Thursday, September 27, 2012

Buika & Chucho Valdés - El Último Trago

Chucho Valdés is one of those names that's been tossed all around me since I can remember. He's an amazing pianist/composer for those many who don't know. Buika, however, only rang a bell. I did my research, and I last heard her sweet sounds while watching The Skin I Live In. Amazing memories of soulful vocals swayed back into my mind, and I quickly found where to listen to their collaborative album.

I knew what I was in for. Chucho's Cuban sounds and her smokey vocals would fit perfectly together, and after only a minute of listening to the album, I knew I was right.

What I wasn't sure to expect was such a high content of Bolero (think Latin equivalent to Blues). I just didn't think of it, but I heard it work as soon as it struck. Undeniable match made in music heaven.

The album does a great job of enticing the listener, giving you a taste of of what's to come while always changing the details. The very first song shows this, give it a listen.


Clear example of good song production right here. It starts the music, makes you wait for the obvious strike of her voice and when you get it it's a relief. Like a satisfied sigh, and from there it only gets better. Just wait until the piano solo in the middle of it all.

It's also great to acknowledge the details the piano pans out during her performance. It's a sexy, almost Tango-like effect that suits her voice quite well.

And for those curious what she sings of, the title of the track, Soledad, means solitude. That should be enough of a hint.

Album cover/art
Buy: CD | mp3
I can't say El Último Trago is a perfectly rounded album, because it's not. Buika and Chucho got together and played their strong points, which means they made a lot of those softer Bolero tracks. The genre defining bass and percussion are excellent, so it's nothing to worry about.

Of course, to aid all those tracks you've got details here and there. Sometimes small and delicate, and other times unexpected. It makes for a fun listen. What's important is that they don't overdo the Bolero sound and put songs in there like El Andariego or Luz de Luna (one of my favorites) to keep it fresh and exciting.

Overall anyone who loves that softer songs will definitely enjoy the album. There's much more than a handful of excellent musical arrangement for you, and I highly recommend giving it a listen.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Daniel Mustard - Fragments of Bone EP

I didn't think it'd happen so soon, but Mustard's EP came out yesterday and I gave it a listen as soon as I could. It was worth the re-positioning of my schedule.

I find it starts off a bit rocky with a live piano performance, but after that song strikes and we get The Last Time We Met you enter a new cycle and it's pretty easy to keep up with.

Most of the tracks on the album are just him and the guitar, but in the background occasionally you'll hear something else. Today's feature song shows some of that off.

Check out Same As The Old Me.


It starts off simple enough, but much like a whisper that's how it gets you to listen. Mustard (or 'd' as he's been calling himself online) has something to say, and he makes it real easy to listen.

The backing instruments are subtle but well played, it's a perfect effect having them transition right as he puts his pain into it. Smart move production wise.

As a singer I always knew he had character, but as a song-writer this guy is about as powerful as a flower's symbolism. A great set of traits to have.

Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
The rest of the tracks are easily as memorable, except for me maybe that first track which I really think deserved the last spot on the album as something different. I would've enjoyed it much more.

On this 6 track EP, D Mustard shows he's got a flare for melodies, harmonies, and writing in such a way that it compliments his abilities. In Vanity Plate you can even hear him hold a note, a beautiful thing to hear against the roughness of his voice.

The only complaint I've got is not being able to hear the Creep cover online. You can't hear or buy it alone, you need to buy the entire EP (in either digital, CD, or vinyl formats) before you get a listen. I assume this means it's his well known Opie & Anthony version, and I look forward to finding out soon.

For it's short running time and quality production, I think this is a great little EP. For the talent put forth, if he really dedicates himself to it he could pull off an entire album, so give this a listen before he gets there. Acquaint yourself with him. He deserves to be that next big thing.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

John Brown's Body - JBB in Dub

I'll admit I hadn't heard John Brown's Body's Reggae before, but the news of the new release struck and I gave it a listen.

It's 7 tracks long with all but one of them being instrumental. That's not really a bad thing, but one of my favorites still ended up being the vocal track.

It's an easier listen too, so give The Grass a shot.


The bass strikes immediately (like it should on just about any good Reggae song), but it's the surfy guitar and the spacey details that make the song in the end.

The vocals are clear enough, the lyrics are as deep as you're willing to listen to, and there's a sax solo. You can't go wrong with a sax solo, I'm sorry.

The actual music gets a bit repetitive if you're not paying attention to the details. Even if you're not they're there making it tolerable, and that's what makes the rest of the album pretty chill.

Album cover/art
Buy: mp3
The cover may scream 90's, but the future space sounds involved in the album say otherwise. No huge wooshy sci-fi effects or anything, but the keys and the details work awesomely.

That all being said, it won't be an easy listen for just anyone. Maybe if the rest of the tracks had lyrics, but since they don't it's best as background music or something to be extremely focused on.

Those who focus will reap the rewards, but it's a harder listen. If you're curious to see what the tracks are like, give The Generals Ambush or Ring of Berlin a listen.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Unofficial Alternate FIFA '12 Playlist - D4AM.net

In celebration of recent domain name changes, I'm doing something a little different than usual. Not many know this, but before I got heavy into music blogging my hobby was making playlists. It's a love I've had less time to dedicate to.

A few weeks ago my brother a client informed me that you could make a playlist for the FIFA 12 video game. This is big because anyone who plays FIFA at all will know that their music gets old fast. I took some spare time, dedicated all of 3 or 4 hours to putting it together, and I'm posting the result here today after some weeks of testing.

Having previously studied their other playlists, I knew what to do to still give it that essential FIFA sound. I needed songs that would be immediately catchy, clean, international, and of various genres but lots of Indie. I ditched the cleanliness of the tracks, but we'll fix that later if need be.

The end result:

Playlist Art/Cover
Listen at: Grooveshark | Youtube
Booklet
The Grooveshark link is short 3 songs, they're Kae's Special, Bios' remix for heRobust's Shawty Swing My Way, and sami.the.great's Dresser Drawer. They're all on the Youtube playlist though.

It's not perfect, but it's great for anyone tired of their FIFA playlist getting on their nerves. There's a few tracks from previous FIFA's (1977, My Friend Dario), some songs with age in them (not common at all for a FIFA playlist), and some EDM songs to take it to that future direction I found EA has been aiming for (like 12's No Problem by Chase & Status).

I managed to squeeze in some international tracks too, I did best I could with such a short time. The song locations range from USA, England, Australia, Denmark, Brazil, France, Chile, Puerto Rico, and Spain, and that's just as far as I know.

The whole playlist below, with their respective buy/free download links:
  • I Got This Down | Simian Mobile Disco (buy)
  • Cyclone | Dub Pistols (buy)
  • My Friend Dario | Vitalic (buy)
  • If We Ever | David Guetta ft. Makeba (oops)
  • Despues De... | SFDK (buy)
  • Eanie Meany | Jim Noir (buy)
  • Kiss My Lips | Borgore ft. Dev (free download)
  • Marka | Dub Phizix & Skeptical ft. Strategy (buy)
  • Não Sei Viver Sem Ter Você | CPM22 (buy)
  • Never Take Friendship Personal | Anberlin (buy)
  • Nightcall | Kavinsky ft. Lovefoxxx (buy)
  • Strange Brew | Cream (buy)
  • Water of Life | Brock Berrigan (buy)
  • Disparate Youth | Santigold (buy)
  • Dresser Drawer | sami.the.great (free download)
  • Self Esteem | Andrew Jackson Jihad (buy)
  • 1977 | Ana Tijoux (buy)
  • 212 | Azealia Banks ft Lazy Jay (buy)
  • Furry Walls | Infant Sorrow (buy)
  • IDGAF | Watsky (name your price)
  • Ni Fu Ni Fa | Tego Calderón (buy)
  • Haunting Melodies (The Killabits Remix) | The S (free download)
  • Love Me Two Times | The Doors (buy)
  • Lucidity | Tame Impala (buy)
  • Needing/Getting | OK Go (buy)
  • Special | Kae (free download)
  • The Leibniz Language | Le Butcherettes (buy)
  • Eres | Café Tacvba (buy)
  • News 4 U | Fitz & the Tantrums (buy)
  • On 'n' On | Justice ft. Morgan Phalen (buy)
  • Harlem Shake | Baauer (buy)
  • Latin Girls | Black Eyed Peas (buy)
  • Latinoamérica | Calle 13 (buy)
  • That Girl | Kid Cudi (oops)
  • Rock The House | Gorillaz (buy)
  • Teach Me How to Camelot | Thriftworks (name your price)
  • Calabria | Enur ft. Natasja (buy)
  • Come Together Good | DJ LK (Beatles and Amy Winehouse) (free download)
  • Shawty Swing My Way (Bios Nu Juke Swing Remix) | heRobust (was free)
  • You Can Do It | Ice Cube ft. Mack 10 & Ms. Toi (buy)
I have the alternates for the explicit tracks too. Despues De... by SFDK can be switched to the instrumental.  Andrew Jackson Jihad's Self Esteem gets dropped completely. 212 by Azealia Banks can be switched to Lazy Jay's Float My Boat. Watsky's IDGAF can be switched to his Who's Been Loving You. BEP's Latin Girls gets dropped completely. Ice Cube's You Can Do It just gets cleaned.

