Category Archives: Alternative Rock

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SBTS – Fall Of The Summer Heart by The Foreign Films

To be honest, I wasn’t too sure what to expect from Fall Of The Summer Heart. The first thing that caught my attention was the length of the track – almost 13 minutes!

I had assumed that the time would be somehow occupied by a chorus or bridge on repeat, steadily wearing itself away. What I encountered however, was something else entirely.

A musical masterpiece, with an eight part song cycle. A full year’s worth of songwriting and inspiration was packed into this. I have never heard this much diversity in a single song since the legendary Bohemian Rhapsody (not a comparison I use lightly).

Here are the titles of all eight parts:

I/Maze of Your Heart
II/Silver Tears of Rain (My darling dear)
III/Star Gazing
IV/Fall of The Summer Heart
V/She Disappeared
VI/Victoria (Miss India)
VII/Lost At Sea
VIII/A Ghost of Myself

With us today is Bill Majoros, the man behind The Foreign Films 

-Mark

 

One morning after playing a show in England I awoke from a rather hazy, soft focus dream.

 

An imaginary record seemed to haunt my sleep! I sang and mumbled all but forgotten fragments of melody into my “tape recorder”. Random foggy images of came to mind as well. Blackbirds, ghosts, a maze, heart broken lovers, a fortune teller, an abandoned amusement park at Crystal Beach, being in my Dads old car listening to a neon jukebox style radio as summer fades to autumn.

Again bits of sonic colour, melody and rhythm.

 

Days later I listened to the total nonsense I’d recorded! Like an archaeologist of the subconscious I began to piece these ideas together note by note. Connecting the dots from the past to the present. The result is the 13 minute single “Fall of the Summer Heart”. I’ve always loved  song forms that shatter the mirror of traditional structure. My dream did this for me! I guess you could call it a song cycle, or a dream sequence.

Songs within a song.

 

 

As far as recording goes I’m very lucky to have a supremely talented group of musicians/friends around me. I think of music in very cinematic terms,telling stories with sounds and musical colour. Because I’m a multi-instrumentalist I’ll lay down the basic drums,guitars,keys and lead vocals. Bass and recording wizard Carl Jennings plays a giant role throughout the journey. Kori Pop,a wildly creative musician, brings the track alive with her magic vocals!

 

When Bill calls me in to contribute vocals to Foreign Films material, I am always game. Because he has such a creative and solid sense of harmonic structure, it ends up being a singers playground! First, I listen for any instrumental hooks that vocals may be able to pull out even more. Secondly, I see if there are any obvious harmonies to add to his main vocal part. After these bases are covered…it’s time for the real fun!! When working on Fall of the Summer Heart, I tried to imagine my vocal parts as characters in scenes from a movie. Carl Jennings is a serious mastermind when it comes to producing vocals – he inspired vocal parts that I never would have imagined – like the weirdly charming  ”tralala’s” in Part V/She Disappeared and the tribal “ooh la la’s” in Part VI/Victoria (Miss India).

- Kori Pop

Kirk Starkey adds brush strokes of technicolor strings to heighten the emotional themes of the lyrics. Tim Allard and Marie Avery add additional keyboard and organ textures and sonics.

 

 

Records are, funny enough, records. They’re a snapshot, a time and place. Musicians, technology and emotion-interwoven, entwined, tangled together..forever. If you listen deep they may just let you step into another world, an alternate universe of sound where you to can almost time travel. They weave a web from yesterday to tomorrow. Records can allow you to freeze in time a lost love or a distant summer. If you’re a song writer you can live in the moment and create a soundtrack to your own life in real time.

 

The Foreign Films new LP “The Record Collector”  is the story of a girl who  obsessively collects music. Her dreams, fears, journals, calendars, friends and lovers all corresponding with a tapestry of 45′s and LP’s. The seasons cycle round as her records spiral round. The album blurs fact and fiction, the real and surreal, the conscious and subconscious.

 

Look for the new LP

April 2014

The Foreign Films-

The Record Collector

theforeignfims.com

 

- Bill Majoros

 

 

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Story Behind The Song – South by Racing Glaciers

Providing some background on the song South from their eponymous debut EP, we have Racing Glaciers guitarist and backing vocalist, Danny Thorpe.

 

Lyrically, it’s a bit of a collage of themes, all centring around nostalgia with a load of images based around memory and such. It’s pretty loose to be honest, not overly complicated.

We recorded the whole EP in about 5 days using all our own (cheap) gear in the bassist’s living room. All mixed and recorded ourselves. We just wanted to make some stuff we liked, didn’t really expect an industry response, let alone a fan response on the scale it has done.

We ended up with something like 100 audio tracks on Logic so, in terms of instrumentation, it was all about layering. Loads of vocal harmonies, double tracked guitars, trumpet takes etc. The track originally started as just the first part, without the second instrumental but while we were recording we knew we needed something else. The trumpets were added in after getting the basis of the track done, just to add another dimension and an element of surprise, which I think we managed to nail.

The album art was done between myself and our friend Joe Cheetham, an LA based artist who’d done a few paintings which we blended together and put the text to. But yeah, Joe takes the credit for the really striking paintings he managed to create.

