New Music VII: Gifts That Keep On Giving

It’s been awhile, but I’m bringing back some new music (and maybe a little sexy, who knows…) to share with everybody (the music at least). For a few of my other posts I noticed that some of the bands I showcased didn’t exactly have a extensive body of work. So for my first post of 2014 I will provide bands that have at least some sort of album out there for purchase, or torrent, or that fun legal grey-zone of ripping audio mp3 from YouTube. Blue-balling you guys with singles from underground movements from southern Idaho can wait until next time. This is also a pretty “rock-centric” group, which is of course right in my wheelhouse.

Band: Smallpools
Song: Dreaming

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New Music Part VI: The New Old School

Back again for a sixth installment of bringing new music to a new corner of the internet, from there these artists will hopefully find new found fame and fortune. Then, they can thank me at their inevitable awards show speech (not the Grammys, I said awards). The reason for the title (“The New Old School”)  is that I believe all these artists represent (to me at least) a new iteration of an already popular form of music. I also believe this is one of the strongest group of musicians I have assembled in a long time, and they would be represented on my iPod if I hadn’t aimed low and gotten the 8mb version that lied to me when it said it could hold 1,000 songs. Anyway, lets get started…

Band: TyphoonSong: Dreams of Cannibalism

Typhoon is a representation of the progression of folk-rock that has become very popular in recent years (e.g. Mumford and Sons or Bison). They lean a little more towards traditional folk than some more mainstream bands, and I think a few people I know will appreciate their sound.

Band: Clutch
Song: The Regulator

Clutch is this close to being a metal band. Is that a bad thing? No. Because they are so steeped in country/blues that they built a great base of acoustic sound and ramp it up to 11 with the atmospheric electric instruments and dark lyrics.

Band: Alex Hepburn
Song: Under

The third most famous Hepburn, English soul singer Alex Hepburn is continuing the trend of bringing back blues and soul music to the pop charts. Less “pop” than Adele or even Amy Winehouse, Hepburn has a sweet grainy voice perfect for the next Bond Movie.

Band: Woodkid
Song: Iron

In what I can only describe as a pastiche of the opening scene to the 2006 movie The Fall, Woodkid adds another to the soul/R&B category. With a somewhat melancholy sound this is a different direction than the sound that other contemporary soul artists have used, like Alex Hepburn or Amy Winehouse.

Band: Monks of Mellonwah
Song: Ghost Stories

Monks of Mellonwah are the throwback rock band I’ve been waiting for, finally for fuck’s sake I get a guitar solo in a song under five minutes. Their first video was on Youtube three years ago, then all of a sudden music manna from heaven comes this year. But they still only have an EP out, which is just a taste of what is hopefully to come. Which until then makes me feel like the cookie monster at a farmers market.


Band: Arbor Lights
Song: The Silent City

OK,  I am having a little more difficult time finding how Arbor Lights is the new form of an old music style. They are however extremely talented musicians that play exclusively instrumental rock, not necessarily like the Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Eric Johnson fusion of the 80’s but still captivating.

Band: Circa Survive
Song: Sharp Practice

The next Rush? OMG did he just say that? No, I typed it. but they have the same appeal, high pitched vocals, weird time signatures, and lyrics that don’t always make sense. Still some damn fine alt rock, something where there is far too much quantity nowadays as opposed to quality.

Part V of Learning About New Music

So it has been awhile since I’ve posted something and, in fac,t since I started this post, one of these bands has visited the city I live near twice. And yes, I managed to miss both shows. But all is well as they are not yet popular enough for their record company to remove all their videos off YouTube. I’ve left a veritable smorgasbord of differing artists for whatever musical predilection you are feeling like today. Rock, pop, folk (and even some prog-rock for our friends born before 1980) something in this list will strike you.

Band: The Neighbourhood
Song: Sweater Weather

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Learning About New Music: Part 4: Ladies Night

Some time ago theelderj invited me to join this community and help find new music (well, at least new to me) and to share it with whoever wants to join in (my username has changed slightly, but pay no attention to the man behind the webpage). It has actually been quite fun searching the depths of the internet for new bands. After wading through sloughs of hipster trash and faux indie rock I’ve learned it is not necessarily about finding that band nobody has heard of, but is more about that band that has more than one song you can listen to without tearing the headphones out of the computer and blocking Youtube from the preferred sites list.

