Tuesday, April 30, 2019

“Not Far Away” by FAERS – A Song Feature

      “Not Far Away” is a single with an efficient use of guitar notes. Particularly during the final minute of the song, the guitars show a flair that is the inverse of note-stretched shoegaze.

     “Not Far Away” is from FAERS, a London-based band. The members are Morgan Rees (guitar), Ryan Faers (drums), Steven Anderson-Howard (vocals), Sam Rawlings (guitar), and Alex Crowley (bass).

     “Not Far Away” by FAERS

Monday, April 29, 2019

“Paris” by OWEL – An Album Sampling

     The current surge in vinyl collectoring carries a return of the lament of entering a well-stocked used record store with a limited budget. There isn’t a shortage of good choices; available money is the issue. A related difficulty faced us while we sampled the recent album from OWEL, a New Jersey band. Typically, we select a favorite track from an album and then breakdown the song. But like record hunting, sampling the 12 songs on OWEL’s album, “Paris,” brought paralysis by analysis. Fortunately, our space budget doesn’t impose a limit, so we are posting four songs.

      The members of OWEL are Jay Sakong (vocals, guitar, keys), Seamus O'Connor (guitar, keys, vocals), Nunzio Moudatsos (bass, vocals), Ryan Vargas (percussion), and Patti Kilroy (violin, viola).

     OWEL brings polished orchestral skills to the Indie continent. Most songs on the “Paris” album are dynamic with respect to at least two of tempo, instrumentation, melody, texture, and intensity. “Being Human Is Weird” is a strong example. The song begins with an attractively gentle guitar hook and percussion that rejects any thought of restricting itself to using drum skins. Ninety seconds later, the song is forceful and the percussion is aggressive. Then, slightly more than three minutes into the single, strings step forward to establish a layer of elegance that blends well with the forcefulness of the vocals and percussion.

     “Being Human Is Weird” by OWEL

     The orchestral influences on the music of OWEL are most apparent during the piano-driven and strings-supported intro of “No Parachutes.” The song is also lyrically intriguing and intellect:
Let's build a plane out of styrofoam and cellophane
And whatever’s left behind the shed
Let's cut across the Atlantic where we'll both live off
Of strange love with strangers
Packed to the roof with our plastic guns and hiking boots
And we’ve left no room for parachutes
And this gasoline is enough to only get us to
Strange love with strangers
God save us from this love
No parachutes
So let's get this right
(See you on the other side)
If we get this right
(See you on the other side)
Or if we all go down
(See you on the other side)
If we get this right
(See you on the other side)
Or if we drown
(I'll see you on the other side)

     “No Parachutes” by OWEL

     “Weather Report” shows OWEL’s skills in showgaze. It also includes arguably (we would argue) the best two minutes on “Paris.” Beginning at 2:44, the poetry in the lyrics, the inspiration from the almost penitent decision that “I’d join you,” and the masterful use of instruments contribute to the justification for declaring that the two minutes are extraordinary:
I heard the news and it's not good
They say the monsters are loose
And the city's on fire
But seeing you dance in the smoke
Waving your arms like a beautiful idiot
Makes me believe in the hopes of a day
I'd join you
     “Weather Report” by OWEL

    “Roma White” is another song that must be noticed. The piano, strings and vocals are individually beautifully dignified and are collectively moving. The percussion emphasis that we praise on other songs from “Paris” is missing from the early portions of “Roma White,” allowing a listener to fully appreciate the talents of the guitarists. By the time the percussion becomes more forceful, the guitars have already established their positions of dominance.

     “Roma White” by OWEL

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Cover-Ups – But with Public Disclosure

     Song covers are interesting, but seldom blogworthy. Exceptions are typically ones in which a second band takes ownership, rather than attempting to duplicate the original release. The first two songs in the post are good examples. Sun Gods make no attempt to merely reproduce a song by The Cure. Similarly, Freedom Fry take ownership of a hit by Styx.

       Weezer illustrate the rule and an exception. Last year, Weezer covered “Africa” by Toto. They sounded much like the original, so the cover brought nothing new to the music universe. Sure, there were a few surges and the bridge showed some originality, but there was insufficient “ownership” to pull us away from the band that gave birth to the hit. The exception to the rule – we watched Weezer cover Tears for Fears on "Jimmy Kimmel Live." Again, there was much in common with the original. But the guitar work and, to a lesser degree, the vocals brought a rebirth to “Everybody Wants To Rule The World.”
     Sun Gods are from Tremelo, Belgiun. The members are Brent Buckler (vocals, guitars), Sander Cliquet (synths, guitar, backing vocals), Vincent Lembregts (bass guitar, bass synth, backing vocals), and Marijn Geerts (percussion).

     “Pictures Of You” (The Cure cover) by Sun Gods

     Freedom Fry are Paris-born Marie Seyrat and Michigan-born Bruce Driscoll. It’s not a geographical compromise, but they are based in Los Angeles.

