Archive for March, 2010

Well…. Here’s the new standard….

March 30, 2010

There won’t be any analyzing, no picking apart of anything, no judgments passed about this record.  As boldly as I can possibly say it; holy crap, what an amazing record!

The Brothers Movement from Dublin, Ireland have sent me through the roof today.  Their debut, self-titled album is full of future-classic tunes from track one to track eleven.  It gives you that great-to-be-alive feeling, that drive-faster feeling…  They hit those tones that force a man walk with a bit of a swagger!

If someone told me that this was all a joke, that these guys were actually born in 1950, and then in ’75 they recorded a rock album and decided to trash it, not because it lacked that 70’s classic rock realness, but because the audience wouldn’t be quite ready for it….I would believe them.  Yes, members of The Brothers Movement could very well be in their 60’s by now…

Those of you who frequent LoveSound Magazine… first of all, thank you… but right now, most importantly, if you’ve ever listened to us concerning a band, a film, whatever… just listen harder now.  Go find them, buy their music, and play it loud!

*NOMINEE FOR LOVESOUND ALBUM OF THE YEAR

LoveSound Rating – 9/10

Favorite Tracks – ‘Blind’ & ‘Sister’

The Brothers Movement – http://www.myspace.com/thebrothersmovement

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Dark, then hopeful. Dark, then charming.

March 29, 2010

Scan Hopper, from Austin, Texas, has just released one of the strangest solid, well-made records I’ve ever heard.  Their self-titled album makes me think that it was written as a score for a Dracula movie I’ve never seen, but, like, a really good Dracula movie!

Sure, the music is dark, then hopeful, then dark, then charming, but that’s not what you’re focusing on whilst listening…  More so, you’re trying to wrap your head around what’s going on, and why!  This is an album that could have gone horribly wrong, but Scott Hopkins and his crew made some crazy calls during the writing process which turned this baby in to one of the most interesting underground records out there right now.

I won’t and can’t compare this project to Radiohead, but they do force you in to a kindred thought ——-> ‘Now how did they come up with that?’
See what you think….  I bet you’ll have an opinion either way….

LoveSound Rating – 6/10

Favorite Tracks – ‘The Bureaucrat’ & ‘Swimming With Seafood, Differently’

Scan Hopper – http://www.ScanHopper.com

March 25, 2010

Basing the band’s history on their myspace biography, it’s hard to say what’s true and what’s false…  If it’s all true, it’s got to be the most incredible project-forming story I’ve ever heard.  If it’s false…. it’s still a really good story!

She’s A Boy has just released their debut self-titled EP (digital-release only), and might I say, it is a GOOD ONE!  Most bands start out with an EP for business, financial, or creative reasons.  If it’s a business plan guys, just go ahead and make a full record.  If it’s a financial reason, someone needs to give you some money.  If it’s creative reasons, then I guess I just don’t understand.

It’s fun!  It’s rock ‘n roll!  It’s something to get excited about!  It’s actually an EP that makes you want more, instead of just wanting to get through it.  Apparently, their members reside in three of the world’s major cities, that being New York City, London, and Paris.  It’s very evident that there are a lot of deep-rooted musical backgrounds in this one group, and they came together to make this ‘red and yellow, black and white’ EP.

As soon as you visit their web page and have a listen, you’ll immediately start scrolling and up and down their page looking for an upcoming album release date… but it’s not there, I checked.

Have a good listen to She’s A Boy, and dance while you do it!

LoveSound Rating – 8/10

Favorite Tracks – ‘They Won’t Tear Us Apart’ & ‘5 Years’

She’s A Boy – http://www.myspace.com/shezaboy

Who Is Andy Arch?

March 25, 2010

Andy Arch is the creative brain behind Tom Thumb, an incredible one-man band.  Andy Arch is an outlet to another world!

When I first opened the handmade album packaging and pressed play, I lost all awareness of everything surrounding me.  This man has to be within the top one percentile of the world’s most creative people.

If a new genre were to spring out of the music of Tom Thumb’s new album ‘We Never Die’, I think it would be called something like Alt Folk.  As folk, and as singer/songwriter as it is, it lacks a lot of similarities with others of its kind, and shares many traits with others that one would not immediately think to compare it with!

I’ve never claimed to be a good writer, but I think even the best of writers would have a hard time jotting down just exactly what types of feelings and visions Tom Thumb brings to a person with this album.  All in all, it’s one of the most beautiful and refreshing albums I’ve heard in a long, long time.  You don’t have to be in a certain mood to listen to this record… this record will put you in its mood, and whatever that it is… it’s wonderful!

*NOMINEE FOR LOVESOUND ALBUM OF THE YEAR

LoveSound Rating – 8/10

Favorite Tracks – ‘Cabin Building’ & ‘Acid Rain’

Tom Thumb – http://tomthumbmusic.com

Top 20 Charts – 3/24/10

March 24, 2010

1 – BEACH HOUSE        Teen Dream     Sub Pop

2 – ANIMAL KINGDOM    Signs and Wonders    Warner Bros.

3 – JOANNA NEWSOM    Have One On Me    Drag City

4 – THE BESNARD LAKES     The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night        Jajaguwar

5 – GORILLAZ    Plastic Beach    Virgin

6 – MOONDUO        Escape    Woodsist

7 – SPOON    Transference    Merge

8 – MAGNETIC FIELDS     Realism      Nonesuch

9 – CHARLOTTE GAINSBOURG    IRM     Elektra-Because

10 -THE ALBUM LEAF    A Chorus Of Storytellers      Sub Pop

11 -SURFER BLOOD     Astro Coast         Kanine

12 – MALACHI    Ugly Side Of Love        Domino

13 – FOUR TET    There Is Love In You        Domino

14 – JJ         No. 3    Secretly Canadian

15 – ROBYN HITCHCOCK     I Often Dream Of Trains In New York     Yep Roc

16 – ORGAN BEATS   Sleep When We Are Dead   Self-Released

17 – MIDLAKE    The Courage Of Others    Bella Union

18 – EELS        End Times    Vagrant

19 – CARS AND TRAINS      The Roots, The Leaves     Fake Four, Inc.

20 – THEIR PLANES WILL BLOCK OUT THE SUN    White Dancer     Self-Released

*The LoveSound Magazine Top 20 Charts come from a collection of reports from a group of wonderful college radio, public radio, and internet radio stations!

Their (chances of making it are very good..)

March 24, 2010

Their Planes Will Block Out The Sun — you’re thinking, “with a name like that, they must be emo……………..no? well then they have to be screamo…..”
This is the part of the article that I do my best to sum up the sound of TPWBOTS, and fall excruciatingly short…….

They claim to be from Jersey City, New Jersey…  But my theory is that they derive from a secret island about 550 miles east of there, an island that was inhabited by brilliant pop artists from England, Ireland, and Scotland nearly 100 years ago, and a group of American women stumbled upon the island……and they all started making babies….

THIS, dear readers, tells you absolutely nothing!  The fact of the matter is that Their Planes Will Block Out The Sun is beyond impressive on their debut album ‘White Dancer’!  After listening to the first 5 tracks I expected to check out their myspace page and see that it had 800,000+ profile views and 150,000 friends.  Not the case with these guys, but something’s bound to happen soon.

With an upbeat, yet mildly dry rock sound reminiscent of Doves or Starsailor, they are certainly apt to meet the needs of road trips, parties, and soundtracks!  Dare I say ‘White Dancer’ is incredible…?  Buy it at cdbaby, on iTunes, or Insound.  And wouldn’t you know it, our very first nominee for LoveSound’s ‘Album Of The Year’ so far in 2010!

*NOMINEE FOR LOVESOUND ALBUM OF THE YEAR*

LoveSound Rating – 8/10

Favorite Tracks – ‘Boardwalk Splinters’ & ‘White Dancer’

Their Planes Will Block Out The Sun – http://www.myspace.com/theirplanes

Marking Their Territory

March 23, 2010

I must be honest!  The first time I spun Louisiana Territory’s record ‘Traces Of Gold’…  I wasn’t TOO impressed.  I listened a second time….better!  A third….THAT’S IT!  There’s just something that decides to click with your head, foot, heart, etc. whenever it’s ready.

The vocals of Mark Brown make me think that he was born to be a member of a late-90’s pop-rock band….when pop-rock bands started turning into emo bands…..do you know what I’m saying?  And for some reason I couldn’t get the name Alan Parsons Project out of my head either.

So far, this article probably hasn’t sent you floating to your local independent record store to buy this cd (you couldn’t find it there anyways, but it IS on iTunes!!), but I must say that this disc has gone from a pile of submissions laying in a box on my floor, to being on constant rotation in my disc changer, and put in to my personal iPod (which, believe it or not, rarely happens).

‘Traces Of Gold’ is JUST short of being too poppy/peppy/heard-it-all-before-in-great-pop-songs-of-the-past.  But what makes this record a must-have record is the fact that the songwriting takes turns that you would never find in those basic pop songs you heard earlier in the 2000’s, plus the fact that the vocals are stellar (even beautiful at best) and the guitar work is terrific and mysteriously tasteful.

