Lowlight – Backwards Up the Slide
Genre: Indie Rock, Indie Pop
Similar artists: Phosphorescent, Paul Simon, Calexico, Conor Oberst
If you’re a dedicated rock n’ roll animal, to borrow a phrase from ol’ Lou Reed, it’s easy to laugh at the singer-songwriters that don’t devote themselves to making the guitars screech, the vocals scream and the drumming sound like thunder over a distant valley.
Yet, the singer-songwriters that play their pianos or acoustic guitars and manage to communicate their ideas to each new generation are something special. The likes of Paul Simon might not be accused of spreading the dark gospel of rock, but their words and music have truly stuck in a vein.
Maybe it’s because some possess the rare talent of digging into their memories so far deep that they begin to resemble the ones of others. Lowlight has that rare quality. Backwards Up the Slide sounds like a chant about the mystery of childhood, but feels like it could have expressly been written for any of the listeners. That’s a neat trick!
Teleskopes – Private Michael
Genre: Shoegaze, Indie Rock, Alternative Rock
Similar artists: The Killers, The Smiths, The Cure, Depeche Mode
In many ways, the Pink Floyd and Yes of the 1980s were bands like Depeche Mode and the Cure. Now, I know what you’re going to say. Depeche and Cure weren’t overindulgent musicians playing long songs, wearing strange outfits, and communicating almost exclusively through giant concerts and albums with their audience. Weren’t they?
Not only were they good, but a lot of people realized that pretty early on. While the bands I just mentioned were able to garner plenty of critical praise, and genuinely drew inspiration from the artsier sector of 70s rock, they dominated the 80s in true stadium-rock fashion.
The juxtaposition of cutting-edge ideas and crowd-pleasing rockers has left a big mark. Teleskopes are one of the groups that seem equally intent to dig into the art books for inspiration, as well as their concert of the Cure playing…err.. the Maracana. Private Michael, much like the best of what the 80s had to offer, sounds like militarized, classy dance music played on guitars.