I love being turned on to new music. So, in an effort to further expand my own awareness of what I'm missing in the ever-changing music scene, I have called in a reliever (excuse my baseball mentality).
I introduce to you, Shanna Farrell. Shanna and I are high school buddies who have always shared a love of music. We kept in touch over the years, despite distances, and recently reunited for a night on the town. As expected, conversation turned to music and I asked her if she would contribute to my blog - and she obliged.
She got her undergraduate degree in music from Northeastern University in Boston and afterward moved to LA, where she worked in production. She currently lives in New York City (right on Shanna, back on the East Coast!) where she attends grad school at NYU. More impressive than her resume is her knack for mining the music scene for great new music.
Enough with the talk - let's get right to it. Without further ado, I give you Shanna's weekly (or whatever) column:
Summa, Summa, Summa Summertime!
Despite the spotty weather we’ve been having here in the Northeast, it’s summertime. And what every summer needs is a good band or two to have a fling with. My summer obsessions? Passion Pit and Crocodiles, the bands that I’ll be blasting at barbeques and late night dance parties.
While Passion Pit has been receiving some major exposure as of late, they still have that perfect summer beat. I first heard about them through NPR’s “All Songs Considered” podcast during their SXSW preview show back in March. They grabbed my attention, and I went out and bought their album as soon as it was released. Hailing from Cambridge, Massachusetts, they broke out with their song “Sleepyhead” this winter.
Now, everywhere I look, there are articles featuring them. They formed in 2007 and feature Michael Angelakos on lead vocals and the keyboard, Ian Hultquist on the keyboard, Ayad Al Adhamy on the synth/samples duty, Jeff Apruzzese on bass, and Nate Donmoyer on live drums. The group is considered electronic, is super danceable, and has been described as “brief, sporadic, and explosive.”
Check out my favorite song, “Moth’s Wings," from their album Manners:
If that’s not enough, listen to “The Reeling:”
Or hell, go buy the whole album! And then read their blog:
My next summer fixation is Crocodiles, a band from San Diego. They are considered to be part of the Southern California “noise-pop” movement (see: No Age, Wavves). They have a darker, distorted sound, but make you (or at least me) want to sing along to “Neon Jesus” and “I Want to Kill” off their newly released Summer of Hate album.
I saw them perform in New York City a couple months back, and despite my aversion to their donning of sunglasses inside and at night, they brought the house down. They played to a sold-out crown before their album even hit stores. If that’s not an indication of how great their songs are, I don’t know what is. Crocodiles consists of the duo Brandon Welchez on vocals and programming and Charles Rowell on guitar and synth.
There is also a pretty rad interview that Stereogum did with them in the “Quit Your Day Job” section. Check it out here