Posts Tagged ‘indie’

Surprise, a list! Who doesn’t love to list things they love and present them to the public? I’m sure the good people on Facebook land and beyond have seen the “10 Best Stuffs to Stuff” list, the “Top 5 Best Stuffs” and so on. So allow me introduce you to my pretentious little exhibition. Below are 4 albums I enjoy listening to from jump to splat. Yes you read that right, only 4…because fuck lists in which the total number of items are divisible by 5 and/or 10. Also, don’t try to look for a pattern here. This list is in no particular order, and has very little rhyme or reason attached to it.

Ihsahn's 'After' was released January 26th, 2010 via Candlelight Records Genre: Progressive Black Metal

Ihsahn’s ‘After” was released January 26th, 2010 via Candlelight Records
Genre: Progressive Black Metal

First off is After by Ihsahn. If you’re a Black Metal enthusiast, you know this name and the gr1m fr0stbitten cache of epicness that accompanies it and you can skip the next sentence. Ihsahn, as the front man for Black Metal band Emperor, helped pioneer the genre and shape it throughout its satanic birth and infancy. This album was the thematic end to a conceptual trilogy that began with ‘Adversary’ and ‘angL’. After is big sonically, and what I mean by that is that there is a lot of space that you can just feel at times. Sure, Jens Bogren (Mix/Mastering Engineer) added weight where previous album ‘angl’ lacked it, but combined with Ihsahn’s superb riffing and “guitar orchestration”, combined with his knack for always writing the quintessential ‘complete song’, no track on this album is a skipper. As far as I’m concerned it can go down as one as the best metal albums of all time, and can easily top multiple albums across a multitude of extreme metal sub-genres.

Enya's 'A Day Without Rain' was released November 21st, 2000 via Reprise. Genre: New Age

Enya’s ‘A Day Without Rain’ was released November 21st, 2000 via Reprise.
Genre: New Age

Next up is A Day Without Rain by Enya. No, let me stop you here, Sail Away, Sail Away is not on this album, and it isn’t even the actual name of the song. This album is magnificent as that song was. If you are not into New Age music, you may not know what I’m babbling on about…pfft, there aren’t even any guitars on this record, or breakdowns for that matter. Good point, believe me, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that Enya had put together an almost flawless body of work again. In the United States along ADWR went 7x platinum, that’s 7,000,000 copies! It helps that ‘Only Time’ was played repeatedly in the wake of the September 11th attacks. Enya effortlessly navigates chord progressions that were arranged seemingly with a patented technique that dates back to the 1980’s. Enya’s works have garnered international praise and accolades, to which I say…no shit.

Daylight Dies' 'Dismantling Devotion' was released March 7th, 2006 via Candlelight Records Genre: Doom Metal

Daylight Dies’ ‘Dismantling Devotion’ was released March 7th, 2006 via Candlelight Records
Genre: Doom Metal

Replace the stringed instruments with guitars, 80% of the singing with guttural death growls, make the lyrical themes darker and you get Daylight Dies’ 2006 effort ‘Dismantling Devotion. No, I did not mean Killswitch Engage, I mean the North Carolina Doom Metal group Daylight Dies. From top to bottom, there is enough meat here to feed every starving organism on the planet. Hyperbole aside, for a sophomore effort DD took no prisoners with these songs. There is emotion, intensity, and aggression within each song. The melodic content from song to song is rich and ripe with purpose behind the brutal death metal vocals of front man Nathan Ellis. I first ran into this band listening to a My Dying Bride station on Last FM. This band’s strength lays in their composition. Once you get past the slower pace inherent in the Doom Metal genre, you will be able to appreciate this record.

Doomtree independently  released this self titled album July 29th, 2008 Genre: Hip Hop

Doomtree independently released this self titled album July 29th, 2008
Genre: Hip Hop

Last, but surely not least, Doomtree’s self titled effort from 2008, Doomtree. I know what you were thinking, but this is not a metal band…sorry. Doomtree is a hip-hop group from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Before you go and dismiss these guys, give this album a listen…and I mean really listen. From top to bottom this album, features thought provoking, and introspective lyrics that come across as genuine as all hell. The instrumentals are raw, and gritty but create a 90’s feel that suites Doomtree’s aura. The rappers that make up this group pride themselves on their individuality, and this group of songs captures that thought process completely.

'The Eight Deaths of Delphinium Gardener' was released independently September 10th, 2013.

‘The Eight Deaths of Delphinium Gardener’ was released independently September 10th, 2013.

Elitists would probably agree that they just don’t make music like they used to, especially in the Progressive Rock arena. Some would say that today’s prog elite is more in to showing off their skill as opposed to using their skill to make good music. Long gone are the days when music possessed the intimacy, the humility, and the raw genuine passion for making music inspired by something else. Fret not; Sigmund Blue is here to fill in the void, no DeLorean required.

Sigmund began as a project between two members but took to full band status with the addition of another member in 1999. Each member recorded their parts separately as the three live in different regions of the United States. Un-phased by such unfortunate circumstances, the trio presented The Eight Deaths of Delphinium Gardener (Eight Deaths) in September of 2013. Eight Deaths is a 1970’s inspired concept album that chronicles the many trials and tribulations encountered by protagonist Delphinium Gardener.

The album opens in spectacular fashion with ‘Overture’, a piano friendly introduction with remarkably familiar melodic trappings. Immediately the goal of the album becomes clear with this “curtains up” instrumental. It is as much of a proclamation of arrival as it is a solid introduction. The melodies that dance throughout the latter stages of the track serve as a perfect lead-in to the track that succeeds it, Charcuterie of Babylon. From then on, Eight Deaths stays the course with a chill-out easy going vibe that serves to put the listener in a state where focusing on the story becomes a natural reflex.

Eight Deaths shakes things up with ‘Can’t Stay’, presenting the first deviation from what the album had previously established as a norm. This is by no means a bad mark on the report card, as the band does well transitioning be a more rock based feel to a song that contains more bounce and pop. After that diversion, the album returns to business as usual until ‘Go Now’. This track is by far the emotional powerhouse of the album. The vocals carry the weight of the songs part in the story with incredible ease and packs enough power to move the listener to tears.

From that point out the journey is much more rocky but the sonic cohesiveness heard earlier in the album remains consistent. The exiting tracks at this point of the album serve as a build up to a climax that sees a rather calm and soothing end melodically. ‘Pod’s Lament’ serves as evidence of this with gusto as there is a stark ramp up in energy. This track sees the band shed the prog rock element for an all out balls to the wall sprint to the finish. It makes the transition to the aptly named album closer ‘Epilogue’ all the more interesting.

The members of SIgmund Blue recorded their parts separately, relying 100% on technology to complete their projects.

The members of SIgmund Blue recorded their parts separately, relying 100% on technology to complete their projects.

The biggest hurdle for this album to overcome, aside from some slightly creepy dialogue in ‘The Meeting’, is the time investment. At 18 tracks and just over an hour and five minutes, there may not be enough meat for the average listener to chew on. Big moments tend to fall flat due to the context of the era that influences the production, but if appreciated properly within said context, it makes for an even bigger set of musical events. Eight Deaths is far out in a good way and all in all, the entire album achieved what it set out to do. Fans of Queen and the Beatles may have something to latch on to here.

Album Picks: Here It Is, Can’t Stay, Go Now, Carbon Copy
Album Skips: The Meeting

Rating: 4 out of 5

I’ve found country music that I not only tolerate but even like? What is this madness?

At best, when dabbling in country and bluegrass I found things I didn’t hate. I thought it would be impossible to find something in the genre worth listening to without clawing at my ears.

I found the compromise, it would seem. The punch brothers are not just plain country. Tonedeth doesn’t mention anything “plain”. This song is a fantastic example of this. It’s got a funk/R&B groove that’s both forward and sexy. The lack of a percussion section, or drummer to be specific, makes them stand out from any genre they seem to dabble in.

The album is a brilliant mixture of bluegrass, rock, indie, and classical; all while being beautifully executed. Go listen to these guys. I know I will be for the next few weeks. This track is off of the album of the same name released in 2012 on Nonesuch Records and produced by veteran Jacquire King (Tom Waits, Norah Jones, Of Monsters and Men, Kings of Leon…)

 

If you know of any other artists similar to these guys or want to lead me in the right direction to more country worth digging into I would sure appreciate your comments.

Free music, can’t get enough of the stuff? Well you’re in luck my friends, because below you’ll find links to some really awesome sounding music, courtesy of Last.fm. Just click the pictures below for a free download of a random track from the artist’s album. Enjoy!

Pierce the Veil's 'Selfish Machines' was released January 10, 2012 via Equa Vision Records Genre: Metalcore/ Post-Hardcore

Pierce the Veil’s ‘Selfish Machines’ was released January 10, 2012 via Equa Vision Records
Genre: Metalcore/ Post-Hardcore

Sabaton's 'Carolus Rex' was released May 12th, 2012 via Nuclear Blast Records Genre: Power Metal/ Folk Metal

Sabaton’s ‘Carolus Rex’ was released May 12th, 2012 via Nuclear Blast Records
Genre: Power Metal/ Folk Metal

The Glitch Mob's 'We Can Make The World Stop' EP was  self-released July 12th, 2011 Genre: EDM/ Dub-Step

The Glitch Mob’s ‘We Can Make The World Stop’ EP was self-released July 12th, 2011
Genre: EDM/ Dub-Step

Best Coast's 'The Only Place' was released June 24th, 2013 via Deckdisc Genre: Indie Rock

Best Coast’s ‘The Only Place’ was released June 24th, 2013 via Deckdisc
Genre: Indie Rock

Free music, can’t get enough of the stuff? Well you’re in luck my friends, because below you’ll find links to some really awesome sounding music, courtesy of Last.fm. Just click the pictures below for a free download of a random track from the artist’s album. Enjoy!

Dear Euphoria's 'Heal My VIolence' was released January 1st, 2009 via Given Productions. Genre: Singer-Songwriter

Dear Euphoria’s ‘Heal My VIolence’ was released January 1st, 2009 via Given Productions.
Genre: Singer-Songwriter

Hungry Lucy's 'Pulse of the Earth' was self-released 2010 Genre: Trip Hop

Hungry Lucy’s ‘Pulse of the Earth’ was self-released 2010
Genre: Trip Hop

Earlyrise's 'What If' was self-released August 16, 2011. Genre: Rock

Earlyrise’s ‘What If’ was self-released August 16, 2011.
Genre: Rock

Hannah Fury's 'The Thing That Feels' was released in 2000 via MellowTraumantic Recordings. Genre: Dark Cabaret

Hannah Fury’s ‘The Thing That Feels’ was released in 2000 via MellowTraumantic Recordings.
Genre: Dark Cabaret

I have been listening to this whole album all day. I suggest you do the same. Excellent work from the experimental indie band Portugal the Man from Portland, Oregon.

Their third album, “Censored Colors” is one of my favorite releases and I’m generally not the biggest follower of indie rock. Aurally diverse and rich with composition and brilliant song writing this album is sure to excite you, put you in a thoughtful trance and nod your head to the infectious rhythms.

They cross many genres and blend them seamlessly. John Gourley’s voice changes dramatically from song to song, and sometimes verse to verse but their use of vocal harmonies only bring out their diversity. I recommend everyone give this album a listen and work their way through their entire catalog.

Free music, can’t get enough of the stuff? Well you’re in luck my friends, because below you’ll find links to some really awesome sounding music, courtesy of Last.fm. Just click the pictures below for a free download of a random track from the artist’s album. Enjoy!

Jolly's 'The Audio Guide To Happiness Pt1' was released on February  28th, 2011 via EMI Germany. Genre: Alternative Rock/Metal

Jolly’s ‘The Audio Guide To Happiness Pt1’ was released on February 28th, 2011 via EMI Germany.
Genre: Alternative Rock/Metal

Abigail WIlliams's 'In The Absence Of Light' was released September 28th, 2010 via Caroline Distribution. Genre: Black Metal

Abigail WIlliams’s ‘In The Absence Of Light’ was released September 28th, 2010 via Caroline Distribution.
Genre: Black Metal

The Bloody Irish Boys' 'Drunk Rock' was self-released in 2005. Genre: Folk Rock/ Punk Rock

The Bloody Irish Boys’ ‘Drunk Rock’ was self-released in 2005.
Genre: Folk Rock/ Punk Rock

The Antlers's 'Uprooted' was self-released in 2006. Genre: Indie

The Antlers’s ‘Uprooted’ was self-released in 2006.
Genre: Indie

Free music, can’t get enough of the stuff? Well you’re in luck my friends, because below you’ll find links to some really awesome sounding music, courtesy of Last.fm. Just click the pictures below for a free download of a random track from the artist’s album. Enjoy!

Meshuggah's Koloss was released March 27th, 2012 via Nuclear Blast Records Genre: Technical Death Metal

Meshuggah’s Koloss was released March 27th, 2012 via Nuclear Blast Records
Genre: Technical Death Metal


Textures's 'Silhouetts' was released October 31st, 2010 via Listenable Records Genre: Metalcore/Math Metal

Textures’s ‘Silhouetts’ was released October 31st, 2010 via Listenable Records
Genre: Metalcore/Math Metal


Alai Oli's 'Satta Massagana' was self-released December 1st, 2011  Genre: Reggae/Rock

Alai Oli’s ‘Satta Massagana’ was self-released December 1st, 2011
Genre: Reggae/Rock


Kraft Klub's 'Mit K' was released January 20th, 2012. Genre: Indie Rock/Alternative Rock

Kraft Klub’s ‘Mit K’ was released January 20th, 2012.
Genre: Indie Rock/Alternative Rock



Lauren Zettler's 'On Your Back Porch' was self-released Janurary 1st, 2009. Genre: Singer-Songwriter

Lauren Zettler’s ‘On Your Back Porch’ was self-released Janurary 1st, 2009.
Genre: Singer-Songwriter

I’m BACK!

Free music, can’t get enough of the stuff? Well you’re in luck my friends, because below you’ll find links to some really awesome sounding music, courtesy of Last.fm. Just click the pictures below for a free download of a random track from the artist’s album. Enjoy!

Amorphis's 'The Beginning of Time' was released January 11th, 2011 via Nuclear Blast Records Genre: Folk Metal

Amorphis’s ‘The Beginning of Time’ was released January 11th, 2011 via Nuclear Blast Records
Genre: Folk Metal


Motorama's 'Alps' was released May 27th, 2013 via indie label Talitres Genre: Indie/New Wave

Motorama’s ‘Alps’ was released May 27th, 2013 via indie label Talitres
Genre: Indie/New Wave


1905's 'Voice' Was released in 2004 via Exotic Fever Records Genre: Acoustic

1905’s ‘Voice’ Was released in 2004 via Exotic Fever Records
Genre: Acoustic


The Best Pessimist's 'I Just Want To Be Your Everything' was self-released December 22nd, 2009 Genre: Post-Rock

The Best Pessimist’s ‘I Just Want To Be Your Everything’ was self-released December 22nd, 2009
Genre: Post-Rock



Moving Mountains' 'Waves' was released May 10th, 2011 via Triple Crown Records Genre: Indie Rock/Post-Hardcore

Moving Mountains’ ‘Waves’ was released May 10th, 2011 via Triple Crown Records
Genre: Indie Rock/Post-Hardcore

Kimbra released her debut album 'Vows' On August 29th, 2011.

Kimbra released her debut album ‘Vows’ On August 29th, 2011.

I’m a sucker for great female vocalists. Combine that with my love for reverb drenched vocals and a seductive piano progression and I’m practically left with no choice but to eargasm. This tiny snippet of a song features vocals from the lovely Kimbra Johnson (known simply as Kimbra), a 23 year old native of New Zealand. The song is actually attached to an As Tall As Lions track called Lost My Mind from their album You Can’t Take It With You appearing about 4 and a half minutes into the track. You’d never know a non-American vocalist was on this track, as Kimbra sings effortlessly sans accent. Her indie pop niche shines through albeit subtly but enough to give the tune a down to earth quality while still managing to maintain the modern sonic polish As Tall As Lions presents on the rest of the album.

Kimbra’s voice makes this song worth skipping the entirety of the host track…no seriously. At the time this was released she was 19 and yet there is a maturity to her vocal lines that is remarkable. Emoting is not something you can really teach young vocalists but Kimbra nailed it as her simi-rasp just drips of the emotion needed to complete the listening experience. Her performance almost outshines the host track that precedes it, and there are many times I find myself skipping through the first 4 mins just to hear it. As Tall As Lions didn’t make a mistake attaching that snippet, and I thank them for it.