The Best Albums of 2007: #10-1

Posted January 3, 2008 by spectre1982
Categories: aereogramme, Best of 2007, Circa Survive, Fair to Midland, gavin castleton, Kaddisfly, modest mouse, Music, Music Reviews, of montreal, Oh My God, Radiohead, Strata

The Best of 2007 finale. It’s been a year full of great music and I hope you’ve enjoyed some of these as much as I have. Here’s what has already been mentioned:

#50-41

50. Interpol – Our Love to Admire
49. Mel Gibson and the Pants – Sea vs. Shining Sea
48. Sylvan – Presets
47. Film School – Hideout
46. Ghost Brigade – Guided By Fire
45. Linkin Park – Minutes to Midnight
44. Hopesfall – Magnetic North
43. Red Fox Grey Fox – From the Land of Bears, Ice, and Rock
42. God is an Astronaut – Far From Refuge
41. Tiger Army – Music From Regions Beyond

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The Best Albums of 2007: #20-11

Posted December 30, 2007 by spectre1982
Categories: Blonde Redhead, chiodos, Deas vail, Kiss Kiss, Nightwish, pinback, Queens of the Stone Age, Sage Francis, The Birthday Massacre, The Dear Hunter

Continuing the countdown of the best albums of the year. Here’s what has already been mentioned:

#50-41

50. Interpol – Our Love to Admire
49. Mel Gibson and the Pants – Sea vs. Shining Sea
48. Sylvan – Presets
47. Film School – Hideout
46. Ghost Brigade – Guided By Fire
45. Linkin Park – Minutes to Midnight
44. Hopesfall – Magnetic North
43. Red Fox Grey Fox – From the Land of Bears, Ice, and Rock
42. God is an Astronaut – Far From Refuge
41. Tiger Army – Music From Regions Beyond

#40-31

40. Damiera – M(Us)ic
39. Sleepytime Gorilla Museum – In Glorious Times
38. Chevelle – Vena Sera
37. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Baby 81
36. Feist – The Reminder
35. Bat For Lashes – Fur and Gold
34. Holy Roman Empire – The Longue Durée
33. Paramore – Riot!
32. !!! – Myth Takes
31. Stateless – Stateless

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The Best Albums of 2007: #30-21

Posted December 24, 2007 by spectre1982
Categories: 3, anberlin, editors, ken andrews, Maserati, Minus the Bear, Music, Music Reviews, Porcupine Tree, The Arcade Fire, The Smashing Pumpkins, theSTART

Continuing the countdown of the best albums of the year. Here’s what has already been mentioned:

#50-41

50. Interpol – Our Love to Admire
49. Mel Gibson and the Pants – Sea vs. Shining Sea
48. Sylvan – Presets
47. Film School – Hideout
46. Ghost Brigade – Guided By Fire
45. Linkin Park – Minutes to Midnight
44. Hopesfall – Magnetic North
43. Red Fox Grey Fox – From the Land of Bears, Ice, and Rock
42. God is an Astronaut – Far From Refuge
41. Tiger Army – Music From Regions Beyond

#40-31

40. Damiera – M(Us)ic
39. Sleepytime Gorilla Museum – In Glorious Times
38. Chevelle – Vena Sera
37. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Baby 81
36. Feist – The Reminder
35. Bat For Lashes – Fur and Gold
34. Holy Roman Empire – The Longue Durée
33. Paramore – Riot!
32. !!! – Myth Takes
31. Stateless – Stateless

The Best Albums of 2007: #30-21

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The Best Albums of 2007: #40-31

Posted December 18, 2007 by spectre1982
Categories: Bat For Lashes, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Chevelle, Damiera, Feist, Holy Roman Empire, Paramore, sleepytime gorilla museum, Stateless, Uncategorized

Continuing the countdown of the best albums of the year.

Recap: #50-41

50. Interpol – Our Love to Admire
49. Mel Gibson and the Pants – Sea vs. Shining Sea
48. Sylvan – Presets
47. Film School – Hideout
46. Ghost Brigade – Guided By Fire
45. Linkin Park – Minutes to Midnight
44. Hopesfall – Magnetic North
43. Red Fox Grey Fox – From the Land of Bears, Ice, and Rock
42. God is an Astronaut
41. Tiger Army – Music From Regions Beyond

The Best Albums of 2007: #40-31

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The Best Albums of 2007: #50-41

Posted December 10, 2007 by spectre1982
Categories: A Day To Remember, Armor For Sleep, Band of Horses, Björk, Caspian, Coheed and Cambria, Film School, Finger Eleven, Foo Fighters, gavin castleton, Ghost Brigade, God is an Astronaut, Hopesfall, Interpol, linkin park, Mel Gibson and the Pants, Moving Mountains, My Vitriol, Oceansize, OneSideZero, Portugal. The Man, Red Fox Grey Fox, Rishloo, Shy Child, Straylight Run, Streetlights, sylvan, The Eclectic Collective, The Pineapple Thief, The Polyphonic Spree, Tiger Army, Wintersleep

Here is my take on the best albums released in 2007. By the end of the year, I will have built up to my #1 album of 2007, but I’ll start with some notable EPs, the albums that deserve an honorable mention, and albums #50-41.
In thinking about my personal take on 2007, the exceptional volume of good albums released stands out. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it was a better year–I look back at 2004 and 2005 and see some incredible releases on top-heavy lists, and I remember that while there was less of a clear distinction as to what my top 10 of 2006 would be, there was little drop-off in quality well down the list. And here in 2007, while I had planned on cutting off a formal list at 40, it now seems like 50 is the only way to go. So, better get things started.

First a look at some notable EPs, some honorable mentions, and then on to albums #50-41.

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2007 Halfway Highlights

Posted July 25, 2007 by spectre1982
Categories: aereogramme, anberlin, Björk, Blonde Redhead, Circa Survive, Deas vail, gavin castleton, Grüvis Malt, Kaddisfly, ken andrews, Kiss Kiss, linkin park, Maserati, modest mouse, Music, Music Reviews, of montreal, Oh My God, Porcupine Tree, Sage Francis, Stateless, Streetlights, sylvan, The Arcade Fire, Uncategorized

A look at the best albums released so far in 2007…

The Top 20

20.
Sylvan – Presets
#
B

We’ll start things off with the sixth album by the German progressive band Sylvan, titled Presets. While earlier releases touched more on symphonic rock and moody prog-metal, this album is rooted in a more contemporary sound. Still, my favorite part of the album is twelve minute title track that closes the disc.
Song Highlights: Presets, For One Day, One Step Beyond
Links: HomepageLast.fmMyspace

19.
Björk – Volta
#
B

When I think about all of the songs by Björk that I enjoy the most, it stands out that they’re mostly found on one of her first three albums (Debut, Post, Homogenic). Meanwhile, I can barely force myself to imagine the melody from a single song on her last album (the ritualistic sounding and almost completely a capella Medúlla). Nevertheless, I was very interested in hearing her newest release, which I’m pleased to say isn’t half bad. In fact, the album starts out with Earth Intruders, one of the best songs she’s recorded in a while. Other tracks like Hope, Wanderlust, Innocence, and I See Who You Are sound very good, though a couple others seem to go floating adrift. Overall, it’s a good album, and Bjork sounds like she’s having some fun again.
Song Highlights: Earth Inruders, Wanderlust, Hope, I See Who You Are
Links: HomepageLast.fmMyspace

18.
Ken Andrews – Secrets of the Lost Satellite
#
B

In a roundabout way, I’ve been enjoying the work of Ken Andrews for a number of years. He has been the singer and/or guitarist in the bands Failure and Year of the Rabbit, and he has produced or mixed albums by A Perfect Circle, Tenacious D, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Abandoned Pools, Mae, and others. This year I found out about Ken’s solo project (previously named “ON”) just in time for the release of Secrets of the Lost Satellite. It’s an excellent alternative-rock album with electronic and spacey touches, and Andrews leads the way through the album like the experienced musician that he is.
Song Highlights: Secret Things, What It’s Like, Up Or Down
Links: HomepageLast.fmMyspace

17.
Linkin Park – Minutes to Midnight
#
B

To put it mildly, Linkin Park were doing just fine as they entered the studio to record their third album. The band has played in front of an immense number of fans worldwide and are the owners of the last album to be certified “diamond” by the RIAA (Hybrid Theory, 10 Million+, 2002). A collaboration with Jay-Z and a very well done solo release by Mike Shinoda’s Fort Minor project has seen them branch out beyond fusion metal, and though it’s been sure to irritate more than a few people, their exposure has reached the saturation point thanks to radio and MTV. Still, despite a nearly flawless delivery on two discs of the nu-metal sound that they have now come to own, the band was prepared to do things differently for Minutes to Midnight. The music is better off and worse off for it by trading in a little edge for a bit of maturity. Their trademark angst seems to have found something of a purpose for once, and perhaps even a real target. For their part, Linkin Park may have to settle for a more modest precious metal, but it comes well earned.
Song Highlights: The Little Things Give You Away, Hands Held High, In Pieces, Leave Out All the Rest
Links: HomepageLast.fmMyspace

16.
Anberlin – Cities
#
B+

The follow-up to 2005′s Never Take Friendship Personal, Cities builds on Anberlin’s obvious strengths: energetic, catchy guitar riffs and clean, strong, hooky vocal melodies.
Song Highlights: Alexithymia, Godspeed, Adelaide, There is No Mathematics Between Love and Loss, Hello Alone
Links: HomepageLast.fmMyspace

15.
!!! – Myth Takes
#
B+

Back when chk chk chk were just starting out, I remember hearing the song Intensify and being impressed by their dancy ska/punk/funk sound. Unique as it was, many of the songs on that self-titled album droned on aimlessly. The next album Louden Up Now was a big step in the right direction, especially with Me and Giuliani Down by the School Yard (A True Story) becoming something of a hit. Myth Takes brings the band even closer to perfecting their sound within the disco-punk genre that has lately risen in prominence. The new album is considerably tighter and more consistent from beginning to end, easily making this !!!’s most listener friendly album.
Song Highlights:Heart of Hearts, Myth Takes, Must Be the Moon, All My Heroes are Weirdos
Links: HomepageLast.fmMyspace

14.
Maserati – Inventions for the New Season

B+

Maserati is post-rock with a pulse. Unlike many other instrumental groups who are all about the crescendo, this band is all about getting there. They do it with layer upon layer cyclic guitar rhythms and percussion. As each song slowly unfurls, you almost feel like you’re moving. To make the obvious analogy, this album is like taking off down the road in a Quattroporte and setting it on cruise-control while you enjoy the ride.
Song Highlights: Inventions, 12/16, Show Me the Season, The World Outside
Links: HomepageLast.fmMyspace

13.
The Arcade Fire – Neon Bible
#
B+

Neon Bible is the long awaited successor to The Arcade Fire’s sensational debut Funeral. The new album shows that the band has grown in some ways since then, both in their music and in their lyrical interests, which have taken to more widely relevant subjects. Musically, the band seems to have a little more poise, keeping most of the first portion of the album finely controlled. It’s as if they are holding back, waiting to let loose for the album’s climax No Cars Go. And herein lies what might be the biggest letdown with Neon Bible, that its best track has actually been around in some form or another since before Funeral was ever even released. While it’s very deserving that No Cars Go finally finds itself on an LP, it kind of takes the wind out the album’s sail. Other than that though, it’s difficult to find a lot to complain about as The Arcade Fire have really put together another fine collection of songs.
Song Highlights: No Cars Go, Black Mirror, Windowsill
Links: HomepageLast.fmMyspace

12.
Sage Francis – Human the Death Dance
#
A

Outspoken alternative hip-hop artist Sage Francis returns with his unique, sharp witted style. Generally speaking, there is less focus on politics and social issues than 2005′s A Healthy Distrust, making this more of a personal journal. Human the Death Dance upholds his reputation for laying topically diverse, intelligent lyrics over backing music that ranges from traditional hip-hop to indie-rock, and even blues and folk on the standout track “Got up this Morning”, featuring folk guitarist and vocalist Jolie Holland.
Song Highlights:Got Up This Morning, Black Out On White Nights, Clickety Clack, Call Me Francois
Links: HomepageLast.fmMyspace

11.
Stateless – Stateless
#
A

I found myself enjoying debut album by this British band right from the first listen. The band’s style is kind of a mix between downtempo jazz-rock and electronic trip-hop, completed by a warm atmosphere and smooth vocals. The album has only been out for days, but I think this band will create quite a buzz in 2007.
Song Highlights: Exit, Down Here, Bloodstream
Links: HomepageLast.fmMyspace

10.
Blonde Redhead – 23
#
A

Blonde Redhead’s 23 recedes somewhat from the lavish orchestration of 2004′s magnificently executed Misery Is a Butterfly and settles in comfortably with the avante pop/rock sound more comparable to earlier releases. More than on the previous album, Blonde Redhead show how well they can play within a range of moods and sounds.
Song Highlights: 23, The Dress, SW
Links: HomepageLast.fmMyspace

9.
Circa Survive – On Letting Go
#
A

When Circa Survive released their debut album Juturna, their sound was that of a tight-knit, finely tuned group of musicians playing with what sounded like years of experience as one unit, contradictory to their recent formation from pieces of other bands. Juturna was excellent, and while On Letting Go may not have surpassed it–it comes awfully close–it is very much a continuation of that cohesive sound. Anthony Greene’s voice still soars with his trademark pitch, and his lyrics are noticeably more lucid. The album guitar work is again impressive, as is the drumming. More than anything else, On Letting Go proves that everything great about Juturna was not a fluke, and that more greatness ought to be expected from Circa Survive in the future.
Song Highlights: Your Friends Are Gone, In the Morning and Amazing, Kicking Your Crosses Down, The Greatest Lie, Living Together, The Difference Between Medicine and Poison is In the Dose
Links: HomepageLast.fmMyspace

8.
Porcupine Tree – Fear of a Blank Planet

A

Fear of a Blank Planet might just be the best release of Porcupine Tree’s 16 year career. The album concept is sort of a first-person look at absorbing the emotion of medically prescribed, pop-culture nurtured depression and isolation. While not exceptionally long, the album is musically very deep and diverse. The opening song is one of the heavier tracks, featuring some impressive metalesque guitar work. My Ashes and Sentimental are more sweetly atmospheric, making good use of piano and orchestration. Anesthetize is clearly the most progressive number on the album, evident by its 17 minute run time and the appearance of Rush guitarist Alex Lifesone. Legendary King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp performs on Way Out There, and the album closes with the haunting Sleep Together, which oozes ominence through a heavy synthesizer loop and string arrangements.
Song Highlights: Fear of a Blank Planet, My Ashes, Sleep Together, Anesthetize
Links: HomepageLast.fmMyspace

7.
Kiss Kiss – Reality vs. The Optimist

A
Rarely do indie/rock bands come around with as much over-the-top charisma and flair as Kiss Kiss. Their debut album Reality vs. The Optimist is a wonderfully manic, melodramatic, and creative outing. At times they tend to sound like a band of traveling eastern-european folk musicians on the run from the Mike P. Bungle Lunatic Asylum (Dress Up, for example), which only adds to their charm because it doesn’t overwhelm or cast any doubt that this band is for real.
Song Highlights: Janet, Satellite, Sixth Sense, Machines, The Cats in Your House, Vagabond
Links: HomepageLast.fmMyspace

6.
Deas Vail – All the Houses Look the Same

A
The first time I heard Surface from Deas Vail’s debut album, I knew that I was going to like this band. All the Houses Look the same is an alternative rock album absolutely drenched with melody, harmonizing vocalist Wes Blaylock’s crystalline voice with chimes from the keys of Laura Hudson’s piano. Sounding a bit like a cross between Mae and Mew, Deas Vail typically back off of the heavy guitars in favor of atmospheric electronic effects and subtle instrumentation. All the Houses Look the Same is an imaginative and catchy collection that will hopefully elevate this band from their current status as relative unknowns.
Song Highlights: Surface, Shoreline, For Miles to Come, Shadows and City Lights, Rewind
Links: HomepageLast.fmMyspace

