The Airplanes: Paper Hearts


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After giving us such joy with Summer Daydream about a year or more ago, Arkansas based indie rock band ‘The Airplanes’ are out with ‘Paper Hearts’ which so far is our top contender for ‘Song of the Year’. The peppy beat belies and simultaneously enhances the existential irony of warped expectations vs reality, metaphorically conveyed via clever lyrics such as ‘With paper hearts we were meant to be fair….’. Do yourself a favour and listen to this one and buy it:

Flora Tropics


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On this hazy, cold and damp Saturday morning, the band bringing us some much needed musical cheer is East London based quartet: Flora Tropics. Joe Aybak- vocals/guitar, Shaam Azhari- vocals/guitar, Thom Critchley- bass and Josh Bisset- drums create some splendid music which can best be described as classical indie rock sometimes insterspersed with grungey downtempo electronic interludes. Very pleasant, very promising and very high on repeat value:


Maxwell Demon: Aurora


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A smoother Cobain? A gruff Bono? In his new Album Aurora, New York based Maxwell Demon efficiently traverses multiple vocal and musical landscapes in a lazy, laidback style which really he has so wonderfully made his own. The album opens with a mellow yet slightly upbeat Cross and then moves on to the really mellow track with a very addictive rhythm called Laidback followed by a slightly peppy Ballroom which then gives way to a delightful Interlude. After this the album adopts a borderline psychedelic groove with Deep Mass and Castles before it moves on to the wonderfully melodious, poetic and my favourite track on this album called Mirrorhouse. It finishes with Marilyn, which is very hazy, very doped out and slightly angry. Marilyn leads well into the first track Cross, thus giving a sort of cyclic mood to proceedings, somewhat reminiscent of the ways of Greek theatre. Whether the titular reference is astronomical, mythological or one of popular fiction, is a question only Herr Maxwell can answer, but for me this little gem of an album is that bright light for Maxwell which should hopefully propel him to the greater things that he seems to be so capable of. Without further ado, here are my top picks from the album:





If you like what you hear, the whole album can be streamed at soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/#maxwelldemon/sets/aurora.
Please support his work, share it and spread the word!

Quiet People


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We are delighted to present the sibling trio of John, Joy and Luke Cyr from Tallahassee, who play lovely little melodies which combine a variety of influences like folk, jazz & alternative rock. Joy’s vocals are somewhat reminiscent of Andrea Corr, while the music and groove is not really as Pop-Celtic as that of the Corrs. It tilts more towards the jazz/indie side with a powerful drumline and crisp guitar being the hallmarks on most tracks. Their latest album Childproof was released in December 2012 and here are what we believe to be the best representatives of the album:

If you like what you hear, follow them on their website: http://www.quiet-people.com/ and it goes without saying, purchase their stuff and spread the word.

The Gabriel Construct: Interior City


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And then comes along an album so deep, so personal, riffs that mirror your deepest darkest worries, words that eloquently phrase your underlying angst, notes that hit the perfect highs and the perfect lows at the perfect moments.. Interior City by The Gabriel Construct is all that and much more. And like all noteworthy albums , that are worth listening to because they are albums and not simply a collection of singles, this should be heard continuously in one go. It is a story and one that can have many interpretations for the listener because it is so relevant in so many contexts.

A bit about the wonderful bunch of people who given so much joy by creating this World Wonder: The Gabriel Construct’s debut album, Interior City, was released on April 5, 2013! It is a dark and atmospheric concept album written and performed by Gabriel Riccio and featuring Travis Orbin (ex-Periphery, Sky Eats Airplane, Of Legends) on drums, Thomas Murphy (ex-Periphery) on bass, David Stivelman (ex-Debbie Does Dallas) on guitar, Soren Larson on saxophone, and frequent collaborator Sophia Uddin on violin. It was engineered by Garrett Davis (Train, Shinedown, The Devil Wears Prada) and was mixed and mastered by Taylor Larson (Periphery, Sky Eats Airplane, Life on Repeat).

It starts of with the brilliantly understated ‘Arrival In a Distant Land’. The story, according to the band is about the dawning of a person’s awareness shortly after their birth. But for me it is metaphorically more about beginning to accept a situation in which you find yourself without any control or contribution on your part. It could be a choice that you would have made anyway, but the fact is that you didn’t and so you begin to cope. This then moves on to my personal favourite from the album ‘Ranting Prophet’. I say favourite (in a creme de la creme way) simply because this has to be one of the best put together tracks of all time. So many diverse influences from traditional arabic to cool over the bar jazz, from an 80’s Genesis drumbeat to King Crimson.. a plethora of musical instruments (but naturally) and a very unique and powerful vocal style to boot and still sound so coherent and beautiful. Applause! The story is about basically everyone around the central character coping with situations and life in their own ways. So even though you may be lonely, you certainly aren’t alone, at least not in misery. As every method of escapism is unique , the diverse styles used in the track are fully applicable given the context and that they harmonize so well together kind of shows us that somehow things do add up to create something that can be perceived as beautiful, albeit in a melancholic way because there is no real happiness in the escape. The next track called Fear of Humanity, and is the Soul of the Album which describes the main character’s worldview. A solid track , very powerful and sung with so much pain, it might become your cocoon. Then we have ‘My Alien Father’ which lends a bit of perspective to where the paranoia of the protagonist (for lack of a better word), stems from. His father is mesmerized by alien theories and if he protagonist’s own world view wasn’t depressive enough, he has ‘The War of the Worlds’ to worry about too. The next two tracks Retreat Underground and Subway Dwellers complement each other beautifully, musically and lyrically. The pacy Retreat Underground mirrors the panic certain anxieties manage to conjure and then when you are well within your retreat or your escape you can catch a breath and make poignant observations about the world and the people around you. Subway Dwellers, is a slow slightly poppy composition and the way the previous track leads into this one is sublime. From this subway of observations and inner protests, the next track transports you to a highway of dreams. Defense Highway deals with being lost in memories of the past as a defense mechanism to avoid waking up to the present. You can hear influences from Failure, drum-n-bass, barbershop quartets, Debussy, and more in this 10 minute song which alternates between full band sections and stripped down interludes (mostly solo piano). Thanks to the song’s frequent tempo changes and numerous sections in free rhythm (which are thus of indeterminate length), it had to be tracked in multiple chunks and somewhat out-of-order. Inner Sanctum, which follows this one, deals with giving in to your inner self, giving in to life or giving in to something. Something that keeps you away from the madness you don’t want to deal with, for the time being at least. This is followed by ‘Languishing in the Lower Chakras’. For the uninitiated, Chakras are a Hindu concept and deal with the new agey wellness ideas(ironically coming from the oldest religion in world). Healing your lower chakras is supposed to give you a sense of safety, boost your creativity and give you more power. The track seems to convey this. It is mainly instrumental with some voices , seemingly on the outside, when the protagonist is still hiding from them in his inner sanctum. At the very end, as if to show that there is some healing that has taken place he screams ‘Get me out of here’ a few times. And the album ends with the powerful ‘Curing Somatization’. This is sort of the ‘destruction leads to a very rough road but it also breeds creation’ track of the album. It is a struggle between the forces that beckon change and the forces that want to stay the same. St last he breaks the shackles of his burdenous comfort zone and is finally free. Now the album:

Well, I request you to buy the CD from bandcamp: http://thegabrielconstruct.bandcamp.com/ or following them on their website: http://thegabrielconstruct.com/category/interior-city/. This kind of music is endangered species and needs all the help it can get.

Park Planet: Circles


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We would like to round off this month and this week with this superbly mixed, beautifully composed, hauntingly melancholic and awesomely sung track by Park Planet (Glasgow based, introduced by us in January). My mind and my music player are both going around in circles with this track on repeat all evening. Sip your Macallan, munch some crisps, sink deep inside your couch and let the sound lazily surround you:

Park Planet: Alive


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Glasgow based althernative rock band ‘Park Planet’, whom we introduced in November, have come out with a new single called Alive. The word Alive forms the title of many legendary songs and this new single from Glasgow has enough potential to place it close to its Pearl Jam namesake. A very single malty smooth classic, with great vocals and some fantastic guitar work going for it; this track makes you want to croon along and lose yourselves in its outstanding melody:

This Much


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Boston based Indie Rock is the flavor for the last couple of days as far as I am concerned. The very promising ‘This Much’ sent across the links to their 2 track EP . We are very impressed with what they have created already and the promising potential they have displayed in these two tracks. The sound is melodic and mellow on the lines of Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver and others of their ilk. Without further ado, here are both the tracks for your listening pleasure:

If you like what you hear, please spread the word and help ‘This Much’ have a great remainder of this festive season and a fabulous 2013. Cheers and best wishes as always!

 

Camera2: Just about made it!


We have been hibernating for the last few days without warning. However, we are back now and hope to be as regular as we normally are with the posts. With the festive season already in our midst, a kid Santa of the kind shown in the video shown above seems to be the most appropriate way to start the proceedings. I loved the video and the song and hope you enjoy them too.

A little bit about the band Camera2: ‘Brooklyn foursome Camera2 is made up of producer-songwriter-vocalist — Andy Chase (Tahiti 80/Juliana Hatfield/Smashing Pumpkins), guitarist — Michael Jurin (Stellastarr*), bassist — Aric Gillis (Teenage Kick) and drummer — Mike Williams (Teddybears). The band came together in mid-2012 and soon after completed an album Andy wrote and produced in his home studio with co-production by Blondfire’s Bruce Driscoll. Camera2 is a decidedly new direction and a departure from the sounds of the previous projects for all the members who have now stepped into a harder hitting, darker, upbeat and more electronically driven indie-universe’

If you like what you here you could follow them on soundcloud after invoking your inner Sherlock to cleverly decrypt the link below:

Or if video has already killed your radio star, they also have a youtube channel.

4 Cities: Games


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A peppy riff, action sport friendly vibe, perfect blend of electronica and guitar: 4 Cities are back with their smashing new single ‘Games’. All I can say is ‘It was worth the wait’. A nice funky 70’s vibe with the aid of modern technology and a a touch of the 90’s in the vocals. Have fun and dance and own your world: