Category Archives: Indie Pop

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Story Behind The Song – In Time by Lake Jons

Like almost all the songs we’ve done, I started recoding some ideas with the guitar in the Lake Jons Garage. The song “In Time” came quite quickly together but the lyrics waited for almost one year to be finished.

 *photo credits to Arttu Kokkonen


It was the song that was born just after we had mastered our two EP’s so it was in some kind of an empty space between the old and new. We had no hurry to finish it and it stayed in the demo folder for a year or so. When we started planning on releasing the second EP and we got an idea to put “In Time” on it even though it was still on the demo stage.

We put it together and finished the lyrics. I listened to my old demo guitars and wondered even though they were recorded kind of carelessly I loved them cause of the sound and the feel. The only thing that we kept having a problem with was the beat. To have it or not to have it. Just couple of days before mastering the song we ended up finding the right minimal beat for the song. But in the end we kept basically every track from the demo session and replaced only a few instruments like for example the vocals.

 

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The key message of the song “I take my chances” is pretty straight forward so I don’t think it needs more unwrapping.

The way the song came together was pretty unusual for us. It was a slow process of one year.

 

-Jooel Jons, Lake Jons

www.facebook.com/lakejonsmusic

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Story Behind The Song – Love U More by DANI

Love U More was written at my first writing session with my now best friend Omar Khan. We literally had the song finished within an hour.

 

Usually when you write a song one of two things will happen; you will either sit there for hours banging your head against the wall trying to come up with ideas, or things flow naturally. Gratefully, on this particular day, it was one of those easy sessions that just flowed naturally.  I realize there is this deep dark place inside me when i’m writing songs.

 

I always feel like I’m doing well in life or like I’m okay, but as soon as these songs come out, they are so emotional and full of pain; I start to question my mental state. LOL.  It’s like I’ve got this sadness about me I can’t really describe.

 

I’ve had people ask me to write more “upbeat” and “happy” songs but the more I come into my own and figure out who I am as an artist, I more I realize the “happy go lucky” songwriter is just not me.

 

My songs are emotional and have a sense of loneliness in them because i suppose I like singing about the pain. When I listen to other artists I’m also drawn to low tempo emotional music.

 

 

Some of my favourite artists are BANKS, Spooky Black and James Blake.  I love artists who draw from experience and I love it to reflect the music.

 

DANI

www.danimusicofficial.com
www.facebook.com/danimusicofficial
www.soundcloud.com/danimusicofficial

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SBTS – Children by The Henry Millers

Children by New York duo The Henry Millers is the first single for their upcoming  album Posies. 

Bandleader and songwriter John MacCallum writes on IndieVerse, explaining the inspiration and history behind this song.

 

-Mark-

 

As I was getting ready to write this I found myself reading a few other of the musician written articles on IndieVerse. I came across one such article by Kaela Sinclair and I wanted to say first and foremost how struck I was by the essay in general, but more specifically how much I related to one point in particular that she made:

“The need to create permanent and complex art can be satiated with much more ease without the stresses of a budget and timeline.”

I have found that my own desire to make music stems from a need to solve or even simply cope with a problem. Even if it is a story told in the 3rd person, the music we make always has a piece of us inside of it. It has in a way always been a source of therapy and because of that I have always wanted to make music that I personally want to listen to; music that I will enjoy and more importantly music that will help me get through the day. I don’t know what I would do if the only way I could create recorded music was based around somebody else’s ‘budget and timeline.’

It’s unfathomable. Its… without fathom.

 

Our songs always begin with a home recording. “Children” actually began as a song called “Taxi Ride” and was one of the first songs I had recorded. I was going to school in Charleston, SC and at one point when I was back in New York, visiting home, I had an encounter with a seemingly wise old man who was driving me in his taxi. He enlightened me to the hardships of being the caretaker for a family and how difficult the task of raising children can be, especially in a big city. This rather innocuous interaction really stuck with me and eventually led me to write and record a song called Taxi Ride.

As we were finishing up Daisies and I was beginning to write and record songs that would eventually become Posies, I spent time listening to old demos to see if there could be anything to use for new music. The only song that moved me in any significant way was Taxi Ride. I felt a connection to the words and the music that was just as strong as when it had been originally recorded years earlier.

I proceeded to make a new demo at home using the techniques I have learned over the years and that in conjunction with working with Max Drummey and Dan Stringer as producers is what eventually created the version of “Children” you hear now.

-John MacCallum, The Henry Millers

 

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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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Snowmine

Hailing from Brooklyn, New York, Snowmine is a delicate gem among more grungy, indie rock bands which come from the same area.

 

 

The band is fronted by Grayson Sanders on keys and vocals. Playing alongside him are guitarists Austin Mendenhall and Calvin Pia, bassist Jay Goodman, and drummer Alex Beckmann.

Classified as ambient psychedelic pop, Snowmine’s songs are richly layered with classical orchestrations, echo pedals, and tribal beats. The band is also tactile, using props like Chinese lanterns and brooms to add to their sound. Their songs are composed tightly to a t, which is no surprise considering that most of them are written by vocalist Sanders who was a composer in the New York classical scene before joining the band. Sanders’ vocals are dreamy and atmospheric and have been favourably compared to Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes.

Since their formation in November 2010, they’ve released a single titled Nervous, and a full-length album titled Laminate Pet Animal. Two shorter albums, Curfews and Saucer Eyes, have followed.

