Be The Bear – “Bad Things”

Every so often I stumble across a song that hits just the right spot, causing me to fall madly in love with the artist. This is one of those songs. Be The Bear is an indie pop duo for Sweden consisting of singer Christina Wehage and producer Mattias Bolin. Their sound is pretty hard to pin down, but here they get that Lykke Li vibe and completely run with it. ‘Bad Things’ builds slowly, but gets more and more enticing as it goes on. It might just be a contender for Song of the Summer 2012. Enjoy!

Bad Things by Be The Bear

Bear Cavalry – Maple Trail EP

Maple Trails cover art

If you had the Wombats collaborate with Little Comets, you’d get something pretty damn close to Bear Cavalry. The band hails from Gosport on the Southern English coast, and this excellent EP came out this last November. Like everything else in my life, I’m way behind in posting about it, but this will hopefully gives the group a little push well after the fact. Plus, this it the time of year to listen to it anyway…

My favorite track would probably be “Roman Summer,” as it has just the perfect vibe for the middle of a hot summer (unless you count the fact that it makes you want to dance, which could be dangerous in the heat). Also, the use of ska-tinged trumpets and peppy chanting over the other songs really helps the groups stand out from their indie pop contemporaries.

Honestly, the EP gets better and better every time you put it on. After repeated listens, I’m going to go as far to say that Bear Cavalry may well be onto something unique and addictive here. Enjoy!

 

Quickies: Sleeper – “Ice House”

 

Sleeper is the musical project of Paul Olsen, a Laguna Beach native who let’s a slightly darker side of California shine on his six-song debut EP. The song below might be the most accessible track, and it reminds me of Animal Collective meets Shins meets Band of Horses. Did I just drop enough names to make it worth your time? I think so. Enjoy!

The Ten Thousand – Juneteenth

Wait, is this actually genuine rock ‘n’ roll? In 2012? That can’t be right. This is unheard of. I must inform the internet…

The Ten Thousand are from Los Angeles and, based on this one song, I think we may have an unpolished, back-to-basics rock band on our hands. Yes, I know I’m being dramatic, but this song is pretty great and it’s worth repeated listens. It’s the first single from the group, and leads up t their debut EP Nobody Gets Hurt, which I’m sure will be out soon enough. Enjoy!

Juneteenth by The Ten Thousand

 

The Ten Thousand – Juneteenth

Charlie Winston @ Mercury Lounge 5/14/2012

I often forget how much I like the Mercury Lounge. It’s amazingly small and (thankfully) has a separate stage room away from the noisy bar. Best of all is the sound quality, which while being superb to many similar venues, comes across far better than it would appear to.  That’s why it was such a pleasure to see Charlie Winston travel in from Europe in order to perform.  His show was intimate and big at the same time, letting him and his talented bandmates get a chance to prove themselves under perfect conditions. And prove themselves is just what they did.

Charlie Winston, from my understanding, is big in Europe. At least that’s what my Winston-admiring friend says. Of course, fame in Europe means absolutely nothing in the US, and can actually be more of a hindrance than blessing. This is especially true if the NME decides to herald you as the ‘saviour’ of ‘insert genre.’  Luckily, Winston has so far escaped the onslaught of British press, primarily by getting to No. 1 in France instead. This makes a whole lot of sense considering his vibe is pure Parisian troubadour, and don’t think for a second that he doesn’t play it up. From attire to attitude to all but accent, the man comes off French.

The band played through a majority of new album Running Still, but made plenty of time to highlight tracks from Hobo, Winston’s breakthrough disk from 2009. The latter’s semi-title track ‘Like a Hobo’ elicited the biggest crowd response, and that came as no surprise when one looks at all the places that song has ended up.  Being that I don’t know every word to every song, it made it easy to take in the dynamic of the band and see how easily they play off of one another. Winston was, of course, the ringleader when all’s said and done, but he certainly let his band have their moments to shine. They responded by executing everything to just about perfection, and the entire set went off without so much as a dropped beat (at least as far as I could tell).

While I spoke quite briefly with Charlie after, I learned from his bandmate that they flew to New York only to play a showcase for some interested parties. Since all went well, you may be hearing a bit more of Mr. Winston in the near future. One can only hope…

Aside

Here’s a quickie because I am so behind in posting it’s not even funny. Work is time-consuming. So is learning ten covers in two weeks for a private birthday party.

This song has a nice 70s lite FM vibe, but is weirdly soulful at the same time. The Plastic Pals are from Sweden and have a debut from 2008 you can dig for if you like this. This is a single, so expect more to follow sometime soon…

THE PLASTIC PALS | “Leave It Til Tomorrow” (2012) by birdswillsingforyou

Jetsi Kain – I’m in Control

 

Danish electropop isn’t a common topic of coverage here, but this track has a great vibe that develops over the course of the song. The horns toward the end are quite a nice touch, and it turns from something 80s-esque into something a bit more beautiful. Enjoy, and expect an album from the group sometime later this year!

Debut by JetsiKain

 

The band is nice enough to give this song away, so feel free to grab it below…

Jetsi Kain – I’m In Control