2010FM - December Edition Three

It's the final 2010FM roundup of new and recent music, this December has seen the new music keep on coming without let up and it's been a bit of a struggle to keep on top of sharing the songs that have grabbed out attention. So as always in no particular order here is the last batch we are featuring this year!

We are told that for Seafarer, music’s always been an unremitting cycle of altering parts; that is, until most recently. The fact that their self-released EP, Hiding Places, is now being re-released to a larger audience is testament to the band’s hard-working state of mind. A mentality and strategy that has kept them grounded since their inception two years ago, Seafarer have fully embraced the craft of being dissimilar and still, engrossing gripping. As for the album, front man, Patrick Grzelewski, states, “It taught us so much about ourselves and the music we were creating, and allowed us to step outside of it in a way we never had before.” Pieces change and shift with the passing wind and for all of the golden nuggets that Seafarer have hidden throughout this charming EP, the pay-off will surely be worth it.

The six track EP 'Hiding Places' is set for release on January 18th, 2011, and having heard a couple of tracks from it we have yet another band to keep a watch for in the coming year with a mix of psych pop through to folk and rock Chicago's Seafarer may well soon make their mark.

Featured Track: The Archipelego.
Website: MySpace.

OK shameless copying of the promo stuff (again) but it gives the background - Meeting in New York City in late 2005, the members of Bridges and Powerlines realized a common love for intricately arranged three-minute pop songs. The debut EP that followed met with critical acclaim, described as "an exhilarating racket," (sixeyes) and "a taught example of why Bridges and Powerlines should be added to your list of bands to watch." (IGN.com). The success of their EP attracted producer Chris Zane (Passion Pit, The Walkmen, White Rabbits), and the band spent much of 2007 writing and recording their debut album “Ghost Types”.

The album then enjoyed a seven-week run in the CMJ top 200 and received favorable nods in multiple influential outlets from Pitchfork (“Now that’s power”) to Yahoo Music (“Incontrovertibly fun”) to Popmatters (“A solid, catchy debut”). The lead singles from the record, “Uncalibrated,” and from their self-titled debut EP in 2006, “Carmen,” have been downloaded over 100,000 times.

For the last year, however, they have been recording their follow-up album ‘Eve’, the culmination of their thoughts on life prior to the changes of 2001. With producer Kieran Kelley (known best for his work on Sufjan Stephens’ ‘Illinois’) and a host of guests including members of Antony and the Johnsons, indie troubadour Will Stratton, and even their friend Steven Harris of 80s arena-legends the Cult, the band spent 3 months painstakingly creating the record “they wanted to make their whole lives.” January 25th, 2011 is set for the release of ‘Eve’ on Stunning Models on Display records.

The bottom line is the music which we reckon should see the band gain greater recognition through 2011.

Featured Track: Blue Sky.
Website: MySpace.

The Sleep-Ins released 'Songs About Girls & Outer Space' back in October 2010, however we only picked up on the band a couple of weeks back and think them well worth a mention, as they have a raunchy thundering rock sound that has some fine melodic hooks seeping through the songs to raise them above the crowd.

Some background - The Sleep-ins began when Chad Corley, five days into his new Australian life, met Englishman Stefan Pope at a Sydney guitar shop. "I was there to meet the owner for a job, but he wasn't in," recalls Chad. "I talked to Stefan for a while, and was immediately impressed. It was obvious from the start that we were on the same wavelength." That wavelength — the sound that would define the Sleep-ins — is a soaring, melodic and often thundering indie rock with a cerebral nod to the Pixies, Polvo, Shellac and The Shins.

Chad got the job, and in the ensuing days met Australian and fellow employee Josh Schuberth [Josh Pyke, Stella 111]. The Sleep-ins would rehearse for the first time a few weeks after that, and played their first show a month later. Says Josh, "we had to be careful about the guitar shop owners not knowing four of their employees were in the same band...it gets quite suspicious when we all show up for work a bit dreary-eyed because we were out late gigging the night before; but we all knew what we wanted to do, so it's no surprise we got right to it."

Featured Track: Silver State.
Website: MySpace.

As music genres go blind indie rock was a new one on us! JP Corwyn has been 'legally' blind since birth. Born with a degenerative condition, he has been legally blind since birth, with the shades pulling ever tighter throughout his as-yet-brief-but-potent life.

His own website bio states "JP Corwyn isn’t quite “Stevie Wonder blind”, or “Ronnie Milsap blind”. But then, those icons would have made music regardless of what their eyes were capable of. Maybe they did it a little better than those who can see; maybe their intuition is stronger and their sense of the click-click-clicking of the world around them is more keen. JP Corwyn makes excellent music, of which you should really be aware, without his eyes, and with his hands, and with his mouth, and with his mind, and his hips, and his spine, and his legs and fingers and toes and nerves. Yep, he’s blind. But he’s hardly unaware. So why should you be? 

Comparisons with Pearl Jam, Creed and even Jeff Buckley have all been made, this guy really does know how to rock, it's gritty, ain't pretentious just good old rock and roll performed with a heart and soul. 'Look' out for his latest album 'The White Cane Conspiracy', which is releasing in January 2011

Featured Track: Dire.
Website: Official.

Mike Stout is described as The World’s Grievance Man. We are told that Mike Stout is a socially conscious singer song-writer and community leader. He leads crusades against local and global economic injustice, rallying people with his music to take action. His sound and lyrics are influenced by his musical heroes Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, Jackson Browne and Bruce Cockburn.

John Hayes of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette wrote of Mike "In the Woody Guthrie tradition, his songs reflect contemporary issues without resorting to journalism. They're more like partisan op-ed columns that grab political opponents by the throat and don't let go." Mike tells his stories from the heart about people who are affected by unemployment, social injustice, environmental hazard, or war.

Mike has performed at concert halls, clubs, picket lines, union conventions, protest rallies, and schools across the United States and Europe with his message of human solidarity and peace. A Duquesne University grad student took one of Mike Cd's to the People to People book store in Germany and played them Mike’s song “People to People”. Impressed with Mike’s message, the book store stocked Mike Cd's and sponsored several concert tours in Germany and Poland. Mike has performed for thousands at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate and the Whitsun Youth Festival. He has sold thousands of Cd's in Germany. With each new recording and every performance Mike sings his message of human solidarity to overcome the injustices in this world.

Listening to his music is a joy, the songs that carry messages don't 'preach to you' but just help raise your consciousness towards contemporary issues and the mixture of folk, Americana and even pop styles just adds to the positive effect.

Featured Track: Maida and Annie.
Website: Official.

Martin England has more than 350 songs to his credit, penned over 30 years of making music. Even so, he considers himself a late bloomer and feels like he’s just now coming into his own in a time of transition from band member to solo artist. For 17 years England was part of the Northeast regional powerhouse Pondering Judd, writing and recording six records, rocking a national tour in 2006, and receiving a constant stream of nominations and awards. Having had his musical experience so deeply entrenched in being one of four in a band, it was a massive switch to understand himself as a solo artist, a process tipped off when Lost Sailor Records offered him a contract as a solo artist and called him up to a new level of confidence in his work.
Martins solo music sits comfortably within the Americana, alt country genres and he is clearly a singer songwriter who knows his craft. However beyond the mechanics of writing and performing you surely need heart, something I think he puts into his music in abundance.

Featured Track: Do What The Man With The Gun Says.
Website: Official.

Brooklyn's merriest 3 piece, Holiday Holiday are set to release their debut 7" cleverly titled 'AllOneWord' early in the New Year. But in the spirit of the season they couldn't resist giving you one present to open early.

'Hanged' which will appear on the upcoming 7" is a bona-fide ray of sunshine, with cherry sweet vocals, bouncing keys and a smile inducing doo-wop doo-wop chorus line. This song is sure to warm the cockles on even the coldest winter night. Having heard a couple of other songs by this fine trio all I can say is add them to your list of bands to put on your 2011 radar.

Featured Track: Hanged.
Website: MySpace.

Luciano Sprovieri is a singer - songwriter living in Los Angeles. He was born and raised in SãoPaulo, Brazil where his family still live.

His personal bio tells us that (and we quote) "I was always involved with music and performing through high school and college (and even after college). But I’ve always fantasized about living abroad and pursuing music in a more grand way. In 2005 I came to California to visit my older brother and loved it so much I decided to stay and do what I’ve always wanted to do. Within the first couple of months I met my friend Allen Copeland who's been my main songwriting partner since".

Luciano contacted Beehive Candy directly and having listened to a couple of his songs, we are more than delighted to include him in this edition of 2010FM. For us the music sounds both personal and sensitive without being indulgent, well worth a listen at the very least.

Featured Track: Ocean Iris.
Website: Official.

Thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign to release a gatefold, 180g vinyl record for the new release coming out in February on Pro.Con records, one contributor donated for Goddamn Electric Bill to cover Feliz Navidad for the holidays.

We are told that - The sounds of Goddamn Electric Bill were never meant to leave Jason Torbert’s San Diego, CA bedroom. But the one-man band, a propulsive blend of ambient electronic, folktronica and post-rock music, made its way out to the world anyway.

Jason Torbert wasn’t always an electronic music aficionado. He spent his childhood playing trombone in high school band and college jazz ensembles. After a stint in pop-punk outfit, Cigar, he struck up a working relationship with Roger O’Donnell (The Cure) that resulted in the first bits of Goddamn Electric Bill. Torbert’s knack for creating expansive and cinematic compositions has landed him numerous TV and film placements.

Fourth album, "Jazz" coming out February on Pro.Con Records - CD/Vinyl. 

We have featured quite a lot of 'electro' music in recent months, this edition seems to be more guitar and singer songwriter based so the inclusion of this fine track is a pleasure, along with opening up the musical styles somewhat.

Featured Track: Feliz Navidad.
Website: Official and Kickstarter.

We featured Rich Bennett back in August 2010 on the strength of his superb album 'On Holiday'. So the following from Hidden Shoal a week a go was a nice surprise.

