Thursday, April 23, 2009

Royal Wood

Artistic influences can be a curious mix of inheritance and inspiration. From a second-hand vinyl collection to an intuited sense for music’s creation, Royal Wood has come a long way from the days of borrowed instruments and secondhand cassette tapes. This self-taught multi-instrumental artist has an ear for everything, from Sgt. Pepper's to Vince Guaraldi. Royal draws from generations past but not forgotten; his music sensibility is timeless but never dated.

Like a ribbon of Super 8 tape that contains blurry, sun-saturated summer memories, Royal¹s piano-soaked style is unapologetically romantic and unabashedly nostalgic. This filmic quality has made for an easy transition to film and television, and Royal¹s music has been included in many high-profile soundtracks as a result.

The sweet melancholy of loves lost and found diffuses throughout Royal’s two full-length albums and now two EPs, including the celebrated 2007 release A Good Enough Day, which brought rave reviews, international radio play, multiple European and US tours, and a recent sold-out appearance in Toronto, ON. Royal’s touring resume also confirms a growing acknowledgement of his work among Canada’s top musicians, exemplified by national invitations from Sarah Slean, Jill Barber and Serena Ryder.

Royal’s approach harkens back to traditions of song crafting that go straight to the heart of the relationship an artist creates with an audience. As great songwriting defies the whimsies of a trend, Royal’s classic songs explore the architecture of emotions upon which our most cherished relationships are built. Named an iTunes Songwriter of the Year in 2008, Royal’s music shares an emotional immediacy with the listener that creates a lingering feeling of intimacy with his recordings and live performances.

With The Lost and Found EP, melody is once again at the forefront, casting lyrics and rich string arrangements in the filmic light of memories and dreams. Recommended!

Royal Wood - Don't Fall Apart
Royal Wood @ MySpace


SONG OF THE DAY: NOMO - Invisible Cities
(from Invisible Cities, out May 5th on Ubiquity Records)


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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Evan Voytas

After spending time in New York City, the deserts of New Mexico, a farmhouse in rural Pennsylvania, and a tour bus constantly surrounded by teenage girls, Evan Voytas is presently in Los Angeles. With influences ranging from underground hip hop to classic sunshine pop, Voytas dresses like your grandpa and sounds like the future.

After releasing his debut EP, "Introducing Evan Voytas" and a digital single via RCRD LBL, Evan Voytas returns with another EP entitled "The New Dynamic Sound of Evan Voytas". The first glimpse of "The New Dynamic Sound of Evan Voytas" is a neo-retro road trip called "Getting Higher", a sure-shot dance floor jammer. Also make sure to check out Evan's MySpace exclusive "I Took a Trip On a Plane" at "The New Dynamic Sound of Evan Voytas" will be released May 5th on downtown LA's new label, PolyMono Op. Recommended!

Evan Voytas - Getting Higher
Evan Voytas - We'd Be Good Together
Evan Voytas - Never My Love (cover)
Evan Voytas @ MySpace


SONG OF THE DAY: Sunset Rubdown - Idiot Heart
(from Dragonslayer, out June 23rd on Jagjaguwar)


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Friday, April 17, 2009

Free Album Release... The Marshmallow Pop Orchestra

The Marshmallow Pop Orchestra is a one man indie project of Matt S.

Here is how Matt describes himself:

"Drummer, marginal guitar player, shaky singer, two fingered keyboard player, drum machiner, minor league baseball player, taco eater, donut maker, crayon user, nirvana fan, bootleg collector, boxing fan (1985 to 2000), MMA fan (present), vintage video game lover, player of an entire season of Bases Load II for NES, (yes) it took me almost a decade to beat Mike Tyson, collage graduate, (yes) I enjoy mowing the lawn on warm summer days, I am a former Great Bluedini (Kool-Aid) collector, I am a music blog lover, I am a runner, a Steven Seagal fan, a Don Swayze fan, a former 90210 watcher, a former Saved by the Bell enthusiast, traveler, dreamer, a searcher of a definitive version of the orig. Beach Boys (AKA Brain Wilson's) SMILE, mourner of no more (25 cent) arcades in malls, mourner of new technologies (cell phones, blackberries, etc), mourner of chain restaurants, frustrated with societies excessive life styles and ignorance towards those less fortunate, I am up, I am down, I am up, I am down.. I LOVE to record and share my music... I love recording very quickly, trying to capture the moment, not perfection. I find beauty and inspiration in the imperfections of all aspects of life.. I hope you find beauty and inspiration in my musically and sonically imperfect soundscapes."

The Marshmallow Pop Orchestra is proud to present "It shakes me down" as the second single from “Songs to Fly away to.” A collection of very personal songs written, recorded, and mixed very quickly between March 2007 to March 2009.

