Christian Artists To Know:MuteMath

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MuteMath
Genre
: Rock
Styles Art Rock, Indie Rock, Progressive Rock
Location: New Orleans, LA
Label: Teleprompt Records
Website: http://www.mutemath.com/
Christian label: no
Category: The Light whats this?

The fairytale story of MuteMath began in 2001 when Paul Meany, of popular Christian rock group Earthsuit, began receiving instrumental song demos from Darren King.  Those demos started a long distance writing partnership that resulted in King moving to New Orleans in 2003 to work more intensely with Meany.  By 2004, the duo had recruited the rest of the band, formed Teleprompt Records, signed a distribution deal with Warner and released their debut Reset EP.

Even though they only have released one EP, a CD and a live recording, MuteMath is considered one of the top progressive rock bands around to today.  Their fusion of rock, electronica and pop, mixed with a heavy dose of passion, has created a buzz in the indie rock scene. Their music is heavily keyboard driven but, like Radiohead, they do not sacrifice the percussive drive of their music.  The wall of sound Mute Math creates is accented with piercing guitars and sound samples.

MuteMath has built their reputation with songs on the movies soundtracks for Transformers The Movie, Twilight and Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants 2, as well as highly successful appearances on late night talk shows.  Their most famous appearance was on Jimmy Kimmel Live when they taped their live performance of “Typical” backwards and then replayed it on the show in front of another live audience.  Here they are on David Letterman performing the song straight.

As you can see from this video, MuteMath has one of wildest live shows around.  Alternative Press billed MuteMath as the top band “you need to see live before you die,” Their dynamic live shows are punctuated by their attention to detail and the freedom they have created for themselves to explore a full expression of their music in sound and visuals

“[Forming the band] was just a creative exercise,” Meany explained. “There’s something very liberating about that approach. We weren’t necessarily thinking about being any kind of band or who we were gonna open for, it was all just about creating music… as much of a record company or marketing nightmare as that would turn out to be, we wanted to make music that we were looking forward to playing every night and fantasizing about how a show could unfold or how we could set up who could play what.”

Here is another video of their live performances as they play” Chaos” on the Late Late Show with Craig Fergeson.

There is music more to MuteMath’s shows than what we see on television.  During their live shows they invite the audience to participate by passing around a homemade electronic noise maker called “the Atari”, which looks like a joy stick.  Couple the Atari with Paul Meaney’s keytar and his manic front man act and you understand MuteMath’s reputation as a top live act.  However, one of the most memorable parts of a MuteMath show is Darren King’s frantic drumming.  Watch this video of a drum solo and tell me he does not remind you of Animal from The Muppets

MuteMath is a very popular, well respected group of Christian music artists making big waves in the mainstream music industry.  As we listen their lyrics we can clearly see the foundations of their faith in their lyrical messages.  Enjoy.

Check out MuteMath‘s entire catalog at iTunes Mute Math

You can also buy their CDs and MP3s at Amazon

Reset

Mute Math

Flesh And Bones Electric Fun

Christian Artists To Know: Seabird

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Seabird
Genre: Rock
Styles: Atmospheric Rock, Alternative, Brit Pop
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Label: Credential Records
Myspace: www.myspace.com/seabird
Christian Label: Yes
Category: The Light whats this?

Ohio’s Seabird are living the dream that most bands could only wish for.  The band has only been together (for the most part) since 2004.  After a year of writing and lineup changes, they recorded their first EP, Spread Your Broken Wings And Try, in one of the member’s living rooms.  Within that same year, the EP landed on the right desk at EMI, resulting in the band playing a private showcase for the label, from which they were signed.  Seabird, however moved over to Credential Records, the home of Fiction Family and Edison Glass, soon afterwards. Another EP was recorded, but in 2008 their first full length, ‘Till We See The Shore, was released to a well received audience.  Since then, Seabird’s music has been featured on Num3ers, Greys Anatomy, and most notably Pushing Daisies.

The little history lesson there was only to depict the accessibility of Seabird‘s music.  Their sound is an interesting blend of Coldplay-ish piano pop mixed in with more experimental indie rock sensibilities.  Seabird has always been able to take what is popular but make it their own.  Where other bands in the same genre rely on soaring atmosphere and heavy orchestration, Seabird brings the audience in to a much more intimate head space.  With such peers AS Coldplay and The Fray, Seabird does not let themselves get overshadowed.  They don’t just blend into the background.

