Album Review: Start Again EP

April 27, 2015 § Leave a comment

Indie rocker YØUTH is ready to release his new EP, Start Again.  It features the single “Cold Sweat,” which MCU had the opportunity to learn about in a previous “Behind the Song” feature.  Julian Dente, the genius behind YØUTH, provided a pretty deep message with “Cold Sweat,” and his depth of insight continues throughout Start Again.

The title track, “Start Again,” has an ’80s rock sound to it, and Dente’s intonations instantly reminded me of The Maine’s John O’Callaghan.  I love the beat and the swell of the guitar, as well as the subtle piano background.  It’s definitely different from the rest of the EP, but then again, each song is unique, showing that YØUTH has quite the range.

Next comes “Cold Sweat,” YØUTH’s previously highlighted track of self-harm and the redemption from it.

YØUTH carries the indie, soulful melody of guitar and piano brilliantly in “Fallen Short.”  The music is crisp and clear, complementing Dente’s soothing voice.  The lyrics are immersive, pecking at your heart, willing you to dive into the emotion of the song.

“Breathing Easy,” a single released last year, has more of a rocker tone, with harsher sounds, and a more distinct beat.  It’s lively while still bringing out the emotion of regret and loss that YØUTH captures so well.  Dente’s voice is a little more raw on this track, making it not my favorite.  However, I am still drawn to the sound and message behind the music.

“Father” has a synthetic feel that matches YØUTH’s physical image.  Dente’s voice is again raw and almost mechanical, yet it still manages to fit with the melancholic feel of the song.  The guitar work is reminiscent of “Fallen Short,” and is the real standout of this song.

While Dente has a limited vocal range, his musical talent is beyond evident.  YØUTH has an eclectic indie vibe that works.  Dente brings something new with each song so they all stand out on their own.  If you’re looking for new, strong musicality in your indie playlist, definitely check out YØUTH’s Start Again EP, available for pre-order here.

Feature Friday: r.e.l

April 24, 2015 § Leave a comment

via Effectively Immediately

via Effectively Immediately

Feature by Bailey Garno

The new music video for r.e.l.’s “Headed for the Sun” has been released via Baeble Music. The video, which features a kaleidoscope of colors and trippy shots, seems appropriate for the pop-synth song given its galactic references. The video was produced by Perpetual Productions and is a fluid storytelling effort that depicts two lovers who are, more or less, in different stratospheres at this point in their relationship. In a simpler form, they have a difference of opinion and are divided by that, but the comparison to space and facing different planets (literally) raises the stakes. I like this song, and you can listen to it while watching the official video on YouTube or baeblemusic.com.

r.e.l. is the moniker for the young singer, Arielle Sitrick (see what she did there?). Sitrick established the band in 2013 with some fellow musicians backing up her vocals. Since its creation, r.e.l. has performed at Room 5, Genghis Cohen, House of Blues, and other venues around the Los Angeles area. Additionally, previous singles released that are featured on the upcoming debut EP have been featured in MTV Iggy, GMAD, and Crack in the Road.

The self-titled debut EP has been fully-funded by Kickstarter and is due out next month. The sound, a rep tells MCU, will be a mix of indie-pop and PBR&…B?

What exactly is PBR&B?

A little outside research told me that this is a new wave of R&B coming out of the indie side of the industry. The PBR bit actually does stand for Pabst Blue Ribbon, apparently the hipster’s beer of choice in the early ’00s, and it’s really just to denote the use of acoustics, rock and or electronic elements that have been added to this bluesy genre of music. Frank Ocean and The Weeknd are recent popular examples, but r.e.l.—who is easily comparable to Lorde—would also be an appropriate example for the growing genre.

To hear this dream-pop beauty, check out her tracks complete with music videos over on YouTube and let us know what you have to say about the out-of-this-world single.

Tuesday Tunes: Coachella

April 21, 2015 § Leave a comment

coachellaCoachella took over the West Coast the past two weekends, and we’re still excited about all the buzz worthy performances. For this week’s Tuesday Tunes, we created a playlist from our favorite performers. Did any of you attend Coachella? Share your favorite performances with us!

Hold On – Alabama Shakes
Drop the Game – Flume, Chet Faker
Work Song – Hozier
Slow Motion – PHOX
Elevate – St. Lucia
Every Other Freckle – alt-J
Budapest – George Ezra
Gooey – Glass Animals
Miracle – Kimbra
Fire Rides –
Say My Name – ODESZA ft. Zyra
Cardiac Arrest – Bad Suns
Cecelia and the Satellite – Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness
Know Yourself – Drake
The Fool – Ryn Weaver

Feature Friday: Chase Coy

April 17, 2015 § Leave a comment

chase coy

Feature by Bailey Garno

In the wake of the release of his second single, Chase Coy, hailing from Nashville, Tennessee, is our next featured artist here at MCU.  Coy has made his way around the music industry, independently and signed, and has been involved in many different music projects.  As young as he is, Coy is a seasoned vet, having released his first album at the age of 16.  “Like Sin”—his second single released in anticipation of his upcoming album, Youthis a fun combination of string and sonic, presenting Coy as a dynamic musician with a voice to be heard.

In the first line of “Like Sin,” Coy sings, “When you cry like that it’s not attractive.”  It’s funny and brutally blunt, and especially ironic in Coy’s sweet voice.  He sounds a bit like Colin Meloy from The Decemberists, but less matured.  I’m also reminded a bit of Owl City, not just with the vocals but instrumentally, mixing authentic instrumentals with synth beats.  In this single, for example, it sounds like Coy is working with a ukulele.  In “Youth,” the first single off the forthcoming album, Coy layers strings (perhaps a banjo?) with electronics as well.  It makes for an eccentric mix of indie americana/pop.

Coy’s professional music career began when he was 16, producing and releasing music on his own.  In 2009, he signed a publishing deal with Sony/ATV and produced his first full-length album, Picturesque, released through Universal Republic Records.  The album was mixed by Michael Brauer and featured a duet with the Grammy Award-winning singer, Colbie Caillat.  It was at this point that Coy decided to slide over to Nashville, where he again picked up independent writing and production, and in the process redefined himself…twice.  The first project is logged under Third and Union, the second under Sun Culture.  Through both projects, Coy released two EPs and was honored by iTunes as one of their “Best New Folk Artists.”

Youth is slated for June 23rd, but until then, we recommend you check out Coy on his official site and listen to his past music on SoundCloud.

Album Review: American Candy

April 15, 2015 § Leave a comment

American Candy

The Maine has released another new album—their fifth—entitled American Candy. With every new album the band releases, it seems they grow more and more, away from their pop beginnings and into a mature and steady rock sound. Black & White offered the first hint of an adult The Maine, and that talent has only continued to grow through Pioneer, Forever Halloween, and now with American Candy. The Maine pulls it off well, highlighting a success that so many of their former contemporaries like A Rocket to the Moon and We the Kings have failed to achieve. The Maine continues to record the music they want, and they are fortunate enough that that music is actually good.

What’s also unique about American Candy is that there are very few romantic songs on the album. Most tracks focus on friendship or the trials of life and being true to yourself. It’s a direction The Maine has moved toward in recent years and they embody such messages completely in their music.

“Miles Away” has a softer, acoustic feel that brings out singer John O’Callaghan’s solemn side. It feels so much more laid back than The Maine of old, a true testament to their growth and maturity.

“Same Suit, Different Tie” has a slightly more poppy feel. The beat is constant as the lyrics preach against our world’s need for fancy things to feel good and important.

“My Hair” is The Maine’s anthem for being yourself on American Candy. It’s a nice message, and the staccato shout of “hair” is attractive, but the lyrics border on a goofiness that I have a hard time taking seriously.

“English Girls” is the first truly fast-paced song on the album, with a great rock undertone. The beat is catchy and the overall sound borders on older The Maine, the lyrics a little closer to the band’s teen audience.

“24 Floors” is slower and more mechanical, captured by a unique guitar melody. O’Callaghan’s voice softens with emotion and mirrors the lyrics beautifully. It’s not as moving as the classic “Into Your Arms,” but again it represents the mature side The Maine has been able to successfully grow into, unlike many of their pop and alternative rock counterparts. « Read the rest of this entry »

Feature Friday: WAVE & ROME

April 10, 2015 § Leave a comment

WAVE & ROAMFeature by Bailey Garno

Arriving at Music Creates Us from Nashville, Tennessee, is the indie-rock sound of WAVE & ROME. Led by Sam Tinnesz, WAVE & ROME has only just released the debut single “Across the Map” in anticipation of the EP that will crop up on the music field this summer. “Across the Map” is the product of a collaboration with co-writer and co-producer Josh Farro (Farro, Paramore) and has, since its original creation, been remixed by many deejays, including Derek Webb and Jeremy Bose. These new developments were ushered along with the help of Matt Bronleewe (Hayley Williams), who was part of the later production process of the original track. A link to the remixes can be found here, where you’ll also find the option to download what you like!

The upcoming EP will feature five original tracks that blur the boundary between genres. Listeners will hear the ebb and flow of string instruments, the powerful procession of drums, electro-synth beats, and the beautiful vocals of Tinnesz, all on this short track list. It’s the type of music that is transcending the prescribed genres.  It’s popularity continues to grow, especially as new artists strive to create original material that can reach a vast number of fans. Except Tinnesz is not new to the music scene. He has received plenty of credit in writing and producing, and has worked with artists like Young Summer, Farro, and Ruelle. You can even hear some of his work on TV—ABC’s Revenge, the CW’s The Originals, and STARZ’s Da Vinci Dreams have all featured Tinnesz’s handiwork.

WAVE & ROME’s debut EP will be released with UNSECRET Music this summer. Keep an ear out and in the meantime, enjoy a download of “Across the Map.”

Tuesday Tunes from Down Under

April 7, 2015 § Leave a comment

It’s always fun to find new music, and we find it especially exciting when you can explore the far reaches of the world.  For this week’s Tuesday Tunes, MCU decided to search Down Under, where some incredible music has emerged.

Grizzly Bear” – Angus & Julia Stone
Good Girls” – 5 Seconds of Summer
Blisters” – Halcyon Drive
Geronimo” – Sheppard
Elastic Heart” – Sia
I Knew I Loved You” – Savage Garden
Jessie’s Girl” – Rick Springfield
New Problems” – Cody Simpson
Rosaline” – New Navy
“Pretender” – Sahara Beck
I Feel Better” – Gotye
Play With Fire” – Vance Joy
Fader” – The Temper Trap
Are You Gonna Be My Girl” – Jet
Be Like The Water” – Jack Carty

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