Archive | February, 2016

Music Palace – Rival Sons, Adam Sullivan and the Trees

28 Feb

I must proclaim that I am a little late to the game with both Rival Sons and Adam Sullivan and the Trees. I first heard about both bands back in 2014, and, well, there they sat on my list of bands to write about for around two years. Since then, though, both bands have continued their drive to the top of their respective genres, creating excellent music that, if you have not heard of yet, you should have (and you will now).


Rival Sons


Hard Rock is tough to come by these days. And, no, I’m not talking about the loud, “hard rock” proto-punk sound that occasionally serves as a substitute to traditional hard rock. I’m talking about Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Blue Cheer 1960s/1970s hard rock that took blues music and shaped it into a driving sound that rocked the socks off of my parent’s generation. Lucky for listeners today, Rival Sons is doing just that. Much in the vein of modern bands like The Sheepdogs and Gary Clark Jr., Rival Sons is creating old-style rock n’ roll music with a keen blues sound, driving percussion, and raspy vocals. This is not going unnoticed. The Californian band, which formed back in 2009,  was handpicked to be the main support for the entire Black Sabbath farewell world tour. That’s a high compliment from one of the originators of the genre.

Released in 2014, on the 4th studio album from the band – Great Western Valkyrie – “Open My Eyes” was a large reason why the album reached #1 on the US Heat charts as well as charting in several European countries. Hit play on that track and tell me it does not sound like you just lightly placed the needle down on an LP. The crashing percussion and satiating riff – purveyed by Mike Miley and Scott Holiday respectively – are jaw-dropping. Lead vocalist Jay Buchanan belts the vocals from the first note, calling forth comparisons to Paul Rodgers and Lou Gramm. Dave Beste provides a solid bass guitar to round out the quartet. The song even features a Bad Compary-esque acoustic interlude. This is a tremendous release from an up-and-coming band, and I cannot wait to hear more from them.

Adam Sullivan and the Trees

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After years as a solo artist, Adam Sullivan needed some more roots to shape his music career, so he recruited some NYC trees and started making music with them. The result? Adam Sullivan and the Trees, a four-piece Indie/Folk/Pop outfit whose music relies on catchy melodies, dulcet rhythms, and, according to the Facebook page, halal food and whiskey. The band, which consists of Adam Sullivan (keys, vocals), Mason Ingram (drums), Rob Ritchie (guitars), and Zack Lober (bass), formed in 2013 and since then released a self-titled LP (2014) and Live and Acoustic album (2015).

“Cool Kids” – the live version – is off of the band’s most recent 2015 release. It is a ditty in every traditional sense. The band describes its genre as happy/sad music, and this song encompasses that genre perfectly. Ostensibly, it is a melodic acoustic track with pleasant vocals and cheery instrumentation; the lyrics, though, are about trying to fit in with the cool kids and are, well, sad; however, the lyrics fit perfectly with the track and in that are successful.


Flaunt Brings An Atmosphere of Sound In Their Newest Track, Restraint

25 Feb

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Flaunt puts their mysterious and noir sound on the map within their newest single Restraint. The light addition of drumming within the track and subtle, but powerful guitar riffs set the tone for Restraint as an intentional and focused one. With their musical aesthetic being on the same wavelength as artists such as Bloc Party, The Killers, and even Spooky Black, Flaunt makes their music completely unique and addicting to the auditory sense. Even within their track, the word phrases of “after you knocked me over and “you turned to the quickest escape” convey the track not only as a strong anthem, but also one that’s filled with emotion, despair, and dashes of melancholia. Previously earning an Independent Music Award in 2014 for New Discovery Artist, it should not be a surprise to listeners how authentic and raw Flaunt truly is.

