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Stuck In My Head — Bear Hands

30 May

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I’ve had a chance to listen to a lot of Sirius XM radio lately, and in my listening binge I have found myself on the Alt Nation channel much of the time. On it, Bear Hands, an Indie Rock/Punk band formed in Brooklyn a decade ago, has found much play with a song called “2 a.m.” from the band’s 2016 studio album You’ll Pay for This. The song is just one in a vast library of excellent music Bear Hands has released since its first LP was introduced to the listening populace in 2010. Let’s explore two of Bear Hands’ most popular songs.

“Agora,” an ode to the phobia that shares the prefix, is a jaunty, paranoid song with fragmented guitar, pleading harmonies, and a spooky key motif. With the repetition of agora in the verse it almost sounds like the band is the music video’s protagonist’s deranged mind. Oh, and the song is pretty awesome too; a sub-3-minute ditty that hits the ears hard and sticks.

“2 a.m.” has marked differences that demonstrate the band’s multifarious skill. The song is more methodical in its pace, featuring slow keys and muffled drums. The vocals reflect the instrumentation; at times they even some strained and depressed. The song serves a wonderful contrast to “Agora” and other fast-paced Bear Hands songs, and the slowed down style is impressive. It also reflects the lyrics, which sings of getting older.

 

You can find out more about Bear Hands at the band’s website

Breaking It Paves The Way For Technoloogiline Paike

19 Mar

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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.

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Hot Rumours Fuels The Soul With Run To Me

9 Mar

 

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Hot Rumours presents their sound with unlimited effortlessness. Fueling the song’s soundRun to Me, it carries the undertones of rock and roll, angst, and the spirit of authentic feelings. Hailing from Frankie Siragusa, most known for working with members of acclaimed groups such as The Decemberists, Reggie Watts, and REM, Hot Rumours brings the vocalist Aaron Ficchi’s sound into a genre of sophistication and the epitome of brilliant music making. Within the track, Run To Me, it carries deep metaphors as well with lyrics such as “everytime you wake up to someone else, you drive yourself alone”. While Run To Me gives us a glimpse into their debut EP, listeners will be thrilled to know that a West Coast exclusive tour will be in the works for summer, simply spreading the sound of Hot Rumours to ears filled with anticipation.

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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

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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.

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