melted bodies, enjoy yourself

melted bodies, enjoy yourself

by: leigha stuiso

Melted Bodies released its full-length debut album, Enjoy Yourself, via Sweatband Records. The energy is high and there is a groove that flows through each song into the next, although each has its own unique style. The Los Angeles-based band creates music that goes beyond just the genre of rock, there are different elements throughout that make their sound unique. For those who might not typically listen to metal, it can be hard to differentiate from the music in the genre, but Melted Bodies stand out. Whether it is elements of traditional heavy metal, thrash metal or small hints of electronic and indie rock, the quartet will surprise you with each song. 

The production across all 10 tracks is consistent and binds everything together. Starting with a crescendo into “Eat Cops”, sets the tone for all that follows. “99 Scents” raises the bar; ramping up the speed and aggression. “Phone Tumor” is less aggressive and a song I would recommend to listen to first if you aren’t familiar with metal. Similarly, “The Rat” has a chorus that has a riff reminiscent of rock bands like The Strokes, but quickly transitions back to their metal comfort zone. It is the song that I think will stick out to people and one that will call them back to listen closer to. “Ad People” comes with a clever video on YouTube that spoofs vapid Internet content spewing culture. “The Abbot Kinney Pedophiles” flows into “Helplessness” without you even realizing, with a slow tempo opposite of the typical fast-paced sound. “Meat Cleanse” is the perfect finale for the album. It is seven minutes long and encompasses each of the elements visited in each song, without being too much. With solid riffs and true consistency between songs, Melted Bodies created something bound to leave an impact. Enjoy Yourself isn’t just the title, it is a message from the band.

Sit back, relax and dive deep into the new album.

sundressed, home remedy

sundressed, home remedy

by: leigha stuiso

Home Remedy tackles current issues, but gives you feelings of nostalgia with their sound. This album is the first release for Sundressed under their new label Rude Records. The indie-punk band has a sound similar to Modern Baseball, Weezer and All Time Low. The 11 tracks LP follows the 2017 release, A Little Less Put Together, and is a fresh, new sound for the band. Produced by Mike Pepe (Taking Back Sunday, Wasi), the highly anticipated album is finally out. Frontman Trevor Hedges said, “Home Remedy is a record about getting better by any means necessary. Despite many setbacks, I truly believe we were able to make our most authentic and honest record yet.”

Hedges along with AJ Peacox (guitar), Vic Chan (drums), Matthew Graham and Justin Portillo are putting their best foot forward with “Home Remedy”. The title track is everything you would want from the band and more. It is a cathartic release that is meant to be put on at full volume. Fans have been quick to praise the other singles, “Oh Please” and “Size of my Heart”,  off the album. “Is This a Drug?” is the song that caught my attention the most. The lyrics are begging to be heard and belted back at the track; you can envision how this track would perform at a concert. 

The Atlanta-based band rock out on “The Facts” and “Explode! (Into Pieces)” with strong guitar riffs and drums. Things get serious on “Cash Out”, which tackles the issues of money, insurance and mental health; “Is this the reason why we’re dying? / it’s probably more affordable so just stop trying”. Hedges explains that “Your Frequency”, “is about the “side-hustle” culture. How it’s never okay to relax, how something always comes up when you’re almost ahead. This song is about the desire to have less worry about essential needs and have more time to be human.” All the tracks are honest and catchy at the same time, without being cheesy. Listening to Home Remedy it is easy to see the effort and time put into crafting these tracks. 

What started as Hedges project in 2012 to help maintain his sobriety has turned into a place for others to find comfort in themselves. The band tries to make an impact with their music and pushes listeners to keep moving forward. In this record, Sundressed focuses on topics like frustrations with money, hustle culture and mental health issues. While being relevant with the lyrics, there is something about their sound that isn’t forced and feels warm. If you are looking for a sign to listen to Home Remedy, this is it. This is the sign. 


https://sundressed.lnk.to/homeremedyrr

tedy, boys don’t cry

tedy, boys don’t cry

by: leigha stuiso

As an artist, your debut work can make or break you. It provides the foundation for a fan base and is the first opportunity to show the strengths and weaknesses of your power. Montreal-based artist Tedy is releasing his debut EP via Sony Music Canada.  The 28-year-old fuses soul, alternative and pop together for a unique sound. The compilation of six tracks show his abilities, which are impressive for an emerging artist. Boys Don’t Cry is led by the singles “Stuck” and “War”, both co-produced by Mike Wise (Ellie Goulding, Chainsmokers) and Herag Sanbalian. 

In 2019, Tedy began to craft the EP thoughtfully and as a creative collaboration. He strives to have a meaningful response to his creative endeavours, which he seems to have here. The title track, “Boys Don’t Cry”, is the track we need, with different powerful elements coming to play. Tedy’s vocals might be the best part of the EP, as they slip in and out of the melodies. It is almost as if his voice is reminiscent of a mix between Sam Smith and Rag’n’Bone Man, especially on a track such as “Fireworks”. This song is a rollercoaster of highs and lows that showcase his range. He is not afraid to slow things down with “War”, and then ramp up the ante with “Twisted (I Hate Myself)” where his voice battles over the strong sound of drums.

Listening to  “Stuck” , it is hard to believe this is only his debut release as a signed artist. The song feels current and pulls you in all around, whether it is the lyrics or the production. The sixth and final track, “Hopeless” feels like the bow on top of a present. It ties together all the best elements explored in the album and doesn’t try to be something it isn’t. Overall, Tedy put together an impressive collection of songs that convey his talent. He is one of those artists you could never forget and easily will become a staple in your music repertoire. Boys Don’t Cry is out now.

the nevada city album

the nevada city album

Welcome to Nevada City. The small town is infused with musical talent across several genres, and it’s all showcased on The Nevada City Album, a compilation put out by Dowd Records in celebration of the Nevada City Film Festival. As we come across each artist featured on the album, we can trace a progression of genre from mood music to courageous hard rock. 

Our first stop is Brett Shady, a folk singer who describes his music on twitter as easy listening. His track “Dear Life” is a swaying waltz that endears all who it flutters by with Shady’s uncomplicated voice and some whimsical sax playing. Things get a little psychedelic with Aaron Ross farther along the album, with his own personal brand of freak folk in his song “Painted Sky.” Its endless and dreamy guitar riff, bejeweled synth melodies and odd backing vocals certainly paint an interesting sky– one that Lucy and Sgt. Pepper could gaze upon together. These indie tracks are echoed by “Peaks and Passes”, a fleeting gem on the album gifted to us by The Moore Brothers. A blues guitar riff and harmonies reminiscent of doo-wop or even gospel music make for an eclectic sound that shows how extensive the influences are around Nevada City. But we have only scratched the surface of the cavernous pool of genres on this compilation.

“Coming Down” by Jessica Lynn and Broken Spoke and “Heart on Fire” by Farrow and the Peach Leaves both rock a country/americana sound, with classic country vocals and roots-oriented guitar. “Heart on Fire” has a hint of happy-go-lucky energy to it, while “Coming Down” layers in some twangy guitar for a more western sound. Soon enough, however, the clouds roll in and that western sound darkens for Tiera May’s “Ballad of the Damned.” Her moody psych rock comes from rumbling guitars, atmospheric cymbal rolls and May’s apparition-like vocals that writhe through the air like the wails of a ghost. Less spectral but just as moody, the alt-rock track “400 Degrees” by Casual Fog uses slow, gloomy guitars and a rising bassline to create a perpetual, inevitable demeanour that carries you along with it. 

Speaking of rock music, this compilation is an ecosystem of the genre, with diverse species that work together to cultivate an interesting and fruitful environment. First we travel back in time to the 80’s with “Hungry for the Dark,” by TLA, another alternative rock tune with lots of influence from punk and new wave. Its drum machine, prominent synth bassline and embellishments and the robotic lead vocals make you nostalgic for the post-punk era, no matter what year you were born in. Dipping into some electronica, “Lrn2love” by The Fit transports us to another planet entirely, with its glitching, cybernetic music and computerized vocals. The celestial rock bop “In Gratitude” by Shapes Freely, on the other hand, exists suspended in space. Its gentle vocals, orbiting synths and strings paint a vivid soundscape from outer space complete with stars, planets, rocket ships, and even extraterrestrial beings. On our way back down again, we meet “The Bad One” by Mount Whateverest, or, ‘the highest band on earth.’ This track is a product of what the band calls “solar powered fuzz and roll,” complete with slow, disjunct, infectious beats and a variety of vocals with different effects. Mount Whateverest utilizes whatever they can from saccharine pop melodies to big classic rock riffs to reach new heights with their music. 

Finally, we reach the antipode of the easy, calm sound of “Dear Life” with the hard rock tracks “Killed Alive” by Cherry Rats and “Beverly Hills” by Beautiful Dudes. The former’s crashing drums and vigorous distorted guitar provide you with a taste of 2020 style classic rock. The Dudes are known for their cathartic hard rock sound and catchy hooks, and “Beverly Hills” certainly delivers, sounding grungy but upbeat in a vaguely Weezer-like way. 

The Nevada City Album sought a varied and gifted assortment of artists in the area, scooped them up and unified them in a multifaceted compilation that has something for everyone. It’s well worth listening to, for when you find yourself drawn to some of the musicians, you know exactly where to look for live shows! 

the sea the sea, stumbling home

the sea the sea, stumbling home

by: katy mombourquette

It’s a long life, made up of seemingly infinitesimal moments. The Sea The Sea captures those moments when you feel incredibly alive and in the world and reimagines them as flashes of light in their new album, Stumbling Home. When time seems to stretch into prolonged chaos, The Sea The Sea keeps us grounded in the essential with their beautifully intricate brand of indie folk-pop. The New York-based duo is composed of Chuck and Mira Costa, who draw their infectious melodies from pop, but otherwise subverts expectations with their unconventional song arrangements. More than anything else, however, this free-spirited pairing are lauded for their exemplary vocal harmonies. The Costas’ exquisite vocals fit together like puzzle pieces tailor-made for the duo. Their voices are completely authentic, sounding lovely and unblemished in their own right. But while duets are a key part of The Sea The Sea’s sound, they also play with thick choral-textured harmonies and solo lines to add some variance among the tracks while still maintaining their sound. 

Stumbling Home is brimming with musical imagery that is at times delicate and at other times deep and rustic. The result is glimpses of life, as seen through nature and a little bit of magic. The opening track, “Nothing Brighter” sounds like light, with the glint of sunlight on a clear day in the understated woodwind flourishes, and the glowing bass and piano as the blurry hues of a sunset. The relaxed, tranquil guitar solo sounds like it’s underwater, painting images of rays of light extending down beneath the surface. “A Thousand Years” is more concrete, sounding like the musical equivalent of camping beneath a starry sky. The rich guitar picking and embellishments are the flickers of the fire as they rise above and become stars overhead. The track embodies the deeply rooted tranquility that comes from being removed from society, as felt in the gentle thump of the drum in the stunning interlude partway through the song. Other images are abstract, such as in “Rainstorm.” While there are no explicit qualities in the track that denote a storm, as a whole, it has this somber beauty to it that echoes that of the fall of rain and thundering clouds. 

In literature and art, however, one can always find magic embedded within nature. The Sea The Sea captures this magic in their songs with sparing uses of synth and electric guitar. The chorus of the emotional “Broken” sweeps up in a satisfying multi-part harmony and ends with glimmering drops of guitar plucks. Towards the end, these drops lead the song to the pleasantly haunting outro “oohs,” transforming the sound from sparkling fairy dust to mystic beings deep within the forest. “Fall Before The Climb” starts with a simple voice and guitar, but builds, first with harmony, then with a gently driven beat and dulcet electric tones that return to the shimmering stars of “A Thousand Years”, but from the perspective of outer space rather than earth. The acute line “Can we be in love with it all?” summarizes the album as a whole, mirroring the idea of the moments in life when you feel alive and in tune with the world. Uncomplicated guitar strums and the Costas’ patented vocals showcase guitar and synth sorcery in “Stumbling Home.”  Bowed strings make their appearance for the first time in this track. Despite how well they fit, the strings are a bit of a surprise, giving “Stumbling Home” a bit of refinement compared to the other, more rustic tracks. Subtle but welcome changes like this find their way into many songs on Stumbling Home. “Parachute” sounds like you would expect after hearing a few songs on this album, except Chuck’s harmony is missing. Instead, Mira backs herself with echoes and a feathery multi-part harmony that sound like forest nymphs. The track also feels more intimate than the others, beginning with some room noise and ending with an ambiguous woosh sound that keeps the listener tethered to the real world. The standout track “Real Thing” realizes a slightly harder, rock sound with a bit of sharp guitar strums and stronger drum beat. Every guitar, synth melody, and percussion part contributes to the full sound, and the universally appealing chorus line “ahh, give me that real thing” has that cathartic nature to it that makes this track one to sing along to. I only wish it were longer; every time I listen to it I’m disappointed when it reaches its end. “I’ll Be Loving You” and “Foreign Country” share an understated mesmerizing quality. “I’ll Be Loving You” and its 6/8 time creates this swaying nature that’s perfect for a love song. Spirited triplet guitar figures simultaneously embrace the vocals and the listener, coaxing both to sink into serenity. “Foreign Country” has substantial guitar, but the line “Do we ever really know exactly where we are?” floats across the background like falling leaves, and the perpetual beat invites the listener to snap along, almost in a trance.

The Sea The Sea’s 2014 debut release, Love We Are We Love, received praise from NPR, American Songwriter, and No Depression. The video for their song “Waiting” sparked the interest of Buzzfeed and Pitchfork, and was included at the international TED 2015 conference. But for the duo, Stumbling Home reaches a new level of fulfillment. “It’s the work we are most proud of to date,” shares Mira. “We are proud of the way we grew the arrangements in our new creative space. Making music fills us, and we also believe that it matters in the world. Our mission statement as a band is to remind people they aren’t alone — in their pains or their joys, and everything in-between.” This shrewd sense of the world, both what it seems to be and what it is, allows Stumbling Home to be a beacon of light in an otherwise ill-lit world.