Monday means BandsOnBands, and we’re excited to be posting this PropertyOfZack feature today with Brent Walsh of I The Mighty. The band will be releasing Satori tomorrow, and it can be pre-ordered here.
In this week’s feature, Brent discusses his love for Glen Hansard. Brent shares his long-time influence from folk/singer-songwriters as a whole and specially Hansard’s influence on him. Listen to songs by Glen Hansard here and check out what Brent had to say about one of his biggest influences below!
From Brent Walsh of I The Mighty:
A lot of people may be surprised to know that I have been heavily influenced by a handful of folk/singer songwriters since I picked up a guitar about ten years ago. First it was a local artist named Dave Smallen (Street To Nowhere), then came Conor Oberst, then Benjamin Gibbard/Death Cab, and most recently Glen Hansard. I decided to do this excerpt on Glen since he has had the most influence on me as of late and also to raise awareness of his beautiful music that is not nearly well known enough for my liking. He deserves every ounce of recognition he can get.
I first discovered him years ago from the movie “Once” in which he not only starred, but also wrote all the music for. There are about five different scenes/songs in the movie that give me chills. I immediately bought the soundtrack and learned almost every song. To this day he is one of my favorite people to cover. In fact, I believe there are two old videos on YouTube of me covering “Leave” and “Say It To Me Now.”
What inspires me about Glen, is not only his amazing lyricism and songwriting talent, but the immense amount of passion that he sings with. The combination he throws together - of pretty, grit, vibrato, and scream in some of his music - is incredible. But it’s not just that, the guy is consistent as hell. Every video of him online, every live performance he does, is perfect…some even better than the recording, and allgenuine and passionate. You can tell he’s a man who lives for what he does and was made to perform.
For years, Eisley has been crafting a specific style of rock music that they rightfully can call their own, mixing pleasurable harmonies with twinkling piano arrangements and guitar riffs that grate and whine in the most pleasant of ways. That sound took three albums and a numerous EPs to establish, but on Currents, the group’s fourth release, the band plays things subdued and safe while still experimenting with the core of what makes this band of siblings (and one cousin) a cohesive and constantly consistent act.
Starting with a chugging title track, the Dupree girls are front and center with their dream-like vocals, backed by a rat-a-tat-tat drumbeat and an almost Middle Eastern style bass line. It’s an excellent opener that floats perfectly into the subsequent five tracks, really giving this album legs. Both “Blue Fish” and “Drink the Water” are superb additions to their repertoire, unifying each member’s styles once more into a pitch perfect sound that’s all their own.
However, individually the members of Eisley each have a chance to stand center stage. On “Save My Soul” Sherri Dupree-Bemis gives one of those awe-inspiring vocal performances she is known for over the constant glimmer and blast of a warped guitar sound and a biting drum snare. Also present is Stacy King’s constantly changing abilities on the piano, which at times seem complex but act as a supportive companion to the vocals much as it does on “Real World,” where the band sings that the key to existing is the constant presence of someone’s love.
It’s obvious that the band’s recent journey into adulthood has had a profound influence on them (all the members now have families) and, because of that, Currents feels like their most mature album to date. At times, some of the more punctual tracks of the album’s first half don’t necessarily mix with the calming restraints of the second half, which is where the album tapers off in its consistency. The latter half is by no means bad, but the tonal shifts with tracks like “Wonder English” stand out as almost calming lullabies rather than overly infectious tunes to move to.
The Rarities And More Tour featuring Say Anything, Eisley, HRVRD, Northern Faces (June 6 – June 22), and I The Mighty (June 23 – July 12) is kicking off tomorrow, and it’s going to be one of the best non Warped Tour tours of the summer. We’re stoked to have all bands on the tour doing a PropertyOfZack Playlist feature for us for the tour as well. Check out their Playlists below while listening to the songs on Spotify and reading everyone’s thoughts!
Daft Punk - Get Lucky
Beautiful pop song by creators I’ve loved for a long time, who may have just accomplished their masterpiece.
Pretty & Nice - Q_Q
My favorite song from an intensely brilliant LP that we had the privilege to release through Rory Records, my imprint within Equal Vision Records.
