August 2016 Music Picks

Beck “Wow”  

As a longtime admirer of Beck’s creative originality, I confess this one had me scratching my head a bit at first.  (Even Beck himself expressed surprise that it was chosen as a single).  “Wow” is an apt moniker for this tune about “the moments in life that leave you in awe of the world.”  Still, the more I hear this innovative bit of “wild funk hip-pop”, the more I come to love it – the deep bass beats and brittle snare mingled with sugary synth and backing vocals is a cool, fun, contemporary tune.  Giddy-up!

 

 

Young The Giant “Something To Believe In”

Young the Giant’s new track “Something To Believe In” isn’t a song that plays quietly in the background.  It demands your attention and mesmerizes you with its dark, haunting melody and emotive vocals.  This California-based rock band that debuted in 2010 continues to improve with each new album.  Young The Giant has had three previous Top 5 Alternative hits to date; this may be their best one yet.  From the eagerly anticipated new album “Home of the Strange” that comes out this week (August 12).

 

 

Hozier “Better Love”

I was delighted to see one of my 2014 faves return with a new song written for the Legend of Tarzan movie.  With a quiet piano intro that slowly builds into an orchestral crescendo, “Better Love” is classic Hozier, from his soulful voice to the finely crafted lyrics: “I once kneeled in shaking thrill, I chase the memory of it still….chided by that silence of a hush sublime, blind to the purpose of the brute divine…I have never loved a darker blue, than the darkness I have known in you.”

 

 

888 – “Critical Mistakes”

Denver based alternative-electro band 888 includes several former members of the metalcore band Drop Dead Gorgeous (a band highly recommended by locals during the time I lived in Denver, and last heard from in 2013).  The 888 debut EP “The Decades” (now re-titled “Critical Mistakes EP”) unveils a softer melodic pop-synth sound that is catching on at several alternative stations around the nation, and has been receiving rave reviews and prediction of a bright musical future for this reincarnated band.  The lead track “Critical Mistakes” is accompanied by an emotional video about forgiveness.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWAk_CUmpIo

 

 

21 Pilots “Heathens”

If it’s possible for 21 Pilots to release a sub-par song, I have yet to hear it.  Their latest track “Heathens” is a moody, edgy tune that continues the band’s penchant for philosophical, introspective lyrics and metaphors. We’re all “broken weirdos with issues” in one way or another.  The song is a perfect fit for the “Suicide Squad” soundtrack – a DC comics fantasy/crime anti-hero film– on which it is featured.

 

 

Moth and the Flame “Red Flag”

Originally hailing from Provo, Utah and now based in LA, Moth and the Flame is an alt-rock quartet with a liberal splash of pop/synth tossed in the mix.  The band made their debut in 2011, showcased at SXSW in 2013, and have toured with Imagine Dragons, Neon Trees, Naked & Famous and Big Data.  The inevitable comparisons place them somewhere between Soundgarden and Walk The Moon, with shades of U2 and Echo & the Bunnymen –the latter no doubt due to the compelling vocal delivery of singer Brandon Robbins.  Their latest single “Red Flag”, from the 2015 album “Young and Unafraid”, is a driving, upbeat anthem of excess vs. moderation, tinged with melancholy lyrics (“Love is a one-way street headed away from me…”) and an instantaneous appeal.

 

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Music and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s