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Friday, May 23, 2014
PopMatters presents "Saturday Night", a wah-wah guitar-heavy tune by Liverpool-based rockers Familiar Looking Strangers.

The wah-wah guitar and police siren that open “Saturday Night” may lead one to think she has stumbled onto a soundtrack for a ‘70’s police drama. Alas, it is not, although anyone looking to develop a retro police drama should probably take note.


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Thursday, May 22, 2014
Bedroom Shrine's "Protector" is a tune that evokes dusty, barren landscapes that countless Westerns have taken much more time to capture.

Sand-swept valleys, piercing rays of sun, and endless desert roads are all images brought to the mind by the first strum of the guitar in “Protector,” a track off of Bedroom Shrine’s upcoming album No Déjà Vu. The twangy guitars and Tom-Petty esque vocals also add to this lonesome, rugged sonic terrain; after only two and a half short minutes, “Protector” leaves quite a visual impression. Even more enticing is the tune’s cliffhanger ending: “Back to another time / Back to another day / When we were on the run.” The last note of the song doesn’t land with the impact that one would normally get had it landed predictably on the tonic, but the band’s small decision here makes the ending all the more effective.


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Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Here's the lead cut from Toronto band Comet Control's self-titled debut, "Blast Magic". Driving guitars, a strong low end, and a wash of psychedelic haze build a palpable intensity over the song's eight minutes.

“When you look around, and all you see is evil… the only thing left to do is blast magic,” Chad Ross of Toronto-based rock outfit Comet Control says in describing the lead cut off his band’s self-titled debut. “This song travels from darkness into blinding light.”


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Tuesday, May 20, 2014
PopMatters is pleased to present the enigmatic "The Finding", the third single from her avant-garde EP BRYM.

Songwriters such as Emily Wells have demonstrated the wonderful, eclectic things that can be done with a violin when brought into the mold of popular genres like electronic, indie, and pop. Few, if any, however, have the daring demonstrated by Hannah Thiem, who in her music draws on influences that span the entire globe, including the music of Scandinavia, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe. “The Finding,” the third single to be released from her upcoming EP BRYM, demonstrates this musical multiculturalism on many fronts. Thiem’s lyrics, captured in full by her gorgeous voice, are a mélange of “Icelandic, Roma-influenced, and partly invented” languages. The brooding, Massive Attack-esque mood of “The Finding” brings together Middle Eastern instrumentation and Eastern European melody. Thiem’s dazzling violin weaves haunting melodies atop the insistent electronic drumbeat. By the time the five minutes of this tune have run its course, one could say a kind of mystical journey has unfolded.


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Monday, May 19, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
New York's Saul Conrad returns tomorrow with his third studio album of melodic indie pop.

Saul Conrad grew up in a musical family and was trained in classical music from a very early age, receiving formal training for some 20 years. That education informs his super melodic and harmonically complex songs, which feel like mini revelations in the age of cookie cutter top 40 pop music. You know that you’re dealing with a special artist when they reference Kierkegaard as an influence on their music.


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