Tuesday, June 27, 2017

“No Halo” by Sorority Noise – A Song Review

     It is difficult for a band to merge different styles into one song without the track sounding as if it’s merely an unwillingness to commit. Sorority Noise accomplished the difficult, and in a song that is less than three minutes long. The vocals of “No Halo” take a storytelling approach until the chorus, when the anger rises to the top. The guitars don’t shy away from combining Shoegaze and Post Rock, until they turn Punk. The percussion is mostly rhythmic, unless it’s indignantly aggressive.   

     Sorority Noise is from Hartford, Connecticut. The four members are Cameron Boucher (guitar, vocals), Ryan McKenna (bass, vocals), Adam Ackerman (guitar, vocals), and Charlie Singer (drums).
     “No Halo” by Sorority Noise 


Lyrics of “No Halo” by Sorority Noise
This last week
I slept eight hours total
I barely sleep

Maybe that's why I've been weak
The same things that plague you, still plaguing me
God called you to fulfill a vacancy
I tried to see why it wasn't me

So I didn't show up to your funeral
But I showed up to your house
And I didn't move a muscle
I was quiet as a mouse
And I swore I saw you in there
But I was looking at myself

I'm placing bets
Against myself
And honestly I'm a mess

With the car engulfed in flames
I am a wreck
Things I should have said through call and text
Just really been so busy and I regret

‘Cause if there's no rest for the wicked
I'm as evil as it gets

So I didn't show up to your funeral
But I showed up to your house
And I didn't move a muscle
I was quiet as a mouse
And I swore I saw you in there
But I was looking at myself

So when you show up to my funeral
Will you be wearing white or black?
And I know the voice is in you
It's the energy I lack
So if there's a race to heaven
I will surely come in last
And if there's a race to heaven
I will always come in last

Monday, June 26, 2017

"Brother" by Kodaline – A Video and Song Review

     The lyrics and the video tell different stories, but both are compelling. The video is particularly emotion. A death separates the surviving brother from his big brother. They are rejoined during the night of the burial. The returning brother has powers that mortals don’t possess, but the focus is upon typical sibling activities, including sword fighting and pitching a tent from blankets and living room furniture.
     In the morning, the little brother wakes up alone. While being consoled by his parents, he sees the reflection of his brother within a picture of the two boys. As the reflection moves out of the picture, the song finishing “I've got you brother.” The effect is emotional and reassuring.

     The moving story shown by the video involves young brothers from a single family. In comparison, the lyrics are built around adults who are not blood “brothers,” but who have a brother-like relationship. In fact, they may have matching tattoos:
Oh brother, we go deeper than the ink
beneath the skin of our tattoos
Though we don't share the same blood
You're my brother and I love you, that's the truth

     Kodaline are singer Steve Garrigan, guitarist Mark Prendergast, bassist Jason Boland and drummer Vinny May. The SubmitHub description for “Brother” states:
  "For the video, Kodaline have teamed up their long-time collaborator, director Stevie Russell (All I Want, High Hopes, Honest), who has created an incredibly moving and soon to be, classic Kodaline video. Be warned, you might need some tissues at the ready after you watch it.
  Speaking about the video the band say, 'It was such a pleasure to work with Stevie again, every time we read one of his scripts they jump right off the page. We can't wait for everyone to see what he's done for Brother, he really captured the perfect vibe again.'
  Singer Steve Garrigan’s vocals have never sounded so passionate. Nor has the band ever sounded so fresh. Produced by Steve Harris and Two Inch Punch, with long-time collaborator Johnny McDaid (Snow Patrol) executive producer, ‘Brother’ is mixed by Spike Stent. It’s the first addictive taste from their forthcoming new album and has anthem written all over it."

    We were fortunate in our ability to see Kodaline when they performed in San Francisco (with LP). It easily ranked in the top five live performances of the year. If you have an opportunity to see Kodaline, take advantage!



Lyrics of "Brother" by Kodaline
When we were young
We were the ones
The kings and queens
Oh yeah, we ruled the world

We smoked cigarettes
Man, no regrets
Wish I could relive
Every single word

We've taken different paths and traveled different roads
I know we'll always end up on the same one when we're old
And when you're in the trenches and you're under fire I will cover you

If I was dying on my knees
You would be the one to rescue me
And if you were drowned at sea
I'd give you my lungs, so you could breathe

I've got you brother
[Repeat 3x]

Oh brother, we go deeper than the ink
Beneath the skin of our tattoos
Though we don't share the same blood
You're my brother and I love you, that's the truth

We're living different lives, heaven only knows
If we'll make it back with all our fingers and our toes
Five years, twenty years, come back, we'll always be the same

If I was dying on my knees
You would be the one to rescue me
And if you were drowned at sea
I'd give you my lungs so you could breathe

I've got you brother
I've got you brother

And if we hit on troubled water
I'll be the one to keep you warm and safe
And we'll be carrying each other
Until we say goodbye on our dying day

Because I've got you brother
I've got you brother
I've got you brother
I've got you brother

If I was dying on my knees
You would be the one to rescue me
And if you were drowned at sea
I'd give you my lungs so you could breathe

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh,
Ohhhhhhhhhhhh
Ahhhhhhhhhhhh
Ohhhhhhhhhhhh

I've got you brother
I've got you brother




“Giving It All” by We Were Strangers – A Song Review

     As a quick comparison, “Giving It All” is similar to a river that floods on an annual basis, leaving another layer on the adjacent land after each flood. Strings step in quietly, and then move forwardly within the mix as the song progresses. The backing vocals that are so striking in the final minutes do not even surface in the first half of the track.
     The end of “Giving It All” is a contrast with the start. The song begins with a burst and is carried by a rhythm having an Arcade Fire feel (“Keep the Car Running”). At its end, the song backs out politely, with a vocal fade and a few calm notes from the guitar.

