I discovered Carl Daniels & The Black Box when I randomly googled myself and found that I wasn't the only Carl making indie music. The similar names and music taste aren't the only thing we have in common. The five piece band is based out of Albany, New York. Which is the the city my home town of New Albany, Indiana is named after. I figured in honor of this other Carl I would review them for you.
I found the indie folk band to have a very full sound that featured keys over shuffling drums, along with haunting guitar and vocal parts. Throw in a xylophone and you can't go wrong. If I had to compare them to someone I would say a smoother and grovier version of The Decemerist. I recommend The More to enjoy as it fits in with the holiday vibes well. Their music is available on iTunes and wherever you get your music.
Fur Blend is a melody and fuzz driven outfit hailing from the United Kingdom. Their new single Alley Pally is a mellow sounding creation that reminds me of early Kings of Leon, minus the angst and adding the cool.
The vocals are very pleasing with male and female parts weaving together at certain times, but then firing back and forth appropriatly when the tempo is up. Add fuzz guitar with driving bass over simple but well done drum work and you see how fun Fur Blend is.
The vocals are preformed well and remind me of Cold War Kids meets The Misfits with a little bit of southern rock. The group overall is very dynamic going from hard hitting early punk to something a little more soft and sweet. Throw in a few straight 80's metal guitar solos and I'm sold. Good Sex is good fun!
Small Wonder's 2014 release Wendy is a lofi melodic journey through playful orchestrations and haunting but uplifting vocals.
Based out of Brooklyn, NY, the one thing that stands out to me the most is the excellent attention to detail in the lyrics. If you need to be moved I recommend "Clearly Again" which tells the story of awakening and adjustment to hard life, in my opinion. This song definitely gave me chills.
If I had to compare them I would say quiet Beck meets The Flaming Lips. Small Wonder is for sure worth a listen.
Sun Lion is a psychedelic, meets early indie, meets classic pop outfit out of Vancouver, BC. Of all the bands I've reviewed lately they definitely have the most unique sound in these post Mumford and Sons non-ironic banjo times.
The guitars are clean but pushed to crunchy swells that dance with a moody bass over solid drum work. The vocals remind me of The Cavaliers but with more longing and reverb. They really put some solid production work in the pscyhedelic parts of this album. I can only tell you to go hear it for yourself but I like this band.
When I listen to Po Lazarus's self titled release, I imagine myself carried off to a love story involving The First World War. Haunting lyrics and waltzing ukulele lulls my heart until the guitar falls like artillery that thrust you into a sonic symphony of longing vocals, moaning bass, and dynamic percussion.
Based out off Montreal, QC our northern neighbors have captured a sound that is a three way collision between The Decemberist, Radiohead, and a tiny bit of Modest Mouse. Add in very high marks for production value and I think Po Lazarus has a very bright future ahead of them.
The guitar work is nicely done going from fuzzy hard hitting sounds to circling melodies that dual with the bass. Throw in upbeat drumming and warm vocals for a vibe that makes me want to stay in a constant state of summer.
Chuck Berry would agree that RLD has a strong pop sound.
Right from the start, The Addies pack a punch of sound from their self titled, self released album. Based out of Chicago, my first impression is fun music that mixes early indie with throw back rock.
The singer has a little gritty but very understandable voice. Think Oasis meets the Black Keys. Good harmonizing, great drum work, and fuzzy hard lined guitar riffs make for true rock band sound. Mix that all with good production and you have a solid rock album. Check them out.
Released in 2013 on Little Heart Records
Adore Me Not's new album takes a toe tapping journey through strong bass lines that end in melodic and crunchy guitar playing. Singer Geli's strong vocals, which remind me of a breathier Veruca Salt, are very pleasantly haromized even when she is throwing in a little creepy whispering for added affect.
Couple that with some spacey eclectronic syth and high production value and you end up with a good album that is anything but casual. Oh and there's German Rapping!
The Wrong Right