Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sunday Songs 2015: Johnny Hollow - A Little Bit Closer


Johnnu Hollow is interesting. It's a Canadian electronic group, and their 2014 album A Collection of Creatures is an eclectic affair. It's very echo-y (almost hollow-sounding, quite fitting) with a dark tone and Janine White's great voice. I can't really think of any single band to compare them to. A Little Bit Closer is probably my favorite song, but Devil's Night and I Am Stretched On Your Grave (a performance of the famous Irish poem) are really good too. The whole thing is a great moody affair that has a distinct place in any library of dark, ambient, ethereal, or ghostly music.

Project update: nothing has changed from last week. I've kinda been letting my projects slip this month, and May not be too much better with finals and essays coming, but I'm going to be trying my best. Gotta get Legend of the Elements whipped into shape!

End Recording,

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunday Songs 2015: Halestorm/Wolfgun New Album Double Feature


This week saw the release of two new albums by two of my favorite artists. Halestorm released Into The Wild Life, their third full album. After a slightly goth-y original album in Halestorm and a slightly metal-y followup album in The Strange Case Of..., Into The Wild Life is a full-blooded rock album. It's classic and almost a bit more traditional, but it brings to the table the outstanding production of Halestorm as well as Lzzy's unbelievable vocal force. I've said it before, but I think she might be the hardest rocker out there right now. She's definitely the hardest-rocking woman in a genre where women are often relegated to softer styles of rock.
Lzzy doesn't go as full-on raw and primal as she did in The Strange Case Of.... There's nothing that hits quite as hard as Love Bites (So Do I) or I Miss The Misery. However, I think she's actually come into a more mature, rounded, and complete presentation of her voice, and the strength of the lyrics helps with that.
While Lzzy's vocals are stepping back from being the unquestioned centerpiece of the band, the guitar-work has stepped forward in a way that it hasn't before. In both previous albums, all of the other instruments felt like they existed to support Lzzy's voice. Now they're taking a more prominent role. In Scream, I Am The Fire, and Gonna Get Mine in particular, I really caught onto the guitars.
My favorites are I Am The Fire and The Reckoning. Two of the softer ones (though not as much as Dear Daughter), but really well balanced.

You know who the album made me think of a few times? Queen. It's a really weird comparison, but especially on Gonna Get Mine the bold and catchy guitar/drums tune made me think of them. Maybe it's just me. It's actually kinda weird for me, cuz I'm in the minority of music listeners who really doesn't like most of Queen's songs.

Classic hard rock at its finest.


No one really does what Wolfgun does. His spacey electronics, dreamlike lyrics, and really nice singing voice, combined with his great concept ideas for his music, makes him unique. Discovering LIGHTS last year helped me through a lot of stress with its bouncy, optimistic sound, and cemented his place as among my top 5 Spring musicians. He's a mainstay in my car stereo.
I'm fascinated by his re-use of lyric sets. He has an intro to all of his albums that uses the same lyrics, a sort of audio signature. I was enjoying ROAD TO JUPITER, but when in the titular song I heard the core line from LIGHTS echoing I knew that I was really in for something great. And I was! The album really deserves your attention. I like every single song, which is a rare thing. My favorite is Juno. Something about is really nostalgic to me. Still, nothing is quite as representative of the album as the title song.

I apologize for missing last week, and for such a brief entry the previous week. I've been very, very busy, but I feel bad that I broke my resolution to miss no weeks. This week's double feature hopefully makes up for it a bit. Normally I wouldn't feature either of these bands because I've done them before (several times in Wolfgun's case) but their new albums deserve it, and both of them together is worth it. Enjoy.

Project update:
Learning Pixel Art is, of course, released! Click up on the header to sample or buy it!
Legend of the Elements is in playtesting mode, but is having some discussion about the implementation of animal companions over on Story Games! I'd love to hear you chime in! My main priority is in making the remaining art for the holes in the book right now. I think I'm going to set an optimistic goal of GPNW (June 26-28) for the final draft to be in editing mode and PAX (August 28-31) for the final release. I'm going to call that a goal and not a deadline right now, but I'm gonna try my damnedest.
The Shining Void is feeling like it's getting close to review and update time, even with only one playtest of this draft under my belt. I have a few ideas.

Mostly I'm just in school mode right now, but I'm still playing FFXIV! I want buddies to play with, if you're up for that!

End Recording,

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Sunday Songs 2015: she - Archetype


After a few weeks of pop/vocal stuff, time for a little retro-y electronic stuff.
she is a Swedish artist who does all sorts of electronic stuff. The genre focus changes from album to album (ranging from chiptune to dance to more ambient tunes like this one), and it's really very good. I like this album's style. It's short, but has an interesting texture to it.
End Recording,