State of the Secretary – Terminal Ray
Genre: Indie Rock, Alternative Rock
Similar artists: The Killers, The National, The Pixies
State of the Secretary produce a hooky and dynamic indie-rock tune with their single Terminal Ray.
The thing about modern audiences is that they’re likely much more sophisticated in their understanding of pop culture than any group that has come before them. This is the reason why there are so many half-written jokes on the topic of pop culture featured in various shows. Most people automatically know what the joke is about.
It’s a post-pop-culture world with which modern artists have to deal, and there is no reason why they should assume that they’ll be able to shock, or even surprise an audience. Quoting from the shared vocabulary popular taste though can reach their hearts.
This is what State of the Secretary manage to do well on their single Terminal Ray. The song features the kind of humorous video accompaniment that should get shared widely by their audience, I know that I chuckled. The song shards of wild guitar riffs a la The Pixies, and the kind of pop-rock control that makes The Killers fill out arenas. We’re all in on what State of the Secretary, and that might work in everyone’s favour.
alberta and the dead eyes – Topless
Genre: Indie Rock
Similar artists: My Morning Jacket
alberta and the dead eyes take a note of their surroundings on their Southern-rock-inspired single Topless.
Most bands play the songs on the record as if routinely turning out at their job, and doing the work. In this case, the results are often good enough, but not convincing. Almost everybody writes songs about things that left an impression on them. Few bands play and sing them like that’s the case.
It’s likely no accident that many of the world’s greatest singers, or pop performers end up being decent actors. Except for Madonna. The best moments of Madonna on the silver screen are of Courtney Love playing here in Basquiat. Or, that actors often feel like they’d be able to carry a tune in front of an audience. Songwriting is storytelling, and telling stories involves acting them out.
This is alberta and the dead eyes do brilliantly on their song Topless. The recording feels made back at the bar, with smoke blocking the view, and drink being spilled on the floor. Not a lick that’s played or sung here feels unnatural. alberta and the dead eyes wrote the script for the movie that best suits them.