Daily Archives: September 27, 2011

The Republic Tigers – “No Man’s Land” [NEW MUSIC]

the republic tigers

The Kansas City-based quintet’s Chop Shop Records debut featured an array of styles – spanning future folk, high-spirited rock, and candy-colored pop – melded into a truly original and ingenious sound. “It’s a sound that’s half organic and half synthetic, kind of like how all our lives are now,” says singer/multi-instrumentalist Kenn Jankowski. “It’s the common theme throughout all of the songs and we tried to approach it audibly as well.”  The band started to come together in 2006 after Jankowski’s former band, the Golden Republic, split and he exchanged demos with fellow musician friend Adam McGill. “‘The Republic Tiger’ was my high-school mascot,” Jankowski says of the moniker, “and the name always rang to me in a nice way. I don’t like band names very much and I don’t like thinking about them either, so I just took something that I knew was timeless to me, and big enough that we could color it with our music and create its meaning with our songs.”  The line-up quickly expanded over the following months, with guitarist/pianist Ryan Pinkston, bassist Marc Pepperman, and drummer Justin Tricomi each bringing a new color to the paintbox. “It was what we’d all always dreamed of,” Jankowski says, “which was to work with other people kind of like us.”

The Republic Tigers SXSW

Over the next year, The Republic Tigers recorded a series of demos, with each member working individually on home-recordings which were then enmeshed into a single unified whole. The goal from the start was to incorporate elements of indie, electronica, pop, and even classical music into something distinctive and idiosyncratically their own. Jankowski was determined to bring “a different approach to each song. I wanted each song to be a story in its own world, like a little book.”  The band self-released an EP in 2007, but it wasn’t until 2008 when The Republic Tigers released the Keep Color album that they finally started to emerge on the music scene.

While Keep Color was born of The Republic Tigers’ passion for inventive recording, the band followed it by making their bones as an inventive and resourceful live band. They spent much of 2008 and 2009 on the road, both headlining and sharing stages with Travis, Weezer, and Nada Surf. What’s more, the band performed on such high-profile programs as CBS’ Late Show with David Letterman and The WB.com’s Rockville CA, with their songs featured on an array of shows including Gossip Girl, Chuck, Grey’s Anatomy, and Supernatural.  No Land’s Man heralds the upcoming release of The Republic Tigers’ much-anticipated, as-yet-untitled second album. While reluctant to give away too many of its secrets, Jankowski confirms that he and his fellow musical explorers remain on their own idiosyncratic path, fervently committed to the creation of The Republic Tigers’ singular sonic magic.

 

 

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

 

 

Stewart Agnew – Look How The Stars Turn On [NEW MUSIC]

One of Ireland’s most refined singer songwriters, Stewart Agnew, is emerging from his self-imposed musical exile clasping a clutch of AOR masterpieces to his chest in the shape of his third album, Hello Bright Spark (Trick Records), which will be released on 30 September, simultaneously with the single, “Look How The Stars Turn On”.

With initial writing and pre-production sped along by contributions from Lou Natkin and Paul Wilkinson, Stewart headed into the studio in May 2011. Renowned producer Roger Bechirian (The Undertones, Elvis Costello, Bell X1) took control of the console and in a whirlwind of eighteen studio days in the depths of leafy Westmeath the 10 songs that resulted offer slivers of magic and moments of sublime comfort. All of which makes for an album of light, optimism and progression that can’t fail to appeal, both musically and lyrically, to the broadest possible audience.

Agnew has expanded on the palate suggested by his previous albums (Tailor Made and, more recently, Songs From The Gasstation) displaying a pop-nous and songwriting maturity previously only glimpsed at.

In an era of insanely accelerated pop careers burnouts and X-factor pot-celebrity the Hello Bright Spark harks back to an era when craft, time and emotion meant so much more.

Stewart has played live with everyone from Ron Sexsmith (who guested on the last album) and Gemma Hayes to Mick Flannery and Beth Orton, Josh Ritter & Duke Special.

Stewart will be strummin’ it onstage at The Spirit Store, Dundalk with full band in tow – Justin Lawless (electric guitars), Ken Murphy (bass), Anthony Clark (piano, guitar & vocals) & Phil Wilkinson (drums & percussion) on Thursday, 06 October as start of a national tour. Enjoy the single video above and pick up a copy of Hello Bright Spark in all the usual download spots.

keep up to date with all things Agnew @ stewartagnew.com

 

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

 

Boy & Bear – “Mexican Mavis” [VIDEO]

Boy & Bear

 

Boy & Bear are an amazing indie folk rock band from Sydney Australia. The members were originally from four separate bands until they decided to leave their respective collectives and represent one ‘a-little-bit-better’ band. After performing as Dave Hosking during 2008 the band decided to re-name the project and embrace a new direction and sound of 70’s folk rock. The combination of three songwriters has resulted in songs that refuse to stay within the boundaries of one genre.

 

Boy and Bear Moonfire Tour

 

Their first EP With Emperor Antartica was very successful in Australia and features one of my favorite tracks Mexican Mavis.  Boy & Bear completed their first full length album last month and recently announced a US tour for the album – starting in Los Angeles on October 10th and ending in Boston on October 22nd.   MOONFIRE is available on iTunes and other digital outlets. The album is ethereal and an entrancing enigma of hypnotic indie that’s been transfixing listeners left and right. Everyone from tastemakers to fans has been singing their praises.

 

 

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