Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

MP3s: Pop and Folk

February 13, 2015

Pop and Folk

1. “The Last Generation of Love” – The Holy Gasp. Hugely theatrical vocals, driving conga drums, stabbing horns, and an overall feel of wild desperation permeate this wild track. It feels like a lost ’60s bossa nova played at triple the speed with an apocalyptic poet dropping remix bars over it. In short, this one’s different.

2. “Hot Coffee” – Greg Chiapello. Somewhere between Brill Building formal pop songcraft and Beatles-esque arrangement affectations sits this perky, smile-inducing, timeless tune.

3. “Wake Up and Fight” – Gaston Light. If you’re looking for a widescreen folk creed, this tune builds from a single bass note to a fist-raised anthem. Gaston Light attempts to channel Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Conor Oberst, and more.

4. “Evil Dreams” – Elstow. ’50s girl-pop mixed with some 9 p.m. vibes and reverb = solid track.

5. “Nothing But a Heartbeat” – Say Lou Lou. Need a world-conquering pop song in your life?

6. “All This Wandering Around” – Ivan and Alyosha. Ivan and Alyosha are back with a chipper indie-rock song that will get you tapping your toes.

7. “Less Traveled” – Johanna Warren. A lilting soprano supported by low flutes and burbling fingerpicking developed into technical guitarwork that lifted my eyebrows. There’s a lot of talent going on here. I love what Team Love is up to this year.

8. “Folding” – Martin Callingham. Callingham has crafted the sort of tune that’s almost inarguable: it floats lightly on your consciousness, gently working its way through to the end of the tune. If Joshua Radin had gotten a few more instruments involved without going rock…

9. “Wild at Heart” – Trans Van Santos. Does Calexico have a patent of the sound of the high desert? Mark Matos hopes not, as the baritone-voiced songwriter of Trans Van Santos has a way with the guitar delays and reverbs of that venerable sound. Perfect for your jaunts to or from Flagstaff.

10. “Don’t You Honey Me” – Timothy Jaromir. Here’s a bluesy country duet with excellent come-hither female vocals, muted horns, and romance on the mind.

Quick Hits: …music video?

June 14, 2011

Be not fooled by …music video? Just like the name — really an unflashy one cased in unusual punctuation and capitalization — his music is solid white R&B cased in some psychedelic and digital touches. If This TV Could Talk opens with “No Things Happen for Reasons,” which has an indie-rock flair to it in some distorted guitar. But Paul Jenkins’ vocal style, the background vocals and rhythmic patterns positively scream R&B. “All I Really Know” drops the indie pretense except for some squelchy bass synth and just goes all R&B slow jam.

This is not said to be a knock: if …music video? were in the Brill Building business, these songs would be snapped up and all over the radio by now. The melodies, the mood and the groove are all there in this collection of tunes. “Not Worth Your Time” gets a little too into the R&B groove and borders on cliche in lyrics and instrumentation, but it’s forgivable. The stuttering standout “In Case We Catch Fire” can cancel it out, and we’re good to go.

If you’re down for some solid R&B, hit up …music video?’s If This TV Could Talk. Even if you’re not but you’re adventurous, you may try out “In Case We Catch Fire.” You’ll be surprised.

Right now, if you “Like” the band’s Facebook page, you can get five free tracks from them. Swag!

Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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