Yeah yeah Roctober is over, and we’re moving back to free reign on random subject matter, and I’m totally cool with that. But first I thought I’d offer a mix of the latest greatest submissions to our BOTG mailbox.
This may be no big deal to those of you who don’t like music, or who only buy shit when a song makes it to your radio station. But to an addict like me, who is always open and searching for bands I can love, the idea that all these people send us their music at absolutely no cost and with only the slight hope we might promote them on our site, it’s like Halloween every time I listen. Sure, some of the candy kinda sucks, but it was still given freely, and I can throw away or give away the confections I don’t like.
The list of impressive up-and-comers (and in some cases people who have alreaday made it) is fun, and all they’re asking is for you to take a listen and consider buying their album.
Fall BOTG Mailbox Mix
- Crows & Locusts - Brooke Fraser
Her promotional material compares her to Feist, and who am I to say, but I find a lot more similarity with A Fine Frenzy. The regular references to nature, this strange undercurrent of longing over simple piano arrangements. I’m not surprised this album made its way onto the iTunes charts. Ms. Fraser can craft some tasty vittles... I mean, if you like those Feisty, Frenzy kinds of sounds.
- Tracey - The Lines
They sent a single, so I can’t judge more than what you can listen to yourselves. Catchy and repetitive.
- Fool’s Union - City And The Sea
The promos claim it’s a mix of “Detroit soul and... Brit rock.” I get the Brit rock part, but the Detroit soul is a little less obvious to my tinny ears. That said, they have a catchy sound and some decent chops. Their EP’s eponymous song, “Leave a Light On” is tasty candy.
- Velcro Shoes - Pete Yorn
OK this one stunned me. This is Pete Yorn’s sixth album (if you include his joint effort with Scarlett Johanssen) and the fourth I now own. His newest was produced by none other than former Pixies frontrunner Frank Black -- not a combination that screamed of obviousness to me -- and the sound is a nice change-up for Yorn. It’s dirtier. You can hear his voice breaking or slightly off on a note. Removing the polish gives Yorn a little more grit, and it works for him. At moments, one song can bleed into another in a not-so-good way, as in sometimes individual songs don’t have quite enough individuality. But it’s a damn fine album regardless. (Besides, he says "Billy" a lot. Which is cool.)iTunes page
- The Father - HoneyChild
Can’t say exactly what it is, but I dig this song. Good slow build. Something about the guitar work and the chorus that reminds me of Toad the Wet Sprocket. I would have loved an entire album from these folks. And guess what? Go to their web site, and you can actually get the whole thing for free...
- Cliche - Paper Aeroplanes
Yup, this song geeks me out quite a bit. As in, it’s right down my alleyway. The world could use a few more Welsh pop chanteuses if you ask me. If they were available on eMusic, I would already own the whole album. As it is, I’m chewing on getting to them through iTunes.MySpace page
- Dawning - Bow Thayer and Perfect Trainwreck
This might well piss Bow off, but the first two seconds of this song had me thinking immediately of Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians. Personally, I don’t think of that or intend that as an insult, but insults are often in the eye of the receiver. This was another 1-song gift, so I don’t know how this compares to the rest of their work. But if they string together an album of this level, it would be a decent purchase.Official Website
- Quick Escapes - Versant
Not crazy about it, but it’s offbeat electro-pop with a female lead singer who has some talent. The kind of songs that, if they came on my shuffle, I wouldn’t scurry up from what I was doing to skip to the next song, but I wouldn’t go searching it out too voraciously, either.
- Heaven - The Brute Chorus
Overall their album failed to stick with me, but a couple of the songs had some life in them, and “Heaven” was one of ‘em.
- What We Kick, Push - The White Panda
We don’t get many rap or hip hop submissions, and the ones we get frequently sound like they were mixed in some pasty white dude’s basement outside of Winnipeg. This one won’t be topping the charts anytime soon, but at least it’s fun and seems to understand its own limits.
- I Believe In You - Black Dub
Name dropping can get me. This band is the brainchild of one Daniel Lanois, a big name in specific music circles (U2, Peter Gabriel, Bob Dylan), so I was instantly intrigued. If I were more into the bluesy jazzy thing, maybe?
- Morning - Daddy Lion
These guys seem to be getting some positive vibes from NPR among others, and I can see why. They don’t get me all goosebumpy or anything, and it’s a bit of a stretch to see why they’d compare themselves to Husker Du or Dinosaur Jr., but totally worth inclusion in the mix.
- Does It Still Hurt - John Hill
The stripped-down singer-songwriter must be pitied. He must be dedicated. She must like being ignored or unappreciated. It’s a miserable thing to make decent music that, in all likelihood, only your own pets will ever hear more than once or twice. Take a listen to Mr. Hill. It ain’t bad.