I’ve gushed about my love for the music that Bernadette Malavarca and Catherine McGowan make before here on Jersey Audible, but their new EP Heart Wide Open is really something special. The sounds are polished and flow flawlessly from song to song. There is depth, darkness and glimmers of light in the tracks that they’ve given to us this time around. While hunting for meaning in life’s monotony, their lyrics and rhythm are the fuel that get you through the day.
On the title track of the EP, the drums pound for a few seconds before Bernadette belts out the first line of, “Everyone’s a hypocrite, full of shit and can’t commit. Me too, sometimes,” it’s a reminder that we’re all human and imperfect, no matter how much we strive for perfection. The important thing is to keep yourself open enough to experience happiness and love when it comes your way.
It’s really a toss up, but I think that "Beautiful Morning" is my favorite track on the album. The first time I saw Bern & the Brights in perform in person, this was the song that stuck in my head for days after. It’s a song about new beginnings and starting over every single day, whether you decided to make changes or continue on with your own mistakes. Wearing armor in order to protect ourselves is all part of the game. The day is still beautiful and the sun is still bright, even if the things going on around us are dark.
You can check Bern & the Brights out on Soundcloud and Facebook, but real magic happens when you experience their music in person. Their EP release party is at Maxwell’s Tavern in Hoboken on November 6th. Be there or be square to be one of the first people to get your hands on a copy of Heart Wide Open.
When I listen to any Peaches album, I feel free. I feel like there is no one looking over my shoulder judging me as I dance. There is power in every word she spits out of her mouth and her hypnotic beats get into your brain before you can even stop yourself from moving. Her newest album is called Rub and it's arguably my favorite to date.
Peaches takes us on a journey that teases us with sexual exploration and a pinch (OK, maybe more than a pinch) of raunch. She is completely unashamed to push her fans to think about the world around them. Her deadpan delivery and hard popping dance beats resonate and make you move your body. It’s her aggression that I love so much.
After listening to Rub on repeat for the past week, there is one song that I can’t get out of my head. The track is called “Dick in the Air,” and it’s pretty amazing. With mysterious snapping fingers and lightening fast drum machines quickening the beat behind her, she answers the age old question, “Whose jizz is this?” She sings, “I’m sick of hands in the air/We shake our asses like we don’t care/We’ve been shakin’ our tits for years so let’s switch positions/no inhibitions.”
If Peaches had her way, everyone in the world would be completely comfortable with their own sexuality and whatever that entails. She continues to focus her attention on sexual expression and acceptance, blurring lines and making you think .
As an artist, Peaches is provocative because that is sincerely her most authentic self. She drives the music with her mind and the rhythm is her pulse. Her lyrics are sometimes so outlandish that they’re silly...but it very intentionally makes you take a look directly into the eyes of the patriarchy and realize that objectifying women is old news. Peaches is where it’s at.
Grace Potter's new album Midnight is not what I was expecting and it serves me right for thinking that this Queen of the stage didn't have any new tricks stuffed up her sleeve. As the front woman for Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, her edgy voice and style screamed sensuality that was rough around the edges into the face of her audience. With Midnight, the same sensuality is there, but instead of being backed by hard guitars that sometimes twang, we get to see a new and unique pop side of her.
The songs on Midnight are very catchy. It's a pop-rock album that is perfectly balanced to include her old fans while making a ton of new ones. The energized songs make you want to dance and those with a slower tempo make you want to commiserate with your friends. In Delirious, you are driven right back to Potter's rock roots. That track pulls the entire album together and wraps it up like a present for those of us who have been checking her out since her beginnings.
Grace's voice is smoking and she proves on this album that she possesses the vocal talent to back up whatever style of music she decides to sing. Switching genres for an album does not mean that she's lost one ounce of street cred. She's making the music that she wants to make and you can tell how passionate she is with every note she belts out.
This collection of songs lets you see a side of Potter that you may have never imagined possible. She's furiously exploring herself and all sides of her art. While my own preference leans a bit more towards her previous harder rocking albums, this one is also solid. Midnight covers a wide range of emotions, and you can feel Grace's heart beating in each of them.
Dawes new record, All Your Favorite Bands, is all about remembering. While you're listening to their tight harmonies and flowing riffs, you'll go back in time to a place where songs told actual stories and expressed feelings. They combine folk rock storytelling with a little twang of country from time to time.
Singer songwriter Taylor Goldsmith takes care of the lead vocals and guitar, with Wylie Gelber on bass and Tay Strathairn on keyboards. Taylor's brother, Griffin, plays drums and, along with Tay, provides background vocals to Taylor's smooth lyrics. There are points on this record where each of them shine while they experiment with their talents and add their own experiences into the band's obvious chemistry. All Your Favorite Bands is like a cross country journey, with each song flowing seamlessly into the next.
After two plays of the album, I was already singing along. Taylor's songs are deep and make you wonder about your own life. Whether you feel stuck in your past, comfortable in your present or spend time yearning for your future...he seems to understand. There is tension and betrayal mixed with happiness and hope, sometimes within the same song.
My favorite song on the album is “Things Happen,” it's the story of moving through life and continuing to evolve no matter what curve balls come your way. I needed this song in my life right now, and I'm sure that there are tons of people who feel the same way I do.
Let's make a list of all the things the world has put you through
Let's raise a glass to all the people you're not speaking to
I don't know what else you wanted me to say to you...
Things happen, that's all they ever do.
...and isn't that the truth.
Though sometimes the songs on All Your Favorite Bands are melancholy, within the next minute you'll be smiling to yourself, remembering past lovers, good times and friends.
You can check out their website , just make sure you snatch up All Your Favorite Bands as quickly as you can.
Brandi Carlile is one of those artists that I'll never tire of. At this point, she feels like an old friend who is just telling her life story as the pieces of the puzzle fall into place. Every album she releases is like another love letter to life and her fans. Her newest is called The Firewatcher's Daughter, and it's pretty much amazing. Every note is sweet, every lyric is real and there's no denying that she has massive amounts of talent.
If you've listened to any of her music in the past decade, you'll know that she has a killer set of pipes that are unrelenting when it comes to emotion. On this album, like so many before, she is joined on bass and guitar by The Twins, brothers Phil and Tim Hanseroth, and the trio has created a magical look at the world through the introspective songs. Because they have performed together for so long, there is a familiarity and a kinship to the sounds that they are able create together. When she's singing all by herself, Brandi's voice is just as strong as it has ever been. She makes melodies rip right through your ears so that they can travel with lightening speed to the tips of your toes....but it's their three-part harmonies that will give you chills, and sometimes make you blink back tears. Make no mistake though, when it comes time to bring down the house these musicians are all rocking right along side each other.
The Firewatcher's Daughter flows through highs and lows. There are gritty up-beat songs like Mainstream Kid, as well as softer soul searching tunes, like The Eye (which, incidentally, is my favorite song on the album). From her recent marriage and venture into motherhood, to her constant touring and evolving, you can really feel your way through Brandi's life experiences by each of 12 tracks in this eclectic collection.
If you start at the beginning of Brandi's career and work your way through her discography, you can feel the progression in her art. At this point, with over a decade's worth of albums in the bag, she's become a seasoned veteran who knows exactly what she wants you to feel when you listen to what she's playing. Her music belongs to all of us, and The Firewatcher's Daughter is by far Brandi's best album to date.
I'm pretty much hooked on Chastity Belt's new album Time to Go Home. There's a flow to the placement of the songs that drags you right into their world of reverb, rock and innuendo. It's a powerful record that keeps swooping in on the highs and lows of life and friendship, while making your feet tap and your soul pulse in time with the heavy cymbal crashes. This is music that you can really feel with your mind, body and soul, and the band makes no apologies for making you think while you're listening.
Chastity Belt is a four-piece all female band consisting of Julia Shapiro (guitar), Lydia Lund (guitar), Annie Truscott (bass) and Gretchen Grimm (drums). They're BFF's in real life, and from the cheesy 80's style photos they are tossing out all over the Internet, you can tell that they're all about having a good time with their music. They take themselves seriously enough for success, but they also leave a little wiggle room for the party. It translates into their music with tons of catchy rhythms and a feel-good punk style.
Time to Go Home is the type of album that makes you crave a long drive in the summer time. When their homegrown Seattle sound is pumping through your speakers, it takes you back to all the good times and hard nights simultaneously. This is an important album from start to finish because of it's message. From the anti-slut shaming anthem Cool Slut, to the slow groove and unwinding finish of IDC (I Don't Care), there are multiple levels to their art, lyrics and feminism.
Check out their new album, there's no way you're going to regret the experience, and you're going to be humming along with them in no time.
05.19.15 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
05.20.15 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
05.21.15 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
05.22.15 - Brooklyn, NY - Rough Trade Records (late show)
When you hear people talking about Michaela McClain they are going to be comparing her to a wide variety of artists, from India Arie to Ella Fitzgerald. The truth of the matter is that she has a voice and a sound all of her own. The New Jersey native just released her third EP called Bittersweet Melodies, and it has the same familiar warmth that her fans and friends have grown accustomed to.
Music is in Michaela's blood. She comes from a very musical family. At the Jersey Acoustic Music Awards in 2013 Michaela and her band were given the award for Top Indie Act. The accolade only added to her intense desire to succeed and share her songs with everyone she possibly could. When you listen to her catalog of music, you'll pick up on nuances of her favorite artists while she weaves her words around your ears. You can see in her eyes that the music she's creating is a piece of her soul.
Though she’s staying true to her roots her new EP launches her to a whole new level of funk with the sweet sounds of her voice. It's like you're on a roller coaster with Michaela standing at the controls, taking you on a ride with her vocal chords. She's heavy handed on the keys of a piano, and she keeps the groove going from moment she opens her mouth to sing until she's lowering her head at the end of the set.
The 5 song EP is available for sale on iTunes or in person at any of her shows. Michaela is making the rounds all over the Garden State and a few spots in New York. Catching up with her for an evening of slow groves is always a good idea.
The Gray Company is a local Indie band from Union, New Jersey. Staying true to their roots, they have been promoting themselves at live gigs around the area since they first formed. They've been working hard behind the scenes and have just released their very first EP, called Island Fortress, Island Home. It's an artistically motivated piece of music from beginning to end, and you won't be able to get the songs out of your head for days after your first listen.
The female-fronted foursome includes Zebeeb Awalom (Vocals/Guitar), Jason Fandino (Guitar), Josh Howard (Percussion) and Adrian Kabigting (Bass). You can sense the chemistry involved in the creativity of their songs when you hear how well the friends mesh together sonically. The melodies will make you want to dance, but listening to Zebeeb's sweet, soulful vocals will sometimes make you want to cry.
Lyrically, they have transformed their emotions into pure poetry, occasionally borrowing ideas from literary figures like Oscar Wilde and Kurt Vonnegut. There's no doubt about the fact that they create an intelligent, rocking sound that will make you think. You'll nod your head in agreement with the hard-hitting drums as Zebeeb sings about how very lonely it is to be alive sometimes. Her voice can make a soul meditate right along with the groove of the bass and guitars. You can actually feel the pain and sadness of the words while taking comfort in the thought that someone feels exactly like you do.
You can check out The Gray Company's website for more info and an up to date listing of their gigs around the state. You can either grab a copy of Island Fortress, Island home on their Bandcamp page or the next time you see them playing live.
