Light Years- “Temporary” EP

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What can I say about Light Years that I haven’t already said? Their incredibly thoughtful, mature songwriting skills and strong musicianship put a whole new spin on the often scorned, misunderstood genre known as “pop punk.” And with their new EP Temporary, the band further prove that they can deliver tightly crafted melodies and introspective lyrics that make them memorable and outstanding in a scene filled with younger, more run-of-the-mill bands.

If you grew up on bands like Blink-182 and are looking for more nuanced, but still anthemic, pop-punk-inspired music that will resonate more strongly with twenty-somethings as opposed to teens, look no further than Light Years.

You can stream Temporary via the link below, but be sure to purchase the actual album here and support this underrated and extremely talented band. Also, catch them on tour this fall with Turnover and Malfunction.

http://www.purevolume.com/news/PREMIERE-Stream-Light-Years-Temporary-EP

Saves The Day and Say Anything cover each other

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Saves The Day and Say Anything, who will embark on a tour in November to celebrate the respective 15th and 10th anniversaries of (arguably) their most popular albums, recorded two acoustic covers of each other’s songs. See the link below to stream Saves The Day covering “Belt” and Say Anything covering “You Vandal,” and also to view tour dates. The two bands will also be supported by Reggie and The Full Effect on tour.

http://savestheday.com/throughbeingcool2014

Ace Enders previews new song, “Undecided”

Ace Enders released another video of a new song from his “voice memo sessions” called “Undecided,” and based on this and his previously released song from these sessions, I think Ace’s next album might be his strongest body of work to date. I’m not sure whether these sessions will lead to another “I Can Make A Mess” album or whether he’ll record them under the “Ace Enders and A Million Little Pieces” moniker. I would guess the latter, as this song in particular is pretty similar in sound to some of the songs on his 2009 AMLP album When I Hit The Ground. If you loved The Early November’s most recent album In Currents, you’ll most likely love this.

Read what Ace Enders had to say about these sessions and stream “Undecided” below.

a few months back i was mixing a record for another band. while each track was bouncing down (roughly 3-4 minuets each) i wrote 8 songs in that time, playing and singing the first thing that came into my mind. i recorded each as a voice memo in that moment and then built the song around that. so no metronome and very little edits. just a cracky voice memo that you can hear all over the album. thankfully trevor from el.de.te was there the whole time to document it.. here is a small piece of it!!”

Ryan Adams (Self-Titled) album review

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One never knows quite what to expect from a new Ryan Adams album. He has definitely thrown his fair share of curveballs throughout his prolific career, from 2003’s all-out rock album, the aptly titled Rock N Roll, to a trilogy of three very different albums all released within months of each other in 2005, and most recently, a more acoustic-based return to form with 2011’s Ashes And Fire. Adams’ new self-titled LP picks up where Ashes and Fire left off, and builds on his newfound sense of clarity and cohesion, drawing upon elements of the sounds and styles he so beautifully crafted on several of his previous albums.

While the album’s overarching style is most similar to the early-mid 2000’s portion of his catalog- one can definitely hear pieces of Demolition, Love Is Hell, and Cold Roses in much of the composition and delivery- it seems more to be the product of an artist who, with his refreshed perspective in the wake of some transformative life experiences, has taken the best elements of his varied body of work and built upon them quite skillfully and impressively. Several of the songs, most notably “Trouble” and “Gimme Something Good”, rock out with all the glory of the best moments on Demolition and Rock N Roll, while others like “Am I Safe?” and “Stay With Me” recall the lush, sprawling qualities that made Cold Roses such a standout album. One can also hear hints of his seminal solo debut Heartbreaker in what is perhaps the album’s strongest track, “My Wrecking Ball.” And it seems that Adams has laced this somewhat retrospective journey through the strongest phases of his multifaceted catalog with a common unifying thread of the same poppy-yet-melancholic quality that made Love Is Hell such a standout body of work. But rather than simply being a forced attempt to recapture his glory days, this collection of songs conveys a more refined, carefully honed version of the genre-bending genius that has finally emerged after weathering a long storm of substance abuse, health problems, and other personal demons.

What’s especially impressive about this latest album that has been missing from his work for quite some time is a true sense of cohesion and flow from beginning to end. Instead of being patched together unevenly with parts that don’t quite fit within the whole, this piece of art has been thoughtfully sketched out and detailed to create harmony, complements, and beautiful contrasts among its many elements. Now that Adams has stepped back from the insanely prolific, drug-fueled writing and recording habits he came to be known for a decade ago, he has truly hit his stride and is now able to create albums that feel fully formed, intelligently designed, and altogether both fascinating and pleasant to listen to.

SOHN- “The Chase”

I was delighted to see that SOHN posted a new song recently. His debut album, Tremors, is one of my favorite albums of 2014, and this new song, “The Chase” would have fit perfectly on that album. It’s a dark, but sweet, downtempo number that’s less bass-heavy and just a little more stripped down than most songs on Tremors. SOHN’s vocals shine through the composition with a crystalline intensity and an emotive longing, creating a beautifully chilling listening experience that’s perfect for late nights.

Raury & Vancouver Sleep Clinic- Superfly

Raury, who has received lots of attention of late for his “Cigarette Song,” recently teamed up with Aussie wunderkind Tim Bettenson (a.k.a. Vancouver Sleep Clinic) to record a new song, “Superfly.” The two artists make a great pair and create a winning combination of soulful and ethereal. Bettenson’s soothing, shimmering falsetto provides the perfect backdrop to this buoyant, breezy, hip hop/soul-infused collaboration. It’s especially catchy, but just offbeat and unique enough to prevent it from reaching massive radio hit status.

Ace Enders- Space Jam acoustic session plus a new song teaser

After an acoustic tour this summer, the ever versatile and amazingly prolific Ace Enders is back at it with a new acoustic performance of a classic Early November song and a video teaser for a new song called “Keep Moving.” Longtime Early November fans will remember the acoustic version of “Sunday Drive” that appears on the band’s 2005 release, The Acoustic EP. This latest version of the song certainly recaptures the beauty and power of its predecessor, and it finds Enders in top vocal form. The slightly more stripped down, unpolished nature of this new recording allows the alternating sweetness, anguish, and longing in his voice to come through with a heightened intensity.

The new song, “Keep Moving,” sounds like it would have fit perfectly on The Early November’s 2012 LP, In Currents. It has a lush, reflective, but also driving and visceral feel similar to the general landscape of that album. I will wait with eager anticipation for whatever else Ace has up his sleeve. The man is full of delightful surprises.

Hostage Calm- “A Thousand Miles Away From Here”

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This latest song from Hostage Calm’s upcoming album, “Die On Stage” (out 9/16 on Run For over Records), has me even more excited to hear the album in full and to see them on tour with Citizen and You Blew It! in October. They’ve clearly pushed their power pop/rock approach even further, and the spirited, anthemic, but still sort of gritty sound on this new track, “A Thousand Miles Away From Here,” recalls older post-hardcore stylings, rock anthems from earlier eras, and maybe even a hint of Britpop.

Stream the new song via Noisey, and pre-order the album via Run For Cover.

Seahaven- “Andreas” (Acoustic Video)

Seahaven, whose latest album, Reverie Lagoon…, is one of my favorites of 2014, have just given us a more intimate, stripped down way of experiencing one of the more musically energetic, bouncy tracks on that generally moody, reflective, somber album. This acoustic version of “Andreas” lends a deeper sense of vulnerability and rawness to the song’s dark lyrical content, allowing lines such as “Come to me, come to me/I’ll be your friend/Leave sitting alone at home/ With your open wrists that bleed all over,” to resonate on an even deeper level.

Dawn Golden- “Still Life” video

Dawn Golden, a solo side project of Houses’ Dexter Tortoriello, released one of the best, most overlooked albums of this year. You can get a taste for his uniquely hazy, distorted, and darkly blissed out brand of indie rock/electronica by watching the recently released video for the album’s title track, “Still Life.”

If you like Houses or other artists whose work is in a similar vein, such as Active Child, How To Dress Well, or James Blake, “Still Life” is definitely worth your attention.