Pretty Sad – “Pretty Sad EP” & Internet Recording Methods

I just happened upon the debut EP from European lo-fi pop act Pretty Sad, whose music has been accurately labeled, “sadwave.” I’ve so vaguely described the band as European, because its three members span the Continent, hailing from Denmark, Scotland, and The United Kingdom. With the help of Dropbox and Garageband, the band crafted a striking debut; three delightfully airy songs for your continuously cooling surroundings.

The curious side of me is stimulated at the thought of the band’s recording methods. Question: In the future, are most musical releases going to be made like this? Coincidentally enough, I was recently pitched a social media platform for musicians. The concept allowed people to upload a piece of music, and ask other members of the site for a drum line or a bass line. Together, they could build a song using The Internet. I’m not going to name the organization because I really didn’t like that it was a paid membership, but I’m intrigued by their premise.

Pretty Sad seem to make it work. I think the EP sounds great. And if we can get social media service – preferably free – where great talent can find other great talent, then I’m all for it. Enjoy.

FREE TIX CONTEST! “Graveface Roadshow” (feat. The Casket Girls) Friday @ Will’s Pub

Holy shit, this is exciting! I’m so EXCITED! AREN’T YOU EXCITED FOR THE THING I HAVEN’T TOLD YOU ABOUT?!?! okay. So here’s the thing. I was contacted by Graveface Records, and they asked me to help them promote the “Graveface Roadshow” this Friday @ Will’s Pub. The show features Graveface Records’ artists: The Casket Girls (featuring Ryan Graveface from Black Moth Super Rainbow), The Stargazer Lilies, and Dreamend. Tickets are $10, but if you go to The Vinyl Warhol Facebook Page you can enter a contest to win a free pair of your tickets! The contest ends tomorrow, so be sure not to dawdle. OMG FREE SHIT! Want to know what’s in store for Friday? Keep reading. Enjoy.

ENTER THE TICKET GIVEAWAY ON FACEBOOK! DON’T YOU FUCK THIS UP FOR ME!

The Casket Girls

Can a band name contain the word “Girls” if one of their members is a guy? Why not!? Savannah-based trio, The Casket Girls is made up of sisters Phaedra and Elsa Greene, teamed with Ryan Graveface (Graveface Records, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Dreamend). The band formed in 2012 and quickly put out their debut-album Sleepingwalking. Only last month, The Casket Girls second full-length True Love Kills the Fairy Tale was unleashed into an unsuspecting world. A combination of avant-garde style psych-rock and hook-filled indie pop, the album is chocked full of tight melodies, sultry vocals, and shimmery tones. Imagine an LSD-fueled world rich with color, and you’ve reached The Casket Girls’ reality. 


The Stargazer Lilies

The Stargazer Lilies’s music casts a dark ambient shadow over all it touches. Members John Cep and Kim Field’s previous act, Soundpool is striped to it’s most bare essentials, creating what the band themselves describes as “no bullshit sunshine haze.” Their debut-album We Are The Dreamers was released last October, with reviews raving their ambient minimalist direction. K Field’s vocals are a light mist that envelope the listener with coupled feelings of sorrow and happiness, and their sounds conjure both your brightest fantasies and your darkest nightmares.

Dreamend

Dreamend is a solo venture by Ryan Graveface featuring a revolving door of freaks and weirdos (I don’t actually know them personally, they could be lovely people). Their sound is a mixture of spacey psych-rock and acoustic folk music. Its been a few years since their last release, but they have teased at new music coming this year.

Album Review: all boy/all girl – “Tiny Iglesia”

all boy/all girl is an abstract chamber-pop act based out of New York CityThe band recently contacted me, asking if I could review their debut album Tiny Iglesia. I was floored when I received a beautiful green marbled LP and a lovely hand-written letter from the band (they were obviously after my heart). So here my friends is all boy/all girl. Enjoy.

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This band is neither all boy or all girl, they are a collection of both.

With a total of seven members in all boy/all girl, the band incorporates a vast amount of different instruments and sounds on Tiny Iglesia. Viola, cello, trombone, trumpet, ukulele, bongos, and upright bass all have their moment to shine, but together create an interesting pallet for vocalists Danielle Lovier and Jessie Rogowski to harmonize over. The tribal like drums on “Animal” fit nicely with the song’s primal theme, and the plucking viola strings on “Burundi” make the song pop.

On songs like “Fall” and “Algorithm” the instruments seem to play around with each other, morphing the progression of the tracks, surprising the listener with the numerous changes. In “Algorithm,” the song starts with smooth jazz guitar and trumpet, but quickly evolves into a punchy hook that could have come out of the musical Chicago. It’s a definite highlight on Tiny Iglesia. 

However, what Tiny Iglesia has in musical dynamism, it lacks in other areas. For instance, the vocals on “Animal” don’t match the intensity of the lyrics or the music: they’re more of a purr than a roar. With “Fall,” the vocal melody during the chorus is slow and repetitive. Unfortunately, that’s a recurring theme on Tiny Iglesia. On “Dirt” the lyrics seem to drag on and on, “After all is said and done, dirt is what we all become. After we have had our fun, dirt is what we all become.” I find myself waiting for the chorus to be over so we can get back to the interesting melodies like in the first verse.

“Summertime,” “Water,” and “Nightingale” all have similar problems. The vocals are drowned out by these layered instruments, and sound weak in comparison. Each of these songs do have appealing parts in them, but the stuff in between doesn’t keep me coming back. The three songs were previously released on all boy/all girl’s self-titled EP, but featured more stripped down instrumentals and reverb laden vocals. I wish more of Tiny Iglesia sounded like this. The vocals seem more potent and sincere.


Lyrically, Tiny Iglesia deals with themes of childhood, aging, changing, and longing for the youth that seemed to have rushed right by. The line “This is the place from whence we came.” from the opener “To A Flame” is alluded to again in the closer. The phrase is fitting tagline for Tiny Iglesia, and throughout the course of the album we see the narrator develop. Unfortunately, it’s not always a smooth ride. Along the way there are some cringe-worthy lyrics.The worst comes in “Summertime”. The theme of the song is nice: the long days of summer, playing with friends, and having adventures. But, I’m just pulled out of that mindset by cliches “rain, rain, go away, come again some other day,” and “April showers bring May flowers.”

Overall, my problem with Tiny Iglesia is that most of the songs leave me apathetic. There are interesting moments musically and lyrically, but it’s too spotty. There aren’t enough catchy, fun moments to appeal to the pop side of chamber pop. And conceptually the themes aren’t existential enough to appeal to the artsy side of chamber pop. Most of the story is just played out in front of you, and you’re not left with anything to ponder. So if Tiny Iglesia doesn’t make me dance, and it doesn’t make me think, then what am I supposed to do? Hopefully, all boy/all girl will incorporate one or both in future releases. That’s something I would love to listen to.

Hear more from all boy/all girl on their website, Facebook, and Bandcamp.

Album Review: Haim – “Days Are Gone”

For the last few weeks, its been practically impossible to avoid Haim. They’re one of the most buzzed about groups in the world right now, but does their debut album, Days Are Gone, live up to the hype? Come with me, as we dive into the world of Haim, and together we will find out. Enjoy. 

It’s pronounced to rhyme with time

So who the hell is this band that has seemingly gained all this popularity in the blink of an eye? Well, Haim (see pronunciation above) are an all-female three-piece, made up the Haim sisters. This trio combines folk, R&B, pop, and rock, a combination that is catchy, but still fresh. I’ve been listening to Days Are Gone since the day it came out, and it still feels weird to classify Haim. Upon first listen, I was sent back, back to the backseat. That time in the 1990’s when I was too small to sit in the front seat, and my single mom was listening to “Bitch” by Meredith Brooks. You guys remember that song, right?  It was a time of strong female pop, Lilith Fair, Jewel, and jagged little pills. All our moms wanted to do was have some fun, and Mother Haim was apparently no different. I can see her three little angels right now, sitting in the back of their mom’s Ford Explorer, bobbing their heads to Joan Osborne’s “One of Us”.

Now that my flashback is over, let me get to my point. Haim to me, reminds me of those 90’s female coffee shop singers. But, these three have been hanging out with the King of Pop (not in that way). Because these songs groove like none of our moms could. Check out the song “Forever”. The tune is should-we-break-up anthem, but the guitars could be from Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky”. Haim isn’t about making cheap pop songs. The sisters Haim can play their instruments. Every single one of these songs has great groove, a fun beat, and catchy melodies. In the next song, “The Wire”, the question posed in “Forever” is answered, she dumped him. With lyrics like, “I just know, I know, I know, you’re going to be okay anyway”, these girls sound like heart breakers.

My biggest gripe with Days Are Gone is that after a while, it starts to feel the same. Maybe too many of these songs sound a little too much like Micheal Jackson. The chorus in “Falling” sounds eerily familiar to “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough”. Sometimes I get tired of the same mildly dancing songs, with guitars that don’t have any bite. I have heard that Haim is more rockin’ live, I would’ve like to hear that on Days Are Gone, But, even with these complaints, Haim is the most refreshing sound in pop. They sound about a thousand times more sincere than Rihanna, Ke$ha, and Katy Perry combined, and I would love nothing more than to hear Haim on Top 40 radio, because then I might actually listen to it.

My favorite song on Days Are Gone is “My Song 5”. It’s the only song that sounds completely different from anything else, and sticks out in good way. There are pitched down horns on the song that are infectiously dirty. This song has grit. The lyrics are sinister. There’s a guitar line that could make The Black Keys quiver. The song returns to the lighter Haim sound for the bridge, but these devilish vocals push you back into the mud. “Honey I’m not your honey pie.”