Band Appreciation Friday – Cloud Boat

Please someone will you let me in?

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Cloud Boat mainly embraces the ideas of spirituality, isolation, and alienation in their music, which is why, at first listen, it can seem a little too heavy on the senses. Their lyrics ponder over the feelings of trying to understand a world that constantly changes, and that search for meaning is what truly makes UK duo Tom Clarke and Sam Ricketts a genuine force to be reckoned with.

51CUA9OQBML._SL500_AA280_Model of You (2014), in a word, is solemn. However, there’s a constant reminder that lurks deep, deep beneath the hazy, grime covered surface that just because the world has pain and sorrow and retribution, it’s the whole reason that hope and happiness can exist and affect our lives in the same, but positive way. Each song attempts to soothe and pacify a different tortured soul burdened with varying ideas, and the vocals themselves are chant-like, almost like a part of some ancient ritual. “Prelude” starts the album off with overlapping guitar and synthesized beats, almost simulating the effect of sound bouncing off narrow walls and echoes with intense power. It’s a strong start, but at little over a minute, it leaves the audience wanting more. “Hideaway” definitely delivers, with pounding drums and buzzing guitars, and everything from the instrumentals and the vocals reminisces back to the post-rock era. “Carmine,” the album’s single, is definitely the most stark, unsettling, yet oddly beautiful track. The simplicity of the music itself meshes with the personal, soul-uncovering lyrics, and the result is a song that makes you squirm in your seat. It brings up issues, feelings, and emotions that you thought you buried long, long ago and makes you face them head on. However, that forced realization is what makes the song so gorgeous. “Portraits of Eyes” and “Aurelia” make me think that they were songs on some old Depeche Mode B-sides that were left out, and that is mainly from each track’s outstanding vocal performances. They’re passionate, foreboding, and cataclysmic, and that intertwining of ideas is what raises them into the album’s best songs. “Bricks Are For” is slow, soft, and eerie, and the instrumentals give off a feeling of detachment and unease. “Golden Lights” is the closest thing to a happy song that you will get from Cloud Boat. Right at the half-way point, its a brief, piano filled moment of unencumbered joy before returning to grave emotions once again. “All Of My Years” once again proves the distinctive way Cloud Boat portrays emotion – with a seemingly unfinished, unbalanced instrumentals and a sullen vocal that, in a way, seems more hopeful than depressing. “Hallow” is the perfect closer, with the lyrics “model of you” repeated over and over, in that chant-like way that makes it all seem so wonderfully entrancing. Cloud Boat will succeed in making you think about the deeper things in life and effectively envelops you in a gauzy, lush sound that is sure to enchant and mesmerize you. However, rather than shove these ideas and experiences in your face all at once, Cloud Boat’s music remains in an accessible place where you are free to ease in at your own volition.

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Adult Jazz – “Springful”

homepage_large.0ac2cb98Adult Jazz tends to play around with different genres and sub-genres in their music (despite their name), but one thing remains constant: the overall sound can be described as jazzy (wow, who would have known?), unpredictable, and melancholic – but yet, sweetly mellifluous. Lead singer Harry Burgess seems to take the main task of portraying emotions and graciously places them on his own shoulders, and it’s something the listener can really pick up on while listening through the album. “Springful” is the perfect track to start your journey into the world of Adult Jazz, and that’s simply because of it’s traditional format and the fact that it strays away from the experimental/alternative side their other songs take. Of course, there are some electronic vibes that it gives off, but that adds to the unique style this band embraces. “Springful” is from Adult Jazz’s debut album Gist Is, which was released this month.

 

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Oslo Parks – “The Night”

artworks-000085226683-mehl2t-t500x500Oslo Parks is a relatively unknown band indie electronic band from Brighton. They sound similar to Friendly Fires, if Friendly Fires took a dark approach and collaborated with Metronomy and The Arctic Monkeys. There’s a suppressed intensity in their track “The Night,” but doesn’t stay suppressed for too long. The instrumentals are primarily bass propelled, and there’s a classic noir sort of feeling as well as a funky jazz groove in both the melody and the vocals. Their music is focused and incredibly driven, and, sometimes, that simplicity is welcomed. “The Night” is Oslo Park’s second single, their first being “Twin” (another excellent track) which was released last month.

