February 27, 2015 § Leave a comment
Formerly, Montreal native Elliot Maginot had been rocking out in a garage with some punk-rock musician friends. Since then, Maginot has swapped the loud, hard sound for something softer and more acoustic. His debut LP, titled Young/Old/Everything.in.Between, was released this past February 10th and is on the whole very cathartic.
Before he could get into the alternative-folk genre that he has now demonstrated to possess an ear for, Maginot had to go through a self-described “hermit period.” He would pick up the guitar and do some thoughtful plucking, and in doing so was induced into self-reflection. It may have been during that period that Maginot generated those thoughts and developed that voice which we can hear on his twelve-track compilation. Guided by producer Jace Lasek, Maginot offers a satisfying set that is often dream-like and melodic. Filled with soft acoustic plucking and layered vocals in a beautiful tenor, Young/Old/Everything.in.Between is an excellent first release.
For Maginot, most of 2014 consisted of roving through Quebec and performing as an opening act to the likes of The Franklin Electric and Ian Kelly. Now, with a full LP under his belt, Maginot will be headlining his own shows and making stops around the Quebec area. He is supported by Mathieu LeGuerrier on drums, Jesse McCormack on keyboard, and Jean-Philippe Hébert on guitars.
Maginot, alongside Indica Records, has made available two music videos for two of his tracks; “Young/Old” and “Monsters at War.” I especially enjoyed the last video, which is so soft and visually beautiful. You can find both videos on YouTube now.
February 24, 2015 § Leave a comment
Winter got you down? We’ve been practically snowed in on the East Coast and felt it was about time we shook off some snow and looked to brighten our moods. For this week’s Tuesday Tunes, we’re thinking sun and summer all the way! So bust out those shades and shake off the winter blues with these jams.
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“On the Road in a Storm” – Side Saddle
“Awake My Soul” – Mumford & Sons
“Ice Melts” – Matt and Kim
“See the Sun” – The Kooks
“Don’t Let It Break Your Heart” – Coldplay
“Smile” – The Vamps
“Midnight City” – M83
“The Mother We Share” – CHVRCHES
“Walkashame” – Meghan Trainor
“Chocolate” – The 1975
“Starlight” – Taylor Swift
“Boomerang” – The Summer Set
“Buddy Holly” – Straight No Chaser
“90s Music” – Kimbra
“Pop” – NSYNC
February 23, 2015 § Leave a comment
This past Thursday, I had the privilege and delight to see Ryan Hobler at Rockwood Music Hall to celebrate the release of his new album, The Elusive Yes. The stage is pretty small, making it a very intimate and cozy setting, especially on such a cold night. But it was the perfect atmosphere for Hobler’s soothing, folky sound.
Accompanying Hobler was a full band, including a bass, beautiful piano, and some very invested backup singers. They commented that it was the first time they had actually played together as a band, but they came together wonderfully. In such a small space, I could not imagine Hobler without the accompaniment, but he surprised me with an acoustic set in the middle of the show that was just as spell binding.
Hobler started the show rather abruptly, his sound seeming to come from out of nowhere. But he worked his guitar in smoothly and slowly and I was quickly swept away in his voice. Crisp and clear, Hobler has true vocal talent that flourishes live, reassuring that he is the real deal.
His first song, “I Have Love, I Have You,” was an instant favorite. I loved the staccato beat, and the sweet words helped carry me along in the perfect folk combination. Hobler does a great job of carrying the music and his band with just his voice and a guitar.
“Got a Ways to Go” was another favorite, especially because of the strong, quirky opening from the piano. It set the beat and set the song apart. The track also has a wonderful old school Beatles vibe to it that just made me feel nostalgic. Hobler makes such music feel refreshing and genuine, something I have not experienced, especially not live, in a long time.
Hobler surprised again with “All Along,” a song about his grandfather, not a common topic for songs these days. That’s something I always take note of and appreciate. Hobler kept it light, the song being a delicate, sweet, moving acoustic track.
He followed with “I Fell Deep,” another soft, dreamlike number. It was quite romantic, making me wish I had it for our Valentine’s Tuesday Tunes last week!
February 20, 2015 § Leave a comment
This next Feature Friday artist has already joined the stage with the likes of a couple of our most decorated past features, including MisterWives and BØRNS. In similar electro-pop vein, Handsome Ghost is up on the blog as the next music act to look out for.
Handsome Ghost, led by Massachusetts native Tim Noyes, has entered the music industry not so subtly. The indie/alt group premiered on Spotify first in May, collecting thousands and thousands of listeners through the streaming service and breaking through the “Viral Top 50” list. In addition to receiving nods from USA Weekly, Handsome Ghost has caught the attention of those at Republic Records and Photo Finish. They announced the news of their signing on their official site earlier this week and also spilled about their tour with MisterWives and BØRNS. The tour will run through the early part of April. Tickets have sold out at nearly every venue including the Bowery Ballroom in New York and Newport Music Hall in Columbus Ohio.
Mixing electronic beats and synth sounds, Handsome Ghost will be releasing a new version of their EP on March 10th. The EP, titled Steps, will feature six songs and will be available on all digital retailers. The tracklist includes “Blood Stutter” and five other new tracks that will be sure to feature Noyes’ falsetto tricked out and mixed through distortion effects. Fun fact: the name actually came from one of Noyes’s friends who heard the auto-tuned vocals and described the sound as that of a handsome ghost’s. And so…the name took form.
Have a listen to the unbelievably cool sound by Handsome Ghost on Spotify now! The initial release of Blood Stutter from back in 2014 is available for easy listening. You can also follow their nationwide tour on Facebook. Enjoy fellow music lovers!
February 10, 2015 § 1 Comment
It’s never too early to start thinking of your sweetheart, and especially with these cold winter days we thought we’d share some of our favorite love songs to warm things up a bit. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, so get in the mood with some of our favorite romantic tunes. What will you listen to to help spread the love?
Share your songs & subscribe to this playlist here on Spotify.
18 – One Direction
Like I’m Gonna Lose You – Meghan Trainor ft. John Legend
Risk It All – The Vamps
The Words – Christina Perri
Rather Be – Clean Bandit ft. Jess Glynne
Boom Clap (cover) – Lennon & Maisy
Crazy in Love (Fifty Shades of Grey remix) – Beyonce
Adore You – Miley Cyrus
Still Into You – Paramore
Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
Last Forever – Amy & The Engine
Oblivion – Bastille
XO – Beyonce
Come Under The Covers – Walk The Moon
I’ve Told You Now – Sam Smith
February 6, 2015 § Leave a comment
Our next Feature Friday band is quickly rising to stardom, having performed for VH1’s Save the Music Foundation and sets at CMJ 2014 already. They’ve shared the stage with the insanely infectious Vance Joy and are led by a voice that had already captured the hearts and ears of viewers at The Voice. With such credentials, we can expect that the debut six-track EP from Amy & The Engine will be a major hit.
The story for Ms. Amy Allen goes way back to when she was just a child and playing with her older sister’s band. Swapping the electric for a bass guitar, Amy revealed an innate talent for music right off that bat. Traveling from her hometown in Portland, Maine to the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, Allen honed her abilities here and gathered a crew of students to play with from around the world. She is backed up by six other band members, making their stage performances look like a bit of a family gathering.
Amy & The Engine will soon release the sweet and catchy single, “Last Forever,” on Valentine’s Day. The track, with a 50’s flair, couldn’t be more flirty and appropriate for the release date. Commenting on the song, Allen explains how she sought to create a sound that represented the all-too-familiar mix between happiness and nervousness that comes with new love. I highly recommend streaming this track which is linked through Allen’s interview with Teen Vogue.
Fitting under the broad alternative-pop umbrella, Amy & The Engine will be hitting Boston and Lewiston later this month. Check out the band on their official site for more info on tour dates!
February 2, 2015 § Leave a comment
This month’s MCU Monday playlist comes from indie electro darling Monogem. Fronted by Jen Hirsh, Monogem is a collaboration with songwriter/producer Scott Smith. The duo has been gaining momentum since the debut of “Wait and See,” and has recently released, “The Glow,” the newest track from the upcoming self titled EP, due on February 3, 2015.
Find out what songs have left a lasting impact on Monogem and subscribe to the playlist here on Spotify.
- James Blake – “Retrograde” — whenever I want to exercise my brain, musically, I just put this song on. That vocal lick gets me going EVERY time.
- Tei Shi – “Bassically” — sexy as fuck.
- IYES – “Glow” — I was turned onto this song by Spotify, I absolutely love the performances from both singers. Such strong vocals.
- Radiohead – “Lotus Flower” — I love Thom Yorke so much, whenever I feel the need to reach out for some performance inspo I watch this video in particular.
- Disclosure – “Help Me Lose My Mind” — I’m clearly a sucker for an amazing vocal performance. Hannah Reid from London Grammar SLAYS this one.
- Blood Orange – “Chamakay” — I love this song purely because it’s so different.
- Twin Shadow – “Turn Me Up” — The mix of soft and hard in this song is brilliant. I also love Twin Shadow’s lyrics, they are always honest.
- Holy Ghost! – “Okay” — I will put this song on whenever it’s party time. Even though it’s a fairly new release, it brings me back to this one summer that I will never forget. The most drugs and dancing.
- Washed Out – “Feel It All Around” — This song never fails me, I bought this record on vinyl and it sounds sooo good. I listen to the vinyl a good amount when it’s time to chill the fuck out.
- LCD Soundsystem – “Time To Get Away” — For a walk down memory lane… I have the most vivid memory of my 21st Birthday, a silly LA nightclub outing, and a limo full of friends.