The only change above I don't recommend is Watsky's IDGAF. Apparently that song gives you the proper stress relief for a competitive video game. It's also insanely catchy. Just the same, that one and 212 are the only tracks I wouldn't want a 3 year-old listening to.

Of course this playlist isn't only for the FIFA video games. It's good for any game that could use some fresh catchy music, and that will include the soon release for FIFA '13.

And finally, I didn't find all this music on my own. A few of the tracks featured are thanks to Sub Radar and Electric Addict. Thanks guys.

Enjoy.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

alt-J - An Awesome Wave

These guys have made their US release a couple of days ago, and having already heard nice things about them, I gave them a listen.

Love is a strong word, so let's say I grew infatuated. The recent mood might have something to do with it, but the talent is obvious. The aim is a relaxed approach at deep thinking combined with a very alternative Pop.

Tessellate is one of their sound defining tracks, with influences and ideas coming from way too many directions to count. Give it a listen.


This one is definitely one of the more generic tracks on the album. Now you just keep that in mind as you listen to those lyrics and try to decipher what it means. It's gonna take a few minutes.

Needless to say the lyrics are quality, but after a single listen I couldn't understand that and instead enjoyed them for other reasons.

The vocal melodies are beautiful, the instruments compete. The percussion, especially on this track, also does a fine job of over-complicating something simple and creating an amazing sound regardless.

They take little risks here and there that could easily go wrong but did everything in their favor instead, and that's what could set these guys apart from the rest real quick.

Album art/cover
Buy: CD | mp3 | Vinyl
An Awesome Wave is their debut album, and it's exactly what a debut album should be. You don't even need to finish the album to know if you're gonna be a fan or not, which is a strong approach that newcomers should use more often.

It comes on strong, and it's complicated. So complicated, that on the Soundcloud stream for the album they took the time to explain what every song worth mentioning was about. That's just about every track; by the way.

The diversity in song inspiration ranges from children's books to Léon: The Professional and everything in between. The stream will be worth it for their explanations if nothing more.

Now the rest of their Soundcloud has even more music, so be sure to check that out after you're done repeating An Awesome Wave.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Menomena - Moms

Menomena is one of those bands I should listen to more often. They're not that stunning band that always comes back with a twist strong enough to gut you, but they're pretty consistent with their quality. They do what they do and it sounds good just because it's them.

Yesterday I took the time to listen to their newest release. I wasn't expecting to be disappointed, and I wasn't. The talent is strong, especially on the lyrics. It's when the music quality catches you off guard that made me fall in love with the release.

One of my favorite tracks on the album is Skintercourse. I find the strings overall to be solid, tie that together with the solid lyrics and you get something special. Give it a listen.


The lyrics start strong, cliche as they may be, but they're well displayed. They don't go into the sappy teenage niche like they easily could have. Follow that with the increasing volume of the strings for a complete sound.

The emotion in the vocals is also impressive if you manage to notice. He sounds sad at first, but that goes hidden with the music. Considering what they're talking about is usually a hidden emotion, I thought it was a clever way of expressing something honest.

The song stands on its own. I find it well rounded, catchy, but not too Indie either. It's upbeat but not Pop-y, deep but not cheesy, and talented but not overdone. Which is exactly what I found the album to be.

Album cover/art
Buy: CD | mp3 | Vinyl
The song above is one of my favorites on their recent Moms LP, but just about every track has its spark. Depending on the listener, there's songs with stronger lyrics, stronger subjects, or a slightly different musical focus.

Honestly, after hearing the first track, Plumage, I was expecting an entirely different experience. It just started sounding like one of those albums where you only listen to a selection of the tracks, and that's just not the case.

Sure, some songs are a bit weaker depending on your musical standpoint, but unless you dislike their voices, the simplicity of their music, or just this kind of Rock, the album will definitely be worth a listen.

