Wednesday, August 23, 2017

“Everything They Said” by Surf Rock Is Dead – A Song Review

     Embracing Surf Rock in every aspect other than their band’s name, the duo of Kevin Pariso and Joel Witenberg will push further into the Indie universe with the release of “Everything They Said.” Armed with the technical skills for sustained quick-twitch guitar and attention-gripping bass, Surf Rock Is Dead has the traction to make that push.

     “Everything They Said” is New Wave Dream-Pop with an emphasis on Surf guitar. The closest match is probably fellow Brooklynites DIIV. But Surf Rock Is Dead has a greater sophistication in its use of subtle energy shifts and guitar fills.

     Surf Rock is Dead is formed of Kevin Pariso (guitar, vocals) and Joel Witenberg (vocals, bass). Kevin is originally from Chicago and Joel from Melbourne, but they are now based in Brooklyn. Their five-track EP, "We Have No Friends?, is scheduled for release on October 6, 2017 (although the Bandcamp site indicates a slightly shorter wait period – September 22). According to the duo, the title of the EP is appropriate:
  “The phrase ‘we have no friends’ is a running joke and half-truth between the band.” Says Pariso about the namesake of the EP. “When we formed the project we would spend late weekend nights jamming and writing music instead of spending it out with friends. Putting time into a creative project definitely can hamper your social life but the idea is that the fruit it bears will be worth the sacrifices.

     “Everything They Said” by Surf Rock Is Dead 


Lyrics of “Everything They Said” by Surf Rock Is Dead
(“Inspired by the political climate in America.”)

Everything they said
They said to me
To open up the doors
To the writing on the wall

The truth is always hard
But now they see
Emptiness is there
And it’s leading to their fall

They fed us all the lies
But who believes
We should break away
So the people can be free

Everything they said
Everything they said
They’ve broken all the ties
For you and me

Everything they said
Was only lies
All the lies
They told us were the truth

Everything they said
Everything they said


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Swim-Related Bands

     We noticed that our list of blogworthy songs included three by bands with names related to “swim.” The first song is “Collide” by Swim Season. It begins simply, but approaches almost orchestral at times. The members of the Melbourne-based band are James Seymour (Vocals/Guitar), Matthew Jennings (Guitar, vocals), Danielle Smarrelli (Keys, vocals), Nelson Yeung (bass), and Jonathon Ferraro (drums).

     “Collide” by Swim Season Music


     Twice, we grabbed an opportunity to see Swimm in concert. The first time was at an all-too-small venue in San Francisco and the second was at SXSW 2016. Both experiences were positive ones. The core of Swimm is the duo of Chris Hess and Adam Winn.

     “Speak Politely” by SWIMM


     Visiting a third continent in this post, Safe to Swim is a Brighton band. We are fans of their song “Struggling.” 



Monday, August 21, 2017

“Cologne” by Haux – A Song Review

     “Cologne” begins with a nine-second intensity build, leading to piano that sounds part church bell. It’s fitting for an upcoming performance at Park Church Co-op in Brooklyn. Haux will be joined by a string section on November 16, 2017 (for ticket information, CLICK HERE).
     Haux shows a distinctive vocal style in “Cologne.” He pairs syllables in a manner that often blurs word articulations, while increasing the attractiveness and setting the song apart from others in the same genre. Thus, the first verse begins with a quick “You traced,” and a pause before continuing the thought. The syllable pairing continues, but doesn’t dominate.
     Further into the song, “Cologne” is textured with sometimes thunderous percussion and gentle guitar. The backing vocals are simple, yet sophisticated. 

     Haux is the performance name of photographer-turned-musician Woodson Black. In discussing the inspiration for “Cologne,” he described his visit to the city:
  “There was a certain magic about Cologne. It struck me as a place that I might've had another life in if I hadn't lived the life I have. When I was back home, off tour, I remembered that feeling and tried to imagine a life there and the story of what might have been.”

     “Cologne” by Haux 


Lyrics of “Cologne” by Haux
You traced your hands
Across my back
When you whispered
If time could only take us back
Would you take me back
Would you? ….

I left the lakes I knew to follow you
Harbored the lines I'd lost
To see us through
Only to be with you

Remember Cologne
When it’s late at night
You’re all alone
You’re not feeling right
Can you still see the lights?
Are we losing sight?
Are we losing sight?
Are we losing sight?
[Repeat]

You shed a skin
You used to live within
Running from nights
You couldn't live again
Trying to find a friend

Remember Cologne
When it’s late at night
You’re all alone
You’re not feeling right
Can you still see the lights
Are we losing sight?
Are we losing sight?
Are we losing sight?
[Repeat]

In the dark
Will you stay
Till the dust
Turns to flames
This forgotten love
Our forgotten love

Remember Cologne
When it’s late at night
You’re all alone
You’re not feeling right
Can you still see the lights?
Are we losing sight?
Are we losing sight?
Are we losing sight?
Are we losing sight?
Are we losing sight?

We’ll be all right
We’ll be all right
We’ll be all right
We’ll be all right

Tour Dates:
Sep 9: Otis, MA @ Welcome Campers Festival
Oct 26: Hamburg, Germany @ MS Stubnitz
Oct 28: Munich, Germany @ Manic Street Parade
Oct 30: Vienna, Austria @ B72
Nov 1: Linz, Austria @ Ahoi! Pop Festival
Nov 2: Zurich, Switzerland @ Gonzo
Nov 9: London, UK @ Hoxton Hall
Nov 16: Brooklyn, NY @ Park Church Co-op
           

Sunday, August 20, 2017

“Half Awake” by Simcoe – A Song Review

     The band membership changes and the band’s sound matures. What remains the same is our appreciation for Simcoe, the Toronto-based band. According to their Facebook page, the members are now Mike Barford, Bobby Houston, Mike Strizic, Pat Daniher, and Emily Coulston.

     “Half Awake” by Simcoe 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

“Unnecessarily” by Jaye Jayle – A Song Review

     In February 2017, Emma Ruth Rundle and Jaye Jayle joined forces in a release of a split EP. One of the six songs was “Unnecessarily.”
    Jaye Jayle is a side project of Evan Patterson (Young Widows). The members are Evan Patterson (vocals, guitar, synth), Todd Cook (bass, vocals), Neal Argabright (drums, samples), and Corey Smith (keys, synth, guitar, percussion, vocals). 

     “Unnecessarily” by Jaye Jayle




Friday, August 18, 2017

Free Friday (“FL&R”) – August 18 - Ron Gallo

     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 is a song that qualifies 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. 
     Ron Gallo tells his tale of relationship worry in almost equal portions of Blues, Garage and Soulful Rock. We are particularly fond of the Bluesy Kaleo-like guitar riff that periodically jumps into “Young Lady, You're Scaring Me.” The song is one of eleven tracks on the album entitled “Heavy Meta.”

     Gallo is based in Nashville. According to the oddly ended credits for “Young Lady, You’re Scaring Me,” the contributors are Ron Gallo (lead vocals, guitar), Joe Bisirri: (backing vocals, guitar), Jerry Bernhardt (bass), Dom Billett (drums), Carl Bahner (percussion), and Dylan Sevey (nothing). 

     Ron Gallo will visit San Francisco on October 20. He will open for Black Angels at historical The Fillmore. For ticket information, CLICK HERE.

     “Young Lady, You're Scaring Me” by Ron Gallo (if your browser doesn’t show the download arrow, go to the Soundcloud site (CLICK HERE) and use the pulldown menu labeled “… More”)


Lyrics of “Young Lady, You're Scaring Me” by Ron Gallo
Let’s get a house, you and me and your twelve cats
We’ll put mirrors on the ceiling
We’ll have a bunk bed by the bath

You’ll line my mattress with nails
One for every time something psycho came out of your mouth
Your cavern eyes are preying
Your scarlet lips half saying
A sales pitch for the circus in your mind

Young lady, you’re scaring me
Young lady, you’re scaring me

Dumbbell right to the temple
Carry me to your shrine
Dedicated to the prince of the last of your nine lives

She waited in the darkest corner all night
Until I closed up shop
I turned out the lights

Then she begged for me to drive her home
I thought about the Kensington Strangler
As I was about to say “NO”

When we pulled up to her bleeding dollhouse
She said, “Park behind the hearse.”
I said, “No need. Get out and take your purse.”

Young lady, you’re scaring me
Young lady, you’re scaring me

Remember that time you wrote me two hundred letters
Never once to a single reply?
Remember they all referenced a love that wasn’t real?
Considering we talked maybe one or two times

Young lady, you’re scaring me
Young lady, you’re scaring me



Thursday, August 17, 2017

“Monsters in the Dark” by MyKey – A Song Review

     MyKey is the performance name of Mikey Ambrosino in Rockville, Maryland. We cannot find much more information about him. But we enjoy upbeat rhythm around serious subject matter, which is a fair description or “Monsters in the Dark.”



(Hold me higher. Hold me high)
(Hold me higher. Hold me high)

There are monsters in the dark.
And I’d like to find them on your own, and then
We said, we said, last words over the phone.

We road the interstate
While she would drive I’d narrate
Singin’ our old songs from back home.

Come on, come on, that’s it now
Pick up, we’re gonna hit the town.
Come on, come on. (Whoa!)
Come on, come on. (Whoa!)
We’re not gonna stick around
Better put on your dancing gown.
Come on, come on. (Whoa!)
Come on, come on. (Whoa!)

There are monsters in the dark
They’re not gonna keep us apart
(Hold me higher. Hold me high)

I’ll search with all of my heart
(Hold me higher. Hold me high)
There are monsters in the dark

A single step is all it takes
Over oceans, all emotions
I feel trapped under the weight.
Keep my head above water
Long enough to say
That I love and miss you dearly,
More and more after each day.
(What’s in the dark?)

And I start to feel like one of them
I keep waking up beside her
Every time a different bed
Woken by strangers
No word from friends
Well there’s some evil ones
Just haven’t found them yet.

Come on, come on, that’s it now
Pick up, we’re gonna hit the town.
Come on, come on. (Whoa!)
Come on, come on. (Whoa!)
We’re not gonna stick around
Better put on your dancing gown.
Come on, come on. (Whoa!)
Come on, come on. (Whoa!)

There are monsters in the dark
They’re not gonna keep us apart
(Hold me higher. Hold me high)
I’ll search with all of my heart
(Hold me higher. Hold me high)
They’re not gonna keep us apart
(Hold me higher. Hold me high)
I’ll search with all of my heart
(Hold me higher. Hold me high)
There are monsters in the dark


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

“Subtitles For X, Y, Z” by CREO – A Song Review

     Last month, we held a short-lived goal of posting our favorite songs from the first half of 2017. Before the influences of short-attention-span blogging took full effect, we did agree that “Behind the Beat” should be at the top of the list. Some songs have the power to pull a listener into a different energy state. That’s not “Behind the Beat.” Instead, the song from Sydney’s CREO is a vehicle that picks up the listener at a first level and delivers her or him after elevating two energy levels. There is no reason to pull the listener, since there is no resistance, despite the song’s unapologetically angry ending.

