Daily Archives: March 24, 2011

Mayer Hawthorne – “No Strings” [MUSIC]

mayer hawthorne

Bringing it back a bit with Mayer Hawthorne‘s 2010 retro R&B/soul release of “No Strings”. It’s hard to imagine such a soulfull groove coming out of Ann Arbor, Michigan but Mayer is doing just that and making quite the name for himself in the process. He is currently working with independent hip-hop label Stones Throw Records in Los Angeles, California where he had released his latest album “A Strange Arrangement” in late 2010. With the latest connection with Stones Throw it’d be safe to say that we can be on the lookout for some really great collaborations with a list of awesome hip-hop artists from all over.

Lord Huron “The Mighty EP””Into The Sun EP” [MUSIC][VIDEO]


It’s not everyday when your sitting at your computer ready to go out and chow down on some Chinese food when your buddy IM’s you commanding you to listen to something like Lord Huron.

It’s not everyday (or ever) that I listen too two or three songs from a band and immediately buy tickets to their show at the Troubadour in LA… and the show’s in May.  And oh yea they’ve only released seven tunes.  What?

The rhythms are fresh.  Think Vampire Weekend, but on Neptune.  The harmonies are euphoric, think Grizzly Bear or Fleet Foxes, but on friggin’ Mars.  Lord Huron is doing everything right in my book and people are starting to notice.  I don’t think it could have been put much better than in a recent LA weekly article:

It was the kind of music you would expect from a beachside resort on a distant planet far far away. —LA Weekly

This band has released two EP’s.  The first one is called ‘Mighty’EP (four songs) and the second one is called ‘Into the Sun’ EP (three songs).  Here is the title tracks from Lord Huron’s ‘Mighty’ EP and ‘Into the Sun’ EP.

Mighty – Lord Huron

Into the Sun – Lord Huron

Lord Huron is the brain child of Ben Schneider.  Originally from Michigan, Ben traveled globally and initially settled on LA to hone is skills as a visual artist.

Cover created by Ben Schneider for ‘Into the Sun’ EP

After all the travel, he returned to Michigan to record his second EP, Mighty. Both short-players were recorded completely on his own, but he recently gathered a full band in Los Angeles made up entirely of fellow Michaganers. One, Schneider’s childhood friend Mark Barry, drove across the country from Nashville, where he worked as a studio drummer. They’re joined by electric guitars, bass, theremin and other electronic effects. — Paste

His fascination with calypso music and also the polyrhythmic music of Bali and Indonesia where he traveled is very evident in Lord Huron’s music.  Its refreshing to hear such complex sounding music that eases you into a state of relaxation.  Here is the third track from Lord Huron’s ‘Into the Sun’ EP.

We Went Wild – Lord Huron

The global influences are definitely evident in the sound of these records but the lyrics and harmonies are very much rooted in American folk music.  Think folks sounds of Laurel Canyon for the digital era.  A good example of this is the last track on the ‘Mighty’ EP called “When Will I See You Again.”

When Will I See You Again – Lord Huron

The simplicity of acoustic guitars, vocals with enough reverb to make Thom Yorke cry and drums that seem to be flown in from the Caribbean are what you can expect when you see/ hear Lord Huron.  He/ they have been making music publicly for less than a year.  For me, to have something like this dropped in my lap made my night and made my Chinese food taste a little less greasy.

The rumor mill says they tore it up at SXSW this past week.  So I guess this is a call to action to listen to Lord Huron.  This band has a refreshing and relaxing sound and with a current tour in the works and a show at LA’s Troubadour on May 14th I know we are definitely going to hear a lot from Lord Huron, hopefully it will come in full length LP form.

Here is a link to the video for the tune “The Stranger” from the ‘Mighty’ EP

Stranger – Lord Huron

You can buy both EPs from Lord Huron’s site here. (iTune)

Here are links to the great LA Weekly and Paste articles I found.

Ok fine here’s one more tune.

Son of a Gun – Lord Huron

By: Steve Rippin | Beat-Play Ambassador Los Angeles | @stevewithMWL|Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

Born Of Osiris – “Follow The Signs” [MUSIC]

Born Of Osiris

So it has definitely come to the attention of myself and some of our followers that we haven’t had a quality heavy metal group on the blog in quite sometime. Chicago, IL metal group Born Of Osiris‘ newest single “Follow The Signs” came out in February as the first track for their upcoming album release this year under independent label Sumerian Records.

The heavy metal tone is definitely an acquired taste but for all those intricate music listeners looking for flawlessly executed riffs, insane speed and screaming vocals you can actually make the words out to then I’d say you might have a new sound here. Check it out and be on the lookout for their newest album to drop soon!

Luke Slott – Create in Me a Pure Heart [MUSIC]

Create in Me a Pure Heart Cover Art

The enchanting music of Luke Slott has been compared to Philip Glass and Michael Nyman. Born to a family of actors, musicians, writers, producers and choreographers, and raised in a house with a hundred talking parrots, dogs, rabbits and reptiles, the 26-year-old multi-instrumentalist Slott grew up in the menagerie of his Dublin family home hearing music – human and animal – from all sides. His brother Mike Slott forms half of acclaimed hip hop duo, Heralds of Change, while their father, the late trumpet-player Mike Nolan, was the founder of Ireland’s longest-running jazz club.

At the age of twelve, Luke began learning the trumpet from his father via old records by jazz legends like Chet Baker and Miles Davis, and then went on to study classical piano at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. Having won the Heineken Green Energy Band Challenge and signed a major record deal at the tender age of 18, Slott spent several years as lead singer with Irish rock band Melaton, but after two critically-acclaimed singles and a never-released album, he left the band and started to explore other areas of music.

In 2005, Slott conceived and hosted a series of multi-cultural-house-concerts entitled ‘Unity-in-Diversity’ in his Dublin family home, where crowds of friends and neighbours would gather each week to attend intimate performances by some of Ireland’s leading musicians, and recitals by some of her best-loved poets. Saxophonist Keith Donald (Moving Hearts), flautist Brian Dunning (Puck Fair), violinist Cora Venus Lunny, cellist-singer Vyvienne Long, poets Macdara Woods and Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, as well as a host of Irish bands including the Chapters and Star Turtle, were among the many artists who shared their talents in Slott’s family home. ‘Sometimes we’d have 70 people packed into these concerts in our living-room,’ Slott recalls. ‘Each week we would cook food from a different part of the world, and share some ideas from different cultures. It was a big undertaking, but I think it brought a lot of people together.’

In 2006, Slott left Ireland and moved to New York, where he taught music, played piano in restaurants, and honed his song-writing skills in the clubs and open-mics of downtown Manhattan. A year and a half later, he returned to Ireland and set out on a tour of house-concerts around the country (‘I just called a bunch a friends and said, “Hey, can I play a concert in your house?”,’ says Slott). In between playing concerts in living-rooms around Ireland, he began to record a batch of piano compositions which he had written in the years since Melaton. He then launched his own website, and promised a free 2-track CD of his piano music to the first 1000 visitors to www.lukeslott.com. He indeed fulfilled his promise, and sent 1000 free CDs around the world. ‘It broke the bank,’ says Slott, ‘but I think fans really appreciate getting a gift directly from the artist. It has given me an invaluable connection to my listeners.’

Slott continues to sing and write songs and promises a return to the singer-songwriter scene in due course, but his ambitious debut release as a solo artist is the instrumental ‘Don’t Go Back To Sleep’, a collection of ten pieces for solo piano whose darkly humorous waltzes hint at Slott’s love of Chopin – a fitting nod to his own Polish ancestry.

By: Shayne Byrne | Beat-Play Ambassador Ireland | @shaynewithMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

The Plastics – “Caves” [VIDEO]

Paying homage to retro-rock and classic pop The Plastics have been on the indie scene in Cape Town since late 2007.  In that first year they managed to claim first prize from the Redbull Radar Competition at Rocking the Daisies, and were finalists for the best-unsigned band in South Africa (The Road to V-Fest competition).  In 2010 the band was free to explore writing new lyrics and transforming their sound after receiving a recording sponsorship from Sound and Motion Studio.  Their most recent EP “Shark” was created with the help of internationally acclaimed music producer Gordon Raphael.   You can download their new album here.



By: Elizabeth Stene | Beat-Play Ambassador South Africa | @LizMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC