"Runnin," Scattered Melodies
Scattered Melodies is a unique Valley band in that the drum/bass duo uses a variety of singers on their albums and at their live shows. The duo is aiming to finish their second album by early next year to take it to South By Southwest in Austin, and listeners can expect new and a few returning voices on the upcoming album.
"The album will have a general theme of how we as humans need to work together to create the world we all want to live in, not one that is created for us to only benefit people at the top," says Scattered Melodies drummer Josh Montag.
To help them finish up the full-length, Scattered Melodies recently released an EP, called Summer Sampler. Ten percent of the proceeds from the EP will be donated to an elementary school's music program, Montag says, and you can learn more about the album fundraiser here.
The group's current single, "Runnin," is a story about a man who is always on the run and afraid to commit to anything. The track features four local singers -- Parker Jones, Anamieke Quinn, Laura Hamlin and Ruca, in a call-and-response-type track about a man who's constantly on the run from relationships.
"When I write songs, I like to create characters and develop situations, sometimes things I've gone through, and others completely made-up, like this one," Montag says. "When I gave Parker the lyrics for the song, he had the idea of having the girl backup vocals doing a call-and-response type of vibe. The three girls sing throughout the EP as backup singers."
"I hope people who have been in similar situations can relate to the song, and others can just rock out to all the crazy vocals, guitars and saxophone going on throughout."
The beginnings of The Oxford Coma's song "Tradition" started 10 years ago, with a guitar riff by singer/guitarist Billy Tegethoff that never found a home until now. The track off their new EP, Morphine, is a catchy rock song blasting greed, though Tegethoff explains a much deeper meaning behind the track.
"This song is either about the absurdity and childishness inherent in trying to market something I consider my art, or about the tension created between egos in a band," Tegethoff says. "I feel like playing rock music without a sense of irony sets you up to be a complete douchebag, incapable of producing anything even remotely profound or insightful because you can't see how ridiculous the whole idea of fame, stardom and ultimate coolness actually are."
"Of course, I want those things for myself and the band, but the fact it's a little silly is not lost on me. I mean, we're grown men who get on stage in our underwear to get the attention of a crowd with whom we will likely never have any direct personal connection so they will think we're cool/weird/edgy or whatever gets them to tell their friends about us. It's all ego. It's all self-serving. But it is a damn good time."
Hear The Oxford Coma play "Tradition" live when they hit the Last Exit Live stage Friday, July, 18.
"20 Million," YUS
Youceff Kabal, the man behind the project YUS, has opened for Toro Y Moi and Phantogram and just released a new album, Talisman, with hypnotically dreamy melodies that show off why he's been on bills with big names.
For his current single, "20 Million," YUS not only entrances with a psychadelic dance vibe, he animated the music video of his performance. He says the track was probably influenced by girl trouble, "a sonic version of meeting someone who stands out."
"The bridge is this very melodic-melancholia, the very passionate part of a relationship, and it leads up to the chorus which is this kind of chaotic regret and desire for better," Kabal says. "It's a sort of meta-analysis of being at a crossroad in a relationship, where, no matter what, you're kind of bound to mess it up. I feel like there a lot of dudes that can relate, girls, too. My philosophy sets me up to get in these undesirable situations where I feel like I tend to repeat the same mistakes."
"Ideally, I want people to at first take it all in, and breathe out that nasty stress that comes with trying to do the right thing," Kabal says. "Then, once they're back in the groove of things, to dance to it or like go on a drive or bike ride or whatever, just to get moving."
"Even in the Sun," Old Hours
"Even in the Sun," Old Hours
Most of the songs off Old Hours' new nine-song album Even in the Sun were inspired while singer Anna Carlson and singer/guitarist Nathaniel Walberer traveled across the country last summer, which you can see in the video for their new folky track of the same name as the album.
"This is our first album as a band, and we are super-excited about it," Walberer says. "We put a lot of ourselves into this album and hope that it translates well."
Walberer says the song was inspired by thoughts of reconciliation in friendships and relationships, which should make listeners hopeful, not sad.
"We hope that it projects a feeling of celebration and inspires people to hold weight in the relationships that matter in their lives, because no relationship is perfect, but most are worth saving," Walberer says.
"Kill This Beat," Jane Joyce
This is your first taste of new local pop artist, Jane Joyce, who has been writing songs for the past year for a five-song debut EP. She recorded her first single, "Kill This Beat," with veteran Valley producer Gardner Cole, who wrote "Open Your Heart" with Madonna, and Joyce is confident her debut track is just a taste of the hits to come.
"The production quality is fantastic, and there has never been a more exciting time in my life," Joyce says. "The song might have some superficial lyrics on the surface, but the underlying message lies in the common lines, 'kill this beat' and 'we like to party,' which, to me, were fun, commercial ways to say, 'live life to the fullest' and 'respect and love for life.'"
"I want people to feel good and to move, as movement, or lack thereof, stimulates emotions," Joyce says. "So, 'we like to party, move your body, let the music set you free,' is saying, 'if you love life, then move, it will cure you. Dance, smile, makes friends, build community, enjoy your time, make it a better place for everyone.'"
"Take My Bones to the Valley," Perry Allen
Perry Allen takes a cue from classic Western music to inspire his eclectic-sounding, desert folk sound he plans on harnessing on an upcoming full-length album to be released this fall. The folk/bluegrass musician featured accordion, trumpet, trombone and more on his current single, "Take My Bones to the Valley," a track reminiscent of fellow locals Calexico.
"I hope listeners take the song as a refreshing yell in this summer heat," Allen says, citing direct inspiration from cowboy melodies, early rock and roll and klezmer dance music. Catch Allen and his band Good Company perform the single live Thursday, July 10 at Rogue Bar, and hear the song here.
Editor's Note: This blog post originally published with a different headline.
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