YouTube Playlist: Spring Kinda Sprung

Whether you’ve had a spring full of sun, snow, rain, clouds, you name it…here is some music (some with accompanying visuals) to deal with whatever kind of interesting spring weather you’ve had!

 

 

 

Playlist: Spring in Full Swing

Not sure I even remember how to do this “blog-posting” thing! Been breaking my heart to not have time to share music. Here I lay before you, some wonderful music that has eagerly been waiting the attention of your ears since March.

Interview: German duo, Odd Couple

German rock duo, Odd Couple is set to release their latest record, Flügge, on April 21st. Tammo Dehn and Jascha Kref met back in Berlin as children and over the years have mastered the technique of creating high energy rock that is true to the spirit of their friendship with each other and with music. I asked Tammo some questions about the adventures of the Odd Couple! Check it out:

MFL: I love that you two have known each other since kindergarten. How about sharing a couple entertaining memories from your childhood together?

 Well I remember that Jascha had this huge Dragon from Playmobil, that we played in a Band together that was called “Die Spitzmäuse” and that I had a period where I liked to wear girls’ dresses. These are the first memories that come to my Head.

  

MFL: At what point in your friendship was Odd Couple born?

 Odd Couple had a lot of names and was always just a Jam project when we were still living in Ostfriesland. I think the project became reality when I moved from Hamburg to Berlin, a half year after Jascha moved there. We started as Odd Couple in 2011 but we really started to work on it in 2014.

 

 

MFL: What was your favorite album of 2016 and why? Feel free to answer separately or together.

 Klaus Johann Grobe – Spagat der Liebe

The Drones – Feelin Kinda Free

Fai Baba – Sad and Horny

Oracles – Bedroom Eyes

 

MFL: What are your live shows like? I imagine they’re fairly…energetic!

 Well I think People have to decide this for themselves. But we are trying to create something more raw, where people get pushed from song to song by combining tracks with each other. Since last year we have a third member in our live-shows. Dennis Schulze from Cult Hands. He plays the Bass, Synth and Organ parts live and also played some snyths on Flügge. He definitely added a lot to our live-sound.

 

MFL: What’s left to do before official release of your new record, Flügge?

 Going on with writing Songs and exploring Sound.

 

MFL: What was the driving force/inspiration for the new record and how does it differ from your previous release, It’s a Pressure to Meet You?

 Well at first we wanted to make a new record 😉 – Flügge we did completely by ourselves and Pressure was recorded with Frank Pop. We weren’t able  to experiment so much with sounds when we did Pressure because we didn’t know yet how that stuff works. But that’s exactly what we wanted. We wanted to work on a record where we can experiment with stuff and just do things freely in the studio. We recorded everything by ourselves and that was the best decision we made. At that time, we were sharing a Studio with « Oracles » and « Suns of Thyme ». Unfortunately, we had to move out but at that time it was perfect for us. We recorded, mixed and wrote most of the album in 1.5 months and then I headed off to France with my love. Berlin didn’t influence this record in the same way like it did on our first record. But your surrounding always influences what you do and it doesn’t matter if it’s Berlin or a 500 people village. Most of the lyrics have something to do with our personal social surrounding which we wouldn’t have if we wouldn’t live in Berlin. Vegans, lazy students, hedonists, arty people, homeless People, real artists, fake artists, and and and. But in the end this record is more of a self-study than a social-study unlike our first one. “Flügge” means leaving the nest or ready to fly and we choose this title cause it`s a state we thought or still think a lot about. These years in which you start to be independent. I mean really independent. Just because you managed to fly to Asia on your own doesn`t make you an independent person. You come back home, your mother helps you out with some money and you have to realize that you are actually really dependent. I see this a lot around me.

 

 

MFL: What kind of music do you listen to on your own time? Name a few artists/songs/albums if you like.

 We both have a pretty similar background when it comes to music taste but with the time we went also into different directions. We come from Queens of the Stone Age, Kyuss and in general a lot of Stoner. Jascha started to listen a lot to stuff like Bowie, Beatles or Flaming Lips and I went into stuff like Jesus Lizard, Earth or Nick Cave as well as psych and hip hop. In general, we both opened up to good pop song writing with the time.

 

MFL: Why do you call yourselves Odd Couple?

 Maybe because we were growing up with each other in the same town, moved to Berlin together, live together, have the same friends, and and and. So that would be the “Couple-part”. Odd? Well our characters are pretty different. But apart from that we also just like combine styles of music together, that on the first look, don`t fit so much. Which makes some songs and the album an “Odd Couple.”

 

 MFL: Finally, any major goals for 2017?

 We want to build up a solid Studio for recording and just making music with our live-bass and synth player « Cult Hands » to be able to drop a lot of material and explore different styles of writing. We will record another album this year and release a split with the great Klaus Johann Grobe.  Also plan to play a lot of festivals this summer.

 

Big thanks to the fellows of Odd Couple for finding time to answer my questions and Chris Sharpe of Lost in the Manor for connecting us. Be sure to follow Odd Couple on Facebook and check their website for tour dates etc!

 

Album Review: “Modern Jukebox” by Of Gentleman and Cowards

Hamilton, Ontario fellows, Of Gentlemen and Cowards, released their debut record, Modern Jukebox, on January 27th of this year. After 7 years together Josh Dawson (bass, vocals), Simon Edwards (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Christian Fedele (lead guitar, vocals), and Jake Warren (drums) are sharing what hard work they’ve been up to.

Modern Jukebox begins with a handful of lighthearted pop tunes that roll by with ease. The album changes tune as it progresses, however. It gains a sense of maturity as new styles are explored and the instrumentation expands. By the time you reach “Make You Mine”, the guys are experimenting with blues and funk.

 

 

Then comes my favorite on the record, “Now That the Love is Gone.” The brass came as such a fantastic surprise. I have to admit I thought I had the album figured out after the first few tracks but the change in mood in “Now That the Love is Gone” was such a beautiful surprise! This kind of diversity within a single record is not only challenging but brave. It’s risky to combine genres within a single record but in doing so, you may increase your breadth of fans!

Altogether, Modern Jukebox is a danceable record that is sure to perk the ears of fans of rock, funk and even blues. The album is out now on Spotify, iTunes and Bandcamp. Follow the band on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and their official website.

 

 

Interview: FayRoy

Florida rockers, FayRoy, just released their debut LP, Heaven at Twenty Seven, March 10th of this year. The record is a highly diverse collection of songs inspired by the rich musical mood of St. Petersburg, FL. Below, we chat about the concept of the record, difficulties in writing and recording and much more!

MFL: I am unfamiliar with the Florida rock scene that has inspired FayRoy. Can you explain this and why you took this musical avenue?

Zach Hoag of FayRoy (ZH): We ended up moving into this 100 year old house just outside of downtown St. Pete. Between that house and the house next door there’s about 16 tenants who are all musicians or artists of some sort. There’s been so many bands and musical projects to come out of the two houses and they all put on crazy high energy live shows. It’s been really inspiring to be surrounded by the productivity of other bands and to be able to walk downtown and see great live music on almost any night. 

MFL: Heaven at Twenty Seven, should listeners take this literally? What is the concept behind this record?

ZH: Heaven at Twenty Seven is a reference to basically all of our music idols who died at 27 and how much of an impression they left behind. We wrote the majority of these songs during our 27th year so it was definitely an existential evaluation at the time. Those mid to late 20’s years are really when you start seeing your friends get careers and start families, it’s easy to compare that to yourself and question why the hell you’re in a crowded smelly van playing bars every night.

MFL: How did the four of you come together and what do each of you offer to FayRoy that is unique?

ZH: Zack, Greyson, and I have known each other since high school. We all used to surf and skate together. Our buddy Drew touring with us right now was introduced through other St. Pete friends. I think all four us have our own weird sense of humor. It keeps everyone amused. Plus all the guys really shred their instruments and keep the stoke level high.

MFL: It seems like you all had fun creating Heaven at Twenty Seven. It’s such a diverse record! Do each of you have a different favorite track on the record? If so, what is it?

ZH: I like the title track. I think it’s the most diverse song within itself, which is a good representation of the album as a whole. Zack likes “Napoli Bay” the most, that was the first one written on the record. 

MFL: What was the most challenging aspect of creating Heaven at Twenty Seven?

