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by Brice Ezell

6 Nov 2014


Right from the minute you first lay eyes on its sleeve art, Taste for Blood intrigues. The name of the album by the Seattle-based Smokey Brights suggests a vampiric theme running throughout the music, but lyrically this is miles from Twilight and its ilk. Like the music of Taste for Blood, the lyrics here are enigmatic and complex. The title track finds the band singing, “I remember / We could read the wind like braille”. Such complex imagery is matched splendidly by the music, which spans a whole gamut of sonic styles, from indie (the catchy title cut) to folk (“West Texas Vampyre”) to blue-eyed soul (“If I Can’t Change Your Mind”). It’s the kind of listen that sidesteps every expectation you could have of it.

by Brice Ezell

5 Nov 2014


The Fort Collins, Colorado band SHEL is comprised of sisters Sarah, Hanna, Eva, and Liza. The convivial sound of the quartet’s music could easily be chalked up to its family camaraderie, but there’s also the matter of the classical training that goes into its music. With deep training on the violin (Sarah), harp (Liza), mandolin (Eva), and piano (Hannah), it’s no wonder the band’s music is as meticulously composed as it is.

Joined by Gareth Dunlop for the track “Hold On”, a number off of the soundrack to the new Nicolas Sparks film adaptation, The Best of Me. Even if one isn’t a fan of Sparks’ brand of schmaltzy romance, there’s still plenty to love in the tender, lovelorn harmonies of “Hold On”, captured nicely in the intimate video performance below.

by Brice Ezell

5 Nov 2014


Producer and drummer Jordan Richardson took a big step in 2012: he left his highly successful spot in Ben Harper’s band Relentless7. His tenure in that group resulted in a Grammy award for 2013’s Get Up!, to stay nothing of the extensive touring and producing he did during that time (including a stint with Ringo Starr). Creatively, however, Richardson’s departure proved to be a wise move, given the music he has made under the moniker Son of Stan. Following 2013’s cheekily titled Divorce Pop, Richardson just released his newest EP, Georgia. Below you can watch the video for “Loseyomind”, the EP’s second single.

The video has to be seen to be believed, but as far as visual descriptions go, it is a cross between Xena: Warrior Princess, Wilfred, and an ‘80s workout instruction film.

by Brice Ezell

5 Nov 2014


You know those epic, sweeping strings and plodding horn sections that make video game trailers so grandiose? Well, the folks responsible for those trailers aren’t just culling Hans Zimmer B-sides; production houses like audiomachine in fact spend a great deal of time creating compositions that bolster trailer footage in an intense way. Now, with audiomachine: Remixed, 18 of the company’s songs are being remixed by a variety of different artists. The talented and young (born in 1996) musician Cole Plante took the helm for a remix of “Phoenix Rising”, a track previously heard in trailers for Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag.

by Brice Ezell

4 Nov 2014


Astrid’s Tea Party is an appropriately British name for a band hailing from the United Kingdom coastal city of Brighton. However, don’t let the name fool you: Astrid’s Tea Party isn’t all social niceties and delicate china. The danceable beats and high energy of the group’s latest single, “What’s in It For Me?”, are more liable to shatter teacups than serve as background music. As this first single attests, this young quartet has lyrical charm and smarts to match its pop energy, which should prove valuable assets as it readies its first EP, which at the moment is set to be released sometime in 2015.

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