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Pacific Radio Has The Catchy Tunes Your Playlist Craves

7 Mar


Quick Editor’s Note: Please help the Music Court welcome a new writer to the ever-growing Music Court mold; Kylie Banks. Kylie will be reporting on some excellent tunes, so keep an eye out for her posts. – Matt

It may be cold in LA (as a Floridian, I consider anything under 60 degrees freezing), but you better believe I’m already creating my summer playlist. And Pacific Radio is definitely on it.

I got a chance to see Pacific Radio at It’s A School Night!, a live show that the Hollywood venue Bardot puts on every Monday night. My friend Zoe and I decided to see what this band was all about. And I’m thrilled we did.

I first noticed lead singer Joe Robinson’s leggings. I’m not sure if I’ve ever see tighter leggings, and, to be honest, I’m not sure I ever will. But even tighter than the leggings was this foursome’s set. Even though I hadn’t heard a single song from this band, their performance had me dancing like a maniac before the first song even finished. After their energetic set, I knew I had to sit down and listen to their discography.

The only disappointing aspect about the Kitchen Table EP was the length – at only four songs, it leaves you wanting more. The first track “Kitchen Table” is incredibly catchy, with the band singing about a tape deck thrown out a window. Of all the songs on the EP, this was the song that I couldn’t get out of my head for days after the live show. Though the second track “Katie” is about unrequited love, it’s upbeat, fun and completely relatable. Additionally, as a transplanted Angeleno with the occasional bout of homesickness, the song “LA Is Pretty (But It’s Killing Me)” has a special place in my heart. I especially loved the violin they incorporated-I’m a sucker for rock bands that bust out the strings for slower tracks. The last song, “Tight Jeans,” is the perfect track to blare for a night out on the town. This song was amazing live-the entire band joined in for the chorus of “Nah Nah Nah’s!” And it wasn’t long before I did, too.

If you’re interested in hearing your new summer soundtrack, check out the Kitchen Table EP below:


Breaking It Paves The Way For Technoloogiline Paike

19 Mar


Ringing in electronic and synthesized sounds, award winning Estonian experimental pop/electronic group Tehnoloogiline Paike brings an original sound in the synth pop world. Leader of the rising group, Evar Anvelt carries the group into a sound that can be cited as almost dream pop, carrying heavy synth and strategically placed ambient sounds. The creative process involved use of analog instruments and effect processors as well, yielding an organic, yet futuristic sound. Breaking It explores also the stream of consciousness with lyrics such as “shadows following me, floating the ground”. With a sound very similar to the early days of Animal Collective, Panda Bear, and Black Moth Super Rainbow, listeners can anticipate Tehnoloogiline Paike to continue carving their way in their own dimension.

For more listening:

Ryan Shupe Rides On

30 Jan


Fiddle-king Ryan Shupe is back at it with the anticipated release of his new album We Rode On that is scheduled to come out in Spring. This, his 8th album, will highlight a small transformation in Shupe, as he is transforming his usual country sentiment to a more pop/rock feel. This is echoed in the track that we have featured for you below. Shupe is a master at his craft and is able to write and play effectively; he also bends genre-types and thus can be considered a true master musician.

“If I Stay,” one of the tracks off the new album, is a jaunty piece with vocal melodies and more standard instrumentation. It has a Great Big Sea feel to it considering the energy and passion. It is almost a more bluegrass version of Great Big Sea and even Carbon Leaf. The Americana passion is bleeding out of the song, which is carried through the meaty vocals and sprightly pace. It’s an excellent ditty, and one that more should listen to.

Avoid the highways, just take Sunset

28 Oct

nicholas krgovich

By my estimation, more music has been made about New York and LA than any other areas combined. Both places are enormous cultural melting pots, a huge draw for artists. But even given the vastness of these cities, the art that comes out of them all too often includes themes of loneliness and solitude. This dichotomy is so clear that people around the world feel intimately connected to these cities, even if they have never once visited. Last year, Canadian songwriter Nicholas Krgovich released an album called On Sunset, about life in the city of angels; the kicker is that, despite how emotional and close the record feels to the city, Krgovich never actually lived here full time. The album presents an impartial view of LA, one that likely benefitted from not having been made here.

Krgovich creates a beautiful story on this album, riddled with disappointment and anguish, told through vivid images of nefarious characters, distant relationships, and regret. It all begins with a failed romance in “The Backlot,” and the self pity and hopelessness that come with it.

“I don’t know what came along and tricked me into believing,
That you’re the only one for me”

It feels as though Krgovich, or more generally, our protagonist, is constantly pulled into the social nature of the city, but he doesn’t connect with that scene. First he is absent emotionally, then physically, when he refers to the attention given to Hollywood for the Academy Awards, as if LA has forgotten him. This vignette, and the several others in the following tracks, are best described as fabricated memories. As detailed as the scene and sentiment, remember that Krgovich conceived this project in the Canadian Rockies. A cold, snowed in artist creating a piece about sunshine isn’t a surprising image, but his love for LA reached an unhealthy level. Rather, he had an obsession with the idea of LA, manifested in his songs, which he never put down for the better part of eleven years. This album might as well be dubbed the Boyhood of music.

His obsession did not stop once the album was complete, either. Krgovich dissected the very record he had just devoted a decade of his life to making, and created a sister record, On Cahuenga. It features the same songs with the same arrangement, but it is stripped down to only vocals and piano. Because of how arrhythmic the piano melodies are, I had assumed it was like a remix record, where he simply deleted the other instrumentation on top of it and called it a day. Well, he didn’t. He went back into the studio to re-record the exact piano and vocal arrangements that he had for On Sunset, and the results are chilling. The lyrics are so clear, and the piano gives a darker and deeper dimension to the story.

Together, both records ache with a home-sickness that I shouldn’t even relate to, but, somehow, I miss LA. And I live here.

Buy On Sunset here. Buy On Cahuenga here. I learned a lot about these albums from this Noisey feature, you should read it. Find more information on Nicholas Krgovich on his website, or follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

Drunk Tank Pink Sessions – Christoffer Øien New Release Out September 4

1 Sep


When we last left Christoffer Øien a few years ago, he was coming off the heels of his successful debut Monster, which the Music Court lauded as “expansive folk; it mixes the style of some of Joe Purdy’s slower, lugubrious pieces with a mystical Radiohead flavor.” So, when I received a note from Øien that his new album would be out in September (tomorrow!), I got excited. Øien’s acoustic creations are keen and pastoral; true bucolic masterpieces from the land of fjords and trolls.

With the new album comes the continuation of Øien’s brand of mountain folk, a darker brand of music that is led by deep acoustic guitar tones and Øien’s smooth, quivering vocals. The music, while melancholy, has a unique ghost-like haunt to it; the riffs and Øien’s voice stays with you and not long after listening you find yourself humming the melody to disturb the silence. That’s staying power.

“Drunk Tank Blues,” the quasi-title track features all of the qualities about Øien that entice listeners. It is a slow-moving piece that features a crisp acoustic and dulcet violin. The song, which features a minimalistic almost existential video, matches the lugubriousness of the video, a smooth melody about drunk blues. The song moves slowly, accentuating each verse and string fill with skill.

Another song you should check out from the album is “Future Sounds.” A lighter track, with a riff higher on the fret board, Øien advises the listener about a future that does not look so bright, unless people can “find it in your heart to put a smile upon a stranger’s face … and find love in so many ways.” His vocal is particularly strong on this track, particularly emphasizing his best vocal quality – his ability to reverberate his notes. The strongest part of the song is its chorus, which builds with continuing harmonies and becomes like wonderful melodic message.

Check out his website, Facebook for more information.

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