In his Minus Hollywood EP, Ryan Artrip combines lovely acoustics (everything), occasional chuckles ("Hint of Spring"), and the most vivid lyrical imagery you'll probably ever hear ("Duck Pond")--his descriptions are so detailed that you truly can see everything. As a result, I don't recommend listening to this if you're on 'shrooms, because it might be too vivid, to the point where you think you're actually in the song yourself.
A really killer track? Number fo', "A Song for Sore Arms and Lungs," which opens with violins to make you think it's a sappy ole' ballad, then switches to a lightly head bobbing tune, then slows again, then adds in a piano, and then--it's just batshit crazy good, and it's about fireflies (on the surface, anyway). Everyone loves fireflies. Naturally, they're a metaphor for something considerably less pleasant, but regardless of the context in which you delight your ears with this, they're still gonna be delighted.
Another fun tidbit? Mr. Artrip's voice can at times be likened to a certain Mr. Lacey's. Oh yes. Ohhhh, yes.
I know I've mentioned these guys before, but damn, they're good. Their latest, Don't Harm Barbara Gordon, opens with "Tie Off Before You Go Out," which may have the catchiest intro to any song by anyone ever. Pianos, handclaps, guitars, a hint of a gang vocal--it is two minutes and sixteen seconds of total, utter audio bliss... And the rest of the CD is just as good.
Also take a listen to Dear Ulysses--they share members (and have really cute merch)!
A seventeen year old straight edge Texan (who went to rehab at fourteen for just about everything) plays with a computer and sings about his girlfriend, who's a smidgen older than he is. Fans of Rediscover and Hellogoodbye will absolutely love this kid.
And, uh, he's met Jay-Z. Who is my hero. Yes, I am a fan.
*By Jess, who learned the difference between Lebanese and Egyptian bellydance shimmies today