Archive for February, 2013

ATLAS GENIUS DEBUTS FULL-LENGTH LP

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com


One of my most recent favorite indie finds, Atlas Genius, have finally released their full-length debut record, When It Was Now. The band wrote, recorded and produced the album independently at a studio they built in their hometown of Adelaide, Australia. It’s mixed by Michael Brauer of Electric Lady Studios in New York City. These guys are incredible. You may recognize them from their popular radio smash, Trojans, which picked up national attention last year.

Currently, the band’s on the road with another indie rock gem, Imagine Dragons, and will also be playing South By Southwest in March.

Their latest single, Symptoms, was released on iTunes for free this week. I personally downloaded the whole album, and love every last second of it.

ON HEAVY ROTATION: IMAGINE DRAGONS

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Certain songs are like fuel. They take you places. Others are like pain medication. They get you through shit. When a song contains both of these elements, it’s a serious addiction waiting to happen.

That’s what this song is for me: a freakin’ addiction. I literally cannot stop playing it; I feel it in my veins. And while the music video was disappointing and weird (to see it, go find it for yourself), the song stands on its own. It’s rad and without flaw.

Check out Radioactive by Imagine Dragons below.

Love! Love! Love!

PACIFIC AIR IS FRESH & EASY BREEZY

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

With a sound as fresh and easy breezy as their name, Pacific Air is certainly on course to becoming the next big buzz band. Why? They’re cool. So much so, that their music could easily find its way on the soundtrack to a Bret Easton Ellis flick. (Although admittedly, their music may be little too uplifting for that.)

California brothers Ryan and Taylor make up the act, and the pair have created a new music video for their infectious song Float. The track is the first single off their newest release, Long Live Koko EP, which is available for purchase on iTunes now. The music video for the ditty was heavily influenced by a 60’s Vogue cover shoot, with classic Beverly Hills inspiration seen throughout.

It’s straight-up chic, y’all.

The duo is currently touring with Walk the Moon and RA RA RIOT, and recently finished a stint with my boys, Passion Pit.

Their debut album is due out this spring.

JULIET’S VICE

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Need a tune to crack your windshield? Juliet’s Vice have got their hammers ready.

What can I say? We’re all entitled to kick back with some headbang-heavy ballads. Even if only once in a while. So when you’re flipping through your records, on the hunt for the soundtrack of junkie superstars, take Juliet’s Vice for a spin.

They’ve got that rock n’ roll sleaze well-ripped, a glam grunge which only furthers their musical aggression. You want light shows and naughty notes? A time-swipe back to the eighties? Done, done and done.

If their songs were made of flesh, they’d wear heavy eyeliner and tight leather pants, kicking beer cans off the curb. A force to be reckoned with, to be sure.

These guys are dying to rock. I swear they’d come back as rotting zombies just to finish a show.

THE BUZZ ON OLIVIA SEBASTIANELLI

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Every now and again, an artist pops up from out of nowhere and creeps into your headphones. That’s exactly the case in my experience with Olivia Sebastianelli. An obvious talent upon first listen, the song and video you’re about to witness is alluring and comforting, yet haunting and unsettling all at the same time.

This isn’t music fluff. This is the makings of a true artist.

When asked to describe her sound, her reply was just as unconventional: “I keep describing it as a cross between Fleetwood Mac and Foo Fighters, which everybody gets really confused about. It’s the melodies of Fleetwood Mac, and the way they construct their harmonies — everything’s so tight — with the punk and anger of Foo Fighters. That kind of vibe.”

There ya go… Whatever it is, it’s working.

Olivia is certainly an artist to watch in 2013.

Video for Rose of Stone below.

Beautiful!

MATT HIRES

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Meet Matt Hires. He’s a master of the acoustic guitar, heart-thumping beats, and bombarding vocals. His single Restless Heart is a great preview of what a talented singer/songwriter he truly is. This Florida native is bound to be on your radar this year, for his insistent style and youthful energy is inescapable.

Regarding Restless Heart, I would be willing to bet that your reaction is going to be something along the lines of: “This song is amazing.”

‘Cause it is.

DINO JAG

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Anyone ready to click for a cause?

The media’s a funny thing. When whatever tragedy’s in the spotlight, it gets an overwhelming amount of attention and support (which is amazing!). Sadly, when the media tires of the same old story about, let’s say, Haiti, and turns its unblinking eye away, the public at large seems to forget. They figure that if the coverage has lessened, the problem must have dissipated as well.

Unfortunately, this is seldom the case. Even three years later, Haiti has yet to fully rebuild from its infamous, devastating earthquake. Luckily, not everyone’s forgotten.

Enter Dino Jag, a pop artist of Bruno Mars ability. When he heard of the brutal disaster, he was recording a demo for Calling All The Saints. He realized this song was destined for the people of Haiti. To coincide with the anniversary of that tragic event he has since re-released the track to make sure Haiti stays in the spotlight.

His mission isn’t just one of education, either. 50% of all song sales will be given to charities helping the people of Haiti rebuild and recover.

The recording itself is wholesome, heartfelt and aching with urgency. Even if the pure-pop’s not in your style, it’s worth the few extra bucks.

Don’t you think?

ROOFTOP RUNNERS

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Like it murky, love it hot? The kind of beat that stains a lung? Inhale a gust of Rooftop Runners.

Benedikt and Tobias are brothers in both the genetic and spiritual sense. Rooftop Runners was conceived between them in Berlin, and they quickly proved to be an enriching pair. These boys are adept at original creation. They hitch addled fizz to a sleep-deprived mind, coaxing whispers from the shadows. They’ve been described as “a Cain and Abel act”, and I wouldn’t dare contest that. Their music, a chilly concoction of electro and indie, depicts both the yin and yang of our vibrating world. It mellows you out while simultaneously turning you on.

They’ve been busy- their first full-length album is in the anticipating stage of post-production. But these bees had to keep on buzzing! They’ve gone and made a music video to Energize, a song which was originally released on their 2012 We Are Here EP. The track’s been endowed with extra kick while the video sits in satisfied simplicity.

MARLA MASE

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com


It’s hard to find a musical artist who embodies the essence of that latter word. Many will sacrifice exploration and honesty for chart-topping singles.

Marla Mase does not sit among the superficial. As a result, her art has for the most part remained underground. I’d like to do my part to change that.

She’s fresh out of our beloved New York. A playwright and a poet, a lover and a mother, unafraid to stray into the daring or erotic. Music is one of the many mediums she chooses to channel.

The most awesome thing about her work is that some of it is spoken word. I know, I know- that’s a music form still out on the fringe. But if you give it a chance, you’d be amazed at where it can take you!

Whether singing or speaking, rhyming or fiddling with free verse, Marla’s voice will grip you tight. She dances on the balance beam between music and poetry. Not once does she falter. I feel like she’d have done better at Studio 54 or Woodstock, surrounded by the similarly minded. No bother- she’s striking out just fine on her own.

If you’re interested, her multimedia performance has been booked for the Summerstage Festival in NYC this year. It will use “spoken word, dance and visual imagery to explore themes of confinement, sexuality, body image, trauma, oppression… and freedom.” In other words, it’s gonna be a spa day for the senses, and an enlightening one at that!

Her fan-base is world-wide, and that’s no surprise. This sort of musical expression could find a home in varying ethnic roots. One minute you’re threading through heavy vines in the jungle; the next, you’re transported to the dizzying streets of Tokyo. Undoubtedly, her message is universal.

Take Piece of Peace. It’s a straightforward plea, but one that anyone could relate to.

BOOBY TRAP!

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Gotta give credit where credit is due! Bam!

DESAPARECIDOS

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Conor Oberst has always given voice to the unspoken. In Bright Eyes he dissected all sorts of angst, teeming with sensitivity. Now in Desaparecidos, his post-punk project, he’s tackling corporate corruption and saluting the unseen- namely Anonymous and the Occupy Movement.

I’m sorry I hadn’t stumbled on this sooner. Desaparecidos has a great recipe of emo and grunge, iced over with up-tempo poppy-punk. It’s true that they’ve been silent for a while, but now they’ve got not one, but two singles hot off the mixing board.

These songs are nothing short of rousing. They captivate and motivate, bubbling with social awareness. The Left is Right is a soundtrack to the revolution, while Anonymous acts as an angry love letter to the internet group of the same name. All in all, this musical duo-drop is innovative, resistant, and engaged.

You can pop on over to the aficionado zine of rock, Rolling Stone, to bathe in the melodies. Trust me, it’s worth an extra click.

Nice to know Conor’s genius isn’t going to waste!

A PRIMITIVE EVOLUTION

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

A Primitive Evolution are something to get excited about. When I first jacked in, I was startled not only by the maturity in their sound, but in the way it was so keen to resonate. Their music is easily met, easily embraced, and impossible to let go.

Children of both rock and the blues, this group adds unprecedented soul to what would otherwise dust as radio rock. Their h-core ‘tude is rocked into sedation by a more gothic undertone, leaving you manic and mysterious.

These Toronto darlings aren’t just in it for ignorant kicks. Rather, they take a cerebral front to their mission. So says Bret, their lead vocalist/guitarist: “Creation is evolution. That’s what I figure we’re trying to say with A Primitive Evolution. …We are very much at the beginning of the evolution of mankind. We have a long way to go as a species. We want our band to reflect that too, going off of what we feel, doing it out of instinct and evolving naturally; having some fun existing on this planet.”

Have fun? Their latest album The Prize will help you do just that. This record’s a thunderstorm and no mistake. The members themselves are pleased with its turnout too. Stephany (their house bassist/back-up vocalist/cello player) calls it: “the epitome of pure enjoyment of music”.

I can’t quite put my finger on why I like them so much. They’re like Queens of the Stone Age, but better. Couple that with intense, eye-popping music vids, and they’re nothing short of visionary. Take the visual masterpiece aka music video for Lord of Reason. With elements of urban horror, magical realism and satire, it’s a trip not to be messed with.

