Monday, April 29, 2013

NinthWave Records merges with BuGoudi House

For Immediate Release
Effective May 15th 2013

NinthWave Records, a ten year strong imprint supporting a number of artists and music genres, will be owned and operated by Amy Goudy under the BuGoudi House umbrella. Additionally Goudy is launching Forever FC Music Group, Angel Chord Records, DCCIV and SR Branding. BuGoudi House, originally founded on 2012 as an artist management company, will continue to operate supporting artist management and will expand to provide promotional and event planning services for tours and performances. Representing the Forever FC collective of Lute, Schyler, Jimmy Kelso and Ry as well as Shome, Mullah Mugzie in the hip hop arena and Taryn Hendrix, vocalist and model, BuGoudi House operates with the intention of allowing it’s clients to manage the creative aspects of their careers while providing a solid business support structure. With the addition / expansion artists will have a full service entertainment company to include management, distribution, merchandising, and branding (PR and marketing).

NinthWave Records, established in 2001 as an offshoot of Lexicon Magazine (RIP), is an independent record company specializing in electropop with a vast catalog of releases (over 150 projects currently available on Amazon and/or iTunes) by acts ranging from Ganymede and Empire State Human to NASA and Spray. Songs put out by NinthWave have been used in video games (such as Dance Dance Revolution) and TV shows (like “True Blood”). NinthWave’s Heaven 17 single, “Hands Up to Heaven,” even reached No. 6 on Billboard Magazine’s US Club Play Chart. Recently, the label has helped send Welsh sister act Electrovamp back to the dance floor (with YouTube sensation Keenan Cahill in tow), re-launched the recording career of New Wave chameleon Nathalie Archangel, released cabaret star-turned-synthpopper Kim Smith’s debut single and branched out into rap (with up-’n’-comer Brandon Lee) and Moombahton (with a series of compilations). With the input from original ownership, contributors and consultants NinthWave will continue to support all 10+ existing acts, and intends to expand to continue the mission of providing a nurturing and supportive environment for upcoming artists in the “club” music arena…regardless of genre.

Forever FC Music Group is the natural next progression for the Forever FC Collective.. Forever FC MG will be releasing each of the collective artists as solo entities as well as potential collaborations. Additionally there will be opportunities for artist development with in the Hip Hop and R&B genres for other acts beyond the original four.

Angel Chord Records is a new imprint with the objective of pursuing upbeat Christian Contemporary
music. Giving artists the opportunity to reach a mainstream audience without having to compromise their morals, values or personal mission.

DCCIV, (704 in roman numerals) was originally founded to introduce the “Charlotte” specific clothing as represented by Forever FC members. The division will be expanding to include tour and fan merchandise as well as higher end limited edition items. .

Finally, in collaboration with Saloan Rochelle, BuGoudi House will be incubating SR Branding,
which provides PR, branding, marketing and social media support. Some of SR Branding’s services are photography, web design, graphics support (lyric videos, album/project covers etc.). The branding strategy will stretch across all divisions and will work collaboratively with artist / genre / label PR and marketing teams.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Vare - Letterbox

Indie-Pop music tends to get a bad rap these days.  It's all Cage the Elephant and Arcade Fire versus Phoenix and Kings of Leon. But what happens if you introduce more of a melodic influence?  What happens if you don't rely on overly complicated guitar riffs and typical lyrics and basic musical progression?  If you have a dichotomy of what could be considered hard and soft then you have an entire new animal at your disposal.  If you do something as simple as add a piano to the mix, then the music takes on a totally different direction.  If you have harmonies and backing vocals that fill out the sound then you've created an evolution of the sound.

