After a summer hiatus, the Well-Played List is back, and we've had done alot of listening during all that time away. This week's list is jam-packed and ready to kick off your week right with some tasty turn-ons.
The ongoing listening series otherwise known as The Well-Played List features the most listened-to, jammed-out songs, albums and artists of the week as submitted by the CL Music Team along with a rotating crew of tastemakers — local music promoters, record store and venue owners, music fans and scenesters, DJs, musicians, and a radio personality or two; check past editions here. Audio and video included, along with any applicable show information. And on that note, what are you jamming this week? Tell us in the comments…
Elephant Stone, The Three Poisons (2014) Formed in 2009 by sitarist/bassist Rishi Dhir, Elephant Stone hails from Canada and has been brewing up some truly fantastic psych rock (so-called "Hindi rock") over three LPs (including this third and latest effort). This is the one that caught my ear; it weaves together rock’n’roll, Hindustani classical music, catchy New Wave-tinged pop, and grooving '60s psychedelia and even some tasty Kraut rock. I've added it to my shortlist of 2014 favorites...
Big Boi, Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty (2010) Because sometimes you just need a back-up plan to your back-up plan to back up your back-up plan. You know?
In The Valley Below, The Belt (2014) Jeffrey Jacob and Angela Gail met in Los Angeles playing guitar and bass, respectively, in another band, but broke off to form In the Valley Below, which finds them crafting an atmospheric yet sometimes driving mix of synth rock, shoegaze and art pop, the twosome's masculine-feminine harmonies imbued with just the right amount of tender yearning. First single and album lead-off “Peaches” celebrates mutual attraction and sensuality ... or it could just be about fruit. ("Working on a feeling, breaking down the ceiling, digging up the deep end, freezing on the beaches, reaching for the sweetest, sweetest peaches.") [more after the jump...]
Teleman, Breakfast (2014) There's just something so comforting about vocals with thick British accents and this new trio out of London — formed by members of some indie Brit band I've never heard of but will have to track down now, called Pete and the Pirates — is making me obsess a bit. Teleman shades their brand of Brit invasion rock with a balance of '60s vintage sounds (Beach Boys, Kinks and Velvet Underground are definite influences), '80s electro, and modern quirk ala UK contemporaries Django Django and Alt-J. I think this could be another year-ending favorite. Check out first single "Cristina" below.
ADAM KUHN | Music fan and scenester with discerning taste | Front End Designer, Big Sea Design & Development
The Gooch Palms, Novo's (2013) Garage postpunk two-piece from Sydney, Australia with more than a few nods to New Wave. Songs are short and snappy, recording quality is rough around the edges, and vocals aren't so much sung as they are barked at the listener. But goddamn if they don't have a keen pop sensibility.
Gold-Bears, Dalliance (2014) Fuzzed-out (albeit well-produced) and energetic power pop from Atlanta, this record is full of raw yet bright melodic hooks that do their best to add a hopeful sheen to some bummed-out lyrics. Most songs clock in under three minutes, which I dig. Fans of the Thermals take note.
Allah-Las, Worship the Sun (2014) Breezy summertime listening, with a classic '60s mellow psych bent. I'm not a guitar guy but even I can recognize these guys' raw warm vintage tones are tough to come by. Some swelling Hammond organs and the occasional vibraphone flourish make for a solid beers-on-the-beach chill-out record.
La Hell Gang, Thru Me Again (2014) Lo-fi slow-building psych from Santiago, Chile coated in a thick layer of fuzz. Mostly droning vocals with the reverb pushed to the max (ala Jesus and Mary Chain, Raveonettes, etc), locking in long enough to approach the brink of boredom until they shift gears and hit some heavy crescendos replete with pounding tribal drums that are anything but boring.
Mitch Murder, Interceptor (2014)What more can I say about this than that it sounds like the soundtrack to my life circa late '80s/early '90s — 16-bit-style chiptune with some more cinematic sweeping square wave synths. This the first fully electronic recording I've enjoyed in some time.
