Hailing all the way from Bath, England, Bad Sounds have been touring as the opener for Broods since the end of March and I was able to catch their show at the Paradise Rock Club on Sunday.
Walking into the venue only 15 minutes before they started, the room was already over half full with more people coming in every minute. When Bad Sounds came onto the stage they got a pretty big welcome and really matched the energy. Their stage presence was exciting and captivating and they were clearly having a good time. The two brothers, Ewan and Callum, really play off each other and have an obvious chemistry. The songs were punchy and energetic and the sea of people only got bigger after they started.
The song “Avalanche” stood out the most for me. The lyrics were easy to hear and sing along to, as well as the fact that it was so upbeat and fun. Near the end of the set, the brothers started jumping on the backs of the guitarist and bassist, reaching around and playing the instruments themselves –which was something I’ve never seen before. All in all, the show was very entertaining and when it was over it felt too soon. It had been a half hour and I felt like I was there for 10 minutes. Their sound relies on the back bone of the drums, bass, and guitar but the synthesizers really bring a fun and interesting color to the group. Bad Sounds will be gaining a lot of new fans on this tour judging by that performance!
Crumb – “Nina” [single] – (indie psych pop)
Crumb has been gaining a ton of attention over the past couple years. Releasing their first EP Crumb in 2016, they now rake in over 1 million listeners with some of those songs now having over 7 million streams. With the release of their new single, “Nina”, and the announcement of their debut full length album, they’ve definitely got a buzz surrounding them. This single gives off remnants of early Tame Impala psych rock which is by no means out of character. The drum beat matched with the bass part creates a trance like groove with the synth being the icing on the cake. Lila Ramani (guitar/vocals) sings a hypnotically catchy melody alongside her soft guitar playing until the very end where she drops out as the rest of the band vamps on an eery three notes. Super excited for what’s in store so check this out!
Continue reading “Curtis’ Prime Slices (4/13 – 4/19): Crumb, Sun Records Curated Vol. 6”
Following the release of her long-awaited album Scenery, Emily King is currently finishing up her 2019 tour, with Boston as her third to last show.
King’s opening artist, Jennah Bell, left the audience speechless with her performance. Bell is a Berklee alumnus, which made the Boston show extra special for many of the audience members. Jennah is a singer-songwriter originally from Oakland, California. Her influences are pulled from genres such as folk, soul, R&B, hip-hop, and bluegrass. Her quirky yet fluent style of writing is both compelling and easy to listen to. Her lyrics will hit you hard, and her melodies will leave you wanting more. Not only is Jennah a monstrous musician, but her presence has a surprisingly unique calmness to it. I had the pleasure of speaking to Jennah after her set, and she shared some encouraging words with me without hesitation.
Considering that I had never seen Emily King perform live, I had no idea what to expect from this show other than the fact that it was going to be great. King opened the show with her song “Remind Me,” the first track on Scenery. The moment King strutted out on stage in a show-stopping two piece black outfit with matching sunglasses, I knew this show was going to be one I would be talking about for a while. Her energy was infectious, and everyone in the audience was jumping and dancing around from the moment the song started. Between the tasteful choreography and the tight connection between the band and background vocals, it was impossible to keep your eyes off of the stage. There was entertainment at every moment, and King did not miss one note, even when she was running and dancing around the stage.
Continue reading “Show Review: Emily King Live at the Sinclair”
Award-winning Vancouver-based singer-songwriter Dan Mangan made an appearance at Cafe 939 on March 13, promoting his new album More or Less.
Mangan, who has been coming out with indie folk hit after hit since the mid-2000s, brought a more intimate, stripped-down feel to the Red Room. He didn’t really have a rigid setlist, instead he used a scrap of paper towel with several of his songs scribbled onto it in marker as a frame of reference for what songs he could play, and he had nothing to really back himself musically except his own guitar. While this did limit what songs he could play slightly, with a fair part of his repertoire having a certain level of bombast that could be difficult to capture with a simple acoustic setup, the show being set up that way felt very humble. You could tell that everyone in the room was having a very personal experience.
To me, the concert felt like a conversation or a literal “evening with” just as much as it felt like a performanceDan spent a lot of time in between songs sharing his experiences and background to his music and it felt like every song he played had a story behind it. For example, “Jude” was a song he wrote for his son, and to go along with that, he shared his experience writing it for the film Hector and The Search for Happiness.
Continue reading “Show Review: Dan Mangan at Cafe 939”
Michelle Blades – Visitor – (indie pop rock)
Michelle Blades has just released a collection of songs infused with multiple sounds of an extension of her nomadic life spent between Panama, Mexico, Florida, and France. Picking bits and pieces from each place to form Visitor, Blades fuses together a unique sound that embodies qualities of Frank Zappa in her liberty of creation and of David Byrne and Mort Garson in terms of musical experimentation. In the first song on this album, “Politik!,” she plays with language tones, wordplay and texture to create a delicious package of new vibrations for our ears. “Dr. Psych” experiments into the psych rock realm, pushing the boundary of the genres she is defying further with this release. Looking forward to hear more from Blades and can’t wait to see the different turns she takes into the sound she continues to identify with. Continue reading “Liv’s Prime Slices (4/6 – 4/12): Michelle Blades, The Murlocs”
The Chats – “Pub Feed” – (punk)
This band of Aussies blew up big time when they released their hilariously catchy debut single “Smoko,” accompanied by a video that now has over 6 million views. If you haven’t seen it yet I suggest you do that ASAP. Anyway, after a year, they’ve finally released another song that is just what was expected to follow up. Following the foot steps of “Smoko,” which is slang in Australia for a smoke break, “Pub Feed” is another term for havin’ a pint with your steak, gravy, and chips at the local pub. This group a lads really know how to write good, simple punk songs that are super catchy and funny at the same time. They’ve been packing venues in Australia and are doing a small North American tour this month in only a few cities so if you’re nearby one of them you better buy a ticket!
Continue reading “Curtis’ Prime Slices (4/6 – 4/12): The Chats, Stef Chura”
Singer-songwriter and vocal powerhouse from Rochester, NY, Danielle Ponder was kind enough to answer some questions we had for her. She, along with Nick Hakim is a featured artist at this spring’s edition of birnCORE Live on Friday, April 19 at 8:00 p.m. She will also be joining us on Saturday, April 20 for BIRN Alive at 4:00 p.m. for an exclusive interview and live set.
Interview by Liv Field
Being a strong female performing artist, what advice would you give to other aspiring female musicians when it comes to commanding a room, and not being underestimated?
D: I never think I can’t command a room I never think I am not strong. Being a woman is powerful and I carry all of that power with me on stage. I’ve never doubted it. I looks at those who came before me, Nina Simone, Lauryn Hill, Big Mama Thornton, there was nothing small about their presence
What are some of the foundational values that help you in the music industry?
D: Always create to inspire. Always create from an authentic place. Worry not about the industry just keep creating. No one can do what you do, no one.
Continue reading “Q&A with Danielle Ponder”
Weyes Blood – “Movies” – Indie
Weyes Blood (a.k.a. Natalie Mering) is soon to release a full album called Titanic Rising. She dropped a 3 track EP to raise hype for the full-length album, which includes the tracks “Movies,” “Everyday,” and “Andromeda.” This collection of songs is a beautiful sandwich of conversational songwriting that takes a different turn to pop music, commanding your mind to a broader musical realm. My favorite track is “Movies,” which starts with an arpeggiated and hypnotic scale, moving up and down followed by the haunting yet clear sound of Mering’s choral voice. Each song brings a different idea but ties together with the same foreground of the sound Mering has so meticulously claimed as her own. Her video for the track “Movies” is out now, and her full length album will be released April 5th.
Continue reading “Liv’s Prime Slices (3/30 – 4/5): Weyes Blood, The Foreign Resort, MorMor”