Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The "What” and “Why” of Fighting by The Federal Empire and Fast Romantics

     The Federal Empire have a 1970s-style protest song that includes a background chant, a pair of audio snippets, and a chorus that is destined to steal the show for any concert featuring the band. “What Are We Fighting For” even quotes Mohandas Gandhi’s non-retaliatory philosophy: “An eye for an eye will leave the whole world blind.”

     The core members of The Federal Empire are Chad Wolf and McKay Stevens, with Keith Varon also playing an important role. They are based in Los Angeles. Quoting their content on SubmitHub:
  "This new single is very special to the band and comes at a time when it is needed most amidst the political conflict. The song asks the question 'What Are We Fighting For' and poses some possible answers to that question that seem relevant in the world today 'money, religion, or power.' It explores the negative impact of war with lyrics like 'an eye for an eye will leave the whole world blind.' But it also tells a story of those affected by war 'mothers are crying, watching their children die in vain.' There have been so many terror attacks and wars around the world and we are fighting for peace and hope through music that can bring Unity and Love. The One Love Manchester concert on Sunday was a perfect example. Chad and McKay sing with gang vocals in the chorus of the song to express unity and the belief that music can break down barriers and bring people together better than anything else. The goal is to share the anthem and have thousands singing along with them at live festivals this summer that they are playing."

     “What Are We Fighting For” by The Federal Empire


Lyrics of “What Are We Fighting For” by The Federal Empire
[Audio snippet]
This isn’t a game, yeah
When mothers are crying
Watching their children die in vain

I’m praying for peace now
I saw all the conflict
Somehow there’s got to be a change

No one wins when people die
Doesn’t matter which side
Love will never make it out alive

What are we fighting for
I don't know why
An eye for an eye will leave the whole world blind
What are we fighting for
I don’t know why, no

What are we fighting for
I don't know why
Money, religion, or power all the time
What are we fighting for
I don’t know why, no

The price of our freedom
Is blood in the water
We’re looking for hope, what will it take

We keep on repeating
The fate of our fathers
Somehow there’s got to be a change

No one wins when people die
Doesn’t matter which side
Love will never make it out alive

What are we fighting for
I don't know why
An eye for an eye will leave the whole world blind
What are we fighting for
I don’t know why, no

What are we fighting for
I don't know why
Money, religion, or power all the time
What are we fighting for
I don’t know why, no

[Audio snippet]

What are we fighting for
I don't know why
An eye for an eye will leave the whole world blind
What are we fighting for
I don’t know why, no

What are we fighting for
I don't know why
Money, religion, or power all the time
What are we fighting for
I don’t know why, no
     “Why We Fight” is not a response to the above song. It’s a Bruce Springsteen-style, reality-based anthem to a relationship.  

     Fast Romantics are Matthew Angus (vocals), Jeffrey Lewis (bass), Kirty (vocals, acoustic guitar, synth), Kevin Black (guitars), Lisa Lorenz (keyboards) and Nick McKinlay (drums). 
      “Why We Fight” by Fast Romantics


Lyrics of “Why We Fight” by Fast Romantics
Although I couldn't afford it
I bought a beat up guitar
I worked ’til four in the mornin'
In a broken down bar

This is why we fight
This is why we fight

I know we're all out of money
Don't let the billionaires win
We ain't got much, but we're hungry
It's burning under our skin

This is why we fight
This is why we fight

Oh, come on darlin'
There's a war on our TV
But its alright!
In our bedrooms we are free
Deep in the guts of me
I love you violently
Until the dawn's early light

This is why we fight
This is why we fight

Come put your hand on my heartbeat
There is a marching band in me
It sings a national anthem
For an island in the sea
Where everybody's somebody
Where everybody’s gone free
This is why we fight

Now every morning when I wake up
I put another bullet in my coffee cup

Oh, come on darlin'
There's a war on our TV
But its alright!
In our bedrooms we are free
deep in the guts of me
I love you violently
Until the dawn's early light

This is why we fight
This is why we fight
This is why we fight
This is why we fight


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

“If Before I Wake” by The Districts – A Song Review

     We had to listen to three different stream sources (Soundcloud, Bandcamp and YouTube) to be convinced that the background melodic noises were indeed part of the song and were intentional. They are musical notes, but aren’t aligned with the main melody. The mixing is well conceived – the notes are apparent without being too distracting. And what is their source? The start sounds like a plucked violin, the middle like a music box, and the end like a piano.
     We’re curious, but would have quickly moved to the next song if not for the arrangement of vocals, the guitars, and the vocal conviction. These guys aren’t lacking confidence or a willingness to experiment. The switch in guitar effects and style (slide, we believe) that is first heard at 0:58 is adventuresome.

      There are opportunities to see The Districts in concert. For San Franciscans, the date is July 3, 2017, when the band will visit The Independent. For a full schedule, visit http://thedistrictsband.com/#shows. The tour is in promotion of their upcoming album. “Popular Manipulations,” which is scheduled to drop on August 11, 2017. 
     The District are from Philadelphia, PA. The member are Rob Grote (vocals, guitar), Pat Cassidy (guitar), Connor Jacobus (bass), and Braden Lawrence (drums).



Lyrics of “If Before I Wake” by The Districts
Thunder woke me up, it was storming in the city
I was suddenly wide awake.
Sitting in the darkness, but my eyes, they had adjusted
I was on my own, on my own.

I still find it scary, lightning sure could start a fire,
Brick and mortar might not survive.
Would you start to miss me, would you start to miss me?
Or am I all alone?
No, I'm just a narcissist

Too blessed to be depressed, thank Jesus
God I'm bending over, love me
I wish you'd take my sins out on me
I'll be your ever after, honey

Thunder woke me up, it was storming in the city
I was suddenly wide awake
Sitting in the darkness, but my eyes, they had adjusted
I was on my own, on my own

I still find it scary, lightning sure could start a fire,
Brick and mortar might not survive
Would you start to miss me, would you start to miss me?
Or am I all alone?
No, I'm just a narcissist
I'm just a narcissist


Monday, June 19, 2017

“Los Angeles” by Pole Siblings – A Song Review

     “Los Angeles” has a gentle beauty from the start, with the beauty having an elegance in the final minute of this gem from Pole Siblings. It is in the last minute that the male and female vocals separate from being lyrically alignment to having a side-by-side collaboration.

     “Los Angeles” stands on its own, but it’s fair to compare the track to “Myth” by Beach House. Each song is from a male-female duo, uses an almost delicate, sonic guitar and keyboards, and resides in the Dream Pop genre.

     Pole Siblings are a brother-sister pairing from Finland. Sofia and Johan Stolpe now live in Falun, Sweden. They released a debut EP, “It Might Grow,” on June 16 via Strangers Candy/AntiFragile Music. The four-track EP was recorded and produced by Petter Winnberg (Amason). 
     “Los Angeles” by Pole Siblings 


Below is interesting background information from the SubmitHub page:
  After living apart for nearly 10 years, Johan and Sofia Stolpe came together when both of them found love on the other side of the Baltic Sea and moved to Sweden almost simultaneously. They started a band together as an outlet for processing their mutual history as well as creating a necessary way to stay connected to their homeland. Love came and went, but both of them decided to stay in Sweden and they are now living just a block away from each other in the small town of Falun in the Dalarna region.

  After their father passed away in late 2015, Johan and Sofia decided to gather their emotional belongings and create a new chapter of their own. Heavily influenced by the personal setbacks of the last few years – separations from the partners that brought them to Sweden as well as various other facets of life – their music echoes their own personal connection:

  “Death is a very humbling experience. You realize you can’t hold on to certain things, cause there’s no one there to help you let go of your regrets, questions or pent up anger. Both of us are relational people, brought up having to find strength, and refuge, in each other. We had a strong need to go through our shared history of emotions and they couldn’t go anywhere else than into songs”, Sofia Stolpe says about the EP.

  After supporting Swedish band Amason on tour, the siblings met musician and producer Petter Winnberg and recordings of “It Might Grow” took place in a community cabin in the village of Gagnef, Sweden in June 2016.

  “It Might Grow” is 15 minutes music, spanning over a lifetime of a family’s most dark and beautiful moments. A collection of songs about making amends with the past as well as celebrating its impact on life paths.