Holly Miranda – “Mark My Words”

Opening with a shimmering guitar backdrop reminiscent of a Band of Horses‘ tune, “Mark My Words” feels like it is being performed in someone’s backyard. The editing is top-notch, perfectly capturing Holly’s powerful, controlled, yet unprocessed voice.

Langhorne Slim & The Law – “Strangers”

A catchy bass line and some “do’s” help to capture the impending summer sunshine and boisterousness. Grab a partner and go hit the dance floor, because who cares.

Langhorne Slim’s fifth LP The Spirit Moves is due out August 7 on Dualtone Records.

Listen Here

HANGOUT FESTIVAL 2015

Location: Gulf Shores, AL

Date: 5/15/2015-5/17/2015

Rating: 4.0/5

As we flew out of the Tampa Bay airport and into a thunder-fillled Thursday night, our flight attendant prayed over the PA system, “rain, rain, go away, y’all come out some other day.” Despite a high likelihood of storms all weekend, we dropped into Gulf Shores, Alabama under clear skies and the rain never did come back. And instead the sun showered down on the people and beaches of Hangout Fest.

Favorite Highlight:

Umphrey’s McGee – “The Show Goes On (feat. Lupe Fiasco)”

A jam band staple at festivals all over the U.S., UMG showcased their talents with elongated guitar solos that began as simple ideas and flourished into percussive, head-spinning solos. It may be a product of the EDM scene, but UMG’s take on the “drop” was creative and economic. The band used them sparingly, and each time it was employed, it was for a different musical reason. Sometimes, it marked the beginning of a new song, or meant the entrance of a new instrument, and another time it would allow them to cut off an improvisation that had exceeded its time. The highlight of the show was the unexpected drop-in of Lupe Fiasco, towards the end of their day set. To the tune of “The Show Goes On” from his album Lasers, the crowd was happily surprised. See video below:

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Small Concert Standout:

Houndmouth- “For No One”

We have posted about Houndmouth on RunTheMill before, and had high hopes for this quirky, but sensational Louisville and Indiana-fostered band. Garbed in a full cape, the lead singer led a fanatic small crowd through its newest album Little Neon Limelight. And it was a particularly fun to hear it amongst southerners. A new favorite cut was “Black Gold:”

Favorite Cover: 

Zac Brown Band- “Bohemian Rhapsody

This is not the first time ZBB has covered Queen, (iHeart Radio Music Festival 2014), but when every person knows the lyrics out of 10,000 person audience, it is usually not a bad time. No video from Hangout, but enjoy the previous version below:

Biggest Letdown:

Jack U (Diplo & Skrillex)

Flying high off their recent album featuring cuts with the likes of Justin Bieber, I was underwhelmed by Jack U’s overall set. It’s peaks were short-lived, and overshadowed by foreseeable drops. I think the set suffered from too much hype, too little preparation, and a lack of flow and diversity that usually allows Diplo and Skrillex to stand out from the EDM crowd. In fact, Major Lazer’s set later on in the festival demonstrated that sometimes the whole is not always greater than the sum of its parts.

Best Surprise Group:

San Fermin – Emily

  • Ever since I heard the song “Sonsick,” I knew San Fermin had an interesting, poignant story to tell that could cut through the constant music chatter. That being said, I was blown away by the musical chops and stage presence of the San Fermin group. The standout new single from the show that we happened to walk upon was, “Emily,” which showcases composer and song-writer Ellis Ludwig Leone’s natural tenor voice, and his penchant for tight arrangement and orchestration.

Concerts we attended:

Day 1:

Foo Fighters

Jack U

Umphrey’s McGee (featuring Lupe Fiasco)

Galactic with Macy Gray

Houndmouth

Gramatik

Trampled by Turtles

Roddy Walston & The Business

Day 2

Zac Brown Band

Queen’s Under Pressure Bohemian Rhapsody

Major Lazer

Odesza

Future Islands

The Mowgli’s

San Fermin

The Helio Sequence – “Red Shifting” & “Leave or Be Yours”

A description about The Helio Sequence’s new creative adjustment on their new self-titled sixth album (out today, May 12th) can be found here at Sub Pop’s website. In summary, the group forced themselves to write these songs within a strict set of time instead of laboring towards perfection over a elongated period of time. This new approach forced the group into “…taking the good with the bad, of letting creativity push past constraint, of simply making music in the moment.” This can be seen throughout the album, as the songs have a much more natural flow than in the previous album Negotiations (2012). The formats of these songs are not as intricately woven, and I think it helps The Helio Sequence’s sound become more inviting, and less dependent on electronic manipulation. Check out the song “Red Shifting” below and the romance-themed “Leave or Be Yours:”

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Soft Sleep – “Unravel”

“Unravel” is filled with a late 90’s “Goo Goo Dolls”-like romanticism, pairing acoustic guitar strums against soft approachable melodies. “Unravel” is slow, but doesn’t drag. The chorus accelerates the pacing, and the verses retract that energy.  Make sure you keep an eye out for the release of this Seattle Band’s self-titled EP in May 2015 on Rocket Heart Records.

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Life in Film – “Anna, Please Don’t Go”

Life in Film released its debut album, “Here It Comes” earlier this week, and I was immediately taken by the track, “Anna, Please Don’t Go.” A charming love song that would fit perfectly into any upcoming indie flick, be it by Wes Anderson (see “Moonrise Kingdom”) or by Marc Webb (“500 Days of Summer”). This London four-piece band has already attracted the right people, including playing with the Rolling Stones.

FUTURISTIC FRIDAY

In light of “Throwback Thursday or #tbt” which involves posting something that has nostalgic value, we at RunTheMill wanted to turn this popular convention on its head. This weekly posting will share a song that is either ahead of its time or attempts to push us out of our comfort sound zone.

Artist: Jose Gonzalez

Song: “Let it Carry You (Holy Ghost! Remix)”

Brooklyn’s funky crusaders Holy Ghost! has laid down an 80s-soaked remix of Jose Gonzalez’s recently released “Let it Carry You” off the 2015 Vesitiges & Claws album. The duo experiments with Jose’s bare folk melody, and smothers it with synths, turns the bass line electric, and adds classic computer track drum rolls. Enjoy the weekend and let this be your accompaniment to a long run.

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Oh Wonder – “Livewire”

Too often, pop artists will show glimpses of restraint, but are then forced to show the song’s metaphorical “full hand” in the first chorus to make it “radio-ready.” Oh Wonder holds back in “Livewire,” letting the listener get what they think is a full chorus the first time, and on the second time around, the group reveals its full sound and potential. This London duo is a step away from breakthrough, and it is only a matter of time until others begin copying Oh Wonder’s sound. My only frustratingly minute nitpick with the song is that the chorus sounds eerily similar to Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream.” See if you can find the section that sounds exactly like: “Let you put your hands on me in my skin-tight jeans, Be your teenage dream tonight.”

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The National- “Sunshine on my Back”

Like My Morning Jacket, The National has solidified their sound, but that does not mean there isn’t more room for introspection. On the recent track, “Sunshine on my Back,” the chorus resembles the words Matt Berninger breathes: there are splashes of sunlight (major chords) and spots of shade (minor, lead in chords). It’s modest, selective, and a perfect remedy for your day. The song features vocals from Sharon Van Etten, and it was recorded during the sessions for Trouble Will Find Me back in 2011, but didn’t make the cut. RunTheMill is psyched to see these guys alongside Sufjan Stevens and Bon Iver at the first Eaux Claire Festival July 17th-18th, in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Coverage to follow.