[Indie Pop] Trails and Ways – Como Te Vas

Como Te Vas

It’s not officially summer until we’ve heard new music from Trails and Ways (well, technically it’s not really summer until June 21st). Last year’s “Nunca” served as one of our favorites of 2012, and we have a feeling “Como Te Vas” will have the same impact on us in 2013. Trails and Ways’ music has always had a way of transporting you off to a distant land, which is due in large part to the influences the band has gained from their own extensive travels in countries like Brazil and Spain. It might also explain the name of the group’s upcoming EP, Trilingual, which is set to drop this Tuesday, June 11th and also includes other outstanding singles like “Border Crosser” and “Mtn Tune“.

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[Folk/Soul] Johnnyswim – Home vol. 1


Got to love those days when you stumble upon a new artist or group who just captures your ears and heart with their musical beauty.
I discovered the band Johnnyswim today, a duo from LA made up of Amanda Sudano and Abner Ramirez. The two began working together back in 2006 and found they had a passion for the same folk, soul and rock music. And when they put their vocals and instrumentals together, the heavenly Johnnyswim was born. Even more sweet, the two are also a couple. That may add to the melodies and addiction in their music.
They released a beautiful 5 track EP called “Home” a few months back full of songs of adoration, hope and overall, love. The first song, “Heart Beats” is a vivid song, with strong guitar playing and strong vocals from Amanda. The song tells the story of how strong a heart beat is, that the bumping in one’s chest brings back the memories that one tries to push down and forget. But we all know, a heartbeat won’t ever let you forget. My favorite song on this is “Paris in June”, perfect for this lovely summer month. It is a delicate song, again with peaceful guitar melodies and vocals by Abner, intertwined with the beautiful voice of Amanda. Favorite line: “A penny for your thoughts and a rose for your past.” The other three songs are just as light and airy, and there are some other languages strewn in the soulful pieces. These two artists have a gift and an ear for music and we can’t wait to hear more.

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[MP3 Playlist] Indie Dojo (June 2013 Round #1)

indie-dojo-music-ninjaAttitudes are infectious. If you’re grouchy, you better believe the world around you is gonna be just the same. And when you’re happy, you can easily pass that sunshine on to someone who needs it. So before you walk out the door, if you feel the slightest Oscar the Grouch puppeteering your thoughts, slow your roll for a minute. If you happen to have a hard time stopping your brain from becoming the Magneto of negative thoughts, we seem to find that music can be a real mood booster. And would you look at that….We just happen to have a free bump for you right here..Oh and don’t be afraid to pass it on…..Be the kind of infectious that lights up the world.

Hudson Taylor
Among Savages
A Dark Design
The Struggle
Sleeper Hold
French for Rabbits
Claimed by the Sea
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[Dream Folk] Still Parade – Actors

Still Parade

Life is stressful. Life is overwhelming. Life is unbearable at times. It’s moments like these that we really appreciate music. While your favorite song may only assuage your worries for a brief couple of minutes, it still does just that. In today’s world, three minutes seems like an eternity.

Still Parade has one of those tracks that’s perfect for this occasion. The soft repetitious guitar plucking, muted bass drum, and gorgeous heavenly vocals are perfect to take you away from whatever it is that’s bothering you. Just hit play, lie back and enjoy a few moments to yourself.

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[Video] Marika Hackman – Bath Is Black

Marika Hackman
Marika Hackman
Bath Is Black

“Bath Is Black” is the latest cut from Marika Hackman‘s debut mini-album, “That Iron Taste”, to receive a brilliantly bonkers video treatment. Coupling her unique blend of folk with a hazy fog of cannabis smoke and lap dancing gangsters, the new video somehow captures the intoxicating, playful beauty of Marika’s songwriting amid the NSFW carnage.

“That Iron Taste” is available now on iTunes

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[TMN Exclusive] Iwan Rheon – Interview


It was a great privilege for The Music Ninja to conduct an interview with actor/musician/great guy Iwan Rheon. Known in Great Britian for his leading role in the TV series The Misfits, he’s also active in the cinema world through his work in movies like Wasteland and Liberatdor among many other efforts East of the Atlantic.In addition, look for Mr. Rheon in season 3 of the epic Game of Thrones series.

Oh yeah, and he plays some pretty darned good music too! Aside from acting, Mr. Rheon is a exceptional singer/songwriter and showcases his thoughtful lyrical ability, down to earth singing voice and impressive acousitc guitar work in his four track EP Bang! Bang!. Take a look at Mr. Rheon’s thoughts on balancing his artistic efforts and on his musical inspirations here!

The Music Ninja: I guess the first question we have is…between acting and music, when do you sleep? Seriously though, everyone hears about the time demands of acting and most of us know the time demands for playing an instrument proficiently. How do you balance the two artistic endeavors?

Iwan Rheon: I don’t know to be honest, I just play when I can. Take a guitar with me when I’m working and stuff. Sleeping’s boring anyway!

The Music Ninja: I noted that Oasis and Radiohead are two of your musical inspirations according to your IBDm bio page. Are there some singer song writers that you look to for inspiration? If I were to guess – Ben Howard? Maybe David Grey?

Iwan Rheon: I really like Ray Lamontagne, Joe Pug and Bon Iver…not sure if I sound like any of them.

The Music Ninja: I was a little surprised to read about your punk rock roots! Does any of that energy carry over into your music as an adult?

Iwan Rheon: I’m still secretly a bit of a punk. Love The Clash and a bit of the Pistols. I guess as I’ve got older I’ve chilled out a bit. But, my teenage angst is still stirring somewhere!

The Music Ninja: What does your creative process look like?

Iwan Rheon: I normally write the melody first. Just jamming to find a progression or a riff, singing random words. Then, a lyric creeps in and I develop that. Basically it’s just luck!

The Music Ninja: At the Music Ninja, we’re noticing a trend among our young listeners: it seems that both musicians and music aficionados in general listen to a wide variety of musical genres. Who do you listen to?

Iwan Rheon: Recently I’ve been listening to Nick Cave’s new record. Atoms for Peace and Everything Everything. Cold Specks is someone who I really admire. Plus there’s always an iPod full of classics to bust out. There’s so much bloody music out there.

The Music Ninja: And for all of us across the pond—do you have any tour information to share with us Yanks? Denver’s nice in the summer time. Just saying. No pressure.

Iwan Rheon: I’m sure Denver is beautiful in the summer. The problem with touring is the time and commitment it demands. It’s difficult for me to have either because of filming schedule. I have to make do with doing the odd gig and recording when I can. I hope I can come to the States soon and play some shows.

We were grateful to have this little virtual chat with Mr. Rheon. We wish him all the success in the world and look forward to his future musical and cinematic endeavors. Cheers to Iwan Rheon! Love from Denver!

Iwan Rheon
Bang! Bang!
Iwan Rheon
You Are In Me
Iwan Rheon
Pick Pocket
Iwan Rheon
Your Soul
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[Electronica] Snow Ghosts – Secret Garden

03 Secret Garden

British electronic instrumentalists Augustus Ghost and Throwing Snow, just put the finishing touches on their collaborative debut full-length album, A Small Murmation,  under stage moniker Snow Ghosts, which is getting polished up and mastered as we speak for a July 8 release on Houndstooth Records. Already being championed with invitations to support live for the likes of uber-tastemakers in Thom Yorke and Bonobo mostly on the back of 2011’s Lost at Sea EP, Snow Ghosts’ ominous music clearly effects those who have been privy to their unique blend of folk-pop, black-metal, and electronica. Their latest single “Secret Garden”, so far the second coming from A Small Murmation, balances Augustus ghost’s stark and rich vocals with cyclical melody and a chillwave inspired beat that seems to have developed a case of the “trip-hop’s”. You can pre-order Snow Ghosts’ forthcoming long-player here, and as always stream the track above.

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