Though this song has been featured on the blog previously, I came close to ruining "What It Is" and "After the Fall" last week and this song seems to be helping me get back to liking Kodaline, somewhat; as always, Kodaline's music has eerily perfect timing for whatever crisis you may be dealing with. Just listen on repeat (and wait for the album to [finally] be released in the US October 8th).
"Her daddy must have been the devil cuz she hotter than hell" is an awesome opening line. What started as a song which I previously thought of as 'kind of catchy' upon my first listen has evolved into a ridiculous addiction as I have begun to play it on repeat. Everywhere (it's perfect when you're stuck in traffic). Also, "blondes have the fun but brunettes do it better"? Well, yeah.
I may be biased, but I think the song is great. A song that starts off as fun then becomes monotonous is fine, but a song like "Brunettes (Do It Better)" that starts off as catchy and gradually becomes even better is great.
With an early 3OH!3 vibe, loads of energy, and a wonderfully danceable beat, KIDFORCE's "Brunettes (Do It Better)" leaves me wanting more. Check out the rest of his music on SoundCloud and make sure to share it around, because it's too fun to ignore. "Brunettes (Do It Better)" KIDFORCE
Hearing a good song that was released the same day as a terribly uncomfortable VMA performance makes me legitimately angry; Miley Cyrus' manager has to be fucking insane. You have a great single that would be comparable to last night's "Same Love" performance (okay, that's reaching a bit because that was amazing; comparable to last night's Katy Perry performance, at least) and instead she trots out that mess of a production with a fucking bear themed onesie and awkward foam finger usage (when the fuck was it decided that mimicking jacking off with a foam finger would be O.K. on a nationally televised awards show?). Rather than performing a great song that would show off her skills as an actual competitive artist in today's marketplace, Cyrus gives a performance that leaves everyone uncomfortable with its heavy reliance on 'shock value' in a sad attempt to gain publicity for her upcoming album and falls short.
It's an infuriating waste of talent when Cyrus has the chance to showcase a mature piece of work and to finally be taken seriously and instead chooses to act like a desperate child star, flailing about and achieving nothing (unless you can accept the negative publicity for her regularly volatile actions as an achievement). She needs to calm down, get her shit together, and perform good music; until then, people will not cease their comparisons to her Hannah Montana days.
Regardless of last night's sad attempt at trying to prove her 'maturity', Cyrus' latest single is actually kind of great, and I can only hope that more of her music continues to mirror this mature sound and that she can leave behind her "Can't Be Tamed"/ "We Can't Stop" days in lieu of good lyrics, gorgeously supportive instrumentation, and nice (natural) vocals. "Wrecking Ball" Miley Cyrus
I'll be starting off the first week back to class by heading back to Indiana to be with family and I just don't have the motivation necessary to put together a nice playlist that includes all the music that is sent to me and the latest singles. Due to this lack of enthusiasm, and after missing the 15th of the month playlist (again), rather than presenting you guys with the customary constructed list, this is my personal playlist.
After the funeral and some family time, I will be more than ready to get back on track and distract myself with album reviews of Dear You's and Andrew Belle's latest releases (Faith, Fear, and Hope and Black Bear, respectively [because they're both great]) but, for now, I'm just going to leave you guys with the songs circling on repeat on my playlist.
It's been a year since I put up my first post (about WALK THE MOON) and, while I've received correspondence from some great bands, PR firms, and record labels, I think it's only fitting to give this day's post to the first band who sent me their music and, more importantly, continued the conversation (because that's kind of awesome). If you're new to the blog, check out the post I wrote for The Rebel Light's single, "Goodbye Serenade", and a general post about the band's work (if you've been reading the blog and finding new music for the past year, you're super awesome and I think I might love you).
If you don't already have the first EP from The Rebel Light (which is highly reminiscent of the attitude central to the work of The Beatles, with a bit of a Muse-esque style mixed into the composition), you can still get the album for free on NoiseTrade.
