review

Fettkakao // Sampler 2014

Fettkakao Fettkakao has found a way to capture the cool kids of Vienna so gracefully in this 2014 released compilation. Reminding us that Austria is a good home for pop-punk and stand-out indie acts. A favorite on the release is Tirana’s, Window Shopper. It’s punk at a tea party. Well, the kind of tea party you actually want an invite to but you only know the host through a friend. Yes, it’s that cool.

Fettkakao has managed to create a well curated album that wraps you up and takes you away from work or wherever you are. Get to it!

2013 // Review

lorde-pure-heroine-410Lorde – Pure Heroine
– I first heard Lorde in the summer, and by the fall she was everywhere. The minimal music and emphasis on vocals is refreshing to hear on popular radio. There’s a simple kind of beauty in that kind of music. Being only 17, it appears that age is just a number and that anyone can make songs that take the world by storm. We are super stoked to see what Lorde has up her sleeve in 2014. 

Beyonce- Self-Titled Visual Album – Okay, Beyonce is the hero of the year. Her video just explaining the new visual album makes me want to dance with joy even though it’s a video with no music. There is no hype, focusing on the music and the story behind it, letting a whole picture combine for every song. She didn’t want the press to tell her when the album would be released and she didn’t let naysayers stop her from making a video for every song. The self-titled visual album is truly a work of art.

La Luz – It’s Alive! – I discovered this band while visiting friends in Seattle. They put on the record, and I was hooked to the surfer vibes. La Luz is quickly rising onto everyone’s radar. They suffered a terrible car accident in November, but fortunately they are now doing well and are now back to playing shows. The band recently opened for Built to Spill. We expect to hear even more about them in 2014!

Gretchen Lohse – Primal Rumble Primal Rumble Gretchen Lohse is our absolute favorite over here at LBB. How could we not write about her soft and brave folk songs. Lohse’s new album Primal Rumble is, like much of her work, an easy grab for tea with honey and a warm fire. We look forward to visual compliments and components to her work in 2014. Here’s hoping!

 

The Shondes // The Garden

A 90s vibe and Sleater-kinney-esque tremolos. That’s probably the best way in a nutshell to describe the Shondes new LP The Garden.

The Brooklyn quartet just released their second full-length album The Garden in September. They’re embarking on a national tour this month.The Shondes state that Judaism and political activity are greatly put into their music.

The title track,  “The Garden”, opens the album to the energy and violin riffs that is to follow.  The violin swings in for a surprise at the end. Throughout every song, there is that sense of urgency and a calling to speak out for your political beliefs. 

For me, the standout track of the entire album was “Running In My Sleep.” The second track of the album with the word “running” in it. The other being  “Running Out of Time” with the violin riffing through it all. Usually, the top songs or hit songs are within the first three or four tracks. Why I like “Running in My Sleep” is because it’s surprising. It comes as a nice gem towards the end of the album and the back-up vocals add softness to the overall sound.

I would enjoy hearing more diversity between songs. They stick closely to the traditional rock set up, but they do experiment with other sounds like the melodica in “Nights Like These.”  One thing they do well is remain consistent in each track. The lead vocals never lose their power or fade. Each song comes with energy. In the Riot Grrrl era, no doubt The Shondes would be a major contender and favorite in the field. 

words by Maura Filoromo

Stephanie Nilles // Takes a Big Ship

It’s rare an artist can some incorporate old in a way that is so new. Stephanie Nilles does just that with her latest album Takes a Big Ship. Released last September, the record features a number of songs all in a New Orleans jazz vibe. Nilles calls the city home, though originally from Chicago. She embraces her current residence into the music.

This album really is whimsical jazz. She’s having fun. The song titles, like “canadians are from canada,” give you a little smirk just reading them. She has a voice that is like tin pan alley meets the 21st century. It has the old qualities while sounding new and refreshing.

The album starts out with, “Transistor,” a song with a fast-paced organ riff that is dizzying but not in a bad way. The second song, “Give Me a Pigfoot, (& a bottle of beer),” is an old timey piano-driven tune. The modern is incorporated simply in the title of the song, “#,”. (How would you # that album name on Twitter?) The drums at the intro and outro really pack power. The song ends with a surprising strings riff giving it a bit of a darker feel.
At its heart, this is New Orleans jazz but many other genres seep their way into the mix. Old worlds meet new ones with this album, and she has such a unique, unforgettable voice that’ll be singing in your head long after listening to the songs.

by Maura Filoromo
photo by Meg Hannah

visit: stephanienilles.com