Monday, 16 May 2016

Genre Wander: Peter Vogelaar - The Sweetest Condition - School '94 - Mary Owens

Peter Vogelaar - Television (Feat. Ken Lally).

Background promo - Peter Vogelaar is a bass player & producer from Waterford, Ireland. His new album 'The Science Of Summer' features collaborations with Deaf Joe, Katie Kim, Cat Dowling, Ken Lally, Susan O'Neill & Aisling Browne.

"I wanted to make an electronica/folktronica album, loosely conceptual, that tries to capture the energy and atmosphere of a summers day. The real obstacle was trying to give the album a continuity with all these guest vocalists who had their own personality and flavour.

I went back to a lot of the internal sounding albums that turned me onto music years ago by Nick Drake, Linda Perhacs, Sandy Denny and John Martyn - but at the same time I was soaking up a lot of producers whose sound had a particular awareness to it, producers like Gold Panda, Lapalux and Bonobo." 'The Science Of Summer' is released digitally last Friday, the full album is streaming on Soundcloud, Spotify and is available for download on iTunes.

The new album 'The Science Of Summer' has a number of excellent collaborations, making it difficult to choose a song to feature. I went with 'Television' as I think it gives some flavour of the album, however I would emphasise that there is considerable variety. If modern folk appeals to you, then this adventurous album is definitely worth checking out.


The Sweetest Condition - Now (“Edge of the World”).

Background promo - The Sweetest Condition is an industrial + synthpop + darkwave band, featuring Jason Reed Milner (music + synths) and Leslie I. Benson (lyrics + vocals), which blends iconic sounds of the ’80s, industrial muscle of the ’90s, and cinematic soundscapes. The band derives inspiration from Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, The Birthday Massacre and others. 

After releasing their five-song EP, “Truth & Light,” in April 2013, the female-fronted duo moved from Indianapolis, Ind., to Nashville, Tenn., where they teamed up with producer and sound engineer Joel Lauver of Burning Bridge Recordings to produce their debut full-length album, “Edge of the World,” which was released on Aug. 28, 2015. Mixed, mastered and produced by Joel Lauver of Burning Bridge Recordings in Nashville, Edge of the World reveals intimate and visceral stories set to floor-shaking soundscapes elevated by lashing synth riffs, addictive chorus hooks and stabbing guitars—a tribute to the band’s ’80s synthpop/darkwave and ’90s industrial influences. A second album, currently in the works, is set for release in 2016.

The Sweetest Condition have just contacted Beehive Candy regarding last years album (Edge of the World) and I for one am glad they have. With a second album due later this year, it's a chance to get to know their synthpop and darkwave sound. Featured song 'Now' gives a good feel for the bands potent and energised music, there's no shortage of originality, along with a very definitive and addictive sound.


School '94 - Common Sense.

Background promo - Gothenburg four-piece School '94 returns today with their irresistible new single "Common Sense" as the first offering from their first coming Bound EP due out June 10th worldwide on Luxury Records. “It's a song about living in denial, fooling yourself and everyone around you that everything is cool” - Alice Botéus, singer

School '94 is the sleeker, dream pop-facing member of the prestigious Luxury Records roster which includes label mates (and good buddies) Makthaverskan, Westkust and Agent blå. This young circle of musicians have become known as the premiere indie pop crew in their hometown and beyond. The small coastal city of Gothenburg has long defined freeform Swedish pop, a rich legacy that is both an honor and a barrier for a vibrant new crop of artists who are breaking out and redefining the sound of their city from its very core.

School '94 is at the front of these young projects with their sophisticated, melody-driven material, pulling equally from classic punk and modern pop reference points. The tracks are stripped down, honest and expertly played. High, romantic basslines slip around smart percussion parts and clean guitar notes to provide a backdrop for the muscular vocals of singer, Alice Botéus. School '94 released their debut Like You EP in December 2014 on Cascine (North America / UK) and Luxury Records (Scandinavia). Since their debut release the young four-piece have split their time between touring, writing and Botéus's rising solo career under the name Alice B, an outsider pop project with a large following in Scandinavia.

'Common Sense' is a catchy melodic dream pop song, with a clean uncluttered sound, that allows the instruments and vocals all to stand out. Musically vocalist Alice Botéus may be the focal point of the song, but the band are also determined to add their magic, a fine dreamy pop song is the result.


Mary Owens - Free.

Background words - Named as an emerging star by David Porter as part of the Consortium Memphis Music Town program, Mary Owens is a Memphis artist who is certainly making a name for herself. Pulling from many styles, including R&B, soul, pop, jazz, and alternative, it is hard to describe her using only one genre; she encompasses a style she has dubbed as “soul-pop. 

Memphis Flyer music editor Joe Boone describes her best when he said, “Mary Owens takes an impressionistic jazz approach with a voice that hovers over the chords until it strikes like lightning.”  She has been compared to Tori Kelly, Adele, and Colbie Caillat.

'Free' is the first song I have heard from Mary Owens and it is impressive to say the least. Vocals are absolutely charming and the music just right for material like this. Comparisons above are not unreasonable, and there is plenty of individual originality as well. One to watch.


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