Best New Rock – Birdeatsbaby, Touch The Clouds, North Ship, Mono A Mono

Get lot in the ethereal cinematic metal that is Birdeatsbaby.  The hypnotic melodic appeal is equal parts beauty and beast.  Progressive in design, the new single Ribbons evolves like a song in four chapters.  Featuring multiple starlet leads, these gothic angels are the suicide girls of your metal dreams.  The star power is on full display with the companion music video.  True to their cinematic design, the video features elegant costumery, makeup, and set design.  The sensitive material is a gorgeous horrorshow with artistic intent.  It only enhances the haunting mid song musical climax, as the sirens howl soars above the dramatic arrangement.  

A strong pseudo metal arrangement with several dropout sections, Birdeatsbaby are masters of building it up and breaking it down.  They pull at our obsessions for musical surprise and unsuspecting drops.  Each drum-free break brings imaginative appeal, as it all serves to lose yourself in the cinematic draw.  The cascading drums and layered production, with thick distorted guitars almost always at the forefront, adapts like a Hans Zimmer production with vocals.  There’s also evidence of the epic rock known to Muse and Mastodon.  Paired with these dark and sultry female leads, Ribbons is ripe with the scary sex appeal that has transformed the goth movement from underground to Hollywood over the past 20 years.  Birdeatsbaby have both the talent and star power to rise to the top of that scene, or even take it over.  They’ve been chipping away at it for a little over a decade, the new single might just push them over the edge. 

  Enjoy Ribbons now on our Best New Rock Playlist.  

Touch The Clouds

Touch The Clouds recently released their new single Feeling Light.  The contrast of the melancholy melodic palette and passionate energetic performance is intoxicating.  With catchy emphatic vocals the singer is believable.  Interesting guitar voicing’s give it unfamiliar surprise and harmonious appeal, as rich overtones create a dreamy affect. 

The chord structure is rooted in the intelligent alternate rock of Built to Spill and Smashing Pumpkins.  With indie sensibility it could draw comparisons to Band of Horses and My Morning Jacket.  The unsuspecting dreamy outro adds an additional progressive cinematic twist.  On the outset they present a solid rock song, but with the spacey outro it teases how an album might evolve.  

  Also citing Jimmy Eat World as an influence, Feeling Light does suggest an affinity for emo’s most impressive movement.  Jimmy’s classic Clarity made the kids look alright.  In tandem with a few others, like The Promise Ring and Braid, emo influenced some of the best bands from indie rock’s first movement.  We’ve been eager to hear more groups recall this treasured era, and Touch The Clouds delivers with their own bottled youth and collective influence.

  Enjoy Feeling Light now on our Best New Rock Playlist.  

North Ship

North Ship break a lot of rules with their new single Plastic House.  Dedicated to creating innovative works that push the utility of popular instruments, the duo presents an eclectic arrangement that trends close enough to a popular melodic design to feel familiar, while retaining an otherworldly sonic presence.  As the composition evolves there are more consistent recognizable musical traits.  At times there’s evidence of possible influences like Bowie, Radiohead, and Arcade Fire.  It’s mostly the vocal delivery and the effect it leans on that conjures the comparison to Bowie and Arcade Fire, while the musical design feels most attributed to Radiohead.  Getting compared to these modern icons is no small order.  North Ship has the creative intellect to build unique sonic offerings in Rock.  They’re also incredibly catchy, with vocal repetitions that grab you on the first listen.  

  They bring something different to this new classic indie feel with their use of samples and sounds known to more modern bands who bypass stripped down live shows in exchange for offering the full sonic experience in concert, even if it means playing to “tracks.”  For Rock and Roll gatekeepers it takes a bit of getting used to, but you can’t deny the emergence of the new recording artist.  As production tools have become more accessible, songwriters have made them an integral part of their art.  Choosing their most adaptable instrument to play live, it’s acceptable to feature samples until you can manage a full ensemble on the road.  Plastic House would pack a powerful punch live, with cascading drums you can feel throughout, and a passionate vocal guaranteed to get under your skin.  

  Enjoy Plastic House now on our Best New Rock playlist.  

Mono A Mono

Seattle rockers Mono A Mono caught our attention with their new single Son Of A Gun.  Purveyor’s of rock’s guilded age, the foundation of the track was recorded in one take.  The authentic band performance has a vintage charm.  With indie sensibility it recalls early Kings of Leon, Pavement, and early Wilco.  Or more recently, Parquet Courts.  It’s more rooted in the Velvet Underground than The Rolling Stones, with subtle hints of 50s rock and Weezer Pop in the melodic design.  In the spirit of the aforementioned indie icons, the vocals are presented true to tape and the music mixed raw with an “in the garage” aesthetic.  The writing is well versed in 90s alternative, but with a stronger affinity for classic punk and rock.  In that way it shares an aesthetic connection with the early aught rock of the 2000’s.  

  Lyrically, Son Of A Gun plays out like a blue collar tragedy.  The ones who shut the dream machine down to “do the right thing.”  Gave up the chance to be the chosen one, just to be another one.  The  existential crisis lies in the regret that since you didn’t try you’ll never know.  The problem is that it’s never quite clear when to stop.  It’s all about avoiding the trap of rock bottom, and if you’ve ever seen anyone actually hit it, you wouldn’t wish it on anyone.  For these rockers, that won’t be an issue.  Doing it for all the right reasons, there’s a humble serenity to their presentation.  Instead of using production to twist their sound to the new mainstream standard, they return rock to its proper stripped down origins.  

  Enjoy Son of a Gun now on our Best New Rock Playlist 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s