Fingertips Music Guide to betterPropaganda: September '06
1) "Ghosts of York" - As Tall As Lions
"Ghosts of York" manages the clever trick of being both atmospheric and emphatic, combining the feel of a more noodly type of guitar rock with the smart, concise dynamics of a great pop song. Covering a lot of ground in a relatively short space, the song transforms from introspective to expansive in no time flat, with inspiring melodic flair and a bit of time-signature trickery. As Tall As Lions is a relatively new band from Long Island that seems well worth keeping your eye on.
check out a more detailed review on Fingertips: www.fingertipsmusic.com/this_weeks_finds.htm#ATAL
2) "Flower Gardens" - Chad VanGaalen
An intriguing bit of electronic noodling opens into a blast furnace of guitars and this quirky, quick-stepping bit of heavy-metal-tronica takes off. A bedroom rocker from Alberta, VanGaalen is an idiosyncratic talent already legendary in indie circles after just two CDs for his prolific output. No one song of his is necessarily characteristic of his sound; this one is probably particularly uncharacteristic, but I do like the juxtaposition of the rat-a-tat drive and VanGaalen's sleek, concise, classic-rock-y melodies and flexible voice.
3) "Town" - Richard Buckner
Listen carefully to the vocal leap Buckner takes at the end of the first line of the chorus of this brisk and meaty song: as he holds that upward-tilting note his voice stretches and intensifies in marvelous ways. It's a subtle but beautiful and memorable hook right there; what solidifies it as the center of a beautiful and memorable song are the chords the veteran singer/songwriter employs to create the structure around the hook: a sweet descending series falling away from the initial leap upward. This song is very likely to stick in your head for hours after hearing it.
check out a more detailed review on Fingertips: www.fingertipsmusic.com/this_weeks_finds.htm#Buckner
4) "Little Sounds" - Judah Johnson
Judah Johnson is a band, not a person; and "Little Sounds" is not so little, but rather a large, yearning sort of rock song, at once familiar- and fresh-sounding, which is a nice combination. Just that great up-and-down sliding guitar line in the intro is enough to hook me; vocalist Daniel Johnson's substantive yet tender vocal delivery is another plus.
5) "Jique" - Brazilian Girls
Never mind the videos, never mind the remixes, just download this and listen to what your ears are hearing. Nah, it's not great art but this knowing mix of dirty synth lines, electronica glitches, female foreign accents, stupid-catchy beats, and (wait for it) those heavenly chorus flourishes--well, it's enough to make you think summer hasn't really ended yet. Not a bad thing now that it's September.