5.
Modest Mouse – We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank
#
A+

Modest Mouse earned their stripes when the term indie was much more closely tied to smaller budget underground music. They are also one of the main reasons that indie rock has had a tremendous coming out this decade, particularly with their crossover megahit Float On from Good News For People Who Love Bad News. And with all due respect to Good News, this may be their best effort since The Moon and Antarctica. The album is impressively consistent with its share of catchy, cool guitar work and subtle creativity. Meanwhile, leader Isaac Brock is still as intriguing and quirky as ever.
Song Highlights: Dashboard, Fire It Up, Parting of the Sensory, Fly Trapped in a Jar
Links: HomepageLast.fmMyspace

4.
Of Montreal – Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?

A+

For years, Kevin Barnes and Of Montreal have been at the proponents of indie/pop music’s experimental frontier, and Hissing Fauna is another example of the troupe covering new ground. Despite the sometimes sugary pop sound on much of this album, the concept behind it all comes out of a turbulent patch in Barnes’ marriage. The culmination is epic (not a word often associated with indie/pop music of this sort) and trance-like in The Past is a Grotesque Animal, a manically progressive twelve minute boiler where all of his emotions on the subject seem to spill out for all to hear. In spite of his mental state, the rest of the album is much less tense; the music is catchy, fun, silly even. Pulling this kind of music off well is difficult enough without tackling such sticky subject matter, and that they do is quite impressive.
Song Highlights: The Past is a Grotesque Animal, Suffer For Fashion, Gronlandic Edit, A Sentence of Sorts in Kongsvinger, Bunny Aint No Kind of Rider,
Links: HomepageLast.fmMyspace

3.
oh my god – Fools Want Noise
#
A+

oh my god are a Chicago quartet who play some really unique rock music. It has the spirit and energy of punk-rock, but it isn’t punk-rock. It’s loaded with melody and is very accessible, but it isn’t pop-rock. They can rock out pretty hard, but until releasing Fools Want Noise, never even had a guitar player. The band has essentially based their career on their reputation as one of the best live bands around, mostly due to front-man Billy O’Neil’s quirky and engaging behavior on stage. Fools Want Noise is everything that the band’s first four albums are, and then some. This strange new stringed instrument fits in seamlessly with their traditional workhorse, the fuzzed-out rock organ. Guitarist Jake Garcia shreds at center stage on Put it in a Song (So Wrong), the best example of how they’ve adapted to this new dimension. O’Neil, always comfortable being himself and speaking his mind, spouts on the title track, “Well I went to Church and they told me ’bout god. A caucasian man who lives in a cloud! Now how about that? You want more of that? And they say that sexuality has got something to do with morality, now how about that?! You want more of that!?”. Later on he philosophizes optimistically, “Today we live, it makes every yesterday a memory of happiness. Today we live, it makes every tomorrow a vision of hope” (Ancient Sanskrit Proverb). Though the album is 15 tracks it still comes up a little short of 40 minutes long, making this oh my god’s most compact album yet, and one that you’ll irresistibly find yourself repeating over and over.
Song Highlights: Ancient Sanskrit Proverb (The Splendor of Beauty), Houston, Put it in a Song (So Wrong), But That’s Just Me (Song for the Holidays)
Links: HomepageLast.fmMyspace

2.
Aereogramme – My Heart Has a Wish that You Would Not Go

A+

Aereogramme’s My Heart Has a Wish that You Would Not Go is a bittersweet album in that it marks the end of their far-too-short career as a band. Only a few months after the album’s release the band announced that they would be going their separate ways due largely in part to a “…never ending financial struggle coupled with an almost superhuman ability to dodge the zeitgeist.” The painful irony is that this is the record that really could have done it for them. Indeed, it has already been one of the most talked about albums of 2007 in many circles. Listening to the album, it’s hard to figure out how this hasn’t become a huge international success the way Coldplay’s Parachutes or Snow Patrol’s Final Straw did. Perhaps it’s because Aereogramme spent so much of their earlier albums hovered in between extremes of loud and soft, harsh and beautiful; always changing shape perhaps a little faster than most listeners could grasp. There is nothing obtuse about Heart however. The album begins with a wash of mildly distorted guitar and waves of piano. Lush string arrangements follow, beautifully accompanied by Craig B’s voice. This big, cinematic sound continues through the radio single Barriers and on into the rest of the album. Nightmares present’s the album’s biggest mood shift, as thundering war drums pound in the distance and strings dance urgently in the background. It is followed by The Running Man, a dynamic and gripping piece with an attention grabbing electronic loop. 2007 will be remembered as a sad year for Aereogramme as they play together for the last time, but also as a triumphant one now that they’ve completed their masterpiece.
Song Highlights: The Running Man, Nightmares, Barriers, Dissolve, Conscious Life For Coma Boy
Links: HomepageLast.fmMyspace

1.
Kaddisfly – Set Sail the Prairie
#
A++

By now it’s no secret that I am totally in love with Kaddisfly’s album Set Sail the Prairie. Before hearing it, I had imagined how they might try and top their nearly flawless 2005 album, Buy Our Intention; We’ll Buy You a Unicorn. After hearing Set Sail, I wondered if my CD player would ever be the same again. For new ears, Kaddisfly play a kind of hybrid art-rock that utilizes the vitality of alternative-punk, the sophistication of math-rock, and the seamlessly applied gloss of catchy pop hooks. Each song is distinct and dynamic, with the band placing emphasis on both progression and rich melody. The album concept ties each song together in a year-long journey across the globe. Each of the 14 tracks represents a stay in a city across the northern hemisphere for one of the twelve lunar months and the two solstices. Traditional instruments from each of those twelve cities are incorporated in the recording of the corresponding song, completing the effect. Each stop on this journey is a memorable one. More than any other album in 2007, Kaddisfly have managed to create fourteen songs that mesh together on one disc, but stand apart from themselves as unique and memorable accomplishments. Simply put, for fans of fans of alternative rock, this is the 2007 album that must be heard and heard often.
Song Highlights: Campfire, Waves, Birds, Clouds, Empire, Snowflakes, Via Rail, Silk Road, Forest
Links: HomepageLast.fmMyspace

EP’s of Note

Gavin Castleton – Hospital Hymns
#
Hospital Hymns is the fifth solo release by Grüvis Malt’s Gavin Castleton, the second in the conceptual form of a character album. Castleton takes on the identity of a “76-year-old stockroom worker in a hospital whose spirituality makes his co-workers uneasy” and wraps himself up in five organ driven “modern hymns”. Never mind how he pulls it off, but if this were anyone else you’d wonder how they’d even arrive at the idea of the whole thing. Of course, this man and his Gruvis Malt band mates have been playing with the concept and execution of the music they play for a decade now. Gavin has a separate full-length album slated for release later this year, titled For the Love of Pete.
Links: HomepageLast.fmMyspace

Streetlights – To Hold the World
#
Streetlights began 2007 by releasing their first proper EP, To Hold the World. The disc gives a peak at their rich, upbeat sound, conveying plenty of feeling through lush piano melodies and ethereal, echoing guitar parts. New Heights and Fall and Rise encapsulate the band’s energy and enthusiasm, where as All Out Here in the Cold is starts as more of a ballad, building and progressing as it goes along. The last and perhaps most unique song on the EP shows another of the band’s dimensions. 3rd Dream begins with urgency and mystery, and as each band member adds their own intricacies the song comes together as the most layered and textured of the bunch from this young and promising group.
Links: HomepageLast.fmMyspace

