Yes, that is Ryan Gosling in the above picture. Yes, Dead Man’s Bones is his band along with fellow band member Zach Shields. But no, that is not why you should check out this band. Creepy children’s choir meets almost in-tune piano for a horror rock band that can put shivers down your spine. Zach and Ryan combine all these elements to create songs that harken back to the darker side of the mind – to a place where werewolves, zombies, ghosts, and demons are real. The imagery they create with each song is real enough to bring these nightmares to life. Ryan’s voice in Lose Your Soul is eerily similar to Michael Graves during the time he was lead singer of The Misfits. So if you’re a fan of The Misfits you should definitely check this band out. Other songs: Werewolf Heart, My Body’s A Zombie For You, and Pa Pa Power.
This band from Columbus, Ohio is refreshingly different from today’s top 40. The duo creates interesting beats using not only the drums, but also the speed, sound, and rhythm of the lyrics in each song, making each song unique and easily identifiable. They have an eclectic vibe – sometimes using reggae beats, unexpected harmonies, rock/indie rap, and even classical piano. Many of their songs focus on heavy topics, such as Guns for Hands, with the underlying theme being teen suicide. Despite such depressing themes the pair seem to uplift their songs and make them upbeat. Fuse named them one of South by Southwest Music Fest’s Breakout artists earlier this year. Other songs to listen to: Migraine, Semi-Automatic, Lovely, Car Radio, and their new single Holding on to You.
Who to listen to this week: Benjamin Francis Leftwich
Benjamin Francis Leftwich is a singer/songwriter from England. In 2011 his album Last Smoke Before the Snow Storm was released. In this album compelling lyrics combine with acoustic guitar and Benjamin’s unique voice to create inspiring songs that may invoke tears from the emotional connection that is made while listening. I personally listened to Atlas Hands to lull myself into a restfull sleep every night for about a month. All of his songs have a peaceful, relaxing quality without being boring and despondent. Other songs: Stole you Away, Maps, Sophie, and Box of Stones.
This song, Son my Son, is from Milo Greene’s 2012 self titled album. The four part harmonies layered with acoustic guitars, interesting drum work, and a myriad of different instruments make for complex, compelling songs. They are just as good, if not better, live – adding intricacies that can not be found on the album. Moddison is a short film they have created using all of their songs from the album to create an engaging storyline and can be viewed on YouTube. Other harmonious songs to listen to: What’s the Matter, Perfectly Aligned, Autumn Tree, and Silent Way.
Daft Punk’s new Album, Random Access Memories, just came out May 17 and their single, Get Lucky, has already become an instant hit. The electronic sound they are known for merges with a decidedly 70’s vibe for a song you won’t be able to get out of your head. Another frustratingly catch-y song is in the link above, Doing it Right. This song starts with a simple beat that gradually grows and becomes disturbingly addicting. All the songs on this album have a futuristic, space-age sound that makes for some fun listening. Other songs: Beyond, Contact, and Instant Crush.
Lana Del Rey is obviously influenced by 50’s and 60’s Hollywood glamour, in her sense of style and also her sound. This makes for a tone that is different from today’s top 40, but still upbeat and just as catch-y. There is a yearning, driving force behind the beat of this song, Blue Jeans, that makes you hit the repeat button each time the song ends. Recently her song Young and Beautiful was featured on The Great Gatsby soundtrack. Check out some of her other songs: Born to Die, Ride, Chelsea Hotel No. 2, and Burning Desire.
Check out this Australian folk band! Their resounding harmonies and acoustic guitars sound young and fresh, despite this song, Bloom, coming out three years ago. The imagery mixed with the lighting in the video make for a romantic, summer vibe. If you are in the mood for an easy listening, light-hearted band, check out The Paper Kites. Other songs to listen to: Featherstone, Sink In, and Willow Tree March.