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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The Year of the Monkey

“We must let go of the life we had planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us” – Joseph Campbell

I will go with a quote and some music inspiration for this evening’s post. Which is also the first of the year. Which is terrible. @Begt and I have been slacking something fierce.

I’ve noticed that I have a new rotation of songs about every two months. I still keep some of the old ones in the mix, but, I feel like I get 3-4 bands I am obsessing over each few months. What am I going to do about that? Well, dear reader, I am going to share that music with you. This is a music blog after all.

The band that I’ve listened to the most in 2016 is not, shockingly enough, the band who I saw for my first show of 2016, The National Parks. The band I’ve listened to the most so far is the Toronto based folkpop group, The Strumbellas (sweet name, right?). I was hooked after listening to We Still Move on the Dance floors (their second release), and am eagerly awaiting their upcoming album. Here is “Spirits”, the first single (I am madly in love with this song and video).

Continuing with the folk vibes (because why the hell not?) is The Native Sibling, a sister and brother duo from Santa Cruz. I am pretty sure that The National Parks radio station on Spotify lead me to these two…and I am so glad that it did! Here is “Darkest of the Night Skies” from their release Letters Kept to Ourselves.

Because it is America and I like my folkpop, the next song is my #RepeatOne so far in February 2016. I do not know why it has taken the Lumineers this long to come out with their first single of their second album, Cleopatra, and I’ll be honest, after hearing “Ophelia”, I really do not care. This song was totally worth the wait. I do hope that by the time she reads this, @Begt will actually have listened to the song.

The next song isn’t new. But the band who is responsible for it just came out with a new record. So that counts. I am sure that I’ve never sung this next song at the top of my lungs in my car today (or really any day in the last month or so…I promise). Charlottesville, VA based bluegrass/newgrass band The Infamous Stringdusters pack a punch with “Where the Rivers Run Cold” off of their 2014 release Let it Go. The only thing missing is a mandolin. But, I will take a dobro in a song anytime its offered to me.

Switching up genres a bit for Brightside a Venice based “California Roots Rock” band. I was fortunate to see them open up for Brett Dennen late last year. As soon as they started playing their beach-vibe rock I was hooked. “Home” from West of Lincoln is definitely one of my favorites.

Going back to the folky Americana vibe, and the final song of this post, we have John Paul White, formerly of The Civil Wars, with a song called “Simple Song” from a compilation entitled Southern Family. I dearly miss the Civil Wars, but am happy that JPW is continuing to write and sing.

Well, there you have it. My first post of 2016. Enjoy the music. And to bastardize one of my favorite quotes from Maurice Moss, I’ve come here to write my first post of 2016 and drink some Scotch, and I’ve just published my post.

 

 

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.

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!