Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My Indie Rock Quest

Yesterday on Facebook, I declared that I was going on a quest to find good indie rock that I wasn't familiar with.  I used to be kind of a music snob (no, not a hipster), but in recent years, my finger has slipped from the pulse of good music, and I've been drowning in a sea of crap, clinging fondly to the music of my youth and early adulthood.  So here's some of what I found on my little quest.  Some of it is more indie than others, and some of it is more rock than others, but it's all good.  My special thanks to Indie Rock Cafe and George Stroumboulopolous.

"The Creature" by Kurt Vile

Mr. Vile is a guitarist from Philadelphia.  This song isn't typical of my own personal taste, but I like the acoustic riff, and the sadness of the piece.

"Shell Games" by Bright Eyes

I was already familiar with Bright Eyes ("Bowl of Oranges" and "Four Winds" were each on past releases of Mike Mix), but I hadn't heard this song before last night.

"A Darkness Rises Up" by Broken Records

Broken Records hail from Scotland.  This song is almost a perfect example of the kind of music I enjoy now that I'm in my 30s.  Fast and catchy, but not heavy.  Vocals with just the right amount of emotion.  Typical rock band set up (lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass guitar, drums) augmented with piano and strings.

"Equestrian" by US Royalty

These guys are from Washington, DC.  Not much to say about this song, other than that it's just nice.

"It's Real" by Real Estate

This song, by a band from New Jersey, is actually quite similar to US Royalty's "Equestrian."

"It" by Rich Aucoin

Not only is this an awesome song that kind of reminds me of Arcade Fire, but it's also an awesome video in which he recreates scenes from some of his favourite movies.  Rich is based out of Halifax.

"Rows of Houses" by Dan Mangan

From Rich Aucoin in Halifax, we move to Dan Mangan from Vancouver.  Stylistically, quite different from some of the songs on this list.  Crunchy is the word that comes to mind, mostly due to Dan's vocals.  I haven't studied the lyrics, but judging by the video, it's a song about urban sprawl.  I really, really like this song.

"Beggar in the Morning" by the Barr Brothers

The Barr Brothers are based out of Montreal.  One of the more mellow songs on this list, but not the mellowist.

"Midnight City" by M83

Another one that's a departure from my usual taste; however, the video looks like the type of story I'd write.  M83 (named after the Messier 83 galaxy) are from France.

"Holocene" by Bon Iver

This effing video almost made me cry.  The song itself is beautiful and melancholy, but combined with the video, I wanted to just curl up in a ball and weep.  It's a young boy walking alone through a beautiful countryside, until the end when he just lays down in black sand and goes to sleep.  And I keep seeing Kenny in place of the boy in the video.

"I Am Disappeared" by Frank Turner

This song, by England's Frank Turner, just kicks all sorts of ass.  It just keeps building into a powerful song.

So that's all I'll share for now.  What are your thoughts?  Any recommendations for me to check out?  I'd love to hear from you on the subject.

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