New edition of our weekly spin-list…
Headlights new album, “Some Racing, Some Stopping”, has been a morning wake-up album for me since it was released. Their sweet fairytale-like echoing dual vocals will instantly put you in a good mood. If I could compare them to anyone, they would be a lighter (lyrically), more accessible version of Arcade Fire (driving danceable drum beats and busty bass bravado). They don’t really bring anything new to the musical world, but what they lack in creating a genre of their own, they make up for in crafting fun catchy pop songs.
“Wouldn’t it be sorta strange if we could hear our hearts all beating at once? Some racing, some stopping, some skipping and dropping while we’re listening. And the faces wouldn’t matter ’cause we’d know it when it pattered.” – from the title track ‘Some Racing, Some Stopping’
Hoots & Hellmouth are somewhat of an anomaly, surviving merely on word of mouth. Their brand of gallivanting gospel is gaining them a reputation from their shows; impromptu audience participation (inviting the whole crowd on stage at once for a sing-along) and improvising when their drummer was feeling a bit under the weather (buying a large piece of wooden board before the show and covering it with tambourines to create a stomping ground of makeshift percussion). Of course, I haven’t been able to see them, but by word of mouth, they are becoming an old standby in my collection. If you would love a dose of good old fashion Americana, give these gent’s a listen. The track “Home In A Boxcar” makes me want to go down to the local saloon and sip on a dirty whiskey sarsaparilla.
I guess there is a bit of a mini-theme here, I have been on a female vocal jaunt as of late (so sue me). Mates of State have always been known for their husband/wife dual intertwining vocals and punchy use of the organ. You could almost come to expect a great album from them, but more of the same, not really bringing in many new ideas. “Re-Arrange Us”, well, it re-arranges them. Gone is the organ (sure to upset many longstanding fans), but here to stay is crafty song-writing and a focus on the female lead, with hubby taking a backseat most of the time. They really flaunt their pop music prowess, creating melodies that stick in your head for days (good luck getting “Now” out of your head).
[Look for a new “Listen Up!” every weekend.]