Soundclouds of the Underground: Battle of the Bands Edition
ABOVE: PRETTY & NICE. IMAGE COURTESY OF SHERVIN LAINEZ
These days, music truly lives online, with an infinite number of websites dedicated to hosting tunes for the laptop-wielding masses. However, the web’s bottomless pit of blogs isn’t the only place to troll for mp3 treasures-some of the most new and exciting (Internet-friendly) artists can be sought out via Soundcloud, the online stage that allows musicians to promote and distribute their music to fans and friends across the globe. In this weekly column, expert Internet sleuth Alex Chapman goes deep into the depths of the music-sharing site, in hopes of shedding light on emerging acts, as well as sharing some digital diamonds in the rough.
Fresh off this week’s election results, we felt fit for some friendly competition (as long as we weren’t actually involved), so we decided to pit three of our favorite bands’ SoundClouded songs against one another, in a battle for web supremacy. Whether you have an instant favorite among the tracks or just can’t decide how you feel about any, we think we can all agree the real winner today is music… or something like that.
Pretty & Nice: “Hibernate”
Who: A Boston band whose name has been hanging around some circles since 2008, Pretty & Nice’s Holden Lewis, Jeremy Mendicino, and Roger Lussier make happy, hearty rock-pop with sonic nods to the past and future. The group’s sunny melodies and unique arrangements call to the mind both The Beach Boys and MGMT.
The Song: “Hibernate” is a song that captures quite a bit in less than three minutes—in one moment, its focus turns to a patchy guitar blasting full force, and another brings Mendicino’s cool coo to the forefront, his simple refrain, “Do you remember the sun?” chaining the track together.
Current Project: The trio’s record “Us You All We” is available now in the format of your choosing, via the group’s website.
Work Drugs: “Beyond Greenpoint”
Who: If chillwave kings Washed Out were to host a bar mitzvah, Philadelphia outfit Work Drugs would undoubtedly be the house band. With an intense overlap of genres (chillwave, lounge, smooth-fi, wi-fi, etc.) forming their sound, Thomas Crystal and Benjamin Louisiana’s unique project seems best fit to soundtrack Kenny G on a bender.
The Song: “This song is about life outside the bubble that is micro-bloggers, designer dogs, and high-priced haircuts,” the boys explain in their Soundcloud description of the tune. The song seems to stay true to its point, straying far from stereotypical Brooklyn aesthetics: The vocals are young and dreamy, but the song’s sultry sax and relaxed drums make “Beyond Greenpoint” perfect for your next work mixer.
Current Project: Work Drugs recently released a video for “Beyond Greenpoint,” which you can watch here, and are selling a test pressing of their new album “Delta” on Ebay, with 50% of the sales to be donated to the Hurricane Sandy Red Cross Fund.
Who: A band is still a band even if it only has one member (at least in our book), and that is the case with Mesita, an impressive indie-pop project helmed by multi-instrumentalist James Cooley. Having already recorded three EPs, Denver resident Cooley’s been a musician for a minute, and it shows in his work-the material is assured, complex, and a joy to jam to.
The Song: Fast-paced and laid back, the instrumentation on “XYXY” is what really makes the song shine—a playful drum pattern, understated keys and Cooley’s vocals, which sound like they are coming in from a rotary phone, mash together in perfect cohesion, creating a chillingly beautiful track worth putting on repeat.
Current Project: Mesita plans to release a new LP early next year called Future Proof, but for now you can check out his new video (proceeded by an epilepsy warning) for “XYXY” here.