January 2014 Music Roundup

The Indie Mine January 2014 Music Roundup

January signalled the start of a new year, and with every new year comes change. We’ve decided to shake things up a bit with our monthly music roundup feature now that we have a few different writers covering music for the site. Each month we’ll be making our staff picks with each music writer picking their favorite track and album/EP discovered in the past month. Please note that the music selected didn’t necessarily have to release in the past month, though we’ll try to keep it limited to recent works. With the digital age, more and more musicians are periodically releasing their albums piecemeal, so it’s hard to dictate when a particular song debuted. Anyway, we hope you like our favorites, but be sure to also check out all of the other music we encountered. Enjoy!


Staff Picks


Album(s) of the Month:

There’s a Bluebird in My Heart – Running Red Lights

Running Red Lights' self-produced debut album, There's a Bluebird in My Heart, released on the 14th of January, was eight years in the making. Through a misdirected journey of industry turmoil and pressure, the Toronto band emerged as folksy indie pop/rock powerhouse with a good deal of bluesy, southern flair. Those many years of life experience manifest in the album's sentimental subject matter and evocative lyrics, which are equal parts sweet and melancholy, with a little bit of nostalgia for good measure. Guided by the rhythmic and melodious instrumentation of David Puzak and Jeff Carter, Scarlett Flynn's robust intonation harmonizes gracefully with Kevin Howley's tender, R&B influenced vocals.
It has been quite a few months since my first time hearing the music of Toronto-based band Running Red Lights. Their single "Mulberry Love" was previously featured in our monthly music roundup, but it would be a bit of a wait before we would finally get to hear the finished album, There's A Bluebird In My Heart. It was well worth the wait. While it is the normally the instrumentation of a song that wins me over, vocalists Kevin Howley and Scarlett Flynn make for such a pleasant pairing that the album just edged out a few others as my top pick this month. For me, the standout track on this album is "Dear Liza".



Entangled And Entwined – Juleah

Entangled And Entwined is the captivating EP from Austria native, Juleah. The EP is a blend of soulful, singer-songwriter elements and dreamy themes that allude to shoegaze artists of the early 90s. With sensual vocals and hypnotic rhythms, Entangled And Entwined is a delight for fans of Slowdive and Mazzy Star.


Single(s) of the Month:

“If I Am Wrong” – Illitry

The Illitry remix of "If I Am Wrong" combines a hauntingly beautiful melody backed by an urban beat. Illitry takes the lovely original track by singer-songwriter, Scott Orr, and transforms it with a new level of energy and a great vibe.


“The Verge” – Juleah

Entangled and Entwined, the third release from Austrian artist Juleah (aka Julia Hummer) is a five-track EP of full, yet understated psychedelic rock with shoegaze and dream pop influences. The first song on the album, "The Verge", is summery and sweeping without ever feeling undirected. It does not meander far, but rolls along like the ocean tide, driven by Julia's solid vocals and intimately oblique lyricism.


“Careless Smile” – Jessica Bundy

While I was tempted to go with Running Red Lights' "Dear Liza", I enjoyed Jessica Bundy's "Careless Smile" too much to let it go without some recognition. I think what drew me to the Toronto-based musician's latest single is the deep emotion put into the words. I've listened to a bit of Mumford & Sons over the past few years, and I immediately drew a comparison between the artists. This track comes from Bundy's debut EP which is currently being recorded. I'm sure we'll be hearing much more from this musician in 2014.



Other Music

Green Mountain Road Band unveils 6-track, southern rock/blues EP Lend A Hand

Postcode guitarist Mikie Duagherty releases Afterlight EP under Nanaki name

Experimental alt-rock album Mitch McConnell’s Grapefruit Stand by Babirusa

STACEY launches music video for single “Worst Part”

Electronic/chiptune album further by San Francisco-based electronic band crashfaster

Cinematically-inspired album Ashes and Tangerines from Toronto musician Clara Engel

Series of remixes released for “Lizard Eyes” by The Boy & Sister Alma

Terracotta Blue rings in the new year with hip hop/chillwave EP City Skylark

Detroit techno master Tunnelvision creates new 90s-themed EP Desire Lines

Folk singer/songwriter Songbird reveals new album Why Don’t You Care

Alt rock EP How the boys feel, when they are jilted released by Czech Republic band Tonecat

Dave Rave and the Governors release Minnesota-inspired pop album Ashtray Makeup

Kansas City hip-hip artist Ryan Forest releases debut EP The Veil under project name Cairoglyphs

House music specialist Gunes Ergun releases atmospheric EP Turkish Delight

New single “We Here Now (So Much Smoke)” released by ‘music artist’ JproD

Brooklyn-inspired mixtape The Warm Up by The Presidential Colleagues

Folk singer/songwriter Harrison Caldeira releases 11-track acoustic album  HIS*STORY

Postcode members Marie Reynolds and Mikie Daugherty team up with ex-Stoliday member Phil Reynolds on The Slow Hours’ “Let’s Pretend This Is Real Life

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Author:Brandon Schmidt

Brandon is the founder and managing director of The Indie Mine in his free time. His preferred medium is video games and he's not shy about his support for the indie development community. You can follow him on Twitter @TheIndieMine.

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