Tag Archives: Funk

Keys Of Mine Brings The Sound of Luca Bash & Shines Musical Excellence

17 Mar

With Keys Of Mine, Luca Bash brings the elements of smooth jazz with an undertone of grit in his overall sound. Debuting after his CMYK project in 2015, Bash is back with an even more stylized sound. The Italian musician knows how to blend the varied sounds and exemplifies how a mixture of how the saxophone and keyboard hone in on the vibe of the album. It makes listeners awakened by the reflective and unique sound Bash brings. A wide range of content encompasses the track list of Keys Of Mine, with standout tracks of Your Tomorrow and Forever Like Asleep. Your Tomorrow brings out the musing side of Bash’s lyrics and sound and Forever Like Asleep carries heavy emphasis on pairing strong lyrics and standout musical arrangement with the wide variety of instruments highlighted in bursts on the album. Having a heavy musical background and not afraid to bare his emotions, Luca Bash gives Keys Of Mine his heart and soul.

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Top 10 Songs of 2015: #8 – Don’t Wanna Fight by Alabama Shakes

17 Dec

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Brittany Howard’s wail is pretty famous. Her band’s first hit, Alabama Shakes’ “Hold On,” was fairly popular when it came out and it lives on, used frequently as a transition between stories on NPR. The band released their sophomore LP, Sound & Color, earlier this year, with “Don’t Wanna Fight” as their lead single. The album in itself was an accomplishment, but what I really want to talk about is that beautiful funk ballad.

I will admit that my relationship with Alabama Shakes had at times been rocky. I enjoyed their sound, but their songs sometimes bleed together, and ultimately Boys & Girls never stuck with me. But this year, Alabama Shakes proved to me that they deserved a second chance. “Don’t Wanna Fight” grabs you immediately from that first squeal and keeps you until final the tear-soaked plea to just stop fighting. 

I think what makes “Don’t Wanna Fight” so transcendental is that it is the fight. Laura Marling has a song, “Strange,” which is written similarly, from the perspective of a person directly in the middle of an argument (though Marling technically sings from both perspectives). Marling sings frankly, whereas Howard becomes more and more unsettled as the song progresses. The bassline never changes, but does its job adding to the tension brought on by those emotional lyrics and vocals. To tell the truth, the instrumentation could have come from UMO’s first album, particularly because of that dusty, vintage guitar melody. Really though, Alabama Shakes have simply improved on a classic and simple style of music: soul-fire igniting funk. 

Sound & Color is out now. Find more information about Alabama Shakes on their website, and be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

The Revivalists Can Revive Any Music Lover

7 Jul

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On The Revivalists About page on the band’s website, the first line proclaims that it is a surprise that the entire planet cannot hear the band playing when it takes the stage. Well, soon enough it might. With the music that the New Orleans horn/rock septet is churning out, I would be surprised if the band were not on the playlists of a plethora of music lovers across the globe. Why am I so confident? When a band so clearly presents a panoply of excellent musical attributes, it is hard not to be giddy.

So, what should you know about the Revivalists? The band’s latest album, Men Amongst Mountains, will be released on July 17 and will combine power and quality while maintaining a “distinctly raw, old-world feel.” The band has been able to cut a great following in the known musical hot spot New Orleans – if you can make it there as an Indie/Rock horn band, you can make it anywhere. The band is made up of a collection of tremendous musicians (David Shaw – vocals, Zack Feinberg – guitar, Andrew Campanelli – drums, Ed Williams – pedal steel guitar, George Gekas – bass, Rob Ingraham – saxophone, and Michael Girardot – keyboards & trumpet) who fastidiously plan a live show experience, which means the band is totally worth seeing – lucky for you there are many live dates this summer.  Oh, how can I forget the most important piece of information – the band’s sound is electric and massive! Let’s have ourselves a listen, why don’t we.

There are so many good things to say about “Keep Going” I don’t know where to start. David Shaw’s vocals are funky and mature, invoking an amalgamation of Bruce Springsteen and Brittany Howard. The instrumentation is killer – combining toe-tapping percussion with hard-line rock guitar, which form a chorus of horns and potent repetition. The chorus smooths out into a relaxed echo – horn and vocal – followed by those horns riffing in the background of the second verse. The song is magic. It’s a soulful anthem, an advice track that swoons with Shaw’s awesome vocal. I listen to this song and just imagine it performed live, and that’s always a good thing.

“Wish I Knew You” is even funkier, featuring a modern Mark Ronson guitar riff that hangs behind some airy, ethereal noises. That is where the Indie comes into play – the track combines a St. Motel-like 70s spice with a more modern electronic sound. The song has that cool sound that is just enjoyable to listen.

You can find out more about the Revivalists by visiting the band’s website, Facebook, or Twitter.

Earworm for Wednesday – Saint Motel “My Type”

29 Apr

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The four dapper looking fellows in the photograph above represent the eclectic pop quartet called Saint Motel, a musical variety act, fit with catchy pop of undefinable delineations. Try to evince the band’s genre. It’s difficult. The band goes from funky, horn-blazoned Mad Men-inspired pop/rock to more Walk The Moon-style alternative rock. That is diversity. And, the best part of it all is that the band is clearly enjoying the fruits of its talents, performing this past Coachella on the main stage and making its rounds on Jimmy Kimmel. The band, which signed to Elektra records in 2014 and released its fourth EP in August of that year, has also toured with super-acts like Imagine Dragons and the Arctic Monkeys. Put simply, St. Motel is one of the next big things of pop music, and its extraordinary throwback to upbeat jazz bars with the finest whisky sensibilities – “My Type – is a testament to the band’s emergence as cool and fun.

“My Type” starts with a tremendous horn riff that falls into a disco-like beat straight out of the Tramps’ disco inferno, fit with a range of percussion instruments. The vocal is such a spot-on throwback to everything good with disco/jazz/soul music that one cannot help but smile. The song has a movie quality to it. It sounds straight out of the pictures; it is almost like it was particularly made for it, and the music video suggests something similar. The song is just “my type” and it strikes me as the type of many others. On a completely different musical note, check out “Cold, Cold Man” which is more true Indie/pop with dreamy keys.

You can find out more about the band on its website

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go, Miko and The Musket

22 Apr

Miko & The Musket

While Indie singer-songwriter extraordinaire Miko de Leon delicately croons for his listeners to “slow it down” in the single “On Your Mark,” this proves quite difficult when you do not want the infectious rhythm to end! But at least when the song ends you can always hit repeat, which I’ve done several times in the last hour. This is the case for most of the music released by de Leon’s band Miko & The Musket. The 7-piece Indie band exceeds what one expects from most Indie bands, for instead of falling into a consistent sound, the band provides diverse instrumentation and vocals that provide a diversity of sounds much like a variegated strobe light in a dark room. There is such richness in the multifaceted vocals, and this is only accentuated by the folk/funk/pop rhythms evident in each piece. Thus, in a sense, Miko & The Musket is genre less, a fascinating combination of a slew of sounds and rhythms that form a pleasant amalgamation of sound. This is perhaps best portrayed by the single mentioned above, “On Your Mark.”

“On Your Mark,” combines a fresh funky rhythm with creative folk harmonies. The song begins with an Americana funk sound much like that of Rusted Root. The percussion almost takes on a World music quality, and the band seems to ride the wave of many different types of rhythm. de Leon’s voice is like whipped cream: light, fully, and tasty. He blends well with his supporting vocalists – Molly McAdoo and Lannon Killea – who both provide fun fills – much like UK Indie folk. There are just so many catchy qualities of this piece, and it is difficult to not sing along or at least bop your head to the rhythm. The song falls off towards the end and quite literally slows itself down, but, much like the style of choral pop bands, rises back up into a culmination of sound and instrumentation.

Great piece by an up-and-coming Indie powerhouse in New York. Check out more about the band on its website, Facebook, and Twitter.

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