Archive | April, 2015

Fall Right Into Love with Jeremy and the Harlequins

26 Apr

Every once in a while you come across a song that is so authentically retro, that if you didn’t know it was recorded in the present day you would swear it was released decades ago. “Right Out of Love” by Jeremy and the Harlequins is such a song.

Right from the start, with the rolling melody and the guttural grunts, the tune evokes shades of Sam Cooke’s “Chain Gang.” But then the tune takes a sharp left turn into a ballad that is in the same vein as Paul Anka’s “Diana.”

“Right Out Of Love” is so undeniably 1950’s, that is really hard to process that this a modern day track. Aside from the jangling melody and a clear influence of artists from decades before, what helps this particular tune reach a retro level that few songs do is the lead singer of the band, Jeremy Fury.

Channeling Anka, as well as teen idol Ricky Nelson, with a touch of Elvis, Fury croons both delicately and full of emotion. Towards the end of the song, Fury riffs and reaches for the falsetto, making the finale of “Right Out Of Love” the kind of music every baby boomer wishes was still around today. And if you search hard enough, guess what? It is.

Discography: American Dreamer (2015).

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

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Never a Waste

19 Apr

Haley Reinhart has been getting some recent notice through her guest vocalist appearances on youtube sensation Postmodern Jukebox’s channel. But what you might not remember was that she was a contestant on season ten of American Idol. Reinhart even released a thoroughly retro inspired debut album back in 2012.  that’s where “Wasted Tears” comes from.

Make no mistake, Reinhart is the star of the track, her vocals smoky and sultry, a throwback to soulful pop singers such as Martha Reeves. “Wasted Tears” even resembles Martha Reeves and the Vandella’s “Heat Wave.” There is also a soul-gospel feel to the start of the song with a choir of “oooooh’s” that continue throughout the track.

“Wasted Tears” is full of sass in its lyrics alone

“So take your promises, get on your way/I’m burning memories up in flames/Cause I can see now the clouds are clear/I’ve been crying, wasted, wasted tears”

There is also a small revenge element in the tune when Reinhart croons “I kind of want you to feel what it’s like to break”

But again, it is Reinhart herself that showcases her strength and confidence in spades as she growls and belts her way through this glorious track.

Discography: Listen Up (2012)

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

The Opposite of the Blues

12 Apr

You may have heard of Lenka. Her debut self titled album, released in 2008  featured many haunting and playful, and quirky tracks, most notably “The Show.” If you haven’t had the pleasure of checking out this Australian artist, there is still plenty of time to catch up and hear her new material.

“Blue Skies” is the new song that is ushering in a new era for Lenka. With its heavy synthesized instrumentation, sprinkled in with what sounds like organic, steady, handclaps, Lenka is clearly dipping into the 80’s pop realm.  Think “Cruel Summer” by Bananarama.

And though “Blue Skies” never specifically mentions the summer, this track is the perfect song for a summer playlist with its sunny lyrics. Lenka’s voice effortlessly sails over the chorus as she sings “It’s gonna be blue skies for you and I.”

“Blue Skies” is a little slice of pop perfection with a retro nod that deserves to be played on the radio. So take a drive, roll down the windows, pump up the volume on this song, and enjoy the blue skies.

Discography: Lenka (2008), Two (2011), Shadows (2013), The Bright Side (May 2015)

Official Website:

www.lenkamusic.com

Hang On To The Vinyl Skyway

5 Apr

“Hanging On” by The Vinyl Skyway, at first listen, is calming, thanks to on point harmonization, wispy and hazy vocals by lead singer Michael Hayes. If you close your eyes, and disregard the content of the song, one can sense a Beatles “Across The Universe” feel to it. Indie pop with a touch of psychedelic alternative infused within the track.

But unlike “Across The Universe,” this tune brings to life a sad and very real tale of a man, a relative of the band, who was attacked outside a club one night and suffered major injuries. The lyrics, straight out of the gate, do not shy away from the painful imagery.

“Who cut you down outside the bar/ with a steel blue pipe between his  arm/ it’s been almost thirteen weeks gone by/ who cut you down and left you cold?”

And while “Hanging On” recounts a horrific experience, it also sends a message of hope, like “Across The Universe” which holds on to its beliefs in an ever changing world. Hayes sings for his relative to “hang on.” It’s simple, and raw, and it comes across throughout the entire track.

So if you’re looking for a gentle melody with powerful lyrics, check out “Hanging On” and whatever it is that plagues your life, “wait a little longer” and just Hang On.

Discography:The Vinyl Skyway (2004), From Telegraph Hill (2007), Return Of The Dead Surfer (2013).

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