Saturday, May 17, 2014

May Album Of The Month - Tender New Signs


And the album of the month is Tender New Signs by Tamaryn.

     Here’s a magnificent release that proves dreampop and shoegaze isn’t just alive, it’s thriving. The genre never has died, it’s been alive and kicking since in it’s inception and it’s influence can be heard in billboard topping acts like Silversun Pickups to critically acclaimed indie releases like that of Yuck.

       Tamaryn’s Tender New Signs, is a masterpiece of lush ambient dreamscapes, ghostly melodies and aloof yet encompassing beauty. With the airy and seductive vocals of songstress Tamaryn and the skilled guitar leading of her creative partner, Rex John Shelverton, the duo have created a nine track release of immersing sound, imagery and emotion traversing  through webs of  light and darkness. A must hear for all shoegaze and indie fans that will surely become a staple in the genre in due time.

     If you have yet to hear this album, I highly recommend it. You won’t be disappointed. It’s a musical piece of art,  perfect for getting lost in on cool fall days or hazy summery nights.  For more on Tamaryn see my previous post on them HERE.


1.I'm Gone
2.While You're Sleeping, I'm Dreaming
3.Heavenly Bodies
4.No Exits
5.Prizma
6.The Garden
7.Transcendent Blue
8. Afterlight
9.Violet's in a Pool
Official site: http://tamarynmusic.com/
Buy Tender New Signs on Itunes: HERE

Tamaryn - I'm Gone

     The infamous wall of sound has served the needs of many shoegazing bands. Layers of crunchy distorted guitars, lead guitars drenched in everything from reverb, delay, phasers, and choruses and airy vocals that float above the instrumentation are trademarks of the genre. Tamaryn on the other hand has gone the route of simplicity. Their shoegazing minimalist approach worked wonders on their debut, the critically acclaimed The Waves. Tender New Signs continues in the same vain, stripping down the shoegazing fat into a carefully crafted, beautiful fragile ocean of sound. In place of a wall of distortion, there’s clear distinguishable guitar riffs,  chord strumming and the fading in and out of notes and feedback. Cleaver use of a reverb and delay create the immense washes from a single guitar and yet retain enough clarity to allow perceivable notes to sound.

     Another unique characteristic of Tender New Signs is the balance between lofi and hifi quality. The duo have an appreciation and knowledge on the vintage sound of shoegaze and dreampop and make great use of it. They offer up the beloved vintage, lofi warmth of the genre but in a polished modern production that works both to immerse the listener and allows discernability and easy access for any music fan. This balance of production is another step up from The Waves, and another front on which the band has improved. The other fronts being their refinement of their minimalist approach, melodies and lyrics. 

      Much like The Waves, Tender New Signs, has been met with a high praise from fans and critics since it’s debut. While the band is still a gem in the underground music world known only to a select few, their fanbase has had a modest increase. The biggest exposure the band has had was having their song, Violet’s In A Pool, featured in the hit fox series the Following. It’s always great to see a small but amazing band finally get some recognition. 

     I’ll end this post with another amazing track off Tender New Signs. Don’t forget to purchase the  album, I did and it’s worthy every cent. And be sure to check out the band live whenever you can. I’ve been to one of their shows and the atmosphere and performance is totally magical.

Tamaryn - Heavenly Bodies

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Friday, May 9, 2014

Froskull


Froskull
Out Of The Box Progressive Artistry 

Official website: http://www.froskull.com

Click On A Song!


"Formerly called Stephen Rockford Hammond Band, Froskull is the new moniker for Hammond's current lineup featuring Jay Schond, Brett Hammond, and Adam Dennis. Froskull is Nashville's premier progressive rock band, capturing a technical eloquence, a dynamic caprice, and an aggressively cosmopolitan style that defies easy classification."

Froskull - Wait

     Nashville has always had a long and rich music history. The infamous blackbird bird studios and numerous country artists might be the first things that come to mind, but the Tennessee capital has long been a hub for a variety of musicians and genres. Among the familiar country musicians, you’ll find pop singers, gospel birds, blues players, modern day rockers and yes, even heavy metalers. You won’t find a shortage of talent in Nashville anytime soon. 

     Froskull, is another one of those rising bands straight out of Music City. Their sound clearly shows an appreciation for a multitude of genres, a genuine ambition for experimentation and a refusal to be confined to one single style. The bands branding as a space-age indie prog group is an appropriate label for their music. It only takes a single listen to one of their songs to understand why. On their self titled debut you’ll find everything from prog rock, blues, folk, new wave, hard rock, and electronica. All of which seamlessly work and can sometimes be found on a single track.