     “Subtitles For X, Y, Z” is the title track of an upcoming EP release from CREO. Again, anger surfaces. But the emotions are dynamic, rather than the stepped upward build heard in “Behind the Beat.” In fact, “Subtitles For X, Y, Z” ends with waning energy, while vocal layering insures that the attractiveness of the song isn’t impacted. The relaxed approach at the start allows an appreciation of the well-phrased lyrics. In describing the motivation behind “Subtitles For X, Y, Z,” CREO’s Jorjee Haman stated:
  “We all go through the process where age and experience start to skew the innocence and purity of our natural habits and emotions. I remember vividly the first time I fell in love or even lust, and it was a simple feeling, it just came over me, I didn’t think about the alternatives and possible scenarios, I just accepted the feeling for what it was. Nowadays, I battle with myself, to avoid certain feelings and thoughts because of past experiences. ‘Subtitles for X, Y, Z’ is all about getting out of your own head, fucking off agendas and accepting that those innocent quirks you try to hide need to be loved by yourself, first and foremost.”

     CREO is based in Sydney, Australia. The members are Jorjee Haman (vocals), Carlos Romanos (guitar), Daniel Tsoltoudis (drums), and Alex Milano (bass).
     “Subtitles For X, Y, Z” by CREO 


     “Behind the Beat” by CREO 


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

“Waste of Time” by Nathan Ball – A Song Review

     The song reflects on the ineffectiveness of spending your time wishing things were different. “This is just a waste of time, I’ve been driving ‘round all night.” While discussing “Waste of Time,” Nathan Ball explained that he is haunted by the childhood advice that he shouldn’t wish his life away.

     The messaging of “Waste of Time” is poetically versed and is rhythmically delivered in close cooperating with the percussion. In comparison, a guitar sometimes dances with that rhythm and other times around it. During the chorus that begins at 0:40, the guitar is continuous, providing a lush texturing to the track. Then, within the verse starting at 1:19, the guitar interjects its dance during lyrical breaks.

    Staff members at Indie Obsessive tend to place a greater emphasis on lyrics than most of the music blogs we highly respect. Normally, repetition is not our friend. But “Waste of Time” builds a crescendo into its repetition of “Is it all a waste of time? I've been driving ‘round all night.” It’s another example of the skillful composition of the song.

Quoting press release content regarding Nathan Ball:
  “Writing and recording his new material, Nathan gathered a band around him — including co-writer and producer Max Radford, and began playing show after show. ‘It was a weird one because we were just moving along doing our own thing yet every show we ever played was packed out. Eventually Industry people started coming along and saying: ‘how the hell are you doing this?’ We just kept making music and playing and somehow it connected. I’ve always liked the idea of people getting on board because they want to, rather than it being shoved in their faces.’
  Nathan’s work fuses two chief loves – one for the classic songwriting of Paul Simon or Van Morrison and the other an eagerness to experiment and push boundaries sonically. Perhaps unexpectedly he finds inspiration in left-field house music. ‘That’s where I get the emotions I like to bring into my own writing,’ he explains ‘I love the way it makes you feel – it’s euphoric, but sad, introvert but expressive. I can’t quite pin down what it is… I love that darker side of the genre, I guess.’”

    “Waste of Time” by Nathan Ball 


Lyrics of “Waste of Time” by Nathan Ball (some best guesses)
I saw it comin’ head on
You sat upstairs with the light on
Waking up slowly look what you’re missing
Your curtains closed I was wishing

Gone down a road and it’s hard to know lady
If you gonna make it
You should get away sometime
Gone down a road and it’s hard to know lady
Where you gonna take it
This is just a waste of time
I've been driving ‘round all night
I've been driving ‘round all night

But I've said some things I should've kept in
But I wish I knew what you were thinking
You said that night I should have kissed you
Don't treat it like you didn't want to

Gone down a road and it’s hard to know lady
If you gonna make it
You should get away sometime
Gone down a road and it’s hard to know lady
Where you gonna take it
This is just a waste of time
I've been driving ‘round all night
I've been driving ‘round all night

Is it all a waste of time?
I've been driving ‘round all night
[Repeat 3x]

Gone down a road and it’s hard to know lady
If you gonna make it
You should get away sometime
Gone down a road and it’s hard to know lady
Where you gonna take it
Is it all a waste of time?
I've been driving ‘round all night