The subtle sweet sound of acoustic guitars, a piano and sheer awesomeness, brings warmth and tone to this folky kick ass coaster ride of smooth grooves, great vocal pairings, fantastical songwriting and sweet sweet melodies. This Indie Rock Trio from New Brunswick, New Jersey, consisting of Brain Curry, Jeff Petescia and Steve Shimchick came together to create a delightful album of alternative folk music with their debut LP - SOMEWHERE NEW, and it’s almost as if Fleet Foxes and Dispatch had a love child and out popped Cold Weather Company. It’s music that touches your soul, makes you enjoy a memory and ultimately an intimate, passionate album full of pleasant riffs and lovely melodies. The guitar work on this album is outstanding and how it flows so well with the piano, it’s refreshing to hear such talent on a single release. First song is Horizon Fire, setting the tone for the following tracks, Fellow in the North, Steer, Inside your Eyes and Someone Else, each track on its own, is beautiful and the deeper you get into this album, the better it gets. Some of my favorite tracks are Hey Bodham Dae, Garden and Fall Low. While listening to Garden you get this lovely surprise around 3:50, just superb. Jasmine and Tumbling are solid tracks for me. Recollection, Fall Low and Seafarer close out the album and are tight sounding tracks to do so.
Honestly, every single song on this album, from track 1 to track 13, I’ve fallen in love with it and for those of you who read these reviews, I urge you, no I implore you, find this music, share it, love it, listen to it, like really listen but most of all, enjoy the hell out of it. All in all, this album is truly worth a listen, even if you're not really into the whole indie rock/alternative folk scene, this would be a great album to check out.
Night Terror of 1927 - Everything's Coming Up Roses
There's a fresh new beginning happening on the new Night Terrors of 1927 album, Everything's Coming Up Roses. The pop/rock duo of Jarrod Gorbel and Blake Sennett have been making musical magic happen since the origin of the band in 2012. Together, they have been collaborating to create some of the most personally honest and satisfying art of their lives. With plenty of headlining gigs in their future, their fan base is constantly gaining momentum as they tour to support their new music.
Most of the songs on Everything's Coming Up Roses are anthems. People are likening them to Arcade Fire and U2, but Night Terrors of 1927 have a unique feel to their sound that makes me hesitate in making any comparison at all.
There are pop synth melodies that catch your ears by surprise and don't let you go until they've had their way with you. They make you want to go for long drives with the windows down, so that you can sing at the top of your lungs and feel the wind in your hair. While the subject matter is often of losing love or of love that has already been lost, the tone is hopeful for the future.
Lyrically, the songs have matured since the last time we heard music from Night Terrors of 1927 (Guilty Pleas, their first EP was released in November 2013) though their core identity is still the same. One song, Dust and Bones, appears on Guilty Pleas, but was reworked and leads off the track list of Everything's Coming Up Roses.
On the track “When You Were Mine” Indy rock sisters Tegan & Sara make an appearance. With sounds that are sometimes very similar, both groups blend as if they were born to make music with each other. I've got my fingers crossed that this isn't the last time they collaborate.
Everything's Coming Up Roses has an optimistic view, with plenty of hard hitting hooks that you'll be repeating over and over again. The album was released on January 20, 2015, and they're releasing a few videos on their YouTube Channel. Checking out the new album will be the best thing you've done all day.
The September Girls make music that fills up your brain with catchy hooks and spooky rhythms. They are a five piece, all-female noise pop band, originally from Dublin, Ireland, who formed in 2011. You can hear the sound of the grungy musicians evolve when you make your way through their discography. Since then, they've released a few 7” records in the past, but it's their LP Cursing the Sea that paved the way for their sound. The follow-up, Veneer, was released in November 2014.
Band members Paula Cullen (Bass), Caoimhe Derwin (Rhythm Guitar), Lauren Kerchner (Keys), and Jessie Ward (Lead Guitar) all take a turn at singing lead vocals on the 4 track EP. Drummer Sarah Grimes keeps the rhythm consistently crashing down and is unrelentingly smooth throughout. The piercing melodies will create shadows in your ears that will be following you around for days after your first listen. Each woman has her own unique sound, and reverb combines with sweet lullabies as they take their turn in the spotlight.
The September Girls have a style that is a mixture of goth, punk and garage band flavors. Channeling the Ramones and Joy Division, with a hint of female fronted metal, like Babes in Toyland, the September Girls are unpredictable in their sound. Somehow, Veneer flows together seamlessly from beginning to end. You won't forget how vulnerable they seem, or how powerful they are. This music is moody, and it's perfect for dancing in the dark with a few candles lit to amp up the atmosphere.
The September Girls also have a visual accompaniment to their EP, which they've been releasing on their YouTube channel. Watching them interpret their songs that way was exactly like I imagined it would be; raw, eerie, creative and nostalgic.
You can check out their YouTube channel for the double length video for Veneer and Black Oil, which they released in the beginning of January.
Indie folk rock sisters Lily & Madeleine will haunt your dreams with their voices in the most kind, and interesting ways possible. Their sophomore album Fumes is full of heartbreak and intensity, combined with war stories from the trials and tribulations of living on the road. When you mix their melodic vocals with heavy folk guitars and catchy lyrics that drive you to sing along, you will instantly fall under their spell.
The maturity of their lyrics and their honest, hypnotic choruses make the sisters (Lily is 17, while Madeline just turned 20) seem like they've been living through decades and decades of pain and passion. With Lily on the guitar and Madeline on the keyboard, they weave their stories together with pulsing melodies. You can feel the pounding of the singers hearts in their instruments, as their voices surround each other and intertwine in close, yet perfect, harmonies.
The duo is originally from Indianapolis, Indiana, and they were discovered just over two years ago, after a YouTube video went viral through a push on Reddit. With a few local shows under their belt, Sufjan Stevans, of Asthmatic Kitty Records, heard the magic that these ladies create, and signed them to his label. Madeline's voice is the soprano of the two, and there are smokey wisps of mystery as she collides with the lower, deeper tones of Lily's. They both were loosely trained on the piano at an early age, but were never pushed into performing; this came later as a natural progression as the sisters grew as artists.
It has been less than a year since the duo released their first self titled album, Lily and Madeleine. Though the sisters admit that the press came up with the idea, they are pushing themselves to stay on track with an “Album a Year” philosophy, and are constantly working on new songs to feed to their hungry fans.
After you listen to Fumes all the way through, you'll find yourself humming along for hours after you've paused the record, and the lyrics will resonate in your mind for some time after you've committed most of them to memory. We all carry our souls with us, and with Fumes Lily and Madeline force theirs outside into the world, for everyone else to enjoy.
Fuels the desire for something out of the ordinary, a perfect blend of vocals and instruments. Shakey Graves doesn’t fall short, with sweet sounding vocals, smooth and subtle guitar work, and some toe tapping drums. There is no need to hit shuffle with this album, just push play it through and jam. They have a country, folk, rock, indie thing going on and it works to perfection. The album as a whole plays well, from track one to eleven, it's just seriously set up well, each song complementing one another in this wonderful harmony that I find very pleasant, but if I had to name some of my favorite tracks, I do love all of them, Dearly Departed (feat Esme Patterson), The Perfect Parts, Hard Wired, Pansy Waltz, House of Winston and If Not For You; would have to be some of my favs. All in all, the whole album is great, it’s got something for everyone and is just really great music. So please check it out, buy their album and support an awesome artist!!
Brand new music out from Nashville indie rockers Dinner and a Suit, released a solid EP - Stay in October.
Can’t Get Enough leads this EP to new heights, with some mellow indie vibes. This title track gets your head moving and your body grooving, it’s an overall well performed and produced song that has been picking up some major radio play on the indie underground circuit. The vocals are solid, lyrically talented, combined with a blissful indie sound and you have the making of a killer first song off, following Can’t Get Enough are the solid tracks, Get You Back, A Way Out and Everything That You Do. I know it’s an EP but I WANT MORE!!!!! Get You Back and A Way Out have a unique sound and really gives you an idea of what this band is capable of, great guitar work, each song flows and the artist have invoked some really great sounds. The EP wraps up with Everything That You Do, solid song with themes that we can all relate to and a great way to end this EP.