Perfect takes and polished mixes were not the goal of this album. Many musical parts and lyrics were written and recorded while the zip disks were running. The songs were recorded exclusively on a BOSS BR-8 Digital 8 Track Recorder with two Department Store Keyboards (Casio / Yamaha), a BOSS BR-8, a “Rod Lama” distortion pedal, and a Weston guitar plugged directly into the recorder. For an optimum listening experience, please listen to the entire album (track 1 – 12) while driving in the driver’s seat of an automobile. Tracks 13 to 24 are bonus tracks. These tracks include outtakes, holiday singles, a Pittsburgh Steelers fight song, and a cover of the Beck classic, “Puttin’ it down.”

The Marshmallow Pop Orchestra's album is an amazing achievement for a single musician. It's an example of DIY philosophy practiced at it's best. Congratulations Matt! Highly Recommended!

The Marshmallow Pop Orchestra - Songs To Fly Away (free album download)
The Marshmallow Pop Orchestra @ MySpace


SONG OF THE DAY: Black Moth Super Rainbow - Born On A Day The Sun Didn't Rise
(from Eating Us, out on May 26th on Graveface)


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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Run Toto Run

Run Toto Run is 4 piece indie band from Manchester, UK. The band consist of Rachel (writes the words, lead vocals, various percussion, flutes and melodica), Mike (synths, backing vocals, keys and guitar), Cazz (keyboards, backing vocals, percussion, recorder, electronics) and K!d Farthing (Matt) (violin, keyboards, electronics and clever stuff). The influences include Sufjan, Mum, Seabear, The Postal Service, Au Revoir Simone, My Brightest Diamond, Stickboy and A Kerzillion More.

The previous releases from Stickboy and Run Toto Run were warmly received so that the band decided to send some more tracks out into the big wide world. Stickboy found so much love last time round that he's found himself in a happy place and consequently isn't writing much at the moment. But after Run Toto Run somehow found themselves on the 0fficial In The City list last October, in spite of the fact none of them remember entering, they've knuckled down and spent the winter months hibernating in the studio. Low and behold they've emerged with a whole raft of new tunes, have somehow transmogrified into an electro band and one of them seems to have evolved from a 6”8 double bass playing male to a 5”8 synth-wielding female. So it goes.

Run Toto Run will be putting out their latest single “Plastic Gold” on Monday 8th June with a b-side entitled Alice. They've also added a cheeky little remix of Alice by welsh synth-pop wizard Rod Thomas. You can expect a five track EP from the band later in the year. Recommended!

Run Toto Run - Plastic Gold
Run Toto Run - Alice
Run Toto Run - Alice (Rod Thomas Remix)
Run Toto Run @ MySpace


SONG OF THE DAY: Band Of Skulls - Blood
(from Baby Darling Doll Face Honey, out on 2009 on You Are Here/ Shangri-La/ Phi, itunes release)


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Wednesday, April 08, 2009


Snowglobe is a rather amorphous, unwieldy group of artists who share a love for all things honest, poppy, and psychedelic. All members to date hail from Memphis, TN, but the music and idea of Snowglobe has its origins in Athens, GA. The group played many of it’s first shows with the artists of the elephant 6 collective, including Of Montreal and Olivia Tremor Control. They have since returned home, and today Snowglobe strives to continue the age old Memphis tradition of playing honest music for the right reasons.

Snowglobe will be featured in the upcoming MTV series $5 cover, along w/ Paul “Snowflake” Taylor and may other talented Memphis artists. Three of the songs on this EP will be highlighted in the show. In addition, Snowglobe’s full length, which will feature two of these tracks, is slated for release in the fall/winter. The release of new album 'No Need To Light A Night Light On..' is set for May 26th. Recommended!

Snowglobe - Get It On
Snowglobe @ MySpace


SONG OF THE DAY: Mono - Ashes In The Snow
(from Hymn To The Immortal Wind, out March 24 on Temporary Residence)


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Thursday, April 02, 2009

Pilot Speed

Setting out to write appealing pop songs in today's climate can be a daunting task. "Real" rock fans can tend to turn their noses up at catchy hooks and memorable choruses, preferring instead twisty, multi-part constructions that show off convoluted music theory; pop is considered disposable teeny-bopper fare … when it's considered at all.

But Pilot Speed seeks to change those attitudes. Equally at home with thoughtful, introspective soundscapes and with solid verse/chorus/verse tunes designed to be blasted from the radio, the Canadian four-piece has, with Wooden Bones, delivered a set that should take them straight to rock's big leagues.

Pilot Speed, a Canadian four-piece, will be releasing their album Wooden Bones on April 28th. Lead vocalist Todd Clark describes their album as "Art songs with hooks". The record was produced by Dennis Herring (Modest Mouse, The Hives, Throwing Muses, Elvis Costello & The Imposters). Recommended!

Pilot Speed - Put The Phone Down
Pilot Speed @ MySpace


SONG OF THE DAY: Super Furry Animals - Inaugural Trams
(from Dark Days/Light Years, released at March 16th on Rough Trade)


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