Showing posts with label sundy best. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sundy best. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

the top 50 best songs of 2014 (part ii: 25-1) (VIDEO)

And there's part two. One last list to come, stay tuned!

the top 50 best songs of 2014

And now onto the third list, and by far one of the hardest to make. This year I discussed 210 albums and from there I had just under 700 songs that I considered eligible for this list. From there, the task of narrowing it down and ranking them was excruciatingly difficult, because I want to make sure this list was of the best of the best, and even with that I had to make some painful cuts. And once again, keep in mind these are not the hits. We have singles and deep cuts here, from artists who are defiantly mainstream to those lodged deep in the underground. And one more thing: for a song to land on this list, it has to have been released from an album I reviewed this year. If it was just a single, it doesn't cut it - but on a contrary note, if the single dropped last year or even the year before and the album was only released now... well, it qualifies in my books.

But enough wasting time, let's get this started with...

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

video review: 'salvation city' by sundy best

Forgot to post this last night. Ah well.

Next up is Casualties of Cool, and it's been a long time coming. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

album review: 'salvation city' by sundy best

In early March of this year, I reviewed the sophomore release of the Kentucky country duo Sundy Best, and to say I liked it might be a bit of an understatement. In short, the record had a ton of energy, great melodic hooks, and a newfound lyrical maturity that grounded the record and has helped to make it one of my favourite country records of the year thus far. I loved the use of cajon for percussion, I loved the snarled guitars and organ, and I really dug how deeply Sundy Best were able to push their minimalist sound into something organic and powerful.

Well, apparently the rest of the world paid attention, because Sundy Best started gaining traction, the biggest features coming courtesy of Rolling Stone's new country division. People started paying attention to this duo beyond alternative country fans and critics, and really, it couldn't be a better time. After all, considering Dan + Shay never really caught fire and the Swon Brothers have struggled to gain maintain relevance after The Voice, we could definitely use a good country duo to give Florida Georgia Line some competition.

But I have to be honest, I was worried about this release. I said back when I reviewed Rick Ross' Hood Billionaire that I get an uneasy feeling when artists feel the need to drop two albums of original material in the same year, especially when the first release was as good as Bring Up The Sun was. Sundy Best had set a high bar for themselves, and considering they were moving away from the cajon to a full drum kit again, I was concerned that they might lose some of their original sound in favour of maintaining their hype or possibly making a mainstream breakthrough. That said, with every release Sundy Best had gotten better, and Bring Up The Sun was a damn strong record - did they match it?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

the top albums/songs of the midyear - 2014

Holy shit, this video took hours. Really happy with it... except for some of the volume levels on the music, but that was such a pain in the ass to get right that I'm fine with where they are.

Next up, Mastodon. Stay tuned!

the top albums/songs of the midyear - 2014

I've been debating with myself pretty consistently over the past few weeks whether or not to make this. It's a pretty common thing with critics to take stock of their favourites at this point of the year, and considering I've covered 108 albums thus far this year, in terms of sheer volume it'd make sense for me to go back and take stock of what I've heard and what deserves consideration going into the second half of the year. And while I'm leery about spoiling my year-end list, long-time fans will probably be able to figure that out anyways, so why not go the extra mile and draw a spotlight to some acts that are definitely worth the consideration. 

So without further ado:

Monday, March 17, 2014

video review: 'bring up the sun' by sundy best

Guess there can be a benefit to reading the comments after all. :)

Next up... oh yikes, Enrique Iglesias and Foster The People. Hold on, folks, this probably won't be pretty.

album review: 'bring up the sun' by sundy best

It's been almost six months since I made my Special Comment surrounding the evolving climate in country music, and where I made a plea to mainstream critics, on YouTube and otherwise, that country music should be afforded more coverage.

And for the most part, this has happened to some extent. Rolling Stone, The AV Club, and even Pitchfork have broadened their horizons slightly and have covered more country music - typically when it brushes either the pop or alternative spectra, but it's better than nothing. And yet at this current time, I'm still the only guy reviewing country music on YouTube, and honestly, I don't get it. Sure, it's a format that tends to cater to an older audience that might not be as web-savvy, and sure, it might have limited cultural force outside of the US, and sure, the people my age who are listening to country now probably haven't gotten all that invested in the genre - but still, it's a little jarring and a little lonely to see all the coverage that hip-hop, indie rock, pop, or even metal gets, and seemingly just me covering country. 

But then again, if it's just me talking, I've got a certain obligation to deliver not just quality reviews, but information and news about country acts of which you probably haven't heard - most of which I discover thanks to tips and accidents. I get annoyed with the lack of country music's web presence in comparison with other genres frequently, but the biggest contributing factor is that there isn't an aggregate. The coverage of alternative or indie country is so thin in comparison with other genres that it can be a real challenge to track down new acts, especially if they don't get mainstream radio airplay, and with the increased conglomeration of radio stations beneath single banners, a lot of local scenes end up getting lost in the shuffle.

This takes us to Sundy Best, a Kentucky-based act I would never have known existed if it wasn't for a tip in one of the comments. Primarily an acoustic country duo that called back to the days of singer-songwriters, they released their first album Door Without A Screen in 2012 that turned out surprisingly strong, with a lot of folk-inspired exuberance fused with fast-picked banjo and pretty clever songwriting. I won't say the album is without its flaws - the production has a strange lack of homegrown grit and texture that was a little perplexing, and I didn't think all of the lyrics were stellar - but they had a a melodic focus and a ton of energy, so I was interested in their sophomore album Bring Up The Sun, which came out a few weeks ago. How did it turn out?