The last New Music Revue I did was on 7/1. I typically only do one of these every six weeks or so. However, a batch of good stuff came my way and so I thought, why not? I go all over the map here but in, one trusts, a good way.
First up, Seattle-based swagger rock, soul music group The West Coast Feed. The first single by this eight-piece collective is called “You Belong to Me” and has an interesting backstory. The group is big on philanthropy and they have partnered with a couple of non-profits for charity shows.
One of them, All God’s Children International, provided a path for frontman Jesse Butterworth and his wife to adopt their Ethiopian-born daughter Harper. Their adoption journey is captured in the band’s debut single “You Belong to Me.”
“Giving back is the ethos of the band and is at the heart of what we do,” says Butterworth. “It’s not about ‘Let’s get famous or get signed to a label.’ It’s us doing what we love, and making a difference in the process.”
A smokin’ hot tune that’s for a good cause! How rare is that? Enjoy. (Don’t let the opening cocktail lounge music through you off.)
I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that more than a few of you are aware of Bon Iver. The band – which labels itself indie folk, chamber pop and “folktronica” – was started by singer-songwriter Justin Vernon in 2006. It amuses me to no end to realize that he took the name from a French expression (“bon hiver”) that he heard on an episode of the great TV program, Northern Exposure.
Vernon, a musically adventurous guy, teamed up with contemporary dance group TU Dance (pictured on top of post). “Founded in 2004 by Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands, TU Dance has garnered audience and critical acclaim for its diverse repertory, versatile artists, and for performances that are engaging, dynamic, and generous. Modern dance, classical ballet, African-based, and urban vernacular movements are combined in inventive and unpredictable ways to provide opportunities to experience the connective power of dance.”
This fascinating blend of talents was put together in a show called Come Through. The Music Enthusiast, while never being accused of anything remotely resembling sensitivity, found this piece beautiful and moving.
From their press kit: NYC duo Jase & Stace provide a perfect balance, bringing together a sound that induces nostalgic throwback to 70’s style soul-pop, with a modern twist in their debut single “If I Could”. Fusing a variety of influences, their sound is both familiar yet fresh and will take you on a captivating ride of harmonic grooves.
“If I Could” provides a slowly seductive and enthralling draw, but its lyrics form a slightly darker perspective. “‘It’s about being in a relationship that is caught in a toxic loop,” reflected Jase (Jason Ewald). “You try to leave but continuously become hypnotized by this person’s charm which only seems to appear when you try to do just that.”
Yeah, been there, done that. I will tell you that if I find a slice of good soul and the planets align, I will try to find a spot on this blog for it. And this is some good stuff:
By now you’re doubtless saying to yourself, Mr. Music Enthusiast, how about if we rock out? Ask and ye shall receive. Jeen O’Brien – performing as Jeen – has written for a bunch of recording artists such as fellow Canadians Great Big Sea and Serena Ryder.
She informs us that “”Any Moment” is the only song off my forthcoming (Sept. 14) record, Gift Shop, that I didn’t self-produce in my attic. The other eight songs from Gift Shop are pretty DIY. I played most of the guitars and as mentioned, produced it myself in my attic. My husband played drums, and my brother, who was living with us at the time, was conveniently recruited as our bass player. One of our oldest friends, Griffin, laid down some additional guitars throughout the album.”
“Any Moment” is a hot, rockin’ number with driving guitar and for ME’s money, you cannot have enough of those:
From their website (go over and check out their crazy colorful look): Turkuaz is a rock band at its core that blends soulful sounds with potent funk grooves. Since hitting the road in 2012, Turkuaz have released a handful of albums, canvassed the US more times over, and continue to gather devoted listeners along the way. A quickly addictive pulse coupled with a reputation for their trademark “Powerfunk” sound has earned steadily growing attention across the nation.
Just over the past two years, the band (founded in Brooklyn, NY) has made impactful appearances at Bonnaroo, Red Rocks, Lock’n, Mountain Jam, and have been filling rooms coast to coast from Terminal 5 in New York to The Fillmore in San Francisco.
Here’s “Club Foot – Live.” Funky!
I’ve got one more tune for you and it is, according to the band, “an up-tempo but still heavy-lidded fuzz pop number, the song is about confronting feelings of boredom with a cry for adventure.” The latest in a seemingly endless stream of Canadian indie bands, Basement Revolver “blend 90s-infused indie rock with fuzzy dreamy pop and poignant, yearning lyrics.”
Singer Chrisy Hurn explains; “When I’m feeling down, I like to borrow a car and drive until I am lost – it makes me feel better and distracts me a little. So, yeah, break out of your shell and dance… or get some fresh air.”
Or when all else fails, rock the fuck out. This song is called “Dancing” and it’s got a pretty heavy sound reminiscent – at least to me – of the Cranberries. I wanna hear more by this band:
Come Through was commissioned by the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra’s Liquid Music Series. Twin Cities PBS Production Credits: Brittany Shrimpton