I can not wait until this album drops…
The heavy on the synthesizer pop act Lights, also known as Valerie Poxleitner, has been getting a lot of hype for not even having a full length release out yet. It could be solely from her beauty seeing as she is capable of turning one or two hundred heads, but in all honesty this girl is more than just a looker. She is a musician and has the voice to prove it.
The Canadian born singer actually wrote her first song when she was only eleven years old. At twenty-two Valerie Poxleitner was discovered when she casted to be a model for corporate giant bastards Wal-Mart. The modeling supervisor asked if she was a musician while looking at a picture of the hopeful model holding a guitar. Without hesitation she began to sing for them and the rest is pretty much history.
Her songs were first featured in Old Navy commercials and before long, Lights was playing the Facebook party at the 2009 SXSW, appearing on Canada’s MuchMusic, and even playing live for MTV. After grabbing a Juno award for being the best artist of 2009 she jumped on board for a summer tour with the Van’s Warped Tour. All of this happened within a four year period and Lights is still going. With plans on releasing a full length album this September and also acting as a supporting artist for a Fall Keane tour, Lights certainly as a lot on her plate.
So what is the hype about Lights you ask? Trust me I was asking myself the same question. While at the Warped Tour this summer I missed out on seeing this Lights act everyone was talking about. I read the schedule wrong and completely missed her set. Finally I have obtained a copy of her EP and I must say it was an interesting listen.
Opener “Ice” reminded me of all the cheap pop acts out there I just never cared for. You know, the one time Mousekateers that grew up to be pop stars that have everyone else do the work for them while they look pretty. I had to keep reminding myself that this was an honest musician. This song aside from the poppiness was catchy and I loved the Vanilla Ice throw in.
“Drive My Soul” was down shifted a few gears from the opening track as was “February Air”. At times I though of Gwen Stefani when she ditched No Doubt to go solo. The one song I actually enjoyed was “I Owe You One”, a thank you song for someone special. I think if Ben Gibbard did some back-up vocals on this track it would have been awesome. I guess it’s me, but I feel the song was very reminiscent of The Postal Service.
Think of a modern day Cyndi Lauper, Tiffany, or Debbie Gibson with keyboards galore and that pretty much sums up Lights. Honestly while listening to the EP I kept hoping for Lights to break into “Goonies Are Good Enough” cover. All I could image was 80’s style throughout the six songs. It was just too much for me.
Björk may be Lights’ most major influence but there is not any egg laying on the red carpet crazy experimental anything going on in this EP. It is straight forward syth-pop music for all the pop fans out there and not for me.
Lights certainly has an amazing voice, and the looks as well. I think it is just the music that backs her vocals that turned me off from most of the tracks. I think with a full band backing her she would sound amazing in my ears and others for that matter. With her full length debut The Listening dropping in a little over a month I can honestly say I am curious to see what is to come.
“Drive My Soul” video:
Before I even start this review you all should know that this band hit me hard in the ears with something good. Ever since my introduction I have been a fan and I really like to support these girls hense all of the posts in recent months.
I guess that is one of the cool things about having your own blog, freedom to do what you want. Well what I want is to help out three ladies from the Nashville area be heard. I know they should have no problem doing so but it does not hurt to help.
Next week Those Darlins return to Cleveland on July 14th and you can bet your grits I will be there. Do yourself a favor and get up to the Beachland Tavern to check out this great up and coming band. I would not talk about them so much if I did not think they were all that.
So what that said, here is the review of the debut release by Those Darlins:
Tennessee’s best kept little secret no longer remains hidden as Those Darlins have released their debut self titled album on their very own label Oh Wow Dang! Records. Kelly Darlin, Nikki Darlin, and Jessie Darlin who make up Those Darlins do their own thing their own way. The result is a band that spills out some great tunes combining pop with rock, punk, and country.
Hailing from Murfreesboro, TN the musically inclined trio of women have already made their way around the US playing shows small and large. With their constant touring with acts such as Dan Auerbach, The Features, and even playing a stage at this year’s Bonnaroo, the girls have finally released their debut album for all to hear.
So what is it about this band that has more or less turned me into an obsessed fan? The girls mix the perfect blend of garage rock, punk, and even some country rock style all into a sound I just can not get enough of. They have enough sass to knock your grandpa to the floor, the looks that guarantee instant crushes, the smiles of angels, and can party down like no other. I’m pretty sure they can all kick your ass too with out any help.
Their Appalachian sounds seems to clash with a punk attitude as well as female strong ideals. This mix becomes smashed into a fine sounding bar-rock jam fom three good looking gals who drink their whiskey from the bottle. Think Wanda Jackson and Patsy Cline meet Joan Jett with even a taste of some Kathleen Hanna.
The classic covers of the Carter Family’s “Who’s That Knocking At My Window?” as well as “Cannonball Blues” proved Those Darlins have a rendering for the country genre but when you move throughout the album you can clearly hear that their musical roots are not just from Nashville
Opening track “Red Light Love” does not even suggest they are a country act as they play a more bar-rock song. What I like about this one so much is I can actually feel them smiling as they sing this fun song.
“Wild One” is more or less the girls’ anthem/reminder of being wild and crazy. This song is Wanda Jackson with punk rock authority and provides a fair warning to all the folk out there that have a more than a musical liken for Those Darlins. This was the first song I had heard from the band and was the reason became so fond of them.
“The Whole Damn Thing”, to me, was the funniest song on the album as the girls sing about getting hammered and eating an entire chicken. To make things even more amusing the song continues with the consumed chicken being forgotten about.
Almost reminding me of something Johnny Cash might have written during his raging days was “Glass To You”, a drunken slur of a track. I almost felt bad for the girls in this painful song as they declare they are having “whiskey blues” and have “been drunk since half past noon” because of their man. Having more than one vocalist sing throughout just keeps it unhappy.
“Snaggle Tooth Mama” is a boot-stomping country jam with some fun intermitting guitar and bar room piano playing that by the end of the track will have you singing along. “222” is a tough track about all about boys, parties, and fun. Coincidentally one of the studios that the girls recorded at was in NYC at Jeff Curtin’s basement studio called 222. Jeff Curtin also took on the drumming duties for most of the tracks on this album.
“DUI Or Die” was more of a tale of an alcohol infused evening out all ending with sirens and jail bars as well as blaming to booze. “Drunk driving, I’m guilty, and I’m blaming the booze” pretty much summed up the song in a comical way also giving hint to all the ladies who want to avoid DUIs but going home with someone and letting them drive.
Even though some of the songs suggest a country rock like style, they add much more rock and roll and punk rock finesse giving for a fiercer sound. Having the girls split up vocal duties just keeps their songs that much more interesting. Their debut album is an instant classic to my ears and I am sure it will be for many as all of the songs are very catchy, musically and lyrically. This is not a band you will forget about after just one album. These girls are going places.
Seeing them live is a whole experience in its own. Big crowds or small crowds these girls play their hearts out, drink the big boy drinks, and will force you to have a good time. When they take the stage one might think they do not have the capabilities that make up what Those Darlins are all about – loud music and good times. The moment the guitars are strummed and the vocals start it’s clear that something fun is about to happen.
Need some proof? Here, check out these videos:
Who am I kidding? I am all about Those Darlins. Out of nowhere they were introduced to my ears thanks to the good folk at Thirty Tigers and I could not help but to like them. There was just something about their take on rock infused with country that was ever so appealing to me. I turned into an instant fan.
This past Saturday their debut album was released on LP on First Vinyl Saturday.. I might have purchased 2 copies… They were available to Music Saves in Cleveland and Shake It Records in Cincinnati so I know great independent record stores have them.
