Posts Tagged ‘Pop’

'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

Feeling guilty listening to top 40 hits on the radio? Wish there was a way to be hip and  listen to good music?

Well you’re in luck! Omaha Diner is for you!!

Omaha Diner takes these pop hits and transforms them into virtually indistinguishable new tunes with their incredibly unique skills and creativity. Below is the Bruno Mars’s cheese anthem but they also cover Mackelmore’s “Thrift Shop”, Beyonce’s “Single Ladies”, Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust”.

The songs go through the Omaha Diner and come out better, stronger, faster.

Essentially if you turned Megan Fox into the 6 million dollar man (you heard me), using Ferarri parts.

Sexy on the outside. Scary on the inside.

Featuring the ear defying 7 string bassist/guitarist hybrid Charlie Hunter, the “saxophonic” pioneer Skerik, trumpet player Steven Bernstein, and jazz drummer vet Bobby Previte. These guys claim they’ve played on every continent sans Antarctica. Only Metallica gets to do that.

They’re truly an act that you have to see to believe. Skerik implements effects and loops into his performances creating an entire brass section consisting of one saxophone. Charlie Hunter is known for being able to lay down thick bass lines while tucking in slick guitar melodies and solos all at the same time. Even if they weren’t playing top 40’s hits they’re a group like no other.

Collectively they’ve played with major acts like Aretha Franklin, Lou Reed, Elton John, Roger Waters, Sting, Pearl Jam, Tom Waits, Les Claypool (Skerik in Fearless Flying Frog Brigade), Ween, My Morning Jacket, Digable Planets… The list continues.

Here’s a video of them playing “Locked out of Heaven” live at the Blockley in Philly. It’s a little wonkier than the tightly arranged album version but it is still preferable it to the original.

Be sure to check out the full album available on Spotify (right down there buddy), Last.fm, iTunes, Bandcamp, Discogs, or go to Pledgemusic.com to purchase their album, get signed goodies, even request their next song!!

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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.

Arkayem was busy this week to post your dose of awesomely free music because he’s out fighting crime or selling oriental rugs, we’re still unsure.

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!

More Late Night Transmissions with Jaya the Cat was released back in 2007 via iScream records.
You may know them from your local stop sign sporting one of their vibrant stickers.
Genre: Punk/Reggae/Hip-hop
The band is originally from Boston but now resides in Amsterdam. Where they probably feel more at home.

Trifonic’s Ninth Wave was dropped back in Nov 13th, 2012 on his own label Trifonic LLC.
Genre: Electronic/Triphop/Glitch

Michael “Iron Man” Burks released Show of Strength was released August 21st, 2012 via Alligator records
Just a few months after his passing at just 54 years old.
Genre: Blues/Soul

Dom Kennedy’s From the Westside with Love was released June 28th, 2011 by The OpM Company.
Genre: Hip-Hop

Daley’s Those Who Wait was released July 2nd, 2012 on Polydor Records.
Genre: Pop/R&B

Randomly came across this band several weeks ago. There’s something all very unique yet comfortably familiar. The piano sounds so bright and full you half expect Kelly Clarkson to start singing a ballad about a boyfriend who couldn’t learn to love.

Joseph Secchiaroli’s voice reminds me a little of Jason Mraz but his singing and lyrical style really separates him from the drab pop world. This song features long arpeggiated runs that seduce you into following his words. It’s a great example of their fantastic compositional skills. Focusing on the rhythm and allowing the melody to revolve around it in a swirl.

The band stems off of a breakup of the band This Day & Age but has a vastly different sound. I approve of the changes made and look forward to hearing more material. I might love them even more if they choose another studio for any follow-up album. Go for darker rather than poppy. But that’s just me.

You can check out this album, as well as the 16 bit version (don’t ask me why, I’m not sure either…) of it on Spotify.
And you can check out This Day & Age as well.