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Song-A-Day: The Rebel Light “Jukebox Dream”

The Rebel Light Jukebox DreamThe Rebel Light is an LA-based indie rock trio and one of the best unsigned bands I’ve heard in the last couple of years.

On a daily basis, I’m sent hundreds of emails from some of the absolute shittiest bands and artists this planet has to offer. Out of 500 emails, I’m lucky if 3 of them contain music that I’d even consider writing about. So when The Rebel Light sent me over a couple of their songs earlier this year, I was understandably skeptical; but all it took was one listen and I was hooked.  (To this day, those two songs are among my top 10 most played songs on iTunes.)

When they sent the songs over, I was in the midst of a writing hiatus and never got around to writing about any of their music. Thankfully, last week band member Will sent me an email to let me know about their newest single, Jukebox Dream.

It.is.PERFECT.

But, before I write about their new single, I need to point out that the band has an incredibly diverse sound. Song to song, they’ve reminded me of everyone from Remy Zero (blast from the past, right?) to Beach House to the Monkees and even the Beatles. The production is perfect, the vocals are gorgeously emotive and the songwriting is top notch.

The aforementioned latest single, Jukebox Dream, will make you feel as though you’re literally in the midst of one. It’s catchy as fuck and an unabashed nod to sundrenched feelgood 60s melodies. To be blunt, if you don’t like this song, then there’s something seriously wrong with you.

Have a listen below.

https://soundcloud.com/therebellight

 

The Rebel Light “Jukebox Dream”

Friday 5: Morcheeba

Morcheeba Who Can You Trust Big CalmLately, I’ve been listening mostly to slinky, chill music that makes you want to lie around a beach one minute, suggestively dance with someone the next, and have amazing slow sex with a sexy man in dim lights. And whenever I feel this way, it’s usually because I’ve been listening to Morcheeba.

Back in high school, I remember going to Nobody Beats The Wiz every few days with my friend Taylor in search of bands whose music was comparable to the genius of trip hop masters, Portishead. I would read British music magazines with the regularity of a Christian studying the Bible; beginning with Q Magazine and ending with Select. After reading a review comparing a band to either Portishead, blur, Massive Attack, or Weezer, I’d hop in the car and head over the Nobody Beats The Wiz and hope that the band I’d read about had released an album here in the US so I could spend some of my measly $6/hr paycheck on their CD.

I remember the moment I discovered the last copy of Morcheeba’s debut album “Who Can You Trust?” as if it were yesterday because the sticker on the plastic wrap on the CD actually said “For Fans of Portishead” on it. Needless to say, I was sold and so was the CD – to me, for $11.98.

Over the years Morcheeba has gone through line-up changes, and has released a couple of meh albums to go along with their masterpieces. In my mind, their true masterpiece will always be 1998’s “Big Calm.” You can’t ask for more hooks than that album provides.

I had a VERY difficult time narrowing down my list of favorite Morcheeba songs down to 5, but I’ve given it my best shot. Check them out below, but also be sure to check out Trigger Hippie, Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day, Howling, and Let Me See.

Morcheeba’s 8th album, Head Up High, will be out 14 October via PIAS Recordings.

http://www.morcheeba.co.uk/

 

1. Morcheeba “The Sea”

 

2. Morcheeba “Shoulder Holster”

 

3. Morcheeba “Otherwise”

 

4. Morcheeba “Slow Down”

 

5. Morcheeba “World Looking In”

Song-A-Day: Germans “Cruel”

Germans CruelTime to introduce you all to one of my absolute favorite tracks of 2013; “Cruel” by a Brooklyn-based artist named Germans.

This review is going to be a little different than most simply because, while I communicate with Ms. “Germans” every day on Twitter, I know very little about her. After doing some digging, here’s what I’ve discovered:

- Germans is the recording moniker of solo artist, Julia Kwamya.

- Julia is a first generation Ghanaian/Ugandan born & raised in the US.

- She describes her music as “moody disco” and, in her Twitter profile, fashions the word “pop” with hearts around it.

- Her single “Cruel” was produced by none other than Kurt Feldman from The Ice Choir (aka the man responsible for my #1 album of 2012, Afar).

- She is a romantic with a great sense of humor.

- She is beautiful.

(Is it me, or could this review also double as Julia’s OK Cupid profile?)

Nail-scratching-down-backs aside, “Cruel” is about as lyrically straight forward as an Alanis Morissette song to an ex. Clearly Julia is hurt, and this song is her way of dealing with her heartache in her own stunningly beautiful way. Musically, “Cruel” is about as lush and beautiful a song as I’ve heard all year; while the production is a clear nod to your favorite 80s synth ballads.

Although I’m not going through any of my own heartache (for a change), “Cruel” makes me want to sit at the beach and watch the sunset, while dangling my feet over the edge of a stone wall, and have an amazingly cathartic cryfest.

Have a listen below.

*Germans’ single, Cruel, is out now and self-released.

https://soundcloud.com/germans

 

Germans “Cruel”

Song-A-Day: Hunter As A Horse “We Will Meet Again”

Hunter As A Horse We Will Meet AgainOne of the best new bands I’ve heard all year is UK-based duo named Hunter As A Horse. (They’re actually from South Africa, but currently reside in one of my favorite towns in the UK, picturesque Richmond upon Thames.)

After being sent some of their songs earlier this year, I’ve been in love ever since. Those of you who know my music taste well, will know that I’m a MASSIVE fan of moody trip hop-y tunes with female vocals. These guys tick every one of my boxes on the way to eargasm, and then some.

Lead singer Mia Van Wyk got into music after experiencing family tragedy back in her native South Africa. In order to deal with the pain of her loss, she began writing music and learning guitar. After relocating to London, and years of writing and producing music for other people, she and her bandmate Paul began creating the music together that would end up being the emotive electronically-tinged beauty of Hunter As A Horse.

Every single one of their songs will make you want to snuggle in bed with a boyfriend or girlfriend on a rainy Sunday morning. And even if you hate rain, you have to admit that idea sounds pretty nice, no?

I’ve heard 8 of their songs and I’m not sure if they’ve released any of them anywhere other than on SoundCloud. I hope somebody signs these guys fast because I need MORE.

Check out my favorite song, the haunting We Will Meet Again, below.

https://soundcloud.com/hunterasahorse

 

Hunter As A Horse “We Will Meet Again”

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