Perhaps it was a much needed respite, but after two months of music coming at us at a blistering pace, August finally slowed down a bit. However it did bring us a lot more albums rather than singles, so there was still a lot of great music to listen to. We had two game soundtracks make the list this month, as well as a number of interesting concept bands and experimental albums. I’m not sure why I’m consistently surprised to come across something new, but it happens just about every month. Read on, have a listen, and enjoy!
Alex Riggen – Milk
Alex Riggen has been a member of a number of bands, counting Far From Words and Murnau among his ventures. He’s now gone solo and has released an album all his own. Milk is the second album from the Iowa-based musician, following last year’s debut Rabbit. This 8-song pop/alternative set starts off with the slow, organ-laden “Crown” and maintains a minimalist sound throughout in both the vocals and the instrumentation. The album is available now on Bandcamp.
Chris Christodoulou – Risk Of Rain OST
Chris Christodoulou is the composer behind the atmospheric soundtrack of upcoming space platformer Risk of Rain. Staff music writer Jennifer described the OST as “…not just an ordinary chiptune album – Christodoulou’s musical background adds a level of refinement that accentuates the feel of the game.” The game is currently in beta, but you can have a listen to the soundtrack below.
Digital Noise Academy - Synemy
The story behind Synemy is fascinating. The new album from 6-member Digital Noise Academy (aka DNA) was created through a process which is essentially the classic “Telephone Game”. Each song would be created by passing it around from one member to another, each adding something to the track. The band includes a mix of music producers, solo artists, and group musicians each bringing some of their personal flavor. Because the tracks are so different, it’s impossible to pin down a specific genre to classify the album under though alternative is fairly prevalent. You’ll just have to have a listen for yourself.
Summerays - Summer Daze
August has come and gone, but Summer’s not quite over yet. Summerays, a surf pop band from Cleveland, captures a bit of the Summer spirit in their 10-song EP Summer Daze. The album was actually released back in January, but was recently brought to our attention. I’m glad we were introduced to it, because it provides the perfect sound for the season. A second album, Daydream, was released back in late 2011 and contains that surf pop style though with a more subdued feel.
Post War Stories - Cold Wars
Post War Stories brings a couple of firsts to our music coverage at The Indie Mine. First, they’re from the Isle of Man which explains why their music contains themes of isolation. Second, their style falls under trip hop with a bit of prog rock mixed in. This all comes together in their debut EP Cold Wars. The 4-track compilation releases in September, but you can have a listen now.
Rich Douglas – Shadowgate OST
Shadowgate is one of those games where you’re flooded with memories or you are simply too young to remember it. The 25th anniversary of the original is upon us (1987 on Mac and 1989 on NES) and developer Zojoi is remaking the game for a modern generation. Rich Douglas is the composer behind the epic soundtrack which comes in at a whopping 25 tracks. That total also includes a number of bonus tracks not found within the game. The songs themselves have everything you want from a fantasy-based soundtrack with some wonderful orchestral and especially choral work. We’ve included the Shadowgate theme song below for your listening pleasure.
Stickman Cartel – “Accolade”
“Accolade” is the debut track from London-based band Stickman Cartel. When our music writer, Jennifer, recently reviewed the single, she called the style “indie disco” and described the song as “…fun, catchy, and it’s meant to get your feet moving.” That energy carries through to their live performances, but for those not living in the UK, the song officially releases on September 2nd.
Northern Hustle – Forgether
Northern Hustle is another band with an interesting premise behind their music. Forgether is the first of three albums which will contain one story. The Arizona-based concept band has an acoustic/folk rock sound, and their ten-track album has some great instrumentation including some interesting percussion choices along with a slide guitar. Although only a handful of their songs are available at the time of this writing , the uptempo beat on “Tangled” is contagious and I can’t wait to hear more when the album lands on September 6th.
Welch & Penn – Early Bird Gangsters
Welch & Penn are an interesting duo. Freddie Wilson (aka Fountain Penn) is a singer-songwriter and Donnie Welch is a performance poet. The two started the Welch & Penn project back in 2012 and are recorded their EP Early Bird Gangsters earlier this month. It’s easy to hear where each member’s influence came into play as each of the three tracks includes Welch’s intense poetry interspersed within – and sometimes overlaid on – Penn’s equally emotional vocal work. With such a heavy weight placed upon the lyrics, each of the songs needs a few listens to fully appreciate the message. Have a listen.
Tomas Sen – Try Solitude
Jeff Thomassen is a bit of a do-everything kind of artist. He’s the writer, composer, arranger, recorder, and producer behind Tomas Sen. He’s put all of that effort to use in creating his debut album Try Solitude. Like many of the other entries this month, this is an experimental album. Try Solitude is a compilation of ten tracks that range from folk to electronica to surf. A backdrop of bird song and whistling in a few of the early tracks helps perpetuate an easygoing acoustic feel. The middle of the album has more of an ambient electronica sound. As advertised, the album really is all over the place in terms of style, but it’s all tied together by the idea that these are all thoughts that pass through our minds when we’re alone.
Well that does it for August. A few of these albums come out in early September, so make sure you keep an eye on them if you enjoy them. As always, let us know if you had a favorite artist out of the bunch, or if there’s a band we’ve missed that you think highly of. Until next time…
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