Single Mothers- Negative Qualities
Oct 19, 2014
Suggested Tracks: “Don’t”, “Crown Of Fire”, “Jesse”
Larkin Poe is a very unique band and this makes them very hard to be placed in a genre. I would call them Indie Country. Larkin Poe consists of two sisters, Megan and Rebecca Lovell and Kin (get it, because they are sisters) is their debut full length album. The album is very soft sounding in the most part with a few upbeat songs mixed in. The combination of the lead vocals from Rebecca and the harmony from Megan give the songs a very pleasant, attractive sound.
“Don’t” is the most upbeat song on the album musically. Vocally it shows they can be a little harsher while still sounding catchy and nice. Lyrically this song is about how she can do her own thing and nobody can tell her otherwise. “Don’t try to lie/ Don’t try to tell me/ Don’t try to buy me/ Don’t try to sell me” is one of the more effective choruses on the album.
“Crown of Fire” is lyrically about a tough relationship. She repeats how she doesn’t want to lose who she is with but she mistreats this person for things that are her fault. Musically it goes right along with the lyrics, starting with the harsh sounding strumming of an acoustic guitar that builds to an actual melody in the chorus.
It would be wrong to not talk about my favorite song on the album, “Jesse”. While listening to this album, this was the song that I kept going back to because I loved it so much. I’m not sure if it’s the quiet beat that builds to the chorus or the powerful lyrics that I like so much. Whatever it is though, this song is great. “It’s okay, Put the gun down/ It’s alright, Put the bottle away” is probably favorite lyrics on the whole album. I couldn't just listen to this song only once.
RIYL: Kings of Leon, The Killers, Arctic Monkeys
Recommended Tracks: “My Mind”, “In My Sleep”, “Dead End Road”
The Dealers are a Floridian melodic garage rock band. My Mind is their second EP, and they sound fantastic on it. It is really nice to hear an up-and-coming band with this much energy. The crisp and clean vocals are what makes this album as great as it is.
“My Mind” is the title track and it delivers on all fronts. The vocals are low during the verses and through the bridge they build up before peaking at the chorus. The song sounds just like the vocals say, “I can’t get you off my mind”. The way he sings it makes you believe he really can’t get this person off his mind and that is what makes this song a perfect album opener.
If you like faster and more shrill songs, “In My Sleep” has that covered. The song opens with a great guitar riff that is only used there and after each chorus. This song has more drums than guitar, and they sound so good you won’t mind it. The vocals are at a lower tone through the whole song, but it fits because they don’t overpower the drums which may be the best part of this song.
“Dead End Road” closes the album with a melodic, happy song. It sounds like a song that you would want to crank in the car with the windows down. The chorus will be stuck in your head after even one listen and you may find yourself singing along. Everything else about this song sounds slick from the vocals to the instrumentals.
RIYL: Dolly Parton, Little Big Town
Recommended tracks: Please Don’t Leave Me Now, The Law, Where’d You Go My Love
The Memphis Dawls mix folk and country perfectly in their new album Rooted in the Bone. The album consists of eleven beautifully written and played songs focused on love and heartbreak. The Memphis Dawls’ use of guitars, cellos, violas, accordions, and beautiful vocal harmonies will keep you listening.
“Please Don’t Leave Me Now” is the perfect song to introduce the album. It is a preview for what you will experience: fun and catchy songs that you won’t stop listening to. This song’s beautiful lyrics and catchy tune will attract audiences of any age. It is not a very complex song, but the combination of the vocals and instruments create a memorable sound.
The band’s harmony in “Where’d You Go My Love” can only be described as amazing. The blend of their voices creates an elegant sound that you won’t be able to get out of your head. It is a short song, just under three minutes, but it is one that you will remember. The many different instruments the band plays in this song mix perfectly to create a catchy folk tune.
Although the band’s three members all took different directions in hopes to make it in the music industry, they are together again and have created an awesome album that is worth listening to.
RIYL : The Dead Kennedys, DANGERS, Lewd Acts
Tracks to listen to: “Overdose," “Feel Shame," “Money”
Single Mothers, hailing from London,Ontario, Canada is bringing back the essence of classic punk rock to music today, through their new album Negative Qualities.The story behind the band is pretty interesting. Andrew Thomson, the band’s frontman actually quit the band in 2011 to mine for gold in Swastika, Ontario. He continued to record solo projects and mine for gold until 2013 when he came back together with the band to start working on Negative Qualities. Theband only recently locked in their lineup and started a North American tour.
For 26 minutes, Single Mothers puts us into a place of pure anarchy. All of the songs on the albums are driven by the lyrics in one way or another. Firing vocal shots at a laundry list of everything from religion, drugs, alcohol, and even pretentious fucks. Thomson puts himself in the center of the song and projects his own narrative through the songs.
He provides insight on his relationships through lines like “So either make a change or shut the fuck up about it already” and “If this is living the dream just kill me” The lyrics in general just present a “fuck you all” type of mentality, and the emotion put behind them generates the same feeling.
“Money” was one of my personal favorites off of the album. The guitar is less harsh than the other songs on the album, but it’s still able to emulate that hard rock sound.Thomson still screams his soul out as the song goes on. Another song that I enjoyed off the album was “Feel Shame”. The rugged vibe and lyrics really helped create a feeling of pure anger and hatred.
The album may not be the prettiest sound when it comes to being pleasant, but behind the cover, it has guts and a heart which is what makes a superb punk album and gives you a reason to give it a listen.
RIYL: Norah Jones, Beck, St. Vincent
Recommended Tracks- “Ooo”, “Rapt”, “Indian Summer”
On September 9th, Karen O released her solo album Crush Songs. The album is a collection of home recordings Karen O had created back in 2006 and 2007, and she started to add onto them by 2010. Singing in the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Karen O established herself as a punk icon. In between Yeah Yeah Yeah’s albums Karen O has worked on smaller projects that are very similar to her new album, such as her song Moon Song featured on the Her movie soundtrack.
The album starts off with the song “Ooo”, a hushed melody accompanied by an acoustic guitar singing soft whispers of a crush she once had. The album sounds almost like it was meant to be a demo, or it skipped the final stages of development, but that was Karen O’s intention. She wanted it to resemble a crush, a short moment that brings out strong emotion and usually does not become anything more than a crush.
“Rapt” is the albums anthem, the main idea behind the album. It is about “someone who became a habit that was hard to kick” according to Karen. It starts off much like a child’s lullaby, but the lyrics describe how she is dealing with her break up with director and writer Spike Jonze. She describes, “Love is soft/ love's a fucking bitch.” The song has the potential to be a kickass punk anthem, swearing off love and the newfound freedom of a breakup, but the instrumentals are holding the potential back.
The Doors cover, “Indian Summer”, is a perfect fit for her album and the sound she is trying to convey through Crush Songs. Karen’s version is much shorter than The Doors original version. Karen O explains that “When I was 27, I crushed a lot, I wasn’t sure I’d ever fall in love again. These songs were written and recorded in private around this time. They are the soundtracks to whatever was an ever-continuing love crusade. I hope they keep you company on yours.” Her album is overall a great foundation to her solo career, and she speaks to the middle school nerd in all of us with her crush anthems.
RIYL: Portugal the Man, Foster the People, Peter, Bjorn and John
tracks to listen to: “The Cool Kids," “Growing Younger," “Tourists”
Coming out of Hamburg,Germany Wilhelm Tell Me brings a jubilant sound to the Indie Pop scene. The band has been slowly making their way up in the genre of Indie Pop through the successful marketing of single songs, instead of albums or EPs. A Short Story For The Road brings fun, exuberant music for the entirety of its 33 minutes.
The song “Growing Younger” is quite enthralling because it presents a whole array of sounds. The light whispering of Henning Sommer coupled with the mellow bass line creates a relaxing sound. The whistling in the backdrop of the song also adds to the soothing effect of the song.
“Tourists” is definitely another great song in a fairly strong setlist on this EP. The song has electronic influences due to the use of a synthesizer throughout the song. The same could be said for the song “Let Me Take You Away” which is also very synth-heavy. The vocals are very ghostly in the way that they echo, creating this very haunting effect, which is eerie, but really enjoyable.
The EP itself presents a whole arrangement of different sounds, but is very cohesive at the same time. A Short Story For The Road is an EP that you really have to consider giving a listen to just for the sheer fun that the EP presents.
RIYL : System of a Down, Linkin Park, Coheed and Cambria
Tracks to listen to: “Hangman”, “Totality”, “Pumapunku”
Lotus Effect creates an interesting creature out of their new album Totality. The album incorporates and combines different sounds from a whole range of music genres including metal, progressive rock and psychedelic rock. The band, coming from Houston, Texas is slowly moving up the charts of alternative rock with their style of progressive rock.
At 55 minutes, the album provides us as listeners with a substantial amount of content to sort through. The song “Totality” generates the most emotion in the album. The use of heavy guitar riffs paired with Dre Giles’s booming voice creates a very traditional progressive rock sound. The emotion is driven behind the lyrics themselves. The way Giles provides emotion is through his sonorous tone which gives the lyrics life and makes you feel what he’s singing about.
Another song that you don’t want to miss on the album is “Pumapunku”. The song goes in a different direction due to the fact that it is instrumental. The guitar seems to mesh with the guitar to provide a setting for the song. This untraditional approach comes from the band’s roots as a jam style band.
Totality is an album that fits a specific taste. If you’re into a hardcore style of music, you would definitely fall in love with this album. Even if you are not a fan of this style of music, its still worth just one listen because of the fascinating sound.
RIYL- Ellie Goulding
“Up We Go,” “Speeding,” “Slow Down,” “How We Do It,” “Don’t Go Home Without Me"
Here’s something you may not be used to seeing here, a big label release. This is the third album from Canadian singer-songwriter Lights titled Little Machines. Her music combines sophisticated lyrical prowess with the upbeat stylings of electro-pop. Her third album brings the electro-pop sounds from her previous albums to the forefront while retaining what she has been doing.
The lead single off the album, “Up We Go” uses her new electro-pop sound to get its catchy chorus and self-empowerment message across in one of the best ways possible. One thing noticeable on this song, almost immediately, is her vocals: They are very sharp and directly to the point, something noticeable through a lot of the album. I would almost compare her entire style to a less grandiose and more-to-the-point version of Ellie Goulding
“How We Do It” isn’t written to be as catchy lyrically as “Up We Go” was but the powerful electro-pop beat will be something that brings you back to this song over and over again.
“Don’t Go Home Without Me” is the album closer and it speaks of a powerful story of love with the first line hitting you seconds into the song “This is the song I will sing to you / When you’re old and tired / I will sing it to remind you / That I’m old beside you.” In this song both the electro-pop beat and her vocals start off very soft and build to a powerful ending you need to hear for yourself.
If you really like electro-pop but prefer the sophistication of indie pop to the generic “Party Party Party” mentality so prevalent in most electro-pop, Little Machines is an album you should really pick up and give a listen.
RIYL : Bush
Tracks to listen to: “Out of the Blue”, “They Would Know”, “All My Loving”
The album Chasing Static gives a platform for Richie Pace to tell his story. It’s about how he tried to pursue his musical dreams with a band who did not have the same intentions as him, telling the stories of the evils that occurred along the way on his journey with the band.
This 34 minute album goes in all directions through its course. The songs present a soft tone through the sound of Pace’s voice and the sound of the guitar. Pace then changes to a heavier guitar with a stronger, piercing sound. This bizarre combination provides for an interesting sound that works in a strange way.
“Out of the Blue” is one of the more telling songs on the album. The song starts off very light with Pace’s soft crooning and light guitar riffs. As the emotion changes, the croon turns into a cry, and the guitar gives off more of a bite as it runs through a solo. The song seems to change between these two sounds, jumping from calm to wild in a matter of seconds.
The cover to “All My Loving” provides a new twist to a timely classic from The Beatles. Pace uses more of an upbeat tone, both with his voice and his guitar. The use of other elements in the song that aren’t used in other parts of the album like backing vocals and the incorporation of other instruments is a subtle change from the other soloist approach songs on the album.
Chasing Static gives off its own interesting sound that you definitely don’t want to miss listening to. The emotion put behind the album is the real driving force and what makes you want to keep following the story through each song.
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