Coming from New York City, The Postelles are bringing back catchy 50’s rock ‘n roll but with a modern spin. Their upbeat tempo and cheerful disposition have been catching ears and taking over headphones. The lead vocals get pitch perfect support from the band, while instrumentals and production are flawless. Tapping into music’s memoirs, these young guys are showing the world how they do old school. The four friends from high school began attracting significant attention by playing shows in New York, Paris, and London.
The rock quartet recently released a new 4-track EP ‘White Night’ (Astralwerks / Capitol) on March 2nd, 2010.
- Looking Glass
- Can’t Stand Still
- 123 Stop
Blue Roses’ Laura Groves has a delicate presence. With heavy pounds on the piano or strong plucks of the guitar, her soft voice carries the weight of the words she sings and the fragile emotions she emits in each song. This musician from Yorkshire, England released her debut album, Blue Roses, in 2009 on XL Recordings.
- I Am Leaving
- Greatest Thoughts
- Can’t Sleep
Known for his lean acoustic sound and finger-picking blues style, Fink’s pop consciousness has set his music apart. His recording career began with Ninja Tune, the London-based independent record label, which released his debut album Fresh Produce in 2001. In 2006, he released Biscuits For Breakfast, which had a wider appeal and gained a significant audience. In May of 2009, the fourth full-length album, Sort of Revolution, was released and features collaborations with John Legend.
- Sort Of Revolution
- Walking In The Sun
- See It All
- This Is The Thing
Manchester’s Starless & Bible Black released their sophmore album Shape of the Shape, which is an illustration of the trio’s evolution and overall shift to more of a futuristic space cowboy’s song. Distancing their strategy to that of their self-titled debut album in 2006, the sound lost its acoustic feel. Helene Gautier’s voice stands up front, backed by an electric surround of wired instruments and reverberating tones.
- Your Majesty Man
- Say Donna Say
- Les Furies
Born in Tel Aviv, Israel, Luke Top adopted music at an early age.
Signed by Slow Death Records, his debut album, Friends, was self-recorded in a backyard bungalow. The music has an easygoing style that flows without stutter. Although typically a solo artist, he has been a part of a number of musical collaborations which include Cass Mccombs, The Papercuts, Foreign Born, and co-founding of the L.A. based Afro-Hebrew dance band Fool’s Gold.
- Plainest Draught
- Lord, Save Me from This Valley
Coming out of Los Angeles, vocalist/guitarist Solon Bixler from 30 Seconds to Mars, drummer Davey Latter, and vocalist/keyboardist Rachel Stolte make up the Indie/Alternative group Great Northern. Their debut album “Trading Twilight For Daylight”, was recorded at the “Donner & Blitzen” studio and produced by Mathias Schneeberger in 2007. Their follow-up album, Remind Me Where The Light Is was released April of ‘09.
Each album demands a bit of patience. A quick listen wouldn’t do the music justice and would definitley leave the listener unfulfilled. Each album holds a few gems making the listen well worth the time. Bixler and Stolte’s voices comlpiment each other and are beautifully showcased in song’s like 33, where the lyrics dance and tangle right to the edge of the album.
Thomas Dybdahl is a Norwegian singer/songwriter. His music is often downhearted and expressive in a signature low-key style. Starting as the guitarist for the Quadraphonics, Thomas went solo and quickly released four critically acclaimed albums. His latest self-titled album, Thomas Dybdahl, was released September 15, 2009.
- From Grace
- Be A Part
- I Need Love Baby, Love, Not Trouble
Some say practice makes perfect and as we know practice takes time. As Tall As Lions have been playing together since high school, working towards perfection. Starting in 2002 and pushing towards their common goal, this is the year they take a giant leap. Finishing up a personal tour and joining up with musical powerhouse MUTEMATH in late September, As Tall As Lions are ready to spread their idea of perfection.
Their latest album, You Can’t Take It With You, was released August 18, 2009.
- Love, Love, Love (Love, Love)
- You Can’t Take It With You
Matt Pelham, Roger Dabbs, Don Sergio and Parrish Yaw make up the American Indie Rock band from Tennessee named The Features. Despite making amazing music since 2004, the band just hasn’t quite been able to make it in the American music scene. They have found success overseas in big music areas like the UK, but are ready to make waves in the states. In the same month, the band released their latest album and were signed by the brand new Kings of Leon controlled label founded by Bug Music CEO John Rudolph. Touring with these recent music gods might just be the break they’ve been waiting for.
Their latest album, Some Kind of Salvation, released in late July, is a great record front to back. Pelham’s nasal vocals deliver catchy hooks while backed by powerful rock instrumentals. Their songs, short yet precise, are somewhat unusual for alternative rock. Make sure to keep an eye on these soon to be well known musicians.
Portugal, The Man are now working from their own imprint label called Approaching AIRballoons through indie label Equal Vision Records. The American band from Wasilla, Alaska are doing what it takes to keep their promise of releasing an album every year since 2006. Their latest creation, The Satanic Satanist, dropped July 21, 2009.
The album takes off with a bang. The first track, People Say, is an absolute smash. Halfway through the Oasis style guitar intro, you can tell this song has true potential. Between the powerful verses, catchy hook, and harmonious chorus sung by the band, this song is what Independent Alternative music is all about. A perfect transition flows into the second track, Work All Day, which certainly keeps the albums momentum, set off from the start. The album could be noted as the bands best yet.
-Guns and Dogs
-Work All Day
Although front man Dave Longstreth is the only perpetual piece of the band Dirty Projectors, their latest album is consistently quality. He is supported by a rotating arrangement of members, which gives each song a sense of individualism. Refusing to abide by the natural laws of tempo, many of the tracks are almost uncomfortable on first listen. The speed of a song can change, back and forth, within seconds, almost reminiscent of a subway ride on acid. Don’t believe me? Listen to Temecula Sunrise in headphones and get back to me. After first listen, this song’s value shines through and becomes a steady play. Although not on the latest album, Knotty Pine, which features David Byrne, has infiltrated my latest playlist. A good friend once told me “If David Byrne approves, it’s definitely worth a listen.” So true. The song is upbeat, heavy with acoustic guitar and dancing vocals. A duet, Byrne’s pipes are matched by a beautiful female voice.
-Stillness Is The Move
Hip Hop is universal, but each artist has their own unique spin and touch to their sound. Arabesque, coming from Toronto, Canada, has put together some seriously hot tracks. His songs may feature extremely strong instrumentals, some club bangers and some hard mixes, but its most definitely his lyrics and delivery that stand out. Every track on his lengthy mixtape, Hang Your Heroes, is worth checking out.
Rostam Batmanglij of Vampire Weekend and Wes Miles of Ra Ra Riot teamed up on a space mission to a different level of music. The duo, branded Discovery, have released their LP this month and it’s just in time for the summer. A fusion of sounds, reminiscent of slot machines, old school video games, and anything else we never thought musical, the design is anything but usual. The combination of synthesized happiness and pop vocals make for a fun LP containing quite a few keepers.
“Orange Skirt”, the first track, starts the LP off very strong. The contagious hook and speaker-bumping beat make this one an easy favorite. Everything about this song screams summer standout. “Osaka Loop” is more MGMT than desired, but the unordinary arrangement and sparkling tones make it somewhat unforgettable. Putting their glamourish touch on The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” isn’t the disaster I was expecting. It’s basically a futuristic touch to the historic dance piece, like two times colliding.
Labeled on his myspace as Melodramatic Popular Song, a new musical genre is born. Charlie is a 23 year old, unsigned singer/songwriter from London. His last.fm profile describes him as “Softly spoken, half Maltese, Londoner, movie lover, coffee drinker, song writer…” but this is just about all the information you can get on this mysterious musician.
He is working on an album entitled ” All Your Friends”, which is due out in the near future. His songs are beautifully written, with heavy concentration on melody. My favorite track is “One Of These Days”, which can be compared to a slower Coldplay song. In fact, Charlie’s voice sounds similar to Chris Martins at times.
You can catch Charlie at Monkey Chews in Chalk Farm, London every month.
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.