Everyday Sunday – “Calculate”: It has been about four years since the Columbus pop-rock group put out their last major release, on Inpop Records. Here, we find them jumping on the autotuned dance-rock fad. I’m all for bands exploring new genres and strategies, and have always been aware that Everyday Sunday isn’t a band whose goal is to reinvent the wheel. This song, as catchy as it is, just seems off. I’m sure many people will love it – this is a band that given their history, needs to appeal to the masses, not a rogue music critic! One comment on their Youtube video of the song by the band articulates that they worked hard on this and threw presumptions about the next album out the window, something I appreciate.
M83 – “Reunion”: Holy moly. This band is AWESOME. “Reunion” is my first exposure to the project of French musician Anthony Gonzalez. The genre is a blend of shoegaze, dream pop, and synth-heavy arena rock (sans the “cheese” factor). Reunion soars in every way. You’ll find yourself zoning out and getting lost in the melody and mood long after the four minute track is up. If this description doesn’t have you intrigued yet, watch the below music video.
Of Monsters and Men – “Little Talks”: It seems that Iceland can do no wrong musically. Of Monsters and Men is the latest example of this, although they seem to fulfill every cliche of hipster/indie/folk rock at first glance. Soaring trumpets keep the melody in your head for good, nearly drowning out the slightly restrained simultaneous male/female vocals. This is the type of music that will appeal to a lot of people, but it should from a critical standpoint, not just an ear candy standpoint.
Wolves at the Gate – “Dead Man”: This is the first glance the public has at Wolves at the Gate’s debut LP Captors. Their lyrics are as bold as ever, talking (shouting?) about the saving, transforming power of Jesus Christ. The melodies are catchier and the verse/chorus structure is more prominent but nothing sounds cliche, save for a line or two of lyrics (but really, there is no requirement for joy not to be cliche). Clean vocalist Steven Cobucci has never sounded better and our first glimpse of new vocalist Nick Detty in recorded form is equally satisfying. Check out the track on their blog.