Effervescent string band pop imbued with acoustic brightness, vocal and instrumental call and response interplay, and good-natured lyrical winks of the eye.
Here’s No Sailor with “21 Rules”
The “No Sailor” moniker is in place as a vehicle for the work of singer-songwriter Kieran Garvey and his collective of indie-folk-pop compatriots. The video you’re watching was shot one evening in a friend’s handmade barn in Pennsylvania, that state being a known hot spot for both handmade barns and acoustically-inclined string bands.
Getting the upright piano into the space for the shoot was a challenge, evidently. Kieran tells the story:
Getting the piano on and off the U-Haul wasn’t too much trouble, but getting it up the bent staircase to the loft space of the barn was PURE HELL. It was an absolute beast to lift. I think we had six or seven guys on it too, all a bit worried we’d die like a cartoon character and get crushed by a piano. In the end nothing but the piano was harmed as a little wheel broke off in the process. We were all super happy we made the extra effort though, as the piano looked great, sounded alright, and our pianist had a hell of a good time playing it and improvising between takes.
All’s well that ends well!
As for the song itself, “21 Rules” is concerned with rules of engagement and sometimes dubious and often on-point lines of etiquette to toe. You decide if the advice is worth taking, Casanova being in agreement notwithstanding.
Garvey and his band are set to release the first full-length No Sailor album in early 2019; Anchor Broken Free. To make sure you get the news on that release and other tidbits, be sure to follow No Sailor on Twitter.
Bouncy and positive pop music, full of blippy synths and a subtle reggae feel. Maybe a Lily Allen comparison would be a bit lazy of me to make. But, there it is anyway.
Here’s Wiltshire-bred, London-based Kate Lomas with “Leave Out the Lows”
The song is a single that is the third in a series of collaborations with producer-mixer Guy Britton, demonstrating a lightness of touch to this song about not sweating the small stuff, and giving the people we love a bit more slack when it comes to minor slights. In the era we’re in right now, we have bigger fish to fry. So, leave out the lows, everyone.
The song has garnered some attention in Lomas’ native Great Britain, with BBC1 “track of the week” accolades and BBC Introducing features. In the middle of Brexit chaos and daily Trumpster fires, goodness knows anthems to positivity and the enjoyment of simple pleasures are needed!
To learn more about Kate Lomas, visit katelomas.co.uk.
Dual Left Coast rock n’ roll fury with a smirk and a crunch. Oakland, California-based duo Destroy Boys are Lead singer Alexia Roditis and guitarist Vi Mayugba, with a new record insistently titled Make Room out right now.
This is the single, and proof as to why Billie Joe Armstrong is a fan.
Considering themselves as the inheritors of Riot Grrl, the band formed in 2015 and writing their debut single “Think I Should Make Out With Other People” that same year. They proceeded to tour up and down the coast to build an appreciative fanbase. Soon after they found themselves name-checked in Rolling Stone, straight from the lips of the aforementioned Armstrong.
Not bad for a couple of high school students.
Nowadays the band are at college while still maintaining their output and touring schedule, confronting the world that is traditionally hostile to women who wish to forge their own paths, inside the music industry and out.
It all comes out in the songs.
So, what of this song, which is all about singer Roditis’ relationship with the act of singing itself? Well:
“‘Soundproof’ is a culmination of my thoughts and doubts about singing. I used to be skeptical of the praise people would give me and those doubts stick with me to this day. However, I’ve gotten over a lot of those fears, and now I’m sure I sound good. I like to walk around outside before we perform as a way to calm my nerves and get away from people’s attention. It’s a lot! Lots of eyes, judging, and I think “Soundproof” captures my fears pretty well. [New Noise Magazine, September, 2018. Read the whole article]
You can stream the new record on Spotify.
Learn more about Destroy Boys at their website.
Spare and stark, awash in late Autumn rainy-day melancholy and with a soulful vocal at the center of it all. Vancouver’s Royal (neé Jodi Pederson), lays it bare on this solo acoustic version of a track off of her most recent record, Heart of Shadows, released last week.
The song explores a familiar theme of losing oneself in longing for another, a thread that runs through many of the songs on the record.
Here’s the studio version, which puts a distinct downtempo electronica spin on the song. Yet, that melancholy remains.
For more on Royal, investigate her website.
This is something of a band anthem, and even a full blown mission statement for New Jersey’s Blame Candy; multi-layered glam-rock with a sense of fun and bravado built right in, reminiscent of early Queen, and (yes) The Sweet.
Excessive, sure. But that’s kind of the point, kids.
Blame Candy are: Chris Greatti (vocals, lead guitar), Aaron Deming (guitar, vocals), Ryan Wheeler (bass, vocals),and Sam Palombo (drums).
This is the band’s newest single released last month, serving as a taste of why they’ve garnered a cult following in New York club scenes.Since then, they’ve recently debuted on the West Coast, too, specifically Los Angeles where their American glam-rock sound is native.
Learn more about Blame Candy here.
Austin Texas’ Still Corners render this down-the-highway lament characterized by ghostly and haunted vocals packed with reverb and regret. This otherworldly and autumnal cut that is the soundtrack for impending winter and complete with Cat Power and Chris Isaak-like melancholy is taken from the band’s newest disc Slow Air.
As I type this, the band are on tour to support the record including an appearance at Vancouver’s Fox Cabaret on November 6 for all of you locals.
Find out more here.
Happy Listening (and Happy Hallowe’en, too).
A sepia-toned western tale full of plaintive and hushed vocals, thrumming acoustic guitar, and with murmuring electric guitar floating in the background like a comforting memory that’s tragically just out of reach. Singer-songwriter Jim Brown’s portrait of a badman who knows the end is near touches on Townes Van Zandt and Nebraska-mode Springsteen.
Listen here, pilgrims.
Brown’s new record is called The Devil on the Other Shoulder, out now.
Learn more here.