Banji is a band from Utrecht. All
members have a history in other bands, but decided to start making music
together. Listen is the band's debut single. It is an erratic affair,
where modern beats and rhythm alternate with alternative rock guitars.
The influences are more from Belgium that from the Anglo-Saxon world.
dEUS, Zita Swoon, Metal Molly and many other bands from the south of our
border have found their way into Listen. The result is, that I'm not
really finding Banji's identity in this single. Of course that's more
than fine when starting a career. Banji clearly states what it likes in
music and the result is an energetic single, with a fine melody and a
few surprises in how the song plays out.
Let Go. Sharon van Etten
Some time back, I wrote on an album of Sharon van Etten (I went to school and worked in Etten-Leur) that I found her rather detached from me. A fan responded on Twitter that she wondered whether I had my ears screwed on right. For the first half of Let Go, Ms. Van Etten's new single, I stand by that conclusion, but slowly but surely Let Go is fired up, working towards a climax. It is not the music. This is warm from the very start. It is Sharon van Etten's way of singing, that makes me feel like I'm not included. This is me, for sure. We can't be all the same. What I do hear, is that Let Go is an impressive song. Despite that it is mostly played over one chord, a lot is happening and new melodies find their way into the song. In the second half it gets a tremendous boost playing itself out to a grand finale. Well done! The single is part of the soundtrack to a documentary called 'Feels Good Man'.
Invisible Man. Fred Abong
This blogs introduction to Fred Abong did not go unnoticed. The little review of 'The Minit' some weeks ago, received the most responses and likes on Twitter of all 3000 plus posts to date. All thanks to Fred Abong's response. I will not go into his vocal style again here, as that has been discussed enough. Musically Invisible Man is close to 'The Minute'. It presents itself with a minimum of effect. Abong does not need a lot to make the right impression. If anything, Invisible Man, comes close to Mark Lanegan's solo work, without a band. Fred Abong plays an acoustic and an electric guitar. Perhaps an effect pedal and that is it. Enough to make an attractive, alternative ballad and yes, of course with that husky, gravelly, thirsty sounding voice singing for us all to enjoy.
Happier Alone. Austin Meade
to the intro of Happier Alone, I can't help thinking about 'Summer Of
'69', one of Bryan Adams' biggest hits from the 80s. Not that the songs are
the same in melody but certainly in feel. Austin Meade himself points to
his love for rock from the early years of this millennium. Well, these
bands probably will have had its influences as well. Happier Alone is a
song that obviously is from across the pond. it has traces of hair bands
that never really got popular over here and some good old 80s rock.
That implies that the melody is quite alright and some inventive notes
and a staunch guitar solo to go. Why I like Happier Alone, like I do
'Summer of '69', is that Austin Meade puts some emotion into his song,
something I've always missed with many 80s hard rock bands. It always
seemed to be about the money, drugs and probably some sex to boot. His personal looks are more of a 70s southern rock band though. A blend of many musical times and styles Austin Meade is.
Rock & Roll. Alice Cooper
did Alice Cooper come into my life? Was it with 'School's Out' or
'Elected'? Both are still great songs, although the content of the
former speaks a lot less to me almost half a century later. The riff is
still phenomenal of course. Come 2020 and a new Alice Cooper single is
announced. In the very first seconds I recognise it for the cover song
it is. It is the The Velvet Underground / Lou Reed classic rock song
turned into an even harder rocking song. Cooper totally pulls the song
towards him, without changing much except the attack to the song. If
anything it shows the strength of the original and the amount of rock
still present in the golf-loving, senior citizen Alice Cooper has become
over the decades. Concluding, I can write that nothing's changed
really. Rock is rock and roll is roll and it still saves. I only have to listen to those guitar solos in Rock & Roll and know it to be true.
Comedy Show. Flight Attendant
Show alright! No, far from. This is such a serious and down cast song
that it must be the saddest comedy show in the world. Flight Attendant
takes me 40 years back in time, to when I heard 'Will You?', Hazel O'Connor's should
have been #1 single, for the first time. A single that did not even chart here! The saxophone solo
ending is missing though. The violin in the ending of Comedy Show does
not make up for that. Flight Attendant is a band from Nashville, that is
totally new to me and has nothing but then really nothing to do with
the kind of music Nashville has become famous for. Comedy Show is a
beautiful ballad, led by a piano, supported by a keyboard and that
violin. It really impresses me, including the way the song slowly but
surely gets more meat on the bones. Hazel O 'Connor never made another
song that I liked, so Flight Attendant, I dare you to better that and
looking forward to hear more.
is a collective from Amsterdam. Three singers and a host of musicians
that may or may not be members of the band. From balafon percussion to
a trumpet solo it all comes by on this rather exotic sounding single.
From 40s pop like The Andrew Sisters' style singing to jazzy music and African
influences, it is all mixed into the few minutes Afternoon takes. The
lyrics are kind of exotic as well as they were inspired by a Lorca poem.
The combination works rather well, I have to say. The spacious mix
gives an impression of a wide stage where the musicians are all in a
different space and playing without amplification. At the same time it
all sounds so clear. There's a lot of sounds and melodies to discover in
the song. The clear sound provides the opportunity to do so. To
discover what is happening is truly an option with the new Snowapple
single. Afternoon is a little musical labyrinth, to dwell in at leisure.
The Less I Know The Better. Willemijn May
woman's voice and an acoustic guitar are all that can be heard at the
beginning of The Less I Know The Better. The tempo is in the mid range,
the mood invites listening. Slowly but surely the song is infused with other
elements, even of a kind less associated with
singer-songwriters. Vague electronic sounds move in and out. Sounds of
the kind that people prone to "hearing things" may get confused from but in this context can
be called experimental. What remains to be mentioned is a spaciously played piano. The combination of the traditional instruments,
Willemijn May's young woman's voice and the mystery makes The Less I Know
The Better not only an intriguing song but also a good one. It sets her
apart from the 1.000+ other singer-songwriters and invites to want to
hear more in the future. After that great band from Amsterdam called
Elenne May, another May joins the pack. 'Fire' was her first single, one
that I have missed. This second single has put Willemijn on my radar
Nobody Loves The Hulk. Beebe Gallini
are songs that go for the throat from the very first notes. Beebe
Gallini lets the drums pound, a bass plays one note and off goes Nobody
Loves The Hulk. In Beebe Gallini, I recognise two members of the
resurrected The Short Fuses, Miss Georgia Peach and Travis Ramin. Just
like that band Beebe Gallini rocks out loud and rough, but a bit more
direct in a punkrock way. This single is everything one is allowed to
expect from a punkrock band that infuses 60s garage rock into its
style. Not anger but a great melody, despite that the hulk only shows
himself when afraid and / or extremely vexed. Nobody Loves The Hulk is
amazingly direct, in my face and I love every second of the song. A
fiery guitar solo tops of the distorted singing of Ms. Georgia Peach,
who is all but on fire in this song. I love how the song progresses into
the third chord in the verses. It totally makes the song what it is.
This is rock and roll of the highest kind all right.
comment though, anyone who knows his 'The Avengers' film classics knows
that 'The Black Widow' deeply cares for 'The Hulk', so that makes three
with the "you and me" in the song.
I Love The Way You See The World. Petter Carlsen
"Music from above the pole circle", read the caption coming with the notification of Petter Carlsen's new single. As my son lived there for most of the summer, I decided to give the song a chance for the singles of the week post. I Love The Way You See The World is indie pop, like promised, with some elements of dreamy synthpop as well. It is nice to know where Carlsen lives or creates his songs, but for the rest this song could have been made anywhere in the world. It's a global musical language Carlsen shares with us. Having listened a few times to the single I can conclude that it's a nice song but not one that exceeds what has been done before. The contemplation implied in the title does not come across in the song, as he does not share the joy of the recognition with us, more a melancholy longing for something out of reach. If that is the background for the story told, Carlsen succeeded in sharing this feeling with us listeners quite well.
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