Archive for harmony

THE WHIFFS-Take A Whiff

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 22, 2017 by TheManicBlogger

I recently had the opportunity to listen to ‘Take A Whiff‘,  the new release from Kansas City, MO.’s, The Whiffs. The power-pop/rock band showcases their knack for writing wonderful ‘pop’ songs, filled with memorable melodies and nice harmonies, nestled in 2-3 minutes of pop heaven. There are cool guitar riffs and solos, catchy hooks, and nice changes. At times, the album feels like a throwback to an era of fast cars and jukeboxes, yet the sound  is timeless. This is simple, well written music, with a raw edge. And we like it.  A fun time; a 60’s dance party that you’ll want to invite all of your friends to. Definitely worth  getting up to take a whiff. Favorite tracks: “Backseat“, “Out Of Mind“, “I Need You Here“.

Check it out for yourself here, and get yourself a copy.

Jenny & The Felines-‘Don’t Judge Me’

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 19, 2017 by TheManicBlogger

 

As a follow up to their 2013 album ‘Don’t Look Back‘, New Jersey’s Jenny & The Felines released the 9 track ‘Don’t Judge Me’ in March, 2017. 4 years in the making, and well worth the wait. Backed by a new clowder of cats, the disc is filled with catchy pop melodies, and is significantly more guitar focused. The songs are wonderfully written, encompassing influences from early 1960’s rock, country-blues, power pop, and rockabilly. There are memorable hooks, sweet harmonies, great changes, and way cool riffs.  The lyrics are brilliantly written, with no subject off limits, and I heard some incredible, yet subtle effects. Dynamite cat-pop! Get yourself invited to this feline fiesta, and pick up a copy. Favorite tracks: ‘Mrs. Pratt‘; ‘Jail Bird Johnny‘.

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THE NURSERY-Digital Ashes

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 25, 2016 by TheManicBlogger

the nurseryOne of my favorite Toronto Indie Bands, The Nursery, recently released a 6 track EP, entitled Digital Ashes. I have been a fan  since the 2013 release of Carnival Nature, and they continue to amaze me with wonderful melodies, and socially relevant lyric. These new tracks, at times, seem more electronic, but, these guys make it work. “She Speaks The Wave” delivers a way cool riff, nice keyboards, and a wonderful 1980’s New Wave vibe. “Digital Ashes“, a wonderful electro-pop track showcases the band’s ability to write great melody lines. I dig the cool harmonies of “Ocean’s Of You“, and the dynamite effects on the  instrumental, “Xyloto’s Dream“, are like a trip down weirdly, wonderful lane. “Crystal Beach“, offers cool guitar, nice vocal effects, a dynamite melody, and some sweet keyboards, all with a wonderfully Brit Pop feel. Our Favorite track, “Hexes + Ohs“, has great guitar, and a great feel, with wonderful changes, and a dynamite vocal track, all of which remind me of something XTC. Killer track, and perhaps, a hit single!

An exceptionally fun time created by The Nursery. Wonderful songs, that seem nursery33to have grown darker over the years, but with a blend of pop, wave, and synth pop, that they have made a sound distinctively their own. Still eclectic, and eccentric, Alex Pulic‘s angst ridden vocals pull you in, and hold you there. With a flair for the musically dramatic, this album takes you on an emotional roller coaster. Yes, The Nursery continue to march to the beat of their own drummer, and let’s hope that never changes. Check it out for yourselves. Visit them on facebook. Buy the album. Go see them live.

 

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THE COUNTERACTS-Meet The Counteracts

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 18, 2016 by TheManicBlogger

the counteracts3In 1964, I was listening to Meet The Beatles. 52 years later, I have been listening to The Counteracts ep, “Meet The Counteracts“. Coincidence? I don’t think so. The tribute to The Beatles is evident not only in the release’s title, but the cover design, as well. The duo from Kent, UK, have their heart and soul in Brit pop. A cursory listen to the album will confirm this, however I recommend paying close attention, and give it several listens.There are wonderful pop melodies, cool hooks, nice harmonies, and some dynamite keyboards. I am particularly fond of the piano. The vocal arrangements are sweet, and I dig the hand clapping on ‘The Postbus‘. There is a way cool dreamy vibe and Lennonesque feel (particularly in the bridge)  to ‘You Never Listen‘, and ‘Everyone Gets The Chance (To Love)’, has a wonderful The Kinks thing going on. And, as if the album cover was not enough, the homage to The Beatles version of Twist & Shout at the end of ‘I’ve Got A Crush On You‘, is inspired. I like this band. I like this album. A wonderfully uplifting and fun time, filled with quirky Brit. pop. Check it out for yourself on their bandcamp page, and pay what you can for your very own download….

 

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IVORY HOURS-Morning Light

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 31, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

IH1Its always exciting to find incredible music right in my own backyard.  Ivory Hours, 1 of the wildly talented bands out of London, Ontario are set to release their full length album, ‘Morning Light’, on June 9, 2015.

