Tag Archives: new music

The Theme Song This Week is an ode to Dexter

The theme song for this week comes from a YouTube star who will really blow your mind with her original song inspired by Dexter Morgan.  Trust me when I say this tune is perfect, mysterious and just on the verge of moody, just like the famed vigilante serial killer.

With over 170 videos, 120,000 subscribers, and god knows how many total views (hint: A LOT), I’m seriously surprised that this charismatic and humble singer and songwriter hasn’t found herself smack dab in the middle of her own fame. However, there is nothing wrong with flying under the radar, especially when it comes to an artist who is as dedicated and creative as Daniela Andrade. She has her own active Tumblr tag, so she counts as famous to me.

Listen to more of Daniela’s work; you won’t be disappointed. And let me know your opinion on her Dexter inspired tune. Appropriately dark and alluring?

Brandon Boyd’s mystifying new solo project

brandon-boyd-the-indie-sdThe tune this week is a song in which I literally cannot stop hitting the “repeat” button. Brandon Boyd has proven to be a musical chameleon over the years, whether you’re following the flowing discography of Incubus or taking a look at his own solo work and artwork. However, he may have outdone himself with latest project, Sons of the Sea, an electrical symphony of love songs that inspire clarity and sometimes even sex appeal.

Sons of the Sea began very quietly as a duo between Boyd and multi-instrumentalist Brendan O’Brien; with a few lyric videos here and there, and an EP, Compass, released on a record label that apparently doesn’t really show up in a Google search. Boyd has never had to prove his humbleness, since even though Incubus has penned some iconic songs, they still give regularly to charities via the Make Yourself Foundation, and they’re even not afraid to meet and greet with a fan or two; however, the small ripple of Sons of the Sea’s release is a sheer testament to Boyd’s lack of interest in fanfare.

Ironically, you could juxtapose Boyd’s personal humility with his music, which offers searing vocals, clear melodies, composition with depth and mood, and lyrical lessons worth listening to. In particular, the tune “Lady Black” is a completely enchanting track which powers through a love story that is observant and sincere. The choice of music to escort this age-old tale of unrequited love has the perfect intensity, as the entire track leaves an eerily adventurous vibe in my ears and a few goosebumps on my skin. The good kind of goosebumps. You know, the ones you get when someone whispers something amazing to you. Yeah, those kind of goosebumps!



“If love goes unrequited, can we really call it love? Do I hang on? Or should I let go?” Lyrics to live by, even if they are posed as a question. It’s a question that we all have to ask ourselves, and even Incubus frontman Brandon Boyd is not immune to the powerful feelings of uncertainty in love. Sons of the Sea is a continuation of Boyd’s brilliance, and I hope he will carry on with this project in the future, because I know I’m definitely not letting go.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments, below!

SDMT: FIDLAR brings the punk rock party

There is absolutely no reason for you to have a boring, dreary weekend when you’ve got  the San Diego Music Thing bringing more bands than I can count on more stages even imagined. The fact that it’s also happening on Friday the 13th is kind of amazing, especially when you’ve got bands like these playing…


FIDLAR, The Widows, Sculpin, The Frights at Queen Bee’s – Friday September 13th

fidlar_the_indie_sdFIDLAR is quickly becoming my new favorite thing. With music that is energetic and driving, guitar riffs riddled with shreds, and lyrics that chant out anthems of unrest and disorder, FIDLAR is definitely bringing the punk rock party to San Diego. They’re in the middle of a massive tour now, and they were recently featured on MTV’s Buzzworthy, so if you miss this performance you might have to kick yourself for it. Bonus points: Their FB page’s about section reads “FUCK IT DOG LIFE’S A RISK”.

The Widows is one of those bands where every single member is a badass music lover, and it shows in their music and live performances. They consistently churn out song after song of ska/punk fusion guaranteed to get your feet moving, so if you like a little party to go along with your rock, then you’re in the right place.

Warming up the crowd are punk rock acts Sculpin and The Frights, both bands that I promise will elevate your heart rate in the best way possible. Sculpin is solidly punk, with driving drum beats and searing, growling vocals; and The Frights bring on retro vibes with their surf rock approach.

