Friday, May 26, 2017

Free Friday (“FL&R”) – May 26

     Free and Legal Downloads? Yes, at least temporarily. Bands often temporarily permit free downloads of their releases.  The end of an offer may be based on the expiration of a set period of time or on a limited number of downloads.  But at least for now, here are songs that qualify as Free, Legal and Recommended (FL&R) downloads.
     Finding songs that can be legally downloaded is easy. The difficult task is to find legally downloadable music that we recommend. Our plan is to post at least one FL&R song each Friday.
     Bear With Us are five musicians in Stockholm, Sweden. Their song “Freedom Fighter” begins in a minimalistic mode of low energy piano and vocals. By the end, the song is in full-fledged Rock mode, with guitars blazing.
     “Freedom Fighter” is an anthem – “Nothing’s gonna stand in my way.” But the resolution is looking for a direction – “I’m a freedom fighter, who don’t know what he's fighting for.

     The members of Bear With Us are Bj√∂rn Lundkvist (vocals, rhythm guitar), Kalle Andersson (piano, keys), Anton Sivertsson (lead guitar), Alexis Tubulekas (bass),  and Emil Westin (drums). 
     “Freedom Fighter” by Bear with Us 

     This week, a “Song of the Day” on the KEPX site was “Rain in Soho” by The Mountain Goats. This is a chorus-backed gem. KEPX, we thank you! Until the offer ages itself off the list, the download is available by going to KEPX (CLICK HERE) and scrolling to May 23.
     The Mountain Goats are currently on tour, promoting the album “Goth.” For tour information, go to The tour includes two performances in San Francisco. 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

“Drag Me Down” by NYIKO – A Song Review

     Bells are pealed, not pianos. The start of “Drag Me Down” is an exception. A chord is struck and the piano strings are allowed to vibrate with decreasing volume, until the chord is struck again.  The approach is effective in immediately setting an expectation of solemn subject matter. The vocals enter with “The light was always on when I woke up; but not today, I didn’t understand.” The lyrics of the song from NYIKO are built around a relationship that needs to end, despite some reluctance.

     “Drag Me Down” is joyless subject matter wrapped in a melody that is almost high-spirited at times. For example, the instrumental support is playful during a segment that begins at 1:24. The counterbalance adds to the interest in the song.

     NYIKO is Nyiko Beguin (“nee-koh” “bay-gan”), a recording artist, producer, and visual artist in Los Angeles. According to the Facebook page of NYIKO, the live band includes Dan Smith, Ian Senesac, and Tyler Daniel Bean. 
     “Drag Me Down” by NYIKO 

“Throw It Down” by Winchester – A Song review

     Winchester threw down a contender for “The Summer Hit of 2017.” A strong candidate requires a balance between easily grasped Pop sensitives and a sophisticated underlayer that provides needed staying power. For Winchester’s “Throw It Down,” if the balance isn’t right, it’s because the level of sophistication is too high – which is a positive from our perspective.

      “Throw It Down” takes a cinematic approach during its intro. The intro would fit well within an updated 2001 Space Odyssey. Soon, the percussion takes the listener in a Pop direction. But the best features of the song are still waiting. The combination of male/female vocals is consistently attractive, but the vocals turn into an attention-grabber with the harmonization of “like it’s a sign from above” at the 1:55 mark. And the combination of higher frequency synth warble with chest-rumbling low frequency vibrations after each of the three stops (1:18, 2:10 and 3:03) is skillfully executed, mixed (Shayn Hotton) and mastered (Shawn Hatfield).

     “Throw It Down” was mastered at AudibleOddities, which seems fitting for a song ending with a guitar that sounds simultaneously masterful and out of tune.

     Winchester is Lauren Austin (vocals) and Montgomery de Luna (guitar, keys, vocals) in Toronto, Ontario. “Throw It Down” will be on their upcoming EP, “If Time is Not Linear Why Can’t I Forget the Past?”. 

Lyrics of “Throw It Down” by
You could tell by my confusion and my honest surprise
But through the truth that you’re abusing, you can only hear lies
We’ve got to hold on, we’ve got to hold on, Hold on

From all the tilted connotations and the facts that I wrote
And all the manic explanations you can only denote
We’ve got to go on go on go on

And with the vacant iterations and the pride that you stole
Comes the latent condemnation of your informative holes
And then it’s all gone and then it’s all gone, All gone

You only see what can support the reckless thoughts in your head
When you’ve already made your mind up, it’s your mind you’ve misled
And then it’s all gone and then it’s all gone, All gone

All gone.

The stolid choice of your demeanour is a mar to my skin
And all that I had once believed in starts to be worn so thin
And then it’s all gone and then it’s all gone, All gone

But it’s not my engineering when I talk about love
Yet you commune with your conclusions like it’s a sign from above
As if that would be good enough…

And if you didn’t know it then, then you should know it by now
But when you haven’t learned yet somehow,
You have to throw it all down.

And then you condescend to screaming at the top of your lungs
And it drives you up the wall when I won’t take off the gloves
Because it’s all gone and then it’s all gone, All gone

The faults I see through your allusions are too great to be true
And I can see that your conclusions shape your whole point of view
And then it’s all wrong then it’s all wrong, all wrong.

And if you didn’t know it then, then you should know it by now
But when you haven’t learned yet somehow,
You have to throw it all down.