It’s been some time since I heard any decent music… you know, music other than this processed, copied crap that gets cranked out for the baggy-pants wearing, juvenile delinquent types. (Probably gonna piss a few peeps off with that one. Oh, well… I enjoy the heat.) Fortunately however, the past few weeks of Nettin’ have acquainted me with a couple of new acts. I’ve been diggin’ both of ’em, so I’d thought I’d shared the wealth.
The first is Blue-Eyed Son. Andrew Heilprin, a California singer/songwriter whose moniker gives a nod to Dylan (“Where have you been my blue-eyed son?”) put out “West of Lincoln” last year. It’s a nice, mellow album; much along the same lines of Elliott Smith, albeit a tad less depressive. The first track, ‘Step Away From the Cliff’ is a great tune and a great, catchy track to start the album. The album continues with another eleven tracks, all of which have a different vibe. Some good… some okay. But, all in all, a great voice combined with some killer melodies and lyrics. If you like Elliott Smith, you’ll dig Blue-Eyed Son.
The second act is John Gold. The album – “Eastside Shake”. Again, still on the mellow side of things, and still reminiscent of Elliott Smith, but how can that be all too bad? It can’t! That’s the point. I guess this guy is best summed up by Miles of Music’s description:
The Eastside Shake offers the kind of piano-based pop that draws you in to its spacious environs and massages your head with subtle effects and opposing colorations. This is the second release from LA-based singer/songwriter John Gold, who has an effectively plaintive voice that paints broad, sorrowful strokes over these thoughtful, baroque arrangements. Its a soulful collection of heady urban troubadour musings. Effectively simple at times, lush and epic at others, strangely inviting an ELO-meets-Squeeze-as-interpreted-by-Elliott Smith comparison. But you want to praise him for being what sounds like his painfully honest self. The LA Weekly refers to this quietly gifted singer-songwriter as having a semisweet chocolate baritone and a slew of idiosyncratic arrangements, all of which we think are beautiful.
Again, there’s good and not so good, but the album as a whole is a lot better than most of what I’ve heard recently. Simple, but effective.
Both of these guys are on semi-independent labels; their albums can be purchased on-line and both have their tunes for sale on iTunes. I wouldn’t mind hearing more from them, so if you like them, make a contribution to the fight.