[Synth-Pop/Chill] Night Drive – Easy to Lie

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Night Drive
Easy To Lie (Original Mix)

While swimming through the standard sea of press e-mails and Soundcloud feeds, the day for this writer began to feel rather bleak musically. That is until Austin, TX duo Night Drive and their newest single “Easy to Lie” made it no less than one bar into its brooding pulse of nostalgic 80′s synth-pop. The pair’s nostalgic view on electro-pop sometimes deviates more closely towards the bubblier side of things, but their latest dip into more introspective lyricism and gloomier instrumentation marks our favorite release from the pair’s studio thus far. And previous Night Drive fanboys and girls need not fret either, as “Easy to Lie” is still dripping with doses of powerful pop synthesizers, but this time around they’re reeled back with the surgical precision to simultaneously highlight its emotive center ever so beautifully. “Easy to Lie” comes as the second taste of an upcoming debut full-length Sound Control Records, hopefully due out later this year. Let this one close out your day of school or work perfectly. We did.

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Houdini – Holding On [TMN PREMIERE]

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Houdini
Holding On

Swedish rockers, Houdini, are fresh faces to the alternative scene, but their presence on their three prior releases feels much more established than that. “Holding On” is a rambunctious track that utilizes reverb soaked guitars and the husky voice of the lead vocalist to harness any and all angst possible out of the scorned relationship that the lyrics describe.

This title track off their upcoming EP is looking to grasp an audience with gritty, yet pining choruses that catch the ear and make you feel a little something at the same time. These former school mates are continuously breaking new ground with each tune they create, and we are just as excited as they are to see where they go from here.

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BREAKFAST – Boris [TMN PREMIERE]

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BREAKFAST
Boris

Let’s face it. If you’ve done any business in the music industry, you’ve undoubtedly come across a Boris (see above for visual reference). You know the type – in the business for all the wrong reasons, obsessing over numbers, trends, and anything other than the art itself. Up and coming indie act BREAKFAST says it best:

He doesn’t give a shit about you or your future, though he loves to talk your ear off.

“Boris” is inspired by the aforementioned music industry lore. Crafted by this analog-synth, LA-based four piece, this tune walks two different parallels with ease. Members Andrea Adolph, Max Bussell, Sean Dwyer, Luciano Russo have developed sounds that are both playful and cautionary. The end result is a haunting, foreboding, ominous tale that also makes you bob your head and smile at the same time.

After just two tracks, we’re becoming increasingly interested in what BREAKFAST has going on. If you’re in the same boat, throw them a follow on soundcloud.

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[MP3 Playlist] Indie Dojo (February 2014 Round #4)

indie-dojo-music-ninjaThere are a lots of things that have the power to alter our mood. And for a lot of us, it has been nothing but the weather. Wind chills and super storms and all the things opposite of warm, happy sunshine soaking into our skin. So today, instead of focusing on something we can’t control, unless you are harboring some secret X-Men like power that you should really just share with the world at this point, we should focus on something we can. Play, pause, rewind, fast forward, replay all you want. The power of mood-altering music is in your hands.

Pooltheory
The Dreamer
Theme Park
Something Good
Vetiver
Current Carry
The Tallest Tree
Ill Be Your
Jack McMullen
If I Go
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[Americana] JJ Grey & Mofro – Every Minute

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JJ Grey & Mofro
Every Minute

Every so often, we stumble across a song that perfectly embodies a particular situation. That situation could be a crazy night out at the club. That situation could be the most epic backyard BBQ you’ve ever thrown. That situation could be a sultry night in the bedroom. Well, those songs are great, but few transcend past those moments, fully encapsulating a nation. Did we just throw out a bold statement? Yes, we did. And we’re right. JJ Grey & Mofro are America, and they’re the tough as nails, beer and whisky drinking, tobacco chewing America to boot.

This often celebrated soulful Jacksonville seven-piece are set to release their newest record on Ol’Glory come March 3rd. This album marks their debut on Provogue, which is a part of Mascot Label Group. Amongst the 12 intriguing, soulful, bluesy, rock tunes, “Every Minute” stands out far above in our mind.

With instantaneous timelessness, this tune immediately boasts a historically classic sound, providing younger listeners with a taste of some influences from the best of the best (Bruce Springsteen, Bob Seger, John Fogherty, etc). It’s one that should be held onto for every red, white, and blue get together, no matter how big, or how small.

If you have a chance to catch them live, make sure to do so. We’re pretty sure you won’t be disappointed.

2/20 House of Blues – Boston, MA
2/21 Terminal 5 – New York, NY
2/25 Mr. Smalls – Pittsburgh, PA
2/26 Vogue – Indianapolis, IN
2/27 Taft Theatre – Cincinnati, OH
2/28 The Vic – Chicago, IL
3/01 Intersection – Grand Rapids, MI
3/04 Jefferson – Charlottesville, VA
3/05 Ziggy’s – Winston-Salem, NC
3/06 Track 29 – Chattanooga, TN
3/07 Buckhead – Atlanta, GA
3/18 Islington Academy – London, England
3/19 New Morning – Paris, France
3/20 Kaufleuten Zurich – Zurich, Switzerland
3/21 Technik Museum – Munich, Germany
3/23 Batschkapp – Frankfurt, Germany
3/24 Kesselhaus – Berlin, Germany
3/25 Bluestage – Nuremberg, Germany
3/26 Rockpalast Crossroads Festival – Bonn, Germany
3/27 Paradiso Main Hall – Amsterdam, The Netherlands
3/28 Paard van Troje (Main Hall) – Den Haag, The Netherlands
4/2 – 6 Byron Bay Bluesfest – Byron Bay, Australia

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Get to Know: Feed Me Jack [TMN Exclusive Interview/Event Preview]

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We’re really excited to be teaming up with the Make It Funky SF collective to put on a series of showcases in California highlighting local talent. Launching this Saturday, February 21st at El Rio in San Francisco, the first installment will feature experimental indie band Feed Me Jack and the folky, electronic vibes of Mosaics with support from acoustic soul duo, The Kakaroaches making for an eclectic mix of styles. As part of the series, we’ll be catching up with some of the performers to shed light on up ‘n coming musicians. RSVP at the link below. 

Feed Me Jack
Knight Fork

Since we were first introduced to Oakland-based Feed Me Jack a couple years back, they’ve quickly become one of our favorite up ‘n coming indie bands. The collective musical talents of the group have allowed them to perfect, and build on, a broad range of musical styles and influences. Their 2012 debut, Chumpfrey, recorded during their time at UC Santa Cruz, embodies their prowess and versatility, but the follow-up Anatolia EP saw FMJ combining their skill set with a seemingly endless amount of creativity for a cohesive, flowing sound all their own. We caught up with Sven Gamsky (guitar/vocals), Cameron Lampert (bass/vocals) and Jake Thornton (keyboard), 3 of the 5 members of Feed Me Jack (Robert Luisi on guitar/vocals and Eric Lawson on drums are the other two), in advance of their upcoming show. Enjoy the interview below, head to FMJ’s website to grab a bunch of great music and catch them at our showcase at El Rio this Saturday, it’s not one you’ll want to miss!

RSVP: Make It Funky & Music Ninja Present: Feed Me Jack, Mosaics and The Kakaroaches

 

TMN: So, you all first met at UC Santa Cruz. Can you talk a bit about how you all got together?

Sven: It was freshman year when I first met Robert. I was just in the quad, around the dorms, and heard some beautiful guitar wafting down from up high. I just kind of followed my ears and found the room where the guitar was coming from. I didn’t know Robert before that but I introduced myself and showed him a song that I had written. He recorded it and wrote a bass line for that song. That later became “Pirate Muse.” Then, we added a friend of ours who was our old drummer. So we had him and two guitar players, but we played one of the guitars out of a bass amp and had a sub-octave pedal to lower it to that range.

Cameron: So, the original bass player was not actually a bass player, it was just a pedal.

Sven: From that point on, we were kind of moving around until we found the right sound and group. We added Cameron as a permanent bass player and collaborator along with Eric as our new drummer.

Feed Me Jack
Definitely You

TMN: There are so many different styles infused in your sound—ska/reggae,  jam bands and sometimes even stuff like The Strokes just to name a few. Who are some of the bands and artists that influenced your sound?

Cameron: The Strokes are definitely an influence and Grizzly Bear. But really, music is derivative and we definitely acknowledge that. I think we love listening to all sorts of different stuff and really, I hate to use the classification of World music because all music comes from the world, but all music finds its place in our sound. Especially guitar music, plus The Beatles and classics like that.

Jake: I would say the first album, Chumpfrey, draws on a lot more of the influences that you mentioned first. We all think that was more of an accessible sound, a little more pop influenced, than some of our more recent stuff. We’ve really been striving to come with different sounds and go in more of an experimental direction while maintaining the influences that are still with us.

TMN: How did that process of putting together something as cohesive as Anatolia compare with the experiences behind Chumpfrey? Was that shift a conscious effort? 

Sven: Yeah, I think it was kind of a conscious effort. The Anatolia EP was an attempt to go with a little more of an atmospheric and visceral sound focused more on the composition, which is just writing a song that doesn’t have any recurring parts. It was kind of a journey from beginning to end. We’ve been messing with the idea that we want to have one piece of music as an album with all the songs bleeding into each other. So, we kind of tried to create transitions that connect the songs to make one larger piece of music—basically like a twenty minute song.

Jake: It was definitely more of a concept album for us and it also marked our transition from college, house-party type of music into a more identifiable sound. Continue reading

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[Electro-Pop] Bad Wave – Lookout

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Bad Wave
Look Out

It’s quite the known fact here at TMN that we cover a multitude of music genres. As a result, we try to make things a little easier for our readers by marking our posts with a genre tag. Sometimes though, it just doesn’t feel right pigeon-holing a tune into a specific niche when it could easily be listed under four or more. Such was the case when we came across the duo of Tucker Tota and Patrick Hart, or simply: Bad Wave. “Look Out” is the debut single from the L.A. based pair, and with its slick and rambunctious synth arrangements immediately has us conjuring up comparisons to the gritty dance and synth pop from DFA Records staples Holy Ghost! to vocal work paying ode to Phoenix’s Thomas Mars. Not a bad connection to draw for a first single at all. Furthermore, this one caught the attention of one of our favorite rising labels, Ghost Beach’s Crazy Heart Records (now also home to Karl Kling & Dart Party), which has only stoked our flame for Bad Wave’s eclectic take on pop. Let this one steer your disposition towards the sunnier side.

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