London Grammar – Metal & Dust album review

With only an EP spanning four tracks (one of which is a remix), the London-based trio appropriately named, London Grammar, have already made wavelengths through the internet and have even reached billboard charts in Australia and the U.K. Not bad for having barely over 10 minutes of recorded material.

Metal & Dust is their first release and in a very short amount of time, received great praise and garnered much viral popularity. The group’s sound is subtle, offering hints of varying samples and sounds that add up to their overall dark and ambient aesthetic. It is a very engaging and interesting mix but what really capture the spotlight are Hannah Reid’s vocals. The instrumental seems to act as only an aid in helping Reid just add that much more power to her already strong and confident vocals.

Despite the minimalistic nature of the music, Reid’s voice is brought forth full tilt with emotion, never holding back and the music itself seems to be under the tow and sway of her voice. Borrowing easy to identify influences from fellow U.K indie stars such as Alt-J and The XX, it would appear as though there is a certain love affair with drum pads and echoing vocals being sprinkled with spitfire guitar picking however despite the similarities, London Grammar bring their own individualistic strengths to the table.

It is hard to exactly say how a full length album would turn out with this group. Although they do what they do well, it unfortunately ends up sounding just a little repetitive and that is only with 3 songs. The promise is all there but their EP is not yet a fair assessment of the band. Even the remix ‘Hey Now’ by Dot Major is the most engaging and interesting listen, and it’s not always a good sign when the remix is one of, if not, the better tracks. They can certainly do it, but it will be interesting to see if the group can come out with a full length that will truly set them apart from their counterparts.

Firefly Music Festival Concert Review

The second Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware went off this year with great success. The headliners Red Hot Chili Pepers and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers each put on incredible performances to audiences containing the majority of the 65,000 festival goers. The show took place at Delaware’s Dover Downs, an international speedway with over 100 acres of woodlands on the premises, which is where the entire festival took place. The campsites are set up about ten minutes away from the front gates on foot, for which the closed down a bridge road that goes over the highway and it is a decent trek. Once inside the two bigger stages are easily accessible and the two smaller stages are tucked away, about another ten minute walk. The festival grounds are littered with awesomeness, such as Heineken rave tents, the Dogfishhead brew house, an illuminated forest garden, a headphone dance party, hammock hangouts, and food stands.

The first day was filled with anxious excitement. Wilde Belle led the buzzing audience into a groove with the swaying beautiful blonde front woman in shades Natalie Bergman and her brother Elliot. The band is super tight and set the mood right. Their songs “Backslider” and “Keep You” stuck out, even soared, surely gaining them new fans. Natalie’s infectious voice matched by the groups impenetrable grove with hard, nearly hip-hop-esque beats set the bar for three day to come.

Django Django kicked off on the big main stage and led a mid-day dance party. Their energy and European coolness rubbed off on the audience well. Their sound is so individual and danceable, some really fun music. As the Delaware sun beat down on the audience, the sense of community could be felt. Atlas Genius was next on the smaller main stage. Keith Jeffery moved around the stage like a seasoned professional, displaying great talent on guitar. The Australian brothers and their group was really impressive live, with a great song selection and good showmanship. The audience sang along to “Trojans” and “If So” and discovered other tunes like

Public Enemy played on one of the back stages as the sun began to set on the first day. Chuck D was on point with his stage presence, bold and in charge. Foot soldiers stood guard of DJ Lord’s booth. Flavor Flav, depending on your stance of him, either made the show or ruined it, hyping the audience with his “Yeah Boy’s” and at one point taking a turn on the live drum kit. Public Enemy was a fun show and a taste of history for the mostly young crowd. The sounds and lights from Calvin Harris could be heard and seen from any distance. The pumping beat and light show took the audience by storm and people went wild. “Sweet Nothing” blasted throughout the grounds like the Festival’s soundtrack. Don’t let anyone say a techno show is not worth seeing, just tell them to check out Calvin Harris.

Red Hot Chili Peppers took the main stage to headline first night of Firefly. The audience was literally packed like sardines, even from a great distance. With guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, the band still sounds classic as ever. They focused on big hits like “By the Way,” “Dani California,” “My Friends,” and “Under the Bridge.” After the slightly lacking solo on “Dani California” Anthony Kiedis advised Klinghoffer to “hate his guitar.” It was very interesting to hear him giving advice in front of nearly 60,000 people. The show was an absolute highlight of the entire festival, a very memorable experience.

At 9 am on Saturday, the temperature was already up around 90 degrees. ZZ Ward was the first group we caught, who played to a relatively smaller crowd, with some obvious diehard fans present. Not too much later, Jim James put on a great show. The bass lines could be felt at our core as James led this band, wearing a black suit and letting his hair run wild. He played a guitar that had a stand on the back, moving it around like he was Steven Tyler with a microphone stand; this was an appreciated innovative piece of equipment. Later he played saxophone and partook in odd behavior, such as holding up a golden teddy bear to his band and the audience and singing half the show with a black towel over his head. Awesome stuff. When you thought you had seen it all, he toned it down and played an utterly beautiful version of “New Life.”

Alabama Shakes and their fearless leader Brittney Howard were a blast of old school southern style laid-back rock. Her voice on great performances of “Hold On” and “Hang Loose” shook the bolts every structure around. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero’s put on a early evening show, as the day started to cool down. “Home” was played with a large majority of the audience singing along. Leader Alex Ebert traveled out to the audience and asked individuals to tell us all a story, which slightly backfired due to most of people who he lent the microphone to being so excited that all they could do was compliment the song, except one guy who exclaimed that he proposed to his girlfriend the day before.

Yeah Yeah Yeah’s played the mainstage as the day was turning to night. The trio rocked and sounded exceptional and very tight. Karen O’s personality on stage is attention grabbing, she even had some wardrobe changes. Guitarist Nick Zimmer showcased insane talent and Brain Chase was on point with his steady beat. The band was pretty obviously ecstatic to be playing to such a large audience, likely much larger than they are used to. Their show was an excellent surprise.

MGMT were up next on the smaller main stage. The screens showed interesting psychedelic images, exploding with color. The band too was filmed in this way, so much so that you could not make out distinct feature of the musicians and they were reduced to silhouettes of moving colors. They jammed through “Weekend Warriors,” “Electric Feel,” “Time to Pretend” and “Kids” from their first album, focusing on fan favorties toward the end.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers played on the mainstage to what seemed like literally everyone at the festival. While some of the group’s focus was on lesser known Wild Thornberry tracks and sleepers like “I Should Have Known It” off his newest album (2010’s Mojo), classics like “Free Falling,” “Won’t Back Down,” “Refugee,” and “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” were very much appreciated by the audience. Petty sounded as good as ever, the man seems to keep progressing despite his long track record.

