Friday, December 6, 2019

“Amends” by Count the Thief – A Song Feature


      “Amends” is a series of waves of intensity and complexity separated by ebbs that reveal an overall beauty. The song is the title single of a four-track EP released by Count the Thief, a band from Bangkok, Thailand.

     Although intensity undergoes quick transitions and climatic crescendos, passion is apparent throughout “Amends.” The alignment with the lyrical message sits quietly during the intro and outro, with the guitar resembling a solemn piano riff. Immediately following the intro, the guitar playing becomes more delicate and embraces the lyrics – “Pleased to meet you,,, again.” But “Amends” also includes portions in which the bass and percussion are thunderous. The instruments and lyrics are impactful – “Place your weapons down and make amends.”

     The explanation of the four-track EP “Amends” is interesting:
  “After waiting four years since the release of their debut album ‘New Role,’ Count the Thief is ready to return to the alternative Indie Rock scene with their upcoming four-track EP, ‘Amends.’ Count the Thief, masters of intricate rhythms intertwined with swelling highs and lows, are excited to show off a new sound which is emotionally-charged and intense, yet beautiful. 
  From their title track, “Amends,” which features dramatic suspense through its pulsating bassline and exciting rhythm section, all the way to ‘Zero Four,’ a hard-rocking track which takes singer Danny Duncombe’s voice to a whole new level, this EP shows that Bangkok’s favourite Indie Rockers are back and better than ever. With over a million streams to date of their debut album, Count the Thief looks forward to expanding their fan base and reaching new crowds through shows while on tour worldwide. Download or stream 'Amends' on all online stores worldwide from December 6, 2019!"

     The members of Bangkok’s Count the Thief are Danny Duncombe (rhythm guitar, vocals), Toby Willems (drums, vocals), Dave Lefor (lead guitar), and Jerome Torrefranca (bass guitar).

     “Amends” by Count the Thief 


Wednesday, December 4, 2019

“This Old Road” by Toy Poets – A Song Feature


      “This Old Road” embraces vocal consistency and champions instrumental variation, allowing listeners to simultaneously align with familiarity and anticipate change. Vocally, the song from Toy Poets features harmonization that endearingly exposes a vulnerability as it uses travel down an old road as a metaphor - people tend to walk it along, but “what’s it going to take for you to walk by me?”.

      Instrumentally, “This Old Road” is skillfully nuanced, almost challenging a listener to replay the song in order to focus on the different contributions. We recommend that you accept the challenge. Even before the harmonization begins, the song features acoustic guitars, a mysterious drone, and evidence that the rhythm section will play a significant role. Two minutes in, “This Old Road” is nudged from its acoustic mode by the introduction of an electric guitar. The acoustic mode returns, but is interrupted again at 3:15. This time, the electric guitar is more intricate and delicate.  
  
     Toy Poets is based in Santa Barbara, California. Finding more information about the band is not an easy task. That will change - soon.
     Update: The members of Toy Poets and their contributions to "This Old Road" are Kutan Katas (synthesizer, percussion, vocals), Alex Van Valen (solo guitar, vocals), Kevin Mahany (rhythm guitar, vocals), Zach Malek (bass), Trevor Dudley (vocals), and Christian Burnias (vocals, shaker). The track was produced by Kutan Katas.

     “This Old Road” by Toy Poets 



“Diamonds” by Nikki Forova – A Song Feature


     “Diamonds” is a rhythmic excursion driven by tribal percussion and steered by the vocals of Nikki Forova as she accents the rhythm during her delivery. To provide contrast, the backing vocals emphasis melody over rhythm. The journey is one to be shared with friends.

      Nikki Forova was born in Ukraine, but she is currently based in London after studying music composition in Los Angeles. Interestingly, her bio states:
  “The collective moral standards of a communist society and the harsh reality of Soviet regime definitely had a huge influence on her philosophy and the way she perceives life. Passionate musical expression for simple and forgotten truths and beauties of life became her way of living while reaching out beyond social norms and searching for true spirituality.”

     Diamonds” by Nikki Forova \


Tuesday, December 3, 2019

“Love Won’t Let Me Leave” by Seafret – A Song Feature


      The music of Seafret is distinguished from other strong bands by superior vocals and artful texturing of charmingly seductive melodies. In the first minute of their single “Love Won’t Let Me Leave,” crystalline guitar dances almost independently of the vocals, which describe the difficulties caused by an ended relationship. Despite its minimalist approach, piano ties the guitar and voice contributions together. Then, rhythmically pounding percussion brings an emphasis to the chorus (the lyrics are included in this post).

     To the credit of Seafret, “Love Won’t Let Me Leave” does not settle for an easily composed sequencing of lower energy verses and higher tempo choruses. Instead, at 2:50 (between the 2nd and 3rd occurrences of the chorus), a slow building crescendo draws the listener into a fuller engagement with the single.

