Monday, July 30, 2012

New Album Review: Gossamer by Passion Pit

Passion Pit is back! In their latest album Gossamer, the electro-pop band creates a conglomeration of sounds that cover an wide emotional gamut. And understandably so, because Michael Angelakos, hailed as the mastermind of the group, spent the past three years fighting an intense personal battle. Facing his bipolar disorder that led him to struggle with multiple hospital stays, suicide scares and manic episodes, Angelakos has had to conquer more than we could imagine to produce this album with Passion Pit band memebers. Because of this, there's an very personal edge to Gossamer.  Oddly, many of the songs have an intensely bright tone accompanying heavy lyrics, and some songs like "Take a Walk" and "I'll Be Alright" belie the darker side of Angelakos' personality disorder. Other songs like "On My Way" and "Hideaway" have an almost heartbreaking quality to them. Undeniably, the confusion of mental illness and the pain of covering up depression leave a mark on this album. However, throughout all of the hard times Angelakos went through, his fiance stood by his side, and the beauty of unconditional love can be heard in many of his songs.

For those who struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury or suicide, please check out on of my favorite non-profit movements To Write Love on Her Arms. "TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and also invest directly into treatment and recovery." My prayer is that one day, none of us will ever have to say, "I lost someone I love to suicide." There's always hope...the next chapter can be beautifully written. Much love on this Monday!


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

New Album: Handwritten Life by The Gaslight Anthem

It's been almost three years since the last album by The Gaslight Anthem, but they're back and here's their latest. If you're a fan of the American rock genre, this is one band that does it well. Staying true to their dash of punk and a splash of indie on the side, their latest keep the style people have come to recognize. Check out their highly anticipated album here!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Spotlight on Artists Imagine Dragons

I know this statement is shocking coming from someone living in Dallas---where everything must must must be bigger and better---but I'm not a huge fan Vegas. Apparently if you live in the Big D, you're obligated to consider this overly gaudy, audacious city the ideal vay-cay spot, but I like keeping things low-key, raw and real. So, imagine my delight when I came across this great Sin City based indie rock band called Imagine Dragons! Their style is a fusion of synth-based dance pop and what I like to call "throbbing Euro beats" for a final product that's reminiscent of The Killers and Capital Cities. Check out their album Radioactive, and be sure to listen to my favorite tune "It's Time." And if you've never heard Capital Cities, I've thrown in their eponymous album to help get you through your Manic Monday;)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Spotlight On New Album: Ho Hey (Surprisingly Not a Rap Song(

The newest band I was recently introduced to is called the Lumineers. They're a folk-rock band from Colorado, and their music has this fabulous, rustic, wear-your-heart-on-your-sleeve kind of sound that gets me every time. Every time,  people. It's just that good!

I'm going to go out on a limb and predict this band is going to go big or go home. With a Grammy or two, that is. I am currently addicted to their entire album, particularly their song "Ho Hey" which is not the same thing as "Hey, Ho." That may or may not be how I've been announcing this great little number to friends, shouting with WILD enthusiasm, "You must listen to this new song called "Hey, Ho!" 
My friend: "I don't do rap. You know that."
Me: "It is not rap. It's the opposite of rap. Wait, that's country. This is Indie-folk, so it's like the second opposite of rap. The opposite's cousin."
Friend: "Your head-space is a strange and wondrous place."
Me: Like Pan's Labyrinth.

I insist you give this band a try! If you love Indie or even tolerate it, or you just want to stick it to all the rap artists out there, you need to check the Lunineers out! Unfamiliar with the group? Here are some fun facts:

The band consists of Wesley Schultz on guitar and lead vocals, Jeremiah Fraites on drums, and Neyla Pekarek on cello, mandolin, piano, and vocals. Random fact: they found Pekarek on Craigslist and added him to the band. I'm personally terrified of Craigslist, since it seems like a great place for serial killers to mingle and whatnot, but good thing it worked out for the Lumineers! Their music is described as "walking that line with an unerring gift for timeless melodies and soul-stirring lyrics." I tried to think of a better way of phrasing that, but that sentence just summed it up so well. Why mess with a good thing? This is one time a little copy-and-paste was a must. (And also for some college research papers back in the day. Shh. Don't tell...) I have no clue how they came up with the album title "Ho Hey", which I invariably and rather embarrassingly call "Hey Ho", but whatever. It's a killer album. Listen to it here, or catch them live on their tour

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

New Album Review: The Lion The Beast The Beat by Grace Potter & the Nocturnals

This is one band who knows how to make music. Grace Potter & the Nocturnals can rock it out, and lead singer Potter's style blues and rock vocals are often reminiscent of Janis Joplin or Koko Taylor with a bit of '70s flare. For those of you who might be unfamiliar with the band, they're an American rock/blues based group who found huge international success with their third self titled album in 2010.

They recently put out their latest album The Lion & the Beast, and it's all the things I adore about this band and then some. It's easy for artists to get stuck in a sound-rut or to lost their own style in a desperate effort to get innovative, they completely forget what their original sound was at all. Grace Potter & the Nocturnals manage to successfully hold true to their unique sound, while adding a little something different to each track. Songs from the new album that you won't want to miss:

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

New Album Review: Overexposed by Maroon 5

It's been an album that the band has been working on for the past year, and Maroon 5 finally released their latest called "Overexposed."  According to the band, the album is "a chock-full collection of undeniable, anthemic melodies." Whatever that's supposed to mean, it's pretty obvious the band wanted to retain their new fan following, so most of the tracks follow the same dance-pop disco sounds of  "Moves Like Mick Jagger" single. Adam Levine achieved huge success with his "Moves Like Mick Jagger" single, which frankly, I like for the first one or two times I heard it. Now I absolutely despise the song and blame the radio for OD my auditory senses by playing it WAY TOO MUCH. I'm not even sure what kind of moves Mick Jagger has anyways, but I do know he can't get no satisfaction. 

I don't think the album is mind-blowing or contains genius material, but it's catchy and enjoyable to listen to. Will I probably forget about it by next summer? For sure. Does it make for some fun summer tracks now? Sure. Some of the better tracks are "Beautiful Goodbye" which has a bit of a reggae beat, . "Wipe Your Eyes" and "Payphone" are those classic Maroon 5 love-esque songs that they do well, while songs like "One More Night" branch out to a completely different sound. Want to judge for yourself? Check out Overexposed here: