In the past decade, a new style of music has wormed its way onto the music scene. While dubstep rose in popularity late in the first decade of the new millennium, with its driving, syncopated rhythms and epic bass drops, a completely opposite subgenre of quasi-electronic music also became popular. Chillwave, also known as glo-fi or shoegaze, is a much more ambient style that is reminiscent of popular music from the 1980s. It incorporates a lot of effects processing, sampling, use of synthesizers, and ambient background noise. Its slower tempos, light, ethereal vocals; relatively simple and singable melodies, and ample synthesized effects remind its listeners of the sounds of the summer, especially since its sudden explosion in popularity occurred during the summer of 2010.
Back as a sophomore in high school I came across a very peculiar album cover that had could have well been a classic art piece, if not for the strange bread-like object that had replaced the girl’s face in the artwork. I decided not to judge an album by its cover and went to listen to a couple songs. It was unlike anything I had heard before – eerie, dreamy, lyrically ambiguous, but somehow very beautiful. It was none other than the album “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea” by Neutral Milk Hotel. I would never have guessed that a little over three years later I would watch the band live after their indefinite hiatus.
Looking for someone to swoon over this Valentine’s Day? What about a song? Fall in love with the sweet melodies of Emily Hearn’s voice. You’ll forget all about your love life as you dive into the music. Emily’s latest single “Found A Heart” from her EP called “Promises” showers love and hope on those of us that are not as fortunately in love as she is. It characterizes the path of her and a guy falling more and more in love up until their wedding day (which is featured in the music video).
In November 2007, Nickel Creek, a progressive bluegrass band composed of Chris Thile on mandolin and siblings Sara and Sean Watkins on fiddle and guitar, respectively (and all providing vocals in order to capture those necessary bluegrass harmonies), played their final show before an indefinite hiatus in order to expand their musical horizons. On February 3rd, 2014, the band announced that they were back together, with a new album due at some point in the spring of this year and an accompanying tour starting with two nights in April at The Ryman, the same venue where they played their final show before their hiatus. With this announcement, Nickel Creek also released the single “Destination,” their first since 2005’s “When In Rome.” [Read more...]
2014 is over a month old now, the Grammys have finally aired, and it’s high time for me to compose this before the moment passes and 2014′s release schedule starts to heat up as the year pushes into spring. And what better time is there to catch up on music than a rainy Nashville February?
In a ranking of the months by number of great albums released, January would be right there with December at the bottom. That trend has been proven especially true this year, since there’s been a severe lack of releases that anyone will be listening to a month from now. Between disappointing releases from the promising young artists of today (Warpaint, Young the Giant) and disappointing releases from artists who were promising and young in 1997 (Crystal Method, Mogwai), January 2014 has gone down in music history as a good time to catch up on music from another era.
Fortunately, the rest of 2014 should be jam-packed with great new music. I now present the top 10 upcoming releases most worthy of hype, starting with…
A great drummer can make the difference in a band. Anyone will tell you that’s a fact. Try to imagine The Who without the thunderous, kinetic play of Keith Moon. Or “Be My Baby” without that famous drum break and frantic yet tasteful fills by Hal Blaine. Or James Brown’s classic records without the “Funky Drummer” himself, Clyde Stubblefield. Even the much-maligned Ringo Starr knew exactly when to accent a moment in a song with a perfect fill (think “Helter Skelter” or “Drive My Car”) and when to sit back and let the music groove.
Sadly, the drummer is often ignored in indie-rock conversation. Maybe it’s because the genre itself doesn’t lend itself to the kind of flash that classic rock and roll or funk or jazz does (there aren’t a lot of soloists in indie rock). The drumming in a ton of indie rock music also doesn’t move beyond simple timekeeping or tasteful grooves, which doesn’t immediately impress as much as a great jazz solo or a thunderous metal part. As a drummer and indie rock fan, I’ve found the genre to house plenty of interesting and excellent players, some of which don’t get the respect they deserve. These are just a few of the drummers of indie rock who deserve more attention.
If there’s one up-and-coming artist you should check out right this second, it’s Connor Zwetsch. At the youthful age of 21, Connor has already managed to harness both the talent and the self-actualization required to help her rise into a promising career. So rare is it that a musician successfully propagates such candor and humility that Connor’s work is invitingly reassuring.