Monday, December 31, 2018

“Jaws” by Noble Kids – A Song Feature

     Noble Kids are a Brooklyn-based trio. Their single “Jaws” is from an upcoming album, “Pretty Messy,” which is scheduled for release on February 22, 2019. They describe its contend as “a bold collection of songs that speak loudly and clearly about queerness and identity, through personal experience and interpretation. It represents the messy but honest process in which they created the record, and the dynamic among the bandmates - A little messy pretty.”

     Looking at the credits of the Bandcamp site for the album, it’s clear that the members are multi-talented:
Michael Steiner: Lead Vocals, Composer, Bass, Production, Guitar, Keys/Synths
Bryce Barsten: Composer, Production, Recording Engineer, Guitar, Piano, Bass, Keys/Synths, Vocals, Zither
Kevin Chang: Composer, Guitar, Keys/Synths, Vocals, Production

     “Jaws” by Noble Kids 


Lyrics of “Jaws” by Noble Kids
You
I never wanted to get through
And true
It’s not the easiest part to choose

I felt so sure in this one way
I was right
When people say that you should leave it behind
They ignore all that’s good from the fight

We
Drank your nice gin ‘til dawn
And he
He knew I didn’t belong \
In my backyard we acted so right
When people say you shouldn’t chase it
Are they saying it to level off their own divide

You never close your jaws
You never close
[Repeating]

Remember when I said all my friends were depressed
But it’s the first time I was happy in a while
Remember when I said all my friends were depressed
But it’s the first time I was happy in a while

Cause you never close your jaws
You never close
You never close your jaws
You never close your jaws
     

Sunday, December 30, 2018

“Brand New Day” by Iridesce - A Song Feature

      The guitars and the vocals of “Brand New Day” are commanding in the high frequencies, as best evidenced in the final 30 second of the song. The song belongs to Iridesce, a quartet in London (Camden Town). The band explains that “Brand New Day” discusses the hypocrisy of human emotion and contrasts dark lyrics against a feel-good Indie Pop sound.

     The members of Iridesce are Marco Spaeth (lead vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboard), James Doig (lead guitar), Thomas Guizzetti (bass, backing vocals), and Vincent Lafont (drums, percussion).

     “Brand New Day” by Iridesce

Saturday, December 29, 2018

“Crushing” by Ex:Re - Free Friday/Saturday (“FL&R”)

     With equal shares of happiness and concern, we read the review of “Crushing” on the KEXP site. The song is from Elena Tonra, the guitarist and lead vocalist of Daughter. The happiness was a result of hearing new material from one of the purist voices in Indie. The concern was that Daughter was no longer an entity. Thankfully, the Facebook page of Elena states that her solo work is “running in parallel to Daughter.”

     Ex:Re (pronounced x-ray) is the moniker of Elena Tonra and the name of her ten-song album. KEXP made the track “Crushing” its Song of the Day. For the station’s review and free download, go to http://kexp.org/podcasts/song-of-the-day/2018/12/24/exre-crushing/



Lyrics of “Crushing” by Ex:Re
Lean back
Half-rolled cigarette
Not speaking at all
There's no one else
Out here
It's clear I waited too long

I guess attention spans are lessening
It's a lesson in humans using machines
To show their feelings
(Who, who, who, who)

Where did you go?
I can't wait more hours
I've been there so long
Longing for you to please be an adult
And you use your mouth
In ways that I can't right now
'Cause I'm choking up
I'm crushing
Crushing

I'll loosen up
It's not like it meant a lot
We were drunk once
It's not like we were some dream
Combination
We were made as friends
I'm crushing

I guess attention spans are lessening
It's a lesson in humans using machines
Crushing
To show their feelings
(Who, who, who, who)

All adventures
They were in my head
I created life for them
Sleepless wonder in the eyes
I lift myself up, now I don't get hurt
I'm crushing
(Who, who, who, who)
Crushing
(Who, who, who, who)
I'm crushing

I guess attention spans are lessening
It's a lesson in humans using machines
(Crushing)
To show their feelings
(Who, who, who, who)
I'm crushing

I guess attention spans are lessening
It's a lesson in humans using machines
(Crushing)
To show their feelings
(Who, who, who, who)

Friday, December 28, 2018

“Welcome Home” by Modern Violence – A Song Feature

      Modern Violence released its first single from an EP that is scheduled to drop in early 2019. “Welcome Home” compares favorably to a Bob Dylan song of the distant music-relevant past and to Sydney’s CREO of the present. Completing the timeline, the song should generate an optimistic buzz about the future of the five-member band from Jacksonville, Florida.

      We are not predicting that the song from Modern Violence will have the longevity of a Bob Dylan classic. Still, like Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall,” the lyrics of “Welcome Home” reflect a conversation. While the Modern Violence song doesn’t take Dylan’s question-and-answer format, both songs begin by greeting a recently returned member of the conversation. And both contain symbolic imagery about their target subject matter. “Welcome Home” is a conversation between two close friends about a toxic relationship; a conversation where best interests are at war with desires.

      Turning to the comparison with the sound of Australia’s CREO, “Welcome Home” is similarly characterized by vocals that initially draw attention when the focus is on melodic presentation and later sweep the listener into the current when the emphasis shifts to conveying the depth of emotion. The early verses of “Welcome Home” have the melodic focus, with angst becoming apparent during the chorus. The final verse is dominated by the anguished vocal persona. If you’re unfamiliar with CREO, probably the best song for the comparison is “Behind the Beat,” since it’s an “anguish crescendo” (for the Soundcloud stream, CLICK HERE).

      The appeal of “Welcome Home” is not limited to the vocals. The piano sometimes leads and other times follows the many shifts in the song. Initially, “Welcome Home” benefits from the percussive drive and when the guitar steps forward, it does so with a tasteful hook.

     The members of the Jacksonville band are Jesse Brantman, John Shannon, Jeremy Blanton, Mike VonBalson, and Bobby Marino. They explain, "Modern Violence was born out of a shared desire to create melodic emo music with a focus on brutally honest lyrics and poignant story telling."


     “Welcome Home” by Modern Violence

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Best Indie Songs of 2018 - Songs 1-10

    As we note each year, the “best of” music lists provide a great vehicle for discovering music that we missed. During the year, the volume of interesting songs is so great that the expression “drinking from the fire hose” is appropriate. We try to read as many December lists possible.

     Indie Obsessive uses the same ranking algorithm each year:

     It’s an adaptation of an arbitrage pricing approach developed in 1973 by Fisher Black and Myron Scholes. The good news is that the complex portion is multiplied “0, so the complex portion is completely irrelevant to the outcome and should be ignored.
     Consequently, the ranking of a particular song is based on its value of P, where P is personal “preference.” Pretty simple – if we like a song slightly more than another song, it ranks higher. The flaw in the process is that the P value for a song is dependent upon our mood at the time, so the order of songs is likely to change from one day to the next. But while the order may change, the songs remain on the list, so you probably don’t care.
      It should be noted that the ranking reflects the blog's focus - Indie artists on the rise. The bias is toward bands that deserve more attention than they are currently receiving. Oh, and the 2017 qualification is based on when we discovered the song. With only a few exceptions, the songs were released in 2018. Those few bands welcome the additional exposure. So, we don't feel badly.

     1. "Black Cloud" by POSTDATA (from the post of May 31)


     2. "Allyssa" by Jumanji (from the post of April 12)


     3. "The Heart Is A Muscle" by Gang of Youths (from the post of July 26) This song would be higher on the list, but it was from late 2017.


     4. "Feel The Energy" by Sean Koch (from the post of April 9)


      5. "Unconditional Love" by Unknown Neighbour (from the post of June 10)


      6. "Take It From Me" by Healthy Bones (from the post of February 22)


      7. "Get Lost" by The Heart Of (from the post of April 24)


     8. "All I Need" by Bahama Bleach (from the post of August 9) (still a free download)


9. "Drifting" by Nathan Ball (from the post of January 28)


10. "Eternal Ride of a Heartful Mind" by Piqued Jacks (from the post of November 29)



Songs 11 through 20 – CLICK HERE
Songs 21 through 30 – CLICK HERE
Songs 31 through 40 – CLICK HERE
Songs 41 through 50 – CLICK HERE

All 50 (53) are available on Spotify

Best Indie Songs of 2018 - Songs 11-20

     This is the second set of ten Indie songs of 2018. We acknowledge the fact that it is difficult to rank the tracks. If the process were repeated sometime next month, some shuffling would certainly occur. The bias is towards bands and artists who are not receiving the attention they desire.

Songs 1 through 10 – CLICK HERE
Songs 21 through 30 – CLICK HERE
Songs 31 through 40 – CLICK HERE
Songs 41 through 50 – CLICK HERE

     11. "What You May Find" by Arctic Lake (from the post of June 15)


     12. "It's Not My Fault" by Curtsy (from the post of November 23)


     13. "Warriors" by Skyline Brigade (from the post of May 4)


     14. "It's Raining Inside" by The Racer (from the post of February 2)


     15. "Wool Mind" by Ian Crawford (from the post of July 2)


     16. "Even The Joker Cries Sometimes" by Hegarty (from the post of February 18)


     17. "Sad Eyed Boy" by The Morning Yells (from the post of March 11) (Still a free download.)


     18. "All I Want" by Francis (from the post of April 6)


     19. "Flowers In The Basement" by Mammoth Indigo (from the post of February 20)


     20. "Away From the Rousing Parades" by Callum Pitt (from the post of July 13)


Best Indie Songs of 2018 - Songs 21-30

     This is the third set of ten Indie songs of 2018. We acknowledge the fact that it is difficult to rank the tracks. If the process were repeated sometime next month, some shuffling would certainly occur. The bias is towards bands and artists who are not receiving the attention they desire.

Songs 1 through 10 – CLICK HERE
Songs 11 through 20 – CLICK HERE
Songs 31 through 40 – CLICK HERE
Songs 41 through 50 – CLICK HERE

      21. "Golden Girl" by Seaside (from the post of November 24) (Still a free download.)


      22. Swim Team Sucker" by Castle Pines (from the post of September 14)


      23. "Young at Heart" by Milo Greene (from the post of August 21)


      24. She Calls To Me" by Wolfjay (from the post of May 26)


      25. "Fighting With The Devil" by Chris Arnott (from the post of March 14)


      26. "Horizon" by ISLAND (from the post of April 6)


      27. "Island" by Unknown Neighbour (from the post of October 30)


      28. "Stop the Bleeding" by Club Yorke (from the post of October 13)


      29. "Hot Heavy Summer" ft. Sylvan Esso by Ben Howard (from the post of September 19)


      30.  "Where the Dandelions Roar" by The People The Poet (from the post of February 3)


Best Indie Songs of 2018 - Songs 31-40

                   This is the fourth set of ten Indie songs of 2018. We acknowledge the fact that it is difficult to rank the tracks. If the process were repeated sometime next month, some shuffling would certainly occur. The bias is towards bands and artists who are not receiving the attention they desire.

Songs 1 through 10 – CLICK HERE
Songs 11 through 20 – CLICK HERE
Songs 21 through 30 – CLICK HERE
Songs 41 through 50 – CLICK HERE

     31. "The Hidden Root" by Iuliano (from the post of July 31)


     32. "Devil on My Shoulder" by Arts Fishing Club (from the post of October 4) (Still a free download.)


     33. "Dinosaurs" by Ruby Fields (from the post of November 24)


     34. "When I Grow Old" by Callum James (from the post of January 13) (Still a free download.)


     35. "Scenes From Before" by New Time Zones (from the post of October 11)


      36. "head on backwards" by slip (from the post of January 17)


     37. "Talk" by Benny Nelson (from the post of September 29)


     38. "Mercy" by Bootleg Rascal (from the post of August 27)


     39. "Celebrate" (feat. The Unlikely Candidate) by Dirty Heads (from the post of January 11)


     40. "So Much Faster" by Misty Aviator (from the post of January 1)