The Basement Tapes, ”Release Me”
No, our very own Scott Malchus (author of the wonderful book, Basement Songs) isn’t the mastermind behind this electronica outfit. However, since the creator of The Basement Tapes’ music wants to remain anonymous, it could very well be Malchus for all I know. So, who’s the singer on this track? No idea. Why the mystery? Well, in an age where one’s entire life is online, it’s a novel approach to release music under a nom de plume and shun the spotlight so the music stands out as the most important thing. Whatever the marketing madness The Basement Tapes are using, I’m glad they aren’t keeping ”Release Me” a secret. The song has a chill electronica sound with a serious pop core and will sound great at any after-party.
Canopy Climbers, ”Stuck”
Oh,the Internet…it makes collaboration easier when you don’t have expensive studio time booked. That’s what Canopy Climbers are using the Internet for. The band is officially from Arkansas, but use ”the cloud” to share song ideas with each other and add melodic and rhythmic parts until their musical creations are ready for prime time. ”Stuck,” which is clearly ready for prime time, has stylistic elements from the band Phoenix going on at the beginning, but the addition of guitar and acoustic drums adds some heft and gives the song a fuller sound. One listen to ”Stuck” and you’ll see why Canopy Climbers should be headed right for modern rock radio in short order.
Ireland is known for many things, but a kind of carefree and goofy pop isn’t one of them — well, at least until now. Big September is killing it big time in their native country (and that would be Ireland in case you weren’t paying attention) with ”The Preacher” — 3 minutes and 50 seconds of pure fun. This single dropped in late April, but it’s timed right for the summer, where its infectious chorus is an earworm of the highest order (and I mean that as a compliment).
Okay, so Paper Route’s album came out in 2012, and I’m just getting to it? Hey, I can’t listen to everything! Some things are worth the wait, however, and Paper Route’s The Peace Of Wild Things is one of them. While “Two Hearts” isn’t an official single, it’s a track on the album that I keep coming back to. Why? Well, it’s a prime example of Paper Route’s dedication to writing songs that are meant to be heard as part of an album. They are not a singles band, but rather take as their inspiration Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush’s albums from the 80s. While So and Hounds of Love were commercially successful when released in the mid-’80s, the records were clearly expressions of internal struggles the artists were dealing with. The members of Paper Route approached this album in much the same way. There is a ”go for broke” attitude on this record, and that’s probably why it sounds so great. The songwriting is solid, the production is crisp, and execution masterful.