Compilation no. 1
I could not agree more wholeheartedly with the choice. Mr. Reagan’s music a pleasing, energetic and a must have for your collection. Dreamy vocals, catchy riffs, and his percussion create a wonderful light and airy alternative sound.
John Glenn of the band Stellar Young reached out to us a while ago. Fortunately, great music is timeless.
Stellar Young is a band from Albany, New York. To my knowledge, they have at least six releases to date.
Blah Blah Blah
Juliana Wilson is a 13-year-old talent who hails from New York. While she may still be an adolescent, she has several lifetimes of talent. Her track Blah Blah Blah, written by Matty Amendola and Helen Austin, has a kaleidoscope of eclectic instrumentation and wonderful changes making it a treat for the listener. The video is also an ultra-creative production that projects the lyrics and persona of the artist wonderfully.
That said, the best thing about the song is the young lady’s singing. She has a terrific voice, varies the delivery of lyrics perfectly with the music, and totally nails the performance visually. In my opinion, we should be blessed with much more music from this Juliana. She definitely has what it takes to be up and coming!
Radiohead – Spectre
While I am not a fanatical James Bond fan, I confess I have most of the 007 films except for a few of recent ones. I am also certain, I will get around to the more recent releases when I happen on them this winter at my local library. (A quick stop at Wikipedia list 24 titles, of which I have seen 21.)
One can not deny that the character is timeless. Mr. Bond has entertained at least four generations of fans. One could also say the same about the soundtracks. I don’t own any James Bond movies, but I still have a few cassette tapes of James Bond movie soundtracks. Seriously, what musician wouldn’t want to do music for a Bond film?
Furthermore, I am not a huge fan of Radiohead. I respect their work and it is obvious they have much talent, but I rarely listen to works such as Magic Beans except when I am occasionally in the mood for such. I am more of a blues, jazz or hard rock listener. However, after hearing Spectre work by Radiohead, I am amazed that it was not actually included in the film. They put it up as a Christmas gift to their fans at their SoundCloud Page. They had the following to say:
Last year we were asked to write a theme tune for the Bond movie Spectre. Yes we were. It didn’t work out, but became something of our own, which we love very much. As the year closes we thought you might like to hear it. Merry Christmas. May the force be with you.
In my humble opinion, they nailed it. It is perfect music for a Bond film. Especially since I went and listened to some of the material from the soundtrack. It is a shame that “It didn’t work out”. The track below is many times better than many of the tracks that are in the soundtrack.
Victory Kicks – The Young Flood and More!
A long time ago, in an inbox overstuffed, I was contacted by Victory Kicks. Originally, I was asked to review two tracks which were released back in February. While I enjoyed Smoke and Last Night, it merely served as an enticement to listen to more of their excellent alternative music.
First let us hear what the band says about themselves:
Victory Kicks are an alternative rock band from the Isle of Wight and now based in London. Formed originally as a home recording project by singer/songwriter John Sibley, the band continues to produce and release all its records independently on its own label, Unmanned Aerial Vinyl.
This band has been around for a while and, hopefully, they stay around even longer. Originally a solo project, their Facebook bio states they are now a quartet. A really, really good quartet. Once I listened to the two tracks they requested me to review, I was simply thirsty for more and spent hours doubling back and listening to everything they have released. I don’t often binge listen to a band but this talent is a worthy exception. It was time well spent and I am certain I will be looking for more from them in the future. They now have 7 releases. They also offer their entire discography at 50% off at bandcamp.
Bitter’s Kiss – A Young and Rising Talent
Bitter’s Kiss is an indie pop artist from Weehawken, New Jersey. It is the work of Chloe Baker. She has a pleasing voice, writes great lyrics, uses her voice to deliver them beautifully, backs it with music with a nice touch of variety and is something worth listening to.
I will elaborate further on why I like this young talent soon but, for now, let us hear what she has to say about her work, from the artist’s About Page:
bitter’s kiss, current project of New Jersey-based singer/songwriter Chloe Baker, invites the listener into a world of joy, pain, sorrow and redemption that reflects the humanity in all of us. With a voice that is melodic, delicate and at times haunting, Chloe explores a range of styles as she describes her own observations and experience through music and words.”
Elessar Thiessen – A Rainy Week in Paradise
Elessar Thiessen is a Winnipeg singer/songwriter. His “day job” is a producer. However, he is certainly not a musician who “shouldn’t give up his day job”. He has more than enough talent to give up producing and just play. According to his bio, he got his first guitar at age 8 and has played ever since. It also said that the Canadian weather kept the young musician indoors. One thing for sure, whether due to weather or just talent, his latest work shows off not only his production skills but also his talent for composing and playing.
While he does get some help from other artists on some tracks, he is basically the musician on this album. (And, naturally, the producer.) His latest work is a showcase of how many things he can do well, very well or exceptionally well. His voice is excellent. He uses it well, capitalizing on rhythm, tone, and amplitude to powerfully and emotionally deliver the song. The lyrics and their delivery add more, he knows when to simply repeat lines for emphasis, pump it out with more soul, slide it off his tongue in smooth jazzy style and,use expression and words to paint a picture in the listener’s mind’s eye.
The Hush Now – Things Fall Down
The Hush Now shared the acoustic version of Things Fall Down. A few years past, Lumpy was lucky enough to catch up with some of the band when they played The Roc Bar in Cleveland, Ohio. They also let him record them live. He turned it into a concert and interview podcast. The Boston based band consists of Noel Kelly (vocals/guitar), Adam Quane (lead guitar), Barry Marino (drums), Pat MacDonald (bass) and, the latest addition, John Millar (keyboards). Check out the list of links to find these guys at and the video after the break.
The Hush Now – Things Fall Down
Be sure and watch for their coming realease, Sparkle Drive, due out 19 October, 2014.
So Long and Thanks for All the Fish
Thank you for listening. We welcome your feedback and comments. There is contact information below. We would love for you to join us when we stream the show live. You can join us in chat either by going to geekshed.net with your client and join #indienation or use our flash client on our Listen Page. We stream the shows live almost every Monday night from 8-10 PM DST. Not only can you join us in chat but you may even be able to join the actual conversation. Hail us in chat for details.
Powerful and Moving – Speak to Me by On the Run
This band contacted us some time ago. However, due to having the best problem any music reviewer could have, that being too many submissions and not enough listening time, I am just now digging them out of my inbox. On the Run is an alternative rock/rock band from East Freedom, Pennsylvania. The quintet has a very powerful and engaging sound. I won’t say much about them because I am sure you will decide to like them if you only give them a listen. I will say they crank out some great work on the guitars. The members are:
- John Ross Green – Vocals/Guitar
- Ryan Weaver – Guitar/Vocals
- Paul Johnson – Guitar
- Tyler Miller – Bass
- Brian Fisher – Drums
From Columbus, Ohio – The Slang
There is much to like about this band from Columbus, Ohio. To start with, I feel The Slang is a great name for a band. I also really like the EP cover. Stuff like that, however, does not make a band good or bad.
The band is the work of John Bobo, who is the songwriter, plays several instruments and vocalist, and John Newsome is the bassist. They are currently touring their EP with additional members Matt Thiedt on guitars and keys and Michael Dillon on drums.
Musically, this alternative/power pop band has a sound reminiscent of the late 90’s; energetic, loud but not noisy, and a wall of sound. I am not 100% certain but I believe it was also a requirement of the 90s that every song had a keyboard in it. Furthermore, in that era, 9 out of 10 bands and radio stations were “alternative”. While I poke fun at the era, I still turn the volume up when music from it plays… admit it, you do too.
Compositionally, they don’t blow me away. In a good way, they have a typical late 90s sound. They cover that style exceptionally taking “the same old thing” and making it fresh, vibrant and alive.
Technically, the work is exceptional. It was recorded at The Cutting Room. The EP is well produced and mastered having been done by successful, seasoned engineers. (Mixed by Mark Needham, who has done work for Imagine Dragons and Tokyo Police Club, and mastered by Brian Lucey, who has done work for The Black Keys and Arctic Monkeys.)
Alternative, Blues, Rock, Punk, Pop and More – Call it Latimer House
While the headline is about a single, that is just the starting point. I urge you to buy the single but don’t to stop there. Get the full album as well. Birdcage Walk and Until Then are both great tunes but how much can I tell about only two songs?
Let us talk about the album for a bit. Once you check out the album, you will still want the single because the B side is not on the album AND Birdcage Walk is a remix. Personally, I like it when the singles are not the same material you get when you buy an album. You can find all the band’s work discussed in this review at their Bandcamp page.
Let me start by saying that I had brief doubts about this album when I gave it my first listen. It was one of those experiences where it was a bit different and not exactly what I expected. When I discovered the band, they were described as “pop”. While pop may work, they are much more eclectic than just pop. Putting labels on music may help with marketing and sales but it threw me momentarily. The overall experience was one of being unexpectedly pleased. It was better than I expected.
For example, at first, I cared not for This is Pop with simple very popish rhythms and melodies. It was just too popish but… two minutes into the tune, I began to appreciate the sarcasm of the delivery. By the end of the tune, I was loving it. (The video is also very good as well.) In my opinion, it is the best choice of the ten to kick the album off with for it quickly sets the tone… the listener should expect something slightly different, not over the top , crazy different but like a novel new flavor added to coffee, something pleasantly refreshing and not part of one’s daily routine.
The band drives much of their music with guitar rhythms but it is all the interplay that gives them a sound with a bit of an attitude. They syncopate well and in their own style. It is a refreshing break from typical. While I don’t like genres and don’t fully agree that they are pop, I totally believe they should be popular because they are producing great music.
While the ten song collection does fit the descriptions above, it is much more than that. The musicians do a great job of combining material familiar to the listener while spicing it with novel and unique sounds, rhythms and melodies. It is just great music. Toss it into that genre.
This is not just another alternative band. This is not just a pop album. This is not going to be the best album you ever bought. However, it a collection of worth which you will enjoy. This is a solid collection of songs that makes one want to follow the band.