Sonic Drib #1

Sonic drib: giving you just a little bit more to add to your music library. Maybe you have heard of the artists and maybe you have not. Either way I will be sharing with you my own discoveries in the world of music, and give you a look into my own music repertoire. Whether it’s an album, a producer, or group I will be sharing with hopes that you may find a great addition to the soundtrack of your life. Without further ado, here are some of my current “try it, you might like it” recommendations and new sounds I have been listening to!

GRIZ

          Okay, okay! So anyone that knows me knows that there can’t be a list or musical discussion without my mention of Grant “GRiZ” Kwiecinski. GRiZ is an electronic music producer hailing from Detroit, Michigan who is making a big impact as one of the rising stars in the “mainstream” electronic music scene. If you have not heard of or heard any of the music this man creates I suggest running right over to MynameisGriz and GRiZ’s Soundcloud  before even reading this. If you enjoy electronic music, you’re about to dig into a splendid piece of cake. I have followed GRiZ since his album Mad Liberation and have been a huge fan since. Not only does Grant bring a unique and crafted sound to the table, but his message is one that gains him people’s admiration.

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GRiZ Surfs: Photo courtesy of GRiZ

           Since 2011 GRiZ has released five full length albums and several mixes that you can listen to on Youtube and Soundcloud. GRiZ creates electro soul/future funk music, and also explores the realm of more electronic genres like house, dubstep, and trap. His music speaks for itself, and his message of love and unity is included throughout. If you don’t like it, well then at least you didn’t have to pay for it! All of his albums and mixes are available for free via download at GRiZ’s main website. That is love right there. Each of his albums introduces something new, and displays the evolution of Grant’s sound since 2011 with End of the World Party to his most recent release in 2016 Good Will Prevail. GRiZ himself has stated on his Snapchat (mynameisgriz) that a new album is in the works for this year! Which is exciting because I had not expected a new GRiZ album until 2018. So go swing by either of his sites or search on Spotify to give your ears a treat. Show love, spread love, and bring the funk back to the party with the sound of cosmic grooves and boogie blues that is Grant GRiZ.

Crystal Castles

With the passing of Bonnaroo 2017, I have discovered new additions to my collection. While watching the live stream on RedBull TV, I came across one of the most bizarre yet captivating performances I have possibly witnessed. In all honesty it was so bad, it was actually good. Which is why I give Crystal Castles a mention in this post. In all honesty I was so drawn by the nature of their performance I was convinced that I had to check

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Crystal Castles: Alice Glass and Ethan Kath. Photo credit: Crystal Castles

them out. Crystal Castles is an electronic music duo from Toronto, Ontario that was established in 2006 by founders Ethan Kath (producer/DJ) and Alice Glass (songwriter/vocalist). What started out as sort of an experiment gained some attention and the duo released their debut self-title album Crystal Castles in 2008. They went on to release two more albums before Glass announced she was done working with Kath in 2014. Glass was replaced by vocalist Edith Frances in 2015, and Crystal Castles released their latest album Amnesty (I) the following year.

 

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Edith Frances. Photo Credit: unknown

Quite like their Bonnaroo performance, I’m not really sure how I feel about Crystal Castles. Having listened to every album since being introduced, I can only really say that this music is acquired taste. The sound is what you could call industrial. I would compare it to that of the experimental group Animal Collective, which if you have not heard before is worth checking out as well. Crystal Castles apparently have a decent size fan base. There is also a lot of debate as to whether Edith Frances is a proper replacement for Alice Glass. From a vocal standpoint I would say Frances has the edge, whereas from a performance stand point Glass seems to be easier to watch. Musically I would just call it simple, even though I am sure a lot of work went into the production. Sometimes I felt like I was listening to a cheap Casio keyboard and samples of 8 bit video game sounds. The melodies are good, and pretty catchy. Especially the vocal melody in “Crimewave” off the self-titled album. The vocals tend to take a backseat at times and often so wet (a lot of effects) that you can’t always understand them. Overall, I guess I enjoyed the listen. It definitely is not horrible music. Why did I choose to share this? Because there is something unique and inspiring about the whole lot! Worth checking out nonetheless.

Umphrey’s McGee

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Umphrey’s McGee Red Rocks Amphitheater. Photo Credit: Abby Fox Photography

          The first time I saw Umphrey’s McGee was at Summer Camp Music and Arts Festival in 2013. I had heard some of their music before then, but I did not listen to them regularly and really only knew the name. They played 5 sets over the course of three days and every one of them was electrifying, face melting, and full of intricate musical artistry. I have been a huge fan ever since. Not to mention the band was formed not too far from my hometown in Chicago-land. I guess you could say Umphrey’s McGee really shines on the stage. While their albums are all around pretty darn good, their live performances

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Umphrey’s McGee Red Rocks Amphitheater. Photo Credit: Abby Fox Photography

are really what show the magnitude of talent that makes this band so great. A lot of times people refer to Umphrey’s as a jam band, but the band is really a rock group at its core, as was the statement made from their 2014 release Similar Skin.

Umphrey’s was formed in 1997 at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana by Brendan Bayliss (Guitar/Vocals), Ryan Stasik (Bassist), Joel Cummins (Keyboardist), and Mike Mirro (Drummer). The band later added Kris Myers (replaced Mike Mirro) Jake Cinninger (Guitarist) and Andy Farag (Percussionist) to the lineup. The band would go on to release ten studio albums from 1998 to the present along with several live albums including a series of “best of live” albums entitled Hall of Fame: Class of 2010-2016. If you ever find yourself on a road trip and want to have something to keep your ears busy, take a listen through some of Umphrey’s Hall of Fame albums. To be brief and let the music speak for itself, add Umphrey’s McGee to your arsenal if of course they appeal to your tastes. Give them a try, you will like it. Here’s some Umph Love for you:

So there are three possibly new additions for your listening pleasure. I hope you’ll find a new favorite song to add to that playlist you’ve been keeping, or maybe a new album to add to your collection. Check back again for more Sonic Drib, just a little more music.

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