My musical dry spell was moistened recently after finding some good new bands through my often frustrating yet rewarding band finding system. I’m keeping my system a secret but am still paranoid someone will find out how I am doing this and make me obsolete. So after finding a fairly large group of artists I noticed something that had not happened before, at least half of the bands I found were fronted by a woman. After a little more digging, a total of nine bands are being presented in this post, some are well known, some are not, and some are on the way. OK ladies, tonight it’s your turn.

Band: The Joy Formiddable
Song: Whirring

These guys have been around for a while and recently participated in the SXSW festival I couldn’t attend due to a severe lack of personal monetary stock. This song has been bouncing around alternative stations for a while now and the sweet sound of Ritzy Bryan singing/yelling at me feels better than I expected. There may be more technical terms to describe what is going on in this track, but this is just a good pop song.

Band: The Naked and Famous
Song: Youngblood

Before appearing in what seemed to be every commercial around (before The Lumineers and Imagine Dragons stole that title) this song was also famous for being featured in an episode of Canadian teen soap opera Degrassi, featuring none other than the dumbass who started the YOLO craze Drake, who starred as what the internet has affectionately dubbed “wheelchair Jimmy.” My sister used to watch that show, I should hate everything that has ever appeared on that show but my goodness I love this song. It’s sounds too “pop,” the lyrics are sentimental, and do I need to say it again? Canadian teen soap opera. But you can’t stop our love, all I want to do is dance around in my room with nothing but my boxer-briefs on and rock out to some Naked and Famous.

Band: Blondfire
Song: Where the Kids Are

Blondfire is like the first two bands I listed here in that they are an Indie rock group struggling to really break out. This song has had some exposure on the radio and is also another one of those songs that has potential TV commercial overuse written all over it. So far I have yet to hear another song as good as Where the Kids Are but that doesn’t mean the potential for really good things isn’t there.

Band: Gin Wigmore
Song: Man Like That

So I bet you didn’t think that The Naked and Famous were from New Zealand? Neither did I until Google,  and I also didn’t know Gin Wigmore had herself a pretty good gig going. Unless you live under a rock or a bridge or a state south of the Ohio river you have seen the Heineken commercial with James Blonde and the hot foreign girl he lets die (spoiler alert). Well whaddaya know, there’s Gin singing her heart out. I’m not big into the 60’s soul revival movement and I was kinda hoping it would die with Amy Winehouse but Adele decided to become as ubiquitous as all of Amy’s “mourners” did after that fiasco.  Wigmore has a damn good voice and I would love to see her sing the next Bond theme, if Adele doesn’t Hulk slam her out of the way.

Band: Churchill
Song: Change

So I’ll keep on riding the soul movement with Churchill, so they’re not like Gin Wigmore but Change has some nice soul-like elements to it and Bethany Kelly can sing it if she wanted to. And holy shit another band from my old haunt of Denver (The Lumineers), at this rate Colorado will finally get in the news for something awesome instead of kinda depressing.

Band: Mal Scoppa and the Tall Tales
Song: The Things You Love

From the depths of Youtube comes a band that is pure potential. You will find one good quality video of them, the rest look like a three year old putting an iphone in its mouth. So they are Youtube sensations right now, but they have a good sonic base and Mal has a sweet voice. With the folk/country/rock amalgamations running rampant and becoming popular right now The Tall Tales can easily break into the big time.

Band: Nico Vega
Song: Beast

I’m totally switching gears with this one, Nico Vega is let loose in this song and it is awesome. A total assault (in a good way) on the ears, Beast was used for the trailer for the game Bioshock: Infinite (which I happen to know nothing about). Hopefully they will keep going with this hard rock sound because Aja Volkman is built for it.

Band: States
Song: Another Chapter

States is relatively new, forming from the ashes of some band named Lydia, Mindy White fronts the Indie rock band with a nice punk pop sound. If you are a fan of Paramore you will like the sound of these guys. Taken from their initial EP, States actually has an album out unlike some of the other bands I have listed here (Sorry about that). And not to objectify or anything, but the singer is totally hot.Image

: Lies

I like this band far more than I should, in fact I love this band. They have an EP due out out March 26 and I need to hear it, so far I only get Youtube videos and whatever I can acquire using methods that (allegedly) violate Youtube’s terms of service. All this band needs is a drummer, I don’t mind that it’s just two dudes on some synths and Lauren Mayberry singing, and also sometimes playing a synth. Lies has an awesome sound with a heavy bass and electronic beat that merge well with Mayberry’s voice. Check out the song Recover to see that their sound can be more pop influenced and still sound good. Plus, like States, their singer is gorgeous.

ImageNow, off to find their tour schedule…