 

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Cloud Castle Lake – “Sync”

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homepage_large.4da33e68The introduction of “Sync” by Dublin, Ireland based band Cloud Castle Lake sounds like something from a fairytale. There are whimsical tones, buzzing orchestral parts, and, the gorgeous, almost unbelievable falsetto voice of Daniel McAuley. Then, right around the minute mark, things start to dramatically change. The intermingling of bongo drums and jazz instrumentals shifts the song into a brand new direction. McAuley’s powerful voice rises to new heights, and perfectly meshes with the aggressive, yet incredibly graceful beats that those brass instruments bring. “Sync” slowly builds up intensity from the start and never backs down, while at the same time utilizing the intense falsetto skill brought by the lead singer, which makes it easier to believe that Radiohead was of influence to this band. This song is so amazing, and I can’t wait to hear the rest of their upcoming EP. “Sync” is from Cloud Castle Lake’s EP Dandelion, which will be released in September.

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Shannon Saunders – “Sheets”

Shannon SaundersShannon Saunders is a singer/songwriter from England. Her voice is soft, smooth, and mellow, which worked wonders with her acoustic/folk songs she started out with in the past few years, but has since then taken a more electronic/alternative approach that has proven to be incredibly impressive. Her voice is still smooth and soft, but now there’s a sharp contrast between metallic overtones, propelled beats, and melodic undertones. In her new single “Sheets,” you can clearly hear that dynamic contradiction, and the result is something that’s absolutely beautiful. The lyrics are poignant and cutting, but are disguised and sung in a syrupy sweet way, which makes the meaning and emotion all the more easier to swallow. Shannon Saunders has not released an EP yet, but I’m sure we can all anticipate one in the near future.

 

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Saint Motel – “My Type”

825646264025.170x170-75Phew. After a two week hiatus, Kidwithavinyl is officially BACK! Once again, I am so sorry to leave you guys without that daily music inspiration for all that time, but rest assured that it won’t happen again. I am finally moved in to my college dorm and classes actually started today (but my first one at 8 a.m got moved, so lucky me!). The first days of anything should be exciting, happy, and exhilarating, and as soon as I heard this song from Los Angeles band Saint Motel, I knew I found it. “My Type” has upbeat orchestral/jazz parts that are catchy and radiate throughout the entire song (which, I’ve found, is Saint Motel’s signature), triumphant, strong singing, and an overall sense of confidence without the cheesy undertones that sometimes come along with it. Overall, it has that sort of “too cool for you” mentality that everyone needs for that ideal ego-boost. And on a Monday, I definitely need it. “My Type” is from Saint Motel’s new EP of the same name, which was released this month.

 

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A Small Update!

Hey guys!

As you may have noticed, I haven’t really posted that much in the past week…. and I am SO sorry about that. Things have been pretty busy for me, and I have to prepare to pack and move into my college dorm very VERY soon. Unfortunately, because of this, I am going to have to postpone my posts (including Band Appreciation Friday) and start back again on Monday, August 25.

This blog is my pride and joy, and it really sucks whenever I have to put it on hold, but sometimes I have no choice. Thank you for understanding! I have the best followers ever.

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In lieu of a post today, please enjoy a cover of Lana Del Rey’s song “West Coast” by James Vincent McMorrow.

 

 

Band Appreciation Friday – Wild Nothing

And I don’t want to be alone

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Wild Nothing would definitely have to be one of the most poetic bands I’ve ever heard, meaning that everything from the instrumentals to the heart wrenching lyrics and vocals drips with a bittersweet feeling of nostalgia and a yearning for meaning. Jack Tatum, the man who writes these gorgeous, mesmerizing songs, is nothing short of brilliant, and his genuine personality and focused mindset is what makes his band worth listening to.

homepage_large.4b954643From the beginning, Jack Tatum has voiced his own personal grievances with himself and the world around him through his gauzy, hazily entrancing songs, but not the tedious, dull way some might think. There’s an ironic sense of romanticism that remains even when the feeling is anything but, and that contrast really makes you as a listener think about it’s true meaning. Wild Nothing’s debut album Gemini (2010) really embraced this method, and used a wonderfully overwhelming feeling of new age eighties dream pop while they were at it. The songs on this album really did sound dreamlike and seemed to float aimlessly through the air, occasionally with a sullen narrative, like the gorgeous opener “Live in Dreams.” The flute-like instrumentals placed just after the chorus glimmer and gives the song a feeling of magic and innocence before returning to the depressing vocals. “Summer Holiday” sounds just like it’s title. It’s propelled with energetic, warm, and summery beats, swelling vocal tracks, and guitar instrumentals, and has that bouncy sort of feeling that comes with the emergence of warmth and sunshine. “Drifter” and “Pessimist” both share an eerie, dreary sort of persona, but seemed to remind listeners that this was still a highly personal album, and therefore, reflected the inner workings of Jack Tatum’s emotional mind. However, that kind of exposure can be slightly addicting, and with that note the album shifts back into the subtle happiness that is “O Lilac.” “Chinatown” has a light, breezy, entrancing feeling to it’s meticulous instrumentals, while “Our Composition Book” sounds like something straight out of an eighties teen movie with it’s delicate guitar plucks and semi-duet like vocals that are, once again, hazy and sweet in the sad sort of way. Closer “Gemini” seals in all the emotions and ended the album with a sense of new found realization. Gemini seemed to caress the feeling of once again leaving a place that you had no intent of leaving in the first place, or perhaps the painful self-discovery that leads to a changed mindset. Whatever it is, it’s beautiful, and it only continued on into Wild Nothing’s next venture, which would be released in 2012.

homepage_large.90953040Nocturne thoroughly embraced the ideas heard in Gemini, but with a more sincere, straightforward, mature way of presenting it. That signature haziness was used less and everything just seemed a little clearer. From the opening track “Shadow,” it was clear to see that things had changed in the last two years, and that change made Wild Nothing more relatable, approachable, and more well rounded as a band, and Jack Tatum more genuine as a songwriter. “Shadow” is such a breathtaking song, and everything from that highly addictive intro guitar riff to the warm, inviting orchestral backing make it a song that makes clear how talented it’s creator really is. “Midnight Song” is the older brother to some of the tracks on Gemini, and just seems like it has a sense of vitality that the last album lacked. “Nocturne” is one of the stand out tracks of the album, with it’s intricate guitar riffs and mysterious vocals, and envelops you in sound as Jack Tatum insists that you can have him, over and over again. “Through the Grass” meshes together the complexity and sincerity of various instrumentals with delicate, soft, humming vocals, and it’s a marriage that works in every single way. “This Chain Won’t Break” brings back some of the haziness and houses glorious, thoughtful lyrics along with a synthesized backing track that mixes it all together. “Disappear Always” showcases Jack Tatum’s voice a little bit more generously, along with a repeated, yet stunning guitar interlude every so often. There’s a signature style with the strums of the guitar, and with each track, it starts sounding reliable, comforting, and familiar, almost like a favorite t-shirt or sweater. Single “Paradise” begins with swelling tones and beats, and immediately places you on a journey of finding your own meaning, as Wild Nothing has a habit of not matching the emotions of the lyrics to the images that the music itself brings. “Rheya” is just as whimsical as the name suggests, and is the perfect little closer for Nocturne.

Wild Nothing, the brain child of the beautiful soul that is Jack Tatum, really challenges your own personal feelings and emotions, almost as if the music itself is pushing you to the point of self-actualization. After all, if he can pour out every single idea that his life has brought him and create stunning music that perfectly sums up those ideas, then there’s no reason that we, as listeners, can’t put in the same energy into understanding those ideas and relating them to our own situations. Dream pop is dream pop for a reason, and sometimes it’s worth the time to just sit and toss away our worries just to use our imaginations a little more fiercely.

 

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Joywave – “Somebody New”

joywave-how-do-you-feelJoywave is an indie electronic band from New York. Their eighties’ inspired sounds and beats have a modern twist with the use of incorporated acoustic instrumentals and synthesizers, but that carefree, new age mindset is still there. They have released a brand new EP after their eclectic, energetic second album 88888, and houses some very different sounds. There’s still this level of intensity and energy, but it seems as though it has a bit more finesse and less emphasis on the samplers and synthesizers that the last album had so much of and more like an amped up version of their 2012 album Koda Vista. “Somebody New” is fresh and clean, with a supersonic backing track and radiating guitar melodies. The vocals are impassioned, and the whole song seems to take on a more rock persona and less of the electro sounds, which might prove to be beneficial in the long run. “Somebody New” is from Joywave’s new EP How Do You Feel? which was released this year.

 

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Polarsets – “Madrid”

jkljljPolarsets are a four piece indie dream pop band from England. They have been active since 2009, and have an EP that was released in 2012, but have not yet released a debut album. However, it is apparent that they will release that album soon, based off of the recent release of their brand new single “Madrid.” It’s colorful, energetic, and exhilarating, with dream-like synth and rapid tribal-inspired drumming and instrumentals. The vocals are inspiring and seem to shimmer and glow with each breath, giving the whole song an added sense of hopefulness and optimism. The instrumentals embedded underneath are sophisticated and complex, and overall, it’s a song that is just amazing. “Madrid” is from Polarsets’ debut album Parasols, which will be released later this year.

 

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