Archive | July, 2016

Run to Brett Dennen

24 Jul

Brett Dennen’s “Sydney (I’ll Come Running)” sounds like something Paul Simon could have written and p along the lines of “Me and Julio down by the Schoolyard.” It has that Simon infectious energy, and Dennen even carries a bit of Simon in his voice, but it’s the upbeat melody and spunk that really links the two songs together giving it that retro feeling.

It’s impossible not to have a big grin on your face while listening to the song. Dennen knows exactly how to use his voice to its maximum capacity, busting out the falsetto when needed and singing with such enthusiasm that it’s bound to get many people dancing.

And while there is a throwback element to the song, it still feels modern and fresh. It’s not the type of song one would hear on top 40 radio but it’s a song that deserves to be blasted on radio stations across the country. It’s a feel good tune in the same weirdly charming way that “Me and Julio and Schoolyard “is both with some dark and light subject matter. And the upbeat tempo almost makes one forget what the tune is about, the contrast showcased perfectly.

Though released in 2011 it still sounds just as good in 2016, and somehow still manages to sound like something that could have come from decades earlier. All around a masterful song.

Discography:

 

Official Website: http://www.brettdennen.net

Advertisements

Get Foolish with Fallon

10 Jul

Brian Fallon’s “Among Other Foolish Things” has many retro elements to it including the lyrics and the references made, along with part of the melody, but it never totally leaves the modern realm, making it perfect for this blog.

The most notable throwback is to the Beatles “All You Need is Love” as Fallon sings on the chorus “and they say such foolish things like love,love,love is all you need.” Clearly a reference to the Beatles tune, it is not only echoed in the lyrics on the chorus but in the harmonies on the song during the chorus which is sweeping,heartfelt, and gutting at the same time. A man who wants to believe in love but has been stung so many times he has thrown his heart into the sea.

And then of course there are the retro elements found in the actual lyrics where Fallon sings on one verse “We spin ’round like records in the apartment/You still remind me of Marianne Faithfull/ Lookin’ like a picture taken outta the sixties.” Even if listeners aren’t familiar with Faithfull, they can certainly infer that she was an icon in the 60s, someone girls in that era would look up to and aspire to be.

The whole song is lavishly produced, and though light and bouncy in its instrumentation the content is melancholy and that is one of the reasons Fallon is considered one of the great songwriters of modern times.

So if you’re looking for a song that encompasses everything a modern retro song could provide, check out this track.

Discography: Painkillers (2016).

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

Wake up with Lucius

3 Jul

Lucius cover of Bleachers “Wake Me” is unlike any cover song. The modern band takes an already modern song and turns it into something so completely retro. It’s the type of thing internet famous Postmodern Jukebox might have come up it, except Lucius are an already establish band.

*ignore video content*

 

Right from the start listeners will feel they are about to hear something special. The melody from the original retains but is drawn out, making it fuller, and brings to mind the girl groups of the 1960s. In fact it feels so authentic that one might mistake it as a song that was recorded decades ago.

The vocals are pitch perfect, easy to listen to and may put listeners in a dream like trance they will never want to wake up from. Putting this version next to the original, it’s hands down more interesting and layered than what Bleachers put out, at least to this reviewers ears. The two put side to side are almost recognizable and Lucius deserves all the praise for this arrangement , as that is where the secret of this covers success really lies.

To hear something modern and reimagine it as something from a golden era of music is special, and to pull it off as easily as Lucius does is something to marvel at.

Discography: Wildewoman (2013), Good Grief (2016)

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