Posts Tagged ‘Pop Rock’
By: Maria Ciezak
There is a new buzz in the music world that goes by the name of Social Club. Fresh off of SXSW, and with a brand new album (Gamma Rays) under their belt, they are destined for greatness. I recently had the opportunity to chat with the band about their story, music, touring, and more. They are artists on the rise, so be sure to join the movement.
MARIA CIEZAK: For those who are unfamiliar with Social Club, can you provide a brief back story?
SOCIAL CLUB: Well, it all started a little over two years ago, when lead singer/guitarist John Levan and bass player James Spratley left a local hip hop band to start their own project. They started going to all the local open mic nights, and that is where they met drummer Jeffrey Litzman and keyboardist Thea Tochihara.
MC: Any crazy, inspirational story behind the name? I had to ask.
SC: [Laughs] Nothing really crazy. We felt the way we all came together to form the band, it was a very fitting name. We all have different backgrounds and personalities. We are bringing that all together to put out the best music we know how.
MC: How was the music scene growing up San Diego? Was there one?
SC: We actually didn’t grow up in San Diego. We are all transplants from different states. James is from Virginia Beach. Thea is from Denver, Colorado. John is from Charleston, WV. And Jeff is from Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas. The music scene in San Diego is awesome. And that is why we love playing venues like the Casbah, that has been around for a while.
MC: If you had to place your sound into a particular genre, could you?
SC: We really don’t like to. But I guess you force us to do so. We would say indie alternative pop rock. [Laughs]
MC: Tell us a little bit about your new album, Gamma Rays.
SC: Oh, we definitely shed a bunch of blood, sweat and tears over this album. [Laughs] Nah, it’s pretty much a feel-good album. We tried to stay true to ourselves and stuck with whatever came out, pretty much. We put all genres aside when it comes to writing music. And this album shows how our different backgrounds all came together.
MC: Now that age old question that I am always curious about, for I am the furthest thing from a musician: What comes first? The music or the lyrics?
SC: Definitely the music. We like to jam out at practice, just to see what comes out. And that is how a lot of our sounds came to be.
MC: What would you say you enjoy more? Studio time or live shows?
SC: Honestly, there is nothing better than live shows. You get to share the magnificent feeling of playing music to all your friends. And also it is great seeing their reaction to what you have created.
MC: If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing?
SC: If we weren’t making music, we would be listening to it. Let’s be honest, there really isn’t anything else to do in life, right? [Laughs]
MC: You are absolutely right in that statement, hence what I am doing here!
SC: Dream collaboration. That is one of the toughest questions for us. Probably Muse or The Killers. Actually any bands, MCs or DJs that are good at their craft and want to join forces to rock the world. This is now an open invitation. [Laughs]
MC: What social outlet is best for fans to connect with you?
SC: The best way to connect with us is to come out to one of our shows, or you can visit www.SocialClubJams.com, where we have any social media outlet you are most comfortable with.
MC: Now that the record is successfully out (and I highly recommend everyone to pick one up), what’s next?
SC: Next we will be rocking as many shows as possible and promoting the album Gamma Rays. We also have some video ideas we are gearing up for. So keep an eye out.
MC: Describe Social Club in five words.
SC: Your next favorite band, hopefully.
By: Caitlin Hoffman
Slim Loris is here to mix the cloud with sun. An Americana indie band, they’ve pulled all the plugs on expectation. Instead of playing purveyor to chipper lyrics commonly associated with indie pop, they spike their performance with emotional sobriety. This does nothing to stop me from hitting repeat!
I’m glad I came to know them upon their second release, Future Echoes and Past Replays. You can learn a lot about a band from their second album. A follow-up delivery means they’ve had a chance to mellow down/grow up and garner a group identity. It’s when their true colours start to show.
Slim Loris’ shades are nothing short of striking. This Swedish band has a high musical IQ. With wisdom comes sadness, but I don’t begrudge them for that.
I like them. Those three words hardly do my feelings justice, but it’s all I’m left with! They give me rainy days overcast with rainbows, sad smiles, peaceful goodbyes, sweat from the earth and hugs from the heart.
If craving nutritious soul-food, press play immediately.
By: Rob Brayl
Music > Prozac.
We The Kings get it. They understand your struggles. On the band’s new single, Just Keep Breathing, frontman Travis Clark belts: “Just take a breath and let it go.”
An anthemic track with a stadium sing-along chorus, the inspirational song seems to mark a new direction for the band, after 2011′s sunnier release, Sunshine State of Mind. Yet the track still gives listeners a positive push, hitting the heart and the gut with its pop rock layers.
We the Kings are gearing up for their fourth studio album, which will drop sometime later this year.
Just Keep Breathing is available on iTunes now.
[Related Post: Exclusive Interview w/ We The Kings]
By: Maria Ciezak
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.
By: Rob Brayl
Go Radio has premiered the official music video for new single Go To Hell.
The clip presents the Floridian four-piece in a story of post-breakup revenge, with a tongue-in-cheek performance on a bright yellow parade float alongside a marching band.
Featured on the band’s sophomore album Close The Distance, the song debuted at #54 on the Billboard Top 200, and is receiving rave reviews from critics:
“Go Radio have turned in the best album of their career.” -Alternative Press
In support of album’s release, the band recently kicked off the #GoToHell tour in the band’s hometown of Tallahassee, FL, and will continue their live onslaught through December.
Close The Distance is available now on iTunes and in stores.
Go Radio #GoToHell Tour Dates:
11.16 -Buffalo, NY @ Xtreme Wheels
11.17 – Gettysburg, PA @ Gettysburg College (supporting Timeflies)
11.18 – Teaneck, NJ @ Mexicali Live
11.20 – New York, NY @ The Studio at Webster Hall
11.21 – Poughkeepsie, NY @ The Loft
11.23 – Philadelphia, PA @ North Star Bar
11.24 – Canton, OH @ The Auricle
11.25 – Detroit, MI @ Shelter
11.27 – Grand Rapids, MI @ The Intersection
11.28 – Indianapolis, IN @ The Irving Theatre
11.29 – Joliet, IL @ Mojoes
11.30 – St. Paul, MN @ Station 4
12.1 – Iowa City, IA @ Gabe’s Oasis
12.2 – St. Louis, MO @ The Firebird
12.4 – Nashville, TN @ Rocketown
Go To Hell, y’all!
By: Rob Brayl
The Rocket Summer has just released the music video for new single 200,000 and it’s pretty rad. The clip, directed by Marshall Burnette, features Bryce Avary trekking through some sticky situations: smoking cars, desolate woods, and gangsta kiddies! All for the sake of delivering a song to his soulmate (played by his real-life wife, Tara Avary). Too sweet!
[Sidenote: Loving the subtle explosion at the end of the vid. Nice touch!]
The song is taken from TRSâ€™ latest effort, Life Will Write The Words, which dropped earlier this year via Bryceâ€™s label, Aviate Records.
This album, like all of Bryce’s previous work, is heartfelt and piercing.
The new clip + watch former So You Think You Can Dance winner Benji Schwimmer move to one of my favorite tracks from the album, the goosebump-worthy Scrapbook below.
By: Maria Ciezak
With one of 2012â€™s biggest comebacks, The Killers have resurfaced from a long hiatus with a new single entitled Runaways. From the lyrical content to audio effects, everything about this screams old-school Killers. It’s simply beautiful, and Brandonâ€™s voice is soaring as always.
Runaways is taken from the band’s fourth studio album, Battle Born, which is due for release in the fall of this year.
By: Rob Brayl
If there’s one album I absolutely cannot wait to hear this summer, it would be The Rocket Summer’s Life Will Write the Words. Bryce Avary is, without of a doubt, one of my favorite artists of well, all time. I cannot get enough of his music. It simply leaves a mark and breaks through.
Check out the premiere of the new music video for Revival, a feel-good track that sits well in any car- windows down, breeze blowing.
The new album drops June 5 via Aviate Records.
By: Maria Ciezak
MARIA CIEZAK: Hey Ryan! Thanks for taking the time to chat with me. Iâ€™ve been a fan of yours since â€˜Take It All Awayâ€™. I even met you in a mall when I was in my teens. [Laughs] For the record, I have washed my hands since.
Now, in the words of one of my biggest inspirations, Mr. John Lennon (who I know is one of your main guys as well): â€œLife is what happens to you when youâ€™re busy making other plans.â€ I always thought this quote kind of related to your career in a weird way. You didnâ€™t pick up the guitar until you were 16. How did it start?
RYAN CABRERA: I actually picked it up by accident. I would be bored at my friend’s house and he had a guitar there, so I’d pick it up and jam. Never really thought it would turn into anything, but when I heard Dave Matthews I knew that I wanted to master that instrument, so I started with learning as many Dave songs as possible. To me, watching him play became my guitar lessons!
MC: I recently saw you play a show at the Stanhope House in New Jersey. You definitely have progressed as an artist, in nothing but a positive way. After all, you have been in the business for many years. Do you ever get fully used to the limelight?
RC: Well, I feel experience only develops artists, but it also depends on your willingness to let it. I take everything that happens in my life and try to use it to push me to be better, especially in the songwriting. My only goal is to write songs that are real and have weight; it’s not easy in this time period, but I feel happy and confident that I have been doing that. I definitely can improve so much and just keep trying to do so.
MC: I have to ask, you have gone from a major label to making moves on your own. I totally respect artists who want to stick with playing music they like — under their own stipulations — but what has the journey been like for you over the years? Where did you picture yourself at this point in your career?
RC: The only place I’ve ever pictured myself is onstage and in the studio, so as long as I can do that, I am happy. I consider myself very fortunate to get to do what I love doing everyday; I don’t plan on stopping. As far as the label thing goes, it wasn’t easy when I turned in ‘The Moon Under Water’ because they had different ideas of what they wanted the record to sound like. For me, I’d worked too hard on it and believed in it too much to throw it away and write a new album under somebody else’s opinion, so I put up the money myself and put the album out independently. A lot of people ask if I wish I would’ve stuck with a major label and the answer is no. For that time period, I would have been disappointed in myself if I would have put out that record. Now we move on and see where life takes us on this new album.
MC: I know you are currently working on new material. Finally! Itâ€™s been awhile! What can fans expect from this release after your long hiatus?
RC: This record is more upbeat and organic than before – it’s really fun, but in a serious manner. Some acoustic tracks, some playful tracks, but all in all, I wanted songs that can stand alone. They are produced up but don’t necessarily need the bells and whistles. Thereâ€™s a track called ‘Shake the Earth’ about stirring the pot and living life with no regrets. Then there’s a stripped down song right after that, so it’s definitely a variety, but back to the basics.
MC: Just a little food for thought… My favorite song of yours is â€˜Enemiesâ€™. I have an ultimate goal for you to serenade me with that song. Just throwing that out there, in case you ever have any free time.
RC: [Laughs] That was always a funny song for me because I wrote that song when I was sick, so my voice was really nasally and high-pitched. When I got better I realized I wrote it in a way too high key! So it’s tough live, but I whip it out from time to time!
MC: I always have admired you as a songwriter, and find myself continually listening to many of your songs depending on certain moods that I am in. Where do you pull your inspiration from when writing?
RC: Any situation that is on my mind. I like writing straight to the point lyrics but w a lil’ twist. So if a girl cheated on me, I’ll write about it. If I cheated on a girl, I’ll write about it. If I’m bummed about something, I’ll write about it. If I’m stoked, I’ll write about it. It’s fun to tell stories!
MC: What usually comes first during the recording process? The music or the lyrics?
RC: For me, the music comes first. It sets up the vibe for where you go lyrically. You don’t want to write a love song and the music make you feel sad, you want one to compliment the other and give you the feeling of your lyrics as well.
MC: Throughout your career you have shared the stage with so many talented artists. Is there one that stands out the most, and if so, why?
RC: Yes, a friend of mine named Jay Buchanan. I got to bring him out on tour with me and I watched him play every single night of the tour. I am a fan and was honored that he’d even open for me. There’s actually been a lot of people who have played with me who I was a huge fan of: Aslyn, Kyle Riabko, The Veronicas, Holly Brook (aka Skylar Grey), Bonnie McKee.
MC: This may be a tough question to answer, but what do you enjoy more? Recording or hitting the road?
RC: I’d say hitting the road. You can’t beat playing live; having fun with people and experiencing something that you are controlling. I’ve always enjoyed being in front of people and entertaining! The studio can be long and tedious, but I do love the creation aspect of it, especially when it’s done. [Laughs]
MC: So what are your plans for the summer? Hopefully you say an East Coast Tour?
RC: Not exactly sure yet, but the ultimate plan is to finish the album, work my ass off, and tour non-stop!
MC: Thank you for taking the time to chat with me Ryan, Mr. Cabrera if ya nasty, for our blog, BiggerThanBeyonce.Com, where itâ€™s no bullshit, no gossip, just music. Any parting words for Ryan Cabrera fans?
RC: My pleash! And yeah, I appreciate everyone who has and continues to support me on this journey! Peace, love, and pancakes!
By: Caitlin Hoffman
Camp X is mighty mainstream, surely radio-bound. They rake in emotions by the pound, unafraid to express.
I can imagine a woman blasting their songs while she drives into the horizon, ready to change her name and start a new life. Their music gives you little glimpses into other peopleâ€™s lives. Theyâ€™d make a great addition to any soundtrack, any heart-felt trailer, any evening of self-reflection.
At this point, theyâ€™re working to gather a fanbase and get the grapevine brewing. They are geared towards the future, all too eager to see success on the horizon. Iâ€™m doing my part to help them get there.
If you like Kings of Leon, U2, or any other band born on the stage, youâ€™ll like Camp X.
Coming soon to a rock station near you.
By: Rob Brayl
If you don’t know who Mat Kearney is, then clearly you aren’t a reader of this blog. If that’s the case, let’s label that a big fat fail! I’ve been pushing this kid since the beginning of time. He’s bloody amazing! So much heart and soul and just plain awesome all around.
Read THIS to get caught up to speed, to show that fail who’s boss!
Just-released new video (uhhmazing) + recent interview following.
By: Rob Brayl
Not everyone can cover Beyonce like a champ! But then again, not everyone is up-and-coming singer-songwriter LP. Like numerous other artists in the business (Bruno Mars, anyone?), L.A.-based LP got her start writing songs for some pretty big names. Most recently, she helped to co-write Rihanna’s feel-good single Cheers (Drink to That).
If the vocals of Linda Perry and Stevie Nicks had a lovechild, the offspring would be LP. Yes, that’s an uberphat (I think I just made up a word) compliment!
LP’s debut five-song CD + DVD package, titled Into The Wild (Live At EastWest Studios), is set to drop on April 24th. You can also catch her television debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live on April 25th.
Prepare for takeoff!
By: Rob Brayl
In 2008, Kevin Rudolf burst onto the scene with Let It Rock, the anthemic smash which featured Lil Wayne. Now, the Cash Money Records rocker has released a single that showcases his poppier side. On the just-released Don’t Give Up, the singer-songwriter keeps it positive and chill, delivering a tune with a sturdy message.
According to Rolling Stone, Rudolf’s recent move from Los Angeles to New York City helped to inspire the shift: “When I started writing this album, I had just moved back to New York City, where I grew up. I just got out of L.A. and when I got to the city I was feeling really positive and hopeful, and that’s the place where ‘Don’t Give Up’ came from,” he explained. “And plus, since the world is ending in 2012, I thought I’d leave on a high note.”
The uplifting single drops on iTunes on April 17th.