The Vare are a new band from Montreal consisting of Mikey Desjardins (Vocals, Guitar, Drums), Gabriel Dennis (Drums, Vocals, Piano), Jeffrey Lauber (bass, guitar) and Lucas Liberatore (guitar, bass, piano, vocals).  They've only been together for a short time but with their combined experience they have created a lush that's atmospheric and fully realized.  You can hear so many nuances almost like they just reached into so many different genres and plucked out all the best parts.  They have an incredible pianist that elevates the sound without question and I think that's one of the many aspects that sets them apart, the prevalence of the piano.  But you also can't discount the guitar riffs and the amazing work the guys have put in.  Leading it all, however is a vocalist that never once gets lost or overtaken by the melody.  He is in control and easily steers this ship.

This EP isn't unfinished.  It's not incomplete.  So many times you have albums that are dropped into this category and you listen to them and they sound like a craft project or something a hobbiest would do at home.  It's got a polish on it that seasoned producers fail to achieve.  It's laid out incredibly and each song is placed exactly where it needs to be.  That's something that always amazes me, how tracks are placed on an album.  It can either ruin the flow or it can just let you easily move from one track to another.

I think the most incredible thing they did was start with "The Way You Were" because it comes out with the piano leading the way.  It sets them apart from so many other groups because it creates a whole new tone and feel.  I came for the piano but stayed for everything else that is amazing about this group.

"Body Heat" is next and it's got a funky beat that just drives the song forward.  The percussion is incredible and it's intricate without being obnoxious.  Between it and the guitar on this track, they almost outshine the vocals but   they stay evenly matched.

The easiness of "Mistakes" makes the perfect spot in the 3rd position.  It's a Sunday afternoon with the top down kind of vibe even though the lyrics are a bit heavier than that.  Mikey does an incredible job on this track and I think it's probably on the top for me.

But from here, we don't sit too long before moving into "Coat the Clocks" which is a brilliant track that showcases so many things they do so right.  It's dreamy and it does this great thing toward the end that punctuates the song that is the epitome of the mixture of light and dark that I mentioned earlier.

Bringing the piano back into the mix with an almost syncopated rhythm on the drums, "Foreign Way" is the perfect platform for a dynamite vocal delivery.  It has this feel to it that is just kind of ambient and easy.  But Mikey's haunting delivery on this track is the star.  It just sits with you and has this resonate feel that sticks.

And that brings us to the last and title song on the EP.  "Letterbox" is this crazy awesome song that you have to close your eyes and just be present in the moment with it (I don't recommend doing that in the car).  This song gives you all the feels.  It is a gorgeous track that is the right length, it's the right production and it's the right way to end the album.  It's lonely and it's longing and it's just this sigh at the end of a deeply emotional journey.

I think that they have created an album that is an amazing foundation for an incredible career in front of them.   With everything they've put into this, I see great things for them.  Listen to the tracks on Bandcamp and Youtube and get ready for the release of this EP on May 4, 2013.

The Vare on the Web

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Meet Sam Lewis

When you listen to music, you hear the vocal; then you hear the melody or vice versa but it's not until you spend a bit of time with a new song that you actually start listening to what the words are.  To what the artist is saying.  It's at that point that you get to know that person a little bit more and you are able to connect with them on a deeper level.  When the song is written by a songwriter, it's not the artist I connect with but the lyricist.  That songwriter can give that track to a million different people and they are all going to put their own spin on it, but it's still his/her lyrics they are singing.  It's his emotion they are emoting.  So as great as it's sung without the words to sing there isn't anything there.  

Today, I was fortunate enough to be introduced to a new artist.  Someone that plays with words and puts them together in such a fashion that they are able to make me feel things.  Whether those things are joyous or maudlin; spirited or melancholy - it's the person first putting pen to paper that gets the ball rolling and today, I got to know a little bit about an incredible man from Codicote, Hertfordshire (that's in England btw).  Sam Lewis is a selfless man because if you listen to the cover songs on his Youtube or his SoundCloud, he has the ability to shine as a vocalist all on his own.  He has several , but for whatever reason - he chooses to stay in the background.  

The songs featured in his "Songwriter/Producer" set on SoundCloud are crazy.  Each of the three are so great.  I am just floored at his talent.  They are all so different and unique and show off different facets of his personality.  They have to because each artist puts a piece of them in the songs.  

