Music news

JULIA HOLTER: HAVE YOU IN MY WILDERNESS
January 25, 2016 9:45 am

Julia Holter could easily have been on stage at Woodstock back in 1969. Her tunes possess an awesome 60’s-70’s flair that I can’t get enough of with a heavy pour of today’s indie. Her most recent album Have You In My Wilderness is spectacular. This record contains lyrical magic such as “Feel You”, “Sea Calls Me Home” and “Silhouette”.

 

Check out her website for a listen and tour dates here!

 

 

 

BOSTON’S OWN: NEMES
January 18, 2016 5:00 am

Nemes is going places. Literally. This week, the Massachusetts-based band begins a series of performances that includes a January 23rd show at Fat Baby in New York’s Lower East Side. They’ll also be premiering a video series, featuring the band performing in-studio. Luckily, ATYPICAL SOUNDS was able to snag some time with bass player Alex Glover, and pick his brain on it all.

Congratulations on your nomination for Live Act of the Year at the 2015 Boston Music Awards. What would you say it is about your live act that makes it so special? How did you find out you were nominated?

AG: I would say our live act is special (on a good day) because we’re usually feeling very connected to one another. All the songs are arranged very collectively and we all feel like we have a role in specific parts of each song. When Josh (Knowles) or Dave (Anthony) are taking a solo, Chris (Anthony) and I usually pump each other up and keep energy high. For all of our 3-part harmony sections, we usually practice by looking each other dead in the eyes while we sing. I know we’re all picturing what the other is thinking while we sing. Our live show is very interconnected while maintaining a spirit of high energy.

You also have a new series of in-studio videos coming out. Can you tell us what we can expect and what the first video will feature?

AG: All the videos will essentially feature the same thing: us playing in a studio that we rented out for a couple of days. Our good friend James engineered the session, Boston music scene staple Murdock Manor took care of lighting, and our new buddy Hanzley and his crew shot the videos. I’m not entirely sure what the first release will be, but as far as what to expect; Over the course of the video releases, the viewer will hopefully be able to experience the range of emotions that we strive to convey every time we play.

Your bio claims that Nemes formed; “around 2000 years ago”. How have you worked to stay relevant over the last couple of millennia?

AG: We honestly forget.

You’ve performed in a variety of different settings, including in the subway, have you had any unique experiences while busking in Boston?

AG: Yup. Chris once received a Silver Surfer ring from an enthusiastic/psychedelic bum. One time a homeless man smashed a bottle of Monster Energy on the ground/in our case. Tons of folks have danced, we’ve gotten hired for weddings, sometimes even gotten recognized from friends we hadn’t seen in years. Busking is a strange and beautiful thing.

What are your favorite venues in Boston? 

AG: Our CD release was at The Middle East. It’s an awesome room in Cambridge and we’re proud to have sold it out. The Sinclair is a fantastic venue as well, and Great Scott will always have a killer punk-rock vibe to it.

What about your favorite local musicians?

AG: Favorite musicians is a whole different story. We’ve made too many friends to name, but in ABSOLUTELY no order:

Damn Tall Buildings, Dressed for the Occassion, Annabel Lee, Will Dailey, Air Traffic Controller, Oh Malo, Arms and Ears, Grey Season, Box of Birds, The Luxury, Zip-Tie Handcuffs, Eternals, and the list goes on.

Are there any bands you opened for that you’re especially proud of?

AG: Yes! A couple: Guster, X Ambassadors, and The Lonely Forest were all incredibly different but amazing experiences!

How do you feel the response has been to your debut LP, I Carry Your Heart? Is there anything you would’ve done differently, or would have liked to do?

AG: Hard to answer! We’re all very happy with the album but obviously when we listen back there are little things we’d love to go back and change. The only regret we have is that perhaps it could have felt more cohesive as a unit.

Vinyl listeners have given us a ton more feedback and overall enjoyed the album a ton more than CD/digital listeners. That being said, one of our best choices was pressing it to vinyl. We’re all so proud to hold it in our hands, and the vinyl crowd has a special appreciation for music.

What do you have planned for 2016?

AG: The same thing we do every year, Pinky Atypical Beasts, try to take over the world.

Upcoming Shows:

January 21

Loyola University

Baltimore, MD

January 22

Bourbon and Branch

Philadelphia, PA

January 23

Fat Baby

New York, NY

January 30

Opus Underground

Salem, MA

February 6

Truro Library Session

Truro, MA

February 19

Great Scott

Allston (Boston) , MA

February 25

Motr

Cincinnati, OH

February 26

The Country

Nashville, TN

February 27

Da Vida House

Cincinnati, OH

THIS IS OUR LAST DANCE, THANK YOU
January 13, 2016 9:32 am

To begin I must explain this testimonial, as that is what this is. It is not an article per-say or what we usually do here at ATYPICALSOUNDS, but instead an appreciation for one of the most influential musical geniuses of our lifetime. I must say also that I am not the biggest fan- not because I don’t like his music, but because I am still discovering it. Someone just recently told me that Diamond Dogs is an album and not the name of a baseball team as I had previously thought. That being said, David Bowie did affect my life, just as I’m sure he has affected some of yours.

I first came into contact with Bowie in my teens, which is when I first got into music. I know, I know, getting into music in your teens is kinda late. Well, one late August afternoon I was being driven around after a shitty summer (my middle school to high school transition summer). My middle school friends and I stopped hanging out as much.. we were slowly beginning to realize that we were probably just friends thanks to the convenient proximity. I was upset that I didn’t get into the high school that I wanted (Screw you, Forest Hills High!) My level of teen angst was a dangerous red.

Then a song came on, one that I had heard snippets of throughout my life but never really took the time out to hear it all: “Under Pressure.” “Under Pressure” is one of those songs that shall not be ignored when played. It’s just impossible. Two vocals of some of the most influential people in music history come together to make one of the most beautiful songs of all time. As I sat there in the car, I felt the warm August air on my face and I got this feeling in my stomach later confirmed to be butterflies. It is the same feeling I got when I heard “Heroin by The Velvet Underground or “The Lemon Song by Led Zeppelin or when I had my first kiss.

I would go home, open Limewire, and download that song that very same day. I wouldn’t think of Bowie for 3 years until my senior year.

At the end of my junior year of high school and into my senior year I started watching Flight of the Conchords. One the episodes was about David Bowie. Bret gets visited by David Bowie from the 3 different stages in his life (in a dream). Throughout the years I had of course heard more about David Bowie. He became a person who I knew about without really having heard his music. He was the David Foster Wallace of musicians for me. So I paused the show and googled him some more. That’s when I met Major Tom.

Holy crap. Up until then I didn’t know you could tell a story through music, and oh “Space Oddity” is an incredible story. A sad tale with ups and downs that illustrate the ill-fated Major Tom. Bowie wasn’t the guy from Flight of the Conchords, Bowie is so much more than a mystical figment of Bret’s imagination. Bowie is.. was a legend.

bowieejdfI wish I could say that from there I picked up and went through his catalogue of music and that I became familiar with it, but I didn’t. I also haven’t read Infinite Jest.

A few of his hits have accompanied me throughout small but very intimate moments in my life. I remember dancing with “Starman” on rare days when no one was home. Getting drunk with “The Man Who Sold The World.” Getting ready for a date and realizing that nothing’s gonna touch me in these “Golden Years.” Feeling like a “Rebel Rebel” during early morning runs.

When I woke up this morning and saw the New York Times app, I was taken aback. He couldn’t die. He has been a constant throughout my life. He couldn’t. It couldn’t be. But he did, and it was.

David Bowie had so much to offer that in his last year he gave us one last album, Blackstar. He gave you all a lot of great moments, and he has given me some moments I have yet to experience. I have so much of his music to still discover. It is an anticipated gift that I know I’ll enjoy unwrapping. He’s immortalized through the 40 plus years of art he has left for us.

I have been given the impossible task to write something about our dear David Bowie. I say impossible because I know that nothing that I say could ever do the man justice. So I’ll end this piece, this little outpour, with this; a most sincere and honest thank you. Thank you so very much for everything. Check ignition, and may God’s love be with you.

HELLO, SONGZA. GOODBYE, SONGZA.
6:00 am

Songza, an app that creates curated playlists, recently announced it would be incorporated into Google Play Music at the end of January. Users will be able to migrate their Songza accounts, favorite songs, and music history, with Google promising to faithfully recreate the Songza experience.

So what is Songza? To be honest, I hadn’t heard of it until recently. This is likely my own fault. Songza was recognized in Apple’s App Store Best of 2012. It has over 34 thousand total ratings, and averages 4.5 stars. Am I about to fall in love with an app that could change drastically in a week or two?

