Archive | March, 2015

Spring Into Summer

29 Mar

Everything about “Summer Sun” by the Ruen Brothers screams a throwback from decades ago. But what stands out the most are the deep, rich, and dark vocals by lead singer Henry Stansall which bring to mind many artists both classic and modern such as Elvis, Chris Isaak, Franz Ferdinand, and Brandon Flowers.

But it is clear that this songs biggest inspiration comes from Roy Orbison, an artist that the duo cite as someone they look up to music wise. “Summer Sun” has a dash of “It’s Over” and “In Dreams” that carries on throughout the track.

Don’t be fooled by the sunny title, the song itself is anything but light and breezy, which matches the dangerous and rough but polished vocals. “Flowers hide, and she’ll hide until you are near, you make things clear” Stansall croons with impeccable delivery.

“Summer Sun” is delightfully retro, wearing its inspirations on its sleeve, but adds its own modern twist with unexpected instrumentation.

Commanding, with its attention grabbing vocals, and larger than life chorus, this is one track about summer that you won’t feel odd listening to all year long.

Discography: Point Dume E.P. (2015).

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

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Into The Wild

22 Mar

Andrew McMahon, most notably known for his work in Jack’s Mannequin and Something Corporate is branching out on his own and the result is a little slice of retro heaven.

“Rainy Girl” with its simple, earnest, and wishful lyrics bring forth to mind some of the Beatles finest work such as “Michelle” and “Blackbird.” And while “Rainy Girl” has an utterly sweetly Paul McCartney vibe to it, McMahon’s voice is unique enough, with a slight alternative note, to send the tune in a modern direction.

Having only a piano as the sole instrumentation for most of the track lends a nostalgic vibe to when singers just sat at a piano and belted out their tunes, wearing their hearts on their sleeves. Close your eyes and one can picture McMahon performing this on stage to a completely awe struck crowd.

Where the song sounds the most like a modern Beatles song, is when the chorus soars. “Sometimes when I’m falling in my dreams/I can feel you falling next to me.” There is even a “Real Love” vibe found here, in the sense that it is pure and from the heart.

Discography: Andrew Mcmahon In The Wilderness (2014).

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

So brave the wilderness and join Andrew McMahon on an incredible ride.

White Hot Cool

15 Mar

“Cool” by White Reaper is exactly what its title proclaims. Bursting with attitude and oozing parts garage rock, punk rock and a dash of surf pop, White Reaper manage to create a track that is on par with the Ramones covering “California Sun.”

The key to the success of this song pulling off a retro sound can be boiled down to its simplicity that is found in many punk rock classics. To some the lyrics may come off as repetitive but that is just what White Reaper seems to be aiming for. The tune also clocks in at under the three minute mark, just the right amount of time to digest this ditty.

The middle of the track has traces of a surf pop element with a fun instrumental that glues the whole song together and further enhances the throwback element of the song. After one listen, I guarantee “Cool” will be stuck in your head, and set your toes tapping.

Discography: White Reaper E.P (2014).

Official Website:http://whitereaperusa.com/

Best Kept Secret

8 Mar

Brass Bed “The Secret Will Keep You” is the equivalent of attending the circus. It’s a mixed grab bag with many different parts to keep one entertained.

The tune flips back and forth between gentle and soft vocals from lead singer Jonny Campos, and hazy psychedelic bare instrumentation to a rougher and more playful sound. It brings to mind Peter and Gordon “Lady Godiva” and Queen’s “Killer Queen” in the  harsher chorus.

But the vocals throughout sound more on the side of Peter and Gordon or John Lennon. It is a lengthy track that mimics a musical merry-go-round, as listeners are continually moved and shifted up and down between slow and mid tempo.

No matter what section of the song you are listening to, it is clear that Brass Bed is a fan of psychedelic music from the 60’s with a dash of the British Invasion.

All in all, you can’t go wrong with “The Secret Will Keep You.”

Discography: The Secret Will Keep You (2013).

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

Cross The Musical Bridge

1 Mar

“Coming Home” by Leon Bridges, which was just recently released, is a breath of fresh air in a sea of standard popular new releases. Right from the first note, it is clear that Bridges is channeling the musical stylings of the likes of Smokey Robinson and Sam Cooke.

This song in particular is reminiscent of Cooke’s “You Send Me,” in terms of tempo and pure soul, and “Sad Mood” in terms of lyrical content. It literally sounds as if it could have been coming out of a jukebox in the early 60s.

The lyrics are simple but never overly simplified. They clearly tell the story of a man who is in a melancholy state over the girl he has lost. It is a tale told over and over again in song, but to express it musically in a specific retro way in 2015 makes it sound new.

Bridges vocals are soulful and full of longing and maturity past his young age. He croons, wearing his heart on his sleeve, and makes “Coming Home” a track that can be enjoyed by many generations.

Discography: Coming Home E.P. (2015)

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