Heathers

Here, Not There

Heathers is great! This DIY Bloomington folk punk is totally wonderful. They’ve got an album on Bandcamp from 2008 called “Here, Not There” that I’m getting really into right now. Bloomington is such a gold mine.

“Here, Not There” is 11 tracks for $5 and every track is great. This band is made up of twin sisters from Ireland. They’re on Plan-It-X, and as far as I can tell, that’s the most respectable association a band can have. I’m having trouble figuring out if they’re still active, but let’s not worry about that for the moment. Just take in the songs you can find on their Bandcamp. There’s a lot there and it’s all totally solid.

I can’t overstate the fact that all of these songs are great. I usually try to pick a song or two that I’m most into to describe in more detail, but there’s not really a stand out because they’re all really good. More than anything, I would just encourage you to listen to all of these songs.

The Irish influences are pretty apparent, and it’s totally great. They’ve got a sort of ultra cute soft accent and timbre in their voices. It’s all spot on while keeping that necessary DIY aesthetic.

Do you like great songs? Do you like cute female vocals? Do you like meaningful lyrics? If so, you should definitely check out Heathers! They’re all of that and more! If they’re still playing, go find them and then tell me about it!

 

Observer Drift

Corridors

Collin Ward wants you to imagine hanging out in a messy bedroom with one of your punk friends from high school when you listen to his songs. They were all recorded in his bedroom and basement, and every one that I’ve heard sounds totally genuine and sincere.

Listen to his 13-track album Corridors from his band Observer Drift on Bandcamp. He says all the songs are either about dreams he’s had, important people he’s met or memories of his very young childhood. You can purchase the album for the price of your choice. What a deal!

Every song on this album is so very solid. If I had to pick a favorite, it’d probably be “Thousands Of Days,” though I very much get the idea that this is the kind of album that I could listen to over and over again, gradually, over a long period of time before I would get all the available insight from it.

Besides the sincerity, which I do think is the most important part of music, these songs all sound really great. Usually bedroom projects have a much more unfinished sound, but these are significantly higher quality than you’d expect from his description of the recording situation.

If you haven’t heard of Observer Drift, check them out! This guy works at a pizza shop, goes to a community college and writes and records really good songs. Listen to the words. Listen to the sounds. Give them some time and take them all in.  

 

David Peck

Noctilucence

Noctilucence is a word that describes something that shines in the dark. Sometimes clouds that are illuminated by the light from the moon are called noctilucent. David Peck recently put a six track album on Bandcamp under the title of “Noctilucence,” and it totally shines in the dark.

 

The first track, “An Orange Aperture” is full of really thick synth waves and lots of other sufficiently dark sounds. The beat is strong, and this is totally an electronic hip hop song. It’s very solid, and one of the best on the album.

My personal favorite of the six tracks on Noctilucence is the last one, “Coal & Ice.” It starts off a bit quieter, but eventually builds into a great swell of energy full of organic sounding beats and guitar tones. This track is the longest on the album, coming in at almost five and a half minutes, and it spends all of that time wisely. Swells and dynamics really make music like this worth listening to.

You can download the title track, a five-minute journey through dark and shining tones, for free or buy the whole album for one dollar. This is all really cool, and as always, you can stream it directly from Bandcamp for free. Give David Peck a listen on some good speakers and decide if you think this music shines in the dark! It’s obviously had a great deal of work from Peck himself, having written, composed, performed, engineered, mixed and mastered everything himself. Excellent work! 

Hotfox

You, Me, and the Monster

Hotfox is great. These dudes are some Indianapolis natives currently making a home down in Bloomington, and they’ve got a really great album on Bandcamp called You, Me, and the Monster for name your price. My advice is to go over there immediately and start naming prices. This album is great.

They say they’ve played with Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s, and I can see these two bands fitting together really well. From the very beginning of this album on “The Dirt Of This Earth,” I can sense the sort of subtle sincerity that I love from those kinds of bands.

The full band songs kick off on track number two, “Fire!”, and things continue to get interesting. Something about this singer’s voice sort of reminds me of Matt Costa in a way.

“Mountain Tiger” is another really strong song. It starts with really pretty guitars and subtle drums, meanders for a while, and then throws in some perfectly catchy melodies before building into a full on anthem.

The last track, “Hope, or How to Get Your Throne Back,” is my favorite of the eleven songs on “You, Me, and the Monster.” The guitar and bass work is exceptional. There’s a sort of creepiness to this song that really gets me. I love it.

This band is great. If you’re in Bloomington or Indianapolis, I hope you’ve heard them before, and if you’re not, I hope you go give them a serious listen on Bandcamp. If you like what you hear, they totally deserve the support of an album purchase!

 

Murder By Death

Dark Alternative Country

Murder From Death is from Bloomington! I had no idea, but that’s really exciting. This area of Indiana has so much amazing music. Murder By Death has a sort of dark alternative country western sound. They use a lot of cello, and the singer’s voice brings up images of mysterious strangers sitting at the end of a bar in some anonymous saloon in the middle of a desert.

I’ve been listening to Murder By Death for a long time now, and I think my favorite of their albums is In Bocca Al Lupo. I feel like it’s the most western sounding. There’s this one song on it called Brother that’s totally poppy. If there were popular rock hits in the old west, I feel like this could have easily been one of them. It’s very catchy.

Honestly, all of Murder By Death’s albums are great. I even love the long instrumental parts from their first album. They have such a unique sound. I’m sure this is the kind of band about which people would say, “you either love them or you hate them.” That all comes down to the uniqueness of their sound I’m sure.

I love Bloomington, and I’m glad that this band is from there. I already loved this band before I knew that, but it’s always good to find another great reason why a city is great. Check these guys out if you haven’t already. They can totally diversify your musical palette. Everyone needs a little dark western rock sometimes. 

Madeline Ava

This girl is so nice! These songs are totally great! I stayed in her house for a couple of days once, and she made my friend Colby and I some really great pizza. She sent me back to Murfreesboro with a Marge Simpson kids meal toy once. She taught me about Star Fluxx (a card game), and she’s better than me at the bean game.

Honestly, I’d only heard a couple of Madeline’s songs before today, but everything on “Still Gonna Be Fine” that she put on Bandcamp a couple weeks ago is perfect. It’s super intimidating for me to write about my friends’ music, but these songs are really incredible so I’m going for it. If for some reason you’re reading my blogs and you don’t know about Madeline, go listen to all of these songs! She’ll send you a tape if you send her three dollars in the mail or through Paypal. She bought me a root beer, and these songs are awesome.

Madeline plays lots of songs with her ukulele and her voice, and they’re just as nice as her. She also has this awesome website! http://www.madelineava.com/. It’s full of rad videos, pictures and music. The songs under her posts called Summer Songs from August 2009 and Summer Songs II from May 2011 are really perfect as well! There’s really nothing I can say about this music better than encouraging everyone to listen to it. It’s easy to relate to all of this immediately. It all makes perfect sense, and that’s what it’s all about.

Youth Camp - 'w/u'

Oh, the reverb. Buckets and buckets of it. Jangle on.

Humors

I had the good fortune of getting to play at Rachael’s Café yesterday with a local band called Humors and a band from Philadelphia. Both bands were awesome, and I’m glad we got the opportunity to play there with such nice dudes. Seeing as this is an Indianapolis blog turned into outlet to promote Bloomington’s awesome music scene, I’m going to focus on Humors though.

All of these guys’ songs were really exciting and fast-paced. I was about to say that I especially enjoyed a particular one of them, but honestly all three of these dudes had great things to add. The singer played bass, and he did both very well. It was hard to hear his vocals on the PA, but the stuff he was doing on bass was all very interesting. The drummer was going full force the whole time, and the energy was great. The guitarist did some of the most interesting squealing effects I’ve heard in a while.

Most memorably, Humors played a song which the singer said was about burning his house down. That particular song was instrumental, and I could totally imagine a house burning down to those sounds. The guitarist really pulled together all those great squeals on this one. In fact, this is the song that my bandmates also pointed out as their favorite afterwards.

There’s a lot of great stuff in Bloomington. Rachael’s Café seems like the place to go for venue shows, and the atmosphere there is great. Many thanks to them, Luther, and Humors for a great show!

Learner Dancer - 'Fortune Teller'

This 7" single is the first we've heard from Learner Dancer in a year. Here's hoping 2012 sees more of their '70's-inspired psychedelic garage rock. 

Bloomington

Indianapolis. I live in Murfreesboro, TN, home to the wonderful and eclectic Middle Tennessee State University and about forty minutes south of Nashville. Here in Murfreesboro, most people have a great taste in music and a general sense of disdain for our mother, “Music City” to the North. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a ton of absolutely wonderful music coming out of Nashville, but it’s all sort of out of touch of the scene here in Murfreesboro. Most people in Nashville don’t get what’s going on down here. I suspect and very curiously wonder if a similar situation exists between Indianapolis and Bloomington, home of The University of Indiana.

I stayed with a couple of ultra nice folks in Bloomington this weekend and got a better sense of the town. I went to a house show where a certain champion named Mitch played really great and honest songs on a Casio digital guitar, a large band played some very entertaining folk pop songs, and my friend from Murfreesboro played a set of his ultra energetic dance pop. This exact scene could’ve happened in Murfreesboro, but I don’t know about it happening in Nashville. I don’t know if it happens in Indianapolis, but in the course of writing these blogs about Indianapolis, I’ve yet to discover it.

House shows are the best. This scene is the future. This honesty is so important to the present. The people in Bloomington are doing a great thing, and I plan to devote the majority of the rest of my writing on this blog to their efforts. 

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