     We Were Strangers is the project of Stefan Melbourne in Manchester, UK.
“Giving It All” by We Were Strangers 

Friday, June 23, 2017

Free Friday (“FL&R”) – June 23

     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.
     An April post featured “Running” by The Nickajack Men (CLICK HERE, if interested). Now, the band is offering the song as a free download. The Nickajack Men are based in Falkirk, Scotland. The members are Lewis White (vocals, guitar), Michael Garner (guitar, vocals), Jamie Burns (bass), Matthew McAlister (drums), and Sean McNally (keyboard).
     “Running” by The Nickajack Men 


         Stonefox is the Melbourne trio of Jenna Russo, Monica Spasaro and Tim Carroll.
     “Talk Me Home” by Stonefox -To access the free download, go to https://www.triplejunearthed.com/jukebox/play/track/6096666 and click the arrow.




“Missing the Mark” by Paris Youth Foundation – A Song Review

     Interestingly, elements of “Missing the Mark” show an increasing sophistication as the song progresses. Instrumentally, the song from Paris Youth Club begins unassumingly with percussion and guitar strums. That changes at 0:42, when the guitar temporarily goes “quick-pick,” similar to “Chocolate” by The 1975. A second transition occurs at 2:06, when the song fully embraces a Rock riff shortly after a percussion-driven surge. It was the impact from this Rock explosion that created the full appreciation for the song composition.
     Vocally, choppy articulations of syllables mark the beginning of “Missing the Mark.” In the first verse, each of the first three lines ends in a syllable (“…side,” “mind” and “bring”) that is carried by multiple distinct notes. By the end of the track, the greater emphasis on the backing voices smooths the vocals.

     The members of Paris Youth Foundation are Kevin Potter (vocals), Tom Morris Jones (guitar), Jamie Hive (guitar), Paul Bates (bass), and Jonny Alderton (drums). They are based in Liverpool (not Paris, so add this to the list of band names that are geographically misdescriptive).  
     “Missing the Mark” by Paris Youth Foundation


Lyrics of “Missing the Mark” by Paris Youth Foundation 
I don’t care that it’s dark outside
I only came here to change your mind
I couldn’t find any words to bring
Now, it’s the end of everything

Walk through the dark with your hand in mine
Let’s lose ourselves for one last time
I couldn’t find any word to bring
Now, it’s the end of everything

You’re breaking my heart
As you dance in the dark
I can save us somehow
Don’t give up on me now
[Repeat after instrumental bridge]

Quoting the SubmitHub content:
  "Fast rising Liverpudlian five-piece Paris Youth Foundation are set to win over hearts around the nation with their latest indie pop track 'Missing The Mark,' which is out now.
  Relaying back to their last track 'Lost Cause,' ‘Missing the Mark’ further explores the agonies of romantic relationships. The track is the latest release as part of the band’s love letters compilation, inspired by frontman Kevin Potter’s personal anecdotes. Potter’s melodic voice haunts the listener to fall into his charm, while rhythmic guitar and upbeat drums tower up to create an anthemic hook of a dreamy summer hit.
  Following their debut show at last year’s Reading Festival, which had gained them the respects of Huw Stephens, the band has gone on to play all the major new music festivals including Hit The North, Live At Leeds, The Great Escape and Liverpool Sound City. They have toured alongside Transgressive trio Blaenavon and Brighton’s indie rockers The Magic Gang, and will be joining hotly tipped grunge rockers INHEAVEN on their biggest UK tour to date.
  ‘Missing The Mark’ was produced by long-time collaborator, Al Groves, at Liverpool’s renowned Motor Museum studio - the same location which the Arctic Monkeys used during sessions their debut album, and where Oasis recorded their iconic breakthrough single ‘Supersonic.'"


Thursday, June 22, 2017

“Evermore” by Mike Stocksdale – A Song Review

     “Evermore” is a testimony of devotion set to a steady-pace acoustic guitar and an occasional harmonica. So, why it so effective? For us, it’s the poetic portrait of the decades of knowing that he is with the right person.

     Mike Stocksdale is a multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter based in Los Angeles. 


Lyrics of “Evermore” by Mike Stocksdale
You and I have been together
Ever since I can remember
In 7th grade I swear I knew

That you’d be mine without a doubt
Long before we’d ever made out
I must admit I always wanted to

Twenty years went by, and I turned a little grey
Somehow you, you just got better every day

Hey, I can’t shake this feeling
Woah, you have got me reeling
Hey, I said it all before
I will love you evermore

Up the coast and back again
San Francisco, and Ashland, Bend
We only need each other and a tent

Massachusetts, Colorado
Indiana, or El Dorado
It never really mattered where we went  

We been all over, we got hearts that like to roam
I’d want you just the same, if we stayed at home

Hey, I can’t shake this feeling
Woah, you have got me reeling
Hey, I said it all before
I will love you evermore

Now the day is starting new
Our little boy he looks like you
And I never been so happy or so scared

We’re flyin’ blind and pullin’ strings
Turns out love is many things
How did we get here from way back there?

I guess sometimes life it starts to come before you call
When I’m with you I feel like we can face it all

Hey, I can’t shake this feeling
Woah, you have got me reeling
Hey, I said it all before
I will love you evermore, evermore


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