City and Colour is perhaps better known as Dallas (City) Green (Colour), of the post-hardcore band Alexisonfire. In his side project, he opts for the simpler sounds of indie folk.
City and Colour - Sleeping Sickness
I won’t lie, listening to The National isn’t fun, it’s depressing. Even on an upbeat song like this one, the lyrics do nothing but bring you down from the beginning (“Say you stay at home alone with the flu / Find out from friends that wasn’t true”) and to me, the chorus hints that this song is about stalking. Matt Berninger’s cold voice, never wavering with much excitement, doesn’t do much to persuade you either. But it’s like what rapper The Game would say, “Life ain’t all smiles and hallmark cards,” sometimes you have to face the grim realities of life.
The National - Anyone’s Ghost
Man Overboard doesn’t set out to re-invent the pop-punk wheel. Instead, they take the best influences from early 2000’s pop-punk (shades of Brand New, Taking Back Sunday, and The Movielife) and revive the sound for the new generation. The result is nostalgia for us fans of the old bands, and something for the younger kids to get excited over. The digital album was just released on their Bandcamp page yesterday.
Man Overboard - World Favorite
I admit, I don’t know much about 90’s indie that I’d like to (or, want to). But I recently got into Built to Spill, one of the essential names of the 90’s scene. You can obviously hear that Built to Spill gave a lot of these young bands a nice style to run with, but they can’t contend with the OG’s. Today, I’m posting the very song that got me into them.
Built to Spill - Car
Following in Ryan’s post, here is another influential indie band from the 90’s era, Belle & Sebastian. Their easy going tones and melodies are too wonderful.
The Boy With The Arab Strap - Belle & Sebastian
Local Natives (formerly named Cavil At Rest) could simply be described as “what the game’s been missing.” They released Gorilla Manor in 2009, coming at the heels of 3 years of amazing indie releases from bands like Grizzly Bear, Yeasayer, Band of Horses, and Fleet Foxes, and blended their sounds into one enjoyable whole. Maybe less obvious is their lyrical imagery influenced by Death Cab For Cutie’s simple but effective songwriting. Take a song like World News, where the only thing the song is about is a boring drive home. (“You don’t like anything on local radio, so you fumble around till you land of NPR, and listen to world news.”) What’s even more surprising then, is on their best days as Cavil At Rest, they were mining the sounds of Minus The Bear (!).
Long story short: one of the best “new” bands to come out in recent memory, and they deserve a lot of attention.
I actually got to meet this guy tonight at The Norva. He’s a really respectable and nice guy. It was a pleasure for sure. His music has a lighter tone for the most part which I love no matter the subject. There are of course plenty of darker sides to his music but for the most part he does it all extremely well. Playing live was no different. He played an amazing set and I was thrilled to be a part of it.
Kevin Devine - Hand Of God
You have to respect a band like UK’s Rolo Tomassi for working in what is essentially a very lame genre. I mean, if I told you that Rolo Tomassi has a chick screamer, scene-grind guitars, and background synthesizers, you’d probably go, “Oh great, so they sound like Iwrestledabearonce?” Well, yes and no. While they do touch on some obvious influences (Genghis Tron, The Number Twelve, The Locust, HORSE the Band), the guys and girl of Rolo Tomassi have much versatility to rise above sounding like the br00tal band of the week. Take a listen to Kasia, the 5:31 epic of their new album Cosmology.
Rolo Tomassi - Kasia
- Ryan (this post dedicated our friend Carlos, who thinks we should post more music like this)
The Sound of Animals Fighting are a scene supergroup in the same sense that the Boston Celtics are a super NBA team. The combination of talent from Anthony Green (of Saosin, Circa Survive, etc.) and Matt Embree (of Rx Bandits, Love You Moon), along with their other members provide for a well-balanced offense and defense. They’ve been in the game since 2005, but when they released their 2008 album The Ocean and the Sun, it was clear that they won the championship ring for supergroups, past and present (including Isles and Glaciers, who just pale in comparison to these guys). Soundwise, it’s what you would expect to hear from members of Rx Bandits and Anthony Green. This song in particular sounds like the old days of Saosin with the trademark RxB’s highly technical progressive rock skills.
The Sound of Animals Fighting - The Heraldic Beak of the Manufacturer’s Medallion