Category Archives: Artist Spotlight

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Bring in the Noyse

The best band I discovered in 2012 was Aunt Martha. I heard a song called “Bloodshot”, and then proceeded to buy their entire discography off iTunes. Their most recent release was February 2011 so I started digging, and discovered that Aunt Martha is now defunct, however Tim Noyes (the voice of Aunt Martha) released an 8-song album called “In Hands” this past February. These tunes are rock solid and need to be heard. “In Hands” kicks off with “Fade With You” featuring Noyes’ smooth vocals set to dreamy distorted guitars. “Saturday”, the album’s second cut, is complex and beautiful with sonic guitars in rhythm with Noyes’ a little more than slightly hushed vocals. Noyes then proceeds to knock the dust off of one of my favorite Aunt Martha songs in a beautifully re-worked “Blue Buildings”. Noyes makes damn sure not to waste any time on these 8 tracks delivering songs that are sure to shimmer and shine all summer long. Do yourself a favor and dig into the Noyse, Aunt Martha and everything after.

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“And our happy hearts are twice as fast, splitting hairs and getting by, trying everyday and always, to belong.”

The+Last+Royals+1

Brooklyn Duo, The Last Royals released their full length debut in January. Twistification is an American indie infused electronic pop record full of reflective lyrics tangled up in inside of upbeat music. The album opens with the weepy “Winter Waltz” however the mood quickly changes into “Friday Night”, which will at the very least make you bop your head. “Wake Up” is a song about facing inevitable change and is one of the strongest anthems on the album. Twistification comes full circle on “Always to belong” which is pound for pound the best track on the album and is full of earnest lyrics set to dreamy guitars and a simple beat. Twistification is an album about the brutal honesty of change. The Royals capture those intimate moments that we can all relate to and hold so dearly in our hearts. Nostalgia is one of the many reasons we love music because it allows us to feel young again. The visceral “I Hate California” stops Twistification in its tracks before settling into the “Barefoot Winter Waltz”. This album is a stellar find for the summer that lies ahead. It will punch you in the gut, and twist you up into knots, yet leave you feeling infinite like a great album should. Eric James and Mason Ingram are The Last Royals, and they have arrived and hopefully will be on the radar for years to come!
Stream Twistification and buy it on their Band Camp page.

A Lion Named Roar

“…Petals on a wet black bough.”
A Lion Named Roar A Lion Named Roar is one of the last new artists that we discovered in 2012 and they kick off their eclectic EP titled Foreign Land with the song that appears to be about something or someone beautiful that seemed to burn out bright. “This Won’t Last for Long” will grab you and hold you just to make sure you’re listening, because Foreign Land is an EP that is sure to be the leading candidate for “talks the least, but says the most”.  Lasting just over 25 minutes, A Lion Named Roar fires on all cylinders from the from the epic opener, through Desert Wind, all the way to the dreamy acoustic closer, “Ghost In New York City”. The brightest spot for me is the bridge on the track “Remember Me” with the lyrics “Oh baby can it really be love when I’ve been pretending to be what you want?” Foreign Land really strikes the right chord painting a perfect imagery of those heart-wrenching, yet, beautiful moments in life that we’ve all experienced. These songs are apparitions reminding us of the all too familiar faces in the crowd …“Are you going to make your name before the credits roll?”

“This Won’t Last For Long”
[audio http://k007.kiwi6.com/hotlink/fv5tevf4l1/a_lion_named_roar_-_this_won_t_last_for_long.mp3] If you like them, you can check them out on iTunes or Spotify.

“January Snap & the April Winter Thaw, Rough & Tumble Summers Underneath the Midnight Sun.”

