July 2012

Dawes

Northen Hills

Need something new to listen to in the car? Turn off your radio and play the album Northern Hills from the L.A. based folk rock band Dawes. This being the first of two albums, the four piece band pulls from influences such as Crosby, Stills, and Nash and Neil Young via their connection to the Laurel Canyon sound in California, a neighborhood where they recorded this album to an analog tape, giving it a vintage sound. Their music is centered around the theme of love and the value of life and the time we have with it, with catchy choruses atop a simple mix of guitar, bass, drums and keyboard. 

Arcade Fire

Funeral

You must be living under a rock if you’ve never heard of Arcade Fire. Don’t worry if you haven’t! Just keep reading this article and everything will be ok. Arcade Fire is an indie rock band from Montreal, Quebec. I first heard of them when I turned eleven, receiving their album as a birthday gift, and consequentially ranking in the top best birthday gifts ever.

The seven-piece band currently uses a multitude of instruments such as guitar, drums, bass guitar, piano, violin, viola, cello, double bass, xylophone, glockenspiel, keyboard, French horn, accordion, harp, mandolin and the hurdy-gury. With most of these instruments being taken on tour, the multi-instrumentalists will switch off playing these instruments throughout their shows. Their vocals, lead by Win Butler, are usually accompanied by his wife Règine Chassange, and others, who scream out lyrics like a band would with their best friends nearby.

Fun.

Formerly 'The Format'

Are you tired of hearing “We Are Young” on every radio station in town? So am I. But don’t be discouraged! Let me introduce you to Fun.’s first album Aim And Ignite as well as their former band The Format, which are much better examples, in my opinion, of their musicianship than their latest album Some Nights. If you like their latest album you will love their early works!

Let’s start with their album Aim And Ignite. As you may or may not know, Fun.’s lead singer writes the songs for his band but cannot play a single instrument. This can prove cumbersome for the band, but ultimately they fall through with an amazing piece. With that in mind listen to this album with some appreciation. Songs like “Be Calm,” “The Gambler” and “Light a Roman Candle With Me” speak of love and how to handle difficulties in life while songs such as “Walking the Dog” talk about walking the dog because there isn’t anything else to do. 

Norah Jones

'Little Broken Hearts' album

Norah Jones is easily a house hold name with her signature jazz voice and piano skills that have blown everyone out of the water since her first album Come Away With Me in 2002 with hits like “Don’t Know Why” and “Feelin’ the Same Way”. But could you envision her singing soft rock? 

Now having released her latest album this past April, the singer-songwriter has taken to a very new genre of music along with an experimental way to write songs. In her album Little Broken Hearts, Jones collaborates with producer Brian “Danger Mouse” Burton to write this album from the ground up in the studio. 

Florence + the Machine

Most alternative music listeners know the name Florence and the Machine, the English indie pop band that has brought about hits such as “Dog Days Are Over” and “Kiss With A Fist.” However, you may not have listened to Florence Welch during her acoustic shows, performances that I believe give greater merit to her soulful voice.

Having been compared to other female vocalists like Kate Bush, PJ Harvey, and Björk, Florence has expressed that Grace Slick is her “hero.” The band radiates with a marked style that makes it near impossible to mistake their music for another band. This is most clear with Welch’s voice. 

Santigold

Get hit in the mouth with super catchy lyrics and pump-up music of the sole - the soles of your feet - with Santigold! This Philadelphia-born, alternative pop-rock singer released her second album in 2011, Master of My Make-Believe. Having been a singer, songwriter, producer and rapper, the sky seems to be the limit for this one-of-a-kind female sensation.

Having seen her perform at Bonnaroo this summer, I can assure you you’re going to be listening to something fresh. I found myself dancing across the Bonnaroo lawn with my friends as we raced to the other side of the field. 

Cage the Elephant

'Thank You Happy Birthday' album

Thank You Happy Birthday, Cage the Elephant’s latest album, has shoved fun straight down our throats as we feel compelled to sing along to songs like “Shake Me Down” and “Always Something.” If you haven’t experienced this album, I can’t express to you how much this album will make your day. This alternative rock band from Bowling Green, Kentucky formed in 2006 and has since released two albums, the other being titled Cage the Elephant.

The five-piece band made up simple of voice, guitar and percussion can fill a room with a growth of sound that seems to fill up to the rims of your eyelids with reckless emotion that, as far as I’m concerned, can connect with any listener. Their lead singer, Matthew Shultz has a vocal style that you can instantly recognize with his punk rock ego. 

Rave On Buddy Holly

A Buddy Holly tribute album

Listen to all your favorite bands in one compact disc? That’s exactly what the album Rave On Buddy Holly can do for you. Even if you don’t know all of the artists that cover Buddy Holly on this album, I can’t doubt you’ll feel compelled to look them up. From Cee Lo Green to Justin Townes Earle, and everywhere in between!

My personal favorite is the Black Keys’ cover of “Dearest,” which was nominated for a Grammy. It is the first song on the album and, might I add,  quite appropriately. The Buddy Holly tribute album’s title refers to one of his biggest hits, “Rave On,” which Julian Casablancas of The Strokes covers. The album was released in June of 2011 with much appreciation, reaching number 15 on the Billboard 200. 

Margot and the Nuclear So and So's

Not Animal

Indianapolis based alternative rock band Margot and Nuclear So and So's must have latched onto my earrings to have pulled my ears to a new group of friends that shared with me the band’s album Not Animal. Its compelling sounds of soft female voices along side the ever longing voice of Richard Edwards are driven beneath booming drum beats, violin, cello, guitar and lap steel guitar to create the alternative rock/ folk music that is this band. My favorite song is “Broadripple Is Burning.” However, next to that I would suggest “Pages Written On A Wall.”

The Arctic Monkeys take America by storm!

Get ready to rock with the Arctic Monkeys! This English indie rock band has taken the world by storm with their latest tour in America. Having seen the band perform in Nashville, I can attest to their sheer awesomeness. Most people know them from their hit song “Fluorescent Adolescent,” which I would suggest listening to.

The band truly is full of adolescents having fun on stage with their guitars, nothing more, nothing less. My favorite album of theirs is Favorite Worst Nightmare. Their most well known, and often performed songs, are included in this album.

Expect nothing less than a great time with these boys. You’ll never want the show to end with their catchy lyrics and danceable tunes combined with the grunge of indie garage band madness! The band consists of four members: a vocalist, guitarist, bassist and drummer.