Cady Groves is OK!

The pun of the title is because my next recommendation, Cady (pronounced just like Katie) Groves, is from Oklahoma. She’s more than OK. Just wanted to get that out of the way.

So, I’m sucker for two things that have drawn me to Cady Groves: acoustic guitar and female vocals. Her music rings with those two, barely drifting from the path with occasional supporting strings and tinker toys. Her range and dictation of voice and the creative clear guitar riffs can pull a listener in and refuse to let go.

Lyrically, it’s very interpersonal and direct. They dive deep into her own soul and life giving a long look into a 20 year old’s life of complication and a “take on the world” attitude. It’s a wonderful thing to see a writer not hold anything back. Her words always seem to have a bouncy tempo that captivates and entertains.

She has released two EPs capturing about 12 original songs all available on iTunes for not a ridiculous price. I highly recommend “A Life of a Pirate” if you’re into acoustic folk pop. I was hesitant for a long time but once I purchased ALoaP I don’t regret it a bit.

What’s also awesome about her is that she keeps it real with her fans. She’s constantly on Twitter and replies to messages on myspace. Cady also does stickam, which is interactive webcam chat. She’s very involved in what she’s doing, she knows that it takes real work to reach what you want; that it wont be handed out on a silver platter.

The Morning of Awesome

I’m especially excited about this band. I guess that’s why I decided to do this on a Friday; I want your weekend to be even more awesome just like my past week has been since I have found this band. They were just a featured band on Purevolume, I clicked and fell in love with this inspiring indie pop rock.

If you’re looking for a fresh view of moving music, The Morning Of is the group for you. Their tracks are decked out with various tempo changes, piano lining duel vocals of Justin Wiley and Jessica Leplon and such chemistry between the various instruments gives much needed motivation to improve the world around you. The opening track of TMO’s “The World As We Know It” is quite similar to Mae’s on “The Everglow”, a floaty inspiring piano with underlining narrative. Even their sound can be compared to Mae’s, tempo driven, soft yet guitar thrashing and vocally carried they’re the best kept secret of New York.

The Morning Of has released two discs so far “Welcome Change, Goodbye Gravity” of 2007 and “The World As We Know It”, and a third on the way titled “The Way I Fell In” being released the 4th of next month. They have released a couple tracks on myspace.com/themorningof that have won me over times two. My favorite tracks come from TWAWKI LP. I’d definitely recommend “Reverie”, a floaty tune with a stunning chorus that demands that you sing along, and “Violins and Trees (Unforgettable)” which is a soft ballad guided by the incredible voice of Jessica Leplon and some serious guitar work. And they’re collection isn’t all covered by styrofoam, they do have some rough riffs and pounding drums but they smooth it over with delicate melodies that hit the mark.

What I like about them also is that they connect to their fans. A few nights ago I got a direct message from them thanking me for following them and inviting me to connect with them because “they love to talk.” This shows they know how valuable their fans are, it’s us that keeps them on the road and in the studio.

These 5 have really upped the ante on indie pop rock. So excited for the future of this music.

I will Sing It Loud

It took a lot of convincing myself and a leap of faith to download Sing It Loud’s debut LP “Come Around” because I’ve lost a lot of faith in the pop punk genre. I’ve noticed that the genre I’ve grown to love (through Blink-182, Motion City Soundtrack, Fall Out Boy, The Starting Line, etc.) has been suffering from modern day hair bands decked out with guy-liner. I researched and finally bought “Come Around”. I don’t regret it. The disc is grand. It’s not the stereotypical pop-punk sound we have been bombarded with by bands like All Time Low, Forever the Sickest Kids, Family Force 5 among others. These guys are much bouncier, actually give thought into their melodies and song structure. A selling point for me was that it was produced by Motion City Soundtrack’s guitarist Josh Cain, and Justin Pierre is (leading singer of the same band) is a featured vocalist on “We’re Not Afraid”. Of which is a stellar track, worth the download. I have to say that because of this band I am convinced that the synthesizer is the new lead guitar. They lace most songs with the intricate keyboard so nicely.

Apparently, I just found out, that they are releasing another disc soon. May 11th to be exact on Epitaph Records. I’m listening to their single “Sugar Sweet” right now. And my first impression would have to be that they are using a good clean guitar, with the background of a synth and a tight snare keeping walking tempo beat. Sounds great. Almost has a western color to it.  It speeds up right before the chorus keeping things interesting.

I’m telling you, give these boys from Minneapolis  a shot. I almost gave up on the pop-punk scene because everything and everyone was getting flushed out in the mix. These guys have stood out to me and have given me a new tempo for my heartbeat.

The Narrative

Funny story how I came to know these guys, the Narrative. So, I about a week or so ago I was headed for a road trip to UT and I wanted some new fresh music to listen to on the long drive. I went to Twitterworld for some help. And lo and behold I got a response. Suzie, vocalist and keyboardist, had this to say to me “new music suggestion: the narrative 🙂 indie pop with guy/girl vocals. hope you like!” I was amazed I got a response from a complete stranger but very impressed by the self promotion. That, my friends is legit.

So, I had a listen. Listened to the purevolume. Hopped on iTunes that night and bought their EP “Just Say Yes”. I was pleasantly dazzled (thank you thesaurus rex) of the simplicity, softness and relaxation tunes from this quartet. Hailing from Long Island, NY they’re sound is comparable to legendary indiest Death Cab for Cutie with a female touch and twist. It’s easy listening. Something you would put on while reading a pleasant book or on the way back from a loud obnoxious rock concert. Their notes soothe like cold water on a hot day.

Songs I’d recommend? “Libra” for sure. This has a a great back and forth compliment from guy to girl in a rush of rolling drums. Definitely a stand out track for me. “Eyes Closed” is a very calming track with tiny piano and consistent acoustic finger plucking. Musically, it’s delicious. All the others are very straight forward and soft, not much to talk about except for just easy listening. One nag I’d like to make is to give Suzie more up front vocals or more transition between the two vocalists.

Thank you Suzie for your shameless self-promotion!

Fun. is fun.

So, for this first installment of my reviews, I chose to do write about my favorite on my list because they put their stamp on my mind and I can write about them pretty easily. I also have homework to do, so I hope this will be a fast entry.

Fun.! (They spell it like that: “Fun.”) This band is such a fresh breath of air for my ears and for the industry. They are the byproduct of the late The Format and they have carried many elements of that with them. Nate Reuss (former lead of the Format) heads this collaboration with Andrew Dost of Anthallo and Jack Antonoff of Steel Train, thank you Wikipedia. Fun. uses many many techniques in song writing such as bridges, beat changes, horns, strings, piano, anything they want. Can’t hold them in a box.

For me, I’d say download their whole album of course, because they are just that good. But if you need just a little more convincing then youtube “All the Pretty Girls” music video. That song is catchy, dancable and a sample of how awesome they are. Their opening track, “Be Calm”, is such an eerie tune that might give you the creeps, but it’s so smooth in vocals and changes  in color it’s hard not to like it and to die in anticipation not knowing where it’s going to go next. “The Gambler” is also such a stand out track for me. It’s a straight piano and string piece detailing a tale that takes you back of love and life. (I believe it’s about his parents but don’t quote me on that.)

Basically, go buy, don’t pirate, buy, “Aim and Ignite”. It’s so full of intrigue and various textures that it will keep you entertained from beginning to end.

PS- I’m going to be seeing them with Paramore and Relient K in May. Way excited.