Friday, August 24, 2012

Bastille: Indie Music's Artist to Watch

What happens when you take the heavy synth rock sounds of The Smiths and combine it with the haunting vocal ability of M83 with a dash of compelling lyrics and harmonies? You get the dark hypnotizing melodies of Bastille.

Bastille, a London based band that originally formed in 2010, has been slowly creeping onto the indie charts with songs like Overjoyed, and their more recent track, Bad Blood. They have even landed gigs at major UK festivals like Glastonbury that have garnered them well deserved attention and fans.

When listening to this band that you can't miss the obvious 80's influence, however, even if you're not an 80's fans you'll probably find yourself singing along to their amazing harmonies performed by lead singer Dan Smith. Not to mention their lyrics captivate and tell a story. As if that isn't enough the band knows how to get you involved with their art. For example, their latest album the music video, Bad Blood, features a mysterious girl possibly breaking into a man's house who is missing. The band gets fans involved by asking what your theories are surrounding the girl and missing man and then allows you to post and interact with the Bad Blood Investigation app on Facebook.

Check out the music for Bad Blood to make your own assumptions about the mystery

Bastille- Bad Blood

Bastille has already released a couple of EPs including Overjoyed and an EP for Bad Blood featuring various remixes of the song, both of which are available on ITunes. The Overjoyed EP can not be missed; from the Yeasayer remix of Overjoyed to the melodic piano in Sleepsong, it's definitely worth a download and putting on repeat.

Check out the David Lynch inspired video for Overjoyed that was inspired by Lynch's cult tv series Twin Peaks:

Bastille- Overjoyed

As for now you'll have to wait for a full length album but if you happen to be in the UK be sure to check them out on tour. Join the Bad Blood Investigation and download their tracks, available on ITunes now!  

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Nervo - The Perfect Remix for Dancing

The music duo Nervo, consists of two Australian girls named Miriam Nervo and Olivia Nervo. The girls can sing, they make remix, and most importantly, they make you want to dance! The twins began gaining interest in music at the age of 16 when they turned down modeling and pursued a career in music. After being accepted into the Opera Australian Academy they started becoming interested in pop music. Two years later they were already starting to gain exposure when a Melbourne based music producer asked Nervo to sample his demo songs. Shortly after they were signed with Sony/ATV Music Publishing.

Unlike most dance music you find these days, Nervo actually writes their songs, and these songs have become popular. Singers likeAshley Tisdale and the Pussycat Dolls have had songs written by Nervo. One of the most popular of their written songs even received a Grammy for “When Love Takes Over” sang by David Guetta and Kelly Rowland.

By 2010 they were playing on main stages at British music festivals and eventually signed a recording deal with Virgin Records. Nervo’s first release “This Kind of Love” went to number one on the pop charts and by 2011 Nervo was opening for Britney Spears.

2012 has opened the stage for Nervo with their hit song “Were All No One”. Which  was released in March and reached the number 8 spot on Billboard’s US Hot Dance Club Songs.

 We're All No One

The song that caught my particular interest was “You’re Gonna Love Again” which is climbing the charts in the US and the UK.

Nervo is more than dance music. Proof of their dedication to their music is their quote on their Facebook, “Art before chart.” This shows me that while their sound is definitely dance-pop, the lyrics and messages of there songs are more important than just about a typical “dance” song. So far, their music is about a positive message. For example in “You’re Gonna Love Again”:

“We gotta try even if it’s hard, try baby, understand.
To find a rainbow in every storm, you gotta believe.
Don’t ever doubt that you don’t below now
Cause it’s starting with you, It’s starting with me”

Through a combination of positive lyrics, fast beats, and an influence of Dub; there’s no doubt Nervo has what it takes to be the next big thing.  Whether you just want to dance or you just need a pick-me-up, Nervo can and will find a place on your IPod.

Right now a few of their songs are available to purchase online at places like ITunes.  Check them out! An album from Nervo should be forthcoming!

"I was born with music inside me. Music was one of my parts. Like my ribs, my kidneys, my liver, my heart. Like my blood. It was a force already within me when I arrived on the scene. It was a necessity for me-like food or water."
-Ray Charles

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

You'll Fall in 'Love Love Love' with Of Monsters and Men

Of Monsters and Men are a 6-piece indie/folk band from Iceland who burst onto the scene in 2010 when they were winners of Músíktilraunir, an annual band competition in Iceland. You've probably heard their song Little Talks playing on not just alternative radio stations, but even pop/top 40 radio. They have become a huge success in America with Little Talks and I see nothing but a bright future for Of Monsters and Men.

Of Monsters and Men formed in 2009 when Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir began looking to add musicians to her music project, Songbird. Having found the perfect members to add to the group in 2010 Of Monsters and Men entered into the music competition as a quartet. The foursome added two more members after Músíktilraunir. After their success with the music competition they group began performing at Iceland music festival such as Iceland Airwaves in 2010.

                                                                  Little Talks

Jump forward a year to 2011, Of Monsters and Men started making their way in America. Signing with Record Records in February of 2011, Within months Of Monsters and Men released Little Talks in August. Little Talks propelled them to success and in April Of Monsters and Men released their first album, My Head is an Animal. Since April the album has already seen a great deal of success, it is currently number 4 on the alternative album chart.

                                                               Slow and Steady

However, Little Talks is but a taste of what this band is capable. Listening to My Head is an Animal you immediately can hear that this band is unique. From their folk inspired sound to their duet style [Nanna sings lead as well as Ragnar "Raggi" Pórhallsson]. With all the success of other folk-styled bands it's safe to say that Nanna keeps Of Monsters and Men unique. Nanna leads you into something slightly different with her voice, maybe it's her accent. Whatever it is, her keeps you listening and coming back for more. And like any good folk band, the lyrics are deep with stories behind them like Slow and Steady and Love Love Love.

Whether you love indie, folk, or pop, their sound is breathe of fresh air. Of Monsters and Men are easily going to be one of 2012's biggest bands.

My Head is an Animal by Of Monsters and Men is in stores now.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Ed Sheeran

From the outside it would appear that singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran doesn't have much to say. He almost seems like a humble man of just a few words. But turn on his music, you can hear that is not the case. He's saying a lot and he's singing it fast!

Ed Sheeran began recording music in 2005 in England. Finding a passion for music, in 2008 he moved to London to begin chasing the dream of playing music. Sheeran didn't set out to play a couple of gigs and expect to become instantly a rockstar, no, he played as many shows as he could. Constantly playing music and doing what it took to get his name out there. In 2009 alone, Sheeran played 312 gigs. It all paid off by 2011 when he was signed to Asylum/Atlantic Records.

The track The A Team broke onto the scene in 2011 and became an instant hit on the UK charts. After that, it was nothing but success for Sheeran

The A Team

By 2012 Sheeran had reached massive success with his music and was awarded for all his work that year at the Brit Awards. He won 2 Brit Awards for Best British Solo Artist and British Breakthrough of the Year.

Perhaps one of the most exciting moments of Sheeran's career (thus far) was when Rupert Grint (actor known for roles such as Ron Weasley in Harry Potter) appeared in his music video for Lego House; which is a must-see music video! Sheeran already had a fan base but featuring Grint allowed Sheeran to reach out to a whole different fan base.

Lego House

With music videos like Lego House and songs such The A Team, it's no surprise that Ed Sheeran has gained a huge and dedicated following. Now it seems the next big step for Sheeran is for his music to become transatlantic and so far, it seems to be going well!

Sheeran released his album + (yes, it's just a plus sign) on June 12, 2012 in the United States and is currently number 5 on the Billboard Charts. Pretty good for a debut album! The A Team has already become a hit on the radio and his song Give Me Love is also breaking onto the scene. Sheeran a young, British dude from Britsol has already acheived great success and not just in his home country of England.

Take a listen to his album + for slow relaxing ballads and fast-paced and fast-sung songs. + is available for purchase on ITunes and other music outlets.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Electric Guest - American Daydreamers

Electric Guest, what a refreshing band to step onto the seen this year. I almost feel like rock music needed a group of guys like this. What's so great about this group? Everything, on their album no song is the same, and that's what I love about them. Each song has it's own style and each song seems to focus on different situations. And not be missed is lead singer, Asa Taccone's amazing voice to top off the excellence of the album.

Based out of LA, Electric Guest, started out with Asa Taccone and Matthew Compton. In addition the band has two brothers, Todd and Troy Dahlhoff, who are more like "extras" that usually tour with Electric Guest. For their debut album the band worked with  Danger Mouse as their producer for Mondo, who is one of the top producers in music. Between the uniqueness of their sound and help from Danger Mouse, it doesn't come as a surprise that this band is starting to take off.

The band has already released two songs off their album: American Daydream (above video) and This Head I Hold. Other songs such as, Under the Gun or Waves, bring a unique style to the table for their album. Two songs of Mondo that I urge you to check out!

Under the Gun

Electric Guest captivates attention with their music in several different ways. No two song seems to even sound the same, which in an era of carbon copy music, is refreshing. 

Their songs are catchy but also you'll see yourself relating to the lyrics. Bands that can get your attention through their style of music while also bringing you to a point where you can relate to what their singing about is rare. You can tell the making of Mondo was not some group of guys who just decided to play music for the hell of it. In my opinion, I feel a vast amount dedication involved in every song. Sure, so it might have taken them only a few minutes to write a song, I have no idea, but something about this band shows me that Electric Guest has deep dedication to their music. I will always respect that. 

Since this is the first US album release, they'll only go farther if they continue to show dedication. 
All in all, Electric Guest is a rock band full of young, good-looking guys, who actually know how to play music. Not just any old music, but music that makes you think and music that you can fall in love with. When I say falling in love with, I mean, you'll be putting this album on repeat on your Ipod. They have great potential and the beauty of it is, they're not going to need to change a single thing about themselves. Their music speaks for itself. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Yuna - Malaysia's Sweetheart

I first fell in love with Yuna last year after hearing a song by her called Decorate. Now Yuna has officially released her self-titled album and it's a must have. With songs like Lullabies and Planes you'll be humming alone to the ultimate chill out album. Also, she does a killer cover of Come As You Are by Nirvana that isn't featured on the album, but is brilliant.

Yuna- Come As You Are

Yuna started out on Myspace when she sang her songs in both English and her native language, Malay. She began singing and writing her own songs at the age of 14 and by 19 was playing guitar and performing.

She has come along way since her 2006 Myspace days. In 2011 she signed with FADER Label in the US. Now she will be performing at Lollaplooza and was even nominated for an MTV Iggy for "Best New Bands in the World." If I had to choose someone in 2012 that will capture the hearts of indie souls I would say it'd be Yuna. Her gentle rhythms and tender lyrics are captivating in every way.

Her self-titled album is available now. Be sure to check out other songs of her that are not featured on the album such as Fears and Frustrations and Deeper Conversation.

Yuna- Lullabies

Whether you're needing someone to sing you to sleep or in a coffee shop sound mood. You must let Yuna sing you her lullabies.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend

Marina and The Diamonds!

The British beauty queen is back and better than ever with her album: Electra Heart. The UK Queen has been on the scene for a while and this album comes after the success of her album Family Jewel's. However, you will notice this album has taken a more dramatic sound and a different direction than her previous work.

While you might think that this new album is just another pop album from a beautiful girl. Think twice, because this new sound has been no accident! Marina states her guise of the album, "epitomizes and embodies the lies, illusions and death of American ideologies involved in the corruption of self...Electra Heart is the antithesis of everything that I stand for. And the point of introducing her and building a whole concept around her is that she stands for the corrupt side of American ideology and basically that's the corruption of yourself. My worst fear -- that's anyone's worst fear -- is that losing myself and becoming a vacuous person. And that happens a lot when you're very ambitious." 

With a new pop style and a retro look, it is no surprise that this album, Electra Heart, is already one of the top hits in the UK. And I have a feeling that this little diamond will be crossing over to the US charts as well. Her hit song, Primadonna, is not only catchy and sassy but is the perfect example of her new persona and concept. 

Marina and the Diamonds- Primadonna

This is just one of the many videos Marina has released that can be found on her YouTube page to accompany her latest album. This young lady's new direction, while making quite the statement, is sure to jetset her right in the hearts of all primadonna girls. Her album, Electra Heart, is currently out in the UK and an US release date is forthcoming.
Marina and the Diamonds- Fear and Loathing

Source for quote: 
  1. ^
     Pop Dash. [""], Pop Dash, 9 August 2011.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Rad and Retro

If you who haven't heard of Lana Del may have been living under a rock these past couple of months. The break out star has already stolen many hearts with her smooth voice and compelling lyrics. What makes this star so different right now is not necessarily her voice but her creativity and humbleness.

Clearly a shy performer, the singer received a lot of backlash after performing at SNL, but this hasn't stopped the singer from gaining popularity with her songs Video Games, Born to Die, and her latest single Blue Jeans.

The American born 25 year old broke out onto the scene in late 2011 with her song video games. Originally not meant to be her first single, however, her home-made and self directed video found it's way onto stations such as MTV and VH1.

Her career came full circle recently at the 2012 Brit Awards where she won International Breakthrough Artist.

She is certainly someone to keep an eye on in the coming year. Her debut album, Born to Die, is currently available in stores and digital download. So get your heart shaped sunglasses out and jump in a convertible because Lana Del Rey will have you singing for many years to come.