Another month has come and gone and that means it’s time once again to sit back and reflect on the music that’s touched our lives. Okay, that might be going a bit too far. We really did come across a number of bands that caught our eye (or at least our ears). I encourage all of our readers to listen to the full list of musicians. You might just find something that surprises you.
Ummagma – “Lama” remix
The Canadian-Ukrainian duo of Shauna McLarnon and Alexx Kretov has been busy since releasing two digital LPs in July 2012. Their latest project is a remix of their single “Lama” from their Antigravity album. The remix is done by Jane Woodman – a shoegaze/darkwave musician from San Francisco – and features a slightly darker spin on the dreampop-infused original version. Both of Ummagma’s albums - Ummagma and Antigravity - are available in their entirety (for free!) through their Bandcamp site, and we’ve included the “Lama” remix below.
Sam English - Dungeon Hearts OST
It’s a special treat when we can cover video game music composers on the site because it combines two of our areas of interest. Enter Sam English, the composer behind the soundtrack for Dungeon Hearts, a recently-released multi-platform game that combines match-3 mechanics with RPG staples. This is the kind of sound I’d love to hear in a new Zelda game, and you can judge for yourself by listening to the track below or by checking out the full album.
Fronz Arp – Fronz Arp is a Tiny Crooked Orchestra
It’s easy to figure out where the David Bowie comparisons come from after hearing just a few notes from Fronz Arp. The poppy sound and catchy beats certainly bring to mind one of Britain’s finest. The album Fronz Arp is a Tiny Crooked Orchestra has a unique name, but it also has an interesting backstory. The album was released one song at a time, with each track debuting two weeks after the previous one. All told, 27 tracks were released over two volumes, and you can listen to the first album below.
Amber Edgar – Honey & Sorrow
Last month we highlighted a number of talented solo musicians from the great white north (Canada), and we have another here in the form of Amber Edgar. Edgar released the album Honey & Sorrow in early March. Though only two tracks, listeners get a chance to hear this artist speed things up and slow things down as she delivers a little slice of life about the troubles that follow us all. Although the first track shares the album’s name, I really enjoyed the second track more and included it below. Have a listen to Edgar pour her heart out in “Troubles”.
Blurred City Lights – Neon Glow
The creative process ebbs and flows with artists. Sometimes developing a concept can take a lifetime. In the case of Blurred City Lights it took 10 days for Dean Garcia and Jarek Leskiewicz to release their debut EP Neon Glow. Even more interesting is that the 5-track album was created via email and file sharing. Amazing! The highlight of the album for me is “Circles” which rightly earns comparisons to a little band called Pink Floyd. BCL is also offering “Symbiotic Anxiety Attacks (Feels So High Mix Feat Rose Berlin)” as a free download.
Navy Skies – Cut My Teeth
Like Blurred City Lights, Navy Skies has gone with a different approach in creating their latest album, Cut My Teeth. Rather than creating their sound through the typical highly-filtered studio production process, this 2-track album captures the band’s energy in a more raw, realistic approach. In fact, everything but the vocals was recorded live off the floor. Of the two tracks, I preferred “Ontario Winds”. Perhaps that’s because of its comparable sound to that of the Foo Fighters, one of my favorite mainstream alt-rock bands. You can check out both tracks in the player below.
The Almighty Rhombus – The Almighty Rhombus
I love bands with personality. After being introduced to The Almighty Rhombus as a ‘supergroup’ from Greater Sudbury (Ontario, Canada), I of course had to see what they were all about. Their recently-released self-titled album contains five tracks with a poppy, upbeat sound. I can see why they play to packed bars as their music is conducive to dancing and having a few pints. After years of listening to Boston, I’m still tickled by any band that includes a distinctive organ sound which The Almighty Rhombus does here to great effect. Although I enjoyed the entire album, I couldn’t pick a favorite track. Have a listen to the full album and see if you can decide.
Dallas David - Benson
Coming to us from the hotbed of indie culture that’s Portland, Oregon is Dallas David. In mid-March, David released his 13-track album Benson. I don’t think there’s an artist in this list that shows more diversity than David. In fact, I can’t even properly categorize the artist’s genre. It’s a mix of acoustic rock, funk, pop, and R&B, and when combined with David’s vocals the closest sound it brings to my mind is Prince. I love the mix of electric guitar, acoustic guitar, and synthesizers, and it’s hard not to smile at tracks like “The Biscuit Works”, “Salmon Fillet”, and “Kittens”. It’s not just the titles as many of the songs are full of humorous lyrics and subject matter. It’s not quite as outlandish as The Lonely Island, but some of these songs are downright funny. Have a listen to David’s songwriting talent.
Doug MacDonald – ReORGANized Quartet
Our last entry in this month’s roundup is Doug MacDonald and his recent album ReORGANized Quartet. The L.A.-area jazz guitarist reestablishes the vibe he created back in 1997′s Organ-izing, and includes musicians Clarence Webb, Bobby Pierce, Rodger Neumann, and Harold Acey. The organ might not be the first instrument that comes to mind when one thinks of jazz, but I really dig the sound when combined with Webb’s tenor saxophone. If you’re a fan of the genre, this is a great album to check out. Unfortunately we weren’t able to include any of the tracks in this article, but you can preview the full album here.
Do you have any favorites in the list above? Were there any artists you were exposed to in March that you’d care to share with us? We love discussing all things indie music, so leave a comment below.
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