Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

 
Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Thursday, Nov 20, 2014
The latest tune from the Long Beach trio Bella Novela, "Four Walls", is a classic rock-esque number in the vein of Heart and Pat Benatar with the tonality of a James Bond theme.

Long Beach, CA rock trio Bella Novela is one of those bands that is able to pull off the tricky task of sounding like classic rock without merely imitating the genre’s tropes. Frontwoman Jackie Laws’ vocals bring to mind Heart and Pat Benatar, but she also sounds undoubtedly contemporary, her voice coalescing perfectly with guitarist Jacob Heath’s Muse-esque leads. On its newest tune, “Four Walls”, Bella Novela amps up the drama with a chord progression and vocal line that sound ready to be the next James Bond theme. But rather than go for the classic Bond theme pace of slow and sultry, the trio amps up the energy, due in large part to drummer Jannea McClure’s rapid fills. This sense of bombast is a fitting one for the group’s forthcoming LP, Telemetry, a concept album based on a popular Mexican telenovela. The new prog influences on Bella Novela’s music, especially on “Four Walls”, make it a distinctive voice in the Los Angeles music scene.


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Tuesday, Nov 18, 2014
With some ace bluegrass flatpicking and tender vocal harmonies, the Gibson Brothers' take on the Everly Brothers classic "Bye Bye Love" shows this reputable bluegrass group in fine form.

Eric and Leigh Gibson, the two men heading up the Gibson Brothers name, are elder statesmen of bluegrass, having been active in the scene since the late ‘80s. When the duo topped PopMatters’ Best Bluegrass of 2011 list, Steve Leftridge wrote, “Eric and Leigh Gibson might have, pound-for-pound, the most impeccably fine-sounding traditional bluegrass band on the contemporary scene.” Not content to rest on their clearly established laurels, the brothers Gibson have taken on the mantle of covering the songs of music’s most legendary brother duos for their forthcoming album Brotherhood. The album features finds the brothers taking on two well known tunes and nine other tracks that have never been available to the public before.


“Bye Bye Love” stands out as particularly apt for Eric and Leigh to cover. You need only stream the track below to see how comfortably this duo slips into the sound of one of folk music’s most legendary duos.


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Tuesday, Nov 18, 2014
Adria, one of the land down under's newest musical exports, offers up her moody first single "Pull Me Under" for streaming here at PopMatters.

Australian singer Adria’s vocals on her new single “Pull Me Under” combine the moodiness of Lorde with the echoey, spacey effects that Lana Del Rey has come to be so famous for. These sonic signposts are hardly surprising, given Adria’s bringing on of producers Matthew Wiggins (Adele, Florence and the Machine, Coldplay, and Lorde, among others) and Viktor Balter-Lundin (Lykke Li) in the creation of “Pull Me Under”. However, Adria’s writing of the song came not out of the desire for the next Top 40 hit, but something more elemental. She cites her fascination with water as an inspiration for the track: “I’m attracted to its characteristics: strength, calmness, roughness, fluidity. It can be ruthless, yet it can also be still and quiet, which I like. It can take on so many different personalities which I think can be mirrored with human characteristics.”


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Tuesday, Nov 18, 2014
Detroit duo TART releases the snarling and foaming single "Rabid Dogs" as a followup to its debut EP.

Right from the outset, TART’s “Rabid Dogs” snares you with its hooks of intrigue. Looped drum beats hit like the soundtrack from an ‘80s new wave dance club, albeit one laced with black lights and a purplish noir haze, as Adam Michael Lee Padden’s metallic guitar riffs start churning. When vocalist Zee Bricker belts out her ominous observations, the song suitably assumes the role of its title. Frothing and snarling like a deranged beast, the tune takes on skittery rhythms and handclap percussion before dropping out to sparse key notes. The guitars then get decidedly more melodic and dreamy near the midpoint before the aggressive fretwork flares back with an increased bedlam.


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Tuesday, Nov 18, 2014
Soul singer Paul Kelly brings a whole bevy of talented singers to cover his tunes for his new album The Merri Soul Sessions. Powerhouse vocalist Clairy Brown gives a spirited rendition of "Keep On Coming Back for More".

Following a long and productive career, soul singer/songwriter Paul Kelly has taken to looking back on his musical legacy in the form of his new album The Merri Soul Sessions. Beginning as a series of 7” singles, the sessions find Kelly and a whole host of collaborators re-interpreting many of his well-established tunes. For the track “Keep On Coming Back For More”, Kelly brought vocalist Clairy Brown, who gives the song a palpable injection of vivacity.


Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.