If you know anything about my musical taste, you know there is a special place in my heart for English and Irish bands. That’s why when Pandora recommended Little Green Cars six months ago, I was immediately intrigued. Their lead single John Wayne is insane. It has some of the most gorgeous harmonies I’ve heard in ages on the chorus, and the lyrics are thought-provokingly existential without being pretentious. (A tough line to tow.) If you’re looking for a band that gives your brain a bit of a workout, this is the ticket.
After hearing that single, I really didn’t hear much more from Little Green Cars for months, until two weeks before Coachella. They were playing a stage there, and I wanted to hear more before heading out west. It turns out, I had missed the release of their debut album, Absolute Zero. Total fail on my part. My Love Took Me Down to the River to Silence Me is the new single, and Faye O’Rourke’s vocals are hauntingly beautiful despite the somewhat creepy subject matter. Again, it’s a thinker. The entire album is a lesson in patience, keeping listeners on the edge before building to giant crescendos that make the wait completely worth it.
If you don’t love the first two singles, Big Red Dragon is another favorite of mine. Or, if you’re in the Chicago area, they’re playing Lollapalooza in August. I’ll definitely be there.
I’ll be honest. If you had told me that Pharrell Williams would have been vital in bringing back the careers of both Daft Punk and Robin Thicke this summer, I would have punched you in the face. But, alas, I was wrong again, and so happy for it. I have loved Robin Thicke for his entire career. When I Get You Alone, his first single, has my hands-down favorite line in any song. Ever. “Baby girl you the shit. That makes you my equivalent.” That cocky little mofo serenades you with such sweet falsetto that you don’t initially realize that half of what he’s saying is ridiculously inappropriate. By the time you do, you’re so won over by his smooth R&B vocals and sexy sounds, that you don’t really care.
I don’t have a ton to decipher yet from his new work, as, I’ll admit, I haven’t sat down and listened to his entire new album yet. The point is that I’m so excited about this return to the musical stage, that I had to mention it. Blurred Lines is quickly becoming the song of the summer, and anyone who denies it is simply wrong. Plus, let’s be honest, this is a much better alternative to Call Me Maybe of last year…
Explore any of Thicke’s new or previous work. Seriously, any of it. You won’t be disappointed.
This one goes out entirely to my brother-in-law, who was quite proud of himself when he discovered a band before me. I was intrigued, and I am quite happy to have taken the suggestion for this California indie-pop, beach breezy, falsetto enthusiast group.
Electric Guest is sort of indescribable. iTunes classifies them as alternative, which is essentially a garbage term for “we don’t know where you go”. They’ve got a bit of a 70’s groove vibe with a dash of techno/synth, and, my personal favorite part, at least 8 back-up singers on every chorus. (Ok, this is probably an exaggeration, but there are a lot of background vocals, and I love it.) This LA-based band has only been around a year or two, but I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.
The lead single from Electric Guest’s Mondo is This Head I Hold, and you’ve probably heard it on the radio without realizing it. I am partial to it, as it’s the song I got hooked by, but my favorite is Waves. Waves is an upbeat, jazzy tune about a girl that treats a guy wrong, but he just can’t walk away. I mean, who can’t relate to that? Also, who can resist a handclap section?