There is an interesting undercurrent in pop music towards songs about the common man that are written and performed by people who consider themselves part of that group. Unlike their counterparts in the rap world they aren’t posturing about having “come up”. Their success aside, in their music they seem to be rejecting the pursuit of wealth for wealth’s sake. Lorde is the first popular artist in some time who sings convincingly about the proletariat in songs like Team and Royals while at the same time presumably being from the proletariat—both her parents are basically working class. Jake Bugg is another popular musician (his first album reached #1 in the UK) that uses his experience growing up on the bottom side of middle-class as fodder for his songs.
The smart start-up has gained a reputation for clean, simple aesthetics and a fastidious approach to sound and social responsibility. We spoke with the Grain Audio team to shed some light on what’s really important when it comes to personal sound and how they’ve achieved it.
In anticipation of their sophomore EP dropping in January, Toledo twosome Silent Lions have unveiled a video for their captivating new single, “Stolen in the Heat of the Moment”. A vibe of paranoia runs throughout the stylistically-shifting tune, opening with ghostly vocals and a doomsday rumble. The established spooky chill only gets more unnerving (and intriguing) when the bottom drops out, leaving only some light key twinkling and a falsetto belying the menace of “I can’t let you leave me / Can’t get you off my mind / You know it does get better / You’ll just have to give it time.” On the way out, the parts come unhinged and some frenetic instrumentation is indulged.
In addition to the six names being enshrined as part of the Performers category—Nirvana, Kiss, Peter Gabriel, Cat Stevens, Linda Ronstadt, and Hall and Oates—the Class of 2014 also sees Bruce Springsteen’s brothers-in-arms in the E Street Band earning an award for “Musical Excellence”, as well as august British Invasion managers Brian Epstein (the Beatles) and Andrew Loog Oldham (the Rolling Stones) receiving non-musician nods. All of these honorees will be formally inducted this coming year on April 10 in New York.