Monday, August 29, 2016

Iceland Has Its Volcanos and New Zealand Uses Caves

     Icelandic bands are occasionally given the opportunity to perform within a volcano. At the bottom of this post is Kaleo performing “Way Down We Go” within the caverns of Thrihnukagigur ("Three Peaks Crater"). Well, New Zealand takes advantage of its limestone caves. Vallkyrie performed “Steel Heart” during a “Cave Session.” 


     The email submission regarding Vallkyrie reads:
  Vallkyrie fuse together sounds that influence Rock, RnB and Hip Hop to create something bold and exciting to say the least. If Imagine Dragons, Rihanna and Enigma had a soul child, it would be Vallkyrie.
  Vallkyrie consists of Omer Gilroy (vocals), Rebel Reid (guitar, keys) and Brandon Haru (Percussion, Keys). Together they hit the stage with a theatrical and explosive live set, which has already won them 3rd place (amongst 149 entries) for “Battle of the Bands”

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Ambient, Ethereal, Churchy and Atmospheric

     Vancouver Sleep Clinic released an animated video for a song we hadn’t previously heard. Listening to “Lung” was a reminder of the beauty of the genre and vocalization style. Many designations have been attached to the approach, including ambient, ethereal, churchy, and atmospheric. Regardless, there are times when the genre/style is ideal.
     Vancouver Sleep Clinic is Tim Bettinson, a 19-year old from Brisbane, Australia. 


     From London, the sound is generated by Hanging Valleys, which is Thom Byles (singer/songwriter), Mike Philips (guitar, vocals), and Alexis Meridol (beats, sampler).
  “Endless Wave” by Hanging Valleys

Website: http://www.hangingvalleys.com/


     A third song and a third continent - Sault Ste Marie is based in Southern California. 
  “The House of Winshire”

Friday, August 26, 2016

“Heavenly Bodies” by Midnight Faces – An Album Review

     Today, the top shoegaze album of 2016 dropped. Yes, we know it’s only August. But from a top-to-bottom perspective, the nine-track album from Midnight Faces will not be surpassed. Midnight Faces is a trio in Los Angeles. 
     Typically, when we find it difficult to pick three songs to post from an album, the difficulty is based on finding three songs that are likely to attract first-time listeners of the music. For the “Heavenly Bodies” album, the difficultly is deciding which six songs not to include. We decided to embed four songs.
     The album leads with “Blue Haze.” It is the best wall-of-sound single of the nine songs. If you’re a fan of guitars and the genre, “Blue Haze” belongs in your library.


     Proving that Midnight Faces has flexibility, the second song is “Party Donna,” with its up-tempo drive. “Party Donna" is less shoegaze and more electronic than the lead track, particularly with respect to the percussion. If there’s a song that can make a treadmill enjoyable, this is it!


     Next on the album is “Sirens,” which is similarly up-tempo, but less aggressive. It travels well before an attraction factor explodes at 3:30 - the saxophone makes its first appearance. The saxophone has a 1980s feel that is supported by quick-twitch guitar.  


     Strong arguments are available to assert that “Germanium” will receive the most acclaim. The cooperation between the vocals and guitar brings to mind the best material from War on Drugs (and Roadkill Ghost Choir). Again, Midnight Faces saves the saxophone for the final portion of the song, providing an attention refresh.


     “Space Boy” has an abrupt but seamless transition at the 2:27 mark. Well executed guys!
    “Feeling Like a Stranger” is perhaps the best use of the saxophone on the “Heavenly Bodies” album.
    “Love Is All Around” is less than two minutes in length, but includes a crescendo and decrescendo sandwiching an almost gentle wall-of-sound.  
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     “Heavenly Bodies” is the third album from Midnight Faces. The band is formed of Matthew Doty (guitar/bass/synth), Phil Stancil (vocals/guitar/bass), and Paul Doyle (drums). Other contributions to the album are:
  Recorded by Aaron Espinoza at The Ship Los Angeles, CA
  Mixed by Abe Seiferth at Transmitter Park Studio Brooklyn, NY
  Mastered by Heba Kadry at Timeless Mastering Brooklyn, NY  

Social media and sites for purchasing the album: