Latimer House – “Birdcage Walk / Until Then”

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The Fall is always my favorite time to discover new music. Perhaps it has something to do with the relaxing feel of the cooler weather, but it seems to get me excited for new music and new bands. Recently I have been falling for the indie pop sounds of Latimer House. The group have just released a phenomenal 7-inch single for “Birdcage Walk,” with the b-side “Until Then,” which you can purchase on translucent  red vinyl. 

Upon first listen to “Birdcage Walk,” I was already head over heels. Singer Joe Cook’s Prague accent is very prominent, which is a nice departure from the norm. They remind me of a foreign Bishop Allen, which I adore. The guitar hooks are vibrant and memorable and the mandolin makes a perfect add-on in the song. Getting into the b-side “Until Then,” Latimer House provides a bit of a different approach, with punchy guitars and a few sing-talk lines. Making its way into the track is a slight horn section, that gives the song an extra ‘oomph,’ so to speak. The song’s sonically alluring tones are definitely an added bonus.

Latimer House have recently released their new record, All the Rage, via their own label Honk Records. Be sure to check out the Summery / Strokes-esque track “Splash!,” as well when you head over. Chiming guitars and heavenly harmonies. What more can you ask for? It is well worth the listen!Check out Latimer House “Birdcage Walk,” HERE.

Check out Latimer House “Until Then,” HERE.
 
Grab the latest record, All the Rage, via Bandcamp
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“The Past is a Grotesque Animal”…Yes, yes it is.

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Over the weekend I had finally watched the long awaited of Montreal documentary, The Past is a Grotesque Animal. I was hesitant to view this film for quite some time, as I thought it would destroy my perception of front man and songwriter Kevin Barnes. This proved to be an eye opening experience for sure. The film highlights the band’s career from the very start. Seeing all of the old footage of how the group came to be was rather charming and delightful. The behind the scenes footage was certainly a treat as well. Their vibrancy and quirkiness definitely shined straight from the screen. Every aspect of the band was touched upon. From troubling relationships, to the brilliant artwork and stage performance antics of brother David Barnes and co., it proved to be truly insightful. 

Throughout all of the good times and struggles the band often continued with, the film focused quite a bit on Kevin Barnes’ inner demons. The depression, the anxiety, the need to make ‘good art,’ no matter at what cost. The one problem though, is the need to make ‘good art,’ lead to the departure of longtime and key players Dottie Alexander, James Husband, Bryan Poole (B.P.), alongside Matt Dawson and Davey Pierce respectively.

The thing that struck me most was how easily Barnes removed himself from them to make a complete musical transformation. What came to be one of the most celebrated band of the 00’s, has changed into so many forms that there feels like there is something missing, especially in a live setting. The ever exciting line up during onstage dance parties are something that I, as well as many fans, truly miss. Though change can be good sometimes, The Past is a Grotesque Animal, made Barnes out to have villain tendencies. Whether or not this was the intention, it was an extremely fascinating look into a phenomenal band that has hit home with so many listeners over the past several years. 

I don’t think I will ever stop buying of Montreal records. Kevin’s songs have always struck a chord with me. This certainly gives me a different perspective into the world of of Montreal.

Album Review – Voxmirage

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Voxmirage is the group you have been looking for. Recently releasing their debut album on July 15, the duo are about to take the world by storm. The self-titled record is filled with 13 glorious tracks that recall new wave influences such as Tears for Fears and Depeche Mode. Made up of members Mike Streng (Vocals, guitars, bass and keyboards), and Aaron Nicholes (Drums, Keyboards, programming, backing vocals and bass), they create quite a unique and brilliant sound. The record is also stunningly mixed and produced by Ken Stingfellow of  The Posies and R.E.M. respectively., and mastered at the legendary Abbey Road Studios in London.

Kicking off the record is a short, sweet, and synth filled song that is simply titled “Intro.” This piece immediately sets the tone for the record. “All I Want Is You,” combines lush harmonies and dark sounds alongside a swirling bed of synthesizers and guitars. Streng’s vocals start to standout immediately, which carries throughout the entire record. His voice is very powerful, and evokes great emotion on the set on of songs.

“I Can’t Take It Anymore Than This,” continues the greatness of the record, with honest and heartfelt lyrics. Streng’s vocals are soft yet pierce your very soul. Streng’s vocals are dreamy and haunting all at once. Taking the record down a notch is “Hold On,” which showcases the softer and gentler side of the band. Laced with synthesized strings, the vocals chime in to launch a whole new musical aspect of the record. “Never Go Away,” shares a bit of a 90’s retro feel, in a flattering way. The vibrant and danceable aspect of the track is brought to life with lovely twee-like harmonies and punchy acoustic guitars.

“She’s Going Away,” brings a darker synth sound into the album, with a bit of welcomed industrial flare. The tracks on this record quickly prove that Voxmirage are not only skilled, but can bend and combine genres without flaw. “Want Me Too,” and “Just a Fool,” the latter featuring backing vocals by Ken Stringfellow, displays the group’s softer and subdued side on the record. Again the harmonies grace these tracks, which made them an immediate favorite for me. “Just for Tonight,” adds a whole new element into the record with engaging vocals, and an array of instruments welcoming even the slightest trumpet. “On I Go With You,” brings out another beautiful side of this record, as Streng’s vocals are heavenly.

 Bringing back the dance aspect of the record with a punch is “Favorite Son.” Flooded with enchanting synths, this piece will surely get you onto the dance floor and it clearly showcases the group’s knack for writing a great pop-esque song. Up next is “Go Insane,” which is Voxmirage’s take on Lindsey Buckingham’s classic song, which somehow manages to upstage the original with their incredible rendition. It brings all of their musical talents into the spotlight. Closing out the record is “I Know What Scares You.” The piece brings together various different elements we found throughout the record, bringing everything to fruition.

Voxmirage’s Voxmirage is a brilliant debut album that will certainly launch the duo into the spotlight. With heavy hitting and memorable tracks, each piece on the record somehow manages to outdo the other. Hopefully we hear a lot more of Voxmirage in the future. This is only the beginning….and the beginning is great.

 

Things Are About to Get Eerie: Broken Quote Releases “Ghost Crowd”

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Born and raised in Houston, Texas, the multi-instrumentalist and producer, David Schrier, known as Broken Quote, has had a penchant for creating music ever since he was a child.  He would write song lyrics in his head and connect them to the contours and textures his active mind would present–well before ever learning any theory,scales or even touching a key. This is evident on his stunning track, “Ghost Crowd,” off his most recent EP, Foreshadowing Sunlight.
Citing a musical inspiration list that includes Eyedea, Bjork, Beck, Radiohead,John Cage and Parliament Funkadelic among many others,that varied outlook bleeds into his music, an amalgam of styles and genres that is constantly evolving, changing and growing; he is a literal one man band who improvises aspects of his live sets making a one-of-a-kind experience not to be missed. While labeling Broken Quotes’ sound is nearly impossible,there’s a strong link between elements found in Electro Rock, Trip Hop, Acid Jazz and Ambient Funk. Check out your new favorite track “Ghost Crowd,” below.
BROKEN QUOTE: “Ghost Crowd

Oklahoma’s Trio Psychotic Reaction Out and About in Brooklyn

At a time when it is challenging to seek out bands hailing from regions outside of the musical mecca of NYC, Oklahoma-based  group Psychotic Reaction bring forward progressive and mind-numbing sounds.  The band crosses the traditional barriers of garage rock and psychedelic tunes and reintroduces subcultural drones of Lou Reed and the Stooges.  While their instruments aggregate a concoction of multi-layered guitar snarls, the group constructs a type of narcotic energy that makes the listeners believe and remember the power of rock and roll.PR3

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Find them on Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/psychoticreactionband?ref=br_tf

THE NATIVE SIBLING’s Stunning Video for “Here With Me”

The Native Sibling by Sofia Draco

The Native Sibling has just unleashed their gorgeous new video for “Here With Me.”  The stunning black and white piece is as haunting as it is beautiful, evoking the very spirit of the song. “Here With Me,” is the newest single from the Santa Cruz brother-sister duo of Ryan and Kaylee Williams. The track is from their brilliant new release, Letters Kept to Ourselves, which was out June 24.

A couple of years ago, Kaylee was exploring a scholastic pursuit in a quaint town in rural Ireland. Already an accomplished singer, she found herself quickly assimilating with local musicians and singing traditional acoustic folk music at local pubs. Ryan, taking a break from his normal grind as a touring and session guitar player, came for a visit not knowing what to expect from new and unfamiliar territory.

These two siblings had clearly missed one another, and needed an outlet to rekindle their closeness. What happened next was a spontaneous flurry of songwriting that neither had anticipated. Inspired by their new surroundings, they spent many late nights crafting songs and discovering how seamlessly their voices harmonized into a singular sound and vision. “When I came to visit, it was the first time we had ever performed together. The foreign and musical environment sparked our curiosity to play a few songs together at a pub. It felt as if we had been singing for years,” said Ryan.

It was obvious to both that they should continue making music together, so they brainstormed a fitting moniker. “Ryan and I had finally met in a place where we wanted to make the same kind of music. The response assured us that our journey needed to continue as a combined effort,” said Kaylee.

Growing up beside the inspiring backdrop of the Santa Cruz mountains, Ryan and Kaylee shared a childhood blessed by a nurturing family, but also marred by tragedy of their mother’s death just five years ago. They credit her for instilling in them a passionate spirit and a love of music. Ryan and Kaylee are also heavily influenced by Joy Williams (of the Civil Wars), who was once their nanny and still serves as an inspiration.

After releasing their first EP, recorded by a close friend in Santa Monica, the duo toured up and down the coast, which served to tighten their bond and hone their abilities. In an effort to build upon their momentum, they started a Kickstarter campaign and sought out New York producer Daniel Mendez (Noah Gundersen, Dashboard Confessional, Heart) to make their first full-length album. Ryan and Kaylee took a leap of faith and holed up at Mendez’ Brooklyn studio for a full two months. Fortunately, it was the precise chemistry they had been looking for. As Ryan explains, “Daniel listened to what we do naturally, found the best parts and brought them to the forefront of this album. He gave us the perspective to realize what we are capable of creating. I’ll never forget him saying, ‘If I do my job right, nobody will know I was even here.’”

The result is the meticulously crafted and sonically beautiful Letters Kept To Ourselves. The 10-song album is minimal in its acoustic instrumentation, but lush with harmonies and endlessly rich with emotive lyrics. The music seems to conjure up diverse images of sun-drenched California days, the vastness of the ocean and the emptiness of a cold, windy day in Ireland.