          “Renegade” (Styx) by Freedom Fry

     “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” by Weezer 

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

“Here Comes the Night” by Big Search – A Song Feature

      The rhythm section first establishes and then maintains the perception of advancement – “Here Comes the Night.” The lyrics inform us that it’s an ominous march – “Under the pillow, across the sea, you will not find me, the enemy.” Nope, not “Game of Thrones.” But perhaps it should be. The song is from Big Search.

     Big Search is the project of Matt Popieluch in Los Angeles. In the song “Here Comes the Night,” he is joined on vocals by Ed Droste, the frontman of Grizzly Bear. When talking about the song, Popieluch explained:
  “’Here Comes The Night,’ too, can whirl a mental state into wonder. It’s an all-too-resonant ode to political anxiety, a post-election state in which both real and imagined catastrophe are constantly looming. The weather and the behavior of animals before a storm, being on the precipice of an unknown chasm, are driving elements in the song. [The song] is also about resistance.”

     Big Search will visit San Francisco on June 8, 2019. Cafe du Nord * will host Pure Bath Culture and Big Search.

“Here Comes the Night” by Big Search

April 4 | Palm Springs @ Ace Hotel
May 31 | Seattle @ Columbia City Theater *
June 1 | Portland @ Mississippi Studios *
June 5 | LA @ Bootleg Theater *
June 8 | SF @ Cafe du Nord *

*supporting Pure Bathing Culture

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

“Mayae” (ft. Mimi Gilbert) by OM Collective – A Song Feature

     There is a serenity that flows from “Mayae.” The current is gentle, yet sufficiently powerful to ensure that the listener is carried to a calmer place. Even the surges in the song from OM Collective bring a sense of embrace.

      The face of OM Collective is Timothy James Ferson. He is from Sydney, Australia, but the Facebook site of OM Collective identifies the hometown as “Sydney/LA LA Land.”

      The lead vocals in “Mayae” are Mimi Gilbert, while backing vocals are provided by Holly Martin and Ferson, who also provides the instruments. In explaining the song, Ferson wrote:
 “It’s about my ex-partner, who (I sigh as I write this) moved to Dubai to be an air-hostess. The relationship ended with a conversation where I actually told her to ‘get the fuck out of my life.’ The lyrics quote that conversation, and add “Gomenasai” (‘Sorry’ in Japanese) to the end. Her father died a few years ago. She doesn’t talk to me now. A piece of me wants her to hear this song, to hear that 'gomenasai'. I never had the goddamn chance to say that ultimately meaningless yet ineffably meaningful ‘sorry’ for her dad’s passing. Whoever you are, I hope you feel this track enough to support me in sharing this last love letter, in the hope that it might reach the girl that revolutionised my experience of life.”
          My sincerest gratitude,
          Timothy James Ferson

      “Mayae” (ft. Mimi Gilbert) by OM Collective 

Lyrics of “Mayae” (ft. Mimi Gilbert) by OM Collective
The show goes on
At 5 o’clock Mayae appears
Quietly conjured, up from the floor
Oh, I've hungered for your…

Touch and go, and grow on your own
Such a bad idea
Layer by layer I take Her
Window sigh 30 hours later

“Oh, what went wrong?
(Her eight faces)
This can’t be right.”
We wonder how, knowing why

Mayae, She's lost
What's left to love?
Oh my God, She lost
The will to love. Love
And learnt how to flirt with thin air
Appears in the aisle; row 17, F

Audience can't understand
“It’s not possible!”
Oh, but they found you
They found you
And we lost you

Come out to play
(You disappeared)
The mirror shines
Thy fairest form, the light

Grande finale at 5:20 sharp
It's late, No delay
Handcuffed, padlocked, boxed in a cage
In a coffin; concrete grave in the sky

We have the sun
(I can't love you)
But She still hides
(“Get the fuck out of my life.”)

Oh, I’ll let you go
So you let go, let go
[4 times]

Oh, let go, let go

Monday, April 22, 2019

“Might Not Make It Home” by LPX – A Song Feature

     The LPX single possesses elements that typically push songs to the top our list of blogworthy tracks. We unapologetically admit to being overly impressed by choir-like backing vocal. “Might Not Make It Home” is impressive. And you’re fans of shoegaze guitar in an invigorating Pop single. So, we’re fans of the segment that starts at the two-minute mark. Why did it take eight months to post “Might Not Make It Home”? Our bad!

     As a poor defense, “Might Not Make It Home” is on a just released EP, “Junk of the Heart.” So, it is current again. LPZ is the solo project of Lizzy Plapinger, who first made her Indie presence as the MS in the duo MS MR. When asked about the musical basis of LPX, she explained, “I’m too rock for pop. I’m too pop for rock. I make music for those who don’t care about what box it fits in.”

     “Might Not Make It Home” by LPX 

Lyrics of “Might Not Make It Home” by LPX
Light wash opens the sky
On 79th, the blue in your eyes
Everyone is sedated
This was the strangest night of our lives

And all the taxi cabs
Wouldn't take us back
I'm not mad at that
Now it's just you and me
Skipping between the trash and the streets

We might not make it home
And that sounds wonderful

Isn't it strange I don't know your name?
Cause when the Punk singer sang
Swallow the sound when you open your mouth
Hey, but it's all the same

Felt like me and you
Were the only two
In that sweaty room
(Hey, hey, hey!)

So let's capture the night
Don't leave my side
We're safe in the wild

We might not make it home
And that sounds wonderful
Don't complicate it cause
Baby it's not that complicated
Don't complicate it cause
(We might not make it home)
Baby it's not that complicated
Don't complicate it cause
Baby it's not that complicated
Don't complicate it, babe
(And that sounds wonderful)

Stoplight, long nights
Talking eye-to-eye
Not going home, home
First light, sunrise
Falling so high
I'm not going home, home

We might not make it home
And that sounds wonderful
Don't complicate it cause
Baby it's not that complicated
Don't complicate it cause
(We might not make it home)
Baby it's not that complicated
Don't complicate it cause
Baby it's not that complicated
Don't complicate it, babe
(And that sounds wonderful)
We might not make it home
And that sounds wonderful

Sunday, April 21, 2019

“Broken Open” by Samuel J – A Song Feature

     Samuel J generates songs that reflect influences from different continents. “Broken Open” is perhaps his greatest rhythmic-centric single. It is on the album “Into The Light.”

    The Facebook page of Samuel J indicates that he is currently based in Santa Monica, California (and that his surname is Tellam). He is the vocalist and composer of his music. He will use a Loop Pedal for solo performances, but also makes appearances with his band collective, THE LIVING REVOLUTION.

     “Broken Open” by Samuel J

Saturday, April 20, 2019

"Reef" by Fløver - Free Saturday (“FL&R”)

     “Reef” is built for Indieheads who favor guitar over all else. It’s a single from Fløver, the music moniker of Lucas Inacio. He is a music producer and visual artist based in Vancouver, Canada. 
     Fløver is offering “Reef’ on Bandcamp as a name-your-price opportunity. Values above $0 are appreciated.  

     “Reef: by Fløver

Lyrics of “Reef: by Fløver
If I could see you today
I'm sure I would be ok
If I could see you today
I'm sure I would be ok
If I could see you (If I could say)
I'm sure I would be ok
If I could see you (If I could say)
I'm sure I would be ok

I don't wanna do it
[6 times]

I don't wanna do it
[8 times]
I'm not gonna do it
I'm not gonna do it
I wanna do it
I wanna do it
I wanna do it

Friday, April 19, 2019

“Get Away” (ft. Doc Merlin) by Timi Temple – A Song Feature

     “Get Away” is driven by an ear-arresting hook that functions as the rhythm section, allowing the percussion to freelance during the verses (employing an attitude akin to “I’ve got a kickdrum and I’m not afraid to use it!”). The instruments reside in the lower frequencies while the vocals play in the upper range, establishing an engaging timbral contrast.

     “Get Away” is a song from Sydney’s TIMI TEMPLE and his mate Doc Merlin. The single includes well-timed synth sprinkles that brighten the melody, until the final forty seconds in which the synth demands a more significant role. Interestingly, the vocals are the highlight of “Get Away,” despite mixing that slightly accents the rhythmic hook over the voices. During verses, the two voices are easily distinguished. In comparison, the chorus of “Woah…” is more of a vocal blend/choir. It’s an effective combination.

     Quoting interesting content about the single:
  “‘Get Away’ by TIMI TEMPLE is a song about escaping reality into the digital world of games allowing yourself to be whoever you want to be. It’s a brooding psych infused slow burner that absolutely goes off live!”
  “I’ve got a friend, Doc Merlin, with whom’ve been mates for 23 years... He’s now a PHD in immunology & professor at University of Sydney. I’m just a humble musician, but long ago, we played music together throughout primary school and high school.
  Doc Merlin had a lucid dream one fateful night that we wrote a song together nostalgically like the old days, and when he came to consciousness there was a voice recording on his phone singing the hook line “Got To Get Away” (you can hear this exact voice memo at the end of the song...)
  I was totally hooked by this story when DM called me up, we just had to turn it into a song... and also, TIMI TEMPLE’s first ever collaboration! I got DM around to my studio the next day and the song was done within a matter of hours!!
  The song’s sound see’s me returning to a bunch of my high school influences like grunge and punk but I tried to also encapsulate the playful nature of computer games and childhood naivety...  

     “Get Away” (ft. Doc Merlin) by Timi Temple

Lyrics of “Get Away” (ft. Doc Merlin) by Timi Temple
There's nothing
That'll change my way
And it's been too long
Since I've been astray

There's nothing
Left for me to do
'Cause in this world
There's only me and you


There's nothing
That can last forever
So we cannot let ourselves
Ever say never

There's nothing
More you need from me
'Cause from down here
There's no future I can see

When time is almost over
Our future set in stone
With Gods betraying everyone
They won't leave us alone
When there's nothing else to do
And nothing more to say
The only thing we can do
Is to get away