I think it best sets a working mood, most of the songs are upbeat, but often serious. They don't need to be too happy but they can also be serious. All except for the last track which sounds sad, but that 10 minute masterpiece ties the whole thing together and makes it a recognizable album. For me, anyway.

If you're curious, Barsuk Records have been kind enough to stream the whole album for free on Soundcloud. Give that a listen.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Jed and Lucia - It's a Wonder

My mood for relaxed melodies and gentle beats goes on. I found this lovely little Psychedelic Folk duo and really latched on to their Experimental side.

They manage to keep enough going on that the base of their gliding music barely has it in it to put you to sleep. Soft and intriguing, but not a lullaby.

Give them a well deserved listen.


It starts with that experimental side, and this is the first track to the EP. It's risky, and it takes them a little bit beyond the 30 seconds to turn into something listenable. After that, it becomes pretty catchy.

Reminds me just a little bit of Reggae. It's a similar vibe with the timed strums and relaxed feel, but the differences are too much. I like what they came up with.

 And if you like it too, the track's a free download. Go take it.

Album Art/Cover
Sream/Buy @ Bandcamp
The rest of the EP is gonna cost you a mere $5, I'm considering it myself. Still not too sure, but the sounds are unique.

The problem for me is that the momentum keeps rising for the first few tracks, and then it slumps back to something normal. After that you've got your remixes, which are good, but you just wanna see if the duo can do something else. Something just as different and just as exciting or happy.

There's also the twist at the end where they play a cover of Skrillex's Scary Monster and Nice Sprites. They do a really good job too, which earns them a bit more respect.

They're worth checking out, and they won't take too much of your time. If you enjoy them though, there's a nice lengthy discography you can keep your ears on. Might be worth it too.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Rodrigo y Gabriela - Live: Manchester and Dublin

Yesterday was one of those days where I needed rest. I think everyone can relate to not being able to tolerate a simple House thump, or any percussion if it's too strong. I stepped away from my usual audio love, and headed somewhere with nice acoustics playing in the background.

Now, suddenly relaxing, I heard this amazing cover of Metallica's One. I heard that amazing technique and figured these guys sounded a lot like Rodrigo and Gabriela, but "since I've heard all their albums, it can't be them."

Previously I'd heard all of the guitar duo's studio albums.. so when I found this little live recorded gem I rejoiced. The Metallica fans should enjoy this one, as well as anyone who can admire a good acoustic guitar.

Enjoy One/Take Five.


Now there's the initial beauty of the acoustics, but when you realize the detail put into making this sound the way it should, complicated, tragic, and beautiful, that's when you start appreciating what they've been doing.

It's hard enough for anyone to cover the song. It's doable, but usually forgettable. And these guys using only their guitars managed to grasp the melodic, as well as the darkness and the stress.

And of course, since it's live, they somehow slipped Paul Desmond's Take Five in there. The audience laughs, but they soon realize its genius.

Of course, if you don't like the Jazz excerpt, at the end of the album there's a lovely version with violins and sweet vocals.

Album cover/art
Buy: CD
Hearing them Live at Manchester and Dublin has only strengthened my wish to see these two perform in person some day. It's already too late for something like this though, they have enough of their own top notch music and don't need to borrow riffs.

The album is really fun for Metallica fans. The more hardcore the better, because there's some pretty obscure references. As long as you get them though, on your way through the listen there will be several aha! moments. It's interesting.

Even though half the album is full of those references, there's also a few nods towards some Tango, Brazilian, and some future songs that still hadn't been completely developed. It's extremely interest for the Rod y Gab fans as a whole.

The first half of the album was recorded in Manchester and has a more active and playful audience, but the second half from Dublin is where the violins kick in. They don't need them, but they make the entire listen quite tolerable. Much easier to down than just constant Metallica mentions and guitars.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Delicate Steve - Positive Force

There's a small puddle of music related emails where I like to occasionally take a dip and hope for something different. Then I find stuff like today's digitally distorted guitar whines and I get happy that something that different is still possible.

It won't be for everyone. It takes a while to say it's okay to chipmonk-voice a guitar, but you end up realizing he does it well.

Today's track is nice and elaborate, it'll show you he's capable of diversity but it's up to you afterwards to give the rest of his sounds a shot.

Give Wally Wilder a listen.

Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp

It's different, and if you're in the right mood for it it can be genius. The intro alone should catch you, and if it doesn't I can not guarantee you'll enjoy the rest of the track. The same base, the guitar, is what's used all throughout.

