Kero Kero Bonito is Wonderfully Weird

Every now and again, I enjoy taking a break from reading literature for class about the tragedy of the human condition to listen to some catchy, fun, sunshiny synth pop.

I’ve been a fan of Anthony Fantano ( a.k.a.The Needle Drop) on YouTube for a while now, and when I saw his review for Kero Kero Bonito’s new record “Bonito Generation,” it called to mind a song of theirs I’d heard a few years ago called “Sick Beat.”

I remember being drawn to the song’s use of synthesized beats, video game noises as instruments and the frontwoman’s Japanese lyrics that she sang and rapped in a delightful British accent. Partially by how catchy it was, and partially by how bizarre it was yet managed to work as a coherent song, I wanted to learn more about this pop group.

Thankfully, “Bonito Generation” is indeed on Spotify and I spent an evening recently listening and was positively charmed by the carefree attitude and upbeat melodies of the just over a half hour record.

This record is, in a word, adorable. Just how simple, yet how creative, the lyricism is instantly makes me smile. Kero Kero Bonito follows in the songwriting vein of taking mundane occurrences in life and making them into something exciting and enjoyable to sing about, like hitting the snooze button in the morning or feeling lost while walking around a huge city.

It also has some more emotional moments, my personal favourite being the song “Hey Parents.” In it, frontwoman Sarah Midori Perry sings about going over to visit her parents after graduation, finding her place in her family’s extensive tree and trying to  make her parents proud by  finding “something to do/Something I want to, so they can relax.”

The song has surprising depth to it, as Sarah ponders what she’ll do in life to make an impact in her family history, but keeps a sense of humour with lines about her parents like “I sure don’t know if making me was part of the plan/But that’s what happened, and I’m cool with that.”

I also admire the group’s ability to incorporate sounds to their music without it sounding immature. The use of yawns and dialogue on “Waking Up,” the first song on the record, instantly give the listener a sense that this band knows how to make authentic, genuine and creative music without taking themselves too seriously.

Even the album artwork fits the record perfectly. Sarah in a colorful rendition of a graduation gown and mortarboard, holding a diploma tied in a lacy pink ribbon, reflects the balance of fun and seriousness incorporated throughout the record. It especially reminds me of one of the record’s more serious (yet still quite amusing, especially to a student like me) tracks, “Graduation.”

In it, Sarah sings about being fed up with the dreariness of grades and taking classes she doesn’t enjoy, yet still being scared to leave school and make a name for herself in the world. On the chorus she sings,”Today’s my graduation, I’ve done my dissertation/Even got a hat I can throw/Today’s my graduation, so long to education/Didn’t learn a thing anyway.” During the first verse, she sarcastically remarks, “These are the best days of our lives/That’s what the grown ups told us, right?”

All in all, this is a wonderful record that combines the production talent of Gus Lobban and Jamie Bulled with Sarah’s witty lyricism. I look forward to what this trio tackles next, and hope that one day I’ll be able to see one of their live shows.

What did you think of “Bonito Generation”?

Thanks for reading, and God bless.

-A.L.D.

 

A Very Car Seat Headrest Christmas

I’ve been avoiding writing about Car Seat Headrest’s masterpiece “Teens of Denial” because a.) it’s impossible to come up with enough good things to say about a record that, no joke, seems to speak so well to the stage of life I’m in yet is enjoyable for anyone (my dad and his friends have been listening to it for months), and b.) EVERYONE into indie music on the internet is putting it atop their end-of-the-year record roundups. It’s a fantastic record, and all I want to say has been said a thousand times in some iteration (and deservingly so).

But I can try. Or at least praise the new single version of “Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales” that graced Spotify a few weeks ago.

I’ll admit that the original version of the song is actually pretty low in my song-by-song ranking of “Teens.” Don’t get me wrong, the first time I heard it I was like “Oh my LORD” (my reaction to basically every song on the record, in particular the 11:30 “The Ballad of the Costa Concordia”), but after listening to the record in it’s entirety on repeat, my favourites are instead dominated by the heartbreakingly blunt “Cosmic Hero,” the punky and defiant “Fill in the Blank,” and the desperately raging “Destroyed by Hippie Powers.”

But I must give credit where credit is due, and “Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales” is what turned me on to “Teens,” along with “Teens of Style”‘s big hit “Something Soon,” which got a lot of airplay on my satellite radio after Car Seat Headrest got signed to Matador Records.

This new version of the tune is much more upbeat, with lyrics that simplify the message of picking yourself up out of a hole of irresponsibility and finding new meaning to life (some of which are borrowed from Toledo’s 2013 song, “Plane Crash Blues (I Can’t Play Piano)”). The backing vocals on the second verse bring to mind a bit of Beach Boys, and for me, the riffs remind me of a more indie-centric, youthful U2 sound. It’s also shorter, clocking in around 4:02 instead of 6:32, making it more radio and festival-friendly.

Personally, I quite enjoy the changes and find the song to be delightful-it gets the message   across, yet you can still bounce along to the music and sing along to the signature chorus of “It doesn’t have to be like this/Killer whales/Killer whales.” I’d love to see either version performed live, and I feel both serve their purpose: The original a great addition to the post-collegiate crisis of “Teens of Denial,” and the single version an excellent way to add some thought-provoking lyricism to a late night TV performance (where I originally heard the song on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon).

I’ve heard Car Seat Headrest is back in the studio already, and I wish I could convey with words how excited I am that another record, or even just some new singles, will be coming soon. Hearing what a crew of young 20somethings can create, and seeing the impact it has on college students, 40-year-old radio and TV hosts, 50-year-old businesspeople and everyone in between gives me hope that God’s gift of music will always be around to bring us together.

As for me, I intend to continue along with my trek into Will Toledo and Co.’s back catalogue, and “Nervous Young Man” and “Twin Fantasy” will most likely be blasting all winter long.

Happiest and blessed holidays to all my friends and readers out there, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the jams of Car Seat Headrest.

God bless, safe travels and peace on Earth.

-A.L.D.

Track Review: The Orwells’ “They Put A Body In The Bayou”

Greetings, my friends. It’s been an embarrassingly long time since an update, but I must ask for a pardon since I am a student and finals combined with work, club leadership and house chores are proving to be a trying time.

Thankfully, about a month ago, The Orwells released a new single, “They Put A Body In The Bayou” from their upcoming LP “Terrible Human Beings.” And it does not disappoint.

I’ve been following this band since I heard their song “Mallrats (La la la)” on XMU’s Download 15 in high school. At the time, I remember being amazed at how people who were around my age (the frontman was 18 at the time) managed to create garage rock and get played on a major indie network.

This continues to impress me with The Orwells: their ability as young musicians to craft songs that have a sneering, devil-may-care kind of teenage swagger that mask simply written, rhyming lyrics with heavy subject matter.

Their last record, “Disgraceland,” did just that for me. I remember it starting off with the playful ode to being young “Southern Comfort” and being floored once the back half of the album came around and songs about reckless motorcycle crashes (“Always’N’Forever”) and themes of death (“Blood Bubbles”) took over the track listing. It’s a sad record with just enough punchy punk songs to keep you coming back.

This new single lives up to my expectations, seeing The Orwells continue in this shameless teenager delivery. The opening to the track reminds me of something Oasis would’ve released in their early years, which I really hope is a musical theme they stick with in the upcoming record.

There’s the signature half singing, half snarking tone of frontman Mario Cuomo and darker-than-you’d-expect lyrics dealing with substance abuse, corruption of morals and alcoholism. That’s what sticks out to me the most-how fun this song is, and how serious it’s lyrical matter is once you stop to think about it.

The thing that bothers me is the length and structure-it’s about 3 minutes, and it follows a very basic verse/chorus/verse/chorus form. While that’s part of what makes The Orwells’ music so fun and accessible-it’s short, it makes you think but you can still sing along in the car, it keeps your attention-it can get old after a while. I’m hoping they experiment with different song styles and structures on this new record, but all in all, it’s a solid release following the success that 2014’s singles “Who Needs You” and “The Righteous One” found.

I eagerly await the release of “Terrible Human Beings” in February. Check out the song here.

As always, thanks much for reading, and God bless. I’ll be on break very soon, and blogging will pick up again then. Have a lovely and blessed weekend.

-A.L.D.

Listen to Lucy Dacus

I quite enjoy basically anything in the Matador Records catalog and one of their latest additions, Lucy Dacus, is no exception. Quite simply, this women is brilliant. (And she’s 21, so what am I doing with my life)?

I made the decision to finally download Spotify on my laptop so I can listen to tunes while editing for class and through it I’ve stumbled upon more of Dacus’s music besides her single “I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore” (which is a fantastic song) I found circulating Consequence of Sound this summer.

Dacus manages to have a beautifully soulful voice without sounding like she’s trying too hard, which is a complaint I occasionally have for indie rock singer-songwriters who seem to think their lyrics are very important. But Dacus subverts this by being upfront with her listeners; she’s got something to say and this is her outlet, but she shan’t come blazing in demanding your attention with vocal trills and vibrato. She sounds sincere and I feel her remorse, anxiety and occasionally her desperation through her voice.

Her lyrics are also excellent: simple, yet expressing emotions everyone has had at some point in their lives, like unrequited love or exasperation at not being taken seriously. I’m especially digging “Green Eyes, Red Face,” and love singing along with Dacus, “I see the seat that’s next to yours is unoccupied/and I was wondering if you’d let me come and sit by your side.” Quality tune for singing loudly when your housemates are all out and you’re home alone.

I remember reading about Dacus on Bandcamp Daily and being charmed at how genuine and modest she was when being interviewed about her talents and about getting signed on Matador. Considering how much press Car Seat Headrest got/is getting since their Matador debut, I can only hope the same for Dacus. She’s definitely got the talent. Give her a listen, she won’t disappoint.

Check out the music video for “I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore” that originally caught my eye here.

As always, thanks for reading, and God bless.

-A.L.D

Five Songs and Two Friends

I’m headed back to OWU from break today and thankfully I’ve gotten to spend some time with my friends while back at home. Through break I’ve been exposed/reintroduced to some fantastic songs through my friends because they’re music enthusiasts like myself, and just listening to certain songs frequently, and I wanted to share them on here.

1.) “Best Friend” by Dent May

I always seem to go back and investigate Dent May’s older stuff whenever he releases new music because it reminds me how catchy and vintage his sound is (I believe I described “Face Down in the Gutter of Your Love” to my friend as “If Brian Wilson got his heart broken and wanted to cover ‘Turn to Stone’ by Electric Light Orchestra”), but thankfully I’ve got a friend who listens to him frequently and exposed me to the artistic beauty that is the “Best Friend” music video. Dent May’s music is so genuinely him and his sense of artistic expression is so unapologetically weird that it’s hard not to sing along with what he creates. Watch the video here.

2.) “A Beginning Song” by The Decemberists

The first concert I ever saw (at the tender age of 13), The Decembrists will always hold a special place in my heart. I actually liked the “countryfied” folk sound of “The King is Dead,” but I am thrilled they went back to their nostalgic storytelling format on “What A Terrible World, What a Beautiful World” (albeit not as bombastic as the rock opera of “The Hazards of Love” or the theatrical production of “Picturesque”). Colin Meloy is an amazingly gifted writer and his encapsulations of emotion are perfectly written for his vocal style. This is a beautiful song composed of only 3 chords that I’m glad I rediscovered while driving through the countryside with my friend. Listen here.

3.) “Skiptracing” by Mild High Club

This is a lovely fusion of smooth jazz and yacht rock elements (two genres I don’t spend much time dabbling in, but my friend loves) and it’s something I could get the same chill, relaxed vibe from while in a beachside lounge or studying in the reading room. The phrase I keep thinking of to describe it is the indie rock version of elevator music. And I mean that in the best way possible. It’s three minutes and of a summer day. Watch the video here.

