Summertime Repeat Ones

With the official start to summer last week, and Spotify releasing personalized Summer playlists, I have been reminded to share some of the music that I’ve been obsessing over the last few weeks. This summer will bring a bit of travel and excitement into my life, which is fantastic, and as usual, I am sure the music will keep me grounded and help me enjoy the fun (and challenging) times ahead.

My newest musical obsession is Ásgeir, an Icelandic singer-songwriter. Now, I love Icelandic music, probably more than anyone who is not Icelandic. I was shocked I had not heard (or maybe paid attention is a better phrase) to the genius of this man. Earlier this month he released his 2nd full length record Afterglow. On his first record he sang in Icelandic (and later released an English version). I could listen to Icelandic being sung all day, but I am so happy I get to understand the lyrics in English. Some of them are from the poetry of his father.

The song I am listening to the most is the the title track from Afterglow. I will be honest, it is not everyday you hear and song and know that this song will be with you forever. I listen to a lot of music, and love a lot of songs, but as soon as I heard this song, I knew I had heard a song that will be a life-time favorite. For met it is in the same league as Oasis’ “Don’t Look Back in Anger” and The Killers’ “Read My Mind”…the real deal. Here is a pretty spectacular live version (along with another great song “Stardust”).

I first heard The Collection because of my Spotify discover list (aka my weekly present). They have many of the elements of the bands that I am currently listening to, so after I heard the first song, I had to dig deeper. They currently have two full-length records and an EP. The lead singer and lyricist, David Wimbish also has a new solo record. His lyrics are very introspective and full of emotion. The song that I keep coming back to is “Some Days I don’t Want to Sing” from Ars Moriendi.  With lyrics like this, how can I stay away:

Is this the end? Are we in?
Do I watch all my friends just take dives off of cliffs ‘cause their heads are full of questions we can’t know now, unless we go?
And the weight of the world does not rest on your shoulders
No, it strains and it bends on the same arms that hope sends
So don’t carry it now! Lower it down!
When faith dies and hope flies, then love must prevail or else this all means nothing

Up next is The Brevet out of Irvine, CA. I first heard this band when they were on the lineup for the never to happen Goosenecks Music Festival. I really liked their music from day one. Last week I was able to see them as they opened up for Sister Hazel. Here is “Moving Mountains”.

Up next and no stranger to Sandy Beats is the newest song from The National Parks, “Places”. I cannot get enough of this band, and I am super excited for their upcoming new record. I do hope they hit up Las Vegas this summer. I’ve seen them twice, and that is not anywhere near enough.

The final song for the day is “Long and Happy Life” from the forthcoming new album from Delta Rae. This is one of my favorite live bands (who also sing one of my top favorite songs – on the same list as mentioned above), and one of the more outspoken “Americana/country-ish bands” out there. With their Fleetwood Mac style songs, and high energy it is difficult not to like them. This new song is a bit more “country” than much of their previous work, but they were recently signed by a country label and have been doing a bunch of radio station gigs. I am looking forward to seeing them in August.

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I can’t get this song out of my heart

Every now and then a song comes to me and makes me melt into a galaxy of fun.*

I ran into “Heart Stray” by The Fame Riot this morning and it was an instant match. I started oooooo-ing and singing along the catchy chorus as soon as I got the lyrics down.**

But then, you guys, I checked out the video. THE VIDEO IS SO GOOD. What is that fashion? 90s? A little bit of 80s? Portland Hipstery?***

These guys look like they enjoy the heck out of life. Can ya’ll adopt me? I will travel with you and take all your photos and will make all your album covers and t-shirt designs. Seriously, take me with you!

I hope all of you, wonderful Sandy Beats readers, enjoy this sweet, sweet song as much as me.

PS. In their about section on their website, it says “The Fame Riot is not a band; it’s a religion. The two brothers are at the forefront of a shift in musical style and culture, drawing influence from the last 4 decades of rock, pop, electronica, disco, and everything in-between.”****

*I haven’t written in this blog in so long, of course I had to start with a sentence like that!
**I am one of those people that is not good with lyrics, titles, and names, so this took me at least two listens before I felt confident enough to sing along.
***I should also confess here that I am not very well versed in fashion either.
****SWOON!

New Music & A Bonus Video

After @Begt telling me about The Naked and Famous a few years ago, they quickly became one of my favorite bands. After excitedly spotting them on the Life Is Beautiful line-up I knew they would be releasing new music soon. Finally it has happened. The first single, “Higher” off of their upcoming release Simple Forms was came out today. The album will be released in October.

This song will be a Repeat One for sure.

 

While not new music, The Lumineers just released a video for “Cleopatra”. With such an incredible song with really powerful lyrics, I was really excited for the video. I was not disappointed.

 

 

Lyrics and Music

I am a sucker for lyrics. I love the music in a song, don’t get me wrong. The melody, the structure, unique instrumentation…but lyrics are what I come back to. Like anything in life, it is not universal, but I pay attention to what the song  is saying, and often will fall in love with a song just based upon lyrics alone. For this entry into the Sandy Beats, I am going to highlight a few songs with lyrics that have particularly struck me.

First up is a new song. I don’t have the confidence that @Begt has listened to this song as she  tends to avoid the subject when I bring it up…Folk Trio The Lumineers hit it big a few years back with “Ho Hey”. The song was everywhere. Just this year they released their first two singles from their forthcoming Cleopatra. The first single released “Ophelia” made me forget that we had been waiting almost 4 years for a new song. Their second single, the namesake for the album, “Cleopatra” has made it clear to me that the 4 years was worth it.

The lyrics that are particularly impactful for me are near the end of the song:

“But I was late for this, late for that, late for the love of my life
And when I die alone, when I die alone, when I die I’ll be on time

And the only gifts from my Lord were a birth and a divorce
But I’ve read this script and the costume fits, so I’ll play my part”

I am not one to interpret lyrics as I think they mean something different to the listener, so there you have it.

As you may have noticed from my first post of the year, the band I am listening to the most so far in 2016 is The Strumbellas . Their lyrics just hit me. Their second single off of the forthcoming Hope is no different. In “Shovels and Dirt” the Strumbellas once again address mortality with the lyrics:

” Well it ain’t worth living if you don’t get hurt

I got a head full of darkness and darkness is good

cuz’ if we all die young and the we don’t get hurt”

Finally, NYC based Sharon Van Etten has proven to be a good soundtrack for me for the last few years. One of the songs from Tramp called “We Are Fine” has been one of my favorites since I first heard it.

“It’s okay to feel
Everything is real
Nothing left to steal
‘Cause we’re alright, we’re alright”

I’ve listened to a few live versions as well as the recorded version many times. Her emotion seems to come out each and every time.

What are some of your favorite lyrics?

September to Remember Pt. 1

September is a big month. We’ve got LouFest, Life is Beautiful, and more.

I know that @begt and I are really excited for year 3 at LouFest, and the preview for  that will be coming shortly. But before I give you that, I want to share some of the new music that has been on constant repeat for me the last two weeks.

One of my obsessions of late has been an up and coming indie pop folk band called The National Parks. They just released their second full-length Untill I Live which may be my favorite record of 2015 so far. Despite being from the neighboring state of Utah, they don’t make it out to Las Vegas much, but that will change on September 18th where they are playing a show with another recent favorite of mine, Vegas/Utah folk rockers, Brumby.  My favorite song off the new record doesn’t have a video that I can find, but, this song is a great representation of their current record. Here is “Monsters of the North” from Until I Live.

The second record  that has been on constant repeat for me is Mont Royal from Cleveland based The Lighthouse and the Whaler which I found out through a recommendation by @begt. This record marks the third EP from this indie folk outfit. Their sound has definitely evolved from their first album and some of the songs go beyond the typical folk sound including my favorite “We are Infinite”. They do have one single off the record so far, and the video features someone who is apparently famous, but I am not hip with the kids these days so I don’t know who that would be. Here is “I Want to Feel Alive”.

A new release as of today is the self-titled record from one of Sandy Beat’s favorite SoCal bands Family of The Year. This album was quite a few years in the making, and the band has seen some relative success as their song “Hero” played a prominent part in the recent movie Boyhood. The first single off of Family of The Year is “Make You Mine” which is catchy as all get out.

I hope a tour that includes a stop in Las Vegas comes with the new release.

Be on the lookout for a LouFest preview and, of course, more new music.