For more listening:

Spines of The Heart Sets Standout Sound For Bryan Diester

22 Feb


Completely setting the dark and mysterious tone for the album Spines of The Heart, Bryan Diester mixes his classical piano training with heavy vocals. Drawing influence from the dark and grungey sounds of 90s grunge, Spines of the Heart sets the tone for deep and reflective listening for listeners. Diester’s musical background shows the variety of music he is capable of performing. He has previously trained in the genres of classical, jazz, blues, and progressive rock.  With spotlighted tracks such as All That I Have and Into The Sky, Diester delivers an overall steady grunge anthem of his own in his album. Citing the great Kurt Cobain as a significant influence, listeners should take note Diester is definitely full of ambition alongside his musical talent, as he currently is studying Writing & Composition at Berklee College of Music.

For more listening:

New Music Palace – Popfilter, Brother Moses, Mark Hole

21 Feb

There is a plenitude of excellent new music that exists in the vast music hemisphere today; unfortunately, there also exists a time limitation that prevents me from covering all of these new tunes. Thus, today, and for weekends in the future, I bring you a New Music Palace breakdown of some of the more exciting artists creating tracks today. My promise to you is simple: excellent new music that you should listen to immediately. Today I feature tracks from bands Popfilter, Brother Moses, and Mark Hole.

“Empire” by Popfilter


Popfilter comes to us from Denver, CO, a brand new three-piece Indie Pop band who just released its first single “Empire.” The track has been featured on the New & Notable section of Noisetrade (a great site for new music) and has found some local play in the Denver area. And, for reasons that will be clear once you click play below, the song should soon propel itself beyond local play and into the ears of significantly more listeners. “Empire” features crashing drums, bright keys, and a bubbly, upbeat sound that is carried by Mason Maxwell’s classic Indie croon. For a newer band, this is an impressive, mature release, both canorous and edgy – a little Keane/Coldplay, a little Jesse Morrow.  The band has a few more singles in the works and will be releasing them in the upcoming months.


“Crazy Eyes” by Brother Moses


Let’s travel to Arkansas and meet a cohesive 4-piece that has been “making music” since the band were “babies.” “Crazy Eyes,” the band’s new single, is a track from the forthcoming EP, Legends, which will be released in April. The piece features a building sound, starting with strung-out keys that culminate in a repetitive drum and guitar riff that form a melodic instrumentations that is carried by solid vocals. The song features some excellent call-and-response instrument/vocal harmonies and an excellent bass guitar that pairs with the drums to form a wonderful rhythm section.


“Don’t Be Silly” by Mark Hole


Mark Hole is an interesting story. Son of a the CEO of Universal Music Group International, Hole, presumably, has been around music for quite a while, and his expansive talent and fascinating style demonstrates that. Hole is uber-prolific and has recently embarked on his “The Hole Story” campaign where he will release 27 tracks with corresponding videos. I’m featuring track #2 “Don’t Be Silly,” which I think is an elegant portrayal of Mark’s skill. The song features a unique, staccato piano rhythm that bounces with Hole’s vocals. The song is like a mix between Indie/Pop, 70s Disco/Soul, 90s retro 50’s throwbacks, and probably a whole slew of other influences. It is tight and effervescent. Great track.

Temporary Hero Idolizes One Of The Greats In Newest Album, Tusk

19 Feb


In a complete artistic transformation, Temporary Hero evolves in a new way with his newest project Tusk. Compared to his acclaimed CHET, Tusk shows that Jonah Bell has a wide musical range. A complete modernization of Fleetwood Mac’s songs off the album Tusk form a linking connection with the past and present. Dubbed an “artist’s artist”, it’s clearly apparent to listeners that Jonah makes his music from the heart with heavy soul undertones. In regards to his voice style, listeners will find that it reminds them of Copeland’s Aaron Marsh, with the steady harmonies and sophisticated vocals. Jonah Bell has a way of taking his affinities for certain artists and spinning it in not only an appreciation piece, but an extension of his musical range. While the Tusk project only covers half of the original Fleetwood Mac album, Jonah Bell has brought a merging of the past and future, and hopefully a renewed interest in one of the greats in music.

For more listening:

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