowly” could easily be compared to “Cruel War” by Peter, Paul, and Mary.” When heavier instrumentation, some guitars and drums, do come to play later in the tune, it helps to bring the song into modern times.

Still, the main focus is the past, and The Staves give off that old fashioned folk charm not simply with just their minimalist approach and haunting harmonies, but with their lyrics as well.

brother, you will never know

all the things I did for you many years ago

singer singing songs of pain

time may spin and years may pass the song is still the same

tender woman mourns a man

sits in silent sorrow with a bottle in her hand.

They seem to come out of another time long ago. A time when oral tradition was used as the main way to pass down stories. Beautiful, sad, and haunting, The Staves “Wisely and Slowly” will make one think they are at The Newport Folk Festival in the 60s.

Discography: Dead & Born & Grown  (2012), If I Was (2015).

Official Website:

www.thestaves.com

Musical Heart

8 Feb

“Heart” by HAERTS comes across as a lost Fleetwood Mac song, somewhere along the lines of “Gypsy.” But it never feels derivative or just a copy. Though lead singer Nini Fabi voice does bare a stunning resemblance to the tone of Stevie Nicks, there is also more of a twang and softness to her voice.

And while it is clear that a throwback vibe exists throughout the song, it could be hard to pinpoint which decade it could have been released in because it suits the 70s-90’s. In that way the “Heart” manages to span decades and pull off a classic sound that might keep first time listeners guessing.

It’s ethereal almost church like, intro, helps set the mood for the gentle track which has just enough of a rock n roll instrumentation to classify it as just that. The harmonies are spot on and pitch perfect every time the chorus rolls around.

At the heart of the “Heart” it is really a singer songwriter’s song that just happens to have a full band backing it. Just like many of the classic Fleetwood Mac.

Discography: Haerts (2014).

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

 

T.V. To Listen To

1 Feb

“In The Mirror” by Public Access T.V. is everything a modern rock n’ roll song with retro influences should be. It is clearly of this era, despite its reliance on the masters of rock from decades past, with its wailing electric guitars and unabashedly brazen vocals. But the undercurrent of retro input is always there, lying just underneath the surface.

It’s the type of garage rock one might expect from a Brooklyn based group, but their blend of new wave and 60s pop-rock holds something special.  Think The Strypes. Think The Living Statues. All bands who are making their way in the music world riding the mod/rock sound of the 60s, but in the case of Public Access T.V., with a 80s sound too.

This tune draws comparisons to the  song “Bad Little Woman” by The Shadows of Knight, while the bands lead singer,in epic fashion, bounces back and forth between channeling John Lennon and Bono.

Punchy and downright fun, brimming with a youthful energy that is simply infectious, it’s clear to see why so many esteemed publications are naming Public Access T.V. as a hot band to watch in 2015.

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