Monday, February 27, 2017

“Insincere” by Glaciers – A Song Review and EP Preview

     In music, the term “reinvented” is applied to a band or solo performer after a significant change in their characteristic sound or their musical direction. Most often, the term is reserved for approvals of the change. In 1965, Bob Dylan gravitated from an acoustic performer to the electric guitar. Positive reviews said that Dylan reinvented himself, while negative reviews used terms along the lines of “Judas” and “electrocution.” Thirty-five years later, Radiohead avoided predictability by reinventing itself with the release of “Kid A.”
      It’s not often that a band moving toward the release of its debut EP can be described as having reinvented itself. But based upon the single “Insincere,” applying the term to Glaciers is appropriate. Band member Brad Dorey proudly claims:
  “We finished recording our debut EP in late December. It’s a record that I think will help define us artistically, after a year of writing and developing our identity as a band and figuring out who we are.”

     “Insincere” is dynamic. The instrument that drives the song varies as the song progresses. After a five-second percussion intro, a guitar hook is layered atop an eerie synth to lay the foundation for the vocals. The shifts of the vocals through different ranges (including falsetto) become the centerpiece, until the instruments head to a lower-frequency bridge at the 1:16 mark. Later, “Insincere” jumps into and then out of classic Rock guitar.
     The energy level of “Insincere” is similarly dynamic, which is most evident during the final forty seconds of the song. Still, the best transition occurs at the 4:00 mark, as the texture of the single approaches its peak.

     Glaciers is a UK band comprised of Brad Dorey (vocals, guitars, synth), Ryan Wilson (guitars, keys), Ben Ysselmuiden (bass, keys, vocals), and Sam West (drums). Their EP is scheduled to drop in April. 
     “Insincere” by Glaciers


      Quoting information posted by Glaciers:
  "South-coast based art rock quartet to return with previously unreleased single ‘Insincere’ to kick off campaign to promote their forthcoming debut EP (coming this April).
  'Insincere' is an emotionally driven, atmospheric rock song that experiments with dramatic dynamic changes and soaring vocal melodies. It’ll introduce listeners to a side of the band they may not have heard before & channels influences such as Daughter & Radiohead, with a hint of Jeff Buckley. Sticking to their roots and their love for organic sounds, the self-produced track was recorded live and analogue last April, overdubbing just the vocals and auxiliary instruments."


Sunday, February 26, 2017

“Morning Tea” by Serafyn – A Song Review

     The Facebook list of band members of Serafyn and their abilities provides reasons to be optimistic that their music will be interesting. First, all five members are identified as contributing to the vocals. This gives Serafyn the ability to provide vocalization depth and layering that most bands can only achieve by using processing, such as overdubbing. Second, there are two members who play the cello, which is arguably the best instrument in portraying emotion.

     “Morning Tea” delivers on the promise. The vocals of the three female voices are featured (not those of the two brothers). The effect is powerful, even before the cellos step up. Serafyn is based in Basel, Switzerland. The five members are Anna Erhard (guitar, vocals), Alexandra Werner (cello, vocals), Anja Waldkircher (cello, vocals), Lucas Loew (double bass, vocals), J.J. Loew (percussion, vocals).


Lyrics of “Morning Tea” by Serafyn
Mixing single words and flashing light
At the best and the bad of time

Makes everything seem bigger
Makes everything seem bright
Makes everything seem bigger
Makes us be alright

Mixing someones deeds in morning tea
Drinking all the wild things that they did

Makes everything seem bigger
Makes everything seem bright
Makes everything seem bigger
Makes us be alright

Pointing my long finger while I sing
And now I know that we are all in
Pointing my long finger while I sing

Yeah, we are all in
We are all in, in we are

Mixing someones deeds in morning tea
Drinking all the wild things that they did

Makes everything seem bigger
Makes everything seem bright
Makes everything seem bigger
Makes us be alright

Pointing my long finger while i sing
And now I know that we are all in

We are all in, in we are

Friday, February 24, 2017

Free Friday (“FL&R”) – February 24

     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. 
     This week's picks have a San Francisco flavor, but their appeal extends much further.
     The Australian trio of Hannah Joy, Tim Fitz, and Harry Day is performing in San Francisco tonight. They are at the Rickshaw Stop. According to the venue, advanced tickets have been gone for some time, but a limited number of tickets will be sold at the door. Sounds risky, but….
      “Edge of Town” is freely downloadable by visiting either of two of our favorite sites for Indie music. The choices are KEXP (CLICK HERE) or Triple J (CLICK HERE). 


     The social sites of Caamp list two end-of-March performances in our area. But the calendars of the two venues haven’t been updated to provide confirmation. Regardless, “Misty” is a keeper. It is now available from Noisetrade for the price of an email address.
     The tour schedule of Caamp can be seen at http://www.caamptheband.com/tour/. It shows a March 25 visit to The Catalyst in Santa Cruz and a March 26 visit to Rickshaw Stop. Caamp is a Columbus, Ohio duo comprised of childhood friends Taylor Meier (guitar, lead vocals) and Evan Westfall (banjo, vocals). 


Website: http://www.caamptheband.com/music/

     It’s only the first few seconds after the guitar enters, but each time we play “What Is Said” by Known to Collapse, we think of Tom Petty’s classic “Here Comes My Girl.” The two songs quickly head in different directions and are deserving of repeated play for unrelated reasons.
      Known to Collapse is the performance name of Kevin Lehner and “a collective of musicians in the Bay Area.” Lehner was originally based in Alabama, but now resides in the SF Bay Area.