Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Sylvan Esso Debut Not Green, But Not the New Black, Either

Sylvan Esso - Self-Titled
Partisan Records
- out May 13
3.5 / 5

Electronic pop duo Sylvan Esso swagger from Durham, NC with their debut album: all pop, clean, confident. Of those three, it is most certainly confident: it's the kind of music that belongs lounging in a hep black-lit party, tendrils of smoke gently curling about. Singer Amelia Randall Meath anchors these songs in understated tones, melded with Nicholas Sanborn's simplified electronica. How else can we describe it? It's simple, uncluttered, and at times, quite joyous.

One listen to the lead single "Coffee" confirms the duo's talent and excellent pairing. It's a smooth blend on this track, maybe one cream (just for color), a little bite to it. And the chorus is blissful and sexy, velvety yet restrained. And the other tracks on the second half of this album earn the title "good pop," with "Play it Right" one of our upbeat, dance favorites on these ten. But as much as "Play it Right" belongs in a club, the tracks on the first half, almost exactly, leave very little impression on us. They're passable, but feel like practice for the last half, just a quick warm-up, a little stretch. The album as a whole, if we were to judge starting from "H.S.K.T.", would be above average, but does get bogged down early and frequently. Tracks like "Dreamy Bruises" tend toward sleepiness, tend to lack precision and effectiveness. A little more rewriting could have brought this to four-stars, but we do love those two tracks in the last half enough to give the other tracks something of a free pass.

If you do pick this one up, keep in mind it gets much better by the end. A fair debut, with some solid electronica; recommended.

Sylvan Esso on Soundcloud. Chill it like a white wine.

Monday, April 14, 2014

A couple of reviews

Hey y'all!

A couple reviews of the book are up now. (I was about to write "is" instead of "are" - bad sign.) Here are the links:

Notebook of Books

Sweat, Tears and Digital Ink

The Amazon link!

Goodreads reviews most appreciated, too.

Please tell us what you think! Like, right here! Or especially on Amazon and Goodreads! Keep in mind, on our main site we'll have a limited number of paperbacks to pass around after we do some readings in RI. Hope you like these a lot! And keep them reviews real, yo; peace,

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Weekend Update: Book Edition

Hello! So, just a reminder:


It's out. It's officially out. "The Keeper of Dreams" is now on Amazon. We've also done something like this with it:

Yes, that's an official printing of the book right there. It's a very limited edition, only 50 (and one) so far. Check out the main website to request a copy, and we'll get it to you post-haste. Once the end-tail of the batch gets printed.

Thanks so much for all your support, everyone! We're going to get a paypal donate thingy on the website at some point so we can print some more. (And we're also going to post up the text on there somehow). Keep those dreams real, yo,

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Bailiff Unlocks a Mean Sound on Sophomore

Bailiff - Remise
-out April 22
3.5 / 5

Chicago trio Bailiff proudly pronounces their diverse musical loves: John Lee Hooker, Radiohead, Dylan and Muddy Waters. We can't say we're able to pick out exactly how each of these influence their sophomore release, Remise, but we can say the alt-rock trio has taken their words (and music) to heart, and have crafted their own invention here. Funded by a Kickstarter campaign, it all comes down to soul, to where you're coming from and where you bring your audience, and there, Bailiff doesn't disappoint: this is good stuff.

Our favorite here is the single, "Shake My Heart Awake," the dance-beat (ah yes, a good dance beat!) blood-pounding, the vocals svelte and soulful, the song simple enough to shake you like, yes, an earthquake. It's pure whiskey on the dance floor pleasure, sway your glass to the beat. There are a handful of good songs here, including the political "Helicopter" and the wistful piano on "Head in the Clouds". Our only regret with these nine is that Bailiff doesn't feel like they've quite cranked it to 11; they aim for it, and reach a respectable seven or eight. The crew has found their sound, certainly, but they feel too comfortable in it, and now they need to push their limits, both in peformances and especially in songwriting. These songs just need that extra kick in the pants, and don't quite surprise. But in good time, we suspect.

Still, it's playful, groovin' and enjoyable. We think these guys are on the up, and greatly look forward to their next. Recommended.

Soundcloud them.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Some sad news...

David Lamb of Brown Bird has recently passed away from leukemia.

We offer our deepest condolences to his surviving spouse, MorganEve Swain, and all the strength to carry on. Dave was loved by many, and we hope that if he or his music meant something in your life, that you'll share that with MorganEve and offer your support.



Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Check out our article in the Mercury!



Where we talk about Brown Bird and healthcare. Some important stuff. Pick up a copy (or two). Thanks!