Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Cadence Kid’s “Hold on Me”

June 3, 2016

Cadence Kid‘s “Hold on Me” is a rare gem: it’s a summery tune with memorable instrumentation, breezy vibe, and a video that actually represents the mood of the clip. The indie-pop of “Hold on Me” falls somewhere between the easygoing flow of Vacationer and the slightly-more staccato pop of Generationals. Bass, tambourine, and vocals interlock neatly, as in a Generationals tune; the disparate parts come together to create a full piece. The satisfying, rattling kit drumming holds all the pieces together into a slinky mood, just as a Vacationer tune might. The overall effect is effortlessly sunny, a slice of summer carved right off the ocean breeze.

What’s even more remarkable about “Hold on Me” is that the video captures this mood. Jason Turbin and Ryan Houchin take the oft-used video clip montage idea and spin it to perfection: the clip weaves in shots of skateboarding, rollerskating, parkour, cliff jumping, gleeful dancing, hiking, and more. It’s basically a compendium of why summer is great, mostly shot in a warm, slightly fuzzy way that evokes the experience of good memories. It’s a wonderful video that perfectly complements the sound of the tune, which is a rarity. I almost never say this for video, but here it is: highly recommended.

Mid-April MP3s: Pop

April 15, 2016

1. “Whistling Your Name” – Cadence Kid. Even in the inundated field of electro-pop, some things still stand out: Cadence Kid’s staccato opening synth salvo here grabs attention, and the chorus solidifies the interest.

2. “Are You Real” – The Gifted. There’s some seriously funky bass lines going on in this otherwise smooth electro-pop jam. Happy Friday.

3. “Never Gonna Learn” – Ded Rabbit. The Vaccines + Tokyo Police Club = “Never Gonna Learn.”

4. “Hello, N.S.A.” – Rock, Paper, Cynic. A hilarious power-pop parody of a love song (and of our current political state) that chooses as its object of affection the National Security Agency. To catch the attention of the beloved, RPC mentions just about every potential word and phrase that might catch the attention of the agency. Don’t try this at home?

5. “Chasers” – The Academic. The Academic continues that never-ending stream of UK outfits keeping that guitar-rock dream alive, following Arctic Monkeys, The Vaccines, and the like.

6. “Downstairs” – Castlebeat. The helter-skelter guitar of hyperactive indie-rock meets the drum machines and synths of ’80s new wave to create an oddly dancy, fun track that seems familiar in all the right ways.

7. “Why” – Amongst All. Brash, upfront pop-punk in the early ’00s style: “Feeling This”-era Blink and the like. If you love new bands that take you on memory trips without being derivative or boring, this track should push the buttons for you.

8. “Derby Girl” – The James Rocket. Jangly, ’90s-style indie-rock that sounds more like indie-pop today. Whatever name you call it, it’s quirky, jumpy, and fun. TJR is the sort of band that good-naturedly makes self-deprecating Guided By Voices jokes.

9. “Decisions” – Fire Hot Opera.  I don’t usually cover this sort of funky, soulful work, but there’s something electric about the combination of vocalists, the jazz-inspired instrumentation, and the energy of the track that just draws me in.

10. “JAKL” – Bellwire. Slacker rock has never sounded so tight and fresh: Bellwire manages to sound both immaculately put together in the arrangement and lovably shambolic in the lyrics and vocal performance. Radness.

11. “Holiday (Feat. Caroline Mauck)” – Don’t Chase Felix. Sometimes you just need a breezy, sunny, lovely pop song about going on holiday. Have a great weekend, y’all.

Stephen Carradini and Lisa Whealy write reviews of instrumental, folk, and singer/songwriter music. We write about those trying to make the next step in their careers and established artists.

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