Monday, June 6, 2011

Foster The People - Torches


Torches [+Digital Booklet]
The Debut Album

This band has seen a quick rise to relative stardom with their debut single Pumped Up Kicks. The band has had little time to establish themselves before being thrust in front of fans playing SXSW, Coachella, and Lolapalooza all the same year. With the May 24th release of their debut, Torches, the band has proved themselves worthy of listening to. I would find it hard to see this band going anywhere. Their catchy, electro, indie, pop appeal allows the band to range their sound. The result is a musical journey that flows from the highest heights to the lowest, smoothest lows. 

The band itself was started in 2009 when Mark Foster (vocals, keyboards, piano, synthesizers, guitar, programming, percussion) was working writing jingles for TV ads. In an interview with Spinner Foster said the following of that time, "I've been composing for commercials off and on for a few years. Pretty much right when I got brought on full-time as a music composer is when Foster the People started. It was great, because it was the first time in my life when I didn't have to work at a restaurant. I got to quit my coffee job. Being able to go into a studio and make music for a living was amazing. Working at [the music production company] Mophonics ... I attribute that job to a lot of the reason why the band is where we're at now." 

The band forges a sound that blends elements of MGMT, with those of the Beatles, and even Imogen Heap. The reason for this variation of sounds comes from Foster's creative songwriting. He stated in the Spinner interview that he felt that album was versatile but it all works together. I completely agree with this because the band employs such different sounds on each song, but the album has flows naturally between songs.

The Verdict
The band has proven itself worthy of merit not only through their single that climbed to number 2 on Billboard's alternative charts. They have continued to prove themselves worthy of listening to with this debut. I look forward to future efforts from this fledgling group. I can't wait to see where their sound goes. For now I'll be listening to Torches.    4.5/5
Listen To
Call It What You Want - This song showcases the bands dance beats at their prime. The vocals and overall              sound of this song makes it unforgettable. 

Pumped Up Kicks - This song is the bands debut single that prompted 222,.000 digital downloads it's necessary listening.

Monday, May 16, 2011

My Hiatus / Brand News

The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me
Brand New's Junior Release:
The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me

Brand New is a band that has taken on many different sounds throughout their career. A career that boasts a longevity of over ten years. The band recently went on a 5 date East coast tour during which Jesse let slip that they were working on new music. During their performance Lacey announced, at their Baltimore show, that they have been writing material but have had difficulties as they are "tired of bumming you guys out. We’re trying to write something happy." This change in sound may signal a new style for the band. I for one am excited to see how the band tries to top itself. I am sure the results will be nothing short of excellent.

Listen to the above album. It is something that every music lover should listen to. There is a lot going on so be prepared to don some headphones to get the full effect.

I give this album my first 5/5 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Neutral Milk Hotel - In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
Neutral Milk Hotel - In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

Originally released on February 10, 1998, this album became the defining release in the short-lived and posthumously ongoing career of Neutral Milk Hotel. I say posthumously ongoing because after the album the band went on a hiatus that has yet to see an end.  The album has marched its way from relative obscurity upon release (due to little interest from listeners) to garnering honors like #2 on's 100 greatest indie rock albums of all time. The vinyl pressing of the album was the sixth-best-selling vinyl album in 2008. All of these accolades are nice, but they cannot even begin to describe the influence that the album has had on music in general. A personal favorite reference was one by Jesse Lacey of the band Brand New in an audio interview that he gave. Lacey stated that upon first listening to the album he thought that it was O.K. and went on with listening to other albums. He continued by saying that later on he gave the album another listen and fell in love with it. He stated that the album is one of a few that he takes on tour with him. This type of influence is well merited as the album impresses with a sound that soars and swells from the highest highs to the lowest lows. A trip through the spectrum of sound guided by the one and only Jeff Magnum

The Sound
This album has a unique sound that swells to become as large as the listener can handle. The instrumentation is varied and varies by song. The album flows so well from beginning to end that one might mistake it for one epic track that carries over between individual songs. The album has a truly indie sound to it that brings in the likes of folk rock with soaring guitars and even a vibraphone. The album is truly diverse and offers an experience that few listeners will soon forget. The lyrics are often vague, which has been cited as a negative for the album, but which I feel adds to the motif of the album. The story is one that encompasses that trials that many faced during World War II and thus is equally as vague. Overall the sound defines a landmark for indie music. 

The Verdict
*Warning this album is not for the casual listener. 
This album is an album that has had an impact on me personally and as such I will try not to be biased when giving out a grade. I will say only that the album is something that, if given a chance few will dislike (outside of those who do not like this type of music obviously). 

I give this album a 4.5 - 5 

The speaker continues to speak.