     Seafret is Jack Sedman (vocals) and Harry Draper (guitar) from Bridington, a coastal town of the North Sea. The band name has both a musical significance (a guitar fret board) and a personal significance (a “seafret” is the term for the rolling mists that enter from the North Sea during summer). “Love Won’t Let Me Leave” is a single on the upcoming album “Most Of Us Are Strangers.” While taking about the single, Jack and Harry said:
  “We wrote ‘Love Won’t Let Me Leave’ before we started the main writing and recording for the album. Some songs have been left behind but this one stuck with us and we feel it fits perfectly into the album. We’re now proud to share it with you all! Hope you enjoy.”

     “Love Won’t Let Me Leave” by Seafret


Lyrics of “Love Won’t Let Me Leave” by Seafret
Searching for some kind of meaning
Answers I can believe in
Something now that you're not around

I know it's complicated
Someday I'll have to face it
But I don't think that I can do it now

I can't deny it, the harder I fight
The deeper it pulls me down
Stuck in the same place
I can't even see straight

Chorus:
Well you knock me off my feet
Yeah, you made a mess of me
But without you I just feel so incomplete
I can see that open road
But I just can't let you go
There's no air to breathe
It still brings me to my knees
Love won't let me leave

I've been walking the pavement
Lost track of the dates that I spent
Running circles around this town

I can't deny it, the harder I fight
The deeper it pulls me down
Stuck in the same place
I can't even see straight

Chorus:
Well you knock me off my feet
Yeah, you made a mess of me
But without you I just feel so incomplete
I can see that open road
But I just can't let you go
There's no air to breathe
It still brings me to my knees
Love won't let me leave

The road is long, the wait goes on for my love
I've had enough of packing up for somewhere new
Standing strong, where I belong for my love
I've had enough of packing up for somewhere new
For somewhere new

Chorus:
Well you knock me off my feet
And you made a mess of me
But without you I just feel so incomplete
I can see that open road
But I just can't let you go
There's no air to breathe
It still brings me to my knees
Love won't let me leave

     Another recent single from Seafret is “Fall.” We recommend the song and the video.



Upcoming Seafret Tour Dates.
For ticket information: https://www.musicglue.com/seafret/tour
February Tour Dates:
18 Feb – Amsterdam, Paradiso Noord
20 Feb – Copenhagen, Pumpehuset
22 Feb – Oslo, Ingensteds
24 Feb – Hamburg, Knust
25 Feb – Berlin, Bi Nuu
27 Feb – Prague, Lucerna Music Bar
28 Feb – Budapest, Dürer Kert
29 Feb – Vienna, Flex

March Tour Dates:
2 Mar – Munich, Strom
3 Mar – Zurich, Plaza
5 Mar – Cologne, Luxor
6 Mar – Paris, La Maroquinerie
7 Mar – Gent, Charlatan
8 Mar – Groningen, Oosterpoort Binnenzaal
10 Mar – Glasgow, St Luke’s
11 Mar – Manchester, Club Academy
13 Mar – Leeds, Stylus
14 Mar – Bristol, SWX
15 Mar – Exeter, The Phoenix
17 Mar – Brighton, Concorde 2
18 Mar – London, O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
20 Mar – Dublin, Academy

June Performance:
6 June – Bridlington, Spa

Monday, December 2, 2019

“Monsters” by Hazlett – A Song Feature


      Hazlett masterfully combines poetic, solemnly delivered observations on life with choruses that are up-tempo and inviting. Equally skillful are the almost seamless transitions between the slower tempo verses and the chorus.  Hazlett exhibited the skills in his motivating single “Suncats,” but it is even more apparent in the barroom-inspired “Monsters.”

      “Monsters” is described as “an ode to drunk people, insecurity and a gut feeling it's all going to be okay.” The first verse is a reflection upon the people and the second verse upon the gut feeling – “Any day now // Moonbeams will come rescue you.” Between the two lies the up-tempo chorus that introduces the insecurity component – Are we monsters?… Desperate to find what’s haunting us.”

     Hazlett is an Australian vocalist/ songwriter. He is from Brisbane and works with collaborator/confidant Freddy Alexander. In explaining the motivation for “Monsters,” Hazlett said:
  “A new bar opened up in my hometown that became the place to go. I’ve never been much of a social butterfly but found myself following the crowd too. I started to notice the same people there week in week out, usually hooking up with someone different each time or even with someone who I thought their friend was with the week before. There were tears, crowded cubicles, fisticuffs and what felt like a soap opera at every corner. But I caught myself judging and I absolutely hated myself for it. We’re all just young and trying to figure it out, right? We’ve all done horrible things but that doesn’t make us horrible people, does it? If our hearts eventually land in the right place who am I to judge how we get there. We’re human, we’re gonna make mistakes. We’re all gonna be Monsters from time to time and that’s okay.”

     “Monsters” by Hazlett 


November Songs that Bear Repeating

Blue October at The Fillmore
     As a welcome to the new month, here are the favorite songs from November posts of Indie Obsessive.

