Tag: Hands

Over the past couple of months on this site, I’ve written a bit about the  Oklahoma City, OK-based indie rock/psych rock quartet SPACE4LEASE — and as you may recall, the band, comprised of primary songwriter and founding member Grayson Hamm (keys, lead vocals), along with Walt Blythe (guitar),  Brandon Brewer (bass, vocals) and Wes Belk (drums), can trace their origins to when Hamm, Blythe, Brewer and Belk met while they were all attending the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma.

Although each member comes from a vastly different musical background and influences, their sound manages to be a seamless convergence of their influences including Tame Impala, My Morning Jacket, Big Thief, Andy Shauf and others, while thematically their material focuses on lost love, heartbreak, the unknown and inevitable life experiences.

With the release of their debut EP Hiraeth, an effort that focused on the complicated process of self-discovery, the members of the Oklahoma City-based quartet toured extensively across the Midwest last year, eventually winning the praise of The Flaming Lips‘ Derek Brown, who described them as  “Fellow Okies that wonderfully mix the blissfulness and melancholy of the great wide open.” Building upon the buzz the members of Space4Lease have released a batch of singles off their forthcoming EP Drifting: Must Be Something” one of the first singles I wrote about, was a lush single reminiscent of  JOVM mainstays  Caveman, Los Angeles-based indie rock act Hands and others but bristling with a sense of endless possibility  that can only come from being on the road, and seeing the world open up before your eyes. “Lately,” struck me as drawing from classic, Quiet Storm-era R&B, blue-eyed soul and indie rock in a way that reminds me of Milagres’ exceptional first two albums Glowing Mouth and Violent Light — and much like the material off of those albums, there’s the push and pull of infatuation, lust, love and heartache at the core of a confusing relationship.

Drifting‘s latest single “I Tried Calling” is a slow-burning track that pairs Hamm’s plaintive vocals paired with a lush and haunting arrangement featuring twinkling keys, guitars fed through a series of atmospheric effects — and much like the preceding singles, it’s a deeply personal song that focuses on the frustrating yet necessary ups and downs of a maintaining a relationship and the lingering ghosts of the person you’re no longer with, and of the relationship that’s over.  But what makes the song interesting is that it comes from the perspective of someone, who has a lot more to say to a partner (or ex-partner in the case), who doesn’t seem all that interested in hearing it, and as a result, the song has an underlying bitterness — the bitterness that comes from having a relationship fail and not knowing how or why it happened.

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Last month, I wrote about the  Oklahoma City, OK-based indie rock/psych rock quartet SPACE4LEASE. Comprised of primary songwriter and founding member Grayson Hamm (keys, lead vocals), along with Walt Blythe (guitar),  Brandon Brewer (bass, vocals) and Wes Belk (drums), the Oklahoman indie rockers can trace their origins to when Hamm met his bandmates while they were all attending the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma. And although they all had vastly different musical backgrounds and differing musical tastes, the band’s sound manages to be a convergence of all of their influences including Tame Impala, My Morning Jacket, Big Thief, Andy Shauf and others; however, unlike their eclectic influences, their material lyrically focuses on lost love, the unknown, and inevitable life experiences. With the release of their debut EP Hiraeth, an effort that focused on the complicated process of self-discovery, the members of the Oklahoma City-based quartet toured extensively across the Midwest last year, eventually winning the praise of The Flaming Lips‘ Derek Brown, who described them as  “Fellow Okies that wonderfully mix the blissfulness and melancholy of the great wide open.”

And as you may recall “Must Be Something” was a moody and atmospheric bit of psych rock that featured some lush, shimmering guitar work, a sinuous and propulsive bass line and a rousingly anthemic hook that reminded me of JOVM mainstays  Caveman, Los Angeles-based indie rock act Hands and others but inspired by the endless possibility of the road, of the profound sensation of being “a man from far away,” seeing, eating, experiencing things you’d never expect and how it can change and influence your life. As the band’s Grayson Hamm explained in press notes, “Coming from a small town, I never had the experience of the big city life, but surprisingly it wasn’t these destinations that intrigued me the most. It was the journey, and the miles, and time it took to get there. Once we were out on the road all by ourselves just driving and seeing the countryside, this quest of finding myself really started to take effect. This is where the premise of the chorus let alone the whole song comes into play. ‘There must be something in the way how, there’s nothing standing in our way now.’ I started to realize that the only barrier that was standing in the way was myself. The world was just waiting for me.”

The band’s latest single “Lately” finds the band drawing from classic, Quiet Storm-era R&B, indie rock and blue eyed soul in a way that reminds me of Milagres’ exceptional first two albums Glowing Mouth and Violent Light — and much like the material off of those albums, there’s the push and pull of infatuation, lust, love and heartache at the core of a confusing relationship that at times is unrequited and other times is requited; but as the band’s primary songwriter Grayson Hamm notes, there’s also an underlying questioning of one’s own worth, which love can make you do on occasion. As he explains in press notes,  “The lyrics came to me one day after experiencing the all-too-common feeling of falling for someone without reciprocation. The truth is, I didn’t know what I was getting into and probably will never fully understand it. We have all experienced that uncomfortable moment in which we have stronger feelings for someone than they have for us, even if we refuse to admit it out of embarrassment or shame. I’ve reached the point multiple times in my life where I ask the question, ‘Who I am to you? How does this person see me compared to how I see them?’ This cyclical pattern is emotionally exhausting, so I decided to channel these feelings the best way I know how: though the process of songwriting. ‘Lately’ is all about asking these difficult questions. Sometimes it is more helpful to look introspectively rather than to direct the questions toward the one we might be falling for.”

 

Comprised of Grayson Hamm (keys, lead vocals), Walt Blythe (guitar),  Brandon Brewer (bass, vocals) and Wes Belk (drums), the Oklahoma City, OK-based psych rock quartet SPACE4LEASE can trace their origins to when its founding member and primary songwriter met his bandmates while they were all attending the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma. And although they all came from vastly different musical backgrounds and had different musical tastes, the band formed as a unique convergence of all their influences, including Tame Impala, My Morning Jacket, Big Thief, Andy Shauf and others while lyrically, their material currently focuses on lost love, the unknown and inevitable life experiences. With the release of their 2016 debut EP, Hiraeth, an effort focused on the complicated process of self-discovery, the Oklahoman psych rock quartet toured extensively across the Midwest, winning the praise of The Flaming Lips‘ Derek Brown, who described them as  “Fellow Okies that wonderfully mix the blissfulness and melancholy of the great wide open.”

The band’s latest single “Must Be Something” is a moody and atmospheric bit of psych rock with some gorgeously shimmering guitar work, a sinuous and propulsive bass line and a rousingly anthemic hook that sonically brings a couple of different acts to mind — JOVM mainstays Caveman, Los Angeles-based indie rock act Hands and others; but with a slightly more expansive vibe inspired by the endless possibility of the road, of seeing and experiencing things you’d never expect, and how all of that can change and influence your life. As the band’s Grayson Hamm explains in press notes about the song, “Coming from a small town, I never had the experience of the big city life, but surprisingly it wasn’t these destinations that intrigued me the most. It was the journey, and the miles, and time it took to get there. Once we were out on the road all by ourselves just driving and seeing the countryside, this quest of finding myself really started to take effect. This is where the premise of the chorus let alone the whole song comes into play. “There must be something in the way how, there’s nothing standing in our way now.” I started to realize that the only barrier that was standing in the way was myself. The world was just waiting for me.

“Travel, explore, because the world is waiting for you – but so many of us convince ourselves to push these things off until one day it can be too late. It is this internal fear that holds us back. Talking ourselves out of it. Second guessing ourselves. Time passes all the same regardless if you’re sitting at home in your shell, or if you’re testing those limits of fear and breaking your shell, even if it’s uncomfortable at times. The only person standing in your way is you.”

 

 

 

Comprised of founding members Victor Martinez and Nick Mariotti, along with Steven Doman, the Los Angeles, CA-based indie rock trio Paloma can trace its origins to when  both its founding members started the band in a small, bedroom studio deconstructing ideas over and over and over again while the duo had been balancing the need to make ends meet while expressing their irrepressible need to be creative; however the band’s sound and aesthetic didn’t coalesce until they recruited Steven Doman to fully flesh out their sound.  And with the band’s forthcoming debut EP Luna, the band’s sound draws a bit from the classic Southern California sound, as well as a variety of renowned artists including Beach House, Daft Punk, The Weeknd, Tame Impala, Pond, Gum, Dumbo Gets Mad, Fleetwood Mac, Michael Jackson, The Beatles, and Earth Wind and Fire — although with “Touch,” the EP’s latest single finds the band pairing a propulsive and sinuous groove, a brooding New Wave-like moodiness and achingly plaintive vocals, creating a sound that reminds me a bit of Hands‘ dreamy and excellent 2012 EP, Massive Context and Milagres‘ impressionistic 2011 debut Glowing Mouth. In a similar fashion to those albums, the song manages to be emotionally ambivalent and confused, capturing the vacillating thoughts and emotions of its narrator.

As the members of the band explain about their new single, the song is about a diamond in the rough, a somewhat tramp-like sort, who doesn’t quite know how to believe in themselves until he meets a princess – – for him, at least — that did believe in him. When they both turn to real life, there’s a part of him that’s banking on the idea that in some ay they’re only halfway through the film, that the story isn’t finished yet. And as a result, the song possesses an unresolved tension.

 

 

Los Angeles, CA-based quintet Hunny specialize in an infectious, hook-laden party rock/dance rock sound/pop sound that seems to channel several contemporary acts including Hands, St. Lucia, Phoenix and others — while subtly nodding at early 80s New Wave. And the act’s latest single “Vowels (and The Importance of Being Me) will further cement the act’s burgeoning reputation for hook-laden summertime anthems as the band pairs soaring synths, four-on-the floor drumming, shimmering and angular chords and an undulating bass line with deeply earnest vocals singing lyrics about ridiculously passionate, confusing and urgent, young love. Certainly, in an age of sneering cynicism and disbelief, such earnestness is a breath of fresh air; but perhaps more important, thanks to a larger-than-life anthemic hook, I can imagine a packed club full of young people singing lustily along to the song.

The band will be on a lengthy tour throughout July and August, which also will include an August 5, 2016 stop at The Knitting Factory.

 

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