Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Globetrotting: In Letter Form - Citizen of the World - Man Is Not A Bird

In Letter Form - Face In The Crowd.

Background promo - Drawing influence from the works of The (early) Cure, Joy Division, Bauhaus, New Order, Echo and the Bunnymen, Interpol et al, they produce a sound that echoes the past, haunts the present and is constantly in the future.

Reflecting on past deeds; some well intentioned while others, not. The ways we had been wronged or the choice to see it that way because sometimes that's easier than the truth.

The prose and cons of having thin skin to protect a thick heart, put "in letter form" perhaps? A love letter? An anti love letter? Hate mail? A photograph? A song? An exclamation of the joy of life? A suicide note? The bay area based foursome considers their formation a fortunate turn of events, as they were all experiencing heartbreak on some level when they came together. In Letter Form draws influence from the works of Joy Division, Bauhaus, and Echo and the Bunnymen. The single, “Face In The Crowd,”  blends their post punk and synth pop sound, and is a good example of the vibe to expect on the rest of Fracture. Repair. Repeat.

'Face In The Crowd' certainly gives a very good feel for the eleven song album 'Fracture. Repair. Repeat'. Influences there are, I would add Sisters Of Mercy as another reference point, that aside this is one very cool album. Full of post punk sounds, that at times veer towards a darker Gothic feel, and sometimes a crisper early indie rock feel. Fans of any of the above mentioned bands really should check this album out.


Citizen of the World - Embers.

Background promo - Citizen of the World has built on the success of the foot stomping Folk-Rock genre, popularised by the likes of Mumford & Sons, to carve a new genre described by one competition judge as “Epic Folk”.

COTW are coming off the success of their last single, “Setting Out”, which reached audiences internationally, premiering their video through, and receiving international airplay through the syndicated radio show Passport Approved. The track also reached a huge new Australian audience with triple j play on Roots N All!

Their new song “Embers” is an ode to those warm summer nights spent around a fire, reflecting on life and enjoying being alive. “Embers” features strong melodic saxophone lines that sit on top of uplifting choruses that will make you want to get up, light a fire, and dance around it. In the verses, the saxophone makes room for subtle piano melodies that accompany the vocals. The steady beat pumping through the song combined with the powerful chorus plays right into the band’s Epic-Folk genre.

The song was recorded and mixed, as per tradition, in front man Gerrit’s living room in Coogee, Sydney (affectionately known as Bay Street Records). The video was shot mostly in rural New South Wales and features sweeping landscapes and a giant bonfire that will transport the listener for a few minutes away from their daily routine. COTW’s songs are mainly inspired by Mumford and Sons and Dave Matthews Band, and fit right into the modern folk-rock genre..

If this is Epic Folk, then I like epic folk. Whatever the specific genre this is one really good song. With a happy vibe, the vocals, choruses and excellent musicianship come together in a pleasing, uplifting song. More always welcome!


 Man Is Not A Bird - Life & Levity.

Background promo - Man Is Not A Bird, an innovative Paris-based quartet, are preparing to make landfall in the U.S. with their first international release, Life & Levity. The four track collection includes EP title track which Nothing But Hope & Passon claims, "post-rock lovers can expect epic and distinctive sounds that team up with hypnotic shoegaze elements." Expect five minutes of cinematic beauty that doesn’t need to hide from the genre’s big players like Explosions In The Sky.

The much-anticipated EP will officially be available via Splendid (in partnership with Believe Digital) on June 3, 2016. Preorder is available now.

Last summer, the fearless rockers undertook a 10-show tour of the United Kingdom, culminating with a triumphant performance in London that impressed a variety of industry insiders drawn to the band’s obvious international potential. From there, the band went straight back into the studio to write and record the tracks that have become Life & Levity. Previously instrumental, these new songs now find the band exploring complex vocal arrangements, while retaining their distinctive post-punk sound.

The band continues to tour internationally, recently road-testing Life & Levity with two trips around Germany and eastern Europe, as well as a 5 day run in Spain just last week. Last year also saw the release of Man Is Not a Bird’s critically acclaimed debut mini-album, Survived The Great Flood.  The album was prominently featured on MTV Pulse Europe and French channel D17, and has over 500,000 streams on Spotify France.

After a sold-out Parisian launch party for the album, the band was asked by British Rock Band, Ride, to open for them on certain dates during the European leg of their mega-reunion World Tour. The tour concluded with Man Is Not A Bird's first visit to the mythical Paris Olympia Music hall, playing in front of a capacity audience. Look out for remixes from French Touch supremo, Alex Gopher, Italian chaos monger SBCR from the Bloody Beetroots, Toog & Roman Kouder.

'Life & Levity' is a feisty and powerful number, with guitars and drums driving the song forward at breakneck speed. Vocals veer towards shoegaze in orientation and sit well in the mix, having their moment when the music occaisionally subsides.


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