What’s better than getting into a conversation about music with a total stranger? In my eyes, you can learn more from a five-minute conversation rattling off bands you’ve seen and what albums you’re into at the moment than you can speaking about anything else. Whether its indie, house, chillwave, shoegaze, whatever…the records you spin are what you want to soundtrack your existence. And sharing those with another is what makes music even more fun. I say this because I was recently chatting about music with someone new to my world and the first band I blurted out when asked about some of my favorite bands were The Drums. So the next time you get into one of these conversations, pay attention to what you say…you’ll find something about what your true taste is.
Off that tangent, The Drums were at SXSW this past weekend, and someone was gracious enough to drop some fabulous stripped down performances of “Money” and “Days” onto YouTube. Watch and enjoy below.
Written by Greg Dahman
Some of my favorite current music originates with a one-man band. Youth Lagoon, Atlas Sound, and Toro y Moi are the first artists that come to mind. While some of these artists expand their sound by adding a backing band, the foundation is set for me from the initial one-on-one introduction. The music is stripped and the message is personal. There is a special appreciation by discovering one artist who creates a project, by himself, from beginning to end. I get the same feeling when I am reading a good book. After turning the page on chapter 3 I begin to hear the author speak to me on a personal level. The themes become more powerful and the experience becomes more intimate. Oftentimes, we fall in love with these books because of their names or covers. When this shot in the dark selection hits a genuine level of satisfaction, it overpowers me with emotion.
The writer I am referring to I hardly know anything about. A quick link introduced me to of Architects and his project demo.. His name is Adrian, he is from Chicago, and he plays guitar, bass, and percussion. That is all I know about him. As I listen to demo., I not only hear themes of pain and regret, but more importantly I am struck with the sound of desire. Adrian is borderline anonymous, but shares more with me then I deserve. In the song “spirit desire.”, Adrian discloses his fears through out the entirety of the track. Lines like, “I get scared that you’ll leave me soon even though we call each other every afternoon, it’s true” make me feel like I hold the key to the darkest bowels of someone’s inner thought. This is someone I know hardly anything about.
The mystery behind Adrian’s of Architects project will not cause me to go digging any further for information. This is a patient man that is sharing more than we deserve. The acoustic, lo-fidelity framework behind his message is brilliantly put together. Adrian uses “Elephant” as his sounding board as he pulls out his electric guitar. The distortion mixes perfectly with the agony coming from his voice. This is certainly the loudest track on the record and has me wondering whether this album about one love or many? I am not sure, but I am confident in saying the girl in “Elephant” is about the one that slipped away. A painful experience that I am honored to hear.
Of Architects is a dark enigma that wants to be heard, but maybe only once. I am not sure if Adrian will arise and put down the final piece of his puzzle, but I do not think it matters. He is one man that has given us a sneak preview into his darkest secrets. This is a beautifully painful donation for those who will listen.
Written by Brett McGrath
One of my favorite new bands of 2011 proved to be Gardens & Villa and their self-titled debut via Bloomington’s Secretly Canadian. Last week, while we were busy listing, OnTheRecord.tv featured the Santa Barbara band performing a stripped-down version of their single “Orange Blossom.” The video is quite the departure from the song featured on the album. Here, a drum machine and catchy keys are exchanged for an acoustic and lonely snare. The wooden flute remains but it takes on a different vibe without the depth of the backbeat. I have yet to see these fellas live, but I’m left wondering which version I would prefer. Rarely do I say this, but this time I’ll stick with the synth. Watch the video and stream the album version of “Orange Blossom” below:
Written by Rob Peoni