ZH: This is our first studio album, so working with more people during the recording and mixing process was new and occasionally challenging. Zack and I are pretty hands on so it was a new experience just letting it go a bit. Luckily, the engineer/studio owner, Steve Rosicky and the mixer, Chris Irving are pretty weird people too so all of our styles really matched up. Also, we bartered yard work for our studio time, so I think pulling weeds and laying mulch in the heat of summer may have been the toughest part.

MFL: Looks like you’re playing at SXSW! Is this the first time for all of you at this event? These questions will probably get answered after the event since it’s March 14th as I’m writing them! Summarize your experience at SXSW.

ZH: It was all of our first times at SXSW, and it was equally exhausting as it was continually exciting. We were walking about 10 miles a day all over Austin, often aimlessly,  but we kept stumbling upon these amazing shows. It was really great for us to get to play for a bunch of new eyes and ears and really inspiring to see countless performances from other bands that blew us away. 

MFL: Do your individual musical inspirations differ than those of FayRoy?

ZH: Greyson and Drew have bands of their own called Someday River and Sonic Graffitti respectively. Someday river has a lot of funk and folk aspects in it, and Sonic Graffiti is straight up shredding rock n’ roll. Both bands are seriously so sick and we’re really lucky and appreciative to have them playing with us.

MFL: What do each of you never leave town without (for example, on tour)?

ZH: A rice cooker, beef jerky, and our TM, Alex. 



MFL: What happens once the tour wraps up at the end of March?

ZH: We have quite a few dates in Florida booked and are working on an east coast tour for the fall!

MFL: Finally, name a few dream venues to play at and a few musicians you’d love to tour with.

ZH: I think for the sake of a self fulfilling prophecy, playing some of the venues I’ve seen my favorite bands and shows in would be the dream. Jannus Landing in St Pete, the Filmore and Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, then a big stage in Golden Gate Park. Haven’t made it for a tour out of the country yet so that would be sick. As far as musicians go, the list is too long, but we basically just want to tour with our best friends and all of their awesome bands.

Thank you to Rich Nardo of 24West and for Zack Hoag and the guys (Kyle Fournier, Greyson Charnock, ) for doing the interview! Follow FayRoy on Facebook, their official website  , Instagram and Bandcamp.

YouTube Playlist: Sites and Sounds of Spring 2017

Please enjoy the sounds and visuals of some fantastic music that has been hiding in my email awaiting your eager ears!

 

Album Review: “The World Lit Up and Filled With Colour” by Secret Company

Scott Revell (vocals / guitar), James Patman (guitar), Kushal Gupta (bass), and Tim Reyland (drums) are Secret Company. They released their debut record, The World Lit Up and Filled with Color, March 10th. The record begins with a roar. “Final Wish” is a heavy hitting pop anthem with a catchy chorus, pounding percussion and ripping guitar riffs. Excellent way to introduce their listeners to what they (Secret Company) are capable of.

Throughout the record, they play with interesting synth sounds and unique rhythms all the while not losing an ounce of power. It’s clear these fellows enjoy being truly creative and have mastered the art of meshing lyrics and melodies that are insanely infectious. Their single, “Alive”, highlights their talent and reminds me lovingly of a favorite band of mine, Geographer. Lead vocalist of Secret Company, Scott Revell, has a rich, velvety voice that reminds me of Geographer lead vocalist, Mike Deni. Check out the colorful music video:

Heavier tracks on the album like “Out of the Blue” and “Lightning Parade” showcase the more rock and roll side of the band. The guitars really take off, becoming the main focus but simultaneously share the spotlight, in stunning contrast, with Revell’s gorgeous vocals.

Not once does the record lose momentum. Each track is as high energy as the last without overwhelming the listener. Even “Mercury” and “Holding On”, back to back tracks that are more reserved, maintain the big swirling sound they introduce at the top of the album and build within themselves.

The record closes timidly with “Blue Rose.” All the while I was noticing how explosive this record was, I thought I’d figured it out. Then “Blue Rose” began. It began quietly and continued quietly. Subtle but truly beautiful way to close the album.

The World Lit Up and Filled with Color is available on iTunes and Amazon now.