New Music Tuesday | Hozier and PVRIS

Buckle your seatbelts and startup your Spotify, kids, it's time for New Music Tuesday! I know I said I am working hard to be better at this, and I'm getting there slowly but surely. I think it'll take ages before I get to a place where I can really do this weekly, so for now monthly will have to do. This week I write to you about two of my favorite new finds: the most amazing Blues player I've heard in ages, and one of my favorite new bands I discovered while out on Warped Tour 2014. 


HOZIER - Hozier

Andrew Hozier-Bryne, better known these days by his surname Hozier, is the Irish singer-songwriter credited with the Top 40 smash hit "Take Me To Church". If you thought you liked the one song you've heard, be prepared to have your brain melt. It sounds silly, but the man's radio hit does his full length album zero credit, and you can't just take my word for it. Filled with catchy beats, beautiful melodies, impressive guitar work, and even more impressive lyrics, Hozier's album takes you on a beautiful ride through love, doubt, faith, and imagery. This album has become a staple of my musical library in the short month I've known of its existence. My personal recommendation is to start the album with track number two, "Angel of Death and the Codeine Scene" since track one is the only song you already know. Let the rest of the music speak for itself, and by the album's end you'll hardly believe "Take Me To Church" and the rest of his album come from the same artist. Trying to pick my favorite songs off of this album is impossible, and spoiler alert: I have already decided that for Ultra5280's 2014 roundup, I will be naming this my top album of the year. Feel free to hop over to Ultra5280 and read my review of Hozier's show in Boulder last month, but if you want to just cut to the chase, set an hour aside and listen to this record the whole way through. If I had to pick, my 3 favorite songs are "Jackie and Wilson", "From Eden", and "Work Song". Trust me on this though, you want to hear all of it. Sweet Andrew Hozier, you have solidified yourself as one of my favorite artists... I pray God your next album blows my mind as much as this one does. 


PVRIS - White Noise

When I was growing up, Warped Tour was the place to discover new music and slowly watch it rise to fame. Somehow in the late 2000's, that all changed and legacy bands began to rule the roster traveling coast to coast. It started to feel like the only way to discover new stuff at Warped was to lurk around the Kevin Says Stage for a few years in a row, and see who stuck around. This past summer was one of the first times in ages that I feel like new talent truly got to shine through at Warped, and one of the bands that succeeded the most is PVRIS. A band of youngsters from Boston, they played a quick two-week stint of shows across the east coast on the Ernie Ball Stage. In that time they managed to draw the attention of bands from every single stage on the tour, photographers, and even the production staff. Lead singer Lyndsey Gunnulfsen draws you in with her fiery yet seductive tone, a growl encroaching on her her smooth voice with every chorus. Her lyrics take the listener from a place of wonder and curiosity to a place of uproar with killer hooks like "It's my house / and I think it's time you get out/ it's my soul / it isn't yours anymore / it's my house / and i think it's time you get out". Iridescent synth tracks in the background lead you weaving through each song's melody, escorted by driving guitars and sharp drums. The ferocity of the vocals in songs like "St. Patrick" and "My House" give Gunnulfsen credibility as a vocalist in ways most females are written off in this genre. She can sing, but damn the girl can mean it too. The entire album front-to-back is a quick 40minutes, but it might just be the most successful blend of pop-punk, rock, and electronica that i've ever heard. 

New Music Tuesday: Alt-J and Vance Joy

Okay, I know i tried this like eight months ago to no avail, but i'm serious this time! I want to get better about doing "New Music Tuesdays" every weekboth here and Ultra5280. Sometimes they might end up being the same thing (sue me, I write for two blogs, I can use the same copy on both if I want to), but regardless, I do what I do first and foremost because I love music, and chances are you read my blog because you do too! Time for me to get real and hopefully help you find some new jams for you week-to-week shenanigans. This week i'm talking about Alt-J's brand spankin' new album This Is All Yours, and radio darling's Vance Joy's full-length premiere.


ALT-J, This Is All Yours

If you're a friend of mine, I'm sorry, but I'm about to tirade once again about how much I love this band. Some people have been referring to them as "the new Radiohead", and while I understand the comparison, I hope that this new album really continues to showcase this band as a group fully capable of being something new in a time when music has been repetitious and an homage to every other era except this one. Alt-J's debut album An Awesome Wave hit me like nothing i've experienced before. New, dramatic, instrumental, and almost sharp with distinct sounds, the band was simply different. To say I got hooked was an understatement, so when the band finally began releasing the singles prior to this album's release this month, I was eating them up. The thing I immediately enjoyed about the new album was that it was in no way related to their previous work. Songs like "Left Hand Free" made me think of The Beatles before it made me think of Alt-J, and tracks like "Every Other Freckle" used familiar strengths of the band in ways we hadn't seen before. Although lead singer Joe Newman's lyrics still make absolutely NO sense whatsoever, the band's harmonies are as perfect as ever. Experimenting with samples, duets, and some funkier bass patterns than ever before (if you can believe that), This Is All Yours was an album who's release I HIGHLY anticipated, and it did not disappoint. Do yourself a favor and do whatever you need to do, but listen to the whole thing 1 time through completely before you say a thing. It doesn't flow the way An Awesome Wave does, but it still tells a story with listening to front to back. 

Vance Joy, Dream Your Life Away

I haven't given this album the time it deserves in my life yet, but upon first listen, the band who's song "Riptide" has taken Top 40 radio by storm seems to have more in store for us than just a catchy single. A singer songwriter at his core, vocalist James Keogh's sound is filled out nicely by an accompanying band. Great melodies, beautiful harmonies, and well timed lines, this album caught me by surprised. I thought that I'd be bored by someone who was "just another folk guy", but the second track of the album, "Mess is Mine" absolutely blew my brain. Songs like "Geogria" and "All I Ever Wanted" take unique perspectives on common themes that many can't seem to find new ways to write about. Not to mention the guys voice...Keogh's voice is just so different you have pay attention, no way to let your mind wander throughout a song or you'll find yourself completely lost. A wonderful pairing for a nice fall day or a quiet night in, Vance Joy's album has some little gems that make me smile. The band is coming to Denver in November, and I fully intend to see how the music translates in a live setting.