Smashing Pumpkins - That’s The Way (My Love Is)
Criminally ignored song from one of this band’s less popular records - as heartfelt and emotive as anything Billy has written.
Mutemath - Prytania
This song will make you dance no matter who you are.
Blind Pilot - The Story I Heard
It’s a beautiful song. I love the melody and it’s the song that got me listening to Blind Pilot.
Say Anything - Overbiter
It’s reminiscent of a 60s style pop song to me. Also, I got to sing with my husband on this, so it’s super special to me.
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - We No Who U R
Nick Cave’s new record, ‘Push the Sky Away’, is the first record in a while that every single one of us in HRVRD fell in love with immediately. We’ve been listening to this constantly. The whole album is as beautiful and haunting as this song is.
The National - Graceless
One of my favorite bands ever just put out their sixth full-length album. The lyrics and songwriting are incredible and I am convinced this band cannot write a bad song. This will get played a lot in the van this summer.
Daylight - In On It
We just got off tour with Daylight. These guys rule and this song is the JAM.
Senior Writer Jesse Richman had the chance to catch up with Set It Off at SXSW this past March for a fantastic interview. Jesse and the band discussed recent big touring opportunities, the reception to their debut record, growth as a band, Warped Tour, future plans, and more. Check it all out below!
Let me get your names and what you do in the band.
Maxx: My name’s Maxx Danziger and I play drums.
Zach: I’m Zach [DeWall] and I play guitar.
Dan: I’m Dan [Clermont] and I play guitar and sing backups.
Alright, so the LP has been out for about six months now. How has the reception been so far?
Maxx: It’s been great. The record before our EP Horrible Kids started going in a new direction with the sound. The people really liked it – the fans and all that. So we decided to go head first and dive into that sound. I feel like it’s – we kind of found ourselves. I think the people really like it, so it’s good.
Horrible Kids was kind of a concept EP. A rough concept at least. Whereas the new one feels a little bit more like just a bunch of awesome songs. Is the concept thing something that you’re interested in, or did you just set out to write the best songs that you could this time without worrying about how they fit together.
Dan: I think that with Horrible Kids, it just kind of happened, you know? It was not a plan. We definitely have discussed ideas of concept records, but I think with this LP, with Cinematics, we just wanted to – it’s our first time coming out to the public eye – we just wanted to write a collection of songs that people from all spectrums could relate to.
Maxx: I think with the theatrical sound, it opens the door for a concept album.
POZ: Yeah, I think that’s really why I was asking. You guys get a lot of comparisons to bands like My Chemical Romance, with that kind of theatricality.
Maxx: I think we were focusing on writing the best songs that we could. Later on down the road, we’ll see if we can get a bit crazy with it.
Dan: It could definitely happen.
Maxx: Yeah. Who knows?
Do you think the direction that you’ve been going is working for your fans?
Maxx: Yeah. It’s a little darker and a lot more – there’s that orchestral sound to it. We were nervous at first, but they loved it. So we’re very happy.
You guys do something that maybe six or seven years ago was kind of a really dominant sound in the scene. Now you’re kind of one of the only bands doing that sort of thing. Do you feel out of place or do you feel like you’ve made a niche for yourselves?
Zack: I don’t feel like we’re out of place. This is the music that we want to write. This is the music that we want to play. We’re not really here to write music to cater to a certain fan base. This is the music that we feel like is what we want to communicate to our fans and to the people that listen to us.
Dan: Nobody wants to play something they don’t’ enjoy. I think we’re still – granted that we love that time period and we love that music, we still grew up in this scene. I still think there’s those niches where we can sound like a pop-punk band at some points or we can sound like a pop band in another spectrum. I think there’s enough of both of that in there.
Maxx: I think it just happens naturally. We have a song on it that’s essentially a swing song, there’s a whole horn solo and things like that. So whatever happens at the time, we kind of just put it down; if it sounds good then we put it on the record.
Are you guys at the point where you’re thinking about new songs? Do you write while you’re on the road?
Zach: We’re actually – we’re headed up to Canada and then we’re going to do some co-writes soon after that. We’re always thinking ahead. We’re always thinking, “What’s the next step?”
Do you have any timeframe for when you’d want to get back and start recording a new one?
Dan: It’s off in the horizon because our tours are starting to pick up supporting Cinematics so we don’t want to do anything to interrupt that – as soon as we’re gaining momentum we don’t want to stop and record another record. But you never know.
Maxx: I’d say a goal, hopefully next year. But who knows. Depending on what our schedule is. That’s the cool thing about the music industry is that you never know what you’re doing. Two months from now we could be in space, you never know.
You guys just did a European tour with Yellowcard. How did that go?
Zach: It went amazingly.
POZ: How receptive was their audience to you guys?
It went really well. Germany was crazy, those kids – it reminded me of being fifteen years old and going to concerts. How they reacted, the kids, is something that the states doesn’t have. I feel like, no offense to anybody, but I feel like they’re [the States] a little bit spoiled where their favorite bands come into town every three months, where in Germany they get it maybe once a year. So they really appreciate it when a band like Yellowcard comes over, that they can’t see every other month like in the States.
Senior Writer Jesse Richman had the chance to catch up with Kurt Travis at SXSW this past March for a fantastic interview. Jesse and Kurt discussed his new solo EP, touring with Jonny Craig, A Lot Like Birds, Equal Vision Records, touring, and much more. Check it all out below!
So the solo EP just came out.
Tell me a little bit about it.
Well, it’s kind of a concept record. I was reading the The Silmarillion and just became inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien’s creating of Middle Earth. Apparently he wrote all of the languages before he created the story, so all the words, they mean something. He uses different words like, “Ilúvatar” means father of all. “Ilúvatar” was just there. Then he thought up these children of Ainur and they started playing a song, and the song created Middle Earth. That’s pretty much what it’s about.
So I take it you are a big Tolkien fan?
What did you think of The Hobbit? Or, Part 1 of The Hobbit.
It was good… You know, everybody’s a critic. I think Peter Jackson is fucking amazing. I don’t think anybody could have done a better job. How about that?
I know a lot of people aren’t thrilled that he stretched such a short story into four hours worth of movie.
Right. Right. Right. It’s never going to compare to the movie in your head, but he does a great job.
So were you planning on writing a solo EP, or were you just reading Tolkien and decided to start writing?
I heard about this tour with Jonny Craig, Hail The Sun, and The Seeking about two months before it happened. I was like, “Shit. I’ve got to get another record!” Because I feel like going on tour without a record is kind of pointless. And as a musician, you should be continually creating. So…
How has touring with Jonny been so far?
It’s been great! Jonny and I go way back. I play a song with him; we share our backup band Hail The Sun, which is an amazing band.
So they’re opening and then they’re backing you guys as well?
How do you separate between a solo song, an A Lot Like Birds song… where do you draw those lines in your head?
My solo stuff is more for me, you know what I mean? It’s something that I can’t do in A Lot Like Birds. So that’s why it happened.
[Kris Crummett walks by and joins us for a minute]
KT: Shoutout to Kris Crummett at Interlace [Audio] Studios.
KC: We’re making a record together!
KT: We’re making the new A Lot Like Birds record in Portland like it’s supposed to be.
KC: It’s gonna be fuckin’ badass.
Have you started working on that at all?
KT: The band has five or six songs in the works; they just keep sending them to me, and I keep listening to them over and over.
KC: It’s gonna be amazing, they’re so insane!
KT: [to KC] Have they sent you some of the songs?
KC: Yeah, I’ve got some of the demos! “Balcony”, and…
KT: “Balcony” and “Joe’s Room”…
KC: Yep, really good stuff!
KT: These are all tentative titles!
What direction is it headed so far?
KT: Dude, OK. So we’re basically capitalizing on our crazy chaotic Blood Brothers, Mars Volta kind of shit, and then our more ambient, melodic shit; we’re getting even trippier and outer space. So… very pretty, very dirty and spooky and crazy, so we’re just capitalizing on those two elements. Then kind of fusing them together.
KC: It’s gonna be great. Sorry to interrupt. That show [which Travis had just played] was beautiful! It was so good!
[Kris Crummett leaves]
KT: Sorry about that. That’s my producer. Two Dance Gavin Dance records and now two A Lot Like Birds records. He’s a good dude.
Senior Writer Jesse Richman had the chance to catch up with HRVRD at SXSW this past March for a fantastic interview. Jesse, Jason, Garrett, and Lee discussed SXSW, touring with letlive., their new album, working with producer Brian McTernan, future touring, and much more. Check it all out below!
Can I get your names and what you do in the band?
Jason: I’m Jason; I play guitar.
Garrett: I’m Garret I play bass.
Lee: Lee; I play guitar.
So when did you guys get down here?
Jason: 4:30 AM.
Lee: Last night.
Jason: Last night, middle of the night.
And you haven’t played yet, so are you looking forward to your first SXSW showcase of the year?
Garrett: Very much so. Starting out with the Equal Vision one, so that should be really awesome.
Lee: Stoked about it. Running on no sleep and ready to go.
Jason: No sleep, no coffee…
How long are you guys in town for?
Jason: A couple days.
Got any bands you are going to try to check out while you are here?
Lee: A lot of them have played already that I know of. I’m going to try my best to find out. We won’t have any time today, but hopefully tomorrow. And after we play tomorrow, the day after, like Saturday, we’ll hopefully get to see some bands. We’ll see if we have a pass this year.
Jason: We’re just so ridiculously busy. We have three showcases today and one tomorrow and we just did acoustic live video things. So we’re super busy.
Does it feel good to be busy?
Garrett: Oh yeah.
Lee: I’d rather be busy than not busy.
You guys just got off a tour with letlive. not too long ago. How did it go?
Garrett: It was amazing. The tour was amazing. Every band… They put together an amazing lineup for that tour. Everybody was super cool and everybody got along.
POZ: How were the crowds?
Garrett: Really good, yeah.
Were the kids at the shows familiar with you? Or was it a lot of people seeing you for the first time, do you think?
Garrett: A little bit of both.
Lee: I think they were familiar with us, but I met a lot of kids that were like, “Oh. I’ve never heard of you before, but you definitely turned me into your music.”
Jason: There were definitely kids singing our songs every night too, which is pretty cool.
So letlive. have a particularly incredible live show.
Jason: Yeah, they do.
POZ: Does it force you to step your game up a little bit? Knowing that you’re playing with them?
Jason: Probably in a different way than I think people would think. We don’t try to, like, match them physically or in their craziness, I don’t think.
Lee: Our show is intense in its own way, you know?
Jason: We try to be a little shocking. Every night, the first leg, This Is Hell would play before us, and on the second leg Night Verses would play before us. Both heavy bands. So we tried to start every set either with piano or something really light, just so that people would be like, “What the hell’s going on?”
The Dear Hunter’s new album, Migrant, simply takes your breath away.
The album sets itself apart from The Dear Hunter’s previous three full-lengths all in sound, technique, and concept. No song in particular stands out, as they are all impressive by their own means. Setting that aside, everything about Migrant—from the instrumentation to the song writing—is subtle, but impactful. The songs are theatrical, enticing movement in an emotional and physical sense.
Every song on Migrant sounds different, but all of the tracks work in sync together. There’s pop, rock, and a pinch of folk to keep all types of listeners tuned in. At first, “Bring You Down” sounds like a sinister medley from a Hitchcock film, but then transitions into something much more comforting. The call-and-response between the chimes and the piano are mesmerizing. Add in Casey Crescenzo’s compelling voice, and the musical magic plays on.
“Shame” has the unsettling factor again, but feels like an elegant tango between quarrelling lovers. But then “An Escape” follows, which literally feels like an escape to another musical realm with gorgeous melodies dripping from every word. (For some reason, the arrangement of “oohs” midway through reminds me of the enchanting snow scene from “Edward Scissorhands.”) This is a song to blast in the car with the windows down as you speed down the highway en route to a spontaneous adventure.