Band To Watch: Private Island

If you’re on the lookout for their tour bus rolling into your town, don’t be looking for a normal tour bus. Instead, be on the prowl for a refurbished school bus. Private Island started their fall tour by selling out L.A.’s Roxy Theatre in October and are rolling through to San Diego’s very own House of Blues this Saturday, Nov. 11.

The band’s sound is a culmination of indie rock and surf tones mixed with notes and hues of R’n’B. Where words fail to describe, the band’s songs speak volumes. With tracks such as “Bear Hands” off of their “A Good Look” EP, the band eases into chunky grooves, with drummer Timothy Barbour’s complex yet danceable beats and Roger Mawer’s smooth synth tones.

If you’ve been keeping up with the Private Island’s current sound you’ll find much darker tones, separate from their second EP, “Sunbreak,” which offered listeners a more refined version of the band’s ever evolving sound. The songs “Trouble” and “I Know” from their “Sunbreak” EP can’t be described. You’ll just have to listen to experience the feelings of nostalgia and romanticism the song’s will most likely conjur. Sun-soaked guitar riffs by lead guitarist Cameron Anderson will have you turning up the volume and rolling down your windows as you drive into the sunset.

Produced by Jacob Munk, Private Island’s newest singles will surely have old and new listeners alike intrigued and pining for more drawn out songs drenched in synth-pop undertones. Lead vocalist, Christian Lum, breaks up previously used techniques by having more effects that add to the fresh and dark sound of these singles. Be sure to give “Juvenile” the listen it deserves. This single leaves so much unsaid by Michelle Guerrero, the backbone of the melody, whose subtlety and talent still shines through as a secondary vocalist.

Pro-tip: Check out “Don’t Call Me” from their first EP if you want to hear Michelle have her say. This track that stands out as crowd favorite and is a chart topper all on its own.

Private Island will be playing at the House of Blues in San Diego, so for those of you lucky enough to live in the area be sure to buy your tickets now and don’t sleep on this band.

Featured Image courtesy of  ©2016 Lisa Flory.

It’s All It’s Cracked Up To Be

After releasing their first self-titled EP in 2006, Fleet Foxes quickly swept the indie folk scene. It wasn’t until 2008 when they released their second EP “Sun Giant” did the band start to make a greater impact in the indie music world.

After their 2011 release “Helplessness Blues,” the band’s then drummer and now superstar extraordinaire Josh Tillman a.k.a. Father John Misty decided to leave. Fleet Foxes then went into hibernation not too soon after.

Fronted by Robin Pecknold, who sings and plays guitar, along with now permanent members, Skyler Skjelset (guitar, mandolin, vocals), Casey Wescott (keyboards), Christian Wargo (bass guitar) and Morgan Henderson (upright bass, woodwinds, violin, percussion), Fleet Foxes have risen out of their hiatus with a new piece of artistry titled “Crack-Up.”

This album works to be something separate from prior releases, but still holds true to the band’s indie folk roots. With tracks like “Third of May / Ōdaigahara,” the wave of instrumentation washes over with a driving piano and bass lines that carry Pecknold’s voice and remind listeners what Fleet Foxes are all about. The song is like the ebb and flow of waves on a shore. Moments of nothing but an acoustic guitar and whisper-like vocals cut to the same driving guitars and percussion.

Other notable tracks include “Fool’s Errand,” an eerily upbeat rhythm that crescendos into a love song driven by Robin’s drawn-out lyrics. Although past albums were as genuine and raw, this album’s lyrics stand out as even more emotionally charged. When the hard hitting music subsides and it’s just Pecknold’s voice, this album has something more intimate.

If you’re already a fan of Fleet Foxes, dive right in to this album and don’t look back. If you’re looking for an album to sink your teeth into and want to find your new favorite band please be sure to give Fleets Foxes’ newest effort “Crack-Up” a wholehearted listen.

Featured Image: https://consequenceofsound.net/2017/03/fleet-foxes-detail-new-album-crack-up-share-sprawling-third-of-mayodaigahara-listen/

Neighborhood Jams: New Found Glory

Happy Wednesday, everyone! I hope you are all gearing up for Thanksgiving tomorrow and a nice lil’ break from exams, papers, and everything school related. This week’s neighborhood jams is really special – last Sunday Yellowcard and New Found Glory ended their 6-week tour HERE in San Diego to a sold out crowd at the House of Blues downtown… and let me tell you, it was more like a party than a concert.

Veteran pop-punk rockers Yellowcard and New Found Glory were both co-headliners for the tour and Tigers Jaw opened up for them. Tigers Jaw is an indie-rock band from Scranton, PA consisting of Ben Walsh and Brianna Collins.  Lead singer and guitarist Walsh resembled the same vocal and lyrical earnesty that the headliners are known for. Yellowcard closed out the night’s show after playing well over an hour. The band featured many songs from their 2003 album Ocean Avenue, and the crowd sang each lyric with so much passion. Lead singer Ryan Key and violinist Sean Mackin performed some acoustic, low-key versions of songs with just a keyboard and violin – it was truly beautiful. Now before Yellowcard took the stage, New Found Glory got the crowd pumped up.

While the stage got ready for New Found Glory I couldn’t help but notice the sold out crowd making their way closer and closer to the stage – everyone wanted to be as close as possible. The band opened with Resurrection, Understatement, and Hit or Miss. It was great to see them perform songs from older albums, like their 2002 album Sticks and Stones and also their newest album Resurrection: Ascension which was released October 9th of this year. The crowd went wild for every song; crowd surfers were lifted and sent soaring towards the stage; there was never a dull moment. Lead singer Jordan Pundik constantly kept the crowd entertained, jumping and running from one side of the stage to the other. Pundik seemed to always have his hands reaching out to the crowd. A great characteristics that I noticed about New Found Glory was their dedication and love towards the fans – you could really tell that they wanted to please the crowd with their tunes.

One of my favorite songs, which is also their single from their latest album Resurrection: Ascension, has a real special guest – Hayley Williams from Paramore. Together they have the hit song Vicious Love, and when New Found Glory’s lead guitarist Chad Gilbert and drummer Cyrus Bolooki broke out Vicious Love‘s melody the crowd lost it. There was so much energy on the stage and in the audience – you couldn’t help but feel like a true rock ‘n roller. When New Found Glory ended their set with one of their most famous songs My Friends Over You there was not a still body in the room. Everyone was jumping up, singing loudly, and then basking in confetti shooting off from the stage. This concert was one of the best concerts of my life – I don’t know if it was because it was their last show of the tour, or if because my high school self was full-fledged that night. But I didn’t want their set to end. Thank you, New Found Glory for sharing your rock ‘n roll talents, and if you guys are ever in need of a new confetti shooter person – let me know.

Neighborhood Jams: San Diego Music Thing

Happy Wednesday, readers! This week’s neighborhood jams is a real special edition. I will not be showcasing a particular band but instead the San Diego Music Thing! This is the 8th annual SDMT festival, and it took place last week over a span of three days at several different local venues showcasing over 80 bands – all for a good cause! The San Diego Music Thing is produced by the San Diego Music Foundation and proceeds will benefit the foundation’s music programs in 75 schools around San Diego County.

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Last Thursday, November 12th, kicked off the festivities at local venues such as: The Casbah downtown, The Hideout in El Cajon, The Irenic, The Merrow and The Observatory both in North Park. The next two days these venues celebrated SDMT along with Soda Bar, Bar Pink, Ray at Night, and Blue Moon Brewing Company. The best thing about having so many different venues participating in the same venue is the eclectic atmosphere from all around.  One night the Merrow showcased just hip-hop artists such as Opoetik, DJ E3, and local Ocean Beach guys The Concrete Project. Also, Paper Days performed at the Merrow on Sunday – you can read my review on them from a few weeks ago here.

Some of my favorite bands that performed over the 3-day festival were: The Joy Formidable, L7, In the Valley Below, Yo La Tengo, and Milo Greene. Now I wish I could highlight each of the 80 bands that participated at SDMT, but that blog would be way too long and probably end up crashing on me (because of too much great rock ‘n roll, obviously.) Along with the 80 bands there were also three featured guest speakers, and this years lineup did not disappoint.  The speakers included: Greg Graffin of Bad Religion, Martin Atkins from TOUR:SMART, and Matt Vasquez from Delta Spirit. Together these guys were a power trio discussing how to make it in the rock ‘n roll business, and the audience was filled to maximum capacity with local San Diegans and each of the 80 featured bands.

Even though the San Diego Music Thing has come to a close this year you don’t have to wait until next year to make a difference. You can donate to the San Diego Music Foundation here!

Photo Credit: SDMT