“New Year” is a track from Beach House’s fourth studio album, Bloom. Released on New Year’s Day, the song is an appetizer for the ears. Listening to the melodic keyboard notes blending in with soothing vocals will release you into a state of audio bliss, leaving you there as if you were floating on a cloud.
Pitchfork‘s Lindsay Zoladz points out how Beach House’s music has flourished and developed over the past several years, describing each track from Bloom as a “sizzle of a lit fuse and at some fine moment exploding like a firework in slow motion.”
Hailing from Baltimore, Maryland, Beach House is a dream pop duo composed of Victoria LeGrand on the keyboards and Alex Scally on guitar, bass and keyboards. Both are vocalists: the former sings lead vocals and the latter takes back up vocals.
“New Year” sets the stage, or even the mind frame, to reminisce about moments and memories past, while inspiring us to anticipate new beginnings. Accordingly, the song alludes the passage of time as it depicts a collage of home videos taken during the band’s recording session at Sonic Ranch Studios in Tornillo, Texas.
“Rinkaku” is the latest single from the internationally-acclaimed Japanese rock band, Dir en grey. Released on Dec. 19, this track is their follow up to Dum Spiro Spero, their last studio album that was released in 2011.
“Rinkaku” is a beautiful modern metal symphony. Kyo’s power vocals blend smoothly into the unbeatable combination of Die and Kaoru’s guitar riffs. Add in Toshiya’s bass lines to amplify the intense flow of emotion and Shinya’s mind-blowing drum skills, and this track will send you into peaceful melancholy. “Rinkaku” is a metal masterpiece well due.
Coming back from a break after a slew of overseas tours over the past decade – including two visits to Montreal in 2008 and 2011 – Dir en grey has gained recognition outside of Japan by bridging the language barrier and bringing music fans together, as noted by rock music magazine Kerrang!, giving them the namesake of “The world’s biggest cult band.”
3. Standing EGG – “Ballad, with Windy (그 자리에 있어)”
“Ballad, with Windy” is the latest single by the Korean indie group Standing EGG.
Released on Dec. 20, “Ballad” feels like a sweet tune at first listen, the acoustic guitar riffs sending you into a feel-good mood.
The band has a cool creative process when it comes to making songs, as all six members each take turns doing different tasks as “Egg 1” (composer), “Egg 2” (vocals and composing) and “Egg 3” (lyrics).
The band members include Windy and Lee Yeseul on vocals, Clover on vocals and guitar, Lee Han Kyul on bass, Song Hana on percussion, and Lee Yeni on keyboard.
“Ballad”, and Standing EGG’s music in general, offers a rarity within the K-Pop music genre – its uniqueness. Their distinguishable acoustic sound is a refreshing spin, deviating from the electronic-infused tunes many of us know.
Aside from a huge online following, VITALSIGN of the Korean music site Allkpop cites the diverse genres of music from which it takes inspiration and calls the band’s music “an oasis for the ears of music lovers who can’t quite seem to quench their musical thirst for anything else.”