  Rural Alberta Advantageraa                                   

“In the Summertime” [audio http://k007.kiwi6.com/hotlink/15czutmmw5/13_in_the_summertime.mp3]

“The Ballad of the RAA” [audio http://k007.kiwi6.com/hotlink/82hb0s3f50/01_the_ballad_of_the_raa.mp3]

When I first heard The Rural Alberta Advantage back in 2008, my only criticism was that their songs were not long enough because they left me wanting so much more. They have an eclectic sound that has the ability to take you back to those defining moments in life where you constantly traveled back and forth between insecure and infinite. Their two releases “Hometowns” and “Departing” compliment one another by being completely opposite. “Hometowns” is that epic summer when you found love in life. It was when you met the people who made you feel completely at home. This is that feeling you have spent trying to duplicate each summer as you grow older but for some reason nothing ever seems to compare. “Departing” is when life got a little serious and maybe you felt a little pain for the first time. It’s that car ride in attempt to empty your mind and ease your soul. It’s a beautiful winter day full of hope and all you can do is think to yourself…oh my God do you remember when? Personally, I favor “Departing” because it is well-thought out, gorgeous music and the album flows from the Neutral Milk Hotel-esque “Two Lovers” all the way to one of the most beautiful nostalgic “those were the golden days” songs ever written called “Goodnight”. “Departing” is also one of those perfect post-holiday depressing January records. It sure does feel good to slow down.
Be sure to check out Rural Alberta Advantage on Spotify.

“Goodnight”
[audio http://k007.kiwi6.com/hotlink/mi7f9uro05/10_good_night.mp3]

goodnight, goodnight
goodnight, goodnight
goodnight, goodnight
goodnight, to the northern winters (goodnight)
and the heartless sinners (goodnight)
I haven’t seen you now for a while (goodnight)
going to miss you more with time (goodnight)

goodnight to the workers on compress (goodnight)
and the equally depressed (goodnight)
I haven’t seen you now for awhile (goodnight)
you have burned yourself in my mind (goodnight)

plug the radiator in the car
so i can see the words you’re screaming in the frost
rushing to the woods where we first felt god
red quilled to our veins from the moment when we touched

the cities love is cold and the cities love is harsh
locked into our veins from the first September’s frost
and someday if you get back together in your heart
maybe when can back back together

but goodnight to the Alberta advantage (goodnight)
I’m leaving just like we planned it (goodnight)
and you can still escape with your life (goodnight)
so I’ve just escaped with my life (goodnight)

goodnight, to the five, twos, and sixers
please look after my sister
let her know that I’ve missed her tonight
and I miss her more with time

the cities love is cold and the cities love is harsh
locks into our veins from the first September’s frost
January snap and the April winter thaw
rough and tumble summers underneath the midnight sun

rushing to the woods where we first felt God
locked into our veins from the moment when we touched
and someday if you get back together in your heart
maybe we might get back together

but goodnight and goodnight
goodnight, goodnight
goodnight, goodnight

Damn Good.

damnwells

On a random day some odd years ago right around the time I got back from Wilmington North Carolina I discovered The Damnwells on a whim. I heard the smooth groove of “Golden Days” come on whatever Pandora station I had spinning at the time. It was one of those musical moments when time stops and you just get lost in the notes. I purchased their record “Air Stereo” and became good good friends with it for quite some time. It wasn’t until Alex Dezen released demos of songs like the gut-wrenchingly beautiful “Bastard of Midnight”, and the heartbreaking, “Down with the Ship” that I fell in love with The Damnwells. Dezen’s songs transcend no matter how loud or soft they’re played which is what makes him so good. There is something to be said for an artist who can rip your heart out so beautifully with an acoustic guitar, and then make you dance when you’re feeling better. It’s going on 2013 and I have been hanging with The Damnwells for almost seven years now. Do yourself a favor and get lost in their catalogue this winter.

Notable tracks: Golden Days, Like it is, She Goes Around, Kiss Catastrophe, I am a leaver.

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Happy End Of The World Day!

Shine on through the dark!

Hello Monday Morning! Meet Morning Parade…

Morning ParadeSometimes you win when you judge a book by the cover. I stumbled across Morning Parade when I was searching for something new on iTunes. From the opening chords of “Blue Winter” all the way to the epic final track “Born Alone” this album is Chock Full O’Awesome. I had the opportunity to see Morning Parade back in November and they did not disappoint! Get Morning Parade in your headphones A.S.A.P

Notable Tracks: Headlights, Under The Stars, Close To Your Heart, Born Alone.