Sunday, January 30, 2011

Lykke Li - I Follow Rivers

Wounded Rhymes, the sophomore album from Lykke Li, is due to be released on March 1 in the US.  The album's lead single, "Get Some", hit the internet last October and put Lykke Li back on the radar after several years of absence.  To build up even more momentum before the release of her album, "I Follow Rivers" has been released as the second single.  Unlike the seductive first single, "I Follow Rivers" is more of a love song.  Lykke Li declares her dedication with the chorus of "I follow you, deep sea baby. I follow you.".  While both singles are outstanding, I prefer this song over "Get Some".  It has that same addictive quality as "Little Bit" from Lykke Li's debut.

The single's music video gives the song a brand new perspective.  The beautifully shot clip features Lykke Li chasing after a man over a freezing landscape covered in snow.  Right before the second chorus, she darts after him at full speed, abandoning her shoes in the ice.  The video also brings into consideration that "I Follow Rivers" may not be your average love song.

Watch the music video for "I Follow Rivers" below...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

La Bella Charade - All Friends, No Fans

La Bella Charade is a pop-punk band from St. Louis.  They released their full length debut album, All Friends, No Fans, in early January.  Prior to this record, the band had put out a five song EP.  The EP introduced this quintet as the group that had the potential to overthrow the once reigning kings of the genre, Fall Out Boy.  Their debut album has a similar sound as the EP, and contains the standout track "I'm The Choir, Quit Preaching To It".  With this release, La Bella Charade will most likely find themselves with an overwhelming amount of both friends, and fans.

All Friends, No Fans opens with "When, Not If".  I found myself humming along to the chorus the first time I listened to it.  That's a big accomplishment for any artist.  The track, like most of the album, is high on energy.  From start to finish, there really isn't a rest.  The band plows through every song as if it was their first.

Produced by Bryan Beeler, the album feels technically sleek and smooth without losing every bit of raw energy.  It's a balanced improvement from the band's previous releases and just sounds tighter.

Unfortunately, a few of the songs do blend into each other.  Towards the middle of the record, you may get weary from the vocal melodies.  The breakdown-like bridges, found in songs such as "In It To Win It", help pump some variety into the usual song formula.

The final track, "End Of Story", clocks in at over thirteen minutes.  This song proves that La Bella Charade may be a lot more than just your average pop band.  While it ends in a humorous conversation, the progression of the song is one of the album's highlights.  The guitar solo that slowly transforms into piano completely took me by surprise, and I loved every minute of it.

All Friends, No Fans throws La Bella Charade into the spotlight of the pop-punk genre.  It's a catchy ride that packs a punch.  You'll also find a surprise or two along the way,  If you're a fan of bands along the line of All Time Low, Fall Out Boy, and Jimmy Eat World, then you should give the record a listen.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Patrick Wolf - The City

English multi-instrumentalist, Patrick Wolf, plans to release his fifth studio album, Lupercalia, this May.  Although that's still several months away, on March 14th he's releasing a new single from the upcoming album titled, "The City".  The new track is big and giddy.  It's covered in horns and several saxophone solos.  Reminiscent of his peppy hit "The Magic Position", the new track is loads of fun  The accompanying video is just as entertaining, showing a young party across the beach with dancing, pianos, and love.

You can check out the breezy music video for "The City" below.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

LectroLips - Tough Enough

LectroLips is an electro-pop duo from the UK.  The group, consisting of Leo Tarring and Antony Edwards, makes music that sounds like it's straight out of the '80s.  Their single "Tough Enough" focuses on heavy percussion, synths, and a vocoder.  While the song has the vibe of 1989, it still possesses a modern twist that is popular in much of today's pop music.  The bass line sometimes borders on sounding too dated, but that may be a good thing.

"Tough Enough" can be found on LectroLips' latest EP, Exempt From Classification.  The song is unapologetically catchy.  There isn't much music nowadays, especially from the US, that has this distinct funk dance sound to it.  This group definitely has a niche genre that may be either a hit or miss for some listeners.

LectroLips' music can be downloaded for free, here.  Their newest EP doesn't strictly stick to the heavier style of "Tough Enough".  There's a variety of sounds including "Glimmer", a nearly eight minute electro epic.  While some of the production on the EP has room for improvement, it's an album that is consistent in sound and style.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Artist Spotlight: Porcelain Raft

Over the past few weeks, I've found myself fascinated with a new artist that goes the name of Porcelain Raft.   Porcelain Raft isn't some obscure noise band with a catchy name.  Instead the stage name belongs to Mauro Remiddi, a songwriter currently based in London.  Originally from Rome, Remiddi performs songs that have a unique ring to them.  The multi-instrumentalist's style is somewhat poppy, yet many of his tracks have a nice vintage feel to them.

My first taste of his work was the acoustic "Everything From Your Hands".  I was instantly obsessed with the song's simplicity.  It's just a guitar and a beautiful melody.  Soon after, I heard some other tracks including "Dragonfly" and "Tip Of Your Tongue".  These singles were more fleshed out with a lush layer of echo.  The two different sides of Porcelain Raft are equally interesting and refreshing.

Remiddi's musical past includes playing with the pop band, Sunny Day Sets Fire, and composing various film scores.  While Porcelain Raft may be fairly new, Mauro has a versatile track record.  His EP, Gone Blind, will be released on February 22.  During the same month he'll be touring in the US.  You can listen to, or purchase, Porcelain Raft's music here.