There are a few sources that I rely on to find new music. Probably the most prolific of which has been, over the last 5 months, on WordPress.com reading other blogs of people who are also interested in finding new and forward thinking musicians. I have also connected to tumblr, and I’ve found just as many like minded people there. However, there is one source that I would never have guessed would be so fruitful…
…My gorgeous wife, which is weird considering our much divided taste in music. The reason; She loves the radio. I don’t. I can’t stand all the corporate crap that we are forced to digest in the small hope that maybe we’ll hear a song that is worth the tedious dialog that South African radio puts us through. But every now and then, my wife will come home saying we have to get hold of an artist that she’s heard on the radio, and that’s how I found Imagine Dragons.
Funnily enough, (and I promise the sequence of this and my previous blog was not intentional) I can actually draw a few similarities between Imagine Dragons and Bastille, who were the subject of my previous Album Review. Imagine Dragons, like Bastille, use long drawn out chords that give the feeling of wide open space coupled with lots of reverb and delay. They both have deep pulsing bass drums and choruses layered with a group of vocals giving the sense of community. The difference is, Imagine Dragons’ sound feels a lot more refined. There’s a consistency throughout the album that just seems to be missing on Bastille’s “Bad Blood”.
But enough with the comparisons. I recently read a blog by #shannonlivewell. She attended a lecture which featured Lenny Kaye, who was closely associated with the great producer and songwriter Patti Smith. There was a particular quote there that made me think:
“I used to pinpoint certain songs I liked and just focus on them because out of twelve songs an album, there’s bound to be one you can relate to. I soon realised though that it’s not about the song it’s about the atmosphere of the album, just like it’s not about the tree, but the forest.” (Cited: http://livewellslatest.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/lenny-kaye-brings-an-optimistic-outlook-to-the-music-industry/)
With this in mind, I took to listening to the Imagine Dragons album “Night Visions”, and straight away, I understand what Kaye was talking about. “Night Visions” has an atmosphere. Or more accurately, it creates an atmosphere. And yes, it’s those long drawn out chords and pulsing bass drums that contribute, but more than that, it’s the variety they offer from song to song. Just when you think you know what’s coming next, they hit you with an Oasis type guitar intro, or an 80’s retro type synthesized beat. It catches you off guard and immediately perks your interest. But what’s really great is that they reward your attention with some brilliant lyrical hooks and upbeat tempos that make you rock your shoulders even when you’ve had the worst day at work.
I really like these guys. Once again I’ve broken my stubborn “no top of the chart songs” rule and I’ve been pleasantly surprised. They are currently working on their follow up album, so here’s hoping for great things!
If you’d like to receive updates when there’s a new post, please click the follow button or add your email address on the right hand side bar at the top of this blog. Thanks.
3 May 2014