The Simple Things
Kai Addams kicks off the set with a power pop track with one of the most solid productions I think I've ever heard.  Every bit of it fits together perfectly and makes me want to blast it with the top down on a sunny summer afternoon.  The only thing that would make it better would be a remix featuring Tinchy Strider or Dizzie Rascal in the middle eight.  Showing off a bit of the hard and soft of a track that already has a killer amount of edge to it.  It's not Britney or Christina.  It's something totally new.  It's more Sophie Ellis-Bextor but with a bit of smoky-ness added just for good nature.

"Can we make it til morning or are we ships in the night"
This song is criminal.  The bassline and the guitar are slinky and sexy and the harmonies are spot on.  The overall level of funk on this song is bananas.  You just sink into it and groove.  I don't know what it is about the completed package but Alex Bay on vocal duties delivers this song like no one else could.  Listen to the words though. Tell me they aren't inspired.

Work, Work, Work
Damnit if this song doesn't get you off your ass and moving, nothing will.  Sophia-Marie on vocals has enough energy and sugary sweetness to make this song something that you can't help smile and have a great time to.  Tweens everywhere should be blasting this at the top of their speakers and doing the jitterbug or the jive.  How can this song not be amazing.  It is 2:53 of pure bubblegum pop realness.  It would fit right next to a 40s USO show or in the next great Disney movie.  Two thumbs energetically up in the air.

If these three songs are any indication as to what he is capable of doing, then this man is bordering on creative genius.  I can't really express how cool these tracks are.  I want to hear more from Mr. Sam Lewis. I want him to be a megastar, whether that be as a writer or a pop star because he has the talent to do both.  I want more because he is going to make a change in the industry somewhere or somehow.  I just have this feeling.

Sam on the Web
Twitter: @samlewismusic

Friday, April 19, 2013

City Rain - All The Time (Demo)

This song pissed me off.  A lot.  I was streaming my soundcloud this morning as I was driving to work and this comes on and I'm like cool.  I love City Rain and I haven't heard this yet so let's go.  It starts, it builds and right as I get to the part where I am going to just have at quits.  Thanks, Ben for the huge tease.  I want to hear this whole song because it's incredible.  Please finish it or release the whole thing.  I think it's an incredible track and want to hear the whole thing.

Lexy and the Kill - We Can Dance Alone

It amazes me when I hear something this great and I see that the video has less than 10k hits because to my ears, this should be climbing the charts on it's way to total domination.  Actually take the time to listen to the song.  Hear the words and then tell me it's not fantastic.  It's all about that feeling of knowing that no matter what happens, you will always have someone by your side standing tall with you when the world is darkest.  It's the realization that as messed up as you are, there is someone out there that sees through all those faults and will be there.  It's basic and it's fundamental and it's set to an incredible beat and melody.  Lexy and the Kill are megastars in the making and you will be damn glad you know them now.  I want to hear more and more from them because they should be worthy of everyone's time.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

DJ Antoine - Bella Vita

This track is about living "the beautiful life" and as such I imagine images of people doing things and going places that I will probably never go.  Gigantic parties on yachts, garden parties in the Napa Valley, private jets whisking young lovers off to Paris.  Those are the images I have in regards to "Bella Vida" and I am sure that everyone has their own particular brand of what is and what isn't the beautiful life.  The song is a pretty a fun song that can easily have you bobbing along with it but I think where I have a problem with it comes from the treatment given to the video.  I totally get the idea they were going for.  Showing different people in different situations living their beautiful life but with DJ Antoine driving around in his teleporting Mercedes, I think the message gets kind of lost because he seems like he is just on the outside of it all and then to come home and have a smoke, it seems very lonely to me.  What I would have loved to have seen, however, is Antoine in St.Tropez partying with beautiful people as the track thunders in the background.  It's a dance song but trying to pull a humanitarian vibe out of the video was a misstep.  Give me Ibiza and sun and sand and people dancing their asses off instead it just comes off as a Mercedes commercial.  I like the song a lot.  It's super bouncy and it sticks with you long after you've listened to it, I just wish the video was stonger.

Antoine is a Swiss House and electro DJ.  He has produced remixes for Mary J. Blige, P.Diddy, Pitbull, Cindy Lauper, Robin S and produced songs for  Timati, Snoop Dogg, DJ Smash and Bob Sinclar.  He is one of Europe's most booked stars and has won several awards including The Swiss Music Award for "Best Album Dance National".  He's released 10 albums with his latest, The Sky's The Limit due out April 30, 2013 on Ultra Records.

DJ Antoine on the Web

Slow Knights - Criminal Mind (Demo)

This is how I envision all recording sessions to be.  If it's an up track and the producer isn't bugging out to it, then there's something wrong.  Watching Del just have a great time listening to this song is amazing.  It boggles my mind that this track didn't make the album because it is just as funky as the rest.  Maybe it will be released as a B Side or be saved for the next project.  I think it's Mykal on vocals and they are pretty amazing.  Not much else to say aside from if the hiatus the Sisters is taking is indefinite, then I am glad that my life is filled with amazing music by the members.

Private - Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be

Massive.  That's the first word that comes to mind when describing this song.  The beats are massive, the rap is massive, the vocals are massive.  This song just took me off guard and is just so great.  This should be on the top of all the charts in all markets.  I mean come on.  The chorus is so freaking catchy.  The hook is slamming.  All the parts have come together to make this masterpiece of a song.  I've seriously spent the past 20 minutes replaying it over and over because there are so many elements that make this brilliant.  The modulation on Herbie Critchlow's voice during the rap to the perfectly built riffs.

I just became of fan of Private aka Thomas Troelsen with the release of his previous single, "Everywhere".  This iteration of the group is a solo project in which Thomas is stretching his legs and combining elements of multiple genres in new and exciting ways.  It's one of the most creative songs I've heard stylisticly and has the potential for massive cross continent success.  If this and "Everywhere" are indications as what he can do then I can't wait until he releases an album.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Missing Andy - Guerrilla Invasion (Part 1 and Part 2)

I think it's safe to say that Missing Andy have created not one but two albums that should cement their place in music history.  In previous articles I've written about the band, I have talked about how I can hear "this influence" or "that influence" but at the end of the day with these two albums, the only thing I can hear is Missing Andy.  Sure I still hear some ska and some mod but that's part of who they are.  The 20 tracks they have given us run the gamut from upbeat and poppy to very introspective and somber.  It seems they have experienced a ton of emotions since Generation Silenced.  It's almost as if they had something to prove with that album but now they are just letting the world know, this is who we are and you can be with us or not.

I've run into a several albums lately that have been very flat.  There are no surprises or anything that generates interest more than the one note that attracted me to the album.  These two albums, however, have broken me off of that plateau of sameness and given me a ton of feelings and material to digest.  Ranging from political to emotional and a little bit of everything in between, these albums have a tremendous amount to say.  There are times when you're tapping your feet to the incredibly well crafted track when you stop to listen to what Alex is singing and you have to stop and say, "Damn - that's heavy".  It always amazes me how songwriters are able to take thoughts and feelings that we've all had and create something so universally digestible that we all can connect to it.

I honestly cannot find a single song that isn't worthy and deserving to be on these albums.  One of the most intelligent marketing ideas I've ever been privy to was the release of the Acoustic EP.  It gave fans the chance to preview the new material and when the albums came out, the familiarity they had with the songs made the experience more personal because you know the songs.  You know the lyrics and you've spent time with them but what's amazing is how the non-acoustic arrangements give them a new edge.  "Mr. Policeman", "Slip Away" and "Young Disciple" are filled out and much bigger.  "It's Over" should never be anything other than acoustic.  Just Alex and Steve doing what they do amazingly.

I love all 20 songs, there's no question about that but there are some that I can connect with more than the others. "Otherside", "All I Need", "Breathless", "Glorious" are just incredible tracks that all have a quality about them that make them stand a bit taller but not better than other tracks.  I want to write more about the music but it stands on it's own.  It doesn't need me to talk about it's merits because it has a life of it's own and a breadth and a depth of character.

Both albums are available on all major music outlets.  I got mine on Amazon for less than $20 for both albums.  Help bring this band to the level of fame they deserve because I think they are one of the greatest bands of our time.  From socially conscious lyrics to the expression of emotions we all have experienced at one time or another.

Missing Andy on the Web
Twitter: @MissingAndy

Daniel Oliver - Dj Blow My Speakers (Stormby Don't Stop Mix)

Elevation.  That's what Stormby does.  He takes an already amazing song and takes it to a higher place.  He has this way with manipulation of beats and synth and all the parts and pieces in between to make a song even greater.  In his latest mix, he takes Daniel Oliver's "DJ Blow My Speakers" from a super catchy dance pop song and creates a serious club banger.  He's pumped up the bassline with the equivalent of audio steroids and has fleshed out the backing track while making Daniel sound even better.  I think he could remix anything and create something new and fresh.  I hate to be this guy because normally I find myself on the side of the original source material, but I think that what Stormby has done here trumps the original.  Check it out and give me your thoughts.

Titus Jones - Closer to Kissing Fun Girls

I just can't help it.  I am a Titus Jones fan.  Unapologetic and unabashed.  This man can do things with mash ups that few people can.  I mean, Tegan & Sara, Katy Perry, fun. Who would have ever thought to put those artists together.  And like everything else he mashes up - it's flawless.  I can't gush enough about the talent it takes to do this so I'll let the track do it for me.  What do you think?

Friday, April 12, 2013

Colton Ford - Let Me Live Again (Official Video)

My last post about Colton was well over a year ago and it was in fact, the debut of the audio for this track.  And now, he's back and has released the video for the song.  A video full of hypersexualized imagery that has come to be a standard in his videos.  The women are hot, the men are hotter but Colton outshines them all.  His ability to smolder is unparalleled and when you add his vocal abilities, this man can do no wrong.   It's a simple black and white treatment directed by Marco Ovando and doesn't require any set up.  Just push play and let the video do it's thing.

In my opinion, this video falls onto a very sharp double standard.  If you take Madonna and put her on stage with Britney and Christina it's totally ok for them to make out.  If you take Katy Perry and have her singing about a brief same gender tryst, it's perfectly fine.  But in today's climate, even with all the advances we as a community are making, this video is a hard sell for the Midwestern pop music consumer.  While the images are not vulgar or overly risque, the bottom line is that in a male driven society - it is far easier for images of female sexuality to be accepted than it is for two men.  I don't agree with this stand and I think it's bullshit but in the Red States, it's a fact of life.  I can't wait for the day to be able to turn on a music video channel and have this song or any song that pushes the boundaries of sexuality play loud and proud beside today's pop stars.  And when that day comes, I will proudly stand in support of it as I am now.

Back in 2011 when I initially wrote about this song, I said:
"How many times have you had a moment where you wish someone could see themselves the way you do. That's the vibe I get from the lyrics. Things were going ok, but now that I've met you...I have something to live for."
And I still feel that way about this song.  It's a great track and without warning you are swept up into the infectious rhythm.  Colton does work on this track and I after watching the video for the fifth time, I am living for it.  It amazes me that he has never once shied away from his past as an adult entertainer and in fact, he has used it to propel his recording career further.  Playing toward an existing fan base is never a dumb idea and he does an amazing job at just being comfortable in his own skin on screen.  A long time ago, I wrote about how I thought he was sullying himself by being so bare in his videos but it's an important part of his image.  I appreciate him as a vocalist first and foremost but I understand the business decision to shoot the videos the way they are done.  It's sexy, it's super masculine and it does a damn fine job of teetering on that line where it's almost too much but never tips over.