Though there is something oddly Disney-like in it for me. Reminds me of The Lion King personally, probably because of the jumpy playful bass and percussion.

Not all of the album will be as playful as this track, but it will be pretty happy for the most part. A bit too happy for some, but in that case give it a shot later. It might be worth it.

Album Cover/Art
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
At first I thought the Positive Force sound would grow old quick, maybe 15 minutes of this before I gave up on the album. That wasn't the case, but in all fairness I was also in a good mood. The music suited the happy feelings.

There's never really any lyrics, just what I believe is DS's layered vocals in an angelic chorus. It usually fits more than well, and I think lyrics would water down the stories.

If you liked today's track you should for sure check out the stream under the album cover. If you want something to grow attached to, his 2011 single Many Moods is up for free download. A bit hectic, but some people like that.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Daniel Mustard - The Last Time We Met (Free Download)

Usually when people mention Radiohead, eventually Creep gets mentioned. And usually, when Creep gets mentioned, I mention Mustard.

His cover of the song has been my favorite version for a couple of years now, I still go back to Youtube every once in a while to hear it out or share it with someone who'll appreciate it. And now, if I understand his hints correctly, he's gonna work on bringing that cover to an EP. Yes.

Unfortunately for me, I got the memo late and wasn't able to spread the word on his kickstarter on time. The project is funded though, and he is now going to deliver something beyond special. I really think he's gonna get that creep cover on it too..

For now we're left with a single track, The Last Time We Met. Much like on any other Dan Mustard track, his voice shows his soul. It's a beautiful experience if you're open to the imperfections.

Give it a listen.



This song is exactly what I was expecting/hoping for when I clicked play. Raw Mustard. A silky clean voice emerging out of the graspy rubble. The lyrics go well with his style, and while the guitar isn't the most elaborate, it's decent. It's company.

In that video more than ever he looks like he should be in a Heavy Metal band, but seeing the direction of this song and some older ones, I'm glad he's not. His voice would definitely work for it but.. no. There's something special about these softer songs.

And oh yeah, if you like this track you can have it for free while you wait for the album.


It's good to keep you from mauling off his face for not doing this sooner, but it's also a terrible tease and I really want that EP to come out already. I'm just lucky I'm a patient person.

Album art might look like this
I'm excited for his upcoming Fragments of Bone EP. Sure, it's just an EP, but this is gonna be where we find out if he's best served at well timed intervals or if he could maybe hold his own at a full length album.

You can rest assured I'll be writing about it soon after the release, I'll be keeping an eye on his projects now that he's more organized.

And speaking of organized, I couldn't find it a year ago but I was able to find his self titled debut EP on Bandcamp earlier today. It's got a few gems and a free track, so go check that out if you need more Mustard.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Monophonics - In Your Brain

I just happened to find myself some Psychedelic Soul Funk earlier, so naturally I'm very happy. Monophonics are a nice easy going band that decided to take vintage sounds and combine it with the beauty of the future. They keep things pretty traditional, but you can hear the influences of the current era and that's what makes them a worthy listen.

One of my favorite tracks on the album, Say You Love Me, is a bit slower, but it's got some nice details going on. The vocals suit it well, and it's complicated without going over the top.

It's not the easiest to dance to, but it leaves an impression. Give it a listen.


It might start off a little wobbly, but you grow into it quickly. The pace, the bass, and the lonely vocals are what pull this song together initially, but it's the musical composition I like.

Sure, it's not perfect, but for what they're going for they managed to make a pretty great track. A tiny bit repetitive at times, but the constant pull of new instruments really manages to keep the attention.

The rest of the album works really well with the track you hear, so if you like it you should consider it. I do warn however, that the album can get a bit stale if you're not really in the mood for their Soul/Funk hybrid.

Album Art/Cover
Buy: CD | mp3 | Vinyl
In Your Brain is the first I've heard from the band, and while I enjoyed it very much, I didn't fall in love. It was missing something, maybe a bit more originality or better vocal range.

From the very beginning we get a nice quick feel for the album, a pure Psychedelic piece for an intro and a complete combination of everything they have to offer all within the first 10 minutes or so. It's impressive.

There's also nods to their influences, like Sly and the Family Stone's album/Monophonics' single There's a Riot Goin' On. Go ahead and give that one a listen for a better grasp of the album.

And I just have to mention their Bang Bang cover. I prefer theirs to Cher's original, but I'm still not ready to give up Nancy Sinatra's genius version. It's still a pretty sweet version, and a nice addition to the album's overall sound. It's worth giving it a listen.

Monday, September 10, 2012

sami.the.great - Dresser Drawer (Free Download)

I've been meaning to listen to sami.the.great's self titled album ever since I heard her Nothing Left to See EP, but it's been difficult with the whole being-unknown thing. I managed to listen to half of it, but the other songs can only be heard via preview.

It's been so long though that I stopped caring, I listened to the first available half, and whatever previews were left. I'd love to see her live and get a better feel though, but for now I've got a few gems to tide me over.

Today's track has got a stronger Indie feel than my previous feature, and hence will be really catchy and slightly mesmerizing. Give Dresser Drawer a listen.

Free Download/Stream @ Bandcamp

Her voice doesn't change much. She's got more range than what's shown here but that's fine, she knows she shouldn't overuse it and it suits her style.

Normally a problem I have with Indie songs is that they're repetitive and they stay put, but with Sami's recent string of songs there seems to be a bit more effort going into the composition. Still repetitive, still sinfully catchy, but it doesn't feel as generic to me.

It's these simple qualities that make her stand out a bit. What I could hear of the album was nice, but I also wonder if the second half has the guts to stray away a little.

Album Cover/Art
Buy: CD | mp3
The album starts well, and it doesn't take long to figure out that this one likes the romance/heart break songs. What stops her from being boring is her style. You can hear the same story over and over again elsewhere, but when someone says it differently you'll remember. A good quality to have.

That doesn't mean it doesn't get cliche, and for all I know it might be, but I have a feeling she manages to keep fresh. If you're feeling curious, give her a listen at ReverbNation

And if her voice really caught you, there's some acoustic versions of 3 of the album's songs and they might be to your liking. They're Acrobat and Making Eyes, the tracks are name your price (optionally free) and brought to you by Handsome Lady Records.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

All the Empires of the World - Old Gods, Old Worlds, Old Wounds (Free Download)

It's been a while since I've heard these guys, and when I went back to check on them I found they'd released a new album this year. Having become closer to the Post-Rock genre, I decided to give the new stuff a listen.

I feel like there may be a need for more Post-acquaintance before I can start loving the album, but for now much like last time, any Post-Rock lovers should take the positive I say and multiply it by about 5.

Today's track features the guitar, mostly, with a bit of white noise in the distant background to make it feel all lonely. The Post might be harder to notice, but this is a defining moment in the album.

Give The Lovers a listen.


The song is short and feels like the right thing going wrong, but ending in a somewhat happy place. Maybe just content that it almost went right.

It's that feeling of "almost" that keeps popping up in the album. The first few tracks are just suspenseful, and then a track like this one comes along and almost gives you hope. That is, right before the melancholy ending and the switch in song pace immediately following.

In the end the album is pretty much a depressing piece of work. Significantly more Post than The Lovers, and though they define themselves as Post Metal, or even Doom Metal, I think Post Rock suits them better.

Album Cover/Art
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
Old Gods, Old Worlds, Old Wounds is, as far as I understand, their third release. Just like each past one, the album is yours free of charge. This one via the above link. Go click it!

It starts off odd and scary. It feels like being trapped at the bottom of a particularly murky well with little hope for escape. Overall depressing feeling showed off in a very Ambient kind of Post Rock. It's interesting, but after 10 minutes of this I needed a break (granted, I was in a happy mood).

A couple of tracks later and you understand why that was done. This is one complete album and though the songs have their own meanings, as a piece in its entirety it's made to evoke something in you. It's very strong.

And if it seems a little too sad, I can let you know that it has a happy ending. I wouldn't have seen it coming, but with a title like Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt, it's just a bit hard to ignore.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Walter Spencer - Red Romance

Stumbling across some southern, Bluegrass-y Folk-ish albums I managed to find Walter Spencer. Someone who thanks to a few gems, isn't getting forgotten by next Monday.

He's not perfect. The music isn't really catchy or very elaborate, but it holds its own. This guy relies almost exclusively on his voice and lyrics. It's a bold move when you can make it work, and in his case I think he does alright.

One of my preferred tracks is a duet with some mysterious angel-voiced woman. It's titled Now That You're Gone and is gonna be about as sad as it sounds, though maybe with an unexpected jagged edge.

Give it a listen.


