Ben Rector has a certain appeal that isn’t found in most contemporary music. The type of style that can’t be defined by a one word genre title. He recently moved to Nashville Tennessee to pursue a career in music as a singer/songwriter. His life’s story isn’t easy to come by when searching the reaches of the internet, but it seems most of his information can be found in the music. A post college musician moving on to the next step of his career. Although his music is undeniably professional, Ben remains unsigned. Maybe that’s the defining sparkle of this story; that a musician can successfully create and share his music through his own efforts. His latest album, Into the Morning, contains a consecutive string of solid songs ready for the world.
- The Beat
- White Dress
- When A Heart Breaks
Matt Morris is an American singer-songwriter and the son of country music star Gary Morris. His songs have been recorded by artists including Justin Timberlake, Kelly Clarkson, and Christina Aguilera. In 2003, Morris recorded and released an independent album titled, UnSpoken. Morris is currently signed as a recording artist to Tennman Records. His debut album on Tennman, When Everything Breaks Open, was released on January 12th, 2010.
- Live Forever
- Don’t You Dare
Diane Birch started traveling the globe at a young age. Although born in Michigan, she spent her childhood in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Sydney Australia. The daughter of a preacher, Diane moved to wherever her father found work. By the age of ten, she and her family moved back to the states and called Portland, Oregon home.
Its not her experience in travel that stands out in the music, but more a sense of time travel. Diane’s classic voice is complemented by her old school style and instrumentals. On the backend of a major tour with Matt Kearney, Birch will then make her way to Japan. She is spreading word about her debut album on S-Cureve Records called Bible Belt, which she wrote the lyrics and music for.
- Nothing But a Miracle
- Rise Up
Singer/Songwriter, Alexander Wolfe, is from South East London. His tempo is slow and the songs may be dark, but the music is too beautiful to be considered depressing. Alexander is known for his poetic lyrics. The words he sings are brilliant and stand apart from the thin work the industry is used to. His myspace profile and the live videos posted on youtube are saturated with comments containing the words “Amazing” and “Genius”, attached to pasted lyrics of his.
The album will be released digitally on October 12th, 2009 on Redemption Records, preceded by first single ‘Till Your Ship Comes in’ on October 5th. You can check out his album HERE.
- Till Your Ship Comes In
- Stuck Under September
- Lazy Bones
Coming from all corners of the globe, Their Hearts Were Full of Spring came together to create top notch Indie Pop music. Named after a Beach Boys song selected on shuffle, THWFS is a mouthful even when abbreviated. Their lively instrumentals mix with Markus’ somber vocals to create an intriguing blend of music.
- A Question of Trust
- St. Cecilia
- Take Your Own Good Advice
Fool’s Gold is an Afro-pop Los Angeles based collective that can make any stiff wanna move to their exotic rhythms and unusually global lyrics. Combining many dimensions of music into this fuzed sound of global jazz, the world’s music rarely finds a home in one place. As a side project, vocalist/bassist Luke Top and lead guitarist Lewis Pesacov decided to work on their common appreciation for African music and weave it in with some other unexpected styles. Combining their efforts with a revolving cast of a dozen or so band members, the group began to take form. Israeli born Luke Top, used his native Hebrew language throughout the album which brings an unusual vocal appearance to some of the songs.
Recorded mostly live at the Sunset Lodge recording studio in Los Angeles in 2008, they only gave the album two days. Like music scavengers, they later completed the work in apartment living rooms and closets in 2009. Fool’s Gold is set to release their debut album on September 29, 2009.
Ghostland Observatory are originally from Austin, Texas, but lately they have been spreading their music throughout the country. The duo, comprised of front man Aaron Behrens and producer/drummer Thomas Turner, create some of the best Electronic Rock. Represented by Turner’s label Trashy Moped, they have released three albums to date, starting with their first in 2005. Known for their live performances and unique stage presence, Ghostland has been making waves on the road. Behren’s showmanship and vocals have been compared to the likes of musical great Freddy Mercury.
- Sad Sad City
- Silver City
- Midnight Voyage
An insane ear trip, blending the new and old in a swimming pool of electronica. Girl Talk is what I would imagine an A.D.D. DJ born in the early 80’s would sound like. The music is a power hour mixtape spinning out of control, blending the usual 60 second intervals in 5 second sets. This musical genius is known offstage as Gregg Michael Gillis. He is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and began his solo efforts while studying biomedical engineering at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.
Formally of the band The Format, Nate Ruess put together a new group with Jack Antonoff of Steel Train and Andrew Dost of Anathallo. The New York band, Fun, is exactly what the name implies. The upcoming album is called Aim and Ignite and has a planned release date of August 25, 2009, but can be streamed on Myspace HERE.
I am sure we will dedicate the 25th to reviewing their album release, but till then check out the stream and our song selections…
- At Least I’m Not As Sad (As I Used To Be)
- Walking The Dog
- Light A Roman Candle With Me
Francis and the Lights is a band from New York City, led by Francis Farewell Starlite. Cantora Records released a new EP from the band, LIME/WYN, in 2009. The music is oddly entrancing with its slow and melodic flow. Francis’s voice sweeps you in with his trusting voice and easy tempo.
-Can’t Tell Me Nothing (Kanye West Cover)
Whitest Boy Alive is a band hailing from Berlin. Famous for his Indie history with groups like the Kings of Convenience, Erlend Øye is the band’s lead singer and guitarist. The group originally started as an electronic dance project, but slowly began to lose their programmed elements. They create dance music bound by a rock consideration. Their product features the dancing tones of Øye’s guitar, subtle vocals, accentuating keys, and a platform built on funky bass and drums. Each element maintains individual space as to not interfere, yet compliment, one another. Unified, the jazzy sound is completely infectious.
Their most notable song is Burning, from their Dreams album. The song’s rolling composition never breaks or switches tempo. Not the most complex song, Øye’s voice and heavy baseline make it so interesting. Other standout tracks are Intentions, 1571, and Courage. All of which are off of their latest album Rules.
This ominous artist certainly has what it takes. The road to musical stardom is anything but easy, yet it seems Adam Stidham is heading in the right direction. With style, press, and talent all in place, it appears only time will tell. Although still very young, at age 23, this artist’s music has a mature sound. Every song on the five track EP has undeniably professional qualities. As the mysterious melodies drive the songs, his natural voice tells the tale of paranoia, heartache, and human nature.
Although not the most popular of his songs, if gauged by MySpace plays and iTunes downloads, the standout track is definitely “We’ve Got Company”. Creating the feel of following someone and trying not to get caught, the behavior of this song stimulates somewhat sinister sentiment. The haunting vocals paint the image of obsessive suspicion and create an environment of an almost claustrophobic mind. With every play, this song only gets better.
“Something Real” is beautiful, soft, and easy to listen to. Playing on the trials and tribulations of romantic relationships and the power to persevere, it’s an easy topic to relate to. Definitely written for the ladies, but any music lover can appreciate the niceties of this song. The lyrics are charming and the song is well composed, not sure what else you can ask for. Completely radio friendly and ready to evoke emotions on the big screen, its no wonder this song is the most popular among fans.
The Jon Levine Band definitely knows how to turn the dial both ways. The standout song featured on his Myspace, “Hot Girls”, is a party in and of itself. It’s the type of song that you listen to for the first time and have to play it back to make sure you heard it right. The verses have a basic upbeat piano feel until you get hit with a left hook. Reminiscent of the Bee Gees, the chorus makes this song anything but ordinary. Definitely street walking music. It’s a completely fun song, that’s really well composed.
Playing to our mortality issues, “Happy” is another hit waiting to break. Its just the type of song you can’t help but chant along to. The words are simple and easy to follow. It’s definitly an anthem for reckless behavior.
Don’t let the first two song reviews fool you, there is a soft side underneath that party exterior. Bringing the setting back to a slow cook, “If I Could Sing” proves that this band has the ability to bring it down with a love song.
Chicago has done it again. With powerful vocals and and contagious melodies, this 24 year old is ready to explode. Releasing his debut collection ‘All Those Pretty Lights EP’ on iTunes, the scene is set for stardom. The first song that caught my attention was In Your Sleep. “We’ve got a little bit of a situation now” and its apparent within the first verse. This kids voice is unreal with lyrics to match.
Dont sleep on this artist, he’s worth a look. It may haunt you in your sleep…