Monday, February 29, 2016

“Chlorine” by Birthh – A Song Review

     A chance discovery of an artist is one of the many benefits of doing your homework prior to attending a festival. Enter Alice Bisi, who performs using the moniker Birthh. Her Facebook page identifies her current location as being in Italy, “between Florence and Nowhere.”
     On March 18, Birthh will release her debut album, “Born in the Woods.” For now, we only have access to the single “Chlorine.” The song sets expectations high. Melodically, “Chlorine” is uplifting, with its almost continuous use of a floating guitar and its crescendos. Yet, the lyrics are a dark representation of a romantic relationship gone wrong; “You make me sick. And I’d rather fall into this void than cling to your leg.

     Birthh will attend SXSW 2016 in Austin, Texas. If you’re in Austin in mid-March, it would be wise to grab the opportunity to see her. If other songs on her 10-track debut album are as strong as “Chlorine,” she will be filling much larger venues before the end of 2016.  
     “Chlorine” by Birthh


Saturday, February 27, 2016

“Mirror” by AmatrArt – A Song Review

     “Mirror” is in the Goldilocks Zone. It’s a long distance from being a product of the cookie cutter process of song composition, but it doesn’t forsake structure or melodic flow for the purpose of being unconventional. While there is a melodic flow, there are variations in tempo and the song remains “fresh.” There are times when “Mirror” fits in the Synth Pop genre and other times when the song Rocks.
     “Mirror” is a release from the Glasgow-based band AmatrArt. The members are Jonathan Mullen (vocals, guitar), Josh McGeechan (guitar), Niall Jootun (bass), Niall Morris (samples/synths), and Lewis Orr (drums).

Friday, February 26, 2016

“Someone Who’ll Get It” by Highasakite – A Song Review

     If this band just needs “that one song” in order to experience a recognition explosion in the U.S., then get your protective gear. Highasakite released “Someone Who’ll Get It,” which is a politically motivated song. It has nothing to do with last night’s contentious Republican debut, but applying the lyrics (included in this post) to what’s happening can be entertaining:
Send somebody out of his mind
Send a God Damn leader
Send someone not psycho polite
Send some God Damn freedom
Someone breathing.

     Highasakite is a Norwegian Pop/Folk band. The members are Ingrid Helene Håvik (zither, steeldrum and vocals), Trond Bersu (drums), Øystein Skar (synths), Marte Eberso (synths), and Kristoffer Lo (guitar and flugabone). The use of the flugabone sets the band’s music apart from almost any other Indie band. But we don’t hear the instrument in “Someone Who’ll Get It.”
     “Someone Who’ll Get It” will be included in Highasakite’s forthcoming sophomore LP ‘Camp Echo,” which is scheduled for release on May 20 via Propeller Recordings. The eight tracks on the LP will be: 
1. My Name Is Liar
2. Samurai Swords
3. Someone Who´ll Get It
4. My Mind Is A Bad Neighborhood
5. God Don’t Leave Me
6. I Am My Own Disease
7. Golden Ticket
8. Deep Sea Diver

     “Someone Who’ll Get It” by Highasakite

Lyrics of “Someone Who’ll Get It” by Highasakite
Send somebody to me alive
Send somebody vital
Send someone not likely to die
Send someone who's vital
Send a fighter
Send a fighter.

Send somebody to me tonight
Send somebody bolder
Send someone not likely to break
Send someone who's older
Send a soldier.

Tonight is all you got to go with me
There's no more everyday
Tonight is all, and then it’s over
There's no more everyday
Send a soldier.

Someone who'll get it
That's all
Someone who'll get it
That's all

Send somebody out of his mind
Send a God Damn leader
Send someone not psycho polite
Send some God Damn freedom
Someone breathing.

Tonight is all you got to go with me
There's no more everyday
Tonight is all, and then it’s over
There's no more everyday
Send a soldier.

Someone who'll get it
That's all
Someone who'll get it
That's all
Someone who'll get it
That's all
Someone who'll get it
That's all

Send a soldier

Thursday, February 25, 2016

“Summertime” by Janis Joplin – Throwback Thursday

   Here’s a recipe for a musical disaster:
1. Start with musicians with average skills (or less);
2. Add a vocalist with a raspy voice that sounds strained when the music goes outside a central range;
3. Then, ask them to perform a song written before their births by arguably the greatest composer of the century.

     That was the recipe when Janis Joplin joined Big Brother and the Holding Company, and they included “Summertime” on their setlist. The result was not a disaster, it can be more accurately described as a wonder.

     “Summertime” is the work of George Gershwin. Other artists who are recognized for performances of the song are Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald, with Louis Armstrong.

“You and I” by PVRIS – A Song Review

     It seems that the volume of newly released tracks with forceful female vocals is greater than at only other time in memory. Perhaps that’s the reason PVRIS isn’t garnering the attention it should be.
     Until “You and I” dropped this month, our song of preference from PVRIS (pronounced “Paris”) was “My House.” Both songs take advantage of the vocal strength of Lynn Gunn, but “You and I” does so more effectively. Both songs benefit from the musicians that comprise the band.
     PVRIS is based in Lowell, Massachusetts. The core members are Lyndsey "Lynn Gunn" Gunnulfsen (vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards), Alex Babinski (lead guitar, keyboards) and Brian MacDonald (bass, keyboards). Justin Nace is currently the drummer.

     “You and I” by PVRIS

     Below is the schedule for the upcoming tour by PVRIS. We are hopeful that there is an opening to add a stop in San Francisco.

Date Venue Location
26-Feb Seminole Hard Rock Live Arena Hollywood, FL Tickets
1-Mar North Charleston Coliseum North Charleston, SC Tickets
2-Mar John Paul Jones Arena Charlottesville, VA Tickets
4-Mar Madison Square Garden New York, NY Sold Out
5-Mar Foxwoods Casino Ledyard, CT Sold Out
6-Mar War Memorial Arena Syracuse, NY Tickets
8-Mar Van Andel Arena Grand Rapids, MI Tickets
9-Mar Wright State University Nutter Center Dayton, OH Tickets
10-Mar KFC Yum Center Louisville, KY Tickets
12-Mar United Center Chicago, IL Tickets
13-Mar Xcel Energy Center Saint Paul, MN Tickets
14-Mar Wells Fargo Arena Des Moines, IA Tickets
15-Mar Cain's Ballroom Tulsa, OK Tickets
17-Mar BJCC Arena Birmingham, AL Tickets
18-Mar Fed Ex Forum Memphis, TN Tickets
19-Mar Smoothie King Center New Orleans, LA Tickets
20-Mar Freeman Coliseum San Antonio, TX Tickets
22-Mar Intrust Bank Center Wichita, KS Tickets
23-Mar Colorado Springs World Arena Colorado Springs, CO Tickets
25-Mar U.S. Airways Center Phoenix, AZ Tickets
26-Mar Irvine Meadows Amphitheater Irvine, CA Tickets
1-Apr Concorde 2 Brighton, United Kingdom Sold Out
2-Apr UEA NRLCR Norwich, United Kingdom Sold Out
3-Apr Riverside Newcastle, United Kingdom Sold Out
4-Apr O2 ABC Glasgow, United Kingdom Sold Out
6-Apr Academy 1 Manchester, United Kingdom Sold Out
7-Apr O2 Kentish Town Forum London, United Kingdom Sold Out
8-Apr Great Hall Cardiff, United Kingdom Sold Out
9-Apr O2 Institute Birmingham, United Kingdom Sold Out
11-Apr Melkweg Amsterdam, Netherlands Sold Out
12-Apr LA MACHINE DU MOULIN ROUGE Paris, France Tickets
13-Apr Trix Club Antwerp, Belgium Tickets
14-Apr Uebel & Gafaehlich Hamburg, Germany Tickets
16-Apr Pumpehuset Copenhagen West, Denmark Tickets
17-Apr Klubben Stockholm, Sweden Tickets
18-Apr Vulkan Arena Oslo, Norway Tickets
20-Apr PBHFCLUB Berlin, Germany Tickets
21-Apr Luxor Cologne, Germany Sold Out
23-Apr Strom Munich, Germany Sold Out
18-Jun Firefly Festival Dover, DE Tickets

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Frightened Rabbit – A Concert Opportunity

     Damn those Rabbits. We intended to skip this U.S. tour by Frightened Rabbit. We attended the last three San Francisco stops by the band and enjoyed all three. But May 26 is the day before Napa’s BottleRock Festival. Going to a concert the day before a three-day festival is foolish, right? Well, our intelligence has never been questioned – there’s plenty of evidence that it’s lacking.
     We weren’t tempted to go to the Frightened Rabbit performance at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco, until they released “Death Dream.” It was an instant reminder of how much we enjoy the “Scottish Sound” and how Frightened Rabbit represents all we love in the sound. The full U.S. tour is shown in the above poster (click to enlarge the JPG).

     “Death Dream" by Frightened Rabbit

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Wild Wild Horses - Noisetrade Tuesday

     Until our library of Noisetrade recommendations is exhausted, most Tuesdays will feature a Noisetrade offer of songs available for the price of an email address.  

     This week, the recommendation is the EP “Ordinary Life” by Wild Wild Horses. The band is based in London. The four members are Jack Edwards (vocals, keys), Billy Adamson (guitar), Jonathan Harvey (bass) and Greg Rogove (drums).
     Of the four songs on the EP, the one that stands out for us is “Demon Days (Do It All Again).” In addition to the Noisetrade offer, the Soundcloud stream of the song is embedded in this post. A third embedded element is a short film featuring all four songs. 

     “Demon Days (Do It All Again)”

Spotlight on an Artist: Lexie Rose

By Rebecca Gross; Twitter: @becsgross

     Lexie Rose, who has been singing since she was eight, is now a 15-year-old prodigy. The singer-songwriter got her start when she was only 13, as she began booking her own shows around LA. After playing solo for about a year, Lexie Rose got her band together to start making music collectively.
     With a voice that sounds like it’s been coached for as long as she’s been alive, Lexie Rose is continuously performing with her band in the LA area as she writes her own music. Just the other night, on February 17th, Lexie Rose and her band performed a new song titled “Promise” at The Hotel Café. Although this track is not recorded for her Soundcloud, she has quite a body of beautifully recorded music.
      With a mellow sound and an Indie-Folk twang, Lexie Rose’s vocals go beautifully with the guitar and piano she personally plays in addition to the lead guitar, bass, and drums of her band (played by Daniel Alcala, Jacob Butler, and Elijah Wells respectively).
     Although she mainly grew up on classic rock, Norah Jones and Fiona Apple vibes are at the heart of her music. In most of her tracks, and notably in “Find Me” and “The Girl You’ll Never Leave Behind,” Lexie Rose and her band traditionally follow a pattern. Each song builds up from a quiet-voice-solo-instrumental sound to a more full-bodied instrumental completeness. 
     Lexie Rose’s sound is not only exceptional for a 15-year-old—it’s exceptional for anyone of any age. With a versatile air, Lexie Rose’s music is perfect for listening to at a dinner party with good friends, slow dancing with a honey, or tapping your foot at a live show of hers. Make sure to check her out if you’re in LA, and if you’re based somewhere out of LA, keep an eye out because Lexie Rose will be sure to come to your city one day.

      “The Girl You'll Never Leave Behind” by Lexie Rose

     “Find Me” by Lexie Rose

Monday, February 22, 2016

“Bare” by WILDES – A Song Review

     It only rarely occurs, but it’s exhilarating to favorably compare the song of a new artist to a band that’s close to being a personal favorite, but then realize that if the song were from that band, it would be a favorite from that favorite. It occurred while listening to “Bare” by WILDES. The song was being favorably compared to London Grammar. Then, during the long-lasting crescendo that is the second half of “Bare,” we realized the song was special.
     London Grammar hasn’t lost any ground in our ranking of favorites, but we’re certainly going to watch WILDES. The song "Bare" is a combination of Daughter (“Home”) and London Grammar (“Metal & Dust”).

     WILDES is the performance name of Ella Walker. She is a 19 year old from the UK (London). Pasted below the Soundcloud stream is information we received in an email submission from Ben Ryder-Smith. 
     “Bare” by WILDES


From the email submission:
     WILDES is the brand new solo project of 19 y/o Ella Walker, a West Londoner who spent her childhood summers in Ireland. Ella assumed her mothers’ maiden name Wildes for her musical alias, seeing it as a great channel for her to be bolder, both personally and in her own musical style.
     Growing up Ella was influenced heavily by her parents’ record collection that was made up of diverse artists from Fleetwood Mac to Nick Cave, and Ella Fitzgerald to The Cure. And after five years singing classically as a teenager she decided she’d rather write her own songs than sing other peoples.
     Now Ella likes to listen to incredibly thoughtful writers such as Joni Mitchell, Laura Marling and Orlando Weeks, who all helped her realise the importance of words within a song. This coupled with her infectious love of literature has had a profound affect on her songwriting to date. On reflection Ella states that she often finds songwriting a way of deliberating on a situation or a relationship, as a way of asking questions she’d be too afraid to ask in everyday conversations.
     ‘Bare’ is the debut single from WILDES that will be streaming on Soundcloud, YouTube and Spotify from 21st February onwards and released officially via Hometown Records. It’s an honest, thoughtful and extremely raw debut, which is sure to see Walker compared with the likes of Elena Tonra.

Lyrics of “Bare” by WILDES
Hold me down
I'll steal the moon
I'll tear the night,
keep it from you.

Ooh ooh, ooh ooh
Ooh ooh, ooh ooh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Ooh ooh, ooh ooh

Hold me up
and watch me bloom
I'm a dangerous fire
a poison fume
Now I’m done staying,
Quit playing
I’m out on this.
I’ve spent too long lying,
And now I’m trying to hurt you.

But you’ve seen me bare,
You’ve seen me covered up
Maybe I’m not scared
What you’re thinking of
You’ve seen me here
And held me miles away,
Underneath my skin
Is all you’ll see today.

Ooh ooh, ooh ooh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Ooh ooh, ooh ooh

I, could take you there,
If, you let me see
Why, you are the one,
Are you the one for me?
Time, is wasted and
I’m, not losing sleep
Don’t, just stand and stare
Come on and bare your teeth

Come on and bare your teeth

You’ve seen me bare
And seen me covered up
Maybe I’m not scared
What you’re thinking of
You’ve seen me here
And held me miles away
Underneath my skin
Is all you'll see today

“Black Cloud” by Playwrite – A Song Review

     Neither our delay in posting the song nor the brevity of the post should be interpreted as an indication of the blogworthiness of “Black Cloud.” We are fans of the song and the band that plays it – Playwrite.
     In addition to their vocal quality, Playwrite has the skill of changing the genre in mid-song, long after the casual listener has pegged the genre. While listening to “Black Cloud,” the song is almost undeniably Indie Folk for more than two minutes. Then, a guitar jumps in to add a Rock element, and the song is refreshed.

     “Black Cloud” is a track from Playwrite’s debut albm, “Cathedrals.” They are based in Melbourne, Australia. The members are Jordan White, Patrick Holcombe, Scott Barton,  Sonny Igusti, and Caity Fowler.


Sunday, February 21, 2016

Videos of the Week - 66 Old Time Movies Put to a Good Use

     The video has 19 million Youtube views and has been circulating through Facebook since October 2015, so this is nothing new. But each time it’s viewed, another interesting aspect is appreciated. For example, the series of snippets that starts at 3:31 involves a cane and is soon followed by a series that involves the use of stairs. Humans are creative!

     “7 Years by Lukas Graham – I still am impressed that a 20-something guy has such insight on the passage through life. If you’re interested, the lyrics are here - CLICK HERE.

“Inside Your Mind” by Gypsy & The Cat – A Song Review

    Appreciation for a song can arrive from a variety of alternative paths. The mixing//production path was taken by “Inside Your Mind” by Gypsy & The Cat. For Indie Obsessive, it’s not a well-worn path, since it’s too easy for artists to stray into the region of overproduction, where the song gets lost.
     “Inside Your Mind” begins with an acoustic guitar, which camouflages the song’s fit into the Electronic genre. Even when the synthesizer enters, it does so with a subtlety. Only later does the mixing play such a significant role that it heavily influences the attention of the listener. Instruments are pushed in front of the vocals, the vocals again take control, and then another instrument seizes attention. The lyrics are repetitive, but the repetition never approaches being tiresome, because the elements around the vocals are evolving.

     Gypsy & The Cat are Xavier Bacash and Lionel Towers from Melbourne, Australia.
“Inside Your Mind” by Gypsy & The Cat 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Neulore – Their Television Presence

     A friend of Indie Obsessive sent an email, asking if we were aware of Neulore. He was watching television (Killjoys is our best guess) when a song on the soundtrack hit his ears. A couple of Shazam “clicks” later, he saw the name of a song – “Native Skin” by Neulore.
     Neulore is flying under the radar, but is still doing well in getting songs on television. Grey’s Anatomy has taken notice as well. In Season 9, the song “Shadow of a Man” was included in the Episode 18 soundtrack.
     Neulore is primarily Adam Agin and William T. Cook, but they include “a few friends.” The genre is “Modern Folk.” They are based in Nashville, Tennessee.

     “Native Skin” – love the bass

     “Shadow of a Man” – an improved Kings of Leon

Friday, February 19, 2016

“Keep Holding On” by Mara Simpson – A Song Review

     Mara Simpson released a momentum builder when she introduced a track from her upcoming album, “Our Good Sides.” The foundation is established in both the vocals and the instruments, and the tools for the build are conviction and inclusion.
     Vocally, “Keep Holding On” begins with Mara Simpson setting up an analogy in the form of a story. The story is about Freida Schulze, who in 1961, at the age of 77, jumped from the window of an apartment on the East Berlin border for the freedom of West Germany. A short clip showing her struggle is included at the bottom of this post. Once the story is told, the message behind the analogy is stated with conviction – keep holding on. The build of inclusion is the addition of voices, namely those of Olly Knights of Turin Brakes, Ben Ottewell of Gomez, and Mara’s cousin, Courtney Simpson.
     Instrumentally, the support at the start is simple and almost minimalistic. But by the end of “Keep Holding On,” the instruments are forceful. Important contributions are made by Chris Boot on drums, Jamie Patterson on bass and Tim Bidwell on “this and that.” The Facebook page of Mara Simpson identifies other band members as Ben Daniels, Rene Corbett, Alex Bayer, and Susy Peddie. They are based in Brighton, UK.

      “Keep Holding On” by Mara Simpson

   Freida Schulze drops into West Berlin.