So as far as A Primitive Evolution’s concerned, what’s the bottom line? Stu (the percussion master) ties it up nicely: “Get ‘em hot and bothered. They should be excited about (the) music; surprised. As a musician, that’s the greatest reward.”

I like the way these guys think.
 

INTERVIEW WITH DANIEL BEDINGFIELD!

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

ROB BRAYL: Ok, Mr. Daniel, first things first… You’re back, completely independent, and NAKED. I feel like I need a cigarette (and I don’t smoke) after watching your most recent videos (‘Rocks Off’ & ‘Secret Fear’) from your latest ‘Secret Fear’ EP. Do you mind if I call you sexy?

DANIEL BEDINGFIELD: I have been known to accept compliments of that nature before. Nice to have someone focusing on something other than the girls in my video for once.

RB: In all seriousness, the visuals are stunning. Can you give us a little insight regarding their inspiration?

DB: Everything was designed to portray contrast. Relationships are very complex. And the relationships I’ve experienced in the past have been innately complex. The video seems to successively provoke opposing feelings of entrapment and obsession in the viewing audience, the eternal spin-cycle of revolving binary emotions and triggers. The nudity invokes the traditional desire of artists throughout the centuries portraying humans without their trappings of culture or status enabling the viewer to see the work as a human experience.

RB: When listening to the new material and watching the videos, knowing you are an independent artist now, it all makes sense… There’s an incredible sense of liberation present. Do you feel less chains and more freedom now to create the music you want to create now that you’re indie?

DB: I paid with years of my life to procure this freedom, it’s everything to me. No fat-cats sitting over my shoulder, trying to mould my art as I make it. I AM very limited without the financial backing of large corporations, but I find the limitations serve my purposes, rather than curtailing my activities.

RB: Back to being naked (laughs)… The part of your music that I cling to the most is the emotionally naked pieces. My favorite track on the EP is ‘Don’t Write Me Off’. It’s breathtaking. I love it so much! I just wanted to speak as a fan for a moment and say thank you for bringing such beautiful songs to life.

DB: You’re a sweetheart and I greatly appreciate your support.

RB: Are you touring with the new stuff?

DB: Of course! But without record company backing it’s a lot more difficult. If you’d like to organize a large enough audience for me, I’ll come and play in your town.

RB: What’s next on this fresh new journey for you? (Please come to Brooklyn!)

DB: A ha! Brooklyn! This I can do. How’s Williamsburg? New E.P out shortly, and I suspect you may enjoy this new video too.

RB: Current guilty pleasures. Give us something juicy!

DB: Telling little kids how to sing better as if I know what I’m talking about. Judging talent competitions and mentoring, voice coaching and shaping young talent.

RB: If I were to look at your laptop or iPod, what kind of music filth would I find?

DB: Marilyn Manson, Rowdy Superstar, Azealia Banks, Mykki Blanco… And that’s just half of the filthy stuff.

RB: Are there any charities you’re currently working with?

DB: I’m working to free the 26 million slaves on the planet with Stop The Traffik. I’m particularly focussed on ending sex trafficking of women and children.

RB: And finally, this blog, much like yourself and your incredible new material, is completely independent. So thank you for taking the time to speak with us. To end this interview, give us something random to close out with? Make it count!

DB: Thank you for all your love and support, I’m coming back – watch out, biatch. Tweet me, Facebook me, and I will reply to you if you say something that fascinates me.

Love him!

View the new & improved indie/sexy/stunning Daniel Bedingfield below.

[Related Post: Daniel Bedingfield’s Back & Showing Butt]

MACKLEMORE & RYAN LEWIS TAKEOVER

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Unless you live under a rock (well, with this East Coast weather you may be doing it for warmth purposes), you have heard Thrift Shop, the smash from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz. I am not here to review the song, or to illustrate how I throw my fists up whenever I hear it, but simply to get Macklemore on your radar.

FYI: The Thrift Shop video already has over 78 million views on YouTube, and is showing no signs of slowing down.

Macklemore spent years building a fan base in Seattle. Alongside DJ and music director Ryan Lewis, the pair has been established as the faces of Seattle’s hip hop scene. Their DIY-driven music has gone national, thanks to a tireless work ethic and co-signs from rap stars like Mac Miller, Big Sean and Schoolboy Q. I find this so interesting, for working in the business, it’s refreshing to see someone have a number one smash based on that good, old-fashioned theory: hard work.

Macklemore recently told MTV: “We’ve talked to a lot of labels and we talked to some legends in the game in terms of labels. I had some great conversations, but right now, we’re doing it ourselves and that’s what makes the most sense for this project.”

Let’s just say he is far from being a one-hit wonder. The Heist is compacted with hit after hit. I highly recommend you familiarize, for Macklemore is already reaching household name status.

Musicians should take a notes from this guy, and understand that no matter what the critics say, anything can happen once your mind’s set.

TOUCHDOWN

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com




[Related Post: Beyonce Can Saaang]

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