TDP Recommends: “Miss Teen Massachusetts” by SKATERS

UnknownNew York-based band SKATERS released another single from the upcoming album Manhattan earlier this week. Although now New Yorkers at heart, two of the band members – singer, Michael Ian Cummings, and drummer, Noah Rubin (both formerly of local band The Dead Trees) – grew up in Newton, MA. While the nod to their home state in the title of this beautifully punked-up unrequited love song, “Miss Teen Massachusetts,” warms the hearts of local fans, they don’t need any help impressing listeners. “Miss Teen Massachusetts” highlights the band’s characteristic angular guitar and catchy lyrics reminiscent of The Strokes and The Walkmen. Cummings’ vocals, which are by no means typically punk, but rather effortlessly natural, provide an almost admirable longing – a sort of harsh wistfulness. The song combines the best qualities of 60’s pop and early punk to create a simultaneously dreamy and hard sound, reaching a golden mean of high energy and mild calm.  Manhattan, the band’s first full-length album, which was recorded in Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Lady Studios in New York, is scheduled for release this February. In the meantime, check out “Miss Teen Massachusetts.” Dig it, Devils.

TDP Recommends: “Pocketful of Poetry” by Mindy Gledhill

Just in time for Poetry Out Loud, off of Mindy Gledhill’s fourth album comes the geeky, lovable song “Pocketful of Poetry” that speaks fondly of embracing creativity and dumping the boring, stable lifestyle that our society just enjoys promoting.  Described on her website as an “indie singer songwriter that will leave you floating like a scoop of vanilla ice cream in a strawberry soda,” Mindy Gledhill does not fail to make her fans feel warm and fuzzy inside.  The catchy lyrics of “Pocketful of Poetry,” such as “I draw doodles of eccentric faces in the margin spaces of important papers,” highlight a free-spirited outlook on life, emphasized even further by the violin instrumental.  The music video embraces whimsical Alice in Wonderland allusions, frilly skirts, and vintage typewriters to mimic this magical characteristic.  Mindy Gledhill is a perfect musician for an artsy soul and the fan of Ingrid Michaelson, Regina Spektor, and the movie Big Fish.  Dig it, Devils!

TDP Recommends: “Feel it All Around” by Washed Out

Washed_OutErnest Greene likes to call himself “Washed Out,” which doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense, but to each his own. Washed Out specializes in a genre called chillwave; it’s a mix of synths, filtered vocals, and simple melodic loops. If that doesn’t sound 80s enough to you yet, most chillwave songs are lo-fi. Chillwave is really a genre of hit-or-miss songs; they are either memorable or serve as less than adequate background music. “Feel it All Around” is certainly the former, however,  and so is the rest of the EP Life of Leisure. “Feel it All Around” has a summer feel, but listening to it in midst of winter won’t offend anybody.

When it’s snowing out, put on this song. Feeling the 6-12 inches of snow all around? Feel it All Around.

TDP Recommends: “Life in a Jar” by Daylight

daylightHearing a band bring back a sound about twenty years removed may sound like a risky move, but local Pennsylvania four-piece Daylight have managed to help bring back ‘the 90s sound’ with amazing alacrity. With their single “Life in a Jar” from their April 2013 release Jar, the band have begun to revive this definitive sound with the track’s huge, guitar-heavy chorus; chilling verses; and lyrical darkness and melody choice that sends shivers down the spine. The tune’s incredible energy, as well as its impressive dynamic capability make for a memorable listen that feels reminiscent, yet still definitively unique. The brooding nature and power of “Life in a Jar” makes for the perfect listen for anyone who holds any affections for the likes of 90s acts such as Nirvana and Soundgarden, and also for anyone who just enjoys a solidly rockin’ tune. Check out the band’s creative and equally intriguing music video below! Dig it, Devils!

TDP Recommends: “In Per Morbus” by HRVRD

hrvrd“Live music has so much potential for greatness,” expresses vocalist Jesse Clasen of the North Carolina-based band, HRVRD. He believes that  “a studio recording is a snapshot of where a song is at that moment, and it should always continue to evolve and take on new perspectives.” It is this mentality that led the band into the studio to recreate live versions of a few songs from their 2010 release The Interpretations EP. In what the band calls ‘The Laundry Room Session,’ HRVRD released these ‘re-interpretations’ of their songs through a series of YouTube videos that includes the eerie track “In Per Morbus.” With this song, the band manages to create an amazingly haunting and equally beautiful track, most impressive perhaps for its captivating orchestration. The song’s relatively minimalist atmosphere is able to perfectly capture Clasen’s dark vocal tone and wonderful falsetto-style singing with the use of piano that dominates much of the song with its swaying melodies and gentle articulation.  The additional instrumentation of the quiet drums and bass coupled with the reverb-laced guitar melodies only adds to this song, highlighting the amazing chemistry HRVRD have together in their live performances. Dig it, Devils!

TDP Recommends: “No Name #3” by Elliott Smith

Music has the wonderful ability to be both remarkably simple and profoundly powerful; such is the case with Elliott Smith’s “No Name #3.”  One of four “no name” tracks from Smith’s 1997 LP Roman Candle, this track is a lyrical masterpiece. Smith’s gentle, eerily harmonic vocals are spotlighted by a quiet and calming acoustic backing; however, the three-voice, bare-bones song is regardless as moving as it is beautiful, owing to the deep and thoughtful poetry born of Smith’s pen. “No Name #3” is the song for that lazy, rainy Saturday, when it’s time to reflect on life and find hope in new places. Its solemn presentation acknowledges the flaws in all of us, but its open and hopeful feel tells of happier days to come. Take a chance on this one, Devils; you’ll dig it!

TDP Recommends: “Strong” by London Grammar

UnknownFormed in 2012 in Nottingham, England, the music of London Grammar parallels greatly with the overcast, lazy feeling one gets during the bitter fall days.  Guitarist, Dan Rothman, and vocalist, Hannah Reid, met while attending  the University of Nottingham in 2009.  The two later added multi-instrumentalist to the group and posted their first song, “Hey Now,” on Youtube in 2012. The band is a perfect example of a Youtube success story. Their debut album, If You Wait, reached number two on the UK Albums Chart in 2013.  “Strong” itself made it to number 16.

This lovely song provides the perfect accompaniment for that cup of tea on cold winter evenings.  Hannah Reid’s hauntingly beautiful voice elicits a feeling of calmness that no thunderstorm can pervade or destroy.  The background music is soft and slow, nothing too exciting that might ruin your perfect night. The combination of Reid’s powerful voice and the emotion-laden music creates an ethereal sound that will follow you throughout your day.

London Grammar is touring now, and will play Boston this coming April.

TDP Recommends: “I Stand Corrected” by Vampire Weekend

Vampire Weekend is a New York based indie rock band that formed during all the members’ college years at Columbia. The song, “I Stand Corrected,” is from their 2008 debut album, the self-titled Vampire Weekend.  “I Stand Corrected” is a song asking for forgiveness and the desire “to be in perfect harmony.” A violin is beautifully integrated into the song as well as a smooth baseline, which provides a steady rhythm for an easy and relaxing listen. Dig it, Devils!

TDP Recommends: “Isla Drown” by Death Vessel

13980Death Vessel, lasting star of the many indie music scenes in New England, recently released a new single, “Isla Drown,” from the upcoming album Island Intervals. Fans are eagerly awaiting the issue of Death Vessel’s full-length follow-up to the 2008 album Nothing is Precious Enough for Us,  and the break of this song has heightened their already lofty expectations. The voice of Death Vessel, Rhode Island-based neo-traditional folk singer Joel Thibodeau, has been described as angelic, dreamy, eerie, otherworldly, winsome, and even sideshow-esque. No matter what the description, however, listeners agree that Thibodeau’s undeniably feminine intonation is both captivating and masterful.  Island Intervalsproduced by Alex Somers of Sigur Rós at his studio in Reykjavik, Iceland – is scheduled to launch via Sub Pop Records in late February, 2014.  This single, which features Sigur Rós frontman – Jónsi, reflects Thibodeau’s ability to capture the sweet beauty of our most imaginative dreamscapes. The combination of Thibodeau’s stunningly poetic lyrics and exquisite voice is simultaneously expressive of extreme vastness and familiar intimacy. “Isla Drown” is a beautiful song, one that portends an unforgettable album. Dig it, Devils!

Want to hear more Death Vessel? Listen to Joel Thibodeau sing “Block My Eye,” from the 2008 album Nothing is Precious Enough for Us.

TDP Recommends: “Snowglobe” by Owel

owelOwel, an impressive quintet from New York and New Jersey, are a perfect example of the consequential chemical reaction resulting from the combination of being the right band at the right place at the right time. The group, with their electronica keyboard parts, captivating guitar work, and lead singer’s versatile vocal capabilities, have struck a chord in the hearts of local listeners.  Although, due to the wide range of musical influences reflected in their work, the band’s creative capabilities cannot effectively be encapsulated by a single genre, recently they have begun receiving a great deal of attention as an new breed “emo” band. Listeners are drawn to the emotionally gripping lyrics and shifting moods present throughout their self-titled album, which was released in April of this year.  In their song “Snowglobe,” the album’s opening track, the band is able to epitomize their sound combining enchanting keyboard melodies with spacey guitar parts and heartfelt vocals that build throughout the entire song. The song picks up while still maintaining its enamoring dreamscape qualities, perfectly transitioning from section to section with great diversity, portraying an array of emotions from brooding to hopeful. From start to finish, the song expresses the band’s right to all of the attention they have received, creating a compositionally complex track that does not lose its appeal at any moment. More recently, the band has become part of the ever-expanding list of artists being labeled as part of the apparent ‘emo revival’ taking place in the alternative music scene and was deservedly placed on Stereogum.com’s list of “12 Bands To Know From The Emo Revival.” This song, as well as their first release, have just begun Owel’s imminent rise to popularity and recognition.

Check out Owel’s “Snowglobe” here: