I've been on a huge Starting Line kick lately. I've been playing Say It Like You Mean It for over a week and still can't get enough of it. Definitely one of my favourite albums ever, and everything about it seems to fit so perfectly right now. I also find it really interesting listening to the We The People Sessions that were recorded about two years prior and comparing the albums. (If anyone doesn't have these songs, I'm more than happy to send them.)
Next up is Based On a True Story, as I slowly appreciate this great band's discography (which can be heard in its entirety on their Myspace).
It's been a long time since I've decided to hold out on listening to a single second of an album before I have it in my hands, and to say that I'm excited to get this when release date comes around doesn't begin to explain it. It's one of my most anticipated of the year of course (along with Fun and others I've yet to begin fantasizing about), and I'm positive it'll be amazing. Manchester Orchestra can do no wrong in my eyes, and I hope they create a huge buzz this year.
I'd like to start doing this on a more regular basis, I love reading other peoples' recommendations, so hopefully someone can gain something from my thoughts.
Here's what I've been listening to lately:
Cinematic Sunrise - I had doubts as to whether I'd enjoy their EP after taking a quick listen to the songs on their Myspace a while ago, but I decided to give it a chance, and it's actually very good. Definitely worth a listen. "You Told Me You Loved Me" is such a beautiful song.
Driver F - Fun, catchy and extremely enjoyable music. Their video for "Two Words, Mr. President..." is hilarious. Chase The White Whale is a perfect CD to pick up as summer approaches.
Brightwood - It's been over 2 years since this band released their debut EP, The Love Antidote, and they have finally have a release date for their new full length. It comes out on July 19th and I'm sure it's going to turn a few heads. One of my most anticipated releases so far this year. Take a listen to two new songs on their Myspace.
If you have any recommendations for me, please let me know.
On this beautiful winter's day, I recommend busting out your copy of The Format's Interventions and Lullabies (everyone should own this album) and letting it fill you with joy. This band has slowly moved their way up my favorite bands list over the past few years, and I feel that they're probably sitting at the number 1 spot at this moment in time. Nate Ruess's lyrics are exceptional, and I find new words that I can relate to whenever I listen to a Format album. As for Interventions and Lullabies, this CD can never grow old for me. Such a truly beautiful piece of work that gets me without fail every time I listen to it. If you've never heard it or never given it chance to grow on you, there's absolutely no reason to wait any longer. Trust me.
I've been keeping an eye this band for a few years, ever since I heard a handful of songs off of their "A Black Eye Or A Broken Heart" EP back in 2005. Although I've always enjoyed what I've heard from them, it's been relatively frustrating hearing re-recording after re-recording of older songs with each new demo they've released over the years. A label has finally had the sense to sign them, and we can hear new songs from a band that has had potential for a long time, but has never really been able to do anything with it.
I'm very excited to say that this CD is living up to all expectations I've had since hearing the sampler EP on AP a week or so ago. It's pop punk at it's best - each and every song is ridiculously catchy and overall it's a very enjoyable listen. I hope everyone who is a fan of this genre gives this band a chance - download the sampler on the band's AP profile page, and if you like that, there's no doubt in my mind that you'll love the entire thing. It's available for download starting today through iTunes - go get it.
Favourites Of The Moment: "Hey"
"Come On Come On"
"Sing While You Can"
Is it just me? Or does the chorus of "Get Back" remind anyone else a lot of All Time Low's "The Beach"?
To be completely honest, when I first got my hands on “A Twist In My Story,” I wasn’t expecting a great deal. In fact, I only took the time to find it for a friend who was a big fan of John Vasaly’s label debut, “Awake.” I listened to the singer/songwriter’s aforementioned effort more than a handful of times and, although I enjoyed it somewhat, there’s only so much you can do with an above-average voice and an acoustic guitar. The songs were pleasant, but as a whole, it became rather too monotonous for me. Boring, I guess.
So when I decided to give “A Twist In My Story,” a listen, I was very pleasantly surprised. Opening track “Like A Knife” immediately introduces the “new” Secondhand Serenade with the unfamiliar sound of an electric guitar, followed by the sweet crash of, you guessed it, a crash cymbal… Drums. Excellent! This theme continues throughout the CD, and contributes greatly to making the album far more diverse and, therefore, a fair amount more entertaining than the band's previous two releases. “Like A Knife” goes on to become one of the better songs on the record, with Vasaly’s sweetness producing a chorus that’ll melt any girl’s heart.
A piano greets us immediately as we enter the second track, “Fall For You.” The more instruments the better here. In the third song, I a re-working of older song “Maybe,” (and later “Your Call”), Vasaly proves that his new music is miles ahead of his older work. It’s amazing what a few more instruments and a bigger budget can do. The production on “A Twist In My Story” is far crisper than previous efforts.
It is unfortunate that the album starts to lose something by about the 7th or 8th song. For me at least, the songs slip gradually into that old mould that I got rather tried of on “Awake.” My mind starts to drift, almost consistently – not a good thing. However, this definitely doesn’t take away from the fact that Vasaly’s songwriting has taken a giant step in the right direction, and I’m excited to see what he hands us next. In the meantime, Secondhand Serenade are well on their way to becoming the next Dashboard Confessional.
“Like A Knife”
“Fall For You”
Take it or leave it? Put it this way – if you hated Secondhand Serenade before, you’ll probably still hate Secondhand Serenade, and I would recommend giving this one a miss. If you liked the first CD, you’ll eat this up. If you’re somewhere, anywhere, in between, definitely give it a listen. At the worst, you’ll be indifferent about a lot of the CD, and perhaps find a song or two to include on the next mixtape you make for your crush.
I’ve decided to make use of this little space to pen a few of my thoughts about the new music I listen to, and recommend a couple of things every now and then. Unfortunately, my writing ability doesn’t come close to that of Blake Solomon, but hopefully a few of you will find some kind of enjoyment in reading what I have to say from time to time!