Archive | January, 2016

Don’t Throw The Day Away

31 Jan

Right when the bass kicks in at the beginning of Peter Stringer – Hye’s “Throw Away The Day ,” one can tell there is something ultimately retro about to start. And once Stringer – Hye’s voice shines through there is no doubting that one has stumbled upon a gem of a tune.

In many ways, the easy going melody and the soothing quality of Stringer-Hye’s voice recalls Simon and Garfunkel especially the tune “I Am a Rock.” But the song also sounds like something Mike Nesmith or Micky Dolenz from The Monkees could have cranked out. There’s something just a little bit trippy and country about this tune, but it is definitely 100% retro.

The verses are just as compelling as the chorus and that is the sign of just a plain good track. Coupled with some killer lyrics, and a falsetto that is like a dream wrapped in a cloud, the end result is a song that any retro music enthusiast will have plenty to feel joyful about. “Throw away the day/the night lasts forever” Stringer-Hye repeats on the chorus in such a blissful manner that listeners can’t help but feel like they’ve been transported back to the 60s.

Critics and people in general often say that in this day and age they just don’t make music like they used to. And while for the most part I tend to agree, when one discovers an authentic artist who puts out music that sounds like it could have come from a classic era, it just goes to show that classic music is still being made.

Discography: Sunday Girls EP (2015)

 

Get In Trouble

24 Jan

Lizzie Cuevas and her band Teens in Trouble are delivering lo fi songs with a 60s girl group mixed with 90s grunge edge. The single “Santa Monica” in its pure vocals and fun melody can be compared to The Angels “I Adore Him.” There’s also a lot of similarities to the band Best Coast who have mastered this genre, simple rhyming scheme and blending eras as well but “Santa Monica” stands out on its own as something welcoming. While not groundbreaking, it’s a pleasure to hear more girl fronted bands in the style of Best Coast emerge

 

“This is the place that I call home/And I can count on never being alone” Cuevas sings, and even though she says that she has the beach and the sun, it’s still not her ideal location, Santa Monica. She paints the picture of Santa Monica so clearly that one can’t help but feel like they are there, or at least will want to book a trip there soon.

The song has so many strengths from its simple structure to Cuevas vocal performance which has a wistful and longing feeling. The chorus is downright infectious and will be stuck in listeners head after the first listen, and there is even a tiny bit of surf rock at times in the instrumentation. One of the aspects of “Santa Monica” that works so well here is the ability Cuevas has for being cheerful even when her voice is a little sad. This mixture is served up perfectly and captures what it is like to miss a place one loves dearly. It’s the perfect summer song to add to your playlist in 2017, or listen to it now and imagine it’s already summer.

Discography: “Santa Monica” single (2015)

Official Website: http://teensintrouble.net/

 

 

Musical Turnstile

17 Jan

ElenOwen are singer/songwriters Josh and Nicole Johnson. You may remember them from season one of The Voice, but they have done quite well on their own and their song “Turnstile” has the ability to make listeners remember the first time they discovered Fleetwood Mac.

 

With a driving electric guitar and percussion instrumentation the tune, with the duo’s perfectly matched voices, is a bit of a throwback to Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” but with two singers. It’s got a mystic quality to it which also helps to give it a “Dreams” vibe, especially on the chorus which Nicole mainly carries on her own, and is the shining element that beams bright on the song.

The track is just as catchy and infectious as “Dreams” and has a rocking guitar solo in the middle which gives the song a bit of an edge. It has a darkness to it right from the start as Nicole sings “I had another anxious dream” and the honesty in her voice makes the lyrics really come alive. And as the chorus comes around and the duo expresses that they can’t “take another day just to hurry up and wait on a turnstile” one can’t help but relate to the pain.

This is the type of song that will get stuck in your head, and with its retro elements, “Turnstile” is one of those little gems that will stay with you long after the first listen.

Discography: Pulling Back the Veil (2014) For the Taking (2015)

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

 

 

Become a Lover

10 Jan

Rosie and the Goldbugs “Lover” comes out the gate bursting with 80s energy. The tune could easily have been an addition to The Go Go’s debut album. It has the same infectious feeling as many of The Go Go’s tracks, but especially “Skidmarks on my Heart.” Nobody can deny the catchy pop melody and upbeat energy. One can just imagine a teenage girl getting ready for a date dancing around her room to “Lover.”

Rosie and the Goldbug may not be an all girl band, but frontwoman Rosie Vanier has enough of girl power in her to make it sound like one. There’s definitely a retro 80s feel to the tune and much of that has to do with the simple instrumentation and Vanier’s coy voice. She comes across as both innocent and edgy at the same time as she sings “I want your touch,” and Vanier pulls that edge of womanhood element effortlessly.

Besides a pounding guitar a piano solo towards the end of the track helps separate it from other uptempo pop tunes. It’s not a delicate solo but one that is full of force and elevates “Lover” from a standard pop song to one that is not merely good to dance to but one that also has some substance.

Discography: Rosie and the Goldbug (2008).

Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain

3 Jan

“Nothing to Lose” by Andrew Combs, from the very first notes sounds as if it was from a different era, but it is not until Combs begins to sing that we can make a connection to what era that is.

With his sweet and mellow voice, that glides along effortlessly on the track, and an easy listening vibe the song is very much in the same vein as Harry Nilsson’s late 60s hit “Everybody’s Talkin.” The instrumentation which is full, but also carries a simple air to it, fits Combs perfectly and allows his vocals to shine.

Easy Listening music often gets made fun of in today’s world, but there is nothing to laugh about here. It’s sincere as Combs wears his heart on his sleeve, letting listeners fully take on his singer songwriter and storyteller abilities. It’s pleasant to the ears and is a great song to put your head back and relax to but it is still filled with plenty of substance.

There’s an overwhelmingly sense of sadness and loneliness here, which is perfectly captured by Combs and makes the track relatable to listeners. The song is magical and bittersweet on its own, but once you hear the throwback Nilsson element to it, “Nothing to Lose” becomes all the more genius.

Discography: Worried Man (2012), All These Dreams (2015).

Official Website: http://andrewcombsmusic.com/