It's a bit unfair that the female vocals are on here giving the track that extra oomph, but I also think it's one of the most valuable tracks on the album so I'm featuring it anyway.

You just gotta give it a little bit to see the magic of it. His voice is far from smooth, and you can barely feel emotion at first, but as the meaning of the song starts to roll through it makes sense. It's an unusual feeling, but it makes the track special. If ever so slightly.

If you enjoyed the song, the album might be worth looking into. Though, it's necessary to admit that not all of it is as serious as today's track.

Album Art/Cover
Buy @ Amazon
The overall tone for Red Romance is a sad kind of cheerful. The occasional joke weighed out against the often too serious material just leaves an odd feeling that I'm not sure many will be ready for. A perfect example of this is the title track.

I wouldn't say it's a bad album, it just takes an open mind. I can enjoy it, but I'm not quite where I need to be to praise it for its differences. At least I can see them there, though.

If you could enjoy the tracks mentioned today and think you have that open mind, I definitely recommend the album. But I still think it's best heard live with a few beers in the system at a small pub.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Effloresce - Coma Ghosts

I just happened to stumble across this nice talented little Progressive Metal band from Germany, and it reignited some of that Prog Rock love I've had buried inside of me. It's a nice feeling that reminds me of when I was just starting to understand complicated music.

Today's track features most of what the album provides, so naturally it's 10 minutes long and is as elaborate as one would hope for the genre.

Give Spectre Pt. I: Zorya's Dawn a listen.

Alt Link/Buy @ Bandcamp

It starts with that one defining heavy riff. It's a bit overused throughout the song in my opinion, but it sets the mood well enough that it's a surprise when it gets yanked away.

Then the vocals will kick in. She has potential, but she eases on the first verse. After she screeches, her voice get's more angelic, airier. It fits better as the music goes on, and that definitely does the track well.

By the time the flute hits you it's just another shocker, seemingly completely out of place but blending really well. It's just an extremely decent Prog piece, and there's a few other gems on their album to look out for if this one caught your eye.

Album Cover/Art
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
Coma Ghosts is their debut album, and it's one that really needs a listen before you can judge it. The first track on the album is possibly my least favorite, and slowly but surely they just keep getting better and better.

Aside from a rough start, the album is a great starting point for the band. Today's track sparks life early on, and leaves you waiting for something bigger. Something they actually pull off.

I really enjoyed Swimming through Deserts as a change in the album. It was a sway in a different direction and it was refreshing. Follow that with my favorite track, Shuteye Wanderer, and you've got an amazing ending to a suddenly recommendable album. Granted, it's 16 minutes long, but the feeling placed into that one beautiful Prog piece really took a piece of me with it.

It's far from a perfect album, but it's worth a shot if you enjoy Prog Metal and don't mind the occasional Death Metal growls.

If you find the album too short, there's an EP waiting for you too.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Walter Daniels & Guadalupe Plata

I was listening to these Guadalupe Plata guys all day yesterday. A nice smooth Blues/Punk band from Spain, my ears were happy.

Today's post will have their newest collection of covers featuring Walter Daniels, a man most well known for incorporating the harmonica where one wouldn't think to add it. It's interesting on his stuff, and it works just fine with Guadalupe Plata.

The feature track of the day is She's Gone, a Hound Dog Taylor cover. Give it a listen.


Now while this may not be a perfect cover, I find it a bit hard to argue if it's any worse than the original. It's different. Walter's dark, mechanic vocals paired with the slightly creepy harmonica give it another feel. Almost angry. Almost.

If you're a fan of the dark Blues Rock thing going on, the rest of the album will be worth it. Half of it has the harmonica, the other half is just his vocals with GP settling away at the background. It's just a pity it's so short.

Album Cover/Art
Stream/Download @ Bandcamp
At just 4 songs, they sure did manage to get some interesting diversity in there. There's the above Hound Dog Taylor (Blues), The Gun Club (Blues-Punk), Frankie Lee Sims (Electric Blues), and even Suicide (Electronic Protopunk) which still manages to shock me a bit.

It's short and it's worth a listen, if you enjoyed today's track I'd give it a few minutes of your time. It's a name-your-price so you can grab it for free, but any and all profits will be donated to Girls Rock Austin.

Alternatively, if you liked it, still want free music, and don't wan't to feel like a douche for not donating, check the rest of GP's Bandcamp out. Everything else is a free download, and personally I like it better. I'm sure I'll be writing about their other albums in the future.

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