We’re All In This Together is the latest single form Canadian rock-n-rollers The Sam Roberts Band and the lead single from an upcoming album due in the next couple of months.
I must say I like where the Sam Roberts Gang has been going musically. In this single, it is clear that the band has decided to further their musical horizons in the same jazzy vein as their last offering Collider. While the song retains that distinct Sam Roberts rock sound of power chords and organ accentuation, the addition of horns and singalong choruses give the music a bit more of a cathartic feel (something I felt was a little lacking in the groups early material). I especially liked the swung melodies in the pre-chorus that see the bass and guitar intertwining in an infectious hook that dances like a flame in the wind.
While the lyrical content is true to form for this group (ie: vaguely populist political sentiment straight from 1967 and/or a sobering amount of sadness about life’s troubles), it meshes rather nicely with the peppier sound that the boys have put together for this single.
This song, like every other single Sam Roberts and Co. have released, is edging out a respectable amount of airplay on Canadian rock radio, which makes me happy. For those of you outside Canada who have maybe not heard much of Sam Roberts/The Sam Roberts Band, I recommend exploring their back catalogue. Another solid single from a solid rock group.
Before Your Very Eyes is the opening track on AMOK, the 2013 debut from Atoms For Peace. While the members themselves don’t call themselves a supergroup, many music fans would be particularly inclined to view this band in that way; especially since its members include Thom Yorke of Radiohead, Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and producer/electronic composer Nigel Godrich. While these three musicians may seem poles apart in terms of genre and influences (and believe me, they are); they come together in a genre-bending chaos of sound that can only be known as Atoms For Peace. There’s too many “real” instruments for this to be strictly electronic music, the beat is too dance-able for it to be ambient, and it’s too ambient to be proper EDM. It is just Atoms For Peace, straight and clean.
Now I must admit, like anything Thom Yorke is involved in, this track can be a bit difficult to accept at first listen. There’s a ton of sound layering going on that warrants at least 2-3 listens before the song really makes an impact (at least in my case). But when this song impacts, it IMPACTS.
This song is nothing short of an aural film. The complex percussion rhythms created by multiple track layering slither like a bed of snakes while the distorted synth and computer soundscrash in sharp, static waves on the warm sandy guitar tones. All the while Yorke’s echo-laden vocal performance acts the siren; sweetly singing lyrics of the vacuous allure of youth and beauty while hinting at the impending prospect of old age that lies in wait. All of these elements homogenize in a way that allows the listener to unfold the sounds they hear; choosing to focus on any of the given tracks to gain a fresh insight into the song.
Now, multiply that by 9 and you’ve got AMOK. A fascinating blend of styles and sounds that sure to please those who like to try and decode songs for their hidden pearls of insight.
Come A Little Closer is the teaser single for the Bowling Green, Kentucky based group’s upcoming third album Melophobia. Shifting gears quite a bit from their earlier work, Cage the Elephant has put together a much more elaborate and polished song than one would expect to hear off of either their debut album Cage the Elephant or their sophomore release, Thank you Happy Birthday. The group seems to have matured a bit from their first two albums with this track, layering on soulful, yet icy flourishes that build into a chorus that manages to remain subdued. With much more groove and low end emphasis than expected, Cage the Elephant demonstrate that they aren’t a one-trick indie/punk pony. While this track does retain more distorted guitar and vocal tracks that have become standard for this group, the heavier bassline and added keys give the song a degree of depth that accentuate the lyrical content well (even if the lyrics don’t exactly make sense). A bit of a shift in gears from a group that was getting stale. I for one am interested in seeing if Cage the Elephant have re-invented themselves on this new record, or merely put out the “most different” song as the lead single. Only time can tell.
The Fall is a single from Rhye’s 2013 debut Woman. The Canadian-Danish duo have demonstrated their artistic flair with this down-to-earth, soulful track. Blending contemporary easy-listening indie sounds with a more traditional soul rhythm, The Fall has a sultry, yet laid back feel. Using traditional instruments such as the piano, slide guitar, and a brass and string ensemble, Rhye has crafted a song that has a timeless quality that just might have more longevity than it’s computer and synth focused contemporaries. Although I’m not entirely sure whether to label this track as indie or as soul (or perhaps neo soul), it is clear to me that Rhye has written a truly exceptional easy listening song in The Fall.
Peaches is the latest single from Los Angeles duo In The Valley Below. Released in early 2013 the song still relatively young and is already starting to gain notoriety. With an infectious combination of grunge guitar chording, art rock organ sounds, and disco dance beat; the song captures the best of several genres and synthesizes them into a delicious single. The harmonized vocals are well placed and crisp, grabbing the listener’s attention when necessary then easing off to allow the music to speak for itself. A great piece of indie rock, Peaches is a fantastic start to what I only hope is a long career full of great songs by In The Valley Below.