Don't forget the songs that made you cry,
and the songs that saved your life.
Hi, my name is Kaitlin. I love to write feature posts for up-and-coming musicians. Check out my "Special Features" section! Send me a submission or shoot me an email at email@example.com if you're interested.
“We are The Hibernatives, a Two Piece Indie Alternative Rock band from Riverside CA. The band is; Cristian Barajas (the handsome one) plays the drums, and is an all around good guy, except his personality… And Kevin Morton (the other one) who writes all the music, plays guitar, keyboard, bass, and any other instrument, and writes the lyrics, he also enjoys not being good at any of those things„, The band started making acoustic music in early 2012, and have since gone electric. “We just love music, love making it, playing it, and listening to it. I hope you guys give us a Follow, because we are constantly writing new stuff and uploading it. I hope you guys like our stuff :)”- A Hibernative.”
The Hibernatives are playing locally for now, but recently went on a Californian tour. They are currently working on their next full length and looking forward to touring.
Lovers of all things musically good, Cristian and Kevin are inspired by the greats like Jimi Hendirx, the Beach Boys, Led Zeppelin, The Clash, The Who, and Johnny Cash. Keep this in mind, and you’ll hear glimmers of influence later on.
For now, I’ll be featuring their second full length self-titled album, which is dedicated to the great state of California “and all of its colorful people, and the white folk, too.”
When you listen to The Hibernatives, their raw, yet retro surf style will instantly put you into a good mood. The modernized, indie-cized surf rock style is really popular these days, and I’m loving every second of it. Let’s take a look at the first few tracks of this beachtastic masterpiece.
“Hipster Girl” introduces the listener to The Hibernatives signature fresh and fun sound, dance break included (Thank you!). ”I Hate Everyone” showcases an excellently vintage guitar sound that makes me instantly think of The Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter”.
Next, “Beak” transports the listener to one of those old-time beach movies. I’m always looking for the perfect “Go-for-a-drive-on-a-sunny-day” song, and this is definitely one of my favorite ones I’ve featured on Good Tunes.
The Hibernatives weave in and out of their previously displayed style, blending it with more modern sounds (See: “Duck” for some infectious dance beats) and not-so-modern sounds (See: “Mercy”, for some bluesy roots). “Breakdown” and “Let Down” remind me of the raw, chunky punk perfected by The Stooges. “Sunflower” and “I’m In Love” feature some excellent surf guitar work. The final track, “Tomorrow” is surprisingly different and a perfect ending to the adventure your ears just went on.
”The Hibernatives” runs a little under an hour, and it’s definitely worth a listen or two. Or three. Hell, just burn yourself a copy and stick it in your car for the summer. That’s what I’m doing!
Check out and download this album and a plethora of other sweet tunes by the Hibernatives on SoundCloud. You can also find the Californian two-piece on Facebook and Tumblr.
Hello, good people! I have returned from the dark side of college life and I bring you something delightfully sunny.
High Tyde’s latest single, “Solana”.
One of my favorite bands I’ve written about, High Tyde is back. I did a feature on the boys from Brighton about 5 months ago, and you can check it out here. Their EP “Teal” is fantastic, and “Solana” does not disappoint.
Go for a drive, turn this song on loud, and enjoy life. Summer is almost here.
Special Feature: Madness and the Film - New Single!
Hello friends, today I bring you Madness and the Film.
Madness and the Film is a duo made up of David Breeze and Caroline Gorman. David from London and Caroline from NYC, the two met through a mutual friend. Each with separate musical projects from the past, David and Caroline came together to form Madness and the Film.
If you’ve been following me since I started Good Tunes, you will recognize one of the members of this duo. One of the first big pieces I wrote was on Caroline’s great album Portrait of a Picture of a Person. I reviewed her album and included an interview. It was great to work with Caroline, so I am very excited to be bringing her music back on to Good Tunes.
Madness and the Film just released their spankin’ new single “London Town”. Have a listen!
Like what you hear? Want more? Madness and the Film have an EP well on its way and I’m sure it will surface on GT4GP in the near future.
In the meantime, you can like Madness and the Film on Facebook.
Special Feature: John Joseph - Sushi For the Soul feat. Ro-Ward
The first of several new posts to come. I’ve got a lot on my plate, so I figured I would start it off right with a short feature on John Joseph’s new single, Sushi For The Soul (feat. Ro-Ward).
I really dig John’s music. Over my winter break I did a two-part feature on John, focusing in on his instrumental LP The Vast Universe: Part One, and a single he put out with Amber Coffman. His influences range a vast musical universe, which come together to form a really interesting blend of hip hop, soul, and jazz; old and new.
Check out Sushi For The Soul, and download from John’s Bandcamp.
Special Feature: Ghost Thrower/Foreign Tongues Split EP
Hey all, since I’ve been back at school life has been crazy and I haven’t had any time for blogging.
I really need to finish up a few projects though, so I present to you Ghost Thrower.
Last month, Ghost Thrower released a new split EP with Foreign Tongues. These guys have a great, hard rocking, alternative sound. For fans of Weezer, Jawbreaker and The Weakerthans. You can check this out on Ghost Thrower’s Bandcamp or purchase on iTunes.
I went through all of the Ghost Thrower tunes I could find, and I give them a stamp of approval! Listening to them reminds me of the days when I used to play Tony Hawk video games all the time. Really high energy, great music.
Special Feature: fiN Release New Single - “Life Is Wasted On The Living / Lucky You”
fiN have just released their brand new single ‘Life Is Wasted On The Living / Lucky You’ on limited edition 7” Vinyl.
The band has achieved a lot since releasing their first single ‘The Artisan’ in Oct 2011; supporting Incubus on their huge arena tour, supporting Muse, Feeder and the Kooks across Europe, performing with Rihanna on last year’s Brit awards, achieving XFM single of the week for ‘The Artisan’ and also appearing on the home page of Youtube.com raking up over 10,000 views.
fiN are currently working towards releasing their debut album at the start of 2013 which has been mixed by Adrian Bushby (Muse, Foo Fighters).
The band currently self-releases all their material as limited edition 7” vinyl on their own label Artisan Records run completely by themselves. Have a listen to “Lucky You”.
After listening to John Joseph’s instrumental LP for the past three nights, I was dying to hear him drop some rhymes over his beats. Luckily for me (and you!), he recently released this refreshing track:
Have a listen. John’s got some great lyrics, characteristically solid beats, and a catchy hook sung by Amber Coffman.
Alright Tumblr, I’ve got something special for you today. Being a girl of varied taste, I am always so ecstatic when I get a hip hop submission. It doesn’t happen that often. However, have no fear. I bring you the music of John Joseph.
John Joseph is an artist, remixer, and producer from Texas whose musical influences consist of hip hop, jazz, and old schoolmusic. His style is based off of blending samples with live instrumentation, to create a nostalgic, ambient feel with heavy elements of hip hop music.
John recently released a spectacular instrumental LP titled “The Vast Universe: First Dimension”. Now, I don’t know if there are a lot of you out there that dig listening to instrumental hip hop ambient soundscapes as much as I do, but nevertheless, check this out. You are in for a treat.
“The Vast Universe: First Dimension” starts off with the hot R&B feel of “Wide Open”. This is a sophisticated track that is perfect for some smooth late night jamming. I especially appreciate the saxophone, since I am a sax machine myself. Following up we’ve got “Asking Myself” which samples Smokey Robinson’s song “After All”. Love the updated jazzy-Motown beat. Something I really love about hip hop is that so many of the beats use samples from old school soul, Motown, and R&B songs. It challenges me to figure out/remember who originally wrote it and who else sang it. For example, “After All” was recorded by The Miracles originally, but also The Supremes and The Marvelettes. Cheers to that.
The LP’s third track, “The Turning Point” is a turning point, indeed. We start off with a really intricate bossa nova feel that is mixed with funky Shaft-esque guitar and some flourishing sax; and that’s even before the beat really kicks in. Half way through it drops to a muted section, only to come back with more of the original groove.
“Man Enough” delivers a really great beat with yet another classic Motown sample. This time it’s The Four Tops’ “Are You Man Enough?” Love it. John Joseph plays with another interestingly muted, bassy breakdown in this track. Next, “Easy” left me half-expecting to hear Sade start singing over it. This track has incredibly smooth, sexy, and sultry vibes mixed with a bit of spaciness. It’s got the perfection combination of slick guitar, classy keys, and chill drums.
Bravo. We’re only a third of the way done. “The Vast Universe: First Dimension” continues on with ten more solid tracks. If I could, I would write about every single one…but this feature would turn into a novel. John sticks to what he does best, which is creating a seamless fusion of old school and new school. His careful choices of samples mixed with his own instrumentation creates a truly enjoyable musical experience. When I was writing notes on his LP, I would find myself getting too caught up in the songs (AKA dancing) and forgetting to write.
Don’t miss these tracks:
“The Greatest Paradise”
“The Rhythm” - Perfect fusion of jazz, hip hop, r&b, soul, funk, new, and old.
“Those Days” - Excellent orchestration
Check out John Joseph. You can find him on Tumblr and Twitter. You can purchase his excellent full-length on Bandcamp and also download “Hold On” feat. Amber Coffman for free. I will be posting a second part to my John Joseph feature specifically focusing on “Hold On”.
Formed in 1993 in Ibbenbüren, Germany, Donots have already gained quite a European following. The band came up with their name after a lucky spelling error. Bassist Jan Dirk Poggemann wanted to name the group after his favorite pastry, but accidentally misspelled it “donots”. The other members liked the name because they felt it matched their philosophy: to do nothing. Donots: do-nothings, slackers; so they kept it.
This rockin’, pop-punkin’ five-piece has toured with the likes of Blink 182, Green Day, Millencolin, Propaghandi, NoFX, The Offspring, Jimmy Eat World, The Cure, The Hives, Weezer, and more. Donots have had songs featured on video games, and they’ve recorded with Anti-Flag. Cool, right? It gets cooler. They’ve even got a couple US dates with Flogging Molly. Earlier this year, Donots released their 9th album, “Wake the Dogs”, on April 27th. It was released in Germany on Vertigo Berlin (Universal) and Ok! Good Records in the United States. “Wake the Dogs” is Donots’ highest-charting record so far, reaching #9 in Germany. Seems fitting, no? Let’s check it out.
Starting off with a bang, the title track has a beat reminiscent of Iggy Pop’s “The Passenger”, but with a updated twist. “Wake the Dogs” introduces the listener to Donots’ signature sound, one that is grandiose, arena-ready, and straightforward. Each component of their music, from vocals to drums, is polished and solid. These guys know what they’re doing. “Into the Grey”, a narrative that will surely keep your head bobbing along, continues on with Donots’ big sound. This upbeat track carries a message that screams persistence in the face of adversity: “Row on, and on/My fellow men go on/’til we get lost between the night and dawn”.
“Come Away With Me” brings me back to the pop punk days of my youth before I discovered 80s hardcore punk. I would have loved for someone to sing me the lyrics “Come away with me while the world’s asleep/walk from sea to shining sea/find ourselves a place to be.” In all honesty, I still would love it. Donots fill in this sweeping song with some excellent guitar work and strings. A definite highlight on the album. Check out the video of Donots’ first single off of “Wake the Dogs”!
The great thing about “Wake the Dogs” as a whole is each song has a different sound. “You’re So Yesterday” is lighter, oozes coolness, and has a poppy, boppy sound. This song is perfect for that situation where you just can’t shake someone. “Hey! You’re wrong and you’re so yesterday.” Seriously, take a hint. Use this on a breakup mixtape. “Born a Wolf” has a very familiar sound, something like the lovechild between Green Day and the Dropkick Murphys. Donots can sure produce some great balls-to-the-wall rock. “Control” and “You Got It” are second-half gems on the album. If you were to only have the time to listen to a couple song by Donots, listen to these. They exemplifies their sound, style, and attitude.
Nearing the end of “Wake the Dogs” we have the thoughtful song “Chasing the Sky”. Over heavy guitars and a steady drum beat, Donots impose a question: “I’ll be chasing the sky/as the best years go passing by/pointless, but we don’t understand/are we racing for time/like a train that will not arrive?” Finally, “So Long” feat. Frank Turner, is the second single off of the album. Check out the video below to see how this song finishes off Donots’ 9th record. It really speaks for itself.
“Wake the Dogs” is a great album for a sunny drive or a long run. This perfectly crafted rock album is upbeat, fun, and it makes you feel good. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes any of the bands previously listed; especially Green Day, Dropkick Murphys, and Flogging Molly. After listening, you’ll agree that these German punk rock veterans deserve more notice in the US.
Check out Donots! If you’re feeling adventurous and speak German, venture on over to their official website and like them on Facebook. For those of us who are more familiar with English, check out Donots on Ok! Good Records’ website. The rocking “Wake the Dogs” is available for purchase on iTunes and Amazon.
Grey Sky Symphony is the brainchild of singer-songwriter Dillon Hutyra. A multiinstrumentalist, Hutyra began with piano lessons in elementary school and soon followed by studying clarinet. Since then, he’s learned a number of other instruments, produced two instrumental electronic albums, and composed a three-movement symphony for wind ensemble. Dillon is now studying Sound Recording Technology at Texas State University.
Grey Sky Symphony’s debut LP Cloud Factory was released earlier this year.
“Clockwork,” the first song on Cloud Factory starts off with something I’d liken to a modernized Pink Floyd’s “Time”-esque introduction: tickings, murmurings, and all. This short but sweet indie electropop instrumental plays right into the start of “Cotton Candy Clouds,” where we’re suddenly soaring in the sky above the (cotton candy) clouds. This pleaser by GSS gives a sunny, warm feeling with simple, heartfelt lyrics: “Take my hand and we will fly/Into the clouds up in the sky/We know the sun will light the way/I couldn’t ask for a more perfect day.” Ending with a question, “What’s the point of living if we don’t experience the whole spectrum of life?”
GSS attempts to answer this with one of the best songs on the LP, “Kaleidoscope.” This sweet ode to someone special channels the honest singing of Benjamin Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie, The Postal Service). Someone needs to write a song like this for me. “If I wrote you a song, would you say I’m crazy?/And if I asked you to dance, would you give me a ‘maybe’?/If I pulled down the sky/Colored so blue/And gave it to you…/So I stayed up all night with you on the phone/’Cause I’d rather be tired than be alone.” One sweet guitar solo later and we’re on to another standout track on Cloud Factory.
“You’re My Favorite Color” is such a perfectly crafted indie pop song. Nothing makes me smile more than some jangly string instruments, a bouncy beat, and great horn action. It’s just so cute you can’t help but smile. GSS goes through all the colors in the rainbow, but “all day, all night, any color will do/But my favorite color is you.”
With the sixth song, we finally have a tender ballad, and its name is “Shiver.” It’s a delightful track that brings up the questions of new love and the nervousness that accompanies it. When is the right time to make the first move? “Draw me a map/’Cause I’m lost in your eyes/And give me a sign that everything’s alright/And tell me, tell me when the time comes/ Will I know that it is here?/And if I’m wrong, then pull the trigger/And leaning close because the night is cold, my dear/And I can’t have you shiver.” Now, if that wasn’t enough to make you fall in love with this song, there is clarinet being played under those lyrics. Maybe it’s just because I am a fellow clarinetist, but I think that you can never, ever go wrong with adding clarinet. Ever.
By this point on the LP, the listener can easily say that Grey Sky Symphony’s vocals are similar to those of Gibbard’s. With title track “Cloud Factory,” the group presents to us a more electronic, Postal Service-esque sound than its usual take on a revamped Death Cab sound. This adventuresome instrumental is calculated, well put together, and a joy to listen to. There are many layers that build up to a stellar fruition of the beat. I love when a song comes together and can entrance you. It’s really the simple things in music, you know?
In “Melt,” the sentiments of “Shiver” are revisited, this time with an acoustic feel. It seems like this song would logically follow what takes place after that initial nervous feeling that accompanies new love. “Let’s stay here for a while/Because, my dear/You make me smile/And when you look at me/I melt away.” There’s such a nice, rustic feel to the guitar here. The dreamy style of this song makes me think that it is not real, as if GSS is only reminiscing on these feelings.
“12:34” continues this revisit with “Shiver,” though this time it is incredibly solemn with strings and more clarinet (thank you!). It leads directly into the crown jewel of Cloud Factory, “Ash,” complete with a great intro and beautiful guitar strums. This song makes feeble attempts to understand why a relationship has gone sour and two lovers have grown apart. Is there anything to salvage? Unfortunately not. Things could never be the same. “It’s better to have loved and lost/But everything comes at a cost.” Kudos for that great takeaway lyric.
All in all, Cloud Factory is a feel-good album. I’m positive that I will be listening to it a lot once I return to school because I try to listen to upbeat, happy music on the way to class. I like to have a little spring in my step. Each song has a unique sound, which shows a lot of great creative range. I recommend it to anyone who likes Death Cab for Cutie, the Postal Service, or Belle & Sebastian. Grey Sky Symphony seems like the perfect love child between Ben Gibbard, Chris Walla and some really awesome Scottish hipsters.