Do you remember I told you about Imagine Dragons last year? They turned out to be my #1 music discovery of 2011.
They signed to Interscope Records at the end of 2011 and started recording new material right away. And as an awesome Valentine’s present, their new EP was released yesterday. Continued Silence EP is, in one word, epic. You have to listen to it. It contains a re-release of “It’s Time” and five new songs. I got it last night and it had me hooked after the first full-listen.
There is something about Imagine Dragons’ poetic lyrics in combination with their anthemic melodies, that make songs like “Demons” raise all the hairs in your arms. It’s hard to pick favorites from the new songs. So far, I’ve five-stared three out of the five. The other two have four stars. There’s not even a good place to start to listen to them, just hit play. Continue reading for more.
Exactly 24 hrs ago I got an email that read “Alan wants to know if you’ve heard Foster the People.” As every other semi-normal person would do, I googled them. I found their site and saved the link for after-hours. Alan recommended I listened to “Pumped Up Kicks,” so I did. And here I am. Hooked. Just a couple of hours after getting repeat-one happy on their music page, I decided to get the EP. Best $3 I”ve spent in a while, yo!
I”m full of questions. Who are these dudes, where did they come from, when is the full album coming out, are they playing anywhere near me, etc. Check out the video for “Pumped Up Kicks” and then continue reading to learn what I found out after a little more googling.
For some time I’ve been following the work of photographer Liz Devine, as we have a similar love of The Avett Brothers. She works at a music venue in Portland, and shoots portrait photography along with concert photography. One of her shoots in particular had me intrigued, as defying gravity tends to do. Devine’s shots of Bombadil led me to investigate, and I found a new fav.
Definitely in the folk-pop category, Bombadil is light and easy on the ears – generally writing about living the best life you can before it ends, or creating stories with characters within a song. The name matches their style perfectly. For you non-LOTR-geeks out there, Tom Bombadil is an eccentric recluse in Lord of the Rings, though he didn’t make the movie. Tolkien depicts him as an merry fellow who speaks almost lyrically.
Formed in 2005 while in Bolivia for school, Bombadil toured for a while before opening for fellow North Carolina natives The Avett Brothers, which led to their first record release – A Buzz, A Buzz. They continued, playing at festivals like Bonnaroo, going through several member change-ups, before declaring a hiatus at the beginning of 09. Bombadil had already recorded the next record (Tarpits and Canyonlands), which came out later that summer, but the bassist had a severe case of tendonitis and the entire band decided to wait til he healed. Two years pass and they FINALLY play a show (with the Avetts) this past Christmas.
Hopefully this means a tour is imminent. Keep your fingers crossed. Above is an old video of “Three Saddest Words” off their first album, and I added one of my favs off the new album, “Honeymoon,” to our BOT Playlist on the right.
Recently Texas got a good dose of The Head And The Heart, and we’re the better for it. The Seattle natives played in both Houston and Dallas last week, and were scrumptiously delicious enough to make our Freshly Squeezed Artists. Reminding me slightly of Denton alumns Seryn, THATH favor vocal harmonies and slow builds heavy on hand percussion and piano beats. They stand out with superb lyrics that speak as if they’ve seen our past/future and have a optimistic conviction of a better world. They note on their Facebook page that THATH “write and play songs that speak to the newness of a fresh start, of the ghosts left behind, of moving forward, all brimming with a soulfulness and hope for a better life than the one we’ve all been sold.”
If you missed them last week you can catch them a couple times at SXSW before they head to Europe for a month. They’ll also be at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in mid-June. They just signed a deal with Sub-Pop, who has a number of great acts, so hopefully the best is yet to come with THATH. They also have a free download on their site if you sign up for the newsletter. Read on for a few videos to satisfy your music-hunger.
Have you HEARD The Sound of Sunshine yet? If your answer is no, you have to go listen to it right now. You can do so here.
Are you back yet? Did you open it in another window and have it playing at the moment? OK, good. As you might guess, this a must-buy album.
Michael Franti & Spearhead hit the Top 40 nation with his single “Say Hey” from his last album All Rebel Rockers. From the moment that song became a hit, Franti & Spearhead took flight. Talk about seizing the moment! I remember reading about him in a CA newspaper about a year ago, he was asked about working on new material and he said something along the lines of “…Our single ‘Say Hey’ is now in the Top 40. Since that’s blowing up, we’re trying to stay out on the road.”
Turns out, they didn’t need to stop performing to create a new album. In fact, that’s exactly what they needed to keep doing. A lot of the songs in The Sound of Sunshine were completed on the road. Franti & Spearhead spent their winter as the opening act for John Mayer‘s Battle Studies tour. Perhaps the opportunity to perform for so many Mayer-lovers did a world of good, introducing Franti to many that otherwise wouldn’t be found as part of his audience.
Our primary goals are to spread the word about artists that we love and to encourage more people to experience the joys of live music events. We also want to promote musical exploration - don't just listen to what the blogosphere tells you to listen to, get out there and discover new artists yourself! There's a wealth of talent out there waiting for you to lend them an ear.