Darlingside‘s most striking feature is those pristine, crystalline harmonies that the four-member band spin like the finest of weavers. They seduce and pull you into their stunningly beautiful musical sphere. In fact, the harmony singing is so good that Darlingside may be today’s Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Their latest single/video is for “White Horses”, an utterly gorgeous song that will have you hunting down their recent release Birds Say.
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California’s Royal Jelly Jive has a name that evokes the 1930s and 1940s, which is ideal in that their music is firmly rooted in the aesthetics of that era, while blending in bluesy rock guitars. Don’t mistake the group for just another swing revivalist, however. Royal Jelly Jive brings elements from swing and prohibition era jazz into the modern age by blending those sounds with blues, rock and even hip-hop in the groovy bits. “Dear Mr. Waits” goes more for a straight blues swing and it’s an irresistible, slinky, sexy song celebrating the work of fellow Sonoma County resident Tom Waits.
Chris Ingalls: My immediate reaction upon hearing this song in its entirety is one of complete lack of surprise. That is to say, it sounds exactly like what you would expect Radiohead to sound like in 2016. Thom Yorke’s mournful, processed vocals, light effects with a gorgeous minor-key piano, strings, an eventual insistent bass line. This is a band that always keeps things filled with tension. Even something as beautiful as a ballad needs to be spooky. Radiohead have spent the last 20-plus years making music on their own terms and the result is almost always soaring, moody, and brilliant. [9/10]
Pryor Stroud: Backboned by a pitched-down vocal sample and a sprawling, nearly gelatinous bass groove, “Dammn Baby” is an unimpeachable work of pop artistry from one of pop’s preeminent artists. Its light-as-air melody seems like a revelation stolen from the ether; an act of inspiration-thievery that Janet’s brother was also verifiably guilty of. Like the best dance-pop tracks, it’s a song suited for both public and private consumption—an ecstasy of rhythm and sonic affirmation made for the dance floor but eminently capable of accompanying a night alone with a pair of headphones. [9/10]
Pryor Stroud: When handled correctly, heartache is one of the most powerful tools in a singer’s arsenal. It can sear words—char, torque, and brutalize them until they are just ground-up streaks of sorrow and sound—or purify them, turn them into vocalized bursts of unalloyed honesty and emotional directness. On “Move Me”, Sara Watkins opts for the former. “I want you to move me / I want you move me,” Watkins pleads, and each word she enunciates feels like a shred of her heart ripped out, held between her palms, and thrust forward in an attempt to grab her lover’s attention. On the whole, the track is a melodically ambitious roots-folk stomper that injects a singer-songwriter moodiness into the straightforward vigor of ‘60s rock ‘n’ roll. [6/10]
// Notes from the Road
"Cage the Elephant rocked two sold-out nights at Summerstage and return to NYC for a free show May 29th. Info on that and a preview of the full Summerstage schedule is here.READ the article