Diving In

Earlier this year I read about a study that said that people stop listening to new music by the time they are 33. Basically, most people will stop listening to music that they are not familiar with around the age of 33. Now, I would say that since hitting 30, my new music intake has been through the roof. But to prove this study wrong, over the last few weeks I’ve been listening to new music almost exclusively. Here are a few things I’ve found.

1) The National Parks – maybe I should live in Utah, and thankfully I live close enough, because this Utah band is making music that fills my soul. With similarities to some other favorites like Churchill and The Mowgli’s, this multi-member band combines traditional folk elements and indie sensibilities. Here is “Wind & Anchor”:

2) Parade of Lights – Unbeknownst to me, this LA based band got some of their first gigs in my wonderful city of Las Vegas. They have a unique sound in the world of electro-pop combining soothing melodies with strong lyrics and powerful vocals. I am super excited that they are on the bill for Life Is Beautiful this year. They have a similar vibe to some favorites like The Naked and Famous and St. Lucia, but feel a bit more rock to me. Here is “Feeling Electric” from their new album of the same name.

3) Mount Saint – Readers of Sandy Beats will know how big of fans we are of Imagine Dragons. Well, the first few times that I saw them and the first time that @begutierrez they had a husband and wife duo on the drums and keys. I was a big fan of Dan’s booming voice harmonized with Brittany Tolman, and definitely missed those harmonies when the duo decided to leave ID. Well, now I can get more of her voice with her new band, Mount Saint. They are reminiscent of early Imagine Dragons, but also have a bit of that 80’s synth pop that I love. They are based in L.A. so maybe they will hit up Las Vegas soon. Here is “Criminal” from their self-titled EP.

Stay tuned for some more new music…because screw statistics. Ha!

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Autumn Sounds

Fall is my favorite time of year, and living in Las Vegas it is the BEST time of the year in our fine city. Despite not having any plans for any live shows in the near future (though I am pretty sure I will be seeing Imagine Dragons & The Mowgli’s here in Vegas at the end of the year), I’ve still be listening to a lot of music and have caught a couple shows in the last month (other than Life is Beautiful).

Two days before Life is Beautiful, @Begt and I (along with a few others) went to see The Naked & Famous at the BLVD Pool at the Cosmopolitan Resort here in Las Vegas. As I’ve mentioned before, this venue is pretty amazing. The show happens right above the pool, and for larger shows the main pool is drained (it was half-drained for this show). I had thought that this show would be the most well attended of the shows I’ve attended this summer/fall (including Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, WAVVES, G. Love, etc…) however, this show was not as well attended as ESM0’s which was pretty darn packed. Apparently TNAF is not as popular as I expected.

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The sound at the BLVD pool can be a bit sketchy, and this show definitely highlighted that. With the electronic beats from TNAF there was some distortion. This was a bit distracting, but it was not the end of the world. I really expected the group to be a bit more talkative. As groups go, they were pretty quiet and stuck to business. They played a mix of songs from their two full length albums. The crowd favorites were definitely “Punching in a Dream” and “Youngblood”. My favorite “Girls Like You” was one of the earliest songs in the set. The set ran just over an hour, which is not surprising noting that TNAF’s catalog is not very expansive. I do think that they are more of an “inside” band, and North America will get to see them open for Vegas’ natives Imagine Dragons on their upcoming arena tour.

I enjoyed the show, but would think they would fit better in a smaller indoor venue.

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New Music: The Naked and Famous

I am a little late to the game as this record was released last Tuesday. But, you should still know about it.

The New Zealand group, The Naked and Famous, released their second full length album In Rolling Waves on Tuesday. This follow up to their 2009 debut release Passive Me, Aggressive You. I had first heard of this group on the radio with one of their first US hits, “Punching in a Dream”. I will be honest. I enjoyed the song, but it did not make me want to dive into the band. My instincts on this one were incorrect. A few months ago @Begt recommended that I give them another listen. As you have seen me say before, I became a bit obsessed and listened and re-listened to their first record.

I quickly began to appreciate their entire catalog and got really excited when they started talking about their 2013 release. This album I find a bit more subdued than their first, but it still has a few more dance prone tracks like “The Mess” and “I Kill Giants”. Their first single released in July, “Hearts Like Ours” was featured in a previous post, but the video really does need to be mentioned again. I find this song incredibly haunting (the video doesn’t help). This track has quickly slid into my the spot of my second favorite TNAF song following “Girls Like You”.

They are touring in the US this fall and Europe and Asia through the winter, so make sure to check them out if you can. @Begt and I will be seeing them in October at the BLVD Pool at the Cosmopolitan. This is the same place I saw Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros. I am very excited to see TNAF in this venue.