All posts by Mark

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

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-

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/

 

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

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

Saltillo

Saltillo – The Darker Side of Trip Hop

Trip hop first emerged during the early 1990’s in the United Kingdom. Initially used to describe an experimental variant of breakbeat containing elements of funk, jazz and soul, trip hop has evolved, fusing several styles and genres: ambient music, hip hop drum beats, and acid jazz among others. As such, the genre is highly experimental in nature, and Saltillo is the perfect example of such experimentation.

Behind Saltillo is American artist Menton J. Matthews III, also known as Menton3 or Sunday Munich. Menton/Saltillo is a wearer of many hats: painter, illustrator, comic book artist, and multi-instrumentalist – equally at ease with the piano, cello, viola, violin, guitar, bass, and drums as well as electronic music-making.

Drawing on his diverse artistic skill set, Saltillo has crafted two albums, ‘Ganglion’ and ‘Monocyte’, which push the envelope by being at once dark and moody, heart-achingly melodious, and individualistic through its classical music elements while remaining catchy. Industrial drum beats are given depth through the low, solemn notes of cellos, or uplifted by layers of violins and ethereal female vocals, contributed by Menton’s wife, Sarah Matthews (the other half of Sunday Munich).

 

Saltillo’s unique musical style invites listeners to join the artist in exploring his lifelong interest in the relationship between symbols, signs and images and the human psyche.

 

Ganglion’s themes feel mostly introspective as such. Notable tracks from Ganglion:

 

 

 

  • A Hair on the Head of John the Baptist’: Pure Shakespearean sublimity here. Two soulful voices narrate excerpts from ‘Hamlet’, interspersed with a narrative of the story of John the Baptist. Prepare to be swept into a rich tapestry of sound and fantasy.
  •  ‘The Opening’: A multi-layered string piece that fully exploits the different tonal qualities of its instruments.
  • Grafting’: Featuring violinist Paul Mercer, this song is characterized by dark cello riffs and vocals in Urdu (a language used mostly in Pakistan). Haunting and soulful, my pick for driving solo.

 

Monocyte is a concept album released in conjunction with a comic of the same name.

While ‘Ganglion’ was inward-looking, ‘Monocyte’ is more industrial, jittery, and gritty. Strings and electronic drum beats work in sync to create tension and anticipation. Top picks:

 

  • Forced Vision’: This piece continues Saltillo’s fascination with the human psyche and the concept of reality and emotion.
  • Hollow’: As its title indicates, this is a minimalistic piece and a welcome contrast with the overarching mood of the album.

 

-YiWei-

Check out these spaces for more Saltillo:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Saltillo/35656246401?fref=ts

https://myspace.com/saltillo

http://www.menton3.com/

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…

[audio:http://indieverse.emasters.info/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Summa-Microlove.mp3|titles=Summa Microlove]

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

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

Implementing SEO

Implementing SEO can lead to more conversions. It helps your brand to attract more visitors to your website.

SEO can also benefit you to drive more sales.

If you are going to implement SEO to drive more visitors to your website, you need to think about the following things before doing so:

Who is your target market? What are the most valuable things for them?

How to make your content easily accessible?

How to promote your content?

How to improve your conversions?

How to maximize your chances of getting a Google Keyword Rank? How can you get to a certain number of visitors a day?

Before creating your content, you must first understand your goals for your content. What are the most valuable things for them? How to make your content easily accessible? How to promote your content? How to improve your conversions? How to maximize your chances of getting a Google Keyword Rank? How can you get to a certain number of visitors a day? Optimize your website for search engines? How to make your site unique? How to boost your rankings on search engines? How to get to the top of the search results? How to get to the top in Google? How to get to the top in Facebook? How to get more customers? How to get to the top of any industry? How to increase your SEO rankings? How to increase your search engine results? How to increase your Facebook engagement? How to increase your Twitter engagement? How to increase your Google+ engagement?

All these examples are well known to people in the SEO world.

The next logical question to ask is, how do you achieve these goals?

You don’t have to answer this question in order to become a successful SEO.

For those who don’t care to know, the answer is you have to take action.

For example, you want to get more traffic?

You could increase your content distribution, improve your content SEO, improve your inbound marketing, etc just by using local SEO services. In other words, the more you improve your marketing, the more your competition will improve theirs.

There’s a lot of good information out there on how to make your marketing better, and the problem is that a lot of SEOs aren’t spending enough time on these tactics. The majority of SEOs don’t want to be a good SEO, so they’re not working on it.

Identify Your Keywords

 

This is the most important part. You need to identify what keywords you’re going after. SEO experts often say, “We only rank things when we have the keyword in front of it.” In this example, you should identify the key phrases in the headline and subtitle.

If you’re starting with a brand, make sure it has your key keywords. You don’t want your first post to rank for “lack of good hair cuts” because you didn’t know you needed a good hair cut, you want your posts to rank for the key terms you use, and that’s why you’re writing your content.

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

Continue reading Don’t Want To Fall by The Narrative