Call for Music Writers... Rock, Indie, Urban, Electronic, Americana, Metal, World and More

Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Thursday, Sep 5, 2013
"I think it’s important to respect the past and honor what we accomplished and what that meant for so many people, including myself."

The last time William Beckett graced the stage at Warped Tour, he was fronting emo pop-rock act the Academy Is… in 2008 and was finally on the verge of the big mainstream breakthrough so many fans assumed was inevitable. Instead, the Academy Is… stands as an example for many as to what major label politics can do to a promising indie band, as the group parted ways in 2011 under continued pressure and frustration to deliver radio-worthy material.


In its wake, the band left some of the most classic and revered music the scene has known. Although The Academy Is… was no more, there was never a doubt that Beckett was done creating. Indeed, he emerged last year with three new EPs as part of his new solo endeavor before being signed to Equal Vision Records and recording what will be his first full album as a solo artist. That album, Genuine and Counterfeit, maintains the heart of what fans have grown to love from Beckett, but explores new sonic territory as a brave, forward-thinking pop record.


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Tuesday, Jul 9, 2013
Oh Canada, where pop music bears the most fruit! Rusty Matyas, of Winnipeg's own Imaginary Cities, turns his attention from the band's stunning sophomore effort Fall of Romance to play a game of 20 Questions in which we're all winners.

For those of us who bemoan the fact that we weren’t born Canadian, Imaginary Cities adds more fuel to the fire with their blend of pop music, which does more to blur the lines of what makes meaningful music than any of their contemporaries.


Fall of Romance, the duo’s sophomore album, sounds as refreshingly dense and well-developed as most bands’ fifth or sixth record, owed in no small part to Rusty Matyas’ already storied experiences with major label success via his work with the Weakerthans and his band the Waking Eyes. Yet it was Marti Sarbit’s voice which captured Matyas’ attention in the first place, and it’s that same voice which anchors the music on both their studio efforts. The two worked up material for 2011’s Temporary Resident playing music just for the sheer hell of it, and had they not been initially pressured by the Weakerthans’ manager to focus on putting out a full record, we may never have heard them.


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Monday, Jun 17, 2013
It's taken four years but Nico Vega stands poised to revive all things rock with its long-awaited sophomore album Lead to Light later this year. Until you get the chance to hear those songs, however, there's always PopMatters' "20 Questions" series to have your back.

For those of you who think rock is dead, I give you two words: Nico Vega. The band built its reputation through a series of EP releases before finally getting the opportunity to release an epic, self-titled debut LP in 2009. Since then the group has toured with everyone from Gavin Rossdale and Neon Trees to Metric and Imagine Dragons, showcasing Aja Volkman’s description-defying vocals and the band’s unique ability to merge memorable hooks with songs built upon pounding percussion and emotionally charged riffs. Their song “Beast” received prominent placement in Bioshock: Infinite‘s massive press campaign, and with a new groundswell of support, their forthcoming full-length Lead to Light is currently being readied as a force to truly reckon with.


The band’s unique blend of rock, pop, and modern alternative sounds helps set it apart, but Volkman’s lyrics definitely put Nico Vega in a different league from their genre contemporaries. “It’s important to me that music evokes emotion”, she’s said in the past. “Lyrics have to be honest and true for me.” In that vein, the group has built up the Nico Vega persona to symbolize the warrior within, representing unity and the battle against ego. The band’s passion for exploring all things art and politics has helped fuel songs like “Beast”, which has become all but ubiquitous when the band’s name is spoken: “Stand tall for the people of America, lay down like a naked dead body”, Volkman sing-screams. “Keep it real for the people working overtime ... we are free in the land of America, we ain’t going down like this!”


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.