Seabird is a band of believers, but the themes of their music is not overtly spiritual.  The prevailing message of redemption and the pursuit of it flows through most of their songs, but the band can also write a great love song.  Seabird seems to able to explore both sides of their character, the mainstream and the introspective, without ever falling into a destructive duality.  The message of hope for redemption is most clear in the band’s break out single from ‘Til We See the Shore, “Rescue”.

On a more mellow side, we wanted you to see this live performance of the title track off that same album, “Til We See The Shore”

I knew about Seabird before I knew that they were believers.  Hipster magazines like Paste and Relevent (yes a Christian magazine can be hipster at the same time) have been repping Seabird since the release of ‘Til We See The Shore last year.  The band has just done so much in so little time, it is amazing to think of what the future will hold for them.  In March, Seabird will be all over the SXSW music conference, and with an apparent “in” with the TV stations, it seems like up is the only direction for these guys.

You can buy Seabird‘s music digitally on Seabird

You can also get their CDs on Amazon:
Til We See the Shore

Christian Artists To Know: Bodies Of Water

Bodies Of Water
Genre: Rock
Sub-genres: Indie, Gospel, Folk, Choir
Location: Highland Park, CA
Label: Secretly Canadian
Website: www.bodiesofwater.net/
Myspace: www.myspace.com/bodiesofwater
Christian label: No
Category: The Light whats this?

From the beginning of just about any of Bodies Of Water‘s many songs, you know you are in for something different. Maybe it is the Arcade Fire like guitar progression.  Maybe it’s the fact that you never know what new instrument will pop up at any time. Or maybe it is the sound of a large group of distinct voices singing on top of each other  in some type of off beat harmony for the majority of the songs.  Whatever strikes you, there is no denying that Bodies Of Water doesn’t fit into many molds that people put around music.  Pulling influences from folk, choir music, indie rock, and adding their own sense of progression to the mix, Bodies Of Water have been making a serious name for themselves ever since the release of their first album, Ears Will Pop & Eyes Will Blink, in 2007.  Since that time, they have already released another well received CD, toured, and were even featured on a SXSW Music Conference showcase in 2008. Their strength is in their ability to combine older sounding styles of chamber choir music with more modern elements of progressive rock.  The end result allows the band to explore new sounds and avenues of experimental music without becoming too heavy handed.  Although only a four piece at its core, the band is known to play shows with as many as five other people on stage, giving their live shows and music an experimental communal quality.

The band formed in 2004 under the name Death Of A Unicorn, but after keyboardist Meredith Metcalf was struck with the symbolism of “any heat is bearable next to a body of water”, she , her husband David, and friends Jessie Conklin and Kyle Gladden decided to change the name of their newly formed group to Bodies Of Water.  The name seemed to just work better with their joyous and soulful approach to the indie rock platform.  Although they have been compared many times to folk choir The Polyphonic Spree, Bodies Of Water‘s everybody-sing-at-once approach is more steeped in gospel than hippie sing-along music.  Leader David has said that he loved quartet gospel groups like Swan Silvertones because of the way that music was able to work seamlessly with the group’s faith.  Taking that idea and incorporating some more modern elements have given Bodies Of Water a sound that is unlike any of their peers.

Lyrically, the band tries to deal with matters of faith by talking metaphorically about the body, most often in reference to the body of Christ and the intimacy between God and His children. Hands, eyes,and feet are all images that get visited over and over again in their songs.  Other songs deal with the nurturing and sustenance of that body, many times referring to water and food to invoke images of rest and restoration.  All in all, Bodies Of Water makes you dig for meaning. Their lyrics are not obvious, in fact they’re a little strange.  Bodies Of Water is just not one of those bands who will give what is on the surface, but instead will give you something you won’t forget.

Here is the band preforming the song “If I Were A Bell” in 2008.

I also just had to post their video for the song “Under The Pines”. It is a great little video, a fairytale type story, but be warned that there are some strange images in the video, including a little blood.  We are all grown-ups here though, right?

I (Ian) discovered this band almost by accident last year on Emusic. I was impressed immediately by their very unique sound.  I had heard bands like them before, but I was really drawn to how happy and creative the music was.  A few days later I discovered that they were a band of believers, and I have recommended them ever since. We are always going to present bands to you that we think are doing something different than the rest.  Bodies Of Water openly talk about their faith in interviews but somehow have never been defined or shunned by that fact.  The indie music scene just loves them to much.  I have to agree though, you just cant help but love this band.

You can find Bodies Of Water’s music digitally on Bodies of Water

You can also buy their CDs on Amazon: Ears Will Pop & Eyes Will Blink(2007), A Certain Feeling(2008)