Monday, November 12, 2018

Small Leaks Sink Ships – Song Features

     Orchestral Rock set to intelligent lyrics will likely never receive the attention given to catchy tunes with easily memorized lyrics. So, we tip our hat to those bands that continue to focus on the music that reflects their interests, regardless the low ceiling on potential commercial recognition. Today, the nod is to Small Leaks Sink Ships and the hope is that we are wrong about the height of the ceiling.

     The band has roots in Mesa, Arizona, but Small Leaks Sink Ships is now based in Portland, Oregon (along with Typhoon!). The band’s Facebook page identifies their genre as “indie, progressive, orchestral, rock.” The bio states, “The band merges synthetic samples and beats from scratch with the raw power of acoustic instruments lead by a duo of distinct vocalists creating an eclectic and unique sound.” The members are Judd Hancock (vocals, guitar, piano), London Van Rooy (vocals, drums, piano), Jim Mandel Jr. (bass, guitar), and Ryan Garner (keys, samples, guitar).

      “Maurice's Bed Time Stories” by Small Leaks Sink Ships - with "strings" that sound as if on a steady-paced wheel of notes and with a steady-build crescendo.


     “Broken Church Bells” by Small Leaks Sink Ships


     “Prism” by Small Leaks Sink Ships


Saturday, November 10, 2018

ALL FACES - Free Friday/Saturday (“FL&R”)

     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/Saturday.
     ALL FACES is the London duo of Daphné Cantenot and Benjamin Aigle. Their genre is Folk Pop (Pop Folk?). Quoting their bio:
  “The group formed in 2017. Influenced by Mumford and Sons, Bon Iver and The Lumineers, they managed to achieve a distinctive pop/folk sound. Experienced performers, they have played in venues such as the Troubadour, the New Morning and the Alhambra in Paris and shared the stage with the likes of Fatherson and other great musicians in London. They released their first EP in June 2018."

     “Summer in London” by ALL FACES


     “The Oaks” by ALL FACES


Friday, November 9, 2018

“Everything Apart” by Foxwarren – A Song Feature


     Foxwarren shoot into the Indie Universe with a brother-driven hypnotic rhythm in their debut single “Everything Apart.” The rhythm section is comprised of brothers Darryl Kissick (bass) and Avery Kissick (percussion). Out front is Andy Shauf (guitars, keys, vocals), with Dallas Bryson (guitar, vocals). 

     Foxwarren are from Regina, Saskatchewan. The Canadians will release a 10-track album on November 30, 2018. The band's name comes from the Kissick brothers’ family home in Foxwarren, Manitoba.

     “Everything Apart” by Foxwarren


Thursday, November 8, 2018

“Morning Mourning” by Daniella Mason – A Song Feature

     Music lovers who contend that they can fairly judge a song within less than a minute should listen to Daniella Mason’s “Morning Mourning.” The first three minutes are intelligently varied. The verses are presented with minimalist instrumental support of vocals that, at times, skillfully meander within or prolong a syllable. In comparison, each encounter of the chorus places a Synth Pop energy to lines that seem chant-like, until it’s recognized that there is a dance between questioning the consequences of being able to only “get up in the morning” and/or only “give in to my mourning.”

     Those first three minutes of “Morning Mourning” stand on their own and proudly do so. However, if song appeal could be quantified, it would be misleading to take a reading before listening to the final minute, with its stepped vocal crescendo. The final “step” occurs at 3:35, when the choired chorus destroys any attempt to multitask while listening to the song.

     Daniella Mason explains that “Morning Mourning” is a song that publicly addresses the loss of her mother. Clearly, her music reaches depths beyond those normal to Pop sensibilities. The song is one of four tracks on her EP “Emotional State.” The Nashville-based artist will release three more EPs (“Physical State,” “Mental State,” and “Spiritual State”) that will similarly “explore the parts of our humanity that we suppress and have a hard time exploring and embracing.”

     “Morning Mourning” by Daniella Mason




Lyrics of “Morning Mourning” by Daniella Mason
I, I miss you
I miss you
I, always that I'd live in the world where there was you
With, it was you
But all I have left is all this regret
Finally learned to feel, but now I'm blue
Ooh. Ooh

What if it's all I can do to get up in the morning
What if it's all I can do to give in to my mourning
What if it's all I can do? What if it's all I can
What if it's all I can do to get up in the morning
What if it's all I can do to get up in the morning
What if it's all I can do to give in to my mourning
What if it's all I can do? What if it's all I can
What if it's all I can do to get up in the morning

What would you say about me if you met me now?
Why'd you call me here, it's a core call me as joy would you be proud?
Proud
'Cause all I have left is memory of your sweat
And tears as you pursued right into the sky blue
Sky blue

What if it's all I can do to get up in the morning
What if it's all I can do to give in to my mourning
What if it's all I can do? What if it's all I can
What if it's all I can do to get up in the morning
What if it's all I can do to get up in the morning
What if it's all I can do to give in to my mourning
What if it's all I can do? What if it's all I can
What if it's all I can do to get up in the morning

What if it's all I can do to get up in the morning
What if it's all I can do to give in to my mourning
What if it's all I can do? What if it's all I can
What if it's all I can do to get up in the morning
What if it's all I can do to get up in the morning
What if it's all I can do to give in to my mourning
What if it's all I can do? What if it's all I can
What if it's all I can do to get up in the morning

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

“All Or Nothing” by Nathan Ball” – A Song Feature

     With his characteristic depth of introspective insight, calming vocal assuredness, and engaging guitar-created soundscapes as backdrops, Nathan Ball shared another praiseworthy single - “All Or Nothing.” The man has a voice with the equivalent of a gravitational pull on the attention of listeners, regardless of the content of the lyrics. The strength of the pull is multiplied by Nathan’s approach to writing. He says, “I like to nod to the things I’ve been through but leave space for people to adapt each narrative to their own lives and experiences.

      Referring to “All Or Nothing,” Nathan explained, “It’s about trying to stay focused on something whilst feeling a weight of expectation on you. And, instead of talking about it, becoming more introverted.” The lyrics of the song are included in this post.

      The mixing of the track provides a greater emphasis on percussion than most music from Nathan Ball. The feature that remains consistent with expectations is the guitar that sometimes dances with the melody and other times dances around that melody. The “quick pitch” regarding “All Or Nothing” is one we completely agree  with - "The new single from Nathan Ball {is] sonically somewhere between Ben Howard and War On Drugs.”

     “All Or Nothing” by Nathan Ball




Lyrics of “All Or Nothing” by Nathan Ball”
You show me how to stay awake
I feel it pulsing through my veins
But help me out, I’m feeling strange
But it’s all inside my head.

But it’s all, yeah it’s all, yeah it’s all, yeah it’s all in my head.

It’s all or nothing, for a while, for a while.
I hear your voices screaming, make me proud, just make me proud.
I just sit in silence, looking down, looking down,
I’ll be alright, I’ll be alright.

So show me how to stay awake
Cause when I close my eyes it’s too late.
And that’s the point I see your face
But it’s all inside my head.

But it’s all, yeah it’s all, yeah it’s all, yeah it’s all in my head.
And I know, and I know, and I know, and I know in my head.

It’s all or nothing, for a while, for a while.
I hear your voices screaming, make me proud, just make me proud.
I just sit in silence, looking down, looking down,
I’ll be alright, I’ll be alright.

Cause we go round and round keeping out of sight
You’re the reason I can’t sleep at night.
But I justify just to keep you in mind when we fought back fears for the 15th time.
Round and round keeping out of sight you’re the reason I can’t sleep at night,
I justify just to keep you in mind but we go round, round, round and round again
Round again

It’s all or nothing, for a while, for a while.
I hear your voices screaming, make me proud, just make me proud.
I just sit in silence, looking down, looking down,
I’ll be alright, I’ll be alright.

Cause it’s all, yeah it’s all, yeah it’s all, yeah it’s all in my head.
Cause it’s all, yeah it’s all, yeah it’s all, yeah it’s all in my head.
Cause it’s all, yeah it’s all, yeah it’s all, yeah it’s all in my head.

Nathan Ball Headline Tour, UK Dates
Dec 2nd      Secret Location      London          
Dec 3rd       The Jacaranda           Liverpool          
Dec 4th       The Attic           Glasgow          
Dec 5th       Hare & Hounds      Birmingham  

     “Right Place” by Nathan Ball


     “Waste of Time” by Nathan Ball


Tuesday, November 6, 2018

“Just Wanted You” by MNR PLSR

     Two voices and two instruments – yet, “Just Wanted You” is a masterfully assembled monument to contrast. The song from MNR PLSR (pronounced “minor pleasure”) captures the mixed emotions during post-breakup reflections on a loving relationship. 

