Hear It Now: Family Friends Showcase Their Retro Sound in “Sometimes”

Photo courtesy of the band's SoundCloud page.
Photo courtesy of the band’s SoundCloud page.

Between AC/DC, INXS, and Wolfmother, Australia it turns out great rock bands. Following in their footsteps come the Fitzsimons siblings, Tom and Rebecca. The two musicians wrote music together and moved to London. They added three friends to the group and became Family Friends. If these details seem sparse and vague, it’s because not much is known about the band. But that will soon change because of songs like “Sometimes.”

“Sometimes” digs into the common thoughts ruminating in someone’s mind after a rough break-up. The first two lines contemplate living alone forever: “Sometimes I think I wanna be alone forever / Sometimes I think I’d like to be alone for life.” The track quickly realizes that is a poor idea, saying that life is “such a long time.” Rebecca Fitzsimons then sings about wanting to be a “good wife” and “someone’s baby.” Following that, the listener gets the source of all this wondering with the lyrics, “Sometimes I think you’re gonna find me where you left me / He pretends he’s been here all the while,” demonstrating a split. The break-up was not clean either, as she makes it out to be abandonment.

In the second verse, it is more of the same. She sings, “Sometimes I’m singing songs I wrote about before,” meaning that she is thinking about him and the good times. Later, on the other hand, she sings about being left with “The way you leave it’s just too much for me, my friend.” Still, she is hopeful that he will come back with the ending lyrics “Sometimes I think you’re gonna turn up at my front door.” She ends the song with “Don’t try and tell me you’ve been here all the while,” signifying that she imagines him returning.

More so than anything else, the lead guitar exemplifies the tone of the song. At the end of every verse comes a loud, almost interrupting guitar noise. The part is played with a great retro aesthetic harkening back to the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. The free style of the guitar breaks almost resembles a solo from Jimi Hendrix. The loose, unclean noise of these parts further emphasizes the theme of a messy break-up in the song.

The slurred sound of the song really brings out the feeling of a messy break-up. Fitzsimons’s voice moves up and down when she sings in a very uncontrolled fashion, as opposed to a tight, contained manner. The structure of the song is different as well. We are left without a chorus, which has become a staple in most songs. The subdued background from the guitar, bass, and drums carry the song along, but they add a bluesy element to the song. Altogether, we get a messy, sad song that does not develop as we expect it to.

Hear It Now: Fall in Love with Lola Marsh’s New Track “You’re Mine”

lola marsh

The Israeli alternative folk band Lola Marsh proves that excellent music isn’t confined to a certain genre or place. Commonly, the groups that get a heavy amount of playtime in the United States are from this country or from England. Not so with Lola Marsh, who hails from Tel Aviv. Lola Marsh is better than most bands from this country.

Scratch that.

Lola Marsh is better than most bands period.

The band originated as a project between vocalists Gil Landau and Yael Shoshana Cohen, who met each other while studying music. Landau and Shoshana Cohen can do more than croon. While Landau doubles as the guitarist, Shoshana Cohen is also a percussionist. Along the way, bassist Mati Gilad, drummer Dekel Dvir, and guitarist/pianist Rami Osservaser joined the duo to form a full band.

 

Lola Marsh’s debut song “Sirens” showcases their distinct sound. Their sound is a commanding combination of Western and Eastern music. Eastern music combines a lot of different inspirations from countries such as China and India. The song builds with the use of Shoshana Cohen’s beautiful voice. The vocals mix with a galloping rhythm that could come straight from the score to an old Spaghetti Western film, and the combination is impressive

 

For their more recent release, “You’re Mine,” Lola Marsh continues this blend of influences, as well as exploring a universal topic: love. The song opens with a nice building clap, which happens in some more typical pop songs. Then, atypically, a subdued bouncing bass riff comes in. Rarely does an instrument so deep take the lead of a song, but Lola Marsh throws it in and it works perfectly. Landau’s guitar takes a backseat, but keeps a good beat going along with Dvir’s drums. The track is in full swing by the time Osservaser’s synth kicks in. The synth doesn’t just take the melody. It takes full control of the song, much to the delight of synth lovers everywhere. For those who aren’t a fan of the synth, however, it may get too distracting toward the end. Had Osservaser’s part not sounded so great, it would definitely ruin the “You’re Mine,” but he takes full advantage of the stage he is given.

Rather than the lyrics focusing on “lovey-dovey” themes, the lyrics develop in a more mature way. Instead of listing physical or personality traits about the loved one, Shoshana Cohen sings about security. At the start of the song, she sings “The world around me is too large” and “As I fall into a hole, without an end,” both indicating that she is lost and worried. The lines that follow are “Suddenly I look at you / And all the mirrors / Vanish from my mind,” showing that she feels secured and safe just by looking at the other person. The loved one’s existence alone quells her fears. It’s a powerful message behind an absorbing track.

So far, Lola Marsh has only released two songs. With jus these two, however, they have nearly reached two million plays on Spotify. Currently, the band works on putting out their debut album, which will probably be just as great as their first two songs. Hopefully, their album will get the attention it deserves.

Interested in more from Lola Marsh? Check out “You’re Mine” and more with the below links!

Facebook | SoundCloud | Twitter

Hear It Now: Get Cozy with Melissa Steel’s “You Love Me”?

 

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Born and raised in Bradford, England, Melissa Steel’s eclectic style is definitely what landed her a place at Atlantic Records. At only 20 years old, Steel has been featured on “Way We Are” and also has her own single, “Drunk and Incapable”.

“You Love Me?” is a very playful and lovable song. Steel’s voice is quite beautiful and she definitely knows how to hit each note with passion. This song is a simplistic way of broadcasting one’s love for their significant other. Melissa’s voice is along the lines of Ariana Grande and Jesse J.

When first tuning into “You Love Me?” the first element that popped out at me was the baby voices that were speaking in the beginning. It gives the song a flirtatious and fun  vibe and makes you want to keep listening. Wretch 32’s verse pulls the song together very well, especially when he says, “she be crying me a river so I can swim it in,” Which leads to Melissa’s angelic voice finishing up the song with, “I love you, do you love me, too?”

Continue to be on the lookout for this beauty with an amazing voice as she finishes up her first studio album!

For more information:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/melissasteelofficial

Instagram: instagram.com/melissasteel

Twitter: twitter.com/MelissaSteel

HEAR IT NOW: Celebrate Your Life with the New Track by Phases

Photo courtesy of the band's website.
Photo courtesy of the band’s website.

Phases has released what may be one of the most enjoyable songs of all time with “I’m in Love with My Life.” The song includes a range of different influences, but the song is still very much their own. Right from the beginning, the band gives the listener a funky bassline and rhythm that almost sounds like a sped up version of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition.” Behind that, a snare hits the downbeats like something from a Joy Division song. Phases throws in beats here and there to liven up the song before the sound goes full on disco.

Phases doesn’t stop there. Other elements found in the track include dance rhythms one would hear in house music as well as noises reminiscent of Talking Heads. The chorus throws in the vocal qualities of The Cardigans’s “Lovefool” with the disco and funk sound already established. The entire song has a Blondie feel to it, but also a Vengaboys feeling. “I’m in Love with My Life” takes so much from every decade, but in true artistic fashion builds on the sounds of the past to create a present track unlike anything else. By all means, this amalgamation should result in a crazy mess, but that’s no so for this track. The combination of sounds and influences works well together. At no point does the song ever feel like it has too much going on, nor does it feel like it has too little. The track has no missteps or awkward moments.

While the rhythm has quite a bit going on, the same cannot be said about the lyrics, but that perhaps is the point. The message is simple: life is fun and we should enjoy it. The way singers Alex Greenwald and Z Berg bring the lyrics out fits perfectly with the song. Although the lyrics are repetitious, they manage not to annoy. Instead, the vocalists enhance the music behind them, much like Daft Punk’s “One More Time.” The band proves that lyrics do not need to be deep to make a listening experience great.

The emergence of this jubilant, carefree track may surprise some given the group’s recent artistic endeavors. The last thing these musicians recorded together was JJAMZ’s album Suicide Pact, quite a bit away from the life-affirming “I’m in Love with My Life.” JJAMZ was a side project for all the members (and Maroon 5’s James Valentine) to step away from their main projects. Once Valentine stepped out, the group almost split. Hard work and luck kept the band together. The group often refers to their string of good fortune as “serendipitous.” Berg says, “For us to work involves another six hours of us not working,” which involves Tron, Total Recall, and Mario Kart. Greenwald notes that they spend a lot of that time admiring sounds from the movies and games.

Based on their new working habits, the change from Suicide Pact to “I’m in Love with My Life” is not surprising. Rather than working tirelessly writing music, the members are having fun while working on new music, bringing a whole new life to their sound. Their work habit of listening for sounds in different mediums shows in their new track. The band is having fun, and because of that, listeners have fun, too.

Interested in more from Phases? Follow them with the below links!

Facebook

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Interview: DOROTHY Is Bringing True Rock’n’Roll Back To The Masses

You could throw a rock in Los Angeles and are practically guaranteed to hit someone trying to make it in the business. When someone comes out of L.A., you know that there’s something about them that makes them special. Dorothy is special. Nowadays, everyone calls themselves a “rock” band, but Dorothy really fits the bill. Reminiscent of Joan Jett and AC/DC, they’ve been named #14 on Rolling Stone’s “50 Best New Artists of 2014” and they’ve got the charisma to match. Dorothy is made up of Dorothy Martin (vocals), Zac Morris (drums), Gregg Cash (bass) and Mark Jackson (guitars). I got to catch up with the band after their superb set at The Ride Festival, and boy, are they fun.

Photo Credit: DOROTHY

If I were to read your resumes, what’s going to be under special skills?

Zac: I used to be a mascot, so I’m an incredible dancer. Like an unbelievable dancer.

Dorothy: He should be a male stripper.

Zac: If I wasn’t a drummer, I’d be a dancer.

Dorothy: If this doesn’t work out, he’s going to be Chippendales.

So you’re going to be in Magic Mike XXXL?

Zac: Yeah, mmhmm, that’s reality.

Dorothy: Yep.

Gregg: Magic Mike, Puff Puff Pass.

Any other particular skills you’d like to discuss?

Zac: No, I pretty much suck at everything else.

Dorothy: I know Gregg has some. C’mon Gregg.

Gregg: I was president of the chess club in elementary and middle school

Zac: Were you?

Dorothy: So your skill is…being president or chess?

Gregg: Chess.

Zac: And he’s really good at Boggle.

Gregg: And I’m really good at Boggle and Scrabble. Bring it.

Zac: I’ve learned this.

Is that how you guys write songs? Play Boggle, and whatever comes up?

Zac: Laughs Just come up with the words and throw them together.

Gregg: While they write the songs, I play Scrabble. I’m not really a great wordsmith. It’s all numbers.

Dorothy: I play a mean triangle.

Zac: She does. I’ve seen it.

Dorothy: I play the f*ck out of the triangle.

Whose song are you going to guest star on?

Dorothy: I’m going to play the triangle on a song with…I was thinking like Ariana Grande, One Direction, Miley Cyrus.

Zac: One Direction is good.

Dorothy: I think they need more triangle in their music.

Absolutely. Everyone needs more triangle.

Gregg: Yep, it’s true.

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So you guys have been named as one of the “Artists You Need To Know” on Rolling Stone. What did your parents say when you told them?

Dorothy: She didn’t say anything. I think she just dissolved into a puddle of tears. All laugh. And I was like, “Why are you crying?”

Zac: That is your mom.

Gregg: Yeah.

Zac: She’d totally do that.

Dorothy: But she was laughing at the same time, and she had this psycho look in her eyes. Like, is that good?

Gregg: Mom, are you happy? Are you mad at me? Are you mad, Mom?

Dorothy: No, she was super happy.

Zac: My parents freaked out. My mom’s like the sweetest lady in the world, so she goes into the household mom. In a high-pitched voice: “Sweetheart, that is so good. I’m so proud of you.” But everything we do, she’s proud of. I could’ve been a trash man.

Dorothy: Cash’s [Gregg] mom, too. F*cking rock and roll. She’s my second mom.

Gregg: Yeah, Momma Cash. She just comes in like a train. Like, oh look.

Dorothy: She has tattoos. She’s badass.

Gregg: My mom and my dad, they’re just super…they’re all over Facebook.

Dorothy: What’d she do when you told her?

Gregg: It was just, like, getting blasted all over the Newsfeed. It was like, in a high-pitched voice, “Oh my son is in Rolling Stone.” She was so stoked, and my dad’s like in a low voice “Oh, my son’s in Rolling Stone.”

Dorothy: I think they can transcribe any of that.

Zac: The motion, they can.

It’ll just be…

Zac: Gibber, gibber, gibber.

Yeah. (To Mark) What did your parents say?

Mark: Oh, my mom was stoked. She has a book club. All laugh. Everyone at Book Club has Dorothy CDs, and they know everything. They have like a Dorothy segment where they talk about Dorothy. She’s proud.

You guys have super awesome music videos. How important is the visual component of the music to you?

Dorothy: Super important because it shows another aspect of our imaginations. Plus, people want to see who they’re listening to, and people who can’t make it out to the shows…it’s a kind of like a little fantasy for them as well. So, the visuals are super important. I’m a big fan of film and music videos. I actually…”After Midnight”, we shot an actual live rehearsal at Swing House Studios with the lights off and a spotlight camera. It just came out looking really cool and gritty. That was all George Robinson, our manager. It’s all him. George.

Zac: Visual mastermind.

Dorothy: He’s secretly Spike Jones.

Mark: AKA “The King of Cool.”

Dorothy: At night, he just turns into Spike Jones. Zach laughs.

Do you agree that a lot of the videos are the artist’s interpretation of the song?

Dorothy: No. I think a lot of artists have a big creative team…and that’s fine, you know? There are a lot of people that are too busy to be involved in a video. Personally, for me, and I think the band agrees and George agrees, that we like to be really hands-on and kind of DIY, which is very punk rock by the way.

Fitting, very fitting.

Dorothy: But, I’m sure as things progress and change, we’ll have different teams of people come in. It’s always great to collaborate because they think of things you might not ever think of. But, I will always have a finger in the pie, and I will always give my two-sense. I write treatments for the videos and send them to the guys all the time. Our “Wicked Ones” video…That should come down. Zach chuckles. We need to take that down because we actually want to reshoot it with something that’s really a lot more cinematic.

Zac: That was fun though.

All: It was fun.

Zac: Up at the Madonna Inn.

Dorothy: That was in Santa Barbara, which is f*cking haunted, by the way.

Zac: Yeah, it was pretty haunted.

Mark: I don’t know how to explain that hotel. Every room has a different theme…

Dorothy: It looks like a 70s porno den.

Mark: It looks like it was shot in a porno cave den.

Dorothy: Mixed with a maple log cabin.

Mark: And then the leprechaun is sitting in the corner.

All laugh.

Dorothy: I think he was alive; he was real.

Zac: And then we got kicked out.

Dorothy: We got kicked out for being too loud.

That’s very punk rock.

Gregg: But we didn’t get kicked out until the end. We did all the shooting all night, and then right at the end after we wrapped and were eating pizza, we got kicked out.

Dorothy: We tried to bribe them with the pizza, but they wouldn’t listen.

Zac: They weren’t having it.

Gregg: We’re shooting guerilla-style, like…George’s got the camera, somebody else has a camera, and we’re just shooting…and there’s like playback. And [Zach’s] trying not to hit his drums, but he’s kind of hitting his drums. It’s nighttime. And even through all that, no complaints. And we’re eating pizza, laughing, cackling, that was when we got kicked out.

Zac: That was when we got it.

Gregg: Which just goes to show you how loud we are.

Dorothy: I have to sleep with earplugs. If I could fit two pairs of earplugs, I would.

Gregg: We’re loud; we have a good time.

Zac: We have a great time.

Gregg: We have a great time, actually. He’s right.

So what’s your favorite thing about the Los Angeles music scene?

Dorothy: I’ll go out to a piano bar, and there will be a country band with an upright bass and an electric guitar…

Zac: The diversity.

Dorothy: It’s amazing what you can find if you look for it. It doesn’t all have to be mainstream or one way. I know there was a huge wave of indie music that had a lot of bands sounding the same. You kind of have to dig, but you can find some cool shit out in LA.

Zac: And there’s something every single night. Tuesday night, you’ll find a show. Wednesday night, you’ll find a show…

Dorothy: Contrary to popular belief,  the cool night to go out in L.A. is like a Tuesday night not a Friday night.

All: Yeah.

What has been your favorite thing about Ride?

Dorothy: The people are so nice, and the views…oh my god. I feel like I’m tripping on shrooms.

Zac: It’s one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Mark: I even forgot I was playing for a second. I was looking out…

Dorothy: I did, too. I was staring…there was a moment during my favorite song, “Medicine Man,” and I’ll tell you the story. When I stepped out it was cloudy and it was in the peak of the song where it gets more intense, and I shit you not, the clouds parted and the sunshine broke through. I had like the Truman Show…I had a movie moment playing in my head, and I look over and I wasn’t even singing at that moment. It was amazing. I wanted a whole choir of angels. That would’ve been nice.

Zac: Except if we all had oxygen tanks. That would’ve been better cause we were all dying.

Gregg: Yeah, like help in between songs.

Zac: 8,750 feet in the air. That’s a lot higher than sea level.

Dorothy: I almost passed out.

Gregg: Isn’t it 60?

Zac: Oh, really?

Dorothy: I’m surprised Zach didn’t pass out. I almost passed out three times.

Gregg: Oh, it is 50. I was wrong. The drummer is always right. Never listen to a bass player.

Dorothy: Says the bass player.

Zac: My internal barometer is always on point.

And the obligatory last question, what can we expect from you in the next year?

Dorothy: Mark.

Mark: Our next thing is, we’re going out on tour with an artist named Miguel.

Dorothy: He’s Grammy nominated!

Mark: Grammy nominated Miguel. He came to one of our shows at Satellite in L.A. and he fell in love with us. He hand-picked us to be his supporting act. So, we’re doing his North American tour. It’s, I think, 30 shows in 45 days starts July 23 or 24. 24th in Austin.

Dorothy: Austin, Texas!

Mark: Houston, Dallas, Atlanta…

Gregg: Everywhere.

Mark: Just doing a big circle up the country, basically.

Dorothy: It’s an international tour. Three Canada dates. We always thank Skullcandy and Bitsweet for being so supportive. They actually jumped in and supported us on this tour so we could go out and make it. We got a bus.

Zac: A pirate ship.

Dorothy: Yes, a pirate ship. Full of booty.

Zac: Fulllll of booty.

One more question. What has been the most memorable moment?

Dorothy: Probably this one just cause the view is so awesome.

Zac: Yeah, it was pretty incredible.

Dorothy: It was really a fun show. I could really tell everyone was having a good time. We have also gone to Europe and stuff, but none of the shows felt like this. It was so gorgeous.

Zac: Be-a-u-tiful. Literally one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Dorothy: I think I died and went to heaven.

Zac: Yeah.

You’re not actually here. This is a dream. This a green screen.

Dorothy: I’m in an alternate universe.

 

Make sure to catch their on their upcoming tour with Miguel!

You can check out all their music here:

iTunes | Spotify | YouTube | SoundCloud

Keep tabs on all the band’s adventures through their social media:

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

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