There’s a great deal of familiarity in a song like “The Dead Leaves”, the newest offering from the songwriters behind the New York-based Modern Rivals. Indie pop remains, as it is said, all the rage these days, and lush slices of garden pop such as this one aren’t hard to come by. But what Modern Rivals do, as any great band should, is remind us of why those things become familiar in the first place: simply put, they’re unshakably appealing.
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On “The Light That Guides the Blind”, Austin’s HeadShy shows a knack for finding something soulful in the midst of a vast space-rock soundscape. In the spirit of, say, Spiritualized, the track, which premieres here on PopMatters, combines drifting, searching vocals with cacophonous dream-pop atmospherics. “The Light That Guides the Blind” appears on HeadShy’s new triple EP Belle Epoque, released this week on Medicina Records.
The band’s first single is “Fast Forward”, premiering today on PopMatters, and it showcases that aesthetic perfectly. Check out Twintapes’s web site for several videos that’ll help tell the rest of their story. Meanwhile Twintapes frontman takes us through their approach to composing music.
Jazz guitarist Nir Felder’s debut album, Golden Age, drops this month. Many a musician has his or her idea of what a “golden age” was or is, but Felder is reluctant to stake such a claim. In his words, the album’s title is “more of a question than a statement,” rhetorically asking if we are in a golden age for the arts right now or if we were ever in the throes of one at all.
Felder’s performing and composing chops are not unlike many a fusion jazz guitarist who came before him. Any fan of Pat Metheny or Mike Stern can wring much listening enjoyment from Golden Age. It seems to have just the right amount of virtuosity pitted against genuinely engaging writing, all buoyed by a tight group featuring pianist Aaron Parks, bassist Matt Penman, and drummer Nate Smith. “Ernest /Protector”, one of Golden Age‘s flashier tracks, premieres here on PopMatters. While the hard-bop qualities reveal one side to Felder, just know that there is much more to delve into later this month.
London born, Brooklyn-based composer Morgan Visconti has music pedigree coming out of his ears. His dad, Tony Visconti is a renowned producer, counting the likes of T.Rex and Morrissey among his clients, as well as David Bowie from Space Oddity to The Next Day, while his mother, Mary Hopkin, was one of the first acts signed to Apple Records (the Beatles’ own label). After years of performing as an assistant engineer, programmer and session musician, and composing for hundreds of ad campaigns, Morgan about to step into his own light with the release of his debut full-length.