Synth Pop Love

Much of my early music education took place during the late 80’s and early 90’s when synth heavy pop found significant airplay on the radio and MTV. Some of my favorite groups growing up included some of the more well know synthesizer heavy groups like  Erasure, Depeche Mode and Tears for Fears. While I am not happy that 80’s and 90’s fashion trends are coming back, I am very happy that this style of music is making a comeback.

Many of this current wave of synthpop bands have had relative commercial success like SandyBeats favorites The Naked and Famous and vets, M83. There are two bands in particular that I have been grooving to recently. The first lead me to the second. Brooklyn based St. Lucia (or Santa Lucia (loo-see-uh) to some) reminds me of the 80’s music I loved so much but with a contemporary vibe.

Here is Elevate (which once stuck in my head, never leaves)

St. Lucia (which is essentially just one guy, South African born Brooklyn resident Jean-Philip Grobler), is the producer of the album from my other guilty pop pleasure, HAERTS. HAERTS is a bit more introspective than St. Lucia and features a very strong and ethereal lead singer, Nini Fabi.

Enjoy Hemiplegia (from their newest EP of the same name).

Both acts are touring and appearing at various festivals during the spring and summer. I know I am hoping to see St. Lucia when they come to Las Vegas with Young the Giant.

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Imagine Dragons, Tulsa 2/22

I haven’t been posting much lately, but it’s because I haven’t had time to search for new music as I usually do. I’ve only been craving Vegas… that music scene is so awesome. I’m totally jealous of @DocMurda. He went to The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan to see Fitz And The Tantrums and Capital Cities last night. I blame his texts for the weird dreams I had.

But I have my share of awesomeness coming up, as I get on the road to Tulsa with a couple of friends on Saturday for a night with Imagine Dragons. Aaaah, yeah! And not only that, but I’m also excited to catch The Naked And Famous once again, as they are opening for ID (note to self: find the TNAF t-shirt). I just realize that my first ID and TNAF concerts were both in Las Vegas (I’m telling you.. I’m jealous).

Tulsa, I can’t wait!

New Music: Nickel Creek

For those who love bluegrass (as I do) the big news of the week is that Nickel Creek is back! After a 7 year hiatus one of the most influential folk/progressive bluegrass bands of this generation is back. Now, I’ll admit, I started listening to Nickel Creek after they announced a hiatus, but now that I’ve been learning to play the mandolin, there is no player more enjoyable to watch that Chris Thile. They’ve announced a few shows and at least one festival gig. Tickets for almost all shows have sold out. I am sure they’ll add more as summer approaches. In case you live under a rock, or are not into bluegrass, here is “Destination” from Nickel Creek.

New Music: Paper Lights

This past week I’ve had a lot of time on my hands. I got food poisoning (I blame Del Taco, don’t judge) and had to call in sick to work. Between bouts of checking my work email and sleeping, I was listening to music and watching music videos. I listened to a lot new stuff, a lot of old stuff and a lot of in between. But one band stood out among all that I enjoyed. That band is Atlanta based Paper Lights. This six member band grew out of a collaboration between musicians who all had other endeavors going on. The band now describes themselves as a “collective” and a family more than a band.

What struck me first about the first song I listened to, “On Your Way”, was the atmospheric nature and the complimentary male and female voices playing off each other. The song felt hopeful, and yet sorrowful all at the same time. I’ve seen the word “cinematic” used to describe their music on other places across the web, and I think that is a good description, but does not really do them justice.

Currently, their incredible EP Caverns is available at electronic outlets include Noisetrade. I highly suggest picking it up. They have a new single coming out in March, and hopefully a full length will soon follow. They do not have many dates posted on their site now, and I hope that changes soon. I’d love to see them on a festival bill or come out west this summer.

Please enjoy, “On Your Way”. I can guarantee you’ll listen to it more than once.

You will like them if you like: Death Cab for Cutie, Churchill, The Fray

Love & Music

On Thursday a simple post on Facebook sparked a bit of sadness for at least two of the authors here on Sandy Beats. It was announced that one of the members of The Mowgli’s, Michael V was leaving the band. While the entire band is involved in the music making process, Michael was one of the founders of the band, and had writing credits on most if not all of their songs. @Begt and I had the pleasure of meeting and talking with Michael and LouFest. He was such a super positive and down to earth guy. He was just hanging out alone watching the same band we were watching. When we approached him, he was shocked that we even recognized him for the Mowgli’s performance earlier that day (how could you not, that performance was incredible). I am not one for assuming why people leave bands or bands break up. Fortunately, I think Michael made it very clear with his video and statement posted to The Collective CA.

“I wish you all an incredible journey and I pray that in moving forward we will always remember ‘why we came here’ and apply that wisdom to every aspect of our existence.

For me, it’s not enough to just say it, or sing it.  I need to live it and breathe it, and be it    . . . and in the beautiful irony of this tale, the only way I can take the proper steps toward making such drastic life improvements, is to actually follow the advice and mantra in our songs.”

You can watch the video below:

I hope that he goes on to make music that spreads the love. I hope that he shares the music with the world, and I know I’d really enjoy seeing him again.

And here is my favorite song by Michael during his tenure with the Mowgli’s… “Time”.