The Rebel Light's latest single, "Jukebox Dream", offers a perfect soundtrack to end your summer. With a soft acoustic guitar, that ever present trumpet, adorable lyrics, and an undeniably catchy chorus, the song is decidedly lovable with a composition that implores to be played on repeat. Lines that state "there was love on your summer skin", "holding my hand, as I'm stealing your heart", and the repetition of "last night I fell for you, I gotta love that's coming true" (not to forget the prevalence of those soft "sha-la-la"'s) appear sun-drenched and ready for summer radio play. While the song sounds highly reminiscent of a pretty solid mix of the perfectly simple compositions heard in The Beatles' work and the uninhibited lyric lines found in much of The Partridge Family's work, the song slips into a purely Beatles-esque composition at the 2:30 mark, with an acoustic guitar riff and a softly sung hook, and I can't help but fall for it's sweet summer swing. Spend your day listening to The Rebel Light; their music is pretty great and you're sure to love them.
As the blog comes upon it's first full year of publication, I'm stuck between feeling sad that I have spent so much time over the past year hanging out on a computer and proud that I've actually made it through a year like this without missing too many posts. In the past few months, the blog has also grown to include a few more sites, aside from the original Gmail and YouTube, to include Twitter, Google+, and Myspace (though I'm not great at using the last two; I'm more comfortable with Facebook, though I can't use that confidently as a magazine has dubbed themselves 'The Music Rag'. The hell? I spent two weeks looking for a name no one else had used. I just. I'm so. Ugh. People. Fucking Australia.).. I honestly have no clue where I was before my rant..
Check out the websites (click on the links in the lower left hand corner of the blog [under 'contact me'] or here: Myspace, Google+, Twitter, YouTube) and listen to a playlist composed, solely, of this past year's 'bands to watch'. All of the music is awesome and all the bands have a sound with the ability to stand out in the business (I wouldn't promote them if they didn't).
I cannot put into (intelligent) words how excited I am for Panic! At the Disco's next album, Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die!, to be released October 8th. Their music is always amazing with the most thoughtful and painfully true lyrics and I can't enough of their new sound (as usual, it's changed from their last album, but if this latest single is any indication, it's changed in a really great way). Panic! is capable of creating wonderfully perfect anthem-esque music that sounds as if it came so easily to them, and I absolutely adore that. Of all the concerts I've been to, theirs is still my favorite and, with singles like "This Is Gospel" and "Miss Jackson", I will not be missing this album's tour (although after dancing to "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" in the rain and seeing Nate Ruess and Brendon Urie sing together, this next concert has a lot to compete with [but seriously, see Panic! live; you'll never regret going to an awesome concert]).
As soon as the song starts with a line like "this is gospel for the fallen ones, locked away in permanent slumber, assembling their philosophies from pieces of broken memories" you know the song will be amazing, and as the composition carries on it's steady path through "when gnashing teeth and criminal tongues conspire against the odds, but they haven't seen the best of us yet" before it's steep crescendo into a chorus that states "if you love me let me go, 'cause these words are knives that often leave scars... and truth be told, I never was yours..." it easily shows Panic!'s adeptness at creating gorgeously heartfelt lyrics that fall onto a perfect composition. And, of course, the use of a steady back-beat which mimics a heartbeat and the repetition of "this is the beat of my heart" do an amazing job of showing how Panic! is the only popular band that has fully grasped and incorporated the craft of character music into everything they do; with music like this, the stage theatrics are barely a necessity, just a nice addition.
The band has come back strong since splitting into two groups and replacing the exclamation point (which had dropped off shortly before the second album's release, reappearing before the third album's release) and I will be staying up until midnight on the 7th to get the album as soon as it is released, then staying up to write something for you guys (because I just can't get enough of music that states "bury me alive because I won't give up without a fight").
Kodaline's music video for "Brand New Day" was recently released (more recently in the US than the UK) and, while this may be one of my favorite Kodaline songs (whose release I am impatiently waiting for in the states), it is definitely not my favorite music video of theirs.
Regardless of my opinion of the video, the song lives up to the Kodaline standard and is, as always, completely amazing.
Thoughtful lyrics, a great beat and hum-able melody, and notably perfect timing (not just in this video, but in every song they perform) make this latest Walk off the Earth song cover undeniably fun and I can't seem to get over the complete awesomeness of this band as a whole; they never cease to amaze me. With a fun strumming pattern, a steady back beat and those wonderfully scratchy male vocals (from Marshall and Luminati) and Blackwood's gorgeous vocals complementing one another perfectly, it's impossible to not love their version of a song that easily interlaces lines like "we're fine with this, we didn't come from money" with that constant "let me live that fantasy... I'm in love with being queen".
The pure musical talent which appears to be so innate for each member of the band only makes me love their music that much more and I will be anxiously awaiting their next music video and hoping for a US tour soon (because the band is ridiculously great at what they do).
If you don't already own R.E.V.O., buy it now (on iTunes or Amazon) because this band is only getting better and it's always fun to know the music before the band gets too famous.
Son of Dave's latest single from his upcoming album, Blues at the Grand (aide in the making of the album by donating to the project here), was recently made available and, with Son of Dave's signature harmonica and Martina Topley-Bird's soft vocals, it's sound is full and laid-back, begging to be played down by the water.
With a sweet reggae beat, cute lyrics, and a great hook that gets stuck in your head after one listen, Magic!'s latest single offers a sway-able melody to carry you through those last few summer weeks; and I can't get enough.
Sometimes I have irrational thoughts like, "the cost of living is too high; I'll just go die in a corner for a bit until everything miraculously works out without me doing anything because I'm too poor" or "maybe I'll just marry some rich guy who likes me for some reason and be a stay at home mom without the children and learn to not hate the idea of marriage"; then the rational part of me rears its ugly head and forces me to be productive.
For some reason, this song calms my resume nerves a bit; I think it has to do with those soft country chords and its comforting sound, combined with some pretty great (albeit [wonderfully] cheesy) lyrics. I'm still irrationally anxious, but at least I can continue to play this on repeat.
Andrew Belle's next album, Black Bear, will be released August 20th and, with a single like this, I can't wait. His solid hooks, masked by amazing lyrics and supported by perfectly understated instrumentation, are only made better by his gorgeous vocals and, while I've been playing "Oh My Stars" and "I'll Be Your Breeze" on repeat for years, I'm more than a little excited to start playing every song on Black Bear on repeat.
With Belle's new album coming out soon, his first album and his 2012 EP are both being offered, for free, on NoiseTrade (though you should give some money if you can). Pick them up if you don't already have them, because his music is flawless.
Drinking wine out of a mug, ignoring the phone, and falling into a Death Cab for Cutie spiral, I realize I've reached a low point. At least it's comfortable here.
When you're feeling low (but not too low because DCfC spirals can go pretty deep), no one can supply a better soundtrack for your emotions than a heavy dose of Death Cab for Cutie. While You Can Play These Songs With Chords and Transatlanticism are classics (and super depressing), and Codes and Keys shows off the bands latest and maturing style, Narrow Stairs is their best. Just listen to that on repeat and wallow in your self-pity, because tomorrow will come all too soon. Click this link to listen to all the songs on the album if you don't already have it in your music library.
I get a little crazy protective whenever someone bashes on Gym Class Heroes because no one can honestly say that they haven't sung along to "Cupid's Chokehold" or "Stereo Hearts" at some point and, if your claim is that they don't make 'real' music, have you never listened to the lyrics from "Ass Back Home" (get past the Neon Hitch part and listen to the lyrics) or "Life Goes On"? Also, "Holy Horseshit, Batman!!" has amazing awesome lyrics and is one of few songs where I made a cognitive effort to learn every line because the song is kind of amazing (it's actually, probably, one of their best songs). The protectiveness really stems from one song in particular though, because "The Fighter" has been my go to song for the last few years whenever I need to calm down or relax before heading back to the doctor's; I love it completely. With the number of times I've listened to this song (on repeat), it's no surprise that I would pass up the opportunity to see any of the bands I rave about if it meant I would have the chance to meet Travie McCoy (or any of the members of Gym Class Heroes), just once, because this song is refreshingly soulful and completely perfect. The song has followed me through far too much for me to not take it as your personality fault if you claim not to like the band; their greatness as artists is pretty evident to me.
It's straightforward poetic perfection with an unobtrusive, yet full, melody supporting it, and, despite its unabashed cheesiness, it never gets old.
If it was possible for me to like Sirsy any more than I already do, then this latest single has made me love them. With an opening line that states "I hate your face, it makes me swoon, and why must you light up every room?" and a chorus that begins with "I arrest my heart for treason, I don't wanna fall for love", the lyrics are so true they kind of hurt.
Put vocals that are simultaneously scratchy and full behind those lyrics and add in an instrumentation that chimes in perfectly, supporting or commandeering the song as needed, and you come to the realization that Sirsy is amazing.
Check out Sirsy's live performance of "Goner" or click THIS LINK to listen to a recorded version, because it's awesome.
I'm slowly growing to like these guys more than Lady Danville and Kodaline combined, which is ridiculous, seeing as neither of their EPs are available in the US but, with lyrics and strumming patterns like this, it just can't be helped. I'll just have to wait until they're famous enough that their albums are ready for US consumption (and seeing as [starting in November] they're supporting Kodaline on tour, that, hopefully, won't take too long).
Said the Whale came out with their new music video for "I Love You" today and it's just as fun as the song itself. Check out their video, buy the EP, and get their next full length album, hawaiii, September 17.
Having waited over a year for a third of these songs to be recorded and released after hearing Franti perform them during SunFest 2012, I was more than excited to hear what this new album would sound like; it's pretty amazing. It's stuffed full of that universal love and peace that is so central to Michael Franti & Spearhead's music, but still contains some of the undercurrents of his earlier sounds in lines like "I can't afford the rent or remember checks I sent to pay off all my taxes and feed the president" (reminiscent of his Disposable Heroes work from "I'm Alive (Life Sounds Like)") and "I keep hearing more and more that they're shooting teenagers in the street, sending children off to war, turned into fathers, their children never meet" (aligning with the Yell Fire! messages from "Say Goodbye"). As always, his lyrics are so much more meaningful than his radio hits suggest and his composition is damn near perfect; after some preliminary listens I already know that this new album will be my personal playlist for the next month or so.
The album starts with "All People", a reggae rock song with some electronic beats mixed in and featuring some vocals from Gina Rene. It doesn't take long before the song picks up (about a minute) and sets the mood for the rest of the album. With a chant worthy refrain and a beat made for dancing, it's impossible to listen to this without getting excited for the rest of the songs on this album.
"11:59" takes a step back from the upbeat dance sounds and drifts into an anthem for the current divisive state of the world which wars against people's intrinsic need to be together and a part of something. With lines like "life's a chord plugged in, the whole world's sick. Got diseases excited, they crawled up inside us. Superstupiditis, philosophies that divide us", "one love, one blood, one heart, one soul and, one drum and only one rhythm, one track and all of us singing", and "I wanna rock with you 'til the day I die" all intersecting, Franti attempts to explain the complexities of the 'human experience' in one four minute song.
It picks back up again with the first single released from the album, "I'm Alive (Life Sounds Like)", that begs to be danced to and played at ridiculously loud volumes the next time you're in the car with friends. With that recurring line that states "I only wanna be with you", the song keeps itself lighthearted and sweet with a beat, a chorus of "oh's", and a simple whistling melody that only serves to make you feel invincible (or 'alive' as I'm sure the track was going for).
"Long Ride Home" uses Franti's deep, full voice to create a base for the track, relying only on a soft beat and a minimal amount of instrumentation to move the song along. With lyrics that maintain a stream of consciousness-esque feeling, the song manages to evoke all the feelings of having been away from home for a long time (meaning both the excitement and adventure of leaving and experiencing new things, mixed with the tinge of sadness that comes with missing those things that make home home) and, by the time the song picks up at 2:30, Franti's already managed to express both sides of being gone.
"Life Is Better With You" is adorable. With a soft violin playing throughout the song and lines like "tell me what you want, I'll give you all that you need, with my heart in my hand saying 'please, baby please', because nobody does that thing you do better than you" and "some thoughts still swimming around in my head, of all the words that we ever said, my favorite's from me 'I love you'" it's impossible not to smile and the simple strumming that plays along with the refrain, "some days are better than others, but these days life is better with you" makes the song undeniably sweet.
"Earth From Outer Space" shows Franti's passion for pointing out that everyone is connected and that love is a universal emotion, while pointing out the complexities and simplicity of life with lines like "selling in the market places, dancing everywhere, would I see the ladies in the beauty parlor doing hair, and teenage soldiers with their guns up in the air, would I see a hit list of the species that are gone, or would I be a witness to the world dropping bombs, would I see the rainforest, Amazon, or would the whole world sing one song" and still manages to throw in a refrain about love, with "no matter where I go, I still come back to you".
"Closer to You" has an indie rock feel to it's intro and softly falls into a drum beat and a melody that swirls around the lyrics, only making the simple repetition of a line like "I don't wanna be your friend no more, I only wanna be your love... because I feel close to god when I'm closer to you" seem that much better as it weaves in and out of changing beats, adding only a few new lyric lines along the way. The lyrics are simple, but the composition gets the point across.
"Gangsta Girl" has the same reggae sound that was so prevalent on All Rebel Rockers and a good portion of The Sound of Sunshine and allows the listener to hear some of Franti's earlier sound, but with the type of lyrics he has only recently begun to gravitate towards, at the same time giving them a break from his songs that work to get across a wider (or deeper) message, before delving into "Show Me A Sign" which falls back on soft reggae rock and combines Franti's penchant for seamlessly mixing his political commentary with lyrics that continue to make a case for love.
"I Don't Wanna Go" slips back into that strong reggae beat that features a ragtime-y piano urgency with a refrain as cute as "I don't wanna go nowhere, unless I'm going with you" and the inclusion of a perfectly timed vocal chorus, something Franti has mastered over his last few albums.
"Do It For The Love" is just good. With a refrain that states "do it for the love, not for the money, not for the guns and not for the honeys, do it 'cause it makes you feel alive, do it for the love of it, do it for the smell of it, do it for the joy and the taste and the hell of it" and a fade out where Franti states "don't do it 'cause they told ya, don't do it 'cause they scold ya" I can't help but love the song and respect him even more than I already do.
"Let It Go" is gorgeous with a soft, steady beat, a simple guitar strumming pattern, a piano that chimes in at just the right moment, and (so many great) lines like "hey there broken daughter don't you know... we'll get you to the place to heal your soul", "don't let nobody tell you that you shouldn't be just who you are... listen to me my friend when I say that you're always in my heart, and though the days are dark sometimes you'll always be my shining star", and "if all the things that you stood for were burned to ashes at your door, would you stay and try some more? And what if all the love you gave was staring at you from the grave, would it make your heart explode" I absolutely adore this song (it makes me want to cry a little, but I love it completely). With a constant reminder to "just let it go, let your heart just go" I can't get over the absolutely beautiful perfection of this song.
"On and On" combines Franti's ever constant reggae rhythm with some down to earth lyrics and a bit of an alternative rock feel, creating something that only Franti & Spearhead could pull off. Stating that life is constantly moving forward and you can't go back, he manages to mention the memories in good light, making it sound more optimistic and less retrospective than most songs with this message do.
"Wherever You Are" carries on with the sweet lyrics and slowly swelling melodies heard in so many of his other songs, with a refrain that states "when I see your face, the whole world's erased and I know this place is my home... when you stare into the stars, you can be whoever you are, wherever you are" and a simple clapping back beat. It's sweet and simple.
"Say Goodbye" closes the album by heading back to some of the political commentary and rebel rock beat that was so central to Franti's musical beginnings. The emotion in his voice is heard clearly as he opens the song with "I wasn't born yesterday, but I remember, the way things used to be, I know that it was never perfect but we did not have the problems that we see, tell me why, what is the reason good people have to die" before he turns to lyrics (stated previously in the post) meant to make a mark that state "I keep hearing more and more that they're shooting teenagers in the street, sending children off to war, turned into fathers, their children never meet" and "I wish that I could lie, because a mother shouldn't have to say goodbye". It's a bittersweet song and makes a great ending to the album as a whole but, in contrast to songs like "Life Is Better With You" and "I'm Alive (Life Sounds Like)" it sounds an awful lot darker than it is.
With the inclusion of soft piano melodies, backing violins, songs that relied heavily on vocal chorus' to carry them forward, and the welcome (albeit, thankfully, slight) return of those 'politically charged' lyrics that we had a break from on the last album, Michael Franti & Spearhead's latest album, All People, manages to come out with a gorgeously upgraded sound and beautifully uplifting songs that work to point out problems in the world while maintaining the focus on, and need for, universal love. It's a weird mixture, but this group always pulls it off seamlessly, and I love them for it.