By: Rob Brayl
Lord have mercy! He is SO cute. I mean, just adorable, right? And a good musician to boot. It’s Monday, people. I think I’m allowed to have a post that’s written on a 5th grade reading level. Sue me!
Now, where’s my Red Bull?
[Related Post: Oh La La: Jamie Scott of Graffiti6]
By: Maria Ciezak
The All-American Rejects were fashioned when vocalist/bassist Tyson Ritter and guitarist, co-songwriter Nick Wheeler, were youngsters in 1999. Thirteen years strong, they are back with their fourth studio release, Kids in the Street. To be honest, I had heard no buzz of a single or album until I found it on the front page of i-Tunes, but to my surprise, this stuff isnâ€™t bad; in fact, itâ€™s really good.
I am not sure what they have been up too since When the World Comes Down four long years ago. Well, to be honest again, when I hear this bandâ€™s name, a few specific things come to mind: freshman year of high school, summers at The Warped Tour, and watching music videos all day on VH1. I mean, hell; these guys were the kings of the charts, and anyone with a radio was forced to listen to their tunes whether we wanted to or not. After about five listens through on this new release, I think I have figured it out; they’ve are maturing, right in front of our ears. In the words of Blink 182, â€œWell I guess this is growing upâ€¦â€
The All-American Rejects dispose of a lot of their childlike potency and boldness for a fresh maturity and sound; out with the old, in with the new. In fact, many may assume the title Kids in the Street to mean that the band would be acting like adolescents. I mean, if the shoe fits, right? Well, it couldnâ€™t be more of the opposite here; nothing kid-like at all actually. Every musician is an artist, only problem is, how to remain an artist once growing up. Whether they have been influenced more by actually growing up, you know the aging process of life, or maybe they’re just drained of struggling with all those indecisive girls who won’t return their tweets? Who knows if we will ever figure that one out, but if you are yearning for the days of Swing, Swing and Move Along, re-think this one. If you want some more of the same, you may be disappointed. They arenâ€™t that band playing The Warped Tour early in the afternoon, enduring the blistering heat to gain new fans. After all, our checkered vans can only withhold so many concerts.
This time around, the boys teamed up with mastermind Greg Wells (the man behind little acts named Adele, Katy Perry, and One Republic), making the production crisp and clearer than ever before. It permits Tyson and the band to expand their sound to unparalleled terrains, considering the fact that Wells is one of the most underrated producers in the business in my opinion. Completely dissimilar from their old school Rejectsâ€™ work, the completion is an imaginative chef-d’oeuvre, established and groundbreakingly filled with elements of conventional rock sounds. Yes, they still have their pop-rock sound, but there is so much more substance here. A strong story is being told, lyrically and emotionally. This album will catch fans, ancient and new, by surprise.
To quickly break it down before you purchase, the opening of the album is exceptionally strong, especially the first three tracks. Now, if you actually listened that far without skipping through, youâ€™d expect to be leading up to a real pop-rock-n-roll monster, but donâ€™t be fooled, some drowsiness does set in. Itâ€™s almost as if this album is demanding your earâ€™s attention, not wanting you to expect what is coming next. Some moments are dramatic, like the remorseful track Bleed Into Your Mind, the muted closing song I For You and Heartbeat Slowing Down, a poignant adios. You then can find the fun, outgoing parts of the album, with Beekeeperâ€™s Daughter, Fast & Slow and Affection, three of my preferred tracks on the record. They make me want to take my hair down, and whip it back and forth.
They are taking this record out on the road this spring, and I am hoping to catch it live. In fact, they will be playing some festivals, and opening some shows for Blink 182 as well.
In conclusion, the more I write about and listen to this record, I have come to the realization that The All-American Rejects may not be the most amazing band on the planet, but they are for sure a clever band. They are staying up-to-date in a dying scene, while understanding how to write and produce a record that is still alluring to their direct demographic without sacrificing panache or intellect; job well done. Powerful, passionate, and spirited. Need I say more?