Music is everywhere and it can be an aid in all sorts of other endeavors. A true artist can manipulate sound to create feelings and emotions that transfer to the listener. Our latest find Rasplyn seems to do this in more ways than one.
The Rasplyn project is the brainchild of artist Carolyn O’Neill. She combines her experiences in classical music composition, film production, clairvoyant reading and energy healing to craft a style of music that fills the sonic space with lush mystical visuals. The Chicago native grew up playing music throughout high school orchestra and went on to receive a bachelor degree in Music Composition from the Columbia College of Chicago. After many worldwide collaborations Carolyn has started to focus on Rasplyn as an outlet to combine her many talents.
On November 30th Mythical Records will release the debut album by Rasplyn entitled Scenes Through The Magic Eye. The 7 track record is a journey in itself that one must enter with an open mind. The music is filled with many textured layers to truly reach into your mind. The opener “Circle Round” will open the doorway with its tranquil soundscape that builds and fades. Darkness creeps in on “Open Door” with its pounding yet slow beat accompanied by vocal sounds to strengthen the mood. This is an album that should be listened to from start to finish to absorb the full experience.
Enter the full world at:
Forgive the opening statement about how nothing sounds original these days. It’s a favorite of some of the music and pop culture blogosphere. A crutch, even. It’s as if artists who don’t reinvent the wheel with every track are somehow at fault. (How come Bruno Mars keeps getting a free pass, then? Totally kidding!)
Not nearly enough credit is given to those artists who have a virtuosic knack for taking instantly familiar yet disparate elements and combining them to make something completely fresh and full of life. These artists instill influences and styles that may not seem to work on paper with their own personal stamp, arranging everything with a confidence and assuredness that makes every note, every song completely their own, and undeniably compelling.
Not nearly enough artists or bands are like Menage.
Based in L.A., the band is made up of siblings Bela, Gabriel and Basilio Ferreira, who bring together a wide range of influences, a possible side effect of having grown up in Toronto and a small town in Portugal. The band may be billed as “alternative” or “power-pop,” and they are that, but they are so much more. With the international and uplifting appeal of Arcade Fire and brandishing the guitar chops of Rodrigo Y Gabriela, the siblings inject every song with a positivity that is infectious while also being very vulnerable. Lots of chances for crowd sing-alongs.
The international sound is very obvious and sort of reminiscent of a European-tinged Paramore with a MUCH harder edge. The single “Our Time Is Now” is undeniably powerful, at once radio-friendly but hardly tired. “2 to the End” is a rousing and driving power pop track but with quiet moments like those you’d find in a Sigur Ros or even Nirvana song. The Sigur Ros comparison is appropriate, especially since producer Ted Jensen has worked with Radiohead, Björk (who Bela can sometimes sound like, as well as Karen O, among others), and Sigur Ros.
These are all elements you’ve heard before. But never together, and never quite like this. And it is indeed thrilling.
Indie Band Guru had the pleasure of speaking to the band about their influences, plans for 2015, and being able to play New York’s Portugal Day 2014 show in Central Park.
“Our Time Is Now” seems to have a ton of influences meshed into one song (in a way that totally works). So of course I have to ask, who are your influences?
As typical as it sounds, we all come from pretty diverse musical backgrounds. Elliot and Dave started out playing funk/RnB together then later studied jazz, while bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers shaped them. Gabriel has always been a big fan of classic rock, Fernando listens to experimental ambient stuff and loves Cold War Kids. I grew up on grunge; then My Chemical Romance came along. They made me want to be in a band.
Yet all three of us siblings studied classical music since we were too little to touch the ground when sitting at our instruments.
How has the cross-Atlantic experience been for you?
We have been able to make friends and fans overseas. They are loyal and by our side no matter how far geographically.
What was the indie rock scene in Portugal like for you guys?
Most of our experience there has been with past projects. We can’t wait to head over there as Menage.
How did you find the attitude toward new music in Europe vs. UK and US?
When a band puts their all, every night, on stage, it doesn’t matter where in the world you are. People will relate and respond.
Was there any culture shock–musically or otherwise–when you got to LA?
The LA you see on TV is more the Santa Monica, west Hollywood version. We lived in the downtown LA/Echo Park area which actually isn’t very different from any major city in North America.
Was there any culture shock between LA and NY?
What was it like playing the Portugal Day show in Central Park?
Besides the 6am call time, it was beautiful.
You’re releasing 4 EPs this year. Are there any plans for recording a full length? Is it worth it any more to release a full length?
For us personally, we are enjoying taking the fans through a sort of play-by-play of our adventure. So, at this point, EPs are fitting into that perfectly.
Bela, what’s it like to play with Fernando and Gabriel compared to when you were solo for a time?
This whole journey is somewhat of a family road trip. Fights and all! But we know each other better than anyone else, and having two amazing friends like Dave Haskett and Elliot Boult in the mix, (who are like brothers, themselves) keeps things balanced and sane. No matter how tough and annoying it can get, it’s incomparable to any other band experience cause you know you all have each other’s backs and no one will bail.
What are you looking forward to most in 2015?
Staying on tour for as much of the year as we can….And sushi.
Menage just wrapped a slew of dates throughout the U.S. For upcoming tour dates and much more, visit www.menagetheband.com
*-article and interview by Anatole Ashraf of Indie Band Guru
One of the most beautiful things about creating music is how spontaneous it can be. Rarely are the best songs conceived and written while sitting alone with a pen and paper in hand just to write. Our latest find Dav!d&Clara says his music is rarely planned, it just happens.
The sound that David and his computer Clara have created is a unique mix of industrial and electro noise with an experimental feel. The project is a testament to an individual with a passion for creating music and learning along the way. The latest Dav!d&Clara release H/U/M/A/N/ explores everything that a man and his computer can do. The opener “Las Vegas” begins the journey with a dark and minimalistic feel that seems to build and encapsulate the full sound of your speakers. It turns even more industrial on the bouncy track “Roborok”. The attack of noise again seems to come from all angles. The vocals take more of center stage on “One and Only” where David shares his heart and its thoughts over a powerful grinding background. The closer “Robotic” lets Clara provide an array of beats to blend into a electronically pretty cacophony of sound that builds up and brings you down softly yet suddenly. Very imaginative album.
We had the chance to sit down with David Castillo and his computer Clara to get a deeper look at the innovative music making team. Enjoy the interview below:
So it is obvious from the start that Dav!d&Clara is not just a male/female songwriter duo. Tell us about the idea for the name?
Well Clara is a computer. I named her that after she crashed a few years ago. I was watching “Back to the future Part 3″ while reprogramming her, and I decided to name her after Mary Steenburgen’s character, Clara Clayton. I thought it was a beautiful name that you just don’t hear that often these days. I have the ideas, she helps me turn it into a reality. Originally I went with the name “DAV!D” from 2008 to 2010. Then in 2011 I recorded an album called “Kokoro” which was a trainwreck. 18 songs that were actually demos, not mastered, total loss. I wrote maybe 1 or 2 good songs from it and that was it. But back on point, 2011 was when I decided to use both names, “DAV!D&CLARA”. Since then I’ve made. I just thought it would be cool. I did use the ! mark in my name because of P!nk, I wanted to stand out, and I love her music.
Your music seems to jump in and out of a few different genres. How would you describe your sound?
My music is always electronic, that doesn’t change. I dip into electronic dance and electro rock with some industrial for good measure. My sound is whatever I feel like the day of me creating it. I would describe it as electronic/industrial.
Tell us about your musical background that led you to this point.
I was initially inspired by Gwen Stefani’s solo single “What you waiting for?” in 2004. That sparked the fire. I knew I wanted to make music. But I didn’t know how. I tried learning guitar and piano, but it just didn’t work out. A few years I went just writing lyrics with no music, I still have the songs, but haven’t used many of them. In 2006 I discovered British producer Richard X and his album “Richard X Presents his X-Factor Volume 1″ thanks to Kelis, who recorded a song with him for the album. Musically, “X-Factor” is a collection of his amazing ideas with different vocalists. That’s where I decided I would make music myself. From there I found a music program, and started learning on my own.
Being from the wide open state of Arizona how has your music been received locally? More online fans?
Not received well, I have some fans here, but mostly it’s acoustic and rock here. I have more online fans, mostly in California and the UK.
Making your computer an invaluable part of your music, tell us about the songwriting process.
It’s pure magic, that’s the only way I can describe it.
It seems like you have been developing your music for a while. What led to you starting to record it and introduce it to the world?
I wanted people to hear the music. I wanted to share a part of my heart with everyone.
What is next for Dav!d&Clara?
Right now just trying to get people to listen to the music, and download it if they want, it’s free!
Keep an eye and ear on what is to come from Dav!d&Clara at:
After a crazy and rough weekend I went looking for some music that could ease my tired body and brain. One genre that usually does this is Soul and relaxed R&B. Our latest find BAIN adds some other genres to create quite an interesting and relaxed sound.
The Minneapolis, Minnesota group is made up of Davis Bain (vocals, guitars, production), Erick “Afrokeys” Anderson (keyboards, production), and Jayanthi Kyle (vocals). They have been making music in various bands for over a decade but only recently have they combined forces to create the sound known as BAIN. This sound is an original take on R&B with influences from the world of funk, jazz, and even rock music. Fans of artists such as Sade, Seal, and Maxwell are sure to enjoy BAIN as well.
Last month BAIN released their first official album Love In Blue. The 8 track record shows off the talent on each member of the trio. The opener “Plateau” has an innovative mixture of electronic and atmospheric sound to create something soft yet attention grabbing. The vocal styling of Kyle is heartfelt and soulful. We get to hear the voice of Davis Bain on “Let Me Know”. The full soundscape behind his smooth voice swells and retreats like the waves of an ocean, and just as mesmerizing. The funk shows its head on “The One” with a powerful bassline and glittering guitar to push the song forward. The over 7 minute closer “After” seems to bring it all together with a dance floor friendly track that will get any toe tapping and mind diving into the music. Keep tabs on BAIN at: http://bainmusic.com/
A true artist must realize that i is extremely hard to do it on your own. Be willing to work with others to expand your talent and use their talents to advance your career. Never think that you have all the answers. Our latest find Becka Pimenta has made the right connections and seems to be on her way.
The singer-songwriter from the United Kingdom has been making waves on both sides of the Atlantic and meeting the right people along the way. Becka Pimenta has been all over the world working with some of the hottest producers and songwriters out there today including Roy Hamilton (Michael Jackson / Justin Timberlake), Mark Batson (Alicia Keys), Art And Life (Beyonce), Ken Caillat (Fleetwood Mac / Colbie Caillat), and musical duo A-Rex (Justin Bieber) to name but a few.
Last month Becka Pimenta released the song and music video for “Ruined”. It touches on many genres that Becka seems to be able to jump in and out of. The electronic drum beat gives it energy while her sultry vocals and heartfelt delivery make it a very pretty song. The video is dark and minimalistic but gets the point and the song across very well. Enjoy it below:
Keep up with this rising star at: http://www.beckapimenta.com/
With the freedom for bands today to release music independently without the structure of a record label the genres have grown exponentially. Where we used to say something was alternative is now such a broad statement that it really gives you no idea what it will sound like. Our latest “alternative” find Modern Tribes brings another fun sound to the genre.
The group from Seattle, Washington is made up of 4 guys aged 17 to 21. Their young age is a surprise when you hear their music that brings in some interesting influences from the Jazz and Classic Rock genres without really touching the Grunge sound that Seattle will forever be associated with.
We recently had the chance to listen to some of Modern Tribes newest music. We can see why their fanbase has been growing by offering a very danceable style of music. The first track “All Night” will take you back to a groovy time when songs were meant to make your body move. Toes will be tapping wherever this is played. On “Stop” the bouncy beat will grab you right away and then Evan Rendes’ vocals will bring you into his sultry world. The classic rock influence is heard prominently on “Live In The Moment” especially in the crunching guitar. The build up makes the song have an almost epic sound that could be heard in an arena. Keep an eye on Modern Tribes at: http://moderntribesmusic.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/moderntribesmusic/