killingthecabinet http://killingthecabinet.com Thu, 19 May 2016 17:41:33 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.2 Cue the Bagpipes with Anthem-y Spirit: You Won’t’s Revolutionaries http://killingthecabinet.com/cue-the-bagpipes-with-anthem-y-spirit-you-wonts-revolutionaries/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=cue-the-bagpipes-with-anthem-y-spirit-you-wonts-revolutionaries http://killingthecabinet.com/cue-the-bagpipes-with-anthem-y-spirit-you-wonts-revolutionaries/#comments Thu, 05 May 2016 16:00:20 +0000 Charissa http://killingthecabinet.com/?p=15161 yw revolutionaries cover medres Cue the Bagpipes with Anthem y Spirit:  You Won’t’s Revolutionaries

By Charssa Lock 

The initial vibes forming a slanted grin (for reasons including, but not limited to; Bob Dylan-esque vocals, saws delicately played with violin bows, and lyric and theme holding no boundaries to semi-orchestrated “pop” melodies) was the wise-cracking result of the duo’s Skeptic Goodbye.  As much seriousness was in the entirety, there was also a lot of childish fun and instrumental experimentation, which is why their fan base grew, including the usually-synical Killing the Cabinet crew.  Yet, not sure what to expect with round number two, I was overflowed with giddiness as their previous pop-attempts became pop-ballads and experimentation turned melodic showcases.  The transition into a more professional and mature sound (as I’m sure they would purse their lips at hearing) was not a given, but as Revolutionaries enfolds, is bouncing you along in just the right way.  Of course, this is not a kind way of saying they’re selling out to their indie sounds because I’m sure many friends will still give me the eyebrow and said it’s not what’s on the radio (which is exactly why I love it).  Yet, it definitely has the potential to do whatever it so desires because it has those key ingredients we long for in a catchy tune.

Not only until I’m jamming away to tracks like “Friends in Exile” and “No Divide” do I realize that another upswing from their former is the significance offered to the bass beats.  This distinction of movement allows You Won’t to enfold onto the entire song experience, toting along numerous peaks and bowing saws strapped to a foot-stomping foundation traveling a bit more of a guided path.

Of course you mix these potions and then you hear that the Ramones’ “Judy is A Punk” (just my favorite Ramones song, but no big deal) was an influence (among other artists and albums) to Revolutionaries and I’m almost as good as sold.  I must say, even before learning about the connection when I heard the vocal bridge of “The Fuzz” I very swiftly retorted with “oh, this is so Ramones…hot damn” (okay, maybe not word for word).  This upbeat track is a close favorite with all of its upbeat angsty-ness.  Speaking of vocal bridges, “Jesus Sings” easily slides onto my “Finales” playlist filled with things like Brand News “Seventy Times Seven,” Sia’s “Alive,” and other tunes that rip your heart and vocal strings out simultaneously.  It’s an anthem of bagpipes and sophisticated drumrolls, your head is tilted back while you pathetically try to replicate Josh’s intonations at an impossible rate.

With bagpipes on the brain, you actually get a lovely taste of another non-Celtic vibe in “Untitled 2,” as they hit you at a deeper level, forcing you to make tough decisions and choose forgiveness or betrayal, definitely more “Braveheart” than Irish step-dancing.  Of course, there are all different types of instrumentation, as we should all expect and some sounds I give up on trying to figure out because I’ve seen them live and I know as Raky is performing I’m saying “this is beautiful, what is he using?!” It goes with the territory, so let it go, listen, and enjoy.

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With Revolutionaries having made its premiere on your favorite streaming device this past Friday, Boston is celebrating their album release party a week later to my utmost anticipation.  They’ll continue their national tour ending in the early summer, so make sure you check tour dates.

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Dusted with Glitter and Buffed with Polish: Santigold’s 99¢ http://killingthecabinet.com/dusted-with-glitter-and-buffed-with-polish-santigolds-99%c2%a2/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=dusted-with-glitter-and-buffed-with-polish-santigolds-99%25c2%25a2 http://killingthecabinet.com/dusted-with-glitter-and-buffed-with-polish-santigolds-99%c2%a2/#comments Mon, 29 Feb 2016 23:46:50 +0000 Charissa http://killingthecabinet.com/?p=15142 uvwgvekjy15rvwaz9bjb Dusted with Glitter and Buffed with Polish:  Santigold’s 99¢

By Charissa Lock

I get too distracted by the hov to appreciate Beyonce the way I know I should.  I am too picky to acknowledge the multitude of “badass” female artists floating around in the universe as my pop alter-ego.  Sia is pretty much my only go to.  Let’s be serious, she is close to flawless, but with her latest being written for others it was clear her heart and soul were letting us know that This is Acting was a perfectly executed performance (that “Reaper” though).    With my soul silently searching for a unique pop princess to shackle to, there was this month’s long Friday surprise welcoming me with a gritty, yet bouncy loveliness.  Week after week Santigold was releasing singles off99 Cents and week after week I would be grinning and head bopping along waiting for all of the pieces to converge into one.

A glorious muchas gracias to NPR for relieving me of my impatience by releasing Santigold’s newest album a week before the official date.  I already knew I would love the handful of singles previously heard, but as we all know, hearing it as part of something bigger amplifies the tracks to another level.  “Can’t Get Enough of Myself” was part of my favorite singles of 2015, so when this engulfed my headphones as the intro track to 99 Cents I was not only immediately jubilant, but I was able to re-experience this song as the first chapter preceding a multitude of grimy and bass-y, flowery and floaty, bubblegum and cheeky, and overall dance-able as all hell tracks.

If you know Santigold, you’re aware that she has more of an edgier sound with unique vocals frequently on the verge of spiking, closer to M.I.A. than Selena Gomez.  The fluty hip hop-esque beats and flirtation with dabs of rap verses are amongst the typical Santigold experiences.  There seems to be nice blend between her shoegaze anime-pop attitude from her self-titled album and dabbling experimental nature of Master of My Make-Believe.  Her newest album also has a common theme of self-image and her 90’s Barbie-like website continues on this declaration with facetious advertisement.  As negative as I just made her Tumblr page sound, it actually is quite fun to explore.

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Her last album did not seem to have the same effects on me, it just was and nothing resulted in me wanting to punch through walls as a tough empowered woman, dance the night away on an empty dance floor, or secretly hope a crew like Willdabeast’s would find a song as equally fit to create choreography for.  99 Cents packs in more to connect to, and inspires all of these previous thoughts to lamely pass through my mind as the songs roll on.  I want to blast this album from my speakers and transfer myself into the energy and crispness that Santigold has made sure rushes from these beautifully produced tracks.  If only I could just remove “Who Be Lovin Me” (feat. ILOVEMAKONNEN)” then I would be able to hit “play” and walk away until my feet were lifeless from dancing and throat sore from singing.

 

Santigold will be on tour this spring, so be sure to get some dance moves ready.

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KTC Presents: The Best Albums & Songs of 2015 http://killingthecabinet.com/ktc-presents-the-best-albums-songs-of-2015/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=ktc-presents-the-best-albums-songs-of-2015 http://killingthecabinet.com/ktc-presents-the-best-albums-songs-of-2015/#comments Thu, 31 Dec 2015 17:00:42 +0000 Charissa http://killingthecabinet.com/?p=15072 Screen Shot 2015 12 30 at 12.00.05 PM KTC Presents: The Best Albums & Songs of 2015

preview by Matt Downes

This was a challenging year for ktc.  Charissa took on more work and school, Aurora took on new work (and some school as well) and Matt just took on more work.  In between the work, the school and the traveling to work and school we all listened to a lot of music.  I think I can safely say that the soundtrack to all our lives was a much-needed constant. Very thankful for all of the artists on this list, as well as the ones that aren’t, who make it all worth it.

Celebrating our 5th year of supporting all things music, killing the cabinet presents our best songs and albums of 2015.

2011
2012
2013
2014

Charissa’s Picks

Albums

Wolf Alice – My Love Is Cool
twenty one pilots – Blurryface
Ofelia K – Plastic Flower
Misterwives – Our Own House
Youth Lagoon – Savage Hills Ballroom
Thunderbitch –  Thunderbitch
BØRNS – Dopamine
Imagine Dragons – Smoke + Mirrors
AWOLNATION – Run
Catfish and the Bottlemen – The Balcony

Runner Up

Passion Pit – Kindred

Songs

Fidlar – “Punks”
Wolf Alice – “Your Loves Whore”
Wolf Alice – “You’re A Germ”
JR JR – “Gone”
Gosh Pith – “Vietnam Junkie”
Misterwives- “Reflections”
Thunderbitch – “Closer”
Missy Elliot – “WTF (Where They From)”
twenty one pilots – “The Judge”
Santigold - “Can’t Get Enough of Myself” (feat. B.C.)
Ofelia K – “Hawk Fly Tiger Run”
AWOLNATION – “I Am”
Mother Mother- “Monkey Tree” (UK remix)