4.) “Ode to Viceroy” by Mac DeMarco

Slacker-rock Mac DeMarco has always been someone I enjoy, but the wonderfully weird and gory music video for “Passing Out Pieces” really won me over this summer. Some browsing around the Canadian indie rock corners of the internet led to my friend and I rediscovering this gem, which strangely reminds me of Oasis with its vocal delivery. The glazed, chiming guitars in the background remind me of a lazy portrait of a Saturday morning. Watch the music video here.

5.) “I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore” by Lucy Dacus

I’ve been wanting to give this song a shoutout for a while now, partly because I love Matador Records and I’m thrilled Dacus is signed there and because what I’ve heard of her music is stellar. She’s got an earnest voice that’s perfect for her personal lyrics and I like the singer/songwriter indie rock vibe she’s got. Looking forward to seeing what she does next. Listen to her single here.

Thanks for reading. Have a great night. God bless.

-A.L.D.

Support Your Local Music Scene

The town where I currently reside (Delaware, Ohio) is, from what I can tell, equal parts “college town” and “small family town.” And, coming from a small town originally, I must say they produce some fantastic music.

The beauty of where I live is that Columbus, Ohio (the capital) is only 30 minutes away. Having a city of music and art so close means Delaware is full of students who play music for fun, people with day jobs who like to play gigs on the weekend and music majors from Ohio Wesleyan. The coffee shop where I frequent, Choffey’s, has people who’ll stop by on their lunch breaks and play for whoever is in there (I’m serious, they were doing it the other day while I worked on a paper and drank chai).

And because Open Mic Night is such a quintessential college experience, Delaware has that too. Last week I was able to go to the first Open Mic held at Endangered Species, the only record store in downtown Delaware.

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Above: James Ormerod, a student at Ohio Wesleyan, played a combination of covers and original work.

The beauty of the event is Endangered Species has large windows that face the busy streets, and people passing by from nearby restaurants and shops saw what was happening and came in to hear college musicians share Beatles covers and original work. I saw a couple introduce themselves to a musician and tell him how much they look forward to hearing him perform again.

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Above: Dane Poppe, an OWU student, covers Neil Young.

There was a father son duo as well who covered Led Zeppelin and played an original the father wrote, and that showed me how strong the bond of music can be to bring families together (just like my dad and I going to Lollapalooza).

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(Above: A Delaware high school student covers Yes).

Opportunities where people can join together and share a creative talent they carry inside never fail to amaze me. It’s a great chance for people to bond over a shared interest with something so pure, so emotional, so personal. And as an aspiring music journalist, people who are willing to share their work gives me hope for what I’ll discover in my professional life. I have so much respect for their willingness to be exposed musically.

So my recommendation to you is get out there and support your local music scene. Go to an open mic, a local show, a festival. There is so much talent and potential in the people around you, and we all have a desire to create something and share it with the world. As a student I see you never know what kind of talent you’ll find within your own school, and better yet, within your town.

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Above: My housemates (from left) Dom Mejia, Chase Smith and Emily Phillips performing under the moniker There Will Be Cardigan.

And as a side note, since the Open Mic was held at a record store, I picked up a CD copy of both Angel Olsen’s “MY WOMAN” and Car Seat Headrest’s “Teens of Denial.” So all in all, I’d say it was a successful night.

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Above: Two great records.

Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend.

God bless.

-A.L.D.

My Car CD Collection: Part 2

Welcome back, friends. Last time we briefly discussed five quality records I’ve accumulated over the past year and it’s time to devote a quick minute to five more.

So, on to part 2 of my collection of CDs in my car….

1.) “Drones” by Muse

A very ominous record with lyrics about over-glorifying violence, excessive militarized force, fear of becoming nothing more than a piece of the system and an overwhelming paranoia about losing one’s sense of self worth and individuality, “Drones” sees Muse departing from their usual synth rock operas to a more classic rock inspired sound. From the opening cries of “Dead Inside,” frontman Matthew Bellamy sounds desperate for someone to listen to him before it’s too late.  I remember hearing Anthony Fantano of The Needle Drop say the instrumentation sounded more “hair metal inspired” (or something along those lines), which I agree with. While the new sound isn’t really my style, it’s interesting to see Muse go into such an overtly political direction. I would’ve enjoyed some subtlety, though.

2.) “Kintsugi” by Death Cab for Cutie

I’m pretty indifferent to this record. I enjoy it, don’t get me wrong, but there’s nothing really exceptional about it that stands out to me. There’s some great alt rock singles like “Black Sun,” “No Room in Frame,” “The Ghosts of Beverly Drive” and “Good Help (Is So Hard to Find),” and I enjoy singing along. I feel some strains of DCFC’s older work on tracks like “Little Wanderer” and “You’ve Haunted Me All My Life,” but I feel like this is their most accessible record. People who’ve never listened to Death Cab before can still enjoy this record because it’s fun, it’s easy listening, it fits snugly into the “alt rock/adult alternative/mainstream alternative” category. And maybe it might help people discover more of their older stuff.

3.) “Disgraceland” by The Orwells

At first glance this may seem like a typical punk/garage rock inspired teen outfit from Chicago that sings about adolescent struggles like relationships, wanting to live a carefree life and wanting to defy authority.The instrumentation, on a whole, kind of reminds me of The Replacements. But around the fifth track, this record starts to get dark. Themes of hopelessness, coming to terms with mortality, frustration and discontent with society and wanting to stand for something bigger than yourself are prominent. The record may start as a fun little jam session with a “boys will be boys” attitude with the song “Southern Comfort”, but as it progresses lyrically, it has a lot of emotional baggage that’ll make you think. I have a theory that The Orwells are the angsty, angry teenage version of Cage the Elephant, but that is a story for another day. Regardless, this is a fantastic record.

4.) “Melophobia” by Cage the Elephant

And speaking of Cage the Elephant, here’s their 2013 foray into more straightforward alt rock and less of the messy, Pixies-inspired indie rock that they started with. Not to say that there aren’t still strains of that original sound on this record; on the contrary, the opening track “Spiderhead” and “It’s Just Forever” sounds like something Cage the Elephant could’ve placed on 2011’s “Thank You, Happy Birthday.” While I personally loved their brash, noisy early stuff, I enjoy the more stripped-back sound, especially on singles like “Come a Little Closer” (which had a spacy, echo-y, atmospheric vibe), “Telescope” (which had a resigned and apologetic lyrical delivery about feeling lost in life), and “Cigarette Daydreams” (a somber, bittersweet song that I view as the more mature version of 2011’s “Right Before my Eyes”).

5.) “The Moon and Antarctica” by Modest Mouse.

By far, this is the masterpiece of the bunch. And I’m not just saying that because I’ve got a strange fascination with Antarctica. An almost hour-long indie rock jam, this record manages to be a noisy, atmospheric, experimental, spaced-out, thrashing collection of distorted punk rock-inspired tunes with some wildly symbolic, stream of conscious lyrics. And it is magnificent. It gets slow in parts, and the sound does occasionally wax repetitive, but this record is sure to be an inspiration for bands born from listening to early 2000’s alternative rock for years to come. And there are some great surprise tracks as well, from the folky simplicity of “Wild Pack of Family Dogs” to the catchy groove of “Tiny Cities Made of Ashes.” And if you’ve never walked off into the sunset with “Dark Center of the Universe” playing in the background, I suggest you do so as soon as possible.

And that, friends, is all I have for now. What are you thoughts on these records? What are your favourite CDs to keep in the car? Let me know in the comments.

And as always, thanks for reading, and God bless.

-A.L.D.

My Car CD Collection: Part 1

Aren’t CDs a great invention?

I know some purists would argue that nothing can beat the sound of vinyl (and I can find a lot of reasoning in that argument, as I do feel that way about certain records and try to support the vinyl industry as much as I can), but as someone who has a two and a half hour drive between her college and her home town, I have to say CDs are an excellent way of discovering new tunes/what your favourite artists have been up to.

