Nov. 25, 2015
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Hear It: Mellow Grooves

March 12, 2008, 12:00 am
Downtempo and dreamy.

Beach House
"Gila" starts out with a simple beat, but the moment the guitar starts it's impossible to ignore the influence of The Beatles. "Gila" is from Beach House's new album Devotion, and it has that same dreamy guitar of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." The vocals even have a few John Lennon-esque inflections to add to the Fab Four feel. But "Gila" doesn't pick up where The Beatles left off. Instead, it gives the '60s a modern spin.

Black Keys
Forget all those Led Zeppelin songs. "Psychotic Girl" is for making out in the family ride. Banjos, blues-y vocals and Danger Mouse make for one sexy sound. The namesake psychotic girl is the kind of woman momma said to stay away from but her web is just too appealing. She dances through the tune, seducing both listeners and the band while she has them "fighting for air." Without the Mouse the tune would just be another fun ride; with his polished electronics and love of all things musical, it's so hot speakers melt.

The Chicago foursome Singer could only be more literally named if it was called "Singers." Each member brings his own vocal style, from Prince-influenced falsetto funk to a perfectly off-key indie smoothness. But what makes "Dumb Smoke" more than a barbershop quartet for a new era is one hell of a guitar. There's a little heavy-metal shredding, a lot of drone and even a few flippant chords thrown in over the harmonized lyrics. "We say, we are hazy" are more than just lyrics, it describes perfectly the flawless mish-mash of styles over the course of the song. These artists refuse to choose a style; instead, they take everything they've learned about music and created a new, unclassifiable genre that would make the Velvet Underground sit up and take notice.


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