Matt’s Picks

Albums

We Are The City – Violent
Chvrches – Every Eye Open
Tame Impala - Currents
Baio – The Needs
AWOLNATION – Run
twenty one pilots – Blurryface
Silversun Pickups – Better Nature
Grimes – Art Angels
Ryan Adams - Live At Carnegie Hall
Deafheaven – New Bermuda

Songs

Car Seat Headrest – “Something Soon”
Chvrches – “Down Side of Me”
Grimes – “Flesh Without Blood”
Scavenger Hunt – “Kiss Me Clean”
We Are The City – “Cheque Room”
Pure Bathing Culture – “Pray For Rain”
Palmas – “I Want To Know” (Your Love)
Foals – “What Went Down”
Broncho – “Class Historian”
Metric – “Fortunes” (I listened to this song an uncomfortable amount of times)
Wave & Rome – “Wandering Wolf”
Jason Derulo – “Want To Want Me”
Fildar – “West Coast”
Major Lazer and Dj Snake feat. – “Lean On”
Kygo – “Firestone”
Nicolas Godin & Jean-Benoit Dunckel – “Widerstehe Doch Der Sündee”
M83 feat. Haim – “Holes in the Sky”
Grimes – “Pin”
Jim Adkins - “I Wil Go”
Ryan Adams covering Taylor Swift – “Out of the Woods”
Sufjan Stevens – “Fourth of July”
Lord Huron – “Meet Me In The Woods”
White Sea – “Stay Young, Get Stoned”
Chvrches – “Afterglow”
Tame Impala – “Eventually”
Silversun Pickups – “Friendly Fires”

Aurora‘s Picks

Albums

Humans - Noontide
AWOLNATION - Run
Rae Sremmurd - Sremmlife
Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp A Butterfly
Grimes - Art Angels
Tame Impala Currents
A$AP Rocky - At Long Last
Silversun Pickups - Better Nature
Wolf Alice - Your Love is Cool
Gosh Pith - Window
 
Runners Up
Jamie XX - In Colour
River Tiber - When The Time is Right
Big Sean - Dark Sky Paradise

Songs:

Jarryd James “Do You Remember”
A$AP Rocky “LSD”
M83 & Haim “Holes in the Sky”
Caribou “Can’t Do Without You”
Wafia “Heartburn”
Humans “Ennio”
Justin Bieber, Jack Ü “Where Are Ü Now?”
Drake “Hotline Bling”
Tame Impala “Let It Happen”
Jeremih “Planez”
AWOLNATION “Run”
Leon Else “River Full of Liquor”
Bryson Tiller “Right My Wrongs”
River Tiber “No Talk”
Silversun Pickups “Friendly Fire”
Unknown Mortal Orchestra “Necessary Evil”

TAGS: missing phoenix and m83 LIVE, so many great live shows, 2016 Coachella, GnR, who else?, STG4L

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We Are The City at the Troubadour in Los Angeles on 11/25/2015 http://killingthecabinet.com/we-are-the-city-at-the-troubadour-11252015/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=we-are-the-city-at-the-troubadour-11252015 http://killingthecabinet.com/we-are-the-city-at-the-troubadour-11252015/#comments Wed, 09 Dec 2015 17:00:48 +0000 matt http://killingthecabinet.com/?p=15047 We Are The City 12 1024x682 We Are The City at the Troubadour in Los Angeles on 11/25/2015

by Matt Downes with photos by the indubitable Colin Rieser from Blue Kite Cinema.

Once in blue moon a band comes along that changes the music in your house, your car and your phone. This just happened to me with a Canadian band called We Are The City.  I was introduced to them with a glowing trailer of their Canadian-granted, self-everything-else produced-full-feature-film titled Violent (Note: I still have not seen the movie because it hasn’t had a proper release.) Ever since, I’ve been yearning to see them live. This past Thankgiving eve was the placeholder and boy did they deliver.

This was one of those shows where I have very few pictures and didn’t write the setlist down.  I was too busy listening and watching to care about anything or really anyone else.  Some might call this selfish, I call it therapeutic.

Go buy the music they wrote to accompany the movie Violent (written for the movie) here and their new album that was just released titled Above Club here.   Apparently the movie is still seeking distribution or I’d link to it as well.  I still have yet to see it.

Can’t wait for the next therapy session.