     Instrumentally, there are occasional touches of percussion, but “Just Wanted You” is primarily comprised of a calming acoustic guitar that seems to have accepted the circumstances and disquieting violin that reveals the remnants of heartache or wishes for what could have been. It may be multiple violins accompanying the minimalist guitar, but our hope is that overdubbing was used, since that thought promotes the solitary sentiment.

     Still, the sheer beauty of “Just Wanted You” is in the vocals. The voices belong to Emily Einhorn and Somer Bingham (and we genuflect). “Just Wanted You” should be added to every playlist dedicated to tracks that are extraordinary because of their vocal chemistry. For most of the song, the lead vocals carry pain, similar to the violin. In contrast, the backing voice has a sweetness and is melodically smoother. Then, the last 40 seconds of “Just Wanted You” are music magic, as the line between lead and backing blurs to almost nothing, the two voices separate to share the chorus, and the caresses of the lyrics become even more apparent.

     “Just Wanted You” is one of the six tracks on MNR PLSR’s debut EP “Gold.” Emily Einhorn and Somer Bingham describe MNR PLSR as a Brooklyn-based Indie Electro/Fringe-Pop duo. They joined forces in 2015. In their first year as a band, they were commissioned to write a series-inspired song for Showtime’s vampire fantasy, "Penny Dreadful." “Last Light” was the soundtrack for the show’s “Behind the Scenes” feature after the finale. More recently, their song “Brilliant Creatures” was in the 2018 Sundance Film Festival favorite “Madeline’s Madeline” (directed by Josephine Decker and starring Miranda July). Both “Last Light” and “Brilliant Creatures” appear on the “Gold” EP.

     “Just Wanted You” by MNR PLSR



Lyrics of “Just Wanted You” by MNR PLSR
Hold me underneath the cracks that haunt the ceiling
I know these bodies own the ghosts of what we’re feeling

You said “No”
Home is in a better place
I know
Home is in a better place

I had a dream we were living in
Before the truth came crashing in
I’ll still hold you through the worst of it
I just wanted you to know
I still feel it in the silence
Last echoes of a promise
You would find me in the darkness
I just wanted you to know

Counting palm trees underneath the South Beach sky
Margaritas with the tourists on Ocean Drive
Yeah we’ve been diggin’ through
The mess we made
The chance we blew
And everything is perfect here
Except for you and I

You said “No”
Home is in a better place
I know
Home is in a better place

I had a dream we were living in
Before the truth came crashing in
I’ll still hold you through the worst of it
I just wanted you to know
I still feel it in the silence
Last echoes of a promise
You would find me in the darkness
I just wanted you to know
Just wanted you
Just wanted you to know
Just wanted you
Just wanted you to know

Just wanted you (I had a dream we were living in)
Just wanted you to know
(Before the truth came crashing in)
I just wanted you to know
(I’ll still hold you through the worst of it)
Just wanted you
(I still feel it in the silence)
I just wanted you to know
(Last echoes of a promise)
(You would find me in the darkness)
I just wanted you to know

Monday, November 5, 2018

“Kingdom” by Amory Pitt – A Song Feature

     There is a gentleness to “Kingdom,” mixed with stirring percussion. Amory Pitt is a London performer who identifies his genre as “Hip Hop/Indie Rock/Folk.” It’s Folk that prevails in “Kingdom,” a song about a nomadic childhood.

     “Kingdom” by Amory Pitt





Lyrics of “Kingdom” by Amory Pitt
Time for us to go,
Mumma said when I awoke,
Pack your bags and clothes,
Left at five without a note,
Our lives, changing all the time,
We drive all throughout the night,
And somedays I'd be crying on your sleeve,
For home had become a dream,
And...

God bless home
God bless home
God bless our kingdom I won’t go,
God bless home
God bless home
God bless our kingdom I won’t go

And I said what’s lost can’t be gained
You can try and look back
But it’ll never be the same...
Our home
Our home

Settled in the old
Country where the moors take hold,
Between the rocks and the water
We would hide and try and lay low,
Her cries haunt me every night
She tries to embrace our plight,
And somedays we’d be working on our knees
For home
Had but become dream,

God bless home
God bless home
God bless our kingdom I won’t go,
God bless home
God bless home
God bless our kingdom I won’t go

And I say what’s lost can’t be gained,
You can try and look back but it’ll
Never be the same now it’s time to arise
We’ve been mourning too long
I’m child to a wild knave
Lost to the law...

God bless home
God bless home
God bless our kingdom I won’t go

And through the sadness and madness, that they brought down
(I will wait for you)
And all the liars and the cheats that broke your crown
(I will wait for you)
{Repeat]