I noticed that I’ve been watching (and subsequently blogging about) a lot of movies recently. But it’s not like I’m addicted to the goggle-box or the silver-screen or anything. I can give up any time I want. Seriously…it’s not a problem…
Anyways, it’s an extremely rainy day outside my window and my mood is ultra mellow. Returning me to my first true love…music. Has me thinking how music permeates all of our lives. I’d guess there’s an album to suite every mood and definitely individual tracks that can take us back to a certain time and place. (Mental time travel)?
It’s also freaky how various events can lead us to discover new artists and new musical experiences. I’ve discovered artists via theme tunes, e.g. Ryan Star (thanks to Lie to Me). Artists thru’ TV advertising, e.g. Allie Moss (cheers British Telecom). The obligatory cross-over from another discipline, e.g. Hugh Laurie (of House MD fame). Plus, obviously, many artists recommended by friends (too numerous to mention. Numerous artists and numerous friends come to think of it ;o)
In this particular instance I came across American Indie pop band the Submarines thanks in part to the Sound Hound iPhone app. I remember that I was out’n’about, taking a pleasant stroll on an especially lazy and sunny Sunday afternoon. I’d just stopped by a noodle bar (in the Zürich Harbrücke area); not for noodles, but for dessert and a cuppa. (Told you it was a lazy day, I was kinda peckish and me plates needed a break).
Somebody had a mix-tape (showing my age now) playing in the background and the opening acoustic preamble and female vocal caught my attention. Let’s just say the track intrigued me enuff to reach for my phone and do an audio search; see who it was that had me pricking up my ears and raising a Spock-like eyebrow. The track was Darkest Things, the final track from the Submarines debut studio album Declare a New State. Nice one, it occurred to me. I made a mental note and vowed to return to it later that evening.
I’m glad I grabbed a copy of this fine album; tho’ I might add that it’s taken a few spins to worm it’s way into my affections. I should explain that the key vocal and writing members of the band John Dragonetti and Blake Hazard individually penned the various tracks following the break-up of their romantic relationship together. As such the whole album has a fairly mellow and reflective mood to it. I was in a mellow mood the day I heard that first track and am today on this rainiest of days. (I guess in between, my mood had to tune into the music, instead of the other way round).
Anyways, the album’s a firm favorite now and I’d recommend you check it out if you’re having an equally mellow day. Most tracks have some form of accompaniment (drums, bass, keyboards), but somehow it has a fairly stripped down feel that evokes an image of lone song-writer with acoustic guitar. No offense to Dragonetti, but my favorite vocals on the album actually come mainly from Hazard. Neither artist has a particularly extended vocal range (think Christina Aguilera) and nothing particularly distinctive from hundreds of other performers. But that’s rarely what you look for in a decent singer-songwriter (think Bob Dylan).
That’s not to compare these guys to Dylan you understand. Perhaps I’m just examining why it took me a while to warm to this particular album/band. Hazard’s vocals and perhaps the tempo of various tracks, had me thinking of Sheryl Crow (Brighter Discontent) and Swedish rock band the Cardigans (Clouds) at various points. If you’re into either of those artists, perhaps you’ll find something in this indie/folky offering to distract you from the rain outside your window. (Wherever that might be).
Let me leave you with the track that first peaked my interest…