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Tags: Great Bands of 2015, Songs that make you feel, music that cures, The Project Matters

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It’s That Time of Year for Slippers, Candles, and Ofelia K’s Plastic Flower http://killingthecabinet.com/its-that-time-of-year-for-slippers-candles-and-ofelia-ks-plastic-flower/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=its-that-time-of-year-for-slippers-candles-and-ofelia-ks-plastic-flower http://killingthecabinet.com/its-that-time-of-year-for-slippers-candles-and-ofelia-ks-plastic-flower/#comments Mon, 30 Nov 2015 23:29:38 +0000 Charissa http://killingthecabinet.com/?p=15031 ofelia It’s That Time of Year for Slippers, Candles, and Ofelia K’s Plastic Flower

By Charissa Lock

Think of Plastic Flower EP like the wispy sweet nothings of a delicate Norah Jones-like vocals set against an Ingrid Michaelson twinkly indie pop style background.  Soft and simple, yet twirling with a flamboyance of uniqueness amongst the genre of “female indie pop.”  Where this unknown element of freshness stems from is both a mingle of small nothings (a twinge here, a fun percussion melody there) and an overlay of an ambiguous something.  Ofelia K has the necessary components in her introductory EP to cause intrigue and an understanding that there’s something special here; tapping, fiddles, twangs, xylophones?

Earlier this month Miss Ofelia K released her first EP, a collection of previous singles that had been swirling around the likes of Soundcloud and Spotify.  Well, the three previous separate singles and the breathtakingly chic and quirky “Hawk Fly Tiger Run.”  Yeah…it was one of those Hype Machine deals.  I was overloaded with a barrage of Monday morning’s “setting up the classroom” activities and I froze on the spot as this fantastic song of all songs giddily streamed through the speakers.  Later on that day, the rest of the EP was then on repeat for the entire week.

Ofelia isn’t trying exhaustingly hard nor is she giving half her talent while everyone else tries to make up the difference.  As a singer-songwriter she lays her heart out, creates lovely and catchy melodies, swoons away with her flower petal voice, and is seasoned with funky and plentiful instrumentation.  Why sing with just an acoustic guitar (though you may want to check out her acoustic version of “Gone”) when you can have a plethora of mini melodies and notes carried by a slew of unlikely characters?

Screen Shot 2015 11 30 at 4.33.05 PM It’s That Time of Year for Slippers, Candles, and Ofelia K’s Plastic Flower

Plastic Flower is honest, confident though a bit shy, fitting for almost any occasion, mood, or time of day, and easily trumps over the many female singers out there.  You know, the ones trying to be pouring out your speakers while you’re sorting and organizing your lunches for the week, or heading to meet your friends for a quick coffee or something a bit more sinister.  Yet, as those seem to be good for one single and then fade, Ofelia keeps finding herself involved in my day. Three weeks later and here I am gushing over “Hawk Fly Tiger Run,” “As a Bell,” and basically the entire EP.   That funky and loveable attitude within these four tracks is spot on.   Gosh, even the soundtrack to her 15 second running video through a desert is eccentric and delightful.

Check out other posts here and her must listen EP.

ktc mgmt

 

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Big Black Delta at the Teregram Ballroom http://killingthecabinet.com/big-black-delta-at-the-teregram-ballroom/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=big-black-delta-at-the-teregram-ballroom http://killingthecabinet.com/big-black-delta-at-the-teregram-ballroom/#comments Wed, 11 Nov 2015 16:46:28 +0000 Aurora http://killingthecabinet.com/?p=14995 Big Black Delta CR 7 1024x682 Big Black Delta at the Teregram Ballroom

By Aurora Cowen

When Big Black Delta hit the Teregram Ballroom stage at 10 pm, the nearly full 600 cap room lit up.  Jonathan Bates’ stage presence was invigorating.  His moves and the way he handles his mic are unmatched, a confidence so thrilling to watch you almost need a minute to settle in before you can even grasp the vocals.  This was an entirely different scene from the 2 shows I saw in 2011 and 2012 when BBD played with two female drummers and a much more minimal sound (check out our interview from 2012).  He had the moves back then of course, but this was a whole new level sonically and thematically.   The same songs were almost reinvented into a full bodied, electrifying sound that gave me the chills to hear and see.

There was definitely a new energy about him personally.  This night was essentially a reemergence from a nearly year-long hiatus, and coming back with the full band seemed to make perfect sense.  It was actually really incredible to experience, especially knowing the backstory behind his disappearance.   Earlier in the year, he was robbed of everything he owns besides his cat – all of his music, gear, records, light rigs and his identity were taken.  At the end of his set, he expressed his gratitude for all the support and explained that anyone who knows him understands how special this moment is because, “shit’s been weird for me.  The fact that you guys are here…”   It was an honest and emotional moment that I felt brought the whole night, and his career together.  I have high hopes for the future of Big Black Delta – this project seems to finally make complete sense.  Sometimes tragedy generates a newfound creativity and understanding of what you want and who you truly are.

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Photos by Colin Rieser

ktc mgmt

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In the Zone: LA’s Rene Brown is Chasing the Dream & Changing the Female Rap Game http://killingthecabinet.com/changing-the-female-rap-game-rene-brown/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=changing-the-female-rap-game-rene-brown http://killingthecabinet.com/changing-the-female-rap-game-rene-brown/#comments Wed, 26 Aug 2015 16:00:48 +0000 Aurora http://killingthecabinet.com/?p=14958 rene brown In the Zone: LAs Rene Brown is Chasing the Dream & Changing the Female Rap Game

By Aurora

She’s an unsigned MC from Mississippi, living in LA doing things her own way and she’s literally just getting started (she has 598 likes on FB people).   Rene Brown squashes gender identity and unapologetically lays out the often times harsh truth from her perspective.  Her verses are doused with passion and intensity, but the optimistic kind.  The hardships in her life – growing up in the projects, being raised by a single mom, facing discrimination on a multitude of levels (gathered most of that from lyrics, assuming it’s the case) have allowed her a unique artistic freedom.  Unlike many artists in hip hop, she’s been though some tough shit, but she’s not bitter about it.

Check out her freestyle on Future‘s “Commas” here.

Her androgyny is a part of the appeal: super cute and youthful with delicate features and an innocence in her eyes, yet she’s covered in tattoos and dresses more like a dude than a 20 something girl.  She’s intriguing stylistically, both in her flow and in her image.  She’s got swagger and a down to earth persona, but she’s hard AF.  She’s also a military chick and recorded her first track, “Home,” while deployed in Afghanistan.

I love to see women in music succeed, especially in hip hop because it’s traditionally a scene dominated by the guys.  But most female rappers today have specific tones and nuances that are displeasing (okay, annoying) to the ear (Nicki, Iggy), especially if you’re listening to an album or a few songs back to back.  Rene Brown’s subtle range and simple style is much more approachable sonically, similar to some of the old school ladies who once dominated the game (Eve).

Chasing Dreams

No tour dates seem to be routed as of yet but she’ll be at Zanzibar in Santa Monica this Sunday and that’s my HOOD so you will definitely catch me there!

Her EP The Wave comes out this fall.

Thanks to Beth at Danger Village for sending her my way!

Twitter @ReneBrownMusic

ktc mgmt

 

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Surging Through Speakers and Consuming Souls: Wolf Alice’s My Love Is Cool http://killingthecabinet.com/surging-through-speakers-and-consuming-souls-wolf-alices-my-love-is-cool/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=surging-through-speakers-and-consuming-souls-wolf-alices-my-love-is-cool http://killingthecabinet.com/surging-through-speakers-and-consuming-souls-wolf-alices-my-love-is-cool/#comments Mon, 10 Aug 2015 16:08:06 +0000 Charissa http://killingthecabinet.com/?p=14948 wolf alice lp Surging Through Speakers and Consuming Souls:  Wolf Alice’s My Love Is Cool

By Charissa Lock

I’m strongly considering writing a piece about the benefits and amazing abilities of technology while I relax in a power-less coffee shop, one of which realizes it’s better to stay open (if only for the ice coffees and teas) to satisfy the needy caffeine obsessed population.  An early morning thunderstorm ceased the electricity of more than 116,000 homes and business in my little state of Rhode Island and yet, here I sit, still able to jam to my new obsession (Wolf Alice) while drinking a delicious ice coffee and typing my heart away.  Ah, as much as one could say “how will they ever fall in love?” observing two lovebirds mercilessly tapping away on their phones, it’s hard to ignore this phenomenal moment I’m experiencing (also, props to Spotify’s “offline” mode).

It’s far too easy to compare the foundation of My Love Is Cool to ground shaking thunder, lightning bolts blasting through the dawn and forcibly ripping your attention resulting in spontaneous destruction.  Okay, well the latter part may sound a tad negative, but I mean it in more of a badass kind of way (my sincere apologies for those whose homes or businesses were damaged).  The album takes your soul into their possession to manipulate as they wish, forcing your opinions to change dramatically as the tracks roll through.  Whatever your expectations were before you embarked on this journey, they are soon topped because this quartet from North London know what they’re doing in regards to technical brilliance, lyrics and theme, pop melodies, elegantly combining all factors and influenced into getting a beautifully produced sound.

Wolf Alice plays to this grey area genre, which is my favorite, where they are multiple ‘ishes swarming in unison and prepared to assault you with a new, completely fluid take on a melody or guitar riff.   For example, in “Giant Peach” you are rocking out a bit and getting this Octopus Project vibe when about a third in you realize you’re spiraling into a black lipstick chick rock sound with screams and Black Sabbath instrumentation.   For a chunk of My Love Is Cool, the instrumentation, specifically guitar distortion and melodies, follow an Oasis-type path amongst rhythm guitars streaming a heavier rock (that Black Sabbath-esque previously mentioned) or softer moments.  Of course, the fact that Ellie Rowsell is holding the lead vocal reins and guiding you along, this album becomes a whole other beast in itself.  Her feisty attitude makes Wolf Alice, Wolf Alice.   And though she wears her heart on her sleeve, Rowsell would be more than willing to rip you apart Rousey style if you have something to say about it.  Her presence inspires these great early 2000s female pop moments that are strangely welcomed amongst the amazing drum solos and gritty distortion.  “Freazy” is a pleasant upbeat track with a rather lovely taste of the Spice Girls, particularly at the bridge, and I find myself singing along in confusion as I seriously have always disliked the Spice Girls.

There are three tracks on here that have stolen my heart forever and it would have been four, except I cannot handle background whisper talking (my only complaint about the entire record).  Even though “Silk” has so many wonderful transitions and phrases to sing along to “My love it kills me slowly, slowly I could die,” a monumental outro that can probably only properly be experienced live, the maybe fifteen seconds of background whisper talking kills me!  It’s very unfortunate.  I actually should correct myself about my first favorite, as the version on My Love Is Cool doesn’t quite cut it compared to their single release of “Bros.”  Their first attempt packs a heavier punch and I fell in love at first listen.  I remember chilling on the couch when Matt sent it over, “YOU HAVE TO LISTEN!” type of suggestion.  The experience of watching the entire video and being in awe at how delightful it was, carrying around  that need-for-freedom effect, was like listening to KITTEN’s “G#.”  Besides being one of my favorite titles (with the idea of it being two lady besties) the instrumentation melody is simplistically different and marvelous.  “Your Loves Whore” is another killer track, making me want to stand with my arms up and hair whipping behind me in topless jeep heading to an unknown destination.  I could easily imagine drug-induced slow dancing would ensue as well.  The quiet nature that embarks is so enjoyable you almost want it to continue instead of going into the heavy vocal turn to instrumental bridge…well almost (we all know I lose it when it comes to built-up powerhouse moments).  And last but not least, “You’re a Germ,” because it makes me want to punch the evilest of evil in the face and chuckle while my knuckles bleed (and here lies the badass devastation).  I definitely rocked the hell out to this track in my apartment alone with headphones blazing “You ain’t going to heaven, ‘cause I’m dragging you down to hell!” and it made me feel extremely fulfilled.

For a live experience, these fantastic folks are going back and forth between a North American and European tour through the fall so make sure to check them out and you can find their album here.

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Soul Wrenching Sophistication: Alabama Shakes’ Sound & Color http://killingthecabinet.com/soul-wrenching-sophistication-alabama-shakes-sound-color/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=soul-wrenching-sophistication-alabama-shakes-sound-color http://killingthecabinet.com/soul-wrenching-sophistication-alabama-shakes-sound-color/#comments Wed, 15 Jul 2015 13:00:15 +0000 Charissa http://killingthecabinet.com/?p=14929 alabama shakes sound and color Soul Wrenching Sophistication:  Alabama Shakes’ Sound & Color

By Charissa Lock

As much as Boys & Girls was raw and magical, Sound & Color is sophisticated, rich, and magical…just in another way.  The second “Heavy Chevy” hit my ears three years ago, my mind exploded and from that point on I was aboard the Alabama Shakes train (read Boys & Girls review here).  Besides the groovy 60s-esque bluesy tracks, Brittany Howard tore my soul out.  Tissues in hand I felt her heartbreak as if it were my own and suffered her struggles through each guitar solo or strained growl.  There are very few artists who have struck me with such sincerity and emotion as Miss Howard has, which leaves me believing there’s something quite superhuman about her and the music that is created around her.

