Tag Archives: paul mccartney

Move Closer to Justin Levinson

29 Jan

The entirety of Justin Levinson’s album Yes Man sounds like it could have been a lost Paul Mcartney and Wings LP. But the song “I’ll Move Closer” is the most charming example.

It’s simple in its lyrics and its construction and that is the beauty of the song. One does not always need big words and complicated instrumentation to make a good song and “I’ll Move Closer” is proof of that. The first few notes with a twanging guitar sounds immediately like something Wings could have released. It borrows a bit of the best of McCartney, a bit “Bluebird” a bit “Junk,” but Levinson’s voice goes back and forth between a more soothing tone to a rougher edge, even a bit John Lennon, sound.

It is gentle and soft, a piano driven tune that is sweet and Levinson makes clichéd lyrics work because he is speaking from the heart. Something McCartney was also a master of.

It comes off as completely authentically retro and one might even mistake it as a cover of a song from long ago. But it was proudly released into the music world in 2017 and the fact that artists are still making music like this is something we should all applaud.

A Song For You

28 Aug

Thomas Charlie Pedersen’s “For You” has a striking resemblance to The Beatles “Blackbird” in the melody of the simple guitar instrumentation. In fact if one didn’t know that they were listening to a new song one could easily mistake it for “Blackbird.” Intentional or not it’s hard to believe it wasn’t an influence on the song.

The tune itself carries a church hymn like quality “heal my wounds/soothe my soul,” Pedersen sings with a purity in his voice that is nothing short of angelic. Did I mention that his vocals also sound a bit like Paul McCartney which only adds to the retro aspect of the tune? And that its structure and content sound like something McCartney could have written and performed himself?

But Pedersen does make the song his own by bringing a traditional sound to the tune, almost as if this song and its story has been passed down through the ages since the beginning of time making the track very memorable and special.

So while it does have some 60s and 70s vibes to it the throwback element really reaches back to time itself and that is something that is rare to come across in a song.

Pedersen is extremely talented and is able to authentically write and deliver a song that people of all ages can enjoy and appreciate.

Discography: Second Hand War (2016)

 

Musical Magic

7 Aug

Andy Shauf’s “The Magician” sounds undeniably retro. It harkens back to something Paul McCartney could have released solo early on or with wings. In fact it brings to mind the beginning, slow building parts of “Band on the Run.”

Shauf wears the singer songwriter brand on his heart and it is impossible not to embrace fully. The instrumentation has that soft McCartney feel which is layered and dynamic, strings rounding out the sound of the song before it even begins, and then when it does actually start, Shauf’s voice is so smooth and easy to listen to. Even his vocals bring to mind McCartney not to mention the way the tune is structured.

“The Magician” could have easily been a song that was released back in the 70s, but it also works as a track that is released in 2016 and the credit all belongs to Shauf who bridges the gap between decades with an effortless manner. It’s no easy feat but Shauf makes it seem like it is, and there lies the magic of the track.

Memorable in every way possible, the throwback element to the song only makes the particular track more enjoyable and this reviewer for one can’t wait to see what’s next from this artist.

Discography:

  • Darker Days (2009)
  • The Bearer of Bad News (2012)
  • The Party (2016)

 

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

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.

The Bright Side of Retro

25 May

There’s a melancholy feeling that one cannot help but feel upon hearing the opening notes to Cass McCombs “Brighter.” A singer/songwriter expressing his deep feelings isn’t anything new, but McCombs melds modern and retro elements to make this song shine.

The tune is reminiscent of Paul McCartney’s solo work, with just a little more twang in the instrumentation, emphasizing the sadness of the tune. Think a cross between “Ram On” and Chris Issak’s “Somebody’s Crying.”

The guitar wails and cries like a banshee, setting the perfect mood for McCombs delicate vocals and sensitive, poetic lyrics. His falsetto hitting just the right amount of vulnerability.

For an added retro spin, check out film legend Karen Black covering the tune with McCombs who sells the song impeccably, adding her own brand of sadness to the track that Lana del Rey would be jealous of.

Discography:
A (2003)
PREfection (2005)
Dropping the Writ (2007)
Catacombs (2009)
Wit’s End (2011)
Humor Risk (2011)
Big Wheel and Others (2013)