Here are my latest suggestions. I will be giving the blog a new look and format in the near future, but for now, I leave you with some choice songs. I am sorry for the extended disco absence, but I am back as the chaos of my life is finally calming down. Please enjoy these tracks, and since I am thinking of renovating this wonderful website, I welcome comments and concerns and suggestions of your own!
“Section 9 (Light & Day / Reach for the Sun)” by The Polyphonic Spree. This song houses a cacophony of sound, something that is expected of a band that has a lead singer, five backing vocalists and twelve musicians. With that many people, you would imagine that the music would be too much of an assailant to the ears, but the variations of instruments makes for an eclectic and potent song. I first heard this particular track when an episode of Scrubs featured it. I fell for it and immediately went in search of more music. Upon listening to it, it is easy to see why critics and fans coin The Polyphonic Spree as a psychedelic pop group. If you ever see them live, you will also notice their uniform: multicolored robes that give way to the impression that they might be some musical cult who will be in the press for being the next to swallow cyanide laced kool-aid (I apologize for the apparent insensitivity by referring to cults, but if you ever see a picture of these guys, or see them live, you will begin to understand the description and correlation). This song opens with a simple keyboard and drum infused airy sound. Along with vocals, a flute and horn begin punctuating the music, and soon the song is in full bloom. The word that comes to mind most when listening to this song is “inspirational.” It definitely gives off positive vibes and is encouraging with its message of reaching for the sun.
“A Million Miles Away” by The Plimsouls. For those 80s lovers, here is a recommendation for you. The 80s cult flick Valley Girl featured this band and song. I first came across the movie when I was a freshman in college. I was not a fan of the movie itself, but came away loving two things: Nic Cage’s hair and this track. It definitely has an 80s tinny quality to it, before recording with better sound equipment became the norm. However, that does not detract from the music and lyrics, if anything it adds to it, giving it an underground touch. A driving drum beat propels the song while complementing the guitar and vocals. The band gained notoriety for its inclusion in the movie, thus launching the band into radio fame, and creating a new wave rock anthem of sorts. Seriously give it a listen and a purchase.
“Life is Life” by Noah & the Whale. This track is off the latest release by Noah & the Whale, Last Night On Earth. It is an album that has diverged from the acoustic, melodic, and atmospheric rock of previous albums. When I first heard the tracks they struck me with how much it sounded like a throw back to 80s pop. This particular song is my favorite from the new album. I love the lyrics and relate to them on a very personal level. It feels like the Gods are orchestrating a fabulous coincidence by having this song come out at a time in my life where the words hit home: “Well, he used to be somebody, now he’s someone else. Took apart his own life, left it on the shelf. Sick of being someone he did not admire, took apart his old things, set ’em all on fire. He’s going to change, going to change his ways, going to change, going to change his ways. And it feels like his new life can start, and it feels like heaven.” My first inclination was to describe this song as the Boss meets Paul Simon. And with further review and many more listens, I think it is an apt description. With synthetic beats and piano rock melodies, it combines musical growth with some of the most inspiring lyrics, two things that Mr. Simon and the Boss are not only known for, but excel at.
“A Teenager in Love” by The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart. When I first heard this track I mistook it for a Smith’s song, and I am not the only one who made the mistake. A former co-worker, who is a massive Smith’s and Morrissey fan, was simultaneously concerned and psyched upon first hearing the song, believing it was a lost, unreleased track from the British band. With a poppy sound, it brings all the frothy wonderfulness of 80s sentimental rock and combines with modern-day lyrical temperament. Male and female vocals sing over the backdrop of the sparkling synthetic sounds of keyboard and the constant drum and tinny guitar chords. I recommend this track if you love The Smith’s, and/or also if you have those days where nothing will satiate your 80s rock thirst, but you’ve heard all the songs a million times before.
“Bad Bad Love” by Alexander. This is from the recently released self-titled album Alexander. You may have previous knowledge of this artist as he is the lead singer of the group Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros (who I also recommend!). The song definitely has a seventies vibe to it, though not of the hard rock quality. It has bluesy, soulful folk rock and psychedelic tones. The track also highlights Alexander Ebert’s Dylanesque voice, as he wails the lyrics “how can I care anymore, bring me love, a bad, bad love.” He takes the best qualities of seventies folk rock and reintroduces them to a modern and younger audience. The best part about this: his album is only $5.00 over at Amazon.com right now! If you like this single, you will LOVE the rest of the album.