Skip ahead three years and their sophomore album is released onto the world with “Don’t Wanna Fight” (immediate goosebumps appear the second Howard’s soulful screech surrounds you) and “Gimme All Your Love,” (the smarter of the audience members in this video don’t even know what to do with themselves), as the singles escalating the anticipation.  Sound & Color never leaves out Howard’s passion and you can instantly feel chills on “Miss You.”  However, with the more stylized approach, more seamlessly professional sound, a little less grit and a little more jazz this album gives you a different feeling.  You no longer want to be laying on the grass behind an isolated home in Georgia circa 1965, instead with these new tunes you can picture driving in the night sky over rolling hills towards a city…sometimes with hope in your eyes, other times with tears.  This complexity has intruded over the sound of “firsts” and jam band garage’s scratchy exterior.  Yet, I cannot discourage the enjoyment I receive from listening to the crisp, rolling electric guitar melodies and Howard stretching her vocals so they’re not just raw but also a pretty falsetto.

Many songs have background vocals (“Dunes,” “Future People”) that allow some vocal diversity so that Howard can do her thing while more scripted choruses and bridges are spurred along.  It’s a lovely subtle addition creating wonderful dynamics amongst the typical instrumental ones we’re used to.  As the album progresses, there are little treasures along the way.  For instance, “The Greatest” is packed like a little present to be found unexpectedly resulting in a giant grin at the high speed rockabilly, Beatle’esque chorus, and extended jam-band outro.  With Howard’s final laugh, I take it as a secret she’s delivered for me alone, “I know you loved ‘Heavy Chevy,’ but let’s throw this one on there for you.”  Thanks, Brittany… much love.  Following is “Shoegaze” (which unsurprisingly has no musical similarities with the genre), that has all the tantalizing features of a brilliant song with a magnificent chorus exploding in powerhouse intensity.  Closing out is “Over My Head,” gripping you, yearning for what’s next until the bass drum transitions you into the choruses at a slow speed among the heightened vocals.

My initial reaction was that this album would be easier for the general public to accept, maybe the pop’ier instrumentation or production value.   This feeling was proven correct with their album appearing number one on Billboard.  Yet despite the sound quality and experience, nothing seems to deter away from those fantastic guitar melodies and distortions, the passion transformed into blissful imperfections of vocals, and the essence of the Alabama Shakes.

Pick up the album here and be sure to check them out at an upcoming festival (I’ll be seeing them at Boston Calling this September!).  If you’re doomed to be a non-festival attendee, don’t miss them on their national fall tour beginning in August.  Speaking of festivals, if you want to know more about The Shakes and their summer, read this beautifully written interview by the Guardian’s Tom Lamont.

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Up Next: Hunter Hunted http://killingthecabinet.com/hunter-hunted/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=hunter-hunted http://killingthecabinet.com/hunter-hunted/#comments Tue, 07 Jul 2015 16:00:10 +0000 Charissa http://killingthecabinet.com/?p=14909 hunterhaunted Up Next:  Hunter Hunted

 

By Charissa Lock

Hunter Hunted has recently been blasting new tunage out of LA and the fact that this is a duo…as in only two males.. will probably shock your socks off.  Their sound is so dramatic and intricate, you can’t imagine any less than a quartet here.  Yet, these two dudes, Dan Chang and Michael Garner, have an ear for the grandeur.  Two years ago they released a five track masterpiece to the world that was stuffed with catchy singles (“Operating,” “Keep Together,” “End of the World,” …okay so basically all five tracks) and July 10 will be delivering audiences with a new collection of jazzy electro pop sounds.  Now since electro pop is basically the new pop (unless pop is now country, genres are a little fuzzy these days), or at least the newest trend for indie bands, it’s easy to get lost amongst all the synth and upbeat’ness going on out there.  Hunter Hunted doesn’t exactly use the genre as their backbone, but rather their love for far-reaching intensity as their motivation and the keyboard is just their way of getting there.

Since July 10th is nearby, they’ve released two tracks from Ready For You and the most recent “Lucky Day” was the spark that has brought me here.  As their former “Blindside” is along those electo pop lines, this latter track is a ukulele driven, Mowgli’s meets Imagine Dragons-eque party that spits and simmers summer.  You want beach, you want windows down, you want shorts and tank tops with bare feet tapping along while a happy go-lucky melody carrying you along.  Knowing that they can create jam-packed multi-level moments (thinking back on their self-titled album) and then add in this dash of carefree simplicity, well it’s only natural that my intrigue level has been heightened.

