Cheapskate Reviewer: First Aid Kit, Among Savages, Graham Nash & James Raymond
Everybody likes iTunes; even the Beatles. And everybody likes free music (except maybe the Beatles, and some other artists). Capitalizing on this innate love of all things free and iTuney, I will review the Free Music category on iTunes each week, which often features new artists.
Why the free music category? You’ve got a good chance that the band(s) featured will hit it big in the near future (I can point back two weeks to SafetySuit’s “These Times”); they’re the ones that are generating buzz. It keeps you on the cutting edge, always in the know, and best of all…it’s freakin’ free.
Single of the Week: “Emmylou” by First Aid Kit. I can’t decide whether this is country or folk. The lyrics, the vocals, and the sad plainness remind me of bluegrass tunes (that means they say “little darlin’” once a minute), but the electric guitar and the drum beat remind me of every country song twixt here and Louisiana. The girl has a voice reminiscent of Florence + The Machine, with a little bit of Elly May from the Beverly Hillbillies. First Aid Kit is a Swedish folk duo comprised of two sisters. Those Swedes, man. They have more than just ABBA!
Rating: I give it 2 STARS out of 5 for a nice feel. The lyrics aren’t groundbreaking and the instrumental mix is something you would find in any folk or country group. Plus, the vocals are slightly annoying at points.
Indie Download: “Terrified” by Among Savages. “Terrified” is an interesting combination of a heavy beat, orchestra, and vocal harmonies. It’s a song to get your feet tapping and your ears perked; but my only problem with the song is that the name “Terrified” and it’s implied theme doesn’t fit. The song doesn’t communicate terror; it could communicate excitement, a rush of adrenaline, but nothing scary or foreboding—neither in the lyrics (barring a few points), nor in the instrumental mix.
Rating: I give it 3 STARS out of 5 because it has a somewhat interesting mix, and the lyrics are intriguing and pull you in.
Singer/Songwriter Download: “Almost Gone” by Graham Nash & James Raymond. Nothing new here, but if you like classic '60s rock, you may like this one. It seems to be from the point of view of someone “locked up in the white room.” The singer says he only tried to “show some truth to the working man.” He sings about truth and how it’s supposed to set you free. It’s an intriguing song, and it slightly unhinges you. Probably because Graham Nash really sounds like an old homeless guy.
Rating: 3 STARS again. It’s intriguing and catchy, but failed to impress me in the fact that the lyrics lead to little resolution and the instrumental harmonies have little in the way of variation.
How do you rate this week's free music?