For more information on the San Diego Music Thing, including the full lineup and how to buy tickets and passes, check out the official website.

The Frail prove to be strong indie pop!

the_frail_the_indie_sdDo you need a new obsession in your life? Well good news, The Frail have just released a new music video, and they’re continuing to steal the hearts of fans everywhere in the process.
Modern music never ceases to amaze me, because in a world where people claim “nothing is original” there are bands like The Frail, continuing to push those boundaries and create catchy, unique music.
And their fans must agree, because after a very successful Kickstarter to fund their latest music video, the final product was released to brilliantly warm reception.
We got the chance to speak with The Frail about their genre-bending tunes, couch surfing in Bankers Hill (yes, really!), and what to expect from their full length album, LoveDeathLegend — to be released soon!

TheIndieSD.com: I love the classical influence on the song “Count on This”. How did you come up with this idea?

 The idea of blending classical French music with electronic music seemed so perfect at the time. It created a bitter sweet/uplifting feel to it.


TISD: To say that your music defies traditional genre boundaries is very true! Where do you draw influences from when you’re writing or in the studio?

 Well in the past it was just Kevin and I emailing back and forth writing parts and singing and mapping out the songs. But now we work with Different Fur Studio owner and producer Patrick Brown on a lot of the newer material. We listen to a lot of different pop music, and then bands like M83, The Drums, Phoenix, Kavinsky, Queen, really all over the place!


TISD: You’ve already had the chance to tour with some amazing acts (Moby, Hot Chip, Justice). Are there any other artists that you’d love to have the opportunity to share the stage with in the future?

 We’ve been listening to a lot of bands like The Neighbourhood, Delorean, Phoenix, Two Door Cinema Club, any of those would be awesome! (We’re here and ready wink wink nudge nudge)


 TISD: Tell me about some of the amazing shows you’ve had recently. Any really memorable moments on stage so far?

 One really awesome show we played recently was in our hometown of San Francisco at The Great American Music Hall. We have always wanted to play there but never really had the opportunity pop up until a couple months ago. That place is legendary and we were able to play with some amazing friends: Doe Eye, Tremor Low, and of course our very good friends Parallels (We were on a mini tour with them at the time). It was definitely a highlight!


TISD: The Firefly EP is magical, in my opinion. Your sound is definitely unique and inspiring. What can your fans expect from your future full length release, LoveDeathLegend? Will you be expanding on and exploring even more upbeat genres and themes?

 Well we have really pushed forward with our musical style in regards to LoveDeathLegend. I think it touches on some of the older material while really pushing us a bit further in the pop genre. LoveDeathLegend has a lot more live instrumentation and everything sound a lot bigger than the older records. Expect a fun record that pushes our music to a place it hadn’t really been before.


TISD: Which song is the very first song you wrote for The Frail?

 It’s a toss up between “Who Am I” and “Count On This”, both on the Count On This EP on Tricycle Records :)!


TISD: Being that you found each other on Craigslist, how was the band dynamic when you first started to create music? How quickly did you fall into your groove when you started writing with each other?

 Kevin and I have a weird way of knowing what each other are thinking musically. It was really basic at first. Kevin had written a few tracks and we adjusted the structure of those songs together to make them fit vocals. From there we really started songs, we were both writing back and forth and it kind of fell into place. Being that we are a full band it’s a bit more challenging but definitely produces a well rounded sound at this point. It’s always a work in progress though and we are always looking to improve our songwriting or reach new heights.


TISD: Your latest video “Back to Me” had a very successful Kickstarter campaign backing it up. How does it feel to have such steady fans and heavy support for your music?

 We feel extremely lucky that we’ve had supporters on both Kickstarter & Indiegogo! We really couldn’t have done any of this without them, so needless to say without them we wouldn’t be anywhere. So they are the ones that control this band and we are so grateful to have them be apart of this.


TISD: And the end product is amazing, by the way. There seem to be a lot of deeper themes covered in the video. How did you go about making this video? What stories did you want to depict in this video?

 Well the song is about a time in my life when I was actually dating someone in San Diego and practically living on a friend’s couch in Bankers Hill. It was a leap of faith kind of thing and definitely eye opening. The video took the pieces of the song that reflect that. Wanting to be somewhere else and just going for it while trying to escape what you called home before. We really really love San Diego by the way. (Shout out to Marshall)



TISD: What do you hope to achieve in 2014? How do you hope fans will react to LoveDeathLegend?

 Well we hope to have released LoveDeathLegend by then and to be on the road non stop. We are actually headed back into the studio in November to work on new material with Patrick at Different Fur. So you might even see an EP before the full length. We’re just having fun playing shows and writing music. As far as the reception to LoveDeathLegend goes, we hope people like it. It’s pretty different from all our other material and touches a lot of different genres so we think there’s a little something for everyone in it!


Make sure to follow The Frail via their official site or their Facebook page for updates on the new album, LoveDeathLegend. And let us know what you think of their video in the comments below.

The Indie Revolution: will Arcade Fire dominate again?

The internet pretty much freaked out when Arcade fire won Album of the Year in 2011.

Recently, indie artists and independent labels have dominated the music world and proven that the little guys can acquire big fame, too. But despite all of this, many still wonder if independent music can continue to grow, or if a lot of these instances were simply “the right song at the right time”. And if it’s the latter, do we know if independent bands such as Arcade Fire will continue to gain recognition, or turn themselves into one hit wonders manipulated by mainstream media?

Related: Tears for Fears covers Arcade Fire’s “Ready to Start”

Independent artists and labels already have one thing going for them: they’re allowed to focus on sheer talent. Perhaps major labels are so used to racking in money and using a lot of that money to fuel expensive tours and production costs, they’ve grown too big to allow error. They can’t take the time to focus on an artist who might be good but won’t make any money — or else they’re out billions.

Can you imagine being out of billions of dollars because  you decided to sign nothing but really talented artists for, let’s say for sake of argument, a year? That’s the world of big media. If it isn’t making them money, they simply don’t have time for it. And so continues the well oiled machine.

This could be why independent artists are having such a great decade. These acts are able to reach markets and achieve greatness that before did not come easily without the backing of a major label: from Macklemore, who set unprecedented records for an independent artist on the Billboard charts, to Arcade Fire winning Album of the Year at the 2011 Grammys and Mumford & Sons claiming the award this year. (Majority of the Grammy Album of the Year winners and Nominees are definitely on major labels.) And they’re doing it because the public really loves good music.

More Indie Labels: Easy Killer Records promises diversity and dedication

Most people like to argue that pop music ruined the creative, talented music market. I don’t believe one genre came in and wrecked it for everyone. I believe in cycles. In the 70s, disco haters might have come to the same conclusion, spurning the fad and citing it for ruining the time of 60s singer and songwriters.

The same could be said of heavy metal and nu-metal, both of which dominated mainstream charts in the 90s following the era of the 80s R&B revival and the “golden age of hip hop”.

My point is, popular music and fads will always be there. But so will the fearless, talented, and modern music makers who are passionate about the craft of creating a song. We’re lucky to have a market that has finally opened up to the “little guys”, so we can see independent labels create sell-out shows, unsigned hip hop artists make thousands on their own mix tapes, and yes, indie rock bands beat out millionaires to win a Grammy, effectively making them not so little anymore.


So far, Arcade Fire is stirring up very deep conversations about their release today, “Reflektor”



What do you think about this? Do you think independent music will continue to have its glory in the bigger music market? Or will the mainstream media take over again someday and shut them out?


Theme Song This Week: Tears for Fears and Arcade Fire, oh my!

listen-tears-for-fears-cover-arcade-fires-ready-to-start_the_indie_sdHow did I not know about this until recently? Who was hiding this amazing musical event from my ears? Despite floating around the internet for weeks now, I’ve just recently learned of Tears for Fears‘ cover of Arcade Fire’s “Ready to Start”, and it is glorious. Eargasm overload. Or maybe I am a bit overzealous, but seriously, this cover caught my attention immediately and now I can’t get it out of my head.

Related: Will Arcade Fire dominate again?

Tears for Fears is already a timeless force to be reckoned with, as they continue to have a strong fan base and have even helped to inspire such artists from Kimbra to Kanye West. But to hear their recent venture really reminds you that this 80s group is the coolest ever in any decade.

More surprising covers: The sweet cover of Of Mice & Men

They chose a perfect song, and T4F is able to pull out some of the beautiful moments of Arcade Fire’s melody, while adding in their own playful, unexpected air that the New Wave duo is known for.

But don’t read into it too much. Just listen and try hard to keep your mind from exploding.

Previous Tunes of the Week:

The Theme Song This Week is to crave a different kind of buzz

The theme song for this week comes from a 16 year-old girl with a song that you probably have heard already and found yourself humming all day, without even realizing it. We’re talking about New Zealand popstress Lorde, who is quickly convincing the masses that she could be the next princess of pop.

With a truly perfect grasp on a modern pop sound that is refreshing without being too cliché, Lorde has an EP that boasts originality and even a little bit of swag. Which is ironic, when you listen to her current hit single “Royals”, a perfect ballad to the generation of youth that are tired of “Cristal, Maybach” and “diamonds on your time piece”. Throw away all of your possessions and stop worrying so much about having the next best thing with a pop singer who claims she’s never even “seen a diamond in the flesh.”

Well, she is only sixteen. I’d be very impressed if she had a Maybach and a diamond encrusted watch at that age. Though these days, the youth are the rich, now aren’t they? Either way, Lorde isn’t preoccupied with these materialistic music ideals, and the result is a jam that almost anyone can truly relate to. Top it all off with her uncanny ability for lyrics wise beyond her years, and a voice that sounds more mature jazz maven than precocious teenager, and Lorde is sure to become something big in the states.

Check out the video for “Royals” and let me know what you think! I can’t stop listening. Seriously…someone get the replay button away from me.

A Night with Night Verses

What does Night Verses lead singer Doug Robinson and Ellie Goulding have in common? They both believe that “anything could happen”. Just as Ellie embodies that the-possibilities-are-endless inspiration, Robinson had a similar glint in his eye when he told me, “Everything happens for a reason.” This was the highlight of my time spent with the singer, who exuded a humbling demeanor and a vibrant love for music during our interview at SOMA San Diego.

I arrived at SOMA to speak with Robinson, and I didn’t know what to expect. His internet presence is whimsical and fun-loving — at least a glance at Tumblr will show that. But in person, a very down-to-earth Robinson walked me to a side hallway so that we could get down to music business. To say that I was nervous (and a bit starstruck — I’m admitting it!), would be an understatement. I was already familiar with Robinson’s previous musical enterprise The Sleeping, and he surprisingly opened up a lot about his former band.

When I was first introduced to the music of The Sleeping, I had barely gotten my feet wet in the world of post-hardcore. But I’ve always been easily attracted to music that not only is relatable but can be felt, from the riffs to the lyrics. Robinson has an uncanny ability to pour his heart out in every word, and the same could be said from talking to him in person.

He spoke like a scholar when it came to the Sleeping, as if he knew their time has passed, but it passed for a reason. A series of events, both personal and business related, would lead him up to his new project, Night Verses.

Much like his earlier musical ventures, Night Verses brings a similar attention to detail with powerful rhythm and riffs you can mosh to, while also seeming to offer a cathartic outlet for Robinson’s thoughtful lyrics. Add in the modern acumen and flair of Nick DePirro on guitar, Reilly Herrera on bass, and drummer Aric Improta, and you have a serious contender in the hardcore game.

Though whether or not Night Verses will play the music “game” remains to be seen. Robinson almost laments when he discusses the music industry’s obsession with “mainstream” fare, as he promises that with him, it’s always been about the art. Where a few bands have created what he describes as a “cash crop” experience with their careers, Robinson tells me that he’s in it for the feels.

His use of the term “cash crop” is so smart (and so intuitive of someone who’s been in the music industry for nearly ten years), that I find myself using the term still to this day. Robinson is spot on with his analysis of the music market, whether he’s offering insight or gushing over his influences. Either way, I quickly find that he has truly learned — a lot.

We even share a moment of scholarly clarity when Robinson mentions that reading a certain novel created a catalyst for change in his life. My eyes light up and I fan-girl when he names that novel, a book that also moved me when I first read it — Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist. (And if you haven’t read it, go read it now! It will change your life, much like it did mine, and much like it did Robinson’s.)

Robinson offers a few insights into his personal life, and he dances on the cusp of letting me know exactly what events in his life helped to propel his decisions in his music career. While all the circumstances aren’t clear, it’s almost obvious that Robinson came to a few crossroads in his journey, and he chose the paths that continued to create and spark music worth listening to.

And Night Verses is definitely worth listening to. If there’s anything I have learned about the fans of post-hardcore music, it’s that they can sniff out any artist who isn’t being genuine. They crave sincerity in their music choices and artists, a trait that is pretty noble, if I might add. Night Verses only offers the best, and their debut album  Lift Your Existence will not disappoint any of those detail-oriented fans.

Lift Your Existence, which will be out June 25th via Easy Killer Records, is a hardcore dream, complete with beautifully sculpted melodies and those insightful lyrics that fans have come to love with Robinson’s music. Tracks like “Rage”  paint emotions with finesse instead of bashing them over your head with crude and cliche themes. “Time Erases Time” translates with just the right balance of power and pathos as Robinson screams the word “passionate” over syncopated rhythms. You can hear a bit of The Sleeping as an influence of course, but by the end of the album it’s clear that Night Verses is its own powerful machine with the influences of DePirro, Herrera and Improta keeping that machine very well oiled.

What started as almost a chance meet for Robinson, turned out to be just the right series of events to get him back on track with his creative music outlet. And the product of that encounter, Night Verses, has proved that for some musicians, everything happens for a reason.

Check out this preview for Lift Your Existence below, and let me know your thoughts! Lift Your Existence drops next week on June 25th, but pre-order is available now through the band’s website.

More new music

Sleeping With Sirens’ new album Feel

SWS_LP_FEEL_PRINT_sleeping_with_sirens_the_indie_sdThis coming Tuesday marks the release of Sleeping with Sirens much-anticipated third studio album, Feel. While many bands who don’t frequent popular radio find themselves in some sort of hard-core limbo, either playing local shows for the entirety of their career or traveling the world with the likes of Pierce the Veil or Chiodos, it’s pretty clear you either make it or you don’t. That can usually be determined by the time a band drops their third album, if they ever make one, but something tells me Sleeping with Sirens is here for the long haul.

These Florida boys have made a name for themselves since their beginning in 2009 with their debut album With Ears To See And Eyes To Hear. Their latest release Feel carries the band’s original sound to new levels with such singles as “Alone”, which features rapper Machine Gun Kelly. Feel opens with an upbeat anthem,  detouring a bit from the band’s usual post hardcore sound, and perhaps opening the door to the possibility of reaching new listeners who would have otherwise not given this genre a chance.

SWS has kept up a trend of putting a few slower ballads in the mix, and this trend continues with contemplative songs like “Sorry”. It’s obvious that these guys have grown as a band and this can be heard not only instrumentally, but through their lyrics as well. “Free Now” is such an amazing combination of emotion and strength; lead singer Kellin Quinn opens up about his mother, father and daughter in such a forthright way with the lyrics “I wrote this song for my father/Sometimes I feel he never gave a damn about me”. After listening to these songs just once, I found myself humming the melodies and singing the few lines that really stuck in my head.

Anyone can come up with a gimmick and out music, but it takes something extra to write songs that stick with people, songs that make them want to keep coming back to the album until they’ve memorized it in its entirety, and this is one of those albums. This summer, the band will play the main stage for Vans Warped Tour and they have just finished wrapping up a sold out UK tour.

So perhaps you don’t listen to punk, scream, or post hardcore or anything along those lines, but in any case I would give this album a listen. You might be pleasantly surprised!

New Sleeping With Sirens album Feel will be out June 4th! In the meantime, you can stream the album in its entirety below via the band’s Youtube: