Sunday, January 31, 2016

Nation Beat Embarks On A Carnival Caravan

Nation Beat's latest ep, Carnival Caravan featuring Cha Wa, is a five song trip to Brazil via New Orleans.    It's a crazy mash up of party atmospheres that lends itself to an upbeat, up-tempo, percussion fueled vibe that's filled with energy.  This short record is an ethnomusicologist’s dream of what cross cultural pollination is all about.   South American maracatu drumming meshes with New Orleans second line rhythms and funk to fuse a sound that's as celebratory as it is unique. If you were to look up quirky music in a dictionary Nation Beat would be next to the definition.

From the funky vibes of “Casa Diamante – Sew Sew Sew,” complete with fuzzed out guitars to the extremely catchy fun of the NOLA fueled march of, “Liza Jane,” you'll have no idea what continent you're on, what influences are playing off one another and why you can't stop tapping along.  National Beat are truly a Carnival Caravan and they're taking their party from the streets of the French Quarter to the carnivals of Brazil and everywhere in between.  Carnival Caravan is the sound of diversity and a lot of fun.

A Lunchbox of Smash Hits

I'm not 100% sure Lunchbox's single Smash Hits does indeed contain any actual smash hits but what it does contain is a shambolic romp through the indie rock canon.  Frenetic, noisy, and a bit chaotic Smash Hits is an energetic and noisy amalgamation of sloppy guitars, geeky vocals, and hooks the size of Texas.  The whole things sounds like it might just spin off the 7” and break apart but Lunchbox manage to hold it all together for the six songs that make up this record.

Smash Hits is messy fun.  It's jumpy, hyper and is obviously fueled by a bit of pop ADHD.  It's all over the place musically but the melodies are as strong as steel and they rope your ears in.  Lunchbox may bash their way through this record rather quickly but I bet you remember at least one riff or chorus for days.  Smash Hits is good stuff and its proof positive that good things do come in small speedily delivered packages.   

The Moon Types Know The Reason

The Moon Types single Know the Reason is a perfect slice of indie pop neatly served on a 7” platter.   Beaming with west coast vibes, radiant horns, and mellow melodies this little record is a bit of heaven via Sweden.  The siblings Klein (Jesper and Josefin) know their way around a pop song and manipulate all the tricks within one to create rays of jangly, jolly jubilance that's as firmly rooted in 60's pop as it is modern indie.

Know the Reason is a near perfect record that's unfortunately short at twelve minutes long.  For those twelve minutes, however, indie pop bliss is all ours and it's lit by the glow of the moon (types).  It's been a while since Swedish indie pop was all the rage, but The Moon Types haven't forgotten and they clearly Know The Reason why it was to begin with.     

Animal Daydream Create Easy Pleasures

Animal Daydream are a band so in love with west coast pop they seemingly have gotten lost within it.  Their recent four song single Easy Pleasures is a ray of sunshiny jangle that's as laid back as a Sunday morning in Santa Barbara.  With enough of a Teenage Fanclub/Tyde influence to make you wonder if they're not really lost in Britain as opposed to California, this group gently strums guitars, layers harmonies, and write songs as if the sun was in perpetual sunset. 

Easy Pleasures is an absolute joy to listen to.  Its uncomplicated breezy nature is as warm as the sun and as fresh as the salty beach air.  Each of the four songs are melodic masterpieces that are bright even when they're going on about rain.  If ever there was a soundtrack to a bonfire on a beach, Easy Pleasures would be it, it's casual and optimistic tone is the perfect way to top off a long day in paradise.  This record truly is an easy pleasure.