Foster The People’s New EP: III

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Foster The People have released three new singles from their upcoming full length studio album, and if these songs are any indication of what the rest of the album is like, I am extremely ready for it. The singles, collected in an EP called III, were released on April 27th, 2017. The band also announced a tour this summer to support the new album (sadly, they have not announced any Seattle dates). The EP includes the songs “Pay the Man”, “Doing it for the Money”, and “SHC”. 

The three singles are reminiscent of their 2014 album, Supermodel, and have the same bursting energy and moving beats. Foster The People are still best known for their 2011 debut album, Torches, which won them a large fan base and a critical following due to the popularity of the singles “Pumped Up Kicks” and “Helena Beat”. 

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The riff in “SHC” reminded me of a sped up “Montanita” (Ratatat), and the distorted sound of all three singles had definite similarities to Tame Impala’s synthesized sound. “Pay the Man” included the interesting talking-rap elements that are drawn on in songs like “The Truth” and “Are You What You Want to Be?” (from Supermodel).  “Doing It for the Money” had a much more youthful feel to it, and I liked this song the best of the three on the EP. The song seems to reject the notion that in order to be successful, an artist has to sell out. Instead, it speaks to fighting time and focusing on living in the present, and of the three singles has the most danceable beat.  

The band is facing some criticism due to the similarities between the III EP cover and the album cover of Low Teens by Every Time I Die. The similarities are hard to deny; the two pieces of cover art are nearly identical in colors, placement, and font style. Every Time I Die commented on the EP art on twitter, but no action has been taken against Foster The People as of now. See the cover of Low Teens here

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Keep an eye out for the new full length album, which is rumored to be called Sacred Hearts Club, and is set to be released June or July 2017. It’s going to be good. 

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Kenzie Wamble

Artist 101: LÉON

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If you love listening to pop music and calling yourself a
hipster, LÉON is the artist for you.
The singer’s rise to fame is just beginning, so now’s a great time to catch up
on her music. Straight out of Sweden, LÉON
will undoubtedly face lots of comparisons to Tove Lo, but rest assured that she comes with her own unique sound,
described by her as “indiepop/soul/whatever”. Her first EP, Treasure, was released not too long ago to the U.S. and it has the singer off to a great start. Containing four
songs, it’s the perfect pick-me-up and a great introduction to LÉON.

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The album’s title track, “Treasure” opens it up. It’s
the most conventionally pop song out of the ones listed, but I can’t say I’ve heard anything like it
before. LÉON has a strong set of pipes and could easily hold up any genre she
wanted to.

My personal favorite song of hers is “Nobody Cares”. It’s
super catchy without being pretentious, just the kind of thing conventional pop
stations could use right now.

“Léon’s Lullaby”, the closing track, starts out laid-back and
leads up to a wonderfully haunting melody. It’s a really well
produced song that showcases the singer’s versatility.

Overall EP Rating: 8/10
As far as first-ever EP’s go, Treasure is
pretty solid. The only thing I could possibly complain about is that it’s only four songs long. 

Don’t be surprised if you catch LÉON on the radio one of
these days. For now you can keep up with her on Facebook and Twitter.

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Kathryn Placer



Check out more music and news from Rainy Dawg Radio @ RainyDawg.org!

EP Review: Hippo Campus – South

With brisk fall in full swing and ominous winter slowly approaching, sometimes a summery song can be the perfect pick-me-up. Unless you’re like me and just like to wallow in the gloomy majestic cloud cover and misty rain that is the majority of Seattle’s colder seasons. Anyway, if that first scenario applies to you, or you just really need some new tunes, then Hippo Campus’s recently released EP South might just be your little miracle.

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Although this band hails from St. Paul, Minnesota, they definitely have a west coast kinda vibe with their beachy, colorful guitar riffs, and just overall indie sound. Vocalist Jake Luppen isn’t afraid to explore the vast spectrum of his vocal range, and although some of the lyrics tend to get a little too repetitive for my taste, overall the songs successfully give off a feeling that’s like driving down the California coast at sunset in a convertible with your sickest sunglasses on. If you haven’t had the chance to experience that feeling, then just take my word for it that it’s pretty awesome.

The song “South” quite clearly stands out as the focal point of the EP, and that makes sense because the two share the same name after all. However, I think my favorite track has to be “Violet” because I just adore the way Hippo Campus takes there time building up the energy in the song. Not to mention the catchy chorus is great too. Without fail every time I’m 1 minute and 13 seconds into it I just feel like dancing and jumping around the dorm doing all my favorite nerdy dance moves (even if my roommate disapproves).

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#sorrynotsorry Between the song’s rises and falls in tempo, you have the perfect mix of excitement and relaxation all rolled into one catchy tune that is sure to get you off the couch and doing something with your day. Also, the way the ending just fades into a dreamy send off leaves you perfectly at ease with how hard you just rocked out. Go on, give it a listen and let me know what you think. 

Pretty good, am I right? Anyway, if you haven’t heard Hippo Campus’s first EP titled Bashful Creatures, which contains popular tracks such as “Suicide Saturday” and “Little Grace” (and were too lazy to click on the video links I kindly provided for you above) then I guess I could compare their sound to bands like The Griswolds, Wild Party, and maybe even Young the Giant. If you haven’t heard of any of those guys either, then just stop reading right now and go listen to all of them. Seriously. You won’t regret it.

Overall Rating: 8/10

Notable Tracks: “South”, “Violet”, “The Halocline”

The Band’s Website: http://hippocampusband.com/

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Addison Simon

Artist Spotlight: LIZ

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If
Y2K nostalgia could be captured in in an artist’s sound, that artist would be
LIZ. A valley girl hailing from Tarzana, California, her sound and style
represent the aesthetic of the Y2K R&B generation. Think Sailor Moon
R&B, Hello Kitty aesthetic, kissing on the high school bleachers, unicorns
riding on rainbows, and trying to dance in an over-sized jersey. And that would
be LIZ.

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Signed
to Diplo’s label “Mad Decent,” LIZ has already released a string of singles and
even an EP (“Just Like You”). The latter is a cozy collection of colorful tracks
that range from representing a generation (“Y2K”) to being cautious about a
love (“Do I Like You”), with songs about pondering “what if” situations (“Say
You Would”) strewn in between. Even songs outside of her EP, such as “Hush” and
“You Over Them” all undoubtedly come from the same mentality, one of an R&B
princess cooing vocals wrapped in the warm productions of yesteryear.

LIZ
is currently offering the EP above for free download on her Facebook, and a few
other singles can be downloaded from her Soundcloud.

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Alexander Bonilla

Album Review: COHO – Graves EP

Last quarter, I posted an article on COHO and their efforts to fundraise for their first EP. Needless to say, the IndieGoGo campaign was a success as this weekend, the band released Graves.

Slowly and carefully, the EP begins. Its vocal “oohs” coming in waves over an ever-vibrant guitar. As the introduction to “Orion” comes to a close, the drums commence and a male falsetto rings out over a building set of instruments. This first song sets the mood for the album, introducing COHO’s subtle harmonies and interconnected instrumentation. The song’s lyrics are complicated, yet easy to follow – their meaning pervading the happy Oh’s and Hey’s you can’t help but sing along to!

“Burning Oak” begins with a mix of lyrics and synths so catchy that the passing listener could mistake it for yet another indie-pop song. Yet, upon the entry of guitar riffs eminent of Death Cab for Cutie and a rhythm that carries more than just a dance-beat, the EP’s second song breaks out of the genre’s inherit pitfalls. Instead of relying on an insistent chorus to carry the track, COHO waits until the eventual bridge to make a clear lyrical impact:

All my bones are older in the December

They repeat ad naseum, a series of instrumental and vocal layers adding to the intensity of the climax. A full instrumental breakdown fills the majority of the song’s ending moments, until a final repeat of the chorus cooly ends the first half of the release.

The second half of the EP is calmer than the first – its final tracks, “Disintegrate” and “Graves,” following a slower tempo than that of the first two. Filled with lyrical excellence, “Disintegrate” is a vocal-heavy song. Each instrument and vocal harmony follows the lead of a single female vocalist – the synthesizer carrying the spaces in-between. Simply and succinctly (4:05 is the track length, the shortest on the release), COHO paints a hopeful future for the human cycle of change. “Disintegrate,” the track ends, “if you have lost your love don’t lose your faith / disintegrate and wash away / the memories.”

Chitter-chatter fills the air and a solo bass-line fills the soundscape. The EP’s title track starts out strong – the first minute flying by as each new instrument adds to the last. The two main vocalists work together perfectly, their powerful voices strongly contrasting the easy-going percussion. Repeating their soothingly complex layers of lyrics like those that filled the end of “Burning Oak,” COHO finds synchronicity within their seemingly endless mix of sounds.

The band plays together beautifully and the Graves EP displays this prowess. If you were lucky enough to catch the EP Release show at BARBOZA last weekend, I envy you. Now, more than ever, I am excited to see how this new mix of diverse talent and sound plays out in the future!

Stay up to date by following COHO on Facebook and Twitter. And be sure to check out their Bandcamp, Instagram, and Website (where you can buy the EP for $5)!