Category Archives: Indie Rock

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#NowPlaying This Place by Tales of Olde

Tales of Olde is getting ready to release their debut EP early this year and they are offering a sneak peek with “This Place”, a song that captures their roots as an acoustic folk band.

 

 

“This Place” makes mellifluous use of the band’s signature male-female harmonies that are as soulful as they are dynamic, building from intimate near-whispers to a full choir’s worth of anthemic sing-along sound.

Meanwhile, the simple yet colorful imagery and realistic storytelling in the lyrics perfectly match the warm, natural tones of layered percussion, guitars, and violins.

The end result pays tribute to influences like Of Monsters and Men, Andrew Bird, and Kings of Leon while adding enough indie rock ferociousness to forge new musical territory.

-Mike Del Priore, Effective Immediately PR

 

http://www.talesofolde.com

https://www.facebook.com/TalesofOlde

 

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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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#NowPlaying Sea Salt by Slow Bird

 

I wrote the lyrics to Sea Salt about a year after being laid off from my job as a research technician. I had just started playing music again in a band and was working in a bar. My friends and family were concerned that I wasn’t moving forward, despite my efforts to find another job in my field. It was incredibly frustrating to live in an economy where I was told there would be jobs & I could afford to have debt to obtain an education, & have that promise left unfulfilled. I had plans laid out for myself. I didn’t know where I was going or how I was going to get there. And who do you blame for this economy? Me? My parents? The baby boomers? Capitalism? It turns out that patience paid off because now I am here doing what I love, but at the time it felt very hopeless. 

The song is not to me about giving up but waiting it out and seeing what lies ahead instead of trying to control your future. Change is inevitable… people should stop trying to resist it or they will end up stuck in the past filled with regret.

- Jennae Quisenberry, Slow Bird

 

http://slowbirdband.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Slow-Bird/153850758016262

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Story Behind The Song – Meet Me by Animal Years

Meet Me –  The first single from Sun Will Rise, the latest album from Brooklyn based Animal Years

 

Mike McFadden, the driving force behind Animal Years tells us more about his song.

-Mark-

“Meet Me” was an easy song to write. Easy in the sense that I had the idea for the song and plenty of lyrical content to work with. Emotionally it was one of the most difficult songs to write because of the circumstances that were going on while I was writing it.

I was living in Baltimore last year when a song that I had written was selected to be in a huge ad campaign for Pennzoil. With the money I made I quit my comfy job at Johns Hopkins University and decided I was finally going to move to New York and be a musician full-time.

“Meet Me” is about relationships and leaving people behind for new adventures. Not only did I leave my job (which I loved) , I also left my family, friends, and a girl that I finally thought I could have a meaningful relationship with.

 

The lyrics are loosely based on my trying to convince someone to stay with me even though we would be apart most of the time, but also talking about the uncertainty of  picking up and moving to a new place with much uncertainty about the future.

Now that I’ve lived in New York for over a year, “Meet Me” takes on a much different tone for me when we play it live. I think more about the things that I’ve overcome, and am happy that I’m able to look back on what I’ve left with appreciation rather than regret. This excerpt is a great example of this, talking about how then I was upset with the situation but now have come to terms:

“I had half a mind to come back, you had a reason to let me in, but I had so much more to tell you way back then”

 

-Mike McFadden

 

http://www.animalyearsmusic.com/

https://www.facebook.com/AnimalYears

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Tancred (self-titled album)

Now, Now singer and guitarist Jess Abbott continues to define herself through her most recent album, named after her solo act - Tancred

Released on the 15th of October, Tancred by Tancred features 11 tracks of wholesome garage-band rock.

With slight traces of the bittersweet melancholy of Now, Now – Jess Abbott’s music has a different intensity to it. More grit, coupled with emotive songwriting makes her album well worth listening to.

Even drummer Bradley Hale has his own personal project, experimenting with electronic-pop under the moniker of Sombear.

While Bradley breaks musical boundaries, Jess has opted for a more honest, organic sound.

-Mark

Check her out here:

http://tancredmusic.tumblr.com/

https://www.facebook.com/tancredmusic

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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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Microlove (album) by Summa

Summa, the multi-instrumentalist outfit from Boulder, Colorado has finally released Microlove - their debut EP.

Produced by Jake O’Neal and Max Grossman in collaboration with Michael Kang of The String Cheese IncidentMicrolove features five tracks of honest down-to-earth music.

Each track in Microlove draws inspiration from different sources. When asked for the story behind the songs, Summa frontman Jake was more than happy to oblige:

Forces was inspired by my studies of Stoicism and specifically the text The Enchiridion. With Sex Gun I just wanted a raw, intense song about the the sexual power of that woman who just can’t get enough and drives you crazy. Love at 16 was about losing my virginity at 16 and the intense depression I suffered as a result…

Microlove was covered in our interview with Jake in February. You can check it out here . The EP also includes There There, a Radiohead cover from the album Hail to the Thief.

The Microlove EP was recorded at Mighty Fine Productions in Denver, CO with Colin Bricker as their engineer, while the album cover is a post-storm photograph taken by Megan McGrain from her second story apartment of the parking lot below – A mixture of water, pollen and oil.

-Mark-

Stay connected with Summa through their Facebook page: www.summamusic.com www.facebook.com/summamusic

and Instagram: http://instagram.com/summa_music

You can purchase Microlove on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/microlove-ep/id678469048

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Don’t Want To Fall by The Narrative

“Don’t Want To Fall” is an honest, heartbreaking love song by The Narrative. Beautifully delivered by vocalist Suzie Zeldin, I believe it connects with everyone who has ever loved and lost before.

Accompanied by a simple piano melody, the lyrics of this song really comes across as being believable, unlike so many cliches that we hear nowadays.

Another notable feature of “Don’t Want To Fall” is the phrasing of the verses. Unhurried and without haste, even with a quickened tempo. Absolutely amazing.

-Mark

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