Music Mondays (3-6-17)

This is Music Mondays, a weekly list of music recommendations. I’ll run down the albums, artists, or songs that I’ve been listening to in the last week. Sometimes the recommendations will be dated, sometimes they will be new. Either way, music is great!

Bahamas, “Barchords”

“Barchords” is the perfect album for the turn of the seasons. It’s a slow, sunny, and introspective album anchored by the smooth voice of Canadian singer-songwriter Afie Jurvanen, who performs under the stage name Bahamas. “Barchords” is a break-up album, but then again, that’s the case for most singer-songwriter LP’s. However, Jurvanen never becomes mopey or depressed. Rather, he sings with both regret and a sense of peace in the knowledge that everything’s going to be all right. Songs like the album opener “Lost in the Light” and “I Got You Babe” show off Jurvanen’s talented and relatable songwriting skills. Lyrics like “Before we were lovers, I swear we were friends” cut like a knife across these songs. In terms of its sound, Jurvanen uses a mix of sunny guitar chords, soulful vocals (with shades of George Ezra, if I had to find a comparison), and silent moments to compliment his songwriting. Songs like “Your Sweet Touch” showcase his guitar playing. I immensely enjoy “Barchords,” and I hope you do too.

Frenship, “Truce – EP”

Lying somewhere between The Chainsmokers, Sir Sly, and EDEN, Frenship is fun, pop comfort food. The five track EP never quite establishes a distinct sound, but all of the songs are enjoyable mixes of indie pop and electronic dance music. At some points, the vocals sound similar to Bastille’s Dan Smith like in the beginning of “Carpet,” or even show Bon Iver-levels of emotion in “Kids (Acoustic).” The highlight of the EP is “Capsize,” featuring Emily Warren. Boasting some pretty melancholic lyrics (“drop tears in the morning”), “Capsize” is a catchy dance tune, but its lyrical back-and-forth between the male and female vocals are good, and show promise of future songwriting from Frenship. My biggest recommendation to come from Frenship is the Stint remix of “Capsize.” Its use of horns after the chorus is fun, and it eliminates some of the more annoying aspects of the original track for more interesting percussion. I’ve already started hearing “Capsize” on the university radio station, and I certainly won’t be surprised to hear it played at large soon.

Life in 24 Frames, “Bitter End

Life in 24 Frames is a self-made indie rock band from Sacramento, California. I first heard music from the band through IGN’s Playstation podcast of all places, and their somber sound has stuck with me ever since. With their upcoming third album “Ctrl+Z,” Life in 24 Frames is officially signed to a label (“Gold Standard Records” to be exact). They undoubtedly deserve this huge milestone. Their second album, “Bitter End,” was self-published and is a melancholic look at life. Singer Kris Adams adds a simple, yet emotional voice to the tracks, which are backed by light drums and supporting guitars and keys. “Bitter End” is a sad record, and even its most upbeat song “Wardrum” (one of my personal favorites), is certainly not a happy tune. However, “Bitter End” is simply well made. It dedicates itself to a sound and theme, and executes it with a definite level of expertise. Check out songs like “Wardrum” (which was also my first introduction to the band), the titular “Bitter End,” and the beautiful closer “Blood Mothers” to give the band a deserving chance.

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