      “Three And A Half Minutes” by Carnival Kid (from the post of November 7, CLICK HERE if interested).


     “Bombay Beach” by The Dead Century (from the post of November 27, CLICK HERE if interested).


      "Weightless" by 100 (from the post of November 13, CLICK HERE if interested).


      “Dandelion” by Oliver Hazard (from the post of November 8, CLICK HERE if interested).


     “As Always” by Little Dume (from the post of November 15, CLICK HERE if interested).


     “Fall With You” by Emma McGrath (from the post of November 29, CLICK HERE if interested).


     “Warm With You” by Hayden Calnin (from the post of November 15, CLICK HERE if interested).


     “Satellite” by Skip Curtis (from the post of November 22, CLICK HERE if interested).


     “Nobody Wants You” by Junodream (from the post of November 14, CLICK HERE if interested).


     “Sweet Tooth” by Crystalline (from the post of November 26, CLICK HERE if interested).


     The comprehensive list of songs with Spotify accessibility and with deserving bonus tracks (via Spotify):
     “Sick With Love” by The Whole Bolivian Army
     “Composure” by Tiny Castle
     "Madeleine” by Alexander Biggs
     “Middle of the House” by French for Rabbits
     “Pretty Baby” by Steve Umculo
     “Bored” by Charlie Taylor

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Rames and St. Anthony Mann - Free Saturday (“FL&R”)

     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 Free, Legal and Recommended (FL&R) song each Saturday.


     Rames feature the jangly guitar of the 1960s, but stamp on the band’s “personal” touches. The initial seconds of “Easy For You” give the impression that a song by The Byrds is hitting your ears, or maybe a cleverly revised cover of The Beatles’ “Ticket To Ride.” Rames are a London-based band formed of Alan Li (vocals, guitar), Oliver Zanetti (guitar), Joe Bedford (bass), and Fin Dudley (drums).

     “Easy For You” by Rames



     St. Anthony Mann is the moniker or Adam Bjoraker. He is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota This description seems appropriate: Mann uses the guitar and his voice to paint songs that attempt to daydream both within and without themselves.

     “Shadows” by St. Anthony Mann


Friday, November 29, 2019

“Fall With You” by Emma McGrath – A Song Feature


     The forceful beauty of the voice and the ear-grabbing chorus first attracted us to “Fall With You,” a single from Emma McGrath. The chorus bears similarities to the texturing of the Haim sisters when they are at their best. But the vocals might need to take a backseat in a review of “Fall With You.” The intelligence in writing the lyrics staked a claim on riding “shotgun.”

     The verses of “Fall With You” take an approach in which two clauses play against each other, sometimes for poignancy and other times for irony. Thus, the song begins, “If you don’t know the rules // You won’t know the rules you’re breaking.” The second clause in a sentence often uses words from the first, making the verse more interesting and the point more apparent - “You won’t take the risk // Cause the risk is too great if you take it.” It’s not surprising that Emma McGrath was awarded a prize for songwriting, namely The PRS Foundation's Lynsey de Paul prize.

     What is surprising is that McGrath has her songwriting skills prior to reaching the age of 20. She is from Harpenden, North London, where she began writing her own material at the age of 12. She is scheduled to release a mini-album in early 2020.

     The official video for “Fall With You” shows Emma McGrath transforming herself from a cleanup person to a drop-the-mic vocalist who also plays piano, bass, acoustic guitar and drums. For options in acquiring and streaming “Fall With You,” go to http://wmg.click/EmmaMcGrath_FallWithYouCR.

     “Fall With You” by Emma McGrath 






Lyrics of “Fall With You” by Emma McGrath (some best guesses)
If you don’t know the rules,
You won’t know the rules you’re breaking.
If you don’t see the ground,
You won’t see the sky through the clouds.

If you don’t draw the line,
There’s never a line safely broken.
If you don’t know your face,
You won’t know your face in the crowd.

You could have it all
Have it all
If you open your eyes if at all
You could have it all
Have it all
If you open your eyes
And fall
Cause I’m falling too
Both, can I fall with you?
Fall
Cause I’m falling too
Both, can I fall with you?

You won’t take the risk,
Cause the risk is too great if you take it.
You won’t look ahead,
Cause you’re too busy looking behind.

And you’re watching the clock,
And you don’t know the time that you’re wasting.
If you think out of sight,
And you’re gonna go out of your mind.

You could have it all
Have it all
If you open your eyes if at all
You could have it all
Have it all
If you open your eyes
And fall
Cause I’m falling too
Both, can I fall with you?
Fall
Cause I’m falling too
Both, can I fall with you?

Everyone loses it
There’s no choosing it, sometimes
You’ve got to fall just to find yourself
There’s no choosing it
Everyone loses it, sometimes
You’ve got to fall just to find yourself
Fall just to find yourself

And fall
Cause I’m falling too
Both, can I fall with you?
Fall
Cause I’m falling too
Both, can I fall with you?
[Repeating]