Middle school was a time that you pretended you knew everything about popular music. This included convincing people that you listened to awesome artists like OutKast even though the only song you knew until ‘Roses’ was ‘Ms. Jackson’ because it happened to be on your dad’s brand spanking new iPod (click wheel generation!) with music that my uncle graciously gave him. This then sparked a movement of young middle schoolers singing the catchy-as-hell chorus of ‘Ms. Jackson,’ a song about the tension of a young man and his lover’s mother. Clearly a topic on which we were all experts. But I deviate. Jean Tonique’s remix transforms the track into a wonderful indie funk melody. With all the classic lyrics of the original song, (Forever-ever? Forever-ever?) the addition of a lighthearted instrumental is super fun and refreshing. Take a listen. Free download as well!
BBC Radio 1 always has great covers by amazing artists. Recently, the majesty of indie pop herself, Ellie Goulding, delivered a a cover of Fun.’s contagious ‘Some Nights’ and breathed some gospel power pop soul into it! Those backup vocals, her natural raspy voice, the band — every element is absolutely key in the success of this cover. Good job, Ellie. Keep rocking our socks off.
I was originally gonna post Miguel’s ‘Adorn’ (it’s been playing a lot on a local radio station) but I found this new gem: a cover of the sexy classic ‘Sure Thing’ by an Oakland based band Trails and Ways. Keeping some of the basic elements of Miguel’s classic, the group adds what they call a “bossa nova dream pop” spin. The album art of the free EP fits perfectly with the sound of the three covers: a cool night with streams of cars lighting up the road. Take a listen, download the EP, pour yourself a martini.
What is this resurgence of electro pop this year? Purity Ring, Passion Pit, Yeasayer, Crystal Castles and new artists I’ve never heard of: Chvrches is one of them. Don’t be fooled by their seemingly ‘hipster’ use of a constant as a similarly shaped vowel; ‘The Mother We Share’ is charming and melodious, a smooth and innocent voice matched with some heavy, badass snares clapping in the background. Fall in love with Chvrches right now. Also, wtf they have a show with School of Seven Bells? WHY DIDN’T THEY OPEN FOR THEM WHEN I SAW SViiB!
Boy, am I late to review my favorite albums of the fall! Sea Wolf’s Old World Romance has been streaming via Rdio for a while, and I give it a solid 10. Maybe I’m being too generous with my rating, but I have been craving some classy indie, folksy indie rock and I’ve been rockin’ out to ‘Saint Catherine St’ and ‘Miracle Cure’. ‘Changing Seasons’ is that song everyone needs just to be reminded that change is always happening, and man, that’s okay. Listen via SoundCloud, or buy the album like I did!
The only band I associate with Christian rock is Relient K. I think there’s a certain stigma that non-religious folk connote with Christian music and after being exposed to the spirituality of some songs, I think I can appreciate the way Christian music can bring people with similar beliefs together. Someone on Facebook posted this song and I was surprised by Monsters Calling Home’s gorgeous melodies and songwriting, while at the same time citing God as a strong inspiration. I think this song’s story is eerie, touching, folksy, and reminds me of Freelance Whales and Fleet Foxes. I am really excited that it’s a group of Asians trying to get into the indie folk rock scene. ‘Foxbeard’ made me speechless the first time I listened to it, and I can’t wait to follow them grow.
I was approximately 17 years old when I fell in love with Shiny Toy Guns’ ‘Le Disko,’ a very Euro grunge, pop song a la The Lovemakers. It’s been years since I’ve even though of them and they have recently released a single that is the complete opposite. It’s a catchy tune with some fantastic falsettos and mellow synths. I think I have some good reason to investigate more of their music. Smooth.