The app works by reading your phone’s internal calendar and clock, and using that information to curate playlists based on how it thinks you’re currently spending your time. The app guessed (correctly) that I was at work, but failed to offer me a playlist of songs concerning existential angst and very-early mid-life crises. What it did offer me was topics such as, “Having Fun at Work,” “Focusing (No Lyrics),” and “Boosting Your Energy.” Upon choosing the first option, I was shown another list of topics. One, called “Whistling While You Work: Sing-Alongs,” caught my eye. Have you ever worked with someone who whistled, or SANG, while you were trying to work? Does Songza exclusively employ trolls to create its playlists?

I was not prepared for where choosing this option would take me; first was a Celine Dion cover of the Eric Carmen power ballad “All By Myself”. Next was “Iris” by Goo Goo Dolls, and third was the theme song to Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, sung by Peabo Bryson. There was also an option for “All-Star Rap-Alongs”, and a whole playlist dedicated to “Sing-Along Favorites from Disney Movies.”

Just. No.

If anything, the app is good for a laugh, or for driving with your friends on the way to something fun. Whereas apps like Pandora begin by working from criteria you give them, Songza seems to work by using the trial-and-error method. After Google takes over, I’m hoping the new infrastructure for Songza can make better suggestions for music; no one should have to be subjected to power ballads.

Songza 1

PARIS IN TURMOIL WITH THE EAGLES OF DEATH METAL
December 3, 2015 1:20 am

We’ve all heard the news, whether from a friend, our televisions or the Internet. No matter how we realized the event had happened, we were all truly heart broken. To know many music lovers, musicians, entrepreneurs and families lost not only their lives but people they loved as well, was devastatingly tragic.

On November 13th, 2015 a series of attacks took place throughout France. Three shooters entered The Bataclan Theatre and immediately started  shooting around an hour into the Eagles of Death Metal’s set. There were said to have been 89 deaths in the venue with an additional 368 sustaining injuries. Among those killed was the band’s merchandise manager, Nick Alexander. The attacks were also said to have been a retaliation against France for it’s air strikes against ISIS targets in Syria. ISIS claimed responsibility and France launched its biggest air strike in response, just two days following the atrocious attacks against Paris. Among all of the chaos and victims were the band themselves.  Though EODM co-founder Joshua Homme was not present, this interview with VICE shows how heavily both he and the members that were there that night were effected by this tragedy. Watch below.

 

VICE interviewed them just over a week after the attack, and gained insight as to what happened in many different areas of the building as the band and their fans fought for their lives. This interview also takes the glamour out of speaking with a highly regarded band and exposes the vulnerability that comes with being thrown into such a hostile and terrifying situation. That is something we don’t see in the music community as often as we think. It brings humility to the music scene, and forces us to sympathize with these guys just from knowing their first-row points of view of the attacks.

After watching this, the thing that will stick with me indefinitely is that most lives were lost because they were practicing humility the best they could; by blocking friends or simply not leaving them behind. Such a tragically beautiful fact and idea; that we can protect one another even in such harrowing situations. The band members present during the attack were Jesse Hughes, Matt McJunkins, Eden Galindo, Julian Dorio, and their sound engineer Shawn London. These men tell their versions of the brutal attack that occurred that night in the very different sequences dependent on their position on stage and who was around. The band explains first-hand just how terrifying this was. Then you hear Josh Homme’s version and his feelings on the subject.  It is stated by Jesse Hughes in the interview that Josh was likely the first person in the world to truly know what had happened because of the real time connection to the band.  It is clear to see on their faces how thankful they are to be alive today and how devastated for their fans family’s and friends for those lost.

The important thing about this band- especially in the context of this event- is that they stand up for the music. This attack not only hit close to home in terms of our nation’s allies, but also in our most sacred, regarded safe place; the music scene. The place where adults, teenagers, kids get to listen to the music that holds them together. The place that people around the globe get to be in the same physical room as their biggest heroes.  Music is a powerful thing, and I commend The Eagles of Death Metal for powering forward for those victims. The Eagles of Death Metal is an American band founded by Jesse Hughes and Josh Homme in 1998.

It’s very important to me that they were there because since ATYPICAL SOUNDS thrives in Brooklyn, NY, most of us have seen this band grow from the ground up.  EODM handled this situation with such grace and humility, showing the world that love and solidarity is what will overwhelm violence. That we should never give up, but not harm others in the process. We cannot be afraid, we have to show the people who initiated and facilitated these attacks that we are not afraid.

Once this interview was made public, tons of my friends were sharing it on Facebook. I won’t even lie, I cried. Everyone had heavy hearts. Most importantly though, everyone agreed with continuing to pursue their love of music with as much passion and strength and love as we have ever had before. We won’t be scared; it was like a universal chant for love, strength and solidarity. We will not back down; music is in all of our souls and it showed very frequently in the comments, shares and conversations that this was a global thought.

As music enthusiasts here at Atypical, the Beasts know it is our way of life, not only an interest we share with all of you. We all know the joy and love of being in the crowd, soaking up the energy and soul that reverberates off the walls, and many of us know that connection from onstage just as well. This news hit us pretty hard considering we spend a massive amount of our time at shows, and this could have been anyone we know. But most importantly it was everyone that we know, we are all a family.

ATYPICAL SOUNDS offers our deepest condolences to all of the victims and their families, and we hope that through continuing to strive for local music scenes to thrive and keeping touring bands moving, we can help bring hope to those feeling discouraged about music because of these attacks. Josh Homme’s Sweet Stuff Foundation is currently raising money for the victims of the Paris attacks. All donations received before December 31 will go to the families of those who lost their lives while indulging in their passions.

prayparis

THE UNIQUE SWAY OF MOTHERS
November 12, 2015 8:00 am

As if I Ever Could Keep a Promise –Mothers 

Mothers is a band from Athens, Georgia, and they hold a very unique sound. Their surf-rock vibe is mirrored by a high pitched yet powerful vocalist. Kristine Leschper has a way of swaying her vocals that reminds me of the front lady of Lightening DustAmber Webber. I find it hard to discover female vocalists who can command a room in the same way I imagine Mothers does live, and she plays killer guitar too!!

The lyrics are so deep and personal that you feel almost every feeling she is describing in such an honest way. This is the type of band you put on after a brutal break up or any other genuine heart ache. But you shouldn’t think that is the only aspect of their music that is important.  They surprise you in their song ‘There is no Crying in Baseball’ with some chant like singing and you might think she is actually scolding you!

The Beasts appreciate their unique blend of genres and their honest sound. We hope you’ll take a listen to their commanding tunes.  Check out their live session at Audio Tree Live!

BREAKING DAY WITH MOON TAXI’S DAYBREAKER
October 27, 2015 5:33 pm

It took me a moment but once I heard a couple songs I realized that I had heard Moon Taxi before.  This band from Nashville who started in 2006 will blow your mind with the musical vastness they accomplish. They’ve had their music featured in numerous commercials, late night shows and festivals. The band released two previous records before their latest and greatest Daybreaker.  They have all the elements of a light indie pop/alternative rock group, with a  darker tinge of garage rock injected into the mix.

Daybreaker was just released October 2nd, just a few weeks ago and has everyone falling head over heals. Most of the songs on the album sound like a mix of Interpol with droning guitar riffs and sound similar to Kings of Leon vocally.  It’s reminiscent of something Danger Mouse might produce save for the grunge here and there throughout the record.  It was actually a pleasant surprise to hear the different sounds they are capable of making as I’m not generally a fan of more fluid indie rock.  But I was thoroughly impressed with how they produced this album and all of its dynamic.

You can really feel their performance, and how every single part of each song melts together in the perfect sequence while appropriately placed. This is the type of band you want to see live because you know they have it down to a science.  All of the songs, including the single “Year Zero” have a slight Vampire Weekend sound with milder vocals and more full sounding instrumentals.  I’d highly advise you to check out their album Daybreaker! If you’re ever in the mood to dance this album will be your best friend.  Check out the Jazzy tune “Make your mind up”  from the new album right here and watch these bad asses focused and rocking live at Lollapalooza.  The Beasts approve and beyond!

SAY YES TO WAY YES
October 22, 2015 10:02 am

Founded in 2010 in Columbus, Ohio Way Yes has been making waves.  Starting with their 7inch release Oranjudiosoon after an EP Walkability, lastly they released Tog Pebbles in 2013.  They claim on their Facebook info that ‘the band set out to create feel good music with a dark twist.’ and they did just that.  This dark, wispy yet electro-pop sounding four piece paints the picture of addiction and suicide dancing together on a Saturday night.

