Ames Harding – Walk the Walk
Genre: Indie Rock
Dance music gets a bad rap, especially from people who play, or who enjoy listening to rock music. This is ironic, naturally. Even the name “rock n’ roll,” depending on who you ask, might be a term for dancing to a beat. Perhaps it’s not all dance music that we should blame, but really poor dance music and the way in which it has been marketed over the past decades.
At the end of the day, the majority of music is designed with the purpose of making people dance. The best grooves, the most alluring rhythms, the best kind of music is the one that makes people want to move their feet whether or not they might be trying to resist. Ames Harding makes well-produced pop music that echoes dance grooves from across the world.
“Walk the Walk” is a wonderful hybrid of North African rhythms and psych-pop sensibilities. This all means that the song is easy to hum. It’s also easy to move along with it. It should be easy to present it as a single to Western audiences. But what it also means is that Harding is able to integrate some of the musical influences of places where the musician grew up (Egypt, South America, India). The fact that dance music can travel across continents and through the ages remains something truly remarkable.
Capital Sons – Capsized
Genre: 90s Rock, Alternative Rock
How many of the “alternative” bands that were popular in the 1990s are still touring today? The vast majority of them are out on the road. Many of them are still popular. And some have even come to be dubbed “classics”, with their songs played on legacy radio stations frequently. These kinds of accolades do not simply happen by accident or fate. Capital Sons have similar ambitions for its work.
The way in which they were treated must have felt extremely insulting for the aforementioned 1990s bands. The majority of reports focused on their anti-fashion fashion and on being members of a particular generation. But those would’ve all been gimmicks. Their songs have stood the test of time because they are well-written and capture universal truths.
Capital Sons’ “Capsized” seems to have been written with the objective of matching the 90s alt-rock bands for the classic songwriting values. It contains a soaring vocal melody alongside strong instrumentation and a nifty, efficient song structure. It’s an acoustic-based rock song that you could play to Bob Dylan and likely get a nod of approval. It’s proof that universal truths don’t easily fade out of fashion.