I want him to record more music because I love having him in my library and my life.  Watch the video, listen to the lyrics and buy the music.  He's an artist that deserves to be supported and I can't wait for the next chapter in his recording career.

Colton on the Web
Twitter: @ColtonFordMusic

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Iwan Rheon - Bang! Bang!

There's something about the way he pronounces Bang! Bang! that threw me off for a while in this track. His placement on the syllables was just different than I am used to hearing and it threw me off but I was able to get into it and from there, the song just came into its own.  I really love Iwan's voice because it has this unpolished edged to it that isn't perfect but it's his and his alone.  It's a pretty groovy song with an even better video.  Not going to gush over it, just wanted to bring attention to the video.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Miriam Bryant - Push Play

The gorgeous voice behind the stellar song, "Finders Keepers", Miriam Bryant has released the video for her next single, "Push Play".  It's a video full of regret and 'should have beens'.  It's a beautiful video and the overall concept matches the song brilliantly.  They both work hand in hand to enhance the feelings evoked by Miriam's vocal.  I am a fan of hers and think she has a brilliant career ahead of her.  She certainly sings like she's been at this for much longer than she has.  It amazes me how these young stars have already amassed enough life experience to be able to put themselves into their music.

She's been quite busy since the release of "Finders Keepers", working with the likes of Tiesto and Zedd.  She has an album out in Scandinavia right now and I would love to get my hands on a copy to be able to review because I think she is one of the most powerful voices in the industry today.  Because of how big her overall presence is, I think she could hands down bring the trophy back to Sweden if she were to participate in Eurovision 2014.  Loreen in 2012, Miriam in 2014.  I'm down.  Where do I cast my vote?

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Introducing: Light Company

I do venture outside the realm of pop music quite often and it isn't necessarily always to Synth world.  Growing up, my musical taste started off in the New Wave category and as I got older, that genre moved into Alternative and now sits somewhere in the Prog Rock/Emo/Indie genre.  I have always loved the sound of a full band with lead guitar, bass and drums.  It doesn't have to be all computer generated for me to get on board and this new band from Peterborough, Ontario makes me remember just how much I love quality rock music.

Light Company is a quartet made up of Michael Langiewicz (Vocals & Guitar), Adam Langiewicz (Percussion & Backing Vocals), Lukas Wojcicki (Bass & Backing Vocals) and Shayne Ernst (Guitars & Backing Vocals). Living in different cities would make rehearsal hard enough, but when all four members live in 2 separate provinces - you can only imagine how that can increase the difficulty level.

When I talk about Pop music, it's very easy for me to talk about how the songs are structured and how they make me feel and things like that but when you shift from one genre to another, I'm still capable but it is a bit more challenging especially when you start adding heavier guitar riffs and more prolific lyrics.  I guess when it's all broken down; they have the same basic building blocks but what Light Company has done (more so than other artists I've reviewed) have crafted tracks that showcase their innumerable skills for layering sound and creating an ambiance and atmosphere that you easily get caught up in.  It's more than a simple three chord progression.  It's depth and a breadth of motion that is far greater than a simple debut EP.

The music these men have created is mature and full of insight far greater than their time together.  When you listen to the album, you can hear a trust level between the four of them that lets you know they have no fear in the direction they are moving in.  The songs are have such a mutable quality and as you are going along with them, they move and bend and shift and what you're left with is something different than when you started.  I think the quote about the journey not being about the destination but the actual trip along the way sums up what they've created.  If you allow yourself the opportunity and close your eyes, the trip they've given you the road map for is well worth the time.

As an opening track, "Giants & Hammers" starts the album off with a showcase of technical precision that makes you step back and say, "Oh, It's gonna be like this- huh?"  Michael shows incredible restraint in his voice as it punctuates the backing track while the guitars create this space for the song to live in that gives it qualities of hard and soft in perfect balance.  It's moody and melodic at the same time without coming off as pretentious.

The title track, "The Boy Who Sat On Ocean Floors" opens up a bit more with more of that ambient feeling that is perfectly balanced by a fully realized atmospheric track.  This mid-tempo track has a slow burn quality to it that just makes it easy to listen to.  It's accessible and has an awesome breakdown around the middle eight that leads the track into organized chaos.

"Each To A Grain" is the next  track that was previously released as a single and the guitar work on this track is so great.  It does remind me a little of Two Door Cinema Club a bit but that's in no way a negative.  I love how this track seemingly has an obvious beginning, middle and end.  It rises and builds on it's own and has it's own conclusion as well.  Like any good bit of storytelling, this track stands easily on it's own merit.

I've been talking about this overall sense of melody and how the sound fills up the space and what they've done on "The Cellist of Sarajevo" is just their way of showing off and saying, "You want to be transported to a new place, we can do that".  This song is just so big and if I had to pick a favorite, it would probably be this one.  It has a life of it's own and just continues to grow as the track progresses.

Wrapping up the EP is the instrumental track, "Echos of Home", an evocative song that just leaves you satisfied but needing something more.  It's a bit of a cliffhanger but you are at peace by the time it winds down.  This song is certainly the right way at doing things because it wraps the album up beautifully.  It's simple and it's succinct but you still have all the elemental prowess that has carried you to this point.

I have to give it up to Mitch Girio at Slaughterhouse754 in Toronto, Ontario for an amazing job at refining and honing the sound.  I look forward to more releases from these guys and can't wait to see what they have in store.  If you like Two Door Cinema Club, these guys are going to give you everything you need.

The Boy Who Sat On Ocean Floors will be availble April 16, 2013 on Light Company's BandCamp.  Buy it when it comes out.  It's totally worth it.

Light Company on the Web

Twitter: @lightcompany

Saturday, April 6, 2013

New Politics - Harlem

This band has totally taken be off guard and I am a believer with just one track.  Founded in 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark; New Politics are an alternative dance pop group that have created a super catchy song with an infectious hook and a chorus worth repeating.  More than anything, it's 3 minutes of pure bliss.  If by about 15 seconds in, you aren't immediately up and moving, there's something intrinsically wrong with your feel good side.  They've released a full length album back in 2010 that's self titled and it's only $8 on Amazon.  Check em out and see what you think.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Charli XCX - What I Like

Here's whats amazing about this video. While it looks overtly sexualized, there is a power and a defiance to what Charli's doing.  She's no fool and as you look at this video thinking she's being objectified; it's holding a mirror up to society.  Someone on Youtube said this video was "Big Girls pretending to be Little Girls pretending to be Big Girls" and I think there is something completely meta about that in it's simplicity.  People compare Charli to Sky Ferreira and there are comparisons that can be made but she has her own thing that is new and forward thinking.  I think Charli is one of the best new artists simply because she is innovative.  Her mixtapes are brilliant and she thumbs her nose at the establishment.  I can't wait for her debut release.

Ice Choir - Everything Is Spoilt By Use

I keep coming back to this band over and over and I have not been let down yet.  I've described them as a New Romantic act and I think that's a pretty decent start to their sound and feel.  They are more than that though.  They aren't just a carbon copy of Spandau Ballet or Scritti Politti.  The ideas and the thoughts behind the tracks are current and new which makes them more than just an 80s synth band.  They have all the best parts of what was great about music back then.  It's dreamy and it's ethereal and it just floats.  There's nothing heavy about this song or the work the Brooklyn based band has created.

With the help of Caroline Polachek from Chairlift on vocals, Kurt Feldman has a proper balance to his voice that elevates this track to a new level.  Her voice is so easy.  It's as if you've heard it for years and years so it simply washes over you and is very comfortable.  The visuals in the video of everything wrapped up to keep it preserved is evocative of the themes the song presents. I think this is one of my favorite songs off their album, Afar and I'm glad it got a video.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Fitz and The Tantrums - Spark

It seems Fitz and the Tantrums can do no wrong. The new teaser track from their upcoming release, Out Of My League just proves their is no limit to the amount of funk they can squeeze out.  The hook is crazy, the chorus is crazy and the beat is just awesome.  I don't want to take away from the track too much, so just listen to it.  It's great.

The Good Natured - Lovers

Empowerment.  That's where this track takes me.  Sarah takes control and she's not letting go of the reins.  "You and I could be lovers, but you and I will never be in love".  I live for this sentiment.  It goes against every social norm that is set up for women to follow.  A powerful woman is one of my most favorite constructs in the world.  It makes me so happy to see stereotypes get crushed and this song does a brilliant job of that.  It's an insanely fun song that's available as a free download.  The Good Natured are one of my favorite bands because of just how catchy the hooks and lyrics are not to mention just how good they are.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Ultravillain - Lost in You EP

If you're into music that challenges you, not only intellectually but emotionally as well, Ultravillain will satiate your desires.  They have released their debut EP on their website as a free download and it's an album that I actually wish I would have been able to buy because I would love to support them in a financial manner.  The album is far more mature than a debut and has a quality that most artists take years to develop.  The lyrics are well crafted and never compete with the synth and vice versa.  Both Chris and Tobias work in tandem to create something special.  If these four songs are a representation of what they are capable of doing on their first shot out of the gate, I can't wait to hear what they have in store for us.

Much like their first single, "Break Out", this EP is full of dark sex appeal that never crosses the boundary into smutty or too much.  I think that's a helluva thing to do because it is very easy to quickly become a parody of yourself without trying but they have straddled the line and do so without trying, it would appear.  I think the driving bass lines and the slow tempo of the backing tracks against Chris' voice just build this perfect scenario that just create steam.  I am amazed at the range that Chris has.  He has one of the most interesting voices I think I've heard in a long time.  I would totally be ok with him singing the phone book to me.  The themes of the songs aren't as overtly sexual as "Break Out" but maybe there's some residual sexiness carrying over from that song that just amps up the appeal of these tracks.

Each of the four tracks has it's on personality and it's own ability to stand on it's own.  I've listened to several full length albums of late from artists that have been in the game a long time and I have been sorely disappointed because all 10 or 12 songs are just one note.  They're flat and there's not enough variation to distinguish one from another.  I would throw one of those albums on as background noise at a party just to fill up the silence.  I can't say that for this EP.  People would stop to listen to every track and hang on every lyric because there's interest there.  It's made up of four individual parts that make this incredibly fascinating machine and it commands your attention and deserves to be heard.  These guys have an intention and they have a destination in mind where they want to you get to and when you get there, the headspace is filled with this melancholic bliss that leaves you wanting more.

The track order on an album always amazes me because it can either fuck up the vibe or it can keep you spinning.  The way the tracks are laid out on this EP are genius.  Putting "Death Rattle" third is like the greatest car chase in the best action movie ever.  It's the beginning of the third act and it just takes you and sends you to the stratosphere.  It's deliberate in it's execution and it wouldn't have the impact it does if it was anywhere else in the line up.  Then to follow it with "Sensitive Mind" helps you come down.  It's the breather you need after your mind has been blown, the cigarette after, as it were.  Starting with "Lost In You" sets the tone of where this trip is taking us.  It's the foreplay of the album.  It's easy and slow but the lyrics are seductive and you don't realize how wrapped up you get until you are hooked.  You then take "Crosses" and it creates this bridge between the songs that begins the uphill ascent needed to get you into position for lift off.  It's sleek and mercurial and just slides between your fingers.  It also is a bit of a deceiver.  When you first listen to it, you just want a slow groove to sink into but when you pay attention to the lyrics, it's got this power to it that just makes you say, "Damn".

It's an amazing EP and I think it helps to set the stage for Ultravillain to become one of the premier ElectroRock groups.  They have been gaining momentum with the release of the video for "Break Out" and this EP is only going to propel them to new heights.  You can download both this EP and "Break Out" for free on their website

UltraVillain on the Web