Friday, April 29, 2016

Week 1 - 4/29/16

ourfathers. - Movements
Movements cover art
Release Date: August 15th, 2015
 Genre: Post-Hardcore, Shoegaze, Emo
Price: $5.00
For Fans Of: Thrice, Brand New, The Dear Hunter, Republic of Wolves, La Dispute
Recommended Tracks: III, V, VII
Ourfathers. are a post-hardcore outfit born from the ashes of death. With the sudden passing of each respective member's fathers, this EP chronicles the rage, beauty, and confusion of coping with the newfound feeling of abrupt abandonment. Perhaps one of the most haunting and beautiful records ever made, with dream like shoegaze compositions slammed in a juxtaposition between harsh vocals and daunting themes of death and abandonment. This is an EP you certainly do not want to miss out on.
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Troubled Hubble - Penturbia
Penturbia cover art
Release Date: January 1st, 2002 
Genre: Indie Rock/Math Rock
Price: $1.00
For Fans Of: Pinback, Weatherbox, The Thermals, TTNG
Recommended Tracks: Understanding Traffic, Airplane, I Love My Canoe, Try To Find, Paper/Stone
Indie rock from the dork in the back of the classroom. Elements of indie rock and math rock come together to create a truly genuine 'quirky' record. Lyricism is self-depreciating, ironic, and sometimes awfully hilarious despite the consistent tone of optimism through-out the record. The first half of the record indulges itself in bright, jump rock tracks while the latter half takes things on the down-low with low key ballads. The band displays a consistent ear for hooks throughout, so one need not worry over this album becoming a bore.
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Me Like Bees - The Ides
The Ides (Full Album) cover art
Release Date: July 9th, 2013
Genre: Alternative, Folk, Indie Rock
Price: $5.00
For Fans Of: Modest Mouse, Local Natives, Built to Spill
Recommended Tracks: Brand New Fall, The Fifteenth Day, The Ides, Naked Trees, Ra Ra Ect, Well Enough Alone, Pneumonia 
 Me Like Bees are like a distant cousin to Modest Mouse. Group vocalist Luke Sheafer shares a similar gruff style to that of Issac Brock and their sound bares a more pop-meets-hardcore version of The Lonesome, Crowded West. Bright, fun and catchy composition with some surprisingly excellent harsher yelling proves to be an excellent formula for this group. Don't miss out.
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April Nhem - Sirenum
Sirenum cover art
Release Date: January 14th, 2014
Genre: Electronic/Pop
Price: $9.99
For Fans Of: Imogen Heap, Sia, Veela
Recommended Tracks: Siren, Silhouette, Paris, Heal, Reflection
A collaboration between singer/songwriter April Nhem and producer Richlee, Sirenum is a bittersweet romp that amazes and comforts through its sugary sweet twinge. April's songwriting jumps constantly between upbeat and happy to gloomy and pessimistic and this constant shift of tone allows Richlee to shine through his production by seamlessly capturing the complimentary sound of tone through soulful piano ballads and calming electronic plucking. In short, its a fine slice of contemporary pop.
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Airøspace - [Vol. II]
戦場ヶ原 ひたぎ [vol. II] cover art
Release Date: July 25th, 2013
Genre: Hip Hop
Price: $7.00
For Fans Of: Aesop Rock, Eyedea, Milo, Danny Brown, Busdriver
Recommended Tracks: Lucid, Earl Sweatshirt, Glass, Ikigami, Alone
One of the better tapes offered through the Bandcamp platform. Experimental and highly pessimistic/depressing rap music in a style akin to Aesop Rock, Eyedea, and Milo. Production is incredibly varied and there are some absolutely surprising slices of experimental beats here that are unusually high level by Bandcamp standards. Also there's anime references. Yay. 
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Monday, April 25, 2016

Week 001 - 4/25/16

Week 001:
Welcome to the first week of Bandcamp Grab Bag! Today we will take things slow with a dose of my five all-time favorites off of the website's catalog. Future installments will follow consistent themes or will be randomized. Please, do enjoy! ~ Also, pay no mind to the gap in this article, I could not for the life of me find the cause for it. Enjoy! ~

Bad Astronaut - Houston: We Have A Drinking Problem
Houston: We Have a Drinking Problem cover art 
Release Date: October 15th, 2002
Genre: Pop Rock
Price: $9.99
For Fans Of: Foo Fighters, Lagwagon, Weezer
 Recommended Tracks: Single, Disarm, Off The Wagon, Killers and Liars, Our Greatest Year
Bad Astronaut was a 7 piece collective founded by Lagwagon vocalist Joey Cape and drummer Derrick Plourde. Through their short career they innovated and perfected the art of pop rock with the strong formula of smart, poetic lyrics, dreamy electronics, hard hitting punk elements, and luscious piano compositions. Their second album, the one featured here, is without doubt their greatest effort. With a combination of smart, subtle composition and catchy pop hooks, this record explores plenty of mature themes while maintaining a sense of energetic youth in it's punk undertones. Without a doubt my favorite record in the genre.
Stream Here  

 Typhoon - White Lighter

Release Date: August 20th, 2013
Genre: Folk
Price: $7.00
For Fans Of: Passenger, The Decemberists, Fleet Foxes
Recommended Tracks: Artificial Light, The Lake, Morton's Fork, Hunger and Thirst, Common Sentiments
The story of Typhoon is one of the most depressing, yet woefully comforting, stories of the music industry. Group frontman Kyle Morton roots his songwriting heavily in his experience with Lymes disease in his youth. At a time where a diagnostic was unknown, Morton was left behind in life believing that his fate was a romance with the end of the rope. Of course, thanks to a generous kidney donation from his father, Morton was able to live on and share his philosophy of life through Typhoon. The woeful optimism of this album is overwhelming, with songwriting that reflects the inner turmoil of a body turning on itself and being able to reach forward and break free from the bonds of death. With a 13 piece collective at the helm, this record lends itself to an insane variety of sound and instrumentation that gives it a consistently fresh and beautiful soundscape. Meanwhile Morton's introspective view of life gives the album a brutal beauty that simply no other band can match. 
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Captain, We're Sinking - The Future Is Cancelled
The Future Is Cancelled cover art 
Release Date: January 7th, 2013
Genre: Pop Punk, Hardcore, Emo
Price: $8.00
For Fans Of: The Menzingers, The Hotelier, La Dispute
Recommended Tracks: Brother, Aninna We Will Miss You, The Future Is Cancelled, A Bitter Divorce
The Future Is Cancelled is pop punk done right. For a genre that is over-bloated with sweet voice middle age men with enough high school level girl problems to make just about anyone gag, Captain, We're Sinking sink into incredibly dark subject matter of isolation, suicide, and depression to bring out a beast of a genre blending record. Saying this album is depressing is putting it lightly, The Future Is Cancelled is absolutely desolate. High burst energy blending emo and screamo elements in catchy melodic punk hooks and leads topped with simple, but effective songwriting and you have a record that cements itself as one of the decade's, and genre's, greatest.
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George Clanton - 100% Electronica
100% Electronica cover art
 Release Date: September 25th, 2015
Genre: New Wave, Vaporwave, Pop
Price: Free
For Fans Of: Depeche Mode, Floral Shoppe, Ariel Pink
Recommended Tracks: Bleed, Keep A Secret, Wonder Gently, Kill You In Bed
 George Clanton's 100% Electronica is the record that people in the 1980s visualized as the future of pop music. It is also the realization of where exactly vaporwave was supposed to go before it was brutally murdered by the hands of Anthony Fantano years before. This record is an intriguing and an absolute wonder of a pop record that combines various elements of the vaporwave scene with the electronic heavy pop days of the past into a beast that blurs the lines beyond obscurity. An abrasive soundscape with plenty of unique production acrobatics and Clanton's lofty baritone help mold this record into a pop masterpiece.
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Swarms - Old Raves End
Old Raves End cover art 
Release Date: March 28th, 2011
Genre: Dubstep, Post-Rock, Electronic
Price: £5 ($7.24) 
For Fans Of: Burial, Clubroot, Late, Eleven Tigers
Recommended Tracks: T-1000, Roulette, Flicker of Ur Eyes, Sky Below Sea
 Swarms are what one would describe as "post-dubstep", a name that has earned controversy in the electronic scene due to if such a thing can or even does exist. Of course, fighting over genre tagging is a waste of time when an album such as Old Raves End, can speak volumes on its own merit. Swarms is the combination of two post-rock and ambient influenced artists colliding with an artist rooted heavily in the growl heavy days of dubstep. All three combine forces to create a record of spontaneous beauty that seems to levitate beyond the constructs of the aforementioned genres for an entirely unique, and beautiful, hybrid of its own device. It wouldn't take one long enough, when delving into this record, to understand and feel the beauty this record presents in its honest production. Perhaps its the organic elements that find their way through the synthetic filter in the form of hollow clicks in the production or the vocal samples that resonate among the finely tuned synths in a haunting atmosphere. Whatever it may be, there is without a doubt that this record one of the greatest electronic records to exist.
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Monday, April 18, 2016

Week 000 - Welcome!

Welcome one and all to Bandcamp Grab Bag! This amazing blog in which I, your host, Devin Cooper, present five fantastic albums from the realm of Bandcamp and beyond every Monday and Friday! Through these lists I hope to introduce you to never before heard artists worthy of your praise, attention, and support. As we all know it is music that makes this very globe which we rest upon go round and round, after all. 

These lists will follow a format of the following: 
Five albums which range anywhere from name-your-price to priced releases. These entries will primarily be focused on Bandcamp releases though I won't hesitate to share releases from other websites if they are worth sharing. Each release will feature album art, a link to the artist page, and an embedded stream alongside the following:

Artist Name
Release Date
For Fans Of
Recommended Tracks
A brief description of the release

Through this I hope to capture a general sense of what is to be expected from each and every album featured with comparisons to better known acts and tracks to test drive. I hope that this blog will provide you with an excellent platform to discover new, unknown talent along with more well known artists you may not be formerly acquainted with. Please bear in mind this blog is still under construction and development. However, I plan on opening up shop on Monday so be sure to follow this blog and check back then. 

For the meantime, feel free to follow me on Twitter for updates centering around this blog, the material I write on other websites, and just general nonsense: Follow Here