"The harmonious vocals... beautifully combine to create a sound that is not only melancholy, but also light. "
This week on the WERS 7 o'clock news we jammed with the New York based band The Dig, rocked out to some modern Americana with Mattiel, swayed to the gorgeous voice of Cold Specks, and welcomed the return of the Japanese eclectic-pop artist Cornelius to the music scene.
Check out what the WERS Music staff has to say about the songs you've just heard and make sure to tune in next week for more music discovery on the 7 o'clock news!
TIRED OF LOVE
The Dig is a New York City-based band. The Dig's singers, Emile Mosseri (also bassist) and David Baldwin (also guitarist) go way back -they started jamming together when they were just 10 years old. Since their musical debut, they've added Erick Eiser, their keyboardist, and Mark Demiglio, their drummer to the mix to fill out their sound. The Dig has toured with bands such as The Lumineers, The Antlers, The Walkmen, and Portugal. The Man.
"Tired of Love" is your quintessential bop. It's catchy, but not devoid of substance. The harmonious vocals of Mosseri and Baldwin beautifully combine to create a sound that is not only melancholy, but also light. You can hear "Tired of Love" on The Dig's new album Bloodshot Tokyo and you can catch them live at the Sinclair on September 11 with Dan Croll.
WHITES OF THEIR EYES
In fewer than three minutes, Atlanta-based newcomer Mattiel Brown channels some of the best names in modern blues-rock. With its Big Muff-flavored tone, her lead single "Whites of Their Eyes" has the punch of Black Keys' Thickfreakness era, the tension of The White Stripes' tour supporting Icky Thump, and the vocal wiles of Sally Ford & The Sound Outside circa 2013's Untamed Beast. Before Mattiel ventured into music, she was a graphic designer, illustrator, and set builder. And as someone always down for a challenge and building something out of nothing, Mattiel built the energetic Americana anthem (and video) "Whites of Their Eyes" with little help.
Upon hearing the instrumentals to "Whites of Their Eyes," Mattiel was reminded of an 18th century battle scene and immediately thought of the famous William Prescott line "don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes." Mattiel and her producers evoked this inspiration in her debut video. She garners the colors of the west and plays off the energetic paranoia of "Whites of Their Eyes" for a show-stopping single. You can hear "Whites of Their Eyes" on Mattiel's debut album Mattiel, slated to release this September.
When a singer chooses their name from a line in Ulysses, they've set a high expectation for themselves. Ladan Hussein, formerly known as Al Spx, does not shy away from these expectations in her moody, ethereal music. Her past two albums have been described as a fusion of soul and gothic rock. Her warm voice reaches outside her music and takes the listener hold.
As she did on her last album, Hussein draws from current sociopolitical issues in her songwriting. "Wild Card" specifically talks about her mother's desire to help a Somalian refugee. In a press release she stated that she noticed her mother calling people frantically when a man from Somalia, who had traveled halfway around the world to reach Canada, showed up in her family's store. Her mother found the man a place to stay and drove to buy him food, even though he was a complete stranger, and Hussein was "astonished" by her selflessness and kept humming the line, which eventually became the chorus of this song: "I'll be there for you. Don't know why."
Fool's Paradise, Hussein's third album, drops September 22. You can expect more of her warmth and moody mystery on it. Cold Specks will play Once Ballroom in Somerville on November 2nd, where you will be able to see this beautiful music live.
IN A DREAM
Keigo Oyamada, also known by his moniker Cornelius, is a Japanese recording artist and producer who co-founded Flipper's Guitar - an influential Shibuya-kei band (an eclectic form of pop music). He subsequently embarked on a solo career. In 1997, he released the album Fantasma, which landed him praise from American music critics, who called him a "modern-day Brian Wilson" or the "Japanese Beck". Because Cornelius's background is in Shibuya-kei music, which emerged as Japanese retail music in the Shibuya district in Tokyo, his work today reflects the dreamy and kitsch themes of the musical style.
Cornelius is about to release Mellow Waves, the Japanese experimentalist's first album in 11 years. He's already shared two mind-bending videos for "If You're Here" and "Sometime/Someplace." Now he's back with another for "In A Dream." Directed by the Tokyo design studio Groovisions, the dreamlike animated odyssey follows an ordinary guy as he walks, leaps, and soars his way through one giant optical illusion of a city.
"In A Dream" is entirely in Japanese. The chorus is quite beautiful and is translated below.
In a dream Asleep Don't Wake up
In a dream Sleep
Mental landscapes Cruising-mode Deep subconscious Searching-mode