Friday, May 10, 2013

You're Only Where You Are

Chicken Little describes themselves as "half-pint folk punk". A singer/guitarist and an accordion player (joined by a fiddler at some gigs) are all that compromise this tiny folk powerhouse. They specialize in fantastic lyrics, rousing choruses, and gorgeous harmonies. This post's title comes from the opening track of their first album No One, Never, Nothing.

I got into these guys after I saw them at a folk punk festival in Berea, KY, at the now closed Black Feather Cafe of all places. I went there to see Paul Baribeau and Busman's Holiday, but they went on first and they blew me away. Their pure energy was captivating. I had to buy their album. Their most upbeat tune is the ode to giving in to alcohol "Off The Wagon", the title of which has now been changed to "The Sky Is Not Falling".

"The Devil Spoke Here" ruminates on religious themes and comes away feeling guilty. It's truly fantastic. I'll close the post with some potent lyrics from the tune: "May we always fail with the best of intentions with our hearts always pure and our souls only human."

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Introducing: Magic Man

Okay. Stop. Drop everything. Listen. Magic Man is this amazing band from Rhode Island. They are an absolute synth-pop dream boat if ever there was one. They sound like The Killers, but with way more synthesizers. They sound like Passion Pit, but without the crazy high falsetto. Basically, they're bound for greatness. They are, like their chosen descriptor, "triumphant synth rock."

I found out about Magic Man from Neon Gold Beat Company whenever they dropped "Paris" earlier this year. And then they dropped "Texas". And then an absolutely killer remix of Pacific Air. Nothing I've heard from these guys has been less than fantastic.

They dropped another new tune, "Nova Scotia," today and it is equally amazing. Yesterday, my favorite band Walk The Moon announced Magic Man would be accompanying them on part of their fall tour. And today Neon Gold released their free EP with all three of their singles on it. One thing is definite: Magic Man is going places.

Do yourself a favor and download this EP. It's perfect for summer. It's great music. IT'S FREE.

Introducing: Christopher The Conquered & His Black Gold Brass Band

Fresh to death progressive soul is pumping from my speakers. That's the sound of Christopher The Conquered & His Black Gold Brass Band. Flush with keys and full of horns, this sweet, sweet music comes to us from Des Moines, Iowa, where CTC&HBGBB have been smoothly operating for a few years now. Chris Ford, the band leader, has been making music since 2008 and doing everything from solo piano music to now leading a 9-piece soul pop band.

I stumbled onto the band when I was going through some old Daytrotter sessions, and, man, am I glad that I clicked on them. Bands like this are the reason I pay for the subscription. I quickly downloaded the session and went in search of an album, which I luckily found on his bandcamp. His album, The Fate Of A Good Man, is absolutely fantastic and worth the $7. With tracknames like "Let Us Not Confuse Our Thoughts With Our Beliefs," "The Truth Is On Its Way," and "Life Is Not Always Easy," you can bet that he backs them up with outstanding lyrics. In style, Christopher The Conquered, at times, reminds me of Ben Sollee (particularly on "Let Us Not..").

My personal favorite tune, "Free To Try (But Not Always To Do)," comes with a sweet music video that features Chris Ford dancing, conducting, driving, and jamming with the band. It really is a fantastic video and song, building from somber to celebratory in 6 minutes of awesome.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Introducing: Fast Years

Fast Years has been on my radar since last summer when they released their outstanding Women - EP. These New Yorkers play grunge rock guitars with poppy-as-hell hooks on top. Their music, for me at least, also has an element of surf in it. It might just be that it sounds like pure summer fun...that could easily be the case. Anyways, their song "Young Heart" is absolutely amazing and it's a FREE download!

If you dig that, you should totally check out their entire EP. It's worth the $3. Hell, it's worth at least $5. Also, linked after the jump is their music video for "Young Heart".

Monday, May 6, 2013

Introducing: Roo & The Howl

Being the voracious blog reader that I am, when Pigeons And Planes does a piece called "12 Female Artists You Should Know" I pay attention. In that little piece, they brought an artist to my attention that goes by the nome-de-tune Roo & The Howl. According to her bio, the word "roo" is derived from an old English word meaning "quiet". So her name actually means "The Quiet And The Howl". That's a kick-ass name. The awesome person behind it is Bekah Wagner out of Colorado Springs, CO.

She's been quietly producing quality Americana/folk music for a little while now. She closed out 2012 with a gaggle of shows that included opening for Seattle folkies Ivan & Aloysha. Her tune "To The River" is pure indie folk bliss and "They Say" is one of the most delicate vocal pieces I've heard in quite some time. If those two songs are any indication, she's going to have a busy 2013 and a bright future (with an album on the docket for early 2014).

Introducing: Junior Prom

NYC's Junior Prom sports one of the coolest names and sounds in current memory. These dudes have an electropop sound perfectly suited for the heat of the summer. Rest assured, this music is RayBan friendly. Their eponymous debut EP is up for free download over at their bandcamp and everyone should take advantage of this fact.

While "International" is definitely my favorite track off the EP, "Sheila Put The Knife Down" is the most captivating and they made a video for it that you can watch after the jump.