"I hope you know this song is all I've got left," sings Matthew Squires on "Echo," and you almost believe him. "It's the final thread tying down my mind." But the song, while serious about the meaning of music, is also relentlessly giddy, even silly, with the quirkily rhythmic sound of his band the Learning Disorders suggesting that if this tune really is the end, they'll all go down smiling.
Austin, Texas' Charlie Belle, a teenage folk-pop trio, seems to have a clear mission: to get audiences singing and clapping along. The band's new single, "Get to Know," will do just that.
"Technicolor Souls" by Flight of Ryan comes pretty much as advertised: huge, playful, wide-spectrum pop, both digital and analog, that would sound as welcome at an outdoor festival as it would beeping and beeping and roaring out of your earbuds.
It takes more than gumption to cover one of the most perfect of all rock 'n' roll records. Tucson, Arizona-based musician Brian Lopez doesn't overdo it on his version of Phil Spector and the Roneettes' "Be My Baby"; he lets his expressive voice and personal vision of the wall of sound make this baby his own.
With layers of acoustic and electric guitars, Boston's Sleepyhead invokes classic guitar-chime bands like R.E.M. and twee-pop groups like Camera Obscura, but with a distinctively arch tone. "Liberation Theology" testifies to the band's melodic ambitions and lightly-worn influences.
During Stars' 7 album career, their sound has been everything from somber, nuanced melancholia to '80s-inspired synth pop.
If you didn't know better, you'd think "No One Is Lost," the title track to the new album by Canadian band Stars, was cut in a closed-down gay discotheque in Montreal. Turns out you really didn't know better, and the song (like the album) was in fact recorded just above said disco. It's a state-of-the-art, dance-pop track from a band that still has some surprises up its glitter-covered sleeves.