Premiere: Youth Model, “Open Season EP”

Premiere: Youth Model – Open Season EP

 

First and foremost, Charleston, SC based Youth Model is not ashamed of their pop inclinations. Their newest EP, Open Season is their honest take on the lighter side of alt rock without departing too far from pop sentiment. The six songs run the sonic spectrum with riffing on title track “Open Season,” quirky opener on “Versions”, and weighty meaning on “Tried this Time” and “Heaven.” As I’ve heard Randy say multiple times, “We aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel here,” it’s true they aren’t exploring unknown territory but they have pulled influence from a gambit of alternative pop creators. Continue reading

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Interview: Keath Mead – Charming Authenticity and Being in the Right Place at the Right Time

Persons of Dialogue:
Keath Mead: Musical Prodigy
Lucas Amick: Wannabe Journalist

The timid yet genuine nature of Keath Mead’s “Sunday Dinner” transcends the audio files. In person his soft spoken authenticity can only be described as disarming. The morning following his Friday night Tir Na Nog performance, we shot the shit in the pool room of a Raleigh bar. It was an absolute pleasure discussing an array of topics with him as he leaned against a pool table sipping a beer.

LA: In all sense of the matter we are going to avoid any talk regarding waves of chill.

KM: Haha, alright – sounds good.

LA: We’re going to play a game of true/false. Spotify tells me that you were inspired to become a musician by the Beatles film Hard Day’s Night. Continue reading

Album Review: Stolen Jars, “Kept”

Stolen Jars Kept
(Self – August 28, 2015)
(Indie Pop, Math)
Review by Kalyn Oyer

 

Stolen Jars coalesces a complex accumulation of sounds, step-by-step, driven by stacked layers of some of the best repetitive guitar riffs I’ve heard. These rhythmic stratums serve as the core of Stolen Jars’ sound, allowing the exaggerated ability to inhale and exhale with the emotional ebbs and flows of each track. The sound can both explode and retract by cutting in and out of looped tracks. A carefully constructed repetition is the elemental lyrical and sonic glue, while the duo of Cody Fitzgerald and Molly Grund on vocals blends into a soothing tension. Angelic harmonies float across angsty boundaries and sink into an ultimate, relieved bliss. Continue reading

Op-Ed: Living and Doing

There’s a sentence that’s deeply dreaded by those among us who try to get right with polydidacticism, whether in person or on dating profiles: “I listen to everything except country and rap.” Country and hip-hop—the two American musical forms with the longest and densest evolutionary tracks—are the genres most prone to criticism leveled against their supposed inauthenticity, the two genres that demand (or are perceived to demand) genuineness at an unprecedentedly granular level. Any medium or genre has, in the minds of cultural gatekeepers, to pass litmus tests; country and hip-hop have to pass an entire battery. Even the creators have to reaffirm their credentials to ensure that they’ve lived through their creative catalysts; notice how our subcategories are based on lifestyles, are “gangster rap” and “outlaw country.” Aside from the relevance-terriers like Taylor Swift and Drake, whose evolution is catalyzed solely by market share rather than creative shift, there’s no point in dissecting whether something is “lived” or “created.” We, as listener, allow a certain creative flexibility to our creators for most art (no one, after all, demands that speculative fiction authors be astronauts in addition to writers), but we have a hard time making that logical leap when it comes to the quintessentially American music of folk and hip-hop, two genres that have created full synthesis out of generations of elements without losing focus. Continue reading

Album Review: Thunderbitch, Self Titled

Thunderbitch Thunderbitch
(Self – August 29, 2015)
(Rock)
Review by Will Flourance

Thunderbitch is a self-titled surprise release from Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes. With only two major label records prior in under 4 years, Howard and her bandmates have reached considerable acclaim and enough high profile recognition that Howard herself even shared the stage with Sir Paul McCartney at this year’s Lollapalooza. The exhilarating surge of stardom would leave most in shambles, ravaged by relentless touring and the exhaustive, fiery heat of the spotlight. Yet somehow, amidst the gauntlet of fame, Howard still finds time to hammer out a battle axe of a record in her creative forge. Thunderbitch is a raucous and fist-clenching romp through Howard’s hot-off-the-skillet specialties. This record dropped with guns blazing just when recent entries in her repertoire had indicated a more refined brand of rock for the more populous palate. With its no-nonsense bat-swinging and Jerry Lee Lewis chug alongs, this mode finds Brittany revving the loud pipes on her brand new hog. We always knew she could beat her way through a crowd, but now she’s doing it with a swinging chain a handful of brass knuckle. Continue reading