Today, Hidden Shoal Recordings found an old VHS cassette stuffed down the back of a sofa in their label office. Delighted to discover a playable copy of the movie Buddy Cop, the label is now proud to share its soundtrack, for free, with the world. The back of the tape reads:

Dan Lyman (Rich Bennett, star of Badge of Fury and Miami Lockdown) is a classy, refined cop from uptown. When the Deckard Crime Syndicate steals a mysterious mineral, Lyman teams up with streetwise colleague Timothy Sanna (Rich Bennett). Together, travel to the Andromeda Galaxy before syndicate boss Xavier Graffin (Greg Hoy) can turn the minerals into a gateway to a mainframe computer game, from where he can rule all communications of the universe. When Marilyn Miranda (Pam Yawbus) comes into the picture, the question of who is an enemy and who is a friend threatens to unravel the whole mission …

Discover how the whole slippery can of worms unravels by downloading the album and checking out the Buddy Cop trailer on YouTube. The download includes a code for 50% off Rich’s other releases, including the much-praised Music for Underwater Supermarkets and this year’s gorgeous album On Holiday.

Featured Track: Chase Scene.
Website: Hidden Shoals.

A new band for Beehive Candy and we are advised that - Two If By Sea is the brainchild of London, Ontario, Canada's Teresa Daniele (formerly of The Haircuts). Also featuring Lisle Mitnik (Fireflies, Very Truly Yours) and Kevin Clark (Homeville Circle, Wodden Owls), the three formed a long-distance songwriting collaboration. The result is nothing short of spectacular. "Staysail" features five pop masterpieces; lush soundscapes brimming with ethereal vocals, swirling strings and jangling guitars.

Two If By Sea has been compared to such bands as The Field Mice, The Softies and early Lush. Two If By Sea's debut 7" EP "Staysail" (FEB016P) will be available to order through February Records on January 10th, 2011.

The music is both charming and soothing without being to laid back, the vocals work so well with the music that at times they almost merge into the instruments.

Featured Track: Apron Of Flowers.
Website: MySpace.

Phoebe Legere, is a jazz composer, pianist, singer and multi-instrumentalist of French Canadian, Mayflower Pilgrim and Native American descent.

She has played with Warren Vache, John Zorn, Don Cherry, Cecil Payne, Charles ‘Bo Bo’ Shaw, Frank Vignola, Earl May, Dennis Charles, Greg Haynes, Billy Joel, Joni Mitchell, Rufus Thomas, John Hartford, Ikue Morie, Morgan Powell, Howie Smith, Jim Staley, Larry Rivers and David Bowie. Legere studied composition with Morton Subotnick, Dinu Gezzo, and Milton Babbitt protege Wayne Oquin; and jazz with John Lewis of MJQ, Ira Newborn, and Rich Shemaria.

Beehive Candy just love her and others have been impressed to!

PHOEBE LEGERE is the female Frank Zappa...
Roman Kozack, Billboard

Gorgeous, blonde bombshell with a dynamite body, a magnificent voice, a wild sense of humor...(She is) an extremely intelligent Vassar graduate who can play four or five instruments and challenge every premise you might have about her as she zips through her set - her song selections are impeccably chosen. (She has) a dazzling voice - a superb singer miles above most of the rock stars of today ...a comic mind...She turns excess and extravagance into an art form and anchors it with stunning simplicity.
New York Post

"PHOEBE LEGERE is the female Beethoven..."
Joey Arias, Paper Magazine

Legere is an expressive and versatile singer whose voice ranges from a dark and earthy alto to a gorgeous dazzling high soprano.... she combines intelligent lyrics and a fusion of French musette, Cajun, pop, rock and jazz into a stew she calls, "roots alternative."
John Pitcher, Washington Post

Enough said? Check her music out beyond the featured track, if you like anything with a jazz vibe you will be over the moon or in love, we are still trying to work out which one applies to us!

Featured Track: Hot Sicilian Pizza Boy.
Website: Official.

And finally - Portland, Oregon's Melodic Pop Sweethearts Derby unveil a long awaited new batch of songs, including limited edition 7" vinyl, revealing a new approach for the band plus a Spring Tour.

The band’s new material departs from the well-orchestrated pop of their sophomore release Posters Fade - which saw success on college radio and gained visibility with placements in Coca-Cola commercials, MTV’s The Hills and a variety of film and commercial exposure. This time, the band decided to keep things more raw and frayed around the edges, while still retaining their signature brand of catchy rock built on hooks and harmonies. Expect releases in similar size and nature from Derby -- and with greater frequency in the coming months .Breaking from tradition, the band is forgoing an LP and will be releasing a new group of songs on a limited edition 7″ paired with a digital EP.

Madeline was recorded and engineered by Jordan Leff at Secret Society Studios in Portland, Oregon. The record was mixed by Elton Jordan and Derby, and was mastered by Jeff Saltzman (Death Cab For Cutie, Menomena, Decemberists, Sleater-Kinney).

Record release shows are set for the Doug Fir Lounge in Portland on January 28th and in Seattle (Location TBA) in February, plus Spring Tour dates to be announced soon.

Great band to finish this roundup with, if you like the featured track you will definitely love the forthcoming EP - superb!

Featured Track: Don't Believe In You.
Website: Official.

Featured Tracks: