Free Download: Son Lux- BreakThru Radio Session

It is rare that a artist Son Lux comes along. Every since we hear about him a little over 3 years ago, he has consistently been one of our favorite artists in the industry today. Last year, he released his latest masterpiece called We Are Rising, which he wrote and recorded in 30 days. The result was a mix of electronica, jazz, indie folk, contemplation, and desperation. It is unlike anything and very, very good.

Recently Son Lox performed some of the songs off of We Are Rising for Break Thru Radio, and then decided to give the session recording away for free. This a great intro to Son Lux if you have never heard him before, so we suggest watching the video and downloading the album below.

More like we command you to……….can we do that?

Gettin’ Giddy: We Are Rising by Son Lux

We don’t do record reviews at One21music but, there are some recordings you just can’t help getting giddy about, like We Are Rising by Son Lux.

Son Lux We Are Rising

Eight mournful moans from an organ…then silence…faint strings and a singular voice wander into the silence, but they never make it…the organ is back for four more groans but this time,on the fringes, we hear a woman’s operatic voice that carries us into a few singular notes on a piano as birds join the strings that re-emerged from nowhere…then Son Lux sings in his fragile, melancholy voice: “I can see the fickers..” and we are off on a sonic journey like I have rarely experienced in the past five decades.

Nine mini be-bop symphonies weave together to create a 35 minute masterpiece that rivals Moby‘s Play as the most innovative electronic album ever made.  And it was made in 28 days.  Son Lux (Ryan Lott) accepted a challenge from NPR to create an album, from concept to publishing, in the shortest month of the year.  This is in contrast with his 2008 masterpiece At War With Walls & Mazes, which took four years to make and his current project, three years in the making, that he put on hold to take this NPR challenge.  To make it even more challenging Son Lux recorded all of the instruments live.  So not only did he take on a challenge to move his process at supersonic speed, but to also complicated the process by gathering musicians from all over the country to help him.  In an interview an April 2011 interview with NPR he explains why.

“Sample libraries are fantastic for mockups. And through the process of heavy manipulation, which I do frequently, they can be incredible assets. And it’s maybe weird to sound so old school, but humans in a room, on instruments that they’ve fought with and learned to love over the course of decades, there is absolutely no substitute for that. And that comes through a microphone. Not only that, but dude, it is so unbelievably fun to work with other people. And it’s partly my arrogance and megalomania, but I love to hear other people play my stuff and interpret it through their limbs and vocal chords. It’s totally thrilling and scratches my ego in an awesome way.[Laughs]“

“Flowers” is an achingly sad song that begins with Son Lux singing over sparse piano and xylophone “Are those my flowers in your hand?  You don’t remember dressing up?”  The music all but stops as the singer chants “Empty vows, empty cup” and the music pauses into silence for only a moment.  The the final minute of the song is a flourish of beautiful sounds.  It paints a picture for me of a young man looking at pictures with an elderly woman while she begins to drift back into her memories of her joyful youth.  You can almost see her dancing in a park with the boy of her dreams.

“Let Go” breaks forth with multiple discordant rhythms that immediately demand your attention.  This is music Elaine Benes could dance to.  The only lyrics are “let get, let go, let go” sung in urgent triplets.  Is Son Lux telling us to free ourselves from our fear of failure, our aversion to embarrassment?  I could go on and on reviewing every song but I will stop by telling you that Son Lux has created a musical recording of jarring beauty and intense feeling.

Here is a hypnotizing example of We Are Rising as Son Lux plays “Leave The Riches” in New York

You can listen to samples of Son Lux‘s We Are Rising on the One21 music Son Lux page.

We Are Rising has been available for a couple of weeks as an mp3, but this thing is so good you will want a physical copy.  We Are Rising will not be available at the local
Wal Mart or Best Buy so most of us will need to go to Amazon to buy the cd or vinyl.  If you just can’t wait you can buy the mp3 at amazon now.

New Releases For April 26th, 2011

hope for the dying Dissimulation
Dissimulation
Hope For The Dying

Facedown Records
Metal
Buy now: Amazon MP3

Great Awakening–Songs In Secret
Songs In Secret
Great Awakening

Come&Live!
Worship

Lonnie Hunter-I’m Back
I’m Back
Lonnie Hunter

Worldwide Music
R&B/Gospel
Buy now: Amazon

Martha Munizzi make it loud
Make It Loud
Martha Munizzi

Central South Records
Contemporary
Buy now: Amazon

playdough-hotdoggin
Hotdoggin
Playdough

Writer Dye Wecords
Hip-Hop
Buy now: Amazon MP3

Ricky Dillard & New G keep living
Keep Living
Ricky Dillard & New G

Light Records
R&B/Gospel
Buy now: Amazon

Spoken-Bright Days, Dark Nights
Bright Days, Dark Nights
Spoken

Role Model Records
Rap

son lux we are rising
We Are Rising
Son Lux

anticon
Electronic/Jazz/Ambient
Buy now: Amazon MP3

texas in july one reality
One Reality
Texas In July

Equal Vision Records
Metalcore
Buy now: Amazon

SXSW 2010 Saturday- Brrrrrrr!

Amazing what 24 hours, 40 degrees and 30 mph north winds will do.  On Friday night there were easily 50,000 music fans strolling the streets of Austin’s music district.  After a surprise cold front (it was hard enough keeping up with an overload of music greatness and my NCAA bracket, much less the weather) the crowds on Saturday night dropped to 1500.  The clubs were still busy but the streets were quiet.

Swimming With Dolphins

That did not stop us from continuing our quest to experience great music performed at SXSW 2010 by Christians.  After spending the afternoon shivering in the streets, just missing the artists I wanted to see, we got the evening off to a dance party start with Swimming With Dolphins.  This electro-pop band is tall, nice looking Austin Tofte joined on tour by a live drummer.  Austin worked multiple keyboards, an iBook  and sang and danced his way into the psyche of a nice sized crowd at world famous Emo’s.  Swimming With Dolphins‘ bright, poppy electronic sound turned heavy halfway through the set when Tofte reached deep into his synths for some bone rattling bass.  The college aged crowd could no longer resist at that point and carved out a space to dance.  Swimming With Dolphins turned up the geek quotient when they closed with the song “Jasques Cousteau’, dedicated to the world’s most famous marine biologist.

Next, I ran the block and a half to see hard rock band I AM EMPIRE. This five piece band dressed in full rock costume (black boots, black jeans and black tshirts) and delivered on the look. From the first drumbeat to the final feedback I AM EMPIRE rock the joint hard.  The lead singer screamed and wailed, the guitarists raged  and the drummer pounded his drums as if they had stolen something from him.  Through it all they rocked lyrics like “My God won’t forsake me, My sweet Jesus saves me every time I fail”.  I AM EMPIRE is like if AC/DC and Bon Jovi had a baby who gave his life to Christ.

The next day we drug our tired bodies out of bed, headed to Stubbs for the Gospel brunch.  We were treated to some awesome Texas barbecue and TexMex and were blessed to be in the the presence of the legendary gospel group Bells of Joy.  This 64 year-old group (that’s right, the group is 64 years old) is in just about every hall of fame you can be in.  The Bells of Joy delivered on their name as they performed a raucous set of joyful Gospel music punctuated by slick dancing, tasty solos and the Word.  As I set there, I realized that from a musical perspective groups like the Bells of Joy made SXSW possible.  Without these groups that brought gospel out of the Church and into the streets there would have been no Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis or Little Richard.  Without those guys there would have been no Beatles or Stones.  Without groups like Bells of Joy, SXSW would be Clay Aiken singing show tunes.  Thank you Bells of Joy.

Bells of Joy

As we wrap up SXSW 2010, we were excited by the be-bop electronica of Son Lux (a must-see if he comes to your town), awed by the artistry of Danielson and Jennifer Knapp and happy to have discovered some new favs, Ben+Vesper and Ortolan.

SXSW 2010 Day 3 With Doug Burr, Lights and Son Lux

The One21music journey on day three of SXSW 2010 was a day of two great bookends with hours of waiting in between.  I started the day this afternoon at the Ramble Creek Recording Studio Day Show and ended the evening in the belly of the SXSW beast with 100,000 in Austin’s music home Red River Street.   In between I noshed on ceviche, watched a mildly interesting R&B act, an entertaining post-rock noise drone band and a scary avant garde minimalist blues racket band; caught-up with the rest of the One21music crew at the HM free evening showcase and wandered the very crowded streets of Austin, Texas.

SXSW is a major music industry conference that attracts music artists, journalists, label executives, agents and government agencies from all over the world.  Sometimes in the rush to meet as many people as we can, take advantage of as much of the free food as possible, gather all of the free swag, catch the right best bands from the 15,000+ acts performing and,oh yes, find a parking place we just might lose track of why we care about all of this.  Here is why.

Ramble Creek Studio

These are the generations of families, at the Ramble Creek Studio Day Show, gathered around some musicians to celebrate a great day in Austin with music and laughter.  It was a spectacular way to start the day.

Doug Burr – Ramble Creek Studio Day Show

As you can see it was an idylic setting in the backyard of the Ramble Creek Studios as they celebrated some of their Doug Burrfavorite artists.  We were there to see Christian music artist Doug Burr, but I received an special bonus prize when two of favorite secular artists preceded Doug to the stage (really a covered porch).  Centro-matics Will Johnson played an ethereal set of Texas alternative music and Monahans played smoking set of noisy, droning alt-country.

Then Doug Burr set down to the mike with a group four musicians playing organs, guitars and  banjos. Doug Burr performed a set of music with obvious influences to Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde era and that was just fine with us.  His sad, wistful singing style carried us away into his mournful, redemptive songs.  At times I swore he was challenging a catalogue of hymns.  I was mesmerized along with the crowd and peace settled into that backyard.

Lights- The Prague

Lights, the electro-pop phenom, is quiet popular.  I arrived at this dungeon of a club about one hour before Lights was scheduled to hit stage and over that hour I saw the broadest group of fans fill the space.  I don’t have a picture of Lights because it was impossible for me to get close enough to the stage.  That crowd consisted of fully bearded hipsters (guys, of course), bubbly teen looking and acting girls (over 21 club so not really teens), European techno caricatures and geeks and nerds of all types.  Lights herself was fresh faced young woman playing driving electro-pop with her three person band (her and a guy on synths and a drummer).  She bounced around the stage with her keytar (combination guitar and electric piano) and displayed a much stronger singing voice than I anticipated.  Lights set was just what you would expect from synth-pop, in all the good ways.

Son Lux- Barbarella

There are stories from people who saw John Coltrane live that at some points in a song, Coltrane would throw his sax to the floor and would start poiunding his chest and making musical sounds with his voice.  When asked, he would say that he caould not always get the sounds he eas hearing through his sax.

Son LuxI remembered that story as I watched electronica artist Son Lux deliver an awe inspiring set of electronica music that felt more like hard be bop with a driving beat.  With his excellent drummer, Son Lux laid down a thick, intense platform of drone noise and sound over which played his synthesizer and computer.  Son Lux lurched, convulsed and danced to his own rhythms as his songs caught up with his vision on stage.  The few lyrics in Son Lux’s songs can be seen as faith cries, as in the lyrics to his opening number, “Believe my words”, repeated over and over.  By the end I was no even trying to write notes because the audience and I were mesmerized.

New Releases For February 16th, 2010

close your eyes we will overcome
We Will Overcome
Close Your Eyes

Victory records
Hardcore
Buy NOW:
Amazon
iTunes

gungor beautiful things
Beautiful Things
Gungor

Brash Music
Indie Folk/Worship
Buy NOW:
Amazon
iTunes

LMNO Push That Work
Push That Work
LMNO

Up Above Records
Underground Hip-Hop
Buy NOW:
Amazon MP3
iTunes

son lux weapons ep
Weapons EP
Son Lux

anticon
Progressive Electronica
Buy NOW:
Amazon MP3
iTunes

Son Lux Readies New EP

Below is the album artwork and track listing for Son Lux‘s Febuary 16th, 2010 release, the Weapons EP.

“In the time since Mazes, Lott has stayed busy composing – among other things – hours of music for dance companies from New York to Paris. But for him, the chant-based concept of the Son Lux debut required further investigation. The Weapons EP is Lott’s self-issued challenge to do just that – to use Mazes standout “Weapons,” whose primary melody haunts various points of that record, as a launch pad for a complete EP of material derived from a single source.”

son lux weapons ep

1.WEAPONS II
2.WEAPONS III (Polyphonic Remix)
3.WEAPONS IV (Nico Muhly Remix)
4.WEAPONS V
5.WEAPONS VI (Alias Remix)
6.WEAPONS VII

for more new releases, please check out our ALBUM RELEASE DATES page to stay up to date on all the new music coming out

The One21 Essential 100 Pt.3

essential100 copy

The One21 Essential 100 is a collection of albums that represent the best in creativity, innovation, and originality in music. This is not a “best of” list, nor is it influenced by album sales, or even popularity. Our attempt with this series is to highlight the gems, those rare albums that push boundaries and encourage new ways of thinking; both musical and philosophically. In our opinion, the music highlighted in this series is the “good stuff”.

Simply what this is going to be is a list of 100 albums from Christian music artists that we think you should own. Like our website, most genres will be represented, and some of the albums will be from as far back as the 60s, to as current as 2009. Each week we will post five albums, in no real order, with descriptions, album artwork, and places to buy the music.

Check out Pt.1
Check out Pt.2

josh garrels over oceans
Over Oceans
Josh Garrels

2006
Buy this album: Amazon MP3, iTunes
You are drawn in by the quiet acoustic music but you quickly wrap yourself in a musical and lyrical storm. This is a tour de force of folk, world, rap, electronic, spoken word theology by a brilliant musician who refuses to leverage his talent for fame or money. Over Oceans is Josh Garrels‘ first full length recording starts quietly with a beautiful ode to the beauty of God’s creation, “Fire By Night”. Later on the CD a rolling tumbling worship chant “Break Bread” should be a Sunday worship staple. The centerpiece is “SISU”, a six minute acoustically driven rap that lays out the beauty of core Christian theology more clearly than any sermon ever delivered.
Highlights: Break Bread, SISU, YHWH

Billy Joe Shaver- Victory
Victory
Shaver

1998
Buy this album: Amazon, iTunes
Shaver is Billy Joe Shaver and his son Eddy Shaver, presenting the songs of Billy Joe Shaver in a stripped-down, acoustic context. Shaver‘s peers as a songwriter and singer include Guy Clark, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings. His voice has a lot of Hank Williams Sr. and some of Woody Guthrie, and his tunes hark back to the origins of country music, with traces of rural blues. Spiritually based, Victory gives the listener a glimpse into the soul of Shaver through the songs he has written about his relationship with his Lord. A man of strong spiritual conviction, Shaver has lived a life that often put him in conflict with his religious beliefs. Victory includes Shaver classics, essayed with a stirring combination of weariness and wisdom (“Old Five and Dimers,” “When Fallen Angels Fly”), as well as classics-to-be. The newer songs (“Son of Calvary,” “You Can’t Beat Jesus Christ”) are filled with Christian imagery, but he doesn’t preach–these are songs of a man struggling to reconcile his faith with the wild life he’s led. Victory is a fine listen, both comforting and harrowing.
Highlights: Live Forever, If I Give My Soul, My Mother’s Name is Victory

Son Lux- At War With Walls And Mazes
At War With Walls And Mazes
Son Lux

2008
Buy this album: Amazon, iTunes
To say that Son Lux makes electronic music is like saying Daniel Day Lewis just acts; it just isn’t the full truth. Son Lux’s songs are complex, painful, and beautiful all at the same time. He takes sounds and then deconstructs them until they seem to explode out of the speaker and then evaporate just as fast. Pulling from genres across the electronic landscape such as trance, ambient, industrial, and breakbeat, At War With Walls And Mazes introduces the listener to strange and ever changing musical world, were words and music seem to be haunted by the ghosts of their own sounds. Singing parts warp and distort as they are being sung, beats abruptly stop only to return later in a song, but slightly altered. Every song is full of surprises, and you hear something different every time you listen. Son Lux has created and amazing and haunting masterpiece in At War With Walls And Mazes, one that seemingly has no equal.
Highlights: Wither, Betray, Stand, War

Monarch The Grandeur That Was Rome
The Grandeur That Was Rome
Monarch

2003
Buy this album: Amazon, iTunes
Almost from the first note on Monarch’s debut album, The Grandeur That Was Rome, you are completely transported into the music. Monarch is able to wield atmospheric, ambient rock in a way that eludes most of their contemporaries. Every song builds in a distinct and focused way, allowing you to linger on every note before they all crash into each other to create the beauty that is Monarch’s sound. Then, at last, you reach vocalist Brennon Shaw’s delicate and haunting voice, driving the choruses and melodies to a place of pure serenity. The combination of these rock, electronic, and vocal elements is what makes The Grandeur That Was Rome…well, grand. Music seemingly written to be a soundtrack to everyday life, Monarch set themselves apart from their peers with an album of creative and gorgeous songwriting that many could only aspire to, but never are able to grasp.
Highlights: Talk Is Cheap/The Undefeated, Tracing Paper (An Argument), Now You See It/Now You Don’t

tobyMac- Momentum
Momentum
tobyMac

2001
Buy this album: Amazon, iTunes
Who knew? Wasn’t a DCTalk fan so I didn’t know, but did anyone know that all the grit and drive of “Jesus Freak” was tobyMac? Bursting from the speakers with driving guitars, wild samples and layers of pounding drums tobyMac smacks us in the mouth with his first lyrics as a solo artist when spews his rap “Everybody, everybody in the place to be, Open up your mind and let your soul be free, I can feel the most High shining on me so… Let’s Get This Party Started”! Any questions about who was the muse of “Jesus Freak”?
Momentum is 14 songs of hard driving street Christianity metal hip hop, which samples both Buffalo Springfield and Wycleff Jean. And we do get the gospel stomp “JTrain” featuring Kirk Franklin. Momentum should be played loud enough to blow your speakers and bring the cops, but do it alone because you will want to silly dance. tobyMac’s first offering rivals anything Outkast has done.
Highlights: Get This Party Started , Love Is In The House, Somebody’s Watching

The One21 Best Of 2009 Pt.1

2009 is almost over, and in the world of music, that means one thing, Best Of lists! At One21, we wanted to wait a little bit to post ours; because to me posting a “Best Of” list before Thanksgiving is kinda like nominating Avatar for Best Drama the week before it is screened for critics.

Wait, yea, that happened….

This list is simply our celebration of the amazing music that came out in 2009. We understand that many may disagree with us on the albums we picked (or didn’t pick), but we completely believe that this is the best of what came out this year. In 6 months we will do a retrospective list for 2009, so it will be interesting to see what makes it onto that list. Feel free to leave your thoughts…

In no real particular order, here are the first 12 albums that made 2009 great:

Album of the year

manchester orchestra mean everything to nothing
Mean Everything To Nothing
Manchester Orchestra


Why we picked it: When you are able to marry both catchiness and intelligence, then you created something very special. Manchester Orchestra have done just that with equal parts gritty garage rock, progressive indie, and angry post-hardcore combined to result in a cohesive group of songs that not only build on each other, but also communicate a vast range of emotion and mood. Every song has something that you didn’t hear the first time (or the second), and Mean Everything To Nothing will keep you coming back. In plain English, this is a phenomenal album.
Buy: Amazon, iTunes

Best of the rest

thrice beggars
Beggars
Thrice


Why we picked it: Coming off their incredibly diverse and profound Alchemy Index project, Thrice once again has proved that they may be the American band of this generation. Once again, Dustin Kensrue and the boys dug deep and came out with a collection of soulful, passionate songs that play to all their strengths. Every member of the band shines bright on Beggars, so there is a lot of radiating going on. With another album full of gems under their belt, Thrice pushes on and continues to remind us what true rock looks like.
Buy:Amazon, iTunes

a mouth full of dust bradley hathaway
A Mouth Full Of Dust
Bradley Hathaway


Why we picked it: This may be the most joyfully depressing album you will ever listen to. Channeling Bob Dylan, mewithoutYou, and Daniel Jonhston, the one time poet in Bradley Hathaway fully bloomed into a indie folk genius with A Mouth Full of Dust. Deeply personal, every song attempts to create the sound of Bradley’s emotional state, ranging from sweetly content to painfully chaotic. Never relying on over-musicianship, A Mouth Full Of Dust is simple enough to be called folk or lo-fi, but has so many twists and turns you won’t know how to describe it when the last note rings out. You will be a little out of breath though.
Buy:Amazon MP3

the red baron my first love
My First Love
The Red Baron
Why we picked it:
The hardcore movement was supposed to be about having heart, and The Red Baron have plenty to pass around. Every track on this blistering, fast paced album just kicks you in the chest, and at the same time is able to hit an emotional chord. The term “blood, sweat, and tears” may have been coined a band like this, the music is an all-encompassing mesh of ticked off punk and old school hardcore. On top of that, the lyrics are more theologically honest than most worship songs, making My First Love the perfect (and I mean perfect) Christ-centered hardcore album.
Buy:Amazon, iTunes

ok bear jeremy enigk
OK Bear
Jeremy Enigk


Why we picked it: Enigk‘s work has been legendary for almost a decade and a half now (Sunny Day Real Estate, The Fire Theft), and OK Bear seems to be a return to more simple times. Not to say that Jeremy Enigk‘s work is by any means simplistic now, but in terms of an album, this seems to be the first time his solo work has been able to focus his genius. The songs have a more straight forward feel to them (similar to Sunny Day), but somehow Enigk is able to make the simplest of structures somehow very unique. Drenching every song with his deep, introspective lyrics, and then letting his soulful and painful vocal style do the rest of the work, OK Bear is the album that every underground band wishes they could write.
Buy: Amazon, iTunes

my brightest diamond shark remixes vol 2 son lux
Shark Remixes Vol.2:Son Lux
My Brightest Diamond

Why we picked it: In 2008, solo songstress Shara Worden, under her moniker My Brightest Diamond, released her latest dark pop masterpiece, A Thousand Sharks Teeth. In 2009, she allowed several electronic artist to remix the album, resulting in several interesting volumes of The Shark Remixes. The most profound of all these was the collaboration with trip-hop genius Son Lux, who took My Brightest Diamond‘s sound and twisted it into something very different. In addition to Shara’s uniquely operatic vocals, distorted jazz horns, fuzzy base lines, and creepy backing effects made Son Lux and My Brightest Diamond‘s collaboration a match made in dark electronic heaven.
Buy: Amazon MP3, iTunes

pink limousine rootbeer
Pink Limousine EP
Rootbeer

Why we picked it: Want to have some good clean fun? The boys in Rootbeer got ya covered. The latest collaboration between LA Symphony alum Flynn Adam, and Pigeon John has proved you can have a lot of fun being better than most everybody in the hip-hop club scene. Each song is created to get the party started, and is chalked full of Flynn and John‘s unique sense of humor (heck, we have been hearing about this pink limo since the very first LA Symphony single). I dare you to listen to this EP and not be a little happier afterward. Go ahead….try. See? Not possible…
Buy: Amazon, iTunes

The-Chariot-Wars-and-Rumors-of-Wars
Wars And Rumors Of Wars
The Chariot

Why we picked it: There is simply not any band quite like The Chariot. They combine noise rock with metalcore, chaos with genius, and some how always come up with music that is easily better than 90% of the music put out in the metal/hardcore scene. On their last album, we saw The Chariot go experimental; on Wars And Rumors of Wars, we see them light everything on fire. Then they throw firecrackers at it. Vocalist Josh Scogin’s lyrics are top notch; the crazy parts are crazier, the heavy parts are heavier, the experimental parts are more….well you get the picture. The Chariot is on a rampage, and Wars And Rumors Of Wars is the warning siren.
Buy: Amazon, iTunes

derek webb stockholm syndrome
Stockholm Syndrome
Derek Webb

Why we picked it: Out of all the albums that came out this year in the Christian music scene, this may have been the most talked about by far. Once again sparking controversy with the song “What Matters More”, Derek Webb once again reinvented himself in both his lyrics, and in musical style. No longer content with folk music supplying the background to his messages, Webb instead harnessed a Thom Yorke-esque electronic sound with incredible results. With so much of today’s music being released with no real meaning or depth, Derek Webb was able to pave new trails for artistic musicians, be the music sacred or secular. Is this album and it’s messages for everybody? No. Is Stockholm Syndrome important? Without hesitation, yes.
Buy: Amazon, iTunes

ascend the hill
Ascend The Hill
Ascend The Hill
Why we picked it:
Ascend The Hill should be the new benchmark for worship music. Deeply theological, heart-breakingly honest, and unrelenting; Ascend The Hill is able to capture their passion for the Lord on their self-titled debut. This is the kind of music that God can use to knock down walls, to change lives, and renew hearts. Ascend The Hill‘s music isn’t a gimmick, a routine, or a performance. It is an expression of a heart truly and completely in love with God.
Buy: iTunes

hands creator
Creator
Hands

Why we picked it: Hands hit the music scene this year like a freight train. Their ability to weave together the brutal nature of progressive metal and earnest Christian theology could have so easily turned into a cheap parody. Thankfully for us, it didn’t, because Hands approached their music like a lion tearing apart its meal. Every song has layer upon layer of creativity and aggression, while at all times acting as a 10 song prayer. If the music was acoustic, this would be some really deep Christ centered folk/worship; if the lyrics weren’t about Christ, then these guys would be one of the most brutal progressive bands on the planet. Creator is neither, and it is both. Creator is a totally unique album from beginning to end, one we will be talking about for a long time.
Buy: Amazon, iTunes

So Long Forgotten the things we can see and the things we cannot
The Things We Can See & The Things We Cannot
So Long Forgotten
Why we picked it:
So Long Forgotten is yet another band testing the limits of the term progressive rock. Strange tempo changes, tons of stark guitar sounds, horns, and the cathartic lyrical style make this one you need to listen a few times before you truly grasp what is going on. What is going on is that Things We Can See And The Things We Cannot is a powerhouse of an album that is sure to satisfy an underground rock fan. The honesty in the lyrics make this a stand out on its own, but every song evolves in a singular way so that the listener will be left with something truly profound and beautiful with every track.
Buy:iTunes

maylene and the sons of disaster III
III
Maylene And The Sons Of Disaster

Why we picked it: The kings of southern metal-core proudly display why they were the first and they may be the last. All the grit and rawness from previous albums are here, but III just kicks it up 10 notches. No holds a bar rock guitar solos, banjos, monster ballads amidst the scream vocals, and of course plenty of metal pound at you track after track. This is the CD you will listen to when all your windows are down, and you are driving just a little too fast down the highway. Can’t wait for IV.
Buy: Amazon, iTunes

check back tomorrow to see the rest of our list!!

Free Download:Jay Tholen-His Shadow Is Light

jay tholen his shadow is light

I discovered Jay Tholen a few weeks back when I was searching the net for free music. Jay Tholen is a one man band of sorts, as far as I can tell all of his music is written, played, and recorded by him. The obvious would be that he creates electronic music, but the fact is that he does so much more. Jay experiments with almost every sub genre of electronica, ranging from quirky arcade sounding electro house to straight trance. Jay has over 10 albums under his belt, which is giving away for free, so expect to see more from him in the coming weeks.

His Shadow Is Light however is not straight electronica. He incorporates indie rock and atmospheric tones into a beat driven landscape that gives the listener a sense that they don’t know where they are going next. If you are into the indie rock meets electronic beats scene that is popular right now, I would say that His Shadow Is Light is a must have…

For fans of: MGMT, Passion Pit, Deastro, Dntel, Son Lux

Download Jay Tholen-His Shadow Is Light