Portugal. The Man – It’s Complicated Being a Wizard
#
In advance of their second LP Church Mouth, The Man released this heavily synthed and effect laden EP. Ten movements totaling 23:00 minutes make up the disc, which is something of an experiment and not all that similar to either Waiter: “You Vultures!” or Church Mouth. While parts of it are somewhat abstract, other parts are actually quite catchy. Consider bringing it along with you on a short car trip.
Links: HomepageLast.fmMyspace

Looking Ahead

Since the time that this list was finalized, there have been several other excellent albums released, and more to come in the second half of 2007. Some of the albums that have already been heard and will gain further mention later on are: Strata – Presents the End of the World, The Polyphonic Spree – The Fragile Army, Minus the Bear – Planet of Ice, The Editors – An End Has a Start, Interpol – Our Love to Admire, The Queens of the Stoneage – Era Vulgaris

Streetlights Eyeing New Heights

Posted June 27, 2007 by spectre1982
Categories: Music, Music Reviews, Streetlights

Honing their skills as musicians and songwriters, Streetlights have steadily refined their sound as they’ve practiced and performed since forming in 2004. Streetlights began 2007 by releasing their first proper EP, “To Hold the World” after spending months of recording in northern New Jersey. Now their aim is on making a name for themselves in the New York/New Jersey area.

 Streetlights’ music is a kind of rich, upbeat rock with plenty of feeling. Quentin Fielding’s lush piano melodies build a foundation for Ryan Kleindienst’s ethereal, echoing guitar parts to dance over. The rhythm section enjoys keeping things up-tempo, as Derek Fielding sets the pace with hi-hat tapping. Chris Kinney, perhaps the most widely experienced of this fresh faced foursome, plays the bass part with savoir-faire. Finally, Ryan Kleindienst’s earnest vocals project youthful exuberance and a sense that perhaps yes, good things are on the rise.

 Ryan Kleindienst took some time away from his day job at the local fish market to tell me his thoughts on Steetlights’ music.

The Medium of Music: What brought the four of you together to make music?

Ryan Kleindienst: Most importantly, it was and still is all about us being best friends. It just so happened that we all had the same dream and desire to make music. It still amazes us to this day that we all share the same general musical taste and vision for our future while also growing up in the same town. As far as what brought us together musically, we collectively wanted to create something that would inspire us and in turn others.

tMoM: So then, where do you draw inspiration from for your music?

RK: Our inspiration comes directly from life, really.Our music is just the reaction that we produce from all the emotions that we feel.

tMoM: How do you describe your music?

RK: If we had to quickly slap a label on it, we mention influences from the likes of Coldplay, Oasis, U2, and The Cure but it is very different at the same time. We like to think of the music as very sincere and uplifting while also being very powerful and mysterious.

tMoM: Mysterious? How so?

RK: (laughs) Well you know, we always wanted to, someday when we have the money, fill the stage up with fog and bright lights so we can walk out onto the stage in the shadows. (more laughs) But really, we just want to make a sound that is compelling and moving.

tMoM: What’s next for Streetlights?

RK: Now that our EP To Hold the World is recorded, we’re looking for every opportunity to play shows and promote what we’re all about. The future is never exactly how you see it so we’re just going to do our thing and we see very good things coming out of it.

tMoM: What about a year from now? Where do you see yourselves?

RK: Again, the future is always slightly different than you imagine, but really we’re just hoping for the best be it recording a full length album or playing bigger shows as part of a full tour. We are very excited for whatever comes our way.

tMom: Alright, thanks for your time!

RK: Thank you!

Streetlights’ four-song EP, To Hold the World, can be streamed at their Myspace page. As a band that is constantly writing and performing new material, it’s only a slice of what the band has to offer. New Heights and Fall and Rise encapsule the band’s energy and enthusiasm, where as All Out Here in the Cold is starts as more of a ballad, building and progressing as it goes along. Finally, the last and perhaps most unique song on the EP shows another of the band’s dimensions. 3rd Dream begins with urgency and a little bit of that mystery, and as each band member adds their own intricacies the song comes together as the most layered and textured of the bunch from this young and very promising group.

Streetlights Myspace
Streetlights Last.FM


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