If I could choose a close cousin to their sound, I would have to say it is a good mix of Panda Bear and Animal Collectives sound.  Both musically and vocally, as it seems the singer has a wide array of vocal techniques and fast moving music to back generally every track.

Tog Pebbles took a minute to grow on me (so did Feels by Animal Collective) but proves to be one of those albums to keep around for good.  It houses the same clever antics of both aforementioned bands such as singing about darker and deeper things while making the listener feel happy at the same time.  A way to alleviate painful memories in a seemingly non-painful way.  Ultimately the BEST part of this album is the lyrics which are available on their bandcamp page.  The song that hits me right in the feels is called “Bloodline” in which the lyrics:

“Wish I could say that I knew ya,
Back before you were gone.
Wish I could say that I knew ya,
When you had your head on

But there’s a demon in the blood line,
That slowly ate away your mind.
A demon in the blood line,
That makes you no family of mine. ”

I have always been intrigued by the power music like this holds, and the contrast of emotions that it evokes. It’s something I’ve never personally been able to recreate so it drives me crazy in the best possible way.  I will have this album on repeat and be using some of these lyrics as a status sometime very soon.  Listen to Way Yes as soon as you’re near speakers!

SISTERS Released A New Video, And It’s A Great Conversation
October 14, 2015 2:51 pm

Sisters just released their brand new video like hours ago! Watch below! It premiered last night at the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festivaland it completely opened up a new kind of conversation. The song “Queer Life” (which they wrote two days before Marriage equality was legalized across America),  is a supportive and fun portrayal on the family dynamic that pertains to coming out to those who still think it’s just a stage. The video ends with the wildest dance party explosion, and who doesn’t like dancing?  It is a wonderful support of a real issue in America and it is a reoccurring theme in their music and lives as far as I can tell.  We love this Video, so check it out!

I’m not going to lie, I usually don’t expect much sound from any two piece band.  Sisters, an indie pop duo from Seattle far surpassed my expectations in that respect.  They’re an explosion of sound in league with bands like MGMT and Portugal. The Man.  Both Emily Westman and Andrew Vait seem to be champions at multitasking, as you watch Emily conquering with tight drumming technique and singing harmonies, while Andrew plays keyboards and offers up the electric effects of his genius.  This all sewn together through their perfect harmonies intertwining like the arms of long lost sisters.  They have a sense of quirkiness about them as well that reminds me of the band of Montreal, vocally.

The band who moved separately to Seattle after playing various projects around the area finally got together in 2014 forming Sisters officially.  They met at University of Miami’s Frost School of Music initially and the rest is history according to their band bio on their website.  Since then, they have played at Sasquatch! and Bumbershoot music festivals along with many others. Give them a listen and check out their enormous sound and vocal harmonies bleed together seamlessly here!

Jetlagged With Milosh
October 6, 2015 1:31 am

Milosh is an elegant marriage between original electronic music and an intense personal experience. I am very familiar with making music with your significant other and both the joys and hardships that can come of it. I appreciate the fact that this artist was able to contain and create such a personal experience and add their everyday life to recording. This was present especially in their song “Do you want what I need” where in the band biography on facebook he stated he mic’d himself  “drumming on my wife’s tummy, brushing her skin; edit, cut up and reversed her laughs as we joked over the pure hilarity of it all.”

Often times I cannot relate to electronic music, but then you listen to the sheer personality of the track, and that mentality dwindles quickly. There’s a hint of Animal Collective‘s creativity and obscure recording techniques present.  Just as Avey Tare and his wife used to work together, Jet Lag seems like a long lost psychedelic brother of Avey Tare’s album with Kria Brekkan Pullhair Rubeye but in reverse.

It is very apparent that this artist feels every aspect of the music he is playing and it has been noticed by others as stated by Helene Achanzar in an interview with Rhye that Milosh is a conductor of sorts in his live element.  He is also well known for his band Rhye, who are undeniably emotional as well as felt in the video for their song called “The Fall.”  Every song he puts out cries loving tears and is very thoughtful and diverse. Not a single song sounds like another, which is rare for many bands these days.  Do not get me started on his amazing voice; it is extremely distinctive and surprisingly, he is able to hit notes that would make Mariah herself blink.