On the last day of shows, some downpours of rain cleaned up the audience. Dispatch played in the early evening. A crowd pleaser was a surprise feature of Brad Corrigan’s red-headed four year-old on a drum solo. The band was dynamic and each showcased their talents on a variety of instruments: bass, guitar, bongo’s and vocals were each played by almost every member throughout the show. “Alias” was a drum fest with all three members on a bongos. “The General,” “Two Coins,” “Flying Horses,” and “Here We Go” were played to an ecstatic, singing audience.

Passion Pit’s front man Michael Angelkos proclaimed to the audience that he had terrible allergies, and after about 5 songs told us that he need our help because he completely blew out his voice. He mentioned that they had to cancel last year. Apparently he was being treated for his mental health issue, Bipolar Disorder. He said to the audience, “I didn’t know if I would ever be able to tour again.” The 90 minute set was reduced to 45 minutes, in which the last song had no vocals at all, with Anglekos going around to audience members to sing along, but unfortunately no one could really pull it off.

Vampire Weekend had a great show and surprisingly exceptional set decorations: gigantic Hawaiian looking flowers, decked out band logo. Front man Ezra Koenig’s voice sounded as crisp as on record and the band had an immense depth to the music. “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa,””Diane Young,” “Giving Up the Gun” and “Ya Hey” were all highlights of the show. As the evening and Firefly came to a close, Foster the People drove it home. Exhausted from days of music, the audience enjoyed the live renditions of “Pumped Up Kicks,” “Don’t Stop” and “Houdini.”

This year’s Firefly festival was very well organized and had an incredible line-up. The crowd ages ranged from 40-something rockers to yound children (with their parents) with a very large median age of late teens to mid-twenties. The people-watching was a blast, and the sense of community was apparent. The audiences in general were very responsive and the bands responded to this well, complementing our attentiveness and appreciation. Surely the number one complaint was the distance of the campsite to the festival grounds, next year Front Row Camping or Backwoods options are a must.

You Win, Every Time: An Interview with Bear Mountain

Four years ago I met Ian Bevis at a charity event. He was raising money and I was throwing out my best moves in a dance circle. When I shake hands with him again he seems to recognize me and I shudder to think it’s because of my trademark Round-the-World move that I’ve been perfecting since high school. Since that night Bear Mountain has gone from relatively obscure musical peanut to being deemed Canada’s indie prodigies. It’s surreal. Perhaps it’s because I met him outside the context of his music that I’m having a hard time believing the person in front of me is human. Together with the rest of the band we are sitting on leather couches in the foyer of their record label and I scarcely believe what I’m experiencing. I am overcome with the feeling that I am interviewing a future version of him, an apparition. Like the entire band is the physical manifestation of the letter your tenth grade teacher asked you to write to yourself five years down the line; like I’m getting a privileged glimpse into Bear Mountain’s certain future. I have an eerie feeling that when I’m done they will disappear as puffs of smoke into triangular windows, and I will wonder if it was all just a dream; for me and for them.

Bear Mountain does not have a collective idea of how they met. When I asked after the band’s history I received muddled responses and even some alarm as to when Ian and Greg truly met Kenji. What did come through loud and clear was what Kenji remembered of meeting Kyle. “I fell in love with his guitar,” he says, and everyone turns their heads in mock amusement. “Seriously. He had this really awesome double sided guitar.”
Kyle nods as he remembers. “I built this little attachment to my guitar,” he says. “It’s like a kaossilator, like a chord synth unit. I hacked into the electronics and rewired it to a Guitar Hero neck. Then I built this thing, and got a metal plate, and all this; rewired it. I made it into a mini guitar that I could attached to my real guitar so I could drop down and do all these weird sound effects with it. Like a double neck guitar.” He raises his hands up and gives me a few spectacular seconds of air guitar. The piece itself, which I will boldly name The Kylossilator, is not on tour with them at the moment, but we can expect a 2.0 version to come out soon.
The band is experiencing what you might perceive to be a sling shot ride into the limelight. If you were to place their rise to fame on a life graph it would look like a vertical line; as proven by transitioning from the underground Vancouver scene to playing Governor’s Ball inside of a year. Talking with them you hardly notice that notoriety has touched them at all. They still sound amazed that this is happening to them, and talk humbly about the changes in their trajectory. “It’s been less than a year,” says Ian. “Playing NXNE last year, no one knew who we were. It was a fluke we got to play at all.”

So what was the spark? Bear Mountain’s story is of a contemporary design, one seen more and more nowadays. No one can deny that the industry experienced massive shifts with the invention of GarageBand and its equivalents. Expectations of both the artist and the label have undergone complete overhauls culminating in a discernable power shift; relationships are changing and what each needs the other for is no longer universal.

“It used to be that people thought that [labels] were the gatekeepers to the industry. A lot of bands still try to go through that gate; traditional ways, traditional press, traditional labels…getting a manager. So many bands are struggling by playing that game,” says Greg. “I think we saw a different opportunity, a different road. We produced, recorded, and released. We did everything ourselves. We put it on the internet and let people decide if it was any good or not, as opposed to whatever industry was there. The music speaks for itself, it got itself to that platform, without any help from industry.” He thinks for a moment then says plainly, “whatever tools you need to make your music, use them.”

“We uploaded some tracks onto Soundcloud, and it was nuts,” says Ian. “Some of them got 40 000 hits the first day. The record got a lot of blog love too.” And then the inevitable happened. “An A & R guy at a major label heard Congo on an underground radio station and started a relationship with us, flew us down to LA, hooked us up with managers, booked shows for us.” And just like that, Bear Mountain went from taxiing down the runway to liftoff.

I asked them how much bootleg stuff was still out there. “There’s a version of Two Step out there on the internet, like an original version. Some of the original Garage Band stuff too,” says Ian. “I bet if you looked on our MySpace there’s still some tracks on there, or LastFM. There’s song called River of the Goods, a song called A Song For the Kids. I was just making this stuff and posting it the same day.”
I asked them if it was true for everyone, if their path was available to the entire Canadian music landscape, that if you have the will you can find a way. Was Garage Band opening up the industry to kids in the prairies and Peggy’s Cove? “It’s free software,” says Kyle. “It’s giving everyone the chance to create. If you have a laptop, you’re good to go.”

“The recording thing is a little more tricky,” says Kenji. “What people don’t acquire is the skill to capture sound and then properly process that sound; cause that’s a totally different technique. People [using Garage Band] get packages of already made nice sounds. The art of capturing sound takes a lot more time and resources.”
Greg agrees. “A full studio is completely different. You see this more though, people make do with what they have, get a buzz from it, then get some money together, then go make a record in the studio and when they start playing with the sound engineering they do it in a really creative way because they’ve had to do it creatively the hole time because they had no resources. Daft Punk started that way.”
What do you think of Daft Punk’s new album? “Amazing,” says Ian, “I don’t even think we’re going to know how amazing it will be for a couple more years; see what comes from it.”

“You know they’re not touring with it,” I say.

“I didn’t expect them to,” he replies.

“Here’s the thing,” says Kenji. “They’re going to remix it.”

We are in the midst of NXNE 2013, and the scope of the festival doesn’t escape me. All week I’ve been wondering about the differences between concrete festivals, namely those in cities, and field festivals, which are self explanatory. Bear Mountain is one of few bands that played both NXNE and SXSW, and Sasquatch, and Governor’s Ball. I asked them if they had a preference between one or the other.

“The Gorge is amazing,” says Ian, and when asked about it compared to concrete festivals, “Sasquatch; there’s nowhere else to go when you’re there. There’s no going into a bar down the street for one, or over to a friend’s house for a nap. You’re just locked in this beautiful space and you’re all together.”

“Governor’s ball was muddy,” says Kyle. “But when you’re locked on a field and nobody cares, that kicks ass.”

“When were in Austin we saw so many bands, though,” Ian says.

Greg, “Every band was there. It was mayhem.”

“It was crazy to walk down the street; a parking lot, show going on; a little café, show going on. Show. Show. Rooftop show.” Said Kenji. “Across the street, rooftop show. It was pretty wild, actually.”

Many are torn, myself included. Each space brings with it its own set of good and bad, reasons to sit back in amazement, and hurdles you’d rather give to the next guy. When you’re out in the city with a wristband there’s this sense that anything could happen. It’s the expanse. Lots of stuff happens in field festivals, but the number will always be limited to what can be contained within the fairgrounds. In the city, avenues are infinite. With so many choices there is no paradigm with which to make any. Your night will be determined by the unpredictability of a red light. You’ll stumble into a bar with decent line and ask the bartender what you’re in store for. “You’re in luck,” she’ll say, and Bear Mountain will be the band powering up on stage. That band you discovered because of a random event, the perfection of which begs no explanation. They are chance, the belief that all things have purpose, if not for a road map.

Ian sings just as we want him to, calling to us from an early nineties iridescent dreamscape. Greg’s drums are hands inviting you onto the dance floor; Kyle your feeling of adventure, and Kenji is the assurance that everything is going to work out the way it’s supposed to. This is the epitome of what youth feels like; visions through triangles hanging in the sky. Bear Mountain’s music pulls us places that we had forgotten could exist, places where deep relaxation and invigoration live in harmony. To places where every day is spent atop fresh cut grass, luscious yellow light moving in beams through the branches above; where every night culminates in a slow motion dance party with your best friends, heat from your skin vibrating against the cool summer breeze.

Lady Lamb The Beekeeper Interview

A small little girl from Brunswick, Maine by the name of Aly Spaltro had the dream and the desire to get her sound out to the world. In a surprisingly short period of time, she’s accomplished a rather incredible amount of hype, a number of EP’s, mixtapes, music videos, a newly released full-length studio album, and a now growing group of invested fans that hang off her every word. Not bad for a 23 year old in the world of indie rock (hers is more eerie at times and always more interesting than most, so it may not actually be that surprising to anyone, really). I thought, as I was new to her sound and her music that I’d start at the beginning. And that’s just what I did.

Back in Brunswick, Maine, your hometown, did you have musical chops as a child or was it more of a performance deal for young Lady Lamb?

Lady Lamb: I had musical leanings but never any desire to perform. It was basically just an obsession with music from an early age. Between the two of them, my parents listened to a very eclectic mix; my mother loved the 80’s or classical music pretty much exclusively and then my dad listened classic rock, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and all those guitar heroes.

And then…

… Oh! And then when I was five I lived in Arizona. My next door neighbour was my babysitter: she was 13 and kind of a weird kid and really into the Beatles, late Beatles, you know?

The more experimental Beatles…

Absolutely. White Album and all that. We hung out a lot and became good friends, which made me a very strange five year-old! So we would just sit around and listen to The White Album and Rubber Soul all the time and through that I started listening to “oldies radio” on my own. I started making mix-tapes cause I was really into The Supremes, Mamas and The Papas, Leslie Gore, Otis Redding… basically everything on oldies radio stations.

So it was just an obsession at that point?

For sure. I didn’t have any desire to really play it, I didn’t think of it that way. I was a shy kid to begin with so I never wanted to perform or be in talent shows or sing or take lessons or anything like that.

And your first recordings, kind of show that shyness. You recorded it all yourself, packaged them all yourself, brought them to your local record store; you did everything on your own. Was that more of an experiment or did it just get to a point where you needed to start sharing what you were creating?

It was both but it really started as a way for me to express myself in a way that was really focused and dedicated. I wrote a lot of poetry in high school and I wanted to do something, honestly, with my year, because I took a gap year between highschool and college, and I wanted to do something that was really involved before college. I taught myself how to play and started singing at that point and for the first few months I had no desire to share any of it. But then, after packaging it up and giving a bit away for free I really just sort of fell into [the industry] by accident. I started performing and really getting something out of that which I don’t think I expected.

Did you feel you really had any specific pushes to get more into the spotlight and stray from that shy girl you were as a kid?

I never felt any “pressure” from anyone I knew really. I worked at an independent DVD rental store for four years and they became my second family. My boss at that store was a huge film and music buff and after hearing my stuff he was the first to really encourage me to play a show. And then my dad told me to try but it was really up to me and it took me a long time to get up the courage to get on stage.

Typing your name into any search engine, a whole lot of videos come up and many from early on in your career. For someone self-admittedly shy, do you feel there’s something visually you need to present with your music as well as lyrically?

