Tag Archives: Grime

Human Highway, Devlin & Faded Paper Figures

10 Apr

Human Highway (Indie Rock)

Human Highway, the Canadian Indie Rock band, formed in 2008.  The band name was chosen in reference to Neil Young’s song “Human Highway.”  The band’s style is reminiscent of 1960s/1970s AM radio pop music.  The band was started by Jim Guthrie, who was on tour with the band Islands with second band member, Nick Thorburn.  The band utilizes fantastic harmonies and uses a simple but dynamic approach to songwriting.  The band’s sound can be compared to the styles of The Everly Brothers, Roy Orbison and the Kinks.

Devlin (Grime/Hip-Hop)

“Community Outcast”

Devlin (James Devlin)  is a London based Grime MC.  Devlin’s career began at the age of 15 after attending Brittons School and Technology College.  Like many grime artists starting on pirate radio stations, Devlin started on the pirate radio station, Flava FM.  His debut album, Bud, Sweat and Beers, is a great display of Devlin’s fast paced, shuffled delivery.  He features several collaborations including Giggs and Labrinth.

Faded Paper Figures (Synthpop/New Wave)

“North By North”

Faded Paper Figures, an Californian Indie Pop/Electronica band formed in 2007.  The band’s style is very much like of the bands The Postal Service and Owl City.  The simple male and female vocals are usually accompanied by a colorful blend of electronic and indie rock sounds.  Usually a smooth synthesized background is built upon by moving guitars and interesting beats.


Blitzen Trapper, Tinie Tempah, & The Cat Empire

21 Jan

Blitzen Trapper (Folk Rock/Indie):

“Black River Killer”

The Portland, Oregon based band consists of 6 members [Eric Earley (guitar/vocals), Erik Menteer (guitar/keyboard), Brian Adrian Koch (drums/vocals), Michael VanPelt (bass), Drew Laughery (keyboards), and Marty Marquis (guitar, keyboards, vocals)] The band formed in the year 2000 and is currently signed to Sub Pop Records. “Furr” (Video) was possibly their most popular hit, released in 2008. The band’s eclectic, lo fi sound is commonly compared to the early works of Beck. Meanwhile, Blitzen Trapper’s folk/americana sound, especially in the style of guitar and vocal phrasing, is very much like that of Bob Dylan.

Visit Blitzen Trapper’s Website

Tinie Tempah (Grime/Drum ‘n’ Base/Hip Hop):

“Invincible (Feat. Kelly Rowland)”

Tinie Tempah (Patrick Junior Chukwuem Okogwu) is a 22 year old, London born, rapper. He emerged from the underground grime scene in 2009/2010 with his single “Pass Out” and is currently one of the most popular acts in the UK. Unlike a lot of artists, particularly in the US, Tinie Tempah’s music utilizes a very fine tuned sound heavily influenced by styles like Drum ‘n’ Base and Dubstep. These genres combined, give the music a mix of low, guttural, bass sounds accompanied by a shuffled, energetic beat. To better illustrate these influences, prominent examples within the featured “Pass Out” video below are 00:04-00:12 (representing a Dubstep bass tone) and 3:24-3:52 (representing a Drum ‘n’ Bass rhythm). Another aspect of this music, which I believe is a large contribution to Tinie’s success in mainstream radio, is his incorporation of modern Hip Hop and R&B. All of these things give him a “fresh” sound, but also give the general population something familiar and popular. He has been nominated for 4 Brit awards (Best Single, British Album of the Year, Best Breakthrough Act, and Best Male Solo Artist) which will be held February 15, 2011. Check out the Micro Mixtape.

The Cat Empire (Ska/Rock/Jazz):

“The Lost Song”

The Cat Empire, from Melbourne, Australia. [The band consists of Felix Riebl (percussion and vocals), Harry James Angus (trumpet and vocals), Ollie McGill (keyboard and backing vocals), Ryan Monro (bass and backing vocals), Will Hull-Brown (drums) and Jamshid “Jumps” Khadiwhala (decks, percussion).] They are commonly accompanied by the Empire Horns and various brass guest artists. The Australian Ska scene started becoming popular in the 1980’s and is sometimes associated with the Punk Rock genre. However, to put The Cat Empire under a label like “ska” is a very loose generalization. This band, with strong jazz background, incorporates elements from Alternative Rock and Reggae.