PHIL BENITO | Gasparilla Music Festival President & Talent Buyer | Brokenmold Entertainment
Twin Peaks, Wild Onion (2014)
Aztec Camera, Dreamland (1993) I’ve had this album since it came out more than twenty years ago, and sadly it never got the attention I should have paid it upon its release (yes, I’m STILL working my way through piles of promos I got while working at a record store for almost two decades!). Scottish wonder kid, songwriter and singer extraordinaire Roddy Frame gets the royal, lush treatment that genius musician Ryuichi Sakamoto gives him by handling the production duties here. While maybe too slick or laid back for fans of Roddy’s poppier Aztec Camera output, this record is bursting with texture, strings, background vocals and smooth, silky grooves. Frame’s airy, innocent vocals mesh wonderfully with the mature, sophisticated feel of this album. While critically not too favored, I’m having a blast discovering this rare gem and am giving it repeated plays. I guess I’m making up for lost time but it’s never too late to fall in love with an album this good. Perfect rainy Sunday afternoon music.
JULIA STEWART / MoonGoddess Entertainment LLC
I've been hanging out in Denver for the last couple of weeks and per usual, my head is spinning over the amount of incredible tunes coming out of the jam scene's mecca today. There is, and has been, something special brewing here for quite some time. Not only in the amount of talent living here, but the conscious collective of musicians whose creative wheels never seem to stop turning. For this week's Well Played, I'd like to take a moment to spotlight a few killer acts making waves in the Mile High City and beyond.
Seven Arrows, Mirrors EP (2014) The new project from David Murphy (formerly STS9) just released this first recording and played their inaugural show to a packed house at Concord Music Hall in Chicago. The Mirrors EP finds Murphy getting back to his roots, relying more on live instrumentation, songwriting and vocals and less on heavy electrotonics. Denver-based vocalist Ashley Niven is a shining star whose sultry, powerful pipes give life to dance music rooted in pop, funk, soul and psychedelic Rock. "Black Heart" is among the standout tracks on the album and invokes a wide array of emotions from start to finish (which is the point, right?). The entire album is a refreshing new side of Murph. Kudos to the bass aficionado for stepping outside of the box and making an album that radiates passion and spirit.
Analog Son, Analog Son (2014) I got my hands on Analog Son's self titled debut when I got into town and haven't been able to take it off rotation. The Denver-based funk act has been making big waves in the Colorado music scene mixing analog (hence the name) and modern production qualities in the studio. These guys are on par with the forerunners of the new age funk movement today with influences like Lettuce, The New Mastersounds and The Motet, just to name a few. Which is no surprise with people such as Adam Deitch, Ivan Neville, Joey Porter, The Shady Horns plus so many more sitting in on Analog Son. Longtime Denver music scene staples Joshua Fairman and Jordan Linit lead this project with a rotating cast of all-star musicians. Guest vocalist Devon Parker soars on tracks like "She's Somethin'" and the groove is downright infectious. With fall finally upon us, and Florida's beloved Bear Creek Music Festival on my mind, I'm indulging in all things funk and soul. Analog Son delivers that plus SO much more.
INFINITE SKILLZ | Emcee; promoter/owner/main dude, B.A.S.E. Inc. Music
Busta Rhymes, "Calm Down" feat. Eminem (2014) \\<\/iframe\>
I love that this song doesn’t follow the radio format of Intro/Hook/12-16 bar Verse/Hook that mainstream music seems to be married to. It’s just two iconic emcees spazzing on a track. More please.
Trey Songz, "Change Your Mind" (2014) This cut from Trey's latest album Trigga is primed to make Trey Songz the Chris Paul of casual hook-ups; lots of assists. Plenty of eye candy in the video, too, without making it look like old school late night Cinemax. Kudos to him for that.
Hagan Lee, "Cover It Up" (Produced By Wally Clark, 2014) Both sides of the Howard Frankland bridge playing nicely together. St. Pete’s Hagan (half of Mickey Spixx) rhyming his truths over a soulful beat from Tampa’s Wally Clark.
JARED FAGER | music fan and scenester with discerning taste
Slow Magic, How to Run Away (2014)
Mitch Murder, Interceptor (2014)
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Days of Abandon (2014)