Tag Archives: Indie Rock

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.


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.


Say Hi, Chiddy Bang, & Beardyman

7 Feb

Say Hi (Indie Rock/ Alternative Rock)

“November Was White, December Was Grey”

Say Hi, a name shortened from Say Hi To Your Mom, is the project of Seattle’s Eric Elbogen.  Since 2002, Say Hi’s albums have all been recorded in Elbogen’s home.  He records himself on all instruments.  On tour, he is accompanied by several friends who fill in the extra spots in the band.  Say Hi’s style is deeply rooted in the acoustic sound, while incorporating electronic undertones, moving bass and guitar, and resonating vocals.  The band’s seventh album, Um, Uh Oh, was released in January of this year which includes the most recent single, “Devils.”

Chiddy Bang (Hip-Hop/ Alternative)

“Because (Feat. Radiohead)”

Chiddy Bang is a Philidelphia based Hip-Hop duo (Chidera “Chiddy” Anamege and Noah “Xaphoon Jones” Beresin).  These two gentlemen met and formed their band in their freshman year of college in 2008 while attending Drexel University.  The group’s unique style is attributed to the sampling and manipulating a wide variety of artists in order to fit their Electronica influenced sound.  In April of last year, Chiddy Bang released a free mini-mixtape called Air Swell which sampled several artists in the UK, as they have been in tour there for the past year.  They have also released an EP called “The Preview” which is meant to keep fans happy until their debut album is released later this year.

Beardyman (Beatbox)

“Beardyman on Pete Mitchel on Xfm – live 2009”

Beardyman (Darren Foreman) is a beatboxer from London, England. In his live sets, Beardyman puts together spontaneous songs as he produces sounds with his mouth and loops/manipulates them through a complex system of equipment including several Kaoss Pads. On earlier tours especially, Beardyman was able to take suggestions from the audience which would determine the development of the music throughout the show. This improvised style of show can be seen in the Battlejam club nights which are also represented in the form of a podcast for those unfortunate fans who cannot attend. Beardyman’s extensive knowledge of a wide variety of musical genres and styles allows him to instantaneously reproduce and blend those styles to complete a piece. His highly anticipated debut album, “I Done A Album”, is to be released on March 21st of this year.