Like everyone who reads this blog i’m guessing you buy a lot of music. Probably, if it could possibly be so, too much music. I have a pretty good memory for roughly when and where I picked up most records from (or at least I can narrow it down to a country). I have this album though. ”Dream Ferret” by Laurie Bennett and the Models. It’s odd, but odd in a wonderfully British way. It sounds like it was recorded in someone’s front room and has the feel of Martin Newell album. I’m very keen on the opening track; “Swarm”. I’m simply putting this post out there on the off-chance anyone has any information on them.
I tend to get sent power pop albums because that’s what I like and the genre that I most connect with. The downside (and I use that term loosely because it’s not REALLY much of a downside is it) is that I have an inkling of how it’s going to sound before I put it on. Not so with this new album from Bevel Emboss. I’m thinking; why does this sound like something from a Tarantino Soundtrack? Then it clicked. A few months ago i’d been getting into Surfer Rock, or more specifically the sounds of Dick Dale who, as i’m sure you know, had his cover of the folk song ‘Misirlou’ as the opening to Pulp Fiction.
Let me lay my cards on the table here. This isnt’ a genre that i’m overly familiar with but I know for sure that when I put this record on it gets my blood pumping (and what more can you ask of any record?) In a few weeks i’m off to California and I can promise you that this album is getting played on the drive down to the beach. The sun will be shining, and every track will blast out as the perfect soundtrack to that day.
A happy, melodic, fist pumping start to a day. I thoroughly recommend it.
Official Website: http://www.bevelemboss.com
This album hit me from the first listen. It is instantly danceable, beat driven music. Add in the sorta quirky vocal style of Thad Cockrell, it really is something. This sounds like a fresh new band with bright eyed kids in their early 20′s…only these guys have been playing (separately) for years! That ends up giving the album a very polished, slick sound, that could easily slide into being overwrought and too earnest. In this case, it does quite the opposite, and manages to have a little bit of fun.
The instrumentation and arrangements are very interesting and engaging. You are sort of drawn into the songs, and just when you think you are getting bored, they turn it into a new direction, surprising the listener once again. This band really pushes the indie rock boundaries, by actually pushing to make something lasting, while being entertaining and unique. Keep it up fellas, you have a great formula!
When it comes to airy gentle indie pop, you can’t seem to go wrong with The Spinto Band. With their high-pitched vocals, dreamy soundscapes and themes of love and loss, they typify what it means to be an indie band. But if that turns you off, maybe stick with it a bit longer. There are real influences here that harken back to classic sixties pop, and a retro feel that is their own.
It is hard to pigeonhole this music, because it offers a unique approach to music that is interesting and beautiful.
If I had one complaint, it might be that it becomes a bit samey at times, it doesn’t seem to really want your attention, so fades to the background easily. But this could be a strength in some people’s eyes. All in all, I think it is an enjoyable, interesting record.
They are back! After over a decade, The Sun Sawed in ½ picks up right where they left off with a winning album, full of catchy hooks, those soaring vocals, and sounds fresh and new. I’ll admit, it took me a while to get into this band. I think I first heard of them on the Jellyfish mailing list, as a band to check out. I got their albums and while I liked a lot of it, some songs left me cold, and I never really got much further than a couple listens. What I realized listening to this new album was that when they do it right, they really get it right. There are songs on here that are almost perfect examples of great pop songwriting.
The lead-off track, “You’re The Something” hits hard with a rock edge that is undeniable, by the end of the song, you are all in, and ready for whatever they have to offer. The next two tracks are fantastic pop songs that you will be humming for the next week! The rest of the album keeps things going, never really letting up, then putting the cherry on top is the final track, “Waltzing in Clover”, which ends the album on a high note, leaving you wanting more. The album is a breezy listen, with lots to grab onto each time you put it on!
Elephants Into Swans is a well-produced, solid record. Here’s hoping The Sun Sawed in ½ are here to stay and will be bringing us great pop music for years to come. Check this album out and see some of the first golden pop nuggets of 2013!
A short-but-sweet rockin’ album from Jeff Shelton (Well Wishers), it asks the musical question, “Wanna Rock?!” Chock-full of fast-paced guitar driven rock/pop/glam, topped with the sweet vocal style we’ve come to love from Jeff. He is having fun on this record, at one point adopting a British accent! There is no time for reflection here, and while it does not have a lot of variety, who needs it? If you want a fun, bouncy, album with edge, this one’s for you!
An awesome album to start the year off with, this record has a lot going for it. The foundation of the music is firmly rooted in classic 70’s singer-songwriter pop. It’s your basic Andrew Gold, Gilbert O’Sullivan, Emmit Rhodes type of sound. It’s got lots of piano, clean acoustic guitar, drums, and throw in some horns and strings for good measure. If you love that sound, you will be into this record. A lot.
This album is the brainchild of Stephen Fox, someone I know nothing about, except he’s from Australia. What brought this to my attention was his recruitment of some of my favorite artists to play, sing, and produce the record. That’s Willie Wisely on Lead Vocals, bringing his laid back tenor to serve this material very well. On Background Vocals, we have Kelly Jones, and she sings lead on a great jazzy song “He’ll Never Know Me.” Producing and playing is Linus of Hollywood. A formidable pedigree if you ask me.
These contributors bring a lot to the project, but the real star here is the songs, with great, classic, “have I heard this before?” sounding melodies, and strong, interesting lyrics. These songs are often heartbreaking, each a story in itself. The themes go from lighter, universal love songs, to darker, personal lyrics of the type where if you aren’t paying attention, you might not even notice the darkness. Take “Killing Time”, a fun fast-paced sounding song, about a very dark topic. It took me 2 listens to suddenly “get” it!
Overall, it is a great record, which lovers of that classic pop sound will be attracted to. It is strong enough that it could convince some hard-headed music fans to dig in.