Besides catching their album upon its released date (July 10), don’t forget to see this two-some live on their national tour starting July 13th in West Hollywood and stopping off in Rhode Island (hells to the yes).

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Up Next: Jarryd James http://killingthecabinet.com/up-next-jarryd-james/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=up-next-jarryd-james http://killingthecabinet.com/up-next-jarryd-james/#comments Wed, 17 Jun 2015 18:20:25 +0000 Aurora http://killingthecabinet.com/?p=14874 JarrydJames2 Up Next: Jarryd James

By Aurora

I’m a musically eclectic soul, I love so many different styles and genres, but I am definitely particular and sometimes hard to please. Therefore, when I’m presented with a new artist or song that I absolutely love, I get overwhelmed with excitement and my entire being is affected.  The song(s) become a part of me and materialize as an auditory memory of that time in my life.  Such is the case with Australian singer/songwriter, Jarryd James.  My little sister sent him my way a few months ago and I’ve been hooked since.  Surprisingly, he only had one song at the time.  But it was enough.

Do you remember” (co-written and produced by Joel Little) is everything an R&B song should be in 2015: a minimalist foundation of subtle synths layered with smooth, sometimes raspy, falsetto vocals perfectly balanced with haunting guitar plucks, concentrated percussion and a heavy bass that bottoms out when the chorus hits.  James’ mysterious, gentle demeanor parallels the passion and vulnerability of the lyrics and the tone of the song and his voice.  Perfection.

I’m not alone in my sentiment.  The single peaked at #1 on the Australian iTunes singles charts, was the #1 played song on Australian radio nationwide, #1 on on Shazaam, and #2 on the ARIA Singles charts.  His debut tour down under saw great success selling out clubs, igniting another round this summer.  All of this as an independent artist, mind you, though Interscope swooped him up in April – proof that one great song is all it takes to get a jumpstart in this business today.

And alas, we have another track.   “Give Me Something” is a tight follow-up to “Do You Remember”: not as intense lyrically or sonically, yet well written and produced; definitely indicative of his raw talent and muscial vision.  He’s saying things that all the girls want to hear and crafting songs that can be appreciated multifariously, all the while exuding a super cool yet deep, soulful  vibe.  Dude’s definitely had a heartbreak or two in his life and clearly it’s worked out in his favor.  I’m in love.

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Wolf Alice at the Roxy 5/18 http://killingthecabinet.com/wolf-alice-at-the-roxy-518/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=wolf-alice-at-the-roxy-518 http://killingthecabinet.com/wolf-alice-at-the-roxy-518/#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 17:37:03 +0000 Aurora http://killingthecabinet.com/?p=14860 WOLF ALICE GATEWAY DRUGS ROXY 5 18 15 293 Wolf Alice at the Roxy 5/18

Wolf Alice played to a sold out crowd at the Roxy on Monday – a surprisingly mature crowd I will say: rocker dudes, couples, and I imagine a slew of industry peeps all there to support the London based vintage rock quartet whose star is definitely on the rise. Lead singer and guitar player Ellie Roswell is a complete doll – tiny as can be and clearly bad to the bone playing guitar, and well, on every song. She and her band mates are unbelievably cohesive; you can feel a real organic connection between the four of them. It’s in no way forced and there’s a real authentic feel to their overall look, feel and sound, reminiscent of a few grunge/alt rock bands that hit hard in the 90′s.

The show, their third in LA, was indeed impressive from start to finish. “Blush” (my personal fav) was like a full on spiritual movement for me. My bestie and I have fallen madly in love with the lyrical brilliance and musical storytelling of this song so it was a really special moment to finally see it live. “Bros” was also one of the more memorable parts of the evening, as I was looking at my friends and really feeling the essence of what the song is all about – like truly bro’ing down with them while we sang along.  I about lost my mind (and snapped my neck) during the breakdown on “Giant Peach,” it’s just too good. Much like “Moaning Lisa Smile” which also got me all hyped up. If you were there, ya probably saw my blonde locks flying.  Overall, they killed it from beginning to end and it ended up being an epic Monday night in Hollywood.

If you’re not familiar yet, you probably will be soon! I just heard “Bros” on 98.7 tonight and there’s definitely a buzz going around about these babes.  Their debut album, My Love is Cool, is out June 23rd. Get that.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6vEE3Plk48[/youtube]

Check them out on Facebook Twitter Soundcloud

Aurora

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photo cred LA Record

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