It has to do with a number of things. I know that “I” as a music fan want to see artist’s visuals. If I’m checking out a band for the first time I will most likely look up a music video. And it comes from that; it comes from being a fan and thinking that video is an integral part to the art. Also, as a kid I loved to draw, paint, collage, make movies, and all that so naturally the visual came ingrained, for me, in the music. It makes me feel really lucky that I’m doing something that I love that has room for other mediums as well.

In just about all of your videos, although serious at times depending on the subject of the lyrics, there seems to be an undercurrent of light heartedness. Is that and uncontrollable element of your personality just breaking through or is that something planned that you want in your music and your creative process?

Well, in the case of the videos, it’s probably just me coming through. I have this one video where it’s a one-take, pretty serious video called “Between Two Trees” where I’m just standing in front of a wall… I’m singing along (so that it doesn’t just look like I’m lip-synching), I’m singing in the room but then I mess up the lyrics. I got all flustered, laughed, but then kept singing. That happened, so why do the take again, you know? Just let it be, because I’m a little silly so just keep that in there.

Your album Mammoth Swoon, a 2010 release, received some well-deserved attention for being a pieced together album of demos and b-sides. Did that come together naturally for you?

That I put out myself and is just a mix of stuff. It wasn’t really meant to be released it was honestly meant as something I wanted to leave with Portland, Maine when I left for New York. But then when I moved I needed something to give to people so I kind of just kept making it and so any press it got wasn’t intentional. I mean I didn’t even have a publicist until this newest record.

Working so much on your own, do you find that knowing more about the business side of the industry; booking shows, handling publicity, etc. is something you’re pleased about or are you just happy to leave that up to others now?

I’m super pleased I learned that way! I don’t know if other artists really talk about this but for me, I’m first in line to hear about anything and everything that comes through about my music cause that’s the way I like it. I like answering e-mails and talking directly with promoters and publicists because that’s just part of my personality! I wouldn’t have it any other way, really.

Your newest and first studio album Ripely Pine (released May 2013) having dropped now, do you have expectations for the work?

I made sure to not have any expectations what-so-ever. I’ve learned in my life that it’s a pretty good rule to not have any expectations on anything you do, or people for that matter. You make these high expectations and then you’re disappointed. So I decided that if I went into the studio with that [expectation filled] attitude that I would end up making something that wasn’t entirely honest because I’d likely be too focused on what other people thought. Pleasing others, hoping to get good reviews, stuff like that I tried not to think about at all. In that way, I’ve made something that I’m ultra proud of and I worked for more than a year on this because, well, I had the luxury to work with my producer for that long, but also because I didn’t want to cap it until it was fully finished. I needed to work on it until I knew that I wouldn’t have a single regret about the way it was made and that’s what happened. This sounds so… I don’t know… but the feeling of finishing it and the fact that it took so long, so much hard work, sweat and tears and all that, and just the joy that it’s done and it’s real and it’s out and now the rest doesn’t matter, really. So to really answer your question, because I had no expectations I’m pleasantly, pleasantly surprised and I’m very happy that people seem to really like it and are responding to it.

Touring for this release seems pretty hectic by the looks of your schedule. You mentioned earlier that you’ve got a three week break coming up; do you feel that needs to be a “re-charge and relax” break or can you just not shut the creativity faucet off?

I haven’t written a song in a long time because I’ve just been in a different space: “Work this record. Tour. Go. Go. Go!” you know? So I’ve been feeling the urge to write again. I was on tour in Europe before this and the urge started there and when that happens generally the lyrics come first for me. I can’t just grab a guitar and go, I write a lot of poetry and then when I get home I put music to it. I’ve written a lot of lyrics in the last month that I’m really excited to use the three weeks coming up to get home and put music to. I’m also gonna eat a tonne of Brooklyn food. That’s number one [laughs].

On your website you have a section called “In The Books” where you can scroll through random pages of some of your notebooks. Is that just a fun outlet for you in posting that?

I can’t remember how that came about but I just thought that might be a really intimate thing that people might appreciate. As a music fan I know I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t it be cool to see a musicians notebook or scribbles on song or the original lyrics to a song by the Beatles or something like that?” That’s so amazing to look at! There’s a lot of personality in the way a person writes and what they’re saying when they’re just writing in a notebook and not thinking about two years down the road when it gets posted on the internet or whatever. What I really like about it is that there are the “beginnings” to a lot of songs in there randomly. The beginnings of ideas from years ago are in there that ended up in this record and that’s pretty neat.

In terms of future dates, you’ve got Hopscotch Festival in Raleigh, NC as your last posted date this year. Another break then or is that just as far into the future as the site has been updated?

That’s in early September, ya. I would like to have the month of September mostly off because I’m planning a tonne of stuff after that. It’s not up yet but I’ll be touring again in October, November, December at least!

Touring for this new album seems to be taking up all your time but is there something upcoming that you’re really excited about in terms of releasing a single, a new video, some more b-sides possibly?

I’m definitely getting to the point where I’m itching to make another video so I’m keeping my mind open in terms of thinking up concepts for another video. I’d also just love to go back into my studio where I made Ripely Pine and do a cover. Maybe a duet cover with a guy [quickly adds]… friend… in New York. I’ve been thinking a lot about doing a Tom Petty/Stevie Nicks cover. I think that’d be really fun to put out just for no reason other than just to do it. We could just nail it in a day then put it on the internet…

… Just let the creative muse fly, right?

Absolutely!

Pay attention, oh muses. This New Yorker may put you out of the business Lady Lamb The Beekeeper’s music continues to be creative, full of personality, charm, and, seemingly, there’s no end in sight.

Ripely Pine is available on iTunes and more than likely multiple physical copies can be found at that little record store in Portland, Maine along with a throng of happy fans!

Lenka Interview

Born and raised in the Australian “bush” (her words, “… it’s not the outback, it’s just known as the bush.”) Lenka Kripac, who goes simply by her first name in the music world, has recently seen her poppy, happy, and all around fun single Everything at Once the centre of quite a lot of attention thanks to it’s use by Microsoft 8’s newest commercial and tag-line for the product that states, ready for it, that Microsoft 8 is, “Everything at Once.” I know… original thinking in marketing has always been a staple at Microsoft, at least they’re fantastically gifted at choosing great music.

Lenka’s career in music started long ago and not specifically aimed at just one form of artistic impression: “I was running and dancing since the day I knew how and singing to the gumtrees…” she states over the phone just before heading on stage in L.A., “I began ballet when I was four but I remember always wanting the little solos or the sort of, spotlight parts, even that young.” As someone that clearly finds the arts all-encompassing, being creative seems to be a part of who she is as much as it is something she does for a living now. Curious about a first memory she might be able to recall in terms of really grabbing the spotlight, she laughed and then answered immediately, “There’s this picture of me wearing an elf-costume when I’m about five years old, I think, and, again, it’s just one of those plays where the teachers must have recognized the fact that I wasn’t afraid to step out on my own in front of an audience cause it’s just me in my elf costume!”

After her stint as one of Santa’s helpers, Lenka and her family left the “bush” and headed to Sydney where she studied acting at the Australian Theatre for Young People. She was quite inspired by one of the young instructors there and wasn’t afraid to let the world know, “… Cate (Blanchett) was a teacher, of sorts, for a bit when I was there. She was probably 20, or at least in her young 20s, when I was still a teen. She was wonderful though and is definitely one of the reasons I kept pursuing acting. She really was a terrific teacher.” From soaps to teen series, Lenka starred or guest starred in a number of Australian productions and feels that her music being tied to film and television isn’t so much of a mystery if you really think about it, “I’ve always been tied to that [film and television] world so I don’t think it’s a coincidence…” she states very matter-of-factly, “There’s something very visual about many of my lyrics that people seem to respond to and see a use for in their projects.” One such person was a young Kerris Dorsey, the American actress that is now best known for her role as Billy Beane’s (played by Brad Pitt) daughter. “It’s so fantastic that it was used in the film…” she laughingly states of her song The Show. “I really owe a lot to that young actress, Kerris. She was a fan of mine I guess and actually played that song in her audition. [The studio] decided they wanted her for the part and that song for the scene on the spot, or so I heard.” A touching scene between a father and his daughter in a guitar store, Lenka says that the lyrics weren’t meant for that sort of situation but that, “… the small part of the song that Kerris sings to her screen dad just worked so well. It was interesting to hear the song that way. I was really proud of that.”

Having music in advertising isn’t as easy of a decision as when your management calls and tells you that your song could possibly be in the next Brad Pitt money-maker. Stating that she usually does research on any companies asking for her work before hand, she’s also, at the same time, not concerned with the idea of selling out: “I want to make sure they’re not evil corporations or anything but really, most of my songs are used for really cute spots or happy ones and that’s the sort of music that I make. So of course!” She’s also not one to complain about her songs being used in other mediums such as television shows or YouTube compilations, “There are so many channels for musicians to get their work out to fans now and this is just one way that I feel very fortunate people are responding so positively towards.”

When asked about her music and its happy vibe she just laughs in a most delighted way. “I think people always need happy music!” Her newest album, however, is much softer… still happy, but the full length album Shadows has been described as a lullaby album for adults and she confirms that was her very intention, “I was pregnant during some and had just had my son for the rest so I intentionally made it as much of a lullaby album as possible. It’s very soft, very comforting I feel.” She pauses, I’m guessing to reflect on how to properly describe what she was feeling at the time of making the album, “My previous albums and music are absolutely wonderful but there’s plenty of full volume vocals, drum spikes, and a feeling of faster tempo pop music… which is great! But I love softer music you can put on to fall asleep to as well and this was my chance to make an album like that.” After a moment, she adds a final thought to that train, “I obviously want to please my fans but this was as much for me and my new family as for my fans.”

But as her success is tied to very happy and poppy music, I was curious if she was heading in a new direction? “I don’t ever want to make angry or moody, depressing music. I’m a very happy person and I enjoy listening to upbeat music so that’s what I strive to create!” I wonder if her happiness can now be directly correlated to having her husband and young child on tour with her and she’s quick to agree and yet set the record straight, “It’s difficult at times and so not always feasible. We choose ‘home bases’ where they can stay, like New York as I do an east coast tour or L.A. for a west coast one. It works for now because my boy is really into maps [laughs] so he loves travelling! I love having them around though and it’s so great to be able to see them in between shows!”

As for new projects, don’t you worry, you big fan of Lenka, you. She’s just about to release a new video for a song that her husband, visual artist James Gulliver Hancock, has wanted to do for a long time. “We turned my body into the landscape for the video so I had model makers, miniature specialists, and so many others around using little train sets and buildings on my body! It was a much larger endeavor that anything we’ve ever done before but it was absolutely worth it.” I can tell she’s smiling even over the phone, “It’s such an amazing video.”

Lenka played only a select few dates in a handful of major Canadian cities but I was there in Vancouver with a smile on my face as her “happy” music kept me in a great mood for the entirety of her set. And then the smile just wouldn’t go away as her catchy hooks kept rolling around in my head, and I hope they stay right where they are for as long as possible.

Lenka’s newest album, Shadows is available on iTunes now as are her previous two solo albums, the self-titled Lenka and her sophomore follow-up, aptly titled, Two.

Poor Young Things – The Heart. The Head. The End. album review

Something tells me Poor Young Things are meant to be seen live. As far as instrumentation goes, the five piece band sticks very closely to the rock and roll format that has done so well for the past fifty years. It is because their act is so bog standard, that it surprises me, and almost arises suspicion that Poor Young Things is being considered as one of those indie bands on the rise.

They do have knack for putting together catchy riffs, but while everything is done very solidly, there is a noticeable lack of risk and imagination. The songs will end up sounding the same if you aren’t paying close attention and if you pay too much attention. So what is the happy middle ground? I’m thinking the primary fan base is a second year college student with two PBR’s in their belly and a distracting sexual interest nearby. You know how you’re so receptive to all kinds of new things when there’s the slightest chance you might get lucky? Bands like these thrive on that. 

They do not strive for a musical masterpiece. They are not breaking any new ground. They are here to do their thing, while you go ahead and do your thing. The problem Poor Young Things will face in their future is attracting an audience that doesn’t drunkenly stumble into their show. The constant touring might work for a few years, but eventually they will have to remove the alcohol crutch and stand on their own musical legs. I have absolute faith that they an achieve this, they work together very well, but right now their focus seems to be getting their name out there, not necessarily putting together the next Dark Side of the Moon. 

In their own words:

“Oh man, we are so lucky,” confirms singer/guitarist Matt Fratpietro on behalf of his cohorts. “Touring across Canada is so hard. And there are lots of bands that do that for years and years and don’t get the breaks we’ve had.

“We came here and were signed within a year to a small, very supportive label, Bumstead Productions. I mean, obviously we sold our souls to the devil,” Fratpietro howls. “But still. What a deal we got!”

Ah yes.

Lucky.

Sold their souls to the devil. 

It’s all starting to make sense. 

I like jokes. And to write good jokes you have to use a kernel of truth. Those boys may be laughing about it now, but something tells me that there is a good amount of truth to the absurd amount of luck that must have come their way.

The Damn Truth Interview

The Damn Truth’s debut album Dear in the Headlights has huge sound. So huge in fact, that as a listener you can actually feel the epicness of their vision and this in turn connects you to the legendary status classic rock n roll has always held in your heart; big drums, a guitar that rips through chords and drips gold, psychedelic bass that turns your vision kaleidoscopic, and a voice that literally opens your mind. You can actually see the spinning colours when you close your eyes. ..As a consequence you feel a tremendous amount of nostalgia; probably a little too much nostalgia for The Damn Truth’s liking. I asked them what they thought about being called a revival band.

“We mind,” says Tom Shemer simply, and he’s only half kidding.

The drummer, Dave Traina, agrees. “What are you going to do about it? People are going to label you no matter what. You are what you do. You could be the most innovative band and people will find a way to tell you that you sound like something they’ve already heard.”

For any band, being told you sound like Janis Joplin fronting Black Sabbath is never a bad thing. It’s not the comparisons that itch, their sound has been likened to the greats of classic rock; it’s about respecting an album that they poured their hearts and souls into, an album that demanded they delve into the darker parts of themselves. Dear in the Headlights is the sum of their individual experiences as humans. For them, defending themselves against the revival claims is more about honouring the process and what came from it, than denying that they sound one way or the other.

Their experience in the studio was enlightening, to say the least. I asked them if they cared to comment on the correlation between music and madness. “Oh, ya. The line is a thin one, man,” says Lee-La, the singer. “I think it’s not only music though, it’s artistry; to be able to put yourself in that place where, you know- you’re doing this- you’re naked in front of the world. I try not to think about it otherwise I’ll get lost in that part of it. For me, it’s my healing. Whenever I’ve been down, anxious, angry, in pain, I would sit and write. I feel like if I’m not writing, I’m screaming. I would break things.”

Do good artists need to touch madness? Downtown’s lyrics would suggest there’s some truth to the notion; I feel so grand, my friends, they all say I’m crazy. I’m not crazy. “I don’t think it’s direct; that to be a successful artist you have to have something off-putting about you,” says Tom. “But to be in a band, and maintain your relationships; to do this four way marriage, and family, and the rest of the stuff that comes with it. That’s where the madness would probably come from. If madness were to accompany being artistic, it would definitely come from everything being thrown together, but trying to focus on only one thing.”

You don’t seem insane to me, I say. David Masse smiles, “You put four people into a room with amplification, and anything can happen.” He continues. “We work in a collaborative way, so her madness affects everything, his madness is affecting everything. On a day to day basis I think everyone has to deal with madness. That’s the nature of the beast.”

In fact, their grassroots approach to recording is something undeniably classic about them. “We use a really old school tape,” says Lee-La. “There’s a lot of things we really like to capture. We just record the four of us in a studio. Then afterwards we re-record the harmonies and layer them on top. That’s the core of it. That’s how they used to do it in the 60’s and 70’s. It’s really important for us because that’s how we work best. I love looking into these guys’ eyes and feeding off of them.”

“It’s true,” agrees Tom. “We do draw a lot from the past in terms of the way we work as a band. We don’t go into the studio and do drums, and then bass, and then fix it all up. We just play in a room. We’re a live band.”

You can really hear this on the track, I Want You(He’s a Lightweight.) The recording session even captures the light static on their amps, and Lee-La as she inhales. If you listen closely, you can even hear them pulling energy out of one another, all the way to the climatic finish which I know culminated in a Technicolor-group-head-bang. I know this because I participated in their particular brand of gypsy-love-dance party when I danced my face off at The Horseshoe when they played there for NXNE. “We just like to play as if technology isn’t there to save our ass,” says David.

Fun fact about The Damn Truth, they were actually a backup band for someone else before they broke free and went out on their own. That was where they first fell for one another, where their onstage presence was first formed, and it is a powerful presence at that. “You never know what to expect when you go on stage,” says Lee-La. “ You never know what the people are going to give you, what the band is going to give you; what each and every one of us is going through that certain day. Every day is a surprise. We love it. I always find different things to tap into, and the more we play, the deeper it’s gonna get.”

I like that they’re looking into the future. Even though I looked into the past when I first heard them, I have high hopes that the rock movement coming out of Montreal will be the next big wave in the Canadian music tide pool. Tom nods, “There are a lot of really great bands coming out of Montreal all the time,” and about their sound specifically, Tom says, “The rock crowd there right now is thirsty for it.”
Lee-La nods. “The Besnard Lakes are definitely doing something interesting. I like them! They’ve got a psychedelic tip to them I like that a whole lot.”

Psychedelic folk is another label that has been applied to them. “If there were to be a rock revival coming out of Montreal, that would be a great thing,” says David. “Reading about the Beatles back in the day and The Stones and Hendrix, and knowing they hung out together. These epic musicians all at the same place at the same time, it’s a great thing. If we could be a part of something like that, that would be awesome.”

If that’s the case, they must be having a hell of the time on the bus, I say. “We don’t have a bus. I was projecting into the future,” says David, then points. “That’s the bus right there.”

Is that what you guys drove in? The one with the duct tape? That’s spectacular! …Well, that’s all. I don’t have any more questions.

“You can’t leave it at duct tape,” says David.

All too correct, sir.

The Damn Truth’s sound will raise questions in your mind, but isn’t that what the best bands do? Notions about the cyclical nature of art and of innovation may not escape you, but that to me is the icing on the cake. Rarely does a band with such strong ties to the golden age of rock present themselves as the exception to the rule. Rarely does sound come at you presented as a conundrum: How does this music take me back and push me into the future at the same time? The chords make me want to lie out in the sun picking petals off of wild flowers, makes me want to spin in an open field as the sun rises up in the East, makes me want to dust off that velvet top hat and descend into a cavernous pub so I can melt into the music calling out to me. I’ll settle for a leather fringe vest and the front porch of my two-storey walk-up; summer BBQ throwing smoke into the air, and me tipping my hat to every single person who walks by nodding in appreciation of Dear in the Headlights which is blaring through the screened window. I’ll yell “The Damn Truth!” at them, they will slow to a halt, and together we will share a moment of deep music appreciation, because the songs tell us the good times are just around the corner. No other message is more rock n roll. No other message is more The Damn Truth.