I’m currently in the works of finishing a review of their CD that very well may be one of my favorite releases of the year. I know we are only 6 months into the year and anything can happen…
Today I received an email from Those Darlins I thought would be best to just share in its entirety. It’s an announcement from the girls to you:
We’re coming to get you.
We dare you to just say yes.
Those Darlins will soon be roaming this great nation, bringing all Americans together the only way we know how: sheer freak spectacle.
But don’t just come see the spectacle, be the spectacle. We want you. We dare you. We, in fact, need you.
Have a drink, have a dance. Don’t worry about the environment being intolerant, too cool, too lame, too country, too anything. EVERYONE is invited; you’re one of us.
It’s Summer 2009, and, damnit, be here with us in the now. Don’t let the economic downturn ruin your appetite for some basic human relief: a good time.
Say yes… we already have. And we are bringing gifts (records, drinks, maybe even a kiss from our merch-man Byron) to the folks ready to lead the charge with us at every show.
Grow some fur, burn your laurels, let us see your inner spirit animal.
And, until then, enjoy Red Light Love, and make a date with us to make this the best summer ever.
SUMMER TOUR DATES
“Buy the ticket, take the ride.” – HST
6/25: Atlanta @ Drunken Unicorn
6/26: Athens, GA @ AthFest
6/27: Nashville, TN @ Mercy Lounge $
7/07: Arlington, VA @ Iota Club & Cafe
7/09: NYC @ Mercury Lounge +
7/10: Brooklyn @ Southpaw **, ++
7/11: Philadelphia @ Johnny Brenda’s
7/13: Pittsburgh @ Club Café
7/14: Cleveland @ Beachland Tavern
7/15: Pontiac, MI @ The Pike Room
7/16: Indianapolis @ Radio Radio
7/17: Chicago @ Schubas
7/18: Minneapolis @ 7th St. Entry
7/20: Rock Island, IL @ Rock Island Brewing Company
7/21: Omaha, NE @ Slowdown Front Room
7/22: Des Moines, IA @ Vaudeville Mews
7/23: Kansas City, MO @ The Record Bar
7/24: St. Louis, MO @ Off Broadway
7/25: Memphis, TN @ Hi-Tone
9/18 & 19: Bristol, VA @ Bristol Roots & Reunion Festival
$ W/The Black Lips – VINYL RELEASE PARTY
+ W/Heavy Trash (Jon Spencer) CD RELEASE PARTY
** W/So So Glos BROOKLYN RELEASE PARTY
++ W/We Are Country Mice BROOKLYN RELEASE PARTY
BUY THE DEBUT ALBUM EARLY NOW!
OPTIONS To Buy The CD Early Before Official 7/7 street date:
1) VINYL (W/CD of FULL ALBUM) at INDIE RETAIL STORES NOW! — it really is the most beautiful package. Hope you get to indie retail soon while they are giving away a pair of Blublocker sunglasses with the purchase of the vinyl and you get the CD as well inserted in the package. (Editiors Note: Rumor has it that the first pressings are PINK!)
2) Buy the VINYL (W/CD) or the CD digipak at www.thosedarlins.com
3) iTunes: Now available at iTunes HERE
Download This! – Those Darlins – “Red Light Love”
Are you scratching your head about this?
Danger Mouse has teamed up with Sparklehorse and David Lynch creating an album that may never be officially released.
Still scratching that noggin’?
Just listen to the album then already streaming in its entirety on NPR.org. The head scratching will stop some. This is a really interesting concept album of sorts.
Read on about this interesting idea of an album:
May 15, 2009 – When the first cryptic bits of news about Dark Night of the Soul began trickling in earlier this year, it all sounded too good to be true. Though the whole project was shrouded in mystery, it appeared that Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse’s Mark Linkous, two of the most inspired artists making music today, were collaborating on a new album. That alone was enough to get our geek gears spinning with excitement. But there was an unusual twist that few of us at NPR Music could make sense of: Director David Lynch was somehow involved.
It all started back in March, at the South by Southwest music festival and conference. A number of us on the NPR Music team had noticed strange posters around downtown Austin, Texas, that read “Dark Night of the Soul.” They looked like movie posters and had David Lynch’s name on them, alongside names of some of our favorite artists, like Danger Mouse, Sparklehorse, Vic Chesnutt, Jason Lytle and more. We wondered if it was some sort of musical film.
Soon after our Austin trip, NPR Music received copies of the mysterious posters in the mail. No return address. Someone was messing with us. I tried to find out more, but had zero success. Then, weeks later, I finally got a note from a publicist with all the details we’d been waiting for.
It turns out Dark Night Of The Soul is an album and the songs were written by Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse, though the myriad singers featured on each track also had a big hand in composing and producing the work. The album was initially going to be packaged with a book of photos taken by David Lynch. But now there’s word that the music may never be officially released at all.
An unnamed spokesperson for Danger Mouse says that “due to an ongoing dispute with EMI” the book of photographs will “now come with a blank, recordable CD-R. All copies will be clearly labeled: ‘For legal reasons, enclosed CD-R contains no music. Use it as you will.'” When contacted, EMI declined to comment and wouldn’t confirm whether the label is even involved in the project.
You can order the book, sans music, from the official Dark Night Of The Soul Web site. In the meantime, you can hear the entire album here on NPR Music as an Exclusive First Listen.
I’ve listened to the record all the way through at least a dozen times, and can confirm that Dark Night of the Soul delivers in every way you’d hope for. It’s beautiful but haunting, surreal and dark, but sometimes comical and affecting, with ear-popping, multilayered production work. It just gets more mesmerizing with every listen.
In addition to Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse, other artists appearing on Dark Night of the Soul include James Mercer of The Shins, The Flaming Lips, Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals, Jason Lytle of Grandaddy, Julian Casablancas of The Strokes, Frank Black of the Pixies, Iggy Pop, Nina Persson of The Cardigans, Suzanne Vega, Vic Chesnutt, David Lynch, and Scott Spillane of Neutral Milk Hotel and The Gerbils.
Check out the Dark Night Of The Soul official website where you can pre-order the book associated with the release full photography and a blank CD-R. The blank CD-R is there for you the reader/listener to add whatever music you see necessary. Freedom of choice. I like that.
I would rather see this entire album be released but that shall be determined.
For now head over to NPR.org where they are streaming Dark Night Of The Soul and see what the fuss is all about.
1. “Revenge” (featuring The Flaming Lips) – 4:52
2. “Just War” (featuring Gruff Rhys) – 3:44
3. “Jaykub” (featuring Jason Lytle) – 3:52
4. “Little Girl” (featuring Julian Casablancas) – 4:33
5. “Angel’s Harp” (featuring Black Francis) – 2:57
6. “Pain” (featuring Iggy Pop) – 2:49
7. “Star Eyes (I Can’t Catch It)” (featuring David Lynch) – 3:10
8. “Everytime I’m With You” (featuring Jason Lytle) – 3:09
9. “Insane Lullaby” (featuring James Mercer) – 3:12
10. “Daddy’s Gone” (featuring Mark Linkous and Nina Persson) – 3:09
11. “The Man Who Played God” (featuring Suzanne Vega) – 3:09
12. “Grim Augury” (featuring Vic Chesnutt) – 2:32
13. “Dark Night of the Soul” (featuring David Lynch) – 4:38
UPDATE: Looks like EMI bitched out and canceled the two videos below that I posted. I swear if this album is not released then fingers should be pointed at EMI for reasons why the music industry is struggling. I listened to the stream 3 times now and think the album is brilliant and may be one of my top 10 for 2009.
Do yourself a favor and check it out before EMI sucks harder and pulls the stream from NPR.org.
NOT an official video, but still pretty entertaining:
I also found this interesting site that I will not mention what it is about but it may interest you. I am not sure how long it will even stay up…