At the moment, Snowmine seems to be building up its live performances and touring across the US. Given the solid sound and subsequent following that they’ve gained, we can expect to see the band grow bigger soon.

My favourite songs from Snowmine

  • Let Me In
  • Beast in Air, Beast in Water
  • Curfews

Fun facts: The title Laminate Pet Animal is a palindrome (a word/phrase that means the same when read backward). Try it yourself!

Check them out here:

-Yi Wei-

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New Release – Sun & Mirror (album) by Kaela Sinclair

Sun & Mirror – the debut LP from indie pop artist Kaela Sinclair will be released on the 8th of October

 

Truly a magnificent production, Sun & Mirror takes you on a journey through time and space.

 

By the end of the hour long album, you will have found yourself transported to the ballroom of an enchanted palace (Without), the back alleys of a futuristic dystopian city (Original Sin) and a sultry 70s nightclub (Coral Castles).

A masterful use of instrumentals set the tone and mood of each song, complimenting Kaela Sinclair’s expressive vocals. Each track is unique, and carries an important role in the overall experience. I was amazed at how much depth and diversity was packed into this album.

Special mention to McKenzie Smith, the main partner on Sun & Mirror, which was also recorded at his new studio - Redwood Studios in Denton.

Invaluable to this production is guitarist Joey McClellan. Credits also go to Scott Lee, Evan Smith, and Jesse Chandler who put in a lot of creative musicianship, as well as the people behind the string arrangements, Buffi Jacobs, Daniel Hart, and Fiona Brice.

“I think the album is really about introspection. I think introspection and working through your own psychology is what leads to empathy and compassion. The album title, Sun & Mirror, represents a need for warmth and comfort, but a drive for realness. The album is about wanting to embrace reality but understanding that reality doesn’t always make for the happiest perspective”

- Kaela Sinclair 

You can listen to Sun & Mirror (and then buy it) on her Bandcamp after the release date: http://kaelasinclair.bandcamp.com/

 

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Story Behind The Song – Run by Kaela Sinclair

With equal measures of talent and beauty, we invite Texas based singer-songwriter Kaela Sinclair to talk about her song Run for her soon to be released album, Sun & Mirror

 

I wrote the song “Run” when I was working on demos for my upcoming album, Sun & Mirror. The process of demoing became a much more involved project once I discovered the joys of engineering and producing. These demos turned into my EP, Bedroom Series. I began working with Logic Pro, a condenser mic, my Nord and Yamaha keyboards, and my acoustic guitar. Having all of these options and learning how to layer tracks and use Logic to create the entire arrangement gave me a lot of freedom in regards to songwriting. It also led way to a wave of musical inspiration.

The need to create permanent and complex art can be satiated with much more ease without the stresses of a budget and timeline. The many, many months I spent recording my upcoming LP (which will be released October 8th) at Redwood Studios in Denton with some of the most talented musicians I know was an incredibly fulfilling and satisfying experience, but there was also something special about spending all that time alone in my apartment recording my EP.

 

 

Once I started writing this song it came together very quickly. I remember writing it on a chilly Saturday morning. The lyrics deal with a personal struggle that I was particularly struck by at the time, and one that recurs time and again. I think a lot of artists push away people they love (initially only in their heads) and create a kind of isolation that can be destructive. This song is about that feeling of self-imposed quarantine and the way being so in-your-own-head can affect relationships.

Musically, I wanted to reflect the feeling of strange calm using the open D tuning (major key) mixed in with a more eccentric, almost middle eastern scale on the ends of the choruses and on the bridge. I tend to have the most fun experimenting with vocals. On this track I doubled, tripled and eventually quadrupled the lead vocals, including octave doubles and harmonies. I used panning effects and different EQs for different vocal parts. The hardest part of demoing this song was trying to find the right way to record my acoustic guitar. It’s a relatively cheap guitar, and my apartment is not acoustically treated. Not to mention guitars are notoriously tricky to record. Eventually I found a spot that was close enough, but not perfect. Does anyone really want “perfect” in their favorite music anyway? I’m not sure I do.

“Run” was a song that I didn’t ask myself a lot of questions about. I edit plenty of my songs, but once it was written I decided to just let it be. These first demos felt like a time capsule. I didn’t want to lie to my future self. It’s interesting to look back on a song and try to recall the exact feelings that brought it into existence, but while the music stays the same, the feelings that are conjured while reminiscing are rarely static. As much as we sometimes want to change ourselves, we are each our own variation on a theme.

-Kaela Sinclair

You can find out more about Kaela Sinclair and her work at these links:

facebook.com/kaelasinclairmusic

www.kaelasinclair.com

kaelasinclair.bandcamp.com 

 

Lyrics

Oh poor me
I’m just a lost heart
Oh pity me
I need my comforts

Pretty soon
I’ll be brave
I’ll be traveling through
Every single state

Run boy
You might catch up to me

Oh sad night
Is there an end to you
Time and time again
I have been lost to you

Pretty soon
I”ll be brave
I’ll be running wild
I’ll misbehave

When pretty soon ain’t soon enough
And the rocky graves are flooding
I will find a place with open skies
And begin the fall
I will have to be brave
We cannot be saved

Run boy
You might catch up to me

We cannot be saved