The Abramson Singers – Late Riser

Damn it Canada. You’ve done it again. All the dorky American boys who made up girlfriends in Canada probably had someone like Leah Abramson in mind. If her musical color is any indicator of her personality, she would probably be described as “delightful.” Your overbearing, self-esteem smashing parents would have approved.

I’ll bet she’s the kind of person who got along with the french horn section in her youth. She must have, because parts of her music have a horn section. The music is framed in simple arrangements adorned with soothing textures that act as a platform for displaying Abramson’s vocal work. She has great control, range and sings with great economy. The efficiency of breath makes for a relaxing soprano that isn’t overbearingly eager to get to the highest note they possible can. At certain points in a song, she will just ever so briefly jump up an octave, presumably just to show the listener that she can, but she’s not gonna throw it out there like Aretha Franklin.

Abramson sounds comfortable and puts you at ease, like you’re in a Prius doing twenty-miles an hour in the suburban springtime whereas Katy Perry makes you feel like you’re the driver in a Prom limo and you’ve had a large Mountain Dew, and Taylor Swift makes you feel like you’re in a very used car.

If that simile doesn’t perfectly describe music for the rest of my life, I will drive Taylor Swift to the Mission and smoke crack out of her tailpipe. I will upgrade to metaphor. 

She has a Korean press manager. They do good work. 

Her website is nice.

The one thing that I would caution Canadians considering capturing a concert by The Abramson Singers is that the intricacy of the harmonies would be incredibly difficult (and expensive) to reproduce. You have to have a crew, or hire singers. They have like 800 followers on Facebook, and a single YouTube clip with 1300 views. I doubt they have the capital to maintain a small choir.

She isn’t coming to America for the foreseeable future, which is a bummer. Although my boss is from Canada, so this is probably more relevant for his main readership.

Hey Canada. 

Looking at The Abramson Singer’s tour schedule, 
I have deduced that I am not good at geography. 

But do yourself a favor Canada.

Check out The Abramson Singers. 

Give them some of that money you saved with your fancy healthcare

Buy the CD, see them live

So that we can have them in America

and ruin them with auto-tuned power jams.

For the record: I’m still going to say I have a Canadian girlfriend, but now I can make the excuse, “Oh well her band isn’t touring in America this summer, so I’m gonna go to Call of Duty Camp again.”

So if you’re a Canadian girl, and you’re tired of being made out to be incredibly flighty, teases by the American nerd and closeted community… Listen to the Abramson Singers… 

In all honesty though, I do genuinely enjoy this kind of indie gem, but tracking their progressing into the music industry can be frightening. There are so many ways you can make an Amanda Bynes. 

It’s like progressing through a video game. Call of Duty for example. There are the traps you have to sneak around, like selling out to commercials too liberally, the general pool of sociopathology that is Southern California, the over-touring sicknesses and the endless number of cyber-idiots with a blog who think they know how to review and evaluate music. 

Some of the brutalities that await are so unnerving that it causes one to pause when they encounter something like The Abramson Singers. I imagine it is quite like a miniature version of what a parent feels dropping their eldest child off at the first day of kindergarten. You want them to succeed and fly, but there is that lurking voice in the back of your head that knows there are a flock of boys out there who are going to throw sticks at your child, give them wedgies, pull their hair and harangue them for having fake Canadian girlfriends. 

LIGHTNING ROUND! 

Listening to Queen is like racing your friends on side-roads in your mothers’ cars.
Listening to Sinatra is like being chauffeured around in an old Buick. 
Listening to Pitbull is like being roofied in an Audi your date borrowed from his roommate.

Korean pop stars are like Korean cars. They all look the same.
They’re cheap to buy and run.
They depreciate immensely after the first year.
And given their resources, they do very good work. 

Listening to Maroon Five is like getting the deluxe version of the cheapest model or the cheapest version of the deluxe model. You are simultaneously (over and under)-estimating their real value, and are probably making an uninformed decision. 

Dr. Dog is like a small pick-up truck. They aren’t the fastest, they have no luxeries, gadgets or computer monitored breaking, they aren’t much to look at (I’m kidding, Toby and Scott, you’re adorable. Frank you look so nice unshaven.) but they’re reliable, they work hard, they get a job done and like most four-cylinder Japanese pick-ups, normal people don’t do sex stuff while listening to Dr. Dog. Unless of course, in Canada, the hot thing to do when you’re fourteen is lose your virginity in some guy’s 1979 Isuzu. 

Half of this isn’t even about the artist. 

Well, that’s been the Well-Spoken Uninformed Music Blog.

This Hisses Interview

Hard Luck Bar is located on one of the less glitzy streets of Toronto. It’s downtown, but it’s on Dundas St. W, in a undeveloped area of the city where random taped up storefronts abound and franchises are the only thing adding colour. Hard Luck Bar is everything the name suggests. A rose by any other name would still invoke feelings of latent anger and disenfranchisement. It is a haunt for punk music and the burgeoning post-punk scene. You can tell everyone has made a conscious choice to be there and that’s a powerful thing for a bar. I asked This Hisses what they thought of the venue; “As long as there’s a good PA and they can hear the vocals, then it’s good. We’re a loud band. We don’t like to play places where they tell us to turn it down.” Just hearing them say it makes me believe it. “We’re loud,” they say simply. “We need to play loud.” I nod emphatically.

Well sure, who wants to play to be merry when you can melt people’s faces off? “He’s the most beautiful dynamic drummer I have ever seen,” Julia says of JP Perron. “I saw him play in another band and when he came home from touring I plucked up the courage and I shyly asked him what he was up to. We didn’t know if was going to work but it did.” Julia and Patrick Short, lead guitar, had known each other for years. The two met when Patrick played with her brother. Afterwards she ‘cherry picked’ him for This Hisses.

I tell them that I’ve been listening to their album, that I was curious about the name Anhedonia. The title in the strictest sense describes a person who is unable to experience pleasure from normal things, but the song of the same name is specifically about a person whose warmth is unsung. I ask them if they feel that this can be said for punk music; it being inaccessible for most, but essentially having a message of courage and loyalty (louder and darker for some reason means seldom understood). “I think we’re drawn to hard music for different reasons,” says Julia. “It’s a little bit of a protective sphere. We let ourselves get honest, but there will always this wall of tough sound that protects us.”

Post-punk music, and I use the word traditionally lightly here, describes heavy guitar and drums akin to punk with an intrusive element of experimentation. For This Hisses, that translates to an insanely amazing guitar that sounds like it’s pouring out of the speaker, and drums that you literally have to shake out of your body; all that and Julia’s opera trained voice calling to you from somewhere out of the darkness. It’s intense and oddly languid at the same time, all in the best way possible. “This person is seeking pleasure and achieving disappointment. So it’s about the wonderment of ‘Wow, if you could be free of this path of pursuing pleasure, then maybe you could get on with things in life, and not risk that disappointment and that vulnerability’.”

Thank God someone is taking the time to take this message on, I think. We really should just be getting on with the doing of things. I asked JP if he always felt that way. “I started in Toronto playing music cause I wanted to be cool,” he says. “Then I realized I wasn’t cool, so I just focused on being a better songwriter.”
“You’ve got a Slater from Empire Records thing going on,” I respond.

He doesn’t flinch, just continues. “I got into punk rock because all my guitar heroes’ bands broke up and I was like, what now?” I can’t tell if he’s kidding or not, he says it stone cold. JP laughs.

They’re from Winnipeg , they say, which apparently isn’t so obscure after all, and they have no plans on moving to Toronto any time soon. “It would give us more access to the industry, but we’re still cultivating our artistic sensibilities. Winnipeg has a great art scene and it’s a great affordable city to live in. We want an audience that’s into a great product.” For them, the size of the market is not important, and they feel that taking on bigger markets is not something to be taken lightly. “We get the confidence and the support in Winnipeg to try to tackle the bigger markets. There’s nothing wrong with that. There is high quality music and high quality art in Winnipeg. It’s a bit of secret but it’s a good one.” I can’t imagine a better reason to be in Winnipeg than taking the time to respect the craft. Then Julia sips her tea, and says, “I don’t think people make a living in music anymore anyway.”

JP is nodding his head at Julia. He’s standing just to the side of her twirling his moustache and listening. He agrees with her. “We’ve all played in plenty of bands and done lots of different stuff. With this one, we trying to hone our sound to keep it distilled, compact and tight. As far as trying to get other people to hear it, I don’t know man.”

“Trim the fat,” says Patrick, and they both look at him. He catches Julia’s eye, “Just keep trimming the fat.” She smiles and shakes her at him. This is one of the things I really like about this band; you can tell that they’re really good friends who share a common goal of making beautiful music. I interrupt the moment and ask Patrick what the future holds for him. He answers me deadpan, ‘Try to be cool again.”

“I get such joy out of playing live shows that I won’t be able to stop,” says JP. “I’ll keep pushing myself to try things that I’m uncomfortable with, like making an electronic jump. I want to challenge myself to do different things.”

Julia is nodding in agreement to this too. This seemingly would open too many doors wouldn’t it? If people pursued every possible path in life we would get nowhere. Does this mean that they’ll be jumping mediums one day? “I find that everything I have to say I can say through music,” says Julia. “A lot of my powerful emotions… music is the way that I can most strongly present them. That’s how I deal. I want to write the songs and put the words to them.”

The Torontoist called their song ‘My Love He Shot a Sparrow’ The Best Song About Murder at NXNE, and for obvious reasons. The lyrical content of that song is so expansive yet precise at the same time that it literally focuses the mind into a calmness and oddly invigorates the soul that same time. This can be said about their entire album; incredible musicianship, heavy themes and notes, tremendous depth of character, and darkness that cloaks your world in a black glitterscape.

When I roll up to the Hard Luck Bar later that night, I step into its grimy splendor with immense anticipation. I walk over to the bar, do my best Clint Eastwood to the bartender, and order a bottle of 50. I take a seat in front of the sound booth and rest my legs across the bench. When Julia stands up the microphone, her sheer closeness to the mic, and the subtle breath that escapes her, starts the pull you feel when speakers power up. Everything that is nailed to the floor, which in Hard Luck Bar means everything, starts vibrating from the force of the sound coming from the speakers; the guitar pours from them, the hard sizzle of the drums jangles, Julia’s voice pushes from their great depths.

Brace yourself, I whisper.

Palma Violets: A Modern Twist

Sometimes you hear a band, and you know, just know, that they are going to fight the strands of time. That they are going to be that band that in 20 people are going to be reminiscing about seeing. That they are going to be a band little kids feel awesome knowing about. There will be legendary shirts that people who don’t even know who they are will wear, just because it’s cool.

Palma Violets seems to me like one of those bands. Their sound reminds of classic American punk, with a British twist. Of course, I could say they are reminiscent of classic British punk with a modern twist, but I chose to say the other. Signed to Rough Trade Records, an independent label based in London that once signed the Buzzcocks (which makes sense because Palma Violets slightly reminds me of them) and The Smiths. They had a short break, yes let’s call it that, and nowadays they have returned with bands like The Libertines and The Strokes.

The band gained fame through the Internet and the release of their first single “Best of Friends.”  The single “Best of Friends” came out in late 2012 and was voted NME’s Song Of The Year for 2012, but their new album came out on February 23rd of 2013.  Entitled 180, the album has a garage rock, punkish, psychedelic sound. The songs talk about everything from love to young minded issues, which makes sense because made up of bassist/vocalist Alexander “Chilli” Jesson, guitarist/vocalist Samuel Thomas Fryer, keyboardist Jeffrey Peter Mayhew and drummer William Martin Doyle are all in their very early 20’s.

The first song is of course their hit single “Best of Friends” which is basically about not wanting to be someone’s lover, but wanting to be their best friend. It’s a catchy song, that gets stuck in my head frequently, and if you were to give it a listen, I am sure it would get stuck in yours as well.

“Step Up To The Cool Cats” is a shoe tapping, head bobbing song, that does entirely step up to those musicians that made it before them.

“All the Garden Birds” is their love song (most of their songs have something to do with love actually). It features a repeated line that pays homage to the Beatles song “All You Need Is Love.” Other lovey songs include “Chicken Dippers” and truthfully, many of their songs hint about love, because they are young men.  They are Ramonesque, but unique with their own sound. It’s weird to describe it at times. It’s like a modern twist on past rock sounds.