Monday, May 19, 2008

British Invasion!

Newton Faulkner - Hand Built By Robots
Sony BMG / Ugly Truth

Newton's Myspace

Sam Newton Battenberg Faulkner released his debut album nearly a year ago in the U.K. Now receiving it's North American debut, I strongly urge you to have a go at this album. If you love finger styling by the likes of Don Ross, Andy Mckee or Tommy Emmanuel, but also love straight up pop sensibilities, this album is for you. Having a background in creating passionate and intense music on the acoustic guitar, Newton Faulkner lends his surprisingly delicious vocal ability to create a true masterpiece. It's my belief that this album could have been cut down from 18 tracks. A number of these songs are slightly too poppy for my taste, but overwhelming response to this album is hard to overlook. Newton's talent as a guitarist allows him to create interesting and complex music backgrounds for his catchy lyrics. This is a definite must for any lover of singer/songwriter music. Bravo Newton!

Friday, May 16, 2008

In Field & Town and In need of an update

Hayden - In Field & Town
Hardwood Records
Toronto, Ontario

This album came out in April, but I only had a chance to spend some time with it just recently. I came across Hayden Desser's music when I was 15 years old, cutting class to browse music at the CD store down the road. I picked up Everything I Long For (which I highly recommend), which was so incredibly honest and raw. Filled with meandering melancholy music, which became Hayden's trademark. Unfortunately the style and sounds of his records have become so trademark that his music is becoming increasingly stale. His one departure from his trademark sound was on his 1998 release of The Closer I get (which I also highly recommend). It was more electric and ambient. It actually was fantastic. Hayden is in desperate need of another departure from his trademark folk sound of acoustic guitar, harmonicas, peddling piano and brushes on snare drum. Although true Hayden fans will enjoy his mumbled ditties, I suggest you save your money for when Hayden tries something new out. Sorry Hayden, I love you buddy, but I expect more from you.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The inaugural post/Bringing music to the world

From the day I was born I knew what good music sounded like. I don't know why or how this gift was bestowed upon me, but it was. I wish to share the spoils with you. Each Tuesday as new music is released I will, shortly thereafter, give you my two-cents as to the best of what is out there. So here's to it... cheers everyone!

The Submarines - Honeysuckle Weeks
Nettwerk records
LA, California

John Dragonetti and Blake Hazard were introduced through a mutual friend while both were solo artists in Boston. Eventually there were making music and love. Yes love! They married and the rest is history. Honeysuckle weeks is there second album and it's bliss. It's catchy, fresh and poppy. The album is dominated by the sweet female vocals of Hazard, but there's plenty of Dragonetti's help with backing and harmonizing. Listening to this will make you happy.

The Daysleepers - Downed in a Sea of Sound
Buffalo, NY

Formed in 2004, Daysleepers describe their music as ambient, ethereal indie-rock. And it is just that. It's light airy, expecially the vocals. They lay on the effects, but it's cool. If this is what you're into give them a spin, you just might dig their stuff. Open and spacious, The Daysleepers create epic songs that take you away.

Anywhale - What You Hide In Your Hand
B&B Records
Gothenburg, Sweden

Formally called Angels. There's lots of piano in their music and their lead singer Erik Schreiber has definitely got some pipes. Check out their Myspace page and give "Do as the star" a spin. It's almost got a Queen/Freddy Mercury feel to it. Pop-rock is the name of the game with that Swedish sense to it. There's definitely some great melodies throughout this album.

H-Burns - How Strange It Is To Be Anything At All
Boxson Records
Valence, France

Although this album was released March 24th, I believe it's North American release was this week. I could be wrong though. This is for those acoustic-folk lovers out there. Citing his influences as Dylan and Cohen, you know what you're getting yourself into. It's laid back and even dark at times. Straight-up folk storytelling at it's finest. This album would be a great listen for a lazy afternoon on the porch.

Morning State - You Know People, I know People
Indie Outlaw
Atlanta, Georgia

This is hard southern rock. Lots of great guitar work interspersed throughout this album. You can tell there live shows are high intensity just by listening to a few tracks off this fine piece of work. Surprisingly thought it's "Oh ya," which they slow down for which is the fan fave. If you like rock and roll with intricate and intense guitar work this is the one for you.

The Myriad - With Arrows, With Poise
Koch Records
Seattle, Washington

Recorded at Abbey Road studios, these guys are getting a great deal of attention and not just because of their on-stage antics. Their music is intense and atmospheric, with soaring melodies. This is a very polished piece of work, but don't let that take away from these indie-rockers, they still know how to get down to the basics and produce solid rock.

The Orchid Highway - The Orchid Highway
Rainbow Quartz
Vancouver, British Columbia

Ahhh, some Canadian content! I didn't give away my nationality, did I? This is psychedelic power-pop at it's best. Delicious melodies and catchy, finger snapping music. These songs make you smile, and how bad can that be? Making the reader's Top Ten on Absolute Powerpop sure looks good on this long-standing Vancouver based band. They remind me of Fastball (remember them), but with more edge. Tuesday marked their American release I believe, so their stuff should be up on itunes and elsewhere.

Pomegranates - Everything Is Alive
Cincinnati, Ohio

Named "Artist of the Day" over at was a great achievement for these indie-rockers. They've got something about their music that reminds me of the Arcade Fire. Give them a listen and I'm sure you'll know what I'm talking about. This album has a nostalgic feel to it. I know that there was some engineering that went into that sound, but it turns out well. This album is spectacular and fresh. I definately recommend you give this a listen.

Royal Bang - We Breed Champions
Audio Eagle
Knoxville, Tennessee

Hailed at as the most original band from Knoxville, Tennesse ever. They definitely have some interesting music. With bops, bleep, drum machines and a varying array of odd noises, they fill it out with some catchy guitar licks. This is cool and original indie music. Props to these boys. They are sonic masters.

The Botticellis - Old Home Movies
Antenna Farm
Outer Richmond, SF, California

Classic throwback sounds dominate this album. The tracks paint beautiful and majestic pictures with their glorious melodies and harmonies. Reminiscent of Beach Boy sounds, they know how to make the surf-rock their own. Give this album a listen, it'll blow you away with its sunny disposition.

The Pineapple Thief - Tightly Unwound
K-Scope/The Orchid
Somerset, England

Modern day prog-rock at its finest, with great vocals to boot, which doesn't alway happen with prog-rock bands. Much varience thoughout this album makes it a pleasure to listen to. Everything from acoustic guitar based songs thought heavy guitar-laden rock. What started as a solo project by Bruce Soord eventually became an entity of its own drawing a fanatical fan base. Now seven years later they're still doing their thing. Tightly Unwound just might be their best yet.