soundillustrated

SoundWave1 – New Music!

As this is my first post, I’m going to give a little explanation of how these SoundWaves work.

Every Thursday, I post new music – artists, albums, and songs – that have recently been released. Each selection includes a clip of the album artwork, a hyperlink to the music video or song (click above the ↑ to play), an in-blog audio file, and a personal music review.

Let me know what you think, and subscribe to get new music updates emailed to you every week. → → → → → → → → → →

I CAN BE INDIE TOO

Where the Kids Are - Blondfire

“Where the Kids Are” – Blondfire

*Like this song? Click here for similar new music.*

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Well, thank you for this, Honda. Why do car commercials always have the best music? It’s like they are all catering to a slightly indie-leaning, alternative pop listening demographic. I mean really, what people our age are buying new, souped up, $25,000 cars? Maybe they just know who watches ESPN and MTV in the middle of the day…

Any way you look at it, though, Blondfire have crafted their own great style here. They are somewhat reminiscent of The Naked and Famous, although I think Erica Driscoll has the upper hand here when it comes down to vocals. The group thankfully stays away from the typical indie/alternative scheme of making their songs sound like they were recorded in someone’s garage (even if they were, no one wants it to sound like that – trust me).

This brother-sister duo has set things up nicely for themselves with this tune. The hook is catchy, the drum beat nicely syncopated, and the layering of instruments is well done. Sing-able, simple, sweet.

NEVER THE ‘TWAIN SHALL MEET

Miracle - Blackmill

“Let it Be (feat. Veela)” – by Blackmill

*Like this song? Click here for similar new music.*

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Who would think that a sexy dance song could also have a dubstep beat? I didn’t believe it. But here Blackmill goes, proving me wrong.

I discovered him when browsing artists similar to Zedd (check that guy out if you want some German-tinged crazy dubstep beats with an oddly solid classical approach). Usually I don’t mind this style of music to be mindless and repetitive, because I just want to dance or drive to it. After previewing a few of his songs, however, I came across this one…

It starts off in your typical electronic/techno way – sounds slowly layer and build, a looped vocal line comes in, and you think “yeah, I know where this is going.” But then BAM! 1:11 comes and the greasiness just gets you.

Alright, maybe it’s not as super crazy as that. But still, it never caves to the usual pressures of this genre (a crazy loud freak-out section somewhere in the middle), and instead maintains its chill, relaxed, ethereal feel throughout. Good job, Blackmill. And Veela, whomever you are – stay classy.

POP CONFESSION

Heart Attack - Demi Lovato

“Heart Attack” – Demi Lovato

*Like this song? Click here for similar new music.*

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So, Demi Lovato…to be honest, I know nothing about her, really. I get all these ex-Disney stars and Bieber’s girlfriends confused with each other from week to week. Sometimes they’re blonde, sometimes brunette, sometimes in jail, and sometimes making campy made-for-tv movies…(wait, this could mean Lindsay Lohan or Ahsley Tisdale…you see my dilemma).

Once I heard “Give Your Heart a Break,” I was hooked. Maybe it’s her penchant for heavy string accompaniment that is my downfall, or maybe I just have a problem and low standards, but either way, Demi Lovato has gifted us another catchy pre-summer belt-it-out song. I realize that this may not be high quality music, but “Party in the USA” ruined me forever for this subset of cheesy pop. And, autotuned/synthesized or not, her voice sounds so awesome on this one that “I think I’ll have a heart attack.”

THROWBACK OR COMEBACK?

Rebel Beat - Goo Goo Dolls

“Rebel Beat” – Goo Goo Dolls

*Like this song? Click here for similar new music.*

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I’ve never been a big Goo Goo Dolls fan. I think I was too young for their music when they first hit the scene, and once I got old enough to start appreciating music outside of what my sister introduced me to (namely Mariah Carey and The Backstreet Boys), they were rather passé. Although I think everyone born in the latter part of the 20th century will have a special place in their heart for “Iris.”

That being said, I was pleasantly surprised when I decided to listen to their new single, “Rebel Beat.”  It definitely has a modern feel to it, which you can hear right from the start with the drum kit beat. In turns nostalgic and hopeful, the lyrics are typical Goo Goo Dolls, but somehow the lack of change in this department is refreshing rather than redundant. Some things will always be here, and nothing else really matters in the end – just listen to this rebel beat and “run like hell.”

ACROSS THE POND

Bastille-Pompeii

“Pompeii” – Bastille

*Like this song? Click here for similar new music.*

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If Vampire Weekend and Panic! at the Disco had a lovechild, Bastille would be it, and Mumford & Sons would be their godfather. Aspects of all the aforementioned bands can be found in this Manchester-based group’s thumping single, which is currently tearing it up on all the English charts.

This song intrigues me because I feel like it refuses to be put in any particular musical box. There are random disparate elements of different genres throughout. At the outset, there’s a chorus of male voices that would rival any Enya song of old. Next we get a spattering of light electric guitar notes to guide a tremulous single vocal line before the chorus breaks in and we have a Mumford-esque quavering melody that catchily plays with rhythms. You can almost see a showy, Panic! at the Disco side coming in at times, and the randomly appearing string instruments harken back to early Vampire Weekend. Overall, a fun song that promises good things for this group.

ANTICIPATION

Let Us Move On - Dido

“Let Us Move On (feat. Kendrick Lamar)” – Dido

*Like this song? Click here for similar new music.*

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I’m so FREAKING excited for Dido’s new album (out March 26th in the USA)! Her last outing was less than successful (and not only in my estimation), so everyone is holding his/her breath to see if this will be a step back in the right direction. Dido herself described this album as a “big, fun, electronic extravaganza,” so of course that got me excited.

Her lead single off the album, featuring underground (until recently) West Coast rapper Kendrick Lamar, doesn’t disappoint. It has a great tip-hop beat going on, reminiscent of some of Lana del Rey’s songs, a feat of production which Dido’s breezy yet convincing vocals perfectly offsets. If this is a reliable preview of the new album, we have much to look forward to.

PICK OF THE WEEK – ROLL THE WINDOWS DOWN

Chocolate - The 1975

“Chocolate” – The 1975

*Like this song? Click here for similar new music.*

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First of all, does anyone have any idea what words this guy is singing? Honestly, I’m pretty good at languages usually, and I have no idea what this song, as a whole, is about. I can pick up a few words here and there – primarily “chocolate” – but overall it’s a complete mystery.

That aside, this song is fabulous. It has a fun, skipping beat, and, if you don’t mind the slightly emo/cracking vocalist, excellent melody. It reminds me of Reece Mastin’s “Shout It Out,” which, if you know me, is a very good thing (I had that one on repeat for about 3 straight weeks this past summer).

I’m not sure I’ll be listening to The 1975 for years to come, but I do know that “Chocolate” gave this last week of February just the peppy shot-in-the-arm it needed.

That’s it for SoundWave 1! Comments are much appreciated and will help make this blog more entertaining and elucidating. Thanks for readlistening.

Want to listen to all these songs at once? Check out my Youtube Playlist for this SoundWave!