-Danny Thorpe

 

Lyrics

You say it’s coming out, well its coming out
It’s colder than before just like everyone else
I can tie my shoes, I can watch you too

You say it’s coming out, well its coming out
It’s colder than before just like everyone else
I can tie my shoes, I can watch you too

You say it’s coming out, well its coming out
It’s colder than before just like everyone else
I can tie my shoes, I can watch you too

Going back to the burning south
I could walk all night, I could take you out
And go
Go
Go

There’s a ghost in the house, I can hear it talking
Talking all night about a better time
Days in the sun and days in the summer

I’ve got time if you’ve got time
And if you’ve got time I could take all night
Turn off your lights and turn on the radio

You say it’s coming out, well its coming out
It’s colder than before just like everyone else
I can tie my shoes, I can watch you too

You say it’s coming out, well its coming out
It’s colder than before just like everyone else
I can tie my shoes, I can watch you too

You say it’s coming out, well its coming out
It’s colder than before just like everyone else
I can tie my shoes, I can watch you too

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New Release – Trophy Girl Part 2 (album) by Saucy Monky

Trophy Girl Part 2, the latest EP from the sexy LA based, alt-rock duo Saucy Monky dropped on the 25th of June.

Featuring the seductive anthem Do I Have Your Attention, followed by the heart-wrenching Sleepwalking and the tipsy sorority girl single My Girlfriend is Alcohol. Each of these tracks showcase the incredible diversity this band has to offer, together with their trademark attitude and powerful vocals.

 

Cynthia Catania of  Saucy Monky was also kind enough to shine some light on their latest release.

 

1) What inspired this particular EP? How did you decide on the name Trophy Girl?

We had a collection of songs that came together when we were working with our previous drummer, Megan Jane.  We were very excited to experiment with a particular set of sounds, instruments and amps to bring this body of work to life.  I had just moved into our former drummers (Karen Teperberg) house, which had a separate studio space (Karen’s a fantastic drummer. She returned to her native Israel).

I was thrilled to have my own, bonafide studio space, where I could record everything, including live drums.

Trophy Girl is a lyric in our song “Awkward.”  I thought it would be a perfect title for the album.  It’s such a layered phrase.  We asked around within the band, and also with our extended team, and everyone seemed to like it.

 

2) Is there a reason why Trophy Girl was broken into 2 parts?

It’s actually a 3-part collection.  Lastly we will release the full length at years end.  This part will have 4 new tracks, and all subsequent 6 tracks, which were released on Parts 1 & 2.  For Annmarie and me, it was a way to keep things interesting for ourselves, keep up with the new music market – which is a singles market, and also not delay releasing new product, as I’ve been working on the album (as a whole) in dribs and drabs.  We loved the idea of staggering, and keeping things fresh for our audience.

 

3) What were some of the struggles involved in the production of this EP?

In an effort to “serve the songs” we first recorded our live arrangements.  From that point, I whittled down the instrumentation to make the recordings as sparse and supportive as possible.  There’s also lots of experimenting that goes into finding the right guitar sounds, drum sounds, FX.  Then there’s the singing.

We always try to achieve a balance between telling the story and being emotive and sincere.  All this takes (a lot of) time.

 

4) And what do you hope to achieve with this new release?

We’d like the quality of these EP’s to improve our Pandora station!  We’d love a few major motion film placements.  We’d love to make new fans, based on the appreciation of this music.  That’s all one can really hope for – connection.

For more details, you can check them out at www.saucymonky.com

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Echo And Drake

Band photo – credits to Andrew Wallach

With a strong following from their hometown alongside numerous local and state awards, Echo And Drake is an up and coming indie/alternative rock band from Hartford, Connecticut. 

Through a winning combination of reverb/synth effects and rustic New England charm, they represent the best parts of of technology and talent in music.

Their debut album Sundrenched Elsewhere displays high standards of craftsmanship, from a carefully thought out arrangement of tracks to their well-written lyrics. A solid production all round.

Although I feel they currently lack a flagship single to lead the charge into mainstream success, Echo And Drake is still far from exhausting their latent potential.

Among my favourite songs from Echo And Drake include:

  • Morning Dove
  • Sundrenched Elsewhere
  • Bright New Machine

Check out their official page here: http://www.echoanddrake.com

-Mark

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We Are Not an Island (album) by Vib Gyor

First released on iTunes, We Are Not an Island is the debut album of unsigned English Alternative rock band Vib Gyor

We Are Not an Island displays polish and flair rarely seen in debut albums with a stunning unification of piano melodies, the heart-wrenching vocals of Dave Fendick and complimentary synth effects.

Although Vib Gyor is no longer in existence – Fendick and drummer Jonny Hooker have continued to make music under their new project, Fossil Collective.

-Mark

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When The Stars Go Blue by Ryan Adams

ryan adams

Originally written and sang by Ryan Adams, “When The Stars Go Blue” is one of the most celebrity covered songs that I know of. Notable performers of this song include The Corrs featuring Bono, Tim McGraw and Blake Lewis.

However, out of all the versions I’ve heard so far, I still prefer the original. I feel that Adams captured the mood of this song just right. Simple and honest.

-Mark

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The Glass Passenger (Album) by Jack’s Mannequin

Jack's Mannequin

The Glass Passenger was the second studio album produced by the recently retired (February 2, 2012) Alternative Rock band, Jack’s Mannequin.

For me, this is one of the very few albums out there which I genuinely enjoyed listening to from beginning to end.

What I enjoyed most was that each song in the album represents the different phases in the life journey of Andrew McMahon, the lead singer of the band who had been diagnosed with leukemia.

From struggling through adversity (Swim), to dealing with depression (Hammers and Strings), The Glass Passenger is a true musical storytelling masterpiece.

-Mark-

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