Verdict: Run – Snow Patrol v Leona Lewis

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In 2004, Virgin Radio UK became my favourite radio station when it introduced me to Snow Patrol’s Run from their album Final Straw (thank you iTunes radio!). They achieved huge success with Chasing Cars and subsequently rose to fame, but Run continues to be the best Snow Patrol song there is.

So today when I tuned in to vh1 and saw Leona Lewis singing the same song, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. Leona has an excellent voice, no doubt, but Run is what it is because of Gary Lightbody’s softer yet more passionate way of singing it and the grand scale of the amazing music arragements.

Clearly I prefer the original Snow Patrol Run. Watch Snow Patrol’s version and Leona Lewis’s version and decide for yourself, and leave a comment below.

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Must Hear: Starlite Diner – Ryan Adams

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I’ve never been a big Ryan Adams fan, and Starlite Diner hasn’t yet converted me, but I have to admit it is such an amazing song that I’m bewildered I haven’t heard it sooner. From Adams’s 2005 album 29, Starlite Diner is mellow without being boring with lyrics that are beautiful without being sappy. So far I haven’t been able to come across a single thing to criticise about this song.

Since it doesn’t have a video, I tried to find a link to the recorded version but was extremely unsuccesful. Fortunately I did find a link to a video of him performing the song live at the Gem Theatre in Detroit, and it turns out the live version is even better than the album version (which I didn’t think was possible).

Enjoy the song while I listen to the rest of the album and see if there are any other hidden gems.

Must Hear: Time To Pretend – MGMT

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MGMT have been around since Ben Goldwasser and Andrew Van Wyngarden met as college freshmen in 2002. Formerly known as the Management, the two released their EP Time To Pretend after graduating in 2005 and signed with Columbia Records in 2006.

MGMT may be signed with a major record label, but they are still highly underrated. With Electric Feel, the second single from Oracular Spectacular, the duo begun garnering some attention, but I believe that Time To Pretend is and continues to be their big breakthrough and is simply an excellent song.

The song first brought focus on MGMT when it appeared in the Season 2 finale of cult UK TV drama Skins in early 2008. Since then it’s featured on Gossip Girl and 90210 and in the trailers for 21 and Sex Drive, and even made Time magazine’s list of Top 10 Songs of 2008. Time To Pretend is an explosion of electronic rock and jaded lyrics with the catchiest hook in years that no one should miss.

Artist Alert: Owl City

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When I first came across Owl City, I was curious about their music just because of the band’s name. A little research revealed that it was not a band but a stage name for Adam Young of Owatonna, Minnesota. There doesn’t seem to be much other information out there about him, but I do know he likes photography, foreign accents and Sigur Rós, among other things.

Owl City has the rare ability to make music to sometimes nonsensical lyrics – which he says are metaphors – as he likes writing about his experiences in an abstract way. Nonetheless his electronic tunes are his signature sound that can’t really be compared to most other artists, independent or otherwise.

He’s currently unsigned and his music is available on iTunes, but you can listen to his music on the Owl City myspace page.

Must Hear: Jump In The Pool – Friendly Fires

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While Friendly Fires aren’t technically an unsigned band (they’re with independent label XL Recordings), they’re a relatively new trio from Hertfordshire in England who released their debut album on September 1, 2008. 

Jump In The Pool, which has not currently been scheduled as a single, is an electronic pop blend of drums, synthesisers and, believe it or not, whistles creating a pulsating track reminiscent of MGMT. Best heard on your headphones, it’s a perfect pick-me-up on a bad day.

Artist Alert: Martin & James

 

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For years now I’ve been a firm believer that the quality of music coming out of the UK is far better than that from the US, Australia, or almost any other place, and Scottish duo Martin Kelly and James O’Neill a.k.a. Martin & James have not only re-affirmed my theory, they’ve simply blown me away!

Crashing is one of the best songs I’ve heard by anybody, established or new, in a very long time. They make the most with minimal music and voices that blend perfectly to produce songs that are not only worth many listens but put comparable bands such as Keane and OneRepublic to shame. Also worth listening to are Broken Sword and Not Alone.

Fore more on Martin & James check out their website here.

Welcome!

Over the past few months I’ve been  spending most of whatever little spare time I have searching for new music, especially by indie/unsigned artists across several genres, and I’ve come across some fabulous new music that I believe everyone should be listening to!

In an effort to spread the results of my new music education, I’ve started this blog to link to websites/downloads of this music for everyone to enjoy. I’m also not limiting my post to unreleased tracks since I live in India where a lot of great music just doesn’t reach us.

Browse around and please leave me feedback!