Tag Archives: Alternative Rock

Harlem Shakes, Trip Lee, & Miike Snow

25 Mar

Harlem Shakes (Indie Rock/ Alternative Rock)

“Technicolor Health”

Harlem Shakes was an indie alternative rock band which was formed in 2006 in New York.  Though the band split in 2009, they managed to release a full length album which was received very well by critics.  The band’s distinct sound is defined by the unique voice of Lexy Benaim, whose energetic phrasing carries each song and captivates the listener.  Harlem Shakes seasoned their songs by sprinkling an eccentric mix of sounds and instruments into their recorded and live performances, including various wind instruments (saxophone and several brass guests).  The songs featured here showcase these elements.  (Above) “Technicolor Health” is decorated with a number of styles which include a strong electronic background complimented by a clear bass line.  The moving bass line then brings us from a busy dreamy state to a relaxed moving percussion segment.  Again, in “Strictly Game” (below) the song begins with a strong synthesized bass fill which brings in the strange improvised baritone saxophone, which can be heard throughout this album.  Also, the contrast from loud to soft and busy to simple, is demonstrated in this song and can be heard in most, if not all, Harlem Shakes songs.

Trip Lee (Rap/Hip-Hop)

“Superstar (Eyes Off Me)”

Trip Lee (William Lee Barefield III) is a Christian Rapper from Dallas, Texas.  He now works out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he has released three studio records.  Trip began rapping when he was 14 years old and soon after chose to devote his talents to ministry through music.  As he started making a name for himself in 2004 and met fellow christian rapper, Lecrae, who took him in as a sort of apprentice.  Soon after, he signed with Reach Records and released his first album, If They Only Knew.  20/20 (2008), which brought us the single “Superstar (Eyes Off Me)” [featured above], made its place in the Billboard top 200 reaching #11 on the Christian Albums chart and #4 on Gospel.  In his most recent album, Between Two Worlds (2010), Trip explores a number of styles including Jazz and also incorporates more organic sounds ranging from Spanish guitar to low brass.

Miike Snow (Indie Pop/ Electropop)

“Billie Holiday”

Miike Snow is comprised of three members.  Two of whom, Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg, have been friends and had worked together in Sweden for sometime before the band had formed.  While working on an album for Britney Spears, the two met the third member, Andrew Wyatt, the American vocalist.  The band’s style is characterized by the strong use of electronic music.  The broad pop based sound is sometimes reminiscent of the electronic style used by the English band, Muse.  That is, that even with the use of several elements at once, Miike Snow is able to remain careful and precise, avoiding a cluttered sound.  While Andrew Wyatt’s vocal performance is usually, powerful and simple, it is common for them to add some sort of effect to better blend with the style for which the song is calling.  An aspect of Miike Snow’s sound is that none of the songs sound the same, but the style in which they are made makes them distinct and recognizable.  Their self titled album, Miike Snow, is a perfect preview for what is to be expected from this band in the future.