So a top Notch release by Dinner and a Suit, keep this band on your radar, because, seriously its only a matter of time…
Are you ready to take a journey to the land of the synths…..someone just time warped me to the 80’s but good music is actually playing. The music I am referring to is the debut album from the Bleachers, “Strange Desire.” The album was written and produced by Jack Antonoff , (of bands Steel Train and fun.) It starts off with the killer track “Wild Heart”, with a sweet intro that just keeps climbing and climbing. Second track “RollerCoaster”, is exactly what it means, I could swear it came off the Say Anything soundtrack. It has a wonderful nostalgic feel to it. The first single “I Wanna Get Better,” really drives the album, it’s one of those songs that you can put on repeat and get carried away. There is so much depth to each song, it is truly a refreshing sound and an all around great album. The bassline on “You’re Still a Mystery” is sweet, then the drums start to kick, those vocals and you just found yourself 80’s dancing, in the daylight, without a care in the world. The track “I’m Ready to Move on/Wild Heart Reprise” features Yoko Ono, is a nice little gem. The closing track, “Who I Want You to Love,” is an acoustic melody to close out a great album.
The whole album is good, they’re all key tracks. Give it a listen and let the Bleachers take you away…
If you were at Warped Tour this year you may have heard 3PM, the pop punk band comes straight out of Baltimore, Maryland. Having also done a show recenly with All Time Low, the momentum for this band is moving in the right direction. 3PM’s sophomore album Slow Me Down drops August 15th and I honestly haven’t found a song on it that I don’t like! Down to the nitty gritty; the album kicks off with the track “Something New” and keeps hitting hard, with subtle hints of influences from Blink, New Found Glory and Yellowcard, but 3PM crafts their own blend. The song “Lazer Tag” fits perfectly as track six, breaking up the album and geting you ready for the final se. The guitar lick towards the end of the song is on point. Then there is the track “This is Right”, and you're damn right it is, because this album just feels right. “Something New”, “Slow Me Down,” and “My Soul On Fire” are some of my favorite songs. To end it all, I can say this, 3PM’s future is bright and full of punk rock...I just can’t wait to see what comes next.
I give this album 5 fists of FURY!!!! Check it out on August 15th; drop those windows and cruise!
Don’t kill the magic….well I sure don’t want to and according to the billboard top 100, with Rude sitting at number 1, it sure seems like no one else does. The Band - MAGIC! currently position unstoppable…..they literally just came out of nowhere, it was like oh hey lalala nothing going on then….WHAT IS THIS SONG…all over the radio, crazy amount of plays, this song is unstoppable and has really put the band on everyones map. The song Rude is catchy and has a sweet island sound, chillin on a beach vibe, but then brings it back to real life with the lyrics. .
Digging through the rest of the album, we do have some gems. The whole album is everything you would expect from the title track, sweet rhymes and great lyrics. My favorite tracks are Paradise, which has an upbeat Police feel to it and so does the next track Don’t Kill the Magic. Most of the songs on the album have that feel good pop island vibe. They slow it down on the track One Women One Man and then smack you in the face with sweet sound on the following track Little Girl Big World. The closing track of the album titled How do you Want to be Remembered , which is something we all can relate to. So Don’t Kill the Magic and check out these sweet summertime grooves.
Welcome to electronic rock/pop, oh wait, you think you have been here before….think again...because here comes Savages by Breathe Carolina, so you need to “Ride or Die.” Track one Bury Me, epicly sweet intro, great song to start an album with, gets the ears perking and the body moving. Speaking of body moving, so does the next track Bang it Out, with synth in the background of the track, we have all been there, so crank up the volume and “bang it out, til the sun comes down.” Sellouts breaks away from the arrangement of the first two songs, its harder, faster and angry, but in a good way. “Shots Fired” is more mellow. “Collide” has a sexy grooving beat with sweet breakdowns and vocal filters, the beat brings you down and brings you right back up again, so far my fav straight club track on this album.