I hope that these fellas never end up on Clear Channel radio stations, but they could if the opportunity presents itself…  Check out Louisiana Territory!

LoveSound Rating – 8/10

Favorite Tracks – ‘Traces Of Gold’ & ‘Orion’s Belt’

Louisiana Territory – http://www.laterritory.com

And now for your listening pleasure……

March 15, 2010

There have been A LOT of bands who have tried to breathe life into the sounds of previous generations as of late, but none of them have done it quite as well (in my opinion) as Leisure Colony.  On their debut EP ‘Protectorate’ they successfully merge the present with the past into a sound that will have both you and your parents enjoying your warm summer nights accompanied by a soundtrack compliments of Leisure Colony.

When I first heard ‘Golden Ring’, I thought someone had gotten into my record collection and was playing some rarity from the Beatles or some other 60’s pop band. I may even hear a hint of  ‘Pet Sounds’ on occasion. The sound Leisure Colony has achieved is something so many others before them have attempted to do, but somehow weren’t quite as devoted to the end product.  I can imagine being in the studio with the producer when he says ‘ok, I like what you are doing, now lets get a little more radio friendly.’  (At this point the band members put down their instruments and collectively hold up their single finger responses to his lack of understanding their devotion to quality music.)  They took me by suprise with the heavily synthesized intro to ‘In My Yard’, but turned it into another easy on the ears ode to their pop-predecessors, and possibly created my favorite track.

I would definitely recommend them to fans of My Morning Jacket, but if your attention span is as short as mine, ‘Protectorate’ will be much more appealing to you.  I have no doubt that we will be seeing them soon on college radio charts across the country, and if you enjoy them as much as I have,  you can pick up their music @ bandcamp.com.

LoveSound Rating – 7/10

Favorite Tracks – ‘In My Yard’ & ‘Golden Ring’

Leisure Colony – www.myspace.com/leisurecolony

And now for some competition, Mr. Chesney.

March 12, 2010

Life is sure to be very good very soon for Mark Adam Miller. Why he isn’t being played right now on the same airwaves as your Kennys and Brads is beyond me.

‘Ain’t Life Good’ is an album that everyone can relate to in some way, not only lyrically, but if you can’t appreciate the music, then you have never kicked your feet up and drank a cold beer. ‘I Like What You Do’ is part country, part alt rock, he sometimes  sounds as if he were a veteran of the Seattle grunge scene transplanted into the heart of country music. His voice might take you off-guard at first, but I found after a few times through the track list it was very refreshing to hear someone doing something differently than it has been done before. ‘You Don’t Know Jack’ will have the cowgirls out on the dance floor doing those things that we love so much. ‘Calling All Memories’  says it all in the title, you just need your own bottle and a glass and preferably a creek bank to lay back on. The title track from the album is more appealing than anything I have seen or heard from mainstream country in some time.

Every track brings something new, so for all you country fans and all of you rockers secretly watching CMT when noone is around, this is the album for you.

LoveSound Rating – 7/10

Favorite Tracks – ‘I Like What You Do’ & ‘Calling All Memories’

Mark Adam Miller – http://www.MarkAdamMiller.net

Lost and Found

March 11, 2010

You might remember seeing her name wallpapering every Barnes & Noble in America in 2007, or perhaps you remember her appearance on the Ellen Degeneres Show during which Ellen made a declaration of her impending stardom (in case you haven’t noticed, Ellen’s opinion is highly regarded in the pop music scene).

Her appearance on Ellen was in promotion of her much acclaimed debut album ‘The Philosophy Tree’. Fast forward to 2010, and we have ‘Lost Songs’, an album that is absolutely certain to set a new standard in a genre that is suffering from an over abundance of manufactured teenie boppers.

‘Lost Songs’ is a 13-track album, and may be one of the best completely independent albums I’ve ever heard.  Why isn’t Sony or Warner Bros. onto this?  The discreet singer/songwriter turned awesome-pop-singer and Quiksilver model is certainly an artist you’ll hear a lot more from, sooner rather than later. This album is able to transcend the age limitations placed on the majority of its genre (along with a few other exceptions such as Sheryl Crow, Feist, and Tracy Chapman).

Take a look at the video for her magnificent first single ‘Apple’ and see for yourself.  And be sure to support this oddly-independent artist by following this link – http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/ellielawson

LoveSound Rating – 8/10

Favorite Tracks – ‘Apple’ & ‘English Way’

Ellie Lawson – http://www.EllieLawson.com