NAILED Songs of the Week #42

Editor Staff, Music, March 17th, 2016

"They were the perfect reminder that creating music doesn't always have to be so serious"

NAILED songs of the week charles bradley live
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Shenyah Webb, Arts Editor of NAILED:

“Frank Might Feel It” – Gentle Bender

I first got a full listen to Gentle Bender this past winter when my band opened up for them. A garage-rock-wave duo; smart, raw, catchy, stripped down to the basics, and totally dialed in.

They were the perfect reminder that creating music doesn’t always have to be so serious, and they make it seem like a total blast. With everything from their presence, personalities and straightforward catchy-as-fuck hooks, they fill a room with a certain degree of cool. It only felt right to drink canned beer and bounce around a little.

Despite the good times, I didn’t realize the caliber of humor in their work until I checked out their track listing with song titles such as “Bows Get You Boned” and Grandpas Die,” and then I caught this video. I got in a much needed laugh, all while enjoying one of my new favorite garage-wave bands.

If you’re in Portland, check out their next performance on Friday March 25th at Valentines.

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Carrie Seitzinger, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of NAILED:

“Warm Insurrection” – Conrad Keely

The former frontman and co-founder of And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead has released his debut solo album, Original Machines, this January. “Warm Insurrection” reminds me of some of the surf rock I liked in the 90s. It could be my nostalgia for the beach of my younger years, this acceptance of bongos and emotional lyrics, but you can’t deny Keely’s gorgeous voice and sense of rhythm. It’s a good song to crawl out of the depths of winter with.

 

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Guest Editor, Adam Strong, writer and host of the reading series, Songbook, A Literary Mixtape.

“Adore” – Savages

It takes a few minutes for “Adore” to get started, but  it does with a voice. There is a fearlessness in this voice; it is unafraid. There’s a pause in the track, a big fat silence that is the band purposefully holding back, a hesitation in not wanting to let it all out. Bunch a fist up and you’ll know what I mean. Hold your breath until your face turns purple. Keep things bottled up until you burst and that’s what this track does. Holds itself all tensed up until the sheer blessedness of it breaks forth and what we are left with is wanting more. Of the song, of life, the grit in the intense bass line at the start of the track. The pause tells us to take a deep breath, to start over. At the end there is movement in the song, an oncoming wave that sucks up everything around it. In the middle of this wave, there are vocals swirled all around. “Do you adore life?” the song asks, but “Adore” ends before we ever hear the answer. The song never breaks, never lets us go, and because it doesn’t, it stays with us, under our skin, crawling.

 

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Matty Byloos, Publisher and Contributing Editor of NAILED:

“My Ears Are Ringing” – Sama Dams

Some things are just plain sexy, and they can’t help themselves. When you strip something down to the elements at its core, it’s even harder to hide. And if you don’t have it, don’t have the sexiness, well then — being perceived at that level, with all the bells and whistles and costumes and reverb and effects and distortion and whatever else removed — there’s really no chance to hide what you lack. In “My Ears Are Ringing” by Sama Dams, there’s nowhere to hide inside the song. The sexiness is absolute: from the distressed, mournful wailing to the bright edge of the guitar riff that propels things forward, slowly, slowly. You’ll hear other hints of blues-inspired legacies that have come before, wrapped into the fabric of this song, but it’s got enough going on its own not to bother referencing them here. Go take its clothes off and witness.

 

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Check out Songs of the Week #41 for even more great music from the editors and contributors behind NAILED.

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Staff

More than one editor and/or contributor was responsible for the completion of this piece on NAILED.