Angus and Julia Stone Live at The Showbox

A throwback post right here guys! A few weeks back (Oct 12th to be exact)(or last month to be more precise), with two tickets, I got to watch Angus and Julia Stone live at The Showbox. We were ushered in at 7pm but it started out with a local opening act who was touring with them. They didn’t come out till 9.30pm so it was quite a wait!

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The four-pieced band came out and immediately started performing “A Heartbreak.” The ambiance of it all suddenly made me feel like I was in a ‘70s rock concert. The voice you listen to on your iTunes or Spotify of Julia’s voice was exactly the same when she performed live. Scratch that, even better! Angus, with his shabby facial hair in a cap and strumming his heart out on his guitar, was looking hella attractive. His voice was a great combination with Julia’s.

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One of the highlights of the night was when they agreed to play “Devil’s Tears” upon one of the audience’s request. Personally, their best performance was when they played their top hit “Big Jet Plane.” It was just goosebumps and feels for me from the start to end. Just when we thought the concert was over, the crowd was cheering for more. They came back on the stage and the siblings did a duet of the haunting lullaby “Santa Monica Dream.”

You would expect to be bored at a concert by a duo who usually sings slow indie rock songs. However, for a huge fan like me, it wasn’t boring at all. The beauty of Angus and Julia’s voices matched together followed by atmospheric background music playing was entertaining. It was everything I expected it to be and more! They’re definitely a duo to spot out for at any upcoming music festivals in Seattle.

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Ellisha “take me for a ride… on a Big Jet Plane” Rosli

Rad Report: A digitized croc for the night!—Digitalism’s Seattle Show 11/4

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Moelle and Tüfekçi, duo of the remarkable Digitalism, walk onto the stage behind a screen of white drop down strings that hang from the ceiling. Complete with lights beaming upon the threads and the performers as well, the duo assumes each of their roles behind their computers and synthesizers. They appear nearly digital—looking as if they are part of an LED light screen.

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This is the scene that I walked into at Digitalism’s show at the Crocodile on November fourth. Standing in the crowd of people that were all there to experience the good vibes that were radiating through the room didn’t feel like your average concert; it felt more like a full experience between the extreme electronic sounds, the smooth vocals, and the amazing light show which seemed to become more intense throughout the night.

After their first album, Idealism, and their Pogo EP were released in 2007, the German duo’s success took off. I’ve personally been into digitalism for a while since I heard Pogo shortly after it was released and instantly heard brilliance beam out of my headphones. It had been a while since I’d heard that Digitalism was going on a US tour, so I was stoked to have this opportunity to be able to see and write about them. I’m not interested in all electronic music, but unlike others of similar genres, Digitalism adds unique themes within their songs. Much of their music actually has vocals, which are preformed by Moelle—unlike most other electronic artists, he even sings on stage at live shows.

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At the Crocodile, I found myself mesmerized by the duo’s initial strong electronic build with the synths. A few songs into it, I became even further impressed as Moelle walked over to his vintage microphone and began adding suave vocals. I noticed that many of the songs had a retro feel to them, just as the microphone did. This really added an exciting atmosphere to the music and took the normal electronic feel from average to extraordinary.

The show was taken to another level as the music came to a halt after an intense build—Moelle and Tüfekçi walk off stage as the crowd goes wild for an encore. The lights begin to flash and the two once again stroll over to their synths. The drops their indietronica beats as Moelle walks over to the old-fashioned mic for the last time of the night, allowing his vocals to resonate toward the audience. For the last couple songs (ending with their most popular “Wolves” and “Pogo”), the crowd is enthralled by the funk vibe seems to rush out of the performers. “Pogo” is a bright song with creative, yet simple, lyrics—and what a great song to end with. One line from the song, “Yeah, woohoo, there’s something in the air” seems to capture the entire feeling of the night. As soon as Digitalism walked nearly weightlessly onto stage, there was definitely a different feeling in the air that continued until they played their final beats.

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Rad Rebs

New Track: Belle and Sebastian – The Party Line

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You could say there’s a good reason why Jack Black’s character in High Fidelity called Belle and Sebastian “sad bastard music.” After all, the Scottish group originally rose to prominence with the melancholic chamber pop of their first few albums. Those who know them only for that, then, may get a bit of a surprise when they listen to B&S’s newest track, “The Party Line.”

This lead single off of their ninth studio album, Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance, is possibility B&S’s first track with a bonafide beat (though I could be wrong—I’m partial to their sad bastard music myself). Synths permeate the song, anchored by the pulsating bass, while singer Stuart Murdoch’s characteristic plaintive voice sounds a little strange in this new musical environment—not to say that that’s a bad thing. In some ways, “The Party Line” is a little reminiscent of “Electronic Renaissance” from B&S’s first album, Tigermilk, so perhaps it’s not so much of a departure after all. Nonetheless, fans of the classic B&S sound shouldn’t be too worried—if the album trailer is any indication, there’ll be plenty of their typical orchestral pop on the record as well. And its producer, Ben H. Allen, has also worked on such great albums as Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavillion and Deerhunter’s Halcyon Digest. So there’s plenty of reasons to be excited for this upcoming album, not the least of which is the fact that B&S is one of the most consistently excellent pop groups out there, in my humble opinion.

Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance comes out on January 20th, and you can pre-order it now on iTunes or Amazon and get “The Party Line” as well. Alternatively, you can pre-order it at Matador Records, where you can also get the nice-looking deluxe box set (it even comes with a set of pins!).

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LeAnn Nguyen

Album Review: “Alone For The First Time” by Ryan Hemsworth

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HAPPY RYAN HEMSWORTH WEEK!

the canadian prince of future vibes and dope remixes dropped a new album November 4th named Alone For The First Time. the album is fairly short, just 7 songs totaling 27 minutes. 

TRACKLIST:

01 “Hurt Me”

02 “Walk Me Home” (Feat. Lontalius)

03 “Snow In Newark” (Feat. Dawn Golden)

04 “Blemish”

05 “Too Long Here” (Feat. Alex G)

06 “Surrounded” (Feat. Kotomi & DOSS)

07 “By Myself” (Feat. the GTW & Little Cloud)

the album is a super chill collection of songs that have great beats accompanied by really pretty and sometimes sad lyrics, a perfect follow up to last years album, Guilt Trips (which you should also check out if you haven’t). Hemsworth told vogue “Maybe it’s[Alone For The First Time] a reaction to all the party music out there now, but I just needed to do something a little quieter — every song I do is in a minor key.” this makes the album really flow together- i think it sounds best just played in order. Check out the stream below:

the first track, “Hurt Me”, is minimalistic with a bubbly electronic beat and simple lyrics (the only words are “don’t you hurt me”). how much more representative of Ryan Hemsworth’s style could that be…

“Walk Me Home” is that classic internal battle between wanting to be with someone but knowing they’re not good for ya. put those lyrics over Hemsworth’s spin on what sounds like a ballerina music box and it’s an amazing song; you’ll find yourself torn between dancing and curling up in a ball of sad- the best kind of sad.

“Snow in Newark” was the album’s first single, released September 22nd, 2014. this track is ESSENTIAL. this song is a sincere and relatable piece, you can’t help but wanna give ryan a big ol’ hug because he’s just so adorably glum. “I call my music happysad, one word, no spaces,” Ryan Hemsworth says, and that’s exactly what this is. 

“Blemish” is an instrumental electronic track, which is very different than the typical, crazy instrumentals that start to sound repetitive and almost aggressive, because Hemsworth’s mellow and unique style is so vibe-able. 

“Too Long Here” opens up with the lyric “Who ever thought of a big train / Going right in your mouth”. it’s a lonely song about feeling lost, but in a really common and not necessarily sad way. i think this is my favorite song on the album because the meaning isn’t really clear, so everyone’s gonna interpret it differently. and Alex G’s voice is dope, so that always helps.

“Surrounded” is great. the voices, one computerized-sounding, one soft and very classic, create a cool contrast with the electronic beat and bass. you really notice Hemsworth’s DJ skills on this track- they’re impossible to ignore.

finally, the last hoorah, “By Myself”.  this is such an amazing song, and i love the way Hemsworth, GTW & Little Cloud worked together, because the song seems accessible. you can relate to the lyrics and the beat, and you can be alone but with someone else, as the song is saying. it’s a cool way to end the album because when it finishes, it winds down to nothing and you do almost feel by yourself. 

overall, the album was a really successful project, and i think Ryan Hemsworth is just on the come up. he’s been touring around the world, doing big festival appearances and college fling concerts, but he’s had time to make this album and be really involved with his fans. he replies to a majority of the tweets he receives, and answers all of his tumblr asks, which reveals how humble and, honestly, timid he is. when a fan complimented his performance at the University of British Columbia, he replied “i felt funny at ubc for some reason.. i dunno if i’m good at like big college spring fling parties? or just 2 self conscious lol.” it’s essentially impossible to dislike Ryan Hemsworth as a person, which makes his music that much more attractive. 

Hemsworth detailed his reasoning for making this album shy away from the typical electronic club music on his tumblr: “i think just a lot of the places i found myself in the past year (big weird EDM festivals, etc) kind of pushed me to make something quieter / separate from that world. and also just the combo of never being home but meeting cute nice people on the road lots added up to a newfound appreciation of a lot of music i’d forgotten about.”

basically, you should totally check out his new album. and his instagram, which is where i pulled this picture from:

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gnovs

New Video: Jesse Romo – The Beauty of One

Jazzy and slow, Jesse Romo, starts off his latest track, “The Beauty of One” with a casual collection of guitar and drums. As the vocals begin, a wave of relaxation washes through all the instruments at once. Although the music isn’t technically difficult, it does challenge the listener to take in the message that Jesse strives to convey. “It is about feeling lost and alone, having a spiritual experience, and coming to find connectedness with the Universe,” the artist shares in the description of the song’s music video:

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A compilation of various Yosemite and Joshua Tree time lapses accompany the song as it drifts through various states of calamity. Check out the music video on Facebook or in the stream above.

This track is decidedly different than the music that can be found in Romo’s previous releases. While mixtapes like Listen, Love (Epilogue) and Afterthoughts rely heavily on sample-based production around jazz and hip-hop, other projects like happykid vibes out like old school Nintendo. This single ushers the first time that Jesse’s voice has appeared on a track – needless to say, I am glad to hear it.

To explain the inspiration behind the song, Romo states:

I started writing this song last summer, during a difficult couple of months in my life. Facing trials and tribulations again recently, but now with a greater sense of hope, I felt it was time to complete the song.”

There’s plenty of more beauty to be found in this artist’s work on Bandcamp and Soundcloud. Feel free to stream and download anything as he has gladly offered it all up for free!

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DJ Desman