Review: “Submarine” EP by Black Mountain Lights

“Submarine” EP by Black Mountain Lights: 8/10

Submarine EP

Recommended for fans of: Dawes, Delta Rae

Consisting of only three tracks, Black Mountain Lights’ debut EP “Submarine” shows great promise and offers ample intrigue.

The standout track is definitely Two Steps. This song has a crazy good beat accompanied by just the right amount of banjo. Immediately, I thought of Bottom of the River by Delta Rae. Despite the fact that this band is from England, the intro sounds like something straight out of the Louisiana bayou. If nothing else give this song a listen.

The other two songs, Submarine and Tumbling Sky, are both good songs, but they are pretty standard folk songs emulating much of what has been put out over the last few years. But seriously, listen to Two Steps.

Listen: Soundcloud

Purchase: Amazon, iTunes

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Interview: Swelo

Swelo is a one man act based out of New Orleans whose day job is as a teacher. He leads quite an interesting life outside the classroom, however; he has produced a genre-bending album that captivates the listener and can be found here: http://swelo.bandcamp.com. Without further ado, here is our interview with him:

Swelo

First off, how would your students react if they discovered your music?
Honestly, I think they would just laugh. I’m a pretty goofy teacher, so they would probably think this whole thing is pretty funny. I would hope that they secretly like my music though.


So many songs have such different vocals. Are all of the vocals done by you? 
All the vocals are me, except for the spoken word verse in “This Step”. That’s by Jose Cotto, a good friend of mine who is an artist, poet, and and entrepreneur. Check him out at jccotto.com.


How did you begin experimenting with your genre-bending style?
The genre bending is really just a representation of all the types of music I listen to. My aim was never to really create a new genre or anything; I was just combing the best aspects of all the genres I like.


At points throughout your album, it sounds like you’ve been influenced by Cage the Elephant (Country Road), The Limousines (Brighton), Jack Johnson (Not Like We Used to Be), and Kid Cudi (2 AM Interlude). What genre/musician had the biggest impact on defining your style?
Huge question! That’s pretty tough to answer. I would say overall, hip-hop has influenced me the most because of the mindset that comes with it. It’s a genre that’s incredibly open to experimentation and boundary testing. Wu-Tang Clan and Kid Cudi are both considered hip hop, but their music is wildly different from one another.


What do you hope to achieve with your music (a career, fame, time killer, etc.)?
It would be great to be able to make this a career, but I’m honestly not sure at this point. If the current response I’m getting stays consistent, a career in music will start to seem more realistic.


Other than music, what do you enjoy doing?
I enjoy teaching, of course. And eating. And generally being outside, if it isn’t too oppressively hot. And watching Doctor Who (David Tennant, obviously).


What/who is your favorite musician/band?
Today, right now, I’m feeling Stevie Wonder. Ask me again tomorrow and I’ll give you a different answer.


You can find Swelo on:

Review: “Wild EP” by The Analog Affair

Wild EP by The Analog Affair (9/10): I first became exposed to The Analog Affair when band member Evan contacted me about doing an interview with him for his side project Light the Air (the interview can be found here: https://musicalmagnificence.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/light-the-air-interview/). After exposing myself to Evan’s style, he suggested that I check out his band called The Analog Affair. The Analog Affair is a combined effort of Evan and Cody (I also did a review of their previous album here: https://musicalmagnificence.wordpress.com/2012/12/26/review-good-vibes-ep-by-the-analog-affair/). The last album, Good Vibes EP, of theirs that I reviewed was a folksy one. Listening to Wild EP is like listening to an entirely new band; Wild EP is  infused with electropop, indie pop, and indietronica mostly.

Wild EP

Now I typically cringe when a band tries to exit its genre because often it becomes apparent that the band is a one trick pony. The Analog Affair, however, pulls off the genre switch with ease. Every track on the album makes you want to move; be it dancing, working out, or even just writing an album review. So check it out, Evan and Cody have major talent that will assure they make it far in the business.

 

You can find The Analog Affair on:

Soundcloud

Bandcamp

Facebook

Spotlight: Isosine

As some of you may know, I am a sucker for mashups. That’s why I’m a huge fan of Isosine.

Isosine is a mashup artist who I have been following for around a year. A few days ago, he released his third album and it’s amazing. Check out his album below and download it for free if you’d like.

Review: Just Like Shadows by Anders L.A.

Just Like Shadows by Anders L.A. (9/10): Anders is a 21 year old singer-songwriter who is based in Copenhagen, Denmark who released his first album in 2009. Now with a fresh album released May 17, 2013, Anders is breaking onto the scene with a calming sound.

Just Like Shadows

Just Like Shadows gets its name from a Bruce Springsteen song. Fittingly, Anders counts Springsteen among his influences, along with Neil Young, George Harrison, and Dire Straits.

Anders L.A.

What I love about this release from Anders L.A. is that the sound is very minimalistic, yet the lyrics are thought-provoking. Some of my favorite lyrics on the album come off the song ‘Truth,’ “The lie may hurt but the truth it kills.” The album as a whole is wonderful when you just need to crack open a beer and unwind; it’s difficult to restrain yourself from tapping your foot to the beat. Believe it or not, my favorite instrument on the album is the tambourine; every time it comes in, I find my head bobbing up and down.

One interesting thing about the album is that the track ‘Stages’ is fully a capella. Normally, I hate a capella, but Anders L.A. pulls it off very nicely here. Overall, this is an excellent album that nearly puts itself on the level of Amos Lee and other acoustic albums of recent years (but falls just short) and is definitely worth a download.

You can find Anders L.A. on:

Bandcamp

Facebook

Itunes