Did you like Sounds of Summer: Part 1? Did you read that post and think to yourself, I want more. I WANT MORE! Well wait no longer. Here is the second part of my summer sounds series where I will recommend more great bands/musicians for your ear.
Another contact through social media. I had no idea what to expect and was gladly surprised. His stuff is kind of 90's with a modern indie kick. Fast paced/modern folk that is reminiscent of Matt Pond PA, Local Natives, Bedouin Soundclash or Caesars. I like his sound. What I like more is that there's an actual band rather than just a dude with a guitar. The 'dude n' guitar' act is so overdone. Luke Rathborne is from Maine originally but now lives in good ole' NYC. He moved to New York when he was only 18. He recorded his first album, After Dark, when he was only 17. He got noticed by Joey Levine, a songwriter and musician who wrote the 60's classic 'YummyYummy Yummy'. Levine produced many of Luke Rathborne's songs and then brought attention to The Stroke's manager, Ryan Gentles. Back in 2007, he was named 'Discovery Artist' of the year in Interview Magazine. He was also a featured artist on BBC 6, for a music show, as a discovery by DJ and host, Lauren Laverne. He has opened for The Strokes at the South by Southwest music festival, in 2011. He also toured with the band, Noah and the Whale, as their opening act.
2011 became a prolific year, as Luke Rathborne was signed to an indpendent LA label, 'Dilettante' and also the Australian label,Speak and Spell Record. In the same year, Rathborne released a double EP, Dog Years/I Can Be One E.P. The song 'True Believer' is what gained Rathborne notoriety and got him noticed by Lauren Laverne on her BBC 6 show. He went on a seven night tour in London, playing a different venue each night. His stellarly positive reception in the UK shows what a talent he truly is. We all know that the Brits have much better taste in music than the Yanks! It's bloody right! What's really impressive is that Rathborne's first album, After Dark, was engineered and produced by himself, without any help. He actually had to sneak into a local college radio station (in Brunswick, Maine) at night and pretend to be a radio DJ. He made the record without being busted. Mad respect for this dude! He has true dedication and grit, real chutzpah! The record was done on Rathborne's own label,Coonbone Record and got noticed in NYC.
Rathborne has been compared to Elliot Smith and Bob Dylan (before he got bad). I personally think he's much more talented and versatile. I agree to the extent that he transforms the whole rebel, loaner, rogue singer-songwriter into something new. He adds synth and a multitude of different instruments. He is a hurricane force that is sure to catch on like wildfire soon enough. His album Soft, is due to come out September 2nd. Reserve your copy now!! I'd be shocked if they don't sell like hotcakes!
Video for 'Last Forgiven'- Luke Rathborne
This duet was formed by Jeremy Greenspan and Johnny Dark in Hamilton, Ontario (that's in Canada, eh) back in 1999. A demo was made but nothing substantive happened until Johnny Dark left to pursue other things. In 2002, KIN Records heard their demo and asked for more. Jeremy Greenspan then teamed up with Matt Didemus, his engineer. In 2003, they came out with a four track EP called 'Birthday/Last Exit'. One of the tracks on the EP was mixed by Fennesz, an Austrian guitarist and electronics artist. The next Junior Boys' EP, High Come Down, came out in 2004. One of the tracks on this EP was mixed by a Canadian musician called Manitoba (Daniel Victor Snaith), now known by the stage name of Caribou. The first full album, Last Exit, was recorded in late 2003, and came out in 2004 with KIN Records. 'Birthday' was the most popular track on this album and prompted them to tour with Caribou. The second album, So This is Goodbye came out in 2006 with the label, Domino Records. Their third album, Begone Dull Care, was released in 2009. After this album, they were able to go on tour in Australia. The next album, It's All True came out in 2011.
The first track I heard from these guys was 'Dull to Pause', off of Begone Dull Care. It has a nice electronic, pop sound. Junior Boys stand out from other indie/electronic acts. Though they are similar to acts like Among Savages or The Antlers. The vocals are scratchy and soft. The instrumentals remind me of a video game or a pinball machine. The visuals of their videos are strange and colorful. Junior Boys is wonderful and unique. I'd love to see them live, as I'm sure they put on a killer show. What I also notice is that fans have made their own videos which shows that their music inspires creativity and originality. I definitely recommend downloading their stuff for your summer road trip or BBQ. It will blow the hats off of everyone in the immediate listening vicinity.
At the moment, Ellias lives in LA and just finished getting a degree in English at California State University. His EP, titled 'EP', was recently released and his album is also now available. He loves literature, art, and poetry; he also draws (much of his art is inspired by books he reads). I feel a kindred connection with Ellias. He is the true traveling troubadour. He leads the life that I would have wanted had I lived in the mid to late sixties. Ellias is the love child of Bob Dylan and Arlo Guthrie. He is living the life of 'Alice's Restaurant' in 2013! He travels around getting inspiration for his music from everywhere. He has stylings of folk, country, blues, and rock. Not a Dylan copy! A folk original in his own right! His full length album is due to come out in the fall. You can download some of his tunes on Spotify. Give him a listen. If you like the stylings of Nick Drake, Simon and Garfunkel, and Donovan, that 60's folk vibe with an undercurrent of psychedelic sounds akin to underground UK bands, then you'll love George Ellias. Subsribe to his YouTube channel and you'll get enough music to satisfy your craving until the next album (and yes there will be many more I'm sure!)
'On the Plains'- Experimental Guitar sounds
The frontman for Deerhunter, Brandford Cox, first noticed Caulfield's cover of the Deerhunter song 'Rainwater Cassette Exchange' and felt it was even better than the original. To have the lead singer of the band you're covering say that is a major feat, not something to take lightly. Young Man's sound has been compared to bands like Animal Collective and Ariel Pink. What's to be said about Young Man is that their music tells a story. Caulfield has explained that though his music is definitely auto-biographical, that he wants it to also be universal. He also wants his music to be the kind where people stop, listen and go 'what was that?' Young Man currently has four albums: Boy (2010), Ideas of Distance (2011), Vol 1 (2012), and Beyond Was All Around Me (2013). Their latest album was just released and is now available.
The first song I heard by them, 'Nothing' is trippy and dreamy in its vocals and instrumentals. You feel like you're floating. A similar feeling is evoked with bands like Spiritualized, The National, Dana Buoy, and Diego Garcia. The vocals of Young Man's songs, at times, actually remind me of Jake Shears (from Scissor Sisters), Patrick Zimmer (of Finn.) or Brian Molko (of Placebo). They would be a great opening band for The Flaming Lips or Arcade Fire. You should check them out because like my other recommendations, Young Man brings something new to the world of indie rock.
So now that you've read parts one and two, you can download to your heart's content. Go to Itunes, Bandcamp, Soundcloud, what have you. Check out my recs and let me know what you think. I promise you will not be disappointed with my picks. Have a great summer! And remember to listen responsibly, folks!
keep on rocking in the free world,