I’m rather proud of myself that I’ve done this consistently for 14 whole days (!!!) after a long hiatus. TATJ is back, and it’s here for good. Every Thursday. I’m adding an “awards” component, for work that doesn’t quite fit the template but still deserves recognition.
Again, thanks to the musicians. Writing a listicle with the implicit subtext “15 Reasons I’m Starved For Attention Though I Don’t Deserve Any” takes 20 minutes. Creating a song can take countless hours on top of a lifetime of practice. Your efforts are always appreciated. You make the world a better place.
Anyway, enough with the philosophizing. Let’s get to the tunes!
1. Bankrupt – War And Peace
From The Artist: We’re bankrupt from Budapest, Hungary. We have just released a retro guitar pop song entitled War and Peace produced by renowned Hungarian producer Ambrus Tovishazi (AKA Erik Sumo). The sound could be described as a blend of The Pixies and The Beach Boys.
From Me: Well, that sounds like a match made in heaven. In practice, it actually is. The guitar layers are sublimely textured and blended under a truly infectious chorus hook. Bonus: Many of their songs are also available in Hungarian for those of you competent in magyar.
2. Patrick Gardiner – He’s Not Right For you
From The Artist: Northern Irish local, Patrick Gardiner, has been singing since before he could walk; hollering along to his dad’s Motown, Soul and Blues records with foetal abandon. Now, after 18 years of living, singing, and causing a ruckus, he is becoming a regular fixture in the local Northern Irish music scene. He independently released his debut EP ‘Save Myself’ in October 2012 – a fresh blend of acoustic singer-songwriter material, incorporating soul and pop influences. His music is influenced by his wide listening tastes, encompassing everything from the subtle harmonic colour of the Jazz greats, to the pop-hook mastery of Men At Work.
From Me: Musically, this shows great maturity for someone so young. Whomever arranged the strings in this song deserves some kind of award – they add so much to this tune. The real draw, however, is the melismatic background vocal during the chorus. Looking forward to what Mr. Gardiner does as he gets older.
3. Justin Howard – Deep Breath
From The Artist – I’m a 23 year old Electro/Soul recording artist from Southern California, currently working in NYC. I grew up in Orange County, went to an all boys boarding school, and graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2012. I’ve played piano since I was six, started singing in my school’s choir when I was 14, and written music all my life. Things sort of dictated that I go to school for a degree and I don’t regret it, but wasn’t until I studied abroad in Barcelona that I fully realized that reality has endless possibilities, so I said screw it – it was there in Barca that I recorded my first song and started singing at a small bar across the street from me. So here I am in NYC, working with some pretty awesome producers, writing a lot, and playing with the underground scene in Brooklyn. I’d love to form a duo or trio with a similar minded DJ/producer/musician but it’ll happen organically if/when it does – in the meantime I’m wingin’ it solo. Peace, love and all that jazz.
From Me: Mr. Howard’s got a song with some serious breakout potential. His voice is a dead ringer for those semi-anonymously featured on hit dance tracks. He maintains his own identity by eschewing the monster bass drops that both define and undermine modern dance music’s identity.
4. Erin Rea – Keys
From The Artist: Erin Rea is a singer-songwriter who tells stories by way of floating poetic lines and thoughtful instrumentals. She is mostly inspired by real life and Victorian novels. Erin currently lives in NYC where she is recording a new EP and potential debut full-length with producer Jimi Zhivago.
From Me: Lisa Loeb is back, and her name is Erin Rea! This hearkens back to the 90s when female singer-songwriters were equipped with acoustic guitars rather than dresses made out of meat. Ms. Rea demonstrates exceptional voice control, especially in upper registers. Look for her to headline a Lillith Fair revival.
5. Wren – Stiff
From The Artist: I’ve been making electronic music for about a decade now, on and off in between my gigs as a touring drummer. Wren is the most popular music project I’ve ever been a part of and I’d like to spread the project around the best I can.
From Me: Reminiscent of The Postal Service, but with a female singer. I guess Ben Gibbard basically was a female singer in in the early 2000s. Wren’s a drummer, and it shows. The man knows his way around a drum machine.
6. Go Jungle – Moratorium
From The Artist: We are Go Jungle, an independent live hip-hop band based in New York. Three of our members are family and hail from Kansas, with the fourth, a Long Island native, joining up with the group in 2011.
From Me: Very similar in feel to N.E.R.D.’s early work, without the defining element of Pharrell singing like his testicles are in a vice (though I love Pharrell). Think of it like Gym Class Heroes, except this is good.
7. Fates – TMRW
From The Artist: My name is Kevin, and I am an amateur producer living in Toronto. I make music under the moniker “FATES”. I like your idea to showcase amateur talent on TC – I think its a great way to inspire and draw new artists forward. Thanks for the opportunity! I got into music production two years ago while I was unemployed after graduating college in Michigan. I was full of feels and stuff living at home following a hazy summer, so music was a good creative outlet. Stylistically, I dabble among trap, dub, chillstep and the sorts. I’m still searching for a signature sound, but right now I definitely have a thing for sunburnt synths.
From Me: A fascinating blend of instrumental atmosphere and contemporary electronic influence. This is amongst the best combinations of guitar and electronic instrumentation that I’ve heard, professional otherwise. Fates demonstrates a great awareness of where rhythms “work”, moving between trap and garage styles seamlessly.
Award For Hilarious Song About Meat: Eric K. Auld – Meat Song
From The Artist: Eric K. Auld is a writer and musician. He writes songs about food, random Wikipedia articles, grotesqueness, and personal emails.
From Me: I laughed a lot. What starts off as a simple list of edible animal products develops into a tale of the pursuit of meat.
Award For Friends Having A Really Great Time; Excellence in One-Microphone Recording: A Good Time – The Game
From The Band: We all went to high school together in New York and now are living/playing in the East Village. We do covers and originals and mostly stick to acoustic/alternative rock. We mix it up from time to time though. We upload everything to our facebook page, DeenyTakeover. As a side note, the #DeenyTakeover thing is something we’ve been doing to spread the memory of our best friend Jonny Kessner who passed away 6 months ago. He was an amazing kid and we like to think we are doing this in part for him. His face pops up from time to time in our videos.
From Me: Not much more to say. The members of “A Good Time” are in fact having a really good time. This also received nominations for “enthusiasm in beat boxing” and “achievement in indoor sunglass wearing”.
Another week, another set of great artists! I hope you enjoyed and look forward to having you back again. To the musicians out there, thank you and send your stuff to firstname.lastname@example.org! Can’t wait to hear some more!