Over the past year or so I’ve accumulated a modest collection of albums in my car. Here is part one of a brief rundown of what they are, why I got them and my general thoughts on the music.

1.) “Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit” by Courtney Barnett

This is a solid collection of fun little songs about the ironies and quirks of life, so as a writer, I can appreciate Barnett doing what my professor would call “making the small moments large.” Sometimes the lyrics can get a bit repetitive (like on “Nobody Really Cares if you don’t go to the Party” or “An Illustration of Loneliness (Sleepless in New York)) and “Depreston” is way overplayed on the radio, but I love Barnett’s attempt to capture the minute details of life. Also, her guitar playing is killer, especially on the neurotic single “Pedestrian at Best.” And it’s pretty neat she got nominated for a Grammy here in the U.S.A. Eager to see what she does next.

2.) “Pagans in Vegas” by Metric

Hmm. My feelings on this record, which clocks in at just over 49 minutes, remain fairly mixed. While I really do enjoy moments on the front half such as “The Shade,” “Lie Lie Lie” (which has some excellent scathing lyrics about the world’s mass media system) and “Too Bad, So Sad,” after that the synth and keyboard pop just gets old. It’s an interesting record for a while that unfortunately loses its touch instrumentally. Which really is too bad, because I do like listening to Metric. But if you’re into more dancey, electronic based music, I’d definitely recommend it.

3.) “Currents” by Tame Impala

This record got huge when it was released last summer, so I’ll keep my comments to a minimum. The front half is a supremely fun venture into swirly synth-based soundscapes and I love the pulsating beats. “Yes I’m Changing” and “Eventually” are lyrically beautiful. The back half and the strange little interludes are lukewarm at best, but if you remove “Past Life” from the track listing (I can’t stand the strange distorted spoken word lyrics), it’s such a fun gem of psychedelic indie.

4.) “b’lieve i’m going down…” by Kurt Vile 

You have to really be feeling like hearing some slow folky lo-fi when you put on this record, but it definitely does deliver. Vile’s meandering vocals pair well with his lyrics about losing touch with your identity, feeling cast out and disconnected from your peers, struggling to not buy into peer pressure and just trying to live life, maaaan. I respect how genuine this record feels. It’s not trying to be the next biggest folk rock album or an independent rock magnum opus. It seems like every time Kurt Vile sets out to make a record, he doesn’t really pay attention to what his contemporaries are up to. He’s fine with being himself and creating the music he feels the most comfortable with, and it shines through on his albums in the best way.

5.) “Lost in the Dream” by The War on Drugs

This is the perfect record for near-dusk and night driving, or if not in a car, then for calming background music while studying for journalism (It sounds beautiful through a good pair of headphones). The layering and production on this just-over-an-hour-long record explodes with ambience and a less noisy, more melodic shoegazing sound. I’m not much of an Americana fan, and I still came to love “Suffering” and the title track after a few listens. The repetition of instrumentation on songs like “Eyes to the Wind,” “Under the Pressure” and “Red Eyes” works perfectly without getting too redundant. And while I know “Under the Pressure” and “Red Eyes” were the two singles that got huge after the release, I think “An Ocean in Between the Waves” is just as great (if not better) for how much is happening guitar-wise.

What were your thoughts on these records? Let me know in the comments. Stay tuned for my next CD post, which will focus more on the alternative rock/alternapop side of the spectrum.

As always, thanks for reading, and God bless.

-A.L.D.

Track Review: Zipper Club’s “Going the Distance”

Let’s face it, a lot of today’s alt rock/alterna-pop wants to ride on the coattails of arena-filling acts like Bastille, The 1975, Imagine Dragons and Mumford and Sons. And why? Because it’s accessible. It appeals to the “younger generation.” Casual fans of contemporary alternative rock and pop rock can both find enjoyment in their music. It’s something they can play for their friends without being ridiculed for listening to “weird music.”

I’m not trying to mock these acts (and, for the record, I enjoy a good bit of what Bastille has done musically and I’ve seen Mumford and Sons live. It was incredible), but this just seems to be a big trend in the music world nowadays. Sometimes the results are alright, sometimes they’re actually pretty good, sometimes they’re such an obvious knockoff it’s painful, but sometimes it just creates a slew of tracks that are overwhelmingly “meh.”

Thankfully, this new single from Zipper Club borrows its cues from a bit further back in the music world than the modern-day chart toppers. And the result is quite satisfying.

Zipper Club’s “Going the Distance” world premiered a few weeks ago on the Alt Nation (channel 36 for Sirius XMU satellite radio subscribers) Advanced Placement playlist. It is a delightful homage to 80’s college rock, with a bouncy recurring synth hook and an upbeat chorus of layered harmonies reminiscent of Flesh for Lulu’s “I Go Crazy.”

I especially love the switch-off between Mason James and Lissy Trullie in the lead vocal, a style that reminds me of something The Human League would do during the early 80’s or, for a more modern comparison, an early 2000’s single from New Order.

The straightforward drumming (which, by the way, comes from TV on the Radio drummer Jahphet Landis) and chord structure of the song, while simple, give a feeling of growing anticipation for good things to come. This is a prominent theme on the track with lyrics like “The best part of growing old/Is knowing that your story is about to unfold.”

Lyrically, this is a fun little track about trying to carve out a name for yourself in the big wide world (much like Zipper Club themselves in today’s alt rock scene) with a few cute hints towards yearning for an emotional connection with someone just as driven as you.

Musically, it makes you want to jump to your feet, get out there and check that tough item off your to-do list. Get that promotion. Talk to that special someone you keep seeing around town with impeccable music taste. Ace that economics final (sorry, that’s the student in me). Go the distance.

Like the song’s hope for good things yet to come, I hope that Zipper Club is more than just a passing single in a forever-enlarging alt rock world. Looking forward to what this band creates in the future.

Be sure to check out the band’s profile on Soundcloud here and listen to the track on YouTube right yonder.

Thanks for reading, and as always, God bless.

-A.L.D.

 

Track Review: Dent May’s “Face Down In The Gutter Of Your Love”

Rejoice, friends! The endearingly nerdy and painfully honest Dent May is back with a single that sports a title only he could come up with, “Face Down In The Gutter Of Your Love.” And from the opening sunshiny piano chords, it is a simply delightful summer stroll down musical memory lane.

The track officially went live on Wednesday, July 20 and is currently streaming across the internet. I first heard it this past weekend after work when it world premiered on Sirius XMU’s (channel 35 on Sirius XM satellite radio) Download 15 playlist.

On the surface, Dent May’s new tune is a poppy track about unrequited love (a topic his lyrics are certainly no stranger to); a plea to that one special someone to stop hanging you out to dry by being oblivious to your advances.

What makes the track so compelling are the layers on layers of nostalgic musical elements, from the chord progressions, to the guitar flourishes over top of the piano, to the chorus which is so singsongy with its repetition of the song’s title.

Additionally, Dent May does a great job of borrowing elements of 60’s and 70’s pop rock tunes on this single, which is especially evident while he is hitting the high notes in a very Brian Wilson-esque way throughout the track (but especially on the chorus). He also features a great vocoder bit during the back of the track and some string touches that would fit fantastically on Electric Light Orchestra’s 1977 magnum opus “Out of the Blue.”

What I love so much about Dent May is how realistic his songs are. They make you see and feel things from the perspective of the lyricist, and the accompanying music always corresponds to said emotions. He’s not afraid to be honest and write songs that make real people realize that it’s ok to love, it’s ok to be lonely, it’s ok to be discontent and wish for something more in life.

I think that’s why I enjoy this song so much. It brings back that musical era I was born too late to witness, with it’s harmonized love songs and psychedelic pop tunes. It gives me a glimpse into the emotion those songs evoked in the young adults of their day. It is a window to the past that fits snugly into the independent rock of today, and even more excitingly, Dent May’s discography. I look forward to hearing what else he’s going to release on Carpark Records.

As always, thanks for reading. Here’s a link to the song!

God bless.

-A.L.D.