As I get deeper into the album, it just keeps getting better and better, they managed to create this really unique sound, blending club, pop, BPM and just pretty much everything else to create this feel good album that will leave you hitting repeat
“Shadows” is dubsteppy but not too much, just enough dubness, has these nice light synths that just come in and float for a minute and get that head movin’. The tracks Savages, Chasing Hearts, I Don’t know what i’m Doing and Mistakes are a great way to bring a fantastic album to a close. Whether you’re hitt’n the club with your crew or blastin’ down to the jersey shore or whatever you’re doing and you just want to groove, jam, max out and rage, Savages will give you that release… ENJOY!
Sia’s new album “1000 forms of fear” captures and excites its listeners from track 1, which is the popular song Chandelier. The tunefully charged arrangements in this album break away from stereotypical female artist. Sia isn’t afraid to get down and dirty with emotions on “ A 1000 Forms of Fear” Sia’s edgy and expressive vocals appealing and at oftentimes painfully beautiful unique delivery: often slurring her lyrics as they cascade over the electronic enhanced melodies. Her lyrics create throught provoking situations often in unexpected ways, most times straying away from the from traditional pop singing 101. I highly recommend “A 1000 Forms of Fear” for anyone looking for a strong, memorable, bracingly honest and lyrical melodies that will leave you brilliantly exhilarated.
To these ears, Beverly’s debut Careers sounds as though it might have been lost in a time capsule from 1992 and just this year unearthed. This is not, however, to say that it sounds dated. Although there are shades of everything from The Jesus and Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine to The Replacements and (particularly) The Pixies to be heard on this eclectic, charmingly lo-fi collection of (what I’m calling) surfgaze tracks - each one reminding you of some amazing song you heard when you were 15 and just discovering how music could be completely different from what you were hearing on the radio - it never seems stale. Careers, in fact, stands so defiantly fresh and animated on its own that it’s not so much standing as it is leaping – except when it slouches like the fictional, sullen teenage character the band conceived of to inspire its name. Effortlessly ping-ponging back and forth between lush and crunchy the way that it does, it’s difficult to imagine this record being birthed as a side project. But if Beverly’s beginnings may be humble and the band’s aesthetic familiar, nothing can detract from the luscious harmonies swimming up from beneath a sea of fuzz on “Honey Do.” Or the dreamy drone of “Yale’s Life.” Even the herky-jerky post-punk squelch of “Ambular,” the only track that sounds vaguely out of place, suggests an exciting depth of possibilities for the band. If Drew Citron and Frankie Rose are leading the charge of a 90s revival, it’s time to dig the flannel out of those mothballed boxes in the basement.
Standout tracks: Honey Do, Planet Birthday, Yale’s Life, You Can’t Get it Right
Lovers League’s eponymous EP sounds like a leisurely drive with the top down on a sunny day. It’s frequently pleasant but, just like the hours melt away without distinction when driving aimlessly, so too do several of the songs in the middle of this well-crafted, slickly produced offering blend into one another. The musicianship is impeccable, and Reverend TJ McGlinchey’s nasally drawl compliments Dani Mari’s smoky vocals beautifully, but the whole affair ends up feeling light and inconsequential. Which is a shame, because the engine revs up with the boisterous stomp of “Cowboy,” promising more than it will eventually deliver. Nothing goes especially wrong, per se. “Glass Jaw,” is slight but lovely. “It’s Alright,” is summed up perfectly by its title and “Take Me to an Island” never makes any allusions about its aspirations, declaring its general lack of purpose with the chorus, telling us plainly, “It’s all I ever wanted to say,” over an out of place bossa nova beat. But by the time “Telephone Wire” comes along with its palette-cleansing hillbilly banjo-picking and the mood becomes something more than merely – eh - nice, it feels like much more than the preceding three songs and nine or so minutes have passed. Thankfully, “Thinking it Over,” winds Lovers League’s debut down on a transcendent high note, with its haunting, reflective lyrics and sad twang. There’s a lot of promise here and it’s easy to appreciate how talented everyone involved is. Hopefully the duo keeps recording and excises some of the fluff, because it’s easy to see the skeleton of a masterpiece here, even if you have to squint a little.
Standout tracks: Cowboy, Telephone Wire, Thinking it Over