Lights- Little Machines
Sep 29, 2014
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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RIYL: Arctic Monkeys, Portugal. The Man, Hot Hot Heat, Pop Rocks.
Recommended Tracks: All Songs, Particularly: "Circulation," "Southern Comforting," "Smalls, & Tiger."
With little to no filler, JPNSGRLS immediately proves that garage band music is able to stay true to their roots while consistently evolving and enhancing the genre. Although a debut album, JPNSGRLS has created an almost rebellious garage-pop sound while implementing hints of psychedelic indie-rock that is comparable to early Arctic Monkeys albums.
The album is constantly entertaining and its lack of simple filler songs is surprising, particularly for a debut album. The entire track list contains immense bursts of energetic emotion and a continuous wavelength of attitude. The title track “Circulation” is bass filled, magnetic, and hypnotic, easy on the ears for its sound and thought-provoking lyrics. Although the band is talented lyrically, they are immensely talented at creating an ending that is both vibrant and expertly crafted. Quick to utilize a very slow build up, they are consistently successful with a fantastically clattering ending, especially notable in songs “Brandon”, “Mushrooms”, and “Tennis Shoes”.
Although the album contains many notable songs, none deserve recognition more than “Southern Comforting”. It’s almost unexplainably catchy drum/guitar combination melts perfectly into the lyrics creating a sound that can only be described as first-rate.
Overall the album is surprisingly impressive, with an engaging tone, conversational and thought-provoking lyrics, and sincerely entertaining, Circulation is filled with brisk and rarely documented success.
RIYL: Bon Iver, Birdy, Ben Howard
Recommended Tracks: All
Tom The Lion proves that music today doesn’t need auto tune or pop beats to sound good. His album, “Sleep” has a mixture of twelve beautifully written and relaxing songs. Although all the songs have the same style, their unique sound and meanings stand out to the crowd.
“Ragdoll,” the tenth song on the album, is written in a poetic style. He uses almost no instruments and puts an emphasis on his beautiful voice and amazing lyrics. While it is a calm song, it demands your attention. Tom The Lion uses a unique method with this song, taking longs breaks with no music at all. This will keep your interest and influence you to listen to the whole album.
Tom The Lion puts so much emotion into all of his songs; making the listeners feel what he feels. The album is constantly enjoyable, with surprises with every song. Tom The Lion’s album “Sleep” is definitely deserves a listen or two. He still has a small fan base, especially here in the United States, but there is almost no doubt he will continue to gain faithful fans for years to come.
RIYL: Taylor Swift
Tracks to listen to: All songs, particularly: “Boston,” “Home,” “Patti Smith,” “The Sun and the Moon”
Annalise Emerick takes her listeners through the highs and lows of her life. Her album is full of storytelling songwriting covered in a variety of acoustic guitars, banjo, piano, and much more. Her music shows a side of her that’s full of love and adventure that she wants everyone to discover and enjoy.
The songs on the album represent each individual chapter of her life. The first song “The Sun and the Moon” is a love song that has the sweet sounds of a banjo twang in the background. “Boston” brings out the country pop in Emerick as she not only describes her love for a significant other, but her love for music and the world. “Patti Smith” has memorable melodies and lyrics throughout the track. It is an attention grabber because she pulls out all her flaws that she juggles with, but also she expresses how much she would want to be like her many influences.
Overall, Emerick is one of the few singers who are diverse with their music and the diversity she brings is a sign of nothing but success down the road.
RIYL : Two Door Cinema Club, Thelma Plum
Tracks to listen to: “Jumanji”, “Tonight”, “Griffin”
Coming from our Australian friends, Glass Towers, Halcyon Days is a true reminder of summer. Glass Towers gives us that fun at the beach sound without actually having to travel there. Benjamin Hannam provides us with playful guitar riffs, and his mourning cry make for an interesting combination. The drumming of Daniel Muszynski seems to race against the sound of the vocals to create a competition that helps push the songs forward.
The album, which comes in at 38 minutes, gives off a very energetic vibe. Each song carries the same jubilant beat but also offers a different take each time around. The lyrics capture the essence of youth, coming from a band who are going towards the beginning of their adult lives. The songs “In This City” and “Halcyon” offer takes on teenage love and the confusion of looking towards the future, which many of us face in our teenage years.
A highlight song to the album has to be “Tonight.” The guitar riffs mimic Two Door Cinema Club but at the same time carry their own voice and distinct sound. The song presents a very upbeat pace and rides along smoothly like many of the other songs on the album. “Griffin” is another selling point to Halcyon Days. The song presents an exuberant energy. Hannam’s voice gives an excited tone to the song, and bounces along with the guitar riffs. “Griffin” is a song that just generates excitement through its instrumentals.
The album itself is something to listen to if you want to relax, but at the same time can get you to jump up and dance around the room. Halcyon Days is truly an album that will give you some sort of contentment when you listen to it.
RIYL: Two Door Cinema Club, The Strokes, The Artic Monkeys
Recommended Tracks: Around Town, Forgive and Forget, Down, Sunrise
The new album from the Kooks feels like a fresh new take on the classic Rock n’ Roll mixed with electric music with funk and soul influences. The album is a reinvention of the Kooks’ sound and their identity as an indie band with sounds ranging from 60s and 70s rock to disco and funk music with some electric sounding beats.
Their original work from Inside In/Inside Out was more of a younger Artic Monkeys sound. This new album has a sound that is all on it’s own, making this a breakthrough album for the Kooks.
If you loved the sound of the Kooks before they released this album, you may have some mixed feelings about it, but different can be a good thing. The band is showing their diversity within the indie genre by mixing in punchy new sounds with hip-hop influences thanks to their producer Inflo who specializes in the hip-hop genre.
Tracks such as “Forgive and Forget,” “Down,” and then “Around Town” make for a great addition to the party playlist. The hip-hop influences mixed with funk and soul will make you want to dance the night away.
Overall this album is very different sounding from their previous new work, but it defines the new age for the Kooks, a funky new take on indie rock.
Rise Against “The Black Market”
RIYL: The Used, The Offspring, Sum 41
A mix between punk rock and hardcore, Rise Against has released their seventh album The Black Market.
However, with their strong political and ethical views, this album was really nothing new. I mean I really liked the song “Tragedy + Time,” the opening guitar riffs are catchy and the tune is also catchy, but other than that I found nothing really special about the album.
The album might be appealing to old fans who are continuing to look for and listen to what they love, but for someone wanting to branch out their music taste, it’s just the same old stuff. I feel like some of the songs are talking about the same thing over and over and it got boring after a while.
I didn’t exactly hate the album, it just got really old after about four songs and I felt like I couldn’t listen to it anymore.