Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Beards of Modern Music, Vol. 3

There's a facial hair renaissance going on out there, folks. This series is all about the bearded men who make music. Check out the fuzz and stubble, but stick around for the sound.

The Timbers. They're four men from Down Under -- Simon Basey, Benjamin Roberts, Kyle Vause, Joe Murphy --  who describe their sound as "Raucous Alternative High Energy Modern Australian Folk." Find out more on their website, Facebook page or YouTube channel.

The Timbers, left to right: Joe Murphy, Kyle Vause, Simon Basey & Benjamin Roberts 

Song & Video: "Mean Streak." Catchy, rambunctious as hell, and I bet they have you singing the refrain before it's over. The video is a great example of what a good imagination can do with a low budget.

Synoptix. It's the musical project from a trio of dudes out of Yekaterinburg, Russia. The sound -- a satisfying evolution from their 2010 debut album -- is a blend of beatbox, electronics and electric guitar. Think rock infused with hip hop, funk and lounge. Disarming but gutsy -- and vocalist Alexey Bobylev is my current music man crush. They're recording new tracks as I write this, so -- fingers crossed -- there'll be a new album this year (or they'll release the singles, at least). For now, there's more music on their YouTube channel.

Synoptix, left to right: Alexey Bobylev, Vitaly Finsky & Denis Burhanov

Song & Video: "I Had a Soul." It's an impeccably arranged breakup tune that puts Bobylev's voice up front. Shot on a makeshift stage in an art gallery, the video is a live performance that captures the band's enthusiasm and skill, as well as Bobylev's impressive vocal range.

Carl Espen. At 17 he won a local singing competition and started to believe a career in music was possible. Sidetracked by military service and a day job in the glass business, it wasn't until he was 31 that he got an enormous break: Mr. Espen was Norway's 2014 Eurovision Song Contest entry with a genuinely intimate and evocative ballad called "Silent Storm." Written by his younger cousin, Espen took the song into the Top 10. Post-Eurovision, looks like he might get a shot at that career after all. Check out his website here.

Carl Espen

Song & Video: "Holding On." The tune feels personal, touching on a universal theme: knowing when it's time to let go in a relationship and move on. The lovely plaintive quality of Espen's voice suits it perfectly. Sounds like a downer, right? Nah, it's sneakily hopeful. The video was shot in Oslo, Norway, a city you rarely see represented in pop culture. But the real draw is Carl Espen. The man has a presence; he doesn't need to wave his arms or beat his chest to hold your attention.

Wanna see the first two volumes in this series? Click on either link below.

Volume 1
Volume 2

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I think i like the second selection the most, in fact i really dig it.