     Froskull’s biggest attraction is arguably in their fusion and experimental notions. On, A Thousand Years, the opening track to their self titled album, the songs kicks off with a progressive vibe, falsetto lead vocals, and mythical narrative lyrics suitable for an epic powermetal track. About two-thirds into the song, the song kicks up some dirt with a short breakdown inspired bridge. The following track, Wait, throws the listener through several styles and is a prime example of a song that can be used to define a bands sound. An intricate finger picked acoustic guitar melody starts off, but before the listener has time to settle in; a bluesy lead guitar screeches in from left field. Soon another acoustic guitar takes a rhythmic role as the bluesy lead guitar turns into a fleet finger-tapping rock lead.    

     The journey continues through Wait, the songs slows down and the acoustic guitar returns with a slower somber melody. An electronic backbeat starts off and Stephen’s lulling melodic vocals begin. With the ensuing exhales of electronic washes, and its down tempo drumbeat, the song treads over trip-hop ground. Yet again the listener is treated to a different sonic palettes with the chugs of heavy metal guitars between the mellow verses. The song climaxes with a hard rock bridge, where the guitars and drums all turn hard hitting and the vocals pick up a headstrong attitude. A rock solo follows and the song ends with a return to a mellow verse and a warm countryesque guitar outro.

      Should Have Known, is a mid tempo tune drenched in blues. From its guitars, bass playing, drums, vocal delivery to the synths, everything screams rock blues. Report From Ganymede sums ups the bands progressive rock the best.  From its acoustic guitars, subtle electronic and synths effects,  electric guitars wails, solos, drumming and its lyrics, the song accomplishes its progressive rock aim within the four minute mark. Bardos 1 through 4 are electronic interludes that help in achieving the bands prog vibe but each offer up something different. From pink floyd like synths to new wave retro futuristic synths, to playful segments and ambient explorative runs. 

     You’ll find more of Froskull’s appealing and easy to get into fusion throughout their debut. On instrumental tracks like Alabaster, it’s apparent the band doesn’t just have an appreciation for different genres, but that they are more than capable of meeting the demands of each of those styles. From the different vocal deliveries of Stephena Hammond, to the guitar mastery of his brother, Brett Hammond. Bass player Jason Schond bass and drummer Adam Dennis don’t just sit back in the role of rhythm section, but have stand out moments and get a chance to showcase their musicianship on their respective instruments. The composition and production of brainchild Stephen Hammond, brings it all together, keeping the melodies and stylistic changes tight, and the sound production clear and dynamic.

     Unlike traditional progressive bands, Froskull has consciously made the choice to avoid overly lengthy songs. They accomplish their progressive goals all under the four minute mark, achieving the same vibe and tasks six minute songs do. As the band has discovered, along with other modern prog bands, you don’t need to have a twelve minute opus or several seven minute songs to be progressive. Prog purists may disagree, but the same progressive sound, experimentation and instrumental musicianship can be achieved within reasonable song lengths. The cohesiveness and transitions of songs from one to another play an important role with this approach and it’s exactly what Froskull has done. In this manner, the progressive sound of each individual song is maintained and an overall progressive vibe is built across the entire album. 

     If you’re a fan of progressive rock, fusion, indie or in need of something different from everything else out there, chances are you’ll dig Froskull. Their eclectic, and fresh, yet avoid being too jarring and offer up an accessible envoy of sights and sound through space and time. Be sure to head over to the bands facebook, tell a friend about their music, or purchase their debut album now available on itunes HERE.

Support good music however you can!

Froskull - Report From Ganymede


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Random Song Of The Week #23


Song: Vitamin R (Leading Us Along)
Band: Chevelle
Official websitehttps://www.facebook.com/chevelle

"Buying in, heading for...
Suffer now or suffer then
It's bad enough
I want the fear... need the fear..."

You can never go wrong with Chevelle. Rocking alternative metal. What a great song and music video.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Introducing: Sun And Flesh


      Let’s kick off the month by introducing a set of talented rockers based out of New York City. All you rock and alternative fans are in for a treat.

The band has their 1st ep out for free. You can download it HERE.


Sun And Flesh

Members
Christoph Manuel - Vocals, guitar
Stefan Reinberger - Guitar
Masahiro Sasaki - Bass
Jonathan Serwinowski - Drums

Official website: http://www.sunandflesh.com
Official facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sunandflesh


Press Play!

     For those new to Sun and Flesh, it may come as a surprise that the quartet is an underground rising band. They boost a monumental, energetic and polished sound with the right amount of hardened force to move and bruise. It would not come as a shock if new listeners mistakenly mistook them for some big famous rock band they have not heard of.  With the sounds put forth on their Sun and Flesh EP, perhaps that just might be the case someday.

     The band’s debut is a 5 song EP of well-crafted alternative rock. The Purge opens up the Ep, wasting no time captivating the listener with Christoph Manuel charming rock’s vocals, Stefan Reinberger’s controlled rock riffs and Jonathan Serwinowski’s spot on drumming. The reined in verses lead into a emotional chorus with a melodic hook, and before returning to the verse, offer up some heavy guitar chugging and drumming. As the 2nd chorus ends, the song takes a turn in attitude, retroverting to a heavy yet controlled breakdown over an urgent guitar riff. The song returns for a final chorus, this time bigger and badder than all the rest.

     The EP continues with Breathe. Another finely executed rock song, with sparkling clean guitars, a big chorus and hopeless and aggressive screams. Open Flame starts off with a change of pace. Delicate guitar strumming, distant guitar wails and subdued vocals make up its pensive intro. It explodes into one of the biggest choruses of the EP yet. The song is balance of soft verses, big choruses, ambient textures, loud guitars and energetic drumming.

     The EP finishes off with the bands tougher side. Tread Carefully shows off Jonathan Serwinowski drumming and the band’s indulgence into heavier material. You’ll find syncopated double bass drumming and palm muted guitars, screams and heavy woven passages. Shades of Grey is the band’s heaviest track and their final song. Sudden dives of alternative metal are interposed between its chorus and its melodic outro. The song ends on a heavy take; a tapping guitar riff over a pounding rhythm section and Christoph’s anguished screams.

     From the bands opening track, it should be obvious just how great these guys sound. Part of this is due to the great writing and composition. The band isn’t playing crazy technically challenging or groundbreaking music, but they aren’t playing simple or bland tunes either. With a plethora of technical, experimental and progressive bands, and simple, uninspired pop acts, the great polished alternative rock of Sun and Flesh is highly welcomed. They are sure to fill a niche that is severely lacking acts of their quality.

Sun And Flesh - Tread Carefully

     One last thing of note is who the band has for a producer. Grammy award winning Josh Wilbur. To any metal fans out there, his name might ring a bell as he worked with Lamb Of God. Wilbur’s involvement is the other reason why the band’s EP manages to sound so damn good. And it’s always great to see a established producer working with smaller bands and not just big industry acts. The involvement of Melissa Cross is also worth mentioning .Best known for being a vocal coach for metal singers, I’m sure Melissa’s inclusion played a important role in shaping Christoph screams.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Top Anticipated Albums For May



1.Brian Eno, Karl Hyde - Someday World
Release date: May 5th, 2014
Official Site: http://www.enohyde.com/


2. Imogen Heap - Sparks
Release date: May 5th, 2014
Official Site: http://www.imogenheap.com/


3. Sumerian Ceremonials Florence + Sphinx
Release date: May 13th, 2014
Official Site: http://www.sumerianceremonials.com/


4. Swans - To Be Kind
Release date: May 12th, 2014
Official Site: https://www.facebook.com/SwansOfficial


5. Michael Jackson - Xscape
Release date: May 9th, 2014
Official Site: http://www.michaeljackson.com/us

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Now On Facebook!


     I’m pleased to announce this site now has an official facebook page. You can now get all the site posts directly through facebook. You can click on the facebook button to the left or like the page directly here; https://www.facebook.com/pages/Life-Is-Sound

Why the sudden decision to get a facebook page?

     In short, I’ve decided on reaching a wider audience and taking that choice more seriously. In the past I had considered several ways on how to gain a large readership, but acted on very few of those routes. I was too lazy and contempt with the number of visits I was getting. That’s no longer the case. Several of my posts end up getting hundreds of hits rather quickly (I want to make that thousands!) and appear on the first page of google search. In order to maximize my presence and readership further, getting a facebook page was a no brainer since almost everyone has an account there these days. After all, what’s the point of posting about great music if there’s no one to share it with?

      Some other benefits to having a facebook account is the cultivation of a community and getting to reply to bands and artists themselves.( When the rare opportunity presents itself and yes,  it has.)

So go tell your friends and like this page on facebook. Come on, do it. You know you want to.