The songs are insanely good, filled with pop melodies, great harmonies, and wonderful arrangements. The lyrics tell stories, and the choruses are insanely good. Pure pop. With a elements of rock, and blues. The vibe is dynamite. Entertaining & exciting, this Luke Roes can write songs.

 

 

I particularly like “Dreamer“, with its cool vocal track, great changes, and a dynamite chorus. A wonderful opening song. “I Won’t“, delivers a solid pop melody, woven around a great hook. Listen to the keys in “The Priest“. My favorite track, “Like Them“, offers cool changes, and sweet harmonies with a kind of IH3Brit Pop feel. Oh, and check out the guitar. An incredibly wonderful listen! Amazingly pop, with bass and drums providing the perfect backdrop to exceptional melodies. Go out and get 1. Or 2. It is that good. You can stream a few tracks from ‘Morning Light’ at http://ivoryhours.bandcamp.com/, and you can get out and catch one of their record release shows, by checking dates on their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/IvoryHours?fref=ts .

The album is just plain wonderful, providing way cool pop melodies with exceptional arrangements. Definitely in contention for I Can’t Believe My Earz‘s 2015 Indie Album Of The Year.

 

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CMW 2015-Losing My Head With The JAPANESE TONGUE SISTERS

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 13, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

cmw2So, I sat down with Sophie Rodgers & Tom Cecins of the Australian band Japanese Tongue Sisters, on a sun soaked patio on Queen St.W. during Canadian Music Week.

We talked about their upcoming EP release which surprisingly was recorded in Portland, Oregon. Quite a long way from Perth, Australia. It seems that JTS was impressed with producer Kris Crummett, who they had met in their former band We Are The Emergency. So, while they were vacationing in the USA, they bounced over to Portland and recorded the album. There was talk of the emergence of the JTS sound, a far cry from the punk-metal music of We Are The Emergency. Tom identified that they were more or less ‘hired guns’ in that band, and in JTS, they are the driving creative force. I asked them about a review by a Perth writer who stated that their music had a chilled vibe. Tom almost instinctively informed me that chilled vibe was Australian for ‘really fucking good’.

jts3The band uses an wide array of instruments, ideas for which arise in the writing process and in the studio. They do however, have plans to introduce a harp into their work. Now I am intrigued! JTS talks about their songs as “dressed up simple songs”, identifying them as being stripped down to basics, with layers added. Sophie adds that the inspiration for the songs come from personal events for her, while Tom is more of a storyteller.

Currently, Tom is listening to Australian singer/songwriter Sia, and Sophie, well, she has been listening to Bruno Mars. And other pop artists. And Hip Hop. Their musical interests are quite varied, with both of them agreeing that the albums they would take on a desert island would be History by Michael Jackson, Takk by Icelandic band Sigur Ros, and Bon Iver‘s Bon Iver.

jts2We talked about the Australian music scene, and I was informed that JTS have moved from Perth to Melbourne. The reason? Primarily because Perth is so very isolated. Sophie identified that many touring acts bypass Perth as it is so far away from the East coast cities. It was added that Perth does have its own thing going on, which is not surprising, I mean Perth is the home of INXS! Tom & Sophie are planning on tackling Melbourne and the East coast Australian scene head on. Playing as many gigs as they can in advance of their EP release, and continuing to evolve as songwriters.

jts1Sitting down and talking with The Japanese Tongue Sisters was definitely a Canadian Music Week highlight for me. They are delightfully laid back, and wonderfully cool people. Their music is brilliantly poignant, a rhythm & blues feel with layers of strings, piano, synthesizer, and guitar, and insanely good harmonies. It is this intricate layering of instruments that creates the signature ambient sound of The Japanese Tongue Sisters. The music is excitingly emotive. This is avant-garde ‘Roo Pop‘ at its best! I am a fan!  I am eagerly waiting for the release of the album, and in the meantime, I will continue to listen to their single “Lose My Head“.

 

 

Check out their facebook page for updates on the album release and where to see them live.    https://www.facebook.com/japanesetonguesisters

 

 

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OLIVIA & THE CREEPY CRAWLIES-Tongue Tied

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 5, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

occ1One year after the debut of their 2014 EP, ‘Charley‘, London, Ontario’s Olivia & The Creepy Crawlies have released the 5 track ‘Tongue Tied‘. While remaining true to the band’s Canadiana/folk sound, this latest album contains more pop sensibilities than I had anticipated. The melodies are wonderfully cool, with harmonies that seem to come out of nowhere, and vocal tracks that generally blew me away. Olivia Borkosky can sing!  The songs contain nice changes, and arrangements that include violin, electric mandolin, glockenspiel, autoharp, harmonica, and of course, ukulele. There is even hand clapping on “Supervillain“. The resulting sound is magical! There is so much going on here, you need to listen several times to get it all.

 

 

occ‘Tongue Tied’ is filled with wonderfully original songs, that demonstrate a unique approach to creating music as evident in the resulting sound. It is entertaining and uplifting, with wonderfully simple, yet cleverly meaningful lyrics. A wonderful album, that will make you smile. Buy it! Listen to it! Love it!

http://oliviaandthecreepycrawlies.bandcamp.com/album/tongue-tied

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